Saturday, May 1, 2010

Time and Space v.1

Sorry for the hold-up! Among other things, my pre-orders have finally started arriving. So I've had a lot of new material to catch up on first, but we can begin again.

After several EP's and singles, now comes the first full-length release from The Time & Space Machine (#6, 2009): Set Phazer to Stun (2010). The Richard Norris half of the beloved Beyond the Wizards Sleeve (#1, 2008) creates fresh rather than going the remix route. The material's pretty similar, though: psychedelic organ 'n' effects freakbeat space-kraut-dance-rock. Don't come looking for insightful lyrics, for they are as repetitive as the locked-in grooves...

"Time and Space" from Set Phazer to Stun (2010)

They're really catching on, if YouTube clippage tells the story! So, the listener is eased in with I guess a pseudo-themesong (although Volume Two had "Time & Space Taxi"). I wouldn't go so far as to call the album "leisurely," but each tune slips into a groove and appears in no rush to vacate. Some songs get slightly more noisy or a bit more beaty. It sometimes comes off almost as a mixtape, but then again sort of hangs together well as a set.

"Set Phazer to Stun" from Set Phazer to Stun (2010)

Title track is all organ pulse and flourish, driving beat, and oscillator-phaser verses. Until the little details start intruding - the guitar break, the noise washes, and so forth... I'm sure there are lots of bits left to unearth. The Machine uses a deep soundfield throughout, scattering studio trickery around.

"You Are The One" from Set Phazer to Stun (2010)

Hypnotic mantra, synthy hook, trap drumset freakbeat. This was released late last year as a single/EP, and I've grown to like it more and much more since my original impression. Followed on the album by the awesome 7" from last year "Children of the Sun / Zeitghost" - which alone is worth the price of the cd!

Set Phazer to Stun
Let's see. "Infinite" has lots of guitar, forwards and backwards, plus sitars. It also instrumentals the groovy. "More Cowbell" is pretty rhythmic-oriented with a fuzz guitar and cowbell break/hook (obviously and admittedly inspired by the Walken SNL skit). And "Midsummer Night" is like a lost '60s Cali raga folk-rock classic, in the vein of, uh...

"Mushroom Family" from Set Phazer to Stun (2010)

Heeyyy, that's also kinda psychedelic and '60s too! But rather than the West Coast acoustic music, it's more on the UK symphonic pop - flutes 'n' mellotrons and such. O well, I can dig it! (This and Cowbell were on the "You Are The One" EP.)

Maybe the swirling diva horn-chart cover mash-up of "After the Gold Rush" was too obvious for anyone else to post? You do kind of have to hear it for yourself - it has a sax solo and manages to successfully incorporate "For What It's Worth!" The epilogue mixes spacey drift and a Spaghetti Western vibe, and is named "Trip Sideways." So there!

At the moment, Rough Trade (UK) still has limited 2xCD editions - with a bonus mix cd (more in v.2), and apparently an upcoming 2xLP vinyl edition! (Just discovered that... ltd ed of 600!)

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