Sometimes I get a couple of albums in which, when I really start to think about them, lend themselves to being reviewed together. This was already the case with these offerings, but this became even more the case when I went back to read my reviews of the previous albums by Megaritual and Domboshawa to find that I had actually linked them already. That is because they are both the project of single multi-instrumental artists who have both produced albums that sound like a band in full flight. To this list I’d also add Prana Crafter, the solo project of William Sol, whose most recent and excellent album ‘Enter The Stream’ came out recently on Cardinal Fuzz and Sunrise Ocean Bender.
But that’s not the only reason that I wanted to put these two albums together. The other is that both are released by relatively new independent labels which are increasingly becoming the lifeblood of so much of the music I feature here. Both Dirty Filthy Records (Megaritual) and Drone Rock Records are effectively run out of a music fan’s spare room. In the time since I’ve been writing this blog quite a few of these have sprung up, people who’ve put their own money up to bring the rest of us great music that we may never have heard otherwise. I guess this is more the case with projects such as Megaritual and Domboshawa as they’re less likely to be touring their music.
Dreamfeeder by Megaritual
Dale Walker, the person behind Megaritual, has put together yet another superb set for this ‘Dreamfeeder’ release. While the previous album of his that I reviewed, ‘Mantra Music‘ was a collection of EP releases, this, I believe, is a standalone album from the start; although it has been expended for its vinyl release. Once again I’m blown away by the coherence of the music, and the way that it is all integrated together. This is not only from the point of view of everything being played by a single person, but that each element seems to have its own voice… something which cannot be easy when a single musician is playing everything. This also stretches across the different genre. At times this feels like a stone cold stoner album with its heavy guitar and powerful rhythm section. Yet there’s always something more here as Walker introduces Eastern rhythms in a manner that, for me, always raises his Megaritual project above that of his peers… something confirmed by the previous album making my ‘Essential Albums‘ list in 2016.
I think what I particularly like is that he has set out what for me is something of a unique tone. A melange of Eastern and Western rhythms that you might not naturally put together. This is something that Prana Crafter does as well, although in a different manner. But with both there is something of our metaphysical connection with the natural order in their music. For Prana Crafter this feels like a connection with the Earth, while the Megaritual connection feels somewhat more cosmic in the way it provides links. Both feel spiritual, and both take us beyond our everyday experience in realms that feel more beautiful and exotic. As such ‘Dreamfeeder’ is an album that you can take a trip with unto the ether… just close your eyes and drift away… you’ll come back feeling better than when you left.
‘Dreamfeeder’ is available to order now at Dirty Filthy Records here.
Beyond Vibrations by Domboshawa
Domboshawa is the solo project of Swede, Anders Broström, and also feels like a sound that comes from stoner rock but, like Megaritual, is not beholden to it. So while Domboshawa is far the more directly rock orientated album of the two being considered here, it is by no means as straightforward as all that. Both albums seem to look out into the cosmos for their inspiration, the above being through Eastern themes, while here Broström is drawing on tropes from space rock to develop that numinal aspect.
Here it is his guitar playing that really raises this album above the crowd as it soars and swoops through the music dragging our consciousness with it in a series of sweeps that seem to metaphysically pick us up and let us rise on sonic eddys of music. Elsewhere, such as on ‘Azores’ (featured above) the baseline gets you into such a deep groove that you just can’t help funking out to the whole thing.
Like the Megaritual this album has also been expanded for its vinyl release, and now stretches out over a double set of wax. In neither case has this resulted in any drop in quality. In fact perhaps quite the opposite as some of the best tracks on both, for me, come in this additional material. In the case of ‘Beyond Vibrations’ this means that you can really kick back big-style and enjoy the whole panoramic experience.
‘Beyond Vibrations’ is available to order now from Drone Rock Records here.
The more I wrote about these two releases the more they seemed to have in common, and taking away the fact that they are single musicians producing impressively coherent works… these both have the power to take us places beyond our mundane experience into different yet coherent and complementary realms that allow you to really chill and forget the everyday. Played back to back, which I have been doing of late, they make a really powerful segment of empowerment that is everything that contemporary psychedelic music should be. Add in the Prana Crafter album too and you’ve a full evening of metaphysical travel ahead of you.
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