Vocokesh - "The Tenth Corner"
(Strange Attractors Audio House 2004, SAAH019)

Uploaded to Aural Innovations: February 2004

Wisconsin’s Vocokesh combine elements of early Ash Ra Tempel and Tangerine Dream with the more exotic soundscapes of Popol Vuh and Agitation Free. You’ll definitely want to fire up the hookah while you’re listening to the cosmic jamming between guitarist/synthesist Richard Franecki and the rhythm section of John Helwig and Jan Schober. “Love Theme from El Topo” features frenetic Hendrixian guitars framed against a chugging, locomotive bass and drum ostinato. The group achieves some manic heights here — think Ash Ra Tempel’s classic “Amboss” jam and you’ve got a good idea of the sonic terrain Vocokesh explore. “Eddie’s Hallucination” is aptly titled. The tremolo guitar and trippy synths create a shifting, hallucinatory aura that evokes a palpable sense of stereo vertigo under the headphones. And again Franecki’s guitar leads soar to dizzying stratospheric levels. Simultaneously atonal and elegiac, “The Holy Mountain” approaches epic proportions, and finally achieves a panoramic scope with its swell of organ-like tones rising in an oceanic undercurrent of percussion and choral sounds. The piece, as a whole, reminds me very much of early Popol Vuh, particularly In den Garten Pharos: sacred yet gothic. “Special Glasses for Remote Viewing” resonates in the ears like one of Peter Frohmader’s eerie Nekropolis compositions; its cavernous sound montage borders on the truly ominous. Each additional hearing of The Tenth Corner rewards the listener with previously hidden and unheard moments of tonal transcendence, and like a good movie you’ll come back to it again and again. Highly recommended for the adventurous seeker of new aural vibrations.

For more information you can visit the Strange Attractors Audio House web site at: http://www.strange-attractors.com.
Email at: info@strange-attractors.com.
Email Vocokesh at: thevocokesh@yahoo.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Strange Attractors Audio House; PO Box 13007; Portland, OR 97213.

Reviewed by Charles Van de Kree

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