Samsara Blues Experiment - One With the Universe album review

You were the experiment all along

Cover art for Samsara Blues Experiment - One With the Universe album

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Settle in for a long, weird ride. SBE have never been about brevity, and some of the songs here stretch out nearly to infinity, drifting to the furthest reaches of your subconscious before rolling back in waves of psychedelic splendour.

This cross-legged, wizard-sleeved trio from Berlin bake psych-metal, free-flowing ragas, ever-expanding prog and even delicate folk into a meaty pie of cosmic proportions, and this, their fourth full-length, is their most mind-melting yet.

Opener Vipassana is a ten-minute magic carpet ride through a hazy purple future and it perfectly complements the album’s centrepiece title track. Clocking in at over a quarter of an hour, this myth-making epic is an absolute monster, like if Hendrix joined the bomb-throwing version of Amon Düül and they all ascended to heaven.

Just when you thought this kind of long-haired noodling had painted itself into a corner, Samsara Blues Experiment bend it into spectacular new shapes and sounds. You can’t dance to it but it’ll probably mutate your DNA and you’ll live forever beyond the quivering orb of consciousness. Something like that, anyway.

Came from the sky like a 747. Classic Rock’s least-reputable byline-grabber since 2003. Several decades deep into the music industry. Got fired from an early incarnation of Anal C**t after one show. 30 years later, got fired from the New York Times after one week. Likes rock and hates everything else. Still believes in Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, against all better judgment.