The ‘Psych’ music scene is one that has grown and developed over the last few years. Depending on how you define it it either covers a vast swathe of music, which could be said to be broadly leftfield in character and have elements that enable the listener to take themselves on sonic flights of fancy. Others have taken a rather narrower view limiting the term to one particular genre of music, and not always the same one at that.

Since I began writing about music in 2013 I have always tried to take a broad view, believing that the nature of psych is in the third eye of the beholder. This is very much in keeping with the scene being, as it is, open and inclusive; and at its best when produced by bands and labels in a collaborative and diy fashion.

The last six years have been very special for me as we seem to have seen successive year-on-year increases in the sheer numbers of high quality albums that have been brought out. It’s enough to leave anyone trying to follow what’s going on feeling quite breathless, and I have certainly felt overawed at times… unable to keep up and, more importantly, forgetting what has gone before.

With this in mind I have decided to take a moment and think back over the last six years at what might be the key releases for me over that time. I started with the aim of doing twenty, but inevitably ended up with fifty… and it could actually have been 100. Even then I’m sure I’ve left out quite a few that you, dear reader, will find surprising that I have omitted.

Enjoy this list and please to comment on here and my social media listed at the bottom of this post, where you can also find a donation link to help support the maintenance of this website and my coffee fetish.

Thank you!

Omegaville by Anthroprophh (Rocket Recordings, 2017)

Anthroprophh is essentially a collaboration between Paul Allen (The Heads), and Gareth Turner (Big Naturals, KURO) & Jesse Webb (Big Naturals, The Final Age), and has brought out a series of often dark and scintillating albums that are both heavy and nuanced. Special mention must go to ‘Anthroprophh’ (2012) and ‘Outside The Circle’ (2014), and especially to the ‘Precession/ Ebbe’ 12″… which is just about the best thing ever to come out on the Cardinal Fuzz label. But it is ‘Omegaville’ that gets my vote for its sheer breadth and depth, moving from the heavy to the experimental in four sides of incredible music.

Read my original review here, and also check out The Heads, KURO and The Final Age!

Bajas Fresh by Bitchin Bajas (Drag City, 2017)

Bitchin Bajas record wonderful electronic soundscapes which somehow seem to hark back to an earlier, more analogue, time while simultaneously sound contemporary and relevant. Listening to the band’s releases enable you to develop topologies in and of the mind. The band has released a number of albums during this time, but this double is my favourite for its coherence and sheer listenability. If you like what you here you should also check out the band Cave, which include two thirds of Bitchin Bajas; ‘Threace’ (Drag City, 2013) is as good a place as any to start.

Black Bombaim with Jonathan Saldanha, Luís Fernandes & Pedro Augusto (Lovers and Lollypops/ Cardinal Fuzz, 2019)

Black Bombaim are a band who continue to surprise, particularly through its collaborations with other musicians. The band’s album with Peter Brötzmann (Lovers and Lollypops/ Shhpuma, 2016) was excellent. But it was this set, recorded in conjunction with three different electronic composers: Jonathan Saldanha, Luís Fernandes and Pedro Augusto that particularly caught my attention. The result is an incredible double album, the first three sides of which are long pieces with each of the three; and a fourth side of three shorter pieces… this time in reverse order. What is particularly remarkable is that I am sure has taken the participants outside of their respective comfort zones to produce a set that is innovative and explorative. You really will need to hear it all to fully appreciate its strength and breadth because it is outside those zones of familiarity where true expression can flourish… and flourish it certainly does here.

Read my original review here.

Blackhill Transmitter by Blackhill Transmitter (FSOL Digital Recordings, 2016)

The Future Sound of London were one of my favourite bands in the 1990’s, and while they are still producing some great music under that name (and have a great vinyl re-issue programme going on) I was really pleased to discover this Black Hill Transmitter album which sees Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans operating under another name. The album is akin to the duo’s more ambient work, but with a more ‘krautrock’ and DIY/sci-fi sort of influence. It’s absolutely brilliant and up there with their best work in my humble opinion.

Jet Black Hallucinations by Blown Out (Golden Mantra, 2015)

This album is the sonic equivalent of being pinned against a wall while simultaneously being sucked into a black hole. To say Blown Out are heavy is a massive understatement, but this is the one for me amongst all of them which sets out the band’s manifesto most clearly. Mike Vest’s searing guitar, together with John-Michael Hedley’s (Pigs x7) massive basslines and Matt Baty’s (also Pigs x7) pounding drums provide a massive spatial attack which leaves you feeling exhausted to the pound of wounding. Did I mention it’s massive?

Read my original review here. Also check out Pigs x7, and the many incarnations of Mike Vest.

Mind Minerals by Carlton Melton (Agitated, 2018)

American band Carlton Melton has been releasing music since 2008, and I have quite a chunk of its oeuvre sitting on my shelves at home. This, however, is my favourite. ‘Mind Materials’ has pretty much all I want from a double album. There’s a certain progression, although this is no concept album, and there is the sort of variety that will take you through different moods and different states of mind. It’s an album that announces itself with a bang, and leaves with a flourish; yet in between there’s plenty there to sit and just be… to zone out and refuel. It is very much an album that has to be played in full to be properly appreciated, and for me that’s very welcome in a culture that wants its gratifications far too quickly. Here Carlton Melton release the musical pheromones slowly and allow you time to react accordingly. This album really does live up to its name providing materials for the mind.

Read my original review here.

Vibraciones Doradas by Causa Sui (El Paraiso, 2017)

Causa Sui are what you might call the ‘house band’ of the wonderful El Paraiso label, a Danish imprint where absolutely every release is worth a listen. ‘Vibraciones Doradas’ is the final part of a loose trilogy of releases (with ‘Euporie Tide’ and ‘ Return To Sky’ which together are an irresistible force. Here, though, is a band at the height of its powers where the individual members bring in their own separate experiences and meld them together in a way that is technically wonderful and emotionally satisfying.

Read my original review here.

A Deep Well by Cavalier Song (God Unknown, 2017)

I could have chosen either of Cavalier Song’s excellent albums to be on here. However, ‘A Deep Well’ just shades it because it seems to be a more full realisation of the band’s sound, with Mark Greenwood’s spoke poems being offset perfectly by the rest of the band’s music. To call this a hugely powerful album is something of an understatement. It is a set redolent with musical and verbal symbolism, yet it is somehow a symbolism that is malleable… solid enough to demand to be listened to, yet flexible enough to leave it open to interpretation. It is an album that I expect to never listen to in the same way twice, and it is an album that you really need to hear yourself to appreciate its intensity and ambition.

Read my original review here.

För Meditation by Centrum (Rocket Recordings, 2019)

Centrum are a Swedish band who, for me, have delivered an instant classic with a deep sense of connection with Swedish bands of yore such a Pärson Sound, International Harvester and Träd Gräs och Stenar… the latter of whom was involved with Andy Warhol when he came to show his works in Stockholm. Indeed, the influence of the Velvet Underground is also apparent here… but as a way into understanding where this album is in terms of the music I most commonly write about I would say that Hills and The Myrrors, together with the huge hinterlands that both of those represent, would come the closest.

See my original review here.

Trust in the Life-Force of the Deep Mystery by The Comet is Coming (Impulse!, 2019)

The London jazz scene is arguably one of the most vibrant anywhere at the moment. It is replete with excellent musician, each of whom draws on their own social and musical backgrounds to bring a lot more than jazz to their musical table. One of the bands that has a definite psychedelic element to their music variously through such as Sun Ra and techno is The Comet is Coming. This is the second full-length release which is a brilliant mix of styles and moods that’ll make you think, chill, dance and thrill. The track ‘Blood of the Past’ is really the centrepiece of the set with a stunning lyrical performance from Kate Tempest.

See my original review here.

Psych is Dead by Cosmic Dead (Riot Season, 2017)

This album consists of three tracks. The first is probably the most recognisably Cosmic Dead, the Scottish psych band. The second declares psych dead. The third is proving it. Whether or not psych is dead is moot as far as I’m concerned, because The Cosmic Dead here show that they are very much alive and ready to move on in a manner that bodes well for the future. This is a massive raised finger that is backed up with something as raw and visceral as you could imagine… And move on they did with a line up change and a new double album ‘Scottish Space Race’ (Riot Season, 2019) which I have a feeling would be on this list had I had more time to listen to it. As it is any Cosmic Dead release is worthy of your time.

Read my original review here.

Cult of Dom Keller by Cult of Dom Keller (Mannequin/ Cardinal Fuzz/ Reverberation Appreciation Society, 2013)

This debut album by the Cult of Dom Keller was something of a bolt from the, er, blue for me at the time. It was one of the albums that set me off on this massive musical journey, and coming back to it now I have to say that it has lost none of its inventiveness and force. It is a superb set of heavy and veiled songs which seem to hit just the right notes all the way through. Truly essential in this context.

Lupus by Dead Sea Apes (Cardinal Fuzz, 2013)

‘Lupus’ was one of the first albums I reviewed. It is an album that I come back to again and again, from a band that I come back to again and again. Dead Sea Apes are one of those bands that continue to evolve, always looking for new directions and new influences. In fact it would take far too long to list all the albums I would recommend listening too, but if you start here and move forward you will not go far wrong (see here for other reviews). The album itself is beautifully meditative, and yet also challenging… it has a feel to it that seems to be beyond the rational realm.

Read my original review here.

The Grand Celestial Purge by Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura (Golden Lab, 2017)

Recorded in a decomissioned church in Leeds, this four LP box set is a three hour psych jam remembering many of the departed musicians of 2016. It is the sound of a band on career-high form working together in gestalt fashion to produce something that is quite unique and, possibly due to its length, highly underrated. A deserves to be regarded as a classic at some point in the future.

Negative Feedback Resistor by Destruction Unit (Sacred Bones, 2015)

This is what you get in you bring Discharge, The Stooges and Hawkwind together… add in some real noise and it’s a winning combination of elements that bounce off each other and swarm out of the speakers like a mass of angry wasps looking for someone to sting. This is seriously angry protest music from a band who sit at the meeting point of of many genres, with a definite psychedelic undertone in both sound and attitude.

Zen Bastard by Earthling Society (Drone Rock Records, 2017)

Look there is absolutely no way that I can single one Earthling Society release out to include a list like this. But if I include them all then others have to miss out. So I’ve plumped for ‘Zen Bastard’ because it was the one that I remember having the most immediate effect on me when I heard it. Having said that other albums such are ‘England Have My Bones’ (Riot Season, 2014), Sweet Chariot (Clostridium, 2016), Ascent To Godhead (Riot Season, 2017) and Mo The Demon (Riot Season, 2018) are all equally worthy of your time. Each has it’s own feel, and you never feel as if Earthling Society are retreading old ground.

Read my original review here.

EOXXV by Electric Orange (Adansonia, 2017)

Electric Orange are another band whose output varies from release to release. Unless you are familiar with quite a bit of the band’s output I can pretty music guarantee that you’ve not really got what the band is about. That’s certainly where I was before hearing this triple album, released to celebrate Electric Orange’s 25th anniversary. Across the six sides of wax you’re given a good idea of the German band’s breadth and depth… which is why I’ve selected this release above the group’s other excellent albums. Also check out Dirk Jan Muller’s solo project Cosmic Ground.

Read my original review here.

Familia De Lobos by Familia Des Lobos (Riot Season, 2018)

Familia De Lobos (Family of Wolves) is an Argentinian six-piece who play familiar instruments through valve amps, but also employ pre-columbian instruments, from the southern region of Latin America. This gives them a very rich and mellow sound through which the band say they intend “to restore the bond between the human being, the earth and the living forms in it; the re-connection of himself and his most primitive emotions, sharing and restoring in that way, the spiritual world of the original people from South American, in the context of modern life.” This certainly seems to be the can with this set of truly wonderful tracks which seem to get smoother and deeper every time you hear them.

Read my original review here.

II by Föllakzoid (Sacred Bones, 2013)

Föllakzoid are part of a strong psych scene in Chile, especially around Santiago, that grew up through BYM Records. In many ways ‘II’ was a breakthrough album both for the band and the wider ‘scene’ in the way that it drew attention to Chilean music. The album itself is a brilliant mix exploration of post-Kraftwerk beats and melodies packaged together in tight yet sprawling tracks which propel the music forward in a manner which is both familiar and experimental.

Infinity Machines by GNOD (Rocket Recordings, 2015)

A massive triple album slab of politico-industrial noise with superb moments of clarity. With ‘Gnod Drop Out With White Hills II’ (Rocket Recordings, 2010) and Chaudelande (Rocket Recordings, 2012) easily the best thing the Manchester collective have achieved. It’s really beyond description because it’s essentially whatever you want it to be… Just check it out when you’ve got two hours to kill.

Sun and Violence by Heroin in Tahiti (Boring Machines, 2015)

This album from Italian band Heroin in Tahiti is such a subtle and alchemic mix of styles that it is difficult to define. It is not really occult psychedelia, although there is certain an element of that. What this double set is, is a total experience. Full on from start to finish and replete with so much invention and creativity that multiple listens will only scratch the surface of this mysterious and complex release. Essential even within this list.

Heron Oblivion by Heron Oblivion (Sub Pop, 2016)

Heron Oblivion is an American band comprising people from a real range of musical backgrounds who have come together to produce something quite unique. This is one of this albums which just seems to appear from nowhere. It is a set of songs that are far from difficult to listen to but which have a huge amount invested in them from the musician involved and, from the first time I heard them, have had me utterly beguiled with their alchemic magic and beauty. This feels like an effortless album, yet has a depth and majesty to is which seems to raise it above the mundane… I am surprised everytime I come back to it.

Read my original review here.

Freak Out Orgasm! by HIBUSHIBIRE (Riot Season, 2017)

HIBUSHIBIRE are an Osaka based Japanese hard psychedelic freak-out rock band and the album is produced by Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple at his mountain top studio temple in Osaka…that’s basically all you really need to know. This is one massive psych wig-out from start to finish, just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Read my original review here.

Frid by Hills (Rocket Recordings, 2015)

Whenever I want to put a Hills record on, I tend to go for one of the select number of lice albums that the band have released over the last few years. However, I decided to go back to the source, so to speak, when thinking about essential albums over the last few years. Having ‘Frid’ on my turntable again was something of a revelatory experience. I discovered the tracks afresh and remembered what a stunning album this is.

Read my original review here.

White Sun Black Sun by In Zaire (Tannen/ Sound of Cobra/ Offset, 2013)

In Zaire is an Italian band which describes itself as “a psychedelic tribal quartet” whose  “performance is able to bring the audience into a psychedelic trip”. So far so fantastic. This is only half the story, though, because there is an amazing amount of stuff going on in their music. True there is a kind of Krautrock/ kosmische underpinning to the music: as track titles such as ‘Sun’, ‘Moon’, ‘Jupiter’, ‘Venus’ and ‘Saturn’ will testify. However, they also “mix dub-funk drum rhythms, tribal and african percussions, electrical-indian bass guitar melodies, arabic and psychedelic voices, and minimal-introspective electronic sounds”. A real gem!

Read my original review here.

Invocation And Ritual Dance Of My Demon Twin by Julie’s Haircut (Rocket Recordings, 2017)

Italian band Julie’s Haircut has been going since 1996, and over that time have released a series of experimental albums that show a group that is never a rest… always going on to something new. With 2017’s ‘Invocation And Ritual Dance Of My Demon Twin’ they reached near perfection. For me this is quite simply a stunning album. It has depth and it has beauty. It has elements that comfort and cajole, but also a dissonance that signifies fear and disconnection. It is an album that seems to have been created rather than written. 

Juju by Juju (Sunrise Ocean Bender, 2016)

This is the debut album from Juju, solo project of Gioele Valenti (formerly of Lay Llamas). It is a set of songs which the Sicily-based multi-instrumentalist wrote in response to the medeterrainian migrant crisis, which is sadly as relevant today as when he first composed it. It is a beautiful, atmospheric and thought-provoking piece of work which sears into your brain and forces you to take notice. It is an important album, a serious album, but also an album to honour the people and cultures that make those perilous crossings in order to find a new life, and especially those who do not make it to the other side.

Read my original review here.

House in the Tall Grass by Kikagaku Moyo (Guruguru Brain, 2016)

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Kikagaku Moyo are the most significant band here. During the period in question here it has released a series of albums that are for me peerless, each one building on the excellence of the previous one. It is a band that does not stand still, both creatively and actually… it seems to be constantly touring. So while I could pick any Kikagaku Moyo release here I’ve gone for ‘House in the Tall Grass’ as it marked the biggest step in the band’s development with a set of songs that just wowed me from the moment I heard them. The seemed to be a extra sense of nuance here with the delicate and the heavy existing in natural harmony with each other.

Read my original review here.

Dag & Natt by Kungens Män (Adansonia, 2017)

Kungens Män are an Swedish improvisational band who bring together Krautrock with flights of psychedelic fancy, and then add in some unstructured jazz to deliver a series of really good releases. Of particular note for me is ‘Stockholm Maraton’ (Adansonia, 2016); but it is ‘Dag & Natt’ (Day and Night) which for me takes the band to another level. This is a concept album of ten improvised pieces that are played with the express idea of getting you through the day (and night), and from start to finish this double album just grabs you and takes you on a journey… a day in the life that is never the same twice. If you said I could only have one album from this list… this would be the one.

Read my original review here.

Kuro by Kuro (Rocket Recordings, 2016)

I’ll confess that I really didn’t get this album when I listened to it digitally, but enough people who’s sonic judgement I trust assured me that it was one I should persevere with. So I took what I thought was a risk and bought the album on vinyl. Well, boom…as soon as I heard it I was convinced pretty much immediately. This album it not so much dark as has a blackness to it (Kuro is Japanese for black), and is the product of an unlikely partnership of classically trained French violinist Agathe Max (Mesange) and Big Naturals/ Anthroprophh noise-maker Gareth Turner; although this work is probably closer to Turner’s solo project SALOPE. ‘Kuro’ is a work of deep yet troubling beauty from start to finish, a pool of black self-reflection that you can endlessly dip into and find something new every time…I’m very glad I stuck with it.

Lamagaia by Lamagaia (Cardinal Fuzz/ Sunrise Ocean Bender, 2017)

I have heard that Swedish duo Lamagaia have several terabytes of unreleased material. From the evidence of what I have heard this tells me that these guys are both very prolific and particular about what gets released. The two long track that for this album are indeed of very high quality, with ‘Aurora’ in particular being a track for the ages for me. It’s exciting and raw, and just so driven. By contrast  ‘Panorama Vju’ is smoother and more spacey in nature. They come together is an wonderfully balanced package.

Real my original review here.

Minami Deutsch by Minami Deutsch (Cardinal Fuzz, 2015)

This album completely knocked me sideways when it first came out, and has continued to do so ever since. This Japanese band has taken that motorik sound and completely made it their own with track after track of brilliant beat-induced music which somehow also moves the genre on. They then followed it up with some absolutely outstanding live performances and a number of excellent single releases. The album has been subsequently re-issued on Sulatron and Guruguru Brain since demand went far beyond its original pressing, see my original review for details here.

Arena Negra by The Myrrors (Beyond Beyond is Beyond, 2015)

This was perhaps the biggest decision I had to make here. Which Myrrors album? There was a massive case for Entranced Earth, Hasta La Victoria, and Borderlands (Beyond Beyond is Beyond: 2016, 2017 & 2018). In the end, though, Arena Negra just edged it. In the end this was a personal thing with this album… the first Myrrors album I heard and, in retrospect, the one that really cemented their unique sound which is a beautiful mix of psych, kraut, folk (from many different places)… all mixed with the atmosphere of the Arizona desert from where the band hail. A magnificent and truly special run of albums.

Read my original review here.

Another Shape of Psychedelic Music by Mythic Sunship (El Paraiso, 2018)

Every so often you follow a band and really dig what it is doing… and then… out of nowhere…. they pull something extraordinary out. This is how I feel about this album from Danes Mythic Sunship. I think that is is safe to say that were this album not to feature, then I would have probably included the band’s 2016 ‘Ouroboros’ (El Paraiso)… but ‘Another Shape of Psychedelic Music’ just takes it to another level. This, for me, is a complete release… and listening to it is also a complete release. It has everything going for it in terms of design, packaging and, most of all, musicianship. It represents for me yet another interesting and accomplished attempt at moving forward what we understand psychedelic music to be by producing something that feels multi-dimensional and immersive. This feels like a band in the zone, who are developing before your very ears.

Read my original review here.

In Time by Our Solar System (Beyond Beyond is Beyond, 2016)

Never let is be said that psych music does not deal with big issues. Our Solar System is a Swedish collective who have put out a string of wonderfully abstract albums, principal of which, for me, is ‘In Time’. Comprising two tracks ‘In the Beginning of Time’ and ‘At the End of Time’ this is clearly an album with big intentions. Sure enough these are improvisations which bring in elements of jazz, kosmische and prog all wrapped up in a psychedelic universe which let’s your mind run wild with possibilities. The more recent Världsliga Bekymmer (Kommun 2/ Svensk Psych Aften, 2016) and Origins (Beyond Beyond is Beyond, 2018) are also excellent.

Psicomagia by Psicomagia (El Paraiso, 2013)

As far as I can see this is the only release from San Diego band, Psicomagia. If, however, you’re only going to make one album then you might as well make it this one. A superb fusion of psychedelic rock, Latin sounds and jazz from members of Radio Moscow and Astra; this is a superbly rhythmic album that deserves not to be forgotten.

Inner Journey Out by Psychic Ills (Sacred Bones, 2016)

That I have included this rather than ‘One Track Mind (Sacred Bones, 2013). Thells you how much this has grown on me over the last few years. As I wrote in my original review: “Getting to know ‘Inner Journey Out’ is something of a journey in itself. For me it started off feeling fairly bland, yet as I listened to it more and more I came to realise that it gives up its secrets slowly. It is an album that, like its tempo, gradually creeps up on you. It is an album that keeps Psychic Ills firmly within laid back psych, but provides the opportunity for us to explore other musical ideas in a way that is far from being in your face…while at the same time making a pretty compelling argument for doing so.”

Read my original review here.

Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay by Psychic Lemon (Tonzonen, 2018)

There’s a big case for including Cambridge-based Psychic Lemon’s eponymously-titled debut here, given that it came from nowhere and felt so fully formed. However, I’d argue that it is this, the band’s sophomore release, where Psychic Lemon really hit it’s stride with a set that reflects some of the different areas of heavy psychedelic music currently being explored and provides the band’s own take on them. It wows me every time with it’s drive and energy.

Read my original review here.

Qujaku by Qujaku (So I Buried, 2018)

This is a sprawling double album from hitherto unknown Japanese band Qujaku. It many ways it feels like a symphony… spreading its musical tentacles into many different areas… with its Thom Yorke-style vocals there is a definite not to Radiohead here, but in a way that does not obsess but rather facilitated further sonic explorations. This was my favourite album of 2018 and, if anything I have grown to like it even more since.

God of Silver Grass by Scattered Purgatory (Guruguru Brain, 2016)

Scattered Purgatory hail from Taipei on Taiwan, and have produced a series of wonderfully atmospheric releases of which this is for me the most accomplished. Drawing on influences in krautrock and melding them with electronic experimentation and traditional Taiwanese music gives ‘God of Silver Grass’ a unique and almost ritualistic sound. To listen to it in a quiet room is an enjoyable and immensely mindful experience… a real purging!

Read my original review here.

Great Big Smile From Venus by Slows (Deep Distance, 2018)

Brilliant album of experimental electronica, free jazz and kraut-influenced improvisations from multi-instrumentalist Matthew Simms. It is at times full on wall of sounds, at others melodic and on occasion gentle, brittle and melancholic. An album to bury yourself in,

In A Brown Study by Soft Power (Huuru Osasto, 2017)

This album from Helsinki-based Soft Power is a wonderful mix of jazz, Scandinavian folk, progg and krautrock which, in the wrong hands, could be a complete mess. Here the band blend these elements wonderfully in assembling a set that will have you at times sitting back and chilling, and at others freaking your shit out. This really is an album I come back to time and again, and it surprises me every time at how brilliant it is.

Read my original review here.

The Hermit by Surya Kris Peters (Electric Magic, 2016)

‘The Hermit’ is the brainchild of Christian Peters of Samsara Blues Experiment, and is the first in a series under the moniker Surya Kris Peters. It is an album that you put on and immediately feel at one with, and one that seems to understand you. In fact the sheer act of listening to it somehow makes you feel lighter… it is in essence a sort of sonic hermitage into which you can retreat and reenergise. In today’s world that can only be a good thing.

Read my original review here.

Highly Deadly Black Tarantula by Teeth of the Sea (Rocket Recordings, 2015)

There’s a case to be made for any Teeth of the Sea album to be on this list. The band’s latest offering, ‘Wraith’ is wonderful… as are earlier releases. Together it’s oeuvre is as varied as it is thrilling. Yet it is ‘Highly Deadly Black Tarantula’, a deep look into a dystopian vision in line with our times… a desolate set that perhaps offers hope towards the end… but this is by no means unambiguous.

Read my original review here.

Träden by Träden (Subliminal Sounds, 2018)

I came to Träden through the terrific series of box sets lovingly produced by Subliminal Sounds and Anthology Recordings, covering the different incarnations of the band in the late 1960s and 1970s, Pärson Sound, (International) Harvester, and Träd, Gräs och Stenar. These set out what for me is the evolution of a sound that is timeless, yet imbued with tradition… a sound that seems to be ingrained into the Earth itself… something that has a really organic feel… combined with an atmosphere that feels on one hand blissful and free, but also very worldly; and this is something that the latest incarnation of the band, Träden, seems both aware of and able to retain in this latest release..

Atmospheric Hangover by Wasted Cathedral (Cardinal Fuzz, 2019)

Wasted Cathedral is the solo project of Chris Laramee (Shooting Guns, Radiation Flowers). With ‘Atmospheric’ Laramee has produced a record that is the sonic equivalent of taking a load of uppers, and then tempering the comedown with just the right number of relaxants. The result is forty minutes of high quality life from the opening bars of disco heaven to the closing moments of zoned out paradise. In between you’re not so much taken on a journey as cajoled into a series of soundscapes each of which seem to help you to go with your own flow… and that for me is a total result.

Read my original review here.

At The Centre of All Infinity by Yuri Gagarin (Kommun 2, 2015)

Sweden’s Yuri Gagarin, as you might guess from the name, play space rock that is not to complicated nor is is particularly innovative. So why am I raving about it so much? Well for me it is superbly played and massively atmospheric. The band are most definitely more than a sum of their parts and mange to play together with such affinity, a sonic mixture which propels both them and the listener to the stars. For me space rock does not work without this empathic approach, it becomes just some noodling background noise that pecks at your head but never gets inside. These monster tunes with their throbbing rhythm section, piercing synths and massive riffs together mount a huge assault on the synapses and burrow their way into you brain in a way that makes you realise that resistance is wholly futile. Once you’ve given in you are left to immerse yourself in an astral pleasure cruise to somewhere else altogether.

Read my original review here.

10000 Russos by 10000 Russos (Fuzz Club, 2015)

10000 Russos (pronounced ‘dez mil russos’) are Portuguese band who emerged from nowhere with this amazing debut album. Like many Fuzz Club bands they play music that it intensely dark and brooding, but perhaps unlike most of their label mates, take some of their primary clues from The Fall, the album opener ‘Karl Burns’ is even named after a Fall drummer. The Mark E Smith style vocals are obvious throughout the album, along with other sonic clues from early Krautrock, punk and post-punk (notably the Sex Pistols and Cabaret Voltaire), as well as the two Fuzz Club common denominators of Joy Division and the Jesus and Mary Chain. This was a massive surprise when I first played this album and I have continued to find new things to enjoy here

Nostra Signora Delle Tenebre by Various Artists (Backwards, 2015)

This is an absolutely superb compilation of contemporary Italian bands whose music, in some way of another, harks back to the classic horror/ crime soundtracks of decades gone by. I can’t really single anything out so here’s a track listing an a link to the whole album:

Heroin In Tahiti “Nuda per Satana” (A. Baldan Bembo) 
Lay Llamas “Palude” (L. Michelini) 
Second H. Sam “Gli ultimi cannibali” (N. Fidenco) 
Lamusa “Tourist trap” (P. Donaggio) 
Edible Woman “Magic & Ecstasy” (E. Morricone) 
Mai Mai Mai “Sette note in nero” (Bixio – Frizzi – Tempera) 
Jennifer Gentle “Chanson de la Nuit” (E. Macchi) 
Slumberwood “Toby Dammit” (N. Rota) 
Mamuthones “The Thing” (E. Morricone) 
Gianni Giublena Rosacroce “Incubo sulla città contaminata” (S. Cipriani) 
Beautiful Bunker “L’aldilà” (F. Frizzi) 
Cannibal Movie “Sans espoir” (B. Nicolai) 
Father Murphy “L’alba dei morti viventi” (Goblin) 
OVO “Nuda per Satana” (A. Baldan Bembo) 
Maria Celeste “Cento campane” (Fiorentini – Grano) 

Return of the Son of Gutbucket by Various Artists (Cardinal Fuzz/ Noiseagonymayhem, 2017)

In one sense this is a total cheat including this album, because many of the artists on here should be on this list in their own right. However, it is also here because is it one of my favourite compilations from the time period in question, and so can legitimately be here in it’s own right. So do yourself a favour and check out the brilliant Canadian bands on this compilation: The Band Whose Name is a Symbol, Shooting Guns, Moths & Locusts, The Backhomes, Anunnaki, The Radiation Flowers, Hawkeyes, and Psychic Pollution. It’s all brilliant stuff and points to a real scene over there (or series of scenes given the distances between them).

Read my original review here.

Here’s a Spotify playlist to complement the list. Not all albums here are on Spotify… so I’ve added a few of my favourite tracks from the period too.

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