ARTIST: Aural Air
RELEASE: The Torpor of Minds
RELEASE DATE: December 8th 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Little L Records
Dublin based 'Aural Air' is the moniker of dreamy lo-fi singer-songwriter Laura Rai. With a sound that conjures up far too many comparisons to mention, 'Aural Air' glides and glistens effortlessly on layers of woozy reverberations that ride sparse percussive hits used primarily to direct the listener onto those blissfully ethereal vocalisations and their accompanying wide scoped production. Laura's debut three track release entitled 'The Torpor of Minds' was unleashed back on December 8th 2017 via 'Little L Records' and features two previously released bonus tracks. You can get your hands on it right now to buy/download via auralair.bandcamp.com
The Torpor of Minds by Aural Air
The EP opens up rumbling magnificently on the thump of bass drum, the deep twang of bass notes and jangling hook heavy guitars. Oodles of reverberation swirl and eddy as addictive chord progressions envelope the entire piece and those swooning vocals meander into audible range. 'Serpents Speak' moves up a gear half way through, slowing at first before injecting some forceful tempo changes as the surge of heady production catches this listener off guard and we soar skywards, pinned fast to brilliantly executed vocal lines courtesy of Laura Rai and the hypnotic jangle of blissed out guitars. It's a brilliant opening salvo that leads us into track two - 'The Vanishing Dove', a lo-fi affair layered with immense guitars, cascading bass lines and probably the best vocal take on the entire EP. 'The Vanishing Dove' is one of those tracks that surprises you with every twist and turn. It rises and falls through pools of reverb, exploding at times into a kaleidoscope of sonic colour before fading out on waves of lead guitar progressions and the fading hiss of production.
The EP's next track is gloriously melodic. 'Medina's Wolves' unfurls it's fuzzy sonic tendrils and floats into the ether on subtle instrumental stabs and the hazy pull of reverb. It's hypnotic back beat rolls and moves brilliantly, dragging another impressive vocal take with it as the humming of bass frequencies melds with jangling guitars and fizzing lo-fi theatrics. Sonically sublime, 'Medina's Wolves' is stacked to the brim with an up front melodic confidence that is rarely heard in today's scene. As previously mentioned, 'The Torpor of Minds' closes out with two previously released tracks. 'The Heir of Indignation' showcases sublime vocals as a repetitive drum track holds a steady beat beneath quivering lines of guitar and deep booming bass notes. This track builds ever so slowly allowing the vocals time to breathe and meander in and out of the collective instrumentation whilst 'Edinburgh', the EP's closing track, shimmers dreamily on waves of reverb hued guitars, deep melancholic strings and sparse percussion all entered around that truly magnificent vocal track. It's a wonderful end point to a marvellously dreamy EP from a fellow Dubliner ... Bravo!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
by Primal Music
RELEASE DATE: 18th January 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Austin Town Hall Records
It's been a year or so since we last heard from Austin based dream-gaze quartet 'Blushing'. The band are made up of two husband and wife pairs, Christina Carmona - vocals/bass, Michelle Soto - guitar/vocals, Noe Carmona - guitar/keyboard/vocals & Jake Soto - drums and their dreamy ethereal tones first came to the fore back in January 2017 on their four track self-released debut EP 'Tether' and since then the band have gone from strength to strength by signing to 'Austin Town Hall Records' and now returning with their highly anticipated sophomore release. 'Weak' is a massive step forward in their overall development as a band. It's five luscious tracks are filled with dreamy shimmering soundscapes, precise layered musicianship and well crafted songs that are all enveloped by absolutely sublime vocalisations. The EP gets it's official release via Austin Town Hall Records on January 18th 2018 and is available to pre-order right now from both athrecords.bandcamp.com and weareblushing.bandcamp.com respectfully.
Weak by Blushing
'Weak' opens up with it's title track and we're soon swooning to it's beautifully intense opening vocals tethered to textured guitars drenched in swirling reverb. Subtle synth swells bubble up below the mix before the track explodes into a kaleidoscope of sonic colours as 'Blushing' unleash a blissed out sonic concoction of catchy guitars, humming bass and steadying percussion. Hook laden chorus progressions soar and glide effortlessly before we're pulled into a beautiful instrumental break that builds ever so slowly, gaining momentum with each progression until eventually exploding into a huge shoegaze tinged masterpiece. This is absolutely immense, a huge step forwards in sound and production and a fantastic opening salvo indeed. Up next, 'Hidden Places' unfurls it's sonic tendrils and instantly catches the ear with it's panned guitars and punchy drum pattern. Throbbing bass frequencies meld effortlessly with the strum of guitar as swirling reverberations intertwine with throughly addictive vocal lines. 'Hidden Places' is a glorious affair that surges into catchy chorus breaks filled with shimmering frequencies and glistening production values.
'Bliss' jangles into audible range quivering on a jangling guitar strum, drenched in delayed reverb. Synth lines sway and move angelically, alongside the deep penetrating hum of bass and a full sounding drum kit. Again, I'm mesmerised by those melodically beautiful vocal tones and the way they float and eddy atop of the collective instrumentation and those immense chord changes that seem catch this listeners breath and instantly pull you into every single note. 'Bliss' is a mesmerising track and definitely one of highlights on the entire release. Up next, 'Blushing' unleash the heaviest track on the album and probably their most 'shoegaze' orientated one too. 'Bound', the albums penultimate track, explodes into a melee of sonic waves as it moves a massive wave of sound before it, caused at first by the deep boom of bass accompanied by explosive percussion and driving guitars and quickly nullified by another impressive vocal performance that seems to calm proceedings down by ushering in some dreamier vibes. It moves slowly, carried throughout by jangling guitars and swooning percussion as cascading bass frequencies wash over everything. It's verse parts are sublime but it's the chorus progressions where things get very, very interesting. 'Bound' is a clear sign for me that 'Blushing' as a band have at last honed the skill of songwriting and are now on top of their game.
The album closes out hovering blissfully on the throb of heady bass frequencies and the swoosh of reverb tinged guitars. 'Love You Twice' is a luscious slice of melodic dream-pop dipped in exquisite reverberation and layered at times with sticky shoegaze finery. It's immensely addictive and filled to the brim with swirling instrumentation that will leave you floored. 'Love You Twice' is a fitting book-end to what is a marvellous sophomore release. Bravo 'Blushing'.
ARTIST: Dead Vibrations
RELEASE: Dead Vibrations
RELEASE DATE: January 26th 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Swedish noise manipulators 'Dead Vibrations' create a delicious mix of psychedelically tinged shoegaze and dark atmospherics layered brilliantly with swathes of gloomy reverberation, screaming feedback, angry vocalisations all topped off with brooding fuzzed-out guitars. Carefully honing their sound over the past few years through touring and appearing at some of Europe's best psych fests, 'Dead Vibrations' have made considerable sonic strides. Since exploding onto Stockholm's underground psych scene back in 2015 the band have released their debut 12” EP ‘Reflections’ and this year's 7” single ‘Swirl/Sleeping In Silver Garden'. The band are made up of Christian Jansson - guitar/vocals, Elmer Hallsby - bass, Josefin Ahlqvist Lyzwiski - drums & Olov Sjogren - guitar and they have joined forces with London based independent record label 'Fuzz Club Records' to unleash their immense self-titled debut album with the release date penned in for January 26th 2018. The album is available to buy via www.fuzzclub.com on lovely deluxe vinyl (limited to 100 copies on 180g coloured vinyl, hand numbered and gatefold sleeve) and on standard vinyl (limited to 400 copies on 180 vinyl).
Angry instrumental drones swirl and loop through clouds of dark and oppressive reverberations as 'On A Sunday Morning' unwraps it's fuzzy sonic tendrils and pulls repetitive percussion and the throb of deep bass frequencies out into the ether. Melodious guitar progressions envelope soaring vocalisations, strapped to noise laden passages of screaming feedback that pummel the senses as the track builds brilliantly and lurches to a turbulent finale. It's a blistering opening salvo indeed. Up next, 'Chemical Hug' belches out subtle feedback, sporadic notes and sullen fret noise as it winds itself up and steadily sways into audible range. Somber vocal lines ride a huge surge of instrumental fury permeated by layers of dark swirling atmospherics that loop and arc atop of a steady drum pattern. Catchy chorus changes carve out a deafening pause before we lurch back into a raging cacophony of fizzing noise as 'Chemical Hug' presents it's grungy final throws to the masses.
Whirring drones blend with overdriven guitars drenched in swathes of reverb with the arrival of 'Dive With You'. It's addictive lead lines quiver and sway as ghostly vocal lines pulse a surreal kind of melody through the collective sonic fog. Rolling drum patterns hold court here as throbbing bass frequencies hover in close proximity, building ever so slowly as repetition creeps into proceedings and continue right up until tracks end. Up next, 'Marbles' explodes into a magnificent array of sonic colour with pounding almost motorik like percussion keeping a steady backbeat and used primarily as a vehicle to collectively ferry those immense vocals, rumbling bass lines and huge layers of atmospheric guitar on into that magnificent instrumental break and then on into that angry finale. 'Marbles' is a triumph, worthy of your ears and quite possibly my favourite track on the entire release. Up next, the open salvos of 'Void' are angry and atmospheric with swirling reverberations and deep dark sonic trenches filled with alluring instrumentals and a pounding percussive assault but permeating that cacophony of wonderful noise are melody strewn vocalisations that surf on top of the melee and at times carry this track skywards. It's masterful in it's approach and another highlight for me.
The albums penultimate piece entitled 'In Habits' materialises from Void's dissipating death throws. Dark and malevolent, this track has a definite shoegaze personality with ghostly vocalisations riding hypnotic beats, soaring lead lines and the deep penetrating rumble of sullen bass frequencies. Mesmerising instrumental breaks pull the listener in before exploding into a blistering melting pot of sounds lead primarily by luscious guitar and growling production. 'In Habits' ends in a sonic haze before the incantational sounds of 'Bitter Better Way' creep into audible range and wash this listener with a heady concoction of swaying percussion, quivering guitars and cascading bass frequencies. Immense vocals meld effortlessly with dark swirling sounds, breathing life into proceedings as they cut through the noise thus allowing this track to erupt into a massive sonic behemoth. It's a brilliant ending to a mesmerising debut album.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ARTIST: Your Friends Polymers
RELEASE: v chuzhoi strane
RELEASE DATE: December 12th 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
The clear choir-like vocals on the latest release from 'Your Friends Polymers' seem to evoke the most quintessential illusions of English village life. In fact, the four piece are from Samara, Russia, which is altogether more intriguing. Following on from the shimmering 'Chudesa EP' from December 2015, the 6 track 'V Chuzhoi Strane' was released last month and is constructed from lustrous summery sound. The EP is available to buy/download right now via yourfriendspolymers.bandcamp.com
v chuzhoi strane by your friends polymers
Opening track 'Bees' flows between a swell of swooping guitar, before the pace slows and the vocals soar, inducing a very pleasing wooziness. The 90s jangle of 'No Dice' has the Sweetness and Light of Lush and pops along dreamily. Delicate delayed guitar coaxes 'Little Box' into life, contrasting with the insistent drums which push along. The chorus has a melody that is fit for a cathedral. Title track 'V Chuzhoi Strane' is a collection of icy shards catching the light with angular beauty.
The frosty electronic taps of 'At The Depths Of The Gulf Stream' soon melt into a melodious concoction topped with a sweet refrain. The bass sets the groove of the instrumental '48' which ends this EP with a breezy air - appropriate as it has brought some much needed light and air to this dark January.
In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.
RELEASE: Starwheel EP
RELEASE DATE: December 16th 2017
Derby based quartet 'Starwheel' embrace and meld sounds and genres effortlessly. From subtle shoegaze to jangling psych pop, indie to alternative rock this band instil a surreal calmness to their their overall collective sound that is highly addictive and deeply hypnotic. The band released their debut double A-side single 'Drip Feed/Broken Glass' to the masses back in April 2016 and followed it up in 2017 with their stunning second single 'Sit Down/Through My window (Parts 1 & 2)'. Now the band have returned with their stunning self-titled debut four track EP and they do not disappoint. The EP was released back on the 16th December 2017 and it is available to buy/download right now via starwheel.bandcamp.com
Starwheel EP by Starwheel
Swirling organ sounds announce the arrival of track one 'Replica' and it's accompanied by bounding percussion, jangling guitar and the rambling of bass frequencies. Stunning vocals meander in and out of accomplished instrumentation permeated at times with subtle flourishes of catchy lead guitar, luscious reverberations and lines of slight backing vocals. Up next, the instrumental 'Radio Love' slows things down a tad as shimmering slide guitar draped in oodles of reverb and laid back guitar progressions wash over this listener. Slow methodical percussion dances underneath ferrying deep melodic bass lines with ease and allowing jangling lead lines to intertwine with fantastically hypnotic psychedelic frequencies.
The EP's penultimate piece entitled 'Veins' is filled to the brim with intense melody. The swirl of organ melds effortlessly with cascading bass lines and the gentle jangling strum of guitar. Steady percussion rattles below as the vocal track weaves a magical spell as it dances and moves in ands out of the collective instrumentation. It has catchy hook laden breaks that catch you off guard allowing you to soar skywards, if only for a short time, before you get pulled back into the mesmerising mix of dazzling sonic frequencies. 'Veins' is a triumph and quite possibly my favourite track on the entire EP. 'Safari' closes proceedings with a sweet little psych-pop gem. Boundless bass lines rush beneath sporadic percussive hits and rambling lead guitars run and meander in and out of breathless vocalisations. It's a wonderful little track and a brilliant ending to a marvellous EP.
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
RELEASE: Spectroscope EP
RELEASE DATE: June 1st 2017
Barcelona based 'Vymaanika' is a drone-heavy experimental prog & space rock collective with a sound thats underpinned by motorik krautrock and swirling psych. Consisting of Benjamin Mahoney - guitar/vocals/synths, Carles Esteban guitar/vocals/synths, Jose Jünemann - drums/synths & Andrés Paniagua - bass this magnificent quartet come from different parts of the globe with varying degrees of experience from playing in bands such as sansoma, juneorjuly, jinkovilova & palaciomalson. They released their debut two-track EP entitled 'Spectroscope' back in June 2017 and it's available to buy/download right now via vymaanika.bandcamp.com
Spectroscope EP by VYMAANIKA
The EP's title track 'Spectroscope' swirls menacingly on a repetitive guitar line that pulses through layers of deep reverberation. Explosive progressive percussion builds from beneath the mix pulling cavernous synth swells, swirling instrumental drones, pulsing electronics and a magnificent vocal line with it as it melds brilliantly with turbulent guitars and the throb of luscious bass frequencies. Heady atmospherics accompany the instrumentation as they collectively dive headlong into a cyclonic sonic behemoth filled with motorik percussion. Coming in at ten minutes plus, 'Spectroscope' is a white knuckle thrill ride into a heady world of wide eyed sonic abandonment and a serious recommendation from us. Dive in!
The EP's closing piece offers a somewhat calm introduction. 'Golden Void' unfurls it's sonic tendrils and attaches itself to the strum of tremulous guitar and the swoosh of percussion. Slow moving at first, it builds momentum with each bar pulling different instrumentation with it as it slowly spirals skywards and out into the sonic ether. Hypnotically charged vocal lines ebb and flow through offbeat drum hits and layered reverb underpinned by repetitive progressions and mantra like qualities. But it's the immense instrumental break at five minutes in that catches this listener out as ''Vymaanika' inject a kind of lysergic energy into the mix pulling space rock, neo-psych and rolling waves of heady vibration into play, moulding the entire sonic concoction into one singular pulsating entity right up until it's turbulent finale. It's a really good ending to an immense EP. Hopefully we will hear more from these guys going forward. Recommended!
ARTIST: Shoe Shine Six
RELEASE DATE: January 5th 2018
Noisy alt-shoegaze quartet 'Shoe Shine Six' inject a melodic edge to their sound that is very hard to shake off. Beneath the sullen post-punk hued vocalisations are layers of instrumentation that collectively meld into a highly addictive blissed out melee of shimmering sonic noise. The band hail from Yekaterinburg, Russia and consist of Katarina Voronina - vocals, Paul Alimpiev - guitar, Mike Tulubaev - bass & Serge Markoff - drums. Their debut four track EP entitled 'Sunday' had it's official release on the 5th January 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via shoeshinesix.bandcamp.com
Sunday by Shoe Shine Six
'Sunday' unfurls it's fuzzy tendrils with 'Rainfall', it's opening salvo. It rocks brilliantly on a busy percussive assault whilst swirling melody driven guitars breach layers of reverb as they weave and dance on top of throbbing bass frequencies. Katarina Voronina's melodic vocals are instantly enjoyable, adding dark-wave inspired layer over proceedings and cutting a wedge through the noise thus adding sublime clarity to the overall track. It's a fantastic opening track. Up next, 'Daze' begins in quiet refrain, building slowly through it's opening verse before exploding into a cacophony of fuzzed out noise and explosive drum patterns. Catchy chorus changes and soaring lead lines help to lift this track skywards as laid back verse progressions ebb and flow with relative ease allowing the vocal track space to breathe.
'Ocean', the EP's penultimate piece is deeply melancholic as the band lean heavily into their shoegaze side injecting melody and swathes of reverb into the piece whilst steady percussion rumbles and bass lines throb in unison allowing layer after layer of guitars to soar into the ether enveloping what I believe is the best vocal performance on the release. 'Ocean' is absolutely breathtaking and probably my favourite track on the entire EP. 'Green' closes proceedings out delving more into alt-rock than the previous three tracks. There are, at times, subtle hazy moments courtesy of layered reverberations but for the most part this track rattles through a well worn alt-rock path. 'Shoe Shine Six' are definitely ones to watch throughout 2018 and it'll be interesting to hear what comes next.
ARTIST: Psychic Lemon
RELEASE: Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay
RELEASE DATE: January 12th 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Tonzonen Records
London based psych aficionados 'Psychic Lemon' inject swirling space rock, well drilled prog rock and motorik krautrock into their overall sound that is both hypnotic and addictive all at once. This impressive three piece (previously a quartet) have been ploughing a deep sonic furrow into the underground psych collective since the release of their self-titled debut album back in 2016 but I have to admit that I hadn't heard of the band up until receiving the press release for their brand new album. I've since rectified that issue. Entitled 'Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay', this immense collection of five tracks is explosive, exquisite and quite possibly one of the best albums that I've heard in some time. At times sonically transcending, 'Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay' breathes new life into a collective of genres that have been very much diluted beyond hope over the past few years. 'Psychic Lemon' strip these genres back to their base components before collectively reimagining them into a huge singular sonic entity. 'Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay' gets it's official release on January 12th 2018 via tonzonen records and is available to buy/download on various formats including lovely vinyl from psychiclemon.bandcamp.com
Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay by Psychic Lemon
The swing of African themed drums pulls humming bass frequencies into audible range as ‘Exit To The Death Lane’ winds itself into a coiled sonic behemoth and prepares to strike. Swirling guitars ride turbulent waves of reverberation enveloping an impressively mantra like vocal line thus adding hypnotic circumventions to the piece as it manipulates sound waves and bends notes at will before erupting into a massive wall of fuzzed out psych induced melody. This is something altogether mesmerising. It’s a mix of space rock, modern psych and fucked up rock and roll all packed up into a huge opening salvo to whet the sonic appetite with. Up next ‘Psychic Lemon’ unleash their garage-psych side as ‘Hey Droog!’ explodes into pulsating percussive assault accompanied by throbbing bass lines and the swirling sounds of organ delectably drenched in sullen reverberation. Wailing lead guitar deploys a raging wah-wah pedal that meanders in and out of tempo driven drum patterns, unleashing a holy sonic war of attrition and laying waste to all before it. It's another massive assault on the cranium and bloody masterful in its approach. ‘You’re No good’ tumbles into the ether riding a krautrock like percussive pattern as it's repetitive nature keeps metronomic time allowing addictive lead lines to permeate the mix, sitting precariously on top of gravity defying bass patterns. The musicianship on this track is impressive and it’s vocal lines although sparse are very effective. Listen out for that magnificent break half way through and the brilliant introduction of saxophone. It will suck you into a mesmerising world of psychedelically charged experimentation.
The highlight of the album for me and it’s penultimate track comes in the guise of ‘Interstellar Fuzz Star’ and it does exactly as it says on the tin. A raging wall of turbulent instrumentation rides a pounding wall of percussive noise collectively enveloping an absolutely magnificent marauding bass line whilst lead guitar lines whip the entire track to within an inch of its life. ‘Interstellar Fuzz Star’ is a fuzzed out white knuckle sonic ride straight to heart of the sun and it’s explosive ending will blow your fucking mind. The album closes out with ‘Satori Disco’, a melody infused spaced out gem that sits on a bed rock of rolling drums and the consistent throb of bass frequencies. Angry strummed guitars hold court here as lead lines dipped in reverb meander in and out of the piece pulling hypnotic Saxophone and wailing wah-wah with it as it rides it's turbulent pre-destined sonic course. This is a bloody impressive track and a fabulous ending to what is for me a masterpiece of an album. Seriously recommended.
RELEASE: Past, Preset and Future
RELEASE DATE: January 23rd 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Self Released
It's been quite some time since we've had any music from brilliant San Francisco based experimental shoegazers 'Echodrone'. Their impressive 2015 released long player 'Five' caught the ear of the venerable 'Saint Marie Records' and marked a significant change sonically for the band. It was released at a time when the resurgent underground scene was booming and shoegaze was a buzz word on the lips of passionate scenesters. It was also met with rave reviews upon release and is still spoken about today as being a landmark album from that year. Now the band have returned with a brand new thirteen track opus entitled 'Past, Preset and Future'. Self -released, this massive compendium of tracks swirls and dances through a multitude of music genres such as shoegaze, dream pop, post-punk, electronica, post-rock and indie-rock with relative ease and is sure to stir up the hearts and minds of the underground faithful once more. The album gets it's full release on January 23rd 2018 and will be available to buy/download from that date via all of the bands usual outlets.
A swirling tremulous drone pulls jangling instrumental progressions filled with shimmering guitars and wide scoped reverberations out into the ether as ‘Threaded Barrel’ unfurls it’s glistening tendrils and reaches out to pull the listener inside. Giddy percussion rides the wave of blissed out sound waves as hazy vocalisations meander in and out of deep laid bass frequencies. Catchy lead lines stick to the sonic concoction like glue as we’re pulled into a marvellous chorus surge and swept away on a wave of beautiful noise. ‘Threaded Barrel’ bounces and moves like clock work and is a massive statement of intent. Up next, ‘Failure’ glides into audible range trapped in a melancholic dream-pop hue underpinned with stunning instrumentation and an immense vocal performance. Chorus parts soar skywards on layers of streaming guitars and pounding drum patterns as the throb of bass envelopes walls of outstanding production. The albums title track ‘Past, Present And Future’ begins with a busy sequenced synth progression that clutches noisy guitars, swirling electronics and a metronomic percussive beat. Electro styled bass lines spiral through the melee instilling a post-punk kind of edge to proceedings thus allowing us to take breath and prepare ourselves for the monstrous instrumental build ahead and it doesn't disappoint. It's sublime, absolutely spellbinding and definitely one of my favourite tracks on the album.
‘Open Your Mind’ swirls into action tumbling through instrumental drones, building slowly and announcing another marvellous vocal track. It’s guitar parts bubble through layers of synth swells, humming bass lines and solid production before exploding into a cacophony of intense noise all wrapped around a stunning chorus progression whilst the opening bars of 'Dystopian Story' has ambient intentions with it’s swirling electronics and twinkling production. It opens up into captivating guitar progressions that swoop and circumnavigate hazy vocalisations as catchy melody filled chord changes and hook laden atmospherics add ethereal like connotations to the entire piece. It is absolutely beautiful from start to finish and I recommend that you pop on some headphones to experience it in full. Up next, ‘Save Me’ begins with punchy post-punk hued guitars before you get sucked into that beautiful vocal and fall head long into pools of heady reverb. Electronic theatrics bubble and dance just below the mix as steady drum patterns keep the tempo just nice allowing cascading synth lines and the addictive throb of bass to wash over you.
‘Below From Above’ has that 80’s post-punk sound reminiscent of ‘The Cure’ or ‘Siouxsie Sue’ but with a modern dream-pop twist. Twinkling electronics meander deep within the mix catching the ear in between vocal breaths as driving guitars, surging synths and reverberating bass notes create a heady sonic brew that is highly addictive and keeps the listener focused on the track whilst ‘Rock Waltz’ uses backwards instrumentation and slow moving production to great effect. The entire track reminds me of early ‘Deus’ and I can’t quite put my finger on wether that’s down to the vocal track, the use of vocal sampling or the overall layering of instruments? Either way it’s a stunning piece of music. ‘Land Of Nothingness’ jangles on a wave of bass frequencies and lo-fi vocalisations. Hi-hat heavy percussion keeps things simple as we weave and bob through shimmering guitars and heady experimental production values building brilliantly through each interconnecting sonic part before unfolding into a blissed out chorus progression with relative ease.
Swirling guitars announce ‘Home’ and we’re again pulled into a mesmerising vocal performance reminiscent at times to seminal USA based dream-gazing outfit ‘Whimsical’. Soaring chorus progressions take your breath away as they glide skywards on streaming jets of beautiful melody, layered guitars, luscious synth and senses tingling percussion whilst ‘Low’ keeps things almost ethereal. Guitars drone effervescently, drenched in reverb and twirling through percussive shakers before pulling trembling guitar progressions into the mix enveloping another fragile vocal line perfectly. It’s another stand out track for me on an album filled with great songs. ‘Abstract Thoughts’, the albums penultimate piece, is a slow moving atmospheric affair with sparse percussion, jangling bass lines, surging synth swells and another beautiful melancholic vocal collectively pinned to twinkling guitar progressions drenched in stunning reverberation whilst the album closes out with ‘Snow Drift’. Ghostly vocalisations ride steady drum patterns and meandering guitar progressions as the pull of deep cascading bass frequencies wrap themselves gracefully around swirling lines of synth. This track explodes into a marvellous cacophony of reverb and noise as the chorus progressions launch themselves skywards into a glistening sonic ether closing out what is another immense compendium of tracks by a band who have been sorely missed from the underground music scene.
ARTIST: Stupid Cosmonaut
RELEASE DATE: 5th January 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Drone Rock Records
Back in March 2017 UK based sonic experimentalists 'Stupid Cosmonaut' wowed us lot here at Primal Music by unleashing the dark and brooding ambient psych beast that was 'Algol', their first full release on the brilliant 'Drone Rock Records' and one of their most impressive albums to date. Now the band have returned with a six track second outing on the aforementioned label. The totally immersive 'Digitalis' leans heavily into an ambient lunar world filled with hazy electronics, swirling drones, meticulous sequencing and massive swathes of reverberation to bring us something altogether immense. 'Digitalis' gets it's official release on January 5th 2018 with vinyl copies available right now via dronerockrecords.com and digital downloads available from stupidcosmonaut.bandcamp.com
Digitalis by Stupid Cosmonaut
Deep pulsating bass notes, exquisitely sequenced and overlaid with cascading rock fall electronics announce ‘Field Trip’, the albums immense opening salvo. Swirling reverberations cradle huge sprawls of synth that collectively surf ambient atmospherics effortlessly allowing soft percussive patterns to balance precariously atop repetitive claps, tingling lines of keyboard and the consistent surge of blissed out sonic abandonment as we’re swept along on a wave of intimate sonic bliss. Up next, ‘Rephlex’ bounces into audible range tumbling along brilliantly with a thinned out electronic pulse that holds this track together allowing swirling synth swells caught in massive patches of reverb to float and eddy freely. ‘Rephlex’ has martian like atmospherics that hang in suspended animation deftly tied to a beautifully ambient sonic construction. At thirteen minutes long it’s a magical sonic journey, reminiscent of that masterful ambient electronic wizard ‘Vangelis’ and definitely one for the headphones. ‘Offline’ permeates the ether on a melancholic wave of synth and creeping percussion. Off timed drum hits add intense atmosphere as the track builds, introducing deep penetrating waves of breakbeat drenched in reverberating electronic theatrics and dancing lines of warbling synth. It’s a well thought out track that loops and arcs brilliantly through waves of ambient psych.
‘Post Human’ screams 60’s sci-fi as it unfurls shimmering lines of addictive synth drenched in atmosphere. Sequenced percussion runs the gauntlet as instrumentally we move skywards through rings of sonic enrichment, attached to a bouncing bass line and swirling swells of reverb that coalesce as one sentient being before massive chord changes add a kind of ethereal hue to proceedings. This is a majestic track and a firm favourite of mine on the album. Up next the albums penultimate piece enters the sonic arena. ‘Digitalis’ is a fuzzy brute that in it’s opening bars rides a punchy drum pattern drenched in a kind of post-punk hue. Busy sequenced synth lines add turbulent windswept atmospherics just below the mix as those twinkling lines of piano dance and skirt atop deep stabs of synth and fizzing electronics. The album closes out with ‘Sadness And Euphoria’. Melancholic guitar lines meander effortlessly through hazy sonic channels filled with shimmering synth and catchy chord changes as the track builds ever so slowly, adding intense atmosphere with every added musical layer. ‘Sadness And Euphoria’ is deeply ambient and is underscored at times with subtle hints of post-rock and brilliantly executed electronic psychedelia that raises it’s head at precise moments and catches the ear before melding back brilliantly into the mix. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable ending to marvellously executed release.