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Lumerians - Transmalinnia (2011)

Combining mind-blowing visuals with a murky, chilled-out sound, it’s clear that the Bay Area quintet Lumerians is out to blow minds. Based out of Oakland, CA, the garage-psych outfit, consisting of Tyler Green, Luis Vasquez, Christopher Musgrave, Marc Melzer, and Jason Miller, layer their rhythm-heavy sound with deep bass, synthesizers, and drifting guitars, creating music that’s highly exploratory while maintaining enough of a groove to get people’s feet moving. The band made their debut in 2008 with a self-titled, self-released EP. After hooking up with Knitting Factory Records, the band released the first full-length, Transmalinnia, in 2011. 

Whether it’s to another culture, planet, or plane of existence, psychedelic music is all about the journey. There are unknown musical destinations out there just waiting to be discovered, laying in wait for some bold musical explorers to come and plant their flag in them. On their full-length debut, Transmalinnia, Bay Area psych outfit Lumerians take up this role without hesitation. Finding a nice spot between the low-end murk of Broadcast and the garage grooves of Clinic, the band dabbles in a style that seeks to be simultaneously mind-bending and danceable. While Lumerians keep it tight and funky on songs like “Black Tusk” and “Melting Space,” they also understand the importance of letting their sound breath a little. On the languid “Atlanta Brook,” the band slowly allows the song to open up, carefully adding layers as the song wanders to its conclusion in no particular hurry. Things get really out there on the sprawling “Longwave,” which attempts to enthrall you with its hypnotic drone, slowly drawing you in with its low-end buzz over the course of nine minutes. Normally, a band trying to cover such a wide spectrum would end up falling into the “jack of all trades, master of none” category, spreading itself too thin to really make an impact with any of its experiments. Lumerians, however, artfully dodge this trap with a style that allows them to change gears with only subtle changes, giving their sound a purity and sense of vision that makes Transmalinnia an impressive and promising debut. (allmusic)

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