With this tape, the first thing you should do is turn it over, rewind it, and begin by listening to side-B. The reason being, that on this tape playing the second side first really gives the album as a whole a better sense of dramatic direction, or really, a smoother journey to an amazing ending. In other words, the A side of this tape is so incredible that it makes the B-side harder to enjoy despite its also highly enjoyable qualities.
Side B opener "Sun Ritual" begins with a spirited reed skronk freak-out that slowly melts away. A rhythmic motif is bleated out by a single saxophone over a raucous drumbeat, and is repeated at random intervals by other saxophones and a clarinet. They seem to be trying to play the motif in unison, but it never quite comes together. Things begin to loosen up when Bam, another freak-out, more intense than the first closes out the first track. This all happens in the span of about two minutes, and is a captivating way to open things up. The next song "Moon Ritual" has a little more meat on its bones and is equally engaging, but in a very different way. It opens with a spacey, almost hiss like blowing sound that beckons you to listen closely. Other sounds creep in slowly. An organ note languishes, a pulsing guitar note rings true, and the sax sings out in lyrical fragments and wails. Lots of echo going on here, all of the sounds seem to be revolving around one another like a slow moving tempest, the blowing noise at its center. There is even a human voice in the mix, singing small wordless melodies and sustained notes. In the end we are left only with the wind, a sense of being transported, and a keen interest about the place we are going.
This brings us to side-A and its immense side-long track entitled "Spiritual Celebration". Some loosely swinging hand drums combine with a lolling bass part to start things off, and you know right away that you are in for some mellow, sunshine streaked jams. A group of staccato organ chords chime in, just before the sax announces the melodic motif of the song. A guitar, aggressive in tone, but never obtrusive, lays down some nicely reverbed lines, slashing occasionally before dropping back into some loose rhythmic strums. The sax makes the main melodic themes its playthings. Alternating between providing the song with its main, repeated riffs, and connective improvisation, its interplay with the guitar is a thing to behold. Really playful, grooving stuff here. The track has a loose lightness to it that puts a smile on my face every time, making it a go to move anytime I am trying to set a summer mood. I love it. 8/10 -- Bryan King (8 July, 2009)