Census of Hallucinations - COH1 (CD)
1) Spiritual Sensitivity (0.22)
2) New Age Travellers (3.34)
3) Integration (6.20)
4) The Moon (6.47)
5) Lizard Man (6.04)
6) Charlatan Express (5.03)
7) Flying Humanoids (3.26)
8) Dear Prudence (3.28)
9) Holographic Theory (2.20)
10) Gaia Hypothesis (3.15)
11) Majestic 12 (1.19)
12) Devil's Answer (4.35)
13) The Big Pink Jam Sandwich (9.29)
14) Planetary Alignment (6.03)
15) Orion (4.45)
16) Window Of Opportunity (5.15)
17) Spiritual Sensitivity (Slight Return) (0.16)
Perhaps the most cosmic project yet from the multi-faceted folks at Stone Premonitions. The lineup includes the core of The Rabbit's Hat... Terri~B on vocals, sampling and programming, Tim Jones on vocals, guitars and keyboards, Steve Ellis on keyboards, Rabbit on bass, and Norm Emerson on drums. They are joined by Kingsley Burn on bass, Dave Pipkin on drums and percussion, Michael Steadman on sax and flute, and Hardy is present with his trusty bomber.
There's a great deal of variety across the 16 tracks on this disc. Music to caress your mind and take you to beautiful otherworldly places, cosmic psychedelia, and, of course, songs... Tim and Terri cannot resist a good song. And they're intimate with the mechanics of recording, which means there's a good bit of studio fun that either transitions between songs or make up the songs themselves.
Tracks like "Integration", "Flying Humanoids", and "Holographic Theory" feature floating melodic psychedelia consisting of guitars, synths, and gorgeous textured backgrounds. A faint buzzsaw drone on "Integration" produces a hypnotic effect. Close your eyes and float away.
The more song-oriented tracks on the set feature the trademark SP songwriting craftsmanship, but incorporates just enough space electronica to give the tunes their cosmic edge. "The Moon" and "Orion" are my favorites of the songs. These folks can sing a great acoustic song and still make it mucho spacey. Freaky synths and tablas on "The Moon" embellish things nicely. And "Window Of Opportunity" is the album's great groove track, much like a Rabbit's Hat tune. Bluesy guitar, sax, a bit of a jazzy pop edge, but then you've got those freaky whooshing synths keeping everything in space. There's even a couple cool cover tunes. A trippy version of the Beatles "Dear Prudence" and a rousing rockin' version of Atomic Rooster's "Devil's Answer" that pays grand tribute to Crane and company. (Ya gotta love people who do Atomic Rooster covers.)
"Lizard Man" and "The Big Pink Jam Sandwich" are the album's main cosmic freakout tracks. "Lizard Man" is one moment floating, the next searing acidic psychedelia. Mix in lots of chanting and wild synth patterns and you get a wonderfully chaotic mindfuck track. Truly feel-good jamming guitar too. And for "The Big Pink Jam Sandwich"... fasten your seatbelts, close your eyes, open your mind, and prepare for a ride on the Starship Sandwich! Ten minutes of soaring cosmic space-psych that reminds me of classic Ash Ra Tempel's tripped out guitar/electronica. Spacerock at its finest and my favorite track on the disc!
In summary, Census Of Hallucination contains a variety of themes, all of which seem to synthesize the SP crew's many musical interests, but carry them up to the most astral of planes. Well crafted songs and cosmic instrumentals. And all of it good medicine for your head.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz