Posts Tagged ‘Beyond Beyond Is Beyond’

De Lorians – “Toumai”

Ah it seems the psych gods are smiling on this week. Japanese prog-jazz disruption unit De Lorians have a new gem out and its accompanied with a hell of a video. The band’s been touting their Zappa love, and that came crushing through on the first single, “A Ship of Mental Health,” but “Toumai” is a different animal. The 8+ minute crusher weaves and wobbles through psych and jazz, bumping into corners and melting through modes that are as indebted to the silken swing of Placebo’s 1973 as it is to The Soft Machine’s blow through Switzerland 74 a year later. The song’s only further enhanced by liquid mind meld paint splatters of the video. This is gonna be one of the essentials for 2019. Get in on the ground floor.



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Dire Wolves

The ‘cosmic sound’ might just be coming to a head with the release of Dire Wolves’ latest LP. Grow Towards The Light. Aligning themselves again with Beyond Beyond is Beyond, the record represents a bit of a lineup shift for the band. This marks their first without noted psych-folk stalwart Lau Nau on main vocals, but her shoes have been ably filled by regular member Georgia Carbone, who shifts this record towards the celestial – singing the album in her own invented language of bewitching moans and soaring incantations. Thrumming behind her, the band do their own part to elevate Grow Towards The Light to infinite proportions. As ever, bandleader and vibrational North Star Jefferey Alexander winds his guitars around limber and languorous nodes, stretching the passages beyond mere psychedelia and into a freeform headspace that sutures together folk, jazz, and prog on top of a lysergic backbone.

Further adding to the glorious din, Arjun Mendiratta’s (Village of Spaces) violin bobs and weaves between Carbone’s vocals, playing off them in acrobatic tangles throughout the album. Taralie Peterson (Spires In The The Sunset Rise) brings stabs of sax, charring passages into an amber ombré that melts the margins of the band’s vortex. The record is a tempest of sound – rhythms and grooves develop but just as often the players are fighting for space in the storm – wrestling with time and tempo and leaning hard into the whirlwind fray. At times the record is harrowing and haunting, biting into the brain with more than one set of teeth, but its not all flash and a friction.

The band lounges in verdant vibes as well, letting the oasis of “Water Bearing One” cool the wounds of the previous songs like a calming gel. “Discordant Angels,” while less outwardly comforting, lets up the gale force to saw a psych-folk spiritual out of the ruins. The song’s mournful shores provide a welcome shelter, but it winds up devastating in its own right – hanging heavier on the heart than the surrounding slashers. Standout, “Spacetime Rider” brings a dose of space rock, leaning into one of their most inviting grooves before the band winds up the whirlwind once more. Dire Wolves have an intimidatingly vast catalog, but if you’re a newcomer looking for a place to start, you’d do well to begin with Grow Towards The Light. It’s a not only one of the band’s strongest sets, it’s a top turner for 2019 as well.


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Nick Mitchell Maiato on Rusty Kershaw – Rusty…Cajun in the Blues Country

The new wave of Cosmic Americana brought in a lot of quality cuts last year, but one of my favorites had to be the debut from One Eleven Heavy —the softly choogled psych outfit that brought together members of Wooden Wand, Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, Royal Trux, and Hans Chew. The band’s record shelves, undoubtedly stuffed with RSTB bait, seem like the perfect fodder to riffle through for the Hidden Gems feature. In fact, James from the band contributed a pick a little while back, long before things had solidified with the Heavy. So with their sophomore LP on the horizon I figured it was time to ask co-founder Nick Mitchell Maiato to dig into his collection and pick out a record that hasn’t cast nearly enough shadow on the majority of the listening public. He picked out a country classic, that, despite being a key Neil Young influence, hasn’t always been elevated to its proper due. Check out how the record came into Nick’s life and the impact its had on his songwriting.

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Kendra Amalie – “Breathe Underwater”

After a year spent summoning the psychedelic spirts with an enviable roster of regulars (Prana Crafter, Dire Wolves, L’éclair, Garcia Peoples) Beyond Beyond is Beyond add to their stable of new blood with the addition of Kendra Amalie. The first cut from her upcoming Intuition is dense and methodical, looping round and around a mantra of “May I breathe underwater? It wouldn’t take much more than a heart.” Amalie’s guitars scratch at the listener, snarling and prodding them out of the murky echo that lies beneath “Breathe Underwater”s.” core. The song’s a study in contradictions – gauzy to the point that it becomes slick with condensation, yet tactile, tense, and ready to burst out of the drowning pull at any moment. Amalie plays with contradictions all over her upcoming LP, but this acts as a nice intro to her formidable skill set.

She’s given a little insight into what makes “Breathe Underwater” tick, noting that, “Making a song like this was a shift from what I’d been doing. In 2016 I started playing with Sam Cook (bass), influenced by punk and funk. Until we met, I’d been more focused on space and texture. Over the last few years he’s encouraged the exploration of speed and structural variation. Other prevailing influences are concepts in consciousness, human potential, and spiritual empowerment personified as stories of human relationships, and how those relationships are a macrocosm of systems in the body, and a microcosm of the systems of earth and the universe. Breathe Underwater is kind of a return home, a connection to close the loop. Plus, a dash of polyrhythmic synth playing to the beat ala prog art rock.”

Check out the video above and look for the LP out September 5th.



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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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Dire Wolves – “Spacetime Rider”

Dire Wolves are back in the feed today with a video for what’s probably my favorite cut off of their upcoming LP, Grow Towards The Light. “Spacetime Rider” melds their psychedelic folk with, naturally, a cosmic dosage of Space Rock. The underbelly courses with a throbbing wave of groove causing the head to nod almost unconsciously, but atop the metronomic pulse Georgia Carbone’s vocals weave a hypnotic spell, moaning incantations, mantras, and meditations in a haze of humid heat. Jeffrey Alexander’s guitar threads the needle with slippery perfection while Arjun Mendiratta’s violin saws and swings through the track in wind-whipped gusts. Aside from live tracks, which often find the band sinking deep into the psychedelic haze, this is probably one of the best distillations of the band’s sound- a heady vortex that’s as delightful as it is disorienting. Check out the natural splendor of the band’s video above.

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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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Tengger – “See”

Today there’s another dip into the languid pools of Tengger’s upcoming album for Beyond Beyond is Beyond. The drone-prone family band’s sound is build on synths, harmonium and toy instruments but its all works out to some serious bliss bath excursions to another temporal plane. The band’s music is intertwined with their travel and “See” is no exception, taking its name from a particularly affecting morning hike.

The band explains that “the title “See” is from German language, “der see”, which means lake. (so it’s a bit of a play on words, see der see… ^-^;) When we were doing the Shikoku Pilgrimage (ed note: a multi-site pilgrimage of 88 temples associated with the Buddhist monk Kūkai on the island of Shikoku, Japan), one day we visited one shrine and one temple in the morning, near from one huge lake called Mannoike Manno Lake. We were watching the sunrise on the lake for quite a long time. The music of “See” is from that moment. We set the title of the track to “Mannoike” at first but changed it to “See”… seeing nature’s variations, when we did the Shikoku pilgrimage.”    

Pretty much the entirety of the band’s upcoming LP, Spiritual 2 evokes this kind of commune with nature and it should appeal to fans of Cluster, Emeralds, or Tangerine Dream. Dip in and take a listen below.



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Dire Wolves – “I Control The Weather”

Despite the band’s massive output over the last few years, you’d be forgiven for having missed out on releases from the mercurial Dire Wolves (sometimes appended to “Absolutely Perfect Brothers Band” or “Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band”). The band’s been running the psychedelic small format mill ragged with tapes on Eiderdown, Sloow, Sky Lantern, Baked, etc and have been bouncing LPs between serious scene tentpoles Beyond Beyond is Beyond and Feeding Tube for a small stretch. Yet, this seems like the year and more to the point, the release, that splashes their heady maelstrom of psych-folk across your speakers.

Returning again to BBiB, the band have released the first cut from upcoming full-length Grow Towards The Light today. The track finds the band locked into sonic struggle with the eternal vortex – guitars lashing at the wind one minute, melting in thick candle wax runs the next. Fiddle slices through in a nimble dance with the percussive roil and atop the whole churning froth, Georgia Carbone incants a vocal spell with words that seem utterly not of this earth. This is the band’s first turn without original vocalist Lau Nau, and Carbone steps ably up to the task at hand, giving the song a mystical push towards oblivion. The track is just the beginning of the band’s descent into the fray, but it’s enough to captivate with repeat listens until you get your hands on the full cosmic journey.



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Tengger – “High”

After records on Must Die and GuruGuru Brain, South Korean family band / drone wizards Tengger land at Beyond Beyond is Beyond. The band has two records out in short succession in 2019, Spiritual in March on Extra Noir, and Spiritual 2 in June from BBIB. Like the previous release Spiritual 2 centers on the harmonium, voice and toy instrument drones of itta and Marqido, drawing on the traditions of Kosmiche travelers skirting the skyways before them. Mustering memories of Cluster, Michael Rother’s (recently reissued) solo works, or French Canadian floaters Harmonium, the first song seeping out to the public, “High,” sparkles with a serene burble. If the band hasn’t been on your radar yet then this is a good chance to grab a US release from the meditative duo. Spiritual 2 is out June 7th.

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