The Smell of Incense — Of Ullages and Dottles
(September Gurls SGCD34, 2007, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2008-01-01The passage of time is not always what it seems. Sometimes it crawls interminably and at others it passes in an instant. In the case of The Smell of Incense it is shocking to me that it has been 10 years since their last release. It seems like only yesterday that they released Through the Gates of Deeper Slumber. Today we have an older, more mature band composing and playing mellower psychedelic music in much the same style as before. Their new release Of Ullages and Dottles is available on both vinyl and CD. The CD comes in a simple digipack and the vinyl comes in a beautiful gatefold plus a 16 page lyric book filled with Bumble B's intricate pen and ink fantasy-inspired artwork. As with past releases, the band composes songs using poetry from noted fantasy authors Cicely Mary Barker, William Blake, William Ernest Henley, Richard Watson Dixon, George MacDonald, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Mervyn Peake. Plus for grins they threw in a scatological cover tune by that oddball poet and musician Lady June. Of Ullages and Dottles is whimsical, paying homage to the "I Am the Walrus" and British psychedelia on "Laughing Song," supplying us dreamy guitars, sitars, Mellotron, and flute on "Where Forlorn Sunsets Flare and Fade," and inserting the haunting musical quote from Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" in the middle of "The Golden Knot." All in all, listening to this CD is an extremely pleasurable and satisfying experience.
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more