Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring = Elephant 6

"Xylophone's Gently Breathing"
(photo by konrad wolf)
We are officially 24 hours away from the first day of Spring, but mild weather and prolonged sunlight have already forced my listening habits to change from the cold sounds of hibernation (Grouper, Beach House, Pocahaunted, Mazzy Star) to the rejuvenating warmth of psychedelic pop, aka the lucid sounds of the Elephant 6 collective. While it'd be silly to try and pin down "the sound" of the prolific, yet still criminally underrated collective, for me the E6 ethos can be summed up by the onslaught of Spring; blooming buds, heightened sun, April showers and a woozy, mushy brain courtesy of allergy medication. (Ed note: I just noticed it's snowing. WTF!)

Of particular interest has been The Olivia Tremor Control's monumental opus Black Foliage: Animation Music Vol.1, a massive collection of wobbling found sound experiments, fuzzed out bliss pop and hallucinatory marvel, which is as much a soundtrack of the Elephant 6 collective's hey-day as it is a swan song from one of its most influential acts. Psychedelic in both its sound and aesthetic, Black Foliage... was heavily influenced by the nonsensical oddities of dreams, so much so that the band asked fans to send in tapes describing their dreams, many of which are included on Black Foliage's final track, "Hilltop Procession (Monumental Gaining)". While the subconscious mind plays a key role on the record, so does sunshine, which acts as a motivating factor on pop gems "A New Day" and "I Have Been Floated", two of OTC's most accomplished tracks.

The Olivia Tremor Control- A New Day

The Olivia Tremor Control- I Have Been Floated

Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour "I Have Been Floated"


Anonymous said...

Being from the south I have deep admiration and love for this group of musicians. I'm with you on the OTC, but I have had a hard time getting the Major Organ and the Adding Machine album off my record player in preparation for the warmer months (as well as a way to fight off seasonal effective disorder).

I wonder if any of the new Circulatory System LPs will see the light of day this year? I hope so (it rumored that they already have two or three full lengths worth of material). Supposedly the first one in the first half of 2009, and also I have heard rumors of a Sunshine Fix/Circulatory System split 7".

The new addition to the group, Nana Grizol, is pretty awesome too.

Long Live E6!

McG said...

Oh man, I'd kill for a copy of Major Organ on wax. In fact, I'd kill for some OTC too. Recently peeped eBay and there were some going for 25 each, should probably monitor those.

As for Circulatory System, they had some new tracks on their MySpace. One was "same place", which I wrote about last Spring when these rumblings were beginning to take form. Needless to say, really hoping these 3(!!!) albums worth of material see the light of day.

Anonymous said...

Check out the Orange Twin store. Major Organ LPs are only $10