Finally a vinyl release for this album is here, and there has been quite a wait since The Lotus Eaters initially released Mind Control for Infants on CD all the way back in 2002 (a seven year lag is pretty impressive). But this record screams to be on vinyl, and thankfully that is now the case. Still, with the lag between the release of the different formats The Lotus Eaters - consisting of Aaron Turner (Isis, House of Low Culture, Jodis, Mamiffer) and James Plotkin (Khanate, Jodis, Phantomsmasher) and Stephen O’Malley (SunnO))), Khanate, KTL) - have remixed and remastered Mind Control for Infants for the purposes of its vinyl release. The release, limited to 1,000 copies (100 on white and silver marble, 300 on gold, and 600 on black) is completely impressive.
This ultra-deluxe double LP release was cut direct to metal and pressed on 200g virgin vinyl. It comes housed in an old-style Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket wrapped in a foil-stamped brown linen with 8x8 inch offset print mounted on the front cover. Heavy duty printed inner sleeves with flooded pockets are also included.
Yes, this might just be vinyl nerd talk, but the complete package of Mind Control for Infants is definitely a work to admire; the packaging is real heavy duty and actually quite classy looking while the vinyl is an audiophile’s dream possibly ensuring the complete superiority of this version of the album.
The actual aural contents of the double LP are an absolutely sublime collection of untitled compositions that are much more quiet and mellow than what one might expect from the three guilty parties that make up The Lotus Eaters. From the gentle but rather ominous strumming of acoustic guitars heard at the beginning of the first song on side A, the band melds electronic sounds that color the atmosphere with other ambient elements to create a rather soothing blend of sound (like in track five with what almost sounds like an electric didgeridoo creating a rather relaxing drone). The tracks range in length from the long and winding to a length resembling a more easily digestible less than five minutes. But in all cases, the sound is engrossing, calming, and in some instances actually quite beautiful to hear (check out some of the aural stretches of the second piece with its almost music box motif for an example). The entire length of Mind Control for Infants is an experience with a great deal of attention to sonic texture and atmospheric mood being rather affecting. In some pieces, particularly the third piece, that contain a very real sense of space with the rebounding sounds echoing of the perimeters of the stereo system.
Mind Control for Infants is an underrated work that completely benefits from the new format both in aesthetic and sonic form. The Lotus Eaters create a completely extraordinary release that just might open listeners up to a whole new realm of aural possibilities (for me personally, this was a gateway release of sorts that caused me to search out a whole new aspect or manner of sound and composition). Remarkably, the vinyl format gives the release a much more tactile quality that seemingly enhances the overall presentation. Sitting and listening to the records on the turntable while holding the jacket brings strange nostalgic feelings for me, though this is probably a personal emotional response.
8.5 / 10
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