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Album Review

Spiral Joy Band – “Pleasure Is The Headlight” – [UZU Audio / Unity Sound Archive]

Max Level   10/4/2009   12-inch, A Library

Drone-y, soundscape-y material from this aggregation out of Virginia. Using gongs, chimes, singing bowls, harmonium, bowed things, and various other bits of whatnot, SJB rolls out mysterious, hypnotic sound worlds to get lost in. Side A is heavy on gongs. Side B features violin and other bowed instruments such as esraj. Side C is more of a combination plate, predominantly gongs, violin, and maybe some electronic sounds, over a droning background. On Side D, the first track leads us through a dense forest of chimes, while the second track is deeper and darker and reverb-y sounding, as if we’re exploring a cave. There seems to be a loose story involved, something about a train ride to Hell. Interesting stuff here, but may bore listeners with short attention spans. Not too surprisingly, the members of SJB have some connections to the band Pelt, who were pioneers of this type of thing. Limited edition on sturdy heavyweight vinyl.

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