Karamika (self titled)

There’s about 10 shows I listen to regularly that make my wishlist increase every time, and so much enjoyment am I having going through their old shows that I haven’t actually listened to the full albums in question yet…

So I did this one, and despite it being at the more expensive end of the digital albums available, I’m still seriously considering bumping this to the head of the queue. It ticks all those buttons that make music conducive to catatonia, I mean, it’s trancey as all fuck.

This is one of those albums where you actually can just refer to each track by its number. I mean, the whole thing works as a cohesive whole, but say you wanted to highlight, say, track 5, you don’t have to worry about remembering the title.

There may be a whole academic treatise available to someone in this observation – back when I bought vinyl, I used to know the name of every song on every album I bought, same with tapes. Once I moved into CDs, that became slightly less perfect. Now I’m digital only, I struggle to remember song names at all until I’ve heard them about 20 times unless the name jumps out, and that’s just the albums in English. Quantity may have something to do with it, but there’s something else at play as well. I remember reading some while back the suggestion that human memory started to atrophy with the advent of writing because before we could write things down somewhere we needed to have epic memories in order to remember things. As the amount of storage for memory has increased over the years, with books and then TV/Film, and then digital with all dem server farms, so we don’t need to remember anything any more, we can all just look it up. And then forget what we just looked up. Did someone say progress?

Anyway, ignore my ramblings and listen to the music.

October and the Eyes – Dogs and Gods

I actually discovered this album because Aldous RH on NTS played a song by her called ‘Tit Pic’ which is just fantastic and so I went looking for it. I can only find it on Spotify. Boo. I want to buy the thing. Someone tell me where I can buy the thing.

This is a very good second prize, though. It sounds to me like it’s a one-woman band, and also like she gives as much of a fuck about conventional production wisdom as I do. Example – dogmatic in ‘proper’ production land is the notion that you foreground the vocals and the drums, and if you can fit the rest of the music in, well, so much the better. After all, that’s how The Beatles did it and apparently all originality in rock music became impossible from that moment forth because they had Done It All. Ms October, on the other hand, wants you to hear her fucking guitars and basslines and stuff, and guess what? You can actually hear her singing as well, so it is possible to foreground everything. There’s a lesson there.

Obviously I know nothing else about her because I am lazy and don’t research, but I do like the music she makes. And I do hope Tit Pic is on an album/E.P. that is available to buy, I really do.

Cowboy Flying Saucer – Travel Lodge

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So as I work form home with now occasional trips into the main campus to get us ready for a bit of return, I’ve been going through my inbox’s many, many emails from Bandcamp telling me what people have bought who I follow. I click on those that catch my eye. And the hit rate has been surprisingly low, so much so that I’ve unfollowed a couple, and more may follow.

But then the last couple of days has suddenly given me some interesting stuff. This one is a bit like The Fall, with hints of Campag Velocet.

Vanishing Twin – Dream by Numbers EP

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There’s just so much music out there, and all of it makes sense to someone, even if only the creator (hello, me). Sometimes you just have to accept that you’ll never have time to grok it all and just give thanks for the nuggets you find that resonate with you. This one resonated with me.

I like their description of ‘dreamlike’ in their small paragraph that accompanies it. Neptune in Pisces and all that, and despite it being released three years ago is still just as accurate a description with the added bonus of the extended Capricorn season. (You’ll need to listen to the mammoth podcast linked if you want to know what that means, unless you already do).

I discovered this via Black Impulse, which I’d forgotten about and started to play catch up the other day. There’s an episode with guest presenters Robbie Judkins and Mia Kukathasan where the tracklisting is woefully incomplete. If anyone out there can tell me who tracks 1 and 3 are, I will be so grateful that I’ll, I don’t know, sing a song in celebration for you, or something. Those tunes are wondrous.

Related to how much great music there is, I had a thought a day or two ago about how great ideas so often get co-opted or (more usually) ignored, yet that is no reason not to keep having them. Indeed, there is no reason not to keep having them. I’ve found personally as I get older that the more I create, the more I create. That is deliberately tautological, but once you turn that tap on, it will keep flowing. So here’s my tip for 2020 – always keep your tap on. And obviously be good to each other but I know you’ll all do that, right?