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Saturday, 1 July 2017
DA CAPTAIN TRIPS - ADVENTURES IN THE UPSIDE DOWN (Vincebus Eruptum Recordings/Phonosphera Records LP, CD, D/L).
Cut from the same cloth as tripped out Acid Rock bands such as Monarch, Sendelica and Mythic Sunship, Italian cosmic jam band Da Captain Trips blend languid Dead Head fluid West Coast vibes with spacey 70s Prog/Psych influences in mind bending Adventures In The Upside Down………it’s a concept album of sorts, with seven tracks of instrumental “visionary psychedelia” based on a fantastic adventure of da good Captain floating on the border of reality in the upside down dimension. Working together with Italian Sci-Fi comic artist Roberto Bonadimani who, inspired by the music, has provided several beautiful illustrations for the album cover and the inner gatefold, Da Captain Trips have created a fantastic piece of work that evokes the look, sound and feel of classic early 70s albums that would have once surfaced on the Virgin, Vertigo and Deram labels…………”classic” Rock/Prog fans are going to go nuts for this.
Recorded live in the studio after being honed on the road, Adventures In The Upside Down has been made by a bunch of skilled musicians with an almost telepathic connection as it twists and turns, soars and swirls without dropping a beat or rushing headlong up blind alleys. Like their Welsh psychedelic soul mates Sendelica, Da Captain Trips have the self awareness to know sometimes less is more and that not all cosmic jams need to drag on past the twenty minute mark…………Adventures In The Upside Down sees the band developing expansive soundscapes, but with half an eye on the clock. Like the opening track ‘The Calm And The Storm’, all the tracks here are punchy and stripped of any pretentious self-indulgence that can blight Prog Rock albums. There are some really great tracks here………..with it’s driving staccato guitar riff and lush synth washes, ‘Manta’ pushes all the right buttons for all the ProgHeads while ‘Revelation’ is a……err……revelation, featuring Sendelica’s Lee Relfe on saxophone taking the band deep into the realms of Space Jazz. ‘Dear Zahdia’ and ‘Trepasses Bay’ are epic modern Psych/Prog tunes……………with rock solid drums and bass holding down the bottom end as tight as you like, there is plenty of space for a dizzying aerial ballet between guitar and Mini Moog, with both instruments dipping and diving, feeding off each others energy. The album slowly winds down with the gently reflective ‘Peaceful Place’ and closes with the beautiful part acoustic, part the raging guitars of QMS/Grateful Dead, Summer Of 67 evoking ‘Mother Earth’……….Adventures In The Upside Down is a really cool album of excellent, inventive instrumental Prog/Psych and well worth the time of any discerning ProgHead and Acid Rock loving space cadet.
Out NOW on limited edition vinyl, CD and also as a digital download…………..the vinyl version, released by Italian label Vincebus Eruptum Recordings, is available in either coloured or standard black vinyl (150/200 copies of each). The CD comes via Phonosphera Records in a limited run of 300 copies, both formats available from the usual outlets on line or direct from the band’s Bandcamp site
where you can also buy the download/stream the album.