24 Dec 2013

Rocket's top musical discoveries from our 15th year

As followers of our blog know, we never do an 'End of year poll', but as it is our 15th year we have decided to put together a list of our favourite (non rocket released) musical discoveries. So it could be a track, an EP or an album and not necessarily released in 2013!!

So here we go, in alphabetical order, both Johnny O and Chris's choices: 

African Head Charge - My Life in a Hole in the Ground
(Psychedelic kraut reggae, on Bristol's On-U-Sound label)
African Head Charge

Can - Waiting for the Streetcar
(Neil Fish from Gnod chucked this on the record player at some ungnodly hour...and it has barely left the stereo ever since)

CoH – Strings 
(From futuristic dirty electroinics to more string based musical soundtracks)

Destruction Unit - Sonic Pearl
(Proper Heads punk meets The Horrors shoe gaze psych...one of the best bands live all year too, proper fuzz n roll)
Destruction Unit

Evil Blizzard - Sacrifice
(A firm favourite track of the year...The Fall, Pil, Hawkwind and Gnod all come to mind...stunning live too by all accounts, as this footage shows where they open their set with Sacrifice!)
Evil Blizzard

Funkadelic - Rat Kiss the Cat on the Navel
(Top marks to Rockets Johnny for finding this unknown gem and maybe Funkadelic's best ever tune. Love playing it out and watching peoples faces as that fuzz kicks in...closest Fuzz attack to Beau's 'Silence Returns' I have heard))

GR & Full-Blown Expansion – s/t
(Bo Diddley meets Faust, polyrhythms, psych surf guitars, hypnotic and chaotic freak kraut) 
GR & Full-Blown Expansion

Hey Colossus - Cuckoo live life like Cuckoo
(This came out of the blue...always been fans, but this album has raised the bar...the inclusion of a Hi-Fi Killer, a Shit and Shiner and a Part Chimper created a stunning album of kraut infused noise rock)
Hey Colossus

Holden - The Inheritors
(This album oscillates between buzzing pastoral elegance to harsh rhythmic propulsion)

Lay Llamas - Tape Crash (Split tape with Eugenoise)
(Big fans of Lay Llamas and the tracks on this tape prove what an exciting and original band they are)
Lay Llamas

The Lijadu Sisters - Danger
(Female psychedelic fuzz guitar afrobeat)
Lijadu Sisters

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - M'Bondo
(Visionary neo-tantric synth minimalism and afro-futurist rhythms)
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe

Craig Leon - Nommos
(We can't give this album enough praise...how has this stunning piece of work been hidden for so long!!)
Craig Leon

Negra Branca - Duro / Beira Beira
(Marlene Ribeiro from GNOD's avant pop side project)
Negra Branca

William Onyeabor - Who is William Onyeabor?
(Talking about hidden gems…this album is completely jaw dropping amazing, every home should have a copy!!)
William Onyeabor 

Powell - Fizz
(Massive fans of Powell, a lot of this new techno stuff that is being raved about brings nothing new to the table in my mind, ok there are some good ones out there, but fronting that pack is Powell...and Fizz is an amazing track! The best kraut rock track of the year...and not a motorik in sight thank fuck!!!)

Robedoor - Primal Sphere
(This is Robedoor's best work in our view, a great album which to our ears sounds like Gnod meets Massive Attack meets John Carpenter…glad we got to see them play it live too..easily the best electronic live act we've have seen this year)

GA Rodigon - Imagini Din Vis
(Stand out track on the GA Rodigon comp….over the top fuzz n' electronics and heavy breaks makes it a real 'Nothing is…' floor filler)
GA Rodigon

Gunter Schickert – Uberfallig LP
(Imagine if the Necks had a Jam with Can sometime between when they made Future Days and Babaluma)
Gunter Schickert

Various - WFMU Country Fuzz  Spectacular Vol 1 and Vol 2
(Two amazing playlists of 60's/70's fuzz filled country music….really, really enjoyable and essential listening)
Vol 1
Vol 2

Theo Verney - TVEP/Heavy Sunn
(Theo's music has not left our ears since we first heard his TVEP tape. His follow up Heavy Sunn, plus the free download tracks and his album demo tracks that we have heard have all blown my mind. This man knows how to rock out in a good Sabbath way, psych out like the Elevators but most importantly he knows how to craft a bloody catchy song like the Kinks…definitely one to watch in 2014 I think)
Theo Verney

Thought Forms – Ghost Mountain
(Stunning album of psych drones and noisegaze pop)
Thought Forms

WHOK - Devisions
(Fantastic album of kraut repetition and psyched out electronics…up there with the best of Gnod if you ask me)

Igor Wakhevitch - Hathor
(70's dark synthesizer rituals that sound like they could fit neatly into most modern electronic albums)
Igor Wakhevitch

Barney Willen - Moshi Too
(Great album of afro influenced psych jazz…Little Dirty from 'Nothing is…' played it one month and Chris rushed out and bought it the next day, great album)
Barney Willen

Happy xmas from us at Rocket…see you the other side!!

Illustration by Kilian Eng

21 Dec 2013

Head Medicine interviews GOAT, their 'Band of the year' about how 2013 was for them

Head Medicine had made Goat their 'Band of the year' and to clebrate they have interviewed the band about their 2013 and plans for 2014, we worth a read:

Goat - Head Medicine's 2013 Band of the Year

Potential.  A lot of artists and bands have it, but few ever dig deep down in and reach it to the fullest.  Over the past year, the electrifying Swedish afro-psych collective Goat has been the rare exception.  Not only have they continuously met my ridiculous expectations, but they have time and again exceeded them.  Goat first came to my attention in the summer of 2012 after the release of their first 7" single and i was instantly mesmerized by their dense, trance-inducing afro krautrock sound.  My expectations were deliriously high for their debut album World Music that August by Rocket Recordings.   It was an instant classic and, in my opinion, light years above everything else released that year.  To make things even more mysterious, the band had never performed live outside of their Arctic Circle commune until that fall with a few exploratory live rituals around Northern Europe.  These shows revealed a band hitting the ground at full speed with a blistering live show and stunning stage presence.  By the end of 2012, i was fully on board with Goat, hook line and sinker, drinking every drop of Kool Aid set in front of me, excited for what 2013 would hold.  No band started off the year with more potential than Goat, but what would they do with it?  Would they reach up and grab it or would they remain in obscurity and let things fizzle out?...

Read the rest of this article which includes a revealing interview with the band here: Head Medicine


20 Dec 2013

Teeth of the Sea perform their live A Field In England soundtrack in London

We have just found out the Teeth of the Sea's 'A field in England' live remix is coming to the Hackney Picture house on Wednesday 15th January.

This is what the website says:

LSFF present, in association with Cork Film Festival presents:
A Field in England: Remixed, performed by Teeth of the Sea 
(featuring the music of Jim Williams)

Wednesday 15th January
Hackney Picture House

A unique audio and visual spectacular, bringing together the cult film of 2013 and one of the most original electronic post-rock bands of recent years for a marriage made in heaven… or hell! Teeth of the Sea have taken the psychic spectres of A Field in England and allied them to the apparitions of their imagination to create a laser-guided metaphysical foray, cinematic in scope. Ben Wheatley’s film is a psychedelic trip into the English Civil War, as a small group of deserters flee from a raging battle through an overgrown field. Teeth of the Sea’s aural and visual remix of Jim Williams’ score and Wheatley's filmmaking re-interprets the film to extend it in a myriad of directions.

Tickets can be booked here: Hackney Picture House


Both Bars On makes Teeth of the Sea's MASTER their album of the year

And this is what they say:

For the second year in a row a Rocket Recording’s product tops our chart. We got very excited when we reviewed it (leading to some wordy twaddle), but we stand by the sentiment we were trying to express. Master is an astounding lesson in genuinely innovative, yet carefully respectful and intelligent, rock music in its broadest definition. Magnificent.

See their full list here: Both Bars On


18 Dec 2013

Rocket Recordings to curate ‘Transmissions from The Outer Realms’ at Liverpool Psych Fest 2014

Liverpool Psych Fest 2014 #1 from Liverpool Psych Fest on Vimeo.

Yes, that is right, we are extremely excited to announce that we have been invited to be involved in next years Liverpool Psych Festival.

Our involvement goes under the banner of 'Transmissions from the Outer Realms' and will feature the cream of the Rocket roster as well as 'Nothing is...' DJ's 

£40 early Bird weekend tickets on sale now from www.LiverpoolPsychFest.com 

The press release reads:

26th - 27th September @ Camp & Furnace

With the dust barely settled on 2013’s sell out event, the ‘Psych Fest’ organizers are already gazing into the future.  GOAT will appear at the festival as part of 'Transmissions From The Outer Realms' a unique curation presented by Rocket Recordings, featuring the first ever UK shows for HILLS and LAY LLAMAS, plus appearances from TEETH OF THE SEA, ANTHROPROPHH and GNOD. 

The festival was lauded in 2013 for its unique take on a throughly modern psychedelic condition.  THE GUARDIAN declaring "Liverpool, the great psychedelic capital of Europe", as the festival established itself as a firm fixture in the cultural calendar, simultaneously providing the most progressive line-up and inclusive audience on the festival landscape. 

Line-up so far: 



Rocket Recordings:
'Transmissions From The Outer Realms’ is a unique curation presented by Rocket Recordings. Including HILLS - this will be the iconic Gothenburg group’s first performance outside Scandinavia - and new Italian label signing LAY LLAMAS, who ply a ‘Goat meets Gnod’ brand of afro repetition, shoegaze fuzz and DFA'esque grooves. The aforementioned GNOD play trance inducing commune drone, full on fuzz driven post punk and danceable kraut noise repetition. The band have quickly become known as one of the best live bands in the UK and are joined on the bill by cinematic audioists TEETH OF THE SEA, who’s mix of kraut rock, techno, psych, disco and noise can be heard best on their recently released and critically acclaimed third album Master. 

ANTHROPROPHH started off as a solo project by Paul Allen, the guitarist and principle songwriter for seminal cult psych rock band The Heads, but over the last 12 months has morphed into a full flung psych power trio. ‘Transmissions From The Outer Realms’ will feature each of the aforementioned bands alongside DJ collaborations - led by the ever-exploratory NOTHING IS DJs - a kaleidoscopic visual world and multitude of cosmic sins, to be revealed in due course. 

Sweden’s GOAT appeared out of nowhere in 2012 with their debut album World Music. The record was quickly heralded as one of the albums of the year, if not the decade thus far. Their rare, shamanic live shows, with a heady mix of afro, psych, funk, kraut and space rock have already become legendary amongst the people who have been lucky enough to bear witness. Their performance at Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia will coincide with the release of their second LP, so expect something very special.

For the uninitiated the Bristol/London based Rocket Recordings has been
releasing psych infused outsider music since it’s unlikely inception in 1998. The label issued a double LP Crystallized just last month, to celebrate 15 years at the psych coal face.     

** Early Bird weekend tickets on sale now, priced just £40 **

Available from www.LiverpoolPsychFest.com 

And instore at Probe Records (Liverpool) / Piccadilly Records (Manchester) / Jumbo Records (Leeds).

The £40 Early Bird tickets are a limited allocation. An initial mailing list pre-sale last week sold out in 48 hours, so people are encouraged to purchase early to avoid disappointment. 


16 Dec 2013

Goat T-Shirts for Sale

After Goat’s successful ATP 'End of an Era’ and Koko shows we have a few tour T-shirts leftovers.

There are only mediums and large's left, but we have them in all 3 designs.

Black Goatman 

White Goat live Ritual

Grey Stonegoat

Snap them up while stocks last.

For all other items visit here merch


13 Dec 2013

"Nothing is silent here tonight" – Friday 20th December

Nothing is returns after the Goat album playback with a xmas special in a weeks time on Friday 20 December.

Rocket's Rik Motor and Cage and Aviary are MIA this month, but we have a very special guest of Jussi from Gum Takes Tooth bringing a bag his psyched out techno sounds.

Nothing is...

Cherrystones (Brutal)
Little Dirty (Hed Nod)
Jussi (Gum Takes Tooth)

The Alibi – Dalston/London
20th December
Free entry


11 Dec 2013

Incubate Festival vote Teeth of the Sea's MASTER as their album of the year and 'Get into this' their number two album of the year

After Teeth of the Sea's amazing performance at this years Incubate festival, the organisers have made MASTER their album of the year. And the Incubate audience voted it their 10th best album of the year!!

Find out what they say here: Incubate

Also, GET INTO THIS, the Liverpool music website by Peter Guy has made MASTER it's number two album of the year, which is a great honour!

See what he says here: Get into this


Goat announced to play Latitude Festival 2014

Latitude Festival have just announced that Goat will be playing their festival on 21 July 2014.

As you know, Goat shows are rare so it is not to be missed!!

Early beard tickets can be bought from here: Latitude

More info here: Latitude Facebook


9 Dec 2013

Goat bring the party to Koko

Sound isn't great, but nice to relive this very special show...

And check out this great review of the show: Subbacultcha


8 Dec 2013

'Crystallized – Celebrating 15 Years of Rocket Recordings' – Released today

We are happy to announce that our 15th Anniversary compilation "Crystallized" is (finally after manufacturing problems) out in the shops today. It is a double LP and is limited to 1,500 copies.

You can listen to the album at our Bandcamp here: Crystallized

Some great reviews of the album can be read here (this is a rolling post):


Louder than War


Cherry Coloured Funk

Paper blog




The New Noise

Plus The Quietus interviewed us and asked some of the bands on the comp to chat about which tracks they liked the most...well worth a read: The Quietus

We would love to know what you think?
What is your favourite track on the compilation?
Let us know in the comments box below.


A Sagittariun remixes Teeth of the Sea's Black Strategy

A Sagittariun has uploaded a remix of the track BLACK STRATEGY, one of the standout tracks from Teeth of the Sea's epic third album MASTER:

Image by Akzidenz, a.k.a. Philipp Bolthausen


5 Dec 2013

Multiple Exposure Vol: 2 – Plastic Crimewave

Welcome back to Rocket's irregular blog feature 'Multiple Exposure', where we ask various artists what their favourite pieces of 'repetitive' music are. This feature, we have the one and only Plastic Crimewaveotherwise known as Steve Kraków.  

Steve is a Chicago-based illustrator and writer, musician and music historian. He is the editor of Drag City-published magazine Galactic Zoo Dossier, eponymous front man for Plastic Crimewave Sound which Rocket released the fabulous 'Flashing Open', founder of the Million Tongues Festival, and Vision Celestial Guitarkestra. He writes and illustrates the "Secret History of Chicago Music" comic in the Chicago Reader and co-hosts WGN-AM's Secret History of Chicago Music series. He runs Drag City imprint label, Galactic Zoo Disk. We welcome his thoughts on 'repetitive music'.

Multiple Exposure Vol: 2 – Plastic Crimewave

Toby Jug and Washboard Band - "Elastic Landlady" (off "Greasy Quiff" LP)
A bizarre Hendrix "parody" on an uber-rare UK private press consisting mostly of, you guessed it, jug-band jams. Whatever the case, this sprawling, seemingly PCP-addled track made it on the LP, and has some of the sickest/fried guitar tone outside of the Afflicted Man or Helios Creed--not for the faint of heart.
Toby Jug

Tangerine Dream - Electronic Meditation (LP)
Their 1st and best LP--of course I like the one with loadsa freaked out guitars on it, which is like no other in their catalog. Key drones, backwards vox in German, and lethargic jams that cascade into frenzied "krautROK" at its finest.

Sound of Imker - "Train of Doomsday" (45)
Blasting Dutch biker rawk that lays the template for Motorhead, with grinding repetitive guitars, and a genius atonal one string solo--released in 1969, but reputedly recorded in 1968, which puts it far ahead in the "proto-everything" game.

Hapshash and the Coloured Coat Featuring the Human Host and the Heavy Metal Kids (LP)
Supposedly the key inspiration for Amon Duul 1, trudging fuzz-bass/gongs/moaning-groupie jams like "H.O.P.P.Y." by the celebrated poster artists certainly sound like pre-kraut communal jams with drugged orgies in full effect.

Metal Boys - Fugue For a Darkening Island (45)
This post-Metal Urbain project continues with the pissed-off Frenchie synthpunk vibes, but reaches a new level of ominous avant-space-out textures on this B-side. DARK!

International Harvester - Sov Gott Rose-Marie
My intro to the world of communal Swedish droneprog, influenced equally by Terry Riley and the Velvets. Genius stuff in the Parson Sound/Baby Grandmothers/Trad Gras Och Stenar axis, with the track "I Mourn You" particularly pulsating into repeating rapturous realms.

Chrome - New Age (45)
Seriously mesmerizing bad trip electro-psych, with garbled voices and sizzling guitars poking through an unrelenting drum machine rattle. Leaves a taste in your mouth like batteries.

Velvet Underground - The Nothing Song
This track makes the rounds on various '66 bootlegs, but is one of the best examples of their slowburn approach, where layers pour in like molasses of simplistic drums, nico groan, and ostrich guitar, like an emerging high.

Gong - Continental Circus Soundtrack (LP)
My fave album by these UK/French mystic hippies, which includes instrumental and Daevid-incanted vocal-versions of long cosmic jams which make excellent use of Allen's glissando guitar skills (nicked from Syd, of course).

Electric Sandwich - s/t (LP)
An underrated jazzy yet damaged "Kraut" gem, which contains some seemingly improvised jamz where fucked over-modulated wah-sweep guitars scramble in and out of a solid fusion/bongo foundation like a methed-out Jade Warrior.

Simply Saucer - "Illegal Bodies" (from "Cyborgs Revisited" LP)
70s Canadian psych-punk of the highest order, as this 10+ minute track attests to. Pounding, apocalyptic, extended freak and roll that gives the Pink Fairies and Stoogians a run for their money.

Pharoah Sanders - Black Unity (LP)
From the opening repeating notes of this sidelong voyage, one knows that an afrocentric journey of heaven and hell lies ahead, with heavy skronks lying in wait alongside blissed out chimes, bells and whistles. 

Crime - "Raw Rumble" (off "Love Us or Hate Us.." bootleg LP)
The primal skree of my fave "punk band", who turn Link Wray riffage into a continuous bombardment of out-of-tune-guitar nuclear assault, pounding the simple chords into your noggin forever.

Butterfingers - "Bootleg" (track off s/t acetate)
Theorized to be from Texas, this group goes all over the place, but settles nicely into a bizarre Funkadelic homage here, with delayed shout-outs of "Bootleg" over a shuffling pseudo psych-funk galactic ramble.

Swell Maps - "Gunboats" (off "Last Exit to Marineville" LP)
One of my all-time favorite dreary dronerock tracks, with plodding tempo, moaning vox, bag-of-cats guitar yelp, and even a vacuum cleaner thrown in--like early Red Crayola on 'ludes.

Seventh Sons - "4 am at Frank's" (LP)
Mellow white boy raga that truly must have been recorded stoned-to-the-bone as the sun came up...Buzzy Linhart and his crew deliver 2 sidelong tracks of beautiful acoustic bliss on one of the most underrated ESP LPs.


3 Dec 2013

Reviews and photo's of Goat's mesmerising shows at ATP and Koko

As you all know, Goat have been in the country the last few days to play two rare shows.

First up they played ATP on Sunday, then a sold out show at Koko on Monday night.

The band played probably the best sets we have seen them do on both occasions, and if you were there you know what we are talking about!! It was very special performances indeed by a group of very special people...

Review of ATP:

Louder than War

Photo's from Koko show: 

The Line of the Best Fit

Review of Koko show: 

Evening Standard

The 405

Dukla Prague Away kit

The Guardian


(this will be a contsantly updated post)

Photo by: Siamik Amani


Teeth of the Sea's MASTER in Quietus albums of the year poll

The Quietus have made MASTER their 25th album of the year.

They say:
If Fuck Buttons hadn't gone stadium-sized, and instead expanded on the brittle edges of their superlative debut Street Horrrsing, they might have ended up sounding as weird, majestic and abrasive as Teeth of the Sea do on Master. One thing's for sure: these tracks probably won't end up soundtracking a major sports event." Joseph Burnett

See the full list here: The Quietus


Reviews of Goat's Live Ballroom Ritual

Here are some online reviews of Goat's Live Ballroom Ritual that was released in all good shops yesterday (this will be an updated post as they come in):

Muso's guide

The skinny

Line of the Best Fit

Penny Black Music


Drowned in Sound

Echoes and Dust

The Guardian

Shout for music

London 24

The Sleeping Shaman

White Board project


2 Dec 2013

Launch Successful: Celebrating 15 Years Of Rocket Recordings – The Quietus interviews Rocket

The Quietus have interviewed us and some of our bands about Rocket's history and our 15th Anniversary Compilation:

With the Bristol/London label turning 15 this year, Daniel Dylan Wray caught up with its founders and asked its roster to talk us through their favourite tracks from the anniversary compilation, Crystallized.

Founded drunkenly at a Heads show in Bristol in 1997 by Chris Reeder and Simon Healy, Rocket Recordings are now turning 15 years of age and to celebrate, they've released a compilation LP, Crystallized. It showcases both the wealth of talent and variation already housed on the label through such artists as Teeth Of The Sea, Gnod, Hills and Goat as well as other artists that have caught the label’s eye and seem to embody the label’s cacophonic surge of forward momentum, mind-fuckery, and a restless strive for experimentation, such as Sheffield’s finest purveyors of rhythmic noise, Blood Sport, the churning Swedish chug of Uran or the twitching psych-funk of The Lay Llamas. It’s a celebration of a label and time period that illuminates its past achievements not by looking back or by re-releasing old material but by embodying the qualities that have kept them going for 15 years and brought them to this juncture: releasing new music.

Says Reeder about the label’s birth: “We never had any aims or underlying philosophy when we started, we just wanted Rocket to put out damn fine records that sounded and looked great. We were huge fans of the US underground so labels like Sympathy For The Record Industry, Amphetamine Reptile, Alternative Tentacles, SST, Wax Trax!, In The Red and early Sub Pop. John O’Carroll, who runs the label with Reeder, also recalls the early days: “I seemed to remember long evenings being sat around houses folding sleeves and putting records together, there was a ritual element to the event, music blaring in background, playing each other the latest purchases, opening up new worlds. This is how I started with the label, maybe that’s where our love of repetition came from, hand packing sleeves over and over again in time to the music. Then I turned my skills to creating sleeves and getting involved in the visual side of production, an aspect which has always been a hugely important for us and that was in place from the very beginning.”

Read the full interview here: The Quietus