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FOREST JAMS

Starving Daughters

Strange Valleys LP

"Strange Valleys", the 2018 full-length from Starving Daughters, is a progression as well as a shift in sound from the LA band's already-stellar previous releases. Make no doubt about it that the sound of Progressive Rock and Psychedelia still play a big role here but there's certainly a greater influence from Library Music on the new LP. The Starving Daughters Vinyl Impressions blog, led by Chris Tillotson of the band, shared the music of Chris's collection of which many were Library LP's. These records seemed to have seeped into the mind, body, and souls of the whole band on this Strange Valleys LP. Everything from the instrumentation, the attention to melody, to the track-length shows the large appreciation they have for Library music. That being said, this moog-heavy, psychedelic-prog-funk, California-themed record is certainly unique and adventurous. Winding through the exotic roads of Strange Valleys is certainly a trip well worth taking over and over again.

In the space of four tripped out releases, Forest Jams have established themselves as the go-to label for any long travelling, genre staddling space cadets in search of sounds from beyond. Originally an edit-only affair, after three psychedelic dancefloor spectaculars from Albion, Spaziale and Mori Ra, the imprint switched things up and invited Basil & Rogers to take us on a kaleidoscopic voyage into the furthest regions of the live disco universe with an EP of their own compositions. Now, chief starman Elleorde bursts through earth's atmosphere and drops into orbit around that great mirrorball in the sky with four tracks of wormhole disco, cosmic funk and starry-eyed Balea-rock. Elleorde was born 3 years ago at Camp Cosmic, an anything-goes music festival in a Swedish forest that's recently been transferred to the countryside of Germany. Elleorde's debut record shares the same themes as the festival - with a combination of time travel, the cosmos, space journeys, sunsets on exotic planets, and love in space. The set opens at warp speed, blazing through the night sky on rapid fire sequences and a roaring 4/4 rhythm. Thick wah guitar licks and squelching bass bubble up with a wormhole churn, building the dancefloor density before that Spanish guitar and whistled melody harness the bright sun in Morricone's spaghetti sky. The tempo drops for "My Cosmic Partner", an astral love song alive with solid bass, chiming West Coast guitars and buzzing synth-work. Standing firm with a foot in both the disco and rock camps, this seventies style masterpiece wears its flares with flair, letting that hair drift in the solar winds. Over the corner and we find Elleorde firing up the hyperdrive with the steely beat of "Europa From Mars", an intergalactic boogie bomb complete with stomping bass, dreamy keys and more laser fire than a Death Star trench run. Finally, "Some Piece Of Love" finds Elleorde flying at full tilt, blasting his way through the electrodisco singularity thanks to Bobby O styled bass, noodly vocoder and a properly proggy chord progression. Summoning Tantra, Chilly and Patrick Cowley into Seth Brundle's Telepods, the UK producer manages a flawless gene splice to create the perfect space disco entity. So, with no more delay, step in to the time travel machine, "Open Wide and Eat the Future".

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Making like the Silver Surfer, Forest Jams continue to harness the power cosmic here, inviting unknown UK producer Elleorde to deliver four tracks of searing space disco goodness. Falling somewhere between Tantra, Morricone, Seals & Croft and Cerrone, this intergalactic spectacular glitters like C-Beams near the Tannhäuser Gate.

Basil & Rogers is a super sleazy, disco loving Californian duo made up of Johnny Basil and Body Rogers. Basil, a multi-instrumentalist, long-time record collector and energy healer is a man that's been making music for a long time under many different guises and in many different styles. Body Rogers is a master of electronics and engineering and a long time party companion and collaborator of Johnny Basil. If you're still scratching your head, imagine a shirtless Iggy Pop lookalike and a linen suited lothario serving acid punch and low slung grooves at a porn mogul's pool house - a couple of stone cold dudes. This four tracker for the increasingly anticipated Forest Jams sees the duo blaze up a doob, head into a beachfront studio and turn out the most frazzled, far out, West Coast disco you're ever likely to hear.

Opening cut "Midnight Disco" saunters out of the fringes of the weirdo dancefloor in a blaze of fuzzbox guitar, vocoder and stylophone, tripping majestically through spaced out grooves, vocal mantras and leftfield tropes with total nonchalance. The 'no fucks given' approach treats us to flavours of "Dis Go Dis Way, Dis Go Dat Way" and "Disco Circus" before introducing the drop with a heartily yelped "breakdown!" - ballsy, brilliant and totally out there. Taking the unprecedented move of opening with a solo, Basil & Rogers go ballistic on A2's "Saturday Morning" cooking up a coke fuelled poolside funk romp par excellence. A proggy bass sequence and head turning latin drum break keep time while wild guitar solos, lysergic fx and batshit lyrics ("I've got a hole in my brain") via for attention with skronking sax and spaghetti strings. Things only get more unhinged on the flip, as "Flavie & The Wolf" kisses us round the chops with a little outer space swamp funk. Part Parliament, part Cerrone (french vocals init?), part Hendrix, this unholy dancefloor chimera is a totally rad trip into the furthest reaches of dancefloor psychedelia, totally nailing that frazzled disco sound Harvey nailed at the Sarcastic parties. The EP closes with the almost indescribable insanity of "Mirror Mirror", a smoked out, acid soaked spectacular which sounds like War and Free told the major labels to take a hike and decamped to the Californian desert to become the world's foremost stoner jam band. In my many years writing reviews for the shop, I have never come across anything which sounds remotely like this record - far-fucking-out!



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