singled out – missive 219

first transmitted 28/06/2009

Singled Out
Missive 219

For Kelly and Mark

Singled Out – house of the rising sun

Howdy –
Really can’t be arsed rambling today guess you all know the stories that have been hogging the news this week, Sky Saxon sadly overshadowed by the passing of both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson while as to Glasters – apart from the annoying ‘trendy’ hosts in the BBC campervan – not to bad a fair, okay it looked a little tame admittedly in fact I’d go as far as to say very pedestrian and conservative with a middle sized ‘c’ at times, the Boss topping the event mind you was there any competition.

And records…. – got an email from this lot – well Randy and Matt to be precise – saying they’d spied that we’d recently mentioned Dad School in passing and thought we’d be interested in hearing their stuff. The duo hailing from Alabama currently have an album out entitled ‘gather and sing’ via the Heat Death imprint which you can download for free by following the relevant links on their my space page. Damn fine stuff best appreciated we feel in a stolen quiet moment that way the affecting tear stained introspectively spectral tenderness can freely bite and weave its numbed and fragile regretful beauty. Of course the post rock ambient melodic phrases of godspeed in more tranquil and shy eyed moments isn’t lost on us especially on the hurtfully mellow ‘elsie’ with its hollowed opining cavernous chimes or indeed on ’blue’ with its reverb soaked lilt and the faded memories cast by the taped spoken word intersections that viewed together dapple a dustily abandoned melancholic mirage to the proceedings that at times could almost pass for a more thoughtful Roy Montgomery. While special attention should be equally made of ’dismix’ which we are assuming is a remix of ’dismax’ which as it happens you can also find on the player though this version turned over to Cylon to craft an alternative impression and into the bargain seemingly creating something of a deliciously dinked slice of enchanting evensong replete with chirping birds and the hypnotic lull of glassy drone apertures. But then for us we prefer the lonesome signatures of the frankly arresting ’honeymoon at the holocaust museum’ – once passed of the dinky child like key doodle that greets its entrance this cutie soon unfurls and blossoms resplendently to reveal a most demurring albeit detached cosmic symphony, a tear stained celestial suite dappled and sweetly pierced by the lip biting caress of a moment passed forlorn tides of aching aural alchemy brought to bear by the bruised fusion of sepia trimmed key braids, the glazing of regretful sighs, the subtle oriental motifs and the ebbing and flowing of the tenderly bitter sweet drift of the distressed coos of the orbiting spectral wraiths. Utterly numbing stuff.

Additional update type thing –

Just got a message from finneyerkes regarding a new cut that’s literally just tumbled off the conveyor belt to be found nestling on their my space page. ‘riopelle’ sees them shimmying up to the aforementioned Cylon, again a distinct mood of introspection touches these suspended moments of recall, the landscape one of spectral stateliness as the swathes of celestial cascades curve and caress as though heavenly orbs lifted and transported upon some drifting mistral to weave their hollowed and lulling though clearly bruised sympathetic opine across a backdrop cradled within a dustily abandoned apocalyptic diarist intimacy. Haunting and strangely humbling stuff. – well we’d mentioned him twice in passing when reviewing finneyerkes so it seemed quite logical to have a little nose and find out exactly what Cylon was all about. What we can tell you first off is that he looks – judging by his photo – a ringer for Jesse James or is Billy the Kid – or neither of them as the case may be – never was much good at those photos quizzes – hell I’d fail to recognise the ex missus if I had the misfortune to pass her – mind you just between you and me and don’t crack on that would I guess have a degree of the deliberate about it. Better known to family, friends and quite possibly the tax man as Danish resident Jannick Schou, he has to date managed to eke out just one release in the shape of the ’winter’ EP via the Contemporary net label (which if you follow the relevant links you can download for free) while plans are afoot for outings via both Heath Death and Dead Pilots in the coming months. An aural alchemist, Cylon sculptures ice tipped drone overtures that air on the side of both transcendental and reverential, glassy opines that reverberate and shimmer like pulsars and the kind of thing we should point out that you’d imagine regaling you were you (though we hope not just yet) to keel over and suddenly find yourself on some sort of astral voyage crossing over to the after life. Four cuts feature here including the previously reviewed remix of finneyerkes’ ’dismax’, ambient studies in micro sound is I guess the best way to describe what’s here ’resonanz 1’ in particular sounding heaven sent and omnipresent framed as it is in beautified swirls of hypnotically orbiting mirages that softly unfurl to reveal a deeply alluring graceful radiance. Yet while both the ‘resonanz’ suites plot similar trajectories in terms of texture, delivery and development we here are thinking your first port of call ought to be checking out ‘shortwave_1’ – beneath the crunchy airless voids of the scratched pulsing drone apertures a beautifully sepia tweaked slice of cantering classicist key refrains sweetly wafts in and out of focus through the ether which to these ears had us recalling Fat Cat’s Sylvain Cheveau and Hauschka which as you all know is no bad thing.

Okay hopefully this’ll get posted in time for tomorrow’s Club Hell extravaganza happily subtitled ‘fuck Glastonbury‘ – see for further details though if you happen to see this appearing on Saturday then alas young folk with darn good taste it was yesterday and you’ve missed it – cue weeping in abundance. Another craftily picked selection of tastiness and again featuring four acts who go a little like this…. – stunning in a word, an absolute gem, sadly no information about Marcia Mello other than to say she’s from Massachusetts, after that annoyingly – the trail runs cold. Described by Club Hell in their advertisement flyer spiel as ’a guitar playing ragtime pre war blues’ busker, this showcase set is sure to blow the lids clean off a fair few blues purists and just blow their minds leaving them begging for more. Sounding not unlike previously unclassified lost shellac grooved relics from a bygone pre pop age, Marcia Mello plays a richly vintage blend of decades old distilled blues and traditional folk, her playing indelibly tutored in a most rare and finitely tailored classicist song craft that suggests the ghosts of Muddy Waters and Elmore James are keeping her company during recording sessions. Four cuts feature on her showcase player one of which we are thinking is a version of a rarely heard traditional Neapolitan song made famous by Mario Lanza entitled ’Santa Lucia’ though here treated as a rather inspired instrumental. The cover of Robert Johnson’s ’ramblin on my mind’ frankly needs to be heard to be believed, irrefutably imbibed with the self same hollowed rawness that we strongly suspect she nailed this at the crossroads whilst playing poker for souls with the devil himself. Elsewhere ’moon walkin’ is a wistful and willowy cutie decorated with a deliciously lazy eyed porch sitting lilt lushly harvested with breezy harmonies and the feint twist of the Stones ‘waiting for a friend’ albeit as though relocated to some idyllic south pacific setting while we here are going to admit in being more than a tad subdued by the frailly summer breezed ’to a stone’ which had us recalling a femme version of Dylan doing the quieter moments of the Velvets back catalogue. Essential listening. – trio hailing from Amsterdam and signed to the Tocado imprint who craft the kind of atonal blistered boogie that we here are much thinking we need to hear more of around this here gaff, obviously cultured and much in awe of all things Babes in Toyland and L7 though tempered with less of a scowl but packed with more than enough prime trimmings of agitated nonchalance as to have you more than suspecting that they’d beat the crap out of you just for the hell of it. There’s a playful menace to the Pony Pack sound not least found on the darkly malevolent ‘bread circus’ – a macabre and austere angular peek a boo beauty cradled by a stunningly attractive grim fairground mantra whose bloodline loosely skirts around the Banshees ’playground twist’ and yet finds its overall kinship attached to the much admired David Cronenberg’s Wife. Mind you that said ‘samlee’ does hint at a seriously frazzled Elastica all fraying riffage and pulse popping pretty punk pop shape cutting elsewhere there’s the eye poking skewed bubblegum pop knee jerk of the frantic three chord throb of the Revillos like ‘Idontwanttoknowthekindofhell’ while perhaps the sets best moment ‘thigh bone’ diffuses elements of Sleater Kinney with the wiring and unravelling psychosis of ‘goo’ era Sonic Youth. Well worth investigating further. – bloody typical isn’t it, we can’t the ruddy player to play – that said we’re more than a little familiar with the work of Holland’s Suicidal Birds, in fact their ‘Z-List’ outing for the strangely quiet Transformed Dreams imprint a year or three ago was for a time hogging deserved space on the hi-fi. Anyhow they’ve since knocked out a handful of releases all of which have disappointingly passed us by to much grumbling and the odd gnash of teeth. For the un-initiated the Suicidal Birds are duo Jessica and Chay who together concoct a seriously damaged species of buckled and blistered blues whose acutely lo-fi grounding would make even the Mummies wince and seem positively panoramic. Anyhow veering between the deranged and dislocated, these impish souls do a neat line in frazzled Beefheart goo though that’ll be Beefheart re-drilled and bleached with a wayward and threadbare threatening garage grind which ‘never mind’ more than testifies, drip fed as it is with all manner of squalling riffs, unravelling psychosis and a seriously scalding mojo twa**ing demeanour.

Here’s the video for ‘6 feet down’ which we believe is their latest single culled from their recently released ‘spend your life in misery’ full length….. – no strangers to these pages albeit it has been a fair old while since we had anything to hoot about, Heat from a Deadstar are one of those most rare of beasts who seem to defy current trends, fads and bouts of press hyped sheep following, occupying a universe uniquely their own they veer between mind blowing and magnificent, their craft plotting a trajectory that sees them orbit the calms of the beautifully brooding and the atmospherically ravaged. There’s an album just out entitled ‘the seven rays of the sun’ which happily we’ve managed to re-prise from the ever teetering CD mountain and something that will be getting closer attention over the course of the next few days. For now though three cuts culled from said full length feature on their showcasing music player and reveal an ever growing maturity at work in their song craft, a huge melting pot of shoe gaze dialects, psych tinged aural choreography and post punk austerity all grounded, blended and served with a distinct 60’s sourced rock based focus whose bloodline loosely traces its way towards Blue Cheer. Lighter in tonality than their earlier ‘lighten our minds’ outing wherein the obvious late 80’s / early 90’s Sub Pop / Touch n Go signposts bled from it pores and where the general mood was one of doom tipped apocalyptic grandeur, though that’s not to say their any less discordant or fractured ’messy kid’ still happily pisses in the agitant accents of a math wired Fugazi as though finding themselves a tad wasted and relocated by magic bus to some late 60’s hippy commune. ’summer of dark’ with its pensive angular motifs a la early career Left Hand soon unfurls to reveal a gorgeously wide screen tapered landscape replete with cantering pastoral follies much reminiscent it has to be said of the more tranquil moments from the Grails back catalogue. Though that said our favoured cut of the trio is ‘seahorse seafish’ a kind of three way fusion extracting elements of the Sea and Cake, My Bloody Valentine and Quickspace and sweetly stirring the mixture into a deeply affecting post rock noodle stew. And while you’re there check out the simply arresting ‘joan’ lifted from their ‘the lighthouse’ set from a year or two ago – a gorgeously mesmerising cosmic overture tweaked with the softly definable lull of Barrett Floyd and deliciously dinked with a definite Porcupine Tree which in terms of panoramic appreciation we here are thinking this lot – though not sound wise – most clearly identify with.

A Lupen Crook video – taken from the forthcoming EP – – we’ve literally just plugged into this and hell we thought we needed to mention it sooner rather than later for fear its wiring knowingness would give us a restless night. Lets are a trio hailing from Stratford Upon Avon who judging by the sound of the brace of cuts they’ve posted on their my space page could easily be mistaken for something found straying from an early 80’s Peel play list, all dislocated and skewed signatures, stop / start rhythms and deadpan vocals all very much rekindling a melodic trait so heartily recognisable and apparent amidst the post punk jangle of the Thatcher-ite indie years, ’renegade’ in particular sounding like some strangely tailored lost nugget concocted by a youthful Nightingales aided and abetted by the Cravats and various friends and acquaintances who in later years would re-emerge as Stump and Bogshed. More animated is ‘the day he told the world’ which arm shoved up back and tied to chair to submit to some form of dastardly evil water torture proves to be the cut we’re most fond of mainly for the fact there’s a definite classic era Postcard thing going on here which if we‘re honest had us scrambling for our prized Josef K platters from yesteryear. Need to hear more.

Russell’s Teapot ‘this is modern love’ (earth connection). We knew the name was familiar, I mean lets face it you don’t forget the kookily named Russell’s Teapot in a hurry, sounds like some fried psyche folk casualty from the 60’s though in reality it’s named after Bertrand Russell’s age old dilemma that has dogged man since dawn – though that’ll be the dawn as in the dawn of time and not the dawn this morning – as to the existence of God and basically drawing a parallel with the burden of proof to prove otherwise laid at the toes of the sceptics by daring anyone to disprove the existence of his hypothetical teapot orbiting around the sun. to date by all accounts no one has done so. Russell’s Teapot is the musical guise of producer / musician Russell Alsop whose debut outing ‘the Desire’ EP found its way to being dispatched with much fondness in these very pages way back at missive 170. There’s rumoured to be a debut full length on the horizon entitled ’come sweetheart’ which all things being well will see the light of day this coming Autumn. For now though the small matter of this three track set, basically the same cut – ’this is modern love’ reworked three times so that you get the original mix with the addition of two remixes by the Duke of Hazard and Electrohed. So are we clear on that then. Embraced of a leftfield quirkiness the perky ‘this is modern love’ finds Alsop plotting pop trajectories previously covered by White Town’s ’your woman’ and Space’s ’neighbourhood’, dappled with a curiously infectious down tempo funk mutation, he crafts a slyly absorbing brew that draws upon elements of squirreling electro swirls and dub motifs and blesses the matrix with a skipping skanking ska underpin that strangely endows the mix with a sultry summer kissed hue the likes of which that unless are sorely mistaken may just encourage a fair few out there to coo and swoon while chilling by your package deal Ibiza pool. Left in the capable hands of Duke of Hazard, ‘modern love’ is hauled over the inspection pit and by way of a spot of cosmetic trimming is refitted with a lights low super chilled nocturnal glow and a more than desirable dub-tronic chassis which to these ears could easily pass for those extended floor throbbing remixes that you used to find in abundance on the flip sides of old Dreadzone platters. Electrohed for his part drops the temperature to just shy of a sophisticated chill and ups the snaking / mooching like factor several notches and services the mix with a serious fat n’ juicy bass underpin calibrated with a subtle drum n’ bass motif that may well get admirers of the Touch Tones / Tummy Touch imprints releases a tad hot n’ bothered under the collar.

Krazy 88 ‘stealing is flattery’ (one off). Okay let’s get the domestics done with, Newton Le Willows based trio, formed three years ago, an album in the shape of ‘diary of a teenage heartthrob’ in the can and awaiting release shortly with this twin set debut paving the way as a taster of things to come. Admittedly a little to saccharine and MTV American for our digestive palette but that said we can see its obvious appeal even though you suspect its waiting eagerly in the wings to be picked up and used as a backdrop for some briefly hip and trendy stateside teen angst flick starring – probably – Lindsay Lohan. Seems we’ve been barred under pain of death threats not to mention or refer to emo in any way, shape or form during discourse, so given that we could never resist a challenge – emo, emo, emo, emo and oh yea – EMO. Of course we joke, mind you do we because the flip cut ‘lipgloss loveloss’ is metered out with the kind of growing pains, spots, boils, acne and bad hair days brittle effervescence that most have come to love and in some quarters hate about emo (there’s that word again – man are we up for a caning), think upon it as an updated Monkees for the days big brother / gadgets obsessed generation all razor tipped riffs, emotion jangling struts, jagged power pop threads and warmth filled radiating harmonies aplenty. ‘stealing is flattery’ is the obvious pull here, sanitised punk pop that once beamed via the transmitting airwaves of your transistor should by rights have a few of you a cooing and swooning, obviously primed for heavy rotation on various music video networks, tightly drilled funky accents, dislocated rhythms, hooks aplenty and a neat sing a long chorus that even I could remember by the second verse – hell it could easily pass for McFly. It isn’t by chance them is it?

Ivy York ‘the call of spring’ (self released). Every so often something comes along that has you wobbling precariously on your listening perch leaving you pretty much stunned, numbed and entranced by its enchantment. Doesn’t happen often sadly, but when it does it’s a moment to be savoured and cherished because you know only to well it’ll be a while before your touched by something similarly procured and invested of such exquisite charm. Ivy York are a London based quartet built around the core duo talents of Ivy and Ravi to date there’s been just one full length 2007’s self titled debut and now this – a five track EP entitled ‘the call of spring’. Disarmingly romantic, dizzyingly demurred and for the best part probably the best thing we’ve heard around these parts since Laura Cantrell’s debut full length ‘not the trembling kind’ via Spit n’ Polish a few years back, Ivy York weave a beautifully slender and sumptuous musical landscape clipped with a classicism drawn from age old casks of vintage sepia tweaked splendour that according to the press release extracts elements of 50’s Bollywood (both ‘the call of spring’ and ‘island song’ are re-workings of Bollywood songs from the 50’s) which appear so subtle in their detail that you’d have trouble initially identifying unless of course you’d been armed with the knowledge beforehand. Two things immediately strike you about this set – first of course – Ivy’s seductively crushed and willowy vocal tones – soft, aching and perpetually arcing and sighing their bruised opines and sitting loosely somewhere between Sarah McLachlan, Emma Pollock, Judith Durham and Patsy Cline – and secondly the phrasing of the melodies – delicately smoked driftwoods of sound peppered with pedal steel and accordions that skirt and woo amid a landscape calibrated with a knowing classicist 50’s styled country pop demeanour. ‘the call of spring’ opens proceedings, breezy and beguiling it waltzes into view shimmering tenderly atop an accent subtly borrowed from Lee Hazlewood’s ‘summer wine’ and set to a gorgeously lazy eyed rambling porch lit slice of defences piercing prettiness. ‘the more I have’ sounds for all the world as though its been recently rooted out from an attic lain discarded box of early 60’s master tapes featuring an assortment of tear stained heartbroken treasures of rare pre motown femme led country soul nuggets while the idyllic ‘island song’ is sweetly trimmed with a becoming laid back sultriness that suggests it was recorded in a stolen moment on the set of Elvis’ ‘blue Hawaii’. hushed and intimate, frail and broken the parting ‘cowboy’ will leave the more sensitive among you biting your bottom lip such is its crestfallen and forlorn beauty, amid the weeping pedal steel arrangements Ivy’s emotionally distressed timbre is done with such an affecting resigned to her fates tragedy that quite frankly you feel compelled to throw comforting arms around it for re-assurance. Best of the set though by some clear distance is ‘Aeroplane’ – a Barry-esque cortege dappled with sophisticated 60’s sourced twinkles dream weaved into a beautifully unbound and free wheeling slice of romance laden grandeur which unless our ears do deceive longingly sits with a supernatural aura somewhere between Goldfrapp’s ‘felt mountain’ and the Shortwave Set’s debut ‘the debt collection’. quite perfect. Single of the missive.

Elektralux ‘missing out’ (naim edge). By all accounts causing sizable mischief and much swooning amid the local set around the Moles club scene in Bath. Not strictly out for a month or so but when it does show – pressed as it will be on 12 inches of humping groove gauged wax – you can bet your backside that ‘missing out’ will be laying to waste the floors of the most in tune of clubs in indie land as well as being the buzz among the chattering classes of the underground cognoscenti. The debut release from five piece electro combo Elektralux is a devilishly addictive buzz sawed paint bomb that fuses into its lippy tenant block matrix elements of hip hop, ska, dub, dance and a skewed variant of electro-clash, a tale of recession biting wooing angst with a threadbare wallet dashed with an instantly appealing snap drilled hook the type of which pins your earlobes back and has you suspecting the merits of it coming shrink wrapped with an antidote, of course we here are feeling the Milk Kan and Flowered Up references all to well all nailed down by a dirty and devious grinding electro shock the type of which at times appears much favoured by the likes of those White Rose Movement types. Flip the disc to find the same track being tendered out for remix duties by Slugabed along with an ambient re-drill entitled the ‘badda mix’ – the former dirty, dislocated and undercut with a seriously fat n’ mooching mutant dub-tronica tweaked fuzz buzzed bass groove that by rights should see most club land aficionados drooling while the later – and if we are honest our favoured cut of the trio – an acid tabbed dream weaving psychotropic 90’s house styled mind melter – need we say more. Buy.

And for those totally clueless about White Rose Movement here’s a vid for their debut single ‘love is a number’ – a killer thing and still by far their finest moment to date – are they still around – damn we’ll have to check…..

And here are those Flowered Up types……

Please someone check this out and please please please recognise the blighter if only to stop the endless sleepless nights and the fact that those responsible for the original posting keeps blocking up my comments board which until yesterday I never knew I had – hey-ho. Anyhow we mentioned and reviewed said tracks way back at missive 204 which for those of you who can’t be arsed trying to find (I know how you feel) – then for you alone we’ve copied and pasted below – for those who fancy a wander its at which to me seems a bit daft as its below but hey each to his / her own – while the remaining of you – shall we call you the ‘indifferent’ – well what can I say – a pox on you….. driven us to the point of near distraction this. The story goes that a chap over in France picks up a stash of garage vinyl and finds a mysterious white label inscribed as the Van Patterson Quartet – live in FW. Searches on the internet and various other reliable sources have so far proven fruitless in discovering exactly who the Van Patterson Quartet are, so in attempt to reach out to the music community for help the tracks have been digitalised and uploaded on to this here my space site so that you can hear them for yourself. One thing for certain is that this trio of wigged out sorties are smoking, a stoner psychedelic space jazz stew the likes of which had us recalling a various parts a seriously flipped out Hammond drilled Green Milk from the Planet Orange in some fringe parting head on collision with Acid Mothers and Seven that Spells – packed to the rafters with tripping hazes of fuzz and all manner of fried hallucinogenic sensations not least the weird and whacked out 15 minute odyssey that is ’part 2’.

And for the dearly departed this week – Mr Jackson with his kith n’ kin performing one of his finest moments….


And 60’s garage legend Sky Saxon with the Seeds…..

Thanks to all somehow involved in the cobbling together of this missive and to you especially for taking the time to read it.

Back with more of the same though obviously with different records – wouldn’t rule out the same reviews though – sometime probably tomorrow if that is your really really bad. Address for comms and subs see above somewhere at the start – till next time take care of yourselves….



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