The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band – Planet Lam

planetlamThis is quite unlike anything I’ve heard before. Caveat: This is only the second example of  Thai music I’ve knowingly listened to, the first was an album of traditional music by Pong Lang.

This is apparently a reinvigoration of a traditional style known as Molam. Also, there is quite clearly at least one westerner in this line-up. Look at the dude on the right, who may have at least some reponsibility for the obvious western influence in some of the tunes, The Adventures of Sinsai especially combining a fairly standard rock beat and bassline with a wonderful Thai style melody played on an instrument I cannot guess at to marvellous effect. They also incorporate dub stylings very well indeed at times. My favourite tune, the indescribably wonderful Namtok (Waterfall) is impossible to put into words, really laid back with a sparse backdrop and meandering guitar over the top. Indeed, there’s a passage of tunes in the middle of the album that really, really, float my boat. The narrative of the album seems to get more and more traditional as it continues.

It doesn’t sound a million miles from folk music at times, which might be a silly thing to say because Molam is probably a folk music by definition. In fact, there might be a clue there. I wonder how much similarity there is across the various folk musics across the world? Then perhaps, supposing you’ve already clocked the strange similarities in mythologies across the world, and for the sake of argument may have noticed similarities in certain rituals from different parts too… well, makes y’think. If thinking is your thang, anyway.

 

Sonora – The Fire from Within

sonoraMethinks somebody has been reading their Carlos Castaneda.

Sonora are from Russia, which also plays home to Gnoomes, who my friend loves in an unhealthy way, and also the artist of the next post that will follow this one in some time frame or other, depending on how interrupted I get by the kids.

Musically, this is a very spacey, desert-rock sort of vibe. I’m mostly put in mind of a slightly crunchier The Myrrors without the flutes, or a mellower Dreamtime, with the circular and cyclical riffs that play such a large role. It’s instrumental, and that means it has to have something about it in my book. And it is a perfect accompaniment for a slightly bleary-eyed Saturday morning.

Heavy Moon 7

heavymoon-7-2016This is the seventh in a series that I never knew existed. Yet more to add to my ‘to listen’ list, which is all very well but at some point I might want to listen to the music I’ve bought as well…

First world problems, indeed.

To the task at hand, then. Heavy Moon is the project of Jacob Rehlinger, who plays in Moonwood. Heavy Moon 7 is the, er, 7th release under this name. Probably.

This is instrumental music that reminds me of (deep breath): Pink Floyd, Jean-Michel Jarre, ELO, War of the Worlds, White Hills, Kraftwerk and Circle/Pharoah Overlord. The Arachnidiscs blog also suggest Hawkwind and Harmonia as reference points. Mouth watering, I would say.

What I really like about this release is that the download came with the tracks split singly, but also done as on sides of a tape, which is how I tend to listen to this one. Also, the cover. Is it random? Is anything? Does it even matter? The music!

Why does writing about music always make me incoherent?

 

Inutili

Something approaching sonic heaven for you, assuming that an admixture of Parson Sound and Les Rallizes Denudes would be your thang…inutili

I’m here to tell you that this is most definitely my thang.

It’s actually quite blissed out, something I need to mention given that you would not always – or maybe ever – categorise Les Rallizes Denudes as blissed out.

‘Music to Watch the Clouds on a Sunny Day’ is in fact the best title they could give it, although I am yet to test the suggestion, what with it being winter, this being the UK, and the few days since I discovered it having very little in the way of sunny. I firmly intend to test it out in the summer, though, if we have one. However, I can say that as I listened to it for the first time on a Thursday morning in the basement office in which I work, the sun did indeed shine through the small horizontal cracks at the top of the wall that we call windows, and the moment was perfect. Hence why I think of this as blissed out.

There’s a bluesy feel to it, too. I’d love to say it’s a bit like Junior Kimbrough in that respect, but it probably isn’t that much, I just wanted an excuse to reference my all time favourite bluesman. Any firmer reference points, answers on a comment please…

I can’t find out much about them beyond they are/were a three piece from Italy.

There’s also a couple of free downloads available, very nearly as good. Their artwork is NSFW in the same way that Acid Mothers Temple artwork is NSFW, although it depends very much on where you work, I suppose.

 

Ulaan Markhor

Sometimes you simply should not trust a musician to label their own music.

I mean, I really like the self titled album by Ulaan Markhor, who is also known as Steven R. Smith and has also done other stuff with other people, though he is solo here. However, I would not call it ‘experimental’ or ‘avant-garde’ as has been listed on his bandcamp page. I’ll just about stretch to ‘psychedelic’ but even that is debatable – it passes because that word itself has gradually lost all meaning over the last couple of years, and is now no more descriptive of music than my other favourite genre descriptor, ‘alternative.’ (Alternative to what? Foghorn music?).

Without being overly reductive, let us instead call this rather pleasant instrumental guitar music featuring rhythms and percussion, and one or two sweeeeeet basslines. I like a good bassline.

I also like the album called ‘Spiral Horns, Black Onions, et al.

He’s even done a video: