Wild Mercury Sound

Finnish psychedelia, Robert Wyatt. And the Smashing Pumpkins, again.

John Mulvey

One last contribution to the Smashing Pumpkins war, which I promise I won't write about indefinitely. In response to some comments about my review here. "Funny lot the Pumpkins fans, aren;t they?" writes Chads. "Could never understand why people take it so personally when you don't like a band they do."

Seeing as he also shows a keenness for the exuberant freak-outs of Raccoo-oo-oon, he might also be interested in the "Psychedelic Phinland" comp with which I'm testing the fantastic new Uncut stereo and the patience of my workmates.

"Psychedelic Phinland" is a handy 2CD history of the Finnish psych scene of the late '60s and early '70s - though when I say handy, I'm not sure many of us realised that such a thing would be remotely useful to us. Anyway, the first CD contains interesting if straightforward attempts by a country's bands to appropriate psychedelia, garage rock and prog.

CD2 is awesome, though, because it locates a bunch of electronic avant-garde types like Pekka Airaksinen and, better still, some very free and lovely nature jams involving recorders, children and, frequently, a terrific band called Those Lovely Hula Hands. Finnish bands, amazingly, are still carrying on this very far-out tradition - check out Avarus at their Myspace for stuff in a very similar tradition.

Finally, the new Robert Wyatt album, "Comicopera", turned up today and sounded great on first listen. No radical change of style, though maybe a bit more trumpet, some Cuban-influenced stuff, a voice that's become fractionally deeper with age. I'll write a lot more about this one after a few more listens. Bear with me.


Newsletter


Editor's Letter

The 39th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


A lot to get through here, but I'm indebted once more to the resource that is www.nyctaper.com, who this week have posted two amazing live sets by Steve Gunn and Ryley Walker. Elsewhere, there's a new Waterboys track to check out,...