[ Boring Machines, 2015 ]
The Rome based duo Heroin in Tahiti play the special kind of dried up, Technicolor spaghetti western psychedelia, kind of like a chance meeting in the middle of a plateau between Barn Owl and some nameless weirdos from Sublime Frequencies who accidentally brought some synth krautrocker along for the trip. Dark drones howl in the background while vintage progressive electronics and a dead man’s guitar psychedelia duel in the front. Prolonged exposure to the sun might indeed lead to increased violence, as shown on the album, filled with hallucinogenic, malignant atmosphere. This is the kind of heroin you might consider actually doing. Recommended!
[ 1080p, 2015 ]
Havingly freshly moved to Vancouver from Montreal, Canadian post-electronic producer Phoebé Guillemot aka RAMZi gains momentum in her singular vision of carboniferous, tropical hyper-psychedelia on Houti Kush (there’s definitely a lot of kush involved, I’m sure). Deformed wordless vocalizations mix with heavily processed field recordings and warped Newest Age influences to form a disorienting and highly lysergic mix that appears unpenetrable at first but appears to be glowing with subtle rhythmic bliss with each successive listen. High definition magic mushroom trip for your scattered, digital ears. Like going back to the nature with a little help of a benevolent ancient AI. Highly recommended, one of the best psychedelic releases this year!
[ Wounded Knife, 2015 ]
On Portal, his newest vinyl release, Wiesbaden’s Johannes Schebler aka Baldruin explores the dusted neo-paganism and greyish hauntology that gradually seeps between sample-sprinkled distant sound collages and cinematic ambience. The entire album is indeed a portal to the heathen times before written history, when long forgotten animalistic rituals were taking place in the thick forests of today’s Germany and primordial mist filled the woods, where the first visitors of Europe visited. Somewhere between the deep past and the distant future, somewhere between the abrasiveness of Tim Hecker and Ben Frost and the hypnotic nowhere zones by Wanda Group, the new LP by Baldruin is properly weird and psychedelic. Recommended!
[ Squiggle Dot, 2015 ]
Japanese sound painter Suwa Kazuya debuts on a fresh Florida based netlabel Squiggle Dot with evocatively named album Mind Map. It warns you from the start – it’s an abstract collage, and that’s Abstract with a capital A. Like Morton Subotnick updated to version 8.0, this is a hyperaccelerated and glossy digital answer to musique concrete and it’s wonderfully confusing and gleeful. Charming, delicate melodies noodle their way through random clusters of glitches and the musical versions of those shitty .gif graphics on old-skool websites, while keeping the sense of childlike wonder and surrealism. Music to get completely lost in. Strange, yet pleasurable!
[ Ultra Eczema, 2015 ]
Deep psychedelic synthesis conjured up on the eternally fresh-sounding ARP 2500 from the Antwerp resident David Edren, who’s creating little analog paradises under the moniker DSR Lines. Illuminated and shimmering, III-II, the debut vinyl LP by Mr. Edren is all you should expect from a good Berlin School tribute: lysergic arpeggios going up and down like a picturesque hilly landscape, an abundance of reverb and delay and most importantly, the ability to become a portal to another world where a retrofuturistic AI has already arrived, and it’s an AI focused to get rid of all humanity’s problems. A beautiful vision. Recommended!
The name of the releases sums up the style of Virginia based shamanic collective The Big Drum In the Sky Religion perfectly: “Eternal Freakout“. With an ever-rotating lineup these zone travellers have been playing some perfectly hypnotic total no-fi DIY jams since at least 2008, but with all these spirits zapping by they might have already started a few thousand years ago… Songs the Ineffable Taught Us might seem seriously abrasive and shrill at first (the beginning took my by surprise, I shouted “what the shit is this clusterfuck!?” in first shock), but soon it turns out it only enhances the trancelike quality of the communal tribalisms collected here. Pretty much like a US couterpart to the Silvester Anfang vehicle. Recommended!
Sunburned Hand of the Man drummer and leader John Moloney has been friends with legendary Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore for years, if not decades. Of course, it would be a waste if they never played any music together, but they do, so everything is fine. Together, under the banner Caught on Tape they shred and freak out together with their free improvisations. On Full Bleed, they hit hard again, putting emphasis on both “free” and “improvisation”, while never going soft. It’s heavy, it’s ridiculously amplified and it will try to rip out your ears at certain moments, but that only adds to its glorious free rock destruction. This is what a few strings and skins can do. Highly recommended!