Posts Tagged ‘Spacemen 3’

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 32

February 7, 2010

Welcome back to Fancy Plans record-setting series, in terms of longevity and Youtube clickthru views. It’s been a few weeks since the last volume, but I’ve got something special for the return: actual file hosting. This means no more leaving the site for downloads or watching some hastily slapped together Youtube video. Just right-click on the song title to download or push “Play” on the player to give it a whirl. Enjoy.

Previous volumes here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

We Are Wolves – La Nature.mp3
Coming on like a 3-piece Death From Above 1979, Montreal’s We Are Wolves consist of a lead bassist (and occasional guitarist), a drummer, a drum machine and a keyboardist whose sole duty is to coax the unholiest of buzzing noises out of his twin Rolands. Tending toward blistering 2-1/2 chord rock in most of their songs, La Nature follows a slightly different path, relying more on building space with lode-bearing reverb and echoing vocals/vocalizations. The final product bears more than a passing resemblance to Suicide’s finer moments.

Sonic Boom – RNR Is Killing My Life.mp3
Speaking of Suicide, here’s a kickass cover of one of their tracks, courtesy of Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember, a founding member of drone-rock antagonists, Spacemen 3. Sonic says rock and roll is killing his life and he sounds like he means it, maaaan. Surprisingly hummable and perfect for those do-nothing days where you just want to lay around the house pumping yourself full of heroin.

Spacemen 3 – Transparent Radiation.mp3
Speaking of the Spacemen 3, here they are with a fine rendition of a Red Krayola track. Cutting way back on the drone serves them well, allowing the song’s spacious melancholy to shine darkly. Of course, the glacial pace and the use of the saddest chords since Spinal Tap’s last “artistic” effort aid the cause. Oh, and lots of echo and reverb, as was their way.

Belong – Late Night.mp3
Speaking of covering avant-garde psychedelic forefathers, here’s another glacially-paced thing of crippling beauty, all submerged vocals and layers of electronic gauze. This cover of an old Syd Barrett track (I say “old” because he hasn’t really release much recently, what with being dead and all) is a masterpiece of breathtaking ambience. (I say “breathtaking” because drowning tends to do exactly that.)

DatA – Blood Theme.mp3
Speaking of nothing in particular, here’s uber-producer DatA/Danger with an alternately brutal and beautiful reimagination of Giorgio Moroder’s Tony’s Theme from the Scarface soundtrack. Opening with unadorned piano, the track soon gives way to buzzing bass growls and a swaggering low-end thump, building and building until the 2:30 mark, where the cacophony suddenly gives way to the haunting sighs of processed female vocals. Hold on. DatA dives right back in for a little more thrashing before setting the listener adrift on the piano coda.

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 25: CLT Goes to Outer Space Edition

November 29, 2009

Space Rock.

This is one of my love/hate genres (along with electro) because the tendencies of its performers is to accentuate the aggravating traits. In the case of space rock, this means bypassing the lyrical content and swooshing guitars in favor of some 18-minute rundown of the last D&D session over a flute and dulcimer digression.

When it works, it nears the worlds-away sound and escape-velocity transcendence the creators were aiming for. Hawkwind spends a lot of its time divided between the two, mainly depending on which revolving cast member was helming the songwriting.

Chrome/Helios Creed can be fun, as they eschew the 8 and 9-minute epics for 3-5 minute speed runs through waves of distortion. Of course, they also spend too much time dicking around with malfunctioning reel-to-reels making scary noises and stoner in-jokes.

And so it goes with the remaining genre practitioners. You take the good, you take the bad, etc. Monster Magnet, Pressurehed, Nik Turner’s solo work, Dinowalrus, etc. There are some bands out there that grab a small portion of the “space rock” dynamic and run with it. You’ll find hints of it in Holy Fuck, Muse, A Place to Bury Strangers, Lightning Bolt, the Fuck Buttons and Spiritualized.

But enough about me… Here’s the fucking music.

Previous volumes (with shorter intros here):
Heavy Rotation Archives

That Fucking Tank – Stephen Hawkwind
“Tell me only the good things you remember about… Space Rock.”

This is what Leeds duo That Fucking Tank does. Trimming all the excessive prog and psychedelia fat off the bone and reaching cruising altitude in mere moments. Just a guitar and a drum set surging skyward, bringing to mind everything anyone loved about Hawkwind, Chrome, Monster Magnet or even Kyuss, without the attendant wankery and occasional flute solo.

Hawkwind – Spirit of the Age
Speaking of Hawkwind… The godfathers of the space rock genre. Formed in the late ’60’s by flautist (you read that right) Nik Turner and featuring the lyrical and instrumental input of Lemmy Kilmeister (Motorhead), Hawkwind was the embodiment of all things space rock.

Conjuring up visions of time travel, alien abduction, wormholes and intergalactic travel, Nik Turner and co. engaged the imagination of a million forward-thinking hippies, who wouldn’t look out of place at a Dead show except for their excessive use of tin foil and amphetamines.

In this particular track, Hawkwind addresses the effects of cloning and cryogenic sleep on the average long-distance relationship.

I would’ve liked you to have been deep frozen too
And waiting still as fresh in your flesh for my return to earth
But your father refused to sign the forms to freeze you
Let’s see you’d be about 60 now, and long dead by the time I return to earth
My time-held dreams were full of you as you were when I left, still underage
Your android replica is playing up again it’s no joke
When she comes she moans another’s name
But that’s the spirit of the age, that’s the spirit of tha age

I am a clone, I am not alone
Every fibre of my flesh and bone is identical to the others
Everything I say is in the same tone as my test tube brother’s voice
And there’s no choice between us
If you had ever seen us you’d rejoice in your uniqueness
And consider every weakness something special of your own
Being a clone I have no flaws to identify
Even this doggerel that pours from my pen
Has just been written by another twenty telepathic men
Word for word it says:
“Oh, for the wings of any bird other than a battery hen”.

Alien Sex Fiend – Silver Machine
One of my all-time favorites with a stripped-down but incredibly effective cover of a Hawkwind classic. ASF spent a lot of time moping around with the goths in London’s Batcave scene, but they were always too, I don’t know, “madcap” to wander the darkened streets pondering the futility of existence.

They loved the Cramps and took a bit of their twisted humor, added a few pounds of pancake makeup and some deadly flashpots and called it their own. Call them “goth” if you must, but keep in mind they have praised various parts of women’s anatomy and the occasional fast car in song, which just doesn’t mesh.

Here they grab ahold of a space rock classic and send it soaring, all driving bass, searing guitars and some loverly echoey vocals, courtesy of Nik Fiend and his partner in crime/life, Mrs. Fiend (who adds some electronic wizardry of her own).

Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Get Ready to Fly
Previous Heavy Rotation favorites BTWS return with a low-key take on Pressurehed’s Silver Bird.

Pressurehed were a short-lived L.A. industrial space-rock band that put out three killer albums before splintering into a million shards of noise, resurfacing as Anubian Lights Destiny (featuring Nik Turner and Robert Calvert of Hawkwind, among others). They were always more Chrome than Hawkwind, with their layers of blistering, howling guitars and tape loop experiments. But this isn’t about them, although they may get their moment in the reflected glory of Heavy Rotation later.

This is about Erol Alkan and his studio wizardry, which turns the superheated guitars of the original into a shimmering psychedelic journey, without all the usual pointless “jamming.”

Spacemen 3 – Big City (Erol Alkan Mix)
Speaking of Erol Alkan… Mr. Alkan puts his hands all over drone-rock antagonists’ Spacemen 3’s ode to Suicide. While the original version dwelled on repetition and post-punk antagonism, the remix gently coaxes something approaching transcendence from the drones and reverb, proving that not every meditation on a single chord needs to be disorienting and strobelit.

All files in one fully-contained zip file:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 25
(link opens in new window)

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]