Psychic Ills are back with Catoptric, a 12" to be released in a limited edition of 500 copies June 22nd. The record is a document of the time spent in the studio surrounding the recording of their last album, 2009's expansive trance rock epic Mirror Eye, and contains music recorded between 2006 and 2009 that the band have decided to release to close that chapter. Some of these tracks were recorded when Psychic Ills were operating as a three-piece configuration of Elizabeth Hart, Brian Tamborello and Tres Warren, and another was recorded later after Jimy SeiTang joined the ranks. Most of it was laid down by Mitch Rackin at the now defunct Junkyard Audio Salvage in Brooklyn. Additional jamming and tinkering was done with No Necks Blues Bands’ Jason Meagher at his Black Dirt studios upstate and the final mixes were resolved at Barry London’s Acropolis studios in Brooklyn.
Catoptric begins with “Transmute,” a circular descent into the maze. Initially based around hypnotic sitar-like guitar and hand drum repetition, ascending and descending synth shifts give way to ceremonial sounding percussion and echoed incantations that eventually dissolve back from where they came. The cavernous throb of “Secret Flower” follows with its stiff beat, pulsing bass line and droning yet melodic synth and guitar components. “Indus Echo” closes out the side with hazy synth loops, raga like scales and nearly inaudible chanting driven forward the whole time by warm echoed bass and persistent hand drumming that reconfirms the bands preoccupation with picking things up and putting them down.
The second side of Catoptric ups the drone ante with “Outvocation,” a side long cut that could be the soundtrack to an unwritten film. Beginning with sparse distant gong hits that give way to minimal percussion and modular synth sounds before diving into a void of synthesizers, filtered effects and vocalizations, eventually arriving at a simultaneously tranquil and chaotic repetition.
At once intangible and familiar, Psychic Ills’ way of blending free flowing pieces and song ideas made of both organic and electronic sounds make Catoptric a condensed epic of sorts.
The tracklisting of Catoptric is as follows:
1. TRANSMUTE (5.14)
2. SECRET FLOWER (4.41)
3. INDUS ECHO (4.47)
4. OUTVOCATION (11.36)
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