July 12, 2010

TOPAZ RAGS - "Capricorn Born Again" LP (NNF)

  The always mysterious Topaz Rags bless us again.This time with eight lush, lucid, and full bodied lullabies in the form of a full length LP.Those who were lucky enough to grab their California Ash cassette a short while back, know how good this group is in a long-form medium.On Capricorn Born Again, their heavily jazzed-out psychedelia is murkier than ever, but we also the band with their best recording quality to date.Everything is in it's place, and it all seems to float just above you like a dense cloud of purple smoke.A good portion of this could pass for a long lost Portishead demo tape, that's seen way too many plays.With it's subtle female vocal hymns tucked away in the background, and fair share of hypnotic jamming, this record gives off more than enough dreamy turned druggy vibes to bounce around in your brain.There are some greatly unexpected moments of pure free-jazz teetering, that keep this from being just another cave-pop journey into nothingness.
  As Capricorn.. begins to turn it's haunted pages and it's story unfolds, as do it's musical talents and artistic focus.Things never go too quick, nor too slow, and the broken ragas only seem to outgrow themselves with each new movement.Broken piano arpeggios creep and crawl over the slithering bass, and hair-raising trumpet cries, weaving a dark and somewhat horrific web at times, from which their ethereal and damaged croons are left to dangle.Something this mind controlling only comes along once in a great while, and I'm sure glad I was around to see it.Phenomenal.

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