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.
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
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more