“’97 Tracer” C50 (Psi Lab)

Like a bottle rocket that doesn’t really go very fast or very far, or even explode, or in fact ignite in the first place – let’s face it, this bottle rocket is a soggy leftover from some long-forgotten forest-clearing romp that’s moldering beside a tree root – National Park Service refuse to even consider the potentiality of bursting into a great big golden ball of light. Instead NPS, a single psychedelic drone wanderer, is much more content to bury himself in a hole, cover the entrance with dirt, and record his guitar and amplifier and manipulate his effects pedals and samplers in the hollow beneath the earth. Why? I don’t know. Maybe the song title “So Fucked Up on Drugs” can provide the answer.

It can, actually, as it’s ten minutes of freaky drone from the underworld, guitar weirdness blanketing the landscape and stretching its gastric saturation as far as the ear can see. It doesn’t know which way is up, and so it soaks into the clouds instead of the ground. Weird, lengthy psychedelic monuments are my bread and butter, so I’m kind of a sucker for this. Comparisons have been made to Eno and Natural Snow Buildings, but the guitar temperature of a reeled-in, slowed-down, and slushed-up Robedoor or Raccoo-oo-oon also registers. This sounds good to you, I know it, because it sounds good to me, and I know what’s best for you. Let’s all expand together with tracks like “Painted Houses,” “Floating,” and the title track.

The packaging is second to none, too – lookee here: “numbered edition of 40, pro dubbed c50, clear shell with silver liner, embossed labels, pro printed hand scored 4 panel j card on silver cardstock, vellum label insert, original artwork insert, clear norelco case.” There’s even a “Deluxe Home Dub Edition,” but it’s sold out. Actually, the regular one’s sold out too. Better get your Bandcamp on!

--Ryan Masteller