singled out missive 212

Singled Out
Missive 212

For Kelly and Mark

Singled Out – ‘shit Troy records – let’s dance’
….the story so far…
In a secret location and on a secret lane a secret house is situated on that secret lane in the secret location. The secret house on the secret lane in the secret location has a secret door. On that secret door of the secret house in the secret lane in the secret location there hangs a secret number plate. Upon that secret number plate adorning the secret door of the secret house in the secret lane of the secret location there is a secret number. The secret number on the secret number plate hanging upon the secret door of the secret house in the secret lane with a secret location is a secret seven. Keep this secret number safely secret it may secretly assist you later on. Through the secret door adorned by a secret number plate with a secret number upon it belonging to the secret house in the secret lane in a secret location there is a secret parlour. In that secret parlour past the secret door with the secret number plate and secret number we find our secretly intrepid heroes and erstwhile secret owners of the secret house on the secret lane at a secret location. Secretly sitting in front of a secret fire in the secret parlour of the secret house with the secret door adorned by a secret numbered number plate our secret heroes and indeed secret owners secretly chat among themselves while secretly toasting secret scones on the secretly blazing open fire.

Suddenly a sound was heard and through the secret door adorned by the secretly numbered number plate a letter was posted at the secret house in the secret lane at the secret location. The secret owners of the secret house secretly glanced at each other and then at the letter that had been posted through their secret door with the secret number plate displaying a secret number.

Stay tuned for the next unexciting episode in a future missive. Bet secretly you can’t wait.

Enough tosh music things…. – happily happened across this lots page on a recent early morning ramble, it seems the Wyld Olde Souls have been enchanting various woodland wildlife and the more in tuned patrons of the busy New York underground scene for a fair few years now with their briefly fleeting appearances and a by all accounts much acclaimed debut ‘poems from the astral plane’ shyly surfacing from its enchanted captivity way back in 1998. Now after a prolonged hiatus the mysterious collective are back boasting in the offing a new CD entitled ‘ensoulment’ – for now though by way of a welcomed celebration and indeed to spread a little hope and fairy dust upon these bleak times there’s the small matter of a free to download MP3 of ‘take me there’ to get your appetites suitably whetted and your senses spellbound. Reference wise the Wyld Olde Souls are to found located somewhere between the aural ley-lines that link together the likes of Men An Tol, the Owl Service and Circulus, possessed of a rare and bewitching sun turned psych folk alchemy the sounds are crafted in an all to ever declining timeless art that indicates an appreciative and richly woven centuries old archaic skill at work. ‘take me there’ sounds for all the world like a late 60’s hippy festival flashback that’s somehow recently awoken from a coma, more psyche tinged than the rest of the material found adorning their my space player and softly draped in amorous swirls of lysergic tipped wooziness this quietly intoxicating brew has all the classic hallmarks of a prime era Jefferson Airplane shimmying with Nico replete with the delicate dinks of early career Porcupine Tree motifs all succulently awash in intoxicating pools of mind weaving prog toned spaciness. Mind you that said we are more than smitten by the airily floral magic mushroom consuming ’arrival’ that at times had us imagining some softly radiating dream weaving Mayday pageantry put on by a love tryst absorbed meeting of Mellow Candle and Pentangle types. Classy. – bloody hell this is so raw, beaten and battered out of shape that we suspected for a second our speakers had blown. ‘demo 1’ is the latest trip wired transmission from Nottingham psychedelic generals (the Cult of) Dom Keller who by all accounts are currently holed up in some secret basement blending and brewing variously rare chemically enhanced strains of the blues into what will be their debut full length platter. Latest taster from those seismic sessions is ’demo 1’ – a more swampy and hairy proposition than previous mind expanding experiments and somewhat less controlled and more free flowing, sounding it has to be said like some acid freaked over the edge, out of it wasted and shit faced Barrett-esque Floyd. Immersed in all manner of distressed fuzz distortion and grounded with the by now requisite hallucinogenic halos, this slab of primitively blistered bliss vibe is so smoked and stoned that you get lysergic flashbacks just for being in earshot of the blighter and easily deserving, definitely one for the Brian Jonestown Massacre and Black Angels purists among you.

Tangled Star ‘that time’ (hidden shoal). How could we honestly resist, another case of a band seemingly so far escaping the affectionate gaze of our usually slightly off tuned radar – until now that is. Led from the fore by a certain Craig Hallsworth, Tangled Star have been something of a much admired fixture on the Australian indie underground for a few years now releasing in that time a self titled debut full length and several EP’s and singles the most recent being this demurring 4 track set entitled ’that time’. blessed with an acute ability to have you all at once marvelling aglow in subdued awe at the spectacle of their delicately calibrated caress like airy drift pop while simultaneously drawing you low amid the affecting undertow of bruised hurt, ‘Pictures of Lefty’ is particularly cast as such, an absorbing and yearning beauty dimpled with porch dreamt reflective sea faring opines and that self same cosy toed bitter sweet melancholia of wallowing crestfallen country tweaked tides that at one time a few years ago appeared to be the sole trademark sound of both Pavement and Garlic. Similarly affected is the woody and mellow ’seabirdtown’ with its welcoming opening ambit a simply plaintive ‘fuck’ soon given way to something that ripples, radiates and blossoms amid a dressage of shimmering keys and softly burnt riff cascades which had us much in mind of Hefner shimmying with the Clientele at times. ’I had something good in my life and didn’t want to lose it’ should prove particular interest to admirers of the criminally underappreciated Kelman with its 60’s sourced hollowed soul pop drive and distant nods to early career Go Betweens though all said for us best moment of the set is the parting title cut ’that time’. a gorgeously bespoke slice of numbing classicism brought on by the souring serenade of an introspectively cast key braid, all at once mellow and elegant and of course surrendering and teasingly tearful. Tasty stuff.

We don’t mind admitting to having a soft spot for Sarah Blackwood the former front lady of the demurring 60’s candy toned pop darlings Dubstar, these days found cutting a neat dash alongside Kate Holmes as Client who if you’re previously unfamiliar of are best described as a seductively sometimes saucy, chilled and sophisticated cat walk collection of Ladytron’s pristinely honed electro buzz pop super fused and cross wired with the acute purr of Cobra Killer as though fashioned by the Pet Shop Boys. Sadly neglected in these pages and not by our reckoning having featured since we trained our fond gaze upon their ’Xerox machine’ single via loser friendly at missive 114 until we stumbled upon their my space page offering a free to download full length entitled ‘command’ in return for subscribing to their news letter. Anyway we were sold and in return for passing over said email details hey presto up popped an activation code, password and user account allowing us access to their download site. Six and a half hours later – (thanks AOL and you’re super duper lightning fast broadband) – we were whirling around the room to acoustic treatments of a few Dubstar nuggets from the dark distant past – namely ’Stars’ and ’not so manic now’ as well a cover of New Order’s ’northern folk song’ (Ms Blackwood’s description not mine) ‘True Faith’ plus four other treats of tastiness with art work to boot.

Anyway here’s a video for ’can you feel it’ – the work of one man we believe – that man being Nicky Sonic a name we gather not the one found on his birth certificate, no prizes for guessing where we are going with this when we tell you his top 24 friends reveal such luminaries as Spiritualized, Sonic Boom, Television and Atomic Suplex – bit of a no brainer eh – jungle hip hop that’s the bunny. Of course we are teasing you – good wholesome kick botty hip shimmering rock a boogie is what you get for your troubles, shade adorned lo-fi fuzz strutted candy pop which unless our radar is having a funny moment had us recalling – in no order of merit – John Moore and the Expressway, Sunray – in his more animated guise (though admittedly on ‘lord don‘t take me now‘ with its looped reverbs and feedback shimmers there‘s more a distant bloodline pointing towards Mr Chambers studio mesmerics with a certain Mr Kember though that said the cut does manifest mercurially to erupt into radiance blossoming cascades of astral arpeggios), Lou Reed, Weather Prophets and mid career JMC. A good crowd with which to be associated I’m sure you’ll agree with the sounds complimenting such as a grouping would befit for these distressed tunes are possessed of a knowing familiarity much like a well worn pair of much favoured scuffed up leather winkle pickers. The set opens to perhaps the collections most accessible cut – the skewed power pop throb of ’velveteen’ – wrapped in primal halos and blessed with a rasp like snaking riff phrasing that nods ever so slightly to prime era Frank Infante / Blondie this babe is blistered with a seductive off centred lazy eyed growl that’s sure to equally appeal to fans of the Velvet Crush and anything Mitch Easter / Chris Stamey related.. All said – for us it’s the animated drill of ‘halfway to nowhere’ that proves to be the best thing here by far, a nagging wig flipped bitch of brazen bubblegum pop fed through – or so it seems – a Ramones mince machine and refracted back through the sun kissed lenses of a stripped back to the bone shimmying Husker Du. Nuff said.

Did we loosely mention bunnies a second ago, many thanks to Skyscraper for pointing this out to us – but it seems those impish rascals and perennial hobgoblins of avant pop the Residents have been posting all manner of video shorts this last year or so – in fact a total of 66 in all finishing up just before Easter – entitled ’the Bunny Boy internet series’ which loosely related to the album of the same name – minus of course the ’internet series’ – and involved the main characters endless search for his brother Harvey – no doubt the same Harvey from the much loved James Stewart flick of the same name. Anyway we’ve been diligently working our way through the blighters intermittently all afternoon – the last one appears below – all – I think I’m right in saying can be downloaded via though fair warning – involves strange looking dudes in rabbit costumes and beards aplenty – in the meantime we’ll continue flicking through Skyscraper #30 which incidentally has an interview with the mysterious Cryptic Corporation….more later I guess… – here’s a distant echo from our formative years, we must admit to a sense of embarrassment and more so regret in the fact that we’ve tended to neglect for one reason or another the work of John Foxx, how time takes flight, it only seems like yesterday that there we were being engaged and demurred by the fragile bruised intimacy of Ultravox Mk 1’s ‘my sex’, a band who at the time headed up by a certain John Foxx where considered so far ahead of the game that they appeared to be peaking through a rip in some time vortex and witnessing a future to come. Patronised by a young Numan the oft bandied ‘Godfather of’ tag has probably never been more deserving or indeed contextually relevant when considering its application to Foxx, the Conny Plank produced ’systems of romance’ – the final chapter of Ultravox Mk 1 – is to day regarded as the blueprint for ‘synth pop’ and Foxx its pioneer. I clearly remember the first time I heard ’underpass’ his debut solo outing (or ’underpants’ as some wags would shout in deluded moments of their own self proclaimed belief as comedic top dogs), it sounded like something not of this planet, coldly detached, unemotional, not quite machine yet neither quite human, in fact his debut solo full length ’metamatic’ was crafted with such a starkly void landscape it proved more piercing in terms of its desolate chill and bleak futurist grip than both Bowie’s ’Berlin’ trilogy and Tubeway Army’s ’replicas’ while simultaneously tapping deep into the conscience of Asimov’s machine utopia. Between then and until now there have been the occasional withdrawals from the music scene (the most telling being a prolonged silence following a brief re-emergence in the early 90’s which saw him collaborate with LFO and various members of Bomb the Bass), in that time resuming his earlier career as an acclaimed and much in demand exhibiting graphic artist as well as both a writer and a senior lecturer in computer arts with his re-appearance on the musical landscape in 1997 proving to be the most creative seam of his career. Bill Nelson perhaps in so far as kindred spirits and reference markers provides the closest of comparisons when considering Foxx’s artistic output, both engage beyond the sole confines of sound to explore film, art and presentation mediums, both have seemingly resisted artistic stagnation, continuing to develop and evolve in terms of both style and sound while most importantly both maintaining autonomy and with that control over their work with each allowed the creative freedom to go wherever their muse takes them without having to kowtow to fashions, fads and trends. In recent years Foxx’s musical output has tended to follow two distinct paths – firstly the more accessible route which has been borne of a long standing collaborative process with Louis Gordon (more about him in a second) the work largely crafted with a veritable synth pop dynamic. The other providing a vehicle to his more experimental side which has seen him delve into the ever terra-forming realms of ambience. This year alone Foxx has released two collaborative albums – one with ex Cocteau Robin Guthrie entitled ’mirror ball’ the other with Sreves Jansen and D’Agostino – ‘a secret life’ with a view to further recordings with both the aforementioned Mr Nelson and Jah Wobble being in the offing, in addition next month sees the release of ’Quiet Man’ – a spoken word CD culled with extracts from Foxx’s on going novel of the same name a kind of an ode to London which will get its premier at the Apple Store in Regent Street, London. In fact you can hear an excerpt from ‘Quiet Man’ on his showcase music player in addition to a brace of tracks from both the aforementioned recently released collaborations with Guthrie and Jansen / D‘Agostino. The former as you‘d imagine replete with reverberating eddies of the ex Cocteau’s trademark shimmering vapour trails, ’estrallita’ particularly aglow with a beautified reverential majesty, Guthrie’s celestial cascades opining with heaven bound grace to seductively arc and trace Foxx’s entrancing choral mantras while the sultry sounding ’perfect line’ is equipped with the kind of sculpturing that’s all at once hypnotic and transcendental and sounds for all the world like its been guided upon some rare and exotic Arabesque mistral. More atmospheric in texture as though sepia dipped both ’secret life 1’ and ’secret life 5’ from his Jansen / D’Agostino see him operating respectively in both dronal and rudimentary classical climes, the former a moment suspended, twinkling and serene as though potted in an ornate Japanese garden of wishing trees while the latter glacial and calming rooted and sparsely detailed with a touching frailty lying somewhere between the fragile worlds of Satie and Fat Cat’s Sylvain Cheveau. That said our favoured moments are the two cuts culled from his recent ’my lost city’ opus, continuing his ongoing fascination and exploration of Cathedral inspired sonic architectures ’imperfect hymn’ finds him loosely nibbling at John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ and rephrasing it with a deeply absorbing spectral and monastic aura while the tearfully introspective ‘holy well lane’ slyly shimmers in realms previously ventured by the likes of Goblin and La Dusseldorf though here found elevated and magnified to panoramic effect. Perfection.

And here’s the video to accompany Foxx and Guthrie’s ‘mirrors’…

And a preview video to accompany the spoken word ‘Quiet Man’ set…. – mentioned in passing just a second ago when we were musing over John Foxx, it is with thanks to Louis Gordon it should be said that we found ourselves re-acquainting ourselves with synth pop’s quiet man. Hailing from Manchester, Mr Gordon has somehow managed to escape our radar until now that is, having recorded intermittently with John Foxx since 1995 word has it that Foxx attended one of Mr Gordon’s live appearances and was so smitten he got in touch next day mooting a possible collaboration, a partnership that has so far seen the release of some five studio albums and several live sets. All this runs parallel to his own solo career – a career extending some twenty years and across four albums the latest being last years quietly acclaimed ‘blind anorexic’ for the ToffeeTones imprint – a label which I suspect we’ve made on occasion the odd unrequited advance to and a label whose roster includes Tenek who we here have the distinct nagging feeling have featured in these very pages at some point or other. Anyway enough of that back to Mr Gordon who it seems harks back to the days of analogue electronics and to a time in the genres relative infancy, there’s a definable knowing synth pop purity to Gordon’s keyboard chemistry, the affectionate purr of the melodies and the dimpling of the teased allure of candy pop motifs which gathered together give it a distinct soft 80’s burn. There’s currently a single circulating across the counters of all well heeled record emporiums entitled ’this air’ (a snippet of which features on the showcase player) which aside much deserving of your immediate attention has something of a loose spectral caress more associated with the likes of Psychedelic Furs / Howard Jones and hung upon a orbiting serenade of lilting starry eyed swirls. As with ’this air’ the remaining cuts of the teaser set are sample edits which though giving you at least an inkling of what to expect can at times be a little frustrating – case in point ’turning into everything’ – which just begins to start cooking when the plug is pulled leaving you a tad deflated – that said its not before its unravelling strut geared psychosis reveals a nod or three to Ultravox Mk II, elsewhere there’s a kind of playfulness about ’crash that car’ that may well awaken and indeed have some of you scampering for your vintage Thomas Dolby grooves in order to draw comparison while ‘strange individuals’ pulses and purrs all the time adorned with a lullaby like nocturnally trained slinky funky coda which shows an affinity with fellow Mancunian star gazer Star fighter pilot. Then there’s ‘beautiful girls with miserable faces’ which in terms of both title and sound dynamics is dutifully crafted with a definite air of the Mael brothers as though here being impishly undermined and having their studio takes tampered with by a skittish and psychotic Landscape. ‘move through grey’ on the other hand could have easily have been squeezed onto Visage’s debut album without so much of the batting of a max factor adorned eyelid from Steve Strange whereas ’occupants’ loosely embraces the template of the Carpenter’s classic intergalactic communiqué and wires around it probably the first groove residing UFO encounter in pop since Hot Chocolate’s ‘no doubt about it’ albeit here as related by a clearly stoned Jarvis of the Cockers. We’ll try and nail a copy of the single for future mentions in the meantime trawl down the page – and on the left mid way down you’ll find a tasty video for a cover of the Flock of Seagulls ’space age love song’ here re-wired to a deliciously demurring twinkling murmur…..


here’s a cute little impromptu video of Merchandise kind of performing ‘lies like these’ in the local chippy…..well smart…..Brad from the band says the album is now finished and that there’s an additional remix set – all that needs doing now is the artwork – to read about how the video came about go to
<p><a href=”″>Lies Like These – Merchandise</a> from <a href=””>Andrew Dubber</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Barring the woes of a niggling tooth ache there’ll be another missive tomorrow – much thanks to all who’ve made these ramblings possible – for a small fee wrapped inside a 70’s styled homemade flock wallpaper envelope we’ll happily supply the addresses of the blighters.

For now should you wish to submit artefacts of sound for review – bearing in mind bonus awards are made if these happen to be of a vinyl nature – then please rush to the post office / letterbox without any further undue haste addressing said lovelies to

Alternatively you can attempt to get us by email – though the much favoured route is

For updates, snazzy music play list and general bouts of sarcasm go to our update page at –

As always thanks for taking the time and take care of yourselves….



first aired – June 2009

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2 Responses to singled out missive 212

  1. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I have truly loved browsing your blog posts.

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