Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Class Actress - movies

Class Actress returns at last with an EP, produced by Giorgio Moroder no less, and what an EP it is too. Hard and sizzling synth beats with a sense of the epic and also a dip into the darker side of life. "More than you" is quite an opener, all throbbing electro beat and sultry vocals. The title track is a fractured epic, world weary and twinkling in the midnight neon glare. The hope and despair of the night encapsulated in synth beats at once retro and from the future.

We're at the half way point of the year now and we might just have found our record (even if it was a digital download) of the year.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Live : The Grateful Dead (Santa Clara, CA 27/06/15)

Disclaimer, i wasn't there physically but i was there spiritually maaan. In other words I had to make do with the live web feed but thats the closest i will ever come to seeing the Grateful Dead live (unless i can find a bucket of cash before the final shows in Chicago early next month). Its the 50th anniversary of the forming of the band and 20 years since the death of Jerry Garcia and the final concerts of the Grateful Dead. To add a proper full stop to the story the surviving 4 members of the band and some friends have got together for 5 final shows.

Its formless and well formed, a fluid psychedelic jam of blues, funk and rock. Songs begin reasonably familiarly before heading off into sonic exploration. Like a guitar shaped Voyager probe. It all sounds amazing too and the visuals accompanying the music were also gorgeous. The only glitches being Phil Lesh's microphone seemed to be playing up but the guitars sounded fine.

Cream Puff War was the highlight if one can pick anything out like that, that dates back from the very first album. Indeed much of the first night of five's songs came from the early Dead period. Maybe this also brings the 60s to a close too? But no, the legacy lives on and will mutate and grow into many other forms. The originals are getting old now but younger generations have taken up the baton and taken it in new directions.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Top 5 Records (June)

1: Big Data - 2.0
2: Striking Matches - nothing but the silence
3: Waxahatchee - ivy tripp
4: Washed Out - within and without
5: Chris Robinson Brotherhood - phosphorescent harvest

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sagittarius - present tense

Although remaining pretty much unknown to the general public Sagittarius and their 1968 "present tense" album has a following amongst the underground hip scene, so is it justified? Lets note first that there wasn't really a group called Sagittarius this being a studio project mostly of Gary Usher but helped by Curt Boettcher and a host of guest musicians including Glen Campbell lending vocals on the excellent "My world fell down".

Musically it is a gem of late 60s psychedelia with folk and baroque flavourings. Its trippy and its pretty hippy. "Another time" is my favourite track, it is an excellent song with a lush, slightly hushed but catchy melody. The album lacks that bit extra to elevate it into a genuine lost classic but its a perfectly fine record, very much of its time.