Serpentina Satelite - "Mecanica Celeste"
(Rocket Recordings 2010, LAUNCH 038)
From Aural Innovations #41 (October 2010)
Many bands in the psychedelic/space rock genre attempt to create music that, rather than just describing the experience, is, in itself, mind altering in a way. If anyone has come close to that, it's Peru's Serpentina Satelite. With layers of delayed, phased, freaked out guitars, echoing snippets of vocals and gurgling, squalling electronics all barely being held together by a hyperactive rhythm section, this is truly disorienting, hallucinatory, mind bending music. In a dark room with the headphones on and a bit of imagination, one would not need any kind of chemical enhancement to be swept away into another dimension of reality by the sounds on Mechanica Celeste. This is some truly inspired space rock here. The closest I could compare it to is Ash Ra Tempel's Amboss. The music here definitely has a similar intensity to it, but gets into a much more wide open headspace, exemplified by the first three tracks (Fobos, Sangre de Grado and the title track) on the album (a total of 22 minutes). The listener gets a brief reprieve then with the ritualistic, but no less hallucinatory sounding Imaginez Quel Bonheur Ce Sera De Voir Nos Chers Disparus RessuscitÚs!, before the churning, grinding heaviness of Ai Apaec kicks in to pummel his or her already rattled senses. This one has a more earthy vibe to it though, bringing the sonic traveller back to somewhat solid ground, close to their home dimension before the final assault begins with the 11-minute Sendero (which means footpath). But this footpath is no earthly footpath. It leads to a final dimension of quasi-religious heaviness, as it slowly builds from a sweet little song sung by children through a stately march into a frenzied rush of metallic madness and finally a swirling, pulsing ghost realm punctuated by a final hymn. This music is transcendent in the truest sense. The promo sheet says Serpentina Satelite tried to reach Heaven but ended up in space. Maybe they found both. At any rate, Mechanica Celeste is one powerful document. Original, compelling, mind liquefying space rock of the highest order. Don't miss this one!
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald
For more information you can visit the Serpentina Satelite web site at: http://www.myspace.com/serpentiasatelite
Visit the Rocket Recordings web site at: http://www.rocketrecordings.com
Reviewed by Scott Heller