Timi Temple, aka Timothy Lockwood, has some psychedelic insights that he wanted to share with Around The Sound. Imbibe...
How many 5-year-olds have you met that could recite all of Dark Side of The Moon and Sgt Peppers? How many thought all households had band practice on Wednesday nights?
I remember going to school and being surprised that everyone’s favourite band or musician wasn’t Pink Floyd or Jimi Hendrix, but The Wiggles or Hi-5. ‘Who the hell are they?’
I’ve got my Dad to thank for this, his record collection; a memoir of the golden age.
I absolutely love that there’s been a psychedelic resurgence of late, especially in Australia!
Here are five Australian bands that are keeping the flame alive...
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Okay I’m starting this list off guns blazing... I don’t think I know of a modern band that’s more prolific than King Giz. Close to 10 albums deep, each album represents a new experiment or theme. I specifically fell in love with their adventures into microtonalism, Flying Microtonal Banana. Psychedelia was born through the desire to push boundaries and explore the depths of music. Like John McLachlan & Mahavishnu Orchestra or The Beatles, this experimentation came via the incorporation of Eastern and ethnic scale systems and rhythmic structures. I think King Giz used the Balinese Gamelan scale as their spring board for this album and they even got a Flying Microtonal Guitar made for them! What lords.
When people mention modern Psychedelic Rock there isn’t a more ubiquitous band than Tame Impala, the product of mastermind, Kevin Parker. The importance of Tame Impala is often overlooked in the public eye. Yes, his tunes are catchy AF. Yes, you can dance to them... but has anyone ever asked why?
The proof in the pudding lies in the pop sensibility that Parker employs. There are guitars, synths, reverbed vocals, all of the psychedelic components, but they’re all glued together with the processed drums. A product of the present musical landscape. With the ever-increasing growth of hip hop, sampled drums are becoming more and more commonplace. I feel that Parker has tapped into that ‘experimental’ mantra that past psych legends have used to create new sonic palettes. Through the amalgamation of old and new.
If I could close my eyes and time travel to the late ‘60s, The Murlocs would be my soundtrack. I love these guys so much. When I listen to their new music, the sensation I’m treated to is likened to the discovering of a hidden gem from the past... but impossible to have found. I’m so glad that these guys have access to recording techniques that the present allows for. Listening to The Beatles in dual mono is fun for nostalgia (can I be nostalgic over something I wasn’t alive for?) but I prefer chucking on headphones and being surrounded by aural bliss.
I think where Tame Impala have used modern drum mixing and sampling to bring their Psychedelic into the modern fray, The Belligerents have opted to use synths. I love the relationship of organic instrumentation and sound synthesis. There’s a danceable quality to an ostinato rhythmic pulsating synth line reflected in history through the ‘80s and techno music, and I think this is where the band really shines and to where their successes can be attributed. When people go out at night to enjoy music, a majority of the time they also want the music to move them, compel them to dance. The whole electronic scene from techno and house to EDM has strived because they have tapped into this primal instinct. Bands like The Belligerents are so crucial in keeping ‘live music’ alive by embracing this psyche and making sure feet are moving during their gigs.
My first guitar teacher taught me something that would resonate profoundly within me. He told me that we ‘Stand on the shoulders of giants’ through which we discover truth only by building on previous discoveries. A pioneer of guitar, Jimi Hendrix is still influencing the new generation of guitarists with the discoveries he made, he did things and created sounds on the guitar that people up until that point thought impossible!
It’s in HARTS’ playing that I see his legacy still shining.
Psychedelic rock was an era in experimentation, not only in sonic possibilities but also technical aspects of an instrument too. Tapping, slides, whammys, alternate tunings were all techniques prevalent and developed during this time. I might be biased, being a guitarist myself, but I just love the showmanship and flair of a guitarist letting their instrument awe and wow crowds. Especially in a musical climate where people are increasingly prone to watching a DJ spin. It gives me faith that guitar has a future when I see acts like HARTS smashing it!
Timi Temple's psychoactive first single, Sands Of Time, has a psychoactive new clip. Check it below...