Tales from the Attic
Revolutions of a 45 and 33 kind…
4th instalment in the great lost missives of the year mystery……featured suspects…..
Big brother on acid, freeze puppy, deadline shakes, kenneth anger, mick jagger, terrascopaedia, mikey georgeson and the civilised state, psyche corporation, trash kit, lidholm, new southern electrikk, john j Presley, pale faces, negative panda, trampoline, bellerino, silhouettes, nasty little lonely, livki, piaptk, circulatory system, kramies, great lakes, witching waves, presents for sally, adam leonard, lemons, darren hayman, jessica pratt, silver apples, Katie winter, kassassian street, theatre royal, mnipk, taylor locke, non noncomformists, Bosco rogers, adam protz
staying with Alrealon Musique a little while longer, here’s something we suspect that has somewhat slipped our radar to much distress, ‘Friday night’ by Big Brother on Acid from their self titled debut full length is your full on Technicolor sound experience all hulking slithers of dub draped industrial grind infused amid spacious tides of cosmic kookiness and droid-esque effects which on the face of it sound not unlike an intergalactic face off between a youthful Wagon Christ and a seriously chilled though wilfully warped Atari Teenage Riot with Black Saturn on hand as your fight night guardian. https://soundcloud.com/alrealon-music/big-brother-on-acid-friday-night-alrn055
And there was us serving last rites upon the pickled egg label having not heard a peep from them in an age when up pops a gratefully received message from head honcho Nigel alerting us to new stuff from Freeze Puppy. There was a moment when the heart skipped, bunting was unpacked, the heart skipped again and the party poppers crackled and fizzed at the news. Of this course for the uninitiated this was the label that frequented these pages with a many a rarefied gem not least debuts by the Go Team, Gulliver, Le Bleu, Oddfellows Casino and L’Augmentation who as you also should now know are shortly to be graced with a retrospective via the esteemed reverb worship. ‘the night attendant’ marks the fourth full length outing from Freeze Puppy – better known to friends and family as Tom O C Wilson – described by the press release in passing as ‘his most mature and balanced’ release to date, and really who are we to argue – from what we’ve heard it’s a truly exceptional musical vocabulary set to a bewildering sonic spectrum that hints at an author well versed in the old purist ways of song craft. Alas this being the final quarter of this months unlimited internet access our broadband has an un-hilarious way of slowing down to the point that if we hit the download button it barks back ‘you’re kidding right’ and promptly goes into reset mode, we’ve complained persistently suspecting our provider slows the connection two weeks in – they’ve denied it yet still this strange anomaly continues to grate despite their denials – HELLO O2. Anyhow while we wait a few days in order to download and indeed savour the album in full we’d just like to point out that we’ve been a tad smitten with track 8 – ‘Emily and Joseph’ be its name, a sepia twisted carousel tamed and trimmed in genuflecting strings, waltzing winds and spring bowed pastorals all converging and coalescing delicately into a gloriously lolloping slice of English eccentricity that teasingly and playfully coos to a lilting nursery rhyme recital that imagines some weird and wonky dream featurette penned by Keith West, sung by Anthony Newley and played by the Heartstrings.
I somehow feel that I’m doing this un a massive disservice not having it piping through some humungous piece of listening furniture powered by national grid sapping valves and sporting a big old time tuning in dial for this babe literally rains the early 70’s. acutely infectious and adorably addictive, this babe has vintage rainbows sprouting all over the shop, one minute Van Dyke Parks, the next a West Coast sound re-imagined through the sepia gauzing of a golden era Walt Disney soundtrack and yes the playful extravagance of Queen in all their off the wall creative pomp – and here we are thinking ‘good old fashioned lover boy’ and ‘somebody to love’- and to round it all up a smidgeon of the craft of Paddy McAloon c. ‘Andromeda Heights’. In short a quick A to Z drive by of all your guilty pleasures shoehorned into a sub four minute pop opera sweetie which at this point we best mention who its by and what it’s called before we run out of space or worse still in all the excitement – forget. By the Deadline Shakes entitled ‘slipping from your heart’- you don’t need me telling you that you need this in your life and sharpish. https://soundcloud.com/flowersinthedustbin/the-deadline-shakes-slipping-from-your-heart
Perusing the old Mojo magazine as you don’t at 5.30 in the morning following a night nursing an insecure kitten (as in a young feline and not alas some femme fatale – grumbles about which I’m sure you’ll be treated to elsewhere amid this lengthy prose)- I must admit we were nearly at the point of cancelling our Mojo subscription because quite frankly its been as uninteresting of late as watching paint dry – no doubt applied to walls and ceilings by the Mogo staff writers – however the last two editions have rekindled our enthusiasm ever so slightly – agreed it’s more to do with the content than the actual writing – and much like Record Collector you do suspect whether the remaining Beatles’ have shares in it. That said last issue had a Siouxsie retrospective type thing while the current issue features a front page billing for Billy Idol whose new album we are yet to hear. But that dear reader is not the reason why we’ve stopped here, in the ‘what goes on’ section Tim Gane is summoned upon to give account of his favourite platters – no real surprises here – Morbius and Beerholm, Ilitch etc….are the type of things he curates on a superb set by Bureau B (more later) – but track along a little to selection number 4 and you’ll find Mick Jagger’s ‘invocation of my demon brother’ which according to rumour came about when Jagger took delivery of one of the first Moog’s, after a spot of noodling – as you do – Jagger grew bored with his new toy though not before committing to tape this 12 minute curio to backdrop Kenneth Anger’s arty farty shorty ‘invocation of my demon brother’. Now to some this might sound like the nonsence faffing about of someone trying to get some kind of semblage of sound from his new box of tricks and failing miserably to get past the preset mode. Others however will marvel at its minimalist strangeness, it outer worldly oddness and hail it as a remarkable slice of vintage ahead of the curve forward thinking noise electronics doffing its cap to such strange sound pioneers as Henry and Schaeffer, but then you may however remember its Jagger and swiftly roll eyes, wince, sniff and move on swiftly.
I won’t deny that there’s been a degree of heartbreak broken only momentarily by the occasional sound of teeth gnashing disbelief in discovering that the beloved Ptolemaic Terrascope has been reborn anew and in strictly limited sightings has been lovingly pressed and published for the last two years as ‘Terrascopaedia’ – I mean, like what happened – did we fall asleep for a while, receive a bang to the head, go AWOL – three issues have so far escaped our loving attention all now sold out, look Monday’s are bad enough but to discover this so early in the morning at the start of the week is just plain – well – cruel. Of course regular attendees of these excruciating critiques will be all too aware of our fondness for all things Terrascopic, this occasional journal set the benchmark high, scholarly writing, thought provoking despatches not to mention an authoritative guiding hand in to the myriad of sub-worlds existing upon the undiscovered axis’ of the strange pop universe, worlds that bubbled way beneath the radar of the masses – I’d even go further in saying that ‘rumbles’ provided the inspiration for the original ‘Tales from the Attic’ missives that appeared in the early print copies of Losing Today. And so word now reaches us from afar that plans are currently afoot with issue 4 going into limited production, no news on date or content but you can be rest assured I’m packing up my things in readiness to camp outside that Phil McMullen’s gaff waiting to bag my copy….. http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Merchandise/Merchandise.htm
More lolloping loveliness, this one was recorded live at a recent appearance at the Ivy House last July, ‘Shine a Light’ comes trimmed from a new three track EP from Mikey Georgeson and the Civilised Scene who you may recall wowed us with ‘till it’s over’ earlier. Now back again daubing listening spaces in feel good euphoric vibes and still traced to the kind of mercurial craftsmanship to which platters bearing the name Divine Comedy / Neil Hannon come adorned, ‘shine a light’ is your lightly sprayed big / little band sortie replete with croons, snoozing riffola, brassy sunbursts and demurring daydreaming dalliances bathed in a deliciously crooked Burt and Hal braiding. Ridiculously affectionate. http://mikeygeorgeson.bandcamp.com/album/shine-a-light-ep
Due partly to ineptness and a bit of stupidity on our part we’ve managed to mislay the link from whence this came, anyhow we happened across it via a face book posting – that much we do know. Prized from a forthcoming fifth album this is the psyche corporation with an un-mastered version of ‘monarchy’ – not your normal pop sortie I’m happy to say, for this lot appear to occupy classical worlds traced upon the secret hollows of the imagination all spirited upon ethereal netherworlds where tender and tormented fantasias line up in battle formations. A demurring ghostly dream like aura emanates throughout this noir speckled enchantment, laced up in seduction and shadow lined in steampunk essences it coils hypnotically as though a lost scene from Derek Jarman’s ‘Jubilee’ purred divinely in a soft silken sensual elegance clipped by prowling chamber gouged dark wave dialects. Quite stunning if you ask me. https://soundcloud.com/psychecorp/monarchy-psyche-corporation
Here’s another release that has had us puzzling as to where, how and when it came by our way, I’m suspecting we’ve tripped over this on another of those face book postings. Whatever the case this is blistering. It’s by trash kit entitled ‘shyness’ and it comes ripped from their imminent upset the rhythm set entitled ‘coincidence’ which all being well is due to record counter fisticuffs sometime mid-December. Certainly the kind of groove that would have – once upon a time – tripped out of the marquis cha cha and art goes pop sound houses for ‘shyness’ is a tightly wired slab of angular mathian dislocation rippled in intricate riff fractures and blessed with a brass augmented wig flipping schizoid alt funk gouging that could easily see itself sitting amid the foolproof project stable without anyone scarcely batting an eyelid, oh and did we mention it sounds not unlike a mutant collective made up of Delta 5, Au Pairs, native hipsters, Pop Group and the Playwrights types, wickedly obtuse cool groove. https://soundcloud.com/upset-the-rhythm/trash-kit-shyness
Forthcoming single from Swedish duo Isabella Svardstam and Niklas Willar Lidholm who collectively go by the name Dream Lake – this little honey entitled ‘let us stay in the light’ is a bit of a treat, not quite your usual glacial groove that we’ve come to expect and adore from Scandinavian shores but rather more something cosmically enhanced in a styling to which admirers of the emerald and Doreen imprint may well occasion momentarily swoons to when in earshot of. Add to the sonic specifications an 80’s sheen demurred in alluringly tempting and breathlessly radiating mirror balls that pout amid the softly swirled haze of dream pop and you have yourself something succulently bathed in the sighing arrest of Sophie and Peter Johnston albeit cosy toed by the precision pop dialect of Dollar and the Lover Speaks. There’s a video to accompany the track which is embargoed until next week that features motion film footage recorded on super 8 by Niklas’ father way back in the 60’s and acts as a perfect accompaniment to the tracks sweetly glazed hymnal introspection. https://soundcloud.com/dreamlakemusic/let-us-stay-in-the-light
We’ll play the video first and then reconvene in say 4 minutes for a chat…..
Phew, well er….sorry I’m speechless…kinda numbs you and brings you so low that no matter what your plight or situation is at this moment in time that your appreciably more happy to be there than here. This is serious end of the road last chance saloon and heading at pace towards the exit stuff, blistered, selfish and unremorsefully hopeless yet cowed and resigned to the fact there is no return. Joyful bunnies aren’t they, anyhow this Trampolene who from what we can gather are hot property at the moment having released a handful of much admired 7’s and a brace of free to download cuts this year, are currently holed up putting the finishing touches to a 5 track release entitled ‘pocket album 2’. Available as a free download until the end of November this is ‘Newcastle Brown love song’ – a quietly drawn tear stained slab of epic grandeur dulled and hollowed in withdrawn self-isolated introspection of a type that literally screams to be hugged and comes kissed in the kind classically inspired pop craft whose lineage toys with everything from 50’s teen ballad heartbreak, 70’s glam decay, death discs and the bleak heart heavy anthems of a golden MTV age and crystallises the various ingredients into a hulking heart string popping Festive upsetter – the video incidentally is a bit of a hurter. Kerchiefs please…..
I’ll put my hands up when saying ordinarily this isn’t quite our normal cup of tea, that said though, I suspect that once the cap is off the bottle and the genie is out that local club floors will be swooning aplenty to this. Debut EP ‘Amateurs’ is imminent any day soon, for now though and as a taster welcome to ‘my neck is too long’ ripped from that set and sent out as a free to download pre-release teaser. The work of Robin Braum a Goldsmiths graduate here operating under the guise Ballerino this scrambled fleet footed kookified electric super funk sortie wigs out with its reference hearts clearly sewn on its sleeves – Was not Was, Thomas Dolby, Art of Noise and Yello readily spring forth to mind albeit munched, mutated and manhandled in to the humungous mainframe brain of Herbie Hancock’s ‘future shock’ – very futuro retro and in a good way, chunky bass lines, fried trip core time signatures, there are moments were I swear I’m having Sylvester flashbackss, will lay the club floors to waste. https://soundcloud.com/ballerinomusic/my-neck-is-too-long
From the same label (integrity records) that plays home to the very wonderful Horse Party, Silhouettes round off what have been a successful year following adoring glances from various critical houses in music world with a new single entitled ‘sacrifice’. Pulled from their recent full length set ‘ever moving happiness machines’ – alas missed around these here parts – ‘Sacrifice’ is your classically drilled back to the future retro synth wave pop perfection, draped in purring pulsars lit by stratospheric search light sirens, this 80’s throwback slipstreams between the polar points separating both Classix Nouveaux and the Comsat Angels whilst simultaneously nodding in the direction of Birdpen – all in all tasty by our reckoning.
Okay bit of an unusual apologies spot for this lot tomorrow sometime when its hoped that we have managed to get our turntable fired and ready to go face to face with this lots bollock dropping ‘Guru’ 7 inch – believe you me it’s well worth the wait – I’ll just say Magik Markers and leave it at that for now. Now this leaves us with a curious dilemma, do we review their latest first or hang fire, oh bugger it you’ve twisted our arm. Though we tend to shy away from such cheap and redundant shots I’d like to think that on the evidence of what we’ve heard thus far that The Pale Faces will in time become your favourite band. Hailing out of Leicester they defy easy categorization, combining psych with an acutely angular post punk gouging, sound wise they fall between the cracks with moments of wired pop lucidity being fractured and splintered to the point of schizophrenic meltdown, they are for better or worse the bastard sum total of all your favourite bands reimagined in their dark half altered states. ‘loneliness’ their latest, is a darkly brooding slow to burn 7 minute colossus unto within all emotions shrouded in shadow lines (isolation, panic, depression et al) line up to eyeball you in all their abject stricken personas. The cavernous croon of celestial swathes underpin the distressed sighs of resignation, the alignment of bruising, hurt and abandonment gather and glower souring the dream like orbs in a despairing detachment and then just when you think all is lost, at the four minute marker an abrupt sea change occurs where the despair is replaced by a furious battle cry upended by the clouting pang of disfigured time signatures and a howling dark wave grooming whose fury at one point was near achieving youthful my bloody valentine proportions albeit steeled in Bleach like harmonious friction. A bit of a gem then in short. https://goodtimecollective.bandcamp.com/track/lonliness
Twanging chords, dead headed riffs and macabre motifs that sound as though they’ve been gathered together and swamp dragged, truthfully was this ever going to fail to get us breaking out into affectionate swooning fits. ‘bad jack’ comes ripped from a soon to be exhumed ‘bad jack and other stories’ EP by Nasty Little Lonely who’ve obviously graduated from the finishing school of the cramps, the gun club, gallon drunk and the inca babies with this dark beauty arriving upon turntables despatched in the kind of monochromatic grunge gouged slo-core grind that had us here rifling through our record collections in an attempt to re-acquiant the neighbourhood with Katastrophy Wife and Carina Round – beautifully brooding horrorphonic groove.
Diddly squat information about this, just an email, the first today as it happens with various sound cloud and you tube links announcing the release of a digital single by Livki or Olivia Anna Livki to give her her full name. even before the track kicked in we here had vague suspicions based on title alone that this might possess Batman connotations – perhaps the Bat girl eye mask was the real give away. ‘dark blonde rises’ is a brooding shakedown, far from tearing up the place it prowls and stalks with a gracefully feline intent smoking sultrily laying it’s spell crafted traps amid a shadowy voodoo grooved landscape once patrolled by the Creatures, the playfully hushed whispers and emotionally frenzied psychotic paranoia hint at a mid-career Polly Jean Harvey while the booming fright wig noir industrial-tronics snarling throughout etch this in a dark glam aura whose blood line traces back to Suzi Q. https://soundcloud.com/livki/dark-blonde-rises
Let me get this right. A CD-record hybrid, one side lathe cut and digitally coded the other analog allowing you to play on both turntables and your standard CD players. Ingenious – I mean aside the fact that we have a generation just over the shock of trying to fit vinyl records into tiny CD trays and measuring vinyl to see if it will fit on their dansette turntable (seriously I kid you not – I actually bore witness to such a conversation some weeks ago – hilarious) – your now going to trust people with a choice – why do I hear car crash loud and clear ringing in my ears. On a lighter note it presents an additional format for the major labels to get hold of and screw you over into buying your record collections all over again – or am I being cynical. Leaders in cutting technologies and purveyors of weird formats – the press release cites such collectable oddities as plexiglass, laser discs, x-rays, mirrors and even picnic plates – PIAPTK (People in a Position to Know) are about to release a series of limited releases produced using this breakthrough format, 22 of them all strictly limited to just 300 copies featuring exclusive cuts from the likes of howe gelb, wooden wand, simon joyner, r stevie moore, spaceface and many more. Each release will come housed in an ECO jacket and will include a specially adapted spider attachment allowing you to play your disc on a turntable. To start the series the first three releases are being primed for release with a projected street date of December 2nd – they will include circulatory system, Jason lytle and great lakes….and they go a lot like this….
Circulatory System should scarcely need introductions here, the Will Cullen Hart fronted combo had us smitten and blown away by 2009’s ridiculously infectious ‘signal morning’. One of the finest alchemists of dayglo pop around, you sometimes suspect that confronted with three minutes of dead air that Hart feels obliged to shoehorn as much content as possible to suffocate the silence and colour the gaps by way of some of the most wilfully obtuse, kookified and surreal psych soaked head trips about. ‘it never made a sound’ proves no exception to the rule, a spot of shade adorning classic era Elephant 6 sound trip-wired to a fuzz framed glam psych chassis whereupon the 50’s bubble grooves blister in a hazy glazing that imagines some late night studio summit meeting gathering together members of flying saucer attack, doleful lions and southall riot. https://soundcloud.com/piaptk-cd-record-series/circulatory-system-it-never
Featured here in recent times guest appearing on that quite sublime Kramies outing for Hidden Shoal records, Jason Lytle turns in the rather humbling and surrendering ‘Bell’s view’ – a sensitively distressed tear jerker threaded through with a delicately cantering key braid which shapes up to these ears to sound not unlike a quietly reflective and bruisingly withdrawn Robert Wyatt – guaranteed to hurt and leave you feeling a little low though agreeably reflective and somewhat touched by something approaching a heavenly visitation. https://soundcloud.com/piaptk-cd-record-series/jason-lytle-bells-view
Last of this particular trio of releases Great Lakes who serve up ‘into the fold’ and with that the best of the three. Been an absolute age since Great Lakes graced these pages, this honey literally just smokes, so mellow and laid back all clipped with the subtle wash of 60’s sheens, what first appears to freewheel into the ear space of both the Butterflies of Love and Crest soon reveals itself a sweetie adoring of a youthful Mercury Rev vibe a fact only outshone when too much unexpected delight around here this nugget emerges from its country cool countenance to fracture into glorious hazes of rippling fuzz toned bliss kisses. https://soundcloud.com/piaptk-cd-record-series/great-lakes-into-the-fold
A much gratefully received email from Graeme and Bek of Soft Power records alerting us to the imminent arrival of the debuting Witching Waves album ‘fear of falling down’ on limited run wax early December. Adored around here the album is earmarked for closer inspection later this week, in the meantime here’s a sneak pre teaser of what you can expect in the guise of ‘better run’. Shimmered in the kind of Spector-esque wall of sound vibe and fuzz buzz bleaching so loved by those shade adorned types the Insect Guide and the Manhattan Love Suicides, there’s a carefree pop prowess coursing through the core of the Witching Waves that initially recalls the sugared bliss pop of Lush though which on closer inspection finds alignment with the more shadowy tonalities of the Haight Ashbury – essential listening in short.
This came via our way very late yesterday evening and I can tell you now despite bleary eyes and tiring ears, reward for a day listening to records, this had us fixed frozen in its gaze with jaw agape and totally smitten. Two plays – the other if I’m being honest to make certain what we’d heard the first time was indeed what we’d actually experienced and not the result of the aforementioned tiredness’ manifestation upon our normally resolute defences. We resolved to mention it next day. Next day arrived, there was I’ll admit a hesitancy loomed large – now in the clear cold light of day could it repeat the feat. You might feel inclined to think – is he going a bit overboard on the introduction here – believe you me this will knock you straight into the middle of next week. Pulled from a compilation arriving shortly via Saint Marie (who I’m much grumbled to say appear to have seemingly kicked us off their mailing list of late) this is ‘when we all move away’ by Presents for Sally. One of those rare moments when something comes along and just for a second it’s as though everything has momentarily been put on pause. All at once measured, delicately poised and kissed in a slow to catch light purr, this gliding tour de force steadily assumes stature, resonance and grandeur by each passing turn emitting love noted distress calls from the outer edge of the MBV cosmos whilst grafted upon an emotional rollercoaster draped in dream popping sheens that imagine some heaven sent shared mind set made up of members of the Bardots, Ride, Clearlake and Pale Saints – beyond that what more is there left to say other than perfect. (Alas no sound cloud links just yet but we are working on it).
Staying just a wee while longer with Presents for Sally, we forgot to mention that forthcoming attractions should see the release of an album in the new year or thereabouts, though before that a festive treat in the guise of ‘every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings’. Only 50 of these are being pressed – due for delivery upon the festive sleigh in a month or so time, each will come lovingly hand stamped using a special seasonal greetings and be individually housed in wrapping paper. Of course as every good boy and girl knows the title references that age old seasonal silver screen gem ‘it’s a wonderful life’ a film that even to this day after countless viewing I still can’t get past the Christmas tree scene at the end without blubbing like an infant. Pressed on by friends who likened the track to East 17’s perennial festive tear jerker ‘stay another day’, Matt from the band admitted that they’d finally resolved to cut the track on principle revealing they’d been a tad tipsy during the recording, not that you’d tell because despite protestations that its timing is at points a little skewiff – huh perfectionists eh…all sounds fine and dandy with us. Agreed it does have that tug of the East 17 classic of yore, shimmered in snow falls and cosy toed in a warming fuzzy felt hymnal that coalesces sublimely to the marriage of resonating bell chimes, frost tipped keys and ornate swathes of spectral electro fanfares all bowed together in a deliciously alluring ethereal gauzing which blossoms, peels and unfurls into a stirring euphoric crescendo towards its fall – which – getting all misty eyed now – put us much in mind of the Earlies. (alas – again – no sound links quite yet – but we’ll get there soon).
Damn this is the dogs danders, an early demo mix of the New Southern Electrikk’s take on the Gun Club’s ‘mother of earth’. Gone are the Doors-ian vibes and the crystalline country chimes and in its place is ushered in a shadow lined minimalist purr adorned in shades and packing with it a darkly brooding psychotropia that subtly edges and skirts around a ‘movement’ era New Order channelling superbly a post punked kaleidoscopia aura. More we say…. https://soundcloud.com/bluesoapmusic/the-new-southern-electrikk-mother-earth-1
More of that swamp dragged grind that we around these parts do so dearly love. Possessed of the wildest rumble your likely to hear these days outside of a John J Presley platter, dedwardians are primed to unleash the toxic garage gouged ‘love sick’ as part of a twin pronged double a side single shortly. Grilled upon the primal twang of the Meteors and the Cramps, this slab of seizure stricken primordial lust growls and purrs in equal measure festering with seductive menace to translate into 2 and a half minutes of frenzied groove that aside anything else imagines some studio head lock between a youthful Reverend Horton Heat and the John Spencer Blues Explosion.
Apologies time I’m afraid to say. We actually picked up this next one – er – a month or three ago on a rare visit to Probe records, seriously feel bad that somehow this got lodged in between a pile of freebie music papers we picked up that day and somehow managed to leave undisturbed in the carrier bag until today that is. We do believe the Pale Faces hail from Leicester or thereabouts – reference wise their debuting 7 inch replete with DVD is so wild, frantic and chaotic that had we not known better we’d have hedged our bets it was the Magik Markers operating under the radar via a secretive nom de plume. That good – seriously. Anyhow this set pitches together ‘guru’ and ‘nature calls’ on either side of a blue wax seven inch and also comes accompanied by a DVD featuring video footage of a further nine cuts from the ensembles repertoire. ‘Guru’ opens proceedings (we assume we’ve got the sides right as there are no label markers and the run out grooves are stamped so small that gnats would have trouble reading them) – which upon first hearing we swore blind it was Electric Citizen committing all amount of sorcery to the grooves, that said bedded upon a hulking Sabbathian grind this psychosis stricken slab of big bearded uber beatnik groove sounds not unlike a night on tiles worse for wear Jefferson Airplane concocting charms across a maddeningly tripped out tribal invocation – the most beautifully feral thing we’ve had the pleasure of hearing around here since that awesome Kull cassette a little while back. Over on the flip you’ll find the angular post everything Dadaist groove of ‘nature calls’ – a fried kaleidoscopic dance of the raincoats, the au pairs and the native hipsters. As to the accompanying DVD – nine more sore thumbs to test your resolve all replete with standalone videos, here you’ll be greeted to the fucked up spazz core dementia of ‘Heavy Mental’ – wired out discordant no wave groove both savage and unkempt and etched in the cold stricken dystopia of Lydia Lunch of whose frazzled and unhinged demeanour spikes and burns like a loose cannon Magik Markers. ‘Now’ is your no nonsense heads down skull popping white hot and frantically blistered psych tweaked bubble groove pop which by its fall goes all calamitous and chaotic – very impish Pooh Sticks if you ask me. The mystical ‘eat you alive’ rears up next, edging matters in our favourite cut of the entire set stakes pressed in the kind of voodoo hoodoo that recalls the vintage take on the 60’s as occasioned by the criminally short lived and underrated Omegas albeit here subsumed by subtronic tropicalia essences. Vicious, scathing and scarring ‘black swan’ is just pure menace razored in potent welts of psychosis, austere, angular and festering in swirls of toxic no wave butchery – quite tasty if you ask me. ‘ocean wide’ may well find admiring glances from certain Vomitface quarters especially given that both share a sense of acutely obtuse and combustive approaches to song craft while ‘no more kisses’ is a foot to floor stomp-a-rama which once peeled away of its chugging and fraying grizzling reveals itself to be a rather tasty honeycombed cutie bleached by a lineage that references the Shangri La’s and the power popping sun fried harmony pop of the Raspberries with ‘happiness sadness’ proving the same but with more obvious vigour. ‘mary’ could well be the ensembles centre piece show stopper if it weren’t for the small though consequential detail that it’s a tad too brief, but brief as it might be it’s a moment of serene ice chipped bliss all sighed in ambient wave formations clipped in glacial shimmers, mind you that said we never factored in ‘Chaos’ which through intervals of crystal tipped lucidity fractures eerily into moments of nightmarish disconnection to stray into mid-career 4AD spheres.Unconditionally recommended.
If we remember – and we will because we’ve just stapled a post it note to our forehead (kids don’t try this at home) – we’ll be mentioning the latest ‘Octopus’ opus (the fourth I do believe) by Adam Leonard in greater detail later in the week / missive, however for now we just couldn’t resist that the 8 track set features as its curtain closer a sublime cover of Ultravox’s (with John Foxx in situ) ‘just for a moment’ – a previously unreleased track from Mr Leonard’s considerable back catalogue – jeez I’d forgotten how gorgeous the original was, here re-tuned and smoothed of its brittle glacial sheen and infused with a gloriously misty eyed rainbow forming crystalline warmth which aside accentuating the bleakly faded romance exudes the kind of after the storm passes clarity evoked within Roy Montgomery’s ‘true’ set.
Eyed this cute thing on a posting, you see nothing escapes our radar even if it does take us half a year to getting around in mentioning it. By the Lemons who the keen eyed among you might well we recall we fell in hopeless adoration of roughly this time last year when a debuting album cassette arrived our way doing strange things on our tape decks. It seems these days they are courting affectionate glances (I’m sure I’ve read somewhere) from those dudes over at Burger records. Anyhow new three track single ‘Lemoncita’ is a whole caboodle of kooky cuteness dimpled in west coast motifs and a buzz popping effervescent not to mention teen shrilled power popped soft psych with a helping of nods to Panda Bear and Olivia Tremor Control which once stirred together has the enviable knack of radiating to the point of planting kaleidoscopic rainbows all over your listening space.
There was a time when you could guarantee that this would have been the toast of imprints such as gringo and more specifically Brew, alas these days the latter has ceased to be while the former has appreciably shifted a gear and recalibrated its perspective (Rosy Crucifixion album is on the to do radar). I mention all this because there are times when this ‘un had us fondly recalling the early outings of that fucking tank given that it strikes a acute balance between classically drilled road blues and feral and frenzied attrition. This then is the debuting single from unsigned Leeds combo Negative Panda who aside dropping us a line to see if we’d care to mention them also boasted the promise of an album in situ currently tucked under their collective arm and primed for turntable action early 2015. The aptly titled ‘bearded man’ is I won’t deny in saying, just what the good doctor ordered, a caustic full on flame thrower the intensity ratcheted up to almost blister forming panic levels by the incessantly skull boring squirrelling cork screwed riffola which literally prowls, stalks and hunts you down across the grooves, its almost Tom Petty bitten by a rabid Jon Spencer all flat lined by a manic Cobain-esque vocal and swaggered by a fiercely choking frantic frenzy of the type that classic era Foo Fighters admirers will dig. https://soundcloud.com/negative-panda/bearded-man
after all the hullaballoo and hysteria brought to bear by the last two mentioned releases I feel a quiet moment is called for, in truth you couldn’t get more mellow and softly serenaded than something from the Katie Winter camp who as it happens has just released – as a free download – your spoiling us now – ‘the facing up’. Translating as three and a half minutes of tranquil day dreaming all delicately trip wired to a bitter sweet floral rustic stitching tenderly turned upon an age old song craft, this love noted wish list sweetly caresses with genteel invitation drawing you in ever closer to worlds unfettered by the hustle and bustle of modern life to pause a while and take stock, admirers of Beau will be truly rewarded and indeed smitten. https://thekatiewinter.bandcamp.com/track/the-facing-up
Something else the cause of heart skipping flutters around the gaff since docking in to our ear space yesterday is the latest cool cutie from Kassassin Street. ‘centre straight atom’ looks set to send shockwaves amid the most respected club floors the length and breadth of the nation’s night life, in short easily the best thing to have dropped our way since White Rose Movement’s debut ‘love is a number’ and Kaputt’s killer first outing ‘dishes’. Pre-packed and pulsing with lasers rays set for seduction braided upon a shimmying up close and personal buzz fuzzing futuro grind caressed in whispy sheens of cosmicalia, this dance floor damaging darling fuses sublimely elements of machine rok, glam and nu gaze funk into a vibrantly pouting and purring psychotropic mirror ball which by our reckoning sounds like a V12 super calibrated Primal Scream from the jet age. https://soundcloud.com/kassassinstreet/kassassin-street-centre-straight-atom
This un is out on the Medlar imprint very shortly available as a download only single. Piped in the effervescent gust of sunnily radiant brass fanfares and twisted and tingled in a breathless pop vocabulary that chimes and ricochets to an adorably euphoric lineage whose addictive and alluring impacting immediacy chirps subtly to the melodic rub of a youthful Lightning Seeds and brit pop era Boo Radleys, Theatre Royal come stomping in ablaze in soul stax 60’s shimmers and Bacarachian braids with a revamped brass enhanced variant of ‘what was that sound?’ – pulled from their recent ‘we don’t know where we are’ set for the Vacilando 68 sound house, frankly I’m suspecting infectious defying jabs ought to come pre-packed with this bracing beauty.
Many thanks to Phil for sending over the video footage for that killer ‘FM4’ cut culled from their recent Experi-MENTAL Festival 6 appearance in September – full review here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/mnipk-2/
I’ll have four sugars with this please. I’ll admit not our normal kettle of fish but something I guess you could easily file under the guardianship of a guilty pleasure either that or somewhere in the last five minutes we’ve momentarily lapsed into slumber and awoken to find ourselves time tunnelled back to the 70’s where endless summers and flock wallpaper vie for affection. But all said there is an incurably infectious tug pulling you towards the debut single from ex Rooney man Taylor Locke for ‘time stands still’ sprouts feel good rainbows at every turn as it bounces you space hopping upon an audacious power popping cuteness that peels effervescently to a 70’s era Beach Boys honeyed in sun fried west coast motifs all daubed with the type of flighty retro soul grooving more occasioned by the likes of the Panda Gang, the Heartstrings and the Brigadier and something which you feel inclined to dig out your summer best for which as it happens we have though now feel foolish standing in the garden freezing our tats off with the ironing board under our arm doubling as a makeshift surf board – not recommended when its Arctic conditions outside I can tell you. Oh yea it also comes with a ridiculously daft video promoting the joys of coach car ownership – damn got to get myself one of those babies – oh and it’s called ‘running away from love’
Now this is more like it, admittedly we’ve flashed through this quite quickly but that said feel we’ve got the measure of it all. Grim stuff indeed from the aptly named the Non Nonconformists who it seem delight in deepening themselves in the festering and decaying scabs of despair and grudge bearing dismissiveness – admittedly due care and attention might well be the order of the day especially for the casual consumer track titles such as ‘why is everything so shit’, ‘this is shit’ (very New Fast Automatic Daffodils I’m happy to say – and a second mention for Manchester’s finest in as many days – I feel a retrospective coming on) and the daddy of them all ‘you think you’re the bollocks but you’re a cunt’ (a title so impressive and sadly true of some I know that I feel a t-shirt is in the offing) might well sadly serve as red flags warding them off purchase. Now I won’t pull any punches in saying this is an easy ride, their sound comes etched in the kind of sparse angular minimalism that once upon a time was a trademark of such legendary imprints as Step Forward, fast product and Factory while sound wise touching base to concoct a curious cocktail assembled from the parts of the Fall, Section 25, the Birthday Party (not last as evidenced on ‘me and my fuck up my life tic’ is just pure undiluted harrowing bleakness cocking in ‘junkyard’ groove), decoration and Artery where within ‘warm me up’ a curious likeness blisters with dark seduction. Elsewhere both ‘there is no such thing in life as no more’ and ‘there’s nothing you can do about it now’ are pure classic no wave experimentalism, the first a dour Dadaist mantra which translates literally as the title repeated over and over again by a solitary voice the latter a similar technique with the rest of the band taking turns to join in on the miserablism. When they wanna kick ass they go full throttle with both ‘I’m seeing the possibility of it all’ and ‘what if I can’t’ going all youthful Wedding Present albeit with noses a bloodied by the Jesus and Mary Chain. But then it shows the measure of a band when they can pull from the fire something quite extraordinary as ‘say it nicely’ which aside making a very late stab for favourite track of the year manages to feed itself till sick upon an Arab Strap tweaked Tindersticks banquet. Guess we’ll have to nail one of those vinyl variants now.
I defy you to find a more insidiously catchy cute cut currently chartering the waters of pops ever expanding universe right this minute. By Bosco Rogers this is a track (‘the middle’) pulled from their forthcoming debut ‘googoo’ EP via bleepmachine – incidentally due December. This sun sparked darling shimmers and swoons cutting swaying hallucinogenic shapes traced in a curiously woozy tropicalia that trips breezily seducing all with its laid back and sultry psych tweaked carnival-esque vibe, best of all features whistling – always a welcome thing around here – and may – on repeat doses cause light headedness, and just in case you need reference markers think of it as pitching its kaleidoscopic tent somewhere between Avi Bufallo and Panda Bear. Any other questions, no – well – go buy. https://soundcloud.com/bleepmachine/boscorogers-themiddle
Got to admit I do love the way this ebbs and flows in a most genteel way cantering quickly to some unspecified peak just out of the eye line and then sighing to drop arrestingly over t’other side, this is the work of a young St Albans based composer Adam Protz – the title track ‘movements’ as it happens pulled from a forthcoming EP for – we believe – Intangible. A gorgeously scored slice of tranquil loveliness traced in pastoral posies and choreographed in the most delightful of panoramic cantering sprays that coalesce seductively to sit upon some as yet unmapped locale existing between FortDax and Hauschka.
Shortly about to embark on a European tour wherein he’ll be showcasing material from his 2015 pencilled ‘the Alabama sessions’, Simeon Coxe will be taking the Silver Apples experience to the road this December, the occasion marked by the release of a limited tour 7 inch. This babe comes pressed on green wax and will be available to purchase at the tour dates in person or via Enraptured records mail order service. The set gathers together two choice cuts of ethereal groove, one a demo cut of a newly laid cut the other a live rendition of an old classic. One of the legendary keystones and original building blocks of electro hypno groove, ‘oscillations’ first appeared in the late 60’s, here captured live and immortalised on vinyl it still sounds fresh / contemporary and above relevant with the intervening five decades showing no signs of dulling its lustre, moreover still sounding eerily ahead of the curve as though from another sonic dimension foretelling the arrival of krautrock, techno, Suicide, Joy Division and Sonic Boom from its silver age space capsule. New cut ‘missin’ you’ veers very much into Kraftwerk territories albeit kookily dashed with candy floss and wearing a kiss me quick hat whilst waltzing about on distant celestial promenades aglow with the pulsing hum of electroid Beach Boys lullabies shaped by mirthful melody marauding nanobots.
Strangely beguiling and affectionately dimpled in the kind of faraway head in the clouds and drifting dreamily haziness that sounds as though it’s fallen straight out of a 60’s folk school love in, this is a sneak teaser for loveliness to come courtesy of Jessica Pratt whose debuting long player ‘on your own love again’ is set for drag city action in January. Released as a download single shortly, ‘back, baby’ arrives adorned in spring fresh posies and a playfully bitter sweet aura, Pratt’s vocals owing a curious parentage to both the husky lilt of a youthful Eartha Kitt and an equally young Dylan which by our reckoning make for what promises an intriguing listen especially among those of you familiar with both Haruko and Anna D.
As the press blurb rightly alludes to, Darren Hayman is one of this nations unsung heroes, agreed he has throughout his career opted to take a (to quote directly from said PR summation) ‘..singular and erratic route through England’s tired and heartbroken underbelly’ I’ll also add that the sense you get from Hayman is that often his perspective on / of loss, love and loyalty in his portrayals of the fallen, the forgotten or simply the forlorn is crafted out of personal experience often making him an unwitting player perhaps even victim rather than merely a casual observer. Come February ‘chants for socialists’ perhaps sees his most ambitious release to date through WIAIWYA. Inspired by a leaflet he found entitled ‘chants for socialists’ by William Morris it stirred the political machinations within Hayman whose left wing politics anyway had never strayed far throughout a back catalogue stretching back to the Hefner days though arguably had been afforded a subtle treatment that buried them just beneath the surface of obviousness. And so Hayman was hit with a vision – what if and more importantly – you could really bring 19th C ideals, chants and political rhetoric into the arena of a supposedly modernist age of polished ideologies and of a less romantic tolerance of the old ways. As said the album is out in February for now take a seat, kick back a little and sample the delights of Hayman’s extraordinary handiwork in this ‘making of chants for socialists’ video, Billy and Woody eat your hearts out……
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As ever take care of yourselves…..xx
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