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PSICOMAGIA

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Psicomagia biography
Comprised of Astras multi-instrumentalist Brian Ellis on saxophone, bass man Trevor Mast from psyck rock outfit Joy, drummer extraordinnaire Paul Marrone off the space cadet groove of Radio Moscow, poet Bernardo Nunez as well as the thick gooey organs and keys from Tyler Daugh, Psicomagia straddles the blurry lines between space rock and fusion, Krautrock and the propulsiveness of Zeuhl yet sounding particularly unique with a sound, which is as rooted in the 70s as it is something altogether new. They released their selftitled debut on the El Paraiso label in the autumn of 2013, mastered by Dane and fellow psychedelia connoisseur Jonas Munk from Causa Sui.

The bandmembers hooked up with each other in the basement at the Space House in Golden Hill, San Diego, a hotspot for psychedelic and spacey musicians to meet up and jam. Initially Psicomagia started out with only Paul and Tyler jamming together. They both shared a love of The Soft Machine, ELP and the likes, and they quickly hit it off. Later on Trevor joined in and infused with his deep belching bass lines a fuller expression to the sound. Perhaps this was not such a big surprise seeing as Trevor practically lived in the basement.

This was the start of Psicomagia, and it was only after having met at a shared gig with Brian Ellis own group that the final line up emerged, again credited to a common affinity for the energetic drive of The Soft Machine.

The band name itself, Psicomagia, is lifted from the Mexican cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky, who based a wholly sentient and esoterically charged psychotherapy around dreams, theater, poetry and shamanism. The latter being the holy catalyst of the mind.

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El Paraiso Records 2013
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4.18 | 8 ratings
Psicomagia
2013

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PSICOMAGIA Reviews


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 Psicomagia by PSICOMAGIA album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.18 | 8 ratings

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Psicomagia
Psicomagia Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Hnrz

5 stars This is just great, it sounds like it came out of the seventies. Sitting somewhere in between psych, prog, krautrock and jazz fusion, it is definitely original and engaging. It only features drums, bass, organ and sax, but while this is the case, it certainly rocks and in many places is somewhat loud.

I think is better to analyse the musician's contributions more than the actual songs, as strong compositions though they are, the music substance itself is so unique.

Firstly, the rythm section is just crazy. The drums literally do not let up for one second, showcasing a fluid but technical style that really adds to the experimental vibe. In places, the drums lock with the deep bass lines, such as the poetry section in the second part of il congresso, which creates an amazing grove, and a solid foundation for the music. The drumming in the crazier sections is phenomenal.

Brian Ellis is here present on sax! He lays down some wonderful melodic sax lines which recur, and lend a sense of cohesion to the music bubbling away beneath it. It tends to appear when you want it most. There is also a gorgeous spaced out sax solo in the opening number.

The organ. This is probably the most appealing aspect of the album for me (though I am especially partial to some good organ), as it is just so different and engaging. I'm not sure what is used, but it often sounds like the weirdly melodic extended feedback from a guitar! Throughout Il Congresso it slides in and out, saturating the music, and creating lovely rich sound thick with psychedelia. It serves as a melodic counterpoint to the clean sax, and they often swirl around each other.

The poetry is not really central, but it is definitely an interesting (and welcome) addition to the music! It reinforces that the album is so unique and original.

This album it a definite melting pot of many different genres, though I would say it is heavy psyched out jazz fusion. Though anyone that enjoys experimental music will find plenty to love here, and that description doesn't really do it justice.

My only gripe would be that the album can be a bit too full on, but in the context of the generally masterful flow of the album, this is a small niggle indeed.

I wrote this review, as there aren't any here yet, in the hope that the album would become less obscure, as it is literally to good to miss! Also, the vinyl edition is rather fetching, as it is black marbled with green.

Hnrz

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