Interview The Love Dimension: English version [ Une leçon de psychédélisme L ]

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If California is synonymous with sunshine and love, The Love Dimension is for you. Assuming proudly the legacy of the sixties, their music remains a hymn to joy. From shamanism to the relay between the generations, they did not hesitate to tell us about their colorful world.
1-How formed The Love Dimension? What do you look for in The Love Dimension? Why collectives are so numerous in psyche music? 

The Love Dimension formed back in 2008.  Its a long story but I’ll try to get to the point and cover the main events that sparked the band.  I have a feeling this is going to be a long answer though.  Hahaha.

I had given up on music after moving in 2006 from the east coast (Boston, MA) to the Bay Area (San Francisco, CA).  I had sold all my guitars, drums, musical gear.   I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with life.

At the time I was studying the healing arts (Hypnotherapy, Shamanic Healing, Energy Healing).  During one of the classes while exploring some deep traumatic and personal issues,  I felt like a boomerang had come back and hit me in the back of the head.  That boomerang was music.  I couldn’t throw it away because it was part of me, my soul’s purpose and the reason I came to have a human experience at this time in history.

 

When this realization happened, I started with buying an acoustic guitar and writing songs.  Many of those songs later became songs that appeared on the Love Dimension’s first two albums « In Between Lives » and « Forget the Remember ».  I decided I wanted to start a band again and kept thinking I had to find a lead singer.

While on a trip to Tulum, Mexico, I attended a sweat lodge facilitated by a Mayan Shaman.  While going through that experience, I had many visions and more realizations.  One of them was that I was the singer I had been searching for.  Before the Love Dimension, I had never been able to sing and play guitar at the same time.  Growing up on the east coast of the United States, I had always been in the background playing drums or bass in various punk and indie rock bands.  But since my early years as a teenager, I had always been recording my own 4 track demos.  I never felt confident enough to put them out there and share them with others.

So when I got back to California after my trip to Mexico, I began taking voice lessons and writing more songs.  In the fall of 2008, I went on a spiritual retreat to Ojai, CA to visit my voice teacher’s teacher, Danny Castro (Author of the book « In That Stillness »).  That trip awoke something in me and started a spiritual journey that I am still on and will probably be on for many lifetimes.

When I got back home and as I was about  to fall sleep, I kept hearing in my head the name « The Love Dimension ».  I thought it sounded cool but I was feeling like I didn’t want to get out of bed.  The inner voice got louder and said « Write it down.  You won’t remember it in the morning. »  So I did.  And now its 8 years later and the band is constantly evolving and unfolding.

What I look for in the Love Dimension is simply to express truth in the way I perceive it, my own personal journey of self realization and what it is like being a spiritual being having a human experience.

I believe that collectives are so numerous in psych music, because anyone who has ever had a psychedelic experience realizes it is all connected and it is all one.  When you help others with their musical expression, you are really helping yourself and the collective consciousness.  It is more about community then an individual ego or everyone for themselves.

2- You released your last album in June. What inspired you when you made this album?

My inspiration for « Freakquency Space Mind Continuum » was 60s surf music and thinking about the higher levels of awareness that artists, musicians, writers, creative people, etc are able to tap into and how they then are able to bring those thought forms into the 3D.

Its truly an amazing gift.  If all of these beautiful souls could harness this power and come together in this higher collective mind space and create consciously, then we could change the 3D structure of this world so rapidly.

So many people in the world are in fear right now and focusing on the lower vibrating human emotions like anger, jealousy, etc.  What you focus on expands.  What you resist persists.  You do have to face the fears and welcome them and then transmute them into higher frequency emotions such as gratitude, appreciation, unconditional love, courage, etc.  We are electro magnetic beings.  What do you want to magnetize in your energy field?  You have free will.  Its your choice.


3- When you come from San Francisco, is not there a too heavy musical heritage coming from the sixties and the seventies to assume? 

Yes definitely.  The musical heritage can be felt here for sure.  It is a great inspiration for continuing on with that lineage.  Its like having musical ancestors and passing on the torch from generation to generation.   
4- What do you think of the election of Donald Trump? Does it feel like there is a real divide in the United States?

In general, I am not much of a political person.  I usually like to not take sides.  The way I see politics is like a tennis, ping pong, or sports match.  It is very much based in duality and seems like  a bunch of people yelling at each other and expressions opinions.  If you swing the pendulum to one side, it just gains momentum to swing to the other side.  There is no wrong or right.

With that said, I was pretty shocked with the election of Donald Trump.  Its making me wonder if I somehow got myself stuck in some alternate quantum time line.  It feels very surreal.  And it does seem like it is causing a real divide in the U.S.  I’m not sure what will happen.  I do know that I am seeing a fire lit under a lot of people and motivating them to step up.  It seems like this is going to spark some amazing art and music.  The underground scene now has a lot of fuel for the fire.

When I step out of the story for a moment and do my best to see the bigger picture, I do see that Donald Trump is still in some weird way (I wish I could say this wasn’t true) a manifestation of source, great spirit, god, the universe, the oneness, whatever you want to call it.  He is not separate from us.  In fact at the higher levels of awareness as a collective consciousness we chose him for some crazy reason.  It won’t make sense right now because we are in the middle of the story.  I really do believe everything is always in divine order and happens in divine timing.  Think about any event in your life.  Even the bad ones.  When it happened it sucked.  But after some time has passed and you look back at it in retrospect, it all makes sense and you can see all the ways things lined up in miraculous ways to get you to where you are now.

Think of it this way.  Imagine this whole thing as a theater.  The watcher part of us that is just observing are the people in the theater enjoying different perspectives and angles of the same thing.  The projector represents the thought forms we are projecting into 3D reality and so we witness it all unfold.  You could get mad at the villain on the screen and throw your shoe at the screen.  You can cry, laugh, scream, yell.  Its all coming from the same projector man.  If you want to see something different, you got to go the source.  You gotta change the film.  The film represents the inner world and inner consciousness of everyone of us.  You need to look inside first and change yourself.  Once you do that, you be that change like Gandhi said.  Be an example of that love.  Others will notice and maybe they will wake up too and change themselves.  You can’t change anyone though.  You can’t force it on another.  Remember we have free will.  Just be yourself and do the best you can.

5- What current bands do you feel close and which ones you like listening ?

I really appreciate all of the amazing bands coming out of the Bay Area right now.  The Spiral Electric, Down Dirty Shake, Down and Outlaws, Everyone is Dirty, The Green Door, The Golden Hexegrams, Cellar Doors, Coywolf, Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah, Trans Van Santos, just to name a few.

Some other current bands too that have really had an influence and I enjoy listening to are Temples, Tame Impala, Triptides, Sleepy Sun, The Black Angels, Primal Scream, BJM, and Elephant Stone.
6 – How would you define psychedelic music? Which groups who embodies the most?

I’m not sure there is one definition that could encompass or define psychedelic music.  Its more than just about the music to me.  I guess one simple aspect of it that is important is that it expands your consciousness.  It helps you to get out of your limited ego mind and feel the vastness of universe.

There are so many groups that embody this.  There’s the obvious ones like The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, etc.  Then there’s bands that maybe weren’t as well known like Ultimate Spinach, Blues Magoos, Country Joe and the Fish.  That’s just from 60s/70s.  I think it is more about how all of these psych bands as a collective pushed boundaries and created something that inspired many bands to follow.  There’s just too many bands for me to list them all.  I like to think of it as an ocean with many waves that are all influencing each other.
7- How do you explain the psychedelic revival in recent years in the world ? Do you think bands like The Blacks Angels and The Brian Jonestown Massacre are important in this revival  ?

My explanation for the revival would be that just like in the 60s, this is a pretty intense time and time is a spiral.  Things come around again and history repeats itself.  Not exactly like it did before but very similar.  We have evolved as a species in some ways.  In other ways things are kind of the same.  Its like how there was the gold rush in San Francisco in the 1800s and now it is happening again except the new gold is the tech industry.

Yes I do think bands like the Black Angels and BJM are important.  They have done their thing and stuck with it.  They have inspired many other people to start bands and do what you love.  Create from a heart space and share that it with others.  What else can you really do?

 

8- The sixities psychedelia appeared in a more optimistic period than ours Can you explain this difference ? What psychedelia shows of our time?

I don’t know for sure that was a more optimistic time.  I wasn’t there.  Yes some people were able to stay in a good space and focus on creating and positive things I suppose.  However, there was a lot of turmoil during that time.  A lot of people probably felt like it was the end of the world so they said fuck it and decided to just live in the moment and do what they were gonna do.

You always hear that phrase if you can remember the 60s then you weren’t really there.  I wonder if many people turned to substances during that time to help cope with that intensity and reality of what was happening in history.  Seems like it is happening again.  A more intense and sped up version of that similar corresponding point in the space time spiral.  All the good.  All the bad.  Its all one and this too shall pass.

9- Psychedelia has always tried to provide other forms of vision or sensation, which visions or sensations that you would like to bring to your audience?

In the Bay Area, we have some great visual artists who help create a multi sensory experience for the various shows and events that take place.  A couple of them are Mad Alchemy and White Light Prism.

There are other friends and promoters here who have also put together events that include food vendors, other artists who paint at the same time a band is playing, maybe some incense for the sense of smell.  One event that took place in September of 2015 that really brought this all together was the « Gathering of the Tribes Festival » put on by Pow Magazine.

What other senses are there?  I guess if there was a way to incorporate our sixth sense and higher senses, that would be pretty cool.  Maybe have some psychic stuff and psychokinesis at shows where everyone just plays their instruments with their minds.  Hahaha.

Interview: Anton Newcombe, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Pure Phase Ensemble [ Une leçon de psychédélisme XLIX ] / English Version

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If December is the perfect month to make an assessment of the past year, Anton Newcombe‘s assessment seems to be full again: The lead this weekend of the Pure Phase Ensemble at SpaceFest Gdansk in Poland, a new album for the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the third in two years, not to mention the various collaborations (for example the production of the album of Vacant Lots). More reason to ask some questions to the prolific Anton.

1- In two years, The Brian Jonestown Massacre has released three albums and one EP, you collaborate yourself with several bands and this coming week you will also lead Pure Phase Ensemble. Are you a workaholic?

I’ve always been abnormal and had more energy and ideas than anyone I know personally. I want to do as much as I can as long as I am alive. I want to shoot the concept that teenager’s singing songs written by 40-year-old white guys from Sweden about being a tough thug from NYC full of fucking holes. Fuck the system, the media, and the people that put up with « FM » kulture. Why can’t there be one person in the world like me on TV or even the radio, respecting culture? sharing ideas? why are there more billionaires, movie students, cameras, digital editing programs on laptops, YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion, film festivals, social networks you can rent a movie theater anywhere and send them a digital file but there are few films being made than were made in one month in Italy in the 1960s.

why have all of you just decided to pretend you are dead…and ask me questions like « are you a workaholic » like its a disease because I am still alive…with ideas…and having fun, selling records and being on tour and owning all my music and basically raising a giant middle finger to everyone that signed their rights away.

2- After your joint album with Tess Parks, she is participating in the new BJM album. What do you like most about her work?

well she is very creative and she’s open to ideas…if I say, write some words to this she will write 500 and I will say well we only need 15…and she goes « fucking rad. » simple as that…she’s so smart and doesn’t take it personal. I love her.

3- Is the cover of your last album a reference to the Illuminati, the symbol of the American bill or is it simply a reprise of the logo of Spacemen 3? In any case, is there a reason for this winking eye game?

it’s more complex than any of those questions…basically it is a visual diagram of a pyramid. I yes the mother fuckers are trying as hard as they can to pull off the total wink…and Kissinger said these wars would be the birth of the one world and he was the first mother fucker walking through the door at number 10 when they put Theresa May in power in the UK…

we could go on and on about a million things…but the truth is nobody gives a shit.

4- Two tracks from the album are instrumental, Oh Bother and Lunar Skin Graveyard. Do you think that the instrumental style is an essential part of psychedelia?

I don’t know…psychedelic means mind expanding…I find that my music expands minds…I make recordings in French, I don’t speak French…why do you think I do that? I record in Icelandic and I don’t speak Icelandic…why do you think I do that? To get rich in a country of 300,000 people?

5- What interests you about working with Pure Phase Ensemble?

I want to help establish this as one of the most important cultural events in Poland and totally relevant in Europe. I want to talk Ebbot Lundberg into doing it next year…

I would like to be involved on a deeper level. I want to integrate culturally, artistically with all of Europe…well not the fascist part haha, not the neocons…not the Polanski eyes wide shut fuckers….the artists…

How was it decided what musicians you will work with for this project and what is the artistic vision that you want to give to the ensemble this year?

well the big boss revised the plan after it was agreed that I would take part and that I would work as a team with Emil from Serena Maneesh because I fucking love him. He’s such a beautiful and talented person.

6- Did you know Emil Nikolaisen already before this project? Have you worked together?

yes, we are friends and he’s amazing. I love his sister, I love his lady…I love Norway…

7- There are now festivals specializing in psyche / shoegaze (like SpaceFest in Gdansk) all over the world. How do you explain this multiplication of festivals?

turn on the fucking radio…then turn it back off. That shit is bad for you. erm…lets have an urban contemporary rap festival everywhere and see what happens. Let’s have more DJ festivals…name one fucking important DJ now that people will respect in 30 years…name a record besides some classic jam that anyone at a club cares about. It’s all disposable. We are all trying to create our own culture because Western culture is dead…the baby boomers and their kids and their kids. Kids for the most part are all worthless…..the rest of us have to do what we can in any genre. We make art, we make the rules for us…it’s fine to use any tech but don’t kid me your bleeps and blobs are great…we will see how it holds up to Kraftwerk in 30 years.

8- Now you live in Berlin but you are American. What do you think of the election of Donald Trump? Does it symbolize the state of mind of the United States today?

everything is a reflection of society but you know, team Hillary was backed into a corner. She is also a neocon…just like Bush and Obama…they tried to pull off the Turkish revolution it failed and it looked like ww3 with China and Russia and Iran…

this may buy time…it’s like a business guy saying no bullshit…let talk serious matters and on the home front…its a bunch of fucking fascists apes going mental like thugs. They are selecting the attack dogs that were to extreme to be in the actual government for long or at all, they only were the talking heads on TV shows talking rightwing bullshit or teaching at schools…

now they are all in force…and their fan club are nuts…it’s like having Berlusconi replaced by the super ultras to rule Italy.

remember Italy and watch the government and corporations merge…its the original fascism and we are seeing it.

9- Do you now feel like you’re German or are you a citizen of the world?

I’m a mystic…I’m just walking through time…I am here in Germany, my family is German or part German…I am home, but northern Europe is my home…and I love the California in my mind but it is gone…

Paris means more to me…sometimes…

it’s like I can sit here and talk shit or whatever….but when I go back, I love the good people…when the shit hits the fan I love general MacArthur…and the real old school…I’m not exactly some commie or how the establishment might make me out to be…I am like a Sufi wise man…I just do my thing, I grow…I create…but I have to tell you this. You will know hard times like only stories your grandparents might have told you, except now it will be worse. Everything they are doing points to war, not peace. Everything. Don’t kid yourself. Stay way. Be good to your family and friends…

you will need each other.

10- What do you still have to explore in psychedelia after twenty years of your career?

I’ve been playing music since I was 11 or 12….I’m not done. I have a new album in December called Don’t get lost.

Credit Photo : Mary Martley

Live-report: Wooden Shjips / The Jabberwocky Band au Petit Bain ( 02/11 )

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La soirée ouvre avec le set de The Jabberwocky Band dont les membres sont originaires de Rouen et Paris. J’étais assez intrigué par ce groupe que je n’avais encore jamais vu sur scène. J’avais par contre testé « Le Psychotron », installation interactive permettant aux gens d’appréhender les modulations vocales et l’expérimentation sonore. Plus d’info sur la bête ici : http://www.petitbain.org/Psychotron
A la fin du show un constat : ils manquaient à la scène psyché française. Vraiment perché ils m’ont rappelé Master Musicians of Bukkake, en moins nuancé certes (et sans les jolis costumes). Certains regretteront que les morceaux ne décollent jamais vraiment, mais cela est-il vraiment nécessaire lorsque la musique plane dès le début ?
D’élévation, il va justement être question tout le long du concert de Wooden Shjips qui prend le relai. Pourtant, là encore certains y trouveront à redire, arguant que leur musique est « toujours là même ». Oui, mais la répétition étant le concept même de la formation, on peut difficilement le lui reprocher…
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Sur une base rythmique impeccable et hypnotique composée de ses potos Dusty Jermier à la basse, Nash Whalen au synthé et Omar Ahsanuddin à la batterie, le leader Eric « Ripley » Johnson chantonne et nous abreuve de solos incroyables. Ce qui capte dans le jeu de ce dernier, c’est que l’on entend des déluges de notes saturés sous réverb, mais lorsque l’on regarde attentivement ses mains il donne l’impression de jouer trois notes tout en souplesse. Non seulement il a une sacrée technique de sweeping qui lui permet d’économiser son énergie, mais il matrise aussi son pedal board le bougre !

Wooden Shjips jouera une bonne heure et demi, qui en paraîtra à peine une, piochant dans tous ses albums et en particulier dans West leur avant dernier. On aura occasion d’entendre Black Smoke Rise, For So Long, Everybody Knows, Flight, Lazy BonesSurtout, on sent que le groupe prend plaisir à être là ce qui est communicatif.
Après ça, il n’y a plus qu’à attendre le 3 févier 2017 pour la sortie du nouvel album de Moon Duo (autre groupe de Ripley où il est cette fois accompagnée de son épouse Sanae Yamada) et leur concert le 18 mars au Trabendo !

Live-report: Acid Mothers Temple au Petit Bain le 26/10

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Le concert commence vers 20 h dans la salle du Petit Bain avec le groupe Deux Boules Vanille. On y trouve deux batteurs lançant des boucles électroniques avant de s’en donner à cœur joie sur leurs instruments. Des synthés analogiques et des rythmes de batteries prononcés donc pour un rendu electro-kraut et une musique propice à la transe. Si le public reste assez épars, nous sommes maintenant bien préparés à la suite de la soirée.


 

White Heat suit sur scène et me convainc moins. Un peu trop maniéré  et trop sous-Sonic Youth. J’en profite pour me recharger au bar et dépenser mes deniers sur le merch des japonais.

Acid Mothers Temple prend ensuite la relève et commence son set par un de leur classique : une minutes de bruit, larsens et autres feedbacks pour réveiller le public avant de le faire voyager vers d’autres dimensions.
Le premier morceau  suit avec son riff monstrueux, le collectif japonais ayant surement invoqué l’esprit de Black Sabbath pour le concert de ce soir. La guitare de Makoto Kawabata commence à nous emmener vers la route des étoiles aidée par les étranges sons produits par le synthé et le thérémine d’Higashi Hiroshi, au regard toujours aussi contemplatif… Le set est plutôt énergique et valorise la nouvelle section rythmique avec Satoshima Nani à la batterie impressionnant de régularité et S/T à la basse.
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A chaque nouveau show la formation donne l’impression de s’autoriser des écarts dans ses morceaux rock. Après l’intermède de flûte du set de l’année passée, on a le droit cette fois ci à un numéro burlesque donnée par Tabata Mitsuru, le deuxième guitariste. Coiffé d’une perruque rose et vêtu d’une robe avec des bas pour l’occasion, on a le droit à des levés de jambes, montée de jupe et dévoilement d’un string, le tout perché sur les amplis et au son d’un solo d’harmonica joué par Higashi… Assez aguicheurs ces japonais !
Puis les riffs de guitares reprennent pour un morceau teinté d’harmonica et d’une ambiance 70’s. Dans la deuxième partie de son set le groupe joue ses classiques dans des versions un poil plus énervées que d’habitude, la nouvelle section rythmique infatigable devant y être pour quelque chose. On a donc l’occasion de réécouter Pink Lady Lemonade et OM Riff.
Au final, Acid Mothers Temple prouve avec ce concert qu’il a encore beaucoup à offrir à la sphère psychédélique, même si je ne peux m’empêcher pour ma part d’être un peu triste du départ de l’immense Tsuyama Atsushi
Les Acid Mothers Temple au Boiler Room en mars 2016 avec la nouvelle formation et à peu près la même set-list :

Gloria – Gloria In Excelsis Stereo ( Howlin Banana – Novembre 2016 ) [ Une leçon de psychédélisme XLVIII ]

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Déjà remarqué pour ses trouvailles psyché/garage le label français Howlin Banana semble inépuisable quand il s’agit de trouver de nouveaux joyaux. Avec le groupe lyonnais Gloria, le label met la barre très haut. Le premier morceau Beam Me Up sorti il y a quelques mois avait déjà attiré l’attention par sa maîtrise des codes pop-psyché issus des sixties.

 

Ce premier album Gloria In excelsis Stereo n’est pourtant pas un simple exercice de style. Si les voix des trois chanteuses évoquent irrésistiblement The Mamas and The Papas, Jefferson Airplaine ou encore Nancy Sinatra par leur douceur et leur côté un peu atemporel, on découvre avec plaisir un vrai talent de mélodistes. Du langoureux Beam Me Up au murmure de The Highlight en passant par la ballade de Requiem For a Witch aucune fausse note ne perturbe ces dix titres. Après avoir écouté l’album une première fois, il est difficile de ne pas ensuite le mettre en boucle. Lorsque un album évite les titres trop accrocheurs pour atteindre une qualité si homogène sans être répétitive, on se dit qu’on est bien au-delà du coup d’essai.