The free-form psychedelia and tribal “group therapy” of Sunburned Hand of the Man are in great hands with producer Kieran Hebden (Four Tet)—his dubs and cuts transform their usually lo-fi, meandering jams into something much more immediate, without losing any of their exploratory and spontaneous energy. Recommended for fans of polyrhythmic Afro-inspired percussion, dubbed out production, communal sound rituals, and dense psychedelia.
Style: Raga-Jazz, Hindustani Classical Music
Vibe: Passionate, Spiritual, Energetic, Focused, Meditative, Peaceful
Musical Attributes: Improvisation, Acoustic, Instrumental, Technical
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
Released in 1974 on ESP-Disk 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.
Style: Poly-Free Improvisation, Modern Classical, Avant-Garde Big Band
Vibe: Complex, Hypnotic, Intense, Suspenseful, Cerebral
Musical Attributes: Polyrhythmic, Polyphonic, Odd Time Signatures, Acoustic, Poly-Free Improvisation, Repetitive
Instrumentation: Orchestral, Mallet Percussion (Marimba, Vibraphone, etc) Violin, Cello, Piano, Trombone, Drums, Flute, Bass Clarinet
Released in 1968 on ESP-Disk Format: LP Style: Chamber Folk, Psych Folk Vibe: Peaceful, Mellow, Psychedelic Themes: War, Nature, Love … More
Released in 2017 on One Little Indian Format: LPx2
Released in 1971 on Impulse Records Recorded November 25, 1970 and January 12, 1971 Format: LP
Released in 1974 on ECM Records Format: LP
Releases in 1972 on Warner Bros. Records Format: LP
While more cerebral than emotive, this live set is a frenzied demonstration of what four virtuosic musicians sound like when they give in to the intuitive whims of collective improvisation. Even when playing a composition, this quartet will stretch and mutate the melody into every possible pattern without ever playing it directly. The group interplay is often bombastic and can be overwhelming, but thankfully they vary the dynamics through mellower sections, as well as solo and duo pieces.
Released in 1968 on Nessa Records Recorded on August 11th & 25th, 1967 Format: LP
Released in 1998 on Matador Records Reissue Format: LP
Released in 1970 on Island Records UK Pressing Format: LP
Released in 1970 on Atlantic Records Format: LP
Released in 1969 on Atlantic Format: LP Pressing quality: While this album is a masterpiece, these early pressings/masters sound a … More
Released in 1973 on A&M Records Format: LP
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.