VIRGIL CAINE- s/t (STILL SEALED)
1971 private pressed crude folk wonder on the original Fulcrum Records label! Hopelessly rare and obscure 1971 rural Virginia private press folk masterpiece. A true anomaly in the seemingly bottomless world of self released albums, this one charts a truly unique realm all its own. While the sound itself may draw some clear influence from classics of the day, even lifting the band name from a song by The Band, the mood & vibe here is ponderously uncharted territory, seemingly birthed complete from some parallel sonic reality. Crude lo-fi metaphysical basement folk rock filtered through a deeply southern gothic/Appalachian/Americana band aesthetic and executed in the purest, most sincere, spontaneous, vibe-thick sense possible. The atmosphere trapped in these grooves is truly as strong as it gets and is sure to engulf any open-minded listener given half a chance. The near magical power of the album seems to lay in its extreme polarization; on the one hand there is a fully developed lyrical depth and intellect that's profoundly poetic, even novelistic, yet the music & recording is shockingly raw, unhinged, completely unselfconscious, and downright weird. It's a dusty, creaky, ebb & flow of clackity percussion, acoustic strum, shaky low-watt electric guitar licks, occasional floorboard rattling bass, and thick southern drawl. Even the recording quality has a bizarre lo-fi character of its own, with some sounds seeming to barely hit the tape at all, while others are wildly overblown, wrapping the whole deal in a gauzy tape hiss fog, with hints of garagey distortion. The album progresses with a casual but surprisingly purposeful intent, hitting an intimately mystical, visionary, dream-like arc through the entire second side of the record and ending in complete dissipation. All taken together it's a seriously teleportive trip to a flicker in time & place that is really quite special. The scratchy textless black & white band photo cover art suites the album perfectly: striking yet vague, timeless yet ancient, simple yet mysterious. STILL SEALED!!!