2017 - Part Three (This segment brought to you courtesy of Voltarol and numerous ice-packs)
Space/Stoner Rock (Needless to say all need to be played very loud)
Oulu Space Jam Collective - Deep Harpalonia
Finnish hippie space cadets (much in the vein of Oresund Space Collective) that specialise in long live jams, the content of which is determined by the group members at the time. In this case the basic drums/bass/guitar are augmented by sitar and melotron (sadly fake, but who cares) and on the video a nice lady dancing with a hoop.
Often with this type of music, the attention wanders after a bit, but here they keep the atmosphere going for an hour. If you like this try also Harvest Sage.
Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe
Good old fashioned 70s-style stoner rock from Germany. Their whole catalogue is excellent and this is well up to standard.
Space Debris - Behind The Gate
More German heavy rock. This time instrumental with lashings of Hammond organ and Hendrix-cum-Trower guitar.
The Spacelords - Water Planet
Definitely something in the water in Germany these days. Drums, bass, guitar, swooshy synths. Instrumental. Psychedelic hard rock in an Earthless style. If this appeals go next to their “synapse” album and whack Pyroclastic Monster up loud.
Lamagaia - S/T
Swedish. If you like early Hawkwind’s take on space/krautrock, then this is there or thereabouts. Mostly instrumental.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - Feed The Rats
English (hooray, I hear some say). Brutal, no-nonsense stoner metal that says “Yes, we’ve listened to a lot of early Black Sabbath and Motorhead!”. This is the short track off the album.
Though I bought a fair few classical albums this year they were, with this one exception, released prior to 2017, so didn’t count.
Víkingur Ólafsson : Philip Glass: Piano Works
This might be a bit of a revelation to those who think Glass’s piano work is one-dimensional. Here Ólafsson takes a goodly sample and puts them in a new light without taking too many liberties with them. Beautifully recorded too. Recommended to fans of Glass as well as those dipping a toe in the minimal water.
Absolutely No Idea What These Are
Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister – Planetarium
Planetarium was originally a modern classical piece written by Nico Muhly and subsequently turned into something quite different (in parts) by Stevens and Dessner. Consequently it’s very diverse but rocky bits, and Sufjan-y bits, electronic bits and orchestral bits. This makes it a bit cifficult to get hold of on the first few listens, but after that it fits together really well.
I’ll post a few videos to give a little perspective…
And lastly this live one of the more out-there bits…
Charlie Cawood - The Divine Abstract
Brought to you courtesy of DenisA, without whose live adventures this place and my music collection would be a lot duller. Not a clue as to categorising this, but it’s instrumental, a mixture of all sorts of things Eastern and Western. The closest I can come is Penguin Café.
No videos, but I urge you to gallop over to Bandcamp.
Aquaserge - Laisse ça être
There’s something about French music…this is a bit pop, a bit prog, a bit psychedelic, a bit mad. A bit Albert Marcoeur, a bit Stereolab. No one track is exactly the same style as another, yet it makes a whole. Another contender for album of the year.
Re-issue Of The Year
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Especially the 24/96 version. This remix simply transforms it and even more than normal serves as a Tardis, taking me back 50 years. Sigh.
Not Bad, But Expected Much Better
All Them Witches – Sleeping Through War
Very good musically, appalling production (compressed, loud)
Steven Wilson – To The Bone
A little lacking in the usual Wilson magic
That's it. And well done if you got this far without shouting "Pseud!"