Vibracathedral Orchestra

Dabbling With Gravity and Who You Are

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At many points one of the richest and most involved Vibracathedral Orchestra recordings yet -- no small feat considering the slew of CDRs and related recordings that surfaced in the first few years of the group's existence. Dabbling With Gravity and Who You Are easily bears comparison with the acid jam/free jazz freakouts of Ghost at their most loose and Acid Mothers Temple at nearly any point. Hard to believe in ways that it's the work of a quintet of Scots jamming away in one member's kitchen; the wild and wigged jams of songs like "Let Steam Rule and Luck Lose" and "Going out Intending to Dig" sound more appropriate for some pagan ritual still going on or a hippie mud-fest in constant attendance since about mid-1969. "Hall 7 Broke My Heart: True As God," with its dark bass blasts and swirling melodic lines, and the flat-out drone chaos of "This Is Where No-One Worked Out" are equally attention-grabbing (and holding). It's not all Amon Düül per se, though, with calmer but no-less-entrancing efforts abounding. "He Play All Day Long," besides sounding like a bandmember manifesto, relies on a soft, shimmering central melody that suggests Kraftwerk's drive to the infinite, while acoustic and electric guitar playing and distortion create an elegant, powerful wash of sound. It leads directly into "Bombay Stores Disco," which doesn't so much bring the funk as follow along a lead flute melody into something which certainly does come across as a spontaneous unplugged dance session on the Indian subcontinent. Other more easygoing grooves include the near waltz-time lope of "The Body Is the Arrow, the Arms Form the Bow," which gets louder and just a touch more frenetic as it goes, and the truly zoned head-nodder "Mystical Coughing."

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