This is without a doubt one of the most phenomenal improv albums I've spun in quite a while. If you are a fan of psychedelic music of any sort then you need this- you really need this. Taking cues from free-jazz and a little bit of kraut rock as a starting point, the Dutch trio The Julie Mittens contort time and space with their upward shifting pulses of sound. It's a simple setup- just guitar, bass, and drums; but the magic is in how these basic ingredients are intuitively molded into something much greater. This is free improvisation at its best. There's no aimless noodling here, just pure ego-less sound communion.
This disc is a document of a single performance in Baltimore late last year. Things start off with an intense bass and drums centered track that sets up a space of pure energy. There is no solid ground to stand on as sounds shift in and out of focus and only occasionally settle into place. The guitar tone is spaced out and free- sailing smoothly over top of the rhythmic jungle set up by the other players. A similar approach is given to the third track, only with the energy level turned up several notches. This piece feels like more of a forceful push upwards instead of a gentle tug. The centerpiece of the album is the second track which features some truly otherworldly vocals from Baltimore native Lexie Mountain. Here, the band slows way down to create a haunting backdrop for Lexie's moaning, wordless vocals. The effect is somewhere between Fursaxa and Diamanda Galas- ethereal yet quite disturbing.
All in all it's an intense journey by a truly talented set of musicians. To me, this is right up there with Nels Cline's more freaky material and should probably be more critically acclaimed then it is. I give it my complete support and approval. 10/10 -- Charles Franklin (28 January, 2009)