A Psychedelic Guide to Monsterism Island
Monsterism Island is full of Snorses, Wizards, Snyrds, Fowl Owls, Bat Skulls, Wild Robots, Fragmax and Grolfrax. As we tour this island of exotic chimera and creatures beyond our current knowledge we are given a soundtrack of wondrous and bizarre variety and extent. The fantastic psychedelic guidebook to this soundtrack evocatively describes the island and the travels the narrator and listener take far better than I can. All I can do here is to attempt to represent the sounds that have coloured my multiple journeys.
We arrive early in the morning on this far-off place with a breezy sense that Monsterism Island is somewhere Oceanic. As we venture forth, a feeling of potential dread of the creatures that lie within is replaced by an understanding that we shouldn’t be afraid as this is a place where Nintendo styled monsters live: both ‘Designated Wizard Practice Area’ (Belbury Poly) and ‘Silver Snorse Hotel’ (Luke Vibert) deliver almost nursery melodies that can only comfort. The former track, entitled because said sorcerers did something to the local milk with a spell gone wrong, hints at the cloaks ahead…
For as we move towards dusk the spring village fete has begun and there is only one band out there who can provide the backdrop to the bucolic festivities…it’s the cloaked wonders that are Circulus with the rapturous ‘Till Merry We Meet Again’. Future Sound of London in their Amorphous Androgynous guise add to the freak show with the uniquely titled ‘Mr Sponge’s Groovy Oscillations’ and Gruff Rhys cools things down a little with ‘Wild Robots Power Up’.
As the sun sets and night wraps itself around the island the tension increases, but it’s only on Jerry Dammer’s ‘Empty Library’ that things threaten to tip over into the truly chilling. Perhaps this is the library in the Ghost Town that beguiled us in the 80s? Is it just a little spooky that the night club referred to therein is now Coventry Central Library? Hmmm?
Later into the night we encounter gargantuan bees and as we dream in the purple wood we witness an owl ritual. Then, we and our narrator depart vowing to return at the sound of the bat skull’s horn.
Each time I’ve embarked on the journey to and around this weirdly enchanting isle, I’ve realised this album is slowly becoming my soundtrack to the nascent summer.
Bonkers. Brilliant. Get it, here.
Circulus – ‘Till We Merry Meet Again
Gruff Rhys – Wild Robots Power Up
Jerry Dammers – Empty Library