Blue Sausage Infant - Negative Space [zero013]
- Artist: Blue Sausage Infant
- Title: Negative Space
- Format: Vinyl
- Release Date: Jun, 2011
- Price: $20.00
A strong mix of kosmische electronics, heavy spacerock, and deep analog drone. Sprawling, long-form psychedelic excursions with a nod towards the experimental side of '70s Krautrock, but with roots firmly planted in uncharted 21st century strangeness. Guest musicians include Mike Shanahan (Reanimation, drums), Jeff Barsky (Insect Factory, guitar), and Jason Mullinax (Pilesar, percussion & electronics). Six months in the making, and it's a magic beast. Mastered by Anders Peterson. Official release date is 21st June 2011.
180-gram colored vinyl, limited edition of 500.
Blue Sausage Infant is no stranger to sinister music either, but he also favours a more rounded and generous approach to the production of his electronic music. Unlike the raw and uncompromising brutality of Yaguá Ovy, BSI’s LP Negative Space (ZEROMOON ZERO013) is rich and melodic, with no space left unfilled with musical and sonic detail by its chief creator Chester Hawkins. There are only three tracks on the whole album, and could be accurately summarised by the terms found on the front cover sticker – “kosmische electronics, soaring kraut/space rock, and deep analog drones”. There’s more to it, of course. ‘Motion Parallax’ occupies all of side one, and on one level is indeed an inspired re-weaving of the “kosmische electronics” of, say, Tangerine Dream. Blue Sausage Infant restricts himself to one basic keyboard figure repeated almost like a locked-groove, but fed through variations, filters and other ingenious dynamics. A vocal element appears at the beginning and in the middle, a lost voice neither singing nor speaking its incomprehensible lament. This track paints a desolate picture, but not as outright bleak as any given industrial synth music cassette release from the 1980s, and the dense fabric is enriched by Hawkins with his overdubs, his sumptuous keyboard sounds, the lush production, and careful attention to the details of timing and dynamics. If all this rubs your fur in the right way, then all you hip kitty-kats need to investigate BSI’s back catalogue; ‘Motion Parallax’ feels like a more “epic” version of the kind of material he has previously felt compelled to compress into six or eight-minute tracks. You’ll also enjoy the final track ‘Subferal’ on side two, a smothering menace-drone that is like a powerful dose of knockout-juice that intoxicates the victim as it sends him into a week-long sleep. The title track is different again. Chester is joined by a band – drummer Michael Shanahan, guitarist Jeff Barsky and Jason Mullinax, who supplies additional percussion-electronics. Together they turn in an exemplary rendition of “soaring kraut/space rock”, where the Neu!, Can and La Dusseldorf references are freely owned and milked for maximum enjoyment factor. But even here BSI cannot help but darken and occlude the overall tone; if the track is a space-rocket joyously flying towards a New Eden styled planet, Hawkins is the renegade captain who constantly veers the ship off-course in the direction of a black hole, meteor shower, or other outer-space disaster. The track bristles with live-band energy, the drummer in particular really blasting out. I personally enjoy the claustrophobic vibe we get from a lot of BSI’s studio-bound work – it’s as though the layers of overdubbing had sealed the music in a plastic container – but this track has a vital feel, like a whoosh of fresh air entering the room. If the Zeromoon conglomerate ever went bust, this quartet could have a grand future ahead of them turning in topnotch retro 70s prog-kraut music for the Sulatron label, if they were so inclined. To my chagrin I must admit I’ve had this one in the rack since July 2011 (it arrived just a tad too late for inclusion in TSP20). Chester writes that he “decided to go all-out for this with the vinyl + packaging and such…with luck, the audio is worthy of such fetish-worship etc!”. He’s not kidding. It’s the first-ever vinyl production for the Zeromoon label, and it’s a treat. Full-colour cover, printed inner sleeve, poster insert and mottled vinyl pressing, the transparent disk clouded up with streaks of black, perhaps what we would see if we could snap an X-Ray image of the creator’s misanthropic brain. Caitlin Hackett drew the cover illustration – Max Ernst drawn in the style of Arthur Rackham, with colours apparently supplied by a consumptive Victorian child in conditions of extreme air pollution. Matter of fact, if we could open the hatch to see the pilot of this particular craft from Budgie’s Squawk LP, the chances are he would look like this winged creature. Excellent item! ~ The Sound Projector
...this new one is definitely more straight forward cosmic music, especially in 'Motion Parallax' with its nice bubbling arpeggio synth and mysterious voice. The title piece is a more straight forward stomping space rock piece, with guest drummer Michael Shanahan, guitarist Jeff Barsky, and percussionist Jason Mullinax. Think Neu!, Cluster, Hawkind or, if that's more familiar, an instrumental piece by The Legendary Pink Dots, while the closing piece 'Subferal' is a subtle menacing piece. Three excellent pieces of cosmic/krautrock like music, excellently produced and with great style and care. What more can you possibly want? ~ Vital Weekly
2011 Best Vinyl Only:
It is fitting that this vinyl only release features one of the best sidelong excursions I heard all year. Layered, electronic ambiance is replaced by a killer bass groove and acoustic drums on the flip, perfectly offsetting the synthetic tones of the sidelong composition. Each of the cuts presents a collection of repetitive elements that consistently ascend, and the focus is building tension rather than providing release.
Ornate, patterned wax seals the deal for this one, but the strength of the songs would shine even on a plain black disc. ~ foxydigitalis.com
Yes, the strangeness is definitely here, but it's a good kind of strange. Since there are only three tracks, I'll just talk about each. 'Motion Parallax' starts us off with a repetitive theme that permeates the song, giving it a hypnotic quality. Rhythms, noises, and difficult to understand spoken word wanders through the song as well, keeping it all interesting, even as the theme gives the composition some cohesiveness. At just over 21 minutes, this track takes up a whole side but doesn't really get tiresome. Well done. I turned the album over to start the other side. It seems that there was a mistake at the pressing plant though and they accidentally put Hawkwind on this side. Well, no, but it is the closest comparison I could come up with. 'Negative Space,' which starts us off with a rocking drum beat mixed with droning synths. Here comes the space rock. Typically I wouldn't be as into this, but it is really well done. Lots of groovy analogue noises and grinding guitars. It's a fun listen. The last track, 'Subferal,' throws down some droning noise. This is also a bit repetitive, but not quite as interesting as 'Motion Parallax.' For me this was the weakest track on the album - fortunately it was only 6 minutes long, so if one had to be weak this was the one. Although I do picture someone hearing the previous track and getting it and then getting assaulted with this and it makes me smile. The album itself is pressed on translucent grey mottled vinyl. Overall a pretty good release. ~ Chain D.L.K.