In early 2003, four friends from Lima, Peru, formed Qondor to jam some tunes under a heavy influence of bands like Ash Ra Tempel, Neu! and Hawkwind. They never took it too seriously, but then a couple of local labels asked them to be part of some compilations. And with that came the opportunity to play live. They then they split to focus on their main bands (La Ira de Dios and Serpentina Satelite, two of the more popular and celebrated psych bands from Lima). In January 2017 Necio Records asked them for a reunion show at a festival (Undercaos Festival) in Lima. This time as a trio with a name change to Culto al Qondor. They started to jam again and the chemistry was still there, so they decided to record for real this time. On September 2nd they set up everything at the bass player’s bar and recorded the album. It’s raw, it’s cosmic and it’s dark… as Space.Culto al Qondor is Dolmo on guitars and delays, Aldo Castillejos on drums and loops (both from Serpentina Satelite) and Chino Burga on bass and drones (La Ira de Dios and 3AM). Peru has a long tradition in psychedelic music (since the 60’s) and this is a clear example of the Peruvian psychedelic sound of the new millenium. More delay, more rock! Drone on!!!
Century Plants is a shape-shifting drone and free improv duo featuring Ray Hare and Eric Hardiman. On the first track, recorded in 2011 in Albany NY, they are joined by Matt Weston on drums, and explore the free-improv corners of their sonic world with a combination of guitars, electronics, voice, and sparse percussion. The second track, recorded in 2022 in Troy NY, sees the duo expanding into a quartet with Mike Griffin on bass and Phil Donnelly on drums. This track builds into a mid-tempo psych-guitar-drenched epic with Ray’s echoing vocal wails. Albany’s (NY) Century Plants has deep roots in the noise, psych, improv, and hardcore scenes. The core group is Ray Hare (Deadline, Fossils from the Sun, Burnt Hills) and Eric Hardiman (Rambutan, Sky Furrows, Spiral Wave Nomads, Burnt Hills). The duo’s twin guitars + vocals are often augmented by a larger “sound system” of like-minded players for live actions, resulting in an intense mixture of noise, drone, dub, musique concrete, and blistering psych rock. If you need referents, recent gigs have conjured the ghosts of Hawkwind, Discharge and Suicide, all filtered through a unique prism. Hardiman and Hare have played together for over a decade as Century Plants and continue to play in Albany’s legendary psych rock unit Burnt Hills.
Cindy is a band built around the singing and guitar playing of Karina Gill. She became a musician only recently, having sat on the sidelines while ex-partners and friends made music. Gill describes a chance encounter with an abandoned Squire Strat left in the basement by a previous tenant, “mummified in electrical tape with the remnants of a burrito on the head stock”, that led her to begin carefully strumming her way through simple chords and making her own songs.
1:2 is Cindy’s third LP. Quietly devastating 1:2. features Jesse Jackson on bass, Simon Phillips on drums and Aaron Diko on keyboards as they weave a perfectly thin web behind Gill’s slow velvety strums and murmured melodies. “Sometimes you say you’re feeling small/You plan all day for your own funeral”, she intones in Party Store. I’d call it dream-pop with a slightly dark edge.
Electric Orange is a German neo krautrock band led by Dirk Jan Müller (keyboards) and Dirk Bittner (guitar). The band’s music is a blend of hypnotic and tribal beats, soaring organ and synths, spacey guitars, samples and analogue effects. They also experiment with rare, obscure and vintage instruments. Müller and Bittner are also regular members of the band Space Invaders and Müller is driving an electronics project named Cosmic Ground The song titles are often funny and thought-provoking puns. Psych, kraut, electronics and space – Electric Orange has it all.
The Els A-Phonics is a surf band from Valencia, Spain. Formed in 2009 by former members of bands like Chewbacca’s, Pildora X and The Vibrants. Els A-Phonics have released some really upbeat, creative (and well produced) surf and they’ve teamed up with some of the best: Mike Barbwire, Nokie Edwards, Deke Dickerson, Jon Blair and others on this album.
The Shadows were an English instrumental rock band who dominated the British popular music charts in the early 1960s. The Shadows were a major influence on many guitarists, including Brian May, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Andy Summers, Ritchie Blackmore, David Gilmour and Andy Powell. Twang! A Tribute to Hank Marvin & the Shadows (1996) featured Blackmore, Peter Green, Randy Bachman, Neil Young, Mark Knopfler, Peter Frampton and others playing Shadows hits. Also, a major influence on surf music. Suffice it to say; big time great guitar work and a band that helped shape rock and roll.
Messer Chups is a surf rock band from Saint Petersburg, Russia. They have also been described as an experiment band. The group was formed in 1998 by composer and guitarist Oleg Fomchenkov. Visiting the Skeleton in the Closet was released March 15, 2022. Surf twang, spooky themes and just plain great surf music. Some vocals but mostly instrumental.
In the 20th year of Sula Bassana’s career he has released Nostalgia. Nostalgia is songs composed and recorded from 2013 to 2018 but finished during the last few years. The last overdubs and vocals recorded in 2019 to 2021. After some more electronic orientated albums, this one is more in the style of the rock orientated albums like Dreamer, The Night, Dark Days or Live At Roadburn 2014. The first two tracks include vocals which is rare on Sula Bassana albums. The title track features Mellotron, pure fuzz and has a jazzy side. All psych all the time.
Texas-sized psychedelic blues doom. They describe their music as “swampadelic visionquest of overdriven, fuzz-laden riffage and jazz-minded jam explorations”. Wo Fat has gained a reputation as one of the premier US Stoner Metal bands. Starting with The Gathering Dark in 2006, they have stayed true to the deep, dark blues that wails from within. During the last few years, Wo Fat have made appearances a number of iconic festivals in Europe and the US, including Roadburn Festival, Freak Valley Festival, Psycho California Festival, Sylak Open Air Festival, Desertfest Berlin, Desertfest London, Maryland Doomfest and Stoned Meadow of Doom. In summary – heavy and fuzzy.
Nathan is from Oakland, CA. i had a dream about amnesia presents two suites of new music, composed and recorded during the Covid-19 quarantine. Five Memos from the New Millennium (for Lee Konitz)’ is a series of pieces composed for soloists and duos to perform during lockdown.
Trio 2021(the last three tracks) is a suite of pieces for trio, composed on plague themes, and premiered live (in the studio) as part of the online festival, Unsolitary Music Series. Really impressive supporting cast including: Cory Wright (bass clainet), Kasey Knudsen (alto sax), Sam Bevan (bass), Mark Clifford (vibraphone) Johnn Finkbeiner (guitar), Lisa Mezzacappa (bass), Beth Schenck, Nathan Clevenger (piano, guitar, percussion) and Jordan Glenn (drums percussion). Minimalist with a classical feel on many tracks. Not in your face experimental but not trad jazz either. Very nice.
Steve Bates is a musician and sound/video installation artist from Canada. All The Things That Happen is a gritty, iridescent, ambient billow rendering panoramas from a mix of lo-fi Casio SK-1 sampled textures and organ recordings made in Chile. All The Things That Happen is Bates’ sixth solo album since 2006. Free-jazzed cosmic synth noise. Andrew says of this album: “This was supposed to be an ambient record; quiet, minimal and sad. These tracks all started off that way but I kept reaching for more texture and noise. Somehow the noisier the record got, the less sad it was also.” This is still a very ambient album with lots of drone like qualities.
Direct from the shores of the Hudson River, the Swingin’ Palms blend the most rousing aspects of vintage Hawaiian, Exotica, Go Go and Surf music. Led by Graham Tichy on Hawaiian steel guitar and Don Young on electro-Spanish guitar, the Swingin’ Palms present a mix of original music, Hapa Haole rarities, and forgotten gems reconceived in a style that’s both authentic and fresh. For years, “beachnik” music audiences as well as major music journalists, have bemoaned the shortage of new, original, top-quality Polynesian-esque music. Step back Santo and Johnny, The Swinging Palms have arrived! Graham Tichy – Steel Guitar
Donald Young – Guitar & Ukulele
Ian Carlton – Upright Bass
Pete Vumbaco – Drum Kit
The Hula Girls have been busy preaching their self-described ‘hulabilly’ sounds all over Southern California. It’s the upright bass of Christian Kessler, the drumming of Doug Sanborn, the Gretsch guitar twanging of Spike Marble, and the steel guitar of Shorty Poole! They’ve played along side such modern rockabilly and surf legends as The Stray Cats’ Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom, Dick Dale, The Ventures, Duane Eddie, The Knitters, Dave Alvin, Southern Culture on the Skids, Los Straitjackets and Hot Rod Lincoln. It’s up-tempo tiki and surf themed music, all filtered through the late 1950’s and early 60’s rockabilly and rock n’ roll sound.
Back in 2016, producer Seth Applebaum released two EPs that marked the inauguration of the band Ghost Funk Orchestra. ‘Night Walker’ and ‘Death Waltz’ were conceived as one-man-band, reel-to-reel tape-recorded experiments that would bring together elements of all the sounds that Seth most adored at the time: tape-saturated drums, gratuitous spring reverb, surfy guitar, Latin-style percussion, odd time signatures, and Spanish-language female vocals. Initially released only in the digital domain and on a short run of cassette tapes, these two EPs that defined the early era of GFO are now finally available together on a single LP. The tracks have been remastered by Doug Krebs. Latin funk underlies all of these tracks. Very mellow, melodic and worth a play.
Moon Duo is a psychedelic rock band from Portland Oregon formed in 2009 by Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada. This is a 2013 release. Moon Duo’s Mazes Remixed album went over so well that Ripley and Sanae decided to do it again, and the results this time are even better and weirder than the first time round. With help from friends Eric Copeland, Umberto, K-X-P, Sun Araw, Zombie Zombie, Tom Furse, White Rainbow and Life Coach. Some tracks are more edgy than others but mostly this reinterpretation of Circles is great dance music.
This Connecticut band plays extended jams that harken back to the gritty space rock sound of Guru Guru. Made up of Jon Schlesinger on guitar, lap steel and vocals, Steubs on mandolin, second guitar and bass and Michael Kiefer on drums, this group seems to improvise based more on atmosphere and vibes than anything else. They lock into a stoically cosmic mood and let it guide them into the stars. With howling guitar solos soaked in rippling, nightmarish effects, walls of fuzzy, crumbling distortion and slippery passages of ambient space, this record fits in well with the work of fellow astral travelers like The Cosmic Dead, Eternal Tapestry and Expo ’70. The one track with vocals, “Key of Caesar,” might at first appear to be a bit of a departure from the rest of the record. However, its pulsing layers of neon guitar and blurred harmonies coupled with its entrancing grooves keeps the tune in the same dreamy headspace as the rest of the record. Not in your face loud -just driving forward unrelentingly.
Bunny Numpkins & The Kill Blow-Up Reaction formed up around 2002. They started as the backing band for a puppet but eventually went on to simply make quirky pop. They are from Oakland CA and have played at the Bunny Jam, The Finch Gallery and clubs including Elbo Room, The Starry Plough and The Stork Club. Good clean fun for all. Good pop fun for all.
Doctors of Space is a new project that features Dr Space from Øresund Space Collective/Black Moon Circle and Dr Martin Weaver of Wicked Lady/Dark fame. Dr Space does the synths, Martin creates the drums, bass and guitars. Futuristic space rock.
Dr Weaver- Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Drum Programming
Dr Space- Synthesizers, Hammond, Mellotron
Mixing and Mastering at Estúdio Paraíso nas nuvens, Central Portugal.
Nick Storring’s eighth album takes the one-person-orchestra approach for which he is acclaimed and translates it to a single instrument: the piano. Recorded on everything from the innards of an old upright piano to a Disklavier (a computer-controlled acoustic piano) housed at Yamaha’s Toronto offices, and using playing techniques that span conventional to idiosyncratic, Storring conjures a vast and vivid color palette. Music from Wéi was composed for the choreography of his frequent collaborator Yvonne Ng. This layered, multi-tracked score moves fluidly between tender lyrical phrases and driving interlocking figures, and from thick textural swarms to supple transparency. Nick is not afraid of near silence during these relaxed passages. You can almost see the dancers moving gently to the music.
Papir might be the ultimate expression of the Danish creative soul: distinctively modern, deceptively minimalistic, and stylish yet understated. Papir follow their own road map, creating music with little interest in playing to the masses or catering to a specific genre. The band’s output has varied from epic psychedelic guitar meltdowns à la Earthless to sweeping, reverb-drenched soundscapes… Many aspects of Papir’s music seem to have much in common with the sea – be it a willful association by the Copenhagen-based trio or not. Their output moves in waves, sometimes fierce and blustery, sometimes gentle and calming, but always performed with unforced, organic talent.
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
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