We're starting off the new year right with a warm, wooly blanket of circular static, obscure tax-scam sleaze, analog warble bliss, Swedish trance rock, six-string hypnosis, cosmic free swing, and beyond!
Non-stop music on the program, so we’ve included a few words along with the full playlist below.
Check the archive.
N.R. Safi's remarkable solo project Naujawanan Baidar filters Afghan tradition through churning distortion and buzzing drones, for an addictive slab of heavy psychedelia like no other. The project name translates to “enlightened youth” in Farsi, which makes perfect sense as these jams are ultimately tuned for the third eye. Safi also plays guitar and sings in the great Tuscon band The Myrrors, who rule. The track featured here,“Asir-e Jangi” is taken from the debut Naujawanan Baidar album Vol. 1, which was closely followed by the equally compelling Vol 2, both of which were thoughtfully collected and pressed to 2LP by Feeding Tube & Cardinal Fuzz, but unfortunately vinyl copies are already scarce. Fortunately all can be had digitally on the Radio Khiyaban Bandcamp, along with an incredible offering of further delights.
The recently reissued Frigate LP "Dreams of the Deep" is a strange and wonderful beast of funky sleaze and motorik blacked-out boogie, originally "released" on the legendarily obscure tax scam label C.C. Records back in 1977. Actually, all of the albums on the label are dated 1977, and nobody knows the recording dates or the real artists names for anything they put out, so there's still a pretty thick murk of mystery surrounding these tunes. So loose we're sloshing, this one has been thankfully rescued from obscurity by D.Q Records T.U. after decades of long lost holy grail status. There's a great interview with Aaron Milenski here, discussing the fascinating phenomena of tax scam records if you want to dig deeper. Golly, what a doozy!
Black Thread is one of many names used by the prolific San Francisco sound artist Greg Gorlen. The artists Bandcamp page yields a broad body of warble waves worth riding, originally published mostly on cassette and distributed through his own small labels Cascading Fragments and the now defunct Turmeric Magnitudes. The track Elegy(a) excerpted here brings a crumbling tension and hypnotic subtlety, a comforting abyss of tonal hiss and flutter. To my knowledge there hasn't been any new Black Thread work to appear for quite a few years, which I guess makes the tapes on the shelf all that much more precious. We're thankful daily for the many challenging analog obscurities shelved in the archives to keep us drifting for decades to come.
You probably already know by now, but Älgarnas Trädgård were key players in the classic early 70's psychedelia / prog rock movement in Sweden. Bands like Träd Gräs and Dungen may be mentioned more often, but the sauce that the Älgarnas folks were sipping on was distinctly spiked enough to cement permanent cult status, even getting a mention on the influential NWW list. Only one official studio LP appeared while the band was still active, but it's a massive, slow smoking hog's leg. The album title translates to "The Future is a Hovering Ship Anchored in the Past", which paints the picture nicely, and the group's blend of acoustic and electronic voices acts in perfect symbiosis of this concept; a hazy projection of the future as sky-bound vessel, rooted in direct lines to their own respective cultural history and experience. The track "Viriditas" featured here is particularly touched, with looping piano, strange vocals and sawing viola drones, like breathing fresh steam.
Base Camp is fascinating. The album was originally recorded in the early 2000's, and features James Toth (of The Wooden Wand, One Eleven Heavy) accompanied by a group of anonymous players. It was finished and quietly published last December to the artists Bandcamp, and it's been a perfect accompaniment to these frozen deep-winter days in the Upper Midwest tundra. While Toth is rightfully well regarded for his work as a talented singer-songwriter, the guy can obviously also lay down some moody, conceptual doom rock minimalism with the best of them. "Summit" is a transportive exploration into the harrowing dangers of extreme mountain climbing, and it's a surprisingly effective tool for telepathic mind travel. Sub-zero temps at high altitude, these are cold, lonely tunes for emotional isolation. Crazy good, bring oxygen.
Not nearly enough people are talking about Willie Lane, New England string masher of legend. He appeared way back when on a series of split releases with MV/EE, and self released several prime solo albums, each oozing a singularly mellow but well toasted quality, rings real. Guitar Army of One originally hit in 2012, and was thankfully picked up by the good folks at Feeding Tube Records for a repress and a few fresh ears. Consider this crucial curriculum in the "charred" school of guitar. Lane more recently released a wonderful collaboration LP with Wednesday Knudsen of Weeping Bong Band, and in 2021 Feeding Tube put out a limited QuaranTunes lathe from their ongoing series of live performances and documents there of. Shred or be shredded.
The recent "Messages From One Of Deeper Within" cassette from Oakland artist Sean Conrad, aka Channelers was presented as an auxiliary to the also great "Another Entrance" LP on Inner Islands. The tape is more than a mere companion though, breathing with an open, organic air of spontaneous conception, and bearing the inherent welcoming warmth of the all analog 8-track recording process. The sound is largely formed from all natural ingredients, with tendrils of piano, organ, guitar and dulcimer gently burrowing into an iridescent bed of soft fiber, woven to reflect liquid light. Still a few tapes available at the time of writing, a gentle cushion to rest upon.
Back in 1969, Rainer Bertrams (piano, vibraphone, flute), Bruce Krasin (saxophone, flute), Lenny Ezbicky (drums), Gerry Mirliani (bass, trumpet) and Jimmy Bridges (bass) came together to form the group Elysian Spring. The group held regular practice sessions outdoors in the open fields of Western Massachusetts, which helped to develop their distinct organic sensibilities, and the act of which focused the group's natural evolution and trajectory. Originally a private press rarity, the beautiful "Glass Flowers" LP has thankfully been remastered and reissued for a new generation. The album stands as a seemingly endless source of joy and inspiration, wielding a beautiful modal groove and real world sonic freedom. The track "Lotus" featured here is a great example, with Bridges' bass endlessly circling and the two flutes overlapping in glorious vibration. We humbly advise you to seek out this music and incorporate it into your life, for deep reward and benefit.
"And the palm tree nodded to the mirror in the jungle". Field Patterns brings a soft evolutionary echo with their latest album Heavy Palms, an air filled half hour of ecological drone and cosmic swamp synthesis, released as a lovely limited edition cassette through the artist's Bandcamp. The work is presented as "meditations on the changing lives and landscapes of late", which opens our minds to an emotional flood of reflection upon the sad realities and the various ways in which the world has been changing over the past few years. Heavy Palms is an offering of connective and expressive electronic music, an all too rare occurrence. Part of proceeds to be donated to Defend the Atlanta Forest, yet another reason to support the good work.
The mysterious Anökumena label was around for a few years with a clear aesthetic, and a focused mission to issue rare live recordings of legacy artists on limited cassettes. Keep in mind, these are classic (ahem) "fan editions", but the material is exclusively killer, dubbed loud and tough to find elsewhere, so let your moral compass be your guide. Ash Ra Tempel shouldn't need an introduction, but are of course, the pioneering trio of Klaus Schulze, Manuel Göttsching and Hartmut Enke. The gig documented here captures the freedom of the early era Ash Ra sound and bears a crucial rawness of note. While their next album Schwingungen is classic and obv amazing, 50 years later it can taste a bit strong in blues noodle tang if that's not exactly your bag. The textural grit of the ripping live action here makes for a sweet treat in the path of the '71 debut. We let this one go for a solid 15+ minutes, strap in.
NAUJAWANAN BAIDAR - “Asir-e Jangi” from the album Volume 1 ( Radio Khiyaban, 2020 )
FRIGATE - “Pleasure Lagoon” from the album Dreams of the Deep ( CC Records, 1977 / D.Q. Records T.U., 2021 )
BLACK THREAD - “Elegy (A)” excerpt from the album Elegy ( Cascading Fragments, 2014 )
ÄLGARNAS TR ÄDGÅRD - “Viriditas” from the album Framtiden Är Ett Svävande Skepp, Förankrat I Forntiden ( Silence, 1972 / Subliminal Sounds, 2015 )
BASE CAMP - “Coming Down” from the album Summit ( Bandcamp, 2021 )
WILLIE LANE - “Wizards From Cans” from the album Guitar Army of One ( Feeding Tube, 2019 )
CHANNELERS - “Blank Signature” from the album Messages From One of Deeper Within ( Inner Islands, 2021 )
ELYSIAN SPRING - “Lotus” from the album Glass Flowers ( Despa, 1968 / Le Très Jazz Club, 2018 )
FIELD PATTERNS - “Swamped” from the album Heavy Palms ( Bandcamp, 2021 )
ASH RA TEMPEL - “Untitled” excerpt from the album Akademie Der Kunste, Berlin 1971 ( Anökumena, 2014 )