The Record Stache

Psych rock icons Black Market Karma impress on ‘In My Child Mind’ single


Photo credit: Astroboy Photo

The past decade has seen quite a resurgence (may we even call this a renaissance) for the psychedelic rock genre. Not that it ever went away, but there certainly has been an uptick in the number of bands coming out of the woodwork with music existing within this realm. One such artist who has shone during this period, hailing from London (although is currently based on the country’s south coast), is Black Market Karma.

Formed in the early 2010s, the band has blazed quite a trail for themselves, having released nine albums, eight of which were released between 2012 and 2016, which were written, performed, recorded and produced by Stanley Belton. When you have than many successful records under your belt, it is safe to assume that you are doing something right, especially if you are making this music without following fad or fashion or the need to satisfy public expectation.

Now they present their new single ‘In My Child Mind (E to A)’. This is the second taste of their new album ‘Aped Flair & Hijacked Ideas’, which will hit fine music platforms later this month via London boutique label Flower Power Records. On the new album, Stan has broken trend of doing everything himself by co-writing and performing two tracks on the album (‘Kong’ and ‘A Crying Shame’) together with his brother Finley Belton. The result is impressive and singular, yet filled with easy and accessible appeal. With the world in disarray at the moment, at least we have such music to keep us sane in the meantime.

This groovy laid-back single is accompanied by a video shot throughout the magical realm of Japan, wandering all around Tokyo full of child wonder and joy. Filmed by film director Louisa Pili in November 2017, this video was edited by BMK mastermind Stanley Belton, following him as he blissfully trips throughout Shibuya, Shinjuku, Harajuku, Meiji Jingu, Ueno Park, HARRY Hedgehog Cafe, Akihabara, Asakusa, Kazunoya Oiwake and Red Shoes.  

In 2021, Black Market Karma released a long-player, entitled ‘The Technicolour Liquid Audio Machine’ – a lo-fi instrumental, nostalgic, beat driven opus written and recorded during the 2020 lockdown.

Not long ago, the band released the lead track ‘Dead Trajectory’ with accompanying video featuring live footage filmed by Jenn Cliff-Wilcock in October 2021 during Black Market Karma’s UK tour. For additional feel-good factor, Act Cool Records also released alive session with Stanley Belton.

Their tenth album ‘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.

With broader flavours of psychedelia, fuzzed out tones and thumping grooves, Black Market Karma’s thick and colourful sound is shaped by the use of a lot of vintage equipment. Rooted in 60’s guitar and pop music, other influences range from folk and blues through to lo-fi electronica, traditional Indian music, shoegaze, hip hop, soul and Motown.

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.

As of September 14, ‘In My Child Mind (E to A)’ will be available everywhere digitally, including Apple Music and Spotify. The ‘Aped Flair & Hijacked Ideas’ LPwill be released on September 29. A double album featuring 180-gram coloured vinyl with a gatefold sleeve, it can be pre-ordered on vinyl at https://bit.ly/3QNCBjE and as a digital download via Bandcamp.

CREDITS
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

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