Posts Tagged ‘Loner Psych’

Paint

L.A.’s Allah-Las trade in their fair amount of ‘60s shaded nostalgia, and while they’re usually brimming with a decent dose of homegrown appeal, the solo stint from ‘Las guitarist and songwriter Pedrum Siadatian makes his mainstay sound positively modern by comparison. The faded photo trappings are most certainly by design. Siadatian is reaching for the hidden bins that house the hometapers, the 4-track quiet geniuses and the unstable imps of the acid-blotted paisley past. Helmed at the production desk by the similarly inclined pastiche painter Frank Maston, he crafts an album that seeps up from the humble hovels of R. Stevie Moore and F.J. McMahon sounding like its never seen so much as the door to a proper studio. That’s not a complaint mind you, the pair are aiming for a record that could easily slip between the cracked covers of the private press gold rush and blend in seamlessly and they’re pulling it off swimmingly. Siadatian’s clearly done his research and delights in creating something of a crumpled homage.

Paint catches the same prism-bent dusty sunshine that revs up the cardboard kaleidoscopes of Kevin Ayers, Danny Graham and Billy Nicholls. Siadatian makes it seem effortless, but I get a sense that he and Maston have gone to lengths to meticulously craft an air of economical wonder to match these low-key touchstones. Maston doesn’t push the project too hard, or imprint himself as heavily as one might imagine given his own passions for the past. Instead of coifing this record in lush brushstrokes of the Library psych he’s so fond of, he’s let the backroom hiss and bedroom sleepiness linger. Just because the mics are bedroom bound doesn’t mean this thing is totally sparse, though. The songs are still adorned with brain tangling backwards guitars, satin organs and flute swells, but the sounds are stuffed into the spectrum like they were tracked in tandem, stuffed into a third-floor apartment.

Paint has the feeling of a one-off curio, which are oftentimes the best records. It remains unclear if this is to become a new avenue for Siadatian in the long run, or just a way to shake out some private press psych impulses. Either way he’s ticking a lot of boxes on the RSTB favorites list and the album elevates itself to be more than just style over substance. It’s a well-conceived diorama of psych that creeps under the skin time and again.



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J. William Parker

Japan’s Guruguru Brain have steadily built themselves up as a well of great new psychedelia from the Pacific Rim. Their latest pickup is Hanoi’s J. William Parker, a man with no reputation and little press to his name. They found him from a fully formed demo that’s been forged pretty much unchanged into Shadowmen. What he lacks in fanfare though, Parker makes up for in home-recorded psych-folk spirit. The record is flecked with the hallmarks of loner folk’s high halls, shades of Jansch, Drake, Spence, Ted Lucas and Masaki Batoh; but he moves further into the dark halls of shut-in territory on his spectral instrumentals that bounce around like faded memories throughout the album.

When he eases back the cardboard boom mic reverberations though he gets some crisp sounds, that if not necessarily on par with his ’70s influences as far as clarity, have a great deal of the same mournful romanticism that’s endeared the loner soul to audiences for years. When he truly goes for the psych-out, Parker finds himself on comfortable footing, as on “The Stranger,” a highlight that pushes his frantic energy well past the limits of his modest setup. On Shadowmen Parker may just be getting started and the studio may find him some welcome comfort and new experimental fortitude as he progresses. Or, this may be one of those one-off gems that endures because it acts as encapsulation of a time and place, rescued from the bins like white label pressings plucked from obscurity in the past couple of years. Either way, its an oddly comforting find that lends its credence to the kind of ears that run the game over at Guruguru Brain for sure.


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