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.

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.

Loosers – Hot Jesus

loosersBefore I go off on a larger point, let me tell you about this album in my wishlist by an outfit called Loosers.

Hot Jesus is a sonic mishmash of hypnagogic 80s style synths and AOR blended with early 90s rave-culture sounds, mixed with a kind of kosmiche style repetitive delay-guitar riff style supporting a more solo-ey approach. There’s a rock rhythm foundation with percussive polyrhythms appearing regularly, sometimes approaching Gamelan structure in complexity.  The last tune particularly puts me in mind of Nathaniel Mayer. If you can think of a handy label to accurately convey what I’ve tried to describe there, feel free.

Loosers themselves are a Portuguese group with whom I was previously unfamiliar; on this release they are joined by vocalist Jerry the Cat, who has spent time with Funkadelic it says here. They are remarkably difficult to find anything out about, though.

Of course, I would like to know what their name is communicating at me. Are they a collective of people who are looser than everyone else? Or are they making what is a sadly all-too-common mistake these days, and they actually mean Losers, as in people who lose rather than win?

For those of you unaware, if you mean the word where you’re not winning, you only want one letter o. If you have two letter o’s, you literally loosen the letter s that follows into the softer sounding version. The one where it sounds like a z requires only one o.

Do you see what I did there? It supports my larger point, which is to do with the power of language. Language is the oldest technology that man has consistently used, and it has continually evolved for that length of time too. This means that the tool we have at our disposal, if used properly, is incredibly powerful. It’s not perfect, though, and I reckon that’s probably my underlying theme in my more creative aspects, particularly the doodle-blog.

Unfortunately, people are more and more slapdash in their use of language these days. I’ll give you an example – the word ‘awesome’ is an adjective from the word ‘awe’ which actually means something mighty, something to be marvelled at but also to be feared more than just a little bit. The word ‘awesome’ as it is now popularly used, though, simply seems to mean ‘quite good.’ (I would refer you to a ghastly youtube thing called Little Kelly, but actually, no, stay away, for the love of God, stay away for the good of your sanity).

Words are used out of context more and more often, people simply thinking that others will know what they mean. No, we do not know what you mean because we are not you (except on a much larger metaphysical level, maybe, but that’s a discussion for another time and person). And it is my hypothesis that the reason we have such a confused world at the moment is because people are not clear about what they say to each other. Communication is incoherent; ergo, the world is incoherent.

So, think about the words you use. Yes, this may mean you use fewer of them. Probably that would make social media much less busy. What’s not to like?

Of course, if Loosers are in fact a collective of people who really are  communicating that they are looser than the average, then the above opinion is not relevant to this post. I still stand by it, though.

Lamagaia

lamagaiaI mentioned of late that new/contemporary music is teasingly unlikely to make its way into my collection in the near future, but fortunately I’ve been sent 3 promos of late and they’re all good, damn good.

Lamagaia do this kind of repetition thing unto epic proportions, and the two tracks on here are feasts of sonic content, destined to unfold further upon each listen. The opening ‘Aurora’ is easily the heaviest thing I’ve heard them do, but they then go and do one of their more mellow moments on what I assume will be side 2 if you buy the vinyl.

Although they don’t sound like them particularly, they remind me of Oneida before their improv inflections began to dominate, what with their incredibly disciplined yet loose repetition, repetition, repetition. This is excellent music; perfect for our interesting times.

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:

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?

 

Giöbia – Magnifier

giobiaAcid rock. Space rock. Stoner rock. Psych rock. All of those tags contain words which have more or less descriptive value when applied to music. It’s an imperfect system, but for all that I slag it off, I have yet to come up with a better one. Well, apart from giving a direct method to listen yourselves and thus make up your own mind.

Giöbia hail from Milano in Italy and are named after an ancient pagan festivity from Northern Italy in which a straw witch is burnt as an offering to the forces of nature – must have post-dated the arrival of patriarchy, then, unless the specifics have changed over the years regarding the sacrificial victim.

Musically, they can be summed up using the opening salvo of descriptions. They can also be compared to a collision between White Hills and Dead Meadow, with a hint of Electric Moon – though I may just be saying the latter because their albums come out via Sulatron Records. They themselves also quote an influence from 70s Italian progressive, not an area I’m familiar with so I shall take their word for it.

No further words, m’lud.