It's always difficult to know how to properly approach the reviewing of a record like 'The Unknown Trip . .' ,partly because of the whacked out, experimental nature of this kind of abstract , experimental noise ,and partly because such abstraction forces me out of my comfort zone of lazy , pigeonhole genre terms and comparisons to other bands (damn you people , wanting to stray so far from my musical comfort zone!). It's certainly not by any means a conventional drone record, being almost bereft of anything even near a riff,the band eschewing the traditional approach of mean moods and de-tuned guitars in favor of something more ethereal, more atmospheric.
The band describe their music as being based in the 'sacred rituals, trying to invoke the ancient ceremonies experience', however, those expecting Sunno ))) style satanic incantations might be underwhelmed by the minimalist approach taken here.Instead , the band blend a variety of traditional instruments ( didgeridoo, rainsticks, flutes etc), with subdued FX work in an improvisational setting, with almost no hint of any production triickery, to create something more primeval, and haunting than your average stoner jam session.It's that prehistoric tingling at the back of your neck ,that invoking of your lizard brain that screams "GET THE FUCK UP THAT TREE NOW, SOMETHING BAD'S COMING!!".A cinematic comparison would be the apes/primitive men in 2001:A Space Odyssey , and their discovery of the monolith, which in turn invokes violence in their simple tribe.
To approach this record as a chill album, or anything else even vaguely genre related , is to sort of miss the point of Ayahuasca Dark Trip.Here is an outfit, of disparate cultural and ethnic make up ,attempting to take music back to it's simplest form, as the band put it themselves, a ritual of noise. It's obviously not going to be to everyone's tastes, but for those more desolate, introspective moments, it's an interesting visit to that forgotten mountain steppe in your mind, meditation music to trouble the soul as much as sooth it.
For fans of : Queen Elephantine, Brian Eno, Swords Of Texas, World music
Listen to/Download here:http://ayahuascadarktrip.bandcamp.com/album/the-unknown-trip-at-the-top-of-the-mountain
Stephen O ' Connor