This release by Sshe Retina Stimulants is one of the most claustrophobic works I’ve heard in some time. This is noise, but done with a way that makes the experience almost magical. I had the feeling of falling down an endless rabbit hole a la Alice in Wonderland. It’s a harrowing release, and one of the most worthy noise releases I’ve heard in some time.
Present is the project of former Univers Zéro guitarist Roger Trigaux, who is joined by UZ drummer Daniel Denis. This is less progressive rock and more furious chamber rock. There is a brutal intensity to this disc that quite possibly surpasses Roger’s former band. This is as punchy as it gets. A rough treasure.
A hearty thanks to Geoff Gersh (Ambient Fields) for sending me an album of such spacious, head-filling music that I managed to unwind for the first time in a week. All the effects created in this work are done with a guitar, some effects and a pump organ. Taking inspiration from being in Ólafsfjörður, a small town in the north of Iceland, his location seeped deeply into these compositions. This was a treat to listen to.
Cult Classic: David Axelrod-Songs Of Experience. By 1968, composer, musicians and producer David Axelrod was just about to embark upon a solo career after nine years working in the music industry. Buoyed by the experimental climate of popular music, David Axelrod wrote and recorded what was akin to a suite-like tone poem that was based […]
I don’t know why, but I’ve been thinking a lot about that whole Grunge era in the 90s lately. I think the whole Grunge thing was the last musical movement that I actually got caught up in. On my first date with the Rock Chick, back in my […]
From the article:
There’s an argument to be made that the origins of mind-expanding folk music date back centuries before the advent of recorded music. There’s an old understanding, popular in Orthodox circles, that the Torah is, itself, one long song—a song handed down from smoked-out Mount Sinai by Moses, where the assembled masses of humanity experienced collective synesthesia, and saw the sounds of the voice of G-d.
Connect the dots: Jews are the people of The Book, and our book is a scroll of sheet music first performed at an ancient psychedelic rock concert. Bob Dylan (whose Hebrew name is Shabtai Zissel) knows it; Chronicles, Vol. One, for example, takes its name from the Hebrew Scriptures.
But there isn’t much scholarship around this heritage. Jeanette Leech’s wonderful book Seasons They Change: The Story of Acid and Psychedelic Folk traces a vast cosmic tree of outré acoustic music from around the world, including many examples of the surprising crossover of entheogenic religious devotional music. But it barely features a mention of a Jewish contribution to the genre. Sure, you could point to “Solomon’s Song” from C.O.B.’s 1972 album Moyshe McStiff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart. But that’s one smudged dot on a massive map.
The final chapter of And You Shall Know Us By The Trail Of Our Vinyl, a book about Jewish LPs of yesteryear, dips a few toes into the water, pointing to some examples of frum folk rock—The Stanley Miller Band’s American Simcha or The Noam Singers’ The New Dimension in Hebrew Music. But that’s where the trail goes cold, and many of these documents never made it online. Forget about the ones they didn’t even mention: The Voices Four, Shimon & Ilana, Manguinot Bashira, the Beth Sholom Folk Rock Service’s Chants for Peace. Of these, you might find a clip or two online. Maybe.
And so it seems at least one corner of this day-glo forest remains shrouded in fog. But if you’ll allow, we’d like to guide you on a hidden path toward the world of psychedelic Jewish folk music.