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Onliest Music - alternative Smeg selections

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About this blog

As some of you know I have a very eclectic music collection (from household names to the obscure), but what all the best of the art form have is the ability to draw the listener in – involving them and immersing them within a world away from their physical reality.

Music can definitely be theraputic treatment in a chaotic demanding world. Music is an excellent de-stresser for these lockdowned troubled times.


So I thought I'd start a blog of what I've been listening too, some as I've been discovering it for myself.

This could be the prompt for posting a well known classic album, there are plenty out there from Pink Floyd, Queen, Radiohead etc. etc.

But where would be the adventure in that!

Experience something different/new.

Entries in this blog

No bad Apples dropping from Fiona Lyrictree...

Fiona Apple is a quirky alternative pop singer songwriter, greatly under-appreciated despite critical acclaim and Grammy nominations. She is a brilliant lyricist and emotive performer. I first started listening to her in 2002 with 2nd album “Extraordinary Machine”.   Fiona Apple was born in 1977 Fiona Apple McAfee-Maggart in New York City to singer Diane McAfee and actor Brandon Maggart, who met when both were cast in the Broadway musical Applause. Her father is from Tennessee, an

Onliest Smeg (David Richings)

Onliest Smeg (David Richings) in Onliest Music

Bohemian Genre Bending

You'd have to head back all the way to August 2020 to find a light hearted fun musical blog of mine - music can be serious stuff! This band came up on my Spotify stream while working and thought some may be interested...   So it's time to head into frivolity with a Manc band I have seen several times at local gigs. Gypsies of Bohemia are masters of the cover version, serious re-writing of classics with great musicianship and humour in the presentation:   As the UKs

Onliest Smeg (David Richings)

Onliest Smeg (David Richings) in Onliest Music

Grampas rock the human chair 人 間 椅 子

Throughout my meanderings amongst musical thread suggestions presented by the binary functions of logistical data there has been a common theme. Everything includes a Japanese offering!   Japan has a sometimes bazaar and always unique take on modern culture, which of course includes music. It's the only country that still massively supports Physical media. And in today’s world of downloads and online streaming the maligned plastic disk is nothing but a faint memory in many pl

Onliest Smeg (David Richings)

Onliest Smeg (David Richings) in Music

Meniscus of music

After a hectic couple of Months, work IT issues have reduced the work load pressure. Of course the music journey never stops, so after a hiatus you have 2 blogs in a week !   Dream Theater are American progressive metal 'giants' formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Petrucci, John Myung and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. They subsequently dropped out of their studies to concentrate further on the band that would eventual

Onliest Smeg (David Richings)

Onliest Smeg (David Richings) in Onliest Music

Kauan do it . . . . . again

'Ice Fleet' the new album from Kauan has arrived,  Pre-order from Canada only - in Blue Vinyl, I also obtained the CD with booklet   Stylistically it follows on from their brilliant album Sorni Nai. This one comprises a 43-minute long opus dedicated to the terrific story from the 1930's northern shore of the USSR where a flotilla of frozen ships were suddenly found by geologists. The story is based on real letters, articles and events. The album is separated into seven narrative c

Onliest Smeg (David Richings)

Onliest Smeg (David Richings) in Onliest Music

The Hu, the WHO! no , The HU!

I also enjoy exploring multi-genre music, where different genres intertwine. Moving on from Kauan, a Band originating in Chelyabinsk, Russia and singing in Finnish.....   To The HU, a rock band hailing from Mongolia singing in Mongolian incorporating traditional music.   The band’s name The HU, is the Mongolian root word for human being. Influenced by rock bands such as Foo Fighters and Slipknot (I can't hear the Slipknot connection!), they call their style “Hunnu Rock”…

For More Gilmore

Thea Eve Gilmore (born 25 November 1979) is an English singer-songwriter. She began her career working in a recording studio, where she met Nigel Stonier an English rock, roots and pop record producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.   Gilmore was born in Oxford to Irish parents and lived in the village of North Aston, Oxfordshire. She became interested in music as a result of her father's record collection, which included work by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and The Beatles. Later,

Onliest Smeg (David Richings)

Onliest Smeg (David Richings) in Onliest Music

Kauan do it

For a while now I've been exploring Scandanavian Rock (the top countries for Metal bands per capita ratio are 1-Finland 2-Sweden 3-Iceland 4-Noway)  A short while ago I managed to get hold of an LP I’d been wanting for ages – only available on vinyl and limited availability from a record label out of Finland. The music link I’ve included below isn’t for the LP recently purchased above, but of the same Russian/Ukrainian band Kauan’s greatest work ‘Sorni Nai’   The 52-minute si

How many horses do you need?

When it comes to music, 16 is absolutely spot on!   16 Horsepower are an American alternative country music group based in Denver, Colorado. Their music often invokes religious imagery dealing with conflict, redemption, punishment, and guilt through David Eugene Edwards's lyrics and the heavy use of traditional bluegrass, gospel, and Appalachian instrumentation cross-bred with rock. I have been listening to them since their first album swamped my ears in 1996 with it's rural backw

Onliest Smeg (David Richings)

Onliest Smeg (David Richings) in Music

Q - The Hu too? A - Not the Hu two! Tengger Treasures

Harken back to a previous blog entry on The Hu, and you'll know that this transcending genre Mongolian band were formed in 2016.   Recently I had them playing while working and a 'listening suggestion' popped into my streaming periphery 'Tengger Cavalry'   Audio impressions are of a heavier metal version of the Hu, BUT... Tengger Cavalry was formed in March 2010 initially as one-man project by Nature Ganganbaigal. The band originate from inner Mongolia and is named after

Onliest Smeg (David Richings)

Onliest Smeg (David Richings) in Music

Hannah's Moulettes

Moulettes are an English eclectic Art Rock band that combines elements of Rock, Prog, Folk and Pop. I first came across them at Rammy Festival (Head for the Hills).   The band was formed in 2002 in Glastonbury by Hannah Miller (aka Hannah Moule) and are multi-instrumentalists who experiment with the interplay between electric and acoustic instruments through effects & distortion. Notably led by either a 4, 5 or 6 String Cello; the band use 3-part vocal harmony and often incorporate

Onliest Smeg (David Richings)

Onliest Smeg (David Richings) in Music

Ravens reveal past ages

Following on in a similar context to some of my earlier blog subjects here's a band that were one of the first in the Neo Medieval genre.... AND you've likely heard their music before!   Driving rhythms, ancient melodies and sounds of past times: With fascinating huge drums and self-made bagpipes Corvus Corax (aka The Kings of Minstrels) bring the spirit of old ages back to life. Throughout their years of medieval music, since the late 80's, the Berlin musicians have contribu

'thanks Northumbrian folk

The Skáldingly clear vocals of the ‘lockdown’ video of my last blog had a very distinct tone to them. This brought to mind the Northumbrian folk of the Unthanks, who sing poetry and traditional lyrics.   They are very Northumbrian with clear regional dialect and accent coming through in their vocals, also demonstrating a unique timbre and tonal balance which can be both melancholic and atmospheric adding drama and feeling to performances.   They stick close to their root

The Wacky World of Barabbas

Louis Barabbas is a writer, performer and label director, best known for caustic love songs and energetic live stage shows. Louis Barabbas and the Bedlam Six are one of my favourite acts seen at Ramsbottom Festival.   His performance career began in the Captive Audience Theatre Company, an influence captured in later live shows and videos. He later switched to music as harmonica player for a number of bands spread across the genre spectrum. For two years he was a fifth of rock outfit T

Physical Audio Media Geek? or Westy Aurals!

( Edit: Warning - a lengthy prose ensues ) A bit of a deviation from my usual blogs this time: (apologies if you opened for a new musical alternative selection)   I have been into music since the mid 70's. Initially I had Cassettes and Vinyl, then just Vinyl with an eventual movement to mainly CD's with some of my favourites also purchased on Vinyl. I had several years without a working turntable, and I became purely a CD junky for a while. On replacement with my current turntable

half man half synth

The general theme for my musings have some link to multi genre integration.   James Kent (born 1993) is a French musician from Paris. He became interested in music in part due to the influence of his parents, who are journalists and rock music critics. His parents were themselves musicians and had a tech trance band when they were young. He initially concentrated on guitar  and got involved as a guitarist in several black metal bands. However his early influences prompted Kent to

Stirling Whirling

Now for some good'ol foot stomping, get ye up dancin' music.   Lindsey Stirling is an American violinist, songwriter, and dancer. The performance as a whole is an integral part of her musical interpretation, with a dance troupe and set locations.   Growing up her parents could only afford to find a violin teacher who would give her half lessons. Although they were told by instructors that "a child isn't going to learn how to play in 15 minutes a week", her parents persisted,

Skáldinavian Court Poets

I hope you've now recovered from the onslaught of loud Japanic Metal! For this blog I'm reverting back to a more folk based and gentle form of the musical arts.   Skáld , is generally a term used for poets who composed at the courts of Scandinavian leaders during the Viking Age, 793–1066 AD, and continuing into the Middle Ages (5th century – 15th century). Skaldic poetry forms one of two main groupings of Old Norse poetry, the other being the anonymous Eddic poetry. In the ea

Scot Rocka Celtica

The bands/music I've posted so far have been pretty serious stuff in the main! The Hu possible being the exception.   I've been exploring fields further away, but what do I find for UK based traditional instruments/music being updated with current genre slants? There's a fair bit of classical infused music, But of course this also brought Bagpipes into play - leading me to Celtic Rock:   "Celtic rock is a genre of folk rock, as well as a form of Celtic fusion which

Ist Ist 1st

Moving a little less rock towards industrial post punk, and a local band I've been closely following since I first stumbled on them for their very raw 1st performance at Ramsbottom Festival. Over the few years in between they have matured and brought more depth to their music and performances.   This is a self indulgent promotion of one of my favourite new bands Ist Ist and their 1st Album release 'Architecture'. Released on 1st May, I have been playing the Vinyl and imo the whole albu

Apocalypse Now & Then

Continuing with the weaving threads of blended old and new music, this blogs aural delight harkens back to Medieval Times. Sweden's Apocalypse Orchestra weaves a faceted tapestry of music. The band was inspired by their love for folk music and slow metal so they decided to combine the two.   The tones of ancient drone instruments entwines with heavy guitars and music separated by over 800 years do meet. With a foundation of original music and lyrics but also incorporating melodies

Healing Heilung

Music can definitely be theraputic treatment of the mind in a chaotic and demanding world. I often have music playing whilst working in the office as well as listening in my downtime.   Music can be far more 'de-stressing' than visual media, which is due to images passed by optical nerves taking massively more processing power of the brain. Sound conversly uses far less of the brain resulting in less stimulation and more relaxation.   So to a band who describe the impact of t
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