June 03, 2003

Yume Bitsu "The Golden Vessyl of Sound"

Space-rock...the final frontier. I've always wanted to use that phrase, but I've never really had the right record to use it for. Well, that is, until now. See, there's this band from the northwest called Yume Bitsu (which is Japanese for "dream beats" if you want it to be) that are making some mighty interstellar grooves. With a mixture of lo-fi technology, eyes-to-the-sky inspiration, and probably a whiff or two of something organic, Yume Bitsu are setting the controls for the heart of the sun--and of the minds of the listeners. And why not? Sometimes it's good to forgo the people from and the music of this earth. Sometimes I'd rather listen to the sounds of music from the hearts of space that's made by a group of young astronauts.

There are no song titles to The Golden Vessyl of Sound, which is, perhaps, a good thing--for in so doing, you have no prejudices; you have no expectations when listening. You have nothing to make you form an opinion of anything on the album. In essence, the band have captured the magic of mystery. I certainly had no preconceived notions about what The Golden Vessyl of Sound was going to sound like. All I knew was that there was going to be some heady, surreal moments in store, and, sure enough, I was right.

Instead of some blah, boring, "let's press down this key on our synth and hold it for 20 minutes"-style new age "space" music, The Golden Vessyl of Sound is a real band experience. With pulsing beats, driving melodies, the very rare vocal tag, the keyboard, and the hypnotic, trance-like grooves, you could probably fool someone into thinking that you're listening to a jam-session from some 1970s-era prog-rock band. (To continue with the vibe of the 70s, for those of you with a turntable, seek out the vinyl version of this record, as apparently, there's an entire side from a Yume Bitsu live performance, and it's supposedly even more dramatic and moving than the studio album.)

The Golden Vessyl of Sound is a record that simply begs for broadcast in sensory deprivation units. It's also a record that, due to the fact that it's devoid of song titles, also plays quite well on "random" settings. I've listened to it about seven times on random, and each time I do, I feel like I'm listening to a different Yume Bitsu album. Nuances I may have missed before become clear, and things that stood out in previous listens seem to be forgotten. Yume Bitsu seem more intent on placing the focus on their music as opposed to themselves, which seems to be a quite rare quality these days. True artists, these Yume Bitsu kids.

--Joseph Kyle

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