As a longtime, obsessive collector of psychedelic music both past and present, I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that this is my first experience with Italy's Sensations' Fix, other than a few Youtube clips here and there. I'd heard them name-dropped over the years by various artists, such as Thurston Moore and Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre), but their stuff was so rare that I'd just chalked them up as a band I'd most likely never get to hear properly.
'Music Is Painting in the Air'--which contains selections from five albums (plus a few outtakes), and some from main songwriter Franco Falsini's solo album--has changed all that. It's amazing to me the amount of ground it covers, from pure rock-based psychedelia, to Krautrock, to Brian Eno-esque ambient soundscapes, and a couple tracks that sound like forebears to the post-rock "scene" of the mid-late 90's, beating bands such as Tortoise and The Sea and Cake to the punch by 20 years. All of the songs require a decent set of headphones to fully appreciate the innerspace mini-journeys contained within. At times I couldn't tell if I was listening to a guitar freak-out, or insane synthesizer work, but in the end I just let myself go, to the point that I swear I was having little eyelid hallucinations during the more hypnotic numbers.
In other words, if you're someone who appreciates being taken on tripped-out headphone adventures, you could do much worse than 'Music Is Painting in the Air,' and it in fact may even blow your mind, especially considering how far ahead of their time they were, anticipating bands like Spacemen 3, Dungen, The Orb, Tame Impala, (Japan's) Ghost, and the aforementioned post-rock bands by a decade or more, with only a handful of instrumentals sounding really dated. There were a few tracks of more experimental tape loops and synth effects that I couldn't really get into, but overall I can't wait to hear Sensations' Fix's albums--and Falsini's solo work--in their entirety. In the meantime, this collection should keep me more than occupied for a long time to come. It's hard to ask for much more than that out of an introductory compilation.