As if the Supersonic lineup wasn’t spectacular enough this year, Manchester’s finest psych-rock collective Gnod have just been confirmed for another mind melting sonic showdown! Supersonic regulars will already be familiar with these guys (especially if you caught their transcendental performance back in 2010), but if you’re a Gnod newcomer, their extensive discography of splits, CD-Rs and limited edition releases can seem a little daunting. To help ease you into the band’s majestic psychedelic sounds, here’s our quick guide to some of the band’s highlights to prepare you for their live ritual, and your subsequent sonic baptism…
The Somnambulist’s Tale (Sloow Tapes 2008)
This early sonic voyage found Gnod experimenting with the textures and harmonics of the hung drum, layering these ethereal, mystical sounds with lucid snippets of an interview with a particularly intoxicated individual, creating an otherworldly aural tapestry and slowly lulling the listener into a lysergic dream-state. A truly bizarre yet strangely relaxing listening experience!
Bong / Gnod Split (Box Records 2009)
After a string of extremely hard-to-track-down CD-R releases, Gnod teamed up with sitar pluckin’ doom lords Bong for this extravagant odyssey into the unknown. After Bong’s aptly titled ‘Bong Lives’ has sent your psyche spinning uncontrollably into a black hole the size of the Gobi desert, the 13 minutes of Gnod’s ‘Twin Within’ offer an experience similar to watching Amon Düül II perform at the Taj Mahal in a blotter fuelled haze, whilst the two part ‘Abstehen’ unfolds with a certain mystical tranquility that can’t fail to captivate even the most discerning acid rock afficionado. Gnod’s cosmic freakouts provide the perfect counterpoint to Bong’s distinctive style of free form lysergic hypnotism, resulting in a truly great split indeed.
Gnod & White Hills – Gnod Drop Out With White Hills II (Rocket Recordings 2010)
Seeing as their first collaborative release with New York’s most glamorous cosmic voyagers White Hills was such a success, it was only a matter of time before these two psych behemoths crossed paths again. This release finds both bands drifting downstream into more serene waters than their last record, as blissed out guitar licks and lazy, rolling bass lines trickle across luscious soundscapes to glorious effect. A beautifully restrained and incredibly engaging record, no psych-rock fan’s record collection should be without this!
In Gnod We Trust (Rocket Recordings 2011)
‘In Gnod We Trust’ found the band venturing even further into their collective psyche, with the dark, sumptuous pulse of ‘Tony’s First Communion’ coming across like krautrock’s heavily sedated, velvet lined younger cousin. This hypnotic and slowly evolving piece is the perfect counterpoint to ‘Vatican’, a spiritual excursion with an absolutely enormous groove that throbs it’s way through the cosmos before reaching a potently apocalyptic climax.
Chaudelande Volume 2 (Tamed Records 2012)
Gnod’s most recent release represents the second half of the band’s triumphant session at Studio Chaudelande in France (the first half is compiled in the aptly titled ‘Chaudelande Volume 1’), and finds the band in full-on, no nonsense astral rock mode. If the Stooges stole the keys to Hawkwind’s spaceship, weighted the accelerator down with a brick and took off on a hedonistic thrill ride through the universe, the outcome would probably sound extremely similar to this triumphant record!
You can purchase these recordings from Gnod’s official website and the Rocket Recordings site, and it’s a safe bet that the band will be bringing along a number of limited releases to sell at the festival too. In addition to releasing a staggering ammount of fantastic recordings, Gnod really excel in the live arena, and if you enjoy elongated psychedelic experiences that build to an explosive crescendo of ecstatic noise (which I’m guessing is pretty much all of you, right?) then their set this year is not to be missed under any circumstances!