Browsing Category Bits & Pieces

Prana Crafter – “Jagged Mountain Melts At Dawn”

Last year was a particularly solid year for Will Sol’s Prana Crafter, with two releases vying for end of year honors (Enter The Stream just edgrf out it’s predecessor). After turns at Eiderdown, Cardinal Fuzz, and Sunrise Ocean Bender Prana Crafter returns to roots at Beyond Beyond is Beyond for a gloriously grooved split with Baltimore’s Tarotplane. The artists share a mutual appreciation for their respective psychedelic sweat lodge transmissions and following an appearance together on a Hypnic Jerks Compilation in 2018 the outfits have opted for a more official partnership. Today I’ve got a glimpse into the cosmic quasar cave-in that Sol’s worked up for his half of the deal the bands dubbed Symbiose.

Prana Crafter opens his sidelong lymbic lifeboat, “Jagged Mountain Melts at Dawn” with a slow creep– dark, dank, and burrowed in the soil. The track roots in his psych-folk fever, but reaches towards the cosmos by the time it taps out. Sol’s strings feel tactile, tilling tangles of moss before they begin to float and disappear into the echo. Will gives insight to the song’s creation, “The backbone of this track, he notes, “is a flowing improvisation made using a live-loop created slowly and flavored by a crybaby wah and a wonderful delay pedal gifted to me by Tarotplane, it was recorded after midnight in heavy darkness, with only the flashing lights of the pedals illuminating the room.” Seems that the conception of the track also serves its reception. I’d highly recommend dimming the bulbs and letting this one wash over in the stillness of night. Below you can listen to an edit of the song, the full jam will run almost 20 minutes when the split finds its way out August 16th.



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Village of Spaces – “The Night is Long”

Another lovely song tumbles in today from Village of Spaces. Following on the great LP they’ve had out this year on Feeding Tube, the band is taking part in SPINSTER’s Quilt of the Universe compilation. The comp seeks to cross pollinate the concept of NASA’s “Gold Record,” sent out to the cosmos as an example of worthwhile culture on Earth, with the solar system quilt stitched by a rural Iowan teacher in the late nineteenth century. As the label puts it, the record is an “assemblage of artists sharing earthly experience, or translating planetary knowledge, or both.” The tape, out June 21st, also features contributions from Jake Xerxes Fussell, Ilyas Ahmed, Ami Dang, among others.

Village of Spaces’ contribution is as hushed and hymnal as any of their works, presenting a sweet and low vision of sun-kissed folk with a plea for peace, harmony, and unity. Lilting and loving, even through the darkness, its a nice sentiment in the constant end times static of daily life in 2019. Anxiety is currency these days (and with good reason) but Village of Spaces give reason to feel one another’s pain once in a while. Check out the track below and breath a sigh of relief, at least for the next three minutes.



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Design Inspiration: Ardneks

The Design Inspiration series has long been one of my personal favorites around here. As much as I love the songwriters and bands that make up the bulk of the coverage here, I’m equally enthralled by the visual artists who define the look of modern psychedelia and forward-thinking graphic design. Usually this feature focuses on cover art, and today’s artist has certainly created a few memorable ones, including recent favorites from Shana Cleveland and Flamingods. However, at heart Ardneks is a master of poster art, weaving intricate details into packed designs that pop with a shock of colors. So, after some discussion on the expansion of scope in this feature Ardneks picked the five posters he found most influential on his style and I’ve highlighted some of his own detail-packed work above. Check out his picks below, a true tour of some of some psychedelic bedrock.

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Caity and Shane of Olden Yolk on Tucker Zimmerman – Song Poet

Just last week Olden Yolk released their sophomore LP, a stunning mix of folk and subtle, blushing psychedelia. Its already pushing up the list of favorites for 2019, so naturally I jumped at getting a chance to look at one of the influences locked on the band’s own turntable. Caity and Shane give some background on finding, and constantly returning to, Tucker Zimmerman’s own sophomore stunner, his “Black Album,” originally issued with no title, and eventually rechristened Song Poet following a proper reissue in 2016. Check out how this record came into the band’s life and what makes it particularly special to them.

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Minami Deutsch – “Can’t Get There”

Japanese Krautrock torchbearers Minami Deutsch are back with a new EP, following closely on the heels of their live collaboration with Damo Suzuki. The new 12” out July 26th on Sweden’s Höga Nord finds the band locked into a serious motorik groove on title track “Can’t Get There.” The seven-minute snaker never loses its cool, threading blinking bits of guitar flash through the ever-steady rhythm section’s lock groove goodness. The EP features two other new tracks plus remixes of “Can’t Get There” by Jamie Paton and Mythologen.



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The Intelligence – “Auteur Detour”

New track dropping down today from The Intelligence’s tenth album, Un-Psychedelic in Peavy City. The band’s got Tim Green behind the boards, who is always able to pull some loose weirdness out of a band, and this glimpse behind the grooves is as delightfully mangled as any in the band’s oeuvre. “Auteur Detour” was described by the band as a “No Wave Santana Exercise” but its more than just guitar grind gone polygonal. Finberg and the band rivet their riffs to the rhythm, with the bass holding down front and center, underpinning a menacing vocal that drops non sequiturs like they were new wave mantras. Then the band let loose the moorings as the track progresses and, for all the assertions of the album’s Un-Psychedelic qualities, they wind up pretty heady, sweaty, and tangled by the time the track clicks to a close. Gonna want to see what else the album has in store (and you can) when this one barrels out into the world May 24th.

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De Lorians – “A Ship of Mental Health”

Beyond Beyond is Beyond is on a crusher of a run this year. Their latest addition to the stable is Japanese jazz-psych unit De Lorians. The band’s first single, “A Ship of Mental Health” comes on like Gong trading barbs with The Mothers of Invention, hooking skronking grooves to an effervescent bubble of weirdness. The band slices the scene experimental while they drop out into interjections of psych-dipped environmental noise recorded by guitarist Soya Nogami. That’s just the first half too. Heading over the hump of the 5-minute odyssey the band proves to Nogami has plenty of guitar flash in his bag as well, melting down the mirrors of madness with a streamlined scorch. The record lands July 26th and should be sliding into your want list right about… now.



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Taiwan Housing Project – “Toxic Garbage People”

If you missed out on Taiwan Housing Project’s KRS debut in 2017 then you’re probably not ready for their next slice of noise heaven, but you might as well buckle up and brace anyhow. The band picks up where they dropped the din prior, with singer/guitarist Kilynn Lunsford’s strychnine-laced vocals acting as the centerpiece as she thrashes, lashes, and howls herself hoarse for our benefit on “Toxic Garbage People. The song is propulsive and primed, set to blow at any minute, and that volatile nature gives the band their draw. Lunsford’s previous band, Little Claw, will remain a forever favorite around here, but she’s no less vital and vicious at the helm of THP. The new album, Sub-Language Trustees lands June 21st from NYC’s Ever/Never and it should find its way onto your ‘need’ pile based on this song alone. 2019 has been a good year for music, but it needed a little push towards bile-soaked brilliance.


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SUSS – “Chisholm Trail”

Adding to the cosmic conversation, NY’s Suss molds lysergic instrumentals threaded through with a country calm and rippled with serenity. The band is grafting aquamarine slides and tear-jerked guitars to the radiant shimmer and ambient float of synths, creating a hybrid of William Tyler’s country pickers and Boards of Canada’s otherworldly ambiance. On the A-side to their upcoming single, “Chisholm Trail,” the band heralds their arrival with mournful harmonicas that seem to indicate a Morricone twang is imminent before melting like moonlight into warbling tones, buttery pedal steel, and galloping strums. The track’s about as meditative as they come, with just a touch of bittersweet on the back end, making this one easy to absorb before it slips away into the night on the edges of pre-dawn fog. The new single arrives June 28th from Northern Spy.




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Hygiene – “Bring Back British Rail”

UK punks Hygiene scrape the scabs off of what they do best – wiry socialist punk that’s indebted to the legacy of Wire, Gang of Four and Wolfhounds. On album closer “Bring Back British Rail” they drape a veil of static over their Ted Talk punk pound for a nostalgic ode to public transit hammered through with piano and gang vocals. While the song’s a bit of a departure from the rest of the album’s cleanly clipped swagger, but it acts as a kind of rallying cry that crumbles to the ground in a cascade of chaos and discord. The record is out May 24th on Upset the Rhythm.



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