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Bardo Pond - Refulgo 2LP

Bardo Pond - Refulgo 2LP

Three Loded Recordings

Regular price $29.98 USD
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Something happens exactly two minutes and thirty-five seconds into “Die Easy,” the A-side of Bardo Pond’s first 7”, released on the long-gone Compulsiv label back in January 1994. A slurred and shambling blues take on the old Negro spiritual, “I Want to Die Easy” — something that still might be heard around last call at any roadside joint near any American highway — just erupts. The effect is like touching the stove. The song goes white hot, in a searing overlay of guitar feedback and ferocious percussion. The blues returns, but it is never quite the same: the drums too frenzied, the squall too thick, but the hymn is unbowed: shout salvation as I fly...

That was twenty years ago.

Revisiting the warhorse Philadelphia band’s first cut calls to mind something that is seldom articulated: Bardo Pond make American music. Of course, one can hardly find a review or interview where they aren’t being compared to British shoegaze, German krautrock, New Zealand noise, or any one of the global host of bands with whom they have shared stages across continents: Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Acid Mothers Temple. It is all so effortlessly cosmopolitan. But don’t believe it. Bardo Pond make American music: like Son House made American music, like Albert Ayler made American music, like Material made American music. When pressed in interviews to rattle off their international influences, the band often talks about how Sun Ra decamped for Philadelphia in 1968 — a precedent, perhaps, for walking the spaceways while planted in the city where this republic was born.

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