Wanda Group – Earth Insider

Taking a moniker that would immediately rouse associations with the more avant-garde spectrum of various African music groups (not to mention that the Bandcamp page of the project states its origin as “Algeria”), Louis Johnstone’s Wanda Group project makes sure is as detached, both on the visual and the musical level, as possible from the human factor. In other words, just like Wanda Groups’s album artworks feature nondescript collages of caverns, stones and rocks formed into completely random and imagined passageways into the bowels of the Earth, the music is equally murky and unexplored, drowned in hiss and dark, mysterious ambience, sometimes letting a sudden moan of a hissing drone or a minimal, thumping rhythm. But these seem more like a residue than an intentional sign of human intervention. Chance reigns. Dive into the miasma. Highly recommended!

Cloudsound – II

The Roman numeral in the title of the new album by Lee Boyd’s solo vehicle Cloudsound brings to mind another album with a Roman numeral by a certain New Zealand guitar wizard who also relied on soothing, ambient influenced string vistas: Roy Montgomery. Just like his albums, the sounds of Cloudsound rely on musical impressionism, to paint a certain feeling, place of time through a “moon gaze” meditation, but Soundcloud seems to be going for shorter pieces, becoming sonic equivalents of grainy snapshots taken with an old analog camera instead of lengthy, single-take scenes a’la Tarr or Tarkovsky played by Montgomery 20 years before. It’s a lovely little album, even it’s the one of the “blink and it’s over” variety. Recommended!

For the more ambient-oriented bliss by Cloudsound, make sure to check out “Spirit of Love as Infinite Life”, an equally blissful enterprise!


My Drunken Haze – My Drunken Haze

Guessing by the sounds on this album and the cover, the Greek band’s Drunken Haze idea of alcohol inebration is getting drunk just enough to feel positively tipsy without ever losing control, yet still getting frivolous enough to expose a bit of the body and do some alluring poses. This is is the kind of band that has some underground indie smash hit potential but stays relatelively obscure until one day WHAMMO! some popular unfunny fuck like PewDiePie uses it in one of their movies and it gets elevated into Internet stardom with ADHD infested kiddos blasting it on repeat for one day and forgetting it the next day, while the hipsters foam at their mouths and spill their craft beer on the floor in protest. Oops, I’m talking about myself again. In all seriousness though, My Drunken Haze is a lovely fresh wave of 60’s influenced psych pop sound with some Technicolor haze on top of it. Damn, I’d take those tie-dye kids over PC Music any day. Or I’m just getting old. Recommended!


Reagenz – The Periodic Table


Although originally composed and played at the 10th anniversary of The Bunker, a New York based club event series and a record label, The Periodic Table by the duo Reagenz was not released on vinyl until late November 2014, when it was presented to the world as a staggering triple vinyl. But The Periodic Table is also an another anniversary: it marks 20 years of Reagenz as a duo, released 20 years after their debut album, Reagenz. The newest offering, recorded with the same equipment as their debut, is a testament to the endless possibilities of classic synthesizers and assorted electronic hardware and an amazing, ambient-infused trip through hypnotic house music. This is what Gas might sound if the ever-present fog surrounding his music would clear out for once. Recommended!


Fluorescent Heights – Relaxing in the New World


Now here’s something for the winter blues (shut up, Aussies). Coming from the north of Europe, Henrik Stelzer channels the radiating warmth of the imagined tropics in a series of lo-fi drone hypnoses as Fluorescent Heights. As expected, the new cassette, Relaxing in the New World, released on Beer on the Rug, continues with the sprawling, stoner tropical drones that seem to go on forever – as they should be. A great medicine for all sorts of depression, anxiety, or sobriety. A musical drug, to be administered through your ears. If you’re a fan of Dolphins Into the Future, this is a no brainer. And if you’re finished with this and don’t feel “zoned in” enough, continue your trip with Hakobune’s Sinking Stars.


Sun Eater – Wild Arum ​/​ Twin Peaks


The Tacoma, WA based Sun Eater trio seem to speicalize in small offertings of badass stoner psychedelia, and with their new release they simple step up their own game with the fuzzed-out lo-fi piece “Wild Arum”, which is all a brain-bending psychedelic rock music should be: trippy, enveloping and maze-like, with its endess guitar solos and a great bassline. The “flipside” offers an interesting take on Angelo Badalamenti’s “Twin Peaks” theme with the usage of electric guitar, bass guitar and drums. 


LOTTO – Ask the Dust


Some mighty intruging, semi-improvised instrumental rock music from the Polish band LOTTO. The cover might suggest some arid, stripped-back moods and it’s true. Ask the Dust doesn’t adhere to simple categorizations, it jumps between the atmospheric, slow-paced experimental jazz rock a’la The Necks to moments of high energy unhinged free improvisation and droning deconstructions of post-rock reduced to single licks of guitars or the residues of guitar feedback hanging in mid-air like particles of dust on a hot summer day. Buy the LP from Lado ABC if you dig.