Saturday, July 2, 2011

Reviews of Village of Spaces "alchemy and trust."

Hey there. I'm dedicating this post to reviews. There have been some really good ones about the new Village of Spaces Lp and we wanted to give them another home where they could be viewed all at once......


Village Of Spaces
Alchemy And Trust
Turned Word Records No Cat

Okay: can’t recall the last time I was so completely blown away by an out of nowhere release but this new LP from Maine’s Village Of Spaces aka Uke Of Phillips aka Uke Of Spaces Corners has very quickly become the most played LP of the year at VT. Recorded over the space of several years (some of it by Nemo Bidstrup of Time-Lag Records) and featuring the core duo of Daniel Beckman and Amy Moon alongside guest spots from Michael Hurley and members of Big Blood, Ancestral Diet and Caethua, Alchemy And Trust is a modern masterpiece, beaming the kind of stoned devotional folk style of Witthuser & Westrupp, Siloah, Tower Recordings and Hurley himself into the future via beautiful, drugged acoustic arrangements, heavenly male/female vocal interplay and perfect psychedelic songwriting complete with visionary lyrics that trip off the tongue and work obsessively repeating imagery into new alchemical forms. The opening track, “Ovum’s Influence”, has such a slow-motion dosed aspect, the feel of distant tonal sunrises and rural time/space, the vocals intertwining over nodding mandolin, keyboard, guitar and bass, that it instantly transports you to an isolated communal freakscene, complete with some of the more ‘in the pocket’ aspects of downhome psychedelic voyagers like Matthew Valentine and Erika Elder and The Cherry Blossoms. As the album progresses the mood becomes more hypnotic, sundazed even, with simple guitar/vocal duo performances like “House A Home Part 2” coming over as masterclasses in revenant atmospherics with alla the genuine magic of two musicians pulling force and form straight out of the air. I mean, in an age where ‘musicians’ talk of creating their music from fuggin You Tube clips and any clown with a Knight Rider t-shirt and a sampling keyboard can make ‘new age synth’ soundtracks it’s nothing short of revelatory to encounter this kind of higher-minded instrumental ability, with a group that play well beyond any inherited notion of technique and with such emotional and atmospheric articulacy, such devastating control over precisely-keyed psychedelic transmission. Alchemy And Trust is a modern classic and I’d easily line it up alongside epochal outings like The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughters, The Cherry Blossoms LP, Dom, Siloah, Hurley’s Blue Navigator, Witthuser & Westrupp’s Trips und Traume, Dreaming With Alice, even US Saucer’s masterful My Company Is Misery, a record that shares much of Alchemy And Trust’s instrumental and atmospheric persona. Seriously, if you’re in any way tuned in to fully blasted/zoned acid folk w/a utopic stoned rural vibe then you really need to check this out. Pretty much eclipses everything else right now as hands-down album of the year. Edition of 500 copies, already sold out at source. Highest possible recommendation! David Keenan


Village of Spaces – Alchemy and Trust LP (Turned Word/War On Records/Corleone/Don’t Trust the Ruin)

The ever-changing name of this group (Uke of Spaces Corners and the variants therein proceeded this record) gives chase to all but the folk faithful, which hopefully can stop soon, especially given the level at which they’re now performing – surely these people don’t want to evade notice when they make music this stirring. It’s country folk with an eye on the clouds, set to wander, but with the cosmos in full view, providing an endless depth to their sound and removing them from any traveler/bike punk hoi polloi. The austerity and wholesomeness of their sound is fairly stunning, even as danger lurks in the corners and fringes of their sound. Perfect for twilight saunters through the wheatfield idyll, on that night when you meet the fairies and decide never to return to your loved ones. Their best release to date. (
(Doug Mosurock)

REVIEW: Village Of Spaces’ “Alchemy And Trust”

PhotobucketThe sound offered by Village Of Spaces on their album Alchemy And Trust (Corleone) sounds like someone went into a lab, dissected the DNA of Flaming Lips and Wilco and lubed it up with infant pig oils. The album (a short one at about 33 minute) feels like entering the woods of the mind, one you didn’t think you wanted to go but discovering you belong, and embellishing in its fine oats. It’s acoustic, it rootsy, it sounds like it doesn’t belong of this time and yet it is very much of its time, an anti- music that’s more about the music than the anti-, you know? You don’t know?

Let me put it in another way. It’s the kind of music you might hear at a folk life festival, or at a food cart pod, where the musicians arrived their on bicycles and all they’re hoping for in return is a sandwich and a beer. Instead, what they get upon playing is appreciation from the crowd and maybe a few people wanting to sign up to their mailing list. It’s of the earth, and I would love to be a worm.


Village Of Spaces - Alchemy And Trust

Album Details

Buy Alchemy And Trust at Amazon

Village of Spaces might physically be from Belfast, Maine, but their music hints that, somehow, they spend some of their time in an obscure place in the cosmos which only they can describe. The psychedelic feel of the folk on "Alchemy and Trust" helps the tracks walk a sweet line between the intimate and the majestic. This is a band that has played with its name for sometime (most notably calling themselves Uke of Spaces at one point); if they can keep themselves a bit more easy to find, more seekers will certainly be jumping on this holy bandwagon.

Their songs have been recorded when able, usually on the road and with the help of whatever family or new friend has dropped by. The ease with which songs like "Ovum's Influence" and "Mountainside" unfold such genuine emotion and sprawling message from the simplest of melodies is testament enough to their honesty and genius. This is not a typical freak folk pose by well-heeled, sane as a banker college kids; this is music grown slowly, joyfully, and tested by the road to help burn off the bullshit.

The vocal interplay of Amy Moon and Dan B. center all the tracks, but are especially evocative on the jittery minimal "Buoy Gong" and "Forget Me Not," providing intimacy and off-kilter melody.

Any band that lists Alice Coltrane, Harry Partch and The Fugs as influences is all right by me, as it hints at their aims and their hearts. Village of Spaces have an umbrella big enough for all, with music that embraces chance, fun, the holy and naughty, and the guts to explore their cosmic muse with poetry and improvisational glee. "Alchemy and Trust" is a good place to jump aboard if you haven't already.

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