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Thursday, 26 March 2015
LOVE, HIPPIES & GANGSTERS – SUN OVER BABALUMA (D/L). COSMIC LETDOWN – VENERA (Opium Eyes Records D/L, CD, Cassette). OPIUM EYES OF NICO – DRONECAINE (Opium Eyes Records D/L). V/A – REVOLUTION – THE SHOEGAZE REVIVAL (Ear To Ear Records D/L).
We are going to do an occasional trawl around Bandcamp to see what cool stuff we can find as there is loads of great music out there that we think deserves a listen………this is the first batch of albums/EPs that we want to bring to your attention.
First up is a fantastic EP from Love, Hippies & Gangsters, a Psychedelic Rock band from Dalston, formed by bedroom psychonaut Yiğit Bülbül in 2014. Love, Hippies & Gangsters second EP, Sun Over Babaluma, is certainly a pick and mix selection of psychedelic sweeties, influenced by 60s psychedelia/garage, 70s experimental music, 80s/90s guitar drones and all sorts of other weird, obscure music……the EP title alone is no doubt a nod in the direction of the mighty CAN. The wonky psychedelia of opening track ‘This Is What We Want’ has a genuine Anton Newcombe vibe and its irresistible jangle making it the most immediate of the four tracks on the EP. The other three tracks are a mixed bag of psychedelic influences ranging from top quality Psych Rock/Space Rock all the way through to bouncy krautrock with 80s style squelchy synths. The psychedelic cornucopia of Sun Over Babaluma brings to mind the Sterling Roswell solo albums, which is not a bad thing……..you can check it out at http://lovehippiesandgangsters.bandcamp.com/album/sun-over-babaluma where it is available as a “name your price” download.
You really would not consider hung-up Russia to be one of the frontiers of Psychedelic Rock, but strange things are happening……….Polska Radio One are already firm favourites of Thee Psychedelicatessen and we can now add Cosmic Letdown to our list of fantastic new Russian Neo-Psychedelic Rock bands. We can’t help noticing what a massive influence that Spaceman 3 and early Spiritualized have had all around world and Cosmic Letdown’s hazy Psych Rock is coming from the same narcotic netherworld. After releasing a couple of singles Venera is the band’s first full album and it hits the spot straight away. It is truly a great record with the standout tracks being ‘Mary’ which was originally released as a single and the six minute thirty stoned immaculate ‘Venera-6’. Named after the Soviet space probe, Venera is a trip to the stars…..a mini masterpiece of great fuzzed out riffs and awesome grooves which you will dig if you are into bands like The Warlocks, Black Angels and Asteroid #4. Available as a free download from the Cosmic Letdown Bandcamp page (https://cosmicletdownband.bandcamp.com/)……there were limited edition Cassettes and CDs available on the band’s own Opium Eyes Records imprint but unless they intend to press any more they appear to have sold out.
Also worth checking out is Dronecaine by Cosmic Letdown’s totally far out side project, Opium Eyes Of Nico. Dronecaine is a ten track collection of Indian and Eastern European influenced experimental music and includes an interesting take on Tomorrow Never Knows (TKN must be one of the few songs it is almost impossible to fuck up…..get the bass and drums right you are most of the way there). Again this is available as a free download and you can find it at http://opiumeyesofnico.bandcamp.com/
Finally we have a really fantastic collection of new Shoegaze bands from the Welsh label Ear To Ear Records who have compiled a 30 track album called Revolution - The Shoegaze Revival. Even though Shoegaze influenced bands have been hiding in plain sight for the last twenty years, it can be argued that the “revival” started when the Shoegaze Holy Trinity of MBV, Slowdive and the Jesus & Mary Chain resurfaced after being dormant for many years. This in turn brought the genre to the attention of a new generation and although in some cases a few of the bands here are not strictly shoegazers in the classic sense, the common thread is that the influences here are indie guitar bands from the late 80s/early 90s…..the golden age of great, innovative guitar bands before Oasis fucked the gene pool and spawned a raft of Luddite post Brit Pop shite (check your local charity shop as that’s where these bands have gone to die). It appears that the joy of a stamping on a distortion pedal has spread far and wide and Ear To Ear have searched the world for the best new music for this compilation, unearthing bands from many an exotic location including Brazil, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Indonesia, Japan and ……er…..Scotland. Italy currently has a really big Psych/Shoegaze scene and Revolution includes 4 excellent tracks from the Italian bands Stella Diana, Clustersun, Rev Rev Rev and Weird. Possibly the best known band here is the superb Canadian psychedelicists Ummagma, who have already caught the attention of Robin Guthrie, with the pick of the other bands on this album being the MBV influenced Trementina from Chile, Peruvian shoegazers Puna, producer/engineer Marc Joy’s studio project Lights That Change, German noiseniks Jaguwar and dream poppers Slow Motion Picture. This really is an essential collection of “second wave” Shoegaze bands and we recommend that you check this out. This album is available as a ‘name your price’ download from the Ear To Ear Records store via Bandcamp and can be found here http://eartoearrecords.co.uk/album/revolution-the-shoegaze-revival