Slowly-rolling, motorik dead man’s blues from the neo-hippie unit led by Alex Pollock. I guess if you’re sharing the name with the famous abstract artist, you have to think at least a bit abstractly about things. And I guess Alex has the right idea, the psychedelic sounds here are stretched out, yet very “classic rock”, there’s a lot of 60’s influence thrown in here, down to extended electric organ (Farfisa?) lines. But this is somehting wider, something more experimental, somewhat krautrockish. Amazing combination. Recommended. Also, check out other albums by The Ocular Audio Experiment on Bandcamp. They’re free. All of them.
This collaborative tape between Michael Amason (who works under the witch housey alias /// Δ, which is basically the esoteric version of his initials) and Patrick Glennon, known as Density. On side A, Amason crafts a low-end, bassy noisy drone soundscape filled with occasional soothing sitar drones or a warped sample/field recording thrown in to further the disorientation in the smoky oasis. On Density’s “Sacred Drones” is a more synth-driven, albeit just as esoteric and abrasive as the previous side. Deep drones intersect and fall into synchronisation or fall out of sync and cause waves of pulses pierce through your skull. Hxc drone music.
Contuinuing our regular “column” describing newcomers to the record label industry, I present you HLF/PIN MZK, a net-label based in London, UK which started in March 2012. They describe themselves as a “non-for-profit” label, and musically, they want to release albums by, in their own words, “best unknown artists that specialize in making ambient, experimental, lo-fi, drone, plunderphonics, psychedelic music, or just anything that is different”. Since I’m a sucker for plunderphonics and there seems to be a rise of p-phonics (think of OPN’s “Replica” and James Ferraro’s “Far Side Virtual”), I can say there are some high hopes for this label.
The first release by HLF/PIN is “MEDI4 DOWNLO4D” by San Diego’s experimentalist Colestock. Broken, warped jazzy beats meets found sounds and dusted hypnagogic fog. The result sounds like an ambientalized hip-hop effort recorded straight onto a shoddy tape which is so worn-out it might break at any moment. The album is available for free download from Bandcamp.
HLF/PIN’s second release, which is about to drop next week, is an album by an ambient artist called Beams. After hearing what Colestock has to offer it has to be said that Weed Temple will watch the efforts of HLF/PIN and its alumni in the nearest future.
Abstract-minded Brooklyn record label Orange Milk has dropped three hot new cassettes by three projects, each presenting their own take on the twisted trippertronics Orange Milk are known for.
“Intercourses” by Man Made Hill is a playful, twisted take on the synth pop and 80’s plunderphonics aesthetics filtered through the prism of the modern-day “new weird synth” craze that bathes everything in dusted, hazy ooze and pours it into your ear with a perverted pleasure, exposing you to catchy melodies warped into mutant hit collection.
“Engines of Joy” by Maharadja Sweets hits a harsher, more lo-fi vibe and a strange outsider aesthetic practised by the mastermind behind Maharadja Sweets, New York’s Richard Exelbert. A seasoned warrior in open mic nights, Richard crafts his own dirty folk music, raw and uncompromising. Think The Microphones minus the thunderous drum section.
Criminals are Leslie Weibeler and Andy Burkholder (who also happens to be a visual artist). Their “Babes” cassette carves its way slowly through the walls of ominous industrial, mechanical drones and brutal noise collages with squelching synths and occasional violin madness. Inhuman sounds and ear-piercing feedback may not be the most pleasing listening experience, but they definitely make for an exhilarating one.
The three new cassettes (as well as OM’s previous releases) are available at their Storenvy website.
In the past 4 years the Weed Temple has evolved from a little, one of many download blogs into a (somewhat) significant website for reviews, new releases and the introduction of new, little known artists. There are interviews with musicians from the psychedelic underground and information of new labels and releases. See, this is my point: to expand Weed Temple even more, to make it a truly informative website for (nearly) all important happenings in the musical underground, while not abandoning its original purpose of promoting talented newcomers (with free, legal downloads if possible) and reviewing the hottest releases, both from the unknown, shadowy figures and the more “settled” artists.
This is why I’m asking you, dear Readers, for your help. I want to purchase the domain name “weedtemple.com” for even easier access. But that’s not all – I want to transform Weed Temple into somethng more than merely a blog. Namely a fully functional, re-designed and informative website that will not abandon its roots: it still will provide legal downloads of albums to be discovered by the dear Readers. Not to mention there would be a complete design change, to make the site easier to navigate and more attractive visually.
This is where I’m asking for your help – as you might have noticed, there’s a “Donate” button on the right side of the page. You don’t have to donate much – one two, or five dollars will be fine. I will be truly grateful for any amount of money, no matter how small. Weed Temple needs your help. For the last 4 years, I’ve been providing (or at least trying to provide) you some of the most exciting new names in the psychedelic underground. Now it’s your turn. Help me make the Temple even better.
Originally released on cassette on Dan Smith’s Chicago label Hyperdelic Records (which, sadly, didn’t seem to get past it’s first batch – but hey! Mr. Smith is responsible for the Neon Marshmallow Fest, so he should be excused), this cassette by Derek Gedalecia (the human being behind the brain-bending sounds of Head Boggle – also written as Headboggle) can turn a few heads by featuring Bob Moog on the cover. A bold move, and it can be justified just by one thing – pushing the abilities of analog synthesizers to the limits. And this is precisely what Gedalecia does here. Never a dull moment, always sparkling with fluorescent synth patters, noises, bloops and bleeps. A bit harsh and really, REALLY abstract at times. If you enjoyed Greg Davis’ “States” series, you’re gonna LOVE Head Boggle. Make sure to check out Head Boggle’s other free album, “Dojo and the Funhouse Echo”!
If you ever had a sense of emptiness and absence of something intangible after the end of Jeff Witscher’s Marble Sky project, Sun An comes to the rescue. Just like the cover, the music on the album offers an escape from the noise of the outside world (considering it was recorded right in the center of the capital mundi, the New York City, the word “escape” has a whole new meaning) into the microcosm of simple beauties, smooth-as-silk slow-paced melodies and meditative bliss. Absolutely stunning, yet so absolutely simple.