Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mystic Places EP and Rare Forms -
Woodsman (#2, 2011)

Awright! So, back to Woodsman (after a brief history)...

Mystic Places EP
The Mystic Places EP was released later in the year. Originally slated around Halloween, it was delayed until about Thanksgiving due to some manufacturing issues.

"View From The Vision Hand" from Mystic Places EP (2011)

One of the advantages (to me) of keeping the blog going is that I get to check out a bunch of videos. Some really cool listener-made content, but even a lot of the Official Videos. Like, I've somehow gone the last 3 months without seeing that one for the first post-"(intro)" tune on the EP. Real good - eyeballs & spacewalks! Quite the raging song in the Woodsman scheme of things too.

"In Circles" from Mystic Places EP (2011)

I think I've decided - I like the EP format better for them. Just seems like a better dose for me. I was really into the Mystery Tape EP (2010) for awhile, moreso than Rare Forms. Same with this one. The dynamics of "In Circles" are intense, hanging back then surging forward, around and around.

"Parallel Minds" from Mystic Places EP (2011)

Not an obvious choice for first video (single?) off the record, but a very rewarding one. The rippling guitar over that train-with-no-crossing-guard chug, the moment-to-moment adjustments of inflection, it has a kind of muted swing to it.

"Tone Cloak" from Mystic Places EP (2011)

This one appeared on an earlier 2011 tour split-cassette, but I support putting that stuff on full releases. Maybe only because I don't really buy tapes anymore, but it fits on the album and I am glad to have it on vinyl.

Rare Forms
Amidst quite a few releases with the collage-based covers, Rare Forms throws an art-style curveball. Waaayy different, with the sci-fi forest-vector trans-dimensional prism-monolith head au naturel.

woodsman :: insects from Dino Rossi on Vimeo.

Even though I've already featured this track, I'll go ahead and put this fan-made video up here. "Insects" was a proper single from this album, with a 7" release and everything! I get the impression it was kind of a big deal, because Woodsman was starting to have more prominent singing vocals at this point. It doesn't appear permanent. Okay, here's the live version again...

"Serfer" from Mark Demolar on Vimeo.

The other singingly singlesque song, put out there only as a free MP3 - and another newly-discovered official video. (Gotta remember Vimeo!) I hate to set up false competition between songs/bands/albums - actually I love to - but despite the usual focus on "Insects," I'm pretty sure I prefer "Serfer."

"Inside/Outside" from Rare Forms (2011)

Here's the song with the off-kilter Neu!-style drill-loop sonics towards the ending. But before that, you'll hear those patented swirling guitar lines, then a chiming clang section, a neutral-gear downshift, and maybe something else psychedelic & groovy.

Woodsman - I Can't Move by ObscureSound

Originally appearing on Mixtapes for Haiti charity comp (2010), and available for download from Stereogum. It's not all reverbed bell tones and digital hand-drums, though - it's also an obscured and meandering folk song. Kinda reminds me of a mellow Mercury Rev vibe, except for the Oriental scale action there.

"All the Cards Fell in Place" from Rare Forms (2011)

Okay, I'm going to skip back to the very end of the album, because I dig that Flexatonic sound! Goes deep, mang, for a 4-minute song. And that breakdown is quite mental, if you know what I mean.

Some of the rest almost sound like mash-up collages. "Dead Awake" somehow evokes saxophone jazz, the marches of Albert Ayler, and underwater scat-singing, while still being clearly a psychedelic guitar band. The first (of two) "unnamed" tracks ends up as something like early Don Caballero stuck in a spaghetti western... but played by hippies.

Great couple of albums, right? In addition to the points of purchase below, you can do just about anything - stream, download digital, buy physical - from Woodsman(man) Bandcamp.

Mystic Places EP

Genre - Psychedelia
Official/Tumblr -
Myspace -
Location - Denver, CO

Review - The Line of Best Fit
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Lefse Records, Fire Talk Recs

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