Making sense is overrated. Even trying to be vaguely understood is restrictive.
Making sense is overrated. Even trying to be vaguely understood is restrictive.
Initially, we built a wall. It started off as a small wall, then it became a big wall and a thick wall and a wide wall and then people wondered whether or not we could build a wall that we couldn‟t climb or scale in any way, but we left that worry to the worriers.
One thing we did concern ourselves with, though, was just how boring the wall looked, so we started to decorate it (in practice, little people had been putting their little illustrations on already, many of them denigrative of the wall). So we split the wall up and sold off squares of it, and those squares were duly decorated with whatever the owners of those squares wished, plus that which appeared spontaneously, often in reaction.
But it was becoming apparent that the wall was costing a lot to maintain, so we started importing the bricks from south east Asia, as we had people over there, and they were able to manipulate things so that it actually became cheaper for us in purely monetary cost considerations (are there any other cons iderations to consider?) to import the bricks from Chinesia. This held for a while, and the wall grew ever higher, and its decorations became so elaborate that many observers didn‟t even realise there was a wall behind the pictures.
Soon, the pictures were all that remained in the popular memory, so we saw that as an opportunity to sell some of the more expensive bricks, as the projectors maintaining the illusions were of such high quality that they could project their nothing onto nothing itself. So we con tinued selling our bricks, slowly at first, and then more rapidly as they became more sought after, and the by now moving pictures reassured everybody that everything was fine and normal and the wall is as indomitable as ever.
But, in practice, the wall had completely gone, and the profits from the sale were draining away on keeping the projectors fed for the image parade, because, without those images, the people would realise what we had been up to, and we couldn’t let that happen, oh no, not at all.
So we made the images brighter and louder, repeating only the most successful images, and in the meantime, cast about for some new bricks
The 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.
There are many, many, many heavy psych bands out there who make what sounds a bit like jamming music. There is one such band, however, who are indisputably the King, Queen and Current Drummer of that crop, and that band is Electric Moon. And it is a cause for joy, nay, celebration, that they have released a new studio album.
Stardust Rituals is actually a bit less heavy than they can be, but just as transportative. Komet Lulu brings her vocals back for this release – I mean that in a relative way, as these long songs are still mostly instrumental, but having vocals does add a nice texture and the effects she puts on hers suit the music superbly well. In fact, I think she is the secret weapon that makes them a great band, although guitarist Sula Bassana is a pretty handy force to have in your musical phenomenon. There is also a more eastern vibe going on, plus the organ comes a bit more to the fore early on.
They could have re-done The Doomsday Machine or Lunatics and I would still have been a happy man, but they haven’t. Stardust Rituals is as good as anything else that will be released this year, by one of the all time greats of heavy psych.
I’ve been looking forward to this, having been properly into their debut, so much so that they’ve been one of the few acts I check in on every now and again to see when something might be coming. This does not disappoint me, being more of the same but more so, and also a bit different. It is continuing proof of my conviction that the merger of brass and heavy guitar freakouts is a thing of great beauty.
I referenced Monoshock and Puffy Areolas first time up, and they still hold true. But I would also add a strong Stooges groove, occasional Hey Colossus sludge, an occasional veer into Bad Seeds-esque territory and they sound familiar with Swans recent work.
In other words, it is loud and it is aggressive, it is not for the faint hearted, and, oh yeah, I really, really like it. Also, it was available to buy a week before the date on the page, because that’s when I bought it.
Or: here are some things that are not albums, or maybe they are.
So, we likes Hey Colossus, we do. And earlier this year they did something right out of the 90s, they released a single backed with 2 ‘remixes’ (strictly speaking, ‘versions.’) And what versions they are – the version of In Black and Gold is like a deconstructed drum’n’bass / free improv mashup, whilst the 11 minute re-take of Wired Brainless is pure repetition bliss, with added electronic noises (I can’t tell whether some of the added noises are vocals that have been very harshly treated).
Oh, and the actual single track isn’t half bad either. Go here and listen.
Rise of the Echo Drone seem to be largely doing Ep’s. Since I last mentioned them, another couple have hit the wires and they are definitely worth checking out. They seem to have camped in a field which touches on psych, shoegaze, dreampop, electronica, tribal rhythms, that 90s techno that included people like The Orb, and sensual vocals. Needless to say, I’m a bit hesitant of trying to reduce them to one sonic label. I also want to draw your attention to this track off one of the ep’s for two reasons – Milo used a shorter excerpt of the same Lennon speech on the second Patterns of Faith album (which I can’t currently link to because it’s no longer available anywhere), and secondly because seriously, listen to what he is saying. It is really very simple, a bit scary, and very liberating.
Valerio Cosi seems to have dug out many collaborations and older works for his Bandcamp. You won’t like everything unless you happen to like every single instance of recorded sound, anywhere, ever, or maybe I’m just narrow minded. My favourite is the split single he did with Fabio Orsi (their collaborative album is also worth your time). Sadly he has yet to put up Heavy Electronic Pacific Rock – maybe he is not at liberty to. One of the greatest albums ever made, that is, to this mind, but if you like that kind of mind-bending psychedelic-jazz featuring saxophones with tribal rhythms – and who doesn’t? – then you’ll also want to check out Pulga Loves You.
Also, Rakta. When I first typed this paragraph, I typed ‘They have also not yet done another album but have put out some songs.’ So I go to do the links, and the page for III – which was roughly two songs long when I bought it – now describes what is either an album or a long EP. Ditto, Intencao had one track and now has two, and there’s Rakta em Transe as well. Odd marketing. However, the Rakta energy is still very much present, and they still tag their cavernous sounding tribal post-punk as ‘World Music.’ Love it.
Electric Moon – two and a half hours of live psychedelic jams. Technically it’s an album, yes. You are no doubt different to me, but I am unlikely to listen to it all in one go, because two and a half hours, and that’s why I’m not treating it as an album. Anyway, I didn’t write this post to be argued with. Just go and listen to it. Whilst I’m on the subject of Electric Moon, bass player and graphic designer Komet Lulu put out this song, and this also comes with a hearty Soundbergs recommendation.
Also, when I did the Menimals post, I mentioned that there may be another album with the same title and opening track and yet be a different beast altogether? That there is. It is also very, very good, and I invite those of you who enjoyed the first of their self titled albums to go and listen to the second.
Little tidbit – I did my first ‘general chat‘ type of post on July 28th 2015, the second one not long after. This here third instalment is brought to you by July 29th 2016. This was not consciously intentional. I wonder if it’s a time of year thing?