|Bad Liquor Pond at Hampdenfest 2010|
Stoner caravan from deep space arrives.
And in talking of mediatative usefulness and the extremes of the sonic spectrum. No true overview of the darkest burblings of the underground would be complete without a sustained session of Sleep’s Dopesmoker, re-released for 2012, remastered by Bard Bortright, over and above even the Tee Pee Records release, which has until now been the staple expression closest to the vision of Sleep’s Dopesmoker. The current magnum opus of the Dopesmoker odyssey, overseen by Billy Anderson and Sleep and released properly in full version in triumphant gatefold artefact and limited edition picturedisk with superb cover art by Arik Moonhawk Roper. It is well known that all members of Sleep intended Dopesmoker to be more than just an album, more than just a song. It was the definite final expression of an entire lifestyle and belief system they helped create. Crucially the lyrics deify and canonise far more than they tell stories. According to all members of the band, the record has never been released in its true form, and never recorded in that form. Like all fine ideas, once the time comes to come back to earth and back to land and condense hundreds of hours of discussion and imagination into a single hour-long expression, something of the purity of that dreamtime is lost. The violences of mock-shock and amazement at what Sleep assembled didn’t help, only after almost 15 years of trying has the truest yet (by no means true, according to those in the know, no true version will ever be successfully completed) has been released as the most right-on rock and roll artefact of the year and a must-have for those interested in the ongoing Dopesmoker saga, and for those keen on rock and roll memorabilia.
|Sleep in Spain 2012|
Written under duress by Steven.
Post script: The reissue CD has banished the non-album live artefact Sonic Titan (a sad choice, but it is still available as a little Sleep treat) and replaced it with an utterly superfluous rendition of Holy Mountain c.1995 which can be entirely discarded.