Tuesday, 19 February 2019


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Open, oh coloured world, without weight, without shore
                                                                    C.S Lewis (Out of the Silent Planet)


You know that feeling you get when you lean back too far on your chair and you think that you’re going to tip over but you just manage to get your balance back and save yourself – that’s what Ian Hodgson’s Moon Wiring Club sounds like – and, incidentally, pretty much how I feel all the time, which is why I’m such a fan. Summon The Contestants is the opening track from last year’s PSYCHEDELIC SPIRIT SHOW, in which Hodgson’s (un)usual mix of urchronic phantasia (an entirely made-up term – your guess is as good as mine) is spooked out with new fangled “temporal mixing” for an extra musty smudge that only enhances the feeling that we’re entering a Sapphire & Steel-like world of arcane conundrum, with lots of sonic lens flare and melting celluloid textures.


This is a completely lysergic re-imagining of Martha and The Vandellas’ classic by LA’s East Side Kids who, despite being an active part of the Sunset Strip, largely slipped under everyone's radar. This terrific track – eight minutes of backward effects and mind-bending stereo panning - closes their 1968 release THE TIGER AND THE LAMB.


Fat Mattress, of course, was the band formed by Jimi Hendrix Experience bass guitarist Noel Redding shortly before his departure from that band. They were very much a band of their time, trading in a mix of light folk and early prog rock styles with psychedelic flourishes, not dissimilar to the sort of thing Traffic were doing at the time. Recorded in 1969 their eponymous debut album allowed Redding to flex his guitar playing chops and try his hand at singing, but they never caught on. Following the release of their second album, they split in 1970. Their single Magic Forest didn’t trouble the charts in England but I understand that it was a big hit in Holland.


On this - I feel moved to use the word tremendous here - cover of Dylan’s It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue, singer Dave Aguillar channels his inner Mick Jagger while the band out-Them’s Van Morrison’s Them in what amounts to a garage classic. Originally released on the b-side to their debut single, this is the remixed and redubbed version that found its way onto side 2 of their 1968 release THE INNER MYSTIQUE, which is to say, the side of the album that the band actually play on. Producer Ed Robb adds some flutes to the original mix but, given what he did to side 1 of the album, this is a testament to just how great the Chocolate Watchband actually were.


This is the track that got everyone excited - at least on the websites  I spend my time on - the legendary nick nicely’s (he likes the lower case spelling of his name) lysergically subversive deconstruction of Dylan’s classic All Along The Watchtower. It says a lot about nicely’s irreverent take that it that it barely owes anything to either Dylan or Hendrix, but exists in its own self-contained bubble of disembodied vocals, found sounds, backward guitars and trippy psychedelic mellotrons. Released exclusively on the wonderful Fruits de Mer record label it is surely the most covetable piece of 7” vinyl that’s been released for a long time.


Curved Air are best known for their classical-oriented, slightly overblown prog direction, but the gorgeous Melinda (More or Less) is a thing apart. Exquisitely sung by vocalist Sonja Kristina, this song appears on their 1972 release PHANTASMAGORIA, an album that fearlessly explored prog, jazz and the avant-garde, and which is generally considered the best thing they ever did - they split shortly after its release. I actually came across the lovely Melinda (more or Less) on the 3-disc compilation release COME JOIN MY ORCHESTRA: THE BRITISH BAROQUE POP SOUND 1967-1973, a fascinating overview of what was a major development in late Sixties pop music, recently released by the very fine Cherry Red records and well worth a couple of bob of your pocket money.


If the purpose of psychedelic music is to astound and confound the senses, then this new single release from Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering pretty much ticks those particular boxes. It starts out as the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard, all bucolic loveliness imbued with a childlike sense of wonder, until an unexpected stomp of operatic glam metal jolts the listener from whatever state of abandonment they’d given themselves over to like a psychedelic cattle prod up the psychic backside of whimsical reverie (a bit like a cross between Julian Cope’s S.P.A.C.E.R.O.C.K. With Me and the Butthole Surfer’s Sweat Loaf, if that’s any help). This is taken from their new EP MYTHS OO2, released last year, as a brief collection of strange acid-folk hybrids recorded in the middle of the desert. Curious and, indeed, confounding.


The almost overwhelmingly lovely Black Lake is brought to you by the Hermitess, the solo project of Canadian songwriter and harpist Jennifer Crighton, who comes by way of various other musical incarnations, including the Consonant C and Devonian Gardens. Stripping back the performance to a harp and a circle of women’s voices, the Hermitess is an inquisitive, contrary, wounded, wise and ever dreaming incantation. I first came across Black Lake on an excellent Active Listener sampler a couple of years back, but you can also find it on her eponymous debut album, released in 2017. Appropriately written in a cabin in northern Michigan in the depths of winter, given her nom de plume and all)  this is an album that both enchants and entrances, whilst embracing the wonder of solitude.


Brighton’s Toy return with their fourth album and this time around they’ve expanded their nominally krautrock- infused palette to include a pastoral dimension that sits very nicely alongside their motorik beats and dark swirling psychedelia. As a result, the album, HAPPY IN THE HOLLOW, released earlier this year,  has a lighter tone that, it turns out, was obviously missing from their previous releases and I, for one, am celebrating their new melodic sound. The positively bucolic Charlie’s House enjoys a sylvan acid-folk charm that puts me in mind of Berkshire folkies Heron (who recorded both their albums in a field, of course). Elsewhere krautrock rhythms collide with the sort of psychedelic tunefulness that would be at home on A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS.


Mick Softley was something of a bohemian troubadour (apparently he is Donovan’s Hurdy Gurdy Man) who ended the 60s living in the back of the van featured on the cover of his 1970 release SUNRISE. It’s a mixed bag of traditional folk songs and folk rock, with added Moog, but concludes with the absolutely spellbinding psych-folk masterpiece Love Colours, a piece drenched in sitars and tablas. I’ve never been a huge fan of Softley, but I came across this track following an article in the splendid MOOF magazine that intrigued me enough to check this album out. I’m still not entirely convinced, but Love Colours is stellar. 


Family really ought to have been a lot bigger than they were - discussed, at least, in the same breath as Caravan and The Soft Machine, say - but I suspect that, despite a visceral stage presence and a handful of excellent albums, their failure to conquer the world may be, in part, down to singer Roger Chapman who, with the best will in the world, had a voice that belonged to an old wino who’s spent the morning shouting at people queueing at the bus stop. The lovely Face In The Cloud, however, taken from their second album FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT, is sung by multi-instrumentalist Rich Grech, who shortly after jumped ship for Blind Faith. The album, released in 1969, isn’t as sonically adventurous as their debut album, MUSIC FROM A DOLLS HOUSE, but this may be due to their manager John Gilbert, who hastily mixed and released the album without their approval while the band were touring America. Suffice it to say the band and manager parted company thereafter.


For his third album SOMNIUM - named after the book written in 1604 by Johannes Kepler, and very most likely, the world’s first science fiction novel - Dutch multi-instrumentalist Jacco Gardner has produced an instrumental album inspired by a move to Lisbon and, musically at least, by the vintage electronics by the likes of Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno. There are touches of space rock, krautrock, prog, and ambient but overall there’s a hauntological feel at work as the album explores possible futures using vintage synths. Privola is pure pastoral krautrock but wouldn’t be out of place on an album by the Belbury Poly, making it the perfect soundtrack for inner flights and 70s themed sci-fi dinner parties the likes of which only seem to happen round my house these days.


This is the one that sounds like it could have included on the soundtrack to The Magical Mystery Tour on an album that unashamedly celebrates 60s folk and psychedelia with a middle-Eastern, Middle-earth vibe. Originally released in 1997, STRUNG BEHIND THE SUN  has just been given a shiny vinyl release that expands the original CD to a 2 LP set that’s well worth cracking open your piggy bank for.


The Fall have always been so uniquely ‘The Fall’ that they transcend influences and genres, so it’s always a pleasure when I come across something by them that is distinctly psychedelic in sound if not necessarily in intent. Bonkers In Phoenix is taken from the album CEREBRAL CAUSTIC, the one that saw Brix Smith return to the fold in 1995 and Mark E Smith up his drinking, so that  was never going to end well. It is one of the band’s least loved albums, although I’ve always had a soft spot for it simply because Brix is on it and I've always liked what she brings to the band. MES gleefully deconstructs what I understand started life as a Brix ballad by speeding up her vocals, cutting in some asides of his own, and lovingly screwing with it, but the overall effect is largely mind-bending. Rubbish album cover, though.


The second outing from Ian Hodgson’s Moon Wiring Club on this evening’s show, the slightly wonky and otherwise hallucinatory High Tea On The Edge Of Nowhere sounds something like a surreptitious recording of a clandestine Victorian steam-punks who’ve just discovered a form of Moggadon from licking specially bred tabby cats.  As before, it’s taken from his most recent release, the winningly entitled PSYCHEDELIC SPIRIT SHOW, released just before Christmas as a vinyl only release and therefore too big for all but the most generously-sized Christmas stockings.


Speaking of which, I was lucky enough to find this new mix of THE BEATLES in my Christmas stocking, which instigated a debate between myself and sundry friends regarding which songs might have been better left of it (I find my heart always sinks a little when The Ballad Of Rocky Racoon comes round). I think my friend Colin who’s a lot cleverer than me when it comes to this sort of thing summed it up best when he noted that “the point about the White Album is that it's not an album. It's 30 possible futures, 30 templates for careers that other bands could deploy, free of charge, 30 stars on the horizon. Some of them shit, obvs. In those four sides, the Beatles invented heavy metal, invented the Butthole Surfers, invented pretty much everything that didn't involve a synthesizer. From a listening point of view, it was 50 years early, but clearly designed for an iPod on shuffle mode.” Or as Paul McCartney more succinctly put it: “Fuck off, it’s The Beatles White Album”. Having played it pretty much non-stop in the car since I now finally count myself as a fan.


Woob is the name by which ambient musician Paul Frankland releases his downtempo, spacey recordings. This is the 21-minute title track from his 2014 release, a cinematic journey through deep space, or possibly your own brain,  featuring heavenly vocals, sample cut-ups, field recordings and retro-futuristic effects that are very much at home to the same universe The Orb's ever pulsating brain finds itself floating - that's not a criticism so much as signpost to point you in the right direction. It is, as they say, far out.


The welcome return of Sproatly Smith to the show sees them once again contributing to a new release from the A Year In The Country website, who begin the new year with a re-release of their 2016 compilation THE QUIETENED VILLAGE, an evocative score for crumbled communities, abandoned villages and sunken spires.

The album is a study of, and reflection on, lost, disappeared and once were villages and hamlets that have wandered off the maps, or that have become shells of their former lives and times, inspired in part by images of sections of abandoned, submerged villages and the spires of their places of worship reappearing from the surfaces of reservoirs and lakes, alongside explorations of places that have succumbed to the natural erosion of the coastline and have slowly tumbled into the sea or been buried by encroaching sands.

Some of the lost places which inspired THE QUIETENED VILLAGE still exist but only as stripped down shadowlike settlements; their inhabitants having long since left, evicted at short notice so that their homes and hearths could be used as training grounds to prepare for operations during times of large scale conflict. These points of reference have been intertwined with the spectres of fictional tales; thoughts of Midwich Cuckoo-esque fictions or dystopic tales told and transmitted in times gone by and reimagined by the artists therein.

 Sproatly Smith’s contribution addresses the strange lands lying east of Hull to the North Sea known as Holderness. This area has the fastest eroding coastline in Europe, losing 2 metres every year. The soft cliffs had supported villages and communities that have been swallowed by the tides. Elegiac, but never less than lovely, the track inhabits the slightly mournful quality of the shipping forecast alongside the wyrdfolk otherlysness of all their music. I remain, as ever, devoted.


I’m so taken with the QUIETENED VILLAGE release I thought I’d include another track in the show. Cosmic Neighbourhood is the brainchild of Bristol-based illustrator and musician Adam Higton, who, a few years ago began the task of making songs and sound recordings to give some of his collage work some extra depth.  The collages and subsequent recordings are all about a mythical and leafy suburb called The Cosmic Neighbourhood where trees talk, elves play and witches wave from windows. By all accounts, Bunk Beds is the musical accompaniment to a  collage of two elves in bunk beds, and the hushed sleepy drones and snoring sounds appear like a good fit somewhere within a quietened village. And so it goes…

That was Mind De-Coder 84.

I thank you.

Monday, 17 December 2018



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“It is my wish that a modern Eleusis will emerge, in which seeking humans can learn to have transcendent experiences with sacred substances in a safe setting”
                                                                                                         Albert Hoffman


Originally titled Let’s Roll Another One, this was the B-side to Pink Floyd’s debut 1967 single Arnold Layne, and is as every bit as subversive as the A-side, despite record company insistence that Barrett change the lyrics from “I’m high – don’t try and spoil my fun” to the titular “Go buy candy and a currant bun” – but everyone knows that. What’s slightly less well-known is that the same record company executives and, indeed, BBC censors missed a later line added to the song: “Oh don't talk with me/Please just fuck with me", making Pink Floyd the first band to record the word ‘fuck’ in post-Tynan Britain.


This is a classic example of the British school ‘Cor blimey’ music-hall approach to psychedelia which was briefly popular around 1967 in your toy-town pop-psych circles (although I use the term ‘popular’ in a rather loose, devil-may-care sort of way). Not only is it at odds with the American approach with its exhortations to ride large snakes or what-have-you to the end of the line, let’s not forget that this is the year The Beatles recorded A Day In The Life, which showed what psychedelia was really capable of. Nevertheless, this is a jaunty enough tune that has just enough going for it to become eminently whistle-able as you go about your business on a sunny summery morning – but it’s not Matthew And Son, which was also released that year. The Cuppa T were, accordingly, a little-known act, who released Miss Pinkerton as their debut single. I understand they were even allowed to release a second before returning to ye psychedelic mysts of tyme from which they briefly emerged.


The sugary-sweet Raspberry Rainbow is something of a psych-pop pastiche, produced by ex-members of the Coventry ska band The Reluctant Stereotypes following the failure of that band to sell any records. Released in 1983, it’s an affectionate take on the Barrett-esque approach to psychedelia that sounds just a tad too playfully tongue-in-cheek to be taken seriously. It also appears to be a one-off – I understand an album was recorded but never released, presumably because the record-buying public having no more interest in the Pink Umbrellas than they did in The Reluctant Stereotypes, which is a pity because I think I would have enjoyed an album of this sort of thing back in 1983, and I may have not been the only one. I read somewhere that singer-songwriter Paul Sampson was approached by The Stone Roses as a possible producer for their debut album, but their message of interest didn't reach him until John Leckie had been booked and it was all too late. How different everything might have been had that been a thing.


Alongside his career as the sort of splendidly hirsute alpha-male that would leave Rik Mayall’s Lord Flashheart looking somewhat abashed, Matt Berry has been pursuing an alternative career as a musician, producing experimental prog-folk recordings that are as equally at home to space-jazz workouts as they are to synth-led lounge explorations that, in part, place him somewhere between the Soft Hearted Scientists and Cranium Pie (if that’s any help). His rather groovy and nearly unrecognizable cover of Pink Floyd’s Any Colour You Like is taken from his 2017 mini-album NIGHT TERRORS (NOCTURNAL EXCURSIONS IN MUSIC), a collection of remixes, out-takes and alternate versions of tracks culled from this previous album THE SMALL HOURS, released in 2016. It sounds a bit like a low-key, underwater lounge act, replete with a chorus of orgasmic female backing vocals and laser effects, and is all the better for it.


I think the Fernweh may be my favourite new group, although having spent the last few weeks reading about them (while waiting for their album to arrive in the post) I gather that they may be more about the album than the band itself. Formed in Liverpool, the band seems to be a nucleus of session musicians who, between providing backing for the likes of Candie Payne and The Zutons, wanted to make something like Fairport Convention’s LIEGE AND LIEF - tapping into an older English soundscape to create something fresh and exciting. They succeeded by marrying the ghosts of Magna Carta, Bert Jansch, Heron, Dando Shaft, and Trees – rich in acoustically melodic, autumnal sounds – to a psych-tinged modernist sensibility that takes in elements of electro, Joy Division and, in Timepiece, something akin to Frederick Delius’ Tone Poems but using a more psychedelic-folky palette. Their eponymous release – I think that’s German for WANDERLUST – takes in all my favourite reference points from Anne Briggs to Oliver Postgate, and deals with themes of change and loss, memory and nostalgia. I am enamored.


Gold Celeste are an Oslo-based three-piece whose debut album THE GLOW, released in 2015, attempts to explore the bipolar nature of human endeavor whilst examining the role of marketeers and industry types in the dumbing down of society. Crucially for a band whose name stems from the play of colours and lights in the sky right after sunrise and just before sunset, they choose to do this in a rather dreamy, woozy lo-fi sort of way that's altogether more tranquil, ephemerous and kaleidoscopically enhanced than you might expect.

This was followed by a short piece featuring Robert Smith recorded when he was in Siouxsie and The Banshees and they were the subject of a television show called Play At Home special, a short-lived, brilliant television show on which bands were invited to do more or less whatever they liked for an hour – other guests included Echo and The Bunnymen, Virginia Astley and New Order. Broadcast in 1984, the Banshees adopted an awesomely strange Alice In Wonderland theme that included music from side-projects The Glove and The Creatures, as well as the band themselves in what was, arguably, their imperial phase. Each band member got their own segment and Robert Smith produced this.


Judy Dyble, of course, was the original singer with Fairport Convention, Trader Horne and a nascent King Crimson. She pretty much left the music business for the best part of 30 years in the early 70s, but since 2003 she’s been quietly recording low-key albums with various collaborators where she blends world music, psychedelia, folk, and electronics and I’ve been a fan ever since. Her 2017 release, SUMMER DANCING, recorded with Andy Lewis – producer, multi-instrumentalist and the original DJ at Blow Up – slipped right under my radar, though, until I came across a review by Stephen Prince on his remarkable blogsite A Year In The Country which suggested quite clearly that this is an album I needed to own. Combining acid folk and acid jazz with a hauntological sensibility (Prince puts it in the same psycho-geographical location as Broadcast’s MOTHER IS THE MILKYWAY, which got me fairly quivering with anticipation, I can tell you) the album is a charmingly weird elflock of lush, electronic sunlit pop with flourishes of pastoral English folk, Swinging London-era psych-pop and the aforementioned hauntological embellishments that give the record the shifting textural detail of a lost classic. It really is quite marvelous.


Everyone’s favourite Thai-influenced instrumental surf trio are, in fact, from Houston, but then everyone knows that. Their sound, however, retains a pan-continental vibe taking in Thai funk, a few retro surf riffs, early hip-hop grooves and bits and pieces of Caribbean, Indian, and Middle Eastern music. Their second album, CON TODO EL MUNDO, released earlier this year, has a sound rooted in the deepest waters of world music infused with classic soul, dub and psychedelia. Small wonder this album is appearing on everyone’s Best of Year lists. On Como Te Quiro they appear to be channeling their inner Albatross.


This seems to have been Beautify Junkyards’ year – every time I go online I’m reading about a new gig somewhere in Europe that I can’t get to that the band are playing to promote their most recent album, THE INVISIBLE WORLD OF BEAUTIFY JUNKYARDS, which is also turning up on a lot of Best of Year lists. This gorgeous track, an iridescently lovely cover of Nick Drake’s From The Morning, was originally released in 2013 as their debut single, but it has recently found its way on to the album GOLDFISH, a triple LP of tracks drawn from the back-catalogue of the wonderful Fruits de Mer record label, celebrating 10 years of releasing classic and willfully obscure songs taken from, or heavily influenced by, the 60s and 70s. Elsewhere on the album you can find tracks from Mind De-Coder favourites The Pretty Things, nick nicely, Tir na nOg, The Chemistry Set, Cranium Pie, Sendelica, Vibravoid and Soft Hearted Scientists, all of which are documented in the book The Incomplete Angler by Dave Thompson, in which he presents the official history of the label, featuring over 300 pages of psychedelic, space rock, Kozmic and utterly uncategorizable madness from the annals of the most collectible record label of the 21st Century.


This lovely little track is taken from the most recent release from Japan’s Kikagaku Moyo who appear to have spent the last 30 months or so from the release of their last album touring. The resulting album, MASANA TEMPLES, is a miscellany of diverse rhythms and influences, including Krautrock, classical Indian music, jazz, lounge, and folk. It’s a deeply psychedelic recording but also laid-back and dreamlike too, with only the occasional acid-drenched guitar wig-out to puncture your revery. Orange Peel drifts and shimmers like a late-summer heat haze, with tender vocals and gentle guitar lines; elsewhere spellbinding riffage abounds.

I have it drift away into a recording of that storm we enjoyed here on Waiheke last week.


Ganja & Hess was one of THE groundbreaking films of African American cinema.  Released in 1973 it was a seminal work of revolutionary independent cinema that flirted with the conventions of blaxploitation and horror cinema, whilst providing a highly stylized and utterly original treatise on sex, religion, and African American identity. It starred ‘Night Of The Living Dead’s Duane Jones in one of his two leading roles and Marlene Clark, who would be seen later that year in Bruce Lee's ‘Enter The Dragon’, so it came with way-cool credentials before it had even started. Director Bill Gunn was honoured as one of the ten best American films of its decade by the Cannes Film Festival but was barely distributed to American audiences. Commissioned at a time when blaxploitation movies like ‘Shaft’ played as blockbusters in African American neighborhoods, it was suppressed in the United States because it did not turn out to be the Hollywood genre film the producers intended, so Ganja & Hess was withdrawn when Gunn went beyond the vampire genre and turned in something unique.

The soundtrack to the film was composed by Sam Waymon - brother to Nina Simone, but something of a creative genius in his own right - who produced an innovative, ahead-of-its-time mixture of soul, tribal chants, gospel and trippy, dissonant experimental cues that makes for the strangest score for a vampire film ever. March Blues features Mabel King on vocals, who would become famous for playing Evillene the Witch in The Wiz. The soundtrack was never made available at the time but finally saw release as an exclusive LP for Record Store Day earlier this year. Curated and supervised by composer Sam Waymon himself, the release was strictly limited to 1000 copies worldwide so don’t bust a gut trying to get hold of a copy. I’m sure it’s online now.


Rob Gould produces atmospheric, cinematic soundscapes and otherwise seems to have made a life for himself in music. Occasionally, and, one suspects, just for the sheer fun of it, he’ll knock out a psychedelic cover of an obscure 60s track and these will always put a smile on my face. Funniest Gig was originally recorded by Manfred Mann as the b-side to their 1967 non-hit So Long, Dad, a track that absolutely bombed with the listening public. It was the nearest Manfred Mann ever got to psychedelia, featuring a dreamy haze like atmosphere, strange lyrics and production and samples of earlier Fontana singles. Rob Gould takes the overall weirdness of the track and turns it up to 11.


This is the opening track to the debut album by Australian psych-rockers (who aren’t Tame Impala or any of its myriad off-shoots) The Jim Mitchells – LOVE HYPNOTIC, released earlier this year, is a spaced-out ode to love and mental struggle featuring harmony drenched ballads, garage-band psych-outs and groovy dance numbers. (Let The All In) is a collage of jangly guitars, 60s flavoured leads and airy vocals that would be at home on a Magical Mystery Tour b-sides album.


For their sixth album, VISITORS, released earlier this year, the LA duo hold true to their vision of re-creating the swirling sounds of Tomorrow and Pink Floyd with paisley melodies and patchouli drenched harmonies.


This track is essentially a bit of filler from the new album by Cypress Hill – ELEPHANTS ON ACID – whose title alone was enough to prick my ears up with interest. The occasional early single aside, I’ve no other albums by the band to draw any kind of context from but this, their ninth album, contains psychedelic interludes, sitars, sub bass, trumpeting pachyderms and dubby contributions by arch purveyor of mystical lysergic vibes, Gonjasufi, abound.


For their new album, Sundial fulfill a long-term plan by releasing 20 years’ worth of trippy instrumentals inspired by science fiction soundtracks. Simply called SCIENCE FICTION, it’s a twisting journey through endless possible galaxies evoking the futuristic feel of experimental soundscapes from the late 50s through to the mid-70s taking in space funk, astral rock, Blade Runner-esque symphonic sweeps, krautrock infused electronica and cool glacial guitars and swirling organs that put one in mind of those hugely experimental space-age exotica releases like Attilio Mineo’s 1962 release MAN IN SPACE WITH SOUNDS. Originally only available as green vinyl release limited to 750 copies, the CD version features this fabulous extended version of opening track Hanger 13, which has this whole Spacemen 3 thing going for it, before drifting towards a more ambient, acoustic finale that, first time I heard it, took me from outer space to the lost garden of earthly delights and pretty much left me there.


Sometimes I think even main-man Kawabata Makoto has lost count of how many Acid Mothers temple releases he’s been involved with, but I’m guessing it’s now over two hundred at least (there’s been six album releases this year alone). For their newest release, HALLELUJAH MYSTIC GARDEN PART 1, Kawabata has returned to the band’s early days of vinyl only releases with this one limited to 500 copies, 200 copies of which are available in silver vinyl. Part 1 of the album was released in June, so there’s still plenty of time for Part 2 of the album to be released before the end of the year. It consists of two tracks – Cometary Orbital Drive 2299, which takes up Side A of the LP is something of a live favourite featuring a vast array of effects pedals, feedback loops and a funk bassline all of which eventually unravel into a total dissolution of structure, space and time. Marvelous.


I’ve been listening The Beatles’ LOVE album quite a bit recently and really enjoying it. I’m presuming this particular take on Strawberry Fields Forever can be found on one of the ANTHOLOGY albums but, despite just watching the TV series again, I’ve never heard the accompanying CDs, which is something I really ought to rectify in the coming year. In the meantime, allow yourselves to revel in this excellent version of their greatest song.