Cloudland Canyon

Silver Tongued Sisyphus

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Though Cloudland Canyon's debut album Requiems Der Nature 2002-2004 was released late in 2006, for this two-track, 23-minute EP the band's sound has changed drastically. Whereas the former disc was saturated in post-Krautrock and psychedelic sonics via blasting guitars and rumbling basses amid the drum loops and other electronic textures they were able to weave around them, Silver Tongued Sisyphus reveals something far subtler. This is not to say that the guitars are gone, they are just used more sparingly -- and when used, they peel paint. Cloudland Canyon have collaborated with numerous artists on their travels across the United States and Europe, the influence of other electronic acts is pronounced, most notably Lichens'. The dreamy soundscape that introduces "Dambala" is reminiscent of Cluster but spookier, reedier, yet somehow warm all the same. There is no pulse, but there is a circular theme that leaves and returns throughout its eleven-and-a-half minutes. The 12-minute title track is something else again. It too begins quietly, using space and ambient textures, but after two minutes that begins to change, and restrained feedback, drums, and guitars enter the picture in earnest. Brief singing enters in a droning minor key before the squall begins. It's controlled but it's dynamic, and as spacy as anything Hawkwind ever did, and has that same taut rhythmic sense they employed even as the music begins to sprawl and leak all over the place. It's killer, sampled horn lines are used dub-wise in the middle to color things further, and it becomes a full-on space rocker, full of transcendent psychedelia before winding its way down again, all gradually, seamlessly, elegantly. One can only call this "spirit rock," because of its floating nature which nonetheless retains an element of the earth in its utterance.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
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blue highlight denotes track pick