singled out – missive 180

Singled Out
Missive 180

For Kelly and Mark

Revolutions of the 45 kind. – we were recommended to the work of Paul Roland by a regular correspondent of these pages who no doubt wishes to remain anonymous though of whom we can say resides in Greece, well Athens to be more precise, Ilias is his name – oh damn that’s done it, anyhow Paul – Ilias, Ilias – Paul – that’s the introductions over and done with. This particular email conversation was provoked by a query relating as to the way Mr Roland is totally ignored in the UK – his country of birth – and yet held with such high regard everywhere else. Now we must admit – much to our own embarrassment that we here were oblivious to the charms of Mr Roland’s work – shame on us I hear you say and yes I’d be first in the queue with the loudest voice shouting such. A glib response back likened the plight to that of the Porcupine Tree, who with unfathomable ease spent the 90’s criminally disregarded as Floyd-ist prog rockers and therefore not so much ignored but deigned not to exist in some quarters until that is certain writers finally realised that Radiohead were (‘hail to a thief’) now pedalling a sub species of prog rock and had been doing so to some lesser extent since as far back as ’OK Computer’. Now prog is acceptable in polite conversation pretty much the same way that Brit pop isn’t – fickle fashion isn’t it? Anyhow what makes matters all the more strange n the case of Paul Roland is that he has close ties with both Robyn Hitchcock he of Egyptians / Soft Boys fame and Nick Soloman (Bevis Frond) and Nick Nicely whose ’hilly fields’ single is one of psyche pop’s great lost gems which in case you’re not so familiar can be ripped here Anyway Mr Roland has recently released his 21st full length in the shape of ‘nevermore’- a classically honed brew of sublimely coalesced psych folk, the showcased cuts here tapping with ease into the same frequencies as Hitchcock’s 1993 opus ‘respect’ and appealing we suspect to fans of the recently re-activated Psychic TV and the mighty Of Arrowe Hill. Roland crafts a soft psychedelic tapestry delicately scribed and enriched with an irrefutable English psychedelic eccentricity, the landscape and imagery riddled amid a darkly woven myriad of references steeped with a gothic mindset (and that’s gothic not goth) wherein a fascination for Victorian penny dreadfuls, Jules Verne (the ghostly grandeur of the stirring shanty enchantment of ‘wreck of the nautilus’) and the grim swing of the gallows etch through the grooves with macabre majesty, a place where the twilight overlaps between reality and imagination blur and the regaling shadowy carnival-esque eeriness maintains a constant presence with Edgar Allan Poe as the ringmaster of the freak emporium. In fact ‘Edgar Allan Poe’ opens this showcase, dutifully decorated in all manner of kaleidoscopic tinged sinister twang whose initial coda subtly nods towards the Fatima Mansions ‘only losers take the bus’ before unfurling its lysergic charms with an almost svelte like alchemy reminiscent of the late Syd Barrett, elsewhere there’s the torch like ethnic fusion of the spell crafting ‘voodoo doll’ with its prowling and haunting arabesque snake charming mirages though if there’s one track here ripe for the ripping it’s the power surging 60’s lysergic tipped psyche pop tinged ‘re-animator’ – stunning in a word.

Kong ‘leather penny’ (brew). F**kin’ evil. I’m suspecting that fans of the mighty Kong would – had we let the review stand as such – have known exactly what we meant when we said ‘f**kin’ evil’ – mind you it probably wouldn’t have done much for those un-initiated souls among you – I mean Kaiser Chiefs are evil but there’s no way you’d ever get to a point wherein you could compare Kong to them not unless of course Kong had let things really slide (only joking Kaiser Chiefs – we love you really – honest – really really do). ‘leather penny’ follows their much loved and dare we say furiously blistered ‘blood of a dove’ release from a few weeks back – so punishing an outing that our hi-fi is still receiving counselling and I might add still wakes in the middle of the night with the shakes – though between you and me I think its got a thing going with the I-pod – dirty bastard. Where were we – ah yes Kong – one much loved single under their belt and rumour has it an album in the offing due out early next year entitled ‘snake magnet’ from which this festering beauty is culled. ‘leather penny’ is a mentally challenged frantic and frayed fucked up slice of retarded and bludgeoned blues groove, an impishly caustic volcanic war faring spree that seemingly sets its sights on the wayward monotone charms of PIL’s ‘Metal Box’ and sets about pummelling its matrix amid a jarring, dislocated and detached swamp infested grind that to these ears sounds not unlike a drop dead and deranged illicit studio meeting between Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the Melvins and Jesus Lizard – need we say more. Stunning in a word.

The Fake Lazy Supernovas ‘golden boy’ (won’t ever be). not strictly due to swoon and purr amid the racks of your local record emporium until early next year, the Fake Lazy Supernovas the creative musical project headed up by Richard Lamplough have already tucked aside a debut full length in the shape of ‘promised land’ that’s been garnering quiet acclaim as well as being picked up on the drive time play lists of Radio 2’s Bob Harris for whom they’ll be recording a live session for in January. The attached press release rightly states an ensemble of whom ‘its difficult to squeeze into any number of different musical boxes’ though a quick peak on their my space site showcases a cut titled ‘time I suppose for sex’ which has a distinct Prince vibe about its persona and in some small respect that where the creative connections lie because the Fake Lazy Supernovas craft out a seductive nocturnally glowed slice of smooching club floor sophistication, both sultry and demurring, clipped with a noir-esque sheen and indelibly soaked in a shimmering soft funk chassis that happily freewheels with equal delight amid the camps of early 70’s soul funk and the early 90’s Bristol scene. Admittedly it’s a little too saccharine in texture for our hardened palette but we’re not so ignorant to appreciate the smoked chemical reaction of the slinky dance floor overtures and the amorphous amour peeled silkiness of ’golden boy’ while the far stronger flip cut ’that’s the day’ is braided in all manner of softly honed arrangements liberally sugared with the pulse arresting signature of trip hop beats, classic soul sourced flashbacks and a delicately drilled down tempo demeanour. One for loved up night owls I suspect.

Broken Arm ‘shields mystical’ (sea). nothing makes the pulse in our little heart skip as much than finding a newly paroled release from the acutely cool Sea Records imprint, in recent memory this select though essential record label has fired across our boughs releases from the mighty Mugstar (who incidentally feature later on), Avenging Force and the criminally under loved Ambulance. This caustic skull speaker baiting brute comes housed in a gatefold card sleeve (on the inside of which you’ll find the tongue in cheek Stones nodding declaration ‘exile on boner street’) and we assume is limited to just 150 copies (our copy in case you’re taking notes is un-numbered but if it makes you feel any better with aid of a biro and in my neatest hand written I can inscribe a small number 1). ’Shields mystical’ is the debut five track outing for Leeds noise niks Broken Arm who boast among their ranks members of Woman, Like a kind of Matador and the Sailors (whose self titled debut EP for Gringo last year still gets a regular airing in our gaff). Brandishing a distinctly wired and fucked up ’n’ festering mindset, Broken Arm slouch, strut, stagger and stutter their way through a battered and fraught choking landscape of grizzled ‘n’ gnarled gridlocked garage grinds welded uncompromisingly upon bent out of shape and blistered slabs of retarded and reclaimed blistered blues signatures that have been jarred and jagged by a round or two shadow tagging with Fugazi, the resulting stew – aggressive in approach, acutely agitated in appearance and dishevelled and discordant in delivery makes for quite possibly the most fractured and fierce some 10 minutes of turntable terrorising this missive (and that includes those three advertised Trensmat releases – see later). Like some bastard off spring conceived from a DNA cross match between the wasted early career outings of Mark Arm’s Mudhoney and Monkey wrench (especially on up and at you throat throttling damaged dragster grind of ‘secret eyes’) with a youthful Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (none more so than on the wilfully frantic ‘getting mystical‘ just check out the impish Deep Purple riff nods two thirds through), these skewed and scowling hardcore honeys reverberate with attrition based untamed glee, the opening ’double dagger’ making a skree scorched introduction soon emerges menacingly like some mutant throwback from a forgotten early era Amp Rep back catalogue. That said ’heads of youth’ steals the show, a wired slab of discordant blues buggery that to these ears comes across like some vicious face off between the Lords and a particularly animated Jesus Lizard which kind of makes it essential in our book.

Melnyk ‘in the headlights – remix’ (download). those with remarkably long memories may well recall us swooning in abundance to Melnyk’s ‘Fabulous’ single way back a year or two ago (missive 102 to be precise), a track culled as were from his then current full length ‘silence’ which we promised ourselves to nail as our own but for reasons unfathomable, perplexing and indeed forgotten we didn’t. now he has a new album currently circulating on the underground in the shape of the limited ‘revolutions’ (we will nail this blighter – honest), anyhow resulting from (we suspect) a mass email issue word reaches back about a remix he’s done for the Zurich based duo Division Kent on a track culled from their current and highly acclaimed ’gravity’ full length. Available as a limited time free download via Melnyk ventures aural worlds more typified by the Kraut rock cognoscenti and across a sumptuously hypnotic 8 minute aural odyssey re-drills Andrea and Sky Antinori’s original sound chassis into a hitherto panoramic hyper driven ambi- cosmic cutie into the mix employing echoing elements of Moroder, Jarre, Tangerine Dream and Cluster into a hugely sublime and expanding cross generic motorik party floor prowler of some merit. You can hear the original for comparable delight via Division Kent’s MS page at – immersed and tethered in orbs of spectral noir, seductively dark and demurring, this purring shy eyed slice of sophistication neatly joins the dots between Portishead, Goldfrapp and 8MM and while you’re there check out the simply arresting and exquisitely emotion drained ‘this big hush’ one of the best things we’ve heard this year since Musetta drop their multi woven tapestry of delights ‘mice to meet you’.

And now to the first of three corking new singles that have literally tripped off the recently re-activated Slumberland imprint conveyor belt kindly sent over by head honcho Mike following our joyous out pouring over that belting twin set currently doing the rounds by pains at being pure at heart via fortuna pop (UK) and Slumber land (US)…so without further ado…..

Sexy Kids ‘sisters are forever’ EP (Slumberland). pressed up on seven inches of candy floss pink wax, the Sexy Kids hail from Glasgow, used to called Royal We – an ensemble that sadly appear to have dipped beneath our defences – and ’Sisters are Forever’ is their debut twin set. Anything else you need to know? Well of course it’d be handy to know that sound wise Sexy Kids crayon in the spaces that join the dots between the Shaggs (especially on the flip cut ‘drown me‘ where the waywardly lightly breezed art pop kookiness within sounds like Fremont’s finest re-drilling the pop splendour of the Free Design for impish fun), the Raincoats, Belle and Sebastian and Lunchbox with their cutely crafted and dizzily dimpled ditties providing for an affectionately refreshing sucker punching side serving of brightly bashful and tangy melody festooned indie pop, indeed ‘sisters are forever’ is lovably infectious as it coolly and cutely reclines and radiates across your turntable seductively eking out of the speakers with its softly effervescent sugar glazed shade wearing buzz sawing shimmying footwork replete honey toned vocals, angular rhythms, needling riffs and the kick ass hushed rush of an advancing euphoria which frankly had us reaching about for our Derrero records from yesteryear. In other words you need this.

Bricolage ’turn u over’ (Slumberland). Originally coming into view of our well tuned radar via that rather spiffing debut (white vinyl – if I recall rightly) seven inch via the re-invigorated Creeping Bent imprint entitled ’footsteps’ (see missive 100). Anyhow they’ve managed to sneak out two more releases since then that we here to much grumbling have seemingly missed out on and have a full length in the can due in February and no doubt busting its pips to do serious business in a record store near you. Until then this rather dashing twin set pairs together ’turn u over’ and ’night falls with vertigo’ – the former culled from that aforementioned debut is a booty shaking effervescent blast of quickly drilled and perky as hell running on the spot and strutting angular white funk whose reference markers are firmly and squarely mounted in the classic Postcard camp and here we are thinking the infectious rapid fire pop tonalities of a youthful Orange Juice and Josef K kicking out the kind of coolly observed 60’s shimmering soul beat tingles much loved by the pre ’Come on Eileen’ era Dexy’s and those early career stirrings of Weller’s post Jam combo the Style Council. Flip the disc for the far superior tones of ‘night falls with vertigo’ – an emotion rushing beauty primed to brimming with sugar tipped parades of breathlessly throbbing subtle traces of 50’s bubblegum pop overtones, harmony drenched chorus’, brandishing more hooks than a butchers back room and invested with an acutely rollicking stylus shagging vibrancy that to these ears feels like the onward march of some cavalry coming over the hill whose pockets are lined with the kind of feel good pop treasures some of us here were fearing were an age old myth.

Phil Wilson ’industrial strength’ (slumberland). the merest detail that this presents the first fruits and an unexpected break in a prolonged silence from the much talented and criminally overlooked hand of ex June Brides man Phil Wilson was reason enough for the bunting to be festooned around our gaff, yet the fact and manner in which he has chosen to end his exile (albeit he had broken cover a year or so ago to guest on Sarandon’s full length incidentally entitled ’the June Bride’) is made evermore interesting when you consider the creative process that’s gone into this quite frankly considerably welcoming return. Essentially a double seven inch set featuring four covers, and before you all start moaning that it isn’t much of a return on an absence away from turntables for the best part of two decades, then consider these three points before you start sniffing and turning up your nose:

1. Are you fed up to the back teeth with piss poor cover versions which – admit it – 90% of the time fail to inspire let alone take the original source into a different and previously new found direction to endow it with a new perspective / insight not previously considered.

2. Does the promise of a cover version so radically stripped of its original traits, heritage and skin that it could in fact be conceived as an original ‘new’ tune tempt you to the turntable.

3. How often have you heard a Kraftwerk cover, oh alright yes that was a bit of a gimme wasn’t it as we’d forgotten that there was that ‘best cover versions of kraftwerk’ set a few years back featuring amongst others Senor Coconut whilst not forgetting the quite mental Astralwerks set by the 8-bit Operators wherein all your favourite Dusseldorf ditties where re-interpreted by hand held consoles and gaming devices samples of which you can find by going to – Cavox‘s ‘computer love‘ sounding like the pick of the bunch (wish I hadn’t started this now….).

Okay as previously advertised a double seven inch package featuring four unique covers of tunes penned by Throbbing Gristle, S/T, Faust and of course Kraftwerk. First up on the inspection block Kraftwerk’s ’neon lights’ which in all honesty has to be heard to be believed given that’s its been superbly redecorated in a sumptuously light fading campfire glow and lovingly applied with a wonderfully wonky and inebriated bluegrass mellowness that’s been dappled deftly with an inspired dusty and dusky train chuffing cascade of banjo braids with the resulting appeal of being adorably alluring in a reclining by a crackling fire lullaby like way. Mind you ’united’ over on the flip takes some beating, Wilson recalibrates the primitive minimalist motorik electro blissed out edginess of Throbbing Gristle’s original mix and warms its toes with a softly rambling ‘n’ purring curdled kaleidoscopic country psyche shimmer that could easily pass for Bevis Frond and the Freed Unit chilling out with a certain Robyn Hitchcock whilst pouring over a collection of unedited whimsical lo-fi out takes from a recently discovered Syd Barrett archive while alone providing the set with its admission fee worthiness. Next up a track that initial appeared on their ’Faust – so far’ full length, beloved of their jazz – noise abstract mindset Faust where infamous for throwing curveballs and continually keeping their fan base firmly on the back foot, ’it’s a rainy day, sunshine day’ was no exception amid its gnawing monotone skewed pop framing the assault on the whimsically trite climate of chart pop was underway as it wired your psyche and ruffled your fringe with its depressingly groovy mantra , in the hands of Wilson he lightens the load by applying some nifty calypso treatments across a sunshine radiant up tempo and friskily pop coded drill which had us fondly recalling J Xaverre if you must know. Last up ’what happens….happens’ originally penned by German combo S/T who it seems are distant disciples of Faust / Neu and it would seem remain hell bent on releasing ultra limited often hand made packaged albums literally busting at the seams with all manner of kraut psyche, drone ambience and space rock which we here are pretty dismayed to find has all passed us by so far. That said you can hear a small but essential smorgasbord of their tripping tapestry by redirecting yourselves to we suggest you start with the psych tinged mantra ’stretch out time’ – for now though Mr Wilson re-drills their ’what happens…..happens’ into a breezily ambling beauty pepper corned with some neatly dispatched invigorating chime inclines that nod ever so slightly in the general direction of the Velvets and Lou Reed’s ‘transformer’. Smart stuff.
 – as a child the Jensen Interceptor was a car I’d have happily died for, there used to be one parked up the road from my parents, amid a road side landscape of Cortinas, Minis and Beetles it looked like the dogs bollocks, my pulse used to visible quicken each and every time I passed it by I knew then that this was love. Never did see the blighter who owned it, obviously had impeccable taste – well sort of as he traded in said Jensen for a brand new Jaguar XJS which had only just hit the streets and became the sole reason for watching the newly re-activated New Avengers and later the Saint. The XJS would take over the Jensen in lasting affection though even today to see a Interceptor is still a sight to stop me dead in my tracks and drool. Why I’m sharing this with you is beyond me, its not as if I’m chasing a word count because I don’t get paid and its not as if I’m padding out this mention because the band sound awful because they don’t. Jensen and the Interceptors are a quartet who hail – we believe – from Wolverhampton, a place which the last time we checked was not readily recognised as the leading capital of garage groove, but then that was before the arrival of these dudes. Like the Horrors the Jensens have a wonderfully unhealthy obsession with all things 60’s primal beat grind, the tunes are indelibly cast with the reference light revealing the likes of the Wailers (especially on ‘what’s up’), early career Love, the Misunderstood, the Chocolate Watch Band and the Seeds as having all at some point being subjected to having had their back catalogues scrutinised, poured over and admired with much awed affection. The lo-fi minimalist spike of ‘there’s a girl’ at present appears to be leading the race in the listening count, a rollicking flipped out wig tripping garage mod beauty that sounds like a seriously wasted Nomads being fronted by a youthful Stevie Winwood while elsewhere the early psych shanty scouse-a-delica sound much claimed by those early releases by the Coral shows itself on the thumping ‘I only dance for you’ while our personal favourite of the set is the blistered bubblegum packed mod-ish fringe re-arranging ‘sittin side by side’ that to these ears sounds not unlike a scorched and primitive rough and ready Troggs. We need to hear more – ones to watch we suspect.

And to round off this latest grab bag of tasty tuneage a trilogy of impeccably carved 7 inches from those purveyors of white noise happenings Trensmat, curated largely we believe or at least we swear we’ve read in passing somewhere by those sonic uber lords Mugstar, under the collective ‘the sonic attack series’ title this trio of turntable terrorisers sees Mudhoney, Bardo Pond, Kinski, Acid Mothers Temple and the Cosmic Inferno, White Hills and of course Mugstar square up to the mite of the back catalogue belonging to space rock deities Hawkwind with each selecting their weapon like track of choice and proceeding to indelibly cast their persona upon its matrix and pummel their way out of the grooves. Each of the three releases comes pressed on limited quantities of black wax housed in fetching hip chic / age of Aquarius styled sleeves the type of which that normally adorn AMT releases sadly we can’t give a credit for the artwork as there’s no name mentioned. Anyhow the set entitled ‘Sonic Attack‘ inspired no doubt by the track of the same name from ‘Space Ritual‘ – sadly no covers of ’space is deep’ or ’time we left this world’ but then we are awkward and particular bastards and well there is always next time eh – anyway we’re waffling now – onwards with the tunes….

Mudhoney / Mugstar ‘motor heads split’ (Trensmat). Each taking up duties on their respective sides of this limited black vinyl seven inch both Mudhoney and Mugstar should need no introductions in these pages. The former currently enjoying something of an extended renaissance following their return to the Sub Pop fold with the ’since we’ve become translucent’ set whilst this year marks the 20th anniversary of their cult debut ‘super fuzz big muff’ which is currently doing the rounds spruced up as a expanded deluxe package while their latest opus ’the lucky ones’ is garnering much critical acclaim. As for Mugstar, these scouse space dudes have been high on our radar since the release of their debut ’spotlight over Memphis’ seven inch, since then they’ve sporadically pummelled our hi-fi into submission with an array of well tuned primordial groove culminating in 2006’s take no prisoners self titled debut for the eminent Sea records. Future transmissions are promised in the near future via Trensmat (their third by our count) and a split with Red Panda via Lancashire and Somerset – in short along with Apatt the best thing currently tear arsing out of Liverpool right now and the finest to come out of Beatle city since the Walking Seeds downed tools. Anyhow back to the matter in hand – each band taking a Hawkwind favourite of their choice – Mudhoney opts to re-drill ‘urban guerrilla’ – this version is culled from a session set recorded for the late Mr Peel way back in September 2002 and aired the following month and sees Arm and Co on top of their game, a pile driving and scalding skulking beatnik blistered babe, the godfathers of the Seattle scene post their best cover since squaring up to Thee Milkshakes ’she’s just fifteen’ for the Mod Showdown split with the Halo of Flies, this no nonsense speaker spanker sounds like its just tripped through a rip in the time continuum straight outta a mid 60’s primitive Detroit garage beat scene rehearsal all prime packed and dandily adorned in all manner of hip hugging strides, toe tapping struts and hairy wig flipping beatnik grooves. Flip the disc and you’ll find Mugstar running the gauntlet through ’born to go’ and setting the controls to embark on a hulking cosmic bliss grooved odyssey to oblivion, this astral planed babe is riddled and wracked with a punishing array of head locked grinds and super charged kraut motifs that at times sounds like a seriously shit faced Sonic Youth fronting up the mite of Mountain, a stoned space titan whose intensity teeters towards supernova as it drags you kicking and screaming with its unrelenting skull bloodying ferocity through a mind evaporating white noise vortex. One for the aural astral alchemists among you.

Acid Mothers Temple and the Cosmic Inferno / White Hills ‘psychedelic warlords split’ (Trensmat). Featuring cuts culled and recalibrated from Hawkwind’s genre defining ’space ritual’ set and there debut self titled opus and again pressed up on limited quantities of black wax this second instalment of the trilogy features Acid Mothers Temple and the Cosmic Inferno going head to head with White Hills. As with Merzbow we gave up many years ago trying to keep any notion of proudly playing home to at least a reasonable selection of Acid Mothers Temple releases, no sooner it seems do you blink then head Acid Mother Kawabata Makoto has either cultivated another sub species combo to the ever expanding AMT family or else skulked off and provided a guest appearance on some ridiculously limited and low profile release via a wilfully obscure imprint. Here accompanied by the Cosmic Inferno who in case you hadn’t already worked it out for yourselves provides the hitherto heavier space stoner inclined side to the AMT matrix, more lunatic lunacy as Makoto and Co tweak the cerebral nodules with a seriously trip wired version of the titanic cosmic mother ship that is ’brainstorm’, as previously mentioned this tripped out leviathan hogged the best part of 14 minutes of groove space on the bands defining ‘space ritual’ set here in the hands of AMT best described as damaged, this mind warping colossus is the stuff of cranial combustions, with the effects dials hiked up to eleven these hairy psychedelic overlords go kaleidoscopically nuclear on this out there sonic exploration of freaked out meltdown impending locked groove incantations though be mindful to check out those impishly neat b-movie twanging Cramps styled ’Human Fly’ moments that greet its entrance before that is being buried beneath the festering feedback firework show. And though I can scarcely believe it myself – admit it how often do you find AMT being trumped on a split release well bugger us if New York’s White Hills don’t upset the book makers odds, admittedly – and I hasten to add – too much embarrassment – this lot have never previously featured in these pages though now we have them firmly in our sights you can bet your arse we’ll be off sourcing the goodies we’ve so far foolishly missed. ‘be yourself’ originally appearing on Hawkwind’s debut has always taken up a place in our affections along with ‘mirror of illusion’ though left in the hands of White Hills is pummelled and rendered fractured and fragmented to near unrecognisable excesses, the loose jazz montages of the original sublimely replaced by caustic sheens of distressed discordance so hot with frenzied freakish friction that they literally have the effect of leaving third degree burns on your psyche though that said they do cleverly bring things back from the edge momentarily towards the finale for a near chord for chord carbon copy reprise. Amazing stuff.

Kinski / Bardo Pond ‘Lords of Light split’ (Trensmat). the third and final instalment of the trilogy sees the groove space being shared by Seattle space cadets Kinski and the mighty Bardo Pond who between them source two of ‘space rituals‘ cornerstones for inspiration. Last featured in these very pages with that ultra limited and dare we say schizophrenic twin set for the Great Pop Supplement imprint entitled ’I guess I’m falling in love’ (see missive 28) and currently to be found wowing the Sub Pop faithful with their current full length ’down below its chaos’, Kinski go head to head with Hawkwind’s ’masters of the universe’ – admittedly not as full on as the original mix, instead these dudes apply a stripped down gridlocked motorik kraut groove to the mix that’s armed with a serious heads down heavily fuzzed and psyched out lysergic trading stoner grind which admittedly gets all superbly wigged and spaced out mid way through wherein everything goes all frazzled rawk in a kind of grizzled Sabbath way which is all mighty fine in our book. Flip over to find Bardo Pond tangling themselves up in ‘lords of light’ and provide – push come to shove – the trilogy’s best moment by far. Rewiring the originals edgy full throttle dynamics the shade wearing Bardo’s apply a superb psychotropic glaze to the proceedings, beautifully wasted for the best part, the druggy stoner vibes reverberating seductively amid halos of glassy cosmic swirls and free forming tripped out trance like arcs of fuzzing wah wah’s that once they get their sh*t silkily coalesce into a driving slice of galactic dream weaving kaleidoscopic bliss pop that will leave most jaw dropped in swoon like awe.

All Trensmat releases via

Future Trensmat transmissions are due early in the new year with promised outings for Expo 70 (whose recent ’black ohms’ set for beta lactam was much loved here) and black to comm both of whom you can check out by following these here links…. – recently found featured in these pages somewhere with the aforementioned ‘black ohms’ outing for the esteemed BLRR, the work of ex Living Science Foundation guitarist Justin Wright and Matt Hill, Expo 70 crafts disturbingly alluring meditative drone suites carved from the use of guitar and moog manipulations and improvisations, sometimes eerie often transcendental in texture, the suites wrapped within chilling wide screen cinematic aspects indelibly trace the footsteps of such noted aural alchemists as Roy Montgomery, Bardo Pond and Bill Horist. You can hear a clip of the forthcoming Trensmat release ’Alpestrine’ here while forthcoming outings are promised via Peasant Magick, Sloow Tapes, Fedora Corpse and a further album for Beta Lactam Ring is pencilled for Spring next year. – the work of a certain Dekorder records head honcho Marc Richter, as Black to Comm he has to date released a prolific body of work via labels such as Eclipsis, Twisted Knister, Quasipop, 267 Lattajjaa and of course his own Dekorder all of which to much disappointed grumbling we appear to have missed, the latest outing into record land comes courtesy of the excellently named ‘fractual hair geometry’ which admittedly had out Butthole Surfer alarms bells a jangling wildly – we will in the meantime try and nail a copy for closer inspection on the review rack. For now though and just ahead of an outing via those impeccable trounced tune taste makers Trensmat this here brief nose around his MS page. Self described as ‘acousmatic / tape music / psychedelic / shoe gaze’ there’s no doubting the transcendental hue applied to the artistic mind set of Black to Comm, opening cut ‘orange record’ is a gorgeously woven whirlpool of celestial serenades, babbling flurries of binary chatter and mind melting carnival-esque lunar overtures all sweetly coalescing into a tripping florescent tipped psychotropic suite. ‘blizzard angel’ here in its extract form takes a leaf out of both Sonic Boom’s E.A.R. drone manipulation explorations and the early career work of Tangerine Dream to dapple the grooves in monolithic swathes of brain washing dream-machine like collages that evolve with glacial grace nodding arrangement wise towards Moondog’s counterpoint theory to erupt occasionally into brief though refined squalls of white noise discordance – mesmerising stuff. ‘levitation’ with its backward loops employs a more frosted chamber like texture, the fragile and frail snow globed auras manifesting within veering in close aural proximity to the minimalist electronics of Inch Time. While those preferring your sounds clipped with – shall we settle for – a spot of sinister chill, the type of which disturbs you from sleep and has you cowering from behind the safe confines of the sofa should re-locate to the un-aptly titled ‘sleeep’ – very Stars of the Lid meets Vernon Arts Lab while its left to the locked grooved Silver Apples like ‘untitled’ to bade you an ominous farewell and still debating with yourself as to whether or not as you’re already behind the settee that it might be a good idea to hang fire there until sun up. We look forward to those further transmissions via Trensmat in the new year.

Okay before we depart a quick mention for that Retail Sectors lathe that we reviewed a missive or two (missive 175 to be precise – Ed) again that’s doing the rounds via Distraction records – happy to say our copy arrived – looks well smart, 150 of these babies floating around and by all accounts doing brisk business, anyhow looks well tasty card sleeve, Velcro ties and a square slab of clear polycarbonate lathe cut vinyl or whatever its made from – look its late – our copy in case you were wondering is 47.

And that’s your lot for a day or four. Thanks as always to all who’ve made these ramblings possible – updates as always available via – and er – well that’s it I’m knackered and off…tara and take good care of yourselves….



first published – November 2008

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