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Nic's Pics (December 2021)

Here’s a collection of favourites from the last few months, mostly things that were a bit of a surprise, as opposed to old faithfuls and things I knew would 100% be up my alley. Happy reading! 

Warumpi Band - Warumpi Rock: Papunya Sessions 1982 LP/CD

Blown away by this one on first listen! A loose, raw, in-the-zone set recorded live to two-track at a Papunya house party (240 km’s northwest of Alice Springs/Mparntwe) that feels somewhat spiritually aligned to the shambolic spirit of Memphis, be it Tav Falco and Alex Chilton or an infamous Hill Country Blues juke joint. They out-Exile The Stones on this one. 

Roadhouse - Aladdin Sales LP & Supernatural XS LP

Not one, but two LPs of bonkers-beats-meets-bedroom-band blasts from the mysterious Roadhouse!. Not exactly sure how to sell you on this one, or where they're coming from, but I am sure that I absolutely love it!  While these two albums feel like companion pieces, I can hear a different agenda to both. 'Aladdin Sales' is a more spacious collection, seamlessly collecting disparate sound sources into a cohesive vision. It manages to be vaguely inspired by Hip Hop production techniques but also has passages of acoustic guitar. Usually a gigantic red flag, but the maddog did it! Woo, Pascal Comelade or those bits on Aaron Dilloway's 'The Gag FIles' where he sort-of evoks J Dilla comes to mind. 

The follow up 'Supernatural XS' is more bombastic. Imagine if French prog-dogs Heldon grew up on a diet of Hip Hop and high fructose corn syrup, or a mid-point between early Blues Control and Foodman's blissful mutations of Footwork. This Southern Indiana self-identified producer shows no particular allegiance to any lineage and evokes a couple they potentially aren't even privy to.  Like Footwork, this music feels new and unique without outwardly attempting to break new ground, or inheriting any technological innovation. While I’m stoked on new music every single goddamn day, Roadhouse makes me particularly excited for the future of creativity, even if the odds are against it. Contemporary "Fusion" at it's best!. Very, very recommended! 

John Coltrane - A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle CD/2LP

I cracked the seal on one of these a couple of weeks back with very little expectations. I've got a reasonable chunk of Coltrane live recordings from around this area, what could this possibly offer? My mind was blown on that first listen, then I had a couple of days off due to a sniffle (and taking proper Covid testing precautions). I couldn't stop thinking about 'A Love Supreme Live In Seattle' and made the major mistake of reading The Guardian and YouTube comments on reviews/previews of said release. I guess some people like Jazz for different reasons to me but I feel confident in proclaiming that naysayers on this particularly incredible recording like Jazz for what could be described as "boring loser" reasons.

This recording documents a pivot point in Coltrane & co.'s development. Recorded a year or so on from the release of the studio album 'A Love Supreme' and pushing the album's material into new shapes. Avant-garde but full of universal humanistic energy that I would consider accessible if we rid the world of some up tight baggage. The performances and expanded line-up are obviously 100% fire (Pharoah Sanders is now in the group), but I think an understated thing that pushes this recording into the essential pile is the unique quality of the recording. I'm not talking about tedious fidelity discourse, but what's exposed by this simplistic two-microphone in-house tape record. The drums sound fkn' crazy!!! 

Blue Chemise - Flower Studies LP

I already harked on about this one and its positioning in the sphere of contemporary avant-garde music in my last blog entry but one last plug for these soothing and s Satie-esque domestic concrete soundies. 

Succumb - XXI LP/CD

Succumb are a band with a muscular brain and a stomach that’s overflowing with bile. They’re technically precise with a real lyrical depth, while maintaining a visceral punk-appeal. Succumb might’ve formed over a love of Canadian Death Metal there’s a quality here that’d appeal to fans of extreme guitar music (lame term sorry) beyond those realms. I feel those from the Iron Lung/Insect Warfare camp could get behind this, as well as fans of fans of Hardcore-into-Noise Rock (Condominium, Double Negative, Hoax). I mean, what other band can summon the unruly vibe of both Bolt Thrower and Rusted Shut??? An unlikely contender for album of the year!