Though it’s definitely getting towards the festive season, and the shop has reverted to it’s chilly winter state, we’ve not been inundated with Christmas releases this year. There are a few records coming in the next couple weeks that may get a seasonal look-in but this week it’s strictly rest-of-year non-christmas fare. There’s a wonderful fireside ambient selection in a Piccadilly / Stranger Than Paradise exclusive vinyl variant which should prove the perfect tonic to all the manic seasonal rush. We’ve also got a couple more heavy outings from newcomers Geese and Manchester-Burnley quartet Witch Fever. Finishing the hard-to-narrow-down list with another mindblowing live outing from Can, this time a little closer to home, with their set in Brighton getting the vinyl treatment.
Various Artists – Home Vol. 1
‘Tis the season for some ambient drift (so the saying goes), and this compilation perfectly toes the line between near-horizontal Balearic grooves and more driving ambient. It’s a wonderfully relaxing and beautifully collated collection, with pieces like Paqua’s instrumental version of ‘Escondido’ rich with acoustic guitars and subtle Rhodes lending a little momentum to the collection before bringing it right back to shimmering and weightless instrumental fare. It’s dreamy and intoxicating, a treat from start to finish and the perfect tonic to the icy atmosphere outside.
Geese – Projector
It’s becoming a little hard nowadays to tell some of these new post-punk bands apart. There are some wonderful moments in almost every album, but it’s hard to extrapolate one from another. With that in mind, it’s no little relief to hear the wonderful ‘Projector’ from newest Brooklyn band, Geese. There are moments of mathy angular jangle, much like there are rolling basses and near-shouted vocals, but there is a vigour emanating from these notes that has been sadly missing from a lot of similar bands in the past few years. It’s a wonderfully dynamic and constantly evolving collection of ideas, pulled together with an immediately obvious musicianship and a keen talent for songwriting. Dynamically complex but without sacrificing the musicality, ‘Projector’ is a triumph, and deserves to be heard.
Witch Fever – Reincarnate EP
It’s not often something comes along that has all the fiery spirit of 90’s grunge and the distorted dissonance of the heaviest of metal without sounding pastiched, but the brilliant Reincarnate EP from Witch Fever is every bit the dynamic and exciting debut. Blazing, huge sounding and wonderfully inventive, it’s the perfect juxtaposition of classic and modern, brimming with spirit and groove but without a doubt some of the most visceral and interesting metal-adjacent music to have hit the shelves for some time. There’s an important message in here too, espousing equality and rightfully challenging the ingrained power constructs in modern society. Witch Fever are here to stay, and I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.
Can – Live In Brighton 1975
I mean, there’s not much I can say to most of you that already know Can, what I can say is this, It sounds like Can and it’s PEAK Can and it’s really well recorded and it’s brilliant. To those of you who don’t, you need to listen to this heady collection of Krautrock from one of the masters of the genre. Woozy synths and snappy percussion, psychedelic and rich with groove. It’s a unique musical vision Can have fostered, with momentous intensity from the kosmische roots but absolutely swimming with lysergic segments and twisted, evocative dreamlike vocals. They’re one of the most loved bands for a reason, and that reason couldn’t be more apparent than on this document of their live show. A superb band at the absolute peak of their powers.