Posts Tagged ‘Kosmiche’

Bobby Lee – “Impregnated By Drops of Rainbow”

Just around the corner from his excellent album Shakedown in Slabtown UK purveyor of cosmic country calm Bobby Lee is back with a new EP packed with eight more kosmiche oases to fold into your consciousness. Skimming down his runtimes a bit for this short-format mind massage, the first couple of cuts out of the gate amble slow but stick to the soul with a thick sonic porridge of Ashra and Steve Hillage’s Rainbow Dome Music left to bake in the Southern California sun to soak up some twang. The new EP is out as limited cassette (ltd to 30) or download on March 5th. Highly recommended for fine tuning your senses today.



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Farmer Dave & The Wizards of West – “Right Vibration”

After some years laying low in the lineup, Farmer Dave Scher finds himself at the crest of two records of late. Already letting an EP out under his own name he follows swiftly with the new unit Farmer Dave & The Wizards of West. The first single from the album is the organ-riddled chug of “Right Vibration.” The band sees Scher reunite with The Tyde’s Ben Knight and the pair immediately sink into a lush brand of psychedelia that’s floating through the froth with a bit more rhythmic heft than their past projects, but just as much nebulous ease. Both songwriters have been known for their prowess as session players with credits on albums from Beachwood Sparks, Mystic Chords of Memory, Vetiver, Jenny Lewis, and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Bill between them, but here they both lock into the kind of dosed, yet delightful take that has been pervasive in their catalogs. The eponymous record is out January 22nd from Curation.

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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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John Jeffrey

Given that Jeffrey went into these sessions with an idea of progression and improvisation — reaching for the antitheses of composition and structure, the four languid landscapes that inhabit Passage are remarkably fully formed. That’s not to say that the boundaries aren’t permeable. Within the bounds of these hypnotic pieces time and space seem to slip away, but the colors they create in the mind hold fast for each cut. The record is in line with the ambient crawl of the cosmic country class of 2020, and as such this album will sit nicely on the shelf alongside North Americans, Barry Walker Jr. and SUSS. Like those, Jeffrey plays with the drones inherent in the pedal steel and lets them seep into a world of haze that’s formed from synth, laconic guitar strums and the distant shuffle of drums.

Unlike the others, he’s not beholden to the construct, letting the album slide from drones into occasional rhythmic territory. What becomes interesting is how he shifts from the mind-drift sprawl of cosmic impulses into a waking dream that pulses along on an unseen thread. The pedal steel still shimmers underneath the motorik patter but now it squiggles in iridescent turquoise — a comfort from the past like the steady blink of an unset VCR clock seen through collapsing lids. He slides from the pulse of dream state into the meditation of lone contemplation seamlessly. The pieces are definite, but the entry points are infinite.

Make no mistake the word lone is a bit key here. This is not an album for an audience of multitudes. It’s a headphone album that dips into altered states. The album seems to start at dusk when the hues are steeped in amber sinking into a radiant black. No part of this album truly sees the day, again something that sets this apart from the ambient standouts of the year. The others are squinted through a hazed sun, but here we’re left to wander parking lots at dusk, a dirt road just outside of town, the edge of the driveway where the houselights don’t quite reach. There’s a weightlessness in Jeffrey’s record, whether it was purposeful or divined through those sessions by osmosis. By the time the last track cracks dawn might be near, but the morning light doesn’t quite seep into the the structure of the album. Its a wonderfully cool void to slip into for a while and each time through the path seems different than the last.




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Matt Lajoie

This year’s already been a pretty great year for Northeast outpost Flower Room, with new releases from Ash & Herb, Starbirthed, rootless, Ash Brooks, and Matt Lajoie but they can’t keep all that goodness to themselves. While Matt and Ash tend to keep their releases close to home, Matt’s solo tapes can often wander far afield. With a companion piece to his excellent Everlasting Spring popping up on Aural Canyon just a couple of months ago, it would seem that he couldn’t possibly have more on the dock for 2020. Yet here we are with the second entry to Trouble in Mind’s new experimental tape run, “Explorers Series,” and Matt’s got more goodness on the spools. The first entry found its way out in June from Chicago duo Jamie Levinson & Donny Mahlmeister and this second installment from LaJoie captures nothing less than the shimmering beauty I’ve come to expect from him in recent years.

At two tracks, one to a side, the tape doesn’t linger long, but the 30 or so minutes that it graces the speakers brighten up any room within reach. The opener “Light Vortex” is a percolating beam bounced off of the morning waters. It rotates with a crystal kaleidoscope of patterns built in sunlight gold and deep azure blues. The flip goes a bit darker in hue, though it remains jubilant, submerging the listener in the aquamarine underworld like Sven Libaek gone glimmer. LaJoie’s catalog is a life buoy in a turbulent tempest of a year, and this one feels like a absolute capper of a trilogy that begs to be enmeshed into your daily life. Can’t wait to see what the “Explorers Series” holds next, but this one is a keeper.




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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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John Jeffrey – “Leaving Franklin”

Got a real nice cut today from John Jeffrey, who’s probably best known as the drummer for Moon Duo, though he’s been working up this brew of Kosmiche synth tracks over the past year ‘n change so his renown seems subject to change once this one hits the atmosphere. Jeffrey’s debut LP, Passage is out October 30th on Ripley and Sanae’s Jean Sandwich records, which has been home to the first Rose City Band LP and a split with Kikagaku Moyo. “Leaving Franklin” blends a skittering beat with heat hazed synths that push past the usual ‘70s German markers and into something moodier and more inclined to fill in the vacant crevices of the mind. There’s some Ashra in here — at least a taste of the slick plasticity of Correlations — and perhaps a whiff of Heldon, but Jeffrey’s pushing even further into narcotic soundtrack territory that’s somewhere between blissful surrender and purposeful suppression. The song has a low sun in the sky, a strong buzz in the vein. It’s either the beginning of a self-destructive bender or the sobering end. The track reverberates a slip through the cocaine buzz of ‘70s cinema, the kind that’s beautiful on the outside but corroded and caustic under the surface. The song’s only a taste of what Jeffrey has put forth on his new LP and I can assure you that the rest stands up to the queasy optimism that resides in the bones of “Leaving Frankin.” The LP lands this fall from Jean Sandwich and its already a 2020 essential.



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Belbury Poly

On his last album, New Ways Out, Jim Jupp took Belbury in a less fantastical direction. ‘80s vapors crept into the cabin and the album began to imagine cinematic reaches and glossy magazine cover shoots. There was a surreal undercurrent (it is Belbury, how could there not be), but for the most part it was an album that embraced something more upbeat. It was modern life looking to imitate nostalgia and doing the feeling well. But those who’ve traveled through the Polyverse in the past know that Jupp’s world isn’t just synthscapes looking to give a backdrop to adverts that are looking for the rosy glow of the ‘70s in the rearview. Enter the next chapter, The Gone Away. The record returns to some sort of imagined captive kingdom that’s lodged somewhere between fever dream and coma nightmare.

The synths lay out a queasy backdrop of bewildered travelers grappling with being dropped into danger and unpredictable surroundings. While so many rely on a barrage of effects to initiate the psychedelic storm, Belbury has always succeeded in simply creating an unfiltered sound that simply feels like the floor being pulled from underneath you, like the sight of an extra moon on the horizon, or like encountering fauna in colors that defy human comprehension. While so many countless contemporaries armed with synths keep trying (and largely failing) to recreate the exploratory fear of ‘70s horror cinema, Jupp’s gone ahead and begun world building in sound, and the results are beguiling, disorienting, admittedly terrifying in their own way. The Gone Away is pocked with wonder, sadness, fear, and confusion, but as only Jupp can conjure the pieces fit together into a half remembered narrative that’s crawling through the subconscious and leaving iridescent footprints in is wake.

Naturally, as a Ghost Box release, this also benefits from the incredible art direction and design of Julian House, who remains as incredible as ever. Somehow Ghost Box seems to elude the larger review outlets, and that’s always been a shame, each release remains and essential piece of a puzzle that’s been doled out over decades. Perhaps one day the puzzle box will open. Until then. I’m going to keep listening.



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Landing / Headroom – Split 12″

Man, thank all your gods for independent record stores, especially right now. Connecticut’s finest, Redscroll is giving the nod to two of the state’s best psych exports and giving them space on two sides of a split 12”. I’ve long been fans of both Landing and Headroom — kindred spirits in psychedelic float and noise welding. On their half, Landing, who were last seen making some cosmic ripples for El Paraiso Records, let their side stretch out, opening immediately into a 12+ minute monolith that’s built on atmospheric synth and rivulets of guitar that play well to their strengths, laying out a subtle stretch of Kosmiche quiver before they light the match and let things fry for “Seen”. On the flip, I’m always game for an outing from Kryssi Battalene’s Headroom. One of psych’s premiere players no matter what band she’s in, but when at the helm of her own psychedelic force, she’s the most potent.

Headroom’s side shows the band flexing their many sides — restrained mysticism, riffs rife with hot coal cauterization, and Battalene’s voice floating in the same ethereal float as Adrienne Snow entry just a few minutes before her. They build slowly though “Bend” before laying sonic waste to the listener with “Loose Garden,” tying things back into a euphoric bow with the closer, “House of Flowers.” The latter takes on a bit of a dreampop pacing, feeling like the culmination of a Galaxie 500 show gone very right. Both bands are CT at its finest and its great to see this pairing all around. LTD copies, so you know what to do.




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Peter Kerlin

I’ve not been shy about my love of Sunwatchers around here, but the band itself is so full of accomplished players that their coming together is only like trying to watch the brightest suns converge before blazing out in a blast of energy. So its only natural that when the members stray solo, that’s worth noting. Bassist Peter Kerlin has cropped up here a few times already this year, not only with Sunwatchers on two releases but also with Brigid Dawson and Bent Arcana. His playing always lends a supple vision to a release and his solo tape Glaring Omission puts him squarely in front. The pieces here show Kerlin working through mastering the eight string bass while overcoming the loss of a friend and the latter component hangs over the pieces in a tumult of emotions and timbres. The cassette’s instrumental passages aren’t quite as turbulent as his work with either Arcana or the Watchers but there’s a subtle internal struggle threaded through the quiet tension of the works here.

Casting in a lovely mix of players including his fellow Solar Motel member Ryan Jewell and Brent Cordero (Psychic Ills, Mike Wexler), the album hardly seems like a tangent from Kerlin’s usual output. The album touches on jazz, kosmiche, and a somber strain of post-rock that’s sublimated into a gaseous haze threaded through a maze of rhythm that sees Jewell and Kerlin shouldering the pulse of the project. Loss, confusion, reclamation and resolve all play out of the six tracks here and Kerlin once again asserts himself as one of the best in the business, whether he’s at the helm or enmeshed in the ensemble.





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