Oneida – Live at Secret Project Robot

oneida

 

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Maurice Louca – Benhayyi Al​-​Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot)

mauricelouca.jpgWhilst I’m in the midst of not really listening to albums an’ ting, I do nevertheless still check the blog feeder, and every now and again Bandcamp do a post where they collect a bunch of albums together with a theme. They did this one dedicated to Nawa Recordings (who released that Alif album that I’m sure you all went and got) and from that I heard this.

This is a very groovy yet dense sonic maelstrom. It features a myriad of influences that I couldn’t begin to list, and also does the middle east/western rock fusion thing in a way that doesn’t feel forced.

Also, I love the title. Are you saluting the parrot?

3rd Ear Experience – Peacock Black

3rdearWe interrupt this day at work to write a hasty blog post in my tea break about this group who have just been brought to my attention courtesy of  Isiah Mitchell’s Trippy Jam blog, which may go long periods without updates but is guaranteed to drop some gems your way if you keep it on your radar.

3rd Ear Experience do that improvisational space rock cosmic groove thing that you need in your life. I’m reminded of Our Solar System, whom I obvioulsy love in a way mere words cannot capture,  and also (a mellower) Ozric Tentacles. These are not short tunes. They are recorded on the outskirts of a desert, and a desert has no time for pop music as any fule kno.

The particular album I’ve embedded is a couple of years old, and doesn’t have the tune that was on the Trippy Jam post, so I’ll be trying to track that down in order to wistfully stare at it too.

Also, 3rd Ear Experience number Doug Pinnick from Kings X among their ranks. Now, I used to listen to Gretchen Goes to Nebraska quite a lot back in the early 90s, round about the same era that I listened to Tribe a lot. Around the time I did the Tribe post I did also wonder about Kings X. Obviously it’s a complete coincidence that this should land, then. Obviously. A. Complete. Coincidence.

Really like this, though, and will be checking out what other stuff I can find by them.

Hyenaz – Hyenaz

hyenazIn complete contrast to almost everything I’ve ever posted about, ever, I bring you Hyenaz.

Hyenaz are a synth-pop duo from Berlin, although the epithet synth-pop doesn’t really do full justice to this electro-monster groove machine. The rhythms are relentless and thunderous, yet subtle when they want to be too – the art of good songwriting, in other words, that old boring chestnut I’m sure I keep banging on about. There is a hedonistic and sensual feel about the music despite its purely synthetic origins, and a hypnotic mixture of melody and screech. They give good performance, it is said, which goes a long way to suggesting one of the core things about creating good material, although there’s a much larger discussion to be had over all that which I may make into a macro-post if I can be arsed to work out my roughly seventeen contrasting opinions on the matter into mere words.

The nearest reference point – for me, anyway – is Telepathe, who as far as I know are still extant despite only having put out that one album some years back.

There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to how and why I decide to give something a listen, and I couldn’t tell you how this fell onto my radar. I mean, this isn’t even their most recent album! So another thing to check out, then…

Centralstodet / The Myrrors – Ljudkamrater

centralstodetThe second of the three promos I mentioned what were dead good, like. This is a split release, combining an a group with whom I am totally unfamiliar with a group of whom I am more than slightly familiar.

Centralstodet have been described as Prog rock and as space rock in the whole two reviews I’ve sought out on t’net; I myself put them in that ‘jam band’ genre on the basis of the tunes included here. I might think differently when I hear some of the other stuff. There’s a bit of an edge to what they do, though one man’s edge is another man’s middle, as I once saw a self of mine write. For example, Colour Horizon called an earlier release of theirs ‘harsh,’ but I wonder if he’s ever seen Merzbow live? I have.

The Myrrors only contribute one track, but that one track is 20 minutes of possibly their finest recorded music to date. It is wonderfully spacious, meditative and hypnotic, and I reckon it would soundtrack a mellow initiation ritual in the desert, were such things ever to happen, because obviously assigning such judgements is my area of expertise (I’ve never been to a real desert, though I have been to something called an outback, I don’t think it’s the same thing as there were grasses and bushes and everything).

You can get this on vinyl, if you do vinyl, here.

Verma – Mul.apin

mulapinI’m really not quite sure of the correct formatting for the word that is this album’s title, although if the the Wikipedia entry telling me what its interesting meaning is is correct, then it should be in all caps, only I don’t like shouting.

Neither do Verma, obviously. This album is instrumental, which I think is quite unusual for them; most of their albums that I play often have quite a good vocals-instrumental ratio (which is now an official measurement thing). Maybe Whitney said most of what she’s got for us at the moment on her latest as Matchess.

Or maybe not. It seems to be the result of a session in 2013, which may or may not have been improvised – I remain cautious about that, because if it was improvised, why is there the sentence ‘written and performed by?’ On the other hand, why is there the tag of ‘improvised’ in the tags?  Not saying it has to be either/or – it can be both/and – but I do like clarity in the use of language.

So, the album came out last year but I could only find it on vinyl, so I forgot about it until I stumbled across it via some commercial digital provider or other. It’s worth the wait, because it’s Verma, and I like Verma. If you don’t yet know Verma, then have these verbal reductionisms, copied form the bandcamp page: experimental atmospheric experimental rock improvisedinstrumental krautrock progressive psychedelic rock soundtrackspace rock Chicago . complete with tag links. damn, I dislike when that happens.

I haven’t embedded because the aforementioned page doesn’t give you the full album, and acts primarily as a pathway to the vinyl. So have a video instead:

Fire! Orchestra – Ritual

2182-fire-orchestra-ritual-2lp-cd_19_2016-02-23-15-42-57 Honestly, what is it about Sweden?

You know when music is special when you listen to something whilst in the midst of a fairly drawn out grumpy period, and that music makes you feel alive, positive, and like all the petty crap really just does not matter, which it doesn’t.

People, I give you Fire! Orchestra.

I’ve been more and more of a jazz head, I must admit. This is where the genre really does it for me. It isn’t about technique, it’s about consciousness exploration. That’s why it’s a ritual. That’s why I consider music like this to be psychedelic, and a million revivalists who call themselves that to be not, although everyone has to start somewhere.

The opener, which you will find embedded in this post somewhere, is 10 of the fastest moving minutes in history, it feels like less than half that duration. To me, at least. This is music to get completely lost in. Throw maps in the bin.

There is a strong emphasis on the groove, the many horns don’t get in each others way, and the two vocalists are absolutely incredible.  The album is both propulsive and meditative, noisy and musical.

There simply aren’t enough superlatives to describe how I feel about this album. A true ritual, and a triumphant one at that. A perfect illustration of why humans picked up objects and started hitting, plucking and blowing them. Its purity makes it impossible to pigeon-hole.

This also makes for two posts in a row where the album cover seems somewhat random, although I think art purists will probably prefer the term collage.

Those who are inspired enough to want a physical copy will find one here.