Review: Now as ever, it's hard to fathom that this mighty collision of psychedelic pop fantasia and fearlessly avant-garde electronic innovation was released nearly fifty years ago - perhaps owing partly to the fact that there was simply nothing remotely like this around in 1968, this record has not dated one iota, and such is the radiance of the songwriting and the intensity of the performances, this stands proud as music transmitted seemingly from another dimension. As melodically bewitching as it is fearless in its dives off the experimental deep end, this is an evergreen piece-de-resistance that set the bar for electronic rock music frighteningly high right from the off.
Review: Still making the majority of Johnny-come-lately electronic artists look like both philistines and lightweights at 78 years of age, Simeon Coxe is till touring in an evolved manifestation of the same setup that he first stunned the avant-garde underground with nearly fifty years ago, and this, his first new album in nearly two decades - shows that he's far from losing his touch in the creation of dizzy melody and cosmic sonic architecture. This outfit's trademark classic proto-motorik groove is in place, as is the bewitching astral atmosphere, yet the gentle mysticism at the heart of the songs here remain true testimony to Simeon's status as a timeless visionary.
Review: Should you be that travel agent searching for the original sound of 60s-70s in your funk, soul, psychedelic rock and folk today, then Will Dorey, aka Skinshape, is your partner in time. Tracks on the album sometimes comes across as easy to compare with a stream of other admired acts like Air ("After Midnight") to Beck and Australia's Tame Impala on "Metanoia" and "Life As One". Throughout the LP, furthermore, Skinshape's fourth, it's hard to not escape hints of French inspirations in its sometimes jazzy inspirations, with flickers of the 1973 soundtrack to the film La Planete sauvage (Fantastic Planet) never too far off. A highly recommended listen!
Review: For the recording sessions for Gorthleck, long-running collaborators Paul 'Mudd' Murphy and Ben Smith set up a small studio in a loch-side house in the Scottish highlands. The dramatic scenery and ever-changing weather patterns seem to have proved inspirational, because the album is arguably the downtempo duo's strongest to date. Variously influenced by kosmiche, Balearica, neo-folk, ambient, Tangerine Dream and movie soundtracks, the album's nine tracks meander along impressively, subtly shifting shape whilst winding their way into your subconscious. It's a beautiful set from start to finish, rich with hazy musicality and mood-enhancing moments, and comes highly recommended.
Review: Everything from their name down would lead one to suspect that Sonic Jesus were every inch the workaday psych band, yet 'Grace' displays a troupe ready to expand and elaborate on their original paradigm to broader horizons. The relentless hammering rhythm section is still in place, as well as the tendencies towards audial maximalism, yet the melodic melancholia aligns this languid foursome more with the contemporary worshippers at the church of Joy Division such as Editors and Interpol, using synth textures and experimental approaches to elucidate their midnight moods. Spiritually with their heart still very much in the '80s. Grace nonetheless shows Sonic Jesus displaying substance to match their sunglasses-after-dark style.