Waterjuice – Melbaphonics (Vaporvent)

Posted in Reviews 2005 by - May 01, 2005




Vaporvent (USA)


I stuck this on last Friday evening, and just got totally sucked into it. Ended up playing it about three or four times. It’s been a long time since anything on the chillout tip was quite this magnetic: it’s an artist album, so you’re bound to get more flow coming through than with a compilation (no matter how well it’s put together). Also, this being from the USA, there’s a certain confident individuality to the music. The scene there must be very weird, in being so fragmented; and geographically far away from the rest of the global scene, not many international acts travel there that often. What this means, is that for the sake of this album, it’s like Shpongle never happened. Rather than taking its inspiration from a series of preceeding psy-chill, this seems to come in from the side – more of a step in “proper” US psychedelia. Hence, a lot of synth lin es are put together like Jerry Garcia guitar lines; the grooves are fluid, and rarely come back in on themselves; and suggestions of drippy hippy sunshine vibes are balanced nicely with sudden shifts into a more menacing gear. The whole CD is remarkably cohesive, and takes in diversity: bright, bubbling live guitar (Low Room), sweet slomo 4-4 (Fresh Squeeze, Steam), hypnotising digidub (Dubbly Bubbly), sinister bass mixing perfectly with psychedelic positivity (Something Else), deep, groovy demi-dub that flinches from one groove to another like it has a stoned form of ADHD (Green Shake).. all topped off with the hilarious (I think) Launch, which has that Infected Mushroom vocoder thing going back and forth with big housey vocal vamps…. yeah, it’s okay, it’s a pisstake!! All in all, I love this. It flows great, it doesn’t fall into clichéd loops of psy-chill safe plays (no McKenna, no peasants wailing, no ickle finger-cymbals that monks have). One of the more adventurous, stylish an d bravely individual artist albums in a long while.



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