BART DE PAEPE: “Pagus Wasiae” LP

As a grand master of disconcerting psychedelia, Bart De Paepe airdrops the unprepared patient into the very heart of the Twilight Zone. “Pagus Wasiae” is an asylum for the mind. As synths bleep and bloop from every side, helicopter blades slice the air above. Left cowering in the darkened din, knees soiled and fingers clawing at the sodden earth, it must be only a matter of time before the men in white coats return? Unhappily though, if nightmares do not end abruptly, they morph and repeat on similar themes. “De Wase Wolf” displays a softer synth pillow yet with erratic drum beats and swarming electronics there is still no safe path from the woods. Thrown back into a prehistoric delusion, “Bedmar” bubbles on the surface of lysergic lava. Extinct beasts call to their kin through vapid smoke until “Alvinclarvord” cuts through sheets of metal with heavily dosed wah wah guitar. The gentle percussive sprawl underplays the lead with subtle aplomb. With the heat rising and synths simmering quicker, the lid of the pot rattles back and forth over the open fire. Steam escapes. It might burn the skin even if the flames don’t. It’s bad acid and the tribe is leering with hungry eyes.

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