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Psychic Ills 

Wednesday, Jul 8 2009
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The music of Brooklyn art-drone quartet Psychic Ills has been described as "shamanic," with its compositional approach compared to astral traveling. The cover of its new album, Mirror Eye, features a blurred photo of a tambourine player, a quilt, and a pile of crystals. Is this the sound of hipster New Age? The disc certainly has meditative qualities, while the vocals are mumbled mantras. Repetitive instrumentation sits nicely with the pulses and pops of antique drum machines and looped rhythms. The band is heavy on texture and light on tunes, despite Elizabeth Hart's melodically lithe bass playing. But don't assume the lotus position just yet. Icy Terminator synth shrieks and a nearly black metal–esque undercurrent of gloom show up often, and the result is as unsettling as you would expect.

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John Garmon

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