9th Incarnation by Steve's 9th IncarnationRelease date: January 5, 2019
How do you overcome all the trappings that a debut album brings along? Many things are involved there, primarily is the ‘logical’ thing of coming up with some good music, but that doesn’t always do it. London trio Steve’s 9th Incarnation add another twist, to these possibilities with their debut 9th Incarnation – their mastermind composer/singer Steve Head has been making music for 15 years before he and Al Grumble and Elliott Brookes recorded it.
Whether it will make an impression on the audiences is another thing, but the experiences soaked up in all those years show since Head and the guys (you always need a good head in these situations don’t you?) have come with an excellent take on psychedelia, the mellower version, that is.
No wonder Christian Wright who previously worked with the likes of Radiohead, Steve Reich, and LCD Soundsystem and who mastered the album got involved. Steve reincarnates the essence of British psych on this album – from the early forerunners like Syd Barrett himself, through his later, ahem reincarnations like Robyn Hitchcock, Spacemen 3 and Momus (with early Mothers of Invention thrown in here and there for good measure), the trio cover that slow, elongated, floating, i.e. trip side of psychedelia.
And those 15 years of making music with the likes of The Flowers of Hell, The Early Years and Ghosts show. Might not be the names that immediately strike a familiarity note, but tracks like ‘Numbers’, ‘Oh’ and ‘Doggie’ show that Head has not only used the essence of the genre he picked upon but that he has developed his composing skills far enough that his music, both makes sense and sounds good. With or with no extra, non-musical stimulants. Sometimes, it is all in the underlining elements, like the additional electronic manipulations and oboe on ‘Doggie’, for example.
The music on 9th Incarnation is something that is not only tailor-made for the studio, and Mike Stone from Television Personalities, Sir Eddie Real from Alabama 3 and Susi from Dawn of the Replicants help Steve and the guys during their live shows.
9th Incarnation shows what experience can do for you when you make a debut album, but also that there is such a thing as modern psychedelia.