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Pistol Grip Pump

Check it: my brother gave me a tape. Tapes are my favorite portable medium. They’ve got a texture similar to vinyl and, similarly, force you to listen to the whole thing since the tack selection mechanism is irritating to use. My brother and I like to make people tapes though it’s a dying form. Nobody’s got players anymore, cars don’t have them, and new ones break real quick. It’s hard to find blank tapes sometimes. When I see them I stock up but, because no one listens to them, I don’t make tham as much as I used to and now I’ve got a huge stack of unused blank tapes. Whatever. So my brother made me this tape for christmas. It’s got some psychedelic soul, old school hip hop and one Jimi Hendrix song. That song, “Easy Rider” is pretty good. It’s got, like, three or four guitar tracks playing roughly the same thing but slightly off time so they all swirl around each other. Pretty psyche-tastic. The soul songs are psychedelic grooves similar to a compilation I have called, “The Doors of Perception.” It’s a hella groovy record that combines of, essentially, funky jazz. Few vocals, just groovy beats with spacy guitars and/or horns on top. It’s spacy, for sure. It always reminds me of being in an oxy-induced cloud. Sort of free-jazzy horns. It’s good ’cause I often don’t get into a lot of free-jazz when the beat isn’t consistent. I love the free-form and often dissonant lead lines but I like a repetitive bottom that keeps it funky. The first track on the tape is like that: Joe McPrice’s “Snakey Jake.” When it first came on I asked if it was a free-jazz cover of Creedence’s “Walk on the Water.” My brother also put a Japanese psyche song on here that I have on the Japanese edition of the psyche-series, “Love, Peace, and Poetry.” These comps are hit and miss. One of the things I like about international-psyche music is foreign-language vocals. The “Love, Peace, and Poetry” series has a lot of foreign music in English. Bummer. This detracts from the psychedelic experience. Everything is more psychedelic in a different language, especially Spanish. This series also features a lot of music from the mid seventies which features, generally, a different sound than that of the mid to late sixties. Things tend to be less compressed, the mixes more full, and the guitars thicker. These may sound good but it removes the aspects of sixties recordings I love so much. Texture. The song structure tends to be more varied where as earlier psychedelic music was still, essentially pop music. Take your pick but I like the earlier stuff. Interestingly, the “Love, Peace, and Poetry” series of International Psyche music features an American edition. Doesn’t seems very international to me. It also has a British version which doesn’t sound very interesting to me either. Anyway, back to the tape. The song my brother chose from the Japanese edition was great. I mistook it as a selection from the psyche jazz record I described earlier. It may as well have been from that. The Japanese edition is great and I do recommend it. The prime material on this tape is the hip hop. My brother is obsessed with the genre and, in particular, material from the mid-eighties to mid-nineties. Prime. Bay Area hip hop from this time is excellent. It has all the goofy characteristics present in contemporary examples but with beats more interesting and syncopated. Bay Area hip hop is great for its paranoid percussion such as bells and other high-pitched percussion instruments. It creates a paranoid atmosphere which makes me feel like I’ve just done a fat line. My favorite, though, is “Pistol Grip Pump” by Volume 10. I hadn’t hear the song since I’d hear the Rage Against the Machine cover ten years ago or something. The real one is, of course, far better. What a great chorus. Pistol Grip Pump. For real.