Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Mind Octopus (UK) -- Demo 1993

Mind Octopus were a Psychedelic Rock band from Ashford, Kent, whose various lineups centered around guitarist Paul Herwin. Also in the band was sax-player Ben Surman, son of legendary Jazz musician John Surman. The band were very prominent in the local music scene during the early-mid 90s, and a great influence on myself (as well as becoming good friends of mine). I picked up this great demo for £1.50 the first time I saw them, an absolute bargain. The music varies across the 3 tracks, ranging from hazy stoner rock, through bright and summery funk, to epic and slow-burning progressive psychedelia. All top-notch stuff.

They later recorded an album ("Music From The Black Smoker") which was largely unreleased. I do have the tracks, but from various different sources, and hence it is a bit mismatched in sound quality. I may post this at a later date.

For now, grab this excellent demo.

Mind Octopus -- Demo 1993

1. Running To The Sun
2. Beach
3. 12 Weeks Gone


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

This Machine (UK) -- "Serving Suggestion"

This Machine were a band based between Hastings in East Sussex and Folkestone in Kent, playing a chaotic brand of experimental jazz-based avant/noise rock. I would probably make references to King Crimson, Sonic Youth and Shellac amongst others, but I'm sure you people can find more fitting comparisons. Expect dense and angular instrumentation, abstract experimentation, all augmented with found sounds and tapes. Great stuff.

This is there first album, and was available for free download from their old website, but that appears to no longer be active. Included with the album are instructions of how to make your own CD cover from a sheet of A4 paper. Bonus!

This Machine -- "Serving Suggestion" CD (2007)

01. Supermarket Sweep
02. Air Miles
03. The Rack
04. PowUK07
05. The Trifle Tower
06. Istigkeit
07. Radio Solo
08. More Air Miles
09. Advert Humour
10. Thank You, But I Am No Longer A Citizen Of This Country
11. Abstract #2
12. Veau Façon Crocodile
13. The Valley Of The Shadow


A Band Called Sun (UK) -- "Voodoo Rising"

Whitstable-based A Band Called Sun were originally just called Sun, but were forced to change their name for legal reasons (I believe Sun Records had something to do with it). I posted their demo a while back, so I thought I'd follow up with their debut CD album. The basic musical formula remains unchanged (a fusion of Reggae, Funk, Dub and Blues, with a turntablist augmenting the sound), but the addition of frontwoman Tracy Sullivan with her sassy soulful voice, has steered the sound into slightly more mainstream territory. Therein lies the problem for me; whilst this album is technically well-executed and well-produced, it lacks the underground feel that I crave. That being said, the standout track for me is "Nowhere Man", which begins as a solid Reggae song before exploding into a spacey Dub orgasm when guitarist Robin Harvey fires up his delay pedal.

A Band Called Sun -- "Voodoo Rising" CD (1998)

01. Voodoo1
02. Sight
03. Slipping & Sliding
04. Voodoo2
05. Living in a Dream
06. Nowhere Man
07. Jamming At Delta
08. SS Man
09. Voodoo3
10. I'm Sorry
11. Love Bites
12. February


Note: tracks 1, 4 and 9 are confusingly unlisted on the inlay.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Nàda (Swz) -- "Ùr"

One of my first posts on this blog was Nàda's excellent first album "Celmètra". It was only when I contacted Remo Seeland about his post-Nàda project Hollow Bone that I became aware of this, their second and final album. Remo kindly sent me one of the last copies, and I now share it with you lovely people.

If there is one single band that Nàda can most easily be compared to, it has to be Swans; whilst "Celmètra" can be likened to Swans' early period ("Filth" to "Children of God"), then "Ùr" is comparable to their later work ("Children of God" to "The Great Annihilator"). The early primal raw power has been channelled into a more focussed hypnotic sound. Nàda's music is much more positive in feel than that of Swans, however.

Other suitable points of reference would be Neurosis, plus tribal post-punk acts like Killing Joke, The Banshees and Ausgang. Also prominent is an increased use of ethnic percussion and instrumentation, with mesmerising tribal polyrhythms that actually sound authentic.

This is a phenomenally good album, and I can't understand why it isn't better known.

 Nàda -- "Ùr" CD (1997)

01. Cenaz
02. Sun
03. Prophecy
04. Ichtyos
05. Sirène
06. Snakepit
07. Gaia
08. Apocalypse
09. Heyana
10. Tibet
11. Breath
12. Sunak


For the sake of the search engines out there, here are the names without accents: Nada Ur Celmetra

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Soma (UK) -- discography

I first heard of Soma during the early 90s in an interview with Whitstable band Crow, where they were mentioned as a band that had overplayed their support slot, forcing Crow to have their set cut short after only one song. After years of wondering about them, I accidentally stumbled upon some information on the band, and subsequently tracked down their material. As far as I can tell they were based in Sheerness, Kent.

Soma's music drifts from psychedelic space-rock in the vein of Hawkwind and Ozric Tentacles, to epic and haunting prog-rock in the classic British tradition (Yes, Genesis etc.). This latter aspect takes a more dominant role on the second album. However, they manage to avoid the trap of relying on difficult rhythms and odd time signatures; this all flows quite nicely. It is also very slick and well-produced, though some of the keyboard sounds haven't dated as well as the rest of the music. That minor quibble aside, this is great stuff. The original singer was replaced after the first album, and the replacement (Sean Filkins, later of Lorien and Big Big Train) has a much stronger voice, sounding very much like a rawer Jon Anderson.

Some band info

Soma -- "Epsilon" CD (1991)

01. Being - Ghandarva
02. My Skin (Turns The Colour Of Sand)
03. Prophecy - Inquisitor 4
04. The Conquest Of Albion
05. The Longbarrow
06. Twisting The Folds Of Time - Psionics N'om N'om N'om


Soma -- "Warped EP" cassette (1992)

01. My Skin
02. Oceana
03. Dreamtime
04. Warped


Soma -- "Dreamtime" CD (1992)

01. Listen
02. Losing It
03. Dreamtime
04. Suffocating
05. Illusion
06. Pulsar


Note: The CDs are my own rip, the EP is a 128kps rip I found lurking on the net. If anyone has a better quality copy (or an original to sell), please get in touch.