26 July 2014

Rocking With the Glaze of Cathexis

Cosmic psychedelic rockin' with the Glaze of Cathexis coming at you from deep within the mountains of Japan.  We want to bolster your universal spirit into the reality of NOW by sending you on a journey through sound.  Support the transcendently seeking music from this blog with a few views of the following link and perhaps getting into the full length LPs.

Here's our interstellar, trippin' astral gramophone campaign complete with a touch of new sounds to get you in the mood:



Scott's also cooked up a few videos of Beatles and Beach Boys covers that will draw you in with the miracle of recognition:





If we still have your attention, flow on over to our album compilation over at Bandcamp.  These three albums cost $12 as a bundle, which we would very much appreciate to keep the blog and the band rocking on.  Our EPs and older albums that you'll find on the site remain free as that is how we would like to deliver the music in a more perfect world:

http://glazeofcathexis.bandcamp.com/album/neon-buddha-prophecies-of-the-all-seeing-sage-cryptic-hullabaloo



22 July 2014

Scott McKenzie - Stained Glass Reflections - The Anthology - 1960-1970

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

Gotta love those bargin bins.  I haven't been in the States for a few years now, but I assume the dearth of record stores has only intensified.  You can find this stuff online (just as you are now!), but I'm still a fan of the tactile discovery that you can still make in Japan at a still-existing Tower Records for under three bucks.  Getting to ol' Scott here, most of us would know him for the cheeseball hit "San Francisco," which is present here.  Really, I suppose that I've just heard that one too much - it's only the bloody Forrest Gump soundtrack to represent the summer of love.  Turns out McKenzie was actually quite adept at sunshine pop in general.  Many of the tunes from his prime 1965-1967 are very much in the same mold, but are welcome surprises that suggest a West Coast Billy Nichols.  His songwriting contributions were pretty nominal, but his voice is butter and the prime L.A. 60's studio production make this among the straight-up 'grooviest' music that you'll come across.

The first three tracks are some early career highlights with McKenzie in full-on folkie mode.  It's pleasant, but only a precursor to the main event.  This would be the ten tunes from 1965-1967 - which is a straight up blast of top shelf sunshine pop.  "No, No, No, No, No" makes the mystery of why McKenzie was only a one hit wonder a little deeper, while "Holy Man" is an entertaining hippy spiritual.  John Phillips "Like an Old Time Movie" fares quite well here as does TIm Hardin's "Reason to Believe."  I don't know why they didn't just follow through with the complete 1967 album, "The Voice of Scott McKenzie."  They did include the entirety of his 1970 album "Stained Glass Morning."  While this album doesn't actually suck, it takes a hard right into blandish 70's country rock/singer-songwriter vibrations.  Gravitation inertia will likely keep pushing you toward the fantastic middle of this compilation.

This disc makes a pretty strong case for Scott McKenzie going a whole lot deeper than "San Francisco."  The early folk stuff appears in just the right amount, but the balance between McKenzie's prime and the "
Stained Glass Morning" album isn't quite in the right proportions.  Still, this is a psychedelic obscurity that deserves your attention as all of these has pretty much slipped off the radar with the obvious exception of McKenzie's lone mega hit.

25 June 2014

Bleak House - 2014 - Suki Flood//Walton Cobbles

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

Can't forget that we've got shoegazing returning to the forefront of our soundworld.  Here's a single from some folks in the UK living that dream as hard as they can.  Yeah, all the alternately buzzing and floating guitars are accounted for, and this release could easily date from 1990, but there's nothing wrong with that.  "Suki Flood" rides the waves of Slowdive for that dream-pop sound, although I was kind of hoping the song would eventually open up the walls of pure distortion as shoegazers are wont to do.  We do get some more full force buzz on "Walton Cobbles," which grasp for the Bloody Valentine's early (mid-period?) low-fi buzz.  Speaking of lo-fi, while this single sports some fine production, the final sound is a touch on the muffled side. I would suggest to these intrepid performers to notch the treble up just a bit for future mastering (but not too much).

On an even more unrelated note, I want to gauge your opinions on what is required for shoegaze guitar.  The typical philosophy seems to be that you need a massive effects board and 50 overdubs.  After reading an interview with Kevin Shields' however, I've been taking the approach that you only need two or three guitars tops in a song, and possibly no effect - just a tube amp cranked up to 11 and overdriven to hell.  Also, do you have to be British to properly shoegaze?  Did Galaxie 500 count?  Discuss.

Anyway, Bleak House!!!
Bleak House - 2014 - Suki Flood//Walton Cobbles

Balduin - 2014 - A Post From Mars

Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

This is a compilation from the fantastic psych warriors over at the Active Listener for the equally groovy Balduin.  It seems that this Swiss fellow has been at it since 1988 (at age 10!).  We get a lot of meticulously created revival psych in the inbox at the ol' Garage, but this is a rare case where the artist grabs the ineffable vapours of vintage psychedelia and runs away with it in inspired directions.  Perhaps due to its nature as a compilation, this music runs all over the map of Tripsville, with straight up harpsichord-laced baroque pop, garage band grinding, folkish dulcimer pounding, and goofy electronica sometimes inhabiting the same song.  It all works quite well, though, as Balduin has the innate ability to set his musical thumbprint upon all of the different sounds.

Hit any track and you'll likely hear something to catch your attention.  But here are the things I dig the most:  I'm totally down for the fantasy forest at night vibrations that we get on tracks like the opening duo, as well as the hazy orchestral psychedelia of tunes like "A Hope For Loving You," and "A Simple Chime."  Balduin also nicely pulls off some more modern, indie-baiting electronic sounds with "The Shadows of Your Mind" and "Post From Mars."

Give "A Post From Mars" a listen - it a very impressive listen informed by both the insular bedroom studio as well as the orchestra capacity 1966 studio.  The tunes bear a slew of influences ranging from the Electric Prunes, to Donovan, to the Magnetic Fields, but the sound is not mere re-creations as this artist ultimately defines his own psychedelic visions.

Receive your post here:
Balduin - 2014 - A Post From Mars

Violet Swells- 2014 - The Soft Focus

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

This EP is a fun celebration of the poppier side of psychedelia.  Following along the lines of British psych rocking and mellotrons along with a dash of California sun, the set is the end result of paisley-painted factory machines, but it's a pretty well-made product.

The first couple tunes rank in as very passable psych-pop with swirling carnival organs, but it's the later two that make a bit more of a mark.  "Miracles of a Clockwork Kingdom" forges a more atmospheric sound as an instrumental featuring a swinging rhythm and some 1966-vibing, L.A. studio musician tremolo guitar.  As the title would suggest, "Soft Focus" is hard to pin your brain upon, morphing through a variety of motifs ala the Buffalo Springfield's "Broken Arrow."  It's all quicksilver through your neurons.

We're probably getting more psych running through the pipe these days than folks did in the 60's.  Ten years ago a release like this would have been among my new gods (think Elephant 6), but I still think Violet Swells nicely passes the litmus test for listenability.  There's nothing particularly earthshaking going on, but it's a seamless, enjoyable ride.

Focus on over here:
Violet Swells- 2014 - The Soft Focus

09 June 2014

The Glaze of Cathexis Video Hour

Scott's been cranking out some Youtube clips combining the sounds of our own psychedelic rock band Glaze of Cathexis with his tripped out, shamanic photography.  Here are a few more to check out:

This tune's from 2012's Neon Buddah:



Somehow the second Burt Bacharach cover to which we've devoted our time:



And a ringer from this year's "Cryptic Hullaballoo:"



We'd appreciate the support of our music over in digital venues such as Spotify, itunes, and Amazon, or just hanging out with us the Glaze of Cathexis page on Facebook or Twitter.  Here's an Amazon link if you're feeling lazy:

http://www.amazon.com/Cryptic-Hullabaloo-Glaze-Cathexis/dp/B00K7JW6QK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1402288670&sr=8-2&keywords=glaze+of+cathexis

As well as our
Bandcamp home:

http://glazeofcathexis.bandcamp.com/

Don't forget these free releases as well:

Glaze of Cathexis - Koans of the Paradox

Glaze of Cathexis - 2013 - The 2013 EPs

31 May 2014

Listen To Dr. Schluss' Glaze Of Cathexis and Damaged Tape

New May reviews found under this post!!

As I review more albums, I'd love for you to check out my own music and leave some comments to tell me what you think. The Glaze of Cathexis albums are my more psychedelic rock based offerings, while the Damaged Tape recordings are my journeys into electronica. Please have a listen!





Damaged Tape
Damaged Tape - 2014 - Ancient Lights (coming March 2014)
Damaged Tape - 2012 - Conflagration of Nibiru



21 May 2014

The Doctor's "Cryptic Hullabaloo" Coming to a Digital Store Near You


On May 27, Glaze of Cathexis' "Cryptic Hullabaloo" will be available at digital stores such as itunes, Amazon, and Spotify.  We really want our sounds and visions to spread to the world, and I think readers of this blog will dig the psychedelic sounds.  Please support us by sharing the tunes to social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and we'd be honored if you want to ante in by purchasing the album!

Anyway, here's the Amazon link if you're interested:

http://www.amazon.com/Cryptic-Hullabaloo-Glaze-Cathexis/dp/B00K7JW6QK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400639378&sr=8-1&keywords=glaze+of+cathexis

Scott's been madly creating videos like this one (with all original photography) to make this a multimedia experience:



And you can go here for the mother lode:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVRyhLQqwns1AOlcDv4mTiA/videos

Have a chat with us on Twitter as well if you're so inclined:

https://twitter.com/Scott_and_Matt

The Green Tambourine Band - 2014 - Let Yourself Be/Aum

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5

Another batch of reconstituted 60's psychedelic pop vibes as they hear them in Scotland.  This basically functions as two EPs, the first of which includes several hazy, jangling poppers, while the flip side is more of a noise-fest freak out.  The former is pretty impressive, coming across like a more chilled out Brian Jonestown Massacre or a more folkish Moles (Richard Davies; Australia; just throwing out a few sign posts for you).  As for the latter half, it definitely has its moments, but I don't think the Green Tambourine Band ever earned its license to jam.  I mean, few rock bands have that license anyway - I guess Can and Yo La Tengo would be on the short list.

Again, the first half of the album really delves into the heart of 60's production sounds and songwriting - with just a touch of outsider oddness from the Scottish highlands
.  "You Are the One I Love," "I'm Free," and "Here She Comes" definitely earn a place on the radio of the cosmos, even if I'm pretty sure all those song titles have been used before.  "Lemon Sorbet" and "Through the Looking Glass" cover the more experimental grounds, with "Looking Glass" as the clear winner with it's twirling backward guitar vibrations.
The "Aum" suite didn't do it for me quite as much, featuring too many sections of plodding groove and wah-wah rhythm guitar - I would suggest that the band focus on their enviable songwriting instead.

So, get into this for the first half.  It spotlights the Green Tambourine Band at their psychedelic, folk-rokin' best is sure to get a few new tune hardwired into your head.

Bang the tambourine here:

http://theactivelistener.bandcamp.com/album/the-green-tambourine-band-let-yourself-be-aum-al017

20 May 2014

Sky Picnic - 2014 - Paint Me A Dream

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5

And so we meet Sky Picnic again. These folks seems to be plugging away pretty convincingly as a modern, paisley-shirt freak out, and is thus worth your full attention.  The songs and the tones go directly for that 1967 London psychedelia vibe, and they hit their marks for the most part.  They're at least attaining that Dukes of Stratosphere "Psonic Sunspot" level of authenticity.  This compilation covers their last two LPs, "Farther in This Fairytale" and "Paint Me A Dream."

While "Seven" and "June Sunshine" stand out as very groovy slices of psychedelic pop, the band seems a little more interested in oddball jamming.  Some of this works out quite well, with the strange, Floyd playin' "Nick's Boogie"-style explorations of "Universal Mind Decoder," and the slightly less percussive "Slumber's Gate."  But some of it does get a little aimless, such as "Freak Out Ethel," which starts off sounding a little too much like the aforementioned Pink Floyd's "Pow R Toc R."  I do dig "Ripple," which channels a touch of Slowdive-style shoegazing in a pretty groovy way.

I guess I'm being a little more critical with these folks since they're mining for the gold vein of psychedelic rock.  I think this band is capable of a straight up psychedelic masterpiece, though.  By tightening up the songwriting a bit, and avoiding the modern hipster twee timbre of some of the vocals, we're likely to get our minds truly blown.  There are certainly some moments on this comp that will make a few listens worth your while.


Travel to the picnic:

http://theactivelistener.bandcamp.com/album/the-active-listener-introduces-sky-picnic-al018

Chalk Dinosaur - 2014 - Dawn

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

Yeah, that's a vintage Roland Juno 60 on the synthesizer, and that's more or less what you're going to hear on this EP.  Plumbing straight for the heart of 80's synth pop, Chalk Dinosaur's release is sort of a lower-budget M83, although M83 could probably stand to shed some bling from
their sound anyway.  Still, the wonky, meaty core of the analog electronic has made it through the recording process intact.  This is far from the most original sounding music I've come across, but it's pretty good at hitting those pleasure center buttons.

The opening title track is the one that shows the most promise.  It vibrates through a few different moods of a sci-fi Michael Mann film (no, just checked; dude never made a sci-fi for reals), and thus hits the nail on the widescreen synth extravaganza head.  The other three tunes hang on a mid-tempo 1986 synth rocker vibe, although probably a touch informed by some of the more recent indie kids like Death Cab For Cutie.  They chug on past for the most part, but it does nicely recreate a 15-minute FM radio set from the time that John Cusack could still do high-school flicks.

I'm hoping to see the group flesh out their compositional style on the track "Dawn" a little more, but this is still a fun EP to sink your teeth into.  Pick up some Fresca and Bugles and write yourself some bad, depressing poetry alongside the tune.

Visit the Dinosaur:

http://chalkdinosaur.bandcamp.com/

26 April 2014

Glaze of Cathexis - 2014 - Cryptic Hullabaloo

Psychedelically rocking your mind out, here is the newest Glaze of Cathexis release.  I think we cranked up the amps a little more than usual, and while I wouldn't be one to dispense with the groovy 60's vibes, there's more of a mid-80's Husker Du/Sonic Youth buzz hanging around on the tracks.  I think it's the best one we've cooked up yet, but I suppose I wouldn't be so keen on releasing it if I felt differently.

Scott was is charge of the surreal visions of the words and imagery.  We've snuck a photo essay along for this ride, with each track pairing with a cosmic photo taken during his travels in Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe, and beyond.

I've always tried to keep the music free, but the Bandcamp download this time carries a $5 charge.  It's getting to the point where I can't really keep up the music without some kind of an income stream, so if you dive in you'll be supporting both this blog and Glaze of Cathexis.  We're far from rich, put in quite a bit of work on it, and I think we need to stand by the quality of our work to advance our lives and future music.  If I can't make something sustainable out of it by the end of the year, I may very well have to hang it up.  We've tried to add some bang for the buck on the new one with the photo essay and a couple of photographic slide show videos included with the download.


Hmm.. I used to give you track notes here.  Could be fun, but spoilers abound if you don't want to know just what I'm ripping off:

1. An Acrobat of Worlds - I was going for that slightly goth 80's vibe, with the poppy Cure and all.  Maybe I ended up kind of ripping of David Bowie's "Heroes" instead, especially with the keyboard part.  I didn't record any keyboard on this track, but something sure sounds like one.  There's no doubt that the guitar solo at the end is putting Eric Clapton's Gibson 'woman tone' clear in the sights.

2. Primordial Epiphany - Is it acceptable to let the Big Bopper in as an influence nowadays?  Because that's one I'm doing with the vocals.  If that bugs you, dig the full-tilt, out-of-control rock n' roll informing this track. I don't have to worry anymore if the track's psychedelic or not, because Scott's lyrics keep the proceedings visionary.

3. Path of the Starry Vortex - It's a Goldilocks track.  The first pass at it was too screwed up, the second was too fast, and the third was just right.  Wait... no it wasn't.  I just added bongos to the fast version.  In other news, I finally figured out how much fun you can have with the tone knobs on a good guitar.

4. Koans of the Paradox - This is a top 40 hit in my mind.  I borrowed a super-cheap pawn shop Strat and decided to try and be Hendrix.  Then I realized that the strings tended to scrap in strange ways and ended up warping the thing through vibrations of Cream all the way to Sonic Youth on the lead guitar track.

5. Archway Complexities - This was a straight down funk track called "Shartymobile."  You can still hear a touch of it at the end (although not with the ridiculous lead guitar and funk growling).  Now it's a mystical showcase for Scott, but I'll give you "Shartymobile" if you beg me for it.

6. Vales of Fire and Light - Should I say it?  Should I say it?  What the hell.  I played drums along with "The Wind Cries Mary" on my ipod and just recorded a new song on top of it.  The Santana leads, Moody Blues organ, and Roger Daltrey-before-his-balls-dropped-in-1969-vocals are just there to throw you off the path.

7. The Windcharmer - I read an interview with Kevin Shields about a year ago where he talked about his recording technique, and the fact that most Bloody Valentine tracks don't feature 6,000 guitars, but rather two or three really loud ones.  That's what I try to do these days.

8. Cryptic Hullabaloo - My wife doesn't like this one because she thinks I'm trying to sing like a pirate.  I'm glad she didn't hear the first pass at the vocals.  Otherwise, I was just trying to see how much blues howl I could get out of an Epiphone Casino and it was always going to be the title track.

9. Cycles of History - The first tune I recorded for this album.  It has goofier percussion than usual and crossfades the Madchester scene with Yo La Tengo.  I think you can dance to this more than you can with most Glaze tracks.

10. Droplets on a Lily - This is what the Dead's "Dark Star" would have sounded like if the Buffalo Springfield had recorded it on a tape reel that had been in the sun too long.  It was called "Thracian Intro" for months, but the next tune just needs a musical partner, not a conceptual one.

11. Thracian Moonlight - I don't think I really used much actual distortion on this album, just lots of tube overdrive.  That bass has a dang Big Muff on it though, because that's always a good idea.  Otherwise we're sort of doing Dylan leading an amphetamine-addled Byrds (I suppose that actually did happen a few times).  Artificial energy, indeed (not for me, just my metaphor).

12. Twilight in the Cloud Forest - And then I wanted to do Buddy Holly on that cheap Strat before I returned it.  I might of bungled it up with that Sterling Morrison sort of lead guitar, though.

13.  Holes in the Vastness - I might have gotten a touch lazy.  This is the forward version of the backward section from "Cycles of History," but with Scott intoning over it.  But if the Stone Roses could get away with that, maybe I can too?

14.  Rivers of Life - I didn't click with Husker Du as a teenage.  But then I spent nine months in 2003-2004 drinking scotch, playing San Francisco Rush 2049 on the Sega Dreamcast, and blasting a vinyl copy of "Zen Arcade" at uncomfortable volumes.

15. Bonus track - What could it be? What could it be?  Recorded at the behest of the ex-Glaze of Cathexis drummer for his daughter's first birthday.  Apparently, it's her favorite song.

19 April 2014

Hapsash and the Coloured Coat - 1967 - Human Host and the Heavy Metal Kids

Quality: 4.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

Man, I had a ceremony with this one.  Listen to this and you're down for a primordial psychedelic pummeling.  Yeah, this is the music that the CIA created.  The sound's going straight for the hidden punk rock face of the Velvet Underground follow-up act in the Factory.  They don't necessarily have the talent, but they've got the Owsley to do their thing.  Word on the street is that the group were some English visual artists throwing down the drafting gear, picking up guitars and bongos, and doing their thing.  There's barely songs here, but the tribal gathering is clear and the vibrations are just at the right frequency.

We'll focus straight on the main event.  "Empire of the Sun" is an epic, fifteen minute awakening - drums pounding away with a churning rhythm guitar, punctuated by bells and strange spoken incantations.  The opening "H-O-P-P-Why?" opens the proceedings in a similar vein, but there's plenty of weirdness in between.  "A Mind Blown is a Mind Shown" rides folkier waves and "Aoum" goes spiritual, acapella Ligeti, but the pure freak out comes in "The New Messiah Coming 1985."  It's a warped audiograph of the dosed coffee house of the times - unplugged but electrifying to the ear.

Are songs always the answer?  Hapsash and the Coloured Coat don't seem particularly convinced.  The tunes here are a far cry from psychedelic pop, but they take the raw elements of what was hip and splatter it against the wall Pollock-style.  At least they have the etiquette to warn you with the album cover depicting your mind getting blown.

04 April 2014

Glaze of Cathexis - 2014 - Koans of the Paradox

Psychedelic rock for the chicken soup soul.  The title track is a preview of the "Cryptic Hullabaloo" album coming later this month.  The other three tracks are exclusive to this release and dip through the more tranquil vibrations of shoegaze and cosmic country.  I wrote the music to "Passageway to the Oracle" sometime in the mid-90's, staring out the window of my high school chemistry class.  Scott says this:

Think a musical experience of ye olde merrie pilgrims armed with Casino guitars
on a jolly East Asian ayahuasca cavalcade. 

I suppose that's better than I'm going to put it.  Listen here:





02 April 2014

glu - 2014 - Numbers

Quality: 4.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

This is a very groovy set that rides the slipstream of bloopy 70's analog electronica and the digital planetarium of 1986, while paying heed to all the soil festivities in between.  Most of the tones seem to have been carefully selected and custom fitted right where they need to in the tracks.  The core of most of it seems to spring from the more beastly analog synthesizers and drum machines, but the detail work and fine lines open up the canvas of sound to a primordial world of doomed dinosaurs staring at the new moon, star-splattered sky.

I can't help but notice that glu seems to be somewhat parallel to my own electronic project as Damaged Tape - although glu seems to have it's hand a little more firmly on the production tiller.  "Aztek Sunrise" is that fanfare that comes out when it's time to pull out all the stops on the synths, while "Levels of Power" is framed by a bit of spoken word.  From there's the album shoots through a trip-hop vibe on "Tronic Poutry," before tacking east for more experimental sonic abstractions that eventually morphs into the throughs of ragged hip hop and drum and bass on "Cloudy Days."

This album darts through a variety of sonic motifs, but they do well to serve the whims of the artist rather than mere mimicry.  There is an worthwhile, individual voice to be heard on this electronic opus, but those of you that dig music from Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis all the way to Boards of Canada and the Orb
are going to find something to latch onto here.

http://glumusic.bandcamp.com/album/numbers