cary grace

Incoming from Fruits de Mer regular Cary Grace, a new twinset pairing together ‘without a trace’ and ‘star fire’. A release that opts for something of a lunar theme, the former finds her moored upon a softly luxuriant framing that easily calls to mind a mellowed Crystal Jacqueline, a spectral love note tremored and trembled in a forlorn bruising, its ache caressed in a vintage psyche folk vintage unto which a dreamily demurring palette of sound converges made up of milky murmurs, shyly stirring string corteges and hushed harmonies to blossom sympathetically from the sidings all the time whispered in an emotionally reflective sigh. That said best moment is to be found over on the flip for ‘star fire’ finds Ms Grace lost in the moment, a beautified cosmic flutterby fluent and freewheeling a currency of magic and mystery not to mention kissed with such a finitely exquisite touch of song craft you’d be forgiven for thinking this was some lost sonic satellite by Fleetwood Mac under the influence of Renaissance.   

Cary will be playing at the forthcoming Fruits de Mer / Sendelica summer gathering this August as part of the progressive psychedelic spectacle that is the ‘the Fifteenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus’ where she’ll be sharing billing with the likes of headliners Bevis Frond, Anton Barbeau, Fuchsia, the Telephones, Sendelica, the Earthling Society and more….

Tickets are going fast! Get yours here:

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control freaks

Staying with the slovenly imprint, we eyed this little cutie, reading the liner notes Control Freaks appears to be the latest garage assembled punk trash hounds fronted by Greg Lowery. Available variously on red and black wax as well as a limited cassette variant, their debuting full length platter ‘mindless entertainment’ is previewed by the spike topped raucous rock-a-hula that is ‘control freaks’ a no nonsense slab of pogoing two step dayglo’d new waved bubblegroove whose frenetic retro tuning might just well bring about something of a Buzzcock-ian rash among the more paint bombed loving teen spirited tuneage types among you.

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archiv – singled out missive 259..

second part of the missive 259 archive from 2010 – originally posted on losing today….


the shirks, Dakotas, Victoria and Jacob, the brothers movement, eat lights become lights, bilge pump, Andrew wk, night horse, the high saints, night horse, sea of air, the branded, dusty stray, flake brown, cloud control, ian de sylva, model society, warpaint, echoes fall, the who, table, shindig, billy mahonie, lost idol, brown, Charles alex march, kissaway trail, alisia casper, thorlock, output message, sergent buzfuz, gary war, swing youth, Spartak, lowpoint, beach house, teenagers in Tokyo, gaggle, two door cinema club, the boy who trapped the sun, robot elephant, speak and the spells, goldheart assembly, calories, William, Tayside mental health, the ruby suns, colour music, the  man from another place, dan deacon, cluster, rose elinor dougall, eddy current suppression ring, her name is calla, Nadine shah, isaacs aircraft, thus owls, Conway hall, the loves, robin Guthrie, cut iowa a network, lashark, being 747, lana Loveland, expo, doomed birds of providence, phoenix, helicon, rabbit years, kabeedies, anonymous tip, playing with mums, shady bard, angry vs the bear, sfx horror, hancock’s half hour, Harold nono, Hidekazu Wakabayashi , dozelimit, jarmean?, vibravoid, geese, chemistry set, cranium pie, the luck of eden hall, hornblower brothers, elvis Presley, prognosis, ted leo and the pharmacists, Slaraffenland , markus mehr, tula, allo darling, Jason urich, king bastard, rooney, hollyann and Katie winter, Fair Oh’s vs. Spectrals, beach house, happy birthday, I am arrows, fuck buttons, mogwai, the nowhere boys, the fall…. 

missive 259d


Singled Out

Missive 259d


Archive 4



The Shirks ’dangerous’ (big neck). Another release that appears to have been languishing in the Cargo vaults for longer than one dare imagine is this tasty debut three track debut from Washington DC spike topped dudes the Shirks. Apparently seeing the light of day in 2008 and still sounding like a riot on the turntable, it seems that the Shirks have something of a fondness for the Dead Boys or at least that’s what opener ’dangerous’ hints, a primed and potent slice of snot nosed pogo groove earthed with a 1,2, 3, 4 chugging Ramones like riff romp and grizzled and grafted with an razor like gurning terrace chanting chorus. Does it for us. More of the same comes courtesy of ’young and filthy’ though obviously found on this occasion mainlining heavily on Saints gems of yore while over on the flip sits and glares the best of the trio – ‘get out‘ is a corking and frantic boot stomping free for all scored with a raucous in your face agit grained adrenalin pumping verve and kicked in to shape by a seriously fuck you no future grind.


Dakota ‘we get along’ (grl). Culled from their forthcoming debut full length ‘heart and soul’ ’we get along’ sounds like its been primed and geared for maximum drive time radio play. Named after the NY apartment block in which Lennon lived and ultimately died, Dakota’s trailer teaser purrs and opines to the trademark motifs of not John but Julian, as the press release rightly notes its anthemic prowess is awash with a post Butler pristine bitter sweet pop flavouring of Suede motifs that glide, ricochet and despatch heaven bound like sparks from a Catherine wheel, its aching lovelorn crush tugs and tears to transform with a deftly alluring artistry into euphoric halos of redeeming radiance. Well either that or the funny juice is kicking in. perhaps a little saccharine for the palettes of faithful observers of these musings – there’s still the spectre of the Cutting Crew’s ’I just died in your arms tonight’ to contend with though that said its still equipped with more than enough of that heart tugging epic detailing to have you doing a quick and sly double take.


Victoria and Jacob ‘with no certainty’ (voga parochial). Damn – we are so in love with this that we’ve been bestowing fond kisses upon its forehead when no-ones been watching. The second release from the voga parochial imprint whose previous gift to record buying punters came in the shape of that rather spiffing Lulu and the Lampshades single from a little while back. So not for them the sitting around basking in the glory of rooting out a veritable gem, instead the blighters went off in search of more ear candy, no stones left unturned in their quest for another something rather special, their journey’s rest deserved with the unearthing of these three cute cuts from Victoria and Jacob. An electro duo – opines the press release – compared in passing to the Animal Collective and the Knife who’ve been known on their travels to share the boards with such illustrious names as the Mystery Jets, Jeremy Warmsley, Gaggle and Broadcast 2000 (whose new full length incidentally should have favourable notices posted in these pages shortly). As previously advertised – three cuts feature on this gem like release from Victoria and Jacob who themselves could be best described as possessing the lo-fi pop finesse of once upon a time Peel favourites Sophie and Peter Johnston, the sepia coiled virtuosity of Shortwave Set and the lilting lullaby-esque timidity of Mum. ’with no certainty’ opens the set to the lulling sweetness and breathless feyness of an as were star crossed Sundays, the air brushed dimpling of stuttering beats usher in the swirling dream-scaping corteges of lunar looped hypnotic keys over which Victoria’s sighing vocals coo carefree lost and lovelorn. The glitch blip bop shuffle of the twinklingly snoozing and adorable ’what’s your face’ closes the set to the transfixing glazed mirage of a demurring New Order recalibrated and relocated to an early 90’s Bristol scene while its left to ’there’s a war’ to provide the collections centrepiece – a gorgeously frost tipped tempered and touching slice of orbiting nocturnal noir replete with heart string tugging motifs and serene head swirling accents that slowly but surely begins to thaw and blossom into a beautified surrendering spectral satellite that by rights should give you swooning fits.


The brothers movement ‘blind’ (rocket girl). Why aren’t this lot massive, perhaps they are already and happily bestriding pop’s cosmos like some gargantuan beast casually observing the enviable swoon spectacles of bands caught in their head lights seeking to bask in the adoring glow of their artistic heraldry. No we haven’t been bunged a load of crisply pressed notes and coins of the realm by the band or their press people. Ah were it the case dear hearts. Last spotted loitering amid these pages way back at missive 244 wherein ‘standing still’ – a then teaser for a forthcoming debut full length served notice of something rather special looming on the horizon – and if I recall rightly even on that occasion the blighters had us all a wow and begging for more. Fast forward 6 months or so on and the Dublin based band formerly known as Mainline are back to remind those of you who refused to pay heed the first time of asking just what in the hell all the fuss is about. The single features a brace of nuggets culled from that aforementioned set, the crusading ‘blind’ swaggers and seduces as though the word epic was conceived with it in mind, an audaciously consuming master class of dust scarred brooding finesse that’s bleached by a mountain dry howling rawness that sends pulses pumping, sinews seizing and fists a clenching, reference wise imagine the darkly unfurling moods of the Bunny men’s ’porcupine’ sweetly rounded, refined, becalmed and then scored and branded by a spaghetti western obsessed Verve. Wouldn’t mind its not even the best track here for ’sister’ earns whatever spurs are to be had. A gorgeously tear stained slice of glassy eyed forlorn redemption soul pop tentatively spiked by the honey glazed opine of subtle hymnal motifs and the sugar laced chill of 60’s west coast motifs. So tell me again – what is there not to like. – much loved around these here parts, in previous despatches we’ve been found nearly tripping over our dropped jaw in positive admiration of the delights dream weaving from our much loved and loft beleaguered speakers. Two singles in (we’ve deffo reviewed the debut – see missive 175 – the second I’m so sure about – their label did promise a copy ho hum) and much atop the radar of most self respecting space cadets Eat Become Lights are fast becoming the darlings of the kraut grooved fraternity. With distant communications reaching us that their debut full length – tentatively titled ‘autopia’ – is now in stasis and awaiting docking sequence schedules at a record emporium near you they’ve kindly started transmitting from the safe confines of their cosmic base camp waveforms of Teutonic tastiness in the guise of pre release tasters via their my space sound player the first of which sees ‘Gods of the super continent’ relayed across the heavens. Made from the same stuff that holds the stars fixed in the night sky, this quietly arresting slice of hyper driven galaxy gliding loveliness buzzes and fizzes with a warming 70’s electro retro familiarity to which those acquainted first and foremost with early career La Dusseldorf vinyl voyages may well find engaging, amid the fuzzy felt collage of motorik loops and lunar laced swirls there’s something positively uplifting about this cut to which admirers of the tunes tucked on the flip side of the Go Team’s debut outing ‘get it together’ for Pickled Egg may well readily identify with either that it could easily been some fantasy soundtrack pastiche blending some porch quaint take of the Bonanza and High Chaparral themes and relocating the settings into some idyllic twin mooned cosmic retreat.


Bilge Pump ‘the fucking cunts still treat us like pricks’ (gringo). Not quite as volatile or baiting as the Flux of Pink Indians set of the same name from a time long past when we were oh so much younger and carefree. Bilge Pump are the reviewers nightmare, a band that refuse easy categorisation. And for that reason we love them. Their sound is intricate, free flowing and as Peel would no doubt comment curbed in something to which their immediate reference points are not as obvious as they would first appear to be. Well to that end there’s a half truth for Jesus Lizard to some extent play a major inspiring role in the Bilge Pump formula but then of equal measure so do the Playwrights as the opening salvo ’tommy’s out’ so ably provides evidence bleached as it is in an most amazing and wiring detached off kilter art funk grind. Oft sighted somewhere along rock’s family tree upon a distant twig linking Blue Cheer and Funkadelic, what – you may well ask – are you on – acid sir – not quite but then the intake of acid or some illicit substance might well help to un-ravel and make sense of the ad hoc – albeit disciplined – goo that Leeds’ secretly celebrated sons concoct with admirable aplomb . Into the melting pot the Bilge dudes fuse curiously skewif and swampy slabs of ear gear – the type of which that wrestles the listener onto the canvas in a submissive headlock, its progressive blending of math, art, noodling are grafted upon a nagging and dislocated hybrid jazz spine where defined time signatures become a thing of fanciful folly. All said an impishness lies at the core of the Bilge mindset ‘tilly’s balls’ is a casually roving romp of a stew whose ingredients amass various parts of This Heat, Half Man Half Biscuit, Stump and most curiously the Bonzo Dog Band (you see I’ve been on the magic juice again) into its frothing broth. However its left to the parting ‘are you there yet Judy? It’s me Barry’ to grace the set with its defining moment. Imagine if you will San Lorenzo playing tag with Mark E Smith and your kind of in the right district, a head jarring jigsaw collage of a cut replete with a locked grooved despondency and blessed with oodles of corkscrewing motifs that quite frankly seem to serve to wrap you up in knots – the rascals.


Andrew WK ‘I’m a vagabond’ (big scary monsters). Been years since we last had the pleasure of featuring anything g by Andrew WK in these pages. Up pops this curious sortie just ahead of a collection of hand picked unreleased rarities entitled ’mother of mankind’. pressed up on limited quantities of square plastic its features three of the most contrasting cuts you’ll find sharing wax grooves probably all year. Housed in a sleeve depicting the author in bow tie and tuxedo looking for all the world like a John Travolta with intent to do you lasting harm, ’I’m a vagabond’ is a strangely becoming 70’s rock romp pomp pastiche that initially navigates territories previously ventured by the Makers ’rock star god’ and the Crimea on ’secrets of the witching hour’ (which incidentally if you didn’t know by now was the best album of 2007 – and bugger me can still be downloaded gratis via ) before blossoming in a state of overblown and bombastic glam trimmed grandeur that you’d be forgiving for swearing was some colossal head to head between a mid 70’s peak of their powers Queen and Mott the Hoople threatening to overspill on your hi-fi. ’doing Andrew WK’ can only be described as a filler, a drone-y spot of briefness with Darth Vadar asthmatics. Flip over for ’let’s go on a date’ a power pop throb of a cut which unless our ears do mistake sounds like a ringer for the Motors. I’m thinking nuff said.


Night Horse / the High Saints ‘split’ (tee pee). As promised earlier on – those mighty fine Night Horse splits – alas we featured this in an earlier missive – #238 to be precise – so obviously we’ve had a cock up in the Cargo ordering type situation which we will resolve – split lips and harsh words are on the agenda – seems we may still have to nail their split with the Dirty Sweet though fear not for we’ve managed to grab their shared billing with…..


Night Horse / Sea of Air ’split’ (tee pee). Comes pressed up on slabs of clear dark green wax, Night Horse as we’ve established are the grizzled troubadours bearing aloft a brand of bruised and buckled blues, ’come down halo’ sees the LA based quintet chartering ever more into a territorial time line once occupied by the likes of Mountain and more specifically the Allman Brothers. grounded in the finest tradition of beatnik branded blues, ’come down halo’ howls and writhes amid a raw and potent dirty stoner grind that draws to its dust caked spur adorned leather boots elements of early ZZ Top, leaf hound and AC/DC – the result being a thickly fired swamp fuelled slab of smoking hip hugging groove that kinda shits on most of the piss poor posing dullard rock of today’s bright dim-witted things. There I’ve said it. Flip the disc for fellow LA residents Sea of Air’s ’holy roller’ – another slab of fuse lit and let fly hedonist classic 70’s rock beastiness, a prime slice of primal scored blissed out and ballistic blues leathered with wah wah’s and keys and sounding for all the world like its arrived on your turntable recently awoken from some 40 year long narcotic induced coma episode. Quite out there stuff.


The Branded ‘she’s my woman’ (dirty water). Last seen around these here parts via missive 163 when we had the very good fortune to hook up to their second outing ‘you got the hurt’ and find ourselves totally blown away by their fuzzed up authentic groove. A little while down the line and rumours of an album abound – which alas we haven’t heard or seen as yet, now comes a limited re-pressing of the bands debut single ’she’s my woman’. by all accounts the Dirty Water types were inundated and besieged by hordes of shade adorned skinny things all gnashing teeth and looking ruefully hurt at the prospect of having missed out on the releases original 100 only pressings that they’ve decided to buckle and concede to the amassing begging letters and make it available for public purse again. A bit of a blinder if you ask me, as much for fans of Bad Afro charges Sweatmaster and Baby Woodrose as it is the Troggs and Standells, the fuzz fest that is ’she’s my woman’ is a wantonly untamed garage boogie beast of some measure, tattooed with a prehistoric three chord throb all metered out by primal howls and shrieks so primal and raw that they sound as though they were cured and cultivated in some lo-fi garage grooved cave, add in some neat at the height of their powers Stones and Muddy trimmings and a mooching grind that could be arguably done for stalking and you have something instant and infectious not to say liable to have your winkle pickers breaking out in toe tapping seizures. Flip side houses the sharp suited and strut grooving ‘justine’ – a slamming and howling twang trashed nugget that unless our ears do deceive sounds not unlike an uber cooled summit meeting between Link, Vincent and Dawson. Go buy.


Dusty Stray / Flake Brown ‘split’ (Autumn Ferment). Literally hot off the presses, the third instalment of Autumn Ferment’s much championed seasonal seven series which for those of you who’ve either been found nodding at the back or plainly not taking heed the first time of asking is a limited collection of split sevens each marking nature’s four seasons. Each release limited in quantity to 300 hand numbered copies come handsomely packaged in clear PVC bags replete with cards featuring artwork sympathetic to the season’s mood in question. So far the series has played host to the groove sharing delights of Helene Renaut / Emily Scott (Summer) and Pamela Wyn Shannon / the Magickal Folk of the Faraway Tree (Autumn). Winter’s instalment pressed up incidentally on seasonally snowy white wax brings together the flighty and disarming charms of Dusty Stray and Flake Brown. The former an exiled American these days residing in the Netherlands and better known to kith and kin as Jonathan Brown. Culled from his Basta set ‘tales of misfortune and woe’ from last year ‘winter’s day’ finds him accompanied on this rare occasion by Marjolein van der Klauw and brings to your attention a strangely uplifting though discomforting ode about a chap lost in the ice bound wilderness and at the mercy of the surrounding half starved wildlife who take it upon themselves to feed off him, glazed with a comical tongue in cheek twist and sprinkled aplenty with the buoyant braiding of flotillas of half drunk banjos, deftly plucked acoustic riffs and weeping string arrangements all crisply exercised with a curiously bracing wintry Southern cast which just between you, me and the porch post had us hankering after a spot of Shoeshine loveliness courtesy of Michael Shelley and Ben Vaughn. Not to be outdone Brighton’s Flaky Brown or Tony Ramsay as he’s known to friends and acquaintances evens up the affection score card with a track culled from his ‘help the overdog’ debut full length (which if you don’t own now then I suggest you make it your months must do task in order to avoid future weeping and gnashing when they are all gone and fetching silly money on the internet auction sites). Sounding not unlike a youthful Stan Ridgeway, ‘cool is the snow’ is a gorgeously concocted slice of deathly dipped western hued rustics impeccably detailed with some of the most deftly detailed finger plucked riffmanship you’ll hear this side of the late Jack Rose, minimal, sparse and lo-fi it may first seem to appear but listen close to the unfolding arrangements and within the struggle of the elements is at work lies just beneath the surface. Essential in case you hadn’t already gathered for yourselves.


Cloud Control ‘gold canary’ (passport). Keeping up their impeccable release profile Cloud Control become the latest acquisitions to Passport’s enviable roster of Aussie talent. Been around for a few years have these Blue Mountain (nr Sydney) sorts having already released a well received 6 track debut EP way back in 2007. Cloud Control’s pop vision is smothered with an off kilter silkiness that though not immediately in tune with the usual radio frying melodic jingle jangle catchiness instead has a disturbing knack of catching you somewhat off guard grazing your defences and indelibly casting about your person a fixing look that guarantees further investigation via repeated plays. ‘gold canary’ is almost two songs in the way it manages to mutate and manifest from something that initially has all the hallmarks of a yearning campfire carousel between the Earlies and the Low Anthem before craftily changing tact to the subtle though detectable strains of a chilled variant of the Skids ‘masquerade’ which kin our book is no bad thing, in between all this be prepared for all manner of homely gospel mountain strains, smoked hymnal accents, native rhythmic beats and swirling cosmic electronics. Very tasty. The girl / boy interweave via ‘vintage books’ on the flip is in sharp contrast a tight as a gnat’s back passage slice of nuzzling shimmy strut pop whose reference markers point irrefutably to Australia’s finest the Go Betweens – indeed you may well ask – it is that classy.


Ian de Sylva ‘Josephine’ (playground). Back with a bite and rekindled and possessed of his inner rock roots, after what seems like a lengthy lay off from the scene former Silver man Ian de Sylva is set to return to the fray with this spiked renegade twin set. ‘Josephine’ purrs and prowls with a shade adorned tattooed primitive seduction, all at once slick, sensual and strut grooved its initial Lou / Velvets riff pouted uber coolness gives way to a stick in the sand line drawing marker that links John Moore Expressway to the Wolfmen and everything in between and beyond. That said it’s the be-quiffed flip cut ‘gas, electricity phone’ that steals the show hands down, cast amid the spectre of Johnny Thunders and Gene Vincent this back to basics shot of rollicking 50’s motif rock-a-billy incidentally replete with howling harmonicas tunes into the devil dealing hot rod groove of the Reverend Horton Heat’s early catalogue, you know the drill death head twanging riffs, stripped bare production and a vision of a golden age long since past. Enough to make a grown man cry.


Model Society ‘city of romance’ (self released). A rather spiffing three track demo from a London based quartet headed up by ex Le Neon front man Danny Clare, barely out of the wraps the Model Society have recently completed a handful of live appearances one being sharing a prestigious board slot with Mark Morris of Bluetones fame. Don’t be fooled by the lead out tracks opening clockwork music box chime charm that this is some dinky dream weaving waltz that’s about to melt your heart for its sweetness soon dissolves and dissipates and in its place ‘city of romance’ about turns and rears into a frantic panic stricken slab of in your face and up close and personal squalling and squaring up frenzied aural assaulting, barely pausing for breath its effect is immediate, underpinned by flotillas of sky piercing riffage and leathered and laden by a pulse pounding crunch of agit artillery the type of which are cut and fashioned in the finest tradition of transistor trouncing pristine punk pop that summarily find themselves laced aplenty in honey dipped harmonies and clipped with an exacting acuteness that swerves and swoops with all the animated seizure racked attrition rarely heard hear since the Saints or the Scars. ‘Luxembourg’ loosens the mood somewhat and opts for a spot of mid 90’s jaunty jangle pop whose reference marker points undeniably to the early career wares of the aforementioned Bluetones though from a personal point of taste it’s the parting introspective and sensitively cooled love note ‘sweeter life’ that took our fancy, hints of a youthful Blur curdle through the grooves ever so subtly but what sets this apart is its strangely alluring sun shot bristling and breezy melodic tug which briefly radiates and blossoms on occasion through the seemingly impenetrable flat lining winter bound casing. Pretty nifty all said and done.


Warpaint ‘exquisite corpse’ (manimal). Apparently this LA based combo has been high on the radar and the cause of much fond chattering since dropping off their debut EP this time last year, such was the fuss and wild fire like spreading of word that they were soon invited on prestigious support slots sharing billings with the likes of Black Heart Procession and the Slits – in the meantime the buzz surrounding the band saw their EP scaling the stateside independent listings to eventually top the charts. Several months on and Manimal have secured the rights to the EP and with the addition of a new and previously unreleased cut have decided to re-issue said platter across the UK and European territories in order that potential swooning hordes can hook up to what is now a household name among the stateside underground cognoscenti. Blending soft psych and a tender 80’s 4AD goth like majesty, Warpaint’s sonic imagery is one of brooding beauty and stealth borne seduction, these opining spectres bleached, bruised and beguiled as they are sound like lovelorn siren calls (none more so is this the case than on the utterly drop dead and gorgeous ‘billie holiday’ – a sweetly glinting slice of bliss grooved kaleidoscopically trained pastoral paisley pop that lilts and lulls amid a ghostly rush of dream woven interweaving hazily honed harmonies whilst not forgetting to mention the equally hypnotic ‘burgundy’ freefalling as it does into territories once countered by the Banshees on ‘a kiss in the dream house’. elsewhere the brooding mellowness of the aching and wind swept allure of ice dripped 60’s psyche folk atmospherics of opener ‘stars’ with its lonesome piercing of forlorn abandonment much recalling the mood swerving mercurial touch of the much admired Smoke Fairies to the maddening love burn of the haunting and tempestuous ‘elephants’ which by degrees unravels into wiring moments of jealousy stricken post punk psychosis, Warpaint weave a most enticing tapestry. it’s a tapestry that claws, sighs and scowls amid a landscape of elements colliding controlled rage. Over on the flip the playfully teasing ‘beetles’ re-opens proceedings to an off kilter post punk funkiness before succulently reducing the temperature to near chilled states to train its glare of something readily more emotionally tethered and underpinned by milky white glassy chime opines. ‘krimson’ wraps up the set, an effects laden shoe gaze sortie that weaves an intricate trajectory to touch points on the map occupied by a youthful Cure and Controller. Controller. Recommended without question.


Echoes Fall ‘ignite the fury’ (self released). Don’t know about locking up your daughters and stuff but we’ve taken refuge in the pantry hoping they’ll go away pretty damn soon such is the imminent threat being implied by the volcanic sounds ripping and peeling themselves from the grooves of this the debut release from Suffolk sorts Echoes Fall. the band – formed at the tail end of 2008 – have already been garnering nods of approval from a growing band of disciples, described as ‘melodic death core’ a description which might seem ill fittingly at odds at first glance but is justified when you actual get a chance to witness or hear Echoes Fall rampaging to trounce the crap out of your turntable, the quintet appear like some abominable bastard off spring of an unholy union of Ozzy, Carcass and Nepalm Death types, a kind of Grim Reaper with a natty line in poker hot apocalyptic chords, with the exception of the opener ‘intro’ which as it says on the tin is just that, a kind of sorcerer’s lair entrée the remaining three cuts are blood curdling juggernauts of some mite and measure. Furious and without mercy ’ignite the fury’ is out of the traps and about you before you’ve barely had a chance to sit and settle and exclaim ’fuck me it’s the end of the world!’ which had this been Nepalm Death or ENT you’d have gone through a whole albums worth before hitting the exclamation. ’The Wraith’ as you’d rightly imagine from a cut titled such is a choking maelstrom of titanic turbulence, an end of days battle cry replete with cranium crunching riff ruptures dripped in dread bearing 100mph speed freaked oblivion. Those still standing by the time the parting ’confessions of a self righteous mind’ will do well to don tin hats and prepare the final bloodied assault for what is a scalding beast whose birthright owes much to Killing Joke.


The Who ’at the isle of wight festival, 1970’ (Lilith). Think I’m right in saying that this is the entire Who set from their legendary performance at the final Isle of Wight Festival, August 1970 – well we say entire set – mainly because previous releases has in their curious wisdom either dropped tracks, re-edited the running order or at worse been released without due care or attention (the infamous sound to vision timing lapse and piss poor dubbing on one of the many DVD releases in the 90’s). 1970’s Isle of Wight gathering was an occasion that for many saw the passing of the love and peace ethos and its transition into heavy metal and country folk. A sea change was looming large on the horizon. The Who at the height of their powers had confirmed their credentials with the blistering ‘live at leeds’ set and of course ‘Tommy’ an extensive tour in support of which they were already exhaustively mid way through. Headliners the year before they were one of the first acts to sign along the dotted line and be confirmed. This collection – incidentally also available as a double CD replete with a 12 page booklet featuring copious amounts of rare photos and other such gubbins – comes pressed up on three humungous slabs of wax one red, one blue the other white (of course – would you want or expect it any other way) this collection gathers together an extensive set that not only consolidated their position amongst rock’s aristocracy but saw them not content to rest on their laurels and looking optimistically forward to the future and the next progressive stage of their career bedding and showcasing tracks intended for an intended ‘lifehouse’ set which alas ended up being abandoned with some of the cuts re-emerging salvaged to appear on their ’who’s next’ venture. As said six sides of vinyl, extensive liner notes by Michael Heatley who sets the scene and gives flavour of the days events, 30 tracks – that include a smattering of as then new cuts ’naked eye’ and ’water’ a host of scorched up classic covers Cochran’s ’summertime blues’ and Johnny Kidd and the Pirates ’shakin all over’ – pretty much the entire ’Tommy’ set plus a few well celebrated nuggets dug up for good measure ’I can’t explain’ a pretty rum run through of ’substitute’ and a blistering ’magic bus’. a perfect though pricey partner for your copy of ’live at leeds’.


A few little Static lovelies next….


A video for Table’s debut release – which I think I’m right in saying we mentioned a few pages earlier….



Songs You Can Sing – Table from Table on Vimeo.

missive 259e


Singled Out

Missive 259e


Archive 5


Shindig # jan / feb 2010 – getting better by the issue, this particular edition features cover stars the Bonzos getting a well deserved appraisal inside you’ll be entertained to their weird and wonderfully wacky surreal world courtesy of an extended 10 page special with Bonzo band leader and founder Roger Ruskin Spear happily guiding you through the perils and pitfalls of this most uniquely eccentric troupe, there’s also a brief but selective potted history of their recordings plus a focus of the much missed Viv Stanshall’s re-emergence in the 90’s and the staging of his ’Rawlinson End’ – already previously the subject of an album, a book, a film (with no less a formidable actor as Trevor Howerd taking up the lead role as Sir Henry) and several well received and legendary John Peel sessions recorded in the 70’s (and again re-aired throughout the 90’s). As an aside there’s also a by all accounts excellent limited edition tome entitled ‘jollity farm’ via Angry Penguin which features interviews and insights into the barn pot legacy left by the Bonzos by all the key note players and again featuring a wealth of in depth accounts by Viv. Elsewhere this issue there are interviews with Vashti Bunyan, Todd Rundgren, Mimsy Farmer, the Amorphous Androgynous as well as the usual vault upturning reviews section replete with tips of turntable turn on’s in addition to features on Procol Harum, the Bosstown Sound and the Paupers with vinyl art wrapping up things by taking a closer look at Fairport Convention’s ’what we did on our holidays’. next issue of Shindig is due to fall from orbit sometime late next week.


Billy Mahonie ‘BM hearts BM’ (static caravan). I don’t mind admitting that we’ve been cautiously eyeing this since it arrived in our gaff, expecting some resulting trouble or grief from it. Why oh why you may well ask for the Mahonie’s have always been well received in these hallowed pages. Pray tell us why the fear and trepidation. Well it goes like this. Its pressed up on clear lathe cut polycarbonate vinyl. Ouch. Indeed ouch, for regular observers to these whimsical scribbles will be all too aware that our labouring turntable has an awkward relationship with said releases, either preferring to glide its stylus from edge to middle in a split second refusing to even consider momentarily hanging around to at least reveal the secrets coded in the grooves or else on a good day happily skipping and hopping giving an all too brief though not quite satisfying flavour of what’s afoot on the decks. And so after a week or three staring glibly at said disc – as beautiful as it is housed in a typically minimalist BM styled sleeve designed by Static artist in residence Ben Javens – our curiosity got the better of us. The release – an ultra limited outing – only one hundred hand numbered copies available and all – I’m afraid to say – gone with our copy being the last to be had (don’t worry though there is a download version) finds the pared down duelling talents Gavin Baker and Howard Monk locking musical horns across an 8 track set. Of course Billy Mahonie should need no introductions in these pages the are one of the last surviving ensembles of the late 90’s brit post rock wave, under their collective belts they’ve released a formidable body of work for the likes of too pure, Jonathon Whiskey, Fierce Panda, Livid Meerkat, Goldhole, unlabel and Euphrates. In terms of your standard BM releases ’BM hearts BM’ is decidedly playful and light, awash with a sparse lo-fi detailing and perhaps owing to the pared down nature there’s – one suspects – a chance to stretch, explore and cast their line into territories previously only hinted at, assuming we have the sides the right way around ’Krimson’ which rounds off side one is an intimately smoked slice of drifting delta blues much influenced one would imagine by the early career work of John Fahey, then there’s the dreamily spring hued pastoral forays of the reflective and quietly captivating ’new cheap funk’ while ’bottle breaks’ is superbly coded in some seriously intricate primitive 70’s styled beatnik boogie which you feel enhanced with flotillas of rock star guitars would be a demon of a cut. ’power of veto’ is just – well – gorgeous, a mellowing babe lushly caressed by the soft shimmer of breathlessly braided undulating twinkle toed folk motifs which at times could easily pass for the more nature bound and carefree moments from Nick Drake’s treasured work while ‘a part of me flows to the sea’ has all the innate trappings and hollowing effects of a lost Magazine gem which leaves the parting ’dublin fight song’ to thoughtfully see you on your way dizzy and swoon filled to the delicate despatch of jazz induced dream weaving sleepy headed chimes. Priceless.


Lost Idol ‘a sorrowful thing’ (cookshop). With its hush brushed bruised withdrawn to the shadows persona and softly coiled solitary maxim there’s much to adore about this star lit forlorn orbital babe, caught in the stellar headlights of Swimmer One, Working for a Nuclear Free City and Birdpen and sounding not unlike you’d imagine the resulting by product had Simon and Garfunkel bumped accidentally into Cheval Sombre in a studio corridor to translate as, ‘a sorrowful thing’ is as apt a title as we reckon we’ll see and indeed hear all year. A taster for his second full length ‘brave the elements’ due for docking sometime next week, Lost Idol is secret ident (well not so secret now as we’ve just revealed it) of Cookshop head honcho James Dean (yes, yes, yes we know – now come on get it out of your system and settle down). A tear stained slice of bitter sweet nocturnal pop it is to, breathlessly chilled, from the moment the forlorn Apollo styled celestial swathes crackle into life your immediately transfixed, Dean’s slender softly flexed tones are captured and adrift amid the twinkling spacey folds like cosmic spectres dissipating into the stilled airless voids. Utterly touching. Flip over for the same track remodelled as the ‘IQ Two Plum Re-Jig’ and seemingly loosened of its celestial moorings and brought back to earth with a bump to be relocated in some idyllic South Pacific hideaway to be retuned to a rather sun braced and dreamy dub dipped dialect.


Brown ‘up again’ (unpopular). You can imagine this being handed across the chemist counter as some kind of feel good meditative prescription, must admit its quite unreal, chilled and absolutely loveable in a kind of loosely willowy woozy floaty type of way. The latest release then from Nottingham based aural alchemists Brown is what we are talking about in case your not paying attention at the back ‘up again’ features here in four incarnations, the original, the dub, house mix and the radio mix that gathered together total up to a 32 minute dream weaving odyssey. the original a seven and a half minute slice of auditory astral plane-ing is sprinkled longingly with all manner of amorphous atmospherics metered out to a chorus of bird song, trippy blissed blessed signatures, bassy squelches, smoked 60’s lazy eyed glazes, spectrally ethereal accents and slight of hand studio trickery which all gathered together impress upon the listener a kind of strange sedate out of body experience where you find your ghostly inner self hoisted aloft with the collaborative aid of Lemon Jelly and Ooberman types. The effect is rekindled and rephrased on the ‘dub mix’ which with its celestial trimmings and ether pierced vocoder styled spectres has the illusion of those dissipating dissolve like moments when your between sleep and wake. As you’d no doubt expect the ‘house mix’ adds a bit of body and substance to the airy apparitions while the parting ‘radio edit’ tightens the nuts and compresses the template of the original into something that more of a quick hit and with that readily more spacey and funky by design. Best appreciated whilst rolling and toking on a fat ’un.


Much missed around these here parts all 46 issues of Plan B can now be downloaded for free as a PDF via


Charlie Alex March ‘home / hidden’ (loaf). From the opening orbiting overture ‘plan 9’ – a kind of universal ‘sailing by’ for star crossed cosmonauts – with its cross fused pollination of Kraftwerkian motifs, lunar lullaby like loveliness moulded as were in the kind of drift away heavenly harmonic electronics encountered on Toshack Highway’s ridiculously oft overlooked debut full length and galactic promenade serenading to the parting sleepy headed recline of the sepia tweaked and pirouetting ‘son of a joke’ – ‘home / hidden’ is a most entrancing, nimble and shyly rewarding listening experience to behold. Already a firm favourite of a certain David Bowie by way of two previously released EP’s – both alas missed here, ‘home / hidden’ is the debut full length from Charlie Alex March who aided and abetted by various High Llamas, Metronomy and Stereolab types lushly sweetens and peppers the grooves with the promise of a magical odyssey, an odyssey informed by library lounge and an appreciation of a retro vision of the future offered by the engagement of analogue electronics all curdled and caressed by the braiding of sweeping string arrangements. The mood is one of reclined cosy toed romance, the symphonies unfolding within are majestic especially the Debussy dustings of ‘cortot no 6’ with its breathtaking and elegant snow globed waltzing nibbling ever so delicately into forays once toyed upon by Stereolab courtesy of ‘emperor tomato ketchup’ – contrast that with the Theremin coiled Nyman twists on brief though brooding ‘the lost levels’. Elsewhere ‘snow feet’ could in a parallel world be the defining signature tune for the Beach Boys cars n’ girls fascination re-translated to a Jetson’s future world and found rushing along the galactic highway to the impatient prod of the playful procession of powerhouse styled Raymond Scott string stings. Then there’s the mellowing baroque beauty of the harpsichord flutter within ‘telephone song’ as well as the lilting orbital tide of ‘Mao’ replete with typewriters and again sounding uncannily like Mr Scott though this time in his godfather of electronics era albeit as though rephrased by a particularly chilled Manual. Arresting.


Kissaway Trail ‘sdp’ (bella union). Culled from their forthcoming second album ‘sleep mountain’ due for busying record counter business 8th March and sounding not unlike a jubilant cavalry fanfare charging over the hill concocted by an arresting array of Battles and Amsterdam types are gathered and led orchestrating a wind swept and lump in throat forming epic of resolve and against all odds triumph by a cross wired Meek / Morricone mastermind – contain bells and chimes and sinew straining gusto…‘s a video…..




The Kissaway Trail – SDP from Bella Union on Vimeo. – recommended to us by Brian Bordello whose tips to date have never failed, though on this occasion I’d like to think he’s excelled himself because this is quite – well – extraordinary. Alright – admittedly – a bit weird and whacked – and annoyingly by all accounts signed up to Sea (Scouse label and home of Mugstar and various other tastiness) records who’ve either forgotten about us and set about kicking us off their mailing list or else just lost our address. Alisia Casper hail from somewhere in the North East liken their sound to ‘…someone a bit upset….’ – (your probably getting the drift as to why we like them aren’t you) and beyond that we know bugger all about them which these days appears to be par for the course. Anyhow they sound like they ought to inhabit the ever wonderful Bearsuit imprint – something you’d imagine scaring frail people and little pre schoolers whilst simultaneously no doubt causing the occasional disapproving eye brow raise from pop punters in dire need of a piss poor verse – chorus – verse fix. Or at least that’s what your initially led to believe as both ’updownround’ and ‘monsters see more’ filter through the speakers endowing your listening space with their unsettling macabre embrace, the former a crookedly dinky lullaby motif very much inspired one imagines by Komada’s ’rosemary’s baby’ soundtrack while the latter is very much shrouded in a haunting and eerie sepia strewn playroom by night disquiet. But then there’s a sea change, with the onset of ’both were mad’ something quite magical begins to appear through the haze, quiet and unassuming – clearing into focus, its something wounded, introspective, crushed, sensitive and quite bewitching, both sparse and in detailing yet powerful and fulsome in its ache. ’opulence’ is similarly graced, the key teased piano refrain almost childlike and musical box by design is tenderly serenaded by the whirring waltz of ether sighing ebbs and flows while ’blue follow’ bears the branding of a heart heavy 50’s torch ballad who trace lines strangely evoke some cross divide between Julie Cruise and Roy Orbison though for us we here a quite smitten by the airy pastoral sereneness of the wind clipped 60‘s folk frayed ‘mother I am free’ with its looping camber wick green accents – quite irresistible. by all accounts there’s an EP somewhere out there in record world which I think we really need to hear as do you. – hells teeth makes you wanna get scuzzed up, grow your hair and a beard and just frug out big time, dressed as worlocks – thorlock are a trio hailing from Missouri or more precisely cape Girardeau, between them they craft a neat line in beatnik-fied blistered swamp dragged blues boogie – it’s a brutal and bludgeoned brew of rawk n’ drawl both wired and wasted and oozing in slavish dread core which would in all honesty aside sounding ripe for an outing via the Leeds based Brew imprint also reveals a collective body of souls clearly wearing their finest scavenged morsels hoodwinked from touch n’ go’s era defining mid 90’s catalogue on their sleeves whilst simultaneously paying nods along the way to jezus lizard, shellac, the melvins and less obviously pussy galore. Though don’t be surprised if repeat listens reveal a somewhat distant affinity to both Motorhead (incidentally their band banner has a distinct Lemmy and Co element) and early Bon Scott era AC/DC albeit both being at the wrong speed. The hairy ’triceratops’ in particular sounds like a primitive renegade throwback to the 70’s while the gridlocked corkscrewed riffage on the head pummelling ‘extinct’ takes a leaf ort two from the wares of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. All said it’d be a cue for hanging our heads in shame where we not to mention the bloated and fuzz festering doom dealing n’ shit faced ‘beyond cosmic dimension’ – a kinda fist fight between killing joke and tad with hawkind refereeing if you like. There’s a copy of their self titled full length from 2008 and the ‘crumbling fortress’ EP both available as free downloads…and while we’re here a video clip for ‘epic fail’ captured live goes a lot like this….




output message ‘get away’ (output noise). Our thanks to Naomi for making this available to us, culled from his latest album ‘autonomous’ – a copy of which we must either beg, borrow or steal for fear of combusting – this mp3 is a sneak peak at what Output message is up to these days. Last heard around here courtesy of a smattering of releases for the mighty fine melodic imprint of Manchester, he’s now forged his own imprint entitled output noise. In short we‘ve never heard Output message sound so flighty, frisky or indeed funky – ‘get away’ is a joyously feel good anthem the likes of which you suspect may well serenade the sun scorched night skies of the forthcoming festival season (that is I should add if we actually see the sun over here this summer), a throwback of sorts to the halcyon dance days of the early 90’s dance scene and here we are thinking Dr Devious and other such like, though closer inspection may warrant you to dig out your aural arsenal of various pet shop boys, electronic and early 90’s new order platters and with Bunsen burner in hand try melting said discs and moulding them sound wise for a relative reference point. Tasty stuff…..and here’s that promised mp3 thing…..


Sergeant Buzfuz ‘here come the popes’ (blang). Continuing their recent obsession with Papal history and ripped from last year’s ‘high slang’ full length, the absolutely smoked and shit faced ‘here comes the popes’ is liberally dusted in the kind of wasted and off centred fat funky fancifulness that was once the loose fit sole remit of a ‘bummed’ era Happy Monday’s though obviously here appearing to have debunked Shaun and in his place hastily acquired John Cooper Clarke for vocal niceties, lest we forget to mention the let it hang loose trippy looping locked groove shuffles and momentary excursions into BAD styled hook hungry mild psyche tweaked choral tastiness. Well smart. Psych purists may well be advised to head trip over to the flip side, ’here come the cops’ is a suitably chilled and bliss wired re-drill of the original mix inspired in the main by red light prowling Vatican priest Cesare Burgazzi’s embarrassing buzz with the fuzz. A mind wiring trip wiring tapestry of mood melting retro groove that’s heavy on the bass and delay effects dissolving dreamscapes and very much dipped and draped deliciously in a kind of spaced out 70’s styled fried funk that to these ears sounds not unlike those dudes of cool Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve shimmying up to a particularly out of it though all the same sublimely irresistible Superimposers to score for your considered listening appreciation a chic lysergic tipped variation of blaxploitation muzak with the help of the Ozrics and the New Fast Automatic Daffodils.


Gary War ‘horribles parade’ (knife slits water). Again another artist who to much embarrassment appears to have previously fallen beneath our radar, ‘horribles parades’ is we believe, the second full length by Brooklyn’s Gary War, already having seen the light of day on vinyl via Sacred Bones its now given a European release via the knife slits water (anyone for a certain ratio) whose reasoning for issuing it on cassette was because they felt it was a medium that suited Gary War’s sound. And we here have to heartily agree because unless our tape decks are beginning to warp there is a delightfully schizoid persona about these cuts which in the initial stages through their opaque haziness instils upon the listener a blameless and suspicious belief that their seemingly lo-fi roots owed much to being recorded in a bathroom or more specifically being immersed in the fully drawn bath in that bathroom. Anyhow ultra limited in number – 100 in case you‘re asking (and ours is #94) – ‘horribles parade’ is a 10 strong set of mind melting shimmer pop coiled soft psyche, it’s a curious collection that blends analogue electro accents and aural manipulations and refracts them through a kaleidoscopic viewfinder which when assembled from out of the other side appear as dream woven myriads of shade adorned motorik magma. Don’t be to alarmed by the ghostly cosmic interfaces that usher in the arrival ‘highspeed drift’ for it soon blossoms amid a cortege of dissipating swirls perilously trip wiring between 50’s space age sci-fi kitsch and lunar lounge lysergic waltz whirrs, reference wise think early career Echo boy (check out the hymnal hazes of the celestial ‘costumes’) bleached in a Meek-esque soft psyche snow storm. ’sold out’ quickly follows in hot pursuit traversing the cosmic tail smoke left by its partner in chime, elements of a chilled and austere landscape proffered by a Doktor Avalanche era Sisters of Mercy are teased through the ether as is the archaic retro minimalism of Suicide. ‘no payoff’ with its gothi-que cathedral textures fuses a deliciously trippy and fuzz frayed bubblegum pop motif to the proceedings while the ominous ecclesiastical cosmic drone grooved ‘for cobra’ may well have you thirsting for a spot of elementary krautrock for comparable reference. Flip the cassette for more opiated oscillations and myriads of dissipating swirl pop collages ‘clean up’ in particular sounding a ringer for any number of nuggets that once upon a time the Passage strung to their oft and criminally forgotten bow then there’s the ice tipped cool wave of ‘what you are’ sounding as though its been transmitted across the galaxy through a worm hole from some point in the future leaving the static scarred orbital pop of ‘nothing moving’ to sweetly serenade you into moments of lulled bliss.


Swing Youth ‘jennifer’ (bloody awful poetry). Having already confirmed a lasting place in our hearts courtesy of their speaker sizzling debut ‘blade of grass’ Twickenham’s Swing Youth return swiftly with another double dose of nifty ear pricking ear gear in the groove laden shape of ‘Jennifer’ and ‘hey Keith’. starts of quite quietly brimming as it is with Hammond swathes and the finite tailoring of a subtle buzz sawed sketching that’s rooted with a pushing and shunting motorik growl – yet don‘t be fooled for ’Jennifer’ soon blossoms and busies itself amid a frenzying cavalcade that’s clipped with the feverish purring pulse of soft though discernible lilts of a lysergic cradling rooted upon a bed of pulse prowling power pop intones all lavishly sprinkled by showers of star crossed jet swirls. In short very tasty. Typically though we here are all a smitten with the flip offering ’hey Keith’ which according to the attached press murmurings was inspired in part by Mr Keith Levene (classic era PIL chord curator and erstwhile austere aural alchemist), anyhow a more frisky and decidedly immediate offering this time of asking that’s very much located in a late 70’s new wave orbit and rippling with the kind of sing-a-long chorus hooks and ridiculously catchy tunesmith-ery that finds its located reference points pinpointed somewhere between a playfully punk pop toned XTC and the Revillos.


Spartak ‘Verona’ (low point). A most curiously arresting second outing for Australian duo Spartak following their quietly acclaimed ‘tales from the colony room’ debut from a few years back. Blending electronics, looping guitars, found sounds and percussion they’ve together hatched a mind weaving soundtrack that appears left to its own devices to terra-form, mutate and evolve in a most extraordinary way, its means or so it seems by way of the fusion of a loosely defined jazz discipline splintered and spiked by grafted moments of improvised math intricacies, post rock noodling, ambient airiness and dissipating nu folk mirages. Built upon deft layering, ’Verona’ through each passing cycle (8 in total in case you were wondering) evolves, stretches, swells and contracts – the overall result approaching an almost daydreaming collage with the structure-less compositions attaining a deeply intoxicating open ended and fluid grounding, reference wise fans of the Kranky era work of Stars of the Lid, LaBradford and Amp – to name just three – will not be found wanting while admirers of Ma Cherie for Painting and Magnetaphone may be similarly satiated.


From the wheezing genteelness of the ornate opener ’morning prayer’ an apt title given it shimmers and tingles with all the frosted calm of a thawing twilight scene, the bubbling bowed instrumentation seductively surrendering and yet isolated and haunting and yet turned with an lilting oriental lisp – ’verona’ navigates a strangely dense trajectory. ’tweezer’ ominous and spectral as it may first seem to be courts with all manner of noire-stained cinematic accents – think Budd meets Gnac with a particularly vibrant and clearly unrestrained Tortoise, beneath its mooching signature a cacophonic treat without boundaries impishly wiles away veering with the rueful indiscipline into territories more commonly expected of something emerging from Andy Pyne’s Foolproof Projects collective while ’sleepstalker’ – as the title gives hint – is an ice sculptured celestial babe wrapped in glorious halos of hazy psych tinged transcendentalism, warped and fried and liable to lift your wig clean off, this scorched and withering Tibetan talisman is inscribed with an archaic sourced mind weaving out there spiritualism. All said best moment of the set comes courtesy of ’second half clouded’ which features guest vocals by Lucrecia Perez whose hymnal and yearning seductive whispers hover ever so drift like atop a fog bound landscape of calming droning motifs pierced by some busily distractive and unrestrained percussive underpins leaving the annoyingly brief 80’s styled New Zealand noise / feedback / Flying Saucer Attack like ’tape machine dream’ to bring matters to a conclusive stop. Recommended.


Beach House ‘Norway’ (bella union). Bit of a gem this ‘un, pressed up on clear red vinyl – the first offerings from the forthcoming Beach House full length ‘teen dream’ – ‘Norway’ is a drifting slice of beguiling beautified pop, immaculately drawn and curvaceously slender, a fleeting moment of subdued seduction driven by the genteel waft of opining sliding riff orbs sweetly engaged by the woozy refracted sun burn of lulling wonky synth codas and the breathless caress of tip-toeing honey crusted harmonies all admirably sugar glazed in a demurring west coast after glow – utterly adorable. Flip the disc and you’ll find ’baby’ doing mercurial things amid the allotted groove space, succulently tapered in a sepia tinged setting this spectral honey shimmers with a deceptively ethereal undertow that’s both hymnal and quietly jubilant. Arresting stuff.


Teenagersintokyo ‘peter pan’ (back yard). I suspect we’ve mentioned this lot in a passing missive – probably quite recently because I swear their sound has left some sort of lasting ingrained trace on our memory banks. Hailing from Sydney and these days dividing their time there and here in London they’ve to date already released a well received self titled EP which by all accounts flew from the racks in the blink of an eye. Currently putting the top coat to what will be their debut full length with Bat for Lashes producer David Kosten commandeering the mixing desk, ‘peter pan’ offers a glimpse of what to expect in the forthcoming months. Immersed in all manner of 80’s electro shadow playing ’peter pan’ is an acutely addictive slab of pulsating dark wave groove that liberally borrows and indeed pays dues to A Flock of Seagulls ’I ran’ albeit as though re-wired by some cross fused coming together of the March Violets and Flesh for Lulu – the result all suitably attired with a locked groove dance floor attack that may have several of you pining for a spot of early Comsat An gels / Sisters of Mercy groove on your hi-fi. Flip side features a more than welcoming re-drill by the Horrors who in their creative wisdom apply some rather neatly detached Dusseldorf-ian dreamweaving motorik minimalism to the cause – think late 70’s ’beat the clock’ era Sparks meets ’autobahn’ Kraftwerk with Moroder in attendance spiking the hypnotic hubris with some sensually trained mind expanding calibrations of his own.

missive 259f


Singled Out

Missive 259f


Archive 6.



Gaggle ‘I hear flies’ (transgressive). Quite frankly the dogs bollocks pop kids, on the face of things everything about this release screams put it back in the record rack and walk briskly away – maggots on the front cover and on the back a picture of a lot of ladies in shrouds of some description – though just between you and me they look like ill designed rugs of the type you used to find blinding you in the early 70’s. still we persevered despite the Polyphonic Spree connotations – there are twenty of them ladies all said and this here seven inch single be their debut release. And a mighty thing it is. Headed up by classically trained musician Deborah Coughlin, to describe Gaggle is to imagine a kind of dream team gathering of the Slits, Au Pairs, the Dolly Mixtures, the Bodysnatchers and the Belle Stars. described as an antidote to boring male bands ’I hear flies’ the lead out cut is a richly woven choral tapestry worked over a loosely drilled drum ’n dub chassis, what first may appear unruly, rowdy, raucous and out of time soon begins to channel a mesmeric montage with the interweaving and overlapping chants crafting out a propulsive head melting pulse, its simple though nevertheless effective – any questions. Same deal over on the flip ‘I like cigarettes’ which indeed for our own sins we do – more playful and spiky this time of asking, the layer by layer building of harmonic lines craft out with sly stealth a thunderous depth, dimension and tension whose looping lyrical leer and subliminal messaging soon assumes hysteria fuelled manic proportions until your head finally caves leaving you going yabba yabba. Recommended purchasable poison.


A video….



Two door cinema club ‘undercover martyn’ (kitsune). There’s a debut album entitled ‘tourist history’ kicking about somewhere in record land round about now with this darling of a dance wired ditty having been culled and paraded around to do the taster sessions for. If ‘undercover martyn’ is anything to judge by then these young gentlemen – who incidentally hail from Bangor – appear to have a neat line in extracting the kind of precociously perky and jerky albeit bitter sweetly glazed pop that we here feared had been lost forever. Despatched at a rumbling pace this panic attack strewn babe is awash in sugar rushed angst aired adrenalin and summarily toned and honed by the sky piercing needling of see-saw like codas whose remit it seems is to busy themselves away borrowing under your skin and setting your nervous tract into a frenzying meltdown, part effervescent and criminally immediate and cradled by a slow / fast dynamic – aw shucks – just buy the bugger and be done with it. Flip side has the same track re-serviced as the ’passion pit’ remix and sprinkled in all manner of space dust and twinkle some orbital turns of musical phrase that we here suspect may just have you cooing for more.


The boy who trapped the sun ‘home’ EP (Chess). A little something we happened upon on a whirlwind visit to our local record emporium, a five track EP from the boy who trapped the sun – better known to the parish and personnel of the Isle of Lewis as one Colin MacLeod. Apparently this release – being sneaked out by the ever lovable Chess Club imprint – is his second foray into pop’s ever expanding universe – cue the gnashing of teeth for having missed the first outing. Anyhow an affectionate collection of drifting lo-fi porch driven folk blues is what you get for your money, exquisitely detailed and just a tad alluring, the rosewood rustics that greet the opening entrance of the sets title cut ’home’ from therein replaced by a richly mellowing casing of delta refrains smothered by a mature woody and smoked lolloping lilt the type of which wouldn’t look to out of place on a release bearing the names of either June Panic or Archer Prewitt. Then there’s the reflective intimacy of the hollowing beauty that is ’in the dark’ which despite several attempts of persuasion via a kindly threat of lasting damage at the hands of a hammer and chisel still refuses to play all the way through without sticking, skipping or jumping – in some cases all three all at once – still there’s a youthful tug of Rodriguez meets Loudon Wainwright III to be cherished when the blighter does acquiesce to play. ’the fox’ rounds up side one and reveals the full blossoming potential of MacLeod‘s artistry, harbouring elements of Radiohead or more specifically Thom Yorke in brooding and bruised moments, this bitter sweet beauty is caressed and teased by an emotionally surrendering piano braid that swells and sways with a majestically reposed sighing solemnity – will cause tears to flow and lumps in throats to appear. Flipping the disc you find the mood loosens up considerably – the spectral ’lying to get on your good side’ is bleached with a haunting and genteel like ethereal 60’s aura which at times does a pretty good and nifty double take of Simon and Garfunkel as though rephrased by a clearly weird Everly Brothers while the magically hypnotic lull of the shy eyed and airy rustics of ’change the clocks’ brings the set to a seductively snoozing close. A gem of a release but then you probably gathered that.


Speak and the Spells ‘she’s dead’ (robot elephant). If there’s just one record that we’ve mentioned in recent blogs / missives that you need to get your mits on – other than that spiffing La Shark debut and the Conway Hall corker via Death Pop and oh yea that Branded latest via Dirty Water, then its this three track trash trouncer by the Speak and the Spells. Already mentioned in passing wherein we bemoaned the fact that we hadn’t managed to nail a proper copy thus……(purely for those of you not paying attention the first time of asking)…


‘Alas we haven’t got a finished copy of this devilishly dark and sinisterly cute 7 inch debut though rest assured we won’t be sleeping a wink until we’re safe in the knowledge that one is tucked under our pillow. Why you might well foolishly ask is that so. Well frankly kids it’s the pack of ravenous and leery dogs bollocks that’s why. A three piece hailing from West London and by the sounds of things the toast of the psycho-billy underground, this should be ripe for the picking for fans of the Birthday Party, Meteors, Inca Babies, Gallon Drunk, Link, the turbines, those old Nuggets and Back from the Grave recording relics et al and of course – goes without saying – the Cramps. Grave stone kicking twanging groove that howls, rattles and kicks with such bare boned parched monochromatic primitivism that it could have easily arrived for all the world dumped in a 60’s lay by having been jettisoned out of some reefer smoke choking car boot driven by the Blue Caps with the Trashmen blearing out of the sound system – best filed under wild and fried grizzled blues perhaps somewhere not a million miles from your prized David Cronenberg’s Wife records. Flip the disc for ’brianna’ – a certified slice of skin peeling shock treated frenetic boogie that had us recalling in the main the panic attacking void-ist three chord punk pop shrill of Spizz Energi albeit as though re-wired by a pop fixated Dead Boys. Nuff said.’


…well guess what – a recent rummage through a record emporium rack turned up said nugget – so we can sleep peacefully that we’ve nailed the blighter. Limited to just 500 hand numbered copies – ours being #68 – this bad assed slice of blistered boogie is just what the good doctor ordered. A spanking debut which on hearing in all its full unadulterated waxen glory the above brief mention still applies though on the real copy found lurking on the flip you get the added treat of ’caleb pink’- a spy school twang tastic moocher groove gouged in all manner of Link Wray reverbs and spiked with the sonic surf sassiness you’d imagine an encounter between Man or Astro Man and the shadowy men on a shadowy planet would spew forth. Utterly essential.


Goldheart Assembly ‘king of paris’ (fierce panda). By all accounts selling fast – limited to just 300 copies and acting as a taster for the bands debut full length ‘wolves and thieves’ (which should be weighing in at local record stores some day soon), ‘king of paris’ marks the welcomed return to these pages of the Fierce Panda imprint and indeed the first recorded fruits from London based 6 piece Goldheart Assembly. A sublime slice of sun bearing radiance, ‘king of Paris’ canters and shimmers with such purring precision masterfully coalescing between honey toned west coast breeze pop motifs and a healthy euphoric serving of airy 60’s pop gold, a kind of Eagles recalibrated by the Mammas and Papas with a side serving of Buffalo Springfield thrown in for good measure. Better still is the flip cut ’wolves and thieves’ – a softly slinky distraction from the normal hustle bustle of here now gone tomorrow look at me pop that laughingly passes for populist listening pleasure these days, this honey is clipped with the artistry of Wilson and Co and executed with the alluring pop resolve of a disco discovering brothers Gibb – think that says it all – oh yea and admirers of Brigadier et al will swoon.


Tayside Mental Health – sad news reaches us from the Tayside Mental Health camp – with the band announcing they are no more. from the bizarre, the blistering to the bollock dropping brilliant, Perth’s impish pure noise misfits will as most regular readers will attest been a source of searing sonic comfort around this here parish. Tumbling across them one snow bound afternoon February last year we’ve championed their dansette damaging power electronic playfulness until our typing finger (left hand first digit in case your taking notes) has bled to near feinting, where most found occupying the noise genre and its varying extremes have taken to pummelling and compressing your cranium to pea sized proportions, there’s been this sneaky notion around these parts that TMH have added to their collective cause a sense of dark humour born out of surreal childlike tomfoolery. And its to this end why they’ve always struck a chord albeit a decimated and blistered one, and one melded with molten precision to an experimental flair more readily identified in the realms of psyche, art rock and abstract pop. With releases pouring forth thick and fast through a host of net and physical imprints, its been Scotch Tapes who have remained true to their cause in recent times – the band will feature on a promised planned summer compilation on the label as well as being the subject of an Anthology treatment – rest assured they’ll feature here in these pages in future missives. Health problems have been cited as the reason for the bands demise, we here were aware of Claire’s continuing condition which has in recent months prevented the band from playing live. We wish her all the best for the future and hope that she gets better – and keeps off the fags – and continues to keep in touch. As to Stu and Mikee – fear not for plans are already afoot for a new set up in the near future – so your not off the hook just yet. For now we heartily recommend you tune your pc’s in the direction of their my space site at and leave well wishes while sampling the demented delights of the skewed and oddly eerie ’yeasturday’ which by rights ought to come with an advisory sticker stating to be listened to from being the sofa in daylight with the lights on……oh and here’s a video thing of them…..




tayside mental health cuckoo ping ping green fairyland from claire gordon on Vimeo.




Calories / William ‘split’ (tough love). Another release with which we must admit our ears have been totally smitten by is this ultra limited twin tracked double set from South London’s William and Birmingham’s Calories. First up on the inspection blocks William – a three piece who’ve acquitted themselves by all accounts with both a admirable full and mini full length last year entitled respectively ‘self in fiction‘ and ‘slightly demented’. both cuts here ’dilettante’ and ’lustreless’ are undercut by a rather tasty and dare we say shambolic hardcore under pinning much reminiscent it should be said of Sink at which through whose core – and mainly highlighted by the lead singers curiously high pitched tubes – has that kind of mischievously deceptive melodic pop gold effect that was once the sole remit of a certain Mascis / Dinosaur JNR while simultaneously being serviced with a liberal smattering of push / tug hooks the type of which lend themselves to having you hitting hard on the repeat button to immerse yourselves with another sly sneaky peek. Calories – formerly Distophia – have credited themselves to date with one full length with a second shortly due to zero in on record emporiums shortly via the hip and trendy Smalltown America imprint. Sound wise a devilishly attractive line in power popped emo replete with strutting running on the spot riff jabs is what‘s on offer via ‘mortal boys‘ though for us ‘drink the potion‘ provides the best moment here, a kind of Mega City 4 meets a youthful Therapy refitted with an early career Idlewild mindset. Need we say more. Limited to just 500 hand numbered copies all pressed up on snow white wax.


The Ruby Suns ‘cranberry’ (Memphis industries). Absolutely bugger all information about these dudes – hell who cares though if they continue making head expanding groove like this – ’cranberry’ is something of a slow burning one stop summer festival anthem that manages to touch base with everything from the Beach Boys to the Animal Collective and all between and welds a woozy lysergic like carnival montage atop what can only be described as a slightly shit faced and blissed out house vibe albeit re-scored by the Battles, did we mentioned its quite euphoric glow and celebratory caress – an album ‘flight softly’ is about in record world and by our reckoning deserves closer listening attention.


Colour music ‘put in a little gas’ (Memphis industries). More space dust scattered slinkiness from the Memphis industries HQ, this time the welcomed return of Colour Music a collective made up of members located in Yorkshire and Oklahoma whose debut airing ‘yes’ I seem to recall getting the deserved thumbs aloft in these very pages when it reared its slinky hide into view at the tail end of last year sometime. ‘put in a little gas’ is a psych tinged glam cavalry call heading over the hills, a kind of deeply seductive lazy eyed T-Rex and friends rummaging through the considerable riff rallying back catalogue of Led Zep whilst being led in a Pied Piper style by the Black Angels which young folk I guess means its essential purchasing.


The man from another place ‘the insomnia’ (remix). About time. Any self respecting lover of all things Wilson, Gibb, the Heartstrings, Nilsson et al should already b e in possession of a copy of his debut ’loneliest cowboy’ EP – it is without fear of overstatement both exquisite and endearing. However I think we may have made something of the man from another place’s melodic kinship to Brighton’s own pop alchemist the Brigadier. And so it was with much joy to find Scotland’s answer to Bacharach tweaking the tenderly tailored and timeless treats of Matt Williams who just to put the record straight we owe a huge apology to because following a small write up on his work a year or so ago he did in fact send over his two self released full lengths for review – which alas – though much loved didn’t make it to print. Left to the devices of TMFAP the Brigadier‘s ‘the insomnia’ is summarily teased and tinkered by a sweetly radiant and snoozing minimalist touch, a bit like imagining Vorhaus’ White Noise chilled and churchlike being summoned to recode the Beach Boys finest and most introspectively yearning moments into a lounge lulling lovelorn celestial recital. Perfect.


Dan Deacon ‘woof woof’ (amazing sounds). Limited to just 500 vinyl copies and sure to sell fast. we first encountered Dan Deacon sometime last year via the ever wonderful and weird Paw Tracks imprint, possessed of an acutely abstract aural alchemy, Baltimore’s most bonkers of sons had us pinned close to the hi-fi with his day-glo glazed brand of bubblegum pop. Culled from his current ’bromst’ set ’woof woof’ channels an intricately impish inroad into worlds once occupied by early 70’s children’s TV culture, all at once wonky and woozy and wayward and wired, a lysergic carnival erupts through the sherbet haze, Deacon’s melodic mosaic crooked and kooky whirrs and woos like some trip wired acid flashback suffered by a blending of the Battles and the Busy Signals as though relocated on a warped Sesame Street set. Elsewhere you’ll find the party invitations sent out to a host of specially selected re-mixers first up being Hudson Mohawks who totally de-construct ‘woof woof’s original template to craft in its place a slyly seductive softly shrilled soul funk trim while Allez Allez apply some nifty and austere motorik hypnotic euro groove for ’build voice’ which should by rights appeal immensely to admirers of Swimmer One and Birdpen while Luke Abbot brings up the rear for a re-spray of ‘Surprise Stefani’ and into the bargain imparts some well heeled mind warping kraut locked grooving a la Sunray / Sonic Boom / Tangerine Dream / OMD.


Cluster ‘QUA’ (Klangbad). Rhythmic looping, terra forming textures, dissipating mirages, celestial carnivals, electro dub strobes, sea faring chill downs and evensong exotica – what can it all mean. well you’d think after 40 years that Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelus would maybe take several steps back, be content with their legacy and perhaps crack of wry smile and raise an approving eye brow each time one of the new pretenders following through sought to consolidate, surpass and maybe further upon the richly woven template that they amongst themselves have woven over the course of some decades now. Some perhaps would wish, yet while others from a similar distant era are content to retune their own perfect legacy and bask in the back slapping recognition that they are responsible for re-wiring modern day pop as we know it, Cluster remain a very visible, very active and should you have forgotten to realise it very much integral players upon this multi-generic universe we call pop. For a collective mindset whose personnel whose combined age is 140 plus ’QUA’ is very much curbed and crafted through a very youthful eye, while it doesn’t really push the ambient / electronic envelope any great deal it is in its defence an album bubbling with creativity, ideas and invention. In one respect across these 17 miniature mosaics a condensed and all you need to know history of ambience through all its varied tailored forms is celebrated. In another respect ’QUA’ could be viewed as a truly adventurous multi-lingual hybrid which – to pardon a much of late cheapened generic term – world music – there I’ve said it – incorporates a deeply luxurious ethnic charm to its cause. Best viewed late at night when all is asleep and the mood becomes one lending itself to withdrawing to recline and rest, ’QUA’ comes in to its own, its genteel almost lulling resonance playfully percolates through the still night air tracing out a contour that blends the kooky experimental raptures of the BBC Radiophonic collective with the innately natural tribal dialect of the wilderness especially on the likes of ‘Malturi Sa‘ and the oriental mystique of the bowed chamber drawn ‘gissander‘ (see Orbital, Biosphere et al). Along the journey ‘QUA’ touches base with all manner of sonic travellers on the ambient highway – playful nods to the wheezing lullaby lilts of Raymond Scott’s ’soothing sounds’ series are enjoyed on ’albtrec com’, elsewhere the teasing rustic-onics of Wagon Christ as though fused at the hip with Vernon Elliott on ‘zircusile’ while the ominous stillness of the mysterious ‘xanesra’ with its wave forming void veering noir optics clearly occupies worlds once ventured by Add N to X though these marshalled by the likes of the Advisory Circle et al. those of you admiring of something a little mid 80’s euro disco slanted a la Front 242 will do well to tune into the star lit vibes of ‘no ernel’ with its spacious Space like retreated kraut glazes. Of course those in need of a little – shall we say – soothing mood lowering seduction ought to fast track yourselves to the cosmic funk silkiness of the laid back and sumptuous ’formalt while the blurry eyed parting shot ‘imtrerion’ could easily pass for a remodelled for a future era take of Ronald Binge’s ‘sailing by’. quietly exquisite stuff.


Rose Elinor Dougall ‘find me out’ (dance to the radio). Best described as one of those smoked and stoked after the parties finished and every one has gone home moments, ‘find me out’ is a flashback to the classically grilled femme forlorn kitchen sink cry offs, all at once mellow and bruised this drift winding torch ballad is teased and torn in introspection, its reference markers cradled in solemn seduction sting like a lonesome Dusty infused by the darkness of Nico upon a softly weaving rain swept noir romanced backdrop that’s delicately sweetened by all manner of spectral arrangements whose remit it seems is to have you throwing a consoling arm around it. Over on the flip the reflectively heart broken lovelorn photograph that is ’I know we’ll never’ – a beautified slice of porch primed rustic goodness undercut with a withering ache the likes of which not heard around these parts since the quieter and more intimate moments of the Smiths back catalogue shyly peeked from the flip sides of various 80’s chart worriers. An album arrives shortly.


Eddy Current Suppression Ring ‘anxiety’ (melodic). Melbourne’s best kept secret Eddy Current Suppression Ring are about to unleash their third full length ‘rush to relax’ shortly though not before allowing this little reprobate out on early release parole. Already loved by the Brit press and likened at various points to Wire, the Fall, the Pixies and the Violent Femmes among others, teaser track ‘anxiety’ rattles off the quartet’s melodic conveyor belt with much gusto sounding not unlike some bastard off spring spawned from a cross match of DNA samples belonging to Monkey Wrench, Jumbo and yes indeed – Violent Femmes, festooned with all manner of skull drilling cork screw riffage it’s a frantic dash of intricate collages of skewed art rock time signatures that sound for all the world as though they‘ve been hoodwinked from a late 70‘s new wave underground scene to be fused with surging ear candy fanfares and distressed n’ impatient vocals – all apparently recorded on a shoe string budget and sounding none to worse for wear for the fact – but why oh why – do I have an urge to play Tom Petty’s ‘running down a dream’?


Her Name is Calla ‘long grass’ (denovali). At last – it finally arrived – a little worse for wear we should say – its journey from Germany seemingly along the way being – judging from the remaining packaging – used as some kind of replacement for a basket ball, the 10 inch format of the set particularly bashed and torn and without the promised photograph insert. A pricey acquisition which much to our aggrieved annoyance turns out would have been cheaper purchasing from the band direct. Ah well a lesson learned. Of course just to save confusion we‘re not blaming the label for this set is exquisitely packaged, a beautiful thing to behold – three available formats – two 10 inch versions one pressed on black the other on clear haze both replete with a CD featuring the three tracks (for all you who pitched your turntables in the great vinyl is dead quest of the recent past) and each strictly limited in quantity to 200 / 100 copies respectively. In addition there’s a rather spiffing looking and dare we say handsomely presented box set type thing containing said CD, oodles of inserts and a nifty little square badge which again given its 100 only pressing is bound to fly from the racks. With word of a new album looming on the horizon ‘long grass’ marks the return to these pages of Her Name is Calla. Of course Her Name is Calla should need no introduction to seasoned patrons of these musings given they’ve been high on our radar for some years now. Over the course of that time we’ve marvelled at the musical growing pains that have seen this most unique collective unfurl from their shy eyed and torturous spectral nurturing (a la Radiohead’s more reflectively bruised back catalogue) to blossom into song smiths of a titanic artistry whose lineage nods to the mercurial standards of godspeed and mogwai. ’long grass’ taps directly into the very essence that initially drew us to Her Name is Calla, that sense of it being not what you hear but rather more what you don’t hear, amid the distressed and doomed overcast shadings a tender yearning struggles for recognition, the thread bare open wound tonalities drawn from an archaic folk instruction cast their hypnotic line – part heart tugging and solemn on one side part seductive and mesmeric the other, soon with the accompanying nature bound noir string serenades it weaves its love laboured spell, its rising tide gathering momentum and definition until your defences buckle and yield beneath the strain to have you smothered and consumed by the soothing soft psych aural opiates. The woody and aromatic ‘a sleeper’ – found nuzzling on the flip side finds the collective in fine fettle – overtly optimistic in a happily rejoicing hymnal recital type way, both jubilant and joyous and dare we say summery in appeal – a bit like the mamas and papas bitten by the polyphonic spree bug if truth be known and very much courting the kind of embracing tongue countered once upon a time by Quickspace on their ’death of…’ swansong set which leaves ‘the white and the skin’ to bring up the rear – originally released in 2006 as a limited single accompanied by ‘nylon’ on the flip – it’s a full blooded whirlwind of fracturing emotions clipped with a darkly brooding under cast of dark romance that’s splintered and torn by a seeming rage of nature or in short the backdrop to some titanic death drilled guns drawn finale that one would imagine emerging from the creative fusing of Morricone and godspeed had they consorted to score a western. Of course you need the blighter in your record collection.


Isaacs Aircraft ‘head to the feet’ (crash). More pulse racing punk pop this time from a youthful gang of souls hailing from Cambridgeshire by the name of Isaacs Aircraft. ‘head to the feet’ follows their acclaimed debut ‘friends and foes’ which to much disbelieving nods and grunts around these parts we appear to have missed (though you’ll be happy to know our uttering of archaic curses summoning up all manner of beastly misfortunes to those responsible have been somewhat soothed by the fact that said cut assumes the groove space afforded by the flip side – still – don‘t let it happen again). for while ‘head to the feet’ may well be deliriously draped in the kind of angst addled urgency and emotion riddled overloading of tender hearts embattled by what life has to throw at them whilst simultaneously attuned to a sinew snaring tightly wired strut licked groove the type much loved and utilised by Nephu Huzzband it’s the aforementioned ‘friends and foes’ that still smarts of things that turn heads in an instant. A titanic slab of surging pop the likes if which we haven’t had the pleasure of encountering since Jezus Factory dropped Suzerain’s drop dead gorgeous EP ‘Apocalypse disco’ into our laps and had us all a swoon. A bracing colossus of uber cooled melodic twists, wind rushed harmonics and seizure stricken infectious transistor terrorising ear candy laden with drama and buckling beneath the weight of jaw dropped thrill pop classicism and nailed firmly to the floor with a pristinely turned precocious pedigree in the crafting of beneath the skin blistering euphoric swagger. – sadly the two tracks available for listening enjoyment are mere excerpts which despite their teasing briefness reveal more than enough of a hint to suggest that Nadine Shah may well be a mysterious and mercurial talent worthy of keeping an eye (and indeed ear) out for. From the intimacy of her self contained sound bunker somewhere in a North East district by the name of Whitburn and armed with a piano for comfort Ms Shah crafts sparse and haunting heart heavy love notes that reveal a wounded world weariness that makes a lie of her tender years. A ballad for the bruised the darkly romantic ‘all that I want’ is cast and scratched in head bowed sepia scarred hurt, the contrast between the lightened tones of the near negligible threadbare melody is summarily overcast by the crippling emotional torment at play beneath the surface which if references were required – and they are – you’d have to re-visit Nico’s more burnt and harrowed torch traits for comparison. Likewise ‘aching bones’ mooches with a degree of the macabre, Shah firmly in control on this occasion rather than an acquiescent to her soul sucking emotions, the atmosphere chilled to a deathly dread almost fairground and funereal in composure and delivery and very much clipped with the dark and surreal guiding hand of Weill / Brecht. Startling stuff.


Thus : Owls ‘cardiac malformations’ (hoob). Disturbingly beautiful. There is no other way to adequately or effectively describe the debut full length from Thus : Owls for where there any justice in this world ‘cardiac malformations’ would be rightly heralded a modern day classic. A five piece hailing from Sweden led from the fore by Erika Alexandersson whose previous work as one half of the Moth we have a distinct and ever so familiar feeling we’ve featured at one time or other in these very pages. By turns this eleven track set is haunting, effervescent, surreal and stately, imparting upon the would be listener a sense of hypnotic captivation and while the tonal tributaries may swell and cross weaves sonic streams occupied and dwelled upon by Piath, Nico, perhaps a little Siouxsie, a sprinkle of Julie Cruise, a dusting of Serafina Steer (check the quirky torch like mooching and prowling shunt of ‘sometimes’ – with its straying Nina Simone meets Eartha Kitt – a low lit funky bug replete with some nifty Stray Cat styled snazzyness) and a wee smidgeon of Bjork (especially on the arresting pulse quickening crusading like ‘climbing the fjords of Norway’) the underlying source and inspiration in terms of vision, detail and cinematic expression must surely owe a considerable nod towards Goldfrapp. For like the conscious awakening ’felt mountain’ – Thus : Owls operate in climes pitted and pockmarked by a svelte and unworldly darkly wounded persona that’s graced in sepia trimmed drama and found reading from an overtly differing pop manual than the more overt quick buck making sortees that taint the daytime radio schedules and make the high street record stores places of dread to avoid. Like the prey upon the preyed, Alexandersson leads her merry troupe on a beguiling and most bewitching journey, the imparting emotions and unfolding dramas pitted in terse tension and graced with majestic repose stretch, twist and toy with the listener dragging them from the depths of despair to the peaks of unworldly discovery. The sounds – minimal and sparsely formed creak with crooked delight, from the woodcrafted and off centred waltz of ’yellow desert’ with it flute shrills to the beautifully magical and shy eyed hollowing love note ’the sun is burning our skin’ with its dream woven pageantry of lulling pastoral chimes ‘cardiac malformations’ has you constantly reeling on your back foot, cuts such as the sepia trimmed ghostly folk meets campfire evensong ‘my thoughts ain’t lovely’ appear pulled from another time and age. Elsewhere the disquietly eerie and at times torturously intimate and threadbare ‘eagles coming in’ ambles solemnly for the best part of its gestation, Alexandersson’s hushed almost whisper like cry soon blossoms and rises with resplendent majesty cradled by the tension racked storm gathering arrangements soaring in the kind of bitter sweet formations more readily associated with Black Heart Procession while those of you with a thing for the abstract and slightly schizoid and the no wave / art rock will do well to check the opening moments of the skatt jazz-ering ’a volcano in my chest’. all said best moment of the set is the parting ’the atlantic’ whose utter bewitchment and beauty words cannot adequately described though we here will be surprised that if your not smitten from the moment the heavenly chorus’ and the spectral ‘twin peaks’-esque twangs usher and escape the confinement of the speakers then frankly you haven’t a romantic bone in your body, one for the wounded and broken hearted. A faultless debut.


Conway Hall ‘pull of love’ (death pop). More perfectly honed spiky pop platter fodder from the much loved death pop imprint whose previously outings courtesy of wax turn-ons from the likes of the Teeth, the Swankers, Atomic Suplex, the Vinyl Stitches et al have all been lapped up in the this here Singled Out shed of sound. Add to that enviable list if you will trio Conway Hall whose rather spanking head turning turntable twin set may just have a fair few of you panting and straining at the leash for more in the near future. Taking a sizeable leaf from the Teeth, Conway Hall’s ’pull of love’ has to be up there as one of the slinkiest things we’ve heard in a fair old while, a pulse purring slice of uber cooled and off centred lights dimmed and smoked floor mooching funkiness that manages to cut a delicious dash between being subtly skewed and wanton for a spot of discordance, horny and just a tad bit decadent in a right side of the sleazy marker. By far the best thing we’ve heard around these parts since the Werewolves and Gold Cash Gold, these crafty chaps blend the boundaries between the Modern Lovers, Jad Fair and mid 70’s Stones with just a dash of Pavement for seasoning – well chilled. Flip the disc for the ear candy effervescence of the rather slinky ‘erosion’ – a kind of time warped west coast bad trip that really ought to come with its own 60’s beat grooved teen flick and trendy boutique and which frankly is the kind of fried power pop sound you’d imagine rumbling through the monitors had the Fall or more appropriately the Monks the occasion to shimmy up alongside the Raspberries. Limited to just 500 copies and by rights selling by the shed load – if not questions replete with menacing long face will be asked.


Robin Guthrie ‘sunflower stories’ (rocket girl). Robin Guthrie. What can we say. A more perfect soundtrack to serenade a dawn awakening Sunday morn we couldn’t even begin to contemplate. Currently putting the finishing top coat to his third collaboration with Harold Budd before then the small matter of this fanciful four track treat entitled ’sunflower stories’. in short the sound of stars coaxed from their heavenly moorings, Guthrie’s exquisite artistry is such that it is instantly recognisable, the lulling orchestrations, the softly sugared gliding glazes and the swooning swathes of adoring aural arcs create an arresting and sedate backdrop, the timing, the textures and the overall tenderness are delicately stirred to craft a momentary safe haven from the madness and stresses brought to bear by the outside world, hermetically sealed – or so it would seem Guthrie’s angelic porcelain pirouettes navigate an astral line where the bruised and betrayed flow and cross weave the beguiled and the beautiful all the time the deftly spun discipline of Guthrie’s considered and intimate fret interplays engage and blur the divides that separate the forlorn and the romantic from the snow clipped elegance of the tail smoke stratospheric designs of ‘horse heaven’ to the shy eyed spectral shimmer show that is ‘petals’ perhaps only Jon Atwood nee Yellow6 is similarly blessed with that innate ability to lushly orchestrate moods and capture a given moment. And while the parting ’sunflower stories’ with its elegiac touches and trimming and its seductive unfurling may have you tear stained and breathlessly rooted to the spot in adoring awe for me personally ‘slightly out of focus’ offers that momentary glimpse of heaven with its sepia strobes, opining chime cased echoes and celestially caressed reverence all converging to weave a longing though lonesome heart string hanging introspective cast. Peerless.


The Loves ‘sweet sister delia’ EP (fortuna pop). It vexes me I must admit that the Loves aren’t huge globally in a pause the printing presses at the merest hint of new material seeing the light of day or the arrival of a new release way because for 10 years now they’ve despatched with a seeming casual ease a most envied back catalogue of beautifully blistered bubblegum pop whose hooks and melodic twists can compare without feeling foolish or in some way short of the mark to some of the most accomplished and readily identifiable architects of head turning ear candy from pop’s rich and lasting tapestry. Culled from last year’s ‘three’ set ‘sweet sister delia’ is a homage of sorts to long time friend Delia Sparrow – brimming with hip hugging honey crested 60’s scented motifs and subtly embracing to its undercarriage the distant though familiar under tug of Spencer Davis Group’s ’gimme some lovin’ albeit here found tightly wired into a speaker throbbing beat beast that freewheels with the kind of upfront pouting and purring slyly sassy sexiness that at one time you’d rightly expect records with the Dandy Warhols signature about their wares to come adorned with. The lazy eyed ’low’ is a rare and previously unreleased demo recording from 2001 – a softly off kilter countrified slice of woozy psych that to these ears sounds not unlike some erstwhile studio meeting between the Freed Unit and a youthful Of Arrowe Hill while rounding up the pack is ‘God save our souls’ – a sneak peak first outing for Simon Loves side project the Turkey’s – a gorgeously dizzy and lolloping porch crooning gem – a kind of bluegrass prairie howling version of the Travelling Willbury’s re-imagining Jagger taking lead of a troupe of journeymen whose line up may well include Dylan, the Band, Plastic Ono band – and that’s just for starters. Damn fine if you ask me.


Cut Iowa a Network ‘project gunship held {Ø,{Ø}}’ (champion version). Ready for some mind morphing melodic collages then may we suggest you train your radars in the general direction of Cut Iowa a Network. Released on Champion Version – the sister label of Eatsleeprepeat – you know the label – mysterious though admittedly tasty looking and arty / collectible press release calling cards – who to date have engaged us most admirably by way of releases from MachineFabriek and Eric Cheneaux – and who have promised shortly some forthcoming taste bearing discs featuring Expo 70 who should be no stranger to observers of these missives. Anyhow more of that nearer the time for now though to more pressing matters that aforementioned Cut Iowa a Network release.


Again as with the recently mentioned Spartak set via Low Point, ’project gunship held’ is awash with the layer upon layering of harmonic textures, though whereas the former was rooted in math / post rock accents and a loosely spontaneous gauzing, Cut Iowa a Network discipline themselves in the structuring of rigid time signatures whose rudimentary reference base is found in the motorik head spanking echelons of krautrock, the sounds – vibrant and propulsive push and pull as though fired by a galactic engine housing some hitherto dying sun. this 8 track behemoth – the second instalment of a planned trilogy finds the UK based trio securing and advancing with stealth their position as sonic alchemists drawing to themselves an ever growing fan base by virtue of releases for the much admired binnacle (‘junkyard transmissions’) and panic arrest.


Make no mistake ‘project gunship hold’ is a titanic odyssey – to be honest the best thing we‘ve had on our turntable since the Crystal Sun‘s ‘klandscape‘ set from a few years back via 12 Apostles, on one hand expansive and dream like t’other a brutal star crossed overdrive, its nods to the krautrock generals of old are not lost (especially the dream weaving collages of a more sedate and abstract Tangerine Dream) yet repeat listens have on more than one occasion warranted us to compare the sounds seething up through the grooves as being akin to a less shit faced Heavy Winged being cajoled by a more laid back godspeed with impish souls tarentel cranking up the dials and the Grails applying some nifty retro recalibrations. Don’t be fooled – in fact what am I saying – do be drawn by the lulling sculptured atmospherics of the opening ’halo antennas’ with its spacious dream weaving shimmer toned echoes and sprawling bliss driven lysergic afterglows or the playfully engaging and cloud parting ’horizon 78 dimension event’ – a gorgeously seductive sea faring reprise which manages to all at once cross weave the floaty elements of Discordia criminally overlooked ‘la luna Discordia’ full length, the woozy retro signatures of Adam Franklin’s alter ego Toshack Highway’s self titled debut and Ronald Binge’s ‘sailing by’. then there’s the cosmic drone interlude ‘we are super eight’ and the sedately brooding calm of ‘propulsion system left us for dead’ – the latter freewheeling in the same snoozing contours of a post storm eclipsed Roy Montgomery. Matters become more pronounced on the monolithic ‘beneath sound we shiver’ – the hypnotic locked grooves casting a curious trance like sub nine minute space cruising sound-scape which by its close leaves you feeling as though your heads been scrambled on a spin setting with the hot wash dial having being ratcheted up for good measure. All said its left to the parting ’altitude battle scar (arc light operations)’ to exact appropriate damage to your disc delivering device, in short a storm lashed skull splintering brew wherein our sonic tour guides twiddle the dials and rack up the engines to overload embarking on a voyage to the sun, a punishing and uncompromising heads down slab of grizzled galactic groove that veers just the right side of the oblivion overdrives often metered out by scouse space cadets Mugstar and which in terms of description we’ll happily settle for colossal. File under mind melting.


La Shark ‘a weapon’ (so darn so). Absolutely smitten by this. Could it be the quirky off centre funky licks a la Talking Heads, the skewif time signatures much awash at one time via releases bearing the name Pere Ubu, or is it the peculiar softly spangled psych oddness of Psychic TV, Bowie’s mid 70’s soul boy phase or the flawed genius of the Unicorns or maybe the crookedness of the Liars. So wonky and wiring ’a weapon’ may well prove to be the years best debut, the band the hottest thing on the London underground discounting the non existent air conditioning have already shared stage space with Good Shoes and the Maccabees. Obviously reared on the stereo strange brew of Captain Beefheart, ‘a weapon’ is one of those rare musical events where your left agape in its wake uttering the seldom versed ‘what the fuck was that’ – featuring crooning aplenty, lashings of strobe effected white funk sassiness and the most insidiously catchy coda this side of a Fall meets Tom Tom Club jamboree. Any questions – thought not. Flip side is equally dandy – just in case you were wondering – slick 60’s accents bleached and buried beneath an off kilter sonic suite comprised of shoe shuffling rumba motifs, harpsichord hued bachelor pad baroque signatures a la Stereo lab / Broadcast with a tasting of ‘steppin out’ era Joe Jackson for good measure. Ah still no questions – guess that means you’ll be buying the blighter then.


Being 747 ‘shake your backbone’ (wrath). Welcomed return to these pages for both Leeds based imprint Wrath and Being 747 as it happens in the shape of two cuts recently released from captivity bearing the early un-ripened fruits of a forthcoming rock opera of sorts entitled ’amoeba to zebra’ – a tribute of sorts celebrating the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s defining tome ’on the origin of species’. sounding as though it was hoodwinked from the creative sound table of a certain Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones ’shake your backbone’ is a sub three minute slice of sassy and classy hip wiggling shock therapy pop that manages to ingest into its slender groove lines a veritable feast of throw-backing glam wired 50’s rock n’ roll laced up with speaker blowing power pop surges and tickled by all manner of devilishly dinky goofiness cut finitely to a hyper driving strut laced chassis as though Viv Stanshall were heading up the Rocky Horror troupe. Flip le disc for the superior ’reigning reptiles’ – a post punk primed cutie nailed to the floor by an as tight as a gnats chuff scowling and chugging riff much reminiscent of the Scars as though having their heads messed by a collaborative wig flipping foray by Devo and a youthful Cud. Well tasty. – been a fair old while since we featured anything in these pages by quite possibly the coolest band in record land who just in case your sitting there on your own-some scratchin your arse trying to think who the hell we mean – well none other than those wig flipping of fried freak beat groove the Fuzztones. word from afar has had our trusted radars scrambling into frenzy with the news that the Fuzzed ones organ player Lana Loveland has stepped out from the shadows to release a debut solo platter via the ridiculously hip n’ trendy Spanish imprint Butterfly (perhaps now they’ll add us back to their mailing list eh?). Described by the Fuzz camp as a cross between the Doors, Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Seeds and the Music Machine this 7 inch salvo is primed as a taster for Ms Loveland’s forthcoming debut full length entitled ‘order to love‘. Alas we’ve only heard edits of these twin turn-ons via her my space page, both cuts written back in mid 90’s with Loveland’s first band Cox Orange have been polished and re-recorded, the originals salvaged rumour has it from a dusty 4 track practice tape. ‘missing illusions’ on initial listens is carved with a purring primitive psych pageantry that nods to the acid glazed hallucinogenic mirages one time the keystone to Jefferson Airplane’s sound though here sprinkled with the mind weaving montages of a youthful Curved Air. That said admirers of all things Pebbles, Nuggets and wigged out 60’s west coast vibes will be suitably satiated by the woozy lysergic Hammond kookiness of ’black glove’ wherein Ms Loveland concocts a delirious brew of honey tipped shimmer pop piped through with oodles of sassy psychotropic feline freakiness. Consider yourselves warned.


Mentioned Expo in passing a little while back – in essence the creative genius of Baltimore resident John Lane aided and abetted by like minded friends, we’ve just received a note from John to say his ’she sells seashells’ full length is out and about and destined to cause swooning fits among all who hear – for more info go to and while your about it check out this breathtaking Beach Boy like beauty for starters….




The Doomed Bird of Providence ‘S/T’ EP (Front and Follow). From the creaking curvatures of the forlorn string arrangements aligned to the archaically regal like swell and fall of the waltzing tempo, these four gravel grounded murder ballads haunt the night air like troubled apparitions in search of rest and salvation. Despite their minimalist upbringing there’s a sweeping majesty to their tavern tilted shanty scarred nature that all at once instils a sense of warmth and belonging on one hand and on the other grips tightly to portray the looming spectre of a shadowy underworld where death and deceit are the marked requisites of survival. Hailing from parts of London and Colchester, The Doomed Bird of Providence are a quartet who excel in the brooding, bruised and the blistered, as the press release so rightly notes equal measures of the Bad Seeds and the Pogues are poured into the mix with the side order flavouring of Black Heart Procession and vocals that sound not unlike a certain Robyn Hitchcock at times readily invested to accentuate the wheezing Brecht / Weill regales, beneath this tales of old Australia tremble forth recounting tales of death rattling dark deeds, treachery and torment. yet beneath the consuming swirl of these oppressing overtures to the doomed and damned a beauty albeit flawed, fractured and fatal permeates – best exemplified on ’Dorothy Handland’ – cultured with such a quietly epic grandeur this aching ballad is braided with a crude and crippled blackened imagery whose mood is summarily lifted by the gust swept throes of weeping Nyman-esque strings and the solemn countenance of a classic wide screen Morricone detailing. And then just when your drained and sucked dry of emotion along comes the fog bound funereal finality of ’bells in the dead of night’ to rest and arrest you, tempered with lolloping banjos and snoozing orchestrations a grimly macabre reverie is threaded that’s both lilting and love laboured though soured by a bleakly betrayed burden. An album looms in the distance for release later in the year.


Phoenix ‘1901’ (v2). Apparently this lot have been the cause of heart flutters and swooning moments among the nations young folk or so we’ve been led to believe, to be honest it’s the first time we’ve encountered the blighters – how did that happen I hear you cry. Anyhow pressed up on purple red wax and pulled from their full length which we understand goes by the title ‘wolfgang Amadeus phoenix’ – ‘1901’ is one of those thrill pop moments that manages to harness into its finite grooves all the box ticking traits of a would be slice of feel good ear candy transistor tinkering tastiness. bleached with an effervescent radiance and a purring pop perfection its beautifully braided by tingling shocks of cosmic buzz pop – ’1901’ swirls, swerves and soars amid airless stratospheric divides sweetly pouting and delicately dishing out love tipped servings of space dust – well it does it for us. Flip the disc to find the same cut stripped to the bone and recalibrated by the Memory Tapes who I must admit bring to the party something of a hollowing celestial gracefulness by rendering it within a deliciously spectral and dare we say joyously embracing fanfare type thing. Those of you who hook up to the 12 inch version also get the added bonus of said cut being re-serviced by the Animal Collective – alas we’ll have to nail that one for ourselves on a later record purchase foray. – buggering hell this is good, one for the shaded psyche minded folk among you, hailing from East Kilbride / Glasgow and centred around the core talents of brothers John Paul and Gary Hughes, Helicon have been seducing locals with their hazily glazed trip wired transcendental tunes for nigh on two years now, currently unsigned (yea we had to doubler take that one) they’ve slipped out the odd EP or two which have returned words of praise from all who’ve had the great fortune to hear. And to that there should be no surprise for Helicon appear to be astral alchemists brewing an engaging soft psych pop potion whose sedate and clearly blissfully smoked instruction appears to be at a spiritual one with the likes of the Black Angels (see ‘truth or consequence‘), Cheval Sombre, Sunray (especially on ‘requiem’) and the Wooden Shjips. Here you’ll find the mind expanding chill down of the hazily undulating ’panic, everything is ok’ – a kind of hymnal Velveteen dream coat weaved by a clearly stoned and out of it JMC found re-wiring an astral axis once traversed by Galaxie 500. Both Spaceman 3 and Brian Jones Town Massacre are recalled on the mystical fringe parting 10 minute ’the point between heaven and hell’ itself finding our intrepid space cadets seemingly awash in a hypnotic embrace of arabesque mirages, all glassy psych apertures, lysergic lilts, fuzzed out reverbs and desert dragged drone montages which mid way through without warning unfurl to get their shit together for a spot of jangling comatose chime groove which in all honesty wouldn’t look to far out of place on a Rose of Avalanche platter. All said though its their near cataclysmic reworking of Neu’s ‘hallogallo’ that had us yanked up by the ears, freewheeling in territories not so dissimilar to Mugstar especially when it rears full tilt into animated kraut grooved glory, this mind melting odyssey trips into areas once occupied by Tank at one time, both exotic and intense, a veritable hallucinogenic floor show veering between the meditative and the mind blowing. Ones to watch no doubt. – just one track posted so far with the promise (or is that threat) of more to come and what a cutie it is too, the work of prickly pop pups Rabbit Years – a trio who hail rather mysteriously from somewhere in the United Kingdom over on the East side of the map. Gorgeously ramshackle and oozing with a DIY mentality ’crossword’ is a deliciously skewed slice of shouty, strummy, scrumptious indie punk pop featuring two boys one girl – the boys no doubt wanting to be the Wedding Present as done in a Stump type stylee with added Popticians overtones and the girl – who just for arguments sake we’ll call Kayleigh – because that’s her name – wanting something a little more Shop Assistants by design. Anyhow its feisty and fun stuff and the type of thing that would happily find a loving home on the Cherryade, filthy little angels and NRONE imprints which kis just as well as they count the latter labels lovelies Violet Violet as friends though strangely sound more like the Kabeedies which as you all know is no bad thing…….


And just in case you’ve forgotten what the kabeedies sound like – you hapless fools – here’s a wee video type thing of them….




And many thanks to Transgressive for sharing this link of Gaggle – whose debut single we mentioned to much deserving fanfare a wee while back – a recording of the troupe taken from their appearance at the St Giles in the Field Church…just go to


Anonymous Tip ‘the weirder brave’ (triumphant sound). Are you sure this is the first time we’ve featured Anonymous Tip in these pages (Ed), seems so – hard to imagine they’ve been around since 2002 and somehow escaped our radar. Anyway enough grumbling – with a second album looming large on the horizon entitled ’snitches and stitches’ the attending press release makes mention of the bands first EP having been released on Snuff’s 10 past 10 imprint, such connections aren’t lost on us for when we first gave this pre-release teaser (incidentally their lead out single – ’the weirder brave’) its initial spin at – I hasten to add – volume pitched full tilt it was Snuff’s ‘Snuff Said’ full length that we went scampering for comparison. Of course how could we fail to miss the Ruts / Malcolm Owen riff rumbles and vocal urgency spliced as were by a youthful Leatherface c. ‘razorblades and aspirin’ – in short the resulting brew is a sinew seizing 3.27 slab of grizzled punk metal carnage of the highest order, a hulking juggernaut careering at speed tearing up the tar with its duelling vocals and defence busting armoury of serrating fuzz torn riffs. Toxic stuff – absolutely recommended. Any questions. – been a while since we featured anything noisy with which to terrorise you with and so its off to Buenos Aires for that’s where playing with nuns hail. Now we don’t mind admitting that it was the sight of a naughty looking damsel dressed as a nun that in part caught our wandering eye, add to that the name of the band – playing with nuns and you could forgive us for thinking that what lay in waiting hooked up to the my space player was some sassy and salacious feline groove. Not so. Mind you we ought to qualify that b y asking whether or not noise can be considered as sexy. Not forgetting the old adage – beauty is in the eye of the beholder I dare say that the same maxim could be (and is) applied to sound otherwise we’d all be tuned into some tediously vacuous karaoke cabaret of the type that suffocates prime time TV and wrestles for column inches in ink rags masquerading as newspapers and publications of interest. Anyway enough of that – alas you won’t be too surprised when you hear us say that we know bugger all about this lot – if that is they are a lot – or perhaps they are merely a he or a she – who knows. What we do know is that there’s been a hive of activity on the release front – in fact some 30 odd releases most of them sold out sadly and most appearing via the 7579r imprint (with news that they’ve / he’s / she’s just signed deals with the al Hadiid and Cubiculo Noise imprints). Self describing the sounds within as ’a mix of ambient, dark, noise, field recordings, sex, beats and any kind of shit’ playing with nuns explore the kind of sonic micro-verses found looming large on labels such as scotch tapes and love torture, aural manipulations are the order of the day as these cuts found looming ominously large on their player do attest, these subterranean broadcasts charter into sonic regions undiscovered and as yet unmapped by populist consensus, the aptly titled ’without decorative stuff’ is foreboding and deeply eerie stuff – as its title suggests free and undeterred by gimmick, instead it’s a lengthy and abstract voyage into pure manipulation, scrambled insectoid transmissions, low density shards of white noise pushed to melting point seemingly sand blasted along the way. ’mandragora autumnalis’ if anything is a little more playful in design its scarring dronal hums lightened briefly by the unexpected albeit abrupt arrival of some clockwork chimes. Elsewhere ’amorphous dream’ we assume a field recorded exercise from some rollercoaster associated fairground ride is warped and worked into a nightmarish hell bound orgasmic collage while ‘from the glory transmition’ sounds like the innards of a magnified wind tunnel with accompanying Geiger counter, test tubes and Bunsen burning apparatus for company – look don’t ask us. And just to confuse matters somewhat there are two cuts entitled ‘untitled’ – the first pulled from ‘killing vinyl’ an doom drilled slab of apocalyptic gruel fired by the bleak and unswerving lull of a gruesome dystopian industrial hum which should appeal in the first instance to fans of both Shift and 7p0 Gwen Party while the latter ripped from (we assume) ‘the horse surgery’ set being a macabre mantra of sorts that playfully toys with minimalist glee the more mind erasing moments of Add N to X’s ’add insult to injury’ full length. Rest assured this will not be the last time this lot will feature here in these pages – begging letters for releases are already in the mail.


We here are still pinching ourselves silly at the prospect of a second album currently spending time being ironed out on the Shady Bard work bench. After what seems like a lifetime the collective are about to emerge from hibernation and embark on a short tour which all things being well will neatly lead into the release of a new single ‘trials (part III)’ – if like me and busting to hear something new then as a treat the band have posted a brand new cut from the album sessions entitled ‘(the boy who cried) volcano!’ – described in passing as part of a suite (to feature on the album) recounting a tale of a village ravaged by fire. A sweetly souring bruised beauty that‘s countered by a see-sawing sugar rushed cantering piano motif over which Lawrence’s mournfully hollowing tonalities find themselves soothed and softened by the ghostly underpin of Jasmin’s tender tear stained harness which itself soon dissipates midway through to quietly trail out strangely seductive though conscience pricked head bowed, regretful and reflective – its numbing though drawn with the trademark feint folk detailing to which we’ve breathlessly been beguiled on platters past. Sheer class.

missive 259g


Singled Out

Missive 259g


Archive 7


SFX ‘Horror’ – okay a slight detour for a change but we did eye this special SFX magazine spying at us in our local newsagents – agreed it’s a little on the pricy side and comes sheaved in one of those humungous card envelope type things wherein you’ll find a massive double sided poster replicating the billboard hoardings for Halloween and the Thing, three novelty beer mats and two button badges along with a highly readable 132 page magazine. Inside a positive smorgasbord of sinister delights await you dear haunted heart which aside the obligatory top 20 horror villains which incidentally has Freddy Krueger heading up the infamous cast – a feat that’s marked by an exclusive interview with the man behind the pizza mask Robert Englund. Fans of video nasties are treated to a list to end all lists of the 74 most goriest releases to fall foul of the DPP’s video witch-hunt with ’75’s ’expose’ gaining Russell Lewin’s vote ahead of seasoned favourites ’the evil dead’, ’the last house on the left’ and ’tenebrae’. elsewhere there’s a feature on an oft forgotten 70’s bookshelf fixture (is it just me or did everyone have a copy of the twelfth one loitering somewhere in the shadows) – ’the pan book of horror stories’ which aside detailing the background of these near iconic pulp chillers also gives news of a new 500 page tome celebrating this much maligned and overlooked publication entitled ’back from the dead – the legacy of the pan book of horror’. inside it promises 16 new stories along with 5 classic reprints along with a detailed biography on its original editor Herbert Van Thal.- and from books to comics or more precisely a brief guided history into the horror comic much loved by me personally as an impressionable child especially anything relating to Vampires – the gorier the better though at times the ones we managed to procure from the older boys did seem a little shall we say – artistically explicit in their portrayals – as said all things Famous Monsters from Filmland, Marvel, EC, DC and beyond are swiftly covered. Now from a person note of interest I was never really aware of a becoming cult Spanish horror scene – for me I was always a sucker for Italian cheap budget zombie flicks – though having now read Calum Waddell’s insightful article I shall be spending the rest of the night frantically nailing as many as possible for future viewing via eBay. You want more – then hook up to the little known blaxploitation horror scene of the early 70’s (hello eBay) for the likes of ’blacula’ which I swear I’ve seen at some point or other along with its add on instalments, dr black and mr hyde, blacken stein and sugar hill while for those of you admiring of good old fashioned gothic horror flicks – there’s a feature on the silent horror films sadly lost forever – including the first celluloid appearances of Frankenstein and the wolf man – through decay and poor storage and the lost edits of films re-cut for the day’s populace suitability (spider scene from king kong, the vampire bats from tarzan and the fabled castration scene from the freaks to name just three) and more recently the wiped tv serials such as the trollenberg terror, the haunted and out of the unknown are all rekindled and regaled though alas not repatriated for viewing delight. And just to round things off an extensive feature on Carpenrter’s reworked the thing which did you know was a critical box office flop on its release only to attain cult status and beyond courtesy of the video – be buggered if I knew that myself. And talking of remakes – the crazies – what’s the point I ask?


Hancock’s Half Hour – it was by sheer accident that we stumbled across two CD releases featuring 4 recently recovered ’lost Hancock’ shows – two audio recordings of his TV show and two rare finds from his legendary radio broadcasts. Part of the BBC’s on going amnesty on home bootleggers the cassettes were received by the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society. Like many shows transmitted in the 50’s and 60’s the legacy of Hancock’s Half Hour has probably been the most famous (aside Dr Who) to have suffered at the hands of the corporations ‘wiping’ campaign. Of the 101 broadcasted radio shows stretching 6 series from 1954 to 1959 – 28 episodes are still missing including several featuring Harry Seacombe taking up the lead role when Hancock went missing. Fairing slightly worse are the treasured TV shows – to date all of the first series is currently AWOL as well as the second bar one episode while both the third and fourth – txd in ‘58 and ‘59 – are only partially complete. Accompanied by Sid James, Hattie Jacques, Bill Kerr and a youthful pre ‘Carry On’ / ‘round the Horne’ Kenneth Williams the Hancock radio broadcasts were landmarks of British recordings, so successful and avidly listened to its rumoured that public houses would revise their opening times to fit around the shows broadcast. In writers Galton and Simpson, Hancock was equipped with writers whose finger was on the pulse of the events of the day and who weren’t afraid to lampoon the stars and films of the day, in fact one of the ’missing’ episodes ’the wrong man’ is a spoof of the Hitchcock film of the same name. In fact BBC7 aired over the recent Easter bank holiday weekend the specially recorded live take of the famous ’blood donor’ episode (commissioned by Pye for audio release at the time) wherein Hancock is heard to remark of a fellow patients blood ‘give it to Cliff Richard – that’ll slow him down’ (the show can still be heard via the BBC iplayer at ). As to the four episodes, the quality is as you’d imagine from basic home recordings ranges from poor to good, both ‘the wrong man’ an d ‘the flight of the red shadow’ date from 1959’s fourth TV series and find – respectively – the lad on the run from unpaid cast members of his East Cheam Repertory Company along the way being mistaken for a rich oil sheikh – the latter – as previously noted – a twist on Hitchcock’s ’the wrong man’ wherein in Sid and Tone volunteer to appear in a police parade only for Hancock to be identified as the culprit of a robbery. The other CD features two lost radio shows ’the diet’ from the third series and originally aired in 1955 sees Hancock vying for a lucrative film role and having to lose weight all the time unbeknownst to him Bill has been offered the part and has to put on weight. Best of the set though is ’Sid’s Dad’ – much to Hancock’s disbelief Sid has a Dad, the only problem being that Mr James Snr (played exquisitely by Williams) has been led to believe that Sid’s frequent appearances in court are because he’s the country’s leading judge and not the local constabulary’s most wanted and that his frequent terms of imprisonment are in fact holidays to get over the trials and tribulations of lengthy court hearing..


A full and un-revised list can be found at


Here’s the man himself……




Angry Vs. the bear ‘show emotion’ (all sorted). Something of a temperature tilting turn on is this debut from Essex based quartet Angry Vs. the bear. Having already secured prestigious support slots with the likes of current flavours of the month Florence and the Machine and the Dirty Pretty Things as well as wowing audiences across the pond courtesy of their tongue wagging appearance at Texas’ landmark SXSW festival they’ve managed to engage the services of in demand producer Simon Gogerly to polish and perfect their sound onto wax. The result a soaring slice of overtly primed populace friendly radio rattling electro funk grooved sultriness that’s arrested by a seductive floor throbbing light show fusion of ’heart of glass’ and ’I feel love’ motifs draped with a demurring daintiness by an uber chilled glacial peppering of early Eurythmics like sophistication and braided by an amour allure of euro disko cosmic swirls. Next please. More of the same over on the flip for the pulse racing thrill drill of ’mystery girl’ – at best this time cradled in an unmistakable 80’s wrap and crafted in the kind of melodic skin much admired by the disposable pop loving MTV generation at worst veering ever so worryingly into Gwen Stefani spheres which depending on your chosen listening slant is either one mans idea of heaven and another’s a fortnight’s all inclusive holidaying in the bowels of hell.


Harold Nono / Hidekazu Wakabayashi ‘s/t’ (bear suit). Apologies to all concerned – seems we’ve had this little cutie for a week or two, its been staring at us forlorn and unloved like a lost puppy chirping to life each and every time we’ve had occasion to walk within spitting distance of it. For our sins we only got around to actually hearing the bugger today or tonight more precisely – and may I say its in the stillness and relax calm afforded by an evening glow that this uniquely beautiful collaboration comes into its own fort you feel that were this to be played to the hectic backdrop of passing traffic, holidaying children and other such invaders to peace and quiet – that it may fearfully wilt, wither and withdraw to the shadows. Released via those nice people over at Bearsuit who in recent times have puzzled, perplexed and playfully messed with our heads courtesy of releases by the likes of kiramiki, whiz kid and anata wa sukkari tsukarete shimai. And now for the pairing of the year – perhaps – that is if you decide not to count d_rradio’s smooching up to Lianne Hall (more about that at some point later), both should be no strangers to fans of Bearsuit indeed the two appeared on last years critically acclaimed ‘captain woof woof’s guitar’ compilation. Positioned at opposing ends of the musical spectrum Nono having cut his teeth in the indie punk pop combos Pep Boys and Idiot Half Brother and Wakabayashi informed of a more classical jazz musical culturing, this collaboration has been it seems on the back boiler for some two years or so now, an exchanging of admiring words of fondness for each others work across the my space network led to the hatching of a paired enterprise, sound files where passed to and forth and from skeletal beginnings a creative blossoming was hatched – the result – this rather genteel and divinely intoxicating eleven track suite. Slender in detail and frost bound in design, its hard to get passed the well oiled description – disarming. Yet disarming is what this venture is, romantic and lulling, each party complimenting the other perfectly to blend an absorbing and sedate fusion of atmospheric airiness. The twinkle some cosmic caress of the snoozing ‘nobody plays baseball here’ opens the proceedings setting into motion a hermetically sealed tapestry that purrs and tugs with an elegant wistfulness, reference points are many elements of Roy Budd (especially on the graceful ‘I’ve heard giants’) and Charles Atlas frequently filter in and out of the grooves like apparitions as do nods to Isan’s ‘digitalis’, l’augmentation / pram (a la the lounge like ’scobies roundie’ – trunk record admirers be on alert) and early career Landshipping especially on the Cornelius styled ornate chime chill pop of ‘teenage desk’ with its lilting lullaby strokes and cooing baby chuckles. Elsewhere those trying to imagine what an ice bound and lazy eyed Komeda might sound like will do well to navigate your way post haste to the lovelorn ’family’ (and ‘a shout away’ while your at it) wrapped as it is in dream drifting orbs of yawning and wheezing mirages. Whilst not always obvious to the ear throughout the ambient fabric there’s a distant oriental flavouring intoxicating the mix – none more so does this rear its head than on both ’I wanted to go to the party’ and ’akarui akari’ the former dinkily decorated as though some playfully thoughtful backdrop to some 70’s styled tv show a la ’Vision On’ the latter a gorgeously conceived and tenderly spectral glaze of deftly delivered library pop. Then there’s the glassy bowed drones found on ’let’s go find mushrooms’ which without warning softly unfurls into a teasingly impish slice of woozy psych pop replete with kooky 60’s sunshine spoked west coast intones. Which leaves just enough time to mention the stately noir sweetness of the tear stained and parting ’wild blue yonder’ with its spectral celestial chorus’ and the nuzzling nocturnal glow of ‘ya chaika’ with its softly pillowed piano braids. Faultless.


Dozelimit ‘discover / the entering’ (raig). Caught an ear load of this while rooting around the web – I know I know – I hear what your saying about clearing the great CD mountain – the one which in fact has us kind of land locked in our gaff at present – but hey I’m a sucker for finding things that I don’t have. Absolutely no information on these dudes – we know there’s two of them – preferring g to call themselves 01 and 02 – oh yea and they hail from Omsk and have to date released one full length entitled ‘constructions of the highest architecture’ and this free to download which if is anything to judge by have them fully fluent in the crafting of sound-scapes that would easily grace any psyche / noise / ambient / space pop imprint you’d care to mention. Two tracks then – ’discover’ and ’the entering’ – the former a mere slip of a track edging the ticker tape at just 3.36 the latter a humungous sub 14 minute trip wired odyssey and described by their label and thus ’The duo produces explorations in heaviest guitar feedback drone and noise with large black, doom and sludge metal influences; and draws inspiration for their dark and contemplative music from various sources, including the concepts of cosmism, determinism and global collapse‘. now we here are all in favour of your occasional spots of black drone sludge metal doing its stuff on the hi-fi yet on this time of asking I fear we may have missed something for far from being doomy and dark these two cuts are – shall we say psychedelically enhanced ’the entering’ in particular sounds for the best part like some sort of cosmic voyage piloted by Stars of the Lid under the stewardship of Kawabata Makoto, an effects pedal laden cosmic juggernaut replete with dronal tides and in whose company has the unnerving knack of making you feel as though your being dragged backwards through a sonic sand storm suffering acid flashbacks whilst fastened to the under carriage of a leviathan like space cruiser, its fried stuff both entrancing and transcendental in design and riddled by wave upon wave of honed and toned mind melting white noise skrees. The previously mentioned ’discover’ is no slouch either – festooned with looping reverbs, ether plucked celestial chorus’ and rooted with a dreamlike oceanic serenity there’s an almost solemn though reverential mournfulness about its wares which in part should no doubt be of particular interest to admirers of Roy Montgomery. For the link to the EP download and more information go to


And here’s a video of them…..



Dozelimit on ‘Kvadratnij Mir – 2’


Dozelimit | MySpace Music Videos


Jarmean? ‘bad penny’ (self released). Certainly one of the most memorable and innovative releases we had the pleasure of hearing last year was the debut outing by London screwballs jarmean? ‘mind the gap’ proved to be a furiously addictive fringe flicking feast of punk jazz music hall hullabaloo that simply had us cooing in fond admiration while simultaneously being electro shocked into reaching for the hi-fi remote to frantically push the repeat button on the player. Several months down the line and with the band having been holed up putting the finishing touches to their debut full length – tentatively titled ‘the bad penny opera’ (which should be gracing both record counters and home loving players any day soon) the London town rapscallions take up tankards offer good cheer and parade their vintage Victoriana verve by way of the pre-teaser cut ‘bad penny. sitting somewhere between the Cesarians and Paul Hawkins and thee awkward silences (an new album from whom – or more precisely their label Jezus Factory – I’m sure we have about our person – hang on will check and get back to you on that one) jarmean? exist or so it seems in a parallel space rooted into the subterranean terrains of a smog bound olde London town festooned with narrowed cobbled archways whose shadows whisper of death and decay and where in the illuminated glow of creaking taverns the night’s dark and fearful dread is left at the door to be replaced by a moments merriment and jollity, ’bad penny’ is a glorious strike a match light the fuse and scamper for cover fusion of frenetic toe tapping groove that embraces to its considerable far reaching canvas a mercurial blending and bending of rousing rag time and skat jazz motifs trip wired by a contagious cortege of music hall fanfare set to skewed time signatures awash with twists and hooks aplenty that’s all at once unstoppable, unforgettable and above all incurably infectious. Just buy the blighter and see if I’m wrong – go on dare you.



And talking of Paul Hawkins and Thee Awkward Silences – a video to accompany the 50 only cd release of……(blimey better nail a copy for myself – as to the album – still looking for it)…




Vibravoid ‘what colour is pink’ (fruits de mer). We do love the occasional veiled threat of harm about our personage such candid notes expressing ill intentions are immediately tossed in the trash can emblazoned in florescent marker pen with – depending how the mood takes us – daubs of sprinkly glitter for decoration in letters one foot high spelling out ‘tosspot’. later in the day we chuckle and sometimes if we’re feeling particularly devilish we psychically message the local government sponsored coven and have them fashion a doll in the perpetrators likeness so that in our wiling hours we can throw darts at it. And so this morn approximately 10.37am if your taking notes, the postman ventured up path (I should say at this juncture that it was overcast the first signs of drizzle had begun to fall – nothing like a little scene setting) and posted the days listening treats. The envelope we eyed was a familiar one, from across the pond, far far away posted from the new country – quickly x-raying it for signs of blank cheques or lose cash – damn blast there was none – another day touting the big issue for us we thought we proceeded eagerly to open said packet, inside a promo CD no doubt containing cuts so wigged out that the minds of mere mortals might melt if marvelled in one sitting. And then – shock horror. A pink post it note. Upon it the words ’review these…..or else!’ or else what we thought – perhaps we’d go to the musical dark side and start ogling pop idol or whatever the hell the nonsense is called, perhaps hair would grow from my head rather than the back of neck like a mane, perhaps the sun would venture out for a rare guest appearance or perhaps I’d spontaneous combust on the spot and in the place where was I a little orchid would rise from the ashes. We waited. And waited. Waited. Three cups of coffee later. And still nothing. We were heartily disappointed – incidentally it was still overcast only more so. The rain in case you were wondering had subsided – it lay in wait for me later in the day when venturing out for tabs. The lesson that needs to be learnt here is don’t send threatening notes – remember – doll type thing for darts practice or really painful and tedious reviews – your choice.


Where were we – ah yes the CD, nearly forgotten – blimey is that the time – Lordy I’ve grown a beard. Another brace of essential ear gear from those flowery fried souls over at Fruits de Mer, the first a stunning 11 track compilation entitled ‘a phase we’re going through’ featuring a lysergic gathering of wig flipping souls covering a positive cornucopia of dream weaved gems from the 60’s among the invited casts to the pysurreal party old favourites Geese, the Chemistry Set and Cranium Pie along with a host of practicing patrons of the out there and wired groove such as the Marshmallow Staircase, the Luck of Eden Hall and Zombies of the Stratosphere to name just three – more of this a little later. More pressing is the arrival of a new three track platter from psyche overlords Vibravoid. Of course no stranger to these pages having made fleeting appearances in the past the last being that rather spiffing ’krautrock sensation’ via the same label – a release (and limited repress) which according to the FdM folk both sold out in double quick time. With the prospect of a guaranteed cash cow and mindful of the old adage to do with staring out gift horses or something such, they’ve re-enlisted the services of Dusseldorf’s finest to see if they can repeat the stunt. Pressed up on limited quantities of pink wax, housed in a pink sleeve and entitled ’what colour is pink’ (do you detect a theme emerging here) this trip wired trio of tracks sees Vibravoid set their cosmic sights for all things Floyd. A smoking set indeed the object of their fringe flicking fancy being Floyd’s ‘a saucer of secrets’ set – a landmark album and key turning point in the Floyd legacy as this marked the cruel end of the Barrett era and the installing of a new order. ‘set the controls for the heart of the sun’, ‘let there be more light’ and ’a saucer of secrets’ – all three donned in shades come accompanied with their own swirly shape cutting light show donned with shades are given a faithful rewire hell its as though these dudes have about their person a time travelling magic bus, the former totally wigged out and cast amid oodles of swirling organs is so blissed and far out that its gone, guaranteed to get you high just by being in its company. Their take on the cosmic jam that is ‘a saucer of secrets’ is afforded a mind blowing spectacle, all at once reverential, spacey and trippy as hell and still sounding like a hitherto celestial opus marking the engagement of some star searching voyage. Yet all said it’s the treatment of ‘let there be light’ which had us gagging for more, pardon the vernacular but the dog’s bollocks is the only way to describe it, it’s a track that has among the Floyd community over the years caused something of a critical divide – that said Vibravoid nail it perfectly bringing its hum drum lethargy and momentary flashes of mind melting English psych eccentricity into full fried focus, the repetitive looped bass lines casting a hypnotic lull pierced by astral planing hallucinogenic motifs all serving to accentuate a bad trip vibe. Does it for us. Goes without saying you need this in your life and record collection.


The band also have a CD / DVD out at the moment – ’triptamine’ – the CD gathers together specially selected prime cuts of head swirling psyche pop from an assortment of long out of print EP’s while the DVD has a complete live performance specially recorded and transmitted by German TV along with some live footage from Athens and Helsinki. We’ll try and nail a copy for future review.


Classic Rock presents Prog – Feb / March ‘10 – because we are slackers we have two issues to mention of this most excellent of tomes, think you know the drill by now, housed in one of those humungous card envelopes inside of which you’ll find a CD with specially selected cuts with which to soundtrack your reading delights plus a magazine so well written, authoritative and gushing with such love of the subject matter that you feel obliged to take their word as gospel and purchase said platters – by jiminy I should know blighters have nearly had me stocking up on Yes albums before now – oh and it’s a little on the pricey side though not as pricey as the publications related Slash special which should be landing at newsagents any day soon and features Slash’s debut full length a full month before its official release, also included are a massive poster and patches set along with a Mick Wall edited 132 page magazine no doubt telling in print all you need to know about the ex Guns n’ Roses axe man. Any way back to Prog – current issue has Peter Gabriel beaming ominously from the cover inside there’s a lengthy chat with the ex Genesis bod in addition to an invited cast paying tribute in print while elsewhere his record sleeves are subjected to the critical eye of ’art for art’s sake’. Heather Findlay ex of Mostly Autumn is hoisted against a wall a forced to tell all while Astra chew the fat just ahead of their Scala appearance with Diagonal and Litmus – an event which should you decide to attend and happen to be part of the first 300 through the door then an uber limited split 7 inch featuring Astra on one side and Diagonal on the other will be pressed into your palm gratis courtesy of those kind souls over at Rise Above. Meisterworks centres its attentions on re-evaluating Camel’s ’moonmadness’ while there’s a brief focus on Dutch prog from the early 70’s – Focus, Supersister and Earth and Fire all attaining equal star billing. You want more eh – well there’s a host of interviews with the likes of Solstice, trans Siberian orchestra, Twelfth Night and No Man while Sky’s impertinent brush with chart success a la ’toccata’ is examined with Medicine head’s oft overlooked ’dark side of the moon’ is dusted down and given the once over by the Vault Age engineers. February’s edition goes Muse mad – ha ha that had you going – nah just messing with your head – instead this issues focus is on the concepts, the creators and the artists who’ve graced some of the most lavish looking platters over the last 30 or 40 years – so that you have art guru Jasper Goodall summarily beckoned to the prog offices to give account of his work with the Muse-y ones while art for art’s sake takes a gander at the cover work adorning platters by Dream Theater. Floyd’s key image visionary Storm Thorgerson is collared by the Mavericks team, Curved Air’s ’Air Conditioning’ – the first rock picture disc is evaluated at length, while Jethro Tull’s defining ’Thick as a brick’ or rather more the elaborative false pre history piss take that they sought to unleash on the prog rock populace is discussed in detail while talking of concept albums (okay loosely in Jethro’s case) Dave Greenslade’s exhaustive ’the Pentateuch of the cosmogony’ artwork, imagery and all is thirty years after its original release taken to task by its author and creator plus an extensive 8 page art assessment of Marillion to navigate through. Elsewhere in this issue Iceland comes under the prog radar with usual suspects Sugarcubes and Sigur Ros hauled in for inclusion and some notable nods to trubrot and eik. And there’s more besides – Todd Rundgren, Rob Reed, yak and Ultravox.


As to the CD’s each going under the name ‘prognosis’ – among ‘#7’s selected treats there’s Mandalaband parading ’eden’ a mystical floral folk folly grounded in a centuries old timelessness, beguiling and bewitching – a disarming pageantry of flutes, arabesque charms and monastic heraldry that all at once curiously manages to touch base with Circulus, Sisters of Mercy and the Zep though scratch beneath the trip wiring woodland tapestry and you’ll find a kindred spirit of those wonky wizards of the weird the Soft Hearted Scientists. Hailing from St Albans (home of the Scratch – whose new – well old – but repressed – limited slab of tastiness will feature further along) Touchstone are a kind of storm lashed Curved Air wrapped in tender temptation and a scorning tempest of pulse pumping rock dramatics. Fancy something a little whacked and screwball then Elephant 9’s seriously goofy ’hardcore orientale’ may well tempt you away from your prized Ozrics platters, hailing from Norway these three dudes are currently hovering about on the most self respected radars at present – a furious freeform fusion of psych prog jazz cross wiring elements of VdGG, Brand X and Supersister in to a molten brew of skewed time signatures and wig lifting kookiness. Maybe its just me but is there something of Rush about Karnataka’s ’the serpent and the sea’ albeit as though fused with All About Eve – perhaps it is just me then. Ah well while rounding off things quite sedately is ‘angelus‘ by Manir Donahue – a bit of a cosmic voyaging treat and by our reckoning something of a must hear moment for admirers of Vangelis and perhaps Sigur Ros now I come to think of it. Scarcely had the time to hear ’prognosis #6’ in its entirety but don’t let that deter the potential listening pleasure to be had from it – that said we’ve at least eyed Steven Wilson’s ’harmony korine’ culled from his ’insurgentes’ set from last year, other notable attractions Lime Shark’s grizzled grinder ’not quite Nashville’, the excellent named the brimstone solar radiation band and their honey tipped west coast toned 60’s folk rushes within ’strings to the bow’ and lest we forget to mention Jupiter Society’s undulating silken overtures on the near cataclysmic epic ’rescue and resurrection’.


Elvis Presley ‘off duty’ (Memphis recording service). From the same archive service that brought those excellent ‘beginning of Elvis’ and ‘the rise of Elvis’ packages each coming replete with an abundance of rare recordings, a hefty tome featuring many unpublished photographs backed with detailed research as to the King’s early career recording sessions rounded off by replica Sun 7 inch cut from the original stamper for ’its alright mama’ and ’mystery train’ – the label now turns its gaze to Presley in the service. Marking the 50th anniversary of his completion of service, this hardback 100 page book is an Elvis fans treasure trove that features page after page of rare previously unseen photographs documenting Presley’s two year conscription to the services all accompanied by informative snippets of interest. Not as lavish and handsome as the two aforementioned sets though a worthwhile addition to your collection if you’ve shelled out on the four or five sets that has pre dated this. As an added bonus – though strictly for completists there’s An hour long 35 track CD that includes the master recordings of the only four original Nashville recordings that Presley committed to tape during his service along with two complete private home recordings – one taken from Eddie Fadal’s home and recorded in May ’58 the other at Presley’s digs in Bad Nauhelm from the Summer of ‘59. The former has Elvis in relaxed mood and features on two cuts Anita Wood with Elvis on the piano for two tries of ‘who‘s sorry now‘ – it’s a kick about collection of varying quality ’sail along silvery moon’ and ‘just a closer walk with thee’ are passable, there’s Elvis adding in vocal doo wop bass tones to ‘tumbling tumbleweeds’ and basically being up for a spot of tomfoolery crooning his way through a host of records playing in the background. The Ad Nauhelm recordings are little more together – a slow version of ’I’ll take you home again Kathleen’, a stab at ’que sera sera’ which explodes impromptu into a wildly ragged take of ’hound dog’ and a rousing though seriously lo-fi shot of ’the titles will tell’ – written by Charles Underwood it was originally recorded by the late Barbara Pittman for Sun (a version of which we’d love to hear) yet by all accounts never saw the light of day until the early part of this decade. And that’s your lot.


The Hornblower Brothers ‘give and receivers’ (static caravan). We must admit to having absolutely bugger all info on this lot other than to say they hail from Brighton, number 5 in the ranks and have previously availed themselves of a recently sold out EP entitled ‘adventures in the national geographic’. so there. Probably ridiculously limited and no doubt destined to follow its predecessor lead into creating some mild fuss on inflated auction sites – for their second offering two treats are up for grabs – incidentally pressed up on 7 inches of black wax with the hallowed Static Caravan seal of approval tattooed to its hide. Something of style shift for the Static brothers for we weren’t expecting the sudden embrace of effervescently feel good indie guitar fanfares to come piping out at gusto from our puzzled speakers, ’give and receivers’ is just the type of thing that the late John Peel would have championed and no doubt played somewhere at the tail end of one of his late night broadcast shifts one suspects not only out of fondness but to shake you from your slumber following the playing of some uber rare though tediously torturous 10 minute slab of twitchy transcendental tomfoolery from somewhere with an intelligible postal address by persons unknown with a name equally unpronounceable. About you like a rash this blighter is so radiant and bonkers that the sun literally shines out of its waxen arse, awash with chirping chiming riffs it’s the Small Faces as done by the 14 Iced Bears dashing and darting across the turntable teetering upon a fine line that separates teen thrilled terrace pop and the more spangle flavoured sections of the great mid 80’s strum happy day-glo in die crowd and managing along the way to tightly shrink-wrap more hooks than a butchers basement. Not done yet for over on the flip there’s the equally contagious ’the ghost of karouake’ to contend with – this cute pup is festooned with seaside horns, Meek-esque kookiness and emblazoned with all manner of sunshine appeal and not a million miles it should be said from Half Man Half Biscuit albeit removed of the impish baiting and the veiled surrealist humour. Go buy.


Slaraffenland ‘meet and greet’ (home tapes). First single culled from Hometapes honeys Slaraffenland third opus – ‘we’re on your side’ a copy of which we have somewhere about our person – comes beautifully pressed up on blue wax all housed in a rather colourful cut away card sleeve. Copenhagen’s finest and dare we say most fried pop export return to these pages with the delightful twin set ‘meet and greet’ and ‘my bad ways’. ‘meet and greet’ starts unassumingly catching you off balance, the undulating time signatures a la Fleetwood Mac’s ‘tusk’ and roving rhythmic canters usher in a genteel pastoral serene-ness, add to the mix the looping riffs impressing a hypnotic weave and the arrival of brass / horns section bringing with them their wintry casting and before you know it your already caught spellbound, locked and lulled into Slaraffenland’s mystical tapestry each passing turn the composition gathering a slow predatory depth and dimension until it ultimately ends up sounding like some archaic may day pageantry in the wiles of Summerisle musically transcribed by a three way blend of early tunng, birdpen and swimmer one serenades. Flip over for the previously unreleased ’my bad ways’ – again braided in all manner of lolloping signatures that curiously appear to drag and scuff across the turntable and which very much nod towards the mid 90’s Birmingham scene – most notably L’Augmentation while simultaneously murmuring with the sallow and silken pastoral peculiarities of a youthful Oddfellows Casino as though found cosying up to Archer Prewitt. Quite sweet really if you ask me which alas you probably weren’t.


Ted Leo and the Pharmacists ‘the oldest house’ (matador). Part of the (third annual) record day extravaganza (Saturday 17th April) – a limited twin set exclusive from New Jersey misfits Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Having returned from a brief hiatus marked by the release of their fourth full length ’the brutalist bricks’ for new label Matador, this uber limited 7 inch features two exclusive non album cuts. Nailed down amid an infectious surge of strut honed power thrilled pop riffage and honey glazed with a throbbing day-glowing glam tinged pulse ’the oldest town’ arrives as a bracing blast of panic frenzied feel good skewed bubblegum pop that manages with a rapid fire urgency to join the finite dots separating classic era Dinosaur JNR, Teenage Fanclub and the Velvet Crush. May cause swooning fits. Flip side lassoes ’north coast’ a swaggering babe that sounds like its been drop kicked from the mid 70’s ushering in its wake a molten blend of power pop bravado and a subtle though shimmering west coast coolness that recalls all at once the raspberries, the db’s, the flamin groovies and todd rundgren. Kind of essential I’m sure you’ll agree.


Tula ‘no name’ (static caravan). Another essential static caravan purchase that we happily picked up today whilst on a brief reconnaissance trip to Cargo, this is the debut release from Tula – who I think I’m right in saying is Scandinavian (ace journalistic researching eh?) – again no doubt ridiculously limited as its on Static Caravan and on initial listens quite possibly the sweetest thing the label has released since – oooh – whatever we said was the last sweetness thing released by the label. Seriously though an absolute gem of a release that finds Tula paired up with Cameron Miller who I swear we’ve read somewhere in despatches has worked or is part of the Adrian (and not Alistair) Crowley set. ’no name’ opens to the cascading caress of lightly thumbed woodland rustic lilts, the vibe light and dreamy tip toes by, Tula’s hushed angelically mellowed tones seductively thoughtful and faraway casting a bewitching aura which as though by some slight of hand and the arrival of – is that a mellotron or accordion – (whatever it is – it makes a wheezing sound – I’m really on top of this today don’t you agree) the mood swiftly drops changing to something readily more demurring in a beautifully supernatural way as though the aforementioned woodland scenery had suddenly adopted an eerie casing and had found itself wrapped in some ghostly like descending fog. Irresistible. over on the flip you’ll find the equally adorable ‘remind me’ – braided by celestial arpeggios this frosted beauty in its initial moments recalls this mortal coil’s enchanting and numbing cover of Tim Buckley’s ‘song to the siren’ that is until the emergence of the tear welling sky piercing opining slide riffs begin to sting and seduce with equal abandon blossoming with a tender timeless flair to lasso the drifting Tula whose found lost in the moment firing her love tipped bows amid a cosily serene time stilling landscape of spectral Mazzy Star finesse. Elegiac in a word spellbinding in another.


Allo Darlin’ ‘dreaming’ (fortuna pop). More fanciable fringe flopping fey follies from fortuna pop, think I’m right in saying there’s a full length lurking just around the corner from these cute pups which we will get around to hearing someday – though I’m suspecting not in the too distant future having eyed the teetering piles of must hear ear gear currently pinning us to the corner of our listening space. Anyhow can’t recall if this is the second or third swoon filled salvo from Allo Darlin’ I do recall their last platter knocking us bandy with unbridled fondness – ‘dreaming’ – alas not the Blondie ditty of the same name – features some guest duet duties from Monster Bobby (no me neither) on what is a peach of a summer tinged exuberant jangle-tastic pulse throbbing teen thrill pop type thing, think you know the drill with these things hooks by the shed load and sprightly cosy toed tuneage the type of which make the bumps on the back of your neck tingle wildly, passing similarities to all the usual suspects that at one time lovingly loitered on labels such as sarah, summershine, bus stop et al awaiting the feint hearted friendship of shy eyed youths adoring of love lulled chime charged slices of briskly cool indie pop which as you all know is no bad thing – anyhow this cute pup is draped in all manner of emotion surrendering snoozing pedal steel riffs which if you ask me has a kind of sugar rushing love crushed South Pacific relocated St Etienne vibe about its wares. On t’other side you get the hollowed heartbreak of ‘you still send me’ to have your heartstrings ominously throttling the life from you – gorgeously bruised, ripped to the core and hurtfully melancholic whilst breathless dimpled by weeping slides – not for the feint of heart, reference wise imagine a betrayed Sundays. Now just where the hell is that album.


Another label who we’ve been sadly lacking in featuring of late (filthy little angel, nr one, weird and alrealon – your time will come) has been Australia’s prime ambient / dream pop imprint Hidden Shoals (it’s a glaring omission that we‘ll be resolving to rectify over the course of the coming weeks), with a spare few minutes to wile away we did happen across this delightful slice of genteelness by Markus Mehr. Taken from his forthcoming debut full length ‘lava’ – due for release mid June – ‘hubble’ is available as of now a taster serving free down load, by the application of minimal synth and guitar texture this softly drifting fuzzy about the edges is measured, what first appears like some distant echo to a hitherto mid 90’s Kranky styled dronal recital is tenderly coaxed and brought into sharp focus by Mehr’s slender slow drip layer by layer building with the sparsely applied guitar shimmers, the ebb and flow of the celestial sways and the twinkling orbs shifting its mood from one of solemnly detached and remote to something hitherto more quietly demurring and jubilant, should appeal in the first instance to admirers of Manual. – last time found adorning these pages he was blowing us away to the smoked sounds of ’IDK’ – now recently released from the confines of his studio where he’s been hatching plans for hi-fi domination and sneaking out under his arm a spanking new full length type release by the name of ‘beautiful isolation’ with which to have you all agog and agape in awe, herb recordings Kingbastard return s to the fray to mess with your head and retune your playing preferences. The album – released next month – is currently the subject of a competition via this site up for grabs a signed and framed art print of the sleeve, a limited t-shirt, copy of the album and various other trimmings. For now though the title track gets an early showcase – admittedly not as animated as his last visit to these despatches, this time a bliss bathed lushly hushed amorphous ambient gemstone whose integral reference point tingles and twinkles affectionately in the same lovelorn orbits that once shrouded OMD’s ’souvenir’, a celestial love note wrapped in the lulling layering of spectral whispers and the beckoning beguilement of pulse slowing heavenly chorus’ threaded finitely with space dust rubbings and the ability to have you defenceless, arrested, surrendering and cooing as though momentarily touched by an angelic apparition.


Something tasty we happened upon is ‘I don’t want to lose you’ by stateside power poppers Rooney. Pulled from their third full length ‘eureka’ via the California Dreaming imprint this cutely breezy slice of deftly drifting melodic pop taps into the self same purring transistor tingling trajectory that both Kevin Tihista and Nick Lowe seems to nail with much admirable aplomb without seemingly daring to break into sweat, add into the equation some touches of the Mayflies and Weezer’s softly succulent shimmer and the coolly coalesced essence of ‘durable dream’ era Moviola and you have a sly slice of smoked hook hobbled countrified chug that may well require an eviction order to stop it pinging incessantly about your headspace.


Video to accompany the latest outing from Jason Urick, this title track culled from his soon to be released ’fussing and fighting’ full length – incidentally via the esteemed thrill jockey imprint and appearing on vinyl in a strictly limited cut of just 500 copies housed in a hand pasted sleeve adorned by a 6” x 10” photo print – is a mind melting psychotropic mantra replete with droning swathes and dub-tronic accents that gathering together instil a delirious dream weaved looping locked grooved mirage which aside appealing immediately to admirers of Edward Ka Spell has something of a Clock DVA meets 23 Skidoo with AR Kane on their knees impishly busy re-wiring the underside of the mixing desk rhythmic allure about its wares……




Jason Urick – Fussing & Fighting from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.




Hollyann and the Katie Winter ‘the sky inside’ (treetops). Heartfelt embarrassed apologies are due to Hollyann and the Katie Winter for our foolish neglect of this their official debut release. Having previously graced and indeed let it not be forgotten – wooed us in previous despatches and purely just for those a little slow on the uptake or just plain ignorant, the Katie Winter is none other than Les King who was in a previous musical life Uncle Black – whose releases for Backwater records wrestled quiet acclaim from all who had the fortune to trip across their wares. The Katie Winter – initially just a side project to fondly feed his folk muse soon found kindred spirits – one such equally minded soul was Holly Burton of Manchester via Seattle, midi files were traded to and forth across the web with Holly’s lilt lined drifting vocals providing the perfect foil to King’s roving rustic rambles. ’the sky inside’ features four such genteel and lulling nuggets, weaved of a tapestry once thought lost and of late rekindled anew by the likes of a growing list of labels such as Autumn Ferment and Rif Mountain – to name just two – it’s a mercurial art timeless, unbound and wild, like fleeting apparitions to a tradition past these faded folk follies spectral in detail archaic in design are mellowed and cut to the heart beat of nature herself, a breathless feast of idyllic lazy eyed mayday mysticism and an olde village green flavouring dappled in a craft once captured by such esteemed play smiths as Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Mellow Candle and the Watersons. Atop of King’s delicately despatched pastoral strums Burton’s vocals shimmer with a softly opining spell craft their serene beckoning mystery inhabiting a place somewhere between Anne Briggs and Alison O’Donnell its something best exemplified on the sets defining moment ’giving’ which all at once as though by some devilish slight of hand manages to conjure a demurring draft whose ingredients court with a warming homely hushed hymnal tinged love noted murmur spiced with a drifting medieval pageantry whose tongue talks in a language more familiar of those Soft Hearted Scientists types. A gem.


Staying with Katie Winter we got an email from Les King once of Uncle Black and now the Katie Winter drawing our attention to an ambient re-drill of an old KW centred around Holly’s original vocals – not entirely sure how these things work and whether or not we here are meant to give out the link for public consumption no doubt we‘ll get some kind of complaining email so bugger it here we go – – anyhow its been done by a work colleague of Les’ by the name of Bassik Grooove – clearly not the name he was born with – here re-wired as the Bassik’s Bones of my Feet mix ’each day a song’ is transformed and turned from its woody 70’s folk environs and caressed with an icily detached – and we might add – woozily arabesque armoury that somehow manages to instil, fuse and speak in a timeless Tibetan tongue whilst simultaneous gathering to its bosom a subtle though all the more recognisable minimalist noir tweaked landscape more pertaining to a 90’s era Bristol underground scene. While you’re there check out Bassik Grooove‘s own ‘the kozmic phonk’ a kooky and off kilter funky slice of trance tipped lounge exotica trip wired with a head turning nocturnally toned trip hop n’ chilled drum n’ bass flavouring.


Fair Oh’s vs. Spectrals ‘split’ (tough love). We are I must admit a tad fond of this in the losing today listening lounge and so with that we bowed to the tough Love crew and hoisted hats aloft in celebration of another corking split collaboration. This time hot on the heels of that must have Calories / William face off the blighters have only gone and paired together two leading lights of the UK underground scene. First up the Fair Oh’s who I swear we’ve featured in previous accounts are a London based trio who’ve treaded a handful of uber limited releases across the most informed counters of record emporiums gracing this nation – all of which I’m at a disgruntled loss to say have all passed us by. Two cuts feature here on this – incidentally limited issue blue wax beauty – Fair Oh’s deliver a nifty side order in the type of effervescent sun shining optimistic jangle riffage on ‘hey lizzy’ that was once the trademark of the Four Brothers though here retrained and rewired into a tightly knit rhythmically adept and contagious gem of mutant pop that’s primed and spiked by all manner of swagger and verve not to mention an off kilter calypso / reggae flavouring that had us all here much recalling a youthful Age of Chance as though fused by a mid period Animal Collective / Ariel Pink. ’himalayas’ is equally invested though here possessed of a more math core grounding. Well worth an investigative play or three in our much humbled opinion. The Spectrals are a more laid back prospect kinda like the Gallon Drunk had they been raised on the Stray Cats rather than the Inca Babies and the Bad Seeds, their smoked 50’s blues soul creaked croon comes to pass on these two primitive slices of sepia stilled schmooze, the creaking bar stool coolness of the sparsely drawn ’birthday kiss’ is edged only slightly by the cosy toed winter’s night hollowness of the bruised and beguiled ’keep your magic out of my house’ which to these ears have the same kind of minimalist lull and archaic melodic moulding as was once so exquisitely despatched by the likes of the Orson Family and Swansway – frankly we need to hear more.


More record store loveliness this time from those Bella Union types – to mark the festivities the label will be releasing a 4 track 500 only 12 inch by the – much admired around these parts – Beach House. As though such an event wasn’t spoiling you enough and to ensure those amongst you who might occasion bouts of restlessness at being unable to wait that long then the label have generously made available both cuts for early preview listening – one as a free download the other as a stream. ’zebra’ – via is typically drenched in the kind of honey tipped west coast magic dust we’ve come to love and cherish about Beach House, succulent, tender and dizzyingly romantic and spectral, trip wiring a similar heart hugging path of the Low Anthem this softly undulating babe swells and swerves with an affectionately woozy and willowy elegance that may just catch you off guard to pass a momentary adoring glance. Better still is the exclusive mix of ’the arrangement’ via – the anticipation, the poise and the disarming grace all sweetly interweave to craft a harmonious heavenly unison that to these ears appears to breathlessly pick away at the template of the Pixies ‘trompe le Monde’ albeit as though realised and revisited by an adoring fusion of Earlies and Shady Bard types.


Record Shop day – so how was it for you – if you happened to be at Rough Trade – it was probably productive as you happily ticked off the releases from your wants list – if however you had the misfortune to go to Beggars Banquet it meant queuing for 2 and a half hours only to get there inside and find a pitiful selection of some – less than – thirty releases propping up the stands – excuses ranging from thirty or so editions didn’t show up, the yankee stuff hasn’t been seen at all (but we nailed Happy Birthday and Hendrix?) and did you pre-order it – which I thought was a no no and not in the spirit of the event – oh yea and they had put an embargo on doing the card stamp thing – don’t bother asking about Blur, Rolling Stones or the Beatles – which was just as well cos we didn’t really want them (of course I lie) because they’d well gone (Neu, sound garden, metallica, electric eels, laurie Anderson, cave, deerhoof, bon iver, dum dum girls, elvis’ presley and Costello, b-music comp, fahey, factory, sonic youth, moby grape, Mississippi john hurt and many more were what our hearts and ears desired). It really was poorly staged, no updates, no information – the queue which must have swelled with about 300 took what seemed eons to shuffle to the store front – once inside you sensed most felt obliged to make purchases (despite that elusive Blur single having well gone) even if there was nothing interesting catching the eye. Good job it was sunny that’s all I can say.


Anyhow enough grumbling – one or two things we did manage to salvage was a rather dinky thing by Vermont based trio Happy Birthday courtesy of (the sounding rather snazzy of late) Sub Pop (whose cynical slant on the whole record day thing is that it gives them a chance to sell shed loads of records – ahem – depends which record shop they unhappily end up in or not in as may be the case – see above). already buoyed by a self titled full length that’s kicking around somewhere in record land this uber limited dinked 7 inch features two exclusive cuts (played at a variety on the losing today sound system) finds the cute pups busy concocting a curiously addictive day-glow pop brew, certainly on ’shampoo’ there’s the sweetly slick glaze of west coast kookiness tenaciously threaded by some serious crooked cosmic contagion that’s packed to the rafters with wonky chugging riffs bliss kissed harmonies and a whole shaboodle of softly fondant fizzy bubblegum trappings. Flip over for ’alien’ – buggering hell sunshine-y pop to go, embracing all manner of Beach Boys motifs side spiked by a fringe flicking cortege of woozy lysergic lilts that veer and woo beneath an array of warming chimes and demurring bell peels that all said finds it easily filed alongside your treasured Summer Hymns, Ariel Pink, Doleful Lions and Panda Bear type stuff.


I am arrows ’nun’ (mercury). Apparently the new Andy Burrows of Razorlight fame combo though don’t take our word for it, well worth trying to track down because aside coming pressed up on a limited and rather fetching looking 7 inch picture disc housed in a clear PV C sleeve with equally colourful insert ’nun’ is a stirring slice of early 70’s MOR pop gold moulded by a mercurial montage of honey tipped harmonies, heart rushing chorus inclines and mellowing west coast drift breezes that converge to cocoon you in a slyly shy eyed swoon of exquisitely detailed sun kissed and radiant retro groove. Blissfully beautiful stuff. Flip over for ’bruises’ – an all together different prospect awaits, draped in all manner of deranged and skewiff time signatures and the kind of pathological peculiar pop perkiness not heard here since the youthful days of the Knife, then wire into its matrix some skewed funky accents and a disarming side order array of flighty and frisky sun beamed briskness and you have yourself something that once inside your head may well require a warrant from the authorities to remove. Quite gem like all said.


Fuck Buttons Vs. Mogwai ‘split’ (rock action). I know it sounds daft but we’ve played this at a variety of speeds – incidentally each much loved – and yet we’re still no wiser as to the correct one. Nah just pulling your leg – we’re playing it at the officially unofficial wrong speed. Another record store day exclusive and seriously limited in nature, pressed up on 10 inches of white vinyl it features both Mogwai and Fuck Buttons recalibrating a chosen tune from the others illustrious back catalogue. Admittedly it’s the Fuck Buttons who win out in the stand off their re-drill of Mogwai’s ‘fear Satan’ is recast as a hypnotically tranced out hulking and buzz sawed droning psychotropic leviathan that steadily builds in depth and dimension until it blisters spectacularly mid way through exploding into a seismic flat-lining fuzz drenched shower storm. Mogwai for their part turn their considerable talents to re-shaping ’colours move’ here re-titled as the ’Shibuya drunk remix’ and re-housed in a superbly restrained and stately not to mention panoramic sheen that manages by turns to instil both a sense of celebratory jubilance and tear stained bruising – the result an emotionally draining tyrant.


The Nowhere Boys ‘that’ll be the day’ (rca). Both ‘that’ll be the day’ and the accompanying ‘in spite of all the danger’ over on the flip are a brace of cuts culled from the soundtrack to the recent John Lennon biopic ‘nowhere boy‘ – housed in 60’s styled retro RCA die cut promo stamped sleeves replete with authentic looking labels. the release – again strictly limited in issue – pulls together one of the first self penned recordings by the Beatles or the Quarrymen as they were known at the time as re-recorded by the films in house band along with another playing cut of choice from the day the Holly / Allison penned ‘that‘ll be the day‘ – suitably vintage sounding and well if you don’t know the originals by now then the question begs to be asked – have you been living under a rock for the past 50 odd years in which case if your reading this do you mind if I ask who your internet provider is cause ours is seriously crap. As to the release consider it something of a consolation prize if you happened to miss out on nabbing ‘paperback writer’.



That blur song… it just me or does it sound like a hum drum sounding ‘3’ era Peter Gabriel retuning and cannibalising the codas from Cutting Crew’s ’I just died in your arms tonight’ – sorry but it needed saying – of course if you give me a copy I’ll happily say it sounds like Ray Davies…….




The Fall ‘bury’ (domino). Since doing these singled out rambling type things one thing that’s always irked us is our persistent nay faultless ability at never featuring the Fall in print – too busy enjoying their releases to have time to comment. This record store day release comes limited to just 750 copies and features the first fruits from their forthcoming Domino debut full length ‘your future our clutter’. ’bury’ won’t disappoint the old guard, typically abrasive and tight as a gnats back passage, Smith drills the latest recruits for a rousing and sneering slab of non conformist anti-trend setting baiting boogie, very much re-locating style wise back to the Fall’s early 90’s work this caustically knowing beaut is a killer return to form with Smith’s casual deadpan delivery underpinned by a seething and spiked chugging 50’s garage growl. Better still is ’cowboy gregori’ over on the flip which is sure to appeal to fans of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet et al given it comes replete in all manner of wiry twanging riffage coded in 60’s styled spy theme velour with Smith coolly despatching casualised commentary asides over the top. Frankly essential.

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the cavemen

Opening this particular with something desirably dirty and scuzzy, these are feral upstarts the Cavemen who in the briefest of eye blinks manage to shoehorn a frenzied slab of strut burn with the acutely rampantly lurid and lust gouged ‘dog on a chain’. This bad boy is heading out of slovenly records on sizzled seven inch wax, at once frantic, primitive and in need of a cold shower after each play, reference wise think bastard love child of an after hours alley way bunk up between the Cramps and the B-52’s.


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Look what we sneaked online while you were sleeping… Transmission 17.0….

Look what we sneaked online while you were sleeping…

Transmission 17.0….w/e 29/4/2017

Revolutions of a 33 and 45 kind….

This edition features……

Suzanne ciani, feral oranj son, youth hostel, dean McPhee, seabuckthorn, beach fossils, ty segall, super j lounge, stellarscope, Dorothy, spunky onion, thin yoghurts, plus instruments, the dance, belle du soir, carambolage, tape op, jack white, steve albine, glyn johns, [owt kri], snails, astralasia, goon, shitkid, flying colours, david r Edwards, Edinburgh Of The Seven Seas, where’s the beach, klf, nat chippy, the corrupting sea, fawns of love, the bardots, the incredible casuals, bailter space, god is my co pilot, milk, luscious Jackson, swirlies, plant bach ofnus, red red meat, tsunami, th’faith healers, fastbacks, the electric lazarus, psyence, the archies 

Ridiculously pricey and extremely limited in pressing number to boot, the much-admired Finders Keepers kicked out a number of RSD17 releases, one of which being a one sided clear vinyl 7 inch featuring very early and long unheard recording by a young Suzanne Ciani. This creative force had long proven a savvy business mind primed enough to realise the potential reach of electronic composition in terms of a more commercial installation setting / environment by pitching ‘fish music’ for use at a giant middle American shopping malls Aquarium. As the liner notes rightly point out, in some bizarre way paralleling and hitherto creating would be ‘ambient scenes from the consumerist satirical ‘Dawn of the Dead’. Ciani though has never been known to take the usual journey to discovery / creative route, preferring to swerve middle men and the mere perfunctory nature of the music industry instead opting to push the ability and resource of sound into the terrains of advertising, film and beyond in the process establishing herself as the foremost authority on all things Buchla. Comprised of hypnotic pulsar loops and watery shimmers, the silvery toned ‘fish music’ provides for a serenely eerie sense of isolation, a magic land of the mysterious and unknown aquatic alien worlds and something that sound wise, very much traces a forward thinking kinship with fellow sound alchemists Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram. The release comes with its original press blurb and cuttings.

A most welcome pick up at yesterday’s Record Store Day soiree, there should still be copies of these at Probe records given the folk at Edge Hill University called in with a box load of them, were two flexis showcasing the college’s in house label known as – er – the label. Annoyingly our usually up for it turntable’s stylus has had something of hissy fit with these releases and as much as we’ve tried the blighter has given up the ghost on the blue flexible vinyl ‘tales from the riverbank’ outing, in essence a soundscape where musicians and fans alike share memories of their time in Liverpool. We will endeavour to source better copies for future mention. As to the other flexi, one of those postcard affairs offering three excerpts from the labels small though highly well-heeled release roster, which by way of a little rummaging around on the labels web site we’ve managed to source full sound links for your perusal – well for 2 of the featured releases at least.

First up Feral Love with ‘like the wind’ – these folk were at one time Bird, this the duos debut was released last year receiving quiet acclaim and notable national radio play, softly stirred in a demurring bitter sweet flavouring, this ghost pop swooning longingly arcs and falls between moments of soaring euphoria and crestfallen forlorn, one for those much adoring of the Drone Club.  

Assuming a readily more different sonic stylising, Oranj Son serve up ‘psycho disco face’ – a windswept and bracing full on in your face tour de force that’s crafted with the same post punked angular adrenalin that once graced platters bearing the name the Seal Cub Clubbing Club though here cut with a cooling and visible club floor swing that recalls D4.

Finally for this three way label teaser, Youth Hostel – alas no sound links on this one, though from the all too brief earful we managed to bag from the flexi card, there’s something very much suited and booted about the razored effervescence peeling from ‘out of my mouth’ to suggest it’s storming mod pop action might rekindle memories of secret affair.

many thanks to Paul over at Sonido Polifonico for sending over finished copies of their latest release. Again immaculately packaged, i must say a thing of beauty and we haven’t even gotten to the music yet, but this one comes in a limited pressing of 99 – our copy is \76 for note takers, housed in a little card board box, you’ll find the hand cut lathe 7 inch, badges, insert, photos, hessian felt lined bag and all manner of added extras, certainly a labour of love. Upon the record itself a split outing pairing together on opposite sides of vinyl – Dean McPhee and Seabuckthorn – which in truth we mentioned way back at –  still – worth another little mention not least because it’s such a beautiful release with Mr McPhee cutting a snaking delta toned passage via ‘altar rock’ – whose deftness and lightness of touch not to mention emotional teasing finds itself poised and mellowed with the same sense and exquisite wherewithal in respect to the use of space as to see him sitting somewhere on a sonic spectrum between yellow6 and david a jaycock, by far the best thing we’ve heard of its ilk since that rather sublime outing by Scott Willian Urquhart late last year. Over on the flip you’ll find Seabuckthorn with ‘pine darkened slopes’, again something that ought to appeal first hand to those admiring of the aforementioned Mr Urquhart, a spell craft psych folk dance of sorts steeped in all manner of mistily mesmeric primitive mysticism all lovingly wood cut in a smoky vintage that recalls the late great and much missed Jack Rose.  

ridiculously infectious new video happening from the precociously trip wiring riffmanship of Ty Segall, this is ‘break a guitar’ a kind of shy of five minutes rummage through the guilty pleasuring moments of your record collection whereupon the clear influence of the late Marc Bolan runs riotously carefree kaleidoscopically boogying amid a shapeshifting sound palette that cross weaves and terraforms to a retro toning molten mind morphing lysergically fried cocktail of hairy stoned glam slackering progressively psyched white out treatments, absolutely bonged out stuff.

New track from the Beach Fossils, not from their forthcoming ‘somersault’ album for bayonet due in early May, instead this is a cut that they’ve donated to the ‘For Our First 100 Days; One Hundred Songs That Inspire Progress And Benefit A Cause For Change’ compilation, a bandcamp only subscription collection featuring 100 tracks / bands gathered in support of causes under threat from the Trump presidency. ‘silver tongue’ provides for a mellowing listening experience aglow in the soft svelte spray of lazy eyed lulls and the caressful crystalline crush of dream drifting dimples which to these ears sound not unlike something sneaking out from a studio love in happened upon by working for a nuclear free city and seeland.  

However those of you itching to hear early door teasers from the bands aforementioned ‘somersault’ set are well advised to prepare yourselves for swooning attacks at the appearance of a new video accompanying the scouting cut ‘St Ivy’ – this babe comes adored in strings, baroque treatments, flashes of Beatle-esque bouquets and oodles of smoulder toning 70’s vibing as to have you thinking you’d taken a wrong turn and found yourselves tuned into a secret soul soothed happening cobbled together by Tokolosh, Goodnight Lenin and the Panda Gang.

Here’s something of a much-forgotten gem from a not so distant past. Seems the folks over Super J Lounge, well Don Brosnan at least, has seen fit to dive deep into their recorded archives and pluck tracks from their debuting full length ‘finally….’ and adorn them with recently shot footage filmed on super 8. The plan being to release these at monthly intervals throughout the year with ‘greetings’ being the forth in the series. Anyhow this footage was filmed in the back garden of his parent’s house – we’ll let Don take up the story……

‘Anyone can watch a sunset but it takes some effort to catch a sunrise. I, myself, have caught quite a few on my way home after being kicked out of wherever I had been consuming pints of the Devil’s Buttermilk. For this footage, I stood in my parent’s back garden like an idiot, with my 8mm camera held high above my head. I stood like this for 15 minutes, my arms aching under the camera weight as my Father appeared next to me. He stared at me for a few seconds, shook his head and muttered “Jaysus” as he turned to walk away.’

As to the track itself, I guess back in the day, somewhere in any considered review the phrase post rock might have popped up once or twice, not least because this slow to burn beauty weaves quietly peeling away somewhere in the middle whereupon it ruptures, splinters and fractures into animation before recoiling back into its shyly carefree shell. In truth a lolloping porch pretty that has the ability still, even after 17 years since it wooed the most in tune turntables, to catch you off guard and on the back foot teetering as its softly murmured dust trailed spell takes hold, its compositional reach not a million miles from Low, though scratch away at its surface and there’s more than a revealing of the Beta Band in cahoots with the Palace Brothers, the latter albeit on happy pills doing strange things rewiring as were the slo-mo bliss burn of Spacemen 3 and relocating it to some lazy eyed shaded corner of a prairie.


Heading out of the patetico imprint at the fall of May, a new full length from Stellarscope comes looming entitled ‘standing in the shadow of your ghost’ from off which ‘only strangers now’ has been sent ahead on scouting duties. Revealing a brutishly bruised and darkened persona, this edgily wired sore thumb comes wallowed and weighted in a shadowy shade adorned gauzing that’s grizzled with a pathological glare that fixes you frozen in its dead eyed glowering hypno-grooving whilst all the time freewheeling into the hollowing psychotropic oblivion of a clearly unhinged variant of Toy as though remodelled by the Hookworms. Full album review to come.

Interlude…..strangeness a go-go with added post punk c-81 grooviness…..

48 chairs……


Spunky onions….

Thin yoghurts….

Plus instruments….

The dance….

Belle du soir….


The much celebrated, raved about and admired Tape Op publication continue their rummage through the archives, making available three more forgotten interviews – all available to download, play and laugh along to there’s a quite playful Steve Albini one from a few years back along with ear candy selections featuring Jack White and the legendary Glyn Johns……

debuting outing for the fledgling Kent based imprint Sombre Soniks –  i’m guessing a clue as to where on the sonic spectrum we are heading is aptly hinted by the labels name – comes from the much admired around these here parts [owt kri]. Entitled ‘Psychological Warfare’ – the release features three eerily coiled sore thumbs, the opening cut, which initially caught our lobes, very much channels the bleakly spectral isolationist tonalities cultured of late by the Aetheric imprint for ‘if darkness was our friend’ arrives despaired and distanced in macabre micro lit mosaics formed of minimalist murmurs forged upon a shadowy séance like vibing unto which portals to strange worlds beyond are breached. ‘anticipating the future’ cuts a different sonic stance, as though caught in the vapour trail euphoric ascendance of the opening passage to Floyd’s ‘shine on you crazy diamond’, there’s poise and majesty afoot here as the droning swathes hiss and hum as though the purring sound of a hulking cosmic craft at rest, deeper down and the mesmeric influence takes hold emitting what can only be best described as a sense of a celestial visitation passing. ‘everywhere I see decay’ rounds matters to the end groove, a harrowing cinematic calling turned at once between something hymnally haloed and yet, similarly haunted and hopeless, an immense ghost light you suspect just lurking in the shadows awaiting some macabre and supernatural film to spook. The effect is tense, somewhat trippy with the pulsating silvery shimmer tones maddeningly gathered in hypnotic formations as though a ne’er do well dream machine burrowing deep to awaken long dormant primitive occurrences. Something we hasten to add, best explored in the cold light of day and filed next to your prized boring machines and revenant sea platters.    

I’m a mite disappointed to say that the welcoming mat in our gaff wasn’t disturbed by the dropping of a 7-inch platter from Snails, sadly so limited in nature they flew the coup before we’d scarcely had time to send a well scripted begging letter. Alas we are at this moment consoling a rather distressed turntable whilst mournfully looking at the gap in the record collection we’d lovingly made up in readiness for its safe arrival. Enough of the upset, a new thing from Snails, loveliness aplenty wrapped up in a four track EP. Snails you may recall ventured out with a killer 7 inch some two years ago via the sadly at rest Great Pop Supplement, an album of limited pressing followed on Feral Child earlier this year, they all went in a blink. Bristol based, these shy eyed souls occupy and hark back to a sonic world of fragile simplicity, tailoring pop morsels intimately coded in wide eyed innocence. The sounds whilst not hitting you between the eyes with all the gusto of a wakening slap rather more nestle to quietly demur and draw you close with their prettified perfection, their hushed effervescence an echo to the hopes and diarised reflections hatched from indie bedrooms and pressed upon grooves of platters by the likes of such esteemed label souls as Sarah, Bus Stop and Summershine. Irrefutably twinkled in a folk framing, Snails bring to their musical picnic distant elements of a 60’s rush and the vague waft of kaleidoscopia, the former best served here by the brashly mod beat grooved strut of the parting ‘my fault’ seasoned aplenty in a cut you to the quick shimmering that had us fondly back in the slick psych gouged underworld of the Elephant 6 collective. Elsewhere there’s the soft psyche whimsy of the adorably crooked ‘dead star’ waltzing woozily sprayed in a wonky sunny radiance while ‘i’ll stay close’ weaves to a friskily mellowing carefree sunniness much recalling the tingling lo-fi charm of platters heading out at intermittent frequency from the matinee recordings sound house. That said, best by far here, the opening ‘starting with mine’ comes sumptuously grace fallen in the bitter sweet drizzle of the much missed Le Mans soured as it is and supported by the breeze swept forgotten arrangements of L’Augmentation whilst simultaneously subtly linking hands with the much-adored Lake Ruth. Quite classy if you ask me.      

Can’t rightly recall whether or not we included or mentioned this in our album appraisal, but here’s a video teaser featuring excerpts culled from the newly released and dare we say spiffing Astralasia set ‘oceania’ for the esteemed fruits de mer / regal crabmophone sound corps… fact mentioned here…..essential i’d say…..  

You might recall us mentioning these folk way back last September, if you didn’t well take a spell to catch up here – this is Goon with the ‘dusk of punk’ ep – originally out last year on a super limited cassette which despite overtures and begging letters, we alas never managed to secure a copy of. Anyway it seems it’s up for a re-release wherein grooved upon 7 inches of milky clear wax via pairings box – there’s an even scarcer subscription only variant on gold splatter – the blighters have managed to shoehorn in a cover of REM’s ‘let me in’ and rather spiffing it is to. Written by Stipe as a tribute to Kurt Cobain, it originally appeared on the bands ‘monster’ full length and finds itself mellowed and drizzled in a wonderfully affectionate softly drifting phrasing in the hands of Goon, something much traced with the spirit of the Nirvana main man sitting on its shoulder and graced with an alluringly warmly toned smoky hymnal hush.   

Oh how we love the way this just snakes about scuzzily weaving a discordant and detuned garage gouged glam grizzled head in the clouds f- you cool. Latest from the Swedish finishing academy of essential ear candy comes courtesy of ShitKid – better known to kith n’ kin as Asa Söderqvist, who through the pnkslm imprint is shortly to release her debuting full length ‘fish’. From that set, this be ‘alright’ a spiky slab of stripped back lo-fi crookedness whose extended sonic family tree can trace its ancestral roots to include everything from the Shaggs to the Lovely Eggs with the Raincoats somewhere in the middle linking arms, in short – quite frankly adorably addictive disconnected dysfunctional pop.  

European Live Dates

15th May – Le Pont Ephemere, Paris

16th May – Cirque Royale, Brussels

17th May – Bush Hall, London

18th May – Brightelm at The Great Escape, Brighton

19th May – Komedia at The Great Escape, Brighton

21st May – Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate

24th June to 1st July – Roskilde Festival

Latest off the Club ac30 dream pop conveyor belt, hitting it should be said a bit of a purple patch at the moment with killer recents from Adam Franklin and Is Bliss, this is Flyying Colours who i’m certain we’ve mentioned once or twice on previous occasions. Third track lifted from their critically acclaimed ‘mindfullness’ full length, this is the shyly coiled ‘1987’ – a heart racing poppet demurred in chiming corteges all sugar kissed in bitter sweet ripples that bristle affectionately to unpick your defences and shower your listening spaces in rushes of euphoric radiance.


Catch the band live at the following venues:


Wed 17th                LONDON – The Islington (w/Is Bliss)

Thur 18th                LEICESTER – The Cookie (w/Is Bliss)

Sat 20th                  BRIGHTON – Acid Box (The Great Escape – w/Is Bliss)

Sun 21st                 MANCHESTER – Aatma

Wed 24th                HAMBURG – Indra Club 64

Thur 25th                BERLINE – Privatclub

Sat 27th                  AMSTERDAM – London Calling

Next up, a handful of releases from the recordiau prin stable, first up a spoken word set from Dave Datbyglu. With music provided by Ash Cook aka Pulco, ‘Dave Datblygu’s Search In English For The House Of Tolerance’ features a collection of random thoughts, recollections and passing memories. Oft disconnected, sometimes pointed, subtly humorous and craftily hum drum, Mr Edwards’ self-depreciation squirms awkwardly atop Mr Cook’s crookedly remote sound palette, as the liner notes rightly point out, hints of Burroughs ghost throughout for here there is edginess, disquiet, frustration and a sense of, not so much of observing life from close distance, but rather more being an alien in a world unrecognised looking for a kitchen sink to host its own drama. Ultimately it’s heavy and weighted in regret with it’s gritty souring literally pouring from its grooves.  

From many years ago, for those previously unfamiliar here’s the mighty Datbygu…..

Staying with recordiau prin, fairly certain we haven’t as yet mentioned this ‘un, from Edinburgh Of The Seven Seas. This is ‘L’Âtre et l’enfant’ which arrives in various variants that include a super limited CD issue and an ever more-scarcer 10-inch wax pressing. The extra curricula work of Mudbath’s Florian Mallett, “L’âtre et l’enfant” quietly ghosts with the snaking sublime of Grails’ ‘doomsdayer’s holiday’ as though rewired and refracted under the influence of Jack Rose / John Fahey, at least that’s the case on the opening ‘Les Isolés’ where amid the shadowy psych flashings hints of a youthfully mercurial Porcupine Tree shimmying up to Archer Prewitt flicker and dissolve amid the grooving. Somewhere else there’s the tranquil and airily rustic scuffing of ‘La Bienveillance du Lieu’ unfurling itself from a sparse positioning to gently blossom into something both cinematically groomed and magisterial a la Roy Montgomery all the time drawn and trimmed in a softly turbulent framing. A youthful Yellow6 is called to mind during the wash of the silvery tones coursing throughout ‘Nuit Brune’ as it sparks and spars to a hollowing storm chasing eeriness while what may first pass for Billy Mahonie / Meets Guitar in its opening greetings, ‘Le Val Impénétrable’ soon resets itself to emerge delightfully tumbling, tripping and tracking a woozily dream draped psych tweaked pastoral path.  

Forgotten nuggets – two from Where’s the beach – first up featuring John Cooper Clarke

…..and two from their sonic soul mates….

Must admit, we here are much looking forward to the incoming full length from the corrupting sea, ‘sumatta’ we believe it’s tentatively called from off which another sneak preview has been leaked into listening world. This be ‘drowning in space’ – an opining leviathan which as with previous visitations to these pages comes schooled in the vibes of a late 80’s Dunedin sound scene, on this occasion dimpled in pulsars and poised in the soft burn of sonic discordance and feature that once gathered together very much tunes into the feedback frequencies of an at the peak of their powers Flying Saucer Attack as though shimmied to the serene slo mo symphonia of laBradford. 

Before you all start asking, and you will, no we have absolutely diddly info on these folk, safe to say the Cocteau-ian flutters and dream draped corteges adore this with a sense of the ethereal, the divine and the unreal, a heavenly visitation if you must but all the same quite gorgeous, anyhow before we swoon ourselves into oblivion this is Nat Chippy with ‘sea’.

More unearthed shoe gaze euphoria, this one from Fawns of Love who according to the liner notes attached on this sublime sound cloud excerpt have just released their debuting full length platter entitled ‘who cares about tomorrow’ from off which the adorably amorphous ‘please’ has been sneaked from and sent ahead on scouting detail. A beautifully vapour trailing lovelorn kiss haloed in elegiac raptures and the softly surrendering sigh of sugar rushing symphonia which by our reckoning is all at once beguiled and bruised.  


Prompted through listening to two old Peelie broadcasts from ’91 and ’93 thereabouts recorded onto two Thats cassettes – one – on the classic blue Type I and the other on a legendary EM-X Tape II…..

The bardots….

God is my co-pilot….

The incredible casuals…..

Bailter space…..


Luscious Jackson….

Red red meat…..


Plant bach ofnus…

Th’faith healers……



Kissed with a haze haloed smoking bliss toning, this is the new happening thing from the Electric Lazarus edging out of the blak hand imprint any day now. Limited to just 30 hand numbered jade green cassettes and no doubt impishly titled as a play on the Monkees’ ‘pleasant valley Sunday’, beneath the glare of a glowering dark star ‘death valley Sunday’ awakens from a 60’s coma swirled and grooved in a west coast voodoo, its dust flecked shade adorning clipped acutely to a strutting buzz where the unmistakable echo of a ‘darklands’ era Jesus and Mary Chain reverberates to the dead heading desert call of the Black Angels. In short, an uber cool psych pill. 

Staying with blak hand records a little longer, mentioned this a fair few times – latest from psyence an EP as it happens entitled ‘a new dawn’ from which we’ve already featured ‘falling in love once again’ – see and ‘cold blood killer’ – see – seems only fitting then that we nab the remaining two tracks for a well-deserved mention. First up then ‘the bad seed’ – a nifty slice of garage gouged kaleidoscopia mining terrains more familiar to a youthful Charlatans whilst along the way craftily nicking the riff from Tubeway Army’s ‘replicas’ while parting title cut ‘a new dawn’ finds the collective in full on nocturnal soul mood spraying seduction and sophistication like its fast going out of fashion and as with the adored ‘falling in love once again’ freefalling smokily into Goodnight Lenin terrains . Strictly limited 40 only cassette.


Contact resources….

Email –

Facebook –

Word press –

Twitter – @marklosingtoday

Physical – 46 Webster Avenue, BOOTLE, Merseyside, L20 9JF, UK


The end groove……

The Archies…….

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archiv – singled out- missive 259…

another archive posting from 2010, originally appeared on losing today…..further instalments of this particular missive – i think there’s about 9 parts in all – tomorrow….


antonymes, kria brekken, standard fare, aino tyyti, benjamin shaw, nosferatu d2, slow six, post human, erland and the carnival, speak and the spells, laura marling, goldheart assembly, algernon, brown vs brown, new york art quartet, radio massacre revolution, cuneiform, philM, tayside mental health, endometrium cuntplow, avi buffalo, the blanche hudson weekend, sissy spacek, hexicon, the last rapes of mr teach, smoke faeries, hygiene, cam deas, spirit spine, drumcunt, notwist. laurence son, kathryn williams, an experiment on a bird in the air pump, hoop dreams, fuck montreal, granny frost, banned books, fossils, spoils and relics, shrag, jack rose, table, john foxx, thee vicars, the granite shore, the morning after girls, the woven project

missive 259a


Archive 1 – long time observers of these occasional journals will no doubt note with some interest that we featured Antonymes in previous dispatches wherein if I recall rightly we likened his frost tipped serenades to among others – Satie, Debussy and Harold Budd. Well we received a rare nudge from Ian (Antonymes) inviting us to have a peak at his re-interpretation of the seasonal hymn ‘silent night’ (incidentally a childhood favourite of mine if truth be known – still makes me well up when I hear it – even the Dickies version though for differing reasons obviously. Retold as ’the night is silent’ – what can I say. Impeccable. As though ripped from the very heavens themselves this twinkling star crossed beauty is justly serviced with the reverence it richly deserves, unassuming and elegant, the slender and measured tendering of the sleepy headed piano braids succulently bathed in raining showers of celestial feedback halos and bliss drenched chorus’ impart upon it an unworldly aura that just leaves you breathless, speechless and rooted in awe to the spot – references if references are desired would have you relocating a point of origin somewhere near OMD’s ’Architecture and Morality’ set for comparable class. Oh and just in case you were wondering – indeed yes we did shed a joyful tear or three.


Staying with Antonymes – that’ll teach us for not reading our messages properly there’s word of an album primed for release on Cathedral Transmissions entitled ’Beauty becomes the enemy of the future’ which apart from being mastered by Wil Bolton better known to the more clued up as Cheju – is also produced by Paul Humphreys of OMD fame.


And here’s a little video featuring Ian’s ‘grotesquely beautiful’ which was used to accompany a festive decoration set commissioned for his niece and her husband for Heathrow Airports 5th terminal…..


Kria Brekken ‘uterus water’ (paw tracks). Like Olaf Arnalds (whose ‘vio og vio’ full length released on limited licence via one little Indian mid way through last year to much adoring love over here at the singled out frost topped record shed), Kria Brekken is another of those ex members of Mum (oh okay – more precisely one of the bands founder members and better known to all as Kristin Anna Valtysdottir) currently to be found cut loose of their musical moorings and left to their own devices to craft out strangely enchanting aural figurines. As always with these things we’re having trouble downloading this cut and its accompanying press release from the press people’s site though not to worry where there’s a will there’s a way and its not for us to be halted in our pursuit by mere ’nah mate who are you again’ error messages. Instead we steeled forth into the voids of my space world and found said cut sitting shyly on her musical player eagerly awaiting some playful fun. Apparently this soon to be cutely pressed upon 7 inches of wax treasure comes strictly limited to just 100 copies via the weird and wonky workshop that is Paw Tracks. ‘uterus water’ was apparently written during a period of illness when she was holed up reluctant to brave the elements outside – written specially to ‘lull children to sleep’. there’s no doubting its entrancing lullaby-esque nature, one suspects something to be savoured first and foremost by fans of moomlooo (who you may recall paired up with Phelan Sheppard as Smile Down Upon Us for the esteemed Static Caravan imprint) for ‘uterus water’ sounds like some half woven dreamscape, imbibed with a woozily soft psyche centre as though a snoozing Damon and Naomi with Ghost it teases tenderly disappearing and re-appearing into view like some gaseous apparition reaching from the haze bound ether weaving its potions primed upon long thought lost primitive and arcane mystical folk love charms. Bewitching in a word.


Standard Fare ‘fifteen’ (thee Sheffield phonographic corporation). Already the cause of much swooning around these parts with their dinky drilled darling of a debut ‘dancing’ mid way through last year – Sheffield’s favourite tune terrific toe tapping tearaway trio return to the fray with another cutely coiled slice of razor sharpened spiky pop loveliness courtesy of ‘fifteen’. pressed up on blue vinyl this little cutie seesaws and shimmies with such affectionately drilled wonky aplomb you could almost kiss it for its sheer audacity as it opines more bitter sweet scars from the affairs of the heart and into the bargain turns in a neat and dandy line in classic era Postcard cues albeit as though rewired by some drop dead and dandy pact formulated by a pairing of a lovelorn shoe shuffling early career Weddoes and the Shop Assistants. Repeat plays may cause pleasurable panic attacks. Consider yourselves well and truly warned. – with a debut album entitled ‘apophenia i – iv’ about to surface next month via the phantom channel imprint, aino tytti construct beautifully glazed and parched portraits that bleed and fuse the celestial with the mesmeric, two sneak peak edits of what to expect feature on their my space player, ’apophenia extract 1’ is the sound of sepia faded memories bitter sweetly wrapped in honey glazed halos of ether torn feedback mistrals while ’apophenia extract 2’ imparts a somewhat strangely innate serenely simmering countenance about its wares that’s only matched one suspects by the aching harmonic lull and finality of the sea itself. dream pop and demurring drone purists will be blissfully beguiled.


Benjamin Shaw ‘I got the pox the pox is what I got (anti-hero). Admittedly this popped through our letter box before Christmas had a brief nose around and was much adored during the few momentary turns it had gracing the hi-fi – and then it went AWOL. cries of frustration followed and a full scale rescue was detailed to track the blighter down. And tracked down it was though slightly light of its press release (and its partnering Anti Hero release which we assume to be Nosferatu D2’s lavish and lovely full length – rest assured we will find it in the fullness of time). Anyhow back to Benjamin Shaw, we are assuming this is his debut release – and mighty fine it is to as it creaks, groans and wonkily weaves and waltzes its way around the listening space, between the rushes of discordance and the warmly inviting tonalities of his rustic rambles Shaw is blessed with a creativity that picks and fuses at the frailness of Daniel Johnston, the cleverness of Jeffrey Lewis (’when I fell over in the city‘), the subtle detailing of Elliott Smith, the turn of phrase of Simon Joyner and the carefree nonchalance of Jonathon Richman. Part bitter sweet and bruised there’s something beautifully broken about Benjamin Shaw’s compositional line in that despite their brittle and befallen braiding there’s an undeterred optimism that shines throughout to which makes its listening strangely rejuvenating and healing. Add to that the varying richly woven palette to which he incorporates – from the bar room slumber of the wounded and weary ’12,000 sentinels’, the parched road blues (albeit as though casked in the remotest regions of Ireland) stroll of affectionately adorned lovelorn ‘when I fell over in the city’ to the lurching and wallowing campfire stupor of the cosy toed and snoozing ‘I got the pox the pox is what I got’ – imagine if you will a sunnier sided Will Oldham. All said though nothing quite matches the drop dead allure of ‘chocolate girl’ – a beautified slice of fragmented love notation that’s cast succulently amid a finite detailing of mountain gospel glow which unless we are seriously mistaken may well give even those heart hurt lovelies the Low Anthem cause to keep a check over their shoulder. Genius.


Think we mentioned Nosferatu D2 in passing just a second ago – well sadly it seems they are no more having parted ways some time last year – the aforementioned album we will try to nail for review treatment though for now feast upon a freebie alternative Christmas song of sorts available to download from this here link leading from here entitled ‘its Christmas time (for god’s sake)’ which should appeal first and foremost to fans of Decoration.


And while we are still loosely on the subject of Christmas things – yes I know it was last month blah blah blah – but we had toothache so our Christmas is now and anyway its snowy so its Christmassy -.Nuff said I think – there’s a specially selected spotify play list put together by those nice people over at drowned in sound which you can access via


And back with Benjamin Shaw (you didn’t think we/’d let you get away that easy did you) – a video for ’when I fell over in the city’……



Slow Six ‘tomorrow becomes you’ (western vinyl). Another release which I’m afraid to say we’ve foolishly mislaid the press release for. Where do they all go I lie at wake wondering (answers on an e-postcard to the usual address). Undeterred by our obvious carelessness and ineptitude we hooked up to their my space page for some background info which reveals they hail from Brooklyn are a quintet and have had to their name two full length releases prior to this latest for the much admired of late Western Vinyl imprint both of which have found themselves the subject of critical adoration from such esteemed folk as Wire, Brainwashed and Stylus in recent memory. it’s a trend that we suspect will continuer a pace judging by what ‘tomorrow becomes you’ has to offer for pushing the ticker tape past the 50 minute mark Slow Six draw you seductively into their hermetically sealed playroom, it’s a playroom that serves as sanctuary to the broken, the thoughtful, the bruised and the reflective. Seven tracks feature within that dip deftly between the mood contours imparting the mellow and the lilting with the hypnotic and the stately, the keynote intricate math / post rock signatures find themselves underpinned and distilled by a classical detail that at times has a feel of a youthful Nyman, from the frost dripped opening passages of ’the night you left New York’ which soon defrost to blossom into a wholesomely mesmeric feast of arcing riffs duelling atop softly tenderised musical box chimes to the undulating cross weaves that sumptuously saturate ‘the sympathetic response system (part1)’ itself a mind expanding slice of bliss grooved cosmic boogie much reminiscent of a tranquilised Tank while elsewhere ‘the sympathetic response system (part 2)’ could easily pass for a laid back and twinkle eyed minimalist Tortoise cavorting with a particularly chilled to almost comatose Boards of Canada. Lest we forget to mention the albums more introspective instances – namely the storm approaching calm of ’cloud cover (part 2)’ dutifully graced by a frosted elegance and the kind of tear evoking stillness more commonly encountered these days on releases bearing the name Inch Time on their hide, that said get through this cut without being struck by an overpowering sense of hollowed awe and you’re a better man than me. There is of course its other half to contend with via the storm brewing tension curdling within of ‘cloud cover (part 1)’ while the unsettlingly lullaby-esque gaelic / Australasian / oriental harmonics (think Set Fire to Flames in romantic moods) of the sighing optimism of ‘because together we resonate’ is something best savoured with lights dimmed in the re-assuring embrace of a loved one.


And here’s a little video for an oldie entitled ‘the pulse of this skyline with lightning like nerves’…..



Post human ‘uncharted audio presents the dub plate sessions – volume 3’ (uncharted audio). The third instalment in Uncharted Audio’s ongoing though obviously crucial dub plate sessions – a limited series of specially commissioned releases pressed up on thick slabs of ten inch wax with a strict no repeat pressing of just 250 copies. The basic idea of the series was the extending of invitations to a celebrated artist from the electronica / dance underground to stump up an original cut on one side and have said track re-wired and reconstructed by another aural alchemist from the field of experimental ssoundscapes. Post human (Josh Doherty & Rich Bevan) find themselves given the honour of wrapping up this highly acclaimed series. At 6 and a half minutes in length ’europa sky’ provides a sumptuous finale to the series, a pristine playroom of smoothly contoured mind expanding groove that reaches back to classic era house / techno a la 808 State, FSOL and Biosphere. A gorgeous and richly tailored palette of cerebrally turned nocturnal seduction tweaked upon wave upon wave of purring milky white tonalities and bliss tipped trancendentalist motifs that craftily join the dots to link the past to the present as it veers ever so deftly into spheres these days more commonly associated with Cheju. Flip the disc to find the same cut put through its recalibrated paces by the much admired Cyan 341 who if I recall rightly has featured on more than one occasion in previous singled out despatches via releases for uncharted audio and rednetic. Staying pretty much faithful to the original template Cyan 341 dons his overalls and sets about applying his cosmic dub brushstrokes and engages a delirious workbench of trip-wired sound patches to reform Posthuman’s remote and distantly observed glacially tipped gem stone into something hitherto more in touching distance and equipped for some sophisticated lights dimmed shadow cutting club floor action. Well worth a peak. Future uncharted audio releases we are advised will see outings shortly from the likes of LJ Kruzer and Cursor Miner – just between you and me I think their spoiling us.


Hopefully next month we should have an earful of Static Caravan’s new season of sounds, head honcho Geoff has promised us copies of a new Table 7 inch, a 12 from Inch Time, in addition there are 7’s on the horizon from both Hannah Peel and Tula as well as a new Men An Tol full length with the first 50 copies coming replete with a specially commissioned Pete Fowler art print. Sadly though unless you’ve already pre-ordered one – the 100 only Billy Mahonie lathe cut album has completely sold out – sorry folk but we nabbed the last copy. Also there’s a limited 80 only cassette release by Southall Riot’s Phil M – again sold out at source and Normans – and we should know because we had it in our basket only for the blighter to jump ship at the checkout. Thankfully Phil was on hand with a few spares. For now though and with a self titled debut album looming near via Static and Full Time Hobby here’s the second single from……..


Erland and the Carnival ’trouble in mind’ – think I’m right in saying that we hooked up to this lots debut a few months ago – well sometime when the sun was out in what was allegedly our summer time, a trio no less formed around the talents of Orkney Isle resident Erland Cooper and aided and abetted by Simon Tong (see Verve et al) and David Nock. Described in passing as Pentangle flavoured by Morricone with a dash of Love, a sprinkling of 13rth Floor Elevators and a smidgeon of Joe Meek. All sounds fine by us. As previously advertised the bitter sweetly reflective ’trouble in mind’ is their second release, a taster if you will for the aforementioned arriving full length embraces according to the press release notational elements culled from Alan Lomax and Bruce Springsteen and weaves them into a curiously lilting soft topped super chilled slice of drive time wired west coast pop that’s indelibly sprinkled with all manner of lysergic wooziness – in fact at times its sounds are warped and silvery as though to suggest the result of a tape left on the window ledge exposed to a bright hot sun, obvious comparison notes suggest a Blue Oyster Cult fan in the ranks not to mention a hint of ? and the mysterians though scratch a little deeper and the melodic tonalities softly secrete a subtle B-Movie ’remembrance day’ vibe. Does it for us.


Speak and the Spells ‘she’s dead’ (robot elephant). Alas we haven’t got a finished copy of this devilishly dark and sinisterly cute 7 inch debut though rest assured we won’t be sleeping a wink until we’re safe in the knowledge that one is tucked under our pillow. Why you might well foolishly ask is that so. Well frankly kids it’s the pack of ravenous and leery dogs bollocks that’s why. A three piece hailing from West London and by the sounds of things the toast of the psycho-billy underground, this should be ripe for the picking for fans of the Birthday Party, Meteors, Inca Babies, Gallon Drunk, Link, the turbines, those old Nuggets and Back from the Grave recording relics et al and of course – goes without saying – the Cramps. Grave stone kicking twanging groove that howls, rattles and kicks with such bare boned parched monochromatic primitivism that it could have easily arrived for all the world dumped in a 60’s lay by having been jettisoned out of some reefer smoke choking car boot driven by the Blue Caps with the Trashmen blearing out of the sound system – best filed under wild and fried grizzled blues perhaps somewhere not a million miles from your prized David Cronenberg’s Wife records. Flip the disc for ’brianna’ – a certified slice of skin peeling shock treated frenetic boogie that had us recalling in the main the panic attacking void-ist three chord punk pop shrill of Spizz Energi albeit as though re-wired by a pop fixated Dead Boys. Nuff said.


Laura Marling ‘goodbye England’ (virgin). Frankly to yummy for its own good, a one sided etched type vinyl seven inch thing that pines, purrs and coos with such simplistic majesty that it leaves goose bump traces on your skin. Billed as a limited Christmas release and spotted adorning a record shelf by this hapless scribe at a local sound emporium whispering ‘wanted good home buy us please you’ll love us’ or was I just imagining that it did (that’ll teach me to water the heady cocktail of cough medicine, painkillers and two types of antibiotics with Kentucky’s finest malt). Anyway this comes replete with demurring strings arrangements, warm fuzzy glows and the kind of soft centred chocolate box sweetness that makes you want repeatedly dip in again and again until you’ve filled and smothered yourself to the brim within its sweetly coiffured embrace, admirers of the Earlies will be notably drawn by its heart string tugging beauty.


Goldheart Assembly ’so long St Christopher’ (heron). Yes I’m well aware its been out for yonks – but hell we’ve only just picked up a copy and frankly it blew our wig clean off. Hymnal Hammonds, opining slides, caressing west coast drifts and senses melting lilts – what can we say – the warming and mellowing tonalities of Goldheart Assembly’s softly subdued ’so long St. Christopher’ makes the heart swell, the emotions tug and the senses overcome with a touching awe struck aura, the lazy eyed glazes the introspective foot notes and the liberated longing are deftly weaved into a head swirling carnival of countrified mirages that tease and scratch with a carefree fond affection much recalling a starry eyed Gram Parsons twisted and turned by the picture book prettiness of the Low Anthem and the Leisure Society. One for the feint of heart I suspect. Flip over for ’oh really’ – a scorching slab of 60’s sourced wig flipping lemon popsicle garage soul pop that should by rights give their label mates the Soundcarriers cause to keep peaking over their shoulders with a mild degree of envy.


A few new releases heading towards clued up record emporiums near you for considered listening consumption come in the shape of five new full lengths from those arbiters of cool Cuneiform records sound clips / free mp3’s for which you can window shop before purchase over at – first up Chicago five piece Algernon whose rapid word of mouth reputation among the chattering classes is fast circulating the confines of their Chicago hometown stump up ‘ghost surveillance’ from which you’ll find ‘broken lady’ selected as the freebie taster download cut. All chilled out pastoral post rock perfection, duelling guitars navigating an intricately weaved looping tapestry of undulating pastures peppered by the subtle tones of lilting jazz lounge motifs, softly tendered South Pacific sea breezes and embraced with a 60’s library-esque brusqueness that might appeal asides to fans of Isotope 217 and David Grubbs, Komeda. Next up Amsterdam based quartet Brown Vs Brown whose ’odds and evens’ throws up the jagged and dislocated ’whirlpool’ a cut that sounds as though it was reared on Henry Cow and Captain Beefheart and no doubt hugely inspired and informed by Touch n’ Go’s mid 90’s catalogue, this lot craft out an infectious array of dislocated and punctuated art rock, just love the mooching and impatient horns as they agitate and dictate the pace and the freeform casualness of the whole thing as it leads the listener by the hand on a strangely wig flipped voyage – something that should first and foremost appeal to lovers of Storm and Stress and the Sea and the Cake. Next up perhaps the pride of the new release pack variously described as an avant garde jazz chamber ensemble, the New York Art Quartet’s flame briefly burned for a short while in the early 60’s – short as it may have been but Tchicai, Rudd, Graves and Moore left a lasting and resonating impression on the jazz scene pretty much tearing up the rule book and turning established notions on their head, their only recorded work was a self titled full length via the hip and trendy ESP until that is now. ’old stuff’ cooks up a collection of early recordings culled from two shows in Copenhagen in ’65 within a fried cornucopia of loose and primal jazz located somewhere between the converging worlds of Ayler and Hayes and sure as hell something that should strike familiar wig flipped chords for fans of Now. Radio Massacre Revolution – a UK trio have been around together as a recording entity for some two decades now, their current opus ’time and motion’ is – if the exquisitely tutored ‘chronus’ the free to download MP3 taster here is anything to judge by – a wide screen masterpiece of prog psych kraut electronic study – a by all accounts 2 and a half hour feast of Tangerine Dream meets Zombi via Floyd and Vangelis mind wiring soundtrack ambience set across 2 discs that are meant to act a four separate lp’s. last up Univers Zero serve up the rather sprightly mayday pageantry ’les kobolds’ culled from their latest unveiling ’Clivage’ – courts the same kind of sweeping floral Elizabethan regalism as was encountered on Nyman’s score for Greenaway’s ’the draughtsmen’s contract’ – ingenious in other words.


And returning back to all things Static Caravan related – that promised cassette release from former Southall Riot man Phil M. Entitled the ’Phil ((m) mix)’ this limited to 80 only cassette comprises 14 tracks all haunseemly packaged in cardboard covers reclaimed and bastardised from boxes ‘pilfered’ from Sainsbury’s, Somerfield and Fat Cat records. Initially intended to be a pure 100% analogue recording – Phil’s apologies on the accompanying track list insert note with a certain degree of disappointment the finishing process being tampered ever so slightly by the introduction of Audacity software. A gem of a release it should be said, those familiar with Southall Riot recordings of old will not be found wanting neither will admirers of both the Freed Unit (‘ok fly girl’ and ‘penny your eyes’) and those recent 4 track recordings by the Bordellos (especially ion the bubblegum psych of ‘impossible thoughts of the late dream‘ or the fried ‘paradising‘) – in fact the minute this release kicked in after its initial Judith Chalmers spoken word sample (yes you did read right) the savoured memories of those SR releases came flooding back in an instant, nice to see that in the intervening years since he last had cause to adorn our turntable that Phil hasn’t lost any of his knack for the turning out of crisply phrased lysergic lo-fi loveliness, imagine the honey tipped kaleidoscopic pop detailing of say the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band dimpled with the mindset of Half Japanese or Jonathan Richman and applied with the skeletal threadbare touch of Guided by Voices. it’s a bracing affair of quickly drilled minimalist psych pop treasures in the making briefly appearing / disappearing in a fleeting instant all deftly despatched in a lysergic flavouring of sugar drizzled lazy eyed tonalities. That said its not just sun shiney radiant pop that you’ll find here, dig a little deeper and a few surprises are there for the discovering such as the darkly disturbed dream weaving mirage that is the instrumental ’telephone box = prison’ with its nods to Barrett era Floyd. Elsewhere there’s the cosmic promenade pop of ‘were’ which could easily be Meek meets Tornadoes meets Pluto Monkey via Wire in another time, age / world while purists of late 90‘s Montreal pop would do well to scout ‘songbird‘s return‘ while simultaneously refreshing your memory banks with Constellations finest moments whilst dare we neglect to mention ‘fade back as luck‘ which if we didn‘t know any better sounds not unlike an unlikely studio meeting between Gnac, Roy Montgomery and L‘Augmentation. Flip the tape to be greeted by a spot of ’hex’ era Fall via ’the unexplainable’. All said it’s the sets obvious out on its own curio ’do you know’ that gets our vote as the collections best moment – a kind of hot spin wash of loosely fragmented and unrelated sounds weaved into a discernibly weird and wired lurching and mooching montage of ghostly Cab Calloway apparitions refracted through the sonic sound chamber of the much missing Element of Creeping Bent fame and dutifully peppered with the mind altering and trippy vibes of ’bad orb whirling ball’ era Walking Seeds.


A wholly analogue version of the ‘mix’ is apparently available on polite request – a copy of which we’ll try to nab for further mentions.


missive 259b


Singled Out

Missive 259b


Archive 2



And there we were perusing one of the many music titles to be found in our local newsagents when we spotted a review for ‘Spring and Port Wine’ which for so long being out of print and unavailable on general release is finally being given a full outing on DVD. About time we here you say – and if you didn’t say – then why not – because this is one of the oft overlooked silent classics of northern Brit realism of the 60’s. okay yes it was released in 1970 – a screen adaptation of a Bill Naughton play featuring a stellar cast headed up by James Mason, Diana Coupland, Susan George and Rodney Bewes. A tale of the Cromptons, a northern family headed by a strict disciplinarian factory hand father (Mason) and a doting subservient wife / mother (Coupland) – bringing up four children – in some ways an excellent historical reflection of life in the 60’s – all at humbling (the religious dogmas of the day), harrowing (Hilda’s pregnancy out of wedlock and the potential shame) and hilarious (Harold and Wilfred leaving home or not as the case turns out) – famous perhaps for the fish scene a fish scene and graced with one of the most sympathetic and fitting musical scores courtesy of Douglas Gamley.


Staying with DVD’s – one of our wee Xmas treats was the purchasing of the ’Absolutely’ box set. A show I remember being aired at the tail end of the 80’s via Channel 4 – and as I seem to recall much influenced in presentation terms by Monty Python albeit sprinkled for good measure with the essences of the Goons and a degree of NTNON – this gathers together the imps four televised series in their unadulterated glory, mind you we swear we only remember being only two stretching to three and was most surprised to note the fourth series ended up being aired in ’93 – maybe our memory is playing tricks. Again maybe our memory is a playing tricks – the little bugger – because we swear we remember one of the ongoing gags surrounding the hapless Stoneybridge Councillors (Bruce, Boab, Ek, Maigret, Gordy, Erk and Wully to you) pestering Sean Connery to appear at a promotional event only to be told ‘dear Stonebridge – fuck off’ – alas we haven’t come across it yet it despite managing to happily get through half the box set. Elsewhere there’s everyone’s favourite stalker in the making Calum Gilhooley and Don and George a kind of Gilbert and George meets Derek and Clive – for more information on this iconic series go to


Just before Xmas we received a rather nice little note from Al Scotch Tapes saying he was sending over a parcel of new releases – alas said parcel never arrived – hopefully it hasn’t gone west in the mail system as is the case of a fair few packages these days – however our mood was lifted with the arrival of a seven inch split featuring –


Tayside Mental Health / Endometrium Cuntplow ‘spilt’ (scotch tapes). Regular patrons of these pages will need no introductions nor reminding of our fondness for Tayside Mental Health – they have since appearing on our radar a little over a year ago provided something of a listening obsession in our bijou record playing space not to say scaring our neighbours witless with their sand frosted squalls and stylus melting power electronics. This particular release sees them paired up with Endometrium Cuntplow – alas not playing together (now frankly that would be spoiling us) – no instead each is left to their own uniquely corrosive devices to fill one side of wax as they see fit. Played at a number of speeds (including 78rpm – indeed we managed to salvage an old turntable from imminent destruction) and all sounding dare I say pretty nifty not to mention scary, Tayside Mental Health opt to show their playful side via the slightly misleadingly enchanted titled ‘cuckoo ping ping green fairytale’ – a delightfully skewed and ostensibly wired and wonky slice of fried fun metered out amid a playful landscape of hotwired aborted Cartoon Network themes seemingly jettisoned through some impish mincing machine. In sharp contrast the charmingly titled ‘retreating scrotum, heaving bowel’ (a title straight out of the Carcass abattoir technicians beginners guide to anatomical nasties) is a little more – shall we say – moulded in the skin peeling acid bath mindset, a punishing head scrambling exercise in finger nails gouging blackboards, dismembered fairground follies and demonic primal shock therapy screams – agreed not as caustic or wilfully antagonistic as fellow noise-nik Kylie Minoise and dare we say edging into territories more readily occupied by a mentally deranged Zea with murderous intent yet all the same spiked with enough volcanic attrition to make your ears pop and your eyeballs bleed. Flip over for Endometrium Cuntplow’s (now there’s a name made for t-shiirts) – again no strangers to these pages, the work of one David Lucien Matheke who if we recall rightly heads up the Nihil Underground and Love Torture imprints (though don’t take our word for it as we haven’t had time to do the requisite research). As with the fun loving Taysider’s Mr Matheke occupies his groove space with two ominous slabs of creeps-ville fayre. The deeply unsettling ’rinsom wars edit minus’ opens his account – eerie communications, weird whirring collages and atmospheric apparitions are the order of the day, disembodied frequency flips coiled around manipulated hypnotic trance waves that to these ears sound like the amplified chatter of a processor chip – admirers of the more oblique work of Dreams of Tall Buildings and Mount Vernon Arts Lab will savour to their hearts content. Better still the industrial mechanised kraut dread drone of ‘in needles’ offers up something of an apocalyptic ill wind – a kind of hell bound meeting if you will of 70 Gwen Party, Depth Charge and the Ministry as rephrased and refracted by a darkly diluted Front 242.


Future Tayside and Endometrium wares will see Scotland’s favourite sons hooking up for a split release with Great Slave Lake via Scotch tapes while the Cuntplow has a busy schedule that promises – pause for sharp intake of breath……


-split w/ Kitten Glitter CD-R [Placenta Recordings]

-split 3″ CD-R w/ RedSK on [Love Torture Records]

-split 3″ CD-R w/ Noise Nazi on [Love Torture Records]

-split 3″ CD-R w/ Mixedupmess on [Love Torture Records]

-split c35 w/ Gorgonized Dorks on [Love Torture Records]

-Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails split w/ MCPIBTYCP c35 on [Love Torture Records]

-split c53 w/ Al Qaeda (Part III of III) on [Love Torture Records]

-split c35 w/ REACHING. on [Scotch Tapes]

-Tides c53 on [Love Torture Records]

-split w/ Yūko Imada [tba]

-split CD-R w/ El Diablos Bloncos on [Love Torture Records]

-Burn Los Angeles, Burn!!! on [Love Earth Music]

-tba on [Kwark Records]

-split tape w/ Zombie Bite on [Love Torture Records]

-split w/ Koobaatoo Asparagus

-split c10 w/ Churner on [Violent Noise Atrocities]

-split c40 w/ Fag Priest on [The Pet Goat]

-3 way split CD-R w/ Big Drum In The Sky Religion / Color Rabbit on [Love Torture Records]

-split c40 w/ BBBlood




Avi Buffalo ‘what’s in it for?’ (sub pop). Our oft grumbled utterings about how we rarely get the chance to hear, see or indeed buy the wares of Sub Pop repeatedly – with much sadness – always seem to fall on deaf ears and so we console ourselves with the occasional scraps whenever we have the chance or fortune. So as you can imagine when we saw this little cutie waving and winking (yes I did say winking – you lot will get me shot – there’s young folk around do you mind) from our pc screen via an online record retail source (no names – RT – oh bugger) well we just had to have it. A scrumptious debut offering from West Coast pop smiths Avi Buffalo. Pressed up on darkish red-dish vinyl and housed in a rather cute and colourful sleeve this beauty beams and radiates with such opining loveliness that it’ll subdue you in an instant as it bathes your winter woes in caressing halos of sensuous sunburnt silkiness, equally relevant to admirers of Simon and Garfunkel as it to lovers of the Clientelle and the Summer Hymns, the vibrant tapestry dappled with corteges of longing crystalline riff chimes borrowed from the Byrds and the softly scaled vocal pitches usher in a would be imagining of Clock Strikes 13 types meeting a youthful Animal Collective. Utterly perfect. Flip the disc ‘Jessica’ – beautifully wonky I think is the way to describe it, plenty of playful campfire chatter like kookiness in the background, some hymnal organs (think Procul ‘whiter shade’ meets Lennon’s ’Jealous Guy’, some whistling (always a good thing around these here parts) and plenty of early 70’s styled Beach Boys motifs – hell kids if we didn’t know better we’d have had this down as some long lost Doleful Lions curio. Buy on sight – an album is reportedly hatching.


The Blanche Hudson Weekend ‘the letters to daddy’ EP (Squirrel). Absolutely stunning – more buzz sawed bubblegum groove from the label responsible for putting out those essential playing platters by the Manhattan Love Suicides – two of whose ex members incidentally feature in the line up of the Blanche Hudson Weekend. Three tracks feature on this peachy playable treat – ‘crying shame’ leads the charge – a gorgeously lilting lovelorn cutie that manages with some admirable aplomb to fuse the essences of Link, Jesus and Mary Chain and the Shangri-La’s into a succulently strut seized beehive babe and adorns it with all manner of shade wearing sherbety sighs – former fans of MLS will not be found wanting when the love jaded soft psyche garage purr of this pretty rears into view of the jukebox. Better still are the brace of beauties lying in wait on the b-side from the bliss grooved fuzz of the crestfallen rainy afternoon reflection of ’the last ride’ which should appeal to those with a pang for things with the name the Siddeleys tattooed on its hide while ’noise and fury’ is a sugar laced melodic buzz bomb cemented by windswept effervescent skrees of MBV feedback albeit informed by a Ramones mindset.


Sissy Spacek ‘fortune’ (gilgongo). Again another avant noise collective who are no strangers to these pages – see missive 230 and 239 respectively – who are based around the warped and wired no wave brainchild John Weise. Not sure how many of these are kicking around but I wouldn’t hang around to long if you want one as your own. A seven inch platter no less featuring as billed two songs. What you really get in exchange for your hard earned dosh is not two but rather more twenty six impish bursts of skree scorched discordance, its brief and its blistering and should by rights appeal to any right minded person with a certain aural acclimatisation to the work of Hijokaidan and Masonna, brutal or caustic doesn’t come into it all you need to know is that the minute the stylus touches base with the wax your immediately under siege amid a scorching head pounding sand storm of skin peeling velocity. Not one for the timid in nature.


Hexicon ‘something strange beneath the stairs’ (haircut). Getting a bit daft this now for here’s another faultless release this time displaying the mercurial talents of Messrs Collins and Rains who can also be heard penning perfect pop nuggets as part of Allo, Darling whose recent debut release ‘Polaroid song’ (mentioned elsewhere amid these never ending pages) for those bastions of boot tapping boogie – Fortuna Pop – had us all a cheering and a swooning in the aisles. And so to Hexicon their other obsession – since 2006 we’ll have you know or rather more as the press release would have us know, ‘something strange beneath the stairs’ has proven something of a crowd favourite in recent times and its easy to see why, its lilting demeanour, the breezy embrace of its carefree nonchalant nature not to mention its lazy eyed shuffle pierced as were by a strangely becoming wintry dusting of noir drizzled French horns all collide to give it a sweetly sighing signature that had us recalling with much fondness both Garlic (before they become the new Pavement) and Jumbo (before they weirded out and disappeared to much upset and tears off everyone’s radar) before planting fuzzy glowing feathery kisses upon our furrowed brow and proceeding to exit stage left. Over on its flip sits ’still here’ – something of a reflectively mellowing porch lit countrified cutie despatched with hymnal and homely keys, opining slides and twinkling bells which all gathered together should strike dreamy chords among long standing country pop admirers of Buffalo Springfield, Gram Parsons and Michael Nesmith.


The last rapes of Mr Teach ‘the blood of another man’ EP (les disques steak). Must admit that this has in its own insidious way been growing on us with each repeated play. The last rapes of mr teach hail from france and play a roughshod variant of garage grilled cowpunk, plenty of twanging guitars for the purists among you while initial reference markers would suggest that their stripped to the bone and almost ramshackle approach to recording point to souls in the camp being inspired by the Violent Femmes (non more so is this the case than on the brazenly blistered ‘I saw a corpse‘). Anyhow to date they’ve put out a handful of releases included a brace of recent splits with Sex Beet and Movie Star Junkie all of which we’ll have to nail for ourselves for fear of sleepless nights fretting about their omission from our well heeled record collection. As to this particular EP – four cuts lurk within with title track ’the blood of another man’ doing a rather neat take on the swamp dragged primal scowl of Gallon Drunk albeit here as though spiked by the Scars while over on the flip side ’it’s all over’ sounds like some recently unearthed long lost chirpy throwaway beat grooved ditty the type of which would grace the end credits of some grimly gruesome dread racked horror flick though why oh why it sounds like it was recorded under water is beyond me while the wasted ’gypsy night’ is stacked aplenty with the kind of reverbs and primitive 60’s shade adorned motifs that suggest a loosely forming kinship with the much loved Fuzztones.


Smoke Fairies ’gas town’ (third man). Been a fair while since we had cause to feature anything by Jessica and Katherine for it is they who are the Smoke Fairies, in fact the last time was when we passed words of affectionate fondness in the general direction of their demo CD set. A year or two on and there we were spying an online record emporium shop window and up popped in to view this rather dandy and dainty 7 inch. Of course we had to have. Smoke Fairies occupy a strangely beguiling twig light world lushly decorated with the sweet pastoral tug of soft psyche 60’s trimmings, woozy Canterbury folk accents and sensual shades of rustic reclines, it’s a tapestry woven to enchant and spellbind, the beautified caress and the coalescence of harmonies and melodies usher in like Siren-esque apparitions drawing you close and delicately whispering of sultry wantonness. As you’d rightly imagine by title alone ’river song’ is softly smoked with a mountainside woodiness that oozes a ghostly calm, its hypnotic allure owes as much to John Fahey as it does Mellow Candle and Pentangle or indeed Curved Air as its fragmented and fractured finale duly notes. That said it’s the lead cut ’gas town’ that is bound to strike chords with admirers of nu-folk, sharing something of an affinity with the Owl Service collective this flighty beauty sounds as though its stepped through some tear in time arriving from an age of innocence and tranquillity and by rights shouldn’t look to out of place sitting next to your much cherished ’Wicker Man’ OST. A gem.


Hygiene ’town centre’ EP (static shock). Now there has been much grumbling and muttering of ill thoughts not to mention an occasional usage of Anglo-Saxon phrases not heard on these shores since men with big beards, bigger hair and hats with tusk-y bits on top entered through customs at ye olde Dover. And the reason for such cussing you might well ask. Well it seems these urchins have already sneakily serviced a hungry fan base with a prior rarer than hen’s teeth release entitled ’tv girl’ to which this hapless scribe has seemingly missed. Ah well such is life we’ll just continue a cussing until we go hoarse. Mind you we do I’m glad to say have this – its follow up. Limited to just 320 copies (319 now considering I’ve got a copy) this particular release comes courtesy of London’s Static Shock imprint – a label who last appeared in these pages courtesy of a killer release from the Shitty Limits. Featuring three cuts this disgruntled view from the council estates sounds not unlike something that’s fallen from a Peel play list c. 1979, the agitated negativity and blankness literally pours from the waxen grooves of ’town centre’ the monochrome riffs chugs scowl and spar blending a superbly lo-fi low grade proto post new wave art rock spiky-ness to proceedings as though the result of some rain drizzled street meeting between a youthful Fall and an equally young Wire. Flip the disc for more of the same with ’mrsa’ sounding not unlike (and a second mention this particular missive) a seriously bored and pissed off Scars with a case of bad attitude while the blank generation apathy of ’dissertation’ is so acutely bracing that you may just feel totally un-arsed to rise from your pit. We need more.


Cam Deas ‘my guitar is alive and its singing’ (self released). There’s only 100 hand made and hand numbered copies of this release to be had which we are suspecting – should word get out – will fly from the racks – so do yourself a favour and get your backsides into gear sprightly if you want to avoid the obvious resulting untold disappointment. This cd features three cuts spread across 42 minutes – there’s been a prior release with Spoono via Blackest Rainbow that we’ll have to nail as our own as well as selected cuts from imprints such as great pop supplement, dead pilot, curt and sunburnt tongue all of which we’ll be setting our radar for deep scan to nab as our own. Hailing from Sheffield Cam Deas makes great use of atmosphere and silence, of course opening salvo ’the waters of kvaloya’ will appeal to long standing admirers of Roy Montgomery in the ways the author scripts playfully a sense of drama as the cavernous mood phrasings swell and arc between moments of lulling calm to minor bursts of intricate activity with hymnal primitivism at times passing through to pay subtle nods to Mountain. In sharp and marked contrast ’my guitar is alive and its singing’ opts for a spot of ominous drone, the glassy whirrs interrupted and punctuated by the occasional neutered strum recall the brooding effect of Aidan Baker’s more unsettling and darkly woven work. That said parting cut the nature bound and woody ‘as spring fell from the leaves’ should prove something of noteworthy interest to John Fahey purists – the stilled resonance of the mesmeric chiming cascades of delta folk drills usher in a sense of disarming sereneness, the detail and delivery exquisite in its despatch and by our reckoning the best thing we’ve heard of its ilk since the late Jack Rose’s ‘the black dirt sessions’ set for three lobed recordings last year.


Spirit Spine ‘crashers’ (make mine). Again another young musician previously unknown to us who appears of late to be causing something of a kerfuffle among the chattering classes of the clued in underground scene. Spirit Spine (named after a condition experienced by people with severed spinal chords leading them to believe they can still walk) – or 19 year old Joseph Denney as he’s better known to friends and relatives – hails from Bloomington, Indiana – to date there’s a self titled album kicking about in record world as well as an EP entitled ’surf hunter’ which you can down load for free by hooking up to his my space site at – anyhow he trades in suave strains of honey tipped electro pop which on the evidence of ’crashers’ initially has your radars alerted to report back ’sounds like Animal Collective cross-wired with the Earlies‘, though delve a little deeper and succumb to the hugely uplifting and celebratory softly coiled west coast motifs and the hitherto arresting sun parched jubilance and you’ll hear something a little more attributable to the pristine pop alchemy of J Xaverre and Tex La Homa which as you all know is a pretty nifty feat if you can pull it off.


Drumcunt ’fags’ (bunkland). Julian Cope is a fan by all accounts – take from that what you will, it’s a limited thing pressed up on a 3 inch CD and all hand numbered – 65 in total in case you were going to ask – our copy being #54. They or he / she hail from London and on this frankly must have set sit four tracks that lurk within vying for your attention. As to the sound – pretty bloody ominous as it happens, very much stilled in a bleakly blank post apocalyptic landscape scarred and scribed by a mutant fusion of chilled monochrome industrial accents and drum n’ dubby (of course with the occasional bassy bits) and dare we say traversing territories more readily occupied by those souls occupying the collective groove space of the Alrealon imprint and here we are thinking Subduxtion et al. n one more so is this the case than on the opening salvo ‘fishlicker’ which it should be said really had the floor shaking in our gaff regardless of the fact that we’d hiked up the volume to levels where the resulting vibration was causing the plaster to disintegrate on the walls and ceiling. Mind you that said ‘old cunt’ does stray ever so slightly into sound spheres previously navigated by a darker in intention Add N to X and the more obtuse and less playful work of Echoboy while there’s tomfoolery aplenty on ’bonnie tyler / snow white’ which unless our ears do deceive had us recalling the impish kookiness of those early 8bit recitals put out by Casino vs. Japan though all said it’s the manically wired and unhinged ’I’m head feels like a chemist’ that caught our attention dipping ever so slyly into the less fractious elements of the Tigerbeat6 imprint and ending up sounding like some mantra warped collision featuring various parts of Wagon Christ, Puffin Boy and Muslim Gauze. And before you ask – yes you do need it in your life.

missive 259c


Singled Out

Missive 259c


Archive 3


The Notwist ‘come in’ (city slang). Probably been out for ages, years even – and you’ve probably gone through the full gambit of emotions from loving it to bits to being tired of hearing it so often – who knows – but then we would have to question any of you suffering the latter because no matter how often we hear it each new listen is like reliving the blossoming moments of a love affair. The Notwist are – as you shouldn’t need telling – quite perfect, hatching and concocting chill tipped ice sculptures in the form of evensong each and every time they go anywhere near a recording facility, the application of melody fused to harmony is impeccable – hell these cute things could have been cobbled together in a north pole grotto for all we know such is their twinkle toed lulling perfection. ’come in’ is arresting and beyond that there is nothing more to say though add Grizzly Bear to the formula as on the flip cuts ’boneless’ and the whole nuzzling fuzzy felt winter warm cosy-ness rears into view full circle. Delicately drop dead gorgeous is I think the best way to describe it all.


Laurence Son ‘a few drops of muzzled milk’ (self released).don’t you just find that some of the best and most interesting releases arrive without fanfare or celebration or indeed introduction. And so to a five track release from the mysterious Laurence Son. Entitled ’a few drops of muzzled milk’ it comprises five tracks. Arrived at gaff waiting to greet our return this very day housed in a reclaimed battered about the edges envelope with staples were once there had been adhesive and an address label barely hanging from the seams to such extent we here were surprised it got to us in the first place. And like its packaging the songs within are dispatched with minimal application, threadbare and rickety almost transparently feint in design, a lo-fi afterthought if you will. Pressed up on a CD-r and housed in hand crafted sleeves depicting childlike caricatures and a rather cute hand penned thank you note with little all else in terms of information other than a myspace address and a mobile contact number – we puzzled at this strange looking DIY artefact. However uncork the wayward treats within and let the air at them and rather than slap you around the chops and poke you in the eye, the melodies within – both frail and crooked – have an uncanny knack of drawing you in close with intimate invitation. Perhaps something for the archaic folk blues purists among you, the scratchy detail the limited production presence endow a primitive aura upon these five off kilter sorts both opening salvos ’to ease the fat’ and ’slack jaw blade’ have a sense of the Waits and Beefheart about their wares the latter appealing one suspects to those who purchased the recent ’dust sucker’ sessions set via Ozit while the former mentioned is shrouded with the same darkly set creakily sketched ramble as has become a trademark of the stateside bar room bard. All said we here are more than a tad smitten by the parting ’the bunny dip’ as it wheezes ominously through fogbound landscapes to sound like something much deserving of being filed alongside your prized Smog / Bill Callahan releases.


Observer Music Monthly #76 – ah well guess we kinda suspected, the last few editions – when they’ve appeared (seem to recall a few issues going amiss around Summer) – have had the feel of something distracted and neglected – and so arrives #76 of this most relevant of Sunday supplements (since September 2003) – the last one as it happens and an other music periodical biting the dust (another informed read – Plan B – folded mid way through last year). To mark its exit from our reading list this parting issue is devoted to an extended feature entitled ‘American Legends’ – a fitting goodbye in so far as the artists mentioned are responsible for moulding / setting the templates for this multi faceted thing we call pop, in many respects OMM understood that pop was just the reserve of the charts but was something of a genre bending beast forever evolving and to this end its monthly musings became a free spirited adventure unperturbed or dictated by fads and fashions or indeed bandwagons instead taking the would be listener on a journey through the stranger passages of pop’s rich tapestry. A year in the collating American Legends features a collection of photographs by Jamie James Medina – a hall of honour focusing on the greatest living legends from the spheres of rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, country, blues and folk, among the billion dollar gathering Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, Wanda Jackson, Ornette Coleman, Etta James, Sonny Rollins, Honeyboy Edwards, Buddy Guy and Les Paul who sadly passed away before the projects completion – all feature with accompanying words from musicians of whom they’ve influenced or inspired. OMM – RIP 2003-2010.


Kathryn Williams ‘50 white lines’ (0ne little Indian). Oh how we love the tension, the anticipation and the drama of this as it gathers apace with sly stealth breathlessly unpeeling your defences with deft precision with each passing melodic gear shift, the beauty and the clarity of the honey toned pastoral patters metered to the dusty percussive shuffles and married to Williams’ carefree lovelorn intonations endow upon the would be listening space a demurring spring hued radiance. Mind you as lovely as ’50 white lines’ is it’s the arresting lovelorn and resigned reflection of the souring serenade ’nothing to offer’ over on the flip that had us a cooing as you will to especially if your idea of toe tapping willowy country tinged folk purity and perfection comes bearing the name Laura Cantrell tattooed on its hide. An album – her eighth (where have you been all my life girl) precedes entitled ‘the quickening‘.


An Experiment on a bird in the air pump ‘silent hour’ (buy a life). Mentioned these ages ago when we took a casual peak at the sonic wares adorning their my space page, three young ladies c-bird, d-bird and x-bird are their names, the band named – one presumes after a painting by 17th C artist Joseph Wright. Anyhow this 7 inch EP comprises three tracks that should by rights be setting the radars of Katastrophy Wife, PJ Harvey and Carina Round admirers all alight and buzzing hot given that their sound is finitely cut with a brooding primitive blues sparseness. Opening cut ‘silent hour’ is scarred and scalded by a frenzied mania as its choking voodoo love charms encircle with the kind of bleakly brittle bastardised beauty of ’ju-ju’ era Siouxsie albeit cross-wired by a less threatening and debased Lydia Lunch. That said with its desolate post punk austerity ‘smear’ taps superbly into the despondent consciousness of Xmal Deutschland where it transplanted into the mindset of Controller. Controller while its left to the brief but unquestionably raw and spiteful ‘only in death’ over the flip to steal the set – a primal lo-fi soul sucking bare boned garage growler unless our ears do deceive and one for the Mr Airplane Man admirers among you.


Various ‘holiday 4-way’ (Stumparumper). I’ll be honest it was the name of the label that attracted us and after a spot of hasty research (that’ll be looking at the back sleeve) there’s been 7 outings courtesy of this Stateside based imprint (and brainchild of a certain Pat Kelley) whose glaring omission from our impeccably maintained record collection will no doubt be the cause of cold sweats and bouts of insomnia. A Christmas treat no less (and just as well really because the promised Cherryade Christmas collection and bracken festive cassette reviews are a tad delayed due to us having mislaid said items in the humungous release mountain which is currently threatening to take over our gaff). Anyhow as the title surely gives hint to – this limited 300 only 7 inch features a gathering of four likeminded ensembles all abusing the festive season as they see fit. Here you get the willowy (Hoop Dreams), the wonky (Fuck Montreal), the weird (Granny Frost) and the quite frankly warped (Banned Books). Each of these cuts are gems in their own little way and much to our embarrassment served up by bands previously unknown to us. First up Banned Books unwrap ‘xxxmas’ – a razor sharp fuzzy scuzzy glam drizzled new wave sortie that manages with some aplomb to splice together elements of Jonathan Richman with Magoo. The fuzziness continues apace with the arrival of the scuzzy blues despondency of Granny Frost’s ‘cystic Crisco lipstick Christmas’ which in many way had us recalling with much fondness Captain Polaroid who as you all know is a trademark celebrity of the Filthy Little Angels family – and yes favourable words about FLA’s 5th anniversary set are currently brewing on the back burner. Hoop Dreams serve up the seriously lo-fi tweaked sparse west coast pop thrill of ’under a Christmas star’ replete with Raspberries meets Cockney Rebel meets Cheap Trick cuteness while it’s the parting offering from Fuck Montreal that held our affections to ransom, a wonderfully kooky and childlike dream weaved apparition of ’do you hear what I hear?’ all sweetly brushed with a gorgeously goofy side serving of crooked Elephant 6 Collective impishness. More of the same please when your ready.


Fossils / Spoils and Relics ‘split’ (mantile). The first of three releases that you’ll find dotted across these pages in the fullness of time courtesy of tape only label Mantile. Recently salvaged from a mail order record emporium the label provides what can only be described as cryptic verses as to the contents of the releases. Run by – we assume – Johnny Scarr – a name we suspect not on his passport or readily known to his family – the label prides itself on producing limited run cassettes (50 in case you are asking) housed in hand crafted / stamped artwork sleeves the first of which procuring our attention being this ominous split outing from Fossils and Spoils and Relics. A release one suspects not for the feint of heart or indeed to be appreciated alone in the dark if the formers salvo is anything to judge. Eerie doesn’t really do it justice for ‘why brow’ is shrouded amid a parched and desolate dread landscape, part oppressive part apocalyptic, it groans, creaks and slithers with a bleak abandon, sounding at times not unlike a skin crawling backdrop to some darkly disturbing horror flick, its doom draped hollowness metered out by an array of scrapes, wind chilled rusty swings, monolithic opines (recalling the death ridden sirens of the Tripods from War of the Worlds), white noise chatter and a general sense of something not of this world and which on reflection nods its atmospheric alienation to the abstract sonic micro verse once countered many years back by Pimmon. Flip the cassette over for ’shut in place’ – those thinking solace awaits – think again – through the – as were – magnified subterranean textures leviathan like communications can be heard between the moments of petrified stillness and echoing resonance the morbid clatter of dragging chain mail is heard, something lurks in the shadows, a hellish creation slavering, hungry and pensively plotting – disturbed stuff.


Shrag rabbit kids’ (wiaiwya). My my how they’ve blossomed since they last ventured these pages, once the authors of shouty spiky skewed punk pop these days the adorable alchemists of day-glo daubed throb pop, ‘rabbit kids’ leads the charge a kind of feistily fey and flighty twee coaxed Echobelly meets Lush cross-matched with side rations of Helen Love, an irresistible and infectious well aimed arrow to the heart longingly adorned with hooks aplenty and a cavaliering chorus to make the most steely eyed swoon and sigh fondly. Better still is the accompanying flip cut (isn’t that always the case eh?) – ’erratic fictions’ decorated in all manner of early 90’s indie pop accents lushly lightened by twinkling highlights of honey glazed fluffiness all woven amid oodles of la la’s and loved up late 60’s girl pop flashbacks that summarily peak and fracture to the bleaching burn of a white hot noise nuking finale. Cute.


Jack Rose ‘woodpiles on the side of the road’ (thrill jockey). A talent tragically extinguished before its time, Jack Rose’s passing at the tail end of last year was a sad and unexpected shock and took from the music scene a young and rare talent whose craft and artistry was fortified and informed by the hallowed legends of folk and blues’ rich and primitive lineage. As though overseen by spectres from another age the gift entrusted to Rose was one that shared its bloodline with the finest exponents of the six and twelve string, a disciple of delta blues Rose’s clearest reference was that of the late John Fahey his work proving – especially on last years Three Lobed outing ’the black dirt sessions’ – to drew an irrefutable line extending back to Fahey’s earliest landmark recordings. And so to ’woodpiles on the side of the road’ – culled from a forthcoming set for Thrill Jockey entitled ‘luck in the valley‘ (label press release below) which is due to hit the most relevant record emporium counters next month, it’s a track that encapsulates the timeless beauty of Rose’s craftsmanship – the richness of the woody textures, the maturity of the deft finger work and the mellowness of the smoked mountain side distilling are harnessed into something both free spirited and pure from modernist pollution. A free download of the track is available by clicking on the following link…..


Thrill Jockey say of the release in their press blurb…..


‘A native of Virginia and resident of Philadelphia since 1998, Jack Rose first rose to prominence with the drone/noise/folk unit, Pelt. Pelt can be counted among the early influential new music underground bands such as UN, No Neck Blues Band, Charalambides, Tower Recordings and Six Organs of Admittance. Rose recorded and toured with the band up until 2006. Rose released his first solo LP in 2002, “Red Horse, White Mule”, of post-Takoma, American primitive guitar. Along with the influences of John Fahey and Robbie Basho, Rose also incorporated North Indian classical, early American blues, bluegrass and minimalism into his singular style. 2005 saw the release of his fourth LP, “Kensington Blues”, which incorporated all of the aforementioned influences and his playing/composing fully flowered. That LP is now considered a classic of contemporary guitar music.

In 2008 and 2009 Rose released “Dr. Ragtime and Pals” and “Jack Rose and the Black Twig Pickers” respectively. Those recordings featured many additional players like Glenn Jones, Micah Smaldone, Harmonica Dan and the Black Twig Pickers. The songs drew heavily on pre-war influences, either written by Rose or were his arrangements of early American classics. “Luck in the Valley ” will be the third album in this set of recordings that Rose jokingly refers to as his “Ditch Trilogy”. Rose continues his exploration of pre-war American music with a set brand new material featuring the Twigs, Jones, Harmonica Dan and Hans Chew along with a handful of solo pieces. This recording set out to capture the energy and feel of the classic three-track shack recordings by the Wray Brothers and Mordicai Jones. “Luck In The Valley” was written and recorded over a period of nine months off the road, an unusually long time for Rose to be at home and woodshedding. The album finds Rose employing new themes and techniques that haven’t appeared on previous releases.

Like all pre-war recordings and all of Rose’s releases, this album was recorded live. It was not created using overdubs but rather by recording a few “takes” and selecting the best performance out of those. Rose stated, “I wanted the songs to have an immediacy and spontaneity as they were being recorded. All the musicians chosen for the record know how to play the songs without overworking the material, but at the same time creating memorable accompaniments on the spot.” Several of the songs are in fact the first takes like “Blues for Percy Danforth”, “Lick Mountain Ramble” and “Woodpiles on the Side of the Road”. Also Included in the set are three covers: “St. Louis Blues”, “Everybody Ought to Pray Sometime” and “West Coast Blues”. All of these pre-war classics are Rose’s unique arrangements.

The album title refers to the old red light section of St. Louis and was a code for procuring the services of a prostitute. Says Rose “I read about it on some liner notes to a reissue of pre-war St. Louis recordings and I liked the ring of it.” An avid record collector with an encyclopedic knowledge of pre-war American music, Rose has been acknowledged as a rising star among contemporary guitar players. “Luck in the Valley” finds Rose at his best surrounded by like-minded friends on a recording that is enriched by a sense of history but entirely new, vibrant and warm‘.


To celebrate the life of Mr Rose and to mark a respect for his passing there will be a special night of performances – billed as A Requiem for Jack Rose there will on TUESDAY 16th February 2010 at the Cafe Oto in London will host a gathering of talent that includes sets from HUSH ARBORS, HEATHER LEIGH MURRAY, VOICE OF THE SEVEN THUNDERS, MICHAEL FLOWER BAND and C JOYNES. For more information and tickets please follow this link:


Table ‘songs you can sing’ (Humble Soul / Static Caravan). Typically tasty looking hand numbered release (500 only) that comes adorned in hand finished die cut sleeves housed in a Hessian bag. Doesn’t sound half bad either – in case you are wondering. A six piece hailing from Manchester led from the fore by David O’Dowda ’songs you can sing’ is as it happens their debut release, a wonderfully reflective twin set the lead cut shyly marking its presence as though coated in the kind of starry eyed aural afterglow much admired by those Arctic Circle types, through the frost melting stillness a magically melancholic reverence softly purrs, a daybreak setting moreover a cautious campfire celebration overseen as were by a mellowed Robert Wyatt cradled and caressed by a collective alliance of timid and blurry eyed journeymen made up of Earlies, Low Anthem and the Leisure Society sorts – utterly beguiling and lump in throat numbing. Need we say more. Of course there’s always the flip side ’most’ is to not to put to finer point on matters – scrumptious. Playfully twinkling electronics that wibble and wobble all forlorn and sleepy headed lost in a moment – or so it would seem – amid the safe confines of their nursery room surroundings longingly sprinkled and peppered with fairy dust and decorated by the disarming lull of the frost bound intimate harmonies of a North Pole relocated Beach Boys – kind of makes you feel fuzzy on the inside.


John Foxx ‘burning car’ (Metamatic). Now we’ll readily admit to being a little late with some of the reviews we post here, but we have to put our hands up in saying 18 months since the train left the figurative station is pushing things even by our own woefully ad hoc standards. Anyhow there is a reason for this. So gather round. It was Cargo’s fault. Indeed you’ve guessed it – the now obligatory monthly visit to Cargo to raid their vaults turned up this little gem which we must admit caught our eye and indeed later therein – our ear. Originally out in that golden month September – er – 2008, this cutie was a limited 500 only vinyl issue and saw two cuts that previously saw the light of day stamped side by side on wax way back in that evergreen year – 1980. Fast forward some three decades and adorned with artwork by Karborn, these two tracks are hauled from the garage and given a re-tuning, re-spray and a re-fit by Dubterror. Nothing is lost of the originals oblique and detached chill, cradled as it was in a slick minimalist sterile futura sheen, its update in fact sounds ever more ominous and distant, a future echo perhaps wrapped and coiled with bass driven industrial sombreness these days the trademark of erstwhile Foxx acolyte Gary Numan. ’20th Century’ over on the flip is more the given deal, a liberal re-translation of meaty dub-tronic treatments, apocalyptic scratches and looping spacey spirals set to a vacuumed void canvas – hell where are my Landscape records when I need them. If you want one of these we spied about a dozen or so at Cargo so pester en masse.


Thee Vicars ‘you lie’ (dirty water). Buggering hell this is good, wig flipping groove zapped out of Bury St Edmunds and straight into your living room courtesy of a dinky 7 inch wax slab housed in a cool as f**k pastiche 60’s EP sleeve. This quartet of fringe floppy dudes have been the cause of feverish chatter among the underground garage cognoscenti for a year or two now having let loose several prime select platters of beat pop boogie for the likes of dire, holy twist, eh steeeve, murder slim and of course premier scuzz freak beats Dirty Water. ‘you lie’ sounds for all the world as though its been drop kicked straight out of a hip n’ trendy mid 60’s boutique and into the present, harvested with a superbly primitive scowl elements of the Wailers are subtle though detectable throughout, though repeat plays reveal something of a deliciously dirty shade adorned pact formed between the Standells and Seeds at work factored in with the sassiness as were of a Brian Jones mindset with a youthful Arthur Lee hogging the mixing desk. Flip the disc for more freakin fun in the shape of ‘gonna see me again’ – to these ears has all the hallmarks of another rarefied slab of forgotten buried treasure that’s somehow slipped the shackles of a Nuggets / Pebbles styled retrospective – don‘t know about you but it sounds like a whole heap of twang-licious fuzz to us which unless we’re sorely reading off the wrong page should appeal in the first instance to admirers of the Troggs. Crucial stuff.


The Granite Shore ‘tomorrow morning 3am’ (Occultation). And before you all start bombarding me with complaint missives pointing out the small detail that this has been out for yonks – then yes we know. Better late than never as my late father was once heard to comment as I made my entrance into this world as a slightly overdone and overcooked 10 pound six ounce bouncing bomb much to the relief I should add of my slightly later mother who may well have been forgiven for thinking she was carrying an oversized beach ball. You’ll be late for your own funeral they’d oft cry after me. But enough of that. The second release for the newly formed Occultation imprint who if memory serves right did in fact write to me many many months ago offering promos of this and the Wild Swans release (their first outing) – a hasty reply went unheeded alas – though we did track down the rogue Wild Swans release and mentioned it favourably in despatches. In fact they are currently up to release number three which given Cargo’s impeccable finger on the pulse order delivery we should have in say – June whereupon by that time they’d have released their third while the Granite Shore would have released their second. Is this getting terribly confusing or what. And so to the Granite Shore – alas no time to do a quick spot of google research (connections to the distractions anyone) – pressed up on 10 inches of wax limited to 700 hand stamped copies ours being #217 in case your note taking and featuring two frankly numbing and shy eyed treats. Mellow – and to call it such – doesn’t do it justice, the melancholic opine of ‘tomorrow morning 3am’ cuts to the quick, the sweeping strains of the breezily attuned strings caressed by the flotillas of delicately sturdy riff strums swell and contract freewheeling between the tearfully hollow and touched to the towering and swoon steeped euphoric, a bruised love note of sorts cast upon a wave of lump in throat forming majesty and equipped with the kind of heart sapping finale not heard here since Wylie as in Pete decided to make the ever more rare application of pristine pop pen to paper. Flip the disc for the equally graced ’workhouse’ – a magically mournful and hollowing broken hearted babe lavishly cradled by ornate arrangements and primed and peppered with an intimacy that reaches through your very being and yanks heavily on your defenceless heartstrings. Tissues and a shoulder to cry upon are required listening accoutrements. A blessed thing.


The morning after girls ‘the general public’ (tee pee). Again – not sure how long this has been out and about for, but our copy come pressed up on white vinyl and very pretty too via those Tee Pee sorts whose recent releases (featuring a brace of Night Horse splits) should be due for some deserved mentions later on in these pages though not before we‘ve had a chance to partake in the sounds of the morning after girls. A quintet who hail from Melbourne, been around for a few years now having cut their teeth sharing stages with the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols they’ve earned themselves something of an admired and envied reputation and its easy to see why for ‘the general public’ blurs the core DNA of the Warhols spangled paisley purred power pop with the hazy glow of a youthful Ride and bleaches the shimmer toned fuzzy flecks with a subtle shading of west coast accents and blesses the whole thing with a bliss grooved fringe flopping dream pop fizz that on any given day would make Asobi Seksu gnash their teeth with envy. Flip side ’who is they’ only serves to re-affirm what the lead out track hinted, the approach more mellow and reposed this time of asking – statuesque spirals of glassy effects laden showers saturate the listening space with stutter gun lysergic halos themselves catapulting sighing opines into the milky white ether to cause you to go all a swoon or at least something similar to that effect. And in case you haven’t already gathered for yourselves – yes you need it. – we here feel somewhat embarrassed for not having tripped upon or indeed mentioned the Woven Project previously, based in Hartlepool they number five among their ranks – describe their sounds as ’lo-fi, acoustic and experimental with a folk influence’ which if they don’t mind me saying on their behalf smacks of hiding ones light beneath a very big and obscuring bushel. And there I’ve said it – something perhaps one suspects for fans of early Fence releases, the Autumn Ferment imprint and the Owl Service collective, the Woven Project have to date I think I’m right in saying released one self titled EP a copy of which we’ll endeavour over the forthcoming days to have as our own for further listening pleasures. For now though the small matter of the handful of timid treats that shyly populate their my space page with which to disarm defences to. Appreciably best listened to in the stillness of the wee small hours or at worst aided by the intimacy afforded by headphones with eyes closed and the hustle and bustle of this time greedy society shut out for the Woven Project occupy an aural landscape delicately detailed in windswept noir passages that are filtered by the overcast shading of creaking bruised hollows. Intimate and hurting these four cuts silently bound you amid a forlorn and solemn shackling, each pierced with a defence breaching imploring distress, the airy gracefulness of the whispering accordions arcing to the tear stained string arrangements coalesce to realise a demurring solitary ache. Reference wise the softly undulating ’quiet girl’ is timidly cast with a subtly stirred and thoughtful psych folk dreaminess more associated with Robert Wyatt while elsewhere Peter Gabriel is recalled on the battle scarred solitude that is ’souls’. All said the uninitiated among you will do well to begin your journey’s starting point with ’breathe’ which magically manages to tap into the hurtfully woven tapestry of an as were withdrawn and stripped bare Porcupine Tree as though found recalibrating the lost and more tenderly spectral moments from Levitation’s back catalogue.

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Staying with blak hand records a little longer, mentioned this a fair few times – latest from psyence an EP as it happens entitled ‘a new dawn’ from which we’ve already featured ‘falling in love once again’ – see and ‘cold blood killer’ – see – seems only fitting then that we nab the remaining two tracks for a well-deserved mention. First up then ‘the bad seed’ – a nifty slice of garage gouged kaleidoscopia mining terrains more familiar to a youthful Charlatans whilst along the way craftily nicking the riff from Tubeway Army’s ‘replicas’ while parting title cut ‘a new dawn’ finds the collective in full on nocturnal soul mood spraying seduction and sophistication like its fast going out of fashion and as with the adored ‘falling in love once again’ freefalling smokily into Goodnight Lenin terrains . Strictly limited 40 only cassette.

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