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Superluminal Pachyderm - A Swarm Of Dish Rags CD (album) cover


Superluminal Pachyderm


Eclectic Prog

4.00 | 1 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Superluminal Pachyderm is the name of a project headed by Ken Robinson from Pennsylvania, US. The project was founded in 1999. Much of his music is created from samples of actual instruments and voices which have been manipulated through a computer. The music is humorous and strange, yet quite original. There have been a total of 9 albums released as of June, 2019, the 9th album being called 'A Swarm of Dish Rags'. The album is a 2-disc affair with 8 tracks on the first CD and 6 on the second CD and with songs ranging from under 2 minutes to over 23 minutes.

Beginning the 1st disc is 'The Bonehead Conjecture'. Starting with layered and sustained synths and some vocally processed 'ooo's, the rhythm kicks in with a steady fast pattern and this is joined by a driving bass line. Then, you get some dissonant layered voices moaning and groaning. 'One Poop Dog' then comes along with chunky bass, jangly guitar chords and a crazy arppegio pattern similar to King Crimson's Discipline sound. There is no barking in this short track, so there is no dog to keep track of, but there is some barking in the next track 'Television Set', a track of someone asking if we are drinking water, some tricky, hesitant percussion and some slowed vocals that are too low and slow to be discernable. Other exclamations such as 'Calendar!' and 'No, you're a television set!' continue as synths and 'Toilet breath' continue to regularly come through your speakers. Silly random statements like this continue, then the statements start to become layered over each other and the angry dog starts barking which is voiced by guest Riker Houser. This goes on for over 7 minutes.

'Humming Like a Pile of Knee Pads' begins with atmospheric synths and then the vocals begin, with actual lyrics, that are pretty much a randomly generated group of Beck style lyrics, in other words, it doesn't make sense, but it sure is funny, Ethyl. At about 2 minutes, a steady rhythm begins and a melodic synth line plays for a while before the lyrics return, with the word 'sniffing' repeated over 50 times. 'A careless faucet of doubting waffles sniffing the beans and the beans' gives you a sample of the lyrics you can expect. The synth line and steady rhythm returns for another instrumental break before more silly lyrics return. At least this 9 minute track has more structure than the previous track, and the lyrics, even though they are mostly fragments of random verbs and nouns put together and making some kind of strange sense, more or less, mostly less. The vocals are more spoken word but in a sing-song style voice like pulling random notes out of the air.

'Size 40 Pants' is an atmospheric drone with a list of various foods you can eat to attain size 40 pants. The list is spoken in voices set at various speeds. Of course there are cookies. 'A Joy Ride in the Neutrino Tank' is described as what it feels like to be a particle in a neutrino tank. This track consists of a fast, yet quirky beat and a complex bass line and plucked guitars later joined by sustained chords on a synth. Later, the synth picks out a rather random melody with pitches changing and sliding all over the place. This joy ride continues on for 8 minutes as you imagine yourself spinning out of control assuming the place of the particle. 'The Nasal Metric System' is simply an atmospheric synth with a slow, robotic voice reciting ridiculous lyrics for over 5 minutes.

The last track on the first CD is over 17 minutes called 'A Symphony of Beef'. This continues the atmospheric effects and now the vocals are more normal, but randomly singing notes with more odd lyrics with a minimal background. After 3 minutes, percussion and bass finally come in, but the random melody continues. Then the phone rings and there is a strange conversation about a dog pooping. As silly as this is, I still find myself laughing at how off center everything is. After 6 minutes, the phone conversation ends, and the random melody returns where it left off, as if the singer had something important to randomly say. This creation is obviously the brainchild of someone that is disturbed, but yet scarily intelligent. Once in a while, the swirling synths get interrupted by bass and percussion, again seemingly random.

As the 2nd disc begins, you start to realize that the word aardvark is more than just an answer to a crossword clue or a hard shelled animal found smashed on the Texas highway. Wait a minute, is that correct? Consult the closest web browser to find out it is true. 'Early Formations of Larry Hair' goes there in another 8 minute exploration of the meaning of reality with mind- opening sequences of minimal synth and wandering lyrical explorations. The beat quickens as will the beat of your heart when the Elvis-like vocals occur on another album that the neighbor is listening to. This country tinged gem mixes psychedelic infused vocals only to change to a slower beat, and reverting to the country sound again as the lyrics continue to astound, amaze and confuse. The music continues to surprise as it goes off on interesting tangents and then return to your favorite hoe-down. But my own audio continues to mix with the Elvis record next door, so everything I've said about this track could be wrong.

'Masquerading as Rabbit Papers' is a short, mysterious sounding track as deep thoughts invade your sanity in mostly spoken vocals and swiss cheese references linking this track to Frank Zappa somehow. Oh yeah, I just did a review about Swiss Cheese, the album, not the food product. Cows. The instrumental 'Two-Poop Dog' then follows, and instantly you understand. Cool base and funky guitar with wild synth washers swirl your clothes into a frenzy as you deposit another 25 cents. The dryers however are only for the use of The Residents, which is a name of another hilarious and non-conforming band listed in the archives. The library, in the meantime, has a wonderful archival system based on the Dewey, Huey and Unca Donald cartoon featuring Bill Murray as Scrooge McDuck.

'Oof's Diarrhea' has an easy listening feel to it with lounge singing sensibilities. The vocals wander around with the free feel of the instrumental background and the pitty patter of the percussion and screeching guitar that outdoes the neighbor's sing- a-long Elvis party. As you sing a long to the Superluminal Pachyderm's lyrics, it won't be long before the cops arrive. 'Per Per Breek' is a memorable journey into the mind of a mindless genius who is mixing King Crimson fretless bass antics into wondering what a nose is. A definite highlight! Last, but not least, is the epic 'Should I Eat the Amplifier?', a 23 minute thumpity-thump-thump look at Frosty go over the hills of snow and through the woods of Grandmothers house of horrors. Watch as your brain melts in ecstasy of continuous poetic murmurings as the beat poetry that exists over the rainbows of Roy G.Biv, remember him? Before you know it, wonderful laughing noises are coming from your ears as you long for this track to persist into persistency while your loved one talks on the phone.

Anyway, this is an album. Socks!

TCat | 4/5 |


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