EP Review: Aarktica – ‘Ceremony’


Photo by Rick Mendoza

‘Ceremony’ gives aural substance to Jon DeRosa’s shamanic immersion, in the devotional rites of Ayahuasca and Huachuma.

I felt a certain sense of exhilaration, when Roberto at Fnord Tapes contacted me regarding this latest release, under Jon’s guise as Aarktica.

Just last year, I read one of the most profound, life affirming books I have ever encountered, ‘Psychedelia: An Ancient Culture, a Modern Way of Life’ by Patrick Lundborg.

It’s a book I had intended to buy, on reading a review in 2013, by Killing Joke bassist Youth. For whatever reason, it fell from my radar, resurfacing again in 2015 – sadly, in the meantime the author Patrick Lundborg, had passed away in 2014.


For anyone with an interest in the esoteric, arcane psychedelic underpinnings to our “modern” culture, this is a MUST read. All the signposts and fragments of information, I had accumulated in 30-odd years, here coalesced with tangible dot-joining, crystalline clarity.

‘Ceremony’ re-energises my phenomenological undercurrents.

Opening track ‘Ascension’ feels loaded with preternatural suggestion, as if plucked from a wormhole vortex, akin to an ancient nursery rhyme, evoking distant echoes of ‘The Ecstasy Of Gold’, channelled via the jaguar and the hummingbird…

‘Her Divine Light’ intones an ethereal dream state, the prophetic illumination of the sacred feminine, soothing in caressing waves of sonic bliss, a cleansing, inter-dimensional rendering…

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‘Awakening’ is a flourishing rebirth, a celebratory, spiritual divination…

With ‘Ceremony’, visionary Jon DeRosa infuses the neural net with an evolutionary reverberation, an ethnobotanical, consciousness expanding synaesthesia.

The Fnord Tapes’ Press Release informs, “Jon DeRosa – either solo or with a revolving lineup of guests – has been releasing music as Aarktica since 1999. Beginning with his debut album ‘No Solace In Sleep’ (Silber, 2000), DeRosa’s work has continuously evolved and transformed over the years, from ambient/drone, to shoegaze, to electro-pop, and coming full circle to his more minimal ambient works to date. ‘Ceremony’ is the first new Aarktica release since 2009’s ‘In Sea’ (Silber Records) and its subsequent remix album ‘In Sea Remixes’ (Silber Records, 2010).”

This is another gem from Fnord, their 2015 release of The Underground Youth’s ‘A Lo-Fi Cinematic Landscape’ inspired me enough to buy it, even though I no longer own a tape deck!

I love the simplicity in their humble descriptor, “Fnord Tapes is a cassette record label with a romantic affection for mountains, moss and mist. A platform to experimental music projects, special releases, exclusive rare finds, and limited edition albums.”

I encourage you to affiliate with their noble cause, as I have…

‘Ceremony’ is available now from the Fnord Tapes webshop.




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