Hey, I do appreciate the music that some of you send to my email account. I really can't answer everything I get, but I do give most of it the one minute listening test that we'd do at my college radio station. Here's a few of the ones that have grabbed my attention recently:
Kikagaku Moko - 2013 - Kikagaku Moko
Quality: 4.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5
A lot of Japanese pop and rock There is a societal pressure to fit into the mold as cleanly as possible and it makes for uninspiring music. Conversely, those who follow their own zen path can end up further out there then we do it the West. We hear it in some of the wild noise rock of the Japanese underground, and it has resulted in some prime psychedelic rock, especially in the 70's. Kikagaku Moko has grabbed the tail of that latter tradition, and had their way with it. They produce the full on psychedelic rock of something like the Flowers Travellin' Band on tracks like "Zo No Senaka" and "Dawn," while infusing the sounds with the rambling noise trip of more modern acts like Acid Mothers Temple. They chill out nicely as well, with the lazy, hazy blues jamming of "Tree Smoke," and the ambient cavern of "Lazy Stoned Monk." Also it seems that they have a full-time sitar player, so that's cool.
Sounds Around - 2013 - The Visible Spectrum
Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5
They told me that this is a concept album cataloging a journey through the chakra system. The journey is probably a touch too long for me, but the highlights are well-worth your while. Opening epic "The Witness" is absolutely wonderful, charting a shamanistic tapestry of sound that's not dissimilar from mystic sound designers like Steve Roach or Jorge Reyes. The final four tracks return to this aesthetic. "Second Sight" nods to the narcotic cushion of shoegazers such as Slowdive as well. Put them together and you've got a 40+ minute album that I'd easily throw a 4.5 out of 5 rating towards. The middle of the album has some grooviness abound with some nice guitar licks here and there and some fun lounge-like sounds (as well as the occasional screaming sitar!), but it suffers from some thin drum sounds and may have benefited from some more editing. Maybe I'm just not attuned to my middle chakras or something. That said, I'm sure plenty of people would throw similar complaints at my Damaged Tape project and you will find an exceptional album here if you program your player right.
Oh my! And with that it's time for the Doctor to head for that job where they actually pay me money. We'll do this again soon.