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Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Anima Mundi is the first studio albun from Welsh Prog/psych band SENDELICA for a while and tis sure a heady brew of classic early 70s underground rock influences. It is certainly a Prog Rock album but it is more in the tradition of the early 70s European jazz influenced underground scene and particularly the sonic experimentation of German kosmische musik as opposed to the post psychedelic whimsy of many British Prog bands. Throughout all of the eight instrumental tracks here there are elements of Ash Ra, Clear Light Symphony, Nik Turner’s Sphynx and post pot head pixie Gong amongst others……..if SENDELICA had been about in 1973 they would have no doubt been signed to Virgin Records.
The album opens with ‘The Craeft Worker’ and this track kinda sets the tone for the rest of the album. Glenda Pescado’s bass pulses underneath Colin Consterdine’s bubbling synths and fluttering electronics while Pete Bingham guitar soars, sounding very much like Manuel Göttsching from Ash Ra. Lee Relfe’s spaced out sax is added to the sonic soup for extra texture…..nice. There is also a heavier side to SENDELICA which is ably demonstrated on the 12 minute psychedelic rock wig-out ‘Master Benjamin Warned Young Albert’ which is all crunching guitar riffs and wailing sax solos driven by propulsive drums, a track that would not be out of place on any early Hawkwind album. Proto-metal rock guitar also dominates both ‘Baalbek Stones’ and the dense, heavy stoner rock of ‘The Breyr, The Taeogon and The Caethion’. The standout tracks here are the dreamlike ‘The Pillar Of Delhi’ and the totally kosmische ‘Searohwit’. ‘The Pillar Of Delhi’ is a hazy psychedelic swirl where analogue synths twist round floating, infinite guitars……..this features Gregory Curvey from the brilliant Chicago psych rock band THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL who adds extra guitar to the track. ‘Searohwit’ is cosmic music in the grand tradition of early krautrock…..more Tangerine Dream than Neu! and possibly the best track on the album.
On this beautifully crafted album SENDELICA have expertly fused together psychedelic rock with more ambient improvisations that although sometimes stray a little close for comfort to New Age music, never go the full Windham Hill. Although Anima Mundi is not a startlingly original album and may not be to everyone’s taste, this is a mighty fine record you will dig if you like the more underground/psychedelic hues of early 70s Prog Rock. Available now as LP, CD and Download……..check it out here http://sendelica.bandcamp.com/album/anima-mundi
Saturday, 17 January 2015
We kick off 2015 with a EP from Shoegaze/Krautrock influenced Italian Noise Pop trio MY INVISIBLE FRIEND. There is lot’s to love on this 3 track EP for fans of Slowdive, The Telescopes and MBV. The stand out track is the opener ‘O.N.S.’ where over half whispered, blissed out vocals heavily fuzzed out, distorted guitars buzz while the bass guitar locks together with the relentless beat of a Roland TR-505 drum machine.
The other two tracks here are also excellent, guitars roar over the metronomic rhythms of the drum machine while ethereal voices emerge from the mix in a wave of beautiful noise.
Available as a download from My Invisible Friend's Bandcamp page. Check it out at https://myinvisiblefriend.bandcamp.com/releases. It's great way to start the year.
Friday, 16 January 2015
In our day jobs as connoisseurs of the finest psychedelic sounds we often get asked by der kidz “Hey guys, we dig them groovy psychedelic tunes but we are not sure which records we need to buy, so what 20 psych albums would you recommend for a Psychedelic Starter Pack??” Hey Kidz….Happy to oblige.
We have come up with a list of 20 great records that span the last 50 years which we think if you got your hands on and gave them a good listen you would be well on the way towards a blown mind. Many of these albums are really easy to get hold of……we would think you could get most of these in HMV (we would prefer you supporting your local independent record store though). We have included the original label and release date for each record, however many of these albums have been reissued about a million times with bonus tracks and in some cases have been re-released on specialist heritage labels so you may need to go a Googling to track one or two of these down.
V/A - NUGGETS: ORIGINAL ARTYFACTS FROM THE FIRST PSYCHEDELIC ERA 1965-1968 (Elektra 1972)
The great grand-daddy of 60s Psych/Garage Rock compilations…..compiled by Lenny Kaye and including cuts from The Seeds, The Electric Prunes, 13th Floor Elevators, The Standells et al. Rhino have released many Nuggets compilations (including an expanded box set of this album), although great records not one of them have the impact of these 27 songs……..essential.
DONOVAN – SUNSHINE SUPERMAN (Epic 1966)
The Donovan album that marked the full transformation from folky troubadour to acid guru….at the time considered to be something of an early acid-head bible.
THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION – FREAK OUT! (Verve 1966)
Still strange as fuck nearly 50 years on……mixes garage rock, pop and doo wop songs with Los Angeles underground weirdness. Great place to start for anyone new to the twisted world of Frank Zappa.
LOVE – FOREVER CHANGES (Elektra 1967)
One of the greatest albums of all time…….Nuff said.
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE – SURREALISTIC PILLOW (RCA 1967)
A stone classic……includes the two best known Jefferson Airplane songs, ‘Somebody to Love’ and ‘White Rabbit’, both are among the most important compositions of from the first psychedelic era.
COUNTRY JOE & THE FISH – ELECTRIC MUSIC FOR THE MIND AND BODY (Vanguard 1967)
Considered as the authentic sound of SF circa 1967…..politically orientated, wildly eclectic record blending poetry, anarchy, politics and various strains of rock, blues, folk and country music with considerable skill.
THE WEST COAST POP ART EXPERIMENTAL BAND – Vol 2 (Reprise 1967)
Although all of the first three of The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band albums are essential listening, Vol 2 is possibly the best of one…..mainly because it has ‘The Smell of Incense’ on it.
PINK FLOYD – PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN (EMI Columbia 1967)
Quintessential UK psych rock and Syd Barrett’s finest moment……peerless mix of very English whimsy and full on psychedelic freakouts, an influence on psych bands that can still be heard today
TRAFFIC – MR FANTASY (Island 1967)
Take four stellar talents from the mid-sixties Brumbeat scene and transport them leafy Berkshire to “get it together in the country” for six months……add the finest hash known to mankind and this is the result. THE sound of the summer of 67 in Britain.
PRETTY THINGS – S.F. SORROW (EMI Columbia 1968)
From the Pretty Things psychedelic phase and acknowledged as being the first “rock opera”……this album predates the Who’s ‘Tommy’ by at least twelve months. If you can track down the expanded version which includes the fantastic non album singles as bonus tracks, it is well worth buying.
SMALL FACES – OGDENS NUT GONE FLAKE (Immediate 1968)
The classic Small Faces album…….this is what Mods on acid sound like.
RAIN PARADE – EMERGENCY THIRD RAIL POWER TRIP (Restless Records 1983)
Arguably the best of the Paisley Underground bands……should have been massive but it never really happened for them. This is their first and best album.
THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR – 25 O’CLOCK (Virgin 1985)
XTC masquerading as the mythical lost British psychedelic band The Dukes Of Stratosphear. A lovingly crafted homage to late 60s Brit-Psych that is one of best records XTC made. Followed up with a second album ‘Psonic Psunspot’ that stylistically can be compared to ‘Oranges & Lemons’. 25 O’Clock was reissued with bonus tracks in 2009 on Ape House, but if you can’t find it both albums were put together on the ‘Chips From The Chocolate Fireball’ anthology which is easier to find.
STEREOLAB/NURSE WITH WOUND – SIMPLE HEADPHONE MIND (Duophonic 1997)
Massive psychedelic remix of the Stereolab track ‘Long Hair of Death’…….released as a very limited edition vinyl/CD EP and now rare as hens teeth……get it here to listen to, it will blow your mind.
AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS - A MONSTROUS PSYCHEDELIC BUBBLE EXPLODING IN YOUR MIND (Platypus 2008)
Now on a fourth volume…….Mixed and compiled by Amorphous Androgynous, all of the A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble albums are brilliant……every track a killer tune. Psychedelia 101.
THE BLACK ANGELS – PHOSPHENE DREAM (Blue Horizon 2009)
All of The Black Angels albums are essential…….we like this one best.
ALLAH-LAS – ALLAH-LAS (Innovative Leisure 2012)
No one does blissed out, shimmering psych pop better than the Allah-Las. All your favourite 60s L.A./S.F. West Coast sounds on one record.
NIGHT BEATS – SONIC BLOOM (Reverberation Appreciation Society 2013)
A fuzzed out squall of a record……contemporary Garage Rock at its finest.
GOAT – COMMUNE (Rocket 2014)
One of last year’s best albums…….Afrobeat and Psych Rock mashed together in a crazy shamanistic ritual….Whirled Music indeed.
This is no way a definitive list……its stuff that we like and think people should give a listen to. If you think we have missed out some essential records or have an opinion on what we have included, feel free to use the comment section below this post and join the discussion