Eternal Tapestry The Invisible Landscape

[Not Not Fun; 2009]

Styles: psychedelic, jam, spirit
Others: Neu!, Birds of Maya, Wooden Shjips, Magic Lantern

In mid-October, BBC Four premiered a documentary called Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany. One of the finest moments of the film features multi-instrumentalist Michael Rother (Kraftwerk, Neu!, Harmonia) discussing the parallels between the flow of water, time, and the sounds Neu! set out to capture. While standing in front of a sun-shimmering, flowing body of unidentified water, he discusses the similar pictures exemplified by water and music as “Hallogallo” from Neu!’s 1972 debut plays, thus making strikingly clear the dynamic connection between the two pictures.

It’s impossible for me to listen to Eternal Tapestry’s The Invisible Landscape without being reminded of this insightful film moment. A majority of the tracks on the album do not begin at the beginning, but enter in full-swing, as if they’ve been going on forever. The listener is continuously dropped within a splice of already rolling jam-time, like leaping out of a helicopter and into a raging warzone. After all, it is this idea that motivates Eternal Tapestry’s name, though this album shows them realizing it more than on any past release. The tracks flow and move seamlessly, grooving in and out of various hallucinatory basement jams with absolute fury and precision.

Each cut builds up a deep repetition with monochromatic drum trances that allow the guitars to rip nastily and freely above the foundation. This record is truly everything that fans of guitar freak-outs and strong acid have always dreamed of, and the shred-action here may be more potent than on Magic Lantern’s fantastic 2008 album, High Beams. The strato-fuzz madness is often accompanied by a celebratory and intensifying Raccoo-oo-oon-style yelping that echoes the fire manifesto of some psycho-surf cult. At the end of 2009, someone robbed two California banks wearing a Nixon mask, and it’s not far off to think that the person responsible was cranking this album in the getaway car.

The previously invoked language of war is appropriate, for if 2008’s Altar of Grass is what Eternal Tapestry fans put on to spice up the mood after dinner and a movie, then The Invisible Landscape is spun in order to blast the fucking spaceship doors off and lunge into battle. As psychedelic discourses proliferate through the channels of popular music — and are oftentimes conceptualized as exemplifying a blissful, chill-out, cloud-dancing, and generally peaceful vibe — Eternal Tapestry represents the darker underbelly of the neo-psych persuasion. Everyone who has swallowed too much acid knows that the road leading to the palace of wisdom frequently gets terrifyingly dark, and more time is spent gazing at the ledge of the sublime abyss than breezing over smiling clouds. Eternal Tapestry soak their travel blotter with these more authentically psychedelic moods and sounds where others get carried away by myth. The promise of enlightenment still waits off in the distance, but there’s some heavy terrain that needs to be navigated first.

Links: Eternal Tapestry - Not Not Fun

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