Friday, December 18, 2015

RIGEL MAGELLAN “Succulent Sounds” C44
(OJC Recordings)



Much like his namesakes Dominar Rygel XVI and Ferdinand Magellan, from whom he surely copped his moniker, Rigel Magellan is interested in charting undiscovered territories on his synthesizers and then colonizing them through sheer force. (And yes, I know Rygel from Farscape spells his name differently, shut up!) Succulent Sounds, on LA-based, garage-inhabiting label OJC Recordings, is filled with straight-up succulent (hence the title) tones, warm and inviting, but not like those astral projectionists whose sole purpose is to transport you to other states of being. Naw, Rigel Magellan, has too much of a pop sensibility to him, and his smeared songs are underscored by – gasp! – beats. Yeah, they’re pretty sparse, many times no more than click tracks, but it positions Rigel in the same musical hemisphere as early Black Moth Super Rainbow, for example, instead of near someone like, say, Emeralds.

Opener “Grits” is pretty krauty, though, and “Drowning” is seasick manipulation at its best, both recalling some of the 1980s-damaged work of “Maestro” Yves Malone, who’s just been knocking them out of the park recently. “Cadaver” makes with the space alien bleeps and bloops, combining Ed Wood terror with extraterrestrial curiosity and all but assuring us consumers that Succulent Sounds is gonna be all over the place in a good way. If this is how the Grays are coming, they can probe me all they want. I’ll volunteer to be in their space zoo.

Also, somehow the beginning of “fLip fLop” sounds like the Sega Genesis startup. And then it kind of keeps going as if the Sega Genesis startup were only a second and a half of an actual song. It’s cool, you should try it!

By side B Magellan is all about getting laid back, where the interplanetary tropicalia of “Yellow Trail,” hypnogogic crystal funk of “Syrum,” and woozy nug-warmth of “Wasser” envelope us in their sweet, smoky embrace. Dare I say succulent embrace? I dare. It’s just such a good descriptor for what our old pal Rigel has ready for us that it’s hard to get the idea out of your system. And I can’t get this tape out of my system – I loved BMSR’s Falling Through a Field and Start a People, and this takes me back to the days when I was just discovering those albums. Maybe this could be the start of a new obsession for you? It probably is for me.



--Ryan Masteller


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