New Age Doom ~ Himalayan Dream Techno

Many times, heavy psychedelic projects make it seem as if their music is growing organically into chaos, but deep down or at the end they let structures remain intact, the original order always restored and reestablished. It is to New Age Doom’s credit that Himalayan Dream Techno often feels vertiginous, improvised, truly ritualistic in its seamless blend of repetition and variation. It is as if the band members themselves were in trance, not merely performing trance-like drones and dense harmonies; to get lost in this music is effortless, to feel meditative you just need to let each instrument lead you towards a whole that seems like it will never end.

Fundamental to the power of this music, as in all sorts of fiery, gut-wrenching rituals, is the force of the drums. Eric J. Breitenbach exerts a powerful drive upon these tracks, swinging in and out of rhythms like a free jazz player, enabling Greg Valou to explore the clashing sound-worlds of traditional and electric instruments, transforming the music completely moment to moment, making it feel like something is changing all the time and yet all of its components stay the same. This is not controlled chaos – it’s chaotic control. Tim Lefebvre and Gregory Macdonald’s synthesizers provide the perfect unifying layer, like spectral presences of ambience, sustained tones, and ragas that permeate the drums’ sheer kineticism and the instruments’ playful contrasts.

There are traces of many genres here, but they are all used to such a great effect that by the time the ominous, hazy, and momentous introduction of “Acoustoelectric Invocation” ends, there’s no doubt that whether this is post-rock or psych-rock or new age drone matters very little. What it is hints towards the exploration of the limits of all those genre concepts, and its originality resides in truly trying, in suddenly having the realization that as listeners we are participating in something weird, something wonderful, something that as much as you can repeatedly listen to you will probably find something new every time, a different feeling, an unexpected interaction between synth beeps, relentless snare hits, the crunch of electric guitar feedback just wailing freely in the air. By the end of the album everything is different, because New Age Doom has led us through a tempest, and it ends not with a return to order, but with complete dissolution into noise. (David Murrieta Flores)

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