|Morgan Delt — Morgan Delt (2014)|
Morgan Delt — Morgan Delt
◊◊◊◊ The scope of this album is considerable. It is multi-faceted, wildly coloured and not always entirely coherent. It’s a little like watching Santa Sagre in a flea pit cinema whilst stoned out of your mind. There’s almost too much information and wild ideas to contain in such a small outburst. Make no mistake, Morgan Delt’s brightly coloured world will be stunning when given a big enough canvas and the right tools. For now, the flea pit is the place to be. Just try not to freak out too hard.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Album release: January 28, 2014
Record Label: Trouble in Mind
01. Make My Grey Brain Green (2:51)
02. Barbarian Kings (3:53)
03. Beneath The Black & Purple (3:10)
04. Mr. Carbon Copy (2:53)
05. Obstacle Eyes (3:28)
06. Little Zombies (3:14)
07. Chakra Sharks (1:38)
08. Sad Sad Trip (3:39)
09. Backwards Bird Inc. (3:57)
10. Tropicana (2:09)
11. Main Title Sequence (2:02)
◊ Written and performed by Morgan Delt.
◊ Mastered by James Plotkin.
◊ “Psychic Death Hole”, the ultra limited 6 song cassette released early in 2013 introduced the world to Morgan Delt’s self-produced, genre-bending flavor of brown acid-dosed flowerdelia. Equal parts Odyssey & Oracle’ and ‘Parable of Arable Land’, Morgan Delt ’s debut S/T LP expands on those initial tracks and brings forth one a fully realized glimpse into the California native’s twisted brain.
◊ Morgan cites influences from Curt Boettcher to West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and rounds it out with golden age sunset stip heavies like The Byrds and Love. It ’s all in there; obsessively studied, mastered and then mutated. Side one opens with the one/two punch of ‘Make My Grey Brain Green’ and ‘Barbarian Kings’ blasting apart 40 years of pop-psych and stitching it back together in a way that is both familiar but also refreshingly new. ‘Beneath the Black and Purple’ soars with a chiming guitar grumble right out of ‘8 Miles High.’’ & “Chakra Sharks” squirms it ’s way out of the speakerslike a snake — oiled up with the stink of not only what came before, but what ’s happening NOW. The drums pound hard & heavy, while the backups “la-la-la” all over your noggin like a Frankenstein version of The Flaming Lips & Thee Oh Sees. Each track worms it ’s way into your brain and takes hold. The finale ‘Main Title Sequence’, is all Stu Phillips-worship, right out of the soundtrack to your favorite 60’s cult classic with it ’s angelic backing vocals and lilting tremolo lead but somehow still buzzes with a modern current. As Morgan so keenly described his notion on the current state of genre bending music “I think we’ve become unstuck in time and everything is going to happen all at once from now on.” The vinyl edition of ‘Morgan Delt’ includes a download code!
RIYL: Flaming Lips, Ariel Pink, Thee Oh Sees, Curt Boettcher, Red Krayola, Byrds, Love, White Fence
◊ “By all accounts, Morgan Delt is a normal enough guy, living in Los Angeles probably with a cat and the same need to pay the bills as the rest of us.
◊ Still, if one were to judge by the sound of his debut self-titled album released in 2014 by the fine folks at Trouble in Mind, it might seem like Mr. Delt was flash-frozen in 1967 while in the process of making his own version of “Strawberry Fields Forever” or “My White Bicycle,” then only recently thawed out. It has all the trippy elegance of the former and all the phased hookiness of the latter, while adding a bedroom-crafted intimacy that is the only aspect of the record that dates it as a modern production. While the album sounds like a note-perfect take on psych pop from start to finish that was crafted by someone who owns at least a wall full of Nuggets, Pebbles, and Rubble compilations, it also benefits from Delt’s knack for catchy songwriting. A lot of people have done the same kind of excavation and restoration work he has, but few have done it as memorably. Almost no one has done it with songs as good as these. Tracks like the undulating “Mr. Carbon Copy,” the rampaging “Chakra Sharks,” and the sunny with a chance of weirdness “Obstacle Eyes” sound amazing with their period finery, but would be just as nice stripped down and done in a more sedate fashion. Best of them all are the songs that could be slotted in on a late-’60s psych comp and not only fit in, but be highlights. Songs like the seriously melted with a giant chorus “Barbarian Kings” and the brilliantly arranged “Make My Grey Brain Green” would make the Pretty Things’ brains green with envy and would make almost any fan of this kind of music incredibly happy. Delt may be a normal guy; he may have traveled through time with a stop to steal Faine Jade’s (look him up!) soul. Regardless of how he came to make Morgan Delt, it was all worth it because this is timeless psychedelic music of the highest quality imaginable.”
◊ Tres rétro et tres sympa.
By Jeremy Gordon | January 27, 2014 | Score: 7.6
◊ Our world is an impossibly and perhaps unnecessarily connected one, a place where household cats have Instagram feeds and most details of a life turn up after a deep Googling. No matter how much one attempts to stay off the grid, eventually something comes up. For example: The second page of Google results for “Morgan Delt” includes a character page for Morgan Delt, the protagonist of an obscure 1966 Vanessa Redgrave-starring film called Morgan — A Suitable Case of Treatment. Wikipedia describes him as “a failed irresponsible leftist artist” who’s obsessed with Karl Marx and gorillas; a characteristic quote from IMDB is something like, “[places skeleton on bed] Man is born to sorrow…”
◊ If this is not California native Morgan Delt’s chosen pseudonym, it’s awfully telling of an interesting upbringing. He’s a homegrown musician whose debut self-titled album (which includes much of an earlier limited-edition cassette release) evades convenient pigeonholing. There’s the deal with the name, and then there's this: In one of the few interviews with Delt, the interviewer asks him to explain a song called "Barbarian Kings". “I did have a story in mind with that song,” he responds. “I don't want to say too much about it though because what people imagine is usually more interesting. Your version is better!”
◊ So, let's go ahead and imagine. In this album it’s easy to hear a band like the Byrds, who dabbled with jingle-jangle proto-power pop, fuzzed out martian rock, genteel country lament, and more during a five-year stretch in which members were swapped in and out depending on the mood. Rather than split time between such distinct states, Delt takes his armloads of sources — beyond the Byrds, you might describe the field of influence as sunny and stoned — and blends them into a variegated, melted mess. The result is a carefully built and naturalistic mosaic — you can hear the influences dissolving into each other even as the resulting sounds are crisp and memorable, rather than the half-baked invention of someone with a killer record collection. Listen to the taped-together percussion on opener "Make My Grey Brain Green", which rides a scratchy bass line and flowers into something like the moment when Dorothy's black-and-white world goes RGB. There's the Morricone-meets-Jodorowsky acid drone of "Barbarian Kings", the cyclical wobble of “Little Zombies”, the way "Chakra Sharks" rattles and crashes through a hornet’s nest of guitars into a wailing refrain of "Bye bye, farewell." Throughout the album there’s a heightened, eerie quality to his vocals; the feeling is something like an asylum patient waving to a car as it recedes over the horizon.
◊ That's what I hear, at least. The whole album is so impressionistic and free-floating that you'll likely hear something else, as Delt intended. Projecting where he might go from here, it's not difficult to think of a band like Tame Impala, who temper spacey sprawl with more accessible songwriting. Future development doesn't have to be the point, of course; this album is fully-formed from first listen and begs return trips. There's another interaction from that interview that seems relevant: Asked if he believes in God, Delt simply replies, "No." If the faithless create their own meaning rather than wait for divine guidance, consider this an album that forces you to create your own attachments and associations. Even so, the artist is always present, elevating Morgan Delt from a wispy whatever into a clear statement of intent: It might not be obvious what you're supposed to hear, but you're going to hear something. (http://pitchfork.com/)
By Sam Shepherd | posted on 23 Jan 2014 | Score: ***½
By Louis Pattison | PUBLISHED 16 Jan 2014 | Score: ***½
By Laura Gesualdi | Posted on January 28th, 2014 | Score: 69/100
|Morgan Delt — Morgan Delt (2014)|