singled out – missive 150

Singled Out
Missive 150

For Kelly and Mark

Blimey space cadets the 150th missive who’d have thought it, I for one certainly didn’t reckon on it happening (though strictly speaking and cheating with the figures a touch it is in fact the 174th nonsensical contribution to the ever expanding cyber universe).

To celebrate – well I say celebrate with the tongue firmly lodged in the cheek – this particular outing is a bumper type offering spotlighting all the smartest sounds to be found in the my space universe whether they’ve come via friend requests or me just stumbling haplessly upon them. I’m sure you’ll find at least something here to tickle your fancy

http://www.myspace.com/kolski – no other word for it – amazing stuff. Based in Chester the Kolski collective occupy a hermetically sealed micro universe crafting out inner space orbiting cosmic overtures made up of pan psychedelic dialects brewed within strangely engaging dub drone montages all housed in a delirious cornucopia of mind melting ambient textures of monumental proportions. Like intergalactic interfaces from the far reaches of the cosmos voids these hypnotising spectral transmissions are both lilting, breathtaking and mind blowing – reference wise Floyd, Harmonia and Tangerine Dream are never away from the richly picked table as well as the more modernist appreciations of Autechre, Porcupine Tree (especially on the calm after the storm wistfulness of the introspectively frail ‘never late’), Sonic Boom, Jessamine and even Jean Michel Jarre’s ‘magnetic fields part 1’ for which the monolithic and frankly superb ’prophet 1’ casually passes the odd nodding head to. As ever though always a sucker for Barry Gray’s more sparsely treated alienated atmospherics as found on the end credits of Gerry Anderson’s ’UFO’ we must admit to being more than a little smitten by the mesmeric pulse like emissions emanating from the ominous ’Before Zero’. The ensembles happening EP ’Origin A1’ can be downloaded for gratis from this site just for the asking – frankly the words ‘gift horse’ and ‘staring at’ come readily to mind. Certainly ones to watch for and certainly the my space selection of the missive now that we have a real copy of the Lumerians EP.

http://www.myspace.com/alphawavesounds – home to Kolski (who incidentally are catered here for with the sublime space dubtronic workout ‘kaprekar’ – see above) is the Chester based imprint Alphawave who also happen to be the secret lair of the Caines (see below – name after the famous brewers we wonder), Valenteen, Moist Country Tales and Lorc. The demurring sounds of Valenteen are a treat to say the least on ’the wild fire’ she weaves her spellbinding acoustic melodies and country folk intonations into an ever softening feast of disarmingly beckoning pastoral beauty straying somewhere between Kirsten Hirsch and PJ Harvey. ’labraid’ the so far unreleased offering from Lorc – self described as sounding like ’the ancient laments of dead Kings and Queens’ this quintet deftly craft their hazy mantras in the lost archaic spirit of traditionalist medieval sourced folk that finds them perfectly ripe for sitting alongside those crucial exponents of anthropological ambience Circulus, the Owl Service and Men An Tol to name just three – this baby is rich with the vibrant naturist glow of the ’Wicker Man’s’ summerisles. Moist Country Tales – a decided off setting name the descriptive word moist has always sat uneasy with me having me recall a certain Mr Peel’s unease at the word ‘glisten’ due to its 70’s acceptance into porn vocabulary. Ah well I feel we are digressing somewhat – ’showered with pussy’ (stop tittering at the back) is a brief but beautifully breezy slice of drifting acoustic riff bliss to which lovers of Durutti Column, John Fahey and Cul de Sac may well find them momentarily swooning to – well we certainly did anyway.

Not to be confused with……Alphawave from Brighton – that’ll be Brighton, Massachusetts…..who go like this….

http://www.myspace.com/alphawave – or to give them their full name – Alpha Wave and the Prom Dress Escort Choir – killer name or what, who it seems are a young fledging band who to date appear to have posted just one track and then buggered off for a two year sabbatical – but boy what a track it is. Crooked as hell, this wired slice of post punk minimalist candy topped glitter ball electronics sounds like a freakish homage to Devo spliced with ’Computer Love’ era Kraftwerk tripping the light fandango to the sherbety kookily Arthur Baker styled re-aligned ’Funky Town’ by Lipps Inc – wickedly infectious.

And so back with the Alphawave sounds loosely…anyway…

http://www.myspace.com/thecaines – quartet the Caines hail from the Wirral an area which at one time I used to reside – the Meols end of Moreton if you’re asking which you’re not – Meols in fact was semi famous for the fact that aside being pronounced Moles and not Meowls also happened to be the stomping ground (well we say stomping ground it was basically one pub, a big field and a garden centre) of a certain Nigel Half Man Half Biscuit who incidentally (cos we just checked – appeared on Marc Riley’s Brain Surgery show via BBC6 on the 4/01/08 – which you should be able to access on the listen again options – and are currently putting the finishing touches to their as yet untitled 163rd full length). Blimey we’ve strayed a tad haven’t we – anyhow back to the business The Caines hail from Wirral and this here site features five introductory morsels of tastiness that shimmer and simmer in the tail smoke of fellow ‘scousers’ Amsterdam, their sound is one of measured elegance that recoils amid a slow lingering fixation that admittedly doesn’t hit you straight between the eyes on first listen but rather more curdles away in the recesses of your headspace permanently hitting the repeat button. From the smoking Spanish accents and softly stirred pyschedelic dialects of ‘listen’ which tenderly mooches intently weaving a strangely alluring web like intimacy to the chilled spell weaving sultriness of the Doors-esque ‘the titty twister’ the Caines provide off centred seductive charms that centre somewhere briefly around the same appeal that was blatantly forthcoming of the Bunnymen’s opening ambit ’Crocodiles’. ‘barking dogs’ is by far the sets best moment and sees them loosening up for a spot of mellowing countrified soft topped drift easy sumptuousness – blissfully demurring stuff.

And seeing as we just mentioned them its worth advising that Half Man Half Biscuit – this nations most prized possession – you just don’t know it – have on their web site via http://www.hmhb.co.uk the Brampton live set from August 2006 which features among the gems the riotously tongue in cheek ’joy division oven gloves’ and the hysterical pitfalls of the gig in ‘running order squabble fest‘ – in an absolute class of their own.

And in readiness and eagerly awaited preparation for his forthcoming ‘Replicas’ tour two links to clips featuring the title track which frankly pissed over the rest of the album – if that is you don’t count ‘I nearly married a Human’ – these days Gazza can be found skulking around as the secret third man in the comedy double act ’the mighty boosh’



http://www.myspace.com/dalmatianrexandtheeigentones – crude, crooked and crucial, this lot are the celebrated minders of Half Man Half Biscuit’s locker room of daft but inspired song titles – its been way to long since Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones last scared the crap out of our hi-fi, months of carefully planned rehab was essential following the walloping it got from this lots hi-fi slapping Cravats meets Beefheart meets Fall goonery that was the ’majikal moose moustache musique’ full length. And don’t be phased by the fact that it’s a few years old now – kids be warned this’ll still fry your brain cells. Well the worrying news is that DRE are back with a brand spanking new single – ‘geek’ / woke this morning song’ – both sides of which feature here though we’ve tried to resist listening to them preferring instead to wait for a hard copy to do whatever damage it will on the turntable – however I don’t mind saying its a bit of a ripper especially the flip cut – very ‘bill is dead‘. In an act of immense generosity and by way of attempting to spread the word the bands first to albums can be downloaded gratis via a link on this page and worth making the effort just to hear ‘born to photosynthesise’ and ‘this is my hippopotamus and his name is not Gerald’ – totally wired.

http://www.myspace.com/tabloiduk – a whole bag full of new tunes – well one if we are honest – in a word remarkable. Bridging with classical astuteness the polar eclipses of filmic surrealism and the eccentricity of English psychedelics, duo Izzy and C Sharp – for they are Tabloid have been one of the secret and most satisfying finds of 2007 (having visited these very pages on several occasions), posting a small but celebrated body of work over the course of the last few months they call upon an artistry of song craft so rarely found these days that’s both clever and inspired, a musical canvas that sways ominously between Victorian freak show musical hall oddness and darkly beset noire-ish pop – in terms of reference points Kate Bush and Berthold Brecht seem to figure highly along with dashes of Vivian Stanshall and Zappa – though by our reckoning in terms of carving that off the wall macabre meets melody dynamic then early career scouse cadets Space appear to be their closest peers. New posting ’lil Robert’ eerily curvatures with shadowy delight, a creepy trick or treat of a track that blends baroque accents with mexicana stand off signatures all the time braiding them with a delicately spellbinding spine tingling piano motif that mooches hauntingly endowing the spectacle with an oddball opera like presence that to these ears sounds like it fallen straight from the score of ’nightmare before Christmas’. Class or what?

http://www.myspace.com/perseverancerecords – a well cool Californian label whose tag line is ’the small label with a big mission’ – these dudes specialise in releasing rare film soundtracks in quantities ranging from 250 to 1000 pressings a time, recent releases have seen Bail Kirchin’s classic ’the Abominable Dr Phibes’ score lovingly re-assessed (and sadly now out of print – damn), Michael Perilstein’s ’deadly swarm’ and the ’invasion of the body snatchers’ (sadly not the original but the remake). Latest release is an ultra limited CD featuring a selection of scores by horror / thriller composer Jim Manzie that includes excerpts from Pumpkinhead and Leather face (Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) – we suggest you move with haste and rip the main credits from the short-lived clever but paranoiac sci-fi ’Dark Skies’.

http://www.myspace.com/moviegrooves – a stunning one stop resource catering for all your rare 60’s / 70’s soundtracks – everything is covered here from lounge, library to exotica and beyond, stocking essential ear gear from imprints such as Blow Up, Cinedelic, Cinephile, Cinevox, Crippled Dick Hot Wax, Trunk, Vadim, Finders Keepers and many more – we’ve already spied ‘Les Gants Blancs du Diable’ and ‘les planete sauvage’ and put them to the top of our wants list as well Stringtronics lost classic ‘Mindbender’ – essential stuff I’m sure you’ll agree.

http://www.myspace.com/chezvadimmusic – leading French based easy listening imprint who deal in issuing soundtrack artefacts from yesteryear and responsible for the re-issue of the lost gem ’les gants blanc du diable’ and the Stringtronics killer ’mindbender’ set. We suggest you check out the sumptuous 70’s soft top smooze of Joe Fender and the Butterflies ’todo bien’.

http://www.myspace.com/erikmuller – another site that we accidentally stumbled upon – the work of the becoming talent that is Erik Muller – a resident and musician of Montellier who it seems doers rather skewiff things with crooked keys and guitars, ‘tu rigoles’ is a delightfully dinky playschool candy pop romp which had us recalling Gulliver who you may recall issued a release or two via the esteemed Pickled Egg – however further exploration reveals that Monsieur Muller is a bit of a sophisti-‘cat’ who loves nothing more that crafting out sumptuous funky babies sourced directly from the early 70’s – think of a loose limbed Jamiroquai boogying to mercurial vibes of Edwin Moses especially on ’5 minutes’. All said and done you’re best ripping the slinkily smoking dirtily down and with it funk grind of ’le blip blip baby’ – cold showers recommended.

http://www.myspace.com/nephuhuzzband – okay a very brief mention for this as we’ve just recently received their debut EP (a killer it is to) but have temporarily lost it – ha ha – there’s one of the new year resolutions gone for a burden have to go for a smoke now to console myself (blast there’s the second resolution gone). Given we are writing this missive (no. 150) in tandem with missive 149 – if said EP does turn up then more than likely we’ve already commented about this in depth. All very confusing eh? Anyhow before we waffle anymore this lot hail from Nottingham and number in 4 and will if there’s any justice in this world be one of the hottest bands on the underground radar in the coming months. Essentially it’s like getting a mix tape of Peel shows c. 1979 – 1981 – obvious references are the early career panic attack pre panstick slapped miserablism of ‘killing an arab’ era Cure spiked with moments of the Passage (especially on ‘untitled one‘), Artery, Ludus, Killing Joke, a youthful Statik era Chameleons and on the stunning ’destroy mona lisa’ the sound of a more than casual passing of nods to the Smiths ’headmaster ritual’ as though dropped in the post punk obliqueness of Smith and Co’s ’faith’ set. It all makes for a glorious chorus of chiming bleakness cut amidst shards of struts, swaggers, viscerally dislocated austere funk accents and an unmistakable attack the senses demeanour as though the sounds are literally lifting from the grooves to strangle your life force – prime cut ’either this wallpaper goes or I do’ distantly fleets the early 80’s greyness readily occupied by a plethora of Scouse bands such as the Cherry Boys and Ellery Bop though flavoured deceptively by a darkening pop mechanic more prevalent within the shadowy elements of ‘Heaven up here’ era Bunnymen and U2’s ‘October’ – certainly ones to watch for in the coming months – you can also catch them in session on George Lamb’s BBC6 show on the 8th January.
http://www.myspace.com/cloudconnection07 – Brentwood based quartet who judging by the looks of the photos they’ve posted appear to have absconded an afternoon double session of mathematics to record this trio of bruisers and good on them because we must admit we are quite fond of these little nuggets. The three cuts that feature here form the ensembles debut EP called simply ’Cloud Connection’ – ’times’ perhaps the best here by a short head is a snarling brew of gnarled council estate styled agit pop that hooks and head butts it way into the whole early 80’s Secret era paranoia stricken punk scene, scarred with a basement styled production and fuzz bombed riffs which admirably add to the sense of obliqueness this festering beauty recalls elements of the much missed Chron Gen while the oppressively doomed ‘somethings burning’ sounds like 80’s combo the Outcasts applying for try out spots on a Buzzcocks flip side. Last up ‘crushed’ perhaps the most accessible cut of the trio is a grimly set slice of achingly punishing slow to unwind looping chords laced with soft psych textures that to these ears veer in close proximity to the brooding collages crafted by early 80’s acolytes Death Cult / Getting the Fear. – in other quite ruddy smart.

http://www.myspace.com/autorotor – we must admit to being suitably smitten by this lot, formerly known as Bleep who released a brace of albums and several singles (all of which incidentally we to much gnashing of teeth managed to miss) – they now having had a spot of tinkering of personnel have redesigned themselves as the five piece London based Autorotation. Four tracks feature here for your discerning delight, best described as ethereal snow speckled dream pop – these demurring delicacies shimmer softly radiating a tenderly unfurling shy eyed romance atop melodies that appear to freewheel between noire-ish early 90’s Bristol scene stylised club glazed electronics (think Portishead meets Massive Attack – check out ‘you do it‘) and teasing porcelain gem of frosted pop ambience replete with crunchy showers of trip hop beats. From the sophisticated statue-esque schmooze of the Cocteau Twins like glacial chime driven love notes as heard on the near perfect ’Coils’ with its esoteric Heather Duby like lilts to the frisky Stereolab meets St Etienne spectral la la pop of the effervescently powder puff thrill of ’dipping toes’ – Autorotation flirt curvaceously occupying aural planes softly awash with dreamily thoughtful smouldering shoe gaze accents – best of the set in our humble opinion the disturbingly fetching Dubstar like ’for a friend’. The band will be playing the Turning Worm in London on the 26th of this month we suggest you get your backsides down there.

http://www.myspace.com/goldenlabrecords – is it right to call a label eccentric and eclectic – well bugger here goes Manchester based golden lab imprint are your finest purveyors of off the radar eclectic and eccentric sounds as well as issuing a formidable body of weird and wired sounds the latest being a full length from Massachussets trio Neptune (see below) and a limited only split between Health and Eye Hai – available now on pre order (again see below) – these dudes also host promotions nights and do a neat line in bespoke art work

http://www.myspace.com/healthmusic – Los Angeles based quartet who craft sounds that veer between bludgeoned frantic and frenetic slabs of out there wired to the eyeballs psychotropic noise induced workouts a la Black Dice as on the fierce some art pop ambiance of the blistering ‘triceratops’ and blankly scored futuro mechanoid minimalism as on the disturbingly fried and mind melting bleakly glazed austere groove of the Voltaire – esque ’glitter pills’. Tucked between these gems is the freeform trash happy cacophonic disturbance of ’Crimewave’ and its accompanying Crystal Castles remix who apply to the creative bench a sumptuous and kookily alluring mid 80’s euro disco meets dinky candy pop electro buzz chassis to the proceedings.
http://www.myspace.com/ihadaninkling – several releases under their bearded belts all of which we‘ve so far missed much to our unbridled annoyance – we have pondered hard and long as to what Mighty Boosh’s Howard Moon would reckon of these dudes given his apparent obsession for the Weather Report et al to which this lot site as a keystone reference point. This lot craft out a strange freeform jazz brew that’s not quite jazz in its purest form, utilising the dynamics and time signatures of jazz they apply to the mix a curious no wave meets progressive via art rock dialect, the sounds rather than having structure seem to appear as if by accident. Sometimes eerie and decidedly unhinged Eye Hai decorate their workouts with a curious blend of eastern montages and distressed native found sound motifs spiked by fractured spider like riffs that despite their initial aloof out there appearance soon work their intoxicating magic once the lugholes re-adjust. In terms of reference markers This Heat are a pretty good call though its Henry Cow and all the attendant post splinter work via messrs Frith, Cutler and Hodgkinson that are brought to the fore when hearing these as yet unreleased cuts – even fans of the more accessible moments of Volcano the Bear may well find elements embedded deep in the mixes to which to swoon to – best of the set the wig flipping acid psych jazz stew that is ’untitled’ (3 – we call it) – a split album with Neptune looms on the distant horizon best get growing that groovy beard then.

http://www.myspace.com/neptuneandjupiter – seems these dudes have been rewiring the in the know elements of the undergrounds cognoscenti for over a decade now, with a new album in the can and ready for record store action next month in the shape of ’going lake’ via the Table of Elements / Radium imprints. Essential listening is what’s on offer – Neptune freebase on a varied array of math, hardcore and dub styled accents, sometimes skittish and at other times dislocated and distressed Nepune’s aural improv workouts never disappoint – from the austere post punk blankness of the bearing down fast and uncompromising ’the penetrating gaze’ (which for its initial part sounds not unlike moments found on Left Hands ’on discovering fire’ before wickedly going off trajectory for a blistering spot of unhinged sonic pyrotechnics) to the vicious take no prisoners ’Healer’ which to these ears sounds like ’jesus built my hotrod’ era Ministry shadow boxing Big Black’s resolutely brutal ’kerosene’. That said ‘number 7’ which we assume is so far unreleased and the best thing here is a mind wiring meeting of the kraut dub dialect of ’metal box’ era PIL freeform forged into a tripping beast of psychotropia that melds the unforgiving head jarring grind of Shellac to the snaking dark heart of early career Black Dice / Liars.

http://www.myspace.com/misplaced_music – its been way too long since we heard anything from the Leeds based imprint Misplaced Music but damn those lovely kids because we specked a treat or two that make up their forthcoming releases. First up Northerner (see below) whose ‘there’ll be other holidays’ EP is due any day now from which the featured ‘same old’ is culled – a 5 minute bliss out slice of lonesome spectral grace swept beautifully by glacial sheens of serene symphonic wonderment primed perfectly to hit you just where it hurts – best filed me thinks alongside Yellow 6 and Manual. Elsewhere ex Hood man Gareth S Brown is set to release the follow up to his rather exquisite ’iron henry’ debut from the tail end of 2006 (if memory serves) in the shape of ’the gallows’. ’Serpent’ featured here provides for a delicate pageant of sound, moods and textures – a twinkle some gem set to a lilting musical box frame upon which is bedded a beguiling classically cast delicate swirl of a sparse string arrangement though we suggest you hop across with haste to his own site at http://www.myspace.com/garethsbrown and nab yourself a quick preview of the evocatively statuesque Budd meets Nyman via Douglas Gamley title cut – simply stunning stuff. Obviously schooled in the Vini Reilly class of guitar atmospherics Declining Winter’s (who are / is essentially Hood’s Richard Vincent Adams) ’york city three’ is a gorgeously hazy slice of thoughtfully reclining bespoke drifting pop, shy eyed as it may seem its disturbing for the way it way it lassoes its way past your defences and draws you ever closer – made all the more touching by the fact that as this excerpt tails of off its gets very L’Augmentation in sound. Obviously you need it and the other aforementioned releases before you get any older.

http://www.myspace.com/northernermusicuk – Northerner is essentially Yorkshire based musician Martin Cummings helped out on the odd occasion by the mysterious Badger of Saltaire (don’t even bother to ask). Debut release sees the tranquilly glazed ‘there’ll be other holidays’ EP getting an outing very shortly – strictly limited to ridiculously sparse numbers on numbered vinyl and CD – this baby is sure to fly of the racks in double quick time. Four cuts feature on this site – the lulling ‘May Day’ sounds like a sultry evensong scored by a Roy Montgomery relocated to exotic climes while the beautifully crafted ‘Caroline’ eschews a deliciously beguiling spectral charged pastoral presence as one would expect had Marr shimmied up to Low for a spot of lazy eyed dreamscaping. Elsewhere there’s the richly introspective starry eyed Carpenter-esque bleakness of ‘UV’ being paired down with the distantly noire-esque elements of Gnac while simultaneously nodding reprise to the Smiths ’last night I dreamt’ though for me personally best cut here is ’looking up’ mainly for the fact that after reckoning your beginning to get the measure of Cummings sound he throws you a curveball in the shape of this oddly funky spot of early 90’s Bristol scene after lights out seduction – file alongside Le Bleu.

Update – the Northerner release is cd only and not vinyl – though there should be a 10” release peaking above the surface some time around Summer.

And while we are doing updates and correction type things…..please note that the Robin Saville / Dollboy split release via Static Caravan mentioned in passing in Missive 148 was we hear the product of a pressing plant cock up wherein all the labels got reversed by accident – so apologies to both Robin and Dollboy – when reading the review please reverse the guilty parties to fit the words and sounds.

http://www.myspace.com/distile – French based label dealing in – as it describes itself – experimental / rock – which in layman terms really means post / math rock, Planets in particular seem to be well equipped in this area ’vow of silence’ is an intricate delineation of the mid 90’s era Touch n Go roster interweaving riffs carving out an overload to the senses of punctuated melodies tightly coiled over driving bass underpins that harbour curious dislocated progressive jazz dialects. Apparently there’s a must have limited cloth edition of their debut full length that we’ll have to track down methinks. While admittedly we have to admit being mightily fond of Astero’s unkempt and fractured hard core improv jazz math on the punishing ’Canard Boiteax’. Best of the bunch though are Absinthe (provisoire) a five piece with one full length packed tightly beneath their collective belts in the shape of ’Alejandra’, best described as something coming your way – this lot excel in crafting bleakly suffocating and ominously oppressive landscapes, ’kocka’ is a skewed slice of disenfranchised schizoid psychosis buried deep within a volatile sound-scape of pyrotechnics culled from wailing plagues of guitars and a deep sense of dread, assuming moments of clarity its still wearily uncompressing – that said we suggest you hook up to their my space site at http://www.myspace.com/absintheprovisoire and rip the astonishingly gloomily encroaching and poisoned epic in waiting ‘lovesongforadultbitches’.
Those of you who can never get enough of the Smiths there’s a stack of live recording dating back to 1983 to be found at http://jamiesrunoutgroove.blogspot.com/2006/10/mp3-smiths-live-in-manchester-1983.html that aside including all those old chestnuts and conversation makers of the past such as ‘reel around the fountain’ and ‘handsome devil’ also has a certain Pete ‘Man Boobs’ Burns ding a cover of ‘barbarism begins at home’- while if you dig around the same site a little deeper you’ll stumble upon MP3’s from their live shows at LA from ‘86.

http://www.myspace.com/dionyweb – strange pop from Valence, France – in fact we’ve had this prepped for so long that we suspect we might have already covered it in a previous missive – not to worry as it certainly deserves much praise. Self described as ‘French pop / punk / western swing’ which if you ask me is as good a call as any when trying to fathom what their about – eclectic, unusual, eccentric and decidedly unhinged this Valence based 6 piece craft an alluring and entrancing carnival of avant brew made up of vague elements of dark cabaret / 30’s Weimar inspired noire pop with dislocated time signatures and sound structures more prevalent of the shadowy edges upon which the more inspired nuances of the country and the classical lie in wait. Three of the featured cuts culled together here for your discerning pleasure can be on their 2005 ‘monsters in love’ full length. It’s all gorgeous -agreed difficult to pinpoint with any great certainty though we suggest as good a starting point as any may well be Marc Almond’s initial side project / post Soft Cell work with the Mambas and Nick Cave’s more rootsy back to basics spiritual side of his first outings as the Bad Seeds – oh yea and early 80’s era Tom Waits. The menacing frenzied and wired howl of ’Giant Jack’ is a certifiable trick or treater of a track that amid the squalls and squeals of discordant guitars and the doom laced funereal backdrops recalls in the main the brooding malevolence of Gallon Drunk at their most primal in some twisted nightmarish inspired psychosis involving Jack Skellington from ‘the nightmare before Christmas’. ’Old child’ is equally inspired an arid funky nugget possessing the same paranoiac push pull dynamics and twisted mindset as was once the forte of the Dawn of the Replicants though here buried beneath a strangely wired musical hall cortege of off kilter funky licks and Morricone spaghetti western signatures. All said and done though we must admit to being suitably smitten with the as yet unreleased ’I did acid with Caroline’ – a strange skanking honky tonk honey replete with exotic sounding pining steel guitars and an infectiously foot shuffling dynamic – think we could love this band. Magnifique.

http://www.myspace.com/thegreenkingdom – you may well recall us mentioning these cute types (well just one in fact – a certain Michigan resident Michael Cottone) when we ran the slide rule over the SEM label for whom they’ve recently released their self titled debut full length for. Crafted upon canvas’ of lilting faraway introspection the Green Kingdom weave their delicately dainty ambi (ence) – folk daubs, these crystalline ice dripped electronic creations wander spectrally in shyly twinkling hermetically sealed orbs pirouetting dreamily in the star struck ether. From the sweetly suggestive playfulness of fluid sounding ’wind up wildlife’ with its tip toe semantics to the faintly whirring drone of the porcelain ’Amniopod’ Cottone carves out flirtatious frosted fancies at the drop of a hat – though it’s the two as yet unreleased cuts featured here ’late summer’ and ’jasmine haze’ that capture the imagination – the former an idling epitaph to winter’s end that’s crisply set amid all manner of silently joyful springtime hope and thawing textures the latter an igloo intonation of sorts that marries Inch Time and d_rradio.

http://www.myspace.com/alexandrenavarro – another artist with a release currently slated for March time release via SEM is Paris based musician Alexandre Navarro – with releases via Mandorla (see below) and Archipel, he has acquitted himself as one of electronic ambient scenes players – sadly no sound files here but there is a video of his performance at the Interface festival last year while we suggest you re-direct over to http://dewtone.imeem.com/blogs/2007/09/11/WY0l6rEc/alexandre_navarro to hear selected MP3’s including the ethereally exotic ‘my life in ecstasy’

And we’d be most grateful if people could let us know in what way the following is disparaging because we’ve had a pretty shitty email from radio bastille accusing us of all sorts – the easy otion would have been to remove the review but then that’s childish and anyway I reclon I’m fairly complimentary especially to the Stokers who frankly we’d love to hear more of….so here goes…

http://www.myspace.com/radiobasile – just like it says on the lid – an internet radio resource based in Roma, Italy who deliver up rock routing goodies as fast as they come – a couple of featured selections are up on the site – the previously unknown to us (hell all four are previously unknown to us) Spur Gang’s ’deeper’ we must admit sound like the particular worse for wear evil twins of ZZ Top from the wrong side of the tracks – a scowling lo-fi bitched up slice of blues boogie, while the Bloody Irish Boys sounds like a mental as f*ck Pogues on the rollicking beer spilling anthem fuelled ’drunk tonight’. Elsewhere there’s the Reaction’s ’sin sin sin’ who frankly sound like they’ve fallen bemused through a time loop from ’77 into the modern day – three chords, a bit of the Stiff Little Fingers a little of the Motors and plenty of snot nosed adolescent energy – a kind of car crash between the Faces on speed and a particularly impish Small Faces. Last up the Stokers whose ’Junior’ is something of a lost pop diamond cut in the finest spirit of pub rock dialects of yore – we are thinking Brinsley Schwartz diluted with the Raspberries and Manfred Mann – well tasty classic retro loveliness.

http://www.myspace.com/mildhorses – darn it we literally just tapped into this by way of looking for things to populate the next my space missive and being totally unprepared found ourselves falling headlong in love with the two showcased tunes featured here. In fact so much so in love that – well to hell with it we’ve only gone and included it here. Mild Horses are – or more precisely – is a West London based musician who for now prefers to remain anonymous impishly imparting one small detail – that being he has previous. Intriguing or what? (well we‘ll give you one useless clue – he was one time member of a band that delivered quite possibly one of THE finest debuts of the 90’s – so its not Travis then ha ha – bet you are thinking that that narrows the field down somewhat). The lilting rustic dialect of ’A swift walk through Battersea’ is more like an amble through some serene and magical clearing via an overgrown thought lost path – (one of those porch lit type cuties that invites you to settle down a spell, kick of your shoes and recline in the glow of the embers of a setting sun) – softly serenaded by the delicate braid of strings it provides for a momentary pause of rapture, partly recalling those lovelorn interludes that occasionally tripped their way through Nick Drake’s body of work though sumptuously invested with the day dream delta folk blues nuances of the late and great John Fahey and the tender flightiness of J Xaverre’s ‘these acid stars’. ‘the first spacewalk 18.03.65’ is an altogether different affair – a cosmically svelte gem that replaces the guitars with keys – a fragile and frosted monolithic styled lunatic symphony of sorts replete with the delicate daubs of daydreaming drone montages that usher a softly hypnotic psyche trip to the core operations of the minds eye think Sonic Boom’s more together moments under the guise of E.A.R. – excellent stuff.

http://www.myspace.com/lumerians – featured in the last missive where they bagged the coveted SOTM for their admittedly stunning 5 track debut for Subterranean Elephants, only 500 around space cadets and you need this in your life as soon as…..by rewiring your mainframe and recalculating your trajectory to find yourself here you should be able to rip yourself one of the bands older cuts entitled ’Sanctis Vicus’ which according to my rarely used Latin education – (sheesh I was joshing with you – an online translator – great this web world innit) – means ’to sanctify village’ which I’m sure you’ll agree that in the great tradition of pop rock titles kinda lacks somewhat – hardly up there with the immortals such as ’chirpy chirpy cheap cheap’. Of course again we joke – this lost beauty is a stirring slice of heads down prog / psyched out kraut grind set ablaze by all manner of majestic atmospherics that at times had us recalling the mighty Quickspace eking out their trademark no nonsense shimmering 60’s styled mind melting mesmeric mantras. Class.
http://www.myspace.com/vsparks – Chicago based quartet who it seems know a thing or two about spanking good tuneage – describing themselves in the ‘sounds like’ section as ‘72’ – well they ain’t kidding because these cuts really do sound like they’ve been cultured in a rose tinted era that was so much seemingly innocent and carefree than today, a time of tank tops, glitter, big hair, cheap aftershave, satin, androgyny and platform boots. Blending 50’s styled popsicle bubblegum accents with audaciously humungous hooks the V Sparks craft teasingly feel good pop epics that hone in on – with unfailing precision – past conquests conceived by the likes of Sweet, T-Rex, Quattro and Wizard and into the bargain deliver up quite possibly one of the most fashionably out of step things we’ve heard since the Eskimos ‘something must be transmitted somehow’ and last years incredible ‘secrets of the witching hour’ by the Crimea which all said and done was our favourite moment of the year by far. ‘Sweet Kiss’ with its slinky Ronson struts and saccharine glam swagger comes across like a blended brew of DNA procured from Stardust, Glitter and Bolan. Elsewhere there’s the Lynne and Co harmony induced purring power surging MOR mini opera motifs of ‘making friends’ and ‘red love suicide’ which nibbles greedily at the riff from T-Rex’s ‘get it on’ before retuning itself super sexily into the melodic equivalent of a 50’s drive by love in. Though we must admit we are overtly smitten by the 50’s styled graduation ball beauty ‘out of control’, free of the baco-foil and the throbbing bombastic nature of the bands usual aural template, this curvaceously slow to unfurl slice of tingling tenderness caresses and swirls tides more associated with the quieter and more matured moments of Suede’s euphoria laced ‘coming up’ while seductively arming itself with momentous heart crushing peaks of symphonic grandeur that will floor you with their tear induced demeanour. An album is currently doing the rounds at the local hop.

http://www.myspace.com/sublad – subtractiveLAD is Vancouver resident Stephen Hummel an ambient alchemist who to date has released thee full lengths all to glowing acclaim and all so far sadly missed by us, ‘decay as a lifestyle’ the opening selection of the showcased material here provides for a dreaming cascade of bliss laden silkiness metered out by opening passages of glacial stillness that soon ruptures and blisters resplendently into a sun burst haze of chiming chorus’ that lovers of both Charles Atlas and Robin Guthrie will positively twinkle to. Hand forced up the back though we’d have to plum for ’rerum natura tidal’ as the sets finest moment, a hollowed and stately lunatic odyssey cultured with softly stirring feedback sheens that delicately navigate void like plateaus while dispatching pulse lowering meditative states to enable you to explore those all to vital passages into your own inner space.

http://www.myspace.com/smalltownfires – a young New Jersey based quintet featuring ex members of the Genius Test and Goodnight or Sleep – two bands who it appears escaped our usually well honed radar the former of which caught the attention of the vastly undervalued Mitch Easter (see REM, Chris Stamey and check out http://www.myspace.com/mitcheasterband for prime sliced selections from the first Ester solo full length in 18 years entitled ’dynamico’ fans of Robyn Hitchcock you’ve been warned). Currently to found applying the finishing touches to their debut EP these four treats serve as indication as to the ensembles deft knack of turning up pop pearls of the highest order from the strangest of sources – the slinky electro buzz of ’pink pixels’ sounds like ’penthouse and pavement’ era Heaven 17 submerged in the cosmic fluffiness of Stereolab, distant memories of Devo are dispatched into textured wells of motorik techno funk servitude on the Tom Tom Club meets Front 242 like ’mother of keith moon’. Yet it’s the strangely obscured ‘the abdomen drum’ where the band excel, a crooked sugar pop gem dipped in lysergic glitter and reformed into a buzzing bubblegum bomb to mainline perfectly into the fried melodic territories of Roy Wood’s Move only to be sprinkled with the wayward tendencies of Apples In Stereo and Of Montreal. We await that EP with baited breath.

Further listening –
http://www.myspace.com/internationalgirl1961 – where you can sample the bands 60’s styled thrill pop though we suggest you hook up to the seemingly uncharacteristic smoking and lazy eyed ‘Julie is a telephone singer’.

http://www.myspace.com/goodnightorsleep – who it must be said sound like a classic Elephant 6 Collective combo concocting a melodic merry ground of warped power pop absorbed from twisted 60’s / 70’s reference points – ’telecide’ is the most obvious and immediate nugget here but we suggest you take a peek in at the pan psychedelic folk treat ’leif the lucky’ which to our ears recalled in the main the Soft Hearted Scientists.

http://www.myspace.com/birdpen – much loved in our gaff and currently in the studio putting the finishing touches to their long awaited as yet untitled debut album – here you’ll find the awesome and enigmatic ‘huron’ demo which appeared on one of their earlier releases (2005‘s ‘Fake Kid‘ to be precise) – even hearing it now all these years o it still brings a lump to the throat and a pang to the heart. Elsewhere there’s a live take of the brooding Depeche Mode like ‘sunlight darkening’ to be had which midway through ups the ante superbly to recalibrate itself as a superbly head jarring cruise controlled kraut grinder. Also here you’ll be able to tune in – via a link – to their second pod cast which features a cover of Talking Heads’ ’heaven’ and a brief minute long flash through of the album – have to admit it does sound like a Darren and Barry scene from ‘Extras’ – loveable all the same. Also those of you not already suffering from the post Xmas credit crunch may well fancy grabbing themselves an ultra limited – and when I say ultra limited we are talking only30 are available – a hand made photo album no less featuring artwork from NegArt and a collection of unreleased images and photographs as well as lyrics and hand written annotations all hand numbered and signed and ready for safe storage to be a future collectors item – we’ve already bagged one on the side (hopefully).

http://www.myspace.com/brackenrecords – we just thought we’d mention this lot just for the sheer hell of it – much loved here given that they’ve been responsible for piping via our letterbox and on to the hi-fi some of the best tunes of last year – home of the ever wonderful Schizo Fun Addict whose ‘the sun yard’ full length e are just itching to hear, here you can fall headlong into the delicately 60’s framed ’dream of the Portugal keeper’ whilst simultaneously checking out the fragile and spectral psyche folk lilts of Aritomo whose brace of albums aside being a thing of beauty will be getting write ups very shortly. Best of the bunch though the arresting sounds of Ilona V – heartbreakingly sweet introspection. And we didn’t even get a chance to mention the Tillmanns whose album mysteriously turned up at the Singled Out shed by way of a postal mishap – how strange – guess we’ll be loving this baby to very shortly.
http://www.myspace.com/bigbeardlittlebeard – and last but not least a quite becoming treat with which to part with the my space selections on. Admittedly we admit to loving hearing the sound of a well honed kazoo so imagine our joy to hear a band who seem to build their while melodic content around the riotous rasper. A quartet no less who to be honest with you serve up the most mental and crooked head gear you’ll find amid this missive and quite possibly beyond. Difficult to exactly pin reference wise where this lot are coming from – which is always a good thing – safe to say that they sound like all the best bits of your record collection plus a little more – though we suggest fans of Bonzo Dog, Magoo, RL Burnside (just listen to the smoking side winding slides grifting throughout the dusty landscapes of ‘disco disco disco theque‘ while elsewhere recalling the down tempo sumptuousness of the much missed Discordia), They Might be Giants (especially on the kookily conceived ‘mr pistachio‘), Violent Femmes, Beatnik Filmstars and Prince (’purple rain’ era that is – not the bland tosh he seems happy to regurgitate these days and indeed all the days within the last – ooh – 15 years or so) may do well to pop in and sample to your hearts content the wayward and charmingly crooked delights of the aptly named the Kazoo Funk Orchestra. Not content to train their collective sights on just one style of pigeon hole musical genre instead they deftly freebase on everything from boot stomping bluegrass prairie styled bopping and grinding hoochie coochie as on the barn dancing gone wrong ‘lizards on the back porch’ to warped and wired pan psych spongy lounge funk groove of ‘fictional’ which retains elements – strangely enough – of Dawn of the Replicants in their more sedate moments. If you follow the links you’ll get to a strange place wherein you’ll be able to download ‘battery powered radio’ – think of a surreal hideout where the Mighty Boosh are locked in a face off with Beastie Boys – or better still the quite superb ‘something beginning with f’ which kind of imagines the Fugees and Ace of Bass relocated to some spaghetti western outpost to daydream about sultry nights basking under exotic skies. Our favourite of the bunch we’ve so far heard though is summer fried trip tastic ‘baby you’ve no eyes’ which aside sounding as daft as a brush courts with a maddeningly infectious melody the type of which that’ll have you bolt upright in a cold sweat in the early hours of the night whistling insanely. A 41 track full length in the shape of ‘this album is self titled’ which the band ill be releasing on parole track by track every Monday for nowt – consider yourself well and truly blessed.

And last up for this particular missive and quick mention for a few crucial pod casts and freebie internet releases……

Essential of course – as though you needed telling – the highly must tune in one stop resource for all your primitive beat, gnarled garage, freak beat punk, trash, surf, basement boogie and all other manner of rawk ’n’ rawl can be found by plugging your ears into http://www.garagepunk.com from where you can access the following rumbling from the underground…..
http://www.garagepunk.com/2008/01/11/sonic-nightmares-3/
http://www.garagepunk.com/2008/01/10/one-cup-of-coffee-and-a-cigarette-33/
http://www.garagepunk.com/2008/01/09/radioblivion-15/
http://www.garagepunk.com/2008/01/08/the-desperate-hour-14/
http://www.garagepunk.com/2008/01/07/wild-wild-sound-7/
http://www.garagepunk.com/2008/01/04/garagepunk-surfcast-4/
http://www.garagepunk.com/2008/01/03/savage-kick-47/
http://www.garagepunk.com/2008/01/02/rocknroll-suicide-45/

Internet label downloads –
Six years wooing the cyberspace community the Montreal based Camomille imprint marks its landmark 100th release with a superb 44 track compilation entitled ’cycles’ featuring over three hours of ambient textures, dream pop glazes, lilting montages and crafted and crystalline raptures of bliss. The set features contributions from a whole host of artists / musicians currently to be found shyly stirring beneath the surface flows of the sound scaping underground of the pickings we’ve so far managed to sample prime slices come courtesy of St, Papercutz, Makunouchi Bento, Henrik Jose and Emanuele Errante. We shall be doing a Camomille special in a few missives time wherein we’ll take a closer peak at their recent releases and the wider spectrum of works by the artists featured within. For now chill out in the spaceous landscapes of this dream weaving spectacle replete with artwork and bonus’ – gratis. http://camomille.genshimedia.com/index1.htm

Been a while since we heard anything from French based imprint autres directions – but we did notice a nifty little remix EP available for download featuring guest artists recalibrating the work of Atone – featured within including offerings from the Remote Viewer, Praveen and Boats to name just three – go to http://www.autresdirections.net/inmusic/

For fans of Hood et al – you’d be advised to get yourselves along rather sharpish to the Sunday Spring web site where you can grab yourself a thought lost gem like EP from Jupitter goes Quattrocento who to friends and colleagues alike is better known as Belguim musician Sebastien Kalkaska – we highly recommend the final cut ’magic island’ mainly for its brusque Daniel Johnston like demeanour.

And if you go to http://www.mono211.com/ the extremely fingers on the pulse like Monotonik imprint have a nifty and ultra rare freebie download of Pliant’s long out of print ’musical endeavour’ EP which was originally sneaked out by System Technologies way back in 2000..while via http://www.serein.co.uk/music/ there’s a sumptuous 4 track beauty from London based artist Anthony Harrison operating under his Konntinent guise entitled ‘al lines lead in’ packed choc-a-bloc with porcelain sculptured dream woven glacial bliss laden symphonics which we thoroughly recommend you see out right now like.

And that’s your lot for a week or so, next time out it’ll be back to your bog standard record type things with some corking releases lined up on the hi-fi ready to do serious damage. Singled Out 151 should be ready by next weekend while Singled Out missive 152 will follow in hot pursuit and will be another My Space type round up – in fact its all the stuff we didn’t have time to squeeze in here – so expect words of enthusiasm for the likes of Daniel Persson, too rex, new kill stars, the wrecking dead, hazel mills, pndc, binnacle records (to whom we owe a massive apology – so this will be an extended thing), the milk house and something very tasty from Birmingham band Elliot Jack – which will floor you.

As always submissions, requests and general badly written death threats via mark@losingtoday.com and we’ll throw you an address, reply or comment or else visit http://www.myspace.com/thesundayexperience for sporadic updates and a cup of hot tea.

Till them take good care of yourselves.

Mark
X

Singled Out

 

first published – 14th January 2008

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