LET’S TALK-Y ABOUT MILWAUKEE: THE MILWAUKEE PSYCH FEST THIS WEEKEND

23 Apr

We’ve heard that no one knows exactly why the city of Milwaukee is called “Milwaukee.” We’ve also heard that no one knows exactly why there seems to be a new “psych fest” approaching the radar every day. These are mysteries that we’ll save to solve another day (read: never).

We do know that we can’t make it to every emerging psych fest across the globe (sometimes, we have trouble just making it to one), and we also know that the founder of this weekend’s Milwaukee Psych Fest – Andrew Shelp (a.k.a. Suni Daze, a.k.a. the heart that keeps Moss Folk beating) has long found the time and inclination to sing the praises of this ridiculous website. It’s a kindness we can hardly return, but it’s only fair that we take the time to sing similar praise the for the Milwaukee Psych Fest.

MILWAUKEE

On the occasion of the third incarnation of Milwaukee Psych Fest, the brew-city freaks have put together a line-up par excellence, filled with bands that we’ve written about previously (Haunted Leather, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Heaven’s Gateway Drugs, Verma) and bands we’ve previously meant to write about (hello, Electric Citizen; hello, Vocokesh).

But it all begins, as most things do … with LOOP.

If we were in Milwaukee this weekend, rest assured we’d be at Milwaukee Psych Fest.

 

THURSDAY APRIL 24th. 9pm. $15.

LOOP

MOSS FOLK

DEAD GURUS

FRIDAY APRIL 25th. 9pm. $10.

BEAST IN THE FIELD

PLASTIC CRIMEWAVE SYNDICATE

SISTERS OF YOUR SUNSHINE VAPOR

TAPEBENDERS

SATURDAY APRIL 26th (4-8pm). $7.

BRUJAS DEL SOL

GOLDEN DONNA

DIRTY DANCING

SPACE RAFT

SATURDAY APRIL 26th. 9pm. $10.

VERMA

MOON CURSE

KILLER MOON

HEAVEN’S GATEWAY DRUGS

SUNDAY APRIL 27th. 5pm. $10.

THE BLIND SHAKE

RUNNING

VIRGINIA TRANCE

HAUNTED LEATHER

VOCOKESH

Milwaukee Psych Fest will be held at The Cactus Club (2496 S Wentworth Ave).

THE WYRDING MODULE

17 Apr

To say that words fail us in describing the paranormal, sonic-synthesis that is The Wyrding Module should come as no surprise. Truth be told, we’d not find success in trying to adequately describe the somewhat more straightforward music of the Ramones, either. The difficulty here is that we’re not convinced The Wyrding Module is even making music, in the traditional sense, at least any more than performing a ritual.

Which is not to say that The Wyrding Module is not musical. It most certainly is – and certainly among the most hypnotic music that we’ve had the great pleasure of sending shooting through our headphones and directly into our bloodstream with great regularity. We see this activity as an acceptable parallel to The Wyrding Module’s awesome aural amalgamation of electronic precision and human mysticism, not to mention the sometimes-negligible space that separates the two.

A couple of hundred words in, and it’s clear that we’ll not approach an accurate description of The Wyrding Module’s sound. At least, nothing as essentially spot-on as the words that came from the always-worthwhile Norman Records, whose review of “Subtemple Session II” served as our introduction to the world of The Wyrding Module:

“A massively ambitious proposition executed with an immense amount of both skill and visceral freedom. ‘Psychotropic’ is indeed a fitting description … smudges together influences from prog rock, free jazz, dub, mantra rock, psychedelia, old horror soundtracks, krautrock, kosmische and science fiction into a continuously evolving hypnagogic and trippy brew that pushes the influences forward, rather than being purely retro or pastiche, and has a sort of sinister occult/ritual/magick aspect. By the end, it’s like waking from a dream or an acid flashback.”

Keep the module weird. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have The Wyrding Module (aka Chris Gladwin, aka Dr. Derek F.) answer our ridiculous questions below. Enjoy.

Can you recall a song or album that was initially very confusing, or even unappealing to you, that ultimately grew to be a crucial influence on the music that you would later make? What was it about that music that was initially confounding – and what was it that it eventually taught you about your creativity? How has your perception of that music changed over the years?

Porter Ricks’ “Biokinetics.” Although I was not particularly dismissive when I first heard it back in the late nineties, it didn’t really resonant with me. At the time, I was more into things that sounded like the entire contents of a music shop been thrown down the stairs, rather than the minimal skulking developments and murky textures of that record. Relatively recently I happened to rediscover it whilst in the process of working on some Wyrding material. I think this colored my experience of it; it seemed to take on a much darker hue than I remembered and I became aware of a vaguely alien creepiness I had not noticed before. It became one of those epiphany moments where I realized there were parallels with the sound I was trying to create and umbral hypnotic atmospheres found on that album. It marked a shift in influence from something that was rooted in the past (Kosmische Musik, 70’s Horror-Prog) to include more contemporary industrial pastures. I am listening to a lot of isolationist (?) techno at the moment and trying to apply that “less is more” stratagem to my own work.

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Is there a particular live musical performance that you witnessed that had perhaps the most long-lasting impact on your overall musical outlook? What do you think it was about that performance that left such an impression on you? When were you most recently moved and/or greatly impressed by a band’s live performance?

Seeing Acid Mothers Temple in their various incarnations always blows me away. Something approaching a giddy hysteria comes over me when they are in full freak-out mode. I think it’s the durational aspect of it; endless freewheeling passages of cosmic madness that bore in to the mind and have an almost literal psychotropic effect. Gnod are another act that produce a similar response in me. Again it’s that immersive, sustained approach, but more focused and motorik. It is what I’d like to achieve with the Wyrding Module live.

How has your perception of assembling music on your own evolved since you began The Wyrding Module? Given unlimited financial resources, what would be your ideal environment for creating music? What elements of musical construction do you feel are perhaps underutilized?

With the Wyrding Module, it is more about concept rather than techniques or gear, if that is what the question is about. I use whatever is on hand and feels appropriate, employing a methodology of heuristic play. It’s the way I suppose I’ve always created music (more often by accident than design.). With unlimited funds, I would create a gigantic zeppelin with a fully equipped workshop for Don Buchla to build me a studio and instruments. I would then hover around the globe gathering sounds and bombarding its inhabitants with orgy-inducing alien sonic rites. Imagination is perhaps the most important tool in music construction.

Despite being utterly enamored of the music you make as The Wyrding Module, we have to admit we don’t have an adequate way of describing it to the uninitiated. Is there verbal shorthand that you use when attempting to answer the question, “What does The Wyrding Module sound like?”

Joseph Stannard (The Outer Church) recently described TWM as “ScFi Diabolism.” I quite like that. But ultimately things that permeate the borders of known reality can only be vaguely hinted at in oblique whispered utterances and peculiarly unsettling symbols …

How much revision goes in to the way you structure a long-form piece – for example, something like the 30+ minutes of “The Hadronic Seeress And Other Wyrd Tales, Part 1” – from start to finish? Generally speaking, how close is the finished product to the original inspiration? How much of your sound would you attribute to “happy accidents” and how much to you think is a relatively defined sonic vision (for lack of a more unnecessary term)?

Different works have had diverse methods of construction. “The Hadronic Seeress (I & II)” materialised out of accrued experimental material, in a sense, posthumously. There was no overarching concept but I wanted to present the body of work as whole to create an immersive rambling psychedelic experience. I approached it as kind of DJ mix, blending and editing tracks together following a dynamic flow suggested by the material; essentially it seemed to write itself. “Mellifluous Ichor From Sunless Regions” had a more defined structure and from the start, with narrative passages, I want to create in a prog-rock “concept” album style. A lot of revision took place and pieces were worked on simultaneously as the chapters built up, alternate versions often ending up in live sets. The process was inverted for “Subtemple Session II,” which was basically a live set rehearsal recorded in one take with negligible editing. Generally I never really consider pieces fully resolved and due to the often improvised or generative elements they contain I will revisit them and see what transpires. I quite like the idea of creating iterations of works or elements; it adds a sense of ritual to them.

Would you care to comment on the rumor – the rumor that we are attempting to start right now – that you’ll soon release a line of men’s disposable faux-facial hair devices, under the brand name, “The Bearding Module”?

As soon as they have matured. I grow them in vats of amniotic fluid from samples of Hermann Nitsch’s DNA.

How does the hypnotic effect of music impact your creative process? How do you believe this effect manifests itself on your own music? On your own life in general? Are there concrete ways in which the exposure to certain music has impacted your personal outlook on life, spiritual or otherwise?

There is something deeply primal about drones and repetitive sounds that seem to engage a lower order of carnal consciousness. Perhaps some primitive part of our biology is stimulated by such sounds and the normal relationship between our brains and bodies becomes somehow altered. I believe the use of sound in rituals/mediation across many different cultures exploits this effect. From chakra mantras, Encohian summoning rituals, Sufi practises, Voodoo drumming, to musical forms not directly considered spiritual but aiming to achieve a similar effect such as Acid House, 60’s minimalism and Krautrock. It’s a kind of music I’ve always been drawn to and the foundation of most of what I do with The Wyrding Module. It’s about hitting that sweet spot that creates a sense of total absorption and equilibrium that could go on indefinitely. I’ve found playing repetitively rather than sequencing and trying to be as hands-on as possible production wise helps in this regard. Some of the tracks I’ve made end up edited but the original session may have gone on for several hours; “Irem” came about like that. I wanted to get to point where I wasn’t consciously thinking about playing anymore and for it to become automatic. it is something I picked up from researching classical Indian sitar music. I also did some interesting collaborative work with a Kurdish artist (Adalet Garmiany) who had an understanding of particular Sufi rituals, involving drumming and “breath” chanting to achieve a trance state. Perhaps surprisingly, I don’t really have any particular spiritual beliefs; it’s a cold Nietzschian mechanical universe for me. However this doesn’t preclude the paranormal, or rather the preternatural; “Every science is a mutilated octopus. If its tentacles were not clipped to stumps, it would feel its way into disturbing contacts.” (Charles Fort)

What music have you been listening to lately? If push comes to shove, what’s your favorite Silver Apples song and why? Please show your work.

Currently I’m in the mood for Shxcxchcxsh (unhinged Swedish noise-techno.), Bell Witch (beautiful and crushing, Sigur Rós meets Corrupted?) and Skullflower (Matthew Bower is a legend; psychedelic-fuzz-industrial guitar vomit of the highest order.).

Hans Christian von Baeyer, Chancellor Professor of Physics at the College of William and Mary.– and almost certainly a huge black metal fan – says the following:

“If you don’t understand something, break it apart; reduce it to its components. Since they are simpler than the whole, you have a much better chance of understanding them; and when you have succeeded in doing that, put the whole thing back together again.”

Your thoughts?

Sometimes you can be too analytical, become engrossed in minutia and loose the essence of the whole. “Not understanding” can be a rewarding strategy; to side step rational thought and embrace the oblique. I find a lot of culture that inspires me is best appreciated this way, to be “experienced” rather than understood. The liminality of noise-music for example operates in this manner; it is in a constant state of flux between order and disorder. It resists rationalisation and formal structures in an attempt to engage with the primal and subconscious mind.

“Exterminate all rational thought. That is the conclusion I have come to.”

What’s next for The Wyrding Module?

The research process for the next body of WM material: working title, “Obsidian Manuals.” Fields of inquiry include Serialism, early electronic music, scrying mirrors, mediums, automatic drawing, generative composition, valve-punk, futurism and the Occult.

The Wyrding Module

Revolt of the Apes EXCLUSIVE download from The Wyrding Module -” The Mother Of Wolves.”

Says the Module: “On a space-folk tip with this one.  It’s a dub edit of a pump organ improvisation recorded last Halloween in deepest darkest Pembrokeshire. Hope you like it.”

THE CULT OF DOM KELLER

14 Apr

It’s probably a little late – though perhaps a little early – but if push came to shove and we were forced to choose our favorite song of all time, it just might be “I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time” by The Third Bardo.

And it’s probably a little early – though perhaps a little late – but if push came to shove and we were forced to choose our favorite album of 2014 thus far, it just might be “The Second Bardo” by The Cult of Dom Keller (on Cardinal Fuzz Records).

What does one have to do with the other? Very little. But bardo to bardo, few bands have been as consistently mind-melting to these apes as the mighty and mysterious Cult of Dom Keller. This opinion was born the very first time we found ourselves confronted with their creepy, candle-lit, decidedly not-soft parade, way back in 2010, an opinion grown strong prior to their first visit to the States in 2011, and an opinion turned irrefutable precept upon the release of “The Second Bardo.”

Truly, this album confirms what one of our most respected friends declared upon his introduction to the sound of The Cult of Dom Keller: “Unreal. I don’t even think that was recorded; it was conjured. And they’re not playing instruments.” Higher praise simply isn’t possible.

We’re thrilled to have Ryan (guitar/vocals), Neil (vocals/keys) and Jason (bass) from The Cult of Dom Keller answer our ridiculous questions below. Enjoy – and all hail Doomfoot.

How has your perception of writing and recording music evolved since the earliest days of The Cult of Dom Keller? If you were given unlimited financial resources, where would you locate the band for the ideal recording environment?

Ryan: When the band first began, the songs evolved from improvised jams, ideas and demos which me and Neil would edit and shape into songs; adding/taking away from the madness and then learning the tracks in the studio with the band so we could play them live as songs, as at the time, this was the most productive way to work.

Jason: The intention had always been that they were essentially demos, which would be recorded properly when we found somewhere that was sympathetic to our requirements within our almost non-existent budget, and could either be produced/engineered by ourselves or someone we could trust to do justice to the music. It’s not an easily definable sound we aim toward, so there would really have to be a meeting of minds for that to work. The ideal location to record our music, if budget was not an issue, would be somewhere quiet, spacious and well-equipped, where we could be left to our own devices and not be disturbed until it was finished to our satisfaction. If we’re talking fantasy situations then my ideal location would be Boleskine House. Hands down. Right next to Loch Ness – large, beautiful and shrouded in mystery. That for me would be the location equivalent of what I believe we’re trying to achieve sonically.

Ryan: The “Lucifer Rising” score was recorded there (the tragically unused Jimmy Page version).

Jason: That is one of the most incredible pieces of music ever. And then there’s Spahn Ranch; that would be purely for the atmosphere as it was burned down years ago and it also links in with “Lucifer Rising,” as that was where Bobby Beausoleil buried the original film tapes.

Neil: I’ve always fancied recording at Rockfield studios in Wales. Heard some great stories about Julian Cope recording there with Teardrop Explodes. Apparently there’s a studio made entirely out of marble? Be like recording in a mausoleum! Can I have Clint Mansell in to produce as well? I’ve always been interested in the cinematic side of music, soundscapes and the mood you can create sonically.

Ryan: Beyond realms of reality, we would have our amplifiers in craters on the moon and use the sun as our generator, plug our instruments into the stars and create a soundtrack to the universe that would resonate till the end of time.

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What does the name “The Cult of Dom Keller” mean to you at this point in your life? The word “cult” can be interpreted in a number of different ways, both positive and negative. How do you think it applies to your life outside of music? How do you think it applies to the band as a collective whole?

Jason: Well, originally the name of the band was Dom Keller, which painted a psychic picture of the darker, reverberant sound that would come along later. The Cult of Dom Keller means a bunch of things, dependent mainly on who you ask and what you want to believe.

Ryan: Its about creating and moving beyond the sounds between the sounds in our heads.

Was there a time in your life where you really felt like your own relationship with music was coming into bloom? Meaning, was there a moment when you went from merely being interested in or enjoying music, to feeling like music was truly a part of who you are? Of why you’re here on this Earth? How has that feeling evolved over the past couple of years?

Jason: For me, there’s never been any question about it. I think I was afflicted at birth.

Ryan: Music is a transcendental force. Every time I create the sounds we make I feel the planets have lined up and we are channeling that energy through our music and beyond.

What can you tell us about the decision to name your most recent album, “The Second Bardo”? What does that title mean to you? Are you familiar with the song “I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time” by The Third Bardo?

Ryan: The second bardo is a stage in which the desires of the individual are said to carry the largely helpless soul through a great variety of intense emotional states. The soul bounces from thought to thought as a torrent of thoughts and feelings come like a waterfall. When Jason suggested “The Second Bardo,” it made perfect sense.

Jason: As the album is slightly more dreamier and ethereal than it’s predecessor. As for “Five Years Ahead of My Time” … that is an incredible song, though The Third Bardo band had nothing to do with naming the record. Well, not on a conscious level anyway.

Neil: There was no conscious decision around direction or concept in mind for the second album. We’re still inspired by the same things, but I’d say we have more focus now. Our combined energy is definitely being channeled in the same direction.

The opening track – “Plague of All” – on “The Second Bardo” is a perfect lead-off for the record as a whole. It’s threatening, hypnotic and may now be our favorite CODK song – thought it has a lot of competition. At what point did it become clear that this should be the opening track of the album? In your mind, what is the band attempting to convey in this song, either in its tone or in or in its lyrics? Was there a certain overall feel you wanted this album to represent, different than on your self-titled full-length?

Ryan: This track was created when I was listening back to various jams we had done and I started to play around with it building the guitar parts over it. Neil and I then began to work on the vocals and it slowly began to evolve into what it is now. It is an immediate track; the sound of a hallucinogenic spaceship piloted by the grim reaper and it felt like the perfect entrance into the world we had created with this record.

Can you think of even one legitimate reason why I wasn’t immediately asked to join The Cult of Dom Keller on bass guitar?

Ryan: Jason is our brother from a different mother and it was only a matter of time before he returned to his spiritual musical home with us. He is the king of the bass.

Neil: Your commute would be too expensive!

What music have you been listening to lately?

All: Charles Manson/Manson Family, M.I.A. – “Matangi,” The Flaming Lips – “The Terror,” Cloudland Canyon, the new record by The Horrors, Karen Dalton, The Fall, Mussorgsky, John Lee Hooker, Chrome, Nick Cave, Liars, Tom Waites …

Do you need to do anything in particular to achieve the proper level of energy necessary for presenting The Cult of Dom Keller in the live setting? And what about The Cult of Dom Keller as a live spectacle?

Ryan: We used to sit in a circle, engage in séance and channel the spirit of Aleister Crowley. And eat Haribo.

Jason: Live, we like to use projections and sparse lighting because they both remove any kind of self-conscious performance element away from the band and create esoteric shapes for the audience to look at. I don’t feel we’re into making a spectacle for the audience to watch, I’d say we’re more focused toward providing a soundtrack to whatever hallucinatory effects we can help conjure up through our music.

The following quote comes from “Rest for the Fortunate” by Bardor Tulku Rinpoche:

“What we call death is when this fragility, this impermanence of human life, finally manifests for us. It means leaving this world and going to our next form of existence. The first thing that needs to be understood about death is that although we become very concerned about death when it happens to us, we are by no means the only person to whom death has happened. Death happens continually to all human beings and to all beings in general. Once any being has been born in any form of existence, it is absolutely certain that this being is going to die once again at some point in time. If you look at it from that point of view—that death is the natural result or completion of the process of birth—you can see that there is no reason to be so unhappy about the idea or the fact of death.”

Your thoughts?

Jason: True words. I used to be so terrified of death when I was a child, I literally became bed-ridden for weeks and convinced myself I was going to die. I couldn’t eat, my hair lost color, my skin turned almost grey and I couldn’t feel my hands or feet. It was insane. I think I went through the death process then, and that’s why my own death doesn’t scare me any more. In fact, I’m almost obsessed with it to the point that I think about it every day. What scares me is the impact that would have on loved ones. THAT is what terrifies me nowadays

Ryan: We’re all just energy. When we’re finished with our bodies we go on either to the next body to continue in our climb to the higher levels or if we’ve achieved liberation, we go on to the higher astral planes. Death is just a stepping stone. As living, breathing creatures we become obsessed by death. To quote a great Bukowski – “What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don’t live up until their death.”Death, insanity, the unknown … these are all major influential triggers in creating the sonic landscapes we try to paint with our music.

Neil : I used to believe death was the only guarantee in life; now I believe there’s a little more to it than that.

What’s next for The Cult of Dom Keller?

Jason: We’re already busy writing new material for the third record and a few new people we really respect have begun to take notice of what we’re up to. We’re all so excited to get down to recording this next one as the band is running on all four cylinders right now and it is a great, great feeling.

Neil: Totally agree. This is exciting times both creatively and actively.

Ryan: Definitely. We’re now in our sixth year of existence and I feel we are better then ever: unafraid to experiment, moving out of the shadows of the past having addressed issues that held us back before and now we are harnessing that positive and creative energy to write and create an amazing third record that will simply fuck you in the brain.

Visit The Cult of Dom Keller on Bandcamp. Buy everything on which Cardinal Fuzz Records puts their name.

LIARS: OFFICIAL AUSTIN PSYCH FEST 2014 INTERVIEW

7 Apr

Revolt of the Apes’ interview with Liars is up now at the official Austin Psych Fest 2014 website. Read the entire interview there, and look for the complete text to show up here in the very near future. Here’s an excerpt:

Can you recall what your earliest musical obsessions were? Do those obsessions continue for you even today, or has your enthusiasm shifted a bit? Are there any distinct ways in which you’ve noticed your overall appreciation and enthusiasm for music evolve in recent years? To what do you attribute this change?

Robert Smith. I was basically raised for the early part of my life by my older teenaged brother. He was ahead of his time as far as music was concerned, and brought home all of The Cure albums as they came out.

The Cure is one of the few bands all members of Liars can appreciate. The Cure has been a constant source of inspiration for the band through our shifting focal points. Be it the early days of repetition and bass lines (“A Forest”), sparse simplicity and vocal melody (“10:15 on a Saturday Night”), and incredible instrumentation and production (“Lullaby”), as we grow as artists there’s always something new to be noticed in their body of work that we are constantly drawn to.

Our musical taste and enthusiasm is a direct reflection of what we’re experiencing with Liars, it seems. While it’s an obvious correlation, it’s nonetheless exciting to experience something new in a song you’ve listened to for over ten years that inspires how we make music.

One of the most sincere ways we can compliment the music of Liars is to say that it truly does not fit into any single category – and yet, it feels complete, as opposed to a haphazard collection of sounds. Do you think you remain conscious of the variety presented throughout your albums, or have you perhaps come to see it all as a part of the Liars’ musical universe?

I think it’s as simple as making sure we are making the music we want to hear that we can’t find in other music. Sticking to that as our guide seems to give us enough confidence to follow whatever unknown path our inspiration takes us to, yet hopefully feels like it’s coming from the same place. We’re really grateful to have a support system that provides an outlet for our music and creative adventures. The way we feel we can best appreciate our situation is to work as hard as we can on following our inspiration as thoroughly as possible.

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Revolt of the Apes is pleased, stoked and chuffed to support Austin Psych Fest 2014 through a series of interviews with many of the artists involved, answering the kind of ridiculous questions you’ve come to know and – maybe – love. Many more coming soon.

BAND OF THE WEEK: KIKAGAKU MOYO

6 Apr

To anyone who has heard the music of Kikagaku Moyo, it should come as no surprise that the band’s origins lie in hours upon hours of late-night jamming, illuminated by nothing more than the geometric patterns playing behind the band’s eyelids, resulting in a natural, free-floating sound, as of-the-earth as it is intergalactic.

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This may be the only unsurprising thing about Kikagaku Moyo.

It may be surprising that the band sharpened their improvisational skills by busking on the streets of their native Tokyo. It may be surprising that the band’s overall sound may owe as much or more to the Incredible String Band as it does to Acid Mother’s Temple.

But what’s perhaps most surprising about “Forest of Lost Children,” the band’s face-melting, recorded-ritual to be released next month by Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records, is how utterly centered and mature the band sounds, especially given their relatively short lifespan as a band.

Boundless though they may be, Kikagaku Moyo here sound anything but lost, their child-like wonder manifested in a confident, courageous exploration of sound. Labels – psychedelic, folk, prog-rock, psychedelic-folk-mixed-with-prog-rock– do little to accurately reflect the spectrum of influences on display, let alone the more impactful realization of completeness in Kikagaku Moyo’s songs.

Even as the album’s first song, “Semicircle,” begins gently, it’s colored by a barely-concealed potential to run rampant, a secret stream of sound threatening to become a raging river. Maybe there’s a hint to the complex geometry of Kikagaku Moyo in the song title along; a part of the band’s sound, but owing its nature to being a part of a larger whole.

The contrasting-yet-complimentary conditions of shade and sun both figure prominently throughout “Forest of Lost Children,” this semi-circle, this sphere of sound becoming whole. Perhaps nowhere is this multi-dimensional approach more prominent than on the album’s two longest tracks, “Smoke and Mirrors” and “White Moon,” both as anthemic as they are transcendent.

Easily one of the most shimmering crown-jewels in the rapidly expanding BBiB catalog, look for Kikagaku Moyo and “Forest of Lost Children” to be found taking shape in the expanded minds of listeners everywhere.

Kikagaku Moyo have just released the extraordinary, 3-song, 47-minute explosions that is the “Mammatus Clouds” cassette, available from their Bandcamp page.

“Forest of Lost Children” is to be released May 20, 2014, and available for pre-order here

Kikagaku Moyo will appear at Austin Psych Fest 2014. Read our official Austin Psych Fest 2014 interview with Kikagaku Moyo here

“The experiences of the six bardos do not exist of themselves, they arise from the open space of the primordial nature of mind. Luminosity is the aspect of mind that gives rise to all these appearances: it is the environment that surrounds them, out of which they emerge and into which they dissolve. It is always present, like the sun in the sky, hidden behind clouds. At the moment, because of ignorance of our real nature, we experience everything as the confused manifestations of samsara. The sense of self creates a feeling of solidity, like the apparent solidity of the clouds veiling the face of the sun, but at certain moments a gap is opened up, through which we may receive a glimpse of the light of reality.”

-  Francesca Freemantle, “Luminous Emptiness”

 

4 YEARS OF THE APES

1 Apr

This ridiculous website is now four years old (if you’re in to linear time). Somehow, since then, these apes have featured something like 259 bands, seven authors, seven comedians, three visual artists and one witch.

I’d like to say thank you, on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we’ve passed the audition.

Four more years …?

“Time has come today
Young hearts can go their way
Can’t put it off another day
I don’t care what others say
They say we don’t listen anyway
Time has come today.”

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BAND OF THE WEEK: 3 A.M. + L.A. WITCH

30 Mar

We know almost nothing at all about the intentions of 3 A.M. and given our lack of knowledge, it’s probably unfair to accuse them of attempting to sonically brainwash the world, gaining dominion over souls in the dead of the night, one riff at a time.

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Unfair and ignorant as this hypothesis may be, we’re sticking with it – for no other reason aside from declaring ourselves to be willing victims of this particular Peruvian brainwashing, as put forward by 3 A.M. on their mysterious and mesmerizing set of songs known as “UFO Blues Tapes.”

And when we say “their,” we really mean “him,” given that 3 A.M. is the solo project of Chino Burga, responsible for the monolithic Martian-made riffs, drones, loops and moans that define “UFO Blues Tapes” (though the band morphs into a duo for live performances). And as with certain other solo projects, this means the drums are turned over to the relentless rhythm driven directly into the heart of darkness by the 3 A.M. drum machine. Following an initial public service announcement about the dangers of the dead rising from their graves, opener “Can’t Stand” kicks the coffin lid off and up into the atmosphere, with the strength of a million zoned-out zombies; amplification and oscillation with the target of levitation. Mission accomplished.

A quick ticking off of the direct influences noted in the creation of “UFO Blues Tapes” – Loop, Suicide, Dead Moon, Spacemen 3 – checks out immediately, although the description given by the mastermind behind this brainwashing strikes us as being unsurpassable:

“I would say it’s like Alan Vega and Martin Rev meet Ron Asheton on a very hard drinking binge, strung out on drugs and decided to play some Joy Division covers. It’s drone, it’s haunted, it’s rock’n’roll …”

 We’ll take that from 3 A.M., any time of the day or night.

The difference between day and night feels nothing less than negligible in the world of L.A. Witch, a trio of broom-riding bashers, bringers of rock and roll sorcery.

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In the four years since the origin of this ridiculous website, we’ve had the good fortune of featuring many bands and musicians from L.A., as well as the good fortune of interviewing our single favorite and most illuminating witch of all time. Either despite of or because of this history, we now find ourselves fully and completely under the spell of L.A. Witch.

More specifically, we find ourselves fully and completely under the spell of the band’s recently released, self-titled, three-song EP. And as far as recently released, self-titled, three-song EPs go, we’re confident declaring this one to be an absolutely unmissable journey into the occult heart of awesome rock and roll.

Three songs is not a lot of songs, but it would seem that L.A. Witch do not need a lot of songs to make their presence known, either to the living or to the dead. Perhaps this speaks to the power of their witchcraft, although our ouija board says the power of their songcraft speaks just as loudly.

And that just happens to be the way we recommend enjoying the music of L.A. Witch: loudly (although if you have a ouija board handy, you should probably use it – or at least, roll it up and smoke it). Certainly opener “Get Lost” fairly demands to be brewed in a cauldron of high volume, while also affirmatively answering the musical question, “Are people still writing perfect rock and roll songs?”

Witchcraft or songcraft – despite a loser’s library filled with books on both, it’s fair to say we really don’t know much about either; these apes are dilettantes to the end. But we do confidently know when we hear something we love, and we love L.A. Witch. Save yourself.

“UFO Blues Tape” is available from the 3 A.M. Bandcamp page.

L.A. Witch’s self-titled EP is available from their Bandcamp page.

“Value your self, look after your self

Be watchful throughout your life.

You are your own refuge;

There is no other refuge.

This refuge is hard to achieve.

One’s self is the lord of oneself;

There is no other lord.

This lord is difficult to conquer.

You cannot save another, you can

only save yourself.”

- The Dhammapada

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