Dreamtime LP Reissues

Fans of Aussie psych can rest easier knowing that Dreamtime’s two LPs from 2011 and 2013 have found their way over to domestic shores via Captcha (US) and Cardinal Fuzz (UK). The labels are reissuing the band’s eponymous album and Sun, both of which were pressed in numbers that went quickly in their native Australia. The Brisbane band have made a name for themselves in the interim, opening for Bardo Pond, Moon Duo, Boris, Earth, King Gizzard and Earthless and hopefully this means that there might be some new music on the way shortly.

New music or no, for the stateside uninitiated this is a great chance to get acquainted with the band’s heavy, tribal pscyh. The two records show two sides of the band, their debut is built on a bed of scorched fuzz and amplifier vomit, with the bass throbbing in heatsick wobbles. They incorporate a bit of the high plains dust into their ourvre, but this one puts them squarely into the lexicon of psychedelic scorch. The follow-up is more subtle than its predecessor and more so than some of their chosen touring mates’ might lead you to believe. Sun’s brand of psych is heavy, but not crushing. They utilize mantra-like droning and dextrous guitars that explode when the fuse is lit. As a pair, the albums lift Dreamtime up as an essential South Hemi export.





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John Bender – I Don’t Remember Now / I Don’t Want To Talk About It

Not to be confused with the Breakfast Club character of similar name, John Bender recorded scores of tracks in his Cincinnati home in the late ’70s and early ’80s, putting the results out in minuscule runs on his own Record Sluts label. The tracks are never denoted by name, but rather position on the tapes that he amassed as he recorded this stockpile of material. Hence, “35B1” would be on tape #35, side B, track 1. He then rounded them up into collections and hand stamped the covers, each one unique.

But what’s more beguiling than the process or the packaging is the music contained inside, a kind of shut in electronic DIY. Minimalist to its core, the tracks are stripped to their core, all chewed wire and buzzing synths with close-miced vocals, each track feels like a bomb shelter blast of paranoid wrath. Included in the set is a duct-taped deconstruction of Faust’s “It’s A Rainy Day” that seems to slot itself in just perfect with the rest of Bender’s minimalist creations. Superior Viaduct is wrapping this lost gem up in a limited red vinyl package and hand-stamping the covers in a nod to Bender’s originals. For the fans of less is more, this one’s a necessary find given new life.




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Mugstar

Long running Liverpool psych unit Mugstar has never been accused of pulling punches when it comes to epic space/Krautrock excursions, but on their latest they push the boundaries of their craft further than ever. Pushing outward in terms of length (the album pushes past the 1 1/4 hour mark) and in terms of elements that the band incorporate into their sound, the album is both their heaviest and one that draws in some of the most delicate elements. The ideas for Magnetic Seasons came about from the band’s open-ended sessions at Whitewood Studios, allowing time for improvisation and experimentation to color the compositions until they found their groove. The resulting album is propulsive and crushing, but flecked with nimble fingerwork and touches like mournful melodica, recalling a heavy Krautrock version of Clinic at times and ambling further into the spaced mindset of Acid Mother’s temple in others. Though, as the band has noted the presence of Fender Rhodes plays a huge part as a central sound and inspiration on the record, often acting as a starting point for their improvisations. That element gives them a touch of Bitches’ Brew if the brew were thick as glue and shot through with clouds of exhaust.

That this album follows a solid collaboration with Can’s Damo Suzuki both gives them the status of legendary approval and a personal bar that’s a tall order to overcome, but the band manage to clear it easily and slot this in among their most essential releases. Finding its way out on Mogwai’s own Rock Action records, there are more than a few fine folks in their corner and its easy to see why. By the time this thing grinds to a halt, the listener is elevated, torn and battered. A damn fine piece of work.




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P.S.F. – Black Editions

News came down today that the vaunted P.S.F. catalog is getting a new home and some proper reissues. Anyone familiar with the Japanese psych/noise/experimental scene should be familiar with P.S.F.’s long shadow but for the uninitiated, the label was started by Hideo Ikeezumi in the ’80s in order to document music that he found interesting. Matters of genre weren’t necessarily important as long as the music was original and moving, and nothing more could ever be said of entrants into the label’s catalog.

The label’s dense catalog has been purchased by L.A. based Black Editions, run by Peter Kolovos. Along with the announcement comes news of the first batch of reissues for 2016: “definitive editions of Fushitsusha’s 2nd Live, the original version of High Rise II, the Tokyo Flashback compilation, Che Shizu’s A Journey and through special arrangement with the artist- Keiji Haino’s classic 1981 debut Watashi Dake?.” That High Rise album alone is worth the price of admission but for perspective other gems in the label’s catalog include White Heaven’s – Out, Acid Mothers’s Temple – S/T album and Mainliner’s – Imaginative Plain. Its the first time many of these will be available on vinyl and for many the first time outside of Japan at all. This comes as pretty exciting news, no doubt, to psych freaks everywhere.



More info on Black Editions HERE.

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Bad Vision – “Goons”

Melbourne’s Bad Vision have taken their frenetic punk down a notch and added a bit of pop, a lot of jangle and a slight bit of twang to the mix. The pop concoction “Goons” from their forthcoming LP, Turn Out Your Sockets, comes in sounding rather close to RSTB fave and recent entry into our ‘Most Overlooked’ list, Thomas Function. In the same fashion as their American counterparts, the Aussies pin driving country-tinged jangles to explosive choruses full of tales of bored suburbanites and its endless fun to shout along to their declarations that they “don’t want no good advice.” The track’s got anthemic written into its seams and if the rest of their upcoming LP is half as fun as this opening salvo, then I’m certainly upright and paying attention.





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Ulrika Spacek

This London band scoops in enough buzzing Krautrock groove to qualify for their fully licensed psych credentials, but they don’t lean on it as their only weapon. Alternating between bouts of sandpaper hooks and chiming, punctuated guitar, the band knows how to wield atmosphere and pop sheen as easily as the barbs. Packed into the album’s ten tracks are washes and swells that on longer tracks stretch their arms out into winding fuzz breakdowns. These sometimes seem at odds with the shorter, crisp collared pop-psych that makes up the album’s other face. The band sounds as if they’re honing down how to put the influences at hand in just the right order, but they’re at their best when they shy away from some of the more subdued moments that recall Deerhunter’s finer brushes and instead steer headlong into spacier territory fraught with fuzz. Finer details aside though, there are plenty more hits than misses for them on The Album Paranoia and I’d say that a debut this strong merits keeping more than one eye on them for the future.




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Sheer Mag – III

Over the course of three EPs Sheer Mag have built a solid reputation, largely on their ability to squeeze 70’s arena rock and sweaty 60’s soul into the same busted bucket while heaping on the politics in a way that makes them go down easy, despite their songs’ dark centers. The recordings have a tinny quality, but that’s a part of the charm. Christina Halladay sounds like she’s being broadcast over an AM wavelength right into your best memories. There’s a bit of Shannon & The Clams, a bit of Ariel Pink and they split the seams between Royal Headache and Thin Lizzy nicely. But underneath the aesthetics beats a passionate howl and lyrics that deal with the grim realities of working class women in Ciudad Juarez, the machinations of hate and the implications of emotional manipulation. There’s a lot at play here, but at their heart the songs have enough catchy bits to make that combination work swimmingly. Sure lo-fi has had its day and its probably time to crawl back to clarity but the core of Sheer Mag is stacked like Tootsie-pop perfection in its sweetness and jawcracking fun and if you listen close enough, you just might learn something.





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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “Gamma Knife”

Ah its almost unfair how much greatness is coming out of the South Hemi this week. Yesterday graces us with a cut from The Murlocs and today the next King Gizz is confirmed and already burning with the release of the “Gamma Knife” video. This is the long rumored release that the band was recording at Daptone while there were here last year and its taken that long to knock this one into the blistering shape hinted at on “Gamma Knife.” A year in the oven is a long time for a band on a three-record-a-year schedule, so hopes are pretty high for Nonagon Infinity to go ahead and flatten a few skulls.

The first cut doesn’t disappoint. It gets right back to the Gizz in fine form hitting, the octane gulping garage-prog that’s made them a household fixture this year. The video is much in the same light as “Trapdoor” from Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, a trip through the ren-faire rabbit hole, mixed with plenty of psychedelic overtones and effects. Doesn’t look like ATO has any more of their pre-orders up but, I’d say get in line for the Aussie pre-order now. Even with shipping this one’s gonna be worth it.


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SØS Gunver Ryberg

SØS Gunver Ryberg’s latest EP for Contort is an extension of her sound design centering on layered field recordings and persistent rhythms as a means to create tranformative musical experience. The release is made up of three tracks and an alternate cut that strips away some of the layers and goes for the brain stem immediately with the punch and throb of repeated rhythms. Ryberg’s work skirts the borders between dance, composition and noise and in many places its more of a barrage to be endured than to be moved by or to, but she finds a certain grace in brutality and in a lot of ways the record is the sum of its parts rather than just the kick of its end product.

The origins of some of her brutal bricks might seem surprising. The field recordings for AFTRYK were made in Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, where she recorded the sound of the mountains groaning and crumbling beneath the stress of active coal mining. While serene mountain vantages aren’t the first image that comes to my mind, the violence of the mining tearing apart a serene environment can be felt for sure in the subtext of Ryberg’s work. There’s certainly a feeling of digital violence eroding the soul of the source material here. Pair it all with the spot on collage work of Anthony Gerace and this is a pretty complete package.



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The Murlocs – “Compensation”

The Murlocs hard driving brand of Garage ‘n B is headed for a new album with the release of Young Blindness later this month. Ahead of its touchdown on the turntable the band, featuring King Gizz harp/key man Ambrose Kenny-Smith, has released a couple of stellar tracks that bode well for the full length soundtracking your Saturday night sweat lodge. The video for “Compensation” is a simple setup, just a dancer and an iPod intercut with a few shots of the band, but with the addition of Jason Galea’s digital crust, it adds a layer of off-kilter distortion that fits the band’s vibe well. The song’s a killer riff that can’t be tamed and if you’re holding out for more from Ambrose’s day gig then you’d be a damn fool to sleep on The Murlocs.

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