[sic] Magazine

Psychic Ills – Telesthetic Tape

Psychic Ills ‘ latest release – Telesthetic Tape – probably couldn’t have been more aptly named. For starters, it’s on cassette (surprise), but more importantly, and in a nutshell, telesthetic (or telesthesia) refers to the response or perception of distant objects or events in an extrasensory capacity.

This can be interpreted in one of two ways – specifically the recording, a reference to the tape itself, or what it would like to achieve for the listener. I’m leaning more towards the latter, but that’s an impression more than it is a certainty, which is also quite apt.

The music is divided into several individual tracks over both sides, but there are no individual track names, simply ‘Side 1’ and ‘Side 2’. Thus, I presume, it’s intended to be considered in its entirety rather than narrowing focus down to individual tracks. Side 1 starts with a short, wavering drone which, while making several resurgences further down the line, primarily serves as a more subtle basis for most of the remaining pieces.

Entirely instrumental, experimental drone may be at its centre, but drifting around that is a variety of loosely structured and abstract psychedelia, and other times it becomes more directly driven both by percussion and something akin to melody. Those familiar with artists such as Natural Snow Buildings and, in particular, the individual counterparts Isengrind and TwinSisterMoon , will at least have a decent amount of solid ground to be able to enter the realm of Psychic Ills and not feel quickly lost, where, indeed, grasp is a little more distant, but perceptable none the less.

Rather than serve as a guide, or wander too abstractly into different directions, Telesthetic Tape more hums with ideas that are tweaked with sudden thought. Though occasionally it offers up something with a little more definition to it than that – somwhere along the lines of old school, deep psych with Middle Eastern flavour – use of the sitar, soft percussion and various other sound effects cause reaction rather than signal anything really tangible. The realm of Psychic Ills, then, is the not-quite-secret nature of their abstractness in the sense that it’s not actually abstract after all, nor a construct or even deconstruction, but a prolonged exploration of lateral thinking, one which favours philosophising over conclusions.

Perhaps frustratingly, it couldn’t be more appropriate to leave it at that.

~The Telesthetic Tape is out now on cassette via Skrot Up .~