No one does immaculate, majestic or euphoric quite like the Nordic Giants, it’s as though they have a direct open channel to your soul. After what seems like an age, new sounds emerge without fanfare and flag-waving in the shape of ‘amplify human vibration’ from off which, we’ve found ourselves a tad captivated by ‘dystopia’. Not the brooding overcast goliath you might rightly expect of something titled such, but more an expressively radiant sonic Catherine wheel ablaze in glorious haloes of life affirming effervescence. A faultless exercise in the coalescing of melody, message and emotion into a stirring and jubilant prayer amid which a classicist craft rises phoenix like to the soft euphoric burn of riffing sky siren arpeggios. Utterly blissful. https://nordicgiants.bandcamp.com/
Staying with Western Vinyl, tripped across this, truth be we were blown away. This is from Lean Year from a self-titled album just out, this being the track ‘waterloo suns’. The press blurb mentions Karen Dalton, the reference very apt and far from lost on us because this track does tread upon a lineage that draws heavily to evoke a misty recall of Linda Perhacs and Susan Christie simultaneously linking the invisible dots to Laura J Martin. Weaved in a ghostly intimacy that pulls you near, amid its sparse tip toeing framing and willowy wood craft, a deliciously demurring and sighing folk spectral seductively strays occasionally visited by some niftily fraying and smoulder toned riff punctures. https://soundcloud.com/western_vinyl/lean-year-waterloo-suns
Pulled from their recently released ‘Exit Index’ set for Western Vinyl, the quite perfect ‘end’ the latest single from Grooms at times glowers like a dark-hearted mirror opposite of the Flaming Lips’ ‘peace swords’, etched in a forlorn sighing, there’s a fracturing degrading of sound throughout as though the light is being slowly extinguished amid a swirling of untamed turbulence and a deep sense of losing grip. https://soundcloud.com/western_vinyl/end-from-exit-index-by-grooms
another from the Concrete sound house, this is the Newcastle based St James Infirmary who I suspect I might be right in saying is just one person, a certain G Lang. Again, super limited, ‘a heap of broken images’ released a month or three ago in a cassette edition of just 30 is graced in a bucolic vintage. We here have found ourselves somewhat smitten by the head bowed tearful tug of ‘view from the Litchen Window’ which aside being sumptuously crushed beneath a ghostly introspective beauty that hints of a L’Augmentation shimmied up to Pram revisiting lost 70’s soundtracks by Roy Budd, is similarly sprayed with the kind of shadowy noir seduction one might well associate with a 90’s Bristol scene. Add in oodles of spy themed phrasings and a haunting of spectral majesty and you have yourself something of a quietly unassuming gem. https://saintjamesinfirmary.bandcamp.com/album/a-heap-of-broken-images
could have sworn that we’d featured these folk in previous musings, appears we were wrong. Been out a while, alas sold out of its ridiculously limited cassette variant, this is Portland Vows with the post apocalyptic ‘sun noise’ from their ‘play nicely’ outing earlier this year. Must admit to loving the stilled remoteness of this, both eerie and frosted, its minimal dusting hushed in an ice cold edginess that appears to silently stir with odd detachment and ominous intent, its shadow fallen binary cold tech pulsars all the time shifting up on the tenseness quotient to draw something of a sonic kinship with the Truth About Frank. https://portlandvows.bandcamp.com/album/play-nicely
Staying loosely connected to polypores a little while longer, he can be found heading up the production duties on this nifty outing by Tulketh. Entitled ‘difficult third EP’ we’ve been a tad taken by the cut ‘nitrous 2’ whose strangely subtronic swing and acutely funk struck grooving, not to mention the delightful way in which it morphs mushroom like from a remote starting point to blossom out sucking in every bit of free space to literally fill the canvas in a vibrant array of sonic lifeforms, in truth had us much minded of a mid-way point on the techno axis located between a playful Biosphere and a particularly loosely youthful Wagon Christ. https://tulketh.bandcamp.com/album/difficult-third-ep
another release that’s so far managed to sneak to the blind side of our usual watchful radar, a little something sneaked out by Polypores a while back. Much gnashing of teeth to discover that this cassette release is long since sold out, a two track affair, featuring ‘blooms’ on one side and ‘mire’ to t’other. It’s the latter that’s caught our ear though, a full on immersive hypno grooving mind rewire that astral glides through the AI consciousness cooking up newly birthed technoid sonic interfaces that communicate in pure binary waveforms, prog kosmische anyone. https://polypores.bandcamp.com/album/blooms-mire
while we are on the subject of Polypores here’s a little teaser video for a collaborative appearance by Thomas Ragdale and Polypores last month …. hopefully recordings from the event will at some point aoppear on the Polypores soundcloud page…..