Bliss Out, Vol. 12: Blue Christian

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Part of Darla's continuing Bliss Out series, Blue Christian is as perfect a contribution to that project as any, given Bright's own obvious tendency to kick out the space rock jams. LaBrecque and Dwinell essentially keep on keeping on here, with a variety of home recordings that hold together rather well as a complete album. The majority of the album's tracks are more interesting if not exactly groundbreaking zone-outs that are impressive both for their lushness -- the "four-track machine = lo-fi" canard is thoroughly trashed here -- and for the overall sense of atmosphere created. "Fuller" opens things well by taking a variety of obvious elements -- loops of backward-run guitar lines and tapes, mainly -- then mixing and assembling them to create an ominous flow not that far off from Main's sense of destructive creepout. When LaBrecque adds his drums, that sense isn't lost so much as altered, making a good combination of head-nodding groove and spine-chilling doom. Interesting variety crops up on the title track, where skronking sax and LaBrecque's drumming add a touch of free jazz/noise to the general feedback wash and drone. Lighter sax crops up deeper in the mix on "Europa," a longer and far calmer number all around with some wheezing accordion pieces from Dwinell nicely woven through the song as well. The album's centerpiece, "Trip to the Sound-Alike Finals" and "Tapping," blends together as one long piece. The guitar work throughout is especially impressive, notes ringing through deep reverb and echo like massive bells. For sheer intensity, meanwhile, the massive build and sheer rock-out crunch on "Grand Mal" is stunning, a short but powerful piece that favorably equals the likes of Can at their most extreme. "Not This Not That" ends things on a nicely surprising note, being an acoustic piece with vocals by Dwinell.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
blue highlight denotes track pick