Acid rock. Space rock. Stoner rock. Psych rock. All of those tags contain words which have more or less descriptive value when applied to music. It’s an imperfect system, but for all that I slag it off, I have yet to come up with a better one. Well, apart from giving a direct method to listen yourselves and thus make up your own mind.
Giöbia hail from Milano in Italy and are named after an ancient pagan festivity from Northern Italy in which a straw witch is burnt as an offering to the forces of nature – must have post-dated the arrival of patriarchy, then, unless the specifics have changed over the years regarding the sacrificial victim.
Musically, they can be summed up using the opening salvo of descriptions. They can also be compared to a collision between White Hills and Dead Meadow, with a hint of Electric Moon – though I may just be saying the latter because their albums come out via Sulatron Records. They themselves also quote an influence from 70s Italian progressive, not an area I’m familiar with so I shall take their word for it.
I do have albums to tell you about, and I will do some of that again soon. But I just really feel the urge to do this:
Various appalling sonic viruses try and worm their way into my head and find a formidable defender, my very favourite piece of music ever made (at least, at this moment in time). So effective is it that when, say, the theme tune to I Can Cook wants to go around my head regardless of my choice in the matter, I simply have to summon up my memory of this and Boom! my head contains quality for the rest of the day:
Because of Nadja’s turn on Dusted’s listed feature, I’ve been seriously back in the love with Pharoah Overlord. The album from whence the featured track came (Lunar Jetman) has proven to be impossible to get hold of from all my sources – even Ektro Records doesn’t list it, and it allegedly came out via them! These Finnish avant-garde types are definitely originals; I can’t work out their distribution methods at all. Marvellous music, though. Any suggestions welcome, subscription services need not apply:
Back in the very early years of this century, I quite relentlessly played the self titled debut album from Sona Fariq. Since it was on a major label and everything, I thought it would be the work of a click to find my favourite track from that on Youtube. Not a bit of it. The best thing I can find is this live video which has appalling visual quality. What gives? Which means that I currently have to shelve the post I was going to do about this album unless I create a youtube account, figure out how to marry music to visuals, and upload it all myself. Ha!:
I’ve started toying with a cosmology that enfolds the idea that life as we understand it is functionally equivalent to performing on a stage, and that after it’s all over you go back to the audience and watch the rest of the show, maybe even jump back in occasionally wearing a new costume. This song has been going around a lot in my head. The two strands are related, though it may not seem immediately obvious:
Finally, this. Just because this song is fantastic, hasn’t worn off after nearly 20 years of regular playing, and is way more psych than much of the revivalist stuff coming out these days. Does anyone know if they ever did an album? Me wants to know:
Here’s the one that nearly made the last year end list but for getting defeated by Pridjevi for the last place up for grabs. It seems that the late year releases are dominating my 2016.
If I had to describe this music, I would probably use reference points like Stereolab chatting to Laika whilst Garbage and Goldfrapp duke it out in the production chair, giving this a dance-pop dreamy edge. Opener Dunes epitomises this perfectly, motorik beat purring. The quality is superb throughout.
In a weird synchronicity, I’ve been planning this post for a while, my mate put a post up the other day which spurred this thing. Better late than not at all, eh? Anyway, I like this very much.
This counts as a proper ‘finger on the pulse’ moment for me, although not intentionally. I discovered this the other day whilst looking for something else – which I shall post about in a more general post – and having bought and loved it and decided to post about it, discovered that it’s just been reviewed by a proper ‘cool’ site too.
I knew about Jon Mueller through the magnificent Death Blues (see also here), but hadn’t actually followed since because I don’t know why not. This is easily as good. If you’re familiar with the one Liars album that I personally care for, Drum’s Not Dead, then imagine that played in two epic pieces, 15 minutes and 19 minutes long. How You Look When You’re not Looking is more vocal heavy, whereas What I Thought You Said focuses more on the rhythm. They both make me think of ecstatic shamanic experiences, wordless vocals and chants interacting with tribal rhythms and a minimalist drone. The layers of these ingredients build up into an utterly hypnotic experience.
I cannot recommend this highly enough, and my album of the year queue just had a new entry.
New album from The Myrrors, is this, and it carries right on from where they left off. Whilst that may sound like a back handed compliment, it most certainly isn’t. I’d say this is my favourite of their releases to date. It’s also the one where they channel Parson Sound more explicitly than before, at least on Liberty is in the Streets and the title track. Invitation Mantra raises a hypnotic pulse that I imagine would be a great soundtrack to astral projection, so it’s about time I learnt that skill so as to test that hypothesis.
Elsewhere, they do the rustic desert jams, reminding me at times of where Evening Fires are at. In fact, the layout of the album is kind of acoustic/electric/acoustic/electric and so on – the sense is of contrasts rather than opposites, different ways of presenting a worldview. I think it is put together very well.
Their continued evolution is a joy to behold, and I’m sure the journey will continue to places unimaginable. For now, though, this is a lovely place to stop and take in the sounds.
This, my friends, is spaced out psychedelic dub pop at its very finest. Upon discovery, this sat undisturbed on my playlist for several months. There has been a gap, and now I have re-discovered it again, and it is spending quality time in my brain providing much needed inoculation against some of the more virulent sonic memes that I have unfortunately been repeatedly exposed to by my otherwise wonderful children.
I may have mentioned the marvellous Matchess, who inhabits sonic landscapes not too dissimilar to those found here, albeit with less emphasis on the beats, and is a bit less new-agey.
I believe this borders onto the lands of the not-quite-so-obscure as my usual taste in music, meaning y’ain’t gonna find no easy Bandcamp embed here; regardless, my best method of portraying my love for this music is simply to seek out web links from whence you can hear it, as I have been wont to do of late. So here:
Opener Synthy doesn’t seem to have a video, but All the Sun That Shines does:
Amazing and Wonderful:
Birds of Paradise dub version:
Tiger Eyes (Laid Back):
and finally, Summertime:
You may notice a theme with the visuals…
It will probably not come as too much of a surprise if I tell you that this is positive music, generally upbeat – where there are no beats it is very hypnagogic, all giving it a proper feelgood effect. I’ve engaged most often with it in a late-evening/early nighttime period, in various states of consciousness, and can assure you that I can find no instance in which this album isn’t fantastic. One of my true favourites from this millennium.