Album Review

A Magic Whistle – “Vision Magic Voyage” – [Weird Ear]

Thurston Hunger   9/11/2014   12-inch, A Library

When you go to your happy place, this is already there waiting for
you, with a cup of cocoa. Is the first side a cartoon sea shanty
for Brian Wilson having a hoe-down in Whoville? Nah it’s much more.
Piecemeal preparations have never yielded such a sweet and bountiful
supper. Andy Puls is the one man wizard behind the synths, tracked
vocals, guitar, banjo, and of course bonified whistles a plenty. Nine
minutes in, those lips pucker in quadrophonic 16-track glee and
Mayberry RFD ain’t got nothing on this Andy. This album could have
been made 40 years ago, or 40 years from now…play it and people
will wonder if Magma lost their dogma, or if the mighty Residents
were cured of syphilis (hey I love the Residents, but you know
those vocals cords are pretty durn slubbery). Here everything
is as clean as a polished rainbow (Puls apparently is quite
the video artist conjurer, helping 10-year sober Hawkwind fans
emulate LSD trippery. The voyage is above the clouds brilliant
on Part 1, the section where the voices rise and join each other
is headphonic delight. Part 2 about 5 minutes in feels a
moodier shadow slide in, with light backwards guitar and a
faux harpsichord like in the Prisoner after #6 got drugged
out, theremin-y whispers awaken the Drum Buddy’s Drum Primo
for a slight cha-cha. This side felt like gremlins taking over
Main Street USA after the park shutsdown. One of them little
buggers has a Yes or Popol Vuh t-shirt on too, and another
is related to Meredith Monk. Lots of subtle weirdness through-out
each Part. Puls sort of hands the melody from instrument to
instrument, it really is quite an excursion into composition.
I love his weirdness-on-an-arpeggiated-stick to move the song
suites along. And what an artful arsenal of equipment, hello
mellotron or is that Optigon or perhaps both late on “Part 2”?
Such a great toy store for kid listeners of all ages.
Great info from the great label that issued this at

-Thurston Hunger

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