Guaxe – “Onda”

Got a new video up today from Boogarins offshoot Guaxe, the duo of Dino Almeida (Boogarins) and Pedro Bonifrate (Supercordas). “Onda” is a sparkling psych-pop stunner full of blurred neon synths, fogged vocals and an insistent beat that pushes the song along with a hypnotic shake. The band’s named after the Gauxe bird that lives in the forests of Brazil near where the artist’s recorded, inspired by the bird’s otherworldly synth-like call. Definitely a track that should appeal to those in the mood for some downtempo grooves from Temples or offshoots of Beta Band, Lone Pigeon.

The band’s Pedro Bonifrate gives a bit of insight into the track and its homegrown video. “Onda” is one of the last songs we’ve recorded for the album, and one of the upbeat ones. Roughly it’s got me singing the verses and Dino singing the chorus, so you can hear us both on this one. The video was edited by myself with amateur footage from our gatherings in Paraty through the last 4 years, when the album was recorded. I guess it’s a nice way to show people some effective context about the Guaxe project, which was born from friendship and a true love for music.” The record is out September 6th from OAR.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

April Magazine – “Parade”

You have to listen a little harder to hear the pop buried under the haze in which April Magazine shroud their works. Under sweater-soft hiss there’s a jangle that’s lovely and unassuming. The band isn’t so much shoegaze, as that almost feels too confident for this sound. This is huddle-core, tented under blankets and letting their sound seep out through the fibers into the waiting spools of a four-track. That’s not to say that the sound that seeps out through the muffled barrier isn’t enticing, just borderline private. Its as if we the listener might be intruding on April Magazine’s works and the moment they turn around and see us listening we’ll both blush a bit from the awkward encounter. While they’re playing, though, the three songs here are comforting nooks to get lost in for a few moments.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Bill MacKay + Katinka Kleijn – “Hermine”

Its been a rather banner year for Bill MacKay. The guitarist’s last album landed in February and its one of his most affecting statements to date, which in a catalog of his caliber isn’t any small feat. Now he’s got another LP on the way, this time with Dutch Cellist Katinka Kleijn. The first taste of their upcoming Drag City album is scarred and scratched. McKay’s guitar work is far more fanged than on Fountain Fire but no less vital. The first cut “Hermine” is feral, burnt, hollowed — it’s a much more ferricious side of MacKay than his simmering folk and Kleijn adds a shading and dimension that brings his playing forward in stark relief. Check the video for the first cut above and look out for this one on October 11th.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE

0 Comments

Modern Nature

Following up the eponymous 12” that established Jack Cooper’s new band earlier this year, Modern Nature cements their status with their debut LP, How To Live. The record’s been touted as a cross-section of where the country meets the city – folk forms grafted to a skeleton of motorik pulses and ripples of jazz skronk. There’s also a heavy permeation of cosmic waves that find their way into Modern Nature’s DNA. The band, and Cooper, are careful not to pack to much into one particular song, though. This is a progression, a journey from chaos to meditative ease (relatively speaking). The fluctuations happen organically, in waves and cycles throughout the album. Opening with the organic mew of cello strings, the album massages the darkness that UK-centric folk groups like Pentangle, Fairport Convention, and Incredible String Band carried with them into the crevices of propulsive pop.

Cooper paired up with Will Young (BEAK>, Moon Gangs) for this album and he’s given the songs the wash of rhythm that sneaks in through the fog of folk. Young adds rusted tin atmospheres, the rumble of rails, and the bustle of cityscapes to each song. When the urban life decays and fades, Young helps harness the brokenness and isolation of life change. The band’s namesake song might be their most pop performance, a bubbly and bittersweet hook to hang the album on, but it surrounded by more scarred samples. The haunted “Oracle” is gaunt and unsure. “Nightmares” is, in contrast to its title, surprisingly serene and reassuring, a break through the dark into dawn, but it also shies away from the light.

Its easy to trace back pieces of Modern Nature to previous Cooper-led bands. The pulses found their way into Mazes’ “Skulking” and “Salford” rise up here, and the melancholy and hope that drove Ultimate Painting holds strong as a centerpiece of the new group. Modern Nature finds its brilliance in balance. The essence of the album hangs over crowds like collective breath in cold air – one with the ether while the city moves below. The album has the kind of feeling of a passenger locked into thoughts so deep they forget to disembark the train until it hits the last destination and as we and they stumble out into the cold sun of spring there lies the the ocean, lappping listlessly, but still sparkling with the cold light of morning. This is an album about forgotten firmaments, and changing centers. Its an album ever in transition and we’re all just trying to hold on, or let go, whichever seems most appropriate.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Igor Wakhevitch – Kshtrayna (The Eye of The Bird)

Transversales Disques brings forth a lost gem from avant-garde composer Igor Wakhevitch. The electronic pioneer spent years in the circles of Terry Riley, Jen-Michel Jarre, Soft Machine and Pink Floyd, spreading a love for experimental synth wherever he went. His prolific period during the ‘70s produced the synth albums Logos, Docteur Faust, , Les Fous D’or and Naugal. Riley in particular was influential in shaping the sound of Hathor which found Wakhevitch pushing towards a more minimalist sound. Likewise, he found inspiration and collaboration with Salvador Dali, writing the music for his audiovisual “opera poème” in 6 parts, “Etre Dieu.” He’d go in to work further in theater and opera throughout the ‘80s, but never strayed from the longform Cosmic pieces that embraced a sense of otherworldly wonder.

In 1999, he composed these pieces on his “Mysterious Island 88” stynthesizer system and it embraces a sense of wonder and elnlightenement. Kshtrayna (The Eye of The Bird) ties nicely with his ‘70s output, feeling like a natural progression of the themes and textures he explored during the period. The set was never release, but has now found is way onto CD and LP via the French record label. Fans of Riley and Ash Ra Temple will find a great deal of crossover here, splitting the middle ground between academic composition and a more psychedelic pathway to the inner cosmos.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Lumerians – “Yellowcake” b/w “C-Rock”

Following up their full length for Fuzz Club last year, Oakland’s Lumerians return with a taut, gnarled single for the label. “Yellowcake” sees the band in full motorik mode, letting the rhythm take over on both sides of this short-form cooker. The a-side is hazy, with vocals buried in a storm of smoke and shadow. More compact and less flammable than most of the band’s catalog, the single seethes with an innate tension that’s only compounded by the b-side, “C-rock.” The songs perfectly seque into one another, barely taking a breath between them, but the pace picks up as we’re launched into the controlled chaos of the flip side. While there’s a film of bile that can’t be denied on the A-side, I’ve been gravitating towards this Krautrock cannonball on the back. Its good to see the band so propulsive and tightly coiled. The 7” precedes the band’s run at a string of EU dates and will be available on the tour.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Prana Crafter & Tarotplane

The run of great LPs from Beyond Beyond is Beyond doesn’t let up this month as we’re all treated to a new split from Prana Crafter and Baltimore psych unit Tarotplane. Each band is given a sidelong séance and they both use their groovespace wisely. Coming off the double diamond release of Bodhi Cheetahs’ Choice and Enter the Stream, Will Sol taps deep into the cosmic consciousness with “Jagged Mountain Melts at Dawn.” Moreso than ever, this vision of Prana Crafter owes a debt to the German Progressive and Swedish psychedelic scenes. The track picks at some Träd Gräs before tumbling through Ash Ra Temple touches and finally getting stuck in the web of sound that Achim Reichel wove under the banner of A.R. and Machines. Guitars echo and drip from the porcelain walls of Sol’s world with a disconcerting calm that slowly creeps up the legs like ice in the nerves. Its as expansive as he’s gone and its great to hear him spread out to such a large sonic canvas.

Likewise, the flip, featuring PJ Dorsey’s Tarotplane explores similarly Kosmiche terrain, divining mercurial guitar ripples that have traversed from the Atom Heart of the sun. “We Move Slowly Through the Past” slinks through the dreamtime on iridescent scales. The song unfolds slowly, building to a finish that strips away the calm, crashing with percussive touches and silver-flashed synths. Dorsey plays with echo in a similar manner as his compatriot, though his impulses tend to radiate more than drip. Both pieces inhabit the listener and grow outward until molecules loosen and the consciousness begins to touch the yawning of the ethers around. Any fans of Space Rock, Prog, and Psych-Folk oughta find a foothold in here. Double stunners from both artists and just one more reason you should be wading into the Beyond-verse.

Support the artists. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

The Babe Rainbow – “Many Moons of Love”

The third album from Aussie surf-folk combo The Babe Rainbow is shaping up to be a sun streaked summer comfort album. The band has a knack for pairing joyful harmonies with just the right pang of bittersweet shade, rolling in touches of jazz and lounge to their folk backbone. They’ve come up downstream in the Flightless crew and have begun taking a larger foothold here in the States over the past couple of albums. “Many Moons of Love” sees the band wistful strummin’ with the best of them atop some home footage that feels like a vacation reel pitch for an endless summer in the hills. Check the video above and look out for the LP in September.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Monarch

Pulling far from their shores, Danish psych outpost El Paraiso issues the second album from San Diego quintet Monarch. The record is a fuller offering than their debut, built around a tense nest of guitar interplay and storm-worn waves of organ. Owing much to the latter half of the ‘70s in the formation of their sound, the band eschews the type of loose, sandy riffs that have permeated a lot of their fellow West Coasters these days and they’re toughening this one up into the kind of sweat-shined, coke-veined records that blew out through ’75 and beyond, hardening the arteries of rock into the beast it would become in the ‘80s. Now, on the surface that sounds like a setup for the kind of rock n’ roll dress-up that’s perpetrated by Greta Van Fleet among other shoddy revivalists, but Monarch are careful to embody the spirit and not just the signifiers of this era.

They’re not working wholesale to scratch at one particular band’s niche, instead weaving the excesses of the era into a tumbling, tussling album that’s not afraid to tack on a sax coda if need be. They embody the feeling of artists holed up in the studio working to put their sunken eyes and shaking fingers to work on the riff that won’t let them sleep. The album has a ragged opulence to it, the kind of rock album that’s not necessarily approached anymore because it had been deemed a bit bloated in its day. The same kind that are now finding second wind with new generations scratching below the surface of the radio royalty and essential albums lists. The band centers the album on a trilogy of songs “Beyond The Blue Sky > Phenomena > Counterpart” that sees them building something bigger than mere single takes. This isn’t the same vein as the more amiable jam contingent building around the country, there’s progression, but also desperation and it’s an oddly welcome feeling to the newer progressive movements.

Beyond The Blue Sky’s title might hint at what the band is aiming for here, an album that leaves behind the sunny notions of California and instead finds itself slumped in the back of a towncar staring at the lights on the strip as they creep by, numb to charms of the salt air outside of the air-conditioned cab. This one might not be a constant companion, but its worth absorbing at least a few times. It’s thornier, slipperier and harder than it appears at first blush, a slowly unfolding story full of lies and leers.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Wooden Wand – The Thump Sessions

Well I suppose the sad news first. James Toth is putting up the possibility that these may be the final Wooden Wand recordings. I suppose everything comes to an end and over fifteen years we’ve all gotten a good fill of great music from Toth’s alter ego. Though its hard to think of a guiding light of the site going dim. This year’s hard enough. The good news is that these final recordings were made with Jarvis Taveniere at Thump Studios and feature a backing band that included Jeremy Earl, Kyle Forester, and John Andrews of Woods, and singer Katie Von Schleicher. So, in a way this is Woods(en) Wand and that’s, quite honestly something I fully support.

The four songs on offer are sweeping and lush, probably on par with James’ work during the Ecstatic Peace to Ryko transition – tender melodies that streak the windows in just the right ways. There’s a reworking of his song “Don’t Let Love Make A Liar Out of You,” that first appeared on the one-off Carlos The Second, a song he recorded with Langhorne Slim originally. Here he’s alone here, but no less bittersweet. The set is essential for any longtime fans of WW and up now on his Bandcamp. Stop by and say a heartfelt goodbye to an old friend.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments