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Sunday 18 December 2022

Forty Minutes Of Wooden Shjips

Wooden Shjips, one of three bands Ripley Johnson leads as guitarist and singer, are an ongoing psychedelic blur, Ripley's distorted, buzzsaw/ Crazy Horse guitar tone droning and riffing complemented by the motorik rhythms of drummer Omar Ahsanuddin and the swirly organ. The songs sound like the heat of high summer, the tranced out escapism of lying on your back staring at the hazy blue sky with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Ripley's voice sits somewhere inside the mix, a presence as much as a vocal.

Forty Minutes Of Wooden Shjips

  • Red Line
  • Contact
  • Motorbike
  • Rising
  • Back To Land
  • Eclipse
  • Crossings (Andrew Weatherall Remix)
Since 2006 they've released five albums (plus two compilations) with 2018's V a peak of spaced out, shimmering psychedelia. Red Line and Eclipse are both from V. I saw them play live at Gorilla when they toured to promote it- they were in the groove and on fire.

Contact was a standalone 7" single in 2009, a cover of the Serge Gainsbourg song (originally sung by Brigitte Bardot in 1968 which later on was up on David Holmes' Essential Mix). It was later compiled onto Wooden Shjips Vol 2.

Rising is a slow riot of backwards sounds and is on 2011's West, the album where their numbed out repetition began to become warmer and more polished. Crossings is from West as well and was remixed by Weatherall, the 12" seeing the light of day in 2012. It's one of the pinnacles of his later remixes, a version that strips Wooden Shjips sound down, adds a hissy drum machine and some of his dubby/ sci fi sounds and a huge loop of bass guitar. 

Back To Land is the title track from their 2013 album, The Velvet Underground if they'd come from San Francisco and not New York. 

And if all this psychedelic rock isn't festive enough for you here's the band doing O Tannenbaum, adding sleigh bells to create a nine minute long, minimal, motorik Christmas, organ drone. 


Ernie Goggins said...

Love 'O Tannenbaum'. Thanks for the mix as well.

Swiss Adam said...

My pleasure