Steve Barker reviews Modulotion in The Wire - 2010
Imagine Pink Floyd shooting off on an altogether different tangent after 1972’s Obscured By Clouds. They too could have ended up in the deserts of ....New Mexico.... sounding like a cross between Black Sun Ensemble and early On U Sound, just like Jon Coats and Randall Peterson aka Canartic. Wisely, there are no voices encumbering mix or meaning here, other than the occasional disembodied ghost, subordinated to the soaring guitar that sometimes approaches the ecstasy of Tisziji Munoz and the continual space drones lapping at the bubbling rhythms. It’s difficult to conceive of this album coming from anywhere other than the American South West – there’s a strong temptation to start rereading Carlos Castenada using tracks like the mushroom-influenced nine minutes plus “ ....Cleveland.... (Buzz)” as a looped accompaniment, or the dubbed slo-mo guitars of “Spring Reverb” as an aural backdrop for driving by buttes and through canyons.
September 5, 2011
Posted in: Featured Reviews, Reviews by Dutton Hauhart
Canartic – Modulotion
This guitar-based and electronic-backed offering of totally dubbed out and lathered down psychedelic downtempo from Canartic is everything an album name like “Modulotion” promises. Beginning with the title track, the release is at once breezy and rippling, crackling and glitchy, yet liquefied in a heady brew of smooth bass vibes. With the epic “Cleveland (Buzz)” as prime example, the dub and funk guitars that rule these ultra-slow motion numbers are buoyed by warm tones and orchestral shimmers, bubbling funnels of sound and trippy reverberations. It is, in short, a salve for the senses.
Much of “Modulotion” swims in this soup of melted bass flecked with flavors of jazz and funk, yet over the course of seven tracks Canartic’s subtle intuitions effectively banish any sense of sameness. Though song structures come across as similar, each breathes its own mix of elements so that, taken individually, the differences might as well be profound. The intoxicating atmosphere of “Spring Reverb”, backed by a warm symphonic buzz, is quite something else when placed alongside the syrup-drenched and spacey “Pod Bai”. The latter’s disembodied voices encourage imagery of long-haul space flight and the associated sensory deprivation. While aforementioned “Cleveland (Buzz)” leans toward funky and loose, “Aux 1” is a masterful but sedate jaunt into the fringes of paranoia, employing dense passages and a feverish, amped-up guitar. One could say that “Hueman”, on the other hand, is downright seductive, its jazz overtones mixing with honeyed bass to form a potent and sensual cocktail.
Though the bass that permeates this album might as well be a weapons-grade sedative, there exists just enough glitch in the electronics on “Modulotion” to keep the senses prickling; loose circuits popping on and off, little reminders that floating in a purple haze is always more interesting with a bit of unexpected texture. Canartic’s casual and grooving sound, free from formality and expectation, lets the listener pick the destination, but with just one caveat – sit back and relax.
[8/10] – Dutton Hauhart
review by Stephen Fruitman 04 Jun 2011
What is it with Texas and outsider psychedelia? Ever since Roky Erickson and his Thirteenth Floor Elevators became the first band described in print as ”psychedelic”, there has been a special, rainbow coloured noise emananting out of the Lone Star State that seems to have no rational explanation attributable to habitat (peyote buttons excepted), the proximity of the Mexican border, or the weather. Perhaps it´s an Austin thing, that urban boehmian aberration deep in its Republican heart. The local motto is, after all, ”Keep Austin Weird”.
Ten years ago a surprising dub/psychedelic hybrid emerged in the form of Sub Oslo´s ”Dubs in the Key of Life”. That eight-man effort shares a similar meandering, patient pace in big space with Canartic. However, the duo of Jon Coates and Randall Peterson have a tighter grasp on their trippy reins which, as paradoxical as it sounds, gives the mind more room to move around within the music and vice-versa.
Impeccably steady drumming worthy of Style Scott anchors a soaring electric guitar speaking many tongues, all of them perfectly intelligible, and synthesizers that hum and ripple like wings cutting through the air or bubble like tropical fish swimming round the coral reef.
It´s a perfectly seamless jam that lays you down comfortably while it lifts your spirits. As one of the samples whispers, "it´s so fabulous".