Occult Stereo Free Roam Syndrome
Occult Stereo of San Francisco, California plays psychedelic krautrock experimental music. The latest album from Distant Spore singles are titled, Free Roam Syndrome. The music is layered and in constant transformation. The free and fluid sound is unique and inspired. This pair of singles are not your typical radio promo but instead are works of sonic art that challenge the listener and reward the curious. This is an album that is hard to categorize and difficult to describe because of its originality.
The album created by Alex Elipoulos is about the theme of freedom. This shows through in the album with a free music approach that moves in various directions pulling the listener through a maze of sonic corridors. The sound is reminiscent of the Red Crayola, the legendary experimental psychedelic music group from the 60s and 70s. This vintage sound collides with drone electronic synth and modern rock undertones. On ‘Zero Sum’ the buzzsaw distorted synth plays the low end with a background of spin echo loops bringing an electronic feel.
Free Roam Syndrome is experimental and delivers warped vibrations with synth, noise effects, unconventional guitar lines and echoing vocals. The titled track has elements of psychedelic rock and krautrock with flowing music that slides into wormholes of sound. The collage of compositional movements is a departure from their previous debut album Plasma. Occult Stereo is now in the realm of experimental krautrock and has launched into exploration of new sonic dimensions.
Plasma is the debut full-length from Occult Stereo and was an international collaboration with many guest musicians. This created an album with eclectic music and wide ranging diversity in genres. Free Roam Syndrome is the solo project of one man is more focused and stays in a certain original sound. However, the variety and constant shifting narrative arc of the songs remains. Plasma steered more toward the psych folk genre with plenty of experimental flair. Free Roam Syndrome feels more developed with better production and is overflowing with raw creative energy and climactic music.
The vocals on these singles are folk melodies and open toning with effects and manipulation of the sounds waves. His voice can deconstruct into a robotic sound but is more frequently in a cavern with long trails of warm reverberations. The vocals are a guide through the ever changing music bringing the listener to lost shrines with a singing style that is psych folk, drone and ritualistic. The meaning of the lyrics is difficult to attain but the feeling expressed through the voice and production resonates strongly in the music.
The guitar plays with noise effects and drones but also uses rock guitar with fast arpeggios. The droning guitar bends pitch and builds layers of sound behind the percussion vocals and synth. Free Roam Syndrome was recorded in both San Francisco, CA and in Athens, Greece and is mixed to balance the dynamic and broad ranging characteristics of the music. The performances are inspired and the elements of the songs are highly considered.
Occult Stereo is pushing in new directions that call back to the past while being planted firmly in the present. The modern sounds on the album flow freely into vintage krautrock. The songs are an exciting addition to Occult Stereo‘s catalogue and stand as the most interesting and experimental music to date. The songs touch on rock, folk, drone, experimental, progressive and electronic music. The mix is eclectic and contains a lot of information to listen to. The singles are inspired and have a unique sound that is mind warping and well done. Few artists are making music that sounds like this. There is a global resurgence of krautrock and psychedelic experimental rock over the last decade with many new bands entering the scene but Occult Stereo has tapped into a sound that is their own.