For Kel n’ Mark
Singled Out – no sleep till bedtime
More records and sounds…..
Fabio Orsi and Seaworthy ‘near and faraway’ (low point). I’m pretty certain that we’ve come across Italian sound-scape sculpturer on our listening travels in the near past in fact I‘m certain that our paths have crossed at least once in recent memory whereupon he featured on that recent Library Tapes set via Secret Furry Hole (see missive 200k), this release – not strictly out for a few weeks yet – finds him swapping notes with Australia’s Seaworthy for something approaching quietly epic. Queued up on our iTunes player this three track album comes up under the generic heading ’easy listening’ well bugger me – understatement or what, becalmed orbiting opals of tender transcendentalism is the best way to describe these tearfully mournful gemstones with each artist contributing one solitary melodic mosaic in their own right and fusing together for the third. Orsi has been navigating the distant twilight regions of the ambient cosmos for some three years now, in that time releasing some dozen plus albums for celebrated imprints such as A Silent Place, Foxglove, Ruralfaune and Digitalis. For his side of the collective equation he serves up the glacial ’evening by evening’ a mesmerising sub 16 minute odyssey of softly evolving sonic textures achingly applied with a finitely detailed precision whose remit it would seem is to bathe your listening experience in all manner of majestically toned blissfulness. Both slender and spectral, this beguiled shy eyed beauty is crafted tenderly by the merest of skins seductively weaved and wooed by the feint use of manipulated guitar layers, keyboard halos and the distant sound of children’s chatter, the shimmer like murmuring orchestral drone cascades arc and opine decorating the ether voids in the frostily purred procession of ebbing and flowing lonesome intones that appear like briefly recalled apparitions of faded memories, its almost spiritual, humbling and yet desirably yearning stuff which in many respects comes across not a million miles from a more chilled Manual if truth be told. Seaworthy for their part serve up ’branch and stone’, essentially a one man operation – that man being Cameron Webb aided and abetted on occasion by Sam Shinazzi and Greg Bird. More mood based that symphonic, where Orsi veered to the more ethereal Webb and Co opt for a more contemplative route appearing more concerned with micro textures, the hollowed resonance of the bowed instrumentations and the stretched sound tonalities all serve to instil something finite and precise, very sparse and minimalist in detail and delivery, this ice tipped cavernous gem swirls and hums forlornly lost and lonesome in its own hermetically sealed introspection. For the best part solemnly melancholic the glassy reverbs etched with a dulled feint restless ache only really come into near distant focus to wake from their chilled slumber nine minutes in wherein the delicately vivid application of gentle riff meanders wallow and weave softly filling the vacant sound spaces – reference wise much recalling early Kranky era Windy and Carl and Stars of the Lid. Nestled between to these aural satellites you’ll find them taking flight on their collaborative ambient opus ’near and faraway’- a beautifully conceived celestial visitation of nature bound raptures and heaven sent orbiting oscillations, all at once spacious and lush not to mention hypnotically demurring, this slice of lunar loveliness is metered out by tides of sumptuous star crested swathes of ethereal euphoria – it really is something else and more than alone worthy of the entrance paying fee. http://www.low-point.com
Argon 40 ‘free fallin’ (freebie download). Okay this cute little thing is available as a free download thing for a limited time via the following link – http://rapidshare.com/files/209930421/Free_Fallin__Argon_40.mp3 and happens to be one side of a double AA flip single by Aragon 40 – who according to the press shot are duo Heather Greene and former Powerman 5000-er Adam Williams who teamed up a few years back while Ms Greene was putting material together for a follow up to her ’five dollar dress’ full length. The lead out cut on this release is a by all accounts sweetie of a track called ’Stay’ though it is its partner in crime that’s available for download – a cover no less of Tom Petty’s ’free fallin’. here the Petty penned American MOR nugget of yore is re-drilled in a delightfully dinky electro purred candy pop tingle replete with fat n’ squelching chilled trip hop beats and softly shimmered synth buzzes that are all rounded off superbly by Greene’s irresistibly coyly cooing and sleepy headed vocal delivery and the effervescent tug of the becoming blossoming of honeycombed caresses of heart surrendering radiance. Any more of that and we’ll be ga ga through swooning. http://www.myspace.com/argon40 and while we’re here we may as give you a peak at the video for their last single ’44.66’ – talk about being spoilt….
http://www.myspace.com/manafast – as with Russia or more particularly St Petersburg (which we loosely mentioned in the previous missive when we fondly cast an eye over Pigeons and the insane porridge makers) we don’t get to hear to much stuff emanating from Turkey which kinda saddens us somewhat. So imagine our surprise when we get not one but two nods from the regions musical community the first coming courtesy of Manafast. Sadly no information on Manafast who hails from Istanbul, though we are suspecting strongly that it’s a one man project. Just one track so far posted on the showcase player that being a demo edit of ’disstrack’. now as you all know we are light on our coverage of the hip hop community – its not a deliberate thing its just that we don’t get to hear or see enough around these parts aside the occasional Chips for the Poor, Milk Kan and DJ Foundation release (the latter of whom we should say here and now currently has a double album out and about entitled ’paradise’ which has been weaving in and out of earshot like no one’s business of late and will receive a long overdue review shortly). And so to ‘disstrack’ – quite tasty if you ask me, lord alone knows what he’s saying but it sounds good, we here are picking up trace elements of Wu Tang Clan, starts pretty chilled almost apocalyptic and industrial in terms of tonality before rephrasing itself into a seductive and flighty hip shimmying Arabesque styled regally symphonic mirage of sorts which to these ears sounds playfully ripe for a spot of radio play action and may just well appeal first hand to admirers of Dreadzone and Apollo 440.
http://www.myspace.com/sinekband – the second of those aforementioned nods from Turkey comes courtesy of Sinek who number in five and hail from Izmir. Again as with Manafast there’s so far just one track posted on their showcasing my space player and what a belter it is. ‘birakma’ is about you in an instant with its surging panic stricken serrated riff chops, blessed with a more than attractive stutter like dynamic it teeters and totters precariously amid a grizzled landscape of embattled doom coaxed apocalyptic industrial emo grind – think that covers all the bases – while simultaneously imagining some kind of end of days summit meeting between Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Mega City Four spiked with the brief intones of a seriously wired Faith No More and cut finitely with the trace echoes of a latter career Killing Joke. Ones to keep an eye on we here are thinking.
http://www.myspace.com/theflaminggnomes – a very brief mention for this lot as we featured them in the last singled out missive when we reviewed their recent Fruits de Mer outing, anyhow worth bugging you again if only to persuade you to take a wander in their general direction. Here you’ll find both sides of that aforementioned FDM platter as well as their frankly near perfect and authentic sounding cover of Pink Floyd’s ’arnold layne’ while if you poke about on the site you’ll find details on how you can get your hands on a limited signed print of the sleeve artwork as penned by Hipgnosis artist Jeff Cummins. Oh and here’s a sound file advertising video type thing for their Caravan cover, well tasty – the song that is…..
http://www.myspace.com/theeinvaders – Jesus H Christ mother of Mary sweet Bryan Gregory, if these aren’t the bastard off spring of an Illegal era Cramps then frankly we’ll find a hat to eat and failing that go off in a sulk, kick a passing car and do moonies during rush hour at the roundabout at the bottom of the street. This came our way via a mind reading communication from galaxies afar transmitted by these space surf goofballs which went thus – ’ Greetings earthling. We have received a signal telling us you will become a great supporter of thee invasion plans and we want to eat your brain…’. how could we resist. Mind you makes a change from the usual ’I see you like Abba so we thought you might like this’ requests which immediately go in the trash – like Abba – what am I three fucking years old or the ones simply shouting ’play this shithead’ which we must admit get played immediately and usual involve hormonally pent up young men who’ve literally been introduced to the guitar as recently as 30 minutes ago. Anyway Thee Invaders – I’m loving them already and I haven’t even heard a tune yet hail from Chicago and are quartet – they do a neat line in psycho-billy surf twang primitive bad boogie groove you know the kind of stuff that your parents warned would guarantee an instant fast track to Satan’s den that nods in varying measures towards the likes of Man or Astro Man…, the Meteors and Link Wray (the latter two being catered for admirably by the boot tapping uber cool strut of ‘no name’). we suggest you re-align your radar’s in coming signals in order to tune into ‘the thing at the door’ – aside its opening sample of the introductory credits from the legendary 60’s TV sci-fi show the Invaders with Roy Thinnes – always a welcomed thing around here – it shapes up for a rather dandy slab of primal rock – a – rolla kitsch kissed garage trash that sounds to these ears as though its fallen of the arse end of Lux and Co’s ’psychedelic jungle’ set while ‘tomorrow we blast off to space’ may just have a few of you tail feather shaking sassy sorts seeking out your Charlie Feathers and Gene Vincent platters for some comparable lip curling sneering fun while ‘the blah‘ is a shade adorned reverb soaked beauty much adoring and wearing its Fuzztones hearts on its green skin – need we say more. An album looms in near distance.
Shindig # Volume 2 issue 11 – taken over the once highly regarded Mojo in our affections now that the former seem to endlessly regurgitate the same roll call of acts month in and month out to such an extent that it appears indistinguishable from its nearest rival Uncut. Over on the other side of the street Shindig continue to blossom getting better with each passing issue whilst assuming the mantle of this nations most reliable of keepers of the ‘psych, garage and power pop’ flame. Hugely entertaining and informative just like Mojo once upon a time was, this issue the last in its current format as next time (due on the streets 27th August) it’ll appear with a spanking new haircut and natty threads and boasting an accompanying CD cover mount which promises to feature gems from the likes of the Jim Jones Revue, the Soundcarriers, the Beep Seals, El Goodo, the She Creatures and more. We are counting down the days as I write. Before then – this. Brinsley Schwartz adorn the cover and feature inside as the chosen subject of this issues centrepiece article wherein Messrs Schwartz and Lowe talk about the early days as Kippington Lodge and their eventually evolution into one of the forerunners of early 70’s power pop more readily known in some parts as pub rock. HP Lovecraft are treated to a 6 page spread while rare nuggets are unearthed in the guise of Scotland’s lost heroes the Poets. Talking of lost heroes – Rodriguez features in chat talking about last years remarkable come back while in the oddities corner admirers of the late Patrick McGooghan are satiated by an extended focus of the flipped and fried legendary TV show ’the Prisinor’. add to this your recommended dietary requirements of review recommendations covering everything from Sundazed’s recent double vinyl set of Moby Grape rarities entitled ’the place and the time’ (which as the article rightly advises you get a copy of quickly for fear that like previous Sundazed Moby packages have been pulled at the last breathe due to legal wrangles) to new (well we say new they’ve been around for yonks) the Church – not before casting a critical eye on all things prog and weird folk – and more besides – wig flipped stuff.
Time for a cute little video I think……
Vibravoid ‘krautrock sensation’ EP (fruits de mer). More turntable tweaking essentially purchase perfect platters from those damn fine people over at fruits de mer. This time pressed up on 7 inches of ’baby blue’ wax and again limited – to I think just 300 copies – if that is my memory serves me correct. By the way who are you again. On this occasion a four track EP no less which finds Berlin uber lords of all things way out and cosmically fuzzed Vibravoid setting their stun guns for a spot of grooving and grinding krautrock action. One for the space cadets among you me thinks though we firmly recommend the donning of helmets with mind warping protective visors because this really is the bollocks and features four covers that first surfaced on radars back in the days when the likes of Can, Amon Dull II, Mahantra and Kraftwerk were at the peak of their hypnosis inducing powers. Of course Vibravoid are no strangers to these pages given we last touched dock with them via a superb Fuzztones cover set from a few years back upon which of whose grooves they featured with a mind blowing take of ‘lovely lady deb o’nair’. As said this four part head drilling kraut crooked set features appraisals of the genres finest and opening with the rather dinky and upbeat pop tinkered Kraftwerk gem ‘ruckzuck’ which originally appeared on their debut opus, here removed of its floral electro folk trimmings (which just between you and me veered into territories occupied by Desmond Dekker’s ‘Israelites’), Vibravoid take it on a cosmic voyage and supplant the originals stop start chin stroking funky experimentation with a bracing hyper driven glide like chassis, not a million miles in terms of sound and delivery as Stirling Roswell we here are more than a tad transfixed by it flighty effervescence and its dimpled swirly accoutrements that unless we are very much mistaken appear to have been borrowed from the Human League’s ‘seconds’. next up Amon Duul II’s ‘eye shaking king’ is propped up on the inspection bay – again the originals heavy bearing wig flipped is given a near faithful re-drill though on this occasion laden lushly with mind expanding lysergic snake winds and galactic traversing Aquarian communications processed through the ether – wonderfully warped stuff. The re-treatment afforded to Can’s ‘Mother sky’ provides the set with its best moment veering similar trajectories previously ventured by the Stones ‘2000 light years’ – it’s a simply stunning slice of wasted and out there bliss fuelled transcendental groove metered upon an exotically repetitive layer of Arabesque mirages and skull pummelling beatnik grinds suffering 60’s flashbacks – hell its enough to have you donning the shades growing your hair and decamping for a spot of astral planing while rounding up the set some decidedly eerie weirdness in the guise of an old mislaid nugget from Mashantra who admittedly much to our embarrassment we’ve never encountered prior to this, anyhow ‘rauchkraut’ is its name – apparently recorded in 1968 and sounds not unlike the kind of trippy though clearly spooked studio tweaking oddness once committed to tape by White Noise who as you all should know was essentially the work of electronic sound pioneer David Vorhaus aided and abetted by Radiophonic Workshop graduates Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson. Nuff said – essential purchase – so off you pop now. http://www.fruitsdemerrecords.com
A few videos…
Amon Duul II
Vibrato – couldn’t find a vid of Mahantra – darn….
You can also expect further spots for both the Aritomo and Haruko full lengths in the coming days (via sister label Bracken records) vinyl copies of both we should add – the last in fact of the Haruko pressing entitled ’wild geese’ which we should say landed on our doorstep just this very morning in extraordinary quick time given we only issued the paypal payment sometime at the start of the week – the blighters shipped in the blink of an eye from the States.
Mark Fry ‘dreaming with Alice’ (Fruits de Mer). Without doubt the pick of the bunch among the four FDM releases recently shipped or due for shipping. Its only been in recent years that the name Mark Fry has been uttered in the select hushed circles of purists of lost and rare folk releases of a lost age, appearing in the Record Collectors top 20 of ‘strange folk’ the Lewis Carroll inspired ‘dreaming with Alice’ was cruelly ignored at the time of its release, often passed over in favour of releases more commercial and pop orientated, Fry’s exquisite and eloquent day dream murmurs committed to tape in the early 70’s appealed to all those fortunate enough to hear yet fell somewhat short of the investment, encouragement and guiding hand that a major label could afford. The album released in ‘72 in Italy quietly slipped beneath the radar and into obscurity occasionally appearing on auction sites the most recent fetching several thousand pound. A CD re-issue by Italian imprint Akarma in the late 90’s refuelled interest giving Sunbeam records an excuse – not that they needed one – to commit to putting out a lavish repress in both CD and vinyl formats. In the meantime Mr Fry having returned back to first love – art / painting – has been sufficiently coaxed back to music and has recorded a new body of work ‘shooting the moon’. again strictly limited (possibly to just 300 copies) and pressed up on 7 inches of purple wax this release features two cut culled from that ultra rare psych folk set – namely the title track and a live edit of ‘witch’ recorded last year at Chicago’s Empty Bottle. Disturbingly beautiful and tranquil, ‘dreaming with Alice’ is dappled with the same introspectively tinged mercurial magik as once graced the work of Nick Drake, delicately floral, flowing and fluent its dinked with a darkly haunting aura that serves to captivate and caress the would be listener, the richly colourful tonalities succulently dream weaving a beautified lazy eyed and cascading nature bound mantra much reminiscent of the earlier work of Brighton’s Oddfellow’s Casino. An absolute treasure in a word. Flip over for the aforementioned live take of ‘witch’ – awash in the translucent glaze of mysterious Eastern psych mirages this fairy dust kissed mind melting gem comes bathed in lysergic riff shimmers and breeze driven flute flurries whose remit it seems is to have you blissfully transported to some distant spiritualist point tucked far away in the minds eye. Perfection. http://www.fruitsdemerrecords.com
That’s your lot – another of these musing type things tomorrow.
Take care of yourselves.
originally aired – 25th July 2009