Alibi V.24 No.34 • Aug 20-26, 2015 

Aural Fixation

Silver Globe Delivers Another World

Jane Weaver The Silver Globe—Deluxe Edition (Bird Records)

Hey you, reading the music section. Do you feel despondent or disenchanted with music or the music industry?

Face it: after listening to the wonderfully under-appreciated, often obscure music that has taken years out of your life to discover and collect, it all gets old. There's a time limit on availability—in tangible form, anyway—as collectors and fans continue to pay outrageous prices, snapping up Pussy Galore and Jandek albums online and from the bins of now-rarified record stores.

But let me introduce you to Jane Weaver and the album The Silver Globe. This recording was just released in the US.

Weaver continues to release great new music on Bird, a subsidiary of a label that reissues valuable, hard-to-find music. This paradigm informs Weaver's latest release, a Hawkwind-esque space rock opera that chronicles the saga of our intellectual and emotional quest in the outside world—a journey fraught with empty detours, false idols and soul-sucking obeisance.

Weaver's latest album is named for an obscure Polish film Na srebrnym globie (On the Silver Globe) made by Andrzej Zulawski in the late 1970s but not released until 1988. The plot concerns a group of stranded interplanetary explorers whose subsequent generations develop a religion based on their knowledge of the original castaways and their origins.

The import-only The Silver Globe had a huge impact on critics in 2014 but remained under the radar for many until the album's re-release this year. Paired with an equally mind-blowing album of extras and remixes called The Amber Light, the US Deluxe Edition gained traction, introducing a wider audience to one of the best albums of 2014.

Part of the reason for this album's obscurity was its release on the independent Bird label. The label has limited means, an aspect that is a small sacrifice for being true to the imprint’s DIY sensibilities. This aesthetic also relates to the overarching themes in the album.

The work is 90 minutes of high grade, psychedelic electro-folk. Casio beats, pounding drums worthy of Crash Worship, beautifully repetitious, Can-influenced drum riffs and dour British folk guitar à la Pentangle: these are some signposts to give you an idea of what's inside. Weaver's voice is capable of inducing altered states, with range and tone that compliment perfectly both the brash, Faust-like drums on “Your Time in This Life is Just Temporary” and the gentle, acid soaked bleep-bloop of ”You are Dissolved.” Psych enthusiasts will find The Silver Globe a rewarding and lasting garden of earthly delights. Stereolab fans may find here a new temple of worship.

Here is a masterpiece that gets better with every listen; where a new world gradually becomes more familiar as each song reveals itself.

“Argent” has so many layers contributing simultaneously to the melody and the beat, it takes a number of listens for the full potential of what could be a lost track from Ege Bamyasi to reveal itself. Weaver and company also enlisted ‘70s ”Aussie-Krautrock” band Cybotron's saxophone player Steve Maxwell Von Braund. His contribution on “Argent” sounds like Nik Turner's horn work with Hawkwind. The next track, “The Electric Mountain,” is also reminiscent of Hawkwind. It’s built (with permission from Dave Brock) on top of a loop of the Hawkwind song “Star Cannibal”, from the album Church of Hawkwind.

This album isn't simply a throw-back to another age. The recording is informed by bands like Gorillaz, Stereolab and a pile of filmic influences like Logan's Run. Fans of krautrock and psychedelic music should obtain The Silver Globe in the interests of independence, beauty and all that is both obscure and new. Plus, it'd be a great album to trip with. In your car or your spaceship.