LOTERIO: Paul Marcano / Thomas Tallis / Bitchin Bajas / Pictish Trail

Loterio is an occasional feature that highlight unrelated tracks that keep floating back into the ‘eternal now space’ at OBLADADA base camp.

Paul Marcano: Who Is The One
From the album 10,001 Dreams (1981)

10,001 Dreams forms the central instalment of Marcano’s stunning Islands In Space trilogy. 93 minutes of stunning dreamy psych pop. The flanging, effect-laden guitar and cosmic strumming peaks in Who Is The One, a wonderful seven minute centre piece to the entire series.

The breakdown and subsequent regeneration half way through the track is total perfection. Marcano’s “ahhhs” are truly beamed from deep space. Music like this often gets bundled unfairly under the big fluffy banner of “new age” but the results contained here are totally ecstatic.

Islands In Space, 10,001 Dreams and Airbrushed Galaxies as a whole are floating masterpieces. Birthed in the early 80’s and no doubt, against the flow of the time, they are all totally immersive and unique celebrations in sound.

10,001 Dreams is available from here and here

Thomas Tallis: Spem in Alium
Orginally composed and performed in 1570

Spem in Alium is piece of music made in around 1570 for 8 choirs of 5 voices that has the power to cut through the clutter of 2018. Imagine constructing a piece of art that stretches almost 500 years into the future? Imagine a piece of art, powerful enough to bring a lump to the throat or a tear to the eye of an audience half a millennium away?

Thomas Tallis’ widely regarded masterpiece was for him a 10-minute celebration of faith. Irrespective of whatever beliefs a modern listener may or may not have, it’s hard not to be pulled right into this beautiful peeling harmonic joyousness. Traces of minimalism and Brian Eno’s Discreet Music feel like modern day approximations. Whilst some music doesn’t age well a year after its release, this is a timeless universal example of the magic of music.

Find out more about Thomas Tallis here

Bitchin Bajas: Live at Cataracts Music Festival 8/24/2013

Chicago’s Bitchin Bajas have long held me in their tractor beam. They’ve shifted through loads of stylistic shifts and amazing collaborations over several albums and eps. This is them performing live one sunny day at the Cataracts music festival in Indianapolis back in 2013, jamming a track I’ve not found on any formal release.

The piece interweaves synth, guitar and sax in a bucolic drift over a vast intro. Then, around 9 minutes in, the tables turn as they mutate into an incredible reimagining of the Grateful Dead. A fried guitar groove adds a powerful kick to the already heady atmospheric brew. The whole thing is perfectly balanced throughout, bringing their brief 15-minute set to a thoroughly satisfying close.

Find out more about Bitchin Bajas here

Pictish Trail: Strange Sun
From the album Future Echoes (2017)

A few weeks ago I was fortunate to see a great concert in Kirkcaldy. A strange triple header with Pictish Trails, James Yorkston and the singular Carl Stone. The whole event was incredible and ended with a magnificent set by Stone. The evening opened with a madcap solo set by Johnny Lynch who is Pictish Trail. His set balanced humour, cool lo-fi guitar and simple electronics. I was sufficiently energised to hit the merchandise desk and the picked up the latest album Future Echoes.

The music is a detailed and deep mix, reminiscent of the Beta Band. All from a bearded guy, his face covered in red glitter; a man who calls a caravan on the remote island of Eigg his home. The penultimate track on the album Strange Sun really got its hook in my brain. A beautiful, gently strummed, bird song dappled, dreamy ambience developing into a wonderful strain of pysch pop. It’s quickly become part of my lower-case soundtrack to the tail end of an amazing Scottish summer…

Future Echoes is available from here

Read the previous installment of Loterio here

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