Few can doubt that Mars Red Sky‘s latest album Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) is a tremendous piece of work merging their stoner rock roots with a much more psychedelic feel. Going even further out that ever, they blend thrilling drone-like riffs with delicious melodic moments of psyched out bliss. Artrocker wanted to find out more about their influences though and hunted down vocalist and guitarist Julien Pras to fill us in one their top 5 stoner and psych albums. Here’s the rather faultless results…
Pink Floyd – The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
When the members shared an apartment in the early days, Syd Barrett used to spend a lot of time in the owner’s attic where the guy had a lot of devices used mainly at the time for radio broadcast and whatnot, and he had the idea to run his guitar through an Echoplex. He might not be the first one to experiment with that but that sure helped define the Pink Floyd’s aesthetic, along with the slides, the organs running through the same Echoplex device, creating those incredible, mind-altering sounds. Syd Barrett’s lyrics were also a huge part of the picture, influenced by fairy tales, bed-time stories, Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland etc.. creating a world of his own, the innocence of childhood, the temporary escape from reality, all of which are the definitions of psychedelia.
My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
The production for this album is incredibly unique, and it’s not just the sounds and mixing options that make it psychedelic, it’s also the way all the tracks seem to blend in one another. Kevin Shields explained in an interview he liked the idea that there was a sense of not knowing when the song is supposed to start and end, which enables the listener to lose sense of time, perceptions being altered by that and of course the mind blowing guitar sounds, the use of the tremolo bar bending up and down the tone, there again creating a sense of disorientation.
Electric Wizard – Come My Fanatics…
The down-tuned instruments and wavy tempos create that same kind of feeling as with Loveless in a way. here again the production is so odd, nothing sounds like what was done before. There’s an almost paradoxical feeling of suffocation and wideness. And of course it’s massively heavy.
Sleep – Holy Mountain
Drones, oriental scales, heavy fuzzed-drenched guitars and bass, massive plummeting of the drums, eerie vocals… It’s all in there.
The Beatles – Revolver
Mostly because of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, ‘She Said She Said’, and the sitar in a pop album, the oriental flavour, therefore bringing in there the oriental concepts of Buddhism. It’s funny how people tend to think Lennon was the far out, experimental mind of the band, when it’s actually Paul McCartney who had been experimenting a lot with tape manipulation, cut-and-paste etc… and he brought in the studio the tape loops that one hears on ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. The reversed guitars were he and Geoff Emmerick’s ideas too… Of course all that could be said about Sgt Pepper and especially the single that came out before, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane’. They were totally ahead of their times, even though they claimed to be inspired by Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds.