Pick of the Week (past/present/future)

 

 

Quick post this week as I’m busy putting the finishing touches to the Wyrd Daze digital zine, which launches on Samhain / Halloween. The zine has it’s own blog in construction, and I’ll post a link when everything’s ready to go.

There’s some truly wondrous content for the zine, and I can’t wait to get it out there! Expect great stories, interviews and articles, as well as an EP, videos, and the Wyrd Daze podcast, which features some great audio drama.

Wyrd Daze will be available via a monthly subscription of 5 Canadian dollars, which is just over £3. This is truly a snip for all the content, and the aim is to create a revenue with which to pay artists for their content – a worthy cause, I’m sure you’ll agree.

 

Multi-instrumentalist Matt Bower has been busy of late, moonlighting from his band Wizards Tell Lies (which has a third album due before the end of the year) for some collaborations – the first being the above dystopian drone odyssey Their Words Are Lost in the Din of Jets Bower appears here as The Revenant Sea, which released a tape on the Auditory Field Theory label earlier this year, in collaboration with Roadside Picnic – check out the other releases on the excellent Jehu and Chinaman label too – the mind bending Circuit Rider album was featured in a previous post.

Their Words Are Lost in the Din of Jets was mastered by April Larson, who collaborates with Bower under the moniker of Isobel Ccircle for the gentler but no less absorbing drone release on the Chapel Yard label: Eyes in the Ground.

 

On to the latest release on the magnificent eclectic Alrealon Musique label, Environs by LAICA. Two extensive tracks weaved entirely from manipulated field recordings reveal an enticing soundscape: the inner environs of a mind lost within a catatonic labyrinth. There’s a remix album on the way too! Buy direct from Alrealon Musique here.

 

Up to the Snow is the new release from Lost Trail, available as an extremely limited handmade CD from Reverb Worship.

America is long gone and Mother Earth has reclaimed the land wild and free. The flora and fauna own the continent now, but still ghostly transmissions occasionally emanate from the ether amidst ruins smothered in wildlife – the psychic dream~song of a dead civilisation. This is the music of Lost Trail

 

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The new album by Laurel Halo, Chance of Rain, is currently still available to stream on Pitchfork here, but might not be for long…

 

I talked a bit about the remarkable work of little known electronic composer Hermione Harvestman in my last post, and another fascinating part of her legacy has been released since: a musical interpretation of some of the ghost stories of legendary writer M R James. Sublime, and free to download until Halloween.

 

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I give up on even trying to embed Mixcloud onto WordPress, but I leave you with the mix I put together for Samhain/Halloween this year.

Samhain Seance 2: Hex with a Daemon 

 

 

 

Pick of the Week (past/present/future)

 

 

 

I start this week with this psych wyrd folk epic from Raising Holy Sparks, the solo project of David Colohan of the United Bible Studies, with a number of notable guests thrown into the mix to add many wondrous flavours to this delicious musical cake. 

 

 

Escape from New Amsterdam is a brilliant experimental synthpocalyptic concept album by Oxykitten, which is going to take a few more listens for me to absorb and fully appreciate.

 

 

Next onto the the work of the late electronic composer Hermione Harvestman, whose legacy is being carefully curated by Sean Breadin aka Sedayne. Prolific and willfully obscure, Harvestman played the organ (in a small Catholic Church) between 1967 and 1995, regularly featuring one of her sacred ‘Concrete Psalm Tones’ in lieu of organ music during Holy Communion or The Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday. She also composed music for several amateur theatrical productions – the best of which being the starkly evocative & exquisite medieval miniatures she produced for ‘The Durham Pilgrims’ in 1972 which takes its cue from Chaucer. A devout Roman Catholic all of her life (up until her illness and death), Hermione nevertheless incorporated elements of Folklore, Medievalism, Paganism, Astrology, Earth Mysteries and Cosmology into her world view, viewing her compositions in terms of personal devotions to the various aspects of her life, the vast majority of which were never meant for public consumption.” 

You can read more about the fascinating life and work of Hermione Harvestman in the profile notes of her Soundcloud page here (which the above quote is taken from), and follow the dedicated blog here, which has extensive notes and quotes about her work. Again, everything is lovingly curated by Sedayne, who knew Hermione from 2003 until her passing in 2012. Huge kudos to him.

 

 

Next onto this hearty slice of Swedish psychedelia by Hills, originally released in 2011 and reissued here by Rocket Recordings, who are celebrating their 15th year. Groovy! Also just released on the label is the third album by Teeth of the Sea called Master, which I haven’t listened to yet, but will soon. 

 

 

Just released on Aetheric Records is this resonant ghost drone EP Imprecate by people-eaters. Best listen to with a decent soundsystem or headphones for full vibronic effect…

 

Imbedding Mixcloud onto WordPress is still ridiculously convoluted and something I just can’t seem to manage, but there’s a brilliant mix of psychedelic, occult, and acid folk weirdness by Ghost of the Weed Garden here.

It’s also well worth checking out the Ghost of the Weed Garden Blog which has plenty of other mind bending mixes to discover, as well as the occasional other thing such as scans of old paperback covers like these:

 

Roger Zelazny - Isle of the Dead

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The Lovecraft eZine needs your help…

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Funded entirely by the editor Mike Davies, his wife, and the occasional donation, the Lovecraft eZine is a rare and brilliant free publication devoted to the celebrating and expanding the mythology of H.P. Lovecraft. The contributing writers get paid, there’s a regular podcast, video chats, and gaming sessions – this is a lot of work put in by Mr. Davies, who suffers from a chronic illness but pores so much energy into this thing he and many others love. And the eZine is GREAT! So, if you’d like to know more, read some copies of the eZine, and make a small donation, go here

 

I leave you with I Met the Walrus. Created in 2008, this has been doing the rounds on the internet again, and I thought it would be good to watch it again.

In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced him to do an interview. 38 years later, Levitan, director Josh Raskin and illustrators James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina have collaborated to create an animated short film using the original interview recording as the soundtrack. A spellbinding vessel for Lennon’s boundless wit and timeless message, I Met the Walrus was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Animated Short and won the 2009 Emmy for ‘New Approaches’ (making it the first film to win an Emmy on behalf of the internet). 

 

 

 

 

Pick of the Week (past/present/future)

 

 

 

I featured Bastardgeist‘s album Infinite Lives last week, and they’ve only gone and released a brand new eponymous album every bit as beguiling and deep as the last one! It would have been remiss of me not to feature it this week. 

 

 

Hot Jone by Maurice’s Hotel Death aka Larry Crywater is one of the best noise albums I’ve heard. An intense ride with myriad nuances that keep things very interesting indeed, this certainly invites multiple listens. 

 

 

There’s some spellbinding avant-garde drone to be discovered in the debut EP from Isobel Ccircle on the Chapel Yard label.

 

 

Two very interesting sonic adventures incoming from Exotic Pylon, the first being the above Antimacassar by Dolly Dolly, which will feature a host of marvelous guests: Position Normal, Regal Worm (I Monster), Time Attendant, Language,Timothy!, Moon Wiring Club, Steve Christie and Ekoplekz. There are only 5 of the eventual 19 tracks currently available to sample (Release date is 21st November) but I for one am most pleasantly intrigued by the fusion of word and sound I’m hearing.

 

 

The other is this uncanny offering from The Outer Church cult leader Joseph Stannard‘s project Canonbury, The Knock of the Shoe, also available for pre-order and released on Samhain (or Halloween, as most people know it). Only 4 tracks to listen to thus far, but with remixes from Anna Meredith, Hacker Farm, House in the Woods, Kemper Norton, Old Apparatus, Ship Canal, and Black Mountain Transmitter, this is another one to look and shell out for.

 

 

Here’s a new kraut-psych track by those masters of hex and bewitchery Wizards Tell Lies. If you’re not familiar with their work, you can head on over to their Bandcamp page to listen to some albums here.

 

 

Some brilliant wibbley wobbley space cake music from Circuit Rider

 

 

And here’s a magnificent komische mix Belloqsh – squarecirclesquare mix hosted by one of my favourite tape labels Constellation Tatsu.

 

 

My alter-ego The Ephemeral Man contributed the first track to this drone remix of The Carpenters‘ Singles album, curated by The Implicit Order. My track, a version of We’ve Only Just Begun, was sculpted entirely by sampling and manipulating the original song. 

 

 

Half-Life: Raise the Bar is a great fan made short based on the popular video game franchise, written and directed by Joe Miale, who has also made shorts based on the Assassin’s Creed and Fallout franchises. 

 

 

I leave you with two compilations of weird Japanese commercials because… umm… well, sometimes you just can’t beat some fucked up shit!

(Please excuse the unnecessary over-boobyfied thumbnail images for these videos – the actual content of the videos is far stranger…)