Review : Various Artists - A Psychedelic Guide to Monsterism Island
PitchforkMonsters, in general, are pretty hard to ignore. So it is with the visual creations of Welsh artist and toymaker Pete Fowler. Readers of this review will most likely know Fowler from the space aliens and other strange cartoonish beasties he has drawn for the covers of every Super Furry Animals album since 1997 except for one (2007's Hey Venus!, created by Japan's Keiichi Tanaami). Love 'em or hate 'em, Fowler's fanciful, bulbous images have helped SFA establish a visual aesthetic every bit as distinctive as their music, with a shared spirit of childlike mischief and spaced-out merriment.
A Psychedelic Guide to Monsterism Island-- the follow-up to 2005's impossibly scarce The Sounds of Monsterism Island, Vol. 1-- is basically a soundtrack to the lovingly detailed dreamworld inhabited by Fowler's characters. In film terms, though, it works more like a score than a hit-crammed blockbuster soundtrack, conjuring its woozy and whimsical mood out of 20 mostly instrumental tracks of folk, prog, cosmic disco, and hazy Moog rock. In other words, it's uncharacteristically easy to ignore, floating almost at the edge of perception. As with the like-minded psychedelia on London label Ghost Music, however, you shouldn't necessarily hold that against it. This can be transportative stuff....full text
Soundsxp.Much wacky baccy must have been consumed in the compilation of this record. Cardiff artist/ DJ/ crate-digging vinyl hound Pete Fowler’s first volume of Monsterism Island was full of obscure exotica and psychedelic records from the 60s that was perfect for accompanying his acid paintings. This second volume comprises all-new chillout instrumentals drawing on lounge, exotica, folk and plenty of inspiration from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, involving well known names like Cherrystones, Gruff Rhys, Luke Vibert, Circulus and Jerry Dammers, plus members of Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve and Future Sounds of London, to take an almost random selection of noggin busters. This nu-psychedelia doesn’t look back but builds on the dance and rave culture to create a new strain of mood altering mushroom music. There are some good individual tracks - Gruff Rhys’ synth wobbles and bleeps is a case in point - but its strength is in its numbers (27 to be exact); these are best absorbed after a night out, when you aren’t ready to sleep but don’t need too much more stimulation, or at Chloe Madeley’s next bong session....full text
Lorecordings.greedbag“Come, hold my hand and let me take you on a trip to a mythical realm. A realm where you will encounter all manner of strange and beautiful creatures…a land that will boggle both the mind and the eyes. Oh, and there will be music… not music like you've heard before, oh no dear
reader, but the most other-worldly, unusual and beauteous music - psychedelic surf salutations, acid jug band blues and spooked voodoo lullabies. Music created by myself
and my fiends to make your trip to Monsterism Island a truly unforgettable one.”
Pete Fowler's Monsterism Island has long been known as a musical cornucopia and an album full of esoteric musical treats makes perfect sense. This CD contains original compositions from some of the underground’s most intrepid musical explorers. Spanning monstrous rock fry ups,
electronic exotica via psychedelic folk and spooky krautrock, and featuring members of The Super Furry Animals (Gruff Rhys), Jerry Dammers, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain...full text
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