Monday, 18 April 2016

TERRAPLANE – INTO THE UNKNOWN (Electric Magic LP, D/L).

What we absolutely love about German bands is that they either invent the future, developing a brand new musical language that it takes a few years to understand it’s nuances or lovingly recreate/re-imagine the past, exploring decades old genres and putting their own spin on it……………we have recently been digging the Samsara Blues Experiment who are a flashback both musically and sartorially to around 1969-1971, the proto metal period where Psychedelia got heavy and the Blues got tripped out. Like fellow heavy Blues travellers Blues Pills, the Samsara Blues Experiment take classic early 70s Psychedelic Blues and retool it for today. Their most recent release Waiting For The Flood mixes together heavy Psych Blues and Stoner Rock with more Eastern influences and contains four long tracks that the band twist and turn into strange shapes in a howling storm of musical dexterity forming epic stoner soundscapes, not unlike bands such as Earthless, Golden Void and Essemble Head In Sunburst Sound. Although really popular in their homeland and the rest of mainland Europe, the Samsara Blues Experiment are mainly operating well below the radar in the rest of the world……………if your thing is virtuoso heavy Psychedelic Blues that takes in elements of British acts Man, Khan and Camel, which can be heard in the creative expanse of the individual songs, and the occasional southern-style heavy rock of Corrosion of Conformity or Floodgate then we recommend you check this band out. Step back ten years and the template for the Samsara Blues Experiment was set by the German underground Psych Rock band Terraplane. A predecessor to the Samsara Blues Experiment, they could be seen as one of the forerunners to the current German Heavy Psych scene. Even though there was nothing new in terms of musical invention, being deeply rooted in the era of Classic Rock giants like Led Zeppelin, the psychedelic Stooges and The Doors, Terraplane provided a fresh taste of mellow, dark psychedelia and dry-to-the-bone Fuzz Blues. Terraplane’s second album Into The Unknown, now considered a classic of the genre, disappeared without trace just after its release in 2006 and was reported lost, presumed deleted soon afterwards…………this massively under-rated record now gets the reissue treatment from Electric Magic Records and for the first time is now available on vinyl.

Featuring Samsara Blues Experiment main brain Christian Peters getting his guitar sound together, Into The Unknown is a journey into the familiar with an abundance of cool classic rock references/influences on display. There are fuzzed out bluesy riffs a plenty on manic boogie tunes like ‘Orange Salvation’ and ‘Lower’ which in 1970 would have led to a mass outbreak of loon dancing, however it is on the longer tracks you can hear the roots of the Samsara Blues Experiment take hold. ’Moonflower Blues Pt. 2’ and ‘Mantra’ are both grounded in the early 70s progressive, proto Stoner Blues Rock of bands such as Blue Cheer, After Tea and Birthcontrol along with dense guitar sludge of Black Sabbath and the Stooges. The album’s title track closes the record and is an epic 15 minute Kosmic Jam that ebbs and flows through on a psychedelic expedition to the far side of the mind, a track that really sets the vibe for the Samsara Blues Experiment’s sprawling sonic adventures. Although virtually ignored when originally released Into The Unknown is ripe for re-discovery………it’s an album that gives a fascinating insight to the formative influences of the Samsara Blues Experiment and while there is a sense of a band finding its sound, all the tracks here are skilfully constructed and still sound relevant amongst the current wave of German Heavy Psychedelia.

Distributed by the German Psych/Prog label World In Sound, Into The Unknown is out now on the boutique label Electric Magic Records. Unless your local indie store is the kind of place that will stock records by obscure German bands, the album is available in a limited edition run of 500 copies on purple vinyl from either the Electric Magic webstore or the World In Sound “Tasty Odds” web page. Also available from the Terraplane Bandcamp page https://terraplane.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-unknown where you can buy the digital download which comes with an additional 5 bonus tracks. You can also find Samsara Blues Experiment LPs and CDs at the ElectricMagic and World In Sound websites.


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