Ocean On Ocean
2LP HMS 023
Tip of the Tongue, December 2012
Ass-flatteningly great duo cosmo drone visions from Barbara Kinzle and Birch Cooper of Portland, Oregon that takes dream-pop and devotional choral ascensions to the very edge of euphoric body/gnosis: originally issued as a CD-R in 2010 this beautifully presented vinyl set upgrades the album with two LPs mastered at 45rpm for maximal immersion. Ocean On Ocean feels like the logic of Blinda-era My Bloody Valentine pushed to true post-rock limits, with song-forms exploded in favour of a profound, constantly morphing organic appeal that would match dissolving male/female 60s pop vocals with galaxies of colliding overtones, slow blooms of drone and an eternal/endless aspect that is extremely sensual. There is a choral/chant influence that matches Grouper’s usurping of hymnals as keys-to-the-kingdom of slow, but the boy/girl vocals touch more on early Flying Saucer Attack, giving the whole album the feel of irradiated folk/garage/pop, generating afterimage after afterimage that float like the dead in space. Structurally the individual pieces move with the logic of colour into water, spreading in slow motion whorls of organic beauty that feel closer to the movement of breath or a slow mama heartbeat than anything that could be mistaken for a rock/roll pulse. It was Jon Porras of Barn Owl that first brought this to the attention of Helen Scarsdale and it’s easy to see how it must have appealed, with the shadowy Valkyrie amplifier-worship aspect of Barn Owl, Charalambides or even Sunn O))) totally denuded of rock form and left to sing, endlessly, to itself while tripping through starfields of distant, hovering drones. This is psychedelic pop music at some kind of achingly extended formless euphoric peak. Been living inside this amazing album for weeks now, can’t recommend it enough!