This missive is dedicated to Martin Coates.
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I’ll be honest. This missive nearly never happened and in truth its been an effort to get it to the finishing line which in many respects explains why it’s a truncated almost haphazard affair in its construction and flow. Eve on completion there was a feeling of resignation that it would be the last ever missive. I won’t ponder and prolong to reasons as to why, its done and dusted. However at this juncture I’d like to dedicate this missives eventual completion to the memory of the lately and dearly departed Martin Coates. there’s every chance you wouldn’t have heard of or indeed know of Martin. H wasn’t a music mogul, a lost rock icon forgotten in the great pop wars or a melodic maverick. True he had a strange obsession for the Who‘s ’Live at Leeds’ set and a insanely enviable knowledge of folk / protest songs. He would recant his latest reading adventures of postcard journals scribed by his Dad during the war and addressed to his Nan and would harrumph under a cloud of what one might deem a somewhat feigning tolerance when this scribe would pre-empt each new tale to a mocking pseudo Big Brother styled ‘day 24 in the midst of a secret medic camp somewhere I the heart of France’. for those unfortunate enough to lose cards, pass keys and other such office wares he’d grumble and groan uttering one suspects long lost curses in forgotten tongues in a thickening Mancunian accent whilst resetting the hapless souls access codes and despatching them with a new sign on code which invariably would involve some impishly insulting password. In the wake of his passing I have lost a friend of tat most rare quality – someone who was a most unassuming, a distractively witty, a considerate and on of the most affectionately humble souls I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Take care dear Sir.
A tad fractured is this extended missive – we’ve been sitting on this on and off for a few months so please be mindful that there’ll be references to record store day and festivities aplenty relating to fruits de mer’s recent all dayer – so apologies for those in advance. In truth the delays have been part to do with me personally – I quite frankly lost interest I music for a while – rustling two meaningful words together proved at times to be a Herculean task which even I couldn’t muster up the wherewithal or patience to summon while the nub of the matter was being waylaid at the mercy of technology what with two laptops crashing – one in near terminal state the other I suspect resorting to mischievous mode and both housing a large part of two near thought lost missives – which through diligence, time and patience have required the rewriting of here.
So with the excuses done – buckle up for an epic voyage into music world – first of a three part extended Autumnal missive……
Track listing as follows – sharp intake of breath – craig padilla, sendelica, moon weevil, vespero, organic is orgasmic, temple music, cats frequency, Julie’s haircut, mechanik, palace of swords, zenith unto the stars, earthling society, dead pylons, golden cake company, vert x, black tempest, Frobisher neck, vox humana, james McKeown, the bordellos, elevation, jay Tausig, the cream people, mademoiselle marquee, ocean fire, purple rock trip, beau, the amazing sounds of db turi, crystalline Jacqueline, white sails, jack ellister, stay, me and my kites, dynamo bliss, schizo fun addict, rob clarke and the wool tones, gruska babuska, david a jaycock, matt piucci, fuxa, black hearted brother, distant correspondent, grand rapids, tellow6, deathrowradio, warm digits, jack Cheshire, kine, laica, alex Chilton, canyon ryde, agnes obel, of montreal, georges vert, café kaput, midday veil, wonderful sound, advisory circle…
We open this missive with a somewhat hefty onus on the fruits de mer label who notwithstanding having recently celebrated what was their first all dayer event – tied in to mark the 50th anniversary of the Pretty Things – have bee busy knocking out platters aplenty the first of which was the recently released ‘strange fish’ series which as it happens goes a lot like this……..
‘Strange Fish #1’ sees wax space being shared between FdM mainstays Sendelica and new label adoptee Craig Padilla. Mr Padilla mainlines into the sonic nexus courtesy of a brace of bliss kissed ambi gems. ‘Full Moon World’ sumptuously sculptured in the lush laid back head phonics of 70’s sourced stereo-philia is a deliriously meditative and cosmically piqued aquatic dream coat who reference markers are clearly classically coded to a super electro progged lost tangerine dream tongue whilst heavily hued in a distractively chill zoned jean michel jarred shell. More cavernous, atmospheric and levianthic in structure is the superbly stilled gracefulness of ’secret language’, assuming epic solemnity this lounge lilted lunar odyssey tripwires heavenly environs traversing a lonesome oiutpost amid the snowburst of solar flares and the genuflecting arc of celestial swoons. Seemingly I the mood to toast your headspace Sendelica drop down the 25 minute monolith that is ’strange fish’ which incidentally for the fact-o-philes and pub quiz partaking useless information lovers among you is where the series got its name from in the first place. Talk about zonked out, this is the dogs danders let there be no sitting on the fence on that score because what the Delica ones have sculptured here is a fried feel good baby that’s loose, decidedly funky and as high as a kite, think of a mellowed Acid Mothers mainlining on a waxen cocktail of funkadelic, the ozrics, Jefferson airplane and floyd. ’strange fish’ trips out to a hulking multi coloured mind morphing sonic tapestry imbued on a terra forming audiac landscape that blends Ry Cooder like dust caked spaghetti twangs, space blues, zoned out primal psyche and smoked out jazz trimmings into what can only be described as a fringe flicking astral planing fantasia that’s beautifully blissful, masterly and mercurial.
Strange fish #2 is the first of two double disc extravaganzas released on this most extraordinary series of releases and gathers together familiar and not so familiar names to the FdM brethren. This set arrives I believe in limited quantities of just 400 copies all pressed up on silver and white platters and again features an ear happening smorgasbord of future nuggets in the making. Perhaps the most experimental and dare I say most interesting of the four volumes. In some respects a real departure from the usual FdM fare not least side 1 wherein moon weevil – the extra curricula side project ovarious Cranium Pie-ers attempt orbital docking with the curious ’condentia’ which in truth sounds to these ears not unlike a buzzing Dadaist blip hop stew birthed in the basement of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop delivery room and zapped to life by some mutoid aural Frankenstein escapee fro the tigerbeat6 test lab. In sharp contrast Vespero – incidentally last heard on this turntable courtesy of a sublime reading of the faust gem ’jennifer’ – take things somewhat more mellowed and romantic, lulled by the regal cortege of sighing strings woven to a mysterious Viennese waltz filtered through opiate glazed viewfinders and distractively drizzled in a trippy amorphous trancey shell, ’red machine’ soon evolves and permeates its waxen captivity to mature deliciously into a soupy dream dazed slab of nu age loveliness replete in arabesque charms. Frankly one of the best ensembles we’ve had the pleasure of tripping across in many a year are organic is orgasmic, blighters never send records mind, however their ’as we speak of space and wisdom’ full length from 2011 was a set forged on a meticulous mooring of classicism and deft maturity, ’at dawn of men’ peeled from that set and found here is a quintessential blast of progged out cosmic ambient jazz that bears down with the intricate industry that out beards the Ozric Tentacles at their most far out and flying while pitting at polar opposites the aural ambitions of the enid and Edward ka spell at their most mercurial – nuff said. Sendelica make a welcomed return with ’80% neon bridge of sighs’ – guessing the clue is in the title when suggesting that this little nugget is inspired by Robin Trower’s ’bridge of sighs’ classic – spellbinding stuff, utterly chilled, sedate, sublime and kissed with the kind of stoned out floydian mind melting drifts that one suspects would serve as ear gear a go for a spot of astral planing – there’s the recent outing ’the kaleidoscopic kat and its autoscopic ego’ which name alone is deserving of rooting out for closer listening pleasure. Is it okay to yow-zah of a track – we only ask because the temple music cut ’from the serene republic’ is like wow, a freak beat fancy that had our head expanding with its fuzzed out locked groove mysticism and deeply cosmic comatose third eye theatrics. Last and by no means least side 2 falls away with ’space orchid vs. massive drum kit’ from the grand Astoria, a deeply spiritually smoked and doped out cutie lush in a lulling array of finger picked arabesque swirls and softly spun psych folk florets, very transcendental and trippy even if I do say so myself. More of the same please. Over on side three things get very strange. First of two featured cuts from East Anglian maestro who goes under the mysterious monicker – Cat Frequency – the other cut can be found on Volume 4 – mentioned a little later I’d hazard to guess in this extended appraisal. Those among you who’ve laid awake at night troubled by thoughts of what a collision of zombi types with an ear for the shimmer toned harmonics of white noise mind sound like had they muddied the mix with some primitive beatnik frying ought to check out ’the fragmentation of st. veronica’s veil’ b the cat frequency which by our much humbled reckoning is a freak beaten motorik monolith of some noted worth. Encased in a gorgeously serene dream weaved pi-a-patter glazing that to these ears sounds not unlike a starry kissed sleepy headed lullaby soothed by what sounds like the distant DNA of the theme from the odd couple, Julie’s haircut – of whom should be no strangers to long time singled out missive readers – shimmer into consciousness with the mind drifting lilt of ’tarazed’ and emerge the other side of the haze with a locked grooved lovely heavily weighed in kraut-ian essences and spaced out with the needle cutting finery of dark captain light captain forming alliances with working for a nuclear free city. Recorded with valerio cosi and tiziano bianchi according to the tin ’asioli’ is a totally differing beast in design that superbly blends classicism, floral fancies, wierded out psyche, jazz junctures and krautrockian codas into a hulking sonic spectrum that’s high end on the brain food register and should be turntable candy for those seduced to the far out odysseys of tank and aquaserge to name but two reference markers. No information about weevil dropping alas – we were are of the thinking that this is moon weevil – guess the name gives it away – but this 15 second reprise is meant – on vinyl – pressing plant allowing – see out side three to a locked groove finale – the effect being lost and somewhat redundant on promo CD formats – but hey bet it sounds right groovy. Long time fruits de mer aficionados and the heads among you who love your headphonic experiences curdled in – shall we agree to say – a dense big bearded beatnik stew that looms and lurks like some ill begotten lovechild of a mountain meets godspeed bunk up will do well to hook up to mechanik’s triptych of delights. A humungous 24 minute spectacle tat veers into the fried freak beat stoned interior of cranium pie and the earthling society, from the sedate shimmer toned purr of the spacey ’you yourself are the teacher and the guru’ as it buzzes and whirrs amid a psychotropic haze one suspects initiated by those dudes seven that spells or the hallucinogenic meditation of the lonesome drift of the achingly hollowed ’Radian’ as translated to an almost comatose spacemen 3 vibe to the colossal and epic void ventured on the opening ’Kwangmyongsong’. quite out there and awesome if you ask me.
Another double disc serving of aural delights can be found on strange fish #3 with palace of swords opening the proceedings and providing three short interlude like salvos scattered intermittently amid the grooves with the eerie like pulsar transmission ‘live at Aberdeen witch trials’ recalling a somewhat thoughtfully detached in future worlds mood Vangelis while both ‘vicus lemerum’ and ‘the temple of golden rays’ link arms primed playfully in an orbital embrace to puncture the voids with a lulling lunar lullaby that references both goblin and carpenter. Trimmed in a luxuriant regal valour ‘Gemini’ by Zenith : unto the stars is afforded the kind of magnetic majesty rarely seen these days outside of a classic era tangerine dream extravaganza albeit here spiked and seasoned in the weirded out transcendentalism often beset upon headphone by the master musicians of bukkake. Utterly adored around these here parts earthling society sprinkle their own psychotropic fairy dust to proceedings by way of ‘the vampire’s kiss’ triptych of strange delights. We must admit to having had our eyebrows raised throughout the course of this aural procession for never have we heard the earthling ones so accessible, free flowing and mercurial – from the meek-esque ’telstar’ orbital overture that is ’theme from a vampire’s kiss’ – a kind of ghost rider phased and festooned by starry arpeggios where dave dee, dozy, beaky, mick and tich duel to cosmic snow bursts amid a glorious sonic backdrop trimmed in barry-esque bravado and morricone master class to the haunting epic grip of the ambient monolith ’kiss of the vampire – morning glory’ forged or so it may seem tugh the very after burn of an imploding Vangelis dark star. That said nothing quite matches up to ’the dream’ – a meeting of classical sounding broadcast speared upon a ghostly komeda music box whose waxen cylinder has been tinkered by bronnt industries kapital. Something of an exclusive to this release are the debuting recordings of dead pylons – three in total – who for the uninitiated – me included I should add – feature amid their ranks members of hi fiction science. Sounding like some extraterrestrial morse code message dredged from the deepest subterranic depths ‘theme from the dead pylons’ is heavy on the atmosphere and spooked on the radiophonic primality of louis and bebe barron while there’s a mutant dub-tronic funkiness coursing throughout ‘Osiris’ that suggests some keenly attuned ears to the work of muslim gauze are in residence. Best of the trio is the sleepy headed lunar lullaby that is ‘dead cargoes’ which draws their three pronged serving to a lulling close in fine kraftwerk-ian style as though dusseldorf’s finest had had their secret lair visited upon under the cover of darkness by those lovably cute isan types. Tangerine heads found residing in wales are the golden cake company whose trippy ‘thrum mystique’ is indelibly presaged in the kind of psychotropic mind weaving that was once ventured by that sonic boom under his spectrum guise whilst being aided and abetted by jessamine – classy.
Disc 2 of the double vinyl third volume set opens to the woozy and constantly terra forming ‘Arthurian’ by the aforementioned golden cake company, a milky white voyage to the inner third eye is what’s on offer, deeply trancey and smoked in woozy dream drifting folds and spacey orbs the likes of which ought in the first instance appeal to devotees of the much missed delirium imprint of the 90’s and the early career outings of Warp as well as headphonic admirers of the mighty zombi. Similarly immersed ever deeper into dream space are vert:x here presiding over three sonic suites the first of which ‘a floating mass of metal and heavy electricity’ sounds not unlike those spooked out fried aural backdrops that used to accompany the gerry Anderson sci-fi series UFO. ‘bad calibration’ by sharp contrast is a fuzzy beards out no nonsense cosmic beatnik ju ju tailing close the vapour trail let by mugstar while ‘killer beez’ is a high intensity locked grooving space brute boogie best experienced with the volume full tilt in order to maximise the white noise head fuck it serves up. Best known to kith n kin as surrey based multi talented musician Stephen Bradbury though here hiding under his preferred guise black tempest, there’s been by all accounts a much hoo-ha-ing in various quality reads namely periscope and quietus following the release of his ‘proxima’ and ‘ex proxima’ opus’ both of which we are gathering we ought to hear before we get much older. Still the sub 14 minute ‘energy of the stars’ is as good a place to start as any by way of an introduction. Immense and incredible, Bradbury utilises his vast aural canvas to orchestrate and craft a deeply alluring and oft hypnotic and psychedelically progressive cosmic symphony that’s metered and measured in old school kraut classicism and intricately detailed in lost ambient tongues. Frobisher neck – better known to the authorities as Tony Sweettenham – has been responsible on many occasion in having us pulling up to the in house speaker set up in jaw dropped fondness in awe of the sounds of his occasional forays into vinyl world via various long sold out FdM outings. ’underwater star blob’ – top title aside proves no exception to the rule, mind altering wooziness, reverse loop drips, baroque tonalities and deep passages of chin stroking bliss a plenty with the Frobisher one at the centre of it all like some weird wizard weaving the symphonic intricacies and simultaneously doing a turn enacting something of a tripped out psychedelically enhanced phantom of the opera. Does it for us.
And so to strange fish volume #4 – admittedly our favourite volume of the bunch, again strictly limited to just 400 copies all coming pressed up on various slabs of coloured wax of the white, grey, clear and black variety. To describe volume 4 and give some indication as to why it’s the best set here – of course in our humbled opinion – is to quote from an oft used scribe and bard and say ‘to sleep perchance to dream’. not sure why I mentioned that – I guess these musings needed the application of some form of gravitas in which case I might have been best served some heavy on the brow case law from my distant days as a law scholar. Where is he going with this you might rightly ask, and in truthful reply I’d agree with much of the puzzlement. Shall we stick with the record thing in hand, indeed I think we should. Opens to the returning sounds of cat frequency – remember them from volume 2 – here with ‘dreaming of wooden fish’ and deserving of being festooned on that most excellent cold spring imprint, strange psych folk some might call it all drizzled dreamily in the haunting essences of ‘wicker man’ and eventually evolving into a mind warping slab of strut cut stoner psych replete with wiring back tracking and lush with fringe flicking cool. Those of you located o the outer fringes of out there sounds who stray for a while in the archaic and blurring monastic / arabesque orbs of organic is orgasmic’s ‘Chinese Hororscope’ might be forgiven for thinking they’ve stumbled out of a tardis and found themselves located somewhere not of this time while for its part ‘lifeless void’ does as it says on the tin and manages to mould and manipulate essences of Bowie’s ‘v2 Schneider’ with Numan’s ominous ‘asylum’ and white noise’s ‘electric storm’ to impart something tender and tearfully stained ever so slightly with a degree of sinister suspense – for goblin devotees I would hasten to add. More return calls this time from zenith : unto stars who despatch two starry eyed treats in the guise of ‘juno quartet’ and ‘con bala’ with the former spray kissed in an amorphous elegance and serenely betrayed in introspection by a bruising of moments long lost. Equally tender the latter named showered and bathed in a touching ache caressed by a cavernous porcelain detailing. Featuring members of the soft hearted scientists on extra curricula duties vox humana ooze in with the distractively yearning ‘shortwave radio and the ionosphere’ – all soft, tranquil and tenderly teased with pastoral flotillas and tear shedding opines and with the kind of lonesome incline seldom heard so hurt around here since the days of stylus and landshipping whilst simultaneously found kissed in the minimalist rush of a youthful sigur ros. Over on side 2 be prepared to be greeted and taken heart and soul by the quartet of finery posted by James McKeown of hi fiction science fame – dead pylons who appeared in an earlier strange fish volume come cast from the same roots. As said four cuts, among the pickings ‘Euclid dreaming’ is a gorgeously woven folk madrigal that skirts playfully to pirouette around the core coda of Kate Bush’s ‘army dreamers’. elsewhere ’ursa minor’ is cast in the kind of distantly faraway surrendering after glow and stratospheric smouldering that was once the remit of both Marr and Reilly. The romantic opines of the twinkle some star set ‘sublime knight elect’ is caressed I the same sweetly yearning vibe as that of a youthful yellow6 albeit as though relocated upon some idyllic south pacific setting marooned and anchored by an atmospheric minded Ry Cooder while ‘avebury’ stumbles dreamily from out of the woodland haze to reveal a delicately spun pastoral folk nugget trimmed under the influential gaze of Nick Drake. Last heard here – I think I’m right in saying – on volume 2 – temple music breathlessly seduce with ‘dreaming of flying east’ – best experienced in a lights lowered environ as the sultry glow of a summers evening fades, all at once mysterious and grand and nor unlike a damon and naomi like reprise. Last and by no means least – the bordellos. Adored around this parish and if truth be told discounting the McKeon, earthling society and dead pylons cuts perhaps the most unexpected treat of the collection. ‘spirals’ finds the bordellos sounding like you’ve never heard them before. Fragile, poised and genteel if I didn’t know any better this babe ought to be found snuggled somewhere between the teardrop explodes’ ‘wilder’ notably ‘tiny children’ and bowie’s ‘heroes’, expect happening sounds from Brian and Dan soon via small bear.
And that would have been it for this strange fish series where it not for an additional CD exclusively available to subscribers shedding their hard earned dosh for the entire set. In essence a double album worth of goodies that for one reason or another didn’t quite fit the intended core remit of the series.
And so to strange fish5. You thought there was four right. Wrong. Numbers allowing those who buy into the whole package and order all four volumes in one fell swoop get the luxury of receiving a whole CD’s worth of rarities that alas missed the final cut whether due to their length or happened that they didn’t quite fit the original Strange fish remit. Ten tracks shoehorned into 73 minutes of sounds, not bad as a freebie and rather than being some mere afterthought of fillers its a collection that holds its head and punches its weight in terms of relevance and listening excellence. Its here that both Beau and DB Turi make appearances along with a host of other cosmically inclined minds all vying for your attention and future fondness among the roll call the precocious and dare we say exceptional talent that is Jay Tausig. Its to the sonic despatches serviced by Beau and DB Turi that we turn our initial opening interest. Beau perhaps best known via his two full lengths for John Peel’s Dandelion imprint wherein his enlisted the assistance of various tractor personage before disappearing off radar and into obscurity has to muddy the waters and confuse matters a touch been known to oft re-emerge under his birth names John Trevor / Trevor Midgley – those wanting a fuller brief as to his various happenings are thoroughly recommended to hop over to the strange brew site where sits an detailed and insightful interview with the great man. ‘rainbow jam theme’ featured here is a charming curio recorded for an intended video project in the 80’s that sounds to these ears like a psyched out and trippy re-thrill of some classic 70’s TV quiz or kids show – kind of Magpie meets Ask the Family given a velvet loons and paisley shirt makeover. If the rumour is true then DB Turi must surely qualify and outrank anyone you’d care to mention as a deserving contender of any great lost / where have you been column inch grabbing hidey hole. Legend has it he was around in the late 60’s an early 70’s grooving, hanging out and influencing the great and the good of the underground scene. To date – hard to believe – there have been no official recordings – until that is – now with the discovery of various tape artefacts one of which ‘Neptune Delta 7’ is available for viewing at www.dbturi.bandcamp.com with the impish promise of more to come. Rounding up Volume 5 is ’der flammenwarfer’ – a deeply intense dream drizzled odyssey that borders on the spiritual, pinpointed on an axis where Acid Mothers and Dungen collide, DB Turi crafts a hot molten magma of primal cosmic blues sautéd in moments of mellowed and graceful inclines with washes of trippy hazes of lysergia which stirred together and left to simmer forms a formidable head trip of Technicolored tonality. Rewind the clock hands back to the eve of the millennium and you’ll observe Michael Padilla of Soft Bombs fame drawing upon the elements as Elevation to weave a mesmerising drone symphony from the very same aural tapestry of a youthful Aidan Baker and into the mix sugar dip oodles of Australasian mantras, reverb snow bursts and dust crusted cosmic wooziness to its template. If memory serves me right I’m certain that Jay Tausig has in the very recent past been wowing starry eyed stereophonic heads by way of a year long album a month’s worth of Zodiac related nuggets, at 10 minutes in length ’shortwave’ sees him channelling his aural alchemy into a mind blowing sonic lightshow, a no boundaries genre bending brew heavily inscribed in 70’s styled essences and blessed with a parentage suggesting its lineage owes to pink floyd and a young hawkwind, all the time between the motorik fuelling stops and the driving galactic pulsars milky white mirages interplay and spiral with hazy hypnotism to a deft timeless intricacy that might well cause the greening of the gills amongst his peers. Next up the excellently named golden cake company whose ’floating with…..’ has I should admit been the cause of much admiring swoon falls in the Sunday Experience meditation lab, crystalline orbs twinkle spun old school electronics and a healthy side serving of woozy blissfulness is trimmed, tuned and tamed to create a deceptively delicate and dainty lunar lullaby. Stately, measured and mercurial are perhaps just three words that might appear first glance perfectly apt for describing the Cream People’s opus ’will of the cusp’ at 15 minutes in length colossal, enigmatic and serene might serve as three more, noodling ear candy cut from the mellowing post rocking armoury of Kranky old schoolers Stars of the Lid and LaBradford with perhaps a smidgeon of mid 90’s Roy Montgomery and Gavin Martin thrown in for good measure albeit viewed through the post punk visors of Artery after a heavy night blissing out on 70’s bearded sorts Mountain – best experienced doused in a haze and smoking a fat one. More admiring glances in the general direction of Mademoiselle Marquee here afforded the groove space to seduce all by way of a brace of cuts – ’salvia’ and ’sunflowersingle’ – if I didn’t know better the former is very out there with James McKeown who in case you forgot – tut tut – appeared on Volume 4 to much eyebrow raised appreciation – and something that ought to appeal greatly to long time admirers of Yellow6 and Wil Bolton and while there’s the obvious tug of the shimmering sonic silhouettes that adorn here it’s the latter cut that gets our vote as best of twin set not least because it has an erstwhile soothed hymnal grace which all said put us in mind of a thoughtfully shy and retiring flying saucer attack. Meanwhile over at ground zero Oceanfire go careering into the heart of an imploding white star with the stirring heads down ’elevations’ – a seismic space rocking bad boy curdled in locked grooving slabs of mind altering mirages nailed on a cosmic chassis previously owned by hawkwind. Last up purple rock trip serve up some chime chivvied cosmic rupturing that wouldn’t look to out of place sat on a classic full length by the Church that is after having been given served a lesson in celestial atmospheric landscaping by a particularly playful and vapour trailed Grails.
For the collectors among you its worth keeping out a sharp eye for an ultra limited 7 inch teaser promo which limited to just three hundred copies and made available to competition winners, friends of the label and those lucky few who purchased the strange fish collection on pre sale, this cutie referred to as the ‘soft and strange one’ arrives in a standard paper sleeve with typical listings typos to feature two edited cuts from the series namely by james McKeon and julies haircut as well as a treat fro the soft hearted scientists culled from their current ‘false lights’ full length. More about them in a wee while.
Staying with FdM and all things related these proggy rocking psychedelic sorts are shortly to be staging a happening over in London town (sorry fuzz heads it was last month) – details way down later in this write up – the main remit aside wowing the assembled gathering on the day is to celebrate and mark the 50th anniversary of the pretty things who as everyone knows are better and ridiculously less well off and recognised than those fops the Stones.
Well to mark the occasion the label is releasing 5 – count em – five wax singles all on various coloured shades of vinyl and each limited and no doubt set to cause a feeding frenzy amongst collectors and into the bargain figure in the near future commanding substantially inflated price tags on an online auction site near your fingertips.
First up a real curio and in truth something of a genuine coo for the label, I mean not content at unearthing gems old and new from the likes of Mark Fry, Beau and Allison O’Donnell the blighters have only gone and hooked up with acid folk alchemist Tony Durant, lead man of fuchsia who way back in the midst of time – that’ll be that evergreen year 1971 released their self titled opus to an admiring audience only to seemingly disappear off radar without a so much as a by your leave. And then a curious thing happened, despite poor sales, a scrapped tour and an acrimonious split in the ranks spurred by the albums somewhat failure to translate acclaim into financial returns plans to record a follow up where scratched and the collective went their own way. However ‘Fuchsia’ underwent a secret life of its own, the chattering classes of the folk and prog fraternity ensured it never descended into total obscurity, instead it assumed a myth forming cult status ever fuelled by its absence from the vault emptying specialist re-issue imprints that began to emerge with stealth in the 80’s, by the time file sharing reached listening world this lost nugget was seemingly ripe for listening adventures by a new inquisitive generation. And so enter stage left Tony Durant of said collective who cutting, completing and putting the wrappings to a collection of new Fuchsia recordings entitled ‘from psychedelia to a distant place’ – more about this in a little wee while – happened upon an email from a young Swedish beat pop combo, often used to receiving such missives over the years, Mr Durant was on this occasion struck by the bands name – me and my kites – titled after a cut from Fuchsia’s debut platter. tracks were enclosed for listening pleasure with a request to add vocals to a particular song ’the band’ – an old almost forgotten about demo written and recorded by Mr Durant back in the day. Teased through the sepia trimmed gaze of a misty eyed McCartney / Davies song craft ’the band’ is turned to a deliciously willowy aspect that’s reflectively chilled and warmed by a softly dappled drifting hallucinogenic honeying that swoons and sways idly in a summer skinned fleeting moment partly adorned in faded west coast yearns all festooned in the coolly coalescing arrest of folk fancied brush strokes at once coaxed and framed in a yearning country mellowness which all said appreciably snuggles up to the kind of free flowing mastery more occasioned these days by those unheralded imps the Woods. Over on the flip me and my kites fly solo for ’isis’ adventure’ – dedicated to the late Kevin Ayers – an extended version of ’isis in heaven’ no less culled from the bands full length ’like a dream back then’ – best described as free design hand holding stereolab up the aisle with various members of the polyphonic spree and circulus on hand to preside over the event, of course gorgeously affectionate and ridiculously alluring with the soft symphonic rush of the hushed harmonies, shimmering harps and the lush lazy eyed lounge pop lilts colliding into a dizzying feel good carnival – an absolute must have listening treat.
Next up in the fruits de mer summer shindig something rather special from the White Sails who boast amid their ranks members of mellow drunk and the bias. Again on a limited outing and pressed up on coloured wax this delightfully minds a drifting sedate sortie gathers together four lushly honed moments of rustic ramblings to include two drop dead dandy ditties from Black Sabbath’s richly envied back catalogue along with a brace of self penned nuggets by Messrs Gregory and Vilpponen. In short more nail on the head hitting groove although in truth groove might well be a deceiving descriptor given that these gems come forged upon a timeless artistry one suspects gritted in dust and aglow in the sultry cast of a hazing prairie sky fall. to those Sabbath covers then – ’laguna sunrise’ tucked towards the back end of ’Volume 4’ was / is and will always be something of a hidden treasure presaged upon a near faultless Sabbath slab – here re-drilled to near perfect and unquestioning precision, tender, tranquil and trembled in the kind of bewitchment that recalls to mind a dozing Grails, the sighing stratospheric opines, the feeling of unbounded beauty and the casual arrest is enough to pick away at the hardiest of hearts. Originally appearing on ’Sabbath bloody Sabbath’, ’fluff’ never ceases to invoke a sense of jaw dropped admiration when heard whether that be because you’re a familiar fan or someone who’s stumbled upon it by enquiring accident, for their part the fortuitously named White Sails tease from its core imprint that underlying romance, that sense of being at peace and at one with all and solder upon it a gloriously sedate seafaring surrender, solitude never sounded so sensual. Cut from the same tonal tapestry ’the answer’ is kissed with a ’heroes’-esque craftsmanship albeit heavily inscribed with a deeply hypnotic woodcut hymnal hue whose seemingly scant frailty matures, blossoms and hatches towards its close in a most dramatic and tender way. If by way of a pistol to my head to encourage me decide I had to choose a favourite then ’death on a pale horse’ would probably just edge it, possessed of some neatly gouged moonshine motifs all cradled in a death rattled haze of a soul swapping crossroads setting this cutie is dead headed in the kind of raw finger picked purity that initially draws worthy comparison to such greats as Fahey and Rose yet scratch a little deeper and the underlying mellowed presence stirring beneath the surface skin alerts to a delicately detailed rustic rubbing that oozes listening memories of a youthful Owl Service on Summerisle vacation.
Third quick fire release as part of the FdM summer season comes courtesy of Stay and a welcome return it is featuring three drop dead cool shade adorned covers and one self penned diamond. ‘mersey dream’ the non cover nugget sounds for all the world like its been drop kicked straight out of an early 90’s ‘hit the north’ radio play list, smoked out Delirium signatures, all kooky keys, bliss kissed floppy fringe forays and zapped out wah wah‘s – can do no wrong – in short like a super psychedelicised Charlatans under chemical influence in some of face off with my jealous god. As to the covers, cashing in on their obscure kudos the psyched out ones turn their lysergic gaze upon the fairytale’s ’Guess I was Dreaming’ – a kaleidoscopic cutie of the highest order that head melts together the move with sonic boom space cadets spectrum – kid you not – this bad boy comes pre-packed with its own acid flashbacks to literally trip out on your turntable. Have I ever said in print before that I’m not the greatest Beatles admirer in the world and this is coming from someone born and living in Liverpool, I’m certain it’s a hanging offence. Swiftly on before I start resorting to baiting in anglo saxon idioms – I mention this because next cut up is a quite frankly stirring cover of the not so Fab 4’s ’if I needed someone’ which originally appeared on ’rubber soul’ – their best platter don’t you know – anyhow here re-spirited into a sitar drenched jangle jamboree with head expanding powers – nuff said. Last up a shot at ’I see the rain’ originally nailed by marmalade and here beefed up and given a seriously out there blissed out power popped grooving.
And now so sounds with moving pictures……..
….first up Sendelica recorded live at a recent kozfest appearance…..
A trailer sample type advert heralding the arrival of a new beautify junkyards full length…reviews in a near future missive…..
…and finally this interval something a little tasty from me and my kites and fuchsia….oh and a few other sneak peeks at the latest FdM ear war.…
Suitably refreshed after the advert break – good – then let us introduce you to crystal Jacqueline who on this occasion has slipped out of the back way with honey pot band mate Icarus Peel during studio recording down time to cobble together a little extra curricula work the result of which manifests itself on this pretty nifty and dare we say tasty three track treat. Again all covers but perhaps all said of the five FdM outings about to descend on record store counters by far the most creative, original and frankly fried. ’cousin Jane’ alone would warrant the entrance fee, of course by the troggs and perhaps a track that marks itself out as lying somewhere between creepy and genius, framed by the softly measured twinkle of a chilled key refrain and the spectral glide of string sweeps this pirouetting macabre mosaic is shimmered in a porcelain Nico-esque cast that delicately enchants with disturbed magicalia. If that wasn’t enough to pique your interest then their take on second hand’s forgotten moment ’ a fairy tale’ should have you stealing admiring jaw dropped glances at the turntable given its cooed, coded and caressed in a strut hugging maddening head frying freak beat flipping frenzy which had we not known better would have ventured it being some cool cat hippy chick variant of a proto Blondie Debbie Harry taking swipes at Jefferson airplane. That said best of the set by some distance and indeed distinction is their treatment of the Stones’ ’playing with fire’ – here trimmed with a darkly penetrating ghostly aura that mainlines upon a deeply alluring hallucinogenic dream coat that lilts and mesmerises amid a spaced out amorphous symphony of spectral chimes and bliss kissed orbs – utterly stunning.
Last of the quintet of 7 inch wax treats comes from Jack Ellister. Of course Jack is no stranger to these missives having featured here last year when he turned in a killer platter ’the man with the bio chopper’ with a dogs bollocks cover of the stones ’citadel’ assuming flip space groove time. This time around he’s back to spike your head space with a woozy acid fried take on the Beatles – you might have heard of them – a beat pop combo floppy fringes – an Oasis tribute act if you like – of course we jest – not a patch on the mono brow brothers – not that we here fear the whining retribution of many, many fans – 7 last count – picketing outside our gaff – we are armed with water balloons in readiness with Merzbow cued up on the sound system – you have been warned – here with ’within you, without you’ finds Mr Ellister turning in what can only be described as something sounding so acutely wrong – or to pardon the vernacular – something totally shit faced which is not to say its bad rather the opposite as he sets about turning it inside out and into itself, like imagining a worse for wear chemically enhanced Traffic literally lost in the moment not so much fried but caned and zonked out. Up next a genteel rustic re-reading of Mark Fry’s ’song for wild’ here dressed in something truly frail and wistful as though found emerging sleepy headed from a forest morn haze. Last up a Barrett / Floyd classic – ’flaming’ faithfully realised in all Syd’s finest airy fairy wind in the willows finery and for just two and a half minutes offers an invite to board a magical kaleidoscopic wave transporting all who sail instantaneously back to a sun scorched late 60’s psych scene – perfect if you ask me.
Okay this Saturday – 10th August – sees the first fruits de mer summer gathering at the borderline in London town. An all dayer feast serving to mark not only Fruit de Mer’s first live showcase outings sponsored incidentally by Record Collector but also to celebrate the Pretty Things 50th anniversary – so much better than the Stones but never afforded the kudos or the glory and responsible for two of the finest albums ever to grace a record store in ‘SF Sorrow’ and ‘parachute’. in addition to the pretty things support comes courtesy of Chicago’s finest psych pop evangelists the luck of eden hall, stay – mentioned in detail somewhere above here, sendelica and jack ellister. The event will also host a selection of special guest DJ’s and there’ll be all manner of freebies for early entrants which will include for the first 150 through the door a CD packed with cuts new and old from the fruits de mer back catalogue along with a smidgeon of errant nuggets from some familiar FdM folk while Record Collector will be liberally foistering upon unsuspecting souls goodie bags aplenty.
And talking of the Luck of Eden Hall, the band are the worthy subject matter of a one hour radio special cobbled together by Mark Waters on his sounds goods show which is being hosted via those nice dudes over at strange brew central. www.thestrangebrew.co.uk/the-luck-of-eden-hall-sounds-good
And did we just mention the record collector – seems the blighters are hosting an exclusive mail order only vinyl type thing in conjunction with the fruiy ones entitled ‘plankton’. the set as said is exclusive to record collector readers – token and ordering details etc…can be found in the July dated issue wherein there’s a three page label retrospective. ’plankton’ comes limited to just 500 vinyl copies and kick starts the magazines ’modern collectibles’ series – the set housed in a gatefold sleeve with numbered authenticity slips from editor Ian Shirley gathers together ten rare cuts from long deleted and sought after FdM releases and includes offerings from schizo fun addict, mark fry, stay, the chemistry set, vibrato and more besides as well as an exclusive one sided 7 inch featuring an as yet unreleased Pretty Things live nugget. Wowzah. For more details go to www.recordcollectormag.com/show-product/762
And so to the mighty schizo fun addict, long time no see in these pages, it seems Jet from the band has spent a chunk of his recent history putting together his first film ‘towers’ – details of which you can find on his face book page www.facebook.com/jetwintzer1 and of which has been receiving admiring glances aplenty from the film community at large following its screening at the recent Philadelphia Independent Film Festival. As to music the band are about to break cover with news of an album and single to follow soon – both of which are currently in the hush hush stages of planning though I don‘t think I‘m breaking any confidences by revealing that the releases are being readied up to be pressed on amber / clear wax with black flashes to ape the look of a film strip. Before those though Jet has a new cut remodelled, honed and sprinkled with a smidgeon of magic dust by Benbo who better known to kith n’ kin as Tris / Black Tulips has embarked on a year long collaborative exercise wherein rooting out his contacts book and making the necessary overtures he aims to post up a track a week – the fruits of which can be heard via www.worldofbenbo.wordpress.com/project-aieee/ .
Release number 28 in this ongoing project is the Schizo cut ‘I’m gone’ – which without pulling punches is quite frankly the sexiest thing in planet pop right at this moment, a glam slacker cutie which oozes cool from the get go emerging as it does from a distractive super cooled primordial soup dragging in its wake a veritable Television meets Wire flavouring which with the onset of some bliss kissed crystal tipped riffs and a heavy transfusion of glitter and grit struts, swoons and seduces with a lazy eyed glint as though the result of a retro glazed uber sexy face off between pavement and the simple kid.
Ready for some cutesy heart stopping perky pop, thought you might – nicked from the fruits de mer wall the other week and the blighter has only gone a gotten itself under our skin and driven me to near distraction. Its from dynamo bliss who’ve an album out now entitled ‘poplar music’ that arrives ready for download and appears in limited quantities plastered upon a nifty looking CD – a copy of which I’m sure would look mighty fine and be showered in all manner of affection where it in our gaff – look we’ve even made a little space for it. Anyhow it was the cut ‘can you hear the sound’ that turned our heads – a gorgeously willowy twee treat softly flavoured in summer skinned 60’s pop posies, sort of Ben Folds 5 in tie dye cheese cloths meets the Heartstrings in loons, affectionately trippy, melodically astute and all suitably fed through kaleidoscopic lenses. Can do no wrong.
Guess its okay to tag this drop dead dandy three track nugget with the fruits de mer fraternity and their various happenings given they’ve graced the grooves of that labels rarefied platters in the past. Strictly limited to just 100 copies and coming housed in a seriously nifty looking 60’s styled EP sleeve inside of which you’ll find a CD shimmied up to ape a 7 inch platter upon which be plastered three freak festooned buzz sawed beat pop sorties replete with two badges – both of which are currently festooned about our personage and am happy to report are the subject of many an admiring enquiry by strangers that pass me by – is the new turntable treat from Rob Clarke and the Wooltones. Like whistling, harmonicas and the trusty Theremin you just can’t beat mock ape sounds on a pop platter – well we can’t anyway, ’monkey mind’ as you’d probably quite rightly expect has oodles of them, cut finitely with a dead eyed swagger and an ultra sexy garage beat strut it plugs into the very core of the Monkees albeit as though scuffed and left a little worn about the edges resulting from a night on the tiles with the Troggs and laced and button braced with a delectably primal bite. Better still is the drop jaw uber cool of ’are we here’ providing for a rollicking paisley power popping sweetie cut from the finest Byrds-ian threads and stitched onto a floor throbbing shade wearing chassis that beat grooves to a sveltely harmonised flowery buzz sawed shimmy that plays tick with a freeway surfing long ryders while bringing up the rear possessed of something of the arresting west coast tones of an early career Summer Hymns is the adorable ‘end of the end’ which arrives warmly freckled in crystalline purrs oozing from its groove lines, this honey recalls a reclining sumptuous afterglow of the buffalo Springfield in some pop posy after hours studio tryst with the Band and Gram Parsons. www.robclarkeandthewooltones.co.uk
See later on for further FdM related sounds courtesy of the cutely formed mega dodo imprint.
What do you mean you are getting a tad tired of all the fruits de mer related stuff – fair do’s it is getting a wee overkill – that said the dudes will keep sending nifty releases…..okay a little tasty thing from those very nice folk over at Static Caravan HQ – this little darling alas has been and gone and came in a ridiculously limited edition that found the album lounging around on a USB stick all housed in a cute looking Babushka doll – pics are here www.staticcaravan.org/item.asp?Ref=261 – see I told you it looked cute – anyhow while our disappointment at missing out manifests into us looking for something to kick you lot can ready yourselves for some auditory / listening tastiness courtesy of a video that the band cobbled together from pastels, old corn flake boxes and a fair degree of watching too much 70’s styled children’s TV spooked east European animations – I should warn you that this is quite irresistibly fetching in a kind of mum meets the knife timeless spectral folk locked in a magic wood shed in an enchanted forest type way – produced by no lesser a soul as Mike Lindsay of Tunng fame and a perfect companion to that equally acutely cute bonus skor outing via the same static brothers tail end last year …..
While we’re here we’ll stick with Static Caravan for a wee while because there’s been a flurry of activity from Birmingham’s most eclectic imprint of late. First up something truly wonderful from David A Jaycock. Now long time observers – we were going to say enthusiasts but hey that would be stretching the boundaries of belief – will be all to aware of the passing affection afforded to this most exquisite and creative aural alchemist – previous releases for the likes of early winter, red deer, blackest rainbow and devon folklore tapes (the latter whose errant absence is responsible for a gaping gap in our treasured collection) have all served to provide lasting documentary evidence as the breadth and depth of Jaycock’s richly inscribed sonic spectrum detailing with perhaps 2011’s ultra limited ‘a magnifying glass for the ants’ set standing out as his most challenging sound exposition to date (warning take heed this is very drone noise / experimental and far outside the usual Jaycock comfort zone – classy all the same) with ‘the killing of uncle Faustus and other mythologies’ setting very the high the benchmark to which all that follow are measured. That is until now. Perhaps I was sleep reading but I’m certain I recall reading somewhere that the reason for this release being delayed so long (its been on the release work sheet for several months) had something to do with the masters going amiss and into the bargain causing something approaching heart failure on the part of all interested personnel. Gestation periods aside ’ten songs’ is well worth the wait, limited to just 250 CD copies all sporting within a Brooke Bond Tea ‘Inventors and Inventions’ card – ours in case you are taking notes is #23 /50 ‘reading for the blind’ – ‘ten songs’ finds Jaycock turning in his most accomplished collection to date, a bold statement indeed but true none the less. A most intimate account that returns to the innocence and purity of that aforementioned debut platter, for within these grooves Jaycock weaves an intricately disarming web upon the fixing of which the tremors and trembling of timeless tones touch with a measured mellowing and a curiously lasting magicalia. Combining aspects of rustic, pastoral and the occasional daubing of delta folk blues essences (the latter best exemplified by the shrill becoming beauty of the misty eyed prairie ramble that is ’tangles’ where sitting on Jaycock‘s creative shoulder you‘ll find John Fahey) ’ten songs’ provides reward with each repeated listen. The tonality unapologetically shadowy is spiked with the kind of reflective albeit skewed intimacy afforded to the flicking through of an old picture book or a family photograph album, the musicality exact, focused and very much cut from a near forgotten tongue – one thing is for certain – ‘ten songs‘ never dulls or tires, here you‘ll be greeted to the lolloping snooze of the serene ’dancing on graves’ with its braiding of wheezing motifs and sighing corteges there is carved beneath the surface scratching of its bitter sweet almost stilled haunting lull the carving of a bloodline that crookedly draws dots to the fractured psyche found on Barrett’s solo catalogue. Somewhere else the fracturing ghost like chill of ‘Brighton in sunshine’ is distractively drawn and bedevilled by woozy apparitions who converge to recite an eerie carnival schooled in penny dreadful folklore and surrealist Victoriana shanties. Creaking under the weight of a fading melancholia the forlornly reflective and hollowing ‘ghosts and gold’ is scratched deep to the core and spirited away in a feint macabre dusting that oozes the kind of trademark yearning shadow play that was once the forte of odd fellows casino who again is called to mind on the dark / light dimpled freak folk folly that is ’vernacular ticket sales’. The mood parts to the disarming after burn that seasons the smoky mountain drift of ‘wolverine returns’ itself found seduced and delectably traced in a melting homely hue of wood carved prairie inclines and porch perched reclining wherein the quick stepping banjo rushes stare down the deftly nimble finger picking in a dusty duel in the basking shade of an evensong glow. All said though our favourite moments of the set comes with the onset of the parting brace ‘decanting sand’ and ‘traveller‘s lament‘ – the former a gorgeously hypnotic fayre fashioned out of dissolving soft psych overtures and clipped in the hollowing shimmer of a twilight aura all wrapped up and cosy toed in a surreal like dreamy lullaby with the latter mournfully harnessed upon a tear stained hurt hymnal hook to sound not unlike a deeply wounded Shady Bard being consoled by Tex la Homa. Essential in case you hadn’t worked it out for yourself.
Bright young things does it get any better than this, well perhaps because we’ve got the latest Fuxa platter primed and ready to do damage on the dansette in a second – but for now Matt Piucci has a new wax delight about to emerge on the terribly cool spring records imprint. Alas no finished copies at our gaff yet though rest assured as I write this a hastily cobbled begging missive is being drafted. Of course no strangers around these parts we featured the labels debuting trio of outings way back in the midst of time and then promptly fell off their mailing list. Ah well such is life and pardon us as we seethe whilst we go in search of something to kick. Anyhow the point of all this is to mention the latest outing by ex rain parade main man Matt Piucci – its called ’beautiful flower’ and is in short a sub three minute rollercoaster ride into power popping effervescence resplendent in all manner of shimmered 60’s finery and bliss kissed with the kind of feel good vibe that one would suspect a studio pairing of the db’s and the mayflies channelling the groove of the monkees would cobble together – the dogs danders in short – and spring records in case your reading something I want…..
Does it get any better than this – part 2 – our radar has just detected a new space boogying Fuxa platter entering the atmosphere via the ever perfect rocket girl imprint. Heralding the sonic cosmic event that is ’dirty d’ which is due to dock any day now ’sun is shining’ is jettisoned to engage, communicate and once heard fry the floppy fringes of all self respecting space cadets the listening community over. Described exquisitely in passing by the attending press release as ’a beautifully deranged Suicide with heatstroke’ this wig flipping stereophonic supernova finds Fuxa navigator Randall Nieman in stellar situ with ex Add N to X-er Ann Shenton for what is a seismic galactic groove that manages in its white hot visor adorned 6 minute transmission to literally shoehorn everything from kraut, binary pulsars, motorik mantras, BBC Radiophonics ,star gazed 60’s styled Spector-esque girl bands and Sonic Boom styled orbital overtures into a hulking psychotropic dream machine with its settings yanked up to near critical mass. Totally out there. Over on the flip and by sedate contrast is ’inside’ – a beautifully conceived star symphony decoded by disembodied spectral echoes, lunar lilts, pirouetting orbs, galactic garlands and fashioned together from the stuff that holds the stars in the night sky into a deeply alluring amorphous aural adventure.
Now you’ll have to excuse me as I steady myself back on my feet after an unplanned swooning attack brought on by the appearance on our laptop screen and the accompanying of a heavenly overture ripping through the speakers of a teaser track from black hearted brother. So what you might rightly say. Big deal. But pull up a little closer and prepare for a moment of jaw agape japery when I tell you that this lot feature members of Slowdive, Seefeel and Holton’s opulent oog amid their ranks in the guise of Messrs Halstead, Van Hoen and Holton. Now if you’re still off the so what mind then I’d be inclined to fetch you a swift blow to head and suggest that maybe you ought to be tuned into a different website – one I suspect lacking in musical taste. An album under their collective arm being readied up for October release via the ever wonderful (when we see their releases that is) Slumber land / Sonic Cathedral entitled ’stars are our home’. by way of a sly teaser there’s ’(I don’t mean to) wonder’ to get your listening chops around – a 4 plus minute dream symphony on a locked flight course at warp drive heading into oblivion like some vapour trailing Valkyrie replete with effects pedals ratcheted to meltdown and showering the sound system in a honeyed star tripped carnival of cosmic snow bursts which all said should see lunar cadets in need of their galactic MBV, Ride and Daniel Land styled fix suitably satiated, as for us we’re off for a lie down due to a bout of radiant sunspots in the eyes.
And while we shuffle around looking for our copy of the recent RG Morrison 7 inch of which I’m certain we have, we’ve seen and indeed we’ve played or else not only are we imagining reading non existent press releases but fear we are venturing some out of body experience on a worryingly regular occasion this time playing records we don’t have. Its an age thing young folk – we hastily fired up the inter web to wise up and get the low down on a forthcoming debut Static Caravan outing by distant correspondent – hey who says we can‘t multi task. Locating a link to their web page – www.mtviggy.com/blog-posts/premiere-distant-correspondent-badlands/ we were treated to masses upon masses of information about the band such as – they’re a quartet whose members are dotted around the States and various far flung places around Europe, started off as a secret project that mushroomed to such an extent that they’ve already bagged an album due for release via hot congress / old flame records. That said the evils of speed reading nearly came to bite us when out of the corner of the eye we suddenly misread Toyah for Tyler (Wilcox) doing bass duties – blimey we thought times must be hard in the Fripp household – only joking. Hilarity aside – that comes later in case you were wondering whether it was worth hanging around for – the band have posted the flip side of the aforementioned single on their web page. Entitled ’badlands’ its clearly a cut specially ripe for those among you who’ve laid awake at night pondering the complexities and intricacies of life whilst simultaneously trying to arrange your head space into imagining the luxuriant symphonies escaping the confines of a secret studio bunker housing the collaborative might of the animal collective and my bloody valentine – of course that’ll be a my bloody valentine attending with Kevin Shields minus his pedal kit. Lushly layered in all manner of sugar crushed celestially toned honeyed harmonies and softly smothered in the kind of stilled and gracefully airless dream popping mirages that’ll have even Cheval Sombre swooning green with envy these distant correspondent dudes appear adept in the rephrasing of west coast blissfulness albeit as though wrapped up in fuzzy felt – utterly adorable.
Okay littered somewhere else amid this extended missive we’ve already awarded the Schizo Fun Addict cut with the enviable sexiest thing around vote as to the coolest thing orbiting planet pop just now then nothing quite matches up to the smoking bad boy that is ‘come and join us’. lead track from the latest ‘in her golden room’ EP by Grand Rapids based trio haunted leather is a brooding stoner psyche beatnik dude finitely cut in an intoxicant haze blended of the essences of both the Black Angels and Brian Jonestown in some kind of duelling stare down with the purr like growl of classically cooled Link Wray rumbles – that’s all I’m saying for now rest assured we’ll try and nail a full on copy for future inspection.
Safe to say its been way too long since we featured yellow6 in these pages, its not like we’ve gone off him or anything – we’ve meant to include him on many a occasion, in fact I do clearly remember last years Xmas freebie CD – something which Mr Atwood has sent out to fans, admirers and friends since the tail end of the 90’s by way of a thank you gift – had us suitable seduced to such an extent it took us till March / April time to stir ourselves away and actually put pen to paper (or keystroke to screen for those who can’t recall what a pen is). We say put pen to paper – alas the results / files are temporarily lost in one of two spectacular laptop crashes we’ve suffered this year – the yellow6 related incident henceforth summoned along with a near 30000 word missive to oblivion. So to make amends we were much taken by the posting of a new cut entitled ‘falcon 2’ on his sound cloud page. Now for those of you previously unfamiliar with the work of yellow6 – where have you been – he is one of the foremost exponents of sonic sculpturing, pairing the deft detailed aural articulation of Vinni Reilly to the mood moving atmospherics of Roy Montgomery he has forged an extensive body of work aglow in panoramic classicism steeled in mosaics spirited upon a melancholic resolve that’s forlorn in measured majesty. Best experienced by way of headphones – that way you get to immerse yourself in the sonic subtext at play just beneath the surface line – sensitively primed and delicately despatched the gracefully glacial ‘falcon 2’ finds Mr Atwood shifting ever more into classically tutored realms. Opening to the ominous vestiges of feedback shards dissipating into the ether as though a passing storm cloud, from therein a calm ensues, the minimalist tonalities sketch out a beautifully serene mellowness of a moment caught in pause, a solitary riff chime hypnotically spirals atop an ice dripped clock working backdrop, the effect slow and purposeful, the mood cut finitely with a church like reverence to bathe throughout a stilled though florally exquisite atmospheric that snoozes with a refined disarming elegance. Nuff said – get it at www.soundcloud.com/yellow6
Not ones to rest easy on our laurels whilst muttering ill things about the state of society – (we did that at page 9 paragraph 7 – hands up those of you who went searching that one out – how foolish it was on page 24 paragraph 4 just after the bit were we mentioned what we’d had for tea) we’ve been a busy in the Sunday experience sound shed cobbling together inventions aplenty. The latest to roll off the slightly knotty and somewhat chipped workbench is a crash helmet type thing with food mixer extra which you uncomfortably place over your head switch the on button and enjoy the sensation of having your head scrambled while feeling like you’ve put your scone head in a tumble dryer. We were going to patent this daring do invention until that is we heard the latest samples from a rather spanking new deathrowradio record out now or at least quite soon via those ever so lovely people at distraction records. Of course to old school avid readers of our former singled out rambles (these days floating in the ethereal cyber space with no place to call home since those muppets at losing today decided to take it upon themselves to pull the site without warning – are we allowed to call them bastards – hells teeth bugger it – bastards, bastards, bastards) deathrowradio will be no strangers – once known as the shortened d_rradio they’ve wooed us many a time via releases for the eminent static caravan and distraction records where upon the latter they find home for their latest opus ‘yummy’ – available in all manner of formats the label has uploaded a swanky little video / sound sample in order to get the synapses in a frenzy per the rather natty ‘hocus pocus’- be prepared for all manner of locked grooving psychotropic Dadaist wig flippery as the duo immerse your headspace in swathes of hypnotic kraut gouged surround sound, of course cranium spin dryer effects come as an added extra at various settings we gather. www.distractionrecords.com
Staying with distraction just a wee second – we’ve also noted the long awaited appearance of a big oaks retrospective – now that is something we need to hear very soon I’m thinking…..while news reaches us of a new platter from the warm digits who you may recall we’re fondly critiqued in these musings many. many years ago and now emerge from thawed from their hibernation with a little full lengthy sweetie entitled ‘interchange’ – we had a quick peak at the distraction sound cloud page and have found ourselves surrendering to the latest sounds found occupying the groove lines of their latest full length ‘interchange’. the underlying idea behind the album was to craft a soundtrack to an experimental film culled together from archive material relating to the construction of the Tyneside metro in the 70’s. very much plugged in to the kraftwerk mainframe the Warm Digits dudes continue their aural odyssey into recalibrating retro electro sounds with ’cut and power’ earning its stripes as the early days ear candy given it sounds not unlike a super chilled slipstream replete with their own time travelling telephone box transporting themselves back to a Basildon home studio and rewiring the synthesisers of a youthful Depeche Mode (who themselves had nipped across the school field to sit their A level history exams) and sprinkled upon said instrumentations a side serving of cosmic goonery with some fried freakbeat fuzzy flecks and a notable dashing of motorik magic primed for Moroder like dance floor destruction. Does it for us – www.soundcloud.com/warmdigits
Out now on the gun 20 imprint and being hotly pursued by an imminent long player platter entitled ‘long mild hotel’ is ‘gyroscope’ by Jack Cheshire who hails from Bath and who to his sonic bow summons a strangely alluring array of generic reference markers and then consigns them to a huge mixing bowl only to speed mix the blighters and bake the resulting ingredients into something flavoured in the irrefutable spicing of English eccentricity. ’gyroscope’ provides for such a case in point, partly cloaked in psychedelic hallucinogens, its warping stop start time signature sweetly arc and swell to accentuate a curiously crooked outsider pop framing upon whose axis a Barrett meets Drake mindset is forged revelling in a slacker soothed psych pastoral oblivion much like an old school Bevis Frond. As to the album – from what we’ve heard so far the darkly spun noir scratched folk framed ’heavenly bodies’ may well cause old school admirers of the big eyed family players to swoon while the parting rustically hymnal ‘moving in a straight line’ is agreeably possessed of that same fleeting whisper that used to attach itself to releases by Elliott Smith – for further illumination go to vimeo.com/70396261
It’s a testament to an artists merit that faced with the unexpected he / she can literally rip up the rule book and dig deep to improvise and turn things on their head and emerge unscathed at the finale notching up perhaps one of the finest and legendary key note performances of their career. So picture the scene, its 13th February 1997, the location – the legendary Knitting Factory in New York City. Alex Chilton is set to play the second of his scheduled appearances, the lights go out – the result of a power failure that night. Enter stage left the management announcing the concert was cancelled with the offer of refunds to those that wanted them, a sizeable crowd remained still seated and to the stage entered Mr Chilton. Easy enough to pack up and call it a night, but this is Alex Chilton. With just three small candles providing light in front of him, he borrowed an acoustic guitar and with drummer Richard Dworkin sitting in for half the set while Ron Easley sneaks up to the balcony to take photos, what was initially planned as a short four song set soon passed the hour mark as Chilton ripped through an intimate acoustic set to a rapturous audience plucking out a rich and varied set of covers featuring many a song he’d never performed before including a brace of Beach Boys numbers and a killer version of Loudon Wainwright III’s ‘motel blues’. the performance ‘electricity by candlelight’ is being given an airing by the bar none imprint alas by the looks of things without his version of ‘only the lonely’ – that said there’s a teaser sample set via sound cloud at www.soundcloud.com/barnonepop/alex-chilton-electricity-by where you hear a storming take of Cash’s ‘I walk the line’ and that aforementioned Loudon cut.
Apologies to alrealon musique who sent over a packet of cd’s a little while back all of which highly loved and cared for reviews for which will appear in readiness for the conclusion of this overly extended and criminally delayed missive. Now us being awkward blighters that we are eyed mention of a new release by the murmurists – okay you’ve found me out – our interest was piqued shall we say by the name – alas despite some well heeled searches we are yet to hook our ears to any sound samples that said our affections did stray to a curious cut found lurking on the alrealon musique sound cloud player by kine who appear to be a project forged from the meeting of minds of PAS, Anh Khanh and $50 dollar trumpet. There’s an album incoming though for the curious and those lacking patience waiting can sample the dare we say wonky sounds of ’meditation 4’ right now – and we suggest you do not least because once the coolly blissful scratchy middle eastern transcendental mirages and the wired out stoner dissonance pass – incidentally coded in a delicious Ry Cooder spray – something truly strange manifests wherein everything goes very freakishly freeform in what can only be described as some kind of intoxicant aided orgasmic spectacle that sounds not unlike an 18 rated Michael Bentine meets 70’s TV show Monkey sketch on head tripping hallucinogens- it really is quite worrying.
Same player same label Laica – better known to kith n‘ kin as Dave Fleet is here represented by the cut ‘environs’ and appears it seems to be marshalling the same outer post inner space themes as DoTB’s Justin Wiggan in his various subtronic concrete sound guises – see roadside picnic et al – there’s something very left of centre Radiophonic Workshop afoot here as though re-routed by a youthful Cabaret Voltaire and minimally fortified by Mount Vernon Art’s Lab and impishly miniaturised by Foehn – ripe for some backdrop to a Nigel Kneale inspired 70’s styled creeper. www.soundcloud.com/alrealon-music
Admittedly we’ve been immediately taken by this little gem, ripped from the forthcoming second full length by Agnes Obel entitled ’Aventine’ via play it again Sam, ’the curse’ ripples with atmospheric seduction fortified by the bitter sweet alignment of weeping strings and a sepia soaked classicist noir scarring who together converge to spell craft something darkly beautiful and altogether beguiling to woo and weave a strangely mesmeric allure that draws you surrendering perilously into its distressed ache – admirers of Serafina Steer will do well to take note……
Moving picture show can be found here…..
Sadly we’ve got bugger all info on this one – in fact I’m not all that certain we can share the links hosting the album but those of you savvy enough with the inter-web ought – with a little sage searching – be able to bring it closer to your ears for listening inspection. The album is entitled ’free to be’ and its by the Canyon Ryde and features a guest appearance slot by Jayhawks man Gary Louris. Anyhow we’ve had a sneak peek and found ourselves somewhat smitten by the lead track ’free to be’ – which in short is a prime platter for those of you who prefer your sounds smoked in the glow of porch reclining country blues idly watching the falling arc of drifting clouds whispering gently over the horizon amid sun glazed lulls, perfect for those attuned to the soft driftwood sounds of buffalo Springfield and Gram Parsons and dare we say variously selected nuggets oft found occupying the grooves of platters once upon a time put out by shoeshine and spit n’ polish, as to the track itself utterly blissful replete with steel guitar opines, hushed harmonicas and lush in feel good carefree vibes – does it get any better, fraid not…..
Found tucked elsewhere in this missive you’ll find a critique of the latest Rob Clarke and the Wooltones gem, but here’s an interview conducted with the great man himself by the tilt shift music dudes over at www.tiltshiftmusic.com/rob-clarke.html
Of Montreal – the original sore thumbs of the elephant 6 collective as was – peculiar, puzzling and often found voyaging upon an creative axis crooked and complex and so devilishly removed from mainstream earshot, utilising a rich kaleidoscopic colour box aligned to an impish persona masking a subtle but hitherto grasp of catchy pop mechanics whereupon into the sonic furnace the hatchling twee psych pop has flavoured its palette to include elements of glam, vaudeville and funk. Out in October via polyvinyl ‘lousy with Sylvia briar’ promises to be their most accomplished and shit together release to date with ‘she ain’t speaking now’ being primed as a spoiler as to what to expect. A sub four minute all bases covered pocket symphony that siphons upon rich and idyllic steel pedal opines (see Nesmith and Parsons) sandblasted in waves of low strung down and dirty glam gouged riffola (see Bowie / Hoople) and spiked with a musicality that wafts ever appreciably to a coda not so far removed fro the pretty things’ ‘baron Saturday’ – a dandy dansette dalliance by our reckoning. www.polyvinylrecords.com/lousywithsylvianvriar
So super sexy and infectious I swear we here at the Sunday experience record shed are breaking out in a rather fetching rash. This baby arrives in an ultra limited pressing of just 300 copies all pressed on heavy duty slabs of 12 inch wax all hand stamped with artist logo and finished up replete with download card. It looks quite dandy all told. New platter from the melodic empire regretfully an imprint rarely seen around these parts these days that said I’ll have you know the labels wares were once upon a time a regular turntable attraction in years gone by. Anyhow enough of this waffle, new release features Georges Vert and its entitled ’interrupteur Jones’ – a sassy 70’s styled retro glazed cosmic dance floor damager that shimmies into ear space like some glitter groomed bad dude in space flares, drawn heavily on the galactic tail smoke of Moroder, Zombie Zombie, Space and the subliminal signals of Air in some kind of laser duel – this bad babe docks into sonic orbit having been sent ahead as a herald for a forthcoming full length ’an electric mind’ which is memory serves me right was first aired through the exquisitely perfect café kaput blog – very sexy indeed. www.soundcloud.com/melodic-records/08-interrupteur-jones to order www.melodic.co.uk/georgevertpreorder
And talking of Café Kaput, earlier this year – May time if we are splitting hairs – the blighters went and sneaked out a delightful set. Now imagine if you can for a moment that both Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre had been raised on a council estate in Sheffield and whilst attending the local polytechnic in the late 70’s ran into other in the student bar and started swapping musical notes. The result wouldn’t sound a million miles from this. Kind of Vision On meets Tomorrow’s World doing public information films underscored by a BBC Radiophonic Workshop sound-scape that indelibly nods to porcelain lullaby swirls of Raymond Scott. Chiefly for those of you who bliss out on the yesterday electro pop sounds of the likes of the ghost box collective, the resource centre and the kramford look to name just three, ‘applied music volume 1’ is the first of an occasional series of library stylised sets each gathered together under a unique theme – this one incidentally examines our relationship with environments, travel and industry. Comprised of 15 electronic suites, the cuts composed by Lord / Kinmel and St George and a side serving of d-lord provide for a genteel as were first steps return to the heyday of analogue electronics with ‘flashpoint’ emerging as our pick of the bunch were our arms forced up our back whilst being forced to choose given it sounds not unlike some would be dystopian chiller sound tracked by a coming together of Zombi and Harold Faltermayer with ’nucleus and nib’ running it a close second decoded as it is in the kind of sweet disarming lullaby like dissolving montages that attracted us to ISAN and fortdax all those years back while not forgetting to mention ‘kinetics in industry’ found voyaging the inner realms of Roedelius and Moebius. www.cafekaput.bandcamp.com/album/applied-music-vol-1-science-nature
Staying with café kaput just a little while longer those lovely Advisory Circle folk have gathered around and had a rummage in their sound bag and rustled up a little sonic cocktail by the name of ‘august sun high’. basically 50 minute of exquisite sound suites with which to serenade your dream space among the roll call of specially selected star kissed gems the adorably seductive and ethereal mirages of Kno, something utterly out of this world by the criminally underappreciated electronic sound collage pioneer Suzanne Ciani, some ice forming creeping chill noir from Sarah Davachi whose ‘leicht’ joins the dots between white noise and bronnt industries kapital with a side serving of broadcast dipped in for added good measure, some cosmic ice cream van serenading from time attendant and some beautifully honeyed mellowness from the resource centre – www.cafekaput.blogspot.co.uk
Hitting all our buttons at once and near sending us into ga ga trance like states is the latest platter from self styled experimental psych architects Midday Veil, a seven minute space drone monolith ‘remember child’ is a darkly brooding spacey drone bad boogie that’s heavy and when I say heavy I mean it comes with its own atomic mass reading. Coming on like some imploding star event ’remember child’ is as intense as it is immense, in short a kind of time stopping to a standstill crossing point between the Stones ’2000 light years’ and the Spacemen 3 and certainly a ripe listening experience for those tuned into the more cosmic elements of the trensmat imprint or the out there sounds of floorian who incidentally should pop up in this missive at some point – so long – that is – that we can root out their CD. As said bit like an imploding star event who passing it should be said appears marked by requiem styled hymnal chants that one suspects have been forged under the observing eye of some galactic watcher steeled with the split personas of Sunn O)) and the Grails…..enough of me waffling – judge for yourself……
Incidentally this nugget comes ripped from a forthcoming second full length ‘the current’ through the Tranlinguistic other imprint – hey ho they’re here www.translinguisticotherrecords.com
And did we just mention the wonderful sound imprint a paragraph or two ago – okay we cheated a little there – look we mentioned the kramford look in passing who are signed to wonderful sound – talk about having a well used escape plan – well it seems that no sooner is our back turned while we are being wooed by sounds elsewhere that these blighters have had a surge of activity – must be the sun – first up there’s a rather nifty sound set put together by the in house crew entitled ‘that summer feeling’ featuring stoned out chilled library lilts from the likes of Nancy and Lee, Michael Farneti, Laura Mvula and an incredibly insane cover of ‘purple haze’ by the meridian brothers which I’m ashamed to say has until now managed to sneak beneath our radar. Not content with just one gathering of classy cuts the buggers manage to lure Simon Lord along into the sound bunkers to pick n’ play his favourite platters which amongst the treats on show a little gem from the sadly missed ivory cutler.
And inquisitive tykes that we are we were going to head over to the Shawn Lee remix of Simon Lord’s ‘better’ – which incidentally you should hear – until we got sidetracked and somewhat smitten by a new compilation set sneaked out by the wonderful sound crew entitled ‘port magazine film issue original soundtrack’ which reading between the lines finds head honcho and superimposer Miles Copeland cobbling together seductive grooves for port magazines film issue – I think. Confusion aside a 7 song set that opens to the sun glazed 70’s haze of retro dudes the kramford look whose ‘justine’ sizzles and stirs like some duelling masked men marauding rumba face down between emperor penguin, Morricone and Barry. Somewhere else there’s the smoking airbrushed cool of the slinky soul purring seduction of the crystal tipped ‘theme 2 golden’ while ‘London pub’ is as it says on the tin the bustling sound of a Londinium tavern albeit encased inside a chiming musical box snow globe. Anyone whose ever read these missives will vouch for us when we say that the superimposers were / are / will always be adored here so a treat I must say to hear a twinkle some lullaby like recoding of ‘tumbledown’ – they appear again on ‘justine end titles’ this time paired with the kramfords doodling dandies hushed in the aura of ITC tv themes of old – here we are picturing a flamboyant Jason King in his finest investigative finery. All said chiefly for those among you who delight in the sounds of the Seahawks and the chemically enhanced vibes issuing forth from that highly essential ‘monsterism’ compilation.
More of this gubbins in part 2.…thanks for tuning in – should you have a burning desire to get in touch we are here……
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And with that something nice to bade you farewell for now….
© marklosingtoday 2013