Skye Klad review – Rockerilla (Italy) (Sept 2001)

Renner~1

Rockerilla (Italy)

“Birds Of Appetite” & “Skye Klad”

A trip beyond the temporal dimension ensured by a psychedelic spice-loaded double LP, and one beyond the co-ordinates of cosmos conveyed by the magmatic propellant of a space-rock band as dark and abrasive as few others…

The double vinyl package (heavyweight as in the good past times) is the third seal bearing the moniker of Salamander, an incredible quartet led by the visionary Sean Connaughty and Erik Wivinus, prophetic experimenters of future soundscapes in the previous “Red Ampersand” and “Red Mantra”, and now come to a sonic turn with shades of exotic folk, of Asia and ancient Egypt, of increasingly half-acoustic and less and less noise scraped timbre solutions, partially tuned to what recently proposed by Shalabi Effect or Idyll Swords. This holds especially true for “Birds of Appetite”‘s first volume, opened by the indianisms of “Vessel Is Vacant” e “Isthmus”, coloured of hippy pigmentation in “Minutia Divine” (a little gothic tale set in the woods of Twink, Sam Gopal, and “Beard Of Stars”‘ Tyrannosaurus Rex), exposed to the heavy weather of “Sadhu”, slowly self-assembling as a minimal tangram until finding a Floydian beat to the Sun’s heart control room. The third side, wholly taken by “Trench Of Fire”, is the more experimental and chaotic, thundering and reverberating until encompassing globular masses of scratched post-rock, without renouncing to introverted lysergic combustions of High Tide ancestry. Finale with the psychedelic gallop of “Mumpsimus’ Lament” and the solemn floydescent progression of “The Wreck Of Old”, liquefied in the vapours of an enigmatic organ. Music of lavish fantasy, as lavish is the packaging, wrapped in the beautiful paintings, psychedelic as well, by Connaughty. Definitely worth your money, even though the postal freight will add a sensible contribution, but be quick because this is a very limited edition…

Erik Wivinus is also member of a local legend in the Twin Cities’ space-rock scene, Skye Klad (not to be confused with the almost homonyms Skyclad, champions of early 90ties folk-metal). Especially known as a stable presence of the Strange Daze festival (the one dedicated to the Hawkwind) and as organisers of the Solarium (happening that annually sets Minneapolis ablaze with its no-stop of psychedelia, free jazz and other alternative musics), the five relevant psycho-terrorists had up to now made only one impossible to find self-produced CD. “Skye Klad” restarts from zero with its really hard mixture of Hawkwind/Can space fuel and Bauhaus/Joy Division dark wave, made credible by a vocalist, Adam Backstrom, sounding as a cross-breed between Peter Murphy and Damo Suzuki. Another distinctive element is given by the virtual absence of keyboards, replaced in the topic moments by a theremin. Big emotions come from the opener “Mind’s Eye” (with a surf emphasis!), from “Ionosfere”‘s atmospheric suggestions, from “Toxaphene”‘s vibrating freakbeat, from “Amber” and “Falling Clear”‘s barrettesque hallucinations. An absolute must, almost completely downloadable from the band’s site (www.skyeklad.com). A kick in the stomach of the logic of copyright and profit…

 

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