Endino, Jack – “Set Myself On Fire” – [Capacitor Records]

Jay Omega   11/7/2022   A Library, CD

The latest solo installment from Jack Endino of Seattle/Grunge fame. In Endino’s words, “It’s super crunchy rock”. Notice the term Grunge is not present. The backing band is his Earthworm band, plus Skin Yard/Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin. Contains elements of metal, punk, and psych, but these are rock songs for rockers, so rock on!

Zolder Ellipsis – “Entropy Override” – [Lizard Records]

Jay Omega   11/3/2022   A Library, CD

Genre blending music from Tom Aldrich. Prog, jazz, jazz fusion, psychedelic, space, avant-garde, metal, modern classical, atmospheric, free jazz, it’s all here. It was supposedly highly influenced by Frank Zappa’s “Civilization: Phaze III”. I can hear the Zappa influence, but this is not Frank Zappa. The longer tracks are more challenging and may require multiple listens to appreciate. The shorter tracks are generally more accessible, though tracks 3 and 5 are fairly avant-garde.

Craig Gets ReanimatedProg-Jazz-Fusion. The music is like a cubist painting, switching from one view to another of an underlying musical theme. Challenging, but worth the effort.Zap GunProg-metal. A fun track that you can tap your toe to from start to finish. Short (1:33), but long enough to be fulfilling. Play if you want to sample the fringe of the metal domain without summoning any demons. Very accessible.Q+AAvant-garde. Zappa-esque. Drum and keyboard vignette.Imperial EnlightenmentProg-Free Jazz-Modern classical. Fairly abstract. Again, challenging but worth the effort.Magnetic ObjectsAvant-garde. Short vignette with Keyboard and vocalizations.Android Coronation BallProg-jazz fusion. Starts, Ends, and revisits the same ponderous depressing movement. Attempts are made to transcend through a cacophonous maelstrom into upbeat, or even funky grooves, only to plunge back into the dark chaos. Challenging, but worth the effort.The Antidote GameAgain, multi-faceted. Atmospheric, avant-garde, Psychedelic, free-jazz, fusion, space. There’s even, in my opinion, an homage to Mahavishnu Orchestra.In The HoleIt’s the savasana yoga track that will restore your mind after completing the technical challenges of this album. If none of the other tracks float your boat, then this track is for you.

Cobra Family Picnic – “Magnetic Anomaly” – [Sulatron Records]

Jay Omega   7/12/2022   A Library, CD

Dripping with Psychedelia and woven together by Apollo 8 sound clips, Cobra Family Picnic has created a masterpiece album. The tracks fall into three groups. The first track is a jazz infused intro for what is not a jazz album. Three tripped out, Avant guard, “Interplanetary” tracks connect the remaining rocker tracks. The rock tracks, except for the dark “Moody Mountain”, have upbeat grooves, drenched in somber effected vocals, and kept aloft by spaced out guitar and keyboards, that will have you simultaneously dancing and tripping. If the vocals mean anything, I’ve not been able to tell, because I always get too sucked into the music to process the words.

I fear this collaborative effort out of Tucson could be the last, as vocalist Randall Dempsey was only temporarily located in Tucson and has moved back to Phoenix. I challenge you to listen to “Elysium” and not find yourself dancing in your chair, if not bolting to your feet, midway through.

Beyond Captain Orca! – “Live 2018” – [Self Release]

Jay Omega   4/17/2022   A Library, CD

Beyond Captain Orca! are a purely improvisational band out of Seattle featuring the psychedelic guitar work of Jack Endino. The tracks ebb and flow as the musicians play off of each other on their meandering journeys. When one idea is played out, a new idea quickly emerges. There are three tracks on this release spanning two live performances. The third track also features Ganjas’ guitarist, Pablo Giadach, from Chile. At roughly 10, 20 and 30 minutes, there is a track length to fit your needs.

Somali Yacht Club – “The Sun +1” – [Robustfellow Prods.]

Jay Omega   4/17/2022   A Library, CD

This is the debut album of Somali Yacht Club, a Ukrainian band from Lviv Ukraine. This power trio moves between, and blends, Stoner rock, Psychedelic rock, Shoegaze, Post-metal, Post-rock, Dub, Doom, and Space rock, to create heavy prog-like journeys. Their ability to move about the musical universe is amazing. If I had to pick something to criticize, it would be that they do it just a little bit too well.

File #733 UFO: Further Investigation [coll] – [Modern Harmonic]

Jay Omega   1/9/2022   12-inch, A Library

This is a unique double LP. It is basically a kit for blending a narrated interview with a Psych/Experimental/Electronic bed. The first LP is a reissue of a series of interviews narrated by Jack Jenkins from 1966, with the vintage sound and production you’d expect. The interviews are all with people who have either seen UFO’s, interacted directly with aliens, or have some other relevant expertise. The second LP is designed to be the bed for the first LP and consists of a collection of pieces by various musicians, including some A-listers like Mugstar, Kikagaku Moyo, and White Manna. These contributions have been overlapped and cross faded into one continuous track per side.  What’s great about this format is you can create your own blending by substituting something for one of the LPs. Or forgo the mixing and just play any part standalone. The point, I think, is to have fun with this.

Vis Invis Electrique – “Electrique Kiss!” – [Lost Treasures of The Underworld]

Jay Omega   12/1/2020   12-inch, A Library

This is electronic, art-noise-rock created by a married duo from Brooklyn. The tracks form a set of hypnotic vignettes that all follow a basic formula – one or two bar electronic and percussion groove loops with added, and slightly buried, guitar and synth tracks. The tracks capture a range of styles within this limited structure. While each track is a blend of styles, the following groupings might guide your selections. Surf (Tracks 3 and 7), Noise (Tracks 1 and 4), Pop (Track 2), and Psych (Tracks 5 and 6). Also, the homogenous textural forms of the tracks lend themselves to be used as beds.

Sowell, Matt – “Organize Or Die” – [Feeding Tube Records]

Jay Omega   12/1/2020   12-inch, A Library

This is solo acoustic guitar. Mostly distinctly American music (i.e. blues and folk), but with some international influences (e.g. Sehkarhji has a Indian feel with a sitar sound). Matt Sowell hails from Minneapolis, and describes himself as “American Primitive”. It’s contemplative, lonely, and melancholic. Reminiscent of the empty despair captured in Ry Cooder’s “Paris Texas”, or the woven rhythm and melodies of Leo Kottke, though more profound than Kottke and without the “wow-factor”. A review on Bandcamp described it as having “reflections on the darker textures of our human condition”, which really nails it. I can imagine Otis Redding listening to this when he spent the day sittin’ on the dock of the bay.

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