TIP OF THE TONGUE 21 AUGUST 2011
Village Of Spaces
Alchemy And Trust
Turned Word Records No Cat
OUT OF STOCK!
Okay: can’t recall the last time I was so completely blown away by an out of nowhere release but this new LP from Maine’s Village Of Spaces aka Uke Of Phillips aka Uke Of Spaces Corners has very quickly become the most played LP of the year at VT. Recorded over the space of several years (some of it by Nemo Bidstrup of Time-Lag Records) and featuring the core duo of Daniel Beckman and Amy Moon alongside guest spots from Michael Hurley and members of Big Blood, Ancestral Diet and Caethua, Alchemy And Trust is a modern masterpiece, beaming the kind of stoned devotional folk style of Witthuser & Westrupp, Siloah, Tower Recordings and Hurley himself into the future via beautiful, drugged acoustic arrangements, heavenly male/female vocal interplay and perfect psychedelic songwriting complete with visionary lyrics that trip off the tongue and work obsessively repeating imagery into new alchemical forms. The opening track, “Ovum’s Influence”, has such a slow-motion dosed aspect, the feel of distant tonal sunrises and rural time/space, the vocals intertwining over nodding mandolin, keyboard, guitar and bass, that it instantly transports you to an isolated communal freakscene, complete with some of the more ‘in the pocket’ aspects of downhome psychedelic voyagers like Matthew Valentine and Erika Elder and The Cherry Blossoms. As the album progresses the mood becomes more hypnotic, sundazed even, with simple guitar/vocal duo performances like “House A Home Part 2” coming over as masterclasses in revenant atmospherics with alla the genuine magic of two musicians pulling force and form straight out of the air. I mean, in an age where ‘musicians’ talk of creating their music from fuggin You Tube clips and any clown with a Knight Rider t-shirt and a sampling keyboard can make ‘new age synth’ soundtracks it’s nothing short of revelatory to encounter this kind of higher-minded instrumental ability, with a group that play well beyond any inherited notion of technique and with such emotional and atmospheric articulacy, such devastating control over precisely-keyed psychedelic transmission. Alchemy And Trust is a modern classic and I’d easily line it up alongside epochal outings like The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughters, The Cherry Blossoms LP, Dom, Siloah, Hurley’s Blue Navigator, Witthuser & Westrupp’s Trips und Traume, Dreaming With Alice, even US Saucer’s masterful My Company Is Misery, a record that shares much of Alchemy And Trust’s instrumental and atmospheric persona. Seriously, if you’re in any way tuned in to fully blasted/zoned acid folk w/a utopic stoned rural vibe then you really need to check this out. Pretty much eclipses everything else right now as hands-down album of the year. Edition of 500 copies, already sold out at source. Highest possible recommendation!