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.

Cosmic Triggers – Homo Fractaliens

cosmictriggersSo whilst we’re in Russia, here are the Cosmic Triggers.

This is not wholly unlike Sonora, but a more cosmic sort of space rock, with a kind of 90s feel to some of it. I hear Spiritualized style guitar work, G.O.L. style female vocals overlaying the repetitive, circular rhytms (‘we are all fractals of ourselves,’ she intones at one point, which is right up my alley, philosophically). I hear Thee Open Sex, a little bit of Goat, Verma, a slower Our Solar System, The Myrrors again… you know, I could go on. And I mean that in the best possible way, trying to illustrate that there is now so much brilliant music everywhere, and the fact that they all reference each other – probably without actually trying to do so – is part of a larger point that I may do as a macro-post at one point. These are truly wondrous times we live in.

Sonora – The Fire from Within

sonoraMethinks somebody has been reading their Carlos Castaneda.

Sonora are from Russia, which also plays home to Gnoomes, who my friend loves in an unhealthy way, and also the artist of the next post that will follow this one in some time frame or other, depending on how interrupted I get by the kids.

Musically, this is a very spacey, desert-rock sort of vibe. I’m mostly put in mind of a slightly crunchier The Myrrors without the flutes, or a mellower Dreamtime, with the circular and cyclical riffs that play such a large role. It’s instrumental, and that means it has to have something about it in my book. And it is a perfect accompaniment for a slightly bleary-eyed Saturday morning.

Giöbia – Magnifier

giobiaAcid rock. Space rock. Stoner rock. Psych rock. All of those tags contain words which have more or less descriptive value when applied to music. It’s an imperfect system, but for all that I slag it off, I have yet to come up with a better one. Well, apart from giving a direct method to listen yourselves and thus make up your own mind.

Giöbia hail from Milano in Italy and are named after an ancient pagan festivity from Northern Italy in which a straw witch is burnt as an offering to the forces of nature – must have post-dated the arrival of patriarchy, then, unless the specifics have changed over the years regarding the sacrificial victim.

Musically, they can be summed up using the opening salvo of descriptions. They can also be compared to a collision between White Hills and Dead Meadow, with a hint of Electric Moon – though I may just be saying the latter because their albums come out via Sulatron Records. They themselves also quote an influence from 70s Italian progressive, not an area I’m familiar with so I shall take their word for it.

No further words, m’lud.

A blow on my own trumpet

frontI 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.

The Myrrors

So I went to see The Myrrors last night at Duffy’s Bar, a very enjoyable night which reminded me I hadn’t flagged to the world that I love Arena Negra, their album from earlier this year. So this post is really to rectify that.arenanegra But anywho, whilst there I was talking to my long time friend in musical explorations about how I rarely dive into a bands back catalogue now, unlike when I was younger and tended to go full completist on everything (there are a couple of current exceptions – guess who? and well, obviously).

So when starting this post I decided to see what else they had.

On the strength of last nights wonderful music, I am therefore going to give all of these things a listen. Those of you unfamiliar with The Myrrors would do well to check out the embedded album below, for I love it very much. These are one of a few bands who are noticeably beginning to channel the wonderful Parson Sound (another being the awesome Les Sorciers du Theil), a band who history will soon regard as the true godfathers of psychedelic rock. I’m going to dedicate a post to Parson Sound soon, actually.

But they do very much their own thing. You can hear the desert in their music, so much space is there (I find the same thing with many of the desert blues acts of North Africa, particularly Tinariwen). There is also a hint of tribal rhythms, and I could easily imagine listening / jamming to this round an actual campfire, probably in the desert (the only desert I’ve seen or been to is the one in Australia; admittedly it’s not a small one, although technically it might actually be an ‘outback’). Don’t know what we’d use for electricity, though. Maybe we could plug into a salamander? I’ve heard those things have juice.

Circle / Pharoah Overlord

It’s because I love you so much that I’m going to tell you about Circle AND Pharoah Overlord.

I know it quite beggars the belief, but it seems that Circle are not known by absolutely everybody. To try and go reductionist on this mighty entity, they are from Finland, have been releasing albums since 1994, and have more album releases than I can hope to keep up with. To try and describe their style is beyond impossible as it has shifted so regularly over the years, but things they have generally kept in common are repetition, hypnotism and experimentalism in their avant-stoner-psych-prog rock. Having said that, they have done the odd full ambient thing, and the odd full on noise thing. I think if you tried to explain the concept of a boundary to them, they would look at you quite non-plussed. And then they’d probably laugh at you, in Finnish.

Not happy with doing all of the above on a very regular basis, they have several offshoots too. One of them is Pharoah Overlord, who have been putting out albums since around 2001. Much more instrumentally focussed and much more minimalistic in their approach (essentially the repetition of a riff for 10 minutes at a time), they ultimately take you to a similar place as their parent band.

This year, Circle have released ‘Pharoah Overlord’ and Pharoah Overlord have released ‘Circle.’ Some people find this confusing. Personally, I wonder why they didn’t do it sooner. Seems perfectly logical to me.

It is my pleasure and joy to have bought both these albums, although I was unable to find them through my digital outlets again and had to send off for the CDs (unlike when I did this with Thee Oh Sees, I haven’t since found their digital stockist of choice). Maybe those of you who do subscriptions for your digital music will have better luck but I don’t do that sort of thing. Or maybe you want the CD or vinyl anyway.

And you should want them. They are both mighty, they both do what both bands are so good at, they both sit completely in place in their respective bands catalogues without sounding like anything else within them. I probably slightly prefer the album by Pharoah Overlord because it reminds me of Circle circa the Rautatie era, but its early days on both albums and the mileage I generally get from their releases can last for years.

I think I might have given you a preview here but here’s another one: https://soundcloud.com/ektrorecords/circle-kavelen-luiden-paalla

I was reminded of this being out when I got the fantastic news that Hey Colossus have another new album out this year, and the tune they had on preview reminded me more than anything of ‘classic’ Circle. (yes that was a shameless excuse to plug Hey Colossus again. Check out this video of them playing ‘Hey, Dead Eyes, Up!‘)