MAGIC MIX

psych . krautrock . prog . rock

WEEK STARTING 28 Aug

Genre pick of the week Cover of Frid by Hills.
As has often been noted, psychedelic music can involve causal links between getting out of it and getting into it. Conversely, expansion of consciousness can be found by heading deep into the roots that a band explores, and journeying to the centre of their inspiration. Thus, a curious paradox is attained, whereby the traditional elements of an outfit’s sound are superseded by them blasting their core vibrations into unchartered territory. Such is the case with the new opus from third-eye visionaries Hills, a dizzying journey that traverses through the band’s origins and beyond to new dimensions.

The Gothenburg-based Hills are entering their ninth year of existence, in which they’ve released two full-length albums, the second of which, ‘Master Sleeps’ saw a vinyl outing on Rocket last year. Part of a rich scene in their homestead also including friends and Rocket Recordings label mates Goat, they form the new chapter in a tradition of Swedish psychedelia that found its origins in late-’60s and early ‘70s freakouts and mind-melts by the likes of Baby Grandmothers and Älgarnas Trädgård - not to mention the unholy trinity of Pärson Sound, International Harvester and Träd Gräs och Stenar - before being developed by the likes of The Spacious Mind and Dungen in the last two decades. These inspirations make their mark on ‘Frid’ by journeying inward, via mantric repetition and hip-shaking pulsations as on the ten-minute monolith, ‘ Och Solen Sänkte Sig Röd’, yet they can also lurch into the unknown via the fuzz/wah odysseys of the aptly monikered ‘National Drone’ and the ceremonial exhortations of the closing ‘Death Will Find A Way.’

As they also showed recently at a rare and spellbinding appearance at Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia, Hills have landed on a rich and intoxicating sound that sidesteps the cliches and humdrum stylistic foibles that often plague modern-day psych, in the process breathing new life into an approach that can sometimes seem in danger of appearing redundant through lack of imagination. ‘Frid’, their most out-of-mind and out-of-sight effort to date, crystallises everything that makes these Scandinavian satyrs stand out from the global herd; adventurous experimentation and fearless hallucinatory intensity, rendered with brass-knuckle fortitude. The end result is 38 minutes that translate into a feast for seasoned crate-diggers and fresh-faced converts alike. There is, indeed, gold in these here Hills.

Death And Vanilla

California Owls EP

    4 track EP cut at 45rpm on green vinyl. 1000 copies worldwide.

    “Sweet psychedelic pop from your new favourite Swedes.. nocturnal track, California Owls is hypnotic, this is dream pop at its absolute best.” i-D

    “Our dreamiest pick this week… "California Owls," pairs reverb-soaked vocals with a harpsichord-like synth that sounds like sunlight filtered through water.” NPR

    “California Owls” could almost be Beach House. At least until it descends into a two-minute cascade of bird noises. Enchanting stuff.” Loud & Quiet

    “Nilsson’s vocals bob in an ocean of reverb on ‘California Owls’ evoke everything from Czech cinema soundtracks to The Velvet Underground channelled through their uniquely distorted lens” Clash

    “California Owls,” a tidy three and a half minutes of airy-pop gorgeousness followed by two more combining chirping birds and tones reminiscent of a distant calliope amidst the reliable retro-futurism.” The Vinyl District

    Following the success of their critically acclaimed ‘To Where The Wild Things Are’ released in May, Death And Vanilla return with EP ‘California Owls’ EP, featuring two non-album tracks. Forming in Malmö, Sweden by Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson, Death and Vanilla utilise vintage musical equipment such as vibraphone, organ, mellotron, tremolo guitar and moog, to emulate the sounds of 60s/70s soundtracks, library music, German Krautrock, French Ye-ye pop and 60s psych. They revel in the warmth of older analogue instruments to create a more organic sound, each loose wire and off-kilter noise adding to the rich atmosphere. Creating deliciously enticing soundscapes, full of moody moogs and breathless vocals, their influences are as diverse as their music.

    Passionate about the culture of the 60s/70s, Death And Vanilla have the retro-futuristic edge of Broadcast with Stereolab leanings and the electronic library sounds of the BBC Electronic Workshop. Opulent and timeless, ‘California Owls’ is a reverb soaked spectral-pop song drenched in 60s-psych while the dark and swirling melodies of ‘Follow The Light’ has a ‘Walk Away Renee pace’ (Guardian). Their new EP brings together old songs with the new, much like the samples and the instruments they use, whilst capturing the haunting and wild dreamy experimental edge of ‘To Where The Wild Things Are’.

    Jimi Hendrix

    Atlanta Pop Festival (Live)

      This is a 16 track 'live' performance from 4th July 1970, featuring all his classic hits & live favourites, recorded in a field just outside the town of Byron, with an estimated audience of 300k-400k!!!

      The 'Atlanta Pop Festival' was hailed as 'The Southern Woodstock' & is viewed as the last great US Rock Festival. Recorded just 10 weeks before his death, this is seen as one of Hendrix's greatest live recordings. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLP Info: Deluxe 2LP set with 8 page booklet filled with never before seen photos and detailed liner notes. Mastering by Bernie Grundman. Pressed on 180 gram audiophile grade vinyl.

      CD Info: Includes 24 page booklet filled with never before seen photos and detailed liner notes.

      Jungfrau

      Nacht

        This blinding debut album from Brighton-based psychedelic krautrockers Jungfrau contains six mind-melting tacks that evoke the strident & heady vocal-led swirl of late sixties Jefferson Airplane and the intensity of Jarboe-era Swans, underpinned with the hypnotic rhythmic density of Can and Neu! & splattered all over with searing-hot stabs of furiously heavy Stooges-eque guitar. The soaring ultra-trippy vocal gymnastics of singer Hannah Grasskamp put Jungfrau firmly on the map as one of the most promising and original bands on the psych-rock underground today.

        The Kitchen Cinq

        When The Rainbow Disappears: An Anthology 1965-68

        * Compilation and notes by Alec Palao
        * Includes The Kitchen Cinq’s complete LHI sessions, comprising the Everything But album and non-LP singles as well as rare sides by the act’s earlier incarnations as The Illusions and The Y’Alls
        * Fully remastered audio with three previously unissued cuts
        * Extensive liner notes featuring interviews with Cinq members Jim Parker, Mark Creamer, and Johnny Stark, along with manager Tom Thacker and producer Suzi Jane Hokom

        Lee Hazlewood’s LHI flagship group, The Kitchen Cinq, had everything but one elusive factor: success.

        Formed as The Illusions (and briefly The Y’alls) in Amarillo, Texas, the group blended garage punk with killer harmonies and a slight sense of the absurd. Picking up steam locally in the mid-‘60s, the members started to think about cracking it on a bigger scale, and, in 1966, moved to LA. “Almost immediately upon arrival, we auditioned for Lee,” says guitarist/vocalist Mark Creamer. “He said, ‘Deal.’" Another of Hazlewood’s coterie, Suzi Jane Hokom, was charged with producing the group, making her a de facto female pioneer in the industry.

        By 1968, The Kitchen Cinq issued a total of five impressive singles and one album, Everything But. They recorded a surprisingly vast amount of material, all of which is collected here. Their version of The Beau Brummels' "Still In Love With You Baby" was a regional hit in many cities, but they were still chasing a big hit, and the LA dream was wearing thin. In the end, the industry burned them out: the endless gigging, the radio spots, the long journeys–including an ill-fated East Coast tour that required them to drive from LA to Florida in three days. “I think LA ate the Texas boys; I really feel that way,” says guitarist/vocalist Jim Parker.

        The group split in ’68, and the members spread off into bands including Them, rock outfit Armageddon and, eventually, careers in studios. One–temporary member J.D. Souther–has a recurring role on the popular soap opera Nashville. The Kitchen Cinq was just a springboard for each of them, but listening to these overlooked works of beat-pop brilliance, you can’t help but wonder why it didn’t work out for the Texans at the time. Their songs–all of them–live on in this anthology.

        Natural Information Society & Bitchin Bajas

        Automaginary

          Natural Information Society, like their partners in time Bitchin Bajas, live their days in flow motion. Rhythms come and go, instruments sound as a means to a greater end. Music is the way of their life. Their debut convergence, ‘Automaginary’, feels as natural as it does inevitable.

          Both groups were first heard in 2010, both emerging from solo endeavours that accessed a vastness, more room than a single player might ultimately fill. Joshua Abrams, a questing bassist and improviser by trade, with an extensive discography of solo recordings and collaborations with a wide variety of artists, formed Natural Information Society as a conduit for the live presentation of his guimbri music. Abrams had delved into the sound of the three-stringed Gnawan lute on his own, intrigued by the instrument’s ability to provide melodic and rhythmic direction with a minimal, hypnotic palette. Over several years, many shows and three albums, Natural Information Society has featured some of Chicago’s most remarkable musicians while developing a sound situating Abrams’ compositions and playing in diverse sonic settings, amid ultimately consonant sounds from electric guitar, percussion, harmonium, reed instruments, bells, vibes and synthesizer. Over this time a core line up has emerged, featuring Frank Rosaly, Emmett Kelly, Ben Boye, Mikel Avery and Lisa Alvarado.

          Cooper Crain of CAVE started Bitchin Bajas to explore his fascination with vintage electronics and recording techniques. With Dan Quinlivan on keyboards as well, Bitchin Bajas’ discography has explored a range of dynamic approaches, producing various proportions of atmosphere and soundtrack that move from becalmed stasis to synthetic beat-building with a prescient liquidity. Of late Rob Frye has joined, blowing reed and woodwind texture and naturally adding only the necessary ripple to their slow-unfurling ecstatic process.

          Both Natural Information Society and Bitchin Bajas are in pursuit of the unconscious in their musical expression and through their independent methods both have ridden the wind to unseen places, using the playing as the carpet that will take them there. A multitude of influences swarm amoebically in their sounds, from the mud of ancient Afro-groove to 20thcentury classical austerity, from the clatter of freedom jazz to the 4/4 of Kraut and disco and fusion beyond.

          Wrapped up in a screen-printed jacket by visual artist Lisa Alvarado, whose aesthetic sense is a touchstone for the vision of Natural Information Society.

          Elvis Presley

          30 No. 1 Hits

            It does what it says on the tin! 30 number ones covering his entire career, from Heartbreak Hotel and Hound Dog through to Suspicious Minds and Way Down.

            180 gram audio quality legacy vinyl.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xLP Info: 180 gram audio quality legacy vinyl.

            Elvis Presley

            Elvis Presley

              Elvis' classic debut album. 

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              2xLP Info: 180 gram audio quality legacy vinyl.

              After a brief hiatus for hsi Leleka imprint, this time round Vakula explores the universe of the man who was searching for a world where there were women and children obeying the moon but faced the reality with its wisdom, and fever, and sickness. And faced it too soon. 'The music and voices are all around us. Choose, the croon, the Ancient Ones. The time has come again'. The album is Vakula's thoughts in time and out of season dedicated to Morrison, the poet, the musician, the soft mad child, the great man. 'Enter again the sweet forest, enter the hot dream, come with us. Everything is broken up and dances'.

              Basically, this is an extension of "Voyage To Arcturus" - Vakula getting all 'proper full length' album, and heavily influenced by psychedlia in general, and the Doors in particular. Our crazy Ukrainian has enlisted a full band to play all the music from start to finish - all OG psych material played with authenticity and panache! That's not to say it's not heavily inspired by Morrison's pioneering group - all fried guitars, raga-fuelled repetition and a truly lysergic feeling from start to finish. The A-side drifts along at a completely unhurried pace - occasional forays of poetry by William Blake bursting through a desert-scorched jam of buzzing slide guitar, gentle congas and tentative organ licks. It sounds like a Doors album! But it's not... The B-side keeps up the illusion with some heavy blues jams, some with vocals some instrumental but all riffing unrelentling throughout and again sounding oh so authentic. We knew Vakula could turn his hand at anything but by God! This could come straight out of 1971 and has that old school recording sound nailed to a tee. Vakula we salute you! Not only a strange and pretty brave concept but he's executed it perfectly - I reckon you could slip this into a Doors listening session and no-one could tell the difference. It's like a long lost album from our Jim, except it's brand new and by a totally turned on Ukrainian. Massive.


              Various Artists

              Psycho Brazil - CD Mix By Dom Thomas

              Dom Thomas' NN Tapes goes digital with a series of strictly limited CD versions of his previously cassette-only compilations. Limited to just 20 copies for the World!

              The "Musical Dr Frankenstein" Dom Thomas is back with a psyched out journey through the lucid tones of the Tropicalia movement mangled with the pre cursing Jovem Guarda rock and soul music.


              NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Various Artists - (Cease & Desist) DIY! (Cu... http://t.co/3RLfqDtSW9 | https://t.co/9OCr7CsAuP
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