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.
I won’t deny that we’re a little taken with this nugget, a debut full length from Bristol bssed singer / songwriter Erica Freas entitled ‘young’. Available as a self-funded limited vinyl pressing sometime March where it’ll be lovingly coloured in a choice of blue or beer, blue being our chosen option, ‘red is’ has for […]
Ladies and gentlemen, I have to be admit to being a bit thrilled to mention this release. Some time ago, I reviewed a band called Flying Hórses, a band Raphael Weinroth-Browne was a member of, and whose stunning work on the cello made the album so memorable for me.
On January 24, he will release a new album which balances post-rock, contemporary classical music and the most tasteful aspects of metal. It would have never occurred to me to blend such aspects together, but Raphael weaves things together masterfully.
Darkjazz goes film noir. E.E. Engström & The Twin Street Tree Trunk Love Ensemble provide a gorgeous soundtrack to enjoy a dry martini with. Imagine the aforementioned Darkjazz mixed with something that would make Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (gone instrumental) proud, not to mention having a twang of creepy country. The vibe is dark, unsettling, and hopefully just a taste of what should be an amazing 2019 for the group.
Should you have a Spotify account, I suggest adding the group here.
If you happened to be one of the lucky folk who managed to grab a subscription edition of the latest issue of Electronic Sound magazine, then inside not only were you graced with a John Foxx cover replete with a firsthand account by the man himself about the coming to be of his scene defining […]
Aloha Got Soul’s latest release is a reissue of a rare psychedelic Christian folk record by a Hawaiian project called ʻĀina, which, according to their Bandcamp album site, “means land or earth in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian language.”
It’s definitely a product of the 1970s, full of hippy vibes, a naïve sense of idealism, and themes which would be recognizable to people who go to Pentecostal Churches. There was nothing bad about this release at all. It was a smooth, mellow and enjoyable listen.