Ask not for whom the axeman cometh... - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #176

After godless motherlode Sleep proved that the future would indeed belong to the Hashishian, intrepid mung worshippers have been forever asking, in between wheezing coughs and Melvins B-sides ‘from whence sprang this God-given yawp?” and more precisely, where can we get more of the stuff, raw, from the source? And thus commenced a mass dive into the back shelves of record shops, the back pages of the more obscure weeklies. A few progenitors were identified. On one hand the Doors, with their religious lyrics and Blakesian Williamness, another the MC5’s garage freerock, still more pointed to Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer as invented the distorted blues that built the songs of Sleep, the Melvins. Thus one of the greatest back catalogues ever assembled (and still growing) comes down to a sea of proto-Zeppalike bands with nothing to recommend them, and precious few beautiful, iconic gems as yet unassimilated into the modern culture, and a wealth of spectacularly idiosyncratic bands, too weird to live, too rare to die. Every so often, when the angst gets too much and I have to close the curtains and take to smoking opium through an eight foot hookah and wearing the masters robes just to get through the day, what I like to do best is trawl the history books and dig out something or other that scratches my very particular itch. Hooboy have I found a cure-all fuckin’ record. It comes from the world-changing post-sixties heyday of 1969, and it comes for you!

Slumming drone doom and dance parties - Black Norse and Druid rising - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #175

My annual meditation session approaches babies so finally this dark cloud that’s been hanging over may finally depart. For ten beautiful days technology free, ten spectacular days absorbing and meditating in a restful sense amongst the towering scenery of the north Highlands. You can keep your Magaluf-skirting booze-cruise motherfucker because I’ve got nailed the exact thing that gives me spiritual calm. It’s been too long since I meditated. Full academia (which is now over, well done me) and various other projects (keep it dialled on Ripple Music ‘s all I’m sayin’) have kept me away from your sweet ears babbies but I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m struggling to think of something to give you my musical opinion on that you ain’t already had, or is just a re-tread. New Jex Thoth is worth checking out, the same old fairy-songs as sung by Thorr’s Hammer ambiance. Also the back-alley feel of the new Man’s Gin I haven’t yet absorbed but they’re a solid bunch. Tommy Concrete also has a new book out. I try to avoid this y’see because once I’ve focused y’all on a certain trip (the Tommy Concrete trip for instance) I don’t feel the need to trumpet all their latest work unless it is of utmost spiritual importance and Not To Be Missed. I’ve been working on fiction, but I feel like this blog, at least from my end, has rather lost its way. I intended it to be an antidote to the no-brainer 50-word NME mob churning out garbage, to cover interesting Melvins side cuts and selections of cream skimmed from the underground. O’course that doesn’t preclude us from commenting on the new chart-topper if we feel the meditative usefulness of such an activity. I didn’t want to have blog darlings, but the world situation is so nervous and wrong that terrible useless confused garbage clutters up my release schedule and high-quality music has been far away. I don’t know where this is going, by the way. Really what I want is to sink into the treacle of the best of Reverend Bizarre or Ramessess, but there doesn’t seem to be anything like that on the airwaves… but then it wouldn’t be. Have you heard of Black Norse, me neither, until a few weeks ago when I noticed one of the many promos, free copies, links and fickle magazine ‘best buys’ that had sneaked into my burgeoning collection was a little Jackson Pollock-covered thing called Black Norse.

Conversations With Myself - Bill Evans - LICK MY DECALS OFF, BABY! #94

It must be rather frustrating, as a musician, to try and convey ideas in your head to other musicians with whom you are playing. No matter how precise the explaination, no matter how accurate the demonstration, no other musician is ever going to perfectly match the sounds in your head. They can come close, but no cigar. Bill Evans managed to completely circumvent this problem on his album Conversations with Myself by using overdubbing, something unprecedented in jazz music in his day. Yet it wasn’t done as a gimmick, some sort of tape experimentation a la Messrs. McCartney and Lennon, no. The idea was simply to expand upon Evans’ own ideas beyond what was physically possible if he were playing solo.  As he says himself in the liner notes: “Another condition to be considered is the fact that I know my musical techniques more thoroughly than any other person, so that, it seems to me, I am equipped to respond to my previous musical statements with the most accuracy and clarity.”
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