Black Market Karma – Plastic Hippie (Flower Power Records, March 25, 2016)


Why aren’t these guys really considered as one of the greatest and popoular band around nowadays? Every time I approach to one of them record I can’t do anything than be simply enthusiast and really fashinated by their magic sounds and the hypnotic reverberation of the voices and the sound of the guitars.

Black Market Karma, they are out from London, and this new LP, called ‘Plastic Hippie’, is coming out a few months later than the previous, ‘Sixth Time Around’, as usual via Flower Power Records. There’re manys, I know, that generally don’t consider very well bands who release records in a so short time frame, because they suppose this was not a good signal about the quality of the composition and they also recalled to what it is the importance of working a lot in a studio before releasing an album. But of course, I don’t care a fuck about these considerations and, more than this, it is my convinction that this thing it is something that never had an importance in the history of the rock and roll and popoular music.

What do we expect from an album? What do we want when we are approaching to the music and possibly to a new record? All that we want it is to feel deeply emotions and to be evolved into a tornado of magic and truly amazing sensations and it is evident that this does not necessearly have to do with the concept of time and with something we could define as ‘work’.

maxresdefaultIs it to make music a job then? I don’t know guys. I’ve got my own personal music and ok I’m not going to define myself as a musician, because I’m not a professional one and more than this, because I’m used to be into another kind of business that really requires me a lot of time, I’m generally not going to dedicate too much time into making music. I don’t like this of course, it would be great for me to have much time to dedicate to make music, but as The Rolling Stones were used to sing, you can’t always get what you want. But listening to a record like this and to this band always make me feel better with myself. Listen to me guys, it doesn’t matter if you are a professional musician or not, if you have something to say (or eventually if you want to play or to sing something) just do it. You have got to.

Wrote about the last release from this band the last december. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote, but for sure I spoke very well about ‘Sixth Time Around’ and the fact that they’re so prolific, also considering the fact that at the time I know they were yet working on new songs that now has become this new album. Much more than this, I possibly talked about them defining Black Market Karma as the best depiction of what it is nowaday psychedelia or neo-psychedelia, if you would prefer to use this other expression.


So, using again a my old expression, ‘Little Anton Newcombes are growing up,’ (listen to ‘Sleep’ or  ‘The Sunshine Mess’, with that typical approach that made BJM famous in the nineties, ‘Hiding from My Brain’ it has got something of what is the way Anton is making music nowaday) and they are growing up more and more and album after album and with ‘Plastic Hippie’ we probably have what it is their most pretentious release and this because we are getting into a very long album with a duration of about an hour and half and because this is not irrilevant for a band that even if we could define it as a psychedelic-rock one, it has for sure an approach to the melodies that has got some connection with pop music or generally with traditional sixties british psychedelia. So, you possibly could expect to get lost into all these materials and songs, but if you’ll give a listen to it, you will easily realise that things aren’t so.

Black Market Karma it is an easy listening band. Coming out from London, they are influenced by the sound of the british pop music and sixties beat and psychedelia (‘That Mandrake Beat’), they referred them to the imaginery of the shoegaze genre and to bands like Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine and of course they took the main easy-listening elements from a seminal band like Velvet Underground (‘Use What You Fear’, ‘Igloo’) to finally get to a their on form of sound. I mean, I’m not exagerating if I will say that ‘Where I Am Needed’ for example, it is a song that you could listen and immediately think about a sound that it is definitely what we could define as a Black Market Karma sound.


At the time ‘Comatose’ was out, I remember a dear friend of mine, who is aged fifty or more, who said to me, ‘Whoa man, if I was younger, I was really going to be into this band!’ Guess he was going to say that they sound great and that he did really appreciate them, but probably that he also was considering this band like something it is supposed to be listened by an audience made by young listeners. I don’t know what to say about this guys. I mean, last sunday I was 32 and ok, I’m far to getting 50, but I don’t feel listening to an album like this that I’m or I’m not old enough. I just think that they made what I could define just and simply very good music. What it is sure, then, is that they are on the point. I really consider them, again, as a band who really is on what we could consider the point (you could download all of their records from free from their website at They’re not playing the music of yesterday and they’re not playing the music of the future. They’re now in the present and so we are, so, fuck off, who cares how much old you are. Just enjoy.

Vote: 7,5/10


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