strange fish #3

Another double disc serving of aural delights can be found on strange fish #3 with palace of swords opening the proceedings and providing three short interlude like salvos scattered intermittently amid the grooves with the eerie like pulsar transmission ‘live at Aberdeen witch trials’ recalling a somewhat thoughtfully detached in future worlds mood Vangelis while both ‘vicus lemerum’ and ‘the temple of golden rays’ link arms primed playfully in an orbital embrace to puncture the voids with a lulling lunar lullaby that references both goblin and carpenter. Trimmed in a luxuriant regal valour ‘Gemini’ by Zenith : unto the stars is afforded the kind of magnetic majesty rarely seen these days outside of a classic era tangerine dream extravaganza albeit here spiked and seasoned in the weirded out transcendentalism often beset upon headphone by the master musicians of bukkake. Utterly adored around these here parts earthling society sprinkle their own psychotropic fairy dust to proceedings by way of ‘the vampire’s kiss’ triptych of strange delights. We must admit to having had our eyebrows raised throughout the course of this aural procession for never have we heard the earthling ones so accessible, free flowing and mercurial – from the meek-esque ’telstar’ orbital overture that is ’theme from a vampire’s kiss’ – a kind of ghost rider phased and festooned by starry arpeggios where dave dee, dozy, beaky, mick and tich duel to cosmic snow bursts amid a glorious sonic backdrop trimmed in barry-esque bravado and morricone master class to the haunting epic grip of the ambient monolith ’kiss of the vampire – morning glory’ forged or so it may seem tugh the very after burn of an imploding Vangelis dark star. That said nothing quite matches up to ’the dream’ – a meeting of classical sounding broadcast speared upon a ghostly komeda music box whose waxen cylinder has been tinkered by bronnt industries kapital. Something of an exclusive to this release are the debuting recordings of dead pylons – three in total – who for the uninitiated – me included I should add – feature amid their ranks members of hi fiction science. Sounding like some extraterrestrial morse code message dredged from the deepest subterranic depths ‘theme from the dead pylons’ is heavy on the atmosphere and spooked on the radiophonic primality of louis and bebe barron while there’s a mutant dub-tronic funkiness coursing throughout ‘Osiris’ that suggests some keenly attuned ears to the work of muslim gauze are in residence. Best of the trio is the sleepy headed lunar lullaby that is ‘dead cargoes’ which draws their three pronged serving to a lulling close in fine kraftwerk-ian style as though dusseldorf’s finest had had their secret lair visited upon under the cover of darkness by those lovably cute isan types. Tangerine heads found residing in wales are the golden cake company whose trippy ‘thrum mystique’ is indelibly presaged in the kind of psychotropic mind weaving that was once ventured by that sonic boom under his spectrum guise whilst being aided and abetted by jessamine – classy.

Disc 2 of the double vinyl third volume set opens to the woozy and constantly terra forming ‘Arthurian’ by the aforementioned golden cake company, a milky white voyage to the inner third eye is what’s on offer, deeply trancey and smoked in woozy dream drifting folds and spacey orbs the likes of which ought in the first instance appeal to devotees of the much missed delirium imprint of the 90’s and the early career outings of Warp as well as headphonic admirers of the mighty zombi. Similarly immersed ever deeper into dream space are vert:x here presiding over three sonic suites the first of which ‘a floating mass of metal and heavy electricity’ sounds not unlike those spooked out fried aural backdrops that used to accompany the gerry Anderson sci-fi series UFO. ‘bad calibration’ by sharp contrast is a fuzzy beards out no nonsense cosmic beatnik ju ju tailing close the vapour trail let by mugstar while ‘killer beez’ is a high intensity locked grooving space brute boogie best experienced with the volume full tilt in order to maximise the white noise head fuck it serves up. Best known to kith n kin as surrey based multi talented musician Stephen Bradbury though here hiding under his preferred guise black tempest, there’s been by all accounts a much hoo-ha-ing in various quality reads namely periscope and quietus following the release of his ‘proxima’ and ‘ex proxima’ opus’ both of which we are gathering we ought to hear before we get much older. Still th sub 14 minute ‘energy of the stars’ is as good a place to start as any by way of an introduction. Immense and incredible, Bradbury utilises his vast aural canvas to orchestrate and craft a deeply alluring and oft hypnotic and psychedelically progressive cosmic symphony that’s metered and measured in old school kraut classicism and intricately detailed in lost ambient tongues. Frobisher neck – better known to the authorities as Tony Sweettenham – has been responsible on many occasion in having us pulling up to the in house speaker set up in jaw dropped fondness in awe of the sounds of his occasional forays into vinyl world via various long sold out FdM outings. ’underwater star blob’ – top title aside proves no exception to the rule, mind altering wooziness, reverse loop drips, baroque tonalities and deep passages of chin stroking bliss a plenty with the Frobisher one at the centre of it all like some weird wizard weaving the symphonic intricacies and simultaneously doing a turn enacting something of a tripped out psychedelically enhanced phantom of the opera. Does it for us.


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