By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
As the guitarist for Long Beach quintet Magic Lantern, William Giacchi plays a key role in one of the most levitational psychedelic outfits working in Southern California. On the heels of fellow Lantern guitarist Cameron Stallones' own solo excursion as Sun Araw (see "He's a Solar Man," Feb. 28), Giacchi ventures forth as Eureka. The 24-year-old Garden Grove resident has channeled his extensive knowledge of transcendental music into his own creations in order to blast away your mundane concerns. For those who think of drones as conduits to supernatural soul sustenance as I do, this self-titled disc serves as a geyser of euphoria.
Released by the upstart Stunned Records, the album starts with "Finity Inn," whose spare, raga-fied space rock is suggestive of spiritual awakening and philosophical enlightenment, à la peak-time Popol Vuh and Pelt. Giacchi runs his guitar through some processors (I surmise) to multiply their density, creating the illusion of dozens of Giacchis in a hall of mirrors, letting his six-string frequencies oscillate into infinity and conjuring a stoned bliss. This clocks in at a relatively brief nine minutes, compared to the disc's other two epics, which total 51 minutes.
"The Bright New Year" is a slowly evolving drone in the vein of Spacemen 3/Spectrum/Spiritualized's more contemplative output, embellished with brisk nipple-gong percussion. This track evokes, in philosopher Gaston Bachelard's coinage, an "immense intimacy"—and what I like to call "ecstatic stasis." Eureka climaxes with the 30-minute "The Nine Months of Christmas," a piercing, solarized drone wreathed with concentric halos of holy electricity, beneath which emanates a motorized hum that could be the universe's generator—or perhaps the Big Bang's aftershock.
Eureka already has sold out its limited run, but if you cajole Stunned honcho Phil French, maybe he'll press more.
Magic Lantern perform with the Antarcticans at the Prospector, 2400 E. Seventh St., Long Beach, (562) 438-3839; www.myspace.com/theprospectorlongbeach. Sat., 10 p.m. Call for cover. For more information, visit www.stunnedrecords.blogspot.com.
Attention Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, along with your vital contact info and a decent high-resolution photo (plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or just be lazy and e-mail your MySpace link to email@example.com.