Ty Segall’s newest full-length record Melted [Goner, 2010] has on its cover a blondish, shaggy, fanged face in a lipless grin on an orange background. The skull is uneven and it’s hard to tell if the image is a photograph or a painting. The seventh track is called “Imaginary Person” and even though there is also a song called “Melted” I have decided that “Imaginary Person” must be the actual title track because there is no way that this face can not be what you absorb when you first view this cover (the cover does not have the title printed on it). I have thought more about this cover than I have about any record cover in recent memory.
From the very beginning, Holy Fuck has defied categorization. The Canadian group has been called everything from electronica to psychedelic rock, with no label managing to properly blanket the band’s untamed sound. But then again, that’s what happens when a band builds its reputation on the spirit of improvisation. Though they have released three albums; Holy Fuck (CAN – Dependent Music, 2005), LP (US – XL Recordings / UK – Young Turks, 2007), and u>Latin (US – XL Recordings / UK – Young Turks, 2010), playing live is where they really won people over and how they made a name for themselves. This feat is truly impressive considering the rumor for years was that they didn’t even practice. Instead the band was said to hit the stage counting solely on instinct, trusting that the noises they produced would come together to form something greater than the sum of its parts. The results may have been ragged and feral, but they were always intensely satisfying. (More …)
The first time I saw Prince Rama perform, it was in the basement of a venue called the Silent Barn in Ridgewood, Queens. The walls of the room were painted a very intense light blue. I was in the back and there was no stage, so I couldn’t see them play, but it didn’t matter because I closed my eyes and stopped thinking. Their music is so layered, voluminous and thick that all I focused on was the deepness of the blue in the walls. And dancing. It’s also very danceable. Since then, they signed to Paw Tracks and released an LP in September called Shadow Temple.
Blonde mop-topped, Warhol-esque New Zealander Connan Hosford is most notably known as the man behind quartet/sextet, depending on the show, Connan Mockasin. He’s a classically trained jazz pianist whose music is often described as psychedelic, (think Beatles psychedelia rather than Hendrix), a term with which he doesn’t necessarily agree. His second album Please Turn Me into the Snat (Phantasy, 2010) is a mix of blues, folk, soul, art-pop and moments of Bowie. There are whimsical instruments in the mix – synths, harpsichords, and drony guitars, as well as odd noises and vocal samples. Although he doesn’t touch anything stronger than booze, Connan’s music would certainly be a welcome companion on a trippy day out. The real strength of the music is melody and pure ethereal dreaminess. Sometimes feeling disjointed, sometimes gliding smoothly, listening to songs such as “Megumi Milkyway Above”, “Forever Dolphin Love”, “It’s Choad My Dear” and “Unicorn in Uniform”, fully confirms that Connan is floating somewhere in the stratosphere above us. (More …)
Blondes are Zach Steinman and Sam Haar. Zach hails from San Francisco and Sam is from New Jersey. The two met in art school at Oberlin College in the mid-noughties where Zach was studying studio art and Sam, music. After a series of bands – everything from a performance art drum circle to synth-pop and a post-punk outfit – the two have settled on the musical duo they call Blondes. (More …)
Parisian Etienne Jaumet was once better known for his membership in a variety of different bands than for being a solo artist. For someone who can make the saxophone sing in ways you’d never imagine and whose debut album was produced by none other than Detroit techno legend Carl Craig, one can’t help but wonder who Etienne Jaumet is and why you may have never heard of him before. (More …)
To look at Bo Ningen, you’d guess their pre-gig preparations would involve burning kittens, perhaps some otherworldly chanting, snorting battery acid from a virgin’s buttocks, that kind of thing. After all, their riotous live shows have become a bit legendary in London. Band members toil around playing instruments with their mouths, smashing up the stage and each other. Their signature sound is a brand of visceral, reverberating, psych-rock noise. (More …)
There has been a connection between the occult and heavy metal ever since Black Sabbath first found that an evil atmosphere could enhance their heavy blues in the late ’60s. The ’70s continued this trend with various rumors about Jimmy Page, Blue Oyster Cult and others. During the ’80s Satanism and the occult was everywhere as extreme metal grew all over the globe. In recent years the heavy genres of music have been commercially dominated by over-produced and groove orientated crap. Atmospheric metal and various developments of hardcore have also been ubiquitous and very popular. As a result, a few progressive young musicians in different parts of the globe have independently looked back and deeply into the origins of heavy rock. These bands are genuine pioneers who have added more than a little of themselves into the mix too. (More …)
Anticipation is a pretty powerful feeling, and it can be felt in abundance backstage with the Mystery Jets today. The sun, unusually for a British summer, is blaring in a clear sky as I sit down with the band. We’re in the opulent grounds of Somerset House in London, a beautiful Thames-side historic venue, just hours before they are due to perform to a sold-out crowd at one of the most eagerly awaited gigs of the summer. After the London four-piece have sound checked in the courtyard, I sit down with a quietly excited Blaine Harrison, William Rees, Kai Fish and Kapil Trivedi. “Tonight? Ah, it’s just the warm up for York Fibbers tomorrow,” quips Will, and the rest of band crack up. (More …)