Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
Class M Planets is the project of Adam Goldman from Portland, OR (I’ll have to check with my friend Roger Neville-Neil if he’s aware of this musician) and while it’s clearly not space-rock – you guessed that from the cover image, right? – it’s going to interest blog readers who enjoy that sort of bucolic, pastoral, alt-folk psych singer-songwriter music that Cary Porter’s acrylic cover painting exactly suggests.
The accompanying press release for this LP, released in July 2014, invokes Syd Barrett and Marc Bolan, and a smattering of Leonard Cohen and I’d add that perhaps it just about swaps an orbit with Twink or much more particularly Ian A. Anderson but then again it’s quite charming enough to standalone. Regular readers of the blog will likely remember Adam for his split 7” single with Bevis Frond that I’d reviewed back in 2013, playing as thebrotheregg and releasing just as enchanting a record then.
Sixteen tracks, with Goldman working alongside different musicians on each, all reflect the vividness of that striking cover painting – again to quote the PR on this “the final product is a beautiful, 180 gram, vinyl album with full-colour gatefold and insert” – brief but gently crafted songs that have a contradiction to them simply because they are spaciously lo-fi but still lushly realised. A neat trick, I’d say.
So what these songs are, they’re wrapped up in an ethereal mysticism and still they’re about the here and now of real life. They’re elegant and approachable, heartfelt intimacies. As sparse as, say, a Pulco record, as neatly simple as a BMX Bandits song and as satisfyingly complex as you’d want.
Lizards Exist note themselves to be a space/psychedelic rock band from Croatia with influences from the 60s/70s Kraut and British prog rock scene. “Using only 100% analog vintage equipment (pre 1976) we bring these vintage sounds in its original form to the listener.” A visit to their Facebook page tells us their line-up: Boris - Drums Roko Margeta (aka Grimble Gromble) - Keyboards, Synths Siniša Mraović (aka Captain Binson) – Guitar, Tihomir Zdjelarević – Bass.
The eponymous album, four tracks, that is available on-line is their first, a meandering and loose instrumental collection leaning most heavily towards their Krautrock inspirations; recorded in March 2014. It’s intense and abstract, the musicians winding their way through the music in studious, serious, manner and in that respect it does have the early part of the 1970s clinging to it. Brozović is busy on the drum kit without being intrusive, working around it without having to hit everything Clem Burke-style but keeping the whole thing moving in the right direction and allowing his colleagues to deviate and explore.
The British influence comes through as stylistically Canterbury in their experimenting but there’s also a energetic groove happening throughout the recordings that means that while they sound almost chin-strokingly thoughtful about what they’re doing, there’s also some liveliness to their music and some judicious deconstructing into noise.