Upupayāma – self-titled

Close your eyes and allow yourself to get lost within the psychedelic ritual vibes of Upupayāma’s self-titled LP.

Originally released digitally in late 2020, this trance-inducing album is finally available on vinyl thanks to the good folks at Centripetal Force and Cardinal Fuzz Records.

Hailing from Parma, Italy, Upupayāma is a one-man band created by Alessio Ferrari, a brilliantly talented multi-instrumentalist. Ferrari handles everything from guitar and keyboard duties to sitar and erhu overdubs, all while singing an imaginary language that he himself invented. Having a completely unrecognizable dialect strung along the record’s hypnotic grooves instills the music’s ceremonial vibes even further. As the rhythms repeat and swell feverishly, Ferrari’s indecipherable lyrics float through the songs like some sort of arcane spell from a forgotten ancient civilization.

Some tracks, like the galloping “Green Cabana,” feature slithering guitar solos trading off with exuberant synth lines over a ritualistic beat. These moments sound like what would happen if Goat became Fit & Limo’s backing band.

Yet, the album’s major strength is its mystical core. On songs like “Hello Green Man, I am a Tiger” and “Hopsa-japapé,” which is only available on the Centripetal Force/Cardinal Fuzz editions of the record, Ferrari reaches a Popol Vuh-like level of spiritual rock. With fried riffs, shimmering percussion and chanting reverb-soaked vocals drifting through a lattice of intricate sitar notes, these tracks feel rich with esoteric magic. You can easily imagine this music soundtracking some hallucinogen-fueled dance ceremony around a fire (when you’re two songs in, you should even begin to smell the burning sage…).

For a dreamy, meditative and soothingly surreal listen, Upupayāma’s debut record is where it’s at. If you’re in the US, click here to find your copy today. If you’re one of our UK readers, click here instead.

-KH


Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and Thewaster.com 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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