Tales from the Attic
Revolutions of a 45 and 33 rpm kind…
This missive features listening grooves from….
Simones, tor peders, astralasia, craig padilla, dead fetus, starspangled banana, damon albarn, geracejones, happyness, beaux, fujiya ad miyagi, bastard mountain, berholz, towns, krokodil, spine farm records, cavern of anti-matter, eyelid kid, echo and the bunny men, moons, penelopes, down liners sekt, velour modular, flight of helios, bob constant and the goodbye horses
The seventh annual Record Store Day event has come and gone, a celebration of both the independent retailer and the art of vinyl which after years relegated and somewhat consigned to history has over the last few years been making a steady return to form, agreed though it’ll never achieve its golden age high water mark of 1979. Of course RSD is, for the more scrupulous, a chance to usurp the genuine record buyer by nabbing all the exclusive limited editions and then having them posted up on eBay in super quick time at grossly inflated prices – avoid these clowns. The spirit of record store day is somewhat lost at times, no its not a chance for the major labels to rehash crap they can’t shift through the year its more a case of making people aware of their local record emporiums and ensuring that these places stay open, its about old school record buying – not your faceless download purchasing but actually getting off your arses visiting such a shop and asking for the blighters and then holding a real physical copy in your mits and not being passed off with some cheap bit rate reduced copy. These shops are a lifeline to the community, appreciated properly they become a focal resource for the local band scene and live circuits drawing likeminded people together – and they need your support. To sunny skies with a decidedly chilly nip in the air your erstwhile scribe – that’ll be me – spent the day happily manning the doors at Probe records (yes dear reader I was that handsome specimen of the male form laughing, joking and ripping your musical tastes) ensuring order, decorum and no fistfights in the bulging queue that stretched all the way to Prescott postcodes – I jest of course – though it did track back a fair old length of School Lane and I hasten to add continued as such for the best part of 4 hours. Reports had it that the chap heading up the front of the line had been eagerly waiting since 4am to get his Oasis and Paul Weller goodies. Probe opened its door at 8am in expectancy of a surge, Richer sounds were on hand to give out goodie bags with vouchers and all manner of offers as well as feeding the crowds with cookies and biscuit treats, at the counter the staff handed out assorted promos (including freebies from the bordellos, presents for sally, Dalmatian rex and the eigentones and a specially cobbled together Fruits de Mer sampler featuring selections from their forthcoming May selections), bottles of beers and sweets with purchases. With the racks packed with over 200 plus choice cuts – eye catching wise the Ray Parker glow in the dark ‘ghostbusters’ 12 inch, a pink vinyl pink panther OST, a dandy looking Trex box set as well as an Action and Creation box release all looked very tasty as did the Terminator foil sleeve 7 inch, the pixies double plus exclusive RSD 7 inch, there was rumour of a flaming lips release which went in nano seconds. There was of course the now obligatory annual appearances of a Bowie picture disc – this time ‘rock n’ roll suicide’ and a frankly massive rip off Pistols box – incidentally the PIL 12inch looked handsome as did the July repress and the space transmissions box set featuring Spiritualized – alas only one of the them. Albarn and Weller flew the coup before the 15 minute mark – had i gotten down earlier I’d have happily taken said Weller 7’s (just 2 as it happens) around the back and made a warm bonfire from the them. Coldplay had no interest at all from the amassed crowds. Most asked for – tame impala – again gone in the time it took to blink an eye, no Kylie alas and certainly no One Direction of whom a mother who had been queuing for over two hours haplessly enquired about for her daughter – I did feel some regret – honest – and to cap it off no sign of the Sun box set though there was the 4 track EP which by the time we left was still looking for a loving home while others that we missed to much grumbling was a by all accounts dandy looking Everly Brothers box set with six albums apparently pressed on to 45 rpm grooves. The morning passed with good cheer and so we now look forward to what’s hoped will be the second cassette store day in September.
One release you might have been forgiven for missing at RSD, though right now reasons to help you out of your embarrassment somewhat escape us, was an ultra limited 7 inch outing by premier Scouse bubble-grunge overlords (their description not mine) Star Spangled Banana who you might recall us mentioning way back last year when their pretty awesome ‘pebbles 2000’ debut full length dropped on us, anyhow this is the lot who change their name more regularly than their t-shirts (fact – kids) and once – and still do as it happens – occasionally trade under various identities such as Alien Ballroom and koolaid (global tyranny). Pressed up on yellow vinyl (banana – hello – what other colour did you expect), this 500 release – only 250 in the UK with the others being shipped to Europe and the US for their RSD festivities – pairs together two cult classics from the year 1979 – Cabaret Voltaire’s ‘nag, nag, nag’ and the Scientists ‘frantic romantic’ and housed them in tongue in cheek repro sleeves. Sounding as though its just stepped from out of a back room exit of some stoned out beatnik boutique in the mid 60’s straight into modern day ’nag nag nag’ is here resplendently cooled in a gnarled fuck you agit grind swirled in shimmer tweaked power popping paisley tones that frankly just do it to you. Over on the flip the pride of the pack ’frantic romantic’ is superbly sprayed with an authentic 60’s grooving replete with fuzzy raptures and a kick arse dayglo colouring that mainlines heavily (and with no complaints here I should add) a distinct tasting of the flamin groovies in a studio eyeball with the syndicate of sound – I kid you not – and with that probably the coolest and most far out cat this missive.
We’ve not had a chance to hear the forthcoming debuting full length from Damon Albarn but we did manage to pickup the ultra limited RSD14 7 inch featuring two cuts from the ‘everyday robots’ album entitled ‘lonely press play’ and ‘hollow ponds‘. the former comes stirred in a sweet sensitivity all subtly drizzled in a vibe that much draped the grooves of Blur’s ’think tank’ though here crushed in a lazy eyed intimate tasting of nocturnal slow noir dustings there’s something here that sumptuously sits between a thoughtful Terry Hall and the combined song craft magic of David and Bacharach. On the flip if ’hollow ponds’ doesn’t reduce to near tear stricken states then you are simply inhuman, graced in autumnal textures, deeply introspective and cracked in a hollowing melancholia built upon a slow unrelenting pulsing beat, there’s a stilled fracturing eerie elegance oozing from the grooves as Albarn’s intimately autobiographical reveal switches back and forth in a fond recall of the heat wave of ’76, starting secondary school in ‘79 and the ‘modern life is rubbish’ graffiti strewn walls of ’93. Disquieting and tender stuff.
Few sounded like Grace Jones way back in 1981. In fact for all the shifts, styles and sound mutations at work altering the listening landscapes (changes still felt and as relevant today in so much as were most of takes its cue) during the heady period 1979 – 81, Jones’ ’nightclubbing’ still sounded as though it was an alien visitor speaking in a musical tongue light years ahead of its time. To say it was a defining moment in pop is to understate it. ‘Nightclubbing’ was, is and always will be a year zero in the art of the cross over – that freewheeled and encompassed a multi lingual hybrid of sound to draw from the eras sonic palette and weave from it a seductive spin that was both colourfully enriched and at times strangely menacing and was cultured in dance (studio 54), electro (Numan), minimalism (Devo), post everything, c-81, new romantic, funk (Talking Heads / Gang of 4), tango and dub. An album then that looked back, forward and beyond. Island records will later this month reposit the album back into the critical eye line with an expanded deluxe set that’ll see this legendary release beefed up into an exhaustive 2 disc set on both CD / blu ray and vinyl to feature long out of print rare extended mixes as well as a unique previously unreleased studio take of Tubeway Army’s ‘me I disconnect from you’ which will enter ear space a week early in readiness for RSD14 wherein it’ll come pressed up on a limited 12 inch backed by the long version of ‘feel up’ – goes without saying that we’ve fired off the requisite begging missives – so for now – here’s Ms Jones doing bad things on ‘if you wanna be my lover’……
We were tempted to actually include the sound cloud link for this – wasn’t marked private – until we realised it pretty much featured the whole album – so to save on embarrassing exchanges of emails – the type of which we direct to our special filing tray – which for arguments sake we’ll call a bin – we’ve passed up on the opportunity. It is airing on a certain indie rag website but I’ll be buggered if I’m giving them a heads up and besides that their site takes such an age to load up – featuring adverts as it does trying to part you and your money in exchange for naff records. We like to call this a little side service on your behalf. Anyhow new single from Happyness who I seem to recall have featured to much trumpeting and fanfare here. Ahead of their debut album ‘weird little birthday’ comes ‘great mind think alike, all brains taste the same’ – a slinky sub two minute west coast lilted buzz pop nugget that has the craft of Chris Stamey stamped all over it and quite frankly sounds like an all star power popped gathering of raspberries, teenage fan club, the mayflies and velvet crush types all housed in a bijou sun lounger decored studio doing sun draped aural afterglows for kicks. Infectious doesn’t quite cut it. Out soon on weird smiling.
Mentioned this in a recent missive, new thing from Fujiya and Miyagi, entitled ‘flaws’ which in previous dispatches we commented upon its chic cold wave disco dolly hypno groove fused to a futuristic blade runner wasteland – well here’s the video to accompany the single – a new album ‘artificial sweeteners’ is imminent via yep roc…..
I swear all those who adore their sounds cultured in celestial murmurs will be prone to swooning fits when this aural angel emerges in to view. A sneak peak of an album entering record emporium consciousness shortly via ATP recordings by electronic three piece Eaux entitled ‘plastics’. sent ahead on a scouting mission is the adorable ‘head’ – which I must admit though sounding style wise a thousand light years apart, had us transfixed in much the same way as Goldfrapps’ ‘felt mountain’ first affected us all those many years back. Adrift and lonesome in airless environs, a delicate pulsar hum opines, ’head’ softly emerges from an orbital dark side to break as were from an eclipsing monolith to seductively awaken, unfurl and radiate tenderly to draw, feed and playfully shimmer upon the starry heavens to transmit what can only be best described as a sighing siren-esque distress call to the voids. What first appeared in a lifeless cryogenic stasis soon assumes mass, depth and density to spiral and spin lost in its own celestial rapture as though an passing love star before disappearing in to the beyond. http://www.soundcloud.com/alltomorrowsparties/eaux-head
Is it just me or does this sound like a slo mo Neil Young emerging from some mystical twilight haze. Sneak preview of a forthcoming gem – if this is anything to judge by – from Bastard Mountain – a kind of all star gathering of talents plucked sparrow and the workshop, meursault, eagle owl and James Yorkton and the athletes. This ‘un – incidentally called ‘meadow ghosts’ is pulled from a soon to be released album via the adored song, by toad imprint entitled ‘farewell, bastard mountain’. appealing all at once to a spectral spectrum that broadly casts its net from Cave’s ‘murder ballads’ to the delgados and touching base along the way with both set fire to flames and glissando and all who spirit between, ‘meadow ghosts’ is a beautifully haunting and harrowing slice of bewitchment shimmered amid a curdling of timeless wood carved folk personas etched in fleeting aural apparitions. Expect further glowing reception when we nail finished copies. http://www.soundcloud.com/songbytoad/meadow-ghosts
First of two new releases from the Anti ghost moon ray imprint who you might recall we mentioned by way of that quite essential gazelle twin release a few weeks ago (‘belly of the beast’). first up then Bernholz or to give him his full name Jez Bernholz – who when not carrying out anti ghost moon ray co founder duties is prone to twiddle about surrounded by banks of synthesisers by the glow of candlelight – well we say candlelight for effect its not as is he’s failed to keep up with the electric costs and been cut off as a result. ’my history’ / ’alive’ is the kind of release I guess you could apply the descriptor slow to burn to for bernholz crafts a softly seductive delayed effect to his nocturnal funk bitten electronica with ’my history’ opting to navigate a particularly familiar route way that sees him journeying ever so slightly in to early career Swimmer One waters. That said our favourite of the two is the intricately layered ’alive’ which asides managing to cram in a positive smorgasbord of minimalist electroid motifs onto its sparse palette to which admirers of the expanding imprint may well find of interest also has a divinely cute knack of hotwiring into the coolly casual matrix of the much missed Birdpen albeit as though smouldered in a soft sophistication by the Heaven 17 / BEF crew.
there was meant to be a gazelle twin review here – but its under embargo until the next missive.
If this doesn’t get you going then nothing will, so damn sexy and horny I suspect a cold shower might be required after listening experiences. I’ll say right now that I want a copy of this blighter or else I fear I will spontaneously combust. This comes ripped from the forthcoming debut full length by Towns – the second track as it happens from ‘Get by’ which all things being well ought to emerge in clear sunlight early June via the Bristol based imprint Howling Owl (well cool name eh). Three and a half minutes of blissed out lysergic heaven that cuts sassy fringe parting shapes amidst a hazy front loaded cool that literally oozes from its grooves and radiates kaleidoscopic sun spots before your very eyes – those in need of reference markers might be wise to imagine a three way studio face off between the mock turtles, jesus jones and the stone roses. Buy on sight. http://www.soundcloud.com/townsmusic/towns-marbles
There’s been a positive hive of activity emanating from the secret bunker of spine farm records these last 24 hours or so with news of an all out aural assault planned for RSD14. First up and streaming right now ahead of its official release tomorrow – the debuting platter from Krokodil – a super group collective of sorts featuring members of gallows, sik th, cry for silence and hexes – have forged an alliance to stamp onto a limited hand numbered 500 only blue 7 inch wax grooved beauty two slabs of gruesome cranium caning claustrophobic end of days gouging. Not I should warn for the feint of heart, for ’shatter’ is a light sucking dark mass that sounds for all the world as though its managed to tear itself and crawl from out the damning clutches of hell’s gaping pit. No pity nor mercy here, no corner to hide, salvation is but a thoughtful dream, instead a wearying soul sucking five minute freefall into oblivion is what’s on offer, a ravaged flag waving last stand replete in war ready apocalyptic armoury thickly curdled in a suffocating surge of razored riffage playing out to a futile battle cry which in truth once your ears adjust its not as threatening as first encountered instead proving to be blissfully blistered.
In addition to krokodil, spine farm will also be releasing a further three limited edition treats to celebrate RSD14 – alas we have no sound links as yet but they include a 1000 only white vinyl 12 inch by Rammstein entitled ‘pussy’ which features recalibrations by Scooter and pet shop boys – both cuts originally appearing on the bands ‘made in Germany’ best of set from 2011. Next up a 500 only gold vinyl 10 inch from Volbeat gathers together ‘doc holliday’ and lonesome rider’ from the Danish ensembles current long playing platter ‘outlaw gentlemen and shady ladies’. last up for this RSD14 soiree a split 12 inch pairing together the Treatment and reckless love on opposing sides of the wax – features 4 tracks, comes pressed up on orange wax all housed in a printed inner bag with exclusive art work – think they are spoiling you now.
And to wrap up the spine farm related matters, news has emerged that the label have joined forces with witch finder records and are busy planning the release of a new as yet untitled full length from the mighty Electric Wizard, recorded at the legendary Toerag studios rumours abound that the given remit for the studio dudes their was to nail something ‘raw, hateful and sickeningly heavy’. consider yourselves warned – for those thus far unaware of electric wizard here’s ‘dope throne’……..
Quick mention for this while we root through record racks later today trying to nab a copy as our own. Latest sonic stirrings from Great Pop Supplements satellite imprint Deep Distance is a spanking brand new hulking platter from Cavern of Anti-Matter. Only 500 of these – all arriving on 12 inches of heavy duty wax housed in your by now familiar retro artwork sleeves and in essence featuring a 45 minute odyssey set across two sides of stereophonic bliss. Of course we’ve had cause to mention these cavern of anti-matter types in missives of old, a three way shared mindset featuring a gathering posse of Tim Gane, Joe Dilworth and Holger Zapf heavily immersed hatching out lost sounds from a golden space age by way of forging together their shared analogue alchemy rebooting said retroism anew by way of a mind warping dreamcoat of serene and soupy woozy cosmidelica rippling in oscillating motifs and modulating pulsars, does it for us.
Demurring images of lazy eyed days spent idling beneath fiery skies sweetly caressed by the chilling side drift of sea breezes and the delicate serenade of bliss kissed tropicalia are called to mind with the appearance upon our listening space of Eyelid Kid’s debuting outing ’time travel’. a beautifully shimmered slice of uber chilled cool serenely bathed in an airless glow of sultry vapour trails dimpled in the merest detailing of jazzy dissipates which when pulled together allure as though some brief passing of a tranquil exotic mirage. Nuff said. http://www.eyelidkidz.bandcamp.com
What the Bunnymen ‘mean and are meant to be – up there in heaven, untouchable, celestial, beautiful and real’. So says Mac from Echo and the Bunnymen commenting upon the bands imminent full length ’meteorites’. it has been a long, long while since the prospect of a new Bunnymen platter struck an expectant skip of the hearts beat. I’ll admit I’m in a state of quandary here, the reason being that we’ve just been sent a link to a sneak preview of a track from that aforementioned and forthcoming Bunnymen album ’meteorites’ due via 429 records early June. You might think so what. What’s your problem. Problem is that once upon a time this lot used to mean so much to me, could do no wrong, did no wrong. They were the coolest band on the planet (and while that might put St Julian’s nose out of joint – it’s a fact). Take their first two albums (at a squeeze trim bits of ’Porcupine’ and a smidgeon of ’Ocean Rain’ – and include them as well) as far as I’m concerned the most formidable opening salvo of full lengths we’ve not heard bettered since, ’heaven up here’ alone would, if most bands would care to admit, have them happily retiring on the spot to live on its legend where it theirs, a ridiculously oft overlooked album and something which given the current fascination for late 70’s / early 80’s sounds is very telling, relevant and still so ahead of the curve in terms of documenting the mood, the atmosphere and the alienation of living not only in a Northern city in 80/81 but generally just existing. So how do I objectively critique a band who once walked on water, have in the years since disappointed more often than they’ve dared to shimmer (if we are really being honest here perhaps only ‘flowers‘ and the more psych aggressive ‘reverberation‘ hinted at former greatness), forget the Smiths, Simple Minds and U2 – the unholy trinity who piece by piece stole a march on the Bunnies in that 82 – 84 period wherein the band took its eye off the ball for just a second and slowly let it all slip away. The years roll on, stuff changes yet you feel the Bunnymen have stayed still looking for the ball they took their eye off, endless tours to pay off mortgages and to fatten their pension pots – is this just going through the motions. And so to ’market town’ – the as advertised sneak preview from the aforementioned ‘meteorites’ – described in some channels as a 7 minute epic anthem, we’d restricted ourselves to hearing this twice, one because we didn’t want to prejudice matters and in so doing giving it a fair fight with everything else we review here and secondly because our laptop is having some type of siesta ore is that seizure and is refusing to play, a matter that is irking me so much that I suspect before the days out it’ll be visited upon by all manner of hammers, screwdrivers and chisels.
At worst it’s the Bunnymen by numbers and on auto pilot tapping into the same lay lines that pollinated the grooves of 2001’s ‘flowers’ and ‘nothing lasts forever’ before it, fluent in poppified aspects, for the first two minutes you’d been forgiven for thinking that this was just trademark blindfold Bunnymen in which case your answer to the posed question for discussion above would sadly be in the affirmative. But then there’s the appearance of a subtle sea change at 2.44 wherein the track begins to loosen up with Mac’s vocals actually acquiring something of a playfully funky aura and with it the delicate shift into sonic territories more commonly applied to the likes of Slipstream, paris angels or Fuxa dissipating further at the 4.32 mark where up steps Will to the plate with some nifty kaleidoscopic mosaics. From this point on all is woozy, trippy and fuzzy with the looping lysergic wah wah’s creating bliss kissed mushroom clouds to sound like nothing we’ve heard here since My Jealous God dropkicked the post acid psychedelic party pack ‘everything about you’ our way. So 30 years on and they still beat listening to the latest Morrissey woes, Simple Minds and God’s army even if they are on a simmer setting the only difference being the moods are lighter, so to the atmospherics, still Northern and life – well maybe, just maybe – a little more tolerable knowing ‘meteorites‘ is looming out there on the horizon.
Mentioned in previous missive dispatches here’s the video that accompanies that audaciously retro and Bowie-esque beauty ‘heart and soul’ by the Moons – the dog danders in our humbled view….album ‘mindwaves’ coming in July….
And from things that sound very 70’s to things that sound very 80’s. New Cure mix that we eyed via a twitter recommendation finds mad Bob and Co’s arrestingly upbeat and sunshiney happy ‘just like heaven’ given a rather fetching makeover by the Penelopes who it seems take the original mix by the hand into their time tunnelling machine with bags a packed a plenty with sun lotion and party fair for a break in the Balearics to kit out and seduce its chime chirping cheeriness with a beautifully smoking lazy eyed and sultry sun setting calypso tanning – if we could copy and paste the link for ease we would but our laptop is playing funny buggers – that said go to hype machine at http://www.hypem.com and type in Cure / Penelopes into the search doofer.
Those among who prefer their listening sounds somewhat stilled in reverential auras and delicately rubbed in neo classicist impressions might do well to succumb to the ethereal beauty that is the Downliners Sekt’s ‘silent ascent’. prized from what we understand to be is the Barcelona based duo’s third album shortly due for release by InFine, these electronic alchemists weave bruised half lit spectral beauties encased in frost chipped celestial murmurs, take heed for ‘silent ascent’ much like a vulnerably exposed No Ceremony will break hearts with its faintly divine and forlorn hymnal caress all softly showered in nocturnal dub stepped glitching sighs and momentary euphoric eclipses to have you feeling as though you’ve been touched by some heavenly apparition. Missives have been despatched for copies of that album. http://www.soundcloud.com/infine-music/downliners-sekt-silent-ascent
This has been bouncing all over the turntable attracting much fond stares since arriving here, new twin set from flights of helios who I’m certain we’ve covered here before. A digital release via band camp no less featuring a new exclusive cut in the shape of ‘factory’ and a killer floor trouncing revamp of their recent debuting effort ‘crows’. ‘Factory’ may first appear something of a sore thumb, fracturing rhythms and angular time signatures all cast with a distancing nonchalance, yet scratch a little deeper beneath the surface glare and that fracturing is a stricken paranoiac anxiety driving coldly through its core pulsating to the minutiae detailing of bleak existences behind closed doors strangled in the shadows of a city at night veiled off by the content by the drawing of curtains. Edgy and intense and superbly framed in an unwavering mutant austere post punk glazed kraut rocking grind. Over on the flip ’Crows’ is superbly rephrased and re-titled into a hulking floor throbbing cosmic dub darling ’crowstep’ which veers ever so seductively in to ’in rainbows’ era Radiohead orbits likewise proving something of a listening must for those of you pining the absence of any John Brenton (landshipping / OJN) related slo-mo groove in recent times, though keep a watchful ear out for the way things go all bad tripping, wired and dislocated drum ‘n’ bassy at the 2.55 mark, very Birdpen in a face off with working for a nuclear free city I should add. http://www.flightsofhelios.bandcamp.com/
To say we are a little surprised that this managed to survive its journey from the label to here is an understatement. The record arrived brought along by a hapless postman who left it at a neighbours without bothering to tell us it had been delivered there (that’s what the red cards are for dick brain). The neighbours then proceeded to forget they had it and since we didn’t knock for it, because we didn’t know to, they kept hold of it for a few days and after several attempts (I guess – I say I guess giving them the benefit of the doubt) at calling, then saw fit to have our wheely bin prop it up one late night, wherein the heavens opened up and soaked it. Seriously words fail me – I’m surrounded by ‘stoopid’ people. But there’s more. Inside the package sat a 10 inch record, alas cracked – and unplayable, the packaging absolutely knackered as though the result of being used as a ball in a game of throw catch throw at the sorting depot. Good job there was a CD included of all the records tracks. So with the grumbling done this is Bob Constant and the goodbye horses – out via vacilando 68 recordings (of course a label much loved around here). Alas no information on Bob and his cohorts but safe to say that the parting track on this 4 track lovely ’hand to hold’ had us frantically spending the best part of an hour trying to locate our copy of thinking fellers union local 282’s debuting full length from many years ago without much success, and I hardly think that turning up various copies of truman’s water wax was going to help matters. The references to thinking fellers might be off the mark but they were the first band that dared disturb the grey matter upon hearing these four cuts first time of asking. That said if ever you were in the market for some soulful math rock then Bob Constant and Co are your first port of call for ’hand to hold’ is a deliciously distracting stew of intricately weaved Beefheartian bluesy funkiness punctuated with moments of acute volatility and here blessed as though smoothly fused with a youthful Pere Ubu. In fact in truth this has Pere Ubu references all over it like a rash though admittedly opening salvo ’After’ is possessed of a dirtily raw and ravaged Hendrix tracing replete with some nifty corkscrewing and angular blues riffola before that is seeing fit to blossom into some hulking anthem like charge of cavalry towards its finale. Harrowing and totally smoked out ’the goodbye lies bleedings’ teeters between cacophonic collapse and frayed around the edges down at the heel swamp dragged soul seduction while ’laughter track’ perhaps the most well adjusted and accessible thing here opines disconsolately to a demurring rippling to fractured San Lorenzo styled rupturing here as though imagined with Ubu main man David Thomas crooning from the front. Does it for us.
To say we were much overjoyed today by the arrival of a finished copy of the Velour Modular’s ‘capsule’ EP is something of a gross understatement. Mentioned earlier this missive when we plugged the critical ear into ‘Esc’ (and even earlier in November when we swooned to the irresistibly beautiful ‘forward’) this duo comprised of Guilhem and Hektagon shimmer into the coolly coalesced electro chill pop chic and noir trimmed cosmic torch allure of Italian duo Musetta whose ‘mice to meet you’ set from a few years ago really is deserving of your attention before you grow any older. Also featured here are the as yet unheard ‘technology worshipper’ and ‘sudden motion’ cut – the former a starry eyed Moroder set for stun slice of demurring lunar pop seductive rippled with the pop astuteness of Salon Boris and the cold wave sensuality of Client and the Rubicks while the latter a full on future world astral disco dolly that coos, charms and cosmically entrances in a kind of beguiled Barbarella bewitchment.
Having now heard this we here are kicking ourselves hard for not picking up Headspin’s lovely looking 4lp 20th anniversary box set gathering of all four of Simones’ ultra scarce purple phrogg albums. Limited to just 500 copies they by all accounts flew off the racks in the time it took most heads a chance to skin up. Equally embarrassing – for us at least – is the fact that so far – stateside psych-er Al Simone has managed to thus far escape the prying ears of our radar. Due out now in the Summer, it was originally listed on May time Fruits de Mer schedules, will be a limited pressing of Simones ’majic ship’ which if I have my facts right originally appeared on 1999’s ’balloon ride’ full length. An absolute mind wiring slab of heavy psych freak beat crystal kissed in swathes of kaleidoscopic hazes fried out by an acute bedrock of 60’s shimmered lysergic dipped wah wah’s which all said should prove a perfect record shelf accompaniment for those stray murmurs from Irma, Nick Riff and various delerium grooves from the era as well as cosying up snugly to you’re the luck of eden hall stereo stash.
May time also seems the release of the nearly lost Tor Peders ‘brev fran Ederstorp’ – an album that was mooted for release a few years back but ended up getting shelved when the bands founder member Jonas was run over and killed. By way of respect to their lost leader the ensemble called it a day and the recordings where shelved. However nearly three years on and Fruits de Mer have managed to persuade the remaining band members to think again so with that the session tapes have been dusted down and given the typically cool FdM treatment by way of a 500 only clear wax pressing with the addition of a bonus 7 inch featuring the bands last ever session recordings with Jonas. From that set ‘l‘espirit de l‘escaliere‘ has been sneaked onto the May Fish fruits de mer sampler set, a sumptuously lazy eyed slab of coolly keys drenched trippy late 60’s styled soul progged up psych lounge, mellowed and perfect for sun fading evenings drawing out beneath hot sultry skies which across its 7 minute drop by manages to chew up the generic divides doing smoking sophisticated one minute and stoned out and wasted the next and ending matters on a storming bluesed blistered Mountain like note, in truth try imagining a chilled studio happening of Procul Harum, White Noise and Mr Page types arranged and overseen by John Barry. Nuff said.
Again due reach transcendental heights of out of body bliss this May is a new album from Astralasia entitled ‘wind on water’ which when it arrives will come pressed on clear slabs of wax with hypnotically enhanced PVC clear sleeving an bonus 7 inch record to boot. Again perfect dream dipped listening experiences for those familiar with the more ambient and out there quadrants of the Delerium back catalogue, from the set and served up on the Fruits de Mer May Fish sampler set ‘the innoscense’ a hulking bonged out third eye trip-a-delic treat which in short sounds not unlike being tethered upon the surrealist floral growth of the musical mosaics trip wiring Chris Morris’ legendary blue jam broadcasts. Mind expanding stuff.
Again in May you can expect the 6th volume in Fruit de Mer’s head expanding Strange Fish series, this is the off shoot imprint / project that seeks to bring the finest from the outer worlds of strange sound, ambience and the kind of esoteric pop falling outside the usually prog / psych / kraut remits of its siblings FdM and Regal Crabomophone. Craig Padilla opened last years exhaustive 5 volume selection if I recall rightly, this time he’s been afforded the luxury of space to work an absorbing double disc odyssey. ‘Sonar’ as the title might give hint promises to be a beautifully lulled cosmic trip from which ’challenge deep’ showcased here on this FdM sampler set gives testament. A 13 minute Vangelis voyager sumptuously adorned in starry garlands and motorik murmurs all fired upon auto pilot pulsars and framed as a truly expansive and mesmerising oceanic lunar suite calibrated and teased in Tangerine Dream styled milky way mirages. Blissful.
Firmly established in hearts as one of the most creatively wired and left field imprints currently ploughing their wares across this fine nation today, Brighton based Foolproof Projects has been over the last ten years or more the communicative channel from which Andy Pyne in his many sonic disguises (black neck of the common loon, kellar, medicine and duty, braer rabbit et al) has sounded off. Latest release might yet prove to be the latest finest to date. But first of all apologies because we’ve had this a fair while – somehow getting itself lost under a pile of CD’s it was only upon hearing the Can Can Heads band camp / vinyl release that somewhere in the back of our mind we had vague images of having seen it lurking somewhere. And so then the Sunday morning hunt was a foot with a mission statement that read no rest until it had been secured. Limited to just 75 CD copies and an endless supply of downloads Map 71 release their debuting platter. First coming into existence by way of an unplanned appearance at last years Supernormal Festival, duo Andy Pyne (see above for resume) and poet Lisa Jayne forged an unlikely alliance buoyed by the city’s bristling art / sound scene and relocated to a studio setting to see if the live kinship forged at the festival could translate on record. Several months of on / off recordings and the 8 track self titled set emerges into the light. Initial listens might have those well versed in foolproof project product thinking that this is way off the left field radar even by Pyne’s past efforts, agreed it is out of step and jarring with its angular motifs austerely sparsely weaved retro electronics and ad hoc rhythmic jabs courting an unusually obscure and obtuse fraying which when accompanied by Jayne’s streams of narrative consciousness endow it with a chilled post punk bleakness that admirers of Rooney, Pink Military and SPK might wince at. But soon it takes hold and the mists begin to clear and matters finally settle with the parting ’Way to Bridge’ and just then and only then does it all fall into place as though someone has finally handed you the lid to a jigsaw puzzle box and for the first time you see exactly what you’ve been struggling to piece together looks like. ’Way to Bridge’ is that moment. The point where everything is drawn together and everything coalesces. It’s the point were you think – Eccentronic Research Council. Of course. That said where ERC and Maxine Peake go down the surrealistic path via the BBC Radiophonic Workshop root, Map 71 turn down the same path only to bunk off when the others aren’t looking to stroll overgrown austere pathways blanked with Clockwork Orange like bleakness leading to Cabaret Voltaire (see ‘cobalt return‘), Ludus (as on the fragmenting paranoiac edginess of ‘map seventy one’) and to a loose extent the Au Pairs (’on the fault line‘ being the prime example). From therein its advised that you start slowly working your way backwards right to the start whereupon you‘ll encounter the starkness of the Blevin Blectum like opener ’down the well’ while the psychotropic ju-ju that is ‘heat spell’ seductively spell crafts itself into the dark psychosis of an early career Siouxsie and Budgie Creatures. Essential. http://www.map71.bandcamp.com
Seems apt that we should be listening to this mid way through the witching hour. Not I hasten to add for those suffering with nervous dispositions this is another set that we managed to trip across on a recent band camp soiree by the charmingly named Dead Fetus via equilateral records. Again absolutely no information with which to impart except to say that he / they hail from Portland and describe their sound as anti pop electronic alien youth rave thrash and with that we were tempted to leave the review feeling we couldn’t add anything else worthy of merit. However us being us we just couldn’t leave well alone without putting in our tuppence. Now from the cover which depicts some trick or treat ghoul dressed head to toe in a black gown you’d be inclined to assume this lot are a cheerless collective with the introductory greeting cut ‘rise’ serving only to strengthen the resolve in your belief given its eerily stilled in a macabre welcoming that makes Vincent Price’s sonorous speeches at the start of his ‘price of fear’ radio shows positively child’s play. Matters don’t lighten with the emergence of the ice frosted dread of the horror phonic industrial grimness of ‘mercy’ or the sinister chill exacted by ‘flesh and bone’. but stay the course because what emerges isn’t quite your hide behind the sofa ill at ease listening experience instead a well crafted slab of industrial cultured dark techno hatches from the apocalyptic debris where the white noise bleached Balearic visitations of ‘bleed dry’ co-exist in groove space with the mutant beats lo-fi trance gouged ‘end u’. all said though best of the set by some distance is ‘penicillin’ all festival anthem like tripped with buzz sawed motifs, trip hop beats softly soaked in peaks of euphoria and celestial chorus’.
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