Sunday, July 28, 2013

Re-populating the bag

Hey folks! Over the past few weeks, i've been busy re-populating the bag with a beautiful array of tapes and vinyl - kind of a summer break.  Heady times here at Honest Bag.  Reviews will begin to appear around August 5th.  Until then, remember to change the bong water, and, most importantly, extend kindness to those who you encounter.

peace and love, friends :)


Friday, July 12, 2013

Chalaque - Sounds From the Other Ideology (FCR23)

the gift that continues to give.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Look out!  Sounds From the Other Ideology is coming for your head.  There is nothing which will mitigate its raw, psych fury from permeating your consciousness.  Sometimes the connection with music is instantaneous.  Sounds From the Other Ideology, on crystal-covered Feathered Coyote, did not spend any time in the bag incubator.  Rather, this beast of a tape was fully formed and prepared to captivate hearts and minds from the start.  With Nick Mitchell -founder of Golden Lab Records- related projects, that seems to be the rule, rather than the exception.  Nick's other project, Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, was absorbed into the head similarly.

Every so often, a release comes around that makes one smile and remember the reason they love music.  Sounds From the Other Ideology is that type of cassette.  Chalaque is Nick's solo and collaborative project.  Sounds From the Other Ideology is a live recording that features Nick on guitar and vocals; Eric Hardiman (Rambutan, Burnt Hills) on bass; and Pascal Nichols (Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides) on drums.  These two sides of blistering, frenetic psych jams possess the prodigious energy of Eternal Tapestry's Palace of the Night Skies and the uncompromising, raw beauty of a WCYT? nug. For any lover of psych or wild sounds, this tape will not disappoint.

Holy indica!  Straight from trichome heaven, Sounds From the Other Ideology joins Astral Body Electric as my jams of the year.  Already sold out at Volcanic Tongue, I believe the remaining copies are available from the source.

peace and love, friends :)      

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Datashock - Status Bloed - Modus Dummheit (MDDM48)

dessert will arrive once dinner is smoked.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

A few months ago, we got Eiderdowned to a bunch of crystal-covered zoners from Datashock.  Well, the Saarlouis gang has returned with an offering of psych burners and experimental zoners. Status Bloed - Modus Dummheit, released on Meudiademorte, is comprised of outtakes from the forthcoming 2LP, Keine Oase in Sicht, on Dekorder.  These tracks are so tasty that it makes me think dessert will be smeared in lovely hash oil!

  Pressing play is analogous to accelerating to the zenith, as the gang shifts into high gear immediately with some super stoney psych rock - admirers of west coast psych rock and Eternal Tapestry will dig these vibes.  Subsequent to baking nicely with that trichome-laden jam, the nascent glow of the sun meets and then rises over the trembling horizon.  As the head acquiesces to the changing conditions, a gorgeous meditation follows saturated with flowing tones, tribal percussion, echoing guitar and an instrument that sounds like a theremin.  Tones flare in the azure sky, as drone surges atop of entrancing rhythms.  Toward the end, a jam ensues.  The flip is such a wild trip! 'Oohaa, da kommt der Schaffner!', has a vibe not dissimilar to the second track on side A.  Heady percussion is fleshed out by sweetly flowing violin, incantations and guitar that glistens in the haze.  However, they save the best for last. 'Das gab's schon alles, und zwar besser...' is music for a cosmic ashram.  When you arrive at the door, one bows in obeisance - ascent is a breath away.  The track commences mysteriously.  And, the listener will certainly be aware of the hazy environs replete with ominous keys; sinuous theremin that writhes through the bloodstream; resonating tones; incantations; and spacey effects.  One thing is for sure:  these folks lay down some potent psych jams and cosmic zoners.  And then, out of nowhere, the energy shifts in the stardust.  The drums come in thick and the track adopts a heavy character - beautiful!

Over here in the Land of Trichomes, it's not a coincidence that when Datashock fills the room with their incomparable sonic energy, the bong water percolates effervescently.  Simply put, if you travel in these zones, then Datashock should be part of your daily listening regiment.  The presentation is gorgeous:  Pro full color printed 3 panel fold cover; Coffee flavored inlay sheet; Black tapes with gold print.  Limited to 100 copies, Status Bloed - Modus Dummheit may be purchased from Datashock, or directly through Meudiademorte.

peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Garment District - Nature-Nurture (Sonic Boom Remix) b/w Miraculous Metal/Vigor (La Station Radar)

summer daze.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Pittsburgh-based artist and multi instrumentalist, Jennifer Baron as The Garment District, weaves a myriad of aural pathways through the listener's head on this 7" from La Station Radar, which features Nature-Nurture (Sonic Boom Remix) b/w Miraculous Metal/Vigor.  Jennifer's debut tape on Night People, Melody Elder, at the cross-section, blended psych pop brilliance; synth and guitar ambience; and sound collages to great effect.  'Only Air', the first track from Melody Elder, demonstrates Jennifer's acute proficiency for creating the kind of pop music that would make the High Llamas; Brian Wilson; and Walter Becker and Donald Fagan of Steely Dan smile.  That track had my head spinning in reverie.  Naturally, I expected to the rest of the tape to focus on this type of electric pop music.  However, that which followed was nothing like it.  Rather, it was unexpected and better than I could have imagined. Jennifer's diverse sonic universe arrays itself on the top shelf where the finest nugs glisten in the sunlight.  Her penchant for synth and guitar-driven experimental music travels the spectrum from ethereal, hazy and warm to dark and dreamy tones that fray and heave - sounds that would find a cozy spot next to artists on Warp Records.                       

The version of Nature-Nurture on Melody Elder possessed a languorous, dreamy quality.  The vocals of Lucy Blehar, drifting and saccharine-coated, left vapor trails as they slowly expanded throughout the head.  Juxtaposed to her mellifluous voice were keys with opaque and crystalline textures, guitar and occasional percussion.  Toward the end, oscillating, ethereal tones glisten in the light.  With Sonic Boom at the controls, Nature-Nurture attains a height replete with opaque sonic architecture.  It billows in the head of the listener, endowing it with hazy abundant character.  Lucy's vocals acquiesce to the crystal-covered atmosphere, drifting serenely among notes that squirm and keys that surge with mysterious energy. The flipside features two new tracks.   The first one, 'Miraculous Metal', finds Jennifer exploring sonic landscapes featuring a multitude of textures that dance atop entrancing rhythms.  This track pulsates with vitality.  The cloudy/opaque keys at the beginning are contrasted to the soaring keys that shift in the mix, which occurs later in the track.  With the rhythms situated perfectly in the mix, a deluge of electric droplets cascade in the background while sustained beams of concentrated energy ascend.  A section of lustrous notes is followed by a shift in tone near the end.  The other track on side B, 'Vigor', contains introspective tones that resonate within the listener - a much different track than 'Miraculous Metal'.

Released in an edition of 300 copies, this 7" features the artwork of Jesse Treece, who utilized Jennifer's collection of vintage magazines to construct by hand the gorgeous collages that adorn the front, back and labels.  Secure your copy directly from La Station Radar.  It is also available at Rough Trade, Norman and Experimedia.                

peace and love, friends :)

original track from Melody Elder, on Night People 

Friday, July 5, 2013

German Army - Burushaski (< Beläten )

 dark, dank and mysterious is how we roll at honest bag. peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Mysterious analog hallucinations from Germany Army make the flowers go up in smoke. Burushaski, on Beläten pulsates with mystical energy.  One may start this 29 minute odyssey rooted to chair.  However, these jams animate one quickly.  There has been some conjecture about this project and its origin.  Here is what I do know: Burushaski smokes one out with omnipresent, low hanging energy and obscure rituals.  This tape will catapult one many moons away.  It's tape music made for a voyage into the unpredictable night, leaving a trail of trichomes as one catches the dank, dark wave on which this project resides.  Given the dearth of information on the project, the title provides one clue.  In a broad sense, it refers to communication.  When one scrutinizes it more closely, Burushaski refers to a language without a demonstrated relationship to any other language or family of languages.  It breathes through the love, devotion, perseverance and fidelity of its speakers.

  German Army eviscerates the filter and fills the listeners head with lo-fi nugs comprised of analog synths, drum computers and samplers.  The artist(s) are able couple mangled samples and an array of rhythms with layers of somber analog synth.  One of my favorite aspects of this tape is the manner in which the synths are layered.  Vibrant, resonant notes may exist next to heady beats and obscure samples; yet, shortly a layer of light synth is added to great effect. These are well-constructed tracks.  The third track on side A, 'Stone Walls', is more like a song compared to the others.  Meanwhile, the synths are singed and buzzing on the last track of A, 'Mirror Analyst'.  Side B is a treasure.  The alien rhythms and burned out sounds of 'Clan Bride' lead one into two of the best tracks on the album, Bantu and Evening Gold, respectively.  'Evening Gold' possesses these plodding rhythms and muffled synth.  The desolate notes and heavy beats toward the end are beautiful!

German Army tapes disappear quickly.  Burushaski may be purchased directly from Beläten

peace and love, friends :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Numinous Eye - Clockwork Moon (MVD5703LP)

interstellar trichomes for these spacey top shelf jams.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

There's nothing like accelerating toward a glistening star in a spacecraft comprised of 180 gram vinyl!  Provided the deluxe vinyl treatment by Nod and Smile Records, Space/psych rockers Numinous Eye lay down their most cohesive tracks to date.  Clockwork Moon sees Mason Jones and Mike Shoun take their craft to the next level.  Where the trichome-laden Sloow tape, The Tunnel at the End of the Light, expanded minds with heavy, fuzzed out space rock excursions, cosmic effects and heady drumming, Clockwork Moon harnesses that obliterating psych energy and redirects it toward song structure and an expanded sonic palette- all the time retaining the elements that made the Sloow tape such a great listen.  There are moments of Sloow haze that shimmer in the cosmos, which are circumscribed by well-composed tracks.  The layers of sound resonate beautifully on vinyl; the clean sound allows the listener to absorb the myriad layers of heavy sound emitted by Mason's multifaceted guitar playing and Mike's excellent drumming.  Additionally, Clockwork Moon boasts echoing vocals, synths, bass and an array of other instruments.  Admirers of Pink Floyd, Sonic Youth and Carlton Melton will find plenty about which to salivate. Clockwork Moon is a potent statement and, hopefully, a glimpse of the future.

Immediately, with the drop of the needle, the listener is captivated by echoing vocals and resonant guitars.  Already, one perceives a change in the way they structure a track - more like a song - which allows their proficiency to shine through.  The pace climbs the ladder throughout.  Subsequent to the initial section, driving guitars, deep bass and propulsive drumming endow the track with enhanced energy.  Toward the end, the Sloow crystals go up in smoke with a section of blistering guitar.  Another impressive track is the last one on side A, 'Building Dreams'.  The sinuous guitar blazes with unpredictable energy; it moves like a neurotransmitter racing around the head.  'Reduced to Ash' is my honest bag bong special of the day.  For me, it's the best track on the album and the one that brings everything together.  From the start, one perceives that this track is different from the others.  For one thing, the pace is much different.  More so, the tribal drums, echoing guitars and vocals move into zones that fans of Sun Araw will appreciate.  Ascending guitars toward the middle lead to a section of sacred drift.  We arrive in the ether via the hazy psych drift of 'Dreaming in the Dusk'.  An absolute zoner, the peaceful, introspective feel of the intro settles the listener.  Periodic explosions of percussion - similar to a gong - shimmer in the stereo field.  The languorous pace is apt for this track.

  It's difficult to believe this album has been sitting around for nearly three years - all hail Nod and Smile!  Straight from the top shelf to your waiting head, Clockwork Moon was mastered by Scott Colburn.  It is limited to a pressing of 500 copies on black vinyl.  Heads unite at AQ, the best domestic price!    

peace and love, lunar friends :)