singled out – missive 175

Singled Out
Missive 175

For Kelly and Mark – missing you.

Singled Out – fantastic flippin records

Ah dear weary wanderers of the web world, whether by accident or design you have managed to stumble upon the small shy like lair of Singled out, an unassuming creature whose habitat is located in the wiles of record racks so often lying undisturbed by the pop chart fixated nerd you despise – oh bollocks to this – look we got stung this week by a wasp, not once but twice, the swine’s, I’ve never been stung in my life and yet twice in as many days. Yours truly took it on the chin, in fact literally and physically as well as on the palm of my hand. I mean its late October – what the hell are wasps doing out if piffing freezing, even bees have the good sense not to have bothered sauntering out for an hour or three – well not since mid September when it seemed we were having something of a delayed summer over here. But wasps – two stings what’s that all about – are they part of some elite kamikaze division? Any how fearing we had been singled out – pardon the pun – for special treatment we retreated to the safe haven of our bunker for fear of any more surprise attacks – one more and its fair to assume our name would have been boil boy for the rest of our time on earth. Thus after batoning the hatches we despatched supplies requests via the wonderfully wobbly web world and happened across the new mobile phone by N*k** called C**e* w**h M**i* which essentially is a phone that for the purchase fee allows you to have a one years subscription enabling you to down load as many tracks as you like (though if you want to burn them to disc – you still need to buy the full license) – these basically stay on a player and can be accessed for the time in which your subscription is still valid – or some bollocks like that. Two million tracks they promised – catering for all tastes. Choice 1 – the Beatles – nowt. Choice 2 – Altered Images – nowt. Choice 3 – Volcano the Bear – ’the idea of wood’ and that’s your lot. Choice 4 – the fall – ’bend sinister’ and that’s it. Mind you we did manage to find an album by White Noise who featured among their number a certain Delia Derbyshire, ’sir henry at rawlinsons end’ by Vivian Stan shall (which admittedly we’ve always foolishly forgotten about when whenever we’ve had the chance to spend time rummaging through CD racks, loads of stuff by Goblin and Tuxedo moon (the latter which will come in handy given aside filling in some glaring gaps in our record collection will help us to review an excellent tome by Isabelle Corbisier entitled ’music for vagabonds – Tuxedomoon chronicles’ which we feel apologies are much overdue after we mistakenly packed it away about a month or two ago – reviews are impending), sadly no Sunburned Hand of the Man, but one Acid Mothers (‘Starless’ via Alien8) and even the much forgotten ’phenomena 256’ by EAR.

Aside all that Liverpool just got beat by Spurs – I fear the world is at an end…..

Tony Christie ‘born to cry’ (Decca / Autonomy). ‘Shirley shome mishtake’ we thought tearing open the day’s envelopes filling the cramped space of our bijou kitchen (in estate agent truth speak read ‘charmingly quaint cooking area in need of loving uplift’ in other words fleapit with barely ample room to swing a pin) with turntable delights from all walks of life – sadly not the promised package from Giant Paw (if you know these guys and gals then please give them a nudge and tell them we are heartily disappointed so much so that we are at present whittling a small Manitou in their image from out of papier-mâché egg boxes to be placed on the village green bonfire this coming all hallows eve.). Anyhow back to our original source of concern. So there we are tearing open the envelopes and out pops Tony Christie – well not THE Tony Christie as clearly that would be frankly stupid and quite possibly against Royal Mail rules – and anyway there‘s absolutely no way both of us would have fitted in the kitchen (see above) at the same time, but rather more a Tony Christie CD. ’Uh oh’ I thought to myself in a kind of well that’s naughty way, not that we have anything against Mr Christie although between you and me there was a time when if I’d happen upon chance to hear ‘Amarillo’ one more time I swear I’d have been led directly to a place of convenience of Her Royal Majesty for having beset upon some poor passing knave the modern equivalent of the Biblical plagues. Mr Christie is of course a living legend aside coming from an era when men where men, favoured velvet and unfeasibly bushy sideburns and wore aftershave that could floor a passing horde of wildebeest at 30 paces did you also know that he came third in a Eurovision selection process behind Brotherhood of Man. Much loved here for providing one of the most memorable opening sequences for a TV show from our childhood in the guise of ’Avenues and Alleyways’ (for ’the Protectors’) its now time to pass the smelling salts for fear of passing out with the onset of this frankly peach like gem ’Born to Cry’. Culled from his forthcoming ’made in Sheffield’ set, ’Born to Cry’ sees him siding up to the considerable collaborative talents of Richard Hawley and Jarvis Cocker. Both momentous and magnificent never before has Christie sounded so complete and so in control, the advancing years are acutely rolled back to reveal a man intent to reclaim and reshape his legacy in a way that in recent years has seen the likes of Cash and Diamond secure their’s. Make no bones about it ’born to cry’ will cut you wide open the minute it shimmies and slides into ear view, devastating in its effect and crushing in its sentiment, its an emotional titan that in the regretful absence of the Big O sees Christie veering in close approximation to Orbison’s unreal tormented tenderness. Add to that mix a string laden symphonic sheen whose template fuses together the bleakly dumb struck and achingly beautified elements of Terry Jacks interpretation of ’seasons in the sun’, the Walkers Brothers ’No Regrets’ and (yep him again) Roy Orbison’s ’it’s over’ and you have yourself something that’ll strangely have the effect of bathing you in chest clutching auras of uplifting euphoria whilst you literally find yourself drowning amid the uncontrollable heartbroken deluge of streaming tears. I guess you can say we quite like it. – we must admit that its an eerie experience to hear the disembodied vocals of Nico piercing the ether on the bleakly beautiful though monochromatic fragile ’spare the words’ but then Active on Earth do describe themselves as purveyors of ’uneasy listening’ though a quick check of their friends may well indicate otherwise as nestled between the likes of Throbbing Gristle, Coil and Cabaret Voltaire you’ll find the appearance of the Monkees, Peter Cook and er – the Banana Splits – not as uneasy as they’d like you to believe then. Okay perhaps ‘bad vibrations’ veers into the gracefully fragile and monochromatic voids of the early 90’s Bristol scene while strangely orbiting the chilled allure of Hull’s Everything but the Girls ’missing’ while elsewhere the upbeat and spiked ’nervous energy’ could easily be viewed by many as the bastard offspring of a studio collision between Curve and Garbage. That said the ensemble come into their own when applied with a degree of introspection, the spectral ’the sound of raw Angels’ is as you’d imagine – if that is you closed your eyes and tried to picture such – the sound of (raw) angels, hollowing halos of pining celestial pirouettes easily filed away in the record collection in no great distance from your elusive stash of My Bloody Valentine and early Flying Saucer Attack trophies while the lilt of the chilled down tempo atmospherics of the mysterious and magical ‘smoke and mirrors’ belies the kind of rarely heard sophisticated and smoulder like artistry as would suggest a divine pairing of the near perfect Shortwave Set and the demurring ROC at work. Yet all said and done ‘spare the words’ is the un-refutable jewel in the crown, a withered and wind swept bruised beauty that shimmers silently like a lovelorn spectre revisiting former heartbreaking haunts, tenderly distressed and dappled with a charcoal cinematic sheen this darkly cloaked slice of aching doomed romance is all at once moving, mercurial and majestic.

The video for ‘spare the words’ goes a lot like this…

<a href=”″>Spare the Words</a><br/>

And no we ain’t apologising for being so obvious – – we are they, why aren’t they on telly on some digital TV re-run station rather that than the woeful ‘green green grass of home’ or whatever that piss poor piece of ‘only fools and horses’ off shoot visual pain is called – talk about wooden positively kitchen unit standard we say. Anyhow ’Banana Splits’ back on telly along with ’the hair bear bunch’ – what d’ya reckon – letter to the local MP etc…..

Oh yea just cos we are feeling nostalgic the opening credits video….

And while we are at it – Hector’s House – blimey is that the time – must get my milk biccies and go for a nap…. – indeed we need more of this kind of stuff buzz sawing from our hi-fi, spider and the flies are – we think (so much for our research prowess) – a duo who have or will have (again our research prowess is on blinding form is it not) a mini album kicking about entitled ‘something clockwork’ via Mute Irregulars (or as we call them in our gaff Mute non-existents given we never see sight nor sound of the blighters – ho hum). Anyhow these dudes do strange things with antiquated analogue synthesisers and appear to be much admiring of celebrated pioneers such as Raymond Scott and the Silver Apples not to mention the BBC Radiophonic Workshop collective. We’re thinking that fans of those early outings by Add N to X will happily plug themselves in and succumb to the mind altering headspace frying offerings at large here – healthy doses of mainframe meltdowns, demented Dadaist diodes, subversive binary chattering and vintage oddball oscillations are the name of the game and while ‘Desmond Leslie’ (no doubt named in honour of the author and sci-fi soundtrack composer) provides for a superb exercise in the type of unruly and cacophonic frequency manipulations much loved by E.A.R we suggest your first port of call should be to set your controls and prepare for docking procedures with ‘metallurge’ an acutely engaging slab of freakish futuro groove decoded with some sublimely woven wonky library dialects and deranged dippy cosmic collages that to us sounds not a light year or two away from Delia Derbyshire incidental scores for ‘the tomorrow people’ TV show. – think we’re right in saying that we’ve mentioned this lot on occasion previously – in fact quite a while back in a time when we were so much younger and possessing of more hail, hailing from Glastonbury Flipron are quite unlike anything currently trawling today’s pop landscape. Whilst they preen themselves in readiness for a nationwide tour with the equally crooked though ridiculously tasty Misty’s Big Adventure there’s the small but finitely essential detail of a brand new Rat Scabies produced single to consider both sides of which are currently being previewed via their my space site. Rest assured ‘book of lies’ is more wigged out groove from these re-cyclists of retro tuneage, a deeply dippy carnival of quirky musical hall sound that initially recalls the skewiff Mersey delta dialects of a youthful Coral sumptuously fused with a curiously warm drift of exotic tail winds whose origins trace subtle routes from what appears to be an illicit smoking cool drinking den in the wiles of the Marrakesh. ’mess it up’ is equally serviced with a criminally woven ear bending flavour, a madcap day-glo oddity of off kilter hip hugging shimmies riddled with lysergic mirages, snake winding riffages, shadowy music hall opulence and touched with the distinct aura of a melodic equivalent to a Victorian penny dreadful. We also suggest you tune into the 60’s keys festooned chill out loveliness of the lazy eyed Robyn Hitchcock like ’cerberus is as Cerberus does’. Nuff said. – welcome return to these pages for these wayward children much in love with bubblegum, beehives and bats who have an undeniably curious ability to instigate pop shock treatments for fiendish fun. Word has it there’s a spanking new album just released on parole entitled ’out of the crypt and into your heart’ which the band describe as their ’rockiest’ to date. A blistering blend of 50’s b-movie horror sci-fi twangs, radiation high riffs, acutely spanked sub three minute transfusions of corpse livening cuteness and unearthed tuneful treasures from pop’s twilight zone, here you’ll find a smattering of showcased nuggets that include the lollipop cuteness of the fluffy 50’s folly that is ’puke it up’ and the rampant frenzy of the heads down scathing grind of the howling and scalded metal headed ’raised in hell’ whilst not forgetting the 60’s keys laced horror flick felicitations of the all over you like a rash ‘Dracula blood’ – we’re off in search of this wired witches brew for future review and suggest you do to. – looming fast on the critical viewfinder London quartet jonny cola and the a grades have already blown us away (see missive 175) with the glorious sugar rush of glam / beat pop carnival sounds emanating from their imminent ’we’re all going to die’ / ’heroics’ debut single excerpts of which you can hear on their this here my space page – though we suggest you pause for a wee second kick back a spell and sample the emotion shredding techniques of the tear inducing ’out of focus’ – you’ll have to take our word for it that it’s a spiffing thing because we can scarcely see the keyboard to type for the stinging of streaming tears. Pass me the kerchief….

Eat Lights: Become Lights ‘klustered pt.1’ (enraptured). After a few months laying low Enraptured kick back into action with a host of spiffing releases what with the sonic voyages of full lengths from both Slipstream and Beatglider currently being observed in the autumnal night skies and this much worthy and welcomed incoming orbital touchdown from the hotly tipped and much admired Eat Lights Become Lights. First witnessed fluttering about on our radar via both missives 162 and 165 with their hi-fi hogging ‘they transmit‘ 7 inch released earlier this year, Eat Lights Become Lights who hail from the Sirius constellation via London have already had tongues a-wagging among the space cadet set, their Teutonic transmissions indelibly tutored and grounded in the vintage glaze of the kraut grooved kosmik pioneers of the early 70’s (Tangerine Dream, Amon Dull II et al) yet crafted with a modernist recalibration of like minded lunatic torchbearers (Spacemen 3, My Electric Love Affair, Mugstar et al) have been eagerly deciphered and relayed on repeat courtesy of the more considered turntables of the record buying nation. Both ’klustered pt.1’ and ‘pt.2’ are estimated to re-enter the atmosphere and perform docking procedures with the coolest record emporium racks in December. Essentially a 10 minute mind warping odyssey split into two solar suites, ELBL set the controls towards un-chartered horizons ’pt1’ in its initially phases the lilting resonating riff mirages delicately dissipate into something sounding not unlike pulsing echoes of ancient communications emanating from a distressed dying star before unfurling to mushroom as though a galactic star cruiser embarking on take off procedures into a head expanding nuts down gridlocked star crossed slice of motorik hypnotics. ’pt2’ continues where ’pt1’ left off though expanding the effect in terms of depth, texture and mass to deliciously weave into the hyper drives a vibrant cascade of swirling key halos, feedback sheens, bliss out grooves and hip hugging grinds that steadily coalesce to increase in velocity at times sounding not unlike a wayward no nonsense Sonic Youth whilst going almost nuclear at the finale wherein everything fragments and fractures into a cacophonic haze. Frankly you need this.

The Retail Sectors ’march of the incurable workaholic’ (distraction). Despite not being due out for another week or two we seriously recommend that you get your backsides firmly into gear if you want a piece of this little beauty. Seriously limited to just 150 copies and pressed up on 8 inches of squared shaped precision cut lathe vinyl and housed in a cotton paper sleeve is this admittedly delightful twin set from the Retail Sectors. Of course regular observers to these pages will already be familiar with Kentaro Togawa (for it is he who is the Retail Sectors) given that we fell head over backsides in love with his ’Stargazer in the daytime’ set for October Man a little while back (see missive 159). ‘march of the incurable workaholic’ looms in sharp contrast to that last aforementioned offering, whereas ’stargazer in the daytime’ was lushly laden with a finitely nimble and monochromatic sheen of spectral intonations this latest two track overture finds itself awash with Technicolor radiance. All at once bracing and beautiful ’march of the incurable workaholic’ stirs, arcs and takes flight with a jubilant symphonic glow, braided amid a positive proliferation of colour and exuberance this sweetly bitter bouquet aches dreamily with a forlorn love note exchanging grace, monumental in sound and crafted with a tear welling tender texture that swiftly shifts with a refined waltz like grandeur to blossom and bathe all who bear witness to it in its immeasurable desire laden carnival of sound. Flip the disc for the utterly surrendering opines of ’song about a girl who killed herself yesterday’ – what can we say, wrapped in a macabre majesty that suggests its roots are to be found in classic TV action soundtracks from the late 60’s chiefly those penned by Edwin Astley / Albert Elms though on this occasion seemingly reflected and fractured through the aural viewfinder of Gnac and swept through with the advancing grip of a menacing tension and bled with a subtle though sumptuous hollowing and haunting detail whose skin tingling eeriness is matched only by its unhinged almost self detuning enchanted aura. Stunning doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Eric Copeland ’alien in a garbage dump’ (paw tracks). We’ve no idea what kind of medication Black Dice’s Eric Copeland is on these days but we sure as hell have put a special bumper order in for whatever it is at our local pharmacist and since taken to camping outside said outlet in fevered anticipation of its arrival. Been way too long since we had anything from the warped and impishly creative New York HQ of the BD’s to which to worry our hi-fi with. ’Alien in a garbage dump’ sees singer Eric Copeland opting for a spot of extra curricula activities and into the bargain following up his debut solo ‘hermaphrodite’ full length from last year (damn – to much grumbling another album we missed out on) with some more frankly fried melodic manifestations from the far side of reality. We’ve been advised that this 12 inch vinyl only baby is strictly limited in number – in fact so limited that promos have been seemingly dispensed with in favour of download streams. Seven tracks feature within, I suppose the best way of describing them is simply by applying the word disturbed. I can tell you‘re not convinced eh – you people really are difficult to please aren‘t you. Alright then how about imagining some super funky early 70’s soundtrack that you’ve never heard previously – mainly because at the time of its proposed release the thing was deemed so hot it literally melted the grooves and the powers that be – that’ll be the MAN – feared its escape into society would corrupt the moral fabric of the nation. Right are you still with me on this – okay fine. Now imagine the spirit of that release rightly pissed at being condemned and exiled to eke out its existence within the confines of a battered and unloved 8 track cartridge and somehow conspiring to spirit away like apparitional visitations and relocate to the West Coast to spend the next 3 decades slowly unravelling under a copious dietary intake of mind blending hallucinogens and blissfulness only to return to their spiritual home to find some blighter has left the tapes out in the sun to warp. Copeland is obviously the owner of a fractured mindset, these seven cuts made up of wonky electronics, tape loops, dub effects and skewed Dadaist time signatures insidiously wire themselves beneath your skin to ultimately lay assault on your nervous system by way of trance like states of seizure borne unhinged after shocks with ‘alien in a garbage dump’ being particularly flirty, skewiff and psyched in a manner more associated with the Busy Signals. Filtered with disembodied echoes drifting through ether hazes Copeland achieves a dizzy and dippy kaleidoscopic mirror ball of sound that one minute dissipates dream like constantly mutating, evolving and shape shifting – the next oddly appearing to be trying to tunnel its way out of the grooves to perform a strangely wired calypso carnival routine or two (’osni’ and ’everybody’s labido’ – the latter which at times comes across like the Go! Team on acid). Of course reference wise fans of early career outings by the Animal Collective (especially on the trippy opener ‘king tits womb’) will be more than catered for in their ongoing search for those all important curiously wired and decidedly deranged aural oddities which we are happy to report ’alien in a garbage dump’ delivers in buckets, mind you its not all fun and games as the ominous ’scones and bull’ so ably demonstrates, ridiculously short it opens to some brief though cutely applied lounge ambience before taking an acute left turn and going all weird (and as this set is all weird then embellish that notion of weird with creepy). Of course you want it, you need it and who would blame you. Essential.

And I think I’m right in saying the first Xmas related release of the year and again more essential eargear from those enterprising chemists of the curious Paw Tracks…..

Reverend Green / Drawlings ’Xmas split’ (Paw Tracks / Care Kacky). the only thing missing from this release is the snow, hot mince pies, a roaring open fire toasting our tootsies and some bearded buffoon in red haplessly missing us off his present list again, we’ve always loved that peculiar little detail that allows you to re-arrange the word Santa into Satan. Just thought I’d share that with you. Anyhow this release is limited to just 1,000 copies and marks the inaugural outing for Paw Tracks newly set up sub label Care Kacky which in future will be responsible for checking, grooming and giving a fond farewell kiss to all things pressed on seven inches of wax as they leave the safe confines of the Paw Tracks palace of delights. A split release no less featuring of positive cornucopia of talented special guests. First up Reverend Green who to friends, acquaintances and the discerning record buying public is better known as Brad Truax erstwhile member of Home and Jah Division (who – and yes before you ask – they do dub versions of Joy Division favourites of old – we suggest you chill yourself to their ’dubmission’ via Any how Mr Truax finds himself in the considered company of both Mum’s Kria and Anthony from Anthony and the Johnston’s as well as Jah Division sparring pal Barry London for this rather mellow seasons greeting entitled ’be good to earth this season’. Like some long forgotten dusty loft find this humbling slice of vintage loveliness crackles and pops with the sepia tinged warmth of a Dickensian festive folly an as were re-discovered shellac platter that even comes replete with a scratchy miscued intro and jumps throughout. All at once disarming, dainty and desirably homely, the sweetly demurring pairing of Anthony and Kria’s vocals make this a spectral treat of frosted fluffiness with the arcing caress of the braided melodies underpinned throughout see-sawing with a lilting lullaby charm of a classic Disney / Capra design. Adorably gem like. Flip the disc for the equally arresting debut for Abby Portner’s (of Rings fame) solo project Drawlings. Featuring guest appearances from David Portner (Animal Collective) and Rusty Santos (whose recent full length by the Presence has rarely strayed from our hi-fi of late) ‘wolfie’s Christmas’ is a beautifully beguiled slice of enchantment, sparse and fragile and indelibly touched with a light headed wide eyed child like awe, this snow globed cutie shimmers with willowy seasonal solicitations amid a snow capped landscape decorated by sleigh bells, galloping reindeers and wonky music box chimes that all at once gather to combine to endow and bathe you in an aching nostalgic glow. Blimey I think I’m going to cry….disarming stuff.

Magazine wise…

Shindig # volume 2 issue 7 – literally hot of the presses the latest issue of the ever excellent Shindig bi-monthly continues to be the news stand bible for all things garage, psyche, freak beat and power pop. Inside a myriad of treats for the discerning disciple of 60’s grooves interviews with the Strawbs and Jackie DeShannon, focus’ and pieces on 60’s girl combo the Sweet Somethings and a nostalgic peak at freak beat pulp fiction plus the concluding part of their extensive and excellently researched and written West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band feature. What more could you possibly want – perhaps an annual – due to hit the stands shortly this hard backed Xmas stocking filler is we have on good authority packed from cover to cover with rare and desired extracts from the publications enviable vaults.

Record Collector #356 – cover stars Pink Floyd are the subject of a feature set to coincide with the publication of a new tome entitled ’pink floyd on 45’ – a lavishly packed publication compiled by Charles Beterams that features over 1200 full colour images giving details on all the known Floyd 7 inch releases from around the world. Included here are extracts and an interview with Beterams as well as a fous on Floyd’s ’Atom Heart Mother’ full length. Elsewhere this year sees the 25th anniversary of the Smiths ’this charming man’ release – an in depth focus looks at all the relevant issues from around the world as well as the dispelling of a few long held beliefs. There are also interviews with Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood, Keith Emerson and Solomon Burke plus all your usual record collecting dietary needs catered for with the label spotlight shining on the excellent Twisted Nerve imprint of Manchester.

Sone Institute ‘Silver leaves and woolly dreams’ (Three Towers). Exquisite. In all honesty its as good as that and frankly not a lot more we can add. In fact we were musing for most of the day whether to simply leave this review as such but clearly our need and want for waxing lyrical got the better of us and anyway if I had left it so succinctly and to the point you would no doubt think I was off on one and ignore what is a truly cleverly crafted collection of cuts. Assuming the hand numbered reverse of this release is by way an indication, then this CD is strictly limited to just 60 copies (ours in case you were wondering is #8). Sone Institute is the creatively mercurial alter ego of St Albans resident Roman Bezdyk who first tweaked our radar by way of his work on the ongoing remix project instigated by Long Division with Remainders (see missive 160 or go to for more info), to date he has released a preciously select number of releases via the Three Towers imprint while next year should see him making his debut outing for the newly augmented Front and Follow label of Manchester (whose inaugural release by Elite Barbarian has been much ruffling the feathers of our hi-fi of late). Anyhow enough of the meandering domestics, ’silver leaves and woolly dreams’ (his latest opus) features six sumptuous treats limited as previously advertised to just 60 copies and all lovingly housed in an impeccably attractive CD case replete with – what we assume are – pressed leaves. It provides for a gorgeously daydream journey of sound, mood and texture, from the whirling lunatic overtures of the lilting ‘dark forest – silver sea’ with its fragmented glazes of watery riff flotillas, disorientating mirages and snow tipped montages to the strangely mind arranging mantra that is the lysergic lull of ‘burnt land’ or the down tempo tinged exotic hazes of the crookedly transcendental ‘steps to the sun (part 2)’ there’s no denying that Bezdyk applies broad artistic aural brushstrokes to his richly vibrant sound canvas. ‘one tree hill’ alas not the bad Bono and U2 cut from ’Joshua Tree’ – at least we assume it isn’t and if it is then its been bent, twisted and warped out of recognition, instead this little cutie is a carnival-esque kaleidoscopic mirage that craftily marinates elements of the Go Teams ’get it together’, the Tornadoes ‘telstar’ and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich’s ’legend of Xanadu’ along with dapples of Morricone-esque trace ingredients and has them relocated to some strangely wired and wonderfully wonky seaside front wherein the genius mindset of Joe Meek wreaks impish ‘Phantom of the Opera’ like glee upon a Wurlitzer organ – just love the ’fool on the hill’ Beatles refrains. Disturbingly addictive stuff. We’ve previously had cause and dare I say delight in mentioning ’London heir’ in previous dispatches and can still find no better way of describing it than to say it really does sound like Broadcast and Plone shimmying up together to craft out some chilled and sophisticatedly well heeled moments of vintage styled 70’s library pop. Sore thumb of the pack is the decidedly ominous psych prog gem ‘hobbyhorse’ a detached and warped slice of skewed electro ambience whose bloodline re-traces its ancestry with disturbing pre-occupation back to John Carpenter backdrops albeit as were viewed by some wired and weird collaboration between Add N to X and Goblin. We await with eager anticipation further instalments.

The Wow Signals ‘infinity’s lobby’ (gene pool). ‘A noisy foursome from Shoreditch’ cried the press release, hell we thought better pop it on the old gramophone and investigate more. Seems that Indie Dad (the Blame it on the Parents head honcho) has already beaten us to the punch on this anointing his assessment with words and phrases such as Iggy, swagger, Bowie, Ferry and 70’s which though acutely observed alas leaves our review somewhat five words light. That said ’infinity’s lobby’ is a bit of a spiffing cut, upfront – direct – and about you in an instant, laced with a retro sheen of decadent wantonness scarcely witnessed around these parts since Gold Cash Gold and packing riffs so vintage in design they may well have picked them up from an e*ay auction listing. And lest we forget to mention the small but crucial detail that it’s a fierce some cavalcade of well heeled incendiary laced spiked struts that appear to have been wired into the national grid thus ensuring momentous outbreaks of seizure stricken pogo-tastic goings on whilst simultaneously finding itself drilled with a flame retardant exterior that suggests a curious after hours listening obsession with Eddie and the Hot Rods, the Who and Sweet. Flip the disc for some neatly fractured and wasted and out of it blistered blues courtesy of ‘purr right’ which unless our ears do deceive possesses telling signs of ‘Diamond Dogs’ era Bowie whilst lashed aplenty with copious amounts of wah wah effects – frankly a guitar institution that surely is deserving of being reclaimed from the baggies. An album slated for release next year looms on the horizon. By the way great name don’t ya think – named after a narrow band radio signal we believe – one for the pub quiz enthusiasts among you I suspect.

Beach House ‘used to be’ (bella union). it may well have been a fair old while since this lots ‘devotion’ full length caused our radar to wobble and in its absence since endowed our listening space with a gaping hole emptiness that has had the effect of causing our hi-fi to pine inconsolably come the cover of night time. So much relief was had, as you can probably imagine, when through our mail box arrived this dinky 2 track feast of unassuming beauty. Billed as their first seven inch release, strictly limited in number and arriving in a reputable record emporium near you just ahead of their appearance on these shores playing with Jana Hunter at Cargo in December, ’used to be’ is a freshly cut cutie from the duo’s workbench, a honey due treat tenderly harnessed and bitter sweetly bathed in a hurtfully crushed and reflective yet homely heart melting lullaby like orb of twinkling sepia chimes and fragile and spectral festive braids that glow with a demurring enchanted radiance the type of which causes your pulse to quicken whilst awakening that alluring fuzzy feeling of being somewhere safe, special and secret. If you get through this one without shedding a tear you must be made of stone. Flip the disc for a 4 track demo version of ’Apple Orchard’ – a track that first saw the light of day on the duo’s debut self titled full length this particular recording being one of the first committed to tape by Victoria and Alex. Replete with sleepy mirages, heart string tugging mellowing crests of sighing keys, pining tear stricken slide riffs and packed with enough forlornly crestfallen sentiment as to breach with ease the defences of the steeliest of hearts its without doubt the best thing never recorded by Mazzy Star. Go buy. – admittedly not the type of stuff we usually have fluttering its eyelashes at us about our listening space mind you that said we had only literally been 15 seconds into ‘lipstick’ when we were immediately alerted to the distinctly uber cool and exotically funky Marr-esque riff struts of Stex’s ‘still feel the rain’ as though bled with the international appeal of Groovejet / Sophie Ellis Bextor‘s ‘if this ain’t love’ filtering through the haze, a slyly seductive nocturnal floor moocher liberally dappled with chicly slinky manoeuvres and lushly pierced with some superbly executed sax arrangements. But then French quartet Thembi are something of a rare event whose sophisticated brand of sound provides for a seductively sultry feast of smoked to chilled down tempo vibes dutifully arrested by sumptuous braids of softly purring 70’s styled jazz funk dialects. Here you‘ll find the reclining mellowness of the bliss out tonalities of the lights at low ’travelling astral’ shimmying with the quietly measured ‘lovely people’ itself weaving its amorphous amour with such unerring precision that its milky soft 60’s pop meets bachelor pad stylising you’d swear been crafted by some dream team meeting between Broadcast / Emperor Penguin and Monade. We need to here more. – quite clearly several wheels short of a tricycle, we eyed the precocious talents of Kania Tieffer via a flyer emailed over to us by those denizens of demented pop Distraction records who it seems have secured the services of said fair maiden of the loon toon for one of their club night soirees (4th December at the End in Newcastle). We’d like to think a night of the peculiar, the wayward and the quite frankly bonkers is an offer that most discerning lovers of the wired, weird and strange simply cannot afford to miss. Ms Tieffer hails from Belgium wherefrom a secretly undisclosed sound bunker she has been scaring and worrying alike the surrounding wildlife with her combustible fractured Dadaist electro seizures (none more so than ‘die glazy kartoffein‘). Already garnering a sizable fan base following some well heeled schizoid releases via imprints such as her own UHH installation as well as via l’armee des bonbons, wwilko, les joyaux de la couronne, selva and byte burger (the latter two releases you can rip as free downloads via her website at, Tieffer’s attitude towards sound is one of impishly spiked crookedness – imagine the cute child like innocence of say the Shaggs cross wired with the impetuous kookiness of Shonen Knife and transfused and transmogrified into some frazzled and skewiff and glitch game boy goo. Frantic and furious and very much cast through a child like viewfinder, Tieffer playfully terrorises her collection of early learning centre keyboards and runs riot amid an acutely insane paint bombed canvas of dippy diode delirium – here you’ll find a brief but dare I say essential showcase of cuts featuring the fried ’incredible mouse’ a creepily engaging face off as were between Devo and …the native hipsters, the wonky minimalism of the sleepy headed shanty like ’c’est chaud’ and the menacingly brief and jarred noise fest ‘mama‘. Don’t be too surprised if she becomes a regular feature in these pages.

Bad Moon ‘the real sound of mooching’ (self released). Having only formed earlier this year and since stricken by the death of their drummer Nicholas Spall who died just a matter of days ago (25/10/08) having finally lost his fight with an incurable terminal disease, these are trying times for a band so young and literally taking their first steps on the path to whatever fate and fortune has in store for them. As yet it seems the future of Bad Moon is at a cross roads, the wounds still a little raw – that said with some kind of bizarre timing we literally received their debut 5 track EP today which in our much humbled opinion indicates a blossoming creative force at work that the more rock / blues connoisseurs among you may do well in taking note. Originally released earlier this year, ‘the real sound of mooching’ blisters and curdles with an innately measured and silently intense passion, informed by elements of the post grunge work of Pearl Jam though drilled with manifestly bruised and primal southern drift as though Green River had succumbed to their head bowed edginess being mellowed by ’Zuma’ era Neil Young (check out ‘elate you’) and fleshed out with free spirited demeanour that suggests the Band are never straying to far from the turntable especially on the retro glazed 70’s blues strokes of ’bad moon’ while you suspect the bourbon soaked shoe shuffle that is ‘mooching‘ despite possessing a touch of Lynrds could in time prove to be a show stopping event on its own. That said we’re much smitten by the opening cut ’3’ which deceptively prowls about to waft through the speakers with such a casual and momentous air we needed to pause and double take a second to ensure it wasn’t that Vedder chap shimmying up to Chris Brockaw’s short lived ensemble Snares and Kites. Nifty stuff.

ODi ‘a superman’ EP (the littlest mojo). We aren’t going to make excuses here as to why this hasn’t been featured previous – lets just simplify matters and say it was haplessly packed away along with a shed load of other releases in the recent ‘great shall we or shall we not move’ debacle – long story (those wishing for it email and believe you me you’ll be sorry you asked – its been tantamount to criminal). Anyhow this babe has been happily reclaimed and has managed with a insidious carefree ease to romance its way into our affections of late. About to disappear into the studio to start recording her debut full length which all things being well should see the light of day next summer, ’a superman’ marks the debut 5 track outing of Irish songstress Odi (better known to friends and family as Claire Odlum) – a release that we suspect will mark the beginning of a lasting career and a becoming talent that should appeal to those much smitten by the likes of Claire Toomey and Emma Rugg. Quietly arresting ‘a superman’ is seductively framed in the kind of refined spectral states that insidiously hook upon your heart strings and gently tug away at them just when you least expect them, this desirably fragile slice of orbiting porcelain pop softly bathed and braided with sugar laced star lit intonations, elegant in its dispatch and seemingly trailing in melodic auras more readily occupied by Bufallo Springfield’s ’for what its worth’ with the deceptively demurring Odi purring achingly amid willowy wells of lovelorn echoes and tenderly arcing dream weaving mirages. Quite gemlike if you ask me. In sharp contrast the mellowing ’what you desire’ is shrouded in a touching and sighing resigned melancholic sheen while the achingly crushed ’tears and wine’ is tearfully tendered with a hollowing forlorn regret much recalling of Sarah McLachlan. And while both ’Crawl’ and ’leaving my love in NY’ (both culled incidentally from live radio sessions the latter in particular offering a treat for fans of Suzanne Vega) both re-affirm a blossoming talent at work we suggest you head over to her my space site at to sample both her astounding cover of Springsteen’s ’I’m on fire’ and the rather delicious ’real to me’ which unless our ears do deceive freewheels seductively between the pained ache of Sinead O’Connor and the off road soul of Joan Armatrading. Perfect.

That’s your lot for a few days – promise we’ll be back to normal next week – copious updates via and stuff – plus there will be two missives before the weeks out – one will be another Filthy Little Angels special since the blighters have hit us with a stack of spanking releases a few days ago the Housewives one is a ruddy treat….

Thank you’s as usual to all those who’ve made these ramblings possible – for a small fee I can supply the addresses of these persons for you to take up matters as you see fit, as always smail mail via –
– for now – we will be moving now probably before Xmas – email

addressing all requests ‘we are fab yabba ye doo dah do’ whilst hopping on one leg while rubbing your head in an anti clockwise fashion as you write – we will be watching we have the ways and means – those failing to adorn such communications with this weeks secret password will have their requests / death threats / verbal abuse / missives of adoration (rare – as in non existent) fed to the dog which given we haven’t got a dog here means Dylan the cat will have to don the canine costume and boy will he be pissed.

Till next time space cadets……take care of yourselves……



first published via losing today – November 2008

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