The Gray Field Recordings – “Hypnagogia” (Reverb Worship Records 2012, RW 191)

Of the hundreds of CD’s, tapes and vinyl albums I have, this release is one of a handful that I go to repeatedly if I want music that is truly art and music that sounds better and different every time I listen to it!! From Stillwater Oklahoma, The Gray Field Recordings is R. Loftiss and friends and Hypnagogia is a reissue on the excellent Reverb Worship label.

BLOODSTREAM: Instant other worldliness, R. Loftiss vocalization and then spoken lyrics with an array of sounds and noises. RING BELLS: Drumming and flute? Sounds like a Mayan ceremony or celebration! No listing of the musicians involved with this CD?! HOUSE OF GRAPE: Somber and still, repetitive ominous riff then some percussion and second guitar with spoken vocal thru a 1920 telephone! Yes, meditative and interestingly coolio. The vocal reminds me of Yoko on Revolution #9, “then you become naked”. This one sounds Tibetan!! IN EXODUS: Sounds like a top spinning with blips and blorps then some keyboard drone!! A stroll on another planet, yes!! PRELUDE TO AN ALCHEMICAL WEDDING: Classic experimental sound of droning stringed instruments. Great title!!! Get’s louder and heavier… sounds almost like an orchestra tuning up but more flowing, keeps going and growing, like walking thru an old dreamhouse! FORTY WHITE HORSES: Another great title, plunky guitar stoppin’ and startin’, then a second one… clear sound/recording… almost like someone got recorded preparing for a recording without knowing it! The big spoken/sung Rebecca vocal. Again, very beautiful and ethereal, then some violin, very nice… two female vocals. YOU HAVE SUFFERED: Recording of old scratchy record mixed together with the country record of “You Have Suffered” run thru loops and effects. NANCY’S SONG TO CHARLIE: Spoken word with cello… “and swallows us”… then light airy acoustic guitar riff with angel vocals and more spoken word. STARS FALL TO EARTH: Industrial growls then drum noise and loops. Sharon says it sounds spooky… now some piano and sampled vocal, very trippy, original, clear clean production. PASSIFLORA: Poetry recited by Rebecca with guitars… some singing then super distorted guitar… Pop/Noise? The next wave?? Picks up where Jesus and Mary Chain left off? CREEPING: Quiet doodling, atmospheric and contemplative. COLDSPACE (LIVE): Sounds like a cold space! Prolly was! Groaning instruments all slowly leaning on one another. Yes, very nice. It’s opening my third eye! Violin and cello?? No listing of instruments with CD?? Yes, sounds like it was recorded in a boathouse over a frozen lake. DRUM SLUT (LIVE): Speed violin, then smooshy electro drums. Very clean recording for being live. Sounds very Middle Eastern but also very modern and experimental. NANCY’S SONG TO CHARLIE (LIVE): Somber with somber vocals, then some pretty guitar, fantasy swooshes, then hops into another dimension… lilting guitar and back to somber vocals and cello, but lighter/different now! TULUM (DEMO): A Renaissance Festival sound, but nice… keeps developing, moving upwards and around, almost like a recital you’d hear at a University?! SCARED OF WOLVES (ORIGINAL): Last song on CD, eerieness, spoken vocal in the distance, then sung/spoke Rebecca live vocals… Gongs??… and back to eerie spoken distant vocal, taken from TV?, cool liquid piano tinkling, and it’s over…

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Reviewed by Carlton Crutcher

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