Psychotronic Soundscapes: Top Twenty Mind-Bending Albums for 2012

Picture: Maf04 (CC)

Disinfo pal Thad McKraken has written a run-down of this year’s top mind-bending albums, complete with samples for your enjoyment:

Say what you will about 2012, but since consciousness is comprised of linguistic information, the idea of a coming apocalypse in itself propagated some rather delicious undercurrents of sound rippling through the Akashic record this year. I’ve never written more than a top five list in my life, but when I was thinking back on the insane amount of mind-bending albums that dropped in the last 12 months, I was kind of in shock. Most of this stuff’s fairly obvious, at least in my world. Was it people like Terence McKenna and his mechanized Timewave Zero prophesies, inspiring people like Grant Morrison to write the great Invisibles hypersigil, that summoned this record deluge of psychoactive soundscapes into motion? I have no idea. Did the Mayans get in every band’s head and subconsciously encourage them to bring their A game in 2012 as it might be their final chance? Whatever happened, it appears a software update embedded itself into our collective psyche and we went berzerk. An aspiring mystic could use any one of these mind-warping albums to put a hex on their internal mind tunnel and help elevate our collective superstructure heavenward. One might now use these recorded sound patterns in conjunction with the aforementioned pot based sex tantra quite legally in a hip music town like Seattle if one were so inclined. I’ve been told by the gods that it’s a very “time safe activity”…

Keep reading.

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  • mole_face

    I like that he included underground hip hop – the genre has been the leading purveyor of mindfuck psychedelic soundscapes since the 90s. I think it was a major oversight to leave Gangrene’s “Vodka and Ayahuasca” off the list though.

    • Thad McKraken

      Yeah, I’ll have to check out that Gangrene record, oh and shit, the Seattle public library has it and I just put a hold. If I like it enough, I’ll buy it (libraries do in fact pay borrowing rates for those discs though, just FYI). Yeah, when I was growing up in the 90’s trip hop, weird electronic stuff, and stoner metal was kind of the psych music of the times. I’m prolly always going to a bit rock-centric as that’s my background.

      • mole_face

        Yeah, I think you’ll really like it. Get their first album “Gutter Water” too if you can.

        If you’re familiar with Edan’s “Beauty and the Beat”, “Vodka and Ayahuasca” has got a similar vibe – lots of dusty sounding 60s rock samples and stuff like that.
        Dalek is really crazy too, if you haven’t heard them. They haven’t put out a record in awhile, but they’re always worth mentioning when the conversation turns to psychedelic hip hop. Listen to the track “Opiate the Masses” and you’ll see what I mean.

        • Thad McKraken

          I am actually familiar with Dalek and yes, they are awesome. As is most of what comes out on Mike Patton’s Ipecac label (not that I have been keeping up with it much as of late). Oh, and hey, the library has Gutter Water as well. Score.

          • mole_face

            Cool. Check out this video – it tells you everything you need to know about Gangrene.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I11pgTCli3c

          • mole_face

            The second album’s production amps up the 60s psychedelia influence

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA-QpkVpuAQ

            And speaking of sampling 60s psychedelic rock, here’s a really badass use of a Cream sample by Apollo Brown

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OyitfgzF14

          • Thad McKraken

            Rad. Thanks for the heads up on all of that. Yeah, Cream. I think Eric Clapton peaked with that..but his career just kept going and going.

          • mole_face

            Yeah, I hate Eric Clapton and I’m not even a fan of Cream either – I just think it’s a really cool use of a sample. The closest thing to Eric Clapton in my music collection is the Anal Cunt song about him called “Your Son Committed Suicide Because You Suck”.

            Anyway – if you like the Apollo Brown beat, check out the label Mello Music Group. They’re putting out some of the highest quality underground hip hop right now.

            I’m assuming you’re already familiar with Black Milk, but just in case, this track is probably the most mindbending hip hop beat I’ve ever heard. It’s pretty old at this point, but it still sounds futuristic as fuck compared to even the most out-there underground hip hop.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iUwGEEW2rE

            Sorry about all the links – I just love turning people on to mindblowing music.

          • mole_face
          • Thad McKraken

            Cream actually has a double live record that I highly recommend. 20 minute plus blues jams and such if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s kind of funny how many bands to this day still do basically exactly what they were doing like 40 years ago now. Haven’t actually listened to Black Milk as admittedly, my knowledge of underground hip hop isn’t super extensive, but I will check it out (already a library hold), and this Mello music group. If you’ve never checked out Shabazz Palaces – do so. Freaking phenomenal.

          • mole_face

            Thanks for the recommendation… I’m not familiar with Shabazz Palaces, but I’ll definitely add that to my list of stuff to check out asap.

            About Black Milk – the best place to start with him is his album “Tronic”. He’s sort of fallen off in recent years, at least compared to that album. Black Milk’s up there with El-P as one of the few hip hop producers whose production work has blown my mind so hard that it literally moved me to tears.

          • mole_face

            Listen to that link to his track “Overdose” I posted earlier and you’ll get what I’m talking about. It’s genius.

  • Calypso_1

    Fantastically good music & reviews – Thx!

    I would love to see McKraken’s reviews regularly featured.

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