Tales from the Attic
Revolutions of a 33 and 45 kind…..
This missive feat sounds by…..
Joana and the wolf, plume varia, bureau b, asmus tietchens, Thomas dinger, der plan, david ward, david wenngren, fabrizio paterlini, Táchira kido, headphone commute, Lawrence English, boy is English, connect_icut, rhys marsh, Anzio green, andrenachrome, small time romance, Rafael anton Irizarri, man in a suitcase, randall and hopkirk, the grand rapids, max matthews, john Robinson pierce, kellar, nanaki, slipstream, the hare and the moon, lillies on mars, rowan amber mill, haruko, paul roland, john 3:16, owt kri, spreaker, the use, savaging spires, horse bastard,. Lvls, soft lightning, antonymes, rob clarke and the wool tones, bob urh and the bare bones, slipper trails, slowly rolling camera, tulip mania, Balthazar delicado, pinkshinyultrablast, dot legacy, spires, shonen knife, flyying colours, armellodie, super adventure club, Scottish enlightenment, saint max and the fanatics
Formerly heading up joana and the wolf whose releases often peppered these missives in days gone past. Alas the collective split and from out of the ashes rises Johanna Glaza with a debuting solo EP. Utterly spellbinding and sounding as though its drifted through some ghostly fracture existing between our own reality and a once thought fabled twilight world, ’shall I be a saint’ lifted from said EP is a beautifully carved slice of porcelain pop tripped in enchantment and seduced in fairytale like magicalia, like a heavenly apparition all at once frail and fragile, you fear its delicate poise will shatter and fade at any second upon discovery. Sound spectrum wise imagine a mid way point somewhere between a very young and shy eyed Kate Bush and Chantal Acda. Irresistibly gorgeous.
Here’s the video ‘shall I be a saint’….
Been out for a while but that’s no reason not to give this gem a deserved once over. Plume Varia are a Denver based husband and wife duo – Shon and Cherie be their names, they describe their sounds as down tempo dream pop with minimalist piano and spoken word additives. Three tracks sit upon their debuting outing all applied with a deeply demurred torch trimming upon a divinely spectral neo classical underpinning, the song structures may be minimalist in design but their finitely measured poise fill the canvas with a less is more craft. The ethereal ’prize’ opens the account, the delicate weaves and the bruised afterglows impart a trembling shy eyed seduction cradled in a sepia twisted elegant hush gently traded and tempered in a hollowing dark romance haloed in crushed sighs and a heart heavy fading hope to which admirers of this mortal coil would do well to fall headlong into. Scarcely a dry eye in the house when ’enable’ veers into ear shot, lush in desire and succulently wrapped in an amorphous ghost light, its noir dappled classicism draws on the enchantment of a youthful Goldfrapp and the stirring majesty of Musetta albeit as though tied, bowed and imparted with the chilled statuesque grace of portishead at the height of their powers. All said being the awkward souls that we are it’s the parting shot ’bend’ that gets our vote as the sets best moment, an astral love note traced in the most alluring nocturnal noir soul motifs, a lunar apparition buoyed on the merest of vapour trailed whispers, in short perfection.
Much loved around these parts, two of the years finest releases came from the Bureau B sound factory in Hamburg with the appearance of Karl Bartos’ ’off the record’ set and Lloyd Cole’s collaboration with Hans-Joachim Roedilius via ‘selected studies volume 1‘- the latter of which aside coming as a surprise not to mention a revelation revealed once and for all Cole’s hidden love for electronic compositions something which first quietly emerged on his ‘plastic wood’ set of 2001. To help celebrate Bureau B’s fine release schedule this year they’ve made available a 90 minute sampler set which gathers together the highlights, the curios and the quite simply stunning highlights from the labels enviable roster. A label that prides itself on the re-issue of lost electronica and kraut rock albums from the forgotten past though in recent times has acted as a safe haven to the likes of Ulrich schnauss, qluster, tar water, pyrolator, junior electronics and of course Karl Bartos – considered the melody man of Kraftwerk. All said one of the labels main achievements has been the issue of lost recordings by the late Conrad Schnitzler of tangerine dream fame whose work is amply previewed here with the inclusion of four suites. Add to that the re-issue of some of the Sky imprints most noted outings not least the work of Asmus Tietchens one of the unsung godfathers of kosmiche electronica there’s a cut from his ’spat europa’ set from ’82 that proves to be one of this samplers must hear moments. Talking of godfathers the label has also provided home for the aforementioned Hans-Joachim Roedileus who along with Dieter Moebius and Conrad Schitzler formed Cluster, latterly Kluster, Harmonia and Qluster. As said 90 minutes worth of exquisite ambient / electronica / experimental sounds capes that translate into 25 tracks that spans a sonic timeline stretching back to 1974 and is headed up by Bartos’ frankly awesome ‘atomium’ – other notable listening experience Thomas Dingers post neu / la dusseldorf work here exemplified by the title cut from his ‘82 solo ‘fur mich’ and something truly beautiful from Der Plan’s ’84 set ‘japlan’. http://www.soundcloud.com/bureau-1-sets/bureau-b-label-compilation-2013
Mentioned earlier this very missive when we touched upon the albums opening cut ‘slowly through the night’. due out towards the tail end of February via golden future recordings will find the arrival of a most extraordinary release by David Ward entitled ‘golden future time’. we say extraordinary not for effect but mainly to make note that this is an album crafted such as to refuse to sit still in any easily confined generic box. Seven tracks make up the two side long suites entitled ‘lost’ and ‘golden future time’ in just one listen its immediately apparent that the measured beauty explored and instilled within this second full length reveals an astute aural alchemy at work whose depth, poise and realisation of craft is simply exquisite. As previously reported opening salvo ‘slowly through the night’ is a monumental shape shifting prog head sprayed in an angular cosmic funk grooving that really does sound like the resulting offspring of a studio summit meeting between an ‘ok computer’ era Radiohead and Porcupine Tree in their finest ‘the incident’ garb. ‘lost’ drops the tone and mood to more smoked sophisticated levels for lights lowered night time seduction, exquisite soul groove that much recalls the Panda Gang as were at the height of their powers though here dimpled in a sumptuous panoramic appeal that hints towards a stoned and blissed out Floyd. From therein something cultured in a fragile elegance comes to pass, with its falsettos, classicist atmospheric arcs and softly coaxed lullaby lilts, the ghostly mysterio that is the spell weaving enchantment of ‘ghost in the woods’ is wrapped in a fairytale vintage more becoming of ooberman successors the magic theatre while the softly traced key tremble of the aching ‘be here’ wraps up side 1 to the frail forlorn sigh of melancholic torch murmurs. ‘opening side 2 the sly seductive and jiggy funk fancy ‘golden future time’ is lushly rubbed in 70’s disco soul motifs whilst ‘bird in the hand’ should find itself the centre of admiring glances from those who love their ballads smoked in nocturnal noir with a side smidgeon of jazz flavouring for good measure while ‘fly’ is a less edgy sultry laser loaded cosmic grooved Rick James fronting the Jacksons.
Another release we spied on band camp is a formidable gathering of talent under the collective set title ‘…and the darkness came’ put out by the headphone commute imprint. Admittedly this has been straying around for a year or so, all profits going to the aid of victims of Hurricane Sandy. That said there’s no fear of this collection ever reaching its shelf life not when the sounds within are coded timeless classicism. A formidable set and as with the ‘bedroom cassette masters’ release mentioned elsewhere this missive a little too unwieldy to give individual attention to all the featured tracks given its comprised of 87 selections. Sound wise though an absolute treat for those of you who tuned into hibernate’s ‘paws for thought’ sampler – mentioned last missive out – for like that outing ‘…and the darkness’ amasses an enviable roster of talent currently plying their trade on the neo classical / ambient / sound art frontiers, familiar names figure – david newlyn, absent without leave, maps and diagrams, antonymes, loscil, peter Broderick, olafur arnalds, olam mill, clem leek, max richter, offthesky, hauschka, james murray and more besides – all of whom have featured one time or another in these musings. With such an extensive gathering of talent it’s a little difficult deciding what to mention and what not to mention for fear of putting noses out of joint, therefore the easiest and less argumentative way might be to mention the short and the longest cuts first and work outwards from there. Longest track by the odd second or two is black swan’s simply immense ‘of land and water’ a glorious widescreen slice of bitter sweet euphoria that to these trusted ears sounds not unlike some sweetly humbled epitaph for the end of days, all whispering snow bursts and droning sheens of celestial sirens equipped as though a cosmic intertwining of flying saucer attack and my bloody valentine types in slow motion rapture. As to the shortest cut, unless I’m very much mistaken that honour is David Wenngren’s for the asking with the mellowing elegance that is ’short composition #2’ utilising space, tone and poise its silent pauses and melancholic trailing force you to draw up close to tearfully pry at its crushed fragile intimacy. One of the sets most evocative works is fabrizio paterlini’s ’there’s a light we might see’ with its softly murmured string shivers and lilting pastoral key braids a forlorn shy eyed beauty peers upon the final moments tranquilly locked in a frozen moment of what might have been. Elsewhere ’sweet silence’ by Takahiro Kido is a lulling slice of shimmer toned orbs sweetly wooing the vast land heavens while Simon Scott – could that be the one and the same Mr Scott who at one time figured in Slow dive – actually features here twice – for a solo cut ’for betty’ and alongside Tomoyoshi Date, Corey Fuller and Marcus Fischer on ’quartet’ for a spot of chamber ambience which sound wise translates like ghostly apertures echoing amid the stilled landscapes. Others that serve are Lawrence English whose ’coda for a fading timeline’ is a beautifully monochrome suite that sounds like the opining distress call of a long since ceased to be output on the far edges of the solar system while waves on canvas buck the solace and sadness party line for a divinely joyous last hurrah on ’endless summer’ amid a flighty flurry of key pastorals. Edging it in the favourite moment of the set stakes Boy is Fiction’s frost glazed ’sunlight through glance’ takes some shifting, a crystalline cinematic cutie tempered in a forlorn tenderness and grafted upon a Brontean noir coda that caresses and cools with the quiet majesty you’d imagine resulting from a studio summit meeting gathering together Carpenter, Vangelis and Robert Miles.
A release that we must admit nearly slipped the net. New from the Agoo curated rev laboratories series whose remit it seems is simply defined as catering for the finest ambient / electronic sound art currently located off radar on the experimental sonic spectrum. With that in mind latest chapter in the series is the simply divine ‘crows and kittiwakes wheel and come again’ set from connect_icut. Comprised of six suites, total duration just tripping under the 41 minute wire, this set had we heard it in time would by rights have made a late call in our year end selections, blending glitch, drone and the celestial, it would be easy to view this at best as a modern day harmony of the spheres or at worst the greeting sound as you gasp your last breath and prepare yourself for your passing through the veil (none more so is this better exemplified than on the airless trance toned hymnal hush of ‘again now (for Matt)’). Whatever the case the press release makes reference to my bloody valentine, a valid call given that both this and ’loveless’ share that self same celebratory rapture though in connect_icut’s case the impact of sound is hushed by and large to a demurred murmur, that is if you don’t count ‘practice rot’ a true colossus of a track that ruptures inferno like from amid a glacial forest of celestial sirens whose distress calls emit in to the voids a cosmic call to arms all converging to assume critical mass, density and stature. For the best part though you feel as though you’ve invaded a private place or some hitherto secret lair, deliberately kept out of sight and free from prying eyes and ruin at the hands of the corruptive outside world. What makes ‘crows’ such a listening treat is the way the sounds perpetually evolve and shape shift as though like clouds merging, dissipating and reforming into shapes anew or better still ghostly echoes rupturing through a time fracture. If there‘s no such thing a smoking cool glitch soul at present then there is now for the serenely dream weaved ‘imperial alabaster’ murmurs with such sophisticated elegance as it crystallises chrysalis like from demurred frost thawed shimmers to unfurl by its fade out it an alluring purring cosmic pulsar. As though the sounds emanating from the inner workings of a hulking hyper crafts console unit at rest, the mesmeric ‘port shale’ flickers, whispers and yawns, braided in an array of amorphous micro sounds and subtle dubtronic motifs to cast as were, an alluring mind warping lunar lightshow. ‘carrion pecking’ all said is our favourite moment, a parched melancholia hollows to its core, about its as were sun baked plains a mournful mistral navigates with head bowed reverence to a stilled symphony that sounds for all the world like the prelude dance to a three way showdown finale between Ry Cooder, Yellow6 and Roy Montgomery. Perfection in short.
Much loved of this parish Rhys Marsh’s ‘suspended in a weightless wind’ was given a limited release a little while back. Again another release that somehow sneaked in and hid itself amid the piles of cd’s much to our horrified embarrassment. Again mentioned briefly in earlier dispatches this self released EP limited to just 100 hand numbered copies features five cover re-workings of songs / artists that have inspired the former Mandala / Autumnal Ghost man the most notable being the previously previewed take on Nick Drake‘s ‘things behind the sun‘. as mentioned on countless occasions throughout these musings there‘s always cause for guarded intakes of breath when faced with covers of the Drake canon, I mean how do you improve on perfection unless however the re-appraisal happens to be by Beautify junkyards or the telescopes who between them in recent times have realised such follies in crafting near faithful copies and have rather more opted to single out a facet of their chosen track for cover to delve a little deeper in order to present a different and in the case of both mentioned artists a unique perspective. Likewise under the sensitive craft of Marsh, in truth one of the most mercurial moments from the painfully sparse Drake canon, ‘things behind the sun’ is here arrested by the radiant application of a lushly toned panoramic swoon of surrendering strings to enhance the sweetly distracted euphoria of the authors poetic bitter sweet reflection itself oft incorrectly deemed melancholic an morose. I’ll admit from the outset that my knowledge of Crosby, stills and nash could be written on a small stamp and still have space aplenty to wax lyrically as to why the eagles ’hotel California’ is so overrated. That’s woke you up, slagging off the eagles is it seems still a forbidden blood sport – we brace ourselves for the impending onslaught of badly written missives in their defence – alas it won’t work we torch on sight anything remotely Eagle-y that comes our way. And so back to ’hopelessly hoping’ originally by CSN and here spirited away in a gorgeously soft psych baroque aura whose romance and yearning is somewhat overshadowed by its mystery and enchantment, if anything this out smarts the Drake cover which is no small feat and like all good re-appraisals now has us ransacking the CSN back catalogue for a quick spot of catching up which is I’m sure you’ll agree is the mark of an exquisite cover – will appeal in the main to admirers of Paul Roland. Scott Walker is another artist whose back catalogue flashes red warning signs to would be souls seeking to stamp their own persona on his craft, happily ’winter night’ is traced with a demurring late night after glow framed in a softly honeyed torch noir much recalling Marc Almond’s work with the Mambas while king crimson’s ’moonchild’ is achingly rephrased with an emotion sapping widescreen grandeur that freewheels between the spectral and the monastic. Best of the set comes with the parting ’mellowing grey’ – originally by the Family – frankly borders on the supernatural given its spell crafted seduction, that said edges matters in the affection stakes and quite simply one of the most beautifully effected things we’ve heard since the debuting full length by odd fellow’s casino way back when we were so much younger.
Yet another release that thus far has managed to evade our listening attention is the second full length from Anzio Green via rednetic. The eagle eyed among you might recall us mentioning the arrival of this in despatches a few weeks back when we fell headlong in adoration of the teaser track ‘fall down’ for those among you not paying attention first time of asking Anzio Green is a collaborative tour de force pairing together Wil Bolton of Cheju fame with Mark Streatfield better known amongst the electronica buying community as Cyan341. To judge by titles alone, you’d imagine ‘a day without distance’ to be an overtly sombre affair, all hint at detachment or at the very least a furtherance from some point now regretted. True there is detachment but its a detachment that, while intimate and secluded is, once found welcoming. Blending ambient structures, atmospheric landscapes, dreamy lullabies, drone dialects, the occasional shoe gaze and a liberal side serving of dub accents, listening wise ‘a day without distance’ is best experienced in a quiet place preferably in the still of the night with the volume cranked up, that way you can submerge yourself in its panoramic purr. As said a breathless ambient sound board that opens to the Oriental murmurs of ‘morning tea’ here sweetly thawed amid ice chipped cavernous tonalities and lushly dusted in a lilting fusion of fairy tale enchantment and noir classicism. The sets most outright pop moment comes with the appearance of the glitch glazed dream pop of ‘fall down’ which features a guest appearance by Kate Tustain on vocals whose softly entrancing ethereal murmurs silkily serve to act as a guide light for the unfurling spectral symphony whose snow shimmered sighs purr with subtle seduction of Cocteau-ian bliss. ‘thunderstorm’ initially draws from Roy Montgomery’s ‘true’, the atmospherics charged in electricity and drizzled in foreboding, just when you think proceedings are veering to a climatic crescendo without warning or sign the vibe suddenly turns tail to undergo what can only be described as a form of renewal whereupon unfurls something couched in a timeless grandeur spirited along apparition by neo classical flurries and choral whispers to recall old school Biosphere whilst simultaneously touching base with a mid career Wau! Mr modo back catalogue. With its intricate details and eye for the minutiae the utterly alluring ‘sorry for all the mistakes’ is subsumed in the kind of milky mirages and deftness and slender riffmanship not to mention poise and purpose that marks out and defines the less is more spectral grace of yellow6 and Vini Reilly before him. With its reverb soaked shimmers and ethereal choral whispers ‘a day without distance’ is draped in an alluring spectacle of romantically purred nocturnal elegance, sedately steeled in stilled sophistication it could easily be a tiny moment freeze framed from a Cure c. ‘pornography’ and ‘faith’ cut viewed under a magnifying lens and reframed onto an expansive airless cosmic canvas and rephrased into a consuming bliss kissed vapour trailing dub dimpled pulsar. If humble opinions count for anything we’d warrant that the parting ‘never go back’ serves as the sets best moment, a glacial dub lovely all lolloping motifs, playful lunar fanfares which in truth sound like the work of an impishly stoned gathering of Clangers and smoked out drifting crystalline riffs surrendering beneath sultry skylines which when all gathered together assume a woozy afterglow not to say skirt ever so inquisitively around the outer edges of the ghost box sonic perimeter whilst subtly paying an admiring glance towards Land of Nod. http://www.rednetic.com
Spied this link on a face book posting by Tim maps and diagrams, it’s a mix tape put together by the small town romance blog that comprises of thirteen ambient winter warmers from names familiar – cul de sac, roger eno and of course maps and diagrams – and many not so familiar shoehorned into just over an hours worth of snow glazed introspection. Choice cuts among the stuff we haven’t previously heard Matt Baldwin’s ‘triangle’ proves itself a nifty slab of mind warping space bluesing kraut-ian kosmiche kool while Juppala Kaapio’s delicately demurred ‘brise’ is a lilting slice of fragile bowed atmospherics all weaved beautifully into a ice chipped forest of sound. Best moment though it has to said is Rafael Anton Irisarri’s ‘lesser than the sum of its parts’ – an utterly crushing visitation and a master class in tender technique, measured poise, grace and crestfallen grandeur. http://www.smalltownromanceblog.com/mixtape-and-then-the-earth-moved/
Like beck, bowie and brown – as in Ian – screams the press release. We must admit such bluster was met by a yawn that bordered on here we go again tedium. But the press house in question are reliable souls we thought. If they say it sounds like beck, bowie and brown – as in Ian – then it sounds like beck, bowie and brown – as in Ian. Record in question is a two track debut by Steve Eyre who on this occasion prefers to hide beneath the nom de plume Andrenachrome, must admit the most off kilter thing we’ve heard in this gaff since tripping over and falling headlong in love with ‘tangerine’ by the black ink for ‘mother natures ashes’ with its slacker-esque grooving is indeed like Beck and yes at a distance call Bowie c. ‘john I’m only dancing’ – brown – as in Ian – alas is missing in action. Add to the brew some smoking and out of it Simple Kid motifs, some lazy eyed Steve Miller effects for added mid 70’s kudos and a dollop of Birdpen and you have yourself a slow cooking hazy honey simmering on the back ring – and that’s just the b-side. that’s not to say that the more pop astute ’art of conversation’ is a slouch in the affection stakes – we here reckon it ought to appeal to admirers of the melting ice caps and a very youthful swimmer one. http://www.andrenachrome.bandcamp.com
Eyed on the wall and begging to be purchased, played and loved to death, seriously I must have had a bang on the head for not nabbing these on the spot however our affections where turned by the spotting of a dinky little Nick Drake box set – the naffly titled ‘tuck box’ – I’m pretty sure Nick would smile at the attention and interest he garners these days but must similarly cringe at the woeful whoring around of his work by the majors to make a quick buck. Anyway more about that later, for now two releases just sneaked out by the network imprint see for the first time on vinyl the appearance of the randall and hopkirk and man in a suitcase soundtracks. The former scored by Edwin Astley – who you may recall choreographed ‘spring and port wine’ to immense effect – featured the lush ghostly tones of the criminally underused Harpsichord, the collection housed in a striking full colour jacket extends to 9 tracks and includes the magically haunting title credits along with key note incidental variations – in short along with ’the persuaders’ and ’vendetta’ one of the best soundtracks ever to grace a tv show. As to ’man in a suitcase’ dulled and cheapened by its use as the theme to TFI in the 90’s – the main credits by Dr Who man Ron Grainer who’d already established his credentials with his score for ’Maigret’ was no slouch in the memorable tune department turning his hand to ’to sir with love’ and later returning to TV with the haunting ’tales of the unexpected’ theme, that said the incidental work here is supplied by Albert Elms responsible for ’the champions’ and a large part of ’the prisoner’. again housed in full colour eyed catching sleeves this set comprises of 14 tracks – apparently very limited…….
Hailing from Melbourne and just out via the psyche ward imprint – whose name alone is deserving of it being put on your watch list for future reference is the debuting platter from hotly tipped psych lords the grand rapids. Entitled ‘great shakes’ we’ve only had time to dart around it quickly for listening impression but can say with hand on heart that this is ripe for further investigation by those of loving your sounds stratospherically widescreen and bliss kissed in fuzzy vapour trails and certainly something that ought to appeal to admirers of everything from the hookworms, black angels and psychic ills and all deemed to be crucial in between. That said two cuts that caught our attention and ought to be considered main attractions are the spectral ‘Julia now…’ and ‘head on’ – the former lush in crystalline riff opines that very much tailgate a classic Will Bunnymen craft albeit here shimmered in the stately glow of the Church and parched in a glacial hollowing that oozes ‘pornography’ era Cure classicism. As to the frankly heart stopping grandeur of the shade adorned ‘head on’ – stunningly poised with an elegant after burn and sounding not unlike a super chilled Catherine Wheel sharing studio space with a crest fallen and smoked out Ride with its siren-esque stratospheric sun bursts and pedal effect euphoria I’m of a mind to dig out my old ultra vivid scene platters for favourable comparison. Great sleeve to – what more could a psych fried space cadet ask for. http://www.thegrandrapids666.bandcamp.comalbum/great-shakes
Another release we are planning to nab next time we venture the probe record emporium is a by all accounts nifty sounding 7 inch coming out of the finders keepers imprint. As ever ridiculously limited in nature ‘music from mathematics Volume 1’ by Max Matthews is another incredible find by the FK crew, rescued from obscurity these recordings were originally issued in the early 60’s and marked the first known computer generated sounds, curated by Bell Industries and done by way of using the latest hardware of the day – in this case the IBM 7200 with its own 32kb disposable memory, these curios first became available through decca and bell telephone laboratories and featured a showcase of futurist material by project leader Max Mathews and Bell Laboratories boffin John Robinson Pierce who as it happens appears on ‘music from mathematics Volume 2. Pierce was a major force in the development of Telstar 1 – a communications satellite – more melodically grounded that the available Mathews sound clip ‘five against seven random cannon‘ might well prove to be of interest to those among you who subscribed to Raymond Scott’s ’soothing sounds for baby’.
Audio clips here –
First of all apologies to all interested parties for the delay with getting around to this, truth is we played it on day of receipt way back many, many weeks ago then mislaid the sleeve, then the CD and eventually the press release. Its discovery was only sealed when a scouting party was sent forth to track down a blevin blectum CD, which you might be happy to hear or might not as the case may be we found incidentally – we’ll see when it turns up in this missive later on. Any way enough blathering, the latest opus from Messrs Cross an Pyne better known to the taste making scene-sters as Kellar with their fourth full length ’four square cipher’. as ever ridiculously limited in nature – this one just 50 copies all of which I’m hoping have now flown the coup and are currently receiving due care, love and attention on a deserving turntable in some trendy pad – I’ve said it before that the foolproof projects back catalogue is sure to be in years to come one of those imprints talked off in hushed reverential tones by record collectors and future hipsters. ‘four square cipher’ sees the duo expanding their repertoire to shape shifting effect drawing to their core a vast multi weaved melodic tapestry which in turn fuses elements of psych, dub, prog, jazz, art pop (’trading 5 for 7‘ springs to mind – could be any number of Henry Cow misfits here tinkering to a lost Stockhausen score), kraut and Acid Mothers liker freeform strangeness – as on ‘commelina’ – with the only common denominator being that you the listener are constantly caught out hopping on your back foot. ‘blistered bones’ opens the account, a milky montage of mind wiring earth beat drizzled dub dream weaves all aglow in the subtle spray of psych trimmings give matters a hitherto Sun Ra grounding albeit as though channelling this heat. The same abstract melodic effect is again encountered on ’not a common practice’ though here as though hoodwinked from spy mission tape recording of a studio session performed by a ’flowers of romance’ era PIL and only recently re-discovered and then passed to those Gnod dudes to commit all manner of weirdness on. For those among you ever left lying awake at night troubled by questions such as what might a king crimson and hawkwind love in sound like might be best to fast track to ‘hysteresis’ a hulking Balkan grooved cosmic cruiser. ’four square cipher’ shapes up as a master class in old school cosmic boogie that’s more than enough of a match for the days current lunar brigade, this honey amassing in intensity like a supernova Mugstar replete with built in hyper drive motors. All said it the monumental ’bellfounder’s craft’ that seals our vote as the sets best moment, with its intricate micro sound detailing and panoramic vision, there’s a kind of hollowed hymnal classicism attaching here, dislocated and scraping church keys underpinned by some epic percussive beats instil a Delia led White Noise astuteness to proceedings. Comfortingly wired, impish and irregular sore thumbs – bless ‘em.
Next up a quick mention for two releases that have snagged our earlobes in the last hour or so. First up Nanaki who are essentially Postcode-r Mikie Daugherty. First new material by Nanaki since their debuting full length way back in 2003 or thereabouts recorded Autumn time last year while Postcode where breaking in a new drummer. ‘after light’ be the EP’s name a five track post rocking sortie housed in a Grace Turner decorated sleeve and from it ‘regretfully, I must decline your invitation’ got the nod over the attractively titled ‘fuck spotify, one of the sets more sedate selections – well we say sedate – it does kick into life at 1.50 mark. that said first and foremost this babe ought to appeal to admirers of san Lorenzo, the workhouse and billy mahonie in its initial moments with its delicately mournful tonalities spearing the opening moments with a disconsolate sigh before of course the despatch of the aforementioned sea change wherein everything gets – shall we say – a little animated with the arrival of some nifty swagger toned chugging riffola which had us here reaching rather smartly for our husker du platters to reconnect with our lost younger self. And as we’ve already hinted at ‘fuck spotify’ we may as well mention the blighter – all killer ripped riffs you could imagine back dropping some bleakly gritty noir dark detective flick and veering ever so closely in to the more astute visceral sound spectrums of the likes of the grails and explosions in the sky. As an added bonus purchase the CD and aside a plethora of inserts you get an additional 6 nanaki cuts unavailable elsewhere along with a nifty 24 track small bear imprint sampler for gratis. More small bear groove to come I suspect later this missive.
Many thanks in advance to Mark Refoy who got in touch from his sick bed whereupon he‘s currently suffering a seasonal cold, hopefully a copy of the last Slipstream album ’stereo brain / mono heart’ incidentally out via mind expansion is winging our way through the postal system. We suspect such communications where pre-empted by our mentioning of that killer Ultrasound digital only seasonal soiree last missive out which if you haven’t heard yet can we just say you are missing a sizeable trick. Of course Slipstream are no strangers to these missives of old, blessed with a pedigree whose roots ca be traced to spiritualized and spacemen 3 they released the killer ’AEIOU’ a few years back to much swooning around these here parts while 2003’s ’transcendental’ set proved to be a constant turntable hugger upon its release. So while we wait for our prized copy of ’stereo brain / mono heart’ we couldn’t resist a little peak at it on their band camp page. A quick earful had us cooing at ’aurora’ mainly for the fact that its possessed of some of the finest slices of euphoric feel good crystalline riffola this side of Will Bunnymen which if we didn’t know any better we‘d say it had been swept off the cutting room floor from the studio sessions for the Bunnies form returning ‘flowers’ album. http://www.fuxa1.bandcamp.com/album/stereo-brain-mono-heart
Now this is beautifully chilling, prized from an imminent ‘the grey malkin’ set for reverb worship this is the hare and the moon, info alas is a little sketchy at the moment but we are suspecting that this comes in limited cassette and cd variations and may well prove to be the first truly awe inspiring release of the new year. In short the best thing we’ve heard, matched in the haunting after glow and exquisitely detailed timeless weird folk craft that oozes through the very being of the much adored Preterite and trimmed with the mercurial weave of the much missed Dead can dance albeit as though on location in some creepy early 70’s Brit folk horror. Elements of Komeda waft through the ether, deadheaded lullabies usher their dark disturbia whilst an eerie procession of monastic chants and siren-esque shivers engage upon a witching hour dance. Add to the mix guest appearance by sol invictus and god’s little Eskimo types and you have yourself a spectral spook folk sonic séance of some measure.
Culled from the forthcoming ‘dot to dot’ full length via saint marie by dream pop duo lillies on mars this is the demurring ’dream of bees’ – a sumptuous star gazed cosmic symphony shimmered in lilting ethereal mirages and aglow in celestial ghost lights which by our reckoning purrs and pirouettes as though the outer post intersection point where the lunar lounge pop of Stereolab embraces the outer worldly visitations of a chilled and playful Broadcast. Nuff said.
What first appears clipped in eerie enchantment and willowy wonder soon blossoms and grows to something warming, welcoming and hitherto arrested in jubilant garlands. Spied on an imminent joint musical enterprise with the Rowan Amber Mill entitled ‘the book of the lost’ we here have been much smitten by the delight that is Emily Jones’ ‘marsh thing’. a collection that celebrates Brit folk horror and lost TV strangeness from another age, this beautified weird folk posy is trimmed from the same cloth that marked out the exquisite craft of the likes of Owl Service and Men An Tol for ’marsh thing’ waltzes like a ghostly apparition, part ’wicker man’ part ’witchfinder general’ it spell casts a pastoral procession of forgotten harvest village fayres and ghostly may day macabre and bow ties them to a floral madrigal that spirits away seductively to a timeless tapestry delicately weaved by the likes of Paul Roland, Bevis Frond, Robert Wyatt and porcupine tree. We will, rest assured, attempt to snare a copy for full review. http://www.rowanambermill.bandcamp.com
Okay yes I know its been out for ages, but hey I thought Haruko went into permanent hibernation after releasing the absolutely divine ‘wild geese’ via bracken a few years back. For the note takers and taste makers among you bracken was in fact the imprint from which fruits de mer rose – so in short you can be rest assured it has the same classically eared pedigree about it enviable back catalogue. Now what disturbs me here is that aside stumbling across ’feathers and driftwood’ all of which have considerably improved not only our listening space but has seen fit to cheer us up no end we’ve also noted with a sense of depressing embarrassment another EP of hers issued way back in 2011 entitled ’bird in the snow’. For the uninitiated Haruko is German based musician Susanna Stanglow, the adopted non de plume essentially translating as ’spring child’ is an apt moniker for one so dreamily cosy toed amid a dozing woodland landscape lilted in demurring folk flurries and the serene bathing of birdsong. As mentioned in a previous write up, Ms Stanglow very much traverses a spectral medium frequented by Lisa O Piu, each traced upon an unworldly and shy eyed ability to entrance and enchant and both executing their craft with such sparse application that your inclined to believe you’ve been visited upon by some lovelorn spectre. As to ’feathers and driftwood’ an alluring fragile collection of intimacy and shy eyed wonder awaits, that said on initial listens it’s the sets parting moment ’we’ll be birds’ that gave our hearts a cause to skip and flutter, tenderly yearning and reflective, lovingly caressed in forest fairy dust and Oriental lullaby motifs all trimmed in twinkling chimes, quite spectral and spellbinding if you ask me and dare I say something that ought to appeal to lovers and admirers of the much missed Anna Kashfi. Further investigation is thoroughly recommended. http://www.harukomusic.bandcamp.comalbum/feathers-driftwood
Admired around these here parts, Paul Roland returns to the fray with a new album ‘Hexen’. of course regular readers of these musings will be well versed with the work of Mr Roland, a darkening fairy tale world steeped in Poe, Carroll and Lear landscapes etched in Victoriana gothicka, witching tales and Penny dreadful chills all serviced by an eerie macabre melodica. ’hexen’ is essentially a soundtrack inspired by the 1922 silent gothic horror film ’haxan’ (the keen eared among you with exquisite listening tastes may recall Bronnt Industries Kapital doing something similar via their 2008 release for static caravan), while we try to nab review copies here’s a montage of what to expect………
Been a little to quiet on the Alrealon imprint front for our liking in recent times so it comes as a bit of treat to find that the label is finally waking from hibernation with a hive of activity the first of which seeing John 3:16’s ‘God is Light’ being given a visual makeover by video artist Jan Swinburne which, not that we needed any excuse, gives us the chance to flavour these musings with a spot of tasty apocalyptic industrial dub. Originally appearing on ’the pursuit of salvation’ split with Fluid, ’God is Light’ which, as I rightly recall, resulted in favourable words here, snake charms itself out of a hazy and bonged out Spacemen 3 mist to unfurl into a mind warping slab of Arabesque transcendentalism like some Godspeed drift wind summoning the ancients to an end of days call to arms……..
From the same ‘the pursuit of salvation‘ sessions ‘john 3:16 and fluid’s collaboration ‘guardian’ appears on a mix tape put together by – I think – Spreaker – near enough two hours worth of quality drone / ambience sounds capes which among the picking some choice cuts from foot village – whose ‘1600 dolla bill’ is a truly fractured affair that sounds not unlike a freeform austere earth beat happening gathering together an as were Lunch meets SPK /Xmal Deutschland sonic summit meeting – the excellently titled and impishly named Sly and the Family Drone whose ‘grey meat’ is as creepy and strange a thing as you’ll find on this collection which if we didn’t know better would say was the insect explosion doing bad things with my cell phone is better than your cell phone. Familiar to long time observers of these musings are the Death Cinematic and wrekmeister harmonies, the former mellowed and gracefully forlorn trading a trembling turn of tuneage destined to play havoc with the heartstrings – reference wise think of a post feedback shrilled flying saucer attack – while the latter’s ‘you’ve always meant so much to me’ is pretty much sculptured in the same kind of stilled elegance as appears to grace the grooves of David A Jaycock releases these days. Best moment by far Rasplyn’s ‘black clouds’ – mentioned previously in despatches – this gorgeously haunting floral posy manages to disturb and delight with equal measure to seductively weave together a bewitching forest fantasia inscribed and informed by a gathering of greats such as moondog, Bernard Hermann and Vernon Elliott. http://www.spreaker.com/user/earltimes/seven_8
Next up from Alrealon something rather special by [owt kri]. Via the labels band camp page and coming prized from a forthcoming set ‘the new seed’ two preview cuts are there to entice – title track ‘the new seed’ – tenderly bruised and sighed in noir trimmed neo classicism it ought to appeal first time of asking to admiring subscribers of the hibernate imprint arrested as it is as though a genteel cosmic symphony to mark the advent of a new lunar dawn. Stilled in a more sombre and melancholic aspect the snow globed like ’the sirens call’ comes swathed in space drift atmospherics moulded upon the delicate shimmer of oceanic arcs and hypnotic pulsar motifs amid which leviathan opines transmit across the never ending celestial divides.
Still staying with Alrealon barring a celebratory compilation marking their 5th anniversary entitled ‘frequencies of existence’ for which release info is still under wraps there’s the imminent visitation to turntables of a full length from the Use entitled ‘’what’s the Use?’. a set that promises a ‘four dimensional experience’ which I must admit we here are gearing ourselves up for notwithstanding the fact that we can scarce imagine what a four dimensional experience might entail though as the sounds emanating from the brace of sonic snapshots available here reveal, it may well have you time tripping back to an era when electronic blip core was merely the terrain of musical boffins, software scientists and sci-fi film backdrops. Not quite Baron or Carlos but rather more La Dusseldorf and Jarre, ‘hello everybody’ chatters and chuckles like some deranged Dadaist diode playfully squirreling amid a cosmic fantasia of impish future sound of London motifs wired upon a vintage tropicalia dimpled by warm digits and d_rradio here found mischievously rewiring the Moroder mainframe. Our favourite of the twin set is the hyperactive ‘halo alchemy’ a sumptuous albeit kooky lullaby mirage possessed of dissipating ‘blade runner’ accents, bowed chimes and vocoder enhanced communiqués, bafflingly beautiful. http://www.alrealonmusique.bandcamp.com/album/whats-the-use-alrn052
Should have mentioned and included this earlier, new video to accompany the [owt kri] track ‘darker sensation’ prized from ‘the new seed’ full length – is it just me or does this have a very c.81 styled clock DVA vibe about its wares with just a smidgeon of Coil…..
Immediately elevated onto our watch list after the merest of listens are a Midlands based psych pop duo by the name of Savaging Spires whose teaser ‘we could be dead (together)’ has been ruffling expectant feathers since first veering upon our wavelength via a sound cloud link. Culled from a forthcoming second full length ‘horizon’ this baby might first appear ramshackle and frayed as it weaves its way teetering through the forest mist, but listen close as the harmonies and the off balanced spectral melodies clatter and forge together like strangely alluring apparitions tuning in and out of consciousness. And something magical scratches through to the surface that’s charmingly naïve, free spirited and without borders, something that initial listens alert to recall from a lifetime away a select serving from the Constellation imprint, perhaps Set Fire to Flames maybe. But then it blossoms and changes its steer, now much like a youthful Animal Collective or perhaps the Magic Markers or maybe a stoned and loved up Bardo Pond. That said its bruising, its almost ghost like threadbare framing not to mention shy eyed nature might just have the more clued up among you entranced and quietly swooned whilst you rifle through your record collection to prize out forgotten gems by Virgin Passages. http://www.soundcloud.com/savagingspires/we-could-be-dead-together
Fairly certain we mentioned these dudes in previous dispatches a fair few missives ago, I’m suspecting our begging requests for full review copies at the times fell on stony ground. But hey we don’t hold grudges. New thing from LVLS, which if I recall rightly is text speak for loveless, ‘echoes’ comes ripped from their new EP ‘teenager’ which we are suspecting ought to be burning holes on turntables belonging to the more keen eared indie pop community about now. Sea-sawing sky spiking siren riifs, thunderous harmonies that might well see the springing up of a cottage industry at work stitching up sloganeering t-shirts and blessed with a fierce some hook hugging melodic line that’s bolted and braced down with a raging feel good chorus line that sounds like the charge of the light brigade appearing over the hill – this folks might well be the first anthem of 2014 whilst having this scribe fondly turning up Alarm and Big Country platters of old for comparable reflection. http://www.soundcloud.com/wearetheloveless/echoes
Certain to sear the top three layers of your skin without so much as breaking into a sweat, this blistering bastard is rumoured to be appearing on the dead heroes imprint some time soon wherein plans are afoot to have it stamped upon 10 inch of wax. ’giraffetermath’ is an impending four track turntable terroriser from Scouse death core metal heads Horse Bastard that scarcely touches the 2.30 ticker tape in total duration, this slavering speed gored blister bomb might not be as evil or doomed as the Nails but still packs enough aural artillery to blow speakers and eardrums alike. The cranium caning ’suppository landscapes’ opens atrocities, a frenzied no prisoners taken 200 mph pummelling recalling classic era Earache grooves notably bolt thrower while the parting ’uncles of the champion sandwich’ sounds like the bastard offspring that carcass never knew they had. Between all this there’s the 14 second toxic bomb ’polydactyl’ and the ravenous rapid fire skull drill of the 27 second ’vogon poetry’. http://www.horsebastards.bandcamp.com/album/giraffetermath
Prefer something shall we say sophisticated and murmured in seduction. Latest from the everything is chemical digital imprint is something smoking by Soft Lighting, aptly named as it happens because the lead out cut ’unborn’ is ripe for lights down nocturnal appreciation smouldered as it is in a coolly coalescing down tempo loveliness that sounds not unlike some sultry love in between No Ceremony and the Neighbourhood. Over on the flip awaits ’so close’ a sumptuous slice of subtronic lunar pop whose twinkling lovelorn lushness is steeled upon the same milky mercurial murmur that once caressed the grooves of releases bearing the name ROC upon their hide. http://www.eicvirtual7inch.bandcamp.com/album/eicv7-no-59
Much bunting hoisted aloft and good cheer in the Sunday experience listening shed at the appearance of a new pop platter from those dudes of renegade Scouse rock a hula Rob Clarke and the Wooltones. Having already been the cause of swooning fits not just once but twice with both ‘are you wool toned’ and ‘the maxi single’ hugging the turntable upon release, the blighters achieve something of a rare feat in these pages by the delivery of a third helping of dandified dansette grooviness. ’the brown single’ promises a rethinking of the concept album model here shoehorned into 8 finite minutes of bluesy boogaloo, but hey you don’t want to get tirelessly drawn into old fangled distractions that’s for muso bores and prog heads who happily yawn their way through evenings in the avoid at all costs corner of the snug in your chosen local, hell we’ll be talking about what strings they use next and what key they are tuned to. Happily we are made of sterner stuff, though on repeat listens I’m fairly certain we are missing an impish trick or two. Five tracks feature on ‘the brown single‘ well four if you discount the ‘interlude‘ or two if you chose to overlook ‘at the shop‘ and ‘butter slices‘ – both clocking in respectively at 57 and 36 seconds, the former a kind of mischievous slice of Rutles meets Monty Python nonsense with the latter being what sounds like the opening gamut of some big screen cliff hanging epic, either that or the painfully slow trudge of an infamous trade description deceiving train carriage embarking on an endless and mirthless passage from Liverpool to West Kirby. And so if our calculations are right we be left with just two tracks – both damn fine at that for these darlings come swaggering in the kind of authentic smoking cool 60’s apparel that suggests they’ve just sauntered from out of the back way of a magical shop through some kind of a time portal, first up the psych pop silvered ’butter’ is sumptuously honey glazed in a shit faced tab toking aura so laid back its almost comatose, admirers of a youthful Of Arrowe Hill ought to be on high alert given this babe uncoils like some darkly wrapped peculiar paisley pop brew replete with hushed harmonies, snaking riffola and fried lysergic motifs, as though those OAH imps are at large re-branding their trademark want and applying a freakish makeover on the mop tops ‘revolver’. well to cool and sassy for its own good ’our business’ is your slinky Brit popped slab of ultra 60’s groove-a-rama, all smouldered in fuzzed out flurries, harking Hammonds and psychedelicised murmurs in short if we didn’t know better we have it nailed down as a shimmer toned purring T-Rexian Monkees babe. Essential – like you hadn‘t already guessed. http://www.robclarkeandthewooltones.bandcamp.com/album/the-brown-single
Foolishly missed this, released just before the seasonal silly season, this little lovely was posted up by Antonymes with the aim of rustling up much needed funds for the hospice of the good sheperd in Backford, chester. ‘carol of the drum’ is your typically murmured slice of neo classicism on this occasion sweetly serenaded in snowy showers and lilted by a desirably demurring lullaby motif that creak and coo with expectant wide eyed majesty, utterly disarming in short. http://www.antonymes.bandcamp.com/releases
Oh yes just what the bad boogie doctor ordered, again spotted on another band camp trawl we upturned another criminally cool cassette only imprint who go by the name fleeting youth records and who hail from Austin, Texas. Anyhow these blighters have a handful of well cool cassettes currently doing bad things on tape recording decks not least a forthcoming beauty from Slippertrails who I’m suspecting before too long may well get to being your new favourite beat pop combo. Ultra limited to just 50 copies all coming housed in an eye catching salmon pink casing ’there’s a disturbing trend’ is the debuting 9 track album from the aforementioned Slippertrails, alas only three preview cuts available on this here band camp but beauties they be for the Slippertrails groove to a beaten around the edges and slacker toned tuneage which for instance per ’I will peel you open’ sounds not unlike a totally stoned Evan Dando fronting up an equally wired and out of it Sweet Apple replete with angular riff thugs and emerging from a primordial swamp like something that ought to be played at 45rpm being impishly slowed to bonged out misfit proportions at 33rpm. The wiring warped out twisted blues of ’walk’ calls to mind the gibson brothers being rephrased by a wired early career Pavement clearly overdosing on a previous nights listening to Pere Ubu prime platters while best of the bunch ’hip new jerk’ is an uber fucked up head clash between Jad Fair and Dinosaur Jnr spiked with detuned harmonies, freakily fried riffmanship and a general air of too cool for this attitude. Classy. http://www.fleetingyouthrecords.bandcamp.com/album/slippertrails-theres-a-disturbing-trend
Those of you with reasonably good recall may well remember us cooing over a 10 inch platter by Goggle A that’s currently getting a limited airing on the Green Cookie imprint, seems this garage surf twang loving label have just released a bit of a corker in the guise of an album by Bob Urh and the Bare Bones entitled ’hoodoo garage’. as an added bonus the set is available as a free download for today only – which if your reading this next week was alas 8th January 2014. We’ve had a quick earful of said set and suggest your missing a trick if you don’t take them up on their offer not least because ’pretending’ has a seriously smoked lo-fi aura as though a would be Simon Joyner was channelling some strangely woozy sonic reaction brought on by a collective mixing of Velvet Underground, mid 70’s Stones and Suicide types into a punch drunk lysergic love note that shuffles and stumbles sweetly as though fractured and left a little worse for wear having been refracted through the Bordellos viewfinder. Saying that we here are much smitten by the frayed sly strut blues rumble of ’graveyard shift’ which had us calling to mind an out of it Modern Lovers duelling with Television – don’t get any cooler than that pop kids. http://www.greencookierecords.bandcamp.com/album/hoodoo-garage-cd
You might have to bear with us on this one for a day or three for not only have we mislaid the CD of the album, we’ve lost sight of the accompanying press release and most bewilderingly have managed to somehow lose an email packed with all manner of useful gubbins such as helpful information, star quotes and various other wordy notations cobbled together in order to ignite your interest. Not that interest need igniting once you’ve fallen headlong and mesmerised by the audacious soft sultriness of ‘protagonist’. prized from their self titled full length – just out via edition, Slowly Rolling Camera are in essence a smoking cool jazz fusion collective, and before you all go off in search of a beard to stroke lets just qualify that with a little more padding. Label descriptors mention portishead and the cinematic orchestra as clear reference markers, but there’s something deeper and more terra-formic than that at work here. True ’protagonist’ is succulently dusted in the kind of dark amorphous down tempo trip hop glamour that allured the grooves of those that blossomed from out of the 90’s Bristol scene but add to that the fluidity of Roni Size’s ’new forms’ and the progressive ambience of Morcheeba not to mention the creative shape shifting genre bending spirit of Massive Attack and you have something indelibly crafted with its ear at the high end of the progressive spectrum and cultured in a lights lowered sophisticat aura whose roots trace right back to Miles Davis.
<br /><a href=”http://www.muzu.tv/slowly-rolling-camera/protagonist-music-video/2029828/”>Slowly Rolling Camera – Protagonist</a> on <a href=”http://www.muzu.tv/”>MUZU.TV</a>.
A much welcomed mail message from Tom of Tulipomania alerting us to an as yet untitled new full length currently undergoing the application of a finishing top coat in the studio, a set of course eagerly anticipated around these here parts and from which emerges the enigmatic and slightly haunting ‘hold on’. much darker and dare we say more playful than what we’ve come to expect of the Tulipomania dudes of old. Clipped in a sumptuously sinister and eerie casing, ‘hold on’ prowls precariously as though wired upon a paranoiac backdrop imagined by David Lynch and decorated in a noir flashing that hints and echoes to the cinematic sounds capes sculptured by a certain John Barry.
Another release which by the miracles of stupidity and ineptitude we’ve managed to mislay the press release about is something new from Balthazar Delicado. ‘scream’ be the track its due soon from rag picker records and features a collective headed up by bombers man David Duell. Now if memory serves rights the wordy thing that we’ve mislaid had talk of this un channelling the spirit of Springsteen and the Fall, ahem – a little wide off the mark as far as our ears can detect however what we can say is that this is one of those slow to grow call to arms nuggets framed with the kind of abruptly pointed vocal delivery that much recalls Simple Kid’s ‘the road’ all wrapped around a gorgeously hypnotic and lolloping rustic underpin that comes serviced by woozy sepia drizzled choral waveforms, a quite tasty albeit fractured slice of wonky pop. http://www.soundcloud.com/balthazardelicado
More mix tape sampler set madness this time from the Armellodie imprint, a seventeen track window shopping guide to the essential grooves tripping out of this much touted and critically acclaimed label. Now we must admit that apologies are due to these dudes – we’ve just spied at least two releases of theirs that haplessly got lost in the pre seasonal pile up so as recompense we’ll rifle through this nifty gathering pulling out the essential listening moments – and there are plenty of those I can tell you. In short a 17 track window shopping peruse of the finest shots of indie pop in record world, the account opening with pure conjecture’s sweetly sleepy exotica pop ’I just want you to love me’ which comes blessed in the same kind of hazy seafaring idyllic south pacific sway that graced platters by J Xaverre and Toshack Highway in years long past. Altogether proving to be a differing beast is the razor sharp gruff grizzled assault of the Galoshins whose ’bleeps’ kicks out like some manic garage gnarled secret meeting of a ’beasts’ era Sex Gang Children and the Sinatras with a healthy side serving of the Fire Engines. Surely the pride of the Armellodie pack the warping and wired Saint Max and the Fanatics who in an early missive blew us away with this track, ’afraid of love’ shudders and shimmers like a prime time Buzzcockian rumble audaciously switching step from moments of Violent Femmes like smokiness to razor like dementia at the blink of an eye. I’m certain we’ve had an email recently reporting of a full length platter from Appletop, so while we root that out and get waxing lyrically ’Johnny’s theme’ has something of the Faces about its mellowed wares purring as it does to the kind of power pop murmur more associated with Moviola. Those much loving of their sounds fog bound and seemingly brewed in the overhang shade of a quiet mountain side might do well to swoon thoughtfully to the timeless country folk shanty that is thirty pounds of bones’ adorably tranquil ’the ballad of Cootehill’ and do we detect something of a Death Cab for Cutie persona about ’if you would just try a bit harder’ by the Scottish Enlightenment while the progressive math rock axis to which gastric bands ’brad shitt’ sits probably owes as much to Crimson and Henry Cow as it does to Fontanelle. Sticking with intricate fretwork and noodling math gouged art pop groove though here reframed in a pulsing new wave throb kill the captain stump up ’the trial’ a kind of swaggering strut honed XTC. I’m certain that we’ve given up space for the Super Adventure Club in recent times and if we haven’t then we’ll admit a trick has been missed, ‘9 times’ is a hot wired jamboree of scalding riff rupturing pop that draws heavily on the alt prog alignment of the Cardiacs in so much as cutting irregularly acute rhythmic shapes and welding them to a volcanic agit pop meltdown grooving. In sharp contrast Cuddly Shark are a tamer affair by turn ’broken arm’ provides a strangely off kilter experience that sits between casually slacker and porch reclined as though birthed out of drinking session between the soft parade and a young pavement. Conor Mason breezes in with ’a picture of farewell’ all gorgeously inscribed with a curious though deeply alluring melancholic etching which had us in mind of a weepy and introspective J Xaverre getting a sympathetic arm around the shoulder from Another Sunny Day. One of the collections high lights comes in the shape something beginning with l whose ’younger thoughts’ shimmers bruisingly to a most beautiful Brontean canter that surrendered and sleepily sighed in the kind of arresting ache that occasionally troubled the tender tones of Derrero. As you’d rightly imagine from a title like ’a military farewell’, the douglas firs do indeed turn in a celebrated campfire cutie though what you probably weren’t expecting was the faded regale of ’glory glory Hallelujah’ drifting through the gun smoke haze and sumptuously graced in a warming hymnal vibe. In a similar vein you’d be forgiven for thinking that Le Reno Amps hailed from the deep south Americas for their impeccable grasp of old school Americana is simply exquisite, they in fact hail from Scotland and ’north and south’ is a smoking slab of prairie pop. Am I the only person ho thinks the start of ’tell the girl’ kicks in like a new wave Elvis Costello chart hit of the late 70’s – my money’s on ’radio radio’ – that said its Costello aided and abetted by the Rezillos – anyway whatever the case this babe comes from the excellently named Chris Devotion and the Expectations a rumbling strut gouged slab of frenzied power popping beat grooved hysteria – and damn fine at that. Those among you of weak and frail disposition will do well to avoid the tortured ache of trapped mice’s ’dance while winter cries’ – despaired, devastated and demurred with a blossoming albeit brief moment of radiance which kicks in at the 3 minute mark and then hastily retreats stage left – admirers of Lupen Crook will warm to this immediately. Rounding up matters and much adored around these here parts, the Hazey Janes shuffle in with the effervescently lolloping autumnal croon of the sprightly and spirited ’the darkness ends’ which we must admit had us here a tad fondly recalling of the World Party albeit shimmying the night away with an upbeat and cheer some Go Betweens. All said an essential free to download party pack.
While we were checking out the Human Colonies we happened across a link inviting us to visit the sound cloud world of pinkshinyultrablast who as it happens hail from Russia and appear to be flying the flag for that countries My Bloody Valentine fan club. Oodles upon oodles of sumptuous stratospheric Soviet shoe gaze to be found here and after quickly docking and checking in at the wares on offer we must admit to being mildly smitten with ‘deer land’ which comes sumptuously haloed in all manner of effects laden sugar rushes and vapour trailing effervescence which might just prove to be an ear candy cosmic pop treat for those of you whose hearts skip a beat to the pulsar purr of dead leaf echo and sky wave. http://www.soundcloud.com/pinkshinyultrablast
Frankly the dogs doo dahs, so smitten by this that we’ve been in frenzied rushes and blushes hitting the repeat
button, new thing from the home of effects laden dream purred pop Club AC30 comes a debuting platter from Australian space cadets Flyying Colours. Pressed up on 12 inches of heavy duty blue wax and due to enter stereophonic orbit sometime March ‘wavy gravy’ – jeez I was sold on the title alone – is your riff rupturing mind warping one way ticket to a cosmic high, a sumptuous lunar love in festooned in MBV presets all lovingly soaked in strut cruised coos and sugar spun shoe gazed vapour trails that arrive allured and hallowed in radiating bubble grooved bliss kisses. Quite adorable if you ask me.
Frankly the dogs doo dahs, so smitten by this that we’ve been in frenzied rushes and blushes hitting the repeat
Nothing quite gets the pulses racing around these here parts than news reaching us of a new pop platter from the immensely wonderful Shonen Knife, the Osaka based trios blend of bubble grooved three chord twisterella fused of 50’s ram-a-lama teen pop and buzz sawed candy kissed punk boog-a-loo pitched as were as though the result of an illicit back alley bunk up between the Ramones and the Shangri La’s stirred notable affection from the late Kurt Cobain. Ad while it would be true to say that they no doubt have guitar strings older than most of the bands they share the boards with these days, these imps still pack enough punch you out pop smarties to tease and twist you around their little finger to leave you breathlessly wide eyed affectionately purring for more whilst dolling out the occasional strut gouged clip around the ear. Anyhow 20th album ‘overdrive’ is due to land shortly – April to be precise – via damnably – all accompanied by a 15 date tour of these isles in May. Alas no teaser cuts from the album as yet though here’s something a little tasty from the ‘yellow loveless’ compilation which judging by things appears to be a gathering of Japanese talent putting a unique spin on MBV’s classic ‘loveless’ set – and so enough chit chat here’s Shonen Knife coolly applying a decidedly frisky and summer shone Bacharach and David styled 50’s shu-bop sherbet to Shields’ and Co’s ‘when you sleep’….. http://www.soundcloud.com/damnably/shonen-knife-when-you-sleep
I know, I know – we’ve grumbled aplenty in previous despatches promising not to give over word space in reviewing releases tripping out of the Too Pure monthly singles club shed mainly because of the fact that the blighters never send promos or answer polite email requests for said items. And while we are normally resilient nay immovable in our intentions once said knives drawn utterances are put into process truth is the blighters keep knocking out melodic corkers that quite frankly we just can’t resist. Now blame it on the fact that for the last few weeks we’ve managed to gather together all the cassettes we own into one place and have a long last started the long arduous process of digitising said artefacts, not I hasten to add an easy enterprise to undertake given there are some 3,000 plus items, aside cheering to old Peel shows, swooning to a thought lost stash of the much missed and painfully underrated and oft overlooked ’mixing it’ shows hosted by Messrs Sandall and Russell until the former mentioned sadly passed away losing his battle to cancer, we’ve been reliving the early 90’s courtesy of Radcliffe and Lard in their pre celebrity days as presenters of radio 5’s ’hit the north’. its mainly due to this that perhaps you might want to excuse the fact that we here do detect something of the Paris Angels undergoing what can be best described as a head on rush with the much missed and dare we say adored World of Twist within the grooves of Spires’ damn fine ’Candy Flip’. cutting their teeth sharing stage space with the likes of toy, hookworms and widowspeak, this NY based combo are set to release their debuting 7 inch via too pure wherein it’ll come pressed up on limited quantities of red wax. ’candy flip’ is a swoon draped soft psych trimmed slice of head expanding kaleidoscopic pop coolly smoked in arabesque accents, bliss kissed fuzzy shimmers all bleached in a gorgeously haze draize out of it feel good bliss dipped sereneness that by rights ought to bottled up and sold over the counter as a prescriptive cure for the winter blues. Nuff said. http://www.soundcloud.com/too-pure-singles-club/spires-candy-flip
Now unless we’ve suffered a bang on the head that we weren’t previously aware of which has rendered everything we hear to sound as though its 1982 again then we have serious issues manifesting not least in the guise of a debuting platter from post rockers dot legacy who according to an email from polymath PR hail from somewhere in France. Now as said bangs on the head especially those of which your unaware of as in this case have had our normally trusted radar picking up the kind of pre goth / post punk / positive punk or whatever ill formed nonsense generic tag that the musical rags of the day – NME, Melody Maker and Record Mirror – deemed an office wheeze to fire off that particular week – note at this juncture our failing to handicap Sounds in said list mainly for the fact that instead of the unrelenting pursuit of the populist vote the Zounds crew pursued a twin pronged celebrated niche in covering just the kind of stuff that no one wanted to read about or else catered for musical tribes to which junior school attendees where barred. And so stepping off the high horse back to dot legacy who I must admit had us initially imagining the resulting work of some tribal gathering of Sex Gang Children, Death Cult / Getting the Fear and Theatre of Hate types, that said all those first impressions were soon wiped clean from memory – applied with some arpeggios at its intro which soon ruptures in a most maniacal way to spike, spurt and settle into a stratospheric loud / quiet dynamic that seesaws between the serene and the seismic to assume an arse kicking panoramic sound replete with skull drilling noodles set ablaze by flashes of spacey wooziness and frantic surges of out there bearded beatnik hysteria. An absolute head caning cut in short which incidentally goes by the name of ‘kennedy‘. http://www.soundcloud.com/tom-brumpton-pr/dot-legacy-kennedy
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As ever take care of yourselves…..xx