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Godspeed You! Black Emperor / Bardo Pond (live at Motion)

Bristol 30 October 2017

Motion in Bristol was home to two giants of the alternative music scene on the day before Halloween this year. The weather was clement, the venue opened on time and the mighty Godspeed You! Black Emperor had brought along friends and fellow sonic travellers Bardo Pond, so we knew we were in for a full on evening’s treat.

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Bardo Pond – Peace on Venus


Bardo Pond - Peace on VenusThere’s a Dylan Carlson–like Earthiness here, a grungy bristle, the rasping purr of the bass , counter-sunk percussion, all spiralling away on a singe of erosive geometries.

“Kali Yuga Blues” is a brilliant thing, something to be savoured, the sensual core of Isobel Sollenberger‘s voice calling from within the thicket, dusted in arterial-sprayed collusion and sliding flute. A sweet promise of the semi-seismic seductions that follow. The harmonic antenna of “Taste,” its lyrics entwined with nature, a wiccan sensibility relished by the cover art. A notion of hippidom that continues on “Fir” dispatched with a doomic swagger, its cross-cut currents kaleidoscoping a MBV-esque roughness, a certain sickle-stitched brightness.

Things teeter the volcano brilliantly, pull at you , but never claw with brazen savagery and

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Bardo Pond / Black Bombaim (live at Baba Yaga’s Hut)

Corsica Studios, London 22 September 2014

Bardo Pond live Sept 2014

Despite its location, deep in the heart of Elephant and Castle, I really, really like Corsica Studios. It’s essentially a tiny concrete box with a wicked sound system, the combination of which tends to funnel intensity and make great music sound just that little bit greater. We’re here to see Bardo Pond, of whom more later

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Various Artists – In Search of Hawkwind

Critical Mass

In Search of HawkwindIn Search of Hawkwind is a tribute album, whereby nine venerable old battle hymns originally cranked out by the veteran psychedelic cosmonauts are re-interpreted by younger, hipper bands, mostly from the US (at least I think so — I’m not actually hip enough to have heard of all of them). There have been other Hawkwind tributes, but they’ve tended to be low-budget releases featuring deservedly obscure free festival-type acts, though the likes of Acid Mothers Temple (of whom more below) and Wire’s Colin Newman have popped up on them too. This looks to be a bigger-league affair, nicely packaged and featuring a couple of biggish names in Mudhoney and the aforementioned Acid Mothers, alongside established neo-psych stalwarts Bardo Pond and a clutch of younger acts: Kinski, Mugstar, White Hills, Magoo, and Wooden Shijps

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