active listener – sampler #31

New Active Listener sampler – the 31st as it happens and still up to their impeccable best in terms of track listing tastiness with this one being a gathering of 15 sonic nomads currently traversing the backwaters of pop and opening as it means to go on with the bench setting quality mark set (cosmically) high with the appearance of Cranium Pie. Fruits de Mer’s finest cosmi-delic prog freak heads recently docked into ea0rth orbit dropping off out there head tripping weird ear gear aplenty in the shape ‘mechanisms pt 2’ – be warned you’ll not hear a more zonked out sonic odyssey until the next time they pass by, ‘the last song’ pulled from that set is one of the albums mellower moments would you believe though still sounds as though it was recorded in a different time, space and reality quite possibly all said om a different planet. Talking of parallel time zones Kobadelta wouldn’t look to out of place lurking on a future release roster put out by rise above, as it stands ‘maskirovka’ is only available on a ridiculously limited to 50 only debut ‘one vision’ EP – and well quite frankly the blighter blew us away initially coming on like a reverb soaked psych blues beauty time tripped from the early 70’s though on closer inspection its big bearded beatnik grooving had us much in mind of leaf hound fronted by a seriously wired Jim Morrison. I’m suspecting Craig and Yikii are much deserving of further attention if the lunar lullaby that is ‘whale in the belly’ is anything to judge by as it very much pilots the ethereally woozy sonic seas of smile down upon us (who much to our ineptness and laziness we’ve had a new album by for a fair while that needs immediate love).prized from their ‘three inverted nines’ set – again something else we missed to much forlorn teeth grinding grumbling – the Owl Service used to feature very very regularly in these pages, somehow over the years our path crossing moment have gotten less regular sadly. However glumness aside we’ve noted with interest that they appear to be back, there’s been something of a hive of activity on their band camp release page with redux versions of their much loved ‘fabric of folk’ set and a digitally available bundle of a subscription series they ran many years ago which alas due to us moving we never did complete (bugger) – anyhow ‘how the gods kill’ proves they’ve lost none of their mercurial majesty only on this occasion it appears to have been relocated to a grander stage, touched in a psych folk mystique this honey oozes desire and romance whilst somewhere in the mix buried deep we swear we hear the odd errant Neil Young motif lurking – ‘eldorado’ era if you’re taking notes. Next up ‘first gathering’ from Klaus Morlock an aural alchemist whose melodic mysterios occasion the ghostly twilight divides between wake and dream states, all fading florals cut with ear for Hammer Horror soundtracks. NM and the No Man Band’s ‘pineline’ cleverly joins the dots separating Yellow Moon Band and Peter Gabriel by way of the threading of richly stitched vintage that finds a  sonically neighbourly affinity with Tokolosh. Of course regular patrons will be no doubt be well aware that we rejoiced a little while back to the enchantment of Alice Artaud’s ‘ouroboros theme’ – specifically highlighting just this very track noting that it sounded not unlike Goblin’s ‘suspiria’ albeit as though recalibrated by Komeda and then hooked upon a head dissolves tropicalia mantra that would make even Goat turn green with envy. Pressed upon the point we’d have sworn that we’ve mentioned the Ilk in passing previously butt it appears on reflection that our fading memories is playing cruel tricks, anyway ‘jabberwocky’ is an eerie slice of wyrd folk ear gear all spoken word and underpinned by a most becoming and bewitching medieval melodic pageantry – we shall investigate more of that you can be assured. The moon band – again previously unknown to us (I think – really not trusting the old grey matter now) – ‘in my clothes’ – well what can I say except wow – pan pipes cavorting with sitars mightn’t be the desired descriptive excuse to have you all scampering off in search of it, but that voice – well it could melt statues and arrest the coldest of hearts – in short perfect for those much admiring of Mellow Candle. If I had to pick the sets highlight – there are so many mind – this I’ll admit would be hotly vying for the honour – from oJim Griffin this is ‘the ranger and the cleric’ which I’ll firstly say had us adored immediately mainly for its lightly toned expressiveness, but consider this if you will for a moment – just close your eyes and imagine a bright eyed formative Marr taking a wander into Fahey valleys – think I need not say any more on the subject. Now maybe it’s just me but ‘when I was the setting sun’ by Ocean Music put us very much in mind of a three way campfire get together comprised of Beatglider, working for a nuclear free city and british sea power types with this gorgeously drifting and airily mellow affair coming ripped from a limited self-titled vinyl set apparently the new Yorkers 14th release since the mid noughties. I couldn’t even begin to describe or explain exactly why this has had us furiously hitting the repeat play button, for once I might actually be speechless and wordless come to think of it, but much like the parting ten mouth electron cut this gem has had us frantically rooting for our prized copies of Werewolves platters, it’s by Chef Menteur it’s called ‘terpsichore’ and it could well prove to be the soundtrack for evenings basking beneath sultry sun falls, a kind of drifting psychedelic sea boat floating in Seahawks waters and tripped with the kind of dissolving woozy astral lounge exotica that oozes of the grooves of that well heeled ‘monsterism island’ compilation from a few years back. Takes a few plays before its lilting paisley tweaked lazy eyed 60’s dream drift begins to softly smother you but we suggest there’s much to adore on Gilligan Smiles blissful shimmer serene ‘atlas Johnson and the chestnut green railway’ especially if your listening loves happen to swoon the soft psych pastures of the doleful lions, the music tapes and the freed unit. I’m certain were on the ample play mailing list, if I’m right I’d better rummage through the bulging mail sack because I’m certain we’ve missed a trick not having hooked up to Charles Howl’s debuting ‘Sir Vices’ platter out of which the rampantly infectious ‘give me solar’ is ripped, we here are thinking youthful wonderstuff happenings retuned through a weather prophets viewfinder which is no bad thing, features members of let’s wrestle and talons just in case you needed any further prods in order to get a wiggle on. Oh yes, right up our listening street, ten mouth electron round up this particular sampler with the mighty damn fine ‘young nuns’ – a funky sore thumb which unless our ears do deceive sounds as though its jumped forward through a crack in the time vortex sounding like some mutant Max’s / CBGB’s secret collective from the mid 70’s to be recalibrated in bliss kissed psyched out clouds, in truth one of the best things never recorded by the ultra hip new York combo the Werewolves.


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