Posts Tagged ‘Psychedelia’

‘Gravity’ is the first video from the debut of New York-based Ω▽ (OHMSLICE)’s debut album Conduit. One interesting aspect of the video is that it uses footage  from well-known experimental film maker Mark Street’s films with Street’s wholehearted approval. The album was recorded at Ft.Lb Studios in Brooklyn, produced by the outfit’s premium mobile multi-instrumentalist and instrument inventor Bradford Reed (King Missile III, creator of the electric board zither he calls the “pencilina”). The album is being released September 8 by Imaginator Records.

Ohmslice formed around Reed’s experiments in processing percussion  through a modular synth. Layered over a sonic framework of double-drummed syncopated rhythms  and analog pulses and drones are the sultry vocals and driving, often abstract lyrics of poet Jane LeCroy (Sister Spit, Poetry Brothel).  Joined by a rotating crew of collaborators including Josh Matthews (Drumhead, Blue Man Group) on drums, the legendary and ubiquitous Daniel Carter (Thurston Moore, Yo La Tengo) on trumpet and saxophones and Bill Bronson (Swans, The Spitters, The Gunga Den, Congo Norvell) on guitar. The album combines formal structures and heavy grooves with a sonic meditation on the nature of human-electronic improvisation.

OHMSLICE-duo

Conduit was recorded live over a two-year period. The album is an organized documentation of spontaneous creation and exploration and moves from the fuzzed-out psychedelic of “Crying on a Train” to the meditative ambient cycles of “Broken Phase Candy” and beyond.  Within this realm, the listener is meticulously guided through beautiful harmonic and rhythmic phase mosaics and held captive by an innovative and violently unquantized approach to groove based electronic music. Combined with LeCroy’s visionary mixture of philosophy, reflection, language and song Conduit illuminates a path to a rare and alluring space that reveals endless layers with each new listen.

‘Gravity’ is a brain-bending piece of jazz-infused experimentalsim, and coupled with the cut-up visuals, the promo makes for quite the multisensory experience.  You can check out the video here:

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Warren Records – 25th November 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

There’s something about the post-industrial, post-fishing east coast towns and cities. One might consider them to be appropriately named: Hull is just a vowel away from hell, and Grimsby, well, forget Douglas Adams’ ‘Meaning of Liff’, it’s all in the first syllable. But as history shows, time and again, run-down areas reinvent themselves as creative hotbeds as people channel their frustration creatively, and ultimately lift themselves out of the doldrums.

And so, first, it was all exploding in Hull, and the fishy backwater hellhole proved itself worthy of the ‘city of culture’ title in no small part to its thriving music scene which has given us some belting bands of late.

Sewer Rats evoke the spirit of Seattle – another dingy city in decline before it became the musical hub of the world in the early 90s – with the EP’s lead track, ‘Mother Acid.’ It’s a gritty, grainy, guitar-driven effort, and Luke Morris’ vocals betray the influence of heavy psych and US hardcore, and are as much coughed and spat as sung. And as the rhythm section rumbles on, a twisted guitar solo teeters from the speakers. And such is the flavour of the EP as a whole: it’s got some serious heft, the hell-for-leather drumming combined with the gnarly vocals sounding very Mötörhead, particularly on ‘Take Me Home – and everything is, indeed, louder than everything else, amped to the max and close to overload.

It’s not friendly: it’s full-on, fierce, and fucking furious.

Sewer Rats - Mother Acid

Telephone Records – 8th July 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

Wakefield-born and Glasgow-raised Martin Creed probably has a fair few detractors. The Turner Prize has a peculiar tendency to wind people up, art fans and critics and the general populace alike And so, while in art circles he’s known as a self-effacing, playfully provocative artist, to many, he is known as being the 2001 winner of the Turner Prize-Winner, who became infamous overnight for his installation piece, Work no. 227: the lights going on and off.

For many, such a work would be an unbearable albatross, but Creed is one of those people who’s always onto the next thing before the dust has settled around the thing before, and he’s a true polyartist, who has, seemingly, no fixed medium of choice, instead preferring to let his creative impulses flow through whatever medium he feels fits best. And throughout his career, the ever-idiosyncratic Creed has made music, with Thoughts Lined Up representing the latest in a long line of releases.

Judging by the cover image, and Creed’s spectacularly diffuse output, the title seems rather incredible. By which I mean, it’s hard to believe he could line up his thoughts in a queue for the checkout: this is a man who thrives on chaos, disorder, who eschews organisation and conformity in favour of free-flowing creativity, anarchy and all things random.

The title makes more sense in light of the artist’s own explanation of its meaning, which is refreshing in its simplicity: “It’s called Thoughts Lined Up because that is literally what it is,”, he says, “just all these bits – these thoughts – put in a row one after the other, trying not to worry about what they add up to. Most of it started as audio notes recorded on the Tube or in the street – just little everyday mantras that you say to yourself as you go along; things that come up in your head, and that help keep you going, or that sometimes you want to go away…”

And so, the end product is an album that in many respect is a one-stop compilation, a work which wouldn’t be much further from a concept album if it tried – unless that concept was a haphazard collection of songs thrown together and sequenced one to twenty-four out of conventional and commercial necessity. One kind of gets the impression that if all of the album’s songs could have been arranged to play simultaneously, then that’s how they would have been presented. The thoughts are lined up, in a sequence, but this isn’t a linear album or a collection of songs unified by anything beyond the mind from which they emerged.

According to the blurb, the album was Recorded at ArtSpace, Brixton, and mixed by Liam Watson at Toe Rag Studios, the album was recorded to 1-inch tape in one week just before Christmas 2015, and mixed with sonic impresario Liam Watson, in glorious mono, on the ex-Abbey Road EMI desk at Hackney’s legendary, analogue-only Toe Rag Studios. Yes, mixed in glorious mono. On the one hand, given the audio technology we have now, however much one may adore the inimitable sound of analogue, to master an album in mono is simply perverse. On the other, it’s another manifestation of Creed’s rejection of convention, and at the same time can be seen as an observation on the way listeners actually hear music nowadays: just as everyone seems to be obsessed with shooting optimal quality photos with digital SLR cameras only for them to be viewed on piddly mobile phone screens via Facebook, so the idea of superior audio recordings to be consumed through shit iPod phones, laptop and mobile phone speakers seems absurd. And Martin Creed revels in those absurd contradictions, and does so with grace and humour, and not with one eye firmly set on the mass markets.

And so, the songs are amusing, entertaining, whimsical, wonky. Some sound half-finished, many evoke the spirit of the Bonzo Dog Band, while others call on psychedelic folk traditions, and other still call to mind the choppy sound of the early Fall albums, and Creed is unafraid of cumbersome or cliché rhymes. It’s a haphazard, hit-and-miss affair, but it’s zany and it’s fun and Creed’s singularity and disregard for marketability is admirable.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/167247762

MartinCreedAlbumArtworkSmall_1

Martin Creed Online