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ROCKET RECORDINGS

Gnod

Easy To Build, Hard To Destroy

    We just wanted to jam really and see what happened” reasons Paddy Shine of GNOD fourteen years on from their inception in Salford. “That led us down the road of constructing a vibe or an atmosphere for playing live. We played a lot of squats, house gigs and parties in the early days. We lived in each others pockets - shared ideas, books, films etc. We just got on one. Some heads came along for the ride. Good times.” This momentum gathered quickly into a band with formidable psychic power, captured in style on Easy To Build, Hard To Destroy - a compilation of tricky-to-find, obscure and unreleased material from the heady early days of the band, all released on vinyl for the first time. It’s the sound of an uncompromising devotion to rapture through noise and repetition, a portrait of a band whose anarchic approach and raw intensity any other outfit would be frankly terrified to follow onstage. Captured in the hypnotic rhythmic drive and intimidating atmospheres of tracks like ‘They Live’ and ‘Inner Z’ (both only previously available on Myspace) is a mantric energy which take a jumping-off point from the Krautrock, Japanese rock and underground American psychedelia the band were hammering at the time, as well as the droogy nihilism of The Stooges debut. Yet these feral experiments reach far beyond into a headspace that acknowledges no boundaries, rock orthodoxy or genre constriction. “We’re always searching for new music, new thoughts, new experiences” says founder member Chris Haslam, “That drove us a lot in the early days, and still does” A full decade, countless enlightened minds and scores of ruptured speaker cones later, the GNOD journey continues unabated - onward to fresh creation and new annihilation.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Indies-only blue vinyl edition

    In a culture obsessed with content, saturation, and continual exposure, it’s rare to find artists who prefer to lurk outside of the public eye. Thomas Pynchon is perhaps the most notable contemporary recluse—a virtually faceless figure who occasionally creeps out of hiding to offer up an elaborate novel steeped in history and warped by imagination—but for crate diggers and guitar mystics, Sweden’s enigmatic GOAT may qualify as the greatest modern pop-culture mystery. Who are these masked musicians? Are they truly members of the Arctic community of Korpilombolo? Are their songs part of their isolated communal heritage? Their third studio album, Requiem, offers more questions than answers, but much like any of Pynchon’s knotty yarns, the reward is not in the untangling but in the journey through the labyrinth.

    Western exports may have dominated the consciousness of international rock fans for the entirety of the 20th century, but our increasing global awareness has unearthed a treasure trove of transcendental grooves and spellbinding riffage from exotic and remote corners of the planet. GOAT’s previous albums World Music and Commune were perfect testaments to this heightened awareness, with Silk Road psychedelia, desert blues, and Third World pop all serving as governing forces within the band’s sound. But GOAT’s strange amalgam isn’t some cheap game of cultural appropriation—it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint the exact origins of the elusive group’s sound. The fact that they pledge allegiance to a spot on the periphery of our maps bolsters the nomadic quality of their sonic explorations. With Requiem, GOAT continue to rock and writhe to a beat beholden to no nation, no state.

    GOAT’s only outright declaration for Requiem is that it is their “folk” album, and the album is focused more on their subdued bucolic ritualism than psilocybin freakouts. But GOAT hasn’t completely foregone their fiery charms—tracks like “All-Seeing Eye” and “Goatfuzz” conjure the sultry heathen pulsations that ensnared us on their previous albums.

    Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of Requiem comes with the closing track “Ubuntu”. The song is little more than a melodic delay-driven electric piano line, until we hear the refrain from “Diarabi”—the first song on their first album—sneak into the mix. It creates a kind of musical ouroboros—an infinite cycle of reflection and rejuvenation, death and rebirth. Much like fellow recluse Pynchon, rather than offering explanations for their strange trajectories, GOAT create a world where the line between truth and fiction is so obscured that all you can do is bask in their cryptic genius.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP 2 Info: Red Flame Vinyl repress.

    Hills

    Frid - Repress

      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.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Blue vinyl repress.

      GÅS

      GÅS

        Introducing GÅS...A new band from Sweden and this, their debut release is the limited edition single simply called GÅS.The Swedish word ‘GÅS’ has two known meanings - one is ‘goose’, the Mythical mighty animal and the other is street slang for ‘smoking weed’. Though there may now be a third new meaning, and that would be ‘heavy and loud’. The 7”starts with Epitaph, a 4 minute + track, rammed full of incredible ‘Rocket trademark’ fuzz-wah immersions from twin lead guitars. The early 70s rock inspired vibe is reminiscent of classic Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer but also has a ‘commune-dwelling’ sound of the German bands from that same era.

        Acts like Amon Duul ll and Agitation Free spring to mind – as well as their Swedish contemporaries Arbete & Fritids, International Harvester and Rävjunk. The B-side ‘The North Wind Blew South’ is, in fact, a cover version, originally by the British band Philamore Lincoln, who made one album in 1970. GÅS move the intimate, string driven pop song into a fuzz filled sing-along anthem with its feet firmly set in the Swedish psych scene. GÅS are a perfect addition to the list of mind altering Swedish bands that are already on the Rocket roster. So if you have GOAT, Hills, Flowers Must Die, Och, Centrum and Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation records in your collection, then this 7” is for you

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd 7" Info: Transparent yellow 7".

        Goat return with Commune, the eagerly awaited follow up to their astonishing debut album World Music. Commune continues on with World Music's acidic grooves, hypnotic incantations, and serpentine guitar lines but also introduces a darker, more angry edge to the band, not seen before on previous releases. Starting with the layered percussive groove, Eastern guitar flourishes, and convoking vocals of "Talk To God", it re-establishes the trance-inducing rhythms and exotic blaze of guitar that characterized their debut so well.

        That spellbound pulse delves into darker and more propulsive territories on "Words" and "Goatslaves", while "Goatchild" veers towards the transcendental pop of '60s Bay Area rock. The vintage psychedelic vibe permeates through songs like "The Light Within" and "To Travel The Path Unknown" - tracks that suggest that these rural Swedes operate on the same wavelength as the Turkish psych-folkies recently rediscovered by reissue labels like Finders Keepers. Commune reaches its apex when Goat's hymnal invocations meet a heavy doze of proto-metal fuzz on "Hide From The Sun" and "Gathering of Ancient Tribes".

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Goat, those anonymous citizens of the world, reflect their magpie exoticism in sound and appearance, a blazing array faithful at once to all and no culture in particular. 'World Music' was, then, a completely appropriate, somewhat ironic label for a joyous, free spirited manifesto of universalism that exploded into the world like an asteroid strike, rendering at a stroke much else tired, conservative, and lacking in passion. 'Commune' follows that tradition, but, cradled at either end within the serenity of Buddhist singing bowls, this is a more concise and aggressive ritual, inheriting a strong African influence (specifically Mali this time) but built more around guitar lines, less around rhythm. This is typified by the sublime opening snarl of "Talk To God", insolent vocal chants soaring over a hypnotic guitar spiral. Worth waiting for? ‘Commune’ is at least as good as its incredible predecessor - and that is really some achievement.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: New special 'Silver Edition'.
        *New artwork throughout.
        *Pressed on Silver/Red Swirl vinyl.

        Ltd CD Info: Mini Gatefold 'Silver' edition.

        THE PICCADILLY RECORDS ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2012

        For those who are unaware, Goat are a collective of musicians who hail from a small and very remote village called Korpolombolo in deepest darkest Sweden.

        Legend has it that for centuries, the inhabitants of the village of Korpolombolo were dedicated to the worship and practices of Voodoo. This strange and seemingly unlikely activity was apparently introduced into the area after a travelling witch doctor and a handful of her disciples were led to Korpolombolo by following a cipher hidden within their most sacred of ancient scriptures. The reason it led them there is unknown, but their Voodoo influence quickly took hold over the whole village and so they made it their home - there, they were able to practice their craft unnoticed and unbothered for several centuries.

        This was until their non-Christian ways were discovered by the Church and they were burned out by the crusaders, the survivors cursing the village over their shoulders as they fled. To this day, the now picturesque village of Korpolombolo is still haunted by this Voodoo curse; the power of the curse can be felt throughout the grooves of this Goat record.

        The nine track album follows the underground success of the now sought after 7” Goatman, which is also included in this selection. The band takes in many influences, from the Afro groove that is central to the album, through to head nodding psych, post-punk, turkish rock, kraut repetition and astral folk.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Back in February 2012 we stocked an intriguing 7” called “Goatman” from a mysterious Swedish group called Goat, we loved its wacked out voodoo psych and judging by sales so did our customers, but little did it prepare us for the amazing debut album that followed seven months later under a shroud of myth and mystery.

        The story surrounding the group is becoming the stuff of mystical legend; Goat, according to their press release, are from a remote village called Korpolombolo in deepest darkest Sweden, the tale of the place being that the inhabitants were dedicated to the worship and practices of Voodoo after a travelling witch doctor stayed there a few centuries ago. The band itself is believed to be a collective of local musicians who have been recording music under the name of Goat for the past 30 or 40 years, this being the first incarnation of the group that’s ever released anything for the outside world to share. Of course whether this epic fantasy tale is true remains debatable, but in reality it really doesn’t matter when their musical output is this good.

        After the debut 7” we naturally expected “World Music” to be an album full of heavy psychedelic mantras, but what we got was something more mind-blowing - a loose melting pot of afro-voodoo-beat rhythms, blistering psyche guitar freakouts, kosmische drenched metronomy, and post-punk funkiness. It’s at times poppy and accessible (the 3 minute “Run To Your Mama” could grace the top of the charts in any other parallel universe) and at other times raw with an underground swagger, but what really hits you full-on is the spontaneous energy and sassy fun of the album. Think Funkadelic meets Spacemen 3 meets Fela Kuti meets Can meets ESG. It’s an album that’s done pretty much the impossible and united all tastes behind the counter here at Piccadilly, we all absolutely love it, and so will you!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP 2 Info: Sunburst Psyche Coloured Vinyl.

        Ltd CD Info: Mini gatefold 'Silver Edition' Repress.

        Pharaoh Overlord

        6

          When two planets collide in any solar system, the catastrophic result will most likely reduce both to dust and ash, sending warm debris hurtling through space. Yet from destruction, comes creation. So to the new and sixth record by Pharaoh Overlord - a cataclysmic clash with bewitching results. The band’s current duo of Tomi Leppänen and Jussi Lehtisalo first channelled their love of krautrock-damaged monomania into synth-driven motorik soundscapes on 2019’s ‘5’ yet this new exploration is a step way beyond, into a chilly and captivating electronic panorama. Beholden to the melodies and textures of Kraftwerk yet also the cinematic austerity of EBM and the effervescent pulse of classic Italo-pop, it’s further abetted by fierce and corrosive vocals from longtime collaborator and Sumac/Isis/Old Man Gloom seer Aaron Turner, which stand atop these futuristic serenades not unlike the fevered delivery of a dystopian hellfire preacher. The result, richly coherent yet startling even for the unpredictable world of this band, arrives like a series of otherworldly epiphanies. The opening ‘Path Eternal’ sets its stall out in style, marrying Moroder and Mayhem with a hint of the apocalypse manifesto of Skinny Puppy lurking in the middle distance. ‘Arms Of The Butcher’ is a strident anthem for a modern pandemonium, ‘Blue Light Hum’ meanwhile comes on like a robotic Neu! summoning end-credits euphoria. And most audaciously of all, ‘Without Song All Will Perish’ takes the urbane yet decadent sound of Voulez-Vous-era ABBA and reinvents it as a venomous disco Gotterdämerrung.

          Aaron Turner was sent this material by Tom and Jussi and initially ask to contribute to two or three songs to a sharp deadline, but the results soon revealed themselves to be so powerful that he ended up writing lyrics for the whole album, his vicious but uplifiting vision taking inspiration from the melodic yet scabrous likes of Killing Joke, Leatherface and Kill The Thrill. “I was also thinking of Drawing Down The Moon era Beherit where the music had gone almost entirely electronic and the only vestige of the metal aesthetic that remained was the vocal style” he notes “That rub of “artificial” music and organic/humanistic/off kilter vocals was intriguing for me.” Written as the pandemic began to dominate world events in 2020, the resulting emotional turmoil couldn’t help but heavily affect its lyrical slant of this record. 6 has therefore become a record based on separation – the physical distance between the band members themselves, as well as the isolation of the quarantine itself. Yet it’s also a record concerned with finding a way forward amidst the modern cataclysms that surround - channelling negative experience into a positive change. True to form, like a brightly underlit disco dancefloor flashing out a warning of danger, the alchemical force of 6 is equal parts hedonistic rapture and dark revelation.Let him who have understanding reckon the number of the beat, for it is a human number. Its number is 6

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Indies Only Viper Pink & Black Swirl.

          Paisiel

          Unconscious Death Wishes

            Porto-based experimental duo Paisiel comprise Portuguese drummer João Pais Filipe and German saxophonist Julius Gabriel. Both full-time musicians across several genres and disciplines, with Rocket Recordings having just released a collaborative album between João and Salford hit squad Gnod titled ‘Faca De Fogo’, the vibe Paisiel achieve across their second album ‘Unconscious Death Wishes’ sounds specific, singular and ultimately unique.

            The pair first met in 2014, began recording as Paisiel in 2017, released their first, self-titled album on cassette through local label Lovers & Lollypops in 2018 and had it pressed onto vinyl in 2019 courtesy of Rocket Recordings, who have maintained the partnership for this follow-up. A progression from what was already forward-facing music, ‘Unconscious Death Wishes’ is a single 39-minute piece recorded using improvisation based around composed structures, or what the drummer calls “instant composition”.

            Beginning quietly and mournfully, an array of percussion, avantelectro synths (think Cabaret Voltaire or Muslimgauze) and expansive sax swiftly takes hold. At times, this could be a late 60s proto-Krautrock cafeteria jam, early 70s New York loft jazz happening or Brazilian street parade from whichever decade takes your fancy.Listeners might read all kinds of emotions or states of mind into this music: Paisiel themselves play to transcend such earthly concerns. ‘Unconscious Death Wishes’ is their way of evoking, in Julius’ words, “landscapes, shapes, colours, proportions and movements”.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Red / Black vinyl.

            Anthroprophh

            Toilet Circuit EP

              In 1998 Rocket Recordings launched with a debut split 7” between Bristol bands The Heads and Lillydamwhite. So it is fitting that the labels 200th release is a 7” by the band Anthroprophh – the Bristol three piece that features Paul Allen from The Heads and Gareth Turner the former bass player from Lillydamwhite. ‘Toilet Circuit EP’ is the bands first release since their mammoth double album Omegaville which was released to high acclaim in 2018. The three tracks that make up this EP follow on perfectly from the dense and psychedelic sounds of Omegaville – a feverish tirade of maximalism. Anthroprophh manage to find equal space for everything-on-11 riffage of The Stooges, kraut rock repetitions, Butthole Surfers-esque bedlam, and surreal British humour.

              A frustrated social commentary of todays paranoid world dictate the subject matter of the three songs on the EP. Six Six Sigma is named after a truly awful corporate training company, Too Old lists the frustrations of age and growing old, and Toilet Circuit is a song about the ‘fun’ and tribulations of touring the ‘toilet circuits’ of the UK. Like previous Anthroprophh releases it is Allen’s guitar playing itself, that transcends the band to ‘higher’ limits. Globally renowned amongst freaks and connoisseurs alike from his untouchable ontributions to The Heads. Taking Hendrix and Asheton-esque shapes and warping them beyond recognition into new paradigms, he also cites guitarists like Michael Karoli, early-‘70s Robert Fripp, Giles Buchan of Human Beast, Fred Frith and Geinrich of Guru Guru as influences, yet this ear-splitting treble-heavy scree and these heavenly FX-driven cacophonies could be the work of no-one else but this particular six-string iconoclast, who drives his trademark sound beyond anything he’s previously attempted in any incarnation. ‘Toilet Circuit EP’ are the first Anthroprophh tracks to feature a new sticksman – the drumming skills of Bristol legend Steve Dew, who cut his rhythmic teeth with Cup of Tea Records band Spaceways and the Bristol psych-jazz supergroup Fuzz Against Junk who released music via Geoff Barrow’s Invada Records. In the tradition of most great out-rock and psych-noise - ‘Toilet Circuit EP’ feels very much like a foot placed firmly on the accelerator in search of dimensions unknown - a liminal zone where fuzz and wah transcend space and time

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Ltd 7" Info: Yellow vinyl 7"

              Shit And Shine

              Malibu Liquor Store

                So, what have you been doing in 2020? Tensions have mounted, turmoil has reigned and work emails have forever rung out with boilerplate platitudes as the world has ushered in a new decade in more uncomfortable and disquieting fashion than anyone could have imagined in January. Nonetheless, amidst such mental tumult Craig Clouse - the Austin-based sage of the aurally unclean also known as Shit & Shine – has been busily channelling the interface between the surroundings and his own wayward muse into ‘Malibu Liquor Store’ – a lockdown-birthed psychic landscape mapped out in the first half of this turbulent year. The only expectation any relatively well-adjusted person should have of Shit & Shine remains the unexpected at this stage, with Clouse having released well over thirty records on multiple labels in a storied, questing and uniformly invigorating catalogue – just as comfortable with both bloody-minded electronic assaults and noiserock-driven dirge, as adept at kraut-hammered rhythmic mantras as dancefloor-friendly abstraction. ‘Malibu Liquor Store’ is none of these things exactly yet simultaneously flirts cheerily and irreverently with all of them. Always shot through with gleeful humour, this is a sonic world that recognises neither boundaries nor common sense.

                Craig Clouse cares not for your definitions of psych or dance music, and he’s never more comfortable than when transcending and annihilating both generic headspaces with casual ease and cheerful panache. Instead, these heat-damaged jams mark a spectral collision course between infectious glitch-heavy groove and an appropriately Texan acid-flashback aesthetic - a world in the last fifty years of culture are reflected and refracted back ad absurdum. Co-ordinates and reliable audial landmarks are rendered meaningless as the title cut comes on like a ‘60s Morricone chase sequence reassembled in new electronic shapes like lysergically-assisted Meccano. ‘Rat Snake’ sees the humid grooves of Can’s ‘Soon Over Babaluma’ bludgeoned into delirious submission. ‘Devil’s Backbone’ witnesses Buttholes-esque transgressions of the ‘80s beamed forward Terminator-style to a cyborg-ridden dystopia, and the glorious skeletal groove of album centrepiece ‘Hillbilly Moonshine’ meanwhile is nothing less than workout music for the damned – a relentless and pulsating soundtrack for a generation of ghouls mounting a legion of rowing machines along a metaphysical river Styx. The creation of ‘Malibu Liquor Store’ may just have helped Craig Clouse keep his sanity in 2020, even if it appears custom designed to help us lose our own. 

                Deafkids & Petbrick

                Deafbrick

                  The new decade is only a few months old, and already the only certainty is that certainties have ceased to exist. Yet as we traverse through new and intimidating terrain unfamiliar a short while ago, two collaborators have come together to unwittingly create a record curiously suited to an intimidating and unpredictable new era. ‘Deafbrick’, the multiplication sum of Säo Paulo’s sonic warriors Deafkids and London’s pulverising duo Petbrick is a veritable force against adversity, and less a polite meeting of minds than a fiery collision whose impact and incandescence extend beyond the horizon. The project first came to light by way of a collaboration at Roadburn Festival, which in itself was the result of the friendship between Deafkids and Petbrick’s Iggor Cavalera (also of Sepultura /Soulwax/ Cavalera Conspiracy) who had met the band in Brazil, “We had so much fun doing the collab and there was a real chemistry between the five of us, so it seemed like a natural progression to actually get into a studio together and write a record.” – reckons Petbrick’s Wayne Adams (also of Big Lad/ Death Pedals).

                  The results run the gamut through a litany of uniformly invigorating audial landscape – this is an arena where Deafkids’ appetite for lysergic punk-damaged tumult and Petbrick’s ventures into dystopian synth-driven soundscapes can happily engage in gladiatorial contest. From the unearthly percussive clangour of ‘Hyperkinetic Mass Disordert’ to the DHR-addled chaos of the paint-stripping ‘Mega Ritual’, every second of ‘Deafbrick’ is infused with malevolent charisma and iconoclastic élan. Yet perhaps the ultimate destructive moment of this particular demolition derby comes via a thrillingly monomaniacal take on Discharge’s ‘Free Speech For The Dumb. Not that it necessarily met the approval of Discharge themselves, who make a cameo appearance on the song’s outro. “I asked them to record some quotes saying how much they hated our version” laughs Iggor. “One of them even said that Metallica did a better job. That really freaked me out!” Metallica, it’s fair to say objectively, do not do a better job.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Red & Black splatter LP.

                  J Zunz

                  Hibiscus

                    In an era of uncertainty and introspection, frustrations will inevitably arise. Yet there may also be the potential for change. It’s possible that the warping of time and the journey into one’s own headspace that come with altered circumstances allow a moment to render the inner voice in the service of something transformative and pure. Indeed, Lorena Quintanilla - better known up until this point as one half of Mexican duo ‘Lorelle Meets The Obsolete’ - has undergone just this kind of trajectory in her solo reinvention as J. Zunz ‘Hibiscus’, her second under this name after 2017’s ‘Silente’, is the result of a metamorphic process whereby the minimal is rendered maximal and the personal fused with the political.

                    “It is hard to describe any record as they keep unfolding to me in time” says Lorena. “Now it is almost a year since I recorded it. What I know is that I wrote the album during a personal crisis inside and a political crisis outside. After being profoundly hurt by a person I trusted but also by the structures outside of me. I wrote it during sleepless nights filled with overwhelming thoughts and feelings.” The initial vision for the J. Zunz project was for Lorena to strip her approach down to the basics - “I remember I was reading a biography of John Cage and that book detonated something in me. The author was referring to the influence of Buddhism and meditation, and modern artists like Sonia Delaunay, Lucio Fontana, Julio Le Parc, Duchamp, futirism. I was very charged with ideas.” “Lorelle is a collaboration, so every individual idea is transformed into something else. And I love that, but somehow I felt that I needed another outlet.

                    I just needed simplicity.” Yet the strikingly confident and singular ‘Hibiscus’ marks a move on sonically from earlier comfort zones in her work, into minimal electronics, hypnotic repetition and compelling trance states, arriving at a soundworld in which cyclical synth patterns, eerie ambient textures and cathartic vocal exhortations coalesce into a beguiling atmosphere of otherworldly intensity. Although some might hear echoes amongst these songs of the like of Angelo Badalementi’s ghostly raptures, the bleak epiphanies of Nico’s ‘Marble Index’ or Fifty Foot Hose’s spare sci-fi psychedelia, both the approach and the resulting tapestry here are Lorena’s and hers alone. Yet ‘Hibscus’ more than anything else is a process of alchemy - turning a less-is-more approach into a formidable psychic assault, and undergoing an artistic transmutation that renders compelling and uplifting work from trying times. “I didn’t want these songs to sound vulnerable.” Lorena reflects.”I wanted the songs to be everything I wasn’t at that moment: strong and fearless.” 

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP Info: Blue vinyl.

                    Autotelia

                    I

                      Autotelia - as originally coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - describes a process by which someone has a purpose in, rather than outside of themselves. Those who are autotelic depend less on external rewards for their satisfaction, being driven instead simply by purpose or curiosity. Such an ethos was the genesis of a new project put together by Tomaga’s Tom Relleen and The Oscillation’s Demian Castellanos. Autotelia’s sound - as chronicled on their debut release for Rocket Recordings - evolved purely of its own volition, as its makers were happy to allow their own chemistry and interplay to take their distinct course. This zen-like simplicity of approach has been more than rewarded, as the impulses and intentions blossomed into meditative extrapolations both sonically rich and spiritually bewitching.

                      Although some observers may able to detect parallels with the blissful drift of Cluster’s ‘II’, the glowing ampstacks of Spacemen 3’s ‘Dreamweapon’ or the becalmed modernism of late ‘70s Eno in these radiant trance states, the core sound of Autotelia remains in splendid isolation, an incandescent and unearthly tapestry of echoes and vibrations channeled direct from the id and the ether, yet one that maps out a voyage sonically between vintage memories and future epiphanies.“These tracks are pure escapism - zoning out and not worrying about anything” reckons Tom. “I think that when playing music for a completely new project it can be really liberating since there is no expectation and no baggage associated with that you might have already released. The slate is blank. Hence Autotelia.”

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      says: Hypnotic repeating synth phrases and cavernous ambient washes pull together into a heady psychedelic soup, a-la Cosmic Ground, the newest Follakzoid, even breaking down into Eno in the more drify sections. Beautiful and meditative but never too slow, and full of constantly evolving bliss.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Indies Only Green Vinyl, 400 Only.

                      Kooba Tercu

                      Proto Tekno

                        Arriving via a triangulation of Athens, Crete and London, yet existing at a psychic intersection between the ruins of crumbling infrastructure and an intimidating future dystopia Kooba Tercu have seen fit to take arms as only they see fit. ‘Proto Tekno’ is their mission statement writ large - a potent and pulverising collection of incendiary jams fuelled by the modern age yet transcending it with vicious style. Equal parts groove-driven mantra, red blooded freakout and experimetnal onslaught, this is the sound of a fearless band raging against the dying of the light.

                        Confident that all formulas are fundamentally there to be mercilessly rearranged, and that a sheer force of will can easily transform the ridiculous into the sublime. ‘Proto Tekno’ seamlessly travels from a fuzz-bass headbanger like the opener ‘Benzoberry’ to the mantric blowout of ‘Qasan’ (assaulting CAN-esque dimensions equal parts caustic and cinematic) and from the sleazy swagger of ‘Cemento Mori’ (redolent of the suave machinations of Girls Against Boys) to the polyrhythmic drive of the ceremonial centrepiece ‘Fair Game’, while maintaining their unique full-throttle intensity and generosity of character.

                        There’s Melvinsstyle groove to be had on ‘Proto Tekno’ (Kamehameha’) ‘just as much as Beta Band-style songcraft (‘Puppy Pile’) yet these disparate influences coalesce vividly into an invigorating and intimidatingly confident assault on the senses. Inhabiting a modern era in which creating art, as the Fluxus group originally proposed, is more than ever a revolutionary act in itself, ‘Proto Tekno’ stands as much as formidable monument to insurrectionary spirit as it does the furious clanguour of six heads in an overheated rehearsal room. It’s a weapon of psychic defence just as much as a love letter to the three ‘R’s of repetition, repetition and repetition. Yet as the ongoing battle against adversity gathers momentum, one thing is for certain - you’ll want Kooba Tercu on your side.

                        Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs

                        Viscerals

                          “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig” reasoned George Bernard Shaw. “You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” True to form, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs have left the wiser of us aware that they are no band to be messed with. This is made manifest on ‘Viscerals’, their third proper, and an enormous leap forward in confidence, adventure and sheer intensity even from their 2018 breakthrough ‘King Of Cowards’.

                          Incisive in its riff-driven attack, infectiously catchy in its songcraft and more intrepid than ever in its experimental approach, ‘Viscerals’ is the sound of a leaner, more vicious Pigs, and one with their controls set way beyond the pulverising one-riff workouts of their early days. Yet Pigsx7 have effortlessly broadened their horizons and dealt with all these new avenues without sacrificing one iota of their trademark eccentricity, and the personality of this band has never been stronger, whether on the Sabbathian and philosophical warcry of ‘Reducer’, the debauched, Jane’s Addiction-tinged swagger of ‘Rubbernecker’, the Melvins vs Sonic Youth demoltion derby of ‘New Body’ or even the demented MBV-meets-Twisted-Sister party-banger from hell that is ‘Crazy In Blood’.

                          “We’re a peculiar bunch of people - a precarious balance of passion, intensity and the absurd” notes vocalist Matt Baty. Such is the unstoppable character of this unique and ever-porcine outfit; still the hungriest animals at the rock trough.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: There's little more fitting for our times than the grooving, distorted assault of Pigsx7. Encompassing the political leanings of hardcore and punk with the crisp, glacial distortion of more modern metal and the snarling vox of garage rock, all imbued with the cleverly written and melodically astute compositions of perfect rocking indie, the Pigs have once again proven that they have something to say, and you'll hear it whether you're listening or not (you should be listening).

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Indies Exclusive LP Info: 'Blood And Guts vinyl' (Blood Red / Guts Yellow Swirl vinyl).

                          Petbrick

                          I

                            As the year 2020 fast approaches, there still exists a peculiar shortage of music spiritually attuned to these treacherous times. Fortunately Petbrick - the duo comprising Wayne Adams (Big Lad/Death Pedals/Johnny Broke) and Iggor Cavalera Sepultura / Soulwax/ Mixhell) - are exploring fresh lunacy anew whereby electronic experimentation, hardcore attitude, dystopian dread and in-the-red dementia collide and collude to form a uniquely invigorating assault, custom fit for an accelerated age. This debut employs both members’ past experience - Wayne in a variety of musical guises ranging from punk to breakcore and gabba, and Iggor in a planet-straddling metal colossus whose questing spirit played a crucial role in the music’s evolution - yet also cheerfully renders them obsolete in a resolutely genre-free onslaught, damaged by the endtime intensity of Ministry and the synapse-shredding mischief of Aphex Twin yet lodged firmly in the here and now. Moreover, guest vocalists are also on hand to traverse anywhere from full-throttle intensity (as with Full Of Hell’s Dylan Walker on the blistering ‘Radiation Facial’ or Integrity’s legendary vocal exorcist Dwid Hellion on ‘Some Semblance Of A Story’) to exhilarating melodic counterpoint (Laima Leyton (Mixhell) on ‘Coming’) and stream-of-consciousness lunacy from Warmduscher’s Mutado Pintado, whose splenetic tirades on ‘Gringolicker’. Paint-stripping and deliriously potent, ‘I’ is more than merely an exercise in the life-affirming flame of oppositional punk spirit scorching all or any musical boundaries in its path - it’s an uncompromising soundtrack to a short-circuiting new era. Yet rarely has the sound of global malfunction also been so much fun


                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            says: It had to be on Rocket Recordings this, didn't it? Crushing blast beats, unholy distorted noise and resonant synths squealing all over the place, interspersed with moments of lucidity before breaking down into unbridled, beautiful chaos once again. Unhinged, brilliant madness.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Coloured LP Info: Indies-only Black / Clear Split LP.

                            Julie's Haircut

                            In The Silence Electric

                              ‘In The Silence Electric’, the latest record in Julie’s Haircut’s long history of sonic otherworldliness is notable for its deft balance between hypnotic radiance and extrasensory intensity, between beatific calm and palpable anger. Yet it’s also a record which has arrived through a strange process of osmosis from a band confident enough to let subconscious and metaphysical aspects steer them in the appropriate directions. “We embraced the incidents, letting the songs guide us to their final form rather than trying to force them in a precise direction” confirms the band’s Luca Giovanardi.

                              For all its divings, this is a collection of supremely confident and cohesive ditties that sees the deep-end diabolism and mantric intensity of the Italian-based band’s Rocket debut, 2017’s ‘Invocation And Ritual Dance Of My Demon Twin’ expanded into a righteous fury and incandescent splendour. Whether it’s the heavy-lidded rapture of ‘Lord Help Me Find The Way’ (like Spiritualized transposed to 1970s Berlin), the menacing dream-state of ‘In Return’ or the Suicide-damaged psychic assault that is ‘Sorcerer’, all is subsumed by a bold singularity of intent, amidst a colourful firestorm of electronic monomania, jazz-tinged atonality and indelibly memorable vocal hooks.

                              “There’s a theme springing from the title of the record and the (cover) photos of Annegret Soltau that deliver some sense of helplessness, suffocation, difficulty in communication” notes the band’s Luca Giovanardi. Yet for all this - and paradoxically enough - ‘In The Silence Electric’ is both this mysterious and rebellious band’s most adventurous and most direct record to date - not to mention an ever more compelling transmission from renowned experts in altered states

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              says: This arresting new LP from Julie's Haircut swims with the hazy psychedelic undercurrent label Rocket Recordings has become known for, having been home to titans Gnod, Josefin Ohrn, Goat etc. While there are definitely similarities in terms of influences, JH have maintained a singular sound and hypnotic otherworldliness, a precise and uncompromising vision, and a refined outcome only they could have produced.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Indies Exclusive LP Info: Dayglo pink indies-only LP.

                              Gnoomes, the Russian outfit who blend a potent mix of psychedelic stargaze, kraut techno and kosmiche pop return with a brand new album, MU! their third for Rocket Recordings. Since the release of their last album Tschak! the three piece has turned into a quartet with synth player Masha Piankova joining the band. And it was the success of their tours in the UK and Europe that subconsciously created a template and tone for where the band would go next with this new album; to capture that surging drive and throbbing assault of their pulverising live shows. “We decided to make this record more live and less electronic,” Sasha, singer and guitarist from Gnoomses said. “We were thinking about how to make it sound more dynamic.” Masha’s introduction was a key one, with her replacing Sasha on synth bass whilst he moved over to second guitar to add a fuller and more impactful sonic crunch. MU! has been part recorded in the same old soviet radio station where the band recorded Tschak! part in a professional studio and then part at home.

                              This was to ensure the best capture of Gnoomes live assault. The results brim with a magnitude and sense of coherence that belies some of the environment it was created in. Fuzz-driven guitars shift in engulfing waves, resembling shoegaze giants at their most ferocious, whilst elsewhere layered vocals stack on top of one another, weaving between pristine melody and augmented discordance. Whilst the glacial electronics and coldwave tendencies that soaked much of their previous album may be more absent here, this record pulses with an electronic tinge that bubbles more subtly under the surface of immersive guitars

                              The title Mu! has Japanese origins and comes from Zen Buddhism – something Sasha began to practice during past trying times - meaning both “no” and “nothingness” and the understanding that the acceptance of this concept can lead to enlightenment. “For me personally it’s a spiritual record,” he says. Although any sonic warbles of new age blandness couldn’t be further from the end results here. This is a cleansing record, no doubt, but one that washes over you with both brutal force and deft subtleness. With the completion of this album, it also wraps up a trio of records all connected via punctuation – Ngan! Tschak! Mu! - but with one each distinct in its own tone and sense of evolution. From Bowie to the Cure to Moderat, musical history is peppered with great musical trilogies and now Gnoomes’ Exclamation Mark Trilogy can be added to that.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              says: In classic fashion, Gnoomes have created yet another album that will i'm sure elicit excited 'What Is This?!' responses upon playing in the shop. Resplendent with Krautrock drive but accentuated with often manic synth phrases and mind-melting atmospheric electronic wizardry smeared over the top. Thoroughly mad, but entirely enjoyable.

                              London-based psychedelic stalwarts Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation are proud to reveal their third album 'Sacred Dreams' for Rocket Recordings. Continuing to dive into the deeper waters of experimentation, ‘Sacred Dreams’ is both a musically hefty amalgamation of reverb drenched space-rock and retro centric electronics, as well as an emotionally cathartic release for the band, marking a new direction and fresh approach.

                              Since their critically acclaimed album 'Mirage' was released, Josefin and writing partner Fredrik have relocated from Stockholm to London and have created a new Liberation around them - this new band consists of the powerful and intuitive assemblage of musicians; Maki (Go Team), Patrick C Smith (Eskimo Chain), Matt Loft (Lola Colt) and Ben Ellis, who’s worked with both Iggy Pop and Swervedriver. ‘Sacred Dreams’ was largely recorded at Press Play Studios (King Krule, Fat White Family, Yves Tumor, Stereolab, High Llamas and many others) run by Andy Ramsay of Stereolab, who also produced and even programmed his non synced drum machines adding a lot of inspiration to the album.

                              ‘Scared Dreams’ invites you into the bands own dimensional soundscape, a world built with transcendental guitars, driving grooves and otherworldly, enchanting vocals, altogether seeped in layers of blissfully produced synths. Opener and lead single ‘Feel The Sun’ encapsulates this new direction perfectly before the anthemic ‘I Can Feel It’ makes the bands intentions known. Elsewhere playful 80s electronics sit alongside a shoegaze sensibility effortlessly and amongst the textured flow of the LP emerge pop hooks like the infectiously bluesy ‘Baby Come On’.

                              Josefin tells us “This album comes out of a period of heartbreak, loss and dissolution, but also of deep love, warmth and beauty unveiled in the middle of it. A sacred dream, the way we see it, is not necessarily a golden fluffy cloud river, but instead also contains all the shadows that need to be seen and felt in order to drop what has to go in order to truly live. And the dissonance of such a dream may not be immediately apparent, let alone the meaning of it. In a way all of these tracks seem to emanate from that place where we have almost reached a new shore, or maybe we missed it and are headed somewhere else entirely, but there’s no way of telling until afterwards.”

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              says: After the experimental krautrock LP ‘Horse Dance’ (2015) and the pulsing psychedelia on shop-favourite ‘Mirage’ (2016), London-based Swedes Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation return with their most diverse album to date, showcasing a variation of sounds, including, but not limited to, 80s synths, trippy, reverb-laden guitars and dreamy, 60s inspired pop. ‘Sacred Dreams’, which was written during a ”period of heartbreak, loss and dissolution”, is less of a sonic journey than its predecessors and instead seems to show that Josefin and her band don’t want to be confined to a particular genre. After opening with the electronic and motorik dance tracks “Feel The Sun”; “I Can Feel It” and “Desire” the Spiritualized-esque “Hey Little Boy”, the transcendental “Only Lovers” and the blues stomper “Baby Come On” lead the album into a hazier, mellower and more psychedelic direction.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Ultra limited yellow and black vinyl.

                              Indies Exclusive LP Info: Deep Blue/Black Swirl Vinyl - UK Indies Only.

                              Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs

                              King Of Cowards

                              Seven is the magic number. Indeed, not only do psychologists theorise that the human brain can only memorise a sequence of this length, but Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - the Newcastle-based maximalists whose riffs, raw power and rancour have blazed a trail across the darker quarters of the underground in the last five years - have made a second album in King Of Cowards which does its damnedest to take consciousness to its very limits. Moreover, another notable seven is dealt with here - that of the deadly sins. As vocalist and synth player Matt Baty notes “For a long time I’ve questioned how and where guilt can be used as a form of oppression. When can guilt be converted into positive action?

                              After typing all of the lyrics up I realised I’d unwittingly referenced every one of the seven deadly sins throughout the album. That’s my fire and brimstone Catholic upbringing coming into play there!” Building on the momentum this band has built since their January 2017 debut Feed The Rats, this opus sees them entering a new phase as a sleeker and still more dangerous swineherd. The Iggy-esque drive to dementia, Sabbath-esque squalor and Motörhead-style dirt may still be present and correct, yet the songs are leaner, the long-drawn-out riff-fests sharpened into addictive hammerblows and the nihilistic dirges of yore alchemically transformed into an uplifting and inviting barrage of hedonistic abandon.

                              “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which” So George Orwell noted at the end of a certain slim volume. King Of Cowards is nothing less than just such a metamorphosis, one in which - in a blur of primal urges and beastly physicality - this band shows us just which animals are really in charge of the farm. 

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              says: I could imagine that this is seven pigs, if and only if pigs were capable of sporting a guitar / bass / duo of drumsticks and using them to smash out an epic conceptual behemoth centred around the seven sins and sounding like a metal freight train smashing into a mountain at full speed. I've not heard of that being the case, so I can only assume these are super-human musical beings and not their fleshy porcine counterparts.

                              VED are another amazing Swedish band you have probably never heard of. With 3 albums, 2 EPs and a compilation on labels like Höga Nord and Adrian Recordings already behind them, VED are the latest Swedish band, following on from Goat, Josefin Öhrn, Hills and Flowers Must Die to release their exploratory music on Rocket Recordings. The Malmö 5 piece are famed for creating trance inducing, repetitive, psych. Their ever evolving sound has always taken in many global influences, from Middle Eastern to African to the repetitive explorations of composers like Steve Reich and Terry Riley. DDTT is a two track EP that at it’s core is exploring the art of repetition, with each track surpassing the 12 minute mark.

                              The song DDTT itself is centered around a series of monotonous African rock sounding drum patterns, plucked guitar riffs that overlap at varying speeds, all building to an intoxicating sound that juxtaposes itself as well as locking into a tight groove. As the track builds, layer upon layer of bowed cymbals collide with tight percussion and a minimalist bass line straight out of Holger Czukay’s handbook. Sheets of bowed drones reminiscent of Tony Conrad are at the core of second track Det långa straffet. The ritual looping of fluttering live drums, palpitating bass, trace and retrace repetitively within the carousel of grooves. Climaxing are sound rousing heavy horns, the whole piece gratifyingly serves as a brute force repetitive handprint of human intent. DDTT is an EP for the fans of the new Polish scene and the constantly excellent Instant Classic Records, and the minimal electronica explorations by Chicago acts like Joshua Abrams and Bitchin Bajas


                              Chapel Perilous exists whereby the supernatural converges with the everyday - whatever one’s definition of reality, this psychological realm serves to prove it endlessly subjective and changeable. Robert Anton Wilson may have laid claim to the modern use of this phrase - as in his 1977 tome ‘Cosmic Trigger’ - yet there can be few musical outfits in the here and now more worthy of carrying on its tradition than Gnod. In more than a decade on the planet this singular Salford-birthed entity have married intrepid musical exploration with psychic fearlessness - not to mention a tendency to leave any tag or bracket one attempts to place on them utterly redundant. In a sense, the latest adventure bearing this title evolved both from the lengthy European tour that the band embarked upon in the wake of their stripped-down and paint-stripping 2017 opus Just Say No The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine.

                              Yet recording in Supernova studio in Eindhoven under the auspices of Bob De Wit, the band found themselves free not only to lay down two tumultuous tracks that they had been honing and hammering into shape on the road - the pulverising fifteen-minute opener ‘Donovan’s Daughters’ and the bracingly brutal ‘Uncle Frank Says Turn It Down’ - but to sculpt more abstract material, utilising dubbed-out repetition, furious riff-driven rancour, bleak soundscapes and off-the-map experimentation to create an intimidating and invigorating tableau of dystopian dread and unflinching intensity. Always working purely on their own instincts and co-ordinates, Gnod’s pathway into unchartered territory continues to move firmly on with nary a care for the sanity of anyone in their surroundings. Chapel Perilous is a still more indomitable chapter in a transcendental travelogue from an iconoclastic institution that only gathers momentum with the passing of time. Wherever Gnod go in 2018 and beyond, expect reality to be reinvented anew, whatever the consequences

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Splatter coloured vinyl repress.

                              In the near-twenty year period of Rocket Recordings’ existence, its ethos has expanded in untold directions, yet always with the destruction of boundaries and the expansion of consciousness high on the agenda. Nonetheless, the original spirit of the label remains a universe that revolves around the twin planets of Fuzz and Wah - the mind-frying six-string duality that warps sound spectrums and overheats speaker cones in pursuit of reckless sensory overload.

                              What’s more, few guitarists have been richer exponents of just these two ingredients than Paul Allen, who not only appeared on the very first Rocket 7” of 1998 with The Heads, but who also fronts Anthroprophh, an outfit who take both garage-bound filth and wayward, abstract artistry to zones beyond comprehension. ‘OMEGAVILLE’ - the third release on Rocket for this power trio alongside bassist Gareth Turner and drummer Jesse Webb - lives up to its name in driving just such demented predilections into head-spinning chaos. Structured by Allen’s admission akin to Can’s ‘Tago Mago’, this is a cliff-edge into sanity-risking overload which has much in common with the glory days of 1971- the Nurse-With-Wound list realm of record-collector gold where heavy rock, nascent prog and wilfully art-damaged netherscapes thrived. OMEGAVILLE’ finds equal space for everything-on-11 riffage of a distinctly Stoogian/stygian stripe, bracing musique concrete, Butthole Surfers-esque bedlam, Chrome-style sci-fi noise-pop, surreal British humour, and what sounds essentially like a ‘60s NASA HQ going up in flames.

                              At the forefront of much of this, however, is Allen’s guitar playing itself - taking Hendrix and Asheton-esque shapes and warping them beyond recognition into new paradigms. Who’s to say exactly where Anthroprophh move on from this guileless aural endtime mission. Yet ‘OMEGAVILLE - in the tradition of most great out-rock and psych-noise - feels very much like a foot placed firmly on the accelerator in search of dimensions unknown - a liminal zone where fuzz and wah transcend space and time

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              says: Thrashing, manic distortion, full-force psychedelia and thumping, heavy AF percussion. Anthroprophh are back.

                              Goat

                              Goatfuzz / Goatfizz

                                THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2017 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                Goat release an unreleased edit of the track Goatfuzz – one of the stand out tracks off their latest album 'Requiem' as a special ltd edition 7" for Record Store Day. The Bside of the 7" is a brand new track, entitled Goatfizz which once again shows another side to the bands take on 'world music'. The 2 colour 'splatter vinyl' 7" is ltd to 2,000 copies and will only be available on Record Store Day – these tracks will not be made available on digital formats.

                                Goat

                                I Sing In Silence

                                  New music from Goat is always a time for celebration, and we are excited to announce the bands return with a 7” of brand new material. Last year Goat released the single It’s time for fun which saw the band experimenting with drum machines, which brought a different pulse to their tribal psych. And this desire to explore new sounds continues with their new single I Sing in Silence. But instead of ‘plugging in’ new instruments the band have ‘unplugged’ and created an addictive groove with mostly un-amped, acoustic instruments. Elastic guitar lines, woodblock percussion, and flutes which drive the song are enveloped by one of the strongest vocal deliveries by the bands enigmatic singers, resulting in a powerful and catchy psych-pop number.

                                  The B side is an instrumental called The Snake of Addis Ababa, is a looping North African mantra played on a teasing fuzzed guitar underpinned by a djembe groove. The repetitive mantra is disrupted by piano that freely solos over the groove, and a pounding drum lifts the song to a seriously head-nodding conclusion. This single is further proof that, in a world of similar sounding and similar looking psych bands, Goat are standing completely out on their own and we are all the better for it. This summer the band will be busy writing, recording, and blowing people’s minds across Europe’s greatest stages. 

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Ltd 7" Info: Limited transparent yellow vinyl edition.

                                  The Lay Llamas, who consist of the Sicilian-born and raised but now Rome-based duo of Gioele Valenti and Nicola Giunta, release their debut album 'Ostro' on Rocket. Recorded in an old-house in the Segesta countryside of Sicily, Valenti and Giunta soaked up the history-imbued environment. The makeshift studio was located alongside the great Temple of Hera that dates all the way back to 6th century BC “We’ve been so influenced by the place’s mood, with that ancient presence in the air” says Valenti. These recording sessions have resulted in a heavily layered album, filled (but not clogged) with various instrumentation from the expected guitars, bass, synth and drums to the more unexpected sounds of Tibetan Bells and Ukulele.

                                  Like any successful duo, harmony and contradiction are equally important artistic traits in their working relationship. Between the two they take in a continent-leaping, platform-splitting array of personal influences that then seeps into their lysergic output. Purely on a musical level there is a joint love of artists such as Ennio Morricone they then split off into the structured and the song heavy (Angels of Light, Nick Drake, Mike Scott) to the rhythmic, both the hypnotic and groove-laden sort (Fela Kuti, Broadcast, Sun Araw, Kraftwerk). Italian tradition plays a pivotal role too with the creeping tones and floating atmospheres of 60’s and 70’s Italian library and soundtrack music playing a subtle supporting-role.

                                  This breadth of personal influences can be found in the emphasis of ‘Ostro’, it’s a constantly shifting record, never remaining stuck or fixated on anything for too long. Crossing continents, be it musically, stylistically or physically, seems to be something the pair return to over and over again, the subtle radiations of Africa that can be heard on the record are no accident, “I think that Sicilians are more like Africans than Europeans in some way. We have almost the same weather and architecture. We feel in our soul the same feeling of all Mediterranean people – a fatalistic instinct of drama. But in our music, Africa is such a metaphysical place, not so geographical, such a map on the sheet of the soul, connecting with ancient rites of Sun, different levels of enlightenment; a sense of a mystical path to follow.” Valenti offers. “A mystical path to follow” is perhaps the most apt description of 'Ostro'.

                                  Whilst the duo work from a shared vision that places keen focus on stream-of-consciousness approaches or, as Valenti puts it “A prismatic panorama, or well, a BRAINMATIC PANORAMA!” there really is an ambiguity, an uncertainness and a sense of the unknown, the otherworldly and the mystical when traversing through the vast spheres of the record. The pair’s own descriptions of some of the album’s tracks are testament to the sprawling, shifting, mass of it all “Suicide and Oneida dancing together around a big campfire” – “Pagan post-punk!” – “a slow march for psychedelic warriors on the unknown planet” – “gospel-dub” – “A bad trip”. And a “trip” it certainly is, some records aim to exist by not coming from a particular place but to exist in the transitions and journeys in-between them. Be them real, mystical or imaginary, present or past, the focus is on the movement rather than the end destination and the Lay Llamas’ debut album 'Ostro' is most certainly one such record.


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