Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Silas Neptune- The Scales of Tahuti (Silas Neptune Music)

Silas, is the son of Ed Wynne (Ozric Tentacles) and this is his first solo work. IT is a long album featuring 7 long tracks of ambient electronic music with world music influences, reggae, techno but mostly spacey soundscapes and samples.  Feathers of Ma´at starts things off and is a diverse track with many cool moods and style shifts. Aqualight has this dreamy state to it and some of the same sort of synth sounds found in the more ambient Ozrics material. Drums are more like a table like (not that close to the real thing). I am not a fan of programmed drums. Underneath the main keyboard line there are quite a few things going on if you listen closely, at least 2-3 different layers. Occasionally, some of the synth sounds are manipulated and twisted. Cool track.  Yawning Mountain features a more prominent bass line and some nice swirly synths. Lots of interesting stuff happening in this track. Did I hear glissando guitar??  Later, Ed plays a very nice solo and it sounds like a Joie style keyboard solo. Nanodots starts with a very eastern inspired string instrument (sampled or played??). Anyway the track evolves in a very cool way with pan flutes, acoustic guitar and other layers of otherworldly sound. Becomes Everything has a more uptempo drum pace and some interesting growly sounds at times and provides a more energetic experience after 5 slow tracks. Some amazing synths on this track and trippy and highly manipulated at times! There is one line taken directly from an Ozrics track, that OT fans will recognize. This should not be surprising as it is the same synthesizers that the band uses and most of the plays on the album. Devachan-Sand Goblins takes you back to the floating gardens of Neptune with its lush layers of spacey synths. Very much like Nodens Ictus stuff (I have not heard the new one yet).  The drums kick in at different intervals and there are some like female voice like synths as well.  Mergoblins?? The end part of the track is really cool with the trippy manipulated synth. Gateway to Dreamtime finishes off your musical adventure to Silas’s Neptune. Would love to see Silas get over to some of the great electronic music festivals in Portugal. Cool album, congrats.

This is a list of all the people who contributed to the making of this record and it is quite impressive:  Silas Neptune, Ed Wynne, Brandi Wynne, Joie Hinton, Natan Mantismash, Roy Brosh, Balazs Szende, Dominic Gibbins, and Paul Hankin.

Mark “Porkchop” Holder- Death and the Blues (Alive Natural Sound 0195-2)

I quite dug Mark’s last record but I have to admit it was a bit hard for me to get into where as this new one, just kicked me in the ass from the start and I was hooked!!!!  The album features 11 blues rocking tracks played with a lot of gusto and attitude. The album starts off with Captain Captain, an uptempo slide guitar driven foot stompin’ track with some harmonica as well. Sad days and Lonely Nights keeps the pace uptempo with a nice solid bass line over which Mark plays a nice longer than normal solo. This sort of darker song leads into Coffin Lid (hear below), features a really dirty fuzzy slide guitar and tells a good story as well. Big Boat slows things down at the start and kicks in hard and heavy with some more mean slide guitar about shoveling coal on the river! Nobody wants to Cry is just Mark on a steel guitar and slide pouring his gritty heart out.  Be Righteous is a slow starter and happier track that kicks into high gear after a mins and rocks out. Bless me Santasima is a short instrumental guitar track. Billy the Kid has another cool bass groove and tells the story over this more country track. Totally different than the previous tracks. James Leg is a short track about fellow label mate, james Leg and his drinking! What is wrong with your Mind has Mark mix in a delay pedal to his slide guitar arsenal for a bit more psychedelic sound. The title track ends this good time blues rocking album. Crank it out LOUD.  I really dug this album. Great songs.

Terry Brooks and Strange- Treasures and Gems from the Treasure Chest, Volume 1 and 2 (Bandcamp 2017)

Many of you might know the name Terry Brooks and strange. Terry hailed from Florida and made quite a name for himself in the underground.  Terry first came to prominence with his 1973 debut LP, the heavy rocking progressive-psychedelic masterpiece ‘Translucent World’, privately released on Terry’s own Outer Galaxie Publishers label. He started jamming in the 70s and did some concerts in Europe in the 80s, continued to play into the 90s and then disappeared.  Jerry Kranitz from Aural Innovations was given a chance by Terry (who is in poor health) to go through the archives and compile the first of potentially several volumes of music from this archive. The first 2 have just been released.

Vol 1  (this text is written by Jerry Krantiz)
The first three tracks of this set were recorded live in 1984 during Terry’s tour of Germany. It opens with 20 minutes of awe inspiring, powerhouse jamming that will appeal to fans of monster guitar solos. ‘Child Of The City’ follows, blending song with more exploratory instrumental workouts. The live set comes to a close with the heavy blues, song and jam monster ‘Down And Dirty Blues’. As a bonus we have included one of the only occurrences of Terry doing a cover song – Terry ROCKS the classic ‘Spoonful’, recorded in 1987 at a private concert.
Vol 2  7 tracks

Monster Guitar: Opening with a German radio promo for Terry's song Rock & Roll Woman, the DJ then plays a jam recorded live in Juarez, Mexico sometime in the 1980s. It's a monstrous power trio jam featuring volcanic space/psych/noise guitar.  Magic Fingers: This prog infused power psych rock instrumental was recorded at a private concert in 1986. Space-Metal… Killer!: Totally eruptive space-metal studio jam from 1976.  Love Passion Guitar: Recorded live in 1992, this is slow, doomy, melodic, yet intense hard psych, with passionate dirty blues solos that later gets tastefully spaced out. This track was recorded in the aftermath of the passing of Terry's uncle Jimmy Napoli.  Killer Rock: A studio recording from 1981, this is a hard jamming rocker with down 'n' dirty boogie-woogie swagger in the leads.

Midnight Angel (early version with jam): This late 1970s studio recording kicks off with a lengthy jam with wailing guitar and drums, but lightly melodic keys that provide a cool contrast to the frenzy of the guitar and drums. What makes it extra special is it's segue into the song that would later appear as 'Midnight Angel' on Terry's 1980 released To Earth With Love album.  Sonic Psychedelic Mind Melt: Recorded in 1973 during the sessions for what became Terry's 1976 released Raw Power album, this track is a tour de force of fuse blowing, effects heavy hysteria. 

The ‘Treasures and Gems from the Treasure Chest’ series has been launched to make available unreleased and little heard music from Terry’s massive archives. Each volume in the series seeks to showcase the many sides of this multi-faceted artist.  I totally dug this material and heard it several times I the last week. If you are into totally wild over the top guitar jamming and modern acts like Earthless, Frozen Planet 1969, The Machine, etc… then for sure check this series out for some serious guitar masturbation sessions into the unknown. Check out a concert from 1982 below..

White Hills & Der Blutharsch- Desire (WKN)

White Hills and the folks from Der Blutharsch and the Infinite church of the leading Hand have a new collaboration out. It is a 5 track EP, a bit over 20 mins long. I guess this is out on vinyl at some point as well but right now, it appears in a black slipsleeve with virtually no information, so I will just have to describe the music for you.
Nom de guerre starts with a heavy bass line and some programmed drums, guitar (Dave??) before the dreamy vocals slowly enter in.  Very 80s sounding. Is it Ego or ??  Some interesting synths are thrown into the mix and it gets quite psychedelic around 3mins in. Await the moon has a very different sound production and features the female singer from Der Blutharcsh. Some cool spacey guitar on this track as this one is more floating and features real (?) drums. Mixed a bit far back are some pretty cool synths. Desire features a more accessible beat and rhythm to go with the programmed drums. Could be Ego on bass. Very 80s synth pop like vocals.  Trippy ending to this track. Sfg starts with a very cool synth line that slowly fades up as the low end starts to fill the sound spectrum and your ears adjust to the psychedelic sound. This is a freaky instrumental. Lover is the last track and also has a quite psychedelic sound and features the female vocalist from Der Blutharcsh. The programmed kick drum is really in your face on this track. This track is just strange with weird synths and drones. Ectc. Dave kicks in with a dark guitar riff around 2mins. Freaky stuff. It is hard to compare this to either band but it does have more of a feel like recent White Hills verse older WH. I have not heard enough of the extremely extensive Der Blutharsch discography to know if they have a lot more stuff like this or not? This is totally unlike anything I have heard this year. Check it out.


Buffalo Killers- Alive and Well in Ohio (Alive Natural Sound 0194-2)

This is an Ohio 4 piece band that released their first album back in 2006.  The two brothers Zachary and Andy write all the songs. This is the bands 6th record and 5th on Alive Natural Sound.  The first of 13 tracks starts off with Death magic Cookie, a track with a very obvious Beatles feeling to it (vocals). What a Waste is another melodic pop-rock song with dual vocals as on most tracks. This melancholy track features a nice guitar break. Parachute features a falsetto lead vocal and is another poppy sort of track. The end has some heavy guitar but it does not go anywhere. Eastern Tiger switches to a acoustic guitar and again features very Beatles like singing. Need a Changin´(See video below) is one of the more heavy and grooving tracks (a well needed change from the mainstream) on this record.  The band actually seem like they jam it out a bit. Great track. Evil Thoughts is back to the style of the earlier tracks with a very melodic vocal driven happy pop alt rock tracks with a nice guitar line. Outta this Hotel has a darker feeling to it and slows things down a bit but a bit of a reference to She’s so Heavy by the Beatles and is also the longest track on the album at 5 ½ mins. Rad Day is a happy track with a nice different guitar line and country pedal steel guitar thrown in for good measure! Applehead Creek slows things down and could be a Blackberry Smoke track musically not vocally.  Nice. Stuck inside the Realm of Man is a more dark moody track with that tinge of Beatles as well. On Out is another grooving track with some slide guitar but that catchy sound that is Buffalo Killers. Black Hair is the last track on the normal album and a more laid back track with a more falsetto vocal to start and then a more heavy and nasty guitar and into an almost Hawaiian like guitar break before back to the tenor vocals. The CD features the bonus track So Close in your Mind, a happy track.
If you are a fan of the band, you will dig this new one, chock full of catchy, quirky tracks.