The Satori In Elegance Of The Majestic Stonegazer:it’s a mouthful that delivers an earful.Cardigan’s Sendelica validate their latest title with equal parts elegance and stone indeed, with a heavy roster of guests dishing out flute, fusion sitar, keys and skins. Magical Ninin takes the lead with Peter Bingham’s guitar grinding out like an interstellar tractor pull. The whole cut has a ragged edge that is unceasing in its slash and burn aesthetic that keeps all pistons firing for almost 10 minutes. A head-snapping opener that leads you to think they may have gazed at all their stones right out of the gate, though Sendelica have other plans on the path to enlightenment. Aetheraland stops the pummeling to nurse you back with the emphasis on the ‘aether.’ It’s a peacefully lulling and slightly mournful respite, rich in some Floydisms among other things, that works as both a transitional breath before the album titled 4-part suite to come and simply as a sweet cut on its own. The shift to Satori In Elegance Parts I-IV shuns the abrupt turnabout of the opening salvo, taking the languid lead from Aetheraland to remain calm, with the guitar hinting at some storms underneath. Part II stomps the boot back down with a chug before stretching out for some more guitar fireworks, offering up a different flavor of Magical Ninin’s punch. Hefty Part II introduces some more ambient and electronica elements anchored by a bubbling bass and Bingham’s guitar snaking through with some tasteful squall. The lengthiest cut on TSIEOTMS, it’s a nice change they didn’t burn all engines at full-bore for it. The more relaxed, but still potent, tangent offers up more than appears to be there with repeated visits. Part IV comes across almost slight when compared to what’s come before, but the placement, and success, at the end of the suite rules that out as a deception. Intended or not is irrelevant; it’s a gentle and sweet closer. Back to the grind never felt so good as with Preseli Daze, another lengthy cut that patiently takes about everything that’s come so far and weds them together for a track that has much more to offer than just being a synopsis. Bass and guitar dance as equals, with some great ‘saxamaphone’ flying around like a stoned harpy, slowly working up to a tempered yet rousing close…dropping us on the doorstep, and altar, of The Majestic Stonegazer. And yes, it sounds like you think it would with that name. The most directly heavy of all the cuts, Stonegazer doesn’t let TSIEOTMS go out easy; emphasis on stone as Sendelica go for the climax, possibly more revealing of their true nature than an insight into it. In the best of ways. TSIEOTMS shows Sendelica appreciate some extremes of the trade, know how to use them, and just as importantly, how to put them together without either one getting the short end of the stick.
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The Sunrise Ocean Bender sets sail every Monday morning, 1 – 3 a.m. on WRIR lp 97.3 FM, to find something for your ears, and something for your head … From psych to prog to pop and whatever tributary we can find on the way … and right back around again. There might be a map, but the destination is up for grabs. If it all goes right, we may just get lost. Meet me at the muster station … it might be a long week.