Plane Groovy Records were well ahead of the curve with regards to any kind of vinyl revival. Long before the retro format had a huge presence in HMV and before Record Store Day became a cash-cow on the record buyers’ calendar, the UK label was championing the format with high quality pressings of cult titles. They provided the only physical format for the first Strange Majik album and were responsible for bespoke, limited pressings of Big Big Train albums and more besides.
Las Vegas based quartet Trevor and The Joneses care not for fashion. Parts of ‘There Was Lightning’ – their debut LP from 2012 – could have been recorded at the same time as The Stooges’ ‘Fun House’, while also showcasing material that’s clearly channelling a lo-fi equivalent of Neil Young’s ‘Zuma’ with occasional nods to the underground of the late 80s. In theory, this sounds like a disjointed mess…and true enough, it doesn’t sound so special the first time you hear it. After allowing the tunes time to mature and to properly sink in, however, you’ll discover an album celebrates retro rock styles in a huge fashion. …And although the material is varied – drawing influence as it does from over three decades of rock – the band have developed a surprisingly confident style.
Strange Majik mainman David Pattillo is a well known studio hand from New York, whom between 2011-2013 was most often seen as half of garage blues duo The Dead Exs. After two excellent albums in that stripped back and distorted style, his Strange Majik project finds the multi-instrumentalist spreading his wings. Pattillo’s Strange Magik guise is primarily a vehicle to experiment with a world of music that largely would never have fit The Exs straight ahead mood and also allows him to work with a revolving cast of musicians and vocalists. The end results straddle funk and r ‘n’ b, with a swathe of old fashioned psychedelic guitars beefing up the sound – the message here is to close your eyes, open your mind and feel the majik.