If you’re anything like us, this is exactly what you need in your life today. “Chenagh le Blues” by Algerian rock outfit Abranis comes off Sublime Frequencies’ new compilation of 1970s Algerian Folk and Pop, which you should pick up right now.
“From the heavier rock and psychedelic sounds of Rachid & Fethi, Les Djinns and Les Abranis, to the haunting folk music of Kri Kri and Djamel Allem and the film soundtrack moods of Ahmed Malek, 1970s Algerian Folk & Pop documents a key period in the modern musical renaissance of a nation in transition. Most of these tracks are from 45 rpm singles, the key format during the early 1970s before the cassette took over as the medium of choice. Western musical influences can be heard throughout this extremely diverse record, yet there is an undeniable Algerian sense of sadness contained here within a more tolerant space in time between two of the country’s most significant historical periods; National Independence from France and the darker times of a brutal civil war yet to come.”
Living in New York City certainly has its benefits and drawbacks. Whether those come in the form of readily available bagel spots, high rent costs, or underground hair/nail salons operating in the apartment next door to you (a benefit to some, a drawback to others), there’s an infinite number of things that make you want to stick around, and just as many that make you want to pack up the U-Haul and get outta town in a moments notice. But something that you won’t find anywhere else, and will forever remain a part of New York’s fabric, are bands like Prince Rupert’s Drops.
Typically, these bands don’t stray too far from home and if you happen to live outside the New York locale there’s a good chance they’ve flown passed your radar. This sort of musical anomaly applies to bands like Endless Boogie, Invisible Familiars, and a whole legion of artists that exist largely within the confines of New York.
Prince Rupert’s Drops much anticipated sophomore LP, Climbing Light, is out this week on Beyond Beyond is Beyond. Fans of riff-heavy ’60s psych with a touch of British folk are sure to enjoy the array of sounds crafted by this eclectic musical collective. Have a listen to “Follow Me,” the album’s stunning folk-rocker that finds vocalist Leslie Stein channeling Fairport-era Sandy Denny.
Purchase Climbing Light from the good folks at Beyond Beyond is Beyond.
Prince Rupert’s Drops – “Follow Me”
Mark Fry’s 1972 psych-folk masterpiece Dreaming With Alice has been getting a lot of play around these parts of late. Recorded in Rome over a three-day period in the summer of ’71, but never properly released unto the world, the physical LP is extremely rare with copies fetching for much as $4K. Throughout the album, songs weave in and out of short, reappearing dream state segments that venture through the visions of Fry’s highly psychedelic dream with Alice—a reference to the Louis Carroll’s Alice Through The Looking Glass. Here we share with you the dark, Eastern-tinged acid-folk number, “The Witch.” Do enjoy, friends.
Mark Fry ∆ “The Witch”
(stream the full album here)
Back in March, Quilt headed down to the desert town of Marfa, Texas to perform at Mexican Summer’s inaugural festival gathering. While in town, the Bostonian quartet made their way over to a small recording studio located near the nearby Chinati Arts Foundation. It was here that Quilt performed an extended four-song suite depicting their more exploratory live persona. Tune in and stick around for the 26 minute “Milo” that closes out the tape.
San Francisco-based producer Al Lover has made a name for himself over the past several years by melding the sounds of psychedelic rock with narcotic, hypnogogic beats. On “Super Strength (Power Plants),” the first single off his new album Sacred Drugs, he teams up with the venerable Morgan Delt to create a drugged-out wash of guitar and organ samples that pulsate beneath Delt’s hazy vocal drawl. Have a listen below.
Sacred Drugs comes out October 1 on vinyl via Psych Army and cassette via Crash Symbols.
After putting out their highly impressive eponymous LP earlier this year, Brooklyn-via-Denver’s neo-kraut troop Woodsman return with a new EP this fall that offers a glimpse into their improvisational studio recording process. Acting as a companion piece to the full-length record, the EP features a raw, extended version of the album’s final cut, “Teleseparation,” in the form of a 30 minute jam cut into in 4 parts with no overdubs. A transcendent, stream-of-consciousness sonic journey, bathed in repetitive guitar atmospheres and totemic rhythmic interplay. Zone out to the Teleseparation EP below.
Purchase the Teleseparation EP on cassette via Fire Talk.
For the past few years, Kyle Connolly has existed as a regular familiar amongst the Toronto psych scene, roving around in bands like Milk Lines, Beliefs, and Breeze. But on August 26, the soft-spoken multi-instrumentalist steps out on his own with the debut self-titled album by his own band, Wish. Featuring the talents of Peter Gosling (Decades, Lobby) on drums, Emily Bitze (Milk Lines) on bass, and long time friend/musical collaborator Josh Korody (Beliefs, Breeze) on guitar, Wish play a sort of psychedelic dream pop that often tends to wander into jammy krautrock territory. Check out their video for the song “Retro Grade” below. Wish plays tonight at the Garrison in Toronto.
Pre-order the album via Hand Drawn Dracula.
Greetings, friends. It’s been a busy summer in these parts. But, fear not, we’re still here and we have a brand new mix for your ears. Kick back in your favourite easy chair and enjoy this selection of Songs For The Summer Months.
∆ Songs For The Summer Months ∆
1. Gabor Szabo – Galatea’s Guitar
2. Jefferson Airplane – Today
3. Maria Papagika – O Marcos Botsaris
4. Pink Floyd – Crumbling Land (Take 1)
5. The Higher Elevation – The Summer Skies
6. Love – Bummer In The Summer
7. Atomic Forest – Sunshine Day
8. The Lemon Fog – Summer
9. Merrel Fankhauser & H.M.S. Bounty – The Big Gray Sky
10. Mountain Bus – Sing A New Song
11. Human Instinct – Tomorrow
11. Culture – Natty Dread Naw Run
12. Dock Boggs – Down South Blues
13. Peaking Lights – Summertime
The Door of Dreams by Mariano Peccinetti
MP3: And When The Sky Was Opened
(Rod Serling Intro)
1. Peter Green – Apostle
2. Psychic Ills – FBI
3. Bardo Pond – Inside
4. Doomsquad – Kalaboogie
5. Rose Windows – Native Dreams
6. Zacht Automaat – We Can’t Help You If We Can’t Find You
7. Z O N E S – Sneaky Mist
8. Merrel Fankhauser & H.M.S. Bounty – A Visit With Ashiya
9. Group 1850- Steel Sings
Few bands possess a cosmic alignment as strong as that of MU, the early ’70s band led by West Coast psychedelic visionary Merrel Fankhauser and Captain Beefheart guitarist Jeff Cotton. Following the relative lack of commercial success with his ’60s projects, the cult-favorite Fapardokly and HMS Bounty, Fankhauser joined with Cotton and a series of players from the Mojave Desert scene and went on to form MU. Taking their name from cloud formations and mythology relating to the lost continent of Lemuria, the group remained true to the psychedelic experience by embarking upon extended “LSD meditations” to compose their songs.
After the release of their debut album in ’71, the members of MU continued to follow their spiritual callings and wound up moving to the Hawaiian island of Maui to explore UFO and extraterrestrial connections. They later purchased a banana and papaya plantation to finance their life on the island, where they continued to write songs and perform at local gigs for years after. When the group finally drifted apart, Fankhauser moved to the jungle where he lived for almost 14 years.
Merrell Fankhauser is performing at the The Hilton Garden Inn Ballroom in Palmdale California on July 17. What a long strange trip it has been, indeed.
Listen to one of the songs composed during MU’s “LSD Mediations” below.
MU “Blue Form” (1971)