When you’re a kid and first getting into music, your mind is kind of a blank slate. You probably listened to the music your parents played, or Top 40 radio or some other outlet of music that in all likelihood was like that lane at the bowling alley with the bumpers up. Safe.
Your musical taste is formed on what you hear or can get a hold of. You didn’t have your own money to experiment on albums or to take a chance on a CD of a band you never heard of before. Your money was precious. Even when eventually you are able to afford it you probably still buy what you’re hearing. One of my first albums was a collection of TV Theme songs. Songs like “Chico and The Man”, “Welcome Back Kotter”, “Laverne and Shirley” and “Happy Days”. It’s what I knew. OMG! I found a pic of it. It was on Peter Pan records, so you know it was edgy.
Anyway, you don’t realize that there are plenty of styles of music you just have never heard.
I remember hearing reggae for the first time. It was eye opening. When I first heard the Blues, oh man, it changed me. African bands, Dub, sitar… I have had many such firsts along the way and you would think that after all this time and all this music that I have run out of corners of the musical universe to delve into, but…
you are never more than 3 steps away from getting your mind blown.
Step 1: I had someone reach out to me via my site about Couch Flambeau, a band we both like, and we nerded out about the band and its members and what they were doing and had done with other bands. I learned about a band that the drummer Ron played in and decided to check it out.
Step 2: The name of the band was F/i. Interesting and memorable name. I figured my internet/musical workhorse YouTube would reveal it to me. I was right. I was able to find it to listen to and the first impression given to me by the album artwork was a bleak dystopian vibe…
but as soon as it started playing I sat dead still in my chair and was amazed. I was in love with this immediately. It is chugging, spinning, grinding space rock, stoner rock, whatever you want to call it, and it is full of spacey sounds and reminds me a bit of early Pink Floyd and Hawkwind… but only the best parts.
I devoured “Paradise Out Here” and “A Question For The Somnambulist” another F/i album I was able to find. This is great stuff and I intend to get more.
Here is the Discogs listing https://www.discogs.com/artist/94864-Fi
and they have a few releases on Bandcamp of which I do not hesitate to recommend “Space Mantra”. Link below.
A lot of their early releases were only on cassette, so if you find any out there, snatch them up!
Step 3: The Youtuber who hosted the F/i album also had loads of other psych and space and I scrolled through them and looked at the trippy covers and wondered about them. I was familiar with the band Earth (saw them live in Madison) and Otis had just given me Black Sky Giant and Kinski, so I was primed for this kind of sound, but had never really delved in too deeply. On a whim I decided to play one by a band called Electric Moon. It was called “Mind Explosion (Live)”
…and that is exactly what happened.
This album, to quote John Zorn, “Totally took my head off.” Something like this:
Electric Moon is a German 3 piece band composed of
- Sula Bassana (guitar, casio, effects)
- Komet Lulu (fuzz bass, synth, effects)
- Marcus Schnitzler (drums)
and the sounds these guys can make is mesmerizing. I was doing a slow head bang through it all. This is very much like F/i but with a pinch of doom for flavor. This particular album has only 4 songs, all over 17 minutes long. It is quite an experience. Between songs when you can hear the audience it sounds like a small club, not a big venue.
To see the guys in action check out this live show at Rockpalast
The sound is just swirling and driving and pounding and yet Sula is basically just standing quietly with his hands and fingers shredding and sometimes he crouches and messes with effects and manipulates the sound, almost creating another instrument with his pedals and effects tools. It is crazy to see how little movement is creating such a huge moving sound landscape.
Electric Moon is on Bandcamp and I suggest you go to their page and get you some.
They have a lot of releases and plenty to explore.
So, in conclusion, you never quite know when you’re gonna get your mind blown, but be thankful that it still happens. I love getting pulled in different direction than normal and experiencing bands I never would have come across if I followed the same old path.
Thanks F/i and Electric Moon. You made my day!