Double review: Dog Hallucination – Bob Hallucination & Amalgamated – Spark I

A 3” CD-R is a format that is extremely easy to overlook and forget, because both of its physical size and its length – a mere 20 minutes of sound fitting onto one three inch plastic disc. And I’m basing it on my own experience – these two little EP’s were sitting in my collection for quite some time afer receiving them, stuck somewhere between the “full grown” CD’s and CD-R’s, being threatened not to see the light of day ever again. But suddenly, one day, I thought “why not give those little dudes a spin?”. So I did it. And I totally sunk in. Both were releases by the lowwww-under-the-radar label Intangible Cat specializing in all sorts of musical outsiders, seekers and acidheads. Sounds like prime Weed Temple material, eh?

“Bob Hallucination”, an album by the dadaist bunch Dog Hallucination comes first, with its ever-shifting, underwater guitar & synth based trippertronics that sparkle & shimmer in the summer sun. It’s fucked up and peaceful at the very same time, combining siren-like wails far in the background with psychedelic folk deconstruction and futuristic beats that give the album a sort of a “prehistoric future” feel – like the first fishermen using their primitively carved boats to get fish and discovering a half-submerged space ship instead. Pagan atmospherics clash with IDM-ish structures – like a series of remixes of Dolphins Into the Future or Super Minerals circa “Pelagics”. Aquatic weirdos ahoy!

Next is “Spark I” by Illinois multi-instruMentalists Amalgamated. While pretty much as far out as “Bob Hallucination”, these guys drop the “merry pranksters” attitude, instead going for more industrial and tape music aesthetics. They mention (among others) Brian Eno, Nurse With Wound and Autechre as their key inspirations. And it can be heard: mutilated and processed vocal samples fall in and out of the ambiental murk propelled forward by cold, precise rhythms that push the music into a slightly darker area than DogHal. But there are moments of light in this dark cloud: like the bucolic, rolling piano on “A Wedge of Raining Cygnets” that gradually falls apart only to be replaced with another happy snippet of a song that goes on and on and on and grows into an almost post-rock monumentality.


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