If your third eye was at all trained on underground psych/experimental rock in the 90's, chances are that Vocokesh streaked like a fiery comet across your strained retinas. Vocokesh is a heavens-scraping, amorphous mesh of vintage electronic burble-and-skree and free-form acid soaked rock. Conceived by guitarist/electrician Richard Franecki, the band was formed to continue exploring his particular vision of outer-limits rock after he left F/i, the legendary industrial/free-psych band from Milwaukee. Since their debut LP Ispepnaibara in 1991, Vocokesh have proven themselves to be prime torchbearers of experimental psychedelia for the modern age, as evidenced by a slew of head-tilting recordings on Drag City, RRRecords and Lexicon Devil. It's been about five years since the last full length (Paradise Revisited, Drag City, 1998), but during that apparent silent period Franecki was ever diligent in his lair, slowly conspiring to unleash a new dose of audio microdot. The improvised psych/analog electronic trajectories have not dissipated one bit, in fact the whole music vessel has extended into even further and more elaborate reaches of the stratosphere as evidenced by The Tenth Corner, the eerie and utterly grandiose fourth album.
Vocokesh seriously tweak the standard rock trio infrastructure by processing the guitars beyond earthly recognition and inoculating the cacophony with an arsenal of vintage analog electronics. With seven songs totaling over an hour of music, The Tenth Corner explores some seriously alien terrain with an elusively mechanical, intensely lysergic sound. Unfurling like mellow smoke from some alien opium den, the title track introduces the sonic soiree in a pleasant mood, as distant acoustic plucking and electronic oscillations provide a pillowing backdrop for some elegant electric guitar flourishes. No sooner is serenity induced than the trip goes dark, as metallic-tinged acid guitar rips a flurry of shrapnel over a storm of chugging drums and slinky bass lines. Imbued with an intense array of moods and textures, The Tenth Corner is a tremendously cinematic listening experience - in fact, three tunes are envisioned as supplemental/alternate soundtracks to some particularly vivid cult films. The Cluster-like ambient dust storm "Desert Song (Zabriskie Point)" is conceived as a sound supplement to the Michelangelo Antonioni counterculture classic, while "Love Theme from El Topo" and the resonating, AMM-meets-Popol Vuh cosmic soundscapes of "The Holy Mountain" are perfect sonic counterparts to the drug-addled films of Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Composition and improvisation coalesce into a sound that draws from the early flights of 70's German avant rock (Agitation Free, Cosmic Jokers, Ash Ra Tempel) and synth-powered cosmic (Cluster, Tangerine Dream, Popol Vuh) if it were created in the embryonic electronic music labs of the 60's and 70's. Transcendent, gritty, hallucinatory - The Tenth Corner is undoubtedly Vocokesh's finest hour.
The Tenth Corner
The Tenth Corner by The Vocokesh is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.