Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lost in the Glare & Shadowland -
Barn Owl (#8, 2011)

I definitely wanted Barn Owl in the Top 10 last year. #11 Record of 2010... so close! This year's double-whammy of shamanistic drone-doom is too much to deny. Deep, mang.

The title track from Shadowland was also featured on Vol. 6 of the blog compilation series [***current download link***].

Let's talk about the EP first. In addition to Astral Vol. 6, you can stream & download the title track over at Stereogum. Good preview tune and the shortest of the three...

"Void and Devotion" from Shadowland EP (2011)

That's the ultra-drone opening track, which lulls & hypnotizes - like a gauzy, vibrating crystal onion, hovering way up in the middle of the air.

"Infinite Reach" from Shadowland EP (2011)

The closing song has a swaying, sawing motion that often seems to teeter on the edge of a cliff. Will it fall? Has it already?

"Pale Star" from Lost in the Glare (2011)

The full-length's opener title seems like a callback to the previous LP Ancestral Star (2010) and its theme of an overnight in the desert. Well, I guess most Barn Owl tunes have some connection with deserts or skies or desert skies. But I haven't parsed out a coherent 'story' on last year's Lost in the Glare.

"Turiya" by Barn Owl from John Davis on Vimeo.

Drums! Shredding!! Whoa...

O wait. I should probably also mention that this sweet tune was featured on Vol. 7 of the MP3 comp series [***current download link***]. If you just want the single file, it came from Altered Zones.

"The Darkest Night Since 1683" from Lost in the Glare (2011)

Maximum heaviosity. We're almost back to where we started, in Sunn-O))) territory kinda. So maybe I should just pack up and...

"Light Echoes" from Lost in the Glare (2011)

No, wait!! One more - for a few reasons. First, for the inexplicable use of the Bohemian Grove seal (other than the owl). Second, for the inexplicable coincidence of titles with Steve Moore's latest record. Wild.

Which leaves me about 1 month to finish the last two Top 10's from last year, before I kinda have to come up with something for 2012.

Lost in the Glare

Genre - Open-Desert Mescalinesque Dream-Drone
Official -
Myspace -
Location - San Francisco, CA

Review - Dusted Magazine
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Thrill Jockey Records

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Giving of Thanks

This was so fun when we did it for Hallowe'en, let's do it again...

Happy (U.S.) Thanksgiving!

"Turkeey" by Ed Hall, from Love Poke Here (1990)

I never quite figured out why there are cat noises on a song called "Turkeey" [sic]... Ed Hall reuniting this weekend in Austin - so maybe I'll ask them. I expect to be talkin' about this album soon enough.

"Milking the Turkey Jam" by Grateful Dead, live at Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, CA (live rehearsal, 3/21/1975)

Or "Stronger Than Dirt," per the Blues for Allah album (1975). Jazzy, jammy holidays. David Crosby in session apparently.

No, not "Cold Turkey"... Can't find "Turkey Shoot"... No Sandler, nor that recent click-bait crap... Wow, what else is there?

"Ağlarsa Anam Ağlar" by Üç Hür-El, from 7" single (1973)

Yeah, because Anatolian garage-prog psych comes from Turkey! As usual, I'm thankful to Beyond the Wizards Sleeve for this one.

That was harder than expected...

Too late, I realized my mistake: I was focusing too much on the main dish. Where were the songs by The Cranberries? ... using green-bean casserole as a metaphor? ... on the Cornucopia [image above]?

"Thank You, Friends" by Big Star, from Third (1978)

Who needs a jazzy, jammy, Grateful holiday when you could have a sneering, sarcastic Thanksgiving? In the spirit of the season!

"Run to the Hills" by Iron Maiden, from The Number of the Beast (1982)


Not sure if advertisements and Vevo are going to make or break YouTube - not cool...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Space is the first word in...

Space Disco! I always want it to be better than it ends up being. Just sounds so awesome. Mostly it turns out to be just normal disco with a sci-fi gloss, but I've found some relevant stuff that has been encouraging: the Soviet electro of Zodiac, the bandwagon cheese of Meco, the sleek Italo of Moroder...

Here's the genre Wiki entry - and a genre YouTube playlist.

I'm going to limit this to just 3 that I've recently found - with actual period videos! (and some other links at the end too.)

"Magic Fly" by Space, from Magic Fly (1977)

So much insanity!! I'd heard of France's Space before as a band The Time & Space Machine had remixed. Crazily enough, Jannick Top from Magma was a founding member. On the other side, they put out From Earth to Mars in 2010 - sounds not all that bad really.

"Supernature" by Cerrone, from Supernature (Cerrone III) (1977)

Did I mention crazy? Cerrone was also from France, one of a few global Space Disco hubs. Click the link for an interesting Wiki read on this "French disco drummer, singer-songwriter and record producer" who "was 'the first' to put the kick drum (or bass drum) into the foreground of modern dance music." He's still going too, recently Vs'ing Louie Vega.

"Nightflight to Venus/Rasputin" by Boney M from Nightflight to Venus (1978)

The 1st part kinda reminds me of a neon-strobe Sun Ra, and then the 2nd tune actually happens. Things get freakier before the rules set in...

One pattern I noticed is how much material was based directly on non-musical properties from film and television - like Droids' "The Force," Moroder's "Battlestar Galactica," and "Theme from Star Trek" by The Galactic Force Band (???).

And the Wikipedia entry talks about Space Disco leading to '80s stuff like the awesomely-named Laserdance (from Holland) and even Falco's "Der Kommissar" (Austria).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Natural Drone Building Snow

Took me awhile to get this one out, after getting a heads-up from Ba Da Bing Records. I always feel like I need to be extra diligent when someone contacts me - as if I have some major ethical obligations on my silly blog. But here's some cool drone stuff...

That's from a different release, but I liked the art better.

Kadja Bosou (Abridged Version) by Ba Da Bing Records

Or you could delve into the full 18-minute piece... Natural Snow Buildings are a French duo who drone out at length & in a variety of ways. From what I can tell from the sample, this newest one Night Coercion into the Company of Witches (2012) brings in some Near East tranceations - whirling tones in ecstasy. Read a positive Tiny Mix Tapes review - you can buy the 3xLP ($17) or a 4xLP ($40) at the label store. The CD's also at Sound Exchange here in Houston, but I'll probably own that copy by weekend's... end.

"Beyond the Veil" from Beyond the Veil (2012)

That's another one out this year too.

"Our Man from Centauri" from The Centauri Agent (2010)

Hey, look! A free digital double-album...

That net-label has a bunch of free music, including 3 sampler EP downloadables: click here to explore. You can also follow them over on Tumblr.

So not only that, but new Nadja (co-#4 Drone of 2009, #16 Metalloid of 2009, and #20 of 2010), with added The Jesus Lizard drummer.

Nadja - Dagdrøm by BrokenSpineProds

You can stream (or purchase) the whole album on their Bandcamp.

And look what else I found over there! A 2xCD collection of vinyl-only rarities?! Whoa... Also available from Important Records.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Austin Psych Fest line-up & tickets

Discounted pre-sale tickets are up for next year's Austin Psych Fest: $120 each HERE - along with an option for the 2012 fest DVD. (The website is crashing a lot - good sign?)

Look at that, will ya! (and Click to embiggen...)

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club ~ The Black Angels ~ Deerhunter ~ Tinariwen ~ Clinic ~ Boris ~ Warpaint ~ The King Khan & BBQ Show ~ Black Mountain ~ Spectrum ~ The Growlers ~ Acid Mothers Temple ~ Man or Astro-Man? ~ Quintron & Miss Pussycat ~ White Fence ~ Dead Skeletons ~ The Soft Moon ~ Diiv ~ The Warlocks ~ Viet Nam ~ The Black Ryder ~ Goat ~ Black Bananas ~ Lumerians ~ Elephant Stone ~ Woodsman ~ The Cult of Dom Keller ~ Gary War ~ The Laurels ~ Vinyl Williams ~ Golden Animals ~ Ttotals ~ The Holydrug Couple ~ Dreamtime
+ more to come in January!!

Killer. Here's a bunch of celebratory videos:

"Stop" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, from Take Them On, On Your Own (2003)

I know a lot of people who dig 'em, but for whatever reason I missed out. Sounds like something I could rock out to.

"Desire Lines" by Deerhunter, from Halcyon Digest (2010)

I think we saw one or two of these guys solo projects at one or the other of the last couple of Psych Fests. Again, another reputable band that I just never followed up on. Artsy, right?

"Tenere Taqqim Tossam" by Tinariwen, from Tassili (2011)

I enjoyed Bombino so much this year, that I'm also looking forward to the original Sarahan Toureg exports.

"Walking with Thee" by Clinic, from Walking with Thee (2002)

Hey, that's a bunch of the major acts that aren't even in the Astral wheelhouse. Howsabout some...

"Rainbow" by Boris with Michio Kurihawa, from Rainbow (2006)

BORIS?! Whoa... Along with Acid Mothers Temple, that'll be TWO legendary Japanese psych-outfits!

"Wucan" by Black Mountain, from In the Future (2008)

Weirdly, I've run into Stephen McBean at the last two fests... In 2011, he was sitting in with The Shine Brothers - and last year, he was performing with Pink Mountaintops. Now it's the real deal: Black Mountain full-on!

"Goatman" by Goat, from World Music (2012)

I will quote myself:
Not saying Goat is the only Swedish voodoo-themed psychedelic Afro-Funk band going these days, but that's probably accurate.

"Worlds" by The Cult of Dom Keller, from EP2 (2010)

CODK!! Back after a year's lay-off from the Psych Fest cycles... We'll see if they can top their personal best in Texas!

Probably another APF-themed video round-up coming soon.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Story So Far: Barn Owl #8

I'm seriously gonna have to move fast to close out last year's Top 10 before this year's is due. When it came to a certain kind of drone, there's a progression in my head. Originally I never cared too much for Sunn-O))), then I did like some Robedoor, and finally discovered Barn Owl. All these bands (& others like them) are pretty different, but this progression is in my head.

Sunn-O))) is more doomy & metal (and maybe I should try again), Robedoor (#11, 2011 and #15, 2010) is more ecstatic & noisy, and Barn Owl (#11, 2011 and #11, 2010) is Morricone & mescaline & the desert - with just a couple of guitars and a bit more. So let's dig deep into the earth and see what we find.

"Teonanacatl" from From Our Mouths A Perpetual Light (2008)

Here's the first Barn Owl that I heard, but I still don't own it - only have a couple of tunes from internet mixes. A little bit more folky, maybe? But I could wander the badlands, exploring various records and just getting lost. Check out a partial playlist.

"Walnut Tree" from Barn Owl CDr (2007)

Earlier in 2007, there had been a couple of self-released CDr's: a self-titled and Bridge To The Clouds. Let's see... I did not know about a Tom Carter split (2008)?! Might gonna have to track that down - nothing streaming that I could find.

Side "II" from Smoke Loom Ceremony cassette (2008)

Wait, we're already back through 2008? Okay... That's apparently only one of a few cassettes out that year. I'm imagining some epic opium den/rehearsal space jam-improv galore.

Side A of The Conjurer (2009)

Wait, wait, wait... I've never once talked about this album? It's fantastic! Like, I dunno, the best Earth album ever or something - and then more. First side is "Into the Red Horizon" and "Across the Deserts of Ash" (above). Here's Side B: "Procession of Golden Bones" and "Ancient of Days" (if you wanted just one song).

"Light from the Mesa" from Ancestral Star (2010)

As much as The Conjurer might have deserved a Top 10 ranking, Ancestral Star almost made it (#11, 2010).

Sometimes downloading those free live jams is the way to go. Barn Owl has got at least the 2nd part from Live on WFMU's Long Rally, Nov 19th, 2010: either from or over at Free Music Archive! You can stream their first piece from the show page, or just click here.

"Light" [w/ Infinite Strings Ensemble] from The Headlands (2010)

I remember this coming out, but not why I never picked it up. Among others, per Important Records:
In 1981 Ellen Fullman began developing the “Long String Instrument,” an installation of dozens of wires fifty feet or more in length, tuned in Just Intonation and ‘bowed’ with rosin coated fingers. Fullman has developed a unique notation system to choreograph the performer’s movements, exploring sonic events that occur at specific nodal point locations along the string-length of the instrument. She has recorded extensively with this unusual instrument and has collaborated with such luminary figures as composer Pauline Oliveros, choreographer Deborah Hay, the Kronos Quartet, and Keiji Haino.

The individuals of Barn Owl - Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras - have released quite a bit of solo material and with other combos. I might come back with an overview later, but don't bet on it!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A.E. Majeure

Tony Paterra is another ½ Zombi (some recent news on the other dude here), and works solo as Majeure (co-#5, 2011 and co-#2, 2009). Modern analogue synth exporations a specialty - despite being the drummer!

He's got a new album out on Temporary Residence Ltd. (hopefully my LP is on its way!), but also continues to release the small-scale stuff too.

Then there's VCO Recordings, not coincidentally, the audio-cassette micro-label being run by part of or more than Zombi.

They're running out of Trancer cassettes (with immediate digital download)!

Only 5 copies of the 50 non-tour cassettes left for sale here. Grab yers quickly! (Another 100 copies were taken out opening for Maserati, whom Paterra drummed with last tour...)

The one preview track on the VCO Bandcamp is the opening tune on live recording of his opening set for this 2012 Maserati show (in Athens, GA).

I can't find any video of this current tour, so here's a German one from last year...

Yeah! That's the way to intro your synth-show. Here's part 2 and part 3 from that one.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Return to Form at Cloudland Canyon?

I must admit that I was a little disappointed in Cloudland Canyon's last album, Fin Eaves (still #30, 2010), after very much enjoying previous efforts. Also, I was sadly not blown away by their 2011 Austin Psych Fest gig, but I might have somewhat deflated during the extended synthesizer set-up delays.

First up... act fast!! Out today: post-pre-order's up for the Born Blonde single-plus at Trensmat - a "VERY limited edition pink-splatter vinyl 12" in silk-screened sleeve (+ 4 downloads)."
Like this:

Cloudland Canyon - Born Blonde (TR032) by trensmat

I might have to revisit Fin Eaves again when I get a chance, but for now, I've already received my 4-song MP3 download - and I like it so much more at this point.

But wait, there's more!!

"Aureliua" from Aureliua 12" single (2012)

You can pick up yet another recent Cloudland Canyon 12" from the Great Pop Supplement label. I found it at Aquarius Records. Okay, this isn't the same Cloudland Canyon as from 2008 or in 2007. But I am definitely on board. Looks like you can download the A-side title track from the band's SoundCloud. The physical object is "pressed in an edition of 500 copies, all on 'Sea Foam Green' vinyl no less..."

But wait, there's more of more!!

Yes. There's also a 3rd 12" out this year from Monofonus Press! (Stream the A-side at link...) So it's a trilogy of back-to-Kosmische, while retaining a dash of Italo? ¡Oye! In this last installment, we're talking "a milky white 45 rpm 12", and it’s one of three of this format that will be released by the band before the year is out. It’s a nice collection of 12" singles out on The Great Pop Supplement, Trensmat, and Monofonus. All three records were mastered by Sonic Boom" of Spacemen 3 (#5, 1987)!

What else could I possible offer you??

Krautwerk live Feat.members of Woodmsan by cloudland canyon

How about a downloadable 12-minute live jam with Woodsman (#2, 2011) on probably my favorite CC tune, from a July 2011 Daytrotter session (and/or this one)? I have literally no idea why there might be "Flaming Lips" tags on the Soundcloud there... but download it, live it, love it!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fire Talk Talk

Austin Psych Fest 4 veterans Woodsman (#2, 2011) kinda run Fire Talk Records (Bandcamp, Tumblr). They also had a track on the new blog MP3-comp this past weekend - see previous post!

Might as well start with the Woodsman then...

They have a somewhat-new cassingle out, with the A-side being the kickstarter contribution, "All Tangled Up," and a new-to-me B-side. A-side downloadable from Stereogum. You can stream a lot of these over at the FTK SoundCloud too.

Then there's tour- and split-mates Tjutjuna, with something coming soon and a recent cassingle from them too. It should be jammy, rhythmic, with electro-freakouts. Not sure if I'd ever seen the official video for "Mosquito Hawk" before, but that was one of their first tunes I ever heard. I think all these cassettes are limited to 100 or so.

I'm just throwing out a couple more, there's plenty to peruse (and purchase) at the label's Tumblr, etc...

Another cassette, this time an EP of short 'n' noisies. Another official video - with Jovontaes getting kinda surfy.

"Private Booths for Sallow Suits" by Human Resources, from Oxyc Woody II (2012)

Could have also been Low Praises' Clear Light (2012), but I like official art videos!

Also, free download of Samurai Buck's hip-hoppish Director's Cut.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

In vveirdo veritas: Astral Headspace, Vol. 9

Updated links are being maintained at the Comp Index post and in the COMPS section to the right - links below now only lead back to the original posts / tracklists.

Back by popular demand!! (Well, one person asked about it over on Facebook...) The 9th installment of our MP3 blog-comp series. And also the re-upload of everything previous that I could get around to! RapidShare will delete the ones with no activity for a month, so get them while they exist.

Astralnauts Are Go!! vol. 1 [post]
Beyond the Astral Waves... vol. 2 [post]
Cleansing the Headspace: vol. 3 [post]
Decem per Decem ~ vol. 4 [post]
Early through Everything... vol. 5 [post]
Foreverything II / vol. 6 [post]
Gongs to the Tempel - vol. 7 [post]
Hubble Telescope Discovers Sphinx... Vol. 8 [post]

And your newest favorite collection - streamlined from the usual sprawl, but still covering a lotta ground:

In vveirdo veritas: Astral Headspace, Vol. 9

1. "Crom" - The Linus Pauling Quartet (2012)
Going to see these dudes just this afternoon! Got this .mp3 from ye olde Soda Shop.

They also have a great new official video for the great tune "Victory Gin." The LP4 have appeared as: #3 of 2007, #2 of 2003, #9 of 1995, and #14 of 2010.

2. "Waswasa" - Six Organs of Admittance (2012)

I've been digging this album a lot recently. Downloaded from the link at the song title, courtesy of Self-Titled Mag.

Six Organs of Admittance released 2 albums for the #10 of 2009.

3. "Supernal Radionics" - Woodsman (2008)

One of my recent favorite psychedelic jam bands (#2, 2011) - got it from off The Fader

4. "A Swan is Born" - Can (1972/2012)

Very excited to host one of my all-time faves, the kings of Krautrock. One of several .mp3's courtesy of Pitchfork.

Can is already #4 of 1972, #1 of 1973, and #2 of 1974... and we're just getting started! This song is a Lost Tapes prototype for "Sing Swan Song" off Ege Bamyasi (1972).

5. "The Eliminator" - Maserati (2012)
Also from Pitchfork - hear the studio version... Maserati has placed as #2 of 2007, co-#2 of 2009, and #1 of 2010.

Live bootleg of that whole show was linked by band. So call it official!

6. "Sleepwalker" - Moon Duo (2012)
Saw these two at this year's Austin Psych Fest & just a few weeks ago - groovy! Pitchfork MP3.

7. "Psychedelic #9" - Deep Space (2012)

Newish psych-jams from Austin, from Bandcamp at link or check their Soundcloud for more.

8. "Tyken's Rift" - Steve Moore (2012)

Half of Zombi, this one's super-new. Mp3 came off the reliable SteveMoore2600 Soundcloud. Couple more there since this one - keep up!

Alone or with A.E., Moore has been #1 of 2004, #1 of 2006, co-#2 of 2009, #23 of 2010, and #5 of 2011.

9. "The Golden Waste" - Trouble Books & Mark McGuire (2011)

Dreampop-like duo plus 1/3 of Emeralds (#2 of 2010), courtesy of the late Altered Zones, semi-resurrected as

10. "Brute Neighbors" - Moholy-Nagy (2011)

I don't remember too much about these guys, but if Temporary Residence Ltd. vouches for them...

11. "Giger's Locomotive" - High Pink Clouds (2011)
Discovered via this year's SpaceRockCon in Alabama, downloaded from High Pink Clouds' official site.

12. "Demona" [Dead Moon cover] - Grouper (2012)

I've usually liked what I've heard from Grouper, but never end up buying her albums. I think I should, though. Downloaded from Stereogum.

13. "The Story Is Lost" - The Caretaker (2011)

I am definitely glad to have The Caretaker back (he's always been the caretaker). These came from Altered Zones, an unreleased track from An empty bliss beyond this World (#10, 2011).

The Caretaker is famous for being the #1 Drone/Ambient of 2005 and #3 of same, 2009.

14. "One White Candle, No Moon Night" - Starving Weirdos (2009)

That's right: Starving Weirdos. Downloaded from their home website...

15. "How Long Have You Known" - Diiv (2012)
These guys have been getting a lot of love on their album Oshin. O, they're from Brooklyn - got it. À la Pitchfork!

16. "Only in My Dreams" - Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (2012)
West Coast represent! More Pitchfork.

17. "Sparks Fly Again" - Beachwood Sparks (2012)

Old(ish) school! I thought BWS went back further than '97, but that's what Wiki tells me. Mp3 from same place as that link: the Sub-Pop SoundCloud. Check it out!

18. "Mary Lou" - Black Mountain (2012)

Last one from Pitchfork? This is from their Year Zero surf-movie OST.

Black Mountain was #10 of 2008, and later #17 of 2010. And before that, individual members joined up as co-#8 of 2006.

19. "d|p 1.3" - William Basinski (2003)
From the upcoming Disintegration Loops vinyl mega-box-set on TRL. I am salivating in anticipation...

20. "Christmas Time Is Here" [Vince Guarladi cover]

Nope. This is available from a lot of places, but I believe it was also discovered over at Pitchfork. Brooklyn!

Woods has been on quite a run here recently - #6 of 2010, then #7 of 2011, with a pretty good one out this year too.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Years Past Matter Now

Krallice (#13 Next 10 Metal, 2009 and #21, 2011) continues to be an urban-decay, technical Black Metal super-group - to me at least.

Years Past Matter
They released their latest one a little while ago, called Years Past Matter (2012). It's self-released, so all your money goes to the band. Well, not all of your money - but all of the purchase price.

$7.00 digital from Krallice Bandcamp

$12.00 CD there or from Big Cartel.

From Pitchfork, you got yer 8.2 review and yer free preview track. From unARTigNYC, you got yer live vid of "IIIIIIII".

Krallice III
Digipack images from the Big Cartel.