13 August 2017

Alan Watts - 1969 - The Flow of Zen

Alan Watts is always worth your time.  He might just enlighten you.  He is some Alan Watts to trip out to:

30 June 2017

Glaze of Cathexis - 2017 - Deep Forest Bells EP

This psychedelically rockin' (and shoegazing) EP and video clip are here to herald the final Glaze of Cathexis LP coming in August.  Join us for one more run through the Glaze's soundworld of crackling fuzz guitars, unhinged drumming, and celestially trippy lyrics from their base in the mountains of Japan.  If you are groovy enough to dig our sounds, we're not closing shop - just changing gears to the Electrick Sages project.  That is what comes out of my current workflow and it sounds different than the Glaze.

Anyway, what you are getting here is one tune from the upcoming album, an alternate take of another tune from it, and several alternates of the past.  I think the alternates are all the first versions of the songs.  I like some of them quite well.  I rerecorded Lotus Pond for the front slot on an earlier EP and decided I wanted a more driving take.  'Cadmium Glow' ended up on 'The Amorphous Infinity' LP in a slower version because this electronic drum pulsing take just didn't make sense on that album.

Join us and you may find yourselves down with our trip.




29 June 2017

David Bedford - 1972 - Nurses Song With Elephants

Quality: Image result for poop emoji out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 5 out of 5, I guess - but it's a bad trip

Wow.  I try to avoid getting too negative here at the Garage, but this doesn't do it for me.  I thought I'd dig it.  I can get into some of the avant garde and we've got Kevin Ayers and Mike Oldfield showing up here and there, but no, just no.  It's sort of like the Red Krayola's debut album.  That one is not an easy listen,  but it's a lysergic needle through the head and when that album does coalesce into something like a song, it's intensely groovy.  This one provides wisps of pointless noise, and when those do take the form of something, I'm still annoyed.  Is it my mood?  Give me a good argument that this is not pretentious twaddle and I will dive in for another listen.  Maybe I need to start with a different album?  Otherwise, let this enter history as the day that I first googled the poo emoji.

Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera - 1968 - Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera


Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

This one is definitely a funn one, although it runs very hot/cold on the spectrum of taste.  Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (I'm not typing all of that out again) walks along the razor blade between psychedelic pop and early heavy metal.  The often fall off of it, but the do maintain their balance for some tunes as well.

So, the opening is like the open track of Sgt. Pepper's if that album had been made by Steppenwolf.  This is not a compliment. But the track that the, uh, singer is introducing is actually pretty top notch.  "Mother Writes" sort of falls backwards into punk rock too early in a charmingly Hawkwind-like manner.  It takes until "Flames" for the band to light the afterburners again.  Between that we get groovy psych tunes "Long Nights of Summer" and "Reflections of a Young Man," and several other tunes that don't really work so well.  "Air" falls into the bin if sitar tunes that don't work.  The hit rate stands solid through the rest of the album, with "Talk of the Devil" making the most impression with me.  There are a slew of bonus tracks which I assume are singles, cover tunes, and a few things that sound like they were recorded sometime after the band was actually a going concern (my intuitive assumption).  It's probably not essential for the 99% - as long as we allow that the 1% are all Elmer Gantry fans.  "Raga" is exactly what it says - what the band Can would later refer to as 'an ethnological forgery."  For some reason, "Eleanor Rigby" is now a heavy metal jam.  That's probably worth hearing at least once for kitsch value if nothing else.

This album only has half an ass, but there are a few inspired moments scattered about.  Again, "Mother Writes" will knock your bobby socks off.  If it hasn't already made it to a Nuggets collection, it should have.

13 June 2017

The Floor - 1967 - 12 Floor

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-o-Meter: 4.25 out of 5

Once upon a time I wanted to name an indie rock band "The Red Curtains."  Y'know, in a Dukes of Stratosphere reference.  Me bandmates thought it was too non-descript, but here we've got Danish psyche-poppers "The Floor."  How deep does this rabbit-hole of strange blandness?  Do "The Socks" exist somewhere out there?  Anyway, back to "The Floor."  This is sort of a realtime Dukes of Stratosphere.  Whereas we have the members of XTC emulating the sounds of 1967 in the early 80's, The Floor did it right smack in the middle of 1967.  So, get ready to gulp down several spoonfuls of sugar on this one.

I guess "Turn It On" takes the groovy crown here.  But that's because it straight up grabs the Beatles' "Taxman" bassline.  Still, they've got the Jam's Paul Weller beat by a good baker's dozen of years on that one.  "Hey Mr. Flowermann"  comes across like flower power Spinal Tap, although I suppose the Floor aren't joking.  I mean. for the most part, everything here is gonna sound like something else.  The Moody Blues really have one straight on baroque pop album, so there is room in the universe for a tune like "Moonbeam."  The Floor does not get points for originality.  That is clear from their name.  The strength is in their execution - their is a steady hand on the tiller for production, songwriting, playing, and singing.

Apparently, this one sports a reissue from a few years back which includes early renditions of a couple of Dylan's Basement Tapes songs.  Those are probably worth your ear.  As for the album proper, it is you insulin injection of psychedelic pop for the day.  You hang around sites like this and that is probably what you need, yeah?

31 March 2017

Initiation- An Audio/Visual Third Eye Meditation

I'm a happy feller.  But I've had issues with Internet connectivity and some potent issues on the homefront that have kept me away from the blog.  But I do have this for you.  It's something to watch and latch you mind to.  It's something to listen to and let it seep into your brain.  It's keyed in to have a direct conversation with your pineal gland.  Y'know, take a chance with us.



Anyhoo, I've got a clutch of groovy albums coming your way soon.  We do what we must.

22 December 2016

You Will Spend Your Christmas With Electrick Sages?




Andwella's Dream - 1969 - Love and Poetry

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

Something in the vibrational energy of psychedelic rock shifted somewhere around New Year's 1968.  Or maybe it's a more prosaic deluge of influences flowing in.  Anyway, in 1967 it seemed perfectly acceptable to put all your vim and vigor into a startling slab of psychedelic pop - big league hitters like "See Emily Play" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" typify this.  Then 1968 rolled around and suddenly you couldn't just be poppy without being relegated to the world of bubblegum.  You had to let in that early heavy metal/electric blooze crunch or get more country (folk was admittedly a key feature of prime psychedelic pop).  I guess it worked out ok for the Grateful Dead, but it counter-intuitively painted a bland streak over other acts.  Of course, I like "Who's Next," "L.A. Woman," and "Abbey Road," but I'll never dig them as much as "The Who Sell Out," "Strange Days," and "Sgt. Pepper."  That 1967 never really seemed to reemerge as far as I can tell until the late 90's, when Elephant Six made its mark.  While it was very groovy stuff, it was also far more low budget and indie.

We've got Andwella's Dream creeping out in 1969, with a foot planted in both dynamics.  Much of the songwriting does harken back to psychedelic pop, but they have the makings of a hard rock backbone (even when they are often mellow) and the vocal bombast of a Traffic-era Steve Winwood or post-"Tommy" Roger Daltrey.  If you are looking for that pop groove, "Sunday" and "High on a Mountain" do a pretty spiffy job of honing on that.  On the other side of the coin, opener "The Days Grew Longer for Love" could get tossed onto side B of Traffic's self-titled album without anyone batting much of an eye and the ballad "Andwella" actual works up a pretty heavy metal head of steam for a few moments.  "Midday Sun" gets into the softer side of Dylan.  I feel like people usually go for the nasally invasive, ranting vibe when they get Dylan-esque.  Meanwhile "Lost a Number, Found a Kite" looks like a psychedelic epic if you look at the track time, but really it's just a tune with half the time a rambling intro.

So, middle of the road?  Pretty much.  But it's got some very nice craft with groovy production and sticks its head up above the sun enough times to take notice.  Let me throw in one caveat.  If you absolutely love the first couple Traffic album and prime Procol Harem, this is directly up your alley and you will like this much more than my rating suggests.  I can see where someone would really dig all of this stuff.  I've made concerted efforts to get into that bubble understanding that there is a worthwhile headspace to work your way into, but I've found that Traffic, Procol Harem, and now Andwella's Dream only hit about half of my pleasure buttons for whatever reason.

02 December 2016

Electrick Sages

Let me set it down straight for you.  We are not looking for wealth, although a bit of coin would obviously be nice.  We are certainly not looking for fame.  That doesn't look like a nice paradigm.  We are looking for your ears, though.  We are trying to speak to your soul, that etheric energy that you can feel when you pay attention to those breaths in and out.


These  are  the  sounds  of  the  Electrick  Sages.  The  sound  is  electronically-infused  art  rock  with  echoes  of  plastic  soul  Bowie,  post-punk  Joy Division,  and  Berlin  School  drones.  The  purpose  is  to  assist  You  in  your  conscious  evolution.  Maybe  you  are  starting  on  your  way  to  seeing  the  true  fabric  of  reality.  Maybe  you  have  already  awakened.  This  is  music  to  engroovy  your  spirit.


Who  are  we?  An  American  and  an  Australian – we  are  both  living  in  Japan.  We  have  taken  up  a  position  outside  the  bubble  and  are  bringing  back  insights.  Who  were  we?  We  were  Glaze  of  Cathexis,  and  brought  you  visionary  psychedelic  rock.  We  were  Damaged  Tape - warping  electronic  sound  to  enlightening  vibrations.  And  now,  we  want  to  vibrate  higher  and  bring  you  along  with  us.  We  are  the  Electrick  Sages.  We  are  going  to  take  you  higher.

We  are  not  priests  or  cult leaders – we  extol  no  religion.  We  are  not  psychics – we  know  not  what  the  future  brings,  only  the  present.  We  are  not  philosophers – we  have  moved  past  that,  into  pure  feeling.  This  is  the  satori  experience  of  "one  hand  clapping."  And,  we  are  not  charlatans – we  are  abstract  but  bring  to  you  truth  as  we  feel  it.  We  are  sages – we  are  musical  seers,  peering  into  the  prismatic  abyss  and  reporting  back  to  you  exactly  what  you  need  to  know.



This  is  not  religion.  This  is  not  a  cult.  This  is  a  pure  expression  of  Spirit,  taking  you  past  the  coarse  physical  plane  and  launching  you  off  into  the  refined  astral.  Trip  with  us.  Spread  the  word  on  the  Electrick  Sages.

Here are the sounds to take in.  The most obvious move is a move to out Bandcamp site:


Or maybe you wanna get a little more direct with the download.  You can do that here:

27 November 2016

The Ceyleib People - 1967 - Tanyet

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

First off - this is not a good headphones album.  It tosses entire tracks from left to right in the stereo spectrum.  I am listening on headphones and the effect is pissing me off.  Just make it true mono and end my day, please.  Maybe you've got some software to collapse it own your own.  Do it.  This absolutely needs to be a mono album as opposed to immaculately stoned, yet idiotic stereo.

On to the good news.  This is a full out trippy stumble though inspired raga rock, inflected by the vibrations of a professional studio.  Professionals do appear.  Ry Cooder is blasting his guitar through several of the sections and Larry Knetchel is on keyboards.  I'm going to be honest - I don't really know who Knetchel is, but I do recall seeing his name in a lot of places.  I have, like, ten Cooder albums on CD and I'm pretty sure a listened to a few of them at least one time.  But that doesn't matter.  When you listen to Ceyleib People, you are listening to fantastic raga rock instrumentals inscrutably thrown out into either stereo channel - one at a time for 90% of the time.  Allmusic Guide suggests that there are tracks here, but I've got it all lumped into four sections that will engroovy you one at a time.

This is very cool stuff, mixed in the worst way possible.  I would raise the quality half a point if you just collapsed it all into a single channel.  Sometimes mono needs to be king and this is exhibit A.  Otherwise, kudos to the Ceyleib People.

Children - 1968 - Rebirth

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

What do we get here?  We get a very groovy sunshine pop disc and the story behind it.  The Children is a cosmic collision between a couple of West Texas acid rock bands, The Stoics and The Argyles.  This particular compilation bring you the garage stomping sound of both, an intermediary of The Mind's Eye, and the walking through the flowers, tripping out on Donovan and the Zombies vibrations of the titular band here.

Let's cut straight to the marrow.  I dig the two tunes by The Stoics.  They have a wildly spiraling, scream and guitar shout that compares to nothing else but fellow Texans, the 13th Floor Elevators.  The Argyles comparatively suck, frat rocking like the Kingsmen and the Trashmen.  It's not the worst pedigree, but Roky Erickson of the Elevators may not approve (or not!).  So then there is the main event.  After the psychedelically violent kick in that spot between your brows of the Stoics and somewhat of the Argyles and the Mind's Eye, you are now tripping in a meadow of fairies with Children.  It's not bad, but it is a shock.  Isolated on it's own, you are now looking at a Sgt. Pepper reflected surface that flows through California syrup and strings - the hybrid band had in fact relocated to that state.  "I Got Involved" probably perverts the twee side of the Kinks a bit too much, but most of the other tracks give you a finger-picked pattern of laid back psychedelic grooviness.  "Pictoral" ups the stakes a bit, but it is still dreamy and doesn't plow the icepick in your head the way those first couple Stoic tracks do.

You don't just get an album here, you get a little aural biopic.  Children are pretty groovy on their own, and will appeal to those of you with sunshine ears and baroque thoughts.  But dammit!  Those first few tracks!  It's a tease that I would love to fall deeper into.  But y'know, we get what we get with this reality in the end.  This may well appeal to your reality.

26 November 2016

Electrick Sages - Hemlock Butterfly (video)

The Electrick Sages have arrived to explore the labyrinth behind the door of reality.  Our previous project, the Glaze of Cathexis, were simply looking at that door.  You have been bamboozled and you can see it.  We are speaking to your vibrations, and we try to dig it in the grooviest way possible.  This is our mission,  The album will show up on December 5th.  For now - get into evolution - and dive into this video of Hemlock Butterfly.  The video transmutes the vibes of Stan Brakhage and Kenneth Anger.  The sound runs on through the line connecting David Bowie with Joy Division.  The lyrics bounce off of some of those pesky conspiracy theories that drive you to wear a tinfoil hat.  But that is just a vocabulary.  The goal is to wake you up, and open your eyes to the fractal reality that surrounds you.




31 October 2016

Zanov - 1982 - In Course of Time / Moebius

Quality: 4.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

Could I find any information about Zanov?  No, I could not.  Admittedly, I didn't look that hard.  Y'know, by 1982 Tangerine Dream were skirting off to higher budget pastures where they were carting around the brand-spanking new digital synths.  Zanov was not.  Zanov was carting around analog weirdness to bring on full Berlin school flavor.  And that is what you get with Zanov.  Any questions?

Bloody 'ell.  I usually rant about specific tracks right about now, but it seems kind of pointless. These are Berlin school sequences with Berlin school leads tacked on top of them.  You maybe know the Berlin school, but if you don't it is trancey analog synths with heavy sequencing,  You are getting a textbook definition with the Zanov recordings.  Even more so than that which Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream stumbled into.

Zanov would have been a perfectly welcome addition to the City of the Domes in Logan's Run.  Assuming he wasn't too old.  I just don't know what to expect with the personal history of Zanov.  Maybe 'he' is a band.  Just listen to it already.

29 October 2016

The Doctor Trips Through Okinawa (Miyako-Jima)

There are a few new albums if you scroll down (and a few more coming), but first you deal with these images from my mandatory trip to Okinawa.  This is a perk of my cash-paying job.

Chad & Jeremy - 1968 - The Ark

Quality: 4.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

Oh, it's British, oh so British. For this slab of vinyl, Chad & Jeremy step their ambition, and this basically involves sounding like the psychedelic phase of the Hollies.  I guess that is one approach to take - they sound pretty much on an even keel with those fellows.  All in all you get a more cohesive listen, with the orchestration ever present, but more in vibe with the songs, and the raga rock making itself ever known.

On the last album, you got the single version of "Painted Dayglow Smile," but now you get the LP version, which actually does sound better.  "Sunstroke" is absolutely fantastic raga rock and many of the other tracks present find a good balance between silken British folk and bombastic orchestration.  Only "Transatlantic Trauma 1966" gets called into the dunce's corner for being pointlessly atonal.  Maybe it is there to reprogram your mind?

Do you like the Hollies "Butterfly?"  I do!  Do you hate that album?  Steer clear.  "The Ark" is almost the same flavor.  It's different enough that you are not listening to a xerox copy, but it is definitely flowing through the same slipstream.  A twin shadow of an album you dig is not always a bad thing, jah?