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The Spacious Mind - Tonen CD (album) cover


The Spacious Mind


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.21 | 5 ratings

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3 stars The Navajo Soundtrack Of Sweden

Continuing their sombre and, at times, sinister vibe of their previous album 'Rotvšlta', Swedish space rockers The Spacious Mind seem to dive even deeper into the black pool with 'Tonen'. Released a year later, the album consists of two long installations simply called part one and two. Listened to in their entirety on cd, the audience will have a hard time pinpointing the exact moment the waters shift as the music comes across as one brooding piece.

The very start of the album tips it's hat to the preceding release with those same Navajo rhythms, sounding like dry rattlesnake scales being shaken up inside a wasp's nest. It adds a raw and caveman feel to the proceedings, and when coupled together with the sluggish tempo of the guitars, the overall sonic impression is that of deep hypnotic atmospheres with the touch of an old Indian's heart.

Whereas 'Rotvšlta' slowly but surely moved towards a rocking catharsis, that at the very end of the record seemed to cleanse the mystic and enigmatic irresolution of faux Navajo rhythms and howling guitar effects, on 'Tonen' something else stands in it's place. The catharsis is still there albeit in the form of a heartfelt and shimmering organ that suddenly injects itself a little over halfway into the second piece. Prior to this monumental moment of release, the music trots around in a hazy existence with wind-like guitar effects and a build up effect akin to a psychedelic take on Godspeed You! Black Emperor. This organ driven moment of release is just about as beautiful as a waterfall of sapphires, and the way it wraps it's lips around the somewhat unfriendly nature of it's surroundings is damn near a stroke of genius.

The downside to this album is that it can feel very long. 46 minutes of slowly unravelling music that only once in a while shows signs of progression. During the first side though maxing out somewhere over the stratosphere with a lightning bolt of cacophony, where drums and guitars run amok and create a blistering unmelodic jolt of noise and racket......yet that's about all you get from the rock palette. Everything else feels like a brooding gel of experimental bits that I personally get a kick out of, but I have to be in the mood for it. It's not an album you can throw on the stereo any time of the day and be bewildered in that oh so magical way. I can't imagine cooking dinner with it playing in the back - likewise do I sense a distinct difficulty in spinning this during some adult gymnastics - that is unless you've bagged one of those urban witches that spend most of their time barefooted at raves dancing like an ecstatic medicine man.

It worked just now though. I was engulfed by sunlight out on the patio with a clear view of dozens of bumblebees flying around like the drunk teddybears they really are. The music was deeply engaging and made me sweat even more than the white stinging rays, and after surrendering myself completely to the warm haze of the Indian ways - the lingering guitar winds and rattlesnake jitters - suddenly the organ jumped in and literally threw me thousands of feet in the air, with goosebumps ablazing and an orgasmic look on my face. 3.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |


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