active listener – sampler #24

Also worth hooking up with is Active Listener’s latest sampler.  ‘#24’ gathers together 15 of the finest bands currently bubbling beneath the underground radar, a few familiar faces lurk here notably Klaus Morlock’s sweetly styled macabre mirages here exquisitely serviced by ‘the derelict nursery’ from his ‘the bridmore lodge tapes’ set for the esteemed reverb worship. Heaven’s Gateway Drugs kick in with a neat spot of terrascopia for the 60’s psych beat frizzled cutie ‘apropos’ which by these ears appears to imagine some mind morphing meeting of Barrett and Bolan types – I kid ye not albeit here getting down with a youthful sounding Bevis Frond. Dodson and Fogg – been a while – serve up some coolly off centred prog soul with ‘when you were young’ which just like the aforementioned HGD cut has more than a fondness for that man Saloman about its wares which is no bad thing especially if it comes cut  and distilled in the finest late 60’s  vintage as does this. Elsewhere the cosmic analog ensemble will I assure you be featuring more here if we can get hold of their releases, for ‘murs libres’ is a seductive slice of old school kitsch ripped in lounge rumba lilts to friskily sound not unlike something cooked up by a studio pairing of Basil Kirchin and Raymond Scott. One of the sets real finds though is the hazily dazed sun trimmed paisley psych pop wooziness of papernut cambridge’s ‘what she said what she said’ which aside arriving sumptuously teased in swooning lysergia pretty much shoehorns into 5 minutes a kind of all-star Elephant 6 happening peppering love note rainbows across your listening space. That said we were equally smitten by holograma’s ‘in your head’ not least because they appear to emanate from a more cosmically tripped  minimalist and motorik sonic axis as to suggest a more shy eyed variant of the sound carriers in cahoots with fuxa and the paris angels. Those loving their ear ware graced in cosmedelic pulsars and somewhat treated in the spirit of electronica’s silver age might be mindful to seek out the Ilk’s dreamy dansette demurring ‘powerplant’ which in truth arrives in the promise of 70’s French space cadets Space fancying themselves going toe to toe with the Silver Apples only to along their lunar trajectory pick up hitchhikers Chic. Just when you think things can’t get any better then along comes ‘the mountains on fire’ by EDJ  to do the kind of widescreen galactic goliath pop that you’ve come to expect and appreciate from Craig Padilla – annoyingly brief I should point out cuts out before it has a chance to sky rocket off. The Autumn Stone are another ensemble who I suspect you’ll be hearing more of in these musings months to come, ‘the river song’ is quite unreal, a twinkle tipped rustic posy set to a steadily looping hypnotic groove that had I not known better would be hazarding all my worldly belongings on for a bet to say it was the Earlies. Stargazers well attuned to the kosmiche grooves of eat lights become lights will fall off their telescope stand upon hearing espectrostatic’s ‘escape to witchtropolis’ albeit here somewhere along it’s lunar journey it appears they’ve picked stowaways from a Foxx era Ultravox and bugger me if heed the thunder’s maypole hoedown ‘horrible condition’ doesn’t sound as though its got the spirit of Lupen Crook coursing through its sonic veins which as you know itself is a seal of admiring approval around these here parts. And still they come – the excellently named the sunchymes really do sound as though they’ve fallen through some bubblegum pop time vortex for this honey toned treat entitled ‘mr Buckstone’ sounds as though it was penned by the late Bob Crewe and slips teasingly to at once recall the raspberries, late 60’s era Beach Boys and the summer hymns here all sumptuously washed through in dayglo swirls. As for montibus communitas’  ‘the pilgrim at the shrine’ – well what can we say – for the Peruvian psychedelicists cook up an inspired cornucopia of head blender styled psych tropicalia spiked in a stirring feast of ecstatic earthbeat and voodoo ju-ju that’s wild, deeply intense and super fried. Stoner psychedelics are the order of the day for the chill dipped woozy groove of ripe minded’s ‘eyes and mind’ – a bonged out head trip of dissipating sitars and far out flashbacks leaving slow motion rider to carry out the set with the thoughtfully mellowed out ‘never blue’ which in truth whose softly uncoiling slick post rockian needlework had us of an overwhelming desire to dig out our stash of death cab for cutie nuggets of yesteryear.         

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