archiv: singled out – missive 200 (b)…

missive 200 (b)
….and so it goes…..

this missives….

chachi on acid, lillies on mars, itoken, cave, john barretts bass drum of death, beach fuzz, beth jeans houghton, poppy mallow, sunken landscapes, my cellphone is better than your cellphone, arthur delaney, hektor – don’t know about you but we find it damned hard to resist a band whose members go by the names of nib, hairy and nipples, of course we suspect that they aren’t the names on their passports if indeed they possess passports because having heard these snot nosed cuties we wouldn’t be too surprised to hear that this lot are under some kind of state controlled curfew. They hail from Ontario by all accounts have been around now for the best part of two decades no doubt scaring and amusing the bejezus out of record punters with their riotous revelry. And why not we ask. In short Chachi on Acid dish out a frantic line in brain damaged tastiness, fuzzy, trashy sometimes stupid often inept never dull, a bit like the Dwarves but without the sticky bits and obviously schooled in all things second wave UK punk / early 80’s east coast hardcore and happily pilfering riffs previously owned at one time by Bators and Thunders, stuff like ’everybody I know is an asshole’ and ‘I wanna be an alcoholic’ (even with its squeaky toy sounds) are instant spew venting pogo pounding shit faced anthems while ’resurrection cemetery’ breaks from the well oiled formula and veers towards a seriously freaked species of chord serrating metal that’d make Ozzy cack his pants, mind you best moment in our view is the daft and demented ‘speed city radio’ a kinda of Bad Brains lamping the crap out of the Beastie Boys type thing just wait till you hear the beer swilled and hiccupping chorus harmonies though that’ll be a strange take on the description harmonies sounds to us like Tarzan choking on a t-bone – priceless. – another combo who to much head scratching around these parts we’ve somehow arrived a little late to – Lillies of Mars are a Hackney / Shoreditch based duo (that’ll be Lisa strumming things, Marina also strumming things and as its described here doing the ‘dooggie groove’ – strangely not available in the local guitars and instruments mart and helped out by Andrea when playing live – he likes to hit and bash things) who to date have released (by the looks of things) a solitary self titled full length which we really must get to hear before our beard gets any longer and considering we’ve just shaved that should be like – now. Lillies of Mars are a seductive proposition sound wise – there’s an odd gauged beauty about ‘my liver hurts’ in so far as the way its deceptively draped in a brooding sun shaded soft psych tweaked west coast cast, both angelic and bitter; magical and spectral; fluffy and yet macabre sounding all at once disturbingly chilling and yet caressing as not unlike some lost treasure excavated from a rare vault sourcing expedition conducted by Sundazed. Then there’s ‘electro fix’ which sees them in a face off with Me Icon and found shrouded in all manner of dream weaving celestial baubles and orbiting amid a starry eyed spectral tapestry of eerie minimalist electro swathes and sugar kissed moments of blossoming braids. Whereas in sharp contrast ‘honourable horrible friend’ is ruptured and scarred with a becoming bleached edginess not heard around these parts since the wayward death carnival sounds of Lily Rose. Frankly stunning. – afraid its more of those peculiarly puzzling and demented toy town sounds emanating from out of Japan that we here frankly can’t get enough of, sadly no information other than to say itoken is currently unsigned and by the sounds of things has spent formative years blissing out on the kind of rare library sounds much loved and in some small way reproduced by the likes of Stereolab, Plone and Broadcast in the 90’s – from the kookily cosmic plinky plonky down tempo dippyness of ‘cabbage’ to the mellowing lull of the frosted oriental rustics of ‘home and garden’ itoken engages in a lilting array crookedly calibrated moments whose lineage can be drawn directly back to Raymond Scott’s kindergarten electronics. Only ‘tourist’ and ‘penne bettola’ seek to break from the clock worked mechanisms, the former opting for a quite barking, skewif and quite possibly skedaddled and inebriated ukulele folly while the latter it should be said is primed for lovers of the TV show Pingu et al – an elephantine love note of fat squelching fanfares and wickedly deranged time signatures all decoded with a curious retro appeal that suggests it might do well being accompanied by one of those macabre animations that at one time found their way out of eastern European and onto early 70’s children’s television. Much recalling in some respects Gulliver.

Cave ‘the ride’ (static caravan). Ultra ruddy limited or so we’ve been led to believe, in fact we’re not even sure whether this has been officially let loose on the record buying public yet though either way will shift like shit off a hot shovel and be a thing of much desire and expense on the internet auction sites we shouldn‘t doubt. One for those of you who prescribe to all things mind warping and gridlocked kraut grooved, Cave last featured in these very pages courtesy of their again ultra limited outing for those noise and out there informed dudes over at Trensmat entitled ’butthash’. ’the ride’ is just as it says on the tin a smoking toking voyage upon a humungous psychotropic cosmic mama that once in its company has the weird and wired effect of having you imagine you’ve been teleported back through the decades to find yourself in the audience of an early 70’s Old Grey Whistle Test transmission and cutting strange trees in the wind shapes on the groove space whilst simultaneously having your head massaged by the densely layered hypnotic motorik riffage while your mind goes for a astral trip, hell its so spaced out and retro I kinda feel naked for not having a beard not to mention forced to adorn ourselves in Velcro implants to stop our wigs flipping. yabba yabba. Flip the disc and the stoned ones obsession with ’hash’ titles continues afoot – if ‘the ride’ was Amon Dull II then ’bobby’s Hash’ is a freaked out riff flashed kiss off between classic era Hawkwind and Sabbath, sounds to us like a heads down space boogying duel that as were between the combined might of current day beatnik beasts Mugstar and Avenging Force, a ferociously drilled mesmeric babe softly cured with strange psych tripped flavours which despite its fringe parting and grizzled hammer like locked grooved intonations is cut with the most sexiest of hip shimmying moves that you’re likely to hear for a fair while yet.

John Barrett’s bass drum of death ‘stain stick skin’ (fat possum). Fat Possum – at feckin last – we’ve managed to nail one of their releases, many the time we’ve been rooting through the various record counters of vinyl emporiums hoping to hook up to something on the label without much look, yes I know we could always order stuff online – but its just not the same paying for your gear and then waiting impatiently for the order to turn up, you hand over your cash for something and you want it there and then so that you can razz home as fast as the wind will take you in order to place said acquisition on the turntable and (depending how mean and impish you’ve been feeling with your record choices) annoy the crap out of your neighbours. This beauty is – I think we’ve read somewhere – strictly limited to just 100 copies in the UK – so get your arses into gear fast on this ‘un. Sadly no information to impart (well there probably is but we can’t be arsed checking – look its like this either I write something about how the blighter sounds or do a this is your life – are we clear on that?). John Barrett’s bass drum of death is as you’ve probably already figured out for yourselves a one man combo type thing that man being John Barrett armed with just a guitar and a bass drum. ‘stain stick skin’ is a killer slice of scuzzy and raw as f**k blistered blues equipped with the kind of snazzily crafted primitive skin that suggests a mojo bag tooting dust cloak adorned crossroads ventured preacher man rising from some kind of Sun Studios swamp possessed with the fused DNA of RL Burnside and Jon Spencer and comin‘ a callin‘ for your soul – or something like that. Need I say more. Flip side features ’the ballad of bandit X’ – hell did we just mention RL Burnside a second ago then this is Burnside to a tee – a hoochie coochie nugget of freewheeling mooching chord saturated delta vibed prairie folk blues – well smart.

Beach Fuzz ‘untitled’ (great pop supplement). Been way too long for our liking since we had any Great Pop Supplement ear ware doing strange things on our turntable. Anyway we happened across this looking we must admit a trifle bit lonesome and sorry for itself sitting unloved in a record rack of a local vinyl emporium. Well you know us lost causes etc…we took said hapless looking artefact with the promise of much love and playing to the counter handed over the dosh and off we both went homeward bound to the and eagerly awaiting house hi-fi. Noisy little bastard it is to. Apparently this lot hail from Manchester and feature members of Stuckometer, Axis Mundi and Eyehai (really – don’t ask us) and have been the toast of those who like their sounds slightly more frazzled and freeform by way of ultra limited outings for Golden Labs and Blackest Rainbow. Anyway two cuts feature on this strictly limited to 300 copies affair which comes replete with all your usual inserts snazzy looking fold around card sleeve and gubbins. Confusingly both tracks are titled ’untitled’ with ’untitled #1’ as we’ll call it to save confusion being a howling mirage of freakish sun drenched cosmic skree, all free formed noise folk styled squalling jam like trippiness and general out there kookiness that if we didn’t know better would have to say sounded like some of the more wigged out and abstract moments from the much loved Sunburned Hand of the Man’s back catalogue. Flip the disc for ’untitled #2’ which upon closer inspection we are beginning to have a sneaking feeling isn’t at all a separate track but the same cut divvied up across two sides of wax, any how its wired stuff, delightfully unsettling at times and not unlike Loren Connors in a chilled type mood – plenty of mantra like droning and general all round ’what the f**k is that’ styled waywardness and because of that you need and want it don’t you. We’ve ordered their two previous releases so expect more peculiar mind fried transmissions in future dispatches.

Beth Jeans Houghton ‘I love this world’ (bird). We promised previously that we’d nail a copy of this when we happened across her latest release for the esteemed Static Caravan (see missive 199) incidentally entitled ‘golden‘ and selling by all accounts like lolly ices on a hot summers day. ‘I love this world’ is the debut release which appeared – if we’ve got our facts right – sometime last Summer – seems to be sold out everywhere – so if you want a copy you’ll have to go to the label source or else no doubt pay exorbitant prices levelled by auction site chancers. Four tracks feature on this unsettlingly beautiful debut – BJH really does sound like she’s stepped from some sort of Disney conceived Brothers Grimm enchanted sleep, the sounds soft and delicate appear like ghostly whispers endowing sprinklings of magical fairy dust, the textures beguiled and floral cocoon the would be listener in a demurring woozy haze that’s all at once church like and reverent and yet supernaturally ethereal – none more so is this the case than on ’the garden’ wherein in procession upon procession of twinkling folk fancies shyly whisper their becoming love noted spell charms as the cascades of shy eyed woodland orchestrations and angelic harmonies tip toe to lull and caress like dreamy sirens beckoning through the foggy ether. Elsewhere the breezily ’sink’ is sumptuously awash in entrancing myriads of lolloping rustics and softly teased lullaby like chiming intones while the parting ’cruel Francis’ is a drifting slice of light headed shanty styled sweetness braided by cellos and what sounds like a rather impish accordion. Purchase on sight – great thing await. – described by those wonderful Club Hell people as ‘feel good after midnight music for the disturbed’ – blimey they weren’t kidding where they. Sadly no information about poppy mallow which can of instills a sense of mystery, a mystery only further intensified by the sounds emanating from their MS page. Just two tracks posted here but I’m sure you’ll agree both revealing enough creeping eeriness to have you hiding under the bed with a sense of intimidated dread waiting for sun up. ’ice-cream’ of course edges it in the ’blimey is it just me or is it cold in here and whose the uninvited guest’ stakes with its curdling feast of clock working deathly chimed music box corteges, doomed ceremonial funereal castings and the sickly scratching of something quite inhuman and chained lurking ominously in the shadows, a kind of early learning centre styled library sounds lullaby for psychotic tots. ‘sts’ is a bit lighter mood wise though still has you imagining a nocturnal tea party for waking toys happily serenaded by a macabre assemble of clockwork soldiers and pirouetting marionettes piping out carnival-esque creep show symphonies made up dismembered memories of Pram and Broadcast sounds of years gone by. We need to hear more.

Sunken Landscapes / My Cell is better than your Cell Phone ‘split’ (Nihil Underground / Scotch Tapes). Pressed on 7 inches of red wax and housed in a wraparound sleeve – frankly what else could a boy want – well ours is a nifty silver labelled promo – so that’s us sorted. Out now and no doubt the talk of the underground community, this simply essential vinyl split is limited to just 300 copies which I suppose for admiring patrons of Scotch Tapes releases probably seems like a sell out given their releases usually appear and disappear in the brief blink of an eyelid by way of their ultra scarce limited issue (ranging anything from single numbers to – ooh 30). This particular release – which I should add has no recommended RPM details meaning we’ve been playing it to our hearts content at various speeds and all to much rewarding success I should say though we’ve settled on 33 to be on the safe side – features Scotch Tapes head honcho Al in his workaholic capacity as My Cell Phone is better than your Cell Phone sharing wax space with the equally prolific (and it has to be said) previously unknown to us Sunken Landscapes. For his side of the bargain MCPIBTYCP (who unless we are much mistaken appears to be navigating through some kind of a to z of the genres given that no two of his releases bear any resemblance to the last) stumps up ’a gun named Jesus’ – a superbly crafted slice of chilled down tempo psychotropic dub by our reckoning and something that should appeal to fans of the early 90’s combo Depth Charge albeit replete with fat salacious fluid and spongy grooves and calibrated ever so slightly with an informed Detroit techno flavouring which on repeat listens really does at times sound like a spaced out Biosphere having been dunked in a flotation tank. Not to out shone Sunken Landscapes – incidentally one Andy Summers of Long Beach who we are suspecting is indeed not or either a relation of the Police guitarist (who has a place forever in our heart by way of his penning of ‘Sally’ a tale about a blow up doll no less) of the same name. his back catalogue stretches to some two dozen releases most via the Nihil Underground imprint whose releases to date have included outings from combos with such wonderful names as Bacteria Cult, Suburban Bathers and Lavish Womb (all of whom we’ll endeavour to check out in a future dispatch). Anyhow found here serving up ’other side of space’ Summers engages his aural space craft and ventures to the far reaches of sounds cosmic void and by our ears seems to traversing a universe previously occupied by the quieter dream-scaping and trippier moments of the lengthier side of Jean Michel Jarre’s ’magnetic fields’ set albeit now infested and populated by an extra terrestrial insectoid colony armed with all manner sand blasting tools whilst tapping out curiously confused binary transmissions whose message has been altered and fractured by ghostly white noise interruptions breaching the ether – of course it’s all very noise-trance like in nature with repeat exposure liable to have the effect of expanding your head. Recommended. and

Arthur Delaney ‘Darling’ (young and lost). Could have sworn we’d already reviewed this cutie but a quick check around the gaff proves otherwise. Again another single that’s no doubt be out for ages that you’ve all bought, loved to death and have now filed away somewhere in your tip top hi-fi hustling record collection. Out on the uber cool Young and Lost imprint (Pull Tiger Tail, Noah and the Whale, Good Shoes, Vincent Vincent et al) and housed in a picture sleeve featuring a rather demurring pixie-esque lady holding a twig which on the reverse becomes several twigs – whether this has anything to do with the actual song remains to be seen but still looks eye catchingly fetching. Anyway before we start rambling profusely can we just say that all good homes should own a copy of this, aside the obvious attraction of the sleeve Arthur Delaney – perhaps the most un rock ’n’ roll name since Lonnie Donegan – cuts a rather neat and summer grazed mellowing sound, I seem to recall reading he’s only 19 and yet sounds like a folk troubadour from the late 60’s who you’d easily imagine necking jars of moonshine with the likes of the Band and Loudon Wainwright III, ’darling’ his frankly remarkable sounding debut is classic era Dylan blessed with the creative allure and free spirited beauty of Rodriguez backed by a clearly chilled and popified variation of Buffalo Springfield that once found straying from the tinny speakers of a kitchen transistor will bathe you in a lilting summery radiance of softly shimmered prairie styled flavourings. Classy. Flip the disc for the markedly up-tempo throb of ’dance of fools’ a delightfully and decidedly catchy slice of shuffling country tinged jamboree that sounds to us like its been fermenting these last four decades in some long forgotten rickety shed just outside Nashville – well smart an adorably annoyingly good. Any questions.

Hektor ’cherry’ (self released) – must admit that since this arrived in our my space ‘comment’ box that its been causing a fair amount of ructions in our gaff, aside the video being clearly bonkers and dare we say affectionately so ‘cherry’ itself as a stand alone track is cut with the kind of buzz sawing flighty pop sensibility that nags cutely below your skin demanding repeat plays and your undivided love. Hektor are a French based quartet who to date have secured firmly under their collective belts two full lengths in the shape of ‘dams ta gueule’ and the recently released ’pas assez bien pour moi?’ from which ’cherry’ is culled and are currently unsigned – itself one of those great eternal ’why’ questions you sometimes find yourself asking. ’cherry’ is a sugar rushing abundance of dippy day-glo pop, festooned in all manner of whirling and wonky electronic squiggles and brandishing the kind of instantly infectious tug of hip hugging pop sensibility styled new wave riffage that suggests a passing fondness for fellow Anglais / Francophiles Maudite Dance albeit readily more saccharine and frisky in texture, add to that mix the swoon like matter of fact casual purr of lead lady Carine, a smidgeon of impish lunacy and some whooping backing harmonies and you have something acutely adorable – in the mean time we’ll try and blag those albums for further inspection – oh and while we are about it here’s the video…..

more shortly or sooner depending –

take care

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