Band Website: www.beyondomatic.com
Label: Trail Records
Release Date: 2013
The strangely named Beyond-O-Matic is back with a new release entitled Relations at the Borders Between. The history of this San Francisco based outfit goes back to their forming in the early nineties when they released a few recordings before going on hiatus in 1999. They reformed in about 2005 to start recording again. The band is made up of Peter Fuhry (guitars, vocals, flute, electric harp, melodica, effects), Kurt 'Stenzo' Stenzel (synthesizer, delays, effects) and Anthony Koutsos (drums, cymbals). On selected tracks they’ve enlisted the musical support of Edward Dahl (guitar) and Michael 'Seven' Harris (bass, bass synthesizer). The music of Beyond-O-Matic is best described as psychedelia laced Space Rock.
There are 7 tracks on Relations at the Borders Between, clocking in at 72-minutes so you will not be surprised to discover five of these tracks run over ten-minutes. There is everything you might expect from the general musical description above. Track one, “In the C” [5:13] begins in a soft dreamy fashion with some repetitive vocals and guitar notes while the synthesizer and drums slowly enter the fray, building the tune’s texture. There isn’t really a start or a stop, the tune just continues to build in intensity before fading out. Next up is the shortest tune on the disc, “Tick Tock Rock” [2:29] which turns out to be a spacey recitation of the title’s three words over and over again. This slides right into “Wish” [15:37] a thick, plodding, marching rhythm is accented by first a Pink Floyd styled lead guitar line and then later synth lines that resemble bagpipes. This is a grand and spectacular piece of music featuring huge, majestic fanfares while Fuhry’s falsetto vocals, with layers of reverb and echo provide some nice upper-end contrast to the bassy musical foundation. It’s all change at the seven-minute mark as the music falls away, making room for some strange solo synth lines buzzing in and out of focus. Before too long another mid-tempo choppy rhythm foundation is introduced to take us through to the song’s multi-faceted instrumental closing.
Fans of psychedelic, Space Rock, especially music influenced by the Echo’s era Pink Floyd will find much to appreciate and enjoy on Relations at the Borders Between. It’s great to have a band likeBeyond-O-Matic back in business. Their musical approach is one that covers a fair bit of Prog territory, with hints of even Led Zeppelin here and there and some great sixties-era psych as well. Well worth checking out. Nice job!