Maalem Mahmoud Gania – Colours of the Night

maalem

I have posted this man’s awesome gnawa music before, only spelt his name differently. In my defence, I have simply copied the name on the front of the album each time.

My 9-year old daughter has recently taken to asking me ‘what is your favourite…’ type of questions. She often repeats herself. The funny thing is, I don’t really have favourite things, so I find these questions monumentally difficult to answer honestly.

When she says, ‘Daddy, what is your favourite type of music?’ – and she frequently does – I now find myself answering ‘trance music.’ This post is trance music. Extraordinary trance music.

My very favourite musics all hypnotise me, and I can be hypnotised irrelevant of genre. This is somewhat complicated by the fact that there is an actual genre called trance, and most of the examples of it that I’m familiar with are amongst the least trance-inducing musics I’ve heard. It’s possible that these are not representative, though. Please feel free to provide counter-examples.

When she asks me for a name of an actual favourite band, however, I’m at an actual loss. There’s just too many. If age and experience have taught me anything, it has taught me this – there is no ‘best.’ Experience is not a popularity contest. There are things, and musics, and people, and ideas, and else, which hit you at a perfect moment and are the best thing you could be doing at that moment. But something very different can occur at another moment, and that is just as much the best despite being different. And asking to choose one over the other is futile.

 

 

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The Myrrors – Borderlands

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The more artists you like, the harder it is to keep up with when they come up with new stuff, particularly when your head, like mine, is full enough trying to keep up with your own creative output, let alone anyone else’s (note to self: put some of your own stuff out again.There’s facking loads). Also known as having your head up your arse.

All I know is that this is 2018, so it is either nearly a year old by the time I first play it, or potentially nearly 2 years old. Whatevs, man, I’m really enjoying listening to it this morning. It is them at their tranciest.

I recently came to the conclusion that what I like isn’t psychedelic, it’s trance, although the two terms are not mutually exclusive. A lot of music that gets labelled as psychedelic is more like a pastiche of other artists labelled as psychedelic, or the new version of stoner rock, which was the new label for grunge, which was the new label for whatever they called Black Sabbath in the 80s (I didn’t read the music press back then). To my mind, that’s the opposite of head-expanding. But what do I know? I’ve got my head up my arse, me.

Even with ears surrounded by arse, though, this music sounds fantastic.

Abronia – The Whole of Each Eye

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I reckon I was Spanish, or at least mediterranean, in a previous life (totally a thing). That period of an afternoon between 1ish and 4ish is just not me at my best. It’s just coming up to 4pm now and I’m beginning to perk up a bit. Do you know how hard it is to stay awake and look at spreadsheets at the same time in normal circumstances? Well, what about when you should be having a siesta? What’s worse, I think I picked the wrong time to suggest that we Brits might want to consider some more European levels of humanity in our working lives…

None of which has anything to do with the music at hand. The music at hand is by someone who’s been here before. They’re just as good this time, if not more so.

Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky – Droneflower

droneflower

And this is from a similar folder on my home PC which is nowhere near as unwieldy (yet) but since I’m on a mission…

And their version of ‘Estranged’ is worth the cover price alone if I had it, but the whole thing is mighty fine.

I’m about to go to bed, as it happens. This is very good music for just before you’re about to go to bed.

 

Josiah Steinbrick – Banana Live

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I have a folder in my bookmarks toolbar where I’ve been storing links to stuff I want to listen to again, or even at all if I like the look of something but haven’t got time to listen to it or it hasn’t come out yet because of all this pre-ordering rubbish that labels still insist on doing (sidebar: I’d be interested to know if people like an album more if they’ve been hotly anticipating it than if it had just come out unannounced – it would be impossible to do a truly quantitative study of such a thing without cloning people, but nevertheless… personally, I would hope not and so we could tell labels to just put the damn thing out when it’s ready already).

So this folder has become unwieldy and long and has prompted me to spend time listening to the albums on the links in order, so that be sort of what I’m doing. A couple have now got deleted, a couple I’ve enjoyed but not quite enough to post because something about it might annoy me a bit, and this is the first blogging fruit of the exercise.

I don’t know whether to arm you for a swarm of posts or to prepare you for a(nother) period of tumbleweed because I have no idea how this exercise will pan out.

 

Lee “Scratch” Perry – Rainford

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Lee  “Scratch” Perry is responsible for at least three of my very favourite ever pieces of music.

One of the best things about getting older – and you’d be surprised how many best things there are about getting older, given the bad press it gets amongst da yoof – is that you can have as many favourite ever songs as you damn well want. Anyone trying to get me to narrow it down to some arbitrary number would just get told to naff off, though maybe less politely, followed by a diatribe about place, mood, environment, memory, etc. You can have as many favourite songs ever as you want, you know.

On this album that I wasn’t expecting, the great man is teamed with On-U-Sound, the great Adrian Sherwood. Now, other favourite songs ever have issued forward from this stable and its denizens., meaning that you could be forgiven for expecting great things from this, pre-loading an expectation on the thing before you’ve even given it a listen.

Fortunately, their shoulders are broad enough. There is much substance here, and with enough listens, I may even have some additions to me favourite ever songs.

 

Julius Gabriel -ÆTHERHALLEN

ÆTHERHALLEN

So take the scars from your eyes and remove the bars
there is no cage except in your imagination

The objective truth can only be perceived subjectively

Thinking is subversive

Rumours of my exaggeration have now died

The best way to learn boundaries is to cross them
It’ll teach you how valuable they are

So God plugged the universe in. “Let there,” he began, “be sound.”
And he turned us on.