Friday, 11 March 2016

IMAAD WASIF with TWO PART BEAST – STRANGE HEXES (World In Sound LP, CD).

Currently playing with LA based Space Rock trio EFG, up to now guitarist Imaad Wasif has had quite an interesting and varied career on the fringes of the US Alt Rock scene…..amongst other projects, he was previously a member of The Folk Implosion, Alaska!, part of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s touring band and is one half of the experimental duo Acid, who’s album Science Fiction With Acid has been described as “Prince in a CIA mind control experiment”. He has also recorded some very cool solo albums that combines both elements of Psychedelic Folk and Psych Rock and his second studio album Strange Hexes, which came out as a self-release in 2008, belongs to the lost gems of contemporary Psychedelic Rock music. Following his more introspective first self-titled solo album (released in 2006 on Kill Rock Stars) which featured minimal, acoustic songs reminiscent of Skip Spence’s Oar and Syd Barrett’s Opel, Strange Hexes was a “tense, trippy collection of songs that become fiercely emotional explorations” and “unbelievably intense with sparkling, raga-influenced guitar and a mystic bent” which unfortunately dropped right off the radar. It has always been a mystery why this fantastic record disappeared without trace with only a few Psych Rock heads ever hearing it……………….however the world has been put to right and German Psychedelic/Prog Rock label World In Sound are giving Strange Hexes the reissue treatment with a new official European CD/LP release.

Recorded with bass player Bobb Bruno (now part of Best Coast with Bethany Cosentino) and drummer Adam Garcia under the name Imaad Wasif with Two Part Beast, Strange Hexes traces a vein from late ‘60s West Coat Acid Rock to the more heavy, post-psychedelic, early 70s American guitar bands such as Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Taking on board the same 60s/70s Psych Rock influences as Dead Meadow, Black Mountain, Golden Void and Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound, this record switches between sonic bliss and bone-breaking intensity with Wasif playing the part of both fragile shamanic poet and wailing guitar God………….there are some seriously great tracks here. ‘Unveiling’ is an absolute face melter of a track, incorporating Eastern modal tunings and drones slowly unfolding into a blistering guitar workout. Of the other great songs, ‘Halcyon’ has a cool Blues vibe and ‘Spell’ is a really beautiful track, both tracks having echoes of Jeff Buckley’s song structures. The standout track has to be ‘Seventh Sign, which on the albums initial release was described as “a nearly perfectly crafted nightmare vision of Armageddon that hearkens back to the brooding post-psychedelia of Neil Young’s On the Beach”. Criminally ignored back in 2008, Strange Hexes is well worth getting acquainted with.

Due for release 15/4/16 on World In Sound, Strange Hexes will be available on vinyl LP and CD with both formats including liner notes and rare photos. Available soon from the World In Sound online store and groovy record shops.


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