Posts Tagged ‘Beyond Beyond Is Beyond’

Garcia Peoples – “Crown of Thought”

Another great peek into the latest Garcia Peoples lands today. “Crown of Thought” delves further into the excellent second side of Nightcap at Wit’s End. Like Agitation Free before them, the band’s worked up a killer flip-side suite that pushes into the heart of the sun — blissful, knotted, and rolling around in the brain with a molten glow that’s hard to shake. The song pushes the Garcia’s model closer to the levitating energy of their live shows. One Step Behind aside, this is one of the most ambitious GP albums to date. It’s hard to follow such a heavy statement as their last LP, as I’m sure they’re aware, but here the band are starting to work their way into the nebulous folds of prog with a one hand laying down the needle deep into Fairport’s ascension out of folk and into the electric ether and the other still feeling along the Help Yourself / Mighty Baby axis. The band’s already set a hook into my heart, but this one’s only sinking the barb deeper and drawing darker blood. If the stage can’t have GP then the turntable ought to suffice for now..



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Garcia Peoples – “One At A Time”

I’m not sure if it’s the most pressing issue of lockdown lifestyle, but the absence of Garcia Peoples’ shows has been felt fairly hard around here. The band’s built for the stage. It’s where they thrive, where they evolve, where they commune with the room sweat to create the next symbiotic stretch of cosmic comedown. That said, the band has become, increasingly, creatures of the studio in the past few years. With the release of One Step Behind they’ve crossed over into creating epics of tape transference that extend the alchemy on stage to the studio setting. They keep the momentum in motion with Night Cap At Wit’s End. The new record was recorded over nine months with Jeff Ziegler (Chris Forsyth, The War on Drugs) and the first whiff of the album, “One At A Time” finds the band shutting out some of their sunnier impulses in exchange for the reclusive, edgy, drug-induced lockjaw of the mid ‘70s.

The song sees the band begin to leave the obvious touchstones of their sound behind and merge their natural ability to find groove and explode it onstage with with the living organism of the studio environment. Acoustics play a bigger part here, injecting a bit of JJ Cale sweat, but that’s not where this one ends up, not by a long shot. Gubler’s keys are beginning to play a bigger part as well, so the fertile stench of prog rears its head, but that’s not where this leaves us either. Instead, “One At A Time” is as constantly shifting as anything the band has done, while feeling more surefooted than they’ve ever been. Its we, the listener, who rotate around them in flux, in thrall to the sound and where it goes. The band’s stirring the cloud cover and we’re just dodging the drops. If, somehow, Garcia Peoples escaped your view before now, this is the time to lock in. The record lands October 9th on Beyond Beyond is Beyond. Check out the excellent video created by labelmate Kendra Amalie above.



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Tengger

The new album from pan-asian duo (or trio if you count their child accompanist / dance enthusiast) is a glittering example of Terra Firma synth explorations. While many of their contemporaries explore the cosmos, looking to dip their synth strains in an otherworldly light, Tengger are doused in earthbound explorations of natural beauty given sonic flight. The band has long embarked on pilgrimages to inspire their work and it’s clear that the high, green-draped peaks of mountain trails and the verdant expanses of highborn waterfalls and streams give life to their new age psychedelic soak in ways that seem more dazzling than the outer realms could ever hope to achieve.

On the fittingly named Nomad, the couple move more towards an embrace of rhythm than on past Tengger records. The stratospheric float remains in place, but underneath there is a burbling, wondrous sense of movement that picks from the German Progressive template and adds a hypnotic flow to the album. With the DNA of Neu and Klaus Schulze in their veins, the band push the motorik impulses into a new generation, eschewing the modern tendency to mash these influences into a fine paste. They embrace the dichotomy of ambience and propulsion with a clear vision that ripples nicely in all directions. The album finds them balanced, clean and focused on a terrestrial peace that’s enviable, yet attainable, at least for the 37 minutes that they radiate from the speakers.



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Tengger – “Eurasia”

While pan-Asian duo Tengger often lounge in the tranquil waters of ambient float, content to soundtrack the mists that encircle lost peaks along the road to Nirvana, “Eurasia” slots the band into a slightly more propulsive mold. The track is the midpoint of their upcoming album Nomad and its as much a turning point as any. The track reasserts an aptitude for blending atmospheres with beats that push ever forward with an insistence that’s never needling. However, their pull is felt. The band envisions the track as the pace of the Nomad mentioned in the title — a measured gate that gives into the unseen forces around him. To, “accept and flow with life, wherever we are,” the band puts forth as a mindset. With the DNA of Neu and Klaus Schulze in their veins, the band push the motorik impulses into a new generation, eschewing the modern tendency to mash these influences into a fine paste. They embrace the dichotomy of ambience and propulsion with a clear vision that ripples nicely in all directions off of “Eurasia.” The album is out June 12th on Beyond Beyond is Beyond.



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Wax Machine

Brighton’s Wax Machine pick up the yoke on a specific strain of psychedelia that seems to have gone into hibernation over the last couple of decades. With their sun-dappled, earthen approach they lock into the kind of Aquarian psych that’s doused in a permanent humidity — cut through with a quotient of languid jazz, a touch of limber lounge, and a heavy dose of lysergic headspace. The band leans into a microcosm of flute-psych that’s sprung up and, in my own personal opinion needs to dominate the next few years. As much as I appreciate a resurgence of liquid fire sax barreling into psychedelia, the flute feels like the right path to soothe the souls of the stricken in recent times. The band’s nearest tangential acquaintances come from Canada, and this pairs well with the last album and EP from the inimitable Badge Époque Ensemble.

Like their Toronto compatriots, the band finds solace in the experimental seance workshops of The United States of America and their brethren, San Francisco’s poet-pharmacists The Serpent Power. While a lot of publications have grasped at the tendrils of Broadcast in relation to this record, there’s only a bit of Keenan’s inimitable pallor in the vocals but, of course, their exists the same sort of dedication to the cosmic spirit. However, this whole record smacks of an older breed of psychedelic vision. It’s built on the seeds that Broadcast grew their vision quest from in the first place. The songs have a vibration to them that’s natural and beholden to a time of utopian ideals. It’s not a naive record, but it’s hopeful in its absorption of the most verdant valleys of the bygone days of the love, peace, and poetry.

There are flecks of Fifty Foot Hose, Harumi, Silver Apples (minus the triumphant march of technology), and Ultimate Spinach under their skin, and the band funnels their fluid psychedelics into a new dawning of Earthsong solstice rituals. While the band finds a few hooks among the ethers, they’re more about feel than anything else. The record feels fluid, fermented, and fragrant. It’s an ecosystem of psych that launches spores out into the atmosphere and infects everything around it with a feeling of warmth, whimsy, and contentment. This is an vortex of vibe, and you should lock in and sink deep.



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Tengger – “Achime”

The last LP from Tengger was a beacon of hope, a calm respite in troubled times, and as the band eases into the release of their follow-up, Nomad, they don’t falter as the deep breath on a cool morning we’d all like about now. Still rooted in shimmering tones, “Achime” also lets in a soft burble of rhythm to the mix, percolating with a cosmic ripple that drives the celestial tones and the vernal glow of life that’s woven into the vocals. The band accompanies the track with an equally gorgeous video, tying their sound to natural wonders as they have in the past. Nature and the splendor of Tengger always seem to be on parallel tracks and here they wet down our souls in the font of rebirth yet again. The LP lands June 7th on Beyond Beyond is Beyond.



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Wax Machine – “Birdsong”

A second peek behind the upcoming Wax Machine album dives deeper into the band’s lysergic depths, ferreting out their jazz impulses and melting them into the furthest reaches of acid psych. “Bird Song” is a damp, mossy cut that finds the band crawling from the coven of fuzz-ravaged West Coast psych into the arms of their own UK folk experimenters. With Joe Boyd’s specter casting a shadow over the track, the band creeps down the same caverns as Susan Christie or even Fairport Convention at their furtherst reaches of unconventional burn. The song stands as a highlight in their upcoming LP. As with like-minded souls such as Dungen before them, they aim to create a studied absorption of ‘60s eclecticism and give it life in a new era. The LP lands March 20th on Beyond Beyond is Beyond.




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Elkhorn

This one’s been eking out piecemeal over the last couple of months, but to be honest, its hard to take The Storm Sessions as pieces. Since, essentially, the entirety of the record was put together as longform improvisations, the spontaneity and flow of the songs should hit the listener with the same fluid intensity in which they were conceived. The Storm Sessions is a journey one shouldn’t disembark lightly. Joined by longtime friend and collaborator Turner Williams (Ramble Tamble, Guardian Alien) in the sequestered aftermath of foul weather, the two sides play out with an appropriate ache of isolation that such circumstances might imply. At the heart of “Electric One” and “Electric Two” lies the interplay between Jesse Sheppard and Drew Gardner on acoustic and electric guitars, their strings as usual, locked into a sonic dive through the dark heart of desperation. Sheppard’s tangle of notes sings in hypnotic, soothing motion before Gardner lets into the improvs with an incandescent electric burn, lending a burnt plastic parlance to portions of the set.

Weaving his way through is Williams who adds shading to the cold confines of the storm with electric bouzouki and shahi baaja. This past autumn I saw Williams lay into the latter on stage with Jesse and it’s a sight to behold. Prowess aside though, Williams is a master collaborator adept at letting his playing lay a bedrock for these improvisations. On the A-side, his playing buzzes around Drew and Jesse in calligraphic embellishment. On the flip, he lays down a thrum that acts as an anchor pulling the two back from the cliff’s edge. Strung together, the three craft an album that’s as engrossing as their double set from last year, records that already stand out at the top of their catalog. With this, they’ve proven that even without planning to, they have the ability to outpace many of their peers with a sheer force of will. We’re barely a month into the year, but this already feels like a defining moment for 2020 musically.


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Garcia Peoples – Live @ Nublu

As I may have mentioned, its a particularly good year for official live recordings, with everyone from Mythic Sunship and Dungen laying down platters to Cool Ghouls, Chris Forsyth, and even an Only Ones rarity floating around out there. Add Garcia Peoples to the list. It should come as no surprise that the band’s into the boots, Archive.org is practically littered with GP shows at this point, but it’s nice to have an official piece coming out. The band’s residency at Nublu last year saw the band in top form and this official tape (recorded by NYC Taper) captures them going all in on their title cut from One Step Behind. Tapes are limited to 300, so snap ’em up.



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Jeffrey Alexander on Keith Jarrett’s – Restoration Ruin

Among the artists that dominated RSTB last year, Jeffrey Alexander was one of the most prolific, showing up with Dire Wolves (in one of their best yet), on a solo jaunt for Feeding Tube, and playing the RSTB anniversary show with a new group dubbed The Heavy Lidders. The latter featured members of Elkhorn and Bardo Pond laying waste to the blues in fine fashion. In anticipatetion for Dire Wolves’ latest album, on the way next month from Centripetal Force, Jeffrey’s contributed a pick to the Hidden Gems series. Picking out an oddity in the typically jazz-centric catalog of Keith Jarrett, he sheds some new light on an often maligned piece of the artist’s repertoire. Check out how this record came into Alexander’s life and what makes it such a treasure.

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