Life On Earth!: Look!! There Is Life On Earth! (Subliminal Sounds)
Imagine being not the blond curled child that fell down a strange rabbit hole but instead the actual size changing metaphysical liquid inside the vials in Wonderland – mutable, chemically charged viscosity waiting to race in the bloodstream. What would you sound like as you triggered synapses and raised body temperatures? Well, it might be a bit like Mattias Gustavsson's delirious modern-paisley audio cavalcade, Look!! There Is Life On Earth!. The Dungen multi-instrumentalist dons his best caftan and spaceman helmet and sets off for parts unknown in a pair of weathered Tevas. You'll skip and giggle as you trek behind, picking up the peppermints and incense that spill from his duffle bag. Like the best fairy stories, you can revisit Gustavsson's kaleidoscope land and always delight in what you discover waiting for you.
Prime Cuts: "Right In Between," "Life On Earth"
Various: What The Folk – Butterfly Acoustic Recordings Vol. 1 (Butterfly)
Inside this wondrous old school (I'm talkin' Alan Lomax old school) anthology is the inscription: "At a conference of jackdaws and myriad birds, to sit, still and ever silent, listening." Sure, why not? What The Folk Vol. 1 is the brainchild of celebrated producer and Killing Joke bassist Youth and former guitarist for The Verve Simon Tong. The pair scoured the English countryside in search of "artisans and ageing hippies" from "the bedsits of Brixton" to "the furthermost Celtic fringe." What they came back with is possibly the finest easy listening collection of the year. The "acoustic" tag in the subtitle is a touch misleading since there's judicious use of electricity on a set that encompasses Simon & Garfunkel strum (Indigo Moss and The Sand Band), John Renbourn-esque blues (Oli Don and Duke Garwood & Paul May), '70s AM swoon (Samantha Marais and Green Peppers), Bridget St. John-like misty folk fare (Lisa Knapp) and a few indescribable wows (Music For Dogs and Attic). Despite the diversity, it flies by so quickly, so seamlessly that you'll need a few passes before you get why Tong and Youth picked this lot to launch their new record label. The reasons are myriad and obvious if you give it enough time.
Prime Cuts: Lisa Knapp's "Blacksmith," Damian Katkhuda's "Dance Around The World"
Join us next month when we kick more sand in the eye of "The Man" as we check out independent new releases from Argentina's Federico Aubele, the country fabulous Hotdamns, divine weirdo Homeblitz, UK space rockers Litmus and more. Always more…
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