Thursday, 5 August 2010

Void Generator – Phantom Hell And Soar Angelic

This is the absolutely HUGE sound of Italian space/stoner rock pounding out of the opening salvo, 'Message From The Galactic Federation', a 15 minute slab of intense and driving, yet at the same time melodic, no-nonsense freak-out that's the gateway to this exciting collision of Hawkwind and Porcupine Tree influences.

Void Generator were formed in Rome back in 1996, musicians who'd played together in various local situations who wanted to explore and build on what had been done previously in taking bits of psychedelia, bits of progressive and doing something innovative and experimental with it. And that's really what they did for quite a while, eventually pulling together a self-released eponymous four track CD in 2004 and getting some attention from on-line reviewers with my old mate Scott Heller writing about them for Aural Innovations that October and describing their work as "impressive stuff" while hearing the track 'Sidereal Connection' as being a "very heavy Monster Magnet – Kyuss piece of psych rock with a wall of sound approach but also some cool windy and drony synths thrown in." That release got them some exposure on compilations and a quick follow-up in a ten-track second album, We Have Found The Space.

It's taken a little time since for them to come up with their next offering, and a few changes in their roster as well, but the sounds that Scott Heller was enthusing about back in 2004 are still standing them in good stead here because though the first track is without doubt a pulse-racing noise fest that really gets the blood circulating, I'd like to try and compare it to Hawkwind because that feels right though I'd be lost to try and direct that comment to a specific era (it isn't Charisma Hawkwind in any way, shape or form, if it was Space Ritual then it's definitely an updated and reimagined one... the best I could do is say that it's 21st Century 'We Do It'... or something like that), then I'd have to go and compare its following 13 minute opus, 'The Morning' to the current tone of Porcupine Tree. I loved it's pensive mood swing, the way it immediately channelled something very different from the tone of what they'd already established on this record, that it seemed to add something sophisticated and intelligent to something else that was barbarian and primal.

That same sense of subdued, perhaps restrained or coiled atmosphere exists on 'The Eternaut', like the moments before the storm, waiting for it to arrive and knowing that when its hits its going to do so with an irresistible force, which it inevitably does, led by Gianmarco Iantaffi's grinding guitar and heavy metal vocal deliveries and possessing a real energy and power to it that subsides in the eye's storm, with some atmospheric synth chimes running free-spirited around Sonia Caporossi's ruminating bass lines, but is always ready to remerge. Remerge it does, both in this track and what puts all other hidden and unlisted tracks to shame, a 23-minute fourth appearance of the band on what purports to be a three track CD. No idea what this final session is called but it ranges from experimentalism to Pink Floyd soundscapes and again powers into oblivion until it plays out with a sparse coda of distortion.

Really good stuff, released by Phonosphera Records, this will make a lot of fans here I think.

Void Generator Myspace Page

Phonosphera Myspace Page

Phonosphera Website


Deep Cycloid said...

Great Album hun...;-)

K Henderson said...

Ian...Track Four I've seen titled as "Retinoic" FYI.

Great CD...listening to it now. KAH