Psychedelic music is back! Yes, that's right,
drag out your old Pink Floyd records and find that lava lamp
your parents hid in the attic. There are a whole slew of bands
making psychedelic rock these days, and Landing is one of the
better examples of this resurgance.
The current wave of psychedelic music is not called such in
the media. You see, we Music Critics had a conference in Toronto
in 1998 and we agreed to hide the resurgence of psychedelia
under the terms "drone" or "space rock" or "ambient"..... In
fact, i bet that Assassins of the Music Writer's Guild are closing
in on me even as we speak. I should flee -- throw the laptop
and my cats into the PostLibyanMobile and drive west, into the
desert. I can hide among the cactii and they will never find
If i did actually act out on my paranoia, Oceanless
would be the perfect album to listen to. To start with, there
is the appropriateness of the name: i mean, is there anyplace
more ocean-less than The Desert? Also, there is an expansiveness
to this music that strikes me as reminiscent of wide open spaces
with little to block the view to the horizon; the air wavering
in front of you, from heat, inebriation, mental trance, or whatever....
At least, that is the type of imagery this album invokes to
me. However, well, i am an Eastern Coastal Plains resident.
We don't have deserts down here. The closest that i have ever
come to being in a desert is being in the East Bay region of
San Francisco in August during a drought. I know that's not
really desert-y, but man the dry air really seemed to suck the
moisture right of ya...
So i think this is a desert-y album, but i could be wrong.
If you live in a desert area and listen to this album and disagree
with me, please let
me know! I would appreciate it.
Now, aside from the percieved desert-ness of Oceanless,
primarily this is an album of wandering drones constructed out
of layers of echoey guitar. It is similar in nature to the shoegazer
genre, but entirely different in application. This music is
slower paced, for one. It meanders along, as if exploring a
I find it really peaceful to listen to Oceanless
on headphones. It induces a mellow sort of trance on the mind.
However, i have found that this is not a good trance to write
code to -- it makes my work sloppy. (It also gives me the muchies.
Whoa.) So don't listen to it at the office. However, for those
many times when you just need to sit, listen, and let the mind
go, Oceanless is a fine choice.
One song of particular note is Rial Veed Fiir, which
is a great instrumental track, about 5 minutes long, built out
of fuzzy guitars and intricate basswork. It is the real standout
of the album, but that might be due to the fact that it has
a little more structure than much of the rest of the disc. In
fact, the last two tracks are each 21 minute guitar "experiments",
wherein instruments, melodies, and sounds wander in and out.
Good listening on the whole, even though there are minutes when
any one part goes on a bit too long.
So -- Oceanless is good psychedelia for sitting
and letting the mind wander. That said i have one problem with
the album, and it could possible affect each of you as well.
Apparently Strange Attractors, the label that released this,
used the cheapest possible CDs to burn the music onto. I am
all for cheapness, but they sacrifice some quality here by using
CDs that are too transparent. You know how some CDs can be held
up the light and seen through? Well, my high-end Technics 5
CD changer component doesn't like those CDs. If the laser on
that unit passes through the CD, then no music is read. I also
know that certain older laptop CD-ROM drives have a similar
problem. The result is: i can't play this album on my stereo.
I have to play it on my discman or computer. And that's annoying.
But fortunately i am such a music geek that i have spare listening
hardware lying around. If the only means you have to listen
to CD's is your component system, then you might experience
But hardware issues aside, it's a really nice, spacey, tripped