September 02, 2004

The Enlightening Beam of Axonda: Building 311-String Instruments To Travel Through Subatomic Oneness And Reach The Preparation Dimension Of Heaven

If you're going to indulge in the bloated conceit of making a concept album then you might as well go all the way, and concoct something so mind-bogglingly pretentious that it could potentially serve as the basis for a new religion... That's what Bobby Brown did back in 1972... And, no, I'm not talking about the late 80's R&B artist responsible for the hit "My Prerogative"... This Bobby Brown was a Hawaiian hippy dude who built his own ensemble of stringed instruments with a total of 311 strings; possessed a six octave singing voice ("possibly the greatest range ever recorded"); and had devised a new type of physics that would "lead to the most significant change in human history".

On his album "The Enlightening Beam of Axonda", he laid out this new "physics" in the form of a tale about some guy called "Johnny" who leaves his Hawaiian home and embarks on a spiritual quest that inevitably leads him to New Orleans. (Makes sense... That's where they ended up in Easy Rider...) But unlike the "can't-handle-a-bad-trip" lame-arses in Easy Rider, he ventures into a nearby forest, communes with nature, and discovers a subatomic "oneness" called Bray that humanity will ultimately communicate with via a machine called Axonda. The machine will send out beams of energy that will "eventually lead to total Goconciousness". With this knowledge under his belt, Johnny is ready to enter the "preparation dimension" of heaven and merge with God but, at the last moment, he decides to return to earthly life... to record this album!... L Ron Hubbard, eat your heart out!

As for the music itself... Well, as you might expect, there's a lot of po-faced "straining for the sublime" which is only saved from being completely drippy by the primitive-synth like swoops and glides of his 311-stringed juggernaut. And, yes, he does have a pretty impressive voice - reminiscent of some lysergically-drenched Nick Drake.

The album can be purchased through Aquarius Records, who have a couple of streaming samples. For your spiritual enlightnement, though, I'm posting the complete mp3 of the opening track, I Must Be Born.

Posted by Warren at September 2, 2004 11:27 PM | Outsider