Vocokesh - "Ispepnaibara + EP" (Lexicon Devil 2001, lexdev002)
From Aural Innovations #18 (January 2002)
Here it is, the next release of F/i-Vocokesh madness from Lexicon Devil Records. This is Richard Franecki and other F/i alumni's first album after leaving the mothership. I keep reading that this split came about because Richard wanted to continue to be more experimental, but what I've heard from the group (here and later on) is for the most part pretty straight-forward space-rock (which is experimental enough for me, anyway). And the Ispepnaibara LP (spell it backwards to unravel the mystery), released on vinyl on RRRecords in 1990, is some of the best Hawkwind/Bevis Frond-styled garage-space of the era. "Ipepnaibara Part 1" has Richard shredding incessently on the guitar to incredible heights against an equally incessent snare-drive, though drummer Jan Schober definitely could have peppered it up a bit more than he does here. He's done some decent percussion elsewhere, I don't see why he couldn't have added a couple fills now and then. Small complaint, though, once you've jumped aboard the Franecki shred-express.
"Union Grove 3" is the only overtly experimental bit, recalling the first F/i EP, a solid minute of industrial noise drilling. "Number 29" starts with numerous layers of hazy sonic-attack electronic space rhythms, cosmic guitar and intermittent drums... the synths continue their insane pace in an Ashra Tempel "7-Up" kinda way so that by the time the drums fully kick in, they're almost drowning out the beat completely. "The Circle is the Square" is a classic Franecki space-fuzz epic, dragging out a sludgey "Assault And Battery"-type riff, whereupon he goes off on a classic stream-of-Brock lead-guitar assault against the beat before returning to pump the riff up even higher. "Number 31" continues along the same pace, but features a storm of piercing cosmic reverberating violin sounds which climb and climb intensely alongside the building fuzz. The drums continue to bash on and on but strangely don't seem to quite keep up with everything else, though maybe this just emphasizes the haziness of it all. "Ispepnaibara Part 2" reprises the first track and has this mind-blowingly cosmic "wharp-wharp" God's-farting-in-space effect rushing over the guitars. Fantastic stuff.
Filling up the rest of the disc is Vocokesh's half of a split LP released with F/i in '92 on RRRecords. More raw cosmic guitar jams here which reveal more subtleties with repeated listens. Plenty of nice cross-riffing and some Hendrixy moments in track 1 (these tunes are all untitled). Ever-shifting bass-lines and Franecki's eternal lead-guitar carry Track 2's jam along very effectively. Track 3 is another monstrously droning guitar jam. Seriously recommended for fans of the classic '60s guitar jam/psyche bands and the later Space/Kraut movement.
For more information you can contact Vocokesh at PO Box 270421; Milwaukee, WI 53227.
You can email Lexicon Devil at: email@example.com, or by snail mail at: PO Box 125; Richmond VIC 3121; Australia.
Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg