Tales from the Attic – Volume 48

Tales from the Attic

Volume XLVIII

Revolutions of a 45 and 33 kind….

5th part of an extended forgotten missives soiree….guest attendees….

The penelopes, the wreaths, sara lowes, meltybrains, leigh toro, born joy dead, coves, the milk, bonfire nights, hayden colnin, beautify junkyards, betty and the id, pick a piper, concretism, of arrowe hill, diagrams, alien bovine, david mason, jay Tausig, little arrow, Emily jones, omi palone, waterflower, men with ven, biscuithead and the biscuit badgers, ryota mikami, dedwardiaans, underground youth, centre excuse,grafham water sailing club, les chaussettes, ist, matt motte, passion pusher, felippo guiffre, obscure, hysm, dengue fever, weird, arbitrary identifier, exile pots, love krafty, smoke fairies

No strangers to these pages, the Penelopes return to the remix fray following critical adoration for their re-drill of the Cure’s ‘just like heaven’ this time setting their sights and applying all manner of sonic studio tucks to go head on with Alt J’s ‘hunger of the pine’. Those previously unfamiliar with the original might well recall the brutalist video portraying a would be protagonist at flight attempting to ward off his pursuers with dire consequences as he’s literally hunted down in the forest glades  and ultimately brought to his knees by the onslaught of poison tipped arrow bows. In the safe hands of The Penelopes ‘hunger of the pine’ is tempered less so by the originals bruising chill tipped shadow falling distress and serviced moreover with an acutely more primal and sexualised persona whereupon the formers hollowing hymnal gracefulness morphs seductively into sexy as hell lunar climates powered by a floor sassy strutting and driving underpin that’s sure to lay the coolest and more aloof club floor patrons jaws agape and swooning. https://soundcloud.com/thepenelopes/alt-j/s-KeSq7

Just in case you never caught the original……quite stunning if you ask me…

A much welcome message from Ralph of the Wreaths who you may recall came highly recommended by those dudes Schizo Fun Addict who frankly weren’t kidding for their debuting self-titled full length literally blew us away to position itself high up in our end of year list of affections. Anyhow the message was a nod not one, nor two but three planned releases / appearances currently in hatching stages. The ‘Mr Fang’ will get an airing a little later – wouldn’t want to spoil you all, as to the other two an imminent 7 inch for Byrdhouse and a glimpse into fruits de mer future with a bollock dropping un-mastered edit of a Gordon Lightfoot ditty from back in the day. Frankly you need these for they provide evidence enough that these blighters may well be the coolest dudes on the planet right now. First up that Byrdhouse 7 inch which is slated for January issue and pairs together ‘supermoon’ and ‘fumblin dice’ – a blinder it is to with the former serving up the best three and a half minute shot to the system we’ve had the pleasure of hearing since the much missed Werewolves exited stage left. This slice of slyly horny pop arrives all laced seductively to a palpable prowling tension graced in a nocturnally set purring sensual lust that’s softly shimmered to a cortege of sighing twangs and swoon engaging inclines, absolutely smoking stuff. Better still over the flip ‘fumblin dice’ is a 9 minute plus cosmic road blues trip re-visiting your prized bliss kissed platters of yesteryear and comes initially traced upon a lunar hymnal found gliding in the vapour trailing haze left by a latter career Spacemen 3 before jettisoning off radar to tune into some well-heeled John Fahey delta groove noodling for a brief moment before re-assuming contact to form an amorphous dreamy glaze of dissipating mind morphing mirages trip wired and haloed in ethereal wooziness to very much career into territories more commonly visited upon the critically cool Fuxa.  Next up a cover of  Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘sundown’ which by the looks things is being prepped for a future Fruits de Mer lovely – 16 minutes of the most arresting softly spun slo-mo narcotic pop you’ll hear this side of the exquisitely daubed psych prayer shimmers of Cheval Sombre at his most out there and sublime. This babe comes arrested by the alluring dream drift of curvaceous chorus’ of lazily dazed reverbs dimpled in love noted after glows and kissed with the wasted and woozy melodic mosaics more occasioned by wax platters grooved by a youthful Mercury Rev. 

Much missed around these here parts, the Earlies were at one time in the not so dim long past regular courtiers to our turntable turning in time and time again exquisite releases which gathered together forged a formidable body of enviable sounds. These days I suspect the members have flown the coup and despatched themselves to the four corners of the globe without so much as a postcard or a ‘hi how are you this fine morn’ – all that is save Sara Lowes who is currently readying herself for the release of album number 2 (‘the joy of waiting’) following 2011’s acclaimed ‘back to creation’ debut. From that set for from railings records ‘I find you’ has just been unveiled, a cornucopia of sensurround sound awaits to allure lushly spaced out and sumptuously trip wired to a deceptively divine 60’s flower folk motif rethreaded in a futuristic gaze scratched in chill dipped down tempo mosaics and seductively spared with a sparse lunar psych funkiness steeled to arabesque purrs, if you must have references think Linda Perhacs going all Donna Summer sultry.  

No sooner have we managed to drag our jaw off the floor from all the hullabaloo incited by the previously mentioned Sara Lowes newie then along come the excellently named meltybrains? to have us wowing and swooning in alternating formations. A hotly tipped 5 piece based in Dublin who to date have a brace of much admired EP’s beneath their collective arm all of which too much grumbling and mutterings have somehow thus far sneaked beneath our well-oiled radar. Anyhow this ‘un – ‘IV’ comes prized from a forthcoming single for meltylabs?- ‘Donegal’ being its partner in crime. A spectral beauty that manages to occupy the sonic voids between dream pop, post rock and lunar ambience, in short a 5 minute plus bliss kissed titan that appears to shimmer beneath a flag that unites the mercurial craft of the Church, the creativity of working for a nuclear free city and the sublime panache of Sennen, both familiar and yet strangely unfamiliar the amorphous ‘IV’ slipstreams with terraformic delight, a fading distress call from a lost galactic out post it ghosts in steeled to a frost framed elegance that delicately thaws, blossoms and radiates to reveal a forlorn floorshow of ethereal echoes haloed in sun spotted stratospheric symphonies and twinkling carousels which all said – given we mention Ms Lowes at the start – imagines a youthful Earlies re-sculpting the orbital orchestrations of Tangerine Dream. https://soundcloud.com/meltybrainsmusic/iv-wav/s-ahfta

pulled this from a face book posting from Orla Wren who praising its charms goes onto say he’d collaborated with the artist in question as the bamboo stilts. Anyhow this is an album preview link heralding the arrival of ‘l’espirit de l’escalier’ by Leigh Toro via eilean records. A quite extraordinary suite tranquilly twinkled in what can only be described as something crafted from the twilight interiors of snoozing frost forests, minimalist yet busy with it one minute glitchy lullabies, the next bruised noir stressed neo classical chamber fugues, radiophonic wonkiness and wistful pastoral wanders, certainly something deserving of closer attention preferably late at night when all is calm, still and less distracting. Should appeal first hand to those admiring of those early boltfish releases.  https://soundcloud.com/eilean_rec/leigh-toro-flotel-lesprit-de-lescalier-album-preview

woah what’s this, why am I getting goose bumps, how the hell did the sun get inside our listening room when all outside is asleep and in darkness and why have I just hit the repeat button three times in a row. So many questions not enough answers, well none if you refer to the press release for clues and a guiding hand. But is that not the point you quietly suspect, minimal information, a refreshing absence of hullabaloo and a remoteness of lame hyperbole like ‘your new favourite band’ and other such bigging up wordiness which on most occasions is tantamount to falling foul of some trade descriptions legislation. Instead let the music do the talking. Now I’ll be truthful here in saying that born joy dead probably won’t change lives and they probably won’t be your favourite new band. That said new forthcoming single ‘hey blood’ is set to give your turntable some long overdue seizures not least because what these Brisbane based dudes manage to shoehorn into four sublime minutes is a radiantly effervescent slab of power popped teen thrilled glam tweaked soft psych exuberance which had we not known would have hazarded a guess was some three way studio get together of Beach Boys, Ashley Park and Dinosaur Jr types nailing down a rare moment of melodic mind morphing to tape only for the blighter to be impishly nicked when no one was looking only to resurface a little later summarily seasoned in all manner of feel good Elephant 6 collective vibes by those dudes Apples in Stereo, now where’s that repeat button for a fourth consecutive listen….. https://soundcloud.com/born-joy-dead/hey-blood

twanging reverbs, darkly woven 60’s motifs and a brooding murderville mosaic that sounds ripe to backdrop some Lynchian Tarantino face off, new single ‘fall out of love’ from the Coves comes ripped from a forthcoming March due set entitled ‘soft Friday’, a shade adorned noir garage psych beauty fractured to the kind of shimmering swoon tweaked poise that provides the missing link between Spector and Meek and which by its fall aligns its trajectory to pick off a combined Primitives and Maudite Dance assault. https://soundcloud.com/nettwerkmusicgroup/coves-fall-out-of-love

i won’t deny that this caught us on the hop first hearing, smoking cool soft soul done in the kind of well heeled sophisticat vintage we’ve rarely had the pleasure of hearing around these parts since those rarefied days when the Panda Gang saw fit to colour our listening space in a smattering of early career EP’s, by the hotly tipped the milk and entitled ‘deliver me’  this babe literally smoulders with a cool passion and a sublime out of step elegance and poise that one feels compelled to lower lights and tune out from the maddening world outside. Available via Wah Wah’s 45’s on limited 7 inch vinyl or else as a free download via http://www.thisisthemilk.com

 

We oft pride ourselves at being able to spot a good tune 10 paces out, which roughly translated for the casual passer- by really means that we here can pretty much gage within the opening groovess of a track whether it’s for us or not. Call it love at first sight (or hearing if you fancy a spot of being a tad pedantic), but we’ve been seldom wrong or disappointed. So when Bonfire Nights (and not the much missed Fireworks Night which we initially mistook it to read) loomed large on our sound player, before scarcely hearing a note we had a sly inkling that this might be something special, I mean the soundcloud imagery / or avatar alone raised an expectant pique. Four demonic shadowy dudes loitering with dark intent – hell we were sold and yet scarcely a chord had been strummed in anger. ‘ego death’ be their debut single a flat-lining austere choked slab of neo psych post punk Dadaism whose head space appears to have crash landed somewhere in that golden year of 1979 whereupon to desolate futuristic landscapes nightmarishly sculptured by Tubeway Army’s ‘replicas’ albeit as seen through the viewfinder of a kraut gouged Echoboy and to the lock grooved hypnotic drone bombardment of Wire’s ‘I am the fly’ become the edgily frayed darkly sultry playground of Magazine, frankly the kind of psychotropic stuff that we here expected to have the sonic cathedral seal of approval scorched on its hide with a branding iron and something vying hard in the affection stakes with those Wreaths dudes as sexiest thing on planet pop right this moment.  Incidentally available via bad vibrations on a split 7 inch with tripwires occupying the flip side. https://soundcloud.com/bonfire-nights/ego-death-mix-47-eq

Absolutely dumbstruck and smitten by this ‘un. With a debut album planned for next year, there’s been a quiet hush of admiration for Australia’s Hayden Calnin with his music used to backdrop stateside shows such as Suits which in turn has led to critical exposure in some of the weightier newsstand publications of America. Describe as the Australian answer to Bon Iver (so no pressure there then) new EP ‘Oh, Hunter’ gathers together a formidable six track suite which ought to give hint as to the exquisite craft and spectrum range of this young musician. In short the finest thing we’ve heard of this ilk since frankly anything by the Low Anthem / futur primitif, opening cut ‘comatose’ comes sparsely twinkled in the kind of hymnal presence that forms a fuzzy inner warmth upon the engaged would be listener, to the shuffle of a genteel trip hop pit a patter, the canter of sighing pastoral keys and ghostly gospel choral responses which not for the first time this missive we’ve been drawn to compare with the Earlies albeit here charmed and chilled by the elegant detailing of Shady Bard. Though amid all this what makes everything that little bit special are the emotional curvatures for Calnin guides you gently out of your comfort zone taking you on a ride both high and low to places of hymnal bliss to aching despair, freewheeling between the dark and the light and the bruised and the realised. Quite humbling if you ask me.

Simply sublime but then it’s what we’ve come to know and expect of Beautify Junkyards. Latest to be treated to their bewitching spell craft is a Portuguese folk song originally covered by the celebrated left wing activist Zeco Afonso entitled ‘Que amor nao me engana’. In their hands this lost gem comes transformed into three and a half minutes of sweetly arresting enchantment traced to a haunting Brit folk gothique motif that seduces and sedates trimmed to an elegant and unworldly not to mention sadly near lost song craft whose nearest rivals mining similar sonic delights are the equally entrancing preterite and the hare and the moon and which unto whose delicately lush treatment elements of dead can dance, magnet and goblin come ghosting through the groove lines.

Another ensemble with a thing for Wire-isms are Betty and the ID, no strangers around these here parts though absent from these pages for far longer than we care to mention or admit, these Birmingham based dudes feature amid their ranks at least one former member of the much missed L’Augmentation who as you should know – if that is you’ve been paying attention at the back – are shortly to be graced with a retrospective via the critically cool Reverb Worship imprint. Anyhow enough of that the ID’s have just released their third album ‘not in front of the servants’ for wrong syde records and from this little gem entitled ‘the analyst’ has been sent on a mission tasked with attracting and ensnaring the occasional innocent passer-by. Damn fine too by our reckoning adorned as it is upon a chugging and grizzled power pop throb spiked deliciously in a new wave day-glo daubing that subtly glares with a psychotropic stare that imagines some secret studio conspiracy embarked under the quiet of night by a gathering of Magoo, the DB’s and Beatnik Filmstars types.  http://wrongsyderecords.bandcamp.com/ 

Something else we picked up via a face book posting which is just as well as its been a while since we heard from Italian based imprint Bad Panda, anyhow this is available as a free download and it’s the sumptuous ‘sun glitters mix’ of the Pick a Piper track ‘all her colours’ which manages to dream itself into the kind radiant glacial pop crushes that once upon a time wherein strictly of the domain of the loaf and lo recordings sound houses (I should say at this point – they still are). https://soundcloud.com/bad-panda-records/pick-a-piper-all-her-colours

Now I’m suspecting that many among you might be thinking, well that’s all well and good Mark and thanks for sharing, but did you know it’s a year old. Well as it happens yes – the reason for its inclusion being by way of a short introduction because these dudes have a three way collaborative set about to emerge into the light via the Russian imprint full of nothing wherein they share groove space on a 2 track 7 inch (which includes three additional bonus MP3’s) with love cult and squalloscope. ‘never get lost’ leads the charge, an acutely funky cutie that sways and flirts to an old school early 80’s dance floor vibe bedded upon a rolling circular bass heavy dubtronic grooving and a devilishly dinked nursery rhyme like motif whose skipping minimalism and sparseness had us in mind of the Tom Tom Club in cahoots with the Raincoats with Agents aren’t Aeroplanes rooted fast at the mixing desks. Far superior by our reckoning is ‘ruin’, more statuesque and panoramic in sonic appearance and slickly built upon a killer dub gouging swirled in arabesque mosaics and head woozy ethereal echoes the type of which once upon a time you’d find adorning the platters put out by Jah Wobble and the Invaders of the Heart.  http://everything.fullofnothing.net/album/pick-a-piper-squalloscope-love-cult    

Its author Chris Sharp – better known to the record buying community as Concretism – describes this track as being an attempt to sneak between the cracks separating ‘the wicker man and mike oldfield’ – we’ve his new album which we suggest you seek out at your earliest convenience – a review here is long overdue and currently simmering to readiness soon. For now though this little treat entitled ‘the wiccan circle’ – a ghostly pageantry of lost folk tongues and May Day paganism delicately snoozed in the tranquil hush of wood carved pastorals ushered from twilight worlds appearing in the haze of a new morn, perfect for those much loving of their servings of Brit folk musicalia not least given its an imagining of a youthful Soft hearted scientists crafting sonic sorcery with a darker ‘running girl’ era Ooberman and tunng

Much bunting being festooned around these here parts at the news of a new Of Arrowe Hill full length due to descend before the festivities, Christmas present to self – tick – sorted. ‘a conspiracy of clocks’ be its name from which is peeled from its grooves comes ‘….& that’s really what happened blues’ – a bit of a belter it is, a rollicking rummage through your record collection especially if your prized platters have a distinct Mark E Smith taste factor, a sub three minute slab of grifter road burn is what you get for your hard earned dosh that turns the dial back to a classic 50’s era where strode goliath cool like Sun Records, Vincent, Williams and Taylor, their ghosts gathered in the auto shed and given a re-tuning spruce up by a tag team made up of members of Clinic and 10 Benson. Need I say more – somehow I think not.

Pardon me if I gotten my bands mixed up but I don’t seem to recall the Diagrams so – well – poppy. Former Tunng man Sam Genders’ solo project Diagrams has released the infectiously pop sheened electro buzz ball ‘phantom power’ as a greeting card announcing the post Xmas releases of his ‘Chromatics’ full length for full time hobby. This babe starts sparsely comatosed in lunar lilts slowly gathering pace, dimension and hearts as it zig zags through the gears in a most audaciously irresistible and precociously tasty manner to swoon, swirl and strut possessed of the sweetly engaging pop kudos once the forte of Tony Mansfield of New Musik fame whilst simultaneously free falling into the vapour trails left by the much missed Luxembourg.

I’m sure we’ve had occasion to mention listening center in previous dispatches – however we could be wrong. What is certain is that it’s the brain child and alter ego of New York sound minimalist David Mason and whose futuristic cold war craft ought to appeal to admirers of Concretism. New album ‘ cycles / other phenomena’ is pure vintage electronica, echoes from a Radiophonic age and something ripe for listening by those tuning in to everything from Ghost Box to Delia Derbyshire and all points between which while we try to nab copies or downloads of we’ll mention both the opening cut ‘cycles’ and ‘intersection’, the latter a strangely playful slice of lunar cosmicalia that sounds like the warm digits rephrasing Echoboy’s ‘scene 30’ with the former a gorgeous slice of minimalistically phrased early 70’s Open University wonkiness time travelled to the present – or so it seems – by Zombi’s Steve Moore. The album incidentally is available as a strictly limited 100 only cassette, quite frankly we want one. http://listeningcenter.bandcamp.com/album/cycles-other-phenomena

Been an age since we featured anything by occasional fruits de mer mind scrambler Jay Tausig, if I recall rightly last time out he was immersed in some colossal Zodaic release roster and I even think there was mention of CD’s being sent out for a listen by yours truly which alas never arrived whether through forgetfulness or the fact that they were mischievously lost by Royal Mail (whose record collection these days must be better than mine). Grumbling aside this is one fried out head kick for ‘in a strange way’ is a freshly minted cut literally only just nailed to tape, a freakish 14 minute jazz lounge mind expander veering to the  polar outer markers of jazz lounge and weird exotica in between passing through krautrock star sectors amid whose fantastical wig flipped odyssey moments of angular schizoid busyness (think pretty much most of the Foolproof Projects catalogue) are trippily spiked by passages of dreamy out there-ness (see Bill Laswell), it all makes for a colourful cornucopia of ear dissolving sound that all at once manages to touch base with the likes of Ayler, Embryo and Tubby Hayes.  https://soundcloud.com/jaytausig/in-a-strange-way

a wonderfully disjointed affair which when you think you’ve a handle on suddenly jettisons off in a differing direction requiring you to rethink your position and start again only for the process to start again. In truth in terms of putting you on your back foot unable to grip upon reference markers for guides we’d say Little Arrow’s ‘medicine moon’ is up there with the debuting brace of releases by the Animal Collective. But there the similarity ends for there’s a kind of smoky surrealism and a lolloping lilt engaging amid these grooves that suggests a loose kinship with Pavement (albeit on a MOR homage to 70’s rock) in so far as refusing to adhere to normal pop sound structures, the use of ad hoc time signatures and the amassing styles forged into the becoming melting pot which itself cosmically spirals from soft psychedelia, prairie pop and dreamy sepia framed musicalia which perched together poses something of a richly rewarding listening experience though agreed trippy and strangely out of step, the video is none too bad either a kind of impish fusion of galaxy quest, blake 7 and the mighty boosh.

Available as of now in a strictly limited edition of just 67 copies, all replete with hand crafted inserts and a preserved leaf is the latest full length from Emily Jones entitled ‘Autumn Eye’ – casual readers may well recall we’ve mentioned Emily in recent dispatches following her frankly bewitching appearance on a recently aired podcast entitled ‘a minstrel came out of the meadow’ not to mention last year’s collaborative head to head with the rowan amber mill. While we wait for our cherished copy we’ve been itchy with excitement likes a child on Christmas Eve and frankly just had to have a peak at what was on offer, so for now a brief mention for the clock stopping murmur of ‘pieces of people’ which comes pressed up in the kind of soft psych pastoral posies that hints not only of an admiration for a mid-career ‘Skylarking’ era XTC but comes delicately courting the wistfully day dreamy eccentricity and hazy glazing of the much missed Freed Unit’s ‘gigglegoo’ which as you shouldn’t need telling is a very special thing. https://owltextures.bandcamp.com/

Now if you’d asked me had we ever featured Omi Palone previously in these pages I’d have screamed in the affirmative until I was blue in the face, but a quick little search around our word press site suggests otherwise which let us be honest is no great advocate of certainty given we’ve yet to upload about 400 lost missives (saving that experience for a very long rainy day I can tell you). Anyway ahead of a tour with black fungus, ‘singled out’ is their first new material since April’s critically admired self-titled debut full length which we fear we may have missed – cue grinding teeth. A slap you around the head eye poking affair drilled to a nagging twang-a-rama grooving and kissed with a kick ass up close and personal grind which to these ears veers defiantly as though something hatched in a secret studio plot by Fatima Mansions (albeit minus the catholic guilt), the Godfathers and Robert Lloyd is I guess one way of describing it. Another would probably be essential especially if you’ve a regular want for the hearing of the Weather Prophets. https://soundcloud.com/omi-palone/singled-out/

Up for a fuller review sometime in the next few days will be edition #10 of the excellent multi media resource Wyrd Daze, which as you all know and rightly remind me on occasion is a something long overdue feature wise, and regrettably it is what with for one reason or another whether that be dying laptops, media download issues or sheer lack of time – we have thus far managed to pay it absolutely no care, attention or respect – all of which will change. Honest. For now though and by way of a line in the sand of good intentions to follow we did manage to grab an earful of this issues featured artist. Waterflower is the alter ego of Sabine Moore ex Kroffork which I’m assuming is a previous guise who / which sadly passed us by. ‘An Afterlife’ ought to be primary listening especially for those of you who’ve ever shivered at night desperately trying to sleep but kept awake by imaginings of frost tipped Dead Can Dance types turning in eerie and unworldly  spectral sound sculptures as part of some heathen homage to winter. Possessed of a song craft that appears to float vision like upon no footing or any clear sense of a fixing or footing, Moore glides between a delightful fusion of church song reverence and mystery play operatics,  this amorphous siren call assumeing a ghostly warmth that shyly treads the twilight cracks separating the aforementioned fragile classicism of Dead Can Dance and the Victorian inspired dark tempestuous nature of a very youthful Ms Bush – here demurred in hymnal whispers the elegance, the bewitchment and the sheer trembling ethereal beauty makes it a beyond beguiling listening treat.  http://river.bandcamp.com/album/waterflower  

Whilst at Probe at little earlier this evening we eyed a vinyl copy of the’ Halloween III’ soundtrack which we are baggsying as a Christmas treat to self next time we occasion a visit to the store. The album – of which I don’t recall seeing ever on vinyl – though I’m suspecting it must have been in the early 80’s – is issued by Death Waltz records who it seems appear to the key note resource for all your way out weird horror shock sci-fi soundtrack listening. Currently on their roster there’s Death and Vanilla’s ‘Vampyr’ – these dudes aren’t strangers to these pages given we mentioned – or at I’m certain we’ve them in the recent past following outings for the ever adored moon glyph imprint. In addition a rare soundtrack to the 1980 film ‘chain reaction’ and 1982’s ‘turkey shoot’ as well as ‘beyond the black rainbow’ which film wise is getting rave notices at present and is proving something we need to hook up with as soon as. However pride of the bunch is their ultra limited (red and green wax no less) double disc set from 1984’s festive shocker ‘silent night, deadly night’. The score penned by Perry Botkin is not so much all out edge of your seat grimness but rather more a nightmarish trip to some sort of freakish enchantment for here lurks a supernatural magicalia tempered in suspense stricken sighs, chilled tipped flurries and skewed time signatures, a shadowy meeting point between Stockhausen and Jerry Goldsmith all coiled in pensive neo classicist noir and that’s just the opening track – we will try and source a copy for full review shortly.  http://deathwaltzrecordingcompany.com/shop/silent-night-deadly-night-standard/ 

Okay – no press release, no fanfare, just a beer mat with cryptic clues along with the name of the band on one side and a mirthless message reading ‘the worst Christmas ever’ on the other. What can it mean? Well quite frankly in a seasonal nutshell the kind of festive fayre that if given the right amount of exposure may well be one of those rare delights that gets wheeled out every yuletide until someone somewhere puts the lights out on mankind. Impishly coveted in the kind of bracing and chuckle some crookedness of Jona Lewie, Vivian Stanshall, Fat Les, a touch of madness, a tasting of tenpole tudor and a dusting of the greedies, Men with Ven impart an audacious tale of seasonal woe all scalped to a rousing bar room rumpus cheered on in the crowd pleasing spirit of olde English music hall artistry, ridiculously catchy and wired in the kind of happy but sad uncheery cheeriness that’s so typically British, you’ll laugh, cry, laugh some more then wake next day following a tipsy trip after partaking – purely for consoling and  sympathetic reasons of course – in several shots of seasonal spirit the type of which you find in a bottle. A rare festive gem.

 

Becoming something of a regular feature around these here parts, the slightly insane Biscuithead and the Biscuit Badgers have in recent memory regaled us in song of the joys among many soy milk, cheese and dinosaurs all engaged in a sound whose heritage oft apes a monochrome  vintage where hand holding among couples stepping out was considered a cardinal sin before your 20th date and liable to lead to being ostracised at best and the target of stone throwing church villagers at worst. ‘Snow’ is their own crooked and kooky festive folly, a quirky delight it is to with its ear no doubt trained to the grooves of the heartstrings and whimsically threaded to a lightly lilted Divine Comedy motif which for all the world sounds as though it’s chuffing and puffing along a winter wonderland landscape aboard a rocketing steam train, don’t know about you but I’m sold.

Picked this up from a twitter feed would you believe, indeed I am omnipresent, it’s  by Ryota Mikami and goes by the name ‘hotel’ – a track pulled from an EP set called ‘Buddha, Mozart and the Ladies’ which I’m gathering we need to hear sharpish given that the track in question is purported by its author to feature samples of Abba, Cyndi Lauper and Mozart grooves not that their so easy to detect, that said at only 64 seconds in length its shoehorns in more jubilant radiance than most ensembles hiding beneath the west coast pop banner manage to muster in a career. Very much informed and admiring of the Kevin Shields wall of celestial sound  c. ‘loveless’ this honey toned heavenly visitation comes shimmered in the subtle rush of industrialonics all signed in a divinely euphoric dream wave glazing. Bliss.

Featured the other side of this bollock dropping platter a little while back – ‘like an animal’ is the co-conspiratorial A side to the latest from the dedwardians’‘love sick’ – a furiously frenetic and feral bad boy literally choking on its own hyped up tension and stumbles in twisted tethered upon a fraying psychosis and the kind of poke you in the eyes savage stricken primitive aura that put us in mind of a let loose and rabid Jon Spencer in some sort of studio head butt with Gallon Drunk, swamp dragged doesn’t quite cut aptly its menace and seething grizzled blues agitation. A nugget in short. https://soundcloud.com/dedwardians/like-an-animal

Making a very late bid for one of our best cut of the year selection spots, the Underground Youth’s ’beautiful and damned’ EP  has been wowing and seducing us equal measures since arriving in our gaff – it will get featured fully later this missive. For now though ‘Naked’ from that aforementioned set is a quite frankly drop dead demurring darling that finds itself sumptuously purred and straddled upon the feint margin lines separating dream pop and soft psych, bathed in a spectral glow and oozed to a delicately corkscrewing riff motif, there’s an ache and hurt spiralling from this darkly bruised beauty that’s elegantly poised and majestically murmured in the kind of forlorn shadow light that once upon a time graced and greeted the grooves of releases by Maudite Dance and the sadly missed Insect Guide and makes you want to throw a consoling arm around for supportive sympathy. An understated gem if ever there was one.

 

Sadly arriving without a press release, though rather than an oversight on their press folks part I rather suspect more a case that we’ve mislaid it, new single from Centre Excuse who it seems are, or more specifically, is the sole handiwork of Teddy Lewis, ‘worthless’ be its name a shy eyed 80’s electro sweetie which aside managing to shoehorn into its finite grooves elements of an early career Wild Swans, the Chameleons, Icehouse, Zerra 1 and strangely enough the pop acuteness of Nik Kershaw has this unearthing knack to freefall from lunar murmurs to  erupt, radiate and fizz with an attractive radio hugging ear candy alchemy which at times had us recalling a ‘dazzle me with transience’ era  Tex La Homa which as you all should know is no mean feat. That said not on our CD but something we eyed on his soundcloud player – those of you with a taste for White Rose Movement might do well to check out the buzz sawing electroid frenz pop of ‘in your mind’. http://www.centre-excuse.com/

Immensely admired around these here parts here’s the latest offering from Grafham Water Sailing Club with the freshly minted ‘Nettle Hill’ featuring Gracie Vee on lead vocals is one of those dark forces gathering moments, previous visitations by these dudes have seen them flirting amid the shadowy cracks of the late 80’s New Zealand noise scene albeit daubed in psychotropic hazes with this one seemingly seeing no fit reason to buck the trend though that said enlisting to their formidable and angular armoury elements of UK Decay and Clock DVA and then feeding them acid tabs and taking them on board a mind warping magic eye carpet ride wherein something that has a darkly woven tasting of Kaputt fused with the Jeffersons lurks in the voids. https://soundcloud.com/xtxgxwxsxcx/nettle-hill-ft-gracie-vee

Must admit the heart skipped a little to be greeted upon arrival at home by a tidy bundle of packages among which a brace of incoming releases from the previously un-encountered Punk Fox imprint. First up and on lipstick pink wax the debuting physical release from Vancouver based quartet Les Chaussettes. I don’t mind admitting that this has been on constant rotation since making its way to introduce itself to our turntable, described in passing by the label as songs of love and lust in a punk pop vibe with added 60’s surf twists – in truth they had us at the love and lust bit’. ‘Kate’ is your cutesy cute wonky lo-fi loveliness that swoons a tad tipsy and unsteady to a slyly crooked and cool dizzy courtship of breezy south seas tropicalia mirages, 60’s lysergically dimpled keys and sun setting west coast sighs, though while we could dazzle you to a list of ear candy reference markers such as the Shangri La’s, the Shaggs and the September Girls in truth you’d be best seeking out Blondie’s debuting full length for a more appropriate sonic kinship. Over on the flip you’ll find the equally engaging ‘Volcanoes’ – a brightly fluffy serving of radiant shade adorned psychotropic bubble grooving garage beat, kind of Lovely Eggs with an attack of the Strawberry Switchblades that somewhat sheds its skin and goes all weird, woozy and fuzzed out at its fall  http://leschaussettes.bandcamp.com/track/kate

Now here’s a rare treat a record whose press release opens in red print to a ‘warning – these songs contain strong adult language throughout…….if you think you’ll be offended, then don’t play it!!!’ – I mean I know we are in dire times under the excusing shadow of political correctness and fearful of offending, but it’s hardly incitement to take up arms or other variously questionable sloganeering, frankly I’m more likely to get offended these days by sound of ‘new man’ Morrissey rather than a few choice Anglo Saxon words, safe to say I’d have been more offended had the blighter sounded crap – but you’ll be happy to know it doesn’t. Originally released in that heady year 2003 where it appeared on the debuting ist pop platter ‘Freudian corduroy’, ‘boyfriend’ is your dark intent plotting anthem for all those who detest your ex’s latest crush with a passion bordering on pathological obsession, not that we’ve had cause to ponder such, in fact as I recall I think we’ve even shook hands and patted said souls on the back almost thanking them for the release from a life of tedium, torture and torment. Hey ho. Primarily for those who love your flavouring of pop twisted, spiked and spiteful, this proto punk calling card ought to first and foremost tickle the radar of those among you with a thing for the Teen Anthems, Pooh Sticks and Violent Femmes’ ‘ugly’ and manages to pull itself back from the brink of the obnoxious (hello Anti Nowhere League) and the ridiculous (hi Toy Dolls) to shape up approaching something acutely cool wherein even the riffola stings with barbed needle like scorn as it line up proudly snarled in a discarded Dead Boys bleaching. Also features the same track re-trimmed by Window Licker and arrives pressed on eye catching splatter vinyl – are they spoiling us we wonder? Available along with the previously mentioned Les Chaussettes single via punk fox records.   

Last time Mat Motte and the people that hate him had occasion to worry our hi-fi it was the height of summer with him and his entourage peeling away a certified slab of pick me up sun radiating effervescence. It now seems winter has come to visit Mat and Co for the deceptively perfect ‘lame’ is dished up in a rarefied brew of stumbling and lolloping prairie folk blues that heavily sighs mournfully to a bruising ache from whose souring neglect emerges an impeccably crafted campfire hymnal replete with the warmth of seasonal spirit and the shimmering chime of sleigh balls. On t’other side sits the frankly infectious funky bug bitten ‘high maintenance’ whose electro retro glazing pretty much freefalls into the same vapour trailing sonic space as black ink and that recent victories at sea release, acutely daubed in a detectable dream dipped lunar lilting Moroder styling which at times veers almost into early career Duran Duran terrains – quite classy as it happens.

For the life of me and don’t ask me why, but hearing the latest release from the song, by toad imprint (their first cassette release to boot) by Passion Pusher whose identity incidentally we are at a loss to reveal given we’ve lost the email gubbins that yielded this sound link, we here are a picking up a definite desire / urge / need to spend the next few hours rifling through the amassed records here at the Sunday Experience musical box emporium trying to root out our prized Micro Disney platters because it’s just me there’s a similar disconnection going on between what is happening music wise and its relationship to the singer – one being – well not outlandishly happy but sparky – the other wallowing disconsolately imparting a feeling that he’d rather be elsewhere, either that or a merit student of the Leonard Cohen school of croon. Whatever the case it makes for an attractive listening treat to which admirers of Gary Wilson may do well to tune into not least if they’ve ever pondered what their hero might sound like doing a worse for Dean Martin stylee. ‘couch king’ EP features four such treats all bolted upon a borderline slacker grooving and metered to a low light lo-fi phrasing, these lolloping gems twinkle imagining a rain swept almost bored existence, the opening title cut sounding not unlike a totally wasted and a tad self-loathing and bitter Baby Bird that barely manages to make it to the end without falling over weighed down by its own disappointment. The sepia trimmed ‘tryna b cool’ – the best thing here in our humbled opinion – comes dusted in a hypnotic corkscrewing motif that subtly nibbles to a 50’s bubble grooving as etched by a cruise controlled Marr armed to the sonorous out of it croon of its protagonist, quite frankly the most out of step release we’ve had the pleasure of hearing all year.  https://songbytoadrecords.bandcamp.com/album/couch-king-ep

Just eyed this on the Keeping it Peel blog at http://keepingitpeel.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/podcast-peels-other-christmas-records/ – a free to download 21 track compilation (which is in fact 22 tracks but quite frankly who is counting) being put out by unwashed territories on their band camp platform entitled ‘songs for John’  – requests were sent out to bands and the replies / responses tailored into a Peel tribute compilation which alas is due to get pulled tomorrow. Among the attendees a killer cut from the Cuban Boys replete with Peel samples, the damn fine Half Man Half Biscuit, an absolute peach of a track by Christ pulled from a Dndelion radio session and JD Meatyard (whose offering we wouldn’t in hearing might just tickle the fancy of Brian Bordello). Anyway as said this gets pulled tomorrow so if you want it grab it now – go get ‘em boy……   http://unwashedterritories.bandcamp.com/album/21-songs-for-john

Staying with all things Peel – think I may well have featured or at least included the link last year Christmas – but the keeping it Peel site also have John’s 1992 Christmas specials available as free downloads – the download comes in two parts – initially aired Christmas Eve that year it features a few vintage gems from the likes of Otis, Lonnie brooks, moonglows, johnny preston and hank ballard along with some familiar late night visitors to nocturnal transistors such as the Fall, shonen Knife and Captain Beefheart…..fill your seasonally buckled boots by going here – http://keepingitpeel.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/podcast-peels-other-christmas-records/

Really haven’t a clue what’s happening here but I wouldn’t be too surprised if this ends up being the shortest festive related release you’ll find featured in these musings this year, from Dutch metallers Aborted Alien Bovine – are you now beginning to see what exactly attracted us in the first place – this is ‘merry Christmoos’ (a free download no less – so you have no excuses now) – basically 42 seconds of slacker metal which admittedly starts off a little head strong as though baiting for a squabble with your head space until somewhat going all chilled if that’s how you’d describe it and proceeding to gather around the festive tree for some er – hearty cheer to the cries of ‘seasonal abortion’, ‘festive beef’, christmoos balls’ and ‘merry christmoss’ – in truth it sounds better than we described it. Merry metalmas to one and all.  http://abortedalienbovine.bandcamp.com/track/merry-christmoos

Next up a message from Luigi alerting us to a newly minted label of which he’s the co-founder, ArteTetrA is the name of the imprint specialising in psychedelia, esoteric and exotica their first release being a tape compilation of Italian and American experimentalists many of whom (in fact all of whom) have before now managed to avoid our normally acutely tuned radar and all freewheeling into sonic disciplines that range from the strange to the obtuse. While we sit with the compilation incidentally titled ‘exotic esoterique’ a little longer a few quick picks from what we’ve heard so far from this 15 track gathering. Parked at its close you’ll find Felippo Giuffre whose ‘perche parli’ is a neatly skewed and angular slice of freeform no wave groove whose intricate riff-tronic skittering may well call to mind the less wild and siege mentality obsessed out there and weirdly wired art rock gouged frenetics of KK Null and to a lesser extent Henry Cow, though scratch a little deeper and what emerges is something bearing a detectable kinship to Italo sonic alchemists My Cat is an Alien. Elsewhere and much the cause of raised pulses lurk Obscure whose ‘schwermut’ reveals itself as something of chamber noise drone sortie which in its initial passages had us recalling the very early output of the esteemed Fat Cat label notably Foehn albeit as though caught in the mersmeric gaze of a very youthful and playful Pan Sonic before terra-forming and fracturing to shower all skull clobbering trance Dadaism. Those of you admiring of the releases flying out of the much loved foolproof projects sound lab (we may as well warn you right now that both West Hill Blast Quartet and Aeolipile await on the review to do list) will do well to turn your listening lobes onto the warped and wiring sounds off Hysm? Duo whose ‘episodio 14’ is a strange amalgamation of tribal unruliness a la PIL’s ‘flowers of romance’, doomy throat chants and seriously uneasy psyched out séances replete with bowed bells. As said there will be further visitations to this rather splendid compilation in due course.

Here’s a little teaser film to get you going….

 

How we missed this one when it was originally out is beyond me, but a little something that we picked up from the ArteTetrA facebook page, this is by Dengue Fever information of whom sadly amounts to diddly, this ‘un entitled ‘Uku’ appears to be prized from an album released sometime last year by the name ‘cannibal courtship’ and beyond that you are on your own. However what can’t be denied is its trance-tronic fusion of the mystical, the spiritual and the psychotropic as it snake charms itself seductively to a both beguiling and mesmeric mantra where Arabesque accents flirt to a demurring slice of bliss kissed psych piped exotica and wherein the traditional meets head on the modern. Absolute mind blowing stuff.

Now this is quite gorgeous, shade adorned shoe gaze from Rome, Italy, not your normal rush-crush of euphoria but something a little more considered that’s poised, enigmatic and bruised in forlorn pedal effect showers which coalesce succulently to dazzle and dreamily demur in Skywave formations punctuated by moments of heart stopping beauty the type of which aligns to the likes of the Workhouse and Dead Leaf Echo, the quartet are known as weird the track in question entitled ‘infinite decay’ – a debut album is currently in production stages. http://weird1.bandcamp.com/

Described loosely as weird sci-fi from Sydney, duo Arbitrary Identifier have just released their (I’m assuming) debut full length ‘moist’ which among other things promises rare glimpses at future music – disjointed beats, harsh sounds and textures coalescing into something that’ll confuse, repulse and perhaps delight – their words loosely not ours for apprehensive as we were on approach this set rather more reveals something mellowing, tranquil and dreamy, ‘tranquilsmooth’ is the case in point, as it hints on the lid – tranquil and smooth, this psychotropic lunar lilted lovely both demurs and beguiles, a swirling carousel of dream glazed star crushed symphonia threaded delicately to a frosted though bitter sweetly sighing lullaby-esque bruising. Somewhere else the terra-forming ‘softly insomnia’ is one minute awash in darkly weaved ambient textures, the atmosphere and mood turned to chill where insectoid beats and shuffling murmurs busily chatter in the mix – the next dinked by chirping Oriental robotnic motifs which to some may instil flashbacks of an early career Maps and Diagrams until dissipating again for the final part of its metamorphis into doomy industrial swathes before resetting back to first base. An unexpected treat. http://arbitraryidentifier.bandcamp.com/album/moist

Another release we happily tripped across whilst having a wander around band camp world, this is by Exile Pots who as far as we understand or can tell hail from Manchester whose three track ‘Sorcery’ EP is something that ought to be high on the watch list for those space cadets among you much admiring of kraut grooved strange worlds not least the title track which in short is an 18 minute head trip exploring sounds inner space. A full on head phonic experience best visited when all is at peace and only then with the volume cranked to maxima, everything from Floyd to Tangerine Dream is summarily shoehorned into this expansive canvas for here you be visited upon by cosmic collages, astral ambience, trance blip core and much more all weaved in to a heady mind evaporating dream dub titan the type of which sounds not unlike a bong tooting bliss out third eye summit gathering of tripped out psychotropic freaks Ozric Tentacles, Astralasia, Orb and System 7 and very much traversing into wig flipped environs oft frequented by the much missed Delirium imprint. Recommended in case you hadn’t quite worked it out for yourselves.  http://exilepots.bandcamp.com/album/saucery

Picked this up from a face book recommendation by Chris Sharp – he who is Concretism – whose album incidentally is way over due for review – a fact we will be addressing in the coming days. Now we have no information on lovekrafty (is that some sort of new order reference – we do lose touch with such pop matters these days)- anyhow they’ve recently released a new full length entitled ‘ghosts’ from which this sound cloud selection comes prized from. We here are a tad quite fond of ‘focus’ – carousel fanfares from long forgotten galactic outposts, this serene honey is graced with the kind of 70’s attraction so much adored and crafted anew by those ghost box chaps, though scratch a little deeper and passing through the retro lullabies something very much twinkled in the minimalist hues of both a youthful ISAN and Plone comes seductively surfacing to the top. And while you’re there also take time to sample the delightful ‘raudive valve’ with its ornate orbiting promenade organ recitals dreamily draping alien night skies and very much turned in the spirit of Ron Grainer albeit as though re-threaded by a coalition of fortdax and tele:funken types. https://soundcloud.com/lovekrafty

This comes ripped from a forthcoming Christmas album entitled ‘wild winter’ by the Smoke Fairies and goes by the name ‘Christmas without a kiss’. It follows last year’s well received snowflakes release – which if memory serves – featured too much adoration around these here parts. Anyway rather than get carried away going all soft and gooey on us it seems the Fairies have just resorted to type – trimmed it a little in tinsel and phrased matters in a wintery casting which is thankfully fine by us for this little babe has them re-discovering their youthful mojo and going back to basics with some neatly shadow lined soft psych seduction which aside swooning amid swirls of shimmer toned haloes all draped in sly eyed twang struts is ached in a devilishly attractive forlorn love crushed 60’s haze. The duo will be gracing rough trade in stores for special festive visitations shortly as for the album arriving soon via full time hobby.

We love records, cassettes and even CD’s so should you feel the desire to contact you can get in touch in the following ways –

For archives and other happening gubbins – http://www.marklosingtoday.wordpress.com

For email – marklosingtoday@gmail.com

Networking – http://www.facebook.com/thesundayexperience

Or finally – good old fashioned snail mail –

71 Pennsylvania Road, Liverpool, L13 9BA, UK

We’re also on sound cloud and twitter but I’ll be buggered I know the address that said if you really need them then send an interesting record or tape and we’ll root out the details.

As ever take care of yourselves…..xx

All rights reserved – Marklosingtoday ©

 

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