EP1 by The Oulo Space Jam CollectiveRelease date: January 6, 2017
Label: Eggs in Aspic
The second release from Eggs in Aspic suggests to me that there’s one thing this label is doing better than almost everyone already and that is putting face-melting, triptastic jam-band psyche music. The Oulo Space Jam Collective’s EP1 is a collection of three instrumental odysseys the group recorded over the past year, the three tracks form a mammoth hour and a half album that loses nothing in its girth and instead benefits wholly from it’s fluid cohesion and sheer instrumental brilliance. It’s what it says it is on the tin and it’s fucking brilliant for it.
It’s difficult to put the album into words, whilst each track is distinct; there is this sense whilst listening that the whole album is one mass of time shedding sound in all directions, spewing out moments and genres and styles and always sounding solid yet intangibly residing in a different space; that’s where it’s fascination with the moon really makes sense, it’s omnipresence is only hindered by it’s overbearing distance like some old style parent with no emotional intelligence, always there but never really with you. That’s not to say this album doesn’t land; it’s a vortex into space, a light show in the sky, a cinematic experience of brilliance in a diegesis we do not exist in but love all the same.
‘Renegade Spaceman’ sets the scene as a 1970s bedroom filled with colourful decor, furry carpets, psychedelic rock posters and a haze of bong smoke. Decadence and rebellion, pioneering adventurers and burn-out hippies; a cold glare out of a speeding bus down a dirt road with no limitations and no authority to instil order. It’s the sound of not giving a fuck and its empowered sense of attitude like some bold, lost model in a proverbial El Dorado strides through the big city like a corridor to satisfaction. “Our mind is not inside our head but extends”. It’s all just part of a wider cosmos of chaos and emotion and both visceral and metaphysical forms of pleasure and sadness and triumph and doom. There’s nothing more existential than this; this is what it sounds like to be alive and kicking in a dichotomous sense of savagery and intelligence…this is what it sounds like when grizzly hominids pick up machines and play what feels good, even if this feeling is usually enabled through some man-made, chemically-manufactured idea of emotion. “It seems to be going on forever… the universe is a huge explosion”. The Oulo Space Jam Collective is a band spitting the teeth of liberty, entropy and stoicism like a pugilist’s bloody canvas of want and will meeting flesh and bone…and they are awesome. If this guitar-led odyssey of instrumentation is nothing else, it’s a testament to the band’s undeniable skill as musicians. I doubt there will be many other hour long jams you hear this year that are as enjoyable and satisfying as ‘Renegade Spaceman’.
Drums rolling and noise blaring with the backbone of a colossal, pounding bass. The second whacked-out, out-pouring of mysterious sci-fi jamming is entitled ‘Approaching Beast Moon of Baxool’ and it sounds like a psychonaut’s brain on fire, dragging off to deep space through stars and quasars and ineffable sights of creatures that don’t exist or have yet to be encountered in the human experience of existence thus far. The Oulo Space Jam Collective are always unfurling like some great lysergic tapestry unravelling and shattering dimensions of consciousness always getting wilder and venturing further out but never landing anywhere in particular because from the off-set we are in unchartered territory and unfamiliar waters; only getting further and further away into the deep recesses of nowhere, engulfed in mystery; mesmerised and perplexed like seeing fireworks for the first time. Like dropping acid for the first time. It’s all new, there’s no stopping and it just gets wilder and whackier and you never really know where the road will lead you next. Each mind-bending solo melts the walls and bends the mainframe like a paraprosdokian or a punchline to some complex joke in which were told “everything is normal and that’s just fine” before getting a huge fucking pie to the face. This is bat country; bat-shit insanely brilliant country.
The final track from this collection is ‘Artistic Supplies for Moon Paint Mafia’, at first it seems like an escape pod burning through the atmosphere but slowly descends into a deserty comedown, floating the listener gently down from space, gingerly casting aside it’s abrasion for something fairly intense yet indubitably softer.
This release is one of the most ambitious psyche records anyone will hear this year for its scope alone if not its musicianship and effectiveness; Eggs in Aspic continues its flawless streak of impeccable releases and I’m excited to hear what both Oulo have in store for us next and what Eggs’ next release Skyjelly will bring to the label’s lofty table.