No introductory pre-amble here except to say future missives XV and XVI are very near completion and should be here very soon. Current loves – Chantal Atlas, Kinks ‘muswell hill’, king champion sounds, she wolf, los hacheros, anne scott, dan haywood, the telescopes and more – all due for features in near future missives.
Can I also recommend some radio listening, tuning into BBC Radio4 xtra – radio 7 as was – if you scroll about on the radio i-ployer you’ll find a three hour special devoted to Kenneth Williams transmitted Saturday 12/10/13 – a career overview featuring archive episodes of round the horne and just a minute however we advise you check out a rare and extraordinary solo piece of Williams enacting gogol’s ‘the diary of a mad man’.
This edition features critiques (critiques – I should coco) on – wrekmeister harmonies, Russian avantgarde, Camilla sparksss, antonymes, black rainbow, rhys marsh, saint max and the fanatics, huixtrailizer, Schneider tm, strumpets, gary numan lantern, trips and falls, grease guns, ventura, distant correspondent, Tarana, deadline shakes, strange brew, quiet marauder, crash symbols, harlequin dynamite marching band, stoliday, widowspeak, luminanas, tokolosh, the cosmic dead, pigs x 7, Isobel cCircle, wizards tells lies, low guns feat dave gahan, seirom, dan haywood…
Wrekmeister Harmonies set out on the road shortly with grumbling fur for a short spell across Europe the dates opening October 17th at the Corsica Studios in London and culminating a week later at the Graz in Austria. Held in high regard the Harmonies recently released their thrill jockey opus ‘you’ve always meant so much to me’ to deserving critical acclaim. An 11 minute titan wrapped and grounded with epic measure, a colossus settled in a stirring sea of storm crescendo orchestrating symphonics ushering forth a doom lashed apocalyptic progian beast ablaze in a monolithic crafting whose sonic teeth cutting has been finessed and tutored from the upper echelons of the important and beta lactam ring tables and whose menacing sound glowers like some ceremonial dark mass enacted by nature itself summoning forth and marking some cataclysmic event heralding the alignment of the heavens whilst obliterating everything in its wake. Those well versed in the brooding majesty of the grails take note.
Ssshhh – gonna mention roadside picnic for a second – don’t worry its safe to emerge from behind the settee as we’ve no tunes by them – maybe next time for sure – but for now your safe – unless of course the blighters have sneaked one in. Anyway we nicked this one of their face book page and it’s a collection of sound files made up of by the looks of things recording collage, cut ups and propaganda broadcasts and features a wealth of material from 1920’s Russia which incorporates according to the tin poetry, music and agit pop committed to posterity by the days avantgardes – well worth hooking up to if your tastes are shall we say a little left of centre – its currently being aired by the archive community at www.archive.org/details/baku_baku_201309 -incidentally this is the same site we mentioned a while back where you can – if your prepared to have a rummage around – nab yourself a pretty much entire collection of the strand publication which gave birth in print to among others Sherlock Holmes.
Forthcoming on African tape in conjunction with On the camper is a spiffing new 7 inch from Camilla Sparksss. This lovely comes pressed up on picture disc variants which alas we haven’t seen but I’ll hazard a guess they look dandy and cute. Anyhow previously unknown to us she’s better known to kith n kin as Barbara Lehnoff here on extra curricula duties away from here usual Peter Kernel activities. ‘Europe’ is her third seven inch release in as many months – alas we’ve missed the other two – and comes best described as pure dystopian pop bled upon a monochrome and minimalist technoid moulding and spiked in an austere nihilism that razor shocks to an agit pop dynamic acutely thread bared in downwind of the much maligned mid 90’s electro clash scene. ’this is huge’ on the flip – incidentally our preferred cut of the brace – playfully shreds out twisted playground mantras atop a seriously schizoid and cold cooled electro vibe doused with an acutely horny undertow which aside anything else reveals something of an affection for early career Mute recordings with a nod to the weird imprint albeit as though tagged with the frailly minimalist pop tokenism of a youthful Knife sparring with Cobra Killer whilst mainlining on some deviant variant of the Sigue Sigue Sputnik matrix.
Not sure why I do this its not as if I haven’t enough downloads and CD’s around with which to busy myself listening to, but it seems that I can’t pass the face book preview window without sneaking a little listen at whatever’s passing by, especially when such treasures happen to stumble out of the hibernate workshop. Latest lovely from this most elegiac of imprints is the latest from Antonymes who I fear has been too long away from our listening space for our liking and I’m certainly aware that our hi-fi still mourns his absence. Older readers will indeed recall us stumbling across Antonymes many moons ago via a my space trawl (who remembers my space before they ruined it). Anyhow incoming on hibernate – as it happens their 50th release and what better way to hang out the celebratory bunting than the promise of an Antonymes full length set. Entitled ’there can be no true beauty without decay’, Mr Hazeldine – he who is Antonymes – has sneaked out ’misshapen beauty’ as a pre sales teaser, regaled to the surrendering hushed sigh of a delicately crafted key thread, beauty abound Antonymes seductively summons upon a fragile web an emotive framing that at once is ghosted upon by romantic inclines fractured in bitter sweet regret, the use of space and timing as ever exquisite, the delivery intimate, mellowed and hurt with the execution tender, tearful and forlorn – and with that something with which is deserving of closer investigation at your earliest quiet moment. www.soundcloud.com/antonymes/misshapen-beauty-I
Easily finding a place filed near your prized stash of fuxa sorties, this lot are described as French surf pop connoisseurs trading grim meets glam furrows of their own devising which might be all and dandy and indeed true but certainly something that doesn’t quite trip out of the grooves of teaser taster ’its time to wake up 2023’ – rather more its like imagining a gathering of Cheval Sombre, Spacemen 3 and Kraftwerkian types huddled together partaking in chill pills brought to the occasion by laurie Anderson with Ms Bardot drafted in to coo mercurially like some ghostly siren doing her best Nico take. The authors of said treat are la femme a stone cooled chic Stereolab tuning into a deeply divine mind weaving minimal mantra wooed by cosmic flotillas and dreamily dinked in amorphous soft psyche swirl dissipates which when readying up to play you might just wanna roll a fat one for ultimate bliss out sensation. An album ‘psycho tropical berlin’ is readying for earth entry as I write…… www.soundcloud.com/be-noit/la-femme-its-time-to-wake-up
These bad dudes come on like devil dealing disciples serving up sacrificial offerings to some stoned out unnamed one, drop kicked into the early 70’s and mainlining on a potent mash up of grizzled grooves of the day they plug in, tune up and freak out to a primal mantra no doubt smothered in a smacked out haze and strutting from inhaling a fuzzed out skinned up big bearded glam growled roadster tab. Black Rainbows be their name this blister kissed beatnik boogie comes ripped from their recent ’supermothafuzzalicious’ full length – a title alone deserving of your considered interest and a copy of which we need in our life right this minute. These Italian rockers are shortly to release a 12 inch EP entitled ’holy moon’ which by all accounts will decorate various listening spaces across the lands pressed up on splatter vinyl. File under blue cheer in a sabbathian headlock. www.bandcamp.com/blackrainbows/album/supermothafuzzalicious – as to that EP we’ll try to nail one for future mention.
Should say at this point that we here are suckers for anything approaching Nick Drake greatness and do on occasion feel the jangle of nervous anticipation when up appears a cover of one of his hallowed hushed hymns, not that left in the capable craft of Rhys Marsh should we have cause to worry. Long time observers of these musings will recall the frequent Drake references when we came to pass the critical ear across ’fragile state of inbetween’ way back in the Autumn time of 2008 incidentally for those unaware the debuting platter from former Mandala man Rhys Marsh – with I should add – the Autumnal Ghost – with ’I will find a way to reach you’ particularly turned and tenderly tinted in the self same bitter sweet glow. Between then and now we sadly lost touch, in the time 5 albums passed by our radar each garnering steady acclaim. ’suspended in a weightless world’ due for release shortly marks his first solo outing. Limited to just 100 copies the set features five choice cut selections of other peoples work pressed upon by his elegant detailing among the chosen few the family, Crosby stills and nash, king crimson, scott walker and by no means least nick drake are all summarily covered with the later being sneaked out as a taster trailer. One of the most mercurial moments from Drake’s preciously limited catalogue ’things behind the sun’ as reworked by Marsh is shimmered to the sweet allure of whispering strings, by way of accentuating and magnifying its bitter sweet opine he adeptly hones in on that sense of quiet euphoria stolen in faraway introspective detachment, where Drake sours the sweetness in winter lined reflection, Marsh wraps it warmly investing a grounded majesty to the workbook to bathe and un-tether the textures in a vividly lush panoramic framing that adds rather than detracts one suspects to Drake’s intended aural vision.
Doing it for us and quite frankly the most contagiously effervescent slab of bonkers as hell groove your likely to hear this side of the nauseating year end festivities, incoming on the armellodie imprint the debuting wax platter from saint max and the fanatics is quite frankly all over the shop 11 track corker which no doubt during whose frantic 36 minute duration will enter your headspace, ransack it and leave it feeling as though its been partying hard into the wee small hours. We’ve fired off missives for review copies though not before spoiling ourselves by tuning into the opening brace of cuts that serve as the welcoming entrée to ’saint max is missing and the fanatics are dead’ – and lets just say – our appetites are a whetted for opening salvo finds max and the fanatics manically mulching on what sounds like a cross wiring ’Johnny, remember me’ waylaid by the brass bombastic of a ‘Geno’ era Dexy’s headed up by Lupen Crook and bedecked in all manner of dead eyed accessorising and rearing up at your door like a sharp suited soul scalped buzz boy slamming out smoked Swansway recitals. For its part ‘afraid of love’ is a prime time Buzzcockian affair possessed of an unerring knack of going off radar and blossoms into to 50’s crimped country torch forays much admired one time upon grooves whose cover jacket proudly beamed the name the orson family. Can it get any cooler. Expect plenty more words like that soon…….
‘afraid of love’ video…..
Getting Scotch Tapes / love torture flashbacks just listening to this, not for the feint of heart and quite possibly as intense and out there a sound collage you’ll happen upon in this particular missive. Recorded and mixed during Spring 2012 and completed during the summer year, ’estatica’ was composed and sourced with an aim to highlight the plight of the Rio Tula – considered by many to be Mexico’s most polluted river. By way of field recordings in and around the river itself, found sounds and the utilisation of objects found near the rivers edge, Mexican musician Huixtralizer set about conjuring from the assembled parts a haunting and harrowing 12 minute sound sculpture that veers from moments of quiet unease to showers of scalded skree blizzards. Much applying to the kind of processed aural inner space visited upon by those imps roadside picnic, ’estatica’ is assumed in a fractious disturbia, amid the glitch cycles, the leviathan opines and insectoid clicks a tensely weaved air of desolation is captured decamped in a dreading despair out of which the sense of decay, death and abandonment is all to apparent. www.huixtralizer.bandcamp.com/album/est-tica
Straying momentarily back to AB Leonard – see previous despatches somewhere – who recently wooed us with his current outing for the folk police’s excellent northwestern series, we’ve received word that there a cassette only release looming large on the horizon entitled – I think – ’songs for abandoned tube stations’ – which features three cuts grooved upon a c-30 cassette, each coming replete with a host of by all accounts lovely looking inserts (much the same as those that adorned the inside of ’the nature recordings’ box set) all hand numbered in a strictly limited 30 only pressing. For more details go to www.themessagetapes.wordpress.com
Rare these days to find anything coming along that literally blows us clean off our listening pedestal and I’ll admit that the arrival in our gaff of a new platter from Schneider TM didn’t exactly have us scampering to the local bookmakers with our worldly possessions clutched firmly in our hands looking to wager that this was the promised deal. Not that we have anything against Schneider TM its just that previous visitations of his work upon our turntable have always proven – shall we settle for – a little light and leaving you somewhat under whelmed. But then having heard good things about his previous platter ‘construction sounds’ it was a given that huddled beneath the title ‘guitar sounds’ that this forthcoming outing was guaranteed immediate space on the hi-fi. And we weren’t let down in our expectations, an initial blast of the first two cuts ‘landslide’ and ‘teilhard’ readily caused our synapses to buzz and fry to recall ‘songs from the nerve wheel’ by bill horist from a few years back, that said what set this 5 part suite aside from the chasing pack was the appearance of ‘first of May’ slap bang in the middle, coming as a brief respite albeit momentary it’s a wonderfully lazy eyed moment dreamily dazed that’s spiced in the thoughtful finger plucked intricacies of the late Jack Rose an before him John Fahey which albeit sculptured in moments of playful noodling and tomfoolery is all at once best described as considered and considerable. Five years on and off in the making, the press release describes ‘guitar sounds’ as the second of Schneider TM’s sounds series and finds Dresselhaus’ exploration of the guitar as a medium, testing its potential and limitations and into the process crafting a soundboard that freewheels between harmony and disharmony. Within these grooves there’s much to interest improvised sound scholars schooled in the freeform dissonance of the late 80’s New Zealand scene – Dead C, Dadamah et al not least on the cavernous epic ‘teilhard’ where the seemingly coarse textures are smoothed and mellowed in to a thunderously monolithic drone mirage that appears weaving snake form like through the thick smoky haze though viewed by way of headphones on full tilt the effect is readily more fractured and fierce some as it ruptures and ripples to tidal shards of bowed skree seas to feature what can only be described at its close as the unnerving arrival of snorting pig sounds. Somewhere else and again nodding with demurring affection to the aforementioned John Fahey is ‘landslide’ which for the best part is submerged in rolling lines of parched chime corteges whose surrendering sonic sereneness portrays endless desert scribed vast lads labouring beneath unforgiving sun scorched halos and which throughout its 8 minute duration manages to veer to the gravitational polar pull of both Montgomery’s ’true’ and Ry Cooder’s exquisite soundtrack for ’paris, Texas’ whilst subtly checking in on occasion to tim Hodgkin son’s ‘sang’. in ever sharpening contrast ‘elefantenhaut’ ushers in amid a darkly drawn and fracturing persona, ghostly and fragile as though faintly drawn in the serene cavernous confines of a prayer garden though it’s the epic ‘uberzahl’ that’s left to bring matters to ominous closure, a 17 minute dronal odyssey to which admirers of like minded alchemists such as expo 70 and Aidan Baker not withstanding a fair nod to the trensmat contingency will no doubt swoon to. Much like a shape shifting mistral weaving through the stilled bleakness of a twilight setting the application of a grey to an ever darkening palette is quite something, like the oncoming of a storm the mood is electrified with an air of expectant foreboding, reverberating bowed instrumentations lend something of a Tibetan like tonality to the proceedings before ducking under the radar and venturing off into the realms of some stoned out beardy hypno dream netherworld mirage, out there. Via bureau b in case I hadn’t already said.
We’ve a few rogue jezus factory treats with which to regale you with which alas have so far slipped the net all of which will appear at some point here in the very near future, however before those there’s this. Something of a divine curio which I’ll admit to being as I write our favourite platter. Hailing – I think from Belgium – which sounds about right given these Jezus Factory dudes appear to have the inside track of that nations finest musicianship, strumpets second full length ‘rubies and ruffians’ appears to be causing a quiet stir amid the underground community, sounding as though its breezed through some time tripped portal from an era populated by hippy dippy shiny happy beads, flowers and peace loving tree hugging folksters – either that or they’ve been riding a magic bus whose tax disc and MOT has long since expired. Whatever the case there’s no denying that ’tamara’ – ripped from the set and set upon video form below – is something truly desirable in the terms of ear candy kudos. Engraved in the woozily trip wired aspects of Os Mutantes at their 60’s shimmered finest albeit as though re-tooled and tenderly bathed in Komeda like airiness there’s something about the seducing hallucinogenic pastorals unfurling throughout that lends itself to recall those classic era Hammer House horror phonic treatments of the early 70’s though here as though re-visualised and reframed within a lilting casual aspect that sounds as though it had eyed the soft parade’s criminally overlooked lost gem ’nobody told you anything’ as its influencing soundboard. Utterly gorgeous.
Update – strumpets in next missive.
And we return to Cardinal Fuzz our new favourite imprint don’t you know. We were tempted to put this on a back burner for the next missive but the blighters been buzz sawing us into oblivion and to be honest we needed to scratch its itchy spot. Lantern hail from Philadelphia and come primed with the kind of swagger toned primitive lo-fi fuzz blues you imagine jumping straight out of the pages of ugly things or some psych garage grooved tome committed to print by Vernon Joynson. ‘rock n’ roll Rorschach’ just blisters with the kind of potency sadly rarely heard around these parts these days, obviously the handiwork of dudes huddled together tuned into those ear candy platter playing garage punk pod casts and packing sounds spiked with enough feral cool and rawness as to lift your wig clearly off your head. Released as a strictly limited issue of just 500 copies all housed in reverse board sleeves replete with inserts and a CD that includes four additional cuts not featured on the vinyl version, ‘Rock n’ Roll Rorschach’ is a boogie baiting trawl through rock’s finest moments blending lo-fi monochrome glam, trash and scuzzy blues into a blistered brew that’s sure to melt your stylus and along picking up a who‘s who reference guide that name checks the likes of the Dead Boys (’rock n‘ roll Rorschach‘ being the case in point albeit hit with a heavy dose of the black halos and the makers along with the pulse racing friction of ‘out of our heads‘ as it imagines Bators in a scorched face down with the Saints), Johnny Thunders and the Cramps – the latter being best served by the thunderous bearing down fast psycho-billy head charge that is the head scalping ‘where are we now‘. From the minute ‘evil eye’ cranks into life the blue touch paper is lit and with that enters a smoking lip curled glam grooved hip shimmying babe sassily mooching to a frazzled shakedown to which ‘king of the jungle’ picks up the baton bringing in its wake a fuzzed out beaten around the edges trashed out T-Rex psyche. Vying for the sets best moment the hollowing parch dry ‘she’s a rebel’ is sparsely spiked in a spectral chic that opines to a velveteen bliss kissing and finds itself upstaged at the last gasp by the snake winding ju ju that is ‘the conjurer’ whose shit faced and cool garage blues purr tunes into the dark heart of a Jones in situ Stones replete with howling harmonicas which goes without saying always seals the deal for us. ’heart in your tongue’ wraps up the set in a storm the barriers parting surge lush in a maddening meltdown side serving of a squealing brass section pitting their wits against a scalped strut riffage. As to the four additional cuts the rash forming ’mr mars’ reveals the collectives penchant for 50’s bubble grooved pop while ’rock n’ roll music’ is just as it says on the tin nodding along the way to the late great Ronnie Dawson which leaves the Dale-esque cowpunk rumble ‘I don’t know’ to howl with such scuffed up vintage craft that you’d swear it’d been rescued from a mid 60’s studio vault. The dogs danders in short. www.cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com
Footnote – many thanks in advance to Dave Cardinal Fuzz for the promised CD package.
Ripped from his forthcoming set for mortal entitled ‘splinter (songs from a broken mind)’ – ‘I am dust’ is doing the preview rounds, a formidable chunk of dystopian industrial grind from the Numan one…..
Okay we’ve got some kind of download duffer type thing for this the third album from Montreal based odd bod combo trips and falls titled ‘the inevitable consequences of your stupid behaviour’ which admit it is a title befitting of adorning a long overdue platter from this nations saving grace half man half biscuit. Put out on the song, by toad imprint who once upon a time used to send us CD’s then stopped and started sending us downloads until they stopped and who have now strangely seen fit to re-establish communications with the delivery of this wonderfully skewed outing. Not that we here are complaining. Now we’ve only had time to check in to about half the set – its certainly primed for closer attention next week in Volume XIII of Tales from the Attic – for now though a teaser mention as were of the opening ambit ‘static is a serious issue’ which had us in mind on more than one occasion of lost loves Decoration and the hill fields and finding itself similarly pared in that souring bitter sweet afterglow that much marked out the celebrated wares of those two ensembles. The worrying over a failing relationship appears to be its central point, opening to the softly slacker-esque shimmer toned sway of a mellowing strum crushed in 50’s bubble grooved halos over which a curtly note to home like mantra is spoken (Micro Disney fans take heed), this cute thing begins decidedly lackadaisical before beautifully belching forth and rupturing in a Wedding Present styled rush tug frug much reminiscent of their Reception days sucking in to its path the intricate dot work of art pop intricacies before going all dreamy and misty eyed at its fall. the label – by way of rustling up some deserved marketing attention are making a trips and falls cut freely available to download – the chosen gem being ‘destruction is always more exciting’ – now we here are beginning to get the measure of these dudes – rejection is not something that appears in their vocabulary and we it does happen upon chance to visit their way then woe betide. This beauty is steeled in an early 80’s glow that recalls B-Movie – albeit that’ll be B-Movie in cahoots with the psychedelic furs and peeking over the shoulders taking notes from gene loves jezebels son book, deeply intense and shrouded in a fracturing passion that’s divinely pepper corned in the sweetening glaze of stratospheric cosmic carnival noodles – get it here – www.soundcloud.com/songbytoad/trips-and-falls-destruction-is
Sadly we have absolutely no information with which to regale you about this lot, safe to say we eyed this on the feed with your kiss site being as it was starred as their video of the day. New thing by the Capsules entitled ‘our apocalypse’ for which unless our ears do deceive sounds not unlike a rather distressed cold wave variant of the rubicks in some kind of ice cold union with Client hatching out an industrial sub species frosted in shoe gazed dream pop aspects, very darkly seductive if you ask me and deserving of closer inspection – there’s an album kicking around ‘northern lights and southern skies’ that we suspect is a much required listening experience.
Bugger me – this blighter has been sneaked out on the squirrel imprint – (whose mailing list I fear I’ve fallen off – anyhow the label that brought you treats aplenty from the likes of the insect guide, the manhattan love suicides and the blanche Hudson weekend) and I’m grumpy because I haven’t got a copy and want it in my life right now – minimalist cold waving post everything futuro kids girl one and the grease guns have courtesy of ‘(I’m a) willing receiver’ managed to fuse the sparse tonalities of the normal / sigue sigue sputnik and the client with the buzz sawing bubble grooved femme pop of the Spector sound factory and into the bargain knock out one of the most criminally infectious debuts of the year – moving picture show here……
We still choke up when this weepy slice of nostalgia pulls into the sidings, of course you’ll find a wordy mention of it elsewhere amid this extended three part missive but here’s the video that accompanies the latest public broadcast service outing ’night mail’ – I’m choking up again…….
Had us mildly agog and if truth be known in much of a head spin this one not least the flip side ‘satananasses’ which too much mirth in the listening room had us on more than one occasion racing at Olympic record breaking time lurching towards the turntable fearing some attack of the gremlins due to the sluggish sounds emanating from the slacker charmed speakers. Latest from the oft admired Africantape imprint finds Ventura dropping two heaving slabs of sludge groove which should you require assistance reference wise their label people describe fondly as imagining insane clown posse in a head off with radiohead. We’re assuming the blighter is limited, it comes pressed up on 7 inches of heavy duty wax which by our reckoning is just as well because ‘Ananasses’ curdles like a wiring Pixies variant shimmying up to a beaten around the edges Gibson Bros with J Mascis with his Sweet Apple head on invited along for the rumble as the collective spirit up a molten serving of skewed prairie blues. As to that aforementioned flip side basically the lead cut rewired backwards and sounding strangely less skewed that it normal playing sibling. You know you want it.
Impeccable and quite possibly just edging things in the our favourite release among the recent slew of static caravan lovelies perching themselves in an orderly line awaiting turntable attention. Distant correspondent you may recall had us a swooning courtesy of a teaser preview of the flip cut ‘badlands’ a little while back which if I recall rightly we described in passing as a celestial star crossed union of my bloody valentine and animal collective types with Kevin Shields attending the soiree minus pedal kit. Still sounds absolutely astounding, dream draped demurs, slipstreaming stereophonic serenades and that hint of something ethereal are all consumed into a sound that’s not only unreal and almost airless but something you’d imagine greeting you by way of a fanfare as you shackled off your mortal coil and swiftly moved to the next stage of your journey. Untested lead cut ’shatter’ is quite something else and this from a label that championed once upon a time both tunng and shady bard. Disarms you in a second, steeled in milky melodic mirages, quietly majestic and dimpled in the tender turn of a forlorn classicism its yearn and ache sumptuously surrender to the genteel spray of undulating lilts and reverberating shimmers all fused to an irresistible harmonic lull that’s drizzled in the kind of exquisitely stilled grace that was once the trademark tool of the Workhouse.
Something else we’ve found ourselves smitten by since it arrived at our gaff a day or two ago is the – we think – debuting single from Tarana. A duo no less featuring the combined talents of Ravish Momin and Rick Parker in what’s described by the accompanying press release loosely as a trombone / electronics / drums face off. And before you all start switching off at the sight of the gathering together of those instruments in one sentence to exit stage left thinking ‘okay I need to take some time out here’ whilst fearing some new demonic no wave opus from that Andy Pyne dude is about to break cover. Not so because this is quite something else and is much deserving of some of your undivided attention. And while we might have unfairly used Mr Pyne as a joking aside (incidentally foolproof projects gear is on our radar – be warned) there are times when this two track outing veers ever so closely into the orbital space of both puffin boy and braer rabbit. A hulking melting pot which should conceivably prick the ears at various stages those among you attuned to the grooves of ariel kalma, bill laswell, muslim gauze, Natasha atlas, invaders of the heart and the ozric tentacles – a considerable list of talent agreed but a well subscribed to one for both ’Azeen O Shaan’ and ’disposable’ which feature on the EP incidentally titled ’the laden soul desires the sun’ via the plasmatorous imprint for tarana intricately blend a sound board that literally terraforms the deeper you descend, a cosmicalia rooted to an earth beat axis upon which is sewn a deeply intoxicating tapestry that freewheels and pulses to a primary jazz / electro groove though which within gives space and safe haven to a mercurial mixing of techno, dub and trance signatures. ‘azeen o shaan’ is dutifully cut with a panoramic gravitas, elephantine fanfares a la Jerry Goldstein, tribal chants and 70’s styled retro electronica are soldered onto deeply alluring heavy ended dub-tronic sound board to give an out there head trip feel to the proceedings. For us though it’s the smoked ‘disposable’ which had us somewhat in awe and transfixed to the sounds emanating from our speakers, looser in structure than its partner cut the use of space affording the duo a chance to operate on a more experimental level. Deeply atmospheric and this time more trippy and hallucinogenic in nature ‘disposable’ zigzags and snake winds seductively from deeply alluring moments of transcendental bliss to fracturing futuro grooves. Featuring an unnamed female vocalist the opening passages lend themselves as though hazy hymnal mistrals flickering as were lightly across sun scorched arid plains, heavy and claustrophobic, middle eastern sonic tongues wrap seductively to a mysterious mantra only to shed their skin and momentarily go all wigged out in a sensuous snake charm like mirage only for the mood to tighten and constrict to reveal itself as a ramped up pensive floor throbbing beauty replete with splintering lunar dubtronics and fracturing dream dissipating futuro mutant ‘I feel love’ visitations.
A quick email from Stephen over at flowers in the dustbin alerting us to imminent happenings in the deadline shakes camp with the news that a new pop platter is about to break cover just before Christmas. Entitled ‘bright spot in a bad year’ this perky little slice of ear candy has I should say become an object of fondness in our listening space, lovably scatty and daubed in all the kind of kooky accoutrements and crafted genius that once gathered and cobbled together are guaranteed to woo the hardiest of hearts and send normally steeled defences a tumbling with oodles of affection and a wallop of feel good cheeriness. Shuffling and chuffing along to a tingling cortege of swooning strings haloed by honeyed harmonies pressed upon a delicate country teased MOR braiding its easy to see why the deadline shakes are quietly garnering admiring glances from all who encounter them, cobbling together a fine line in pristine pop chops they certainly know their way around the crafting of an instantly memorable song, for as ’bright spot in a bad year’ tootles and lollops merrily along it fizzes and pops into sunbursts of effervescence and in so doing instils a pressing want to root out old heartstrings nuggets that’s not to mention harbouring that sense of an unplugged and un-tethered Abba amid their DNA. In short you’ll be hard pressed to find a happier honey shoehorned into 200 seconds the rest of the year, blighters should bag it up and sell it over chemist counters.
Latest Strange Brew pod cast is a Tony Durant special, a 90 minute musical travelogue of the fuchsia head honchos career to date. Fuchsia of course recently re-activated with the appearance of ’from psychedelia to a distant place’ earlier this year via sound practices (which I’m embarrassed to say we haven’t as yet heard) and his collaboration with me and my kites on a recent fruits de mer platter. Among the treats on offer some specially selected cuts from Fuchsia’s self titled 1971 classic some excellent archive finds cobbled together and released on the ’fuchsia, mahogonny and other gems’ set on night wings 2005 release courtesy of ’pirate jenny’ (by Mahogany – a beautifully crafted re-phrasing of Brecht and Weill) and ’I’ll remember her face, I’ll remember her name’ as well as a choice cut from his aforementioned recent full length. As though that wasn’t enough Mr Durant joins host Mr Bernard via a live link to chat about the past, the present and the future. www.thestrangebew.co.uk
Personally I’ve never been one for the lip caterpillar, muzzy or moustache, always felt they looked daft, underwhelming and slightly lost without the framing of full facial hair furniture – ie a full on beard – a bit like one rogue armchair minus its mates usually forming a full three piece suite. I mention all this not because I like the sight of my own typed word but it was something stirred by the appearance on our screens and through our speakers of a new platter from the Quiet Marauder entitled ’I want a moustache, dammit’. this lot hail from Cardiff, a by all accounts revolving door anti folk co-op headed up by the inscrutably wayward song writing duo Messrs Read and Day and found ploughing the sometimes surreal barbed humouring what if universes of Lehrer, half man half biscuit, the popticians and dalmatian rex – to name just a few. Crookedly infectious and decidedly bent out of shape, ‘I want a moustache, Dammit’ hiccups and croons its way through a recital recipe impishly sewn together one suspects aside crackling campfires with alcoholic refreshments, a deeply worrying tale of underachieving masculinity and the fear of every male of the species in being unable to sculpture a hairy lip in the image of alpha male Burt Reynolds and thus handing out quick fix cheat guides involving Burt masks. Utter lunacy and totally barking though not entirely the most worrying aspect at large for in January the blighters promise the release of a 111 song (hang on am I reading this right) four volume debut album entitled ’men’ via bubble wrap records. Well worth mentioning that the curious among you might do well to scroll through the play list and call up the haunting holiday adventures going awry ‘the day the animals went fucking crazy’ Consider yourselves well and truly warned. www.soundcloud.com/quietmarauder/I-want-moustache-dammit
Due for download release via tip top recordings and the subject of a limited cassette edition by crash symbols shortly will be the debut full length from George and Angel of Greece entitled ‘evergreen’. better known to the demurring dream pop community as plastic flowers, this due have wowed the star watching cognoscenti by way of three lushly honed EP’s of frost sculptured bliss pop. Primed for critical action in a forthcoming missive we’ve been smitten by the sneak peak offering currently arresting souls on sound cloud. Prized from the album ‘ghosts’ features a special guest appearance by Keep Shelley in Athens (? – me neither) – all gorgeously shimmered in an amorphous porcelain framing schooled in the kiss cool spectral sophistication of an early 80’s cold wave electronica scene, this purring honey ushers from an ethereal haze dimpled in prowling bass lines all softly demurred to sound not unlike something falling off a Peel play list c.1983 – add to the equation a lushly coded cosmic mirage that imagines a daydreaming Clerks in a longing embrace with the Insect Guide all tastefully reclined upon a backdrop so elegant and ethereal it arrives as though trip-wired off some lost Ex Post Facto gem. Blissful in short. www.soundcloud.com/plastic_flowers/plastic-flowers-ghosts-feat
Absolutely delightfully deranged. Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band be their name, a rag bag collective of gypsies, jazz heads and one suspects freaky acid casualties no doubt mind fried and tattooed with a Beeheartian birth mark on their psyche, who come straying and bathed in the warming glow of fellow Scouse psych folk minstrels Stealing Sheep. Once upon a time – June to be precise – they released a debut platter – ‘Jonah’ was its name – with gnashing of teeth and a hearty harrumph it appears it scuttled beneath our radar – I’m guessing yours to. Unfazed and with a skip in their hearts off they went on a festival trail wowing all who braved the treks to outsider tents, drawn in pied piper like by the puzzlingly mysterious exotic vibes weaving through the air and the sight of a merry playing troupe so vast and large in number they qualify to having their own postcode in Liverpool town . New tunes – two of them – have been prepped for your excitable ear in the shape of ’loneliness’ and ’singing int rain’ due for release, love and affection via kazimier in December. Now by rights and given airplay exposure ’loneliness’ could and should upend those pre festive predictions and prove something of a surprise hit, applying elements of fellow Liverpool sons Wizards of Twiddly and more notably Apatt and dashed with say three parts Popticians, the Harlequin ones cook up a positively delirious sub 9 minute stew. Twisted, cuckoo and frankly contagious, ’loneliness’ shuffles, sighs, snoozes and swoons upon a crooked musicalia on Sunday parade serving out wonky slabs of snake charmed love notes cobbled in a forgotten big band vintage that to these ears sounds not unlike a winter blow Vernon Elliott conducting a posse made up of Winston giles orchestra and l’augmentaion types tripping to an alluring re-tooling of white town’s ’your woman’. ’singing int rain’ over on the flip is blessed with a celebratory New Orleans styled funeral groove before tripping out to a rollicking zig zagging skat jazz punk funky blaze of wiring kookiness as though an acid fried Higsons in a face off with the Native Hipsters. The dogs danders in short.
Pretty smart video that accompanied their debuting ‘jonah’ platter……
An email from Mikie of the postcard who for those slightly in the dark and wondering what the hell we are talking about are a damn fine beat pop combo hailing from rock n’ roll’s ground zero – er – Isle of Man in case your wondering – who many many years ago released the occasional nugget on the much missed Filthy Little Angels imprint – who I’ll say here and now were one of the – if – not THE finest bedroom / budget DIY label to have graced these pages in the last 10 years. Anyhow no new Postcode stuff just yet which kind of put a sizeable pin in our bubble, here’s us with our dancing shoes ready to bop, tut tut, still here’s a cutie featuring the Postcode’rs Mikie, Marie and Martin with Phil gathered together way back in 2007 as Stoliday. Originally appearing on the fondly admired twee turntable teasing Cloudberry records, Small Bear have just re-released the highly sought after ’elderly people are punk’ EP. It time honoured fashion we’ll pick this up next missive out, if we remember that is, for now though can we just advise that you redirect your mouse to the third cut ’happy with me’. a gorgeously delicate homage to Sarah records finest, shimmered in breezy strum lulled and coaxed with a becoming lovelorn lilt to joins the dots between the Sundays and the Siddeleys whilst simultaneously opining coolly to the numbing spectral tease of a young St Etienne – www.stoliday.bandcamp.com
We’ve been eyeing tasty stuff aplenty on the captured tracks imprint of late not least a handful of full lengths from Blouse and the holograms – which if we think on – and indeed manage to nab copies of we’ll give a whirl here at a later date. For now though there’s been somehow of a hive of activity in the widowspeak camp which promises shortly to manifest itself into a new as yet untitled album to follow last years ’almanac’ set. For now there’s a new EP imminent by the name ’the swamps’ later this month from which has been sprung ’calico’. a frankly attractive thing that blends darkly woven enchanted slices of spectral psych folk all framed in a strangely alluring tapestry that creaks and yawns as though rising from some secret haze drenched woodland hidey hole to weave hauntingly to a primitive signature dinked in lolloping rambles and opining twangs all graced by Pamela Garabano-Coolbaugh’s seductive hush which we here where much minded of a more campfire in situ variant of the Stealing Sheep sharing ghostly tales with the Delgados and Mazzy Star. www.soundcloud.com/capturedtracks/widowspeak-calico/s-jPwii
Been an age since we had anything by trouble in mind gracing our player and a much missed distraction its been given that these dudes seem to knock out dandy discs at a ridiculous regularity you’d suspect they had a secret factory somewhere cloning the blighters for world domination. Now I’ll be the first to admit that the luminanas ‘my black Sabbath’ doesn’t hint you between the eyes first listen, or come to think of it second third or fourth listen, you see its cut from a different cloth your usual TiM groove. Prized from a forthcoming set entitled ‘costa blanca’ Maria and Lio Luminana cut seductive soft psych shapes in mystical sands that touches and nods to the strange intoxica that was once visited upon grooves of platters bearing the name Anna D and Le Mans. Assumed of an amorphous signature that discards the usual verse chorus verse structuring, ’I’m black Sabbath’ ghosts in on a magic flying carpet sprinkling the listening space with a heady potion of touch light sun tanned wooziness as though relocating a west coast trippiness to some lost arabesque paradise. Sultry sitars weave hypnotic motifs to a shuffling percussive backdrop braided by detuned strum serenades and the softly chilled off centring effervescent murmur of Maria ushering spell crafted mantras – a frankly dizzying spectacle. Goes without saying we want that album. www.soundcloud.com/troubleinmind/the-limi-anas–my-black-sabbath/s-dSNxk
Tucked somewhere amid this extended missive or quite possibly an earlier edition, you’ll find a glowing review of the latest tokolosh platter for static caravan – a truly amazing release which along with their debut 7 inch has so far earned them a faultless release schedule. We mention all this not to further heap coverage on tokolosh wherever possible – which be fair why not – should be heard, should be loved and should be in your record collection – nuff said – but because at this point its worth mentioning the black ink whose new pop platter ’tangerine’ veers ever so closely into their sphere of influence. Crooked and slightly funky in a distractively off centred way, ’tangerine’ seductively shimmies and sidesteps to a vibe that glows to a west coast purr dimpled in a softly subtle 70’s shading whilst blessed with a singer who sounds uncannily like a young Jeff Lynne.
Here’s the video accompanying it – quite clever and smart if you ask me….
Only 300 vinyl editions of this split kicking around so if you want one you’ll need to be quick off the mark because once word starts to spread about this – and it will – they’ll be the stuff of auction sites and sleepless nights. A humungous cosmic prog release via old noise that pairs together on opposing sides of wax the Cosmic Dead and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (from herein referred to as Pigs x 7 to save repetitive strain). This is massive, way out and something primed for the heads among you who prefer your sounds – shall we say – coded in the kind of groove guaranteed to flip wigs with each ensemble despatching a differing head melting perspective by way of a sub 23 minute suite . The cosmic dead are a Glaswegian quartet who describe themselves as a ‘psychonautal cosmedelic’ cruise ship (we added the cruise ship part) serving up the mind expansive ’Djamba’. now we here are much recalling Organic is Orgasmic and Vert:X (fruits de mer regulars these days) not to mention Scouse psychedelicists Alien Ballroom, the initial passages lending themselves to dissipating visitations of interweaving dream dipped lysergic ambient orbs kind of Loop in serious trip mode if your in need of reference markers – very chilled and out there which at once sounds like an age soon manifests as though slowly emerging from some sort of lunar eclipse steadily beginning to rear into radar view. From therein its all gaseous drone shimmers, woozy and tripadelic as you buckle up for a cruise controlled journey across the vast cosmic realms which at points terra-morphs to incorporate mantras spoken in long dead archaic tongues whilst oscillating to a seriously flipped out psych prog beatnik signature whose stoner space pulsars marshal mystical third eye environs previously only encountered by the likes of the Ozrics or fried sonic alchemists concocting aural anthropological strains of rare sound species guaranteeing beard forming side effects. Quite stunning if you ask me. On the flip Pigs x 7 whose excellently titled ‘the wizard and the seven swines’ promises an altogether different head trip, what first had us imagining a seriously freakish and wasted flowered up removed of the baggy flowers and beads and gouged in scalping riffage plundered from some primordial ooze soon begins to kick, squall and fester like some unloved and abandoned illegitimate off spring resulting from a bunk up betweens a fierce some sounding White Hills and the Heads, in short the kind of bastardised brew you’d expect to hear melting the grooves of the agitated imprint and the with that prime packed ear gear for Cope heads to swoon to. From therein in its beatnik heaven channelling heavily on some shit faced Mugstar trajectory ripped in repetitive locked loops, strutted grooves and mutant kraut hybrids devilishly ploughing a bitched out and blistered blues brew. Essential. www.cosmicdead.bandcamp.com//album/the-cosmic-dead-pigs-x7-split-lp
I’m guessing there’ll be some regular observers to these pages found a tad wanting of wizards tell lies groove. Rest easy for there’s been a flurry of activity of late emanating out of the secretive voids of WTL’s expansive universe not least a collaborative meeting of minds between head Wizard Matt Bower and April Larson forging headway under the guise of Isobel cCircle. Available as a download from the previously unknown to us Chapel Yard imprint. The ’eyes in the ground’ EP gathers together four inner space occupying suites which, on first hearing ‘fractal hooks’ had us cooing rather partially to recall early visitations exacted upon our turntable by the alrealon musique empire that said its the parting ’invernos’ that had us somewhat hunched in a ball and cowering from the safe confines of the sofa. A brooding slice of minimalist classicism it is to, a sumptuous sound sculpturing of atmospheric tensions dimpled in swathes of dronal tides that appear in the initial stages bleached bare by impenetrable washes of skree blasts only to evolve into moments of transcendental trippiness with the onset of glassy opines before shifting focus to enter Expo 70 environs all the while indelibly steeled in a chill factoring snowy haze of motorik pulse murmurs and controlled out there sonic manipulations. We’ll try and get downloads for a full review – for now though go to www.chapelyard.bandcamp.com/album//eyes-in-the-ground-ep.
As to the Wizards themselves, latest escapee from those all important third album sessions finds the frankly epic ‘the ninth door’ ushering into orbit, described by chief Wizard Matt as a ‘noisy little rascal’ this might well prove to be the Wizards most defining moment yet. Evermore journeying towards the dark eye of the mysterious Wizards psyche, this 10 minute opus is an emotionally draining experience that shimmers with a sleight of hand precision from moments of tear stained meekness to volcanic effervescence. Through the chattering binary conversations emerges the sweetly hushed reverence of a softly unfurling motif blossoming, intertwining and arcing through the crackling ether, mournfully beautiful and elegantly traced in a lush spectral spectrum that recalls a bruised Broadcast, which once gaining awareness of its environs suddenly fractures resplendently as though magnified through some white hot sun scorched prism. The snow bursting eruptions much like the stately quiet majesty of a youthful Sigur Ros in an ecstatic embrace with the Grails bitter sweetly seduce with a hollowing glacial phrasing that dissolves as the mood and intensity descends into an evermore fracturing state of panic and tension, gravitas adding weight courtesy of some superb Morricone meets Barry suspense theatrics. And then the orbiting pulsar is gone in search of new pastures. Anyway here’s the sound cloud posting – www.soundcloud.com/wizards-tell-lies/the-ninth-door
Also related Wizards groove – just to let you know that the Roadside Picnic vs. revenant sea collaboration appears to have broken cover finally, those with long memories may well recall us mentioning the revenant sea’s debuting cassette set for auditory field earlier this year as well as a sneaked cut from their face off with RP. Well it seem the cassette set entitled ’their words are lost in the din of jets’ is imminent on the Jehu and chinaman imprint. Sticking with roadside picnic we did get a message from Mr Wiggan to say there would be cassettes aplenty shortly at our gaff and that there were sound files lurking on face book. Buggered if the former have arrived or indeed we can find the latter however that said worth alerting that the blighters been fair busy of late as we’ve spied various releases and collaborations with the likes of Guilherme Miotta, Maurizio Bianchi, David Osbaldesten and an incredibly limited thing for centipede farm called ‘Magpies and lies’.
Now here’s something a little special, forthcoming sometime early next year from Norfolk based collective Six Toes will be a new full length entitled ’the morning after’ though before that ’low guns’ will be sent ahead to serve as a heralding indicator of what to expect among the grooves of which you’ll find the bruised and withdrawn tones of a certain Dave Gahan – indeed he of Depeche Mode fame. Seems Mr Gahan was much taken with the ensembles mixes for the Mode over the years that when the call came to assist he literally jumped at the opportunity. Just slightly scraping the sub six minute ticker tape, ’low guns’ is emotionally exhaustive, sumptuously cradled in shimmering autumnal string shivers all hollowed by an aching noir folk classicism that trembles to a delicately alluring fragile poise that sighs and weeps with an irrefutable hurt tearfully breaking from the beyond the grooves which should you survive to the latter minute or so seemingly fractures and splinters amid its own stress bearing sadness. www.soundcloud.com/sixtoes/low-guns-feat-dave-gahan/s-G5tn3
Consider this. You receive an album, let’s just say it goes by the name ‘dapple’. upon its grooves a carefully selected musical troupe sharing the same musical vision as its head gatherer. Lets call him Dan Haywood. Across its ten tracks a vivid portrait, more so an ode or a hitherto love note to the rural countryside, recorded on location in the forest of Bowland. The compositions more than mere campfire song echo with hurt, optimism and that rarest form of an English musical vocabulary desperately lost, maybe less stressfully mislaid, that being the timeless art of folk storytelling crafted in the old ways and free of modernist influence. Here there are intimate hymnals, wood crafted gospels and the ghostly murmurings of countryside jigs. Birdsong features prominently throughout with a chorus line of wrens, chaffinches, blackbirds, great spotted woodpeckers and robins. You feel you ought to sit up and pay attention. And we did. Something else due for closer attention in the coming days.
To whet appetites here’s a video…of ‘suspicious farms’
And to round off this particular missive, something demurring and dare we say a little ethereal to which to bade you farewell. ’strands of Golden light’ comes prized from a truly remarkable double disc set from Seirom entitled ’1973’ put out by Aurora Borealis – incidentally the same label that put out releases by the haxan cloak and mrtyu – both of whom we mentioned in passing in previous missives. In short this is the sound of angels in rapture, the soundtrack perhaps to life’s passage into the light, distressingly tender and euphoric, in simple terms beautifully bruised, hushed and airbrushed by celestial chorals, a bit like being kissed by a heavenly visitation – released in both CD and vinyl runs the latter pressed up on heavy duty slabs of wax and strictly limited to just 300 copies. www.auroraborealisrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/1973
And that’s your lot for now. As ever many thanks to press folk, labels, musicians and you – yes you there – for tuning in, reading and making this gubbins possible ,
We love records, cassettes and even CD’s so should you feel the desire to contact you can get in touch in the following ways –
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We’re also on sound cloud and twitter but I’ll be buggered I know the address that said if you really need them then send an interesting record or tape and we’ll root out the details.
As ever take care of yourselves…..xx