Carlton Melton: “Live in Point Arena”


Recorded off the cuff n a Geodesic Dome, this improvisation was the first informal  gathering of bizarrely named quartet. The acoustics are incredibly crisp laying bare all manner of rumbling drones and twisted reverberations created that fateful day. The very fact that the jams were simply given working titles hammers home that these are no conventional songs within a structured album. Far from it. Instead the vast and loose sonic procession is led by guitars, bass, drums and oscillating synths without any vocals. “Happy Song” begins with quite a mellow guitar vibe against a rumbling backdrop. “Against the Wall” lunges deeper into that droning swamp where time signatures are all but lost, bubbling this way and that, with some infrequent leads flashing through the mire. “Fucking Funky Shit” picks up the pace. Cosmic bliss wafts into the dome. Filling. Swelling. Pleasing. This is where you want to be. On up high. Gliding. Grinning. Ear to ear.  Strange whirling sounds surround, as the guitar “Intermission” fills the remaining space with a loud frenzied solo. Building, building and building to a climax, only to dissipate, as quickly as it came, engulfed by a mass of turbulent winds. In the aftermath, the heavy, heavy, low tone of “Rootball” is ominous. Deep and spacious, the synths peer while the leads punch through high, high and higher to the top of the dome threatening the very structure itself. Shaking at the foundations, the subsequent deluge is thicker than tar. “Full Moon Ridge” harkens back to the opening jam albeit  with more drive. Brimming with confidence, each of the instruments has a stronger voice, their respective spaces now known and embraced. Hypnotically, they weave, throb and shine., heavy, yet mellow and totally blissed out. In a way, “Legion of Dome” feels like the appropriate farewell. The lengthy synth patterns recall unknown races from distant galaxies. Sci-fi. But it is unclear if we are travelling through space and time to meet them or if they are already hovering overhead. But it makes little difference. The thought evaporates as the sound waves absorb our bodies and convert matter into electric blue energy. A door opens and shuts. There is rustling nearby. Suspended, we remain…


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