Archive for “Phase Zero”

The Mysterious Morgan Delt Brings His Trip To DC

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 21, 2016 by johnbuckley100
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Mere weeks after Tulip Frenzy proclaimed Phase Zero “Psych Album Of The Year,” Morgan Delt brought a kick-ass band to the Nation’s Capital to prove the rightness of that claim.  But instead of the delicate, filagreed sound produced by Delt and — I dunno who else was in the studio with him… his cat? — for his tour he assembled a band that can raise the sonic winds, flattening whole cities with its sound.

The set at DC9 began right on time, with the gorgeous “I Don’t Want To See What’s Happening Outside” kicking off the set as it does the album.  That song folded easily into “The System Of 1000 Lies,” giving us the sense that this was going to be Delt and band running through Phase Zero the way, say, Wilco ran through Star Wars on its last tour prior to opening up the back catalogue.

But Delt soon deviated from his latest album with a foray into his even trippier, weirder eponymous debut, and what quickly became clear was that, even as he sings in a milder voice live than he does on his two albums, his band packs a punch that brings to mind Wand, with that band’s towering drummer Evan Burrows pummeling the songs along like a nuclear power plant.  Yes, we were in full Olivia Tremor Control territory, yes, we could imagine the frail, small Syd Barrett up there, not the tall and angular Delt.  But this was a powerful combo, able to extend ragas even as the pretty melodies of Delt’s songwriting insisted on being heard.

We think we’ve identified the drummer as Lionel Williams, and let us just say he is a force to be reckoned with.  But so was the whole band.

Delt is a young artist, ambitious and with buckets of talent.  We hope that Phase Zero is just an intimation of the great things to come.  We hope the next time he goes back into the studio, these guys who played with him last night are in tow.

Morgan Delt’s “Phase Zero” Is The Best Psych Album Of 2016

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , on August 28, 2016 by johnbuckley100


When Bill Doss passed away in 2012, we despaired of ever again hearing an album that blew our mind quite the way Music From The Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle by The Olivia Tremor Control did when we first heard it 20 years ago.  But then earlier this summer, the mysterious Morgan Delt released “I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside,” which leads off his second album, Phase Zero, and if it’s possible to get the same rush the second time through, yep, this song did it.

Here’s everything we know about “Morgan Delt”: that’s not his real name, his eponymous first album was every bit as weird as a typical Olivia Tremor Control outing, he works as a graphic designer in California, Sub Pop were wise enough to lock him in a studio all by himself, and he’s playing September 20th at DC9 in the Nation’s Capital. Oh, and Phase Zero is a gorgeous, weird, melodic, inventive, soothing, trippy self-produced album in which he plays all the instruments.

“I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside” really does begin like a lost OTC track, and then fades into the boss “The System Of 1000 Lies,” like the best psychedelic album of your amped-up dreams.  The album is mostly those strangely treated six-string guitars, some keyboards for texture, and yeah, underneath it all, we suppose, are bass and drums, but think of this essentially as a longhaired guy singing gorgeously over slow and meandering highly electrified guitar lines, while floaters cross your vision and all solid walls have finely limned colors bleating and tricking your olfactory nerve ends.

We invoke, of course, the Elephant 6 bands, of which OTC was simply our (second) favorite (after the Apples In Stereo), but there is another, important reference point here, and it’s the trio of cross-indexed records made in the mid-70s by Cluster, Eno, and Harmonia (which consisted of the two guys in Cluster plus a guitarist genius pal.)  Their mostly instrumental early German electronica platters have been pulsing across our earbuds for many, many years, but never so intensively as in the last year when a deluge of Cluster and Harmonia recs became available to the non-Teutonic world, and yes, seems like Mr. Delt has been snuffling up these tracks for a long time too.

By the time the most excellent Phase Zero hits “Some Sunsick Day,” we are deeply into Eno’s “On Some Faraway Beach,” and we’re ready to come back to reality, weary, changed, a little emotionally wrought, no longer hearing through our nose and seeing through our ears, but satisfied that we’ve seen God, and his name is Morgan Delt.


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