Time to dust off my platform shoes and dig the sequinned vest out of the closet along with the bell bottom jeans with the wide cuff and the satin shirt with the ruffled sleeves; we are listening to some new music that could easily pass for vintage psychedelia.
I’m talking about the new album, Friends In Noise, from the London psychedelic music artist Black Market Karma. Friends In Noise is Black Market Karma‘s eleventh full-length album. How could I have missed this up until now? ‘Friends In Noise,’ is an international collaboration rooted in friendship and spontaneity, released via the London boutique label Flower Power Records and the PR of Shameless Promotions. Revolving around songwriter Stanley Belton, Black Market Karma features music heavy with fuzz pedals and a 12-string guitar jingle jangle. Music that takes me back to another era. I love it.
Stanley Belton tells us, “I didn’t really get the idea of an album in my head too much. It’s something that gradually came together over the years through playing and becoming friends with so many good musicians. Collaborations naturally occur when you’re spending time with people who are musically minded, especially when we would hang at my studio. The songs started to build up over time and I thought man, these should all be gathered together on one release so here we are.”
“The last pieces came via two good friends – Craig Dyer of The Underground Youth and Butchy Davy of The Confederate Dead. Craig and I had wanted to make music together in the past but it never came to be – he lives in Berlin, but we managed to make ‘Wonky’ happen. Lastly Butchy came to the BMK studio with an unfinished, instrumental demo and we worked on it together. The result was ‘Ageing Boy'”.
Earlier, Black Market Karma released the singles’ The Sky Was All Diseased’ with iconic vocalist Tess Parks and ‘Aping Flair’ with Ruari Meehan (Tess Parks, Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe and Belakiss with Ringo Starr’s granddaughter Tatia Starkey).
Featuring recordings captured over nine years, ‘Friends In Noise’ is a series of collaborations between Black Market Karma and friends. Apart from Tess Parks, this album also involves The Underground Youth, Les Big Byrd / Joakim Ahlund, The Confederate Dead and Ruari Meehan. More recently, Stan has also collaborated with Pete Kember (a.k.a. Sonic Boom) of Spacemen 3 fame on a forthcoming release. I happen to dig the grooves of Spacemen 3, so it is no surprise that I also dig the tunes of Friends In Noise.
Friends In Noise features some sharp lyrics to accompany the psychedelic music. Here are a few examples that I notice.
“I got love but I don’t deserve it
I got time but all I do is blow it.”
YouTube is a friend of my wasted time.
“Went walking in the sun
Felt all the rainfall.”
‘The Sky Was All Diseased‘
“The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.”
-Lewis Carroll from Through The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There
Friends In Noise is an excellent example of reimagined music. It sounds familiar, like a flashback to an old friend remembered. And it sounds fresh, like making a new friend that reminds you of an old friend. At the end of the day, I have found Friends In Noise to be a delightful visitor to my home. I hope you invite Friends In Noise into your home and make friends with Black Market Karma.
As of January 13, the ‘Friends In Noise’ album will be available everywhere digitally, including Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp. ‘Friends In Noise on 180-gram coloured vinyl from the label, as well as their latest’ Aped Flair & Hijacked Ideas’ LP. Tickets for upcoming tour dates can be ordered here: https://www.bandsintown.com/a/261797-black-market-karma
‘Friends In Noise’ trailer https://youtu.be/m6TzBr1YOW8
Order the ‘Friends In Noise’ LP https://bit.ly/3CtLgn0
‘Aping Flair’ https://youtu.be/S4eFJeCaTjA
‘The Sky Was All Diseased’ https://youtu.be/4274oQhCmZw
Order tour tickets at http://bit.ly/3XbLOVQ