NEW MUSIC: Tan Cologne – Alien

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Tan Cologne are the American duo of Lauren Green (formerly Mirror Travel) and interdisciplinary artist Marissa Macias who began collaborating in Taos, NM.

Their debut album Cave Vaults On The Moon In New Mexico came out last week and ‘Alien’ is a shimmering, atmospheric and gently propulsive example of the cosmic psychedelia that the pair have created.

You can hear the desert, the stars, the shimmering heat of the day and the cool twilight breeze as they blend their vocals and drape the sound in reverb and delay. Everything drifts lightly via the billowing and swirling guitars. Think Mazzy Star, Warpaint at the most ethereal and CAN suspended in a dream-state.

Cave Vaults On The Moon In New Mexico is out now via Labrador Records

LIVE REVIEW: Moon Duo @ OAF, Sydney

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MOON DUO 
OXFORD ART FACTORY
13/02/20

The evolution of Moon Duo has been a slow and steady one over the last decade. Originally starting as a duo of Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada, the pair have retained their minimal aesthetic and core personnel but expanded their live performance to include a drummer and most recently, a stunning light show, by Manchester-based visual projection artist Emmanuel Biard, comprised of projections onto transparent material surrounding the band on three sides, creating a 3D prismatic effect.

After a DJ set from Angus Andrews of Liars that travelled through all kinds of psychedelic dimensions before curtains parted and the band emerged in their triangular realm, silhouettes magnified large above the audience’s heads. Any Moon Duo show is a journey that doesn’t necessarily have peaks, instead there are sonic waves, carrying the crowd on stratospheric journeys through thin atmosphere, twinkling synth lines and winding, searching guitar filigrees or dragging them down into subterranean head trips to the centre of the earth. The Krautrock drive and relentless rhythms were like a superhighway – sleek and endless, the motorik bass and melodies of Yamada the perfect balanced foil to Johnson’s more traditional psych rock soloing – heavy on effects and open-ended explorations of the outer limits.

Tracks from most of their albums peppered the set and they finished off with their recent cover of Alan Vega’s ‘Jukebox Babe’, a perfect homage to one of their strongest influences. The combination of the visuals and the consistent and cohesive adherence to their musical parameters made the set a wholly immersive and transportive experience for the audience and no doubt the band as well.

Chris Familton

NEW MUSIC: Mazeppa – The Way In

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Mazeppa are an Israeli psychedelic rock band who have recently released the video clip for their second single from their upcoming album.

Michal Perez Noy, a Haifa musician and composer, initiated in 2017 a project to compose songs by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. She was soon joined by Asaf Koren (guitar), Elad Bardes (bass) and Amir Noy (drums) and what started as the Rilke project became Mazeppa.

‘The Way In’ finds the band conjuring up some mystical spirits of fire and forest and twisting them into hypnotic shapes and phrases. It’s a hallucinogenic experience of the sonic variety and they tread a perfect line between the euphoric baggy vibe of the 90s and a tougher rock sound, more in the realm of The Doors and Velvet Underground.

 

NEW MUSIC: Burning House – Her Vowel No

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A blistering sonic harmonic scree is the order of the day on this new track from the Southampton, UK band Burning House. You can hear the spirit and verve of bands like Swervedriver, Trail Of Dead, My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth as they careen across the speakers, leaving vapour trails of melody and distortion.

‘Her Vowel No’ comes from their debut LP Anthropocene which came out mid year.

 

NEW MUSIC: Charcoal Burners – The Verlaines and Husker Du

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We posted another Charcoal Burners track earlier this year and this one also hits the spot with its warm buzz and jangle of guitars, interlaced with piano (that reminded us of Able Tasmans). I like that they reference the sound of the song in its title, you can definitely hear both bands that they mention, more so their Dunedin counterparts. I’d also throw in a comparison with the less caustic side of Swervedriver in the way the song gently churns and drones.

‘The Verlaines and Husker Du’ follows their 2019 album The Best Day You Could Imagine.

 

ALBUM REVIEW: Underground Lovers – A Left Turn

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Underground Lovers
A Left Turn
Rubber Records
★★★★

Underground Lovers are back with their ninth studio album, their third since they reactivated after a hiatus through the first decade of the 21st century. That return showed they were still in fine form with their blend of psychedelic indie rock and electronica and they’ve again produced a strong album that brings those elements together in perfect hypnotic harmony.

Their last album Staring At You Staring At Me focused on the guitar sound of the band, giving it more of a rock feel. This time around they’ve ushered their electronic explorations back into the fold, placing the album close to the work they produced on Cold Feeling at the end of the ‘90s. 

Early on, Bells sets the psych controls for the heart of the mind and just as viably, the dance floor, with its droning Krautrock sprawling across more than six wonderful minutes. They have the ability – like Spiritualized and Wooden Shjips, to find the sweet spot of a groove and ride it endlessly. Hooky ups the rock ante yet still in a warm embrace with the melodies of Glenn Bennie’s guitar and Vincent Giarrusso’s vocal incantations.

Shoegaze has always been another mainstay of the band’s sound and on Dunes and Lusher, Philippa Nihill sounds like a dream sister to My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins as the music shimmers, glows and gently shudders behind her. The single Seven Day Weekend is anthemic in its drum machine-powered rhythm and distorted see-saw guitars as Giarrusso trips out in full Shaun Ryder mode on the ode to carefree socialising. 

By the time we reach the conclusion of the epic nine minute closer Rocky Endings, there’s a sense of post-rollercoaster exhilaration in the wake of the album’s propulsive peaks and floating valleys. The song winds its wistful way for four minutes before taking off into the stratosphere on an interstellar space-rock mission of chiming guitars, pulsing bass and metronomic drumming that billows and expands gorgeously. A Left Turn is another sonic gem from one of Australia’s psychedelic finest.

Chris Familton

 

NEW MUSIC: ACUA – Keep Spinning

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ACUA are a post-punk band from Cologne who sit somewhere in the sweet spot between the aforementioned genre and the more hypnotic side of dream-pop, shoegaze and indie rock. ‘Keep Spinning’ is the their latest single and finds the fairly new band blending synths and guitars into a really nice sound (reminiscent of RIDE), balanced between drift and drive, where texture is everything.

Michael A. Muller – Lower River

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Michael A. Muller is a co-founder of Balmorhea who have released six albums over the last 13 years. ‘Lower River’ is the title track of his solo album and it’s a wonderfully immersive and hypnotic piece of ambient, droning music that hangs in the air, draped in resonating, melancholic chords.

The press releases describes the track as being inspired by his own remote travels throughout the US and Europe and the personal exploration of a meditative practice, it’s a sonic exploration of what it means to hear versus to listen, to immerse oneself in navigating the subconscious plane of pure energy and deep, immersive creativity.

Lower River is out October 25th on Beacon Sound (vinyl) + 1631 Recordings (digital).