Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Body Swap

saw these dudes last night @ the Kenton Club w/ Insect Factory (which i spoke ov over here). Insect Factory has gotten better and better, since last i saw him 4 years ago, but the first band was utter math-drek; i had apprehension going into Body Swap's set. However, the Kenton Club is a laid-back, working class bar kind of place, and i was a little buzzed and tired, so fuck it. Why not watch these dudes play their transparent drum set? Jeff Barsky likes 'em.

Body Swap come from San Fransisco, which has always been and remains a capitol of psychedelic rock. The Grateful Dead are from there; so is Six Organs of Admittance. Neurosis lives near by. They seem to channel two-chord eternal rock 'n roll better than just about anybody. And i always forget how much i like amniotic trance jams.

This brand of trancey, propulsive dervish music, honed by the giants like Grails' and Bardo Pond will always be by and for the heads. People who stay up late, burning incense and listening to records. Perhaps owning some form of semi-precious stone collection. They probably play in one or more bands, themselves. Funny, but 12-minute long instrumental grooves have never seemed to catch on in the mainstream. But if you give 'em the time of day, yr body might start to sway like a charmed cobra, the third eyelid may start to shutter yr everyday vision, and if yr lucky, you may start to see stars.

The thing with Body Swap is that the tone is so tasty; the drums lay into a doomy, middle-eastern lockgroove, and the bass and guitars are syrupy, thick rich and o so sweet. Like honey. This music is decadent, hypnotic; a tavern raga, a plugged-in hookah cafe. A flying carpet; a flying saucer. It kind of hits like a SOMA injection.

Bardo Pond were some of the earliest contemporary underground Psych music i had heard, and others culled from the pages of Ptolemaic Terrascope (which remains essential reading for cognoscenti, along with the Galactic Zoo Dossier by Plastic Crimewave). I had been, and remain, a fanatical shoegaze freak, looking for the ultimate melt, the far-off gaze. I had finally moved to Chicago, and felt that i had escaped the Suburban Hell in which i was reared. These kraut grooves remind me of that first autumn, post-divorce, as i was mutating into the post-punk industrial noise shaman that i would later pretend at. It has a feeling of newness, of adventure.

This music won't work, if you won't let it. You have to give it the time of day. Not everybody takes the time of day for 15 minutes of trance dervish worship. But it'll improve yr life. And yr imagination. Body Swap don't seem to have a shitload of material out there, yet; some SoundCloud material and a new split with a band called Deep Earth, who also seem kind of sweet. You can hear smatterings of each on their bandcamp,  and buy a tape for 5 bucks. If you live in the NorthWest, you can catch 'em tonight in Seattle @ the Rendezvous, and again in Portland on Fri. at some house show.

I'm telling you, getting to check out music like this for cheap or free is a precious thing. Catch 'em now, while they're still unknown.