Thursday, February 4, 2021

Galactapus-I Intend To Stay; self-released vinyl and digital, 2020


One of the formative influences on this here blog was most definitely the Left Field Americana column in Wax Poetics magazine. Over several issues, the authors of that column would write about strange records that they'd discovered, records in which an artist or artists would blend whatever influences that they had with distinct visions of their own. It would be pointed out how this action would result in recorded documents that display a singular bit of musical magic, unique in the world. Left Field American did a really great job of pointing Disaster Amnesiac toward many a recording that provided the craved "wtf?" upon hearing it. 

I mention this because I'm delighted to say that there is an artist working out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area would fit right in to one of said columns. Galactapus is his name, and I Intend To Stay is his debut release. Disaster Amnesiac was really excited to hear it online last year, and even further so when my vinyl copy arrived in late January of this year. 

The music of Galactapus is beautifully eclectic and personal throughout I Intend To Stay. Starting off with a kind of tribal invocation with Waking The Troll, featuring the sounds of bells, birds, and weird synth tones, it quickly moves to a mood that brings to mind underground Los Angeles circa 1980 on Succubus. These tunes pair so elegantly, it's tough to not see them as a kind of opening suite. Be Alright follows, and it shows how well versed Galactapus is with primal garage stompin' sounds. Great synth riffs and percussion here, with a nicely twisted refrain in the middle. Things go weirdly surreal on Hold On (I Just Wanna Check Something), as cascading keyboard tones meet up with goofy chanting and funny hand claps. It's here were one starts to feel the genuine, heartfelt oddness of it all; this track has made me laugh out loud, as well as scratch my head with the forementioned "wtf?" mental feel as I've heard it. Kind of like watching an old aerobics VHS cassette at times. Cool, scratchy percussion and very effective, simple drums frame whimsical flute and melodica on The Whistling Lung. A kind of return to the indigenous-to-current feels of the opener. Is Galactapus hanging out with the Ojibwa Nation up there? Next up, Blood Tantrum makes Disaster Amnesiac consistently imagine myself to be viewing a Saturday morning cartoon series from another, better dimension than this one. I see strange heroes and villains coming across my mental screen as I listen. Surely, there is some great animator who could manifest this better show? Any volunteers out there? Please? Side one ends with Faeries' Wet Dream, a nice little etude that gets spiced by some elemental feedback type tones, which wrap its prettiness up neatly within their mysteries. Side Two begins with Cherries That Scream. This song feels like a linear continuation of side one's last track. This is cool, because it places the listener immediately back within I Intend To Stay's singular aesthetic. Chaotic Neutral Overdrive is a fusion of Twee and Garage, with an infectiously groovy singalong, simple vocal, perfect for evoking a mood of carefree skullfucked-ness, which is perfect for these times, would you not agree? Strong Like Tree starts out with an incantation of organ and percussion, then busts out into some more of that fun Twee Pop skippy-do-run-run. I challenge you to not join in with the chorus here! C'mon, it'll be fun, like a Coney Island Steeplechase! Galactapus is a great, less is more drummer, and he proves it on this track. Some glistening, cutting guitar tones lead the way on Aquatron Brother, Surf tones bending around some more of that effective percussion simplicity. Could this Super Hero be included within the imagined series from side one? Would Aquatron Brother front a group of dudes laying down Dick Dale riffs in 1965 Hermosa Beach? If not, can we make that happen on some other time line, just for shits and giggles? Sugar Pussy Boom Boom rocks the keys in a way that would make KK Barrett pound his tom toms really heavy or Su Tissue stand up and take note (at least before she went to The Berklee School). I imagine this one as being inspired by a beloved cat, but your view could be more prurient. 2Hot2 Cuddle (Right Now) mixes beginner sitar with wah-wah keys and warbles, plus more of that astute work on the drums, while the vocals alternate between Space Age "aaaaahhhhhhh)" and the glossolalia from the innermost places of Soul. Yeah, definitely tough to get all touchy-feely when you're jumping between the Starship Enterprise and James Brown on the T.A.M.I. Show. Get down with it and make the moves later, it'll keep. Wait a sec, maybe Galatapus just wants to forego the cuddle and get right on over to home base, what with the "oh baby" that gets placed right there in the middle. Is getting hot in here? I Intend To Stay's penultimate track, Still Alright, brings the listener even further out into space with crinkled key tones to start before a neat drum machine beat and some more of those handclaps mix it up within a fast-paced song about being alright; at least that's what the lyrics suggest. This song should be a hit single, and Disaster Amnesiac should hear it out of car windows and at Target now and at Grocery Outlet in the future for ever and ever. I wanna be alright, and Still Alright makes me feel that way. Just as in any great, effective ritual, I Intend To Stay ends with a short, poignant wave goodbye in Anti Climacto, wherein those great keyboards are joined by plaintive thumb piano and scrap yard percussion tones. Some crows caw, and then, out. Again, a simple, quick wave goodbye.

Wrapped in a cover that features an odd yet intriguing portrait of Galactapus on its front and genuinely lovely calligraphy on its back, I Intend To Stay is a damn near perfect specimen of personalized musical vision, effectively put out into the world, and this world is surely better for its appearance. It would have moved those expert crate diggers who wrote those Left Field Americana columns, and it sure has moved Disaster Amnesiac's perceptions to those cherished musical spaces that I crave so much. Get with Galactapus!

1 comment:

Silver Persinger said...

I love it! An instant cult classic.