The Plastic Cloud

This reissue CD from 68 arrived in the mail the other day. Tonight, being all black and inklike outside seemed to be the perfect time to warm the vacuum tubes and give this CD a spin on the reference system.

Sonically, this record appears to be in early stereo. It is a bit disconcerting, but I guess is part of the trip here. Track 2, Shadows of Your Mind exemplifies the fizz riffing, scale running and balls out jamming appears in the left channel while the plantive vocal attempts to balance coming out of the right channel. A backup vocal appears in the left channel later in the song.

The guitar appears to favor the left channel on Art's A Happy Man as well, the hippy vocal stylings can be a bit trying, but you can feel the build of the song by using multi channel mixing of the various vocals.

Fuzz face or some other cool old pedal appears to be modifying the signal of the guitar at the beginning of the focal point of the LP, You Don't Care. The guitar is mixed into the lower depths here. It moves back and forth. The drums roll and the cymbals are used mercilessly.
"You Don't Care for the morning, you dont care for the sumer rain." Then the guitar takes off. Maybe like a much speeded young Jorma... Everything chills the weird Indian sounding drum tone appears in the right channel, and the master volume of the guitar is somewhat squelched.
Finally the bass moves into an area of the mix where it can be heard.

Bridge Under the Sky, seems like way light after You Don't Care. "Everybody knows, everybody says... might as well be dead." Have to love anti happy hippy lyrics like that. There are some odd tones and hums that leak from various areas of the sound pallette. It is hard for me to tell if it is tape hiss, or what, but it certainly does seem that the system is appropriately grounded.

Dainty General Blues moves the vocals more in the center of the mix. There is a hefty ladel of plate reverb added to the vocals as well. The bass really stomps in the right channel and may bleed a bit into the left. The marching beat matches well with the lyrical matter.

The lp does not end on an easy listening note as they trot to a near sludge beat on Civization Machine. "Finest you've ever seen."

This is a bit off the beaten path, but fans of psych like Love or perhaps West Coast Pop Art Experimental band should dig this. While the fuzz is the element that sticks with the listener, The Plastic Cloud is much more in the psych realm that in garage. This record may contain the highest possible level of fuzz.

In fact, other than the raw production there is nothing garage about this record. The packaging goes to lengths to provide all the material from the original vinyl release. It includes complete lyrics and oddball liner notes that give the feeling that these kids dug their Hobbit.

Plastic Cloud shot a bit of light out of the loudspeakers on this the most dark of nights.

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