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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Psychedelica Volume One (Northern Star 2CD)

Posted: August 20th, 2006, by Simon Minter

Billing itself as ‘The Third Wave of Psychedelia’, this excellent compilation isn’t purely a collection of soundalike bands referring directly to their ’68- or ’88-centred influences; it’s more a cross-section of new music made by bands who’ve obviously listened to and dabbled with psychedelia to a variety of extents. This means a variety of styles from Beatle-booted blissout, through indiepop and postpunk to fuzzy soundscaping.

So whilst it does feature bands that wouldn’t be out of place on a new Pebbles or Nuggets compilation – the sitar-tinged S.F. Sorrow-styled dreamy pop of Lovetones, the fuzz guitar drawl of The Black Angels and the brilliant stoned drone of Brian Jonestown Massacre, for example – it quickly moves in different directions. Calling your band Black Nite Crash suggests an obvious Ride influence, and the sound of Ride, Stone Roses and the shoegazers of the early 90s pervades the tracks from Black Nite Crash themselves along with Pioneer 4 and The Otherside. The Electric Mainline and The High Dials, amongst others, bring to mind the what-was-once-dubbed ‘perfect pop’ of the releases of Sarah Records or Slumberland – jaunty, bright guitar lines over dreamy vocal lines and simple compositions.

Where this compilation gets most interesting for me is the point at which bands spin off on their own trajectories. For example, Dedelectric offer a bizarre, jerky 80 seconds of attitude that’s like Liliput gone very weird; The Telescopes provide a dense, threatening slice of echoes, mournful trumpet, quietly chanted vocal and static noise; and Say Jansfield produce an example of the kind of odd combination of folk and electronica that’s so damn hip at the moment.

Hopefully there will be further volumes of the self-styled Psychedelica ‘revolution’ – on the basis of this example, there are a lot of bands making a lot of interesting music out there. Like the many indiepop compilation tapes of yore, I’m glad that people are still collecting together music like this – there may not be many big names on here, but it’s nice to have the work done for you when looking for some new bands to investigate!

The full lineup for the compilation is: The Lovetones, Dolly Rocker Movement, The Black Angels, The Stevenson Ranch Davidians, Brian Joneston Massacre, HeadQuarters, Black Nite Crash, The Hiss, Daydream Nation, The Future Kings of England, The Shrills, The Otherside, The Vandelles, Floorian, Pioneer 4, The Electric Mainline, Snowdonnas, The High Dials, Say Jansfield, The Bleeding Hearts, The Bavarian Druglords, The Telescopes, The Lazily Spun, Spacegarden, Fuxa, Dedelectric, On Holiday, Dabenport, God is an Astronaut, Silvertone, The Fuzztones, Silver Apples and Electric Prunes. (And in the case of those last three bands – yes, it is those bands, not three cheekily-stolen band names).

Northern Star Records

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


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