In the Court of The Flaming Lips

In 2012, The Flaming Lips invited several bands to cover King Crimson‘s 1969 debut album, giving them complete access to their Oklahoma recording studio. The line-up included New Fumes, Linear Downfall, Spaceface, and Stardeath and White Dwarfs, a band Coyne’s nephew plays in.

Playing Hide and Seek with the Ghosts of Dawn is a complete deconstruction and reinterpretation of the King Crimson original. Each cover weaves the original melodies into those of the bands and their diverse palette of sound effects.

The 21st-Century Schizoid Man is a complete psycho created by Linear Downfall. The album opens with a dense megalomania of technological and mechanical sound effects in a ‘grungy,’ crumpled sound. During the highly rhythmic sections, however, the band gives a relaxed recitation of these sections compared to the original which was executed very precisely. Aside from that, the song retains its neurotic tendencies throughout its entirety.

New Fumes depict I Talk to the Wind in a tranquil, watery atmosphere removed from the ordinary world. Calmness remains before a ‘dysfunctional,’ ‘cosmic’ solo unfurls and gradually disappears into the quiet resolve.

All five bands contribute to give the mournful Epitaph a colorful repainting free and unrestrained in sound.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ6jqG0x9i8

Spaceface open Moonchild with an abrasive guitar sounding as if it were being ripped. The song is full of immense energy and sound throughout before giving way to a pleasant, mantra-like instrumental with a watery guitar bringing to mind Pink Floyd‘s Echoes. If you listen to the lyrics, you’ll also find that the album’s name derives from a line in this song.
The more minimal In the Court of the Crimson King is surprisingly disappointing. Instead of a bombastic finish, Stardeath and White Dwarfs present stagnant vocal melodies on a repeat loop and song revivals here and there with the sudden appearance of a sound effect. The song had the potential to sound great and very grand, but the minimal approach didn’t work out and resulted in an underwhelming song lacking in originality.
Nearly each band impressively deconstructs the King Crimson original on Playing Hide and Seek… Dawn as they blend the main melodies into each of their individual styles to create a contemporary reworking of a progressive classic.

Tame Impala

“Imagine a wizard with robes and a staff, like, eye to eye with an impala and it was frozen, tamed just for one moment, and then it was off again, wild and free.” Such is the experience when listening to the exploding guitar solo in Desire Be Desire Go, or the hypnotising groove in Skeleton Tiger by one of Australia’s foremost ‘psychedelic bands,’ Tame Impala.
Tame Impala is kind of just the recording project that I’m the boss of. I’ve had it for many years, with different friends and musicians helping me out,” stated the ‘band’s’ main-man, Kevin Parker. As to how the project is structured, he best surmised it as being composed of “…two halves: one half is the recording side which is very calculated and pieced together, and the other side is the live side, where we take what’s been recorded and turn them into live songs,” and that’s where Parker calls his friends from other projects to play alongside him.
As a live band, Tame Impala transform the songs through improvisation and the addition of their own things instead of trying to replicate the studio sound. Parker initially hated the way in which a live setting altered the songs, stating “I was just basically wigged out about that transition.” Eventually, however, he came to terms with it and began to enjoy the live setting, “…embracing the qualities of both.”
2008 saw the release of Tame Impala‘s EP, believed by many to be called Antares Mira Sun due to the cover depicting the Orion nebula. As for the songs, the EP saw Tame Impala‘s first intentional release. In an interview, Parker stated that “…the EP was not in anyway recorded for an EP. The songs that were on the EP weren’t even recorded at the same time, they were done over a bunch of years.”
In 2010, Tame Impala released their first album, Innerspeaker, which was recorded in a house “…a few hours south of Perth in the middle of nowhere on the coast.” Despite the limitations in sound and ideas, the songs put you under a pleasantly languid vibe. Parker, however, beleivs the songs to be “… delirious, alone music.” Also inherent within the album is a kind of restraint, wherein most of the album only consists of pop songs. “I was definitely really possessive of it being the first album, I was so focused on it matching what was in my head, I didn’t want to experiment too much away from that vision,” explained Parker in regards to his fear of creative deviation.
After Innerspeaker‘s release, Parker found himself with more time on his hands to record for the second album, Lonerism. Demos were made in various locations in the world and Parker moved into an apartment France in 2011, recording most of the album there in “a reclusive bunker.” Parker also co-wrote with another musician, Jay Watson of Pond, on the song Apocalypse Dreams, an experience which Parker said “…was… whoa… a huge thing for me.” Suddenly, every song is bursting with color in their lavish layers of busy instrumentation, showing Parker creating an album that is “…quite different, it’s a bit more decadent. It’s a bit more sonically decadent… There’s less holding-back of temptations of various kinds. I love fucked-up sounds, and I love pop melodies, and its kind of a combination of the two.” However, Parker dismisses the lyrical aspect of Lonerism as creating “…quite a childish album, almost like a persona who turns into the one from Innerspeaker.”
As for the future of the ‘band’, “It’ll be less of a solo project in the future, cause Jay and I are writing songs together and cooperating.” A third album is currently anticipated for release between the end of this year and early 2016, revealed to be encompass a completely different field of music altogether.
Whatever direction Tame Impala paves for itself into the future, you can be sure that Parker and his future band members will continue to create vibrant, multi-dimensional music that pushes boundaries and exceeds expectations, for each release under Tame Impala has only become better and better.

Surf’s Up

In 1971, The Beach Boys released an album that was markedly different form their initial, sunny surf rock conjuring pristine beaches dotted with multi-color surfboards and bronze boys in swimming trunks. Surf’s Up is more sophisticated in lyrics, and their signature vocal harmonising is refined to the point where multiple contrapuntal melodies effortlessly weave in and out of each other.
A quirky piano melody and guitar open the album, unraveling an environmentalist pop song. Despite the tired topic, the dense vocal harmonies give the song some originality. Long Promised Road is more somber in its lengthy introspection of the pains of growing up, yet is made fresh with the unexpected, bright chorus. Despite the odd theme, Take Good care of Your Feet is well-constructed and full of all sorts of interesting nuances and sound effects. Disney Girls (1957) is a soft ballad ruminating the ideal life, before such a fantasy suddenly becomes a reality in one of the most memorable sections of harmonising. 
Student Demonstration Time is just what its title suggests. Grittier, with a blues and big band tinge, the lyrics refer to several prominent protests in America, and The Beach Boys suggest “you better stay out of sight.” Feel Flows is full of cryptic poetry amidst a simpler arrangement and sound. The lengthy, King Crimson-esque solo and psychedelic guitar also show Brian Wilson’s continued interest in music beyond the pop industry. 
Lookin’ at Tomorrow (A welfare Song) is also as the title suggests, while A Day in the Life of a Tree is another environmentalist song, but with more subtlety. The arrangement is again simpler as childishly innocent lyrics are sung against the melancholic sublimity of the organ chords. Background vocals build the song towards something that would potentially have been spectacular had they not finished unresolved. ‘Til I Die is a reminder of how insignificant one human life is within something so much bigger surrounding them, and the song finishes with vocal lines seamlessly flowing through one another. The album closes with its title, a four-minute epic seeing erratic thematic changes and busy vocal harmonising where one line ends as another starts.
Surf’s Up shows The Beach Boys grown up and veered towards expressing themselves within a greater diversity of musical styles. At the same time, their sound is refined and vocal harmonising impeccable. 

Tame Impala’s New Album!

OFFICIAL: A new album is to be released between the end of this year and early 2016 by the one and only… Tame Impala!
Billboard officially received word from the band’s label, Spinning Top Music, that “the album is still a work in progress and [there is] no official release date, however it will be released in 2015.”
Tame Impala touring member Jay Watson only revealed that the album is “…gonna be awesome, everything [Kevin Parker] does is awesome.”
Parker says the new material will sound “less rock and more electronic,” while also hinting at the album’s more sophisticated sound. “I’m super excited about it. Its so fresh in the process that I’m so into it. All I can think now is that it’ll make Lonerism look like amateur hour. From a sonic viewpoint, anyway. Definitely.”
Spinning Top Music also revealed that amongst their bands to tour this year, Tame Impala will have headline tours in Australia- the first since 2013.
In an interview with MTV at Big Day Out in 2014, Parker gave some insight into the progress and sound of the album.
Whatever music Parker works with , he will not disappoint in exploring within known styles and genres to create something entirely unique, therefore making the as-yet untitled album to be highly looked forward to.
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Moodoid

Melody’s Echo Chamber hit the road with a touring band shortly after the completion of their debut album, a collaboration between Melody Prochet and Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker. Pablo Padovani was recruited as a guitarist in the band, and made a connection with Parker. His own five-piece band, Moodoid, then had their album mixed by Parker in early 2014, and saw the release of their debut, Le Monde MOO, in September.
Le Monde MOO (Translation: the world of MOO) is a Surreal odyssey through an immense richness and density of sound you would not have thought existed in the 21st century, an experience not deterred by French lyrics. Most impressive, however, is Moodoid‘s diverse musical palette. Jazz, progressive rock, rap and RnB are encompassed throughout the album without deteriorating the quality of each song. The brain behind the compositions incorporates these sounds and styles confidently, without overdoing himself or sounding arrogant.
With Padovani’s penchant for the unusual and oriental, Le Monde MOO contains a diversity of sounds and exotic instruments. In an interview with wordfrom, Padovani stated, “In the album, I worked with Gilles Andrieu, who plays saz (a stringed instrument from Turkey) and ud (a stringed instrument from North Africa). There’s also Didier Malherbe from the band Gong who came to play duduk, which is a flute made of wood from apricot tree that makes a totally great sound. To me, it’s a way to have soft and new textures.”

Le Monde MOO sweeps through quiet and unknown atmospheres, dreamy undulations to moments of rhythmic insistence heavily swathed in an 80s style. The listener is then plunged into the band’s signature sound of unraveling melodies and multiple stylistic changes within intensely colorful landscapes far removed from the ordinary world. 
Of the concept of the album, Padovani stated, “The idea of the disc is a path, some kind of initiatory stroll, like in Voltaire’s Candide in which I am the malicious guide who will get the the listener lost… In this world, we can see mountains of whipped cream, plains of loukoums (Arabic pastry), etc… There is a lot of mystery in the lyrics and in the structure of the songs. Thus, I think the listener will make his own effort of imagination.”
Strongly prevalent from Moodoid‘s sound and video clip costumes is an oriental and Surrealist influence. “Surrealism has always been a major source of inspiration. For the strength of the images it provides, for the mystery and fantasy that also inspires me. The music that I write is often very crude and very instinctive. They come from the depths in that way some Surrealist poets I admire also wrote, automatically,” said Padovani.

Shirim

The last time Melody’s Echo Chamber was heard of in the music scene was with the release of her psychedelic “dream album” in 2012, a collaboration with Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker. 
The Parisian singer-songwriter returned in October 2014 with the release of her new single, Shirim. Written and produced by herself, the song shows a sophisticated refinement to her sound and a stylistic change far from her kaleidoscopic soundscapes.
Beginning with an oriental clarinet and drum solo, reminiscent of Moodoid, the song spins off into groovy R’n’B tinged with rock and electronics. Prochet retains her dreamy vocals but sounds less shy in front of the microphone as she sings a chorus straight out of the 70s. Although the single is Prochet’s own work, the guitar chords bring to mind the simplistic and groovy Daffodils created by the Parker/Ronson collaboration last year.

Of the single, Prochet stated, 

”Shirim’ is very symbolic for me and I hope you enjoy it. I am recording more music now and I will release my second album in 2015. My band and I are very excited to play live again soon!’

A surprising and original change for Prochet, her upcoming album due later this year is to be eagerly anticipated.


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Pre-Dissociatives

Before the electro-cross-rock project The Dissociaitves released their debut album, the duo behind it first unleashed a five-song EP titled I Can’t Believe Its Not Rock.
Each unpredictable and sinuously evolving song weaves Mac’s distinct electronic with Johns’s vocals and rock style.
A quiet, warbling synth melody opens Rain and progresses between electronic and ‘rock band’ sections. Take Her Out is darker and edgier, tinged with Hitchock’s Psycho, followed by the too-sentimental instrumental 3. Staging a Traffic Jam is jazzier and changes abruptly between sections, while Home just keeps building up with the increasing addition of layers.

This unusual and experimental EP, however, was not produced with the intention of being shared publicly. The two had created the songs on the several occasions that they had gotten together, and decided to release it when they found that they had made a unique sound together.   
The first song was recorded when Silverchair went on hiatus. Johns had decided to visit Mac in his Blue Mountains home, and while there, showed him a song he had been working on. Mac contributed his unique melodic touch, and two had created Rain by the end of the day.
Several months later, the duo recorded Home and Staging a Traffic Jam in Johns’s home studio. Mac was in Johns’s home in Newcastle to help him install his new eight track. Home was finished that day, while the intricate layers in Staging a Traffic Jam required several more sessions to complete it.
The third time they saw each other, they recorded 3 and Take Her Out.

At this point, the duo were happy with the new sound they had unintentionally created and began discussing the possibility of releasing the songs. At the time of its release, Mac stated, “Once it was done though we like how it had turned out so we started talking about releasing it even though, as the name suggests, it probably isn’t what people expect from either of us.” Therefore, the album was available as an online download for a limited time and through a very limited amount of CDs. “Its a different sort of project, so it makes sense to release it in a different sort of way,” stated Johns about the album. 

Shortly after, the duo played the songs on an Australian television show called Love Is a Four Letter Word, which aired in 2001.
Had Daniels and John not recorded some experimental songs together, and subsequently released them, The Dissociatives and its weirdly melodic world may not have been.

Sources:

http://www.thedissociatives.com/music/icbinr/about.htm