Farflung - "The Myth Of Solid Ground"
(Farflung Music 1999, Ltd Ed CD-R)
From Aural Innovations #8 (October 1999)
Farflung's first two releases - "25,000 Feet Per Second" and "The Raven That Ate The Moon" - are in my opinion among spacerock's great classics. Last year's "The Belief Module" was pretty good though it didn't capture the excitement of the first two. Now we have "The Myth Of Solid Ground", an interesting combination of punked out space and wild ambient music.
On the heavier side is "Breach Of I (15 Second Break)", a punked out tune like those that made Farflung among the best spaceROCKers. All the great smashing guitars and wailing efx'd vocals are here. During the instrumental section a guitar launches into a frantic space surf bit while the rhythm section blasts away, though the tune eases the listener to the finale on a more floating ambient note. "Prototype Of A Traveler" is another rocker like something off of "25000 Feet Per Second" with its classic shooting space guitars and synths. It has an early 70's jam rock feel while still remaining totally Farflung, and again it ends on a quiet note. Farflung is landing easy on this ride. "Those Clouds Are Solid" is yet another punked out rocker with heavy efx'd vocals and buzzsaw guitars. And "The Larval Stage" is Farflung's version of heavy space metal.
The album has a more exploratory side to it as well. The opening track, "When I Woke To Sleep No More", is a 13 minute journey that travels through numerous themes. The first several minutes are like an extended buildup of multiple guitar parts and synths which lead into Farflung's version of an ambient segment with droning looped bits and various other sounds. The intensity level builds in the last few minutes with heavier percussion, high pitched droning synths, and an efx'd robotic monolog. "Something In The Water" begins with a high pitched pulsating synth, the sound of underwater rumblings, and a cry for help. The pulsating synth continues as the music meanders through ambient space noodlings. Really atmospheric stuff, but definitely Farflung style. And for something really different there's "I Have Seen The Saucers" which sounds like it was recorded using toy instruments. Oddly dissonant. Interesting.
In summary, I didn't know what to make of this disc at first, but after several listens I think it holds up (fairly) well against the earlier classics while still moving the band in a somewhat different direction, perhaps drawing on influences from the member's various other projects. I'm not sure what the actual release date is on this as it's a limited edition pre-release I got from the band at the Strange Daze festival, and I think the label they said it will be on is Big Jesus. I'll try to get the actual label and distro info for next issue.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz