Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Uffe Lorenzen- Galmandsværk (Bad Afro Records AFROCD052)

Uffe (Lorenzo Woodrose for most people) has created his first solo album. Last winter he spent 10 weeks on the island of Gomera off the coast of Africa. He rented a small apartment and spent time with his guitar, recorder and his mind. While Uffe wrote all the songs, he is complimented by a large group of folks who compliment his songs with synth, flute, sitar, Jews harp, tabla, hurdy gurdy, vibraphone, violin, etc… For those not understanding Danish, the lyrical content will be difficult. The title translates to something like Acts of Madness. Uffe plays acoustic 6 or 12 string guitar on most tracks. The record starts off with Dansker, a song about being Danish. There is a very cool psychedelic vibe (especially the vocals) on this, retro, yet modern song. Rimets Tyranni is a musically happier despite the darker lyrical theme. Ridset Plade is complimented with a very 60s organ has this sort of Moody Blues like feeling at times despite the heavy guitar riff. Flippertøs (see the video link below) is a cool hippie track with hand drums, acoustic guitar and a nice flute. På Kanten af Verden (On the edge of the World) has a sort of Beatles vibe due to the way the song is constructed and the sitar and psychedelic freakout after 4mins! Great track. Sang om Merværdi starts off side B with a riff that reminds me of Spids Nøgenhat but the vocals are more forceful and frantic in this quite special song with lots of cool stuff going on (Jews harp). Ny By (New City) changes the vibe totally with a very relaxed track with piano, cool freaky vibraphone, and other hidden layers. Min Skygge (My Shadow) is a more stripped down song with Uffe his guitar, violin and little more. Beautiful track. Høj som et Højhus (High like a high Rise) starts with some backwards voice and then the strummed guitar kicks in as well as a mellotron. This is quite a psychedelic track. Blues for Havet (Blues for the Sea) closes the record with a drone, didgeridoo and the sound of the sea before the guitar line starts and Uffe sings. One of my favorite songs on the record. I just floated away..

This is a great record that mixes all of Uffe’s previous bands into something new (but you can still hear the bits of Dragontears, Spids Nøgenhat, On Trial). You cannot escape the shadow of what you have made before but you can make it look different. Great job Uffe.  The record is officially released on Nov 10th, 2017. First pressing is 1000 copies on CD and black vinyl.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Gin Lady- Electric Earth (Bilocation Records)

This is the Swedish bands, 4th record. I had only heard the last one and really liked it but they really hit the ball out of the park on this one! What a fucking great record!! I just got this one in and my wife and I are spinning it everyday! Fantastic vocals, great songs and playing. The songs take me back to the early 70s… Flower People starts things off with a mid paced strumming guitar track with some great vocals, nice lyrics and groove. A very happy song. I’m your Friend sounds a lot like an Allman Brothers song and features acoustic guitar and a southern rock feel. It even features some pedal steel or slide at the end mixed with a few nature sounds by New Mountain. Badger Boogie has some boogie in it in a slow groove like the Rolling Stones. The things you used to do could be one of the mellow early Humble Pie tracks. Wow.. Mercy is an acoustic track that is a bit like Blackberry Smoke in a way. Another great track. Side B starts off with my favorite track on the record, Brothers of the Canyon. Again reminds me of Doobie Brothers or Marshall Tucker band and the bands jam this one out a bit. Rolling Thunder is a bit of Bob Dylan hidden in it’s sleeve. Water and Sunshine is a bit more rocking and keeps the good time rock and roll flowing. Wasted Years has that southern rock feel to it as well. Running no More ends the record in a laid back and mellow way with some mellotron. I agree with another reviewer, not real heavy, real progressive or really psychedelic but really fucking good! One of my fave records this year. Great job folks..

Da Captain Trips- Adventures in Upsidedown (Phonospera Records2017-ps11)

This is the 5th release by this Italian four piece instrumental band.  I have not heard all their records but I dug the first one.  The CD features 7 tracks starting off with The Calm and the Storm. This one starts slowly with some cool 2 pole resonance filter played by Bastille as the jam slowly builds up. I like the guitar line but the synth takes the lead for the first half of the song and then Cavitos takes off. Cool bass playing by Peppo. At 4 ½ mins it goes into space rock mode. Great opening track.  Manta starts with more energy and a more intense guitar, the middle section is really beautiful and floating and has nice dynamics. This one fades out. Revelation features Lee on the saxophone. IT has a mysterious vibe to it but I love the synths on this one. Also a very nice guitar solo. Dear Zahdia has some intense drumming at times but the track really starts to take off at about 3mins. Tresspass Bay is a more melodic and laid back track but features some nice guitars and synth work as well. Nice dynamics with heavy and light sections created between the synth and guitars. Peaceful Place features a Buchla synth by Ema that is slowly faded up around 3mins and really changes the dynamic of the track. Peppo lays down some nice bass in this section. I like the bluesy guitar as well. Mother Earth closes the album and also features Ema on what they call Nature sounds. This is a great way to end the album with some hand drums, a cool funky yet spacey more laid back track but after 8mins it totally rocks out. The entire band play very well together on these cool instrumental jams. I guess I will have to try to hear their other albums. I really loved this one.

Korai Tracemission 2017 (Budapest Vinyl BPVLP001)

Wow… this was a huge surprise for me. Korai Öröm last put out an album in 2013.  This is the first vinyl on a new Budapest label, Budapest Vinyl.  The album features 6 tracks, three per side. Shamisem is a sort of reggae inspired (at the start) track and quite dance mainstream sounding with a bit of that ethnic vibe the band had in the past. Stream- Division has more drive and energy and some strange spacey sounds in the background while a quite melodic guitar thread is played. IT builds up almost into a trance techno groove later with some added flutes and other space sounds. Cool track. Alhambra maintains a mid pace with a cool funky groove with a techno like keyboard complimented with one straight out of the Ozrics. Nice Hungarian guitar line though.  Side B starts with Sunrise, featuring an almost Spanish like guitar and an infectious groove, and layers of spaced out sounds. Cool stuff. Very cool guitar on this track. Flash keeps the pace high with a repeated guitar line (would sound cooler with some delay, sound is very dry) and some trance like synths at times. Great synths on this track. Rain is the last track and slows things down but the drum rhythm is still very directed while they layer on some acoustic guitar. Later the synths start to enter in the picture.

Fans of Ozrics will for sure dig this new Korai instrumental adventure… I sure did.  The rhythms are more simple now than in the past but some of the old Korai vibe still lives.

White Manna- Bleeding Eyes (Cardinal Fuzz)

White Manna are back with their 6th release since 2012 and their first studio album since 2015 (Pan). The title tracks starts things with an uptempo psych rocker. As with all the White Manna records, they have a special sound production. Drums are loud and dry, the guitars mixed to the back a bit, space sounds quite low most of the time but present, and a nice rolling bass line. Vocals on some tracks you can understand and others they are mixed quite low and it is very hard to understand what is sung. Then it is all about the psychedelic trip. Vimanas is a slower more stoney but grooving track with a piano keyboard. Trampoline is a space rocker with a great energy and some nice spacey synth sweeps. This is the best track on side A. Wow.. Invisible Kings finishes the side off and starts very abrupt and chaotic, twists your head around a bit, with a very psychedelic vocal, like a dark nightmare. Trippy stuff.  Flip the record over to kick things off with Speed Dagger, which you might expect to be a super fast track is actually pretty mid-paced and very 60s inspired but in a heavy way! English Breakfast keeps it psychedelic with a sort of repeated start type of groove. You are the Movie has a classic stoned White Manna sound like some of their earlier stuff.  Freak closes this latest psychedelic trip in a high energy fashion.

The first 100 pre-orders also came with a CD called Temporary Lines, which features tracks from various releases and some live stuff.  A few really cool tracks including a cover version of Master of the Universe by Hawkwind! IT was good to finally hear these tracks that the band released on a few split Lps that I had never heard (Die Roboter and Glory Stompers).