Samsara Blues Experiment Toy with Mental Association

The songs are nowhere near this grey.Here’s a fun fact: When there’s a job or chore my mother-in-law wants done — a piece of furniture moved, something picked up at the store, the internet on her computer fixed, etc. — she will never put it in the form of a question. That is, it’s never, “Can you do this for me?” but always, “You know, you could do this,” as though the mere implication of the ability to do whatever is being (not) asked is enough persuasion to actually entice you to do it. “I could? You think so? Well, I better get that done then!” and so forth.

As such, when German heavy, sitar-infused psychedelic rockers Samsara Blues Experiment — who are touring the West Coast later this month with L.A. space campers Farflung, and on whom I’ve had my eye since first downloading their self-titled 2008 demo this past fall — checked in via the MySpace by informing me that I, “could review our 2008 promo/release would be very much appreciated,” well, I just couldn’t resist. They’re right, I can review it.

And so, I therefore must.

Christian Peters doing a call and response thing with a photograph.It’s impossible to listen to either of the two extended tracks on this demo without thinking of the Deutsche masters of this sound, Colour Haze, whom Samsara Blues Experiment acknowledge on their press sheet under the heading “Sounds similar to” along with Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower (a good name to drop these days, it seems), Earthless, Ancestors and Sleep. Maybe it’s the accent from guitarist/sitarist/organist/etc. Christian Peters (ex-Terraplane) that comes through especially on 13-minute-long second cut “Double Freedom,” but I put the trio (who’ve since added a fourth to their ranks) more in line with the aforementioned krautrock-obsessed psych-heads than anyone else.

Obviously that’s not a bad thing, and though they’re lava-lamping a well-established sound, bustling around Ewige Blumenkraft fuzz while not quite matching the tonal warmth of their countrymen, the highlight of each of the two songs here is the concluding jam. It begins shortly before “Singata (Mystic Queen)” hits six-minutes and carries that song to its conclusion at 8:32 and works a sure-enough Sleep-esque magic with even more time for subspace exploration through most of the last six minutes of “Double Freedom.” Thus the “extended” tracks.

Highlights though they are, the two jams on two tracks ethic leads one to wonder what other songwriting tactics Samsara Blues Experiment might employ, or if this is a release with an intended purpose (i.e., to jam) and is thus just fulfilling that purpose. The more-recently-uploaded Peters-only demo cut “Everything” answers with a sweeter, acoustic sound and quicker run time of 3:26. While it hardly can create the kind of hypnotic atmosphere either “Singata (Mystic Queen)” or “Double Freedom” does in that time, it shows Samsara Blues Experiment have the potential to be more than just another riff-toting Euro-delic stoner band. The vocals need work, but one imagines that will come with time.

Given their touring plans and the otherwise likelihood of an unsigned European band making their way to the western US for a week-long jaunt in times of global economic catastrophe, one also imagines that a label of some sort has either already signed these guys or is knee-deep in the courting process. Either way, good on them. Samsara Blues Experiment give a heady showing of modern European psychedelia delivered in a package memorable and still fresh-enough sounding to be an exciting listen. I’d go to the show just to get the 2008 demo on CD, but I guess I’ll have to settle for throwing down five Euros for it on their website.

Fortunately there's no hackysack there.Samsara Blues Experiment download page

Samsara Blues Experiment on MySpace

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