The Protons

January 24, 2012

Well, there’s no beating around the bush on this one, Portland outfit The Protons serve up tons of cool modern garage rock/surf instrumentals in the same vein as Man or Astro Man?, and even got the odd band member aliases down. Still they manage to steer clear of being outright copy-cats and the songs they offer up are pretty damn good. Add some nice  production – minus the samples MoAM? always used – and you got yourself a pretty good collection of tunes!

Great, sci-fi themed instrumental music – with a definitive slant on robots – showing off some great musicianship and cool  song ideas. There’s  eleven tracks – no album! – available on their Bandcamp as of now, but I gotta say it’s pretty annoying having each song as a separate release instead of collecting ’em all in one place. Let’s hope there’s an album coming soon!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://theprotons.bandcamp.com
Website: http://www.facebook.com/TheProtons

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The Black Mill Tapes Vol.3

January 23, 2012

Library music meets early synth retro with Pye Corner Audio‘s The Black Mill Tapes series, compiling what they claim are a collection of obscure cassette and 1/4″ reel tape recordings from an unknown artist recorded sometime in the 80’s. Compiled by The Head Technician (true identity apparently withheld), the third installment offers up twelve tracks of early transcendent electronica faintly reminiscent of late 70’s Kraftwerk.

We’re talking heavy Moog sounds with fairly primitive rythms, but it really works and oddly enough brought back a lot of memories from the golden days of video horror, as the songs really reminds me of soundtracks from Carpenter and even the Italo splatterfests by Lucio Fulci. Free downloads are available, so check ’em out!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://pyecorneraudio.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://pyecorneraudio.wordpress.com/

Travelers of Tyme

December 20, 2011

Well, surf music saw its fair share of overkill during the 90’s. After Pulp Fiction hit the mainstream bringing legends like Dick Dale back in the limelight the revival was set in full swing making quantity over quality the rule. Bands like The Phantom Surfers and Man or Astro Man? (deservedly) gained a following but there was a whole lot of outfits that were – to be honest – quite awful. US-based duo Travelers of Tyme offers up a nice personal take of surf on their first self-titled album, mixing in vintage spy-movie themes, jazz exotica, 60’s lounge and – dare I say it – schmaltz with the classic reverb-drenched sounds you’d expect. Amazingly well-produced, the album is varied and offers some really nice twists and turns, making it anything but predictable for the listener!

Prof. Yaya & Dr. Klem (as they call themselves) have been active since the 90’s, and has so far released a slew of 7″ singles and EP’s, plus a couple of compilation tracks (all collected on their Bandcamp), all of them with a fresh approach to the music making it quite hard to choose just one track to sample. Fans of all things instrumental should check ’em out!

Sample track:

Bandcamp
: http://tyme.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://www.tymetravelnow.com/

Megachurch

December 20, 2011

Well, I’ve already given these guys a plug by interviewing them in the latest issue of CRKO Magazine, but thought I’d give them some exposure here as well. Cleveland trio Megachurch is one odd outfit that offers up a brand of technical instrumental stoner rock that truly is one of a kind! I got hooked when I stumbled across a live clip on YouTube and a week later was an owner of their first self-titled EP. Two bassplayers, one drummer and tons of samples from crazed television preachers is their forte – and they’re damn good at it!

If you’re a fan of stoner rock, or just eclectic music in general, these guys sure offer up a different take on the genre with some nice, unspected twists and turns reminding me of those quirky hardcore outfits from late 80’s early 90’s. One EP, one full length and this past summer they released the EP MEGACHIP, covering their own first EP – Nintendo Entertainment System-style! Check ’em out!

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://megachurch.bandcamp.com/
Website: http://facebook.com/megachurch

Thorun

December 14, 2011

UK stoners Thorun‘s EP Chorus of Giants is the kinda record release/demo that makes you scratch your head wondering why they haven’t been signed to a label already. Maybe it’s because they dabble in instrumental music, a genre most people in the “industry” consider hard to market, but their brand of instrumental stoner rock is just perfect. Heavy riffs, great production, songs are good and varied without ever getting masturbatory (a risk pretty common with the metal genre).

Recorded live to keep the studio gimmickry to a minimum (giving them extra punk points for me!) they’re earning some well-deserved underground press and slots opening up for more established bands. Their first effort EP 2010: Reprise is available for free on Bandcamp as well as Megaupload.

Sample track:

Bandcamp: http://thorun.bandcamp.com/
Websitehttp://www.thorunband.com/