31.10.09

CRYSTALIZED MOVEMENTS : Mind Disaster

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I avoided listening to Crystalized Movements for as long as possible on the assumption, quite rightly I think, that any band with a name as abysmal as that must be fucking terrible, right? As usual, Peel put things to rights. I remembering my ears instantly pricking up when he played "Rearranged" from 1988's This Wideness Comes one evening - it wasn't so much the song that grabbed my attention (though it's pleasant enough) as the hissing, spitting feedback fest it culminated in. The following afternoon I ambled into Selectadisc & found a copy of the CD (one of the first I ever owned!) for a couple of quid in the "sale" rack.

Mind Disaster is an entirely different cup of meat, however. Based in Connecticut, Crystalized Movements were originally a high school project of Wayne Rogers & classmate Ed Boyden. Sharing a love for late 60s psychedelia & 70s No Wave, the duo taped countless hours of experimental, improvised lysergic jams, eventually deciding to release a "proper" LP in 1983. Though they got as far as recording some of Rogers' songs in duo format, they graduated & drifted apart before actually releasing anything. Left to his own devices, Rogers spent the summer overloading the recordings with endless fuzzed-out guitar dubs &, liking the results, released them on his own Twisted Village label in a hamfisted, childish sleeve (130 copies only!) - marked parallels with Sandbox-era GBV/Robert Pollard here I think? Rejected by the poser-heavy Paisley Revivalist scene, Mind Disaster quickly slipped out of print & into obscurity. Or not. Rightfully pissed off by this hipster rebuke, Rogers enlisted a full band, honed his songwriting skills, practiced 'til his fingers bled & stormed back a couple of years later with Dog Tree Satellite Seers. Though probably their least sonically extreme LP, it adeptly demonstrated that Crystalized Movements were more than just another amateurish bunch of smalltown drug abusers with 3rd hand valve amps & a Cry Baby wah. Consolidating this new found acceptence with This Wideness Comes (my personal fav) & their swansong, Revelations From Pandemonium (both of which are melodic but rarely mellow), Rogers has barely paused for breath since. Pursuing a prolific solo career as well as founding Vermonster, B.O.R.B., Magic Hour (the latter with Galaxie 500's Damon & Naomi) & Major Stars, he's now recognised as an American equivalent to Brit neo-psychedelic renaissance man, Nick Salomon (The Bevis Frond).

I'm not sure where this link originated (thanks Anon.) but it sounds lovely - it's mastered (I think) from a cassette dub of an original vinyl copy of the LP with a v.fine drenching of tape hiss. Primitive = perfect.

Close Your Eyes

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