As a wave of music articles is slowly taking over the Hashmark, I feel I must take a step back for a moment, and consider purely the lyrical content of In Dub by Hallucinogen. I won’t lie to you, there aren’t many lyrics on this album, but there are some very interesting concepts and ideas.
Category Archives: A Sunshine Experience
Firstly thanks to Duncan for filling in for me last week, reviewing Joanna Newsom’s marvellous album Ys. My chosen album to enlighten you all with today was to be Dreaming with Alice by Mark Fry. Unfortunately though Mr Pascoe stole my CDs, one of which was this most treasured acid folk album. Cited by some as the epitome of the genre, it is a rare album to find, until recently only realistically available as a bootleg, once I am returned this item I will share it with you all. So where do I go now? I think that I must return to the place where I came.
Is there any better way to spend a sunny Easter Saturday than dozing in a graveyard listening to music? If there is I haven’t found it. My choice of album for this week’s article may not be quite as obscure as Jimmy’s regular selections, but I think it works well all the same. Ignoring the slightly odd location (I don’t think of it as a real graveyard, more a park with dead bodies six feet under the benches), it’s been a good day’s listening, with my iPod (which is unfortunately dying) playing ‘Ys’ by Joanna Newson, courtesy of Newton Abbot library.
A post rock band new to the London scene, their debut, Nun, has been released on the Wupa Dupa label (a collective of new artists from London whose catalogue ranges from twee folk to post-rock). There appears to be nothing immediately interesting about Nun Of The Above upon first listen; however, progressing deeper into the album, you slowly become trapped into the hypnotic bass and cello lines. I feel the poignant beauty in vague discordance at a despondent state of life. The psychedelic influences are incredible, some Pink Floyd moments, also resemblances to bands such as the American Analog Set and Explosions in the Sky, artists who are certainly considered to be within the confines of the same genre. One of the most obvious and striking things about the album is that it builds and falls; tumultuous distortions seep upwards, drums roll underneath, chaos takes over, at which point the song drops into the sound of a pizzicato cello playing a bass line, all to be built up once more. One could say that many of the builds were put in just for their own sake, but that is irrelevant, because they certainly work well in my opinion.
Seeing as he was from the same scene Bob Dylan hailed from, the New York Greenwich Village folk scene, there are clear similarities in style. The album, simply called David Blue, was released in 1966, shortly after Dylan’s release of Blonde on Blonde, and there is a similar surf garage folk sound. However, there are many influences upon this album, particularly from the psychedelic West-Coast scene. One comes from their Elektra peers, Love, the jangling guitars and beats being an obvious reference to Love’s self titled debut. Grateful Dead also had a huge influence on the sound of David’s first album; the quiet undertones offered by the organ and the bluegrass folk rhythms both show this. As with many artists, despite David Blue’s popularity at the time, his name became obscured in the void of time, overcast by other highly influential and successful musicians from the scene like Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger.
On a lazy afternoon, sat in the park sun beating down, I flick through the Phoenix’s gig guide for the coming months, I stumbled across a genius on the piano: Neil Cowley has done session work with Zero 7 and Gabrielle, and was a child prodigy, playing Shostakovich at the Queen Elizabeth Hall when he was just 10. However, he is now touring with his own band, The Neil Cowley Trio . A fusion of Jazz and Classical piano, with trance like ambient grooves and rhythms backed by a funky double-bassist.
On a cold rainy drizzly evening, as winter fades away, I sit and listen to things to come. Sounds evocative of Donovan and Stan Getz, Jefferson Airplane and Bert Jansch, even classical greats such as Bach are meshed together, seeping into my ears and throughout my body. Folk, psychedelia and jazz amongst others are blended together perfectly by the Os Mutantes, with the Bossa Nova-esque groove throughout which gives their self-titled debut a little sunshine touch. Aided by the home-made fuzz pedals, the hazy summers of childhood are brought to mind. However, despite seeming so easy and carefree, Brazil was not: The country was under military rule in which all forms of media were under strict censorship. Perhaps it is these hardships that defined the Tropicalia movement of the time, epitomized by such artists as Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, who fused the psychedelic sounds of London and San Francisco with their own traditional rhythms. Alas, Veloso and Gil were extradited to England due to their radical views.