Black Bombain and Peter Brötzmann

black-bombaim-and-peter-brotzmannBlack Bombain seem to me to be born collaborators. Their live jam from late last year was a seriously good piece of music, and if you haven’t heard their collaboration with Gnod, then you should know that Black Gnod’s Innerspace recording comes with the highest possible recommendation from Soundbergs Towers.

This time they’ve teamed up with free jazz maestro Peter Brötzmann, himself no stranger to the collaborative arts, resulting in a superlative work of one of my favourite sub-mashup-genres, saxophone psych. There should be more horns and brass atop these swirling guitar maelstroms generally, and I speak as a guitarist who never used to like brass at all. Brass is the one class of instrument I absolutely cannot play at all, which may be related; however, it adds a tonal element to the ‘psych-rock’ mix which complements it superbly. A whole field with relatively few visitors.

It fascinates me how music that quite obviously came together on the spot can nevertheless sound so coherent and, you know, purposive. Having done some improv over the years (all the best Itto tunes came into being that way) I have an idea; it’s like tuning into some music and being the vehicle of its expression rather than ‘separate’ beings somehow all being creative in the same way at the same time. Maybe we receive before we can transmit? On a very basic level, that is exactly true – you have to listen to your collaborators (receive) if you want to complement the overall sound (transmit). However, there were times when all of us suddenly changed direction at the same time without prompt – you can’t put those experiences into words, and neither can you take the idea of a flat universe seriously anymore.

The music comes with the guarantee that it is good, not that it will make you think mystical things, although that may happen if you are so inclined. You can score it from shhpuma or Lovers and Lollipops

Fantasy collaboration time: imagine Valerio Cosi collaborating with Oneida? (drools like Homer Simpson…)

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Sargent-Major Waffle

Or: here are some things that are not albums, or maybe they are.

athalcSo, we likes Hey Colossus, we do. And earlier this year they did something right out of the 90s, they released a single backed with 2 ‘remixes’ (strictly speaking, ‘versions.’) And what versions they are – the version of In Black and Gold is like a deconstructed drum’n’bass / free improv mashup, whilst the 11 minute re-take of Wired Brainless is pure repetition bliss, with added electronic noises (I can’t tell whether some of the added noises are vocals that have been very harshly treated).

Oh, and the actual single track isn’t half bad either. Go here and listen.

Rise of the Echo Drone seem to be largely doing Ep’s. Since I last mentioned them, another couple have hit the wires and they are definitely worth checking out. sotdThey seem to have camped in a field which touches on psych, shoegaze, dreampop, electronica, tribal rhythms, that 90s techno that included people like The Orb, and sensual vocals. Needless to say, I’m a bit hesitant of trying to reduce them to one sonic label. I also want to draw your attention to this track off one of the ep’s for two reasons – Milo used a shorter excerpt of the same Lennon speech on the second Patterns of Faith album (which I can’t currently link to because it’s no longer available anywhere), and secondly because seriously, listen to what he is saying. It is really very simple, a bit scary, and very liberating.

nunsValerio Cosi seems to have dug out many collaborations and older works for his Bandcamp. You won’t like everything unless you happen to like every single instance of recorded sound, anywhere, ever, or maybe I’m just narrow minded. My favourite is the split single he did with Fabio Orsi (their collaborative album is also worth your time). Sadly he has yet to put up Heavy Electronic Pacific Rock – maybe he is not at liberty to. One of the greatest albums ever made, that is, to this mind, but if you like that kind of mind-bending psychedelic-jazz  featuring saxophones with tribal rhythms – and who doesn’t? – then you’ll also want to check out Pulga Loves You.

iiiAlso, Rakta.  When I first typed this paragraph, I typed ‘They have also not yet done another album but have put out some songs.’ So I go to do the links, and the page for III – which was roughly two songs long when I bought it –  now describes what is either an album or a long EP. Ditto, Intencao had one track and now has two, and there’s Rakta em Transe as well. Odd marketing. However, the Rakta energy is still very much present, and they still tag their cavernous sounding tribal post-punk as ‘World Music.’ Love it.

 

zeissElectric Moon – two and a half hours of live psychedelic jams. Technically it’s an album, yes. You are no doubt different to me, but I am unlikely to listen to it all in one go, because two and a half hours, and that’s why I’m not treating it as an album. Anyway, I didn’t write this post to be argued with. Just go and listen to it. Whilst I’m on the subject of Electric Moon, bass player and graphic designer Komet Lulu put out this song, and this also comes with a hearty Soundbergs recommendation.

mnmlsAlso, when I did the Menimals post, I mentioned that there may be another album with the same title and opening track and yet be a different beast altogether? That there is. It is also very, very good, and I invite those of you who enjoyed the first of their self titled albums to go and listen to the second.

Little tidbit – I did my first ‘general chat‘ type of post on July 28th 2015, the second one not long after. This here third instalment is brought to you by July 29th 2016. This was not consciously intentional. I wonder if it’s a time of year thing?

Black Bombain – Live at Casazul

To give full credit, this is actually Black Bombain jamming with guitarist Isiah Mitchell, saxophonist Rodrigo Amado and Shela on synths one afternoon during the Milhões de Festa in 2014. bombain

This is recorded directly from the audience, but sounds really rather good for that. Much is made on the few sources I’ve been able to find regarding the abrupt nature of the piece finishing due to police unplugging a guitar, though I can’t say it seemed that abrupt to me as a digital punter.

This marries two of my very favourite things: long improvisational psych with horns. Seriously, more rock artists should embrace the horn, especially those working with looser structures. When done well, it is amongst the best sound combinations there are, at least to these ears. It’s fair to say, though, that the saxophone is an instrument I am becoming more and more fond of.

Also, if you are familiar with Black Bombain’s other marvellous collaboration, Black Gnod, then you’ll most definitely snarf this up (hat tip to Trippy Jam as the blog what did show me Black Gnod.)

 

Major Chat (and Lieutenant Gripe)

Actually, I’m going to start with the gripe.

I really want to buy this album. I mean, you’ve just listened to the excerpts right? So now you do too, obviously. The only options I have are vinyl (not possible; don’t have record player or supporting infrastructure) or Itunes only digital download (not possible; don’t have Itunes and don’t fucking want it). I did send a message to the person at Eremite records but he no replied in the two months or so since I did it. There’s loads of other digital shops, why not make it available to them too? Or even make a CD version, I’ll buy those at a pinch.

Grrrrr.

So any suggestions are welcome!

I discovered a new release from the awesome Electric Moon; it’s every bit as good as everything else they’ve done although this time it’s entirely instrumental.

I went to see the mighty GNOD at The Cookie in Leicester. Talk about an awesome immersion of sound! I didn’t recognise anything whatsoever, although there were familiar bits. I don’t know if they’ve reworked material for the ‘stripped down’ 4 piece rock band that they presented us with that night or whether this was entirely new material, and I don’t care. All I know is it was marvellous. So it got me playing them lots again – I’ve rediscovered Full Moon Ritual, and they also released a live CD just after Infinity Machines called Gestalt, which is well worth your listening experience. Also, bass player Marlene releases music as Negra Branca and the first track on this is just brilliant.

I can’t do an update without mentioning Hey Colossus, who have new stuff via split releases. There’s this split with the Hotel City Wrecking Traders and they’ve also done one with White Manna which I’ve not yet bought. And whilst searching for these links I found this, which soon I shall check. Also, they’re playing Leicester at the end of this month and I really want to go.

Updating on previous things I’d discovered and linked before deciding whether I liked, Valerio Cosi made a release that I thoroughly love. There’s a particular track that makes me think he’s got what Swans have been trying to get since their comeback, certainly in intensity. Not for the faint hearted.

And finally, I’ve listened to and loved Follakzoid‘s previous release. It’s just as good as III. I think I really need to check their first two releases now.

GNOD – Infinity Machines

Bit obvious, really. To be honest, I was secretly hoping it was going to be a bit of a letdown… no chance.

a3393023699_16It does take some listening, though. Even taking off the 38-minute bonus live recording that I got for pre-ordering, it will account for a large portion of your evening, assuming you want to listen to the whole thing in one go.

Interesting aside: I don’t have a vinyl player nor the means or practicalities for getting one. If I did, I would certainly consider buying the vinyl, and then I would probably be happier to play the album in chunks. Has anyone else found that whereas they used to happily play one side of a vinyl album, they now think that they have to play the full tracklisting when it’s on CD or MP3?

Back to the album: it is relentlessly ambitious, the sheer range of music contained therein is enormous; everything from Albert Ayler style free jazz to harsh noise, industrial beats, dubby breakdowns… oh, and the occasional blast of psych-rock too!

That 38-minute bonus track? It’s actually my favourite thing on there. It’s not the only piece on the album to make me think of my own personal favourite jazzy artist (Valerio Cosi, if you haven’t been paying attention) but remind me of him it does.

and any band who call one of their best, most epicest tracks ‘White Priveleged Wank‘ have to have your respect. They certainly have mine.

This album is so good it might even challenge the awesome Hey Colossus for best release of the year (I said ‘might…’).