Having tentatively recruited a drummer, David Wachsman was in the final stages of assembling and launching musical vision SÖNUS when Covid-19 and Lockdown struck.
Undeterred (and suddenly with a lot more time on his hands) he decided to learn anything he didn’t already know—a combination of tech, software and instruments—and go it alone.
The only help came from partner Jaymi McGinn (backing vocals); plus mixing and mastering by Liam Schmid of In The Zone Studios, Austria (who was given instructions such as ‘I want the notes in this guitar solo to sound like the flowing tears of a god!’ and did an outstanding job of making it so).
Lockdown has produced some incredible music created by ingenious methods. Brigitte Bardon’t’s Pink, which I was fortunate enough to review earlier in the year, was made on a discarded toy keyboard.
“In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”
ORSON WELLES SPEAKING AS HARRY LIME
Wachsman created a sound booth from cardboard and duct tape. Like the idea of a solid album coming out of a broken Barbie keyboard, there’s an instinctive inclination to wonder how serious the end product. As with Pink, the answer is very much so with bells on (well, bongs in this case).
Amongst Wachsman’s list of influences are Hawkwind and Motörhead. Fans not simply of but in particular their early releases are in for a Space Rock treat. Through the uncertainty of Covid, five track EP Worlds Undreamed Of has emerged in glorious homage to their foundations.
From the deep expanse of contemplating one’s place in the universe, while simultaneously triumphant crescendos build all the way to axe factor ten; to the is-it-fast-is-it-slow-I’m-so-stoned-I-don’t-know benchmark of the genre thoroughly nailed to keep feet tapping quick time as the mind drifts sublime; onto the good ol’ down n’ dirty, beer drinking, shot necking, booze fuelled, weed infused, fist pumping track ‘Rock n’ Roll Necromancy’, Worlds Undreamed Of blazes its way across the complete Space Rock cosmos.
Other influences are equally present—Monster Magnet (again, early years) and Black Sabbath—without it ever sounding like Wachsman is trying to be anyone but himself; highlighted in particular by the glorious Gothic influence on title track ‘Worlds Undreamed Of’.
Particularly spot-on are those contemplations, for seriously: where the fuck are we? Covid is certainly a world undreamed of. Currently it looks like there’s hope around the corner, but when it comes to some industries—live music being one—too much damage might already have been done at grassroots level.
Once upon a time I’d look at gigs by certain promoters/venues then go on bandcamp/youtube to check out never-before-heard of bands in case they were worth seeing; gigs that only forty people would turn up at, sometimes a lot less, in places like old cinemas—seats still intact—that had the impossible to miss aroma of various vermin lingering in the air.
The once upon a time being a mere eighteen months ago that I went to said cinema; seems a lifetime right now.
Today I see promoters of much bigger gigs selling years of accumulated paraphernalia—signed posters, etc—through the social media pages they normally promote shows on just to try and keep their heads above water. Numerous small venues have gone under, having already been up against it thanks to gentrification.
Artists/bands with already established social media fan bases at least had the opportunity to reach them; and after all, they were in desperate need of entertainment. Those fan bases, though, were achieved by playing live locally and onwards beforehand; an option currently not open to any new artist.
While Worlds Undreamed Of spans the Space Rock universe, music per se finds its universe suddenly punctured with uncharted black holes that only suck all the good stuff away while leaving greedy audio streaming services behind.
Navigation will depend a lot on social media, which depends predominately on shares, which equally rely solely on anyone reading this.
My thanks to David Wachsman for the opportunity to review Worlds Undreamed Of; a cracking album that in my humble opinion will absolutely save him from “dying as an unknown shrivelled old man while Pagliacci blares dramatically in the background”.
Now to smoke a big bong and contemplate the conundrum of Covid stopping music doing what it does, while music excellent as this might not have existed without it.
“They say that Rock and roll don’t mean a thing today. They say that Rock and Roll is dead and in the grave. But you can’t kill what eternal lies. Rock and Roll will never die! Rock and Roll, oh Rock and Roll, won’t you damn my immortal soul tonight. Rock and Roll. Arise. Rock and Roll, Rock and Roll. Arise. Oh yeah!”
DAVID WACHSMAN ‘Rock n’ Roll Necromancy’
SÖNUS/Worlds Undreamed Of:
- Guillotine Dream: Damaged and Damned
- Brigitte Bardon’t: Pink
- From Beale Street to Timbuktu
- My Silent Wake: Damnum Per Saeculorum
- To get reviewed go here
Thanks for reading 🙂
N. P. Ryan