Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Monday, December 12, 2022
Once again we present some thoughts on some great musical adventures in another passing year. Friend's Dave Cambridge, Brett Savage and Andy Uzzell are on board once again and joining us for the first time is Christopher Laramee ! This is not a "best of" piece although a heavy concentration from 2022 is here for sure !
This is more of a how the personal boat stayed afloat during the time elapsed since our last joint jam which may be found just below in link...
Here we go and thanks for taking the time to dive with us into the deep end ! 💕👽
John goes first... these albums are beyond spectacular to me and they tic all the boxes. New released this year, they all represent the most returned to spins and just BANG every single time. No particular order and no one better than another as that's just fucking dumb...
Elkhorn - Distances (Feeding Tube)
Badge Epoque Ensemble - Clouds Of Joy (Telephone Explosion)
Chad Ross - Skull Creator
Psychedelic Dirt - Set To Ride (Noiseagonymayhem)
David Ornette Cherry – ‘Organic Nation Listening Club (The Continual)’ (Spiritmuse Records) – this was actually released last year but I only discovered it quite recently. David Ornette Cherry is the son of Don Cherry, possibly my favourite jazz artist, and so proving that talent really does travel in some families. With ‘Organic Nation…’ Cherry mixes jazz with electronic, ethnic music traditions and some spoken word to create an album that positively oozes class and creativity. Anyone who has even a passing interest in jazz really needs to check this out.
David Nance – ‘Pulverized and Slightly Peaced’ (self-release) .. just jaw-droppingly good. The last track ‘Amythyst’ is worth the admission price on its own – 20 minutes of skuzzed up rock. Unbelievable album (and many, many thanks to my mate Ste for the recommendation – he has pointed me in the direction of sooo many good albums – we all need a Ste!)
Jaimie Branch – Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs Of Paradise (International Anthem) – a couple of years old but played a great deal this year following Branch’s untimely demise - a great loss to all of music but jazz in particular. R.I.P.
Nero Kane – ‘Of Knowledge and Revelation’ (Subsound) – Brilliant live and the record is fantastic – a dark treatise on life, death and Dante.
Various Artists – ‘Hyperituals Vol. 1 - Soul Note’ (Hyperjazz) - a compilation that trawls through the vaults of seminal Italian jazz labels of the 70s and 80s – groovy and devotional
Wet Tuna – ‘Warping All By Yourself’ (Three Lobed) – Wet Tuna/Matt Valentine – ‘nuff said…legend!
I heard this year that twisted my melon, new and old stuff....
Dungen/ En Ar For Mycket och Tusen Aldrig Nog/ (Mexican Summer 2022)
Another year, another stunning Dungen album. Sweden's finest grace the
faithful with yet another platter of melodic wonders and sun blasted
jamming. By this point, lesser lights with better promo budgets have
far eclipsed Dungen's stature in the "sike" scene around the world,
which is really a shame because when you get down to it, they are
truly heads above everyone else, full stop. Who else could do a drum
and bass track like Var Har Du Varit and completely fold it into their
own thing? Not many. Beautiful piano driven mood pieces, acid fried
freaks, drum machine driven drippy pop, they do it all and do it
better than 97% of current bands. Just sayin.
Smokey Robinson/ Smokey/ (Tamla Motown 1973)
This stunning collaboration courtesy of Smokey and producer wunderkind Willie Hutch came out in 1973 and promptly fell out of view almost instantly. A more grown up lp than his earlier fare (he had definitely been affected heavily by Marvin's "What's Going On"), this album has gob-smacked me completely. There's just something about this era in music that is open and free, especially in the soul/ jazz areas of concern.
Badge Epoque Ensemble/ Clouds Of Joy/ (Telephone Explosion 2022)
Max Turnbull's Toronto based collective keep the releases coming, and
this one continues to mine the library grooves, deep funk and
wonderful choral vocal arrangements to maximum effect. Flutes, keys
and shimmering drum patterns create sturdy launchpads for the vocals
to drift on, Simultaneously recalling some lost soundtrack vibes from
the past while also planting both feet firmly in the here and now,
this album feels like a summation of all the ingredients they have
been mixing up in the last few years and makes me super excited to see
where it all goes from here (also please check out the digital/ tape
release Clouds Of Joy: Chance Of Reign with Lammping that came out
recently too, with rhymes from Boldy James, OC, Roshin and Theo3, a
great companion piece to this amazing record).
Dead Sea Apes with The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol split LP/ Lunar
Mansions B/W Pantheon Of Fuckery 3 (Cardinal Fuzz/Feeding Tube 2022)
Full disclosure: I play on the TBWNIAS side of this split release. I
went to hang in Ottawa for the weekend with Cardinal Fuzz boss Dave
Cambridge and John Westhaver and per my status as a sometimes member
of the group, joined them for a jam in Wayne Coulis's garage in
Richmond outside of Ottawa, Slow Dawn also beat some heavy droning
action down that eve, along with Wayne's group with his brother Albert
Shoresy. So I guess take it with a grain of salt that I'm including
this set here which was recorded by Wayne that day, but fuck it. I was
surrounded by family and we had a blast. I get misty eyed just
listening to it! The cookies worked! and the DSA track Lunar Mansions
on this, sweet lord. A proper excavation and construction of epic
proportions, there is a reason why they are one of my favorite groups
going, A massive droning progression that has its own ecosystem,
cities and infrastructure, this is HEAVY. Heavy like the sun in the
morning, like the evening's descent. WOW.
Slow Dawn/ Into The Machine Haus/ (Cardinal Fuzz/ Centripetal Force 2022)
Also hailing from Ottawa are one of my favorite groups in recent
memory. If a dream collision of Chrome/ Spacemen 3 and someone
throwing water balloons from the rooftops sounds like your kind of
thing, well, look no further! Six songs that get right to the point,
these folks know what is up and decimate speakers and lungs with equal
fervor. Easily one of the most under-rated bands in North America/
anywhere, everyone who like rock music that's noisy AF and done with
heart and soul needs this in their life. Thank me later. Jesse, Dan
and Chris, you rule. Another Centripetal Force/ Cardinal Fuzz
Always have a real soft spot (pun intended) for the 5th Dimension.
Marilyn McCoo and company do a bunch of Jimmy Webb tracks here and he also produces, Versions of George Harrison's Be Here Now and theStones Moonlight Mile are highlights, as well as a room destroying run thru the Fabs I've Got A Feeling that slaps it hard.
And speaking of Steven Krakow, it was about time for another PCS lp!
And not a minute too soon, I might add. Chicago's (heck the world's)
foremost purveyors of space/punk/scuzz drone and chuff return after a
bit of a hiatus with another set of bangers that pummel, drift and
gaze in equal measure. Of a piece with their last couple of records
but as always, they mix it up very well. I would venture to say that
they are a bit more bucolic and spaced out at points of this. Some Nik
Turner (RIP)/ Hawkwind/ Sam Gopal-ish meets Arthur Brown wiggle and
shake. Sara Gossett's flute enhances things greatly, as well as
Taralie Peterson's dual sax and Will McClean's synth squelch. Side 2's
side long track Celestial Father is the business for me, it really
clears the cobwebs and shines very bright. This lp is MUST BUY. Get it
Here goes anyway...
David Nance – Pulverised And Slightly Peaced/Peaced And Slightly Pulverised (Petty Bunco)
Well, this one stopped me right in my tracks.Hipped by Andy U (Via Ste Taylor), I just had to listen to Pulverised, which is the kind of thefull on garage/’true believer’ rock that definitely moves my needle. Everything changes by time ‘Amethyst’ comes around. I suppose it didn’t help that I was slightly baked, butI’ve got to admit that it made me a little scared when I heard it. Imagine Neil Young playing Cortez with Bardo Pond but lost in a violent sandstorm. It really is awesome and quite disorientating. Its mind blowing to read that David Nance played all the instruments by himself! ‘Pulverised’ was the demo for ‘Peaced’. ‘Peaced’ is great and really flies out there in places - but ‘Pulverised’ smashes through to the other side
Web Of Lies – Nude With Demon (Wrong Speed)
Living in Manchester, I got to see Edwin Steven’s Irma Vep support quite a few bands over the years. At times I really enjoyed them, at others, it passed me by.I was never really inspired to follow up with their recorded output. In the intervening years, Edwin has moved up to Glasgow, joined up with Neil Robinson (alongside other collaborators) and formed Web Of Lies. A great mix of Sister-era Sonic Youth and Velvet Underground, powered by ‘Ostrich’ tuned guitars. Highly recommended
Horace Andy – Midnight Rocker (On U Sound)
A nice On U Sound produced album of one of the most unique voices in reggae. Tying up his Massive Attack connections, Horace delivers a very smooth ‘Safe From Harm’, where he grabs the album’s title. BTW – not on this album, but Andy’s version of ‘Straight To Hell’ is worth digging out
Andrew Tuttle – Fleeting Adventure (Mistletone)
This is quite a new one on me(and is on a groovy Todmorden based label) but this comes on like a ruralized Eno. Tuttle is a banjo player but brings with him an army of collaborators (including Steve Gunn). Nice pedal steel zoners!
Mirage – Telepathic Radio (Cardinal Fuzz/Centripetal Force)
Good to hear some good old fashioned freak flag, way out there, lo-fi burners. Surprised that this didn’t see more love, to be honest. Lots to dig into here from Banshee’s Joe Freedman! Lots of fuzz and krauty fun!
Blood Quartet – Root 7 (Feeding Tube/Cardinal Fuzz)
Another great Album from Blood Quartet. The legendary Mark Cunningham plays his distinctive trumpet over some distinctly downbeat rock. Their last few albums have been great (hipped to me by Mr W!) but this feels like they have shifted a gear. Fantastic stuff.
Haress– Ghosts (Wrong Speed)
Another great album of spectral folky post-rock from Haress- this time with added spookiness. Even comes with a groovy flexi!Both beautiful and sinister.
Abronia - Map Of Dawn (Cardinal Fuzz/Feeding Tube)chu
Three albums in and Abronia are still blowing minds. There is something in their sound that reminds me of The Gun Club, albeit the Gun Club after a hefty dose of peyote. I saw them play to a criminally small crowd in Manchester where everyone in attendance was absolutely blown away. Cant wait for their next.
Dave Cambridge is proprietor of Cardinal Fuzz Records and Acid Test Recordings. Dave also plays guitar in a band with Brett Savage and Chris Hardman both of Dead Sea Apes called The Golden Rule who played their inaugural LIVE show as a two piece in 2018 at Ottawa Psychfest I. They have an absolutely KILLER album recorded which remains unreleased !!! It's a fucking scorcher so let's hope💣💕👽... Dave is a consumate music nut and here's a a few things that helped make his 2022 a better year...
SO here is more a ‘what I listened to in 22’ – call it a best off – but that is only a best off what I was able to listen to – Im looking forward to seeing other lists and checking out all the stuff I’ve missed. A big shout out to many UK based labels who have in trying times are still fighting to get music to you. Apologies for anyone missed be smiles out to Deep Distance, Drone Rock Records, Riot Season, , Rocket Recordings, Spiral Void, Weird Beard (and Fuzzed Up and Astromoon in Ireland too) and the same of course to many in North America – NAM, Centripetal Force, Feeding Tube, Little Cloud, , Mississipp, Petty Bunco/Richie Records, Sunrise Ocean Bender). The Biggest though is too John – I can tell you many of these records listed below are down to John’s supreme knowledge of all that is vital. A big thank you to Forte Records too in helping me get through 2022 and always supplying the best labels to us here in the UK. I know in writing this intro I will have missed out some – Apologies as always as I get ready to break (down!) and rest. Much Love – I had a hell of a ride in 22 – as always Bring on 2023 – IM READY.
IN NO ORDER AT ALL
The Heads – Undersided Box Set And Stand Alone (Rooster) – What can I possible add – Buy it – be it the 2xCD or LP or Box Set- You live this life once so make sure you like the best.
Royal Aircoach – Open Up Your Mind(Sundazed) – Best unreleased and new to me comp of manic I have heard in a good while - proto punk riffs mixed with Fortune Teller Vamps and an Epic Acid Trip Tale.
Elkhorn – Distances (Feeding Tube Records) – Elkhorn can do no wrong - where acid flash meets acoustic burn.
Blues Ambush – Blues Ambush (Petty Bunco) - Downbeat psychotic blues for the twisted lifers
Bhajan Bhoy - Shanti ShantiShanti (Wormer Bros Records) – Psychedelia, minted from radio snippets, dubby reverb flapping, elegant guitar washing, electronic drones interwoven with flashes of mock jaw harp or sploshy drums, and a generally stoned atmosphere. An immersive collection, best heard sitting or lying back with eyes closed to enhance the mood
BokmaLarameeOverdirve – S/T (Dub Cthonic) – Chris Laramee – What can I say about this boy genius? Yet more wonderful soundscapes as Chris joins with Bokma and they join with the everflowing One-ness. Sublime. Hopefully talk them into a CDr release too!
Gold Dust – The Late Great Gold Dust (Centripetal Force Records) - The Byrds, The Band, Elliot Smith, Beachwood Sparksand even a touch of C86 jangle all echo through Pierce’s sound, and while he may take a stroll around Laurel Canyon, he is subversive enough to remain an outcast there.
Joseph of Kirazi – Bleeding Jam Volume1(Sloow Tapes / Bandcamp) – Spoiler Alert – LP coming via Cardinal Fuzz /Feeding Tube Records / Be Here Now. These bleeding jam sessions have been on repeat listening since Shane (We Here Now) sent my way. Roaming the outermost corners of the black clad psychedelic underground – obvious nods to LRD but also some intense out there Heads freakouts.
NdikhoXaba and the Natives – S/T(Mississippi Records / Matsuli Music) - Revolutionary spiritual afro jazz from exile… NdikhoXaba and the Natives self-titled debut is an African jazz holy grail recorded “as a tribute to the struggles of Africans in this country for oh so long…”
White Heaven / Stars – Electric Cool Acid / Live InTokyo 1996 / Stars Live (Pedal Bandcamp) – WOW – Bandcamp Fridays have bought Manna from heaven for White Heaven freaks. And ok Electric Cool Acid has been about for years but I NEVER get tired of sharing that with people. The Live In Tokyo is the 3 guitar line up and is levitational. PLUS extra bonus tracks there and with Strange Bedfellow on Black Editions to look forward to in 2023 – Here is a hope that Pedal release the original ‘Out’ demo tape as well as much more from the vaults.
John Ondolo – The Hypnotic Guitar Of John Ondolo (Mississippi Records) - Droning, open-tune guitar masterpieces from an unsung hero of East African music.
Stiff Richards – State Of Mind (Drunken Sailor Records) – If your thing is The Saints / The Damned and Radio Birdman – Stiff Richards will be your new favourite band – 1 year on and this LP still cannot be shifted when I want my fix of PUNK RAWK,
Gunn-Truscinski Duo – Soundkeeper (Three Lobed) - Sounding for a few seconds like a basement noise session, a dreamy Yo La Tengo jam, an ESP-Disk’ fire music manifesto, a Michael Chapman mourn, inside patterns and outside blasts. This music does not come out of nowhere.
Various Artists – Wallahi Le Zein! (Mississippi Records) Drawing from the deep well of Mauritanian classical music, the gamut of musical modes and the tidinitt lute repertoire are transposed to the electric guitar - often with frets removed or additional frets installed, “heavy metal” distortion pedals and phasers built into guitar bodies, blurring the lines between Haratine and Beydane musical cultures, the ancient and the futuristic
Various Artists – Basement Beehive (the girl group underground) (Numero) - I have more than girl groups comps but this beautyblew my head off .
Panda Bear / Sonic Boom – Reset (Domino) -Longtime collaborators Noah Lennox and Peter Kember achieve an intoxicating mind meld over a sample-heavy tribute to 1960s pop.
Les Rallizes Denudes – Oz Days + August 18th, 1981 at Shibuya Yaneura + TripicalMidbooster 1981-1982, 11th November 1983 - Meguro Rockmeikan – The complete Oz Days (on the 3xCD set natch) showcasing the early White Heat White Light Garage Thud with Leigh Stephens fuzz overload is a joy. Another year of LRD dominating my listening – the 1983 recordings where everything slows down even more to maybe the Dirgest LRD ever got but with Mitzuni spitting out ferocious fuzz lader shards. The Aug 1981 show has an incredible The Lst One and Tripical takes shows from late 81 and 82 and again shows just how far out of time (& space) LRD where.
David Nance - Pulverized And Slightly Peaced (Petty Bunco) – After featuring last year (Astute Palette) here is David Nance again - If you like distorted guitars set loose to wreak their havoc on your synapsis, then this is yer thing – somewhere between Major Stars / Comets on Fire and Neil Young Crazy Horse with everything recorded in the red and sounding pretty fucking blown out - ENJOY
The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol - Rushmore Live: 5/14/2022 (Bandcamp) – Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating In Space – I was for sure as I ventured over the ocean to greet my best of friends – what a night.
Emily Robb – How To Moonwalk (Petty Bunco) –Emily Robb opens her first-ever solo album with an undulating blast of fuzz, a seesawing riff that lasts only about a minute, but obliterates concisely, without embellishment, a pure show of force. A deep respect to the rock n’ roll form while refusing to be held back by a single one of its limitations. No vocals, no artifice, barely even a drum. It’s a totally fried, mutant offering that’ll entice the twisted seekers-- a sustained, distilled meditation on the unabashed revved up freedom of rock.
NaujawananBaidar - Khedmat Be Khalq (Radio Khiyaban) (LP announcement soon!) - The sounds on Khedmat Be Khalq chew on a strain of Afghan street music that writhes at the impacts of Timperialism, militarism, and fundamentalism on Afghan culture. the strident sounds rub up against an encroaching wave of industrial percussion, tape deck aesthetics, and 70’s motorik rhythms. The title track brings all of these to a head, shouting its choruses from the dented speakers of boomboxes, spilling into the streets with a fire that blooms from a glow to a glare by the end of the son
Craven Faults – Live Works (Lowfold Works) Sublime analog beauty (yes – that lovely vibrancy you get with analog - sorry all buy JMJ has never been my thing – Acid Trippin’ is) and Craven Faults always provide a beautiful soundtrack for merging or meditation or just letting your mind be free and flowing (or just simply listening and enjoying) – need I say if like this – please check out Mount Maxwell too.
Djivan Gasparyan – I Will Not Be Sad In This World Moon Shines At Night (All Saints) – Much love to Des who told me if freeing my mind with music was my thing – to listen deeply too Djivan Gasparyan. Beyond wonder and beauty. As an aside Whilebreathholding – I got so lost in different planes of consciousness like never before (in breath holds that is – over 3 minutes and felt like I had no need to break it…)
Maalem Mahmoud Gania -Aicha (Hive Mind) - The undisputed King of Gnawa music – Aicha brings ritual repertoire, and a deeper, more gentle sound while showcasing Mahmoud's virtuoso guimbri playing and mastery of Gnawa songcraft, and is a standout amongst his many releases.
Joseph Allred - The Rambles & Rags of Shiloh (Worried Songs) – Another year and another Joseph Allred LP in my end of year list. like Basho or Rose, it's uncompromising; like sacred musics, stately; like the music of so many American masters, it ploughs ahead on its own terms and gives and gives
Sharron Kraus – K.I.N. (Bandcamp – Vinyl Soon) - A truly unique sound located somewhere between Cream’s “Pressed Rat & Warthog” and what The Left Outsides might sound like if they jammed with a gamelan. Floating freaky fun of the highest order
Iditarod - the Ghost, the Elf, the Cat and the Angel (Feeding Tube Records) - A long dormant group led by Jeffrey Alexander and Carin Wagner. The Providence duo were a bit ahead of the curve as far as the aughts folk revival and subsequent embrace of Psych-Folk/ New Weird America in the press, but this record should sit on a shelf next to any copies of Fern Knight, Espers, Six Organs, and Skygreen Leopards you have haunting your collection.
Alison Cotton - The Portrait You Painted of Me (Rocket Recordings) – Imagine something John Cale might have done with Nico on The Marble Index.Music I find deeply moving.
LaddioBolocko- 97-99 (Castle Face) All you need to know is john Dwyer seeing LaddioBolocko live back in the late ninties blow his mind – Get ready for your mind to explode. PS check youtube out for a great recording of LaddioBolocko at the Packhorse in Leeds.
Sky Furrows – S/T (Philthy Rex Records, Skell Records, Tape Drift Records) – This was the first LP John Westhaver queued up for me as I sat down in the Culture Bunker – HE KNEW (as the new Sky Furrows LP is coming on Cardinal Fuzz / Feeding Tube Records). Here we have a cross-hybridisation of the sounds of krautrock, New Zealand indie and US underground (SST) influences into a heady stew of DEEP avant grooves that allow Schoemer’s to weave her spoken-word stream of consciousness tales . The group is comprised of vets of the Albany underground scene, and members of psych-rock unit Burnt Hills; Eric Hardiman, Mike Griffin and Phil Donnelly who combine their forces with poet Karen Schoemer who fronts the group.Way out songs and stories from four musical sages, a controlled burn of combustive guitar, piston-fired rhythms, and incendiary poetry..."
Broadcast – Mother Is The Milky Way (Domino) -A twenty-minute meditative experience in an unambiguously Broadcastian space, with equal parts journey through pastoral psychedelic meadows and whiplash-inducing descent into some of the darkest spaces the band has dared to curate. In times of consonance, lullaby-like melodies vacillate in and out of focus to silky acoustic guitars and birds chirping, a universe where Vashti Bunyan meets Nurse With Wound.
Francis Bebey - Psychedelic Stanza (Born Bad) - Synthesizes his passion for electronic music with his study of traditions such as the instrument sanza (AKA sansa / mbira / thumb piano), and Pygmy music staples: one-note flute and polyphony. Psychedelic Sanza is a mind-altering journey that leaves you feeling reborn, like you’ve just emerged from a week of vision seeking in the forest.
Icarus Line – Slave Vows (Agitated) – Might have come out 9 years ago but the fury of this LP only is pure rock and roll hellfire distilled onto vinyl and CD. Slave Vows" is quite simply a fearsome vitriolic rock and roll outpouring that starts, and never lets up for every 45 minutes of Stoogian styled glory.
The above is a minutae of what the 5 of us took in this year trust me! There's never a shortage of brilliance from any corner of the plant, stretched across many genres, new or old. We will all consistently think moving forward after this piece is out there : "fuck sake, I should have put that on my list" !