Slift is a three-person psych/stoner rock band out of Toulouse, France. The sound can be described as a mix of early Green Day, Moon Duo, Somali Yacht Club, and Jimi Hendrix. Most tracks feature short lyrical sections and long, repeating, Krautlike instrumentals. The tracks are brimming with energy and fresh takes on psychedelia. This album is arguably a concept album – Slift says the story is about the Titans’ exile and Hyperion’s triumphant yet arduous return to Earth. A very prescient story. In February 2020, when the album was released, few could see that we all would be isolated and face an arduous return to whatever normal life is.
El Universo (Eder Ademar) says: “One day I was watching a documentary about the first manned trips to outer space, I remember they were talking about the tests they carried out with Monkeys & Apes and it occurred to me that that could be a great name for a band, at that time I listened to a lot of kraut and space rock and I really wanted to start a new project, I took the guitar I started to make some bases and on that some riffs while I ran the documentary in silence, I started to create the soundtrack of the documentary and then I did the same about a series of the universe, finally the project was not called Monkeys & Apes but I made a song with that name to remember Ham, the first hominid to fly into outer space. All instruments played and recorded by El Universo (Eder Ademar). Space, psych and rock all mixed together.
Steven R. Smith is the man behind projects like Hala Strana, Ulaan Khol, Ulaan Passerine and Ulaan Markhor, but also makes music under his own name. Active since the mid-90s, Smith has recorded a staggering amount of work, and every release is as good as the next. Joining Smith on Spring is Gareth Davis, the Amsterdam-based bass clarinetist and occasional collaborator of Machinefabriek, Merzbow and Elliot Sharp. The restrained interplay between Smith (on guitar, piano, percussion etc.) and Davis create a warmth and intimacy. Relaxed drone like ambience. Recorded at Worstward Studios, Los Angeles, December 2019 – May 2020.
The Volcanics are from the Pasadena area and have the SoCal instrumental surf sound down, but with some original touches. Very well played, all original compositions, lots of fun energy. Definitely makes you smile and want to dance. Enjoy!
Is it surf? Psych? Spaghetti Western? Country (especially track 5)? In the liner notes, they call it “surf-infused, desert-fueled rock & roll”. Whatever it is, this mostly female 5-piece band from Austin, Texas delivers a powerful, rich sound and irresistible momentum in these instrumental tracks. This album was made during a month spent at Bombay Beach near the Salton Sea in California. Really unique, absolutely wonderful!
Veik are another band I discovered traversing various rabbit holes of musical genres during my work from home status due to circumstances created by the pandemic. This particular rabbit hole was again located in France. I don’t recall if I came across them via their label or an algorithm as I had also come to discover the band Vanishing Twin who they collaborated with on a remix of the track Honest (I Don’t Wanna Know). Again, I reached out to the band and Boris the band’s drummer/percussionist responded. Luckily again the rest of the world speaks much better English and French than myself and sent me a 24 bit .wav file for the station to add! Merci!
The band creates an evocative universe of their own. It is an atmosphere that is both hypnotic and disturbing. Synthetic and acoustic rhythms flown over by a voice that harks to the lifeless vocals of Suicide’s Alan Vega. Chateau Guitar is the most straightforward guitar track that will likely see lots of airplay. Don’t miss out on any of the other tracks. Great rhythms and haunting subject matter to cogitate upon during the current socio-cultural political times of today, and perhaps even more pressing, the future.
“We hesitated a lot and took a few days before writing the following post, as we feel neither legitimate nor qualified to deal with the topic and as we did not want to give the impression to take advantage of the tragic situation of the war in Ukraine. However, we felt the need to express our support for the Ukrainian people for several reasons.
In 2017 we released ‘Maidan’ on an EP whose theme was the 2010s protest movements. ‘Maidan’ was written as an attempt to grasp the contrasting faces of Ukraine and what was happening there at the time. Moreover, the name of the band is also imbued with this imaginary. Among its multiple origins, the name Veik is a reference to Kiev (Kyiv) in reverse.”
Original Deluxe Edition, Limited Edition, Pink vinyl
Adrien Legrand, Boris Collet, Vincent Condaminas
Experimental, Krautrack, Post-Punk
Slift are a band I discovered via the Levitation Live series on ewetoob stuck working from home during the pandemic. The Slift session is a must watch! From the location to the acoustics, I found myself itching to see these guys live.
2016: Spacetrip For Everyone is the first entry into my personal collection before I reached out to the band to see if I could obtain the most recent album on behalf of the station, providing the band link from the kfjc web page, Ummon and/or the Levitation Live album. Both were sold out but they offered to send me 24 bit .wav files to my joy!
Slift are influenced and are of the Prog, Psych-rock denomination with the energy of punk and metal. I am sure there are many dj’s at the station who will enjoy this title with title with another to come soon. I won’t name bands that have had an influence so that you can form your own thoughts.
If you enjoy Carson Street’s show and reviews, this title will be one to add to your playlist. Many thanks to Slift, the Music Department for the add and Carson Street for a link to an interview with the band after I sent him my discovery!
Psychdelic Rock, Krautrock, Prog, Post-Punk
May 2019 Release
Six Tonnes De Chair Records
Original a single-sided 12”,
Limited Edition heavy weight paper hand screen printed jacket
Canek Flores, Jean Fossat, Remi Fossat
THIS A SONIC ARTIFACT FROM THE PAST
WHOEVER YOU ARE, WHEREVER YOU ARE IN THE GALAXY :
WE SALUTE YOU FROM THE DEEP SPACE AND THE NIGHT ! -Slift
N.Y.C. Death Metal
Furious gnashing teeth, tar paced passages, and catastrophic detonations of primal focused vigor. Deep wells of suffering and ability from members of Yellow Eyes, Morhoraam Atta, Vanum, Mróz, et alia. Bellows, gallows, wails, and snails’… pace… progression. Some pinch harmonics on track B1, “Skin Hunger” that doesn’t enthuse this volunteer but the composition is varied and interesting enough that I am willing to allow it… this time. And though I tend to prefer the onslaught/optimal carnage passages to the glacially paced doom element, I do appreciate the contrast. I can get behind a slower-than-everyone-else and faster-than-everyone-else ethos on a single 13 minute side-long track… that also culminates in a glorious atmospheric locked-groove.
All FCC’s, if they do indeed exist, are entirely unintelligible.
New York – 2013
Low Fidelity female driven punk rock from NYC.
Up-tempo jangly guitars, over simple yet energetic rhythms, riffs and youthful, laryngeal vocals in Portuguese from this vibrant four-piece (perhaps three-piece, possibly defunct).
The title of this 7″ might be translated as “Peace Negotiations Continue Like Fables Do” and seems to be in line thematically with the other projects from Toxic State; the youth are dispossessed and they’re gonna rock the fuck out about it.
New York City – 2018
FCCs: Tracks 1, 2, 7
A 2022 release out of a band based in Philadelphia, this moody and psychedelic tale of grief and self-destruction is sure to delight shoegaze punks and goths alike. Hypnotic and swelling synth back up noisy guitar to create a hopeless bed for the bemoaning vocals of lament and sorrow, though overall this album is surprisingly upbeat in terms of tempo and beats that underline throughout.
I recommend Sick in Heaven (track 4), a sinister but almost dancey track one could easily shuffle in a dark basement to.
kittywompus 8/3/2022 A Library
What could easily be mistaken as a soundtrack to a big city mystery action-drama is a surprisingly funky rhythm heavy and mysterious bit of instrumental from a collaboration between Estonian artist Misha Panfilov and UK based Shawn Lee. Sudden changes in pace and the use of house type electronica on some tracks makes for a very chill but comfortably ominous feel. Heavy bass and synth make appearances alongside beeps, boops, and zings that evoke a feeling of taking a journey through open space halfway into the album. Overall a great album to play while playing laser tag on shrooms. MY FAVES: Turbo engine, Separated at Surf
kittywompus 8/3/2022 A Library
Los Peyotes is a psychedelic 60s garage band out of Buenos Aires, with a self described sound of cien percento fuzz y farfisa their fourth album Introducing…Los Peyotes is a whirrly, screamin, surfy good time background for driving fast and other risky behavior. Raspy vocals scream in english and spanish throughout. Periodic screaming, energetic guitar solos, and chanty yeh yehs create the perfect balance of hype and hysteria.
German club music. Sturm and drang. Hard-hitting, relentless unforgiving rhythm’n’noise. A deep breath of darkness that comes with the 15-track-storm, a conclusion reached via the track titles.
Relentless beats from the low 100’s up to 150 plus. Most veer toward the high end. Dark and brooding with occasional barely discernible “vocals” can be heard in a few tracks. Rhythms at times evoke electroclash flavorings while others are more relentless, reminding this listener of 80’s electronic dance beats from Belgium and the UK.
Lots to work with. Play with the tempo and fine tune to your delight. Perhaps pepper with a spoken word track…
released October 25, 2019
Immersive. ASMR for Boris fans. A tonal tantric experience for all. Trademark distortion and delay guitar effects to create soundscapes from the ecstatic to that of thundering de-tuned dystopian dirge. Rhythmically diverse. Acoustic and electronic percussion used to contextualize each track. Each will pull the listener into its orbit.
Boris formed in 1992 and eventually arrived at the band’s current lineup of Takeshi, Wata, and Atsuo in 1996.
Recently, the group ramped up during the pandemic and released the most extreme album of their long and widely celebrated career, NO. Boris self-released the album, desiring to get it out as quickly as possible but intentionally called the final track on the album “Interlude” while planning its follow-up. Its successor came with W. NO and W weave together to form NOW, a duo of releases that respond to one another.
Released January 2022
There are tunes here for the dance floor as well as plenty to chill to in the after-hours lounge.
The compilation covers a period of transition: When synthesizers and samplers became DIY music-making. The beginning of a movement that slowly gave way to the embrace of acid-house, rave, and techno culture in Switzerland. This album mines the outer fringes of a scene yet to be. These artists, working in isolation before the time of the connected world were creating something all their own without the influences of social media. – Thee Opinataur
Age has not tempered these Chicago punks as the album showcases that distinct mix of raw Windy City underground, with lyrics addressing numerous social ills with a sense of humor that flippantly belies a greater significance. While it’s melodic punk in genre, there are subtle post-punk tones that make the music more atmospheric and tonal rather than building everything over a catchy chorus. It’s punk, but it’s also complex and thoughtful, which means it takes a little longer to seep into the listener’s consciousness, and it also seeps in a little deeper, leaving a lasting impression, because of this.
Released in 2021, this is the band’s first album release over 30 years. Formed in 1980, disbanded in 1989, they reformed in 2006 and have been active since. – Thee Opinataur
#pop-punk/ #punk/ #post-punk /#melodic punk
East Bay Crust Lords do battle with New Mexico Legends… everybody wins
Absolutely crushing Hardcore Punk / Thrash with Doom and Metal elements by two projects from New Mexico that were adapting exceptionally well to the changing sonic landscape. Grimple takes the slightly more conventional (at the time) approach with a blistering attack, mind shearing aggression, and shredded throats. Logical Nonsense unleashes a more technical offering with especially compelling (at the time) vocals that utilize the one shrieking, one bellowing mode made popular By Neurosis a few years prior with a bit of clean vocals and a single spoken word track (Track 16 “Untitled”) that provides an interesting though emphatically nihilistic palate cleanser after the barrage of suffering and malice unleashed by these two underground juggernauts.
This split was integral to my experience of life in the South Bay circa 1994. It is impossible to separate these tracks from my experience on this planet. So strong is the link of sound to memory, I am unable to stop from being propelled back in time. Just out of high school and overwhelmed with the gravity of adulthood, the miserable economy, lack of opportunities, and the ferocity of the music in “my scene”. I had taken 8 hits of liquid the summer of Junior year and my brain was absolutely fried. I had to abandon the drugs that had been my primary motivation for the few years prior and find whatever solace I could in the music that seemed to speak for me. In 1994 we were just post “Souls At Zero” which simply decimated the sonic landscape. Stripping bare our skeletal frames, our flesh turning to dust in a blast furnace of aural, and perhaps, cultural cataclysm. It was readily apparent that the future could never be the same and many of the musicians, bands, and artists felt that this was a changing of the guard and that intensity was the currency that provided salience. The gauntlet was at our feet and you either sat the fuck down and enjoyed the show, or your dug deep and stepped up to toe the line. I believe this album is an important response to a transformation happening in the scene, with both Grimple and Logical Nonsense answering the call to arms with their respective take on Crust/Hardcore Punk which, coincidentally, was something that Neurosis was moving away from. But we still wanted it. Christ, we needed that link to the past that was being torn asunder. Anarcho/Peace/Crust or whatever (Crass, Discharge, Rudimentary Peni, Extreme Noise Terror, Nausea, Amebix…) was a language we knew and trusted.. and we were not letting go… not yet anyway. Reveling in the visceral and evocative pushing of air and the dissemination of beliefs that were at merciless odds with the status quo and the “System” and musicians simply dripping with technical prowess. We worshipped at this altar. And however bleak the world was, however hopeless our lives were, no matter how far we might fall into this life devoid of meaning and filled with iniquity, crushed by a society that had no place for us, and doomed to fail in a ruthless game where the cards were stacked so high against us… we could put on A Darker Shade of Grey and feel just a little less alone. And we did. Over, and over, and over again. We would also see them when they rolled through or in Grimple’s case on the rare occasion when they would cross the bridge (so feverish was their East Bay pride and their Hispanic heritage) at a time when Oakland offered a very clear and present danger to punks, but they would cross the bridge on occasion, and they would slay… along with Logical Nonsense who were/are also of indigenous ancestry, contributing to the legitimacy of a message of oppression and of suffering. Something that was deeply respected in a scene built on woe. I didn’t intentionally stop listening to these bands but I had wallowed in these kind of sounds for years, neglecting compelling and incredible facets of a diverse sonic tapestry that I needed to explore… (curiosity killed the crust-punk) and contributed (unintentionally) to becoming a slightly more balanced human being, less bitter, cynical, and hopeless. Besides, I was thoroughly steeped in misery… absolutely fluent… and besides, this album was in my marrow.
Oakland / Santa Fe -1994
Track 1: fuckin’
Track 3: fucker, fuck, fuckin’, shit, bitch’
Track 4: fuckin’, fucking
Track 6: fuckin’, fuck
Track 7: fuckin’
Track 9: fuck, fuckin’
Track 10: fuckin’
Track 14: fuckin’, fuck
Track 15: fuck you (pig), fuckin’ (swine)
Haunting Dark Ambience
Medium to short length foreboding drones, creepy minimalism, and spooky abstractions from one Henrik Lennart Nordvargr Björk, who’s prodigious output under various titles (Pouppée Fabrikk, MZ. 412, All Hail the Transcendent Ghost, et al.) and genres has spanned more than three decades. Björk explores many different themes but appears to gravitate towards the turmoil of Europe in the 20th century and does so through myriad stylistic tributaries often employing electronic and synthesized sounds though he has stated that he prefers to record more traditionally, being drawn to the sounds of pedals and instruments over computer rendered audio. All tracks are heavy, deep, and quiet but if you’re not in the mood for stabbing into the darkness, might I suggest track 7, “Aryana of the Open Wound”.
Sweden – 2008
Sound collage for the adventurous, dosed, and adventurously dosed. Colorful and composed.
A genuinely inscrutable sound buffet that defies all categorization though a tenuous thread of “jazz” seems to tie these heterogeneous tracks together. Soft trains, choral elements, film score, whimsical electronic musing, pitch shifting, sad smoky horns, echoes, swells, jabbing stoner bass, psych guitar, gentle latin jazz percussion, simulated (?) sitar, sad and subdued blues guitar, sullen violin, Nico (?), and on, and on… Volunteers who enjoy eclecticism and the perversely atypical will revel in these profoundly odd but also seemingly refined tracks. Drugs? No drugs? The choice is yours, dear listener, but if or how one chooses to modulate their biochemistry they will find themselves on an unusual and fascinating journey. It is one with abstract twists and acute turns but there isn’t even a hint of sadism from Josh Pollock (3 Leafs, Daevid Allen’s University Of Errors). Like a coyote during a peyote voyage he will guide you through strange realms but offer no cruelty, not a hint of sadistic sentiment will be felt… until the final track (Jazz Losin’ It) when we are struck by a massive detuned threnody for fourteen seconds of doom before pitching us abruptly into some ragtime shuffle bits, overblown horns, more obtuse angles and aural genuflection.
San Francisco – 2021
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File