Trance Farmers – ‘Dixie Crystals’ LP [Leaving Records]

Considering how much we’ve been rinsing the likes of Dakim, D/P/I and Ras G on the NTS show, and the fact that they’ve released some of our favourite albums of the last two years, I was surprised to see this is the first time we’ve taken to writing up something on Matthew David’s Leaving Records label.

To be fair, this is actually only the second LP we’ve picked up from the LA based imprint, though we do count dozens of cassettes acquired since it’s inception. For us it started with The Cyclist, and by the time Ahnnu dropped the incredible World Music last year we were checking out the entire tape driven catalogue.

And here we are with Trance Farmers aka Dayve Samek, and an album that sounds like none of the others that we’ve loved, but we find ourselves hooked on. For starters it’s got vocals, which, as you may notice if you drop in here from time to time, is something that generally pushes us away from electronic music.

Not here though, Dixie Crystals is an oddity in the best sense of the word. Slow washed out fuzzy twang-guitar guides the way, with Samek’s weary tones taking front line on all tracks. It’s psyche without trying to be weird, blues without the walking bass line and honesty in composition without being pretentious about it. Not one for the club, but you get it on the home system and play it loud you’ll appreciate an incredible level of layering and structure that you didn’t see coming.

Influences are worn on the sleeve, with throwbacks to fifties crooning styles and country house bands, but all in a take that’s distorted with personality. There’s an immense amount of style in the playing, all belonging uniquely to Trance Farmers.

Big plate here, summed up very nicely by the label’s release info, which you can check out below. Before that jump though check out one of the faster joints from the album with a nice accompanying video.

via Leaving Records
Leaving Records presents the debut album of Trance Farmers, Dixie Crystals. This is a guitar-slathered, twang-soaked sashay through the unique musical mind of time-traveling bluesman Dayve Samek with a collection of tunes steeped in magical and murky Los Angeles.

Recorded over several years and across the city, the album draws from Samek’s experiences on the shores of Venice Beach to the majestic foothills of Altadena. An omnipresent pollutant haze hangs over the whole affair, choking twinkling tones like so much carbon monoxide.

Songs range from tenderly warped ballads of friendship and love to inhalant-fueled rockabilly joyrides. Over the course of ten tracks, a drifting young hayseed finds himself temporarily settled in a sprawling but claustrophobic megalopolis, which feels more like a decrepit roadside attraction on the information superhighway. Sweaty, garage-born ballads brush shoulders with drifter anthems and gasoline drenched doo wop. Next – moonshine.

Before the album’s release, Samek will have already sauntered on down the road, leaving the west coast a distant, smudged memory– a faded photograph worn with joy and laughter and sadness. ‘Dixie Crystals’ can then be considered a memento, its gleaming selections fragments of getting lost and growing up and finally hitting the road. Last we heard, Samek was spotted somewhere down in the swamps of Louisiana running his vital cassette label, Glue Moon Records. Who knows what lies ahead? Ride on, Greasy Rider.