When members of his former band, F/I, expressed desire to go in a more song-oriented direction, Richard Franecki decided it was time to move on and formed the more loosely structured Vocokesh. Influenced by the industrial sounds of Throbbing Gristle and the space rock of Hawkwind and Pink Floyd,…
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Vocokesh started out at the beginning of the 90s in Wisconsin, when F/i's Richard Franecki formed the band. Their debut album Ispepnaibara came out in 1990 and it was all about spaced out psychedelia with a psychedelic noise rock and a lo-fi touch. In essence the repetitive basslines and drums under psychedelic jamming reminded the legendary space rock outfit Hawkwind, while still having their own distinct somewhat lo-fi feel to it. The album is all about ascending space rock together with some doomish psych and noise rock with a garage rock feel. The prime example of the latter being the awesome repetitiveness of The Circle is the Square, which reminded the earlier and the latest album of the legendary British shoegazey garage rock band The Telescopes.
After their succesful debut album they have released close to 20 albums and EPs through the years. Some of them split albums with fellow psych rock bands F/i and ST 37, the latest of which is a split album from 2015 with F/i that is titled 'no title'. The albums have all essentially followed the space rock and psych rock direction of their earlier years, with some shifts towards more abstract and avant-garde psychedelia and noise rock as well. The most notable albums are probably The Tenth Corner and Dr. Hoffmann's Bicycle Ride, which pack some admirable acid soaked and extremely spacey psychedelic rock. The latter album is one amazing piece of transcendental psych rock. The space rock feel of the album though is more down to earth and acid soaked in essence. It is sort of a long desert journey kind of album in the vein of Castaneda's Journey to Ixtlan. This is music for acid soaked desert wandering that will lead your mind out of this world and into inner enlightenment.
One could also draw darker and weirder parallels with Alejandro Jodorowsky's legendary films El Topo and Holy Mountain. After all one of the tracks from The Tenth Corner is titled Love Theme from El Topo, while another is titled Holy Mountain. The album is less structured and more avant-garde, as well as improvisational in its jamming, and has a more krautrock feel to it in the rhythm section. All in all this album exemplifies the distinctly Vocokesh-like almost maddened jamming with distorted echo laden guitars, that sometimes have a Japanese underground psych feel to them, while sometimes wandering into the avant-garde realm. Vocokesh is definitely a must for all psychedelic space rock admirers.