December 1, 2012

December already...?

Another year come and gone, and some amazing musix came our way. Just you wait until the January installment of the Very Best of 2012, a double-length edition! BTW: if you've "liked" the SRC on Facebook or "followed" it on Soundcloud, you already have access to these playlists! Check it out! And this month, December's installment is equally tasty. But first, some spacey snowmen (tra-la-la-la-la...!) .

Okay, we begin with some klassic krautrock, kourtesy of Kan and... (oKay, I'll stop with the Ks). Actually it starts with a kouple kollages... sorry, couple collages by O.G. absurdists Faust (off a 2002 compilation of archival material woven into song suites a la their epic Faust Tapes from 1973), and Can, who released this essential collection of outtakes and obscurities this year (this track features snippets of an alternate take of "Vitamin C" and some obscure soundtrack work). Continuing the reissue theme we have the recent compendium of long lost material from Italy's Sensations' Fix circa 1974-77, and a recent remaster of The Pink Fairies' 1971 debut wherein they position themselves as England's answer to the MC5.

Jumping ahead to 2012 (yet keeping a mind meld with 70s artists like those above) we have The Young, a southern punk-gone-psych outfit; Aussies Tame Impala, yet again dominating another year's best of lists with their Revolver-meets-Obscured By Clouds second full-length; their sister band (it's not fair to call them a spinoff), soul-psychsters Pond, whose core constituents make up 3/5 of Tame Impala's touring band and who, with their own second release, are proving them worthy rivals; and Steve Wynn, who with his Miracle 3 has been, of late, reaching the heights of the dark Velvets-y psych he conjured back in the 80s with The Dream Syndicate, as this motorik monster proves.

Remaining firmly in the 21st century, but still having obvious roots in/reverence for previous eras of experimental music, we have Liars (late 70s no wave), and DIIV, pronounced "dive", (mid 80s bliss pop/shoegaze). Did somebody say SHOEGAZE?!?!? We were blessed with many reissues this year (see first paragraph above), but we My Bloody Valentine fanatics had an early xmas with the repackaging of every single EP they put out (sadly the remastering could have been better).

Heavy guitar rock had a banner year as well. Torche put out what may be their best metallic nu-gaze collection yet. Pharaoh Overlord, proto-metal cousins of long-running Finnish pranksters Circle put out a fantastic album this year as well (although this track is from 2006). Magic Castles can throw down a heavy psych jam with the best of them, but this track shows their softer, more sensitive side where they cobble together a fireside ramble with the mystical woodland creatures. Flavor Crystals put out one of the finest (and lengthiest!) collections of hazily transcendent Flying Saucer-esque guitar-saturated bliss-outs I've heard in a long, LONG while - more to come from them in future installments. And White Fence bring a ramshackle lo-fi aesthetic, along the lines of Guided By Voices or  just about any member of the Elephant Six collective - another great recent release.

Did someone say DARK PSYCH?!?!? Actually I'm not sure... did I? No matter - it's here! You know, that know-it-when-you-hear-it genre spanning the gamut from the veritable originators Spacemen 3 to modern practitioners like The Black Angels? Well, The Brian Jonestown Massacre would be one of the longest chapters in that book, one full of ego-tripping, in-fighting, member-changing and brain-frying, with a prolific if uneven catalog, all variations on a theme, this being one of their best. The Heads, lesser known contemporaries of the aforementioned Spacemen 3, can melt faces on a par with any of their peers. And why not cap this set off with a band that I am loath to admit I've overlooked for the entire continuum, the venerable SubArachnoid Space? Less dark psych than the bands above than DARK and PSYCHEDELIC in their own inimitable way. This conclusive track was culled from the benefit/tribute compilation for sadly-passed music writer and uber-fan Lee Jackson who sadly passed this year. It's an exhaustive 94-track abundance for fans of heady musical trips, lovingly compiled by the intrepid connoisseur Ned Raggett. YES, I'm recommending you get it... NOW!

For you traditionalists who don't mind streaming from this site, the following tracks should appear in the first player below:

The Spacerock Continuum Theme - bRambles
A Seventies Event/Nervous - Faust - Patchwork
Dead Pigeon Suite - Can - The Lost Tapes
Left Side Of Green - Sensations Fix - Music Is Painting In The Air
Uncle Harry's Last Freakout - The Pink Fairies - Never Never Land
Captive Chains  - The Young - Voyagers Of Legend
Feels Like We Only Go Backwards - Tame Impala - Lonerism
Elegant Design - Pond - Beard, Wives, Denim
Resolution - Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 - Northern Aggression
No. 1 Against The Rush - Liars - WIXIW
Doused - DIIV - Oshin
Instrumental #1 - My Bloody Valentine - The EPs '88-'91
Reverse Inverted - Torche - Harmonicraft
Now We Know - Pharaoh Overlord - #4
Songs Of The Forest - Magic Castles - Songs Of The Forest
Ivan In The Park/Boris In The Pool - Flavor Crystals - Three
It Will Never Be - White Fence Family Perfume Vol. 1 & 2
Crushed - The Brian Jonestown Massacre Methodrone
Jellystoned Park - The Heads - Relaxing With The Heads
Sound And Memories Remain - SubArachnoid Space - For Lee Jackson In Space

But don't forget, you also have the option of spacerock to go:

1. Click on the Divshare logo instead of pushing the play button in the player above.

2. Click "download" when redirected to the Divshare site (put it on your desktop for easy access).

3. Once downloaded, drag it to yer iTunes and sync it with yer pod.

And I must reiterate, this is the way to take your spacerock mix to go! You can DOWNLOAD it! It's YOURS now! It's an mp3 mix that pops right into your iTunes - it couldn't be simpler.