NEW MUSIC TUESDAY ALBUM REVIEWS – aave, Kollektion 5, Stone Foundation

aave, There’s Nothing

aave-theres-nothingNashville’s aave offers more robust takes on psychedelic sounds than many contemporaries. Guitars and percussion are harder driving, their vocal harmonies tend toward longer and significantly deeper.

Built from a collective search for hypnotic, sonic experimentation, the band only filled out a couple of years ago with the addition of a rhythm section. With that inclusion, the backbone to one of the finer psychedelic rock outfits was at last born.

Rolling out at eight tracks, There’s Nothing is the band’s first proper album. I was particularly fond of the churning title song, with a particularly satisfying tingle of plaintive in the vocals and “Turn Me Off” the album closer, which starts off somber and gradually that unfurls its emotional depth through a progressively intensifying beat.

The early word on aave (Finnish for ghost) draws comparisons to Flaming Lips and Tame Impala. On its nose, those seem fair. Those bands, particularly in their use of space and vocal harmonies are a fit, but they’re far more provocative with experimentation. It’s not as though aave has abandoned their previous sense of sonic playfulness, but it’s not a focus. With songs like these though, I don’t know that it needs to be.

Want to check aave’s album out? Check out their Facebook page for more, here.

Conrad Schnitzler, Kollektion 5

BB188_Kollektion05_Quadrat_RGB_300Among my favorite ambient collections currently going are the Kollektion series, made largely up of European noise and avant-garde artists. Often tending toward the obscure and original, Kollektion mines artists that remain undiscovered on our side of the pond (except by those aficionados).

I’ve reviewed previous records in the collection here.

Kollektion 5 of that series is no different, a curated assemblage of nineteen tracks covering the works of Conrad Schnitzler, an extraordinary impresario of electronic sounds and design. With a career as unconventional as his sound, the German born member of Tangerine Dream and Kluster, Schnitzler released music over five decades before his passing in 2011. The tracks on Kollektion 5 are sourced from all over his career, capturing the curious zeitgeist pervasive in his sound, the ground breaking work he contributed as a soundtrack and foley artist as well as the relentless boundary pushing that made him a luminary name.

The Kollektion series is a must have. Here is how you can find more.

Stone Foundation, A Life Unlimited

stone-foundation-a-life-unlimitedWhen you first press play on “Beverly” the opening track on Stone Foundation’s latest album A Life Unlimited the word that comes to mind is smooth. Brassy horn accents push in over the silky bass line, climbing into a gentle crescendo, rousing a deeply satisfying grin in anyone listening. The song effortlessly rouses that rare sensation that the only thing left to do is get up and move.

British soul veterans Stone Foundation successfully meld funk and soul with intimately satisfying blues on one of the summer’s better uplifting albums. This is uplifting at the core. These are songs crafted by crafty dudes (including Graham Parker and Nolan Porter) who have been all over the lover’s globe and groom the kind of moxie to tell about it. With a slow beat, “Pushing Your Love” feels like a little Motown on the bone, while the longer, more jazzy experimental “Speak Your Piece” turns back an R&B clock, tempting comparisons to Curtis Mayfield and Issac Hayes.

All the comps seem too easy though; they’re almost unfair. There is a savvy songwriting and execution that only comes with age. And it only comes with listening to the record, something that’s worth your warm, August afternoon. So go ahead, and do it.

Want to see more of this blog? Subscribe here for updates on new music, music for writers and the curious writer’s life.