“Only philosophers embark on this perilous expedition to the outermost reaches of language and existence. Some of them fall off, but others cling on desperately and yell at the people nestling deep in the snug softness, stuffing themselves with delicious food and drink. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen,’ they yell, ‘we are floating in space!’ But none of the people down there care.”
As you can see, this one is a bit special. The album comes in a giant medicinal blister pack with it’s own dosage advice and eerily resembles a box of prescription drugs. That’s just how Jason Pierce wanted it. Focused on addiction, the record circles around the hedonists life view of just not giving a fuck about anything. The album opens with “Jesus Christ died for nothing, I suppose” for god’s sake. Spiritualized are assembled from the the remaining members of Spacemen 3, a band we adore on this blog, and it doesn’t take much to see the influence those musicians had. Regularly tagged as neo-psychedelia, I prefer to think of it as dream pop on acid. It’s a must have for anyone who appreciates Spacemen 3, psychedelia or even music from the 90’s in general.
tl;dr: 90’s psychedelic, dream-pop super record that beat Ok Computer to No.1 in 1997 – boom.
I’m not one to flaunt the adoration of a greatest hits, nor am I one to claim to have infinite knowledge of Funk music, but it would take a thoughtless buffoon, yes a fucking clown, to deny Sly, and his Family, some serious fucking kudos for this magnum opus. It’s a mix of everything the band, a collective of 21 artists, and the first “integrated, multi-gender lineup”, created; a funky, dancy psychedelia powerhouse of hip-shaking goodness. There are a few cracking tracks that didn’t make the cut, but Sly knew what he was doing, and nothing quite sums up their prolific 60’s period where the re-energised black music like this does. There’s a quote that can sum all of this up quite simply; “there are two types of black music: black music before Sly Stone, and black music after Sly Stone”. Word.
This is a fantastic little EP I thought I’d throw up for some lülz. It’s as though, by some stroke of genius, someone has crammed a couple of songs from Guerro into a gameboy and hoped for the best. Funky, juicy, dancey 8-bit magic made very poppy through Beck’s vocals. It’s such a short listen that you can’t even cook a bacon roll to it. There’s not much else to say about this one other than if you find the 7″ get in contact , because I’d gladly club a troop of baby seals for the darn thing. The cover is fucking sick.
Now this is something interesting. Bullion is a producer based in London who has had a couple releases, his 20 minute ‘You Drive Me To Plastic’ is a pretty, pretty good listen. Here he has brought together one of the seminal pop albums of all time The Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds’ with one of the best beat makers of all time ‘J Dilla’, and it’s worked ridiculously well. I put this down to firstly to the standard of the constituent parts and secondly Bullion’s ability to find the point where these two compliment each other best. This could quite easily have been a misstep and a horrible pairing of two great artists, see one of those awful mash-ups that MTV used to play like Busta Rhymes and The Cure. But Bullion knows the province of these artists, and instead of merely laying the two next to one another, playing the beat under the original track, loops and cuts have been used to create something that although is identifiable as The Beach Boys and J Dilla but also as a creation of itself, ‘Caroline, No’ is one of those tracks that really shows this. It is testament to Bullion’s skills as a producer and arranger that this has been pulled off.
My personal favourite idiosyncrasy of the album is Bullion’s use of the studio out-takes from the recording, of which there is a huge amount, of ‘Pet Sounds’ as audio cues and a narrative through the album, Brian Wilson’s cue of the drums in ‘Lets Go Away For A While’ never fails to make me smile. Look, if you like The Beach Boys and J Dilla, or one or the other, this is just a great listen and deserves to be in your music collection.
Two cuts from the album because I just could not choose:
Captain hipster has done it again. This will probably get insanely good reviews as it is classic Lennox and people eat this shit up like toffee glazed popcorn. Even after recent streams of the album and hearing half the album before it’s release, I’m glad to have this nestled in my ears. It’s been a good month forhipster music.
My personal favourite from the album:
10 days before release. Get it before the web sheriff shits on our links.
The effortless Pure Ectsasy from Austin pour lo-fi, chilled out sauce all over your speaker spaghetti. Led by the lackadaisical singer-songwriter Nate Grace, they have released only a few single seven-inches; the music is p.cool. Sounds like a Real Estate who dabbled in psychedelia and record their tracks live.
Marrying abrasive drone-ish, noisey fuzz with eerie melodic vocals sounds like something of a science-fiction novel, yet quartet ‘Women’ from Calgary effortlessly accomplish this to a level Kevin Shields would be proud of. The LP itself is a fucking mash of different genres and angle that collectively form a contender for album of the year. They shock and satisify the listener at every track; just try defining this album into a genre. The only real ‘tag’ this album has got is postwave, which is just a bit of a fucking laugh really but sounds rad.
Last track on the album is a beast.
Drone, indie, shoegaze, kraut, pop, noise… postwave? Easily my favourite album of the year.