Friday, June 17, 2005

This may be of interest to some. The rest of you might as well start looking for another blog...

Dream Magazine #5 has arrived!

"This huge 128 page issue features exclusive interviews with: RobertWyatt and his wife, illustrator, lyricist, and muse Alfreda Benge, Masaki Batoh of legendary Japanese band Ghost, Tom Rapp of Pearls Before Swine, part two of our talk with Terry Riley, an extensive chat with Pat Thomas of San Francisco band Mushroom, the singular JohnTrubee, our pal Jose Marmeleira talks to Sun City Girls, we talk toMarissa Nadler, Elf Power, Bipolaroid, there’s a long lost phone call to the late great illustrator Rick Griffin, Jonny Trunk of Trunk Records, long time contributor Sasa Rakezic aka Aleksandar Zograf talks to illustrating icon Gary Panter, Lee Jackson delivers his estimation of the most harrowing baker’s dozen recordings ever with his 13 Nightmares, we talk to Mats Gustafsson about the late lamented Swedish‘zine The Broken Face, and he delivers a whole section of his inimitable record reviews, he also conducts interviews with Ed Hardy ofEclipse Records, Finnish explorers Kemialliset Ysävät, and Australian band the Lost Domain, our friend Nuno Robles talks to Donovan Quinn of Verdure, we also talk to Crashing Dreams, Swedish band Testbild!, Russian singer Julia Vorontsova, Tinsel, and as always there are anexcess of record reviews, as well as DVD and publication reviews.

The complimentary CD included with issue #5 features excellent previously unreleased material by: Piano Magic, Volcano the Bear,Bipolaroid, Verdure, Mushroom, Julia Vorontsova, the Lost Domain, JackRose, AqPop, Testbild!, there’s also a great out of print John Trubee instrumental and Bob Moss lets us use a brilliant previously unrecordedTom Rapp song from Bob’s album “Folknik II” on Soundcore/Woods Cross.

Cover price: $9.50 ($11.00 postpaid in the US, payable to GeorgeParsons)
Dream MagazineP.O. Box 2027 Nevada City, CA95959-941

Available in Europe soon through Rustic Rod. (If you can’t wait, email me about postage)"


Friday, June 10, 2005

Wooden Vand and the Vanishing Voice
L’un Marquer Contre la Moissonneuse (
Three Lobed Recordings)

Despite the fact that the Wooden Vand and the Vanishing Voice’s discography contains an impressive row of fascinating releases this is actually their first full-length CD. The format will not change a thing though; this is still a perplexing combo that explores the most warped side of psychedelic folk and twisted drones. Admittedly it took a few listens for this one to grow on me but once you’re trapped inside their acid-soaked sound world there is no way out, and their strangely fractured folk-scapes have suddenly become a permanent fixture on my sonic horizon. It’s not a sound easily described or enjoyed, but it’s remarkable and utterly original at the same time. Imagine a blend of the fragmented side of the Finnish psych-folk scene, No Neck Blues Band and to some degree even Sunburned Hand of the Man and you’re in the right ballpark.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Magic Lantern S/t (Self-released)

My first encounter with The Magic Lantern was during one of those amazing Moonshake events up in Umeå. This is the first recorded material to reach my ears and it actually manages to surpass the sounds presented live. What this self-titled CD-R offers is a spacious meeting between post rock, psychedelica, subtle space rock and electronica. What to a high degree sets these guys apart from the average travelers in these sonic territories is the distant psychedelic element that comes wrapped inside every slowly meandering note. The opening “Floating Downstream” is particularly effective with its gently stroked guitar hovering on top of a bed of synth washes. This is the sound of an equally beautiful and melancholic mind, an aural river that gently flows towards the ocean. A river that feels right at home with pastoral meadows on each side but also can endure the desolate feel of being trapped inside a mountain cabin while the raging gale of a storm is destroying everything in its way outside.
Beyond the soft, cloud-like characteristics there is also something otherworldly and slightly alien to these soundscapes, which is best displayed in the epic “The Sun Is Shining (But I’m Still Cold)”. One reference point could be the Spacious Mind at their most somber but I think that’s more due to the fact that you can sense the snow-clad landscapes in both these bands' music than the actual sounds presented. Not everything here is great but enough is to make me really curious where these guys will go next. For more information send a note to: christerblomquist –at- yahoo.se


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Clear Spots Mountain Rock (Deep Water)

The heavy slab of jarring spastic noise that characterizes the opening ”f.o.” will surely leave a few listeners behind as we’re served a sound that pummels with the ferocity of a herd of elephants. The fireballs of distortion and shards of feedback bouncing around this track are present all the way through the disc’s 65 minutes, but they’re more often than not wrapped inside a slightly more accessible package. “The Great Outdoors” and “Squid under Pier” are almost as raw and ragged but they’re slowed down in a way that makes the untamed guitars and the general sense of improvisation, the aural chaos and the beds of rustic noise sound surprisingly beautiful.

Sure, Mountain Rock is harsh and cruel to say the least, but interspersed throughout are occasional and unexpected forays into more transcendent realms, offering slight shelter from the mostly raging black seas that dominate this pulsating melange. Such shelter is the amazing “Choo Choo” which is nothing less than pure space bliss. “Swamp Thing” displays feverishly minimal, drone-heavy doom riffage but there’s something distinctly rural about it all, which makes it sound unique. Add a strong psychedelic vibe to all this and you get a noise rock combo that goes way beyond the standard formula. Very nice. Well, nice is probably not the right word but I am sure you know what I mean…


Friday, June 03, 2005

Various Artists Time and Relative Dimensions in Space (Rebis)

Drunken Fish’s triple-LP compilation Harmony of the Spheres reached almost legendary status with its magnificent music and idea to let each contributing band stretch out on a whole LP side. I am sure Time and Relative Dimensions in Space never will receive the same kind of recognition but it’s similar in the way it displays a number of fairly unknown bands that deliver extended pieces of experimental music. In this case we’re talking about long-form works loosely based around the theme of time travel and it’s difficult to think of finer travel guides than Rebis own Number None project, Italian hipsters My Cat Is An Alien, Charalambides-related Taurpis Tula, San Franciscan Jim Haynes and the Broken Face favorites in the Skaters.

All contributions does in one way or the other relate to things droney so they’re definitely related, but at the same time they do so in different ways so all six pieces points in slightly different directions. Number None delivers harsh yet meditative drones and digital fuckery, The Skaters explores swirling clouds of feedback drowned in a pool filled with distortion and mud, Jim Haynes’ gives us experimental glitchscapes and entrancing sound sculptures and as if all this wasn’t enough the best has even been saved for last. The spacious guitarscapes from My Cat Is An Alien might not be unique, but when someone is capable of presenting such atmospheric sounds and paint such clear imaginary images of all kinds of remote terrain I can do nothing but surrender. Taurpis Tula from Glasgow, Scotland is the duo of Heather Leigh (Charalambides, Scorces, Ash Castles on the Ghost Coast) on pedal steel/vocals and David Leigh (known as one of the finest contemporary writers about fringe music). What we get here is long bowed tones, haunting guitar figures, bare non-word vocals and minimal series of sad and lonely notes that stretch and slowly blossom. When they finally fade away all that is left is a haunting, empty feel that very well might reveal sides of your psyche that you never have been aware of.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Pefkin Asa Nisi Masa (Foxglove)

Ever since first treating my ears with the minimal psych/dream pop confections of Electroscope’s somewhat overlooked classic, A Journey to the Center of… I’ve approached every step of the involved with great anticipation. Gayle Brogan (one half of Electroscope and also owner of the amazing Melody Bar mail-order) nowadays records as Pefkin and the results are just as spellbinding and introspective.

What we get is fragile song fragments interspersed with shimmering waves of bleak folk explorations and bedroom experimentation. It all sounds like some nearly lost memory that just hast to be remembered or like being trapped inside a dream that’s all about subtle disorientation. With the aid of delay-steeped guitars, melodica, violin, voice, horns, slight percussion and all sorts of other sounds Pefkin creates a very immediate sound that could strike some as half-done and unpolished but if you ask me that’s exactly what makes Asa Nisa Masa so beautiful. Simple melodies are embellished with a suggestive kind of brilliance and a great sense of melancholia, but what’s more important is that I just don’t seem to be able to stop playing this one over and over again.