a psychic enemies network: valis

psychic enemies network: valis

psyen-v.jpg (21k) psychic enemies network: valis
(Skin and Barrel Music - 2000) - 2000)

John & Matt Thorne head up the psychic enemies network, an organization dedicated to the free-exploration of musical/psychological/artistic paradigms.

With the help of friends (and a few samples), they plunge into the shapeshifting soundworlds of valis...

arhythmia's various softly droning layers simmer for five minutes before being overtaken by tribalized beat patterns, faint female croons and locational recordings. Strange, unintelligible spoken phrases emerge from come crumbling's oozing muck of mutated brass and who-knows-what-else. Vague electronic pulsations glimmer as sandfall spreads into a bass-inflected zone of mutedly ringing tones; everything transforms into a different haze, permeated by pattering drumbeats and ladylike warbling.

Wolf-like howls radiate and echo into the distance as tilted earth (11:18) spins forth another hazy panorama of obtuse soundscapes and hypnotic rhythms; the track contains samples from an improv by the band members as para!helion (See last month's review of their DIY desert adventure, Midaq Alley). Dense, churning bowl cut soon emits scattered drumbeats and perky organ chords; everything undergoes further disfiguration through pitch-shifting, then a bitchin', blurred guitar cuts loose. Spunky retro-rock-beats pound beneath radio free albemuth (2:07) to be followed by cut-n-paste snippets of assorted chaotically altered soundbits... from glares and blares to sludgy beats to raucous white noise and then some.

Bass and drum (and buried conversations) are part of obscure-yet-catchy mehendi's hazy-though-peppy atmosphere. Scritchy overlays abrade the buried tones of 8/7/96, which wafts amongst other subterranean clatter. The disc winds down with gnomonic and its slurry surge-and-drone techniques.

More than 68 minutes of enigmatic aural renderings await listeners of valis; the psychic enemies network are fashioning their own re-interpretations of various eclectic soundforms, so the disc tends to drift in-and-out of unknown territories, scattering their personal visions and a few semi-"normal" signposts along the way. An 8.3 for the traveler's spirit and thoughtful experiments 8-3.gif
This review posted January 28, 2001

AmbiEntrance © 2001-1997 by David J Opdyke (except CD cover art, rights retained by original owners).