Review: When it comes to plugging in mega stacks of amplified prog-rock, Vancouver-area band Black Mountain deliver a retro-futuristic sound that's as large as any Godzilla soundtrack. With Destroyer presenting a fifth LP on Bloomington label Jagjaguwar, Black Mountain go someway in delivering a bold cross reference of only the best and most legendary points of 60s, 70s and 90s rock n roll regalia. With keys and piano mixed with guitars, distortion and vocoders giving the band a futuristic, krautrock (Deutsche elektronik musik) edge, British psychedelic and raw but atmospheric arrangements give the band their own undeniable identity. With songs passing the bottle from slow dancing rock, flashy hair metal, to synthy guitars and cosmic arpeggios, the best metal of today is still way up there, on Black Mountain.
Review: Chicago's chilled out space rock collective Cave have been puttin' funk in their step for around 15 years now, with local label Drag City a trusted home to their most recent music. Having released their last two records, this third effort provides their first in five years which delivers yet again an instrumental bevy of hypnotic jams, maintaining their penchant for psychedelia that touches on '70s inspired krautrock, island percussion and of course a gluttonous amount of free jazz fusion. A recording spate in Chile has no doubt added some spice to the six tracks here with "Sana Yago" cooler than strollin' down the neon streets of south-side Chicago itself. Listen up!
Sound-Magic's Death Ray Destroys The Vortex & Has Union With Infinity
Rotation & Particle Density In D
Adventures In One Octave
Movin' On Static
Dystopian Shopping Mall
Acid Death Picnic
Kool Boy Narcosis
Lament For Cement
Review: Since slipping out in 2013 in frustratingly limited quantities, Cavern of Anti-Matter's epic debut album, Blood Drums, has become something of a sought-after item. Those lucky few who managed to secure a copy back then - or pay three-figures for a second-hand one online - will tell anyone willing to listen that it is a modern-day krautrock classic. Happily, Stereolab has persuaded the German trio to agree to a re-issue, now expanded to three slabs of wax to allow for a louder pressing. It's certainly an impressive set, offering up tracks that combine a krautrock sensibility with elements of lo-fi indie-rock, and leftfield electronica experimentation. There's not that many copies of the reissue knocking around, either, so you're advised to move quick before they're all gone.
Review: Chicago Odense Ensemble is a unique proposition that came together out of a chance meeting between Danish musicians Jonas Munk and Jakob Skott and a host of notal improvisational musicians based in Chicago, including members of Tortoise and the Chicago Underground Collective. After a now highly sought after first album, the loose-fit collective emerges once more with another wild collection of pieces that span jazz, psychedelic rock, kosmische and so much more besides. As deep and smoky as it is freeform and vibrant, you could spend years listening to this album and discovering new things.
Review: If you missed The Comet is Coming's brilliant debut album, Channel The Spirits, first time around, help is at hand. Happily, the Leaf label has decided to reissue the Mercury Music Prize nominated album, expanding it to two discs via the addition of 2015's similarly sublime Prophecy EP and a trio of previously unheard wig-outs. The genius of the London combo's music lies in their unique and eccentric approach to musical fusion. While their roots lie in fusing spiritual jazz and freaky psychedelic rock, keen listeners will hear a myriad of other influences and inspirations seeping into their distinctive instrumental compositions, from spiraling electronica, Afrobeat and skewed funk, to ambient, dub, drum and bass, Roots Manuva and low-slung industrial funk.
Review: Eric Copeland's first album for DFA, 2013's Joke In The Hole, was something of a breakthrough for the eccentric artist. Since then, he's released two albums for L.I.E.S, both of which were notably obtuse in comparison. Black Bubblegum, his second full-length DFA outing, is an altogether cheerier proposition, with Copeland combining his usual abstract, experimental beat-making approach with skewed guitars, quirky instrumentation, wild pop sensibilities and more than a touch of wayward '60s psychedelia. As you'd expect, this kind of zany, lo-fi fusion makes for enjoyable and hugely entertaining listening, with the New York producer seemingly throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the project.
Review: Are you a dreamer? Swedish band Death & Vanilla ask across eight contemporary takes on German Krautrock, French Ye-ye pop and 60s psychedelic. Vocals are breezy, their moog synths fat, with guitars drenched in reverb and delay. At times the band's sound aligns with other kindred groups like Goldfrapp, Portishead or even Bjork (with "Vespertine") through their subtle take on downbeat, alternative '90s pop and this is heard most in "Let's Never Leave Here". "Are You A Dreamer?" delivers the Malmo trio a fifth studio LP following last year's conceptual soundtrack for stage and screen entitled "A Score For Roman Polanski's The Tenant", and this time around, our highlights include the spacey western riffs of "Eye Bath" and the ever-so dreamy "The Hum". Esoteric modern pop for sure.
Review: Turning heads a couple of years hence with their self-titled debut, Fumaca Preta (which means 'black smoke' in case you weren't sure) are dark magicians of a wild and volatile analgam of whatever musical ingredients they see fit to throw into their collective cauldron at any given moment - be it crazed tropicalia, incendiary garage-punk, hypnotic psych-rock, Sabbath-style riffage, Butthole Surfers weirdness. wayward cumbia or maudlin balladry. Yet more mysterious than ever, they've somehow crafted a manner in which to be both more adventurous and more focused on this second effort, arriving at something akin to a tastefully disorientating dream sequence on a glorious psychic wavelength somewhere between high-energy Brazilian carnival and the nameless void.