Playful

Shirley Horn Trio – A Lazy Afternoon

Style: Vocal Jazz

Moods: Uplifting, Sentimental, Elegant, Sunny, Passionate, Heartfelt, Playful, Romantic, Retro

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Technical, Melodic, Lush, Ballads

Instrumentation: Piano, Vocals, Upright Bass, Drums

Joyfultalk – Familiar Science

Style: Cyber-Jazz, Progressive Electronic, Jazz Fission

Vibe: Futuristic, Colorful, Abstract, Playful

Musical Qualities: Polyphonic, Complex, Improvisation, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Progressive, Sampling

Yves Jarvis – The Zug

Style: Neo-Psychedelia, Free Pop, Progressive Songwriter, Hypnagogic Pop, Psychedelic Jazz-Folk

Moods: Uplifting, Personal, Existential, Warm, Groovy, Summer, Surreal, Psychedelic

Musical Qualities: Studio-as-an-Instrument, Processed Vocals, Melodic, Home Recording, Dense, Catchy

Wet Tuna – Warping All By Yourself

Style: Aquatic Psych, Folk-Funk

Vibes: Swampy, Ethereal, Mystical, Utopian, Relaxed, Dreamy, Swagger, Contemplative, Warm, Playful, Whispery, Soothing

Qualities: Groovy, Atmospheric, Percussive, Dub Fx, Vocal Delays, Headphone Album

Kevin Ayers – Bananamour

Vibe: Uplifting, Spring, Whimsical, Groovy, Peaceful, Spacey, Sunny, Joyful

Musical Qualities: Lush, Catchy, Polished, Background Singers, Lyrical

Style: Psychedelic Soul, Canterbury Scene, Prog-Pop

Sun City Girls – Torch of the Mystics

Style: Free Psych, Experimental Rock, Surf, Arabic Folk

Vibe: Desert, Mystical, Manic, Ritualistic, Tribal, Surreal, Eccentric, Playful, Psychedelic, Spiritual, Eclectic, Raw

Musical Qualities: Riffs, Dissonant, Fuzzy, Dynamic, Improvisation

Daevid Allen – Now is the Happiest Time of Your Life

Style: Cosmic Folk, Psych Rock, Space Ambient

Vibe: Cosmic, Whimsical, Surreal, Bright, Sunny, Mystical, Mythic, Poetic, Uplifting

Qualities: Atmospheric, Conceptual, Eclectic

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Synthesizers, Spoken Word, Tabla, Flute, Violin, Harp, Drums, Slide Guitar

Sunburned Hand of the Man – Complexion

Style: Free Psych

Vibe: Exploratory, Ritualistic, Primal, Hallucinogenic, Amorphous, Murky, Tribal, Meandering, Communal, Chaotic

Musical Qualities: Live, Collective Improvisation, Lo-Fi, Dub Fx, Tape Collage, Noisy, Dissonant

Danny Brown – XXX

Style: Hardcore Hip-Hop, Psychedelic Hip-Hop

Vibe: Hedonistic, Personal, Sexual, Vulgar, Manic, Playful, Introspective, Depressive, Nihilistic, Aggressive, Anxious, Dark, Stoned, Storytelling, Urban, Surreal, Disturbing, Existential, Sarcastic

Musical Qualities: Sampling, Lyrical

Matt Sweeney & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Superwolf

Style: Americana, Singer/Songwriter, Alt-Country, Slowcore

Vibe: Tender, Bittersweet, Stark, Cryptic, Storytelling, Melancholy, Lethargic, Poetic, Autumnal, Heartfelt, Mellow, Playful

Musical Qualities: Lyrical, Soft, Sparse

Sunburned Hand of the Man – A Grand Tour of Tunisia

Style: Free-Rock, Ritual-Psych, Group Therapy

Vibe: Meandering, Hallucinogenic, Communal, Ritualistic, Surreal, Messy, Amorphous, Mysterious, Playful, Eccentric, Tribal, Warm

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Lo-fi, Loose, Percussive, Jams, Suite

Guru Guru – This is Guru Guru

Style: Heavy Psych, Prog, Krautrock, Free Rock

Vibe: Adventurous, Hallucinogenic, Spacey, Exploratory, Playful, Messy, Primal

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Fuzz, Riffs, Bluesy, Progressive, Studio-as-an-Instrument

COS – Cosmix

Style: Prog, Jazz Rock, Canterbury Scene, Cosmic Disco

Vibe: Triumphant, Complex, Anthemic, Groovy, Spacey, Exploratory, Energetic, Warm, Eccentric, Surreal, Playful, Adventure, Epic

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Thematic, Lush, Group Vocals, Technical, Rhythmic, Odd Time Signatures, Improvisation, Polyphonic

Instrumentation: Flute, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Horns, Synthesizer

David Bowie – Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)

Style: Glam Rock, Art Pop, Funk Rock

Vibe: Sleek, Eccentric, Energetic, Anxious, Grandiose, Urban, Dystopian, Theatric, Playful, Passionate, Futuristic, Manic, Sleazy, Surreal

Musical Qualities: Groovy, Polished, Dense, Catchy, Riffs, Anthemic, Rhythmic

Steve Hillage – Aura

Style: Progressive Pop, Space Rock, Synth-Funk, Canterbury Scene

Vibe: Playful, Spacey, Colorful, Anthemic, Groovy

Musical Qualities: Catchy, Progressive, Polished, Riffs, Rhythmic, Technical, Shred

Eiko Ishibashi – Imitation of Life

Style: Chamber Pop, Prog-Pop, Jazz Pop, Singer-Songwriter

Vibe: Lush, Warm, Sunny, Sci-Fi, Playful, Philosophical, Surreal, Energetic, Imaginative

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Dense, Catchy, Complex, Melodic, Dense, Technical, Rhythmic

Instrumentation: Piano, Vibraphone, Drums, Flute, Rhodes, Electric & Acoustic Bass, Saxophone, Clarinet, Violin, Cello , Synthesizers, Steel Drum, French Horn

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Beware

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Americana, Loner Folk, Slowcore-Country

Vibes: Contemplative, Bittersweet, Warm, Loner, Mellow, Uplifting, Love, Break-up, Intimate, Heartfelt, Playful, Soothing, Intertwined

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Lush, Lyrical, Vocal Harmonies

Todd Rundgren – A Wizard, a True Star

Style: Neo-Psychedelia, Prog-Pop, Psychedelic Soul, Art Rock

Vibe: Triumphant, Colorful, Longing, Utopian, Eccentric, Futuristic, Joyful, Love, Manic, Playful, Psychedelic, Surreal, Uplifting,

Musical Qualities: Suite, Eclectic, Melodic, Dense Arrangements, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Holger Czukay – Movies

Style: Collage Pop, Progressive Pop, Art Rock, Krautrock

Vibe: Playful, Surreal, Party, Colorful, Futuristic, Eccentric, Sunny, Groovy, Warm

Musical Qualities: Sampling, Dub, Sound Collage, Rhythmic, Melodic

Media Jeweler – The Sublime Sculpture of Being Alive

Style: Post-Punk, Math Rock, Art Rock

Vibes/Moods: Alienation, Overstimulated, Anxious, Urban, Eccentric, Anthemic, Satirical, Dystopian, Angular, Chaotic, Colorful, Urban, Philosophical, Playful

Musical Qualities: Catchy, Dissonant, Riffs, Dynamic, Dense, Melodic, Rhythmic

Gong – Camembert Electrique

Style: Space Rock, Canterbury Scene, Prog, Jazz-Rock

Vibes: Eccentric, Surreal, Playful, Epic, Psychedelic, Theatric, Energetic, Spiritual, Conceptual, Energetic

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Complex, Driving, Technical

Embryo – We Keep On

Style: Jazz-Rock, Prog, Kosmische, Psychedelic Jazz, Space Rock

Vibe: Exploratory, Triumphant, Adventurous, Cosmic, Epic, Groovy, Spacey, Playful, Psychedelic

Musical Qualities: Polyphonic, Complex, Improvisation, Percussive, Polyrhythmic, Progressive, Raga, Technical

Instrumentation: Saxophones (Soprano & Alto), Flutes, Nadaswaram, Mallet Percussion (Vibraphone, Marimba, Hammered Dulcimer), Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Drums, Percussion, Saz, Keyboards (Piano, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet)

Jahari Massamba Unit – Pardon My French

Style: Black Classical Music, Spiritual Jazz, Organic Beat Music

Vibe: Kinetic, Spiritual, Playful, Groovy, Exploratory, Elegant, Intertwined, Retro, Loose

Musical Qualities: Improvisation, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Percussive, Acoustic, Rhythmic, Dubbed Out

Anderson .Paak – Malibu

Style: Psychedelic Neo-Soul, Dream Funk, West Coast Hip-Hop

Vibe: Romantic, Summer, Playful, Warm, Catchy, Groovy, Sensual, Uplifting, Urban, Warm, Carefree, Dreamy, Joyful

Musical Qualities: Lush, Rhythmic, Polished, Sampling, Melodic

Steve Hillage – Fish Rising

Style: Prog-Pop, Canterbury Scene, Space Rock, Jazz-Rock

Vibe: Playful, Aquatic, Mystical, Adventure, Spacey, Hypnotic, Sunny, Energetic, Triumphant, Colorful, Conceptual

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Groovy, Technical, Polyphonic, Suite, Melodic, Riffs, Atmospheric, Jams

Swamp Dogg – Rat On!

Style: Country-Soul, Funk

Vibe: Anthemic, Bittersweet, Triumphant, Political, Satirical, Playful, Groovy, Sunny, Conscious, Heartfelt, Warm, Sentimental, Rebellious, Philosophical

Musical Qualities: Lush, Rhythmic, Polished, Melodic, Lyrical

Feu Thérèse – Ça Va Cogner

Style: Experimental Rock, Krautrock, French Pop, Punk-Funk, 80’s Glam

Vibe: Motorik, Surreal, Playful, Confident, Triumphant, Determined, Juxtapositions, Catchy, Hypnotic, Retro-Futuristic

Musical Attributes: Dense, Rhythmic, Melodic, Noisy, Repetitive

Glissandro 70 – Glissandro 70

Style: Avant-Pop, Post-Rock

Influences: Afro-Pop, Math Rock, Synth-Pop

Vibe: Playful, Colorful, Catchy, Warm, Quirky, Bouncy, Eclectic

Musical Attributes: Loops, Rhythmic, Melodic

Sonny & Linda Sharrock – Paradise

Style: Avant Jazz-Funk, Abstract Groove

Vibe: Eccentric, Energetic, Groovy, Angular, Sunny, Triumphant

Musical Attributes: Dissonant, Experimental Vocals, Improvisation, Rhythmic, Polished Production

Jim O’Rourke – Simple Songs

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Chamber Pop, Progressive Pop

Vibe: Playful, Bittersweet, Satirical, Catchy

Musical Attributes: Lush, Progressive, Melodic, Lyrical, Polished

Albert Ayler – New Grass

One can only imagine how Ayler bringing more commercial styles like R&B, Rock, and Gospel into his avant-garde music messed with critics and fans alike when it came out—the way it looked like commercial pandering to the Free Jazz listeners but was probably still too weird for new listeners. It helps to remember that Ayler came from R&B and went straight to the Free Spiritual Jazz of the early 60s, making Jazz critics highly skeptical skeptical by not climbing the bebop ranks like Coltrane before plunging into freedom. On New Grass, Ayler really started to synthesize the spiritual elements of many forms of Great Black Music, making more accessible music not as a way of selling out, but a way of sharing his beautiful spiritual message and sound with a wider audience. Plus this thing has Bernard Purdie on drums so of course it slaps.
If you dig this LP, I think he succeeded in this sound direction even more on his following albums Love Cry and Music is the Healing Force of the Universe. Albert Ayler was a pure soul that left this world too soon, grateful for the gifts of music and wisdom he left behind.

The Books – Lost and Safe

Style: Collage-Pop, Glitch-Folk, Plunderphonics

Vibe: Surreal, Psychedelic, Peaceful, Cerebral, Meditative,  Philosophical, Spiritual, Uplifting, Warm, Playful, Hallucinogenic

Musical Attributes: Sampling, Electro-Acoustic, Melodic, Sound Collage, Vocal Manipulation

Funkadelic – Maggot Brain

Style: Psychedelic Funk

Vibe: Apocalyptic, Communal, Cryptic, Earthy, Energetic, Epic, Groovy, Heavy, Philosophical, Playful, Political, Psychedelic, Riffs, Stoned, Eclectic

The Sea Ensemble – We Move Together

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

Hatfield and the North – Hatfield and the North

Released in 1973 on Virgin Records Format: LP Style: Canterbury Scene, Jazz-Rock, Prog Vibe: Playful, Complex, Eccentric, Uplifting Musical Attribues: Odd Time Signatures, Technical, Suite, Melodic, Progressive

Prince – Sign ?? the Times

Released in 1987 on Paisley Park Records Format: LPx2 Style: Funk-Rock, R&B, Pop Vibe: Eclectic, Sensual, Playful, Eccentric, Groovy

St. Vincent – Marry Me

Released in 2007 on Beggar’s Banquet Records Format: LP Style: Chamber Pop, Art Pop Vibe: Warm, Playful, Romantic, Lush Musical Attributes: Melodic, Lyrical, Polished

Gong – Angel’s Egg (Radio Gnome Invisible Part 2)

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.

Gong – Magick Brother

Style: Canterbury Scene, Psych Rock

Vibe: Psychedelic, Whimsical, Joyful, Eccentric, Spacey, Playful

Musical Attributes: Raw, Progressive, lo-fi

Cecil Taylor – Unit Structures

Album Information: Originally released in 1966 on Blue Note Records Recorded May 19, 1966 1973 Reissue Format: LP Personnel: Cecil Taylor – Piano Alan Silva – Upright Bass Henry Grimes – Upright Bass Andrew Cyrille – Drums Jimmy Lyons – Alto Saxophone Eddy Gale Stevens, Jr. – Trumpet Ken McIntyre – Alto Saxophone, Oboe, Bass …

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Zammuto – Anchor

Released in 2014 on Temporary Residence Records Format: LP Limited edition, includes screen printed cover, #140/1000

The Ornette Coleman Quartet – This is Our Music

Style: Free Bop, Avant-Garde Jazz

Vibe: Kinetic, Joyful, Energetic, Playful, Passionate, Colorful,

Musical Qualities: Improvisation, Harmolodic, Rhythmic, Swing, Acoustic, Instrumental, Technical

Panda Bear – Person Pitch

Originally Released in 2007 on Paw Tracks 2017 Vinyl Me, Please pressing on My Animal Home Limited Edition Format: LPx2, 45rpm, white and turquoise vinyl

Sufjan Stevens – Illinois

Released in 2005 on Asthmatic Kitty Records Format: LPx2 Listen: Purchase: https://asthmatickitty.com/merch/illinois/  

The Books – The Way Out

The Books’ music is simultaneously funny, innovative, catchy and enlightening. They use found sound and spoken word mixed with innovative recording techniques and acoustic instruments to create beautiful sound-collages that somehow create unity between all these disparate sources, as if they were all meant to be together. Everything these guys do, solo or together, is absolute genius.

Gong – You

Released in 1974 on Virgin Records Format: LP

MGMT – Congratulations

Style: Psych Pop, Surf, Progressive Pop

Vibe: Surreal, Sunny, Warm, Retro, Playful, Existential, Psychedelic

Musical Qualities: Lush, Melodic, Catchy, Progressive

Holger Czukay – On the Way to the Peak of Normal

Album Information Originally released in 1981 This pressing was released in 2013 on Grönland Records Format: LP Features parallel groove on one side so different track plays depending on where needle lands

Jim O’Rourke – Insignificance

After a prolific career as a noise/improvisational/experimental guitarist and a few forays into folk and chamber pop, Jim O’Rourke surprised his audience with an album closer to straightforward rock than his audience could have ever expected of him. Yet underneath it’s catchy, cheery, and polished exterior, his lyrics are full of humorously bitter resentment. Like his debut singer/songwriter album Eureka, Insignificance is full of the meticulous and lush arrangements that Jim would become known for.

Stereolab – Emperor Tomato Ketchup

Album Information: Originally released in 1996 on Duophonic Records This pressing was released in 2013 on 1972 Records Produced by John McEntire & the Groop Recorded in London and Chicago Format: LPx2

Faust – IV

Album Information: Released in 1973 on Virgin Records Origin: Hamburg, Germany

Soft Machine – Volume Two

Soft Machine’s second album is an eclectic suite packed full of whimsical psychedelia, Dadaist detours, complex prog structures and jazz-inspired musicianship.