Brooklyn?s most prolific and unsung trio offer this four song release to appease those of us who long for their singular psychedelic trance-missions. Right away, it?s clear that this ep does not follow in the footsteps of their last two bombastic full-length releases for the Jagjaguwar label. ?Summerland? begins with the sound of banjo strings submerged in delay, rendering the most identifiable instrument of American folk with an eastern flavor. The percussion is straight out of a Gamelan orchestra, all crashing cymbals and clopping toms. Plucked guitar notes and choral chants paired with a squawking saxophone conjure visions of Ganesh trouncing through a jazz club. This is definitely some of the strangest but most effective genre-mashing Oneida have attempted.
?Inside My Head? is a mid-tempo lament submerged in echoing drums and organ drones, it sounds like it could have come from 1998?s schizoid epic ?Enemy Hogs,? which is certainly a fine thing. The short and sweet ?Song Y? has a little more of that eastern plucked guitar flavor and remains a pleasant distraction despite the somewhat strained vocal performance.
?Hakuna Matata,? the fifteen minute epic (because what?s an Oneida release without one?) is definitely the stand-out song of the set. A throbbing pulse pushes the track forward steadily and swiftly as vocals, guitars, and organs swirl in every direction underneath it. While it is unmistakably modern, the influence of Klaus Schulze?s electronic soundscapes of the 70?s is clear.
The nonsensical title of this ep and the confusing (yet cute) cover illustration of frolicking dolphins (one of them is clearly wasted) are completely lost on me. This is one of those inside jokes that is pure Oneida, I guess. The quality of the music surpasses the vagueness of the joke, though. This is Oneida with a twist. There are a more collaborators listed in this release than any other record the group has done, and the sound reflects that. People who have enjoyed Oneida?s output up until now should definitely get this disc to experience some of the band?s variety. 8/10 -- Sean Witzman (25 May, 2005)