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Usually available via VHF Records.
A sprawling follow-up to 1999's critical and commercially successful release Empty Bell Ringing In The Sky, Ayahuasca represents the most comprehensive survey of Pelt activities to date. Recorded over a period of more than two years at various live and studio sessions, the double CD shows the heavily-bearded trio broadcasting from some lesser-known and newly-discovered corners of the drone-omniverse. Most striking about the record is the inclusion of several traditional tunes, arranged for the group's eclectic instrumentation. While the band has been performing some acoustic material for several years and let some sneak out on the limited edition For Michael Hannas CDR, Ayahuasca is the first release to fully explore this part of their repertoire. "The Cuckoo" and "Deep Sunny South" are traditional Appalachian numbers, played and sung with considerable skill and feeling. The sawing bowed acoustic guitar on "The Cuckoo" and the rolling banjo and Tibetan bowl accompaniment on "Deep Sunny South" draw a direct line between raw/folk music traditions and the deep, visceral drone music that Pelt have specialized in over the past several years. Combining the two styles neatly, "A Raga Called John" features Jack Rose's very, very fine country-blues/Fahey-influenced fingerstyle guitar over a shifting backdrop of hurdy-gurdy and concertina, before giving way to tanpuras overrun by fretless banjo. Of course, on top of all of this easily comprehensible music there's plenty of ear-cleansing ecstatic drone, from the two long flotation-inducing trios for bowed electrics and Esraj to the wall-shaking electric hurdy-gurdy mania of "Bear Head Apparition." Truly a record for our times, such as they are. 10 Tracks, 134 Minutes.