Friends at the Spiritual Pajama's label in SF have released an LP edition of my 2010 CDr Imaginary Psychology. This version is definitive - with white vinyl, expanded track listing, a transparent flexi single of a Martin Newell tune and sublime artwork by Matt Fishbeck (Holy Shit). Of all the projects I've been involved in this is easily my favorite.
So far it's gotten a nice review from Aquarius Records and made John Mulvey's 43rd playlist of 2013 for Uncut Magazine. You can find that here.
BLAKESLEE, GUY "Thirdeye Memories Vol. 2" (Psychic Arts) cd-r 9.98 We flipped for the first installment in Guy Blakeslee's Thirdeye Memories cd-r series, which we described on the last list in our review of Volume 1 as falling somewhere between Fahey-like devotional Appalachia and more droned out abstract looped and layered psychedelic ragas, and for those of you (like us) who felt like one volume just wasn't enough, well, you might want to grab one of these before they're gone, cuz like the first one it's limited to just FIFTY copies (and we do have a tiny handful left of volume 1 if you missed out). Blakeslee is the frontman for psych rockers The Entrance Band, but for these solo excursions, the sound is much more intimate, and delicate and lovely, the opener here is a glistening sprawl of dreamlike guitar melodies, super fluid finger picking, the vibe almost carol-like, a warm glowing swirl of lovely Appalachian folk. But it doesn't take long for the disc to drift into far trippier realms, "Digital Sage" takes the sound of the opener and turns it inside out, flips it backwards, adding gloriously slippery reverse melodies and woozy shimmery FX blur, it's the sort of dreamy sonic trip out we could get lost in forever. And so it goes, the whole record unfurling in a washed out kosmische dream folk haze, slipping from crystalline beauty to dreamily dizzying trippy psych swirl, and back again, perfectly balancing sweet melodies, with something a bit more shadowy and lysergic. Like the first volume, fantastic! And like the first volume, packaged in a simple screen printed origami style sleeve, LIMITED TO 50 COPIES, each one hand numbered! Order here.
Adam Snider - Decomposer First full length from this Bay Area guitarist, who we first heard on the Berkeley Guitar compilation back in 2006, which also featured Matt Baldwin (whose Psychic Arts label released this!) and Sean Smith. And like his tracks on the comp, Snider displays quite a knack for sweetly melodic, pastoral Appalachia, conjuring up warm chordal swells, wrapped in delicate fingerpicked melodies, the tracks peppered with some subtle slippery slide guitar. Snider's style is generally not super flashy, and isn't about cascades of rapid fire notes, or dizzying melodic flurries, instead he tends to gently coax a hushed melancholia from his guitar, obviously the shadows of Fahey and Kottke and the rest loom large, but Snider definitely sounds right at home amongst such esteemed company. Most of the tracks here are dreamy and wistful, but a few (like "Val Verde Nights"), do display a more shadowy side, giving those tracks a moody minor key vibe. Good stuff.
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, each one hand numbered, and packaged in an origiami style folded jacket, with pasted on cover art and a photocopied insert.
Nightcrawlers - Space Ritual at St. Mary's A rare live recording from uber-obscure early Tangerine Dream worshippers, Nightcrawlers, a three piece out of New Jersey who released cassettes of their "cosmic floating space music" between 1979 and 1992. Recorded in a church in 1985, these two 30 minute tracks take full advantage of the reverent resonance of the live cathedral environment with beautiful bowed drones, glacial organ and intensely meditative flourishes of futuristic kosmiche. Super-Limited to 50 copies, this group presaged the new age krautrock revival by about 20 years and are long overdue for rediscovery. Order either one HEREat the Aquarius Records site. They will be sold out soon.
Tel Aviv based electronic music label, False Industries has just released a digital version of Imaginary Psychology. It comes with with remixes from Israeli guitarist, Yair Yona and Tim Martin of Maps & Diagrams.
The American vinyl version out soon on SF's Spiritual Pajamas. Below, a review from Textura.org.
-------------------- Fans of Manuel Gottsching (Ashra)—especially his 1984 albumE2-E4—and Michael Rother (Neu! / Harmonia) will find much to like aboutImaginary Psychology, a five-track opus (including remixes by Yair Yona and Maps and Diagrams) by San Francisco-based musician Matt Baldwin. Though an early release such asPaths of Ignition (American Dust) shows him playing in an acoustic style emblematic of the American Primitive folk tradition, his subsequent releases show him gravitating towards electronic music and krautrock. The False Industries release ofImaginary Psychology is, in fact, a reissue of the three-track release that Baldwin originally issued himself but that's now remastered and supplemented by remixes.
The opening long-form tracks are the recording's core. “Lindsay and Her Duplicates” opens the album with a mind-bending display of loop-based guitar psychedelia. Recorded in real-time and in one take, the track's a stunning, fourteen-minute ride that threads trippy synthesizer treatments into pulsating krautrock. Spidery guitar lines do rapid-fire cartwheels over one another and flurries of wah-wah effects appear, and the whole impresses as a kinetic exercise in forward momentum. “Imaginary Psychology” begins less frenetically, and though ladened with loops and overdubs, exudes somewhat of a folk character in its relaxed gait. Like the opener, it gradually assumes a psychedelic quality when its patterns cycle hypnotically and when cosmic synthesizer whooshes surface seven minutes in.
Baldwin's third original, “Borkian Dervish,” presents three minutes of pastoral folk-styled playing in a reverie that's obviously a stark contrast to the opening pair. Israeli musician and Farthest South member Yair Yona amplifies the dreamlike quality of Baldwin's original by adding e-bow-styled guitar for added texture while hewing to the same duration as the original. For his Maps and Diagrams makeover, Tim Martin stretches Baldwin's track into a ten-minute oasis of guitar and synthesizer shimmer, making for a satisfyingly peaceful close to an album of dramatically contrasting moods.