Turntable treats this missive –
Macajey, mona and maria, soft riot, vaporizer, sienna root, Anzio green, Japanese gum, david Bronson, 62 miles from space, atom eye, velour modular, the Manitou, swallow and the wolf, orchestra of spheres, death crush, plank, dog bite, sweet gum tree, new sound of numbers, cars can be blue, cosines, elevators to the grateful sky, painted palms, jack Cheshire, dead leaf echo, moon coven, the Novembers, faster circuits, fayaway, mount moriah, stranger son, volkano, pet ghost project, magik markers, the bordellos, chin of Britain, trips and falls and Vladimir.
We’ve been getting curious transmissions of late from the EverythingIsChemical imprint, an online label blog who specialise in posting up at bi-monthly visitations carefully crafted and specially selected free to down load virtual 7 inch releases operating more often than not from the shadow lands of the ambient / dance / electronic sound spaces. We say bi-monthly the last we’ve had have been shuffling off the conveyor belt at a rapid bi-weekly rate not that we are complaining especially when they sound as good as this nugget. Latest outing comes from Macajey – who I believe is better known to kith n’ kin as Jeremy Macachor who – hopefully we’ve got this right – along with his sister Ashley – here applying production treatments – cooks up a seriously smoked five suite set of sumptuously sophisticated smooth groove. Employing hazy Asiatic jazz swirls (per the opening salvo ‘I’ll see you before the summer’s gone’) into what is essentially an amorphous lounge ambience adventure, an out there and tripping transcendental listening experience unfolds. Trip wired to a purring and sultry dub-tronic chassis, Macajev pairs down a positive cornucopia of slick dance motifs amid a deliciously down tempo and super chilled floor show that hints ever so subtly to a subdued and lazy eyed sounding AR Kane. From the beautified arrest of the orbiting calypso carnival of ‘tired of this rain’ to the parting ‘mushroom girl’ with its spectral chamber-tronic cosmic-delica drone swathes clearly hooked upon the minimalist mainframe of Echoboy albeit as though relocated on to the Smallfish imprint and rewired by the third eye foundation, Macajey applies a broad free flowing spectrum of sound and mood to his terra-forming palette. All said as much as we adore the spectral strobe glowed nocturnal funk of ’travelling shoes’ it’s the cool sophisticat that is the exotica dinked sepia framed head tripping psych jazz ju ju of ’night sight’ that had us ga ga sounding as it is like an ultra cooled Edwin Moses. www.eicvirtual7inch.bandcamp.com/album/eicv7-no-55
Okay while we go on the hunt for review copies here’s a little something very tasty indeed from Mona and Maria. ’babyflowers’ arrives ripped from their debuting full length ’my sun’ out via jansen plateproduksjon, this duo hail from Norway and have been on the receiving end of nodding swoons from all who’ve heard them, in short they do ethereal wood crafted west coast draped baroque pastoral pop with this enchanting cutie taking its cue – or so it would sound – from Love’s ‘the red telephone’ – bizarre video to follow….
Back briefly with everything is chemical mainly because aside being much adoring of an earlier single put out by them by eskimeaux (who we’ll feature later if we think on), we were checking out their blog site within which you can check out an excellent Q&A with Lee Noble and hook up to a rather nifty video track by Soft Riot who I’m certain we’ve mentioned in despatches past. Pulled from the Soft Riot set ‘fiction prediction’ via other voices – indeed its been out for a while now, ‘cinema eyes’ manages to time tunnel itself back to those hazy days of an early 80’s experimental electro dance scene. Amid the skittering dislocated grooves we hear trace elements of the mighty Cabaret Voltaire sparring with a youthful Was (not was) and Yello under the protective eye of Devo, dink in some sumptuous lunar swirls with a killer side serving of futuro funk and embellish it with frost framed motifs and you have yourself a rather nifty re-threaded Thomas Dolby sortie.
I’m suspecting that things have gotten a little sedate around here of late and what your missing is slavering slabs of curdled groove. Enter the cauldron then Vaporizer. Nabbed this of a clear spot listing – and with that maudlin missives have been issued forth to their keepers for copies. Described as stoner / doom metal from Vermont – this cut is in fact the flip side to their ‘sea of eyes’ single for the hydro-phonic imprint, apparently there’s an ultra limited issue of these babies pressed up on glow in the dark black light lime vinyl, alas no photos but descriptors alone have it sounding a must have treat. Anyhow this bad assed blighter – incidentally entitled ’these old hills’ – is your six minute torture trimmed slo-core doom drilled bedlam, alas no happy clappy sentimentality here just grim gouged grooves molten by the vengeful and punitive glare of the book of revelations, so thickly dense and heavy we here suspect the punishing pressure emitting up from the waxen grooves may just compress your head space to pea sized proportions, all said brutal, ravaged and deeply demonic.
New soon on transubstans and another 7 inch release we eyed on the latest clear spot newsletter this time by Swedish psych rockers Siena Root entitled ’conveniently blind’ which we must admit the notes unhelpfully describe thus ’a fine track in the band’s familiar style’ which is kind of meaningless if you’re not familiar with the bands wares. Thank heavens then for a savvy spot of net searching because we’ve managed to turn up the flip side ’mishra kafi’ – damn fine it is to if that is you adore your sound space sumptuously cooed in all manner of woozy middle eastern transcendental mantras and bonged out motifs which once satisfied its gotten you all becalmed in its meditative murmurs then jettisons off on a grizzled cosmic cruising 70’s styled big bearded prog-a-delic beatnik spacecraft into the very heart of the sun.
We’ve already raided the kitchen cupboards for supplies and set up a sentry post by our letterbox in readiness for this little cuties arrival in our gaff – hopefully – in the coming days. Out early December via rednetic – whose regular dansette despatches we must admit we’ve sorely missed in recent times – is a collaborative release between Wil Bolton (Cheju) and Mark Streatfield (Cyan341 / Zainetica) here paired together under the guise of Anzio Green. The aforementioned album entitled ’a day without distance’ is the follow up to their ‘autumn honey’ debut for symbolic interaction’ which to much teeth gnashing and sighs we appear to have missed along the way. Anyhow for now ‘fall down’ prized from that forthcoming set is currently beguiling the listening space not to say bathing it in a somewhat frosted makeover given its pristinely fastened on to a softly purred snow globe all sweetly swirled and nocturnally nurtured in oceanic orbital dream drifting overtures, amid which the adoringly applied vocals of Kate Tustain ethereally coo in the milky mirage.
Haven’t we already mentioned the magik markers in this missive – yes. Are you still waiting to see a corking review of their forthcoming album out next week entitled ‘surrender to the fantasy’ via drag city ablaze across your interweb device screens – yes. ‘Fraid its not going to happen just yet young folk. Give it time though. Now we here realise there’s a somewhat deflated air about the place at such non news so to cheer you up we’ve a new video type thing that the band have happily concocted and hatched in their secret lair for one of the albums cuts ‘mirrorless’. a bit of a cutie it should be said and further testament that this lot are indeed a schizophrenic bunch of dudes who like nothing more than to have you puzzling which version of the Markers are coming out to play – will it be the no wave, no tunes feral imps or the sweetly thoughtful darlings caught in a moment types. In truth we love both of them but to save the suspense here found lazing in their latter persona all coaxed in a dreamily cosy coaxed soft psych folk shimmering that has something of the Velvets about its wares albeit as though refracted through the wonky DIY viewfinder of a young Kevin Barnes after a visit to the local outfitters to have a fuzzy felt three piece measured, cut and stitched by a ‘yerself is steam’ era Mercury Rev…..
Celestial overtures, hulking trip hop beats and ethereal tranced out motifs that for all the world make your skull innards feel as though they are dissolving, what can this all mean. in short new thing from ambient psychedelicists Japanese gum – a duo hailing from Genova, Italy and featuring the collective mindset of Messrs Tortora and Cedolin who together manage to weave a seriously out there and woozy trip-a-delic tapestry that’s forged from elements of Lemon Jelly and Aloof albeit threaded through the kaleidoscopic spin dryer of a ‘danse manatee’ era Animal Collective and delivered into a star dimpled dream pop symphonia – for those intrigued enough to venture further there‘s an album due soon by the name ‘high dreams‘ from which the track below ‘homesick‘ is pulled….
Have we ever told you that we here are suckers for steel guitars, throw in a few well heeled prairie blues opines and the kind of mellowing soundtrack that has you visualising some haze riddled idling lazy eyed setting and you have our immediate attention followed in hot pursuit by a chasing adoring affection. Enter stage left David Bronson – two albums stuffed under his collective arm in the guise ’the story and ’the long lost’ – both I’m sad to say have so far seen fit to scamper beneath our observation post and both collectively viewed as one, formed a 22 track opus tracking a personal journey through love and loss. Hell we’ve all been there some of us still sport the emotional and financial scars. Anyhow and before we start getting darkly animated – we’ve had this little nugget ’ ’animals’ – drop in our lap for listening delight no doubt and damn tasty it is. Entitled ’animals’ its been pulled from Mr Bronson’s current set ’the long lost’ and being made available as a free to download gem. We here are gathering its something that ought to chime loudly with those much admiring of Michael Shelley and Kevin Tihista – but hey that’s just our angle on it, must admit we do adore the off kilter softly subtle psych weaves sprayed upon the overall introspective homeliness that’s abound here not to mention the breezy inclines of the MOR mosaics that radiate at intervals throughout. www.soundcloud.com/davidbronson/03-animals
Stumbled over this on another little visit to band camp land wherein we turned up this little strange delight. 62 miles from space hail from Russia and beyond that the information trail runs cold. Best described loosely as a baroque radiophonic cinematic hauntologist odyssey the three track set ’in this bed’ navigates the milky cosmidelic overtures more commonly found on the Meek sonic spectrum with both ’vers le nord’ and ’dans le nord’ sharing the same svelte Pram meets Plone 60’s styled library futurism given over these days to the sounds emanating from the ghost box sound house, the latter mentioned in fact tracked to a subtle wig flipping bliss traced big bearded funky groove while the former is sumptuously cooled in a lush lounge smoking jacket. That said both pale in awe to the lead cut ‘in this bed’ – a sophiticat symphonia draped in mystery and sepia framed romance all swathed and bathed in orbital tides of dream dipped baroque harpsichord braids and sounding not unlike some lost Komeda / Vannier gathering rephrased by Broadcast. www.62milesfromspace.bandcamp.com/album/in-this-bed
I can tell you now that Atom Eye’s ’the otolith sessions’ – due imminently on forwind is scheduled for listening appreciation at the weekend – we’ve already been taken by ‘3 ¾’ from that set – see previous despatches – however here’s a second trailer to get appetites suitably whetted – this excerpt features the track ‘prelude’ as its backdrop – amid the seemingly dense minimalist drone wave patterns something beautifully bruised emerges shy eyed as though appearing fully formed from a eclipse event, atop its forming crest curve a hypnotic spray of jubilant raptures showers its surrounding environs, more to follow, soon…..
Sounds so Kraftwerk that we half expected to find their name tags ironed upon its collar, new from the Manitou who regular readers with long memories may recall we mentioned in passing a little while back via tales from the attic volume XI I believe wherein he was going through something of a classic 60’s BBC Radiophonic Workshop Dr Who workout meets Vernon Arts Lab and John Carpenter via a rather fetching outing entitled ’the Mechanicals’. The Manitou for those not quite up to speed is the guise of British Columbian based electronic wizard Joshua Blanc who surrounded by all manner of analogue synths and vintage sound devices occasionally sees fit to issue forth sonic intermissions into the big outside world. ’electro magnetic’ be his latest salvo. In short this is the sound of the future as it was or at least sounded way back in those black and white days of ‘77 or more pertinently – are we really allowed to say this – a robotoid Dusseldorfian wet dream – I guess not – but too late its done. All at once finitely designed, meticulously engineered and powered onto a hyper chilled lunar mainframe which aside being just a tad frisky and fluent in the way of kraut kosmiche appears as though a mid 80’s Cabaret Voltaire were secretly fashioning out little man machined Karl Bartos replicants. ’nibiru’ on the other hand once whirred into view slow peels its coldly minimalist outer shell to assume some deeply technoid trimmed funky electro noodling much sculptured in the lounge lilted romantic cool coding of a mellowed Vangelis. www.themanitou.bandcamp.com/album/electro-magnetic
Enigmatic, sultry and amorphous, this I should say has been the cause of much swooning since arriving in our messages box yesterday. Combining the talents of singer Guilhem and producer Hektagon, Velour Modular are about to release – we assume – their debuting 4 track EP shortly entitled ‘capsule‘, it promises themes inspired by numerology and William Blake atop electronic sound collages admiring of vintage futurist sci-fi soundtracks. As a teaser / taster ’forward’ has been sent forth as though from a long since ceased observational post at the outer marker points of space emitting past tense transmissions (much like the flickering whirr of an old cine reel projector playing home movies) in the hope that one day they will be received, this bitter sweet beauty is adoringly immersed in the kind of futuro torch echoes that sound as though they’ve been traced upon purring elegance of a Musetta melodic mainframe and then rephrased in the disconnected solitary sigh of Fever Ray. We suspect we need to hear more……
Due to open a new EP expected early next year from Swallow and the Wolf, ‘fire’ crackles and yearns like a tinderbox of emotions. Behind its bruised ache a desperate optimism flickers to a slow burn atop a melodic chassis dimpled and murmured in a forlorn tenderness caressed by the softly unravelling weave of chamber folk atmospherics blossoming to statuesque pulse racing anticipation – best filed somewhere near your fossil collective and the Epstein treasures.
Here’s a moving picture show of them performing said track at Guy Chambers studio…..
Alas no information with this aside the fact that this lot hail from New Zealand, number four in the ranks and are called orchestra of spheres. Now with a name like that you’d be expecting some kind of cosmic groove perhaps or something stoned off its head prime packed in progressive goo and very much sporting floor touching beards. In some respects you’d be right on so many levels though not necessarily on the scale of your imaginings. To say ‘vibration animal sex brain music’ – indeed that is the albums title – is out there would be to underplay its freakiness. To begin to attempt categorization would be a foolhardy sport, and anyway it’d be virtually impossible – though if references are what you require think stoned out funky cosmic kraut disco. Perhaps only Rainbow Arabia, maybe Pepe Deluxe and Ozric Tentacles similarly noodle in such multi faceted environs. In short any description wouldn’t do it justice for ‘….brain music’ is a psychedelic playground coloured by a cornucopia of reference points, musical landscapes and generic tongues. From its opening juju jamboree ‘aby’ wherein the no wave tribal gathering of the Slits and ….and the native hipsters converge with this heat observing at a safe distance, to the parting sultry and spellbinding snake charmed mantra – the lushly hypnotic osmosis – that is ‘bogan in the forest’ itself sounding like a bonged out Four Brothers headed up by Natasha Atlas, the OoS power a hulking star craft whose trajectory spins within spheres acknowledged as being homes to Sun Ra, Funkadelic and Os Mutantes (you think I jest – then hook yourself up to ‘jungle pads‘), yet spray the sonic collage as though it were drawn from a mix tape of treats plundered from the topper most table of kraut, paisley pop, disco, prog and, not forgetting to mention, psyche. Here you’ll be treated to the furiously tranced out deep kraut funk of ’mind over might’ (those Hipster dudes again I’m afraid), somewhere else the frantic and fried ‘moro con’ is wired and cued up on old school Fall platters though here buzz sawed into a loveably carnival-esque Go Team styled kookyness. Then there’s the motorik freak beating ‘journey’ – a cosmedelic power popper skedaddled in a coolly chic shimmered 60’s fuzziness and spy theme motifs that nods ever so slightly to a trip wired loose and funky Stereolab whereas ‘kairo’ is nothing short than Kraftwerk with funky boots on. Add in our favourite moment – ‘Electric kompani’ which could easily be a hey day mid 70’s Studio 54 relocated to an orbiting space station while the crookedly kraut funk ‘numbers’ is gloriously clipped with the subtle dinking of Delia Radiophonic futurist squiggles and fastened on to jitter bugging Raincoats chassis, and frankly you have yourself a wig flipping gem. Any questions. Oh yea its via Fire and Sound Explorers.
Something for those of you fancying your tuneage curdled in a scowling mass of post everything nihilism. A trio hailing from Norway, death crush have already been the cause of the undergrounds chattering cognoscenti with the issue of their own newsletter fanzine inside of which was included a limited edition flexi disc. Alas to much teeth grinding and grimacing we appear to have missed that though happy to say we nabbed CD copies of a just released four track 12 inch EP entitled ‘skool’s in’ via Norway rat / believe distribution. The set opens to the squalling agit friction of ‘lesson #3 for Gina Kikoine / you now’ – amid a festering cyclone of fracturing riffage, post punk edginess wrapped in the kind of austere melodic ice cold coolness much recalling those imps Controller. Controller. The proto psych ’lesson #4 for Wharton Tiers / Strauss’ veers directly into the dark heart of Sonic Youth, a wiring bastard scorched in all manner of noise nik tension and squalling no wave nuances. Its left to the parting shot to provide the sets lightest moment with the appearance of the darkly seductive ’lesson #13 for Nanker Phelge / fire’ – this babe just oozes with primal sexual intensity as though Cobra Killer had been eyed swapping notes with Katastrophy Wife. The same track gets a radical workout by James Njie who rewires the Deathcrush mainframe and re-brands it as a Dadaist dance floor demon replete with schizoid monochrome motoriks that comes possessed of a deeply dirty electro clashing groove.
Oh so you want to be getting all cosmically funky in a woozy 70’s stylee, last time we heard from Plank! it was when those Static Caravan dudes colluded with Akoustik Anarchy (another label whose mailing list in recent years we appear to have fallen off – how sad) to put out that superb limited seven inch ‘pig sick’ which if memory serves us right had us much in mind of a bonged out goblin getting funky with amon duul II. There was an album – ‘animalism’ – which again to teeth gnashing frustration appeared to duck beneath our radar. Ah well. Blighters have a new thang out on akoustik anarkhy entitled ’aphidelity’ which finds them voyaging the electro cool regions of the cosmos and getting very Zombi along the way though that’ll be a Zombi refitted with Moroder turbo drives and tuned, tweaked and souped up by John Carpenter and then headed off to Studio 54 for some dance floor spanking, in short can do no wrong in our gaff. Expect a whole new full length early next year. www.soundcloud.com/plankuk/plank-aphidelity-master-30-10/s-sB4VQ?in=plankuk/sets/new-single/s-sB4VQ
I must admit that I’m a tad bit embarrassed that we don’t feature the wares of the Carpark imprint more often here (send us records and this glaring omission will be rectified – hint hint). Latest off the carpark conveyor belt will be the new long playing platter from Dog Bite. Entitled ’tranquilizers’ it’s the bands follow up to their acclaimed ’velvet changes’ set and marks a change in sound trajectory for dog bite with promises that the sonic palette will veer into more dreamier quarters. As if to prove the point ’dream feast’ has been sneaked out as a teaser doing just that. Blending futuro soul with ice sculptured shoe gaze grandeur, the opining ’dream feast’ is a celestial dream coat sparsely coded and threaded in demurring cosmic whispers, both elegant and elegiac not to mention touchingly bruised, it appears like some brief visitation by a heaven sent apparition which upon its parting leaves that unquestionable sense of emptiness as though you’ve experienced something truly unworldly. www.soundcloud.com/carparkrecords/dog-bite-dream-feast/s-7Nw8n
With a debuting full length platter due out early next year via dreamy bird entitled ‘the snakes you charm and the wolves you tame’, sweet gum tree is in essence the solo work of Arno Sojo’s with occasional assistance from various sorts from the Tindersticks, the Church and as found on this quite arresting showcasing teaser ’bird of passage’ a certain Isobel Campbell formerly on the gentle waves and belle and Sebastian. Deceptively alluring a cut it is to, don’t be fooled by its winter-esque charms for here mellowed and murmured are the teasing cascades of radiant baroque folk pop flowering amid the pastoral inclines as it trembles and softly swoons to the peaking arcs of weaving strings arrangements and the prettified bouquet of whispered secret love notes. Entrancing stuff.
Just out via cloud where it comes pressed up on a limited 500 only wax run is the second album from Athens based New Sound of Numbers. Headed up by Hannah Jones they’ve been described as avant pop post punk experimentalists amid whose ranks various Pylon and Olivia Tremor Control sorts converge. As said new album just out (‘invisible magnetic’) from which we’ve managed to nab the insanely kooky and freakishly funky ’like children do’ to woo your listening space. In short a sumptuous sub three minute time travel back to the late 70’s for a day-glo-ing mix tape channelling the spirit of c-81 and wiring up upon its ferric oxide shiny side all manner of art pop funkiness that recalls the likes of the Slits, Delta 5, …the native hipsters and the tom tom club whilst throwing in some dislocated violin segues, wonky electronics, Chic-esque riff shuffles and gluing it all on to a deeply addictive toe tapping earth beat groove. www.soundcloud.com/crashingthrough/new-sound-of-numbers-like
More Athens based groove this time from agit poppers Cars Can be Blue whose latest full length ’trace the tension’ is out just about now via the happy happy birthday to me imprint. Now we must admit we’re a tad taken by ’battleship’ ripped from that set, scuzzy, detuned and schizoid its kind of like the Breeders had they shimmied up to k records and during their opening rehearsal pitching for a signing they’d eyed Deborah Harry sauntering by and roped her in to do a mean though cool fuck you scowling vocals atop an acutely fuzzy buzz sawing beat pop swagger. Does it for us – expect fond words on that aforementioned elpee next missive. www.soundcloud.com/crashingthrough/battleship
Last missive out – I think – we mentioned the flip side of a new platter from the Cosines by the name ‘the answer’ which all things being well in the world should be shifting by the crate load via fika recordings. Well we’ve managed to hook up to the lead cut ‘hey sailor boy!’ – must admit a totally different beast and not quite what we expected given ‘the answer’ was rippled through in a hazy sun shining Stereolab through a Sarah lens glazing. This little honey starts out craftily nibbling at the coda of the Holland Dozier Holland classic ‘band of gold’ before detouring off down a similar 60’s road chasing Martha and the Vandellas and amid a gloriously bright eyed and affectionate sun kissed cortege of string arrangements cooks up something that finds itself sitting on an axis where St Etienne hover at one end and Camera Obscura lounge around at the other. www.soundcloud.com/fikarecordings/sets/cosines-hey-sailor-boy
New thangs heading from outta the transubstans imprint should see the arrival upon the listening spaces of all bad turn tabling dudes two hulking big beast sets from Moon Coven and the excellently named Elevators to the Grateful Sky. Hailing from Sweden doom metalling psychonauts Moon Coven release their debuting EP ‘Amanita Kingdom’ in January and from it we’ve been blown away by the cut ‘rulers of dust’. this bad boy is so heavy and scuzzed out that we wouldn’t be surprised to hear of beards growing on stereophonic systems, not for the feint of heart for this monolithic slab of is a primordial sub 8 minute sludge fest that imagines an absolute off their faces Sabbath holding Hawkwind in a vice like head lock under the tutelage of the black angels had they ever ventured out of the dark side of a black hole. This howling fuzzed freaked bastard is prime packed in slavish stoner psych replete with locked grooves and wired up on head tripping endorphins the type of which you’d be forgiven for thinking had been chemically engineered in a Brian Jonestown laboratory. www.soundcloud.com/transubstans-records/moon-coven-ruler-of-dust
Blimey so up and at you we near fell flying from our listening perch. Staying with transubstans a little longer for the ferocious and frantic juggernaut that is ’sirocco’. ripped from an imminent full length by Elevators to the Grateful Sky entitled ’cloud eye’ – these Sicilian stoned out psychedelicists certainly know their way around the concocting of spanking boog-a-loo for ’Sirocco’ is a titanic sub four minute turn table train wreck that’s spiked with the legacy of Thin Lizzy albeit refitted and rehoused in a ’rated r’ era Queens of the Stone Age mindset and curdled and hammered down with the kind of cranium tightening gnarled groove rarely heard done so choking and ravaged since the early days of classic era Therapy platters. www.soundcloud.com/transubstans-records/elevators-to-the-grateful-sky
Fancying hoping a board a psychedelic carousel, mind you this psychedelic carousel happens to be showered in all manner of kaleidoscopic wooziness that literally peels feel good vibes from it crookedly kooky shimmering shell. Forthcoming from the painted palms, the latest in a long line of well heeled ensembles emanating from the frankly perfect polyvinyl sound house, is a debuting full length platter ’forever’ due after the seasonal fall. much admired by of montreal’s Kevin Barnes (really – do you need a better recommendation – I though not) who hooked up to them following the appearance of their ’canopy’ single. Reference wise Painted Palms deserve pride of place in your record collection next to those essential grooves from the Woods, the lead track ’forever’ just sneaked out as a heralding fanfare as to what to expect is a radiantly effervescent cutie smouldered in lysergic weaves drifting from the passing of ethereal Sgt Pepper echoes themselves translated and warped through the wiring viewfinder of the Zombies ’odessey and oracle’ and then spirited upon a magic carpet to venture upon the surreal sonic landscapes of a classic era elephant 6 collective aural picture book. www.soundcloud.com/polyvinyl-records/painted-palms-forever/s-FdGXP
Something lovely from our favourite shoe gazing dream poppers Dead Leaf Echo. okay not quite as this honey has undergone some remodelling by friends Tiers. Originally appearing on their latest orbital opus ‘thought and language’ through Neon Sigh, ‘she breathes’ is elevated to celestial status under the crafted hand of Tiers, spectral sirens drifting atop ethereal oceans it’s a most beautifully serene listening experience aglow in the same unworldly detachment and monochromed cinematic elegance that dusted the grooves of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s ‘organisation’ – www.soundcloud.com/deadleafecho-dle-she-breathes-vox-up-rmx
Latest single lifted from his recently released second full length ‘long mind hotel’, ’into the void’ finds psychedelic alchemist Jack Cheshire ploughing the kind of olde English fractured lanes as were once the playground of a certain Lupen Crook, woozy acid folk trip wired in dissolving lysergic pastoral carousels channelling into a whirlpool of ghostly Victoriana apparitions much recalling both Paul Roland and Andy Partridge. www.soundcloud.com/jack-cheshire-1/into-the-void/s-CLJGc
And now for something totally chilled and from Japan no less a place from which we sadly hardly ever get to sample the sonic delights of, anyhow we eyed this on a band camp ramble, fourth album from the Novembers entitled ‘Zeitgeist’ just out and no doubt selling by the truckload, anyhow this lot do a neat line in emotional charged dream popping soft psych electro ambience – think we’ve covered all the bases there, we were taken by the second of two tracks currently showcasing the album on their band camp site. ‘flower of life’ be its name – a sweetly murmured slice of cold wave loveliness that had us in mind of a more romantically inclined B Movie cosying up to an equally thawed, animated and lovelorn modern eon. Alas not the New Order / Joy Division nugget of old ‘ceremony’ instead is a tenderly smoked nocturnal love note shimmered in the soft fizz of razoring riff ruffles amid swathes of minimalist key cascades that converge together to craft a slow burn beauty that grows ever so steadily in stature and density to blossom in a bitter sweet shoe gazing honey. www.the-novembers.bandcamp.com/album/zeitgeist
This lot hail from Philadelphia and describe themselves as an experimental Elephant 6 Collective styled power pop combo. Released a few months ago on the quite tasty sounding hope for the tape deck imprint, Faster Circuits’ ’tunes of glory’ is from early listening indications proving to be something of a corker. I’m suspecting their debuting full length – alas no information – this honey comes pressed up as a limited cassette outing. We haven’t quite got through the whole of it just yet – well in truth we have and its these three nuggets that caught our ears. ’liebe fur machinen’ as the title might suggest is typically unrepresentative of the album as a whole – we say unrepresentative deliberately as the album really does duck and dive amid a myriad of reference points and generic divides. Back to ’liebe’ a psychotropic kraut grooved gem that manages to sumptuously weave amid the kind of cosmic corridors more associated with the Warm Delights albeit here haloed with a wonderfully woozy west coast aftertaste whose melodic mainframe nibbles around the edges of the working for a nuclear free city soundboard. ‘dangerous’ arrives similarly hazily glazed in kooky electro squiggles that gloriously rupture and radiate with the same soft psyche unworldly allure of mirror mirror. All said our favourite moment comes courtesy of ‘relative obscurity’ wherein the dreamy lazy eyed and countrified MOR vibes dissolve amid smoky reverbs and bliss kissed states to shimmer and saunter awkwardly like some meeting of Big Star and the flying burrito brothers under the watchful eye of neutral milk hotel. Kinda cute and classy. www.hopeforthetapedeck.bandcamp.com/album/tunes-of-glory
Staying with the hope for the tape deck imprint and again heading out of Philadelphia are Fayaway. Again no information on these but they have a recently released EP entitled ‘the astral body’ which needs immediate attention especially if your listening loves veer towards the jazz tweaked end of the musical delights spectrum. We’ve been a little taken with the opening cut ‘29 days’ which aside sounding not unlike Musetta is smoked in the kind of sophisticated aura that you’d imagine emerging through the transistor speakers like some ghostly flashbacking echo of an illicit under the radar smoke filled late night members club specialising in torch soul murmurs. I suspect we will be returning to this in a later missive. www.hopeforthetapedeck.bandcamp.com/album/the-astral-body-ep
Been busy scampering around for information on this lot, alas to no joy. All we know is that this cutie cool post punk grooved honey has been sent ahead to herald the forthcoming arrival of a debuting full length platter entitled ’live wild die free’ which should you care to keep an eye and ear out for – and we firmly believe you should – is slated for February release schedules. Its by Swedish cold wave combo Vulkano and goes by the name of er ‘volkano’. as said must admit to being a tad attracted to this, rippling and rupturing between cooing and crunching its skittish and impish pony tailed tweeness is cut dead in its tracks by a kind of acute precociousness as though someone somewhere had cross wired the DNA’s of Clare Grogan and Violet Bott, as to the sounds, sparsely threaded minimalist electronics whirr dreamily atop pulsing and chugging riff strum struts which when gathered together sound deliciously awash in an ice cooled retroism that had we not known better would have had us imagining some recently recovered lost studio tape accounting some rare and impromptu meeting between Toyah, Lene Lovich and the Mobiles. www.soundcloud.com/vulkanomusic-1/vulkano-vulkano
How our little heart skipped with the news of new Stranger Son groove imminently arriving at a clued in record emporium near you soon, ‘last days of butterfly’ be the albums name – its due out on leonard skully records with ‘I got lucky’ being outed as an early warning taster as to what to expect. Alas not the happy clappy tune of old made famous by the King but a wallowing brooding bastard of a sort whose gritted sores take their cue from John Cooper Clarke and the Fall, this is bleak stuff best approached by those among you whose listening pleasures are lightened to the sounds of those early 80’s after the watershed pop sensations And also the Trees and the Artery, must say we love those dead headed riff opines very much cultivated in a harrowing Roland S. Howard stylising. We’ll try and nab that album for full investigation. For now a video…..we spoil you sometimes……
How did we miss this beauty. Released earlier this year the critically acclaimed ‘miracle temple’ set by mount moriah via merge is by all accounts garnering affection and votes aplenty in many a critics end of year reports. From that album here’s a video for ‘miracle temple holiness’ – this gem fizzes and smoulders in the passionate afterglow of softly stirred southern rock motifs, posited upon a melodic framing that could easily have been matured, distilled and bottled in a sound ranch belonging to Neil Young and blessed by the aching vocal of Heather McEntire and the slow burn statuesque shimmer of Jenks Miller – quite frankly what’s not to like. Video goes like this….
I think the phrase ‘spoiling you rotten’ springs immediately to mind here, polyvinyl – an imprint much loved around these here parts – even despite the fact that we still haven’t heard that new of montreal album – are about to commence operations on a 7 inch singles monthly club in January. Okay not the most original idea granted and you’d be right for grumbling that we’ve turned over space to mention it. But hang with it for this is just a little bit special for there’s a loose concept attaching. Preferring to do things just a little differently the project involved a tascam four track cassette recorder being mailed out to the first chosen artist with a note to lay down two tracks which on completion they where required to post onto to the next artist of the list. At the last gasp a total of twelve bands / musicians in all culminating in 24 tracks on a recorder that had travelled back and forth across the globe capturing the wares of such luminaries as efterklang, sexton blake, john Vanderslice, cloud nothings, matt pryor and many more. Subscriptions limited to just 500 in exchange for your hard earned cash you get a t-shirt, a slip mat, a clear vinyl 7 inch every month featuring two exclusive recordings unavailable elsewhere along with digital download codes, a box to put them in and for three lucky subscribers each month the chance to have within your mail out an ultra rare white label of that’s months chosen selection. Sounds like a winner to me for further info go to www.polyvinylrecords.com/singlesseries/
Must confess I’m a tad bit shocked to discover that this lot have been kicking out sounds for a fair few years now and have yet to trouble our radar. That is up until now wherein earlier today we were most engaged after tripping over their latest wares via bandcamp. Based in Brooklyn, pet ghost project have just released the six track ’idiot brain / genius heart’ set from which we eyed ’the consequence of thinking’ as being as good as any place to start your listening experience. Possessed of the same oddly off radar psychotronic persona of a youthful of montreal, this disarming gem wafts in on a cosmic headwind showering all with its curiously wonky and warping smoky toned carousel of sound which at the 2.33 market beautifully erupts and radiates with all the euphoric effervescence of mirror mirror in a swoon storm with the crimea. Quite gorgeous if you ask me. www.petghostproject.bandcamp.com/album/idiot-brain-genius-heart-remastered
And back with Magik Markers who’ll you be happy to know we‘ve now acquired and indeed played to near destruction a copy of their much chatted about new long playing platter ‘surrender to the fantasy’ – incidentally out via drag city. Frankly the dog danders it should be said as an opening brief clearly revealing a band seemingly amused at messing with your head and into the bargain a three piece unit clearly at odds with what actually works for them. Broad hints as to what to expect on ‘surrender to the fantasy’ where served in seismic letters by a limited 7 inch a few weeks ago which paired together ‘ice skater’ and ‘machines’ both of which curiously fail to turn up here and both revealing the bands schizophrenic want with the former dinked in a sweetly frosted dream coat much awed by Velvet Underground while the latter arrived scalded courtesy of a short sharp blast of sonic no wave skree screeching terrorism. And so to ’surrender to the fantasy’ – a deeply satisfying if not disorientating experience for what makes this set such an enjoyable if not fractured journey is the way it precariously teeters on a cliff edge that divides between pure pop and near shambling disaster (the near lazy eyed out of it squall freaked listless lilt of ‘WT‘ is a prime example as to the latter), if your looking for easy in your face sweet bubblegum pop look elsewhere, the magik markers make you work for your pleasure, that’s not to say that nuggets of crystalline groove are a rare find here for they are here in abundance albeit curved and shaped in a fragmented detailing. None more so is this the case than on the opening salvo ‘crebs‘ a gloriously slice of dishevelled woozy psych pop spiked amid dream waves of bliss kissed vapour trailing feedback. In sharp contrast appears ‘acts of desperation’ which aside being hailed by a harmonica alert – woo woo – is arrested and curdled with the same unhinged and scuffed zonked out woozy groove as that that graced the recent Bordellos full length, (is there a new musical genre these two are ploughing without having the forethought to tell anyone we wonder), all wiring earth beat motifs loosely welded upon a gorgeously mellowing albeit skewiff and frazzled blues coda. Mentioned in previous despatches around here and indeed loved to bits is the frankly wired and weird ’bonfire’ – a short, sharp and toxic slab of goofball earth beat ju-ju no less while the equally marvelled about ’mirror-less’ is tripped and weaved in a fuzzy felt tapestry whose stitching echoes to a ‘yerself is steam’ era mercury rev softly psyched blissing out on Velvets sounds. Best moments, there are many, the panoramic purr for instance of ‘screams of birds and girls’ is assumed of a ghostly ethereal persona dream dipped in the serene bitter sweet haloing of cold waving shoe gazed mirages and cosmic pulsars. Somewhere else there’s the festering schizoid mutant groove of ‘American Sphinx face’ in essence your bonged mantra gorgeously hazed with a ‘goo’ era Sonic Youth being refracted through the shit faced sonic view finder of Bardo Pond, the affection lavished upon it only just eclipsed by the sets most realised moment – the crestfallen ‘empire building’. a stunningly frail and elegant beauty cowed in sorrow and despairing reflection all shaded and showered in chamber psych symphonics and the cruel ache of some of the most exquisitely harrowing opining riff cries you’ll hear in such an age. Might just have it on the bordellos and those cardinal fuzz lovelies in so far as our album of the year choice.
There’s a disappointing common consensus that people just don’t get the Bordellos, I know through frequent mail exchanges with head Bordello Brian Shea that there’s a frustration tamed by resignation that somehow whether by the cruel hand of fate or simply being so often as not (as is the case) so ahead of the curve that musical fashion (in whatever shape or form it passes for today) is still playing catch up. But then consider this, was it not the Velvets who famously struggled to ignite record sales during their brief tenure and who in some small part due to Bowie’s patronage and punks embracing because over the years something lasting and outweighing mere cultdom. I’m fairly certain that had Mr Peel been alive today, the Bordellos would surely be the Kath’s Karavan house band where the Fall or the Weddoes indisposed. As with all the main players to have smitten the DJ over the years the influences that stir the Bordellos are not immediately apparent, like the Fall and the Smiths before them, the bordellos operate in a vacuum, perhaps rather more a parallel continuum where the musical presets ushered forth are skewed, for they are not quite the sore thumbs but rather more a collective hive mind viewing the pop landscape by means of slightly twiddled off radar visor. Furthermore its not through blind admiration or simple merit that Fruits de Mer’s recent Strange Fish was upon its extensive grooves blessed with an almost casual Bordellos cut that in our humbled opinion along with tracks by Earthling Society and dead pylons proved to be one of the collections finest moments. These days it’d be fair to say that the Bordellos now occupy the vacant space left by a youthful Of Arrowe Hill, add to this a curious fascination for Sonic Youth especially the era after signing to Geffen where you suspected they were deliberately unravelling in order to see how hard they could hit the buttons of the horrified suited and booted executives (evidence of such is provided on the discordant shakedown of the ‘goo’-esque ‘nurse, the screens!’). In fact the Bordellos operate exactly at that defiantly underground / independent axis to which Mr Moore so obviously revels and obsesses about. Oh and add in the aforementioned Velvets (not least on the smoked listless primal psych blues prowl of the weird n’ freakish ‘fruitcakes and fruit collars’ ushered in a shadow lined disturbia), the Teardrops – as in Explodes, Daniel Johnston and Half Japanese and you get yourself a broad stroke introduction to maybe one alternating side of the Bordellos melodic matrix. And so to ‘Ronco Revival Sound’ – the first of two or is it three releases that should see there way to securing the Bordellos claim to being psyche’s best kept secret. Limited to just 100 physical CD copies and available as an unlimited download via the highly impressive Daddy Tank imprint (CD’s by Dissolved and the Anti Hero have been variously hogging the turntable since arriving here) ‘Ronco Revival Sound’ is a love note to pop music, through memories, fashions and legend, an intimate insider peak at an aural picture book kept through the years by head Bordello Brian, the melodies that sound track this reflectively stained account are bent out of shape, warped and blessed with a skewed out of focus positioning. Here you’ll find pure Terrascopic treats aplenty with the set opening to the smoking cool lo-fi lounge lizard-esque title track replete with whirring motifs and a prowling garage beat bark that subtly shimmers as though the after hours by shadows work of a certain Joe Meek (equally Meek-esque is ‘a man who you’ve never seen’ is set to chill fashioned out as though the pale rider doubling up as a nightly ghost rider). Skewed and crooked ‘another song named Deborah’ (which casual observers of these musings may well indeed recall us commenting on way back at the start of the year when said cut got leaked to us hot off the presses) is dedicated in honour of ‘the mystic icon’. Songs about Deborah are as much a part of pop’s rich tapestry as say ‘my way’ or ‘yesterday’, here draped in the kind of lazy eyed lysergia that would make even a pre glammed out Bolan blush with admiration. Those who pine for your Nuggets styled raw around the edges scowling detuned beat pop ought to hook up to the wiring art pop gouged banana splits meets ‘grotesque’ era Fall freak out that is ‘kinky dee’ – while your there you might want to hold onto your hats for the wig flipped bitched out blues scowl ‘tattoo heart’. Fondness piques for the mellowing introspective drag that pervades throughout ‘who’s to blame’ which I must admit had us scurrying to rummage through old cassettes to root out our prized copy of Freed Unit’s much under appreciated ‘gigglegoo’ (alas unfound as I write – in case your keeping notes of such things). Somewhere else the ghostly chamber psyche of the spiralling spell weaving ‘sun storm’ digs deep in to sub strata of a smoked and wasted Doors back catalogue which along with the pursuing ‘weird k’ prove to be repeat play button hitting show stoppers not least because the latter mentioned is kissed with some nifty harmonicas and a seriously warped lo-fi lilt much recalling the much missed Southall Riot. Best of the set is left to the parting ‘temperature drop’ and finds the Shea’s stepping up to the plate in truly majestic fashion, all at once humbled, bruised and out on a limb, this desperately sorrowed minimalist hymn traces its bloodline back to the grooves of Teardrop Explodes finest hour ‘Wilder’. magnificently hollowed and yet arrested in the kind of exquisitely hushed head bowed detailing that leaves you numbed, jaw dropped and pressed close – a class apart and with that scarcely a dry eye in the house. ‘ronco revival sound’ – a late entry for your end of year best album considerations perhaps one things for certain you’ll struggle to trip over an album so brutally naked in its vulnerability, openness and defiance in kowtowing to the great pop script. www.daddytank.co.uk
We don’t want to give the impression that we here operate a favouritism policy, but gift us with a limited vinyl artefact signed and numbered no less accompanied with a press release that informs us of said bands family tree extending back to th’ faith healers and quick space (in fact the space grooving dissolving to freak folk lovely ‘go down to the hole’ could easily hoodwink itself on to ‘Death of Quickspace’ without so much the batting of an eyelid) and offering a positive name check of a who’s who smattering of cool 90’s indie heads from the opposing end of the Brit pop spectrum whose tuneage once upon a time graced and grooved away upon the late night radiophonic transmissions of a certain Mr Peel and we are pretty much yours for the taking. One name emerges as a common denominator, Chin Keeler be his name who hiding behind the nom de plume Chin of Britain has been hatching plans for out and out indie bedroom swoon for a while now, the results finally coming to fruition on his debuting self titled solo full length. This fella comes pressed up on limited slabs of heavy duty wax – limited to just 250 copies, all hand numbered by the man himself and each including a signed certificate of authenticity. Looks well smart I have to admit. Of course there’s your obligatory downloads and CD versions to be had by those heathens among you who sold their turntable souls for digital or else unfortunate enough to miss the stampede to the local record emporium. So that’s it with the background gubbins. What’s the blighter like you might rightly enquire. The bollocks quite frankly would be our curt and immediate reply. Where to start is the chief problem, guess the recent single is as good a place as any. ’nothing changes’ is about you in an instant, fizzing riffs, shimmer toned struts and a to die for pristinely sun kissed melodic hook is what’s shoe horned into this star gazing speaker spanking beauty, very much the kind of psyched out space groove that would have needled the songbook of the aforementioned ’Healers had it where they’d been spiked with a bubblegum pop mindset. Betwixt effervescence and euphoria ’nothing changes’ jet streams amid a vibrantly radiant spray of kraut gouged pop motifs all swooned in space age 60’s styled keys and a festooning of razor rallying strum-a-delics all pepper corned in a subtle kaleidoscopic shading. ‘chill the fuck out’ is anything but, deep scowling riffage and some niftily noodled calypsodelic needlework give it a kind of Billy Mahonie like tropicalia flavouring. Somewhere else there’s the shoe gazing pop frazzled ‘Lab factored ‘to the sun and beyond’ buzz sawing its way through a late 60’s UFO club set list. Those much adorning of your bracingly acute bitter sweet power pop might be advised to fast forward through the track list wherein you‘ll stumble across and fall hopelessly in awe of ‘run from the sun’ – mind you the fact that it hints ever so subtly of the Raspberries as though found re-wiring the Monkees comes as an added bonus as they scamper off holding hands to a secret 70’s west coast dinked MOR hidey hole. The sighing arrest of ‘make it all go away’ is aglow in a smoky off kilter vibe that strays to the demurred affectionate after burn of a youthful Doleful Lions found sparring with an equally young Summer Hymns. Best of the set in our much humbled opinion though is something of a tug of war. On one side there‘s the simply blow you away spectral elegance of ‘so good to be here again’ which emerges wrapped in a deeply entrancing and dare we say majestic glam dream coat, all monastic overtures and clipped with the kind of cinematic expansiveness that these days seems to be the trademark design of the Flaming Lips. At the opposing corner the entrancing ’climb in your mind’ manages to terra-form across a myriad of musical landscapes with the kind of mercurial artistry rarely heard here outside of the grooves the Grails epic ’doomsdayer’s holiday’ set from a few years back, blending the magical with the mystical it sumptuously freewheels to a tapestry coded in folk enchantment, sweeping pastorals, mutant progressive hybrids and post rockist symphonics – utterly monumental. Incidentally out via Waltz Time and in a perfect world selling like hot pies on a snow frosted day.
One release that we keep meaning to check out is the third full length by trips and falls, we kind of mentioned it in passing a few weeks back when we commented upon ’static is a serious issue’ and ‘destruction is always more exciting’ from the set – incidentally entitled ’the inevitable consequences of your stupid behaviour’ which as we noted in previous despatches is very much a Half Man Half Biscuit styled album title. Anyhow release via song, by toad who you might recall had us somewhat taken aback with the release of that quite dandy album by the Leg (see either this missive or the previous one – in truth I can’t keep up with these musings). By way of a gentle nudge head Song, by Toad honcho Matthew has put up one of the albums tracks as a free to download single to mark the occasion of the album being pressed up on pink splatter vinyl at the request of the band who hailing from Montreal have reported back that the folk there don’t care much for CD’s and prefer old time wax. Good on them. So sit back a spell and be prepared to be sorrowfully serenaded by the quite irresistibly bleakly beautiful ‘the rest is the same as above’ and marvel at its symmetry, its poetry and its forlorn purr, we suspect there will be a scrambling through record collections to dig out gems by the decoration, hillfields and micro disney for comparable shoulders to cry upon. www.soundcloud.com/trips-and-falls/the-rest-is-the-same-as-above
Always guaranteed a spin in our gaff especially when recommended by those impish souls Wet Nuns who apparently commented thus ‘like Joy Division only a 1000 times more depressing’. now we are still trying to figure out whether or not that’s a dig or a compliment, we’d like to think the latter and any aren’t we all a tad tired of Joy Division being labelled miserable, me personally I find them rather cheery especially when compared to New Order’s debuting platter ’movement’ which lets be truthful was as grim as it got in that golden year of 1981. At this point you are probably wondering, where’s he going with this – well its all down to an email we received from the press folk behind Vladimir. This lot hail from Scotland – well Dundee to be more precise – have supported the likes of the Pigeon Detectives and Twilight Sad and describe their sound as bleak. Again we must agree to differ for they’ve just released a free to download track in the guise of ‘come over’ with promises of further records next year. Now unless we’ve had a severe bang to the head and our ears are not quite pitched to normal settings then we’d comment of ’come over’ as being awash in 80’s cinematic signatures and snow bursting ice cooled rupturing riff cascades that coalesce superbly amid swathes of deeply intense stratospheric haloes which by our reckoning find themselves pissing in the same pool as the Chameleons and the Comsat Angels albeit as though both where pitted at the edge of their wits thus suggesting that immediate investigation is required. www.soundcloud.com/vladimiruk/vladimir-come-over
Next missive will feature all manner of lovelies from henry blacker, bog, islet, gorgeous george, belle and nugent and more…..
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As ever take care of yourselves…..xx
from the typing presses of……
71 Pennsylvania Road
formerly editor of the legendary www.losingtoday.com
intermittent ‘tales from the attic’ despatches via…
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