Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Wild and Wooly Cherrystones Word CD Plucks George Brigman's Blowin Smoke from the Bona Fide CD I Can Hear the Ants Dancin!

What can one do when the somewhat empty so called trendy and/or hip crate digging DJ scene casts its eye or some dark shadowy pleasure that exudes its own creepy glow? Well you grab the ball and you run with it, waving your freak flag high, reveling in the waves of sound just like DJ Cherrystones aka Gareth Goddard has done with his new Poptones comp Cherrystones Word. A total celebration of all things fuzzy distorted and just not right, Stones Word unearthes buried treasures spanning the 70s and 80s, the known and the unknown, with the main theme being a twisted vision of a psychedelic ghetto. Naturally, when talk of a psychedelic ghetto comes up, George Brigman's now benchmark ghetto vibe Jungle Rot has carved a deep niche and it's not surprising that Cherrystones has included George's followup 45 from 1977 "Blowin Smoke" on his new comp, as the propulsively funky rhythm provides a backdrop to some wicked guitar screech which is indeed Blowin Smoke! Kudos to Mr Stones and Doug Shipton too for not only snagging that great cut from the Bona Fide CD I Can Hear the Ants Dancin, but also asking permission for its use and giving proper credit! They deserve it, for unlike their fellow countryman Steven Carr of Fallout Records, they do value the artists they release and don't rip them off!

You'll find the Brigman track sandwiched between two true heavyweights, the desperate rock and roll of Fred Cole's awesome Dead Moon and the gritty avant-street punk of the Deviants, two bands who blazed brightly and will be remembered for their powerful unrelenting attacks on convention. Yet, those only offer hints of crazier and more obscure treats to come. Its a mini-tour around the world for exotic tracks from Germany (Nosferatu and Midnight Circus), San Fransisco (Chrome), Holland (Bintangs), Greece (George Ramons), Spain (Fusioon) and France(Lard Free). The amazing Lard Free track "Warinoberil" features a loping, repetitive bass line, a lone snare and a honking horn suddenly interrupted by the violent strumming of a discordant guitar which soon starts squealing. Jazz? Progressive? Psych? Funk? Yes, and its abrupt end signals the end of the roller coaster ride that is Cherrystones Word. You can call it proto-prog-punk or simply psychedelic in the original sense of the word, a sense of wonder or a state of mind. This goes beyond psychedelia and beyond freakbeat into an area that really cant be defined, pigeonholed or labeled. What these tracks have in common is an artistic vision that is both driven and innate. You cant put its feel into a jar or paint it on a wall. Its the path you chose when you realize that you are on a mission and everyone else thinks you are nuts. What can one do but dive headfirst into these sympathetic sounds?