Egypt is the Magick # The Valentine Process

[Mad Monk; 2007]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: psychedelic chaos, experimental, primitive rock
Others: No-Neck Blues Band, Raccoo-oo-oon, Sunburned Hand of the Man

The Valentine Process is truly a musical world unto itself. The microcosm in which this album exists lies on a plane few have found and even fewer have captured. The Valentine Process is such a primitive and skeletal recording one must wonder how the trio stumbled upon the sound. “Ammut — Great Death, Eater of Hearts” may be a familiar breed of organic dissonance rivaling any freak collective’s strangest output, but the empty production and jarring melody create an aura previously unknown in the music world.

In a medium dominated by bedroom folkies and lo-fi soldiers always on the hunt for new ways to muffle their sound and create the most comfortable and intimate recording, Egypt Is The Magick # have taken the same approach but turned it inside out by creating a spatial and barren sound. The Valentine Process turns the bedroom into an infinite chasm or an abandoned cave. “Genetic Dispute Solved by Grammatological Nantooth,” with all its noisemakers, cheap percussion, and incoherent chants, only deepens the void. The voices refuse to give warmth; rather, it sucks the warmth from you. Your blood will run cold in The Valentine Process’ brand of isolation.

Yet the cave-dwellers involved in Egypt Is The Magick # may have ended up doing the album a great disservice by going lo-fi. The atmosphere created by the muffled melodies isn’t enough to deaden the ears to the real drawback of The Valentine Process. The album is brimming with so much musical exploration that keeping a lid on the production prevents the enjoyment of the expansive and infinite noise and chants. I'm not suggesting Egypt Is The Magick # go glossy and pristine, but each instrument and voice is fighting for position throughout, and though that competition lends itself to interesting combinations of drone and moan, it also detracts from the many layers of The Valentine Process. A compromise between the lo-fi aesthetic and the multi-faceted sound doesn’t exist, turning an album full of promise into a musical battle as voice and instrument duke it out to the benefit of none.

At the end of the day, The Valentine Process is just another avant album destined to be collecting dust on the shelf of your local music emporium. Perhaps that was Egypt Is The Magick #’s guise all along, or perhaps the band’s dual of sound and form is part of the overall product. I choose to believe the latter. Just like believing the plane members of Egypt Is The Magick # exist, we’re not destined (or allowed) to hear what truly lurks above the murkiness. The need to know what The Valentine Process sounds like outside of the muted cave walls is all part of the listening experience. And that experience is the greatest form of isolation the band can create.

1. Ammut—Great Death, Eater of Hearts
2. Genetic Dispute Solved by Grammatological Nantooth
3. Cur from Busiris
4. Process—Upload—Consciousness Experiment: 1
5. The Secret Things in Rosetjau

Most Read