Since their formation early last year, the Philadelphia, PA-based trio of Ecstatic Vision have quickly developed a reputation for a sound that draws from a wild variety of influences including Krautrock, Fela Kuti, Sun Ra, Hawkwind, UFO, stoner rock, drone rock and trance rock, and as a result the trio have already toured with acts like Pallbearer, Black Lips, Hawkwind, YOB and Enslaved. And once you hear “Astral Plane,” the latest single off Ecstatic Vision’s forthcoming debut Sonic Praise, you’ll quickly understand why, as the song is arguably one of the hardest and trippiest songs I’ve probably heard so far this year. Layers of acid-tinged, droning and buzzing power chords are paired with propulsive and complex, tribal polyrhythms to create a sound that channels frenzied ecstasy of Tinariwen, Karthala ‘72 and the Whirling Dervishes but paired with a tight, persistent motorik groove.
“Astral Plane” is a song that eschews an easily identifiable chorus, hook or bridge; however, the song is comprised of several twisting and turning movements held together by a tight and propulsive rhythm, complete with an incredible sax solo that bursts from the noise and chanted lyrics that appear roughly 2/3s of the way through. The song manages to evoke an ancient tribal ritual performed near a bonfire; windswept desert roads, desert skies and surreal topography that’s reminiscent of Dali paintings; and of adventures and nightmares filed by hallucinogens and whiskey.