“SONG FOR EWE”
with RIPLEY JOHNSON of
WOODEN SHJIPS & MOON DUO
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today’s guest is a cosmonaut of space rock, he can see for miles & miles all the way back to land. He’s a modern day shaman with the Hawkwind in his sails, the captain of a ship that subverts spell-checks everywhere. I’m excjited (sic) to welcome a man behind two of my favourite current bands, Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo, take a bow to the starboard, Mr. Ripley Johnson…
I first got hooked into the tongue and groove of the timber of Wooden Shjips and the timbre of Ripley Johnson when I picked up a copy of their at the time new album “Vol. 2″ from Resident Records in Brighton.
Since then I have felt compelled to collect all their psychedelic, hypnotic, prismatic output, including the super limited Weatherall remix 12”.
“West” seemed a high-watermark but that was shot out of the ocean by their masterpiece from 2013 “Back To Land” which featured Johnson’s earnest vocals higher in the mix and a more optimistic drive, plus of course their eye-catching Led Zep homage on the cover.
I didn’t get out to too many gigs last year, but one I made it to, but almost couldn’t prize myself from the spot afterwards was the Wooden Shjips gig at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, which I reviewed for The Quietus.
This year, the Shjips are in port, but Moon Duo is in full flight with “Shadows of the Sun” on repeat chez Velvet Sheep and a contender for album of the year. If Wooden Shjips are Hawkwind, then Moon Duo are a motorik Motorhead, more instant, hooky, trebly but no less a journey into your own mind, and an outer body experience for your soul.
It was a speculative approach via Facebook to Ripley, but I was hoping that the tQ article and the set list he provided for it would be a boon to my request for a song from one of my contemporary heroes. Turns out my message dropped at the right moment. To say I was pleased was an understatement.
Over to Ripley:
“Hi Nick. This is good timing. I was thinking of picking a Pärson Sound track, as I had their box set on earlier.
But right now I’m listening to Vibracathedral Orchestra’s Lino-Hi album, which is maybe more obscure, and it’s something I truly love. The track on now is called “Roll On Roll Off”. Like Pärson Sound it’s drone-rock of a sort, but the beat never comes in so it doesn’t really get off the ground in that way, it just kind of skips along (maybe it’s the roll, without the rock). Great track, amazing album.”
NOTE FROM NICK V.S. – RIPLEY’S TRACK IS SO OBSCURE HE’S BROKEN THE INTERNET! HERE IS ANOTHER TRACK BY VIBRACATHEDRAL ORCHESTRA “A NATURAL FACT” FROM 2007’S “WISDOM THUNDERBOLT”
AND FOR GOOD MEASURE HERE’S ONE FROM PÄRSON SOUND:
THANKS TO RIPLEY. AND ALSO TO KEN LI FROM THRILL JOCKEY RECORDS