onYou – Ultimum Photon A Sole

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I came to this LP late (it was released last year) and that’s a shame as it would made my ‘Albums of the Year‘ list.

onYou have been regulars on the Chicago psychedelic scene for a while now and this is the guys’ seventh LP (some of the previous works are still available digitally from the Captcha Records Bandcamp page) and it is a stunning musical voyage into dark and sinister psychedelia. For fellow vinyl junkies, I managed to get hold of one of the 100 limited ‘Cyanotype Archival Edition’, signed and numbered with a photographic-processed cyanotype insert – a beautiful product.

As albums go it is a brief affair, 4 tracks in just over half an hour, but it is so immersive as to make the whole notion of time irrelevant . The opener, ‘A Grift’ , is a 12 minute opus that mixes and matches genres and styles with some aplomb. A motorik drumbeat underpins the track whilst the synths give it a spacerock, almost prog, feel to it at times. There are some delicious psychedelic passages that complement the general komische feel. The track chugs away nicely until the 8 minute mark where things slow down and takes on a dark ambient vibe with echoey drones and weird alien voices, giving it a more sinister feel. it wouldn’t be unfair to say that this one track encapsulates 90% of my entire record collection!

‘Finding the Wronksian’ * segues nicely from ‘A Grift’ and some Klaus Schulze-like synths take us back to classic 70’s electronica before the track really starts to rock with bass and drums powering it along, with the synths adding a spacey feel to it and ends with some pounding tribal drums. ‘The Wronksian’ continues in the same vein except the guitar takes centre spot, shredding away over some almost ritualistic chanting.

* For those curious types amongst you : ” In mathematics, the Wronskian (or Wrońskian) is a determinant introduced by Józef Hoene-Wroński (1812) and named by Thomas Muir (1882, Chapter XVIII). It is used in the study of differential equations, where it can sometimes be used to show that a set of solutions is linearly independent.” (Wikipedia) – no me neither!

‘Adrift on the wind’ has a real post-rock dynamic to it, well I suppose it post-prog rock would be more accurate – there is some 70s prog organ underlying the driving guitar work and furious drumming. The track builds and builds until it reaches a crescendo of percussion before ending with a single synth. It is also the only track on the LP with ‘real’ vocals.

This is a superb LP that pleases at every turn and I would guess that the variety within will satisfy all serious music fans on some level. Go get it….now!

This review is also posted on my blog – www.dayzofpurpleandorange.blogspot.co.uk.

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