- by Mark Steele Rating:10 Release Date:2016-10-14 Label: Rocket Recordings
With a compact schedule of both touring and recording, the Stockholm psych experience troupe - Josefin Ohrn and The Liberation have returned. Since last year's full-length debut album Horse Dance, the group with all the same hands on deck as on their previous encounters, unveil to us the 10-track odyssey - Mirage.
A reverbed repetitive overdriven organ motif with a constant tambourine, 'The State (I'm in)' is the album's pilot light. The flame builds with the familiar motorik pulse from the drums, a steady pulsating bassline throughout, added later is an encircling tampura synth. Whilst seething guitar lines reach out around the other instruments, driving forward Josefin's enchanted mantra. An Air-like intro blends into an emerald jaded eastern drone wall on Sister Green Eyes', velvety grooves alongside a hypnotic rendering of percussive beat tones, distant phantasmic choral echoes, sitar simulated guitar, are all ecstatically underpinned by the contagious drum loop - ending with what could be an electric Shahnaz.
The next song could have you thinking you heard Josefin saying "In My Trip", work out and see what you can find on 'In Madrid'. The bass hums along with echoed shimmering guitar, Tabla percussion, and lulls you quite happily, for a short while. It then segues into 'Rainbow Lollipop' moving into a 90's baggy style fuzz bass and a big drum groove, with echoed lines of the title peppered throughout. That infectious groove in place, plus the French narrative whispering by Josefin, brings back the vibe of 90's dance experimentalists, Enigma, The slowed down moment on 'Endless Ocean' possesses a stoner country ballad feel. It is as though nobody is rushing to move anytime soon, bearing a contentment to float regardless on perpetual waves.
Starting from a synth and snare drum repetitive pulse, the love longing 'Looking For You', gets a bit raucous, thanks to urgently rampant guitar riffs, creates an increasingly intense thundering acid punk rock out till the end. Cosmic flight time on this album, as manifold horizons emerge and dissipate in the backdrop of 'Rushing Through My Mind'. Lush warm guitar and synth layers tend to compliment rather than compete with Josefin's plush tones, featuring an elated guitar solo, anchoring the whole tune from start to finish by the synchronized rhythm section.
A chilling Spanish guitar motif, with scattered wooden percussive clacking/rattling, plus several random mesmerizing tape loops. The distant sentences uttered by Josefin, leads you to believe 'Circular Motion' is a secret society's mind control induction. Onto a west coast rock treat with sizzling/shimmering guitars, 'Where I am Going' jungle percussion saddled by Josefin's layered vocal's leading a pilgrimage to a radiant rainbow. The finale has the appearance of what may well become the band's signature cosmic consciousness rock, 'Imagine You' releases upon you via guitars and synths, wave after wave of pure harmonic emotion, enveloping you with multifaceted colour spectrums, Josefin's vocal subliminals pushing you forward into an enraptured bliss with each pulse beat of the bass and drums - it sure is an intoxicating brew.
Each track as an entity on Mirage does well to transport you to various realms and place you in differing moods. All of them seem to present themselves as unique packages requiring the co-operation of you the listener to open them up, step-in and embrace the all-encompassing experience that Josefin Ohrn and The Liberation offer.