Jan 31, 2008


almaden - the dream continues in 1,000,000 Roads as the journeyman slumbers to be awoken by the berries of air and forest, a dawn pre-imagined and so owned in footstep and deed as our lovely soujourner of unabysmal light soujourns 4th into willowy and totally purple dawning, day is upon r hero and the golden Rd. of infinitudinous blessedhood! (lattajjaa, 2007)

What a (long) title for the album...giving me over 10 minutes of naturally changing pulsating drones and guitar feedbacks (on “buffalo and daughter”) to think this over, before coming to the semi-drugged-mind pyschedelic folk core expression. On some point this seems like how brains and brainwaves thoroughly become like roots of trees. They grow with the acoustic guitar pickings, with humming droning waves in the vocals, taking time to stretch with its mood creations…(and this especially on “black swan”). The harmony vocals on “Buffalo Forever” will possibly bring Devendra Banhart to mind for some listeners, bringing this kind of loner hippie to a tepee, which thoroughly will be smashing to pieces its wow-wow drumming…on his guitar, very distorted in mind, flesh, and wood. “Prayers for singers” makes it up with flowers, whistles, and witches-brew hummings as flipped romantic religious worships and bubbled colourful consciousnesses. Some songs are listed as dedications to life, while the first one which breaths a pause is the meditational moment; a few others are moments of waiting in vain, and are the songs of death, drooping sadly towards a certain wickedness. “Kill me again” is again a bit more communal, with a whipping and hopping ritualistic feeling in the rhythms, as a controlled wackiness, romantic-religious and keeping finger-crossed control in song while mind-losing and opening its consciousness. “Paean: Kitteridge Sam” is calm and sweet, like celebrated candy butterflies swimming in butter. The whole crowd of musicians sings along, in harmony with harmony and a bit of disharmony. “North Country Girl” is a heretic outburst heart full of romance, love, desire and wining, with troubadour guitarpickings and child playroom glockenspiel remembrances slightly dementing, and some harmonium. “Song of sorrow” is again a song of death and sadness, blowing in the winds of lost times. The same backing musicians (himself) howl along like priests, or play glockenspiel like victims of circumstances. “The golden road” sings to the full lightness of daylights again, of thoughts that first were hidden away in prison pits, while having collected so many emotions with it, its final expression becomes transcendent by its seeing light for the first time.

Jan 11, 2008

silmaril (rare earth XIX)

silmaril - voyage of icarus (1973)

Awash in fuzz boxes and acid trips, the dozens of other overlooked groups from the psychedelic era bear little resemblance to Silmaril. While others buzzed within the hippie epicenters of Haight Street and the Lower East Side, Silmaril formed in haunted, industrial Milwaukee. Other bands might have met at a love-in; Silmaril were friends from a Catholic youth retreat bound together by a doomed figure in the eccentric madman tradition of Syd Barrett, Roy Harper and Mel Lyman by the name of Matthew Peregrine. The Voyage of Icarus captures the dark, mysterious, and achingly beautiful acid folk & Christian themed psychedelic sounds that emanated from 1973’s privately pressed album, Given Time... Or the Several Roads, and their dormant, unreleased follow up No Mirrored Temple.
Few have pondered harder than Matthew Peregrine, creative director of the churchy early ‘70s folk ensemble Silmaril. The group met at a Catholic youth retreat, and Peregrine was a practicing Catholic Pentacostal. (The Pentacostals are the ones who believe that, to be saved, they must go beyond gossiping and mumbling hymns, have a “personal relationship” with God, and let the Big Fella breathe down their necks at all times.) The Silmaril kids were also, as some of you may have discerned by now, fascinated with the thick arcania of Tolkein. But it wasn’t just a filtered fascination with the black art of imagination that gave Silmaril’s music a self-destructive edge. No, Matthew Peregrine was very, very gay, and no amount of evangelical fervor could change the tingle in his loins. Years after Silmaril dissolved, he became a hardcore leatherman. But, right here, we’re stuck in his conflicted, ascetic, gay-for-Jesus hell. And, man, is it compelling. Silmaril cut one LP in its time on this earth, the weirdly forlorn (but disturbingly optimistic!) Given Time or the Several Roads. It consisted mostly of acoustic ballads, usually detached (in a wannabe-mystic sort of way) but sometimes remarkably tender and wise (“Given Time”). The voices, both male and female, bleed a poisoned irony that can only come from extreme self-consciousness, and thus drink deep of the mortal pain that gives music soul. This is no hippie freakout. This is a deep, resonant conflict. It’s art defined by elements in its creators that they could not release through any other avenue.

Y comienza 'Poustinia'... y lo hace uno de los discos más sugerentes que recuerdo. Ha sido recuperado y redescubierto por Locust para nuestra fortuna. Todo un rare earth que tengo de camino a casa. En 'The Voyage of Icarus' se descubre un acid-folk cristiano que más allá de ornamentaciones y ambientes oníricos, está maniatado por un halo de misterio y de cierto vacío en su ambiente, así, van liberando en bellísimas canciones sus confesiones. 19 canciones son y ninguna abandona lo acústico, en ellas, las evocadores y sugerentes voces conducen a unas melodías del amanecer y entre tanto, alguna vez, el fervor cristiano se cuela por la ventana. Cuando se acaba, a uno se la hace difícil escoger con cual de todas ella le gustaría despertarse al día siguiente, con 'Vespers' quizá. Para colocarlo al lado de Fuchsia, Mellow Candle, Forest o sino, con otros cristianos como Harvest Flight.


Jan 4, 2008

robert wyatt

Since a listening copy of 'Comicopera' turned up a few weeks back, it's hardly left the office stereo. At 62 years of age the ex-Soft Machine drummer could have easily called it a day by now, he's made his mark on the music scene both as a member of one of progressive rock's most important acts and also as a hugely creative solo artist in his own right. But at an age where most artists shrivel up only to emerge for cash-in live shows or charity appearances, Wyatt just seems to get better and better and with "Comicopera" he has pieced together his most beguiling album to date and quite easily one of the years most incredible releases. 'Comicopera' is divided into three acts, the first 'Lost in Noise' being the most straightforward sonically, highlighting Wyatt's talent for writing leftfield pop music of the most sublime kind. The second act 'The Here and the Now' is jazzy and playful, while the third 'Away with the Fairies' is the most unusual, with tracks sung in Italian and Spanish and sparsely accompanied by discordant, dark instrumentals. Wyatt has long been championed by critics but largely ignored by the record-buying public so it seems right that Domino, drunk with their successes with the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand have put their funds into something truly remarkable and culturally important and given one of the millennium's most fascinating albums adequate support. With songs such as the loungey 'Just as You Are' the comical 'Be Serious' and the melancholy 'You You' straddling such oddities as 'Cancion de Julieta' and the Gamelan-inspired 'Pastafari' there seems no doubt that a new generation of Wyatt listeners will emerge from the mists and will discover a world of genuinely forward-thinking music. The rest of us will simply be dying to hear what the great man does next, one gets the feeling that 'Comicopera' is just the beginning of a very rewarding relationship.

Ahora que publicaciones de referencia, para algunos, se acuerdan de él, las reverencias de muchos acompañan y van detrás, hasta Domino edita el disco. Al final, lo importante es la música y que Robert aún guarda energías para hacernos disfrutar y soñar, y a mí, no se me ocurre mejor manera de iniciar un nuevo año, que con uno de los músicos que más significado tiene en esta pequeña aldea. Siento ser así de cuesto con él, pero no hay más tiempo.