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OUNDS

Trip Lava

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Trip Lava Ounds album cover
3.86 | 10 ratings | 8 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ounds, Pt. 1 (4:10)
2. Oblivision (3:01)
3. Ouseh Of Orsmirr (5:34)
4. Orf Ontrastc (4:08)
5. Ongadays (3:16)
6. Osmicc Oldeng Ordsw Of Onmeldag (5:56)
7. Oopl De Oopl (2:27)
8. Oomsmushr (4:48)
9. Ounds, Pt. 2 (6:46)

Total time: 40:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Joel Lee / all instruments

Releases information

CD Shark Records (2018 US)
MP3 Download CD Baby/Amazon

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
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TRIP LAVA Ounds ratings distribution


3.86
(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(80%)
80%
Good, but non-essential (20%)
20%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

TRIP LAVA Ounds reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Trip Lava' is the project of one single musician, Joel Lee, who is responsible for all of the sounds and music on every one of the releases. 'Ounds' (which is an anagram of the word Sound), is 'Trip Lava's' 3rd release. The style of music is psychedelic, electronic and progressive with a lot of free form experimentation and improvisation. There is a lot of work with synthesizers and other sound manipulation to give you a sound of spacey psychedelics for the most part.

The number one positive thing that this album has going for it is that it is entertaining and fun to listen to, with surprises on every corner. At the same time, Joel makes sure that there is plenty of variety throughout the tracks, which is a big plus for this type of music. Not only does he give us what we expect, but he adds in progressive improvisation, crazy sound effects, minimalism and even dance styles. But the key here is that all of these things never linger too long, but are used to create a carefree atmosphere while making sure the listener knows, that while it is often light hearted, it is also serious and done professionally.

The first thing you will probably notice is that all of the track titles start with the letter 'O', and seem to be written in some strange language. In reality, the letters are all scrambled in the song titles, so that all of the words start with 'O', yet the words still take on a semblance of some strange language. I'll leave it to you to figure out the titles, as that is part of the fun here, but be warned that some words are names of fantasy places that don't exist. One title is actually three words pushed together to look like one word. So, there are some tricks here.

So, how is the music? It's actually quite entertaining and surprisingly keeps your interest throughout. There are a few production issues, but they are not bad enough to ruin the overall listening experience. Be prepared for some funky sounds mixed in with the space rock as is the case with 'Ouseh of Orsmirr'. This track is one of the highlights in my opinion as it morphs from a 70s style prog/funk improvisation featuring a synth that sounds like something from an early Styx tune to a spacey sound collage. There are a lot of crazy cartoon sound effects going on also, and these sounds start layering on top of each other giving things a Spielburg-ian nightmare feeling of chaos before it breaks down into a more ambient collage of syth treatments.

'Orf Ontrastc' is a cool study in music morphing as it flows flawlessly from a smooth space rock to disco to chaos to experimental meandering, bending sounds all the way, with hardly even blinking. For those that love ambient electonica, there is 'Oblivision' which fills that need, along with 'Ongadays' which puts improvised bass and keyboards through a tremolo effect.

There's a great synth/bass jam on 'Osmicc Oldeng'' with some treated alien vocals, some loop pitch experimentation on 'Oopl de Oopl', strange guitar psychedelia on 'Oomsmushr' (which according to Joel is 'The sound of someone hallucinating' which should give you a hint at the scrambled title), that switches to synth stylings and a psychedelic sound collage later (someone answer the phone please), and even a multi-part track with 'Ounds pt, 2' which ends the album with a conglomeration of styles, including a drum solo.

The overall style is Space Rock Psychedelic. The music is interesting and varied enough to keep your interest throughout. With its minor faults, the fact that this album is lots of fun to listen to definitely pushes everything to a four star level. I want to thank Joel for giving me a chance to review this exciting album and for sending me a copy. I truly enjoy this album and will be checking out some of 'Trip Lava's other works. Everyone should come to this space party and bring your own headphones.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams
4 stars Already knocked out by kinda Krautrock-ish dry-fruity dissonance and eccentrically colourful sound vineyard, TRIP LAVA aka Joel LEE, my progressive rock mate and a fascinating psychedelic sound generator, has finally released his newest album 'Ounds' in the summer of 2018. Assumed his crazy soundscape would drive me crazy, and it's not wrong at all. Look at the bizarre sleeve that should mean he can launch kaleidoscopic sound world view, methinks.

The first titled strike is such a killa. Distorted, oddball electronic madness sounds rather clean and fresh for me. "Ouseh Of Orsmirr' is another pleasure of mine, that is filled with enjoyable, addictive electronic wave reminding me of authentic Krautrock voyagers like Neu! and so on. Sincere rhythmic stuff attacks my organ directly. Hallucinogenic repetitive endeavour can be heard via the following track "Orf Ontrastc'. Mystic acoustic sound dissection and melodic concentration 'Ongadays' might relax me for a while eventually.

"Oopl De Oopl' is my favourite stuff really, where mad experiments happens one after another, only with simple guitar-based synthesizer sounds. This one sounds leaning towards Manuel G'ttsching's 'Inventions For Electric Guitar' for me and notifies me Joel has opened a novel, innovative 'earsight' up. From the opening until the end 'Ounds Pt. 2' suitable for the epilogue, this fascinating creation should let me say cheers for Joel the multi-instrumentalist and psychedelic adventurer.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
3 stars Some anagram needed? Let's play Boogle ... Scrabble ... or how does it feel? Come what may, it all results in juggling with the vowel 'O', otherwise you won't have a chance to win the competition. Okay, let's go .... ounds = sound ... you've got it? Don't know how many musical trips Joel Lee aka TRIP LAVA has ventured in his career already, this is the third published one at least, as far as I understand. And it took eight years since the release of the forerunner album 'Octratroid'. This means a relatively long hiatus, basically no need to speculate why though. At all events this is an unusual sound package, just like sent via transmitter from another planet.

We all know, this may take time, and afterwards, probably you are not hundred per cent sure that everything has been restored quite exactly. Now having a CD at hand, or ideally a vinyl cover, and enjoying the fine illustrations, this surely is serving some funny benefit. TRIP LAVA comes as a solo project, though comprises drums, keyboards, synthesizer, guitar, bass and vocals. What one regularly would expect from a music collective too. As for the music, well, Joel himself describes this as a 'fusion of collective improvisations, sound collages, minimalism, and free-form jams with funky beats'. Yeeees! Hell, I do need a proposal ... in order to get in completely, to take effect, for having a clue regarding the approach, how often should this be inhaled? Is there any leaflet available? Also concerning potential side effects?

It feels like I'm not skilled to describe what I hear in detail. The unusual blend. The unpredictable flow. Sometimes it's really beautiful. Weird often enough though, definitely useful when intending to terminate your next neighbourhood party, for what reason ever. Gripping, while waiting for the next surprise to come. Cinematic too somehow, could be a soundtrack for a movie possibly. Okay, basically what avantgarde music is standing for. Solely trust your own impression ... hey, and now beam me back to Start, I would like to reserve the letter 'O' once again!

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars The Minnesota based TRIP LAVA is one of those labor of love projects brought about by a single artist with a vision. In this case it's Joel Lee who as a multi-instrumentalist, composer and psychedelic freak who loooooves to play with electronic gadgets! TRIP LAVA came about from a whole zany bunch of loose and free form sessions that mixed various guitar, bass and drum parts and then augmented with synthesizers and effects and i do mean a lot of them! Lee released "Oddball In The Corner Pocket" all the way back in 2007 and created a amalgam of styles i'd never heard performed in quite that way before. A veritable maelstrom of psychedelic rock, progressive electronic and Krautrock all swirling around in a psychedelic storm of sonic bliss. Be careful with this acid blotters! They might send you over the edge with this one :P

Lee followed up with his sophomore "Octatroid," another sonic storm of strangeness in full psychedelic regalia only this time in the form of a concept album, thus upping the ante in pretty much every way, shape and form. While an expected third album should've followed suit a few years later, in reality an eight year gap has passed since any TRIP LAVA musical madness but finally in 2018, the third album has arrived in the form of OUNDS, a fine return to form that takes more from the debut than the followup but retains its own identity and, of course, packed with all that magic mushroom mojo that TRIP LAVA has become known for. While the project was never scrapped, Lee has spent the last eight years in other musical projects ranging from different collective improvs to rejoining his 90s art punk band called Marcus Noise for a reunion. One of these collectives has been the Twin Cities Electronic Music Collective which was basically a bunch of guys with synths, gadgets and gizmos gathering together every month to let their inner freak flags fly like a Star Spangled Banner. Some of the results would end up on TRIP LAVA's third album OUNDS.

After years of being distracted by playing drums in other bands and that dreaded reality game called "a day job," Lee finally perfected his next installment on Shark Records which to my ears sounds like a nice middle ground between the debut and sophomore albums. The first most noticeable quality about OUNDS is that every track begins with an "O." Why? Because most of these titles have scrambled letters such as "Ouseh Of ORsmirr" instead of "House Of Mirrors." Once that initial quirkiness gets soaked in, it becomes apparent that there is much less emphasis on the guitar sounds that made the first two albums more rockin' in the free world. OUNDS is more atmospheric and ambient yet hasn't lost the steady beat and bass line grooves that aren't too far off from what the debut album utilized. OUNDS takes the electronic liberties of "Octatroid," however and creates extremely bizarre sonic constructs around the accessible beats and grooves. However as the fractalization of the music starts to ramp up much like the acid starting to hit, BIG TIME, the music can start to melt like a sugar cube in a cup of tea. Steady beats, tempos, timbres and dynamics can morph into gelatinous and amorphous sonic slimeballs that slink around like an intoxicated swarm of honeybees.

OUNDS is noticeably much mellower overall than the other two albums. However Ozric Tentacles type rock energy is abundant. There are more echoes, reverb, flange and processed sounds that layer over the ubiquitous loops, drones and oddball progressive time signatures. The album has a more vintage analog feel than the digitally crazed pair that preceded. Once again there are lots of sound collages, funky bass, synthesizers!!!!! and what sounds like drum machines as opposed to the bombast of the real things present on the earlier albums. There is also synth solo craziness, lots of pitch alterations, stereophonic ping ponging, cartoony noises strewn about and the usual layers of the sonic onion skins where each sliver of sound is doing its own thing independently with a grounding groove submerged beneath the mind freakery. While this one is not as schizoid as the previous two, it certainly hasn't lost any of its psychedelic to the max qualities. In fact the trippiness seems to have been set to overdrive.

TRIP LAVA lives up to its name, big time. It is truly an eruption and pyroclastic flow of major trippiness that not only utilizes some of the freakiest ideas but also implements them in creative ways in the production process which uses the production elements as basically extended instruments. Much like bands like Coil, Throbbing Gristle and other electronically oriented bands throughout the years have done but TRIP LAVA takes extreme liberties in just about every conceivable direction with not only the tones, timbres and timings but also in volume control, echo effects and the good old trusted sound bank of 21st century synthesizers! Of all the three albums, OUNDS is probably the safest for newbies to sink their teeth in. While the debut was more grounded than the second album, it too had its wild ass bursts of weirdness. Not that OUNDS doesn't but this one is less jarring and pacifies the soul rather than freaking the crap out of it! This is a project that is right up my alley. The bizarre psychedelic eccentric restlessness of it all captures my attention throughout as one creative passage segues into the next. Once again, this is all instrumental and pretty much flows like a continuous albeit scattered stream of thoughts. Another cosmic winner here!

Review by Meltdowner
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team
4 stars They say you shouldn't judge an album by the cover, but in Joel Lee's latest creation, what you see is what you get. That is, a weird, whimsical and totally unpredictable journey.

Rewieving the album track by track is pointless because the album was clearly made to be listened in its entirety. I believe it's the album's biggest strength since the order of the songs, the passages and reprises are very well thought and turns what could be considered a collection of sounds and psychedelic improvisations into something more.

In many occasions I was reminded of Brainticket's "Cottonwoodhill" and "Tago Mago" from Can, with those funky tunes complemented with sound collages as well as avant-garde psychedelic sections and inventive mixing (I really love those rotating drums!).

Another thing I like about it is how it never gets too meandering: when you get too high in the atmosphere, there's a synth track, a distorted bass or a different section that pulls you back to the ground.

There's not much else to say, just experience it for yourself and enjoy the trip!

4 stars

Review by Progfan97402
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Trip Lava is a psych/prog project headed by Joel Lee out of Minneapolis. Really I never heard of Trip Lava until now, and this was the third release, apparently the last one appearing in 2010. Everything you hear is from Joel, guitars, bass, drums, synths, drum machines, etc. This album bears some really weird titles, which as it turns out, is really Pig Latin-inspired (without the "ay" tagged on to everything), in this case the album title "Ounds" translating as "Sound" (if this was Pig Latin, it would be "Oundsay"). It's full of similar titles like "Ouseh of Orsmirr" ("House of Mirrors"), "Osmicc Oldeng Ordsw of Onmeldag" ("Cosmic Golden Sword of Meldagon"), "Oomsmushr" ("Mushrooms"), etc.

Anyways, this is some great space rock, with lots of guitar and spacy analog synths. I really dig the synth sound as it really has that wonderful analog sound. I really have a difficult time comparing this to other acts. There's at times a Krautrock feel to the music, especially during the more "out there" parts. I never thought of Minneapolis to have much in a way of a space rock scene going on, but I'm glad at least Joel Lee/Trip Lava sure made a stab at it, and a wonderful one at it too.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Multi-instrumentalist Joel Lee dropped me a line one day and asked if I would be interested in hearing his latest album, and as I continue in my search to hear weird and interesting things I of course answer in the positive and eventually the postman delivered me the CD (if you think there is no such thing as distorted time, just trying sending things to New Zealand). I was immediately intrigued by the artwork, and had already surmised that the album title was a simple anagram, but wasn't expecting to discover that all 9 numbers were also all anagrams, and all starting with the letter 'O'. I think my favourite title of these is 'Oomsmushr', which apparently is the sound of someone hallucinating.

My musical expectation by this time was for something fairly light and humorous, but it is only on the surface that this transpires. This album is intense, mixing psychedelia, space rock, RIO, krautrock, avant garde and so very much more into something which is incredibly compelling. This isn't music that could ever be listened to in the background, as it demand close attention, it is something that should only ever be played when the listener has time to sit down and devote themselves to it. The melody if often led by the keyboards, but the most important instrument is probably the bass, which underpins it all and keeps it tied together. This is progressive music which is refusing to sit anywhere the mainstream, and instead of following a path well-travelled is instead taking a machete and breaking through new ground. Bands such as Hatfield and the North are an obvious point of reference in some ways, and if you want your progressive music to be truly that, instead of regressing over tried and trusted areas, then this is for you.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Here comes the album of instrumental music which can easily disorient and mislead even the most practiced and informed connoisseur. I mean the long-awaited third album of TRIP LAVA, a modern classic "one-man-bad" directed by composer and multi-instrumentalist Joel Lee from the Twin Cities Metrop ... (read more)

Report this review (#2044808) | Posted by raigor | Monday, October 15, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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