1. substance D [mp3]
2. a place in france
4. bar-bq dungeon [mp3]
All sounds composed and played by Paradise Camp 23.
Field Recordings processed by Erik Amlee at Studio Weird, August 2001.
The debut album by Paradise Camp 23 crawls deep into the Vault for source material transformed into Mandragora DNA. Chunks of noise, crawling meat guitar, rancid waves of feedback, insect opera, dead voices swirl in a thick hallucinatory stew. Musique garbage with a cast of thousands.
Crucial Blast.com - 3/17/06
"The debut private-press disc from New England's PARADISE CAMP 23 delves into a cabin-creep atmosphere similiar to the recent ROBEDOOR and HAUNTED CASTLE stuff we've been blasting, but channeled through frequently formless noise rock moves like old SKULLFLOWER and RAMLEH. Erik Amlee (CRACKHOUSE,BULL ANUS) takes assorted tape noise, diseased guitar riffage, evil feedback sheets, buzzing voices, and melts the concoction down into a dreamlike fug, an eerie ambient post-industrial drone-psych that would be ill fit for crashing-out sounds, this being an unsettling and often skin-crawling mass of buried roar. Think early primitive PINK FLOYD and THROBBING GRISTLE getting down with a bad-dream stream of grey, washed out amp-drone haze. Packaged in a cardstock wallet sleeve. As with all Mandragora goodies, this is recommended to fans of SKULLFLOWER, TOTAL, greasy UK psych noise, etc."
Dogmatik 20 Feb 2005
"I have no clue. I am lost, wounded, hunted down... My heart is beating, pounding, producing a noise that can be heard miles away. I am afraid, wrapped in anxiety. The woods are dark, cold and a sticky dense wet fog is creeping upon me slowly, chilling me to the bone. I hear sounds, voices and do not know where they originate from (both geographically and physically). I think I could loose my mind anytime. Still, there are sounds there that I know, that I recognize, that my mind clings onto them and holds on desperately as a survivor of Titanic to a small piece of wood. How did I ever get here ? I have lost all sense of time and place. Boundaries of the space-time continuum have become vague. I am, but I do not know where nor when. I am ! That in itself is a sensation which is rare. Maybe this is how Descartes felt when he wrote "Cogito, ergo sum". For the first time since a while, all I can feel is alive ; no more, no less. This is what I felt listening to this 69 minutes of frantic vividness without variation, nor density. Vividness within a void of music, vividness being suffocated in a pool of sounds that can be heard but do not seem to exist. Definitely not "Airport Music", yet very unnoticeable at first. I am sure this was not destined to be ambient, nor noise, nor illbient... It is simply agonizing, yet appealing, intriguing and utmost alienating. Suspense for a darkened room and a soul with good self-confidence. ."
- Reviewed by The Avenger
Vital Weekly number 378, week 27
"PARADISE CAMP 23 - BAR-BQ DUNGEON (CDR by Mandragora Records)
PARADISE CAMP 23 - MANDRAGORA (CDR by Mandragora Records)
Two new releases on Mandragora Records, who seems to be specializing
in music that is a crossover between psychedelica and industrial
music. Paradise Camp 23 clearly takes their inspiration from good ol'
Throbbing Gristle. Distorted guitar, treated field recordings,
snippets of field recordings. Their CDR could have easily been part
of the twenty four CD by Throbbing Gristle. Quite a rough recording,
maybe down the garage of one of the members (are there members, or
maybe just one?). Actually I though this was quite nice, since I
always a big Throbbing Gristle fan, and I think their sound was never
really copied to such an extend.
The other release is a mix work, in which Paradise Camp 23 samples
the entire Mandragora catalogue in one long mix (split in five
tracks). You'll have to forgive me, but I am not altogether familiar
with the Mandragora catalogue, so I don't recognize anything here.
Musicwise it's more open then the "Bar-BQ Dungeon" release, even when
both "psychedelic" and "industrial" are stamped all over it. Maybe
this one is more psychedelic and the other release more industrial?
The "Mandragora" release features more guitar samples and comes
closer to some form of lo-fi rock music. Both releases are quite
nice, and very much rooted in musical underground."
Aural Innovations #19 (April 2002)
"Paradise Camp 23 is a space-core project headed up by Mandragora label pres Erik Amlee. This is psychedelia of the harshest sort and not for the fainthearted. Amlee does an impressive job of incorporating all the elements of classic acid psych and electronic space into a mind shattering noise and industrial stew. Imagine a collaboration between F/i, early Alien Planetscapes, and The Residents, with dashes of the earliest Pink Floyd, and you might get something like Paradise Camp 23. While the sounds are seriously aggressive, there's actually a lot of activity for the attentive listener to explore. All the sounds are distinct and have an identity rather than being a huge senseless assault that serves no purpose but to lobotomize the listener. Loads of cool freaky space tones come together with various strange samples of voices and other sounds to create a sonic landscape that can be as dark as it is cosmic. Paradise Camp 23 also has it's lighter moments consisting of relatively ambient noise excursions. And if you've made it through the first three tracks and are still enjoying the ride, then tighten your safety harness for the lengthy 47 minute title track. Fans of the 80's space/noise artists who took meditative space and didn't so much turn it on its ear as they did rip it out will want to give Paradise Camp 23 a listen. " - Jerry Kranitz
Indieville.com - 4/20/02
"The folks at Mandragora Records claim that their label supplies "pure psychedelic noise" to the world, and I'd have to say that this is pretty accurate description. While much noise is constructed of sonic, harsh orchestras or experimental pops and crackles, Mandragora brings their noise across in a more hallucinogenic manner. Paradise Camp 23, one of the label's many impressive outfits, has mastered this particular style of noise well. For example, "Substance D," the opening track, is composed of glitchy, pulsating onslaughts of feedback, noise, and mysterious voices. Meanwhile, "Hypnogogic" is (appropriately) hypnotic, featuring throbbing feedback and guitar fuzz. Altogether, the four long pieces on this album are very recommended for those interested in experiencing the amazing world of psychedelic noise. As far as this description goes, though, I find it hard to explain this album through words.
So what is there to say? Well, if you remove the vowels from "Mandragora," you get MNDRGR. Perhaps that series of consonants describes this music better than any review can."
- Matt Shimmer
Industrial.org - 4/02/02
"I've never been to Paradise Camp 23 but if it sounds like this then I would have to lay odds that it is run by the CIA as some sort of sequel to that whole MK Ultra BYO chemical party. "Barbeque Dungeon" is a 47 minute over exposure to a wall of noise drug jam, not so much into the hippy dippy as say the folks at Zendik Farm but more bugs under the skin kwazy like Portland locals Smegma merged with euro acid death rock like Skullflower. A pretty even split between delay, reverb, skronk and crispy neurons.
The first important thing to note is that there are in fact conventional instruments involved here, a buried drummer tries to hammer their way to the surface, freaky long hairs kick their legs while doing neon noodle solos through the entire pedal collection of your local pawn shop and the odd indecipherable mantra can be heard bouncing around in distance. It's noise, sure, but this disc would tend to feel more at home sitting on the coffee table beside a copy of Bananafish than on top of a pile of Japanoise. I don't find it tainted by any antiquated peace and love theology either. Instead, the overall effect is the uneasiness of pensivelly waiting in a cramped basement while the smelly freak you are trying to score off of makes unsettling searching noises behind their blanketted bedroom doorway. Even if you do get without something really weird happening, the cloying smell of incense and mold will be on you for days.
The four pieces here rack up a total of 69 minutes, some delineation apparent but not so much you find yourself looking up when the index marker changes. Other than the second piece "a place in France" which sounds a lot like Skullflower or perhaps even Ramleh, it's formless yet flowing (surprise) psychadelic noise. I picture a late night basement party where participants are first offered a tray of various illicit substance, a swig of mystery hooch and then a choice or two from a pile of fucked up and modified instruments. Once everyone was suitably cooked, a microphone or two were hung strategically to record the brain damage (of which there is quite a lot). This result is the kind of acid noise that either electrifies you into super grin or sends you caterwauling down into 14 hours of screaming nightmare.
With this kind of project, well, it is what it is. Either you can appreciate the chemical bonds splintering into walls of sound or you instantly leap to hit the eject button. There's a lot of different noises invloved, everything from underwater whale sex to severed electrical trunk line to aurora borealis and back again, really quite dense. The only let down is the production, a quick run though T-Racks or similar software would have greatly helped to brighten this up and blow off some of the mildew and excess ergot. In it's current form though it is certainly enough to cause some neck tingling for those who've been there and for the rest of you pups, maybe this will be some incentive to put your brain in the frying pan."- moron
Improvijazzation Nation #53 - March 2002
"Paradise Camp 23 - Bar-BQ Dungeon: Out of a cool-ection of CD's in from Mandragora Records (yeah, th' guy at Weirdsville Radio), this is th' first I chose to listen to (in keeping with our tradition of improv - it fell outta' th' envelope first). Odd & noisy, purely psychedelic... if you listen to this on (even) mild acid influence, you'll be lost&gone for th' next 50 years! Only 4 cuts, but one of 'em is 47 minutes long. I've no doubt that each of these tracks could have served as th' intro to some of Timothy's (as in Leary) adventures. There is a lot of feedback-type stuff, plenty of loopy guitars & insanity galore - just th' kind of stuff to get this reviewer off! As lo-fi as it is, th' recording still comes across well, not too much masked under NR. If you're more inclined towards structure, though, you'll probably shy away from this. You will have to enjoy "noise-art" to make a full feast of this, but as long as you do, you'll agree with me - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at POB 936, Greenfield, MA 01302-0936 or on th' website - www.mandragora.com" - Rotcod Zzaj