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DW052  Primordial Undermind / An Imaginal Abydos

An Imaginal Abydos is Primordial Undermind’s eleventh album of all-new music, and the first new studio recordings since 2011. Through the band’s three decades of existence, Undermind frontal lobe Eric Arn has led the group through multiple incarnations – initially in the US, since 2005 in Vienna, Austria – that ranged along a musical spectrum from post-garage-psych stomp via spiky art punk and into avant-garde space, always maintaining an immediately recognizable aesthetic through-line. Of all the band’s incarnations, Vienna is the longest-lasting yet least-recorded, so just on that basis An Imaginal Abydos is a treat for longtime listeners, a studio snapshot of the current quartet (guitars, bass, drums) in hard-charging action in late 2019 and early 2020 (last days of the Before Times). Those good listeners will appreciate even more how the album’s musical contents channel sounds from all across PU’s past sonic scope – from structured songs to freeform improvisations, drone into dissonance, noise overload to hovering sparseness, a proper lysergic ruckus that snarls and spits when needed but is also quiet and understated in good measure. All of which makes it perhaps the most Undermind-ian PU LP yet, manna for old fans and a fine entry point for new ones; there’s plenty of guitar freakout, and it sounds mighty good with the volume on your hi-fi cranked way up. Seven songs, 39 minutes. (Co-release by Deep Water Acres and Sunrise Ocean Bender.)