MUSICAL BRAIN SCAN SERIES: STAN BELTON
Dear psyched diggers, we hope you had a groovy week-end! For this new Musical Brain Scan we would like to introduce to you Stan Belton. He is a compulsive songwriter and the leader of Black Market Karma.
In Stan's words Black Market Karma can be loosely described as psychedelia. He likes to call them “The Technicolour Liquid Audio Machine”. It’s a thick and colourful sound, like sonic jam. The core of it is rooted in 60’s guitar and pop music, definitely leaning towards an analogue sensibility but without being totally retro. It’s a sound with power and bite but it isn’t particularly heavy either. He uses a lot of vintage equipment. Old guitars and amps, fuzz pedals, reverbs and delays. The drums can get pretty baggy and loose and it has a lot of groove.
It’s a pastiche of so many things that he enjoys. It’s psychedelic rock, it’s electronic folk, it’s 60’s dance floor, it’s traditional Indian music, it’s hip hop groove, it’s spaced out, lo fi electronica. His aim with BMK is to create with freedom. It can be anything he wants it be. As long as there is some kind of familiarity that ties it all together then he is content. I hope that gives you an idea of what they do. Words can never really do justice to describing sounds.
We've asked Stan for his musical brain scan, here it is (he also added notes):
Queen Jane Approximately - Bob Dylan
Dylan’s had a big influence on my songwriting and I’ve been into his music since I was a teenager. This is a song that never wears out for me. It’s one of those “fuck you” songs, but a loving one.
Je N’avais Qu’un Seul Mot A Lui Dire - Serge Gainsbourg
I first heard this on a compilation of his called “Les Annees Psychedelique”
It’s just so smooth and the production is really inspiring.
Title Theme From Bombay Talkie -Shankar Jakishan
Another piece of music that I was totally smitten by when I first heard it. Couldn’t stop playing it. Super uplifting Indian soundtrack stuff.
Song For A Secret - Jesus And Mary Chain
Been listening to these guys since I was very young. An early influence for sure. This is from their latest album and it always gets me amped.
Hey Man - Spacemen 3
Another early influence of mine. I love so much of Jason & Pete’s work, both together and apart. This is one of those tunes that I always end up screaming along to at the top of my lungs.
Sailing Ship - The Cryan Shames
From my experience it seems that most people know the BJM version “sailor” but this is the original tune from the 60’s. A great slice of psychedelia full of texture. This kind of sound permeates a lot of what I do.
She’s Gone - The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Pure majesty, nothing else needs to be said.
Why Don’t You Smile Now? - The All Night Workers / Spiritualized
This song is pretty dear to me. Back in the days of MySpace somebody commented saying that our music reminded them of spiritualized. I didn’t know them at the time so I went and checked out their work. First song I heard was their cover of this song (I then found spacemen 3 & spectrum as a result) It wasn’t until later that I discovered it was originally written by Lou Reed & John Cale, pre Velvet Underground. Special tune
Easy Rider - Leadbelly
My father gave me a triple box set of his music when I was real young. It got me instantly. Such a pure and hard hitting sound. It might not be immediately obvious on the surface but the melodic content of this kind of music underpins a lot of what I do. Especially my newer, unreleased work, which you’ll hear eventually...
Dawn Chorus - Boards of Canada
I’d heard about these guys for years but never really listened. Recently I’ve been working on a collection of lo Fi, nostalgic and slightly melancholic music throughout lockdown. I got quite a few comments saying that it reminded people of Boards Of Canada so I finally delved in. I wasn’t disappointed. This song has such an overwhelmingly powerful sound. Like the universe itself.
Also, if you’re curious about these Lo Fi songs of mine, look up Flower Power Records TV on YouTube and listen to the playlist “Technicolour Liquid Audio”
Watussi - Harmonia
Another more recent discovery. Our drummer introduced me to these. This music just sounds so ahead of its time and full of texture.
Long Long Long - The Beatles
I find this song incredibly beautiful. Simple as that.
Warm Water Leviathan - Black Moth Super Rainbow
This one always puts me in a good place. It’s got a real easy going, stoned groove to it. These guys have great synth sounds and recording production too.
Me About You - Gandalf
I like the dynamics of this song. The way it’s soft and fluttery before exploding into colour and big drums. The swelling beauty in its outro really moves me too.
Here She Comes Now - The Velvet Underground
Another one of my earliest influences. Really helped to turn me on to the kind of music I wanted to make. I love the way this song shimmers.
This playlist is also available on Spotify here
You can check Black Market Karma on social media:
Feel free to mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any requests,
Stay Trippy Little Hippies,
Good Morning Keith's team