Brainticket – Cottonwoolhill

cottonwoolhill

Sometimes, it’s time for the classics.

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Earthling Society – England have my Bones

zenbonesWell it isn’t often I post about the same band more than once in the same year , but this Earthling Society outfit are proving to be quite the find.

As is so often the case with music like this, words completely fail me. I’ve come to the conclusion that the easier something is to put into words, the less of an effect it has on you. But that may just be due to incipient stupidity on my part. What am I, a music critic?

As the blurb on the bandcamp page says, the centrepiece is definitely their take on the Alice Coltrane classic, but the accompanying material is also worth the price of admission on its own, which should tell you how highly I’m rating this. This is mighty, mighty music.

And it is also testament to those so many artists who keep plugging away and doing what they gotta do regardless of recognition. With no need to please a fanbase you have the space to grow truly. There’s loads of artists like this around who just keep getting better and better by simply remaining true to themselves, and the internet’s continuing decimation of the mainstream music industry* allows more and more of these to find some appreciative ears. Long may it continue.

*the mainstream music industry is now probably better decribed as the spectacle soundtrack industry. Music always seems to be of secondary concern to the visuals.

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.

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.