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Octopus Syng - Reverberating Garden No. 7 CD (album) cover

REVERBERATING GARDEN NO. 7

Octopus Syng

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.10 | 2 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Finnish band OCTOPUS SYNG have been around since the late 1990's, with Jaire Pätäri the main creator of the music in the band from what I understand after googling the band a bit. So far they have released three full length studio productions to their name. "Reverberating Garden No. 7" is the most recent of these, and was released through fledgling UK label Mega Dodo Records in the spring of 2014.

I'll have to admit that psychedelic music probably isn't among the types of music I have a natural inborn high interest in. The splendid releases from UK label Fruits de Mer Records have certainly opened my mind to the joys of this kind of music, receiving their promo releases for a few years now have given me number of delightful experiences with this specific style of music. But I'm not amongst those that have a natural disposition to like music merely because it is psychedelic in form, style or nature, and I'm probably a bit more critical about such productions than the main fan-base of such ventures.

In this case this leads to what I suspect is a much more critical view of this production than many others have given it or will give it in the future. Because the overall mood of this album is one that will satisfy those with a strong affection for vintage psychedelic music rather instantly I suspect. The production is a closed in one, verging on lo-fi, and comes across as true, natural and organic. My experience with psychedelic music enthusiasts is that those assets are appreciated on a general basis, albums that sounds like they were recorded sometime back in the 1960's. Constant use of resonating instrument effects is a key element, this is an aptly named album in that context, and we have plenty of folk-tinged sequences bordering the pastoral to along with as well as moments that are almost bleeding pure psychedelia. A track like Very Strange Trip as good an example of that as anything. Sleepy, almost spoken like lead vocals with a naive touch and chorus sections that the hippie era written all over them other details that should please dedicated psychedelic music aficionados no end, especially those with a specific affection for the folkier oriented parts of it. That a few textured effects that gave me associations to post rock was thrown in on a couple of occasions a charming addition to this sound, but also one given a more subdued role that doesn't break the mood or the mould of this album. Vintage organ displays and sitar are other elements that will be noted as positive by the core audience for this production I assume.

Personally I find the compositions themselves to be somewhat anonymous however. The sound, mood and atmosphere is just about perfect, apart from the overly sharp esse's and some equally sharp cymbals that stabbed into my eardrum from time to time, but the songs themselves just never managed to grab my attention. Until the very end of this album. The darker, almost sickly sounding Mirror of Our Memories and the almost Gothic nature of the following Reflections of Our Time did catch and maintain my attention. They do stand out from the rest of the songs due to the darker, gloomier and almost menacing atmospheres, those fond of the more naive hippie sound may not appreciate these excursions, that might be more appropriate as soundtracks for walks in the Finnish forests at night time with thick sheets of fog covering the moon and the stars.

Still, the nine minute long creation that concludes this album is in a class of it's own. Listen to the Moths is the name of this elegant, light toned and mystical affair, opening as a sparse folk-oriented affair with frail resonating acoustic guitars and a darker sleepy spoken like lead vocal, followed by a harder edged and more vibrant section and then concludes with soft repeated vocals, soaring psychedelic textures and sparse drum details. The opening two thirds brilliant and magical, the final third not as tantalizing for me personally but one I would guess that fans of acid folk in particular should appreciate highly.

At the end of the day my personal experience of this production is that it is rather uneven, with the final third of this album as my personal highlights. When that is said, I can easily understand if many others will be drawn to this album like the proverbial moth to the flame. Those with a strong affection for psychedelic rock from the late 1960's, and in particular those who treasure and love the moods and atmospheres of that kind of music just as much as they love the music itself. I would guess that those people, presumably many of which would describe themselves as free spirits, will be captivated by this album from the get go. As far as specifying a key audience beyond that description, I'd suggest that fans of Syd Barrett might want to give this one a go.

Windhawk | 3/5 |

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