- ▼ May (2)
- ► 2018 (48)
- ► 2017 (74)
- ► 2016 (112)
- ► 2015 (58)
Monday, 6 May 2019
3RD EAR EXPERIENCE with DR. SPACE - EAR TO SPACE (Space Rock Productions LP, CD). DR. SPACE featuring MARTIN WEAVER - DR. SPACE’S ALIEN PLANET TRIP Vol. 3 (Space Rock Productions LP).
New from Space Rock Productions a epic galactic love-in between Californian Space/Psych Rockers 3rd Ear Experience and the Øresund Space Collective's main man Dr. Space. Ear To Space is a transatlantic meeting of minds where digital files were bounced from from the Mojave Desert to a secret location in snowy Scandinavia and then beamed back to the 3rd Ear Experience’s remote desert hideaway where this brilliant double LP was finally assembled. Created from a series of jam sessions where the 3rd Ear Experience reached stratospheric heights channeling the sounds of Gong, Hawkwind, Amon Düül II and Pink Floyd before passing the tracks to Dr. Space to add atmospheric texture to the sonic soup from his banks of analogue synths. For the fourth side of the album Dr. Space provided Krautrock inspired synthesizer sounds to which the band jammed along to. Ear To Space is a total trip mixing together 3rd Ear Experience’s passion for exploration than a respect for boundaries, blending elements of Psychedelic and Space Rock along with touches of Prog, Krautrock, and World Music with Dr. Space’s love of the old school modular synth sounds of Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh.
The first two sides of Ear To Space feature full on Space Rock jams………’Screams of Eagle Bone’ is the sound of early Hawkwind snatched from Ladbrooke Grove, dosed with peyote and dumped in the Mojave Desert while ‘Anam Cara’ blends elements of Pink Floyd, free Jazz and trippy West Coast vibes before exploding into a face melting Acid Rock freak out. ‘Dreams Of The Caterpillar’ takes up the whole of side three and is far more experimental……….built on a trance like synth pulse and a steady 4/4 drum beat with soaring lead lines and slinky glissando guitar it’s a distant cousin to Steve Hillage’s System 7 records from the early 90s. From the same school as early Ozric Tentacles, ‘Dreams of the Caterpillar’ is a more spaced out trip than the other tracks on the LP. Side four features the tracks built on Dr. Space’s synth explorations………’Coin In The Desert’ is an excellent mix of spacey synth/guitar textures and tribal drumming expertly fusing elements of Gong and Afrobeat together into some totally far out space jazz with the album closing with the 3rd Ear Experience and Dr. Space channeling Tangerine dream on the atmospheric ‘Sue's Dream World’. Ear To Space is a wonderful melting pot of grooves and textures as the 3rd Ear Experience and Dr. Space spin off into different parts of the psychedelic universe not afraid to experiment with any sonic possibilities. Well worth your time, available on vinyl or CD you can check the album out here……………
Also new from Space Rock Productions is the third volume of Dr. Space’s Alien Planet Trip releases. Featuring guitarist Martin Weaver, Vol 3 is a throwback to the the late 80’s/early 90’s ambient/crusty dub scene where the PsychHeads started doing E. Mixing together Electro/Ethnic drum programming, ambient synth compositions and Techno beats Dr. Space and Martin Weaver recreate the vibe of the chill out room at Club Dog circa 1991. ‘Lost In The Desert’ is an excellent track built on layers of sampled African percussion, echoing the early days of Transglobal Underground and Loop Guru. You can check it out/stream/buy the vinyl here………..
Both albums are out NOW and available from the usual online traders.
Sunday, 5 May 2019
Previously described as “wandering between lazy Mazzy Star/Cowboy Junkies atmospheres and more gritty moments reminiscent of Mark Lanegan”, Italian duo Alice Tambourine Lover (guitarist Gianfranco Romanelli and singer/guitarist and……erm……tambourine player Alice Albertazzi) are back with an new LP of stripped down ethereal and hauntingly beautiful Spook Blues. For their fourth album for Go Down Records Alice Tambourine Lover have added vivid psychedelic hues to their sonic palette, wrapping their songs in layers of reverb and Shoegaze textures giving Down Below’s minimal Folk/Blues sound a glacial sheen. It’s a record dominated by Romanelli’s guitar collection, mixing together rootsy dobro/resonator guitars and shimmering electric guitars with Alice Albertazzi’s guitar and gorgeous voice finding spaces in between, Alice Tambourine Lover take the idea of the Male/Female Folk/Blues duo into strange uncharted waters.
The first impression of Down Below gives credence to the Mazzy Star comparisons with, for example, the woozy Psych Blues and Folk hybrid ‘Follow’ channeling David Roback’s languid guitar style, however with further listens the record opens up to reveal previously unheard depth and subtlety. Built upon layers of guitars and then immersed in a lake of reverb, Down Below is a beautifully crafted blend of heavenly voices and a swirl of acoustic and electric guitars. There are some wonderful songs here…………..’Dance Away’ is an absolute head rush of guitars twisting around Alice Albertazzi’s strong Bluesy vocals while the mesmerizing ‘Into The Maze’ wouldn't sound out of place on Mazzy Star’s So Tonight That I Might See. The record’s last three tracks, ‘Rubber Land’, ‘Train’ and ‘Surround You’, are a fantastic mix of raw Desert Blues and dreamy Psychedelia that are possibly the best tracks on the LP. Although Alice Tambourine Lover are not doing anything really that new they are able to expertly weld their own idiosyncratic sound onto a Psych Blues/Folk chassis making Down Below one of the more interesting albums we have heard so far this year. You can check it out yourself/stream the album here……………
Out NOW via Go Down Records on vinyl and CD and available from all the usual on line outlets.
Sunday, 21 April 2019
THE TRIP TAKERS - DON’T BACK OUT NOW (Area Pirata LP). THE BACKDOOR SOCIETY - THE BACKDOOR SOCIETY (Area Pirata LP). TONY BORLOTTI E SUOI FLAUERS - BELINDA CONTRO I MANGIADISCHI (Area Pirata CD/LP). I MITOMANI BEAT - FIGLI DEI FIGLI DEI FIORI (Area Pirata CD). THE KAAMS - KICK IT (Area Pirata CD/LP).
We have a bunch of cool recent releases from Area Pirata Records (the home of Italian Garage Rock) to tell you about. Spanning the Garage Rock/Psych spectrum from the classic British Mod/Freakbeat, European Psych Pop, R&B, and Nuggets influenced groovy sounds of Tony Borlotti E I Suoi Flauers, I Mitomani Beat and The Backdoor Society through the Psychedelic world of The Trip Takers to the slick modern Garage Rock of The Kaams these records more than show how vibrant the current Italian Garage/Beat scene is. Dig it People.
We were first introduced to Italian Garage/Beat obsessives The Trip Takers via their self titled 2017 debut EP/mini album. By eschewing modern recording techniques they created an authentic vintage lo-fi analogue sound, revisiting the classic mid 60s proto-Nuggets era of American Garage/Psych with six tracks that channeled the slightly shambolic records by “British Invasion” influenced bands such as The Groupies, The Velvet Illusions, The Inmates, The Cave Men and Satan & The G Men. While side one was firmly inspired by early Beat bands, side two saw The Trip Takers exploring wonky mid 60s Psychedelia and sounding not unlike the acid drenched strangeness of Nashville Psych Pop outsiders The Sufis. You can read our original Strange Things Are Happening review here………......
Since the release of the debut EP, The Trip Takers have spent the last few years gigging and playing Garage/Psych festivals around Europe, gaining new fans along the way with a brand of Garage Psych that has been described as “suspended in the limbo between the conservatism of vintage sounds and the genuine and sincere "revivalism"" honing their retro Psych sounds ready for their first full length LP. Don't Back Out Now is a lysergically infused rush of 60s swirling Psychedelia from a band totally at ease with lifting a whole host of influences from the Nuggets era bands and from the parts assembling an excellent LP of songs that any discerning vintage PsychHead will love and cherish. The first thing you notice about this record is that The Trip Takers have really found their groove. The experimental strangeness of the first EP has been stripped back and the 60s Psych Pop influences have been pushed to the fore. Mining the same rich groovy sixties seam as the The Sonic Dawn and other like minded bands, Don't Back Out Now inhabits the world of the first wave of Psychedelic beat groups inspired by The Beatles, The Byrds and Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann recorded short, sharp, tripped out singles that where laced with a heavy dose of pop sensibility. Opening with the West Coast jangle of ‘Let Me Sail’, The Trip Takers tear through 10 tracks of scintillating sounds, channelling The Chocolate Watchband, The Electric Prunes, The Golden Dawn, 13th Floor Elevators, The Music Machine among others into a collection of songs that relive the first Psychedelic era. For fans of classic 60s Garage Psych, this is more than worth a listen. Available on vinyl only, you can check out/stream the record here………
The Backdoor Society are another band that take inspiration from a vibrant 60s scene. The music of The Backdoor Society is strongly influenced by the Dutch Beat sound of bands such as the Outsiders and Q65. Out NOW via Area Pirata records, their debut album is the sound of the Amsterdam bars and clubs circa 1966. It’s an album packed full of tight early R&B inspired songs that have echoes of the Stones, The Pretty Things and The Yardbirds finest moments. Full of punchy songs such as ‘Go On Home’, ‘Oh Girl’ and ‘What’s On Your Mind’ and slow burners such as ‘Try To Understand’ and ‘Better Than Me’, it’s a record that mixes the sound of wild sixties R&B with more down tempo Stones-like songs. Available as a vinyl only release, you can check out/stream the album here…………..
Faithfully recreating the Freakbeat/proto Psych Pop sounds of 1966 with fizzing Farfisa organ and fuzzed out guitars, Beat disciple Tony Borlotti has been fronting Tony Borlotti E I Suoi Flauers since the mid 90s. Blending together the sound of classic Beat groups with a splash of Nuggety goodness and added retro pop sensibility they have built a reputation based on their ability to channel the authentic sound of 60s “Beat Italiano”. Following a four track EP in 2017, Belinda Contro I Mangiadischi, the band’s first full length release on Area Pirata……….with songs sung in the band’s native language it’s got the unique sound of Italian bands of the era taking the groovy swirl of bands such as the Electric Prunes and ? & The Mysterians mixed with the explosive driving guitars of UK Mod/Freakbeat bands filtered through the lens of 1960s Italian pop music………..however you don’t need to be fan of 60s Italian Beat groups to enjoy this record. There’s some cool stuff here, especially the smart R&B/Mod grooves on ‘Belinda contro i Mangiadisch’ and ‘Lambretta’, and it’s worth checking out if you like the retro sounds of Swinging London with that idiosyncratic twist that European bands added to American/British music giving European Pop Psych such a distinctive feel. Available on CD and vinyl, you can check out/stream the album here………..
With a similar vibe as the Tony Borlotti E I Suoi Flauers LP, but having more of a mixed bag of influences, the second album by I Mitomani Beat dives headfirst into the sounds of the sixties. Mixing together Psychedelia, classic Garage Rock, tough R&B and sharp Mod/Freakbeat flavours, Figli Dei Figli Dei Fiori is a kaleidoscopic blast of “Beat Italiano”. I Mitomani Beat raise the stakes with a supercharged cover of the Nuggets classic ‘Lies’, originally by the Knickerbockers, and the swirling psych out ‘L'Orologio’…………’L'Orologio’ is a riot of Doors style organ, fuzzed to fuck guitars, Theremin, groovy drums and rolling bass lines mixed with great harmony vocals and at nearly 5 minutes running time it’s the longest and most tripped out track on the record. It’s not the most original sounding record (but that’s really not the point) but it’s a solid album with enough groovy tunes to be worth your time and has a couple of real killer songs that are well worth the price of admission alone. Out NOW on CD, you can check out/stream the album here……………..
Outta Bergamo, Italy, The Kaams are a very modern sounding Garage Rock/Blues Rock band that although have traces of 60s/70s influence in their music they now have more in common with the early 2000s NYC Garage Rock explosion. Kick It is their second LP for Area Pirata and since their 2014 album, One To Six, they have evolved from a raw and loud Garage Punk band to a slicker, more radio friendly outfit. Kick It still has its moments of Garage Punk urgency with tracks such as the R&B stomper ‘My Destiny’, ‘Don't Forget My Name’ and ’Dark Days’ which cops its riff off The Clash. There is one absolute killer tune on this record..unlike any of the other songs on Kick It, ‘Follow The Sun’ is a slow burning, swirling Neo-Psychedelic Raga Rock wig out which closes the album……..longer and looser than anything else here, The Kaams channel the 80s Paisley Underground to stunning effect. Available on vinyl and CD you can check it out/stream it here………….
All these records are out NOW and available to buy direct from the Area Pirata web site or from the usual on line traders.
Sunday, 27 January 2019
Not content to rest on his laurels as a 60s Psychedelelic legend, having played with Tomorrow, The Pretty Things, The Pink Fairies and Syd Barrett’s short lived Stars, there has been a lot of brand new Twink related activity at the moment…………hot on the heels of the announcement of a host of live dates and single on Gare du Nord Records, Area Pirata Records are releasing Twink’s third album with Italian Neo-Psych band The Technicolour Dream. The two previous collaborations with The Technicolour Dream produced the critically acclaimed 2013 album You Reached For The Stars that revisited the sound of the late 60s/early 70s London freak scene and 2015’s Think Pink II which featured significant contributions from former Pretty Thing Jon Povey. Again featuring Povey on a few tracks, Sympathy For The Beast sees Twink and The Technicolour Dream setting the texts of Aleister Crowley to swirling Psychedelic Rock………..let’s be honest, when you’ve got Crowley doing lyrics for you then the likes of Bernie Taupin can properly fuck off. It’s a record that can be seen as a companion piece to the concept album Crowley and Me, recorded by Povey with his band Star Sponge Vision that had Twink behind the drum kit, which was released by the good folk at Mega Dodo Records last year.
Sympathy For The Beast brings Crowley’s imaginative poetical works to life within the context of a trippy Psychedelic Rock setting, with Twink and The Technicolour Dream conjuring up a maelstrom of psychedelic guitar, keyboards and throbbing percussion providing the perfect platform for his provocative imagery. Blending together full tilt Rock ‘n’ Roll that echoes the classic Pink Fairies guitar, bass and 2 x drum kit line up with more atmospheric pieces that have spoken text over guitar and lush synth washes, it’s a fantastic Psychedelic record full of magic and mystery. In essence, Twink and the band have reimagined Crowley’s writing not as a gothic tribute to “The Great Beast” but as something ancient and organically psychedelic in the true spirit of the texts. Although not the first to fuse Crowley’s writing with loud guitars, they have taken a much more subtle approach with songs tinged with an otherworldly strangeness and beauty amongst heady Psychedelic Rock………..one of the most absorbing tracks on the record being ‘The Poet’ that features a recording of Crowley mixed with a tripped out guitar and percussion improvisation. Also packed full of squalling swirling Acid Rock guitar and polyrhythmic percussion workouts Sympathy For The Beast is a quality Psych LP that has one foot firmly planted in the late 60s acid underground but still sounds very modern………..stand out tracks such as ‘One Star In Sight’, ‘Fragment From “The Ship”’ and ‘Hymn To Pan’ would sound great in any era. The album also includes two previously unpublished until recently Crowley works, ‘Your Grave Grey Eyes’ and ‘Cinnamon Curls’, that as well as the fuzzed up and freaked out Psych Rock remakes the original piano and soprano versions with singer Vita Pugliese are also included.
Due for release on vinyl by Area Pirata Records very soon as a limited edition run of 300 copies so keep ‘em peeled for an official release date.
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Back with a new record after an extended break following their critically acclaimed album Disorientation, released by the London Dreampop/Post-Rock/Shoegaze indie Club AC30 in 2011, Deep Cut have seamlessly picked up where they left off with an album brimming with kaleidoscopic guitar hooks, driving motorik beats and hazy Shoegaze comedowns. Different Planet is a stunning blend of 60s influenced Psych Pop, early 90s Indie Rock jangle, drone, Krautrock, Trip Hop and subtle Electronica (the kind of eclectic but cohesive sounds you would expect from a band featuring former members of Richard Fearless’ sprawling Psychedelic Rock, minimal Techno, Krautrock, Dub and Industrial Noise collective Death In Vegas) which references The Byrds, Velvet Underground, the early 90s Shoegaze “Holy Trinity” of MBV, JAMC and Slowdive, James Lavelle’s UNKLE records, Primal Scream (the late 90s Sun Ra meets The Stooges in a pool of reverb version and not their lazy Stones preset) and Krautrock legends CAN/Neu!/Kraftwerk through ten excellent tracks. With the dreamy vocals of singer Emma Bailey adding a silky Indie Pop sensibility to Deep Cut’s Psych Rock shimmer, Different Planet has a sonic footprint not a million miles away from recent releases by Jane Weaver and Josefin Öhrn.
Different Planet is a distillation of a whole host of different sounds and influences skillfully woven into a sonic tapestry way more than the sum of its parts. Although essentially rooted in the classic guitar driven Shoegaze and Dreampop sound of Creation Records circa 1991, Deep Cut mix it up with elements of Byrdsian Neo-Psychedelic jangle (‘Washed Up’), pulsing Krautrock (‘Alarm Button’), spacey Dub grooves (‘Spiralling’) and mellow Trip Hop breaks (‘Different Planet’) to create an off kilter Psych/Pop record full of light and shade that sounds new and vibrant. There is so much to love here and with ten really great songs it’s difficult to pick out any single stand out track, however ‘Alarm Button’ is an absolute killer tune with it’s motorik groove and seductive synth pulse straight out the DIV song book. For fans of early 90s Shoegaze and modern melodic Psychedelia, Different Planet is the first essential album of 2019. You can check out/stream selected tracks here……………
Due for release on CD/Digital via Gare du Nord Records on 25/01/19, Different Planet will be available from all the best record shops with pre-orders available from Deep Cut’s Bandcamp page.
Saturday, 12 January 2019
American Garage/Psych band The Marshmallow Overcoat, straight outta Tucson, Arizona, were founded by singer/Garage Rock obsessive Timothy Gassen back in 1986 and although maybe not the best known of the 80s Neo-Psychedelic bands, they had a career that spanned the best part of 30 years of tuning in, turning on and tripping out, playing shows across America and Europe and releasing nine full length LPs along the way. The band’s amazing three-decade crusade, made on a perpetual shoestring budget, cemented The Marshmallow Overcoat as one of the longest-running Garage bands in the history of Rock and Roll. Their first recording deal was with Dionysus Records in Los Angeles who released their first LP, The Inner Groove, in 1987……….The Marshmallow Overcoat couldda bin contenders around the turn of the 90s after the release of critically well received albums on Skyclad/Get Hip Records and exposure on MTV but like many great Psychedelic bands from that era never really got the breaks. Their long strange trip has now been documented in a feature length film, All You Need Is Fuzz : 30 Years In A Garage Band, directed by Gassen. His documentary gives a rare and intimate insider’s glimpse into how a no-budget rock band rehearses, makes records, climbs in a van to take their show on the road and then survives decades of changing musical trends, commercial resistance………….and each other. The songs featured in the film have been released by the very groovy Italian Garage/Psych/Punk label Area Pirata Records as a 25 track CD titled………erm……..Songs From All You Need Is Fuzz that also conveniently works as a “Best Of” compilation of the music of this remarkable band.
The Marshmallow Overcoat exploded on the scene in a kaleidoscopic swirl of Vox keyboards and Amps, Rickenbacker guitars, Ludwig drums, Fender basses, paisley shirts, Beatle boots and everything else that screamed cool 1966/67 with a sound inspired by classic 60s bands such as The Chocolate Watchband, The Doors, The Beatles, The Byrds, Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Electric Prunes. Although their early songs were somewhat raw, by the time their excellent 1990 LP, Beverly Pepper, had landed The Marshmallow Overcoat had developed a shimmering Psychedelic sheen, honing their signature sound with Farfisa organ and 12-string Rickenbacker to the fore. Songs From All You Need Is Fuzz is a treasure chest brimming with Psych Pop gems with the pastoral ‘The Beyond’, ‘The Knights Of Fuzz’, the groovy ‘Kiss The Tears’, the jangling ‘Beverly Pepper’ along with the swirling ‘13 Ghosts’ being real highlights. For existing fans of The Marshmallow Overcoat who have followed the band on their long journey this is a real treat with three new songs, including the sublime Paisley Pop single ‘Wait For Her’, and seven songs on CD for the first time. The disc also includes a detailed 56-page pdf book, chronicling the 30-year discography and recording history of the band. For those of you new to the band, Songs From All You Need Is Fuzz is the perfect introduction to one of the more obscure bands from the Neo-Psychedelic 80s and for fans of the “classic” Nuggets bands this is well worth your time. You can check it out/stream it here……..
Songs From All You Need Is Fuzz is out NOW on CD via Area Pirata Records (the home of Italian Garage Rock) and available from their online store or from the usual groovy internet record stores.
Friday, 11 January 2019
Kicking in the doors of perception into 2019 is the first release from former Popdog and B-Leaguer Jim Styring’s new band The Ego Ritual. Spiked with a fizzing Power Pop sensibility, the self titled EP by The Ego Ritual is a Neo-Psychedelic gem loaded with layers of rolling and tumbling guitars that evokes the best of the early records from L.A’s Paisley Underground and the 90s Psych Pop quirk of bands such as Orgone Box, Green Pajamas and Hindu Rodeo. Driven by guitarist William James Ward’s subtle blend of fuzzy tones and Eastern flavours with the supple drumming of Gaz Wilde holding the bottom end together, The Ego Ritual EP is a 4 track trip into a swirling psychedelic vortex.
The opening track is a trip back 50 years to 1969 where the acid whimsy of 1967/68 had evolved into a much harder sound that had by the early 70s fully mutated into post-psychedelic heavy rock. Echoing the psychedelia infused heavy riffing of late 60s/early 70s bands such as The Open Mind and Stray, ‘Chakra Maraka’ rocks like a proper bastard with a pounding backbeat and squalling guitars crashing together in a Psych Rock tour de force with the second track, ‘Ten Points For The Red Star’, very much in the same vein. The rest of the EP is much more acid soaked filtered through a kaleidoscopic lens with a twisted Power Pop meets the Paisley Underground sound spiraling skywards leaving a vapour trail of guitars in its wake. The whole record is a total turn on for any fan of Psychedelic guitar driven rock and packed with catchy melodies and terrific songwriting, the first EP from The Ego Ritual is a quality calling card promising great things in the future for a band still doing interesting things with a genre that goes back half a century…………….recommend!!!
Due for release 18/01/2019 on CD via the New Jersey Power Pop label Kool Kat Musik with copies also available from The Ego Ritual’s Bandcamp site, so keep ‘em peeled kidz.