Psychology meets Psychedelics… sort of
In a time when acid jazz is overshadowed by musical cohorts the likes of chill- and vaporwave, more and more bands are creating roots in the psychedelic jam genre to fill the void. Pavlov’s Bell rings true to the ‘90s version of ambient synth, with tracks reaching as far back as the ‘70s. So far as instrumental work goes, to be successful is to tell a story. For instance, in “L’appel De Vide” (The Call Of The Void), the Miami trio trip into a guitar-licking, rhythmic single fit for an intense conversation about contemporary philosophy.
While I never dropped acid and simultaneously listened to Emerson, Lake & Palmer, I’ve had my fair share of trips listening to mp3s of early Incubus, Jamiroquai, and Hendrix. Psychedelia in music has certainly changed, in both format and style, but the truth remains the same: it’s like smelling something that tastes the way that drugs made you feel that one time at the lake in Piedmont park.
Bassist/composer Antonio, guitarist Jorge, and drummer Francisco all come together to create a great ear-feel. Pavlov’s Bell not only piqued my interest by properly punctuating a possessive, but refers to one of the only experiments in psychology that doesn’t end up killing the animal subject. Long story short, this band probably won’t kill you–but it would certainly make you question the concept of mortality in the protective bubble of ambient noise, all while imagining what life would be like as a giant cockroach.
I decided to informally message the band’s Facebook page to ask about their method of composition and post-production. I got in touch with Antonio (the aforementioned composer), and he mentioned that the process was pretty old-fashioned. They record with effects pedals, utilize synthesizers to layer crispy effects that sound like insects on your tragus, and only use post for the usual polishing of it all.
After that he told me some very good news, even if it wasn’t about removing the earwigs the music had laden me with: they are finally working toward a full album to come out in May. This news came to me while I was desperately searching for an EP of any sort on their bandcamp, to no avail.
He revealed to me that the release will be a concept piece: “we’re trying to decide which tunes are going where and how we’re going to advance them further.” He also mentioned that the 7-8 tracks will vary in style, providing a buffet of sorts for listeners, new and old.
“We’re just trying to write things that we like and that are fun to play…because playing songs over and over and over gets old real fast,” Antonio said.
Overall, the music is inspiring, relaxing, and provided the perfect mood to sit down and write this. The only downside is that I had to listen to the four (solid af) tracks on repeat, because apparently I have to wait until May for their new work.