No Hashish, No Change Money, No Saki Saki

Out February 3, 2023 Three Lobed Recordings

i have often wondered what exactly the true roots were for bardo pond. for a band with such a unique sound, where did it all come from? in a recent discussion with michael gibbons he was quick to tell me that their earliest true influences were sabbath, free jazz and no wave. using these sounds as the initial seeds, the band coalesced and poked their heads out into the world and discovered the rest of what would guide them as a unit. their early palette quickly added shades from early dinosaur jr, my bloody valentine, charalambides, spacemen 3, the entire siltbreeze catalog, sonic youth, skullflower and the sun city girls. the combination made from such diverse influences is what the band had in their collective head between june and december of 1993 when they recorded no hashish, no change money, no saki saki and released it as a cassette, partially in an effort to secure more gigs. this is a snapshot of bardo pond in its earliest form – then a quartet consisting of isobel sollenberger (flute, vocals), joe culver (drums) and michael and john gibbons on guitars – crawling onto land and developing its own legs.

i like to fantasize about the room where they all played this material live. in my mind i envision pot smoke wafting throughout, possibly old area rugs on the floor. there should to be a collection of telling and ragged posters/art on the walls, maybe a living room situation, a couch and old chair. i can see curtains hanging over the windows letting in small amounts of sunlight, a lone floor lamp. using this environment as a source, i see the quartet taking their time winding in and out of a morass of sound where a melody emerges from the dissonance converging around it, simultaneously swallowing it up and spewing it forward, isobel’s voice being the center of this gravitational pull, the swirl that brings you in. from there one of the guitars takes off echoing the vocals while the other guitar is shimmering around from all sides, sliding and slurping with the rhythm and cymbals splashing with no hurry. this is the sound of freedom, the sound of bardo pond. this album contains the DNA of all their future music, from the low dirge to the sexy laid-back choking of beautiful vocals lost and found amongst wavering vibrations of rising and falling drone. sometimes isobel’s vocals are a guide, a way through, as in the song “rupture”, a thing that peaks out occasionally above the dense cloud of uncertainty and psychedelic wah noise. they are there to remind you that don’t know where we’re going but that feels good. no hashish… emanates the chaotic splendor of when a band first starts out and aren’t sure what they’re doing, that magical and best kind of energy which simply cannot be repeated. they went on with their following records to refine a special and unique form of mind expansion/explosion based on equal parts of beautiful chaos and repressed noise and you can see all of that start right here. this album is for me like all of bardo pond’s catalog, a cleanse of the mind and soul, a soundtrack for today’s “great resignation” and the ultimate way to turn on and on and on…

-kim gordon, los angeles 2022-

this 30th anniversary edition of no hashish, no change money, no saki saki represents the album’s first widespread physical release. it was remastered from the original source in 2022 by carl saff. it will be pressed to 140 gram 2×12″ vinyl in virginia by furnace mfg (primarily on black vinyl but also a limited quantity of translucent green vinyl) and housed within a full color gatefold jacket featuring period appropriate photography from the bardo archives.


Celestial Scuzz Vapour Theories 26TH FEBRUARY 2021 – ALBUM – FIRE607

Bardo Pond guitarists, brothers John and Michael Gibbons revive their long-term sonic sparring side project Vapour Theories for a genre-shattering new release ‘Celestial Scuzz’.
 Released on limited edition gold vinyl.

1 Unoccupied Blues
2 High Treason
3 Breaking Down (The Portals of Hell)
4 Big Ship
5 Soul Encounters

Bardo Pond guitarists, brothers John and Michael Gibbons revive their long-term sonic sparring side project Vapour Theories for a genre-shattering new release ‘Celestial Scuzz’.
Six years after a split LP with Loren Connors, and 15 years after ‘Joint Chiefs’ the duo have assembled a brand new Vapour Theories album that sees their symbiotic union travel deeper, shaping and re-shaping itself as the harmonious power struggle unravels…
Michael: “The balance of power definitely shifts. When the record is put together it is equal parts from me and my brother. The collaboration is complete and represents both sides of our taking the lead on material.”
‘Celestial Scuzz’ is a monumental sound piece created from hours of jam sessions and crafted into a cohesive mind-blowing trip. Featuring their take on Brian Eno’s ‘The Big Ship’ (‘Another Green World’, 1975), the album has a heavy ambience like Eno locked in a dark room with Sunn-O))))) rehearsing next door.
“When we play together there’s a kind of connection to vibrations for us. When it happens, we become vehicles for some unknown forces that work through us to create the music. A kind of spiritual. Most of the time it leaves us stunned; the more stunned we are the better the jam.”
While Bardo Pond’s trajectory takes them deep into rock music’s ever-imploding sound, the brothers Gibbons surf a more ethereal and eclectic plain; from a heady and consuming space, a “sanctuary; balm for the soul.”
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