Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Jeff Tarlton - Dragin' Spring

After Detroit spacerock trio Viv Akauldren split in the early 90s, the three members went their seperate ways. Drummer Deb Agolli went on to join Detroit psych pop band Outrageous Cherry. Keyboard player Keir McDonald started a solo project called Medusa Cyclone who have so far released three fantastic albums of Wire/Sun Ra/Barrett influenced weirdness, all well worth tracking down. Vocalist and guitarist Jeff Tarlton did the Syd Barrett thing - got messed up on drugs and disappeared. However, unlike Uncle Syd, Tarlton's mind was not irretrievably lost - he followed his mystical muse to Europe, resurfaced in Berlin and, armed with his acoustic guitar and a headful of ideas, began a new life as a street musician. Eventually, with the help of those kind folk at Delerium records, he produced two fine albums of acid folk.

'Dragin Spring' is a wonderful album, full of fragile beauty and dark melancholy, and certainly reflects Tarlton's relocation to Middle Europe. Though most of it is in this vein, Tarlton hadn't completely left behind his Viv Akauldren years - there's a few of tracks of bad-acid rock, one even being an alternative version of an old VA song. Perhaps reflecting his new life as part of Berlin's thriving street musician scene, there's also a joyous communal freak-out that sounds like 'Yeti' era Amon Duul 2. If intelligent and poetic, melancholy yet strangely uplifting psychedelic folk is your thing, then you'll love this album.

Track listing:

1. Sinner
2. Chimera
3. Muse
4. Not Fade Away
5. Restless Spirits
6. Gainrider
7. Telepath
8. Swept
9. My Chores Undone
10. The Eyes
11. Sunrise Semester
12. The Sitting Room
13. No Secrets

Get it here

Monday, 18 August 2008

HLFP 02 - Embryo Thoughts

Now for something a bit different. In between downloading some of the inter-dimensional vibrations featured on this blog, why don't you hop on over to Mike's site, Homemade Lofi Psych, and grab yourself a copy of the just-released HLFP compilation album 'Embryo Thoughts'. It features twenty tracks of psychedelic goodness created by musicians from around the world who are, for one reason or another, bypassing the 'wintry hand of death' (err...that's the commercial record industry) and sharing their music on this newfangled invention we fondly refer to as 'the interweb'.

There's plenty of styles on offer, including psychedelic rock, dark ambient, post punk, noise, drone, improvised grooves, experimental, krautrock, stoner rock. I've been listening to it for most of today and can say without any hesitation that it's a great collection of music and ideas.

Details and download here

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Tyrnaround - Colour Your Mind EP

Formed in 1985 in Melbourne, Australia, Tyrnaround were a great band who specialised in 60s psych pop/rock, influenced by Syd Barrett, The Seeds, The Beatles at their most lysergic, garage punk and classic psych. They released a handful of cassettes, EPs and one album before disbanding due to the death of their lead singer.

As I've said elsewhere on this blog, their song 'Paragon Smythe', which was given away with Freakbeat issue 7, is one of the greatest psych tunes ever. And 'Colour Your Mind', their debut release on vinyl, is one of the best EPs of psychedelic pop ever released. There's not an inch of slack here - gorgeous, loopy melodies and harmonies, wonderful Seeds-esque organs and frazzled acid guitars. One of my favourites.

Track listing:

Side A

1. Carroll By Candlelight
2. Francis

Side B

1. Colour Your Mind
2. Suicidal Flowers

Get it here

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Poisoned Electrick Head - Out Of Order EP

Poisoned Electrick Head were certainly one of the stranger bands to emerge from the 80s/90s psych scene. Musically and visually, they had little in common with most of their contemporaries. Whereas a lot of neo-psych drew its influences from classic psych and space rock, PEH were always closer to the satirical sci-fi weirdness of Devo, both in their live shows, which always had a theatrical aspect including costumes and bizarre alien masks, and the jerky and complex time signatures of their music. Zappa, Arthur Brown, Salvador Dali, Gurdjieff and horror/sci-fi movies were also cited as influences.

I spent a lot of time in '92/'93 listening to PEH, especially their eponymously titled debut CD release. It's a superb album, my favourite of their three CD albums, and is well worth tracking down. The EP featured here was released in 1994 and consists of four previously released but rare tracks, three being taken from their impossible-to-find cassette-only album 'Unmistakably Rainbow Trout' and one coming from Delerium's 'Psychedelic Psauna' compilation. Enjoy.

Track listing:

Side 1

1. Out Of Order
2. The Thought You Thought You Was

Side 2

1. Trickeroo
2. Snobs

Get it here.