No end in sight of the great 2020 releases that skirted around my gaze while the year was in full tilt. This one in particular has been languishing in my queue and definitely needs further attention. Its long been a hallmark of present day Damo Suzuki shows that he’ll pick musicians from the local psych scene to lay down backing and then improv a set over the top without rehearsal. For a prime example of this, pick up that live tape of Damo and The Band Whose Name is a Symbol that was released this year on Feeding Tube. The 2012 set exemplifies Suzuki’s hold on a room and his interaction with high caliber players.
Similarly, when Suzuki set out to tour Texas in 2019 he reached out to Neil Lord of Future Museums to put together a band. Visa issues cropped up and the shows themselves never materialized, but never one to waste a good ensemble, Lord gathered the expanded Future Museums that he’d put together to back Damo and they laid out a tapestry of psionic groove that was imbued with the spirit of the man they’d been assembled to back. The players that night were Michael C. Sharp(Drums), Peter Tran(Synth), Rodolfo Smith-Villareal III(Drums), Mari Maurice(Synth, Saxophone, Violin), Nicolas Nadeau(Guitar), Reed Faitak(Bass), and Neil Lord(Guitar) and the resulting Damo’s Dream is vibrating a a high frequency melt.
For almost forty minutes of free psychedelic immersion, Lord’s guitars churn in oceanic tones. Mari Maurice’s sax and violin scar the set with a haunted wail while Sharp and Smith-Villareal push the ensemble towards the the cliff’s edge of rhythm in head-to-head pummel. There’s a glowing grace to the set, feeling like it was a moment never to be reinvented once the last notes fell from the rafters. While the masses might have missed out on what Damo and Future Museums might have wrought, there’s no denying that fate let loose something just as intriguing here.
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