30 June 2015

Glaze of Cathexis - 2015 - Desolation Spirituals EP

We tread through a path of psychedelic rock, shoegaze, and folk-rock on our new, free EP, Desolation Spirituals.  This is a warm-up and a bit of a preview for the Amorphous Infinity LP showing up at the end of July.  Join us for the left-turn Jazzmaster jangle of the title track, the cosmic American of "Silver Lad," the garage rock stomp of "The Kashmir Effect,"  and the slightly tongue-in-cheek hippy freak out of "All Free."

You can dig it over at Bandcamp:


Or at the end of this link:


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.