Tales from the Attic
Revolutions of a 45 and 33 kind….
Been a long time coming this missive, in fact there are four of the blighters with a fifth due to land by Halloween weekend…anyhow here it is – alas most of the stuff herein featured has probably long since sold out either that or your fed up to the back teeth hearing them – anyhow on parade the following……
UMA, Martin Carr, soft explosions, north atlantic oscillations, concretism, dark country, debutantes, Icarus peel, schnauser, hi fiction science, astralasia, sea legs, jouis, tramplord, the weaths, quiet marauder, poino, biscuit head and the biscuit badgers, heoin in tahiti, zone domersale, simon balestrazzi, Adriano zanni, theatre royal, Marianne discard, spids nogenhat, sykes, nick nicely, simones, vibravoid, sendelica, skinny girl diet, kamara, go wolf, stay, the luck of eden hall, pere ubu, map 71, kellar, aeolipile, soft hearted scientists, rapoon, black tempest, the seventh ring of Saturn, higher state, gathering grey, sendelica, holy see, bordellos, neros felines, ex hex, bevis frond, chemistry set, king penguin, sidewalk society….
The urgency, the erratic surges, that sense of simmering agitation metered out by punctuating eye jabbing riffs, crooked stop start zig zag time signatures and that feeling that your one misjudged chord away from total collapse and chaos (’bird trick‘). Welcome to the head fried world of London based trio Poino’s ‘bon ick voyeur’ out via horse arm just now. Melding angular art gouged grooves with mathian post rocking alt grind, ’bon ick voyeur’ may well be the most wayward set you’ll have the pleasure of hearing outside of a platter emanating from the foolproof projects stable all year, delightfully fractured and unhinged and inscrutably schizoid, Poino don’t claim to have created a new sound – trace lines amid the grooves recall at given moments flashbacks to truman’s water, shellac, arm, polvo (in particular ‘burnt birthday‘), hey colossus and literally anything crawling out of the brew and gringo imprints, in fact edge a little closer and you’ll find their kindred spirits to be the birthday party (check out the frenetic and frantic damaged art blues brutality of the contortionist feral flame hot ‘lenod’ if you think we’ve gone a little too far in the back slapping admiration). Far from being one trick ponies shift a little along the grooves for ‘pinking’ which unless ears do deceive (and they don’t) snarls with a twisted forlorn beauty of some lost John Barry spy theme exhumed from the lost vaults and zapped into life by a gathering of Constellations all stars all headed up by primo twang overlords shadowy men on a shadowy planet. All said we here do admit to being mildly fond of the frankly wired to the teeth ’doom fist’ which aside being just totally mental is an exercise in stereophonic trepanning rarely heard done better here than in the early days of Trencher. Most surprising moment of the set comes with the parting ‘terpischordia’ a piano and strings ballad sombrely turned in a shadowy chamber noir trimming and etched in suspense and macabre that you’d rather more expect to hear on a Philippe Petit platter which for its stark dark majesty alone – think Stockhausen reshaping Satie – at the very least would cause palpitations aplenty and chin stroking delight from those much admiring and fondly missing those old Radio 3 ’mixing it’ broadcasts. All that without scarcely a mention of jazz, oh bugger. Chaotically crucial.
By all accounts these dudes have been setting hearts a fluttering and heads a scratching with their conventionally non conventional catalogue of English eccentricity. Mind you with a name like biscuit head and the biscuit badgers you are alerted long before you’ve even had a chance to air their wares that something is promised that’s – shall we say – not quite right. They have an album out ’dinosaurs ate my caravan’ which tackles such lying awake at night thinking about issues of interest such as the formation of snow, the passing of dinosaurs and hot topic of the now – yes you guessed it – the virtues of the tweed jacket. ’cheese’ grated from that aforementioned set is due shortly to entertain and I dare say annoy in equal measures, musical hall mirth blessed with the impish traits of Vivian Stanshall, Louden Wainwright (in his Jasper era) and as the press release exquisitely notes the zany tomfoolery of Vic n’ Bob albeit as though ribbing Cole Porter. Certainly sure to appeal to fans of those other imps of hi-jinx genius Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones with its falling over tripping up slapstick sassiness and smokily cooled cabaret crooning. http://www.biscuithead.co.uk
Finally from boring machines – news that there might be a little action from Heroin in Tahiti, these dudes, alas previously unknown to us, apparently wowed all with their acclaimed ’death surf’ set for the label way back in 2012 – you can grab a digital copy via http://www.boringmachines.bandcamp.com/album/heroin-in-tahiti-death-surf – anyhow the band are set to release a double full length – dates to be confirmed with the label recommending that for now you seek out their current 7 inch and tape releases for Yerevan and no-fi respectively this very minute which is just what we did rooting out a sound cloud link for the Yerevan release, the flip side as it happens ’Alo’ – should appeal first instance to admirers of Grails given its dust ravaged snake dance, a suspense riddled dark beauty rooted in spaghetti western macabre , a witching hour tango of lost souls reliving their final showdown on a grimly tortured soul damning loop for the perverse sadist entertainment of the underworld’s populace. http://www.soundcloud.com/yerevan-tapes/heroin-in-tahiti-alo
Also due to make an appearance on boring machine shortly are duo Zone Demersale – made up of Pietro Riparbelli and Michele Ferretti – the press release promises repetitive loops inspired by sciamanism – being showcased at present as an early warning taster comes ‘paranormal activity’ a briefly stilled slice of ethereal strangeness, unsettling and bizarrely serene it taps the kind of sonic inner worlds oft ploughed by chief noise nik sonic sculpture Roadside Picnic and aural alchemist Cheju.
Next up and via the same outlet, dream weapon ritual – I fairly certain that’s what they call themselves, is the work of sound alchemist Simon Balestrazzi whose extensive career can be traced back to the early 80’s wherein he founded TAC – Tomografia Assaile Computerizzata. This project finds him hooking up with actress / vocalist Monica Serra as well as occasional guest appearances by MS Miroslaw, Antonio Gallucci, Massimo Ollo, Donato Epiro and Paolo Senna. Mastered by James Plotkin the release ’ebb and flow’ is being given a limited black wax outing – and from here is ’ebb and flow #5’ from the set by way of a taster. a colossal 11 minute shape shifting and dream drifting odyssey sculptured in dronal motifs amid whose hypnotic weaves a curious blend of serene Oriental accents and bowed instrumentation pulsate to morphs deliriously into an as were altered states sonic kaleidoscope that woozily wanders distractively like some between sleep and wake psychotropic mirage. There’ll be more from Mr Balestrazzi later this missive as we’ve just taken delivery of a limited split cassette he shares with unmodified for the old bicycle imprint.
Mentioned in brief passing last missive out when casting our ears over that superb Futeisha cassette (lead guitarist with la piramide de sangue), Boring Machine are readying themselves for a holiday break though not before tripping out a handful of essential releases. First up – not strictly a record release as such more a collection of photographic stills by Adriano Zanni of Punck fame – this limited release – the first non sound outing by the label – and incidentally titled ‘postcards from revenna’ – comes pressed up on free life vellum 215gr paper all housed in a thick cardstock box screen printed by Legno
Staying with all things Vacilando 68, theatre royal’s eagerly anticipated ’we don’t where we are’ is due to touch down imminently and from it we’ve been sneaking fond glances at the near perfect pop prowess of ‘here it comes’ as it peels away in sun radiating exuberance whilst nailed to the floor by the tugging tides of crystalline chord ripples, easily filed away under the upper case descriptives ’feel good’ – if I could bottle it up and sell from a hastily cobbled together counter at the local market I’d be a millionaire come the week’s end……
Alas no information as yet for this ‘un, that said is it just me that thinks that this has a touch of the Brigitte Fontaine and Marlene Dietrich about its wares albeit as recoded by Weill and Brecht, arriving here any day soon – we hope – royal mail ineptness allowing – is new album by Marianne Dissard entitled ’the cat. not me’ via vacilando 68 recordings. We’ve already had a sneak peak and first listens have had our ears somewhat straying in the general direction of ’je ne le savais pas’. a bit of a dark beauty is this racked in a turbulent carnival of sound ghosted in fatal beauty and whirlwind drama all set upon an emotion rampaging carousel cabaret that drags you deep into its all consuming storm.
Many thanks to Lars of Bad Afro records for posting this out, a video of psychedelic progressive groovers Spids Nogenhat captured regaling audiences at Tivoli, Copenhagen before appearing at the Roskilde festival. The whole Tivoli set was recorded for TV by the National TV2 network – for now though here they are cutting soulful mystical wig out shapes with the superbly blissed out ‘lolland falster’ – their album ‘kommer med fred’ released at the tail end of last year is still available should you want (and you should) via the bad afro website.
Super chilled loveliness from the as yet unsigned Sykes, a femme fronted three piece hailing from London who judging by this delightfully delicate gemstone know a thing or two about the craft of amorphous glacial pop. New single ‘gold dust’ comes softly crushed in twinkling euphoric showers of honey toned rushes, add in a sprinkling of subtle Balearic accents, the trace toning of down tempo hues and equip it in lovelorn yearns and quite frankly you have a seductively surrendering sortie which might just be arriving time enough to catch the season end summer rays.
In our absence there’s been a positive hive of activity over at fruits de mer with the appearance of a few nifty releases and a stash of related outings from long term label friend appearing on the horizon and ready for acquisition this coming fall.
First up as previously previewed earlier in the year, that near lost outing from Simones. This honey was originally scheduled for turntable love way back with the spring batch having appeared on the labels Mayfish sampler which as all keen eyed spotters among will have noticed was made available in limited numbers for the Crabstock extravaganza and the Record Store Day shenanigans respectively. ‘magic ship’ is your hazily glazed lazy eyed oozy woozy dream drifting multi coloured mind melt replete with demurring drop outs and fuzzy fade ins all sumptuously harnessed upon a psychedelicised pastoral pillow and spaced out in all manner of lysergia. Simones in case your unaware was active in the 90’s setting up his own label and record shop whilst releasing a handful of ultra-limited albums all of which these days command silly prices on the online auction site. Of course ‘magic ship’ is a stone cold lost gem and a worthy addition to the record collection of any self-respecting psych head. Over on the flip another slab of lost gold emerges in the guise of ‘seize the moment’ which unless ears do deceive sounds as though its fell through the space time continuum straight from a bijou 60’s smoke hole into the glare of modern day sunlight to warp headspaces with its fracturing freak beat felicitations – out there and essential in case you were wondering.
Another release we gave a brief mention to in previous musings a little while back when we were all so much younger, this time of asking from FdM head psych prog prefects Sendelica. ‘live at Crabstock’ is as it says on the tin a live document featuring the complete recording of the Welsh wizards recent set culled from their recent Crabstock soiree from earlier this year. Again ridiculously limited in nature, I seem to recall mentioning last time out an ultra-rare as hen’s teeth box set variant – which has long since departed – one assumes – in the grateful arms of a dozen or so early bird enthusiasts. Anyhow this comes courtesy of the ‘friends of the fish’ imprint, a kind of sub label resources promoted and given the blessing by FdM but in effect marketed and run by likeminded souls ie bands and artists from the main labels ever expanding extended family. As said ‘live at Crabstock’ is the full on Sendelica experience, 63 minutes to be precise showcasing admirably their transcendental psych prog happenings, which before you enter and submerge we suggest you might want to consider rolling up a fat one, sparking up and pitching yourself a comfy spot for this is heavy, big bearded stoned out shit that your about to lose your mind to that frequents the astral planes peppering the way with all manner of rare potions and flavourings of aural exotica to trace and follow the sonic ley lines tuning into Ozric frequencies, freebasing on VdGG mediums to voyage lost lands once upon a time surveyed upon by those mighty Gong meisters. ‘live at crabstock’ is a positive tropicalia tapestry not least any better evidenced than on ‘manhole of the universe’ (an absolute mind morphing beauty that aside turning in a head tripping 16 minute odyssey also serves to embrace all elements of psych, prog and kraut into one seriously fried slab of boogie) wherein all side winds to a multi generic tableau more associated with Embryo as it wig flips to navigate directly into the heart of a pulsing cosmic eye as though piloted by unheralded psych wizard Edward Ka-Spell albeit in cahoots with Bill Laswell and Ariel Kalma. Somewhere else ‘motorik jam’ is as it says on the tin – a krautian head rush while images of a mystical Floyd forming to rise from the sands is imagined on ‘set the control for the heart of Buddha’ as it weaves into the woozy galactic jazz climes of Tank to drop in and out by the emergence and disappearance of ghost like arcane Bazaar motifs. Floyd are recalled again on ‘screaming and streaming into the starlit nite’ a hulking spacecruiser superbly heralding the arrival of the pretty zonked out and awesome head frying experience that is ‘(return of the) maggot brain’ leaving ‘spaceman bubblegum’ to round up the set in fine style for a slice of mind fracturing star hugging cosmic acid boogie. Freakish. http://sendelica.bandcamp.com/album/sendelica-live-at-crabstock-wales-2014
Taking a break from Fruits de Mer for a short second for a killer release from skinny girl diet, a spike topped trio who by all accounts have engaged the affection of Viv Albertine and Primal Scream. New EP ‘girl gang state of mind’ is a bit of a babe albeit a blistered one which as is typical of these things we suggest you tune immediately to ‘lazy eye’ – the fourth cut – for this honey pouts, purrs and sneers like a swaggering Runaways rewired by a seriously smoked out Breeders freebasing on the grunge grooves of Nirvana. Elsewhere lead cut ‘nadine hurley’ is your stripped to the bone razor shocked up youthful vice squad belching fuzzed out three chord motifs while the baiting ‘I hate you’ is your pedal to the metal slab of raw and skewed scowling buzz bombed beat pop – thinks evil twin sisters of the Shangri-La’s. somewhere else ‘prozac nation’ adds some deliciously ayward slacker fuzz which unless our ears do deceive had us fondly recalling the black halos. Bringing up the rear and as you’d rightly expect of a cut titled so ‘burnout’ is a whole heap of bad boogie anti pop negativity. All said does it for us as I suspect it will for you – available via the same label (Fiasco) that brought you art trip and static sound – who incidentally – all things being well ought to feature in the missive a little later.
Monumental, majestic and moving are three descriptors that readily spring quickly to mind upon hearing the self-titled EP cut ‘fast changes ’from dream popping shoegazey post rockers Kamara – oh and you could do with throwing in magnificent while you are there. Quietly epic and seductively teased amid a glacial murmuring that thaws with the frost tipped classicism that once upon a time heralded the arrival of a sound that was to become a Sigur Ros signature, ’fast changes ’literally freewheels the spectrum of emotional tides sweetly embraced with the bruising of the Aloof and the stratospheric radiance of the Workhouse and the storm etching of Inch Blue to coalesce and burn out to delicately adjourn matters with the Church. Arresting. https://soundcloud.com/wearekamara/fast-change
I’ll be the first to admit that this might be a tad too sugary for our usual turntable taste buds but there’s no escaping the fact that its acutely cute as a button. New platter from Go Wolf who we’ve featured previously in these missives with pretty much the same introduction if I recall rightly is entitled ‘talk to you’ and its imminent on the ooh la la imprint. In short a sub four minute slab of sea breezing sun burn which provides perfect aural accompaniment for these sun hugging days arriving as it does all jauntily traced with a softly off centred funky smoulder tenderly coaxed by a subtle and dare I say frisky and ear tickling Balearic bounciness. Need I say more…. https://soundcloud.com/lovegowolf/talk-to-you
This on the other hand is well up our street. Preview teaser taster track from the mighty Pere Ubu dudes whose forthcoming ‘carnival of souls’ set is due soon on fire records. ‘golden surf II’ is frankly so off radar and unhinged that it might catch long term Ubu devotees totally off guard for this honey is loose ‘n’ wired and finds Thomas and Co channelling some warped Beefheartian parallel universe immersed in abstraction and no wave nuances intent on turning your listening space on its head and your normality axis to cock eyed amid a gloriously feral and fractured slab of demented Dadaist boogie which by rights ought to have you eagerly counting down the days until the albums release date.
Video evidence here…..
Next up three tip top ultra limited 7 inch outings from the much admired foolproof projects. These honeys arrive in a limited 250 pressing which all things being well in the world ought to fly off the racks in nanoseconds…..
First of the trio comes courtesy of Map 71 who you may recall we mused fondly over a few months ago when their debuting self –titled CD veered into our listening space asserting a degree of old school austere blank generation negativity. Without doubt one of the most uncompromising debuts to pass our way in recent times and one of the high points of what is a formidable back catalogue being assembled by Andy Pyne via his bijou Brighton based imprint. As said limited to just 250 copies, duo Map 71 (poet / wordsmith Lisa Jayne and drums / synths Andy Pyne) trudge a hollowed shadow lined path where lurk the ghosts and remnant sonic skins of PIL, Cabaret Voltaire, (a youthful proto) Sonic Youth and This Heat litter the lanes. Their sound a bleak echo to a no wave era inspired by Burgess and Burroughs, all scarred in futility and paranoia is not I’ll hasten to add an easy listening experience, ‘standing’ finds Lisa Jayne’s streams of narrative consciousness infect a disquiet more occasioned on releases by Pink Military / Pink Industry, the edginess within accentuated perfectly by the humdrum almost blanked repetitive Dadaist throb of Pyne’s pared down spazz jazz underpin which by rights ought to find admirers among those attuned to the anti pop waywardness of throbbing gristle. Over on the flip looms ‘specimen’ – which we must admit to being a tad smitten with given it adopts an acutely cute less is more approach to proceedings and in so doing hypnotically weaves a strangely alluring slice of minimalist earthbeat which to these ears sounds not unlike some impish gathering of Slits and Creatures types whittling out supernatural ju-ju’s – kind of essential in case you hadn’t already gathered for yourselves.
Second up of the trio – Kellar who serve up two slabs of killer ju-ju on an again limited to 250 only 7 inch. As the press release correctly boasts ‘sunrise city flux’ is perhaps their most accessible cut to date and sees them veering into Battles territories before morphing and mutating into what can only be described as a cranium frying finale, between those two points what comes to pass is a wide-screened serenading loosely funky fanfare of a Kellar in playfully frisky mood messing with your fringe and setting your floor space alight to some heads down mesmeric space cruising boogie, fluent and fluid and damn sexy with it which just in case you’re in need of referencing markers sounds not unlike a twang thrilled Bruce Russell under the watchful influence of Joe Meek. Over on the flip ‘exit via ocean’ is Kellar at their most wilfully obscure and obtuse, a freeform slab of fried tribal gouged freakbeat that appears to drop in and out consciousness all the time fracturing to shed its skin and reassemble itself terraforming at will to emerge in the main to forge something that ought to appeal to those admiring of the sounds escaping both the gringo and brew imprints. Not for the feint of heart.
Which neatly brings me to the final instalment of this vinyl trio, a twin tracking scowling jazz head butt from Aeolipile who much to our horror and embarrassment apparently released their debuting EP ‘Jacques de Vaucanson’ earlier this year as a free download via bandcamp – more details below. This lot – a trio incidentally – feature amid their ranks workaholic wired dude Andy Pyne, Tom Roberts of infinite gaaah and bolide and Jason Williams (mothers of the third reich / deepkiss 720) collectively forge a rabid and rampant psychotic stew of Zorn-ish groove not least on the frankly freakish ‘glut’ where the maddening hysteria of the shrilled sax delights in forming schizoid patterns across the kind of obtusely angular and frantically warped time signatures( that would be the wet dream of mathematicians) whittling away beneath to mutate a spazzed out jazz hybrid that imagines Albert Ayler gate crashing an evening studio soiree of Henry Cow types. Likewise over on the flip ‘paused pregnancy’ opts to veer into sonic territories that would cause most to flinch, a caustic cacophony of fringe flipping no wave white hot jazz fury which devotees of James Chance and the Contortions will do well to check out at their earliest (in)convenience – no prizes for guessing then that this is essential head splitting groove.
As to that aforementioned ‘Jacques de Vaucanson’ EP – well you can find it in all its unbridled glory here http://aeolipile.bandcamp.com/album/jacques-de-vaucanson-ep where it’s available as a free download. Featuring three hulking slabs of out there freeform no wave jazzness and something that’ll certainly turn on those among you whose radar is locked onto the frequencies of Ayler, Coltrane and the Henry Cows the title track particularly proving to be a squirreling sore thumbed beauty while ‘heterochromia iridum’ strangely invades the kind of left of centre worlds once upon a time explored with regularity by the pickled egg imprint. By far the best and most freaked out cut of the set ‘valsalva maneuver’ is invested with enough waywardness to put hairs on your already well groomed and softly stroked beard.
In the mood for something unsettlingly beautiful, then feast thy ears upon the macabre wonderment that is the theme from ‘children of bow abbey’ – a by all accounts lost in the archives 70’s TV show deemed so weird and scary by the executives that it was aired in a late night slot and never shown again (we are presently hunting for links). Here for your listening delights re-crafted by the Holy See who I can guarantee you’ll hear more from in future musings- for what emerges is a peculiarly bewitched shadow playing posy of darkly dinked aural apparition of waltzing harpsichord haunts, ghostly fairground recitals and that sense of between dimensions twilight wonderment whose surreal supernatural sonic séance flickers and frights to forge alliances with the likes of Edwin Astley, Broadcast, Duke St. Workshop and the Eccentronic Research Council. https://soundcloud.com/theholysee/theme-from-children-of-bow
Strangely quiet on the Bordellos front I hear you say, one album of the year in the making just out ‘will.i.am, you’re really nothing’ with more to follow one of which ought to see the emergence of a split release with long time musical loves of these missives Schizo Fun Addict. We’ve just had our ears singed by a proposed Bordellos cut for the set entitled ‘hit it’- we love it when these dudes go off road, in short three minutes of laid back smoked out and frazzled rock-a-hula that sassily oozes uber cool amid a wiring schizoid weird psych scalping that teases and twists like some bent out of shape boogie foolishly left on the cutting room floor from the Bunnies ‘crocodiles’ sessions.
Staying loosely with the Bordellos – or at least their extended family – new thing from nero’s felines finds Dan Bordello teaming up with Rick from the Longdrone Flowers for what is a nifty two track teaser from a planned full length – ‘emperor’ – for small bear records this coming fall. As said two tracks on this delightful teaser set, Brian Bordello citing the opening cut as possessing something of Weddoes vibe, and while we do hear the subtle traces of Gedge and Co’s ‘Seamonsters’ seeping through the grooves it’s the softly turn undertone of a casually off set Pavement purr that pricks our ear lobes albeit here pitched to smoulder settings and prowling something of a discernibly dusty Soft Parade countrified pathway. Flip across for the short, sharp and quick fix dose of Pixie-fied psychosis of ‘lose my breath’ as it feeds greedily upon the groove gouges of Walking Seeds’ ‘bad orb….’- https://thenerofelines.bandcamp.com/album/neros-felines-single
Totally smitten with this honey, new thang from trio Ex Hex entitled ‘beast’ prized from an imminent incoming debut platter by the name of ‘Rips’ which is due to flatten record store counters sometime October courtesy of Merge records. Spills out at just over the classic three minute marker but hell what a cutely sassy blighter it is, a glam tanged power popping juggernaut that crystalizes the throbbing purr of Quatro and the Runaways and recalibrates said specifications with the underpinning of a killer cool dB’s grooving and the tuning of a retro pout a la Denim – produced by Mitch Easter – so you know instinctively it oozes class…need I say more – kinda think not. https://soundcloud.com/mergerecords/ex-hex-beast
And we are back with Fruits de Mer for what can only be described as their most ambitious release since that awesomely all consuming Strange Fish gathering last year, now comes a visual tripping aural dream coat arriving as a limited 700 only 7 x 7 inch box set. Featuring a gathering of familiar FdM (the Bevis Frond, the Chemistry Set, King Penguin, the Gathering Grey, Sendelica, the Higher State, the Seventh Ring of Saturn and Black Tempest) talent this epic release comes housed in a scrumptious cardboard box featuring 14 sides of 60’s groove all adorned upon slabs of red, white and blue wax replete with humungous fold out poster. I suspect these dudes are spoiling us now. Entitled ‘7 and 7 is’ the brief is simple invite along for the party your seven (well eight as it happens) favourite bands with the simple request that they lay down two cuts from a cherished act of their own choice the only catch being the artists in question had to be plucked from the late 60’s stateside scene The result dear listener turntable titans of yesteryear (the Byrds, Moby Grape, 13th Floor Elevators, Love, Spirit, Grateful Dead, United States of America and Clear Light) reborn anew and rephrased in a nu psych tongue. Trimmed in all manner of tangy teen beat bubble groove the Higher State re-tweak two sorties from the canon of the 13th floor elevators in the guise of ‘wait for my love’ and ‘you don’t know’ – the former smoked in a tigerishly sassy radio kissing trippy mop topping beat pop haloing while the latter, which in truth steals it for us, is a killer slab of purring psych beat that oozes with the mystery, wonderment and the whiff of Wimple Winch – which as you all know comparisons alone would have many a band retiring happily into the shadows. One of the sets highlights is the freak storm brought to bear by Sendelica whose retreatments of United States of America’s ‘hard coming love’ and ‘love some for the dead che’ provides something of a head spinning trip that leaves you feeling as though your senses have been treated to a lysergic hot wash followed by a psychedelic tumble drying, the former a fuzzy blues beatnik beauty that nods ever so subtly to Jefferson Airplane while the
latter an outlandish and astounding spectacle of stereophonic seduction and bewitchment shimmered in a beckoning honey dipped and silky soaked siren-esque spell crafting. Talking of freaky, its been way too long since we heard the Bevis one sounding so out there, heavy and lost in the moment as evidenced here on the tripping stoner spiked cover of clear lights ‘night sounds’ which to these ears on repeat listens veers ever so succinctly into the mystical music lands of fellow FdM mainstays the luck of eden hall (about more of whom later oh patient ones). More wig flipping happenings are encountered on the stylus scrambling acid fried nugget that is the stoned out fringe flicking wasted ju-ju ‘sand’. Much adored around these here parts the Chemistry Set turn in a brace of quite sublimely faithful Love cover and while, the crystalline ‘a house is not a motel’ softly rushes and whispers like a ghostly charger over spectral sands to achieve critical mass at its close but its their rephrasing of ‘live and let live’ that gets our vote as the best moment of the twinset. Of course like ‘motel’, ‘live and let live’ originally appeared on Love’s – at the time – commercially ignored ‘forever changes’- ripe for Chemistry Set examination you feel, the melodic eccentricity the baroque detailing play to the Set’s chemistry, the tip toing pastorals, fracturing melodies and scuzzy freakbeat riffola serving perfectly as compositional foils- though do remember to turn up to max and strap yourselves in for the cataclysmic skull popping finale. Next up king penguin set their sights upon the Byrds – first up ‘she don’t care about time’ comes deliciously trimmed in surrendering string symphonia and woozy harpsichord recitals together kissed with the trademark spray of jangling riff shimmers it had us I must admit reaching for our prized Clock Strikes 13 and Autumn Leaves platters for fond comparison. the sitar saturated ’5d’ on the other hand is a beautified rustic posy that sways and weaves upon a gorgeously woody inner warmth radiating feel good vibe ripe for campfire cheer and moonshine merriment. Something else deserving of immediate inspection are the Gathering Grey’s wayward re-channelling of Moby Grape’s ‘I am not willing’ and ‘sitting by the window’. Talk about ripping up the form book, the gathering dudes literally smash up the original template to reconfigure a deeply alluring and abstract jigsaw puzzle from the assembled fractured shards. ‘I am not willing’ frankly can only be described as zonked out, if this had the name flaming lips tattooed on its arse you’d been kissing it forevermore, in short a gorgeously dissipating dream coat weaved of blurring south sea shanties, reclining country cool and spectral wooziness all stitched together in a bonged out chemical carnival that had we not known better we’d have hazarded a meeting of minds between toshack highway and j xaverre (who strangely enough is due to appear later in this missive). Oh and then there’s the sleepy headed trip tapestry that be ‘sitting by the window’ which in truth aside being quite stunning in its murmuring majesty sounds as though its dropped one and entered the woozy folds of Doors-esque dreaminess only to redecorate the surroundings in a wispy lacing of mythical folk trimmings. Edging things in the best sides of this humungous set stakes Black Tempest’s re-tread of Spirit’s ‘nature’s way’ and the Seventh Ring of Saturn’s hairy makeover of Grateful Dead’s ‘cream puff war’ surely take some shifting with the Tempest ones opting for some epic progian grandeur which by these ears sounds like the result of some superstar after hours studio note exchanging between the Floyd, ELO and Andy Partridge. As to the Saturn ones, absolutely off its axis, shitfaced and gone – wired out stoner beatniks need only apply.
No sooner do we despatch the Autumnal FdM releases then along comes a quite unexpected goodie in the shape of a sample CD entitled ‘friends of the fish –a first collection’. The first of what we understand to be an occasional gift from the label to be sent out to all those on their subscription list – the next being the now legendary Xmas freebie which this year is rumoured to be a double disc Floyd tribute set entitled ‘a momentary lapse of vinyl’ journeying upwards of 140 minutes of turntable bliss. Back to ‘a first collection’ – as mentioned somewhere else this missive (see Sendelica elsewhere) the friends of the fish is an off shoot imprint given the blessing and push by FdM but run by a consortium of musicians familiar to admirers of the label – this sampler set, an introduction if you like, pauses for time to take a check on the activities of acts associated with the label and sheds the spotlight on 14 members of the fruits de mer extended family. Now we don’t admitting that thus far we have managed to mislay the latest Soft Hearted Scientists set ‘the slow cyclone’ which Keith FdM kindly sent over a little while back, fear not a crap team of reconnaissance has been sent forth to root out the errant blighter for closer listening attention. Anyhow while, and indeed until that happens ’Away’ prized from that set is sumptuously steeled in a drifting wide open seafaring aspect that has you imagining being adrift ocean bound heading for the horizon to tip over the edge of the world all the time buoyed and hoisted by the seamless melodic crest of undulating hushed harmonies and the delicate navigational canter of the fleet fingered pastorals. Unbeknownst to me seems that Cherry Red have repackaged and reissued Bevis Frond’s 1988 opus ‘miasma’ and given it the expanded treatment from off which you can find ‘big hole’ – a sub 4 minute slab of deep and down stone cold blues heaviness that emerges from the smoky bliss kissed haze toking Hendrix tabs- does it for us. Next up Stay – indeed admired around here every time they rear into earshot courtesy of the Fruits dudes stump up ‘the change is coming’ – a sassy 60’s psych soul shakedown which to these ears puts it out like a killer youthful Charlatans. Equally adored around these here parts are the Luck of Eden Hall whose ‘victoria moon’ set I suspect with much sadness we are a tad light on cut lysergic shapes with ‘super phantasmal heroine’ which after initially tripping out sounding as though its emerged from the fractured mindscapes of the Walking Seeds ‘bad orb…’ soon gets to being busy exacting its mind expanding magicalia in redecorating your head space in all manner of kaleidoscopic shadings before twiddling about with your reality settings. Prized from his ‘space of a second’ set Nick Nicely is here exquisitely showcased by the ghostly ‘the change in Charmaine’ which is here found elegantly set in sepia twists and the rarefied flavouring of Victoriana apparitions all turned into a curiously alluring dub gothique glazing. Pulled from their ‘bite the hand’ full length three minute tease admirably acquit themselves in revealing their kaleidoscopic pop credentials with the deliriously woozy and lysergic ‘tell me’ – indeed we need to hear more. Vibravoid – no introductions needed – safe to say they do musically the equivalent of chemical highs, ‘do it allright’ pulled from their ‘minddrugs’ double re-issue is quite tame by their own formidable standard, though even in playful mode this babe still sound like a cruise controlled tripping Spacemen 3 lunar odyssey. And so to Sidewalk Society – sad to say its been a while since they graced our turntable still ‘shadows in the sky’ prized from their ‘saturn and the crescent moon set’ soon emerges from noodling TV21 space age wistfulness (imagine Barry orchestrating Shadow Men on a Shadowy Planet with Meek liner notes)to hatch into a rather nifty slab of space rocking boogie that solders together some brief forgotten studio mind link between Stereolab and Supersister. Adored in previous missive despatches ‘Aunty Powders her nose’ finds Icarus Peel time travelling back to an lost age of Floyds, Bowies, tomorrows and purple gangs for some dandified psych beat pop which neatly leads us to the Electric Stars’ ‘Georgie (the brightest star)’ which has something of the Keith West’s about its wares all twinkled in a seductive widescreen twinkling. Regular observers of these pages will be all too aware that we here were blown away by this lots last full length ‘business meets fashion’ from which ‘westward ho’ is taken (they have a new set just out ‘protein for everyone’ – begging letters are being cobbled up as I write), anyhow its by Schnauser a collective of similarly minded folk adept at freewheeling what can only be described as a joyously effervescent cornucopia of sound in an aural carnival that manages to ingest elements of music hall, west coast pop, prog, oompah sounds, surrealism and psych pop – normally in the very same song with this honey sitting prettily somewhere on a musical axis sat upon by ‘wild honey’ era Beach Boys, the heartstrings, Bacharach and david and no doubt – God’s choir. I suspect – with much embarrassment – that we were sent a download link to Hi fiction science’s album ‘curious yellow’ which in all the excitement I appear to have mislaid whereupon I’m now kicking myself hard as having heard ‘magpie (against the sun)’ we do believe that this might just be the album that slipped the net given its harvested by a similar soft seduction that heralded Magnet’s ‘wicker man’ soundtrack albeit here as though the sessions had been hijacked by both a super chilled Neil Young and Linda Perhacs. Into the final stretch Astralasia’s ‘sands of time’ comes pulled from a vault raiding set just out entitled ‘blue spores’ which gathers together an aural armoury of gems gathering dust in the studio, shy on seven minutes of high grade unadulterated pure ambient bliss groove. Sendelica see out matters with ‘spaceman bubblegum’ from their current ‘live at crabstock’ set – see elsewhere for full review – but just to tease you a little a 12 minute mind altering Ozrics meets Embryo is what awaits.
I’m guessing most right minded people don’t lie awake at night obsessing about tweed jackets (okay I did have a black suede duffel jacket in the 90’s – pre Oasis I’ll have you know that I was quite fond of – its pocket fell off in a girlfriend – hand – caught incident – oh to hell with it – look it was a mad psycho girlfriend ripped the pocket off type attack incident). Though I mourned its loss never did I contemplate (even when it had the full quota of pockets)putting pen to paper to write an ode to it. Neither I hasten to add have I ever had, want or intend at some point in my quickly reducing days left on this fair planet – to own a tweed jacket. Let alone write an affectionate ditty about one. That frankly is just plain weird. But then Biscuit Head and the Biscuit Badgers – er yes that is their name – are as you can probably gather just name alone perhaps not playing with a full deck. A bit like a posh Half Man Half Biscuit (more biscuit references – oops) this lot play with an eccentric, sorry surreal, okay wayward and zany panache. They last troubled these pages some months ago with the joyously daft ‘dinosaurs ate my caravan’ – since then an album has been sneaked out attracting with it fond words from an amassing audience fed up with hearing songs about boys, girls and cars who prefer to be enlightened in song by such carefree matters as the joys of soy milk, mysterious uncles and snow. Latest to their ever growing impish canon ‘tweed jacket’ is your 50’s style Platters doo wop dallying in a Cole Porter meets Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones stylee with Viv Stanshall conducting lunacy from the side stage.
Video for their last single viewing here – popcorn not included…..
Back story to this little cutie involves a chance meeting between Sea Legs lead man Byron Knight back at the tail end of the 90’s and an elderly crippled woman who regaled him with stories he mistook for tall tales. It was only years later upon recalling said events did he realise that the mysterious lady in question was none other than Hollywood icon Katherine Hepburn. Over you like a rash ‘Christopher Strong’ recalls every vivid moment of that encounter and sets it to a punch you in the face blister packing groove which once done with the Pulp-esque doing a Weddoes stylee opening riff scowl comes charging out of the traps bucking and kicking with an acutely catchy feral effervescence nailed to the floor by the kind of twist tail musical phrasing that’s sure to burrow deep in your psych like a petulant earworm and give you palpitations all this whilst coming shot through with a seizure stricken corkscrewing riffola and the palpable smell of sweat as it oozes cool and swagger from its 3 and a half minute frame. https://soundcloud.com/sealegsmusic/sea-legs-christopher-strong
By our reckoning you should be dimming lights for this cutie. Sent ahead to woo all who care to dive in and sample the magical and mystical melodic motifs Brighton 5 piece Jouis, ‘loop’ is all at once slinky, sultry and smouldering, per the press release – the quintet blend a cornucopia of progressive psych, folk and jazz, to our ears soft, seductive and smooth are the watchwords, earthed with a 70’s vintage, the sound of Jouis is both expansive and fluid, free flowing it shape shifts with a casualness that hints to the handiwork of seasoned veterans. Yet this collective have only been around since 2008, positive reaction to a smattering of singles and EP’s has led them to the recording of their imminent debut full length ‘dojo’ – due early November via the beetroot imprint, as to ‘loop’ prized from that aforementioned set – simply kick back and allow yourselves a quiet moment to soak in its intoxicating psych funk flavouring of nifty noodling and kaleidoscopic calypsos. https://soundcloud.com/jouis/loop/s-J45yv
Those among you whose heart skips a beat or fear the onset of swooning fits at the merest promise of something sounding like a three studio pact between the go betweens, strawberry switchblade and dubstar better brace yourself right this minute. Alas only a brief mention for this ‘un while we try to find out press / contact details but can I just say that this is such a honey. Out via leamington records ‘petulant sounds’ is – from what we gather – the debut full length from Tramplord from which – and I don’t mind saying – the cut ‘goodbye stations’ that has had us transfixed and smitten is prized from. Appealing one suspects to all who sigh to sound of indie pop, twee and c-86 and more besides, who revel in the sweet melancholy of trusted labels such as bus stop, summershine, sarah to the modern day callings of matinee, fortuna pop so on and so forth. ‘goodbye stations’ encapsulates perfectly that forlorn joy of sweet sadness, a bitter sweet beauty dimpled and possessed of the same rain drizzled landscapes that prickled the grooves of many a Siddeleys release whilst resplendent in the knowing pop savvy of the Sundays. Enough said. Perfect. https://soundcloud.com/tramplord/goodbye-stations
Swear I can hear horses three quarters through this nifty slab of trancey hallucinogenia, this bright young things with the floppy fringes is an extended jam workout of the flip cut set to feature on the flip side of the new Wreaths platter out via Byrdhouse records shortly. What first sounds like some homage to Cheval Sombre soon morphs sumptuously to manifest and court elements of Fahey, the Grails and Rose before decanting to what can only be described as the ghostly onset of some psych drone draped dust ravaged spectral mistral – hell does it for us oh shade adorned ones- just need to nab a copy for ourselves. https://soundcloud.com/wreaths/it-doesnt-stay-great-1?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook
A brief heads up for this – we’ll be mentioning it in full next missive out – but a quick note from Soft Power head honchos Bek and Graeme ramps up our excitement at the prospect of new grooves from Scotland’s finest cassette label. Limited to just 100 copies and set to make its entrance first week in October principally at the Edinburgh indie market this is the calling card release from trio the Debutantes. Haloed in a bitter sweet crush ‘gentleman’s wash’ is in short the kind of succulently servicing of honey kissed shimmer toned reverb soaked soft psych dream pop that delicately draws together the invisible dots separating my bloody valentine and dead leaf echo. Need I say more.
Picture show here….
Described as a ‘three man desert trip gone bad’ this is the debuting platter from London based trio Dark County. ‘watching them burn’ should appeal principally to those tuned into all things emanating from out of the easy rider and rise above stable of late, a Sabbathian bad boy rippled in psyched out stoner fuzz blues whilst standing at the highest hill point howling at the full moon brandishing a burning Black Angels flag. To die for in short. That said while you’re here you might want to try ‘strange deranged’ for size, a ferociously feral dark hearted sibling that swaggers, snarls and scratches to the kind of rough cut psychotic rumble that might have a fair few of our wasted heavy soul blues beatnik brethren picking your jaws up from the floor. https://soundcloud.com/darkcounty
Essential ear gear for those among you fond of your ghost box related retroism and those tuned into the aural wavelengths of Zombi and the very wonderful Duke St Workshop whose imminent ‘Cabin 28’ set is due for very fond words very shortly. Anyhow this comes courtesy of Concretism who we mentioned a missive or three back, the work of analogue alchemist Chris Sharp who if memory serves right recently sent us an email detailing subtle hints of a forthcoming album in the offing. For now though ‘tesseract’ perfectly slipstreams into classic early 70’s styled Radiophonic territories, images of dystopian future days come to the fore a la ‘Blade Runner’ albeit as though given over to a Nigel Kneale treatment and serviced by a soundtrack forged in a sepia glazing by a pairing of fortdax and wizards tell lies. https://soundcloud.com/concretism/tesseract
Must admit to being a tad embarrassed in admitting to never having had the pleasure of north Atlantic oscillation gracing our turntable, yet having heard – nay – having been blown away by teaser track ‘August ’then we’ll certainly be counting down the days awaiting the arrival of their third opus ‘the third day’ which is set to achieve orbital impact early October via k-scope. By our reckoning this should be high on the watch list of all prog heads especially those adoring of the Porcupine Tree, a lushly coded lunar dream coat is what’s on offer swirling amid a myriad of melodic motifs that whisper in retro tongues murmuring to a pulsar purr evoking lost languages once upon a time ushered and uttered by the likes of ELO, La Dusseldorf and Yes yet equally fully fluent in the craft of pristine cosmic pop a la Asteroid no 4, dark captain light captain et al – in short – sublime. https://soundcloud.com/northatlanticoscillation/4-august-mstr6
Many thanks to Jet Schizo Fun Addict for sending over this delightful curio, live audio footage capturing the Soft Explosions doing a blistering take of ‘motorcycle to heaven….’ – what first sounds like something carved in the shadow of the butterflies of love by way of its prairie opining hushed hymnal hues finds itself steeled, haloed and touched by the cool grandeur and subtly breeze drifted swagger of Buckley, Young and Parsons, the vibe mellowed and bliss kissed imagines porch reclining evenings melting beneath fire scorched skies and then just when your beginning to fall into dreamy beneath its smoking spell the blighter fires up around 3.30 and goes off road in a most spectacular and Lynrd inspired trip-a-delic way.
I’ll be honest I was never a massive fan of brave captain and though I’d flash looks that could kill at anyone who questioned the relevance and worth of pre ‘Giant Steps’ Boo Radleys (the ‘kaleidoscope’ EP still gets the occasional airing even to this day)’wake up’ and it watershed overkill left me cold and somewhere along the way I lost touch and finally interest. So through the door pops the latest from Martin Carr – via tapete no less – there’s an album imminent entitled ‘the breaks’ and this here pre teaser sampler single ‘the santa fe skyway’ which features both the single and album edits. Admittedly we feared for the worse but armed with the merest detail that it was on the Tapete label (whose recent release roster had churned out gems by Brace / Choir, Schneider TM, Automat and Kreidler) and buoyed by a noticeable positive press reaction (none of which we had bothered to engage with) we pressed on pushing said CD into said player and awaited with baited breath. In truth this is something that ought to appeal first hand to those attuned to the radiant sounds of pop perfectionist Brigadier, lush with serenading strings and oozing feel good vibes, I swear had you the nouse you could bottle and make a healthy living selling at a chemist counter as a cure all for everything, there’s Bacharach inflections aplenty, 70’s disco ball trimmings and the kind of swooning effervescent pop prowess rarely courted so succinctly since the days of Terry Hall’s ‘home’ – guess we like it then.
Literally just dropped in our lap this, imminent platter from Vibravoid due for some turntable turn on this coming November when it docks into earth orbit sprayed across 7 inches of wax. Quite frankly ‘rheinflow’ ought to come with surgeon general health warning stickers for this trip wiring psych soaked slice of trance tastiness is liable to flip wigs, wipe minds and have you tripping off to happy land all a ga ga – essential for erstwhile floppy fringed space cadets plotting the aural trajectories of Spacemen 3 and Loop – be warned this is one journey you won’t be returning from with all your wherewithal intact.
I’m certain we’ve mentioned this particular track in a previous missive life, from duo UMA and ripped from their recent self- titled debut full length for See You records released earlier this year this is ‘Calm / Easy’. Three and a half minutes of sublime outer worldly pop genius, UMA could well be – if we didn’t know any better – the more romantic and less distant lost sibling of No Ceremony, playful and fragile ‘calm / easy’ comes daintily dimpled and dinked in a softly wispy celestial fluffiness that’s scrumptiously tweaked with an almost sleepy headed aura that never manages to wrestle itself beyond a half awakened state, like some lunar love note this hushed honey comes smothered in sepia dipped spectral swirls and finds itself housed it in its own hermetically sealed space bubble. Utterly disarming and acutely affectionate albeit frost tipped.
Cardiff’s kookiest Quiet Marauder get to releasing the first part of their singles trilogy, this I should say coming on the back of their debuting epic opus ‘men’ which collectively gathered some 111 tracks – yes you read right 111 tracks across a mammoth four CD’s, and not one a dud I can tell you. Between the wit, the weird and the wacky we’ve been regaled by the musical mayhem musings of moustaches, the point of Bono, mussels, tescos and last of the summer wine and whatever else has been deemed fit for anarchic teasing, they follow in the best tradition of lunatic legacies left by surreal pop forefathers long since exited stage left and twin anti pop ambitions by way of impish music hall merriment, Simon the leader of these merry pranksters can at once be seen as circus ringmaster or dictator depending on which side his moustache dresses first thing in the morning who from his pulpit (soapbox to you and me) despatches wise words and cautionary advice to young folk not so invested with the savvy of the streetwise (some – the uncharitable few we shall know them as – may view this as the blind leading the blind). ‘pretty girls are (pretty) feat. My name is Ian’ is one such token of advice summoned by experience and an unhealthy observation of life, imagine Hefner as retuned by Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones doing Vic n’ Bob pub singer croons all backed by the wistfulness chuff and puff of a buoyantly bright eyed rustic incline – charmingly daft. In October – second of the trilogy will see the unearthing of ‘everytime we think of one another (a petal falls from the flowers on our graves) feat. Francesca’s word salad’- can’t wait to see the t-shirt or the title squeezed upon a 7 inch paper label – anyhow doo wop 50’s styled bubblegum ramalama type affair, quite clever all said kinda Mud gone wrong, honeycombed by a femme pop icing all sealed shut in a death disc stylee and stoked up enough with forlorn bitter sweetness as to have you shedding a sly stray tear. Following that in November there’ll be ‘SOS’- in truth our favourite of the three not least because it courts with a subtle late 70’s punk pop detailing that loosely hints at a ‘Dirk’ era Adam Ant and comes wired with a degree of unhinging psychosis.
Imminent – we assume – from the alrealon musique stable – been a while since we checked in on what they are currently up to so this may already be out in some guise or other. Taken from Rapoon’s full length ‘cultural forgeries’ – ‘the summer lies heavy’ is a master class sonic study in poise, timing and space, both brooding and atmospheric, this dust ravaged slice of sparse ambience comes stilled in eastern mysticism, droning reverbs howl with side winding desperation into the dead plain voids- reference wise admirers of both Ariel Kalma and Moondog should find much to fascinate and entrance. https://soundcloud.com/alrealon-music/rapoon-the-summer-lies-heavy-alrn058
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