30 August 2012

Musical Stroll Around the Cyber-Block

I get a lot of music sent to my email box, and there's not enough time to work through it all.  If it's not addressed to me personally, it tends to go directly to the trash bin, and those that are need to be psychedelic in some way (although I do have a pretty wide definition for that).  I also scrap the mailings that don't have an mp3 download.  If the music has cleared those first few hurdles, I do what the music department did when I worked at my university radio station, and I give it a 10-second preview.  Music that keeps my attention for a few minutes gets downloaded, and the following sets are the ones that I've found myself listening to over the past three months or so.  Maybe you'll dig them too:

The Karovas Milkshake - 2012 - Freak Out (single)
Freak Out Factory cover art

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

Man, this group from the Urals needs more of my attention since we've only got two tunes here.  Maybe it's a 'Nuggets' thing where the band has put all of it's spunk into a tune or two (hopefully not), but this is completely authentic-sounding, groovy, psychedelic garage rock.  It presses just the right 'Barrett' buttons while crunching along like the Chocolate Watchband with great vocals in a slightly odd, but endearing, accent.  As an added bonus, the B-side, 'Factory,' has a completely trippy horn arrangement plowing in at the end.

The Karovas Milkshake

Sudden Death of Stars - 2011 - Getting Up, Going DownGetting Up, Going Down - Close Up Records cover art
Quality: 4.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

Here's a mindblowing, French brew of 80's indie neo-psych infused with an extra dose of the Velvet Underground's scag and the Byrds' melancholic sunshine pills.  There's a sitar floating around too, and as you probably know, I'm a sucker for sitars.  "Supernovae," "I'll Be There," and "Deeds Beyond the Hints" are some of the better tracks that Spacemen 3 never made, "Free and Easy" comes across like the punkish band  bringing it on at the skid row end of the Sunshine Strip in 1966, and "Chilling Out at Set Time" again presses those Barrett buttons that I mentioned in the last review.

Sudden Death of Stars

Lost Harbours - 2011 - Hymns and Ghosts
Hymns & Ghosts cover art 
Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

Some ghostly psychedelic folk from what I imagine must be a particularly foggy and bone-chilling spot in England.  The vibes run towards the quieter moments of Flying Saucer Attack, but with some (that's only some) of the gauze lifted away.  The two title tracks sound like the evocation of some ancient, pagan rites from the creepier corners of the British isles.  Maybe like the chill out room for the guys and gals from "The Wicker Man" (the good one with Christopher Lee, not the one with Nick Cage as a bear).  "Morning Song" has a ethereal lift through its mostly instrumental eight minutes, and "Spring Fire" shows you that these folks do a fine job of tripping out the more conventional folk song form.

Lost Harbours

The Ocular Audio Experiment - 2012 - The Witch's Whispering Tomes
The Witch's Whispering Tomes (Part 1) cover art 
Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

So these guys told me that this is but the first half of the set - this one is droning psych while the second will feature the same songs played as a doomed, satanic, Looney Tunes ride into hell (their words).  There's not a whole lot of diversity here, but the band grabs onto the thread that runs from the Velvet Underground to Spacemen 3 to the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Black Angels and hangs on tightly.  Plus, there's a lot of surf guitar on top.  I've you've played any of my recent Glaze of Cathexis recordings, then you know that the doctor digs surf guitar.  Especially psychedelic surf guitar.

The Ocular Audio Experiment

Divine Intervention Now - 2012
Demo cover art 
Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

I don't know a whole lot about Leonard Cohen, but I have the impression that this comes across like a deranged, mildly perverted version of that particular bard.  The music is mostly layers of crisp, layered picked acoustic guitar (with weird interludes from horns and such), and he sings about our dicks on "The Truth Tickles" (sorry ladies, maybe he'll get you covered on the next one)  I'm down with the gutteral roar vocals, but the Brit-inspired freak-folk of "Cucumbers" when the vocals lift up is probably the highlight.  Honestly, I think some of this set makes me uncomfortable, but that's likely the point - like this is the music that goes along with the brown acid.  Anyway, it's got my attention.

Divine Intervention Now

Audio Dope - 2012 - Chameleon
Chameleon cover art 
Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5

Heading down some more electronic roads here, we've got the sounds of Audio Dope.  This is some well produced, acid-jazz reflecting groovin'.  It flows a little bit like J Dilla's better recordings, so isolating tracks is not really worth your time - just play the thing straight through.  The artist said that he was influenced by some sounds on the blog, so I'm guessing he must have downloaded some Larry Heard.  This has a nice thick sound that should meld nicely with neon ice cube martinis and a touch of blue smoke... Audio Dope.

Audio Dope


ams said...

thanks to this post, i just ordered the Sudden Death LP.

Andrei Lopes said...

Nice listing. Never heard of some of this stuff before. The DIVINE INTERVENTION NOW ep is excellent. Just downloaded it. Will probably play on repeat for the next few years until it all sinks in. Great sound!

Paradigm Shift Enterprises said...

I tried listening to divine intervention and just realize that you really kinda have a different style of music. It sounds like 70's but it's really cool. Not the usual music I hear this generation.

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