Keeping in line with his label's tendency towards a new breed of dark, instrumental nightmares, Tommy Jansen has created a haunting album that revolves around a theme of doomed ships. Every second of Sistereis seems closer to the tidal breath; water creeps in everywhere and the starkly melancholic drones and orchestration clamp down tight on your lungs. Probably the closest comparison to the feelings evoked by this album come from labelmate Svarte Greiner's last work Knive and its easy to see why he has chosen to release Jansen's album on his own Miasmah imprint. The gloomy textures that cloud the album create a complete feeling of hopelessness and an edge of dread that stalks you like the knowledge of approaching death. Sistereis is the first in a trilogy of albums that will center on historical events. Here's hoping the next two are as incredibly dark and foreboding as this.

[MP3] Elegi -Fyrtrnet Part 1
[MP3] Elegi -Sistereis
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posted by dissensous at 10:00:00 AM 1 comments


D. Charles Speer

No Neck Blues Band cohort and member Dave Shuford strikes out on his own with a roots leaning singer songwriter album under the name of D. Charles Speer. Some Forgotten Country is littered with road dust and stompin' on the back porch with its acoustic charm, but every now and again Shuford bends in just the slightest hint of psych on the strings to keep it from hitting the Takoma vibe too heartily. The songs mix together an updated feeling of traditional homespun tales and a new streak of the weary troubadour. Shuford has a baritone that rumbles softly and comfortingly over the crest of it all, providing the real charm that ties the whole bundle together and keeps you wanting more. Not entirely what I was expecting given the NNK connection but it seems those boys have splintered every which way these days. The LP sees release via Sound @ 1 records and a handsome slab it is. Pick it up if you see it or head on over to Fusetron.

[MP3] D. Charles Speer -Furze
[MP3] D. Charles Speer -The Janissaries
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posted by dissensous at 10:07:00 AM 0 comments



After seemingly forever, the Jeweled Antler Collective expands and a new band, Softwar is born into the world. Though the label is no longer releasing their handmade CD-r runs; this album, brought forth on Digitalis, embodies the pastoral spirit and freedom that pockmarked each of the early releases that wormed their way into my heart and onto my stereo. Softwar is the sound of the California sun baking the Western Coast and the breeze blowing the remnants out to sea. The freeform structure mirrors the pasts of many of the band's members who've inhabited projects such as Skygreen Leopards, OV, Franciscan Hobbies, Blithe Sons, The Child Readers... and so on and so forth. But even as the free-spirited noise notions seem to take hold, beautifully charming melodies waft from beneath the bits of din and debris, making the record much more than a host of Jeweled alumni getting their kicks out on tape. Much in the same vein as the latest from Kemialliset Ystävät, they balance walls of cacophony with delicate melodies that get caught in the crevices of your brain. This one took me a little longer to absorb, but now that I'm finally seeing the cracks in the surface I'm all the better for it.

[MP3] Softwar -The Softwar
[MP3] Softwar -Sightless Sculpture
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posted by dissensous at 9:32:00 AM 3 comments


Still more garage, pop and psych from the Jukebox this week. Some gritty garage-centric classics but with a splash of sunshine-psych to keep you on your toes. As always, sample and enjoy.

[MP3] The Move -Hey Grandma
Still finding their feet on their first album, The Move padded it out with a few covers. This stab at the Moby Grape's "Hey Grandma" trades the original's easy California flair for a tighter Mod approach, toughening it a bit and giving it a bit of plunk on the piano. Not many can tackle the Grape and do it justice but The Move make this one their own.

[MP3] The Flower Pot Men-Let's Go Back To San Francisco Pt. 1 & 2
Doing their best Beach Boys impression, the Carter-Lewis songwriting team had a hit with this sunny summer tale that both epitomized and commercialized the West Coast Sound. Nonetheless the song is pretty enough; cycling from breezy to an oddly melancholy middle section and wistfully returning to usher out the summer of love once and for all.

[MP3] The Lords -Boom Boom
One of the best garage groups Germany had to offer in the mid-60s, The Lords vamped up rendition of this John Lee Hooker staple has to be heard to be believed. The accented vocals sneer and swagger with a force of youth and rebellion. This is the sound of Germany pulling free from the oom-pah beat that permeated its folk traditions. The Lords put a twist in the step of German youth and all for the better.

[MP3] Friar Tuck-Louie, Louie
An oft covered garage and pre-punk staple, but you've never heard it like this. Friar Tuck is the studio creation of Curt Boettcher and guitarist Mike Deasy. The two take this tune to the psychedelic lounge both laying it back into an easy groove laced with multi-tracked vocals and doing a bit of a psych workout on the outro. A true oddity of the time period but definitely worth a listen.

[MP3] Fat Water-I Can Be Happy
A 60's album that has very little documentation but shows a nice synthesis of the West Coast Vibe. Fat Water work the male/female harmony vocals nicely and cut the breeziness out of the Californian influences with huge organ stabs that give it a little touch of Deep Purple. A full steam track that hits in all the right places.
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posted by dissensous at 10:01:00 AM 2 comments


Midnite Snake

The Pittsburgh psych-metal foursome return with a new album that is filled with flame and scuzz but at the same time never flies off the rails. They play in the same guitar torturing vein as anything Kawabata Mokoto laid his fingers on and like him they seem to know how to ride the edge of the maelstrom just right and then peel it back with atmospherics and some darkly laced effects. This album has some outright crop burners, but still manages to hit the spooky psych on the second track and somehow float out to pastoral on 'In The Grass,' then drives the point home with a 26 minute closer that travels the whole path in one song. They seem to have more sense of control than many in the realm of psycho-scuzz histrionics, but when it does come time to let loose with some high powered string wrangling the boys do not disappoint; they crush your skull underfoot and drive on to the next town. Shaving the Angel is out now on the ever quality Birdman Records.

[MP3] Midnite Snake -Bigfoot '69
[MP3] Midnite Snake -Cruise Control
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posted by dissensous at 10:36:00 AM 0 comments


Mythical Beast

I picked up The Mythical Beast/ Pocahaunted 12" having been familiar with Pocahaunted's work and ended up being much delighted with what I heard from Mythical Beast; creating dark, atmospheric soul channeling psycho-drones, the band pulses with restless energy. The dark throbbing drones give way to restrained feedback and touches of spacey keys, but the real focus as with their compatriots Pocahaunted, is the wailing, urgent female vocals that seem to tear at your soul's bearings. For the lucky few who ordered the 12" right away, an extra cassette was included featuring another split from the two bands. The splits are equal in quality and bring a chill to your breath; desperation seeming to have no bounds in the world of Mythical Beast. Both tracks represented here delve deeper and deeper into a permanent psychosis with each repeated listen; the seams fraying thinner the deeper they go. Check out NNF to see if they still have the LP+Cass combo, but even if its too late the 12" comes beautifully packaged in hand drawn artwork and an eagle feather inserted into the sleeve. Limited to 380 on purple vinyl.

[MP3] Mythical Beast -In Memory of Yellow Skin
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posted by dissensous at 10:15:00 AM 0 comments

James Toth serves up his one of his last works under the name Wooden Wand, a fan pleasing 7" via the Woodsist label.

Wooden Wand - More From The Mountain 7"
The 7" pulls together "More From the Mountain," a long running live favorite that has somehow eluded being attached to any recording and "Guru Femmes," a nice home recorded track that creeps with easy psychedelia.
Another notch in Toth's belt on his way to cementing his great songwriter status. The two tracks both seethe with Toth's abstract imagery and undeniable songwriting, a fitting end to his long running alter ego.

[MP3] Wooden Wand -Guru Femmes
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posted by dissensous at 10:06:00 AM 0 comments


La Otracina

Holy Crap, its about time someone picked up the space/krautrock torch and just ran with it. I mean really ran with it. La Otracina have taken the spacey textures of Hawkwind via Guru Guru and thrown them straight into the mouth of the best of the heavy Japanese psych sound circa the early PSF label. A swirling heady trip that has the muscle to not fall off into the land of nod. This has to be some of the most fully formed psych I've heard in quite a while. The Brooklyn trio's latest album Tonal Eclipse of the One lands where else but Holy Mountain, the bastion savior of psych in the new millennium. The album bubbles and pulses with tension and the ideals of free experimentation while never sounding unfocused and noodly; as if someone finally got back to the point of free rock. The album's out now and you can check them out featured in Dusted's listed column here.

[MP3] La Otracina -Sailor of the Salvian Seas
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posted by dissensous at 10:07:00 AM 0 comments


Jakob Olausson

For all the times it looks like Sub Pop might turn into a faceless mini-major, they turn around and do something unexpected; like issuing a retrospective of Dead Moon or renewing their distribution deal with DeStijl. In this case the re-upped deal with Minneapolis' vinyl label DeStijl has allowed Jakob Olausson's late 2006 LP release Moonlight Farm to be issued in widely distributed CD form. Olausson, the Swedish beet farmer turned Ben Chasney style loner folk picker has crafted a buzzing, dissonant album that is clouded in just enough haze to make it seem like he should be hunkered down in a squat in California rather than his native Sweden. Olausson's voice tumbles across the ether and washes out with the ghosts of summer; a spectre lost to the winds. The album is available now so go, pick it up already.

[MP3] Jakob Olausson -Live To Tell
[MP3] Jakob Olausson -Napalm Sky
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posted by dissensous at 10:09:00 AM 0 comments


As The Thirteenth Floor Elevators opened up the door for many of the Texas Pysch scene, so too did their label, International Artists. The label only lasted for a good five years but they put out releases by artists at the forefront of the Texas sound.

Bubble Puppy- A Gathering of Promises
After wandering around in a few fledgling Texas groups the members of Bubble Puppy came together and recorded a stand out single, "Hot Smoke & Sassafras," which in turn got them signed to the International
Artists label. The album was a mix of hard driving bluesy psych with flashes of folk guitar and rather melodic vocals. Though the album was strong and in my opinion much less one dimensional than the much lauded elevators, any following singles pretty much tanked. The band tossed the name and went on to become Demian, which also never really touched the success of their first single. Regardless, this is an interesting and underappreciated slice of sweet Texas psych and well worth checking into.

[MP3] Bubble Puppy - Hot Smoke & Sassafras
[MP3] Bubble Puppy - Lonely

Golden Dawn - Power Plant
Following along the same palate as the Elevators, the George Kinney led Golden Dawn produced one album that stands right along their catalog as one of the more powerful albums from the International Artists label. Kinney had spent some time playing
with Erickson prior to either band and it does look like a bit of Roky's influence rubbed off on him, but nevertheless Power Plant contains some real choice nuggets that tear me up every time I hear them. The lyrics don't always make sense but the rhythms pound and the songs seethe with a sweet Texas burn to them. A great album from the era that just got a bit lost to time.

[MP3] Golden Dawn- Starvation
[MP3] Golden Dawn- My Time

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posted by dissensous at 1:09:00 PM 6 comments


Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

On their most recent tour, the latest incarnation of Acid Mothers Temple pressed a tour release LP that contains what seems to be one of their most compelling, coherent and best works yet. Taking the fire and insanity down a notch but still retaining the vibe that has made AMT a favorite for years, The Crystal Rainbow Pyramid Tour EP is a sweet narcotic chunk of swirling psychedelics and guitar led inner visions. Originally the EP was only available on tour in LP form which, if you're hungry for some more intense AMT comes backed with an exclusive B-side "Blues for the Narcotic Kangaroo". Important has issued the A side on CD and has issued the LP to stores in a limited run of 1000 worldwide. If I were you I'd grab the LP if you see it, not only does it contain the aforementioned dementia skronk-jam of a b-side but it's issued in transparent splatter vinyl.

[MP3] Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. -Crystal Rainbow Pyramid(excerpt)
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posted by dissensous at 10:30:00 PM 1 comments


Vietnam celebrate their new album with a limited series of 12"s on The Social Registry. The first of which is out now.

Vietnam - TSREP Number One
Vietnam's follow-up to their debut saw them touching lusher territories; no doubt the production help from Dave Scher has helped refine their 70's blues sound and progress into sweeter territory. The record is their best yet, and as an added bonus the band,"
with" some help from The Social Registry have released three limited 12"s. The first in the series of is bookended" by the album track "Priest, Poet & Pig" and a response to the track "Dante, Dorthy & The Devil" with a few other extras thrown in for good measure; including a Spanish serenade with their neighbor Johnny Torres Su. The 12"s are limited to 1000 each and probably won't be sticking around long.

[MP3] Vietnam -The Dark End of the Street
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posted by dissensous at 10:15:00 AM 1 comments


Liz Harris has been awfully busy this year finding time to release a split with Xiu Xiu, clock in some time with Badgerlore and release a couple of choice LPs. Root Strata released the vinyl only Cover The Windows and the Walls a little earlier this year and what a murky lungful of water it is. Like constantly gazing through lenses smeared with Vaseline, her songs are obscured and contorted into beautifully lulling blurs. Harris's brand of droney tape ceremonies echo as if traversing miles of caves only to wash lightly at your ears, their original meaning worn away by time and distance. Harris's tireless work schedule doesn't seem to be a current fluke; she's taken a tour of a large chunk of great labels so far this year (Weird Forrest, States Rights, Type) and according to her site she's hitting a few more before the year is out. Get in on her releases when you see them because they don't tend to stick around in huge quantities.

[MP3] Grouper -Cover the Windows and the Walls
[MP3] Grouper -Follow In Our Dreams
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posted by dissensous at 10:11:00 AM 1 comments



A storied veteran in Norwegian pop, Lars Pederson started at 11 working in a family group organized by his father and worked his way through Norwegian punk and metal circles before ending up as When, crafting sunshine psych-pop. The record's sunny exterior hides some bittersweet themes and dense arrangements; akin to Super Furry Animals' sample laden, Beatles channeling pop. Trippy Happy seems to have come out to quiet acclaim but the album churns out song after song of perfectly formed nuggets of sing-a-long lullabies for the E6 generation. Pederson and Rhys really need to get their act together and do a collaboration, because I'll be damned if they aren't long lost brothers channeling some sort of kindred cosmic pop radio wave that us unfortunate souls can only hear second hand through their music. Once again Pederson proves that perfect pop has to come with that Scandinavian tag, damn them and their blissfully tune-filled lives. Trippy Happy is out now on Jester Records.

[MP3] When -Serpent Rain
[MP3] When -Life is Shit, Sometimes Its Beautiful
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posted by dissensous at 10:17:00 AM 0 comments



For some reason it seems that people are just discovering the rich and varied underground of New Zealand, but the Kiwi underground has been brimming for years. Stefan Neville has been operating under the Pumice Moniker for a while now, releasing everything from lathe cut 7"s, to cassettes and CDs, and he has perfected his hometaped trash psych classics. The Soft Abuse released Pebbles sees him falling into a cleaner recording sound but still retaining the feeling of an undeniably ramshackle Pumice classic. Neville's songs have a basis of pop that is glazed with nuggets of noise, torn apart in a fit of boredom and rage, then taped back together with shreds of DIY ingenuity. Neville plays like a man possessed - possessed by desperation, urgency and maybe a little loneliness. The songs on Pebbles are bedroom rants, kicking the tape machine and smashing the guitar out of sheer untouchable frustration, rather than rock showmanship. Each Pumice record feels closer to finally falling off of the hinges in the best sense imaginable. Its definitely his best yet, keep an eye out for it July 10th.

[MP3] Pumice -Eyebath
[MP3] Pumice -Stopover
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posted by dissensous at 10:36:00 AM 1 comments


A couple of sunny west coast gems that move beyond the summer of love stylings and into broader, more heavily produced territories. Both bands were the brainchild of The Association's Curt Boettcher and producer Gary Usher. The two would push the projects to heights of soft psych perfection; beautiflully crafted and breezily carefree.

Sagittarius- Present Tense
The two producers, moving on from their work in The Ballroom assembled Sagittarius as a studio project, crafting beautifully melancholic songs that draped strong multi-layered harmonies with hints of psychedelia. Many of the songs can edge a little
too far into the soft side of the spectrum, but when they hit the feeling just right it can stand along some of the better vocal oriented albums of the time. The "group" never really had a chance to gain any real ground since it was mostly the product of the two producers, they did chart one hit from the album and eventually the two moved onto their incarnation as The Millennium.

[MP3] Sagittarius - My World Fell Down
[MP3] Sagittarius - The Truth is Not Real

The Millennium - Begin
The ideas that Usher and Boettecher laid down with Sagittarius took full bloom in The Millennium. Their tendency to stray into syrupy territory lessened and they began to form genuine pop gems that took full advantage of allthat the recording
process of the day had to offer; at the time it was chalked up as the most expensive album Columbia records had ever produced. Boettecher's harmonies edge their way into Beach Boys/Byrds sunshine pop perfection, draped in the California sun. Why it has bubbled just below the surface has always eluded me, but nonetheless it is truely the culmination of the Boettecher/Usher team; a classic of sweet, breezy harmonies and delicate musicianship.

[MP3] The Millenium- It's You
[MP3] The Millenium- It Won't Always Be the Same

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posted by dissensous at 10:17:00 AM 1 comments


The One Ensemble

Volcano The Bear's Daniel Padden expands his one man project to include some friends, fleshing out a full gypsy caravan of sound. VTB have always toyed with the edges of folk and dissonance but here Padden has created a more pastoral sound, filled with the folk charm of fiddle and a gentle pluck of strings. Those entranced by Zach Condon's recent musings in Balkan folk may find a bit more to grab on to here; less youthful and inexperienced, the players blend wild European folk trysts with some genuinely beautiful chamber ensemble moments and smash them both into layers of improvised fury. Some songs move with whimsy and majesty, others mix in a heavy tremor of dissonance to speed you on your way; feet heavy on the road and quick into the night. Padden plays as if he's felt at home with the sound of this music, imbuing vast emotional depth into the context of sometimes disparaging worlds of sound. Wayward the Fourth is out now on Secret Eye Records.

[MP3] The One Ensemble -Smok
[MP3] The One Ensemble -Neither One Thing
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posted by dissensous at 9:24:00 AM 3 comments


It seems like its about that time; a mid-year look at the albums that have clocked up the most time in my rotation. I chose the top 25 with no particular order of ranking really, just the ones I seem to have spent the most time going back to. Lots of great ones aren't on the list and I'm sure lots more will squeeze their way in before the year is out.

Sugar tipped prog-psych in a handy pop suitcase. Noah Lennox uses his Animal collective background as a springboard and reinvents Pet Sounds for the next generation. This one's likely to hit a few lists this year but I'd have to say that its well worth the adulation.

[MP3] Panda Bear -Ponytail

Rounding up a heavy hitting roster of helpers, Toth aims to make his most palatable record yet and still manages to create the great bummer folk album of the year. Using the touchstones of Waylon Jennings and Leonard Cohen he's made an album haunted by the road and touched with specks of digestible pop. Letting his inner troubadour turn down the fuzz lets Toth be seen for the great songwriter he has always been.

[MP3] Wooden Wand -Spitting At The Camera

A dense mixture of smoggy drone rock and rhythmic pop that shifts and molds itself somehow into a surprisingly cohesive album. The Atlanta band have taken their lysergic pop concoction and won over a pretty much anyone they encounter, brining them in right behind Panda Bear for one of the best psych-pop albums of the year. Druggy, hazy and damn fun underneath it all.

[MP3] Deerhunter-Lake Somerset

Battles have taken their sonic palate from their previous EPs and somersaulted over them. Combining their rhythmic prog-math with some insane sense of pop, they've created a dark, heady cough-syrup rock album. If any band has laid down the future of what rock should become this year it is Battles for sure.

[MP3] Battles -Atlas

Acid-skronk warriors Raccoo-oo-oon have a penchant for dark and noisy walls of chaos and they've given pretty much anyone in the noise related areana something to be jealous of. They follow their sinister impulses down a ragged path to the secret hollow namesake of the album and proceed to clear-cut jagged rhythms and torrents of sound into your brain; drums skitter and shake while howls and moans lurk in every corner breaking out of a haphazard guitar chug. Delightfully dark and chaotic.

[MP3] Raccoo-oo-oon -Mirror Blanket

It just wouldn't be a good year without a Glenn Donaldson related release on here. Hitting on a similar "bummer pysch" aesthetic that Sartin and Donaldson contributed to Flying Canyon, this project serves as a cloudy day come down to Donaldson's normally carefree sing-a-longs. A world worn counterpoint to some of the hazily sunny Jeweled Antler releases. Donaldson is again in top form here.

[MP3] Giant Skyflower Band -Feast of Blood

Japan's premiere shape-shifters of all things sludgy team up with Japanese underground legend Michio Kurihara to create and album that balances taught emotional drone with searing guitar work into an album of epic proportions. The two seem to balance each other nicely; with Kurihara's blistering guitar breaking through moments of tranquility at just the right moment and lighting the seas of drone on fire with fuzz.

[MP3] Boris With Michio Kurihara -Starship Narrator

Cecile Schott returns to form with an album of heartbreaking beauty and noir temperament. Shirking her former use of samples in lieu of a more natural approach, she composed an album that revolves around her childhood obsession with the viola de gamba. A dark lonesome album that continuously supports Schott's skill and grace as a composer.

[MP3] Colleen -Sun Against My Eyes

Marissa Nadler sings as if removed from our own time. Her voice is extraordinarily captivating; strong with an icy melancholy that hangs to the edges. She has crafted yet another album of haunting narratives that all sound as if they could have been recorded and left in a dusty trunk for years only to be unearthed by someone fortunate enough to stumble upon someone's private collection of tragedies.

[MP3] Marissa Nadler -Dying Breed

This record... this band is all about drums, and lots of them. Each member wields sticks like a tribal rite and if not beating the senses out of skins or a keyboard members are given to fits of howling. Pulsating with inner demons that threaten to reach out and tear your eardrums from you, gAame is an intense delusion of sticks and fists and flashes of heat that leave you soaked in tension.

[MP3] Aa (Big A little a) -Thirteen

Whispered in soft tones that belie their longstanding ties, the two sing without the implication of making an album, just the confidence of two people sharing something for a moment. The most personal records are often the best, and this record with its lyrics wrapped around northeast traditions and the perfect intertwining vocals both hushed and vibrant, seems like oral traditions caught on tape for the first time.

[MP3] Asa Irons & Swaan Miller -Whitwill

The Grails latest album is a journey further into the reaches of instrumental western psychedelia. You can feel the dust in your nose and throat and the hot wind on the back of your neck with each note. This is a Morricone feverdream; as recapped by the ghosts of Jimmy Page and Tony Iomi. A dark foreboding landscape that continues to wear on the soul even when the cost is clear.

[MP3] Grails -Dead Vine Blues

After a 6 year hiatus SOTL come back with an incredible, sprawling double album that rises and falls in almost alarmingly serene pulses. It's a dark spiral downward but certainly a perfectly pleasant one. Wiltzie and McBride have nailed the sweet somber vibrations of decay, dissolution and dealing with the inevitability of both.

[MP3] Stars of the Lid -Humectez La Mouture

Pop Levi has taken this year by force, a pop cannon that screams to be recognized. This album was a full speed slip n' slide through pop, glam and rock influences that, though some put off as derivative is simply too much damn fun to dismiss. An absolute party shaker from start to collapse.

[MP3] Pop Levi -Hades' Lady

There's something in their music that always seems to match perfectly the feelings associated with precipitation; the fragility of falling water and the wonderfully bittersweet sadness of the music seem intertwined. A beautiful follow up to their previous EPs. Amiina have really emerged from their place in the background as a string ensemble and aid to other's music and taken their place as one of neo-classical's new breed of artisans.

[MP3] Amiina -Hilli

Still mining the water's of 1976, Gustav Estes and crew have created an album that retains the same spirit as their last but turns down a bit of the urgency and ups the moody moments in between the searing guitar. A more evolved Dungen pushing past psych and further into the waters of prog but still with style and a fervor that transcends language and culture.

[MP3] Dungen -Familj

The band's endearingly sweet melodies are completely shattered by the force and charisma of Becky Stark's vocals. Her delivery fairly shimmers with a hopeful innocence and added to their hippyish leanings towards an overt message of peace and love saving the day make this a completely delightful listen. It's a welcomely unjaded record in a time when cynicism is much more accepted than hope.

[MP3] Lavender Diamond -Here Comes One

This one comes in as one of the best pop albums of the year. The Bees have captured the secret frequency to some long lost 60's transmitter that beams forgotten radio hits that you just can't put your finger on, but you simply can't stop humming all the same. Their wonderfully eclectic style has captured my attention on their last few releases and this one is no exception. One of the most overlooked British bands to date. Why these aren't radio hits I can only chalk up to the lost in time approach, but as a fan of lost 60's reissues this hits me in just the right way.

[MP3] The Bees -(This Is For The) Better Days

Christian Fennesz and Ryuichi Sakamoto seem perfectly matched to tap into both the sanguine and apprehensive vibrations that run throughout the veins of life, resulting in a record that is both calm and thought provoking; forcing you to ponder its folds and your own as you listen. Steeped in Sakamoto's effortless piano lines and imbued with Fennesz's keen sense of less is more production, the album is a much easier but no less impressive meeting than the two have produced in the past. This will definitely make the year end and will be hard pressed to be surpassed by another ambient record this year.

[MP3] Fennesz-Sakamoto -Abyss

Leaving some of the intensity of the guitar drone behind, Matthew Cooper creates an album that is fragile and panoramic at the same time. Echoing much of the musicianship of An Accidental Memory In the Case of Death, he lets his melancholy symphonic side show through again. Another sweet sad epic that leaves cooper stranded in melancholy and washed through with a sense of unimaginable loss.

[MP3] Eluvium -Requiem on Frankfort Ave

Jeremy and Christian from Meneguar return to their lo-fi folk project Woods and create another intimate fuzzed out pop gem. The songs are recorded to tape as if the recording process was an after thought but the songs are tender glimpses into the psyche of these two musicians. Full of plaintive odes to love and fear and hope and collision; pock marked lullabies tracked with cigarette ash and eraser marks. These are songs that feel like they may have been left on an answering machine at 4:00 in the morning.

[MP3] Woods -Bone Tapper

This was another album I didn't hear until a little late, but seeing how I'd loved their debut I'm not sure how that happened. Another great bit of darkly psychedelic pop that ties together themes of late night madnessand plays a bit more smoothly than their last record. Mixing folk, pop and swirling ambience into a Floydian anomaly, the likes of which haven't appeared elsewhere this year.

[MP3] Odawas -Alleluia

Still riding the blue collar, DIY Boards of Canada feeling but without all the Satanic rumors. The band has taken their androgynous vocodor wielding sound and injected it with everything from funk to back shed beats and its come out as one of the most beautifully ramshackle sounds around. Another beautiful psych-pop gem from the BMSR camp. Not surprising that others are finally starting to jump onto this one.

[MP3] Black Moth Super Rainbow -When The Sun Grows On Your Tongue

Jana Hunter returns with a broader but still very personal record. Hunter captures the shady tree moments, a respite from the sun but still in sight of the warmth and brightness that lies all around. Songs make a brush with carefree but always leave some element to trepidation and like a change in the wind she can turn the ease to insular pins and needles. As the summer progresses this has become a wonderful accompaniment to sunny days.

[MP3] Jana Hunter -Valkyries

Another jangly slice of sunshine from Robert Scneider. The band lost their original drummer but seem to have picked up the pieces and moved forward admirably. Catchy as ever and still setting the bar for a horde of indie-pop followers. Not quite as power pop as the last album but finding a good mix between that direction and their constant love of 60's pop. Excellent, but was there a doubt?

[MP3] The Apples In Stereo -Energy via Stereogum (hey I've gotten yelled at for this track before, just coverin' my ass)
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posted by dissensous at 10:42:00 AM 8 comments


Kemialliset Ystävät

The first time I heard Kemialliset Ystävät, I was a bit thrown off. I had discovered them through lablemate Islaja, and as taken as I was with her brand of dissonant folk I just couldn't find the beauty in the noise on Alkuhärkä. I enjoy it when others find the wonder in the way abject sounds can be recontextualized into a composition format without really touching on what would be termed music, but someting in their delivery gave rise to comparisons of kids in a temper tantrum. However, I gave their latest self titled album a listen, mostly (and I probably should be embarrassed at my reasoning) because I liked their departure from hand drawn scraggly cover art, replacing it with a beautifully serene photograph. Well the album isn't quite as serene as that picture would lead one to believe but I was happy to see that structure had somewhat invaded their songs. They seemed to get away from the angry child phase and progress into rhythmic fits and forest narratives that feel more ceremonial but still with that playful sense they've always had. It can be a rough ride from start to finish but their are some very bright moments along the way indeed.

[MP3] Kemialliset Ystävät -Superhimmeli
[MP3] Kemialliset Ystävät -Himmeli Kutsuu Minua
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posted by dissensous at 10:24:00 AM 2 comments


Daniel Higgs

Daniel Higgs attacks instruments like he's either working out their demons or they're working out his; playing a sort of hybrid raga fuzz blues laced with stutters, twists and turns. On his latest solo outing, Atomic Yggdrasil Tarot he tortures his guitar in strangled throaty tones channeling the ghosts of the PSF label through modern day fingerpicked improvisers. Most pieces retain their ragged desperate quality throughout, with the exception of the eleven minute centerpiece "Cocoon on the Cross" which though calmer somehow relays the greatest feeling of unhinged sanity; a frayed nursery rhyme giving way to a distilled fingerpicked moment of clarity. Higgs has made tracks in the past with his band Lungfish but none of their output has struck me as much as this. Even his last record on Holy Mountain didn't quite keep up the pace that he's amassed on this latest ragged soul carnival. An insane distillation of altered perception to say the least. The album comes beautifully packaged with a hardcover book of accompanying paintings.

[MP3] Daniel Higgs -Creation Moan
[MP3] Daniel Higgs -Subatomic Yggdrasil Tarot
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posted by dissensous at 10:27:00 AM 0 comments


Another shot of garage, pop and psych from the Jukebox. Picking a few of the gems from the discarded remains of the psychedelic detritus and skewing to a harder edge of the garage this week, a gritty sense of self-righteousness and a whole lot of swagger and sneer.

[MP3] The Mooche -Hot Smoke and Sassafras
A low, dirty rock and a heavy blast of organ announce the arrival of The Mooche. This is just out of the garage and heading towards the arena sounds of heavy psych. This song is killer from the classic stutter of strings that open it through the graveled vocals that permeate its sweaty delivery. A perfect time just before the wave of heavy rock would crash into the cliffs.

[MP3] The Mickey Finn-Garden of my Mind
Building off of the heavy R&B sound, The Mickey Finn craft a deep sinister slide towards druggy psychedelia. Long before this track, Jimmy Page was known to play with the band and it seems his knack for heavy blues rubbed off on the group. Thumping bass and shredded guitar knock this one out of the garage and sprawling wildly into the streets.

[MP3] The Smoke -That's What I Want
I've already established my love for The Smoke's ability to capture the druggy, propulsive feeling of the acid era. This one falls after their debut album and hits hard with a definite blues chug overlaid with their typical drug centered lyrics and highly effected guitar hyjinks. The real sound of London youth represented.

[MP3] The Orange Peel-I Got No Name
Throwing a huge mash of heavy rock and funk together like a much harder Sly Stone, The Orange Peel burst forth on this single with a groove that shatters the ground. A rubbery bass runs its course underneath and acts as the only thing that can nail the track down; the guitars and vocals seemingly ready to fly out of control at any moment.

[MP3] Shocking Blue-Send Me A Postcard
This track nearly knocked me over the first time I heard it, having only been familiar with Shocking Blue through their hit "Venus" previously. Honestly though, this is steadily climbing up to be one of my favorite singles of the era. Take one listen to Mariska Veres' voice and tell me that she doesn't stand alongside the most powerful and passionate singers of her generation. Wild, raw and completely unhinged; this is the kind of track that makes me cherish my hearing.

[MP3] Wimple Winch-I Really Love You
A soulful delivery and a light pop swagger always permeated Wimple Winch's catalog and this song is no different. It swings with a completely cookie cutter garage bass line but vamp's it up with some catchy vocals and a sing-a-long sixties chorus that makes you forgive the transgressions of being a second tier act. A cool easy rocker that hits all the right places with the best of them.
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posted by dissensous at 10:32:00 AM 3 comments



Dan Snaith follows up his much lauded The Milk of Human Kindness with a bit of a departure from his glitch infested psych party... new album, new label and a new sound. Andorra, set to be released in August on Merge is a dreamy psych-pop showcase that brings a focus in on vocals and song structure over his past tendencies to focus on electronics as a medium rather than an enhancement. Needless to say the production is in top form as it retains much of Snaith's ability to merge strident, heavy beats with the delicacies of soft psych. Snaith trades in some of the skiff and skitter for a bit of flute and soaring vocal arrangements; bringing him out of the lonesome laptop corner and into full 60's sunshine pop. Though it wasn't really what I was expecting from his new album the gentle touch of baroque psych pop is a welcome distraction from this year's more standard fare of indie pop albums.

[MP3] Caribou -Melody Day
[MP3] Caribou -Eli
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posted by dissensous at 10:03:00 AM 1 comments


Sir Richard Bishop

Delving into another steel string skirmish, founding Sun City Girl, Sir Richard Bishop follows up his Latitudes series release Fingering the Devil with a much more dense and long form album, While My Guitar Violently Bleeds The album consisting of 3 tracks, only one under 10 minutes. In familiar style Bishop herds the tastes of Eastern Raga and Western Blues and adds a bit of amorphous drone to the plate. Here each style is given its own centerpiece as he opens with the familiar finger plucked style that marked his last album and then moves on to an electric bit of nether-drone communication, rounding out the album with the 25 minute plateau of Eastern tones that mixes sympathetic drones with an incredible display of furious string manipulation. Though I've always loved others who play in the style, Bishop never ceases to amaze me with his ability to mix speed and precision with style and grace; never using his technicality simply to show off. While My Guitar Violently Bleeds is out soon on Locust Music.

[MP3] Sir Richard Bishop -Zurvan
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posted by dissensous at 10:21:00 AM 0 comments