Tales from the Attic
Revolutions of a 33 kind….with occasionally 45 moments…and moving pictures……
Bumper late summer early Autumn special…..
Hi. Remember us. Look I know its been a while but we’ve finally wrapped this ‘lil missive up and its eager for your discerning eye..
Okay last time out I think the general idea and intimated promise was that these musings would be a regular thing and that this particular instalment would be an album only gathering. Well in time honoured fashion we gaffed and goofed up. We won’t bother you with the finer details but its been a bastard of a month and one which we’d like to forget and forget fast and as a result if I’m totally honest music was the least of our worries. Anyway at least we bought flowers for someone we’re quite smitten with only to then forgot to say who they where from or give any indication at all as to who they might be from and then scurried into hibernation in embarrassment. Indeed I hear what you say – just ask the girl – but hey we were hoping that the telepathic route and the fact that I kind of go doe eyed and daft every time I see her might in someway give he a clue. Mind you give the young lass – incidentally the prettiest and cutest thing we’ve ever laid eyes on – her due she’s probably slightly disconcerted by what might appear to be some escapee from a local institution blushing profusely. Women eh – can’t live with them can’t live without them – some of us can’t talk to them. All said that wasn’t the cause of our month from hell – perhaps under normal circumstances maybe – but alas not this time, shall we just say cards declining cads, lost wallets and a general dissatisfaction with ones lot and leave it at that.
In short we fell out of love with music. So here to make up a bumper edition which we’ve laughingly called a summer special in the hope that once it appears there will be some summer and hey given that June and July were largely washouts it would have seemed overtly inappropriate timing wise. Anyhow enough rambling on and back to this here current missive which we’ll begin by mentioning a few essential reading materials that every good hope should not to be without.
First up and from the same publishing house that in recent times has brought forth the Classic Rock extended family – PROG, AOR and the various limited fan pack specials – new baby on the block ‘electronic’ which in case you haven’t yet rightly garnered from the title is devoted to all things er – electronic. As with the other occasional titles ‘electronic’ arrives housed in an oversized card wallet replete with CD featuring a selection of classic electro cuts compiled by Mark Jones of back to the phuture fame – among the selected roster stuff by can, omd, japan, ultra ox, nitzer ebb, the normal, simple minds, devo and the human league should see you well to vogue-ing robot style in front of the mirror cutting shapes in yer frillies and looking proper futuristic as though the noughties and nineties never happened. Inside the magazine a festooning of faces from another radio age gather together with spots and interviews with the human league, underworld, the radiophonic workshop, the latest sound accessory – minimal wave, purity ring – who incidentally pop up later on this missive, lola blanc, john foxx, midge ure, a quick potted history of the Numan one on promo video and a rare extended interview with Silver Apples man Simeon.
Same publishing house have just birthed a new title dedicated to the blues entitled – blues magazine – just in case you were getting confused with all the titles and unwittingly exited the local retailer with the wrong reading requirement. Alas not a mention of the great Elmore – ah well we persisted. #1 again lovingly housed in the trademark wallet sleeve comes complete with a 15 track CD which to much grumbling we’ve managed to lose in the great pre Olympic spring clean – that’ll teach us. Said CD collects together a wealth of sounds from the realms of modern blues from likes of walter trout, federal charm, Laurence jones, matt Edwards, mitch laddie and more besides. As to the actual magazine there’s something here catering for purists of the new and old
Don’t even think we’re done with the future publishing house just yet for shortly the newsstands ought to be swelled up by the arrival of a new title by the name of ‘the cure and the story of the alternative 80’s’, seems the publishers have run out of steam with the AOR title and have turned their attention to one of the great opinion dividing decades for music purists. Promising big hair brooding poses and an unhealthy bent towards the goth issue 1 promises a dark roll call of lost icons from yesteryear with features and interviews stacked up from the likes of the Sisters of Mercy, Pete Murphy, killing joke, fields of the nephilim, love and rockets and the mission as well as white zombie, gene loves jezebel, the birthday party, the banshees, the cult and of course the cure. Comes complete with a 15 track listening disc. upon which you’ll be invited to fondly reminisce to the sounds of 1919, danse society, ausgang,, inca babies, chameleons, flesh for lulu, alien sex fiend, andI sex gang and more to boot.
Next up and something that ought to be high on the essential wants list is the long awaited return of galactic zoo dossier – well we say long awaited because by our reckoning its been about three years since the last issue – that said we here are suspecting that #8 may well have sneaked beneath our radar in recent months. Ah well we’ve gotten our mits on #9 and a killer issue it is – perhaps the finest to date and yes we can forgive it for being a little on the pricey side but then that small grumble is more than made up for in the quality, attention to detail and loved poured into each of its preciously packed pages. Noted for its exquisite artwork and unfailing obsession with all things cool and counter culture #9 is an eyeball bulging cornucopia brimming with features and interviews on Rodriguez, black widow, Arthur brown, egg, mark fry, poppy family and more. There’s also comic spotlights centring around the legendary handiwork of one Mr Steve Ditko as well as montages as well as artwork voyages into the psyche, the cosmic and the just plain weird propped up with a much deserved pictorial of the Mad magazine and a fantasy Status Quo spot which I suspect may well attract legal interest. If that’s not enough to get your fuzz frazzled radar spinning on its axis then there’s the obligatory inclusion of the well crafted trading cards to bolster your collection – this time of asking featuring 2 sets – Astral Folk Goddesses and series 5 of the damaged guitar gods collection. Of course things wouldn’t be complete with a hand selected treasure trove of lost sounds lovingly plastered on a CD, the usual assortment of rock reprobates, untitled acetates and mystery cuts all dredged from back of the GZD boogie basement and including the wigged out and the freaky vibes of ultima thule, mainliner, something lovely and trippy n’ lysergic from the goblins,. the school girl band, some delicious soft psyche from results, an blistering untitled and no info known cut from some dudes doing a drop dead version of ’incense and peppermints’, something utterly divine all glazed in west coast from the joy poppers, the quite blissfully teased soft allure of the apple tree and some must hear mystic folk loveliness from roscoe. Essential.
Mind expanding head music a go for brain fried floppy fringe types doesn’t get any better than a spiffing split 7 inch courtesy of the sacred bones imprint that pairs the considerable talents of psychic ills and moon duo. Word has it that the Ills are currently nailing the lid and applying the finishing touches to a new album tentatively pencilled for release next year, in the meantime there’s the small question of this drop dead slab of cool groove in the shape of ‘take me with you’ – a bliss kissed treat primed with a deliciously mesmeric blues side wind that’s spiked and primed with a smokily hazed glazing of Spacemen 3 essences and drilled with a deliriously head tripping white out wooziness. Stunningly chilled. Sounding seductively wasted notwithstanding coming across as though it’s the result of a tab too many, this positively oozes fuzz flecked riffage and hammonds a plenty – Moon duo’s part of the bargain is cemented with the shit faced and frazzled out there groove of ’zoned’, hazily hallucinogenic this babe smoked like a bad un, repetitive loops and swirling cool as f**k grooves burrow deep into psyche causing your headspace to turn to lysergic jelly, uber trippy, hypnotic and easily the best high without actually smoking.
Psychic ills video looks like this…..
If trippy sounds are your bag then they don’t get any trippier than time and space machine, the alter ego of one psychedelic alchemist and uber remixer (lets face it any band not having a Time and Space Machine mix applied to their handiwork is quite frankly not worth bothering about) Richard Norris whose previous visitations to these pages hid under the guises beyond the wizards sleeve and moon unit. Second single culled from the ’taste the lazer’ full length which alas to much tears and wimpering we appear a little light on around here which if I’m to be truthful has had us a little disconcerted, anyhow ‘good morning’ out now on the tirk imprint should appeal to those of you loving your sounds lolloping and chemically freeze dried in a becoming west coast glazing kissed with all manner of feel good vibes and chill pill dunking dimples which once corkscrewed into your head set up base camp and snooze away beneath idyllic sun showered settings. On this set there’s the further enticement of three specially selected guest remixes – first up the appropriately named left side wobble apply something of a floaty and mallowy melodic massage to proceedings and rewire it to sound not unlike a playful dub scrubbed lemon jelly. Left in the hands of St Etienne the original matrix is welded lovingly on to a beautifully beguiling Balearic braid and trip wired upon a sultry and seductive demurring disco dinked dream weaving afterglow that’s both frisky and flighty – in short 6 minutes of club cool heaven and deserving of causing considerable swooning damage at a local pulse feeling nocturnal hang out near you.. Bringing up the rear Coyote endow the original template with a hulking sun calling slab of dub-tronic transcendentalism, panoramic and bliss kissed these blighters stretch the sonic canvas with some smoked out chill tipped groove which to these ears sounds not a million miles away from those classic era electronic beat mixes buried away on limited run remix editions of their wares albeit re-cannibalised by a particularly high primal scream. Just love the sneaky middle eastern motifs. Yowza.
Latest peerless platters from the ever essential trenSmat imprint come courtesy of two blistering slabs of chunky coloured vinyl from gnod and whirling hall of knives to showcase their summer sonic selections.
Gnod have been laying bad ass grooves for a few years now via such esteemed aural outlets as reverb worship, not not fun, blackest rainbow, blending stoner, drone and mutant psychedelics they’ve garnered a reputation for being the byword in what passes for out there. Quite frankly ‘5th sun’ rips up the rule book, okay arguably it sounds as though it was recorded in a swamp, inside a port-a-loo, on naff tandy mics c. mid 70’s resuscitated from burnout and rescued from a flea market but that kinda adds to the charm and hitherto enhances its sonic density, a howling inferno channelling some lost tongue this brute solemnly crusades upon an impending apocalyptic axis darkly determined and resolutely unflinching achieving a death locking brooding karma with its ceremonial / ritualistic heralding, certainly one for the stoner purists and edging ever so subtly towards the kind of doom dished delicacies normal associated with the likes of the mighty rise above imprint. The press release makes light that the flip – incidentally for all you note takers here entitled ’5th dub’ – is the result of unused studio time being debunked by the band leaving the studio engineer to twiddle around with the master tapes. If anything the preferred side given its freakier, more frazzled and readily applied with the kind of fried handiwork that makes it a head trip experience worthy of the entrance fee alone, a bastardised and bludgeoned behemoth of sound reared on the dark sonic altar of the Sabbath and bled with the cross generic knowingness of Acid Mothers in a head lock with Sun O))) and slavishly gouged with the deathly arcane imprint of the White Hills and served up in a swirling cauldron of dissipating psych mirages, ancient arabesque motifs and stoned out beatnik bliss out kisses, beards will grow – death dub anyone. As ever bound to sell out on pre orders alone and arrives uber limited pressed up on orange wax housed in the labels now trademark silk screened sleeve. Awesome.
Whiling hall of knives opt to pepper your head space in a volcanic wall of sound with their psychotropic opus ‘alternate devil’ – two versions gather to rewire your synapses on this ultra limited outings over on the a side the ‘tamas’ option provides for a heads down mind mushrooming vortex of trance toned trippiness, corkscrewing mantras and fuzzed drilled mesmerics metered out by skree scoured pulsars and bedded upon a deeply entrancing hypnotic groove whose locked groove repetitive lull will part your fringe and leave you ga ga. On the flip the ‘sattva’ variant of the same cut opts for something off a more chill toned delicacy, eastern vibes usher in vibrant visions of sultry wastelands stretching into the furthest reaches of the eye basking upon a bedrock of hazy meditative reclines as though Cheval Sombre had taken upon some mystic merry go round in the Tibetan depths channelling a lost melodic motif aided and abetted by the mighty Saddar Bazaar. Quite blissful if you ask me. As ever there’s the trademark codes enabling you to download said cuts in digital form with the bonus treat of ‘staggering depths’ to be had – alas we can’t access the links at present but will – we promise – give it a deserving heads up in future missives. Comes pressed on lilac wax – in case you were in need of further prods – really you do disappoint me.
A video type thing to accompany the single goes a lot like this……
Time for three essential acquisitions from the fruits de mer stable which we feared had disappeared in the great place where cd’s have a habit of ensconcing to in our gaff much to sighing annoyance, distress and incredulity…..this trio of course ought to be the cause of panic attacks and frenzied bartering on the online auction sites if previous outings are anything to judge by… first up…
Jack Ellister ’the man with the bio chopper’ – out now via fdm’s sub imprint regal crabomophone – this two track honey comes pressed on limited quantities of coloured wax of the 7 inch variety – as it happens 800 in total in a choice of 2 colours. Seems Mr Ellister has in recent ttimes cut his psych prog teeth in a number of ensembles not least yordan orchestra whose 6 track outing ‘psych introduxeon’ received admiring glances – alas missed here to much grumbling. He’s since gone it alone locked himself in a secret sound bunker and hatched a full length psych odyssey which he’s currently touting for label interest. In the meantime by way of a introduction comes ‘’the man with the bio chopper’ – a delirious time travelling throwback to the 60’s, melodically morphing elements of the mancini / barry spy theme territories as though rephrasing a new age Captain Scarlet sequence and festooning it all manner of head expanding lysergic sprays whilst sumptuously strutting, stalking and swooning itself along the way kitting it out with a sense of mystery and adventure and in turn providing a kaleidoscopic psych pop epic in waiting carved in the lost art of cult-ish goggle box fair. Does it for us. Over on the flip an inspired and indeed turntable teasing of an old Stones classic rekindled anew, always better than the Beatles if only they had split in 74 then the music book shelves would have taken an altogether different outlook, anyhow enough of the what if’s this version comes nailed to a deeply entrancing psychotropic bass driven board that’s bled in all manner of flower showering trippyness with its ears plugged towards the freakish and fried to sound at times not unlike its been served a heady transfusion of equal measures Floyd and Traffic sonic parts especially at the end wherein everything goes – shall we say – woozy and weird. Frankly floppy fringed folk you need this.
Pretty things ’ live in London’ (fruits de mer). Strictly limited to just 1200 vinyl copies each pressed on a choice of 2 colours the quick return of the pretty things to the fdm release roster, and why not – already bolstered by the acclaim laid upon the labels recent ‘sorrow’s children’ compilation and proudly sneaking out something of a rarity from the band that paired together two lost nuggets from their formative days in the guise of ‘honey I need’ and ‘I can never say’ the label is now privileged to be able to release an EP worth of recordings from the bands legendary appearance at the 100 club from December 2010. This intimately set gathering was with the intent of recording the bands debut long playing platter live in its entirety – a release of which is pencilled for record store counter frenzy later this year. Culled from their second set that evening are an assortment of treasures from their landmark and let’s be honest – classic psych concept album ’S F Sorrow’. played to a record punter paying attendance – by all accounts they trumped the McCartney record set earlier in the day. This EP culls together three recordings from that night’s set all exclusive to this release, here you’ll find a corking version of the albums opening ambit ’sf sorrow is born’ and a blazing retake of ’she says good morning’ – however nothing quite prepares for the inclusion of ’baron Saturday’ – in my mind one of the albums cornerstones and trippier moments- here replete in all its skewed and wired rhythmically jostling velour. As an added bonus tagged to the end of the release is a scorching lysergically wired and fried out kaleidoscopic cover version of the Byrds ’renaissance fair’ taken from a rare live recording from Amsterdam in ’69 which appearance alone ought to account for the entry fee. Goes without saying that the blighter is essential.
Last up from fdm for now and for me personally just edging it in the best of the trio stakes….
Beautify junkyards ’from the morning’ (fruits de mer). Strictly limited to just 800 copies and again appearing on a choice of 2 colours, beautify junkyards hail from Portugal and are currently boasting a full length platter – more about that in a second. For now the small question of a delightful twin set to consider which eloquently pairs together a brace of covers by Nick Drake and Os Mutantes. Utterly beguiling is the best way to describe their re-imaging of Drake’s unsung ’from the morning’ – its always been something of irk with me the way people are quick to dismiss Drake as a miserablist – far from it for me personally his music signifies a withdrawing shy eyed beauty that many artists especially these days are rarely equipped with and I don’t mind admitting that whenever I’m either down or upbeat it’s the songs of Drake that I almost instantly retrace without thought for solace and comfort. But enough of this introspection back to the beautify junkyards who like the telescopes – featured later on in this missive – have achieved that most rare of achievements in so far as adding to and colouring the fragile palette of tamworth’s most famous musical son. All at once breathless, beautiful and bewitching, the junkyard ones peel away at the skin of originals third person rustic eloquence and tease to the fore its core heart arresting romance, finitely cradled in a measured time arrangement – if truth be told the original seemed to lose something of itself in its seemingly rushed timings – there’s a hitherto warming and genteel glow that emanates seductively from these crisply executed wood chipped demurring delta dinks to the background the sound of the serene sleepy headed harmonium only adds to the sublime defences derailing gracefulness. There won’t be many occasions when a Nick Drake cover version so tenderly set is shaded by another variant but with the appearance of os mutantes ’fuga no 2’ these Portuguese dudes have done exactly that. Utterly arresting, majestic and measured, homely and hushed, stressed softly in reverence and gracefully grounded in the kind of timeless woozy folk artistry that sees it beguiling the would be listener in a tantalising trip that arcs from the fragile and forlorn to sweep heaven sent amid a colourful haze of swooning swirls. Faultless. As said there’s an album kicking around that promises retakes of such classic fair as handcrafted in another time vby the likes of linda perhacs, vashti bunyan, roy harper, bridget st john and er – kraftwerk – be interesting to see how that one fits into the grander scheme of things – anyhow head over to www.beautifyjunkyards.bandcamp.com for more info – in fact we’ve just spied the kraftwerk cover – a must hear take of ’radioactivity’ done with twinkling bells, spectral vocals, heavenly chorus’ and forest folk handiwork – sounds very church like…….
As to fruits de mer – next up on the release schedule will be a series of limited 7’s from the chemistry set, permanent clear light and the incredibly talented anton berbeau – all due October time.
Meanwhile friends and associates of the fruits de mer extended family James Barnard has just cobbled together his latest pod cast spectacular – this time leaving aside the usual flirtation and occupation with the strange sounds 60’s and 70’s Strange Brew on this occasion opts to traverse and plunder the record boxes of the 80’s and beyond – selected highlights here being the premiere play of the forthcoming chemistry set 7 inch which should all things being well see the light of day this Autumn via FdM’s splinter imprint Regal Crabomophone. Elsewhere treats in store await from the psych arm of XTC HQ in the shape of the very excellent Dukes of Stratosphere, Paul Roland – whose new CD and retrospective we’ve just received recently and which should see itself in admiring print next missive out – Nick Nicely, the ridiculously underappreciated Cleaners from Venus, the much loved colorama and the electric stars which arrives via detour which reminds us we really must get back in touch with Dizzy.
http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/http:/thestrangebrew.co.uk/time-machine – oh and incidentally we too where much in awe and a purchaser of Octopus’ great long full length ‘from a to b’ and for that matter Dodgy’s ‘homegrown’ from which the featured ‘grassman’ was pulled – by the way that aforementioned Paul Roland set is superb.
And back to those rogue – thought lost – trenSmat releases from a wee while back……
Pressed up on purple wax all housed in a silk screened wrap around sleeve the latest seasonal wares from Trensmat have alas already flown the coup on pre sales orders alone – though fear not the more determined among you should hopefully be able to nail your prized listening treats from either Normans or Aquarius. And prized listening treats they are and I know I probably say this with every ensuing brace of trenSmat releases – but this twin set are probably the finest yet. First up on the inspection desk Cheval Sombre – no stranger to these pages – his ghost like drone apparitions blending the feint sparseness of Galaxie 500 with the hypnotic psychotropia of Sonic Boom is simply a class apart, ‘couldn’t do’ featured as the lead cut on this ultra limited outing is a smoke induced trip to the furthest reaches of the mind’s eye, a slow drifting Australasian mantra coolly beset and bespoke in ethic instrumentation and lysergically spiked in Eastern essences and bonged out beadings which once melded and fused assume a swooning meditative psychodrone calm to your listening environ that’s very much mind locked and moored to the hazy hallucinogenic hues of Sonic Boom’s Spectrum – Mr Kember and Mr Kramer are mooted to be in the co-conspiratorial mix. Over on the flip the arresting Stones oldie of yore awaits. Utterly sublime reshaping of ‘as tears go by’ – so stone cold beautiful I’ve actually had to gasp for breath in order to stop myself shedding a tear such is its untold affection and measured elegiac framing all trimmed to a ghostly shimmer toned hymnal lilt. Breathtaking in a word.
Not to be outdone the Telescopes resurface from brief hibernation to serve up an equally transfixing platter of perfection, our copy comes pressed on limited slabs of maroon vinyl wax housed in a nifty silk screened sleeve and features a rather unsettlingly beautiful take on Nick Drake’s harrowing gem ‘black eyed dog’ – left in the hands of the telescopes this resigned opus is re-sculptured to haunch atop a droning monochromatic pulse wave, the vocals barely audible and murmured instil a deeply haunting effect to the proceedings that’s both withering and distant yet aglow with a spectral un-worldliness making it readily more palatable and less emotionally scarring than the original. Flip the disc for a brace of flies in the ointment as were the first ’their lying backs’ has John Sinclair reciting a poem over some creeping and groaning drone whirrs while ’mind hold’ veers into the sonic void applying a groaning ghostlike dreamscape atop a collage of overheard conversations which it should be said should be ripe listening wise to admirers of all things Wiggan and Dreams of Tall Buildings….
….who incidentally resurface after a brief hiatus with a quite dinky outing for the Warm Circuit imprint. ’taking down of architecture’ arrives as a beautifully packaged set housed inside a die cut recycled envelope that feature a hexagonally cut CD. This edition comes as a strictly limited pressing of 765 worldwide and provides without doubt the nearest you’ll ever get to hearing dreams of tall building being coaxed out of their somewhat out there inner shell and captured playfully loose and into the bargain kowtowing to an appreciably and slyly deceptive pop persona to provide by far their most accessible and immediate release to date. The fruits of this rare occurrence can be traced back as far to 2008 wherein a Warm Circuit office party found themselves enthralled and demurred in speech stricken envy witness the tall buildings ones performing ‘taking down of architecture’. so touched by said experience the Warm Circuit ones returned office bound in much adoring admiration to set about opening channels of conversation. To the frantic to and fro of communiqués the tall buildings ones were persuaded (possibly begged) to record said set for posterity and for the enlightenment of poor souls who’d missed the aforementioned spectacle first time around. This set gathers together 4 rarefied nuggets and opens with ‘death of the utopian dream’ – a demurring slice of sweet isolationism refracted through an aural prism that sounds like a lost dust dinked apparition for some long forgotten un televised 70’s public information broadcast or at the very least some recently unearthed and left foolishly on the cutting room floor prog fugue committed to tape by white noise – the mood mellow, moving and mesmeric stirs with a pulsar grace that softly sighs and genuflects as it orbits upon a lonesome trajectory that’s part cosmically coded in a lullaby-esque lilt whilst tempered subtly in church like reverence – reference wise think of a chilled and sedate Add N to X softly turned and rephrased by a murmuring Magnetaphone. With its locked groove riffage and elephantine fanfares the upbeat and acutely paced ’theme for Johnny’ owes it craft to the likes of the Mancini and Barry school in the sculpturing of exotically traced 60’s inspired TV spy theme collages whilst ’a very private place’ will satiate die hard long term dotb admirers by way of its haunting and hymnal exploration of pop’s inner space here rethreaded through a darkly drawn and minimalist ambient axis which lets be honest had the name Orbital been tagged to its backside certain quarters would be hailing it as the next natural development and progressive shift of pops ever morphing tongue. Wrapping matters up in alluring fashion the spectral and tender turned ‘development where none existed’ is lushly invested and ingrained in an absorbing palette of rain swept noir jazz all clipped in the woozy afterglow of glacial baubles and twinkle some celestial caresses next missive will be positively creaking with all manner of Justin Wiggan (he who is one half of the DotB collective) related extra curricula oddities and will include for certain stuff by roadside picnic, spittle sisters and whatever else we managed to trip over while venturing cyberspace.
Word of warning we will be checking this out in more depth in the coming days because in all honesty this is quite special. Out around about now and pressed up in limited quantities of transparent wax – clear to you and me – a copy of which I want now – is the debut album from Deadman’s Ghost which is essentially the alter ego of Jason Mills whose just released ‘the broken zoetrope’ from which you’ll find below a moving picture presentation cut for one its tracks entitled ‘Deltaville’ which unless these ears do deceive me sounds not unlike a young godspeed…..the album is incidentally being put out by the umor rex imprint….
Something else that’s had us all a swoon with eyes glazed over in fondness and admiration is the forthcoming 12 inch from blanck mass who many of you may well recognise more readily as the extra curricula voyages of Fuck Buttons Ben Power. This hulking slab of heavy duty wax – well we say heavy duty – our ears are pinned to a sound clip which if the label – quite possibly Mexican summer – are reading this we’d love a copy of. Two cuts feature within – providing a total of 21 minutes of retroid groove which if my hearing isn’t playing up should in the first instance appeal largely in the main to those much admiring of the work of cosmic overloads Zombi – well that’s certainly the case on hearing ’white math’ a locked groove lunar lovely tripped in all manner of panoramic portent and rewired as a lighter toned and funkier variant of Carpenter’s ’assault on precinct 13’ mosaic. Over on the flip side Power recalibrates his aural antenna towards a more post apocalyptic idealism as ’polymorph’ sumptuously taps into the whole cinematic flavoured machine wasteland fair and here I’m talking Blade runner (Vangelis) / terminator (Fiedel) though here as though re-tweaked by a playfully impish Harold Faltermayer after a night freebasing on the collective works of the Orbital.
Not to be confused with the 90’s ensemble – the dare I say admired and one time permanent fixtures of the Peel play list – Bleach, this version of Bleech aside being spelt differently hail from London and to a degree of acclaim among the chattering indie set released their debut long player ‘nude’ which to much derision and ill tempered muttering we appear to be a little light with. All said we won’t hold that against them – and have now stopped using their press photo as a dart board to prove to all that we can play nice when it suits. Buoyed by said acclaim and adoration amid certain elements of the chattering indie class the trio have seen fit to release a free to download single entitled ’the hippie and me’ and rather nifty it is to and much in common to have those of you plugged into all things Britpop and 90’s alternative all a swooning for this deceptive little nugget loosely stumbles and teeters between a path of sun kissed wiry west coast glows and blister packed fuzzed out cool which in short would be best described as imagining Tara Jane O’Neil with her dna crosswied with Kirsten Hersh fronting some bliss kissed fuzz flouting super group made up of members of the Lemonheads and Sweet Apple. Enough said as they say in certain parts no doubt those chattering indie types. http://bleech.bandcamp.com/track/the-hippie-me
Something else you might want to note up in your diary and sling on your shopping / wants list is a forthcoming box set marking the 35th anniversary of the release of – the at the time considered controversial – ’never mind the bollocks’ set from the Sex Pistols. Ordinarily I’d be heard loudest among the collective strain of groans – cash for chaos and filthy lucre indeed – however this particular set might just do the business given it comprises of a three CD and dvd package with oodles of added memorabilia – the CD’s feature the by all accounts louder, sharper and cleaner re-master of ’bollocks’ sourced directly from the original master tapes by Tim Young under the watchful guidance of original producer Chris Thomas. Elsewhere the Goodman tapes and the out takes and various demo takes recorded with Chris Thomas are gathered together along with a CD set of live recordings culled from the Trondheim and Stockholm shows of ’77. The dvd pulls together a heady selection of footage from the infamous river boat party, the happy house set and the rare winter garden recordings along with promo videos for the albums three single release and the heyday and rock on interviews. Still not satisfied – well perhaps the inclusion the hardback bollocks diaries – a day by day account of pistols happenings in that famous jubilee year set across 100 pages featuring lashings of previously unseen photos. Still not swayed and still sitting on the wall – maybe a replica copy of the handwritten lyrics for GSTQ and a selection of promo postcards might do it or else you might have to settle for a replica 7 inch GSTQ and a humungous bollocks poster measuring 4ft x 3ft. Can’t wait. The only down side is the price tag – expect to pay around 120 notes for the pleasure.
Steve Jones of Pistols fame chats in the latest issue of Vive Le Rock, #8 as it happens – the magazine much loved around here is shortly to celebrate its 2nd anniversary a feat being marked by the fact that the publication will be going bi-monthly next edition. This particular issue is a UK ’82 Punk special – the exploited leer menacingly from the cover whilst inside there’s a gathering of oi types – members of discharge, anti past, vice squad, adicts, infa riot and blitz sharing fond memories of punks second assault while the obscenity squads favourite sons Anti Nowhere League are summoned to give account while wrapping up this misty eyed spike topped slab of nostalgia a selection of 40 lost classics from that golden year with ‘dead cities’ topping the pile, among the roll call abrasive wheels, one way system, outcasts and demob – both personal favourites, erazerhead and stopping us in our tracks before we uttered the immortal – ’wot no Chron Gen’ – ’outlaw’ crashes in at number 3 – always felt the twin set over on the flip side where far stronger. Punk pin up girl Beki Bondage chews the fat elsewhere while spots on the mighty Cravats, the hives, argy bargy, vince taylor, the roughneck riot and the cro mags ought to satiate the needs of most self respecting noise nik loving rockers – add in the cure, Richard Hawley and the glitter band and a shed load of reviews and that’s your lot until the next issue – oh and there’s a cover mount CD – pick of the bunch the parting ’divide me’ by the Apostates which culled from their debuting and I should say excellently titled set ’the apostates cannot be killed by conventional weapons’ is a slab of searing eye blurring emo punk which to these ears had us in mind of a classic era mega city 4 in an headlock with snuff.
Recent pressed into our palm and sent packing with a ’get your listening chops around this’ is a rather nifty 23 track compilation being put out by the mello mello – for those wondering what the hell the mello mello is – it’s a convivial watering hole entertaining like minded souls and desperados around these here parts in the centre of Liverpool that plays host to up and coming musical treats. And musical treats aplenty is what’s served on this groove groaning collection, sporting a recession proof entry price ’drumkspunksandkrunks’ volume 1 is an aural journey along the Mersey underground revealing a secret hive of sonic activity that’s long since escaped the spectre of its elders spectre. Already sporting a self titled album which by all accounts has already received admiring nods of approval from those shindig types and something we’ll not rest until we have it grooving on our player, el toro open up the listening account with the blistering twang gouged bad boogie that is ‘anyone but him’ – a shocked to the bone slab of ‘reservoir dogs’ stylised uber cool that prowls and twangs with the kind of shade adorned twang tuned minimalism that’s informed by an after hours listening feast whose bloodline shimmies to the grind of lost sounds that rumble to the swaggered craft of Link Wray and the Flaming Stars. Stands to reason that if El Toro are you bag that the Shook Ups will have you equally swooning, their sharp suited quiff coiled shimmer toned ’no reason to complain’ ploughs similar territories though here taking its cur from the Sid Presley Experience and Gallon Drunk. Been a while since Zombina and the Skeletones graced these pages, these b-movie bat cave birthed bad ’uns have been spiking the turntables of the more informed underground cognoscenti with their frenetic pop wired garage grounded horror hi-jinks for a few years now with ’psycho’ found here positing itself as a short sharp shock treated slab of classic era Rezillos rowdiness. Mainlined into an old school Johnny Cash vibe and bled with a nifty and catchy skiffle groove the Lees opt for a spot of devilishly infectious bar brawling bravado with ’don’t fuck with the law’. Again another combo who we’ve yet to stumble across much to our embarrassment, Lovecraft – again no information here to pass and amaze you with sound like a seriously lo-fi twist of Lloyd cole and Robert Lloyd of nightingales fame body parts with their offering ‘the telepathist’ proving to be insanely catchy and ridiculously infectious in an acutely off kilter way you understand. Those fancying their listening adventures trimmed to a rather fetching ska jaunt whose melodic ancestry tweaks to a Prince Buster bloodline may do well to seek out long finger bandits most curious ‘richer poorer’ as they weave said trace lines into a beautifully crooked jamboree of skewed jazz and music hall murder balladry – there’s word of an EP lurking in the most far sighted and hip record emporiums deserving of love, care and playing to death.
Admirers of all things cravats and Dalmatian rex and the eigentones will do well to visit at your earliest convenience the quite blatantly bonkers and tom waits inspired ‘sex party’ by johnny lightfoot and the disciples – and with that I’ll quit while I’m ahead. Admired and hugely regarded around these parts since dinosaurs roamed the earth Wizards of Twiddly throw into the mix their wiring and warped ’cardboard banjo’ – originally featured on last years much loved full length set ’people with purpose’ – this barking and growling slice of skewed jazz still sounds to these ears like a frantic head on collision of Robert Wyatt and Cardiacs types. The uncharitably named town bike stomp in with the breezily blistered ‘trouble fucken rocks’ – think of a bad assed bangles turned on by the runaways – nuff said. As far as curios go nothing quite touches barbieshop’s re-reading of radiohead’s ‘creep’ here dimpled in all manner of 50’s doo wop doodles and a demurring a cappella recital and exorcised of the original‘s psychosis, a kind of scouse Beverley Sisters its okay to like – bonus marks for the oh, ah, ow bit after the ’I don’t care if it hurts’ moment, worth the entrance fee alone – apparently they have been known to do similar feats with the undertones ‘teenage kicks‘ – this I have to hear. Boasting a much admired by all accounts full length entitled ‘Merseycide’ the Dick Limerick Academy bring to the table the party packing rap-sology that is ‘on having boss powers’ – an all at once funny, fearless and funky ramble about having superpowers which had I the benefit of I’d make sure stupid people with mobiles came with volume controls, the list is endless shall we agree to leave it at that for now – fraid so or else I‘ll be here till Xmas. Alas absolutely no info about the wonderfully named Peter Bentham and the Dinner Ladies though safe to say that their riotous ‘hip potato’ sounds not unlike John Hegley and the Popticians thrown into a squirreling jazz cocktailed new wave spin drier with a youthful ‘rock lobster’ era b-52’s sporting the brass section from a classic era X-Ray Spex. Staying worryingly on a dinner lady theme – must be something in the canteen air – the ghosts of the Stray Cats and Vince Taylor purr seductively amid the grooves of Raw Bones primitive swamp drilled mama ’more gravy’. Found lurking elsewhere this missive by way of a celebration of their essential debut full length platter, Stealing Sheep serve up ‘bats’ – incidentally not on the aforementioned ‘diamonds’ set – remarkably out there, archaic mantras blend and bleed into enchanted nursery rhymes quite clearly proving that these ladies are either smoking strange substances or else are so ahead of the musical curve as to leave the chasing pack resigned in swooning admiration. Ready for some oi oi dementia – good – how about crocodile god whose briefly blistered ‘kamarah’ veers into sink and stump territories with unnerving aplomb – will also appeal one suspects to green day enthusiasts which I guess on reflection is no bad thing. Compacted into just three minutes there’s much to admire in the way that johnny 5th wheel and the cowards manage to shoehorn so many musical styles into such a restricted space without risking or compromising listener appreciation or that matter focus – to their melodic street aware bow ‘where did I sleep last night’ results in a becoming brew of noir mirages, torch treated trimmings and bluesy smoked jazz intones imbued with homely hues – does it for us all told. Prised from their debuting full length for anti pop entitled ‘yeahman it’s…..’ the vermin suicides do a nifty line in pop punk dub that’s much reminiscent of those much missed misfit’s the Parkinsons via the audaciously acutely cute ‘antidote’ while king twit who should arguably be filed alongside long finger bandit given that the pair appear to happily plough similar skewed plots though arguably upon hearing ‘parking space’ this lot appear to see fit to mine the pop seams of a youthful lupen crook. Up next the three most alluring cuts of the compilation – I’m sure sometime in the long distant past that we’ve mentioned the sea witches in these pages but I’m buggered if I can find the relevant mentions, a trio who do a neat line in airy dream woven soft psych that to these ears per their cut ‘another clown fight’ sounds like a fusion of a chilled Jefferson Airplane, Curved Air and Wendy and Bonnie with Nico invited along for guest vocals. Need to hear more and soon. Someone who we know for fact that we’ve featured previously in despatches are Emily and the Faves – ’in the pines’ is scarily perfect, keep it to yourself but at some distance the best track on the set, this ghostly apparition dream weaves seductively with siren-esque spell crafting mystery softly alluring and intoxicating would be listeners with its faintly dappled psych folk wooziness and sweetly glazed harmonics, positively hallucinogenic and lysergically spectral in appearance, like stealing sheep only more out there and bewitching. Talking of things that have turned our heads and ears, the bizarre sounds of the flamin mamies push a close second in favoured moments of the set with the hyper wired ’digga digga do’ – sounding not unlike some recently unearthed shellac recording from the 20’s that’s been left too long in the sun to warp, this curious skatty skiffle-delic blues beauty rattles along at some pace with the vocals atop careering to a helium hi-jinxed manic Charleston choo chooing – has to be heard. The dead class stomp in with the frantically wired and ramped to the maximum ’a pulse and a maximum’ – a glorious slab of murderville mayhem which disciples of the Dead Kennedy’s or more specifically jello Biafra ought to investigate at once. The left hand bring matters to a close with ‘the left side of the brain’ – this cut featured on the flip side of their limited pressing ‘dodecahedron’ single which we mentioned in passing at singled out missive 300 – which note takers you can find here http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=383 – a big bearded slab of primitive prog fused rock-a-hula it is to which still sounds to us like a spiked slice of blues boogie howling to a would be sonic fusion of hawkwind and mountain motifs. Available as a free download via http://freerockandroll.bandcamp.com/album/drunks-punks-krunks-the-best-of-free-rock-roll-vol-1 or as a limited cd with swanky sleeve for 2 notes of the realm.
We literally tripped over this one by sheer accident late last night. Three hours later and while the outside world snoozed peacefully away we were being beguiled, much smitten and on our fourth consecutive play of the third opus from the music tapes – entitled ‘mary‘s voice‘. Featuring the combined talents of Messrs Koster – previously known for his neutral milk hotel and Olivia tremor control work – and Cucchiaro, the duo have in recent times been playing to invited homes – from squats to mansions and from children to grandparents, often appearing at the first as night fell and venturing the last as dawn awoke, it was these experience, the warmth, the very situations encountered on these intimate visits that weaved and informed the melodic matrix of this most alluring set. The first of a two part planned aural odyssey that will see Koster and Cucchiaro take to europe and the world at large to tour in a circus tent under the name the travelling imaginary – a pledge has been set up to assist with the funding (’Saw and Calliope on a wire‘ might give the restless among you an inkling of what to expect) . What makes ’Mary’s voice’ so affectionately desirable a listen is its breadth, balance and shy eyed beauty, imbued and teased with an array of recording machines and instrumentation both antique and modern the duo have crafted something that’s softly sprayed in a vintage and demurring Capra-esque like sepia dusting (as on the opening ‘the dark is singing songs (sleepy down south)’ with its dreamy décor and celestial unworldliness embraced betwixt a homely and hymnal inner glow presaged with sleepy headed lullaby like lilts), these scratchy monochromatic montages dinked in the skewed minimalist trademark thrill pop hue of classic elephant 6 fair still stir wide eyed and adoring of a beach boys and van dyke parks velour though here are summarily smoked with a tenderly turned sprinkling of magic dust that aches tenderly to smoulder with an effervescent brightness and shadow induced mourning as on the aching and head bowed salvo ’spare the dark streets’ where the shimmering string reverbs eke out a lonesome tear traced tremble. Trimmed in all manner of celestial baubles the beautified and beguiling though heartbreakingly brief ’kolyada’ could easily be the missing soundtrack to a forgotten pre fame Disney animation. As said earlier the serene enchantment is to be occasionally fractured in the vintage wares of old school Elephant 6 craftsmanship not least the gorgeously wonky, fried and off kilter skewif groove of ’playing evening’ while the porch lit introspective glow of the lo-fi lull of ’takeshi and Elijah’ may just have the steeliest of hearts peeling open and shedding a distressed tear or two. Quite special and intimately coaxed all said.
Latest edition of Shindig – just out now and available at all decent record emporiums boasts a ’psych special’ – #28 sports an eye tuning kaleidoscopic cover – inside there’s an extended special that takes in the sonic flavours of hip trend setting 60’s stateside imprint mainstream records, the unsung crystal syphon are given a much deserved heads up while the seeds of the Strawberry Alarm Clock are unearthed and examined – the american psych appraisal is rounded up with a selection of the 50 best stateside psych albums you need to hear – the list gathering together the likes of the apple tree theatre, the fever tree, the insect trust, saint steven, tripsichord music box and morgen. Flicking through elsewhere the cover art feature is a double whammy that sets its stall at both Gandalf’s self titled debut from ‘69 and the fallen angels lost gem ‘it’s a long way down’. patrick boissel – head honcho of alive natural sound is the chosen target for this issues ’what’s in a label’ extravaganza while there’s mentions for dollboy and the Sufis whose debut full length we really must nail having heard it on the shop decks. Somewhere else you’ll find ex Stairs man Edgar Jones invited in for a tea and chat with the Shindig editor while his new full length ’sense of harmony’ serves as a musical backdrop to the out pouring of nostalgia.
Certainly the finest thing we’ve heard in ages is the latest offering from Yankee combo Woods – well we say latest offering because I must admit to being more than a tad distressed to find that this lot have seen fit to release albums aplenty all of which have so far managed to escape our listening radar. Fear not though persistent blighters that we are we’ve managed to source a copy of their split full length with Amps for Christ on the mighty Shrimper imprint – yep you read right first time – Shrimper who we thought had long gone the way of classic underground labels – a label of whom if memory serves the last thing we purchased anything put out by was a rather drop dead ditty by Simon Joyner. Anyway much love bestowed upon said split set in a short while. For now though this absolute must have twin track 7 inch. Housed in a colourful die cut sleeve and issued on their own woodsiat imprint, ’cali in a cup’ serves as a previewing cut for the bands soon to be released ’bend beyond’ set – fear not our copy’s ordered whilst various begging letters have been sent forth in case of disappointment. An absolute gem of disarming delightfulness served up in a bliss kissed bouquet of hazily smoked country caresses kissed with a west coast tanning and sumptuously braided in the breeziest of harmonica drift winds and bundled upon a devilishly lilting and lolloping framing which if ears don’t deceive put us in mind of a shy eyed Avi Buffalo shimmying with a youthful Summer Hymns. Utter gem like. Over on the flip the absolute divinely chilled ‘give your light off‘ – a looping dream drenched mantra coded and curdled in wispy hazes of laid back wooziness set upon bespoke braids of reclining psych washes all guaranteed to send your headspace into a becalming tail breeze of nothingness – perfect for admirers of damon and naomi and dean and britta or galaxie 500 come to think of it. Perfection if you ask me.
Long time no hear and regular attendees of these missives in recent times are the wares of the hozac imprint, latest escapee into the homes of the record loving fan is a nifty 7 inch from the people’s temple – lead out cut ’looters game’ sounds as though its been recently unearthed from the vaults of some long neglected studio warehouse and dusted down to tangle and turn on the minds of today’s more garage groove minded enthusiasts, purring to a primitive persona this babe nails classic era Jones in situ Stones to a tee with its mooching toe tapping slew of vintage garbed garage beat with its coolly aloof strut and tambourine shimmies being something that’ll send the dirty water crew all a swoon. All said the dogs dandy’s are to be found on the flip side of the release – a totally different beast being the prospect with ’highs and lows’ – steeled with a slo core haze drifting blues accent this hypnotic honey subtle dissolves upon a psych soaked hymnal axis smoking succulently with the kind of woozy and wasted snake winding locked groove that imagines a shit faced Sonic Boom in an after hours smoky studio setting jamming with the butterflies of love.
Stands to reason that if you subscribe to shindig – incidentally mentioned just a paragraph or three ago (just checking you are keeping up with this) then about your reading sphere should be the occasional flick through the ridiculously admired ugly things whose boasted spring / summer 2012 edition – or issue #33 – for those preferring numerical notations – is their finest for a while. A hulking read totalling a colossal 180 pages in detail and one of those tomes that easily lends itself to dipping in and out of at leisure – this particular edition comes creaking from cover to cover in all manner of scribbling dedicated to satiate the most discerning power pop, garage, punk, rawk, beatnik disciple as it covers all bases past, present and beyond. Poets, electric eels, the leopards, the reekers, and the syndicates all vie for your attention while a 6 page trawl through glam rocks less obvious makers, shakers and nearly ones uproots a plethora of forgotten would be demi gods including jobriath, the whackers, david werner and brats of all types includes the Hollywood and berlin varieties. As ever there’s the voluminous excavation of the hippest and grooviest releases while there’s part 2 of an extended and rare interview with Wimple Winch’s Dee Christopholus – the band of course authors of one of the finest fuck you discs ever to snarl its way out of garage beats primordial ooze that being in case you haven’t gathered – ’save my soul’. all said piece de resistance is an uber rare insight into love and more pertinently Arthur lee in the company of johnny echols who over the course of a considered chat debunks, derails and demystifies the rumours, exaggerations and the enigma that was Mr Lee.
And back with Woods or more precisely that rather special Woods / Amps for Christ split album set. Out via shrimper this is a bit of a beauty. Heard this on the shop record player of our local record emporium and was totally smitten from the outset – mind you I wasn’t the only one for in the space of two tracks there had been three enquiries asking who it was and whether it was on CD which sadly though it was pointed out that inside the sleeve was a download code insert yielded no sales which was all fine for me because it was the only copy in the shop which with a sense of urgency I happily claimed as my own. As said there’s a forthcoming set from woods looming on the horizon which by all accounts from what we’ve heard in passing is a bit of a belter – for now though this which we assume is limited to some degree – in which case we’ll say – to 100 copies that way you all flock out in your droves determined to snaffle one as your own and thus register a healthy appreciation in the band to boot. Four tracks each with one collaboration (- which given Amps for Christ’s undeniably unhinged warped craft adds greatly to stinging and blurring the woods melodic mindset in all manner of decaying waywardness, appreciably skewed and psychotropic in appeal – kind of sunburned hand of the man on acid) is what you get for your hard earned dosh – woods side of the bargain is flavoured with a demurring psych folk glow, the wood chipped arabesque side winds of the mooching cutie ‘September Saturn’ which rounds off the pack being a particular favourite not least because it shimmies to a Doors-esque mantra that bleeds hazily to a snake charming eastern tongue. Like a minimalist and sparse campfire gathering of buffalo Springfield types consorting with a younger summer hymns and an even younger Doleful Lions ‘sleep’ stumbles breezily blurry eyed to a gorgeously kooky and lolloping opine. Distressingly brief though beautiful with it ‘wind was the wine’ the best thing here has all the mercurial bombast of the Beach Boys rummaging through an old Bee Gees songbook and enlisting the production talents of the Walker Brothers and setting about detailing a honey crusted homage of sorts to the left banke while for those kaleidoscopic heads among you the advise is that you turn on to ‘brothers’ a bespoke psych induced nugget that trips to a lysergic cocktail of traffic and animal collective grooves. Flip the disc and matters get – shall we say – a little frazzled around the edges – now I’m fairly certain that Henry Barnes – he who is Amps for Christ will take it as an immense compliment when I say that his side of the split bargain is all over the shop as it proceeds with verve through the dusted, the weird, the beautifully beguiled to the woozy – ‘when’ opens proceedings – spidery needlework with one ear on john fahey, half of the other on vini reilly and the remaining half tuned into the groove space of a playfully demurring jack rose all of which frankly needs to be heard. Weirdness abound with the something odd comes this way like ’native chantz’ which aside appealing to those much in admiration of the earlier work of lee noble will have the rest of you scurrying to the safety afforded by the back of the sofa – very Bruce Russell if you ask me only vocal track comes courtesy of affectionate allure of ‘lord Bateman’ – a genteel drift wind prairie primed country tinged romp which spiked by the subtle undertow of feedback ripples might just appeal to fans of ‘mirrors’ era flying saucer attack. ‘roto koto in c major’ brings matters to closure in a hazily dazed aural spectacle of shimmering sitars and eastern tweaked psychotropic tablas. All said you need this release in your life.
Stealing Sheep ‘into the diamond sun’ (heavenly. Now signed to Heavenly and boasting acclaim from all quarters from those who’ve fallen beneath their spell, there appears little or no wrong that Stealing Sheep can do at the moment. Perhaps then the small question of debuting full length might halt them in their tracks and give them cause to pause for thought. No chance. Pressed up on glitter blue vinyl – which incidentally looks mightily tasty – along with a CD of the album for all you heathens who switched allegiances and ditched your turntables in favour of mp3 players – bet you feel stupid now – and to save any nonsense with download codes – what no turntable and no PC – has electricity by chance come your way – initial editions come with a ‘melting mountain mix’ CD crafted by the band and cobbling together a host of delights that tickle the bands musical fancy among the grooves of which you’ll find the likes of the clangers merrily waltzing love, captain beefheart, bjork, Phillip Glass and broadcast to name just a select few. Much appealing to our turntable in recent times, the sound of Stealing Sheep translates in the past, the present and beyond, an alchemy blended and bled in a timeless tapestry embroided by an archaic folk tongue that’s criss-crossed by the merest of vibrant psyche threads and woven in a lost language that speaks in fanciful nursery rhymes and a courtier kookiness, you’ll find their reference markers primarily snuggled in the run out grooves of early tunng releases (best served particularly on the opening ambit ‘the garden’ wherein all manner of maypole regaling pageantry is teased seductively into an arresting and rarefied alchemy) with their airy and earthy rustic charms pinched with a becoming nod to the likes of the raincoats (none more so than on the frail stuttering framing of ‘where lies‘), the slits and the au pairs on one side of the equation and bridget st john and linda perhacs on t’other. Enchantment, magick and playful innocence feeds into the succulent sonic web of stealing sheep, group harmonies coo and purr atop melodies that surge, strut and swoon with a cooled effervescence cultured with regal poise and the echo of long faded and forgotten village fairs. Ploughing similar aural furrows as the Smoke Fairies and more pertinently the Haight Ashbury’s – the latter particularly so in terms of their strange pop adeptness, ’into the diamond sun’ gathers together a richly amorphous smorgasbord of rare delights in the shape of eleven suites. Here you’ll find the peculiar alchemy drawn from the bewitching influence of Paul Giovanni’s ’wicker man’ soundtrack imbuing the mercurial grooves of the delectable and dippy pastoral jig that is ’shut eye’ while ‘Genevieve’ breaks ranks to serve up some delightfully wiggy and groovy pop thrills as it falls headlong into a shimmering 60’s dream breeze replete with hip wiggling struts and a kind ear candy pop loveliness that’s irresistible in its advances. Taking the mood down a notch or three to deep intoxicating the free spirited siren-esque ’circles’ aches with unbridled love coaxed spell craft while the soft psych tweaked ’gold’ nibbles around the edges of a classic Circulus back catalogue. Elsewhere speckled in subtle west coast radiance the skittish ’rearrange’ seductively shimmies to a crooked persona that hints of a swooning get together between the Shaggs and Wendy and Bonnie. References to the innocence of the Shaggs reveals itself more obviously on the playfully kooky and childlike purring pop sortie ’sharks’ while the monochromatic flavouring that swirls amid ‘tangled up in stars’ takes its cue in the main from one time Peel favourites the native hipsters. All said nothing quite touches the parting ’bear tracks’ – an utterly adorable spectacle of spectral sepia mirages teased and dappled longingly in swathes of twinkling charms and lushly toned lilts of apparition like harmonies whose shy eyed romantic bows court succulently the tail smoke classicism of musetta – essential listening though I’m guessing you gathered that on your own merits.
Pins ‘luvu4lyf (bella union). Absolutely stunning, this was all over us in a rash on first hearing – out in a few weeks via bella union where it’ll come pressed up on 10 inches of heavy duty wax these dour post punk noise niks hail from Manchester and wallow in the same aural divides as the insect guide (especially ‘say to me’) and maudite dance nee the clerks. Already smarting with a long sold out self released single under their collective belt the four cuts found groomed and grounded on this their forthcoming outing are cast in a hollowing darkness whose reference markers howl to work of old guards pink industry / military, their sound steeped in stilled and hollowing post punk atmospherics is clipped with a military precision that squirms, scars and scars like some exacting and avenging variant of cold in berlin, luvu4lyf’ lead out track is spiked with a deliciously dismissive inner rage though you might want to fast forward to the harrowing ‘little sting’ which with its doomed church like dramatics has something of a blood and roses meets march violets darkly unforgiving beauty to its psychosis shredded persona – all said though the glowering chill of ’you don’t need to be’ gets our seal of approval – a sparsely minimal serving of gun club signatures and siouxsie ‘join hands’ era shivers. Approach with welcoming caution.
An email from Nate of Brooklyn based psychedelic experimentalists Zula informs us that this regarded combo delight in crafting all manner of rhythmically repetitive and minimally coaxed looped vocal drones that explore elements of krautrock, acid house and minimal funk – quite frankly upon hearing their latest offering ‘make contact’ they aren’t kidding. With a debuting full length platter brewing on the back burner tentatively pencilled in for Autumn release this deceptive nugget trades locker space with the sneaker pimps albeit moulded and curdled in an unerring darkness which once cleared of its initial razored and busying meltdown entrance soon settles into something ostensibly haunting and noir swept not to mention longingly equipped and clipped with a 90’s Bristol like down tempo skin a la a more Spartan massive attack in a headlock with portishead with the attending parts dipped seductively with a stirring sepia dappled torch trimmed tint. http://zula.bandcamp.com/track/make-contact
Latest addition to the esteemed moon glyph catalogue will shortly see the arrival of both a seven inch and a full length Minneapolis combo the leisure birds – the album ’globe master’ we’ve scarcely had time to check out yet but will endeavour to do so in time for the next missive. For now though the pre teaser single ’Egyptian ring’ – which from out of the eye of an oncoming portentous desert storm emerges a sun burnt Arab charger advancing to leave in its wake a choking tail smoke of howling spectral soft psyche mirages whose distant and detaching echo swirls to the ghostly call of the Joe Meek produced classic ‘johnny remember me’ by john leyton and the sci fi shimmer of a 50’s pop golden age though here re-envisioned in desolate eddies of hollowing arabesque accents. Flip side to find ’silver runner’ a futuristic cosmic choral cutie lush with looping motifs, motorik murmurs and retro space age fascination that nods for the best part to Gerry Anderson show themes of old. Highly recommended I should add.
My, my – how they’ve grown – first fruits of the Joy Formidable sessions for what will be their second full length ‘wolf’s law’ which is pencilled for release early next year. The band have been busy crafting together a video for the track that inspired the albums title – opting for the dramatic and the cinematic – ‘wolf’s law’ finds the Formidable ones upping the ante to craft something deeply touching and majestic. The accompanying video depicting the immense wonder of nature’s life cycle vis a vis birth, growth, death and destruction is underpinned grandly by a crushing sound-scape whose epic grandeur swoons and falls between a tempestuous tide of hope and heartache that’s despatched with a gracefulness and precision that bubbles from tender inquisition to an careering crescendo finale – scarcely a dry eye in the house I can tell you.
I swear we have a copy of both this single and the forthcoming album about our person but right at this very moment I’ll be buggered if I can lay my hands on them. So while we send forth a crack troop of reconnaissance chaps to seek and search it out we’ll leave you in the adorable hands of this cutely affectionate and ridiculously addictive tasty tuneage from Woodpecker Wooliams. Consider this though before the picture show crackles into life – does the video make the song or does the song make the video – we pose this little thought because frankly both are as cute as little bright eyed buttons – released via robot elephant Woodpecker Wooliams is better known to her friends, family and bees – which incidentally she keeps – as Brighton based nature loving Gemma Williams – this bundle of cute kookiness – the single not Ms Williams – though in truth I’m sure she is – coos crookedly to a wonky underpinning of chattering electronic motifs who rustle and ripple with hectic impatience like motorik majorettes shuffling away to an ad hoc drill timing in a forgotten attic strewn toy box atop of which Ms Williams delectably demurs with child like peek a boo shyness and innocence to playfully purr to a beautifully bent out of shape twinkle some lullaby that unless ears do deceive sounds not unlike a youthfully scatty bat for lashes cosying up to an equally wonky Fever Ray. Utterly disarming and charming. Oh and there’s an album to follow entitled ‘the bird school of being human’ – I dare say well worth investigating.
Waaaah, uuugggggghh, thwaoooooh – that’s feels good I’m so much better for it now – turn away this instant if you are one of those shy hearts with no stomach for explicit imagery and sounds reigning down upon your head as though the very pits of hell were vomiting apocalyptic fury and unforgiving retribution. We here in the hastily renamed Satan’s basement feel that we owe something of an apology to those of you who prefer their sounds to be stricken in a hellish grip and sired in damnation, so when the sludge thrash death-headed grizzled groove of Malaysian coffin kickers Lavatory reared ominously in our in box – well we were there up close and personal tuned into their teaser cut the charmless acid attrition of ‘blinded by darkness’ and with sacrificial tokens in hand. A scathing and molten hot juggernaut of cranium caving carnage, immense in its unflinching savagery and relentless in its petrifying pursuit to render you to oblivion – add in its disturbing dark malevolence and scalding attrition and you have yourself a bad un grooving gruesomely on your turn table be warned though the video features Halloween make up, cannibalistic tendencies, zombies and butchery. Wonder if they play murder in the dark. Their debut long playing platter as yet untitled is currently stewing in the furnaces of hell and should see release in the near future via pulverised.
More welcoming returnees to these pages, in recent times we felt afraid that we’d lost touch with Dalmatian Rex and the Eigen tones – though thankfully not for upon our return from badly paid 9 to 5 hell the lads and ladies had sent over a timely greeting in the guise of their latest single ‘100 billion galaxies’. now keen eyed regular readers of these missives sporting equally keen ears will be all to aware that we’ve something of a soft spot for these wonderfully warped wayward children not least since their ‘magical moose moustache musique’ set from times when we were oh so much younger still manages on occasion to free itself of the incomprehensible near non existent CD filing system around here and amble up to the turntable for a hug and a snuggle. Quite sedate and dare I say normal for the Dalmatian ones is ‘one billion galaxies’ our first play was accompanied by us nestled on the floor in readiness expecting hi-jinks, hoo hah’s and sporadic bouts of hysteria – when they didn’t emerge we checked the disc and the press release certain in our belief we’d been the unwitting recipients of a bang on the head. So now in readiness and our guard firmly down to the second play we rushed. Let’s be honest its damn fine, a mellow ramble bedded upon a lilting pastoral cycle this warming and deceptively hypnotic honey is woven to a fragile and bounteous frame amid which all the wonders of the cosmos and mans inconsequential arrogance are celebrated in something that to these ears has more than a hint of a super chilled Love swapping notes with a ’giggle’ era Freed Unit while on a lunar picnic.
Moving picture show looks like this….
We are hoping to have some Dossano releases ready to regale you with in the coming weeks, long time patrons found tuning into these pages may well recall our passing fondness for the fragile and brittle beauty of Eliza A’s work who we described in passing at one stage as a modern day Nico to Cheval Sombre’s Velvet Underground – see missives 225 and 244 respectively via http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=287 and http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=306 – for now here’s something recorded live last November at an intimate gathering in Paris featuring the ghostly ache of the noir nurtured and introspectively romantic ‘hero’ – quite alluring if you ask me….
I firmly suspect that we’ve stumbled across this lot in previous musings – its all in the name you know but a quick email from Jim of Betty and the ID tells us that the band are shortly to release their second full length set in the guise of ‘what do people do all day’ – second full length I hear you cry – woah – what happened to the first and how come we never heard or saw – oh man I can hear the distant onset of grumbles and muttering under breath. Anyhow this lot feature members of the bee men and l’augmentation – both of whom who’ve featured in these very pages though not for a fair few years I’m disappointed to say – the album out in October follows hot on the heels of local acclaim that has seen them favourable compared to the Stranglers and the Fall, we here have had a quick fumble through the tracks and suggest you fast forward to the closing cut – the sub 11 minute odyssey that is ’reginald refused’. an absolute mind blowing head phonic experience that sumptuously shape shifts from an initial starting point that blends and twists with English eccentricity to a lazy eyed soft psyche palette that encompasses elements of XTC and Barrett era Floyd before mushrooming and terra-forming into a big bearded psych prog leviathan that courts and nibbles away around the edges of the lysergic handiwork of Magazine albeit as though transfused with the peculiar DNA of Richard Green’s post Ultrasound work the Somatics here sprinkled with the fairy dust of Cranium Pie – totally out there. Full review next missive if that is the blighters send us a finished copy.
Wil Bolton ‘under a name that hides her’ (hibernate). First up I’d just like to apologise for the slight oversight that has seen this quietly arresting opus taking so long to ripple to the surface, on to our turntable, into our affections and finally materialising into print. Reasons for such unforgivable ignorance or rather more – oversights – are born in the main out of reasons you’ll find elsewhere regaling the introductory ramble of a greeting that walks in this thesis styled missive. Our copy is the ridiculously limited vinyl version of said set which we are led to believe made its appearance in a pressing of 200 all of which have long flown the coup. Six suites sit nestled amid the grooves of this graceful and dare we say lulling sonic sculpture, according to the Hibernate press Mr Bolton has thus commented of it ‘being his least digital work to date’ further adding that the title is a quote taken from Maurice Blanchot’s ’the space of literature’. in essence this set is a nostalgic journey back to the albums and bands that moved, musically informed and shaped a young Mr Bolton as an adolescent – and while you’ll struggle hard to hear those cited references – the Cure, the smiths, my bloody valentine and velvet underground indelibly reproduced here the execution and the examination being played out here is of a Bolton now fondly recalling a Bolton then, the sonic recycling by way of not so much the songs themselves but the moods, the grandeur, the grace and the structure provoked and kindled within at the time are what manifest here. Crafted by way of all manner of processed guitars and effects pedals ’under a name that hides her’ wouldn’t look to far out of place cosying up to the label defining early career catalogue of Kranky – the softly measured and slow to burn mellow drone dappling of ambient arcs that caress throughout reveal an artistic affinity and a considered ear for the work of stars of the lid and labradford. From the frost tipped entrée of ‘clearing’ which like a thoughtful Harold Budd appears lush in its voluminous cinematic scoring inscribed as it is by the lilt of music box chimes and the pensive purr of pulsar riffage occasioned by the shimmer of strum sprays – Bolton is quick to reveal his adept tender artistry and attention to poise, elegance and space, blending dronal mirages and birdsong field recordings the sound-scapes assume a twilight toned morning song appeal cradled in enchantment and lulled in an affectionate sleepy headed tonality, impart to this a rustic and pastoral flair and what in its etching state might have once appeared monochrome is afforded a richly colourful vitality that’s ostensibly afforded tranquillity and solitude. None more is the latter exercised than on the drifting ‘black point’ – courted by an under swell of wave forms, the rippling reverbs quietly exact a sense of crushed lonesome introspection. Things lighten considerable for the airy and dream dinked and dozing ‘sky view’ – the playfully genteel lullaby like milky mirages tease out an elegiac tapestry that tip toes delicately with all the innocence and affection of an ice sculptured nursery room. The spell is momentarily broken with the arrival of ‘barbed’ which greets the opening grooves of side 2 – assuming a darker detailing this cut could easily be a signature for an as yet unwritten noir intrigue, recalling the cavernous overtures of yellow6, gnac, budd and barry this bruised and betrayed slice of regret ushers into the desolate calm of Roy Montgomery’s storm approaching pantheon with tear traced fortitude. Like it says on the tin ‘dissolve’ is awash in dissipating dream weaving choral structures that subtly opine to a demurring eastern accents which leaves the solemnly mornful and pensive ‘passing’ to wrap up the set and brings matters to a close in the kind of slow core symmetry that would make Codeine outings appear like speed freaked turntable terrorisers. Bearing in mind that Mr Sergeant – mentioned elsewhere – is busily sculpturing and mining similar sonic seams then one wonder what each would add to the other in so far as a rush of file sharing exercises.
Update – the Wil Bolton platter hasn’t quite sold out – though selling fast.
Must admit to being somewhat smitten with this since it landed in our in box very late last night, ‘presence of mind’ is a taster track heralding the arrival of the forthcoming ‘long slow dance’ full length from the fresh and only’s which should all things being well arrive to do brisk business at record emporium counters next month via the souterrain transmissions imprint, as to the track itself imagine a dream blind date pairing together the go betweens at the height of their powers tracking amid their ranks a youthful teeth cutting Johnny Marr, the melodies softly mellowed arc and ache to the summer breezed casual caress of a discarded lotus eaters / care songbook, blissfully arresting in short –
Also due soon from the same label is the latest long playing platter from moon duo – you may recall we mentioned earlier in this missive their exceptional must have split with the psychic ills currently doing the rounds via sacred bones – ‘circles’ is the albums name and is due for October swooning with ‘sleepwalker’ being culled from it to serve as a necessary taster which on initial listens sounds ripe for fringe wagging for admirers of all things Suicide given this nails the Rev / Vega c.79 / 80 template firmly to the spot with an added side serving of Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spectrum and Wooden Shjips flavouring for good measure – will cause mind expansion in certain cases. http://soundcloud.com/souterraintransmissions
Those with fairly good memories may well recall us getting fondly wordy about the wicked whispers whose limited 10 inch debut EP last year blew us away with its vintage skinned Byrds-ian meets Chocolate Watchband kookiness, well it seems the blighters have a new 7 inch just out entitled ‘dandelion eyes’ which alas hasn’t visited our well stacked record emporium so while we tut harrumph and cast barely audible utterances under our breath here’s a little video diary put together by the band….entitled ‘dark insights into the wicked whispers’….
Staying with the Whispers here’s a promo vid of their debuting lead cut ‘Amanda lavender’ produced and filmed by a certain Mark McNulty…well woozy – editors note – may disturb younger viewers as it features face fuzz and hair cuts designed with the aid of set squares…..
Staying with Mr McNulty – another video chat / interview / diary type thing this time with rising folk blues starlet Delta Maid who if this 8 minute is anything to go by you should be hearing a lot more from in the coming months – that mentioned album we will of course try to nail as our own for future mentions….
William Alfred Sergeant ‘things inside’ (92 happy customers). Indeed he of the Bunnymen and sparring partner of McCulloch. So with that – the introductions over and done with a solo headed full length funded entirely via pledge music which in case you are thinking what the hell’s that – well it’s a rather novel idea where an artist gets the fans to basically become the money men taking a slice of the profits thus removing the need for a label to chip in and interfere and hamper the creative process. Well that’s the preferred model though in recent years this has been somewhat tweaked – in Mr Sergeants case you pay for the product in advance safe in the knowledge that your small risk free investment will reap reward in the guise of a release whilst simultaneously appealing to the author in terms that he / she needn’t worry about trifling mattes such as finance and in turn ensure that the end result and said recording finds a guaranteed audience.
We here are of the firm belief that Mr Sergeant ought to get out more. For years I’ve banged on about how I wished the blighter would doodle more in the studio and grace us with his more esoteric and experimental sonic side, yes I know the deft pop palette applied to the Bunnymen’s finest salvos put the food on the table – yet for all that I just can’t help feeling that there was more to Sergeant than the easy on the ear power pop pickings that rallied and regaled the grooves of the Bunnies evergreen platters through the years. And finally after a period of relative silence appears ‘things inside’ – its not the first time Will has flown solo, such forays have been known since the earliest years of the Bunnymen – the styles and techniques visited on 82’s ‘themes for grind’ full length would resurface on a regular basis as he explored and encompassed at leisure the type of musical paths found outside the remit of the Bunnymen‘s sphere of influence. As Glide his psychedelic tendencies would see themselves freewheeling in states of experimental ambience and fragile soundscapes the fruits of which would be born out by the occasional appearance of limited outing for the much loved and sadly missed ochre imprint.
Housed in a sleeve that’s both charming and dimpled in English eccentricity – think Mr Ben in Monty Python manic make over – aside the inscribing of its authors name – here in full – William Alfred Sergeant – it reveals nothing of the wonders and enchantment within, in fact such is its unassuming and out of step flavour you would be forgiven for passing it by as you carefully flicked through the record racks.
‘things inside’ is surprising though why we would feel the need to be surprised given Mr Sergeant’s deft application and the ability to maximise with minimal ease, never obvious or trite his craftsmanship within the grander scheme of the Bunnymen has always been you suspect underplayed and underappreciated. Recorded using acoustic instrumentation only these nine tracks are a lesson in textures, amid these grooves Sergeant is aided and abetted by a select gathering of friends and acquaintances (including a certain Les Pattinson helping out on bass) who add to the colourful rich palette by way of their incidental melodic accompaniments.
The set opens with ‘into the seventies’ a journey to an age long past, rekindling the mystery and wonder of the toy room, lushly executed with one eye on Vernon Elliott and the other on the Advisory Circle and friends as the delicately spun rustic flurries tenderly turn their gaze to a misty eyed wonderland. ‘graculas’ finds the author trip wiring to a vintage 70’s spy theme collage that tweaks and turns at points between paths once explored by gnac, mancini, barry and roy budd. Invested with a subtle continental Italo feel its svelte isolationism hints at something more readily associated with the early outings of Jon Atwood nee Yellow6 with the cut gaining depth, definition and vibrancy with each passing strum cycle. Serving as a perfect partner in crime so to speak – ‘extinction’ toys with a similar mindset though on this occasion modelled more towards the autumnal in effect and readily more introspectively romantic. Somewhere else the dew crusted twilight tingle of ‘circles’ is equipped with a teasing braid of gallic garlands and the willowy wash of phased reverse loops which collected together endow it with a becoming rustic beauty.
The mood darkens and deepens with the arrival of ‘sandettie light vessel automatic’ – alas not a slyly coded take on the famous shipping forecast signature tune ‘sailing by’ but rather more something steeped in a haunting beauty from behind which a fog bound psychotropic drone montage bewitches to sculpture the kind of stilled grace oft encountered on platters by the likes of Cheju, aidan baker and david a jaycock, its here that sees Sergeant excelling in getting the maximum effect from such a minimal and restrictive aural medium. ‘raga’ rounds off side one cradled in a subdued and sleepy headed casing of ice traced orbs and spectral un-worldliness – the sense and use of space is breathless arriving at something both desolate and detached and yet serene and intimate.
Featuring the use of a toy piano purchased in New York several years ago ‘toy piano mantra’ (hence its title) clearly provides the set with its best moment by some distance, a beguiling beauty that’s harvested seductively upon a glorious cascade of timeless rustic madrigals all arrested by the airy and breezy sprinkling of Cambridge folk tongues demurring and bewitched by the voluminous pangs of shimmering skrees, its lullaby-esque charm aglow with echoes of Raymond Scott. Old school purists much admiring of the work of John Fahey will do well to fall headlong into the searing sun flecked grooves of ‘dragonflies’ as Mr Sergeant relocates the misty mountain delta tonalities to middle eastern climes to flavour the timeless timbres in a succulent arabesque hue while ‘eastern bells’ brings matters to a close, sparsely cloaked and spectral this gem is found caressed with the kind of panoramic detailing much recalling Ry Cooder’s sublime ‘paris texas’ soundtrack. All said ‘things inside’ is equal pats entrancing and alluring.
Mr Sergeant will be making a rare appearance at the international festival of psychedelic being held in Liverpool at the end of September where he’ll be sharing stage space with the likes of time and space machine, wolf people, dead skeletons, mugstar, the lucid dream, plank and many more.
‘flanked by women and pumpkins’ the latest opus from Yankee collective Pas, you may on a casual root though the racks of your local record emporium be forgiven for missing or indeed passing over this for it doesn’t have the most enticing of titles neither to its sleeve which even though colourfully abstract doesn’t begin to hint at the mind wiring collages that reverberate and radiate within the grooves of the enclosed platter. Headed up by Robert L Pepper, Pas have delivered an immense voyage into the dark side of your mind, hulking and omnipresent, these hypnotic sound collages warp, weave and wander through a terra-forming melodica montage that manages to freewheel and extrapolate earth beat grooves into a multi faceted feat that cross pollinates all manner of elements and reference points to include progressive psychodrones, pan Asiatic / Australasian dream weaves (not least the opening ‘electric rain on Adam‘s bridge‘ – which admittedly sounds like some spell weaving drone recital replete with didgeridoo being played by a coming together of magic mushroom band and ozric tentacles sorts), visions of glazed ice cooled futures to come, cosmic boogie (as on the woozily fractured lunar like ’inner ear echo imbalance’) and tripadelic motorik mantas to craft the ultimate psychotropic head-phonic cruise. In many respects it’s a set that should appeal to admirers of the klangbad imprint due to those immersions into earth beat, safe to say an album to which one could arguable note as possessing a flourishing experimental and busily free-forming light side and a darkening monochromatic shady side wherein the mood takes up something of brooding demeanour with the artistry taking on a veritably stricter classical structuring the impasse between the two personas contrasted and marked out by the sets most accessible point – ‘it is, is it?’ plays it somewhat straight in so much as its sedate symphonic velour traces a meeting place whereupon the crafted chamber toned choreographies of Roy Budd, Max Richter, Roy Montgomery and Gnac converge. Here you’ll find the spectres of Pierre Henry, Radiophonic Workshop et al and their minimalist concrete electronics surveyed and remodelled to various sonic tongues along the way subtly nodding to biosphere, warm digits and the krautrock pantheon. Somewhere else ’telepathic rain dance’ provides a deeply amorphous head trip into 60’s sourced mind melting sci-fi meets spy themed psyche while ’volker goes to Spain’ is so densely dipped in darkening apocalyptic drone it could have easily fallen from an abandoned Aidan Baker session. Prepare to have your listening comfort zone somewhat warped and woozy from the colossal cranium massage that is the leviathan like ‘horror noir on a sunny day’ – something of a suitable title given its stricken subterranean sinister sombreness which has you imagining Hitchcock rescoring the soundtrack for ’forbidden planet’ while the skewed and unhinged pulsar effected ‘election accelerator‘ has all the abstract vintage trickery as to suggest a head off between 70 Gwen Party and Depth Charge with the following in swift pursuit ‘vacationing beat‘ equipped in its frequency modulations mainlining into EAR environs. Fellow aural alchemist Philippe Petit guests on ‘incredible day for natives’ in a curious wig flipped pseudo no wave jam with Michael Durek which if truth be known wouldn‘t look to out of place on a bonged out Eastern European soundtrack for some weird and creepy 70‘s style children‘s animation while the set leads out to the elegantly eerie ‘the dramatic exit‘ to be brushed in poise, dramatic portent and garnished in all manner of Komeda like noir treatments with a side serving of the grails for good measure. All in all perfect for those whose listening navigation pulls wildly off at the edge of left of centre.
And staying with Alrealon whose promised despatch of the latest Philippe Petit platter arrived slightly worse for wear and looking for all the world as though it had just walked here from France on its own volition. Cheers Royal Mail – when something says fragile on the packaging its polite not to try brushing up your origami skills on it. Feel better now that I’ve had a gripe and a grumble. Anyhow the label have just released Philippe Petit’s latest opus, arriving pressed upon 10 inches of eye catching wax named after his 4 year old daughter who incidentally with the assistance of her mother provided the artwork adorning this EP’s sleeve, in collaboration with friends (among the invitees – Bela Emerson, Jenny Hames, Helen Money, Monty Adkins and Els Vandeweyer) ‘Eugenie’ is perhaps – discounting his recent set for the agoo imprint ‘oneiric rings on grey velvet’ – his most accessible and immediate work to date. Four suites appear on this 10 inch set, their tonality free spirited yet indelibly crested with a deepening dark density alluding to classicism so steeped in the vintage of old school scholars and yet for all this dimpled with a eerie though becoming and beautified pastoral glow. Chamber toned and lush in dark romanticism side a houses three cuts of such sleepy headed elegance as we’ve had the pleasure of lilting to for many a month, the dream weaving airy opulence of the smoked and sedate ‘an air of intrigue’ contrasting superbly with the darker tonalities encountered on the snoozing though spacious ’clapoutique’ with its freeze dried bowed structures and yawning cello recitals which gathered together sound not unlike a day breaking reprise for an enchanted wood. With the dramatic parameters turned up a notch or three, the psychotropic ’pyramids of Mars’ deftly blends and blurs the edges of classicist and modernist approach, adeptly entranced in a rich gothique casing a sashaying violin glides cradled in solace and abandonment to a morosely melancholic under sway. To the lush braiding of intricately multi layered arrangements this mood evoking composition switches from storm to serene, the passing of the ominous timbres is marked by the divinely alluring passage of pastoral wistfulness and Brontean sways from herein the mood manifests to a more mellowing and idle some charm, those aching strings tenderly courting to arc with rushing unbound optimism, light and fragrant, deep set with romanticism. All said best moment of the set is to be found on the flip side courtesy of ‘Magma from the Aquarium’ a hulking psychotropic leviathan that arcs with ominous meter into aural voids more commonly associated with Petit of old, a truly fragmenting and fracturing head trip veering ever so closely into worlds imagined by the minds inner ear had a seriously tripped out on bad hallucinogens White Noise mixed up their avant electronic mindsets with Ariel Kalma, all dissipating dream cycles, minimalist drone loops, alien transmissions breaching the ether, frazzled electronic meltdowns, primitive echoes and chill tipped atmospherics scratched and scarred by banks of white noise – disquietingly freaked and trippy. Its something with which just when you think its reached some kind of inevitable plateau mercurially shape shifts to shed it skin and tread a different sonic path and with that gets ever more strange and weird the less dense it becomes – .also features Mr Petit’s daughter on vocal duties and just in case you needed reference markers ought appeal in the first instance to long time admirers of Edward Ka-Spell.
Last time out we mentioned with much fondness the latest outing from the enraptured imprint – which happens to be the new debut single from duo UMA which as it happens finds them shimmying up to the legendary Silver Apples man Simeon…anyhow here’s the moving picture show that goes with said track – quite cute…..
Staying with Silver Apples a second – Simeon will be over in the UK this Autumn playing selected towns – we’ve heard Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol confirmed – more details as and when we have them, on the dates there’ll be a fine selection of rare platters to be had courtesy of Jack of Enraptured which will include a limited tour single and maybe – just maybe – a limited re-pressing of the Apples third full length though keep that under your hat while the latest Enraptured offering comes via Tonfedd Oren which according to the press release is Welsh for orange wave length – a duo no less combining the talents of a certain Rhys Williams once of Gofodwyr who alas skipped our radar and a welcoming return to these missives of John Brenton whose previous work as Landshipping, Metrotone and Ojn provided some of the finest turntable treats its been our pleasure to hear in times long past. Apparently the pair met many years ago, records swapped with a mutual admiration for the criminally under loved Dat Blygu, ideas discussed, projects were started under the guise Southville and deserted with each going their separate music ways. Continuing to stay in touch in the intervening years the plot was hatched to merge their musical styles the fruits of which emerge on this ultra limited hand numbered 3 track 7 inch orange wax set. Again another noteworthy addition to any well ordered record collection and keeping with the recent resurgence of the prided Enraptured quality control, this collection opens to the sound of the cool as f**k smoking stack that is ’tonfedd oren’ – a bitching blues bleached roadster bearing down fast on the outer curve and primed with the kind of swagger that’d give most floppy fringed wannabes a nervous twitch and blessed with the kind of primitive yowl saved and tattooed on the hides of sounds dredged from the delta all kissed to a sonic cocktail of butchered low strung New Order bass snake winds and ‘jesus built my hotrod’ era Minstry murmurings stubbornly stapled to dust ravaged RL Burnside grooves. The bollocks in a word. Flip the disc for the frankly dropped dead cool demo cut of the same track here sent through the psychedelic tumble drier of a ’gorbachev’ era Shamen in a head spin with a particularly playful and spiteful pop will eat itself and stripped bare to near critical meltdown cranked up by a malicious sounding manic Moroder. All said our favoured moment arrives with the ominous ‘anghofie dode’ – beaded in an unmistakable chill this dead eyed lesson in vintage electronica excels both in atmospherics and the art of death disco with its drip dried Dadaist dub skewed numbness tapping sumptuously and eerily in the glue that birthed the early work of Cabaret Voltaire whilst aligning itself with the paranoiac shock that embraced Landscape’s ‘norman bates’
Something of a collectors delight is the seriously limited vinyl issue of the ‘the adventures of robinson crusoe’ being put out by silva screen whose wares we last featured with the record store day outing of that scarce ‘wicker man’ 7 inch that paired together ‘gently johnny’ and the bewitching ‘willow’s song’. pressed up in a strictly limited 300 only vinyl format this hard to find 4 track EP comes housed in an eye catching sleeve replete with liner notes. It celebrates the memorable Mellin / Reverberi score that adorned the short TV adaption which began transmission in the mid 60’s and ran on repeat pretty much becoming something of a staple summer viewing until the early 80’s. As said four cuts from the theme suite gathered here include the familiar regale of the opening title sequence – here rendered in its original 23 second setting to the beautified aching lilt of the silkily undulating ’main theme’ with its Barry-esque string waltzes opining a sense of vast wonderment. Elsewhere ’catching dinner’ adds a spot of kookiness to the main template with its squirreling pizzicatos ushering a playful lightness to the ceremony while for us its ’adrift’ that provides the main attraction – all at once sultry and suave a positive cornucopia of lounge loveliness caressed by theairy swaying breeze of peppering pastoral piping. Sumptuous in a word. Those wanting more should be minded that the full soundtrack is available via the same label though only on CD and alas not vinyl – shame.
Tom Jones ‘evil’ (third man). Bugger me a Tom Jones record sneaking into our record collection. We’d long since given up given up on imagining a day when something graced with the Jones tubes would have us paralysed with admiration, but boy does he sound like a man possessed on this smoking and growling gem. Touched by the hand of White, as in Jack, Jones’ inner wildcat is back from the cold and doing bad things on the turntable courtesy of a killer shakedown take of the howlin wolf nugget ’evil’ which rips up the original in a rollicking slab of potent howling fury. Totalling bitchin. Over on the flip Frankie lane’s ’jezebel’ is given a long deserved going over and given a volcanic refit and laced in an tormented backdrop of haunting disquiet and drop dead brooding atmospherics tethered to the willowy sigh of crush pastoral strings. Jeez – I just wish for the day when that White dude sees his way to re-sparking the Stones legacy.
Latest Radio Belbury pod cast is now available after a short vacation, hosted by Jim Jupp and entitled ‘happy returns’ programme 10 is festooned with its typically trademark inclusion of the weird, the wonderful, the rustic, the curious, the kooky, the surreal and the simple beautiful the latter of which is marked by the appearance of Benjamin Schoos’ je ne vois que vous’ which features the arresting guest vocals of a certain Laetitia Sadier. Admirers of floral flutes and images of idyllic tranquil village fayres long lost will swoon to the breezy lilt of prima ballerina’s ‘swing bach ensemble’. Something of the Carpenter ominous invades the grooves of pye corner audio’s ‘a door in the dry ice’ which should first of point of contact with the ears appeal to long time lovers of Zombi. Culled from one of the great lost albums, ’three sisters’ featured on Affinity’s one and only creatively accomplished full length from 1970, re-issued if I remember rightly a few years back on cd by Angel Air – the albums blended rock, jazz and freeform psych prog with a folk tongue was a kind of midway point between curved air and Jefferson airplane but with a big beard becoming. Elsewhere there’s something mercurial from the much missed Broadcast here found shimmying up to the Focus Group for ‘I see so I see so’ whilst the addictive allure of Frankie rose’s ‘know me’ is purely conceived we’d like to think to simply arrest all who fall beneath its spell. Though talking of spellbinding nothing quite transfixes like Kamuran Akkor’s ‘ikimiz bir fidaniz’ as its sensuously moulds disco, psych and middle eastern mirages. Best of the collection though is the parting Alva cut ‘bells of paradise’ alas I’m embarrassed to admit of never hearing these dudes before but this has all the haunting archaic folk trimmings of Men At Tol being fronted by Nico. http://www.mixcloud.com/GhostBox/programme-10-happy-returns/
Goes without saying we here have a soft spot for all things cute and woozy and so came to pass the latest outing from the Cymbals. Taken from their ‘sideways sometimes’ set for – I believe – tough love records, ‘candy bar’ is the sound of your mid career talking heads kookiness sidling up to your classic era pavement lazy lilts, the sounds at ease and distractively dinked with a kind of nonchalant grace that’s peppered sumptuously with a lightly breezed wooziness which besides being becomingly addictive will root its way into the space between your ears and wile away incessantly causing you to happily whistle at the most inappropriate times much to the concern of friends and family alike. A moving picture type show goes a lot like this…..
Currently tipped for great things are duo Purity Ring whose debuting full length ‘shrines’ is out right now via 4AD – alas we haven’t got a copy – yet – but word has it they’ve been compared favourably with the Cocteau Twins which on having heard this here cut entitled ‘Belispeak’ we here are hard pushed to see why. Don’t let that detract from the cuts loveliness – frost glazed electronics , trip hop beats, stuttering shimmers traced with the merest sprinkling of magic dust gives this a softly yearning enigmatic aura that one would imagine being hatched by a dream team gathering of massive attack, portishead and the knife.
Purity ring take up a brief spot by being interviewed to much swooning in the debuting issue of a new occasional publication being put out by the publishes responsible for Classic Rock and Future Music entitled Electronic. it’s the latest addition to the successful list of titles produced by Future publishing that has seen both the Classic Rock presents ‘Prog’ and ’AOR’ do well in a notoriously brutal and fickle market, those titles being bolstered by the regular fan pack editions and the emergence last month of a specialist blues titles – more about that in a second. Anyhow ’electronic’ comes housed in one of those now trademark card wallet sleeves and includes the obligatory accompanying CD – this one gathering together a 14 track compilation put together by BBC6 music’s ‘Mark Jones which includes classic tracks from the likes of Devo, Can, Ultravox, OMD, Japan, Fad Gadget and more. Inside the first landmark issue and extended interview / feature on electronic godfather Simeon of Silver Apples – expect the Apples on these shores sometime next month for a short post European tour. Elsewhere there are spots on the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the Human League gathered together to talk all things ‘Dare’. john foxx is summarily called in to account for himself while Midge Ure is pressed about matters u-vox and u-vox mk II while elsewhere there’s an extended pictorial on Gary Numan which heralds the arrival of a new DVD gathering together all his promo videos and rare appearance spots here found pared down into a top 10 must see list with additional commentary by the chief Numanoid himself, Sparks are rightly swooned over in the live review section – why aren’t they more regarded we wonder.
Somewhere else this missive we were grumbling at the fact that as yet we hadn’t seen let alone laid our mits on the latest outing from the highly regarded wicked whispers. Well bugger me, to much festooning of bunting around the gaff we’ve managed to snare a finished copy from our local record emporium under strict orders to keep it quiet until Monday – why what’ll happen if we don’t – will we spontaneously combust, be met upon by and whipped by the floppy fringes of the bands entourage or else be forced to sit and watch back to back episodes of ’sing date’ – the latter of which as embarrassingly hilarious and cringe worthy it might be is I fear the last refuge for talent less wannabes with no discerning respect for themselves or realisation that what might constitute a wonderful thing in the eyes of Tarquin’s misguided mummy and daddy is an incitement in others to put their foot clean through their TV’s. its like punk never happened. Where were we – ah yes Wicked Whispers – dandified darlings of this parish – and so armed with a rabbits foot, garlic and a copy of ’flashback’ to hand (for the sole purpose of whacking said portents of evil across the chops – believe you me this ’flashback’ tome is a heavyweight floozy – more about it in a short while) we braved said warning and rested our copy of said single – incidentally in a limited 500 numbered pressing – our copy in case your noting these things being the ultra rare as hen’s teeth #416 – via electone with neat retro 45 labels to boot – therein everything went dippy and day-glo. Set against last years debuting ‘the dark delights of….‘ set ’dandelion eyes’ is turned to a definable pop shrill, piping farfisas squirrel in all manner of vintage lysergic garlands, the production by the esteemed no modern tat here just analogue handicraft of Liam Watson over at the famed toe rag studio and the sound glinting in an evergreen ‘67 glow and spiked with the merest demur of coalescing struts and kaleidoscopic drapery and sounding for all the world as though its just been on a one way day ride on the magic bus – still sounds to us like some strange brew blending essences of strawberry alarm clock, chocolate watchband and the autumn leaves. Over on the flip a reworked version of ’flying round in circles’ here given the trusted treatment of John Wood – this cut originally featured on the bands debuting EP set and here finds itself dimpled in an affecting luxuriant glow – still sounds like a 50’s bubblegum teen thrilled aching sortie swooned to the touch of Joe Meek though more curiously – and here I’m thinking I’ve had some bang on the head – but doesn’t the vocal recall a tad wise – Cat Stevens in his ‘matthew and son’ pomp. Single comes with an enviable cool attached – honest.
Video goes like this…..
Another musical interlude this time simply because its gorgeous – any questions….
Two new cuties from the admired Static Caravan imprint – first up a split label affair with Akoustik Anarkhy who of late appear to have kicked us off their mailing list to much grumbling sadness – safe to say we won’t hold that against them. On yellow vinyl and no doubt ridiculously limited in nature the latest platter from the much adored driver drive faster is a bit of a belter. ‘to return’ is devilishly spiked in the kind of feel good effervescent radiance that sends goose bumps flittering down the spine, a faultlessly frantic serving of spidery art splattered popisms clipped with a seductive west coast verve all kissed with a deliciously off centred 70’s Americana chorus hook which viewed in one take sounds not unlike a prime time Pavement consorting with a career peaking Mercury Rev. on the flip there’s a new cut entitled ‘voices pt2’ – revealing a growing sense of song writing maturity, this softly spun beauty is turned with a spell crafting forlorn ghostliness that gently soothes, seduces and suffocates you in its softly stirred solemn stateliness. Arresting in a word.
Comes complete with a rather desirable and eye catchy foil block art work print insert – as if you needed additional prods.
Acutely weird video can be viewed here…..
Regular readers of these thesis styled monologues will be all to aware of our adoration for the mysterious Manchester duo No Ceremony and just in case you missed a page somewhere along the way they where last featured with much fondness here last missive out. I mention No Ceremony purely and deliberately to introduce UMA whom I dearly suspect may well be up for giving them some much deserved competition in the affection stakes. Mentioned briefly in despatches at http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=388 wherein early listening peeks had us somewhat cooing and adoring of their chamber-tronic tripadelic celestial caresses. Out soon via enraptured will be the Berlin based couple’s debut EP ’Drop your Soul’. resplendent in clear wax and no doubt ridiculously limited, this dream inducing slice of silken euphoria features a trio of mesmeric loveliness that opens to the murmuring yearn of ’drop your soul’ which features no less a talent than the legendary Simeon of Silver Apples, magnetic and majestic this orbital opine softly seduces with its monastic chamber drilled frost garlands as though ripped from the grasp of an angelically heavenly songbook to embrace you with a last gasp white room wooziness. There’s also the addition of the same cut re-aligned by Yoshi Horikawa over on the flip – a mellowing trip wiring beauty alluringly sugar dusted in a sophisticated serenade of pulse lowering candle lit romanticism oozing in down tempo detailing and smouldered to a slow fused seduction – quite sinfully elegant if you ask me and a hushed breath away from the nocturnal rapture of Art of Noise’s ’moments in love’. ‘wild at heart’ beautifully beguiles in an imaging of the stately svelte caress of a playfully smitten chill tipped Cocteau Twins entwined in the softly trod snow steps of Client as though partaking in some hymnal advent draped and demurred to the longing tug of a homely yuletide glow. A bit of quietly consuming treasure all said.
Don’t mind admitting to be being somewhat smitten by this little treasure, available via the lime imprint ‘haight ashbury 2 – the ashburys’ by Scottish based trio the Haight Ashbury may just be what the doctor ordered should your listening radar be tweaked in the general direction of all listening species that shimmer with a tingling 60’s west coast breeziness. By all accounts this trio served up their debuting ’here in the golden rays’ to much critical acclaim and swooning some 18 months ago which alas missed here has had us all a grumbling and muttering. Second long playing platter is steeped heavily in a becoming summer sheen that’s buzz sawed with an off centred strut cool, the Haight Ashbury may well be the mid way point where the 60’s hippy thrilled pop swoon of Wendy and Bonnie meets the shade adorned soft psych shimmer of the Primitives and the Smoke Fairies along the way serving nods of appreciation to the Go Go’s, the Bangles and the Insect Guide for amid these tender head turning grooves there exists a pristine pop palette sumptuously rephrased through a multi generic viewfinder that spins, evolves and morphs to a sonic tongue versed in post punk, bubblegum and punk pop. Oft trimmed with nursery rhyme intros ‘2’ swerves seductively between contrasting dark and light shades amid the love notes the emotive extremes of introspective withdrawal (‘love, haight and ashbury’) and betrayal (‘Buffalo trace’).
The set opens to the sultry Eastern swirl of ’Maastricht ’a treaty’’ – a gloriously howling beauty shimmering in hazes of woozy inclines, snake charming motifs and door-stepped by the maddening clang of a killer twanged locked groove side winding riff. Current lead out single ’sophomore’ sweetly fuses to its bow a becoming cocktail of Elastica, the breeders (especially the effervescent palette afforded to the wide eyed feel good vibe of ‘moon dogs’) and Kirsten Hirsch and fires the resulting love buzzed arrow in the heart of pop cool equipped with harmonic glazes and an addictively infectious and knowing ear candy appeal. ‘dum dee dum’ one off the sets centrepieces superbly criss-crosses between moments of gloweringly stark post punk coldness much recalling Controller. Controller to intervals of wave rushing bright eyed pop euphoria in the strum of a snake winding chord refrain and sealed with a slinky hip shimmying wooh. With its primal thud, savaging scowl and spaghetti western hollowing ’Buffalo trace’ is acutely carved with a blistered and twisted blues tattoo that veers between the schizoid and the serene much like a teeth bearing Mr Airplane Man while the dust baked ju-ju that is ‘hole in the ground’ is longingly parched with mountain blues accents and grinding side winding growls to dip simultaneously in the back catalogues of both early Steve Earle and Gram Parsons. Somewhere else ’everything is possible’ sweetly turns upon a shimmer toned bubble grooved axis to the intoxicating feint detail of a demurring Strawberry Switchblade as it sizzles to ghostly aftertaste of a Jesus and Mary Chain embracing the Shangri-La’s while the quite exceptional ’freelove’ is stoked and primed to a smoking psyche persona sun kissed with warming drift winds and packing the kind of swooning shade adorned cool that the Insect Guide would scowl with envy to. Equally alluring is the softly traced psych folk madrigal ‘Ta wit Ta woo’ which appears to take Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘paisley, sage, rosemary and thyme’ on a boat trip to Summerisle Much reminiscent of a maturing Bangles ’love, haight and ashbury’ sees out the set to a deeply affecting withdrawn and forlorn bow that’s heartbreakingly crushed under foot by the pang of deep set piano keys that exemplify the immeasurably resigned and vulnerable. Arresting stuff. Mind you I should have added that they do remind me a lot of the Omegas – anyone remember those guys….
Video for ‘sophomore’……
Out now via the ever adorable Rocket girl imprint Fuxa kick off their shoes to recline and bliss out with their soundtrack for summer. Not to be mistaken for electric sound of joy in which case we’d have been having an altogether chat – whatever happened to those guys we sometimes stop to ponder and think. Where was I – ah Fuxa and their summer soundtrack entitled ‘electric sounds of summer’ finds Mr Nieman and assorted friends including various Telescopes, Dean and Britta, slipstream and spiritualized types gathering together to realise a body of work that’s been light years in the making (okay ten years or so). In simple terms ‘electric sounds of summer’ is an oscillating opiated bliss kissed beauty woven from a hallucinogenic tapestry of mind expanding melodic mirages and dream weaving hypnotic mantras. Decidedly chilled and laid back, Nieman and Co have scripted a lushly lulling sound-scape preset to a vision of sky scorched nights fading sleepily into the moon glow, all at once tranquil and translucent ’electric sound of summer’ is tenderly coaxed with a touchingly sedate gracefulness that’s delicately bound in yearning romance. Amid these grooves you’ll find the appearance of three cover versions – Daniel Johnston’s ’some things last a long time’ is here turned to near heart stopping ache as it shimmers into environs more commonly ventured by Morton Valence, here Britta Phillips takes up the vocal stage to be cradled in a hurting carnival of shyly spun church organ recitals that purr and coo as though suspended in some heavenly un-worldliness all trimmed in the delicate bouquet of surrendering sepia motifs. Further along the grooves there’s a drop dead treatment of Suicide’s ’cheree’ – a masterful retracing of Vega and Rev’s finest moment here rescued from its spectral sparseness and rethreaded with a gloriously radiant and brightly beautiful hallucinogenic palette, this lunar love note comes framed with a subtle nod to the Beatles ’dear prudence’. And talking of Suicide there’s also the additional tribute to Suicide’s co-authors Vega and Rev with the gem like ’Marty Suicide’ trip wired in the lush dream coat of Velveteen swirls and studded in a becoming seafaring star speckled setting. As to the errant third cover shot – an absolute must hear recalibration of the GoGo’s ‘our lips are sealed’ with Sarah Peacock taking up vocal lead and here found arrested and imparted with a darkly secretive and subliminal aural persona – something which sublimely contrasts and acts as a reverse approach taken on their re-drill of ‘cheree’.
Somewhere else nothing quite touches the sublimely executed and throwaway ‘thank you Jesus’ – a brief reprise dusted down and sparkling with star kissed garlands and oodles of romance, introspection and tenderness – in short a bit like Mike Post re-sculpturing the work of Satie. Assuming something of a big bearded prog psyche persona ‘swf twenty-o-two’ orbits into lunar trajectory like some hulking tripadelic leviathan wrapped in vintage early 70’s threads and smoking high on a Floyd songbook whilst wiring elements of Fleetwood Mac and the Grails to its core plexus. Title track ’electric sound of summer’ is an airy and sprawling panoramic lounge tropicalia nugget invested with sultry inclines and the subtle tail breeze of ethnic jazz motifs which together give it a more that amorphous allure of a chilled out Tank cosying up to Spyro Gyra while those who prefer their listening wares trimmed to something more cosmically sparse and stung in tear stained solace will do well to hook up to ‘a billion kilograms’ – amid the decaying galactic transmissions from a past age, visions of promenades lit by alien suns and the freewheeling lightshow of a flotilla of ice cream vans orbiting some distant lone star – there’s something humbling and hurting here that cuts deep into the psyche that rings of Landshipping platters from a lost yesteryear. All said dare we forget to mention ‘I love you‘ – with its idyllic and exotic south Pacific montages and softly stoked sunbursts, this babe warps and whirrs to a breezy incline that imagines a holidaying Will Sergeant taking up extra curricula activities by shimmying up to a ’beverly mythic’ era Fortdax for a jam with the Seahawks. Quite essential if you ask me. Also comes resplendent on eye turning picture disc variations a copy of which I‘ll have to track down as my own. .
Nothing quite beats some sexy French pop, picked up a killer compilation that just out via cherry red entitled ‘made in France – france gall’s baby pop’ which gathers together all the Serge Gainsbourg collaborations for the first time with most of the cuts never having been given an official release outside France – the set includes her Eurovision winning ‘poupee de cire poupee de son’ both in its original form and in its ultra rare Japanese language version as well as the infamous ‘les sucettes’ ……
Which neatly leads us to Laetitia Sadier – the ex Stereolab chanteuse is set to release her sophomore debut ‘silencio’ via drag city late July – the album promises to be a deeply personalised homage to life’s great journey simultaneously serving as a grieving process for the trials and tribulations encountered therein. A taster for what’s to come is currently being premiered via KCRW who are hosting a sneak peek of the cut ‘find me the pulse of the universe’ – according to the press blurb the track is about the utilizing of creative outsider thinking in order to overcome the obstacles and confusion of modern life – there’s also mention of mathematics in there but hey its still daylight and the fear of the dreaded ‘m’ word is all too apparent in the air. As to the track itself – always going to be difficult to separate Sadier from the occasional nods back to Stereo lab – she was after all the voice of the collective – so we’ll keep it succinct by saying it’ll appeal to those tuned into ‘sound dust’ – sumptuously drip dried in all manner of sophisticated sensuality that said you could give her a shopping list to recite and it would still sound sexy, there’s an aloof chic working at the rear as Sadier smokily shimmies her way through the cool cute sway of Francophile funkiness – the guiding link to KCRW is here – http://www.kcrw.com/media-player/mediaPlayer2.html?type=audio&id=tu120531laetitia_sadier_find
Maybe its just me – but is this not the dog’s bollocks – many thanks by the way to Brian Bordellos for flagging this up as something we’d dig – there‘ll be Bordellos mentions aplenty somewhere later in this extended missive. The underground youth hail from Manchester – and beyond that absolutely bugger all information to be had he says to a grumbling tone save to say that they’ve somehow managed to sneak out five self released full lengths via their Fuzz Club imprint the latest of which ’low slow needle’ no doubt caused a feinting epidemic on its release October gone. Anyhow Brian kindly sent over a video link which we’ve copied and pasted below for your discerning listening affections. The track in question is the simply sublime ’mercury guitar’ – poised, stately and statuesque – best described as akin to imagining an eastern Arab charger in the far distance traversing into view over baking hot arid dry desert plains to a dramatic slow core sonic script that fuses together Codeine at their most stilled and Ry Cooder at his most sparsely panoramic both in concert crafting out a deeply dramatic and chilled ceremonial score for an as yet to be written David Lynch screenplay.
And back with Ms Sadier who pops up on something of a frisky sun silken cutie in the shape of Benjanmin Schoos’ ‘je ne vois que vous’ – a cut culled from his latest album ‘china girl vs. china girl’ – which while we are on the subject of – can anyone direct me to where I can hold of the vinyl version – anyway the cut itself is well sexy and sassy, shimmies along seductively to a beguiling bedrock of swirling early 70’s string swathes the kind found on records put out by the likes of emperor penguin et al and honeyed in the glare of disco mirror balls and the warming caress of sultry evensong chills – does it for us.
Okay I’m fairly certain we’ve already covered a few static caravan releases somewhere amid this here extended and overly delayed missive though if there is one static set that frankly you need like air and water is a rather mysterious outing from praawander of whom we know absolutely bugger all about except to say that their debuting – well we assume debuting – outing ’the number you called’ is well – freaky and desirably super chilled. Dream drone I suppose is the best way to describe it, a kind of aural astral flight around the mind’s inner eye, of course what we’ve neglected to tell you so far that is that this particular mind’s eye is tripping out at a Tibetan retreat decked out in loons, cheesecloth, flowers and deeply humming of late 60’s essences while high on magic mushrooms crafting mind bending mosaics all at once loungy, woozy and totally whacked out, better still the blighter comes pressed up on a rather fetchingly colourful and criminally limited flexi postcard – those of you who can’t wait for the shops to open to place your urgent order can bliss out on the extended mix of the same cut which is currently wooing all at http://soundcloud.com/praawander
Now we are liking this – in fact liking it a lot and given we’ve already had something of a French invasion at work in this particular missive what with the inclusion of Isabelle Gall and Laetitia Sadier well we thought we’d throw this into the mix and wait for the inevitable popping of heads. Video love are a Paris based duo featuring ex members of ismuck – this cut incidentally titled ‘les bruit des machines’ is pulled from their recently released debut platter ‘mon ange’ for the lentonia imprint and a bit of a beauty it is to melding the chic Francophile amour of Stereolab onto a chill factored and hypnotically driving post punk minimalist motorik electro underpin which all said – and maybe its just me that thinks this – veers ever so close to Ultravox‘s ‘thin wall’ – all said easily filed beneath the patch in your listening shelf marked ‘well sexy Stereolab in Terminator wired Moroder face off‘.
Video type thing is below…..
Can I just say that I’m immeasurably disappointed that since mentioning this lots debuting release which I should note at this point were met with appreciative promises to post out one of their limited edition cassettes featuring said release coursing through the ferric states of said tape format that the blighter has yet to be seen, heard or indeed held in our slightly deflated mitts. Now we here are normally minded to deal with such follies by either completely ignoring all further transmissions from said artists and in so doing creating a mental black listing of sorts or else fashioning out of wax weird looking dolls in their likeness and feeding them to the crows that mock from the rear off the garden. Anyway I’m bitterly aggrieved. So imagine us here – a bit disappointed and mildly aggrieved getting an unsolicited email telling us about a free download featuring new Death Masks recording with video to boot. And we are looking at this thinking – like – yea whatever. Only we remember how good we thought that aforementioned ‘I know a short cut’ set was and so – perhaps -against better judgement we decided to take a sly peek. Bit of a gem is ‘left a message’ sprinkled as it in the honey glowed Stateside aftertaste of a ’durable dream’ era Moviola seemingly found here re-branding the songbook of Kevin Tihista’s Red Terror and twisting said fusion around the sugary bitter sweet candy twisted essence of the Raspberries and set on a simmering bliss breezed mid west heat. Does it for us. In addition there’s ‘stares’ offering further proof of an emerging talent – this baby woos and weaves like some love locked tryst between go between and the red house painters. Go to http://deathmasks.bandcamp.com/
Anyway just in case you missed the original review or couldn’t be bothered taking a gander….
Update – said release turned up safe and sound – more of this lot next missive.
Oh and here’s a video type thing…..
Invisible Sports ‘the future tastes’ (alt. vinyl). Solo project of Volcano the Bear founding member Aaron Moore, the Invisible Sports debut platter arrives courtesy of Alt Vinyl and comes as a strictly limited to just 300 copies heavy duty vinyl edition a copy of which we’ve managed to nab with many thanks and includes a download code enabling all those heathens among you to grab yourself a digitised version which includes an added exclusive cut. A curiously enticing and immediately listenable collection it should be said featuring 8 cuts. I’ll say that again just in case the nub of what was just written washed over you. Enticing and immediately listenable collection. Now this is coming from one of the co-authors of Volcano the Bear – a collective who have since first appearing on our radar some years back via a full length platter for the sadly missing in action of late Pickled Egg imprint have if nothing else through hours of listening pleasure and puzzlement endeared to us the watch word ’expect the unexpected’. collectively or as a unit the assembled parts of Volcano the Bear have always – albeit one suspects – not with deliberate intention put the ’range’ in ’strange’ to provide a unified body of work that has methodically stretched, warped and cross fused the outer realms of traditional and ethnic sounds through an assortment of recognised disciplines whether they be jazz, folk, art rock et al to brew an almost unique to them sonic hybrid. Stood next to the VtB canon ’The Future Tastes’ plays it straight, well I say straight for side 2 is classic VtB fayre imagined through some acid fried psyched out viewfinder. But more about that in a second. There is a playfulness here – free from the constraints of what is expected (unexpectedly of course) and without the need to kowtow to the whole band politik, Moore is revealed as an eccentrically English magpie whose chosen listening love is sparing split between Barrett and Wyatt. The album apparently named after what’s best described as naked charades with sports poses with a former girlfriend – think we’ll leave it there. Three years in the making and concocted by the use of all manner of trumpets, strings and er – pvc tubing -’the future tastes’ inhabits a peculiarly amorphous patch in the avant garde garden. From the disquieting lo-fi minimalist softly woven psyche of opener ’follydown’ with its playfully bright lazy eyed mantra contrasts acutely with the haunting stalking chord line that underscores throughout as it edges along a sparse and willowy psyche eccentricity once countered by the ever adored Freed Unit on ’giggle-goo’. the skin creeping nursery rhyme that is ’Jesus auto sound’ – a title that you’d suspect Half Man Half Biscuit are positively glowing green with envy for not coming up with – is traced in a myriad of hallucinogenic strangeness, part noir though chilled with an awkward and abstract austereness rooted to bowed atmospherics. ’beastly’ on the other hand takes in a wintry detour of the Elephant 6 collective with familiar patrons doing well to dig deep in to their prized gathering of Of Montreal goodies, funereally hued and sounding not so dissimilar in texture to L’Augmentation though removed of the pop palette immediacy and instead garnished with a down tempo jazz flashing that hints at the hand of Jim O’Rourke. Somewhere else a moment of radiance ushers in with the brief passing of the crooked calypso ‘silence is what were made for’ while lurking in wait sit’s the impatient flip side, as said previously its side 2 that’ll have the VtB purists flipping their wigs, the 70’s vintage skewed lounge like ’hopful’ being the errant sore thumb sounding as it does like a variation of the ’Vision On’ theme where it on acid being remodelled by Radiophonic man Malcolm Clarke, amid the fluxus melee of off centred spectral jazz coils and the occasional soft psyche visitation its the sprawling beast that is ‘it’s a warhorse’ that offers the albums centrepiece – stoked in the initial introductions with a fog fallen edginess clipped with distressed wood crafted acid folk charms, this fractured feral child ominously lurks in the shadows crowing archaic mountain chants amid a chorus of disquieting squalls easily conceived from the eccentric mindset of one Vivian Stanshall in his ‘Rawlinson End’ monologues in the company of the arched observation of Ivor Cutler, then enter stage left – guitar – detuned, flawed and distinctly discordant and the whole thing descends into a splintering hollowed oddness. As to the previously noted bonus – ‘Olivia’s mash’ – available via the download link and not officially intended for inclusion is a chamber trimmed slice of subterranean hymnal harmonics fractured into momentary explosions of sun bursting calypso-esque trance which if anything tail gates the kind of punctured sonic inner space much celebrated on wax artefacts bearing the name Astral Social Club. Disturbingly good.
Not quite done with Invisible Sports for there’s another IS release currently doing the rounds, limited to just 100 copies via intransitive recordings in conjunction with songs from under the floorboards ’ow pow hero hour’ is a live recording – alas no details as to from whence etc….there’s a sound clip of ’ow’ to be found at http://invisiblesports.com/
This ‘un has been insanely pinging around my headspace since appearing on our radar and with that following us around like some lovesick puppy, the first peek at the forthcoming full length from Robert Schwartzman – alas no amazing facts with which to pass on to and no doubt failing in our responsibility to cram your head with a veritable feast of trivia both useful and useless – ah well guess that’s what g****e’s there for. Anyway album looming entitled ‘double Capricorn’ from which this little lovely ‘second chances’ has been pulled – an utterly upbeat and infectious gem that simply oozes in summery radiance whilst spiked with a vintage 70’s MOR glow trimmed with an affectionately amorphous west coast framing with the subtle kiss of Lennonisms and the occasional glam twist – and yes you’d be right for pulling the likes of the knife, brigadier, ben folds 5 and epicycle out of the reference bag but hey who’s looking……expect more fond words soon…..
Of Arrowe Hill ‘the stars are against us’ (self released) – disturbingly beautiful, flawed and cracked, strangeness abound it’s the long awaited return of psyche alchemists of arrowe hill, culled from a forthcoming platter by the name ‘love letters, hate mail and the haunted self’ – its nice to see the OAH haven’t lost none of their barbed artistry – ‘the stars are against us’ will make a brief one week appearance – sometime last week I think sorry about that. Anyhow damn fine it is – seems these underappreciated dudes of the dark dance have come almost full circle with this crooked salvo which sees them retracing their early career steps. In short imagine the beatles ‘white album’ refracted through the other side of the looking glass and spiked with the peculiar and the curious handicraft of a fracturing solo Syd Barrett yet curbed and detailed with an eerily disquieting smoked blues essence that’s cured and turned in an archaic mountain folk tongue. Indelibly genius. http://soundcloud.com/ofarrowehill/the-stars-are-against-us/s-AohLo
Alas we only have the videos for this cutie – so if you happen to know the band – do me a favour give the blighters a nudge to send a full finished copy our way – like yesterday. A double a sided cutie pressed up on vinyl, the information trail runs cold on these dudes after noting they are from Southend but they call themselves plastic youth and their debut arrives courtesy of the high post imprint – incidentally run by libertine drummer gary powell. ‘animal style’ a floppy fringes, crystalline strums, dreamy weavy riffage, spiral forming florescent melodies, naval gazing aplenty and oodles of good wholesome cheery bonhomie shipped in by the keg load – what can it all mean, blimey kids I thought I’d been transferred back to the front line battlements of the great brit pop wars, must be all these endless reunions making my head spazz out. Anyhow jangle heaven to boot that sounds to these ears like a shoegazey smooching session between a bliss kissed ride and the mock turtles – no bad thing there I’ll warrant. All said we here are more than a tad smitten by ’death row’ which through headphones sounds superbly panoramic and mighty, pulse racing grandeur prepossessed with a subtly off cool swagger and bitten with a definable JMC chic albeit kissed with the kind of monumental prowess normally these days afforded to those rare outings by Pete Wylie as though twiddled by a certain Ned’s Atomic Dustbin replete with restrain harnesses.
Moving picture shows here…..
Geese ‘all property is theft, all flesh is grass’ (vanity case). We love Geese, don’t ask why. Maybe its because no two of their albums are the same, each arrives clipped with that ’wait and see what we have for you this time’ curio factor. Maybe we love them because they don’t conform to the usual pop standard when quite blatantly they can and if they did they’d blow away the chasing crowd. Maybe its because they seem happily prepared to take pop’s high and low roads and in so doing take their listeners on a strangely alluring and oft cuckoo journey. Maybe its because they occupy a world so far removed from pop’s maddening crowd that they are literally on a different page to everyone else or perhaps like magpies they take flight under the cover of night and ransack the sonic nests of others and cultivate their prizes into something their own.
In recent times only the criminally overlooked and under appreciated Crimea, lupen crook or they came from the stars I saw them flirt and fly to the same warming sonic tail wind of Geese. No doubt strictly limited in quantity the Geese debut full length ’all property is theft, all flesh is grass’ comes pressed up a hulking slab of wax replete with lyric inserts. Bolden with the promise of sex, death, greed, power, loss, love, sorrow and madness with an undercurrent of northern humour in collision (or should that perhaps be collusion) with the Wiccan Dark Arts – that’s how the press release greets it – ’all property is theft’ is by previous Bailey / Lazonby standards – well – parochial when measured that is up alongside their alter ego work as glitter dust cosmic glamsters Frozen Geese and kraut cracked trance galactic overlords 3eese. That I’ll hasten to add doesn’t qualify it as anything less or unworthy of the Geese trademark – in the turn of a grooved revolution it can switch from barking to sublime and most importantly retains that trademark knack of keeping you – yes you the listener constantly on the back foot.
Stilled with the same introspective distance afforded by the aforementioned Crimea on their woefully under-appreciated ‘secrets of the witching hour’ to which this platter so demonstrably tailgates in terms of feel, texture and sentiment, Geese populate their debuting full length with a positive cornucopia of whimsical tongue in cheek cheeriness beneath which is masked a restlessness and a sense of resignation, the melodies skewed sometimes timelessly woven chime to a hollowing mellow soft psyche toned operetta whose blank impotence resounds with a damning chill. Suffused with a barbed English humour and wrestled by the burden of an austere age upon their aural palette are inscribed blankly dour anthems that fizz to a scratched unsalvageable optimism (‘damned for all time’), tear stained lighter waving master classes in flaming lips-esque reflection and regret (‘acid Monday’s‘), deep strangeness even by mirror mirror standards as on ’Mr Breughel, Hieronymous is here’, a wonderfully smoky sax saturated take on a Mary Gauthier nugget and goofy bubble grooved 60’s J- pop lovelies as found on the affectionately saccharine dusted perky purr off ‘pink guitar’ – overall the set creaks and stirs to a hum drum lethargy sourly dimpled in breezy brass fanfares momentarily stooping to mellowing murmurs and dreamy segues as on ’excerpts from Dante’s 9th circle of death’. elsewhere ‘location, location, apocalypse’ opens the set to a mournful tirade on greed and societal disconnection and trades upon a grizzled litany that recalls a Carter USM like schizoid disquiet tapping into the bleak backwaters of Bowie’s ’low’ which once spent of its moment in the dark clouds is hotly pursued by the crooked musical hall flavoured soft psyche timbre of ‘twisterella’ which endows the listener in an airy lackadaisical calm and spikes said serenity with the appearance of zonked and wasted shit faced 70’s riff motifs whose arrival harbours in its wake an unsettling coming apart at the seams sense of distress which to these odd ears sounds not unlike a stopping off point between the Freed Unit and Syd Barrett. All said a deeply alluring and strangely becoming hidden gem.
Next up from Vanity Case records will be a new Mueran Humanos platter entitled ‘la langosta’.
Cast your minds back to earlier when we mentioned Manchester’s Underground Youth. Well Craig from the band has gotten in touch to report that the band are laying down cuts that’ll form their new as yet untitled full lengthy which all being well will see the light of day sometime at the year close following a European tour. Before darting off he earmarked this little cutie for some listening loving. ’juliette’ which you can hear by redirecting your browser in the direction of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ukqn_atTegQ – a gorgeously serene and statuesque beauty trimmed with kind of delicate psych tapestry of a lilting and surrendering early career House of Love and traced with just the merest of JMC cool for added measure. All said though we’ve been rummaging around the net and uncovered what we reckon is their finest moment to date in the guise of ’addiction’ which unless our ears do deceive ought to give fellow Mancunians No Ceremony some cause to be watchful and nervously envious given its shrouded in the same kind of heart hurting crafted ghostly grace and spectral flair to nail exquisitely that sense of being consumed and smitten by another.
And that’s it I’m afraid. As ever thanks for dropping by
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Volume V – expected air date 8th September 2012