Sungod

It is one of the ironies of doing this blog that nearly every post is written whilst at work, usually in an environment when I can’t listen to the music that my researches throw up alongside my subject of the day (in other words, on the service desk in a library in between enquiries). sg

So I (re)discovered Sungod as a result of trawling the 2015 year end lists, I can’t remember which – I don’t think they had a place on said list, more that they were referenced. The album that I checked out was Contackt from 2013, and I am here to tell you that it fair blew my mind much more effectively than the howling winds that have been such a feature of the UK’s weather these last few months. My particular favourite track is ‘Smell of Physiqal’ which marries monstrous riffing a la Sleep with late 90s Goa style trance-techno, and definitely ranks as my discovery of the year so far. In fact, that description could be profitably used for much of the album, inasmuch as words have any value at all when describing music.

Turns out that buried somewhere on my hard drive was Cuts from the Ether which someone must have copied for me some time back. Turns out that’s nearly as good.

May I also commend to you Vision Space which features extra free jazz into the mix, as they cover a composition of Sun Ra, and which is also a very pleasurable listening experience? I can? Good.

So going back to my opening paragraph, I learn that Sungod now release music via Holodeck records, the home of a previous subject of mine, the marvellous Thousand Foot Whale Claw. So this makes the dipping into of their catalogue a task which I now add to the many other sonic tasks ahead of me, most of which I’m trying to accomplish back at my desk whilst at work, because home life is almost exclusively One Dog Clapping now once the kids are in bed. I also find the now neglected but nonetheless containing of intriguing links which is Sungod’s blog so there be some other stuff that my instinct tells me I must check… fun times! As I mentioned before, this is a brilliant problem to have. Would I rather there was a dearth of good music just so I could keep on top of it?

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Minami Deutsch

I am going to do a best of 2015 round up, for what it’s worth, although my trawling through other people’s round ups is giving me a feast of new stuff to try, which is coinciding with me getting back into recording new stuff so I consequently have less time to check stuff out… in many ways, this is a great problem to have.

md

So anyway, Minami Deutsch. They first came to my attention via the venerable bandcamp hunter, and have been sat in my wishlist for several months since then. Their appearance in at least 3 end of year lists reminded me to go listen again, and listen again I did, and buying the album I did too, subsequently.

If I say ‘krautrock’ then that will basically tell you everything you need to know. But as I despise the term ‘krautrock’ nearly as much as I despise the term ‘world music’ I’m instead going to say ‘repetition, repetition, repetition.’ You like Can? Harmonia? Follakzoid? You like these.

 

 

Oneida – Positions

So I mentioned a while back that Oneida walk amongst the Gods when it comes to music (at least in my universe, which I can categorically state is not flat), and they’ve gone and released another thing to confirm what I’ve said. This makes a nice change on artists who I go nuts over subsequently releasing something which is far less exciting. I shall not mention names cos that’s not what I do.

positionscoverApparently, two of these tunes are covers of tunes by This Heat, who rumour has it are some kind of legends. To my shame and eternal un-coolness, I have never investigated them.

The three tracks on this release are all pretty different. Opener ‘S.P.Q.R.’ reminds me in style of their classic album Rated O; ‘Under whose sword’ is a much more ambient affair, and closer ‘All data lost’ morphs from squall-tastic free jazz mayhem at the start (very similar to the afore-linked recent People of the North album) into out and out krautrock of the most legendary variety.

Whether this classes as an album or an EP is not for me to say; I’m beginning to think such distinctions are unimportant. A release is a release, and as long as the work is appropriate to the artists intention then its existence is justified.

(Their website is normally here, but not displaying today for some reason. I’ll leave this link though in the hope that the problem is temporary)

Seven That Spells

It was towards the end of last year I discovered these ‘dogs of the Western Jazz society, looking for dope,’ probably around the time I got into the Villagers of Ioannina City – not that I was consciously going after rock music from the balkans; sometimes this stuff just happens that way.

svnspWhat we are hearing is a kind of prog-psych fusion, at least to my ears. The meat of their music is repetitive, heavy and long, with doses of chanting vocals thrown in – there’s something very masculine about it all. What is more, they are single-handedly seeing to the death AND resurrection of krautrock, a decidedly dangerous task only to be even contemplated by the hardiest of musical shamen.

All their stuff is worth hearing, but my personal favourite – and hence the one I’m going to embed – is the collaboration they did with Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple, called The Men From Dystopia. Imagine what I’ve typed above but with added space noises and freakouts – now go away and clean yourself up, dirty boy.

This one really is not for the short of attention span, but if you’re familiar with AMT then I don’t suppose shortness of duration is part of the expectation, anyway.

Expect trance, firsthand.

People of the North – An Era of Manifestations

eraIf I’d have been doing this blog thing back in 2009/10, then pretty much every second or third post I’d have been looking to find an excuse to reference Oneida the way I have this year been finding any excuse to reference Hey Colossus. In the world of my music taste, Oneida are amongst the Gods, primarily for the masterful Rated O but also the incredible consistency they have demonstrated across their catalogue coupled with the fact they don’t take themselves too seriously. In fact, all the Gods in my musical world exhibit almost identical traits to those just described. It also helps when you can drop a tune that is as outrageous and awesome (and I mean that word in its true sense, i.e. wonderful and a bit scary) as Sheets of Easter.

Oneida have, technically, been a bit quiet over the last few years, but what they’ve really been doing is stuff other than Oneida. One of those things is People of the North, whose new album is some seriously top grade psychedelic medicine. Sonically we’re in the areas of their recent explorations, but this is much more free form as you would expect from improvised situations such as these, and very close in spirit to the free jazz musicians. This is much more than just some blokes walking up to their instruments, expressing themselves freely and then walking away again – this is some blokes walking up to their instruments, playing freely whilst also listening to what is happening around them and constructing a glorious sonic world in the process, yo.

I consider this album basically unclassifiable, but that may mean that I am ‘uneducated’ in this realm as much as anything else. I think the best albums always are a bit unclassifiable though. Part of the problem with using words to describe something that isn’t words, I suppose.

Words, eh? Can’t live with ’em…

Hey Colossus (again!)

rsh-sleeve Oh, the oh-so predictable fan boy is bound to post about his favourite band’s new album…

So anyway, the thing is out imminently. However, I went to see them play last week, which was a truly mighty and groovy experience even allowing for Tim Farthing blowing up his guitar amp and having to borrow one for the remainder of the set, and I thus scored myself the new CD. And new CD has been played daily since.

Their website also links to a stream of the new album, but I don’t know how long that’ll be up for.

Although it isn’t quite as good as In Black and Gold (what is? not a lot, that’s what), it do have some mighty fine music on here, it do. Album highlight (for me) is Hop the Railingswhich makes me think of Circle going post-punk. Also doing serious time in my head has been Numbed Out  and Another Head. It’s a generally more up-tempo record, and the increasingly cleaner production does foreground the interplay amongst the guitarists with a clarity that hasn’t been heard before, although at some cost to their heaviness (this can be compensated somewhat by playing the thing uber-loud). When they do slow things down, they’re reminding me of Earth’s recent stuff.

Let’s hope this small wave of incredible goodwill they’ve noticed becomes a large one, especially if it means they’ll make more music. However, there is no need to completely abandon absent mindedly clanging off more riffathons. Rigidity has its place (in corpses, and here may be the germ of a new macro-series), but it’s a tool, not a paradigm.

Les Sorciers du Theil

I can’t remember where I heard or read about these. Apparently they convene annually and improvise some music. Maybe they should convene more frequently.

They put me in mind of: Parson Sound, Master Musicians of Bukkake, a little bit Electric Moon, a twist of Selim Lemouchi, and the whispered vocals on the final track of Polyte Deshaies make me think of Current 93.

I really haven’t got anything to write! Marvellous music, though. I am listening to it often.