Thursday, February 28, 2013

Forming - Variations of the One Essence (Worn Habit no.04)

soothing, peaceful sounds make the trichomes glisten.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Not too long ago, a friend posted samples of warm tape loops.  They were utterly gorgeous and released on a label of which I was unaware, Worn Habit.  Eventually, I became aware that Worn Habit is the sibling of the venerable House of Sun.  The thread running through this is Mike Pouw, who records as Knit Prism.  He just released a beautiful side of music for the Fadeaway 4-way split, which was reviewed here.  Whether it is via Knit Prism or through one of his labels, his unique take on ambient music is something which brings me great joy.  Thus, if you missed out on the Grant Evans' tape on House of Sun, you will likely enjoy Variations of the One Essence, from Forming on Worn Habit.  There is scant information on the artist, but don't get bogged down in that detail.  Rather, allow Variations of the One Essence to permeate your head with its gentle warmth.  In Variations of the One Essence tape loops of grainy, shifting samples are nestled under an umbrella of tranquility, yet exhibit unique characteristics in the splintered sunlight.

Side A commences with 'Eye Appeal - Valid Days', in which a disintegrating tape loop warbles in a sea of crackle and hiss. Subtly, it changes into another loop - the transformation of which is stunning - comprised of a modulating flash of energy that traverses a landscape of elongated wistful notes.  Just when one is drifting on autopilot, intoxicated by its radiating beauty, the loop tweaks your head with a deluge of grainy notes.  In 'Hill', a serene drone negotiates currents of hiss, joined by a series of soothing notes.

  The flip begins with the calming influence of 'Resident of', in which languid, soporific tones billow, slightly obscured by wisps of hiss.  The ethereal 'Perfect Stride' is composed of playful tones and ambient swells of sound that  fluctuate - my favorite track of the tape.  This uplifting passage of sound is followed by the gorgeous 'Chances Wonder'.  As the end is nigh, contemplative swells of sound quiver while gentle notes ascend - the essence of the breath.        

Variations of the One Essence may be purchased directly from Worn Habit.

peace and love, friends :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Hogweed And The Aderyn - EP (Wounded Wolf)

sacred drift ripples in the lucid pond of your mind.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :) 

Here in Trichome Valley, music means everything.  The flowers bloom in its presence, and it is the life-support system in this neck of the woods - a sonic EMT.  Thus, I often infuse the atmosphere with the sweet nectar of Atay İlgün & Gözde Omay, a Turkish psychedelic folk duo known as The Hogweed And The Aderyn.  They are the proprietors of Wounded Wolf Press, a private-press, boutique imprint.  A Wounded Wolf release may be characterized as a holistic experience.  The packaging is just as beautiful as the aural dreams produced by Atay and Gözde.  The alluring hymns on this EP shimmer with magnificent arrangements, breathy vocals and a hazy, nascent energy that grow throughout the four tracks.    

After being in its presence many times, the things I noticed about this EP were its gorgeous instrumentation - consisting of guitars, ukuleles  percussion and Chinese flutes - the arrangements, and the otherworldly beauty of the vocals.  Sacred chimes reverberate, as plucked strings and Gözde's tranquil vocals enlighten the room in 'The Pariah'.  In the second track, 'Lore Bodhran', the soothing vocals of Gözde are layered in certain parts, which, combined with the melodies and percussion engender euphoria.  'Sacred Alchemy' is a wonderful track, a ceremony, in which Gözde's vocals emit vapor trails as they orbit the mind - drift through the haze.  The last track on this EP, the serene 'Life at The Countryside', sees fragile strings warble in the diffuse sunlight.  The ending is notably beautiful.

This is highly recommended.  It is a very strong release in every facet.  This EP will be of interest to admirers of Fonal Records, Natural Snow Buildings, Kuupuu, Islaja and many other like-minded artists.  One may purchase this EP via Wounded Wolf.  Additionally, the wonderful Reverb Worship just issued both this EP, and the one which follows, in a hand-numbered edition of 50 copies, adorned with hand ink stamped label and inserts.  Reverb Worship releases fly off the shelves, so act quickly.  Atay and Gözde are not just limited to folk music.  Their ethereal ambient passages of sound, as Moon Eye Lids, give order to the stars.  It is the type of music in which the listener can peacefully drift, ensconced in waves of awareness that manifest in a dimension without boundaries.  As of this time, I believe there are only two copies left.  It may be purchased via Wounded Wolf.

    peace and love, friends :)                  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Kief with Günter Schlienz (Cosmic Winnetou)

Almost one year ago, I received a bunch of tapes in the mail from Goldtimers.  The batch was bursting with cosmic explorers and beautiful sounds.  Of all the tapes, there was one artist who I did not recognize.  Thus, I played that tape immediately - and then I listened to it throughout night.  Urban Tapes, from Günter Schlienz, turned out to be my favorite cassette of the batch.  His subsequent releases were incredible - the Sicsic tape sitting pretty in my Tasty Trichomes list.  Günter's awesome label, Cosmic Winnetou, has become a reference point for me.  When asked about labels, Cosmic Winnetou is one of the first things I recommend.  Günter was kind enough to share his time with me and answer a few questions.

  So, there's enough kief for everybody.  And, it always feels right to do this together as friends.  Let's blaze on family style!!                 

 The music of Günter Schlienz is something that I hold close to my heart.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief and Canni Corner :)  

1)  Your musical journey is rich with experience.  In the beginning, you received formal training as an electronics technician.  Additionally, you are a self-taught guitarist that played many shows in a psychedelic rock band.  From 1998 to the present, you have been making experimental music and building synthesizers.  Would you provide some insight on your evolution as an artist?  Do you still enjoy playing or listening to rock music?

Günter: First, i want to thank you for your ongoing support of my music and my tiny little label.  it really means a lot to me.  To start releasing music was like a dive into unknown waters, hoped that there would be somebody who will buy it, perhaps even somebody who will write me a letter about it.  That there are so many people interested in it, even devoting some profound articles about it, like the Honest Bag did, I'm still stunned.  So, big thanks to you, Michael, and to everybody else supporting it; and, thanks to everybody who bought or downloaded a tape from Cosmic Winnetou or one of my recordings!

Concerning your first question, I don't know if there's some kind of evolution.  I am always learning, always trying new kinds of music, tasting different genres and styles.  As a teenager, I learned to play the acoustic guitar because I wanted to sound like Bob Dylan; then, I bought an electric guitar because i wanted to scream like Neil Young on Weld.  A few years later, I was asked to join a psychedelic rock band.  In those times, i couldn't get enough of Spacemen 3.  So, I bought a few pedals and did D-E riffs for hours.  Later on, I moved into a flat together with a guy who owned tons of synthesizers and stuff, all built into his very small room.  On this room's floor, I learned quite a lot, not only what the strange letters (vco, adsr, lfo, etc...)  on those machines meant.  Also, he introduced me to some guys doing wonderful music with those machines.  Clearly, I remember he listened to Schulze's Timewind each and every Sunday morning.  This was the first taste of something really exciting - I recognized it immediately.  Furthermore, this guy knew about my formal training in electronics, so he forced me to solder something for his machines or to repair them.  However, it took a few years after those initial attempts before I really started to build my synthesizers.  It was quite difficult over 15 years ago to get some schematics and everything else needed to build synths, but this situation changed completely with the internet.  So, the last ten years or so have been devoted to kosmische synths nearly exclusively.  From time to time, I still listen to my old rock music records, and I'm still fanatic about everything Spacemen 3 did; but, i have to admit that at the moment I'm not into drum sounds and beats that much.  Also, i can rarely stand voices singing lyrics.  I don't know the reasons for this.  Perhaps it is a feeling that those elements nail the music to the floor in a way.  But, I am not fanatic about this - we will see what the future brings.  Perhaps the next stage of my musical interests will be African percussion ensembles and Bulgarian Acapella outfits.  There are so many fantastic things to discover.  It would be rude to myself to strictly limit my interests!

2)  Let's talk about your recent electronic releases.  For me, 2012 will be remembered as the year when I was introduced to your beautiful ambient music.  What are some of the inspirations that were involved in making the pieces of music that appeared on SicSic, Goldtimers, Gift, and your label?  Also, does your work with the Stuttgart Orchestra influence your music?  Lastly, what is the general process when you make music?

Günter:  Answering your last question first, I definitely need some kind of concept, some kind of backbone around the recordings to develop.  So, the hardest thing is to find this concept.  Everything else (do some patches, fiddle around with them and press record) is relatively easy to do.  In the past, I worked with roughly three different "themes".  The first theme is my "synthesizer field recordings".  I build my modular synths quite small and portable so that I'm able to record with them in every imaginable place, hotel rooms, beaches, meadows, whatever.  The environment has a strong influence to the produced sounds, so I'm often surprised by the music that comes out.  I think it is a good thing to be confronted with situations other than the bedroom for recording.  I think the Sardinian Tapes, which was released by net label, Earth Mantra, is the best example of this method thus far.

Since I'm able to repair and maintain electronic equipment, I often receive broken vintage gear as a gift.  I have pleasure in repairing it, and because of the work which I invest in it, sometimes I hold it very dear to my heart.  So, a few recordings of mine are inspired by the possibilities and limits of this gear - for example, see my Tape Studies release or Organ Studies, which will soon be released by Constellation Tatsu.  

The third theme is my ongoing interest in musical theory and books about music.  For the Through Music to the Self tape, I read the book of Peter Michael Hamel quite closely.  For the Furniture Sounds tape, I read a book about Erik Satie.  This does not mean that I followed these authors word by word.  They are more of a source for ideas and ways of seeing musical problems. 

I don't know if my bread and butter job at the Stuttgart Opera is influencing my music.  Being surrounded nearly every day by classical music and people who try to develop new ideas and concepts to present very old musical ideas must be doing something to me.  Though, I'm not quite able to put my finger on it.  Perhaps the previously described conceptual thinking I do is already part of this influence.  

3)  Your tape label, Cosmic Winnetou, was another revelation of 2012.  What is the meaning of the name?  Is there an aesthetic or general feeling that you are trying to transmit with each batch of tapes?  Do you have a process for selecting the artists with whom you would like to work?

Günter:  Thanks for the warm words about this project of mine.  The Cosmic Winnetou is actually me.  A friend of mine coined this phrase by describing my working methods.  He said something like that I would patch my modular for hours and hours to sit motionless in front of it and listen to it play itself like some cosmic winnetou.  I don't know how popular this character of Karl May's novels is outside of Germany, but around here everybody knows this goodhearted, strong and clever chief of the Apache tribe.  I found it quite amusing to imagine this guy as a kind of space traveler.  So, I didn't fight against this phrase and my buddy's ongoing use of it.  While starting the tape label, it was a quite conscious decision to present my very personal taste of ambient/kosmische/kraut/experimental/whatever, so I took some charming nickname of mine as the project title.  Okay, quite egocentric, but who cares?

With each batch of tapes, I try to provide a broad spectrum of the music I love.  The music of each batch should, in a way, be completing each other.  It should show different approaches in instrumentation and recording methods under the same "let's kidnap the listener's mind" umbrella.  Choosing the artists is lots of fun.  I just listen to lots of the music I love, and be happy as hell if I like someones music and the artist is willing to work together with me.

3a)  The artwork for Cosmic Winnetou tapes is superb.  The most recent batch contains vivid designs, while the artwork for the batch with Sylvia Monnier possesses mysterious beauty.   For the Sylvia Monnier tape, the artwork was created by the artist; however for the other tapes, it seems that there are many people involved in the artwork.  When you are involved in the artwork phase of the tape, what is the process?  

Günter:  Thanks again for your compliment, but I think you have to give this to the different artists involved. I just set up the concept to give the cassettes of each batch the same "face" because of this feeling that, for me, they belong together in a way, completing each other musically.  So, for every new batch I try to persuade somebody new to do the artwork for the whole batch (it doesn't work this way all of the time.  Sylvia's own artwork was just perfect, so I decided that for this batch the compromise will be doing it in black and white).  Actually, I'm not a very visual guy.  So, after finding somebody who does some kind of graphical work with substance, I try to resume out of this process.  I confront the musicians with different works of the graphical artist, and they know exactly what to choose for their music.

4)  Do you have a favorite tape label of late?

Günter:  Oh dear, there are so many fantastic and mind blowing tape labels out there.  It is impossible to mention just one!  I have to bring up Sicsic.  Sicsic is quite eclectic, but with every new tape they do you feel the enthusiasm and love for the music they release.  Lately, I have been listening to lots of Sacred Phrases.  Steven blows me away with each batch of Constellation Tatsu.  The 8 tape batch from Goldtimers last year will be something for future historians to examine... Koppklys, Space Slave, Eiderdown, Gift, Draft, Sunk Series, Tranquility Tapes, Field Studies, Beard of Snails, Feathered Coyote, Fort Evil Fruit, Rotifer... uh, so many.  I'm sure that I forgot a few names.  It gives me the opportunity to say to the dear reader: go buy tapes!  If you buy a few, then buy a few more!  They will save your life!

These names mentioned above mean very much to me.  A few years ago, I was very frustrated.  Labels that were purportedly "alternative" and "independent" developed to be just new labels for boring music that some a&r people with an education thought the customer would buy.  Therefore, for many long years, I almost exclusively bought and listened to music made a few decades ago.  I discovered the tape label scene by chance, and since that moment I've felt kind of saved.  There are so many people who make and sell fantastic sounds, so many people who support them in any way possible.  Thank you all so very much!

5)  The mix that you made for Constellation Tatsu is wonderful.  Do you have any listening recommendations for the readers?

Günter:  I'm glad you like it!  But, I still think of myself as a beginner.  I'm still scratching the surface, so I'm not sure if I could recommend something to your readers that they don't know already.  Actually, wait a minute.  I have a feeling that everything Pete Kember did after he quit Spacemen 3 is a bit overlooked now - over ten years after their first release.  Look out for his "experimental audio research" releases.  They are wonderful!

6)  Could you give us a hint about what is next for you and Cosmic Winnetou?

  Günter:  I'm preparing my next batch at the moment, but at this very early stage I can't tell names.  I'm Sorry!  I can't wait to send those tapes to people all around the planet.  That's so much fun to do, really.  

Thank you, Günter!

peace and love, friends :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Urkas - Desert Shapes (Skell 010)

the eternal light for this trip through an endless corridor, cloaked in mystery and brooding reverberations.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :) 

When you travel deep enough into the cauldron of the desert, water and provisions in short supply, maybe apparitions appear; or just maybe, one will be fortunate enough to take this trip.  I exhort one to climb in; however, it would be prudent to record your steps - all the doors on this journey are uniform, but lead to different environs.  Desert Shapes, the third release from Mike Griffin (Parashi, Burnt Hills, Skell) and Russ Alderson (Xanthocephalus), is full of impenetrable, abstract passages of noise.  There are a few different moods running through this nug.  It's not entirely eviscerating sound, though there is plenty of that gold illuminating the desert sky  There are quiet passages that are just as charged as the heavier sections.  Unpredictable and intriguing in every sense, these highly active pieces are comprised of bass, modular synth and various percussion.  Also, today is the birthday of Russ!  For the listeners, don't blow out the candles just yet.  The flickering illumination from the candles will provide a guide through these dense, omnipotent sound structures.

Vague fragments of conversation slowly disintegrate, transforming into a sea of charged matter, pulsing with some type of mutant energy. - the intensity of sound and time is proportional.  This first track has so many moving parts.  It is always becoming something different, maturing in your presence.  Unexpectedly, the intensity mitigates, subtly changing, becoming more quiet.  The middle of this track is where the sound transitions from smoldering to uneasy stillness. Pulsing beams of sound are outlined in reverberating light, and the mod synth is quite beautiful - my favorite part of the track and tape.  Eerie loops  are caked in noise, somewhat obfuscated by the moving parts, when a rumbling drone casts a veil over various transmissions.   All one can do is flail helplessly, as the dense amalgamation of noise whisks one away.  There are no predictable routes in this climate.  The flip is just as engaging.  It commences with mutant, buzzing transmissions that animate the body, all while the beast lurks in the miasma - a foreboding climate of preternatural influences.  Soon, an incipient wall of noise sees the listener crawling in the muck among shrill wails and other sources.  Everything leads to the ashram of Skell, where solace is found among the clang and clasp of percussion. 

Desert Shapes, another iteration in the wonderful catalog of Skell, once again corroborates my thoughts that Mike Griffin is operating one of the best noise labels.  Released in an edition of 50 and pro-dubbed, this tape features the beautiful artwork of Julie Watts.  There is no soundclip available; however, some of the best things in life are best experienced with virgin ears... Jump In and secure this tape via two of the greats: Skell or Flipped Out

peace and love, friends :)          

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Grant Evans - Dragging Alabaster (House of Sun)

when one dips a toe into the water, they quickly become immersed in raging sea of alluring noise and weathered, delicate tones.  peace and love to my friends at Canni Corner :)

As daybreak approaches, the nascent energy of the day slowly becoming, it multiplies like plumes of haze which engross those within reach.  This is the ultimate cup of coffee, a 40 minute meditation with two beautiful minimal passages of ambient sound and noise from Grant Evans.  Dragging Alabaster, on House of Sun, is comprised of fragments of guitar, field recordings and reel to reel tape loops.  The most apt description of Grant's recent work of late is that which accompanies the tape, on the House of Sun website, "Grant lays down some of the most gripping noise over melody being produced right now."  Sounds are birthed, subtly change, then disappear in the haze - only to reappear later.  There is an element of the beginning that appears in the denouement, which I find lovely.

Dragging Alabaster commences with a whirling loop of potent energy, over which delicate guitar swims contemplatively, engulfed by the haze - a wonderful juxtaposition.  The noise manifests in different ways, and then one can hear faint signs of the beginning, like a smudged memory obscured by time.  A shrouded, warped loop radiates serenity at the end.  The blissful haze that engulf one on side A is succeeded by distorted, sinuous tape loops on the flip.  As elements are slowly introduced, a foreboding tone periodically appears like a blinking light on a dark, windy evening.  This is one of my favorite parts of the tape.  Soon, it goes nearly silent, when serene tones dance gingerly in the chugging noise.  As the noise accelerates in intensity, the initial tape loops reappear.
With each listen, something new is revealed.  I guess that is not unique when listening to Grant's alluring passages of sound.  He creates works of great depth.  Dragging Alabaster comes with the highest recommendation.  While it is sold out at the source, Tomentosa will likely be the last place to find a copy.  However, that should not keep one from purchasing the digital download.

peace and love, friends :)   

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Stinging Nettle - Tabernacle Tapes

This is a wild trip, for which enhanced endurance is required.  therefore, lets party with the rabbi - barouch atah adonai! (kosher kush, pictured top).  however, watch out for the fiend, who lurks behind the guttural blasts of guitar... vaporize malevolent spirits with some spirit smoke (OG Diablo, pictured bottom).  peace and love to my friends at Canni Corner.  Their pictures truly make me salivate  xoxo 

Tabernacle Tapes is shrouded in hash oil haze, a mystery for the most part.  Initially, a few tapes arrived at Tomentosa without any note of the people involved.  Those tapes were trichome heavy; lo-fi blown-out affairs of the nonlinear variety.  More so, both cassettes were beautifully hand-painted with intricate designs.  Anyway, some time passed before Stinging Nettle appeared on the Tomentosa site.  To me, it's a tape bulging with a wild amalgamation of sounds - psych, blues, folk filtered through lo-fi haze.  Some of the tape resides in the environs of early Six Organs of Admittance.  Regardless, this tape is so in-the-red that its blazing energy is tantamount to doing successive kief hits.  Sound like your type of nug?  Well, follow me through the door.

Stinging Nettle is a one-sided c54, without a tracklist, let alone any documentation.  However, there are perforations along the trip, which make one believe this is not monolithic, but comprised of separate tracks.   The tape commences with unabashed ferocity, as the guitars teeter on the edge, exuding guttural in-the-red explosions that coexist with acoustic reverie of various shades.  The barely audible lyrics are obscured by the ubiquitous hiss.  If you're breathing heavy already, then take another b-rip and drink deeply - there is still another 50 minutes or so remaining in this trek.  Next, an unsettled, but beautiful opaque drone - a violent coalescence of disparate elements - acts like an escalator by transporting your body through the hazy environs.  Just when one thinks a more lucid comprehension has been obtained, the listener is greeted with fucked up blues that emanate from fractured blasts of distorted guitar.

At this juncture, we have approximately reached the halfway point and i'm sweating profusely  The deluge has occurred, just like Rimbaud asserted.  Thankfully, I presciently packed copious provisions.  In times like these, one must persevere.  And, that's when my musings are eviscerated by an electric/acoustic maelstrom constituted of heavyweight riffs capable of melting hard hash, making one sit back in a feeble attempt to evade the truculence.  Once those vibes seem to be situated in the rear-view, stray sideways transmissions coupled with acoustic guitar manifest slowly from the periphery.  Listening to this is akin to a shroom trip.  The sound has a cathartic quality to it, as the crystal-covered vibrations pulsate like the beating heart.  However, everything heretofore could not prepare one for the folk nug that is essentially the final destination in this hazy trip.  The final stop resembles more of a song than anything which precedes it.

Whew!  Well, if that didn't blow the kief off your nug... Tabernacle Tapes seem to come and go quickly at Tomentosa HQ's.  First, let me say that this is not for everybody.  If you do not prefer to be enveloped by blown-out sounds/heavy psych/nonlinear musings, then keep drifting.  However, if you are a traveler with the endurance of an Olympic psychonaut, then lets get down to brass tacks: you need this tape.  Oh, and there won't be a soundclip to dig.  Stinging Nettle is not that type of tape. For those of you brave enough to take my hand and walk through the haze, I can promise a memorable journey.  For those willing, this release comes highly recommend!!

peace and love, friends :)                    

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Birds of Passage - Brave Man with a Sword b/w In Heaven (CC005)

sativa sweetness for your encounter with this lovely environment.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The tape scene seems to provide many lessons.  And, last week I unfortunately learned a harsh one:  if you wait on a tape that you would like to purchase, then don't be surprised to find that it is sold out or out of print.  However, through the Cooper Cult Bandcamp site, I was fortunate to be introduced to Birds of Passage, the project of extremely talented artist, Alicia Merz.  Brave Man with a Sword b/w In Heaven is a limited cassingle released on Cooper Cult, which was sold out quickly.  From chatter on Facebook, it seems a 7" reissue is a possibility.

  In the opening track of Brave Man with a Sword b/w In Heaven, the listener is ensconced in a hazy climate of gentle piano that is permeated by distortion and noise.  Gradually, the piano becomes veiled by dense clouds of noise, its weathered, fragile notes barely audible in the maelstrom.  After the deluge of noise, the piano merely a vestige, Merz's enchanting voice hovers with a ubiquity that makes the listener want to hit replay repeatedly.  The second track, 'In Heaven', is an homage to the song performed by The Lady in the Radiator in David Lynch's, Eraserhead.  'In Heaven' is a disquieting, yet beautiful folk track.  Merz's haunting, grainy vocals swirl in the dark, sounding removed as if they were hovering uneasily.  Soon, her vocals are juxtaposed to solemn, vacillating tones - a string of warbling ellipses that lead to the light.  After many listens, it is quite conspicuous that Merz is adept at layering sounds and creating the perfect mood.

Enthralled by these two tracks, I look forward to hearing more from this beautiful artist.  Additionally, the same is true for Cooper Cult.  This young label has already produced some aural dreams from Listening Mirror; Felicia Atkinson; Brother Sun, Sister Moon; Birds of Passage and others.  The releases - the majority of which are sold out at the source - seem to be released in beautiful, handcrafted limited editions.  Also, this review was composed from the tracks on Bandcamp.  With alacrity, I look forward to purchasing the wonderful art produced by this label.  I hope you will join me.

peace and love, friends :)

Tabs Out interview!

Hey folks!  It was an honor to be asked a few questions by Mike from Tabs Out, one of my favorite music sites!   Here is the link to get lifted, bag style:  Tabs Out Interview 

stoned groove.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

MV & EE with the Golden Smokehound - Helderberg Haze (TD61)

Frosty nugs for lunar trips!  peace and love to my friends at CanniCorner :)

With Fuzzweed approaching like the heady vibes of a fresh bong rip, there is a tendency to focus on the new.  Well, not too long ago MV & EE along with the Golden Smokehound visited the sacred confines of the Helderberg House in Albany, NY.  These walls are inculcated with the sagacious vibes of Burnt Hills and those that travel within them.  Hallowed grounds for sure, and an apt setting for the lunar love emitted by MV & EE.

They commence the set nicely - setting the vibe from the outset - with 'Flow My Ray'.  A live staple, 'Flow My Ray' is one of the most beautiful songs in the catalog.  Then, they fuel the tank for the atmosphere of Space Homestead before finishing the side with a Dylan cover.  'Shit's Creek' and 'Workingman's Smile' get things moving with beautiful finger-picked guitar, lap steel and percussion.  'Shit's Creek' really shines in a live setting.  And, it's not long before they find the sweet spot, as it turns into a heavy jam - the skull-bong the perfect device for navigation and elevation.  It's the sound of a hard working trio sharing their love.  The trio reach a higher strata on the flip,  orbiting the denizens as they disseminate the sweet vibrations of 'Common Ground' ---> 'Leaves'.

There should be no debate on purchasing a copy of this Helderberg Haze on the venerable Tape Drift.  Kudos to Eric Hardiman for capturing the essence of this beautiful band on tape.  Anybody interested in obtaining a copy should visit two of the best: Flipped Out or Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)
thank you to ultraterrestrial88 for the sweet vibe 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Datashock - LiveLoveData$ (Eiderdown Records)

Shaman's special.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

When the recent batch of Eiderdown tapes arrived, I immediately recognized the heady vibes of personal faves, Planets Around the Sun.  Also, there was another tape in the package by Datashock.  With a background in quantitative analysis, I immediately thought about running regressions and trying to find an estimator that is the best, linear, unbiased estimator of its type.  However, there is nothing linear about the gorgeous, ritualistic free folk/psychedelic transmissions of Datashock, and that is an unequivocally good thing.  LiveLoveData$, by Datashock on Eiderdown Records, is pure head music for the krautrock lover in you. They meld influences from Amon Düül II to Agitation Free to Sunburned Hand of the Man, among others, into two exploratory zoners of high caliber.

LiveLoveData$ commences with the otherworldly beauty of 'Into the Abyss'.  It begins with ethereal incantations that drift through the fog, various types of percussion, and solitary notes that echo in the mind.  The effect is one of heightened awareness.   Before long, the listener is bathed in the beautiful rhythms of ethnic percussion.  As the percussion aligns to your dome, sinuous bass and heady guitar see the collective in jam mode, communicating with the spirits.  It is a beautiful side of music.

The second track, 'Noch Ein Bisschen Erbs' is pure psych nectar, so drink deeply.  Compared to side A, this one is even heavier!  It begins in a similar fashion to A, with spacey effects, floating vocals, percussion, and poignant strings.  Gradually, sparse guitar and bass enter the mix.  It's not long before the listener is catapulted into the cosmos as spacey effects hover along with Amon Düül II-like guitars and percussion.

This is a glistening nug of high quality!  The ideal music for your next crystal-covered journey.  And, at this juncture, I would not expect anything less from Eiderdown.  They know how to do things correctly.  Everything, from the artwork to the music, is excellent.  This one has left many vapor trails in my head, as it makes repeat trips through the dome.  The visuals of Max Clotfelter, which were such a beautiful component of the last batch, grace this release.  I can't wait to see what Eiderdown releases next!  To secure a copy of this tape, i suggest contacting Eiderdown Records directly.

peace and love, friends :)