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"Psychedelia"


There is an unspoken affinity between Psychedelia and the cosmos. It really goes without saying at all that the concept of infinity will forever ensare the imaginations of mankind. I have found that the blueprints for Psychedelia and all that it encompasses (Rock & Roll, Jazz, Blues, Folk, and World music) are tailored better than any many other art forms to ignite our imaginations and tackle this pandora's box of ideas.
It's a spectrum of art-as-life I have a special fondness for. Tucked forever into my mind are memories of listening to Psychedelic artists while nestled beneath a blanket of stars within the haze of a bottle of wine and a few tokes of grass. The symphonic grandeur of these songs brought this starscape within arm's reach, as if I could poke my finger into the Milky Way, pull the stars along and forever alter the sky.
It brings a sense of comfort and delight in the face of such infinite perfection, observing from our humble blue nest in the universe. What really matters in light of all this? On the other hand, it can also instill a sense of abject terror being faced with such daunting uncertainty. Roky Erickson, the famed brain behind the 13th Floor Elevators, was the man to coin the term "Psychedelia." His band is considered the first, but numerous others were experimenting with sound and their own personal ideas that reached far beyond their own fame and glamour. Alas, with everything that must come and go, Roky succumbed to madness that was only tempered with a cocktail of medications. The drugs and his ambitious mind couldn't find a cohesion and it all lead to the complete destruction of a human being.


I choose to bask in the delight of the great beyond without intimidation. After all, who can say what is right or wrong when we haven't a clue as to what mysterious forces lie beyond our solar system or galaxy for that matter. It's with this wonderment that I embrace Psychedelia and all the likeminded musicians who wish to delight our imaginations. There are more than can be imagined, working behind the padded studio walls to blow our minds, but there are a couple that have caught my undivided attention.


One bears an obvious fascination with the infinite. It is immediately detected in the first act of their space opus, Echo Forever. They ignite visions of fiery nebulas and the vast, dreadful nothingness of space, all while keeping us ensnared with a complex symphonic splendour. This is Radar Men From the Moon; their name being an homage to a Sci-Fi cult classic. Larger than life guitar riffage plays circles around brooding samples of Sci-Fi films scattered throughout. Each track builds with intensity―layer upon layer of epic compositional movement and sound until the hairs on the back of your neck are standing on end with unbearable tension. We truly get a sense for the madness behind space, as well as the mysterious and spectacular beauty tucked away in the furthest corners of the universe.



While I do choose to approach Psychedelia from a more enlightened perspective, the demented aspect of it is absolutely fascinating to me as well. I long to pick the brains of some of the more rabid musicians in the field. Imagine yourself as Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and you've convinced every lunatic in the ward to hide their medication under their tongue when Nurse Ratchet starts making her rounds. Within a week, the magnanimous insanity overcoming each unique patient in a crowded room of equally insane patients will be a great example of the chaotic forces I find so fascinating in the more maddening psychedelic bands. Essentially a playground of children engaging in every chaotic act you can imagine.
Radar Men From the Moon find a steady footing on the threshold of insanity while capable of bringing it all back home again. That is what keeps me so captivated by their ability―decisive madness. Much more interesting than a whammy-bar infused twenty minute guitar solo that takes you nowhere but down a long corridor of boredom and distracted thoughts.


Another group, quite a stretch more industrious in releasing work than Radar Men is also painting the cosmos with their own unique brand of sonic color, only their music covers quite a bit more ground. It wades in spiritual and socio-political themes with both tempered discipline and ill-tempered ferocity. Their compositions can switch from a whisper to peeling the paint from the walls in a matter of seconds. You'll wonder if they've tapped into the spirit of Timothy Leary one moment, then they'll peel your eyelids back with explosions of guitar and melt away every trace of spiritual oneness you thought you'd attained without a second's hesitance. This is White Hills, another favorite of mine as of late. Dave W. of White Hills gave some insight into his muse:

I find organized religion to be a sham. It's just another social structure to obtain wealth and control masses. So many problems arise in the name of a "God". I believe in the universe. It gave birth to this planet we inhabit and life itself. Just as we are a living organism, so is the earth and the greater universe. Without it we are nothing. It's fascinating to me the things that humans do to control every aspect of life. Some seek solace and inner peace in believing there is a God. I don't have a problem with that. As for me, I find solace in knowing I'm a very small part of this greater organism.


I don't think you need be religious in order to be spiritual. Everyone has a doorway to spirituality, music...art in general, for that matter...has been the key to open that door for me. I'm just one more person in a long lineage that is passing on the key to open that door to others. I stake no claim to it. The key is there for anyone who seeks it.
What my music does for others is subjective. I'm not here to dictate what it should mean to someone else. I create for myself first and foremost. Creating is what makes me feel connected and grounded to the universe.

Art is the key to our spirituality. Since the dawn of man it has been so with paintings and writings, as well as music; I think this key will fit into most of mankind's collective lock and help to give us all a more tangible connection to the universe. White Hills are simply bringing us their concept of what is out there. They are so industrious and diverse that you truly never know what you will get with each consecutive release. It's Hawkwind for the new millennium! With most tracks they start with a seed. It's given water and time to develop. The budding is sometimes, brief, sometimes a gradual budding, but you can be damn well sure it will be worth your time and attention. Even if the payoff may amount to a melody that took ten minutes to manifest. Some of their albums will consist of a multitude of tracks which serve to do nothing but seamlessly build up toward one or two primary climaxes, much like a broken down "Echoes" on Pink Floyd's Meddle album. They are ambitious and absolutely unpredictable―you could even say they're out for blood, or our unwavering allegiance.

It's with these types of bands that I think humanity can receive a wake up call and realize the potential at our fingertips. I'm not saying that music will single handedly save the world from itself, but it is the window to our soul and it can plant a seed in our minds for greater aspirations if we're open to it. There is so much to this life beyond partying, scraping, begging, living paycheck-to-paycheck and writhing in self pity. Don't take my word for it, do your own homework! You may realize a lot of things in this world weren't worth the hours of dread you've spent and will never regain. What gives me the right to spout philosophical, you ask? Maybe it's the Marcus Aurelius I've been reading lately, but it's nothing that you'd be concerned about. I've been through a lot of muck and mire in my short 28 years of life. Music is where I've found solace that no amount of money can compensate for. These two bands in particular have taken me places I can't even write about, for there are no words to describe it properly. I've seen what lies beyond this mortal coil in my mind's eye thanks to Psychedelia of all walks. I've seen a world without agony, where instead of fighting ourselves we embrace one another and look up, into the stars and fight for understanding!


Article made by Hunter Gatherer/2013
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013

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