Trippy music is my favorite
December 30, 2008 7:42 PM   Subscribe

Recommend me some good, extremely psychedelic rock.

I'm a huge fan of a certain sort of rock music that goes so far out into experimental, weird territory that it sometimes just barely qualifies as rock music at all. It's music that takes the concept and techniques of psychedelia to an extreme. Often various non-rock influences will be mixed in (most commonly musique concrète) to give the music a special texture or vibe. I don't mind if the music is difficult or avant-garde.

I dig interesting and lush production, but I don't mind standard or even poor production. I also dig really varied, interesting instrumentation.

Bands that express the qualities I'm looking for:
White Noise
The Olivia Tremor Control (and much of Elephant 6)
Analog Birds
Pram (especially the song "The Owl Service," which isn't on youtube)
"Tomorrow Never Knows" by the Beatles
Porcupine Tree (especially songs like "Drown With Me" and "Stars Die"
Brain Eno's album "Another Green World," especially the song St. Elmo's Fire
Boards of Canada(though they're not really rock)

And to a lesser extent:
Radiohead's album "Kid A"
dredg's album "el cielo"
posted by One Second Before Awakening to Media & Arts (72 answers total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
I love this stuff too. A few things I've recently been into are Animal Collective, Grandaddy, Jandek, and, though they're ancient, the Fugs.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:48 PM on December 30, 2008

White Mice
posted by The Straightener at 7:54 PM on December 30, 2008

I also dig really varied, interesting instrumentation.

posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:55 PM on December 30, 2008

Check out Aarktica if you can find it... one of my very most favorites...
posted by Bageena at 7:57 PM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: I cannot strongly recommend The Evening Descends by Evangelicals enough. Buy a CD, read the lyrics, as they are can be hard to understand, especially "Paperback Suicide." "Bellawood" even has both a theremin and a vibraslap in it. The production is rich and intense and best heard on a large stereo. Waves of trippiness will begin to emanate from your speakers.

They're fantastic live, too.
posted by adipocere at 7:59 PM on December 30, 2008

Crazy World of Arthur Brown
posted by gjc at 8:04 PM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: You'd probably be into earlier Stereolab.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:05 PM on December 30, 2008

Acid Mothers Temple
posted by The Straightener at 8:15 PM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Psychic, Powerless ... Another Man's Sac, Rembrandt Pussyhorse or Locust Abortion Technician, all by the Butthole Surfers, collectively have an album's worth of very experimental, dreamlike pieces. The rest of the songs are very good as well.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:19 PM on December 30, 2008

I don't know if this is really extreme enough for you, but I would definitely check out Farflung. I recently just started getting into them, and I am really digging The Belief Module. Specifically the first track The Day of Saint Anthony's Fire. It's definitely trippy.

Until you find that album, maybe this can tide you over. It's the only thing I can find of them on youtube.
posted by MaHaGoN at 8:19 PM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: Black Moth Super Rainbow
posted by infinityjinx at 8:20 PM on December 30, 2008

Roky Erickson, Captain Beefheart, and Frank Zappa.
posted by Hildago at 8:21 PM on December 30, 2008

This is the sound I've pursued for nearly two decades.

Loveless by My Bloody Valentine has been among my all time favorites for well over a decade. It is considered by many to be a timeless masterpiece. It truly takes the concept and techniques of psychedelia to an extreme and most everything produced since that time references Loveless.

Others (I'm very drawn to saturation and airy voices):

Sonic Youth
A Place To Bury Strangers
Atlas Sound
Panda Bear
Jesus and Mary Chain

I don't want to hog space. MeFiMail me and I'll send more.
posted by ezekieldas at 8:21 PM on December 30, 2008

The Microphones. Get "The Glow, Pt. 2." Trust me.
posted by ewingpatriarch at 8:29 PM on December 30, 2008

Also: seconding broken social scene. Which reminds me: check out KC accidental and Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew. Also, Dosh and Mice Parade.
posted by ewingpatriarch at 8:31 PM on December 30, 2008

You should check out the Moebius & Plank album(s) Rastakraut Pasta/Material.

Although this album--these albums, really, because the CD includes two separate releases--followed Eno's Another Green World, Moebius and Plank both influenced Eno a great deal through their earlier work. It's mostly instrumental and a little slower and more minimal than the other stuff you listed, but it's still crazy great. And since a new copy is only $459.99 there's no reason to pick one up tomorrow. But, of course, there are ways to get it cheaper. I can point you in the right direction if you are interested.

And if you don't own them already, go out and by the following Can albums in this order: Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, and Future Days.
posted by milarepa at 8:32 PM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: rock music that goes so far out into experimental, weird territory that it sometimes just barely qualifies as rock music at all

This statement conflicts quite dramatically with the list you give. But here goes anyway:
Birchville Cat Motel
A Band
Vibracathedral Orchestra
Astral Social Club
Acid Mothers Temple
Christine 23 Onna
Kemialliset Ystavat
Belbury Poly
Blues Control
Gang Gang Dance
Dead Meadow
Death Unit
The Psychic Paramount
Drona Parva
Double Leopards
Black Dice
The Focus Group
The Godz
Guru Guru
Hair Police
Heavy Winged
The Heads
High Rise
Keiji Haino and Sitaar Tah!
Magik Markers
Masayuki Takayanagi
My Cat Is An Alien
The Flying Luttenbachers
The Gorge Trio
The Goslings
Polly Shang Kuan Band
Shearing Pinx
Shogun Kunitoki
Skull Defekts
Taj Mahal Travellers
Tan as Fuck
Volcano the Bear
Wooden Shjips

should keep you busy for starters
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady at 8:34 PM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Acid Mothers Temple is definitely in far-outersville (stephen fry?).

Also, try:

Bardo Pond
posted by pilibeen at 8:36 PM on December 30, 2008

(I'm very drawn to saturation and airy voices)

Serena Maneesh
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady at 8:40 PM on December 30, 2008

Your examples aren't exactly what I was expecting when I read "psychedelic rock" - I was thinking stuff like Yes, in the era of Relayer or Tales from Topographic Oceans.

But some of your examples kind of remind me of some stuff by The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Here's another example, and another.

And maybe you'd like Robyn Hitchcock. Another example. And another.

Maybe old school Pink Floyd, in the Syd Barrett days.
posted by Flunkie at 8:42 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My boyfriend and I are big psych fans. We've been brainstorming and...
Deerhunter, Ariel Pink, Indian Jewelry, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Bevis Frond, Growing, Hawkwind, The Red Krayola, Flaming Lips (that one might be obvious, though), Super Furry Animals (a bit more pop/electronic)

Boyfriend suggests these German/Krautrock bands--Can, Faust, Neu, Brainticket, or even Amon Duul II and these Japanese bands--Boredoms, Ruins, OOIOO, Boris, Ghost, Mainliner, Les Rallizes Denudes,

You may also try some 60s/70s Brazilian psychedelic rock/Tropicália-- Os Mutantes (they would even imitate Beatlesesque weird tape sounds using a can of bug spray) , Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil (his 1969 album has some weird trippy stuff, esp, the song Objeto Semi-Identificado), Os Brazões (a bit less psychedelic)
posted by fructose at 8:43 PM on December 30, 2008

Seconding Can and also Os Mutantes.
posted by dhammond at 8:45 PM on December 30, 2008

Also 2nding Dungen and Acid Mothers Temple. Seen those live, too, and they're great shows.
posted by fructose at 8:45 PM on December 30, 2008

posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 8:53 PM on December 30, 2008

Based on some of the songs you've linked to, it seems like you'd be into shoegaze - My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and so forth.

In the spacier vein, I'd recommend Spiritualized and Ulrich Schnauss. Also Fennesz.

If you're in the mood for something heavier, can't go wrong with Kyuss.
posted by sinfony at 9:00 PM on December 30, 2008

It's definitely an homage to Tomorrow Never Knows, but you'd probably like Let Forever Be by the Chemical Brothers. The Michel Gondry-directed video is also quite trippy.
posted by O9scar at 9:01 PM on December 30, 2008

Dukes of the Stratosphere
posted by mattoxic at 9:01 PM on December 30, 2008

While looking for a link to Fifty Foot Hose, I came across this record - which is described as "a brainfrying mindfuck". Seems like it might be worth taking a flyer on.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:02 PM on December 30, 2008

Dukes of the Stratosphere
posted by mattoxic at 9:02 PM on December 30, 2008

Nothing you mentioned is too heavy, so maybe...70s Faust, Cul De Sac, the first Cluster record, the first 2 or 3 Kraftwerk records, To Rococo Rot, Broadcast, Bugskull if you can find it, Pink Floyd's Ummagumma, Sunroof! (and maybe Skullflower if you do want something heavier), Alan Licht (Plays Well and A New York Minute), early Psychic TV...
posted by apetpsychic at 9:03 PM on December 30, 2008

And and on seeing Joe Beese's link DEFINITELY subscribe to Mutant Sounds...
posted by apetpsychic at 9:04 PM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

I don't listen to any of that stuff besides Boards of Canada, but if you like them you should waste no time in purchasing Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92 and Autechre - Amber.

Both artists branch fairly extremely from those sounds on other albums but you may like them just the same.
posted by moift at 9:17 PM on December 30, 2008

Current 93's Black Ships Ate The Sky.

nthing Acid Mothers Temple. I'm also going to throw out there Skinny Puppy's Last Rights, Legendary Pink Dots' Malachai: Shadow Weaver and Download's The Eyes of Stanley Pain.

Also, Nachtmystium.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:19 PM on December 30, 2008

HP Lovecraft!
posted by Venadium at 9:24 PM on December 30, 2008

Response by poster: Looking back at my original post, Beautiful Screaming Lady is quite right to say that my list doesn't match my description. Now that I think about it, there are two branches of music that I'm interested in finding out more about. One is, as the description says, quasi-rock music that's just totally out there. The other is, as fits my examples, music that uses more conventional rock structures but approaches psychedelia through unusual style and instrumentation.

Thanks for all the recommendations so far! I'll be very busy checking these bands out. I'm a big fan of Pink Floyd, Dukes of the Stratosphear, Os Mutantes and My Bloody Valentine. I'm listening to Evangelicals right now and enjoying it a great deal! Fructose, I will definitely look into those Brazilian bands, as I'm mostly unfamiliar with that scene.

As far as Can goes, I've tried to get into them many times but always have trouble making it through more than two songs at once. I'll try Tago Mago again though and see if I can penetrate it.

Thanks a lot, everyone!
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:24 PM on December 30, 2008

Seconding Animal Collective, The Microphones and Ghost

Boris' Albums featuring Michio Kurihara (Rainbow, Cloud Chamber)
Carla Bozulich / Evangelista
The Books
A Silver Mt Zion (and all those variations on their name)
Fly Pan Am
Fuck Buttons

So I just noticed that this is kind of just a list of some of my favorite bands... I hope you'll like them as much as I do. I might have more stuff, I'm just not sure if it fits into what you're asking for.
posted by azarbayejani at 9:25 PM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: Seconding the fact that most of your stuff is at most psyche-tinged indie. Not that that's bad! I love Eno, Boards of Canada, Olivia Tremor Control, etc. But my standard pysch advice might result in stuff that is too extreme-sounding, at least if you really want stuff that sounds specifically like the bands you listed.

Still, here goes: Terrastock is the best modern psych festival, and damn near every band that's played there is worth a look. Most of these following bands I have either seen live and/or booked; they're definitely worth a look, and they are all at least as trippy (and generally way moreso) than those you listed..

Major Stars
Bevis Frond
Primordial Undermind
Sonic Youth

Bardo Pond
Cul De Sac
Current 93
Six Organs of Admittance
Spires that in the Sunset Rise
Surface of Eceon
Sir Richard Bishop
Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat

Acid Mothers Temple / Makoto Kawabata
Comets on Fire
LSD March
Oneida (sort of; they're not straightforward rock, but they don't play freakouts the way Kawabata does...)
Lightning Bolt (noise-influenced)
F/i (later stuff; the earlier stuff is heavily tape-based, the later stuff is space rock)

Non-Terrastock stuff you might like: Krautrock in general (Neu is one of the canonical starting points; I second Cluster, Can, and Guru guru as well.) Other Japanese bands - I've covered Ghost, LSD-March, and Acid Mothers Temple, but the Boredoms, while not specifically psych, have many similar sounds. The Flower Travellin' Band is good, old-school Japanese psyche as well. Both Stereolab and Spiritualized are worth checking out, as is Spaceman 3. Black Moth Super Rainbow (who I've been obsessing over recently) are perhaps the closest band to Boards of Canada I've run into, sonically, though they have a vocoder obsession and use fewer samples. Also, they are nuts. There's lots of classic stuff from the '60s/'70s; Hawkwind is an obvious starting point, and Os Mutantes are a more or less contemporary group from Brazil that're also worth while. I also second the suggestion that you might really dig shoegaze, starting with My Bloody Valentine. Oh, and while I'm at it, post-rock (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Silver Mt. Zion, Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, Pelican, etc.) is also something you migh twant to look into.

Some of the bands listed by Beautiful Screaming Lady might be too noise-influenced for you - unless you like noise, the Sightings, the Hair Police, most Skullflower, most stuff by Excepter, the Magik Markers, and possibly Tan as Fuck are probably going to seem way more like noise than psych to you.
posted by ubersturm at 9:34 PM on December 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Seconding the Kyuss suggestion above, Blues For The Red Sun is cosmically awesome. Disco Volante by Mr Bungle might be worth checking out too.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 9:37 PM on December 30, 2008

As you can tell, I'm a huge pysch addict. If you dig any of the bands I listed, MeMail me and I'll be happier to provide you with more stuff to check out!

(While I'm at it: Cloudland Canyon is modern psych/krautrock, and please check out Neu if you can't get into Can at first! I found them a more accessible band.)

((Also, you might want to mosey on over to Aquarius Records; they send out a list of new releases (and re-releases, and things they just found) every two weeks, and they cover a great deal of psych rock-/space rock and post-rock, along with all kinds of other awesome stuff.))
posted by ubersturm at 9:37 PM on December 30, 2008

You probably need a copy of Bitch's Brew by Miles Davis.
posted by K.P. at 9:44 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Late on this, and also a big fan of these styles. A few favorites that I didn't see yet (though may have missed in the mountain of recommendations:

Arthur Russell - World of Echoes (experimental folk with lots of effects)
Tony, Caro & John - All On The First Day (british psych folk pop)
Family Fodder - Savoir Faire (late 70s avant-rock post-punk psych-pop)
Glaxo Babies - Nine Months To The Disco (ranges from post-punk to abstract avant-garde)
Haruomi Hosono - Cochin Moon (psych electro-ambient-pop avant garde)
Odd Nosdam - PSE (sort of Boards of Canada meets My Bloody Valentine)
Montag - Going Places (indie like Pram/Stereolab)
Harmonia - Music Von Harmonia (krautrock ambient pop - they did an album with Eno too)
posted by p3t3 at 10:09 PM on December 30, 2008

"A Storm In Heaven" by the Verve is a total psychedelic classic.

Whereas future Verve masterpieces A Northern Soul and Urban Hymns would feature succinct song structures (for the most part) and instantly memorable verses and choruses, the group's 1993 full-length debut, A Storm in Heaven, was based on buoyant, extended psychedelic passages.

My favourite track is "Slide Away"

Holy fuck, this song takes me back to the summer of 1994 working as a line cook at a Mexican restaurant, smoking a lot of dope, staying out all night, and then hopping on a plane for Japan, never to return for ten years.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:18 PM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: Julian Cope.
posted by nomisxid at 10:45 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy.
posted by wsg at 11:08 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ponytail are a weird cool band from Baltimore..

Sonic Youth Bad Moon Rising is my favorite thing they've done, I vote for that album in particular, God's Money for Gang Gang Dance, and Boredoms Vision Creation Newsun.

Liars are a totally awesome band in general and the album They Were Wrong, So We Drowned might be your cup of tea - see There's Always Room on the Broom (uh I guess fast forward through the first 2 min of them messing around here until the song starts.)

thanks for the question and all the other answers BTW, there is a lot of cool stuff on this post I have to check out.
posted by citron at 11:12 PM on December 30, 2008

Bruce Haack!

He mostly made children's music, but he also came up with some sick psychedelic shit way ahead of its time. Electric Lucifer (released in 1969) is an awesome album.

You might be into no wave too...its a weird and atonal genre that isn't for everyone. It primarily came out of the early nyc punk scene when people decided to get experimental with it.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 11:20 PM on December 30, 2008

If you like some incredible synth action and richly layered production with your rock try OZRIC TENTACLES. My favourite!
posted by Nooster at 12:15 AM on December 31, 2008

The first Dr Phibes and the House of Wax Equations LP (if you can find it).
posted by bifter at 2:03 AM on December 31, 2008

Another mention for Bevis Frond here. Also, how about Chrome - in particular their first album "Half Machine Lip Moves". Psychedelic, but probably reflecting the nasty chemical influences of the late 70s.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 3:49 AM on December 31, 2008

I'm going to throw another one out there: Monster Magnet. In particular, God Says No and Powertrip. I had originally thought these guys must be some basic cock-rock types, but no. They write about comic book artists, and volcanoes, and often drugs (secrets ain't like mescaline / they don't get old). They have no problems in doing strange shifts in their music. The production is not lush the way you'd expect from, say, Loveless, but it reminds me of Deep Purple and it makes me want to not shave for a month, go out to the desert, eat a handful of pills, and just see what happens.

If you find either of those to your satisfaction, try out Atomic Bitchwax and Nebula.
posted by adipocere at 4:35 AM on December 31, 2008

Sigur Rós or Godspeed! You Black Emperor (or wherever they're dropping the exclamation point these days) might be your cuppa.

Nthing The Dukes of Stratosphear (mind, they're a bit poppy) and super-early Pink Floyd. You might want to try Syd Barrett's solo work as well.
posted by droplet at 6:17 AM on December 31, 2008

After reading your question, this is not what you are asking about. But as far as psychedelic rock goes, I think Jefferson Airplane holds up really well, particularly the Volunteers album. You might give it a try.

[apologies for not giving you the answer you were looking for. but it's a great album]
posted by sully75 at 6:36 AM on December 31, 2008

Best answer: I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned The Green Pajamas. They're quite poppy, but also very psychedelic.

Espers is also good for these purposes. Not my thing, but others like them, so.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:43 AM on December 31, 2008

After The Heat - Eno - Moebius - Roedelius
posted by doctor_negative at 6:50 AM on December 31, 2008

I've been listening to older psychedelic, but I'm totally in love with The United States of America.

Blonde Redhead sounds like it would work for you. I especially like 23, but any of them are good.

Good thread. I've already found some more stuff to download.
posted by darksong at 6:51 AM on December 31, 2008

Damn, I just came in here to recommend the United States of America.

prog/art rock

Steve Hillage
Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come

hard driving early trance rock:

The Pink Fairies

early noise rock:

The Michael Yonkers Band
Simply Saucer

symphonic psych/pop:

The Millennium (and Sagittarius)
The Left Banke
posted by anazgnos at 7:59 AM on December 31, 2008

Best answer: The 13th Floor Elevators

Gal Costa's self-titled albums from 1968 and 1969. The latter is harder, further-out.

Caetano Veloso's Araçá Azul album. You can hear parts of it mixed into this film clip (NSFW). You'd probably like a lot of tropicália (people have mentioned Os Mutantes above); here's a good compilation. Araçá Azul is where a lot of fans draw the line at it being too bizarre.

You should also get your hands on Arthur Magazine.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:41 AM on December 31, 2008

I can't believe no one has suggested Ween. They fit psychedelia sometimes, but they are always really out there. They are making music on drugs for people on drugs.

Now I'm Freaking Out
Marble Tulip Juicy Tree

Stallion Pt. 2

Also, in terms of late 60s psych pop, you might like The End's album Introspection [YT] or Traffic Sound (a Peruvian band that feels like a mix between Santana, Jethro Tull and something I'm forgetting.)
posted by schyler523 at 9:37 AM on December 31, 2008

seconding Roky Erickson...specifically the 13th Floor Elevators days. He also played with a band that I believe was called The Spades. Also try Shiva's Headband.
posted by junipero at 9:38 AM on December 31, 2008

You can't go wrong with the legendary pink dots, teargarden, and coil. Nothing more trippy and rock/pop than these guys. Faun Fables also great for a dark psychedlic afternoon.
spacemen 3
and my favorite old treasure these days-bill holt "the dreamies"
posted by donabean at 9:41 AM on December 31, 2008

I can't second Skullflower enough, especially their newer stuff. Skullflower has always been something of a psych-noise act, lately leaning more towards psych. Double Leopards, Sunroof! (a Skullflower-related act) and Birchville Cat Motel are all good but more drone/noise really.

Check out both Loop and the later Hair and Skin Trading Company for some near-shoegaze psychadelia.

Definintely look into what's been going on in Japan during the 2000's. Something of a psych renaissance has been going on over there.
posted by melt away at 10:55 AM on December 31, 2008

Oh yeah - have to give props to PhoBWanKenobi for mentioning the Fugs! Don't know if I would recommend them for this list but some of their songs just have to be checked out by people into wacky music.
posted by melt away at 11:03 AM on December 31, 2008

Don't know if I would recommend them for this list but some of their songs just have to be checked out by people into wacky music.

Thanks for the props. I know they're on the border of this genre, but they're so at the root of it that I mention them any chance I get. Nothing is a good introduction.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:20 AM on December 31, 2008

Oh, just thought of one more: The Japonize Elephants, which is Middle Eastern-influenced folk rock. Also, Epitonic might be a good way to explore this genre. Even though it's old, you can get a sampling of a musician and then move on to similar groups from there.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:31 AM on December 31, 2008

I'll second Ozric Tentacles. It's the trippiest music I've ever found.
posted by valadil at 11:36 AM on December 31, 2008

Wow, ChrisGoesRocks is a pretty amazing music blog, I recommend it.
posted by schyler523 at 11:56 AM on December 31, 2008

His Name is Alive. I'm particularly fond of the album Stars on ESP.
posted by Bummus at 1:55 PM on December 31, 2008

Also Silver Apples -- from the late '60s, but basically early electronica and a big influence on a lot of later bands.
posted by darksong at 3:17 PM on December 31, 2008

A Lethal Dose of Hard Psych
posted by schyler523 at 4:34 PM on December 31, 2008

A meta-solution: I like this kind of music myself so I've started adding the suggestions here to a personal psychedelic radio station at Pandora. You can right-click on your radio station and Add Variety, so you can add most of the suggestions as seeds (not all though... they don't have them all). My station is definitely producing trippy music now; and a lot of music not given here.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:42 PM on January 1, 2009

Best answer: OK, I've finished the Trippy music is my favorite Pandora Station.

It was seeded by most of the suggestions here. Pandora didn't have every artist (though it did have most), and it has no way to specify specific albums or time periods within an artist's career, so I had to leave those kinds of suggestions out. Pandora will continue to make recommendations based on the musical styles of the suggestions you made here, so you may discover other trippy artists or songs that way.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:07 AM on January 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Throbbing Gristle.
posted by swift at 2:20 PM on January 2, 2009

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