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The Spacious Mind - Rotvälta CD (album) cover


The Spacious Mind


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.42 | 15 ratings

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4 stars Mountaineers

Second last in line on this Swedish crusade, we find The Spacious Mind and their wonderful Rotvälta. This album opens up the doors to the mish mash of ideas that made Germany such a tantalizing place for musicians during the 70s. I love the straight forwardness of this album. It doesn't pretend to be something it's not. It's not an album from the 00s - nor is it a modern take on Saucerful of Secrets, even if it at times does give off certain whiffs and scents of that particular Floyd album. It is just music from the moment - in the moment, without the benefit of doubts, ulterior motifs and second guessing.

Dark embryonic hovering organ textures - like shadows of wolves galloping round a fire lit cave. If the music is the bonfire, all other aspects here: the shadows, smoke, warmth and the strange behaviour of the organic moving orangy light - those are indeed mirrors emanating from the images of your mind, whenever you put this remarkable album on.

It's like being shot back into the start of the 70s - feeling the aural cosmic Krautrock bliss of the early Tangerine Dream albums such as Alpha Centauri and Atem. It's all there in the hanging carpet like synthesizer tapestries that ornament this record - so much that it is almost unbearable. I said almost so don't worry, the overall atmosphere here is perhaps the most fertile for these swampy worms of synths. They shoot the listener directly into the marshlands, where this record spends most of its time frolicking in soft tribal drumming, recalling Nick Mason's flirtations with the shamanistic ways of the beat, back when he looked like a cocker spaniel with a moustache.

Other things that clearly speak about the Krautrock of yesteryear are the sticky spider web guitars mumbling curiously above the snail pace beats. I often think of Manuel Göttsching when he played with The Cosmic Jokers. On Rotvälta the guitars do have that sticky icky feel to them, - that is when they're not put to use in an entirely different manner - now snarling barking away with the poise and balls of a German Rottweiler. These barks are much in the same vein as you'd hear on LA. Düsseldorf or the more rhythmic guitar ventures in CAN's live outings. It's all there on display in this Swedish serving - detailed, sprawling, nuance-filled, sharp, tangy, metallic and atmospheric in nature. Everyone of these traits are all played like they belong to the band themselves - like it's their own thang. I only hear the similarities in this record, because I've been listening to Rotvälta on and off for about 6 months now. I don't think the band intentionally set out to make music in any sort of mould, - no, the image of a free spirited musical collective playing around with whatever sounded and felt good at the time of recording seems far more likely, than a bunch of perfectionist Krautrock fans jumping in the studio to create their homage to their favourite acts from the 70s.

This thing evolves slowly over the coarse of the 6 different sections. You travel across mighty open planes with Navaho drumming, snake skin beats, the odd guitar glissandi - picture perfect and quite beautiful in contrast to the swampy organs. Then towards the very end, it feels like a giant flower opens up in the music - like one of those rare orchids, that take centuries to develop enough courage and life-lust to come out of its Sleeping Beauty sleep - finally greeting the transparent white moonlight and the calm cold winds of the night. The music turns for the more floating wafting presence - backed up by the first "real" rock drumming, and then we're in for a sonic eargasm finishing this cosmic endeavour off in the most astonishing way conceivable. It's like everything was building up towards this point in the record - like a mountain climber crossing the rocks and cliffs - to be at the top of the world where he can tie every knot together and finish his ethereal spider web - just like this band actually. They just climb mountains through their music. 4.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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