Electric Moon – Stardust Rituals

elecmoonThere are many, many, many heavy psych bands out there who make what sounds a bit like jamming music. There is one such band, however, who are indisputably the King, Queen and Current Drummer of that crop, and that band is Electric Moon. And it is a cause for joy, nay, celebration, that they have released a new studio album.

Stardust Rituals is actually a bit less heavy than they can be, but just as transportative. Komet Lulu brings her vocals back for this release – I mean that in a relative way, as these long songs are still mostly instrumental, but having vocals does add a nice texture and the effects she puts on hers suit the music superbly well. In fact, I think she is the secret weapon that makes them a great band, although guitarist Sula Bassana is a pretty handy force to have in your musical phenomenon. There is also a more eastern vibe going on, plus the organ comes a bit more to the fore early on.

They could have re-done The Doomsday Machine or Lunatics and I would still have been a happy man, but they haven’t. Stardust Rituals is as good as anything else that will be released this year, by one of the all time greats of heavy psych.

Advertisements

Ecstatic Vision – Raw Rock Fury

ecsvisionIn a still loud but otherwise quite contrasting way, this is the just-released second LP from Ecstatic Vision. I have no idea what their first is like, also having no idea how I stumbled across this – when I did, I was only able to hear You Got It or You Don’t, but I was sold on that thing alone. But now I can listen to the whole album, well, damn Daniel, the whole thing is just mighty fine.

I would personally describe this as a kind of garagey-punky-classic rock from the 70s/80s done by psychonautic blues-heads, so maybe The Stooges mixing it up with early-ish Whitesnake after a spliff ; also Endless Boogie who were much more recent. Nudity also come to mind, and a lo-fi White Hills. They mention Hawkwind which is also a good call if you imagine them at their most Motorhead-y!

This is psych-rock for a sunny day with the windows down. If there was any justice I’d hear this coming from every third car that drives past.

Giöbia – Magnifier

giobiaAcid 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.

No further words, m’lud.

The Myrrors – Entranced Earth

myrrorsNew 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.

 

Dreamtime

In more ways than one.

drmtmeActually, I’m writing about a band from Australia called Dreamtime, at least on this occasion. Very good they are too. Come to my attention, they have, because Captcha records are putting their two albums out on vinyl about two or three days ago, but don’t be fooled into thinking my finger has accidentally stumbled into the vicinity of the pulse as these things have been out a while digitally. And the irony is, I don’t have a vinyl player so won’t be buying the vinyl. Or at least, probably won’t. And actually, that’s not what irony is. I think. I personally don’t care if my clothes are creased.

It has a quite 70s sunny, west coast vibe to the music. There are some really good hypnotic riffs, and the overall atmosphere is nice and chilled. Some ears may think there are experimental elements here – certainly they are quite varied and clearly unafraid to try different approaches. There seems to be a male and a female vocalist, either is happy to take the lead. They also do instrumentals, utilise drones and do the raga thing when it suits. And all of the foregoing are really good.

I had a real tip of the tongue moment when listening to the ‘Sun’ album just now about who it put me most in mind of, but unfortunately it never left the tip of my tongue so I can’t use it as a sign post. Maybe if you like Carlton Melton you may like Dreamtime? I like Carlton Melton and I like Dreamtime.

 

Verma

Or: more reasons to love the awesome Whitney Johnson.

Most of you familiar with the psych-rock/space-rock/stoner-rock/jam-rock/whatever-the-fuck-rock scene should be familiar with Verma. But then, I thought that about Electric Moon

There’s probably a whole philosophical system to be wrought out of the realisation that what seems to be obvious and self-evident to one person (i.e. me) is in fact obscure and recondite to the population at large. Having said that, I like the world I live in better than the one inhabited by the population at large, what with all that fear and facebook (what a combination!) and nothing being quite what it seems…

Verma have, amongst many other acts, exploded into my awareness this year due to the astonishingly consistent high levels of quality across their output.

From here you can see their entire discography. Unfortunately, the most recent album is only shown – there is no method of playing it, and the record label link is dead. I hate when that happens! So the video at the top is from this marvellous album. I recommend probably the entire discography – the first album is a bit patchy and not very well recorded, but from Coltan onwards it’s gold all the way, and some of the albums are free downloads to boot. Why are you still here?

Dahga Bloom

I know nothing about this band, and can not find a bio. I tried looking at their F******k page but it made no sense to me. So I’m simply going to say what they sound like. Although, actually, you can listen to them. Go on. Listen to them.

They sound like a band who have played a million sweat stained, beer soaked gigs at every dive that would have them and have a sound of simply getting out there and kicking out the jams. They sound like a band whose pure and sole focus is the entertainment of the audience. To use a phrase I haven’t heard a band use for a loooong time, they sound like they want to kick your arse (or ass, if you’re not from round here).

I discovered ‘No Curtains’ because it made some year end list or other, and unlike most of the stuff on said list, really did rock my world. For the last couple of weeks I’ve barely listened to music due to a sinus induced migraine; I’ve made an exception for Dahga Bloom (and Big Blood, natch, as they have two – count ’em – new albums out). I’m not actually sure I’d go with the ‘psych’ descriptor but chucked it in because maybe I’m suffering from definition fatigue and it isn’t this particular definitions fault.