Tales from the Attic Act VII Revolutions of a 33 and 45 kind (now with added typo errors and bits that don’t make sense)
Ah well so the apocalypse never happened and there we were all snuggled up in our home made end of the world bunker which just between you and me was a converted coffee table with a super duper radiation and apocalypse proof duvet cover over it. All was going well until we heard the un-listenable sound of no direction – now I can understand cockroaches and injury lawyers surviving the end of the world because they are just persistent bastards who don’t know any better, but no direction – please. A dread chill consumed me and so for good measure we stayed put for a few more days surely the cockroaches would be getting hungry and what with the injury lawyers ambulance chasing it wouldn’t be too long before no direction where no more. And then we heard the audible sound of the letter box and the thud of mail and the scampering of feet up the path. Well bugger me our postal service is non existent at the best of times so if this was the apocalypse then we were more likely to witness the second coming than our postman. Wouldn’t mind it was only an invitation to participate in a competition I’d apparently already been entered for without my prior knowledge or permission by the Readers Digest. Here’s to the next non end of the world extravaganza – readers digest you is on my watch list.
Anyway hello – how do – and welcome to the very occasional soon to be very regular tales from the attic, guess you missed our written in invisible typeset and in Norwegian to boot special a couple of weeks ago, it was a killer, best missive yet, how we laughed and what music we heard, critiqued upon – it was a hoot. Or was it……
Of course we only jest – bet that didn’t have you going – mind you given that no one actually reads these things I guess I can write absolutely anything I want or do anything I want in which case hang on a second I’m nipping out for a fag………
Okay new year resolutions – we will be making these missives more regular – quite possibly one a week – easily every forthright, we will sort out email issues which see below we will be changing shortly, we will actually reply to emails and occasionally answer the phone though don’t push it – miracles only happen in fairy tale books. And while we mention emails – can I ask that you all stop using firstname.lastname@example.org and instead go to email@example.com – seems the old losing today site has been pulled – more about that in the missive when we have more news or at least some semblance of an idea as to what’s going on.
And with all the waffle done – Volume VII…..
The tags dotted beneath this sound cloud ought to give adequate indication of where this lot are coming from – for it says dreamy electro hoe gaze beats and promises hints of the Cocteau Twins and the XX – description alone how could you feel a curious tingle, Stumbleine hail from Bristol, has been wowing the more in tuned natives there and beyond with the occasional by all accounts well heeled EP. There’s a forthcoming album entitled ‘spider webbed’ via Monotreme ready to wrestle hearts from which ‘The Beat My Heart Skips’ has been duly prized by way of a taster as to things to come. Utterly bewitching and beguiling and indeed I get it – that moment when you see the object of your unrequited affection, the pangs, the flutters, the quickening of the heart and that unquestionable inner glow here perfectly translated into a sub 4 minute bouquet. To the genteel down tempo lilt of crunchy beats and the heavenly haloing of tongue tied celestial murmurs this softly shone nocturnal delicacy purrs amid an airless amorphic vacuum shedding longing love notes as its hushed opines with silent shy eyed solace sedated in seduction tip toe and caress to an affectionate hurt that’s cradled and softly shimmered in the spectral glow of a No Ceremony diving deep into the amour teased waters of Art of Noise’s ’moments in love’ – in other words it’s a bit of a sweetheart. http://soundcloud.com/monotreme-records/stumbleine-the-beat-my-heart
Those with goldfish memories may as it happens not quite remember us going ga-ga over the current Tim Burgess single ‘White’ but we’d just like to confirm for the record that we were as would you if your head happens to turn to the sound of sly David and Bacharach motifs and the casual seafaring drift of idyllic picture pools on the horizon. Of course ‘White’ has been sent forth by way of a herald to mark the imminent release of Mr Burgess’ ‘oh no I love you’ full length which I’ll admit to add has been getting a fair old hammering around here of late however before that and I suspect done purely to get the ear candy receptors jangling the label has sneaked out two remixes of the cut. Up first the time and space machine re-drill which mellows the original considerably phasing up the brassy sequences into a delirious night fading tropicalia after glow and tweaking the riff shimmies into a smoking softly glazed strut that recalls in the main Marr’s casual cool licks on Stex’s ’I still feel the rain’. more interesting though – and be honest how often can you say that when staring across the consoles is TandSM – but Factory Floor’s Gabe Gurnsey’s retooling is just that. Totally deconstructed and dismantled – this honey sounds like a rainy Manchester night in the early 80’s with an Arthur Baker tutored New Order chilling down with a particularly out of it A Certain Ratio – absolutely gem like. http://soundcloud.com/timburgess/tim-burgess-white-factory and http://emailunlock.com/timburgess/tim-burgess-white-time-space
Tripping our radar at present is the debut release from King DJ via haus of pins. on parole from his Brown Brogues duties Mark Vernon assumes the mantle of bad assed preacher dude on this three cut limited cassette. Raw, primitive and scowling like some kind of freakishly mutant DNA fused Vince Taylor meets Gene Vincent, Vernon or King DJ as he prefers to be none rumbles with the kind of bare boned and skeletal voodoo groove that ought to have the Cramps purists going yabba yabba, applying oodles of reverb and skinned with the kind of total disregard to production that’d make the Mummies wince ’hold me down’ is a blistered and fraying bent out of shape slab of buckling blues that shambles wearily like a swamp dragged Jon Spencer while – it has to be said our favourite moment mainly due to the yelps – ’uve gon and dun it’ howls to a minimalist rock-a-hula mantra not so dissimilar to Alex Chilton though scratch a little deeper and on a repeat play the blighter sounds like a stoned out Gun Club with the aid of an equally out of it Reverend Horton Heat plundering through under the cover of night Alan Vega’s secret stash of creepy croons. http://vimeo.com/46226761
Magic Arm – ‘Put Your Collar Up’ via Switch flicker / Peace frog – something else that’s had us somewhat breathlessly adoring is the forthcoming platter from Marc Rigelsford better known in certain circles as Magic Arm. Rightly acclaimed by the likes of grizzly bear, iron and wine whilst receiving the fond play list nods from Lauren Laverne and Marc Riley, Magic Arm is currently putting the tentative top coat on a proposed new album ’images rolling’ due hopefully later this year – a follow up of course to 2009’s well received ’make lists, do something’. for now though this gem like three track EP should satiate and seduce all among you who go feint at the appearance of tingle some pristine pop intoxicating your listening space, blending a want for cinematic production with analogue keys not to say possessed of a mercurial ear for the concocting of a hook lined melodic matrix this outing proves itself as something of an utterly becoming platter and something which had us all a cooing the minute it waltzed into our ear space. From the sweetly speckled introspection of ‘cinema times‘ itself cradled in an eerily engaging noir electronica setting deftly dipped in sepia trimmings and traced to the spectral glow of retro cosmic swathes, this off centred cutie stumbles and stirs like heralding of a some circus parade arriving in town steeled beneath the cover of night led from the fore by Oddfellows Casino with the enlisted assistance of Black Heart Procession adding the crooked atmospheric colouring as it emerges at its finale in a gloriously consuming myriad of sound. Elsewhere ‘through the mire’ is buoyed by a gorgeously hymnal feel good aura that tugs smoothly as it thumbs delicately across the songbook of the Low Anthem albeit here as though tinkered and turned by a particularly welcoming and shy eyed variant of the Earlies. All said best moment of the set is the lead out cut ‘put your collar up’ which applied with a blossoming baroque pop artistry and dimpled with the cascading flurry of tip toeing strings slyly effervesces and arrests to a shifting opine of heart stopping 60’s motifs, autumnally bruised brass regales and a peek a boo purr whose bitter sweet anxious ache tripwires to a demurring dialect more appreciably found on a Divine Comedy platter of old – quite exquisite if you ask me.
A moving picture show looks a lot like this…..
The ‘No Love Lost’ Nightingales long playing platter and debuting outing for their new label cooking vinyl was a most welcomed listening experience around these here parts, upon our turntable it spat, scowled and seared its way through a prickly power jabbed recital of thunderous beat grooves, attrition scabbed punked out motifs, wiring angular pop and the odd occasional hurtful beauty. Prized from that set and forthcoming as a digital download only single comes ‘real gone daddy’ – one of that sets belching blisters, fast, furious and frantic this bruiser shapes up and shakes down like an up for it plot losing Rezillos going hell for leather and zapping day-glo lasers through some mutant rumble that to these bent out of shape senses sounds a lot like a twisted variant of Sweet’s ‘ballroom blitz’ before rupturing splendidly into a cacophonous meltdown – purely psychotic. Comes backed by an apparently inspired cover of joanna newsom’s ‘the book of right on’ which alas doesn’t feature on this here promotional doo-dah – bugger.
And still stuffing your face with popcorn I see just as well because here’s another moving picture show in our popcorn double feature slot – sorry couldn’t resist must be that re-reading of Mick Middles ‘the fall’ tome that has had us in larkish moods. Anyway video for Deathline’s recent grim groover ‘ten of clubs’ which as it happens we mentioned with much celebrated fondness in these very pages once upon time. Well there’s a new album due November entitled ’nova’ expect praising words aplenty here once that is our pre war laptop has decided to navigate the complications of download hey ho. Apparently this video is ’surreal’ according to their press people – they obviously have a differing dictionary to me….quite smart all the same…..
And cos we mentioned the Fall and because its been a while…well here’s some Fall – well Mark E Smith….a rare unreleased documentary from the mid 90’s
I promise that this will be the last video for a few paragraphs but we had to include this not least because the interaction between visual and audio is simply sublime. The closing track from his acclaimed ‘Rivers and Homes’ album, Brooklyn based Jonathon Dagan or J.Viewz as he prefers to be musically known apparently wrote ’about the sea’ inspired by the video animation that Clement Picon – known for his work with Radiohead – had crafted for the track ’come back down’. a gloriously hushed sound-scape of woozily crushed beats and rustically trimmed nimble key nibbles that allay a sense of awakening blurry eyed in some magical twilight setting which once woken unfurls and radiates amid a tender and purring patchwork of minimalist lo-fi loveliness teased in a quietly majestic euphoria that had these ears firmly pricked and fondly adoring of an Angelic like minotaur shock. One for the feint of heart among you. The aforementioned and dare I say most beguiling video animation that accompanies it is below……
We used to get loads of fortuna pop loveliness seducing our ear space in times gone past, alas somewhere along the line we appear to have fallen off their mailing list which distresses us as you can imagine. So armed with such knowledge you’ll understand why we had cause to hang out the bunting when this little cutie from Allo Darlin dropped by in our in box – out now via FP and Slumberland – again another label who we’ve heard little of lately – I suspect a conspiracy is afoot. Pulled from their second full length ’europe’ released earlier this year – yep you guessed right – missed that one an all – teeth are really gnashing now I can tell you – ’Northern Lights’ is your typical hand holding ear candy love note, driving motifs, swooning strums – a jangling jamboree if you like, affectionately cute and a desirable dansette darling that ought to shoehorn itself neatly in any well ordered record collection with a fondness for those sun dipped shy eyed sorties put out once upon a time by the likes of Sarah, Summershine or Bus Stop.
Picture show goes like this….
Staying with the Fortuna’s – next up Evans the Death, featured in these pages to much love and affection for their ’threads’ debut if I recall rightly – again another album we missed was their self titled debut – more teeth gnashing – released earlier on last Spring. Anyhow enough grumbling – third single from that errant set is ’Catch Your Cold’ – a neatly attractive sub three minute rainy Sunday afternoon jaunt through the Siddeleys songbook of yore that nods in no particular order or preference to the Sundays, Another Sunny Day and in some small way the Smiths albeit removed of the hectoring 6th form sarcasm to find itself dipped within a disturbingly dinky and hollowing bitter sweet catchiness accentuated by effervescent showers of slinkily strummed jangling treble-core. Loveable melch-pop all said.
Now this ‘un reared into our headspace at approximately 3.37am and has been pinging around like a perky pop pinball since, annoyingly tasty I can tell you. Artmagic is the collaborative collective featuring the melodic mind meeting tour de force that is Richard Oakes – yep he of Suede – and Sean McGhee – he who is responsible for the production top coat on releases by Sugarbabes and Britney. Debuting single is ’down in the river’ – one of those off kilter pop sorties whose initial introduction is heralded by a rousing glam grizzled bark before going off road somewhat and after a fair degree of finding its feet manages to carve out something of an angular art pop prettied nugget that zig-zags awkwardly and addictively to a buzzing and busy bedding of ear candy essences blended from the cross wiring DNA’s of classic era XTC and Wire platters of yesteryear whilst snagging the resulting concoction on a radio cooing canvas blessed with more hooks than a nan’s sewing box. Need I say more.
Incoming via finders keepers in time for your Christmas wants list is a by all accounts killer compilation entitled ‘man chest hair’ – a gathering of 18 bad assed grizzly moments from Manchester’s forgotten past from the early 70’s, a hulking hot tub of hard rocking hairy funk prog is the promise, alas no exact details just yet but the blighters have posted up a cut from Urbane Gorilla a bugger me if ‘ten days gone’ doesn’t sound like a grizzled shakedown sporting a big beard and loons the wing span of a DC jet doing uber funky bad boy dirty deeds to a tripped out Zep mother load. Those thinking we’re winding you up ought to haul ass to http://soundcloud.com/finderskeepersrecords/urbane-gorilla-ten-days-gone – same label will also be releasing a must have Andrzej Korzynski anthology entitled ‘Tajemnica Enigmy’ – a collection that gathers together 22 pieces of work from one of Poland’s key note maverick composers, the set will feature a plethora of previously unreleased work and include lost TV soundtracks, experimental film scores and sound library selections.
Mentioned this ‘un last time out – well here’s the equally cute video to accompany the latest outing from WALL….
Next up two of those moving picture show sorties with music to boot. Debut single from Manchester based Silver who’s better known to her kith and kin as Molly McLeod. Described in the press release as equal parts Grouper, tiny viper and Joni Mitchell – ‘Behemoth’ / ’Rib’ follows hot on the heels of her quietly acclaimed ’inflamed’ which to much sighing we appear to have missed out on. The double A side platter is a bewitching thing, ’behemoth’ finding itself cast in a teased chamber noir setting and dimpled with a disquietingly beautiful albeit chilling monochromatic flavouring there’s something of the bespoke suspense stricken beauty of ’twin peaks’ rupturing to lull the drifting tonalities as though a seriously laid back and lo-fi flying saucer attack in full panoramic flight threading hushed hymnals from an old school 4AD songbook. Better still the ghostly apparition like ’rib’ softly unfurls upon a crooked minimalist fairy folk axis traced with lunar pulsars which collectively woo and weave like impish sonic sprites enchanting your listening space with their archaic wood crafted tongue. Gem like in short.
We’re feeling a certain inner glow. A degree of touching reverence. We peek outside the window half expecting a snow snoozed setting silently decorating the landscapes unfurling before our eyes. Perhaps the intimate lull and warming glow of a crackling open fireside. Ah if only. All though is not at a loss for trimmed in a subdued seduction and reddened by the fiery glow of smouldering wood lit campfires the hushed stilled beauty of Charley Bickers ‘Our Frail Hearts’ drifts disarmingly into view, fragile and frail there’s an unassuming majesty that peers with hymnal resonance purring through the very core of this touching and daintily euphoric nugget. Pulled from the first of two albums tentatively pencilled in for a 2013 release this cut the title track weaves and woos warming the seasonal chill to brightly burn with an arresting artistry that hurts, hopes and heals in equal measure. A second album entitled ‘black submarine’ is rumoured to feature members of Goldfrapp and Verve. For sonic bites go to http://soundcloud.com/charley-bickers/charley-bickers-our-frail
Video here –
From autumnal arrest to sun dried cutesy pop in the blink of an eye, forthcoming in a few weeks from the esteemed polyvinyl imprint will be the first musical fruits in four years from Michigan’s Saturday looks good to me. Proudly tucking under their collective arms a full length entitled ‘One kiss ends it all’ which all being well will see interested record counter action sometime next spring, ’sunglasses’ serves as a taster of what to expect. Kooky and cool and easily fitting into the Fortuna Pop / Slumberland scheme of things (see above), possessed of a sly off set shimmer that’s drizzled in a swaying bitter sweet pop thrill there’s a sense of the shop assistants cosying up alongside the flatmates and running a fond thumb across a precious Sarah back catalogue of yesteryear about its misty eyed bedroom bruising and longing as its shuffles and stumbles to a quick fix jangling slab of twee tuned tastiness. Over on the flip the adorable though mischievously brief to the point ’give me your hands’ looms, with its seaside organ recital piping which in truth comes across as an ever so cute thrift shop take on the Beach Boys done in a Radiophonic stylee and love noted boy / girl sighs there’s a feint lo-fi loveliness at work here that ought to appeal to admirers of a seriously skeletal trembling blue stars. Available shortly on limited issue wax in 7 inch varieties. http://soundcloud.com/polyvinyl-records/saturday-looks-good-to-me-3
And from ‘Sunglasses’ to er – Sunglasses – seamless link time young folk, this lot hail from Brooklyn, a duo no less – Sam and Brady who will next month be showing off a new album by the name of ‘wildlife’ via the loved mush imprint who incidentally are currently hawking around a delicious platter by Steffaloo – more about that in a second. ’cold shoulder’ – ah indeed we know all about those – is at present being aired on the consequence of sound site via http://consequenceofsound.net/2012/10/new-music-sunglasses-cold-shoulder-cos-premiere/ – all needling searchlight riffage dappled in wave forms of slyly ebbing and flowing effervescence and homely harmonies part inscribed with a west coast detailing and curdled in a distant Animal Collective radiance that’s bathed in celestial feel good showers. Does it for us.
We must admit to being utterly disarmed and smitten by the debuting platter from Gemma Williams – better known to the clued up record buying folk as Woodpecker Wooliams – and its attending single entitled respectively ‘the bird school of being human’ and ‘sparrow’. off beat, off kilter and off radar, its fair to say that no one quite sounds like Ms Williams, a truly unique talent blessed with a forlornly quivering vocal and possessed of an impish take on musicality that aside teetering between the eccentric and the out of step sounds for all the world as though she was chemically engineered from a cross culturing of bats for lashes, fever ray and bjork essences. ‘gull’ her latest outing and again lifted from the aforementioned ‘the bird school of being human’ is such a heartbreakingly frail thing, dappled in oriental pastorals piqued in punctuated sighs, according to the press notes the song explores ‘a sympathetic view of a trapped soul committing domestic violence to try to free himself’ – a bruising affair both message and melodic wise.
Former Nemo man and one time Mighty Boosh collaborator James Cook returns to the fray aided and abetted by members of the Cinematic Orchestra and Sneaker Pimps and sporting a new full length and a pre teaser EP. The ‘arts and sciences’ EP features the lead out title cut and the master classic ‘three ages of man’ as well as two additional re-treads by the much admired noblesse oblige and Tanguy Guezo. With its heart in the 80’s and its eyes peaking into the distant future the kookily chipped ’arts and sciences’ is a head swooning slab of retro electro cool that nods to a youthful Thomas Dolby as it feasts upon an osmotic pop musicalia that swerves, swoons and swirls to the kind of wooing and wispy pop perfected wonderland that glides sumptuously on a galactic chassis that’s guaranteed on just one hearing to take up squatters rights in your head space. Given the noblesse make over the same cut has its orbital alignment relocated to some far off star system to airily twinkle and shimmer within a hermetically sealed spectral bubble while with its subtle industrial sculpturing TG endows a deeply intoxicating and schizoid panoramic aura that splinters between the spectral and the frantic. Best of the set by some distance though is the darkening ’three ages of man’ which treated to a prime coat of ghostly choral caress’ creaks achingly and disconsolately to a withering beading that howls to a hollowed and mercurial soft psych pageantry dimpled in a forlorn majesty that admirers of Paul Roland may well prick an ear or two ago. http://jamescook.bandcamp.com/album/arts-and-sciences-ep
We are so smitten by this, so much so we could kiss it. Incoming from Smalltown Supersound next month – oh how could we best describe it – okay lets try imagining for a second an illicit back alley bunk up on a rainy Manchester night in the early 90’s between Zombi and Vangelis, the resulting off spring would be Lindstrom, the registrar 808 State the god parents Herbie Hancock and Giorgio Moroder – culled from the forthcoming ’Smallhans’ full length ‘rà-àkõ-st’ is a glorious slab of tripping cosmic ju-ju that’s uber sultry, risqué and ultra sexy to boot – you might wanna consider a cold shower after playing – love the funky dislocation mid way through sourced no doubt from Squeeze’s ‘slap n’ tickle’ but you didn’t hear that from me mind. http://soundcloud.com/feedelity/ra-ako-st-digi-v
What’s not to love here – buzz sawing riffs, 60’s bubble groove accents, candy striped harmonies, freaky fringe flipping forays and the kind of transistor kissed cuteness that makes certain admirers of sun trimmed buzz pop go all a swoon and veers across the waxen grooves like some shambolically scuzzed out and sassy Helen love sparing shonen knife. You’re interested now aren’t you admit it – your interest is more than a tad piqued. First signings to the Scopitones imprint which as you all should know is the in house label of Peel favourites the Wedding Present. Seems like Gedge and Co have been somewhat smitten by the jagged j-pop sounds of Tokyo based three piece TOQUIWA having witnessed them wowing not only home crowds but causing a stir at a recent SXSW appearance- so much so that they’ve signed said ensemble and are set to release a limited issue album later this month. The release coincides with a UK tour which will see TOQUIWA sporting the prestigious support slot. As to the album – copies are promised shortly but for now a three track sampler has been sneaked out that features a playfully full throttling and ripping version of the Weddoes ’kennedy’ while elsewhere ’give me a chocolate’ is something of a kick botty cutie replete with cooing and sighing effervescent harmonies, power popping motifs and nods or three to the flamin groovies albeit sugar kissed by the vaselines. Best of the so far head set though is the rampant ’tokyo merry go round’ – a scowling coolly smoked slab of seizure strut shade wearing boogie arrested with the kind of needle picked hooks to die for. Damn dandy by our reckoning.
Ah fruits de mer and their extended family of sub imprints have I must admit been the cause of much bunting being scattered and a fair amount of merriment and ear candy cheer in our gaff these last few days all of which have coincided with the arrival of seasonal treats aplenty. Four releases in quick succession with which to round of what can only be described as an accomplished and hugely successful year for the FdM crew having seen their stock rise with plaudits from the likes of the esteemed classic rock fraternity heaping adulation their way. Add to that a few spiffing releases to boot not least the highly fancied ‘head music’ and ‘sorrow’s children’ compilations and the unearthing of psych foot soldiers of the old guard Nick Nicely and Paul Roland.
As to the seasons finale four excellent outings to wrap up the year first of which comes from Chicago psych-sters The Luck of Eden Hall. Hot on the heels on their hugely fancied ’alligators eat gumdrops’ – reviewed incidentally here was it last time out – its been so long – many thanks by the way to Greg of the band for the prints which now adorn a special place in our gaff. Anyhow comprising of four tracks – two exclusive covers and a brace of choice cuts prized from the aforementioned ’gumdrops’ set are what you get for your grafted wonga in the guise of ‘Bangalore’ and ‘this is strange’. the former filleted with a woozy and hazy psych cast all garnished in swirling sitars that curdle sumptuously to an hallucinogenic arabesque mantra pepper corned with dayglo dimples, the latter – in our humbled opinion one of the cherished cuts of the ‘gumdrops’ set – here sired with a kick botty snaking fuzz freaked bubblegum strut that to these ears shocks and seductively stirs star-wards as though conceived from a melodic mind meeting of soft boys and db’s types. As to the covers – ’Black Sheep’ originally emerged on one of the great underappreciated debuts to emerge from the late 60’s. SRC were a Detroit garage band whose stoner grooved brand of psychedelia went toe to toe MC5 in their heyday. Here loosened and diluted of the originals primordial goo the Eden Hall set about instilling a lazy eyed lysergic lilt to the proceedings, stoned organs and sun frazzled riffage smoke to an after-burn haziness of bleached and wasted regal like recitals, utterly far out in short. Sublime doesn’t really cut when hearing their frankly extraordinary re-visioning of the Doors ‘crystal ships’ – perhaps incidentally the finest and most beautiful thing to emerge from the collective authorship of Morrison and Co. Agreed it should be said not as hushed and haunting as the original but indelibly fused all the same with a lushly sedated dream like shimmer of magisterial and mercurial adeptness as such a treatment desires and deserves, softly tempered strings swoons and the dizzying accompaniment of slow burn riffmanship combine to give this an alluring spell crafting aura. Essential listening in a word. Up next and limited to just 800 copies on coloured 7 inch wax a rather superb twin set pairing together Temple Music and Vespero marking the obligatory year end FdM annual. Alas our copy was a little resistant in the playing – ’Pegasus’ about half through all said and the flip nowt at all – though that said we’ve managed to eke out enough so as to get the general gist of things on at least one cut. Heralding what will be a pencilled for release next year Hollies inspired psych covers extravaganza, temple music is essentially the solo vehicle for Alan Trench one time co-founder of world serpent who you should know for being responsible for the release and distribution of output of such esteemed acts as death in june, coil, sol invictus, current 93 et al as well as co-conspirator of orchis, twelve thousand days and cunnan. Here aided and abetted by Tracey Jeffery and Steve Robinson. With what can only be describes as quite something else Trench retunes the Hollies ‘Pegasus’ into a demur driven droning dream coat which once emerged from its initial industrial crackle blossoms with surrendering seduction to freewheel upon a mystically folk spell craft that dips and bows sumptuously between romance, enchantment and mystery and along the way though tripping and treading a path once commonly traversed by the likes of Jefferson Airplane, Mellow Candle, Curved Air and the likes settles to set up camp in a secret lair where NICO’s ’frozen warnings’ and Jackie Lee’s ’white horses’ converge – entrancing stuff. Over on the flip is where you’ll find Vespero who apart from hailing from Southern Russia have by all accounts been causing a fair amount of swooning amid press folk fortunate enough to have been graced by their would be space / psychedelic sounds. Alas this particular cut – a cover of Faust’s ‘jennifer’ somehow missed the final curtain call for FdM’s critically acclaimed ‘head music’ compilation and so by way of making things up to the band has been given its own spot in the esteemed glow of FdM’s rich legacy. Sadly though the blighter just won’t play – fates are working against this lot I fear so until we manage to nail a playable sound file from Keith Fdm we’ll have to leave you with this by way of a taster as to their wares – culled from their recent ‘by the waters of tomorrow’ set – ‘Amaryllis’ is a hulking slab of out there psych prog master class that blends the beauty, vision and artistry of porcupine tree, rush and tangerine dream whilst simultaneously sounding in its initial moments like John Barry gone cosmic. There’s a band camp page featuring excerpts from their recorded canon all of which I suggest you plug into without delay while we here suspect this will not be the last time they’ll feature in these pages…..http://vespero.bandcamp.com/
Third release in the forthcoming year end roster from FdM gathers together four much lauded disciples of the psychedelic arts under the auspices of the league of psychedelic gentlemen. Presented as a four track doubled A sided EP – that’ll be an extended play for those of youthful years – and limited to approximately 1000 copies all pressed on 7 inch slabs of coloured wax. The set invites as said four considered psychedelic alchemists – Nick Saloman AKA Bevis Frond, Paul Roland, Nick Nicely and Anton Barbeau – each attending with something new, something old, something borrowed or something blue. Okay we exaggerated the last bit a little but each esteemed member brings to the party something of their uniquely eccentric nature. Previously unreleased and specially cobbled together for this august meeting Nick Saloman crafted ’I’m a stone’ in a Hastings based studio which one week later pulled up its draw bridge and closed for good – not I hasten to add because of the fact that the Frond had recorded their but because they were closing up shop for good. A mellowing slab of stoner psych blues with effects pedals aplenty and steam pressed with a fringe flicking smoked cool which suggests watching lazy days dissipating into the lysergic haze. Hair will grow, beards will bristle and loons will flare replete with sew on patches. Haunting fractures and a myriad of mind melting echoes greet and grace the wonky grooves of Mr Nicely’s warping ‘rosemary’s eyes’ as it swoons tie dyed in floral festoons adorned upon undulating folds of pulsing shimmers all cradled in strangely eerie and weirded out carnival-esque motifs – I’m sure there’s a new full length kicking around in record world that we ought to be investigating. Following his long overdue appearance on the Fdm hall of fame roster courtesy of the killer ‘psychedelic mynd of moses’ EP Anton Barbeau stumps up a rekindled oldie from his extensive and dare we say essential back catalogue with ‘when I was 46 (in the year 13)’ – a tale of fear of the oncoming apocalypse 2012 and all that – a kooky cutie that dips ever so subtly into the radiators from space canon, tweaks ever so slightly a youthful Mr Bowie and Mr Hitchcock and cooks up in the process a delightfully dizzy and peculiar power pop pretty haloed in all manner cosmically entwined motifs all moored in a freakishly tasty kaleidoscopic dream weave replete with fuzzy frayed riffs.
The set ends with Paul Roland’s quite exquisite ‘the puppet master’ which in our humbled opinion just about edges it in the favoured cut of the set. this unreleased early edit version thought lost until sent recently to Mr Roland by a fan features additional chorus work by Knox of the Vibrators and Robyn Hitchcock. a freaky folly originally intended for inclusion on Roland’s ‘house of dark shadows’ album – all at once crooked and haunting, the shadow lined and spookily spectral ‘the puppet master’ is traced in an eerie vintage nursery rhyme glow as it saunters, tip toes and silently creeps around the lost recesses of Syd Barrett’s fried head space – macabre, magical and irrefutably steeped in an English eccentricity. Does it for us. And so to the fourth and final release of this years FdM related roster. There’s been much hush and secrecy about this particular outing, those who’ve been eagle eyed in keeping up with these things per the FdM site may well have pondered and puzzled over the appearance on the labels discography in recent weeks of something just simply entitled ‘white’ EP. All is revealed with what will be the appearance of a double disc coloured vinyl set paying homage to the Beatles or more specifically their fractured opus ‘white album’. pressed up on white vinyl – really could you imagine it on any other coloured variant – and limited to 1234 copies – indeed I’m sure there’s a cryptic reason there somewhere and well not being your most noted Beatles fan – yes and I was born and bred in Liverpool – this small inconsequential finds itself a tad lost on me. As to the EP itself – well in some respects a kind of year end festive get together of specially selected souls who’ve graced the FdM hall of fame throughout the year along with a few debutantes who were sure to hear more of on future releases – stand up three minute tease (kind of anyway as its Anton Berbeau’s new boogie band) and henry padovani as that’ll be you we’re talking about. Eight tracks, eight bands and eight interpretations of cuts from the Fab 4’s most musically diverse and all said most interesting album. The set sees freaksters Cranium Pie rubbing shoulders with the old guard – and original guard – the Pretty Things whilst setting aside groove space for some memorable moments courtesy of the eden hall and jack ellister. Treats aplenty literally eke from this ear candy collection not least the Pretty Things version of ‘helter skelter’ which less psychotically treated than most versions cut in recent years and that includes the original mop top mix is here given a zonked out re-visioning which by its end could easily pass for something smoked out of the grooves of the walking seeds ‘bad orb’ sessions. Mind you that said it pales somewhat in terms of weirdness when stood alongside Cranium Pie’s utterly freakish refit of ‘the continuing story of bungalow bill’ which here finds itself typically turned on its head, taken apart and cobbled together to appear as some woozy nightmarish dream sequence that one suspects has been stoked by a greedy ingestion of mushrooms of the magical variety. Three minute tease set about retuning ‘cry baby cry’ and emerge sounding more Beatle-y than the Beatles while somewhere else the Frond dinks ‘glass onions’ with an attractively loose limbed bliss kissed blues swagger. ‘dear prudence’ here recoded by Jack Ellister is trimmed with such a life affirming glow that it gets close to the Beatles interpretation and joyously soaks the proceedings in an uplifting hazily drizzled mirage of celebratory chimes. ‘savoy truffle’ is caressed with a devilishly slinky kaleidoscopic purr by the seventh ring of Saturn while stirring quietly in romantic reflection henry padovani rounds up the set with one of ‘white album’s’ oft overlooked gems – that’ll be ‘long long long’ in case you were somewhat unaware – here trimmed delicately to a desirably spectral glow that imparts the melt of a softly coaxed hymnal love note – utterly tender. Last up and before we forget – be honest would we ever or dare come to think of it and here re-branded with a detectably elephant 6 collective stylised freakish psych pop uplift that at once recalls of montreal, neutral milk hotel and doleful lions in a studio soiree of sorts, the luck of eden hall cast a fond bubble grooved eye over ‘everybody’s got something to hide except me and my monkey’. frankly a must have release Beatle head or not. Of course that’s not an end to matters as there’s the small question of the labels obligatory subscribers only freebie which in recent years has included a cassette of off cuts that missed the vinyl adornment, a CD of I guess you could call an alternate ‘a phase we’re going through’ set whilst last year there was an unearthing of old gems from the Bracken days – alas – and to much frothing at the mouth – not a pretty sight I can tell you – we missed out on. This year the blighters do us proud with a CD gift – not one CD mind but a double disc treasure trove entitled ’the crabs sell out / the crabs freak out’ – a colossal sprawl through the finest frontiers that the twinned worlds of psych and prog have to other – a positive cornucopia of new bands, old bands, familiar old friends and future heroes gather hands joined in a ripping year end soiree that steams in at over 2 and a half hours of sounds all for diddly squat. So nice those FdM types.
Psych purists ought to check out SRC’s uber trippy ‘marionette’ – which some kind soul has posted on that there you tube….
There’s a yearning seduction and a darkening desire clipped in deepening devilment that ripples with brooding beauty and tender torture from the shimmering depths of Lois Winstone’s scarred and sultry soulful sear, all at once purring, powerful and punishing it exacts upon the would be viewer a caressing cruelty that spell binds and crushes like no other as she stalks, stirs and rises prey like surveying a noir scalped aural landscape that echoes and evolves to a mesmerising and majestic musical mirage that blends the shadow lined romance of portishead at the height of their powers and the smoked torch lit smoulder of musetta at their most mercurial. the band – incidentally – are called lois and the love and the single in question titled ’dark serenade’ is backed by ’rabbit hole’ a totally differing beast it should be said, is a psychotically snarling slice of skinny hip rock a boogie fleshed out by some seriously slinky panic attack vocal howls and yelps which all said to these ears had us recalling a particularly dirty and scuzzed out early incarnation of the curve. Quite frankly you want it and who’d blame you.
Graced with a killer animation that frankly needs to be seen, the new single from Dublin’s finest Kodaline – ’The Answer’ is in all honesty the dogs danders. Croaking vocals that creak and tremble with aching solace set to a faintly defined tip toeing melodic layer by layer stature that builds with steady resolve to a softening euphoria metered out to a cosy toed caress that’s tempered with a wounded vulnerability as it shivers, stirs and blossoms from its cradling comfort zone to peak, radiate and seduce before retiring back to its forlorn shell with nods along the way to Shady bard, the earlies and charlie darwin band. An absolute bruised beauty.
Culled from their recent ‘advaitic songs’ set for the drag city imprint, OM release the hulking ‘State of no return’. Both majestic and monolithic, this boogying beatnik brute is tempered with a neo classical grind that’s spirited in monochromatic string corteges and deeply set in monastic keys all blessed with meditative Arabesque tablas and displaying OM’s trademark speaker rumbling dronal fuzz dialect, think Zeppelin remodelled by a gathering of Master Musicians of Bukkake and Seven that Spells types. Bruising and brutal yet indelibly beautiful.
A moving picture goes like…..
Third aural script from the mysterious Wizards Tell Lies sees them shifting ever so slowly the sonic tectonics of their peculiar pop landscape. ‘the failed silence’ is surprisingly warm and playful when stood aside their previous outings (‘the occurrence’ and their self titled debut). Encrusted in magic, mystery and blending a vintage detailing of radiophonic craft and an obvious ear for the dramatic, the sinister and the grand, ‘the failed science’ metered out into 8 interlocutory suites groans, greets and growls like some forgotten warning sign posited upon a crooked path where yonder lies the unknown echoing and opining a somewhat surreal and dreamlike mirage. Here lies an attracting dark beauty of discovery, a full circle event peppered with intrigue, curiosity and menacing disquiet all serviced and sequenced to an atmospheric adeptness that shifts with stealth like silent pose from dread and despair to demurred optimism. Its here that the trio forge an aural alchemy that’s sired in a distant misty eyed nostalgia and symphonic shadow play to craft overtures whose lineage lingers and dwells in grainy confines of sleeps restless silence to impart a mesmerising head-phonic feast all at once graced and groomed in an eerie and enigmatic purring grandeur.
In short ‘The Failed Silence’ takes the would be curious soul on a journey, a voyage, perhaps rather more a flight of fancy – orbiting the confining folds of nothingness the Wizards reference markers remain in tact – Add N to X (perfectly encapsulated at the height of their collective powers as were on the regally steeled cosmic heralding of the sets title track – a hyper driving colossus of stellar proportions), Bronnt Industries Kapital, Set Fire to Flames and Mount Vernon Arts Lab all vie for recognition amid the unfurling groove lines as do White Noise, Barry and Budd whilst similarly those who recently plugged into that amazing ’1612 underture’ opus by the eccentronic research council should find themselves not going wanting. Tapping deep into the same psyche as that which gave Brit folk horror of the early 70’s a lasting reputation, WTL adopt a sonic symbolism that far extend outside the normal pop formbook and culture a uniquely hermetically sealed environ. Sepia stilled orchestrations are informed by old school silver screen sound art, from the opening entreaty of the dissipating lilt that announces the aquatic amour of the graceful nursery room ’paralysed we slumped into the gloom of the consuming waves’ the voyage is afoot. From therein at each turn, at each cross road and at each false pathway the tension screw is turned with evermore descending consequence manifesting with dread focus on the sets centrepiece ‘we are in your house’ a harrowing account, rooted and fashioned in macabre and menace, its minimalist lay lines draw close a reading glass to magnify the spine tingling fingernails on blackboard haunt of Bauhaus’ ’Bela Lugosi’s dead’ (or maybe ‘UK Decay’s ‘werewolf’) and graft upon it a claustrophobic and choking montage flashed in the merest of white noise detailing and heavily indented in archaic ritualism, tension rising, the ice forming grip tightening, the death rattling reverie of brooding organ recitals surround and suffocate like some apocryphal end game cultured and countered in a spidery nerve jangling final gasp that draws deep an appreciation of Morricone and Barry. Elsewhere along the enchanted path the dream induced classical elopement spell crafted from out of ‘are you coming back another day?’ creeps softly into view to recall the much missed fortdax c. ‘a Beverley mythic’ while ushering in a swift downturn in mood, macabre moments such as the brooding becalm of the hollowed cavernous mantra that besets the aching solemn solitude of ’another of nature’s treacheries’ itself braided to the forlorn sigh of fading trumpet tribunes is instilled with a spectral detachment that howls with a stricken arid grip much like a head bowed and bloodied consortium of constellation souls in the charge of Yellow 6. Parting with the Gnac like ‘Anabioein’, the circle is complete and at once the gloom descends and dissipates and in its place a serene showing of optimism encroaches like light radiating the void. Consuming stuff. Out via first fold.
If not later in this missive then certainly in the next, there will be a shed load of bordellos and related teats to regale you with. till then and for now by way of an apology to Brian and Co and as a taster as to things to come we’ve just happily taken receipt of the latest recording from the bordellos by way of an MP3 download. literally hot off the presses and mixed ready to go ’the eye of the storm’ is something of a curious outing which don’t get me wrong should hopefully – once out and about – get the ears of the psych community jangling in frenzy, possessed of droning Velveteen flourishes and smoked in a hazy trip inducing arabesque flavouring this lo-fi bliss kissed minimalist mantra appears to have been perhaps inspired by some Brian Jones in situ Stones listening of late which be honest is no bad thing. More bordellos soon.
A quick note from Earthling Society’s Fred to let us know that the band are about to drop their latest full length ‘Zodiak’, out on Nasoni and only available for now pressed up on no doubt limited quantities of wax, the set was recorded live at the RHM studios in Blackpool and features three colossal progged out overtures ‘zodiak’, ‘the astral traveller’ and ‘silver phase’ – which have all seen fit to cut their teeth during recent appearances at the on board the craft festival which by chance of coincidence we’ve sourced material for of them performing the smoked to sedate and mind altering cosmic kaleidoscope that is the title track. Expect fervent and fond words here next missive – the set will re-appear next year as an expanded CD variant featuring two additional tracks via 4 zero – prepare to be zonked out….
Its typical don’t you find, it’s the end of the year and thoughts turn to considering what was for you the best album of the preceding 12 months and just when you’ve laboured and finally narrowed down the blighter along comes something to make you stall, stop and rethink. Crawling out of the London shadows or so it would seem, Kull are Marina Elderton and Lika Protsenko who together between themselves spell craft a bewitching and beguiling brew of buckled and bruised blues. as though peeking deep into the darkened and more psychosis stricken elements of your record collection where it be your record stash harboured such celebrated names as PJ Harvey, ‘scream’ era Siouxsie (none more so than on the tortured ’coocoo value‘), Mr Airplane Man, Katastrophy Wife and the Smoke Fairies with the latter mentioned as though refracted as an evil twins mirror reflection. Brooding, ethereal, eerie and darkly beautiful best describes the duo’s gnarled and primal visitation upon would be sound systems in the shape of their ultra limited 11 track cassette only release. Recorded straight to tape in one live studio take the sound of Kull is all at one haunting and harrowing, seductive and scarred and steeled in a primordial swamp dragged goo whose reverb soaked echoes rumble and ripple to a stripped bare devil dealing dialect that growls and purrs to an archaic aural ancestry forged at the crossroads. Emotionally grafted here is a raw choking carnival of dark desire and macabre melodica that oozes in petrified passion and is imparted with a sometimes fairy tale foreboding all the time bleached in the growl of muddy twangs haloed seductively with siren like vocals that shriek, coo and enchant an alluring apparition like aura to proceedings, here you’ll find the tearing ache of the lovelorn ‘deer skin’ adorned in floral flurries and wound tight to a bewitching sigh as though a macabre fall out from the ‘wicker man’ soundtrack. The white hot ‘background radiation’ opens side 2 to a frenzied snowstorm of droning mantras and sinister machinations from out of whose fog bound blur emerges the ghostly spell charmed ‘7th day’. Elsewhere opening shot ‘silence’ dreamily trades with devouring subtly to strains of Komeda’s ‘rosemary’s baby’ while the parting ‘avalanche’ reveals a more than passing nod to a psychosis sapped Nico in full furious flight. Those preferring a bit of punch to your steel cold atmospherics should take a peek at ‘suzanna’s awake’ a withered poke you between the eyes slab of buckled bubblegum psych pop loveliness that slyly shimmies and sidesteps Vega and Harvey with much admiring aplomb. All said and aforementioned references aside admirers of the much missed virgin passages may find much here to swoon to, there’s also an equally ultra limited EP currently kicking around in record world that apparently comes housed in a lyric book which we’ll have to nail. For now though and at this moment the best thing on planet pop right now. http://www.kullmusic.com/
Rolled up in Rizlas and smoking the finest and rarest essences blended of The Byrds and Wimple Winch all subtly turned and tanned in sunny 60’s west coast kisses, ’Are Y0u Wool Toned’ due for release in February is the debut offering from Scouse-a-delic psych soulsters Rob Clarke and the Wool tones – a superb sub 4 minute 60’s odyssey clipped in kaleidoscopic swirls and fashioned in the finest fuzz frilled threads, quite possibly the coolest platter outta Liverpool since those mop top loving dudes the Tables but then who are we to say. http://robclarkeandthewooltones.bandcamp.com/
Those among you still fortunate enough to have roaring open fires warming your cockles rather than costly ineffective central heating may find yourselves obliged nay cooed into snuggling up to someone or something dear and drift longingly into the tender folds of something a little wintry and wonderful from those shy eyed types the Silkwinders. Of course no strangers to these missives the Silkwinders feature the combined talents of Leslie King and Andrea of our missing cat fame. Sneaked out as a yuletide trembler ‘salvation’ is at once ethereal and elegant, hurting and homely, its bruised distressed exterior cracking softly to reveal a dreamscaping delicacy fondly framed in gently spun folk footsteps and primed and haloed upon a sighing celestial serenade that hurtfully pauses half flight leaving you crushed with a tearful ache.
A video goes lie this…..
Always been something of a favourite around our gaff has Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra’s ’Some Velvet Morning’ been, surprising still we found ourselves adoring and smitten of Primal Scream’s super psych sugared revamp a few years ago with Kate Moss despite certain grumbles from what could only be described as snobbish wannabe purists. That said you can imagine our ears a pricking up when via a short note we were warned nay advised that Nasty Little Lonely had turned their sights on this most hallowed of classics. Featuring a guest vocal spot from Heaven Asunder’s Matt Boyd there’s a gloriously frayed and psychotically drilled industrial grunge growl to Nasty Little Lonely’s fracturing cover, closer in nature to the original template and removed and remote of the kaleidoscopic swoon of the Primals take, this version scowls and spits with an unerring deep set manic intent, grafted on to a cool as fuck raw, primitive and shimmering shambolic shell, this twisted and fried brew seductively dips, swerves and swoons between the dreamy and the distressed. Available as a free download to boot via http://nastylittlelonely.bandcamp.com/ – there’s also an album knocking around we suspect deserving of future mentions in the shape of ‘gutter dub’.
More seasonal musical mince pies this time in the shape of terry emm’s quite beguiling festive folk folly ‘gently’. delicately traversing snow twinkled pathways once rambled upon by the likes of the shady bard and the kind of stuff that used to trip out of the autumn ferment stable to woo us once time seemingly long past, add to this the betraying charm appreciably drifting in the background of a feint dappling of Plainsong fairy dust and like the aforementioned Silkwinders cut you have yourself a beguiling bouquet of shyly trimmed seasonal loveliness whose cheerfully cosy toed demeanour softly shimmies in the snow falling embrace of a winters kiss to instil a rosy cheeked inner warmth haloed in a humbling hymnal hark.
What do you mean you’ve never heard of SPC ECO – have you been living under a rock or something, might that be the same rock that Dean Garcia once a co-conspirator of the oft overlooked Curve has seemingly been hiding under since falling off the musical radar for far longer than most would deem wise. That said given our indelible and near perfect knack for not keeping the eye on the ball so to speak it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to find that the blighter is a household name sporting chart topping accolades and whatever else. SPC ECO his latest – shall we say obsession – yeah obsession sounds about right finds him teaming up with Rose Berlin. There’s a EP looming near on the horizon entitled ’push’ from which this here title track has been sneaked out as a pre release teaser. A bliss kissing 5 minute dreamscape dinked in noir skinned slow seduction as though the handiwork of Giorgio Moroder had he been relocated to a 90’s styled Bristol beats scene, presage upon this some delicately lush air brushing of alluring after dark sophistication that smokes web like sultry hazes of darkly toned glitch graced dream pop and round it off with a pristine purring production and you have something that tailgates sumptuously into environs currently patrolled by the likes of the Neighbourhood and No Ceremony whilst not forgetting to mention causing swooning fits aplenty for Curve admirers of old who mark my words will not be found wanting. http://spceco.bandcamp.com/track/push
And did we just mention The Neighbourhood in passing, seamless links time folks because LA’s favourite sons have a new single entitled ‘Let it go’ out shortly, alas this is only the b-side yet don’t let that distract or deter you for ’a little death’ is still coiled and caressed in the same kind of coalescing cool as betrayed and beguiled their previous heartbreaking ’female robbery’ which in case you missed our take on matters you’d be advised to revise up on things via https://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2012/09/19/tales-from-the-attic-v-revolutions-of-a-45-kind/ – as to the track itself – simply sublime and still oozing in the kind of chill tipped chemistry you’d imagine being the result of a studio union between massive attack and the aloof. Add to the mix the small question of another noir shaded black and white video which aside being guaranteed to have the censors squirming is impeccably cut and edited with the end touch of a trademark twist in the tail. http://vimeo.com/56267823
Fruits de Mer remember them – well last time out – which was if I recall rightly a couple of paragraphs back – so back track a little while to get a fuller flavouring on where this fits on the FdM genus tree – it seemed we had a rogue copy of their latest offering – the exquisite Temple music / Vespero split – which head honcho Keith has kindly addressed by sending over a spanking new replacement. This ultra limited 7 inch set pairs together two of the finest melodic mosaics committed to an Fdm release to date, the former a sublime re-reading of the Hollies ’Pegasus’ sumptuously crafted by the hand of Alan Trench and friends, as said before – and seriously I have tried hard to think up a better way of describing this magical manifestation – a gathering of Mellow Candle, Jefferson Airplane and Curved Air types setting up camp in the secret lair of NICO’s ’frozen warning’ – an utterly mind woozy odyssey. The track of course serves as a heads up for a forthcoming Hollies covers celebration – more about that in a second. Over on the flip you’ll find Vespero who hail from Russia and whose re-branding of ‘Faust’s ‘ jennifer’ sadly missed the final cut to be included on FdM’s much lauded ’head music’ set from early last year. So good it is / was that the powers that be just couldn’t leave it lost in the vaults and deemed it deserved some much needed exposure in its own right. And rightly so for entrusted in their hands ‘Jennifer’ unfurls through a lysergic haze of cycles that along the way shapes up like some monumental slow to burn pan psych prog earworm that along the way takes the listener on an expansive trip whose refuelling points touch moments of dream weaving out there-ness, cosmic wooziness and surreal weirdness – certainly by our reckoning something of a listening must for those whose ear candy preferences flitter amid the grooves of the earthling society canon.
There’ll be more FdM loveliness in the next missive wherein we’ll be running the thumb rule over that aforementioned Hollies cover set as well as sampling the delights of the ultra limited subscriber only Xmas freebie ’the crabs freak out / the crabs sell out’ – a humungous double disc set of selections made up of goodies that missed the final cut, various rarities, re-cuts, remixes and oddities that clocks in at over 2 and half hours of strange sounds. Hopefully in time for the next missive we’ll nab copies of a forthcoming Soft Hearted Scientists set entitled ’whatever happened to the soft hearted scientists’ – in addition that aforementioned Hollies covers set will be put under scrutiny – blighters playing now and it sounds mighty tasty and well worth a curious peak or three.
Okay two somewhat delayed and admittedly lost in the seasonal flux festive albums which caught our ear appeared at the start of December which so impressed that we couldn’t resist mentioning them in passing. First up a Christmas album from Tracey Thorn entitled ‘tinsel and light’s’ out via strange feeling. Now admittedly I don’t go a bundle of seasonal collections, tricky blighters that seem to fall outside the normal rules governing fashion, logic and indeed taste. But this took our eye when spotted in our local record emporium looming large from behind the counter. A hulking set housed in a sealed box inside of which all manner of accompanying goodies are to be had not least both a vinyl and a CD variant of the album itself along with wrapping paper – I kid you not – and cards replete with envelopes. A truly attractive sight enhanced greatly by the 13 festive treats longingly festooned upon the grooves within. A pic n’ mix selection of covers and self pens demur within, between the mellowed air filtering throughout fondness blends, dissipates and melts with snowy sentimentality with a sometimes heart crushing reflection. Here you’ll be moved by the introspectively cosy toed ’Joy’ – a reflectively homely hurter stealing itself to the magic and mourn of yuletide. Elsewhere there’s the lonesome string adorned swirl of ’Like a snowman’ tenderly rubbing shoulders with the jauntily upbeat optimism of ‘maybe this Christmas’ whilst Randy Newman‘s ‘Snow‘ is given a sepia frosted love-lorn facelift that haunts as much as it humbles. So far so good, the choice of selections carefully avoiding the usual predictable path until the arrival of ‘have yourself a merry little Xmas’ which proves to be the only blight to complain about on what is a fairly and surprisingly listenable set. That said the self penned ‘tinsel and lights’ is adorably speckled in a mellowing marriage of the pretenders ‘2000 miles’ and the pogues ‘fairytale of New York’ while ’river’ may just cause the more fragile among you to experience your heartstrings being yanked hard upon. all said for us the best moments arrive with a torch trimmed cover of ‘in the cold, cold night’ penned originally by Mr White and here stripped bare and given a smokingly sassy primitive 50’s styled prowl like sensuality and the quite humbling star speckled clock working sparseness of ’taking down the tree’ which sees her sparring with a guesting Green Gartside. As mentioned earlier there where two such Christmas collections that had us somewhat wooed, the other being a delectably dainty offering via the all made records imprint by a precious talent by the name of Kirsty Almeida and her Troubadours entitled ‘Winter Songs’. now we here love a little back story and in the case of Ms Almeida it relates to a lonely pine tree by the name of Bruce who stood unloved a tad scrawny and somewhat lacking in the needle stakes outside a Christmas market one year. Taking pity Ms Almeida skipped home with said oversized twig and since then Bruce’s appearance at Christmas has been as obligatory as bad TV comedy and the Queen’s speech. Like Ms Thorn, Ms Almeida spruces up her seasonal collection between a mix of familiar covers (‘white Christmas’, ‘all I want for Christmas is you’ and ‘winter wonderland’ – the latter proving to be an enjoyable folly all said) and self penned treats both sharing seasonal space to include their own take on Joni Mitchell’s ’river’ – which incidentally in case your wondering Ms Almeida just skins it in terms of the preferred take. A most curious album all said both kooky and cosy and an album that reveals its author to be a somewhat sensitive soul (as on ‘just cancel Christmas’ – a kind of Spector-esque sortie dinked in ‘grease’ styled teen bop 50’s motifs) albeit precluded to bouts of being quite bonkers. in danger of using all her cute kudos at once ’merry Christmas, let’s have fun’ opens proceedings and springs out of the decoration box like some Disney intoxicated excitable, heave ho’s and sighs in a most audacious way festooned by elephantine brass noodles and the kind of cheerful kookiness as though dropkicked onto a surreal school yard visitation blending elements of ’a nightmare before Christmas’ meets ‘a teenage opera’ landscapes. The creative lunacy is repeated on ’tick tock tick’ – a kind of cheeri-some ’play school’ styled oddity sprinkled in oodles of warmth and wackiness and braided by cuckooing clarinets and a year ending countdown. Best moment of the set comes with the appearance of the elegantly chilled and alluringly crafted ’cold lonely blue’ which framed in tip toeing wind squiggles reminiscent of the late great Vernon Elliott wouldn’t have looked to out of place on Ms Bush’s own festive folly ’50 words for snow’.
Yes I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I’m into this in a big way. So smitten with Talk Normal’s ‘Bad Date’ that I could easily kiss the blighter. Ripped from the forthcoming ‘sunshine’ full length ‘bad date’ is being sent out as an as were reconnaissance like herald with a tasking mission to win hearts, turn heads and dink the ear-lobes of the passing curious. Now unless I’ve undergone some sort of ill informed bang on the head during the night we here are detecting something of a Silver Apples influence wiring its way to the core of this little slab of flat lining atonal loveliness – for the uninitiated Talk Normal are Sarah Register and Andrya Ambro who together having been ploughing their own noise core pop furrow for some five years now encountering along the way plaudits and admiration from no lesser souls than the esteemed Sonic Youth. For now fall headlong into the soothing and dare I say distracting beguile of ‘bad date‘s’ hymnally humming dronal symphonia – coolly classy in a demurring detached way.
Essential reading materials don’t come any more recommended than Ugly Things. #34 maintains the publications exemplary gold standard in garage punk related writing, their trademark knack of turning up the floorboards and peaking into rock’s forgotten cellar of n’er do welling reprobates. As ever a bulging feast of forgotten fayre packed and pressed amid 188 hulking pages, everything from freak beat to power pop and all of relevance between is catered and collected for the discerning beatnik eye. This issue features the haunted, the bees, the others and some obscure beat pop combo the beatles on the cover – all feature within courtesy of extended spots. Inside there’s your usual dietary intake of forgotten, fried, freaked, wired and weird sounds from the underside of pop’s rich and varied terra-forming table, copious amounts of must have releases courtesy of their extended reviews section amid which we sure love the look of those bais manco and misty hush revival sets currently being touted by Spanish imprint guerssen as well as that gnidrolog outing via esoteric and the captured tracks cleaners from venus retrospective which has been doing the rounds for a fair few months and something which we‘ll really have to set aside a day to check out. Elsewhere aside the aforementioned cover stars there are feature spots on the blue aces, ashman Reynolds, velvet illusions, virgil caine, Milan, the may wines, vile tones, spike drivers and jenny and the rascals – oh just buy the blighter and get yourself some impeccable musical taste for the new year.
Sticking with essential reading matter, catering for admirers of punk, new wave, rock n’ roll and beyond – well that’s what the header clearly states though where the beyond appears does annoyingly perplex – is the latest issue of the strangely enjoyable Vive Le Rock. Now I know I’ve said this on previous occasions but this publication really does remind me of the short-lived 80’s zine punk lives. This issue features the late Mr Strummer on the cover – blimey is it really 10 years since his passing – inside Kris Needs pays homage to the man himself and the Clash man through a retelling of meeting moments from 76 to 83. The legend that is Gene Vincent is rightly honoured in the regular rest in peace spot – for me ’race with the devil’ is still one of the vanguard moments of rock while elsewhere lords of the new church rub column shoulders with Bad Brains, hancox, gaslight anthem, viv albertine and the sly digs as well as rare chats with Mark Stewart and Jah Wobble – obviously not together. The ubiquitous where are they now feature sets its sights on jesus jones while this being the year end issue the critics elect their favourite album of the year – spoiler alert – killing joke’s ’MMXII’ and rightly so. Attached to the cover if some bugger hasn’t prized it off that is – is your recommended dietary allowance of sonic disturbance courtesy of a speaker ripping CD that gathers together fourteen choice cuts among the assembled crowd slabs from chris pope, jim jones revue, dynamite pussy club, November five and the black bombers – ear candy recommendations for the Fuckwits and long time no hear – flipron.
Those among you with long memories might recall us fondly running the thumb rule over a new publication entitled flashback. A ridiculously plush and glossy tome whose weight alone brought groans of despair from coffee tables across the more clued up cognoscenti. Issue 2 arrives with a rethought and more realistic price tag – shy of ten pounds it be. Same quality finish, writing, style and mind arranging peaks into a record world you scarce believe existed. 212 pages is what you get for your hard earned dosh – main feature-ttes being cover stars Tomorrow who are rightly honoured by a colossal 30 page centrepiece. Elsewhere there’s a selected album pic n’ mix covering the work of Ray Russell, a spotlight on the short lived though essential 60’s teen market geared hullabaloo publication as well as a haul through the vaults of some of the keynote UK / US based magazines to have loitered on the newsstands in the late 60’s and early 70’s. also assuming space in the well heeled column inches are morgen, Gordon Jackson, Canada’s influence, dragonfly and judy dyble – factor in a wealth of release reviews and round it all off with the parting ‘crying to be heard’ spot being shone on the perth county conspiracy’s columbia set ‘does not exist’ and even the appearance of a lists spot – which ordinarily we’d be cursing and cussing about – doesn’t dull our enthusing given it’s a most curious selection of 100 early hard rock albums everyone should hear type thing which among the list – and yes I have been spotify-ing dome of these – includes such iconic names as leaf hound, Andromeda, flower travelling band, fuzzy duck, muddy waters, ursa major and Lincoln st.exit – the latter of whom we are busily trying to source and by description alone should be high on the hearing list we reckon.
We here have much time and affection for shindig, quite simply the best thing on the music stands right at this moment – now back on a bi-monthly footing following an ill thought foray as a quarterly this teen beat power popping psych garage grooved obsessing publication now up issue 30 manifests as a Stones special with the fab 5 on the cover and examined in depth within in the first of a two part critical carnival that puts their time at the cusp of psychedelic’s afterglow under the microscope whilst regular spot vinyl art subjugates their acclaimed masterwork ‘their satanic majesties request’ for closer scrutiny. Supporting cast this issue comes courtesy of Gary Farr, Roy Weard, Siren and the family along with introductory spots for new breeders’ night beats, goat and temples.
Unrelenting, unrepentant and unflinching, Nails aren’t known for their playfulness or indeed the playing out of the standard rock rule book. Instead it’s a case every man for themselves with victory deemed to be the reward for the last man standing. ‘unsilent death’ released some two years ago and featured in these missives to much hoo-hah and adoration was a brutally solemn affair right from its gallows depicted sleeve to its parting torment at its end groove – it was all said a nose bloodying uncompromising affair suffused with rapid fire venom and soaked in choking despair. It was not for the feint of heart. Since them there’s been a limited self released split single with skin like iron and news now of an album currently in the cobbling together stages going under the tentative title ‘abandon all life’. before that though there’s the small question of the ‘obscene humanity’ 7 inch being pushed through southern lord round about now. Recorded during the ‘unsilent death’ sessions the three cuts that lurk with intent on this 7 inch are re-branded tracks from the Nails ultra rare debuting 14 track 12 inch set from 2009. Up and at you in an instant, this sonically throttling 3 track salvo opens to the quick fire chop-chop carnage of title track ’obscene humanity’ – as though someone’s lifted the grid cover off hell what emerges is an apocalyptic cacophony brutally delivered and silvered in doom, despair and damnation all wielded out at such frenetic force it literally bulldozers you off your comfy listening perch. ’confront them’ hauls up in rapid fire time to continue the agony leaving gruelling grind cored ’lies’ to round up the set in a shock torn brutal show of aural annihilation which when racked up on the stereo monitor literally leaves your listening space resembling the aftermath of some destructive wasteland fall out.
An long time observers of these musings will be all to aware of our fondness for the Scratch – day-glo punk pop dudes who did a neat line in classic era late 70’s Buzzcock-ian styled groove. We say ’did’ deliberately because it appears the buggers are taking a little time out with various band members in the meantime seemingly reconvening with various local faces and friends as an 8 piece adventure by the name of the Tuesday Club. A message from Andy informs us they’ve already had a single out by the name of ‘dolly dynamite’ which when we get a copy we’ll plug some space for – hint hint. Anyway the band have been described variously as rocky horror show meets roxy music with elements of carry of screaming and dad’s army thrown in for good measure. The keyword here is ‘fun’ apparently – the band sick to the back teeth of pomposity are determined to – shall we say – shower the listener and audiences in I suppose what you’d call a dash of tongue and cheek, to this end there’s a more visual aspect to the proceedings with the crowded stage being commandeered by a 6 foot chanteuse by the name of the Minx who armed with a cowbell parades around adding cooing harmonies whenever it takes her fancy. Second single ‘ain’t got no clue’ which quickly reading through the email appears to be tentatively set for release sometime now with a debuting long playing platter pencilled in for Record Store day activity. And yes it does sound like ’time warp’ albeit as though some super group conglomerate of classic era pub rock combos led chiefly from the fore by Dr Feelgood on a hefty diet of pop kudos and tangling themselves up in a chorus laden slab of catchiness whilst doing the business in a Magazine stylee.
Okay a strangely alluring thing this ‘un. Prized from a 500 only hand numbered CD set entitled ‘the boy lives’ which itself marks the first in a series of planned GCP releases this year, ‘videotape’ will be released as a free to download offering for just one day only on the 21st January via the marketstall imprint. GCP or to give them their full title – Ghost Carriage Phantoms – are duo Michael James Hall and arranger Mark Estall. Plundering similarly textured territories as No Ceremony and The Neighbourhood ‘Videotape’ is a darkly demurring affair shadow lined in noir tinged nocturnal grooves, all at once seductive, sleek and ghost like, there’s an almost apparition like aura attaching to this softly chilled sophisticat that hints at a grainy out of focus divide between a mellowed massive attack and a laid back aloof. The single when released will arrive backed by a cover of the Stones ’mixed emotions’ while tentative plans are afoot to release the second GCP set entitled ante rock’ in Spring as Grace Cathedral Park.
Back by popular demand cried the adverts populating the pages of sister publications in the extended classic rock universe. Classic Rock presents AOR sees the return of this spandex and big hair fancying foray after what seems like an age.- by our reckoning over a year – during that time the AOR crew haven’t been resting on their laurels gathering instead a stellar return to the fray issue which asides coming housed in the by now trademark oversized – and we ought to say eye catching though a tad over the top – card wallet finds cover stars Boston reassessed with their story retold of how in the face of tragedy and near implosion the group went onto to be one of the biggest acts on the AOR landscape – the feature being bolstered by a reproduction of a rare Sounds interview from way back in ‘77. The staff writers choice for the top female AOR star is awarded to Heart’s Ann Wilson pipping to the line both Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar who show up 2nd and 3rd respectively, just as well really because coincidentally Heart are hauled in for a chat ahead of the release of their ’fanatic’ full length. As ever there’s an accompanying CD with which to get your AOR attuned ear lobes around this one amassing an assembled 15 strong cast to include selections new and old from the likes of the newly reconvened Loverboy, St Prostitute, Rick Springfield, flash bastard, Nubian rose, mia klose and more – and with that the promise of a new issue any day soon.
From the aforementioned extended Classic Rock family PROG continues to grow apace appearing on the newsstands each and every time our heads turn or so it seems. Impeccably written with acutely critical observations from a group of staff writers with a proven love of all things prog which itself lends an air of trusted authority. Housed as usual in the now trade standard oversized and we should say eye catching card wallet which we note is back to its art designed format after a brief though disappointing foray into photographic sleeves. Gives it a classical quality don’t you think. Issue 33 looms on the horizon – told you – these things are more regular than the 60 bus – and will no doubt – schedules and interest allowing – appear reviewed in these very pages next missive but one. For now #32 is a hulking outing graced by the appearance of the mighty King Crimson on the cover and inside to boot wherein band members are gathered to reminisce where about exactly the jigsaw pieces fell into place and these most eclectic sons of the original prog explosion went stellar. Its prog Jim but not as we know it shines its spotlight on gloria mundi’s ’I, individual’ with Mr Foxx as in John casting his mind back to this most formidable and clearly ahead of the musical curve duo. Steve Davies – yep – him the snooker dude – selects the much adored here thumper monkey’s ’sleep furiously’ set and bestows upon it his vote as the years best set and talking of end of year polls the prog critics winner for album of the year once all the votes where counted and scrutinised was duly awarded to Anathema’s ’weather systems’ – rush’s quietly admired around these parts ’clockwork angels’ ran matters a close second. Of course littered among the rest of the issue you’ll find the deeply humorous insights of Rick Wakeman – who all things being right – should be popping up later in this missive – stolen earth, talking heads, peter fowler of static caravan art work fame and more besides, fripp pops up again subjected to the spotlight as the prog team take the critical scalpel to ’the cheerful insanity of giles, giles and fripp’ while elsewhere Colin Blunstone is summoned to the offices and put under the scrutiny of the dreaded Q and A. As ever a CD rounds of matters to inform your listening tastes – this selection featuring king crimson, dave brock, distorted harmony, cailyn Lloyd, sumo babies – alas our copy died a death be forth hitting track 8 incidentally a spot occupied by the treat though not before allowing us to unearth the truly ethereal and masterly ’she’s up on the chair again’ by the paul menel band.
Rick Wakeman – not a name you’d expect to see in these pages to often, in fact while progressive rock underwent its extended period on rock’s naughty step the man Wakeman was largely held up wrongly or rightly as being one of the genres chief co-conspirators and someone upon whose shoulders blame, derision and the occasional snigger attached. Mind you he’s never made things easy for himself often setting himself up for the fall and supplying the ammunition for critics to happily return upon him with quicksilver zeal, capes, an unhealthy obsession in medieval merriment and on ice to boot have all marked Wakeman out as a showman bordering the pretentious and the genius. These days among his many appearances on TV he pens a small little corner spot in the aforementioned ‘PROG’ magazine under the pseudonym the caped crusades wherein his self depreciating self is revealed in all its achingly wincing and humorous vulnerability. Never one for doing things by halves ‘journey to the centre of the earth’ nearly finished Wakeman both financial and artistically, crucified by the press for being overly indulgent and deemed by his record label as being unmarketable, persistence and sheer bloody mindedness paid off dividends in the end. The suite sits high on the Wakeman table of bombast and pompous, inspired by the classic Jules Verne tome, this slice of Victorian fantasy had laid its seed deep in the impressionable Wakeman at 11 psyche. Until recently the original compositional drafts had for 3 decades been assumed lost forever, turning up out of the blue amid a bundle of sodden scores their appearance gave Wakeman a chance to correct niggling errors and to fully connect and realise the sounds his former younger self had heard inside his head in ’73. With the assistance of Guy Protheroe the mammoth task of salvaging what could be saved from the near disintegrating papers was underway and soon an underpinning framework was conceived helped in part by Wakeman’s own sound sketches and notes retained from 73. Such was the extravagance, the flamboyance and determined detail afforded to ‘journey to the centre of the Earth’ that no studio recordings were consigned to print only a live recording of its second performance with the London Symphonic Orchestra in January 1974 and even that was restricted to one recorded performance when plans for two recordings of the nights airing were dashed at the last minute by excessive wage demands by the players. Even more grating for Wakeman was to come for while his label begrudgingly conceded to releasing the album they refused to bow to requests that it be a double set all this meaning that the original 55 minute score was somewhat curtailed to a shortened 35 minute opus a small matter that a degree of tinkering could have resolved with the onset of the CD age where it not for the aforementioned missing composer notes. This limited issue set comes courtesy of one classic rock’s now trademark fan packs and aside including a CD of the original composers score reworked and fleshed out by over 20 minutes new material its accompanied by a reproduction copy of the original tour programme along with a 132 page magazine packed to the rafters with interviews with the man himself and the back story for ‘journey’ all introduced by lifelong friend Kid Jensen. As to the music within, the litmus taste is always how well it stands up to time, having existed outside the normal fashionable parameters of pop ’journey to the centre of the Earth’ has remained untainted and beyond the aging of time, a remarkable compositional work given the age of its author at the time of the original scoring, a measure indeed of his precocious talent. Predating Jeff Wayne’s ’war of the worlds’ by several clear years, this new recording finds Peter Egan taking up the role of narrator in the absence of David Hemmings who sadly passed away in 2003. Huge, grandiose and panoramic are keynotes in the Wakeman vocabulary and ’journey’ doesn’t disappoint, add to that dreamy and triumphant, elaborate and lushly crafted, oh and a little heavy on the pomp but a wonderful folly all the same beautifully expressed and envisaged in floral tongues and lush celebration through a coalescing blend of symphonic electronics, classical orchestrations and grand chorals, its here that the unfurling story telling comes caressed and crashing in a sonic appreciation clipped in the magical and the dramatic.
Nicked this off a blog site that features an interview with Flaming Stars Max Decharne in which he chats fondly about punk notably Dr Feelgood, film noir and John Peel – go to http://m.soundcloud.com/willowcolios/max-decharne-interview
Latest Strange Brew pod cast is a sub 70 minute homage to Mr Bowie, an out there smorgasbord of rarities, collaborations, side projects and rare covers by other ensembles such as Billy Fury’s full on take of ’Silly Boy Blue’ and the Slender Plenty’s ’silver tree top school for boys’. on a personal note Mr Bowie has filtered in and out of my own musical life, the amount of arguments and words expelled defending the minimalist austere tones of ’low’ over the oft cited ‘ziggy stardust’ and its lasting appeal and far reaching musical influence on a new age post punk sonic landscape has nearly occasioned the need to draw pistols at dawn. And while his enviable knack to ride ahead of the curve might have deserted him somewhat throughout the 80’s and the 90’s – musical fashion is after all a fickle mistress. Lest it not be forgotten that during the finite period from the mid 60’s to the mid 70’s Bowie rode the crest of creativity alas not always under the evil eye of a hungering consumer market who would for the best part ignore his wannabe star ambitions. Musically it was a fertile period that saw the chameleon of pop crystallise from teen dream mod boy to glam guru in the space of a decade in between ushering in at turns moments in mime, space boy excursions and a brief Anthony Newley fixation. Reputations forged his ability to tap and tune into pop cultures and predict future fashions is second to none, adept at redefining and tweaking such aural visions for mainstream digestion has proven to be an art form uniquely his own. Its hard to believe that a generation of current day music lovers now grow up perhaps unaware of the lasting influence of Bowie on the pop landscape now retreated to the shadows his self imposed retirement appears ever more permanent with each passing year, that said the age of downloads, the ease of use and indeed access provided for by online resources is the new word of mouth and knowing cyber styled elder brother / sister informing and youthful sibling on the hidden sonic delights lurking just beyond their close knit and safe listening perspective. Amid these rarefied gems there are covers, lost takes, vault finds and the occasional cut from his Tin Machine folly which admittedly was a beat pop combo we kinda liked much to the general derision of other critics. http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/
Staying with the Strange Brew lads fresh off the assembly line is a spiffing pod celebrating the genius of Ray and Dave Davies in an hour long sonic silver salver of covers, solos and seldom heard hidden kinks nuggets – key listening experiences here are the Ugly’s ‘end of the season’ and mick and Malcolm’s rather kooky and snazzy ‘big black smoke’. fill your ear lugs.
And did we just mention Mr Bowie in passing – as is typical of these things we now have…er Mr Bowie no less…..
I’m sure I have cassette tapes to back up the memories, but there was a time way back in the 90’s when Messrs Radcliffe and Riley where riding high in the rating wars on the post cull styled Radio 1 schedules – irreverent and inventive and hugely entertaining, their graveyard shift had proven such a cult phenomena – basically a rehash of their Radio 5 ’hit the north’ show but with a bigger audience, bigger stars and a slightly bigger budget – that they were invited to take up duties on the flagship breakfast show. The format was pretty much the same except they had to literally drag their night time regulars out of bed at ungodly hours when rumours of the sun where about oh yeah and curb down on the ritualistic star baiting factor that had been a feature of their after dark transmissions. Stuck for a winning idea to make the traffic report a little more interesting, Lard / Riley as ever the fall guy had failed miserably in this quest, it was decided to invite a certain Mr Bowie – who happily took up the challenge and was duly measured on the dreaded rating monitor. After a few days concerns were raised that he wasn’t really doing it for the nation, ratings were slipping when he appeared for his spot and so a hastily convened management meeting on air proposed that Mr Bowie report all things traffic related and deliver said news sung to a famous tune of his own making. Now that kids is pure entertainment and if I’ve somehow imagined this up through age and a misty eyed fondness for nostalgia then call me on it. Fast forward several years – serious health issues would be for intents and purposes mark ‘heathen’ and ‘reality’ as his last recorded albums. The chameleon one would slowly slip into the shadows and disappear off radar for what seemed like for good. Many have tried to entice him back – a personal plea from the show director to appear on last years Olympic celebrations and the infamous V&a debacle had served only to reinforce Bowie’s divorce from the media. Until that is yesterday. A flash of emails received here advised me to check out Bowie’s old web site – there is activity they announced. There was I can tell you a momentary stab of fearful expectation And lo and behold on his 66th birthday the blighter in typical recluse styled panache reveals not only a new single but an album in the offing. The single ’Where Are We Now?’ will be followed in March by a new full length ’the next day’ – a bleakly beautiful affair which just lets set the record straight from the start – it doesn’t push any envelope – he is after all 66 so what really do you expect, he‘s always done things on his own terms so what gives you the idea that he‘s going to change now. This is Mr Bowie on cruise control. And so is this unfinished business – perhaps a desire to reconnect with a generation who’ve grown up admittedly ignorant of him or simply Mr Bowie just doing it for himself – lets face it he has nothing to prove. the voice sounds weary and stained in retrospection all spiked with a hint of regret, the song itself hollowed and crippled in melancholy is washed with a bitter sweet after taste of finality that leaves you somewhat head bowed and tearful. Reference wise it sits somewhere between Cash’s portrayal of ’hurt’ and the Beatles ’free as a bird’ – the lyrics which of course by now you’ve probably heard hint to his time in Berlin, in fact the song itself is embraced by the same cold detachment that sometimes troubled the listening palette of ’low’ – add in the fact that its measured, numbingly majestic and solemn, a bit like an aural equivalent of looking through an old photograph album on which note we should mention the video – strange and slightly disturbed if truth be told – directed by tony oursler, it features Bowie in a Siamese twin styled puppet set up – and Visconti is on the decks – winner all round then.http://www.davidbowie.com/vision?videopremiere=true
Those among you who prefer your sounds somewhat mind expanding and sounding as though they’ve arrived with their own recreational chemistry set might be well advised to take yourself and your floppy fringe to your local aural dispenser in order to pickup your prescriptive dose of groove by the Alien Ballroom. Formerly known as koolaid (global tyranny) it seemed that there were just too many koolaid related heads in record world so the sonic tricksters decided a quick name change was in order though not before dropping a colossal aural tab in the guise of self titled full length for the agitated imprint. Reconvening as Alien Ballroom ’Zero PAC AD’ their latest opus is a brutish beatnik bastard that skins up and tokes heavily on a brain bleaching diet of stoner psych and mutant freak out boogie. Admittedly releases don’t come this wired or for that matter weird for ‘Zero PAC AD’ is a truly schizophrenic affair that refuses to settle into a determinable pattern or groove instead leaving you helplessly teetering on the back foot. More accessible than their previous set but don‘t let that fool you that this is anything like an easy ride, seven skewed psych variants lurk in wait upon these grizzled and wasted grooves with ‘the new revelation’ opening proceedings. A warping hypno-psych droning 18 minute mantra sectioned into four fried suites that manages through its sonic cycle to traverse into the very centre of the mind’s eye twisting, regurgitating and terra-forming at varying points veering upon a cosmic trip that manifests into moments of stoned out there bliss to a white hot and truly primitive and rousing nuts down psycho-tronic shakedown at its closing comedown that’d make label mates Mugstar and the Heads turning shades of green in envy. while simultaneously imagining a particularly spiked Blue Cheer after sleepless marathon session tuned into a hallucinogen episode aided an abetted by a listening diet comprised of the first two Floyd albums going toe to toe with Genesis P-Orridge’s PTV3 and grappling the blighters in a fierce some headlock. Over on side 2 matters take a momentary detour with the appearance of the mellowed and pastorally breezy ’banks of the dee’ – a lushly caressed slice of old world lazy eyed fan-faring exuberance succulently dappled in brass follies and sitar swirls all stoked in a misty eyed blue mountain haze that imagines a campfire summit meeting between RL Burnside and Johnny Cash and then its back with the head fucking for the deeply ominous sounding ‘hogs are coming‘ for some freakish post punk gouging which if we didn‘t know better wouldn‘t look to out of place on Left Hand‘s criminally overlooked ‘minus 8‘ debut as it weaves insidiously between PIL like death disco tribalism. While out of the bluesy noodling that greets the onset of ‘street beacon’ emerges a ferociously psychotic meltdown of squalling trepanning friction before ‘instant k’ shimmies onto the horizon parading its skewed sunshine happy paisley pop all decked out in an impishly classic Elephant 6 collective cloth replete with knee slapping Mayday mosaics and kookily surreal nursery rhyming which leaves ‘forty ton rock’ to round things out if fine shadow lined style picking as where away at the dark psyche of Magazine. All said – in a class of its own.
Filmic evidence as follows – this ‘hogs are comin’……
Okay its not quite the later moment that we referred to a short line or three back, that later will be er later – though just between you and me probably in the next missive. Anyway no sooner did we post up the mention of ‘The Eye of the Storm’ by the bordellos and brian bordello was hitting us back with another new laid down mp3 – this un entitled ‘nobody’s listening’ finds Brian and Dan in somewhat darkening and dour moods, suffocated in a thickening air of disquiet and discontent, the duo square up to the plate to take random pot shots, raw with bile and incandescent with scorn, good job we don’t adopt a swear box policy around here else I’m afraid that we’d have bankrupted the bordellos 10 seconds into this freakish and skewed through rose tinted glass viewing little ditty which you’ll be happy to hear incidentally is discordant, unhinged, oddly brittle and unravelling, think Pooh Sticks tangoing with Daniel Johnston cobbling together in their uniquely ad hoc way frayed homage’s to Love and ending up sounding as though they were separated at birth from half man half biscuit. We do worry about these chaps sometimes.
Not due out until next February and already much deserving of heavy rotation around our gaff and with that the cause of much swooning is this little teaser taster from the forthcoming Girls Names full length ‘the new life’. As said not due out until Feb where it’ll be unveiled by the ever cool tough love imprint, ’hypnotic regression’ prized from that set is currently being aired by way of heralding its arrival. A sumptuous slice of bliss kissed mind mirage it is to, cosmically wired and haloed in a silken swathe of trip trimmed neo kraut grooving, this smoked and laid back chill skinned beauty ought to have those psych purists who’d longed for a crystalline pop shimmied spacemen 3 positively chomping on their hallucinogenic space dust. http://soundcloud.com/tough-love/girls-names-hypnotic-1/s-aEKXe
And back with the bordellos for what is the bands first recorded fruits for 2013. Entitled ’deborah’ and which in the words of lead Bordello Brian’s words is ‘a love song to the mystic pop icon’ who has ghosted through the history of modern pop having been the inspiration for the likes of ’beck, billy fury, t-rex and so on…’ – the track itself features cousin Brendon Bannon on lead guitar duties, a mellowing lysergic laced sortie it is to, all looping hazily dazed arabesque motifs and bliss kissed 60’s airy fairy flower pop dustings all book pressed upon a lazy eyed psych folk dialect smoking pre electric Bolan-isms with an out there Donovan like wooziness.
Staying with the bordellos for a second longer for they appear on a rather smart three volume compilation entitled ’into the light’ curated by unwashed territories. Sneaked amid the grooves of volume 2 you’ll unearth ’Marianne’ a deliciously skewed slice of wiry ‘Totale’s turn’ era Fall like psychosis bleached and bugged out with the assembled ingredients of the cravats, stump and half man half biscuit, insidiously crooked and kooky and framed in the kind of dead pan non pop nuances that would have had the late Mr Peel beating a trail up the path to their front door to drag them in to Kats Caravan as new found house band. More about this compilation a little later or failing that next missive.
Word reaches us that the telescopes will be featuring on northern star’s next and 5th instalment of their psychedelica compilation series. Not quite sure for certain whether the track in question is the one featured in the link which has the telescopes captured in all their glory live at the sound bunker performing ’we see magic’ and which according to additional notes was recorded for a proposed flexi single release on the bands own dream machine imprint – oh well I’ll bow out now before my head burns out though not before saying of ’we see magic’ that we do detect the spectre of a youthful JMC summarily drop kicked into a primitively bastardised scalped and sun scorched drone drilled arse kicking skull crunching motorik mantra that wears its leathered and weathered mugstar t-shirt with defiant pride. Backing on the track incidentally from one unique signal who I’m thinking really ought to send me their records for further investigation. As to the flexi – bugger we missed the blighter – a limited flexi postcard type thing to celebrate record store day – more about RSD as little later. Here’s that live footage…..
Meanwhile over at the hugely admired and much loved trenSmat imprint which regular viewers of these musings will be all too aware not least because if memory serves me right in a previous missive we laid to bear upon their last release – the immense 12 inch set from Cloudland Canyon which alas by its somewhat absence is causing a gaping hole in our well ordered trenSmat archive. Ah well we’ll not feel left out or ignored as we stick pins in this hastily cobbled together effigy bearing a strange and uncanny likeness to various persons. A heads up informs of details surrounding the next trenSmat outing which young folk with good music taste will be a strictly limited 7 track vinyl album from New Zealand’s AM. Who they you might quietly ask in hushed tones for fear of ridicule, AM is basically the pseudo arcana imprint main man Antony Milton assumed under one of his many musical alter ego guises delivering what the trenSmat dudes call ’…a shitstorm of fuzzy fury’ – now with that promise and before I’d even heard a frazzled chord played I was sold. So far we’ve just excerpts to go on but bugger me those who pay the entrance fee are in for some seriously cranium caning. Of the snatches we’ve heard so far ’ferment – fizz’ caught our lobes, skree scoured dubtronic which unless our ears do deceive sounds not unlike a chilled out cacophony of Sunday morn church bell recitals reigning cosmic jubilations, trippy, sedate and slyly transcendental in a floaty dissipating way which all said leaves you imagining a certain Bruce Russell being Orb’d and in many respects perfectly contrasted by the parting ‘frenzied flash’. a symphonic soar you’d be well expected to greet you were you ever in the misplaced position to find yourself and your head of course rooted somewhere beneath the console panel of a hulking star ship veering up for hyper drive flight. A locked groove 10 minute mind molten mantra which once your head is done with its melting process a kind of strangely consuming blissful ecstasy emerges or maybe its just the fact that your headspace is subsumed into its mesmeric furnace. Somewhere else the mutant post punk death discofied ’all my signs’ stalks the grooves with all the coalescing cool of forest fire in a psych scorched sea of primordial subterranic goo. Comes in ultra limited quantities pressed on coloured wax with all the usual download tags – a video / sound clip teaser below for the aforementioned track ‘all my signs’ should give fair warning of what looms and lurks…….
We eyed this today at our local record emporium and were almost tempted by it until we spied the on the tad side expensive price tag – what hardly no change from 14 notes – do me a favour Mr White, regardless of the titillating images on the disc which by chance feature Elvira – the mistress of the dark no less – dressed or should I say nearly dressed and leaving little to the imagination. Apparently strictly limited though to how many who knows – I’m gathering that this’ll be aimed in the main at third man completists because as tasty as it looks – a picture disc in a fold out glow in the dark card type wallet thing that’s meant to represent a coffin – its price tag is bound to ward off casual curiosity especially when you view things a little more critically and realise that one the two tracks gracing the pictured grooves is an instrumental take on the lead out cut. Anyhow its not Elvira doing the playing or singing as you’d initially be led to believe passing a curious eye over proceedings but rather more the black belles here serviced with a decidedly hip jiggling and primitive twang-a-rama shake down that’s sassily primal, raw and right on the button in a cramps meets 5678’s horror phonic b-movie way….
A comically creepy picture show…..
Found posted up on our Sunday experience face book wall was a message from Markku Helin better known I guess to most of you as being the main man in permanent clear light a most envied ensemble who’ve had their wares gracing the catalogue of the esteemed fruits de mer. Anyhow it seems that Mr Helin has been invited to collaborate with fellow FdM-er Jay Tausig who is at present three quarters the way through of what’s shaping up to be an essential and epic 12 album headphonic feast entitled ’the trip around the sun’. a truly mammoth musicalia gathered together as a hulking subscriber only download set inspired by each of the 12 astrological signs of the zodiac. Each suite incidentally each adorned in specially commissioned artwork by Ed Unit sky – sees Tausig inviting along a new collaborator to assist him in his realisation. To date Aquarius through to Virgo have been completed and are ready for purchase, the latter features the talents of the aforementioned Mr Helin lending guitar compliments to the proceedings for the suite entitled ’Virgo – the keeper of the flame’. now bearing in mind and not withstanding the pressures vis a vis the productivity rate and meeting various deadlines there might be a tendency on behalf of the would be subscriber / listener to suspect a loss in quality control it is after all a massive undertaking to attempt to record what is in effect an album a month with the added equation of presenting something dramatically and musically attuned to the subject matter. On that note I’m happy to say after having taken a sneak peak at a few choice cuts that Tausig has acquitted himself admirably on all counts by fusing together a colossal sonic journey that blends an era bending (old school and new) cosmic / space / psych and prog tapestry. Safe to say we will be re-visiting this magnum opus at some point in the near future in more detail for now though and by way of a taster ’ever in focus’ culled from the aforementioned Virgo set and latest in the collection finds Mr Helin invited along to partake in something that can only be described as being a bit like closing your eyes and in the distant viewpoint of the minds eye imagining the ozric tentacles playing cosmic tag with Cranium pie on some abandoned celestial Vangelis playground. Utterly astounding stuff. http://soundcloud.com/jaytausig/jay-tausig-w-markku-helin-ever
Scouse sore thumbs Windmill Mothglue return to the recording fray happily in time to spike your Halloween listening fun whilst simultaneously giving good cause to hide behind sofas as the chill of nature’s frosted hand draws in with deathly spite. Alas we are having to rely on a download copy for our listening pleasure given our hi-fi has temporarily gone kaput – much I suspect to the delight and relief of our neighbours. Indeed we do have a vinyl version of ’the infernal family’ and a handsomely packaged artefact it is, limited to just 250 copy ours is the ultra limited pre order variant, an exclusive bundle type thing which finds the wax edition album arriving adorned in a specially concocted hand made CD package featuring a plethora of cuts that missed the final press, an envelope full of WMG trading cards / stickers, a t-shirt and best of all your very own fright mask – I kid you not – a bastardised heavy duty curtain affair with eye holes and spooked artwork. Ah but you don’t want to know about the gift packaging do you – it’s the nitty gritty you crave – like what does the blighter sound like. Its well documented that we here are smitten by these strange dudes, if not the most creatively diverse band to emerge out of Liverpool in recent memory, barring APATT that is, then certainly the most non conformist and out there, for Windmill Moth Glue are one of those DNA blips on pop’s ecological graph. Spirited with an anything goes mentality they blend erratic earth beat time signatures with a flame hot impishness that’s moulded, butchered and bastardised in a punishing palette of art rock mischief and a freakish spazzed out jazz gouging, teetering between noise and naivety they cut a fine line between goonish playfulness and caustic creativity. Abrupt, acute and often surreal ’the infernal family’ is a nightmarish concept that finds the trio expanding their repertoire to a horror phonic high point. Still straying into territories once occupied by the likes of Volcano the Bear and this heat, amid the feral discordant interplays there’s method in the madness, what might first appear somewhat uncouth, slap dash even perhaps symptomatically free form harbours beneath the surface an insidious and well crafted mindset at work. Much like the Residents of old, WMG take the listener on a would be anthropological journey through sound culture and cross pollinate the gathered cultures and styles into a molten brew of no wave goo. Amid these grooves you’ll find nods to henry cow (not least as exemplified on the parting ‘disko diabolicko‘), this heat and throbbing gristle running riot amid landscape peppered with citations to melt banana, the black neck band of the common loon or anything Andy Pyne related come to think of it. And so welcome to the strange nightmarish and frightening world of Windmill Moth Glue. Comprised of 14 cuts ‘the infernal family’ is an acquired taste, enjoyable and satisfying, though acquired all the same, all at once sinister and skewiff, the set opens to old favourite ’chinese children’s fingers’ – a hulking head storm of splatter shock noise niking no wave squall punctuated by acute stop start rhythmic stutters which appreciatively had this particular listener much reminiscing of a youthful Sex Gang Children in a face off with the Virgin Prunes. Recalling those creepy backdrops that used to accompany weird eastern European animations that invaded our terrestrial TV sets in the 70’s ’nobody’s here’ stalks about with an eerie aura about its wares, a daydream visitation rolled in a haunting archaic folk tongue that’s much tuned into the fabric of volcano the bear’s ’yak folks y’are’. further along the grooves over on the flip there’s its sibling ‘everybody’s here’ to scare and unsettle the bejezus out of you. Sounding as though its emerged from the darkened recesses of the second series of the mighty boosh the bizarrely bonkers bazaar that is ’the sultan’s exotic wax bananas’ – great title eh – is wonkily abridged in all manner of skewed arabesque Dadaist snake charms. Ready for some good time rock a boogie then look no further than the cheesy lounge lovely that be ’do the shake n’ salivate’ after a spot of rudimentary playfulness and good behaviour this being WMG things are certain not to last and they don’t as slowly but surely the skat jive jollying soon begins to fracture and fray around the edges. Elsewhere ransacking the legacy of western film themes of yore ’yankee noodle’ moulds Meek with Morricone into a strangely becoming mutant spaghetti western double feature. One of the sets key highlights is the frankly fried ‘a blade of grass in a bowl of black vomit’ – seriously I swear they could retire and make a living out of dreaming up whacked out song titles – kooky kazoos squirrel away to death headed shanties birthed in choruses that had we’d been none the wiser we’d have gathered had been forged by some super group alliance of Au Pairs, Slits and Raincoats types – of course all bloated on helium and reciting a mantra unearthed and inscribed in some pre civilized tongue. Equally engaging is the macabre cabaret crowing of ‘down, deeper down’ – pure Tom Waits tumble sided into the wearying world of Brecht and Weill is all we say about it a terro-phonic treat for all who dare to pay the entry fee. Throw in some seriously spiked free form turntable terrorism per the wilfully powered electronic collapse of ’gajaiwai’ and some trip dipped out there strangeness courtesy of ’ferry across the styx’ – indeed this is what happens when someone introduces echoes and faders to the enterprise and you have yourself a deranged dandy of a disc with which to puzzle, amuse and annoy in collectively varying degrees your peers. And so to the accompanying CD entitled the ’Chinese children’s fingers’ EP – a strictly limited to just 50 hand numbered copies affair – ours in case you are taking feverish notes is #20 – is comprised of six cuts that missed the final vinyl mix due to time constraints, opens with the volatile and volcanic head massacring ‘Chinese children’s fingers’ which remote of any suitable description could easily be described as the Sex Gang Children in the throes of hyperactive mania. Equally disturbed is the eerie lost in the weird woods like ‘a tsunami of millipedes’ – all earth beat chants, unhinged dementia, wig flipped skattiness which after some brief surreal serenity suddenly fires up into a frantic no nonsense head butting hullabaloo that trades blows with Mr Bungle. Disquieting things loom large on the unusually tranquil and lackadaisical chime chirpy enchanted mirage that is ‘bone house’ which for added ear candy attention is decorated in what can only be described as a skeletal old school Animal Collective skin. Somewhere else ‘that old familiar smell’ is your art house psych stewed re-plugging of spooked out radiophonic scores replete with sozzled macabre Clangers montages to boot sculptured and scarred in wiring atonal riffage – I kid ye not. Best of the set though is the frankly infectious ’the golden snake drip’ whose skewed gathering of musical hall chamber-tronics and barking chord steps will drive you to distraction – add in the reprise like lunacy of ’a drink sir’ and you have yourself quite possibly one of the most invented, frazzled and fractured outings of the season. All hail the Windmill Moth Glue. Contact and point of sales info via http://windmillmothglue.bandcamp.com/
An email from treetops head honcho alerted us to a forthcoming release on the label by Red Sky Bird …‘a bit of a mainstream ballad, not like their album which sounds very rootsy / Americana and definitely not windmill moth glue’. I’m fearing Leslie Treetops thought perchance we’d sniff a little at it but contrary to popular belief we quite love it. Agreed not our normal cup o’ tea but ‘stories’ incidentally is its title is garnished in such uninhibited vintage and clipped in a freewheeled classicism, its floral rustics are trip-wired such that they proffer a delicately affecting ambling arc that’s caressed by the entwining brambles of nature blossoming string corteges leaving its sly eyed romantic twinkle to stir as it steadfastly weaves to an old school Gaelic like humbled ache. Further investigation we suggest is required of you.
You know how sometimes a record or sound clip comes along and scratches that nagging itch you’ve had for a while, well right now at this very instant lizzie and the yes men’s ’deserts’ is doing just that. Following on from their debuting platter – the broadwalk’ – which harrumph – we missed – and which by all accounts caught the ears and affection of certain radio and TV types, the beat pop combo who describe themselves as ’Tarantino surf pop’ sorties who blend surf, pop – obviously – and desert rock have a new single about to surface. ’deserts’ (a teaser moving picture show below – indeed we’re all over this like a rash) smoulders seductively with an acutely betraying spectral coolness, kinda like a 60’s femme fronted groove groop sneaking out back of a studio when Spector had his back turned and sloping off into some trashy haunt and wowing and smoking out a slightly belligerent audience with their parched and sparse brand of heart panging torch teased spell crafted love voodoo which just in case you were in need of reference markers we’d hazard a guess is the dust cracked meeting point where early incarnations of the Creatures, brand violet and Vandellas crisscross. Yep that good.
If slick lounge lilted beat driven beauty be your bag then the debuting collaboration by Harouki Zombi ought to turn your head and have you swooned in chill kissed goose bumps. Adorably alluring and seductively sensual ’objet petit a’ sees the first fruits of a studio get together between Azure Ray’s Orenda Fink and of montreal’s nina barnes emerging to bewitch the vinyl grooves. Released on limited quantities of double disc wax – that’ll be two slabs of 7 inch vinyl to the digital preferring heathens among you – the duo describe their demurred dream draped love note as ‘entertainment for the fallen empire’. kissed and caressed with the sleekness of prized platters emanating from out of the ZTT and 4AD stables in the 80’s, ‘objet petit a’ purrs amid a cosmic second skin playfully playing peek a boo to a divinely addictive aural alchemy that blurs nocturnally trimmed stately torch noir settings with cross weaving hushed vocals to collectively coo and slyly transfix, romance and mesmerise with smoked sophistication. Equal ear candy appeal comes with the dinkily dream popped disco dipped ’soldier’s gun’ which takes the best aspects of St Etienne and Stereolab as though found sharing a guilty pleasures fondness for baccara and wraps them in an orbiting love bow. Once stirred through the cutely kooky Cornelius like wooziness the star kissed ’vacant hunt’ written as it happens by a certain Kevin Barnes finds itself similarly touched as ‘soldier’s gun’ though summarily sprayed in all manner of deliriously dinky oriental motifs which on repeat listens sounds not unlike a super chilled minimalist and strangely cool Abba in expletive monochrome. ’swamp thing’ rounds up the quartet of originals, tom tom club trippiness, more oriental motifs all blessed with the kind of head jarring skipping on the spot beats that’ll either drive you demented or to delirium your call. Add in two remixes of the lead cut – the ’rewards’ one assuming something of a hyper galactic star flight and the ‘denial labs’ option equipping the master track with a stirring dubtronic resetting and you have an essential slab of turntable teasing tastiness – available incidentally via the ultra cool polyvinyl imprint – need I say more.
Ready for something a tad yearning, distressed around the edges and brimming in a lush bitter sweet bouquet, quite frankly we’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t point you in the general direction of Fossil collective. The ‘on and on’ EP imminent via dirty hit creaks and courts upon a sensitively intimate path that wanders between humbling porch trimmed hymnals and a honeyed breezy eyed pastoral pop palette, the opening title cut adrift upon a warming tail wind that sweetly regales and shimmers to a melodic mindset indelibly caressed by a youthful sounding Neil Young colluding with Blue Oyster Cult is silken and sumptuously set in a life affirming country pop warmth. Somewhere else the smoked introspection of the intimately traced ‘rivers edge’ brims with a hopeful retracing to pastures fondly recalled amid its bruised and forlorn flavouring an ache cuts sweetly and deeply to the quick like a mournful low anthem in all their withering heart heavy glory. As for the hurtfully hymnal ’silent alarm’ – what can we say – mellow and melting and richly dimpled with an exquisitely turned homely artistry whose nimble rustic hues are brushed with a becoming and demurring delta toned glow that tugs heavy on the heartstrings leaving the parting ’fog’ to invade your listening space with an intoxicating gush of classically treated Simon and Garfunkel like tenderness sublimely scored and sedated to a wistful caress of delicately spun county pop. Utterly alluring.
Those of you who pay attention to these type of things might have puzzled at the appearance on the Static Caravan release roster of forthcoming attractions the inclusion of Van 255. Now we’ve long chuckled and indeed been the welcome recipient of the variously assorted non record treats that Geoff and Co have hatched, crafted and sent on their way – tumblers, prefect badges, stickers, library cards and commemorative john peel t-shirts to name just a few – however the lads may have just upped the stakes with the aforementioned Van 255 listing which apparently is a shop, in Wigan called Static Records. Now if we were hip and nosey like the N%E or A$£rock!r we’d be straight into interrogatory pose and on the talking bone with a list of quick fire questions with which to report back to you dear reader. Alas we didn’t and haven’t so I guess that’s that, well at least it was nice to share with you just in case you missed it or else just in case you were wondering. Mind you sticking with Static Caravan for a second or three longer – plenty of nifty releases on the radar not least two from goodnight lenin one of which is a limited tour only wax sealed doofah, there’s also a new Hannah peel 7 peeking on the horizon, a 10 inch from David A Jaycock and something new from Dan Haywood not to mention that spiffing tokolosh debut that we mentioned in passing last time out. All this neatly leads to a rather treasonable outing from bonus skor. Bonus skor for those unaware is a shoe shop in Reykjavik, its also the place where Laura J Martin visited in order to demo tracks for her new album and where she ran into Mike Lindsay of Tunng fame. I mean what are the chances of that. Anyway after a cheerful chat over hot toddies a plan was forged to ensconce to the nearest studio to see if their shared folk fancying fascination would reap collaborative rewards. What emerged was a quite bewitching collection of woozy daydream charms, both haunting and kooky, wonky and monochrome, delightfully demurring and ostensibly skatty. With Christmas nigh upon us by the time this hits the stores what better way to fend off the seasons chill than with this warming cocktail of enchantment. A lushly lilting garland of swooning synths, merry mandolins, flighty flutes and chirping clarinets underpin this wood crafted and willowy wonderment, reference wise admirers of moomlooo, fever ray, caroline weeks and takako minekawa should find themselves suitably satiated for here a magically shy eyed and breathtaking aural landscape is scratched and etched, a landscape where innocence and play cavort disarmingly free from envelope pushing and in concert adorned in a timeless celebratory simplicity. Misty eyed and sprinkled in fairy dust, there’s an affirming inner glow radiating from these longing treasures as though touched at the spectacle of peaking behind the secret curtain and witnessing Santa’s workshop at maximum industry, upon this backdrop Laura’s elfin like coos and whispers endear throughout a becoming and affectionate child like beguilement. Here you’ll be spirited away by the ice sculptured ’no soul’s treasure’ whose measured elegance and reverential stilled gracefulness tugs to the same grand tonalities as NICO’s ’frozen warning’ though here removed of its remoteness tendered with a heavenly crush. Somewhere else the woozy minimalist fairytale folk threading of ’salt hangs heavy’ shimmers in and out view like some archaically demurring love rubbed spell while to the romancing of skipping rustics and sighing winter toned strings ’fish’s tail’ provides a flash of old school tunng to the proceedings albeit as though traced and guided by the mindset of a youthful Kate Bush. All said it’s the parting ’applecart’ that had us all a smitten, a simply gorgeous slice of sleepy headed lullaby lilts cradled in fragile music box charms and snow kissed in a quietly yearning euphoric hymnal hush that bestows upon you a desire to hug the life out of the blighter. Adorable in a word.
In typically time honoured fashion we’ve absolutely no info on the following quartet of tunes – hell I’m not even sure whether we can officially post the sound links but hey ho we’ll suffer and sort out the recriminations later. First up process – wasn’t there an outfit called process who used to record for fat cat – anyhow its not them – well not unless they’ve swapped their processed glitchiness for raging guitars. The happy sounding ‘detached from life’ – boy you can tell these kids are full of the joys of life – is your essential sub 5 minute dose of apocalyptic gloom doom ripping through your speakers in an earnest attempt to throttle multiple shades of the brown stuff out of you for good measure, a kind of end of days blizzard of staccato guitar licks, tortured vocals and needle whipped fury staring from over the cliff edge of oblivion. Fancy a sneak peak – thought you might – tins hats at the ready then…..http://soundcloud.com/tom-brumpton-pr/process-detached-from-life
Is it just me who reckons this sounds like a manic PWEI meets Ministry being stalked by a psychotically steroid enhanced Goblin – oh good – thought I was having some kind of meltdown – this baby is the latest single from Italo grizzled groove meisters Don Turbolento – we’re off to blag, beg, borow a promo for further listening obsessive-ness – for now a colourised picture show for your visual enjoyment….the bollocks of a dogs kind if you ask me…..
Okay there’s a roadside picnic release featured in the next missive to contend with – I say contend deliberately – for now though a few Justin Wiggan related sonic sculptures – well its been several missives since we last featured him and I’m guessing there’s a fair few of you out there who’ve popped into to your local cop shop to file a missing persons report – and well we here despite protestations are a little glum at missing out on that rather fine looking spittle sisters cassette release from last year entitled ‘these dark objects‘ – oh well – onward I suppose. Anyway just to recap Mr Wiggan is – when he’s not collaborating and muscling in on various micro melodic projects – last count 14 I believe – a Dreams of Tall Buildings co-conspirator who exploratory excursions into the realms of un-chartered sound mediums is unparalleled. Typical of these things there’s a couple of ridiculously limited projects in the offing at present not least the swallows wherein he’s teamed up with Lisa Lavery, Mike Armine, Dion Lay and Richard Whitelaw – this collective are to spotted sporting a full length shortly entitled ’magnetic lips’ and beyond that I can’t tell you more in respect of label, release date etc….that said I’m suspecting we’ve tripped across ’breakage in writing’ at some earlier point – see http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=358 – as previously reported this collage channels the kind of ghostly terrains more commonly visited upon by Dreams of Tall Buildings not least as that found on their recent ‘residuum’ outing. Steeped in all manner of stilled eeriness there’s a sense of an unseen menace that haunts and patrols the claustrophobic confines of this macabre chamber dimmed slice of behind the sofa entertainment, subterranean shadow plays pensively eke out a hope lost soundtrack that’s mired in a pre civilisation primitive tongue that echoes to the pangs of unease as though some calling from the beyond procured by some illicit séance dragging in its wake aural apparitions trimmed to a decaying and deathly dub drilled dialect. ’shallow epic’ is – I’m happy to say – readily more playful and of this world, a psychotropic raga / dub step of sorts – all dissipating sonic chants, looping montages, recoiling dronal squalls and a gorgeously lolloping porch reclining rustic riff – which when put together endow a woozy fluffiness to the listening space as though someone was playing a Clinic platter backwards or else Depth Charge at the wrong speed. Wonderfully strange.
Next musing will be here around the tail end of the weekend – okay next weekend it is just in case you thought we were being smart by not indicating a specific weekend – bugger the cats out the bag now – send your begging requests and considerations to our cyber spatial door step at facebook.com/theSundayexperience or else mail us via the letter drop at firstname.lastname@example.org – once cobbled, crafted and hammered into something readable the finished epistle will arrive demanding your reading consideration soon – and will judging on early proofs be festooned in all manner of fruits de mer, static caravan and roaqdside picinic / spittle sister oddities . Till then take good care of yourselves…..Mark xx