An intriguing, evocative release…

With their ninth full length release - and their first since ‘Animal Jive’ in 2016 - Black Market Karma are back with a bang and a story to tell. Emotive, tender, and nostalgic, this entirely instrumental record is inspired by frontman Stanley Belton’s beloved grandfather who sadly passed away in early 2020. During that time, Stan was in a transitionary period and had most of his musical equipment in storage.

Motivated to create something beautiful in his memory, Stan was forced to work with a bare minimum of equipment which included keys and some historic drum recordings from a previous session. Despite having limited resources, the talented musician was able to create this record which truly evokes a real sense of nostalgia and will resonate with anyone who has suffered from grief who is trying to transform loss into something positive.

‘The Technicolour Liquid Audio Machine’ kicks off with the smooth ‘Lo Slung’ which gives off instant festival vibes thanks to its dreamy tones and kaleidoscopic splendour. Standout tracks include ‘Delta Hand’ with its hypnotic beats and uplifting keys, ‘Deep Colossus’ and No Fear, No Envy, No Madness’ both of which would make an ideal accompaniment to a film soundtrack. ‘Living In Yesterday’ builds and builds with a sincere subtlety into an intriguing and soaring piece of work. ‘Crystalline Sky Box’ fuses low-fi vibes with a sprinkling of Black Market Karma’s traditional psychedelic tones with plenty of 70’s inspired twang.

There are recordings of his grandad talking fondly to his wife over the track ‘William’ which is a touching tribute and brings this well-rounded album to a superb finale. Stan comments: “It’s a feeling as if your soul has amnesia. Like it knows there’s more, but your body just can’t quite recall. The intention was to... transport you into an intangible haze, free from language.”

Black Market Karma have won both critical acclaim and a dedicated ever-growing fanbase in the UK and beyond thanks to their distinctive brand of psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll and endearing eclecticism ‘The Technicolour Liquid Audio Machine’ is a slight departure from that brand and clearly is a new direction and musical exploration for the talented quartet. It’s an intriguing and evocative release that effortlessly demonstrates Stan Belton’s spectacular composing skills.  

Not checked out Black Market Karma yet? Go give this and their previous records a whirl. You won’t be disappointed.

8/10

Words: Emma Harrison

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