Primordial Undermind is American, Vienna-based guitarist-songwriter-singer Eric Arn’s little band of misfits that exists now for over thirty years, in five cities and two continents, involving 45 musicians so far, and blurring the distinction between post-punk to psychedelic rock and intense and noisy improvisations. «An Imaginal Abydos» is the eleventh album of this band and the first new studio recording since 2011 and features seven songs and instrumental pieces written by Arn and second guitarist and vocalist Christoph Johannes Weikinger. Primordial Undermind features also bassist Antonio Rosa de Pauli and drummer Xavier Scholz.
The opening piece «Mögliche, Mögliche | Rekursiv» set the dark, heavy and distorted atmosphere of «An Imaginal Abydos», with Weikinger and Arn’s urgent, poetic spoken vocals («Everything Is and I am everything, I am terrified but fear nothing…»), and Arn’s phrasing reminiscing the one of G.W. Sok (of The Ex and Oiseaux-Tempête fame), while Arn and Weikinger’s guitar wrestling freak-out suddenly evokes fond memories from Television’s seminal «Marquee Moon» (Elektra, 1977). But Primordial Undermind is a much more adventurous unit and always seeks to push its sonic envelope and experiment with free-form, dissonant improvisations like «When I Was a Dune» and «Lenticularis» that add Balkan overtones to its dense dynamics or simply enjoying a powerful and stimulating jam on «Hermetic Armada». Arn’s «Until They Break» has such an infectious rhythmic hook and wise insights («too many thoughts will make you ill») that should make it a hit in a better and just world. This album is closed with the surprisingly, instrumental lyrical ballad «Washed In All Waters», which immediately calls for more, much more from these creative misfits.
«Misuse: a live mix» is Arn’s solo album and it was recorded live in Arezzo, Berlin, Graz, Innsbruck, Perugia, Rome, and Vienna and was originally self-released as a numbered tour edition of 50 copies in 2015. Arn dives here into abstract drones, mixed with John Fahey-tinged fingerstyle, acoustic guitar free improvisations, atmospheric-psychedelic textures, more intense and dense textures that are close to Primordial Undermind post-punk aesthetics, and back again to abstract and noisy drones. All are edited into a suggestive 50-minute soundscape that encompasses faithfully Arn’s deep interests and acquaintance with the nether regions of experimental music.
Eric Arn (g, v), Antonio Rosa de Pauli (b, xylophone), Xavier Scholz (dr), Christoph Johannes Weikinger (g, v)