Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

January 2, 2013

BOOK OF SHADOWS, new cdr album “Chimaera” (KSE #235)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:21 am



KSE #235  (cdr, 75+ minutes of music!),      $8.00  ppd.  US/ $10 ppd. elsewhere

payment via paypal to  django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

book of shadows, chimaera

Perhaps THE  finest group devoted to pure celebratory spiritually-based higher-key psychedelia in Texas or anywhere (as someone who pursues this kind of music wherever I can find it, and has for decades, I think I can make that claim safely), BOOK OF SHADOWS released a much-acclaimed 3″, 20 minute mini-cdr with KSE in 2011 and also we were honored to have them perform at the KSE Psychedelic Disaster Whirl in October 2011. However, those performances and their various past recordings did not prepare me for their new 78-minute epic album CHIMAERA (KSE #235). The languid, richly textured, slowly swirling improvisational pieces that make up the album are held together by the beautiful wordless vocalizing of Sharon Crutcher (note: I hear that she is working on  solo recordings for the UK label Reverb Worship, now THAT will be worth watching for)—what a deep incantatory power her shimmering vocals have, a primal earthiness that’s silken and always deeply organic. Around that core we have woven strands of keyboards, guitar, percussion, field recording, bongos, electronics, controlled feedback, and otherworldly echoes of all kinds. I think I hear organ and accordion, but with this kind of record, I’m going along for the ride, I’m not taking it apart and analyzing the instrumentation. This is tribal-psych, spiritual free-flowing psych of the highest order…BOOK OF SHADOWS…


Over more than a decade, some 25 releases (on such esteemed labels as Ruralfaune and Reverb Worship) and countless shows, Austin’s  BOOK OF SHADOWS  has been creating unique, spiritually charged, higher-key psychedelic soundscapes that transcend category.  Austin is full of tie-dyed psychedelic revivalists who would not know what to do with forward-thinking timeless communal music-making like what BOOK OF SHADOWS creates, because B. O. S. creates music that, like Ya Ho Wa 13 or Psychic TV, grows out of spiritual practice and as such has no boundaries and follows no script. It is celebratory and takes in all of the elements. One could drop references such as Beat of the Earth, Mahogany Brain, Two Virgins-era Yoko Ono, or Kendra Smith, but Book of Shadows’ Sharon and Carlton Crutcher are so far outside the loop of “influences” and considerations of what’s hip this year, that that does not matter. They represent the purest strain of the ever-evolving Texas higherkey psychedelic tradition, and POPPETS AND STRINGS brings us two  9+ minute excursions, one recorded outside in the woods, one a home recording. Perhaps because the Crutchers live in a small town and NOT in some apartment on S. Congress, their music is made from the water and the thunder and the soil and the sky, and thus we lose all sense of time as Sharon’s wordless vocals speak to us in a universal language of feeling and the electronics and guitars and keyboards melt and flow and shimmer and glow. Of Book of Shadows, Julian Cope wrote, “like the best psychedelia, listeners never know which track is playing, where the last one ended or when the next one began,” and that’s also true with CHIMAERA.  This is the real thing, folks…and having seen Book of Shadows live, I can attest that the musicians attain a higher state during their performance, and wherever they perform becomes a sacred space. They bring an all-new interpretation to the phrase “Lift The Bandstand.”

book of shadows2011 KSE 3″ release from B.O.S., now out of print

We’re honored to feature the music of these Texas psychedelic pioneers on KSE, and the nearly 78 minutes of music featured here is potent and gets deeper with each listen. You can, literally, push the “repeat” button and spend an day/night with this music, and like the best psychedelia, when you turn it off and step back into the outside environment, you hear THAT music, your ears and your brain have been opened and rewired, and you realize that the music is everywhere…and that “everything that is, is holy.”


“CHIMAERA,” KSE #235, only $8.00 postpaid in the US ($10 ppd. elsewhere).

And while you are ordering it, why not also pick up some of our other forward-thinking KSE cdr music releases:

($8 each, ppd…$2 extra for postage outside US if ordering only one CDR):

KSE #239 (CDR), FOSSILS, “Bells and Guls”

KSE #237 (CDR), MICHAEL BARRETT & MIKE GRIFFIN, ““Birtual Seme-Alabak” (aka Belltonesuicide and Parashi)

KSE #228 (CDR), UNMOOR, “Night Driver”

KSE # 210 (CDR), HEATHER LEIGH, “Empire”

KSE #226 (CDR), DEREK ROGERS, “Born Into Systems”

KSE #247 (CDR), MARCUS RUBIO & BILL SHUTE, “Only The Imprint Of An Echo Remains” (poetry and electronic music album, recorded in San Antonio, TX)

KSE #207 (CDR), ALFRED 23 HARTH & CARL STONE, “Gift Fig”


KSE #222 (CDR), MASSIMO MAGEE, “Sopranino Solo, “ cover art by MP Landis.

KSE #220 (CDR),  MATT KREFTING, “Sweet Days of Discipline”

KSE #223 (CDR), ALISTAIR CROSBIE, “A Campfire In The Snow”

KSE #214 (CDR), SABRINA SIEGEL,”Bottlecaps” 

As always, thank you for your support of KSE and your support of all independent artists

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