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Bardo Pond and Tom Carter: 4/23/03

Bardo Pond and Tom Carter: 4/23/03

Genre:Psychedelia/Space Rock

By Marc Masters | Posted 8/18/2004

The music of Bardo Pond lives in a thick, permanent haze. Over 11 years and seven albums, the Philadelphia quintet has raised stoned jamming and patient daze to an intoxicating art form. Its album titles are usually drug references, but its songs are virtual drug experiences: massive clouds of dense guitar smoke that pass extremely slowly, if at all.

Bardo Pondís hallucinatory fog tends to swallow anything it gets close to; past collaborations with guitarist Roy Montgomery (under the name Hash Jar Tempo) subsumed the New Zealanderís playing under a canopy of inspired aural mush. 4/23/03, a document of a daylong mind-meld with Charalambides guitarist Tom Carter, does much the same. It differs from Hash Jar Tempo, though, in sheer spaciousness. Recent Bardo records have added more breathing room to the groupís dilated din, and 4/23/03 is just as airy, with its various sounds viewable both as individual trees and deep, entangling forest.

4/23/03 begins with ď17:40Ē (each song is named by its length), wherein the looping guitars of Bardoís Michael and John Gibbons rhyme uncannily with Carterís snaky lines. ď4:15Ē follows like the shadow of its predecessor, all long feedback waves and pulsing ambience. The remaining tracks slowly add wispy flute, breathy vocals, and infinite layers of guitar to the ever-growing mix. By the end, 4/23/03 feels like it mustíve taken weeks to record, adding to Bardo Pondís long catalog of heavy moments stretched into colossal hours.

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