It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

It's Psychedelic Baby is an independent music magazine. We are covering alternative, underground, non-commercial and non-mainstream artists in variety of shapes and genres. Exclusive interviews, reviews and articles. A place where musicians can express themselves. We serve an international readership.


Otehi is an Italian outfit spreading far beyond borders of doom with various of influences coming from psychedelic to desert kind of vibes. Their first EP Noisy Spirit was recorded in the same year as the band was born – 2011. After one year of meditations and sacred practices Rise of the Elements EP was created, and two more years took to release their full-length work Dead Chants and Forbidden Melodies. This shamanic band is something different, something that this world needs – to experience, to feel through. We came in contact with Otehi collective spirit and they answered a few questions about its inner processes.

Who and when have formed Otehi? 

The band starts in brand new mood in March 2011 in the Italian stoner/psych music panorama. The trio (Macej “Wildhand” Mikolajczyk; bass/voice, Domenico “Mastino” Canino; guitar/effects/voice, Vito “Vitus” Zito; drums) approaches to a dirty and granitic sound, sometimes clean and amniotic after has been experimenting in different Roman undergrounds. In 2012 Corrado ”Victor”' Battistoni joined in the band.
With the new drummer '”Victor” we produced  two albums - Rise of the Elements split album and second  concept  album Dead Chants and Forbidden Melodies

What does "Otehi" mean? What's its relation to music? 

OTEHI is a shamanic word from Lakota language (sioux), the sacred  tribe on this planet... the nature, and all the human rituals  for the Earth, the contact with the universe... this is our music  for us! The music like a ritual for the true contact with our life... this is the concept!!!

What was your prime impulse to create such music?

Make a music for us is an expression... the psychedelic music (heavy and lysergic) is the way to enter in a unique collective trip, who play and who listen! Make a sounds with the body, the heart and the spirit is our mission!

It seems that your début album 'Dead Chants and Forbidden Melodies' has a concept...

Dead Chants and Forbidden Melodies is our second concept album, this work born for our necessity to research a different kind of psychedelic rock, looking a new mood. In this album the lyrics are short but contain intense and various messages, the sounds and the composition, among to Noisy Spirit, and become more lysergic and dilated.

The composition of Dead Chants and Forbidden Melodies was long and hard, written between 2012 and 2013, but released in September 2014. We wanted to work together with same artists for flute scores and female choirs and artwork.

Your musical influences stretch from old hard rock to doom and post metal and there is strong evidence of native music. What did you have in mind when you compose these songs?

We made an album where we imagined the music from another world, disappeared and occult, a dead music, where the Otehi become a channel for to bring it to this world.

I guess that 'Dead Chants and Forbidden Melodies' is kind of spiritual, meditative experience. What sort of emotions did you put into music?

Make music for us is the process of creation in a ritualistic sense. We put in it our most recondite emotions also linked to our dead, the longing for loved ones who is no longer with us; but with us still living in the memories of time spent together. It is love for life in the end.

Album's songs are really good and have this driving energy and dreamy psychedelic atmosphere. Where did you record it?

We record in independent studio in Rome, where we were able to soak in the work unhurriedly.

What can you tell about organizational side of Dead Chants and Forbidden Melodies? How much time did you spend in studio? It was released as a limited CD edition?

We spend two weeks in studio for record and mix all songs, the master has been done at later time, cared for by friends in Glasgow. Yes, Dead Chants and Forbidden Melodies is out on limited edition CD by the Italian label NEVRASSE Records.

You're currently working on your new album. Will there be any difference between your last one?

We are still working on the new album Garden of Gods to release it later in 2016. It will bring in granitic sounds of our matrix, new vocal arrangements; by binding to the concept of land as a mother's life to state of misanthropy that emerges from the human conditions and the human being's position in the world. 
Garden of Gods will be another concept album, where the "Gods" concept is dilated, where the Earth is the center in the human world!! Stay tuned for more news about this new fucking album!!!
Thank you!!

Interview by Aleksey Evdokimov/2016
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Pascal Nichols

"Much like dancing"

Manchester based sculptor and musician Pascal Nichols plays reduced and extended drums at the same time. His influences go from free jazz to black metal, although he doesn't see himself as an archetypical drummer, more as a jack of all trades, accepting and enjoying the fact that he can obsess over many pursuits and ultimately never fully master any of them.

You play on a reduced version of a drum kit set-up... 

I didn't have a car when I started out playing gigs so I would continually be trying to build and adapt my drumset to make it portable, as I rarely played in venues that would provide a back-line. I'd look for drum sizes that could slot into each other and super-lightweight stands from cheap kids drum kits, which inevitably influenced my playing style as I had to keep reassembling my shitty kit during live sets when it was falling apart. Also, most places I would jam and play gigs in were pretty small (house shows, basements, back rooms of pubs) so a small kit fit right in.

On the other hand, you extend your playing by using a lot of different objects. 

When I first moved to Manchester in 2005, I saw Konk Pack play. Drummer Roger Turner had an arsenal of scrap metal, home made beaters, and found junk. Through his playing he transformed the drumkit into a shifting palette of textures, sounds and punctuations. This was a turning point for me, and completely changed my idea of what is possible as a drummer! I started to hunt for sounds inside and outside the drumkit; and incorporate materials and objects into a dynamic form of playing. Two other important factors in getting into drum preparations were my discovery of friction (introduced to me by ace percussionist and friend Patrick Farmer crushing violin bow rosin onto my snare drum), and contact mics.

When you play live, you have a lot of these objects lying around you but you don't always use all of them.

Sometimes I have no idea what I will do (beyond playing drumset) and I'll throw a bunch of stuff in my bag and maybe even use none of it, other times I'll have a few ideas or themes based around some patterns/sounds I've been working on, so I'll have a specific set of objects and preparations I will work through and explore live. I avoid sticking to a strict plan; if you're not feeling it just move on and try something else.

Why did you choose drums as your instrument? 

I played pots and pans on the kitchen floor as a kid, and took some lessons in high school. Drums are primal, and playing them can be a catharsis, if you have a bad day you can smash the shit out of them, and make loud noise no matter what your level of skill. They also involve the use of all your limbs working together or against each other, making drumming a physically involving activity, much like dancing. I'm shit at dancing but drumming in this sense really appeals to me.

I watched your clip on 'Peak Signal to Noise'. This feels like a perfect concert even though it's just ten minutes long. 

For 'Peak Signal to Noise', I played a couple of instant compositions. I don't think it was edited down much if at all. I was having a bad day and hadn't planned or prepared, and playing for my TV crew buddies cheered me up a lot! 

Do you come from a noise background where ten minute concerts are not unusual?

Some of the best noise shows I've seen have been less than ten minutes long (Prurient, Lovely Honkey, Kevin Shields), the idea of a ten minute set really appeals to me but I don't have the focus or intensity to pull it off myself! 

As what kind of a drummer do you see yourself: a free improvisational drummer or rather a sound artist who uses the drum as his instrument? 

When I'm playing drums I'm a drummer: the drums are not a means to an end for me. I do other stuff without drumset, using sampler, tape,microphones but drums and percussion play a role in this too such as using percussion as a sound source for tape manipulations or playing a sound in a percussive/rhythmic way. I hesitate to call myself a 'free-improv' drummer as I often make music that operates within a conceptual framework rather than a purely spontaneous and reflective one, and I collaborate with people who don't see themselves as free-improv dudes.

Is your playing influenced by Han Bennink, Paul Lovens or Sunny Murray? 

Ok, I'm just gonna drop a bunch of my favourite drummers that readers at home should know about: Roger Turner, Ed Blackwell, Jeff Hartford, Tony Marsh, Chris Corsano, Zach Hill, Rogier Smal, Patrick Farmer, Fenriz, Phil Marks, Morten J Olsen, Bill Ward, Alan White, Elvin Jones. 

Do you feel related to drummers like Eli Kezler, Will Guthrie, Erik Heestermans or Julian Sartorius? 

I feel related to artists and musicians who share a particular aesthetic and/or political values with me rather than those who specifically play the same instrument. I'm so grateful to be part of a self-sustaining community of like-minded people who make music, put on shows, do labels, and write about music,although I do love to talk drums with other drum nerds when the stars align.

Your website is not just about your music but also about your sculptures, drawings and ceramics. Are all these things connected for you?

All these things add up to make me a jack of all trades, master of none. I have grown to grudgingly accept and eventually enjoy the fact that I can obsess over many pursuits and ultimately never fully master any of them. This approach leaves me ample room to take risks, take a break, and never really plateau in my creative output.

Interview made by Joeri Bruyninckx/2016
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Soft Speaker - Black Tea EP (2015) review

Soft Speaker - Black Tea EP (2015) 

It’s fall, and Soft Speaker have stepped up to warm a chilled afternoon with a new release that shouldn’t be missed. Their Black Tea EP consists of two tracks, “Black Tea,” a lamenting intoxicating wispy song that defines what Soft Speaker do best, laced with enchanting lyrics, and just enough effects to allow the number to sound both mystical and etherial at the same time... reminding me of a black & white photograph, where over time, one begins to wonder about the shadow in the foreground, the person who took the image, and has long since been forgotten. The second track, “Party Lights,” was a huge hit back in 1962, originally recorded by Claudine Clark, a song I remember dancing to, as she was from Philadelphia; my home town. Soft Speaker have done what I enjoy most, taken this one hit wonder and made it their own by delightfully slowing down the pace, creating a lush hypnotic instrumental envelope, over which they’ve laid a live atmosphere of crooning delight. If this were the heyday of progressive radio, “Party Lights” would be played non-stop, as a true B-Side wonder.

Review by Jenell Kesler/2016
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Freakwater - Scheherazade (2016) review

Freakwater - Scheherazade (Bloodshot Records, 2016)

Has it really been ten years since Freakwater floated down a record from on high [?], with the excitement of all this leaving me to ask, “Where has the time gone?” Here on Scheherazade the girls melodic plaintive drifting country meanderings shimmer though the speakers of my car’s stereo on a moonlit night as if my tuner has somehow time-shifted, picking up a 15 watt boarder radio station from more years ago than I care to remember.

Freakwater have always made very private music, music to be played when you’re alone, or on the road, when you’ve got the time to let their songs slip into your soul, where their songs become a part of your being, where you’re face to face with yourself and your emotions, where the shirt you’re wearing is just the right one, and the Stetson hat on your head never fit better. It’s the kind of music that floats your legs across a gravel parking lot as you head into an all night stainless steel diner in the middle of nowhere, and the word darlin’ ever so naturally floats from your lips as you pass your order to the waitress.

The songs of Janet and Catherine Ann come at you softly and with an infectious jangling twang. Their voices and vocals are steady, yet as transparent as smoke. Their songs are delightfully ragged and even when over, never seem to be quite finished, as if there’s still a verse or two that have yet to be written. This is Americana at its very best, with artists decked out in snap-button embroidered shirts and weathered boots.

Review by Jenell Kesler/2016
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Festivalized by Ian Abrahams & Bridget Wishart review

Festivalized: Music, Politics, and Alternative Culture (Gonzo Media Group, 2016)

     Before you start reading Festivalized I would suggest that you begin with one of the last pages where authors offer some further listening recommendation to prepare yourself to proper reading environment. Festivalized is a comprehensive view into a world of alternative culture based in UK – with its core in free festival scenes of the 70s, 80s and early 90s. I was quite surprised by unique and rich history it offers. After all there aren't many articles written about it. Therefore a big part of it remained unknown to a larger public. 
     Abrahams and Wishart really looked deep into the whole scene and managed to highlight different views upon it. Bridget Wishart herself being in Hawkwind, Hippy Slags, Demented Soats and Spirits Burning persuaded to indulge into a more personal view of the free festival scene. I was really surprised by conglomeration of stories that were shared by musicians, stage organisers, writers, band managers, attendees... and authors even interviewed landowners so the whole circle was properly concluded. 
    I really enjoyed the different points of view that interviewers presented. Festivalized is offering a very objective presentation of the free festival scene on a very subjective way with people who were there remembering both good and bad times and demonstrating their opinions on what the whole scene was all about and why it demise after the rave culture kicked in.
     Musical, social and political fields are well researched and give us a further view into this unique scene that was only happening in UK. It takes us on a journey from Glastonbury, Windsor Great Park to Stonehenge and many other less known festivals. It brings us into the realm of being in a Conwoy coach, smoking chillum and hearing bands like Magic Muscle and Hawkwind starting to play and we urge ourself to find the way out of the coloured vehicle. There is also a wonderful chapter for music connoisseurs where authors are interviewing about music scene in more detailed way and bands that were active in it. I was also quite surprised that I found a lot of new material to check. 
     Let's name a few more well known bands mentioned in a book: Hawkwind, Magic Mushroom Band, Ozric Tentacles, The Levellers, Here & Now, Magic Muscle, Mandragora, Zounds, Smartpils, Culture Shock, and 2000DS, and notable counterculture icons such as Mick Farren and Penny Rimbaud were also included to share their opinion about music. I actually made myself a whole list of less known bands.

     Space Rock, Punk, and later on Rave were part of this culture and it certainly is all very well documented. They even touched themes of squatting, which was a regular practise in winter time when there were bar none festivals going and of course the problems they had with biker gangs, Blue Crew and heavier drugs that found its way to the festivals and inevitable Thatcher regime giving an extremely hard time for all the free thinkers. 
     Festivalized is exceptionally well documented research about the almost forgotten way of life and its social and cultural impact on today's society.

More info

Review by Klemen Breznikar/2016
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Mellow Candle interview with Clodagh Simonds and Alison O'Donnell

Mellow Candle were a band that started in 1963 in Dublin, Ireland. In their time they managed to press two singles and release Swaddling Songs, which is still highly regarded among fans and collectors of psychedelic folk. Album was released by Deram in 1972. Swaddling Songs is an extremely well crafted progressive folk rock album with beautiful female vocal duets.

How old were you when you began playing music and what was the first instrument you played?

Clodagh Simonds: I started playing piano with my maternal Grandmother when I was four. Both Grandmothers played the piano a lot, but she was more child-friendly - and played lowbrow, popular songs and Strauss. My paternal Grandmother was technically better - Chopin, Schubert, Debussy, etc., and far more precious about her piano, so she wasn't as encouraging. We always spent our holidays with one Granny or the other, so their influence was quite strong.

Alison O'Donnell: I was 10. I played tambourine and maracas with the schoolgirl line-up of The Gatecrashers, which then became Mellow Candle.

What inspired you to start playing music? Do you recall the first song you ever learned to play?

Clodagh: Music was all around me, so it would have been more remarkable and strange if I hadn't started playing. The first thing I could play was chopsticks. My Granny used to play every week for the OAPs, so as soon as I'd learned it, she brought me along, to show off her protege! I played the right hand, she played the left. I can remember it quite well, and not having any sense at all of fear or nerves - but being totally baffled by the wild applause from the sea of white heads. I just wanted to go home then, but we had to stay for what seemed liked hours, having tea and biscuits. In a way it wasn't the best introduction to the world of Performance - baffled by the applause, then bored by all the after-stuff.

Alison: Listening to pop and soul records inspired me to have a go at it myself. I conducted a choir in music class once and I realised I had seen an old black and white photograph of my grandfather conducting an orchestra. It struck me that music ran in my blood. I can’t remember the first song I learned to play on guitar but it might well have been something original.

Were you a member of a band as a youth and what types of music did you play? Who were some of the artists you shared the stage with?

Clodagh: Other than Mellow Candle, no.

Alison: When I was 16 I joined a covers band called Blue Tint. I had to wear a ‘uniform’ including an obligatory miniskirt. We did pop, blues and soul songs. We played quite a few gigs, one of them with an English band called Trapeze when they came to Dublin.

When did you begin writing music? What was the first song you wrote? What inspired it and did you ever perform the song live or record it?

Clodagh: I began writing music when I was about 9 or 10. An older girl - I can't remember who - had played me "Da Doo Ron Ron" on a jukebox. I'd never seen a jukebox before, and I had certainly never heard music like that before - I was completely transfixed. The minute I got home I started pounding away on the piano trying to sound like that. My first song was called "Look At Me", a classic of the C - A - F - G genre. It was about having a crush on someone who didn't notice you, begging them to see you on the other side of the street. I quickly decided it was rubbish, though I completely fell in love with the process of writing - so it was fairly swiftly abandoned in favor of "the new one", which I think was another C - A - F - G thing. Which I quickly decided was rubbish, etc….. 

Alison: I was surrounded by songwriters in Mellow Candle so I didn’t write much to begin with. The first song might have been "Messenger Birds". I remember reading a newspaper item about a woman and a child and a tragedy at sea. It has often been performed live. I even did it at Leigh-on-Sea Folk Festival with The Owl Service a few years ago.

Mellow Candle began at Dublin’s Holy Child Convent school in 1963 with three very young girls - Clodagh Simonds, Alison Bools (later O’Donnell) and Maria White. They were singing some cover songs and were influenced by another Irish schoolgirl trio called Maxi, Dick & Twink. Before adopting the name "Mellow Candle" they were called "The Gatecrashers."

Who were some major influences?

Clodagh: Before meeting David - Omar Khayaam, Phil Spector, Dylan, the Beatles, T Rex, Paul Simon - that would have all been schooldays. Later, Dave brought a whole raft of other influences…..the most enduring of which - for me, anyway - were probably The Incredible String Band and Joni Mitchell. 

Alison: Helen Shapiro, The Incredible String Band.

Around 1967.

Did you play many gigs? What were some of the venues you played? Who were some of the artists you appeared with?

Clodagh: We didn't actually play out all that much. Our manager, Ted Carroll, tried in vain to get us to firm up our live experience and our fanbase in Ireland before heading off to London, but here weren't many venues in Ireland at the time which would have been available to us - Ireland then was still dominated by showbands and dance halls. Our very first gig was at Liberty Hall, Donal Lunny booked us to open for the Chieftains on St Patricks Day. They weren't big stars then - they were all still working at their dayjobs - and had a small but intense, mostly middle-aged or elderly, following. Who hated us - I remember clearly some old biddy literally trying to hit me with her handbag when we came off. We had a residency for a while at Slattery's on Capel Street, again thanks to Donal. We played the Wexford Festival, and got noticed there by John Peel - we played the first Ballyvaughan festival in Clare, and we played the National Stadium a couple of times, opening for the likes of Thin Lizzy and Steeleye Span. We opened for Donovan at the RDS once. But any other gigs were pretty small and local, civic parks, tennis clubs, and so on - and I think in retrospect Ted was right, we were fairly wet behind the ears when we arrived in Kilburn in 1971. We hardly played at all in England, just a handful of gigs - I think we played at some kind of festival where Genesis were headlining, and somewhere along the line we shared a billing with Lindisfarne - but were rather harshly criticized by agents Ted had invited along. And he had his hands very full with Thin Lizzy, the other band which he managed - so the whole Let's Move To London thing went a bit squiffy really.

Alison: We didn’t play as many gigs as we would have liked due to the fact that it was difficult to place a band that was both folky and rocky. Some of the Dublin venues we played were Liberty Hall, The Mansion House, The National Stadium, The RDS, Slatterys and The Marquee in London. We appeared with Alan Price & Georgie Fame, Donovan, Arthur Brown, Genesis, Thin Lizzy, Steeleye Span, to name a few.

What was the writing and arranging process within the band? Did anyone else in the band write?

Clodagh: In the schoolgirl version of the band, I was doing all the writing and we'd work out the harmonies together. But when Mellow Candle Mk II started, Dave was a big influence, he was older than us, and very much more experienced - he was a big fan of Yes and Zappa, amongst others - and Pat the bass player was a huge Jethro Tull fan - so we'd work out quite complex arrangements together for the backing, and also for the vocals. Alison began writing then, and Willy did some lyrics, so there were four of us writing - we co-wrote Sheep Season, which I think in retrospect was one of our best songs.

Alison: Clodagh Simonds, Dave Williams and occasionally William Murray all wrote within the band so the songs were quite varied with four of us in the writing process.

Swaddling Songs was released by Deram (Decca's imprint) with David Hitchcock taking care of production. The album was recorded in a very short space of time in December of 1971. Alison recalls: "The sessions were full on and lengthy but thoroughly consuming and enjoyable. I was delighted with the finished product. I felt it was extremely creative."

What can you say about single "Feeling High" / "Tea with the Sun" (1968), released by SNB Records? Did it garner much airplay or chart in any markets?

Clodagh: Being completely clueless about the music industry, I had decided (at the ripe old age of 14) that the way to go was to send a demo tape to a Radio Luxembourg DJ. So I borrowed a reel to reel tape recorder and one afternoon, myself, Alison and Maria recorded about six or seven songs, and I sent it off to Colin Nicol. Several weeks later, he got back to me and said that he could get us a contract with SNB, which was a subsidiary of CBS. A certain amount of negotiation took place between him, and the parents - he came over to Ireland in order to convince them he wasn't a child molester or a conman - and off we went. It was an amazing experience recording it - seeing London, being taken to Carnaby Street! Walking into the studio and hearing a big grownup orchestra play my funny little songs was a pretty unforgettable experience too. But the highlight, for me, was bumping into Marc Bolan coming out of a lift at Trident Studios. I was utterly gobsmacked - I was a huge T Rex fan. The single got very little airplay, and only on Radio Luxembourg as far as I know - but that didn't stop the three of us staying up practically all night, for weeks, waiting to see if it would be played.

Alison: We were very young girls when we recorded Feeling High/Tea with the Sun for SNB. It was a surreal experience to go to London and record with an orchestra and Cliff Richard’s backing singers, who were also on ‘Alfie’ by Cilla Black, arranged and recorded with Burt Bacharach. I watched a clip of that on YouTube a while back and was blown away by how good they all were. The single got a bit of airplay to begin with. I got very excited when it played in the early hours of the morning on Radio Luxembourg. I didn’t get much sleep hoping it would come on the radio just after it was released. It was difficult to get me out of bed in the mornings and I always had to run up hills to get to the train for school. I often missed it and spent the time waiting for the next one calming down my aching lungs.

You two shared many magic musical moments. Would you describe your relationship? What was the dynamic between your songwriting and playing?

Clodagh: Alison and I were really close friends at school, with a shared passion for music. She joined Blue Tint when I was away in Italy, just after I left school - and initially said she'd be working with David from then on, so I had to psych myself up for a solo career. But when I got back, David suggested we join forces - and that was Mellow Candle Mk II. Due to various things none of us saw coming, it didn't last long - and when she and David moved to South Africa, we lost touch for a while. We're good pals again now, and seeing David a few years ago when he was on a trip to Ireland was really very nice indeed. The playing/writing dynamic, as I recall, Dave usually would help Alison work out chords and so on, when she began writing - I think they developed songs together quite a lot. Normally, he or she would complete a song, or pretty much, before bringing it in to the others, and I would usually bring a completed song. Whoever wrote the song would normally have a fairly good idea of a basic structure/arrangement, though we did input to each others songs quite a lot - we were all pretty open to each others ideas.

Alsion: I have a lifetime bond with Clodagh based on friendship and shared experiences.

What can you tell us about cover artwork?

Clodagh: It was a take-off of W Heath Robinson - I remember going to see it when it was still being completed, we all liked it a lot. I was never too sure about the goofy sleeve notes though, I think Willy wrote them.

Alison: Unusual black and white cover by David Anstey, who worked mainly for Decca Records.

Would you share your insight on the albums’ tracks?

Alison: I think the songs should speak for themselves. "Boulders on My Grave" has some Irish style lilting in it although we didn’t know what lilting was back then. There’s a whole competition for it in the Fleadh Cheoil in Ireland. "Reverend Sisters" is widely recognised as a reference to our convent school upbringing and I mentioned something about "Messenger Birds" earlier. A lot of my work has religious references, i.e. Heaven Heath, something I am still doing in recent songwriting. It’s difficult to get away from the Catholic influence.

To what do you attribute the album continuing to be held in such high esteem among music collectors?

Alison: Swaddling Songs is a niche cult classic and held in high regard amongst musicians and listeners as well as collectors. It has been an influence on a number of musicians working in the late 80s, 90s and onwards. It is completely original and has cross-genre appeal in a rather offside way.

How did you see the acid psych folk scene back in the late '60s, early '70s? What were some other bands, that you would like to mention? Any band, that perhaps didn't make a record, but were extremely good?

Clodagh: I was completely unaware of that scene before David came along. Nobody thought of it as "psych folk" back then - there were just some acts which were a bit more folksy, and some which were a bit more prog rock, and some that were neither quite one nor the other (like us!). I resonated more strongly with the folksy ones, like the String Band, Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Syd Barrett, Laura Nyro. It was a huge honour to be asked to play and sing with Thin Lizzy - that was my first ever session.Phil was a bit of a God in Ireland in those days. Willy was into some pretty cool alternative music - he'd been with the Canterbury set - Kevin Ayers, Mike Oldfield - for whom I did my next lot of sessions, but that wouldn't have been folk, really. And yes, there is one person who really stands out who seems to have been totally forgotten, and knocked me out - Michael Hurley, whose album Armchair Boogie, Ted Carroll introduced us to - to this day his song "The Werewolf" is the only song I can play on guitar. And it remains one of those "I Wish I'd Written That…" songs, for me. He was something else, he was his own man - completely outside of fashion. And brilliant.

Alison: Sometimes there were music jams that had they developed into a proper band, they might have made some great records. Back in the late 60s and early 70s, a lot of musicians hung out and improvised together, including the trad music players. It was an extremely fertile and creative time with far too many excellent groups to mention. We had the same manager, Ted Carroll, as Thin Lizzy whom we admired for many reasons, not least because Phil Lynott was exceptionally cool. There were quite a few superb Irish bands around at the time and we had a lot of respect for each other. Then when we got to England, we found there was a great music scene going on there. We never got to the U.S. which was a pity. 

Would you discuss some of your most memorable moments in Mellow Candle and what made them so?

Clodagh: The whole MC journey was so vivid, and there were so many rites of passage. The exhilaration of going to London and making the first single - the sense that your dreams could actually come true. The rather forlorn period where I thought I was going to go solo - the realization that I just had to accept whatever landed on my plate, adjust, and keep moving. The exhilaration of returning to Ireland and David forming MC Mk II - the enormous excitement of working with electric instruments, roadies, PA systems and so on. The wobbly feeling when the first bass player, Pat, left, and the gnawing suspicion that "being in a band together" might not be all that simple after all. The sense of camaraderie when we first arrived in London, with a new bass player, Frank - and shared a house. The anxiety that followed the news that Ted Carroll wasn't going to be managing us any more. The disbelief and massive anxiety that came with the revelation that all our money (such as it was) had been handed over by our new manager to a con man who claimed to have been organizing a tour of Holland - this, at a time when things were already looking challenging for us, to say the least. The return of the wobbly feeling when Frank said he was leaving because we weren't doing enough drugs. The even more wobbly feeling when Steve, the new bass player, started saying he wasn't too happy, and then Willy joining in the chorus. And then the horrible sense of inevitability when the band broke up and we went our separate ways. Many moments of joy and exhilaration, and just as many of anxiety…. it wasn't an easy ride, to be honest, but it was full of important learning curves!

Alison: Because I was young, the entire period of the existence of Mellow Candle was memorable. Going to London for the first time, rehearsing whole days cut off from the rest of the world, living with the other members of the band (I remember that house and garden in Mill Hill so well – No. 1, Sunnyfield), travelling and hanging out with other musicians, the album and so much more. To this day I have a good relationship with our decent, music loving manager Ted Carroll. 

Would you mind answering question about psychoactive substances? Did in your opinion psychoactive or hallucinogenic drugs played a large role in the songwriting, recording or performance processes?

Clodagh: The reason Pat, the first bass player, left was because he felt we were smoking too much dope. The reason Frank left was because he felt we weren't dropping enough acid. So I suppose drugs played a part in that sense…. but we could see people around us getting really fucked up, and none of us really wanted to go there…. we were relatively tame, fun-loving hippies.

Alison: Mind altering substances and spiritual influences played an auxiliary part but hard work was our driving force and creative fulfilment our main focus.

What currently occupies your life?


Clodagh: Musically, I mainly work on projects with Fovea Hex, which are released on my own little label Janet Records, jointly with Die Stadt in Germany. We don't perform that much, as we're more of a collective than a band - but we played our first gig at Donau Festival, when it was curated by David Tibet, and our second gig was at the invitation of David Lynch - at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, who were running a retrospective of his paintings. We've played on the continent a fair bit, and we've got quite a good following in Italy. I've studied Chant a bit - 3 years ago I enrolled on an MA course at University of Limerick, called "Ritual Chant" - but I left after a semester as the focus was almost exclusively on Gregorian chant - which I love, but that wasn't the way the course had been described. I'd been hoping to go into things like Pygmy chant, Kurdish chant, various forms of Islamic chant, Mongolian chant, etc - all of which I'd already explored but not at the depth I wanted to. I found the whole atmosphere of Academia very stifling and pedantic - very disillusioning. I continue to study things like that, but in my own time! I'm also learning orchestration and how to write for strings, and last year performed with a string quartet in Clonakilty - which I loved. Hopefully there will be more of that. I struggle perpetually to keep up with the technology of home recording, but there's a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Thank God I have people like Colin Potter and Michael Begg around to pick up the pieces…. presently we're working on another trilogy of EPs, the first of which will be coming out on 10" vinyl very soon.


Alison: I am always writing, recording and performing. Last year I played at several English festivals with Firefay, releasing an album with them, ‘Anointed Queen’ and United Bible Studies, a number of albums. This summer I’ll be doing a few British gigs with UBS again. I’ve been a member of that psych experimental/improv collective since 2008. I also did two stints in Amsterdam last year with a bunch of trad musicians whom I’ve played with for about 14 years. We’re off again there in May. I often work with Steven Collins of The Owl Service. Our 2008 EP ‘The Fabric of Folk’ is going to be reissued and we are writing a new EP. I’ve also written an album with an Irish musician and sound designer which will find its way out into the open eventually.

Interview by Klemen Breznikar/2016
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It's Psychedelic Baby presents: DUSST - "Somehow" premiere

DUSST are currently a four-piece band who combine Psychedelic ballads and progressive Jams with crooning vocals to create a mature sound. The first studio release, "Somehow", recorded at Liverpool's iconic Motor Museum studio, is an apocalyptic plea in C minor.

The band like to improvise live and plan to reveal many more colours to their palette in the studio later this year.

Moss Folk & Milwaukee Psych Fest

Moss Folk is an experimental project coming out from Milwaukee. Improvisation is a very important aspect of their creating and the result is trance like psychedelic music. They are clearly inspired by a lot of European experimental bands, including Amon Düül II, Träd, Gräs & Stenar and also Can. Andrew James Shelp is man behind Moss Folk and he's also responsible for Milwaukee Psych Fest, which is gaining interest because of the great lineup, which in past included The Myrrors, The Warlocks, Ancient River, Holy Wave, Ttotals, Loop and many others (a lot of them were interviewed in the past by us). 2016 lineup is already known. You can check it out below. 

Andrew James Shelp answered a few questions regarding philosophy behind Moss Folk and Festival itself. 

What's the concept behind Moss Folk?

We are an experimental rock band, through and through. The roots, foundation and basic ideology of Moss Folk has always been about minimalism and repetition though. We incorporate layers of "simple" things, dub-ish bass grooves, Eastern blues guitar riffs, motorik drumming, droning organs and synthesizers as well as chanted vocals to create our "raga rock" sound. It's meditation for us and hopefully it's a transcendental experience for the listener as well. We also encourage participation at our live shows by putting instruments out for audience members to play. Something that really struck a chord with me while I was playing with/in Indian Jewelry back in 2006/07. They (we) would lay instruments out along the stage and people would randomly walk up and grab things and play along. It was so powerful. And that's another very important part of it to us. Community. The commune bands of the 60's and 70's, Amon Düül, Pärson Sound/Träd, Gräs & Stenar and Can. Those bands and their ideologies are very important as well as influential for us. Not only for the amazing music that they made but for their socio-political beliefs as well as their practice of a permaculture lifestyle. Very practical. Very powerful. Very inspiring. Sonically and socially.

Who are/were members of the band and what are their influences?

Moss Folk has always had a rotating cast so naming members is a bit difficult. Right now we play consistently as a four-piece featuring Kevin Dixon on bass, Jen Dixon on electric 12-string, Ryan Bollis on drums and myself on electronics, guitar and vocals. Jen and Kevin have another full time band of their own called Brief Candles. They both come from a dream pop, noise rock, shoegaze background. Ryan, the current longest tenured member besides myself, comes from more of a noise and punk background. We all have such diverse and eclectic tastes in music. I can't speak for the others as to what they've been listening to as of late but I've been listening to a lot of world music, especially the more recent jams coming out of Agadez, Group Doueh, Mdou Moctar, Tissdass as well as some traditional vocal Indian music like Pandit Pran Nath. We all of course love "Krautrock" bands such as Faust, Can, Neu!, Ash Ra Tempel, Agitation Free and especially the aforementioned Amon Düül. I've been jamming to a lot of Magical Power Mako, Far East Family Band and Les Rallizes Dénudés too. Vocokesh have also been played around my house a lot lately. That band is amazing! They are experimental psych rock pioneers. If you don't know that band you should check them out. They've been putting out records since the late 80's, some on Drag City. Great stuff!

Your material is available on bandcamp. What did you release so far and what was released on physical format?

Our bandcamp page is so outdated. I don't have a computer and am terrible with digital/internet type things. I always have to ask friends for help in that area. In the 10 years that Moss Folk has been playing, touring and whatnot, we have released only a handful of cd-r's ("Eco Lips", "March of the Seven Elephants", "May 2012", which is an all improvised tribute to Taj Mahal Travelers and features Vittorio Demarin from the Italian band Father Murphy on percussion) and one "legit" studio album, "Veiled Visions", out on cassette with Eye Vybe Records.

How does your recording process usually look like?

It's an incredibly simple process typically. Since I am the sole constant member of Moss Folk, I do all of the main songwriting myself. I write all of the parts, then record them onto a 4-track cassette recorder and then those recordings become the cd-r's that we sometimes sell at shows. We also use those as demos for the other members to learn from and to expand on, putting their own twists on things in live settings and then eventually in the studio. I've only taken the band into the studio twice. Once in 2007 (as a three piece) and again in 2015 with just Ryan and I. The 2007 album was scrapped because I didn't like it but those songs are starting to resurface as of late. A couple of them are on the latest album actually. I don't typically like studios though. I would much rather prefer we just record our live shows and use those as album recordings. It's more pure, more organic and captures the true essence of the band. However, all of that being said, I really dig how the last album, "Veiled Visions", recorded with Andrew Foys (of the Milwaukee band Tapebenders) turned out. That was a relatively quick process that was drawn out by the birth of my amazing daughter. I love that little woman and her mother so much it's impossible to even try to put into words. I love being a father! Sorry, anyways, the recording process for the last album was quick and simple. It took just a handful of days because we knew the songs. I laid the foundation, Ryan came in and did his drums. Then I did the bass tracks, synths and organs, guitars, vocals and then auxiliary percussion and other sounds. Songs changed a little bit while being in the studio of course but for the most part they stayed true to how they were originally written. I'm hoping to do more studio experimentation with the next album hopefully coming out later this year.

Improvisation must play a big part in your project…

Absolutely! That was how it all started. We played nothing but improvised jams. I later wrote two or three songs for us to fall back on just in case we weren't feeling the improv. Improvisation was the main focus though. Over the years we've somewhat strayed away from that but recently we have started to incorporate it more again. It's when I feel that I'm truly at my most comfortable though. Someone once told me in regards to playing improvised music, "If you play it once, you have to play it again. Otherwise it's a mistake". Or something like that...

You are also organizing a psychedelic festival. Can you tell our readers more about it?

Yes! I am the founder, curator and organizer of the Milwaukee Psych Fest going on it's fifth year! I started the festival when I moved back home to Milwaukee after having lived in Western Michigan for a few years. It had always been a dream of mine to bring all of my talented friends together in a single place and play together. Milwaukee isn't really a psychedelic minded town as their hasn't been too many psych bands that have come out of here (Vocokesh, Feck and maybe one or two more over the years) to garner any attention or popularity to the genre but surprisingly, people have really been coming out to support the festival. Some of the notable acts that have played the fest are Loop, The Warlocks, Holywave, The Holydrug Couple, The Paperhead, L.A. Witch, Verma, Magic Castles, Woodsman, Jovontaes, Ancient River, Nest Egg, Has A Shadow, The Blind Shake, Ttotals, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, Running, Vocokesh, Feck and a ton of other great bands and friends! It's always such a great time!

It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine is sponsoring Milwaukee Psych Fest. 

MILWAUKEE PSYCH FEST IV (2016) (Facebook event)


Friday May 6th - 

Saturday May 7th early show (1-6pm) -
THE 45's (MKE)

Saturday May 7th late show (6pm-2am) -

Sunday May 8th (early start 3pm) -
F/I (MKE) 

Live visuals by BREAD MOTHERS and A. BILL MILLER
Also, please don't miss the Pfemmes of Psychedelia (an evening showcasing some of the incredible WOMYN of psych) show March 31st at Cactus Club featuring Summer Twins, Moving Panoramas, Thelma and the Sleaze and Apollo Vermouth!!!

Interview by Klemen Breznikar/2016
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It's Psychedelic Baby presents: The Real Burnouts - "Be Who I Want You To Be" premiere

Paul Crowther is a legend in the Utica, NY alternative scene. Aside from his time in Comfy (named one of Rolling Stone's Top 10 Cassettes of 2014), he has released a psych rock opera via Burger Records subsidiary Wiener Records, and has on multiple occasions turned his live shows into strange feats of performance art - once faking a drug overdose mid-set, only to return at the climax of the song, and another time made a fake news website that reported that he had stabbed a man and then proceeded to play a show in shackles and a prison jumpsuit.

His hugely prolific output of lo-fi rock 'n' roll, synth-laden psychedelia and spaced out pop music align perfectly on the 5 tracks that appear on his half of a split cassette - his 27th release - with fellow Utica indie rockers (and former Comfy bandmate) The Fig Mints, entitled "Revitalized Parts/Halo Lacerations" due out on 3/25 on Dadstache Records.

Tapes can be pre-ordered here:


Elephant Stone - The Three Poisons (2014) review

Elephant Stone - The Three Poisons (Hidden Poni Records, 2014)

Has it crossed your mind that the current psych scene has gotten rather dark as of late, rather inwardly spiraling, nearly forgetting its brilliant lysergic genesis, where the colours had sound, and the sound produced colours, where magic was in the air, where the universe was both endless and boundless, along with the shifting patterns spread out across oriental carpets that caused waves to lap at your feet, allowing you to feel free and unfeathered. That's the psych scene that I remember.

These pastural concepts are what sets Elephant Stone apart from the current state of most neo-psychedelic music, in that they’ve been able to capture and conjure not only the heart of the 60’s, but have managed to update the sound in manner that bespeaks all that was at the core of Flower Power. Three Poisons continues the course Elephant Stone established several albums ago, with beauty and blending mixing with discovery, and an artistic sense of well being through the infusion of East meets West musical attitudes, along with the assumption that the likeminded will find each other once again, causing the walls begin to splinter and crack.

This is an album of philosophy not religion, though the title Three Poisons was inspired from the Buddhist notion that ignorance, attachment, and aversion are the primary causes that keep us trapped in a continual loop of unhappiness ... an aspect that I am sure most psychiatrists would agree with, strongly suggesting that the album is about freedom and expansion; whether chemically induced, or realized through study.

But let me not forget the musical landscape ... it’s first rate and very satisfying, an adventure that continues Elephant Stone’s saga with Dylanesque songs of protest and redemption that merge with blissful Pink Floyd, where they weave a common thread that holds everything together in a most underestimated and casual manner. And all of this causes me to long dearly for those heady nights, where all was fresh, and the world was ours for the saving. Ah ... but that would mean I’ve succumb to poison number two, attachment. So let me just say that I was glad to have come of age during the 60’s, and I’m very glad to be here now with Elephant Stone riding in my back pocket.

Review by Jenell Kesler/2016
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This power-trio from Bremen has been performing their vision of psychedelic doom metal for about six years now. Black Sabbath fans should be happy with Monolith first full-length “Dystopia” and the second album named “Mountain” in hand. It will be released on March 18th by Final Gate Records, so don’t miss Monolith shows as they seriously plan to do a bunch of gigs here and there. Heralds of retro doom music goes steadily forward and Ralf Brummerloch (vocals, guitars) found some time to share latest news.

Hello Monolith! What's Monolith current status?

Currently we’re rehearsing the album’s songs. And we’re trying to get a foot in the door for a few festivals.

Your new album “Mountain” will be released by Final Gate Records on 18th of March. Are you planing to prepare a release party or tour to support the album?

Both actually. First there’s the release party on Friday 18th of March. After that we’re going on a tour and a couple of shows:
03/19/2016 tba @tba
03/20/2016 Leipzig @Black Label
03/21/2016 Hamburg @Bar 227
03/22/2016 Dortmund @Subrosa
03/23/2016 Hildesheim @VEB
03/24/2016 Wiesbaden @Kreativfabrik
03/25/2016 Halle @Hünermanhatten
04/22/2016 Berlin @HEADZ UP - Tiefgrund
04/23/2016 Chemniz @Zukunft
05/06/2016 Kassel @Goldgrube
05/07/2016 Bielefeld @Extra Bluesbar   

“Mountain” artwork is something striking! Where did you get this sacred geometry?

Lovely isn’t it? As for our first album Rocket and Wink did the artwork for Mountain.

Of course it is. It’s always great to see something that was born not only of clichés and trends! But why did you choose this one? What was on your mind when you discussed it with Rocket and Wink?

Well, he asked us what the Album’s title was going to be and we told him that it was going to be Mountain. Then he made a couple of suggestions and we chose this one. We decided more upon instinct and intuition than on reason.

The band still holds the direction you took on debut work “Dystopia”, performing old school doom rock. What are objective differences between the albums?

Actually, to get rid of some clichés that people associate with doom rock. Not every song has to be overwhelmingly slow and brutal. This album has so much more to offer since we drew from various old-school-rock influences this time. And I think that I sound less like Ozzy on this one. 

What attracts you to legacy of all these retro bands that influenced you - the sound, the spirit of that epoch or something else?

Their passion for music. The atmosphere bands such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin created. There is so much more depth in their songs than in those you can hear on the radio nowadays. And I love the fact that there are so many new bands around who actually feel the same way such as Orchid, Kadavar and all the others. Bands that do not care for airplay, but just do their kind of thing.

Is this music only for adults who grew on these old bands? Who are Monolith listeners? 

Well, we have listeners of all ages. There are those who have actually witnessed the birth of Black Sabbath and Pentagram, as well as, young people who seek refuge from those “radio-pop-music-sound-alikes” who are becoming more and more boring and meaningless.

The band was formed as a trio with you, Andre and Ron. How long do you know each other? And what did you plan when you started to built your Monolith?

Well, back then we hadn’t known each other very well. We had seen one another in Bremen as we were all more or less actively making music. André played in a band called Monopilot, I used to play with Black Night Crash and Ron was a member of Dazed and Confused. Monopilot and Black Night Crash went on a three-day-tour together and Dazed and Confused had opened a show for Black Night Crash. When Dazed and Confused disbanded Ron sought for a new band and so André and Ron started jamming. They asked me to join them and I did. First Monolith was meant to be just for fun: drinking beer and fiddling around with a couple of tunes. Our idea was to play in such an awkward manner that no one would invite us to play a second show in their venue. But after Monopilot and Black Night Crash disbanded we decided on becoming ambitious.

Monolith took new bass player on board a year ago, how did you recruit Jann Worthmann? Did he take part in recording of “Mountain”?

He used to play with Eta Lux and André and Ron started jamming with him. Since I played bass with Monolith although I am actually a guitar player we asked Jann to come and join us and so he did. He actually took part in the recording of Mountain. He also contributed a few ideas and I think “Vultures” – the second song on the album – was his idea. We liked the song so much that we made a video for it.

Ralf, does Bremen and the entire region where you live have its own alternative scene?

Not that I knew. Bremen is not really known to be a “rock and roll town”. There are a few cool bands but most of them are unambitious. And there are no new comers. Most new bands are composed of the usual suspects who have been around for decades now.

So are you mostly influenced by exterior sources or are there small parts of Bremen here and there in your songs?  

I cannot say. I exploit everything I can for the songs we write. Be it The Beatles, be it the weather or a newspaper article. If I can turn it into a song I will.

You sing in that popular manner which was set by Ozzy Osbourne. Do you see this kind of singing as necessary element for such music?

No, it is not. But in this genre everyone will think you sound like Ozzy if you sing with a clean, relatively high pitched voice, without distortion. What adds to the resemblance with Ozzy is that I recorded the vocals three times. If you mix those three vocaltracs, you will get a phasing/flanging or chorus effect which reminds you of Ozzy. However, if you listen to Black Sabbath, you will find out that he seldom used this effect and that I do not sound like him at all.

Oh, I see it now… Metal-archives show that your lyrical themes are “Doom, Seventies, Space, Cosmic”; how are these elements reflected in your songs?

I would not know about “Seventies”. “Doom” is maybe reflected in the way that I think, that our western society or call it capitalism is doomed. And you can always write a song about the cosmos or space. 

There's song “Lies and Deceit” on “Mountain”, and as I get it, it has political critics consider EU government. What motivated you to write it?

Who told you that? It is true though. But I would not limit it to the EU government. The gap between the rich and the poor is increasing constantly and nobody cares because we have television and the internet to distract us. What is more, TTIP is a threat to European economy and health but no politician really cared that the people did not want it. 
Anyway, I do not like to talk about it. You can always write a song against politics and politicians. You do not even have to be well informed. Just write, “All politicians are liars, they do not keep their promises and do not care about the people.” Now find a rhyme for “promises” and “people” and there is your first stanza… 

Ralf, what is Monolith overall message?

I do not think that we have one. Most of the lyrics on Mountain are quite personal and thus they are pretty much encrypted. But you know, I would not want to impose one way of decrypting our songs. Listen to the lyrics and give them your own message and meaning or just listen to the riffs and melodies and feel for yourself what those songs tell you. If you do not get any message at all then that is ok, too.
All I would want to say is, “If you dig this stuff, enjoy the trip.”   

Thank you mate for your patience – I have no more questions for today! I wish you all the best on tour and with spreading of Monolith influence far outside the country. Good luck!

I would not know what else to say but, “If you like our music, be sure to get a copy of our new album Mountain. And if you really loved that and you do not know Dystopia yet, check out Dystopia too”?
Or how about, “Get yourself a guitar, some drums and a bass guitar. Tune low, play slow and make sure you play loud and make yourself heard”?
Anyway, thank you.

Interview by Aleksey Evdokimov/2016
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