Psychik Atters - "Mystic Minutes II"
From Aural Innovations #37 (September 2007)
Originally released on Twink Records in 1995, head Atter honcho Dani Speakman has just reissued the CD, having cleaned up the mix a bit and added nearly 20 minutes of bonus material. I first reviewed the album waaaaay back in AI #3, and given the nearly decade passage of time I only gave a cursory glance at my original review and dove in with a fresh ear.
After a spacey introductory bit the band launch into "Won't Go Back", a psychedelic song that would be right at home on an old Jefferson Airplane album. Of the songs on the album, "Lightning At My Door" is probably my favorite. It's got a pounding Hawkwind "Master of the Universe" feel, while also having that west coast Jefferson Airplane vibe. (How's THAT for a combo??!!) "Mystic Minutes" is the one other song oriented track of the set and is quite different from the others, being a tribal folk psych tune that invokes images of some pagan gathering.
Heading in a very different direction is the nearly 19 minute "Voyager 7", a freewheeling instrumental slab of cosmic jamming psychedelic space rock. The band really cut loose on this one and just let 'er rip, with liquid bubbling trip guitars gushing and dripping everywhere. Miiiiiiind Meeeeelting!! "Made in Sheffield" is another excellent lengthy jam track, which is similar to "Voyager 7" but built around more identifiable riffs and rhythmic patterns. If you just want groove along to freeform psychedelic improvisation then you'll drool over this stuff. "Psychik" is yet another stretched out instrumental, but is explores different territory than the others. It's spaced out, that's for sure, but has an experimental edge to it. It's mostly electronic, with varying rhythms and patterns, sometimes dancey, but not in any way that you could actually dance to it. Definitely one for the psychedelic avant-garde. And "Mad Atter" is a freaky whimsical tune that closes the set.
But that's the original album. There are two bonus tracks, the highlight being the nearly 14 minute "The Piper Calls (a tribute to Syd Barrett)", which is a more recent track recorded at Lifus Arnold's (of FUBAR) studio. Wow, this is ambient-psychedelic-experimental heaven. The Atters are all over the place on this track, exploring avant-garde space while paying tribute to the psychedelic wildman Syd. Finally, "Dubirds" closes out the set, being a spaced out Dub driven trip out track.
Now that I've listened to the entire album it's interesting to read my original writeup from 1998, which is illustrative of the tastes and moods we writers are susceptible to at any given time. When I first reviewed this album I concluded that Psychik Atters seem to be stronger when working in the song format. And now I've done a complete 360 degree turn, feeling that the instrumental tracks are the ones I like best. Go figure. In any event, I think this album is well deserving of reissue and space-psych fans will find much to enjoy.
For more information you can visit the Psychik Atters webs site at: http://www.myspace.com/danipsychikatters.
The CD is distributed through Mychoonz: http://www.mychoonz.co.uk.
Email Dani Speakman at: email@example.com. You can get signed copies directly from Dani for £11 plus shipping, with a £1 going towards a charity for autistic children.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz