Tales from the Attic
Revolutions of a 33 and 45 kind…..
This missive features sounds from….
Nordic giants, brian eno and karl hyde, haarts, horse party, bill parton trio, spc eco, owls of the swamp, jm kroft, tara king th, geist and the sacred ensemble, earthling society, germ, art trip and the static sound, knuckle, hobbes and leonides, bed rugs, killing joke, jaz coleman, falling stacks, the baked beans in tomato sauce brothers, red snapper, laetitia sadier, nightingales, girl band, lola’s bad, skull defekts, yoof
There’s no point fighting it, best just to sit back take a moment out and submit to its overwhelming rush of symphonic euphoria. Pray let me introduce you to Nordic Giants, a duo from Brighton who have completed an acclaimed tour support with God is an Astronaut wherein press reports passed in frequently employed the descriptor ’wow’. due to release a new EP ’Build seas’ / ’dismantle suns’ the Nordic ones are now offering ’through a lens darkly’ as a free download just ahead of a prestigious appearance at London’s celebrated Cargo on May 1. Engaging your whole emotional spectrum ‘through a lens darkly’ is a mammoth beauty that sits somewhere between the frail and fragile nature of a debuting Sigur Ros and the epic widescreen flurries of Sakamoto, its poise, its grandeur and its sparing detail as its trembling cascades rise, wither and retreat as though nature peaking out from its hibernating prison to see if winters deathly touch has passed and fallen to be replaced by the life giving warmth of the spring season, is something truly to behold. And when all safe and sure it finally stirs, unfurls and flowers to blossom into a most becoming and beautifully tender event as it rises breathlessly to a crushing and rushing colossal crescendo. Utter bliss. http://www.nordicgiants.bandcamp.com/track/through-a-lens-darkly
Word of warning this is quite a curious thing that finds itself being sent out to do the necessary early warning alerts. Prized from a forthcoming collaborative set being put out by Warp entitled ‘someday world’ – a digital copy of which will be receiving closer inspection this weekend – that sees the pairing of Brian Eno and underworlds Karl Hyde, ‘the satellites’ comes bathed in the kind of pop couched immediacy that aside putting long time Eno admirers on the back foot with its overt melodic astuteness might just appeal first port of call to those more often than not swooned to the sounds of a young Swimmer One though more pertinently to the grooving of dark captain light captain. Shaded in subtle electro drive retro 80’s pulsar pop motifs all framed by insistent brass fanfares whose hooks manifest to pretty much echo that of those found on the lightning seeds ’pure’ – I kid ye not – albeit here distressed in tearfully hollowed and bitter sweet reflection all swathed in mesmeric murmurs and all manner of lunar lilts – file next to your prized platters by Satellites.
New single from Haarts of whom the keen eyed spotters among may well recall had us jaws a dropped with their previous outing ‘article way’ and needless to say rushing frantically upending record collections in search of platters by inch blue and the chameleons for reference. Third outing from these chaps (surely plans for an album are being hatched)is perhaps their finest to date smouldered and brimming as it is in the kind of cool majesty and softly unfurling tender euphoria not to mention epic wherewithal that we’ve come to know and expect from the Church. Incidentally entitled ’seasons change’ such crushing forlorn beauty will have you at once elevated to heights of delirium whilst simultaneously falling deep into a bruising despair.
Another release much adored around these here parts and mentioned fondly in early dispatches. This is the latest single from the ever excellent Horse Party, ’clarion call’ as previously advertised is a darker and more brooding sibling to the Breeders ’cannonball’ – frankly stunning – though we here still prefer the far superior flip cut ’let the man die’, their debut album ’cover your eyes’ is currently hogging the in house hi-fi…..
And blimey there was I thinking I’d been tuned back into the 70’s with this ‘un, easy listening groove from the Bill Parton Trio who hail from Australia and have in recent times been apparently attracting admiring stares from all quarters of the musical press in response to their recent debuting platter ‘falling for you again’ where it was picked up by Burton TV retail screens – well that’s what it says on the press release which we are happy to report we haven’t lost on this occasion. New single ’going away’ follows hot on its heels – as advertised a smoking retro easy listening cutie that manages with some aplomb to draw the dots between Bill Withers, early 70’s era Beach Boys and Ben Folds 5.….
Something else mentioned in earlier dispatches, here’s the video accompanying that simply arresting ‘delusional waste’ release by SPC ECO which as you all should know is ex Curve man Dean Garcia and his daughter Rose…..
Now this is quite special, in truth a bit like being visited upon by a lovelorn apparition, the most transfixing three minutes you’ll experience in an age. Alas no information other than to say its by Owls of the Swamp and its called ‘garden’. due for release this May time and prized from a full length entitled ‘Atlas’, ’garden’ is a moment of beauty freeze framed in time, all at once reflective, touching and hymnal it glides with airless purpose longingly fixed with the delicate trimming of needlepoint riffs that to these ears sound not unlike the sea surfing lilt of ghostly apertures echoing vintage Vini Reilly like opines. http://www.soundcloud.com/owlsaoftheswamp/garden
Much to our own embarrassment we’ve somehow managed to neglect this thus far. Much like the previously mentioned Owls of the Swamp teaser, this to comes similarly couched in a forlorn gracefulness and provides the latest sneak preview from Jim Kroft’s imminent ‘lunatic lullabies’ full length – which I‘m suspecting we really need to get hearing before we get any older. Sharply contrasting his last visit to these pages courtesy of ‘I hope you know‘, ‘threads‘ is stressed in a hollowing bruised beauty, a love note to a fading memory of a lost love stirred in a richly tender spectral symphonic hush drizzled in aching arcs that tearfully tremble with a scarring intimacy that mid way through erupts into a gloriously radiant and intensely crushing snow storm haloed in stratospheric sighs and pulse racing electro beats from which the emergence out of will leave all tear stained and humbled in the wake of its hurt.
Mentioned this lot at the tail end of last year whereupon we fired forth emails to their label Moon Glyph asking them to update email contact details as it appears these days we no longer receive updates. Alas requests appear to have fallen on death ears still we’ll try again in the hope that normal services resume shortly. For now back to Tara King th. the ensemble to who we were referring to in the first place. This cut incidentally titled ‘mutuelle appreciation’ comes kissed in the kind of svelte 60’s styled TV themes that ITC et al frequently shipped out into spy obsessed goggle box watchers homes – see Strange Report, randall and hopkirk, man in a suitcase, Jason king etc….whilst fusing together the elements of a mid 90’s Birmingham scene to weave in elements of Broadcast, Pram and L’Augmentation as well as the harpsichord heavy delights of the much missed early 00’s Italo imprint SHADO into a swirling slice of seductive noir classicism….
Described as crafted doom inflected folk ritualism there was no way we were going to pass up an opportunity to give a brief mention to Seattle’s Geist and the Sacred Ensemble. Limited to just 150 cassette copies their current ‘beyond this vessel’ is a brooding sun scorched arid dry 4 track epic soldered down and heavily weighted in a howling sonic atmosphere that recalls the dark opining beauty that oozed through the groove lines of black heart procession’s ‘3’ set not least on the 9 minute centrepiece ‘seeker’ which in short is the sound of Neil Young and the classic Crazy Horse gathering in a seriously dark place, moored upon the minimalist croon of a deathly psych folk mirage where elements of a fractured blues howl more associated with Gallon Drunk shimmers with distressing primal intent to the spectral ghostliness of the Virgin Passages. Stunning in short. http://www.moonglyph.com/releases/mg68
Again mentioned in previous scribblings – another heads up for that frankly out there cover version of Alice Coltrane’s ‘journey into satchidananda’ by Earthling Society taken from their imminent ‘England have my bones’ set for riot season…
News from afar, well prophecy records as it happens, announcing that the label have just secured the signatures of Australian post black metal aural archangels Germ on a long term contract which aside securing rights over forthcoming recordings should see in time a long overdue reissue campaign of the collectives critically acclaimed back catalogue. Headed up by Tim Yatras according to the press release the idea for the band was hatched over 10 years ago yet it took till 2012 for them to surface with their debuting ‘Wish’ set. This was quickly followed by the ‘loss’ EP while 2013’s ‘grief’ opus saw them hooking up with Audra Sylvain from Amesoeurs. Described in passing as combining depressive black metal with electronics drilled in 80’s stadium rockism, plans are afoot for Germ to start recording sessions for their as yet untitled third full length – tentatively primed for release later this year. For now though and mainly for those thus far unaware, unaccustomed and unfamiliar with their all out blizzard howl then here’s a taster from the aforementioned ’grief’ set courtesy of the blistering ’butterfly’. we seriously recommend that you secure all safe objects and take up your listening position at a safe distance because this just off at some ear melting and cranium caning pace as it rages rampantly and may well have you reconsidering your record buying options and choices…..in short beautiful and mammoth…..
Knuckle are duo – Benny and Jonny – if your making copious notes – they‘ve just released their debut single ‘living hell’ and have so far laid to fits of swooning all who’ve had the pleasure to hear them thus far. They come packing with them a guitar, drums and a minimalist threadbare and sparse sonic detailing informed by drunken nights of blurred listening soirees tuned in and digging the types of platters reared up on the wrong side of the tracks. ’living hell’ is raw, potent and primitive, a primordial slab of bad blues boogie purred with a snaking down at the heel strut and primed with the kind of authentic howl that aside sounding so intense and dirty appears to be trading heavily on a skeletal Troggs-ian riffola not to mention being delivered by vocal tubes reared to rawk. Future happenings should see the release of another single soon and then a debut EP for the Wakefield based imprint philophobia music. Don’t say you weren’t warned. http://www.weareknuckle.bandcamp.com
Primed for counter frenzy at next weeks RSD14 – apparently it was scheduled for May release but the vinyl came back earlier than expected – the fourth release from the acclaimed Hobbes Music sound house sees the combined talents of owners and in demand mixers (hook up to their mix of the Pet Shop Boys ‘vocal’) Hobbes and Leonides doing beautifully bad things across a limited three track 12 inch platter. Entitled ‘mo machines’ EP as said this release features three uber groovy cuts from the nu class of club cadets and opens its account with ‘turn u round’ which frankly I should warn you appears to have a life of its own, a subterranean party pack distilling as were four decades of groove into a mutating trance techno hothouse hybrid and runs with the funk to sound like a subtropic uber chilled S’Express on heat. Bitten by the funky bug ‘mo’ moody’ is the most playful of the three cuts here and found here cooked up into a head expanding buzz sawing dubtronic teaser that sounds to these ears like classic era Apollo 440 going head to head with Herbie Hancock. Best of the set by our reckoning is the parting ‘Sputnik’ – a full on deeply immersive psych shimmered head phonic trip experience of trance toned cosmedelic cool – be honest do you really need any further prodding. .
Oh my this is something else. Pressed up as a limited 7 inch release specially for RSD14, Belgian psych poppers Bed Rugs showcase a twin set of tripping tasters from their forthcoming ‘8th cloud’ full length. Having already drawn considerable acclaim for last years mini album ’rapids’ (something to much grumbling we appear to have haplessly missed out on) their now out to blow minds and send all who hear into states of delirium with this mind warping mirage. First up ’purple pill’ sumptuously blends Beatles-esque and Byrdsian mosaics in its initial stages before gently mutating into a seductive softly psychedelic west coast sun tan, kissed with a lolloping countrified ping and radiating honey crusted harmonies aplenty in a desirable Gram Parsons meets Buffalo Springfield stylee. That said it pales when compared to ’Dream on’, the main event here by our reckoning and quite frankly something that needs to be heard to be believed. This honey heads out into woozy altered states laced in all manner of spectral and lysergic trimmings all longingly pressed into a dissipating sepia twisted dream coat peppered by starry lilts and the softly surrendered yearn of ethereal bubble grooved motifs which had we not known better would have said was the work of a ’secrets of the witching hour’ era Crimea. Utterly blissful. Out via ample play.
Ah – Killing Joke. In truth one of a rare select few breed of bands who I can say without question or hesitation who in my early formative years informed my listening obsessions going right back to the days of their early Peel sessions. One / off through the years they’ve flittered in and out of our listening space with the early 90’s released ’pandemonium’ proving something of a favourite and with it a brutal affirmation that these were dudes with unfinished business to hand. 2003’s self titled set served to prove their most scathing and titanic set yet whilst ’MMXII’ posted notice that after 4 decades they could still piss all over the competition. May time sees a positive cornucopia of Killing Joke delights hitting the turntables and coffee tables alike with the appearance of a by all accounts stunning 3 CD set entitled ‘in dub’ – featuring selected dub edits of Joke groove past and present. Rewired by Youth – whose undoubted love of the sound form has seen his career intrinsically linked in propagating its sonic seeds into other generic mutations – see Brilliant, Orb, Wau! Mr Modo – thus leaving many to regard him as one of its keynote visionaries – this extensive and mammoth collection has taken over a year to put together – quite possibly longer given that leaked reports have been circulating way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Alas no track listing is mentioned though I’m wondering if this is the promised set featuring Orb rephrases and guest mixes by the likes of nine inch nails and the bloody beetroots. Such a release should be no surprise to long time KJ admirers for their sound has always strayed to a subtle dub dialect going back as far as ‘follow the leaders’ and further still back to ‘requiem’ and ‘turn to red’ and which while if I recall rightly their landmark ‘pandemonium’ set was oft prone to feature heavily souped mind weaved mosaics that featured on the flip sides of the attending singles ‘millennium’, ‘exorcism’ and of course the title track ‘pandemonium’. in addition there’s also the release of the bands live album ‘down by the river’ on the same day – a 20 track double disc collection capturing the band in action in 2011 at the royal festival hall – a smorgasbord of old school KJ classics including ‘war dance’, ‘fall of because’ and ‘eighties’. not quite done yet Jaz Coleman’s first foray into the book world comes with the publication of ‘letters from Cythera’ – a deeply philosophical study and account of the occult sciences and scriptures that have shaped Coleman’s beliefs and personalized renaissance, it forms the first part of a planned two volume secret history of the unseen world of the Coleman behind the outer veneer of Killing Joke. The tome is perfectly complimented by the release of his 2nd symphony ‘the island’. while we try to nail review copies for in depth explorations here be the dubbed up mix ’tomorrow’s world’ by the Joke…..a blissed out bonged up bouquet of psych fried Australasian mind altering higher plain mysticism that should prove a hazily heady and heavenly cocktail drawing the invisible dots between those magic mushroom band and ozric tentacles types……
Many years ago I used to own a Hungarian Vizsla – I say own – the blighter followed us home one day, a bag of bones he was, bruised, scarred, scared and near left for dead by his previous owners we had I at the time known where they lived I’d have happily taken a horse whip to them. I mention all this because in this here video there is a Hungarian Vizsla taking centre stage, a little cute fella he is to. But be honest you don’t want me waffling on about dogs – so that’s what he’s talking about I hear you all collectively sigh – I thought he was going on about foreign cigarette rolling papers – me too. Well I never. Obviously I digress. So back to the business. New thing from Battle worldwide recordings, more precisely Falling Stacks – who if memory serves rightly – last had us a gushing with their version of the Weddoes ‘dare’ on the forthcoming RSD14 wax attraction that is the ‘my first record, my first record store’ 12 inch via the same imprint. Anyhow next up on the release roster is falling stacks new ‘Vizsla’ EP which much to our surprise has been playing out since the tail end of last month, this cut from the set entitled ‘burning platform’ proving to be a deliciously awkward slab of gnarled math-ian post everything groove channelling the kind of acutely angular art pop that we here were once upon a time knee deep in – reference wise the Arm, trencher, Hey colossus if your looking for sonic soul mates – it is 2 and half minutes of grievously blank generation flat lining touch n go styled non pop punctuated by all manner of stop start signatures which on repeat listens we seriously suspect is the work of chaps all playing from differing song sheets. Quite frankly makes the Fall sound like Abba which kinda makes it on our wavelength.
Caught this slinky bit of rock a hula by sheer accident on a face book posting, alas little info attaching but we’re assuming they hail from Spain or thereabouts. By the baked beans in tomato sauce brothers ’white limousine blues’ is a spanking slice of swagger toned beat pop that sounds as though it was distilled in a brew drawn upon by the gathering of richly procured essences of Dave Edmunds and the Reverend Horton Heat and then mainlined into the kind of fringe flicking softly strutted 60’s authentic cool that once upon a time was the reserve of the mighty Stairs. Frankly you need this in your life no question.
A brief heads up for this one while we try to wrestle CD’s from their press folk. New thang from Red Snapper heading out shortly via lo recordings of whom I must admit the sounds from out of our hi-fi has been missing much in recent years. This will blow minds I guarantee. ‘card trick’ is pulled from a 4 track EP of the same name which feature three guest remixes from Auntie Flo, Tici Taci and Rich Thair all doing their own woozy head expanding melodic mosaics and serves as a statement of intent of things to come in the shape of a new long playing platter entitled ‘Hyena’ due for dance floor damage this coming September. So back to ‘card trick’ – the album version – a funky bug bitten beauty that just oozes and smokes a strangely desirable 70’s jazz funk psych motif melting and dissipating in all manner of tripping far out tropicalia – in short a kind of three way sound clashing ju ju jamboree between Amon Duul II, embryo and spyro gyra – well trippy and deeply intoxicating. Alas at present no sound links but rest assured we are working on them…..that said here’s an embryonic version recorded live last year in Moscow……
Am I the only one who thinks Drag City’s press releases are getting weirder and more surreal by the minute, I’m suspecting some seriously heavy smoking substances are afoot. That said the one they’ve huddled together and scribbled down between the passing of said super spliff for Laetitia Sadier isn’t half as bonkers as their usual wordy fair. An album in the offing – hopefully this year – though tomorrow would be just perfect – and fresh from another insanely infectious collaboration with Benjamin Schoos, a forthcoming tour of these shores where she’ll be stepping out with the ridiculously oft overlooked Neutral Milk Hotel and a new single in the shape of ’then, I will love you again’. be honest – things just don’t get any better. Out via Drag City as a download only single next month and available right now exclusively through iTunes, Ms Sadier’s solo star continues to rise while Stereolab remain on a prolonged sabbatical. sound wise ’then, I will love you again’ revisits former ‘Lab landscapes positing itself on cruise control voyaging environs previously documented on ‘emperor tomato ketchup’ all typically caressed and smouldered by Sadier’s sophisticat glazing and sumptuously primed with a purring spacey pop dynamic lushly dimpled in the subtle motorik haze of sighing lounge lilts which all said should find admiring glances from old school Quickspace admirers and new school Deerhunter disciples.
What – you say – the Nightingales first video – surely some mistake – but apparently so. Currently wowing a packed to the rafters concert hall near you, the nightingales show no signs of taming. Prized from their finest full length set to date ’for fuck’s sake’ which is now adorning the racks of all self respecting record emporiums, ’dumb and drummer’ is your straight up front wiring n’ jarring agit gouged gnarl, dislocated, fractured, fried and mildly fucked up splintered by moments of dreamy lucidity wherein honeyed harmonies sweeten the psychotic pill, the effect a sonic fist fight between Fatima Mansions and Dalmatian Rex – arrives on coloured vinyl, seriously do you need further persuasion……
Much loved around here though alas the love isn’t quite reciprocated, girl band are now streaming – (well I say streaming – not rightly sure its up for public viewing but hey ho no one responds to reviews so I’m guessing we can sneak this on the blind side) – their RSD14 outing ‘the cha cha cha‘ which is being pressed up as an extremely limited (100 only) flexi disc that‘ll comes housed in a little wooden box and available through the any other city imprint – sounds tasty eh. Tastier still is the track itself – 25 seconds – yep you read right – 25 seconds of prime packed no frills agit bop. An acutely cute sonic car crash that screams, shrieks and rages amid a rapid fire skree storm of furious punked out riff belches, skull caning 100mph plus drumming and unhinged psychosis, in truth there’s more in your face aggro here in this briefly impacting toxic aural head-but than most bands achieve in a career. play nice now children. http://www.soundcloud.com/prescription-pr/girl-band-the-cha-cha-cha
Quite gorgeously demurring this, the kind of thing you’d have rightly expected to appear out of the Loaf / lo recordings sound stable in times gone past. New thing from Evangelia C under her chosen nom de plume Lola’s Bad who it seems flits between bases Athens, UK and US and whilst on a momentary stay over has the incurable knack for stepping into studio spaces to lay down moments of exquisite ethereal electro pop. Non more so is this on evidence than on ‘break out’ wherein the kind of acutely crafted and intricately layered high end calibre more associated with a youthful minimalist minded Eurythmics is brought to bear with surrendering precision. Add to the mix a quietly purred widescreen celestial grandeur dimpled in a star speckled sculpturing and etch it all in glacial frost tipped flurries and you have something that ought to appeal first port of call to those much smitten by Grimes.
Okay, there we were about to pack up things for the night when we get an email espousing the musical virtues of Art Trip and the Static Sound. Seems the trio have a debuting long playing platter entitled ‘nothing is static’ readying itself for release next month via Fiasco Recordings wherein it’ll appear on black wax housed in a hand painted sleeve. We’ve had a brief peak at the opening cut ’the girl who’ and quite frankly are itching to have this doing bad things on our turntable. Sounding not unlike its been unearthed from a lost Peel broadcast c.1979/80 this flat lining scratchy buzz sawing post punked babe imagines a seriously sparse and wired Raincoats doing a mutant retweaks fusing together the Fall’s ’rowche rumble’ and ’fiery jack’ and stapling the blighter on to a vaguely warped Rezillos styled bubble grooved motif all blessed with a ridiculously rash forming spiky hook. Begging letters are being fired off as I write for copies for further adoration…..
Like Whizz Kid – mentioned earlier – its been an age since we heard anything by the Skull Defekts – and there the similarities end. First coming to our attention way back more years than I care to remember or count via a stunning set for riot season entitled ’the black hand’ we have in recent years – I have to admit – kind of lost touch with what they are up. So you can imagine we were buoyed by a note to say they now reside on thrill jockey records having these days expanded to a quintet and will be shortly sporting new ear gear in the shape of an album ‘dances in dreams of the known unknown’ due early April. From that set ’the known unknown’ gets an early call airing, in short over four minutes of mind morphing grizzled hypno drone hooked upon a deep probing primitively snarled and ravaged bluesy locked groove that tails ever so subtly into the nepalm hazed dark psych flight path of a youthful Black Angels.
Have to admit that we prized this of the Active Listener face book page and damn fine it is to. From a duo called Yoofs – the information trail sadly runs cold therein, that said they are currently packing a four track EP under their collective arm, a copy of which we want sooner than later not least because we’ve been more than a tad taken by lead out track ‘toy organ’ which with its soft psych strobes and paisley pop peppering had us much in mind of studio head to head between Ariel Pink and the Woods. http://www.soundcloud.com/yoofs/toy-organ?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook
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