One Dog Clapping – Luna Takes Asylum (The Lunatics Return)

Luna bandcamp front

So, once I finished that series I did last year, I did, as promised, put my guitar down for a bit and listen to some music other people made. But I also had sessions of listening to my archive, probably for reasons of vanity but using the excuse that I wanted to hear it to get a feel of the context of what I’d done. And one thing happened quite soon – I was listening to Are You Hanging Comfortably? from this here album here, and I was getting annoyed by it. This had always been my least favourite album, largely because it was the last of the trio of albums I’ve since come to think of as the slapdash 3, and I was going through a period of self-doubt at the time I originally finished it which will also have coloured my perception of it. But as I listened to and got annoyed by the aforementioned track, what was bugging me the most was that I thought it was a decent tune thoroughly hidden in bad recording and production. ‘Well then,’ said an all-too familiar and frequent thing I’ve come to call That Bloody Voice In My Head That Always Thinks It Bloody Knows Best, Usually When Saying I Bloody Told You So, ‘why don’t you re-record it?’

Aaaand one thing led to another and here we are.

I haven’t spent all year on it; I’ve actually concentrated on new stuff seeing as I had a guitar in my hand anyway. But I decided to lean into the Mercury Retrograde periods by focussing on this during those, and those of you who know about such things will note that one has indeed just passed, and this timing isn’t a coincidence. Well, it is, but it’s more than just the coincidence of two things happening at a similar time.

For those of you who may have heard the original, this is different in ways more than just re-recording it. The opener on the original was called Lance, Speak, Deafening. Well, Lance… met and married a song I’d only ever recorded on 4 track in the 90s called 1000 Howling Devils and they had a child and that child now opens the album. Also, the original track two just wasn’t satisfying me anymore. I therefore replaced it with a song that was not only written contemporaneously but is also coherent thematically with the album. The rest of the songs are as they were, with some or more lyrical revisions.

I’ve also done something I haven’t done before by putting a nominal charge on the album, though each track does come with its own artwork now; the lyrics decorated with my inimitable doodles, and then inverted in some program or other. I’m going to add such things to my other albums over time, so if you want those others while they’re still Name Your Price, get in there now.

It is not beyond the realms that I may update one or two other albums during future Merc-Rets. However, the next thing I’ll put out, and it may even be this year but if not will certainly be early in the next, will probably be called Influx Arena.

Finally, I am incredibly and unimaginably indebted once again to my friend Chris Hall who helped me with Tech just as a typically merc-ret thing happened and my PC went dead when I was very nearly finished with this. Thanks again, Chris!

sunn o))) – Pyroclasts and Life Metal

pyroclasts

life metal

Now then, you know the sign of really, really good artists? They can release more than one really, really good album in a year.

Just saying.

Did you know ‘Sesquipedalian’ basically means really long word? I love that the English language contains this sort of nonsense!

Here’s an interesting post, not at all related to music, but very much related to living well.

And, taking that rhizomatic theme to heart, I might start recommending books as well, for the readers amongst you. You know who you are. You’re the people who sit there in a cafe when a person comes up to you and says, ‘well, well, looks like we got ourselves a reader.’

This posts recommendation is The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. Proper brilliant book, it is. I’ve read many, many brilliant fiction books this year, so many that I can’t choose a favourite. But this is right up there.

 

 

FiRES WERE SHOT – Fallen

fireswereshot

Shouty caps lock is, unfortunately, intentional.

I’ve listened to a lot of drone over the years, some would say especially when I’m talking (boom! boom!); I would say especially when most males talk, we do love to hear the sound of our own opinions even though they are almost all bollocks, yes, even yours. Especially yours.

Joking aside, actually I wasn’t joking. I’m famous for not having a sense of humour. Well, not famous as such, I mean, I’m clearly not a famous person, but one of my personality traits that is remarked upon often is my utter lack of a sense of humour. I often ask my son what one is because he has one, apparently. Like most communications between the generations, however, this often results in misunderstanding as I’m never entirely sure what he’s trying to tell me.

I had intended to talk, well, write, well, type about drone music but I got distracted because that’s what happens when you let flow happen. The same thing happens when I pick up a pen.

But if you think about it, drone is all about flow.

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.

Abronia – The Whole of Each Eye

abronia2

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.