XAM Duo by XAM DuoRelease date: November 4, 2016
Label: Sonic Cathedral
When the acid kicks in. Squelching audio, deserty brass, uncertain length of notes possibly never-ending, a sea of both dissonance and harmony, sounds that are euphoric and yet simultaneously grotesque. Everything is out of sorts a perfect representation of chaotic elements working with uniformity and collective effort to create the illusion of stability and even solidarity.
This dichotomy is key to understanding why psychedelic music is once again the key genre of our time as it was in the 1960s. Particularly in the realms of electronic music and bad trip music, we are a generation of disillusioned escapists with a greater gap between us and the generations before than ever before. We exist on multiple plains; we pass through the real world like it’s a dream, living in a digital reality where we are sold a false existence for an unfair price and the world we’re living in seems to grow colder and darker with the seasons.
2016 has killed our idols, divided our countries and ripped new holes into a decaying world and out of that void psychedelic music has seeped liked venom from a wound. This descent began almost a decade ago and we just seem to fall faster and faster, so we embrace the chaos and the dream and the harsh reality and the spin and the simulation; the constructed, the reality. All of it. Our multi-platformed existence is eclectic and consuming; we soak up culture like a barfly sipping spilled vodka from a dirty carpet; shameless, dazzled and unabashedly satisfied.
The myriad influences on XAM Duo highlights the diversity that permeates through seemingly anything decent being released these days, whilst they have their own unique bricolage of sounds and styles they’re blending, it is very much leaning on the common threads of Jazz, Prog, Psyche and Ambient music with forays into eastern sounds and chill-out stuff as well doomy, stoner influenced bad trip sections.It’s a spaced-out, blissed-out, chaotic middle finger to authority and a celebration of seemingly the only true escape from the despair of our existence: getting high. Whether it be sex, drugs or whatever else. Everyone’s drinking, everyone’s fucking, everyone’s listening to music and doing whatever they can to produce that serotonin ‘cause the factory is getting blitzed and it’s close to shutting down.
We are so divided and so doomed and everything seems very adult and very overwhelming, like the ‘60s. Drop. You’re acting like a kid again, the world is magical again, politics is an incomprehensible idea and only the good things are to be shared and all of us can re-discover these joys ‘cause they’re everywhere and they’re amazing but some stuff is also scary but hey, we just stay away from that.
XAM Duo have crafted one of the finest psychedelic albums of this year (which was always gonna happen given the duo’s ties to Hookworms) but, what I think should really be noted is that these guys are expressing perfectly what it’s like to be here now and unless you’re gonna try and encapsulate infinity, now is the best thing an artist can hope to express.