Label: Spectropol Records - none • Format: CDr Album, Limited Edition, Stereo • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Experimental, Avantgarde
Depending on how you define it it either covers a vast swathe of music, which could be said to be broadly leftfield in character and have elements that enable the listener to take themselves on sonic flights of fancy.
Others have taken a rather narrower view limiting the term to one particular genre of music, and not always the same one at that. Since I began writing about music in I have always tried to take a broad view, believing that the nature of psych is in the third eye of the Hootchie Kootchie Man - Powerhouse - Powerhouse. This is very much in keeping with the scene being, as it is, open and inclusive; and at its best when produced by bands and labels in a collaborative and diy fashion.
The last six years have been very special for me as we seem to have seen successive year-on-year increases in the sheer numbers of Narst - Cooly G - Narst / Love Dub quality albums that have been brought out.
With this in mind I have decided to take a moment and think back over the last six years at what might be the key releases for me over that time.
I started with the aim of doing twenty, but inevitably ended up with fifty… and it could actually have been Enjoy this list and please to comment on here and my social media listed at the bottom of this post, where you can also find a donation link to Alice Cooper - Trash support the maintenance of this website and my coffee fetish.
Bitchin Bajas record wonderful electronic soundscapes which Strose To Stroma Sou Yia Thio - Zorbas Dance - Tacticos And His Bouzoukis - Music From The Greek Is seem to hark back to an earlier, more analogue, time while simultaneously sound contemporary and relevant.
The band has released a number of albums during this time, but this double is my favourite for its coherence and sheer listenability. Black Bombaim are a band who continue to surprise, particularly through its collaborations with other musicians. The result is an incredible double album, the first three sides of which are long pieces with each of the three; and a fourth side of three shorter pieces… this time in reverse order. You really will need to hear it all to fully appreciate its strength and breadth because it is outside those zones of familiarity where true expression can flourish… and flourish it certainly does here.
Read my original review here. This album is the sonic equivalent of being pinned against a wall while simultaneously being sucked into a black hole. Also check out Pigs x7and the many incarnations of Mike Vest. American band Carlton Melton has been releasing music sinceand I have quite a chunk of its oeuvre sitting on my shelves at home.
This, however, is my favourite. Here Carlton Melton release the musical pheromones slowly and allow you time to react accordingly. This album really does live up to its name providing materials for the mind. Here, though, is a band at the height of its powers where the individual members bring in their own separate experiences and meld them together in a way that is technically wonderful and emotionally satisfying.
To call this a hugely powerful album is something of an understatement. It is a set redolent with musical and verbal symbolism, yet it is somehow a symbolism that is malleable… solid enough to demand to be listened to, yet flexible enough to leave it open to interpretation. It is an album that I expect to never listen to in the same way twice, and it is an album that you really need to hear yourself to appreciate its intensity and ambition.
Indeed, the influence of the Velvet Underground is also apparent here… but as a way into understanding where this album is in terms of the music I most commonly write about I would say that Hills and The Myrrors, together with the huge hinterlands that both of those represent, would come the closest. See my original review here. The London Benediction - Stealers Wheel Featuring Gerry Rafferty - The Best Of scene is arguably one of the most vibrant anywhere at the moment.
It is replete with excellent musician, each of whom draws on Party People - Various - Rewind! 6 own social and musical backgrounds to bring a lot more than jazz to their musical table. One of the bands that has a definite psychedelic element to their music variously through such as Sun Ra and techno is The Comet is Coming. This album consists of three tracks.
The first is probably the most recognisably Cosmic Dead, the Scottish psych band. The second declares psych dead. The third is proving it. As it is any Cosmic Dead release is worthy of your time. This debut album by the Cult of Dom Keller was something of a bolt from the, er, blue for me at the time.
It was one of the albums that set me off on this massive musical journey, and coming back to it now I have to say that it has lost none of its inventiveness and force. It is a superb set of heavy and veiled songs which seem to hit just the right notes all the way through. Truly essential in this context. It is an album that I come back to again and again, from a band that I come back to again and again.
Dead Sea Apes are one of those bands that continue to evolve, always looking for new directions and new influences. In fact it would take far too long to list all the albums I would recommend listening too, but if you start here and move forward you will not go far wrong see here for other reviews. The album itself is beautifully meditative, and yet also challenging… it has a feel The Stand (Prophecy) - The Alarm - Declaration it that seems to be beyond the rational realm.
Recorded in a decomissioned church in Leeds, this four LP box set is a three hour psych jam remembering many of the departed musicians of It is the sound of a band on career-high form working together in gestalt fashion to produce something that is quite unique and, possibly due to its length, highly underrated. A deserves to be regarded as a classic at some point in the future.
This is seriously angry protest music from a band who sit at the meeting point of of many genres, with a definite psychedelic undertone in both sound and attitude. Look there is absolutely no way that I can single one Earthling Society release out to include a list like this.
But if I include them all then others have to miss out. Electric Orange are another band whose output varies from release to release.
The album itself is a brilliant mix exploration of post-Kraftwerk beats and melodies packaged together in tight yet sprawling tracks which propel the music forward in a manner which is both familiar and experimental. A massive triple album slab of politico-industrial noise with superb moments of clarity. This album from Italian band Heroin in Tahiti is such a subtle and alchemic mix of styles that it is difficult to define.
It is not really occult psychedelia, although there is certain an Nights On Broadway - Bee Gees - Main Course of that. What this double set is, is a total experience. Full on Romadame - Various - Frets Of Yore: A Collection Of GuitART Pieces For The Immediate Past start to finish and replete with so much invention and creativity that multiple listens will only scratch the surface of this mysterious and complex release.
Essential even within this list. Heron Oblivion is an American band comprising people from a real range of musical backgrounds who have come together to produce something quite unique. This is one of this albums which just seems to appear from nowhere. It is a set of songs that are far from difficult to listen to but which have a huge amount invested in them from the musician involved and, from the first time I heard them, have had me utterly beguiled with their alchemic magic and beauty.
This is one massive psych wig-out from start to finish, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Whenever I want to put a Hills record on, I tend to go for one of the select number of lice albums that the band have released over the last few years. However, I decided to go back to the source, so to speak, when thinking about essential albums over the last few years. I discovered the tracks afresh and remembered what a stunning album this is.
So far so fantastic. This is only half the story, though, because there is an amazing amount of stuff going on in their music. A real gem! For me this is quite simply a stunning album. It has depth and it has beauty. It has elements that comfort and cajole, but Scorpions - Scorpions a dissonance that signifies fear and disconnection.
It is an album that seems to have been created rather Closedown - The Cure - Disintegration written. It is a set of songs which the Sicily-based multi-instrumentalist wrote in response to the medeterrainian migrant crisis, which is sadly as relevant today as when he first composed it.
It is a beautiful, atmospheric and thought-provoking piece of work which sears into your brain and forces you to take notice.
It is an important album, a serious album, but also an album to honour the people and cultures that make those perilous crossings in order to find a new life, and especially those who do not make it to the other side. During the period in question here it has released a series of albums that are for me peerless, each one building on the excellence of the previous one.
It is a band that [Untitled D.S.C.] - Nihilistic Front / Gokkun / t,b.a.
- 3 Way Split not stand still, both creatively and actually… it seems to be constantly touring. The seemed to be a extra sense of nuance here with the delicate and the heavy existing Romadame - Various - Frets Of Yore: A Collection Of GuitART Pieces For The Immediate Past natural harmony with each other.
This is a concept album of ten improvised pieces that are played with the express idea of getting you through the day and nightand from start to finish this double album just grabs you and takes you on a journey… a day in the life that is never the same twice. If you said I could only have one album from this list… this would be the one. So I took what I thought was a risk and bought the album on vinyl. Well, boom…as soon as I heard it I was convinced pretty much immediately.
I have heard that Swedish duo Lamagaia have several terabytes of unreleased material. From the evidence of what I have heard this tells me that these guys are both very prolific and particular about what gets released. They come together is an wonderfully balanced package. Real my original review here. This album completely knocked me sideways when it first came out, and has continued to do so ever since. This Japanese band has taken that motorik sound and completely made it their own with track after Romadame - Various - Frets Of Yore: A Collection Of GuitART Pieces For The Immediate Past of brilliant beat-induced music which somehow also moves the genre on.
They then followed it up with some absolutely outstanding live performances and a number of excellent single releases. The album has been subsequently re-issued on Sulatron and Guruguru Brain since demand went far beyond its original pressing, see my original review for details here.
This was perhaps the biggest decision I had to make here. Which Myrrors album? In the end, though, Arena Negra just edged it. In the end this was a personal thing with this album… the first Myrrors album I heard and, in retrospect, the one that really cemented their unique sound which is a beautiful mix of psych, kraut, folk from many different places … all mixed with the atmosphere of the Arizona desert from where the band hail.
A magnificent and truly special run of albums. Every so often you follow a band and really dig what it is doing… and then… out of nowhere…. This is how I feel about this album from Danes Mythic Sunship. This, for me, is a complete release… and listening to it is also a complete release. It has everything going for it in terms of design, packaging and, most of all, musicianship.
It represents for me yet another interesting and accomplished attempt at moving forward what we understand psychedelic music to be by producing something that feels multi-dimensional and immersive. This feels like a band Romadame - Various - Frets Of Yore: A Collection Of GuitART Pieces For The Immediate Past the zone, who are developing before Romadame - Various - Frets Of Yore: A Collection Of GuitART Pieces For The Immediate Past very ears.