Wednesday, 24 February 2016

THE VELDT – THE SHOCKING FUZZ OF YOUR ELECTRIC FUR: THE DRAKE EQUATION EP (Leonard Skully Records LP, CD, D/L).

For anyone who thinks that soul is missing from the indie scene, you have just found your band. Taking mindbending genre mashing to another level, early 90s soulful shoegazers The Veldt have returned with a new EP, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation EP, their first record under that name since 1994. Formed by brothers Daniel and Danny Chavis, The Veldt where truly sonically groundbreaking, although fusing rock guitars, beats and soul together had been done before…….check out Tackhead who, featuring musicians from The Sugarhill Gang, recorded one genius psychedelicized record and one indifferent album for On-U-Sound at the turn of the 90s….raised on a diet of gospel, Motown and Pink Floyd, they created celestial music that sounds like a holy union between Prince and the Cocteau Twins. However back in the day The Velt got washed away in a massive tsunami of record company indifference……….they wanted a band that sounded like more conventional black Rock acts such as Living Colour and Lenny Kravitz, whereas The Veldt were more stylistically similar to AR Kane (another massively under rated band from that period). Following a period recording as Apollo Heights, The Veldt are now back and it’s not as if they have changed their sound any………it’s that the world has finally caught up.

The title of the EP was borrowed from an E.E. Cummings poem and its raging sound was influenced equally by the emotional soul of Marvin Gaye, free jazz cosmic explorers Sun Ra and Pharaoh Sanders, various Drake hip-hop tracks, and their own productive electric imagination. The first single taken from the EP is the emotionally wrought ‘Sanctified’, a ballad that perfectly captures the lush sound of Danny’s swirling  guitars and decibel-breaking distortion, along with Daniel’s soulful wail and Hayato Nakao’s deep bass grooves and guitar feedback………. The Veldt take the sweet soul sounds of the Southern states, infuse with dope beats and then bathe the whole thing with blissed out guitar in an audacious mash up of genres that serves as the perfect re-introduction to this dynamic band. The rest of the tracks on this album have a comparable structure………it is absolutely far out and of the newer bands working on the edge of definable genres within the more accessible Indie universe only bands such as TV On The Radio and Yeasayer can come anywhere close. The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur is Psychedelic Soul for the new millennium, it’s the kind of music that Norman Whitfield would be making at Motown if he was operating with a blown mind in 2016 and the only thing getting in way of The Veldt this time round is that if people don’t get it. This record has completely messed with our heads and we can’t wait for the Resurrection Hymns LP which will drop later this year via SonaBLAST! Records.

Due to be released on 18th March and available now to pre-order, available from The Veldt Bandcamp page at http://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com/releases where it comes as either a CD or digital download. The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur will also be released on vinyl via UK label Leonard Skully Records. A brilliant record, you really need to check it out………………it will blow your mind People.

THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN  

HERSELF AND THE LAISSEZ FAIRS – GLEAMING EP (DeAmbula Records CD, D/L).

Herself is one of the many musical guises of former Lay Llamas member Gioele Valenti and under this moniker he has record several records of apocalyptic folk lo-fi songs that have been described as a harmonious meeting between Sparklehorse, Gravenhurst and Will Oldham. For the Gleaming EP Herself has joined forces with The Laissez Fairs, the hip, happening, maximum Mod Psych freakout band from Las Vegas led by ex Steppes member John Fallon, to create a wonderfully beguiling collection of five Psychedelic/Folk songs that radiate with warmth and beauty. It’s a record of delicate Psych tinted Alt-Folk that summons the ghost of Nick Drake to come and hang with Mercury Rev mixed with a more Psych Rock feel as John Fallon and Joe Lawless from the Laissez Fairs fill in the gaps left in Herself’s lo-fi sketches.

Opening with the fragile ‘Torches (Part I)’, a gentle Psych Folk song bathed in sumptuous mellotron and organ giving the track a pastoral Canterbury psychedelic seventies vibe, Gleaming is a million miles away from the Lay Llamas Psychedelic Electronic Afrorock groove. Although ‘I Don't Mind’ and ‘Torches (Part II)’ have a more Psych Rock feel with Fallon’s guitars reminiscent of classic Electric Prunes and Kinks as they swirl out in a lysergic blur, at its heart this is an excellent record that channels 90s US Alt-Folk/Rock. Both ‘The River’ and the closing track ‘Nihil’ are must a listen for fans of the likes of Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips and Sparklehorse…………this really is a wonderful record and a full album from this collaboration would be a real treat.

The Gleaming EP has been out for a few months now and is well worth checking out. Released by DeAmbula Records, Gleaming is available on CD and as a download from the Herself bandcamp page at http://herself1.bandcamp.com/releases. We had planned to review this with Gioele Valenti’s other project Ju Ju but it looks like that has been put back till May........so keep a sharp eye out for that. 

THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN         

Friday, 19 February 2016

COMBOMATIX – CHINESE SONGS FOR BAD BOYS (Howlin’ Banana Records/Retard Records LP, D/L).

Coming outta the Rennes Garage Rock scene and straight to your heart, French two man wrecking crew Combomatix are back with a new album of primal lo-fi Garage Punk titled Chinese Songs For Bad Boys. Following their 2012 debut album on Frantic City Records, which earned comparisons to the likes of The Gloomies, Gories and The Oblivians, Combomatix have expanded their basic line up of snarling, distorted guitar and thunderous drums with fuzzed out organ, which gives the band a more “classic” Garage Rock sound.

Chinese Songs For Bad Boys is not big, with a running time of around 30 minutes and it’s not clever……..in fact it’s as dumb as they come……but it’s a total blast. It’s a wild ride, it’s the musical equivalent of driving as fast as possible…….without any breaks……..drunk…….and wearing a blindfold!!!! There are some really cool tunes on this album, ‘Never Cut The Wire’ and ‘I Got Pills’ are both very groovy while the album closer ‘I'll Make You Mad’ is an absolute killer Garage/Psych tune which see Combomatix moving into Fuzztones/Lords Of Altamont territory. Combomatix really tear up the joint and if proper old school, dirty Garage Rock is where you get your thrills, then it is well worth your time checking out this seriously high octane record .........phew, Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Chinese Songs For Bad Boys is a joint release by the French labels Howlin’ Banana Records and Retard Records and is available in a limited pressing of 300 vinyl copies. Out now, the record can be purchased from the Howlin’ Banana web store or from Bandcamp, where a digital download is also available, at the following pages …..

Retard Records

Howlin’ Banana Records

Combomatix


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

COSMIC LETDOWN – IN THE CAVES (Opium Eyes Records CD, Cassette, D/L, Sound Effects Records LP).

In The Caves cover art
We were first introduced to Russian Psych Rock band Cosmic Letdown twelve months ago when we came across their debut album, Venera, and their more experimental side project Opium Eyes Of Nico while looking for albums for one of our “Bandcamp freebies” posts. We were completely blown away by Cosmic Letdown’s blend of fantastic hazy, fuzzed out riffs and awesome grooves from the same narcotic netherworld as the likes of The Warlocks, Black Angels and Asteroid #4. Released at the same time by their totally far out side project, Dronecaine is a ten track collection of Indian and Eastern European influenced experimental music (including an interesting take on 'Tomorrow Never Knows') inspired by Spacemen 3 and early  Spiritualized, where Opium Eyes Of Nico explored the further reaches of the psychedelic universe. In the last year Cosmic Letdown have figured out how to fuse both these elements together and have recorded In The Caves……an absolute mind melter of a record, released on their own Opium Eyes imprint.

Whereas Venera had more of a conventional structure , In The Caves has a looser more improvisational feel…….it sounds like the band have set up in the studio and blasted away live with the tapes rolling. This album is a total trip………………..mixing the meditative vibes of sitar and  tanpura with squalling Psych Rock, Cosmic Letdown have created a psychedelic landscape full of subtle textures that share space with acid fueled freak-outs . Although split into 5 tracks on the album, In The Caves works as one continual piece of music as the tracks gently coalesce in an almost seamless flow creating a near transcendental experience………..there are no exceptional stand out tracks as there is a deep symbiotic connection between each section making the album much more than the sum of its parts.......a record which really has to be listened to in one sitting to get the full experience (you don't have to be stoned to listen to it.......but, as the saying goes, it helps). In The Caves is an exceptional record that you are really going to dig if trippy head music like Electric Moon and other "out there" cosmic bands of that ilk are your thing.

In The Caves is out now and you can get hold of a copy of the very limited CD and cassette version (50 copies only of each format) from the Cosmic Letdown Bandcamp page at https://cosmicletdownband.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-caves where the album is also available as a “name your price” digital download. In The Caves has also had a vinyl release…….Greek record store/very groovy label Sound Effect Records have released the album in a limited run of 300 (200 on black vinyl and 100 on clear vinyl)……….They sell their releases through their Discogs site, but if you don’t have an account you can order it direct from Sound Effect Records website by emailing them at info@soundeffect-records.gr. In the UK the Cardinal Fuzz web store will be carrying copies, but check for availability.
    
Cosmic Letdown’s debut album Venera (or Венера in Russian) is still available as a “name your price” digital download at https://cosmicletdownband.bandcamp.com/album/--2 where there is a limited number of CDs for sale. Also worth checking out is the Opium Eyes Of Nico album which is also available as a “name your price” download at https://opiumeyesofnico.bandcamp.com/album/dronecaine and also as a limited edition CD (40 copies).


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

DREAMTIME – DREAMTIME / DREAMTIME – SUN (Captcha Records/Cardinal Fuzz LP, CDr, D/L).

None animated GIF

Strange things are happening…….from the down underground and new for 2016 from Captcha Records/Cardinal Fuzz is the release of the first two Dreamtime albums for the first time outside Australia. Hailing from Brisbane, Dreamtime are a heavy Psychedelic Rock band massively influenced by the late 60s/early 70s sonic alchemy from the likes of Brainticket, King Crimson, Black Sabbath, Ash Ra Tempel, Can and Jimi Hendrix along with more  contemporary psychedelic adventurers such as Bardo Pond, Dead Meadow, Earthless, The Warlocks and Comets On Fire amongst others. Since forming around six years ago, Dreamtime have released two full length albums, one EP and a single, and toured along the east coast of Australia, Japan and the United States of America as support to the likes of Earthless, The Shrine, Eternal Elysium, Kadavar, Blues Pills, Earth, Boris, A Place to Bury Strangers and Moon Duo as well as playing at the 2013 Austin Psych Fest…………with a new album in the works for 2016, their star is definitely on the rise and Dreamtime are destined to be one of the next breakout bands from the Oz Psych scene.

Released in 2011 as an extremely limited vinyl pressing the debut Dreamtime album is definitely for fans of seriously heavy psychedelic rock. There is nothing remotely restrained on this record, mixing the frenzied sonic assault of skull crushing, fuzzed out Acid Rock with bad acid, squalling cosmic jams that are inspired by 70s Psych influenced Heavy Rock. This is a snapshot of where Dreamtime were at back in 2011……while there are some really cool tracks brimming with great ideas, this is effectively the sound of a band finding their feet musically and getting their sound together……..the distant rumble of an oncoming storm.

Released a year later, but on the evolutionary scale Dreamtime’s second album, Sun, has leaped forward several million years. They add further influences of Eastern Ragas and Tibetan style chants to the 70’s Turkish Psych, Kraut and 60’s garage they explored on their first album creating a much more satisfying record……….Sun is an absolute mind blower!!! Opening with ‘Centre Of Mind’, it’s pretty obvious that the psychedelic has been ramped up several notches………driven by a languid bass line and bathed in a fug of incense, the track is full of stoned ambience which builds and builds until a swirling guitar brings the track crashing back to earth (watch the video here). ‘Baphomet’ starts with a mix of ethnic found sounds (Tibetan singing bowls, chants and drones) before the guitars crash in, sending the tune hurtling spaceward at maximum velocity……..a truly astounding track. Eastern psychedelic influences can also be heard on ‘The Road’ and ‘Equivalence’, where Dreamtime continue to explore the stoned immaculate grooves of ‘Centre Of Mind’……….gone is the stoner rock sludge of their debut album, replaced by something more transcendental and incandescent. Flip the disc and another Eastern flavoured headswirler, ‘Brujeria’, is sandwiched between two epic extended meditative jams where Dreamtime sound like they are channelling a holy communion between spiritual/psychedelic Australian/British 70s band Quintessence and Bardo Pond. Clocking in at around 10 minutes, the album’s title track treads the path that seeks enlightenment through extreme volume while the final track ‘Art of Invisibility’ is a 13 minute psychedelic masterpiece that takes a battering ram to the doors of perception, bursting them wide open with one of the most tripped out tunes we have heard for quite a while………absolutely brilliant!!!! Sonically, Sun is such a step forward from the first album, they sound like records from two separate bands………………….it’s a total psychedelic headfuck of a record that demands to be heard, so kudos to Captcha Records/Cardinal Fuzz for making this record available in the U.S.A. and Europe. We can’t wait to hear the new album that is scheduled to be released this year.

Both records are due for release on March 11th and are available to pre-order now from the Captcha Records Bandcamp page at https://captcharecords.bandcamp.com/music for the U.S.A and for the UK and Europe from the Cardinal Fuzz web store, who have a very limited stock so check for availability. Dreamtime and Sun are both available on coloured vinyl (the self-titled debut album has been pressed on pretty pink vinyl and Sun is available on groovy purple/yellow vertigo swirl vinyl) and a very limited run of CDrs housed in very cool handmade sleeves………plus digital downloads are also available from Captcha Records.

Friday, 12 February 2016

TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE PSYCHEDELIC BASEMENT – 27/2/16 8PM GMT.

Geoff Leppard and Thee Psychedelicatessen Djs return with the first TRANSMISSIONS FROM THE PSYCHEDELIC BASEMENT of 2016. Broadcast by BigJaf.Net on Saturday 27th February………..tune in to www.mixlr.com/wwwbigjafnet at 8pm GMT for 3hrs of the finest mind melting mixture of Garage Rock, Classic Psych Sounds and new Psychedelia.

For this show we have gone for a more guitar heavy Paisley Underground, Garage Rock and classic Psych vibe with a selection of tunes we hope you will dig that span all the way from the late 60s to new, emerging bands that channel those classic sounds. Some tunes you will know (we have included a few really cool cover versions for your delight and delectation) and some tunes are destined to become future favourites. Turn On, Tune In and Trip Out.
GEOFF LEPPARD & THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN.

8pm – 9pm GEOFF LEPPARD

Ulver - Cromagnosis
David Bowie - All the Madmen
After All - Intangible She
Dungen - Fredag
Tame Impala - Runway Houses City Clouds
The Amorphous Androgynous - Elysian Feels
The Sonic Dawn - All the Ghosts I Know
Traffic - Medicated Goo
Russell Morris - The Real Thing
Elephant Stone - A Silent Moment

9PM – 11pm THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN

Abunai! - Inspiration
Baby Woodrose - Love Like A Flower
Ulver - In The Past
Rain Parade - This Can't Be Today (live)
Dream Syndicate - John Coltraine Stereo Blues (live)
Eleventh Dream Day - Testify
Hoodoo Gurus - Hallucination
The Lemonheads - Dandelion Seeds
The Jigsaw Seen - The Daily Planet
Thin White Rope - Yoo Doo Right
Sand Pebbles - Natalie
The Chesterfield Kings - Outtasite!
Naz Nomad & The Nightmares - Nobody But Me
The Loons - Some Kind Of Asylum
The Barracudas - Inside Mind
Robyn Hitchcock - The Lizard
Wondermints - Rejected Beer Ad/Proto-Pretty
The Stars Of Heaven - So That You Know
The See See - The Day That Was The Day
The Strange Attractors - Reverberation (Doubt)
The Black Angels - Sunday Afternoon
Grand Rapids - Copper Girl
The Dilettantes - Ready To Go
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Not If You Were The Last Dandy On Earth
The Luck Of Eden Hall - Alligators Eat Gumdrops
The Waves - Everything Is Changing
Golden Void - I've Been Down
Sleepy Sun - The Chain (live)

Thursday, 11 February 2016

SONS OF THE VOID – SONS OF THE VOID (Sunrise Ocean Bender LP,D/L).

Now living in Switzerland, David Max has a pretty impressive psychedelic CV, the former bassist/songwriter with cult 90s Hoboken/NYC Psychedelic/Space Rock band Tadpoles has worked with, amongst others, Ex Spacemen 3 member Sonic Boom and Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers along with a five year stint playing guitar in Psychic TV. Now based in Basel it can’t just be a coincidence that he has rocked up in the same city where Albert Hoffmann was working in the Sandoz Labs. Following the more folky Simple Psychedelic Pleasures released on the Chicago label Mind Expansion Records, Sons Of The Void is the latest project from David Max in collaboration with guitarist Nick Nobody. They describe themselves as an “experimental rock band attempting to marry the beauty of the pop song with the magical elixir of other-world modalities” and judging by how their debut album sounds Sons Of The Void have succeeded in mixing together the potent essence of early Pink Floyd, The Velvet Underground, The Red Krayola, The Byrds and 1980s Neo-Psychedelica into a swirling maelstrom of Sixties influenced psychedelic sounds.

Released by those fine purveyors of immaculate taste Sunrise Ocean Bender, the debut album from Sons Of The Void is somewhat of an oddity in 2016, being a proper psychedelic record in an age where a great deal of Psych Rock is effectively 70s heavy rock dressed up in groovy threads (although we would happily pay good money to see Black Sabbath, Can and Hawkwind fight in a sack, it would no doubt become tedious after a while). Sons Of The Void take their inspiration from the sonic experimentation of the Sixties (the “golden age of psychedelia”????) following the path where the journey to the centre of the mind coexisted with the primal force of music but have made it relevant to the now………it is music fuelled by the finest psychotomimetic and hallucinogenic drugs known to man as opposed to cheap speed, mushrooms and whiskey. Opening with a headrush of sparkling guitars, the Suns Of The Void debut album takes you on a twisted trip through eight acid drenched tracks that at their core all have a rock solid pop sensibility, it’s as if pop history has been rewritten and the Byrds made lo-fi records with Timothy Leary. There are some great, lysergically warped tunes on this album………’Kolliderscope’ is a fantastically trippy track, part West Coast Sunshine Pop and part Acid Test freak out while ‘Absorption’ is a beautifully psychedelic head swirler. Flip the disc for more fantastic lo-fi psychedelia from Sons Of The Void with the folky ‘The Things We Wish’ and the acid whirl of ‘Little Children’ being the stand out tracks here. This is a really great record from a bunch of people who really understand the acid experience………check it out people, it’s electric music for the mind and body.  After hearing this we must now go and check out the Tadpoles records from the 90s………if they are anywhere as good as this, they are going to be pretty special.

Methinks that this is a labour of love for SOB (check the track listing for Tadpoles album Whirlaway). Released on 4th March, Sons Of The Void is available to pre-order from the Sunrise Ocean Bender web store or from Bandcamp at https://sonsofthevoid.bandcamp.com/album/sons-of-the-void (also check Clear Spot as they will be dealing with the European distribution). Housed in some of the grooviest psychedelic artwork we have seen for quite a while, Sons Of The Void is available in a limited edition run of 250 copies on cyan coloured vinyl and if you need the digital version to play on your phone while you have a crafty spliff at the back of the magic bus, a download is also available. Turn On, Tune In and Trip Out with Sons Of The Void.


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

LE SUPER HOMARD – MAPLE KEY (Mega Dodo LP, CD, D/L).

Wow, this is a groovy record of 60s influenced Psychedelic Electronic Pop that fans of Stereolab, Air, High Llamas and early Broadcast really should check out. Already available in Japan on the very cool Rallye records, Maple Key, the debut mini album from Le SuperHomard (French multi-instrumentalist Christophe Vaillant) has been picked up by the good folk at Mega Dodo for release in the UK and Europe. Seeped in classic French pop influences including those of spiritual fathers of the Retro Futurism genre, the aforementioned Stereolab and Medhi Zannad, with a little help from his brother Oliver (drums and bass) and singer Pandora Burgess, Christophe has recorded a fantastic record full of up-beat, melodic pop music that is immediately recognisable but also sonically ambitious.

Although Maple Key is short, coming in just over 20 minutes, the eight tracks here are sweet, sweet stuff indeed. Channelling the “space age bachelor pad” vibe of Stereolab’s most commercial period (around the time of their Emperor Tomato Ketchup album), Le SuperHomard mix bubbling, sophisticated instrumentals which evoke the feel of the early Air EPs with some great retro futuristic pop songs that feature the wonderful voice of Pandora Burgess. The title track is a shimmering, psych tinged pop tune straight from a 1960s imagined future where we all have jet packs and spend holidays on the Moon……check the video here. The rest of the record is in the same vain…….much of the inspiration for this mini album can be heard drifting from the ether with brief snatches of familiar sounds catching the ear before vanishing and although the influences are obvious, Maple Key is so much more than the sum of its parts. If a cocktail party on Mars is your thing, then you are really going to like this record.

Maple Key is due for release on Mega Dodo on March 26th and can be pre-ordered from either the Mega Dodo Bandcamp page at https://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/maple-key or their online shop where it is available as a CD, limited edition (250 copies) 10” white vinyl or a digital download. You can also buy the CD from Rallye records in Japan or if you are one of the 50 or so hipsters that actually own a tape deck/Walkman (an original 1982 TC/WM-D6 Walkman Professional obviously) there will be a limited cassette release on the Greek label Melotron Recordings on 14th February.


THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN