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Seremonia – ‘Neonlucifer’

Svart Records
Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, The Velvet Underground, Iron Butterfly
Release Date
Svart Records
Acid/Doom/Psychedelic Rock

The bass player arrives first. Setting up his gear in the isolated shack, he checks for tone and tune, puts the battered vintage Jazz Bass on its stand and goes to find a beer to wash away the earthy taste of the shrooms. The guitarist and drummer arrive next; setting up while high proves a huge challenge, they spend as much time staring into space and laughing hysterically at nothing in particular as they do placing the microphones around the room and checking for balance. The singer; was she here all along, or did the just not see her arrive? Like a shamanic version of Nico, she oozes effortless cool and ad hoc attitude. And hard liquor.

She has forgotten her beloved Shure Super 55 vocal mic; so, for a giggle, she takes one off the bass cabinets. The sound engineer? Who was supposed to drive him here? It was all arranged on an acid-fuelled night months ago and after an indeterminable length of time, they go for as much as they remember from rehearsal in one live, sprawling, psychedelic take.

All pure fantasy; but it pretty much sums up the recording quality of this album.

There have been a number of instances recently of groups and artists reaching for a classic sound by using appropriate heritage equipment and instruments. Seems like hella big fuss when there are simple and easy to use modelling programs that are widely available. But hey! Sometimes the inspiration extracted from the retro gear has been well worth the effort. Seremonia take this even further by sounding as DIY as possible; to go any more basic sounding would involve recording onto eight-track, down a transatlantic phone call. In 1975.

Shame really. The songs themselves (all sung in their native Suomi in an almost plainchant mono-drone) are pretty good. Strong hints of Hawkwind, Can, and Black Sabbath permeate naturally, the guitar parts crackle and fuzz like they’ve been sent through rusty old valves (they probably have), the drums, although poorly produced, have a good feel and flow. Bassline? It’s there somewhere; maybe if the singer hadn’t pinched one of the mics…

"A staggeringly poor recording of otherwise pretty decent songs. In a way it grates that they’ve made it sound like this intentionally"

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