Mystical Steppa – Dub Vibrations

dubvibsIt’s been too long since I put some dub on here (sheesh, nearly a year) 😮

So I’ve got the week off work, which means my kiddies are staying with me, which means I have to be more within the real world than when they’re not staying with me. Their preferred methods of entertainment are, sadly, youtube gamer related, but when they turn these things off and play with actual toys,  I choose to fill the interludes with educational sound seeds. Hopefully they’ll seep in to their unconcscious minds and spring forth in later life.

Dub is one such seed. Your mileage may vary, and my children’s certainly does, but a groove is a groove, and these are some fine grooves. Like all dub, there is a high emphasis on consciousness – you’ll find it in the spaces. And like all dub, there isn’t a lot of description that I can give that wouldn’t be better experienced by actually listening to the thing.

Pontiak – Dialectic of Ignorance

pontiakI’m a bit late to the party on this one if you want finger-on-the-pulse stuff, but then you don’t come here for that anyway. It’s not why I’m here.

This is my favourite ever Pontiak album, and is currently my favourite release this year. I never thought they’d top Sun on Sun from back whenever it was, but they have done in some style.

What I really like about it is how there’s nothing particularly ‘look-at-me’ about it. The music simply does what it does, which is exactly what music should be allowed to do. The brothers have allowed this music to express itself, the very wisest thing they could have done.

My favourite track is all of them. The grooves are fantastic, the atmosphere incredible, the sogwriting impeccable, and the harmonies reminiscent of Neil Young & Crazy Horse at their most ecstatic.

I don’t think I shall be tiring of this album any time soon.

Earthling Society – England have my Bones

zenbonesWell it isn’t often I post about the same band more than once in the same year , but this Earthling Society outfit are proving to be quite the find.

As is so often the case with music like this, words completely fail me. I’ve come to the conclusion that the easier something is to put into words, the less of an effect it has on you. But that may just be due to incipient stupidity on my part. What am I, a music critic?

As the blurb on the bandcamp page says, the centrepiece is definitely their take on the Alice Coltrane classic, but the accompanying material is also worth the price of admission on its own, which should tell you how highly I’m rating this. This is mighty, mighty music.

And it is also testament to those so many artists who keep plugging away and doing what they gotta do regardless of recognition. With no need to please a fanbase you have the space to grow truly. There’s loads of artists like this around who just keep getting better and better by simply remaining true to themselves, and the internet’s continuing decimation of the mainstream music industry* allows more and more of these to find some appreciative ears. Long may it continue.

*the mainstream music industry is now probably better decribed as the spectacle soundtrack industry. Music always seems to be of secondary concern to the visuals.

3rd Ear Experience – Peacock Black

3rdearWe interrupt this day at work to write a hasty blog post in my tea break about this group who have just been brought to my attention courtesy of  Isiah Mitchell’s Trippy Jam blog, which may go long periods without updates but is guaranteed to drop some gems your way if you keep it on your radar.

3rd Ear Experience do that improvisational space rock cosmic groove thing that you need in your life. I’m reminded of Our Solar System, whom I obvioulsy love in a way mere words cannot capture,  and also (a mellower) Ozric Tentacles. These are not short tunes. They are recorded on the outskirts of a desert, and a desert has no time for pop music as any fule kno.

The particular album I’ve embedded is a couple of years old, and doesn’t have the tune that was on the Trippy Jam post, so I’ll be trying to track that down in order to wistfully stare at it too.

Also, 3rd Ear Experience number Doug Pinnick from Kings X among their ranks. Now, I used to listen to Gretchen Goes to Nebraska quite a lot back in the early 90s, round about the same era that I listened to Tribe a lot. Around the time I did the Tribe post I did also wonder about Kings X. Obviously it’s a complete coincidence that this should land, then. Obviously. A. Complete. Coincidence.

Really like this, though, and will be checking out what other stuff I can find by them.

Mixpost 6, or soundtracks to the cave

Buses, eh?

So, when I say I’ve been locked away recording, what I mean is that I’m using my upstairs bedroom PC which is not internet enabled. I still have a job to do, and other boring things where I can at least still refer to my music library. I mean, that’s why we have them, right?

I was listening to the first Menimals release after a sweaty session the other night, and tracks 2 and 3 in particular gave me indescribable pleasure. I had one of those moments where I had to give thanks for being alive at the time when this music was made. So it seems apposite to kick off with this:

I’d forgotten about this, found it whilst going through some old CD’s I’d ripped over a decade ago. They almost out-Cave Nick on this one:

Madrugada – Black Mambo

We’ve had what we in the UK think of as a batch of hot & humid weather lately. My crappy weather app kept promising thunderstorms, but not once was a promise fulfilled. Accuweather, for that and many other failures of forecasting, I want to say publicly that you’re shite. (sidebar: what a gig weather forecasting is. If I was as good at my job as the average weather forecaster, I wouldn’t have a job anymore. Yet still we glue ourselves to their predictions. The human need for certainty is probably the root cause of all our troubles, not the crappy explanations we then argue over and start wars over and then say that’s what the problem with humanity is.)

*cough* anyway, here’s a storm related tune:

Little Axe – Storm is Rising

So, as an upshot of that Rusalnaia album I’d blogged about, I did something I occasionally do which is to click on a random fan, follow their taste and see where that led me. It ultimately led me to the collection Wahkeena Sitka, who makes the song below, which also comes with a seal of approval from my daughter, even though it’s of a type neither she nor I listen to much:

Back when Sexwitch first came out, I read a lot of utter bollocks from armchair critics who wanted to tell Natasha Khan she wasn’t allowed to reinterpret music that is of Pakistani origin even though she herself has roots there. I made the mistake of allowing that to put me off a bit and I wish I hadn’t. Music is as music does and will always speak for itself, and I fucking love what she’s done and I say do it again.

Pontiak’s new album is their best, and I really should do a post on it. While I think about that, listen to this:

and I know I only recently banged on about this, but it rules, it really does. Have it now, and have it loud:

Rusalnaia – Time Takes Away

rusalnaiaSo seeing as I surfaced from my bedroom studio to take in the new Big Blood album, I had a scan round some other crannies of the real world. This one grabbed me, gently mind, but the last song also grabbed my soon to be 7-year old daughter so much that she demanded I play it again and again.

This is folk rock in the early 70s style with a psych-tinged witchiness to it, a lazy description but I don’t like descriptions because they tax my feeble mind. The nearest reference point I have to this is Espers, but with a more lullabilic (neologism alert!) feel, particularly the aforementioned last tune. Also Horse Cult.

The album was recorded over the span of some years and is made by two witch sisters who live in different countries.

Big Blood – The Daughters Union

bigbloodI have barely listened to music made by other people the last month or so, and that is because I have started recording again. However, a new album by Big Blood is a ‘drop everything’ moment.

This doesn’t disappoint because Big Blood. But also, they’ve put on their glam clothes for some of the tunes on here. And I’d like to point out that ‘Reproduce & Get Dirty,’ besides being an ace title, is one of the great Big Blood songs, which is to say, it’s one of the great songs.

I love Big Blood because they have total creative freedom and they use it. They’re not trying to please anybody but themselves. They have a huge advantage, of course, in the fact that their songwriting abilities are outrageously good, which always helps. I personally think that great material comes from having the right attitude to start with rather than the other way round.

Long may they continue to be themselves.