ACID is a band formed by musicians Jeff Hassay and Imaad Wasif in sunny, shadow-drenched Greater Los Angeles. Together they wrote and recorded the songs, playing the de-tuned guitars, re-wired keyboards, cardboard, and concrete drums, using hand-made instruments like a wooden microphone and an amplified 2’X4’ that sounds like a saw careening down a waterfall. ACID’s antenna tunes into the ether from station to station, emanating the golden sounds of some soundboard bootleg of T. Rex fronting New Order on a night of boozy Beefheart covers in Brian Eno’s bomb shelter—resulting in three albums: Romance, Science FictionWith Acid and Persona, being released via Narnack Records October 29. ACID has now shared a new single, “Innocence.” The band says of the track “Innocence was a song written/recorded in an afternoon. It was made for a filmmaker who requested a song about innocence, wanted “guilty mind” to be a lyric and who needed it by 5pm. We complied. The film never came out. On some level, it taps into the desperation that a songwriter sometimes feels when trying to finish a song.”
Romance is the entrance point to a labyrinth of sonic explorations and an almost constant loss of control. For fans of that blurry vision of life. Romance comes on like an endless dream machine that chugs in like-minded brains as a fevered robot would, glitching away into the long night. Hassay and Wasif say that the lyrics were culled from their experimental book of poetry, Today In Space.
Science Fiction with Acid dreams of Prince in a CIA mind-control experiment advised by the Smiths. Ingo Swann (who pioneered Remote Viewing and wrote an inspirationally bizarre book about it called Penetration) is an influence. Consisting mainly of waltzes, Science Fiction is gateway music for abductees of the Mysterious Light. These apocalypse narratives converge into a richly imaginative, slightly schizophrenic fugue state. Science is revered and repelled in equal measure, spelling the darkest doom and most glowing optimism. ACID spelunk as scientists, tinkering and organizing the chaos of existence into songs that aim to get stuck somewhere in your brain.
Persona, the last in the trilogy where Technicolor cinema neighborhoods are cast in dark kraut projections, vibed with Cure, Waylon Jennings, and Spiritualized, awash in Morricone, and Stockhausen waves of mutilation. Twists, dips, sky-scraping choruses, and burning bridges lead us past romance, beyond science fiction, into a brightened corner humming with clouded revelations and illicit behavior. This is ACID’s transformation – an attempt to stretch too far. Many songs capture Hassay and Wasif simultaneously performing songs for the first time, resulting in wabi-sabi baked-in imperfections like an audibly dropped guitar in Heaven, the piano screw-ups in Resister, the changing and forgotten bass line in Substance, and the lyrics in Philosophy, which were the result in Hassay whispering words for Wasif to say as he was singing.
All albums will be available on LP for individual sale or as a limited edition box set on Narnack Records (NCK7071). The “ACID BOX” is a uniquely designed, playable instrument that can be amplified, like an electric guitar, via the high fidelity 1/4” audio jack on the box’s spine. When plugged into an amplifier, tapping, thumping, and brushing the box will cause it to elicit mysterious percussive sounds. ACID BOX houses all three LPs on glow-in-the-dark vinyl (181 gram), a special ACID laser pen that illuminates the LPs and a limited edition poster.
Imaad Wasif has released 5 solo albums, the most recent being Great Eastern Sun (Nomad Eel, 2018) and the cult favorite The Voidist (Tee Pee Records, 2011), along with many collaborations. These include an album with Lou Barlow & The Folk Implosion (Interscope/Domino, 2003), a deathfolk album with Black Mountain’s Stephen McBean, Anarchic Breezes (Outer Battery, 2013), and recording/performing with Karen O and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Jeff Hassay publishes books under the moniker Stagger Fancy Press, who have published books by Andy Kaufman and J.D. Salinger. He recently released Dirt Sounds, a limited edition LP hand-made out of soil from Brian Wilson’s childhood house (Small World Records, 2017). As a musician and producer, his releases include Kath Bloom, This Dream of Life, (Caldo Verde, 2017), Enter Das Ram, with Rachel Mason, (Cleopatra/Practical, 2016) and Ma by Guru Deep, released in 2020.