Sinoia Caves The Enchanter Persuaded

There’s something unsettling about Jeremy Schmidt’s "all analog, all the time” project called Sinoia Caves. First off, there’s the rather creepy ’70s-era children photos, with Schmidt decked out in wardrobe reminiscent of the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And then there are the liner notes that read: "Artificial echo and other magnetic tape effects have been used to manipulate the listener’s perception of space.” Well, isn’t that the truth. As soon as The Enchanter Persuaded begins it feels as though you’re immediately transported — TARDIS style — into six different dimensions where floating helplessly in space is your only option. Originally recorded and released (privately) in 2002, this recording will find its audience quickly. The fact that Schmidt’s a member of Black Mountain (as well as the Battles) will help open some doors but the vintage instruments and interplanetary psychedelia he’s working with will connect to a whole other audience. "Naro Way” is a bang-on tribute to how the analog synth was utilised in prog rock’s glory days, while "Through the Valley” bites Air’s ambient pop style only to beat the Frenchmen at their own game. Bonus track "Evil Ball” however, ends things on a sinister note, turning this trip into a series of menacing flashbacks. Two cuts near the 20-minute mark push this into some serious listening territory that requires patience, though with the proper recreational substances you’ll hardly even notice. With or without pharmaceuticals, at the right time and the right level of relaxation/exhaustion, Sinoia Caves will induce an eerie head-trip. (Brah)