The Tunaverse has been thick with releases over the past few years, with a collection of the band’s burnt-mind psychedelic covers from the Bandcamp free-for-all days having just been bound to vinyl by Hive Mind and a bonus single that turns a Canned Heat classic into the perfect pitch of hot tar car trip haze. The Hive Mind recordings represent the last of the Matt / Pat dynamic, a cornerstone of Wet Tuna for most of its damp existence, and with a shift in players comes a shift in sound — though there’s really no shaking the ineffable feeling of Wet Tuna as long as Valentine’s at the center. The murky aura of dub always seems to infect Matt’s recordings. It’s a loose haze that engulfs songs no matter how hounded or serene. On Warping All By Yourself a new element comes into play, though — a feeling of funk that creeps over the synapses in waves.
The record starts off lost in the surf, night beaching through the ether and it finds its way back by the time the last notes fade. In spirit, it’s slightly tethered to MV’s solo stint, Preserves, from 2019. That record also went deep into the shifting sands of strange trance, late-night dub-disco, and cosmic mirror ball visions. Those same impulses swim to the surface once more. The dance is unconscious. The corroded wires of “Aint No Turning Back” burn into the brain before the Tribe gone buttered visions of organ and incense rise up on “Sweet Chump Change,” and there my be no more accurate Wet Tuna title than “So Much Vibe In The World.” The rest of the record rides that wave, reveling in the wake of “Chump’s” deep digest grooves before sliding out of focus on the final reprise of “Raw Food,” a sun-stroke simmer that expertly closes out the set.
The record pulls in a few familiar faces even as Gubler recedes from view. Samara Lubelski, Barry Weisblat, Mick Flower, Doc Dunn, and Erika Elder lend their voices and vibrations to the record and we’re all the better for the basement brew that the Tuna boils this time around. Just another stunner in the current wave of Three Lobed releases, which are proving to be necessities from the moment they surface. The new wave of Wet Tuna is upon us, and I suggest you not get left behind as the tide crawls out.
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