We’ve written before about the time travel potential of this blog. More Chris Marker than Doctor Who, admittedly, but there never fails to be a mental jolt backwards (or forwards) as a new album drops into our mailbox. This time it was the wonderful Digitalis Records who knocked us back 27 years or so with their reissue of Leven Signs’ Hemp is Here.
Hemp is Here forces together baroque, sometimes psychedelic, organ playing with eastern percussion to form a sort of post-psych — to compliment their contemporaries’ post-punk. There are moments of supreme repetitious beauty that would be perfectly home on any Digitalis release. And I guess that’s the point. This doesn’t so much as transport us back, but folds time; stitching the experimentalism of the mid 80s with their contemporaries.
Prague Spring seems to draw within its environs These Marble Giants, Severed Heads and Antenna. Almost whimsical folk allied to detached, glacial vocals. Dusty eastern percussion jarring with the damp stone temples evoked by the organ that occurs throughout the album. It’s a strange place that Leven Signs create, for sure.