Earthling Tempel: “Pilgrimage to Thunderbolt Pagoda” CD

Far out? Farther? Still not close. Think minimalist atmospheric loops. Narrated meditations. Repeated. Expanding. Unfolding. Effortless  yet vivid. Spoken words. Breathy notes. A chant forming at the back of the throat. Water. Running. Bubbling. Humming. No. Omming. A woman. Then a man. And again. They must be communicating. Perhaps invoking an unseen force. Together. The music throbs. The music gives way to water. Water is the music. Throbbing again. Shrill. Displaced strumming. Disorientating. Unnerving. After an immeasurable expanse, there is a change. The focus has changed. More direct. This goddess is intense. Not wholly convincing. She protests too much. Now what deafening cacophony? Bells? Triangles? Cymbals? Distorted speech. In reverse. Rumbling. Pulsing. Percussive. Overshadowing paranoia. Those hellish drums! This nightmare is swallowing everything whole!

Outside the Tempel, in an eastern land, the air has a sweet mystique. The tribes give praise to Mother Earth. Hands roll on skins and fingers pluck strings. The celebration is joyous. Heartfelt. Understated. Monastic choral lines and an organ herald “Something Good…” although what that will be remains to be seen, heard or felt. The bass throbs regularly, quickly. Percussion and synths knit finer textures while the Society’s signature guitar wails on the verge of ecstasy…

Wait! Two beaks, one song. It has roots in “Sci-fi Hi-fi” albeit now in a more processed form. It cannot quite shake that ghost. Some great leads to behold. Ultimately though, an unhappy union. “Mary Mother of Light” is softer and warmer. More natural. How many forces have a hand here is almost impossible to fathom. No matter. It is the fitting close to this collaboration. Well, on reflection,“Pilgrimage…” is better viewed as two distinct journeys that meet briefly in the centre. The merit is in that wayfaring.

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