Matchess – Sacracorpa

sacracorpa

So God plugged the universe in. “Let there,” he began, “be sound.”
And he turned us on.

The splitting of a hair almost always renders it useless

Do the asymmetrical boogie

I’m not working for the man ever again
He makes me sick
Then blames me for breathing the air he polluted!
And as he counts his money that he’ll never spend
I ain’t working for the man ever again

The gravity of our shared destiny is what keeps us in orbit about each other

Mary had a little mammalian cell bioreactor

The children of the thousand eyes
Came back from subject island
They had asbestos hair
And nothing made them frightened

The chief of chalice is currently visually ill

A tone of my own

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Verma – Mul.apin

mulapinI’m really not quite sure of the correct formatting for the word that is this album’s title, although if the the Wikipedia entry telling me what its interesting meaning is is correct, then it should be in all caps, only I don’t like shouting.

Neither do Verma, obviously. This album is instrumental, which I think is quite unusual for them; most of their albums that I play often have quite a good vocals-instrumental ratio (which is now an official measurement thing). Maybe Whitney said most of what she’s got for us at the moment on her latest as Matchess.

Or maybe not. It seems to be the result of a session in 2013, which may or may not have been improvised – I remain cautious about that, because if it was improvised, why is there the sentence ‘written and performed by?’ On the other hand, why is there the tag of ‘improvised’ in the tags?  Not saying it has to be either/or – it can be both/and – but I do like clarity in the use of language.

So, the album came out last year but I could only find it on vinyl, so I forgot about it until I stumbled across it via some commercial digital provider or other. It’s worth the wait, because it’s Verma, and I like Verma. If you don’t yet know Verma, then have these verbal reductionisms, copied form the bandcamp page: experimental atmospheric experimental rock improvisedinstrumental krautrock progressive psychedelic rock soundtrackspace rock Chicago . complete with tag links. damn, I dislike when that happens.

I haven’t embedded because the aforementioned page doesn’t give you the full album, and acts primarily as a pathway to the vinyl. So have a video instead:

Matchess – The Rafter

Matchess-Cover-400x400Have I ever mentioned the marvellous music made by Whitney Johnson?

This is the 3rd album under the Matchess moniker. Funny thing about that – the first album, Seraphastra, was a very regular play in the Soundbergs cavern. When the follow-up, Somnaphoria, was released, I stopped playing Seraphastra, even though I wasn’t as initially keen on Somnaphoria. The last few months have seen me caning Somnaphoria, however, as its full majesty has unfurled around me. Wish I’d put it in last years top 10 now.

So, as I alluded in my recent chat post, all seems rather quiet at the moment so I took the opportunity during a recent quiet desk session to have a look around to see if favourite artists of mine had anything new for me*, and here was the latest Matchess album. And despite the regularity of Somnaphoria in my ears beforehand, I’ve stopped playing it now and am busy grokking The Rafter, as well as another Verma album that I shall tell you about in due course.

Her music doesn’t so much have beats but a pulse, even more so on this new work – although the opener Alite and the penultimate Awdo break with traditions by including some of yer actual drums. It doesn’t seem to have so much low end as her previous work, although I think the first albums weren’t as bass heavy as they seemed; it may have been a very clever way of framing the music. She also ventures into more abstract territory this time around. Some of it is flat out ambient.  There is a definite sense of evolution, although that may not be quite the right word (maybe there isn’t one), in regard to the first two albums. Though, as ever, I am loathe to stick a label on it, I quite like the term ‘ambient shamanism’ coined over at Decoder.

And as with all music I really like, words fail me. I’m currently staring into space with saliva dripping from the yawning chasm of my mouth, eyes unfocused, trying desperately to grapple  with the concept of thought, and I’m not even listening to the music. I just hope no-one rings up now with an e-book problem.

*It’s a side effect of not doing social media, so I rarely know before something happens that something is going to happen. This has both positive and negative aspects.

General blah

Although unstated, I realise that the majority of Britons and other humans have in fact been inhumanly worried by the fact I’ve barely posted a thing for a while. Fact is, I’m still mostly listening to the bands who I’ve already posted this year, especially where they have a back catalogue that I’m lapping up. So that would mainly be: Hey Colossus (and boy do they have a back catalogue worth exploring), Verma (ditto), Big Blood, Follakzoid and Malayeen. Also, an album from last year by Circle called Leviatan. They’ve just released an album called Pharoah Overlord, and their side project Pharoah Overlord have just released an album called Circle and I want to buy them both but am currently finding it hard to do so in the same way I struggled to get the new Thee Oh Sees album – none of my usual digital providers seem to have it. I’ll hondootedly post about it once I do manage to acquire it. I may have to buy the CD from somewhere when I find someone that isn’t charging vinyl prices.

Anywho, it would be rude to post without some noise so here’s something from said album.

See, I’m just not one of those people who demands something new all the time. The reason I tend to make most of my discoveries in the early part of a year is because that’s when I trawl through the previous years best ofs according to overinflated opinions. There’s no way I could do what someone like SpaceRockMountain does – I mean, when does he get time to listen to music he already likes?

That insanely long compilation I mentioned some time back is yielding fruit in the name of the Roz Bruce Infusion. I may buy the album although the two tunes on their soundcloud aren’t quite as good as the track on said compilation, which is one of my fave tunes of the moment. Fellow midlanders too – Are you reading, Roz? First, get yerself a Bandcamp, and then get a gig over in Leicester! (or wait until us mighty Sons of Itto have finished re-stirring and invite us over to a gig in Brum!)

Laters x

Matchess – Somnaphoria

At this rate, Whitney Johnson is going to get a restraining order on me.

So, I may have mentioned that I’m rather fond of her first album under this moniker. It was with no trepidation at all that I approached the second, just released Somnaphoria. (That link takes you to where the LP can be bought, but it’s easily available via most digital sites, unlike the new album by Thee Oh Sees which I’ve had to send off for a CD – bah!). It’s not wildly different from the first which means it’s just as good as the first. SO, if you like, say, Peaking Lights at their absolute 936ish best, you’ll most probably get this.

Verma

Or: more reasons to love the awesome Whitney Johnson.

Most of you familiar with the psych-rock/space-rock/stoner-rock/jam-rock/whatever-the-fuck-rock scene should be familiar with Verma. But then, I thought that about Electric Moon

There’s probably a whole philosophical system to be wrought out of the realisation that what seems to be obvious and self-evident to one person (i.e. me) is in fact obscure and recondite to the population at large. Having said that, I like the world I live in better than the one inhabited by the population at large, what with all that fear and facebook (what a combination!) and nothing being quite what it seems…

Verma have, amongst many other acts, exploded into my awareness this year due to the astonishingly consistent high levels of quality across their output.

From here you can see their entire discography. Unfortunately, the most recent album is only shown – there is no method of playing it, and the record label link is dead. I hate when that happens! So the video at the top is from this marvellous album. I recommend probably the entire discography – the first album is a bit patchy and not very well recorded, but from Coltan onwards it’s gold all the way, and some of the albums are free downloads to boot. Why are you still here?

Favourite releases of 2014

I present these in no real order (except for the obvious number 1) because how can you compare a Pink Lady apple with a Granny Cox’s one? Some days one hits the spot better, other days the other does.

Obvious number 1: Big Blood – Unlikely Mothers

I love this album so much it turns me into an idiot.

Stara Rzeka – Cień chmury nad ukrytym polem

This discovery justifies all the trawling through Tiny Mix Tapes that I occasionally subject myself to. You want to know why I rarely get into excessive descriptions of the music I post? Tiny Mix Tapes. Also, this music is almost impossible to describe. Parts of it are like James Blackshaw jamming with Ben Chasny, other bits are Death Metal, still others ambient, and finishing up with what sounds like an elegy.

Thee Oh Sees – Drop

This band can do no wrong. Their consistency is astonishing. ‘Garage’ rock at its best.

Narcosatanicos – Narcosatanicos

I’ve already posted about these…

Villagers Of Ioannina City – Riza

and these…

Horseback – Piedmont Apocrypha

Horseback is one dude (Jenks Miller) for those of you not in the know, though some of his recordings feature a backing band. Piedmont Apocrypha is one of my favourite HB releases, combining elements of his rock, drone and noise tendencies to excellent effect.

Midday Veil – The Current

Definitely at the more accessible end of what I listen to, the best song is ‘Without and Within,’ which is very meditative. They are thought of as a psych outfit, but the band they remind me of most is actually Fleetwood Mac! But without the sexual tension, obviously… I cannot give you a valid ‘objective’ reason for that except to report that it is so.

Goat – Commune

Not that these need my help getting any recognition. I will say as a caveat though that a little nagging voice keeps going on when I listen, and it keeps saying ‘passion or pastiche?’ Maybe that sort of thing isn’t as important as I think it is. It’s her vocals that raise these up for me. She’s nearly as raw and true-angelic as Colleen Kinsella, although not quite as fully developed.

Earth – Primitive and Deadly

If you know Earth already, this needs no intro. If you don’t, they’re the original inspiration for sunn 0))) although they moved to a more meditative style some years back. This album sees them cranking it back up again but staying with the compositional style of the last few years, and it works very well, even being able to cope with guest vocalists! (I rarely like albums which have to rely on guest vocalists, although there are exceptions).

The Pack A.D. – Do Not Engage

I will probably do a separate post about these to document how mad my discovery of them was. Stylistically, they’re a 2-woman stadium rock outfit, though they prefer the term ‘garage rock.’. Where are you going? They’re actually really good, particularly the tune ‘Creepin Jenny.’

https://www.youtube.com/user/ThePackad

Verma – Sunrunner

Not only amongst the best of the year, but also they get an award for leaving it til the last minute, though that is not their fault, I only just discovered it in the last week of the year! Features the uber talented Whitney Johnson as part of their line-up, kind of heavyish jam band not afraid to stick a bit of structure in where it can do the most good.

http://www.troubleinmindrecs.com/bands/verma.html

The Wharves – At Bay

Also get an award for late entry onto the list, having discovered these in the holiday between christmas and new year… think Sleater Kinney with some outrageous vocal harmonies. Their energy is awesome.

Prince Rupert’s Drops – Climbing Light

there are a couple of clunkers on this album, but also some songs that make me jealous. This band have a way with the guitar lick, they really do.

And on that note, I should point out that there’s a shedload of stuff I haven’t listened to (such as most of the stuff listed here, some of which may be in a post roughly this time next year detailing stuff I discovered in 2015 from years other than) because you can’t listen to everything. There’s a tremendous freedom in resolutely ignoring all TV/radio and almost all music media and just going by peoples recommendations and your own sense of ‘that’s a cool/interesting/intriguing name/title’ and subsequently building up a completely unclassifiable taste in music. Also, the best music is always underground, and you only find that by going outside, getting your hands dirty and digging with your own spade… you dig?