Monday, 21 August 2017
The nostalgia for ye olde sharity blogs continues. I found the debut Suburban Lawns LP 10 years ago on a blog I used to frequent often but can't remember the name of now, I'm sure you can probably track down an mp3 or maybe it's been reissued since then.
Singer Su Tissue is an enigma with quite a fanboy following on the interweb. The discussions usually talk about whether she is autistic or just an art school hipster and speculation as to what she is doing doing now. Her online presence is nil so this all adds to the mystery.
Saturday, 19 August 2017
This washed away all the dark and negative vibes in my life today. Like when you loved a pop song when you were little. It's all about the 3 and a half minutes of bliss. Then you can play it again. The verses are a bit Morrissey-esque doncha think?
Friday, 4 August 2017
Here's some more Upper Astral. This is the A-side and fucking amazement, even my dog loves it! and he hates most new age usually because it has rain or thunder in it. Weirdly, this track occasionally dips into a little bit of darkness. So it's not all euphoric vistas that we think of as new age today. These were the early days of new age though. Skybirds and Journey To The Edge Of The Universe are the other two Upper Astral tapes that I would highly recommend. I'm sure I first heard those due to the Crystal Vibrations blog. New Age was never a bad word in my world though, as my brother introduced me to some stuff when I was in my teens. There used to be a new age shop in every second Melbourne suburb in the early 90s as I recall. It was usually a creepy vibe in those shops. I hated all the other shit apart from the music though. Now I think I wish I'd bought some of the art, really? no not really. Maybe there are still some of these shops out there? I wouldn't know, I live in the middle of nowhere these days.
Thursday, 27 July 2017
Discovered this vintage cosmic synth LP from Swedish duo Anna Sjalv Tredje the other day. Here it is in full on youtube. Tussilago Fanfara was released in 1977 on Silence, the legendary Swedish label. Berlin school electronics for the most part. The second track is tres spooky with its sinister whispers, foreboding washes of sound and black night tones of gloom. The final tune changes it up a bit with a Cluster/Ashra style jam. An underrated gem.
This is the only part of Channel For The Light on the youtubes and the best bit isn't on it!
I've discovered a few new age related things on the interwebs since that post where I mentioned the Crystal Vibrations blog. Hidden Valley has been keeping the scented candle burning for old new age tapes on the blogosphere since CV became inactive in 2012. This dude is obsessed with the legendary Californian label Valley Of The Sun. Many of that label's classic catalogue of 80s tapes have been posted there, a couple of which i've not heard.
For those who need more there's a whole bunch of new agey stuff at the Sounds Of The Dawn blog too.
Upper Astral had an incredible run of tapes from 1981-1983.
Monday, 17 July 2017
So nearly every episode of the new season of Twin Peaks has featured a song played live in the Bang Bang bar for the final credits sequence. Chromatics paid ethereal homage to Julee Cruise at the end of the first or second episode. The only other time I've heard this group was on the Drive soundtrack a couple of years ago. The tune in that film was pretty ordinary but Shadow's got a perfect vibe for Twin Peaks. When that synth swells up it gets very very lovely.
I've skipped ahead to episode 4 because the band at the end of episode 3 were fucking awful - the music and their hair! Anyway at the end of the 4th episode were Au Revoir Simone with Lark, which I really enjoyed. Is this the worst band name in the history? This group's been around for like 15 years. Can't quite put my finger on what is magic about this tune, just a beautiful classic melody I suppose. The keyboard player on the right is the star of the band with her Addicted To Love schtick.
I would never bother listening to Sharon Van Etten but Lynch made me sit through this slowcore country folk tune and I gotta say it was the best thing about episode six. That might not be saying much though as this instalment was the fucking pits and made me stop watching the new season for a month. I was later advised to keep checking out the new episodes which I eventually did.
A second appearance for this badly named synth trio. Like if 80s indie pop was informed by Stereolab and Broadcast. Backwards not possible pop. Another lovely tune.
This is the lady who sang a Spanish a cappella version of Crying in Mulholland Drive which was amazing. This is a good vocal performance too if not quite as mind-blowing. Moby, who once sampled the original Twin Peaks soundtrack on his smash hit Go, is playing guitar with Rebekah Del Rio here at the end of tonight's episode.
*I've left out a couple of performances ie. NIN, Hudson Mowhawke etc. as they were underwhelming.
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
These first 3 got my vote as I actually own the albums but the bottom 3, which I've just discovered at discogs, are also the fabulous. There are some other great Scientist records like the Dub Landing series but those covers are not so great.
This put me in mind of an old comic from Britain Tiger & Scorcher. My older brother used to read it in the 70s. I remember it had motor racing, stunt men, wrestling, soccer and maybe it had boxing too. Cricket? Dunno...if only they'd invent a machine where I could instantly research such things.
This one might actually be the best of the lot. I wish I was at that contest! Just quietly I reckon Scientist would have won.
*Great LP Covers Part I
Saturday, 8 July 2017
After that previous post about Not Not Fun I had a chuckle to myself and thought 'What am I going to do next check out the new releases on Digitalis or Hooker Vision?' These labels covered the scene(s) of many names hypnagogia, glow fi, tropical, neo-kosmiche, altered zones, nu age noise etc. I had a little look on the intewebs only to find Hooker Vision ceased operations in 2014 and Digitalis seems to have perhaps closed its doors around the same time. So I won't be doing a post featuring 2017 releases from those labels. Maybe I need to check out Gift Tapes, Pizza Night, Taped Sounds, Olde English Spelling Bee or Catholic Tapes. Those labels probably don't exist either. I reckon 6 years is the perfect amount of time for a label to exist anyway. Don't hang around too long to become boring. Imagine if Flying Nun or Ghostbox halted after that amount of time, they would have been perfect.
|From the ye olde Hooker Vision blog|
Anyway I did discover an old album by Quiet Evenings from 2011. Quiet Evenings contain the husband and wife team, Grant and Rachael Evans, who also ran the Hooker Vision label. Rachael's other musical project is the fab Motion Sickness Of Time Travel and her husband was in Nova Scotian Arms, Crippling and a whole bunch of others. Transcending Spheres turns out to be a lost classic that funnily wasn't released on any of the aforementioned labels. It's here at bandcamp though. Synths drift and hover, beats remain discreet and guitars even appear amongst the narcotic glaze. It's dark, it's haunting and it's sublime.
Thursday, 6 July 2017
I really don't recall how I ended up here but I'm glad I did even though it's probably not very cool. I can't remember the last Not Not Fun album I bought. It was a couple of years ago at least, that Rangers Reconsider Lounge record maybe. Tonight somehow I had arrived at the label's bandcamp site and ended up coming away with three of their 2017 releases. There was a time when everything they released was really bloody good. I perceived that they had reached some kind of peak around 2010/2011 with a gradual drop off of choice releases in the following years. After listening to these recordings tonight though, perhaps we were a bit hasty in our move away from this great label. Or maybe I'm on a hypnagogic nostalgia trip. Either way it doesn't matter to me, I really enjoyed all of these albums. So with a little help from your friends go ahead and check these out.
Video Salon - Video Salon
Video Salon's haunting drones and shimmering vocals are delightfully mesmerising. This is seductive classic stuff. Brian Pyle (Starving Weirdos, Ensemble Economique) and Galya Chikiss are the duo Video Salon.
Iguana Moonlight - Wild Palms
A synth voyage into the tropical hot dog night. Lovely sonic sketches of solitude by the seaside. These sounds match that cover art perfectly.
Robedoor - New Age Sewage
While we're still in drone territory here, this is much darker and turbulent than the above two releases. New Age Sewage is amorphous psych drone noise on an epic scale. I'm kinda amazed by this actually. I was not expecting to like this so much. By far the best Robedoor thing I've ever heard.
Canada Effervescent - Crystalline
This is retro new age. Crystalline sounds like a tape from the 80s heyday with it's faux harp, piano and environmental sounds amidst the gentle ripples of the cosmic lite synth and other new age accoutrements. This is perfect sleepy time music. I feel calmer already. Nice.
Does anyone remember the great blog Crystal Vibrations? One of my favourite blogs of all time, I wish he still did it. Crystalline reminds me of the many great new age tapes that were posted there.
Wednesday, 5 July 2017
SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE NIGERIAN ARMY BARRACKS
Deep in a rabbit hole on the youtubes last night I discovered this lost gem of psych tinged afrobeat from the early 70s. Some of these dudes were from Fela Kuti's 60s group Koola Lobitos. Position Pass Power is on the Shango Dance Band LP which was reissued last year.
I'm amazed that there is any undiscovered stuff from 70s Nigeria left after the massive excavation of the last 20 years. They made a hell of lot of great music in those parts during that era. I still haven't got around to listening to Now Again's Ten years in the making 4 LP compilation from 2016 Wake Up You: The Rise & Fall of Nigerian Rock 1972-77. I thought that was probably going to be the epic final chapter in Nigerian 70s archival sets but maybe not. Let's hope the gems continue to be unearthed.