- ► 2018 (48)
- ► 2017 (74)
- PSYCHIC ILLS – INNER JOURNEY OUT (Sacred Bones Rec...
- BIG MOUNTAIN COUNTY – ANACHRONICLE (Area Pirata Re...
- LANDING – THIRD SIGHT (El Paraiso Records LP, CD)....
- TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE PSYCHEDELIC BASEMENT #4 – A...
- THE GOLDEN GRASS/KILLER BOOGIE/WILD EYES/BANQUET –...
- CAUSA SUI – RETURN TO SKY (El Paraiso Records LP, ...
- MOTHS AND LOCUSTS – HELIOS RISING (Sunmask/noiseag...
- ØRESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE – ODE TO A BLACK HOLE (Sp...
- VIBRAVOID – PSYCHEDELIC BLUEPRINTS (Stoned Karma C...
- WEST SPACE AND LOVE – WEST SPACE AND LOVE Vol. ll ...
- 7FAZ – FAZA A (PHASE A) EP (Nasiono Records CD, D/...
- FOLLOW THE SEA – BLUE JOY (Häxrummet Records LP, D...
- THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL – THE ACCELERATION OF TIME (...
- SUN AND THE WOLF – SALUTATIONS (World In Sound LP,...
- ▼ May (14)
- ► 2015 (58)
Monday, 30 May 2016
Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in NYC……………..since their last release, One Track Mind from 2013, it appears that New York City’s Psychic Ills have been absorbing the same influences as Jason Pierce and taking inspiration from country, blues, gospel, and jazz and adding them to their already rich sonic palette of psychedelic sounds……….which is not a bad thing in the slightest. It is fair to say that the new Psychic Ills record, Inner Journey Out, sounds an awful lot like Spiritualized in parts, with Farfisa organ, gospel flourishes, languid, woozy, almost horizontal vocals and a seriously unhurried vibe as they explore the dark heart of the gothic Deep South. Sprawling over four sides of vinyl, Inner Journey Out expands on the Psych Rock resonances of the previous record, with Psychic Ills taking their music to a much darker place, creating a broad, lush soundscape unlike anything they have recorded before………it’s a trip and the best Spiritualized album since Pure Phase.
With Inner Journey Out’s slow-mo blues, languid guitarscapes and druggy atmospherics, Psychic Ills are now sharing space with bands such as Brightblack Morning Light, Mazzy Star and of course the Godfathers of “taking drugs to make music to take drugs to”; Spacemen 3. Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval even appears on the track ‘I Don't Mind’, a stoned Country Blues that brings to mind her work with Hope Sandoval & The Warm Intentions. Psychic Ills move towards a frazzled Country Blues sound is a really interesting development…….there are shades of Primal Scream during their “Dixie Narco” phase on tracks such as ‘Mixed Up Mind’, ‘New Mantra’ and ‘Coca-Cola Blues’ where Exile On Main Street is re-imagined and re-recorded by the band on whiskey and downers. There are some really fantastic tunes on this record……….once you get past the “it sounds like Spiritualized” phase and start digging through the rich layers of sound, real gems start to emerge. The Gospel tinged ‘Back To You’, 'Baby' and the lysergic blues of ‘Music in My Head’ are stunningly atmospheric tracks while ‘Hazel Green’ is a completely absorbing slice of Psychedelia. The standout track has to be ‘Ra Wah Wah’ a nearly 10 minute long instrumental which mixes swirling organ and guitar with beautiful jazzy saxophone and it’s a major departure from the sound of One Track Mind. As if suspended in time and space ‘Ra Wah Wah’ has a serene meditative quality that really is absolutely mind blowing. The more you listen to this record, the more it opens up…….it is total head music and a must listen for fans of the laser guided melodies of J Spaceman.
Released by Sacred Bones Records this Friday (3/6/16), Inner Journey Out is available as 2 x vinyl LP and CD from your local groovy record store, the Sacred Bones web store and all the usual outlets…….there is a limited edition version of 400 hand-numbered copies on desert haze vinyl, which comes with alternate screen-printed brown paper bag outer sleeve, inserts and is wax sealed which is available from the Sacred Bones web store only. A digital download is available from the Psychic Ills Bandcamp page here https://psychicills.bandcamp.com/.
Sunday, 29 May 2016
Back in the Spring of 2015 Gas Vintage Records released the really cool debut album from the wild and dirty Italian psychedelic Rock n Roll band Big Mountain County (BMC)……mixing up a whole bunch of influences, BMC referenced Garage Rock, Psychedelic Surf Rock plus the Velvet and Paisley Underground amongst others, Breaking Sound was an accomplished and impressive Psychedelic Rock record (read our review here). Having spent much of the remainder of the year touring the album round mainland Europe, by the time they hit the Locanda Atlantide in Rome last November BMC were tight as you like and firing on all cylinders, fizzing with attitude and adrenalin. Ripping the roof offa th’ mutha, BMC tore through a set that included songs from their last record plus a couple from their debut 7” EP (‘Brain Machine’ and ‘My Time’) and ‘Breakable’, a previously unreleased track……..fortunately the tapes were running and this blistering live show has now been released as a limited edition CD by Area Pirata Records snappily titled Anachronicle.
Played live the songs from Breaking Sound are infused with a kick of high voltage electricity……much of the debut record has a 80s Paisley Underground vibe where the best 60s psychedelia was infused with a Post Punk sensibility……..’I'm Satisfied’, ‘About A Clown’, ‘What Do You Think?’ and the epic ‘Farewell’ all had mood of the early Rain Parade/Dream Syndicate recordings mixed with the more Rock n Roll feel of the later VU records, but now have been souped up and are now more reminicient of high energy Garage/Punk tunes. Anachronicle is buzzing with wild Psych/Garage vibes and the two tracks from their first EP epitomise the dirty, stupid Rock n Roll that came out of the clubs in provincial 1960s USA. Well worth a listen for folks who like their Garage Rock mixed with a bit of Psychedelic Rock finesse.
Anachronicle is out now as a limited edition run of 300 CDs and is available from the Area Pirata Records web store and Bandcamp page at https://areapiratarec.bandcamp.com/album/anachronicle where you can also get the digital download.
Saturday, 28 May 2016
Strange things are happening in Connecticut………..landing mid-June on El Paraiso Records’ Impetus imprint is the new record from….err….Landing. Mixing an organic blend of rock instrumentation and analog electronics, Landing have specialized in a mild and rural kind of psychedelia over the course of nearly two decades and despite releasing one brilliant album after another the band remains criminally underappreciated. Perhaps because the trips Landing are taking are too distanced from the hipster's version of Krautrocky drone music. Recent releases have seen them closer to post-punk and shoegaze territory than ever, but Third Sight, recorded specifically for the Impetus series, builds on the hallucinatory soundscapes of the band's earliest days. Third Sight consists of four long tracks of warm washes of blissed out ambience/psychedelia…….think Eno and Bardo Pond playing mind chess while tripping and you would not be far off the mark…….as Landing blend old school, fluttering Electronica which brings to mind Eno’s best collaborations in the 1970s with the fuzzy, more experimental Drone Rock from American East Coast scene.
Opening with the epic ‘Delusion Sound’, Landing channel the hazy narcotic somnolence of Spacemen 3 which then dissolves into an almost pastoral sound sketch with languid guitars and static filled glitch Electronica blurring the lines between Post Rock and Psychedelia as the track unhurriedly winds down. Both beautifully economic but sonically expansive at the same time, Landing explore the aural landscape of Krautrock, Drone Rock, Psych Folk and Psychedelica to stunning effect……..taking inspiration from such diverse bands as Unwound, Tar, Cocteau Twins, Flying Saucer Attack, Harmonia, Spacemen 3, Cluster and Lush, there's a unique sense of motoric drift to these four pieces, Landing’s psychedelia possesses a rare timelessness, listening through this record is likely to stimulate mental images of rural winds blowing across vast American fields of grass, bonfires, blue rivers and power lines sailing through rolling hills. ‘Third Site’ has the feel of early 70s Krautrock pioneers Harmonia with primitive electronics gently pulsing underneath a soundscape of luscious sweeping guitars and synths while coming in at under the 5 minute mark is ‘Facing South’ is a beautiful guitar piece reminiscent of Michael Brook’s ‘infinite guitar’ compositions which serves as an interlude before Third Sights massive closing track kicks in. On ‘Morning Sun’ everything comes together perfectly, creating a magnificent composite of dense Drone Rock, Electronica, left-field experimental Shoegaze and abstract Krautrock which sees Landing right at the top of their game………..as someone wiser than us said “the whipper snappers these days, trafficking in similar sounds, have NOTHING on their sonic elders. Dreamy, droney, poppy, psychedelic, electronic perfection!”. Third Sight is a 40 minute soak in a warm bath of sonic bliss………an absolutely wonderful record.
Released on 17/6/16 Third Sight is available to pre-order now from the El Paraiso Records web shop either on green vinyl or silver CD. Landing’s mind blowing new record will also available from your favourite vinyl emporium if you ask nicely and in the USA via Forced Exposure ……….check it out people.
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE PSYCHEDELIC BASEMENT #4 – Astounding Sounds From Another Dimension. 8pm GMT Saturday 28th May.
TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE PSYCHEDELIC BASEMENT returns on Saturday 28th May with a joint broadcast from THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN and ATOM HEART MUTHA. 3 hours of mind bending groovy Psychedelia, Krautrock and kosmik Space Rock from the edge of the universe.
For our 90 minute segment of the show we will be playing a mix of tunes that have landed in our psychedelic basement over the last six months………..we have selected the best of the best, many of the records have been reviewed on Strange Things Are Happening this year. If you check the monthly menus since January you will find the original reviews.
Our “Strange Things” Mix opens with a track from the stunning new Luck Of Eden Hall album The Acceleration Of Time, due for release early June, which we described as “Falling somewhere between early 70s Prog Rock and full blown headswirling Psychedelic Rock, this record really should carry some kind of warning……… exposure to TLoEH’s sprawling double album masterpiece will most certainly lead to a seriously blown mind.” We have selected the album’s opening track ‘Slow’, “a peel of chiming/ticking clocks leading into a squall of swirling guitar and dreamy keyboard swell which sounds not unlike a third cousin, twice removed, of the lead track from the Dukes Of Stratosphear’s seminal mid 80s 25 O’Clock EP”.
We have included two tracks that feature ex-Steppes guitarist John Fallon’s new band The Laissez Fairs………..‘I Don't Mind’ is a collaboration with Herself (one of the many musical guises of former Lay Llamas member Gioele Valenti) and is taken from the Gleaming EP, a record of “delicate Psych tinted Alt-Folk that summons the ghost of Nick Drake to come and hang with Mercury Rev mixed with a more Psych Rock feel as John Fallon and Joe Lawless from The Laissez Fairs fill in the gaps left in Herself’s lo-fi sketches”. From The Laissez Fairs debut record we have picked the standout track ‘Primrose Hill’ which has the feel of “late 60s Kinks before a surge of guitars push the track to a swirling psychedelic climax”.
All aboard the Love Mobile, it’s the Liquid Scene and “riffing off the intro to ‘Dear Prudence’, ‘Hey Moondog’ is an epic hallucinogenic journey to the centre of the mind” and from Sons Of The Void the lysergically warped ‘Don't Forget To Prey’………” it’s as if pop history has been rewritten and the Byrds made lo-fi records with Timothy Leary”. Back in the 90s Sons Of The Void David Max was a member of the fantastic Tadpoles……….after digging the SotV album we picked up the “best of” album Use With Headphones Late At Night and have selected the stunning track ‘Race You To The Mustard Patch’……….in our original review we pondered “After hearing this we must now go and check out the Tadpoles records from the 90s………if they are anywhere as good as this, they are going to be pretty special”……….and yes, they are. We have also picked a couple of obscurities from the first two releases from the ace Mega Dodo Singles Club………from The Honey Pot, ‘Into The Deep’ is the B-Side of their dreamy ‘Lisa Dreams’ single and is “a slow burning, darker, more menacing acid fried Psych number underpinned by rumbling bass and groovy drums. Imagine the Doors at their lysergic, swampiest, slinkiest best…….it’s a total trip” and from Finnish PsychHeads Octopus Syng, ‘Reverberating Garden Number 7' is a lycergic swirl of 60s inspired Psych. The track is also included on their new album Hollow Ghost/Rochelle Salt which we will be reviewing soon on Strange Things.
From our German friends World In Sound Records we have tracks from the recently reissued lost gem by the much travelled psychedelic explorer Imaad Wasif and the Berlin based NZ Indie/Psych band Sun And The Wolf…………………….. Strange Hexes by Imaad Wasif with Two Part Beast 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. We have mixed into our 90 minutes of psychedelic groove ‘Unveiling’, “an absolute face melter of a track, incorporating Eastern modal tunings and drones slowly unfolding into a blistering guitar workout”. Sun And The Wolf mix together “taut, incendiary Indie Rock with a technicolour psychedelic swirl that evokes such early 90s bands as House Of Love, Sun Dial, Levitation, Spiritualized and the early psychedelic EPs from Verve as the band explore the darker realms of fuzz driven psychedelia with catchy riffage and splashes of The Beatles´ lysergic era” Although their most recent album, Salutations, has some of the worst cover artwork we have seen for many a year, it contains nine cuts of excellent neo-Psychedelia……..we have picked the squalling Psychedelic Rock of ‘Why Are We Not Fading’ for the fourth instalment of Transmissions From The Psychedelic Basement.
Psychic Lemon’s headswirler of a debut record is a “relentless sonic assault from start to finish only letting up for a moment for the Floydian shimmer of ‘Analogue Summer’” which we have included in our mix………..there are also tracks from other new bands that are starting to turn Heads (on). We have also picked tunes from Greek Garage/Psych trio Screaming DEad Balloons, Spanish Neo-Psych band Stay (think Kula Shaker if they were not absolute rubbish…….Stay have actually got some corking tunes and ‘Mind Blowing’ is…..err…..mind blowing) and Norwegian Psych Rockers Mayflower Madame who’s debut album is “infused with all the dark intensity of the great 80s Psych/Goth records but not sounding out of place with any of the more recent Psych releases” and ’Lovesick’ is not unlike “Echo & The Bunnymen covering Bauhaus with sparkling guitars blended with a real sense of menace”. We have also included a pair of top tracks from the much less obscure Bardo Pond and The Liminanas in an attempt to garner mass market appeal………Thee Psychedelicatessen sell out!!!
“Plastic Crimewave - He’s a guy, he’s a band, he’s a multi-coloured forward-thinking arthole of Tardis Dementions. He’s a Futuretro freak, he’s a sibilant gas, he’s a rock’n roll-a-holic” and who are we to disagree the Arch Drude, Julian Cope……..writer, artist, creator of the beloved psychedelic magazine Galactic Zoo Dossier, musician and arguably the Godfather of the current fertile Chicago Psych scene, Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) has been making seriously far out records for the best part of 20 yrs. He has a new band, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate whose self-titled second album “comprises of six heavy and transcendental compositions which take inspiration from the relentless riffing of early Loop, the Kosmic Punk chaos of Chrome and Guru Guru and the 70s Space Rock adventures Hawkwind as they explore the outer dimensions of their sound”. To finish off our 90 minute selection of tunes we have picked the 10 minute ‘Void of Eternity’, “destined to be a stoner classic……….a spliff odyssey so dense and unremitting it sucks all the sweet smelling vapour out of the room as you dissolve into your sofa, stoned immaculate”.
There you go People………90 minutes of top notch psychedelic sounds. Transmissions From The Psychedelic Basement will be available to live stream at 8pm GMT at www.mixlr.com/wwwbigjafnet with a repeat on the USA Internet station Grip Of Delusion radio the next day……….we are not sure of the transmission time as GOD moves in mysterious ways, so check our FB and Twitter for actual times. The whole 3hours will then be available via the Atom Heart Mutha Mixcloud site to listen to whenever you want.
TURN ON…TUNE IN…TRIP OUT
Full Track Listing For Thee Psychedelicatessen’s Strange Things Mix
The Luck Of Eden Hall - Slow
Herself & The Laissez Fairs - I Don't Mind
The Liquid Scene - Hey Moondog
The Laissez Fairs - Primrose Hill
Sons Of The Void - Don't Forget To Prey
Octopus Syng - Reverberating Garden Number 7
Psychic Lemon - Analogue Summer
The Honey Pot - Into The Deep
Mayflower Madame - Lovesick
The Liminanas - Kostos
Screaming DEad Balloons - Take Me Up
Sun And The Wolf - Why Are We Not Fading
Stay - Mind Blowing
Imaad Wasif - Unveiling
Tadpoles - Race You To The Mustard Patch
Bardo Pond - Pumori
Plastic Crimewave Syndicate -Void Of Eternity
Saturday, 21 May 2016
THE GOLDEN GRASS/KILLER BOOGIE/WILD EYES/BANQUET – HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS 4-WAY SPLIT Vol.2 (Heavy Psych Sounds 2xLP, CD, D/L).
From the heavier end of Psychedelic Rock comes another 4-way split double vinyl/CD from Italian Stoner Rock, Heavy Psych and retro hard Rock label Heavy Psych Sounds (there really is no ambiguity about the label’s output here). After spacing out fiercely on the first volume, which brought together the trippy psychedelic groove of Naam, White Hills, Black Rainbows and The Flying Eyes, this new collection gives an earthier take on Psych Rock while continuing to feature some of the underground’s best up and coming acts. Showcasing four new bands heavily influenced by early 70s Psych infused heavy Rock with three tracks on one side of vinyl each, Heavy Psych Sounds 4 Way Split Vol.2 gives space to free-wheelin’ New York boogie band The Golden Grass, Italian Blue Cheer/Stooges influenced riff merchants Killer Boogie, the female fronted Californian dirty blooze band Wild Eyes and another band of SF retro rockers Banquet in an wild ride of classic retro hard Rock sounds fuelled by whisky and cheap speed.
Taking up side one of the album is free-wheelin, good-time rock and roll band The Golden Grass. They play a soulful mix of heavy-country-funk-boogie and progressive-psychedelic-freakbeat straight outta 1970…………their three tracks here include the full throttle boogie ‘Livin’ A’int Easy’ and the feel-good country-funk stomp ‘Flashing Out Of Sight’ complete with Allman Brothers-esque bottleneck slide. The standout track from their trio of tracks is an excellent cover of the 1969 hit US single from Texan Psychedelicists Bubble Puppy, ‘Hot Smoke & Sasafrass’, which shows that there is much more to this band than heads down, no nonsense boogie…….although based in New York, Golden Grass fit perfectly into the classic linage of good ole’ Southern boogie bands who used to tear the roof offa th’ mutha in Texan biker bars.
Naming your debut album “Detroit” is a bit of a giveaway to where your influences lie. Rome RiffHeads Killer Boogie take the classic late 60s/early 70s sounds of the Detroit proto Heavy Rock/Punk Rock bands The Stooges and the MC5 (along with their SF brothers in relentless volume Blue Cheer) and play it louder and faster. Their contributions to this record are three tracks of amped up nasty Retro ’n’ Roll, mixing bluesy frequencies into an extremely fuzzy sound, with psychedelic shades to add colour to the relentless sonic assault. Out of the four bands on this record, Killer Boogie are no doubt heaviest and most brutal…….a regular 3 man Altamont!!!
Fronted by a soulful siren, singer Janiece Gonzalez, Wild Eyes have been described as “Blue Cheer kidnaps Tina Turner and ties her to the tracks of the Grand Funk Railroad”. From San Francisco, this amazing heavy Psychedelic Blues band, very much in the mould of bands such as Blues Pills, mix up a thunderous rhythm section with whirling guitar riffs and searing, psychedelic solos topped off with a Blues holler dripping with raw Soul……think a late 60s biker gang version of the Detroit Cobras, from the wrecking yard. All three tracks from this band are killer tunes……..the sultry ‘Long Time No See’ is from the same bluesy swampland as the Alabama Shakes but far more psychedelic and tripped out with squalling wah-wah guitar and ‘Gator Shaker’ is a high octane heavy blues where the band show off their musical chops. Making up their three tracks is a cool cover of Shocking Blue’s ‘Hot Sand’ which first appeared as the B-Side of ‘Venus’…..a killer fuzz guitar-propelled track that is probably catchier, more compact and even sexier than ‘Venus’, which Wild Eyes strip off the psychedelic embellishment and toughen it up till it is as hard as tempered steel. Above Becomes Below, Wild Eyes second album is still available from Heavy Psych Sounds and is well worth checking out.
Banquet are another fuzzed out 70's Retro Rock Psych band from San Francisco. Playing tons of shows in California and opening for bands such as Hot Lunch, Radio Moscow, Wild Eyes, Sleepy Sun, Dirty Fences, The Shrine, plus an appearance at the 2015 Psycho California Fest, they have steadily built up a solid live reputation. Banquet contribute three Heavy Psych tracks that lean more to 70s hard Rock than full blown psychedelia with the swirling ‘Starmaker’ being the standout song here.
For fans of 70s Retro Rock, what’s not to love here? Four great “Classic Rock” influenced bands over four sides of vinyl……………….Check it out RiffHeads and don’t forget to boogie!!!
Heavy Psych Sounds 4-Way Split Vol.2 is out now and is available on double vinyl, CD or as a digital download. The vinyl version comes as either a limited edition pressing on green vinyl or yer standard black vinyl and along with the CD version is available from the Heavy Psych Sounds web store…………………the digital download can be purchased from the Heavy Psych Sounds Bandcamp page at https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/4-way-split-2-golden-grass-killer-boogie-wild-eyes-banquet.
Friday, 20 May 2016
With a sound that has been described as “the sound of a giant wave rolling up through the last four decades of rock”, Danish four piece instrumental Post Rock/Psych Rock band Causa Sui return with a new long-player, their first full length album since the 2013 release Euporie Tide. The first thing you notice with Causa Sui’s new album, Return To Sky, is a new Post Rock dynamism added to their sound………whilst still retaining the psychedelic shimmer of their previous records, Return To Sky has several moments of full-on “quite-loud-quite” blow outs with very muscular drums and bass driving hard, it’s less Explosions In The Sky but more the sound of Post Rock giants Mogwai and newer Psych Rock bands such as Radar Men From The Moon crashing together in a thrilling sonic collision with early 70s heavy Psychedelic guitar rock. Causa Sui’s music is now more earthy and heavy than ever before, but the ability to absorb everything from Shoegaze and vintage Italian film music to spiritual Jazz, Afrobeat and minimalism into its fabric has matured as well. Never before has Causa Sui sounded as deep and mesmerizing as on this new record.
Opening with the heavy bass and pounding drums of the epic ‘Dust Meridian’, Return To Sky finds Causa Sui exploring a much more expansive sonic landscape than previously with this track blending dense Stoner Rock with the sound of early 70s psychedelic Afrobeat. Mixing together blasts of 70s proto Metal riffage with a polyrhythmic Africa 70 groove and a Afro/Psych melody picked out on an organ somewhere between Fela Kuti and Ray Manzarek in an epic slice of sprawling Post Rock which is a hell of a way to kick start a record. ‘The Source’ is an another heavy riffing, post-psychedelic 70s heavy Rock infused with Post-Rock sensibility instrumental and yet another illustration of Causa Sui’s beefed up sound which bludgeons all before it before slipping into a coda……the track gently fades to nothing after two minutes of contrasting drone and melodic wash exploration that fully exemplifies the scope of the band’s sonic palette. Having a more familiar sound to that of the previous records, ‘Mondo Buzzo’ elegantly twists and turns through passages of sublime beauty and intense noise that fans of Causa Sui know and love……….a perfect closing track for the first side of the album. The second side of Return To Sky starts with the fluid and jazzy Prog Rock-esque ‘Dawn Passage’ which is not a million miles away from the early 70s virtuoso guitar bands such as Wishbone Ash and Man before easing into the beatific shimmer of the albums epic closing title track. ‘Return To Sky’ gently ebbs and flows as it unfolds in a series of “quite-loud-quite” moments.....as the track drifts skywards as if caught on a zephyr wind it twists and twirls leaving a sonic vapour trail of blissed out beauty before floating back to earth. It’s a near transcendental moment to wrap up what is a fantastic journey into sound…………the whole album is perfect for headphones. Return To Sky is the sound of a band pushing the envelope, continually exploring and fans of Causa Sui will not be disappointed with this record, its stunning mash up of Post Rock and early 70s Psychedelic Rock will hopefully also turn on a few more listeners to this great band.
Return To Sky is out now on El Paraiso Records on vinyl and CD. Available from the El Paraiso online shop and all good indie record emporiums.........a digital download is also available from the El Paraiso web store.
Wednesday, 18 May 2016
A mix of swirling guitars and crunching riffage, Moths And Locusts second album sees the band still “seeking the groove, the melody, the mood, the riff, the racket,” on an infinite quest for musical nirvana and get pretty close on one or two tracks on Helios Rising. The closing track on the A side of the record, ‘Invisible Light’, is a drugged out mantra from beyond the door of perception, twisted psychedelia suspended in time and space that really should go on for much longer than the 6 minutes it has been edited down to fit onto vinyl........there are some genres that are more suited to CD, dense, tripped out Stoner Rock really needs the space to evolve and wind its way to a natural conclusion. After a visit to the 24hr Garage to stock up on munchies and Rizla, the disc is flipped…………and right at end of the second side we find the best track on the record. The title track from Helios Rising is a lush, beauteous closing number that evokes the best of Spacemen 3/early Spiritualized and the Velvet Underground on a serious comedown. An absolutely stunning track that is worth the price of admission alone, with a combination of picked country guitars, hazy psychedlia and a choir of massed voices………it’s the Cowboy Junkies if they were actually cowboy junkies. Although not stunningly original, there are enough cool tunes on Helios Rising to keep any PsychHeads interested………well worth checking out.
Released on 7th July jointly by Sunmask/noiseagonymayhem Records, Helios Rising will be available in a variety of formats………………..the vinyl version comes in a limited run of 450 copies with 300 copies on clear/white vinyl and 50 copies on black vinyl, there will be 50 copies on translucent blue vinyl available directly from Moths & Locusts only and 50 deluxe copies on black vinyl with silkscreened poster only available from Sunmask via Discogs. The album is also available on CD through noiseagonymayhem records and Moths & Locusts.
For more info about any pre-release sales for this record, best check the various band/label websites and these links for distributors.
Sunmask Records (CAN) https://www.discogs.com/seller/sunmask/profile
War On Music Records (CAN) http://waronmusic.com/
RED Distribution (US) http://www.redmusic.com/
Cardinal Fuzz (UK) http://cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com/
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
ØRESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE – ODE TO A BLACK HOLE (Space Rock Productions LP, CD, D/L). ØRESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE – ORGANIC EARTHLY FLOATATION (Space Rock Productions CD).
From their Space Lab held in geo-stationary orbit above the ancient pyramids come further transmissions from the stoned version of the European Space Agency…………the Øresund Space Collective. Crewed by an ever changing company of Psychonauts led by the sonic Shaman Dr. Space, ØSC have been beaming the sounds of cosmos back to Earth for over a decade and Ode To A Black Hole is the 21st release of fully improvised Space Rock from this prolific band. Recorded during the sessions for their last album, the epic Different Creatures (read Strange Things brainthink here), ØSC’s latest release is a radical departure from their usual swirly Prog Rock/Space Rock sound that takes its inspiration from bands such as Ozric Tentacles and also the proto Space Rock of 70s Prog/Psych/Kraut bands such as Gong, early Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Amon Düül II and Space Rock titans, Hawkwind mixed with the freeform jamming of the late 60s West Coast bands like The Dead and QMS……….Ode To A Black Hole is a 52min doom drone jam inspired by UK Stoner Rock/Heavy Psych band BONG.
"Space is infinite, it is dark. Space is neutral, it is cold". 'Ode To A Black Hole' is a very slow evolving piece of music with synth drones, violin, pedal steel, minimal bass and measured, subtle drums combining to create a glacial soundscape from the furthest points of the universe. Split into two parts, this epic track drifts through deep space slowly gaining momentum…………massively atmospheric, 'Ode To A Black Hole' builds layer upon layer of sound until exploding into shards of noise around the 40 minute mark before collapsing back into itself into a spaced out coda of squalling guitars, bubbling synths and Hammond organ. It’s an absolute epic piece of heavy Psychedelic Space Rock, showing a much darker side to ØSC. This track has more in common with the lysergic adventures of cosmic explorers such as Electric Moon than their usual “Quicksilver Messenger Service/The Grateful Dead……In Space” vibe and will no doubt split opinion amongst fans of the band. However, Ode To A Black Hole will also open up the ears to a newer audience of Stoner Rock/Heavy PsychHeads that really can’t get to grips with the intense 70s style West Coast Acid Rock jamming of many of the the previous records but will really dig this gently unfolding trip to beyond the event horizon…………………..It’s a new development in the ever evolving cosmic journey of ØSC and it will be interesting to see where this leads.
Out now on Space Rock Productions, Ode To A Black Hole is available in a variety of formats…………….there is a limited vinyl run of 500 copies (100 on purple vinyl, 200 on magenta vinyl and 200 on good old black vinyl) and 500 copies on CD along with a digital download (in space no one can hear headphone spill). Available from the ØSC Bandcamp page at https://oresundspacecollective.bandcamp.com/album/ode-to-a-black-hole, ........NB: All the vinyl copies are sold out on the Bandcamp site, however Space Rock Productions releases are available through Sapphire Records in Germany where there are copies available from their web shop along with the CD.
Also new from the Øresund Space Collective is a CD reissue of their 16th album, Organic Earthly Floatation which was originally released 2013 as a vinyl/download only release, with the vinyl edition being long sold out. Featuring all the members of Danish Psychedelic Rock band Papir and American guitarist Daniel Lars, Organic Earthly Floatation is heavily guitar dominated with some amazing melodic, spacey and ripping guitar on four long exploratory tracks. Besides the opening track, 'Walking on Clouds', (an original composition from Daniel Lars), the rest of the tracks were totally improvised and at the time of release this beautifully mellow album was compared to the guitar pyrotechnics of Causa Sui. Including a previously unreleased 38 minute untitled bonus track, Organic Earthly Floatation is reissued by Space Rock Productions and is available now from the Sapphire Records web shop………it’s definitely the “Quicksilver Messenger Service/The Grateful Dead……In Space” incarnation of ØSC that fans of epic, tripped out Acid Rock jams will love.
Saturday, 14 May 2016
Towards the end of last century Vibravoid left the planet in their retro-fitted psychedelic starship, set the controls for the heart of the sun and ever since they have since been on an ongoing mission to turn on tune in and freak out, seeking new highs and revelations, turning on the universe on one planet at a time. After 25 years of beaming far out 60s influenced Psych Rock records back to Earth, they have dipped into their extensive back catalogue for an introspection of the years 2000-2013 which cover their far out releases for the very groovy Stoned Karma Records. Psychedelic Blueprints collects together 13 remastered tracks that could be described as a “Best Of”, which is a total gas and an essential purchase for fans of classic 60s psychedelia that are new to the tripped out sound of Vibravoid.
For the discerning PsychHead, what’s not to love about Vibravoid???………..all the key elements of the perfect 60s inspired psychedelic band are all here: fuzzed out guitars….check, swirling Farfisa organs…check, swinging sitars…check, groovy drums and bass holding down a steady but danceable backbeat…check, trippy phasing…check and lysergic lyricism…check. Together it’s a massive rave up down the U.F.O. Club circa 1967 which channels the best of early Pink Floyd, July, Tomorrow, Kaleidoscope along with a dash of the classic “Nuggets” bands such as the Seeds and Electric Prunes. There are some absolutely stunning tracks on this compilation including the cool tribute to Sky Saxon ‘Eruptions Of The Green Sun’ where typical studio trickery of1967 is reanimated, the Psych Pop headswirler ‘Doris Delay’and a mind blowing ‘Random Generated Future’ which contains a psychedelic instrumental part that could have come straight out of the Summer Of Love. In addition to the 60s inspired fuzzed up Psych Pop tunes, Psychedelic Blueprints contains some of Vibravoid’s more experimental sonic adventures including the acid drenched ‘The Politics Of Ecstasy’, the more abstract ‘Void Vibration’ and Spacemen 3 sound-alike ‘Save My Soul’ which is a psychedelic gospel song that evolves into an orgy of noise while setting the landmark for the abundant use of Mellotron and fuzz guitar. Designed to turn on new listeners to the majestic psychedelic splendour of Vibravoid, Psychedelic Blueprints certainly delivers the goods.
Released on CD/Download by Stoned Karma on 27th May, Psychedelic Blueprints will be available from all the usual outlets and is available to pre-order now from the Stoned Karma website. Dig it kidz and turn on, tune in and trip out with Vibravoid.THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN
Friday, 13 May 2016
Six years after the release of West Space and Love Vol.l, the three key members (the ØresundSpace Collective’s sonic shaman Dr Space and current and former members of the Swedish Heavy Prog band Siena Root, Love Forsberg and KG West) reunited in a studio to lay down some 70s krautrock influenced tracks for a brand new album. Whereas the previous collaboration was more of an acoustic, Indian music inspired album with five sitar based tracks that were totally improvised, Vol.ll is far more synthesizer based with WS&L conjuring up soundscapes that take inspiration from bands such as Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Popol Vuh and Agitation Free. Another major difference is that this record is less of a collection of improvised pieces, having far more focus and a much stronger structure from more judicious self-editing than previously. It’s a fantastic listening experience as it twists and turns through the dimensions in sound, taking in early 70s Krautrock, Eastern flavoured Space Jazz, post-Psychedelic Pink Floyd, Indian music inspired improvisations and experimental percussion pieces………..we suggest you roll a few before this one hits the turntable.
Making it clear right from the outset where the influences lie with this record, the opening track is titled ‘Floyd’s Dream’ and like the title suggests it is a blend of classic Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream……………the sound of pulsing sequencers and spiralling synths from TD’s mid 70s heyday underpin Gilmour-esque guitar playing, setting the controls for a journey through a burning brain which pulls you straight into WS&L’s infinite universe. There is a change of mood for ‘Khan Paan’ which taps into the Indian vibes of the first album and with the addition of violin and santoor from Jonathan Segal and Moa Danielson on this track and ‘Øscillations In D minor’ really takes everything up to another level. ‘Khan Paan’ with its jazzy violin has a the feel of John McLaughlin’s Eastern musical explorations with Shakti and the Mahavishnu Orchestra (once they slowed down enough to take a breath) while ‘Øscillations In D minor’ sounds more improvised, gently ebbing and flowing before exploding into a squalling Space Rock breakdown. ‘2002’ is an exhilarating improvised percussion led track full of bubbling and squelching synths and ‘Pig In Space’ again features Love Forsberg’s drumming on a track that would not sound out of place on Chrome’s Alien Soundtracks. Flip the disc and as well as the aforementioned ‘Øscillations In D minor’ there are two more excellent Kraut inspired ethnic musical excursions with more than a passing nod to post Syd Pink Floyd. ‘Anybody Out There’ is a mix of subtly pulsing synths/ethnic percussion and swirling synthesizers which sees WS&L moving into Popol Vuh territory which glides seamlessly into the albums closing track ‘Time Compression’. ‘Time Compression’ is a track that FloydHeads will really dig as it blends Richard Wright’s swelling Hammond sound with Eastern flavours………it’s a postcard from Sufi mystics with Wish You Were Here writ large. West Space And Love Vol.ll is an absolutely stunning mix of the not so very Far East and the very Far Out, blending together the core elements of pioneering early 70s German electronic music and evocative Eastern influences mixed with a substantial amount post Syd acid burnout and pre Roger Waters megalomaniac dickhead Pink Floyd which flows beautifully from start to finish………fans of the more spacy Psych bands, 70s ProgHeads and children of the bong need to check this record. Shine on you crazy Potheads.
West Space And Love Vol.ll is due for release by Space Rock Productions sometime in July (check the Space Rock Productions website for more details and distribution info) and will be available in a variety of formats……………..there will be a limited run of 600 vinyl copies (120 clear, 180 white and 300 black) and 500 copies on CD. Dig it People, it’s a corker of a record.
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Recently landing in our inbox is an EP of serious out-thereness from 7faz, a new project from Polish musician Karol Schwarz, the founder member of Pure Phase Ensemble. Featuring many of the musicians associated with Nasiono Records, the 7faz project explores the cosmic significance of the number seven that resonates in our universe in a series of seven EPs released during 2016. Seven is a mystical number. It is a symbol of wholeness, fulfilment and perfection in many mythologies and religions of the world; it symbolises the bond between time and space. It was an attribute of gods, its figure featured in architecture, holy scripts, commandments and cosmology. There were seven virtues, seven sacraments, seven liberal arts and seven bodily "glories" of the blessed in Heaven. And there is more…… there are seven days of the week, seven planets ruling the zodiac, seven rainbow colours, seven crystal systems and seven notes in music. The seven EPs/seven phases create seven musical spaces recorded on seven separate discs. Each phase usually consists of two parts: tuning (a tranquil, contemplative part) and a trip (a louder part).
The first EP, Faza A (Phase A), contains two tracks……….Part 1 is a meditative drone on four guitars, an analogue synthesizer, a sitar and a saxophone which is not unlike the more experimental/drugged out sonic adventures of Spacemen 3. It’s a musical mantra cleared of attack and more swirling than flowing, which is a total contrast to the second part of the EP. Part 2 (Basketball) is cacophonous Space Jazz that represents the flight of a ball thrown high up and falling to bounce again with the instruments playing extremely loud in unison to an escalating tempo before breaking down into chaotic noise……..think the Sun Ra Arkestra and Spiritualized fighting over the lost chord. Both parts constitute separate entities but interconnect in an unusual way, complementing each other and they work on more than just one level, they can be just listened to, but they can also provide building blocks for musicians or DJs to manipulate or sample. As the whole seven phases are slowly revealed, then the cosmic interconnections will become clearer……..strange things are happening. This mix of Drone Rock and squalling Free Jazz is not going to be to everybody’s taste, but for those of you with a penchant for the more avant-garde you can stream the tracks on Soundcloud here.
Faza A is released on 20th May on Nasiono Records and is available to pre-order now. The EP comes in two formats……there is a limited edition run of 100 CDs available from the Nasiono website and a digital download can be found on the Nasiono Bandcamp page https://7faz.bandcamp.com/album/faza-a. Faza B is scheduled for release on June 24th.
Monday, 9 May 2016
Landing in our inbox a few days ago was Blue Joy, the debut album from the "Scandidelic" Noise Rock band Follow The Sea. The Stockholm based duo comprised of Erik Solfeldt and Magnus Lundgren draw inspiration from the Shoegaze scene, but there is a far more dark experimental ambient electronica edge to their music which really makes them stand out from the endless parade of MBV, Slowdive and Jesus And Mary Chain copyists which has become really boring........like all of the other previous genre “revivals”, the ‘Shoegaze revival’ is quickly starting to run out of steam due to a lack of any real innovation from many of the bands involved. Although Follow The Sea are grounded in classic fuzzed up and distorted early 90s Shoegaze, their debut album sees them exploring the far more interesting direction of ambient soundscaping and Drone Rock………more Seefeel than Slowdive.
Side one of Blue Joy has lots to love for fans of the Shoegaze Holy Trinity™……….the opening track ‘Dive’ is a joyous squall of distorted guitars while ‘In Time’ and ‘Fall’ are both a couple of atmospheric headswirlers that blend the elements of scuzzy fuzzed out Indie Rock with a shadowy Scandinavian melancholy. Although Follow The Sea’s most recent single ‘Virhe’ has more of an electronic dark heart, there is nothing here you will have not heard before but these tracks are very cool nevertheless. However, flip the disk and you will find the glacial ‘Breeze’, an epic 20 minute mix of cold ambient electronica and psychedelic Drone Rock. Performed by Follow the Sea along with sound designer and electronic music artist Niclas Lindgren (who also co-produced Blue Joy), ‘Breeze’ sees the band at their most innovative and experimental. Taking Eastern flavoured drones and re-tooling them for a Post-Rock age, the track slowly builds, evoking classic Popol Vuh and Tangerine Dream, gently throbbing but building in intensity until the drums finally kick in around the 15 minute mark exploding into a massive Krautrock/Space Rock groove before collapsing into an droning electronic coda………….with this track Follow The Sea have taken their Shoegaze influences to another place altogether, traveling to a far off distant psychedelic dimension, expanding their sonic vocabulary along the way. ‘Breeze’ is an excellent track you really must hear and Blue Joy is an album that shows a band not afraid to experiment……….hopefully a taster of the sonic possibilities to come.
Due for release on 25th May through Häxrummet Records, Blue Joy is available to pre-order from Follow The Sea’s Bandcamp page at http://followthesea.bandcamp.com/ where it is available as a limited run of 200 copies on black vinyl and as a digital download.
Saturday, 7 May 2016
Er……..wow!.......after a recording career spanning over 25 years, Chicago’s psychedelic elder statesmen The Luck of Eden Hall have surpassed any of their previous records and have come up with an album, The Acceleration Of Time, which must be regarded as their finest to date. Falling somewhere between early 70s Prog Rock and full blown headswirling Psychedelic Rock, this record really should carry some kind of warning……… exposure to TLoEH’s sprawling double album masterpiece will most certainly lead to a seriously blown mind. Mixing up authentic vintage sounds (there is an absolute ton of lush, sweeping Mellotron on this record) with a modern Psych Rock sheen TLoEH have crafted a very Proggy wide screen vista with plenty of off kilter psychedelic moments that both “Classic Rock” purists and wild eyed psychonauts will love to bits…………it’s Yes, mid-period Floyd, King Crimson etc. etc. stripped of any pretentious musical over indulgence with an abundance of added kick-ass Rock ‘n’ Roll attitude.
It’s about time…….The Luck Of Eden Hall’s vaguely conceptual new record charting how time appears to speed up during the passing of the years opens with ‘Slow’, a peel of chiming/ticking clocks leading into a squall of swirling guitar and dreamy keyboard swell which sounds not unlike a third cousin, twice removed, of the lead track from the Dukes Of Stratosphear’s seminal mid 80s 25 O’Clock EP. One thing you really notice with this record compared to previous TLoEH albums is that keyboards are far more prominent than before…………The Acceleration Of Time is full of old school analogue keyboards sounds which give the tunes greater depth and texture, from bubbling synths intertwining with soaring guitar to gorgeous Mellotron washes which come to the fore on the epic Prog Rock inspired instrumentals on this album. ‘A Procession Of Marshmallow Soldiers Across The Clockwork Pudding’ is a classic 70s Prog/Psych style instrumental where synths and guitars twist around each other in a spiralling mad dance while ‘Channel 50 Creature Feature’ is a near 10 minutes of gently drifting, Floyd-esque alien soundscaping interspersed with bursts of furious guitar noise. This is possibly the most sonically adventurous and expansive album that TLoEH have recorded, another long instrumental track, the absolutely stunningly atmospheric ‘White Caps In The Wind’, where totally beautiful sweeping Mellotron wash combines with wonderfully understated guitar playing for that perfect headphone moment, allows the band to stretch out and explore the dynamics of the tune and they are not afraid to get their weird on with ‘You Asked About Water On Mars’ TLoEH adding a strange little Wendy/Walter Carlos Clockwork Orange/Switched On Bach interlude into what is effectively a mad 70s Glam stomper………as well as fitting into the theme of the record, a bit of a Bowie tribute maybe?????
Those of you already familiar with The Luck of Eden Hall will instantly recognise the overdriven crunching guitars and solid backbeat of ‘Blown To Kingdom Come’………..as well as wide screen, panoramic 70s Progressive Rock inspired tunes, The Acceleration Of Time also has more than its fair share of grandiose Psychedelic Rock tunes that TLoEH are known for which combines the Power Pop sugar rush of bands like the Raspberries with the twisted psychedelia of the 60s, with tracks like ‘The Happiness Vending Machine’ coming on like Cheap Trick on a drug bender. This is a seriously impressive record full of dark and shade but also massively uplifting………..by spreading over four sides of vinyl TLoEH have taken the opportunity to use this extended canvas to really expand sonically, from the symphonic thrash of ‘Another High Speed Blowout’ through the beautifully lush ‘Arthropoda Lepidoptera’ and ‘Only Robots Can Search The Deep Ocean Floor’ to the gentle psychedelia of ‘The Saints Are Quiet Above Us’ they show what can be achieved in the studio with great ideas, a fair bit of dedication and expert musical chops…………….God, we wish that all Prog/Psych albums were like this, however TLoEH seem to have an edge on many younger bands through their greater depth of musical knowledge and life experience……….let’s say that a bit more………er……..’maturity’ will always trump a shelf full of Harry Potter books and Muse albums when you are putting an album together about the progression of time. This truly remarkable album closes with the wigged out ‘A Man Of Conservative Style’ where TLoEH throw in the psychedelic kitchen sink adding layers of strange to an already berserk Psychedelic Pop number………you really need to check this record. The Luck of Eden Hall may have single-handedly fully restored the tarnished reputation of the concept album with this latest release…………it’s like Tales Of Topographic Oceans never happened (how we wish that was true). It’s only May but we think we have found our favorite record of 2016. The bar has been set incredibly high and it’s going to take a work of near genius for us to change our minds.
The Acceleration Of Time is due for release on June 1st and is available in several formats to pre-order now. The limited edition of 500 2 x vinyl version is released on the Dutch label Headspin Records and is available to order via Clear Spot, the usual reputable outlets and The Luck of Eden Hall’s Bandcamp page https://theluckofedenhall.bandcamp.com/. It comes in two versions………250 copies on white vinyl and for those of you that think coloured vinyl records don’t sound very good there are 250 copies available on black vinyl.
Along with a regular CD release, there is a limited edition of 100 CDs with hand crafted pop-up cover available from TLoEH Bandcamp page where you can also purchase the digital download. Keep ‘em peeled for further TLoEH releases this year……..a single ‘The End of The Lane’ (a song inspired by Neil Gaiman's book Ocean at The End of The Lane, with original cover art by Mr. Gaiman himself) will be available as part of the Mega Dodo Records Singles Club and TLoEH Live At The Cromlech will be out on Fruits de Mer Records sometime soon…….Dig it People.
Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Slipping under the radar a while back was the release of Salutations, the second album by Berlin based New Zealand Psych Rock band Sun And The Wolf. An album worth going back to discover, these nine cuts of excellent neo-Psychedelia continues on from the explosive and overdriven rhythm and blues that their debut White Buffalo boasted, while exploring darker realms of psychedelia and splashes of neo-World sounds.
Firstly, don’t be put off by the terrible cover artwork………with Psychedelia being as visual medium as much as an aural one, Salutations sleeve gives off all the wrong signals looking like the band are a bunch of twee Indie funsters and not a fantastic 80s/90s Psych/Shoegaze influenced band, however you have to admit they avoid all the usual Psych clichés with their choice of cover. Hidden beneath a sleeve that most PsychHeads would skip past while flicking through the racks in a record store, Sun And The Wolf have created an album that mixes together taut, incendiary Indie Rock with a technicolour psychedelic swirl that evokes such early 90s bands as House Of Love, Sun Dial, Levitation, Spiritualized and the early psychedelic EPs from Verve as the band explore the darker realms of fuzz driven psychedelia with catchy riffage and splashes of The Beatles´ lysergic era. It’s time to catch up with Sun And The Wolf……………Salutations boasts some outstanding Indie/Psych tunes, from the epic groove of ‘Settle Down’, the sleek Revolver period Beatles inspired ‘All We Need’, the dreamy ‘Ghetto Drum’ through to the motrik pulse of ‘The Fisherman’ and the squalling Psychedelic Rock of ‘Why Are We Not Fading’ before closing with the blissful ‘Never Sorry’. Somewhat under-appreciated on its initial release, Salutations is a really cool record that is well worth checking out.
Released by the wonderful German label World In Sound, Salutations is still available in a variety of formats…………the CD and vinyl versions are available from the usual outlets and the World In Sound Online store (where there are still a few copies pressed on orange vinyl available) while a digital download can be purchased from the World In Sound Bandcamp page at https://worldinsound.bandcamp.com/album/salutations.