The Iditarod – The Ghost, the Elf, the Cat and the Angel

iditarod

Of course, when I say classics, I mean my kind of classics.

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Yantra – Drones e Excursões de Guitarras Rumo ao Desconhecido Vol. 2

yantraAnother trip back to Brazil, completely unlike any of the previous visits.

Yantra do what is described as psychedelic meditation music. From such a thing you can expect and will receive two slow-moving pieces of improvised performances which do that hypnotic transcendent thing of which I am so fond. These two pieces were recorded in 2016 at separate locations, and you can tell the difference in atmosphere of each piece. They do complement each other very well, however.

Because I don’t often listen to pure drone works, I don’t really have any reference points for you. That probably isn’t important anyway. If you’re in the mood to chill, this works very well.

The label that releases this seems very interesting, too. I had a listen to one of the Hierofante releases, and I’ll definitely be going back for another listen.

Föllakzoid feat. J. Spaceman – London Sessions

londonsessionsSo a Chilean kosmiche trio walked into a backstage party at a Wooden Shjips gig… and ended up re-working two tunes from their most recent release with the help of a minimalist drone guitar legend.

This is one of those collaborations that makes even more sense on your speakers than it does on paper. Föllakzoid have come a long way since their early days and have now forged a sound recognisably their own. Jason Spaceman slots right into it, as if he’s been playing with them for years. Some of my favourite of his guitar shapes come out on this, particularly a passage that reminds me of my favourite Spiritualized song, Pure Phase.

Did you ever hear Richard Fearless’ remix of Regular Fries Dust It, Don’t Bust It? That would fit on this release perfectly. The atmosphere has a groovy but woozy late-night feel (although it’s 8am as I type this; thanks kiddies!) The two pieces reworked aren’t that drastically changed from their first incarnation in that they are recognisable but they seem to have gained some extra space with the extra person on board. Their music continues to evolve in a manner befitting of true forward thinking mofos.

Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Simultonality

simultonalityThe last time I was aware of Josh Abrams making an album, I had a bit of a grumble about how it wasn’t that easy to get hold of, at least for me. Well, that seems to have been fixed now, and I found that out by finding out that he had a new thing out. Not only that, but he’s also collaborated with the Soundbergs-approved Bitchin Bajas in the meantime.

This is the groovy end of jazz, the type I like, where the music does a number on me hypnotically. It seems to be a natural progression from the above-mentioned Magnetoception, nice long grooves with a motorik pulse. There’s nods to the spiritual jazz tradition of the Coltranes and Pharoah Sanders, but also a mellow, laid back feel. This music isn’t in a hurry; after all, there is no need to hurry to make an eternal point.

A few words have been typed making mention of the fact that this has been credited to Josh Abrams AND Natural Information Society, which suggests that this may be more collaborative than previous efforts. Whether that’s the case, or whether this is simply a more explicit acknowledgement of the collaboration, this is an excellent addition to Abrams output.

 

The Bug vs Earth – Concrete Desert

bugearthI have long loved both The Bug and Earth, obviously for very different reasons. The Bug’s London Zoo in particular was righteous in its wrath and groovy in its execution, whilst Earth’s catalogue (particularly since the comeback) is one often inducive to deep relaxation and meditation. You might not think they would make obvious collaborators, in other words.

Of course, if my finger ever came out of its shell-like and went and tried to find the pulse, then I might have been aware that this has been brewing a while since they did a single a little way back.

On this release, Kevin Martin seems to work to Dylan Carlsons’ strengths, letting the guitarist dictate the pace whilst he complements the tones with a sound that I find myself calling glacial paranoia. The grooves are there, but they’re dialled back. It’s about the atmosphere, which is dark and resonant. Ambient industrial grime, if you want a label.

Despite the fact that the times we live in are frankly a riot of chaos, I could imagine this as a surreal soundtrack to them.

 

 

Wovenhand – Blush Music

.blushmusicWe interrupt this trip around the music I’d like to buy with a nod to a great album from 2003. Apparently, this was music that David Eugene Edwards wrote for Ultima Vez, a Belgian dance company, which may have something to do with having a less overtly religious theme than his usual fare.

It is also more laid back than the usual Wovenhand approach to things, which has been increasingly heavy in its southern gothic approach to americana. Check out the 14 minute version of Ain’t no Sunshine. There are occasional moments of upping the volume, though, and the contrast increases their power, a good example being Your Russia (without hands).

His previous outfit were 16 Horsepower, who made the absolutely wonderful Sackcloth & Ashes, a proper hoedown of an album with quite a preaching from the pulpit feel to the lyrics, all apocalyptic imagery and burn-in-hell admonishments. Despite that, I fackin love that album; the songwriting is astonishingly brilliant all the way through, and the arrangements are top notch.