ZAÄAR – Magická Džungl’a

I think this might be my find of the year, saved right until almost the very end. But first I have to know – what is that accent thingy over the middle a in their name? Does it change how you pronounce said name? Me ignorant Englander. Actually, I don’t know how to pronounce any of it.

I’ve had at least three images evoked whilst listening to this – a kind of middle eastern bazaar (though I’ve never been to the middle east, or indeed a bazaar), the early stages of a long night dancing round a campfire when everyone is gradually getting into the sounds and rhythm, and a kind of sordid, late night carnival where the pleasures are unexpected and never subsequently spoken of (sadly, I’ve never been to that sort of carnival either).

It’s kind of jazz, I suppose, though very psychedelic and with regular, hypnotic pulses. Spacious, yet dense. Loads going on, but loads of room; an all encompassing sonic experience. There probably are reference points, though I know them not. Perhaps the nearest I can think of, albeit still distant, is Miles Davis’ Get Up With It, itself a very fine album and one I should listen to more.

And on that note, I wish you all a marvellous 2022. May the music you find be especially resonant to you.

Spring Temples – Live at Shining Path

This is ambient, very mellow but also very trippy. I discovered it by a chance I now can’t remember and played it to accompany spreadsheet catatonia at work, and it was very complementary to that state. That isn’t a recommendation? Why on earth not?

Spreadsheet catatonia, sadly, is the only mind-altering state I do regularly these days. Actually, the only one I do at all.

Ignatz & De Stervende Honden – Saturday’s Den

It’s been a day today, as the invoices have landed. Many has been the time when I thought I was merely blinking only to be met with eyelid rebellion when attempting to re-open my eyes. My mind was choosing a cataleptic coma over work. What can I say? My job is thrill-a-minute.

Imagine Les Rallizes Denudes but chilled waaay down, and with a dose of Inutili playing chess with Neil Young, and you might get somewhere close to what this trio do when they’re not trying to make us think they’re a duo with that name of theirs. Albeit Belgian, so for all I know that name is not at all an intended deception, I’m just being a quintessential Little Englander. Again.

I had thought this might be the first time I was using the tag ‘blues’ in all my years of Soundberging, but then I remembered Fink’s Sunday Night Blues Dub thing or whatever he called it, and so I played that again.

It might be the musical accompaniment to my catatonia should perhaps be kicked up to some bangin’ disco? But I don’t like bangin’ disco.

Pärson Sound

I know I’ve used this name a lot in past posts when attempting to point signifiers to other artists, so you may be wondering why I’m posting this like I just discovered it, or something. Well, I just discovered it, or something. Discovered that it had been made available on Bandcamp, anyway. How long it’s been here, I have no idea. It’s not as if I keep a list entitled Albums I Like That Are Not On Bandcamp and regularly check for changes like some kind of librarian checking to see if Ebooks have become available for old print books that happen to be on reading lists (that does happen, and probably not just where I work).

So, for mind-bending psychedelic rock, this is ground zero. I wish I thought of that line but I didn’t; however, it sums up this album so well that I thought I’d nick it. When I first became aware of this in 2010 or so it truly astonished me, particularly the 29 minute Skrubba which actually fades out, can you believe it! I mean, how much longer did they actually jam that for?

So this is the only album by this artist, though they incarnated with mild variations in name and personnel over the next few years. But if only one album is your legacy, then why not make it the ur-psychedelic rock album?

Oriente Lux (self titled)

So, that thing I was saying the other day, about seeming like a proper fanboy. Well, I must seem like a PR plant for Valerio Cosi sometimes. Or, at least I would if Soundbergs had a following.

Here Valerio collaborates with Brad Rose, something that took longer than a decade to bear fruit. It is a truly sturdy resulting flower of music, as eclectic as I’ve come to expect, and as difficult to describe. (Cue rambling old man rant about how music shouldn’t be described because it can’t be described, just experienced).

Nordena – Continent

I’m fooling you into thinking I’ve discovered a new artist here. It’s actually Tamás Olejnik, he of the wonderful Organit albums that I posted before.

Not being anything remotely like an expert in the genres and subgenres of techno and deep house and electronica in general, I’m not sure what makes Tamás say ‘this is a Nordena tune’ or ‘this is an Organit tune.’ I admit there is a subtle difference in them though I couldn’t explain what, though it’s taken me a couple of listens to even get that far. But it has the same effect on me as the Organit stuff: deep hypnosis that is ideal for the spreadsheet catatonia /cataloguing and amending MARC records for ebooks /problem solving for same with which I spend my working life.

Every bit as trancey as you want it to be.

Gnod – Easy to build, hard to destroy

Because I mentioned this to Chris on Saturday. This is probably my go to Gnod album at the moment. This is them doing trance and repetition unto infinity.

For those unfamiliar, this is a compilation of tracks, jams and grooves from earlier in their history. These days they tend to the louder and angrier, and whilst it’s still good, I always preferred this approach.

I mentioned on one of my posts yesterday about Tony’s First Communion, amongst my fave ever tunes. Well, there’s a kind of proto-version of it on here. It’s not the the same as the one on Crystal Pagoda, which is also well worth your time.

The Oscillation – Untold Futures

Whenever I really like a band, I start to feel a bit self-conscious always posting their new releases, like some kind of fan-boy. Having said that, I do still do it when a) I remember, and b) said release is up to the standard I expect of any Soundbergs resident.

So, The Oscillation is one of those artists. Hang on, says the odd reader who has more brain cells than me (which is to say, all of you): why ain’t you got one of dem hyper-links in the band name at the beginning of the sentence? Why does my memory not contain a record of a post about these around ‘ere?

Because I never got round to posting anything about them before, and for that I am a fule, a fulish fule.

I would say you all know who The Oscillation are, and you don’t really need me to tell you why this is good, though I should not assume anything. But, you all know… etc. They’re very good. And, because I haven’t got a whole history of Oscillation posts where I really should have, can I at least point you to the live album here? It was this that sold them to me in the first place. Brilliant collection of tunes.

As Demian has been playing with distinctly non-standard frequencies on some of his releases, I would be intrigued to know if he does that on the band-like releases. I’m curious as a fellow frequency-deviant, who does stray from the norm on all official recordings now.

Nova Express – Twenty One

I have a colleague at work with whom we discuss music fairly frequently and through each other we have discovered some good stuff over the years, although some of the stuff I’ve tried him on has been a bit hard for him to bear – he described Gnod as Pink Floyd having a bad trip after I played him Tony’s First Communion (one of the best pieces of music ever, imo), and said he’d rather pull his own teeth out than listen to Oneida again.

Anywho, a success story was a band called Appliance, who I’m sure you all remember from the beginning of this cursed millennium. He said to me that he couldn’t believe he’d missed them as he was well into that type of music then and he was familiar with all their contemporaries yet Appliance completely passed him by.

I feel somewhat that way about Nova Express, who I now know to have been around at that time too, though I didn’t then. And whilst I’m not going to claim that my journey into repetition and minimalism was complete by that time, it had certainly started and I’m convinced I would have done the listening equivalent of feasting on this stuff.

Be that as it may, I know it now, and I know it gladly.

Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp – We’re OK. But We’re Lost Anyway

I could imagine the Fire! Orchestra doing this in their more accessible moments.

Probably this would not be considered accessible by most people, but I may or may not be most people. For all I know, these, and indeed many other artists I post, could be so ubiquitous in your lives that you look upon these posts with scorn and say ‘you call that obscure?’ My finger has dim and distant memories of the pulse; the pulse knows not what my finger is and cares even less.

I’ve started using that ‘may or may not’ phrase quite a lot recently, which may or may not be influenced by both my children now using it regularly.

The youngest of these – currently 11 – said to me she had an idea for a song title – ‘Slave to the algorithm.’ I thought that if, when I was 20 or so, these hyper-connected times in which we live were going then, that may have been an angle I’d be going so it goes without saying I’m pleased to see she shares my cynicism. Doubt I’d have got there at 11, though.