London psychedelic pop artist Black Market Karma presents ‘The Sour Truth’, their long-awaited collaboration with legendary musician-producer Sonic Boom (aka Pete Kember) of Spacemen 3 and Spectrum fame. This single will be released on 10″ vinyl and digitally via London boutique label Flower Power Records.
Produced by Kember and featuring him on synth and percussion, ‘The Sour Truth’ is a slice of technicolour psych-pop – a trippy, kaleidoscopic and vibrantly nostalgic feel-good track.
With cycling Lo-fi guitars, stacked tremolos, shimmering vocals and sugary winding synths, it is laced with lyrics about the pain of cognitive dissonance after loving a version of someone that turned out to be a facade. “Sick and tired of being sick and tired. It was just a mirage that I admired”.
It’s been a busy year for Black Market Karma, having recently wrapped up tour dates with The Black Angels. Earlier this year, BMK released their eleventh album ‘Friends In Noise’ featuring Tess Parks, The Underground Youth, Les Big Byrd / Joakim Ahlund, The Confederate Dead and Ruari Meehan. Not long before that, in late 2022 album ‘Aped Flair & Hijacked Ideas’.
Revolving around songwriter Stanley Belton, Black Market Karma colourizes this world with a carousel of jingle jangle, distorted wobble and flavours of psychedelia, fuzzed out tones and thumping grooves. With a thick and colourful sound channeled through vintage equipment, their music is rooted in 60’s guitar and pop music, other influences include folk, blues, lo-fi electronica, alt pop and soul.
“Sometimes we can fall in love with the idea of a person as opposed to the reality of them, whether that’s through us seeing what we want to see, them projecting a falseness or a mix of both. The fall out of that curtain being pulled can be quite a painful feeling of cognitive dissonance. That’s kinda what this song is about. It’s also about when something that was previously blindingly bright, devolves into a noisy mess of finger pointing,” says Stanley Belton.
Pete Kember explains, “I heard this and I believe it was recorded during one of the lockdowns on Stan’s BMK Instagram page and I loved the vibe and the song. I think it’s a song most of us can relate to. Has a whiff of The Only Ones, Daniel Johnston maybe …even a little soupçon of Beat Happening….yeah. Hearty stuff for a hungry soul. One of my fave things from the strange past few. Was a pleasure to mix. I wish I’d written it”.
Pete Kember founded Spacemen 3 with Jason Pierce in 1982 and the band went onto achieve widespread critical acclaim before going their separate was around 1990. Kember has since embarked on further sonic adventures with Spectrum and E.A.R. (Experimental Audio Research) and solo (both as Sonic Boom and Pete Kember). As a producer, he has also been involved in some quite notable projects involving MGMT, Beach House, Panda Bear and Moon Duo, among others.
Stanley Belton notes, “I’ve loved Pete’s music since I was a teenager, so to hear that he dug this tune and then have him involved with recording it has been magic. He added a pair of synths: one a sugary sweet winding melody, the other a set of airy, swelling strings. He also added percussion, a bunch of other lush production elements, and also mixed it.”