We've got an extremely limited quantity of the 1994 double LP Here, Time Is Space from Matt Bower's solo project Total, which was released by Majora Records. As far as I know, that label has been out of commission for some time, but amazingly I was able to unearth some sparkling new copies of this headcrushing slab of psychedelic guitar damage from one of our more esoteric suppliers. Of course, we all know and love Matt Bower's main band Skullflower, one of the most influential and pulverizing bands to come out of the UK post-industrial underground and who are still releasing awesome albums of superheavy guitar dominated drone/noise/dirge, and of course Hototgisu and Sunroof too, but back when Skullflower was in it's full band mode in the early 90's, somewhere in betwixt their more opiated albums Obsidian Shaking Codex and Carved Into Roses, Matthew released this massive collection of dense axe rituals under the then quite active Total banner, the project's third album by this point, where he distilled his own particular language of satori through guitar/amp obliteration solo...here we have ten lengthy jams spread out across the four sides, vast swirling expanses of dark feedback drone and languid psychedelic guitar solos oozing out of his guitar like gobs of lava-lamp expectorate. All over the album, Matt chants and groans like an blind monk just freshly dug up from some rotting casket and plunked down in the middle of a small symphony of clanging guitar strings, deep rumbling vibrations, grim chord progressions ringing out over bottomless chasms of blackness, brief flashes of massive distorted riffing that, listening to this now, seems to presage the black metal-tainted guitar textures found on the newer Skullflower albums. On "Parsifal", huge clusters of clanging guitar strings that sound like Japanese wind chimes crash together through a fog of fragmented sorrowful melodies and icy feedback, and it's majestic and beautiful, like hearing an orchestra tuning up eternally at the rear of an immense wind tunnel...and the opening track on side three, "Nothing", is one of Total's most apocalyptic pieces; sampling bits of a classical symphony, the chunks of dramatic strings and horns are interjected into a pulsating krautrock jam with endlessly rattling percussion and huge swells of crushing, minor-key riffage. "Alien Penetration" features some damaged psych guitar slime across a shimmery Sunroof style high end drone, but then "Veildust Eternity" comes in a a black tide of low-end amplifier roar that washes over everything and closes the side in a roiling sea of blackened prayer bowl drone and buzzing, murky sludge, broken up by the distant tolling of bells and air-raid sirens. It's not all that dissimiliar from some of Black Boned Angel's more ambient moments, actually.
And the fourth and final side has some of my favorite Total music ever...it opens with the evocatively titled "Heavy Rectum", a masterwork of zonked out psych guitar freakout over buzzing drones, heavy distorted chugging buried way down in the mix, squealing volleys of feedback, and an intensely ominous feedback-riff in the forefront that sounds like several cellos playing the same menacing minor-key melody in unison. And then it moves into "Circular Temple", a massive fifteen minute drone-dirge that creeps through deep space; a simple, distorted riff repeats over and over as it drifts through a dreamlike space filled with flutes, lysergic guitar solos, tinkling percussion, weird spaceship-computer sounds, and various other electronics and amplifier-generated textures, a super abstract, terminally damaged psych trance that taps into Bower's love of old Hawkwind and space rock while submerging those influences in druggy murk and crumbling amp noise. This final track sounds a lot like something from Skullflower's Orange Canyon Mind album, but darker and sludgier.
The set comes in a glossy black and silver jacket with awesome, Sav Pencil-style artwork.