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JOHN FRANKOVIC (Buy CDs by this artist)
Under the Water Lily (Midnight) 1993

On his solo album, the bassist of Milwaukee psychedelic retro rockers Plasticland eschews both electric guitar and drums for sitar, bouzouki, trombone and organ, exploring a more meditative realm of consciousness-altering music in six brief compositions and one extravagant failure (the 31-minute title track). With incidental contributions from three associates, "Your Telling Me" doesn't veer far from the band's '60s trip-pop essence, but other songs (notably the instrumental "On a Full Moon Night" and the sepulchral "Amen the End") delve deeper into stylized, droney fantasyland. "Under the Water Lily," however, is a total time-waster, a frontward/backward tape collage with noodly elements coming and going in a protoplasmic format too thin to hold any shape or move in any direction.

[Ira Robbins]