The Luck of Eden Hall / Red Sun — Psychedelic Battles - Volume Four
(Vincebus Eruptum VELP019, 2017, LP / DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-03-25
Italian vinyl label Vincebus Eruptum is releasing a series of split LPs called Psychedelic Battles with one band per side. The first volume featured Sendelica and Da Captain Trips, the second volume The Spacelords and Dhvani, and the third The Linus Pauling Quartet and Colt.38. Which brings us to the present Volume Four featuring Chicago’s The Luck of Eden Hall and the Italian band Red Sun, which is new to me. The Luck of Eden Hall has a long musical history, with the bulk of their recorded output in the three to four minute range. The one exception was their 18:54 cover of “Starship Trooper” on FdM’s 2015 double LP Side Effects. On this split LP may be The Luck of Eden Hall’s magnum opus, the nearly 23 minute “Make Way for the Mighty Machines.” This side-long psychedelic tour de force covers a lot of territory powered by fuzzed guitars, Mellotron, and lysergic trippiness to prepare the way for the mighty machines. Seven minutes into the track the music shifts to a quiet interlude for a few minutes that sounds remarkably like “Sensation” from The Who’s Tommy. And Curvey’s voice even sounds like Pete Townsend. There are some lovely Mellotron passages and the track builds to a trippy climax and slowly fades away. An impressive first round in the battle.
Side two features three different instrumental tracks by Red Sun: “Meteor Shower,” “The Lost Planet,” and “The Space Runners.” Red Sun’s music is very different from The Luck of Eden Hall and an interesting juxtaposition. Red Sun shows more of a Krautrock influence as well as elements from 90s British psych bands like Mandragora, Dead Flowers, and the Alman Mulo Band. While The Luck of Eden Hall plays trippy music, Red Sun’s is edgy energetic jams with swirling electronics. There are also some tribal elements noticeable on “The Space Runners.” Red Sun is ready to do battle. But who won? Difficult to say. Red Sun definitely displays more testosterone, but these two bands are not similar enough to declare a winner. So it is a draw for me. At any rate, Psychedelic Battles - Volume Four is an excellent album. If you cannot find one of the limited edition LPs, you can always download the music, but you have to go to two separate Bandcamp pages.
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more