Vas Deferens Organization - "Eye Peels & Brain Picks"
(Puer Gravy 2011, PG-01, LP)
From Aural Innovations #43 (October 2011)
Last year's Ninth Ward Fourth World LP marked the first Vas Deferens Organization (VDO) album in nine years (see AI #42), and now the band are back with a new set - Eye Peels & Brain Picks - once again featuring the trio of Matt Castille, Eric Lumbleau and Christopher Moock.
The two sides of the LP are designated by the Sperm Side and Eye Side, which you can distinguish by the beautifully etched label artwork. The album includes 10 tracks in just over 30 minutes. The Sperm Side opens with Defenestration At The Gravity Pit, which is like a Tiki party in space. Or maybe alien cannibals dancing around the 'ol boiling oil pot. It's got a great groove plus eerie sci-fi effects and a wee bit of a cool jazz vibe. Placental Fountainheads features a distorted, surreal lulling melody, conjuring up images of a dosed cupid jamming on his harp and doing swan dives into the walls. But this is all soon joined by whimsical melodies and rhythms and sparse bits and pieces of other themes. I liked the cool electro-grooves, oddball voice narratives and sundry sounds on Trap Door Decoupage. There's a wild glom of samples and sounds to be heard on Hubbub In The Ectoplasm, making for a jazzy and electro-grooving experience. The loudest and most subtle moments on the Sperm Side are heard on 78 Revolving Potentlometers, with birds chirping and old movie songs plus a zillion other sounds and effects. Squeaky Hammers is a whimsical spaced out start to the Eye Side. I pictured a gaggle of munchkins dancing in circles on A Balcony Seat For The Brouhaha, with its frenetic rhythms and spaced out effects combined with a moody melody. More cool grooves are heard on Leprechaun Balderdash. Spacey atmospherics, swami snake charmer horn, and bubbling and gurgling beats are the order of the day on Sundering The Astral Hymen. And VDO wrap up the set with Ghost Ship, which consists of light noise patterns, spacey effects, and funky jazz, later morphing into a somber melody.
How's that for a description?!! What I love about VDO is the deliciously disorienting and creatively constructed array of sounds. These guys are masters of the recording studio and excel at taking the craziest and zaniest of combinations and somehow making them work, the result being a brand of psychedelia that eschews mind massage in favor of synapse destruction. But that's a good thing. I'm writing these impressions at 4:30am, before getting ready for my day job which involves immersing myself in a fair bit of user manual and technical writing. And believe me, this is better brain preparation for the day then a bowl of granola and a regimen of calisthenics.
Once the again VDO have released their new album as a limited edition of 100 vinyl LPs. It's sold out already at their web site, but at the time of this writing copies are still available from:
Tedium House (USA) http://www.tediumhouse.com
Infinite Limits (UK) http://www.infinite-limits.com
Norman Records (UK) http://www.normanrecords.com
Art Into Life (Japan) http://art-into-life.com
But that's not all. Niklas Records have reissued the 1996 Transcontinental Conspiracy album (with bonus track), recorded by Vas Deferens Organization and Brad Laner (see review and details in THIS issue). Also note that on the 15th of November the Pure Pop For Now People label are releasing what VDO consider one of the key lost chapters of the original 90's VDO saga via the release of their collaboration with a group called Perihelion circa '97 on 200 copy vinyl. For details check out: http://www.ppfnp.com/PURE_07.htm
Visit the Vas Deferens Organization web site at http://vasdeferensorganization.com
Visit the Puer Gravy label web site at http://puergravy.com
The latest and greatest VDO information is always posted at the Mutant Sounds web site at: http://mutant-sounds.blogspot.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz