Amen Dunes △ Love

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The 13th Floor Elevators’ Svengali Tommy Hall once remarked that his band formed what he termed a “third sound”; all the band’s instruments, playing in the right environment, with the right pharmaceuticals, would bleed together to create overtones that would be interpreted as being from another instrument altogether. Damon McMahon and his Amen Dunes project seem to have unconsciously run with this throughout their latest release Love, producing a dynamic work which benefits as much from studio trickery as songcraft. As a result, the final product creates a murky and hallucinatory listening experience saturated in lush production, drawn from disparate elements, and steeped in the droning repetition of collaborators Godspeed! You Black Emperor.

 

The group’s video for “Lilac in Hand” illustrates these elements best, visually showing the uncertain and flowing nature of the music – the viewer’s focus pans in and out from above to below, and forced perspective changes appear visually much like the overdriven sonic elements of the song itself. You can hear that McMahon has drawn from many sources, and is meticulous in what he chooses to include, but the offhand nature of the album’s performances show a performer who believes strongly in using off-the-cuff inspiration to inform a final product which is very much in the moment.

 

Opener “White Child” brings this disorientation into perspective – a piano playing slightly out of time gives way to a backing which builds in intensity throughout the song. Damon’s emphatic lyrical delivery, which calls to mind Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, seems to dictate the ebb and flow of the backing, giving a live and improvisational feel to the recording. Track “Splits Are Parted” continues this trend, with a heavily treated backing track benefiting from simple repetition and cavernous reverb, alongside a spirited vocal and musical arrangement that recalls Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s “I See A Darkness”.  “I Know Myself”, based off of an acoustic guitar, opens up over the course of the song to include ghostly harmonies and percussive accompaniment, which all results in a slight R&B feel. On the other end of the spectrum, the closing title track “Love”, with its repeating musical phrase and variations thereof dropping in and out of the mix, can sonically draw comparisons like Brian Eno’s Discreet Music, or ideas previously used in Terry Riley and Steve Reich’s symphonic works.

 

Although the murkiness of the production at times obscures the directness of McMahon’s lyrics, these very same eerie textures produce a shadowy and meditative atmosphere, where, yes, Tommy Hall’s “third sound” is sometimes evoked. The emotion of the performances and dynamic of the production ensure that the final message comes through with a concise and accessible, yet obtuse work.

△ Words by Dave Sampson

Purchase Love via Sacred Bones.

 

Dog Gone Presents Amen Dunes along with Alex Calder, Wicked Witches and Milk Lines at The Silver Dollar in Toronto, Ontario on Monday, June 23rd. RSVP and ticket info can be found HERE.

 

Beverly Glenn-Copeland △ “Color of Anyhow” (1970)

lbbgc (1).jpgThis Toronto-by-way-of-Philadelphia folk singer-songwriter cut a solitary album for GRT in 1970, with Lenny Breau on guitar accompaniment. It’s always great to find something Toronto-based that can compete with anything released during this period, and this is no exception. Think Linda Perhacs meets Richie Havens and Blue Afternoon-era Tim Buckley on a Sunday morning. If you find a copy of this on vinyl anywhere, please let us know!

△ Words by Dave Sampson

Beverly Glenn-Copleand △ “Color of Anyhow”

A Farewell To BBIB on East Village Radio

 

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Photo by Andrea Carta

Five years back, I found myself going through a bit of an obsessive phase over legendary drummer Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, Earthworks) after having caught one of his jazz improv sets at Ronnie Scott’s in London, England. It was during this phase that, while on one of my tangential web surfing sessions, I came across an internet radio show that was announcing a live interview with ol’ Bill later that same day. The show was called Beyond Beyond is Beyond on East Village Radio.

Sitting in the study of my University apartment, I tuned in to hear the interview but was met with a cacophony of abstract sound instead. “Is it normal for weird sounds to be coming from my speakers?” I asked via tweet. “If by weird sounds you mean great music, then yes!” the host replied before slipping into Bubble Puppy’s “Road to St. Stephen’s.” That was my first interaction with Mike Newman, and it said a lot about the kind of person he is. Mike would soon become one of my most favourite people on this planet, as well as one of my dearest friends.

My second or third time tuning in to his show, I realized that Mike possessed a wizard-like gift for picking these magically obscure “jams”–those songs that send your mind to the cosmic zones right from the outset; the ones with those unique notes or riffs that make you go back and listen to them over, and over. The ones that take you on a journey every time.

I remember, while in University, hoping that I would one day meet someone who shared a similarly geekish level of interest for conversation topics like the specifics of “Steve Howe’s guitar solo on ‘Siberian Khatru,'” or “Bruford’s fills on ‘Heart of the Sunrise.'” I spent a lot of that time on my own, reading, playing guitar and listening to Mike’s show. Every time I tuned in, it was like I’d found that person.

When I finally made the decision to move to New York, I reached out to Mike and asked for some recommendations on record shops and cheap places to eat. A few weeks later, I remember buying him a burger at one of those places to thank him for introducing me to the Welsh band Man. We’ve since attended more uh-mazing concerts together than you can shake a stick at.

Sadly, Beyond Beyond is Beyond will broadcast from East Village Radio for the final time today as the station plans to close up shop by week’s end. It’s been a great ride listening along and hopefully I’ve managed to turn a few of you onto the show as well.

You can listen to the final broadcast today from 4-6PM on East Village Radio.

Also, be sure to check out the record label wing of Beyond Beyond Is Beyond.

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Devonian Gardens △ “Solar Shifting” (Video Premiere)

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Calgary psych-rock voyagers Devonian Gardens have released unto the world a new video set to the title track to their debut album, Solar Shifting. Recorded in the secluded forests of Nova Scotia with analog wizard Jay Crocker, the album first came out in digital form last year on Beyond Beyond is Beyond and is now available on compact disc. Watch the cosmically animated video below.

After playing a series of killer shows in The Great North, Devonian Gardens are now embarking on their first tour of the US (dates). This Sunday, they’ll be playing the Beyond Beyond is Beyond Showcase at Mercury Lounge in NYC featuring Steve Gunn, Prince Rupert’s Drops and Worthless with liquid light projections by Drippy Eye. RSVP for that event here.

Purchase Solar Shifting via BBIB.

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The Amberjacks △ “Hey Eriq!” (1966)

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It seems that 1966 was the year for garage-rock, even up in the the remote Nassau County hamlet of Baldwin, NY. For it was there that a little-known band by the name of The Amberjacks came into existence back in the mid ’60s. Short lived like many bands of the day, these young lads put out one lone single in 1966, “Hey Eriq!” b/w “Blue Jaunte,” on the Migliore label before fading away into obscurity. While little is known about The Amberjacks today, it can certainly be said that “Hey Eriq!” contains one of the finest vocal refrains in rock music.

The Amberjacks △ “Hey Eriq!”

Dog Gone Presents: Amen Dunes △ Alex Calder △ Wicked Witches △ Milk Lines

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We’re honored to welcome Brooklyn’s Amen Dunes to Toronto on June 23. He’ll be passing through in support of his excellent new long-player, Love, out now on Sacred Bones. The evening will also feature performances by Montreal-based Captured Tracks artist Alex Calder along with Wicked Witches and Milk Lines from Toronto.

Tickets available HERE.

“Clearly, Amen Dunes’
New album can result in
Levitation, dude”
Revolt of the Apes

NEW MUSIC △ Kikagaku Moyo

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From the far east of Japan hails Kikagaku Moyo, a bohemian tribe of psychedelic rangers led by cheiftains Go Kurosawa and Tomo Katsurada. During the summer months of 2012, while sequestered among the foothills outside of Tokyo, the band was born out of a series of late-night jam sessions from which it seems they were able to tap into a uniquely cosmic domain of the Mind at Large. Inspired by the music of their forefathers in Acid Mothers Temple, Kikagaku’s trip expands its journey through ambling West Coast psych jams ala The Electronic Hole and Eastern-guided melodies like those of The Incredible String Band. We’re still coming down from their spellbinding performance at this year’s Austin Psych Fest.

Kikagaku Moyo’s sophomore album, Forest of Lost Children, comes out May 20th on Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records.

 

Dog Gone Presents: Canada in Springtime ∆ A Mixtape

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The weathers have warmed and the season’s first bloom is upon us once again. Put away the heavy coats and skis, dust off the gardening tools, throw on these spring-themed tunes and have yourself a hit of fresh air.

Dog Gone Presents: Canada in Springtime ∆ A Mixtape

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Dog Gone Presents: Love Saves the Day ▵ A Showcase of Great Northern Psychedelia

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It is said that the ancient Greeks wore white to bed to ensure pleasant dreams. It can also said that we are announcing the first of our new Canadian psych music showcase series, Love Saves the Day, which will be taking place regularly throughout the spring and summer months at Toronto’s Smiling Buddha Bar (temporarily relocated to The Piston).

Our very first Love Saves the Day soiree will feature the debut of Jeff Clarke’s (of Hellshovel/Demon’s Claws/Milk Lines fame) new solo project, Minotaurs Oath, along with performances by Calgary psych voyagers Devonian Gardens and Montreal garage rockers Genital Hospital.

RSVP here.

 

 
Genital Hospital ▵ “Mix 2″

(Genital Hospital album preview)