KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Million Brazilians – Red Rose & Obsidian – [Lullabies For Insomniacs]

Thee Opinataur   11/25/2021   12-inch, A Library

Psych-folk, experimental underground, neo-folk, mystical soundscape, 

Red Rose and Obsidian, released in 2017 is yet another genre-bending experimental installation from Million Brazilians, originating from Portland, Oregon, and now thriving in Maine. This is their first release on the Dutch label, Lullabies for Insomniacs, and it is masterfully mixed and recorded by Big Blood’s Caleb Mulkerin. It is an esoteric soundscape influenced by the rugged coastlines of their home in Maine. It is a heart-rending interpretation of a stark, treacherous sonic landscape, that permeates your spirit.

As usual with this group, there is a wide array of instruments of traditional, ethnic, self-made as well as a healthy dose of creative electronics. It’s a fascinating evocative improvisational trip that will leave you wanting more. 

Suzanne Stone – voice, bass, khene (Lao mouth organ), Alto Sax

Grant Corum – Tin whistle, balloon flute, conch, Tarka (Andean Flute), trumpet, vocals

Bob New – Drums, keyboard, lap steel, vocals

A1 – When the Ship comes in

Swirling, thick, open, haunting siren-like vocals .. thick luscious beats underscore, woodwinds meandering through the fog. Minimal chaos echoes as the captain attempt to steer the ship through the shrouded fog. Stone on bass and voice is slow and steady, ensuring the ship to safe harbor amongst the jagged cliffs, in the cold stark darkness of the remote port. conch/balloon flute. Slow, steady…mooring.

A2 – Dark Clouds Gather

 serves more like an interlude, and the instruments almost create the image of overlapping waves, while Stone’s voice, this time in a more Germanic vein, and seems to hover above it all. Towards the end, Stone’s voice is complemented by a male ethereal voice.

A3 – Red Rose and Obsidian

Slow and steady jamming with a psychedelic intervention. lap steel. Stones voice is yearning for a clear landing, but she is adrift, meandering. (Tarka) sweet, and hypnotic, plays in tune with Stones vocals. Just a sweet, psychic, slow, and steady meandering trip. Calm, reassuring, until the distorted end, radio wave break up.

B1 – Geodelphic Empathies

Khene/alto sax combine opening framing the stark, grey, jagged cliffs.

Toussaint St Negritude’s Poetry is featured, behold, behold…..

 Tin whistle meanders along with the mountainscape, stars reflecting on the dark waters.

B2 – Traversing The Violet Skies

Congas, Khene…beautiful starlit Autumnal evening at sunset, orange/red reflections off the granite, a prism of colors illuminate the setting. Deep breaths of cool air blow through the skies, 

B3 – Behold

Timing changes, things pick up… trumpet, Bass and drum keep things moving, but not too fast. In fact, it slows down steadily. Stones Vocals once again appear to bring to a close this psychic trip, Chanting echos with Corum joining in, woodwinds, achingly support, voice strong, confident. Once again, things pick up again and fade to a close. The Journey has ended.

-Thee Opinataur

you heard it 8 times on kfjc! most recently:
  • 3 days ago, Slartibartfast played Red Rose & Obsidian
  • 3 days ago, Kimbrosia played Behold
  • 5 days ago, Pax Humana played Traversing The Violet Skies
  • 9 days ago, Bryan Chandler played When The Ship Comes
  • 10 days ago, Slartibartfast played Traversing The Violet Skies
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