psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present
psychedelic and avant-garde music from the 1960s to the present

:Episode One Hundred Twenty-Four: 10.12.2018

Best of The Space Program
The Space Program: Just another guy who thinks the world needs to acknowledge his utterly pedestrian taste in music.

This week's show is a "best of" episode, covering roughly the first 1/3 of 2018, drawing from playlists that, owing to disk-space limitations, have been disappeared from House of Sound's website. In keeping with the spirit of laziness that inspired this retread of a show, I'm skipping the usual pithy annotations (just go back and look at what I said about each track when I originally played them). You might not realize it, dear reader, but the show capsules take FOREVER to write. It's one of the ironies of writing, that succinctness actually requires way, way more effort than florid prose.

Anyhow, I promise that I'll be back next week with a full show, as well as a bunch of razor-sharp bon mots regarding the playlist (mostly about how weird I think the band's name is, or how lazy I think they are for titling their album after a number, or one of my other various comedic takes I return to again and again).

Go to episode playlist / link to listen

:Episode One Hundred Twenty-Three: 10.05.2018

Mythic Sunship
Mythic Sunship: Some real jazz-digging hepcats, daddy-o!

We lead things off this week with Mythic Sunship, stalwarts of the El Paraiso label, with a track from their somewhat pretentiously named new album Another Shape of Psychedelic Music. What is this new shape, you might ask? It's pretty much the same as the old one, but it has a new hat... I mean, it involves saxophone. Which I actually really dig! It's probably the best rock album where a saxophonist features prominently on every track since... I don't know, something by the X-Ray Spex, maybe? But I'm not sure that it really merits the highfalutin, jazz-referencing title. This is followed by some scorching psychedelic punk by Sweden's Sudakistan (not to be confused with Sedakistan, the Pakistani Neil Sedaka tribute band I just made up), some extra-sludgy doomgaze from Null, a number from Hooveriii, whose sound is something of a modern take on the MC5, making them neo-proto-punk, I guess, and finally, a bit of spacey minimal electronics from Golden Bug.

The middle set starts with Oh Lord, Give Us More Money, the centerpiece of Holger Czukay's (R.I.P.) recently reissued late-70s solo effort Movies, then continues with the neo-Kosmische of Patrick R. Pärk, the lovely minimal ambience of Andreolina (from an album released in 1990, in the midst of the maximalist late-80s/early-90s), the uncategorizable Icelandic avant-gardiness of Hekla, and the gauzy, washed-out synthesizer of Terekke.

The final set begins with Rimarimba, the avant-garde minimalist musical identity of the artist Robert Cox, which is getting the deluxe reissue treatment from Portland's own Freedom to Spend label. This is followed by the gamelan-centric sounds of Italy's Heith, the Middle-Eastern influenced psychedelia of Jerusalem in My Heart and, once again this week, some South American strangeness (from Peru, specifically) from Dengue Dengue Dengue! (their exclamation point, not mine - I mean, I do like them, but not quite to the point of referring to them quite that enthusiastically).

Go to episode playlist / link to listen

:Episode One Hundred Twenty-Two: 09.28.2018

Yoshi Wada
Yoshi Wada: Is it because of the bagpipes that he's not mentioned in the same breath as Terry Riley or Steve Reich? It's got to be the bagpipes.

This week's show opens with some good old-fashioned motorik, like Großmütter Neu! used to make, from the somewhat confusingly monikered Teksti-TV 666 (also, they apparently have five guitarists - if each of them played one of those guitars that are like, double guitars then it would be like, ten guitars!). After that, we get some psychedelic pop from Chile's Holydrug Couple (a name that has always sounded to me like an ill-conceived insult: "Oh... you two think you're so great, just because you know where to get the best weed... you think you're like some, holy... uh... drug... couple."), some JAMC-ish sunglasses-at-night Wall of Sound rock (which I will never not be a total sucker for) from Boston's Magic Shoppe, some absolutely phenomenal stoner metal from Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (so good I wrote out their whole name), and some vaguely Madchester-ish electro-rock from The Oscillation (who have been around long enough that I remember playing them on the original incarnation of the show in the late-2000s)

The middle set leads off with a twenty-minute slab of boogie rock drone (which, not surprisingly, should appeal to fans of Endless Boogie) by Wet Tuna, aka Matt Valentine and Pat Gubler. After that, we hear a track from the recently reissued cult classic "Mu", which was the self-titled debut (and finale, as it were) by a band led by Jeff Cotton, guitarist for Captain Beefheart, and including a few other standouts from the 60s L.A. psych scene. The set wraps up with yet another member of Chile's weirdo-music underground, Embassador Dulgoon, from an album that I'd say is worth buying for the fantastic, slightly H.R. Giger-ish cover alone, but that also happens to include some pretty decent tunes.

The last set begins with someone who, in my mind, belongs in the pantheon of 20th century avant-garde minimalist composers that includes Phillip Glass, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, etc: Yoshi Wada. Seriously, if you've never heard of him (and sadly, not many people have) go listen to Off The Wall right now! Go on, I'll still be here when you get back WITH YOUR MIND BLOWN! Anyhow, the vowel-averse label RVNG Int'l has released a collaboration between Yoshi Wada, his son Tashi Wada, and some "Friends" (not Ross, I hope - what a wet blanket, am I right?) as part of their FRKWYS series, that is... maybe my favorite album of the year. And speaking of albums of the year, another candidate, to my mind, has to be Big Bang, the second album by Le Réveil Des Tropiques, which is just pure Expo 70-ish droney neo-Kraut/Kosmische bliss (pretty rad M.C. Escher-ish cover, too). We end with a track from the most recent album by Tim Hecker, which is perfectly OK, but that the twin towers of bourgeois dullard music criticism, Pitchfork and NPR, are furiously stroking their immaculately trimmed homeless-guy beards over.

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:Episode One Hundred Twenty-One: 09.21.2018

Hermann Nitsch
Hermann Nitsch: Of course he'd be the first classical artist I play on the show.

Opening this week's show are Aussies Mt. Mountain (who have a name that's a throwback to early-2000s indie, when every band thought it was the height of cleverness to name themselves [adjective] [noun form of adjective] e.g. Hot Hot Heat, Magic Magicians, etc. To fit this template, I suppose that technically they would have to be the Mountainous Mountains, but Mt. Mountain is close enough) who have a new album coming out in a couple of months, but also had their 2016 debut repressed by Cardinal Fuzz. Their sound reminds me of The Black Angels covering Sleep (a la fellow Australians Buried Feather, who I believe I described as The Black Angels covering Dead Meadow - the Black Angels seem to have a bit of a following Down Under), or possibly the Velvet Underground covering Black Sabbath, depending upon how undiluted by time and reinterpretation you think their influences are. After this we hear some lovely Motorik sounds from Sweden's Orions Belte (whose name needs a [sic] after it, unless it's the case that Swedish doesn't use possessive apostrophes and spells "belt" with a terminal "e") and a compelling take on post-post-rock from Austrians le_mol, the first band played on the Space Program with an underscore in their name. Following this is Jay Glass Dubs, with yet more dub for people who don't necessarily like dub (and for people like me who do like dub but have a tremendous appreciation for his respectful yet novel take on it) and Colleen, whose first EP - which was recorded in 2002 but, like nearly all good avant-garde music sounds like it could have been laid down yesterday - was recently made available to streaming services and online stores.

The second set begins with Popera Cosmic, generally regarded to be France's first psychedelic band, whose debut album, Les Esclaves, considered an influence on Serge Gainsbourg and Magma, was recently reissued by Finders Keepers. We next hear from Os Mutantes, whose mid-70s output I enjoy, despite the fact that at that point they had only one original member and had all but completely abandoned their Tropicalia-heavy sound (also, because when I was in college in the early 2000s, their Luaka Bop best-of album was nearly inescapable, I have heard far more than enough of their early work). Next we get a dose of psychedelic soul jazz by Oneness of Juju, whose much-sampled debut album was recently reissued (with bonus tracks!) by Strut. Rounding the set out are early-80s Spanish minimal synth weirdos Los Iniciados and outsider psychedelic folkie Simon Finn, whose classic Pass The Distance is being reissued once again (since it really should never go out of print) by Superior Viaduct.

The last set starts with a first for the Space Program: some avant-garde (and in my mind, psychedelic-leaning) classical, by German artist/composer/provocateur Hermann Nitsch. As I say during the air break, I would actually recommend it to fans of Sunn O))) (who I would argue are, at least of late, heavily influenced by neo-classical sounds - see the album they recorded with Scott Walker, for instance). The show then concludes with some ambience from Japanese producer 7FO and 90s ambient revivalists (back when ambient music was consigned to the "new age" section of record stores) Heavenly Music Corporation.

Go to episode playlist / link to listen

:Episode One Hundred Twenty: 09.14.2018

Popol Vuh
Popol Vuh: This photo is a visual answer to the question "What's so great about Krautrock?"

This has been another glorious late summer/early fall week in the Pacific Northwest, made all the better by being able to accompany it with Popol Vuh's soundtrack to Werner Herzog's "Coeur de Verre." One of their best albums, it up until recently was extremely difficult to come by, available only as an expensive import (with even illicit versions somewhat hard to find). So, I lead off the show with my favorite track from it, Hüter Der Schwelle, or "Guardian of the Threshold" auf Englisch. After this we hear from Swedish retro 70s-rockers Svvamp (with the "w" spelled with two v's, a la the film The VVitch or engravings of Latin phrases on buildings), followed by NYC performance art weirdos Hairbone and then another dose of retro from Philadephians Ecstatic Vision with a cover of the MC5's Come Together (my second favorite cover version of a song named "Come Together," the first being Aerosmith's version of the Beatles' Come Together). Rounding out the opening set are Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Bitchin' Bajas with a track from their surprisingly excellent collaboration (up there with peanut butter and chocolate) Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties, recently repressed by Drag City, and Daniel Higgs, with a psychedelic song-sermon from Metempsychotic Melodies, a release of the late, frequently lamented (by me, anyhow), Portland-based Holy Mountain Records.

Opening the second set is TONTO's Expanding Head Band, who, when I was first really diving into obscure music around twenty years ago, was one of those groups that I would always see name-checked in descriptions of retro-sounding electronic artists (Add N to (X) was frequently compared to them), and that when I finally was able to hear them, absolutely lived up to the hype (I mean, they're not mind-blowing, but still pretty terrific, when it comes to (literally) bleepy-bloopy proto-electronic sounds). After this we hear from Bostonian psychedelic new-wavers Guerilla Toss (who stole the font for the cover of their new album from the Doobie Brothers, of all bands), pioneering home-taper John Bender (whose Pop Surgery was just reissued on vinyl by Superior Viaduct), the vaguely Stereolab-ish, Swiss psychedelic popsters L'Eclair, Portugese neo-Fourth Worlders Niagara, and, finally, the sitar-centric drone of Unearth Noise.

Leading off the last set is some absolutely stellar neo-Kosmische (that also has a strong Fourth World vibe to it) from Mike Nigro & Andrew Osterhoudt followed by some similarly excellent original Kosmische (albeit somewhat latter-day, having been recorded in the early-80s) by Lapre. After this, we hear a cut from the Bureau B Records (profferrers of Krautrock both old and new) produced soundtrack to the forthcoming documentary Fly Rocket Fly about OTRAG, a German, 70s-era, privately-held spaceflight company (making them a sort of proto-SpaceX), who found a patron in Zairean dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. We then close with a track from legendary, not-quite-prog jazz rock oddballs Henry Cow.

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:Episode One Hundred Nineteen: 09.07.2018

Emerald Web
Emerald Web: Somehow, I don't think they'd mind being described as "new age."

As summer segues into autumn, I like to soundtrack my walks amongst the lengthening shadows and changing leaves with psychedelic folk, and so the first set consists of just that. We open with Six Organs of Admittance (aka Ben Chasny), and a track from one of his last "proper" folk albums, Asleep On The Floodplain, released before he developed his own Oblique Strategies-esque songwriting system and took his music in a significantly more avant-garde direction. Following this, we hear from Ghost (the Japanese psych-folk one, of course, not the Swedish metal one), with the not-quite title track, Rabirabi, from their mid-90s album Lama Rabi Rabi (a bit of an anachronistic record, the mid-90s being not exactly the heyday of psychedelic folk, or music generally) . This is followed by Philly Phreak-Pholkie Fursaxa, some UK folk rock from Voice of The Seven Thunders (via late, lamented Portland label Holy Mountain), and a bit of Finnish weirdo-folk from Islaja (who has since transitioned into making dubsteppy avant-pop) and Kemialliset Ystävät (which, as cool as that name sounds, translates to English as "Chemical Friends"... which is like the name of a 90s-era rave DJ collective). Finally, we close with Hala Strana, the erstwhile Eastern European-influenced folk guise of the hyper-prolific Steven R. Smith.

I preface the second set by telling the story of stumbling across, in the used bin of a downtown record store, an album that I had been looking for a physical copy of for years, Love Cry Want, the wildly psychedelic fusion jazz project of Larry Young, who played keys on Bitches Brew (though he is sliiiiiightly overshadowed in that role by Chick Corea). It was recorded in the summer of 1972 during a concert/protest whose aim was to levitate the White House, by blasting it with some screaaaamin' tunes, maaaan! from a park on the Capitol Mall (the attempted levitation of government buildings being something of a trend at the time) and is absolutely essential listening for anyone into, say, Miles Davis circa Live/Evil or Herbie Hancock circa Crossings. We then hear a live recording from Growing, a band I like to describe as Sunn O))) for people who prefer their drone a little more on the treble end of the tone spectrum.

The final set opens with Emerald Web, who are perhaps the epitome of the late-70s/early-80s "hippies discover keyboards"-era of electronic music. I mean, they went on a tour of planetariums and contributed music to the original, Carl Sagan-hosted Cosmos. You don't get much more "new agier," music-wise, than that. This is followed by fellow hippie-with-a-keyboard (and flute), Iasos, with a track from the album that is generally regarded as one of the first, genre-defining examples of "new age" music, 1975's Inter-Dimensional Music through Iasos. We end with yet another new ager, Manuel Göttsching (as much as I'm averse to the descriptor "new age" I don't see how you can get around being labeled as such when you release an album with that phrase in the title) and a four-part song suite from the album Blackouts (sometimes credited to his alter-ego, Ashra).

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:Episode One Hundred Eighteen: 08.31.2018

Taj Mahal Travellers
Taj Mahal Travellers: It doesn't get more 70s Japanese avant-garde than a bespectacled man with an Angela Davis-sized afro hunched over a cello.

To mark the last day of August, and the start of Labor Day weekend, the "unofficial" end of summer (there is no U.S. Dept of Seasons, nor any sort of sanctioning body governing seasons, so there is no "official" start or end to any season... but, anyhow, thanks for joining me here on the Language Pedant Program) the opening set consists of a track from the Taj Mahal Travellers classic August 1974 (recently reissued on vinyl by Aguirre Records), a song from August Born (a project of Six Organs of Admittance's Ben Chasny and Fushitsusha's Hiroyuki Usui) and a number from Late Summer by Rafi Bookstaber. I also, during the airbreak, entreat Mr. Bookstaber to make another album soon, as Late Summer is one of my most-listened to records of the past couple of years (this despite the fact that his name makes it sound like he wants to do violence to me... my last name is Booker, if you've never checked out the About Me page).

The next set starts with Mac-Talla Nan Creag (whose name I of course say in a Groundskeeper Willie-ish mock Scottish accent) whose self-titled debut consists, in a somewhat similar vein to August 1974, of a series of droney tracks recorded au naturel, at various historical sites around Scotland. Following this is Pancrudo, with some spaced-out, lo-fi cumbia from his debut seven-inch. Lastly, we hear from master of dark ambience Oren Ambarchi, who with collaborators Konrad Sprenger and Phillip Sollman has produced two songs, each occupying a side of a 12-inch single, dedicated to the world's two great canals, Panama and Suez.

The final set begins with some truly freaked-out free jazz from Turkey's Konstrukt, abetted by Japanese avant-garde legend Keiji Haino, continues with some Argentinian weirdness by Panchasila, delves into improv-drone territory with the UK's Szun Waves, and ends with a bit of 70s Italo-prog (is that a genre? it should be) by Raul Lovisoni and Francesco Messina (taken from the recently reissued album Prati Bagnati Del Monte Analogo, which has maybe the most late-seventies jazz LP cover art ever: color image framed in white, check; Art Deco-influenced pastel referencing 1920s cafe culture, check; blocky, semi-serif font, check).

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:Episode One Hundred Seventeen: 08.24.2018

Träden
Träden: Missing the Gräs och Stenar.

[Note: due to technical difficulties (specifically, someone at the studio having fiddled about with knobs they shouldn't have touched) the first set this week sounds a little overdriven. If you're a fan of the Iggy Pop-remastered version of Raw Power that came out in the late 90s, which sounded like the original album played on a cheap boombox with blown-out speakers, then you'll love it. Otherwise, you might want to skip ahead to roughly the 35-minute mark.]

The opening set begins with some Astral Social Club-ish blown-out, pulsating noise-drone from RMFTM (née Rocket Men From The Moon) and 10,000 Russos, from their new EP, the creatively titled RMFTM & 10,000 Russos (you couldn't even pull a Trans Am/Fucking Champs name mash-up and call yourselves 10,000 Russo Men From The Moon?). After this, we hear from Träden, consisting of the one surviving core member of the Pärson Sound/(International) Harvester/Träd, Gräs Och Stenar musical continuum, as well as several younger members of the present Swedish psychedelic scene. The set then wraps up with a track from a Causa Sui EP, Vibraciones Doradas, that came out last summer but that I didn't hear until this one.

The middle set leads off with a trio of songs from a recent Numero Group compilation that collects some of the more memorable singles released by Cleopatra Records, a homespun studio/label run from a basement in northern New Jersey during the 1960s. In particular, we hear some Nuggets-esque psychedelic pop from The Hallmarks and The Inmates, as well as some Ventures-inspired instrumental surf-rock from The Centuries. This is followed by some lo-fi strangeness from Eazyhead and Alexander Tucker, as well as some Ruins-esque (but not as frenetic) avant-garde guitar and drum improv by Black Spirituals (and lest any wokelords out there are getting het up to yell at me about "cultural appropriation," yes, the members of the band are in fact black). The set finishes with a guitar raga from Glenn Jones, who I lightly chide during the break for his somewhat whimsical, Raffi-esque album titles and artwork.

The final set also begins with several songs from a compilation, but one... uh... slightly different from the Numero record, to put it mildly. Sucata Tapes is a label dedicated to chronicling "New Weird South America", and the split EP Adzer brings to us the sounds of Argentines Bardo Todol, Úgjü Sectas, and M.M. Peres, all of whom remind me of Avarus, Kemialliset Ystävät, and other members of the Finnish free-folk scene. The set, and show then ends with some neo-Kosmische from Austin, Texas's Sungod, and Brooklyn, New York's (via the Netherlands) Beast.

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:Episode One Hundred Sixteen: 08.17.2018

Masaki Batoh
Masaki Batoh: Hard at work in his secret underground psychedelic laboratory.

I think I set a new mark this week for the fewest number of songs in an episode with eight! It's nothing but ten-minute-plus songstravaganzas this week (sorry Jello Biafra, I like looooooong songs)! Anyhow, things start off with a track from Cosmic Invention - a mid-90s, retro-70s, boogie-rock-ified side project of Masaki Batoh of Ghost (the Japanese psych-folk one, not the Swedish metal one) - whose one album Help Your Satori Mind just got the deluxe vinyl reissue treatment from Drag City. After that we hear from UK space rockers Black Helium, with a number from their debut album, Primitive Fuck (whose cover, as I mention during the break, reminds me of the psychedelic body-horror imagery of John Carpenter's The Thing). The set concludes with some avant-garde fusion jazz by Swiss group Mouvements, whose sole mid-70s private press LP was recently re-released.

Set the second begins with Space Program favorites The Myrrors, with a near-twenty-minute epic from their new album, Borderlands. As I mention during the break, this release seems almost like a collection of B-sides (not that those really exist any more) and outtakes from their last several records, but I'll still take their throwaway tracks over most bands' A-material. I follow this up with Dead C-gone-space-rock Kiwis The Futurians, and a track from their Star Trek/Hawkwind-referencing record, Spock Ritual.

The final set starts with Los Angeles-based analog synth aficionado LFZ, whose new album Name Plus Focus is out on the largely-garage-rock-dominated label Castle Face. So, take that, everyone who emails to tell me that synth music isn't psychedelic! In your (castle) faces! (I mean, really it's just one or two people, but still, it's a somewhat vexing sentiment). After this we hear from Swedes Kungens Män (Swedish for "Man who is a Kungens") and a track from their new album Fuzz På Svenska (which, I'm not kidding, means "Fuzz in Swedish," in Swedish. Isn't Fuzz, in Swedish, "Füzz"? The entirety of my knowledge of Swedish has been gleaned from Ikea product names, so I might be wrong), and an excerpt from Body, the new, single-song album (and you think I like long songs!) from Aussie avant-jazzists, the Necks.

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:Episode One Hundred Fifteen: 08.10.2018

Roy Montgomery
Roy Montgomery: You don't really expect him to sing, do you?

Leading off this week's show are frequent-Space Program-playees Mountain Movers, with the creatively titled New Jam 3, from the similarly creatively titled EP, "New Jam EP" (is it really that hard to come up with song or album titles?) After that we hear from legendary Kiwi noisesmith Roy Montgomery, with a number from his new album, Suffuse, notable for the fact that each song has a separate guest vocalist. The track I play, Landfall, in particular features Portland's own Liz Harris, aka Grouper. This is followed by the Black Angels-esque The Dead Ends, some female-fronted dooooom from Drug Cult (which includes a former member of late retro-rockers Wolfmother), and some classic doom, a la Black Sabbath, from Sweden's Fanatism.

The second set opens with a track from the Hampton Grease Band's one and only album Music To Eat, recently reissued on vinyl, which - as I talk about during the break - was an album that had a somewhat mythical reputation (back in the day when there actually were albums that you couldn't find in some form or another somewhere online) but that's, disappointingly, really just ersatz Beefheart/Zappa, jazz-tinged art rock. It has some decent cuts, including the one I play, but overall doesn't live up to its semi-legendary cult status. Following this is genuinely legendary afrobeat drummer Tony Allen teaming up with Finnish psych-funk weirdo Jimi Tenor for some improvised drum 'n' synth strangeness, as well as Belgian-residing, Venezuelan ex-pat Bear Bones, Lay Low with some lo-fi droniness.

The final set leads off with a bonus track - previously found only in a rare box set - from the newly remastered and reissued on vinyl, Sunn O))) classic (inasmuch as an avant-garde band can really be said to have albums considered "classics") White 1. Following this are a bunch of the bleepy-bloopy tunes I tend to end the show with, including numbers from Jon Mueller, Greg Malcolm & Stefan Neville, and Carl Wingarten.

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:Episode One Hundred Fourteen: 08.03.2018

Daniel Bachman
Daniel Bachman: Just your typical Southerner, sitting on his porch picking out an intricate, Eastern-inflected, virtuoso string melody.

This week's show starts with the opening track from Daniel Bachman's fantastic new album The Morning Star, a record which blends Robbie Basho-esque psychedelic folk ragas with pastoral ambience (crickets chirping, a passing train) and found sounds (metallic scraping, snatches of dialogue) to create a lovely, sprawling, Americana-tinged collage. Following this is Garcia Peoples, with a "song suite" reminiscent of American Beauty and/or Workingman's Dead (the only worthwhile Grateful Dead studio albums, in my book). Concluding the opening set is Futuropaco, the solo project of Justin Pinkerton, drummer for the band Golden Void, with some instrumental Krautrockiness of the Neu!/Harmonia variety

The second set begins with a track from The Faust Tapes, Faust's avant-garde/collage/musique concrète masterpiece that is being reissued on vinyl (with its original artwork!) for the first time in decades by Superior Viaduct. After this is the triumphant return of CAVE, with San' Yago, the lead single from the forthcoming (in October) album Allways, their first in five years (a delay excused by the fact that three-quarters of their members are busy playing in Bitchin Bajas). Following after is Orquestra De Las Nubes, an early-80s side project of Spanish Fourth World pioneer Suso Saiz, the late-80s minimal synthiness of Dwart, and the post-post-rockiness of New York trio Forma.

The last set opens with a track from the also recently reissued on vinyl Disco 3000, an album that showcases late-70s fusion-era Sun Ra at his finest. Then, concluding the show are the aforementioned Bitchin Bajas, with some (appropriately) underwater-sounding ambience from a concept album of sorts, The Encyclopedia of Civilizations, Vol. 2: Atlantis, part of a series of recordings released by Abstrakce Records dedicated to past civilizations both real (volume one was dedicated to Egypt) and mythical.

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:Episode One Hundred Thirteen: 07.27.2018

Kosmose
Kosmose: What I imagined a psychedelic band sounded like as a teenager in the pre-internet era.

Inspired by the compilation album Prog Is Not A Four Letter Word, the opening set consists of four examples of non-insufferable (sufferable?) 70s-era prog rock. No ELP-esque twenty-minute-long organ solos to be found here. Instead we have Krautrockers Between, the short-lived Spanish "grupo progresivo" (gotta show off those three years of high school Spanish somewhere) Pan Y Regaliz, Dutch acid rockers Group 1850, and a Spanish studio project named Wild Havana with some analog synth-heavy, proto-chillout music off their one and only, proggy disco-lite record (once upon a time, when my show was on terrestrial radio, it used to precede a show dedicated to underground 70s/80s disco and dance music, from which I learned that there are scores of low-key tracks from that era that are as spaced-out as any Kosmische numbers).

The middle set features organ-heavy turned synth-heavy Bay Area psych-rockers Lumerians; Italian trio Crimen, who carry the JAMC/BRMC sunglasses-at-night, cool-as-ice pop-psych torch; Los Angelenos Hooveriii, at one time a solo, Suicide-inspired synth-dirge act that has since transformed into a five-piece CAN-esque outfit; Space Program favorites The Myrrors with a track from their recent Fuzz Club session; and Spanish doom metallers Atavismo, with the title track from their most recent album Valdeinfierno (which, once again showing off my incredibly rudimentary Spanish, means Valley... OF HELL!!!, en Español).

I preface the final set with a somewhat long-winded story about how when I was in high school, and first getting into psychedelic music, I read about concerts like the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream that were these all-night, immersive events where bands would play for hours on end, and could hear, in my head, what I thought that would sound like, but could not actually find an example of, among the (severely limited by the lack of the internet) roster of psychedelic acts I was aware of at the time (and how later on, I discovered, from reading a biography of Kurt Cobain, that he had had a similar experience, but with punk rock). A few years down the road, in college, I did find what I was looking for, in the form of CAN, Amon Düül II, Hawkwind, AMT, etc., etc. But the band that probably best aligns with the (admittedly somewhat amorphous) imaginings I had as a teenager of what psychedelic music sounded like is Kosmose (who are themselves admittedly somewhat amorphous), a Belgian group who, a la Les Rallizes Dénudés, never recorded a proper studio album, but of which there exist a number of (middling quality) live recordings, including a recent release on Sub Rosa, from which I play a track. The set, and the show then concludes with NWW-affiliated act Zu93, and Vancouver, BC Fourth World-y ambient artist Khotin.

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:Episode One Hundred Twelve: 07.20.2018

Center Pieces
Center Pieces: As far as pieces go, ranked just behind master, side, and Reese's.

The show this week starts off with some Magick Markers-esque, sprawling, improv noise-drone by Locean (pronounced, as far as I can tell, like "lotion"), some King Gizzard-y hyper-kinetic space rock from Slift, and some VU-inspired minimal drone by Alien Mustangs (which... woooooof what a trio of terrible band names. Slift? What the hell is that? Alien Mustangs? That's like a middle school P.E. team name: "yeah, us Alien Mustangs are gonna cream you Samurai Eagles at kickball!")

Opening the center set are, appropriately enough, Center Pieces, one of roughly 137 side projects of the members of Eternal Tapestry (they rival maybe only Bardo Pond for number of affiliated acts. Also, roughly 7-8 years ago, their pub quiz team beat mine at the citywide championship of one of Portland's numerous trivia associations). After that are Irish drone-folksters Woven Skull, followed by some lounge-psych (not really sure what else to call it) from Portugal's Fumaça Preta (any band name with a cedilla, my favorite diacritical mark, earns my approval. Hear that Slift? Rename yourself Çlift and you won't have me complaining) and, finally, some surf rock from the U.K.'s Beach Skulls.

The final set starts off with some minimal electronic sounds from Kutiman, a bit of ambient drone by Kareem Lotfy (taken from another Quiet Time Tapes album, following upon the one from X.Y.R. heard last week), some bass-heavy avant-garde-itude from Bleed Turquoise (a side project of Emptyset), a choral/organ dirge from Father Murphy, and some bleepy-bloopy-ness from The Subdermic and Portland's own LWW.

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:Episode One Hundred Eleven: 07.13.2018

Tigue
Tigue: Summer enough for ya?

Returning after a week's absence, I start off the show with a set of summery (by the standards of the show, at any rate) tunes, beginning with some tropicalia-influenced post-post-rock (that's what we're calling the post-rock revival, right?) from Tigue, followed by some NEU!/Harmonia-ish neo-Krautrock from the oddly named Free/Slope (who join AC/DC and Yamantaka//Sonic Titan in the "bands with a slash in their name" club), a bit of avant-pop from Routine Death, a psychedelic folk number that I think is fair to describe as "ramblin'" from Hamish Kilgour of The Clean, and a piece of gorgeous dark ambience from longtime Swans member Norman Westberg.

The middle set leads off with a song from an extraordinary, recently-reissued album of outsider 70s rock by K.S. Ratliff and Black Magic (if you pay attention to the chorus, you'll note that in lieu of a delay pedal to create an echo effect, he simply repeats its final word, "night," with decreasing volume, a la "fear of the NIGHT... Night... night...") After that, we hear some early-80s post-kosmiche from Konrad Kraft, some avant-garde drone by Delphine Dora & Sophie Cooper (that I admit might be a little too weird for the show - though it's an excellent album if you're into that sort of thing), some drone-folk by Olympic Peninsula-dweller Prana Crafter, several tracks from the most recent edition of 70s post-Nuggets compilation series Brown Acid, and some low-key space rock by Cosmic Fall

The last set begins with a somewhat "Faust Tapes"-esque sound collage by CVX, a bit of jazz-adjacent improv by Michael Beharie & Teddy Rankin-Parker, and concludes with mysterious Russian dronesmith X.Y.R.'s recent recording for Quiet Time Tapes (a label similar in both its musical and visual aesthetic sensibilities to Not Not Fun).

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:Episode One Hundred Ten: 06.29.2018

Weeed
Weeed: The extra "e" is for "eh, we couldn't bother to come up with a better name."

The show starts off with some good old Hawkwind/The Heads/AMT-style blown-out space rock from Weeed (who depending on what bio material is to be believed are either from Seattle or Portland), followed by the heavily Middle Eastern-influenced sounds of French duo Oiseaux-Tempête, the oddly named, vaguely Harmonia-esque Sherpa The Tiger, and longtime NWW associate Colin Potter.

The middle set begins with a track from the recently reissued, late-70s collaboration between Klaus Schulze and Arthur Brown (of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown), named Richard Wahnfried (a reference to Wagner, apparently, and also one of the first instances of a band having a "people name"), then continues in the "post-Kosmische with guy ranting" vein with the title track from Michael Bundt's oddball electro-sleaze album "Neon" (check out the Spinal Tap-esque, cartoonishly garish cover), and wraps up with some bleepy-bloopiness from Patricia Kokett (yet another band named like it's a people).

The final set begins with a sampling from the most recent offering in the WRWTFWW label's ongoing Midori Takada reissue series (that began last year with the phenomenal "Through The Looking Glass" and continued with the not-quite-as-good "Lunar Cruise"), "KI-Motion," one of two albums released by her early-80s experimental jazz group, MKWAJU Ensemble. We also hear from 90s Australian 4th-worlders Waak Waak Djungi, Steven R. Smith's latest project, Ulaan Markhor, and some psych-folk from Pumice and Matthew De Gennaro.

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:Episode One Hundred Nine: 06.22.2018

International Harvester
International Harvester, or possibly just a bunch of Swedish hippies standing around what looks like the parking lot of a grocery store in the mid-70s.

This week's show begins with tracks from two recently compiled reissues, namely "rkt!", which includes all of the late-90s Rocket Recordings singles and EPs released by UK space rock legends The Heads, and "Remains," a five-LP box that contains the albums "Sov Gott Rose-Marie" by International Harvester, "Hemåt" by Harvester, and three LPs of unreleased material by... I would say "both" bands, but it's really a Jefferson Starship/Starship type thing, where it's essentially the same group with a slightly different moniker (the same musicians went on to form Träd, Gräs Och Stenar). Also in the first set is some Nick Cave-esque country gothic from Jaye Jayle, some minimalist weirdness from Brian Case, and a bit of Morricone-influenced folksy-rock from Italy's Lay Llamas.

In the middle set is the Andean-folk-tinged space-drone of Peru's Culto Al Qondor, some recently unearthed analog synth-heavy psych-funk by Argentina's Cusares, some fuzzed out Afrobeat by L.A.'s Here Lies Man, and a classic cut from African outsider music legend Francis Bebey.

I kick off the last set with a new song from my favorite neo-Kosmische artist, Cosmic Ground, taken from his recently released fourth album, the creatively titled "Cosmic Ground IV" (hey, if it worked for Led Zeppelin...). This is followed by the avant-garde instrumental stylings of Arp, the post-post-rock sounds of Australia's Tangents (recommended if you like fellow Aussies The Necks) and some minimal, jazz-adjacent weirdness from Slowdive's drummer, Simon Scott, from an album he recorded in Portland with Marcus Fischer during Slowdive's fall 2018 North American tour.

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:Episode One Hundred Eight: 06.08.2018

Datashock
Datashock: Not a Transformer, a "The Net"-style 90s internet horror movie, or a book about information overload, but an Amon Düül II inspired Krautrock collective.

This week's first set begins with an epic, Amon Düül II-inspired folk-rock freakout from neo-Krautrockers Datashock, continues with the incredible, Molam-influenced new single from GOAT, and then wraps up with a two-song mini-suite of synth-heavy psychedelic post-rock from Rickard Jäverling (I culled the two most "for the heads" type tracks on the album - the rest isn't quite as spaced-out, but still enjoyable, if you're into, say, Tortoise circa the albums Millions Now Living... or TNT.)

The middle set continues with a long, Hawkwind-y blowout from prolific Swedish/Danish rock collective Øresund Space Collective (the slash through the "Ø" means "not pronouncable by non-Scandinavians"), Ex Canix, with another Amon Düül II (or maybe International Harvester, since they're also Swedish) style folk-rock jam, and ends with a cut from the most recent album by Circle side-project Pharaoh Overlord.

The final set begins with a brand new track from Fourth World pioneer Jon Hassell, returning with his first new album in a dozen years, presumably prompted by the inexplicable but welcome renewal of interest in what used to be called, disparagingly, either "new age" or "world" music in the 1980s. It continues with more of the bleepy-bloopy style music that I always like to end the show with, including Monopoly Child Star Searchers (probably one of my favorite word-salad type names), Jimi Tenor (with a Sun Ra-inspired jazzy singalong), Manos Tsangaris, and Nadine Byrne.

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:Episode One Hundred Seven: 06.01.2018

Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Penguin Cafe Orchestra: You can credit (or blame) my brother for playing them.

[Note: due to technical problems at House of Sound, there are a few noticeable gaps in the audio of this week's show]

After a two-song opening set, featuring a track from "In O To ∞", Acid Mothers Temple's follow-up to their version of Terry Riley's In C, and a feedback drenched blowout from Burnt Hills, I welcome my brother back to the show, to introduce an individually curated set of his own favorite spacey music.

This guest set includes Earthless-esque German power trio Colour Haze, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, known primarily for that one song that's been in every other tech commercial since the 90s, Bay Area organ-heavy retro-rockers The Lumerians, The Sight Below, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the ambient pop sounds of Poolside, and Portland's own psych-sludgesters Grails.

I then end the show with a quartet of Space Program mainstays: Circle, Barn Owl (accompanied by The Infinite Strings Ensemble), Expo 70, and Master Musicians of Bukkake (with a vinyl-only bonus track from the reissue of their first album, "The Visible Sign of The Invisible Order").

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:Episode One Hundred Six: 05.25.2018

Mildred Maude
Mildred Maude: named for the two frumpiest female names in the English language.

The first set opens with a near-twenty minute rager from the UK's Mildred Maude, taken from their debut album CPA (which stands not for Certified Public Accountant, but Cosmic Pink Alignment - still, I sense a theme, since they named themselves after two of the dullest ladies' names ever conceived, and their album after a certification granted for accounting, perhaps the dullest profession), and continues with Aussies Buried Feather (who to my mind sound like a hybrid of Black Angels and Dead Meadow), Italian sludge-rockers Atomic Mold, the highly recommended avant-garde stylings of Finnish one-woman band Tsembla (also a member of the Kemialliset Ystävät collective), the psychedelic yacht-rock-y pop of Sugar Candy Mountain, and a song from the most recent album by Bay Area/Portland based mainstays Wooden Shjips.

The middle set leads off with Caudal, a side project of Aidan Baker, the man best known as one half of doomgazers Nadja, and also includes the MV&EE-inspired lo-fi stylings of Gosh! and some solo Tuareg guitar from Mdou Moctar, a featured artist of Portland's own Sahel Sounds label.

The final set includes the Annette Peacock-ish avant-jazzy sound of Japan's Ché-SHIZU, whose late-80s album "A Journey" was recently reissued, and an excerpt from the also recently reissued, sole one-song album from Krautrock obscurity Pyramid.

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:Episode One Hundred Five: 05.18.2018

Kuunatic
Kuunatic: Who, per their Soundcloud page, are "bringing primitive psych sound and creating lunatic land." Sounds about right.

The show opens with some psychedelic doooooooooom (I'm sure that the dear departed Aquarius Records, who used to rate the doominess of doom metal bands by the number of "o"s in the descriptor "doom", would've given them at least a ten "o" doooooooooom) from Father Sky Mother Earth (better known as Uranus and Gaea, in Greek myth, though I waste about a minute during the show pondering aloud whether their name is an oblique reference to the song "Mother Sky" by CAN) and then continues with a track from maybe the freakiest freakout act to come along in a good while, Girl Sweat Pleasure Temple Ritual Band. I use the term "freakout" perhaps too often, and I'm definitely going to have to rein it in, until a band comes along that can match GSPTRB's manic furor.

The all-female Japanese psych-punk-y trio Kuunatic start off the second set with a song from their debut album Kuurandia (check out its nifty cover), which continues with the garage rock sounds of Hot Knives, the lovely instrumental psych of Dead Sea Apes, the "guitarless guitar music" (their words) of Wax Chattels, and concludes with a slightly-proggy-but-in-a-good way track from the most recent album by Bonnacons of Doom (a bonnacon is a goat-like beast of medieval myth that sprays its enemies with a plume of caustic feces).

The final set has as its centerpiece some avant-garde jazz (sorry, jazzophobes) from a recently reissued team-up between Steve Lacy, Yuji Takahashi, and Takehisa Kosugi, the latter of whom is probably best known to Space Program listeners as the man behind legendary Japanese spaced-out noisemakers Taj Mahal Travellers.

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