Texas Psychedelia Lives Thanks to the Lysergic Dream

New releases aren’t quite this pleasantly bizarre, unless they have a
Texas postmark. San Antonio is home to a barbecue sauce-drenched offshoot of ambient music known as psychedelic/experimental, which has been quietly gaining converts over the last ten years.

The Lysergic Dream is one of those Deep South groups, presenting the CD Cult of the Dying Streetlamp, a loosely organized, but never dull journey into the center of your favorite mushroom.

Don’t be fooled by the opening track, an energetic little collage of Eno-style blips and boops. The structure of the first five and a half minutes gives way to another hour of ambient daydreaming, best experienced with headphones for maximum effect. Listener beware, this CD isn’t recommended for highway driving, it lulls the mind far away.

The Lysergic Dream is a one-man, keyboard-based outfit. The sounds are manipulated to the extent that they are at times impossible to identify. Some stereo systems aren’t quite up to the challenge presented by this CD-there are elusive bass frequencies and deep textures best experienced at top volume in at least five channels, late at night.

Your neighbors will be too bewildered to call the police, or even complain; chances are you will find them shuffling in the parking lot like zombies until someone snaps them out of their
semi-hypnotized state.

Much of the Uncle Buzz catalog is experimental; this is one of the best of the bunch. Song titles like “The Gate Without a Key” and “The Future of Music” don’t give away the fact that Cult is a conceptual recording, but careful listeners may discover a few clues in the mix.

The album’s title refers to a peculiar phenomenon experienced by the band’s sole member, Greg Nelson; he claims that streetlights are “allergic” to him, blacking out as he passes by in his car or on foot.

Fans of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Animals, and Live at
Pompeii will feel right at home here; like those albums, Cult occupies its own peculiar address in outer space. There’s no need to spike your stereo with LSD, The Lysergic Dream has done the job for you.

Cinephiles take note: The Lysergic Dream was recently featured at the Cannes and Sundance festivals as part of the soundtrack to Kyle
Henry’s mesmerizing film Room.

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