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Trip Lava - Ounds CD (album) cover

OUNDS

Trip Lava

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.86 | 10 ratings

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TCat
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.

TCat | 4/5 |

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