Endless Boogie – Vol. I & II

If you were privy to the nascent days of the Boogie, then you’re luckier than most. If you took away a pressing of the band’s first couple of releases, then you’re among a select few. Missed out? Read on… The band pressed Vols I & II up on small run, hand-stamped sleeves before they headed out to the Slint-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties in 2005. The recordings were culled from rehearsals, recorded with two mics straight to the cassette deck. Often dubbed simply “White” and “Black” the individual LPs were hard to come by, let alone a set of two. Featuring the original lineup, the record also boasts a contribution from Matt and Spencer Sweeney on “Style of Jamboree.” As for the contents inside the double-wide package – they are of the highest order of groove. Rough, sure, but ripped and torn as anything in the Boog’s bountiful catalog.

There’s the feeling that the songs are being snatched right from the rigors of time. There’s no overthinking, no polish. There’s only groove – endless, swampy, scorched, and sutured groove. Paul Major’s vocals don’t take on their imposing presence here. On later recordings his voice would hang like a graveled and grizzled seer over the top of the din, a booming bluesman whose greasy growl seemed omnipresent and absolute. Here, Major’s in the fray fighting for space alongside the grind of guitars and the packed pummel of drums. He’s still a presence to contend with, no doubt, but its nice to hear him fight for the mantle he earned over the years.

This is unfiltered Boogie and it’s a psych-punk delirium that’s more than deserving of this deluxe reissue. The listener is threaded through the tape spools and tumbled-dried for eternity, spun ‘round and twisted until the groove is all that remains. Over time Endless Boogie would become a juggernaut of sound, but this is a great document of their rise to the top, kicking and fighting for every ounce of air they convert into pure poisoned sound. If you’re among the unlucky who missed these originally (and I know you are) then now’s the chance to experience the spark.



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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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Padang Food Tigers

Its been a few long years since London duo Padang Food Tigers’ last outing, the sorely underrated album Bumblin’ Creed on Northern Spy in 2016, but they’re wafting back into view with a new record for Texan enclave Blue Hole Recordings. As ever, the works of PFT are hushed and delicate, built on their patient acoustic assemblages and the soft lap of field recordings nipping at the elbows of each track. Spencer Grady and Stephen Lewis are steeped in the traditions of Takoma, while showing equal reverence for the Jewelled Antler Collective’s crumbling vision of four track folk. The songs ache with life, cracking awake, wincing and weaving through the background buzz of life until the gorgeous moments peek through. For the rushed and ragged, these moments are likely lost. No time to wait through full minutes of hiss and hum, the harried listener would miss out on the slow opening of Padang’s songs. They lie in wait, as if so connected to the fragility of nature that they show themselves only to the gentle warming of the sun’s rays.

The band blends the wisdom of predecessors like Scott Tuma, Steven R. Smith, Kemialliset Ystävät, and the Blithe Sons into a record that’s spun like silk. It feels like even the gentlest nudge might upset these songs but breathing in the the rarified air around them bolsters the spirit and reaffirms the rightness of life. Each of the duo’s songs works like a vignette of bittersweet simplicity brought to sparkling life—like the whole-hearted whims of children presented in innocence but laid heavy with the promise of age, angst, and the alchemical loss of that whimsy. There’s sadness here, but also joy and in many moments they’re one and the same. Much of the befuddlingly titled Wake Up, Mr. Pancake feels like smiling and crying all at once—a heart breaking and mending on an endless loop, but the pair pull it off like the most accomplished aural artists. They paint delicate strokes on a complimentary field, but finding joy among the ridges and textures is endlessly engrossing. The album was worth the wait, but don’t let it slip by. This one won’t kick up a lot of dust, but once found it doesn’t let go.




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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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The Cosmic Range

Its such a packed year, that as we enter the mid-point its time to go back and sweep out some of the great releases that got lost in the cavalcade. That includes the sorely under-appreciated sophomore LP from Canada’s Cosmic Range. The band, much like their close contemporaries in Badge Epoque Ensemble, is comprised largely of players who found themselves in and around the backing band from last year’s U.S. Girls release. Featuring the likes of Matthew ‘Doc” Dunn and Maximillian (Slim Twig) Turnbull, the record scratches a familiar itch that claws at the crux of jazz, psych, and funk. The band is dipped and doused in the hash den Ashram of ‘70s Miles Davis on his run between the Brew and the Corner. They’re beset with the same shakes that lit up the nerves on Nation Time and they’re weeding out the same calm collective gardens that Alice Coltrane tended.

There’s more than a little hazed quasar space rock floating in the froth as well and the band pulls the throttle way back for the disquieting loneliness of “Eyes for Rivers” before they spark back up for the double barrel burn of “The Observer.” Rhythm is a constant throughout the album, whether tapping out a tender cosmic sendoff or bringing the punishing pound of a polyrhythmic puzzle. The band’s clearly comprised of seasoned vets bouncing their highest beta wave wobble among the collective consciousness. The record is a heady hit, blown through with psychedelic sax n’ wah fried guitar grooves that’ll sate the most ardent heads out there. If you’ve heard the tangential works that the players have cropped up on, then it should come as little surprise that the alchemy is strong among this bunch. Highly recommended that you lock in and let this one wash over you.




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Ami Dang – Raiments

Songwriter and Sitarist Ami Dang ditches vocals on her upcoming LP for Leaving Records to craft an album that balances sitar and electronics – dousing Southeast Asian folklore in a burble of Kosmiche tones. The first cut off of her new LP, Parted Plains, is a melancholic, yet ethereally calming track that’s floating in the haze. The record takes inspiration from “the four tragic romances of Punjab, Sohni Mahiwal, Sassi Punnun, Heer Ranjha, and Mirza Sahiba; Flora Annie Steel’s Tales of the Punjab: Folklore of India, and selected stories from One Thousand and One Nights.” Instead of straight interpretation, though, Dang seeks to view them through a Western gaze that’s obscured the original, giving her album a push-pull of East and West. Check out the video above that animates (via Nicole Ginelli) the album’s glowing cover art. The record his shelves August 2nd.

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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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ML WAH

There are many sides of Matt Lajoie (solo, Cursillistas, Herbcraft, Ash & Herb, Starbirthed) but the ML WAH name is dedicated to a more devotional direction. Following 2011’s Ashram To The Stars, Herbcraft took a heavier tack, pulling more from Krautrock and the space spectrum, but Deep Roots is here as a spiritual successor to that album’s higher consciousness. There’s a deep body vibration to the album, shaking the chakras until the soul lights up like an ember. LaJoie’s hymns are covered in ash, ambling through the streets in search of solace, euphoria, or enlightenment. A clatter of percussion wakes the wound and LaJoie singes it shut with the slow melt of his guitar on “Santal.” Things take another turn towards disjointed stomp on “Wallah Sound,” where keys plunk like a kalimba over the heavy hop of percussion worked up to confront the spirit’s misgivings.

Though certainly rooted in psychedelics, with shades of Ash Ra Temple or International Harvester this record also owes a debt to the permeating pulse of Don Cherry. While the Wah doesn’t rock the horns like Cherry might, there’s certainly more than a touch of the mysticism that informed Organic Music Society clattering through its bones. This is one for the late-night meditations, with the cool breeze blowing against the baked-in glow of warm firelight. If you’ve found purchase in LaJoie’s past works (no matter the output) then you’ll already be on board for this, but for the free jazz congregation and the psych temple travelers, here lies an album that brings together the fold for a blissful bout of devotional thrum. Recommended for some deep listening.



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Doug Tuttle

Not a bad little title for Doug Tuttle’s latest, Dream Road wraps up the gauzy take on folk that the songwriter spins on the new LP. Born out of a buttery brick of folk-rock that’s not entirely removed from the itch of Americana going ‘round these days, Tuttle’s vision is given an airiness, as if the better part of the record evaporated and filled the listener’s lungs with a sunny vitality. As for the remainder, Tuttle’s dream isn’t without clouds either. There’s a bittersweet bite to tracks like “Twilight,” and “In This World Alone,” and they drag their fingers in a watery weariness that’s ultimately as comforting as the sun.

Tuttle keeps things deceptively simple, with the sound remarkably full, despite relying mostly on layers of guitar, a scratch of drums, and vocals that bounce around the room attempting to coat the corners in a melancholy miasma. A touch of country slide here, a web of jangle n’ strum, a shock of effects now and then- but at heart this is folk-rock inherited from Fairport, Gary Higgins, and Roger Rodier. What sets him apart is coating those folk bones with the pop polish of Jeff Lynn or Gene Clark. Peace Potato hinted at bigger things in store for Tuttle, and with Dream Road he’s making good on those promises.

I’ve long held Tuttle in regard as a fine songwriter who’s been destined to make a bigger splash. This seems to be the moment for him, or perhaps the beginning of a bigger journey. He’s toeing the line between pushing his sound to new widths, heights, and lengths without spilling over into excesses, as can sometimes happen. Its an album that’s grown without pains, stretching to fill the room with a blissful sigh. There are a lot of sunny days on the way and Tuttle’s crafted a companion piece to each and every hazed beam that breaks through the trees.



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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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