Portable Shrines Magic Sound Theatre Vol. 1

March 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Pacific coastline of these United States is one of the most unique, awe-inspiring sights in the world, stitched together by jagged rocks that have slowly been carved out by the ocean’s impenetrable force, rivers and streams that lacerate the land, trees that provide shelter from the ground to the sky, and secluded beaches where anemones pique your colorful curiosity and sea lions laze about.  The tapestry of these spectacular coastal sights are woven with a strong understanding of the music and the life, spirituality, madness, peace, and glory that exists within these confines.

On Magic Sound Theatre Vol. 1, Seattle psyche collective Portable Shrines have curated a largely Pacific Northwest-rooted comp that includes some of today’s most lucid visionaries and stoned mongrels. It’s made up of colors that appear in dreams, in drones, and in screams that rattle like bones. From the sacrificial pagans Geist and the Sacred Ensemble, who open the comp with the ritualistic dark seance of “Circle,” to Tiny Light’s mountainous kraut-in-space jam “Shasta,” to Master Musicians of Bukkake’s vinyl-exclusive “BAN A CHU,” the trails that lead you through the Magic Sound Theatre are vast and rugged. The musical sequence of Diminished Men’s “Oblong Trance” unfolds like a stir-crazy, backwoods hermit who sets out into the night to seek vengeance on his soul, before AFCGT’s curmudgeonly “Clocks” descends from the shadows and slams an iron rod into the ground. Such effects induce lightning flashbacks on the rough-n-ready garage of Night Beats “Thorns” and To Get Her Together’s “Gotta Make Your Hands Work.”

With all the valuable musical real estate that is built on this double LP, Portable Shrines own house band, Midday Veil only gave themselves just a tiny little bungalow, with the two-minute Haight heyday hit “Child of God.” But with Emily Pothast’s enchanting spirit and David Golightly’s telepathic musical revelations, it’s hard to go wrong. By allowing Portland psych rappers E-Tap (just kidding, they don’t rap and their name is Eternal Tapestry) and their hometown female companions, Purple Rhinestone Eagle, to flash-blast your mind with “Chrome Forest” and “Burn It Down,” my stoked factor on the comp continues to push itself into the red. This is a comprehensive and essential collection of psychedelic, garage, and experimental music happening in America, stuff that continues to push the envelope in the air, in the eyes, and in the mind, while pulling you into the tide.

Available April 16, 2011 (RECORD STORE DAY) at the best record stores, and exclusively through Light in the Attic Records.


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