Thursday, February 20, 2020
Sula Bassana- The Box (Pancromatic Records PLP2028)
WOW….. What can I say. This is a beautiful box with 3 double albums in gatefold sleeves. Heavy vinyl pressing and nice simple artwork. The true Sula fan will already have heard most of what is in this box as the first two double LPs were previously released on CD-R (Endless Winter and Silent Music). The double LPs are filled out with more recent tracks mostly from 2018. I will only describe some of the unreleased music. I previously reviewed all the other albums but the over all vibe of Silent Music and Endless Winter is a more ambient nature.
Silent music, side F, features the track Sunrise, which is one of the unreleased ones from 2018 along with side H1, A Sad Wind in the Streets. Sunrise is a dreamy track that features both guitar and bass to start and then a sort of otherworldly synth floats in and changes the vibe. A Sad Wind starts with a synth drone that slowly grows in intensity. A 2nd synth layer kicks in and the original fades more to the back. A third new layer starts a bit later on this very laid back synth track.
The 5th album features the two split LPs did; one with Vibravoid and the other with 3AM, both of which are long sold out. The real special stuff is LP 6, which contains a full album of unreleased tracks recorded between 2004 and 2018. Side A is the short 3-4min numbers and Side B the longer ones. Silver Smurfer is a great psych rocker with a simple stoned groove and some fuzzy effected guitars. Great number. Spooky Neighbour has a drum machine, a cool bass synth (or guitar) and is very hypnotic. The keyboard is indeed spooky! Echolot is primarily a synthesizer track but some nice sounds and also a dark feel to it. Krankhop is another one where the synth drives the track, very repetitive but the 2nd synth is dark and mysterious balanced out with a 3rd line that comes every now and then. I did not find this track that interesting. Camembeat Electrash ends the side with a 6min number and very relaxed with a simple drum machine program and floating synths and perhaps guitar or is that another synth? This and the first track were my faves on this side. Side B starts with Wonnepropper. This track is very inspired by trance techno to start but lacks the “thump”. The spacey layer and guitar are really great though. Super nice vibe on this track. Space Maze is an 18 min searching track. It starts slow and spaced out as mainly a synthesizer exploration. About 5mins in a new bass synth line starts to add to the other layers and a drum machine soon follows. You can really get lost in this one (although my wife though it was just too repetitive and boring after a while. I was hoping for a guitar to kick in but it never did!!
Sula is an amazing and creative artist and for sure one worthy of a grand box like this. Just fantastic. What more can I say.. I am just very happy to own one. Pity I missed out on the Live Kosmos box...