Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ARICA - S/T (1972)

Arica - Arica

"The concept of Arica, both as a Mystical School and as a School of Knowledge, which correspond to the Absolute and Relative Minds respectively, rests on the basis that the School is one socially organized body or a brotherhood with the strong interrelation of an enlarged family."

- www.arica.org

While perusing the racks of used records at one of my local favorites(Permanent Records), I chanced upon this LP. Attracted by it's vaguely Native American/New Age cover and intrigued by the titles of the tracks(Water Music, Active In The Cosmos), I gave it a cursory listen at the listening station and was sufficiently impressed to make a purchase. The liner notes give a brief description of the Arica Institute's philosophy of mind/body relations and goes on to indicate that the music on Sides 1-3 was designed to accompany an Arican excercise known as The Audicion Plantar or "listening with the soles of the feet." Each section of music has a corresponding, possibly neck-breaking tutorial for optimum listening. I quickly learned that laying down with headphones on was a practical method for maximum jam-absorption.

The music is cryptically credited to "The Arica Musicians" who employ hand percussion, piano, voice, electric guitar,saxophone, bass,and vibes to ecstatic effect. Imagine Pharoah Sander's Karma-era band jamming with No Neck Blues Band. Chaotic free skronk yields to gorgeous pastoral passages seamlessly without a soloist's ego in sight. The interplay between the Guitar and Piano on side 2 is positively jaw-dropping while the rhythm runs the voodoo down. The atmosphere of the record leaves little doubt that the pieces were recorded live. Patient listening reveals incredibly nuanced performances even during the discordant freak-outs. Highly Recommended.

Oh, and please leave comments.

ARICA- S/T (1972)

1.A)Absorption B)Relaxation
2.A)Mentations B)Passive in the World C)Actve in the World
3.A)Passive in the Cosmos B)Active in the Cosmos C) The Funnell
4.Water Music