Posts Tagged ‘Cardinal Fuzz’

Tambourinen

Earlier in the year The Myrrors Grant Beyschau issued a tape on Avant-Unity Music and it finds its way back into the world via a vinyl issue through Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube this month. While the set shares a sense of exploration and cosmic consciousness with The Myrrors, the Tambourinen nods into a much more German Progressive zone than the ragged folk harmonics of his mainstay. The title track pushes the release into the heavy waters that are tread throughout, letting a nodding rhythm take control and with fuzz leads peeling the paint from the walls while a dousing of flutes cool the temperature somewhat. By the time the track lands in the clearing its left the turbulent sway for a life in the ethers, kicking cosmic dust back and forth between the speakers. The feeling stays on for the following track, “Wollensak,” an iced sluice through the quasars for that cleans up the rhythmic fray nicely.

Beyschau isn’t done with the tumult, though, the album’s other extended cut “Power To” returns right back to the fuzz-ravaged dirge of “Wooden Flower” and carves out a bit more space to let the album burrow into hypnotic headspace. The flutes are supplanted with sax hers and their burn permeates the consciousness deeper into a copper stained vision of drop-out meditation. The album caps off on a folk note that’s slightly incongruous with the deep-core jams that precede it but its a nice, slight nod back to The Myrrors and their frayed ends. This was a nice pickup by the labels and deserving of a vinyl press — a tape seems a bit under serving of the scope of flay that Beyschau can lay down.




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The Left Outsides / Alison Cotton

Over the last few years, Feeding Tube has amassed an impressive collection of works by The Left Outsides, and subsequently solo work by singer / violaist Alison Cotton. The husband-wife duo of Cotten and Mark Nicholas have carried on the psych-folk torch following the dissolution of their previous band The Eighteenth Day of May. This Feeding Tube and Cardinal Fuzz pull triple duty, reissuing the band’s live set cut to CD-R, A Place To Hide from last year. The set culls quite a bit from the band’s previous studio album All That Remains, though they take pains not to merely recreate the album in the live setting. In the room. The Left Outsides can breathe new life into their works — here stretching the songs into haunted dirges that weep with harmonium and dread. The set’s rounded out with a few covers, one traditional and another a rather beautiful take on a 13th Floor Elevators tune, an inspired choice if there ever was one. The lone new cut is the opener “My Reflection Once Was Me,” a song that ties this release to the band’s new record, Are You Sure I Was There?

The song finds its way into the new album, slated for release next week, but its a changed animal. The harmonium drone is gone, replaced by the low growl of guitar, but Alison Cotton’s singular voice still drives the track with hints of deep furrowed sorrow. The album is a departure from the live set that inhabits A Place To Hide, still scarred with the heavy heart and melancholy that’s present in the duo’s work, but fleshed out into a psych-folk landmark that’s acts as a proper follow-up to the scarred and singed landscapes of All That Remains. As the album wears on the clouds pull in tight, blocking the wan moonlight and calling the mists from all directions. Like Espers, Fire On Fire, or most of the Language of Stone roster, this is a band that connects deep to the currents of UK folk and the dark pull of anguish and hope that have long played a part in it’s legacy. Both pull at each other on A Place To Hide, creating rivulets of tension that scar and soothe.

While they hold court evenly, with both Cotton and Nicholas taking on vocal duties within the new album, the labels have found room for one more Cotton related LP on the roster this year and it puts Alison’s solo works on par with the duo’s elemental sadness. Earlier in the year Cotton released a cassette for Bloxham tapes that saw her balancing the stark viola drones with her voce, playing up her Nico tendencies more than any other on the dock this year. The set opens wit the labyrinthine, 20+ minute “Behind The Spiderweb Gate” and delves deep into the darkness from there on out. The song winds her voice through eddies of glacial sadness leading into the layered beauty and stark mourning of the rest of Only Darkness Now, perhaps the most fitting title in all of the Left Outsides-adjacent catalog. Both Feeding Tube and Cardinal Fuzz have done well to showcase what’s so entrancing about Cotton and The Left Outsides and its quite an enticing spread of albums from them this year. If you’re unfamiliar, this trio is an excellent primer on what’s made the band and Cotton’s contributions so vital over the past few years.

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Tambourinen – “Wooden Flower”

More good news out of the Centripetal Force and Cardinal Fuzz camps today. The labels are teaming up to issue Tambourinen’s Wooden Flower cassette from earlier in the year on LP. The band work of Grant Beyschau from Myrrors and its as heady as anything he’s put out with his mainstays. The title track is a monster of riff and groove, powering through a half ton fuzztone blast and settling into a swirl of German Progressive head throb. Guitars slice from speaker to speaker and a bubble of flute courses up from behind the fray. As the song winds down Beyschau transitions to a more sparkling vision of Kosmiche but the damage of “Wooden Flower” isn’t quite washed away by the glittering release of the final moments. The tape was gone in a flash, so this is a great second life for the release and a deserving shift to 12” with some space to spread out. The new edition is out November 13th.




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Elkhorn

The second installment of Elkhorn’s snowed-in sessions from last year strips away the electricity and effects, but with the cords cut the session only delves further into their dark night of the soul. Acoustic Sessions conjures up a relaxed vision of something previously posed in the electric setting, but here its no retread, but a tap into their similar apocalyptic folk vision, kicking at the dust bowl barrens just after the amps have gone dry. Working repetition and stark minimalism into a psychedelic experience that puts the echoplex away and turns up the inner turmoil, the Acoustic Storm Sessions create something of a haunted introspection that cycles ‘round and around in the brain with the three players pushing their stringwork through meditative moments that tapped isolation before it was cool.

Passages feel like they come from several planes of sound at once, pulling gently for attention before another player’s fingers rack the focus back. The set is split into two side-long improvisations, with the first more biting than the second. They stir up the ash and bone with side-A, letting the wounds heal a bit with the healing of Side-B. That second side wafts into a tender territory — resolute, exhausted, mindful of the flow of the aural conversation the guitars share. The strings find tension and twist on the record, but just as often they find a sort of solace solace over the winding trip laid bare here. This is one of those releases that’s stunning for the fact that it wasn’t even the focus of the sessions. This is the second wave, but its no less accomplished than the first — a bonus session that’s hardly cutting room worthy.




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Big Blood

The collaborations between Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube continue and this time they bring out another incarnation from the always entrancing Big Blood. This one’s an older bit of the Big Blood story, but its finally making its way to vinyl thanks to both labels. The family that harnesses the vibrations of the infinite together stays together, or so they say and while the pair includes daughter Quinnasa, this might mark her first appearance via the charming closer. Caleb and Colleen cut their teeth in Cerberus Shoal and Fire on Fire, but its always been Big Blood that’s truly felt like their own skin to inhabit and augment. This is one of the records in their stable that feels like they truly came into their own under the name. Dark Country Magic pretty much sums up the feeling here perfectly — the peace and love of their newer albums is traded in favor of a more dire psych-folk framework.

The moods are largely poisoned, shrouded, alone in the forest in harmony with silt and soil by day and offering blood to the moon by night. Big Blood’s emphasis on the ragged chorus of vocals remains one to their most effective tools and they can turn it from jubilant to harrowing within the space of minutes. They do let the veil slip mid record to dance in a full sun ceremony, but within the context of the rest of the record, the atypical moment in the sun feels more like a facade to put the listener at ease before the coven turns on them once the sun escapes the sky. Clatters of percussion, dusty guitars, and Kinsella’s vocals that leave an imprint on your soul — the record has everything a Big Blood fan could ask for.




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Elkhorn – “Acoustic Storm Sessions (exerpt)”

Earlier in the year Elkhorn released an album of pent-up psychedelic darkness and desperation that was forged in an unintentional lock-in during a snowstorm that caused them to miss a pivotal Brooklyn gig last year. The album, made with friend and collaborator Turner Williams, showed the band at their improvisational peak, exploring their psych-folk prowess by turning an environment of disappointment into something extraordinary. Seems that the album, which found them in a configuration with Jesse on acoustic, Drew on Electric, and Turner shifting between electric bouzouki on one side, shahi baaja on the next, spawned a sister album that’s just now seeing the light of day.

This time Elkhorn eschew the plugs to release their first completely acoustic album, letting three guitars entwine in the ice-ensconced studio to create something that’s both meditative and mercurial. Not quite born of the Basho/Fahey axis, not quite beholden to the kind of ambient plains dusters that spawned Barn Owl, this is is a more tempered vision of Elkhorn’s apocalyptic folk. On the sample below, you can feel just a small fraction of the scope of these acoustic sessions, stripped bare of the ozone-crackle of their psychedelic fry, but no less devastating in their barren burn. If anything, the austerity only enhances the permafrost isolation of the band’s stranded situation during the recording. The LP is out October 2nd on Centripetal Force and Cardinal Fuzz.




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Prana Crafter

If it wasn’t readily apparent from the sidelong strechout that populated his half of a split with Tarotplane last year, Will Sol’s music is made for grander statements than a compact runtime can accommodate. His latest LP pushes that boundary even further, nudging the scope from one side to two. Though it’s split into six parts, the tracks on MorphoMystic are essentially all part of one long piece. Still strolling the verdant gardens of ‘70s kosmiche and bending the will psych to the whims of prog, the new album truly enjoys the spectral build and release of his German predecessors.

Even when the tempo is slowed to a Cluster-crawl, the new Prana is percolating with a heart-flutter rhythm that’s humid and hungry, yet hunted and wounded — siphoning the cosmic impulses into a dark heart. This is a more furrowed and fraught side of Sol than I’ve heard before. He’s usually threading the gauze, letting his folk strings pull gently at his prog side, but here synths and ambience assert their dominance over the guitar for the most part.

He can still wring wrath from the six, but for the most part he’s embodying the Göttsching persona well while dipping into the works of fellow Ra member Schulze’s works for good measure. Creeping into view with a tempered step, he arcs MorphoMystic into a dizzying psychological thriller by the time “Chalice of the Fungal Sage” hits the speakers. Though if things end with blood and bone, they also end with a somber relief by the time we lie into the weary homecoming of “Starlight, Sing us A Lullaby.” Sol’s been working at body high hits for the last few years, but he’s besting himself yet again with this cohesive platter.




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Prana Crafter – “Rebirth In The Mosslands”

I’ve got a brand new one from Northwest psychedelic soaker Prana Crafter today and it’s just a small scrape of his upcoming release. Fresh off of two lengthy side-long splits with ragenap and Tarotplane, Will’s next release is essentially an album-long composition broken up into movements. The first section, “Rebirth In The Mosslands” walks in slow, with a touch of dread in its blood. Steady, progressive plucks give way to a Kosmiche grind that puts this squarely in the pocket of Popul Vuh fans. It’s the opening salvo to an album that tumbles through cosmic impulses — heady and nebulous — and acts as a proper continuation of what Sol was working on with his Symbiose split. There’s tension and trepidation at play here, and Sol wields both with a fine edge that never cuts too deep for discomfort. It’s been great to see him weave between psych folk and more atmospheric ephemera, as he lends a scholar’s ear to both genres. The record lands September 18th as a split release between Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube and you’re gonna want to get a hold of this one.



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The Heads – Reverberations Vol. 2

Cardinal Fuzz has gone deep into the archives of scorch from Bristol’s merry mindbenders The Heads. Makes sense, the label boasts its roots in the catalog of The Heads, taking the name from a Heads track of the same name. Seems witnessing the first rehearsal in this series acted as impetus to form a label in the first place. As for The Heads, for the unfamiliar, the band’s been clawing at the creosote since ’95, laying down massive slabs of primordial rock that’s built on relentless groove and above all else, a domineering layer of fuzz n’ rumble that threatens to consume us all. The band’s studio albums often try to capture the force that they unleash stage-side, but fall short of capturing the charred ozone and sweat syncopation that occurs once the band is fully locked in. The second in a set of live and rehearsal recordings, vol. 2 certainly attempts to right that wrong.

The set is taken from the band’s set at The Gnostic Bash: A Tribute to Kenneth Anger. The festival was a fundraiser for Anger’s longtime goal to make a film of Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Mass along with a documentary about Anger himself. The band’s played to a partial recreation of Anger’s ‘Equinox of the Gods’ — a live film of The Magick Powerhouse Of Oz band that featured Bobby Beausoleil (of Manson Family notoriety). With the film as backdrop the band launches into a breathless version of their live fave “K.R.T.” letting the song flesh out to over thirty minutes before lighting the rafters with “Split Riff.” They don’t let up or let down between the songs and by the time the whole set ends both the band and listener feel ready to collapse to the floor. You can listen to the set in its entirety, available on vinyl August 28th for the first time along with plenty of other Heads curios and necessities that the label has culled over the years. Better give this one some volume and space, it needs room to ravage your listening zone.



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White Manna – “Mythic Salon”

Long running California psych band White Manna returns with a split release for Centripetal Force and Cardinal Fuzz August 28th. While the blast-force riffs still abound on the album, on “Mythic Salon” there’s a drive towards rhythmic oblivion. Hewing closer to the German Progressive blueprint rather than the amplifier exhaust that they were known for early on, the track wraps elusive vocals around a percolating beat that’s haunted by horns over the distant hills. The song slots in nicely on ARC, as the LP shifts endlessly between growl and grind and the further reaches of space, noise, kosmiche, and Krautrock. It solidifies what the band were beginning to mold on Ape On Sunday, tightening their hold on cosmic psych and letting the spaces between the storm speak.





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