Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bland Bladen- Vederkvegelse (Kommun2)

Bland Bladen were an all instrumental psychedelic space rock band from Malmö that existed from about 2002 until 2010. The four piece band were an integral part of the Øresund Space Collective and all of the members except the drummer still perform on and off with ØSC. This limited LP features fantastic artwork and a nice insert with a long history about the band and other info related to this LP. Anyway, the side A is the last two songs the band recorded in the studio not too long before they officially split up. It was recorded mostly live plus a few overdubs here and there. The opening track, Daggväta, starts off quite fast with a great guitar solo by Sebastian as the band kicks into full blast psychedelic space rock mode with a nice groovy bass line. Ola later comes in with the Fender Rhodes that was so characteristic of their sound on the first record. Fantastic solos by both Sebastian and Ola on this track. Haskaren is next and brings the intensity down a little bit but the groovy is really cool with Luz, a Brazilian friend joining in on some congas and additional percussion. Lovely guitar and keyboard melodies on this track. The side B is actually tracks taken from the Malmö local jam project that was headed by the amazing visual artist called Insezt, who also did the album artwork. This was a project he organized that often included some of the guys from BB plus other local guests. These tracks are shorter and more chilled but also very cool. It starts off with Visa för Allmännyttan. The drumming is more laid back and Ola really takes the lead with some nice Fender Rhodes playing and not that much synths on this track until the end which is really cool and nice layers of stuff are going on as the track really gains intensity and the synth sound really goes into your head as it is mixed really loud. Sine-us is a short track and the bass line and piano make me feel like Jim Morrison will jump out and sing soon until the guitar kicks in… The last track is called Beyond the Deepest Deep. I really like this slow spacey track with some cool wah guitar and lots of spacey synths. Great way to end the record. This is most likely the last stuff ever by this cool band, so for sure get this one! 500 copies on three different colours of vinyl and no digital version…

Janne Westerlund- Marshland (Krypt-071/Ektro 118)

Janne Westerlund is the guitar player in Circle, Plain Ride and Pharaoh Overlord from Finland. This is his second solo album and like the first it is pretty much stripped bare with just Janne, his guitar, dulcimer or banjo and the occasional bits of percussion.  The CD features 10 tracks of emotional music. It takes a strong Jesus to carry me Home starts things off in a fairly dark mood. Stranger’s Row is a banjo song that is written for all those people who are down and out on the streets. Powerful melody and lyrics. Wow. Treetops is a strummed acoustic track with layered vocals, a simple drum beat to go with the flowing vocals. Tar is another banjo song for the hobo.. I have found these songs to be amazingly powerful tracks.  Long tall Grass is very passionately sung with very simple instrumentation. I’m Wrong is a more happy song. See Thru is a truly incredible song with great lyrics and deep, dark emotion in these few notes.. This track I have played over and over again. Wow.. Listening Rain returns us to the banjo. The title track, Marshland has the most complex instrumentation of any track with a cool effect added on the vocal to compliment the organ, guitar and simple percussion as well as horn. It is also the longest track at over 8 mins. Love is the Point ends this CD. Simple, emotional music that really speaks to me. I loved this record. Brilliant. The video below is a track from his first album but it will give you an idea of the flavor of this record as well. 

Killer Boogie- Detroit (Heavy Psych Sounds)

This is a new Italian three piece band that stoner, 70’s rock, more than Boogie but have delivered a really solid 9 track LP on the Heavy Psych Sounds label. Bad Rebel kicks thing into high gear with a more garage rocker before heading into Riding the Wind, which is a mid-paced track with some cool spacey sounds like mixed in on Brain Pyramid and Black Rainbows also on this label. The band has at least one cool guitar solo in each track. My Queen gets a good groove going. Little Flower is a more hard rock groover that can really suck you in. Silver Universe was a great laid back spacey track that leads into the UEMG inspired Cosmic Eye, which is one of the longest tracks and has a slow spaced out movement in the middle before building up again with a really cool effected guitar sound. Summertime, is a happy track to shake your ass to. The vocal is mixed a bit further back on this one for some reason. A happy track! The Golden Age reminds me a lot of Nebula and Fu Manchu.. Dynamite ends this pretty uptempo with a classic stoner rock tradition… This was a really cool and enjoyable album and if you are fans of Radio Moscow, Brain Pyramid, Black Rainbows, UEMG, etc.. you probably get into this bands groove and rock and roll, straight up, no surprises, done with class and style.. 

Easy Chair- Easy Chair EP (World In Sound WIS-1046)

Easy Chair was a four piece band from Seattle Washington. Phil Kirby- Guitar, Vocals, jeff Simmons- Bass, Lead vocals, piano, Peter Larsen- Guitar (lead vocals on My Own life), and Albert Malosky- Drums.  These tracks were recorded in 1968 and released on a very rare one sided album. This is the first official reissue ever. The first is called Slender Woman and is mostly instrumental with a slow beginning with a lot of different changes some focus on the guitar, the bass, the piano but eventually a cool stoney blues feeling develops in the track. It has a bit of a Jefferson Airplane feeling also. Jeff was for sure a fan of Marty Balin. My own Life is next and a more uptempo track but still a bit jammed out with a nice wah guitar section. Easy Chair ends this single album side. It starts with some piano and has some nice harmony vocals. Quite a stoney sound… I really did enjoy this a lot but it is not mind blowing stuff. I could image they were a really cool live band though, if you ever got to see them. If you like West Coast stuff, early MAN, check it out…

Ff- Feeling (Thrill Jockey)

Ff is a new project featuring Dave from White Hills and Antrony also known as Tony the Interpretive Dancer). Antronhy has played drums for numerous bands including Bivouac, Punish the Atom, Julian Cope but you won’t hear many on this release as it is mostly strange samples, synths and some vocals. There are several editions of this record and I managed to the mail order on in only 50 copies in a white sleeve and a brown vinyl with streaks. It also comes with a sheet of blotter with two different coloured hands on it.. Would be cool if had acid on it but seems unlikely but you don’t know if you don’t try it! Anyway, the record features 10 tracks, 5 on each side of strange soundscapes lasting about 30mins, that a bit of LSD would for sure enhance your ability to appreciate this quite abstract music. Fans of the White Hills Oddity series will for sure dig this…… Far out stuff..

Cranium Pie- Mechanisms Part 2 (Fruits der Mer Records)

The UK based band, Cranium Pie are back with a new double vinyl record on the amazing Fruits der Mer label. This time around the band cranks out 4 album side long tracks, none with song titles. The track glides along with a nice spacey Fender Rhodes piano that you follow along the drum machine and a disturbing guitar that pops in at specific intervals and then about 3½ mins the whole things turns violet as the vocals return and you go back to the main theme. This fades out and a new section returns with a distorted organ like on Brainticket as a new track beginnings. The organ and keyboard remain the main focus for some time. The third movement or track on side A has a repeated synth loop and more programmed like drums and lots of weirdness until the guitar and voice kicks in. Now we are at 14 mins and there has been very little guitar before this point but now he wants to play a bit! Track 2 is once again a collage of 3-4 different tracks-ideas that have a different pull. This one is a bit more jazzy and has more guitar as well but also a lot of far our movements and pieces. The organ dominates at the end as the spoken word samples returns. Track 3 starts off with a really funky guitar and groove but sadly it fades away into strangeness all too fast as you feel as if something terrible is going to happen next……….. disco?..No… just some samples, circus music and then…. Anyway, this record has surprises around every corner and is a very cool and interesting listen. I enjoyed it a lot the three times I have heard it now… If you dig the first Brainticket and Polytoxicmane Philharmonie, and Soft Machine all mixed together you will dig this.

Mos Generator/Issak split LP (Heavy Psych Sound Records)

This is the first new material from Mos Generator this year but I am sure not the last. The three songs here are quite different for the band and they were all recorded back in 2008 for an aborted album. Tony plays some keyboards on the opening track, which he says was inspired by the movie Altered States. Time and Other Theives Tony says was inspired by VoiVod and has had a number of versions layers added at different times but he has stripped a lot of that back for this final version of a song he is happy is out to the people now. Outlander has hardly any guitars but is a beautiful spacey track lead mainly by the keyboards, simple bass and drum groove. Very cool floating vocals.. This material is unlike anything you have heard released under the name Mos Generator but cool tracks, so who cares? The Issak track is only long 15min track with a lot of different moods. It starts off slow and a bit spacey with some long spoken word speeches by the crazy preacher, Jim Jones. Far out stuff but it sets a cool vibe for when the stoner rock riffs kick in and it gets heavy. I quite liked this track and they return to the same theme at the end where the song started. A pretty cool 30min record… The record has really nice details about all the songs by both bands.

Sun and the Wolf- Salutations (World in Sound WIS-3024)

This is a new band for me but they have a catchy groove and remind me of Spirtualized or early 90s Sundial without the great guitar playing. They are a quartet originally from New Zealand but moved to Berlin to make their mark on the music world. The band has previously released one record, called White Buffalo. I really dig the opening track, 87 years, such a cool groove and sound. Settle Down has a more dark vibe and is one of the longer tracks at nearly 5mins and has some drone synths and some conga in the mid-end groove section and some guitar but not that interesting compared to the rest of the sound. Great track. ! All we Need features a real 60s fuzz guitar and vibe but still have floating feeling. Ghetto Drum is a slightly slower piece with these slightly more spacey vocals and guitars. Waves  in front of Me has a some cool layers of fuzz and wah guitar as a heavy deep bass line pushes the track as the vocals put you in this ethereal world. Into this Mess starts off like a jam with a lazy bluesy, psychedelic guitar as the groove gets more catchy and melodic vocal develops to follow the guitar or the other way around and then they have a bit of a jam and space out but the guitar player only teases and never really just kicks ass and plays a massive solo.. only toying with us, sadly… This is probably my favourite track with the opening one but still under 5mins. The Fisherman starts with a loop and then the drums and bass kick in and then the vocals and happy vibe. Why are we not Fading is one of the more hard rocking tracks on the CD. Never Sorry finished off the CD and is another of the more melodic dreamy tracks. A lot of this CD I liked a lot and some of it was bit too mainstream dreamy pop rock stuff but fans of Tame Impala, Spiritualized, and the 90s UK psych-pop scene should check these guys out. They write a lot of good songs.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Freak Valley Festival 2014 DVD (Rock Freaks- Heavy Media)

This double DVD just came out to document the very cool festival called Freak Valley that celebrates modern 70s inspired, psychedelic and stoner rock… This is a double DVD and a very cool documentary on the festival. Anyone that was there will recall great memories of the place, the people and bands as they walk around and film all over and talk to a number of fans (mostly in German with no subtitles but some people from other countries as well). The video footage has in general been quite well edited and not just set on change camera every 5 seconds so when there is a longer guitar solo, you might be a lot of it filmed and not focusing on the drummer or something.. They paid attention.. I thought all the bands would be represented but there are a number that did not make the DVD such as Samsara Blues Experiment and Sir Admiral Cloudsley Shovell. I was happy to see a number of bands from the first day that I missed like Lone Crows, The Midnight Ghost Train, Ivy garden of the Desert and Radio Moscow… Most bands have one complete song but a few are missing a complete track like the Elder track is cut short and Øresund Space Collective (our jam was like 20mins..) Nice to see the headline bands agreeing like Blues Pills and radio Moscow, although Kadavar is missing. Anyway, this is an awesome DVD and highly recommended.. The Documentary has English subtitles which is great..  Fantastic work guys and gals…

Sendelica- Anima Mundi (FRG Records)

Sendelica, the Welsh psychedelic space rock band, will have a new record out in early 2015 called Anima Mundi. It will be released on in many formats including, vinyl (diff colours), CD, DVD and some sort of box set. The record features 8 tracks and starts off with Craeft Worker. It starts off with some electronics and synths before reverb guitar and rest of the instruments kick in. the programmed drums gives it this strange artificial sound as the music floats and glides. Quite a long psychedelic floating piece. I love the horn solo. Master Benjamin is a more uptempo track that reminds me a lot of GONG when they are energetic. Some really cool guitar, sax and just high energy space rock… Great long song. The Pillar of Dehli is very spacey and I half expected Daevid Allen to start to sing a duet with David Gilmour.. That is the vibe.. Azoic is a slow building floating track that leads into the more rocking Baabek Stones which starts off with a really cool wah guitar solo over what sounds like programed drums and bass. A bit later the saxophone with a long delay comes in to take the track in a different direction as the programed stuff ends briefly.  The Breyr is another long track and has a pretty heavy guitar and pretty much stays as a long guitar improv over the other instruments. Some beautiful synths at the end of the track. Searohwit is a dream piece and totally synth based and features some piano as well.  The Hedge Witch ends the record in a mellow way also and is mostly synth based. I was surprised that the record was so electronic based but there is still some really great stuff here with lots of different moods for everyone that likes spacey music.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top Records of 2014

3rd ear Experience- Incredible Good Fortune (Space Rock Productions)

3rd Ear is an amazing band from the desert in California playing very heart felt and intense Space Rock music. This record really blew me away when I got it at the Burg Herzberg from Andi, courtesy of the band. A very special ritual was performed with a red carpet as well and this really touched me but this is about the music and the 4 amazing pieces that make up this CD and double vinyl release. Fans of ØSC, Hidria Spacefolk, Mantric Muse, Ozric tentacles, etc.. will dig this band..
2.    Black Moon Circle- Andromeda (Crispin’ Glover Records)

         This record is just amazing and these songs have really captivated me. BMC have a unique sound that is really special to them. The way the songs work, the special vocals with amazingly cool lyrics and those guitar riffs and solos combed with killer bass and drums for long excursions. You just have to hear it…. If you like the old band Gas Giant and really jammed out psychedelic stoner space rock, this is the band…

After this there are a just a lot of great records and I can’t really order them after these.. all great..

3.    Ethiva- Ethiva (Clostridium records)  Fantastic Pink Floyd inspired Spanish band.
4.    Marblewood- Marblewood  Two members from Ginger (Switzerland) and an amazing really jammed out classic rock band..
5.    Papir- IIII (El Paraiso records)  What can I say….. Their instrumental prowess is awesome and I just get hooked and addicted…
6.    Organic is Orgasmic- As we Speak of Space and Wisdom…. Amazing spacey instrumental music by Kallie from the Grand Astoria..
7.    Agusa- Agusa (Kommun2)   Swedish folk melodies blended into 1972 Canterbury scene..
8.    Bong- Stoner Rock (Ritual Productions) when you just need to drone out to stoned oblivion….
9.    Fuzz Manta- Stonewolf (Bilocation records)  The best album from Denmark in 2014. No more needs to be said.
10. Wo Fat- The Conjuring (Small Stone Records)…. Wow… this band just kills it once again with amazing band interplay and killer guitar….
11. The Gravitors- Motherload ….. a band I think are overlooked when I look on the internet. Fucking killer record….
12. Seun Kuti and Egypt 80- A long way to the Beginning (Afrobeat, very political)
13. The Spacious Mind- Greasy Green and the Stoney Lonesomes (Kommun2)
14. Mos Generator- Electric Nomads (more raw, jammy and awesome songs)
15. John Garcia- John Garcia
16. Siena Root- Pioneers (a move into Deep Purple territory)
17. Brant Bjork- Black Power Flower
18. Causa Sui- Pewt’r Sessions III (El Paraiso Records)
19. Øresund Space Collective- Music for Pogonologists (Space Rock Productions)
20. Pink Floyd- The Endless River