Review: Following previous outings for Los Angeles-based imprint ESP Institute such as 2016's Jaguar Mirror and 2017's Night School Of Universal Wisdom, Swedish multi-instrumentalist Oscar "Thunder" Tillman and his 'personal shaman' Pontus make the kind of music you only hear in your most vivid dreams. Incorporating kraut, prog-rock, ambient and disco at the heart of their boundless sound creations, they complete an illustrious trilogy here on their most expansive work to date. "Condor Sunflower" is a truly mesmerising psychedelic folk journey in convincing '70s fashion. On the B side, things take a more upbeat direction on the tripped-out disco funk of "Creation Discotheque".
Review: The colourful obi strip astride the cover of this audiophile reissue boasts that Imani's "Out of The Blue" album is "the ultimate private press jazz holy grail". While that claim is debatable, copies of the Gilles Peterson championed 1983 edition, which the San Francisco based band pressed up themselves, have been known to change hands for four-figure sums. Musically, the four tracks are breezy, sunny and summery. Opener "Just Another Love Song" sets the tone, with soulful group vocals and jazz solos rising above a warm groove, while "Somebody's Love" is a slow jam smothered in spacey synthesizers. "Byrd's House" is a jazz-funk dancefloor number - this time blessed with extended, eyes-closed guitar and piano solos - while "Friendship Cover Charge" is a stomping peak-time workout that should send dancers spinning.
Review: As the story goes, Will Dorey's Skinshape project grew out of a love for "old music and the way it sounded". And while his discography suggests he's only been releasing music for some six years there's no denying the raw, dusty and retroactive fidelity of his recordings. Mixed entirely by Dorey, the Englishman's embrace of yesteryear takes in a particular blend of psychedelic rock and folk that meets with touches of jazz, soul and classical, with a range of subtle echoes, dub delays and reverberations added to the mix. Take "Penny In A Well" and "Hurry & Enjoy" for example, two of the shorter tracks on the LP but flying examples of Dorey's creative versatility. Kick back and enjoy!
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: Established in 2012, Marathon Artists has supported and released the music of Jagwar Ma, Real Lies and Courtney Barnett. Western Australian ironies the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets join the peloton with a third album following two linked LPs in 2016 and 2017. This album, "And Now For The Whatchamacallit", splashes on to record a streaming desert sky lit with streamlined guitar riffs draped in reverb and strafed by retro-active vocoders from the future. Like the cover art presents, it's a wild trip through a colourful and mystical land that almost paints a soundtrack for their very own planet sauvage. Fresh and contemporary psychedelica rising from the ashes of bands like Wolfmother and Kasabian. Highlights: "When In Rome" and "Digital Hunger".