Yume Bitsu
The Golden Vessyl of Sound CD - K Records


When a self-described space rock outfit attempts to make a “free form” concept album (about a mythical city, Dryystn, and its inhabitants) and proclaim in its liner notes that “there are no song titles for this record,” and that they should “stand nude as sonic experiences without, and beyond, the boundaries of the written word,” one is inclined to ask the question: Haven’t these self-aggrandizing ploys been used before and to better effect? Pioneering German experimentalists Faust used song titles like “0:00-0:52”, “14:19-15:22”, and “28:51-30:09” on their double-album The Faust Tapes. And Rick Wakeman practically invented the concept album with astronomically ludicrous offerings like Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Wives of Henry XIII. ¶ Don’t get me wrong, Portland four-some Yume Bitsu’s fourth long player, The Golden Vessyl of Sound, is not a bad album. It just often comes off as a contrived testimonial to their more adventurous archetypes. Vocals are present on only a few tracks and their ethereal and choir-like quality seem out of place. Rather than augmenting the music, they distract from it. ¶ Yume Bitsu’s main strengths lie in their instrumental songwriting. Their fretwork calls to mind latter-day Built To Spill; dreamy waves of delayed guitar with multi-layered melodies. Assorted piano, synth, and keyboards shape the foundation of the most rewarding tracks on the album. “Song Two” employs a sustained keyboard note and repeating piano with a steady tom-tom beat to great effect. The screams of sea birds during the outro further add to the natural flow of the song. The flittering moog, dreamy synth pattern, and acid-tinged guitar of “Song Four” are pure experimental goodness. “Song Six”, the seventeen-minute centerpiece of the record, is a sleepy, pulsing soundscape full of foghorn bursts and primordial rhythms. ¶ The Golden Vessyl of Sound continues to navigate the nebulae of Yume Bitsu’s three previous releases but doesn’t display a strong musical progression. Beware of space debris and keep copies of Can and Neu! close by. (William Hall)
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