Exposé Online banner

Sula Bassana — Dark Days
(Sulatron-records st1204-2, 2012, CD / 2LP)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-09-18

Dark Days Cover artThese are the recent endeavors of Sula Bassana, the pseudonym of German multi-instrumentalist and composer Dave Schmidt. Dark Days is six tracks of psychedelic acid-drenched heavy stoner rock of the highest order, mostly instrumental with a lot of fuzzed-out guitars, swirling organ, synths, Mellotron, and some occasional muted vocals, all buried in powerful atmospherics. No mistaking, this may have been recorded between 2007 and 2012, bit its pedigree is steeped in the heady days of psychedelic rock in the late 60s and early 70s. Think the classic years of Amon Düül II and Ash Ra Tempel, Hawkwind when they mattered, and a blast of Pink Floyd’s fertile psychedelic years circa 1968-1969. This is one of those discs that’s so intense that you’ll need to pull off the side of the road and wait for the hallucinations to stop. Schmidt is a one-man band, from the bass and drum rhythms up through all the arrangements and post-embellishments, the material is created in conceptual layers, where the listener can focus on any part of it, but it’s pretty difficult if not impossible to absorb all of it at once. “Underground,” the album’s opening cut, is the hardest rocker, leading seamlessly into “Departure,” which perhaps most epitomizes the connection with the classic German and British psychedelic rock experience. The title track explores a more avant-garde, yet still very rock oriented side of the SB sound, starring the Mellotron and a thousand snarly guitars. Two side-long epics, “Surrealistic Journey” and closer “Arriving Nowhere,” both push farther out than anything else here, stretching the limits in every direction, and gently driving into the depths of space. This is a long disc, clocking in at around 70 minutes, or four sides of vinyl. Either way, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Sula Bassana (Dave Schmidt)

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mörglbl - Grötesk – Simply put, Mörglbl is an adept French fusion guitar, bass and drums trio. Their debut on the American Free Electric Sound label is a bit surprising since there don’t appear to be many unique...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues