Friday, April 27, 2007

Brast Burn & Karuna Khyal (Voice Records)

Uber Rare Japanese Underground records released sometime in the 1970s. Voice Records who released the records have never been tracked down nor the artist on these records.

"If the accepted lore isn't deliberately misleading, Brast Burn and Karuna Khyal are indeed one and the same. Could these Voice Records artists represent a Janus-faced collective entirely at peace with its inherent contradictions? Might the tribal Sturm und Drang and stomping lunatic-fringe revelry of Karuna Khyal's Alomoni 1985 and the beatific grace of Debon be two sides of a single fabulous tale? As both albums have languid slide guitars and tape loops in common, the possibility seems more likely with every spin through Debon.

A telling point of reference here could be Magical Power Mako, another perplexing entity of Japanese origin and synchronous (mid-'70s) activity. Like any good artistic enigma, MPM inhabits a creative realm to which others gain entrance only at his bidding. Since 1974, MPM has charted his own cosmic/kosmiche trail of self and spiritual discovery through music, with each record as different from the last as it is from everything else. It is to the kaleidoscope of MPM's finest work that Brast Burn's helical psychedelic configurations return.

Spread across two lengthy (22+-minute) tracks, broken into shards and melted down, Debon is a mandala of jingling loops, multi-tracked and harmonized lamasery chants, Kenji "Damo" Suzuki-styled declamations, electronic glimmers, gongs, sacred bells, and fuzzed-out synthesizers. Brast Burn further plaits Debon with breathless flutes and recorders, subtle musique concréte embellishments, percussive shudders, and guitars, guitars, guitars - electric and acoustic, clean and lavishly effects-laden, strummed and struck, slicing and gently sliding. The laundry list of elements, worthy of Ashtray Navigations or Simon Wickham Smith and Richard Youngs, actually evokes a similar effect - at once improvisational yet utterly musical. Nor is it much of a stretch to draw the line connecting Brast Burn with such scions as Ghost or Trembling Strain. Favoring consciousness, clarity, and contemplation (as opposed to Karuna Khyal's fits of angst and drunken choler), Brast Burn communicates sensitivity to the Zen virtue of negative space, layering the natural white noises of wind and water to cancel out lingering entropic traces.

The epic gestures of the earlier track culminate in raga-like repose - a spiritually exhausting, soul-wrenching prayer ritual concluding with the revitalizing serenity of meditation. It might all be too hippie-drippy/sounds-of-the-'70s for some, if not for the full zoological spectrum of curious critter voices (elsewhere identified as Stan Laurel samples!) and toy-like musical accents littering its picked and plucked figures. Tape designs and interrupted narrative aside, there's far more evidence of early Popul Vuh - particularly during the tracks climactic throes of euphoric axemanship - than there is support for Brast Burn's ostensible "Japanese Faust" reputation.

Of Paradigm Discs' Voice Records reissues, the exhilarating Alomoni 1985 may be the more immediately arresting album. But Debons fascinating, multidimensional charms are not to be overlooked by devotees of psychedelic arcana."

Your mind will melt in ecstasy with this one!
Highly Recommended!
Brast Burn & Karuna Khyal

10 comments:

mctsonic said...

Man - I am enjoying this so much - just totally fitting and psych/fun/weird for this weekend. Your posts are the best and very appreciated!

Bussi said...

It's absolutely amazing stuff. Thank you brother.

Likedeeler said...

nice! extremely nice! awesome! thank you!

Likedeeler said...

of course, what i said last time about bitrates for sonically complex music also applies here ;]

Theo said...

thanks very much! great music

steven said...

Great stuff!!..Thanks so much for the music and the great blog (and for not using rapidshare!)

Snoose Junction said...

I like this one a lot!

5-Track
opbyys

Anonymous said...

you are a godsend.
thank you so much for this music.
I've been up all night drowning in this shit.
<3

Andrew said...

quality gear, and a blessing on ya sir.

. said...

Well Thanks for this amazing stuff its totally absorbing. And also for the Magical Power Mako special. Keep up the great work you are enlightening us!