LISTEN: Stream Bardo Pond’s RSD Trilogy

The band fill us in on their three covers EPs, coming out as one three-CD package next week; ATP Iceland and Roundhouse gigs coming up

Thoroughly ace Psychedelphian space rock bigwigs Bardo Pond are rounding up the six covers they’ve released as limited edition EPs over the last three Record Store Days for a new three-CD release. The RSD Trilogy, including the particularly brilliant and beautifully frayed versions of The Velvet Underground’s ‘Ride Into The Sun’ and Brian Eno’s ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’, put out last year as Looking For Another Place, will be out on Fire Records next Monday, June 29, and comes just ahead of the band’s appearance at ATP’s Keflavík, Iceland three-dayer, running July 2-4, followed by a slot supporting The Jesus & Mary Chain at London’s Roundhouse on July 5. Fire have been kind enough to give us a full stream of the release – play that above – while the band’s Michael Gibbons has given us a little insight into each of the tracks, which you can read below. Get your pre-orders in a Fire’s online shop or via Bardo’s Bandcamp.

‘Maggot Brain’ (Funkadelic; originally on Rise Above It All, 2013)

‘Maggot Brain’ is an archetypal tune for us. Its powerful architecture is something we aspire to. Through very simple means it achieves maximum effect. The tune incorporates minimalism, repetition (mantra-like in its flow) and aching emotional tones. These are elements that we try to put in our music.

‘The Creator Has A Master Plan’ (Pharoah Sanders; originally on Rise Above It All, 2013)

This song, although it uses acoustic instruments, has many of the same qualities and therefore is important to us in many of the same ways; as a matter of fact, all of the music that we’ve done for the series echo these qualities. This song has been an inspiration since back in the very beginning of the formation of our band. We were listening to a lot of free jazz and of course Pharoah Sanders.

When Bardo started out we were very experimental and improvisation-oriented. We’re also very unorthodox and noisy. This song has spiritual qualities, as does ‘Maggot Brain’. Or music we hope has this kind of feeling, a spiritual kind of feeling.

‘Ride Into The Sun’ (The Velvet Underground; originally on Looking For Another Place, 2014)

The Velvets were masters of minimalism and making emotional statements. The power of their music is an inspiration to anyone that hears it. ‘Ride Into The Sun’ is kind of a potent distillation of what they could do with their sound-sculptures and lyrics. Our cover is based on a version of the song which kind of only had one part of the song. Once again it is the marriage of tone and repetition – it creates a kind of spell that comes over the listener. It’s very transporting and the lyrics are very appropriate for the song. We always loved it and feel honoured that we gave it a shot at covering it.

‘Here Come The Warm Jets’ (Brian Eno; originally on Looking For Another Place, 2014)

Around the Bardo households, Brian Eno can always be heard. It was hard to choose an Eno tune to cover because there were so many good ones that Eno has done, but we knew we wanted to cover one for this record and luckily we decided on this song. It’s a great melody and of course it is very minimal but very powerful. For some reason, when we covered it it flowed into a more pop-like sound then we usually do. That was a lot of fun actually.

‘In Every Dream Home a Heartache’ (Roxy Music; originally on Is There a Heaven?, 2015)

This song is just so powerful and heavy that it was a natural to choose for us to cover. Strangely it picked up from where the last one left off. Once again, minimalism, repetition and emotional power

are the engines of the song. The break when it happens on it, when the guitars come in is just so cathartic, an obvious inspiration for us. Really amazing guitar and effects.

‘Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe’ (Albert Ayler; originally on Is There a Heaven?, 2015)

Well this song is almost biblical. I don’t think there is a more beautiful and heavy song. We did kind of our own arrangement for it and it’s probably the loosest cover we’ve done. The tune inspired a riff and we rode that in the creation of the cover. The spirit of the tune is all-encompassing and we really tried to honour that with our humble attempt.

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