Review: First brought to the world's attention via a YouTube video posted on the Dangerous Minds blog, Khun Narin's Electric Phin band have risen from their origins playing wild, primal drone-based and percussive music as a soundtrack to the daily rituals of a small village in Thailand, through their own home-made PA system. The Phin of the band-name is a type of three-string lute, amplified by Fender pickups, and heavily affected. With the help of a blown-away Los Angeles-based producer Josh Marcy, field recordings were made of this initially sceptical troupe, and the result is sixty minutes of mesmerising trance-like rapture that exists strangely outside of place and time, resonating on a ceremonial level, yet also quite capable of showing the majority of Western 'psych' acts a few lessons on what it truly means to be psychedelic.
Review: Tropics - AKA singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Ward - deals in a smooth and spare electronic sound, in which the love of '80s Peter Gabriel and Arthur Russell that he grew up is parlayed into yearning songs that are both stylishly understated and emotionally engaging. Never less than inventive and melancholically melodious, 'Rapture', his second album, makes for an exquisite litany of heartache and regret, as Ward delivers the kind of late night tales that will be manna to anyone whose tastes veer in the direction of Sade, James Blake and The XX alike.
Review: Nick Waterhouse has been a leading light in the Orange Country and Southern California scene since he was still in school, and appears to have used most of the intervening period in attempting to construct a time machine back to the 1960's, if his third solo work 'Never Twice' is anything to go by. Oft recognised as a producer whose ear for the magic of yore has worked wonders for the Allah-Las, as well as an affiliate of Ty Segall, he clearly has a plethora of strings to his own bow, and the R&B, soul and garage stylings of 'Never Twice' never stray into overly reverential or studied territory. This charismatic revue is a thing of sharp chic and formidable charisma.