Elijah – Augmented

elijah

Sometimes I find myself wondering what the next thing will be. For example, what song will I write next? Then the obvious answer – if I knew that, I’d have already written it. Doesn’t stop me being surprised sometimes when it happens though.

Ditto this. I also occasionally wonder what album I’ll discover next that comes out of the blue, which again, is a bit of a nonsense to wonder. We humans are good at nonsense wondering. But anywho, I discovered this this morning. And it’s years since I’ve listened to music of this ilk, so I’m quite surprised by it.

Chris might like this one. Not sure about the rest of you though.

 

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.

 

 

The Myrrors – Borderlands

myrrors

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.

Naujawanan Baidar – Volume 1

Naujawanan Baidar

Wile I’m on the Middle east / western rock fusion thing, here’s another one for you that I discovered yesterday as a side effect of someone saying they’ve got volume 2 upcoming.

I don’t usually post the things when the complete album isn’t available for listening because I’ve made the point before that only putting a couple of tracks up for preview is a dead business model that is irrelevant in an age of blooody Spotify and their ilk. However, this one has most of the tracks available for listening, and they are so damn good.

I understand that these recordings are kind of a side effect of the main project which will eventually yield an upcoming album. My appetite is whetted but my breath isn’t held. Because I don’t hold my breath. Stupid thing to do.

City of Djinn – self titled

djinn

The Universe/God/Random Coincidence (delete as appropriate to your deity of choice) doesn’t half have a sense of humour. The next album I find myself wanting to post is only a self titled album.

They’ve been on Soundbergs before, when they first put something out, back in the days when I had disposable income and bought it. If I had disposable income, I’d buy this too.

 

 

Föllakzoid – I

follakzoid

When you call your fourth album ‘I’ ?

Not sure what to make of that. In fact, I never did get the idea of self titling albums. I just didn’t. It’s so damn easy to come up with album titles that why would you self-title an album? But this sounds like criticism and it isn’t meant to be. I may be actually telling the world of some or more of my own limitations.

That’s all that writing is, really. Bear that in mind next time you read a music review. Pretty much the only times it isn’t is when someone is copying verbatim something from someone else (as in, most ‘news’ these days), or genuine stories.

As always, this is not a music review. But if you happen to like this music, you’ll like the next one I’m about to post.

Negra Branca @ Woodland Gathering 2018

I listened to this via The Quietus not long after it happened; only posting now because I’m posting it now.

The reason I listened to her is because she also plays with Gnod. This is not much like Gnod, albeit exactly what are Gnod like? They are like many things.

This put me in a trance, even though I was at work (that’s how I cope). I’ve just deleted several sentences where I tried to describe it. This is why I’ve given up trying to describe music using words.

 

 

City of Djinn – Ether and Red Sulphur

citydjinn

It’s just possible that when I’ve said that what I really like is psychedelic music, I may have meant what I really like is music that puts you in a trance. Trance music. But not as it is popularly understood. See, this is the problem with labels…

This is proper trance music, as in, music that puts you in a trance. I’ve been here before with people like Alif and Malayeen, and I also like to think of Hamza El Din in these contexts. This is a much more lo-fi take, as it sounds like it was recorded in one take in someone’s living room, fluffed and flat notes included. But I love it. I hope they do more music, and that I may get a chance to hear that too.

City of Djinn (link is to F***book page, sorry) is two geezers, Marwan Kamel and Micah Bezold, who frequently sound like more. They use a variety of instruments, possibly not at all the same time but then I’ve not seen it, merely heard it. It is a very spacious sound they make; very meditative. But these are not short pieces, so do set aside a bit of time in order to grok this fully.

Jon Mueller – Tongues

tonguesThis 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.

jmueller