Eric Lumbleau    3-November-2001 Archaia

Listen closely and take heed, for what we have at hand here is singlehandedly some of the most potent medicine that a dedicated tripper could possibly lay their paws upon. Little else you will ever encounter in this life or any other will singe your synapses or tattoo your brain quite like this.

Heavy duty psych/prog vinyl collectors think nothing of forking over $600+ for this puppy when it pops up (almost never), and it's no mistake, for this deadly mindbomb resides near the summit of 70s French lysergic monsters, among that elite coterie of artists that include Heldon, Lard Free, Spacecraft, Horrific Child, and Igor Wakhevitch. Tensely suspenseful, profoundly sinister and completely unnerving as only the French know how to be, the vibe on this baby couldn't possibly be more remote from the krautrock model of psychoactive sonics to which this and the aforementioned five artists lay waste.

Right from the start, thick billowing tides of analog warmth cocoon the listener in amniotic suspension as a huge phased subaquatic bass rises from the depths to the tolling of a bell. This is followed by the emergence of a haunting, ghostly synth line with a spooky "singing" tone that never fails to send shivers down my spine. Suddenly, Pierrick Le Bras & Phillipe Bersan's choral voices of doom enter. Soleil Zeuhl's press release for Archaia's CD reissue would lead you to believe these are zeuhl voices (i.e. repetitious, incantory and bombastically operatic, a hallmark of the zeuhl school of Orff-ian jazz-prog that emerged in the wake of the mighty Magma.) Perhaps they are, but in the context of this music's framework, the result feels like something else entirely. It's just that what that something is remains utterly elusive, but damned if it isn't creepy as all hell anyway. What follows next is simply the sickest, most flawlessly acidic wiry phased guitar tone imaginable. All of this is par for the course, as Archaia delve ever deeper into the abyss, zeroing in with laser-like precision on your third eye and not relenting no matter how many times you cry uncle.

Completely unyielding in its will to have its way with your mind, this is literally too much of a good thing, and too much of a good thing is always a good thing.

(Originally published in Alternative Press #131, p.82; reprinted by permission)

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