Hashish – A Product Of (2016) review
A new slice of Swedish psychedelia that borrows equally from such diverse influences as funk, soul, prog, cinema and space music, Hashish is masterminded by Subliminal Sounds label head Stefan Kéry, who certainly knows a thing or three about the subject via his label’s numerous releases (both current and archival) of giants in the field. ‘Bliss’ trickles across your mind (literally, via it’s flowing opening of waves crashing on the shore) and conjures a day at the beach or a stroll through a rainforest to the accompaniment of swirling electronics that wrap the body in ecstatic “waves” of glistening sunshine. But then ‘Fly Away’ thumps in, and we’re transported to one of those funky, sexy ‘70s blaxploitation soundtracks or library music turn ons that’ll loosen the libido while sashaying the night away. It’s like a porn soundtrack come true, with fluttering female vocals beckoning us to er, “Come” and “Fly Away”! Some wonderful flute flourishes accompany Lisa Maria Isaksson’s gorgeous, cooing vocals for an otherworldly experience.
Add some groovy vibes, swooshing electronics, and snap-a-tat drum fills and you’ll be beginning to see ‘The Light’, another swirling maelstrom of flickering waterfalls of sound, belching synths, and buzzing electronics that add a fine krautrock vibe to the proceedings – think Tangerine Dream or Popul Vuh’s more cinematic efforts with jazzy overtones.
‘Outer Spaced’ sounds like the theme to a sci-fi TV show (as, perhaps, well it should, what with its Theremin-like waves of electronic effects bubbling around swooshy, gurgling synths and Kéry uttering some “spaced out” voices with his Vocoder, Peter Frampton-style! ‘Make It’ is another cinematic scene setter – whistling synths accompanying a race around Moyenne Corniche in a convertible with your hair flapping in the cool Mediterranean breeze. Finally, Isaksson’s soothing vocals and flickering harp stroking adds an elegant sexy ooze to ‘Miracles’ and I feel like I’m on the floor at Studio 54 and the night has just begun.
There are certainly a lot of kitchen sink elements to this release, but that’s half the fun of psychedelia – toss everything in the brew and see what sticks to the inside of your mind. The strange, disco funk may clash with the Krautrock embellishments, but the overall effect will leave you breathless.
Review by Jeff Penczak/2016
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