Bardo Pond – Adrop/Circuit VIII


Bardo Pond certainly needs no introduction here, but for anyone who’s is still uninitiated, they’re one of the greatest pioneering forces in modern acid rock. In the nearly 30 years since their debut, the band has helped to set the standard and push the boundaries for countless shoegaze, space and stoner rock acts that followed in their wake. These two classic yet obscure recordings, Adrop and Circuit VIII, are finally being given a vinyl release for the first time ever, reminding us just how original and powerful this legendary band truly is and always has been.

Originally released by Three Lobed Recordings as part of a few limited CD subscriptions in 2006 and 2008, Adrop and Circuit VIII serve together as a comprehensive display of nearly every single one of the band’s many varied strengths. This fact alone makes the combined vinyl reissue not only an essential buy for fans of Bardo Pond, but for fans of experimental and psychedelic music in general.

The music on these records is very elemental. Through the use of deeply droning overdriven-guitars and guttural bass, each suite-length song rumbles and quakes like tectonic shifts, builds and pummels like a speeding pyroclastic flow and howls like a wild typhoon. Meanwhile, ancient ritualistic vibes can be felt throughout both LPs. Take for instance the mystical atmosphere that is undeniably present in the eerie percussion and feedback-centered soundscape that is the first half of “Adrop”. After you’ve reached the five minute mark in this track, you start to feel as though some old god might at any second manifest itself between your stereo speakers.

Elsewhere on this collection, layers of acoustic fingerpicking weave around forlorn flute trills, as mournful violin solos slice through a cacophony of feedback and explosive drums. Meanwhile, Isobel Sollenberger’s hypnotic vocals reverberate and pan around wildly, as if her singing is disrupting the very fabric of time and space in the recording booth.

This reissue hammers the point home that while many have continued down the path that Bardo Pond carved out, they are still indeed the masters of their forte. Truly nobody can quite combine the apocalyptic with the serene quite like them, especially on these recordings.

You can buy this vastly crucial double-record from Three Lobed Recordings here right now. Grab them fast because at the time of writing, there’s only a handful of copies still available!


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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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