briefly back with that rather excellent end of year sound summary from the unexplained sounds group entitled ‘the second annual recognition test’ which before we forget many thanks are owed to Raff for sending over download links for this frankly mammoth set – 1.7gb in total. Might be a tad impossible for us to cover this in one bite, we’ll see though. However for now a mention for those two notables eagerly spotted on our previous visit from Hole House and the Tara Experiment, the former of which ‘was she a tape recording’ is a bit of an oldie now, featuring on Hole House’s superbly chilling recent debut ‘a stranger in town’, this ice formed sonic séance strays into the paranormal domains of the stone tape phenomena, quatermass-ian pulsars shimmering with ominous intent to a monochrome mosaic cut with a minimalist disquiet that hints a sonic kinship with Mount Vernon Arts Lab. As to the Tara Experiment, we are expecting new happenings imminently, for now a little vintage school radiophonic tastiness from a set that appeared at the tail end of last year entitled ‘what the sky listens to’, this being ‘magnetic field’ which unless our ears do deceive ought to principally attach itself to the brain waves of ghost box and a year in the country adoring patrons given it comes warped in sinister surveillance sweeps and an edgy isolationist aura that might well appeal to the middex end of the polytechnic youth fraternity.
This being Sunday, the second week of advent I’m half expecting retribution to reign down its hot breath in the shape of thunder clouds and lightning bolts over our gaff just for even considering featuring this today. This is the latest offering from sludge metal overlords EBDB who hail from Belgium and describe themselves in the liner notes as ‘metal comedy grind core’ and appear to have issues in need of resolution judging from a brief glance at some of the titles on this new outing, incidentally charmingly titled ‘choking on the body of Christ’. No need to tell you that Santa ain’t coming to their house in any great hurry with titles likes ‘necrophilliacs vs. cremation’, ‘a total waste of sperm’ and ‘I wish you were aborted’ you can safely assume that their chosen spirit of Christmas might well be found in the local drinking tavern. That said bleakness and issues aside this is sure to appeal to old school admirers of Carcass, Nepalm Death and Boltthrower for these death headed ditties, there’s 9 in total, come charging straight from the bowels of hell on a maniacal mission to terror-stricken your listening space, favourite moment out of the assembled carnage ‘the epic tale about the crowbar vs. the jaw’ is your recommended Sunday morning full throttle fury. https://ebdb.bandcamp.com/album/choking-on-the-body-of-christ
Nicked this from the for folk’s sake site who seem to be doing some kind of aural advent calendar gubbins, herewith their day 3 selection which happens to be thee zillionth version of ‘lonely this Christmas’ we’ve heard over the years, this one from patch and the giant, faithfully keeping to the lines though rathermore smoky and laid back than what were used to finding it done, kinda makes you feel all vintage and fuzzy. https://soundcloud.com/patchandthegiant/lonely-this-christmas-6?in=patchandthegiant/sets/lonely-this-christmas
Originally out last year on a digitally released Christmas charity EP, ‘Christmas Ham’ now finds itself rescued from yuletide obscurity to share wax space with ‘murder by mistletoe’ on a forthcoming limited 7 inch. All profits going to the excellent work done by the Foodbanks of the Hudson Valley, this be the Felice Brothers in mellowed and somewhat melancholic moods and finds them looking at the seasonal celebrations not through the hustle n’ bustle of the family unit, but alone, outside and down on their luck mourning memories of Christmasses long gone, a tearful yet all too real reflection of a forgotten society, sounds a bit Dylan-y mind, is that still a good thing we wonder.
Time, oh time, where do you go. Seriously, even if I were to split myself in three I still wouldn’t have the time to get through all the stuff we stumble across, get sent whether in physical or download form or just root out for the sheer hell of it. How on earth then will we find the diary space to rummage through the entireity of Unexplained Sounds second annual report. A mammoth 145 track sonic journal that gathers together both submissions that couldn’t be easily fit onto their ‘surveys’ and strange sonic cultures paving perhaps the way and/ or direction for future ideas and concepts to follow. As said this is the end of year report, due to hit digital resources the end of this coming week, a set that features some familiar names – the tara experiment and hole house being two that immediately jump out when quickly eyeing the roll call and lest we forget to mention Downscope who aside opening this gargantuan listening experience, we feel we owe a massive apology to for being a little light on reviews – all will be remedied in the coming weeks before the silly season digs in. in fact its Downscope who open proceedings, being one of five teaser cuts being made available for advance listening, this one being the ominous mech drone of ‘Nyclo’ for what initially appears as a pre apocalyptic cybertronic death wind gloomed in chilling consequence and stilled in futile finality soon thaws, defrosts and terraforms into a dream machining mind vaporiser. Next up on the inspection block Noisedelik serve up ‘not to istanbul’ whose ghostly disquieting palette of frequency referencing, glitch detailing and dub draped middle eastern mystics had us scrambling for our muslim gauze for a point of comparable reference (incidentally you might be interested to know that Staalplaat are currently rummaging through the Muslim Gauze back catalogue on an extensive re-issue campaign). Forgttn’s ‘I’ takes matters down a more industrial inclined road, the pulsing motifs creating layer by layer a tensely claustrophobic vibe that sits somewhere on a distant spectrum between Bureau B stars Automat and SPK while Xennan appear happy to chill your very lifeforce with the light deflecting ‘love the sopirit, not the man’ into the bargain crafting out a superbly immersive dark rave pulsar that draws deep from the shadowy outlands of Add N to X. Finally for this all too brief visit Caleb R K Williams crafts a neo classical mysterio in the shape of ‘ethereal bloom’ applying some deliciously emotive chamber noir phrasings along the way which I suspect we need investigate more of. https://unexplainedsoundsgroup.bandcamp.com/album/unexplained-sounds-2016-the-2nd-annual-recognition-test
Oh my, isn’t this a sweetie, new from Low via Sub Pop this is ‘some hearts (at Christmas time)’ – a snow kissed hymnal shimmered and aglow with an ethereal gracefulness as though a guiding light extending a spectral hand of peace and love to the lost and the lonely and radiant in the true spirit of Christmas. Think that’s all you need to know though I advise handkerchiefs at the ready, the blighters a bit of a tearjerker.
Tucked inside your Fruits de Mer / Static Caravan split you should find an additional CD gift from each of the labels, we’ve already mentioned Static’s Lee F Cullen disc, you know the bloke from Duke St Workshop doing weirdly ethereal psych things much in the vein of Paul Roland and Nick Nicely. For their part of the proceedings the FdM dudes have cobbled up a nifty compilation entitled ‘fish might fly – an introduction to Fruits de Mer records’ – an eleven-strong gathering of talent culled from releases past, present and possibly forthcoming. Several treats featured here including FdM’s ultra limited Christmas day lathe offering from Moloko+ along with rarities and current happenings by Crystal Jacqueline and the Honey Pot, some vintage vault finds rescued from their illustrious long since sold out back catalogue from Claudio Cataldi, something plucked from this years Bowie covers subscribers set from the NoMen and a smattering of exclusives that includes Geitek’s rather spiffing cover of Egg’s ‘I will be absorbed’ all beautified and faithful not to mention smoked in a blissfully loungy haze that ought to have ‘dots and loops’ era Stereolab admirers somewhat seduced. Elsewhere super psychedelicised shimmer toning adores the lightly frisky post rocked exotica of insektlife cycle’s ‘insekt circus’ – a track taken from their debuting full length for Weary Bird, scholars of the Vini Reilly sonic school will be smitten. Somewhere else there’s a sneak peek at Jack Ellister’s forthcoming single for you are the cosmos entitled ‘awake’ – a lulling end of the day murmur toning sleepy headed prayer beautifully hushed in the sedate spray of twinkling rustics while prepped as a future FdM possible and taken from ‘fushcia II, Tony Durant’s psych shanty ‘fushcia song’ gorgeously bows and revels to a jaunty jig framed in medieval woodcut florals and breezy gaellic fancies to whittle a wonderfully wayward sortie much grooved in a Soft Boys styled succulence.