Earthling Society – Zen Bastard

zenbastardThe chance to put the word ‘bastard’ in a headline, non-gratuitously? Sold!

Actually, though, this is probably my favourite album of the year so far. When my brain gets invaded my unwelcome ear-worms, it is the current – and formidable – defense system, especially Outsideofintime.

According to the blurb, these are re-recordings of some older tunes, with a new one thrown in. As I was previously unfamiliar with the band except by name, they’re all new to me. Reworking old songs is a good idea, though, when appropriate. I’ve started to realise with my own material that a song is never finished and will always continue to evolve of its own accord if you let it. The wonderful Big Blood frequently do this, too. There’s something about this notion that I’ve been wanting to put in a post for a while, so there may well be a macro-post coming up soon.

The songs are loooong, which I like. They skip around a bit, which I normally don’t like cos it makes me think ‘progressive’ which used to be a swear word around rock music when I was younger (thankfully, I grew up), but these boys make it work very well which proves the strength of the material. Stylistically, we’re talking about a 70s influenced space-rock vibe, so if you likes you your Hawkwind, do check these out. I also find myself thinking of Litmus in the approach and delivery. There are also dub infusions. More rock bands should have dub infusions.

Verma – Mul.apin

mulapinI’m really not quite sure of the correct formatting for the word that is this album’s title, although if the the Wikipedia entry telling me what its interesting meaning is is correct, then it should be in all caps, only I don’t like shouting.

Neither do Verma, obviously. This album is instrumental, which I think is quite unusual for them; most of their albums that I play often have quite a good vocals-instrumental ratio (which is now an official measurement thing). Maybe Whitney said most of what she’s got for us at the moment on her latest as Matchess.

Or maybe not. It seems to be the result of a session in 2013, which may or may not have been improvised – I remain cautious about that, because if it was improvised, why is there the sentence ‘written and performed by?’ On the other hand, why is there the tag of ‘improvised’ in the tags?  Not saying it has to be either/or – it can be both/and – but I do like clarity in the use of language.

So, the album came out last year but I could only find it on vinyl, so I forgot about it until I stumbled across it via some commercial digital provider or other. It’s worth the wait, because it’s Verma, and I like Verma. If you don’t yet know Verma, then have these verbal reductionisms, copied form the bandcamp page: experimental atmospheric experimental rock improvisedinstrumental krautrock progressive psychedelic rock soundtrackspace rock Chicago . complete with tag links. damn, I dislike when that happens.

I haven’t embedded because the aforementioned page doesn’t give you the full album, and acts primarily as a pathway to the vinyl. So have a video instead:

Heavy Moon 7

heavymoon-7-2016This is the seventh in a series that I never knew existed. Yet more to add to my ‘to listen’ list, which is all very well but at some point I might want to listen to the music I’ve bought as well…

First world problems, indeed.

To the task at hand, then. Heavy Moon is the project of Jacob Rehlinger, who plays in Moonwood. Heavy Moon 7 is the, er, 7th release under this name. Probably.

This is instrumental music that reminds me of (deep breath): Pink Floyd, Jean-Michel Jarre, ELO, War of the Worlds, White Hills, Kraftwerk and Circle/Pharoah Overlord. The Arachnidiscs blog also suggest Hawkwind and Harmonia as reference points. Mouth watering, I would say.

What I really like about this release is that the download came with the tracks split singly, but also done as on sides of a tape, which is how I tend to listen to this one. Also, the cover. Is it random? Is anything? Does it even matter? The music!

Why does writing about music always make me incoherent?

 

Sungod

It is one of the ironies of doing this blog that nearly every post is written whilst at work, usually in an environment when I can’t listen to the music that my researches throw up alongside my subject of the day (in other words, on the service desk in a library in between enquiries). sg

So I (re)discovered Sungod as a result of trawling the 2015 year end lists, I can’t remember which – I don’t think they had a place on said list, more that they were referenced. The album that I checked out was Contackt from 2013, and I am here to tell you that it fair blew my mind much more effectively than the howling winds that have been such a feature of the UK’s weather these last few months. My particular favourite track is ‘Smell of Physiqal’ which marries monstrous riffing a la Sleep with late 90s Goa style trance-techno, and definitely ranks as my discovery of the year so far. In fact, that description could be profitably used for much of the album, inasmuch as words have any value at all when describing music.

Turns out that buried somewhere on my hard drive was Cuts from the Ether which someone must have copied for me some time back. Turns out that’s nearly as good.

May I also commend to you Vision Space which features extra free jazz into the mix, as they cover a composition of Sun Ra, and which is also a very pleasurable listening experience? I can? Good.

So going back to my opening paragraph, I learn that Sungod now release music via Holodeck records, the home of a previous subject of mine, the marvellous Thousand Foot Whale Claw. So this makes the dipping into of their catalogue a task which I now add to the many other sonic tasks ahead of me, most of which I’m trying to accomplish back at my desk whilst at work, because home life is almost exclusively One Dog Clapping now once the kids are in bed. I also find the now neglected but nonetheless containing of intriguing links which is Sungod’s blog so there be some other stuff that my instinct tells me I must check… fun times! As I mentioned before, this is a brilliant problem to have. Would I rather there was a dearth of good music just so I could keep on top of it?