Wild Mercury Sound
End Of The Road, Matthew E White, the New Age revival, some other stuff...
I guess there are probably worse jobs to return to after a fortnight’s holiday. I arrived back in the Uncut office yesterday to be greeted by a big pile of new releases, which I’m still picking my way through. Currently playing: Track Two of Damon’s reissued “Song Of A Gypsy” – “Generally regarded,” it says here in the press release, “as one of the finest privately-pressed psychedelic rock records” of the late ‘60s. We shall see.
It’s been easy to be distracted these past 24 hours by reissues of records that were barely released in the first place: a big chunk of yesterday afternoon was consumed by a beatific comp titled “I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age In America, 1950-1990”. Some vintage New Age music is being deservedly reassessed at the moment, as you might have divined from the Rediscovered! review of Iasos in the current Uncut.
Also waiting for me in my inbox yesterday was an interview for next month’s mag with sometime Eno collaborator, the spiritually elevated Laraaji. Laraaji, I learn, is “currently learning the didgeridoo and has a sideline in laughter workshops”. His lovely music never worked well in clubs, apparently, because it “would put people into trance states. And people in a trance don’t buy drinks.”
Laraaji also talks about sharing Eno’s ideas about ambient music: “It’s music that you can just be in – it doesn’t require you to think.” Which is probably why it’s so useful to have on while you’re working. Of course, that’s not always what we require from music, and maybe a few of the new records which have turned up while I’ve been away – White Denim’s “Corsicana Lemonade, Lee Ranaldo & The Dust’s “Last Night On Earth”, new jams from Chris Forsyth and Cian Nugent, plenty more stuff I haven’t had time to play yet – are rather more arresting.
I’ll write about these some more in a playlist blog in the next day or two, and include a few things for you all to hear. But in the meantime, this is incredible, I think: the lead track from Matthew E White’s new “Outer Face” EP. It’s called “Hot, Hot, Hot” and it sounds extremely roughly like how “Gris Gris” might have worked out if it had been produced by the Tropicalia scene’s maestro of orchestration and sound collage, Rogério Duprat.
White was, by all accounts, one of the highlights of the End Of The Road festival last weekend, which Uncut was proudly involved with this year. Tom was there blogging, among other things, throughout the weekend, and you can read his reports on Belle & Sebastian, Eels , David Byrne & St Vincent and plenty more here.
And if you fancy telling us your highlights of the festival – or indeed want to talk about anything – I’m happy to announce that, this morning, we opened a new comments system on all our blogs (There’s no need to use Facebook to talk to us any more, if you’re averse to that sort of thing). Don’t be a stranger; or, as it kept reiterating on all those Deadline Day liveblogs I wasted half of yesterday reading, GET INVOLVED!
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Photograph: Pieter M Van Hattem