Chickencage Experience – “An Eggspoiltation Movie” (Nasoni Records 2012, CD+DVD/2-LP+DVD)

Chickencage Experience is a side project from the German band Polytoxicomane Philharmonie, or as the promo sheet states – “This is a collateral damage of the Polytoxicomane Philharmonie”. Titled An Eggspoiltation Movie, this is a CD (or 2-LP) + DVD movie set, with music that is by no means 360 degrees from Polytoxicomane Philharmonie.

The music portion consists of 6 tracks and nearly 77 minutes of music. The promo sheets notes that “free improvisation was the need of the moment”, and while improv is apparent, the music nearly always feels focused and with a clear sense of direction.

The Eternal End opens the set with dual female vocals combined in a singing and chanting style, like lady mullahs whipping the devout masses into a frenzy. The singers are Polytoxicomane Philharmonie’s H.M. Fishli plus Austrian singer MichaeLa Flame. The music rocks hard in space, with intensely wah’d guitar blazing over a light Middle Eastern theme and propelled by a furiously rocking groove. At 9+ minutes the music transitions a bit, with organ and strings adding an orchestral Prog-Psych edge, my favorite part being a tug-at-the-heartstrings emotional segment that nonetheless includes some pretty trippy space guitar. Lascivious Dungeon Tales serves up 10 minutes of atmosphere and mood creation, the entire track feeling like a deep space and totally freaky extended introduction to a larger piece. We’ve got 60s styled organ, atmospheric guitar colorings, and some of the most intense chanting vocals I’ve heard. The music twists and turns like a cross between Krautrock Kosmiche and early Pink Floyd, and it’s not until nearly 8 minutes in that the drums and a sense of rhythm become noticeable, as the chanting continues unabated and the guitar starts to play strained cosmic licks, all leading to the finale.

Novelette Of Bitter And Sweet is a 17 minute cosmic caravan ride in which Chickencage Experience continue their theme of psychedelic mood and mind massage. I love the guitars on this track, with close attention paid to individual licks that speak volumes. Early in the track I was reminded me of The Spacious Mind at their most psychedelically spaced out, but as the music evolves, piano is introduced for dark intensity, and is a great contrast to the emotionally authoritative guitars. The singers are apparently improvising the lyrics, which sum it all up – “life’s a journey, through the mind”. At over 17 minutes, The Owl, The Bell And The Club Of Veterans is another lengthy excursion. The band soar right out of the chute rocking, with great grooves, killer vocals that are both manic and seductive, and some of the most spaced out rocking guitar on the album. Yeah, the guitar is the clear leader for much of this lengthy hip shakin’ number. Later in the track things calm down and the Experience transition to a more easy-paced psychedelic trek that once again reminded me of The Spacious Mind, though the near-possessed vocals put Chickencage Experience in a class all their own.

Ride Ridden Shine opens with the sound of a UFO landing, after which the Experience embark on what sounds like is going to be a psychedelic Blues jam. But the band quickly dispense with the Blues elements as the two vocalists freeform a bit and the guitar goes into space as it cranks out oscillating effects. But in no time we transition again and find ourselves in some kind of freaky carnival and chamber music theme. Once the band settles into a groove the ladies take the lead, again singing free-wheeling lyrics over quietly jamming and very beautiful psychedelically atmospheric music. Wrapping up the set is Homesick Tours, a cool combination of psychedelic Blues, Prog influences, trip guitar and space effects. The entire piece grooves along slowly and steadily, making for a captivating finale to the CD.

But… for the full audio-visual sensory experience you need to pop in the DVD. This professionally shot film begins with a parade of images and narration. Then The Eternal End is introduced and we hear the music and watch the band perform, with cool camera work closing in on individual band members and sometimes split screen action. And throughout the film these scenes alternate with transitional imagery + narration segments, all of which are creatively constructed and fun to watch.

So you can watch the movie, or, given that the DVD includes all the music from the album plus an additional 20 minutes for a total of 98 minutes, you can put on the DVD and enjoy it for the audio. However you experience it, An Eggspoiltation Movie is another outstanding project from the Polytoxicomane Philharmonie camp.

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Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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