Second visitation of this promised three part extended missive.
Contact details at the foot of this missive…..
track listing – John 3:16, Pins, Lisa Knapp, Jon Chambers, Junip, Sealing, Graveltones, Go-x, Satellites, Telescopes, Tusindfald, Victories at sea, Grafham Water Sailing Club, cassette store day, Growlers, Date palms, Kryptics, Ben Frost, Katie Gately, Kitchens of distinction, Susanna Sonata, Hessien, Miaow, Dualit, Leapfrog, Vision Fortune, Adam Leonard, Sproatly Smith and Sedayne, Wyrdstone, Ewan D Rogers, Majik Markers, Men Among Animals, Hell Songs, Minko, Maps and Diagrams, 85%, Space Lady, Drop Electric, Teen Daze, Marthas Vineyard Ferries, Midday Veil, Telstar Drone, Clare Brentnall, Easter Island, Jikan Ga Nai, Wizards Tell Lies, Duke st Workshop, Ephemeral Man, Black Lizard, Bardo Pond, Oozing Wound, Integrity, Full of Hell, Calm the Fire, Windmill Moth Glue, Stargazer Lillies and Marshmallow Ghost.
A quick email from John 3:16 of Alrealon Musique fame alerting us to new recordings the first of which is an exclusive as yet previously unreleased cut entitled ‘from flame to flesh’. Pulled from his critically acclaimed appearances in Israel earlier this year ‘from flame to flesh’ sees John 3:16 in the kind of mellowing moods that long time admirers will surprise and hitherto warm to, the sound expansive, delicately navigated and dreamy comes kissed with the kind of panoramic framing and shyly toned intimacy as that more expected of a younger yellow6 or Will Bolton, dust tracked and sparsely woven though none the less seductively understated, it echoes an as were thoughtfully toned godspeed murmuring melodic mosaics to backdrop the hazy mirages at play in the Nevada at sky fall.
In addition you can view a 20 minute montage of the visuals used at the Israel show in March – these feature the accompanying backdrops to not only ’from flame to flesh’ but ’the holy mountain’ and ’abyss of hell / clouds of fire’…..
Latest track out of the cutting room is ’I am the light of the world, the truth shall make you free’ – a psychotropic head phonic groover best experienced with the volume dial turned up to melt, something for those of you who love your sounds trimmed in the meditative, an industrial dub-tronic beauty that’s both majestic and stately and very much voyaging upon a vapour trailing trajectory one suspects smouldered by some hitherto thought lost face off between muslin gauze and Bill Laswell. www.soundcloud.com/john316john/I-am-the-light-of-the-world
Eagerly anticipated – around our gaff anyway – is the début long playing platter Girls Like Us from the PINS which is due for record store action at the tail end of September via Bella Union, released ahead of that event is a little sneak teaser entitled ’Lost Lost Lost’ which succinctly nails the quartet’s cold wave persona. Framed upon a dulling ceremonial clang of a Joy Division-esque bass line underpinning its minimalist post punk howl, PINS astutely prowl a hollowed and edgy axis that veers ever so closely to controller. controller at their most primitive and echoes the kind of positive punk birthing that saw the likes of the March Violets and Blood and Roses grace the knowing turn tables of the days attuned cognoscenti, add in a taste flavouring of the Raincoats and the tribal growl of the Slits and you have yourself a sparsely gnawing lovechild that even its mother Siouxsie would be proud of. www.soundcloud.com//bella-union/pins-lost/
I don’t mind admitting that as I write begging missives are winging their way to various press folk in the hope that we can secure a copy of ‘hidden seam’ because if the title track is anything to go by then this album has the potential to provide for an alluring atmospherically astute audio adventure of such measure as to cast all who experience it upon a delirious swoon. Due for release shortly via navigator records Lisa Knapp’s second full length platter builds upon the critical glow lavished upon her debuting ‘wild and undaunted’ set from 2007. The jewel in the nu folk crown, Knapp ingeniously crafts an intricate myriad of emotions that sway and swerve between the frail, the hopeful and the inspired, seconds shy of the six minute ticker tape teaser track ’hidden seam’ is awash with frost chipped beauty, timid and hushed Knapp opines like a youthful Bjork in her sugarcubes days or for that matter like a vulnerably crushed Harriet Wheeler drawing deeply on a lost folk tongue traced to a noir rubbed classicism, the effect measured and majestic softly thaws to unfurl and flower in stature and magnitude, the tip toeing string corteges and the down tempo beats accentuated by the vividly intense Brontean braiding endow the occasion with a stately aura to coo and caress with a strange sensuality not unlike a young Ms Bush. Divine in a word. www.soundcloud.com/proper-music-distribution/02-track-02-02
Psychedelic space cadet Mr Jon Chambers or sunray as he’s better known to the more cosmically eyed community re-engages communications and prepares for docking sequences into Earth orbit with both a new album and a two track 7 inch via enraptured and strawberry recording respectively. While we get our ear gear around the long playing platter – incidentally titled ‘full circle’ and featuring the head tripping 11 minute odyssey ‘here to go‘ – the small question of ‘take me there’ to navigate, its your typical slice of day-glo drenched hallucinogenia, smoked, bliss kissed and cast in a lazy eyed aura that ought to focus its appeal towards those admiring of Cheval Sombre and the luck of eden hall given it radiates with a sun shimmered soft psyche pop persona that’s drenched in fringe flecking reverbs and dissipating effects pedals, without doubt his most radio friendly effort to date. Over on the flip our preferred cut ushers in to the sound of ‘golden dawn’ and finds Chambers straying from his usual comfort zone afforded by his usual cosmically grooved pen signatures to seduce all with a prettified pastoral beauty lushly caressed and framed by the kind of mellowing string slightness as applied by Robert Kirby to the work of Nick Drake, a gorgeously tender slice of love noted free spiritedness that lilts and demurs to the genteel trim of magnet and the owl service operating at the optimum of their envied powers.
Harps, arabesque drones, dissipating calypso mirages and a deeply seductive smothering of something approaching spiritual karma shoe horn the grooves of this understated gem. In some respects Junip’s ‘walking lightly’ may well prove a perfect bedfellow to the simple kid’s ‘the road’ and indeed a perfect swansong to the fading summer. Both arriving steeled to a haze glazed monochrome motorik backdrop and both pursuing a curious mid career PIL-esque route way, ‘walking rightly’ sees light of day next month appearing on a new EP released via city slang and finds Jose Gonzalez dreamily subdued and somewhat lost in the moment recanting hushed mantras to a deliriously hymnal earth beat that flowers resplendently into busying intricately layered powder puff bursts of reclining uber joy. www.soundcloud.com/junip/walking-lightly
I think I might have mentioned in previous missives that unless we actually got sent hard copies of the too pure singles club releases then we put an embargo on waxing lyrically about there wares. And as much as we’d like to gnash teeth, utter ill tidings whilst waving a cursory middle finger it seems the bastards just keep knocking out seven inch treats that demand listening and an admiring look or two. Latest off the presses comes from Sealings – alas no information – but hey who needs a life story when the sounds curdling out of the speakers are this primal. ‘my boyfriends dead’ offers the kind of stoner psyche whiteout that would have you imagining the jesus and mary chain getting their heads sonically kicked in up a dark deserted alley by a variation of shit and shine mainlining on the sounds of Suicide, harsh, monochrome and speared with the kind of petulance that’d make cold in Berlin wince – this is cold and un-joyously loveable – throw in a side serving of reference markers such as relaxed muscle and add n to x and you have something that disquietly rumbles across your turntable. Over on the flip the reverb soaked hollowing twang howl of ‘hey Bernice‘ is tied, bagged and thrown in a festering swampland wherein sitting on its shoulder the ghost of Link Wray crouches as they thunder through a shadow traced slab of primitive rock-a-hula that to these ears sounds not unlike the flaming stars cutting dead head shapes with the high plains drifers with gallon drunk presiding over the face off. Serious cool.
Sneaked this off the strange brew website which in case you didn’t know can be found at www.thestrangebrew.co.uk – no excuses for not checking in now – we will be asking questions later. Anyway in a spot of down time we wandered over and where much taken by a posting featuring the debuting platter from The Graveltones entitled ‘catch me on the fall’. quite frankly a strut riddled swoon cool slice of frazzled blues boogie whose DNA is proofed with equal parts Chuck Berry and the Jim Jones Revue and everything coolly dead eyed and shade adorned between. Course you think I’m kidding don’t you, but wise up because gouged between these primitive licks there lies a prowling mama that echoes to an outsider growl that smokes itself stupid upon a diet twang-a-hula gospel blues and comes blessed with an audacious swaggering fuck you cool. ’don’t wait down’ their début full length looms with intent on the horizon – due out October time.
For now here’s the video accompanying the single…..
As to Strange Brew a quick message from Jason alerts us to a pretty things special and a forthcoming show that sees Fuchsia’s Tony Durrant in the offing very soon.
I’ve a distinct feeling that I might have missed a trick in not having heard the debuting platter from the Satellites (entitled ‘Satellites .01’) last year. Not to worry because a second set – (bet you can’t guess the title – ‘Satellites.02’ – bet there was many a sleepless night in the Johnny Vic household birthing that one) – is due to land shortly though not before being heralded by the tenderly understated beauty that is ’wasteland’. now unless my ears do deceive this quietly unassuming darling posits itself in the vapour trails left by a youthful Swimmer One (whatever happened to those dudes), what could have veered and trundled along a kraut grooved motorik path – as its opening sequences slyly hinted – instead traces to a homely warmth much reminiscent of the Earlies at the height of their powers – quietly epic and sumptuously canvassed in a delicately statuesque aura aglow in a strangely uplifting grandeur, its purrs to gather in stature and intensity wherein all its attending sub textual star set pastorally rolling intricacies converge to blossom with a knowing majesty before exiting stage left to leave you mourning its passing visitation. Out via vesterbrother.
Ripped from their current EP ‘the adventures of St Julian the courageous’ and out via the rabb imprint, ’tephra’ finds Welsh combo Go-X intricately zigzagging amid a furious aural storm that needles precariously upon a teetering axis embellished by a rampant display of quickly drilled math core riffage and a more than admirable versing in the complexities of proto progressive grooves, like shit off a hot shovel this nagging and jabbing cutie never lets up, hammered by wayward time signatures that shift and sear in velocity all forged as were in the eye of a storm there’s enough anthemic attrition here to have you pinned up to the wall sandblasted by the sheer force of the spectacle emerging from your speaker space.
Due for release at the back end of September will be the 7th full length platter from the Telescopes. Released on neon sigh – the imprint that currently boasts dead leaf echo and the golden gardens on its roster – the album entitled ’harm’ / ’torn’ consists of two extended slabs of psychotropic whiteout and will be getting its premier airing via the part time punk radio show on 29th August and 5th September wherein both sides will get full exclusive play listing – www.kxlu.com/schedule.htm – alas no sound files as yet but pre-orders are being taken via www.neonsigh.com
Think I’m right in saying that this is the debuting outing for Danish dream poppers Tusindfald. Officially out at the tail end of September via indielabel – the imprint currently playing home to the frankly criminally underappreciated Sennen and the indicators – where it’ll come pressed up on 10 inch slabs of coloured wax and all featuring an exclusive available on vinyl only fourth cut – the trio has issued for download a truncated three track teaser via sound cloud. No doubt disciples of Robin Guthrie et al not least as evidenced on the airless shoe gaze symphony that is ’under overfladen’ purring out as it does a tenderly love noted slice of bliss kissed shimmer toned star pop. Elsewhere arrested in all manner of crystalline signatures lassoed as were from the very heavens lead title cut ‘kys’ is ablaze in chiming celestial crescendos framed in the kind of bliss traced stratospheric siren signatures as was once the very domain of a certain Chapterhouse. Better still is the pursuing ’solstrejf’ – like a distress call from across the galactic voids the slo-core shimmer of vapour trailing effect pedals caress with expansive and uplifting measure. Does it for us. www.soundcloud.com/tusindfald/sets/kys-ep
Staying with all things dream poppy and shoe gazed latest from Static Caravan is the debut release from the hotly tipped and universally admired Victories at Sea. Pressed up in limited stock and sure to sell out and join most Caravanettes on the online auction sites most wanted. Featuring four star crushed gems primed for affection ’stay positive’ leads the charge serenaded in all manner effervescent sunbursts and kissed with the kind of adrenalin pumping euphoria that swoons and burns with feel good desire that ostensibly plugs itself into the kind of effects laden 80’s styled riff raptured surround sound that colour codes the feint dots joining together the Chameleons and the Kitchens of Distinction with a side serving of the White Rose Movement for good measure and something which morphs in graceful despatch as though by way of a momentary 80’s flashback you’ve found yourself unwittingly snaking in through an unguarded studio room door and witnessing an all star synth tag team featuring members of an ‘I ran’ era a flock of seagulls and b-movie. ’dive’ wastes no time in picking up the baton with jet streamed effervescence oozing from its grooves as it swoons and swerves cascading all manner of sugar dusted stratospheric symphonics upon your listening space. Intense and majestic ‘no escape’ – in our humbled opinion the best thing here – arrests to the demurring purr of an ice sheened cool that recalls the mighty Sennen channelling at the height of their powers while running a close second in terms of unquestioned affection
‘low’ crest falls to tearfully draw things to a close and undeniably enlists to its heart heavy panoramic canvas a prime picking of Chameleons traits at their most wounded and crushed. Utterly adorable and consuming stuff.
Future Caravanettes on the horizon will be a uber limited cassette to coincide with Cassette Store Day (of course we here are keeping eyes a peeled for the forthcoming barrel piano and 8 track cartridge store day) entitled ‘thisistmrw’ which features selections aplenty from the likes of the aforementioned victories at sea, wide eyed, skull tv, baby pink and the intriguingly named the grafham water sailing club whose track ‘Ankara’ you can find snuggled up here – www.soundcloud.com/xtxgxwxsxcx – clearly the work of someone who wants to – shall we say fuck with your head – potently raw and undiluted with it, three and a half minutes of squalling psychotronics etched in the finest traditions of a late 80’s New Zealand noise scene and distressed in all manner of shade adorned shadow playing feedback riffage that hints ever so slightly to a storm lashed Chameleons in an austere post punk wasteland.
Elsewhere the RG Morrison (whose current single you ought to stumble upon if we’ve remembered to include it) full length ‘diamond valley’ will appear in a limited 500 only wax issue along with the latest platter from the incredibly talented Laura J Martin. Then there’s that distant correspondent single – the b-side of which we mentioned somewhere here – most likely way back a few pages – and finally something high on our wants list a Tony Bennett tote bag. The label now has a record shop presence in Wigan where you can drop in and rummage through at your hearts content the labels enviable wares and various goodies – check the site for further details – www.staticcaravan.org
And as we mentioned cassette store day just a second ago – I must admit I’m still a sucker for the old tape cassette, now celebrating its 50th anniversary it seems the much derided tape is coming back into prominence – the more cynical among you might be inclined to think it’s a marketing ploy enacted by a music industry still reeling from its loosening of control at the arrival of the digital age selling it back to a post cassette generation as the new cool with the buzzword retro tagged somewhere in the sell to ensure the more foolhardy take the bait. And now I’m getting all misty eyed reminiscing to hours spent rewinding and fast forwarding trying to find your favourite moments, using the tape count device as a means to aiding your guess work, then there was the un-joy of snapped, gnarled and chewed tapes – hours spent repairing them by hand with thin slithers of cello tape – strange as it may seem it always happened to your favourites. My favourite makes / types whilst we are only a nostalgia streak were the TDK D60’s and the AD90’S, then came maxell with their Pete Murphy ads who for many a year became of tape of choice until in the 90’s the emergence of the that’s range in particular their mg-x100 range – the dreaded metal variety which proved near impossible to tape over given that they left a permanency that when taped over left a ghostly echo effect of previous recordings – still style wise they looked the bollocks. And while cassettes where prone to warping – leaving them out in the sun or near magnetic objects – the results at times humorous and surreal – the ex’s prized collection of ‘now that’s what I call music’ where often summarily used in home made experiments – added factors needed to be taken into account, your playing devices tape heads – either playing / recording to slow or to fast – I’ve got many a cassette of recorded Peel shows where he sounds rather excitable and chipmunkish. Our early endeavours into mixing – but we didn’t know it then – was scored at the hand of the trusty cassette / and recorder – splicing segments, multi dubbing and twin play delays – it all sounds rather tame these days but hell the patience, the time and the sheer meticulous nature of the processes took a degree of creativity. I even remember reading at the time that having cassettes in the house warded off evil spirits (it was this small bit of useless information that would always come to my rescue when having to account and defend the reasons why small towers of cassettes kept appearing on horizontal surfaces around the gaff) – something to do with the ferric oxide on them mind you with the amount of tapes I had in our gaff the blighters might have had trouble actually getting through the door – last count we reckon we still have something approaching just over 3000 cassettes – most are old Peel shows and various Radcliffe / Lard graveyard shift shows from the 90’s. And spare a thought about the dreaded mix tape especially those compiled for the opposite sex – there was more care and attention given you actually had to sit through and listen to the tracks you were compiling – not just lazily dragging tracks of your pc play list or your spotify account – oh and dare we forget to mention the accompanying hand written listings and play lists all done in your bestest hand. Them where the days. Those wanting details o what’s in the offing on CSD can redirect yourselves to www.cassettestoreday.com/releases for the current crop of scheduled releases along with details of the participating stores.
Now this is something else. Via Thrill Jockey whose wares we really ought to re-tune into, this ’un is from the Date Palms who by all accounts have recently been wooing all with the appearance of their debuting ‘dusted sessions’ platter. Recorded during the same sessions and due for a limited tour only release and available at their forthcoming UK / European dates in September ’sky trails’ is a gorgeously sleepy headed wood crafted vision, lushly snoozed dronal opines sweetly allured to a dreamily teased haziness endow it with a demurring rustic aspect in lonesome content yawning and stretching shyly amid some misty hued twilight setting, a bit like something by Aidan Baker force fed a diet of uppers. Quite entrancing. www.soundcloud.com/thrilljockey/date-palms-sky-trails
Out shortly via fat cat – again another label from whose mailing list we appear to have fallen off in recent times – seems we missed this lots ’hung at heart’ full length though we console ourselves with the appearance of ’humdrum blues’ ripped from the Growlers imminent ’not psych’ EP which is slated for arrival at record stores in October where it’ll be doing brisk business on both digital and 12 inch variants. Okay I’ll admit that it doesn’t hit you between the eyes but there’s a smoking lacklustre and threadbare driftwood crookedness at work here that manifests into a coolly lazy eyed glow that sets you on your back foot, it an aura that’s curdled in a prairie blues essence no doubt basked in the haze of a mountain side retreat and partying hard on moonshine, whatever the case may be I’m suspecting admirers of Lee Hazlewood will beat a hasty path to its inviting door. That said leave the sound cloud player going to pick up ’drinking songs for the kids’ which aside smouldering and prowling to a Stray Cat-ish groove has the ghost of Gene Vincent sitting on its shoulder – which by our reckoning makes it a class act. www.soundcloud.com/everloving/the-growlers-humdrum-blues/s-ZtGEp
They have a singer by the name of Beckie Catastrophe and describe their sound as ‘awesome sauce’ – I mean what is there not to like. This came hotly tipped from Brian Bordello (when’s that Bordellos album gonna emerge) whose spontaneous over joy at finding what he described as ’at last a decent St Helens band’ may well lead people to assume that th’ Helens is the town that sound forgot to visit. Surely not. The band in question are trio Kryptics of whom whose wonderfully titled ’demented dreamland’ is available as a free download and arrives through the speakers emerging steel eyed through the amassing dry ice shimmering and snaking to a serious understated soft psych soul groove that’s laced upon some ominously youthful Bauhaus-ian spider coiled riffing which on first hearing had us much recalling the early outings of b-movie pop starlets the Brand Violet. Anyway its here……and damn fine with it…. www.kryptics.bandcamp.com/track/demented-dreamland
Trouble is with band camp is that once there you find yourself rummaging around for the odd tasty sonic morsel or slab of weirdness, and well quite frankly things don’t get any stranger than Ben Frost’s ’undulating beast’. prized from his ’black marrow’ full length ’undulating beast’ is a perfect bed fellow for UK Decay’s immortal ’rising fro the dread’ outing of some 30 years ago – blimey how time flies. To the fore the snarling rabid howl of some unseen and unmentionable slavering beast drawn from the darkest depths of hell beneath which the fusion of neo classical timbres and shimmer toned manipulated inner space sonic scratches tingle and chill casting a sub zero atmospheric and a dread consumed sense of lonesome unease which when gathered together prove to be on a not so distant similarly experimental wavelength as that of roadside picnic. www.benfrost.bandcamp.com/album/black-marrow
News from afar reaches us to tell of a new Kitchens of Distinction album in the offing. ’folly’ is the trio’s first offering in 19 years following their parting of the ways after the release of ’cowboys and aliens’. the reformation was forged through a chance meeting last summer when Patrick approached both Julian and Dan to see if they fancied trying their hand at new recordings, before long 10 new tracks had been nailed, cut and ripped for release – the album is slated for early November action. stereo gum are currently premiering ’japan to Jupiter’ on their site at the moment – alas we can’t give you a direct link because our browser is playing funny buggers – that said you should be able to tune in to your hearts contents by going to www.stereogum.com and typing the bands name in the search box at the top right corner.
Next up and due to hit the cassette recorders of all the in tuned cognoscenti at the beginning of October is a rather delightful tape from the blue tapes imprint by a young debuting artist Katie Gately entitled ’pipes’. Now I’m not pulling any punches here when I say that this is truly inspiring not least beguiling stuff. Recorded over a period of 6 months during which time Ms Gately has been busy beyond the point of insanity meticulously crafting a layer upon layer coding purely of her vocals into an exhaustive aural trip which can only be described as a kookily kissed celestial choral carousel of sorts, what first starts out shy eyed and rubbed with folky lullaby like appeal soon fuses into heavenly washes to dissipate and dissolve into dream pop arcs ushering with intricate detail towards a heightening crescendo only to re-emerge from the foggy haze into a lounge lilted lovely that playfully touches base in a most engagingly erratic fashion with Laetitia Sadier in frivolous moods out to play with Heather Duby and Takako Minekawa – it really is bizarrely beautiful and definitely worth investigation.
Here’s a video trailer of what to expect……
Early call time for premier purveyors of all things prog / psych / freak beat – that being fruits de mer – just in case you haven’t been playing attention at the back – word reaches us from their secret lair over at walton on thames that they are about to reveal their winter fairly soon, all six of them, count em – six. As said no details yet but winkle 13 and FdM volumes 41 through to 45 have been assigned to a confirmed release schedule to include two now obligatory end of year annuals – with both FdM and regal crabmophone being serviced with their own seasonal soiree, there’s a curiously named ’shrunken head music’ double platter in the offing along with new stuff from the mighty vibravoid and vespero along with the now legendary and highly prized members only freebie. More info at www.fruitsdemerrecords.com
Arriving via susanna sonata in November where it’ll appear on her full length set ‘the forester’(her 9th no less), ’oh, I am stuck’ is simply a magical work quietly coaxed in a mysterious etching of child like fairy tale wonder, penned, arranged and performed by Susanna and the ensemble neon, herself oft compared to an eclectic cast of talent that includes buckley, bush, hollis and Debussy – a huge call to live up to you might think – but through the application of a graceful and tender sound board that whispers to the hypnotic mellowing beguile of hushed spectral chamber folk this Norwegian aural alchemists delivers a brew resplendent in the becoming allure of a magicalia intimacy that’s exquisitely measured and appreciably crafted in a rare unique hand that’s classically framed with the bewitching woodcrafted rub of stirring woodwinds and playfully impish string chorals. www.soundcloud.com/susannawallamroed/susanna-and-the-ensemble-neon-oh
Hands up those among you who remember the short lived Greek label pop-art records who in the early 00’s put out a quite tasty sub series by the name of kontakt which featured limited run split artist 7 inches that arrived hand numbered packed – if I recall rightly – with all manner of inserts all housed in distinctive sleeves that each featured a Polaroid snap glued to its cover and featured a enviable roster of guest artists such as yellow6, ma cherie for painting, flowchart and tank to name just a few. I only ask because there’s something of a shared mindset as to the packaging of these lovely treats beamed over from the sound in silence imprint. As with pop art the label is located in Greece and headed up by George Mastrokostas (who you might well recognise more readily as the brain behind absent without leave whose wares graced such imprints as distant noise and the unlabel in recent memory), each arrives impeccably packaged in hand crafted card envelopes, hand numbered with inserts and all featuring a Polaroid style photo paper image on its front cover. Delighted to say we’ve been sent the latest brace of sound in silence releases the first of which is an EP by the name of ‘calcifer’ from Hessien – a collaboration no less between Tim Diagram (of Maps and Diagram fame – whose absence away from these pages has bee duly noted and mourned for many a year) and Charles Sage (who the keen eared among you may recall from the Rothko chapel). Four tracks feature within stretching to a 21 minute duration. In simplistic terms – exquisite, the chemistry at play and the way each compliments each other to colour and craft an ever expansive aural canvas is sublime, opening cut ’wrong turn at Albuquerque’ (incidentally a place that has always – in my head at least – been a spiritual home for me since hearing and marvelling as to how its name sounded after hearing ’by the time I get to Phoenix’ as a youngster)is a yearning beauty presaged amid the delicate demur of softly twinkled rustic riffs hovering over shimmer toned waveforms that put us in mind of early releases venturing out of the Kranky sound house or perhaps a thoughtful Roy Montgomery colluding with a subdued flying saucer attack that said scratch a little deeper and the becalmed desolate imagery inspire by the composition hint ever so slightly towards Stylus. Equally stirring is the tear stained regret spared on by the gaseous chamber droning ‘when the planets align’ which once passed of its glassy opines assumes a readily more sinister and sombre focus that recalls Bruce Russell. If I didn’t any know better then I’d be of the mind that the smoky resonance attaching to ‘from beyond the fourth wall’ had subtly drawn together the reference marker dots however feint they may first appear to be between John Fahey and Mike Oldfield – I kid you not, while the parting ‘there are no coincidences’ just goes for it junking everything into the mix to create a dense feedback squealing dust storm and something that in our humbled opinion would hold its own admirably where it drop kicked into a trensmat play list. Incidentally meant to say this release is limited to just 200 copies – ours in case your taking note of such things is #149.
Second of those essential sound in silence adventures comes courtesy of Miaou with the track ‘bring the lights’ EP. This time limited to just 300 copies – on this occasion our happens to be #128 all replete in the aforementioned eye catching hand crafted packaging. Miaou hail from Tokyo number three in the ranks – Tatsuki Hamasaki and sisters Mayumi and Hironi Hasegawa, since forming in 1999 they’ve released four albums appeared on and cut numerous remix sets, singles and EP’s for labels such as noon, praco, teo and more besides as well as touring with the likes of Epic 45 and below the sea. ‘bring the lights’ sees them developing their post rock fused electronics to new alluring heights. All at once tender and trimmed in a sweetly surrendering ache this collection is primed as something we suggest you lower the lights for find yourself a personal moment so that you can kick back recline and lose yourself longingly in these beautifully bespoke beguiling bouquets. Milky overtures, down tempo beats and hypnotically hued cosmic lullabies are on the melodic menu here, tenderly sleepy headed and hushed in the kind of alluring aura that attached to Discordia’s criminally lost set for kooky discs a few years ago, book ended by ’airglow’ and ’water and us’ both these romantically inclined fleeting follies cut pretty much from the same cloth are delicately sprayed with undulating swirls of love noted sereneness, cutting cantering shapes subtly haloed in the feint vapour trail of celestial swathes these treasures caress a rustic navigation recalling both a youthful pickled egg primed go team running carefree in the wide open soundscapes of a ’folly’ era fortdax. Dinked with wispy orbital opines and bathed in a nocturnal glow shimmered in bitter sweet detachment the gem like mellowed radiance of ’river nephyr’ is both moving and tearful yet traced with the kind of tug you feel obliged to offer a sympathetic arm to lessen its crush. Absolutely flawless and drip dried in the kind of classicism more associated with an as were subdued and bruised art of noise treads gently ‘deep into forest’ to seduce and scar in equal measure leaving ’paper on you’ softly smothered in a cosmic waltz cascade to woo and charm with fleeting frailty like some star crossed stopping point wherein both a frost tipped ISAN and a chilled to near purring new order swap admiring notes. www.soundinsilencerecords.bandcamp.com
Ripped this from the esteemed Trensmat crew – more from them later – for those that love their techno drilled – shall we agree to say – in something approaching total head fuck hysteria – then you might be advised to dive into the wiring Dadaist damaging glitch gouged groove of dualit who as it happens have just eked out a mind shredding slab of trancing aural abstraction that quite frankly makes those (you thought) freakish tigerbeat6 treasures from oh so long ago sound like kiddies party turns. Out via ear wiggle – we think – the info is less than none existent – this warping turntable trouncer pisses in the same territorial corner of those much prized smallfish / rednetic sets from a few years ago – expect ga ga drooling heads exiting at close the coolest sound factories in the land after having their minds wiped. www.soundcloud.com/earwiggle/dualit-dualit-ep-preview
Literally just swanned through our letter box and straight on to our turntable to reek all amount of hi-fi hysteria, just one listen it took to have us all a hooked and breaking out into a rather worrying infectious rash. Debuting peculiar pop platter from Leapfrog via starling recording entitled ‘dreaming in public’ is described as being inspired and coming about following a surreal day spent at lead guitarist Chris Guard’s daughter’s primary school getting a class room full of excitable nippers to cobble together all manner of artistic weirdness. Fused under the influence of Bowie, the eels and talking heads I’m of the mind that the reference markers are a little off orbit and given its decorated in a mild punch you out psychosis we’d advise you to imagine a more warping pop Magazine variant teething between the groove lines, full on in your face up close and personal and fractured with an acutely bent out of shape new wave kookiness that swoons to a cracked and wonky surf grooved lingo spiked in spider tracked fried riffage the type of once the sole art form of the beatnik filmstars. Over on the flip the less erratic smoked cool of ‘double trouble’ swoons to a snaking matrix drop kicked in mooching grooves and smarting in a flavouring that imagines a very youthful mighty Cud shadow playing with a particularly chilled out age of chance.
Just what the good boogie doctor ordered – of course it seems like our sonic soothsayer has ventured lands afar and returned with some hulking head tripping honey that manifests into five mind melting slabs of psychotropic hypno babble. The dudes in question are Vision Fortune who we suspect between their collective mass ranks are well versed in all things kraut kosmiche, psych droned and trippy shades adorned grooves the type of which much touted by the likes of spacemen 3, telescopes and brian Jonestown massacre. This set is being outed on seriously limited issue via the criminally cool cardinal fuzz imprint – has there been a cooler name for an imprint in recent years – who to date have been responsible for dragging out of the secrecy of the studio and in to the daylight rarified aural artefacts by the likes of the cult of dom keller which aside having us mildly cheesed off mainly for the fact that notwithstanding having been alerted or indeed having heard the set, the blighters have only rubbed salt in very deep wounds by using one of our old reviews from a few years back as their press release. Ha ha we thought now that has got to warrant a copy of said release and a proper one mind not some naff hastily copied CD-r. Anyhow in all the shock and excitement I’ve forgotten where I was – ah yes Cardinal Fuzz – cool label name – we’ve done all that – priming themselves up for a feast of release activity with ultra limited wax outings by the likes of dead sea apes, the janitors and lantern all ready and slow cooking on the back burner having already boasted of an enviable release roster that includes a roll call of the finest cosmo-psychedelicists around – mugstar, pontiak, heads, hills, black gnod and the audaciously perfect hookworms . Before those though this aforementioned nugget, following their recently released and now sold out debuting full length ’mas fiestas con el grupo vision fortune’, a repress of their of their ‘night jukes’ EP originally released on cassette by the Italo imprint beach babes. Detuned into the woozy world of the psychic ills, vision fortune blend droning futuro electronics with locked grooving repetitive riff loops to cast hypno kaleidoscopia mirages acid dipped in primitive krautrockian dialects that serve to tripwire your headspace in mind altering sonic lightshows while arriving pre packed smoking their own perception blurring stash. ‘drag’ drops like some Gnod disciple time tunnelled stoner beatnik fresh from some freaked out arabesque retreat, minimalist, dreamy and cast with a dead eyed desert dried decay that at once appears to pass through the veil and serve a kicking to the shins of the wooden shjips. Elsewhere ‘black ocean glow’ – the lightest thing here incidentally is a head shrinking slab of out there Doors-esque shadowplay sun soaked in middle eastern mantras while opening salvo ‘heavy saddles’ is found head diving into the mesmeric orbs of echoboy’s paranoiac drilled dystopian future world rewire of tube way army’s ’replicas’ by way of his underappreciated ’scene 30’ set. Throw in the dizzying wig flipped psychotropic grooving a la sunray of ’natural faze’ and the stoned out strut of the hazy sonic boom on middle eastern reconnaissance of ’in my fathers house there are mansions’ and you have yourself one of the most freakishly fried fancies around at the moment. www.cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com
Footnote….many thanks to Dave of cardinal fuzz who emailed over digital copies of pretty much the entire massed ranks of the cardinal fuzz catalogue – well the next three releases at least – including a damn fine imminent platter from lantern.
Exquisitely packaged arriving housed in a carded box inside of which jumped out inserts aplenty to include badges, a pressed flower, hand numbered authentication slips – ours if you are taking notes is #212 / 300, track list notes with new artwork to boot and a CD entitled ‘nature recordings’. really is eye catching and is billed as the first in the north western series put out by the folk police imprint – the second in case you’re still keeping copious notes is by Ewan D Rogers while the imminent third is due shortly from wyrdstone (cryptic clues coming courtesy of a sticker to the rear of the envelope to which this little treasure transported its way in). ’nature recordings’ is the work of one Adam Leonard whose been cutting his teeth and turning in finitely crafted psyche folk nuggets for the last ten years, ’nature recordings’ his third full length initially appeared in limited wax forms via the esteemed great pop supplement in an edition of just 150 hand numbered cuties. Part of the extended Owl Service family whose absence from our hi-fi’s in recent years has been duly noted he appeared on their ’a view from a hill’ full length the favour being returned by Steven Collins’ guest appearance here along with Pat Gubler of PG Six fame (and just so they don‘t feel left out Jana Landolt on drums and Gareth Davies on ashtray and raised eyebrows – do we detect a spot of Bez-ness). Carved, fired, smoked , distilled and then left to cure and mature in the finest traditions of English psych folk there’s a deeply resonating classicism oozing from the grooves of Adam Leonard’s quite exceptional ‘nature recordings’ full length which those of you attuned to platters emerging through the misty haze out of such acclaimed sound houses as reverb worship, cold spring and blackest rainbow to name but three will be familiarly versed in. in short pure terrascopia, there’s no doubting the spectral influence of Syd Barrett guiding Mr Leonard’s craft, undeniably carved in that rarest of English eccentricity, he shares the same mercurial mindset as that of both Paul Roland and chief practitioner in the art of peculiar psychedelia Robyn Hitchcock the latter of whose ‘the man who invented himself’ is summarily – er – reinvented here in a superbly mind fragmenting and disquietingly crooked sepia kissed kaleidoscopia haze with the result that he achieves that most rare of accolades turning and taking the song as his own. Peppered and seasoned in the winter long tug of fading paisley pop sighs and blessed with the most audacious bitter sweet hook this side of a Kevin Tihista gem ’Lillian, I love you’ traces its lineage back to a youthful Bevis Frond albeit spiked and primed to a ‘gigglegoo’ era Freed Unit curdling while ’dawn rain / grissom aloft’ is flavoured in an archaic tongue plucked straight from the mountain side back yard of John Fahey by way of its rustic flurries before seeing fit to shed its skin and re-emerge swooned and lolloping in the sleepy headed afterglow of an afternoon blissing out on moonshine. A harmonium – every record should feature one, along of course with the obligatory nose flutes, pan pipes, penny whistles, harmonicas and barks – but seriously harmoniums just do it for us, where people hear bleak and dowdy we translate as something pre-natural, hazy and decidedly sitting right up next to you intimate – see Nico, Ivor Cutler for starting illustrations. And so to ’the archaeologist’ which features a harmonium (just as well as it’d been pointless doing the intro) attaches with the frail shadow tracing of a ghostly hymnal glow as done as were by a slightly maudlin half man half biscuit as its protagonist starkly stirs inwardly and questions his very being. All said centrepiece of the album is reserved for the side long four song cycle ’the eighth tower’ – at equal parts haunting, magnetic and magical which once through the daunting entrance point of ’part i’ soon immerses you in a dreamy timeless tapestry by way of ‘part ii’ that guides you ever deeper into some enchanted netherworld where one minute the motifs are engraved by the lush spring hued shade of summerisle only to morph and fracture into the psychotropic realm of working for a nuclear free city, somewhere else ’part iii’ is spell crafted with a mystical aura that stretches far back into traditional English folklore while the delightfully airy mayday rustics of the murmured mantra on ‘part iv’ will seduce in the first instance admirers of the aforementioned Owl Service. Essential. www.northwesternrecordings.com
Staying with the north western series just a while longer those wondering what wyrdstone sound like – me included – will do well to sample the delights of ’thelema’ – not certain as to where this comes from but we’re fairly certain that wyrdstone is east sussex based musician Colin Murrell whose – to quote ’psychedelic guitar and other noises are inspired by the beauty, the myth and strangeness of the English countryside’. this little lovely sounds as though its been unearthed from the same airily timeless treasure chests as was once upon a time plundered so finitely by the much missed early winter recordings imprint and by whose wood carved rustic mantra something of a younger Fahey alchemist David A Jaycock flavouring emerges to the surface to radiate all with its willowy lazy eyed wooziness. While we are here we best make mention of Ewan D Rogers whose ’tomorrow might be Monday’ assumes pride of place being the second in the northwestern series, ’blue from the cold’ ripped from that set comes rolled in pure prairie blues gold, lolloping and reclining to the creaking sway of a sun shaded porch swing all sweetly distilled in the airy smokiness of a pre Presley gold struck Tennessee backwaters. www.soundcloud.com/the-northwestern-series/ewan-d-rogers-blue-from-the
Loosely tied in the vein of Adam Leonard and part of all that northwestern, folk police gubbins and as with Mr Leonard something that should appeal to subscribers of the sounds of the Static Caravan and the Owl Service communities we did eye this curious spell crafting gem wooing its charms on a nearby sound cloud player. A quite frankly unreal and unearthly melodic mirage that we suspect was cobbled, carved and notched up in a secret wood shed just around the corner from the mysterious terrascope towers hidey hole and finds the bewitching brew of a gathering of Sproatly Smith and Sedayne types dipping into their well thumbed aural cookery book to pull out the deeply intoxicating ’gentle sisterhood’. coiled and fashioned in richly rare essences cultured in strange lost folk tongues this psych folk pretty exacts a mesmeric lilt traced upon the delicate loop of strange arabesque accents masked in dream dipped hazes atop of which a ghostly siren-esque charm invites with an uncanny supernatural beauty to which at first port of call admirers of alphane moon et al and men an tol ought to partake.
Got some wild, untamed and rabid sounds, the type that make your ears bleed and your internal organs liquefy, I’m thinking the magik markers might fit the bill, this lot have put out more records than you’ve had hot dinners, they literally shit sounds for fun, most un-listenable the rest seriously un-listenable, that’s okay its just your ears and taste in sounds haven’t caught up. Of course we jest – these noise niks jump, hop and skip on a very precariously balanced axis that blends traces of psyche, no wave and skull thrashing aural assaults. These days loitering on drag city where sometime November their ’surrender to the fantasy’ full length emerges from training to punch the crap out of the competition though not before a brief entrée courtesy of a limited 7 inch that lassoes both ‘machines’ and ‘ice skater’ to its confining grooves. Our promo copy came with titles / songs reversed which gave us a little start especially when referring to the – quite frankly – zany (yes zany – in all my years doing these scribbles I’ve used the word zany three times and two of them where in the same Zea write up – a word these days sullied and consigned to history and always associated with n’er do well Radio 1 jocks of the 70’s, 80’s and er 90’s ) press release that reads like a page from Cool Beans. ’machines’ is your all out sonic terrorism, tortured no wave butchery featuring shredding riffage aplenty that’s less Contortions and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks and rather more caught pissing in the corner of primitive jap core, those attuned to skin peeling skree such as hajakaidan et al will do well to cop an earful while those fearing for their sanity and ear eardrums will do well to run the thumb rule over ’ice skater’. hushed in lush frost tipped elegance and crushed in star twinkled cinematics this shy eyed forlorn flotilla orbits to a clock working beat all sugar dusted in dreamy disorientating demurs the type of which where often found bewitching the grooves of platters eked out by the manimal imprint. www.dragcity.com
Two tapete treats come swooning into our gaff finding their way straight to the house player, first up the ridiculously slyly infectious ’kathy’ by Danish ensemble men among animals – this off kilter honeycombed cutie comes ripped from their imminent ’buried handsome’ set and arrives sun tanned and coolly effervesced in a buzzing country pop smoking jacket that smoulders lazy eyed to a fading west coast rubbing that shimmers to an as were fusing of animal collective meets avi buffalo minds. Label mates hellsongs prove to be no slouches in the cutting of cutely acute pop nuggets, ’equality’ ripped from their ’these are evil times’ full length is a full on radio rucking pulse pounding dynamo adorably dipped in a stirring pop glazing that’s sugar frosted with a melodic no how fondly recalled of the beangrowers once upon a time. Both albums due for closer critical inspection in future missives – www.tapeterecords.de
Inquisitive fools that we are we ventured a little deeper in to sound cloud world to be greeted by this woozy slice of dream drifting airy folk loveliness. Minko hails from Cornwall and has just released the second chapter in what she refers to as her ’song series’ an apparent trawl through an archive of acoustic gems numbering over 50 and counting. Having relocated from London to Cornwall and no doubt inspired by the serene scenery Minko put away her samples and electronic equipment instead opting for something more natural and acoustically spurred, as a result she’s been garnering quiet praise from the likes of the lilac times’ nick duffy who as it happens guested on a cut called ‘creature’ recorded live with Pulp’s Steven Haven hand (now made available on ‘songs 5-8 – creature’ – see links below). For our part we managed to hook up to a sound cloud extract showcasing her first release ‘songs 1 – 4 – Sybil of Delphi’ – a beautiful thing it is to for Minko blends French chanteuse pop through a myriad of dream woven soft psych centred folk mirages, wistfully pastoral and lightly crushed with a becoming sensitivity that’s lilts with a distinctly alluring faraway framing which to these ears at least fixes like a spectral Serge meets Komeda cutie. www.minko.bandcamp.com/music
And following our mentioning of Maps and Diagrams – see the Hessien review above somewhere – Tim Diagram dropped a short note alerting us to a new release on the ever essential hibernate imprint entitled ‘forste’ that should be arriving sometime later in the year – for now ’goldfuss’ ripped from that set shimmers like the brief passing of an orbiting serenade wherein are ushered the peek a boo shadow playing floorshow of chirping and chuckling key twinkles softly swooned in the euphoric rush of heavenly harmonics, the sensation very trance like, the mood chilled and the resulting overall effect a divinely ice sculptured murmur.
Further releases imminent on hibernate are issues #23 and #24 of their ongoing postcard series which we’re gathering are ridiculously limited in nature but all the same well worth pursuing. #23 comes courtesy of offthesky – ’exit to anywhere’ is described as a diary collage of the composers recent jaunt to Europe and features a guest appearance by Jonathan Lees applying footsteps which had me in a moment of hilarity recalling the Happy Monday’s debuting pop platter crediting Bez as plain only Bez – alas though the captured for posterity footwork doesn’t appear on this particular cut. The track you are listening to is ’snow filled Summer’ from that set – a delicate slice of genteel neo classical detachment, understated and elegiac, desperately frail and melancholic – its whisper like hush draws you near, the utilisation of space and silence exquisite as the trembling keys wane to the slender application of noir strings with the aural canvas given a sepia framing.
Busier than the previous instalment #24 is entitled ’85%’ and features the combined talents of isnaj dui who if I recall rightly appeared here in these pages many moons ago via – if memory serves – a much loved release for either rednetic or smallfish – our money is on the former – orla wren whose set for flau a year or four was was simply outer-worldly and offthesky. This centres on moods, the intricate layering of sounds both glitchy and gloopy are buoyed by glassy spectral shimmer toned reverberations, in truth its like encountering the ice frosted lair of some secret imp, the thawing montages, the twinkling timbres and bowed instrumentations endow the proceedings with a mellowing folk crush and a sense of guarded intimacy that just for listening you feel your encroaching on its space. www.soundcloud.com/hibernate/isnaj-dui-offthesky-orla-wren
Reading through the press blurb about Space Lady you get to imagining her as some kind of cosmic femme Moondog entertaining all with her hippy trippy messages of love and peace whilst wooing the passing street crowds with her kooky accordion led sorties. For thirty years she did just that entertaining passers by in San Francisco and Boston, undaunted when her trusted accordion was reduced to firewood following a theft Space Lady or Susan Dietrich as she’s better known to the IRS dusted herself down and with a harrumph got herself a casio, phaser and headset mic and set about reinventing herself. She disappeared off radar in 1990 only to re-appear last year in Colorado (goes to show those greyhound coaches aren’t all they are cracked up to be) playing live. And with that and after 30 years playing she is now at last graced with an official release of her work. On a limited 7 inch outing via night school and arriving pressed up on black litho print with silver pantone ink ’major Tom’ sees the first attempts at marketing the Space Lady to a wider audience backed by ’radar love’ the single will be hotly pursued by ’the space lady’s greatest hits’ – as it says on the tin a collection of familiar gems pulled from her extensive repertoire. ’major Tom’ is a cover of Pierre Schilling’s sole international hit telling the fate of Bowie’s most enduring character, left in the hands of Space Lady its sparsely tripped with a kooky futuro makeover decoded in a gorgeously primitive electroid groove with the Spacey one dreamily demurring overhead that ought to principally provide ear candy for admirers of the esteemed Weird imprint whilst wooing those who ever wondered what the Carpenters ’calling occupants’ might sound like re-chiselled by the Normal. www.soundcloud.com/nightschool/major-tom-from-lssn018-1
Ripped from the aptly titled ‘glacier’ set – incidentally forthcoming on lefse sometime October, teen daze cook up frost tipped ache of ‘ice on the windowsill’ by way of a pre course taster to the main event. Oozing riff kissed crystal falls and immersed in yearning swells this blissfully glacial love note coos serenely with the same kind of murmuring beguile as those hushed heart sorties put out by OMD when a certain Paul Humphreys took to the vocals duties.
sound file pretending to be a video here……
More lefse loveliness coming courtesy of drop electric who’ve an album waiting on the back burner this one due for November action entitled ‘waking up to the fire‘. Now strange video aside – spoiler alert – those of you who’ve ever had the misfortune of obsessive advances by a stalker might do well to just hike up the sound and venture into a different room while it plays out – ’blue dream’ has been sent out on early reconnaissance, a gorgeous snow globed gem it is to which for the best part had us surreally imagining the Animal Collective in some love crushed embrace with the Knife whilst aboard some cosmic fairground upended on huge disco rollerblades – but then that could be down to overdosing on vast quantities of coffee whilst dieting solely and rhubarb and custard sweets and pear drops.
We here still maintain in our much humbled opinion that Snares and Kites ‘tricks of trapping’ for inbetweens way back in 1999 was one of the great lost albums of that decade – so its with pleasure to find ex codeine / come man Chris Brockaw back on wax as part of trio the Martha’s vineyard ferries along with various kahoots and shellac sorts Wiesner and Weston. Full length ’mass.grave’ looms large in the near distance awaiting release via African tape with ’she’s a fucking angel (from fucking heaven)’ serving as an early warning and call to arms as to what to expect and a buzz sawing beauty is what’s on offer on the decks, possessed of a fuzzy strum gouged shell this fizzing power pop dynamo trips with the kind of cool effervescence more readily expected of some scuffed up radio hugging tihista meets stamey cutie – www.soundcloud.com/5rp/shes-a-fucking-angel-from
Mentioned this lot a few paragraphs back – sorry but I just can’t get enough of them, another nugget unearthed from the midday veil vaults – think I’m right in saying that this is being primed for action on their forthcoming ‘current’ set imminent via Tranlinguistic. ‘great cold of night’ is a seriously bonged out slab of progressively psyched out stoner spiritualism that superbly ducktails and swerves sound wise like some inner sanctum summit meeting gathering together the likes of the Grails, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Amon Duul II and an uber trippy Jefferson airplane to perform some deeply tranced out earth beat odyssey – absolutely intoxicating and stunning with it.
Here’s the official video…..
Been ages since we had any Bad Afro grooves with which to regale these missives with, alas it seems we’ve missed out the debut platter from Scandinavian space psychedelicists telstar drone sound released earlier this year – band name alone would have guaranteed it instant turntable investigation hence the reason why we’ve spent the last 30 minutes picking our jaw from off the floor after a mild attack of swoons following the appearance on our laptop of the bands latest video. ’now see how’ is the third cut to be lifted from that aforementioned debuting full length ’comedown’ platter and I don’t mind saying that it’s a bit of a belter, all lysergic mirages, tripadelic incantations and woozy wig flipping psyche apparitions whose collective intention one assumes is to have your head dissolve while the rest of your being goes in search of rooting out your treasured Spacemen 3 gems for comparison – file under bliss kissed smoking Cheval Sombre groove – essential out there sounds in short.
Footnote – many thanks to Lars for shipping a copy of the telstar drone sound album so quickly – featured in the next missive (ed)
Another label who we feel we’ve been doing an injustice to of late is gizeh – home of glissando, fieldhead and sleeping dogs to name just three forming their illustrious roster. What better way to re-acquaint ourselves with the labels wares than by mentioning this delightful sortie just prized of the presses. Due for release next week the debuting platter from Clare Brentnall here performing under her guise as shield patterns. Traced in glacial tenderness the airless allure of ‘the rule’ is sumptuously woven in an amorphous web of down tempo treads aligned to shyly whispered porcelain folk corteges, deceptively ghostly and desirably spectral, the sparsely minimal aural colourings fill the canvas enveloping all within in a wispy like aura that’s both beguiling and bewitching, initial listens alert to a detached portishead persona at work but scratch a little deeper and the rustic arrest of an ethereal spell crafting of a wounded and vulnerable youthful Ms Bush comes to the fore.
A video goes a lot like this…….
And now back with more dream popped loveliness this time from Easter Island who hail from Stateside boast a rather tasty 7 inch twin set slated for swooning action in record stores shortly by way of the emergence of a brace of newly hatched cuties entitled ‘dinosaur’ / ‘drift’. the band have had something of a line up refit of late with the introduction of a new drummer whilst production has been despatched out of house to be tweaked by Andy LeMaster of bright eyes and azure ray fame. Alas only one sound clip with which to woo you with – ’dinosaur’ comes cradled in a shimmer toned bitter sweet panoramic that recalls the much missed bliss kissed shoe gazed melodies of sky wave, that said add in something of a Ride on cruise control and ruffle its floppy fringe by tweaking the finishing touches with the haloing of some swallow diving stratospherics courtesy of a smidgeon of chapterhouse traces and you have yourself an adoring nay arresting slab of dream drifting aural-phonics.
In time honoured fashion we’ve somehow managed to wrestle away the press release accompanying the latest release from the esteemed bearsuit imprint and mislay it which is a bit of blow really because we were hoping to regale you with fab happenings from the world of Jikan Ga Nai. Alas such newsworthy tit bits will have to be put on a back burner – I know how you feel, I hear the pain and the frustration. Okay bearsuit #22 has been out for a fair while – so apologies for the delay – I hope you weren’t holding your breath waiting for these words of fondness to arrive in cyberspace. Now unless I’ve got this hopelessly wrong Jikan Ga Nai are a duo comprised of the collaborative meeting of minds of one Harold Nono and one Eric Cosentino – ‘plenty time’ provides the debuting fruits of their pairing and will no doubt split consensus into two camps. The first camp will be those who might find on first hearing the sounds within steeped in such macabre denseness that they’ll feel obliged to perform some kind of do it yourself exorcism upon it no doubt involving some curiously ritualistic dance behind closed curtains and the use of beads purchased from some health and efficiency healing guru. On the other hand those accustomed to bearsuit releases of old may well prefer to dip in and out and revisit said set on various occasions in order to sup from its chameleonic persona for ‘plenty time’ is nothing if it isn’t deceptive, within these grooves elements of Broadcast, Stereolab and Plaid usher in like spectrals to airbrush the canvas, amid the chamber-tronics the knowing influence of Stockhausen permeates the undercurrent. Opening ominously the suspense laden chiller ’when we lie down we take the penguin home’ is stilled in ice forming atmospherics, the mood brooding and steeled in portent creaks and howls with a ghostly dourness that initially alerts that its reference markers may nod in the direction of John Carpenter where in fact they craftily take a cheeky leaf from both the wizards tell lies and Vernon arts lab songbook. The oppression and gloom lifts with the arriving ’of course we weren’t always superstars’ – smoked in cool sophistication and rippled in wide eyed wonder its something ripe for lights dimmed easy listening lightening the tone considerably opting for some deliciously frisky spacey library lounge loveliness which crookedly ventures a Cornelius path albeit that’ll be Cornelius found tweaking the rarefied record collection of frank and wobbly sons. Ushered upon a tearfully lonesome trajectory the orbiting celestial suite ‘legend days’ crafts a delicate twinkle trimmed lullaby that recalls a youthful Maps and Diagrams before momentarily disappearing off radar only to return equipped and toeing a cosmic carousel cobbled together from the mutant off cuts of a ‘cobra and phases’ era Stereolab playfully remodelling Add n to x’s ‘black regent’. ‘the man who tells the trains…’ rounds up the set and brings matter to a disquieting close though not before revisiting the chamber-tronic wasteland of the Wizards tell Lies once again this time instilling a fearfully parting sense of unfinished business. www.bearsuitrecords.webs.com
Ah Wizards Tell Lies of whom we were just mentioning in passing – seamless these links – you still think I just throw them up in the air and see what lands – if truth be known that’s exactly what we do and with a little dressing and a few tomatoes – voila – la Sunday experience salad. Okay word reaches us – in fact no words were exchanged it was all our own work as we happened to stumble across it – but early preparations it seems are afoot as the trio embark on recording sessions for their third WTL full length. Still in its infancy the band have sneaked up ’sound experiment 1’ on their sound cloud page, apparently this was conceived recording the run out groove of the everly brothers ’all I have to do is dream’ 78 through a fostexX28H 4 track and then feeding it back through a ZoomH1- which would all be well and good were it in English – such technicals are lost on us though we appreciate that somewhere out there there’s an enthusiastic muso having wet dreams. As to the micro sounds within – stretched, magnified, manipulated and recalibrated into something sparse, barren and brooding – a bit like a waking of the dread or at the very least the humming drone of some inner space transmission – disquietingly unsettling – in short a perfect entrée as to what to expect. www.soundcloud.com/wizards-tell-lies/wtl-lp3-sound-experiment-1
Just posted – and you thought it was safe to come out from behind the settee – poor fools that you are. Latest weird core creeping collages from the shadow masters of spine chilling disturbia Wizards tell lies sees ‘demo 1’ emerge menacing and bleary eyed into the autumnal twilight. First fruits of those difficult third album sessions (or is it the fourth – I’m losing the plot) is your dark serving of sinister Barry delights gouged in early 70’s styled spy gore macabre being dropkicked into the perilous pits of classic Italo horror phonics under the ominous watchful presence of goblin. www.soundcloud.com/wizards-tell-lies/demo-test-1
And no sooner did we despatch fond words about the latest Wizards Tell Lies cut then along comes a transmission from chief wizard Matt kindly dropping of a near completed brand new cut entitled ‘the call of the maddening machine’ which features guest appearances by April Larson on cello, Joshua Lévesque supplying the voice and papa November and first fold records as was head honcho Stuart Tonge applying beats. Alas I can’t share the file but can happily report back that all appears suitably sinister. Etched upon and emerging through an ominous foggy haze the wizard collective collude and in their wake an apocalyptic wasteland plundered, tortured and burnt by alien technology. The mood overpoweringly oppressive and dark, the symphonics hollowed in detachment and freeze dried in dread despair, bowed strings opine to a relentless motorik rush amid this deeply dense 11 minute opus, the wizards continue the retelling from their diarised accounts of parallel realities slipping between the shimmering morn mists of twilight hazes, nightmarishly chilled in eerie sci-fi signatures and gaunt by the stark solace of industrial chambertronics this darkly brooding monolith draws exquisitely together the distant dots linking together 70 Gwen Party and John 3:16.
And while he hasn’t been moonlighting as the Revenant Sea, WTL’s Mr Bower has been cobbling together videos for the Duke St Workshop whose ridiculously limited outing ’lexicon of paragon pines’ literally sold out scarcely before Geoff and Co could peel them off the pressing plant conveyor belt. anyhow for those that missed the release – described in passing as ’a concept album loosely built around 70’s cold cases (I’m assuming this refers to unsolved criminal cases and not hand luggage left in the pantry under the stairs) influenced by horror soundtracks, tangerine dream and library music’ (I’m self applying kicks to my arse as I write this for missing it). On listening to ‘squirm’ you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Duke St Workshop live in a black and white age studiously concocting soundscapes for public information broadcasts, much here to appeal to those among you admiring of the Ghost Box collective, steeped with an early 70’s glow and by way of utilising primitive analogue electronics this is the sound of Delia Derbyshire paired up with Roy Budd to craft out starkly sparse minimal recitals flashed through with a futuristic phrasing and into the bargain peeking through the veil and into the future to witness the library sounds of Broadcast. Exquisite.
The accompanying Mr Bower directed video goes like this……
And now to the Ephemeral Man – mentioned this lot in passing a few missives ago – well I say this lot – it is in essence a solo project headed up by Leigh Wright. Anyhow we eyed this posted on the wizards tell lies site and thought it was high time we dipped in for a little visit and found ourselves much taken with a new cut entitled ‘the famulus’. a mesmerising and distinctly chilling 24 minute suite that superbly blends black and white horror phonic film dialogue samples of satanic ritualism with minimalist library electronics the type of which you occasionally find tripping out of the vaults and into the newly discovered light by such esteemed imprints as trunk and finders keepers and a somewhat perfect bedfellow one would assume for that quite extraordinary ’1612 underture’ set by the eccentronic research council from last year and those out of it slabs of Basil Kirchin groove. A true headphonic trip that mutates and terraforms across an audiac canvas peppered with rustic inclines, analogue electronic swirls ripped straight from the radiophonic workshop, the odd dream mirage and even features a strangely wired moment of freakish earth beat jazz that nods to tubby hayes which all gathered together should prove to be an essential listening soiree for those who trip to the sounds of those belbury parish pods aired by jim jupp et al. ‘the famulus’ incidentally comes replete with issue one of ‘the famulus’ zine which features variously haunting story delights. www.ephemeral-man.bandcamp.com/album/the-famulus
Now there’s cool and there’s COOL and Finnish psych dudes Black Lizard clearly fall under the latter heading. After a well received EP and a noted compilation release via fuzz club and not forgetting to mention a debuting platter picking up home turf acclaim back in Finland, Black Lizard are set to give that aforementioned self titled set a UK release this October. Given hint as to its pedigree the set has both Anton Newcombe of BJM fame and Sonic Boom on board carving between themselves producing and mastering duties, teaser tracks have been posted on the bands publicity site while we issue forth begging letters to secure review copies, that said the cut that has caught and caused our ears to smart is the drop dead smoking ’dead light’ – taking its reference cue with a ’darklands’ era Jesus and Mary and with the subtle infusion of Velveteen grooves this baby prowls and purrs with the kind of sly eyed psych sneer and crystal clear sparse clarity that suggests its DNA trace elements draw a blood lineage way back to Cochran, Meek and Spector by way of the Flaming Stars. www.projekta.is/black-lizard
Here’s a moving picture show of the track…..
There’s not a not a lot of things that excite like all your Christmases coming at once than the prospect of new Bardo Pond platters lurking in record world, due to enter orbit sometime October via Fire is the latest opus ‘peace on Venus’ has just been spotted wooing its way from the deepest ends of the cosmos on a earth trajectory with ’taste’ jettisoned by way of escape pods to serve as something of a heralding broadcast. Past masters and foremost aural alchemists in the craft of things considered falling under the ever expansive psych / shoe gaze / noise folk palette, applying the less is more rule. ’taste’ delicately veers upon a cruise controlled pulsar, framed in vapour trailing whispers that purr to the genteel rupture of fizzing skree ripples all set upon a ghostly half lit demur, this is the Bardo’s at their most serene, most measured and most graceful blending a sonic tapestry cured in both a heavy and weightless dynamic to transmit a sound steeled in both dark and light textures all translated in arresting orbs of sepia tethered spectral beauty, in short much like a forlorn distress call from a dying star belt and something which all said should appeal to those much admired and adoring of Damon and Naomi’s collaborations with Ghost. www.soundcloud.com/firerecords/bardo-pond-taste/s-RrKSw
Do you get times when all you want to hear are searing sounds soldered in putrefying misery immersed as where as though burnt asunder in the back draft of Satan’s breath, thought you might. Let us introduce you to Baltimore-iam doom disciples’ full of hell and calm the fire who share groove space on a forthcoming blister bombing split 7 inch va A389. Comprised of six cuts – two of which are currently bludgeoning all on the labels band camp page, ’return to the mines’ finds full of hell in playful moods sucking you in with some ominous shards of reverberating sludge groan before reigning all manner of damnation and retribution at rapid fire no prisoners taken 200mph fury and into the deathly bargain scorching your turntable and earlobes into a frothing mass of molten mayhem. Alas no one coming to save you any day soon with the emergence over the hill of ‘paralysed’ which sees calm the fire grimly stepping up to plate and taking up an in your face stance right from the off in an amassing skull pummelling carnage that comes belching and fired upon a sickening apocalyptic resignation much like if I’m not mistaken an ’exorcism’ era Killing Joke being dismembered by a gathering of ill intentioned earache folk. www.a389recordings.bandcamp.com/album/a389-134-full-of-hell-calm-the-fire-split-7
Somehow they’ve so far managed to escape the ever watchful glare of our radar, until now that is. Debut full length from Oozing Wound entitled ’retrash’ is about to cause a fair amount of rumble when it eventually appears on the hipster imprint thrill jockey sporting a rather fetching sleeve sometime October, these Chicago noise niks are described in passing as channelling music ’for people with no faith in melody or happiness and no resistance to heavy riffage’ which all bodes well for us. Sent forth as a warning shot ’welcome to the spaceship, motherfucker’ is a head fucking festering bastard offspring whose parentage is unquestionably blooded by way of some illicit back alley bunk up between Motorhead and Big Black albeit seared and shot through with the acutely rapid fire pummelling of an early 80’s US hardcore mindset to which from out of the speakers rips up a skin shredding sonic assault that’s all at once wilfully wayward and scalded in a toxic hybrid fusion of blazing agit core and atonal skree skewing seizure shocks. Sounds like your new favourite beat pop combo.
More from a389 recordings, following in hot pursuit shortly will be a new 7 inch platter from hardcore metalers integrity who also hail from Baltimore and will be grimly descending with a three track beast by the name of ‘black heksen rise’ which I must admit is as stricken as things get around these here parts curdled as it is in flashes old school Maiden-esque riffage albeit groomed amid a consuming dark acrid pro-prog doom drilled wasteland which at times has you suspecting that each of its collective players may well be enacting their roles at different pages from each other and if I might add are blessed with a singer who no doubt gargles a potent cocktail of razor blades and mild acid as a studio get together warm up. www.a389recordings.bandcamp.com/album/a389-135-integrity-black-heksen-rise-7
Are you comfortable seated. Are you ready for a sore thumb soiree. Good then we will begin. Should we be worried or weary, new Windmill Moth Glue gear unearthed – you know what that means folks – kids to bed, all small animals safely dispatched outside of earshot and those of a nervous disposition taking up your usual post right behind the settee. We should say that apologies are due for we got a note about this release way back in the midst of whenever. Limited to just 80 copies this four track ’treat’ – we say treat with tongue firmly wedged in cheek – appears on a cassette by the name ‘ the shackles of romance‘ – alas we haven’t got a full copy just yet but we’ve managed to sneak a peek at one of the cuts – incidentally titled ’a monk hangs’. typical surrealist* / child like* / abstract nonsense* (* delete where applicable* / appropriate* / necessary*)waywardness which as hard as you might try proves unclassifiable save to say you wouldn’t want to meet it in the dark, nightmarish nursery noodling is what you get for your patience* / endurance* / punishment*, impish* / incoherent* / idiotic* and just plain old weird* / wired* / wonky* – features deranged vocal squeals – which even after several listens we still can‘t make up our mind in deciding whether they are attributed to laughter or the result of self applied electro shock treatment, detuned strumming, bizarre elephantine booms and a curious Australasian musicality even if it is bent and twisted and rendered near unrecognisable. Remember the strange goings on within Michael Bentine’s potty time – well its not like that. www.soundcloud.com/antsandearwigs/windmill-noth-glue-a-monk
Staying with things that have something of a trace element connection with the ghost box collective and something of an essential curio is a new 10 inch arriving shortly via the grave face imprint featuring the annual Halloween offering from the Marshmallow Ghosts among whose ranks feature black moth super rainbow, dreamend, hospital ships, the casket girls and the appleseed cast (you don’t need me to tell you that there’s a few familiar names amid that roll call). The release is being made available via the labels pledge site and will be an exclusive to all subscribers – and if that’s not to your tasting the there’s plenty of goodies, gifts and trick n’ treating oddities with which to ensure the envy of your friends and foes. As to the actual album – there’s a sneak sampler edit being hosted on sound cloud – www.soundcloud.com/graveface/the-marshmallow-ghosts-2013-10
Which features excerpts of shimmering chamber-tronics, sweetly kooky dream dipped soft psyche montages much admired of the likes of the doleful lions, strange minimal library and doom dipped church organ recitals which ought to appeal to those much loving the sounds of add n to x and bronnt.
Same label same sound cloud page – leave things playing along after the marshmallow ghosts edit passes and you’ll be treated to ‘we are the dreamers’ by Pennsylvanian trio the stargazer lillies which dare I say may well be the most seductive and beautiful thing we’ve heard all year ripped as it is in the shoe gazed crush of effervescent chorals pulled as were from the very heavens and speared by the expansive smother of heartbreaking hazes of crestfallen feedback sheens that sigh and arc in forlorn resignation. We need to hear more.
More of this gubbins in part 3.…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….think we might use this as a theme tune – what do you think…..
© marklosingtoday 2013