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Saturday, 28 November 2015
Led by Isaiah Mitchell of Earthless, Golden Void are one of the best new bands to emerge from the San Francisco Bay Area for a while and following strong reviews for their 2012 self-titled debut album they have been tipped to be the new face of Bay Area psychedelic music. It’s a region that has always had a rich psychedelic tradition, through the years birthing classic bands such as Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Chocolate Watchband, Moby Grape and more current Psych-Heads like Wooden Shjips, Sleepy Sun, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound, and like many of these great bands Golden Void’s songs are firmly rooted in melody but they are not afraid of exploration. The band’s hooks get stuck in your head and their spaced out riffs transport you to a place way beyond the astral plane. But there is a twist………Golden Void’s undeniable twist, setting them apart from their city’s lineage, is the influence of classic Rock bands like Sabbath and Pentagram. Golden Void’s “sound” falls somewhere between early 70s influenced Acid Rock and Neil Young’s sonic adventures with Crazy Horse…..a heady brew of tripped out Psychedelic Rock mixed with a muscular backbone of exhilarating post-psychedelic Hard Rock sensibility that creates the perfect balance of powerful riffs, soaring melodies and hazy atmosphere on Berkana, their sophomore album on the Thrill Jockey label.
If you are familiar with Earthless you will know that their thing is sprawling heavy psych jams stretching to infinity and beyond. Golden Void are a different proposition altogether, less of a cosmic jam band but tighter and more focused……… while their debut album was mostly recorded live, Berkana was recorded with each member in isolation, allowing for more edits and overdubs. On songs like ‘Dervishing’ and ‘Astral Plane’, there are layers upon layers of sound to dig into with additional acoustic guitar, ARP synth and even flute being added to the band’s sonic arsenal, expanding the scope of their sound without abandoning the heady groove they carved on their acclaimed self-titled debut. Isaiah Mitchell, one of the best rock guitarists working today, shows off his chops, but also his incredible restraint, throughout. In addition to the stretches of outright shredding, particularly on opener ‘Burbank’s Dream’ or the climax of ‘The Beacon’, there are moments such as the breakdown on ‘I’ve Been Down’, in which Mitchell employs subtle melodic flourishes that slowly build in intensity. The album closes with the dreamy ‘Storm and Feather’, which is the calm after the howling storm of one of the best Psych Rock records we have heard all year, with members of Earthless and Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound together in a band you know that you are going to get an album of mind melting, sonically rich Psychedelic Rock and Roll tunes but Berkana surpasses all expectations.
Available as limited edition of 500 copies on orange vinyl or shiny silver CD and digital download (which can be any colour you think it is), Berkana is out NOW. You can get yerself a copy from the Thrill Jockey online store or the Golden Void Bandcamp page at https://goldenvoidtj.bandcamp.com/album/berkana. As Berkana is a Thrill Jockey release it should be relatively easy for your local record emporium to order you a copy but please note that the orange vinyl editions are only available direct from Thrill Jockey/Golden Void on t’internet……….it good old black vinyl only from the shops.
Saturday, 21 November 2015
Where arguably less deserving bands have been getting loads attention, one of this year’s best kept secrets must be German Neo-Psych duo Lovebyrd (Steffi Krauth and Mark Wernet)………….Following the well received release of their debut EP in January, Lovebyrd have been operating well below the radar creating a 10-track album that is a luminously psychedelic mix of Shoegaze and Psych-Pop that is guaranteed to extend your hazy summer well into the winter months. Six of the ten tracks here were previously released on the cassette only EP, but with the original tapes being taken halfway round the world for mastering at Poons Head Studios, Australia, (where other Neo-Psych artists such as Tame Impala and Melody's Echo Chamber have gone before them), they have been remastered and you can hear the improvement in sound quality which makes a big difference to the bands expansive sound. Influenced by The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Tame Impala, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, this debut album from Lovebyrd shimmers with the glacial beauty of the best dreamy psychedelia with swirling soundscapes built with layers of guitars fuzzed up, distorted and with lots reverb blended with a timeless 60s West Coast inspired Pop Psych sensibility full of sun drenched pop hooks that are more than easy on the ear.
Our minds were completely blown when we heard the Lovebyrd EP several months ago and the initial fuss about this band was fully justifiable………the six tracks from that release still sound as stunning as when we first heard them. Opening with the tumbling guitars of ‘Spinning Around’ it is easy to imagine this is what the Sundays would have sounded like if they had been influenced by the swirling psychedelic sounds of the 1960s San Francisco scene instead of the kitchen sink dramas of the 1980s English Indie miserabilists like the Smiths. The tripped out ‘Nothing Is Real’ is a proper classic Psych Pop mind expander with dense layers of guitar and very much in the style of the best George Harrison compositions while ‘Shot From The Sun’ is still the best Lovebyrd tune to date mixing together the lysergic haze of Revolver era Beatles with Byrdsian psychedelic jangle pop in an explosion of vivid colour………..check the video here. There are four new songs on the album all of them brilliantly psychedelic and showing how far Lovebyrd’s songwriting has developed in the last year. ‘Floating Up’ is a brilliant slice of 60s sunshine Pop Psych with backwards guitars, mellotrons, acoustic guitars and ethereal vocals while ‘Floating Down’ has all the fuzzy warmth of a modern Psych Pop tune….. 60’s psychedelic pop with a modern twist has never sounded finer than this. The remaining two new songs, ‘Magnetic Levitation’ and ‘Black Sweet Sunny’, keep up the high standards set by the other tunes……….this is an album that surely must be destined to be a modern Psych Pop classic, there is an awful lot to love here. We have waited quite a few months for this record to land and we have certainly not been disappointed by these sweet sounds.
Lovebyrd’s debut album is out now and is available on a limited pressing on ‘Smoke White’ vinyl in a hand numbered edition of 300 from the Dutch label Hairy Records Bandcamp page here http://hairyrecords.bandcamp.com/. The album and the digital download are also available to buy from the Lovebyrd Bandcamp page here http://lovebyrd.bandcamp.com/.
Friday, 13 November 2015
Recorded live in the studio in a couple of days in a stream of single takes, Take A Lover, the third album from London Psych/Stoner Rock trio Early Mammal, shows the band growing into a new reinvigorated sound following a line-up change. Although the synths have been dropped, like on their previous albums, the influence of Captain Beefheart, White Hills, Hawkwind and Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats can still be heard, however the narcotic muscularity of the debut album, Horror at Pleasure, and the more experimental Psych Rock of My Fire has been refined with Take A Lover showing a much greater depth as Early Mammal continue to develop and expand their sound as an early 70s heavy Psych/Blues/Rock inspired band.
The first side of Take A Lover opens with the heavy riffing grind of ‘The Great German’ which is followed in the same vain by the fuzzed out, early Sabbath sounding ‘Inside’……….within the first two tracks Early Mammal have shown exactly where they are coming from with a brew of stoned sonic sludge where bluesy psychedelia crashes into woozy, tripped out heavy rock. There is also a great deal of subtlety on this record………. ‘Morning’ is an excellent desert Blues track that unhurriedly merges into the very psychedelic ‘Sigh On’, these two tunes are both on heavy rotation down in our psychedelic basement and they are hopefully an indication of the future direction the band are taking. Flip the platter and the fuzzed up, hazy ‘Glad Is Night’ kicks off side two, a Quaaludes and whisky fuelled crawl through a stoned soundscape of the Southern swamps………….by now the drugs have really kicked in and the rest of the side is taken up with a snippet of a bottleneck slide blues jam and a found dialogue sample before the album closes with The Good / GG Return & Out’. ‘The Good / GG Return & Out’ is a throbbing beast of a Psych Rock track driven by a Møtrik pulse combined with a tangle of lead playing that pushes the tune to a glorious burn out before collapsing in on itself and reprising the riff from ‘The Great German’. Devotees of early 70s “head music” and the more current stoner bands are really going to dig this record with the stand out tracks being ‘Morning’ (check the video out here…… https://youtu.be/MtXqaY7W5Qo) and ‘Sigh On’ being worth the price of admission alone.
Out now, Take A Lover is another quality release from Riot Season Records and is available on gold vinyl or as a digital download (plus there are also a few promo CDRs still available to buy) from either the Riot Season webshop at http://riotseason.bigcartel.com/ or Bandcamp site https://riotseasonrecords.bandcamp.com/album/take-a-lover. Check it out you headz out there.
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
Although early 70s British Progressive Rock was a child of Psychedelia, it has never been embraced the same way as the enlightened 60s bands that originally paved the way for triple vinyl concept albums, double necked guitars and modular synthesizer rigs as big as a shed. We admit that a great deal of 70s Prog was truly awful (ELP, Gentle Giant, Camel and the later OTT Yes albums come readily to mind) but a lot of really good bands were deemed guilty by association and as an “art-form” it has been unfairly much maligned since its pre-punk heyday. Prog Rock never really went away and like it’s cousin Heavy Rock (another child of Psychedelia) it has happily existed away from the spotlight but with an ever expanding, loyal fanbase………and now it’s got a bit sexy (not sexy enough to lock up your daughters, some things never change) with new bands like Syd Arthur, GOASTT and Temples proudly showing off their Prog influences. Juke are a new French Psychédélique/Progressif band that are also heavily inspired by 70s Prog/Psych and influenced by bands like Tame Impala, Radiohead (Prog Rock in Indie clothing) but mainly post Syd Barrett Pink Floyd. Singing in English, Juke put their own spin on Psychedelia and Progressive Rock giving more of a European perspective to what is essentially a UK/USA genre in origin. Following their debut EP Atom Experiment, which included the Floydian 28 minute epic ‘Black Magic’, Juke have recently released their first full length record………. Chimeras' Tale is a loosely conceptual album which continues the exploration of an infinite universe first travelled on the EP, subtly mixing panoramic soundscapes, tight and urgent hypnotic rhythms and soaring, melodic guitar playing that together invoke the best of classic early 70s Prog/Psych.
If you are going to be deeply influenced by anybody then Pink Floyd is not a bad choice………we can’t think of any band from the late 60s that sounded anything like the Floyd. From the English whimsy and proto Space Rock of the Syd Barrett era to the gorgeous soundscapes of Wish You Were Here they were peerless (although they seemed to lose the plot somewhat when Rodger Waters appeared to wrestle control away from the rest of the band). With the combined talents of Kévin Toussaint (vocals and guitar), Lancelot Carré (drums & percussion), Quentin Rousseau (keyboards & fx), and Théo Ladouce (bass), Juke have taken inspiration from the period post Barratt where Pink Floyd were jamming live to TV pictures of the first moon landing, providing film soundtracks for cult European directors Michelangelo Antonioni and Barbet Schroeder, making innovative post-Psychedelic albums up to the zenith of Dark Side Of The Moon/Wish You Are Here and although hardcore Floyd fans will easily spot the musical reference points scattered around Chimeras' Tale this is a band clearly showing their influences but putting their own brand on the songs by adding their own unique twist to the music they love. Opening with ‘Schizarium Odyssey (part I)’ Juke show that they are not shy about creating epic, lengthy tracks that ebb and flow through both beautifully constructed, melodic Rock songs and improvised cosmic jams. Stopping the clock at just over 20 minutes ‘Neptuna’ is a fantastic track that begins with lush keyboard swirls and fluid guitar playing over a rock solid rhythm section before breaking down into an extended section of ambient Space Rock which builds into a mind-melting guitar wig-out……it’s an excellent slice of Psychedelic Rock akin to great cosmic jam bands like Electric Moon and is certainly one for the stoners. There is a change of pace for ‘On the Edge’ and with some excellent piano and organ work mixed with female backing vocals and some searing guitar it really sounds as if Juke have gone over to the dark side (of the moon). ‘Mister Mend’ is another lengthy track built around a hypnotic bass line and some otherworldly sounding bamboo flute……….Building to a climax that is part shamanistic ritual this is the most Psychedelic track here and no doubt the most atmospheric as the sound swirls between the speakers (certainly one to listen to on quality headphones with a well packed “jazz woodbine”). Following the bubbling soundscape of ‘?’ is ‘Sunset Smile’ a mainly acoustic track of such simplicity that has the vibe of a blissed out summer afternoon and shows Jukes ability to not only melt faces with scorching Psych/Prog but to also write tunes of sublime beauty. Chimeras' Tale closes with ‘Schizarium Odyssey (part II)’ where you can spot many of the bands influences with keyboard and guitar parts reminiscent of ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ and a big finale from Dark Side Of The Moon linked together with a very 70s Jazz Fusion middle section……..it’s nothing stunningly original but it is beautifully executed. There is a lot to love on Chimeras' Tale not only for fans of Pink Floyd (although it helps if you are) and early 70s Prog Rock in general but also there is lots happening here that is very modern and aficionados of newer bands that have classic Psych roots will really dig this……….It’s a fantastic record and we think it is well worth checking out for both lovers of Classic Prog and current bands on today’s freakscene.
Chimeras' Tale is out now and is available to buy on CD or as a download (you get the extended version of ‘?’ with the download). Available from the Juke Bandcamp page here http://jukeband.bandcamp.com/album/chimeras-tale.
Tuesday, 3 November 2015
THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN & BIGJAF.NET present FURTHER TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE PSYCHEDELIC BASEMENT – 07/11/15
Thee Psychedelicatessen DJs team up again with BigJaf.Net’s resident Psych-Head Geoff Leppard for FURTHER TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE PSYCHEDELIC BASEMENT, 3 hours of Psychedelic madness broadcast at 8pm GMT on www.mixlr.com/wwwbigjafnet this Saturday (7th November 2015).
We consider Psychedelia to be a broad church (with shards of coloured light illuminating the congregation, shining through a massive stained glass window depicting the young, beautiful Jim Morrison in a Christ like crucifix pose) and have put together a show that we feel reflects this. We have mixed together 3hrs of Swedish Shamanistic groove, German Space Rock, Californian cosmic jams, neo-Krautrock, early 70s Psychedelia, Acid Rock freak-outs, Psychedelic World Music, Prog/Psych from the festival freakscene, twisted Folk and other great Psych Rock out-thereness for your delight and delectation.
The full track-list is…………
Goat - Talk To God
E GONE - Reach The Summit, Egg
Electric Moon - Hypnotika
White Manna - Beta Travellers
Farflung - Endless Drifting Wreck
Zone Six - Love Monster
Birthcontrol - Gamma Ray
Julian Cope - Poet Is Priest
Khun Narin - Show Wong Khun Narin #3
Al Lover - Brian Jonestown Masochist
Pink Floyd - Obscured by Clouds
Hidria Spacefolk - Jahwarp
Quantum Fantay - Agapanthusterra
OzricTentacles - Sploosh
Devendra Banhart - Long Haired Child
High Tide - Death Warmed Up
Korai öröm - 2
First Band From Outer Space - Mean Spacemachine
Hawkwind - Master of the Universe
Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound- The Slumbering ones
35007 - Crystaline
Füxa – Cheree
We hope you can join us and will dig the sounds we have put together for this broadcast. If you miss the show Grip Of Delusion Radio will be broadcasting the whole thing the next day………More details to follow regarding times and on other sites where you can find this show to listen to at a later date
TURN ON, TUNE IN……………………………………….TRIP OUT.
YOUR BAND HERE?????? – We have been introduced to many of the great bands included in this broadcast by the artists or labels sending us CDs of their albums. If we like tracks and can find a way of fitting it into a Psychedelic Basement broadcast there is a very good chance of music we have been sent being included in future broadcasts. Please contact us at email@example.com for our postal address.