Our very own audio miner, Kris Needs plugs in the weird shizz hoover and fills his bucket with essential new tuneage for your listening pleasure…
The Cult Of Free Love
Starting from ‘Pet Sounds’, the sonic experiments that took place in the psychedelic 60s forged many templates later mutated by electronic trailblazers. The Cult Of Free Love, a mystery-shrouded outfit hailing from deepest North Wales but related to the Northern Star collective, give psych’s early spirit a transcendental reboot on this, their first album. It begins with the ominous cable hum of ‘Drone On’, before ‘Jaya Deva’ corrals the band’s swirling mix of Eastern drones, twinkly electronica and vitally unfettered abandonment. The LP then winds, floats and pulses through a roller coaster of exotic soundscapes, including three bewitching parts of ‘Interpretations Of Love’ and the ear-blasting aural kaleidoscope that is ‘Guru Lover’. One of the grandest blends of psych and electronica for many a moon.
‘Talking Guru Drums’
Elsewhere in this issue, I’ve reviewed krautrock pioneers Guru Guru’s seminal 1968 acid-drenched jam, which has been turned into an album after tapes were unearthed beneath several tons of bison dung and an old wall. But the really exciting outing, and confirmation that GG’s original anarchic creative spirit still rages today in their long-time drummer Mani Neumeier, can be found on this 2013 set, which pits his unique percussion style against field recordings, such as Australian birds, and fleeting passing guest contributors. Neumeier’s electronically treated percussion-scapes are remarkably compelling blasts of pure sonic experimentation, perhaps the strongest evidence of recent times that this music can still kick against the computerised pricks.
Chris Petit & Mordant Music
‘MoL Live, Kino In Die Brucke, Koln, 27-10-15’
British crime novelist and filmmaker Chris Petit (who collaborated with Iain Sinclair on 2002’s superbly evocative ‘London Orbital’) talks through his memories live in a Cologne venue, embellished by a spectral synth backing from Baron Mordant. Petit starts with his younger years in Germany in the 1950s, before travelling to Dusseldorf in 1978 as a Melody Maker journalist to interview Kraftwerk. When he found his tape recorder hadn’t been switched on, he wrote a screenplay instead, as heard on the first 28-minute section here, during which he describes Kling Klang studios and the group’s clothes, as well as what they said. He also talks about encountering William Burroughs in Mayfair (“the Indiana Jones of hallucinogenics and hard drugs”), in one of the best assessments of the man I’ve heard.
Lords of Acid
During the very early 1990s, Praga Khan led a hardcore charge from Belgium, brandishing stupendously dumb anthems like ‘Injected With A Poison’ and ‘I Sit On Acid’. With the success of the latter, released as Lords Of Acid, he steamed in with groaning vocalist Jade 4U’s head poking over the waistband of his soiled leder-pants, ejaculating buttock-busting sledgehammer rave breaks, industrial guitar razzle, and lyrics about drugs, sex and “hairy balls“, as well as a bit of simulated rumpo. This “Best Of“ compilation, which includes scrotum-shrivelling jewels such as ‘Voodoo U’, ‘Fingerlicking Good’ and ‘Sexbomb’, is about as playground smutty that electronic music has ever stooped; the stadium jockstrap bellow to Prince’s class and ghettotech’s proper lowdown sleaze.
‘From The Vaults’
Some order is restored as French, Berlin-based producer Bloody Mary unfurls the 32nd release on her Dame-Music label. The previously unissued title track rides a flickering, accordion-like canter with deadly midway percussion tactics, while ‘In Between (Rework)’ is a wonderful slab of acid-flecked deep techno, boasting mellotron chorale wafting in the heavens and Mary’s intoxicating whispers. ‘Make Space In Your Life’ floats in on fathomless, Underground Resistance-style space-strings before the tech-pulse weighs in, along with Mary’s distant planet vocal. Like ‘In Between’, it was previously available digitally on another label but can now be heard as nature always demanded, on gleaming wax. Mary has a fantastically personal sound which is well worth checking out for lovers of the 90s golden age.
Following last year’s ‘Lollopy Dripper’ LP, Flanger, aka Atom TM and Burnt Freidman, whip up a three-track EP of their “nuclear jazz”. The title cut embellishes an album track called ‘Spin’, whipping up complex electronic percussion patterns in which robotic ducks splash about and weightless strings hover overhead. It all sounds like it’s being tuned in from an arcane radio set. ‘It From The Bit’ meanwhile patters, tiptoes and whisks a sonic blancmange over shadowy beat cutlery and minimal techno pulsing. The 12-minute ‘Loose Joints’ ventures furthest, navigating a luminescent spectral flutter with subtle intricacy, somewhat eerily sounding like aural tracing paper has been implanted over an early 90s Frankfurt ambient creation.
Fujiya & Miyagi
(Impossible Objects Of Desire)
Fujiya & Miyagi are releasing their next album in the form of three limited edition 12-inch EPs, with pockets in the triple gatefold cover of ‘EP 1’ for when the next two missives appear. Judging by this first offering, an intriguing sonic stew is guaranteed, as it kicks off with the chugging ‘Serotonin Rushes’, which places David Best’s trademark whispery vocals (sounding like Michael Karoli conferring with Bobby Gillespie in the gents) over a spangled throb-scape. ‘To The Last Beat Of My Heart’ introduces their parallel krautrock fixation in its stark clatter, before the Italo-kraut reverie of ‘Freudian Slips’ is underscored by gerbil’s loincloth moon-dancing elements. ‘Magnesium Flares’ takes the EP out over a mournful Berlin ruin, paving the way for a second instalment that we await with interest.
Starting out on the mighty Force Inc Music Works imprint in 1993, German-born Ian Pooley has been firing out his pioneering tech-house monsters like an incontinent hippo ever since. His 1998 ‘Meridian’ album has long been hailed a milestone and is celebrated here with a remix 12-inch to trail its digital debut. First up is Belfast’s Bicep outfit, who garnish ‘Cold Wait’ with propulsive metallic sheen, before WHITE label boss Oskar Offermann unveils the turtle’s head of a housey cruiser for ‘Hit ‘N Run’. The limb-raising occurs on the ‘What’s Your Number’ reboot, where Pooledmusic stalwart Mathias Shober, aka SHOW-B, breaks out the Spangles and ups the emotional zap with melancholic strings aboard Tom Cruise’s scrotum, flying at lower levels on his ‘Beats N’ FX’ spinning tool.
Finally, some deliciously melon-whisking beatless turbulence to bring down the curtain. Field is renowned for deep ambient and techno releases and has fostered a sonic beastie with this lustrous follow-up to Japanese Berlin resident Iori’s 2012 debut, ‘Nexus’. Although echoing Basic Channel and Jeff Mills, the drones, swells and coruscating undergrowth snapping at rattlesnakes’ genitalia on tracks such as ‘Transmission’, ‘Distant Planet’ and ‘A Fall Of Moondust’ also recall Suicide man Martin Rev’s synthesised prairie panoramas, while ‘Voices Of The Sky’ is a perfect example of his beautifully rich evocations of heaven, hell, the deepest oceans and furthest galaxies. Iori says he was trying to create “an aerial sci-fi movie soundtrack”. Quite likely he has, but it’s also an electronic masterpiece of the highest order.