23 June 2015

Desolation Spirituals Video

Following our psychedelic muse a little farther, with a free EP cropping up next week and an LP next month.  Start grooving with this shoegazin' barnstormer.  Sort of our unauthorized, unasked for aural sequel to Kerouac's "Desolation Angels,"  one of me favorite books.

14 June 2015

Bennie Maupin - 1978 - Moonscapes

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

Another fusion fanatic who served with Miles Davis on his most far-reaching explorations of electronic sound as well as being a part of Herbie Hancock's 70's crew, including the Headhunters.  The funk extravaganza of the Headhunters is the main reference point, although with the better side of smooth jazz inflecting the proceedings.  Funny thing about the smooth jazz and new age.  They were pretty groovy in the analog 70's, but quickly melted into tross once early digital recording reared its head.  Anywho, I keep checking the liner notes to see if Herbie found his way into these sessions, and I guess he didn't (unless he used a pseudonym like on Roy Ayers "Virgo Vibes"), but analog synth expert Patrick Gleeson is present.  It's a interesting moment to come across Gleeson as he makes fine use of the polytonal pads that were unavailable at the time of his recordings with Herbie.

I keep running through the tracks as I tend to ramble specifically in my second paragraph, but I've got to take this album as a polished sphere.  While not monotonous, the tunes do pretty well glide on from one track to the next.  I guess that's also true of the Headhunter albums, although these songs are not the 10-15 minutes jam outs that that band slid so easily into.  Just start at the beginning, don't worry about the time, and let it stop or repeat at the end as desired.

There are only, like, two full-on studio albums with the Headhunters, so this isn't a bad place to come searching for another fix.  The electronic funk and mild sci-fi conceptual overlay is just about as satisfying.

John Klemmer - 1972 - Waterfalls

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

John Klemmer is a saxophonist best known for making bangin' jazz to match your red velvet, disco bangin' pad.  I mean that as a complement.  Seriously.  This is a bit before all that though, with Klemmer following more experimental pathways.  Notably with his Echoplex, an analog delay sending his sax lines into infinity.  The rest is a groovy set of early 70's jazz fusion.  It doesn't quite reach the existential plains of a "In A Silent Way" or "Bitches Brew," but really, what does?

The two Prelude tracks are the zen heart of this album, and is one of the only things I've heard that make me recall the infinite space of Paul Horn's "Inside the Taj Mahal."  I think this is one of the only times I can recall the clicking of the sax valves to be a notable part of the sound.  These tones of orbital paths do crop up in window dressing on other tracks, filling in for the waterfalls of "Waterfalls I and II," but it's a more conventional setting.  "Utopia: Man's Dream" follows the fusion handbook pretty closely while also adding a touch of its own zang, while "Centrifugal Force" ups the funk a bit.

Jazz fusion can be absolutely unlistenable, or thrust jazz through the better parts of rock psychedelia and world beats.  Although not an absolute pillar of the form, John Klemmer's early career makes a great case for his saxophone's interstellar properties, and "Waterfalls" is an oft forgotten statement that reflects the colorful insanity of its front cover.

14 April 2015

Tim Hardin - 1967 - Tim Hardin 2

Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

Tim Hardin ups the musician's quality in pretty much every area.  I know I'm pushing the Tim Buckley comparisons, but Tim Hardin 1 and 2 are somewhat analogous to Buckley's debut and "Goodbye and Hello." The production becomes more gossamer and textured while the tunes themselves become more transcendental.  Most of the blues grit from the debut has been scrubbed away, but the sound becomes more widescreen punctuated with adventurous percussion patterns.

There's straight away some money in the song titles - you'll now spot some stone cold classics like "If I Were A Carpenter" and "Lady Came From Baltimore."  Of course, they were popularized by others, but these do have the benefit of being the originals.  Plenty of other tunes here could've ended up with the same fate - the only one that doesn't do it for me is the Old West music hall scrapping "See Where You Are and Get Out."  "Tribute to Hank Williams" certainly leaves an impression - sort of a spiritual forbearer to Mark Kozelek's more modern burst of melancholic nostalgia as Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon.  That mid-60's L.A. session groove settles in a little deeper on many of the tracks, but they do better to serve the songs here and up the cinematic quotient.

Whereas Tim Hardin 1 deserves more recognition, Tim Hardin 2 is a classic that hasn't really seen its proper due.  I wasn't around for the man's actual career.  Maybe he had a screaming band of followers that we've all forgotten about.  But in the here and now, the fellow's been flying under my radar for too long.

Tim Hardin - 1966 - Tim Hardin 1

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.25 out of 5

An A-list songwriter plagued with a C-list career.  Tim Hardin was one of the main templates for the singer-songwriter, although I imagine he might have had more Brill Building aspirations.  While this release wheels around a tight corner of rock, folk, and blues, it's 1966 and just enough grooviness seeps on through the arrangements to place Hardin under the watch of our psychedelic eye.  It's not completely dissimilar from another Tim's debut, but where Tim Buckley is on a vision quest of elliptical philosophy, Hardin's a little more down in the grit.  He can't trapse upon a five octive range like Buckley can, but he's more convincing with the world-weary rasp that powers the bluesy tunes he like "Smugglin' Man," "How Long," and "Ain't Gonna Do Without."

The highlights here I guess are going to depend on your love for arrangement syrup.  "Misty Roses" glides along the bossa nova stratosphere, and "It'll Never Happen Again" throws a full-on mid-60's L.A. session arrangement into the mix.  Again, the man has no trouble penning a tune, so you may appeal more to the more stripped down and pulsing "Smugglin' Man."  The lyrics do serve as a signifier for the later Rock Mountain High of the 70's singer-songwriters.  Of course we'll give Hardin the benefit of time as it wasn't yet a cliche when putting together the lyrics of something like "Reason To Believe."

This is an album that was never meant for the stratosphere, but certainly deserves the same notoriety as the Buckley's.  If you've got the disposition for the dawn of soft rock bolstered with just a touch of leftover sludge from the Mississippi Delta, then this is definitely one for you.

07 April 2015

I Am the Vertige

Welp, this is the most psychedelic video I've seen for a while.  I always do "I Am the Walrus" at karaoke without fail, and I'm always up for avant-garde strangeness, so this is directly up me alley.  Warning: you will see boobies in this video, so it's NSFW.  I dunno, maybe it shouldn't be a warning - I like to see boobies.  I'll get to you soon with new reviews - been stewing in my own juices or something.  I did create a lot of electronic music in those juices, though, which will soon be coming your way.  Oh yes, video:

15 February 2015

Glaze of Cathexis - 2015 - Trade WInd Navigators

Moving straight along to our second release, a psychedelic rock opus from long-term underground stalwarts, Glaze of Cathexis.  The tunes careen through echoes of the Beatles, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, and a host of 80’s indie rock acts.  Sharp songwriting, shamanistic lyrics, and piercing guitar parts abound.  During the writing and recording of this LP, the band members were slogging through the wilderness of uncertainty, culture clashes, and corporate skullduggery, but the results still aim at a spiritual high and a release from the darker corners of our temporal existence.  The mono mix is free, while we would dig a bit of your bling for the stereo mix.  Honestly speaking, some tracks sound better in both of the formats.
You can delve into the sound of the Glaze over at their bandcamp page:

Or have yourself a listen in the here and now:


And a direct link for the free mono mix:

http://www22.zippyshare.com/v/QvVrKrvE/file.html

The Roving Sage and Shinano Express – 2015 – Plays “Jubilant Illuminations” and Other Tunes


The official release date is for February 24th, but here at the Psychedelic Garage and Roving Sage Records, we believe that the time in NOW, and we’d like to share our debut release with you a touch early.

The  Roving  Sage and  Shinano  Express is a  sacred  union  of  freewheeling  fusion  and  ethereal  cosmic-shamanic spoken  word.  It’s  sort  of  like  an  Aussie  Gil-Scott  Heron  or  Jim  Morrison  stumbling  in  from  his  grave  for  a  few more utterances.

Our primary goal is simply to share our vibrations, so the basic release is free.  We do live in the real world, though, and could use your support.  For a few bucks, you’ll get bonus tracks which include instrumental takes of most of the spoken word tracks.  Dig us.
You can enter the world of the Roving Sage and Shinano Express over at our bandcamp link:



Listen to a few sounds here:


Here's a direct link for the free version which lacks the bonus tracks:
http://www22.zippyshare.com/v/UnbOP74g/file.html

Roving Sage Records

While the Psychedelic Garage remains intact, we've dovetail-jointed our recording endevours into the brand new Roving Sage Records, which seeks to present music to the public that can enlighten and transcend.  We'll plug away at our first two releases, with more coming at the rate of about one a month.  Psychedelic is first on our minds, although it will come at you in the form of rock n' roll, electronica, world music and more.  Keep an eye on the Roving Sage blog over yonder:

https://rovingsagerecords.wordpress.com/

17 January 2015

Glaze of Cathexis - 2014 - The 2014 EPs

Rounding up some of the recordings from last year to tickle your ear.  Koans of the Paradox is from the Cryptic Hullabaloo album (which is now theoretically free, by the way), and includes a few outtakes from the sessions.  You'll hear the Focus on the Sun tunes, which are some older ones re-recorded into a full-on shoegaze blast.  Bringing us into the future is the teaser EP for the upcoming Trade Wind Navigators album, which I hope will be our Revolver backwards.  Capping everything off is a cover of the Beatles' "Octopus' Garden," which I recorded because my daughter made me put it on repeat twenty times through during a summer car ride.

We hope you dig our psychedelic vibes.  This set is completely free - but please head over to Bandcamp if you're feeling the good vibrations to support our musical vision.  Both lyricist/visual artist/shaman Scott and myself have families and professional obligations cropping up around us, and to keep the Glaze running we've got to prove that it's a real thing, so to speak.

Here's a link for the free set of EPs:
http://www17.zippyshare.com/v/4UUm40Cf/file.html

And to hang out at our Bandcamp, see thee yonder:

https://glazeofcathexis.bandcamp.com/

13 January 2015

Crashfaster - 2014 - superchroma

Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

When I was a five-year old psychedelic doctor in the early 80's, I already had gotten the impression that the Duran Duran and Eurythmics on the radio were far more entertaining than those damn kids' songs they were playing in the kindergarten.  That's why I've already taken the liberty of brainwashing my daughter into listening to the Beatles 80% of the time (10% for the Beach Boys and my own music, and the other 10% for mommy's booty music).  Anyway, these fluorescent synth grooves, backed by that fluorescent cover sparked up those memories.  This EP features lazer-sharp electronic warbles programmed by the crystalline mind prism (my designation, not theirs), and some anthemic four-on-the-floor club vocals.

The first two tracks along with the finale would've been just the right tune to follow "Borderline" on the radio playing poolside in 1983.  Those are the tunes that got my attention.  "Tonight" and "Hi" take on later influences, with the former sounding a bit like 80's Kraftwerk doing dubstep, and the later sounding vaguely trip-hoppy.  Only "Goodbye" would have left the five-year-old doctor unhappy with its industrial vibe and electronic sandpaper vocals - and it is still my least favorite on here.

I guess synth pop isn't quite psychedelic, but I think it's the start of the line that eventually led me deep into the strange recesses of sound I obsess myself with these day.  Crashfaster is by no means full-on retro, but they leave me with a similar impression that I got from those acts of 30 years past.

Have a visit here:
https://crashfaster.bandcamp.com/album/superchroma

09 January 2015

The Red Plastic Buddha - 2014 - Songs For Mara

Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

You can aim directly for a modern recreation of the Nuggets sound, but the Red Plastic Buddha gives some heed to the resonance of slightly more modern acts like Luna and Primal Scream.  MAn, I'm a little depressed having to qualify those acts as being modern.  I've gone on some rants about the charm of mid Saturday afternoon college radio, and this is some music that would light your fire in that context.

These fellers do best with a bit of sneer.  "She's An Alien" gets it - "Go" gets it - and "Cosmonaut" hits the foot on the accelerator.  There's a cover of Love's "A House is Not A Motel," but "Trip Inside This House" is not a 13th Floor Elevators cover, and "Girlfriend" is not a Matthew Sweet cover.  I sort of thought they might be.  The ambient instrumentals "Staring Into the Void" and "Jupiter Gas" open up the chamber of spirits, which is fun but not quite the band's real strength.  I'd recommend that they go for their own Xtrmntr.

This really is the darker side of the psych pop liquified sphere.  The proper passion is here and it sounds good - I'm going to take the time to mention to the band, however, that they'd really benefit from the tube-blaster, slightly EQing in the red, saturated tape sound.  Sometimes modern technology is not what we need, but do take the time to explore the band's vibrations over yonder:

https://redplasticbuddha.bandcamp.com/album/songs-for-mara

Cirqles - 2014 - Meander

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

Falling headfirst through my submission and instinctively grabbing hold of the things that grab my ear.  Here we've got a meeting of the nexus between dreampop, Meddle-era Pink Floyd, and trip hop.  It's not a bad place to be.  Draw a line from possible electronic future from the U.K. sound of the 90's had brit pop not stormed the land and you may find your way here.  It's sort of like if Radiohead had gone for Kid A somewhere between Pablo Honey and the Bends.  Not as nuanced as what we got, but teeming with softly pulsing vibrations of the strange.

While the opening track suggests a psychedelically bending Renaissance Fair, the tunes settle into a 1987 synth pop groove, with the drum programming stuttering a various frame rates.  What do I dig most?  The sweet spot becomes apparent on the silk road following "Clouds," mirrored with their mercury glistening ossification of "In the Dark."  A groovy time is guaranteed for most.

Stretch out the new romantic tendons of your soul, and greet them with a touch of Thom Yorke despondence.  The sound pans through your headphones - prog rock slipstreamed through digital electricity.  Begin your journey here:

https://cirqles.bandcamp.com/ 

08 January 2015

The Gateless Gate - 2014 - Myrrh

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

I get a lot of submissions, but a few artists really do strike my fancy.  I've got my ears open for the Gateless Gate, who attempt to bowstep their way towards transcendence.  This EP goes for a very subdued version of the M83 soundtrack-mode bombast.  I don't dig it quite as much as the Tibetian shadow mask, but it sounds pretty good with it's wafting synthetic clouds.

We've got a very unified bit of music here, with each track melding into its successor.  The pivot is a cover of the Church's Myrrh, which I believe is the first attempt at lyrical incantations by the groop.  It's good, but sometimes the bookends gleam more brightly.  "Nightmare Decent Into Jericho City" set upon us a strange Middle Eastern vibe, blasting its sinuous grooves into an as yet unrevealed Michael Mann flick.  At the end of the sequence, "Their Hollow Laughter, the Pain in Their Eyes" opens up the full-scale full moon L.A. cityscape - sound of the fog rising into a slowly disintegrating core.

I'm a rooter for the Gateless Gate.  Their debut drew my allegiance and I want to hear where they go next.  This EP is but another interesting detour, but I applaud that sort of quest. I think this set is for the initiated, but you'll get a glimpse of pure music shamanism even if you back into this unprepared.  Enter the gate this way:

https://thegatelessgate.bandcamp.com/album/myrrh

18 December 2014

The Roving Sage

Scott Atkinson, the other member of Glaze of Cathexis, has a lot of words to say, and gets them out with his project as the Roving Sage.  Dig some of his tripped out poetry over at his youtube playlist, which you;ll find over yonder:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdqtky15oTgfuY0QGRtFelA