Archive for the 'Psychedelic' Category

…And We’re Back

If it serves as any indication of just how long it’s been since this site has been updated, I actually had to reset my wordpress password because I’d forgotten it. Like the other contributing members of this music community, as curator I too have been pretty sidetracked with life as of late (like…studying in Argentina, for instance). However, I was inspired to resurrect the blog after a couple of recent occurrences prompted me to action, namely the due recognition a friend of mine is receiving for his excellent new blog – – along with some coincidental inquires about the fate of this blog. Well…it IS still here! (Ironically, the site received thousands of hits in its months of inactivity. Why thank you, Google.)

That being said, how about turning to the business at hand: Music. And what an exciting time its been since the last post I made in May, 2010. Rather than the exhaustive process of covering all that’s happened, I’m going to focus this post on two emergent artists that I strongly feel are going to have significant breakouts in 2011: Tame Impala and Toro y Moi.

Tripped Out, Mate

Let’s start with the Aussies. Based out of Perth, Tame Impala is one of the newest members representing the neo-psychedelia movement taking place in Western Australia, along with other bands like Parades, Red Riders, and Wolf & Cub. While they’ve been fairly well known in their own country since their EP release in 2008, it was only recently with the release of Tame Impala’s debut LP “Innerspeaker” early last year that they began generating serious chatter in the US. I first stumbled upon the band while cruising around last year and was immediately drawn to the group’s vintage psychedelic sound. Listening through the tracks’ grooving, washed-out guitars and deliberately crafted synth riffs harkened mental comparisons to Cream’s Disraeli Gears. Indeed, Impala’s achievement of such a classic 60’s sound made more sense when I learned that the band recorded the album in a strictly analog studio. Now that’s doing it right. And lyrically, the band’s spacey and cryptic song-writing adds additional intrigue. There is one line in particular from the track “Solitude is Bliss” that I think helps sum up their sentiments quite nicely; “There’s a party in my head and no one is invited.” Although paradoxically, Tame Impala’s 11  track odyssey gives us listeners ample opportunity to spectate. Enjoy the vibes and be on the look out for the hype to surround this artist in the months to come. I suggest checking out the singles “It’s not meant to be” and “Lucidity” for starters.


Too Hip

Completely switching gears, I’d also like to draw attention to the emergent artist Toro y Moi. Toro y Moi is the stage name used by electronic artist Chazwick Bundick, who at just 23 years old is one of the rising stars in experimental electronic music. A South Carolinian native, Bundick draws much of his influence from his parent’s multi-ethnic Phillipino and Black heritage, especially in the extensive vinyl and tape collections they amassed while being part of the underground NY music scene in the late 70’s . Upon listening, it is transparent that Bundick has a talented ability to fuse together a rich pallet of diverse elements, making his music a bit hard to singularly define (although it has been associated by some critics to the chillwave movement of summer 2009). For me at least, the ambient nature of his music broadly sounds like a flowing mixture of Passion Pit’s pop aesthetics (at least lyrically) with the laid-back background textures of Bonobo and some of the pulsating syncopation of Flying Lotus. If that sounds intriguing, that’s because it is. Toro y Moi’s debut 2010 album Causers of This is an excellent debut effort. From the beginning of the first track, “Blessa,” Toro y Moi’s Causers of This takes on an almost dream-like quality, perrfect for some late night listens. But enough of my attempting to abstractly describe what it sounds like, you’re just going to have to experience it for yourself!



*Note: I realize many of the links below have stopped functioning; I’ll work on updating them in the next few days

The King Khan & BBQ Show // King Khan & The Shrines

I love The Beach Boys. I love Otis Redding. I love Iggy Pop. Many a night I have laid in bed, dreaming of how glorious it would be if they had a threesome and miraculously produced one singular musical entity. My dream has come true. I give you: THE KING KHAN & BBQ SHOW aka KING KHAN & THE SHRINES.

Originally from Montréal, QC (and called ‘The King Khan & BBQ Show’) but currently based in Berlin and called ‘King Khan & The Shrines,’ — you know what, on second thought, I don’t really have anything to say about them or their history. I listened to these albums on vinyl at my friend’s house last weekend, and I just managed to get copies of them for myself today. Their music tells a completely different history than that of the musicians themselves. I don’t want them to be from Berlin or Montréal. I want them to be from a garage in 1962 Detroit.

I’m too excited about this right now to write anything poignant, but I also don’t think this music needs any great words to describe it. It’s low-fi, it’s full of soul, and it makes you feel good inside — that’s really all that needs to be said.

The King Khan & BBQ Show (2004)


Invisible Girl (2009)


The Supreme Genius of King Khan & The Shrines (2008)


Long live soul.


Circulatory System

Alright, time to rep some psychedelic rock!

Its not the 60’s anymore.  Psychedelic rock just ain’t what it used to be.  Bands like The Flaming Lips and Animal Collective are really the only main bands still going with that style.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re awesome awesome bands, but they are in the mainstream, and sometimes they lose the psychedelic drive behind the pop.  There’s also a lot of stoner rock out there, which is at many times good, but isn’t really psychedelic roots based.  Alright enough babbling, my point is, you sometimes have to dig deep to find psychedelic roots bands, and one of my favorite discoveries in my excavations is Circulatory System.

Circulatory System

The band formed after the collapse of the Elephant Six Recording Company.  This company featured artists such as Of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, and The Olivia Tremor Control, which were all premier psychedelic bands at the time.  Members from The Olivia Tremor Control left to form Circulatory System once the company ended.  Circulatory System is an eight piece band, with a whole range of instruments such as guitar, bass, clarinet, cello, organ, keyboards, and drums.  The band is led by singer Will Cullen Hart.

They just released a new album, which I haven’t given a listen to, but they’re real treasure is their self-titled album from 2001.  This album has 22 tracks, which seems long, but they are all very short, usually ranging from 2-3 minutes each.  The album has a great flow, and when listening through, almost seems like one long song.  This does not mean it gets tedious, it makes for a great listen.  Hart is the main vocalist, but they employ a choral style of singing with several vocalist.  This along with the variety of instruments creates for a very dense sound, which I love for psychedelic bands.  Their entire style seems to be an homage to the psychedelic bands of the 60’s.  Today, psych rock is usually fairly intense, but this harkens back to the upbeat melodies, dense texture, and a general calming and spacey air that bands such as The Byrds or Jefferson Airplane had.  This is definitely an album that HAS to be listened to straight through.  There are a few songs that can be played on their own, but you won’t get the full effect.  This is one of my favorite albums ever, and definitely needs to be checked out.


Try this if you like bands such as Of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, Menomena, Destroyer, The Olivia Tremor Control

Circulatory System - Circulatory System

Check out the self-titled album

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