Sunday, July 22, 2012

Vibravoid (2012) -Gravity Zero

Artist:  Vibravoid
Albums: Gravity Zero
Released:  2012
Quality: mp3 CBR 320
Size:  171 MB

”…For the uninitiated, the band, helmed by guitarist/vocalist Christian Koch, have a mission statement that consists of bringing the great era of ’60′s and early ’70′s psychedelic rock into the present. In doing this, they are eager to draw a line in the sand between their brand of psychedelia and that which comes under the varying labels of heavy psych/stoner/doom rock. Although no stranger to lengthy live jams and improvisations of their own (check out their awesome live version of Can’s Mother Sky on youtube), Vibravoid place a strong emphasis on song craft, either of their own design, or interpretations of classic psych covers from the past. Zero Gravity contains three such covers, all previously released by the band but exceedingly hard to get hold of, plus eight originals (two of which are CD-only bonus tracks) across almost 60 minutes of music. Most of the tracks are relatively short, with the album bookended by a couple of excellent extended pieces.”   READ FULL REVIEW

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Left Lane Cruiser & James Leg (2012) -Painkillers

Artist:  Left Lane Cruiser & James Leg
Albums: Painkillers
Released:  2012
Quality: mp3 CBR 320
Size:  83 MB

”In case you wondered whatever became of the tradition of the blues jam, it was alive and kicking for a few days in Detroit when raw and rootsy guitar-and-drum duo Left Lane Cruiser headed into a recording studio with James Leg, the keyboard player and vocal howler from the Black Diamond Heavies, to lay down a set of high-octane cover tunes. Producer Jim Diamond sat in on bass and Harmonica Shah stopped by to blow some harp, and the result is Painkillers, a loud and rowdy collection of bluesy wailing for the 21st century. Like plenty of bands on the punk-blues axis, both Left Lane Cruiser and James Leg approach their music with the ferocity of a starving dog that's been tossed a bloody steak, and if you're looking for anything approaching subtlety, Painkillers is not for you. But the musicians on this date all seem to be on the same page -- they want to get loud and boogie like they're expecting to be taken to jail in the morning, and for a makeshift band, these performances are surprisingly tight and emphatic. Leg's trademark "Tom Waits with a sore throat" growl is as over-the top as it's always been, but in this context, it suits the material just fine, and his swirling organ and thickly distorted electric piano are rich and satisfying, while the manic slide guitar of Frederick "Joe" Evans IV and hard-stomping drumming of Brenn Beck are as greasy as a good burger and just as tasty. Diamond's rock-solid bass work and full-bodied engineering is just the right icing on this particular cake, as are the primal harp blasts from Harmonica Shah, and if the set list -- a list of blues and blues-rock standards ranging from Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker to the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin -- isn't especially imaginative, these guys attack like the best sort of bar band, and the version of Bob Seger's "Come to Poppa" suggests they were embracing the Detroit experience to the fullest. Painkillers suggests an overdriven, punk-infused variation on Canned Heat's old formula, and if they're never going to get to cut an album with John Lee Hooker, at least they have the good sense to see that their boogie isn't endless, and for 35 minutes, this is a house party worth a visit.” ~ Mark Deming at

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Various Artists (2009) -Psych Funk 101: 1968-1975

Artist:   various
Album: Psych Funk 101: 1968-1975 A Global Psychedelic Funk Curriculum
Released: 2009
Quality: mp3CBR 192
Size: 104 MB

”With a growing interest in -- to use a term very loosely -- "world music" and all its very permutations, heralded in part by the work of Luaka Bop and series like Ethiopiques, it makes sense that the compilation Psych-Funk 101: 1968-1975 A Global Psychedelic Funk Curriculum was sold on the Stones Throw website. Madlib and brother Oh No have both put out compilations sampling various countries' records (Indian, for the former, and Turkish, Greek, Italian, and Lebanese funk for the latter), and the underground funk scene has certainly gained a strong following in metropolises worldwide. And the compilation, put out by World Psychedelic Funk Classics, for its own part, should help inform the discussion of psychedelic funk (or, as the liner notes point out, the related but unique genre funky psychedelia), as it provides a very interesting and in-depth look at how English and American musical traditions made their way into the rest of the world. Despite its title, however, and informative liner notes, Psych-Funk 101 is not a primer in the genre, as the majority of the artists included are obscure, even in their own countries, and none of the songs have been reissued before. Still, musicians like South Korean guitarist Shin Jung Hyun ("The Man Who Must Leave") and Italian composer Armando Sciascia ("Circuito Chiuso") are both included, along with recognized artists like Ennio Morricone, Mulatu Astatke, and Omar Khorshid, doing work that may be less recognizable (Morricone, for example, as part of the Group, or Il Gruppo di Improvvisione Nuova Consonanza, the experimental composers circle of the '70s, and playing trumpet on the noise-and-effects-driven "The Feed-Back"). There are a couple of unfortunate missteps here -- Staff Carpenborg & the Electric Corona sound exactly like their name: slipshod, and the nearly two-minute introductory tack-on of Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" before Metin H Alatli's otherwise satisfying "Mevlana Boyle Dede" is completely pointless, to the point of detraction -- but the compilation is still one of the better ones out there. The tracks are funky and experimental and cool enough to appeal to a music fan looking for new sounds, but obscure enough to teach even a seasoned crate-digger a couple of things.” ~Marisa Brown,

Friday, July 6, 2012

John Surman (2012) -Saltash Bells

Artist:  John Surman
Albums: Saltash Bells
Released:  2012
Quality: FLAC (tracks)
Size:  303 MB

”…Saltash Bells is Surman's first solo recording since 1995's A Biography of the Rev. Absalom Dawe, though he's been far from inactive, releasing the quartet-based Brewster's Rooster (2009) and Rain on the Window (2008)—a sublime duo set with organist Howard Moody recorded at Ultern Kirke in Oslo, where Surman now resides with wife/singer Karin Krog—in addition to two non-ECM recordings: Cuneiforms's marvelous archival find, Flashpoint: NDR Jazz Workshop—April '69 (2011), and the large-ensemble The Rainbow Band Sessions (Losen, 2011).

 Credits for Surman's previous one-man efforts cited them taking place during the course of a month; Saltash Bells, in contrast, was recorded over just two days in 2009 and one more in 2011. Surman adds tenor saxophone, and alto and contrabass clarinets to his core arsenal of soprano and baritone saxophones, bass clarinet and synthesizers...even harmonica, for the first time, on the epic "Sailing Westwards," gently layered so seamlessly with his synth patterns as to feel like a unified voice.

 Loops, synthesizer sequences and multi-tracked horns suggest preconception, but in Surman's sphere these remain a means of using improvisation to create further improvisational contexts, whether it's building foundations or soaring over them, as he does towards the end of "Sailing Westwards," his soprano responding to the various layers that combine to shape this hypnotic closer of cinematic proportions.

Saltash Bells is not all layered constructs, however. The pensive "Glass Flower" features Surman a capella on bass clarinet, while baritone saxophone is the sole voice on "Ælfwin." Elsewhere, "Triachordum" is a trio baritone piece, Surman's improvisational voice adding the shifting vertical harmony to two horns separated by fifths throughout, even as he fashions melodies in the moment over the course of nearly four minutes. Surman's soprano saxophone on "Dark Reflections" seems to be on a course that orbits around a series of shifting lines more buried in the mix, while baritone and soprano saxophones evoke both lyricism and unrelenting pulse on "The Crooked Inn."

Saltash Bells is an intended reference to Surman's birthplace in Tavistock, a scenic location on the River Tavy, which runs through West Devon to the English Channel. Sounds of church bells and seagulls echoing over the landscape are but two touchstones that imbue the charmingly pastoral Saltash Bells, an album that confirms you can take the man out of the place but you can't take the place out of the man.“ John Kelman,

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Robert and the Roboters - 4 albums

Albums: Faroese Islands… / Wilde Orchidee / Caniche Royal / Beate
Released:  2000 / 2003 / 2005 / 2009
Quality: mp3 CBR 320
Size:  75 / 111 / 116 / 116 MB

Dresden's Robert and the Roboters merge a little surf, some traditional European melody stylings, go-go keys, unusual beats, and creative arranging. While it's definitely a sidetrip for a surf fan, it is nonetheless an enjoyable music with  fine instros to capture your attention.