Some more groovy sounds are on their way from the Hypnotic Bridge label, and the first up is an old pal. A couple of tracks from The Bevis Frond – ‘Typical Freakout’ and ‘You Best Beware’. Both written during lock-down, and recorded at Graffite Studio in Bexhill-on-Sea on the Sussex coast where Nick has his Platform One record shop. A 1960s Vox Continental keyboard, 1970s Burns Flyte guitar, 1990s Epiphone bass (which somewhat resembles a Hofner Violin), and the house drum kit were all employed and the sounds emanated from a 1970s Carlsboro Stingray amp (HYP 036).
Jovian Tea comprise Chris Mercado (The Mad Walls) and Glenn Brigman (Triptides). Stu Pope played the pair a couple of mystery songs from The Incredible Sound Show Stories Vol. 1 (The Technicolour Milkshake) compilation. ‘Strange World’ and ‘Red And Green Talking Machine’ seemingly emanated from a mysterious, white-label UK acetate, circa 1967, which had no band or songwriting credits listed. Struck by the tunes they hatched a plan to rerecord them as Jovian Tea.
‘Strange World’ is classic psychedelia from the first line of the lyrics, relating the musings of a whimsical soul who, lying horizontally, looks up and reflects on how watching a fly traverse the ceiling makes it feel as though he’s upside down. The perspective then shifts to that of the fly, who laments how the people below continually try to destroy its kind. The song’s unknown author was possibly a fan of Pink Floyd (and Syd Barrett in particular). Meanwhile ‘Red And Green Talking Machine’ tells of a frustrated young fellow, maybe the same one who’s been observing diptera dancing on the plaster skies above, bemoaning a lack of ‘keenness’ on the part of his pet parrot, who apparently isn’t much of a talker after all (HYP 033).
Red River Dream take their name from 60s cult classic Psych-Out. Their enigmatic, one-off single exists in a realm where West Coast psychedelia meets moody folk rock, and is the side project of Chicago’s famed folk-psych bard Constantine Hastalis, complemented by a crew of the Windy City’s finest, including Mike Novak (Secret Colours), Alex Rowney (Soft Candy), Max Brink (Secret Colours), Brendan Peleo-Lazar (Triptides, Lucille Furs), Trevor Pritchett (Faux Co., Lucille Furs), and Matt Smalligan.
While ‘Silver Ship’ sails through a hypnotizing yet perilous red river of fuzz, organ, and lyrical naivety, ‘Somewhere At The Edge Of Time’ emanates a haunting, tumbleweeds-under-apocalyptic-skies atmosphere. Both songs reverberate with the iconic glory of the American West, serving as a psychedelic soundtrack for putative high adventure (HYP 034)
Finally Les Pommes de Lune create contemporary chrome-coated Franco-Canadian pop music and disorientingly psychedelic utopian futurist sounds. Their first transmission, sounds recorded in the strictest secrecy, beamed up from hidden underground laboratories and plague-proof sonic research facilities, breaking out from under the cloud of contagion and the perpetual cloak of cold, wintry weather in Montréal.
Les Pommes formed a year or two ago, from various sorcerous, sub-cultural sects, philosophically belligerent beat-groups, and gnomic groovers, pockets of people resisting the insubstantial offerings of popular culture in favour of the electrifying esoteric. These Pommes de Lune chose instead moonlit rites and leaping lunatic delights offered by intense immersion in found sounds reverberating through the Merovingian-Gaullish-Francophonic cacophony somehow captured on disk and kept in various archival repositories maintained by their research, experiments and explorations, which appear to be rescuing and refreshing many babies from various forgotten, filthied bath-waters in the process.
They hope you find as they have, joy in the freedom and expression available in the blurred bewildering edges of their creation’s contrasts and contradictions. Nouvelle and somewhat vague, a darkly dazzling multi-coloured progressive-pop, passing on perennially, a dignified antidote to whatever fresh new horrors the prevailing popular culture foists upon us. Time has indeed ever shown the wiser.
‘Une Fleur’ was originally recorded as the B-side of a 1967 single by French actress and singer Christine Delaroche; it’s a Yé-Yé classic, enthusiastically rescued from obscurity.
You’ll know ‘Les Chimères’ as ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’. Among Status Quo’s finest moments, and covered by everyone from The Slickee Boys to Camper van Beethoven. It’s never been as mind-blowingly psychedelic as this inspired interpretation by Quebec’s premier purveyors of Francophonic delights (HYP 035)