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Trip Lava - Oddball In The Corner Pocket CD (album) cover


Trip Lava


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.57 | 8 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars I've listened to my share of psychedelic rock over the years ranging from the cutesy psychedelic pop of the 60s to the hardcore acid blotter's club that takes all the extremes to the max, so it's always wickedly wild to discover something that's totally new and unlike anything else i've ever experienced! Such is the case with the Minnesota based psychedelic and progressive rock artist TRIP LAVA which is actually the solo project of musical madman and multi-instrumentalist Joel Lee. This is basically one of those labor of love projects and it shows in all its eccentricity and attention to details. While TRIP LAVA's output has been sparse over the years, the absurd quality of the extreme head trips to be experienced are beyond belief!

ODDBALL IN THE CORNER POCKET is the first release which emerged in 2007 after a two year series of recording sessions. This album is basically a compilation of all the improvised 4-track jams of this period which utilized real drums, guitar, bass, synthesizers and many drones and loops all mixed together in bizarre rhythmic AND arrhythmic ways. Different riffing sessions, bass grooves and drumming patterns were selected, arranged and tied together with myriad sound effects and then implemented strange sonic segues to tie it all together and create on continual piece of music. While the tracks are quite clearly individual, they are tied together by bizarre electronica freakery that provides as the sinew to create a larger listening experience.

First of all, i have to acknowledge that this is music for hardcore psychedelia addicts. Too many bands for far too long have relied on the overused and abused Pink Floyd paradigm for their entire musical outlook. TRIP LAVA is something else altogether. This musical project derives from serious music nerd moments that implement some of the most fascinating juxtapositions of ideas that one could imagination. The 13 tracks on ODDBALL IN THE CORNER POCKET may be all over the place psychedelically speaking but every single track is accessible for the first time listener in that it has a steady beat, groovy bass line and are basically, well rhythmically speaking, compositions in total freeform jamming mode. But that is where the normalcy ceases to exist.

While easily perceived rhythms and grooves exist, the rest of the musical elements are literally spaced out beyond belief. The first impression i got when listening to TRIP LAVA was that one of Lee's influences clearly had to be Achim Reichel as some of the subtle time signature changes and overlapping of slightly off grooves that incrementally fall out of sync and drift into chaos is straight out of the 'Die Gr'ne Reise' playbook from Reichel's A.R. & Machines days. While the Krautrock vibe doesn't come through in the overall compositional style, it certainly does in all the tricks and trinkets used in the subtle timbres, tones and synchronizations. Also, this is clearly a product of the 21st century with excellent production (especially for a 4-track) and quite trippy indeed how everything ties together.

On ODDBALL IN THE CORNER POCKET you will experience energetic rock jams that for the most part utilize steady and heavy drumming patterns, very busy bass grooves and repetitive rock guitar riffing that find themselves the dominate factor for moments and then drowned out by many layers of electronic accoutrements. There is usually an atmospheric drone, some sort of reverb, flange or other effects and just plain weird sound effects. Don't let the word 'repetitive' fool you either. There are many details paid to progressive touches that mix up time signatures, phrasing and musical motifs overall. But remember that everything is laid out in a logical manner and quite subtle in its unfolding. This could easily be just as meditative as it is an active listening experience. The best of both worlds. Personally TRIP LAVA hits my spot for some sort of progressive rock meets psytrance type of experience and even this early primeval debut of this style of music works for me quite well. Welcome to tripper's paradise in the 21st century!

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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