Mandragora Light Show Society - "Beyond the Mushroam Gate"
(GB45 Records, GB 9904-12, Germany 1999)
From Aural Innovations #8 (October 1999)
This LP is a numbered edition of 1000 copies on 180 gram vinyl with a patchouli scented label! It is also released on CD and recorded in Dolby Surround sound. This is the 3rd full length album by this German band whose roots are mainly in the 60's sound (the way they use the organ) but a lot of the music is full on spacerock with lots of trippy sounds and floating songs. Pink Floyd is also a big influence on this band. The opening number on the record, "I Don't Want To Rewind The Time", starts with some really spacey sounds. The basic song has loads of spaced and fuzzed out guitar and synths that flow in and out over the piano riff. The vocalist is not that great but does not play that big of a role in the band's sound. This song also features some nice saxophone. "Unknown Gem" is a very Syd Barrett influenced song with some really cool spacey synths and lyrics about a guy in a record store telling you that you have found a very rare record and you should buy it but is it really worth it? "Perpetuum Morality" and "The Graduation" finishes side one and are shorter, very 60's style psychedelia. Side Two starts off with "Der Hieronimus Bosch Trip". This song is excellent and starts slowly with guitar and synth sweeps, but soon the freaky organ and vocals roll on it, while a windy background and some backwards guitar fill the landscape. A very dynamic and cool song. This song must be really excellent in the surround sound! "A Common Race" is next and has a bit of the DOORS flavour to it. The album closes with "Magic Rushroam". As you hear cars driving by, the space sounds and guitar slowly roll in and take over and the one line of lyrics is spoken, "Enchanted by the magic cap of wisdom and fun, that fits on your head. Every ordinary place turns to a marvelous space.." Very cool spaced out song to end the album, sort of like your short tripped out journey is ending and you hear the world drive by you. Pretty cool record.
Reviewed by Scott Heller