Electric Moon – Stardust Rituals

elecmoonThere 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.

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Sargent-Major Waffle

Or: here are some things that are not albums, or maybe they are.

athalcSo, 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. sotdThey 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.

nunsValerio 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.

iiiAlso, 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.

 

zeissElectric 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.

mnmlsAlso, 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?

Electric Moon

So, now 2014 is out the way and I got my year end list up, now I can travel back in time to previous musics. Now, it seems that this makes it harder for me to link directly to an album for you to listen to, although with this band it probably isn’t a huge thing, on account of how almost everything they’ve done is frankly marvellous.

Part of me assumes everybody in the world knows about Electric Moon. How can they not? If ever there was a band who represented the psych-rock zeitgeist so compellingly, it’s them. And we’re all into psych-rock aren’t we? That’s why there’s so many bloody chancers getting in on it again…

But it seems that my little world isn’t exactly the same as the ‘objective’ one out there, so it behooves me to tell all of you objective people that Electric Moon exist and are probably better than your favourite psych-rock band. If you look at their discography page, there is an awful lot of releases, many of which are live sets. And me, I’m an album dude, so I largely listen to albums. And there are three albums I really think should be listened to muchly:

 

(I can’t find an equivalent for the ‘Lunatics’ album)

I can tell you about them all by telling you about any one of them, really, and that really is no disrespect or faint praise. This is the sort of music made by a band who know each other inside out, can anticipate where each other is going and can play off each other with immense skill. It feels like jam music that has purpose without having a pre-defined end-point (i.e. pretty much unlike most of the other jam-music out there). I think I’ve now invented a new genre – teleological jamming!

On top of that, there’s a couple of honest-to-goodness songs mixed in too.

I think what really separates them from the rest of the ‘jam-bands’ who are their nearest peers in terms of sonic description is their judicious use of Komet Lulu’s vocals, particularly when she uses the husky whisper that she does on the awesome ‘Moon Love’ (23 minutes of sonic perfection).

In a roundabout way, I would never have discovered Big Blood if it wasn’t for Electric Moon. For years I’ve checked in every now and again over at Ran Prieur‘s website because of his ability to chuck interesting articles and viewpoints out at the world, but I’d never paid much attention to his taste in music, because his recommendations had always seemed a bit too US-indie for my taste, the sort of music that uses the word ‘sophomore.’ (I’m English, and that word means nothing to me, I tell you, nothing!) And then one day he recommended Electric Moon and used the word ‘ineffable’ to describe their music and I thought, you know what, maybe this boy has better taste than I credited him with*, maybe I’ll check out his future recommendations. And pretty much the next band he recommended was Big Blood.

*i.e. taste that I approve of, which probably says more about me than it does about him 🙂 Also, I have never come across a better description of Electric Moon’s music than ‘ineffable.’ I think that’s what I was trying to say using far more words. Think teleology without a specified end-point – life itself, in other words. And the macrocosm in the microcosm in the macrocosm gets demonstrated yet again, at least to my own satisfaction…

I think I can safely say that I am not afraid of teleology.