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Various Artists - The Lemon Tape (Kinnta/Hobo Cult)

27 January 2012

WOW. Wow. Every time I think I’ve plumbed the depths of this city’s wellsprings of great music, something like cassette labels Kinnta and Hobo Cult pop out, all explosions and rainbows with a whole batch of amazing. I don’t think I’ve heard of a single one of these bands before, but each track is a psychedelic gem unto itself.
First track by the awesomely-monikered Reveens is pure Nuggets , evoking an a propos Electric Prunes flavor, with proggy lines, antique reverb and organ washes. From there we delve into more contemporary lo-fi attitude with a smooth number by Brave Radar, eliciting a sort of Sea and Cake meets Pavement vibe. The ‘shrooms start to take hold on the shimmering, tremolo-laden perambulations of The Haiduks trippy number “A Tide Through The Flames”, which have a jazzy spookyness reminiscent of early Piano Magic, save for the phase-y, lazy vocals. The trip gets deeper and weirder with the one minute scintillation of The Capital of Plastic Daffodils warbling falsetto on “Princess”. Next, fans of Umma Gumma era Pink Floyd will be completely satisfied with the farfisa n’ toms drone of Bataille Solaire ‘s dank excursions. Jane L. Kasowicz next manages to touch on some haunting Bulgarian-style vocal riffs over a gnarly distorted guitar, superb! The Yesteryears offer up a loving 70’s Wurlitzer-driven cover of The Association ‘s 1967 hit “Never My Love” sounding like an outtake from an early Deodato album. The next track by Einar Leiknes breaks up the mood casually with a more conventional but still infectiously lilting indie-rock jam that offers homage to the early 90s. Par for the course on this excellent comp, a left turn suddenly occurs into some sort of psych/noise approach to Congolese music, with the galloping tune “Prend de Nouvelles Formes” by Léopard et Moi. The intensity is once again offset by a languid retro sounding jam on “Cosmique Love” by the awesomely named Tomato Saucers , which maintains the skein of kitsch over the whole release, there’s an element of early Air tweaking with David Axelrod – esque song structure. The kitsch-fest moves forward a few years with the synthbleepy statement of L’Oeil Nu and their tasty little song Transe Oedipienne . Synths continue to rule near the end of the comp with the more Tangerine Dream – yness of Élément Kuuda ‘s dreamy cut “Insomnia Astrale”. Closing the comp is a reprise of “Never My Love”, this time with heavily processed vocals and pitched down a couple semitones!
I can’t say enough good about this compilation, it’s treats like this that keep my ears to the ground, you never know when something like this will pop out of the wilderness and inspire the mind to greater heights. While the “top-tier” of Montreal’s bands falter and churn out predictable FM ready poo-cakes, two little cassette labels have flowered sheer, unassuming beauty in the world. The Lemon Tape is anything but a lemon, but crackles with life and it’s own sense of aesthetic appropriateness, somehow making the transition between noise, psych rock, 60s – 70s kitsch and synth-scapes make perfect sense.
The best part is that the whole shebang is available free on good ol’ Bandcamp, so download this awesomeness, slap it on your portable music listening device and proceed to have a fantastically sound-tracked day.


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