Making sense is overrated. Even trying to be vaguely understood is restrictive.
So seeing as I surfaced from my
bedroom studio to take in the new Big Blood album, I had a scan round some other crannies of the real world. This one grabbed me, gently mind, but the last song also grabbed my soon to be 7-year old daughter so much that she demanded I play it again and again.
This is folk rock in the early 70s style with a psych-tinged witchiness to it, a lazy description but I don’t like descriptions because they tax my feeble mind. The nearest reference point I have to this is Espers, but with a more lullabilic (neologism alert!) feel, particularly the aforementioned last tune. Also Horse Cult.
The album was recorded over the span of some years and is made by two witch sisters who live in different countries.
It’s just possible that when I’ve said that what I really like is psychedelic music, I may have meant what I really like is music that puts you in a trance. Trance music. But not as it is popularly understood. See, this is the problem with labels…
This is proper trance music, as in, music that puts you in a trance. I’ve been here before with people like Alif and Malayeen, and I also like to think of Hamza El Din in these contexts. This is a much more lo-fi take, as it sounds like it was recorded in one take in someone’s living room, fluffed and flat notes included. But I love it. I hope they do more music, and that I may get a chance to hear that too.
City of Djinn (link is to F***book page, sorry) is two geezers, Marwan Kamel and Micah Bezold, who frequently sound like more. They use a variety of instruments, possibly not at all the same time but then I’ve not seen it, merely heard it. It is a very spacious sound they make; very meditative. But these are not short pieces, so do set aside a bit of time in order to grok this fully.
This was probably my favourite album of 2008. Probably. I don’t honestly have an exhaustive list of albums released in 2008, and I’m not sure I’ve got round to listening to all of them yet anyway.
This is lo-fi shit-kickin back porch electrified alt-country gospel blues at its rawest and finest. They do versions of standards like John the Revelator and The Cuckoo, but they also write some cracking tunes of their own too, such as Devil’s Eyes and The Color of Bone.
Because there doesn’t seem to be a page where you can listen to the whole album, I’m going to find you some YouTubes. Unlike the other day, I doubt I can find the whole album…
Jeff Zentner did an acoustic version of this on this album
John the Revelator:
Live version of The Cuckoo:
Live version of When the Temptor Calls:
I think you can listen to all the album at Last FM, but I think you may also need a spotify account which is a new restriction and yet another reason to pay it less attention, as I no have that account and nor am I likely to get one. Also, I’m on an enquiry desk again so I can’t actually test it.
Creech Holler don’t seem to have released anything further since this album, their preceding work With Signs Following, was very nearly as good. Jeff Zentner’s solo stuff is much more mellow, being predominantly acoustic.
I think I may have mentioned once or twice that I’ve been working on my own thang again. Well, this be that thang. The final details took longer to clear up than I was anticipating, but I’ve now put it up on Bandcamp and look forward to the next 18 months or so of not listening to it at all (it takes about that long for me to revisit earlier stuff due to the intensity with which it surrounds me as I prepare it for birth). I shall update the website when I’ve got the CDr side sorted for anyone who likes home made CDrs.
I was actually going to tell you about this as part of one of my chats, rather than giving it a full post, but yesterday I was contacted by the British Library about adding my catalogue to their collection. That made me figure that maybe the self-deprecation that always accompanies me putting music out really should stop now. After all, I wouldn’t put it out if I didn’t think it was worthy of being out there. These children are fully grown and can speak for themselves.
Whilst I’m blowing my own trumpet, I may as well mention my other blog that I started back in Feb which was also going to be muttered at the bottom of a chat post the next time I did a chat post. It’s where I show the world my doodles. The only words on the blog are the ones on the doodles, though there can be alot of those. If you like the sound of that sort of thing, then Seeds of Syntropy may just be up your alley.
So I listed this in my best of 2015 already, but they really do deserve a post of their own. I don’t think I’d initially planned to include them in said list but played the album the night before I wrote it, and the rest is what happened afterwards.
The album is sung entirely in Croatian, because they are from Croatia. I don’t speak or understand a word of Croatian, but that doesn’t matter. Over the last few years I’ve begun to be more dissatisfied with bands output when it isn’t in their native tongue, because it somehow feels a bit forced. There are exceptions, obviously, but I don’t think it matters if I can’t understand the words. Music has its own meaning, and words sung naturally will always complement that.
Stylistically, we’re looking at sunny psych-pop, properly blissed out and sun-kissed and everything that implies. There’s a similarity to Brazilian Tropicalia, particularly Os Mutantes, although I may say that because they’re the artists I’m most familiar with from that ‘genre’. They have it down as lo-fi but that may be a function of the fact they recorded it themselves, which has been a lot easier since the digital revolution, since it doesn’t sound all that lo-fi to me. Maybe a ‘sound professional’ would find it so, but I’ve personally become a lot less bothered by such audiophile concerns over the last ten years, ironically since finishing a course in music technology…