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Black Market Karma & Sonic Boom - The Sour Truth (Flower Power Records)

12 September 2023

Whilst there is still that vibe of the re-imagined sixties about this latest song from Black Market Karma, it goes beyond that too. Perhaps it is the influence of Sonic Boom (he of Spacemen 3 fame); maybe it is just Stanley Belton exploring sonic territories further away from his usual creative stamping grounds. Whatever is at work here, it’s great: a slightly fractured collage of sounds, some trippy and psychedelic, others gently motorik in the way that they relentlessly roll forward.

There is something drifting about the song, something slightly detached from the typical music structures. It is oddly kaleidoscopic, beguiling, mesmerising even. There are washes of sugar-high synths and spiralling pedal note guitars. And there is also something understated and buskerish about it (in the best possible sense) as it wobbles between two chords and juggles jingling riffs to perfection.

At the outset, it seems such a simple song. But what is revealed the more that you listen to it is that it is a collection of, admittedly, straight-forward slices of music, small, subtle pieces which might be simple when taken in isolation but, when stacked up one upon the other, create a cool and complex sound, a riot of tone and texture that hangs together brilliantly.

Its musical travelling companion is “Wisdom Shifter”, a song that runs on similarly supple and subtle lines showering cascades of shimmering sonics as it goes.

In a world where many songwriters still try to catch the listeners’ attention by being loud and bombastic, complex and knowingly clever, Black Market Karma shows us another way. Another beautiful, rewarding and brilliantly effective way.

The Sour Truth
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