psych . krautrock . prog . rock


Genre pick of the week Cover of Drop by Thee Oh Sees.
Our lad John P. Dwyer has been lancing eardrums with Thee Oh Sees in an ever-escalating flurry of records for the past six years. Since the release of The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In announced a new loud era (and excepting a few momentary detours into home-baked territory - Dog Poison and Castlemania, for example), Dwyer and company have pummelled a bit harder each time out, cementing their reputation as a live force to be reckoned with and leaving legions sweaty and bruised in the process. Late last year, after years of relentlessly touring the world, the word got out… Dwyer’s moving to Los Angeles (fear not, still California!) and Thee Oh Sees are taking a much-needed hiatus with a shifting of gears ahead and a new album on the way. This is that album.

Drop was recorded in a banana-ripening warehouse (no joke) with hair-farming studio warlock Chris Woodhouse playing drums; it’s also graced with the presence of talented gurus Mikal Cronin, Greer McGettrick and Casafis adding horns and vocals. The result pushes the familiar polarities of the group farther outward than ever before. Opener “Penetrating Eye” might be the heaviest Oh Sees song yet, “Transparent World” and “Put Some Reverb On My Brother” foam with seasick fuzz, and yet the ballads, like the harpsichorded “King’s Nose” and the lush and stately closer “The Lens,” extend their oeuvre into mellotronic, far-out pop with delicacy and grace.

This schizophrenia heralds the man and the band into an unseen future in classic Dwyer fashion - restless energy harnessed into exquisitely crafted jams, with an emphasis on the pensive and the paranoid in turns.

Jackson C Frank’s original 1965 album is a lost classic now proudly resurrected by Earth Recordings. Frank’s eponymous 1965 album was produced by Paul Simon after he was impressed with seeing Frank play at folk clubs in England. It is said Frank was so shy during the recording that he asked to be shielded by screens so that those present; Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel and Al Stewart could not see him, he declared, “I can’t play, you’re looking at me.“ Frank is a true original. His music comes from a blues and folk background but it is the sincere individual style that he developed which resulted in such a unique record. At once tender, moving and haunting, ‘Jackson C Frank’ is steeped in emotional honesty whilst riding a wave of deep melancholy. His virtuoso playing is disguised in a manner of simplicity, owed much to his relaxed nature. Franks lyrics further the experience as he expounds upon the existential nature of relationships, the passing of the seasons and other honest and often painful moments of a world drifting by.

The self-titled debut by Jackson C Frank is a singular work of art, a personal statement from a man that faced an uphill battle with life following the albums initial release, leading to his neglect for many years despite the unadulterated acclaim from fellow folk musicians and critics alike. John Peel was a fan, often playing tracks on his BBC radio show. His songs have been covered by Simon and Garfunkel, Bert Jansch, Laura Marling and Sandy Denny (whom he dated for a while) and the track ‘Milk and Honey’ was selected by Vincent Gallo to appear in his film ‘The Brown Bunny’. Earth recordings are immensely proud to re-issue this lost, legendary recording by Jackson C Frank with the intention of moving it from its current cult status, to that of the absolute folk classic it truly deserves.

Fripp & Eno

Evening Star

    In 1975 with King Crimson on hiatus (as it would remain until 1980), Robert Fripp's appearances on album or on stage were rare. When he did appear, it was with Brian Eno. Circumstances following an accident in January 1975 led to Eno formulating the idea of ambient music as detailed in the notes to "Discreet Music" – released in December 1975. The title track of "Discreet Music", was initially conceived as a backing loop for Fripp to play over at a series of concerts. These concerts took place in Spain, France and England in late May 1975. A short section of one of these concerts provided the basic track for "Wind On Water" – the opening piece from the second Fripp and Eno album "Evening Star". The title track that follows features a Fripp solo that is regarded by fans as one of his most beautiful performances. The short, pretty loop called "Evensong" and "Wind On Wind" an extract from "Discreet Music" formed the remainder of the album's first half. Perhaps more pastoral than truly ambient, and in part indicative of the type of music that Eno would feature on his later "Music For Films" albums this was a firm step away from the long form pieces that had made up "No Pussyfooting". As if to balance the equation, the second side comprised a single piece "An Index Of Metals". Over thirty years on from its original recording, the sense of unease conveyed by the piece remains intact.

    Fripp & Eno

    No Pussyfooting

      In August 1972 King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp was producing some material for Robert Wyatt. Brian Eno – then a member of Roxy Music, came to the studio to add synth to the same sessions. Fripp & Eno found common cause. The 21 minutes piece of music that resulted, "The Heavenly Music Corporation" became one of the most significant and influential pieces of electronic music ever recorded. The other track on the album "Swastika Girls" was not recorded until over a year later in August 1973 – the track title inspired by a picture of girls wearing a swastika and little else that was pinned to the console. Also pinned to the console was a piece of paper with the words "No Pussyfooting" – Fripp's reminder to both musicians that they should not compromise what they felt to be right or be deterred by the hostility to the project shown by management and record label alike. (There was talk of Fripp leading Eno into 'un-commercial territory'.) The album was released in November 1973 and went on to sell over 100,000 copies. It was a unique achievement at the time to place an album of experimental electronic music into the hands, homes and ears of 100,000 rock music fans.



        Hypnotized are an experimental psychedelic electronica band from Brighton, UK that formed after old friends Robbie Wood & Robin White met Paul Whelan in October 2011. They found an instant connection and created Hypnotized (named after a Spacemen 3 track) using what equipment they had around and began making improvised drone jams, soundscapes and intense drum loops. They spent most of 2012 recording at home and buying an eclectic range of equipment such as handmade Japanese oscillators, 80’s Keyboards & Percussion. After releasing a few home recordings and remixes they spent the past year playing shows around Brighton and London with the likes of Islet, Flamingods, Clipping, Speak Galactic and TRAAMS. Hypnotized use warped visuals, strobes, face paint and masks making their shows intense and unpredictable. Their influences range from Electronica, Krautrock, Hip-Hop, Dub, Noise, Space Rock, and Psychedelia. A new EP named Telesto is soon to be released on limited edition CD with Brighton label Love Thy Neighbour, which is run by Daniel from Esben & The Witch. The 5-track EP captures sounds from their live shows and is named after a moon of Saturn, taking you on a voyage through different landscapes and atmospheres.

        The 12-track longplayer sounds like a magical sound-alchemy made of Chanson, Electro and Dub. Realised with various musicians and producers including Thomas Wydler (drummer in Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds), Nackt (producer for Mute recording artist Apparat), Ben Lauber (producer, synthesizer), Ephrem Lüchinger (piano), Tobias Preisig (violine), Nicolas Rüttimann (guitar), and electropunk pioneer & producer T.Raumschmiere aka Marco Haas! The most exciting stories that happen to us are the ones that life itself seems to write the script to. You just need to put your hands onto them. If there's an expert on this matter, then it is certainly Swiss artist Dieter Meier, who now, at almost 69 years of age, is releasing his first solo album.

        Be it performance art, his work with YELLO, or his winery: Dieter Meier dislikes the routine, which we ordinarily call day-to-day-life. To him it's spelled in capital letters: DAY-TO-DAY-LIFE. An instigation! He embraces challenge. Consistently, his solo debut is called "OUT OF CHAOS", a reference to chaos itself; to the possibility that, at least theoretically, everything is achievable anytime. On the other hand: the concept of chaos is probably nothing but a daring hypothesis in itself. Over the course of the last years, Dieter Meier's now ready to be released songs have undergone interesting transformations. One could say: They grew in time - and out of time. Meier has taken them on to his journeys and adventures, in constant change, out of the darkness and into the brightness of the spotlights: It all started on a reading tour accompanying the film "Touch Yello" - when Dieter Meier, inspired by his long term Berlin friend and colleague Marcus Herold, brought along a handful of newly written songs and performed them with Jazz-violinist Tobias Preisig and guitarist Nicolas Rüttimann. Meier, who (apart from two exceptions in London and New York) never performed live with YELLO at all, soon fancied the live situation and went on writing new pieces. Herold called Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds- drummer Thomas Wydler, pianist Ephrem Lüchinger joined up, and shortly after, newer versions of OUT OF CHAOS songs found their way to the stage, such as the well reputed Montreux Festival and the Volksbühne, Berlin.

        In summer 2013, Meier eventually found an open minded, experimental producer trio in Berlin: Nackt (Warren Suicide, Apparat Band et al.), Ben Lauber (Apparat Band et al.), and electro pioneer T.Raumschmiere, all of them big fans of Meier's work, teamed up with the first generation Out-Of- Chaos-band at Chez Chérie Studios in Neukölln to arrange, re-arrange, discuss, discard, research, jam and eventually record in a series of sessions which are now an album. What a chaos! OUT OF CHAOS! The result is a grand record starring Dieter Meier, standing at the bar of his life and musing about the rivers of time. Sometimes his songs sound like electro-acoustic Yello tracks ("Lazy Night", "Paradise Game", "Jimmy"), sometimes like a tender ex-lovers-Blues from under the sea ("Loveblind", "Annabelle"), sometimes you’d find a post-punk nerve ("Fat Fly", "Buffoon") or an ode to a befriended artist, who wrestles through life as a night porter (“Night porter”). At any time, "OUT OF CHAOS" sounds like a magical sound-alchemy made of Chanson, Electro, and Dub. And like any other stage Dieter Meier walked onto before, be it as an artist of all genres, be it as the singer/songwriter of OUT OF CHAOS, he remains a discoverer sui generis, who invents himself and a new world.


        Aerial Ballet

          Aerial Ballet solidified Nilsson’s craft as a singer-songwriter par excellence. His pen is decidedly sharper in songs like “Together,” “One” and “Don’t Leave Me,” which deal with the insecurities and fatalities of romance. Suicide is explored in “I Said Goodbye to Me,” and the subjects of fame (“Mr. Richland’s Favorite Song”) and fatherhood (“Daddy’s Song”) get their drubbing in scat-filled soft-shoe style. This Sundazed edition presents the 1968 mono mix of this treasured work—scarce then, and virtually impossible to locate in the decades since—from the original master reels, with restored artwork. Also included is “Daddy’s Song,” a tune quickly deleted from the original pressings that features a noticeably different vocal arrangement in its monaural form, and the original first-issue single mix of “Everybody’s Talkin’,” among other highlights. A unique version seen only briefly when issued and virtually untouchable in the intervening years, Aerial Ballet in mono, pressed at R.T.I., is now available on 180 gram vinyl.


          Andy says: If you're into The Beatles, especially Paul McCartney, then you'll love Harry Nilsson.


          Pandemonium Shadow Show

            Nilsson’s first true album, 1967’s Pandemonium Shadow Show, is an astonishing collection that announces the artist’s unique vaudevillian take on 1960s pop music—a style that brought him to the attention of the Beatles by way of their press agent Derek Taylor. Produced by Rick Jarrard (Jefferson Airplane, José Feliciano) and primarily arranged by George Tipton, the set strikes a balance between Harry’s breathtaking originals (the autobiographical “1941,” the melancholy “Without Her” and the playful “Ten Little Indians”) and a tasteful array of covers (the Beatles’ “You Can’t Do That” and “She’s Leaving Home,” as well as Phil Spector’s gargantuan “River Deep‑Mountain High”), all the while showcasing the vocal prowess of the True One. Plus, the usual benefits of a vintage mono mix are here—a louder rhythm section, more present bass, and an overall sense of ensemble that stereo of the era could rarely capture. A stunning work, pressed at R.T.I., now available from Sundazed in a 180 gram edition with restored artwork.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Andy says: Clever, playful late 60's pop, full of character and melody.

            •Second classic live performance from Lou Reed ( first being American Poet Ears012 ), this one totally unreleased and not bootlegged before combining key classic tracks from his previous solo albums Transformer, Berlin, Sally Can’t Dance & Coney Island baby.
            •This is an FM Radio broadcast from Lou’s 1976 Rock N Roll Heart Tour in its 30th anniversary year restored and remastered in 2006.
            •Presented in full colour glossy deluxe gatefold sleeve with shots of Lou from the tour and liner notes by Nina Antonia.
            •Rock and Roll Heart was the seventh album by Lou Reed, released in 1976. It was his first album for Arista Records after record mogul Clive Davis reportedly rescued him from bankruptcy. "A Sheltered Life" (included in this set) dates back to 1967, when the Velvet Underground recorded a demo of it (available on Peel Slowly and See). The Velvet Underground also performed "Follow the Leader", (not in this set ) and a live recording of it was released on The Quine Tapes. Michael Fonfara, keyboards, Bruce Yaw, bass,Marty Fogel, sax,Michael Suchorsky, drums Recorded at Civic Theatre, Akron, Ohio, October 23rd, 1976.

            The See See

            Days, Nights & The Late Morning Lights

              The See See are a contemporary psychedelic band with one foot in 1967 and the other in 2014 - they not only make psychedelic music for today, they make it for forever. The See See originated out of the ashes of some of the modern pop world’s hippest guitar psych acts, most notably Richard Olson’s 'The Eighteenth Day of May'. Forged in the über-competitive London music scene, The See See have an ever-increasing fan base amongst Paisley Europeans fond of Television’s guitars, Moby Grape’s harmonies, the White Stripes’ bite and Syd Barrett-styled whimsy. Their music is an exploding kaleidoscope of colors and sounds.

              This is the band’s first full-length US release, especially designed for the American market. Through a combination of their cutting-edge use of social media and their old-fashioned work ethic, which has seen The See See tour, tour and tour again, they have saturated the continental European indie market and given London its hippest, most innovative guitar scene in years.

              This Sundazed anthology of music from these heirs to the Paisley Underground is classic psychedelia. Listen as The See See leave cult status behind and head for the far reaches of the galaxy…and the top rung of the charts.


              LP Info: 180 gram vinyl pressed at R.T.I.

              Cut from the cloth of early Soft Machine and Kevin Ayersisms, garagearray is a lofty, loopy flight in a candy-flossclouded sky, with an ever-present darkness just below the surface. It’s wonderfully off the cuff, at times reminiscent of a Syd Barrett session where the band must’ve just closed their eyes and felt it out in the dark, coming together in all the right moments in the nick of time.

              For 'Garagearray', Dylan Shearer is joined by Petey Dammit (Thee Oh Sees) on bass and Noel von Harmonson (Comets on Fire) on drums. Produced by Eric Bauer (Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, etc.), the recording maintains a lighter-than-life vibration, like a breeze weaving through a tree far overhead. The production smacks with that lostin- time quality of a BBC session piloted by a natural-onthe- knobs genius. Shearer has a sort of shy quality that seems to fall away when he sings these songs live. It’s really quite lovely and full of sad and poetic moments.

              Castle Face is very proud to co-release garagearray with Empty Cellar Records, and to celebrate the occasion, the labels have come up with two special limited, hand-printed jacket / colored vinyl editions featuring artwork by Michael Sean Coleman.

              Work is the first release for 12 years by Denmark’s best kept secret: digital power rock trio Silo. Back in the 1990s the group – Frederik Ammitzbøll (guitars), Mikkel Bender (bass) and Søren Dahlgaard (drums) – were the most abrasive act signed up by Swim Records, the independent label founded by Wire frontman Colin Newman and his wife Malka Spigel. After releasing two albums – Instar (1998) and Alloy (2001) – and appearing live with the likes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sigur Rós, Trans Am and Pole, the group, who came together as students, drifted off into family life and gainful employment.

              Frederik works in IT and co-runs avantgarde menswear label Uncommon Creatures, Søren is a full time artist and Mikkel works with patents. But now Silo have reloaded, and in 2013 their distinctive twisted-metal sound, built on crunchy digitized guitars, beats that crack like a boltcutter and a sturdy industrial rhythm matrix, sounds bang on trend. Work is the long hours and collective effort required to make music and keep a band together in the first place; it’s what prevents musicians from coming back to it, too. Work is a summing-up of tracks they have been intermittently recording and reworking over the past decade. Jagged edges, distorted sound-clouds and swarming guitars are the trademarks, but the Teutonic-edged grooves make the whole thing fly.

              "Making rock music that actually rocks even though the beat is way off the grid has been one of the major experiments and ambitions of this album", says Frederik. Hard labour goes into designing the guitar parts, which are digitally sculpted and processed. With its swooning chord changes and superfuzzed guitar textures, Silo’s immersive sound envelope recalls groups like My Bloody Valentine and Band Of Susans, while packing the punch of acts like Helmet or Dälek. Thanks to their admiration for leftfield hiphop producers such as J Dilla and Sa-Ra Creative Partners, their beats are cranky and offcentre, and on ‘Cabinn Fever’ (named after the Danish hotel chain where the track was recorded) Silo recruit High Priest and M Sayyid of Antipop Consortium for a channel-hopping rap taking in everything from Eric Clapton to 747s.

              Other guests include R&B/pop vocalist Maria Hamer-Jensen (on ‘Power Points’) and Mew’s Jonas Bjerre (the crooner on ‘O’). And who can resist a title like ‘The Inexorable Sadness of Pencils’? The album’s yearning closing instrumental is inspired by a poem by American author Theodore Roethke. It describes the sadness of offices and public spaces where dust and boredom have accumulated – echoing the album sleeve photo of a room piled with unread newspapers. Plug in to Silo and blow the dust out of the corners of your life.

              After 20 years in Everything But The Girl, and 10 years as a respected DJ and record label boss of Buzzin' Fly, Ben Watt announced last year he was parking everything to complete two long-planned creative solo projects. The first is his long-awaited second book, ‘Romany and Tom’, a portrait of his parents. The second is “Hendra”, released on his own new imprint, Unmade Road. It is, in Ben's words, 'simply a folk-rock record in an electronic age'. ‘I had come to a plateau with the labels and clubland,’ he says. ‘I had a need to go back to words and music, not just beats and other people’s work. Once I made some space, a lot of ideas just tumbled out.’ The upshot is ten songs. Unsentimental. Impressionistic. Songs about close family and strangers, resilience and hope. All set in vivid landscapes where the outside comes inside and clings to the stories. Recorded in London and Berlin, the music is a meeting of worlds: languid folk, distorted rock and fizzing electronics; in part a result of the album's two central collaborators, ex-Suede guitarist, Bernard Butler, and Berlin-based producer Ewan Pearson. The album also includes one other unexpected stellar cameo on ‘The Levels’, featuring Pink Floyd's David Gilmour.


              LP Info: LP comes in die-cut gatefold sleeve with fold-out poster / lyric insert.

              “Woods’ brand of pop shamanism has undergone several gradual transformations over their past few albums, but on With Light and With Love, the tinkering reveals an expanded sonic palette that includes singing saw, heavier emphasis on percussion, and a saloon piano that sounds like it was rescued from a flooded basement. Distinct from both the stoned volk of their earliest recordings and the kraut-y dalliances of more recent fare, With Light and With Love showcases a more sophisticated brand of contemporary drug music that owes more to Magical Mystery Tour than motorik.

              “If you’ve ever thought of Woods as a pop group comprised of weirdos, or a weirdo band that happens to excel at playing pop songs almost in spite of itself, With Light and With Love provides a corrective in the form of songs that show these two elements as natural, inextricable bedfellows. Throughout the album, vocals are frequently emitted through Leslie speakers and guitars perform one-string ragas like Sandy Bull reared on shoegaze and skate videos. With Light and With Love is an album of deeply psychedelic, deeply satisfying songs for a new age of searchers, of Don Juan and Animal Chin alike.” - James Toth.

              • Features guests Tim Presley (White Fence) on slide guitar and Jonathan Rado (Foxygen) on organ.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Andy says: Gorgeous melodicism, like a modern day Teenage Fanclub.


              LP Info: Vinyl packaged in deluxe gatefold jacket and includes digital download.

              RT @common_bar: @aHolyMountain @PiccadillyRecs no worries dudes. Hope you had a safe trip back home, see you all soon x
              Sat 19th - 8:55
              Remember, we're CLOSED this Sunday. Open on Bank Holiday Monday 11am - 5pm.
              Sat 19th - 7:16
              RT @urban_splash: RT @Mr_Dave_Haslam: The queue outside @PiccadillyRecs in our N/4 Smithfield Buildings at today Record Store Day http…
              Sat 19th - 6:47
              Ok that's it for another @RSDUK - thanks to all the djs and @smokefairies @smand all you punters for such a fab day!
              Sat 19th - 4:58
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