Archives for posts with tag: kosmiche musik

Marielle V Jakobsons “Starcore” album has been one of the most-played albums in PopLib HQ this Southern Hemisphere winter. It blends synth with Jakobson’s own acoustic instruments and voice to create layered hypnotic devotional music. Here’s “The Beginning is the End”:

Oakland, California-based Jakobsons is a classically-trained multi-instrumentalist playing violin, flute, synth, bass, and piano and adding her voice to create Kosmiche Music of the highest order. The combination of instruments and voices keeps the balance heavily on the human side, with electronics providing a helix of rhythm and melody to bind the acoustic drones into a rich, layered universe of sound.

If you like the ambient music of Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy (circa their 1979 album Rainbow Dome Musick which preceded the 90s ambient soundscapes of The Orb et al.) or contemporary synth+acoustic instrument inner space explorers The Utopia Strong, then “Star Core” is your cosmos to explore.

The blissful voices on this track remind me of the voices of another favourite instrumental album, also on Thrill Jockey – the glorious “Looks at the Bird” album (2003) by Tortoise-adjacent band Brokeback. Mary Hansen and Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab contributed vocals to three songs on that album, so if you want another Thrill Jockey rabbit-hole to fall down, start with that Brokeback album.


Today’s Psychedelic Sunday offering comes from London jazz-adjacent psychedelic underground ensemble The Heliocentrics. “Burning Wooden Ships” is from their just-released new album “Infinity of Now”. It’s their 10th album, and 2nd to feature vocalist Barbora Patkova:

I wasn’t familiar with The Heliocentrics until I heard them playing on the store sound system in Relics record store in Dunedin this weekend. “Burning Wooden Ships” here sets out their stall, so to speak. It combines a wide range of analogue instruments, sounds and tones along with the interstellar overdrive of Kosmiche musik psychedelic space-rock, all assembled upon the foundation of some of the finest motorik locked drum grooves I’ve heard since Can’s Jaki Liebezeit human-drum-machine burned itself into my conscious decades ago. 

The Heliocentrics approach is explained far better on their Bandcamp page so I’ll use their own words:

“The Heliocentrics’ albums are all confounding pieces of work. Drawing equally from the funk universe of James Brown, the disorienting asymmetry of Sun Ra, the cinematic scope of Ennio Morricone, the sublime fusion of David Axelrod, Pierre Henry’s turned-on musique concrète, and Can’s beat-heavy Krautrock, they have pointed the way towards a brand new kind of psychedelia, one that could only come from a band of accomplished musicians who were also obsessive music fans. 

They have been playing together for nearly two decades and their collective drive is to find an individual voice. The Heliocentrics search for it in an alternate galaxy where the orbits of funk, jazz, psychedelic, electronic, avant-garde and “ethnic” music all revolve around “The One.”  The Heliocentrics have returned to develop their epic vision of psychedelic funk, while exploring the possibilities created by their myriad influences – Latin, African, and more.”

And yes, this is all as great and as weird and as wonderful as that explanation suggests it will be. Recommended for fans of Can, Broadcast, Jane Weaver, Sun Ra, and Fela Kuti.

Baihu_2019Haven’t had a Psychedelic Sunday post for a while, but there’s something about the unstable power and energy of passing electrical storms that makes “Train of Light” from Power of the Light, Beauty of the Shadow by Baihu 白虎 a perfect soundtrack for today’s changeable weather.

Baihu 白虎 are from Beijing, China, with links to Birdstriking, involving bassist Zhou Nairen and guitarist He Fan, together with members of Carsick Cars, Gate To Otherside, Skip Skip Ben Ben, and Ricky Maymi of Brian Jonestown Massacre.

While Birdstriking are more in the shoegaze pop/ rock realm Baihu are a full Kosmiche Musik psychedelic rock experience, mixing gloriously atmospheric space rock with shoegaze guitar effects, burbling snyth, and some post-rock soundscapes for good measure.

Power of the Light, Beauty of the Shadow by Baihu 白虎 was released in May and is available on CD as well as the digital download via Bandcamp.

Die Musikband

Music Has the Right To Children” proclaimed Scottish sound manipulators Boards of Canada in the title of their 1998 album of warped electronic music. Here then is an NZ-raised child of motorik German instrumental elektronische Kosmische musik” (usually referred to in Anglo-centric parts of the world as “Krautrock”, a derisive term coined by British music journalists for this counter-culture sound). Die Musikband is from Dunedin New Zealand and “Klar Linien” is their opening salvo ahead of their first EP.

“Klar Linien” translates as “Clear Lines”. There are clear lines between the motorik form of German elektronische Kosmiche Musik and some of Dunedin’s bands of the 1980s. Snapper were the most obvious inheritor of the robotic rhythm gene, but The Clean were an earlier example with “Point That Thing Somewhere Else”, further refining their organic Antipodean version of the motorik essence in the rhythmic fabric of their “Vehicle” album. Even shambolic cult band The Puddle managed to weave some of the more experimental elements of Kosmiche Musik into their ramshackle spiderweb of chemically-altered lo-fi psychedelia at times.

There’s also clear lines between the members of Die Musikband and Dunedin bands of the 1980s, and the 1990s, and the 2000s. As they explain: “The people in this band have all done other stuff. Now they’re doing this. As well. Jeff (Bored Games, The Rip, My Deviant Daughter, Valve, The Broken Heartbreakers), Karen (Onanon, Death By Silo), Alex (That High School Covers Band) and John (Salon Kingsadore, The Broken Heartbreakers).”

“Klar Linien” combines elements of the kind of melodic and sonic playfulness of Kraftwerk and Harmonia with a bit of Dunedin wild yeast. Along with Al Haig of Snapper, Harford is one of the great motorik drummers of Dunedin and one of the best foundation builders in the business. Together with Karen McLean, the drums and bass provide a reliable means of propulsion upon which guitarist John Howell and synth player Alex Gilks can paint in sound.  When they play live they are at their best when locked in a repetitive groove, layering sound upon sound.