Thursday, 20 February 2014

Desert Dwellers 'Seeing Things' Review

Artist: Desert Dwellers

Title: Seeing Things

Label: Twisted Records

Released: 10th February

Coinciding with supporting Sphongle on their U.S. tour the Desert Dwellers (unlike many of the psy-chill artists who have branched into other areas or been quiet in recent times), have taken a step closer on this single released on Sphongle's Twisted label with staggering results. The melodic Arabic vocals of previous releases remain but the background is beat laden psy-chill at it's most intense and finest.

Alongside the original are several stunning re-mixes of variable approaches and quality production.

First up is veteran and pioneer of psy-fi techno & global ambient grooves Eat Static. The intro is more eerie and sci-fi sounding fused with the bazaar's snake charmer, Although it's slower paced it doesn't take long before the beat laden emphasis of the original comes into play. Twisting in and out of the original vibe overflowing with samples and sequences, yet maintaining a perfectly harmonious balance.

Lubdub takes a gentler and more chilled approach that still packs a punch in places, utilising elements of dub reggae and psy-chill forming a lovely cohesive whole that I can see myself utilising in a chill set for sure.

James Manroe's version takes this straight to the dancefloor with a pounding techno beat soon followed by snares and oh boy! This is yet another corker wobbling somewhere between progressive psy-trance and techno.

Land Switcher stretch and manipulate the original into a chilled psy-dub
number bouncing echoes and gating vocals with ease. Impressive stuff and re-affirming that there is still high quality to be found in the psychedelic side of chill from up and coming artists.

Kaminanda retain the beat laden style of the original but sprinkle it with chilled elements and elongated breakdowns which at times are reminiscent of Land Switcher, at others metallically and industriously dubby and others lush and ambient.

Variant Field take this into the realms of dub-step'ish bass music before releasing and concentrating on the vocal and melody, transforming their take into a more chilled affair for a long period before bringing back in the beats in a more attacking and less dub-step'ish manner.

Mystral begin with an eerie dark ambient approach which soon begins to play toyfully with the bass notes, vocal and other sounds, adding little alien'esque or elf'ish vocodered background vocals (depending on your perception) and even throw in some sequenced Balkan grooves for good measure.

My conclusion; if you like your chill psychedelic and twisted you won't want this release missing from your collection.

Review by Woodzee.

Links ...

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Chill Out Sessions commences the 23rd of February on

The House of the Flying Eyeball have graciously allowed the Sun Is Shining a 3 hour radio slot on 

alternating with Liquid Lounge and Ian's special blend of sofa sinking chill, psychedelia and global bass every last Sunday of the month.

My aim is to play a blend of old favourites, new discoveries and promos alongside guest dj's and artists across the whole spectrum of dub and chill. I won't be selecting the guests lightly even if you're not familiar with them be rest assured they are a guest for good reason and you won't find their set online before it's aired.

My first guest is DJ Maggie of the infamous Moontribe desert parties held in California since 1993 . Maggie's downtempo sets can touch on the spiritual and the psychedelic, the dubby and the jazzy, the electronic or the classical even throwing in some funky trip-hop. In my experience you never know where you're going to take off or where you're going to land but it is always worth taking the flight for the pure enjoyment of her sonic excursions.

We hope you will join us and help spread the word. There's also a live chatroom for those who wish to make a more active connection and Maggie will be available to fill you in on any of her selections.

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Holiwater Band - Maya Review

Artist: The Holiwater Band

Album: Maya

Label: Dubmission Records

Released: 27th January 2014

Composed and performed by Pandit Vikash Maharaj and Tom Bailey (formerly of Thompson Twins and most recently of International Observer fame) alongside a collective of musicans including Parbhab Maharaj on tablas, Abhishek Maharaj on sitar and James Pinker (Dead Can Dance) on percussion. This is an album celebrating the unique and sacred world of the River Ganges in India.
This project was inspired by the vital work being carried out by Environmentalists to save the Ganges from rapid decline. A fusion of audio and visual, East meets West, contemporary electronic joining traditional rajas to reflect traditional wisdom and modern technologies used to overcome environmental issues and will, I understand, provide the soundtrack to the upcoming documentary film Holiwater.
With such an accolade of artists involved I was looking forward to hearing this album with a high level of excitement. However, for me it didn't reach my level of anticipation. It almost felt like a case of very accomplished musicians constructing a backdrop soundtrack for the movie as opposed to exploring new territories or breaking boundaries. But perhaps, that is exactly what it's meant to be and is best experienced in the whole audio/visual experience. Still that’s the beauty of music what passes over me may ignite your passions and transport you to dimensions of auditory bliss.
Whatever you taste’s please check out the website for more information on a very worthwhile cause.

Reviewed by Matthew Foord

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Artist: Sinepearl

Album: Cycles Within Cycles Within

Label: Interchill Records

Released: 11th February 2014

I settled back to listen to this album through the cans while working on some e-mails interjected with facebook comments. Normally, I don't like to do a review without giving my full focus to the music. However, on reflection in this case it's quite fitting.

The first thing I noticed with the opening track 'The Great Wobble' was the excellent panning and was glad to have opted to listen through the headphones. It begins in a psychedelic manner and like many of the tracks on the album is of epic length and before I knew it I'd reached a wonderfully chilled atmosphere, which continued and kept me in a relaxed frame of mind until I'd completed my tasks and strangely enough emerged to give my full attention at the sixth track 'Emergance'. Which I have to say is a wonderful piece that begins with birdsong and other field recordings from the natural world. This is soon joined by an eastern sounding synth voice that just washes over you. It takes a while for the slow drum brushes to be introduced but you won't be disappointed with the wait.

To summarise this album is easy to get lost in. The tracks are somewhat similar and the epic length of the tracks and the ebb and flow of the music throughout the album are perfect for a chilled background and I for one am looking forward to exploring the tracks deeper in the future.

Review by Woodzee.