The Local Radar is getting a little revamp. Each week, we’ll focus on a single new release that we feel deserves a spotlight.
Last summer, local psych rockers Magic Castles emerged from an extended slumber that began with their contribution to Moon Glyph’s Regolith Vol. 1 compilation in 2010. The two years in between still provided ample opportunity to see the band live, but there was a notable absence in physical recordings—kind of a shock considering their first three records (The Lore Of Mysticore, Dreams Of Dreams Of Dreams and Songs Of The Forest) all came out in the span of a year and a half.
In 2012, Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe took notice of the band after hearing one of their most popular songs, “Ballad Of The Golden Bird.” From there, a great offer followed: the group released a retrospective of their career on Newcombe’s A Records as a sort of deluxe introduction to a catalogue that is now completely out of print.
With that release, some tour dates happened, and silence promptly took over again. While Magic Castles may be on the backburner, the guys were certainly still busy. A few weeks back, we got the debut release from Erros Mágicos, a side-project that has been in the works since 2011. The usual suspects are all still in the mix: Jason Edmonds leads the pack and Moon Glyph is back to release it. Shambhala is only four songs but clocks in closer to a mini-album; it strikes a balance best exemplified in my mind between an El Guincho record and a Mondo Boys mixtape (see: their Tidal Wave release from 2010).
Standout track “Ensolarado” picks up the pace through its five minutes in the most languid of ways, adding layer after layer of texture. The images are clear: palm trees, mimosas, bright sun and island culture. The way your head clicks into their soundscape is in large part due to Food Pyramid’s Jim Pfeffer who spent time weaving together field recordings from BBC archives.
The repetition of phrasing on this song in particular is key. It could practically be looped for ages with its thrill still intact. And of course it comes right in time for a beautiful Minnesota summer (which apparently keeps missing its flight from the south).
Shambhala is available now on Moon Glyph.