AURGANIC: Distant Echoes & Close Encounters

Aurganic is an experimental electronic/alternative studio project of two long-time friends Michael Kossov and Leo Pisaq. Originally high school classmates, they were members in a number of local punk rock bands until life and distance separated them for a number of years. They reconnected musically in 2010 finding a lot of common ground. This time it was electronica, art rock, and jazz that dominated the ideas. The reunited duo recorded instrumental sessions in New York and worked on their completion via internet resulting in a self-titled EP. Rooted in friendship, the project proved its longevity with four independent releases to date. Hailing from the Toronto/New York area, Aurganic’s sound revolves around experimental electronic elements blended with rock, post-rock, progressive rock and indie rock ingredients.

“Signs” has multi-layered vocal harmonies, intelligently placed electronics, and some crunchy guitar drives and starts off the album on a definite high. “Empires” has a Muse feel to it, but without sounding like a copycat with the electronics and guitars creating a great mix that makes the track stand out. “Invincible (In The Shadows)” has strong harmonies and continues the high quality of the previous songs. “Levitate” is a fantastic electro-pop song and is one of the best tracks on the album filled with great tracks. “Distant Echoes” has a slow melodic vibe that gives a nice change to the album, and also has great guitar playing. “Shaman” is a ballad with vocals electronically treated, acoustic guitar and very able drumming. The closer “Close Encounters” is an all-instrumental track that shows off the progressive leanings of the band and makes for a great ending to a fun album.

With various styles and textures, this album really gives the listener something to sink their teeth into and an exciting listen that makes you want to hit the play button again. Go out and give your ears a treat and pick this one up.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/10/aurganic-distant-echoes-close-encounters.html

https://www.aurganic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Aurganic/

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PATRICK GRANT: A Sequence Of Waves (Twelve Stories And A Dream)

Patrick Grant is originally from Detroit, now living in New York City, he studied at the world-famous Juilliard School and worked with Billy Joel and Quincy Jones on an international project for the Millennium, and in his work with Robert Fripp (King Crimson, Brian Eno, and David Bowie) & The Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists. The musicians on the album include Patrick Grant on guitar, bass, viola, piano, keyboards and percussion; John Ferrari on drums, mallet instruments and percussion; Nick Didkovsky on guitar; Dan Cooper on 7-string electric bass; Lynn Bechtold on violin; and Dan Barrett on cello.

A thirteen track, all instrumental album that has many moods and feels, like a soundtrack to an exciting movie that you want to keep listening to. With some rock, classical and progressive, you have a mixed bag with more choices than going out to a buffet. “Lucid Intervals” opens the album with strings, chimes and hand drums and sets you off on a great start. “Driving Patterns” has great electric guitar playing, piano, peppy percussion, and a fun drum beat. “Seven Years At Sea” has a field recording of echoed and looped vocals from the Hoffpauir sisters (Elita, Mary, and Ella), which was recorded in Louisiana in 1934. I have only touched on a few tracks here, but really, you can’t go wrong when you hit play, just pick a track and it will thrill you and take you away on an exciting trip.

Grab a copy and visit somewhere else, a place you may not have any idea where or when it is, but you will definitely enjoy the trip. A collection of songs that will keep you coming back for more and listen to over and over again, and keep a smile on your face at the same time.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/10/patrick-grant-sequence-of-waves-twelve.html

http://www.peppergreenmedia.com

https://www.facebook.com/patrickgrantnyc

GROUPOEM: Dirt Church

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The band began as Mr.Science in 1983 before transforming into Groupoem in 1986. The band first released a six song 12″ EP before embarking on a North American tour in 1987. They later returned to the studio where they recorded 10 songs in the summer of 1987 that are being released now for the first time, along with some new songs. The band then went on hiatus for 25 years and has now regrouped with all the original members that ironically, all four members of the band separately had migrated from Toronto to the Vancouver, BC area. The first nine tracks on this album represent the newest music, while tracks ten through eighteen are from 1987, and are a mix of punk rock and alternative.

If you are a fan of talking/singing, kind of how Lou Reed did it, this is for you. “Slimfast” is the kickoff track of this album, and one of their newer songs and has that vocal style mixed with some angular playing that really gives the song a nice edge to it. The vocals also give me a Stan Ridgway vibe with the shaky sound to them. The band has a great vibe going on with sharp guitar playing, and terrific drumming and the vocals that kind of are a step out of sync, but yet match up perfectly with the music. All of the new songs have a great sound and are exceptional, and then we get to the old ones…wow! The band sounds so different, you know, youth and different experiences can make a difference over time, but I wish that I had heard this band back in high school, I would have loved them, and I do now! The band just blows through these old songs at a breakneck pace and you really feel the power and enthusiasm that is present on these songs. One rager after another that will get your heart rate going and get your tired old ass up out of your chair and slamming in the front room.

I am so glad to hear their new songs and how they have moved on, but kept the great songs that they showed on the older tunes, but damn, they could really tear it up back then. A great collection of songs that shows a progression and a promise for more in the future from this talented group. Welcome back boys!

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/10/groupoem-dirt-church.html

https://www.facebook.com/groupoemband/

http://www.groupoem-band.com/

A mini documentary of the band’s reformation at YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccyYtHm7cc8

Spotify: https://goo.gl/UBWxUs

MAVARA – Consciousness

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Mavara is Iran’s first and premier progressive rock band, now based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and the name Mavara translates to “beyond everything you think.” The band was formed in 2001 by composer/keyboardist Farhood Ghadiri and over the years has had a fluid line-up of members, but currently Mavara is comprised of Ghadiri along with Ashkan Hamedi (vocals and guitar), Sina Khodaiefer (bass), Anis Oveisi (keyboards), and Jim Welch (drums).
Starting off with spoken word, “Invasion (636 Gregorian Calendar)” has an 11:39 running time that grabs you and gives you a look at how good they are at playing, as well as where the album is heading. The album has a flurry of dynamic vocals, shape-shifting rhythms, and technical guitar work and really gives the listener a lot to ingest as a first track. “Love for Centuries” begins with a haunting piano line, a great melody and just a great flow of emotions followed by the emotive vocals of Ashkan Hamedi. “Living the Fast Life” there are some truly soulful moments on this song, such as the fantastic guitar playing accompanied by terrific drumming. “High on Power” is almost a ballad and has a strong vocal performance that really stands out. “Consciousness” closes out the album the piano playing really impressed me, the additional keyboards and swirling guitar effects make this a monumental song.

With so much talent and the ability to grab your ears, this band really takes you on a journey and makes you want to hear more from them. With three other albums out there, this is proof that bands from countries you never think about can rock your ass off.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/09/mavara-consciousness.html

https://www.facebook.com/mavaraband

http://www.mavaraband.com/

https://mavara.bandcamp.com/album/consciousness

THE MOCK TURTLES: Turtle Soup (Expanded Edition)

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The Mock Turtles are an English indie rock band, formed in Middleton, Greater Manchester in 1985, who enjoyed some success in the early 1990s. Their song “Can You Dig It?” which was released in 1991, charted in the UK top 20 in 1991 and again in 2003. Led by former Judge Happiness singer Martin Coogan, older brother of actor/comedian Steve Coogan, the band began to pick up attention around 1990, with tracks such as “Lay Me Down” and “And Then She Smiles” on the Imaginary label. It was “Can You Dig It?,” however, which gained them wider attention. Originally a b-side to “Lay Me Down,” the band’s new record label, Siren, re-issued it with additional guitar work, and “Can You Dig It?” breached the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart.

This is a digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition, which represents their complete Imaginary catalogue, all of the Mock Turtles’ non-album singles and B-sides are included, together with the many cover versions they recorded for Imaginary’s popular tribute albums (covering The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix, Syd Barrett, The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart and The Kinks). In addition, Martin Coogan has unearthed no less than fourteen previously unissued Mock Turtles demos from his personal archive. Sleevenotes are by Mark Hodkinson (The Guardian, etc.), who was the first-ever journalist to review the band back in the mid-1980s. This collection features a massive forty-one tracks and with the great remastered sound, is a real treat for fans.

Being a DJ, and huge music fan, I was always on the hunt for something new to play in my set, I was downtown shopping and saw their original release as a cut-out in a store for $3 and having heard of them from reading the British music rags, I grabbed this CD and took it home. I played it as soon as I got there and loved what I heard and added it into my rotation and got good responses. Does this still hold up after all of these years? Hell yeah it does! Yes the singles are still as good as before, and the rest of the album still is great, but the bonus songs are what really makes this a winner. The end of disc one is filled out with tracks from the Pomona EP, singles and live tracks. Disc two has tracks that the band recorded for a comeback album in 2003 some of which made it on to the band’s Can You Dig It Greatest Hits CD, the great demos that give you an idea of where the band was both coming from and going, and some great covers of Syd Barrett’s “No Good Trying,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?,” The Byrds’ “Time Between and Why” into one killer tune, and, two Kinks songs, “Shangri-la” and “The Big Sky.”

With so many songs and the great sound and booklet, this is definitely a collection that goes beyond most reissues and is worth every penny. Get this album and relive one of the lost albums of the early ’90s and treat your ears to a listening experience that you won’t soon forget.

https://www.facebook.com/TheMockTurtles/

https://www.facebook.com/cherryredrecords

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

JACQUI L: PLANET PARALLEL 5

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Australian prog artist Jacqui L has released her debut album that is a conceptual piece that has ten tracks of intriguing music that will capture your attention. She states that she is a scorpion/alien from the planet PP5, but let’s not hold that against her.

Starting with an a capella that did nothing for me, I thought that this was going to be a hard listen, but then comes the first song with its Middle Eastern sound and then it started to happen, “Frankenstein” got into my head and I had to hear more. “I’ll Covet” has a great chorus and is a pretty heavy track that I just loved from the start. As I continued to listen, the songs became better and better, maybe this alien was corrupting me through her music, you never know. With great songwriting and tight playing, this was continuing to draw me in and then I got to “Cold” which had a great ‘70s vibe to it and almost a Supertramp sound to the keys.

I was thinking that this was going to be some sort of pretentious tripe, but it really was a fantastic album from start to finish. The people from planet PP5 are coming, and they can take me as their slave, as long as I can listen to this over and over again.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/09/jacqui-l-planet-parallel-5.html

http://www.jacquil.com/

https://www.facebook.com/PlanetParallel5/

https://jacquil.bandcamp.com/releases

The PSYATICS: Famous Monsters

The Psyatics are a three-piece garage, surf and noise band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Formed in 2012, the current lineup consists of Rob Bell (bass guitar and vocals), Jack Ball (guitar) and Mark Baertschi (drums). The band plays a mix of Rock, Punk, Garage, Noise, and Surf Rock with feeling.

With a glance at the cover, and the titles of the songs, you can see that they have a fascination for the more overt strangeness that other bands skip over: monsters, serial killers and B-movies, and for that alone, I salute them. The band mixes up all the different styles and comes up with a sound that takes your head and wraps it in craziness and power that should hurt, but feels like the hot breath of the werewolf breathing on your neck, scary and raises the hair on your body with excitement. The songs are catchy, and play with an intensity that is infectious and will get you dancing, or at least jumping around, either way, you will not be able to stand still while listening to this album. “You Killed Me First” has a great mix of funk and Two-tone ska that I really dug. “Burnt Offerings” has a great surf sound with manic vocals that really stuck with me. The songs are played with rawness and without a tongue in cheek sense of humor that makes them sound more convincing. The band isn’t a joke band, they really do like these twisted and strange things and give them the respect and love that makes for repeated listens. The band has a rawness to them that makes the album sound dangerous and creepy, but still has the ability to make you an instant fan.

Their third album is a definite anomaly in the music world nowadays, not easy to pigeon-hole and filled with more giddy strangeness than you would think most people would want to perform, but these guys love it and it shows with every lick played. The band has hit one out of the park with this album and it isn’t a baseball, it’s a severed head.

Also posted on: https://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-psyatics-famous-monsters.html

https://www.facebook.com/ThePsyatics/

https://thepsyatics.bandcamp.com/

www.psyatics.com