2001 was a year that could be described as psychomimetic, if not genuinely psychedelic*; at the very least it was a psychoactive hallucinogenic launchpad for all sorts of horrendous bullshit.
I don’t belive I listened to this album that year; I was neck deep in NYC’s tiny IDM scene and related hijinks, like watching people I care about slowly go insane. I do know I had heard Dilate by the time On The Eclipse came out, but like most of their work nothing has really stuck as truly and as well as Dilate.
Bardo Pond gets some credit for being unabashedly heavy into the whole “drug music” thing because they do it with a small amount of taste and style and they’re not just a terrible pile of bullshit like one would think. The general rule that the band that names songs – or themselves – after drugs tends to be relying on inebriated glamour. It’s true, but it’s also largely irrelevant in their case. (As it is with Coil‘s classic Time Machines.)
Dilate is at the midpoint – the peak, if you will – between their earlier, vaguely noise poppy sound and their later incarnation as a hash-laden Jethro Tull impression. Their last album, Ticket Crystals, is a sloppy, proggy mess that completely overdoes the whole flautist routine. Some of their earlier material is well worth checking out if you enjoy the almost-structured moments like “Sunrise” and “Inside”, but Dilate is completely where its at. The riffage is riff-tastic, equal parts sludge and noisy dreams, and Ms. Sollenberger’s singing is a captivating slur. Sounds kinda dumb, but it’s not.
Bardo Pond is playing at the No Fun Fest this year, but I’m not going (too expensive to see three bands – BP, Skullflower and Merzbow) so if someone does please let me know how they were. Though the sound quality tends to be severely hit-or-miss, their taper-friendly archive is worth checking out even if you don’t, like, believe in the whole money thing, man.
They have an official website but it’s annoying as all get-go. If R. U. Sirius can have a decent site, so can you.
* “Psychedelic” isn’t a synonym for “fun times on drugs”.