Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand – Joyride

(WKN, 2015)

If you need introductions to the music of Albin Julius and Der Blutharsch, you should check out my review of his previous EP “Sous l’Arbre De Science”, as well as my interview with the man, from the pages of this very emag/blog. I received this album as a physical promo from Albin, something that doesn’t happen very often when considering the underground nature of this publication, which was a huge honour. It is also quite cool to think I’m writing this review of this (quite transformed) band now after at least 15 years of hearing Albin’s music for the first time. After lighting some strong incense, I put the album on with a good amount of volume in my hazy apartment, and let the trip begin.

The Joyride starts off with “Drive Me Far”, with it’s quite eerie-sounding deep synthetic basses, squeling noises, and tingling chimes, creating a deep psychedelic atmosphere instantly. After awhile Marthynna’s familiar strong spoken vocals enter the scene with their narrative and poetic psychedelic lines. The ride is at the same time hypnotic in a monotonous way, and at the same vivid with different visions the lyrics produce, like sitting (usually) comfortably at the seat of the convertible of the cover art, taking us deeper into the psychedelic space which is this album.

The second song “Sea Of Love” continues with the synthetic bass-lines and spoken vocals, now introducing a very damp and musty sounding guitar, coming straight from some low-fi yet totally cult 60’ies record. The bass frequencies are at times so low, you can easily physically feel the music from the speakers. The term Krautrock comes again relevant when dwelling in the trancelike states this music produces, and the advice in the sleeve of the covers “For maximum listening pleasure only listen when chemically imbalanced!” makes a lot of sense.

The third song “Falling Out Of Time” continues with the drony psychedelic guitar-sensations, going a bit more groovy in the riffing, now backed up by very retro and authentic (of course) sounding drums, almost inaudible in the background but still very strongly present. This stuff, in all it’s (at a first glance) minimalism, makes your body move in a dreamy dance. The guitars swirl with such amount of phasing flange, they alone are guaranteed to keep you firmly seated on this trip.

The fourth song “Cold Freedom” chills us down a bit with it’s mellow cool percussions, and more easy guitar-sounds, staying highly psychedelic still, with it’s Eastern sitars, violins and almost wailing wah-wah guitars making visible patterns in the air. Marthynna’s vocals are still the same, yet fitting all of the music with ease. The fifth song “Mighty Might” (a song that I’d heard earlier) is more analogue-synthlike and playful in it’s nature than the previous songs, with it’s again Funky guitars and weird strings creating a feeling of a huge mushroom smile.

The sixth song “Resume!” is a transitional piece with looping basses, synths and guitars, preparing us for the seventh song “Innocent” which consists of extremely low basses and pulsing thudding synth-bass-lines hidden quite deep in the background, while the song moves in it’s ominous steady pace towards it’s mind-altering destiny. Marthynna’s vocals show all their potential in ways that give you deep insights. The eighth song “Reach The Stars” is again a bit more playful and groovy tune, showing well how the group functions as a more repeating and trancelike entity as well as as a band jamming away. The ninth song “Not Quite Evil” takes us again to Eastern lands with it’s percussions, sitars, backed up by a very cool organ and roaring stoner guitar.

The album ends with much style in the more martial sounding “Immolate My Dreams”, with it’s almost militaristic drum-beats, on top of the trademark soundscapes of this album, perhaps going a bit nostalgic considering the beginnings of this amazing band. As the album ends in a massive drony bassy wave of sound, you are left with a feeling of wanting the trip to go on and on..

It is hard to name a favourite track among the ten, since they all have their unique cool atmosphere, while creating the whole experience of the album with style. The amount of atmosphere and psychedelia (besides the numerous awesome musical ideas) this album contains and creates is immense. I highly recommend it to anyone into psychedelic music of any kind, and if the Krautrock-mentalities of the 60’ies appeal to you, this might be the album of your dreams. And yes, I heartily suggest to “only listen when chemically imbalanced!”.

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