singled out – missive 231

Singled Out
Missive 231

For Kel n’ Mark

Singled Out ‘lost in music’

So how are you – enjoying your summer, nice and hot is it – can you do us a favour and gather some it and post it to us at the usual address because ours appears to have begun and finished some three weeks ago, its so bad that the great nation past time has been ’spot the sun’, we’ve lost count the amount of times we’ve been haplessly fooled by strange lights in the sky mistaking them for the shiny hot one UFO’s are passé don’t you find

So are we braced for another fumble around in the great sack of pop tough tits if your not…anyhow we’ll open this particular missive with a sunny hit of yore which should hopefully bring back a few distant memories of sunny days in the summer season as we all huddle around the open fire in our winter thermals…ho hum

The Lovin Spoonful ‘summer in the city’

Kites with Lights ‘the weight of your heart’ (24 hour service – advance promo). Coincidence or just plain spooky, we downloaded this sample track onto our I-tunes player for a quick peak and once finished found the next song queued and ready to go being New Order’s ‘weirdo’. now you might be thinking at this point – so what – nothing strange in that – except that Kites with Lights do possess an uncanny air of Manchester’s most famous sons (and daughter) about their person. Hailing from Florida and already the subject of much approving chatter among the underground cognoscenti, ‘the weight of your heart’ is the lead cut from what we assume to be their debut five track EP of the same name. Crystalline electro pop done to chilled refinement, one of those cuts best appreciated in the still of night after the party’s finished and the guests have departed, the seductive tug of demurring twinkle some cosmic squiggles and the sophisticated purr of the softly slinky lovelorn murmurs together grace this hollowing beauty with a sense of cruise controlled momentum – its arresting stuff which by our reckoning is much deserving of being filed somewhere in your record collection between the Paris Angels and Electronic. – all over the shop and having way too much fun it seems but do you know what we here are indeed much loving of it for so often is music today shackled by norms all following sheep like the same path to briefly bright though instantly forgettable fame, its gotten so bad that when something cuts loose from the pack and decides to dig its own furrow then its like a breath of fresh air wafting over the stench of creative stagnation. Enter Gustaf Heden and Distracting Noise hailing from Atlantis wielded in on an multi generic woozy axis of gorgeously goofy and irregular bent of shape groove, its not new – fair dues, it may seem familiar – granted, however – its not so much what they do but how they do it that’s the key element here. For Gustaf and Co seem to have hit upon a notionally quirky pastime in carving out slyly distractive pop nuggets that appear strangely nonsensical, ill fitted and as though bounded loosely in gaffer tape to stop them falling apart. Its sometimes kaleidoscopic, sometimes psychedelic, sometimes folky, sometime baroque-y even at times rootsy and power – poppy and almost always skewiff. Of course the attractive of the pack is the opening ‘goldmine’ all at once eking elements of Dylan, early Animal Collective, plastic ono band and the Busy Signals all collectively gathered and busking bleary eyed with half of the Elephant 6 Collective, gorgeously radiant – a dose of this sun beamed West Coast kookiness will lighten the load and bring a smile to the most miserable of bastards. Of course what we haven’t mentioned is the production – disarmingly threadbare it attaches to the tracks a kind of beaten around the edges smokiness that comes into its own on ‘theme from Mexicali’ a curiously sepia trimmed slice of sleepy headed smoochiness that imagines Ben Fold Five at their most shy consorting with a particularly out of it Ashley Parks – all dimpled with strings and wired and weird backing yelps and opining dog howls – honest. ‘fucking hippies’ is your niftily schizoid candy trimmed portion of buzz sawing electro bop pop which we have to admit at times veers close into the realms of Magoo while impishly borrowing liberally from Plastic Bertrand’s ’ca plane pour moi’ – elsewhere there’s the ramshackle sound of ’the buffalos’ – a tumbling and scuffed skiffle pop affair dimpled with subtle 50’s mirages – and oh yea there’s a debut full length looming somewhere on the distant horizon entitled ‘spectorbullets’ – we here are thinking it might be a much needed antidote to indie dullness and next best thing lists.

OMO / The Chap ‘split’ (LOAF). More attractively addictive ear gear from those wily old souls at LOAF, this release is a split 7 inch outing featuring the more than amiable and criminally wonky the Chap and their extended family. The extended family in question being the recently snipped cutting that is OMO who feature sometime Chap key man Berit Immig and visual artist David Muth who by all accounts have been busy during the spring months whittling together a whole albums worth of cute some pop treats entitled ‘the White album’ from which ‘oversized’ is a more than adequate teaser that suggests the placing of early pre-order requests as soon as. Described in the press release as a ‘little like Laurie Anderson jamming with the Tom Tom Club’ which we must admit is a damn fine call, ‘oversized’ is tinkerish, trippy and tasty though not necessarily in that order, devilishly kooky and set to vaguely Oriental bossanova / ice cream van / promenade sounding toy keyboard montage that’s peppered and pierced by a decidedly distracting chilly and playfully austere electro mutant funk coda that nibbles away in the nod department towards the Knife’s debut full length while simultaneously assuming the kind of minimalist Dadaist impishness as would suggest a pairing of mindsets between the Normal and the Native Hipsters. Guaranteed to drive you to distraction. Flip over for the criminally overlooked fun loving pop freaks the Chap who stump up ‘well done you’ which we must admit for a fair old period had us kind of fondly recalling Stereolab in their space disco to cosmic jazz chrysalis noted by the smooth transition from ‘dots to loops’ to ‘cobra and phases..’ with it lunar lounge calibrations and general all around fluffiness. It’s dreamy stuff, harmonies plucked – or so it would seem – from the arse pockets of ELO / Supertramp, the strangely amorphous hiccupping sighs and feather light cruise controlled electro signatures apply a kind of dinkily invested swoon factor to the proceedings as it coos and whirrs nonchalantly with a more than chilled and offset sophistication about its wares.

Record Collector #366 September 2009 – Elvis features on the cover in one of his iconic poses decked out in leather. Next month of course being the 32nd anniversary of his premature passing the event loosely marked by an RC feature on Steve Lacey a Presley obsessive who barring a few omissions boasts in having the nearest complete Elvis record collection around – all of which will be submitted for auction later this year. Ian Shirley gets Mr Lacey to select his 60 most prized items from his 32 year collecting past time – with treats aplenty featuring ultra rare releases from Japan, Peru and a more than tasty looking one off orange vinyl pressing of ‘moody blue’.
Talking of premature passing Michael Jackson, both Spencer Leigh and Bruce Swedien pay respects in print while an eBay special focuses on the rise in stock of the would be peter pan of pop’s memorabilia which strangely a year or so ago was so low that even the offer of money to take it off people’s hands wasn’t inducement enough. How fickle you the public at large are. Elsewhere Fruits de Mer who’ve been the subject of frenzied review action of late in these very pages are given the once over as this months ‘label of love’ while ‘rockin the box’ uncovers some televisual Rolling Stones gold via some rare ATV footage dating back to ‘68. Alex Paterson opens up his record study and talks about his chosen vinyl vices. Mention should be made of a competition to win an original contract between the Beatles and Brian Epstein via Thomas Dolby features in a rare interview while psych overlords Nirvana are given the once over, George Fame pops in for a chat while the issues centrepiece explores Zep’s final UK gigs at Knebworth some 30 years ago. Throw in all your usual book, cd dvd and vinyl reviews and various collector bit n’ bobs and you have yourself a qualified boundary ignoring monthly bible.

Haunted Shack Theater #11 – the familiar ‘your driving down a dust lit highway, you turn off into a lonely dirt road, after a long distance, you see your destination, a well worn shack, it looks old and deserted, but from it you hear weird sounds, something draws you closer, do you dare open the door and step inside, do you dare enter the haunted shack’ introduction can only mean more butt clenching creepiness and sacrificial vintage gore offerings from your wired and weird host Uncle Yah Yah, this edition finds the would be spectre of Wolfman Jack retuning the horizontal on his space and time settings and flipping y’all back to the 40’s for a gruesome fright fest in the late night screening of 1941’s ’king of the zombies’ and 1943’s ’return of the vampire’ – hell young folk we are quaking from the behind the sofa, play loud and spook your neighbours – wooden stakes are optional.

Following our mention of the latest Fountain EP in recent despatches we got a message from Woon over at Filthy Little Angels, seems these impish tykes have been releasing all manner candy flipped carnage at weekly intervals behind our backs as they celebrate the labels fifth birthday (happy birthday by the way) an occasion which will be marked in the coming weeks by them reaching their hallowed 100th release. A mighty fine feat for a home spun label who’ve survived solely on word of mouth and a budget that would make shoestrings seem a luxury. The next batch of turntable sorties seeking to win your undying affection all available – we believe as free downloads – come courtesy of the most finest of pop bastions Captain Polaroid, Slideshow Freak and Science Bastard all of whom will feature if not in this missive then certainly the next wherein we’ll also pepper various singled outs with the releases we’ve missed during the course of the next week or so…..first up on the inspection blocks are…..

Science Bastards with their ‘Egg’ EP, word has it this lot used to be From Mars in a former life who we suspect may well have featured in these very same pages in the dark and dim recession free past. A five piece based in Wales, ’Egg’ is their debut onslaught and a wildly wired frantic rollercoaster of a set it is to which if you’re none to careful may well literally take the top skin straight off your face with its sheer demented and wayward schizoid demeanour. Sounding like some skittish studio fist fight between the Beatnik Filmstars, Magoo and Fonda 500 – Science Bastards concoct a beautifully bent out of shape brew that appears to shoehorn into its finitely freaked grooves a bizarrely becoming cocktail of zonked out electro shocks and hopelessly deranged and dare we say – zany (there we’ve said it – it’ll be another four years till we use that descriptive word again) riffage. Here you’ll find a positive ragtaggle rush of disquieting euphoria all ridiculously excitable, rampant and riotous, a bit like a speed freaked Supergrass had they obsessed over the Pretty Things rather than the Monkees. Six cuts feature within, from the nagging panic inducing full throttle frenzy of the opening ’the lizard will eat you’ the briefest cut here – a lashed and lacerated head drilled dynamo of nail to the floor hiccupping signatures and general all around wig flipped lunacy to the seriously shit-faced ’cunt’ with its menacing thrash core intersections and Cardiacs styled back-flips, Science Bastards lay siege to your psyche itching away like a festering scab. ’outcomes equal outcomes’ with its austere monochromatic framing could easily pass for something cooked up by an early career Playwrights while equally being smudged by what sounds like a three way collaborative tussle between Big Flame, Stump and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, all said though we here are most admiring of the honey coated hysteria vented by the parting ‘sausage cowboy’ – an eye poking bleach spiked babe that taps deliciously into territories these days occupied by Nephu Huzzband of which last time we had a chance to check was a pretty nifty thing to do. May cause you to fling yourself like a bad ‘un around your listening gaff which again is no bad thing – hip replacements though could prove costly. Essential of course – as though you needed to ask.

Dark Captain Light Captain ‘remix’ EP (LOAF). The more than welcome return to these pages of the delicately dashing Dark Captain Light Captain – well sort of because as the title of the EP may well hint it’s a remix collection which when it appears looking mightily adorable on the counters of the finest record emporiums in the land towards the tail end of August will be available as both a download and a whopping fat grooved twelve inch. Featuring five re-drills by a specially selected gathering of friends and acquaintances – Chicken Feed (London), Hatchback (San Francisco), Vernal Equinox (Ontario) and Here be Monsters. The set is book-ended by two drop dead gorgeous retakes of ‘Questions’ by Hatchback in which for your troubles you get the bog standard ‘remix’ plus a parting ‘dub’ mix – the former sweetly drizzled in an alluring snow bound tapestry, demurring and majestic – quietly enchanting it orbits tenderly amid the swirling caress of clicking beats and looping key dream swathes much reminiscent it should be said of a shy eyed and reclining Swimmer One. The latter so bloody arresting you want to kiss it, is a sleepy headed instrumental of frost tipped Brontean follies, a lilting lullaby lushly tender as though dimpled and decorated by the stuff that holds the stars in the night sky – irresistibly calibrated to disarm the steeliest of defences one would suspect. Here be Monsters opt for a spot of glacial atmospherics for their beautifully ice sculptured portrayal of ‘miracle kicker’ – desolate and panoramic, it sounds to these ears like a reclining and sparsely framed Tangerine Dream either that or a lonesome mistral silently surveying the landscapes as it glides solemnly to its chartered course wherein right at the last gasp emerging through the ether the daintily decorative opine of sepia tweaked keys send distress calls into the void. Chicken Feed tackle ‘remote viewer’ and apply to it a most deceptively desirable slice of sultry seduction that purrs with a forlornly shy eyed grace all the time delicately charmed by the subtle intones of arabesque mirages. Best moment of the set though is Vernal Equinox’s re-wire of ‘summer’ – the subtle psycho-tropicalia montages, the dainty motorik jazz signatures and the ever so amorphous native trimmings endow it with a mercurial aura that suggests some kind of found mid point tying together the distant worlds of Ariel Kalma and L’Augmentation. Enchanted stuff.

The Victorian English Gentlemens Club ’watching the burglars’ (this is fake DIY). More Welsh waggishness from those infectious imps the Victorian English Gentlemens Club. The second single to be culled from their shortly to be unveiled second full length ’love on an oil rig’ which is currently itching for action in the sidings and due to fill record shop bags mid September, ’watching the burglars’ follows hot on the heels of their recent breaking silence salvo ’parrot’ which you don’t need telling was welcomed here with all the fondness of an accidental bumping into of a long lost friend. Still mischievously plundering a forgotten part of a well heeled record collection that includes the pre-dandified and pantomime Adam and the Ants’ ’dirk wears white sox’, like some creeping contagion this slice of off set tribal like mutant funk post punk has an unnerving knack of coming up on you from the behind and literally walloping you with its disturbingly sly handed infectiousness, of course it taps directly into the Goddard bloodline albeit as though spiked by the Higsons while riddled aplenty with lashings of sing a long hoo hah chorus hooks whilst in the background the subtle though quietly beavering weave of a deceptive fuzzy felt euphoric aura is at work though to be fair before you’ve had a chance to realise you’re already subdued and cast beneath it playfully frisky spell. Flip the disc for preferred side – though only just – now ’polish man’ could split camps into those thinking it’s a ringer for Supergrass and yes that would be a good call though we here are more inclined to stray on the side of a youthfully wired and fried Talking Heads consorting with a ‘hex education’ era Fall with the Nightingales twiddling about with the resulting tapes, damn we forgot to mention the brief moments of decorative discordance and its general all around and admired beat grooved demeanour. – we copped an earful of this first thing yesterday morning as we were rushing to get ready for work so good we thought that we were almost tempted to phone in a throw a sickie. Mr Corbett hails from somewhere in Scotland and beyond that the information trail runs cold, that said we here are assuming the four cuts that grace his my space player are the fruits of his first demo sessions, lovely things they are to for both ‘cornershop’ and ‘el pueblo de nuestra’ are seductively cast in that same self same drifting honey tipped cosiness as once bathed in another era the work of the Dream Academy, armed with just an acoustic strum the former is especially blessed with a tenderly forlorn wintry tug which we must admit has an air of Greg Lake about its vocal wares which to be perfectly honest we don’t have a problem with though we are fully aware that the mere mention of his name in certain circles has some people breaking out into a rash. Mind you we adore the mountain side homeliness being sweetly spun within the grooves of ’el pueblo de nuestra’ its hollowing reflective glaze and mellowing detail sounding for all the world as though it should come replete with snowfall and its own Lowry sketch. Elsewhere ’crocodiles and dreams’ finds him joined by a dusty old beat box and off for a spot of old country campfire crookedness, this prairie porch lit beauty with its relocated rickety hillbilly King Creosote styled hue is awash with wide open dust trailed imagery of homemade lemonade, moonshine, tumble down shacks and good to wholesome southern hospitality. Rounding up the pack – ‘instrumental’ as you’ve probably detected from the give away title is an instrumental, dimpled with a touching bitter sweet glow this lone star opines through the drifting haze of shimmering star lit riff arpeggios, the shuffling chugging rush of a steam engine tempo and just the vaguest of Fahey essences -may well leave you somewhat numb and in need of consolatory arm around the shoulder, we’re suspecting one to watch. – something else that’s caught our ear and indeed won its way into our affections these last few days are these nocturnal treats from dafonkyfresh who I’m afraid to say we have absolutely no information about other than the fact that they / he / she (there may be two of them if the negative photo on their page is at all them) are currently unsigned and may well hail from France or somewhere thereabouts. Friends it seems of ToxTox who we featured in these very pages a missive or so ago and who here appear applying their remix talents to ‘indafonk’ and in the process giving it a serious dislocated dirty electro hybrid scratch stutter mutoid interface to which admirers of Herbie Hancock’s ’rock it’ may well find much to admire while those of you eagerly wondering what the original template from which it was formed sounds like can find said mainframe elsewhere here in all its unblemished glory and sounding to these ears not unlike Wagon Christ after that Aphex Twin imp has had a go and wired in some of his trademark schizo oddness. The cosmic minimalist off set funk of ’comme un vaudooooou!!!’ currently and dare we say puzzling lagging way behind in the listening count really does come across like something crafted by a youthful Jean Michel Jarre for the purpose of acting as an interlude between his synth symphonic flights – in fact such is the effect that you expect it to take off any second soon, mind you lest we forget to mention that there’s more than a passing nod to John Carpenter about its wares. All said it’s the parting cut ‘Tora’ that has been the subject of much repeat button pressing in our gaff not least because it manages to wire in a hyper driven motorik kraut underpin much reminiscent of ‘scene 30’ era Echoboy and then proceeds to near critical meltdown – a state of affairs no doubt enhanced by the fact that a would be joining of forces of members of Add N to X and Basement Jaxx are meticulously with much mischief at work under the mixing desk causing all amounts of impishness. – a duo (Les and Meinte) hailing from Holland a country on the musical map who of late we rarely hear anything from now that Transformed Dreams appear to have withdrawn into a prolonged hibernation – anyway Dr Mabuse describe their sound as ‘IDM / experimental / metal’ – which I guess is an aptly broad brush with which to file their sound under, it really is a cornucopia of strange delights and just the kind of thing you rightly expect from an ensemble borrowing their name from the celebrated Lang directed celluloid villain of the 30’s. ‘the collage’ is just that, an ever evolving and terra-forming tapestry that blends a freakish tropicalia styled jazz funk, macabre montages of trip hop beats underpinned creepy carnival-esque lullabies, wig flipped drum n’ bass and sepia set noir cosmic lounge into a heady mind swirling jam of sorts. Contrast that with the apocalyptic seizure stricken inducing prog metal mischief that is the ominously titled ‘those dental records sure come in handy’ which freewheels into a hectic and busy sounding mire of math contortions, post rock-ist noodling and grizzly beatnik boogie the type of which recalls a tad wired and out of it Grails. Then there’s ’timmerfabriek’ – both eerie and icy and flowing into the same sonic streams as Bronnt Industries Kapital all the time unfurling a tensely macabre and minimalist atmosphere to the proceedings leaving the undeniably freakish ’collage’ to sound in its initial stages like some strangely smoked freeform collaboration between Can and Goblin before dissipating briefly into a moment of early 70’s blaxploitation boogie before resurfacing for the bowing out finale set to lunar electronics spiked as were by Volcano the Bear.

Sankt Otten ‘lustig, lustig demain encore lustig’ (hidden shoal). A limited free download made freely available by those rather nice people at Hidden Shoal in preparation of Sankt Otten’s forthcoming opus ‘morgan wieder lustig’. often referred to as the German Portishead, this cut culled from an earlier 2007 single set is a noir tweaked cruise controlled cosmic hyper drive, the wide screen panoramic aspects, the motorik purr of crystalline electronic pulses and the precision honed glacially sculptured detailing endow it with a minimalist mesmeric mastery that locates the finite apron strings that exist between the early career work of pioneers Tangerine Dream and Vangelis with the likes of Manual and Ellis Island Sound, special mention should be made of the melancholic riff opines – very Bowie era Fripp – though scratch beneath the surface a little deeper and you’ll hear something daubed with an austere sheen that suggests it being a very distant cousin of Ultravox’s cold war Chandler-esque ’Mr X’. – not so much a band as such rather more a collective though not quite a collective but more point of fact a club night, but a club night with a difference – hosted at the Spice of Life in London’s Soho on the first Sunday of every month – this is not your normal music trade rag cover seeking indie kids in skinny jeans or hit n’ miss open mic nights were people amble on having only just been introduced to a guitar not 10 seconds prior to arriving behind the mic. Instead this is a gathering of souls collected together by Donal and Eliza whose sole remit is ’to bring classical music to traditionally non classical environments’ and to that end will be hosting their next extravaganza tomorrow evening in the company of Majestic Brass (a London based five piece brass band – we suggest you tune into ‘ragtime Enrique crespo’ via their my space page at – sounds very old school Harold Lloyd silent film sound accompaniment to us) , Ezra Williams (a London based opera singer ‘ch’ella mi creda’ on his ms page at is again recommended listening) and Noel Charles who sadly despite our best efforts we are yet to track a link for. Anyway back to the little proms page wherein you can smother yourself in all manner of nocturnal tenderness courtesy of the small but select assortment of sounds to be found on their showcase player of which given a quick once over we must admit to being rather fond of Manus’ seductively playful chugging and expressive rustic detailing of their delightfully dinky re drill of the traditionalist ‘camptown races’ – certainly one for fans of Vernon Elliott while there’s definitely a vibe of Michael Nyman meets Douglas Gamley about the wares of Sahara’s ’libra tango’ its noir tweaked aura very much recalling Pickled Egg’s Big Eyes. Best of the set by some distance in our affections though is the utterly adorable ‘Countess Cathleen’ by Willow, a beautifully trembling and tenderly timeless melodic mirage centred around the pastoral rapture of flute flurries whose unbound elegance taps directly back to the spectre like ornate woodland charm of a certain Nick Drake while passing the obvious nods along the way to James Galway – really has to be heard to be fully appreciated.

And as we inadvertently mentioned in an around about way John Denver – James Galway mentioned previously covered ‘Annie’s Song’ written by Mr Denver – so here’s a video of Mr Denver guessed it ‘leaving on a jet plane’ – been warned the sync is well shot to pieces on this….

Sonic Nightmares #30 – always a damn fine idea in our humbled opinion to open up proceedings with a spot of authentically tweaked and demented hotrod garage grind which on this occasion happens to come courtesy of the Les Peyotes of whom I swear we have an album kicking about our personage somewhere via I shouldn’t wonder them dastardly dudes of cool Dirty Water – we will check, root out, play and report back in forthcoming transmissions. Decked out in Bermuda shorts, shades and flip flops turntable troublemaker Gringo Starr picks off the best garage beat combos around to grace or about to grace this years European festival season and wires together a killer one hour long set of hi octane neighbour baiting bad assed groove, so if your wig is flipped by the sound of grinding trash twang, degenerate 60’s soul beat, fuzz laced riffs, Hammond riddled lysergic mirages and strutting shade adorned scuzz then fill yourself until sick with some tasty treble toned terrors from the likes of the Mummies, the Staggers, the Oblivions, the Lyres, the Pretty Things, the Urges, the Phantom Keys and much more.

As always thanks to all who’ve made these rambling monologues possible and to you especially for taking out time to venture and view them….

Addresses for submissions, folded money, offers of marriage and death threats –

Updates are via – a most attractive thing even if we do say so ourselves has videos, loads of review type things and sounds….woo woo.

Anyway take care and all that lark and see you – probably tomorrow….


first aired July 2009

updates via

email queries –




This entry was posted in archive and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s