Sinoia Caves Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver BC January 17

Catching Sinoia Caves live is no easy feat. Since joining the ranks of Black Mountain, Vancouverite Jeremy Schmidt has kept his own cosmic symphonies painfully private, effectively making any shot of a live Sinoia Caves experience almost non-existent. Yet finally, in a bit Black Mountain downtime, Schmidt dug out his vintage consoles of analog electronics to deliver his project's first show in almost two years, and safe to say, it didn't disappoint.

Sitting behind a dizzying array of wires and keys, Schmidt set his performance into motion with ominous looped guitar, putting it on repeat as he slowly weaved in drone after drone to what eventually became a ten-minute-plus jam of epic space rock proportions. Like all the set's tracks, it stood as an unrecorded piece of material, as well as one that was straight out of the '70s Krautrock songbook, with Schmidt's continued love for Harmonia and Cluster coming through loud and clear.

And while this opener could have easily fit on the one and only Sinioa Caves album, 2002's gloriously tripped-out The Enchanter Persuaded, the remaining pieces found him venturing into some welcomed new territory. With Schmidt breathing out hypnotic, low-sung vocals, at one point he delivered a stunning slab of arpeggiated shoegaze bliss - sounding as stellar live as it likely would on some future Sofia Coppola soundtrack - while later on showing Black Mountain's influence by way of a stoner synth drone-athon, complete with dark devil-horned overtones and some downright eerie minor keys.

By set's end, it was a relief to see Schmidt has hardly left Sinioa Caves sitting idle, and with the new material bringing on more spaced-out synth hypnosis than ever, this is definitely a good thing. Now if he'd only just put it down on tape...