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(58:07, Trail Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Plague of Bliss 6:12 2. Hawaiian Lady 14:18 3. Starbong 7:41 4. Trying to Find You 12:09 5. Time to Get Up 11:09 6. The Liquid Midnight 1:16 7. Child of Fog 5:22 LINEUP: Peter Fuhry Ц guitars, bass; vocals; flute; accordion Stenzo Ц synthesizer, sampling Anthony Koutsos Ц drums David Jayne Ц drums, tabla With: Melody Paine Ц bass (1, 3) Rachel Shane Shultz Ц bass (7)
Prolusion. The US outfit BEYOND-O-MATIC was a San Francisco-based musical project with Peter Fuhry (vocals, guitar) and Stenzo (keyboards) as the main driving forces, with various friends and acquaintances coming and going in the handful of years the band was active. Initially disbanded in 1999, they briefly reformed to produce one last effort in 2002. After the recording sessions and studio work was finished in 2003 this creation never saw an official release, but eventually was made available as a free download from the band's website in 2004. Five years later the specialist label Trail Records decided to remaster and issue this effort, and in the late spring of 2010 "Time to Get Up" was finally given its official CD release.
Analysis. Still a small company from what I understand, the US label Trail Records has made a solid impression on fans of psychedelic rock who have encountered the handful or so albums it has released since its inception. Rather than signing old stars or trying to strike gold amidst the plenitude of new talent available, this record label has taken a different and rarely utilized approach. It seeks out artists who either are unknown in general, obscure in their local US market, or little known for their chosen audience Ц fans of psychedelic, progressive rock. Beyond-O-Matic is a nice addition to the rooster of artists given the Trail Records treatment, a US band with a rather low profile, to the extent that even some dedicated space rock fans living relatively close to where this outfit had their haunts when active had heard the band's name mentioned at best. With a CD as magnificent as this, that is something that ought to change, though. With fragile compositions as something of a specialty if this production reflects the rest of the material Beyond-O-Matic crafted when active, it is a gentle and careful variety of space rock that is explored. Light, harmonic, soft lead vocals, gentle drums and rhythms, light-swirling clean guitar patterns and fragile electronic textures swirling, fluctuating and carefully surging make up the main ingredients of the most enthralling pieces on this CD: opening number Plague of Bliss, Starbong and final track Child of Fog Ц a delicate a-cappella number with support from a dark, dampened distorted noise texture is a nice and brief one-off in the shape of The Liquid Midnight, while the remaining three efforts, all of epic length, tread slightly different stylistic waters. Hawaiian Lady has a distinct disco reference, especially in the vocal department, but one given a serious psychedelic electronic flavoring. Trying to Find You and title track Time to Get Up are of a rather different category though, coming across as dampened and sophisticated versions of Hawkwind from the 70's, improvisational in nature, with subtle alterations and constant development, but with the guitars and rock aspect of the proceedings given less room in the arrangements and used in generally diminished manners, freeing up space for vocals and synths of various kinds to take the center stage in a more profound manner.
Conclusion. Splendidly remastered by George Dugan, "Time to Get Up" is a high quality testimony to the talents of this gang of psychedelic warriors from San Francisco. And one well worth checking out by space cadets with a taste for material of a refined nature, with an emphasis on the gentler aspects found in this part of the psychedelic progressive universe.
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