It would seem, that this Brooklyn collective, travelled across vast desert landscape - drank the waters of some mystical lake of enchantment and upon their return, released their latest offering, The Aquarian Wind, and, played at the mighty Roadburn Festival in Tilberg. Firmly establishing themselves in a modern age of 70’s inspired, cosmic, heavy psychedelia.
The album in its entirety, has a traveling kind of feel to it, with each track documenting the varied paths to which the journey may lend itself. Our trip begins with ‘Voyage To Heldonia’ opening with an erratic episode of drum rolls, as if signaling to take your mark. Then the bass kicks in and the Voyage begins. A warm bass guitar and gentle drum taps set the pace of the opening track, soon followed by the curious finger tips of guitarist Philippe Ortanez. The track flows like water, exquisitely recorded with the soft ssssshhhhimmer of the cymbals existing beneath a current of saturating reverb, exposing subtle waves of feedback.
‘Lost In The Sunrise’ takes the listener along a different road, introducing vocals to the ensemble from drummer Adam Kriney. Once again, the drums along with some sweet sunburnt fuzzy desert bass lines, effortlessly hold the track in place, confidently spiraling off at their own discretion. There is a gentle sound of single guitar notes, ringing out with the occasional glimpse of a dusty chord. Permanently on the cusp of braking into the menacing chorus riff, followed shortly by shredding guitar tones cloaked in wah and lush 70s fuzz. After a second chorus the heavy improv jammin’ continues, and rightly so. It sounds fuckin’ sweet.
‘California Orange Sunshine’ bares a strange schizophrenic melancholy. This is a relatively short instrumental meandering that would well soundtrack a moment of ritual confusion within an old psychedelic occult horror film.Emerging from the bass and percussion intro of ‘Cornfield’ come swirling effect laden strikes of the guitar that flourish into a lead melody line, gradually bleeding into the free from and progressive vibes familiar to each member of the band. One of the many great aspects of La Otracina, is the moments of improvised jammin’ the unrehearsed freedom of this band is something that has become somewhat lost in todays musical realm in comparison to that of their predecessors.
’Forgotten To Be Free’ has a heavy proto-metal feel to it, similar to that of pentagram. Dark bluesy guitar riffs and slow heavy drums accompanied by colossal bass rumblings and Mr Kriney bashing out some more high pitch vocals. We began our trip with an astral wave of psychedelia, only to finish with a final tale of triumph, charged with awesome valve driven 70’s doom riffage.
La Otracina were formed by Adam Kriney in 2003 and has since evolved into a gargantuan psychedelic cosmonaught - evoking spaced out grooves and artistic improvisational tendencies on a platform of sun kissed 70’s desert prog. This band is not to be overlooked.