The Comet is Coming – Death to the Planet

cometThese are clearly very well known by the standards of who I usually blog about, but I don’t care. I don’t have a prejudice against well-known bands, it’s just that they so rarely do anything which actually interests me, let alone blows me away. This, lady and gentleman, blew me away.

It probably says at least a few words about me in that I had genuinely never heard of them before. I actually discovered them via my hopping from bandcamp fan’s music taste to bandcamp fan’s music taste and clicking on albums where I liked the name of the band/album or the cover or both/all three. This trail started after I’ve been on something of a deep house kick, which I’ll blog a release or two about presently (expectations be damned! it’s the only thing they’re good for).

It starts off not unlike a slighlty jazzier Our Solar System with added cosmic synths. They subsequently head into more of an acid-house territory, though, squelchy basslines and woozy synths a go-go, an increasingly Nortec-with-crazier-saxophones kind of feel. If it isn’t reminiscent of the soundtrack to late night Tijuana, then I’ve never been to Tijuana (sidebar: I’ve never been to Tijuana), though I suppose it could be any large settlement in the tropics (sidebar: I’ve never been to the tropics). I am always really disappointed when it ends.

Their first album is very nearly as good. It was also nominated for some well known (in the UK) prize or other, which might go some way to explaining why music this good actually seems to have an audience. The times they might be a-darkening, but where there’s music this good around, there is always hope.

Maurice Louca – Benhayyi Al​-​Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot)

mauricelouca.jpgWhilst I’m in the midst of not really listening to albums an’ ting, I do nevertheless still check the blog feeder, and every now and again Bandcamp do a post where they collect a bunch of albums together with a theme. They did this one dedicated to Nawa Recordings (who released that Alif album that I’m sure you all went and got) and from that I heard this.

This is a very groovy yet dense sonic maelstrom. It features a myriad of influences that I couldn’t begin to list, and also does the middle east/western rock fusion thing in a way that doesn’t feel forced.

Also, I love the title. Are you saluting the parrot?

Mystical Steppa – Dub Vibrations

dubvibsIt’s been too long since I put some dub on here (sheesh, nearly a year) 😮

So I’ve got the week off work, which means my kiddies are staying with me, which means I have to be more within the real world than when they’re not staying with me. Their preferred methods of entertainment are, sadly, youtube gamer related, but when they turn these things off and play with actual toys,  I choose to fill the interludes with educational sound seeds. Hopefully they’ll seep in to their unconcscious minds and spring forth in later life.

Dub is one such seed. Your mileage may vary, and my children’s certainly does, but a groove is a groove, and these are some fine grooves. Like all dub, there is a high emphasis on consciousness – you’ll find it in the spaces. And like all dub, there isn’t a lot of description that I can give that wouldn’t be better experienced by actually listening to the thing.

Pontiak – Dialectic of Ignorance

pontiakI’m a bit late to the party on this one if you want finger-on-the-pulse stuff, but then you don’t come here for that anyway. It’s not why I’m here.

This is my favourite ever Pontiak album, and is currently my favourite release this year. I never thought they’d top Sun on Sun from back whenever it was, but they have done in some style.

What I really like about it is how there’s nothing particularly ‘look-at-me’ about it. The music simply does what it does, which is exactly what music should be allowed to do. The brothers have allowed this music to express itself, the very wisest thing they could have done.

My favourite track is all of them. The grooves are fantastic, the atmosphere incredible, the sogwriting impeccable, and the harmonies reminiscent of Neil Young & Crazy Horse at their most ecstatic.

I don’t think I shall be tiring of this album any time soon.

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.

Rusalnaia – Time Takes Away

rusalnaiaSo 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.