While the luminescent drones and angelic simulacra of Deepak Verbera expanded out into the cosmos, Botany’s newest LP feels more rooted in the soil of our material reality. The bass heavy beats and impassioned vocal samples inspire movement and action rather than contemplation alone, not to say the results aren’t heady. Rich tapestries of resonant acoustic instruments (harps, flutes, percussion, strings), woozy synths, and warm tape hiss are as intricate as ever and easy to lose (or find?) yourself in. Recommended to fans of Flying Lotus’ Until the Quiet Comes, Boards of Canada, and Alice Coltrane.
Style: Experimental Singer-Songwriter, Soul Blues, Psychedelic Soul
Vibe: Imaginative, Bluesy, Cathartic, Conscious, Cosmic, Spiritual, Heartfelt, Passionate, Psychedelic, Rootsy, Bittersweet, Poetic
Lyrical Themes: Existential, Afro-Futurism, History, Racism, Reflective
Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Lyrical, Improvisation, Raw, Studio-as-an-Instrument
Instrumentation: Vocals, Piano, Synthesizers, Keyboards, Saxophone, Trombone, Percussion
Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Space Ambient
Vibe: Cosmic, Futuristic, Improvisation, Spacey, Atmospheric
Style: Electro-Jazz, Free Jazz
Vibe: Afrofuturism, Abstract, Atonal, Cosmic, Futuristic, Noisy, Spacey
Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Free Jazz
Vibe: Spacey, Exploratory, Communal, Futuristic, Abstract, Chaotic, Complex, Eccentric, Eclectic, Cosmic, Improvisation
Style: Abstract Funk, Jazz Fusion, Spiritual Jazz
Lineup: Eddie Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Bennie Maupin, Lenny White, Billy Hart, Buster Williams, Pat Gleeson
Vibe: Cosmic, Exploratory, Groovy, Atmospheric, Spacey, Spiritual
Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Polyrhythmic, Odd Time Signatures, Studio-as-an-Instrument
Style: Spiritual Jazz, Free Jazz
Vibe: Communal, Earthy, Energetic, Hypnotic, Intense, Loose, Mystical, Passionate, Spiritual, Tribal, Uplifting, Warm, Dance
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Complex, Collective Improvisation, Percussive, Dense, Thematic, Suite
An obscure release from the great creative label ESP-Disk, containing exploratory, mysterious and playful improvisations from The Sea Ensemble—the husband/wife duo of Zusaan Fasteau and Donald Rafael Garrett. While they are both trained musicians and multi-instrumentalists, an uninhibited childish spirit permeates this release, as can be seen in Donald’s crude but visionary cover drawing; Yet the recording also feels imbued with ancient wisdom, as heard in their primal and instinctive vocalizations throughout the album
These communal sound rituals express a digital-era longing to reconnect to the Earth. The grooves here are circular and ceremonial, not rooted to any specific musical traditions but borrowing from many, including cosmic jazz, kosmische musik and undoubtedly inspired by Holden’s collaboration with legendary Gnawa musician Maleem Mahmoud Ghania. Drums and percussion ground the proceedings while muscular sequencer and fiery saxophone arpeggiations hypnotically intertwine. The sounds of fluttering recorder and modular synthesizer swirl through the air like offerings to the cosmos.
Recommended for fans of The Comet is Coming, Tonto’s Exploding Head Band, Maleem Mahmoud Ghania & Pharoah Sander’s Trance of Seven Colors, Natural Information Society, Colin Stetson
Released in 2013 on Thrill Jockey Format: LP Style: Psych-Folk Vibe: Pastoral, Warm, Cosmic, Nature, Psychedelic Musical Attributes: Instrumental, Droney Instrumentation: Electric … More
Originally released in 1972 on Impulse! Records Superior Viaduct reissue (2018) Format: LP
The second Radio Gnome transmission finds Zero the Hero astral projecting to PlanetGong where he meets with Selene the Moon Goddess and the Octave Doctors to learn the infinite powers of their lovewisdom vibrations. This psychedelic journey brings together fantastical imagery of pothead pixies and flying teapots (and a dose of hippy hedonism) with heady spiritual concepts delivered in a quite fun and silly way, but even before digging into the concept I was immediately grabbed by their unique style spacey jazz-rock with its propulsive bass lines, immersive synthesizer atmospheres and serpentine soprano sax soloing.
Released in 1972 on Capitol Records Format: LPx2
Released in 2019 on Jealous Butcher Records Format: LP
Released in 2019 on Impulse! Records Format: LP
Released in 2018 on International Anthem Recording Co. Format: LPx2
Released in 1967 on Impulse! Records Format: LP
Released in 1969 on BYG Records Japanese Pressing Format: LP Artwork by Moki Cherry Recorded August 22, 1969 in Paris, … More
Released in 2010 on Warp Records Format: LPx2
Released in 1974 on ECM Records Format: LP
Released in 1974 on Blue Note Records Recorded September 10th, 1970 at Van Gelder Recording Studio Format: LP
Released in 1970 on Impulse Records Recorded October 20th, 1969, at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City Format: LP
Released in 2015 on Brainfeeder Records Format: 12″ EP, Red Vinyl
Released in 2014 on Southern Lord Recordings Format: LP
Released in 2007 on The Leaf Label Format: LPx3, 45rpm
A far cry from the sparse folk usually recorded by Will Oldham, “Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties” finds his intimate voice and warbly acoustic guitar enveloped by the cosmic drones, blooming synths, airy flutes, and hypnotic tape loops of Chicago new age trio, Bitchin Bajas. The lyrics are essentially fortune cookie mantras and, while there’s a chance they’re tongue-in-cheek, it’s difficult not to smile and feel a brightening of the spirit when hearing uplifting phrases like “Your hard work is about to pay off, keep on keepin’ on” or “you and your whole family are well” get repeated over and over. This collaboration is a soothing, heartwarming listen and a refreshing change-of-pace from Oldham’s tendency towards melancholy and solemn lyrical content.
While the music on Zeit feels motionlessly suspended in the empty vastness of space, the music on Phaedra seem to discover a swampy alien planet, Pulsing sequencers, dramatic mellotrons, airy flutes, and sweeping synthesizers are drenched in strange echoes and reverbs to create suspenseful alien soundscapes.
No Other is a masterpiece of Cosmic Americana from Gene Clark (Ex-Byrds). Here his amazing songwriting is complemented by lush instrumentation, psychedelic production, and grandiose choir arrangements.
Released in 1973 on Blue Thumb Records Format: LP, Quadrophonic Pressing
There is a fathomless void within each of us. And while many choose to run from it, clinging to anything to keep from falling in, Deradoorian dove right in on her meditative release, Eternal Reccurrence. Here she provides somewhat of a sonic roadmap for diving deep within yourself, guided by the blooming drones of harmonium, Juno synthesizers, and flutes. Arising from the ether, layers of otherworldly voices sing mantras of facing our Shadow (“Mirrorman”), finding the love that resides in the core of our being, and bringing it back with us into this material dimension.
Information: Released in 1974 on Milestone Recorded on July 7, 1973
I highly recommend this album to fans of the innovative and exploratory period of jazz fusion of the early 70’s, where electric instrumentation, funk rhythms, experimental production techniques, and spacey synthesizers met the improvisation, freedom, and uplifting soul of the spiritual jazz of the 60’s. Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi trilogy, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, Weather Report’s first LP are good touchstones, but this album truly offers something unique.
This is what I imagine a black hole might sound like. “Zeit” translates to “Time”, yet time feels completely suspended here, filled instead with vast negative space in which burbling VCS 3 synthesizers, suspenseful organs, and a droning quartet of cellos float in and out. These four sidelong pieces erase all traces of rock or any kind of beat from Tangerine Dream’s sound, leaving ominous space-ambient music in its purest form.
Album Information: Originally released in 1971 on Impulse Records This pressing was released in 1997 on Impulse/MCA Records Recorded November … More
Taking a detour from his usual loner-droner psych folk style, Ben Chasney enlists former Comets on Fire bandmates to jam some heavy rock burners with a a cosmic amount of electric guitar shredding, evoking Neil Young & Crazy Horse blasting off on a rocket. The new electric energy brought to this album is balanced out by an equal amount of the fingerpicking prog-folk and meditative acoustic ballads that have been developing in his music since the 90’s. While I will always love his more melancholy, nocturnal records that sound like he’s lost in a forest somewhere, I welcome the fiery energy of Ascent.
A psychedelic, transcendent fusion of hip-hop, jazz, prog, and IDM meant to simulate the cosmic experience of death. Featuring Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Herbie Hancock, Kamasi Washington, Snoop Dogg, and others..,
Soothing, cosmic drones constructed with with tape loops, synths, organs, guitars and flute.
organic washes of piano and zither, analog synthesizers, wood flutes, saxophone, and the occasional free jazz drums recorded, looped, and manipulated through cassette and reel tape recorders and then masterfully woven into a cosmic tapestry of blissful, meditative drones
A couple of months before his death in 1967, John Coltrane went into the studio with drummer Rashied Ali to record some of the most free recordings he’s ever made, the freest of free jazz. Perhaps this freeness is due to the absence of other tonal instruments, leaving Coltrane untethered to harmony and 100% free to play whatever raw, unhindered creativity flows through him.