missive 200 (g)
Wonderfully Courteous Gentlemen ‘you can can’ (wcg). Another corking debut it should be said and something that should appeal first and foremost to those of you much admiring of the future grooves currently being piped out of the collective mindsets both Swimmer One and Working for a Nuclear Free City. Its all throbbing synth driven grinds opening salvo ‘when the time comes’ managing to procure a melodic matrix that’s all at once glacially tipped in an austere death disco like aura (much likened to that of White Rose Movement) and yet desirably decoded in a strange pulsating funk swoon fluidity bled throughout with a wiring pop sensibility much reminiscent of indie electro chaps the Koreans from a few years back. Likewise both ‘break fall’ and ‘dance floors’ have enough of an ice cooled coolness about their wits to admirably cut a fair amount of seductive shapes on the sharpest club floors across the land the latter in particular aside being ruggedly hip grinding and mooching hooking into similar shadowy territories as was once the remit of a post Vince Clarke Depeche Mode. Mind you we here are more than a tad smitten by ‘we’ll be so happy’ – for us the best cut here by the odd country mile or two – very much taking its cue from a very youthful ‘scene 30’ era Echoboy albeit as though edgily recalibrated by a spacey psyche vibe implanted by a distinctly pop orientated Add N to X. Quite smart if you ask me. http://www.wonderfullycourteousgentlemen.com
The Shitty Limits ‘here are the limits’ (static shock). F**k me this good. Haven’t a clue how long this babe been rupturing the radio dials of the more in tuned of the record buying cognoscenti but hell does is make for a rousing racket. Already proud parents of several – well five that we’ve managed to spot – 7 inch releases including this ‘un as well as a few appearances on various compilations such as KCDY radio, the fucked up mix tape and of course last years Counter Culture ’08 set put out by Rough Trade, the Shitty Limits may well be the hottest thing in the postal regions covering High Wycombe, Reading and Guildford right at this moment. Frankly the equivalent of letting a spiky topped genie out of the bottle, by all accounts this lot are levelling to the ground every venue who’ve been fortunate enough to get them, perhaps at the moment on the Jim Jones Revue seem like a more fierce some prospect in the frazzled recording and live stakes. Featured here are six prime sliced servings of frenzied in your face and up at you close and personal three chord arse whipping proto punk nuggets, stupefying stuff fast and furious (the longest being a second short of the two minute ticket tape) and pretty much over in the time it takes you to utter the immortal head nodding ’what the f**k was that?’ blending an adept appreciation of first wave punk – US and Brit styled, oi and hardcore the Shitty Limits (don’t be distracted by the name into thinking these are a bunch of society baiting wasters)| come across like a free for all melee between Kleenex (check out ‘in your shoes‘), the Descendants, Black Flag and Minor Threat though ostensibly drilled with an impish pop sensibility that makes each and everyone of these gems something more than a terrace chant knees up, featuring a psychotic front man who sounds a time like a wired DNA cross fix between Stiv Bators and Jonathan Richman all backed by an armoury of bass, guitar and drum carnage who seem happy to stump up old skool Seeds and Standells riffs at pace – see ’I’m a square’ in case you need further evidence and proof while there‘s more than a whiff of garage beat shenanigans going on amid the thumping punch drunk row that is ‘taking two‘. Our favourite all said and done is the energetically mental and f**ked up squabble ’leave me alone’ rippling aplenty with power surged chords and a killer nag nag nag jab jab jab demeanour – tormenting and tasty and rounded of with someone bowing out saying ’that’s cool’ – damn feckin right it is.
http://www.myspace.com/sonicdelays – got a message from Tim out of the Sonic Delays, seems this a splinter project of the Plenaries who as regular observers to these pages will no doubt be all to aware are much loved in these quarters having already seduced us with two rather quite perfect singles in the shape of ’wonderful thing’ and ’lost our way’. Anyhow Sonic Delays is described by Tim as ‘being the more extreme / experimental arm’ of the Plenaries and sees him paired with fellow Planerie Aimee. Promising recordings shortly there’s just one track posted on their MS player right now that being ‘Evil’ which if memory serves we eyed and reported about with much acclaim when it appeared on the Plenaries my space player not to mention turning up on the flip side of their last single albeit in its demo form – super chilled druggy tonalities, all blissed out soft psyche tonalities that we here much love and sounding not unlike Galaxie 500 aided and abetted by Cheval Sombre raiding Spacemen 3’s medication cabinet. We impatiently wait for more of the same.
Update – as is typical of these things no sooner do we post up a short mention for the Sonic Delays and the buggers only go and hot foot it into the studio to lay down a bit of a gem. ‘are we here?’ is cut in the finest tradition of dream pop trappings, a bitter sweetly bleary eyed babe silkily inoculated by a forlorn and faraway bliss fuelled demeanour and insulated amid a bathing of shimmering honey dripped fuzz tonalities, resonating feedback vapour trails and arcing opines of stratosphere piercing glazes this gorgeously statue-esque nugget which – if references are needed – falls somewhere between the cracks that separate a reclining My Bloody Valentine, Chapterhouse, Autodrone and the much loved Insect Guide. If they carry on with this almost casual ease in cutting stuff like this and ‘evil’ then there’s no telling where this will go, good things do indeed lie in wait.
http://www.myspace.com/thelostandfoundsound – we feel there’s something of a mischievous side to the lost and found sounds persona aside the schizoid battery acid sound with which they / him / she (we’re not entirely certain at this point in time) seek to scramble your senses with, a link to their official website ‘bitchpleeze.com’ no less relocates you immediately to the NBC website which be honest is neither use to man nor beast unless you’re one of these celebrity obsessed sycophants who frequently pours resources into the coffers of magazine tat like Heat and whatever other pointless ‘get a fu**in life of your own’ periodicals that are to be found stoking up the bottom half of shelves at your local newsagents and being much responsible for the depletion of rain forests in areas you’ve probably never heard of. Anyway now removed from the soapbox we’ll tackle the important matter in hand. The lost and found sound hail from Arizona, two tracks so far posted on their my space player, while release wise there’s been a positive plethora of activity that since 2007 has resulted in a dozen or so outings the latest being ‘somebody call me lighter’ – all these are available free as sound files for the sake of a well turned out email or better still throw in the postage and you can get yourselves physical copies. As to what you’ll get in return for your labours is some of that quirky manipulated squall and power electronics that we must admit we here are more than a tad fond of, something that we like to think will certainly raise eyebrows and no doubt complaints from the neighbours when played at full pelt. It seems the lost and found sound enjoy nothing more than exacting a blitz of bastardised binary intermissions, all delivered with more than a hint of shall we say dislocated, damaged and deformed dynamics, frenzied, confused and more than likely in some cases liable to bring on seizure attacks. We suggest you plug yourselves into ‘xposed sr. quet’ not least because its wired and wonky but because once scratched away of its communicative chaos and white noise sand blasting it reveals something of a crookedly playful funkiness much reminiscent of those brain damaged slabs of Dadaist dementia that passed out of Japan in the late 90’s as well as surfacing on the early catalogue roster of Tigerbeat6. Our own well turned out email request is venturing through cyberspace as I write.
Update – message from lost and found sound – he / she / they are in fact a he by the name of Stacy who has promised to send various sound files for review and listening pleasure including a split cassette release with Haunted Tapes who all things being well should feature amid these pages a little further along.
Bass Communion ‘loss’ (Soleilmoon). By our reckoning the second repress of ‘loss’ following its initial appearance on vinyl way back in 2006 and its subsequent expansion to double CD status the following year. Here given a limited edition outing of just 500 copies and sporting a rather fetching looking 12 inch picture disc housing ’loss’ which if previous BC releases are to be judged by should fly out the racks like nobodies business.
For the initiated among you Bass Communion is and has been since the late 90’s the more experimental guise of Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree fame. Providing an outlet for the darker half of his creative persona it has seen Wilson exploring sound textures and atmospherics as opposed to melody based structures, removed of the traditional verse, chorus, verse song writing rudiments applying to the work of Porcupine Tree, Bass Communion has by and large allowed him the freedom to disengage from such restrictions and be led by his instincts to traverse the hidden sub strata of sounds hidden micro-verse. To that end releases bearing the Bass Communion name have tendered to occupy territories best described as dark ambient and drone, last years excellent ’pacific codex’ – which incidentally it should at this point be noted was superbly packaged and released by the Equation imprint – the album itself featuring two elongated tracks of heavily sculptured aquatic ambience.
And so to ’loss’ as with ’pacific codex’ its made up of two elongated suites, perhaps the most accessible of all Bass Communion releases to date as it sub divides itself into one part neo classical and one part light drone, mind you that’s not to say that its anything approaching easy listening. Far from it. ’loss’ is as the title might hint is bleak, sombre and hurtfully reflective. The remit for the recording was to connect with the ‘aftermath of loss‘ and to that end Wilson succeeds in his intent. Devoid of emotion and compassion ‘loss – part 1’ flat lines with an eerie and empty consequence. From the initial thud that greets the entrance of ‘part one’ Wilson cleverly captures and mirrors that moment when the shock and the distressed confusion passes and hits an emotional wall only to be replaced by that extending chill of inconsolable regret wherein the blame making demanding thoughts of the why’s and how’s are substituted by the blame shifting towards a more personalised perspective bringing with it an abandoned and inescapable feeling of dread remorse. The piano based textures within perfectly compliment the mood, both spectral and haunting they are framed in a sepia aura that wither despondently all the time crippled by an unmistakable melancholia. Reference wise there’s more than an air of Satie in the grief stricken delivery, the key refrains turned in with a tortured tenderness shot through with a feeling sinking hopelessness.
Seemingly less demanding but nevertheless still bracing and penetrating, ’part 2’ over on the flip is initially grafted with an deeply isolated funereal casting, gloomy and doomed the textures shift sombrely towards a more atmospherically foreboding drone realm dinked ominously by monastic chimes which in their wake enlist a gripping detachment to the proceedings only to be led to a concluding passage of reflective passing wherein the swathes of drifting cathedral-esque calm usher a sense of quiet closure. Intense stuff.
http://www.soleilmoon.com – further listening ‘Molotov and haze’
Splendor Mystic Solis ‘Heavy acid blowout tensions’ (Eclipse / Galactic Zoo). Haven’t a clue how many of these babies are kicking around but we’re suspecting this is ultra limited and yes we are aware – before you all start sending in complaints letters – that it came out in 2003. And no it isn’t something we’ve dredged up on our recent and dare I say ongoing spring clean – this came courtesy of a recent Cargo picking which I’m suspecting may well be part of them hooking up with Eclipse because we appear to have nailed a few My Cat is an Alien and Sunburned Hand oldies at the same time. Any regardless of all that this something (if you don’t have it already that is) that all psyche heads ought to sharpishly invest in.
Featuring three cuts committed to tape in ‘99 exacting the combined might of Kawabata Makoto (Acid Mothers), Nanjo Asahito (Ruins), Sasaki Hisashi (Ruins), Shimura Koji (White Heaven) and Plastic Crime wave (Utopia Carcrash) culled from three special appearances made in Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis and recorded and preserved for posterity. This space cadets is one serious freaky mother.
Housed in a damn fine looking psych-y sleeve with artwork provided for by Plastic Crimewave, this gathering was a one off Stateside tour, so f**king spaced out and druggy is the set that for the best part of the listening experience our mind freed itself of its moorings and went wandering on some sort of astral odyssey threatening never to return. Apparently the remit for this was to do Syd Barrett like freeform collages but hell there are times when it goes very much Hendrix like especially on ‘Splendor 2’. As you can imagine with such a collective of talent the sounds are – for want of a better description – out of it and out there, shit faced freeform space psyche that falls, veers and spirals between white hot moments of kraut styled power grind and bliss laced stoner groove, the three pronged guitar attack of Makoto, Asahito and Plastic Crimewave coalescing superbly to create one minute – punishing heads down no nonsense freak outs the next transcendental flashbacks that sometimes border on revelation like – stunning for those of you who love their sounds fried, fuzzy, acid laced, wig flipped and beefed up and cosmic as though they’ve arrived and limbered from some huge intergalactic space craft or at the very worst crawled from some sort of thickly lysergic tipped primal soup. If this doesn’t tweak and turn on your third eye with its kaleidoscopic advances then frankly your smoking the wrong shit. http://www.eclipse-records.com
Hafdis Huld ‘stop’ (red grape). Admittedly we appear to have lost this for a fair while – recently unearthed I the great April spring clean – which in case you are asking is going quite badly as it happens – red faces all around at some of the stuff we’ve somehow lost, mislaid or foolishly ignored. Anyway Hafdis Huld – already guaranteed a place in our affections courtesy of her quite ridiculously dippy ‘tomoko’ release from a year or more ago not to mention its follow up ‘diamonds on my belly’. since then there’s been an album which we know for a fact we haven’t got (see spring clean) because if we had you’d be reading about it here. Anyway the former Gus Gus starlet has no doubt won the hearts of the majority probably being feted and spoilt as we write and why not. Mind you that said ‘stop’ rarely hits the buttons, of course it’s the old Sam Brown (daughter of Sam no less who we mentioned in this very missive given he appeared on those Dirty Strangers recordings – and you think we just throw these reviews in the air and hope for the best – meticulous planning I can tell you goes into these as well as Olympic styled caber tossing lunges) chart topper (was it a chart topper) from ‘89. In Ms Huld’s capable hands its reduced to the merest of heartbeats stripped to the core and left openly vulnerable to sport its heart aching wounds, add in some softly demurred shy eyed vocals and the casual spectral strum of acoustics and you have something beautifully raw though as said falling considerably short of the benchmark she’s previously set for herself. Mind you for all that it still canes the opposition. http://www.redgraperecords.com