25.02.20

Words by: Felicity Martin

The 10 Best Psychedelic Rock Tracks, according to Red Axes

"Eight minutes of musical resurrection, such a deep jam and flow..."

Red Axes are Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi, the Tel Aviv dance duo with a wide variety of genre influences, thanks to being raised on a diet of post-punk, new-wave, and Italo-disco at the warehouse and basement parties they’d attend. Though the sounds they make now sit primarily within the four-to-the-floor world, you can hear clear traces of sounds like post-punk and psychedelic rock on their output now.

Last year’s EP ‘Voom’ was the pair’s last outing, boasting militant drums and mechanical rhythms, which arrived on esteemed label Dark Entries. Following this, and a string of dates marked in for the coming year, we asked Red Axes to delve deep into their influences and share their favourite psychedelic rock tracks. “This list of psychedelic music is defined in many aspects that was just a tiny visit into the sounds that are out there,” Red Axes say. “Thanks and we hope you enjoy listening to the choices.”

1. The 13th Floor Elevators – ‘Splash 1 (Now I’m Home)’ (1966)

“The Elevators were the first band to refer to their music as psychedelic rock. This song is just a random pick for one of the greatest influential rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time. You can easily hear the pioneering use of reverb and echo, and bluesy, acid-drenched guitar predates. Roky, Tommy and Stacey wrote great songs and invented atmosphere.”

2. Brym Stonz Ltd. ‎- ‘Times Gone By’ (1967)

“Very good early garage psych-rock from this American band. The Brym-Stonz was know as ‘The Beatles of Angleton’… It’s kind of a psych ballad with trippy lyrics and atmosphere.”

3. Fifty Foot Hose – ‘If Not This Time – Alternative Version’ (1967)

“Fifty Foot Hose is an American psychedelic rock band that formed in San Francisco in the late 1960s. They were one of the first bands to fuse rock and experimental music, the sound here is very revolutionary and brave. The whole album is one big trip.”

4. Ultimate Spinach – ‘(Ballad Of The) Hip Death Goddess’ (1968)

“One of the most prominent musical acts to emerge from the ‘Bosstown Sound’, which was a regional attempt to compete with the San Francisco Sound. During the group’s existence, they released three albums, with their self-titled debut being the most commercially successful. This song is a truly underrated masterpiece, eight minutes of musical resurrection, such a deep jam and flow. We would also recommend hearing their song ‘Mind Flowers’; trippy and beautiful!”

5. The Hooterville Trolley – ‘No Silver Bird’ (1968)

“This psychedelic band are from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Best known for this hit song, one of the greatest classic psychedelic songs and the record to play in a party. Killing the test of time!”

6. The Beatles – ‘Long, Long, Long’ (1968)

“Not the most-known one but definitely one of the most left-field influential Beatles songs. Written by George Harrison while he and his bandmates were attending Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation course in Rishikesh, India, in early 1968. Although Harrison later stated that he was addressing God in the lyrics, it is the first of his compositions that invites interpretation as both a standard love song and a paean to his deity. This song is ahead of its time in so many levels, sometimes it seems like we have not even got there yet. George is one of the biggest presents the music world was gifted!”

7. Arik Einstein – ‘Hayo Haya [Once Upon A Time (For Ziggy)]’ (1969)

“Local Israeli hero Arik Einstein was one of the biggest cultural gifts and always brought his pioneering vision to the Israeli culture, he did many great records and collaborations with a variety of musicians since he was mostly a singer and actor. He was also very true to his heart with a great artistic vision and education. He was building bridges to a lot of young musicians and pushed the boundaries!”

8. Syd Barrett – ‘Dominoes’ (1970)

“Barrett was so smart and so very special – this is just one example. It’s kind of an intimate song and the lyrics here blend with the reverb of the guitars; certainly more psychedelic than the kid version. Such an original musician and artist.”

9. Neptune’s Empire ‎- ‘Wichita Falls’ (1971)

“Neptune’s Empire are a little-known band from Norway. They released only one LP back in 1971. I discovered this record on a vinyl compilation (‘Collecting Peppermint Clouds vol. 2’). It’s a very hippy song with great groove and rhythm.”

10. Spacemen 3 – ‘Losing Touch With My Mind’ (1991)

“The evolution is so strong here, the things we can take from this record is endless. This band is such a good example of making a revival in a cool and original way.”

Red Axes will perform at the dance stage of Mallorca Live Festival, taking place May 14 – 15 2020.