A) The Merciless Wheel Of Novelty (2012 records)
Two weeks ago, OSR tapes put out the first album of Better Psychics, twenty tracks of collaborative live mixing between Chris Weisman and Zach Phillips of Blanche Blanche Blanche, both international ambassadors of Brattleboro, Vermont.
It kind of sounds like a blend of early Psychic TV albums and Sebadoh cassettes, with sprinkles of woodsy experimental folk and acousmatic bossa nova on top. (it’s outstanding).
I never buy cassettes, as the closest tape player i could use is in the old family car, but I pre-ordered theirs as an inticement to finally get my driver’s licence and drive around while blissfully listening to it.
You can download the album (then consider doing a donation) and/or order it here.
This one is short but it kills me:
Better Psychics – I bet I can write one more (right click/save as)
Better Psychics - What stays
Better Psychics - With my attitude
I guess I have a thing for every band John Dwyer plays in, as they cover the entire spectrum of genres that naturally stroke my ears, from garage punk to weird doo wop and drone psych pop. However it seems that, lately, The Oh Sees have been favoring their binary rock’n'roll side (close to Dwyer’s older band, The Coachwhips), to the detriment of the numerous other facets that made the superiority of their first records. But now their new album is out on In The Red and it’s quite a gem — great name, great artwork, wicked songs. The tracklist of Putrifiers II is somehow based on a chiasmus, with rowdy garage tunes both opening and ending the record. “Cloud#1″ provides a graceful contemplative transition towards the middle of the album, which is very 60s sounding, but in a way that freshens your bronchial tubes, spruces up your hair and takes you on a fuzzy journey where Nico and John Cale (“So Nice”) are striving to deprave the Everly Brothers (“We will be scared”) while impish voices fuse with Can-like instrumentals (“Lumpine Dominus”). Makes my day.
The Oh Sees – So Nice (right click/save as)
The Oh Sees – We will be scared
The Oh Sees – Lupine Dominus
Natural Snow Buildings is an impressive French experimental duo who have released about 20 albums since 2001. They were/are mostly released on outrageously limited series, so the only way to listen to them is through culture sharing. Night Coercion Into The Company Of Witches, one of their best albums, was first issued in 2008 with 22 (yes, twenty two) copies, but people who love to manipulate cumbersome objects before listening to music can rejoice, as Ba Da Bing just made a three CD/four Lp reissue (yes, it is almost three hours long). Judd of Ba Da Bing speaks the truth: “Natural Snow Buildings make melodic, orchestrated, folk, droning compositions with layers of guitars, chants, woodwinds, percussive bells, distortion and delay. On Night Coercion, they push to extremes, producing layers of stereophonic sound both nuanced and grandiose. This record is the ideal introduction to the band’s sound, building harmonies upon noise upon harmonies, and providing a clear explanation as to why their albums (even the ones that aren’t so limited) sell out so immediately upon release”.
Natural Snow Buildings - Kadja Bosou (right click/save as)
Before suffering from big health problems leading to huge financial ones (like most indie musicians from the US, he didn’t have any medical insurance), right before retiring from music and going to work with chickens and goats in a farm, Sir Jason Molina recorded eight songs with just guitar, rawness and his elegant voice from Desperate Land. I have to admit I’m not a huge supporter of his whole Magnolia Electric Co. era, but Autumn Bird Songs arouses the same kind of shivers in the stomach as his majestuous Lionness album with Songs:Ohia.
It seems the vinyl/book countaining these songs is already sold out, and you can only buy a mp3 version through Amazon, so we recommend to get the album on Soulseek or other culture sharing software, then send a direct donation to Jason Molina instead.
Jason Molina – A Sad Hard Change (right click/save as)
Songs:Ohia – Lionness (right click/save as)
B) We don’t care about the release date anyway (non-2012 records)
African Elegant – Sierra Leone’s Kru / Krio Calypso Connection was issued as a tape in 1992 by Original, a long dead label devoted to publishing compilations from mysterious parts of the universe. It is of course out of print, so you’ll have to create or use a Soulseek account and actively search for it. After listening to this album five times in two days, I was planning to write an elaborate review but then I got too busy dancing and smiling like a half-wit, and then I REALLY had to play Dishonored, so here’s a few words from an highly reliable source instead (Cliff Furnald of RootsWorld):
If there is a measurement of pure joy, perhaps it is in the music on this disk, twenty two tracks of unadulterated delight. The palm wine style of Sierra Leone is probably best known through the recordings of S.E. Rogie, but Original ‘s J.S. Roberts has dug deep for some exhilarating early 78s by Ebenezer Calender, Famous Scrubbs and a number of tracks of less known Kru and mandingo artists. Palm wine music is a close relative of Trindad’s calypso, developing in the same period, and influenced or becoming an influence on that popular island style in the fifties. The music grew from the jamming of African sailors, Caribbean soldiers and locals in the bars of Freetown, and the easily stowed instruments they favored like the mandolin, guitar, accordion, and banjo became the backbone of the music. With the addition of percussion, and some wonderful brass sections, these songs mirrored not only the rhythms of calypso but also its topical tendencies, with stories of local events, politics and everyday life. It’s a real “chicken or egg” thing, and Robert’s investigation into the roots of the music related in the liner notes do little to clear up the mystery. While the roots of the music may remain shrouded in history, the music itself is no mystery at all. It is simple, open euphoria.
Hey Mississippi Records, why not reissue it ?
Ebenezer Calender And His Maringar Band – The Stolen Chicken (right click/save as)
A. Cambah & His Kankaray Tarrancis Society – Sandoh Kanu Koh (mandingo) (right click/save as)