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Thread: Motorpsycho

  1. #1

    Motorpsycho

    I had this Norweigan prog band recommended to me. The only album I have heard so far is their latest one "Behind The Sun" which I think is really good. Elements of Flaming Lips, Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead (a lot of the singing sounds like Garcia) alongside livlier passages which remind me of a jazzier Rush a little bit.

    Looking at their wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorpsycho it seems that they have done a lot more experimental work than this, under various guises, with jazz musicians and other improvisers.

    Is anyone familiar with them? What else should I check out by them?

    Thanks,

    Paul

  2. #2
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    I'd recommend "Heavy Metal Fruit" which has a few "proggy" moments on it, including a 20+ minute epic. The only other I own is, I believe, a compilation of 2 EPs "Black Hole/Black Canvas". It's a little uneven iirc...
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

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  3. #3
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    I picked up "The Death Defying Unicorn" double disc on the basis of a previous thread here not too long ago. It's all I've heard by the band but it's a unique amalgam of styles that I really like.

    jkelman's review here:

    http://www.allaboutjazz.com/motorpsy...ohn-kelman.php

  4. #4
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  5. #5
    Matt! polmico's Avatar
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    The last time they were discussed:
    http://www.progressiveears.org/forum...ht=motorpsycho

    Featured album for Death Defying Unicorn (which is as awesome as it sounds):
    http://www.progressiveears.org/forum...ht=motorpsycho

    It's tough for me not to recommend everything they've done, but you'll certainly find a lack of "prog" elements in their early stuff. Demon Box sounds like acid-freak out melodic pop punk. The next album, Timothy's Monster, sits comfortably next to all your favorite '90s Seattle grunger rockers you remember from 120 Minutes. It's a Love Cult is their love letter to '60s psych-pop. You want some improv-y jazzy stuff? Check out the album they did with Jaga Jazzist.

    I think their current run of albums starting with Little Lucid Moments is among the best stuff they've ever done.

    "Hell: Parts 4-6" from the current album might be the best song they've ever put out.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  6. #6
    Excellent, thanks. Seems they are a v big band with a huge following especially in Scandland. I'd only heard of them today! It's fantastic and extremely varied stuff.

  7. #7
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    Here's that epic song:

    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

    -Cozy 3:16-

  8. #8
    NP-The Death Defying Unicorn.

    Crikey, there's a thing!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by revporl View Post
    I had this Norweigan prog band recommended to me. The only album I have heard so far is their latest one "Behind The Sun" which I think is really good. Elements of Flaming Lips, Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead (a lot of the singing sounds like Garcia) alongside livlier passages which remind me of a jazzier Rush a little bit.

    Looking at their wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorpsycho it seems that they have done a lot more experimental work than this, under various guises, with jazz musicians and other improvisers.

    Is anyone familiar with them? What else should I check out by them?

    Thanks,

    Paul
    The only one I have is "Heavy Metal Fruit" which I really like. Not sure why I have not picked up more of their stuff.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by polmico View Post
    It's tough for me not to recommend everything they've done, but you'll certainly find a lack of "prog" elements in their early stuff. Demon Box sounds like acid-freak out melodic pop punk. The next album, Timothy's Monster, sits comfortably next to all your favorite '90s Seattle grunger rockers you remember from 120 Minutes. It's a Love Cult is their love letter to '60s psych-pop. You want some improv-y jazzy stuff? Check out the album they did with Jaga Jazzist.
    All good. Here's what I wrote myself in one of those threads:

    Lobotomizer, Soothe and Demon Box (their first double album) (1991-93) constitute their baby steps, veering from grunge-inflected indie-rock to noisy pop and folk elements plus their earliest and somewhat immature stab at "prog" experimentalism (particularly the epic "Mountain" from Demon Box).

    Timothy's Monster and Blissard (1994-96) are both transitional records, with the "artsy" factor becoming all the more pronounced in their work. Their heroes during this period were (admittedly) The Grateful Dead, King Crimson and Sonic Youth - and somehow it shows.

    Angels & Daemons at Play and Trust Us (1997-98) (both double sets) somewhat continue this phase but are much more self-secure works. Some of their defining material can be found here; "Running In the Family", "Ocean in Her Eye", "Vortex Surfer", "Chien d'Espace" etc. In a sense, this is where they reach their peak as genre-defying, contemporary rock band with little hope of classification.

    Let Them Eat Cake, Phanerothyme and It's a Love Cult (2000-03) make up a sort of trilogy in which their music takes on much more of a prominently psychedelic (or even retro) feel, sporting some highly refined arrangements for strings and a more detailed attention to ensemble production. They also released the mini-LP Barracuda during this period, but I haven't heard it. Rumours have that it's more of a backlash to Blissard and the tight trio rock thing.

    In keeping with said mini-LP they released the double Black Oil, Black Canvas in 2006. This is arguably their straightest rock album altogether, though most of the tunes have something going for them. But it's hardly a "prog" work of any sort.

    They also renamed/recreated themselves temporarily as The International Tussler Society for a while during this phase, releasing two albums of pure folky country rock. They are OK for what they are, but little more (IMHO).

    Little Lucid Moments (2008) kicks off their recent and most consistent stage, also marked by the commitment of new drummer Kenneth Kapstad (who even enjoyed some pure "prog" credibilia, having played with Gåte). This double album is solid but uneven in places, but also features some truly outstanding stuff. Both Child of the Future and Heavy Metal Fruit brings this approach forward; they are essentially a "prog" influenced, current-day hard rock band with obvious retro leanings now, and it works out for the most part. Still Life With Eggplant and Behind the Sun both sit in the same track as these, but feature the brilliance of Reine Fiske (Landberk, Paatos, Dungen) among their extra assets. Good - but not really GREAT to my ears, there's quite simply a bit too much filler here.

    The Death Defying Unicorn was very much the brainchild of monster keys man Ståle Storløkken - a veteran Norwegian modern jazz visionary within the Rune Grammofon family (Supersilent, Elephant9 and a dozen others). It stands out as the "progressive" pinnacle in Motorpsycho's roster and should not be missed. Another coop which succeeded totally, was the pairing of the 'psychos and the Jaga Jazzist horn section back in 2003, In the Fishtank. They are doing a mixture of older pieces and a couple of new stints made especially for the collab, so this is very much a craft of sensitive experimentation.

    Their live catalog is extensive, but I wouldn't go there until you are properly acquainted with the vast bulk of studio work they have left us.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  11. #11
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    I haven't heard their later stuff but I do love this band. Timothy's Monster was recently reissued as a 4-disc set and it totally rules, though I definitely want to hear more. I picked up the Tussler record - not the 2004 one, but the earlier one with a bunch of bonus tracks - and I'm really amused by how well they pull it off. They remind me a bit of Ween.
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  12. #12
    The current involvement of Reine Fiske is a stroke of genius up there with adding peanut butter to chocolate.

    'The Death Defying Unicorn' is one of the best progressive / symphonic rock albums released since the 1970s heyday that I've heard. There are even quotes from YES (the keyb passages in 90125's "Changes"). I'd rank it with 'OK Computer' (Radiohead), 'The Crane Wife' (Decemberists), 'Mirrored' (Battles), and 'Space Programs' (USA Is a Monster) at the top of the slim Venn Diagram overlap between pure prog and critically acclaimed indie rock.

    This isn't on 'Death Defying Unicorn' but it might be a nice gateway into this stuff ~

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVZzHfoi6mA

  13. #13
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    The Death Defying Unicorn and In The Fishtank are really the only two I can listen to all the way through.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

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  14. #14
    Member Lebofsky's Avatar
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    Phanerothyme is one of those albums that people sometimes regard as "pop" but actually has some of the brilliantly deep arrangements (and some of their best production). It's a Love Cult as well. I really love both of these albums.

    But I'm mostly partial to the Angels and Daemons at Play and Trust Us era, which are both incredible albums that I've been spinning pretty much regularly since the 90's.

    The Golden Core off of Timothy's Monster is worth the price of the whole album.

    So funny I was on tour with one of my old indie rock bands (Mumble & Peg) in Europe, mostly Germany, in 1999, and this is when I discovered Motorpsycho, because every club (and the driver of our van) were playing their CDs constantly. As much as that tour sucked, at least I learned about this amazing band (and have been a fan since).

    - Matt

  15. #15
    Member BrianG's Avatar
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    Has anyone yet heard "Motorpsycho And Ståle Storløkken Featuring Kammerkoret Aurum And Sheriffs Of Nothingness - En Konsert For Folk Flest"? I understand it's only released on some kind of gold encrusted virgin vinyl for megabucks. It sure would be great to see this offered on a lowly CD.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by BrianG View Post
    Has anyone yet heard "Motorpsycho And Ståle Storløkken Featuring Kammerkoret Aurum And Sheriffs Of Nothingness - En Konsert For Folk Flest"? I understand it's only released on some kind of gold encrusted virgin vinyl for megabucks. It sure would be great to see this offered on a lowly CD.
    Waiting on the fine folks of Wayside to carry copies On Amazon it has a street date of 8/21, so I'm guessing the vinyl will start to be available around then.

    I'd dig a CD version as well, but will "settle" for the vinyl if need be
    Ephemeral Sun - because I gotta do something about these boxes of CDs in the basement: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  17. #17
    Matt! polmico's Avatar
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    http://www.amazon.com/En-Konsert-Fol...ds=motorpsycho

    Four discs? Isn't it a vinyl/DVD/CD combo? That was my understanding.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  18. #18
    Matt! polmico's Avatar
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    "RLP2170 - Motorpsycho & Ståle Storløkken: En Konsert For Folk Flest (2LP/DVD/CD)"

    http://www.runegrammofon.com/artists...-for-folk-fle/
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  19. #19
    All the better!
    Ephemeral Sun - because I gotta do something about these boxes of CDs in the basement: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Waiting on the fine folks of Wayside to carry copies On Amazon it has a street date of 8/21, so I'm guessing the vinyl will start to be available around then
    It's been out since April or May. I had a 25% off coupon from Grooves.land and got it for $45 US, with free shipping.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad to the Bone View Post
    It's been out since April or May. I had a 25% off coupon from Grooves.land and got it for $45 US, with free shipping.
    Ah...maybe it's just the US date that is August. Thanks!
    Ephemeral Sun - because I gotta do something about these boxes of CDs in the basement: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    I picked up "The Death Defying Unicorn" double disc on the basis of a previous thread here not too long ago. It's all I've heard by the band but it's a unique amalgam of styles that I really like.

    jkelman's review here:

    http://www.allaboutjazz.com/motorpsy...ohn-kelman.php
    Thanks for the citation. I was also at the performance in Molde where this began...and while it was similar, the order of events was very, very different. Also spent the afternoon with bassist Bent Sæther, who was a very, very nice guy. Review here.

  23. #23
    Happyhappyjoyjoy for those of us in the States:

    http://www.waysidemusic.com/Music-Pr...pc-2170LP.aspx
    Ephemeral Sun - because I gotta do something about these boxes of CDs in the basement: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  24. #24
    Matt! polmico's Avatar
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    Just in time to miss the sale. Oh well.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  25. #25
    Member BrianG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polmico View Post
    Just in time to miss the sale. Oh well.
    Probably on purpose due to the cost of the package to Wayside. $7 didn't stop me from buying it.
    Did anyone mention there are some music camples HERE ?
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