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AXOLOTL - Way Blank


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All the forces of nature are alive and breathing again in Axolotls second release from Psych-O-Path Records. In, Way Blank, Karl Bauer recreates and builds on the organic and meditative sonic themes he and William Sabiston introduced on their self-titled debut album (Psych-o-Path 2004). Through arrangements and tones drawn from 60s minimalism, post-techno ambient electronics, Asian and African field recordings and Japanese psychedelia, and drawing from the cut and paste sensibility of the Sun City Girls Way Blank manifests itself as a journey of the human body and experienced by the human body.\r\nIn the beginning of 2002 Karl Bauer, a classically trained violinist, created Axolotl (pronounced Ax-oh-lot-el) in San Francisco naming his band after a word derived from the Aztec Nahuatl language. An Axolotl is an aquatic salamander indigenous to Mexico and also refers to the Aztec god of death Xolotl. Bauer not only draws from eclectic musical inspiration but also is inspired by pre- Columbian Mesoamerica civilians, and the future apocalypse. Through collaged clusters of sound Way Blank communicates the cyclical nature of time prevalent in the Mayan, Incan and Aztec belief systems that will potentially determine the fall of contemporary Western Civilization.\r\nThe album differs from their self- titled debut in that a narrative arises from within the pervasive environmental and bodily atmosphere created through drones and static fields of sounds that has come to characterize Axolotls music. In Uroboros, Bauer insinuates the beating of a heart enveloped by distorted electronics that create a post-apocalyptic landscape. The repeating beats and drawn out drones suggest a battle between the living and the dead in the backdrop of an environment devoid of organic life forms. The final track, There are Sometimes Miracles, composed of a complex layering of soft strings, lulling feedback, trancey vocals, and high pitched electronics, whisks the listener into a meditative sound field where one may ponder the cyclical nature of the universe and the power of destruction and death.\r\n Bauer was recently quoted in an interview for Dusted Magazine saying, we want to feel the sound in our guts. We want to make huge gorgeous drones. We do not want to hurt people, but we do want them to feel this expanse of sound. In their second Physc-o-Path release, Way Blank, Bauer succeeds in his sonic endeavor. Bauer just finished a month long European tour and in the future will continue to collaborate with the Skaters, a San Francisco based collective, and Brooklyn bands Mouthus and Double Leopards. - Psych-O-Path.

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