Hi all, it’s time to wrap up the year with some of our music picks of 2022. Thanks to all our readers and subscribers, have a great new year! //Mertsi & Leo
Article Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana
The Black Angels – Wilderness of Mirrors
With yet another fantastic album, the legendary Texan group The Black Angels cement their place among the very best of neo-psychedelic bands. In Wilderness of Mirrors, their riffs are rough and lyrics sharp as ever. This is a well-balanced album with a number of powerful psych tracks.
Abraxas – Monte Carlo
Abraxas is a new project by former Los Bitchos member Carolina Faruolo and Danny Lee Blackwell of Night Beats.
Monte Carlo is the duo’s enchanting debut, with influences of smoky latin rhytms, R&B, and dub. As Blackwell puts it: “Planet Abraxas is a world filled with jungles, mist-covered rivers, panthers lurking in the night, desolate shopping malls, Neolithic citadels and sand-worn walls.” I can’t wait to spin these songs on next year’s dj gigs.
[By the way, Blackwell was a gift that kept on giving this year; I could have easily added Night Beats’ wonderful Levitation Session to this list as well.]
La Femme: Levitation Sessions
In their Levitation live session, Parisian psych institution La Femme unleash a discography spanning set dripping in LSD and casual chic, transmitted from a smoky room in Normandy, France. The band chats a tad too much to my taste inbetween some tracks, but neverthless they absolutely nail the session with some mesmerising tunes and sparkling outfits. Try, for instance, the exotic-sounding ”Sphynx” or the wonderfully trippy ”Je Plane”.
Wild Rocket – Formless Abyss
Speaking of trippy, the Irish Wild Rocket takes you somewhere on the outskirts of cosmos. Formless Abyss, a swirling 41-minute repetitive groove consisting of three tracks, can be recommended for friends of Oranssi Pazuzu, Dark Buddha Rising, Circle, 10 000 Russos, or Lumerians.
And finally, some music video singles of the highest quality: improvised dance fiesta from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, some seriously fuzzy stuff from Goat, and some oceanic, super-smooth scenery by Baby Cool.
Kikagaku Moyo – Kumoyo Island
The Japanese psych rock band decided that past year will be their last. It’s a shame, but it can also be a blessing if their creativity is waning. The last album contains one of the bangers of the year, Dancing Blue, but as a whole it has not reached its predecessors Masana Temples (2018) and House in the Tall Grass (2016). But definitely enjoyable LP and worth checking out. The album also surprised with the amount of ambient soundscapes. It will be interesting to see what the band members come up with next. One thing to follow is label Guru Guru Brain founded by members Go and Tomo. They have released interesting stuff from bands like Dhidalah, Minami Deutsch and Mong Tong.
Tombstoned – Dangers Of The Fading High
As much a pick-up from last year as an expectation for this year. Finnish doom/stoner band Tombstoned released a new song after a long time on Weedian’s Finland compilation. The riff from the beginning is just so damn quivering. Hopefully more stuff coming soon.
Mildlife Live from South Channel Island
The pandemic eased this year and the gigs started to roll again. One band that was familiar before, but took things to a new level live, was Australian Mildlife. They are a sovereign live performer of psychedelic, danceable jazz-funk without any major gimmicks. The band has also toured with King Gizzard. This year Mildlife released a live album recorded on fort island instead of new studio material.
Kari Kosmos – Mielen aika (kirja)
Kiinnostava suomenkielinen kirja, joka on saattanut mennä monilta ohi. Vuonna 2021 syöpään kuolleen Kari Kosmoksen postuumisti julkaistu Mielen aika: psykedeelisen kulttuurin historia ja visio kertoo tajunnan laajentamisesta ja ihmisistä sen takana. Huom: Emme ole itsekään vielä päässeet kirjaa lukemaan, joten tämä suositus perustuu siihen, miltä kirja vaikuttaa. Lisää kirjasta Ylen jutussa. (A book recommendation, only in Finnish!)
Angelo Badalamenti (1937—2022)
This year, at least Hawkwind legend Nic Turner and kraut pioneer Manuel Göttsching have moved on to other frequencies. One of those who also touched me was Angelo Badalamenti, composer of David Lynch’s dreamy soundtracks. Here’s a video in his memory that always cheers the mood.
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