Tales from the Attic
Revolutions of a 45 and 33 kind….
And so welcome back to another wordy journey into the world of wax, this will be the first of two quickly drilled missives, another is due for parking by the weekends fall with another to follow next week – there will be a few treats and surprises not least a stack of trensmat goodies, some more cardinal fuzz grooves, a heads up on a new bordellos EP that promises to a tribute to St Julian of Cope of which Brian Bordello comments ‘is bonkers‘, some Beau, Preterite and stacks of Roadside Picnic weirdness…..and more……
After that its heads down for what we hope will be an extended RSD14 soiree, your hapless chairman will of course be manning the door at Probe records – an avant garde bouncer as one amusing record buying punter called me last year. Anyhow while we are on the subject of RSD or Record Store Day we are preparing goody bags for the event, so any willing contributions such as records, CD’s, flyers, badges, posters or whatever that your prepared to donate then please get in touch via the usual channels – we can say that so far we’ve had offers from the bordellos, presentsforsally, Dalmatian rex and fruits de mer the latter of whom are pressing up special promos of their summer releases.
And so with all that gubbins the records…..
Broken hands, stuart turner and the flat earth, theatre royal, little racer, lantlos, jonas Reinhardt, dornenreich, Lapland, pas musique, sleep yard, Camilla sparksss, kishi bashi, fujiya and miyagi, damien olsen, christy and Emily, rasplyn, life, matt berry, of montreal, xiu xiu, Saturday sounds good to me, ovo, dodo, octopus syng, strange turn, raining leaf, deer god, statiq cradle, ragged barracudas, the Tuesday club, horse party, spc eco, melmoth the wanderer, Benjamin schoos and laeitia sadier, fish police, death by unga bunga, circuit diagram, joanna serrat, siouxsie and the banshees, the nightingales
Already heavily play listed by the more in tune platter players of BBC Radio 1 (didn’t they used to be the nations favourite) and fresh from a support appearance on the circus that was the Stones recent Hyde Park, the Broken Hands are currently packing bags and sorting visas in readiness for their debut SXSW showcase. In the meantime to satiate the home crowds missing them they’ve just released ’no one left to meet’ – a rabid slab of stoned out beatnik rock-a-hula operating from out of the dark side of the psych kraut universe of the hookworms, lucid dream and wild eyes, this babe comes grizzled and gravelled in lost feral Sabbathian signatures whereupon a dirty primordial blistered blues howl peels from the grooves to smack you senseless and drag you kicking n’ screaming into the bowels of its head frazzling bad trip, damaged stuff.
As promised some well dandy grooves from those dudes of cool Vacilando68 which did comes in emailed press release form which we’ve momentary managed to mislay – rock n’ roll yea you say, alas no for I fear the rushing onset of senility. First up Stuart Turner and the Flat Earth Society who should soon be sporting proudly a new album entitled ’the art and science of phrenology’ from which this frankly infectious cut ’mindspikes’ has been peeled from to do a kind of rallying call type thing. Now unless I’m very much mistaken this is pissing roughly in the same pond as that frequented by the legendary Wild Billy Childish and sounds not unlike a seriously impish minded and caned Tom Waits recalibrating smoked out shit faced bad boogie moulded out of bourbon guzzled old early 70’s frazzled Americana blues motifs rethreaded anew. Does it for us.
Staying with Vacilando68, next up is Theatre Royal who many of you ought to recall had us agog with their digitally dinked Christmas gift ’I believe in father Christmas (I don’t want socks)’ which featured a open fire gathering of friends doing vintage Spector shimmies for your seasonal delight. Now boasting a shortly to be released album ’we don’t know where we are’ – up pops ’doubt’ to break hearts and have you feeling a tad distressed and tearful. Cut from the kind of teen angst bubblegum pop that so frequented pop’s golden age of sound – the 50’s in case your scratching your heads, this murmured honey comes coiled irresistibly in a softly yearned glow the type of which might well attract fond and admiring glances from those recalling the earlier output of your kitchenware type from the early 80’s.
One of those love on first hearing moments, I do believe we are quite smitten with this, new pop platter from Brooklyn’s Little Racer here fashioned on loved up grooves pressed by the highly thought of young and lost club imprint. Six cuts feature on this quite adorable set with ‘fake French’ heading up the charge and slyly shimmying through your defences to seduce you. Allured in mid 80’s crystalline cool New Order motifs and spiked with the kind of affectionate swagger and softly dinked strut grooving that’s set to tease the jangle chime fraternity of indieland into uncontrollable swooning fits leaving this pop smartie packed infectious cutie to radiate amid showers of sun peeled jubilance. Alas no sound links with which to regale you with though we will try to secure finished copes for future full review in the mean time here’s a video to accompany track #3 from the EP – ’Vanessa’ which we ought to say sounds not unlike the Stone Roses ‘I wanna be adored’……
Here’s something very special from the Constellation Tatsu imprint by Jonas Reinhardt, a six track cosmic opus entitled ‘Ganymede’ which aside coming pressed up on limited slabs of vinyl with a massive poster to boot also finds its listening experience enhanced visually with the aiding and abetting of a DVD included in the package. Inspired by Jupiter’s primary moon Ganymede, the album imagines beneath the volcanic halos, the silicate rock formations and ice bound atmosphere’s strange life forms uncategorised by man as yet co-habiting to, as the press release succinctly puts it ’engage in a ritualistic aquatic dance’. as to the sounds found celebrating these dreaming visions of extra terrestrial life they reach back to Krautrock’s event horizon and pop’s embrace of experimental electronic modernism, ‘skeptical seventh sun’ ticks the latter’s box with some aplomb coming demurred in a wispy translucence calm to space dock with Jean Michel Jarre’s exquisitely inscribed visions of future worlds a la ‘oxygene’ and ‘equinoxe’ before voyaging inwards traversing the outer words of the inner mind for the mind morphing hypno grooved ‘a young colossus’ wherein Tangerine Dream like worlds emerge, dissipate and reform amid seas of a gaseous flotillas. ’malevolence in blue’ – incidentally our favourite track of the trio of showcased band camp excerpts is an altogether darker affair ushered by slo-mo pulsars as it precariously shimmers to navigate the desolate and deathly silent voids of Ganymede’s dark side. Future Constellation Tatsu happenings are expected from Ashan, Unicity, Les Halles and XYR.
Due for turntable damage early May and no doubt set to cause those who adore their sounds seeped in consuming sky fired atmospherics to swoon appreciably, Prophecy records are set to unleash a new long playing platter by Lantlos (their fourth) entitled ’melting sun’. described in passing as courting a sonic safe haven resting somewhere between ‘post metal and dream rock’ the band have sneaked out a teaser taster in the guise of the formidable ‘azure chimes’. a colossal post rocking monolith it is to opening to what sounds like the a motif acutely nibbled away from Death Cult’s ’ghost dance’ after which everything ruptures amid a stratospheric sonic pyrotechnic light show whose symphonic mite and appreciation of crushing and sighing mood changing arcs to sit on an aural axis lying somewhere between the growling impacts of the much missed San Lorenzo and the bitter sweet turn of the sighing and pensive signatures applied as were by a teeth bearing Workhouse. The album comes pressed up in your standard CD edition as well as limited vinyl versions and a specially packaged CD / DVD / Hardbook set.
Video goes like this…..
Staying with Prophesy a little while longer, also imminent alas though no fancy full on videos to entertain you with save for a teaser trailer, is the 8th long playing opus from Austria’s Dornenreich whose 18 year career thus far has seen them at any given point bending the generic divides to incorporate elements of ambience, neo folk and death metal into their formidable sonic artillery. Described as both ’climatic and quintessential Dornenreich’, ’freiheit’ will be the bands last album for a while as they undergo a period of transition and change. The album, due for May release schedules comes pressed on standard CD issue as well as a limited 2CD set which includes seven bonus tracks and a hardbook book with liner notes, commentaries and lyrics penned by the collective.
Something that we are holding back on while we try to nab finished copies with which to beguile our listening space is a new self titled album by Lapland coming shortly via the lights label. Already described ‘as album of the year, so far’ by the Guardian, this 10 track honey has been, I don‘t mind admitting, has been hogging the attention since rearing into earshot scarcely 30 minutes ago, despatching all manner of magic dust and lulling trimmings. As is our nature, just to be awkward, we here are particularly fond of the parting shot ’la la la’ which for lyricist purists among you goes ’la la la’ – don’t you just love it when what’s promised on the tin lid comes to fruition, that aside it’s a dreamily demurred little treasure that finds, as were, Komeda channelling the Beach Boys into some mildly woozy lysergic dipped warping West Coast lullaby, so acutely cute it destroys you.
And so back with all things Alrealon Musique related, this strange ’un by Pas Musique comes courtesy of the class war karaoke label, an imprint dedicated to promotion of experimental music and film by way of quarterly surveys which by all accounts peruse the underground to gather together audio and visual journals for those of a more enquiring disposition to sample, posting said selections on community archives. Anyhow PAS Musique find themselves the subject of attention via survey 0025, ’the astronauts wife’ from that set providing a distinctly dark, obtuse and more experimental offering than previous listening experiences, this one in fact veering upon the dark side of roadside picnic if I didn’t know better and pricked by a chilling extra terrestrial disquiet that blends glassy monochrome shimmers with solar radiation pulsars, edgy and gouged in a tensely coiled dead calm remoteness all blessed by an insanely mind melting Dadaist loop. Consider yourselves warned. The collection can be accessed via http://www.freemusicarchive.org/music/classwar_karaoke/classwar_karaoke_-_025_survey
Those fancying their ear wear a little more sedately smoked and cloudy in sophisticated hues might be minded to toddle off and seek out Sleepyard who hail from Norway (so you know instinctively its going to be class) and celebrated 20 years of togetherness with the release of the ’black sails sessions’ which includes some noteworthy guest appearances by the likes of Judy Dyble and Nik Turner. In truth we were taken and held in adoring ransom by the gorgeously exquisite and fragile twinkle toned noir lovely that is the genteel lullaby ’butterflies’ which had us in mind of an ice sculptured and slightly distracted Sakamoto in his younger days but then ‘satellite calling’ delicately emerged into earshot cocooned beautifully in all manner of beguiled enchantment and ghostly folk trembles that had us much in mind of a bruised and forlorn this mortal coil. We will try to nab full finished copies for future adoration for now though fill your boots via http://www.sleepyard.bandcamp.com
More essential listening from the anti ghost moon ray corps – you may recall us falling head over heels for the forthcoming Camilla Sparksss debut full length platter which we suggest all good home should be wish listing in order to call their own when it appears in May. Arriving ahead of that is a new cutie from Acquaintance, which alas no accompanying information with which to impart upon your good selves. Safe to say though that ‘Satellite Stream’ as brief as it might first appear, pulls together more vision, imagery and adept appreciation of old school meets modernist classicism than most of its peers stumble and hitherto miserably fail to achieve across a whole album. Appealing to both admirers of the Seahawks and their ilk and the ISAN and FortDax brethren, genteel key pirouettes wrapped in sepia trims give it a feel of a dust sprayed musical box vintage rescued from an abandoned loft, but scratch a little deeper and the seafaring motifs snoozily demur like some idyllic cosmic suite as were rephrasing the ‘treasure island’ theme and offering up a promisory note of far off exotic climes located on distant lunar outputs haloed by twin moon glows.
Just when you think you’ve just dispatched a tuneful killer cool cutie then up pop’s another. This one is coming via those yep roc dudes from Brighton based trio Fujiya and Miyagi. Ripped from their forthcoming 5th full length ‘artificial sweeteners’, ’flaws’ comes succulently back dropped to a sonic theatre owing to a Blade Runner futuristic wasteland, a chic cold wave dark disco dolly hypnotically silvered in old school monochrome electro motifs pulsing seductively while spiked by a crooked array of spidery art glued new wave riffola which all said to these ears had us recalling some kind of sound clash hybrid dreamed up by a meeting of Birdpen and Battles dudes mainlining on head shrinking minimalist Moroder melodic opiates. Utterly infectious. http://www.soundcloud.com/fujiya/flaws
Second album from Kishi Bashi looms on the horizon by the name ‘Lighght’ is being prepped for release by the joyful noise imprint, one time Of Montreal member and touring partner of Regina Spektor has it seems been busy tweaking tuneage turned in by lush garlands of sun showered effervescence as evidence perfectly on the sneaker teaser track ‘philosophize in it! Chemicalize with it!’. In short prepare for three minutes and 20 seconds of hiccupping falsettos, surrendering symphonic swoons, classically soothed seduction and a fair degree of crookedly cute impishness garnished in the youthful aural aspects of animal collective and brimming with such ecstatic euphoria and warmth that one might suspect the advent of sonic sun stroke. http://www.soundcloud.com/joyful-noise-recordings/kishi-bashi/philosophize-in/s-WbJeq
Utterly beguiling twin set imminent from Christy and Emily via big print entitled ‘two rooms’ serves to showcase two of the many varying sound styles in their sonic spectrum. Pressed up as a 7 inch offering and due for release just before RSD, these recordings feature the guest appearance of Karen Waltuch adding viola dimples to the fragile sound world of Emily Manzo and Christy Edwards. As said two tracks feature within with ‘shadow’ gently weaving into your listening space perched upon magical fairy wings to adopt a somewhat classical framing whose noir tonalities and subtle 60’s dusting appear inspired and informed by an imagined musical tryst between Satie, Morricone and Sakamoto, the melodies demurred, frail and yearning blossom with a snow falling tenderness and a romantic warmth seasoned in a vintage aura all softly beckoned by the blossoming cortege of key pirouettes and sighing violas, almost hymnal if you ask me. Over on the flip you’ll find ’railroad’ which all said is our favoured cut not least because it seductively navigates the as were dust dry mountain blues tributaries of Fahey’s frankly perfect ’Portland cement factory’ and threads through its intricate meanders the wood crafted spectre of the Smoke Fairies woozily whittling out fallen recitals spirited from an archaic Americana past. Gorgeous in short.
You might well recall us mentioning this particular cut in earlier despatches when we were falling over ourselves in adoration of the Alrealon Musique 5th birthday celebratory compilation. We understand the long awaited (and indeed hugely anticipated around these here parts) Rasplyn full length is scheduled for 2014 release. For now though an excerpt of a live reading of ‘circle round’ performed last December at Chicago’s famous empty bottle venue, a psychedelic trip of sorts which we here are still of the belief falls somewhere between the glacial curvatures of ex post facto and the noir classicism of the adored around here Preterite all seductively dissipating into Dead Can Dance demurs…..<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/83366764″>Rasplyn – Circle Round</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user10981326″>Carolyn O'Neill</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
This comes prized from a current set ‘Jeux de Salon’ by New York experimental artist Damien Olsen described by the author himself as ‘a pretty graphic piece’. Fear not those of you with fragile palettes for there’s oodles to love about ‘watsui’ especially if your already tuned into the Alrealon Musique sonic universe, for this blends dark industrial ambience, subtle dub dialects and age old mystical motifs and wires them onto a aural canvas that literally bleeds tension and portent. it’s a tension that’s made all the more choking and disquieting by the unerring stilled prowl of ancient Australasian apparitions ghosting through the macabre mystics like arid dry mistrals performing snake winding vigils upon long dead civilisations. http://www.damienolsen.bandcamp.com/track/watsui
Ready for some bracing slap you across the chops crowd surfing adrenaline groove, Hull’s bright young things Life might just have what your looking for pristinely pressed and finitely shoehorned into a fat free sub three minute grooving is this dansette damaging dandy by the name of ’money’. laced aplenty with a sterling array of ricocheting riffs, hulking hooks and the kind of euphoric melodic needlework that leaves you sighing in its wake all galvanised by a panic attacking urgency, this short shock treated cutie comes possessed of the kind of teen spirited kudos to leave the most discerning indie kid cooing in admiration in the aisles.
Plenty of Polyvinyl RSD love going on with which to tell you about. Several releases being prepped for adoration and counter store action this coming April time what with limited editions from the Dodos, Saturday looks good to me, xiu xiu and of montreal gracing the in tune vinyl emporiums. First up the Dodos have two cuts from their current ‘carriers’ set specially re-branded by magik*magik orchestra – the ‘yours truly sessions‘ comes pressed up on 1000 yellow wax 7’s. Saturday looks good to me are treated to two limited re-pressings, first of which ’love will find you’ – considered the lost album – was only available as a CD-r for one show only way back in 2002 though now proudly rediscovered and pressed on a 500 only red vinyl release. Likewise their debut album, self released and recorded on a 4 track gets a new lease of life celebrated by a 500 only blue wax pressings. Recorded at Sigur Ros’ studios Xiu Xiu’s ’unclouded sky’ featuring old American and Caribbean spirituals get a limited outing with a 1000 only cloud coloured vinyl pressing. Last up but by no means least of montreal celebrate the 10th anniversary of ’satanic panic in the attic’ with a deluxe expanded double vinyl set housed in a gatefold sleeve and featuring seven additional tracks recorded during the same album sessions – all pressed up on 2 slabs of wax one blue the other yellow. In addition there’s a limited seven inch set to do the rounds, ’jigsaw puzzle’ recorded during the ’Sylvianbriar’ sessions gets an airing backed by a alternate mix of ’triumph of disintegration’ – only 1500 all pressed on seafoam green wax. We will endeavour to prize sound links / promos from the labels PR team – in the meantime you might like to get your ear gear around the of montral single and a little something from that Xiu Xiu album…..
And so the story goes, in isolation and seeking comfort Matt Berry in suffering from a period of insomnia turned his hand to crafting out lunar lullabies inspired in part by Michael Oldfield into what would eventually become ‘music for insomniacs’. an ambient odyssey dimpled in celestial suites made up of mesmeric swathes and super chilled starry symphonies. the album due for release this May via Acid Jazz is pre-empted by a limited 7 inch release in time to celebrate RSD 2014 and sees ‘music for insomniacs Part IV’ prized from the collection and set to demur all into dreamlike states of bliss amid its grooves celestial chorals, hymnal harmonies and the silvery shimmer of at rest murmuring Moogs oscillate soothing to create something of a soundtrack for the passing into and beyond the great white light. http://www.soundcloud.com/acidjazzrecs/music-for-insomniacs-part-iv-1
Now unless our speakers and indeed our player are undergoing some kind of meltdown, emerging into our ear space is something that scowls rabidly from the very epicentre of the Magik Markers dark side. In truth you’ll not hear anything this missive that’s weirder, freakish and above all menacing. Now this gaping sonic sore comes dragged kicking and screaming from OvO’s acclaimed ‘Abisso’ set from last year, entitled ‘Tokoloshi’ it’s a feral noise nik whose initial calling card intro is so off the radar in terms of white hot sonics that its literally disintegrating, from therein it assumes something of a maddening and squalling slice of bad boogying grind of scavenged no wave rituals and wiring voodoo grooved ju-ju. A new 12 inch EP ‘Averno’ is set to cause damage whilst coinciding with a short UK tour in May that’ll see them appearing with Gnaw in Liverpool, London, Glasgow and Newcastle with a sole spot planned for Birmingham. In the meantime we’ll try to nab copies of the EP for review – for now a video……
Just a word of warning to say that there will be plenty of Mega Dodo groove action in the coming weeks with a brace of 7 inch releases from Strange Turn and a split head to head pairing label old guards Mordecai smyth and icarus peel. In addition two albums are due from Mark and the Clouds (pencilled in for June schedules) and a dandy label debut full length from Octopus Syng (in May). Long on our watch list and admired for their appearances on the recent Fruits de Mer annual as well as the labels legendary ‘keep off the grass‘ covers set. Headed up by Jaire Patari, these Finnish psychedelicists came to be in 1999 releasing their debuting full length platter for the crucially hip Nasoni imprint. Easy to see why they found safe haven on FdM given their sound shares a linking affinity with permanent clear light and those impish dudes Cranium Pie and the Earthling Society. Pressed up on a limited clear vinyl gatefold sleeved version in an edition of 250 along with the usual CD and download variants , ‘reverberating garden number 7’ is a tapestry of kaleidoscopic delights served up as an 11 course cocktail. A curiously crooked ramble through the gardens of surreal English eccentricity, this set comes sumptuously seasoned in all manner of Barrett Floyd, Tomorrow (as on the mind fried 60’s carousels that swirl hazily about ‘diamonds and emeralds’) and July seasonings that blend woozy psych, kooky prog and acid pop into a mind expanding sonic trip. A recent recall would suggest a kinship for the retro fashioning with the likes of the much missed Murmurs of Irma and Giant Paw (as especially witnessed on the kaleidoscopic powder puff pop that is ‘its not a coincidence’ which on repeats visits fractures like XTC space cadets the Dukes of the Stratosfear being made over by a particularly freakish pop orientated Wire – the Dukes incidentally hover about playing tag with a chemically enhanced Move on the warping cool of ‘thought collector‘) whilst admirers of the old school peculiar of the Soft Hearted Scientists (the pastoral madrigals within ’in the middle of nowhere’ freefall delightfully into SHS weird space) might well be adoring of their uncanny want for changing gear, vibe and direction oft in the same track to border upon something approaching a mini hallucinogenic rock opera. Prime examples of the latter are the inclusion of the set parting ’listen with moths’ – first aired courtesy of that aforementioned FdM Annual split with Mark McDowell at the tail end of last year – what first appears you standard soft folk dinked psych flutterby sortie soon blossoms and flowers into a cosmedelic head trip. The wiring trip wired mindset of Syd comes into full focus on the delightfully fraying magicalia of ’cuckoo clock mystery’ which aside running hand in hand with Barrettt’s own ’bike’ with its clock working cuckoo motifs then finds itself gloriously draped and dappled in a vivid array of fairy kissed pastorals (think Ozrics meet Circulus) which at one point go all spectral and mystic for a brief Polyphonic excursion before returning wrapped up in dream dipped rainbow flurries. Somewhere else there’s the soft ghostly 60’s shimmer of the Doors ’crystal ships’ ruminating seductively throughout the shadow lined grooves of ’you are every poem’. for us though the sets best moments come back to back with the appearance of both ’mirror of our memories’ and ‘reflections of time’ – the former a darkly woven slice of macabre 60’s pop that appears to peer into the creative though troubled psych of Brian Jones while the latter is a nightmarish Victoriana freak circus fairground peppered by sinister chill tones and starkly traced with an astute Radiophonic Workshop like glassiness given it the feel of a bad trip mirage. Fried stuff. http://www.mega-dodo.co.uk
Staying with Mega Dodo for strange turn, last seen around these here parts courtesy of an appearance on that dandy sounding Christmas charity compilation put out by the Dodo dudes just before Xmas wherein they turned in a nifty re-reading of XTC’s forgotten yuletide nugget ‘thanks for Christmas’ . if I were you I‘d be putting in an early order for this for when it appears it‘ll come in a strictly limited 100 only pink vinyl pressing and I‘d be surprised if they survive past pre order status. What can I say about ‘pink litmus paper shirt’ – a strange freak beat flipped slice of pristine psych prog which in its initial dream sequences kicks like a Troggs reprobate and smokes like a Chocolate Watchband disciple replete with all manner of woozy side servings and wiring head fuzzed riff flotillas which dissipate into a glorious ‘I am the walrus’ hybrid speckled with shitfaced Jefferson styled soul coos, quite damaged if you ask me but in a good way. Over on the flip a rather fetching and faithful Gene Clark cover ’elevator operator’ awaits love and fondness. And why not given this is finitely cut, trimmed and tapered in softly slinky strut shimmers and kissed with a Monkees-esque power pop prowl all blessed with an addictively radio friendly catchy hook line. http://www.megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/pink-litmus-paper-shirt
And so to that rather special Chapelyard release that we mentioned earlier which features those two newly cooked Wizards Tell Lies treats – see above. ‘EP5’ be the collections name, the label based somewhere in Yorkshire, northwards by quick reference to the notes has been a hive of activity of late this outing being one of several that they have on the go at the moment. Anyhow EP5 is a four way gathering of Chapelyard friends and acquaintances featuring new sounds from the aforementioned Wizards Tell Lies and a brace of choice cuts from both Deer God and Statiq Cradle leaving just one from the sets closing collective Raining Leaf. Alas no information on the three aside WTL, Deer God’s two serving are lushly traced in amorphous celestial garlands the first of which ’broken chairs’ is serenely demurred in a trance like calming orbital drift the type of which we could happily listen to for hours but then have to teasingly make do with just the merest 2.36 glimmer. Steeled in statuesque poise and trimmed in a becoming ice sculpturing, the porcelain and bitter sweet ’shoulder blades’ is tearfully turned in a bruising solace, beautifully genteel. These little opining orbs flashed through with noir key motifs recall the early melodic releases by minotaur shock. Not so far removed from Deer God are Statiq Cradle whose likewise application of noir trimmed neo classical arrangements to glitch core electronica is seductively teased with a subtly seductive sophistication not least on the sly courtship emerging from the frail and divine ‘Centauri’ which by these ears sounds not unlike a frost tipped reclining in the shadows No Ceremony. For us though, we must admit to being taken by the snoozing glitch murmurs of the starry eyed and twinkling ’era’ threaded lovingly as it is in a consuming panoramic dynamic and kissed with the kind of cinematic velour to recall ’the box’ era Orbital. And so to Raining Leaf whose ’groundwater’ brings this EP to a close, a shimmering drone recital interspersed with busying moments of controlled white noise squall and something which if I’m not very much mistaken ought to go down well with those admiring the more out there sonic inner world voyages output of the esteemed trensmat imprint. http://www.chapelyard.bandcamp.com/album/ep5
Fancy some seriously shitfaced and out of it bad boogie. Thought you might. Long time no hear from those Cardinal Fuzz dudes, last communications incidentally promised CD’s that never appeared, there was a grumbling and the occasional utterance of ill thoughts and then we got over it and forgot. Until that is now, whereby we eyed – on another site no less, news of not one but four new releases. Now we don’t bear grudges or get easily rattled, if we did we’d be heading up to the Fuzz HQ with sticks as big as trees with the intention of administering blows to heads. And while we might be inclined to snub said releases we did eye that two of them bore the name the Cult of Dom Keller and Mugstar, and well quite frankly we felt obliged nay curious to have a gander. However being the impish souls that we are it was a nifty little three track release by the Ragged Barracudas that caught our ear. We’re assuming pressed up on limited quantities of 7 inch wax, the ragged barracudas hail from Germany and by way of the evidence provided by opening salvo ’livin the dream’ appear to do a master class in fucked up and stoned bluesy Americana which to these ears sounds like a freakish early 70’s beatniking mutant Crazy Horse fronted by a seriously worse for wear ‘the firstborn is dead’ era Mr Cave immersed and wallowing in a sea of wasted riffola and kissed with the kind of heaviness that blessed releases flying out of the important imprint. Freaked, fractured and falling ever deeper into ramshackle climes ’cheap allure’ might well prick the ears of Television purists before that is going off road at the 2.32 mark and venturing into wiring locales for some dusted up big bearded boogie. Last up the Sabbathian ’motor jam’ – perhaps as a last gasp the best thing here – is a fuzz bombing bad assed stoner bastard that imagines Circle destroying Mountain platters of yesteryear. Nuff said. http://www.cful.bandcamp.com/album/ragged-barracudas-livin-the-dream-7
Been a while since we had any Tuesday Club groove with which to swoon our hi-fi with, this lot are your full on freakville cabaret pop combo emerging from the ashes of the Scratch and now expanded to an octet. Whilst their former charges were a tad handy in the crafting of three chord hook heavy power popping glam punk drizzled in the teen angst of a youthful Buzzcocks, the Tuesday Club appear adept to rifle through record collections turning their musical charms to whatever style, sound or genre that happens to prick their ears all said trimmed with an impish delight and a sense of fun that cheekily chuckles and plays hi-jinx amid the grooves. Latest from these dandy delinquents is ’new glamour’ a twin set cutie which according to our CD reader features not two but three tracks, the first of which the reader skips past before announcing a total duration reading of 54.22. Surely some mistake. Indeed be that the case, ’new glamour’ delightfully huffs and puffs teetering precariously on a frantic and chaotic new wave styled melodic thread that sounds like its at the point of collapse any second soon with obvious nods to the Stranglers and Magazine along the way and kissed with psychosis stirring spidery art gouged riffage and the rapid fire rhyming prose of Mr Dury doing his best BA Robertson ’kool in the kaftan’ routine – I kid ye not o’ worried faithful. Must admit though to being a tad partial to flipside ‘old before your time’ not least because it had us reaching around for our copy of the Ants ‘dirk wears white socks’ album for comparable fondness, this un has Hammonds aplenty charging down in all manner of Attractions stylees while fronted by a particularly wired to the eyeballs Bryan Ferry after undergoing a crash course in Howard Devoto’s singing school for snotty upstarts.
Again another release whereby the flip side has somewhat stolen our affections. New single from Horse Party (who you may recall were the recipients of much fond words when their debuting ‘what do you need’ fluttered into ear view last year) just ahead of their debuting full length ‘cover your eyes’ set is blessed by a b-side cut that I don’t mind admitting has been on constant rotation since veering into our listening space, what first called to mind the Regents ‘seventeen’ smooching up to a rugged and fired up youthful Joe Jackson then matured to reveal something drawing comparison to Kevin Tihista and the dB’s before smouldering to shape shift and shimmer up like a classic era pristinely set Go Between, the beautiful blighter incidentally is called ’let the man die’. that said lead track ’clarion call’ is no slouch in the musicality stakes, sounding not unlike the darker brooding twin of the Breeders ‘cannonball’ its no surprise then that sitting somewhere between Vega, Deal, Donnelly and Harvey, Elle’s vocals prowl with a controlled tension shocked beneath by a fracturing and primitive ju-ju sonic grooving, classy if you ask me. We await that album with baited breathe.
Now you might think I’m being awkward or pedantic, but third featured single in a row where the flip side steals the show, are they putting something in the water, I think we should be told. The welcomed return to these pages of SPC ECO who as you all should know is duo Dean Garcia (indeed he formerly of Curve) and his daughter Rose Berlin here accompanied by a brace of svelte moon glowed electronic chill chic. With an as yet untitled album looming in the distance and due for summer seduction ‘delusional waste’ heads up this twinkling star crossed twin set, traced in the lulling purr of pulsing cosmic codas crushed in old school buzz pop chill wave motifs leaving Rose to softly set flight into airless environs of interstellar sophistication all shimmered and carried aloft upon the spectral trajectory of adorning celestial vapour trails. By our humbled reckoning it’s the flip cut ‘push’ that’ll have the glacial noir pop fraternity swooning in the aisles whilst having old school Curve disciples simply jaw a dropped. Built around what can only be described as a clock working celestial carousel and shyly stolen in an irresistible futuristic dance floor chic, this darkly seductive tease slyly weaves Moroder-esque motifs to the subdued frost laced blueprint of Animotion’s ’obsession’ and then sets the ‘alluring’ and ‘infectious’ dials to maximum.
Returning back to the Chapelyard imprint. latest release is by raining leaf who brought up the rear and led us through to the closing grooves of ‘EP5’ goes by the name of the 5 track ‘beware of yesterday’ this quintet of suites reveals a hitherto more playfully light dimpling to their / his / her sound (that is if you don’t count the atonal subterranean sonic swarm of ‘landau’ which trips very cautiously into Alrealon Musique realms) with the cutely scratched lunar recital ‘a reflection’ ushering into terrains once occupied and called their own by d_rradio albeit here sounding as though they are recoding New Order’s ‘movement’ by way binary blip signatures. The ice thawing mosaics disturbed within ‘electrode’ on the other hand opt to voyage the retro techno Technicolor realities of future sound of London. Elsewhere the ghostly bowed symphonies found on ‘broken star’ demur and captivate in a twinkling nocturnal light show yet best of the selection for us is the parting ’beware of yesterday’ a gorgeous Plone like slice of child’s toy room cuteness dinked in sustained chime garlands and tripped upon a busying clockwork motifs who sleepy headed dreaminess calls to mind the lullaby serenades of Raymond Scott. http://www.chapelyard.bandcamp.com/album/beware-of-yesterday-2
With creeping dread and visions of a less than tolerant ancestry steeled in folklore, pagan ritualism and witchcraft, there be rumblings afoot on this macabre mix cloud mosaic by melmoth the wanderer, a 27 minute gathering feast of May Day follies, sacrificial harvests, Brit horror beastliness and medieval murder play, to the banquet a select but small coven sits to include ghostly visitations from hare and the moon, plinth, paper dollhouse, jim Williams, occult hand, greanvine, the residences of Summerisle and john scott – chilling witching hour listening. http://www.mixcloud.com/Melmoth_The-Wanderer/folklore-a-pleasing-terror/
We do adore the tones of Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier, so much so in fact that were she to sing shopping lists or some unfathomable treatise on quantum mathematics we here are sure in the knowledge that we’d be purred into sublime states of seduction. So while Stereolab maintain their self imposed silence its seems Benjamin Schoos is making the most of opportunities by inviting Ms Sadier along for a second collaboration in as many years. Of course you may well recall our undying fondness for ’je ne vois que vous’ a few years back, released ahead of Sadier’s demurred ’Silencio’ set for drag city. Well it seems we’re in for something of a revisit for Schoos latest EP calls upon the chic stylings of Sadier for the lead out track ’derniere dance’ – same formula as previously, this frisky slice of French pop loveliness literally radiates warmth and feel good effervescence whilst finding itself finitely trimmed in the kind of noir chamber pop arrangements that once upon a time adorned the 60’s golden age Franco pop standards, add to the mix an array of acutely infectious grooves swooned n’ clipped in sassy struts and kissed with a cooling kooky melodic pedigree that shimmies to the kind of aural arrest that once made platters by Le Bleu so appealing. The EP incidentally also includes guest appearances by April March, Miqui Puig and one time Johnny Marr collaborator Doviak, http://www.soundcloud.com/freaksvillerecords/une-derni-re-danse-feat
Is this gorgeous or what, perfect for those who adored once upon a time the sunny shiny pop radiance that used to fly out of sound houses the likes of summershine, bus stop, kindercore, blue rose and all those other lost label loves from yesteryear. Debut platter from Death by Unga Bunga (was that not the name of a mummies album) who hail from Norway (a nation who we’ve featured so much here in recent times that one suspects an honorary naturalisation permit is surely due our way) and will shortly be sporting a rather dandy debut full length by the name ‘you’re an animal’ via jansen platproduksjon records. From it new single ‘tambourine’ shimmers and chimes arrestingly adorned in cutely turned 60’s motifs much like those once the sole remit of the mighty elephant 6 collective with our acutely tuned in ears picking up references to the Choo Choo Train and the Sunshine Fix along the way not to mention the succulent spiralling swoon of the effervescent Clock Strikes 13 , mention of the Byrds of course is a given. http://www.soundcloud.com/jansen-plateproduksjon/death-by-unga-bunga-tambourine
To set the scene, I’m about to start the drudgery of another day in mind numbing 8-5 hell they laughingly call employment, I’m already stirring hard at the clock on the wall to my left willing it to magically fast forward to 5pm. Nothing happens. I swear the seconds hand has actually started to think about going backwards. A coffee before the hostilities begin. Head phones in for a quick five minute scan of potential listening treats to be saved and savoured later. And this blighter reels in. the fish police be their name, could almost conjure images of Beefheart or Zappa, or better still the Goons. We eye the title of the album – ’the marzipan transformation’ – very Gong with perhaps the sprinkling of Ozric Tentacles essences for added whacked out aural delight, there’s a track ’black scissors’ recommended as a teaser. Take a punt our heart and head say – for once in perfect unison. And so we proceed and we press play. Buggering hell, in seconds of its start we are a floating. Out of reality and drifting fast into some woozy surreal landscape where colours have sounds and sounds have colours. Enough of that – think you get the picture, this lot hail from South London and are described as glitch pop pioneers blending unique electronic left field grooves. Now this is out of it in a super chilled off its face way, these dudes have obviously been smoking Afrika Bambaataa vibes spiked in Funkadelic hallucinogens all coolly studded with trace elements of public enemy while getting down and groovy with Rick James, need I really say more – ridiculously essential. I want that album doing bad thing on my turntable right now. http://www.fishpolice.bandcamp.com/track/black-scissors-2
Hands up those who remember the tummy touch imprint, we used to adore those out there smoked nocturnal grooves that used to come pressed up on limited edition slabs of 7 inch wax housed in – if I recall – die cut card sleeves with absolutely bugger all information. I say this, not just merely because I like the sight of my own words but because this ‘un has just instantly transported us back to those golden days. On new imprint No Counter it’s a new EP by German duo Circuit Diagram – which we will try and wrestle copies of from their press people for full review in future missive happenings – for now though take a step back, rest a little and chill heavily to the subtropic woozy dub dimpled ’motown’ here featuring Touchy Mob on vocals which all said had us recalling momentarily the Moody Boys from yonks back, in short this is stoned headphonic bliss that superbly blends amid its sultry swathes of skanking cool the subtle tone of jazz and lounge nuances sprayed in amorphous calypso dialects – by rights a prime platter for the forthcoming festival forays. http://www.soundcloud.com/no-counter-records/motown-feat-touchy-mob
Alas we can only find this short trailer video with which to tempt you. we’ve got the album on a sound cloud link but guess that the powers that be – those being El Segell del Primavera – wouldn’t be that impressed with us if we started publicising it here which is a shame really because said trailer kind of does nothing to hint at the beauties tucked away on this 12 track album – incidentally by Joanna Serrat called ‘dear great canyon’. absolutely no information on this or about Ms Serrat, the album has been weaving its way into our listening space vying for affection with the equally lovely set by the Tablets (which will be getting review attention in the coming days). Now I’ll stick my neck out here in saying this had me recalling the first time I heard Laura Cantrell way back via her shoeshine debut in so much as the tenderness, the frailty and the subtle countrified opine of steel guitars that delicately dimple these shy eyed treasures. possessed of a fading forlorn intimacy ’flowers on the hillside’ even manages to sneak in on the blindside of Karen Dalton as it skips woozily to a statuesque symphonic shimmering of Dylan-esque dialects while ’the blizzard’ just cuts so deep you want to give it a sympathetic cuddle. We will try to nail hard copies for future mentions.
Now for something truly special and without doubt a frankly must have release. Seems the powers that be may have just overran and missed the chance to celebrate its 35th anniversary but Siouxsie and the Banshees debuting 7 inch ‘hong kong garden’ gets the lavish packaging treatment via a limited re-press just ahead of RSD2014. From a personal point of view the Banshees where by far the most interesting collective to emerge from the initial belch of punk, while the Pistols, Clash, the Damned et al raided the garage punk sections of the record racks the Banshees influential spectrum was as twisted and torn as the subject of many of their songs. Indelibly cursed by the Velvets and Jefferson Airplane, the Banshees exuded a macabre disquiet, a penetrating dark glamour – equal parts ’whatever happened to Baby Jane’ and Edgar Allen Poe (in so far as focusing on the human condition rather than the horror itself) and a fuck you aloofness, they were for all intents and purposes 60’s flower children gone awry emerging deadheaded and decaying, a bitter fracturing pill scarred in psychosis and blurring sonic elements that blurred between art pop, glam and most of all psychedelia, overseen by both Siouxsie and Severin, ’hong kong garden’ arrives pressed up as a limited edition double 7 inch replete with new artwork and an 8 page booklet. Upon the discs the original A and B sides (‘voices’ on the flip in case you forgot) of their summer ’78 top 10 hit. On the second disc a string re-working of ’hong kong garden’ which I must admit I’d not previously heard and something that initially appeared in Sofia Coppola’s ’marie Antoinette’. its flip a version of ’voices’ that appeared on the ’thorn’ EP in 1984 which if memory serves me right was a select gathering of Banshees favourites remodelled with an orchestral flavouring. With its oriental motifs and infectious becoming abrasive pop hooks ’hong kong garden’ is as immediate a listening experience now as it was all those years back, acutely poppy and kissed in tongue in cheek pouts not to mention a strutting new wave purr, the Banshees wouldn’t sound this playful again on a 7 inch until ’happy house’. that said for us personally it was always ’voices’ over on the flip that got the turntable action. Pretty much setting the agenda as to what would follow on ’the scream’ – aside revealing the first fruits of their want for studio experimentation in terms of style, song structure and making use of the sound engineering techniques of the day – this unhinged slice of macabre musing gave hint of a band who weren’t content to do subscribe to your usual boy meets girl flannel – and if they were more than likely there would be an axe, a mental disorder and a passing history of abuse attaching. ’voices’ is disturbed, eerie – not goth but dark psychedelia, chilling, fractured and fracturing. Guess you want the record now. Out via Polydor / UMG.
About to break cover for a jaunt across the nation packing with them an aural artillery of up close and personal wired agit groove which no doubt will be packed to bursting with shock attack cuts from their imminent long playing platter ‘ForFucksSake’ along the way setting up camp at BBC6 for an appearance on the highly thought of Marc Riley radiogram showcase are the Nightingales. A national institution we hear you cry, this nations saving grace goes another, whatever the case maybe there‘s no denying that despite the advance of years, the Nightingales are still as relevant, as potent and as able to administer the odd cursory jab as they where when they first bleached the airwaves of night time Peel play lists way back in the early 80’s – oh and derail the occasional young bucks who come preening and pouting in their sound space. ’forfuckssake’ incidentally – perhaps their best yet has been on repeat since sound cloud links arrived – hard copies we are trying to nail – so while we do that a few choice nuggets with which to get your lobes around. I must admit that ‘bullet for gove’ had us reaching deep for our prized Godfathers and Fatima Mansions record stash given it comes ripped in gnarled corkscrewing riffola all resplendent and splattered in the kind of aural paint bomb intricacies that would leave most art pop heads flashing an appreciative glance in what amounts to a tightly knitted and compact 93 second post everything prickling pop nugget. http://www.soundcloud.com/nightingalesuk
However take a detour to their band camp site where it seems the blighters have been kicking out a bi-monthly schedule by of a series of specially selected gathering of cover versions, latest in the pack is something that by our humbled opinion you really want in your life right this minute – an absolutely drop dead cool and killer take on the Troggs ’that’s what you get girl’ – must admit to being horrified at never recalling hearing the original but then the Troggs where always far dirtier and certainly more feral than the Stones. Faithfully re-threaded in the hands of the Nightingales ’that’s what you get girl’ is given a superbly stripped bare strut gouged garage growl and re-fitted by what can only be described as the kind of primitive dead eyed grooving that once upon a time courted the platters of a first generation ’dance stance’ era Dexy’s. also worth checking out while your rummaging around on the site is their take on Christy and Emily’s ’ghost’ here treated to a darkly hollowing and strangely alluring spectral psych folk murmur which once stripped of its haunting outer shell reveals a beautifully macabre slice of supernatural love note exchanging. http://www.thenightingales.bandcamp.com/track/thats-what-you-get-girl
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As ever take care of yourselves…..xx
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