Okay I’m hearing what you are saying - that I’m sticking out my neck when I say that for a label that has had it waxen groove offerings graced by the likes of say Acid Mothers, Mudhoney, white hills, bardo pond, cave, circle, kinski and whoever else you fancy throwing in to the pan - that their forthcoming vinyl platter may well be their finest to date. Alright let’s qualify that a little by saying it’s the labels most immediate and accessible release to date and should see them getting some deserved airplay and affectionate nods from those who’ve previously looked upon the trademark trenSmat sound as not so much being left field but rather more in a field of its own. Not that we here have complained, each passing release has managed to up the quality control and stir the affections time and time again. But then Cloudland Canyon arrived. Docking at trenSmat and delivering their cosmic freight load, which sometime in November will arrest, mesmerise and trance out the turntables of those fortunate enough to have beaten the rush and acknowledged their interest in the pre order window. pressed up on 12 inch of heavy duty wax - we assume coloured wax - and housed in a silk screened sleeve, Cloudland Canyon return earthbound with a mother-load of reality morphing cosmic contraband which upon the grooves are pressed two colossal 10 minute motorik suites that will simply send you to the cosmos’ deepest reaches. Here you’ll find the deeply tranced out futuro retro groove of ’born blonde’ luxuriously re-translating the galactic tongues of a relocated to some mechanoid ruled dystopia Goblin and Zombi in full techno-colourised panoramic glory. And just when your neurons are suitably swooned and at near bliss kissed states the blighter shape shifts at the 7 minute mark and terra-forms to emerge from out of the decaying debris as a wig flipping horny slab of coolly coded buzz sawed mutant psych electro all draped and remodelled as a chicly tripped out hypno hyper gliding club floor destroyer. Equally tasty is ’sea cycles’ which imagines Vangelis’ ’blade runner’ soundtrack trip-wired to a darkly alluring android discothèque where fragments of a civilisations long abandoned past are preserved in piecemeal fashion by way of a rummaging of refuge sites whereupon a badly scratched and overplayed to near expiration copy of Moroder / Summer’s ’I feel love’ is wired to stutter to a dream weaving locked groove. Additional aural delights come by way of 2 downloads bolstering the set to a bulging all in 35 minute lunar odyssey where ’four fold phase’ hooks seductively onto the dreamy blessed out cascades of Jean Michel Jarre’s ’magnetic fields’ and the lulling lunar lullaby that is ’sunbirds’ stitches together with a seamless starry eyed fondness the heavenly night sky glowing fault-lines that connect Sonic Boom’s experimental audio research with the silver apples. Utterly essential ear candy.
The Sunday Experience
From time to time, we are delivered a song that exists in the overlap zone of the Venn diagram of our obsessions. A song to unite the tribes. Cloudland Canyon’s ‘Born Blonde’ is the latest example.
The subject of the e-mail where Trensmat informed us about it (like scouts arriving from the wild frontier with tremulous reports of a great shadow rising) simply said ‘Kosmische/Italo’. Which is a pithy way to summarise how the barbarians invaded the empire, and in doing so they destroyed the empire, but also were destroyed by it. Something else lived on, it splays in the shadows of ruined patios, stretching its limbs, ogling the rapidly healing scars where the graft was done, cooing. What was an angelic ambient harmony has become fierce praxis, like relativistic equations applied into nuclear fission. The cybernetic drone that used to announce massacre elevates into a chant of communion. This is a beautiful falcon, hunting for eyes. It is coming.
The synthesis we describe is easier to see in the full version of Born Blonde – in there, the episode of ‘Bobby O was wrong so we drowned’ we have smacked you with today is arrived at via 7 minutes of full-on starship-troopers codeine jamming. Mastered by Sonic Boom from Spacemen 3. You will have to wait for the reunion until the middle of November. We must warn you the 12-inch is now sold out. Boo hoo. Move faster next time.
20 Jazz Funk Greats
Latest from these long time aQ faves, a heady blast of kosmische kraut-synth bliss, released on the always ruling Trensmat label, and like the last few records, this new 12" finds them continuing on in their deep space-ward trajectory, the sound minimal, but simultaneously dense and driving, a relentless cascade of pulsating synths, swirling sequenced melodies, like the best bit of the Logan's Run soundtrack, looped and layered, and distorted and sent swirling into the ether. It's like the soundtrack to some tripped out sci-fi art film, totally hypnotic and WAY psychedelic, new age cranked to 11, at least until about 6 minutes into the first track, where programmed drums come crashing in, bringing with them, a thick pulsing bassline, and dreamy ethereal female vox, the resulting hybrid a rad mix of dubbed out electro pop and swirling kraut-drone synth-wave.
The flipside is more rhythmic and industrial, a sort of looped and lumbering robo-kraut, crunchy beats, jagged melodies, super distorted buzz drenched bass rhythms, swirling sci-fi shimmer over the top, dense and driving, and relentless, less dancefloor groove, and more fever dream freakout. These guys just keep getting better.
The lp includes a download of the two tracks on the record proper, as well as two extra bonus tracks, nearly fourteen minutes, the first some seriously dreamy celestial new age, all swirling synths, and woozy rhythmic pulsations, the second a dense tangle soft chaos, a roiling cloud of intertwined melodies, swooping effects and processed synth squelch, dreamily hypnotic and cosmically psychedelic.
Already out of print and sold out at the label, we got a bunch, but once we sell out, we may not be able to get more, so best grab one before they're gone. Packaged in super striking, hand screened pink on white jackets.
Cloudland Canyon’s last 12”, on the Great Pop Supplement and now sadly long gone, was crammed full of blissed out cosmic synth action crammed with spacious analogue drones and hypnotic modular burblings. Those of you who enjoyed that little astral snacksickle will no doubt be salivating over this one already, since the trio are laying down two ten minute jams which take us on a whole new Emeraldsy space voyage.
The pace is quite lively on side A’s ‘Born Blonde’, with busy arpeggios repeating all over the place, drifting into a kind of Kosmonaut-meets-Egyptology droning layered electrokraut trance-inducer before an unexpected cold wavey section towards the end of the first track with blurred vocals over a pulsating bass loop.
Flip it and ‘Sea Cycles’ has some more bubbling modular flotsam which is abruptly joined by an aggressive, pumping beat for a hard, dark techno stomper which has prompted our Kim to start singing Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’ over the top. On the whole this EP seems a lot more dancefloor-friendly whilst still maintaining the focus on cosmic synth that you loved about them in the first place. Pretty cool.
Apart from very limited copies to selected shops, our releases are only available on pre-order to our mail-list :