Is football psychedelic?

Quietus founder and experimental music criticism kingpin John Doran says no in this interview with Louder Than War, lambasting the beautiful game for being "mathematical" and not "psychedelic and free" like music, at its best, is. Surely though, those who hold football close to their hearts would disagree. The algorithms are vast and unpredictable, Spain at their best are as hypnotic to watch as Tago Mago is to listen to, and Republic of Ireland beat Italy; an enthusiast could feasibly lay claim to football being as psychedelic and free as the Sun Ra Arkestra.

In June's Psych Out, in celebration of Euro 2016 finally kicking into gear, we take a look at some of the best psychedelic records in a pretty disappointing month, and question whether they're more Deli Ali than Zlatan Ibrahimovic.


Cats Eyes - Treasure House

On their second non-soundtrack LP as Cats Eyes, Rachel Zeffira and Faris Badwan - recalling the infectious call-and-response melodies of the Phil Spector groups - construct a sonic universe as vast as it is immersive. Throughout the glorious pop dynamics that carry the record, the duo maintain a sinister undertone that breathes new life into what could be tired Shangri Laisms, there's an almost attainable ardour behind Treasure House that transcends any hint of revivalism.

Euro 2016 star: Deli Ali. Having gained a reputation for being perhaps the happiest looking man in football, as well as being able to thread a killer through ball to Harry Kane, there's darkness to Deli Ali. Having picked up seven yellow cards last season for Spurs, and nearly all BBC features on him lead with some sort of disclaimer about his discipline. Exciting and joyous but with a certain obstreperous underbelly, Treasure House and the Tottenham number 20 are one and the same.


Let's Eat Grandma - I, Gemini

The debut LP from inseparable Norwich duo Lets Eat Grandma is one of the 2016's best. Youthful and bursting with an unrelenting creative energy, the oddball pop of I, Gemini is a total breath of fresh air. Much like Treasure House, there's a sinister twist for every melodic highpoint, and a myriad of off-kilter sounds to find with each new listen. It's a record to soundtrack the most bewildering of nights out, with the spacious 'Deep Six Textbook' being a highlight. Formed of sheer mutual adoration for one another and musical experimentation, I, Gemini exists in a beautiful, odd, and unnerving world of its one; one you'd like to visit from time to time, but wouldn't dare live in.

Euro 2016 star: Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Officially retired from international football now that Sweden have been eliminated, we'll make room for the unmistakable figure of the man affectionately known as 'Ibra' on the basis that there is nobody better suited to this record than him. He's absolutely incredible at what he does, which is mostly scoring from ridiculous angles and/or distances (see his 30 yard+ overhead kick against England). While unbelievable and light-years ahead in his trade, though, you definitely wouldn't want to be friends with him on account of his erratic dynamics and sheer unpredictability


The Claypool Lennon Delirium - Monolith of Phobos

The psych-pop collaboration of Sean Lennon and Les Claypool is nothing short of exactly what you'd expect. Echo-heavy studio trickery, lucid lyrical narratives, near-childish melodies and a painfully bass-bias mix. It is, though, an utterly reliable record. Not one you'll necessarily remember in a couple of years time, but one that made a promise with its announcement and has stayed absolutely true to its word.

Euro 2016 star: Cristiano Ronaldo. There's plenty of time yet, but thus far Cristiano Ronaldo has done just enough to avoid being the competition's biggest disappointment. He was supposed to lead Portugal from the front, score goals, and win over hearts; maybe even convincing some Messi loyalists in the process. Whilst his second half brace against an on-form Hungary was enough to send Portugal into the last sixteen, Ronaldo's Euro 2016 has by and large been disappointing. Despite his admirable persistence, he failed to make much noise in either of the first two games, which is leaving it a little close for comfort in a three fixture group. His performance on Wednesday means that, on paper, he's done everything expected of him - but only just, and mostly unspectacularly.