Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Syd Barret- "The Madcap Laughs" (1970)

This is a gem of a record that I have to admit I only recently discovered, at the behest of the ubiquitous Nate "Naters" Stark, who hates punk, but loves eccentrically recorded (wikipedia says...) psych-folk. If you're completely unfamiliar with the history of psychedelia, Syd Barret was Pink Floyd's original songwriter/frontman, before he was unceremoniously kicked out of the band (on the way to a gig, someone said "Should we pick up Syd?", and someone else replied "Let's not bother...") for being completely and totally bat-shit crazy, to the point where he would stand for an entire show not playing, or playing the same chord the entire time, or wandering off and dancing around. He then went on to record this amazing piece of music history, followed by another solo record, before finally becoming a recluse until his death in 2006.


King Tubby- "Roots Of Dub" (Blue Moon, 1990)

"King Tubby (born Osbourne Ruddock, January 28, 1941 – February 6, 1989) was a Jamaican electronics and sound engineer, known primarily for his influence on the development of dub music in the 1960s and 1970s. Tubby's innovative studio work, which saw him elevate the role of the mixing engineer to a creative fame previously only reserved for composers and musicians, would prove to be highly influential across many genres of popular music. He is often cited as the inventor of the concept of the remix, and so may be seen as a direct antecedent of much dance and electronic music production."

Trust me, you need more dub in your life, and this is as good of an introduction as any. Literally every song on this record has the word "dub" in the title. And if you're still too high after the Crippled Black Phoenix record, this would work well as a continuation.


Crippled Black Phoenix- "200 Tons Of Bad Luck" (2009)

If I felt like going through the trouble of compiling a top 10 records of 2009, this would definitely be in it, and probably even in the top 3. Wikipedia calls them a "post-rock band from the United Kingdom", though I feel calling this post-rock is quite patronizing to an amazing piece of work that manages to blur the lines of genre's as diverse as doom, folk, indie, pub rock, and yes, even post-rock. Instrumentation is not limited to the guitar/bass/drums standard in pretty much all rock (post or otherwise); banjo, musical saw, accordion, dobro, and cello all find their place in the mix. There's even a mo'fucking Harmonium! If you still need a selling point, this features members of popular rock acts such as Mogwai and Electric Wizard/Iron Monkey (though before you're disappointed, I want to stress that this, while presenting an overall vibe of doom and gloom, is NOT a sludge metal record). This is also probably not the type of thing you want to listen to while actively doing something, at least not on the first listen. My recommendation for this one is, if you want to get the full experience, before you go to bed, pack a bowl, dim the lights, maybe pour a glass of wine, and try and take it all in.

Download Part 1
Download Part 2