:: Approach To Achros/Death Of Achros ::
Ah, the laser show. If you want to dredge up speficic, yet green-clouded memories from anyone who went to high school in the 70's or 80's, mention the laser show. I can only remember going once, but it wasn't with my stoner friends like you'd expect -- it was some kind of field trip for school, and we didn't get any Floyd. But I do remember thinking that it was kind of cool, and probably way better if you were on something. Anything.
The Laserium at Griffith Park in northeast Los Angeles opened in 1973, and was still shinin' on like a crazy diamond past its 25th anniversary in 1998, though as the years went on they started playing a lot of Rush and having events with hateful names like Laserpalooza. But in the 70's, it was a primo way to blow your mind (kinda) while listening to some Pink Floyd or other appropriate classic rock. Having never been to the Laserium, I don't know if they had bean bags that you laid on as you looked up at the laser-webbed faux sky, but that's the way lasers really should be seen.
This album attempts to give you an idea of what the laser show was like, with a strange futuristic storyline and heavily-effected narration, intended to take you on a cosmic adventure in light accompanied by pieces of instrumental music, both classical and modern, with a few spacy originals tossed in. Of course, listening to this album doesn't make you feel like you are at a laser show at all, despite all the pretty pictures inside the gatefold, and you'd need crippling drugs to get you through the entire thing. But, you do get some John Rydgren.
John Rydgren was a hip Lutheran pastor with a sonorous baritone and a radio show who enjoyed a fair amount of celebrity while alive, and has perhaps even more fans nowadays. You have to wonder if he realized that nearly everyone who went to laser shows was high as a kite. I grew up Lutheran, and I know we're not that laid back, but I guess a paycheck's a paycheck. Here he voices the character of Achros, a menacing deity of dark light or something or other. Pretty funny if you'd heard Rydgren's other stuff. Anyway, before you listen to this seven minutes of melodramatic weirdness, I suggest you slap on the headphones and heavily medicate yourself with your drug of choice. If you are a clean living sort, I'd imagine giving yourself a good, firm blow to the head might help. You will hear a hilarious use of Prokofiev, some oogly sound effects, and phrases like "color bolt" and "foolish microbes." Inhale deeply.