BLACK MARKET KARMA – APED FLAIR & HIJACKED IDEAS
A SPILL EXCLUSIVE ALBUM PREMIERE
Considered one of the most revered psychedelic rock acts in England today, not to mention the UK as a whole, Black Market Karma has churned out two singles already this year in anticipation of their tenth full-length album Aped Flair & Hijacked Ideas, out Thursday via London boutique label Flower Power Records. Today we have the pleasure of premiering this album – a trip you don’t want to miss out on.
Hailing from London and now residing on the South coast of England, the band are back with a colourful carousel of jingle jangle and distorted wobble, following up the 2021 long-player The Technicolour Liquid Audio Machine, a lo-fi instrumental, nostalgic, beat driven opus concocted during the 2020 lockdown.
With comparisons to their music flying left and right throughout their career to the likes of Spacemen 3, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Spiritualized, there is a distinct laid-back and positive element to their music that makes you feel as if they may have emerged on America’s more chill West coast than a super populous and congested United Kingdom. After all, not only is the band big on melody, but the placement of sound is also important – there is nothing ‘extra’ here that is not needed, that doesn’t serve to create a better, more addictive song. In other words, this album is bravely and perfectly executed.
Aped Flair & Hijacked Ideas is a loaded 11-track offering with a fluid texture of beach-soaked instrumentation. Themes range from observations of the sycophantic circles that leach from the arts, desperately trying to stay spiritually close to a geographically distant love, Japanese folklore and the deep connection between man and beast.
“I like to think of the sound of this record as Aquatica. It’s like a psychedelic carousel of syrupy melody and liquid audio. Fat, baggy, saturated bass and drums, shimmering jangly guitars, wobbling fuzz, drunken keyboards and telephonic vocals. Imagine something along the lines of The Velvet Underground and The Troggs making tunes together but underwater, performing on marine life instead of instruments and routing the whole thing through a UFO,” says Stanley Belton.
“The album’s title is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the idea that nothing is truly original. Influence is an infinite web connecting all art and I think that’s a beautiful thing that should be embraced. I often see people getting too hung up on the pursuit of some kind of idea of total originality that doesn’t exist. It’s all in the blend.”
Having written, performed, recorded and produced everything himself for the previous nine albums, this time around, Stanley Belton is joined by his brother Finley Belton, co-writing and performing two tracks on the album together – ‘Kong’ and ‘A Crying Shame’. More recently, Stan has been working on collaborations with Pete Kember (a.k.a. Sonic Boom) of Spacemen 3, Joakim Ahlund of Cesars & Les Big Byrd, Tess Parks and The Underground Youth. Stay tuned for these releases in the next few months.
As of September 29, Aped Flair & Hijacked Ideas will be available everywhere digitally, including Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp at https://flowerpowerrecords.bandcamp.com. The double album, pressed on 180-gram coloured vinyl with a gatefold sleeve, can also be ordered at https://bit.ly/3QNCBjE
All songs written by Stanley Belton except for ‘Kong’ & ‘A Crying Shame’ co-written with Finley Belton
Stanley Belton – all instruments
Finley Belton – additional guitar.
Recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by Stanley Belton at the Cocoon Studio (London)
Video filmed in October 2021 during the band’s UK tour
Live footage captured by Jenn Cliff-Wilcock
Live photos by Jenn Cliff-Wilcock. Other photos by Dan Briston
While you are here, enjoy a few videos BMK has released in support of this album, including one filmed in Tokyo, Japan, as well as Stanley Belton’s latest studio session:
Black Market Karma
Aped Flair & Hijacked Ideas
(Flower Power Records)
Release Date: September 29, 2022