Photo by James Bunoan Nobody
Pacific Drift—WESTERN WATER MUSIC VOL. 1
Nobody's headfirst dive into psychedelic rock should have shocked his many longtime fans, especially those who remember when the hippy sound was Public Enemy No. 3 or 4 of the first punk revolution. Yet with Pacific Drift, his second album, the Long Beach DJ/producer (born Elvin Estela) rediscovers the pulse that made psychedelic music cool the first time around. He does the impossible by mixing Stereolab-like lounge-jazz into archetypal keyboard and guitar samples. The result: a quiet, soulful vibe that reins in the acid excess of what's essentially '60s music. Most of the album is a study in sunny eccentricity, like "Psilo-Cycling (Trip Round the Block)," which mixes together bicycle bell chimes, Phil Spector-like echoing percussion, ambling acoustic guitars and the happy chatter of children. An experimental vibe slides beneath songs like "Electro-Acoustic," where shimmering, peaceful synths glide across the first four minutes of the song until they suddenly drop into jerky electro-clash sounds, creating a sinewy tango of two opposing sensibilities. No neo-psychedelic record would be complete without covers, and Nobody updates four here with hip-hop beats and the guest vocals of such indie heroes as Beachwood Sparks' Chris Gunst and Postal Service's Jimmy Tamborello. Gunst's take on the Monkees' "Porpoise Song" is sometimes silly, wide-eyed navet, but the other covers, like Tamborello's reworking of the obscure "I Won't Hurt You" by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, perfectly nail psychedelic music's blending of the eccentric and the trippy.
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