Acid Rooster by Acid Rooster (Sunhair Music)
Acid Rooster is a three-piece from Leipzig in Germany. It is one of those bands that seem to have appeared fully formed on what is its debut album. If I was to describe it as ‘solid psych’ you might get the wrong impression that I think it is something of an average release, but what I mean by this is it has all the ingredient that you may expect from such an album: spacey jams, slab-like riffs, Krautrock noodlings, drones and more than a hint of reverb.
But it has more than that for me. This self-titled LP, it’s actually classed as an EP but at 44 minutes I think the former applies, has that indescribable something else that takes it above the herd… that joie d’vivre that gives music like this an edge… a degree of tightness and excitement that takes it above and beyond. There is also enough variety here to keep things interesting and means that it is a listening experience that you are going to want to come back to time and again.
Diabolique by L’Epee (A Recordings)
Continuing with a theme of bands whose elements are more than a sum of their parts, this album from ‘supergroup’ L’Epee is mixed with ingredients that you may never haver necessarily thought of; but make complete sense as soon as you do. Comprising model/ actress/ chaunteuse Emmanuelle Seigner, French cinematic psych duo The Limiñanas, and Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Experience)… this set of music is like nothing else you’ve heard in the way that it mixes together musical styles which appear at the same time both complex and random. This, I am sure, is in no small part down to Newcombe’s attentive mix, and gives the feeling of a spaghetti western being filmed on a set depicting the 1968 Paris uprising.
This might sound like a glib comment but what I want to say here is that this is an album that is held in a gentle balance with all the elements held carefully, rather than in tension with each other. This gives the whole thing a lightness and fragility which feels like a genuine moment in time. A beautiful and, perhaps, unrepeatable record.
Lightning One by Solar Corona (Lovers & Lollypops)
Solar Corona continue with the emergent theme of this post, collectives that have that added something that take them to higher levels. Here the quartet from Barcelos in Portugal is just so bloody exciting in the way they play, hammering out these tracks with a togetherness that makes it nigh on impossible to separate out the different elements here. The band go for something of a wall of psychedelic sound approach, each track of which is tantamount to being hit with a tsunami of acid.
Solar Corona’s perceived ability to up the ante with each track makes listening to ‘Lightning One’ a really dynamic experience, and one that you are not likely to forget in a hurry. Contemporary psychedelic rock at its best.
Always Already Here by Jonas Munk & Nicklas Sørensen (El Paraiso)
Those who have heard Nicklas Sørensen’s (Papir) collaborations with Jonas Munk (Causa Sui) on his two solo albums will not be surprised to hear that this album is an absolute gem and, as with all four albums here, shows the musicians working together in a gestalt manner that takes their music onto a different plane.
As the press release for this album says “‘Always Already Here’ pays homage to the masters of classical minimalism (Steve Reich, Terry Riley) and the pioneers of electronic music and kosmische (Brian Eno, Manuel Göttsching), still it doesn’t sound derivative or retrospective.” It is indeed a wonderful set of calming improvised music in which Sørensen’s guitar and Munk’s electronics meld together in an experimental yet harmonious manner which clears a path for the listener to make the most of these marvellous improvisations.
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