Rain Drinkers, Yesodic Helices LP

This is another record I've been desperately been trying to write about for a while, and have not had much like conveying how I feel about it. "Otherworldly" was a word that immediately came to mind, but since the record, to me, certainly feels like it has a sense of place, that doesn't really work. The duo of Rain Drinkers hail from Madison, Wisconsin, but since the only Wisconsin places I've been to are Milwaukee and Oshkosh, I can't say for sure if the place that the record feels like is really Madison; we can probably safely assume that to be the case, but for me, as a listener, it's somewhere else. I have a place in mind, but it is a place without a name, a place that is almost (but not entirely) fictional and a figment of my imagination. When I play this record, I inevitably have the jacket in my hand, staring at it, taking it in, and picturing this place. And while I can't name the place, I can only say it feels like home.

It feels like the River Valley that I grew up in; it feels like the mountains that surrounded me; it feels like places I visited frequently in the Appalachians and Catskills, and like places I now frequent in the Adirondacks. All of these are places that my spirit calls home, but together they make up something else. And that is the place that I am transferred to when I hear this record.

Yesodic Helices is one of the most fantastically resplendent albums that I've heard, and that's part of what's made it so difficult to write about. A folk sensibility provides the foundation on which rich layers of beautiful psychedelia and soft, deep ambient textures rest. At times, the sounds can be quite ritualistic and minimal; at other times, they are up-front and rather consuming. But no matter the mix, they are always magnificent. It is intoxicating, moving and very communicative, and if you allow it be, it has the power to take the listener to a personal and far-away place.

It is available on vinyl from Brave Mysteries, along with a number of very good cassette releases, including a very unique cassette of "blackened cosmic power electronics" from Eolomea (which consists of David Reed from Envenomist and Andre Foisy from Locrian) and a cassette of pure sonic and shamanic wonderment from Lightning Path. You are advised to pick up at least these three releases, and anything else you might fancy, today. Brave Mysteries never fails to impress.

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