Tales from the AtticVolume III – Side A (play loud!): Revolutions of a 45 kind

Tales from the AtticVolume III – Side A (play loud!): Revolutions of a 45 kind

Tales from the Attic

Volume III – side a (play loud)

Revolutions of a 45 kind…. (play loud)

Late again – details on the flip side of this this extended play…..

We start this particular missive dear hearts with the seasons latest ear wares from the much admired fruits de mer imprint – fresh from our disappointment at not securing one of the rare as hen’s teeth white labels in their super duper competition – we were minded to swerve these blighters – but hey were bigger and better than that and anyhow even if we do say so ourselves our entry was miles better than the winning entry and just to prove we’ve reprinted it at the end of this little soiree – so judge for yourselves. I reckon they’re Chelsea fans….Anyway enough grumbling – Fruits de Mer and its extended family of imprints have proven something of a cult phenomena in recent years, blending a healthy diet of psych, kraut and progressive rock they’ve become the watch label of choice for collectors and purists alike. Priding themselves on a strictly vinyl only output they’ve rekindled the spirit of classic imprints of yore with each release arriving fashioned in limited runs. Fresh from the release of the acclaimed ’sorrow’s children’ and ’head music’ compilations – see both http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=387 and http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=388 for our considered appraisals, the FdM crew return to the fray with four impeccably perfect 7 inch releases – the first of which goes a lot like this….

Cranium Pie / The Baking Research Station – ‘split’ (Fruits de mer). By far the weirdest and most out there of the summer season quartet, this freaky child of yesterday comes pressed up in a limited edition strictly restricted to just 800 coloured wax 7’s and finds the split persona of Cranium Pie’s creative head space splintering as they share groove space with their experimental dark half the baking research station. Goes without saying that every self respecting record collection should have about its wares the Pie’s frankly fried ‘mechanisms part 1’ full length from last year – in our humbled opinion a progressive psych overdrive whose warping multi weaving tapestry was wound from the eclectic threads of Floyd, Soft Machine, Triumvirat and Egg – word is afoot that ’part 2’ is in incubation mode. And did we just mention Egg – just as well since the Baking Research half of the equation take it upon themselves to kick back, bliss out and immerse in the delights of Egg’s ’a visit to Newport hospital’ only to emerge from out of the other side having served up a stonking big bearded smoking cool hulking prog pronged slab of stoner lounge funk – seriously I kid you not. This babe sounds totally bonged out, a sub 8 minute head massage pierced with oodles of keyboards and freaky intricate jazz noodles which paired together have the effect of sounding like some sparring session between Supersister and White Noise. Over on the flip side the Cranium ones serve up the obscurest re-appraisal of Arzachel’s (formerly Uriel – latterly with some band members emerging as Egg as colleges called as was the case with Mr Hillage) ’queen St gang’ – hell if you thought the lead cut was whacked out then this dope dinked bad boy will have you tripping over the edge, totally turning it on its head yet retaining just enough of the originals essence to qualify a degree of faithfulness to the master script, there are times when this humungous honey veers close to the unworldly psychotropic haze of the Walking Seeds’ ’bad orb whirling ball’ before jettisoning off on some mind melting astral trajectory to the far unseen reaches of the mind’s third eye – stereophonic substance abuse in short.

Lucid Dream -‘ Hits me like I’m stoned’ (regal crabomophone). Part of the new psych breed currently populating the underground, lucid dream have been high on our watch list since they blew our minds with both their ‘heartbreak girl’ and ‘love in my veins’ outings for the much loved holy are you recordings imprint (more about them later this missive). Feverishly comparing them to both Brian Jonestown massacre and Black Angels their last offering saw them fusing bubble grooved bliss pop with Spector-esque swoons. This time of asking has them nailing to wax crowd favourite ’hits me like I’m stoned’ – here available on coloured wax in a limited 800 run – this psych shocked white out is aglow in the strut driven lysergia shimmer of a classic era Spaceman 3 and sumptuously shifts from its initial smoked shimmer toned cool in the blink of an eye wherein the gears shift and all disintegrates and dissipates in a heady psychosis fuelled haze to achieve a bliss kissed skull caning critical mass of effects laden groove. Over on the flipside you’ll find the bliss kissed sunshine shimmer of Factory’s ’try a little sunshine’ dutifully drilled into a sub 4 minute floral rocket ship replete with Sergeant-esque arabesque motifs and a heavy side serving of warping wooziness.

Nick Nicely ‘Hilly fields 1892’ (fruits de mer). For those whose tastes strayed to the out of step beat of Ptolemaic Terrascope and the strange sound feasts of Mark Radcliffe’s short lived ‘out on blue 6’ broadcasts in the early 90’s, Nick Nicely’s ’hilly fields’ will be no stranger, since its unheralded and largely ignored release in ‘82 its shifted from something once considered charmingly whimsical to achieving cult status. Released amid a small unrelated psych scene that included Soft Boys and television personalities and ahead of Dukes of the Stratosphear’s lysergic curve and the oncoming haze of trip wiring souls such as spacemen 3, shamen and the emergence of labels the likes of creation et al, ‘hilly fields’ was critically acclaimed in the press in its day though sales failed to translate following label issues and poor distribution leaving the single to flounder miserably. Yet ’hilly fields’ has always retained that curiosity value not least because for many years it was rumoured that the female backing vocals where those of Kate Bush, a mystery recently laid to rest by Mr Nicely whilst elsewhere the single is considered to exemplify the first use of the ’scratching’ technique outside of a hip hop platter. As to ’hilly fields’ itself – for many a year personally – if ever I was asked to give a definitive example of psychedelia on record then among the usual suspects – Floyd’s ’see Emily play’, arguably anything by the Move, Chocolate Watchband and ‘defecting grey’ by the pretty things – then ’hilly fields’ would for me provide the concluding full stop on the lesson. A gorgeously hallucinogenic melange of warping Beatles and Floyd dialects here found tripping through a florescent shaded terra forming sound collage of ‘strawberry fields’ and ‘walrus’ shadows and turned ever so gently to a chillingly finite and psychosis forming clock working motif. Indelibly traced with an authentically vintage late 60’s kiss and firmed up in a mind wiring kaleidoscopic mirage, all at once peculiar and eccentric not to mention as English as Vivian Stanshall. Both haunting and hollowed and garnished in an apparition like aura, over on the flip ‘hilly fields (the mourning)’ lurks – the re-visitation, utterly sublime, darkly harrowing and pinched with a funereal framing that sighs with despair and mournful sadness, you get the sense of something forgotten, a plot un-tendered, uncared for and overgrown and unloved. A fitting epitaph and if we didn’t know any better more psyched than the original. Mr Nicely will shortly be releasing the ’lysergia’ full length.

And so to the final selection of this Fruits de Mer selection….

Pretty Things -‘Honey, I need’ (fruits de mer). Essential listening wares for all self respecting garage beat purists. Limited to 1200 pressings all on coloured 7 inch slabs of wax this is the daddy of FdM’s forthcoming seasons ear gear. One day in a future yet to arrive rock’s ancestral history will be rewritten, record archivists are to some extent aiding the process now, the internet for all its quirks and evils, has afforded and quickened the process of information exchange and the ability to file share in an instant and with this by the mere click of a button contact with the most obscure off the beaten track environs on the globe are brought to the users doorstep. Archival imprints have rooted through countless vaults and record libraries gathering together the odd, the curious and the lost, all the time the past is being continually re-evaluated, were once a teen band faded into obscurity following the realisation of their only aim to make a record for their close knit fans, friends and family or perhaps in the hope of securing local radio airplay are decades on being tracked down by enthusiasts. Music is not just about the Presley’s, the Beatles, the Zep, the Pistols and so on – these were the lucky ones of whom fortune smiled upon, but what of the lesser lights, were they any less important just for not being in the right place at the right time or in some cases just being a tad to ahead of the curve. I mention this purely because if there was ever a band more miscast and overlooked than the Pretty Things – then frankly I want to know about them. Having already been rightly celebrated by FdM courtesy of their ‘sorrow’s children’ homage which in case you didn’t already know gathered together the cream of new psyche / prog to re-interpret the PT’s legendary ‘SF Sorrow’ set, the Pretties are deserving of a place at rock’s high table, a history littered with firsts – I won’t mention them here as they’ll read like an extended shopping list safe to say if you skulk around the nearest internet type thing and your eyes might just widen a little (okay yea I should have quantified that by saying stick to the pretty things related stuff). Personally ’SF Sorrow’ has always been considered here as one of the finest platters ever to be set to wax while ’parachutes’ – its follow up – though melodically a world away in terms of sound, style and texture – runs it close in the affection stakes. Following that set the label are now set to release a very special 7 – a twin set of specially selected morsels from the Pretties oeuvre the first capturing the band in blistering form up close and personal. Ripped from their forthcoming ’the Pretty Things 1st album, live at the 100 club’ – the re-strung ’honey, I need’ is prized from a showcase set recorded in December 2010 and finds the band stripped down, raw and primal turning in a stylus shocking slab of Bo Diddley grooved garage beat, still sounds like a vital slice of speaker strutting blazing boog-a-loo cut sharply with the kind of shade adorned scowl that’d make the horrors glow green. Over on the flip sits ’I can never say’ this particular previously unreleased demo take dust down and salvaged from a recently unearthed acetate. This brute comes vested with a potent twin headed blast of blues scorched harmonicas and some nifty riff needlework and arrives like a rash coolly smoked and shocked to the core with an acutely honed razor sharp suited smoulder that recalls the Stones at their most mercurial under the tutelage of the late Brian Jones.

As to that FdM competition entry……still miffed…..

Twas a summer night of fading light that the transistor fired into life, across the ether a bearded chap of immeasurably good taste by the name of John Peel did platters a play, amid the fanciful feast of grunge, rave, the occasional Fall, a smidgeon of Wedding Present and other curios aplenty there came an epiphany for among the seasons latest wannabes an almost laughably mortifying spoken word account of ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds‘ upended the listening vibe, so bad it was good, William Shatner he of Trek fame was the culprit to blame. Scarcely a week passed, the track that had pinged around my head like an insane pinball was soon accompanied by another – this time a reading of ’it was a very good year’ – Peelie it seemed had deemed to play the album in its entirety track by track at weekly intervals – with expectancy on high alert and cassette in hand we needed to hear more. therein the quest was afoot, we searched the land for copies – vinyl of course, our reward was swift, unearthing copies in varying degrees of distress was not a challenge – merely acquiring those of a playable standard was – it seemed to us that in the passing years since its release the affection born out of novelty for it had dissipated to be replaced with indifference and hateful disdain comically and commonly associated by the fact that every sleeve we encountered had the tell tale signs of having been used as a dart board or else had been stricken by some mutant infestation. Hours of fruitless visits to record emporiums proceeded, some well known, some not so, some so mysterious and off the beaten track that they required maps mapping out exactly where the bog standard maps hinted they hid. Other ventures would be prompted by whispers, coded adverts in music magazines, rummaging through endless rain sodden boxes at flea markets or else attending jumble sales and house clearances with fingers a crossed. And so as time passed spring did indeed come and go, summer ushered in and momentary hopes raised, peaked and dashed as the pursuit for this most holiest grail continued without yield. And then autumn. I’d soon given up hope of ever making a mint copy my own when one day just outside the lake district in a village that looked for all the world as though it was frozen in time and blessed with a name that would give a winning hand in scrabble I ambled into the post office / newsagent for refreshments and cigarettes. By the counter and revolving rack stood festooned with albums aplenty – novelty value alone I paused, gasped and pinched myself to make sure I hadn’t resurfaced in the 70’s, music for pleasure and k-tel albums buoyed and bristled for centre attention I even eyed a James Last TV Themes album and just then to the far side of the rack peeping out of the opposite viewpoint I saw the all to familiar rear cover of ’the transformed man’. part panic, amazement and disbelief I swivelled the stand for a better look – for a second I saw it – pristine, untouched, un-played and still in its shrink wrapping – the stand stopped dead in its tracks, I twisted around to eye the source of its resistance to my efforts and was greeted by a challenger who apart from looking as though he’d been beamed straight down off the Enterprise deck stood large as life with pointed boots, pointed ears and a haircut designed by his mother’s Sunday best pan set……
To be continued…….

After all that grumbling what better than a spot of rock-a-boogie. Wild Eyes are set to release their debuting 7 inch platter on the mighty holy are you recordings – home of the previously mentioned lucid dreams – this seamless linking lark is a piece of piddle. Anyhow ‘I look good on you’ is set to trash your turntables, this blister kissed beauty comes strutting in with the kind of dead eyed primal cool that once marked out those early Cramps platters for closer listening inspection mind you that helps when you’ve a lead singer whose untamed feral like swagger sounds like a youthful Lux Interior. throw in some stylus gouging Dick Dale-esque riff growls and nail it all down with a stomping rock-a-hula frenzy and you have yourself a nifty slab of the dogs bollocks trouncing your turntable. ‘too much’ over on the flip is a hazily glazed slow burning cosmically grooved nugget, coolly bliss kissed and chilled this psych tripped babe comes wrapped upon a shimmer toned motorik grind as it swerves to cut kaleidoscopic shapes much like a classically smoked early career Verve b-side. All makes for the sexiest thing on vinyl right now.

Following some rummaging around on the web we’ve managed to unearth two more nuggets from the Wild Eyes songbook. First up ‘kosmos’ – which in short is a divinely demurring lunar lovely salvaged from super chilled early career Spiritualized body parts and speckled by spacey dream drifting harmonies, ethereal and bliss kissed and a must for heavenly heads tuned to the narcotic psych pop of cheval sombre, fuxa, and dean and britta et al. somewhere else you’ll find ’on the shore’ to fall spellbound to, a silken shy eyed 60’s sourced softly glowing harmonic pop shimmering treat whose matrix though purring to a forlorn Beach Boys persona is tweaked ever so slyly to a modernist tracing of Jumbo and Of Arrowe Hill vibes.

Purely by way of a heads up and a warning call – we’ve just gotten hold of a copy of the latest Koolaid album mix – no titles or release dates as yet and we’ve been sworn to secrecy on this so this is just a quickie – their last album – in fact their debut as it happens – ‘global tyranny’ via agitated – garnered respected acclaim and featured in a previous incarnation of these missives at http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=383 tomuch fan-faring and throwing around of bunting – this forthcoming set will blow minds sounding as it does as though its been bonged out of the 60’s.

The much mooted John Peel record archive has officially gone live, funded through the Art’s Council ’the space’/ ’the John Peel project’ is now ready to open its archive. A mammoth and exhaustive undertaking that pays tribute and simultaneously serves as a permanent legacy to the much missed DJ. Over the next 26 weeks – completing at the beginning of October, ’the space’ will be taking a gander through Peel’s vast vinyl album archive and each week will select (alphabetically – hence the 26 week gestation period). With the blessing and assistance from Peel’s family seeks to replicate – virtually – Peel’s home studio as said it will each week reach into Peel’s vast vinyl library and select 100 albums for your dedicated appreciation. Each selection will be accompanied by Peel’s own index filing cards typed up on his faithful Olivetti typewriter (which I guess is to PC keyboards what stones were to biros) to include track listings, comments and his own marking / ratings. Each week the resource will make available a few added extras – the bands / artists featured that particularly week will be celebrated by a where are they now feature and other curios from the shows vaults. On this first traipse through the Peel archive (incidentally represented by the letter ‘a’) you can visit the Peel blog if that’s not for you then how about rummaging through the photo collection – there’s one there featuring him with Kylie and another with his old sparring partner Kid Jensen, alternatively there’s always the Peel sessions – Bowie, Dexy’s, Damned, Free, John Cooper Clarke, members, siouxsie and the banshees and yes the Fall and Cinerama – and extra points to those who remembers the very excellent Datblygu. Somewhere else there’s the TV / Video space featuring a never before broadcast 30 minute documentary entitled ‘Suffolk comforts’ filmed by BBC East to celebrate the great man’s 50th birthday. As to the record collection here you‘ll be greeted to the lost sounds of ac acoustics, ac temple, apb, action packed, the aardvarks, abrasive wheels, accidental suicide a shed load of the accused and Mike Absalom whose ’save the last gherkin for me’ holds the cherished 00001 index card number. Selections from that golden alphabet letter ‘b’ will be unveiled week commencing the 8th May.
http://thespace.org/content/s000004u/albums/

Much loved and admired at Kats Karavan were the Nightingales, championed by Peel, Lloyd and Co sparked the late evening airwaves into frenzy by way of an enviable roll call of classic radio sessions. Culled from their current Cooking Vinyl platter ’no love lost’ – incidentally their best set in many a year, despite line up changes, label swaps and periods of inactivity between various breaks ups and calling it a day, its an album that swoons, swaggers and struts all the time defiantly ablaze with attitude and acute artistry. For long time fans its as though time simply stood still while for the new and recently up to speed it’s a mindful calling card that the Nightingales legacy is still being written. Clearly the sets most immediate cut ‘something for everyone’ is proof that Mr Lloyd hasn’t lost that indelible knack for delivering awkward perfect pop for spiked with an off centred 60’s sensibility and crowned in a becoming sun bleached euphoria this 2 minute cutie chirps to a radiantly exuberant effervescence that shimmers with radio friendly feistiness all the time simultaneously leafing through past glories to echo the lead mans much adored ‘me and my big mouth’ solo set from yesteryear. In short a bit of a gem.

Just when you thought it was safe to leave the hidey hole those blighters Windmill Moth Glue break cover with a criminally limited EP entitled ‘this ol’ reptile’s rock ’ which comes housed by all accounts in its own sack cloth purse. Just 23 of these babies and so limited that even we aren’t guaranteed a copy the mere thought of which has had us seriously considering downing tools and putting the blighters on a black list. Grumbling aside Windmill Moth Glue are in our much humbled opinion the most creatively eccentric collective to have emerged from the Mersey shores since Apatt. Prised from this aforementioned set lurks ’walk on Christian Terrorist’ – a surreally creepy and brooding carnival of sound that stirs ominously from a cracked Lewis Carroll viewfinder weaving a darkly claustrophobic terror trimmed tapestry of kaleidoscopically swirling macabre freak circus dialects ripped from the lost souls of penny dreadful folklore, here sit the chattering spectres of the Residents and Brecht stirred into animation with Tom Waits cast as a trickster come sinister ringmaster. http://soundcloud.com/antsandearwigs/windmill-moth-glue-walk-on

Updated – many thanks to both Jack of Windmill Moth glue and Bob over at Probe for a copy of the feared errant EP has made its way unto our grubby pores and without further ado up onto the stereo player for closer inspection. As reported limited just 23 numbered copies – ours in case you’re taking notes happens to #17 – comes housed in an eye catching hand stitched sack cloth bag adorned with ’jubilee’ themed motifs and inserts one of which features a typed up recipe for ’brain masala’, ’mutton kat a kat’, ’homemade mantu’ and ‘archbishop pork bone and potato soup’ – look don’t even bother to begin asking. 4 tracks loom wearily within collectively assembled offer up perhaps the most realised and focused outing to date. Of course its crooked, wayward and as weird as f*** but underneath the horror phonic warping nursery rhymes and dread headed penny dreadful schisms there’s a strangely magical brew maturing beneath the surface for ‘this ol’ reptiles rock’ strays along an off the beaten track pop path at one time or another ventured by rock’s most famed fractured and fried, here you’ll encounter 50’s teen beat twisted, contorted and rendered disfigured ‘the polite fully perfect piss farm of apathy’ dragged in front of their macabre melodic hall of mirrors and morphing into some jazz noodling torch terror who at equal points nods towards Nurse with Wound and the Birthday Party alas without the latter’s bite yet sinisterly coaxed in the off set b-movie detailing of an early Bauhaus flip side. Elsewhere a strangely becoming eerie grace unsettling haunts the grooves of the psychotropic opera that is ‘queenie’s gonna git ya’ which all said assumes a disturbing nightmarish Stockhausen meets ‘forbidden planet’ perspective. ’starving song’ wraps up the set, a kind of bastardised ’rule Britannia’ regale, crusted, scabbed, scarred and hopelessly attuned to the pitiful socio bankruptcy of the late Derek Jarman’s alternative Jubilee vision. In short – inspired.

Those with long memories or a care for these things may well recall us fondly recommending the debuting ‘pillar of winds’ platter by Preterite some time back on a previous missive – the album was initially due out on beta lactam ring – another label who’ve gone strangely quiet on us in recent times – but was pulled at the last moment – well James of Preterite was in touch in a blink saying the duo were in the process of releasing this most exquisite of debuts through another imprint Handmade. Alas a copy was sent and lost – love you royal mail hopeless that you are – and James has since promised to send another along with news of the bands shortly to be released second full length ’from the wells’ the title track which you can hear by redirecting your internet interests somewhere in the vicinity of https://www.facebook.com/preteritemtl/app_178091127385 – what can we say – absolutely enigmatic, for this bruised beauty is haunting and mercurial and shadow cast in a beguiling and bewitched hollowing 60’s haze, equal parts forlornly withdrawn Nico and Jefferson airplane at their most magically psyched yet pierced with the spectral casing of a spell crafting Mellow Candle while those seduced by the dead can dance like artistry of their debuting platter fear not for you will simply hurt to the autumnal shimmer of their archaic song craft.

Many thanks to those probe chaps for nailing a copy of this – we’d almost feared we’d missed out on it – another late entry to the Record Store Day release roster – this time a rather handsome 9 inch wax lovely from the Smoke Fairies entitled ’the three of us’. of course Davies and Blamire should need no introductory fanfares in these pages not least since we‘ve been tracking their blossoming melodic maturity since the arrival many years ago of an unsolicited demo CD. These days deservedly attracting the listening attention of one Mr White and shortly to usher the release of a second full length entitled ‘blood speaks‘ which is due no doubt to cause bouts of swooning at a local record emporium near you soon, this four tack nugget is led from the fore by a teaser taster from that aforementioned album. ’the three of us’ purrs seductively to a timelessly toned mystic spell craft that’s beset by the soothing subtle swagger of an early 70’s sourced groove that recalls the faux rock chic of Curved Air at the height of their collective powers and dinked slyly by the chipping of an alluringly snake-winding desert dry blues riff. Courting our affections somewhat is ‘radio clicks on’ – a sweetly radiant and airily dizzy darling daintily demurred by the light tip toed speckling of hypnotic clock work rhythms and dimpling of a more than fetching spectral folk caress. Flip over the disc to be greeted by ‘bells’ an enchantingly sedate hymnal beauty that sweetly stirs with psych folk translucence to softly sit somewhere between Mellow Candle and Linda Perhacs which leaves the gracefully forlorn bewitching ramble of ‘the wireless’ to wallow and opine with reflective hollowness.

A moving picture show accompanying the title cut looks a lot like this….

Broken broadcast ‘good afternoon Mr Moon’ (sphere moon). They hail from Teesside number four in their collective ranks – mmm what else can we tell you – well they’ve a new single out via sphere moon which their press people describe as ‘a slice of West Coast Americana lo-fi folk’ which in all truth we’ve a tendency to agree with where it not for the fact that it murmurs mellowing to a curious post punk tongue, pulsing bass opines, whistling – which alone had it assured in the cherished stakes and some devilish stop start mechanics which give enough of itself to have you quizzically pressing the repeat button curiously attracted to its strangely non happening pop persona. Over on the flip the divinely hurting ‘our joy’ which all said is anything but, bruised, withdrawn and licking it wounds this frail and fragile lovely quietly strays to the shadows embraced in fading optimism and sounding pretty much like a stricken Decoration colluding with the Low Anthem crafting hope longing hymnal fugues following an evenings listening soiree of Satie. Of course you want it and who’d blame you.

Partly Faithful ’EP’ (self released). Could have sworn we’d already covered this in previous despatches given its been the cause of much hoo-hah and littering of bunting around the stereogram. Debut outing for partly faithful risen from the ashes of screaming banshee aircrew, described by their press people as a generous serving of ’pornography’ era Cure, the Bunnymen, Danse Society – I’m assuming ’seduction’ era and not the major pop jingle jangle that would disappointingly come later, Bauhaus, Birthday Party (again here I’m assuming ’junkyard’ era) and Joy Division – all of which leaves us with nothing more to say given the blighters have stole our thunder and written the review for us. Anyway onwards – this should be high on the wants list of all those whose listening delights are permanently tuned to a dream Peel broadcast c. 1981 -1982 and whose record collection asides gathering the aforementioned faces of post punk / goth also alludes to the March Violets, 1919 and Sex Gang Children – the latter catered for to the best part by the second cut here ’just fine’ which manages superbly to navigate its way through a glowering haze of getting the fear and play dead wastelands, while opening salvo ’partly faithful’ reveals a band blessed with a singer whose tubes appear to have been cross cultured of Murphy / Ash and Gabriel essences whilst the track itself lives and breathes to the dark wearisome vibe of Bauhaus’ ’mask’ as it snakes to the austere chill of spidery riff sirens curdled in post punk psychosis and blemished with an ever darkening and shadow playing majestic beauty. Sore thumb of the set looms in the guise of ‘strange disease’ a kind of fatal love note of sorts leaving ‘your song’ to bring things back to a degree of decadent disorder to provide the set with its defining curtain closing finale, majestic, towering and brutally beautiful equipped as it is in all manner of anthemic atmospherics and sky parting opines rephrased through a soft psyche viewfinder. Ridiculously essential in case you haven’t already gathered.

The Stowawaystime for change’ – no idea what label this un is emerging on though safe to say they’ve proven themselves as something of listening candy darlings by BBC 6Music and other such informed pulse feeling broadcast souls. Several singles in – yep fear not you are in safe company because we too are a tad grumbling at missing out on those and all – and the London quartet are set to break cover and pour out of your earphones like a rash for ‘time for change’ is a glorious slab of heart arresting euphoric pop that’s finitely turned upon a pristinely honed emotion rushing chassis all kissed with a high octane stratospheric aura that bleeds and radiates to a pulse pounding like strut which reference wise shimmies with the kind of thrill toned urgency of White Rose Movement warmed of their steel cold chill and smothered in showers of smitten love notes. Alas no a clue as to the title of the flip cut but safe to say you can draw breath to be smouldered and seduced by the nocturnal arc lights of its smoked down tempo atmospherics. One for those flame holding romantics among you.

We really must attempt to keep on the ball with these things, last seen here when he was sporting a rather fine psychotropic platter via the trenSmat imprint – more about them briefly in a second – Ashtray Navigations have jettisoned on a voyage to who knows where with their latest mind warping opus. This one arriving as an ultra limited 50 only double 3 inch CD set via Medusa Editions entitled ‘three spots two circles’ from which this tripping taster arrives by way of a taster. Entitled ‘monkey goes north’ this hazy haloed honey is best experienced through head cans that way you get to be immersed in its woozy altered states as its freakish fuzzy afterglows and locked arabesque stoner grooves trance you into submission and tie dye your synapses in multi forming hallucinogenic age of Aquarius hippy how do’s or some or other mind expanding mosaic making. No for squares I’m gathering. http://soundcloud.com/medusaeditions/ashtray-navigations-untitled

Okay those with fairly long memories may recall us mentioning the esteemed and dearly loved here trenSmat imprint – oh come on what do you mean by shaking your heads in puzzlement it was literally a sentence or two ago – anyway news reaches us from afar that the latest brace of trenSmat lovelies are currently advancing to turntables near you – these were mentioned in despatches a short while back – what do you mean you weren’t paying attention at the back – perhaps their best set yet as this bundle features limited seven’s from the amazing Cheval Sombre and the legendary Telescopes – both arriving on coloured wax the former on maroon the latter on purple or vice versa – the telescopes release seeing Steven and Co rephrasing Nick Drake ‘s immortal ‘black eyed dog’ while Cheval Sombre cuts his teeth on some vintage Stones with the frankly jaw dropping ‘as tears go by’. I only hope he remembers to throw in that errant Tlaotlon vinyl platter.

Sticking with trenSmat, their sub imprint Nute – responsible for some fine strangeness in the past and usually pressed on seriously micro editions of cdr or cassette variants are about to release ’songs for Autumn suns’ by the Nether Dawn who to kith and kin and the authorities is better as Anthony Milton who resides in New Zealand and has been keenly exploring the parameters of sound in various guises since the early 90’s – comprised of 6 cuts and pressed upon a limited hand made housed cassette type thing with free digital download featuring two additional exclusives this set sees Milton immerses himself into his own micro-verse unto which you’ll be greeted by and large to dream weaving concrete drone recitals, the occasional lilt of a lo-fi murmur as on the beautified ’not gold’ and the ghost like mantra of the weird folk like ‘17 lights on a hill’ – well worth hunting down by our reckoning. http://trensmat.com/nute010.html

Well hands up who wants weird – much strangeness in oodles from those mischievous kosmi-k-raut noise nicks Mugstar some kind of odd and ominous goings on in this trailer from Summerisle productions – in reality Edge Hill University but keep that under your hat as it detracts from the mystery – something approaching those barking mad videos once cobbled together by the Bunnymen, looks as though its meant to be in the snow but more likely appears to be shot in Moreton beach – well I say beach in the broadest and wildest sense of the description given its more like sand track – mind you not that I’ve had the cause to darken that way for some fair time. Of course we jest – it was filmed on the south sefton coast line – Waterloo or thereabouts in case you are taking notes. Some familiar faces here, a Walking Seed no less bags you ten points and a mildly un-amusing spotters badge – as to the trailer – well it heralds a shortly to be released film which will feature a Mugstar soundtrack – haven’t a clue what’s going on kind of Withnail and I meets Prime Suspect by way of Nature Trek…anyway its called ’ad marginem’ and it happens like this….

Staying with the Mugstar ones – seems the blighters have a new album due for release on the highly thought of agitated imprint a copy of which we are sadly a little light on he says disappointingly whilst fashioning the band members likeness out of cursed wax. No strangers to these pages given we’ve tracked them pretty much since day one with their debuting self titled full length platter for sea records being one of the finest things to have emerged out of Liverpool in some 30 years. Entitled ’ad marginem’ the album provides the soundtrack to the aforementioned film commissioned and directed by the band themselves in collusions with film maker Liam Yates and should arrive in record land shortly pressed upon limited slabs of wax and CD varieties with early pressings accompanied by a DVD of the film. Alas as said no copies yet but we will issue forth suitably worded demands though for now feast upon the teaser cut ’memorial’ which by our ears finds them somewhat sparse sounding, poised, brooding and acutely atmospheric in the detailing pitched somewhere on a late 80’s sourced New Zealand sonic axis posited between Dead C and Roy Montgomery. http://soundcloud.com/goldstarpr

Flip over shortly for the b-side, as ever thanks for dropping by, contact details and other usefully irrelevant stuff posted at the tail end of the forthcoming missive….

Take care of yourselves…..

Mark
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