Friday, December 29, 2017

My Favorite Records of 2017

1.   Gin Lady- Electric Earth (Sweden)
2.   Gov’t Mule- Revolution come, Revolution Go (US)
3.   Geezer- Psychriffadelica LP (US)
4.   Captain Beyond- Lost and Found (US)
5.   Motorpsycho- The Tower (Norway)
6.   Ethiva- Sublime Island LP (Spain)
7.   Elder- Refections of a Floating World (US)
8.   KG Westman- Shonashish (Sweden)
9.   3rd Ear Experience- Stoned Gold (US)
10.    All them Witches- Sleeping through the War (US)
11.    Causa Sui- Live in Copenhagen 3LP (Denmark)
12.   Electric Moon- Stardust Rituals (Germany)
13.    Samsara Blues Experiment- One with the Universe (Germany)

14.  Siena Root- A Dream of Lasting Piece (Sweden)
15.  The Obsessed- Sacred 2LP (US)
16. Circle- Terminal (Finland)
17. Papir- V (Denmark)
18.   Sammal- Live at Roadburn (Finland)
19.  Colour Haze- In her garden (Germany)
20.   ØSC- Hallucinations inside the Oracle (Den/Swe)
21. Mirror Queen- Verdigris (US)
22.   Sasquatch- Maneuvers (US)
23.   Korai Tracemission 2017 (Hungary)
24.   Five Horse Johnson- Jake Leg Boogie (US)

25.    Black Moon Circle- Studio Jams Vol 3- Flowing into the 3rd Dimension (Norway)

I think I received or bought about 250 releases from 2017 and these are ones that I heard the most of dug for one reason or another..  I did not review them all but quite a few of them. The order is not that important. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Interview with Robbi Robb of 3rd Ear Experience

I am doing a series of interviews with people asking mostly the same questions as below. Hope you find this fun and interesting.  I really love Robbi's band and am so proud that Space Rock Productions has released three of their albums, including the new one Stoned Gold (comes with a very cool book that Robbi wrote called, The Art of the Jam!). This is released tomorrow (Dec 18th, 2017).. Enjoy..

Where´s Home

 I live in a small village called Joshua tree in the Mojave Desert California. 

Earliest Space Rock Memory?

 My mother ran a Buddhist meditation center in South Africa, so as a young boy I was surrounded by hippies. One guy came from a hippie commune and he took me there one night - I was 13 years old.  A joint was passed around and I took a hit – there was a band that lived there called Snow.  I was so stoned and unfamiliar with the feeling (my first time) so I went outside to get my mind together and I lay down under the African sky on the wild grass - quite confused. Then the band started to play and heard the  music floating across the hills and meadows as I was gazing up at the stars in the African sky  -I was transported, -felt like I was  drifting between the sky and the stone.  

First Space rock record you bought??

 Hawkwind – Warrior on the edge of time.

First Space Rock Gig

My first space rock gig was seeing Freedoms Children and Hawk .  I was about 14 years old and went with my mom’s hippy friends,- a riot between the police and the hippies started – I was terrified by all the violence.  But I was sitting on the side of the stage and I will never forget that experience – the band were tripping hard and played beautifully… and then the cops came. – that was South Africa for you; so many contrasts. 

Guilty Musical Pleasures

Saturday night fever – the Bee Gees – South Africa was the testing ground for that movie – so i saw it long before it became such a sensation – Even today that record can put me in a real good mood,  I know all the damn lyrics – please don’t tell anyone!

Biggest Space Rock Extravaganza or gig.

Cirque de soliel – the very first one – the band was brilliant, very Pink Floyd-like; great musicianship and then all the craziness of the circus itself – it was definably a space rock extravaganza!

Fave Venue

 Joshua tree Astronomy theater.  Huge screens outdoors where astronomers project deep space images onto -  which we then jam to. 

Outside of Space Rock, what are you into?

When I was a kid, we had in South Africa, a can of baking soda. On the can was a oval shaped label, on the label was a picture of the same can with an oval shaped label with a picture of the can with an oval shaped label, on and on; smaller, smaller and smaller…. – I used to stare at this forever to see how deep it went, and what was the smallest can I could see…like staring into the infinite…as a result I am into the occult.  I read everything I can on tiny things, the evolution of mitochondria, quantum physics, the hidden forces of the limitless light etc.  These are things I am into

What do you collect?


The last Space Rock album you bought?

 Oresund Space Collective. 

Your Space Rock Hero?

 Scott Heller. 

Who do you call in the Space Rock community for a good night out?

 Jorge Bassman Carrillo- who also happens to be my bass player and good friend.

Most important Space Rock song?

Hurdy Gurdy Man by Donovan. 

The best Space Rock Gig you ever saw?

Roger Waters Radio Kaos at the Forum in Los Angeles.

Which Space Rock muse would you most like to work with?

Christina 'Licorice' McKechnie  a Scottish singer and songwriter from the Incredible String Band between 1968 and 1972. Her whereabouts have been unknown since 1990.  – like I said – I am fascinated by the unknown.
What Space Rock album gets you into a good mood?

Agitation Free ; Shibuya Nights

Your fave Space Rock album cover?

The inner sleeve of Aphrodite’s Child’s 666 album.

What are you up to at the moment?

I’m going through all the music that 3rd Ear Experience recorded ut never released or mixed to find some treasures, - some of them I cannot believe I overlooked – going to create a “secret menu” to release on Band camp and just put the stuff out.  In other words – still having fun!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Silas Neptune- The Scales of Tahuti (Silas Neptune Music)

Silas, is the son of Ed Wynne (Ozric Tentacles) and this is his first solo work. IT is a long album featuring 7 long tracks of ambient electronic music with world music influences, reggae, techno but mostly spacey soundscapes and samples.  Feathers of Ma´at starts things off and is a diverse track with many cool moods and style shifts. Aqualight has this dreamy state to it and some of the same sort of synth sounds found in the more ambient Ozrics material. Drums are more like a table like (not that close to the real thing). I am not a fan of programmed drums. Underneath the main keyboard line there are quite a few things going on if you listen closely, at least 2-3 different layers. Occasionally, some of the synth sounds are manipulated and twisted. Cool track.  Yawning Mountain features a more prominent bass line and some nice swirly synths. Lots of interesting stuff happening in this track. Did I hear glissando guitar??  Later, Ed plays a very nice solo and it sounds like a Joie style keyboard solo. Nanodots starts with a very eastern inspired string instrument (sampled or played??). Anyway the track evolves in a very cool way with pan flutes, acoustic guitar and other layers of otherworldly sound. Becomes Everything has a more uptempo drum pace and some interesting growly sounds at times and provides a more energetic experience after 5 slow tracks. Some amazing synths on this track and trippy and highly manipulated at times! There is one line taken directly from an Ozrics track, that OT fans will recognize. This should not be surprising as it is the same synthesizers that the band uses and most of the plays on the album. Devachan-Sand Goblins takes you back to the floating gardens of Neptune with its lush layers of spacey synths. Very much like Nodens Ictus stuff (I have not heard the new one yet).  The drums kick in at different intervals and there are some like female voice like synths as well.  Mergoblins?? The end part of the track is really cool with the trippy manipulated synth. Gateway to Dreamtime finishes off your musical adventure to Silas’s Neptune. Would love to see Silas get over to some of the great electronic music festivals in Portugal. Cool album, congrats.

This is a list of all the people who contributed to the making of this record and it is quite impressive:  Silas Neptune, Ed Wynne, Brandi Wynne, Joie Hinton, Natan Mantismash, Roy Brosh, Balazs Szende, Dominic Gibbins, and Paul Hankin.

Mark “Porkchop” Holder- Death and the Blues (Alive Natural Sound 0195-2)

I quite dug Mark’s last record but I have to admit it was a bit hard for me to get into where as this new one, just kicked me in the ass from the start and I was hooked!!!!  The album features 11 blues rocking tracks played with a lot of gusto and attitude. The album starts off with Captain Captain, an uptempo slide guitar driven foot stompin’ track with some harmonica as well. Sad days and Lonely Nights keeps the pace uptempo with a nice solid bass line over which Mark plays a nice longer than normal solo. This sort of darker song leads into Coffin Lid (hear below), features a really dirty fuzzy slide guitar and tells a good story as well. Big Boat slows things down at the start and kicks in hard and heavy with some more mean slide guitar about shoveling coal on the river! Nobody wants to Cry is just Mark on a steel guitar and slide pouring his gritty heart out.  Be Righteous is a slow starter and happier track that kicks into high gear after a mins and rocks out. Bless me Santasima is a short instrumental guitar track. Billy the Kid has another cool bass groove and tells the story over this more country track. Totally different than the previous tracks. James Leg is a short track about fellow label mate, james Leg and his drinking! What is wrong with your Mind has Mark mix in a delay pedal to his slide guitar arsenal for a bit more psychedelic sound. The title track ends this good time blues rocking album. Crank it out LOUD.  I really dug this album. Great songs.

Terry Brooks and Strange- Treasures and Gems from the Treasure Chest, Volume 1 and 2 (Bandcamp 2017)

Many of you might know the name Terry Brooks and strange. Terry hailed from Florida and made quite a name for himself in the underground.  Terry first came to prominence with his 1973 debut LP, the heavy rocking progressive-psychedelic masterpiece ‘Translucent World’, privately released on Terry’s own Outer Galaxie Publishers label. He started jamming in the 70s and did some concerts in Europe in the 80s, continued to play into the 90s and then disappeared.  Jerry Kranitz from Aural Innovations was given a chance by Terry (who is in poor health) to go through the archives and compile the first of potentially several volumes of music from this archive. The first 2 have just been released.

Vol 1  (this text is written by Jerry Krantiz)
The first three tracks of this set were recorded live in 1984 during Terry’s tour of Germany. It opens with 20 minutes of awe inspiring, powerhouse jamming that will appeal to fans of monster guitar solos. ‘Child Of The City’ follows, blending song with more exploratory instrumental workouts. The live set comes to a close with the heavy blues, song and jam monster ‘Down And Dirty Blues’. As a bonus we have included one of the only occurrences of Terry doing a cover song – Terry ROCKS the classic ‘Spoonful’, recorded in 1987 at a private concert.
Vol 2  7 tracks

Monster Guitar: Opening with a German radio promo for Terry's song Rock & Roll Woman, the DJ then plays a jam recorded live in Juarez, Mexico sometime in the 1980s. It's a monstrous power trio jam featuring volcanic space/psych/noise guitar.  Magic Fingers: This prog infused power psych rock instrumental was recorded at a private concert in 1986. Space-Metal… Killer!: Totally eruptive space-metal studio jam from 1976.  Love Passion Guitar: Recorded live in 1992, this is slow, doomy, melodic, yet intense hard psych, with passionate dirty blues solos that later gets tastefully spaced out. This track was recorded in the aftermath of the passing of Terry's uncle Jimmy Napoli.  Killer Rock: A studio recording from 1981, this is a hard jamming rocker with down 'n' dirty boogie-woogie swagger in the leads.

Midnight Angel (early version with jam): This late 1970s studio recording kicks off with a lengthy jam with wailing guitar and drums, but lightly melodic keys that provide a cool contrast to the frenzy of the guitar and drums. What makes it extra special is it's segue into the song that would later appear as 'Midnight Angel' on Terry's 1980 released To Earth With Love album.  Sonic Psychedelic Mind Melt: Recorded in 1973 during the sessions for what became Terry's 1976 released Raw Power album, this track is a tour de force of fuse blowing, effects heavy hysteria. 

The ‘Treasures and Gems from the Treasure Chest’ series has been launched to make available unreleased and little heard music from Terry’s massive archives. Each volume in the series seeks to showcase the many sides of this multi-faceted artist.  I totally dug this material and heard it several times I the last week. If you are into totally wild over the top guitar jamming and modern acts like Earthless, Frozen Planet 1969, The Machine, etc… then for sure check this series out for some serious guitar masturbation sessions into the unknown. Check out a concert from 1982 below..