And so to strange fish volume #4 – admittedly our favourite volume of the bunch, again strictly limited to just 400 copies all coming pressed up on various slabs of coloured wax of the white, grey, clear and black variety. To describe volume 4 and give some indication as to why it’s the best set here – of course in our humbled opinion – is to quote from an oft used scribe and bard and say ‘to sleep perchance to dream’. not sure why I mentioned that – I guess these musings needed the application of some form of gravitas in which case I might have been best served some heavy on the brow case law from my distant days as a law scholar. Where is he going with this you might rightly ask, and in truthful reply I’d agree with much of the puzzlement. Shall we stick with the record thing in hand, indeed I think we should. Opens to the returning sounds of cat frequency – remember them from volume 2 – here with ‘dreaming of wooden fish’ and deserving of being festooned on that most excellent cold spring imprint, strange psych folk some might call it all drizzled dreamily in the haunting essences of ‘wicker man’ and eventually evolving into a mind warping slab of strut cut stoner psych replete with wiring back tracking and lush with fringe flicking cool. Those of you located o the outer fringes of out there sounds who stray for a while in the archaic and blurring monastic / arabesque orbs of organic is orgasmic’s ‘Chinese Hororscope’ might be forgiven for thinking they’ve stumbled out of a tardis and found themselves located somewhere not of this time while for its part
‘lifeless void’ does as it says on the tin and manages to mould and manipulate essences of Bowie’s ‘v2 Schneider’ with Numan’s ominous ‘asylum’ and white noise’s ‘electric storm’ to impart something tender and tearfully stained ever so slightly with a degree of sinister suspense – for goblin devotees I would hasten to add. More return calls this time from zenith : unto stars who despatch two starry eyed treats in the guise of ‘juno quartet’ and ‘con bala’ with the former spray kissed in an amorphous elegance and serenely betrayed in introspection by a bruising of moments long lost. Equally tender the latter named showered and bathed in a touching ache caressed by a cavernous porcelain detailing. Featuring members of the soft hearted scientists on extra curricula duties vox humana ooze in with the distractively yearning ‘shortwave radio and the ionosphere’ – all soft, tranquil and tenderly teased with pastoral flotillas and tear shedding opines and with the kind of lonesome incline seldom heard so hurt around here since the days of stylus and landshipping whilst simultaneously found kissed in the minimalist rush of a youthful sigur ros. Over on side 2 be prepared to be greeted and taken heart and soul by the quartet of finery posted by James McKeown of hi fiction science fame – dead pylons who appeared in an earlier strange fish volume come cast from the same roots. As said four cuts, among the pickings ‘Euclid dreaming’ is a gorgeously woven folk madrigal that skirts playfully to pirouette around the core coda of Kate Bush’s ‘army dreamers’. elsewhere ’ursa minor’ is cast in the kind of distantly faraway surrendering after glow and stratospheric smouldering that was once the remit of both Marr and Reilly. The romantic opines of the twinkle some star set ‘sublime knight elect’ is caressed I the same sweetly yearning vibe as that of a youthful yellow6 albeit as though relocated upon some idyllic south pacific setting marooned and anchored by an atmospheric minded Ry Cooder while ‘avebury’ stumbles dreamily from out of the woodland haze to reveal a delicately spun pastoral folk nugget trimmed under the influential gaze of Nick Drake. Last heard here – I think I’m right in saying – on volume 2 – temple music breathlessly seduce with ‘dreaming of flying east’ – best experienced in a lights lowered environ as the sultry glow of a summers evening fades, all at once mysterious and grand and nor unlike a damon and naomi like reprise. Last and by no means least – the bordellos. Adored around this parish and if truth be told discounting the McKeon, earthling society and dead pylons cuts perhaps the most unexpected treat of the collection. ‘spirals’ finds the bordellos sounding like you’ve never heard them before. Fragile, poised and genteel if I didn’t know any better this babe ought to be found snuggled somewhere between the teardrop explodes’ ‘wilder’ notably ‘tiny children’ and bowie’s ‘heroes’, expect happening sounds from Brian and Dan soon via small bear.