Sunday, 4 January 2015

Some Missed Posts From 2014 - Compilations For The Nation

It’s been quiet on the Sonic Masala front this past month – December hibernation/shenanigans. Rest assured I haven’t disappeared entirely. So I thought I better play catch up with some great compilations that have come out the past couple months.

Joe Alexander has gone from a wiry teen with a briefcase and dreams to being involved with incredible bands (Kitchens Floor, Per Purpose, Terrible Truths), running a cool festival-of-sorts in Deadshits and being the head honcho of one of Australia’s most iconic labels of the last couple of decades in Bedroom Suck. Its inauspicious beginnings in a bedroom in Ashgrove, Brisbane have moved on to the perceived musical mecca of Australia, Melbourne, and Bedroom Suck HQ show no signs of slowing down. It’s five years since Joe put out his first BSR release, and to celebrate we have this great compilation. Featuring most of the bands he has been involved with, it helps to show how the label has evolved from showcasing the dirgey scum and garrulous scuzz of Brisbane’s seething underbelly (Slug Guts, Loose Grip, Per Purpose) to the laisezz faire slacker punk that has become emblematic of Aus music of late (Boomgates, Full Ugly, Bitch Prefect, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding) and more experimental outlier fare (Primitive Motion, Peter Escott, Hissey Mayake). But the breadth of this collation of golden material has many flashes of pop wonders and sinuous aberrations – the comp kicks off with Blank Realm’s Stone Roses-esque blazed jam ‘Digging Up My Bones’ and closes with the nebulous meltdown narcosis of Angel Eyes’ ‘Bed’. There are new additions here too, yet to grace the BSR roster – the brilliant Love Of Diagrams and Totally Mild, both of which are bringing out albums with Bedroom Suck in the New Year.

Dik is a sonic pariah, always impressing most when on the further, harsher outliers of the musical spectrum - his work in Bastard Kestrel, S:bahn and mnttab spanning three decades. He is now the proud father of Detonic Recordings, which has so far released 7”s of SM faves Multiple Man and School Damage. Now he has put out Normalised, a synth-punk behemoth that traverses the globe and scrambles the senses. So besides including local exports Dead Boomers, Jonny Telafone and Wolf Shield, there are contributions from the US (Tuxedo Gleam, Diesel Dudes – who put out a 7” with Detonic earlier this year too – and Sashcloth), the UK (Men Oh Pause), Japan (Trippple Nippples) and a strong contingent from France (VvvV, We Are Enfant Terrible, Infecticide). It’s a slick release that crawls under the synthetic skin and morphs with the mind, a cybernetic mindfuck. And it’s out on 12” clear vinyl - get it here. Time to get the kids to delve into the New Flesh.

And finally we have The Reverb Conspiracy Vol. III, a compilation curated by labels Reverberation Appreciation Society (The Black Angels, Austin Psych Fest) and Fuzz Club Records, due out January next year. Fuzz Club founder Casper Dee sees these comps as a modern Nuggets series – and you can see why. Mainstays like Goat (joined by Brian Jonestown Massacre’s demented demigod Anton Newcombe), One Unique Signal and Mugstar are joined by rising space lords The Oscillation, The History of Colour TV and Lola Colt, with some leaps out of the fog and into the furnace (such as Deathcrush’s ‘You Now’). I have always lost my mind in psych rock territory, and this compilation not only highlights how hard it is to pin down what a psych band symbolises anymore, but that the diversity is actually a shining attribute, not a shambolic atrocity. The double vinyl release is coming out on white vinyl with gatefold cover, with cover art from Dead Skeletons’ Nonni Dead.

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