The Comet is Coming – Death to the Planet

cometThese are clearly very well known by the standards of who I usually blog about, but I don’t care. I don’t have a prejudice against well-known bands, it’s just that they so rarely do anything which actually interests me, let alone blows me away. This, lady and gentleman, blew me away.

It probably says at least a few words about me in that I had genuinely never heard of them before. I actually discovered them via my hopping from bandcamp fan’s music taste to bandcamp fan’s music taste and clicking on albums where I liked the name of the band/album or the cover or both/all three. This trail started after I’ve been on something of a deep house kick, which I’ll blog a release or two about presently (expectations be damned! it’s the only thing they’re good for).

It starts off not unlike a slighlty jazzier Our Solar System with added cosmic synths. They subsequently head into more of an acid-house territory, though, squelchy basslines and woozy synths a go-go, an increasingly Nortec-with-crazier-saxophones kind of feel. If it isn’t reminiscent of the soundtrack to late night Tijuana, then I’ve never been to Tijuana (sidebar: I’ve never been to Tijuana), though I suppose it could be any large settlement in the tropics (sidebar: I’ve never been to the tropics). I am always really disappointed when it ends.

Their first album is very nearly as good. It was also nominated for some well known (in the UK) prize or other, which might go some way to explaining why music this good actually seems to have an audience. The times they might be a-darkening, but where there’s music this good around, there is always hope.

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Evening Fires

Another result of somebody else’s year end post.

They actually released 2 albums, the second of which you are not allowed to buy digitally, although you can buy it on CD, which is a digital format, and they only allow you to hear one song from it… would love to know what the thinking is behind that.

Whereas the album Where I’ve Been is Places and What I’ve Seen is Things is available in a more easy to please Flipdog manner, and is very good. It ticks all the right boxes, most important of which is I don’t know how to describe it. Rural psychedelia? I’ve seen someone use that. Meandering? I think I’d prefer exploratory. Chilled? Yes. Though not always.

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I love how after ‘Roll Away the Stones’, which is a kind of ‘typical’ jam band affair, we get a curveball in the shape of ‘We Cast Our Lot With the Waves’ which is very atmospheric and seems to feature wind very heavily (though maybe synths too), and has a very Parson Sound feel when they go Glyptotec. And each song has a different focus. The whole album is wonderfully diverse yet very coherent.

Also, they give good title.

Of course, the other album may be too, but I can only hear one piece from it and frankly it didn’t grab me. I bet it would work in the context of the rest of the album.

People of the North – An Era of Manifestations

eraIf I’d have been doing this blog thing back in 2009/10, then pretty much every second or third post I’d have been looking to find an excuse to reference Oneida the way I have this year been finding any excuse to reference Hey Colossus. In the world of my music taste, Oneida are amongst the Gods, primarily for the masterful Rated O but also the incredible consistency they have demonstrated across their catalogue coupled with the fact they don’t take themselves too seriously. In fact, all the Gods in my musical world exhibit almost identical traits to those just described. It also helps when you can drop a tune that is as outrageous and awesome (and I mean that word in its true sense, i.e. wonderful and a bit scary) as Sheets of Easter.

Oneida have, technically, been a bit quiet over the last few years, but what they’ve really been doing is stuff other than Oneida. One of those things is People of the North, whose new album is some seriously top grade psychedelic medicine. Sonically we’re in the areas of their recent explorations, but this is much more free form as you would expect from improvised situations such as these, and very close in spirit to the free jazz musicians. This is much more than just some blokes walking up to their instruments, expressing themselves freely and then walking away again – this is some blokes walking up to their instruments, playing freely whilst also listening to what is happening around them and constructing a glorious sonic world in the process, yo.

I consider this album basically unclassifiable, but that may mean that I am ‘uneducated’ in this realm as much as anything else. I think the best albums always are a bit unclassifiable though. Part of the problem with using words to describe something that isn’t words, I suppose.

Words, eh? Can’t live with ’em…

Föllakzoid

a3072133502_2I dunno if it’s just me, but I’m beginning to get a bit concerned about bands not having a standalone website. I mean, the top hit for the wonderful Föllakzoid was their bandcamp page. The first two pages in the search engine are mostly reviews. Although there is this, but the ‘this’ I mentioned takes me to a page that flashes and does nothing else…

Probably this is a rant for another time, though.

So, I like Föllakzoid’s new album, III, very much indeed, and it seems I’m not alone from the reviews I found.

It’s a very atmospheric groove they’ve got going on. I actually think the kosmiche/krautrock labels I’ve seen applied to them sell them a lot short. I mean, sure, they probably would rock a jam with Gunter Schickert or Ash Ra Tempel, but they’ve definitely got their own thing going on here too. I have, however, yet to hear their first two albums, so I may be missing some context. I will no doubt get round to listening to said albums soon; I’ve had a veritable cornucopia of wonderful music of late, so fitting it in can be my favourite kind of problem.

And that was before GNOD released their new epic…