Ah the dreaded C word. Of course Christmas is to which I refer, fast approaching along with the obligatory and often predictably dull end of year polls. Now we here under our former guise as Singled Out used to greet the festivities with a year end bumper missive and since its been a fair few year since we endeavoured to cobble one together we’re putting out an early call for such related tuneage befitting the seasonal finale, which will all be gratefully received, listened to a woven into a bumper Xmas missive. Contact details at he foot of this missive.
And with that Tales from the Attic Volume XV – this editions track listing reads thus…..
Sukh, Mai, Mai, Mai, Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band, Mutation, someone still loves you boris yeltsin, permanent clear light, beast milk, laura j martin, gold ray, clara hill, john roger olssen, novella, mazes, the caseworker, Vienna ditto spc eco, the lights, horse party, haarts, autobahn, flights of helios, the cream people, dead leaf echo, dott, earthling society, our solar system, the long drone flowers, heavens gateway drugs, the grafham water sailing club, dean wareham, November sun, emmas imagination, king champion sounds, scholars, parlour, steven Wilson, death fix, magnetix, chalaque, ryo takematsu, destruction unit, a lilly, pipers son, victories at sea, health and efficiency, baby pink, skull tv, greg bird, wide eyed, sunshine Frisbee laser beam.
Okay just a very brief mention for this while we wait for hard copy promos to arrive. Debut full length from Sukh is due for frenzied record store counter action shortly – mid November if you are wanting something a little more precise – oh go on then the 18th. Entitled ‘kings’ Sukh has been getting a fair amount of acclaim not least here wherein way back in February we literally fell over ourselves in our adoration of ’den’. for those not quite up to speed Sukh is better known as Manchester resident Sukhdeep Krisham who by day takes care of the ills of the neighbourhood as a Doctor and by night cobbles together flag waving slices of perky bright eyed pop. Don’t believe us eh – well take a gander at the video / sound clip below and tell me what’s not to like – lolloping banjos, shimmer toned strums, people dressed in mock banana splits outfits and feel good vibrations all gathered together and lushly dipped into an energetic pulse prickling sleigh ride that shuffles, tumbles and chirps with the kind of hope against the odds rallying call of a pre ’sit down’ era James.
Not a lot of information about this, safe to say we eyed it on a face book activity posting from the boring machines imprint who we fear we’ve kind of lost touch with in recent times, no doubt due to moves / email changes and the disappointing without warning pulling of losing today operations something to which we’ve still had no contact / explanation let alone apology – my seething mood has not relented. Anyhow enough grumbling, Boring Machines in case your not up to speed on such matters are one of Italy’s finest imprints who boast and roster graced with releases by such esteemed names as Philippe Petit, Fabio Orsi, Expo 70 and Father Murphy to name just a few. Forthcoming on the label is – we think – the debuting full length by Mai Mai Mai – as said no info – but the album due next month is called ’theta’ – ’telos’ culled from that set is a hulking slab of monochrome cold wave electronica that taps directly in to the hive mind of a chilling post punk landscape, both doomy and desolate, an imagining of future world wastelands as though sculptured upon the sparse and fractured hinterlands of John Foxx’s ’metamatic’ and remodelled by 70 Gwen Party. Does it for us, we’ll try and secure copies of the album for closer inspection.
Must admit that I’m a tad embarrassed to find that Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band have so far managed to sneak beneath our radar without so much as feint flicker, worse still when it comes to realising that forthcoming brace of Big Scary Monsters releases -’bubblegum’ and ’bulldozer’ are their 7th and 8th album respectively. Some you win some you lose. So with that absolutely no info with which to impart unless of course you want an update on Kevin’s thoughts and memories about the video shoot with Daniel Ralston in situ directing – the finished results you can view at the end of this brief mention. As to the song itself – entitled ’bubblegum’ – of course ripped from the bands 7th album, is an infectious power popping dynamo upon whose finite and brisk 149 second passage manages to smartly acquit and avail itself of the kind of buzz sawing feel good chemistry that has it sitting on an axis somewhere between the dB’s or for that matter anything loosely brushed past Chris Stamey and the effervescent rush of teen angst pressed to wax space by the ever adored velvet crush.
Now be honest, there are super groups and there are SUPERGROUPS, forget the nonsense radio pleasing accidents at birth and marketing gimmicks, what you really want is a gathered collective dragged kicking and screaming into the studio and left to operate outside their normal comfort zone. Enter Mutation. Now I’ll be honest when I first read the press gubbins for this I did have a cursory glance at the calendar. Satisfied it wasn’t April fool’s day I got to thinking it must be some hilarious for 3 seconds month long wheeze similar to say STOPtober or MOWvember wherein it becomes open season for practical jokers. Four reads of the same press release and I’m still decidedly at odds with this. What’s the fuss you might ask. Well it seems some bright spark has gathered together a misfit posse dragged them to the studio and nailed down from the resulting carnage a 10 track album to be released soon on ipecac entitled ‘error 500’ from which ‘relentless confliction’ is currently being aired and indeed premiered by noisey. Among the assembled throng there are wildhearts, nepalm death personnel, mark e smith, merzbow, cardiacs, hawkeyes, young legionaires and the odd member of canaya and sisters of mercy exacting delightfully unruly groove upon clued in sound systems. Mr Smith takes up guest vocals on the aforementioned ‘relentless confliction’ – a riotous stop start stuttering grizzled aural acid bath fusing new strains of progressive art rock along the way disregarding time signatures and any notion of conformed structure to instead belch and blister to a surge of rapid fire riff artillery whilst frankly possessed of a drop dead killer snarling and snaking locked groove motif with of course an animated Mr Smith preaching from the fore in a most deranged and damaged way. Can do no wrong.
Apologies for the delay with this ‘un, truth of the matter is its been sending us into so may swooning fits that we’ve scarcely recovered enough to put typing finger to key pad so to speak. New full length ‘fly by wire’ from pop darlings someone still loves you Boris Yeltsin via polyvinyl comes if your quick enough – on heavy duty coke bottle clear wax replete with gatefold sleeve and poster. Get there quicker still and you can bag yourself a limited red cassette version or via mail order while stocks still last an ultra limited red / white vinyl variant. So that’s it done with the various editions. Polyvinyl ought to be no strangers to readers of these pages, we’ve had occasion in the past to wax lyrically about their impeccable release roster – owen, Saturday looks good to me and strfkr among the list praised here in recent memory with of montreal’s latest – and dare we say immense ’lousy with sylvian briar’ getting a brief once over – alas we’re still light on a full copy. And so to someone still loves you Boris Yeltsin or STLYBY for short to say on repetitive strain consequences, ten cuts to charm, seduce and serenade those of you who prefer your listening experiences dinked and teased in softly lit sepia streamed shyness and oozing in reflective romance. One for those who many a moon ago tapped into the heart strings adorable debut ‘try fly blue sky’ via grandpa stan records, this breezily brief set tingles to the same demurred vibe, the musicianship tenderly bathed in a quietly effervescent aura that swoons in the minute the opening salvo ‘Harrison ford’ coos and sighs into ear shot with its smoky soft purr to the closing farewell lightly spring heeled flutter of ‘fly by wire’ all delicately turned in an arresting array of whisper like bitter sweet floral flurries. Each here a gem, the harmony drenched soft west coast after burn that attaches to ‘lucky young’ is primed with enough honeyed hook happy hues to have the most self styled indie kid a jaw dropped and defences surrendering. Somewhere else there’s the razor sharp buzz sawing shimmer of the indie crunched ‘night water girlfriend’ with its dials set to strut grooved fringe flopping swoon while the simply entrancing push pull pulse racing dynamics that zig zag precociously amid ‘young presidents’ are enough to warrant the occasional heart stopping moment. Then there’s the funky soft south pacific like exotica tripping from ‘Loretta’ itself blessed with a lolloping sun fried motif that had us vaguely in mind of Marr’s riff shimmies on Stex’s ‘I still feel the rain’ while the aching ‘bright leaves’ is so cutesy cooled we’d have suspected this to be an escapee of a youthful Kevin Barnes note book had we not known better. The sleepy headed folk fancy that is ‘ms. Dot’ may well have peaked our affections where it not for the arrival of ‘cover all sides’ – a beautiful slice of pristinely purred pop tailored in a glowing Van Dyke Parks craft and gorgeously crushed in a vintage aura that sounds as though it’s been dusted down and rescued from a forgotten box found in a 50’s attic. Quite perfect all said.
More apologies due, this time to permanent clear light whose debuting platter ‘beyond these things’ out now on Havasupai records was admittedly delivered here some months ago and somehow got lost in the release traffic. Happily now found the blighters been bending our ears and sending the turntable into fits of hallucinogenic ecstasy. Now permanent clear light for those found sleeping at the back are your premier real deal Finnish psychedelicists, a three piece no less who’ve graced on a number of occasions the heady back catalogue of the esteemed fruits de mer and have visited upon these pages numerously to much adoration. What it lacks in numbers – only 8 tracks here – it more than makes up for in woozy craftsmanship, we are definitely picking up trace elements of Partridge and Co not so much in their dukes of stratosphear guise as you’d probably expect but more in their ’Mummer’ and ’skylarking’ period XTC guise albeit subtly acquiring the essences of Love, Barrett era Floyd and Delirium era Porcupine Tree (’and the skies will fall‘ which by our reckoning sounds as though it‘s fallen off the groove edges of ‘up the downstair‘). Nothing less than a classic opus ’beyond these things’ fuses together the finest lysergic essences of psychedelia to colour an album that’s trippy, vivid and quite frankly out there. Fairly certain we’ve mention the opening salvo ‘constant gardener’ in these pages previously a gorgeously woven shimmer toned slice of psych folk kaleidoscopia succulently threaded with phased riffage and the mellowing swirl of feel good vibing while the genteel rustic flowering of ‘Ribes Nigrum’ shuffles into Soft Hearted Scientists sound spaces with alluring elegance. Included here is their fruit de mer outing ‘higher than the sun’ here a seemingly re-cut and unedited 9 minute dream odyssey – alas not the primal scream gem of yesteryear – but a Floydist beauty found voyaging the dissipating voids to uber stoned out freaked city trip-ville via Elektra’s defining and legendary ‘cosmic sounds’ album – an absolutely shit faced and wasted monolith chartering sonic higher states once journeyed by the United States of America. Somewhere else there’s the decidedly funky ju-ju that is ‘love gun’ which no matter how many times I hear I can’t appear to shake off that feeling that it sounds like something crafted by a dirty chilled out and smoking blues studio jam worked upon by night by a gathering of Fleetwood’s, weather report chaps and Soft Machine types after a heady drinking session. Then its off to board an intoxicating floaty cosmic jazz mirage courtesy of the kraut grinding kooky ‘skirmish’ Wurlitzer. Centrepiece by far is the seven minute colossus ’harvest time’ indelibly dinked to dreamy nautical washes that to these ears appear to touch base with Archer Prewitt’s magnificent and sadly unheralded ’white sky’ album albeit as though recoded by the luck of eden hall, the undulating pastoral passages are sumptuously threaded in a rich airy vitality brought to bear by the whispery rushes of cornets and mellotrons freewheeling in the folds, and just when it’s getting a little ’Strawberry Fields’ ish the blighters swiftly turn about face to fragment and fracture into a spot of wig flipped beatnik baiting as though some heavily cosmic progged Crimson-esque spacecraft had landed and opened communicative channels with a seriously tripping White Noise. The set draws to a close per two parts ‘paint your wagon’ and three parts Alien Ballroom’s ‘bones of albion’ for the hymnal campfire dressage that is ‘weary moon’ all cosy toed lolloping prairie recitals dimpled in homely hues and then its over.
A very quick mention for this mainly for the fact that just one listen had us a hooked and chomping at the bit to scribble words of enthusiasm about and anyway we just needed a little time out from listening to the drop dead alluring Laura J Martin album which follows hot on the heels of this not to mention being much engaged by a new platter from maps and diagrams. Anyhow new from the svart imprint, whose wares I’m certain we’ve had occasion very recently to mention though heaven alone knows who or what it was, is the debuting full length from Beatmilk entitled ‘climax’. hailing from Finland where it seems all the interesting sounds these days appear to locate from (permanent clear light, bad afro et al – lest we mention the like minded territories stretching to Scandinavia and Iceland as well), these dudes new platter has been recognised as something of an apocalyptic post punk classic in the making – so while we issue forth begging notices for CD promos (because downloads are frankly – mislay-able here) here’s a little teaser cut to whet the appetite. Entitled ’love in a cold world’ – perhaps its just me who detects the subtle surge of a brutish early career Chameleons trailblazing the skies albeit here hooked upon a heady transfusion of ’pornography’ era Cure, bracing stuff dinked and scarred in austere riff chimes all buoyed and blistered by a panoramic grandeur that stirs, swoons and struts to an intensely passionate and fractious early 80’s chill wave cauldron of sound. www.soundcloud.com/svart-records/beastmilk-love-in-a-cold-world
Now if we weren’t blighted by the fact that our handy at the tip of my fingers resource of reviews has gone westwards into some cyber void since Losing Today decided it would be rather novel to pull the plug. Or that copies of most said reviews are currently languishing on old long unused hard drives some found and some yet to be found. We would be able to direct you in the blink of an eye or rather more a click of the mouse to our earlier lyrical waxings on this most precocious and crookedly gifted talent. ‘dazzle days’ is second album time for Ms Martin, here accompanied by Mike Lindsay (a somewhat recurring presence on recent Static Caravan releases and seemingly forging a reputation as the go to person for that something a little special and off road) and Benge (supplying analogue synth trimmings) along with we believe Neil Innes whose reportedly deeply entrenched in the rustic fog). Been something of a busy year for Laura, acclaimed festival appearances both as part of bonus skor and euros childs is wrapped up culminating in a short tour to support the release of ‘dazzle days’. available on vinyl only – just 500 copies via static caravan each arriving replete with digital downloads codes for the heathens among you still resisting old school ways the set features thirteen beautifully inscribed folk treats blessed by a creative hand far removed from your usual fayre. You see we here reckon that Ms Martin’s (Laura J Martin in case you’ll be rifling through record racks persuaded by this little musing) musical instinct and melodic ear is wired somewhat adrift of your normal Joe and instead of hearing sounds for sounds sake like most she rather more translates them into colours, moods and little pocket picture books. Taken as a whole ’Dazzle days’ features not so much songs but as were narrative scenes that reveal a dawn to dusk snapshot of a day in Martin’s enchanted world, hitherto quite unlike anything you’ve ever heard, certainly far removed from your usual pop pap, ‘dazzle days’ is invested with a lightness, more so a touch of a water colouring detail assumed of a rare alchemic palette that tip toes between nursery rhyme (as on the playground skipping like yarn ’sour grapes’ here tenderly coaxed and flavoured by a distinct ‘incantations‘ era Oldfield-ian essences), mystery, folk lore, snoozing shanties (’hold it Dear’ and the cosmically seafaring title track) and custom, it echoes to a musical tradition deeply entrenched in the English psyche and reference wise perfect listening for those Kate Bush admirers among you who lost their way after ‘the dreaming’ (best exemplified by the entrancing noir hymnal ‘half perfect’) as well as Linda Perhacs fans of which the press release makes good call comparisons. All at once spectral and sparsely detailed, hushed and homely not to mention dinked in a love noted woozy willowy-ness which on occasion blossoms to life in the most off centred radiant way to reveal a full on lush vitality (as on the sweetly arresting and deliriously woozy ‘aged crow‘), ’dazzle days’ is soothed to a minimalist timbre, throughout there’s a distinct sense of a theatrical thought process at play amid the arranged musicality, itself ghosted in a becoming autumnal feel. From the brief opening ghostly allure of ‘thaw’ your greeted into a magical twilight netherworld wherein your visited upon by the flightily crooked and wonky rustic madrigal of the sun chirped blossoming ’red flag’ all sweetly glazed and hazed in a woodland spell craft of willowy wind instrumentations and arcane folk reverie. One for the play lists the softly affectionate and cutesy ’dream of sin’ emerges from the hazy myriad of squirreling flutes and chirping gypsy musicalia to shuffle and shimmy beneath your defences like some impishly airy incantation pouring forth some mystic head expanding intoxicant. Elsewhere there’s the divinely fragile and floral beauty ’on our shoulders’ slowly unfurling momentarily from its shy eyed hide away only to dissolve into the bruised string serenaded earth beat of ’puppet dances’. the lulling lullaby like ‘at the close of the day’ is possessed of a darkly beautified haunting aspect that shrills delicately to a funereal glow that masks an irresistible warmth hued celebration whilst ‘closed hands’ sparkles brightly to round up the set inspired no doubt by those breezy interludes that used to flavour the grooves of platters bearing the esteemed name Nick Drake upon their labels. Utterly enchanting and irrefutably not of this time.
I’ll admit I’m more than a bit partial to this new thing from Clara Hill, shame we’re a little short on the information front, but its called ’lost winter’ – available we believe as a download single that’s been lifted from her new forthcoming album ‘walk the distance’ via the ever charming tapete imprint. Wonderfully dislocated and wiring not to say succulently spectral in design, the shuffling drums giving it a distractive edge out of which shimmers a soft psych haziness that coos seductively to the smoothed indie pop astuteness of a young Belly albeit breathlessly kissed by the kaleidoscopic coding of a chilled to stun blurring of Heartthrobs and Strawberry Switchblade motifs. www.tapeterecords.de
More tapete treats come in the guise of the grand opening whose ’towards your final rest’ culled from the forthcoming ’don’t look back into the darkness’ is something that ought arrive stickered with warning signs boldly proclaiming ’not for the feint of heart’. beautifully soured and hollowed in sweet melancholia, the grand opening’s craft – incidentally the one man multi instrumental talent that is John Roger Olsson – is one of the playing of bruised serenades upon your heartstrings, don’t be fooled by its almost hushed winter-esque frailty for this delicately engaged slice of hurting introspection is metered such as to pack a hurtful punch that’ll leave you tear stricken especially when the melodies unfurl bitter sweetly with a crushed falling hope to an impacting distressed cortege.
Fancy some stoned out bong groove, then pull up a little closer enquiring one, for this is the woozy shape forming new thing from Goldray – who amongst their tripadelic posse feature Reef guitarist Kenwyn House. Now I’ll be honest I never went a bundle on Reef so when this popped up on the radar we kind of sniffed at it almost passing it over until that is we say the attaching word ’psychedelic’ emblazoned on the press fanfare. What harm could befall us we thought by the mere playing. In truth plenty not least our mind expanded, time appeared running at half speed and all about was vividly spiked in lysergic halos for what oozes out of the speakers is a transcendental mirage of reverse looping arabesque motifs dissolving in swathes of out there Jefferson Airplane styled vibes, absolutely smoking – all acid fried beatnik tones after the partaking of chill pills all headed up by Leah Rasmussen who seemingly lost in the moment is found doing siren-esque styled seductive shape cutting mantras atop a mind melting hypno groove fused together by an assembled gathering of Faithless, resistors and Kula Shaker types. That said old time visitors to these pages might well want to thumb back a few years through your record collections and weed out a little set by the Omegas for closer comparison. The track incidentally is prized from a forthcoming self titled mini album funded through pledge music.
Video is here….
More mind morphing tripping mosaics this time from quartet Novella whose ‘murmurs’ EP is imminent via Italian beach babies shortly whereupon it’ll arrive pressed up on a dinky cassette limited to just one hundred copies from the same sound stable that originally issued that amazing vision fortune release now wowing all on the ever cool cardinal fuzz imprint and rightly admired in print here. Anyhow Novella are currently hatching plans for a debut full length due next year with this four song set serving as a clarion call as to what’s coming. So far one cut – ‘follow’ – has been sneaked out as a showcasing teaser taster which by our reckoning joins the dots as were between Electrelane and Billy Mahonie given its built upon a deeply alluring and intricate threading of hypno loop riiffola layers which fuzz and buzz with a chill tipped craft to mainline upon a sun shimmered motorik murmuring whose star crossed trajectory subtly wig flips upon a progressive psychedelic math grooved axis. www.soundcloud.com/italianbeachbabies/novella-follow
Is it just me or is the Mazes cut ‘hay fever wristband’ just a tad whiffing of the move’s ‘I can hear the grass grow’. so it is just me then. Ah well just wanted to get that out there so to speak. A nifty little seamless link this given that various Mazes types where on board mixing the previously mentioned Novella EP. New mini album on the way, between you and me a bit of clever marketing on their side to ensure their name is cast to the forefront of voters minds in the end of year polls. Or am I being cynical. Of course I jest, not about the album bit, for that’s called ’better ghosts’. due for delivery early November on the celebrated Fat Cat imprint, ’better ghosts’ shifts apace from the bands consolidating ‘ores and minerals’ set, described by the band as revealing hints of the Mazes sound to come whilst echoing distantly to that aforementioned set, the ten tracks featured here were crafted on the road, some cuts rehashed body parts of old songs while others were songs from ‘ores’ crystallised and fortified anew during touring this year. Of course there’ll be a fuller mention in a latter missive, for now though ‘hay fever wristband’ is being paraded to give early warning of what’s on the horizon. Sorry but it does sound like that previously referred Move nugget, though here as though rephrased through the peculiar pop viewfinder of Wire c.‘79 as though giving birth to monochromatic Monkees studio hatchlings, needling art grooved riffage corkscrews impatiently away hiccupping to a deliciously scuzzy lo-fi’d threadbare production which older listeners might well – once heard – be inclined to rummage away through record collections to unearth your c-86 styled shambling gems of yesteryear – cue stump and bogshed – infectiously dislocated and a tad feral, but we love it all the same – you will to.
Due soon from Hidden Shoal is the fourth album from multi national dream pop collective [the] Caseworker entitled ‘voices out there’ for which you can expect fond words in later musings here though not before we’ve had a chance to you flavour your listening space with a sneak peak of the title track via this quite delightful animated video. directed by HS head honcho Cam Merton. Romantically brooding and darkly majestic, ‘voices out there’ uncoils like some ghostly apparition unfurling to consume the voids and dapple the once was nothingness in a rich opiate velour, there’s a poise, a sense of grandeur unlocked and attaching here, tenderly intimate and yearning, yet cut to quick in a hollowing reflection that stilled, spectral and graceful not to mention something very much mainlining into the core melodic psyche of The Church. The track in question is available as a free download via www.store.hiddenshoal.com
The aforementioned is here………
Got a little nudge from their press people about this and I must admit I’m a little dismayed that we’ve so far failed to hook up to it. New EP from Vienna Ditto might just be the finest thing featured in this missive. Swelled from the acclaim lavished upon them in the wake of their ‘liar liar’ outing, this three track set ups the ante considerably. ‘ugly’ opens proceedings sounding not unlike some hitherto lost sound capsule capturing some rare studio event pairing together the collective minds Jarre and Moroder before shedding its skin to emerge as a slinky and smoked slice of alluring dark noir tripped with down tempo beats all cultured in the kind of demurred sophistication that purred from between the grooves of platters bearing the name Portishead upon them. That said its ’by way of apology’ that proves to be the pick of the trio here, this sultry dream wired lullaby serenade is sweetly bowed in haunting sepia stressed signatures, like a spectral siren Hatty Taylor beguiles and smoulders to a softly bewitching noir torch electronica mirage whose seductive milky kaleidoscopic hues shimmer to a filmic elegance that draws subtly towards Goldfrapp territories albeit tenderly flavoured in a musicalia mosaic into which elements of Musetta, Pram, Broadcast and the Shortwave Set blur and cascade. Bringing matters to a close is the lazy eyed smoked cool library cocktailia that is ’stop’ which lushly relocates a swooning array of Barry / Mancini motifs and dimples them in starry shimmers and packs them off to play peek a boo in the cosmicalia of Stereolab’s ‘cobra phases’.
On our radar and due for listening action over the weekend (and prepped to feature in tales from the attic XV)
will be the debuting bliss kissed Cocteau-ian full length dreamcoat that is ‘Sirens and Satellites’ from the Dean Garcia headed collective SPC ECO, here’s the video for one of the cuts therein entitled ‘fallen stars’ – be prepared as this has its woozy lasers set for ecstasy.
You ever that feeling upon hearing just the first three seconds of a track when your normally sedate and un-fussed hairs on the back of your neck suddenly stir into prickling agitation alerting your inner radar that something special is about. Well we never got that here. Of course I jest, had you going there admit it. New platter from horse party who, to date have managed to sneak away beneath our mortified radar a handful of releases, have been setting the listening space alight with much buzzing love. ‘what do you need’ is well frankly – darkly seductive – reference wise think Carina Round bitten by a youthful spell crafting PJ Harvey, this babe is slinky – snaking and mooching ever deliciously around a darkly choking dead headed primitive soft psych growl that’s shimmered in 60’s shades and prone to erupt and fracture in a most intensely consuming way as to leave you pressed upon your listening wall with its sheer ferocity. In sharp contrast and found wallowing on the flip the disturbingly hurtful ‘see wider’ is succulently mellowed in an airy bitter sweet drawl that seemingly sets its dials for stricken with Ms Langley caught in the eye of the bruised storm her vocals creaking forlornly to the stress fractures heaving around her. Out via integrity – a debut full length – cover your eyes‘ looms on the near distant horizon. .
Ridiculously happy pop that’s possessed of a tracing of the milltown brothers unless that is our ears do deserve and while your there maybe add a wee smidgeon of the trashcan sinatras to the brew for good measure. new thing from the lights out on integrity entitled ’dust and stone’ is perfect I guess for these winter glazed drawn in nights, radiating warmth and ushered in by a spangly west coast subtleness albeit drafted along for a countryside ramble, there’s a sweetly affectionate glow at work here, like a perky pop fixated variant of the Katie Winter all breezily chimmying along to a delicately effervescent radio friendly purr – dare say its something that ought b rights to be on the radar of the esteemed rock n’ reel staff room.
Hands up who remembers Inch Blue from a few years back, much admired around these here pages they cut sky signing slice of volcanic stratospheric pop both bruised and powerfully animated. I’m wondering if the Haarts might have tripped across them because ‘article way their new single for KK Music is ripped similarly so. Lush in effects pedals and shimmered in the kind of emotion shredding panoramic sound theatering more commonly associated with the Chameleons, ’article way’ is blessed with a dynamic gravitas worthy of something with the descriptive words majestic and atmospheric attaching to it, undercut by a thunderous underpin atop of which the spectral sonic symphony of sky ripping riff sirens converge with breathless beauty this gem veers to a mammoth pageantry of 80’s big sound with a withering windswept widescreen valour.
Damn – these young chaps certainly have unresolved issues. Formed at the start of the year the buzz surrounding Autobahn among the chattering classes on the street has been – by all accounts – spreading like a fast impacting virus. Sold out shows scribed in ice cool frenzy and bowed by in a withering detachment, the Leeds based quintet wearily move to the second stage of the process with the release of their debuting self titled EP for the tough love imprint. Prized from that set ’Seizure’ is alarmingly bled in a negative futility, a tale of a fit suffered in Brighton, from the off its squaring up to you close and personal, amid the unrelenting ferocious jabbing and sparring, there’s despair, desperation and frustration strangling at its very core. Racked in tension and pure paranoia it howls with a post everything end of days frenzy laced by scalded riffage and bedded firmly in acute agit core – dare I say much adored here – we’ll try and nab full copies for further inspection. www.soundcloud.com/tough-love/autobahn-seizure-1/s-o4vpj
Regular subscribers will be all to aware of our fondness for dream popping shoe gazers dead leaf echo, from their earliest releases they’ve been getting tracked on our sonic radar although admittedly in recent years we’ve somewhat lost transmissions. Now signed to the quite wonderful Neon Sigh imprint – who incidentally have just put out the Telescopes latest set – which to much embarrassment we’ve haplessly so far failed to review – a small point that’ll rectified in the coming days – Dead Leaf Echo after releasing a handful of much acclaimed EP’s and singles finally released their long awaited debut full length earlier this year entitled ‘thought and language’. from that set ‘birth’ has been given a remodelling by lost children – a collective whose ranks boast members of ice choir and ravens and chimes. A quite entrancing thing it is, all murmured in 80’s hazes, swooned in Cocteau-ian mirages and milky montages that lilt in a most alluring ether shimmered symphonia that’s dimpled in a feel good embracing yearning romance that smothers softly as it dream weaves the cosmic heavens – arresting in a word.
Sound clips here which why your listening we suggest you take a peak at the bands label shop window wherein fans can feast on all manner of ultra limited offers and rare recordings…… www.deadleafecho.bigcartel.com/product/thought-language-vinyl-lp
In all honesty one of the finest debuts we’ve had the pleasure of hearing all year. Setting aside its magisterial and stately poise – which when heard first time are enough to illicit swooning raptures in the aisles, oxford based collective flights of helios may well have procured some newfound shoe gaze sub species of celestial gospels. Via bandcamp, ’star’ is steeled in the kind of trembling grace that simultaneously calls to mind the hushed elegance of the low anthem and the eerily strange soft psych spell crafting of the yellow moon band not to much plotted upon a distant aural axis, much like tokolosh, far from the usual pop presets. Bruised in a hymnal glow, its forlorn frailty and monochrome mosaics keep at bay a hitherto emotional turbulence that bites away beneath the surface line. In simple terms this rich picking from the topper most psych folk table will crush. Flip cut ’crows’ is equally touched though this time bathed in a spectral noir half light that had us fondly reaching for our prized copies of working for a nuclear free city platters of yore albeit as though doing a spot of studio shimmying with sennen especially upon the onset of moments wherein everything begins to fracture into a motorik haze and the vibe begins to dramatically scramble and unpick itself. Frankly we want a copy – like now.
I’ll be totally honest and it should come as no surprise, but by describing your sounds as ‘jazz fusion, psychedelic rock stoned edgy heavy psych improv organic..’ are always going to earn you your stripes around these hear parts though I’m suspecting that the cream people may have just taken the stoned and improv descriptors just a little to literally whilst forgetting to let on as to what’s in their medicine bag – for personal use of course. To whom do we refer, why it be the Cream People – loved in this parish following well heeled appearances on fruits de mer’s recent and goes without saying essential ’strange fish’ gathering. Anyhow we got a missive from Kezz from the band (okay duo based in Kidderminster) alerting us to a positive cornucopia of cream people groove currently getting high and weird over at their band camp page – along with a hearty invitation to sample thus by way of an introductory peak at a track entitled ’nil by nose’ along with the proviso ’it really explodes after 10 minutes’. you see young things, missives and better still yer actual records are guaranteed to get mentions here. And so with that we ventured forth. Now it might just be me but ’nil by nose’ is the kind of third eye frying groove that those bastions of good taste at terrascopic ground control would have once upon a time professed as being located on the third star left of alphane moon or some hitherto lost love child of abunai, all noodling woozy delta blues blurred head music that’s best enjoyed by skinning up a fat one and kicking back to chill. Plotting similar stoned out territories as the master musicians of bukakke with a side serving of an out there Bardo Pond found imbibing on mystic Embryo flavourings, this parched transcendental mistral snakes from out of as were exotic arid sun burnt climes wrapped in the deeply hypnotic snake charm of arabesque intoxicants and as promised does at the 10 minute fire up, frazzle and manifest as a killer buzzing beatnik behemoth. We need to hear more methinks. www.thecreampeople.bandcamp.com/track/nil-by-nose
Hailing from Galway, Ireland – Dott are a three girl one boy pocket rocket set to steal hearts – that is if ‘small pony’ is anything to go by. Proudly boasting a debut full length via grave face tucked under their collective arm aptly named ‘swoon’ – something which we’ll be tucking into over the weekend as we add it to our must hear listening list – the band have been attracting acclaim and adoring glances like no ones business. Culled from that set ‘small pony’ is a positive riot of colourfully teen tingled effervescence, a strut-a-rama lama biff bang pow beauty that perkily buzzes and bops to a lost golden age of sound all butter kissed in honeyed 50’s bubble grooves that chirpily play tag with Spector femme factory whilst see sawing deliriously to a sun sizzled screwball sounds no doubt crafted in the buzz popped power chord likeness of the Shaggs.
Been a while since we had the pleasure of having the earthling society gracing our pages, again another troupe considered part of the extended Fruits de Mer family whose triptych on volume III‘s head expanding ‘strange fish’ series saw this galactic prog super brain radically developing their sound and veering outside their normal comfort zone in a most engaging way. That said we did eye this little cutie – a cover version no less of a much travelled and indeed fondly thought of Love cut from their defining ‘forever changes’. this appears on a forthcoming compilation being put out by the Active Listener blog entitled ‘’forever changing – a tribute to Love’s forever changes’ – which transmitted this November will be available as a free download. Earthling Society turn in a simply delirious re-tread of ‘and more again’ which in simple terms is possibly their lightest cut to date and finds them operates at the topper most curve of their entrancing powers, radiating luxuriantly in a woozy mind morphing dream coat of out there ecstasy, the glassy psych folk mirages coalescing succulently sun bathed in dissipating swathes of lush harmonics all swooned in an ethereal west coast glow of tripping kaleidoscopic auras which unless ears do deceive had us much recalling those first two full lengths from the animal collective. www.soundcloud.com/the-active-listener/earthling-society-and-more
Staying with Active Listener, we haven’t quite had time to ingest the entire contents of their latest free to download compilation ‘sampler #13‘ more just snacking on it – that said a quick rummage around the various invitees – among the roll call you’ll find neils children, sky picnic, haunted leather – who we featured here a few missives back if memory serves and magic cat who apparently have an ultra limited 250 only waxen debut which needs seeking out and listening to. But enough of that for it was our solar system who caught our attention, a collective who we believe hail from Sweden and judging by visual evidence dressed in gowns and smocks look like God bothering peace and love hippies who’ve fallen off the Demis Roussos magic bus sometime back in the 70’s mainlining on a strange intoxicating sonic brew more Circulus than polyphonic spree in design and feature among their ranks various members of dungen and lisa o piu. ‘merkurius’ featured here is a delightfully far out cornucopia of sound that taps directly into the embryo jazz exotic brand of mind expanding kraut groove, one we suspect for those attuned to the hidden delights of such esteemed vault digging imprints as Trunk and finders keepers and cut with such far venturing musical panache that it draws the invisible dots between tank, the Winston Giles orchestra and Ariel Kalma. There’s an album kicking around in record world entitled ‘vart solsystem’ that we suspect we need to hear before we get any older. www.activelistener.bandcamp.com
Just out via the ever loveable small bear imprint, new three track nugget from the long drone flowers whose ear wear frankly ought to be decorating most self respecting listening spaces the nation over especially those preferring their sonic wallpapering coloured in monochrome hues that chill to some left field leaning austere detachment. The ’she’s strange head too’ EP gathers together a trio of edgy paranoia forming mantras that ooze with unsettling disquiet, leading the charge with ’quiet’ which arrives dulled in the kind of bleak chilling solitude that we here suspect has been somewhat baked in a Suicide oven with the attending ingredients – say the slithering essences of Public Image Ltd, the Walking Seeds and Ministry – all being kneaded into a desolate dough and harvested with the ominously bitter after taste of a youthful Clinic. We must admit a growing fondness for ‘wildfire and the non story’ if only for the fact that it had us fondly recalling nights huddled up aside transistors listening to the John Peel wingding and hearing said platter player miscuing discs at a variety of speeds. Anyhow this ’un drawls to a detuned groan and half speed lackadaisical mantra which unless I’m very much mistaken sounds like some lost gem from the Velvet Underground and Nico full length that somehow missed the final cut being played at the wrong speed all replete with the soft purr of 60’s harmonic mosaics though here subdued in an ever sinister stalker like malcontent. Just edging matters in the best cut of the set ‘my sister, Drusilla’ – a sub 9 minute voyage into the long drone dark heart crafted upon a lost droning primordial blues dialect that’s gripped with a raw almost ceremonial Apache-ian growl that flinches to a hollowed lo-fi prowl whilst gutted in a dour ragged and unforgiving early 80’s ‘perverted by language’ era Fall like obliqueness. www.thelongdroneflowers.bandcamp.com/album/shes-strangehead-too-ep
In all the excitement I’ve haplessly forgotten where we picked this up – I suspecting via Active Listener but don’t quote me on that. Just a very brief mention for this while we try to beg or borrow download codes or a promo copy, its by Indiana based psych pop combo Heaven’s Gateway Drugs who’ve just released – in truth it was April – their debuting long playing platter – entitled ’you are heaven’s gateway drugs’. now as said just a brief mention mainly for the fact that we here are much adoring of the opening cut ’radio’ not least because through its mind expansive haze of looping chime corteges we do detect the transcendental riffola footing of some sterling Sergeant-esque grooves aplenty mainlining lazy eyed throughout this lysergic bleached honey, dinked as it is in the subtle psych swathes of a Mac-less Bunnymen c.90 all re-routed as were through the viewfinder of my electric love affair receiving as were psychotropic instruction from sunray. www.heavensgatewaydrugs.bandcamp.com/album/you-are-heavens-gateway-drugs
Forthcoming on Static Caravan – no details yet just sound cloud links – will be a 7 inch from the Grafham Water Sailing Club. So the names familiar then, well it ought to because we mentioned these dudes in via one of the three extended instalments of TftAttic Volume XII when we happened across their stuff – incidentally this here track as your asking – on a specially put together Static tape made exclusive for the recent cassette store day shenanigans – a copy of which we‘ll have to nab along with that usb doll type release – see www.staticcaravan.org for further info. No amount of repeat plays can shake us from our initial view that ‘Ankara’ is quite simply something else, squalling psychotropic riff sirens heavily indebted to a late 80’s New Zealand scene, dimples of Chameleons-esque majesty and a hearty side serving of seizure pulsing post punk coolness and kaleidoscopically hazed in a swirling sonic lightshow that echoes to a bleached blissful epiphany that shimmers seductively as though the result of a cross wiring sonic fusion of JMC and thee hypnotics – well cool. Hook up to their sound cloud player and you’ll encounter ’kappa kappa’ – a darkly brooding and chilling psyched n’ twanged out bad boy channelling the spirit of Link, Lux and Joe Meek whilst simultaneously grooving upon an axis previously ventured by the Walking Seeds though here as though re-calibrated by the Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet retuning ice forming psychosis sapping Lynch-ian sound-scapes. And don’t get us started on ’the butcher of Barcelona’ – lets just say this is prime time ’seduction’ era Danse Society rewired as were by a particularly cold wave b-movie. www.soundcloud.com/xtxgxwxsxcx
Prized from a forthcoming solo set entitled ‘emancipated hearts’ and released on Double Feature and Sonic Cathedral shortly is a new single from Dean Wareham (ex Luna / Galaxie 500 – as if you needed reminding) ’love is colder than death’ – a sentiment to which I can personally concur with, why can’t soul mates live next door or within recognisable commuting distance and / or be mentally tattooed so you know their your bliss forming match – ah well enough of my enviable list of failures at the spiteful hand of fate. Dean Wareham – of course admired around these here parts – when that is he sees fit to venture out of his secret lair, here colluding with Sonic Boom and Cheval Sombre – the latter of whom we used to get nice emails from and since becoming a leading light in the psych dream pop firmament we’ve strangely falling off his radar – dare say there’ll be a grumbling response to this as a result though we’re fairly certain there’ll be non such from Sonic Cathedral who despite shed loads of reviews have yet to barely utter a ’cheers’ – perhaps if we called ourselves something trite like Mojo it’d would be a different story. Are we detecting an air of grumpiness here – I should coco – in truth blame Dean Wareham where it not for his record being so damn gorgeous we’d be happily reviewing the bombastic king champion sounds – hold onto your wigs kids it’s looming on the horizon. Anyway for those of you still with us and not asleep ’love is colder than death’ is as advertised previously quite simply gorgeous, coiled in the soft alluring setting west coast sun glow this honey comes tenderly trimmed in a genteel country psych smoking jacket that duskily echoes with an acutely warm hymnal melt to recall Lee Hazlewood all lazily spun in sepia twists and a homely classicism that seductively shuffles along as though sat aside a campfire crackle in the open country shade of mountain side hideaway. www.soundcloud.com/deanwareham/love-is-colder-than-death/
Quick mention for this while we wait for promos of their new single to land. Spies hail from Dublin and are another guitar wielding quartet (possibly a quintet – not quite certain from the press release – perhaps they added a member between lines 2 and 5 – so sarcastic always the case late at night) of indie chaps with their fingers on the pulse of panoramic pop. The colossal ’November sun’ veers forth radiating such feel good exuberance coiled in the subtle usage of strutting kick backs that we felt obliged to root out a few old chestnuts from many a year ago by the Wild Swans for a spell of magnifying glass viewing comparisons and with that convinced that this has the brushing of the so called second coming of early 80’s post punk merseybeat accents attaching. Add to that the cold cool harvesting of widescreen majesty and the dinking of a volcanic surge of emotional ripples and the sky criss-crossing distress call of the stratospheric riff sirens and you have yourselves a blossoming sonic storm catcher of some measure. www.soundcloud.com/prescription-pr/november-sun
Now I need to know more about Emma’s imagination because ’army of old’ has been at equally points haunting and beguiling us so much so that we fear if answers to questions aren’t forthcoming soon that there’ll be a part of our heart forever in mourning. Now we happened upon this track funnily enough after leaving the previously mentioned spies cut running with this ‘un being cued on the pages play list. All we’ve been able to establish is that its been wooing all for a few months now having been airing on sound cloud for a couple of months. What we do know though is that track is quite exceptional, like a crushed apparition lost in the moment lolloping around all flighty and skipping trying to catch your eye while simultaneously desperately hiding its bruised and forlorn inner self , all at once eerie and enchanting all sweetly serenaded in spectral strings, alluring accordions, kooky kazoos and lazy eyed strums, there’s a disarming dizziness at work here, its melodic craft seemingly lost in a maddening world and shimmered as though its fallen through a time rift straight out of the late 50’s – utterly gorgeous in short. www.soundcloud.com/emmasimagination-1/arms-of-old
Amid its grooves, something dark stirs, there‘s unrest, not so much a call to arms but more a waking from slumber and the falling of rose tinted visors from eyes blinded by apathy and disinterest. Reality bites. Politically astute though not to the extent that it preaches at you. Its more an excusing shove. Musically its equipped with so many facets a roll call of reference markers would frankly look like a mix tape cobbled together by someone without regard for the confining strictures brought to bear by the snobbery of generic defaults. It exists between the cracks neither wanting and steadfastly refusing to be boxed up and labelled. Its comfortably uncomfortable. We refer to ‘different drummer’ the debuting platter by King Champion Sounds. Now in truth we haven’t a clue who sent this, sure there’s a press release attached, the CD sleeve gives hint of twang tastiness aplenty within, the lettering, the colours the whole shebang just promises oozed cool and as much surf-a-delic freak outs as flipped wigs can take. And then pow. For what emerges from the speakers is something strange, something cooking hot and something possessed of a fracturing mindset set. Before all that a little brief recap, earlier this year Ajay Saggar of donkey / bent moustache fame was invited by Mike Watt – minutemen – to open for him. Ordinarily you’d just get the old band back together. Not Mr Saggar, ripping up the script he furiously set about crafting a new set of songs, contacted GW Sok of the Ex and put together a whole new band. Enter stage left King Champion Sounds – a 6 piece self described improv post punk dub jazz electronica hybrid. Fast forward several months and with reputations forged and acclaim attaching like a bad smell, a debut set arrives not so much kicking and screaming but rather more caught between fitful bouts of glowering and riotous dance-rama shakedowns. Constantly leaving you teetering on the back foot, ‘different drummer’ resolutely avoids settling into any notion of order, it flips and terra-forms through the generic folds assumed of a chameleonic persona. Take for instance the contrasting melodic ethics that greet the opening brace of cuts and the parting shot ‘el problemo grande‘, in truth there are times when ‘here we go again’ skedaddles along like a rampant punked out Wizards of Twiddly tucking into a wiring concoction of pop group meets higsons jabbing ju ju all served with a side offering the animated agit groove of the Stranglers. Flip the coin and the monochrome psychotropics of ‘orbit macht frei’ veers in the soundspace of public enemy as though rewired by Richard Hell all simultaneously bedded upon a pulse throbbing trip wired cosmicalia footing. As to the vinyl parting shot ‘el problemo grande’ this blighter almost retools Love’s ’alone again or’ albeit in a casually stoned way enhancing it with a shimmering that re-imagines Morricone’s spaghetti western soundtrack epics of yesteryear being relocated to the intensely humid climes of the Marrakesh in order to sample the herbal delights therein. Somewhere else the coolly cut brass twang motoriks of ‘shop drop’ transmit loosely on shadowy men from a shadowy planet wavelengths while simultaneously tuning into territories once occupied by the foolproof projects imprint to turn out a deeply distractive hypnotically corkscrewing nugget while jazz stripes are earned on the brief though beautifully rain swept ‘free dum trial’. and then there is ‘world of confusion’ equipped in oodles of radio friendly ear candy, this charging jazz flipped behemoth comes across like a bruising face off that joins the invisible dots between Beefheart and the Fall while the dissipating mind expanding melodic moonage ‘shouting at the moon’ had us reaching for our prized Beatnik Filmstars grooves of yesteryear. All said our chosen favourite moment is the ominous bonus cut that graces the vinyl accompanying CD, Mark E Smith doing his best John Cooper Clarke’s per the sub ten minute tirade ‘massivemissivemessage from the weird mouth’ – edgy, grim and laced in a monochrome futility, the end game fuelled upon a doomy apocalyptic dub electronic palette gripped in disdain and decay and much echoed in the hollowing bleak picture curdled by Clarke’s ‘beasley street’ though here perilously tuned in to the dystopian dissonance of the minimalist psych of Cabaret Voltaire wired up to a BBC Radiophonic mainframe and retooled in the now by the truth about frank. The album arrives in ultra limited versions pressed on wax – just 200 of these – each including a CD with bonus cut not featured on the vinyl mix – along with unlimited download varieties. www.kingchampionsounds.bandcamp.com/album/different-drummer
As we steer forth towards the years end, the ghastly call for votes to be cast, then to be counted up and woven into a end of year listing is upon us. Admittedly I hate polls, especially record related ones, I mean how are you meant to do this when your hearing several new releases a day, in all honesty I can’t recall what I was listening to last Wednesday let alone last January. that’s not to say that whatever I was listening to last Wednesday is in anyway lacking in the memorable department (strangely enough young folk – just in case you are taking notes – it was an expanded re-issue of Billy Bragg‘s debuting platter), its just the nature of the beast, your focused on the here and now not the last week, the last month or the last year. That said – and I’m suspecting a little game playing on k-scope’s part – one album that has sat with me these last few months being on and off the sound player and something which in terms of overall musicality, mood and poetic resonance is stealing a considerable march on its competitors – and here’s where the game playing comes in – is Steven Wilson’s simply divine ’the raven that refused to sing’. we might well have forgotten about had it not been for the appearance of this soon to be released single – a cut from said album entitled ’drive home’. now I’m not going to get drawn into the wherewithal of prog, is this prog, is it this that or the other – if you’re a little bewildered at this point just check the various message boards and the squabbling amongst critics and fans alike in relation to this album – I’m kind of gathering Mr Wilson himself is a little perplexed by it all. And with that to the single. As you may or may not be aware the album was possessed of a navigating thread, operating on a personal level to Wilson it essentially deals in death, loss and the after effects resulting therein, freed from the restrictive expectations of his charges Porcupine Tree, the album reveals Wilson’s artistry afforded free reign, the musicality choreographed with a cinematic sensitivity and surrendered in a timeless classicism no more so is this the case than on ’drive home’. free flowing in a richly alluring softly spectral symmetry, this opining and haunting heartbreaker tells the tale of a tragedy so effecting upon the protagonist that his memory has junked the details of the ordeal to save emotional collapse. The sound-scape attaching is delicately woven upon a deftly detailed quiet to loud dynamic whose purr like palette is dinked in pastoral florets and within whose 8 minute visitation gathers slowly in density and dimension with intensity shot through apace to reach a searing crescendo like conclusion wherein all the pent up emotions converge and collide. The single comes out released as a CD/ DVD or CD / Blue Ray package which aside featuring the Jess Cope directed animated videos for ’drive home’ and ’the raven that refused to sing’ also includes two previously unreleased cuts ’the birthday party’ and the full on orchestral version of ’the raven’ along with four tracks taken from the recent Frankfurt tour dates.
Video goes like this…..
Something else that should be high on the radar of any self respecting psych head is the latest track to emerge from the Parlour work bench. For the uninitiated Parlour are a five built around the talents of one Angela Won Yin Mak, the idea for parlour coming to be following an invitation by Warm Brains to apply her vocals to their cut ‘Zaragoza’, from therein a partnership was forged with Warm Brains Rory Atwell that yielded an acclaimed track entitled ‘my love’. with a full working group in place the band have been carving and crafting tracks in the studio which all things being well should emerge into the light sometime next year. For now though a sneak preview of what to expect arrives in the shape of ‘Devil’s eyes’. operating on aural wavelengths more commonly associated with the black angels, ‘devil’s eyes’ prowls seductively, an ethereal sprite ushering forth hymnal mantras set atop a haunting and hazy slow to burn psych folk mirage dinked in the kind of archaic spirituals you’d imagine swooning out of an enchanted woodland had Haight Ashbury and Kull been holed up in a woodshed tasked with forging out strange spell crafts (Kull – incidentally – who we mentioned ages ago via a nifty cassette release and of whom have since sneaked out a limited outing on reverb worship which we’ve missed and are much grumpy about – naughty step beckons). Quite enchanting and certainly deserving of closer investigation. www.soundcloud.com/parlourmusik/devils-eyes-master
This one is currently available on a tour only 7 inch backed by ‘rage concern’. by the scholars who by all accounts appear to be wowing all and sundry whilst bathing in the after glow of acclaim heaped upon their debuting ‘always lead, never follow’ full length for Beggars Banquet. ‘damage’ is the bands tongue in cheek viewpoint on the ills of the tabloid press – a cautionary lesson to be learnt by arranging the following words into a cohesive sentence – hand, feeds, the, bite, that – which for readers of the Sun and Conservative educational ministers we’ve done a super duper quick version which goes like this – bite, the, hand, that, feeds. Supping with the devil aside, ’damage’ is a searing sonic paint bomb all humungous hooks, zig zagging riffage, corkscrewing bass underpins and acute agit articulation that gathered together bellows with he kind of force of nature friction to have you firmly pinned against the wall and begging mercy, not sure where the bring on the black death thing comes to play.
Video is here…….
I’m a tad embarrassed to say that we missed all the hype / chat and – no doubt – fevered frenzy that followed in the wake of Deathfix’s debuting super fried platter earlier this year. Headed up by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty and mix master Rich Morel, the pair forged alliances over a desire to rip up the formulaic rule book and trip out something groovy that blended their shared fondness for prog and glam. Soon to visit these shores for a short 6 date November tour. ’dali’s house’ ripped from that aforementioned album has been serviced with a video to herald the quartets arrival. Something that in truth I’m suspecting will have die hard Fugazi admirers found ponderously stumbling on back foots while flipping the wigs of the more open minded, for here be fat riffs, in fact make that fat funky riffs, well fat funky as fuck riffs at that, all wasted and shit faced in a gloriously lazy and melty styled kookily kaleidoscopic disco groove whose outsider persona imagines Gary Wilson shimmying up to a youthful Talking Heads for a floor sprawling chemical comedown with name checks aplenty, utterly addictive and liable to induce infectious rashes yet is it just me who thinks that beneath all of the wayward wonkiness that a sinister almost stalker like obsessional air disquietly attaches.
Video is here……
Spied this on the latest spot light mail out, straight outta France strut the magnetix with an uber cooled limited 7 inch for the born bad imprint, the third – from what we gather – in the ‘mannix serial’ of four seven inches. Absolutely no information about this safe to say we want one not least because ‘de pire en pire’ has a rather smart and subtle Syd Barrett like fractured states about it especially its opening sequence – very ‘baby lemonade’ – before shifting gruffly into more an acutely fuzzed out 60’s gouged strut-a-rama. That said we here a rather more smitten by the flip ‘regarde moi’ which arrives smoked in a dark psych garage cool which by its close jettisons of into the cosmic voids trepanning all along the way with some head butting dirty beatnik groove – well worth investigating. www.shop.bornbadrecords.net/album/mannix-serial-7
Staying with noise niking loveliness as recommended by those dudes at clear spot, this one comes as a limited 300 only 7 inch and features Mancunian Nick Mitchell under his alter ego Chalaque doing good bad things with guitars. These two cuts were recorded live earlier this year – in March in case your taking notes – at the Helderberg house in Albany, NY – the aptly titled ‘helderberg howl’ is just totally wired stuff with Mitchell found channelling some weird freaked and fried skittish blues variant which amid the distortion and riff shrieks we swear we hear a boogified Beefheart submerged by a wall of Bill Horist styled frazzled sound and with that one for the purists or of course goes with saying Wire readers. Over on the flip ’FTW’ belches amid a cacophony of jig-sawing scraping riffola, its busy, its brutal and its bludgeoned blues albeit as though turning left of centre at the crossroads and veering fast towards late 80’s New Zealand, bruce russell fans will no doubt admire. www.chalaque.bandcamp.com/music
Now this is I’ll admit is quite gorgeous, a triple seven inch set put out by Japanese imprint Em records featuring seven cuts by Ryo Takematsu. This release is high on our wants list not least because this coos and resonates to the spirit of pre war folk blues. Entitled ‘six-o-seven blues’ this immensely alluring set features covers of lost nuggets by such legendary masters as John Fahey, Skip James and William Moore, all book-ended by an original composition and a retuning of Fahey’s ’on doing a evil deed blues’ remixed by Tomoki Kanda. These gems come crafted delicately in the old ways and offer a most rewarding and revealing insight into an young musician blessed with a rare artistry, the lightness, the colour, the intimacy and the deft technique are something to swoon by while the vivid lazy eyed smokiness of it all has you transported with immediate effect to the heart of pop’s primitive roots. Absolutely essential – and with that we‘ll try and nab a copy for a closer and fuller review. www.soundcloud.com/ryo0ooooooooo//ryo-takematsu-six-o-seven
Acutely kooky and attractively charmed, this babe chirps as though emerged from some ice bound hibernation all sleepy headed and softly steeled in the kind of fragile porcelain state that you fear just one hush brushing up aside it might cause it to shatter into a thousand pieces. Mellowed in a demurring classicism that yearns delicately to a lovelorn shy eyed hymnal whilst softly bathed in twinkle some ice sculptured folk motifs caressed in genteel cascades of lolloping banjos, surrendering strings and toy box electronic magicalia – if we didn’t know better we’d have thought it was tunng shimmying up all cosy toed to The Earlies. But it isn’t. Pray tell us what it is I hear you cry. Why it be A Lily the musical alter ego of James Vella and a track taken from his forthcoming ‘Lupa’ EP for Love Thy Neighbour entitled ‘sparrow in the Lemon Tree’.
New thang on Sacred Bones. So you know its special. Ripped from their full length set ‘’deep trip’ Arizona’s baddest destruction unit get set to unleash ‘the holy ghost’. What more could you want – a vocalist sounding like a stoned out Bowie meets darkly foreboding Murphy with a side serving of Reed, a scalding mutant primordial ooze for an aural backdrop which when it isn’t raging as though a star in the midst of going supernova is instead mooching with enough swagger and assured cool as to give you kiss curls and a dude makeover. Add to the equation the fact that this bad baby just broods and blisters with a menacing monochromatic majesty that your head trip wires in strobe effect formation as it prowls and smothers itself in a fuck you psychosis whilst sounding not unlike a seriously wasted Rose of Avalanche wired into the darkening voidless mindset of the Gun Club. Essential anyone.
We were going to err on the side of caution and not include the sound cloud link on this, but hey – its quirky, its crooked and quite lovable so what the hell. Released via the vacilando 68 imprint who used to send us nifty releases until we fell off their mailing list, this is the first of three proposed releases by the label before the years end. By piper’s son ‘’please don’t go backwards’ is a teaser taster from the band new album ‘the roar from behind‘ – alas as with all these things there’s bugger all info information with which to lavish and sprinkle upon your reading enjoyment. Disappointment aside we’re much fond of this for its seems the pipers son has something of a habit of hiding his light beneath a very small bushel, with a far away glint soothed in yawning motifs and open chords pastorals there’s a curious breeziness afoot here that playfully canters in an almost apologetic sorry to bother you way that aside being disturbingly sweet and affectionate and sounding not unlike a youthful Soft Hearted Scientists minus the appearance of fairytale imps and ogres is traced with a wonderfully fragmenting aura dusted in a soft psyche wooziness – so while we’re off in search of promos for further inspection here’s a sound cloud link to woo and charm you…..
And back with Static Caravan – don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about that superb RG Morrison album – features next missive out, instead for now something we mentioned a missive or three back. Limited to just 100 numbered copies ‘this is TMRW’ is a tape compilation put out by this most finest of record imprints in celebration of cassette store day last month. Gathered upon its spools 8 of the finest examples of quality underground sounds currently bubbling beneath the radar chiefly around Birmingham and beyond who’ve appeared sometime or another on the various events put on by the ‘this is TMRW’ collective. Among the roll call the Grafham Water Sailing Club who we’ve mentioned earlier on in this missive to much excitable chattering and Victories at Sea whose recent debuting ‘in memory of’ EP for the Static brothers was likewise featured in these pages and had us swooning in the aisles with its bracing collection of effervescent dream popping euphoria . As to the remaining 6 – first up on the inspection table are Health & Efficiency who hailing from Birmingham and boasting six in the ranks appear do a nifty sideline in post everything groove for ‘all I knew’ – which incidentally is picking up admiring glances on the more clued up radio networks – has something of a working for a nuclear free city mindset about it that is after its done melting your head with some big bearded kraut gouged post rocking fusion after which things get hypno funky in a kind of psychotropic Battles on a head dissolving trip. If early 80’s post punkisms is what floats your boat then baby pink might just be what the doctor ordered for ‘feeble’ glowers with a coolly chilled ice forming seduction that had us reaching for our prized stash of Ellery Bop ear gear from a time when we were so much younger and playful. Chiming chords and austere atmospherics all bedded upon an intricately warping melodic spine that gallop along like some super DNA forged from the cross matching of theatre of hate, death cult and brilliant essences – in short nifty. Now here’s something guaranteed to usher a little sunshine into the lives of those feeling the winter blues. Greg Bird currently has an EP entitled ‘black tableaux’ kicking about in cyber world that we suspect we need to hear fairly soon, here shimmied up as GB and Enterprize a doing sophisticated smoked soul seduction as though its fast going out of fashion, ‘but then I lost my mind’ is a rather breezily slice of love noted calypsixalia, kooky and ridiculous infectious and blessed with a sun tanning lightness idly kissed by dinky samples that trade with an air of Smokey riding gunshot with the Soft Priest. Beautifully dimpled and scarred in a bitter sweet bruising of introspective angst wide eyed’s ’stay’ tugs desperately at the heart strings freewheeling between volcanic swathes of stratospheric ruptures and the kind of skeletal opines that used to haunt the grooves of early career platters by the Pixies – be warned nothing quite cuts to the quick like this. All said we’ve had a little spy of their sound cloud page and we suggest you do to for their ’still’ demo really is something else and features the most amazing sky piercing arpeggios you’ll hear this side of – well – a victories at sea EP if truth be told. Duo Skull TV on the other hand appear to channel a curious monochromatic math core motif on their cut ‘blade of ceremony’ which sounds like the meeting place where San Lorenzo and Billy Mahonie converge to kick off their shoes and share a moment blissing out to Television, all at once brooding, blistered and unnervingly hypnotic. Last and by no means least Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam whose debut album we have about our person somewhere and by way of a quick peek of we’ve duly noted that the cut featured here – ’one good week’ – doesn’t feature making it I guess an exclusive to this cassette. This babe comes sugar crushed in a power popping glaze of a lo-fi elephant 6 collective styled exuberance that manages to succulently tag the straying vapour trails of a youthful animal collective as though trip wired and sun fried through the radiant x-ray viewfinder of a kaleidoscopic Kevin Barnes – does it for us. That aforementioned album is – it goes without saying – on our radar.
And that’s your lot for now. As ever many thanks to press folk, labels, musicians and you – yes you there – for tuning in, reading and making this gubbins possible ,
We love records, cassettes and even CD’s so should you feel the desire to contact you can get in touch in the following ways –
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Or finally – good old fashioned snail mail –
71 Pennsylvania Road, Liverpool, L13 9BA, UK
We’re also on sound cloud and twitter but I’ll be buggered I know the address that said if you really need them then send an interesting record or tape and we’ll root out the details.
As ever take care of yourselves…..xx