Since 2001, New Zealand based multi-instrumentalist Craig Williamson has been recording totally trippy, mind-bendingly lovely, psychedelically spaced out music as Lamp Of the Universe. And he continues to do so on his new album, The Inner Light Of Revelation.
I love the combination of droning sitar, lazily strumming acoustic guitar, hypnotic synth wave and Craig’s shamanic vocals on the opener, Trance Of The Pharaohs, with tasty blasts of intensity provided by intermittent majestic percussion crescendos. If we’ve been entranced by the Pharaohs then they have been benevolent masters, as God Of One makes me feel like I’m in a harem cum opium den in space, drifting in a hypnotic swirl of alien belly dancers. We’ve got a steady rhythmic pulse and a spaced out Eastern slathered, acidic, stoned Psychedelic rocking groove. Craig excels at laying down a core of trippy Eastern influenced Psychedelia and then injecting a stoner vibe, healthy doses of acidic burn, trippy guitar and sitar, and mellotronic grandiosity, as further evidenced on Levitation. Craig also has a flair for being both hypnotically alluring and darkly droning, a good example being Utopian Seed, which is extra fun due to the freaky alien synths fluttering playfully and bubbling like cauldrons throughout. Dig that Proggy mellotron too. Ancient Path has one of the more traditional sounding sitars, though the underlying drone serves as a foundation and it’s all carried along by grooving raga rhythms. Celestial Forms is both lysergic and heavenly with its spaced out sitar and ragas and orchestral feel. The Guiding Light and Beyond The Horizon are both short acoustic and ethnic percussion dominated songs, the former being a melodic tune with an almost Bluesy guitar solo, and Beyond The Horizon being an enticing call-to-prayer with a marching drive.
There’s a lot going on here and it always blows my mind with Lamp albums to think that Craig is doing it all himself. Another set of pure mystical magic.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz