GALAXIE DELUXE “IV” C30 (OJC Recordings)

The question, “Are you Team Rigel Magellan or Team Ropal Jagnu” used to eat at us just like choosing either the Beatles or the Stones did in the 1960s. I never felt comfortable aligning myself to one band or the other – why couldn’t they just make music together and give everybody what they really wanted? But there was never the possibility that Paul would jam with Keith or Mick would rock out with John. It was a foolish dream that ended long before I was even born. Now, as we’re rolling through the late twenty-teens, I’m faced with the OJC Recordings version of that conundrum: Am I a Rigel Magellan or a Ropal Jagnu man? The question is all but tearing me apart inside. Fortunately for all of you afflicted in the same way that I am, I have good news – the mail has foretold of a cassette tape project where the problem is resolved in such a satisfying manner that you’ll say “Beatles who?” and “Rolling … Bears?” once you wrap your ears around this pretty little nugget. See, Rigel Magellan and Ropal Jagnu have made my dreams come true as Galaxie Deluxe, their own supergroup, thereby allowing me to forego any terrible choice that almost certainly would end in Solomonic baby-halving (which didn’t actually happen, so … chill). Huh? This is their FOURTH go-round as the GD quirkadelic lo-fi mavens, GD? That would explain the title, IV, and also the fact that I wasn’t really as worked up as I pretended to be above. Also, it’s hard to stay tense when the Galaxie Deluxe gang is so obviously having such a blast working together. Utilizing their trademark synthesizers, drum machines, and skewed take on melody (think the Haord crew as a potential contemporary match), Rigel and Ropal lurch through a nine-song repertoire recorded with the fidelity low and the atmosphere high. Their approach is sort of “Monster Mash” run through video games and dub, with obscured, bizarre vocals narrating the proceedings. The song “How’d They Get a Sound So Big?” is sort of the project’s overarching mystery, as they somehow build thick swaths of atmosphere from obviously chintzy equipment (or maybe it’s not, but the effect is right on). Still, hard not to have a good time with Galaxie Deluxe, some incense, and a blacklight. This is the exact tape I wish I had in college, and I’m still in a position to enjoy it. Now if I could only figure out this resurrection spell, I’d have Ringo back among us and playing with the remaining Stones right now. (Wait, Ringo’s not one of the dead ones? Oh boy…)

OJC Recordings

--Ryan Masteller