Tales from the Attic – Volume 49

Volume XLIX

Revolutions of a 45 and 33 kind….

The 6th tales from the attic visitation this seasonal time and the penultimate missive posting this year with the 50th pencilled in to emerge on New Year’s Eve…..this particular bumper bonanza features….a very deep breath is required at this point…..

Dolman, legendary flower punk and dvory, kramies, honeymilk, plastics, Sylvie simmons, octopuses, papernut Cambridge, eat lights become lights, sendelica, deathcrush, history of colout tv, aeolopile, west hill blast, damn vandals, justin wiggan, mervyn Williams, keith seatman, concretism, wyrdstone, flutterby, emily jones, schizo fun addict, the bordellos, matt bouvier, postcode, rivertairs, ummagma, limpid voyage sound, minko, non noncomformists, haioka, lyttet, unthanks, holy see, anton berbeau, gary numan, evil blizzard, mamuthones, kid moxie, half truth, troika, seahawks, babau, kree mah stree, llergy, blue bird dominion, moraljetlag, nevroshockingiochin, h on Bangalore, waken, nicola tribasso, above the tree, the big drum in the sky religion, maybe im, bonfire nights, greyghost, wizards tell lies, pj phillipson, adam leonard, dum dum girls, Helmholtz resonators, tired tape machine, the birthday massacre, empathy test, les bonbons, illona v, max kinghorn mil, sproatly smith, zx+, Claudio cataldi, james mckeown, chemistry set, vespero, magic mushroom band, jet age, jim jenkin, todd Dillingham, gilly mccry, mordecai smyth, sky picnic, octopus syng, wild pink yonder, vicious buzz, jack ellister, david cw briggs, cary grace, johnny thunders, ghxst, corbu, rubato, jay Tausig, folie diamond, rob gould, sendelica, portraits, crystal Jacqueline, interstellar Emily, vibravoid, superfjord, earthling society, eureka California, loveydove, hillstrom and billy, dominic deane, men with ven, white fence, wildhart, Hannah Schneider, sequential point, jay Tausig, Broderick and barnes, dring, frank alexander, goddakk, can can heads, preabianco, jasia, fawn spots, drophead vs silent hand, the bishops daredevil stunt club, the heathen and the holy, little secrets, cedric vaugniaus, silkwinders, yellow6, de staat, chapelier fou, huma huma, project zenith, brothers of the sonic cloth, paul cook and the chronicles, lost brothers, the courtesans, telephones, Matthias von Stumberger, old testament, johann johannsson, peace collective, spectres, wasted wine, angeline Morrison, the hare and the hound, disappears, sans parents, ex cops, peacock affect, nancy Wallace, Hannah peel, blunderpussy, tapes out, meltybrains, pinkshinyultrablast, off and jack black, astronauts, the smoking trees, memoth the wanderer, whizz kid, lullatone, mariano rodriguez, one and seven eighths, twink, small life forms, Kentish fire, kindest of thieves, mind brains, stesco, wax witches, hollyberries, today shits, john 3:16, c Duncan, saint agnes, sara lowes, chissie hynde, fottuto, singing loins, theatre royal, Broderick and barnes, stuart turner and the flat earth, julies haircut, moonsicles, sound awakener, bent cousin   

I’ll be totally honest with you, what initially attracted us to this posting was the all-important detail that these dudes are shortly to release an album by the name ‘the never ending paint job’ which title alone should see it being grabbed out of the mailer and placed straight to player should the day ever come that we get sent a copy. Anyway more pristine pop from Sweden (I’m still certain that there is afoot a secret Scandinavian pact to take over the world with music or at the very least they have a conveyor belt chock full of ear candy crafting clones), this lot as it happens go by the name of Hillstrom and Billy – originally a one man affair but now expanded to a collective of like-minded musicians. ‘keys in the lake’ is a  pre teaser tasting of what to expect from the aforementioned incoming full length, a bracing slice of what can only be best described as redemptive pop given that it appears to glide  over the hills and into your ear apace rescuing all from the pits of despair with its slyly deceptive quietly realised feel good radiance, which aside being possessed of the kind of ear candy kudos to see it adoring the drive time radio schedules is also blessed with something of a World Party appeal about its wares.  https://soundcloud.com/hillstr-m/keys-in-the-lake-4

Here’s something of a treat, an extended sound sample previewing the as yet untitled forthcoming album from Dominic Deane’s Ten which all things going according to plan should see the light of day sometime around February. In truth something that ought to be of primary interest to those fully paid subscribers of the Trensmat imprint given that in its 25 minute cycle Deane explores pop’s unchartered outer worlds along the way traversing the kind of mesmeric sonic spaces occasioned upon by the likes of Loop and the Telescopes for here there’s a quiet elegance, a poise and a majesty where ambient architectures are softly fused in dreamy hymnals, elsewhere cosmic distress calls are  sprayed and dimpled in sun spot activity amid the wallowing ebb and flow of dronal tides and vague noir sequences, not for the playing during the hectic shove and shuffle of the day’s travails but something best experienced in a quiet moment that way its intimacy is allowed free reign to draw you in and take you aboard its shimmer toned orbs for a journey into the void wherein old school bliss kissed neo classicism eyeballs minimalist modernity along the way encountering hushed visitations of such lulled reverence as to make Low sound like death metallers. One for the wants list I suspect. https://soundcloud.com/dominicdeane/ten-album-clip

you may recall us mentioning a killer Xmas release by the men with ven entitled ‘the worst Christmas ever’ which is currently vying for affection in our gaff with that ultra-limited presents for sally release (more about which in a second). Anyhow pushing the limits of gratuitous advertising the band have put together 13 – yes you read right – thirteen – XXXMas promo excerpts on that there you tube – must admit we are rather fond of the Beyonce wind up and the 13 days of XXXMas vid – so without further ado – time to fill your boots with some seasonal mirth and a few hypnotic blasts of that there dandy ditty….and just in case you never listened when I told you in the first place – here’s the review and animated video…. https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/men-with-ven/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjS48DU8jFo&index=1&list=PLkbnr01hLZe38NqJpRJZ0ep7tjJ_c5qPg

this is quite the most adorable thing, chill tipped sublime symphonia from Gothenburg based trio Wildhart entitled ‘stuck in a second’ – based on this track alone there’s a suggestion that what these dudes don’t know about the crafting of eclectically purred pop probably isn’t worth noting or knowing about for this ice sculptured honey shape shifts with divine svelte like grace all the time moving delicately up and down the gears of emotional turbulence yet for all its ache seductively shimmered in crystalline lunar pulsars and the most breathlessly shy eyed pristine electronica it’s been our pleasure to hear in a fair old time, reference wise Goldfrapp, Client, the Knife and a lost in the moment bliss kissed and playful Bjork would we suspect be your starting points. Incidentally nearly forgot to mention – it’s out via gaphals. https://soundcloud.com/wildhart

I feel we might be an album light with regards to   White Fence so I can’t even tell you for certain whether this is a newly minted nugget or something that’s previously had you young folk with the floppy fringes and dubious clothing sense all a twisting an a jiving and what other else strange new fangled things that the teens of the day do when the sounds of the stereo kicks into life. One thing we can say though about ‘Anger! Who keeps you Under’ is of course yes there’s oodles of retro garage psych – so much so in fact that you suspect the blighters might have nipped back in a time machine and whilst ensconced in some hippy chic groovy 60’s boutique happened across some  Syd scribbles for gems still in their infancy and on the way to modern day with swag bag over shoulders have along the way stopped by at the Soft Boys ‘underwater moonlight’ sessions for inspiration which by our reckoning is a pretty neat trick to pull off. And yes we’ve just checked it is from that errant ‘for the recently found innocent’ set. Bugger. Available as a download only single towards the back end of January.

Pulled from her recently released ‘pink lines’ set for lojinx / sony Denmark, this is Hannah Schneider’s latest cutie, entitled ‘wild open’. Veering into ear space fully formed and lushly twinkled in the kind of spectral neo classical soundscapes that demurred the soundtrack of ‘the adjustment bureau’ – deceptively beguiling and carefree this hushed crystal tipped folk honey comes tempted in a serene caress all sighing thoughtfully one minute dreamily harnessed to an earthly footing the next gliding full flight radiantly smothered in swirls of joyful euphoria. All in all deceptively transfixing. https://soundcloud.com/hannahschneider/wild-open

Been a fair old while since we had anything by the Tenerife based kalma imprint adorning our speaker space – the silence happily broken by the appearance on our radar of a new remixes EP by Sequential Point whose ‘opportunity’ is here given the recalibrating experience by in demand producer Dam Ian. Taken from Sequential Point’s ‘back to zero’ set left in the capable hands of Dam Ian this honey is left marooned from its chicly dipped nocturnal down tempo moorings and graced by an expansively mellowing dub cosmicalia floorshow whose subtle technoid trappings, ghostly disconnected whispers and skittering lunar beat braiding hints at a kinship with sound-scaping worlds once upon a time found emanating out the boltfish and rednetic sound houses albeit here seemingly caught in the head lights of Depth Charge. Tasty. https://soundcloud.com/kalmarecords/sequential-point-opportunity?in=kalmarecords/sets/sequential-point-back-to

Okay so the keener eyed among you may well be wondering where the rest of our review for ‘333’ went having briefly mentioned one track with a promise to get back with the rest later that day and then promptly forgetting. Well I won’t tell lies – it did just slip our mind – a fact only embarrassingly prompted by the arrival of another EP in the same month when scarcely had the cover ink on the first had time to dry. Again we’ll mention this ever so briefly in passing – and yes we will get back to it later in the week with a full hearty appraisal (honest) along with ‘333’ – but the very latest from workaholic sonic freaker Jay Tausig is an EP by the title ‘adventures in the ozone’ – by the authors own description like ‘333’ but 55 (555) minutes long and featuring 6 exemplary slabs of head frying groove. For now though our radar was piqued by opening cut – the excellently titled ‘Captain Oblivion and the Starflight Kid’ – an 11 minute skull popping odyssey into psych jazz voids, this babe just smokes, a shadow playing noir dipped bliss out which to the ears sounds not unlike Bablicon having weird and woozy acid flashbacks while stoned out on a listening cocktail of Ayler, Coltrane and Hayes. We should of course mention its wasted mellowness but then if you’re familiar with Tausig then you are probably wise to his want for the trippy and the mind blowing and frankly this doesn’t sell you short straddling the cracks separating psych, art jazz, prog, exotica, tropicalia and lounge – ultimately though those of you attuned to the less wilfully freaked moments tripping out of the Foolproof Projects label and the likes of vibes stamped upon the grooves of platters by the likes of Embryo, Ariel Kalma and weather report will find much to scramble your head in.  http://jaytausig.bandcamp.com/album/adventures-in-the-ozone

Currently heading out of the ohm resistance imprint all pressed up on 12 inches of heavy duty wax the latest from Brooklyn based alchemists Project Zenit. A quite exquisite set that finds ‘Again’ adorned in its original state all accompanied by three additional re-phrasings all of which come draped in a coolly acute floor thumping electro buzz recalling loaf / lo-recordings stars Seeland and Dark Captain Light Captain. For here the original mix is hoisted upon a muscular dream weaved cosmic hyper driving chassis all drilled upon a locked grooving motorik grind that’s sighed with subtle washes of 80’s styled vapour trailing bliss pop accents whilst hooked upon a pulsar vibe recalling those early releases put out by Swimmer One. The celestial cruiser ‘climaxim remix’ comes kissed in oodles of sky parting euphoric Balearic garlands that fuse to their lunar shell echoes of KLF’s original mix of ‘last train to transcentral’ before succulently adorning itself in all manner of frost tipped shimmer toned ghost like sophisticat elegance. In truth we here are a little more than smitten with the ‘submerged remix’ which as it hints at on the tin lid compressing the sonics somewhat into a gorgeously alluring nocturnal beauty which in truth had us recalling those extended mixes committed to wax in the 90’s by the much missed Paris Angels. That said best of the quartet comes in the shape of the Project Zenit rework which subdues the original mix and dinks it with an attractive minimalist hush all speckled in glitching spectral washes tenderly graced in ice sculptured panoramic atmospherics fractured on occasion by some wired to the teeth industrial-tronica. In short quite classy.   http://ohmresistance.bandcamp.com/track/again-project-zenit-rework

And while we sit here outside their secret shed freezing our bits off waiting for the blighters to issue forth greeting missives announcing the arrival of this year’s for folk’s sake it’s Christmas compilation (you are doing one aren’t you – I mean they’ve become as obligatory to the festive season as turkey, Morecombe and Wise or a seasonal blood soap bath at the Queen Vic) – time to reflect on last year’s little nugget which you can fill your winter wellies with right now though we heartily advise you make your starting point the frankly divine ‘Christmas all the time’ by the Pollyanna Band – absolutely irresistible…..  http://forfolkssake.bandcamp.com/album/for-folks-sake-its-christmas-2013   

Incoming on the neurot imprint in February the fierce-some return to the fray of Tad Doyle – indeed the one and the same who gained infamy with Sub Pop’s original class of ’88 Tad. These days hooked up with former Anunnaki’s Peggy and Dave, the Brothers of the Sonic Cloth are readying themselves for the release of a debuting self-titled full length this February, we’ve been assured that selected cuts will be released on licence over the coming weeks though for now you’ll have to content yourselves with this indicative trailer which flashes warning lights all around that this is going to be one sludge grizzled slab of monolithic doom dipped primordial goo. Bring it on.

Available as a free download EP until the end of December, Paul Cook accompanied by the Chronicles returns to bathe our sound system in all manner of ice tipped arrest following adoration heaped upon his previous ‘a real thunderbolt’ release with the ever so fragile winter warmer ‘night fires’ – apparently according to its author not an intended Christmas release as such but daubed and dinked in enough of a fuzzy glow to make it something of a seasonal treat especially given the fact that its frostily framed in an angel sighed hymnal aura and genteelly trimmed in twinkling chimes which towards its fall suddenly thaw, unfurl and blossom to radiantly effervesce and shimmer its surroundings in a cosy toed cortege of choral campfire cuteness.  https://paulcookchronicles.bandcamp.com/album/night-fires-ep

In all honesty quite fetching and something of a tear jerker, Christmas loveliness from Irish duo the Lost Brothers which on this outing entitled ‘little angel’ eat least features among its grooves a certain Bill Ryder Jones of the Coral. Now I don’t mind saying that this sounds very much like something you’d expect to come a tumbling out of your nan’s loft whilst you busily beaver away rummaging around for the festive tree decorations, kind of Everly Brothers doing Neil Diamond in truth, nothing wrong with that especially if it comes smokily adorned and framed in the kind of vintage and fuzzy feel good glow of the type that used to fall out of an innocent old worldly pre pop monochrome age and something which shimmies past your defences to pepper all sumptuously in lolloping motifs, brass band fanfares and crooning pedal steels. The single is available as a free download though the band have kindly requested that what would have been the cost to purchase be given to a children’s charity of your choice whilst those purchasing the digital single will find their hard earned spondoolies going to Unicef.

 

Feels like 1984 all over again what with Band Aid’s ‘do they know…’ being tripped out, Wham’s ‘last Christmas’ on a constant loop at our local convenience store following a particularly brutal split which I’m now suspecting the woes of which the erstwhile owner is ensuring everyone shares though thankfully no frogs to lead McCartney into naff pop oblivion and er this….a rather fine cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s year ending barnstormer ‘the power of love’ here trimmed, tooled up and taken for a spin by ‘all girl doom poppers’  the Courrtesans. This brooding babe comes armed and applied with a darkening shadowy edge curdling the mix morphing it into something coolly steeled in a minimalist statuesque bliss kissed industrial grooving to reveal a seductively purred tension forming stateliness which all said gives it the feel of some kind of spell forming Siren-esque love craft as opposed to the originals almost prayer like celebration, does it for us.  https://soundcloud.com/thecourtesans/the-power-of-love

pulled this from the fruits de mer facebook page – no idea information other than to say it’s a 7 inch by the Telephones and goes by the title ‘humming byrd’ – and just between you and me – should be high on the wants list of those who dig Shindig-gy things and platters the envy of their village. A teasingly brief clip – just one minute in length – but enough here I’m sure you’ll agree to tweak your ear lobes have those musing thoughts of dream team fantasy band collaborations suitably satiated especially those of you hankering for some studio schmooze between the Stairs and Julian Cope. https://soundcloud.com/the-telephones-uk/humming-byrd-clip?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook

gotta get myself one of these beauties, cassette only album release put out the Sheffield based evil hoodoo imprint, this twang-tastic reverb revelling bad boy being by Matthias Von Stumberger entitled ‘rockundroll musik’ arrives armed with seven slabs of high octane psych-o-rama groove which hepcats with their shades n’ quiffs tuned into the zounds of the meteors, guana batz, man or astro man and reverend Horton heat to name just a small few ought to find aplenty in the grooving down n’ dirty stakes for here you’ll find lashings of fuzzy swamp dragged bop swinging and a strutting not least on the basement beat of the killer ‘all dead’ which manages to drag and surgically taper the gash existing between the Heartbreakers and the Mummies and into the bargain deliciously deliver some serious out of it shit faced uber cool tuneage the type of which used to stumble with unnerving frequency out of the estrus sound house. Mind you that said the parting shot ‘love is in the air’ is no pushover – a puss seeping slice of flatlining negative growl flashed through with oodles of no nonsense no wave nuances and rippled in welts of chill gouged edge of your seat paranoia. https://evilhoodoo.bandcamp.com/album/rockundroll-musik

staying loosely with evil hoodoo a second longer, seems they have a collaborative release with the damn fine Cardinal Fuzz who alas to much tears and woes appear to have kicked us off their mailing list in recent months. Enough grumbling though for this is quite a tasty little self-titled treat pressed up on limited quantities of heavy duty coloured wax from old testament who feature amid their ranks various members of stoned out psyche heads dead meadow. A frankly smoking gem that sumptuously sways and swoons lazy eyed and lilted to a demurring coolly chilled collage of prairie blues and country rock vibing all pristinely distilled in lolloping motifs, blissed out campfire mantras, harmonicas, organs and tripping Southern grooved hoedowns. Between you and me though the CFuzz catalogue is bulging with classics this may well yet prove to be their finest vintage for old testament tap deviously into the dark heart of delta blues cooking up a hazy canvas of moonshine mooching beauties whose trace lines delicately skirt around the outer edges of Buffalo Springfield, Gram Parsons and the Raspberries, prime ear candy happenings are aplenty take ‘summer grass’ for instance with its head tuned into  old West Coast pop ways though here sleekly curbed with a gorgeously lushly timbered and smooth slacker shimmered yearn the type of which occasions releases by Woods. Elsewhere the shadows 60’s treatments applied to the darkly dipped psych purr of ‘key to the kingdom’ hints of at least one member of the collective clearly inspired by the Misunderstood. All said best moments on first listen at least are left to the sets parting brace of cuts with the 9 minute centrepiece ‘now as in ancient times’ sounding like a head tripping snake winding arabesque dream coat cobbled together by a mischievous gathering of Gnod, Clinic and Grails on some kind of mind freaked Tibetan retreat armed with a bag full of sun warped and acid fried Amon Duul II cassettes while the clearly out of step ‘time to rest’ offers a momentary blast of kooky and wonky old country yee-hah to proceedings as it pitches its prospecting tent somewhere between a youthful  Summer Hymns and a quite clearly out of it Doleful Lions. http://oldtestament.bandcamp.com/album/old-testament

Sadly no links just yet for this one but something certainly worth taking the time out in tracking down especially if your musical boat floats to the sounds of Sakamoto, Nyman (‘rowing’)and more recently that quite sublime sonic choreography crafted by the hand of Thomas Newman to back drop and adore ‘the Adjustment Bureau’ (none more so than on the irresistible ‘collapsing inward’) is the soundtrack for the acclaimed Stephen Hawking biopic ‘theory of everything’ as composed by Johann Johannsson. Out via back lot music this richly lush and vividly colourful odyssey is trimmed and traced with genteel measurement and divine poise, both radiant and yet steeled in introspection, the arrangements arc and genuflect with a surrendering yearn, from the frail and fragile ‘Cavendish lab’ with its thoughtful sighs to the sweetly glazed and lovelorn pastorals that delicately pepper ‘the game of croquet’, Johannsson enlists and utilises the full emotional spectrum to craft a deeply evocative and tearfully touching suite invested in sepia framed hope with ‘the origins of time’ somewhat graced with the unmistakably exquisite charm of Morricone at his most elegant and stately. Elsewhere waltz florets swirl amid the grandly captivating ‘the wedding’ while a beautifully twinkle toned marriage between tingling keys and swooning wind arrangements seduce ‘the dreams that stuff is made of’ – a little further along those made of less sterner things may do well to avoid the bruised ‘coma’ and the aching ‘spelling board’ though thankfully all comes full circle for the beautifully choreographed title cut ‘the theory of everything’. Essential listening.

Here’s the trailer for the film……

To mark the centenary of the Christmas day truce that famously resulted in a football match played out between the opposing armed forces in no mans land, the Peace Collective are paying dues to this famous moment where human spirit and common sense for once overcame the pain and hate of war by covering the Farm’s classic ‘All together now’ with all the proceeds from record sales going to British Red Cross and the Shorncliffe Trust. The collective an all star gathering of Suggs, Julian Lennon, Jah Wobble, I am Kloot, David Gray, Holly Johnson, members of the Zutons and reverend and the makers all assisted and aided by an U-12 choir made up of English and German football players. The new version arrives removed of the originals bruised ache and warmly glowed monochrome framing instead coming adorned with a readily more funky mind set and seemingly more jubilant and upbeat than its predecessor all the time trimmed to a stirring gospel sway. You can pre order the single by texting ‘GET PEACE’ to 84222

One release eagerly anticipated in our gaff and due to spar with the shade adorned floppy fringed elements of the record buying cognoscenti is the debuting full length platter ‘dying’ by the Spectres. Adored around these here parts since having blown us away with a recent airing of the 9 minute epic ‘sea of trees’ – a limited release given away free to all those attending Sonic Cathedral’s recent 10th birthday bash – these Bristol based dudes excel in the craft of psyched out shimmer toned dream gaze ‘where flies sleep’ sneaked off the forthcoming set by way forewarning calling card of what approaches providing  a heady stars exploding radiant full on effects pedal pummelled slab of bliss forged mesmeric cyclones of motorik mantras much reminiscent of a youthful Ride in a  full lost in the moment nova glow. https://soundcloud.com/sonic-cathedral/spectres-where-flies-sleep

Many thanks to Andy of the Telephones (whose ‘hummingbyrd’ we briefly mentioned a day or so ago) who kindly sent over a full download of the single including its flipside ‘Amsterdam’ which we must admit we here are more than a little fond of not least because it has the hushed breezy vibe of a certain Robyn Hitchcock playing peek a boo between the grooves and comes smoked with the kind of laid back harmony soaked brittle pop purred sassiness that had us fondly recalling those sunny sided gems frequently sneaked out on the summershine and bus stop labels in the early 90’s. Of course having heard the sitar drenched ‘hummingbyrd’ in all its full glory, how this babe sneakily threads its way beneath your skin is pure spellcraft, we’re still sticking with the Stairs meets Julian Cope references in spite of blanked looks especially when it picks up the pace, but it’s quite clear that these dudes know their way away around a trippy motif with this honey trip wiring on woozy axis where you’d normally expect to find the Wicked Whispers and the Lucid Dream hanging around loitering.  http://www.facebook.com/TheTelephonesUK

and as we mentioned a song called ‘Amsterdam’ here’s – well er – Amsterdam with the timeless gem ‘does this train stop on Merseyside’……

Don’t mind admitting that their forthcoming platter ‘wasted wine vs. the hypnosis center’ has been receiving admiring glances around the gaff as it currently hogs the stereo player through repeat plays, for now though let us introduce you to the dark delight that is Wasted Wine, a South Carolina (Taylors if you are splitting hairs) collective who’ve blossomed from their early days described as a chamber folk duo to expand in number and style to craft a most colourfully dream weaved tapestry whose influences are informed from a multi lingual musical tongue that incorporates cabaret, folk, eastern, far eastern, noir and beyond, prime example of this and sent ahead on a reconnaissance mission so to speak is the teaser cut ‘post office’. Part macabre freak show part Vaudevillian shanty waltz, there’s something of a Victoriana vintage spooking its way between the grooves perhaps fright theatre as rephrased by Wedding Present off shooters the Ukranians found prowling dark sinister landscapes dreaded up through the mind’s eye of Tom Waits albeit creepily translated by Kurt Weill. Essential.  https://soundcloud.com/noisyghostpr/05-the-post-office

billed as the last Vacilando 68 release of the year –( though I’m suspecting it won’t be the last you’ll hear of the imprint this missive at least given we’ve just discovered a few strays that’ll be sure to be getting some adoring attention over the festive week) – two track loveliness from Broderick and Barnes whose full length platter ‘house of broken birds’ is looming on the horizon from which ‘December’ is pulled. A seasonal soiree tenderly ghosted in tear stained melancholia and beguiled by a spectral craft of chilled snow flaked pastorals that undulate seductively to tread reflectively all the time opining genteely to the crushed tug of winter’s bleakness which scratched away at the bruised and cowed veneer hold dear to a burning deep set hope, oh and its quite hymnal and prettified in a kind of youthfully vulnerable Oddfellows Casino type way. Over on the flip ‘dab it’ is in truth to these primed ears the Charlatans as done by of arrowe hill – yep that good, possessed of a subtle Robyn Hitchcock (when he was with the Egyptians) kick and so slyly invigorating the blighters ought to bottle it up and sell it under the chemist counter as a pick you up kick out the blues tonic. As ever with all V68 releases a ridiculously required turntable accessory. 

next up a couple of treats from the Silber imprint who of late appear to have gone into some kind of pre yuletide overdrive, first up a quite fetching limited 12 inch release – how limited is something of a mystery with one source stating 300 and another – funnily enough on the same page having it at 250. Whatever the case you need it especially if what passes for dream pop floats your particular musical boat for this four track debut comes from Drlng who feature among their ranks ex members of the much admired plumerai. The ‘icarus’ EP as said gathers together four quite beguiled gems the lead out title cut ‘Icarus’ somehow avoiding the usually obvious dream pop dialects and instead decidedly opting for something subtly kissed in a rain swept noir bruising that purrs seductively like some youthful variant of Belle and Sebastian undergoing a spot of studio tutoring by Musetta. ‘my gypsy’ on the other hand finds itself sharing a loose kinship with Postcode in so far as recalling with pristine effect the much missed Melys. All said what makes the EP such a deceptively attractive listening experience are Eliza’s purring tonalities, part seductive and siren-esque yet somewhat shy and innocent, the croons and hiccups are quite fetching and cute to say the least not least best viewed on ‘playground punk’ – incidentally the best cut here – shimmers and shivers playfully all the time Eliza’s soulful croon dizzily lost in the moment stirring a gorgeously dinked noodling twee motif the likes of which will make die hard Sarah admirers blush and purr given the fact that it sounds not a million miles away from a dream team gathering of Frente and Siddleys type leaving ‘Seattle’ to round up matters though not before revealing itself as something of a slow burning honey clipped in a classic shade adorned 60’s accent with just the merest of nods to Joe Meek and primed with a deliciously dark noir ballad-esque prowl that sumptuously ruptures into fizzing feedback scowls. Breathless in a word. https://drlngmusic.bandcamp.com/

Silber continue apace with their 5 in 5 series, the remit simple and to the point, each invited artist showcasing 5 tracks in five minutes with four such gems being unearthed and unveiled in time for the party season the first of which by Frank Alexander of whom information about is very scant with even the Silber dudes just briefly noting ‘prog rock bassist – industrial noise to smooth’ which I must admit as vague as it might first sound was enough to have our interests piqued. By smooth we are assuming they are referring the smouldering disco funk purr emanating throughout succulently dipped into what can only be described as trip hopping lounge industrialonics, of clues the titles are hinted in the titles ‘armageddon disco’ coming on like some hulking and lolloping cosmic craft bitten by the early 90’s baggy bug and threaded in all manner of divinely retro soupy grooves. Better still ‘bottoms up’ impishly time travels back to the 70’s to zap Shaft into a glitter adorned future alter ego only to drop him into the middle of a retro cinema Pearl and Dean soundtrack. ‘after the spring’ our favourite moment here hooks aboard the tail feathers of a youthful pickled egg era Go Team again found crafting 70’s summer sizzled soirees while the equally flirtatious ‘all in the past’ smooches up to the lost 60’s hued noir jazz sounds of L’Augmentation a retrospective of whose catalogue is due to arrive here any day soon. Rounding up the pack ‘martian waltz’ is pretty much as it says on the tin a gorgeously dinked time flip back to cosmic pop’s golden age – Raymond Scott admirers will be suitably smitten.  https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/5×5

next up Goddakk which in case you didn’t know – like us as it happens – is the extra curricula handiwork of plumerai’s martin newman here doing all manner of strange things with guitars some we suspect illegal were there a Geneva convention for 6 strings, again 5 tracks as part of the 5 in 5 dare / task / request and very far removed from his usual dream pop comfort zone. Both ‘my devourer’ and ‘southbounded’ appearing wonkily woozed in the kind of minimalist atmospheric play craft that set up Louis and Bebe Barron as leading lights of the electronic sound age, sound wise sounding like party hard chatter between electroid diodes. ‘where the truth lies’ is made of darker stuff, a chilling cold war slab of edgily paranoiac blank generation futurama while ’52 hertz’ is wired up and get busy enacting an autopsy to pull out and reveal the psychotic dark heart of Numan’s coldly abandoned ‘replicas’. The monochromatic ‘winter in the garden’ wraps up matters though not before leaving you slightly unnerved and frozen to the spot with a deep sense of eerie unease and a desire to pill out your prized stash of early echoboy and add n to x releases. https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/praises-to-my-devourer

now were we the type of reviewer to hold grudges we’d have passed up on the can can heads selection like a shot not least because we spent and lavished so much time, care and affection on their album ‘butter life’ that we rather hoped the blighters might send a copy as compensation – sorry scratch that – reward. Good job we here then are made of sterner stuff and have knives at the ready to sharpen poison pens in revenge. Of course we joke. Can Can Heads are for those previously unfamiliar a collective hailing from Finland who do no wave skronk the type of which might even have those dudes over at foolproof projects exchanging envious glances, previous encounters have impressed so much that we’ve been heard on occasion to liken the experience to that encountered when we had the joy of inside ov a butcher shop doing bad things on our hi-fi – this 5 track set ‘king dong kong’ be its name is no exception – a rapid fire skewed and obtuse assault to the senses, barking, deranged and just totally out of it. Opening ‘don of donetsk’ has its hand tightly gripped around your throat before you’ve scarcely had a chance to get comfortable coming on as it does like a rabid James Chance with a particularly fiercely freaked Contortions at his side. ‘Gaffe’ is so brief its over before its begun whilst ‘square with a little bit rectangle’ squares up a little less manic preferring instead to mooch around to a kind of Residents styled Dadaist motif before the fracturing ‘slow kill monotony’ is about you up close and personal draped in pure alienated psychosis hulking behind it some seriously blanked out play with your headspace no wave disfiguring.  https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/king-dong-kong  

Briefly described as ‘sonic collages’ you suspect the expansive sound and creative intent of Matteo Preabianca might well suffer in terms of getting its point over and being truly able to sufficiently breathe and blossom. Fear not for despite the time limitations Preabianca manages with much aplomb to shoehorn in a vast array of sound, style and ambition as to have you literally reeling in admiration. The crypto titled ‘miles, no Davis’ opens proceedings swathing all in a swirling ice sculptured ambient velour propelled by streams of consciousness, the next ‘bratislavskaya’ comes uncharacteristically and by that I mean by title alone you’d expect some Soviet styled regalia instead surprisingly it ushers in adorned in serene bowed chimes that exude a demurring Orient by twilight appeal. ‘Australiana’ likewise arrives reliant on textures in this case a kind of fireworks pageantry while by the time you arrive at ‘Francisco Orleans’ you begin to suspect that the set is a skewed rough guide to native sounds of sorts with this un capturing the jazz spirit perfectly albeit sepia tweaked and somewhat warped in its tonality and execution. Last up ‘puebla vs. milan’ insists on the most simple lullaby motif turned out by dinky twinkling bell corteges. https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/a-kind-of-world  

There’ll be more from Silber before the years out with the promise of 7 Christmas EP’s encompassing everything from punk, noise to ambience. Bring it on.

Now this really is something else, a frankly essential release to backdrop your huddled around the decorative tree brimmed in good cheer and toasting the festivities on Christmas eve for ‘silent night songs for a cold winters evening’ finds Angeline Morrison paired up with the Rowan Amber Mill to grace and bathe the listening space with a most exquisite and humbling choral suite. Six delicate delights await within, some familiar some not so, yet all touched with a jaw dropped reverence and kissed with that rarest of essence that makes your heart skip and fills you with a beguiled fuzzy glow. From the spectral ‘silent night’ which unless your made of hardier stuff might just well have murmuring an affectionate wow while simultaneously brushing aside the odd errant tear to the ghostly though eloquent ‘wassail’ this six track set offers a lesson in poise, classicist appreciation and above and beyond all captivating beauty. For here amid the snow fallen rhyming rustics and the timeless tapestry you’ll be entranced to the shanty jig motifs of the traditional carol ‘I saw three ships’ and the prettified pastoral delicacy that is ‘sleepy woodyard’ which just between you and me sounds as though its fallen from the groove edges of the ‘paint your wagon’ soundtrack though not before being whittled anew by the deft handiwork of a super chilled Yellow 6. Hard to pick a favourite though if I were forced I’d have to say that ‘cold winter morning’ just edges matters not least because it’s sweetly dusted in a frosty twilight aura all longingly hushed along to a most mesmeric and spectral ebb and flow lilt which reference wise should you need them had us imagining Lisa O’Pui re-tweaking classic Nico siren calls.  https://rowanambermill.bandcamp.com/album/silent-night-songs-for-a-cold-winters-evening

think this might be arriving soon on rare finds (or is that the name of their PR – darn – look its late at night, my team has been dumped out of the Champions League and well quite frankly we are somewhat mellowed having spent the last hour tuned into festive groove). What we do know for certain is that this is the debuting platter by trio Sans Parents entitled ‘coming back to you’. A bit of a babe all told that blends together a smorgasbord of pub rock, power pop, blitzkrieg bop and shimmer toned new wave grooving into an infectiously dizzying two minute day-glo ditty the likes of which has had certain quarters of the musical press likening them to Split Enz which by our reckoning is a pretty nifty call, that said its buzz sawing bubble grooved radiance and harmony hued feel good vibes had us much in mind of a studio configuration made up of members of Weezer, the distractions and the motors.  https://soundcloud.com/sans-parents/coming-back-to-you-1 

first teaser fruits from the new disappears full length ‘irreal’ due early January via Kranky is the dub heavy subtronic beauty ‘halcyon days’ – a sparsely set monochromatic monolith whose somewhat detached edginess had us casting our minds back to earlier in the year when upon our turntable the frankly killer Automat where doing bad things across our sound system. This hulking six slab veers with a similar pulsar like vibe only sounding as though its done a quick reconnaissance fly over of the darkening landscapes of Barry Adamson before subjugating all would be passengers to some starkly atmospheric and bleakly chilling n’  foreboding future life event.  https://soundcloud.com/kranky/disappears-halcyon-days

admittedly I’m quite taken with the latest outing from Jasia, entitled ‘safety’ it veers into the same kind of poised shadow lined sound spaces as the Neighbourhood dispatching along the way a slow burning fuse which when lit softly draws you close with its delicately bruised and lonesome dubbed up trip hopping lunar inclines all the time assuming depth, clarity and density as it unfurls to fill its environment only to ripple, rupture and radiate by its fall in the most seductive and life affirming way soaking all in a blindingly warm feel good euphoria..

Hopefully very shortly we’ll have groovy fat cat platters sneaking onto our welcome mat with the promise of a release as part of the newly re-activated split series – more about that as and when – all I’ll say is that we’ve been promised a beauty. For now though the labels brightest upstarts Fawn Spots head up what is a mammoth festive playlist cobbled together by the sixty watt crew that shapes up as a 7 and a half hour sound set made up of 131 cuts plundered I’m guessing from various freebie set lists – all of which we hope we’ll be dipping into from time to time between now and Christmas day. Anyhow Fawn Spots gate crash the party in a truly manic fashion with ‘santa won’t get away with it this year’ – a sub three minute sore thumb which by these ears sounds a lot like gumball in a head on collision with a particularly frazzled and frenzied Dinosaur Jr practicing their lobotomy skills on a rather screwed variant of west coast groove and lashing the enterprise with oodles of fizzing feedback pop fried squall of which admirers of Ariel Pink might do well to check out at their very earliest convenience. https://soundcloud.com/sixtywatt/sets/xmas

Pulled from the same compilation / set list and found following in fairly schizoid pursuit Ex Cops turn their attention upon McCartney’s seasonal nightmare ‘wonderful christmas time’ and actually end up making it enjoyably palatable albeit a little skewif and somewhat possessed of moments of delicious lo-fi disarray which should our ears fail us sounds to us like a frayed day-glo’d psychotropic errant imp of the extended and crookedly kooky Elephant 6 collective. https://soundcloud.com/sixtywatt/sets/xmas

We were going to leave this until the weekend but since rearing into our listening space it’s started worming its way beneath our skin and under our defences to such an extent that frankly we couldn’t keep the lid on it. Peacock Affect is the musical alter ego of one George Holman an Exeter based musician and ‘the heaven smiles’ / ‘wallflower’ is his latest single and a corker it to, one of slow burn sorties I’m afraid to say. That said there’s no denying that Mr Holman certainly knows his way around the songbooks of Simon Joyner / Elliott Smith not least of the latter mentioned of which there’s some very subtle spell craft silently shimmering throughout ‘wallflower’ that keeps drawing you back for repeat listens – at once reflective, introspective and intimately coiled in a distancing bruising peppered by the push pull tug of pastoral riff canters. All said for us the main event here is ‘the heaven smiles’ – so bleakly beautiful it arrives rescued from a dark place dinked in the thoughtful riff purr that recalls Vini Reilly and the more introspective needlework crafted by Marr in his Smiths days which is just as well because this gem manages to do what so many have tried and failed in so much as whittling its way inside the very psyche to recall a prime time Smiths in situ Stephen Patrick Morrissey at his most hollowing, soul searching and self-critical. https://soundcloud.com/peacockaffect

those of the eagle eyed variety and possessed of long memories may well recall this time last your erstwhile scribe trundling around in a winter wonderland courtesy of four releases put out by the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club, among the goodies yuletide heart warmers from the Smoke Fairies, the Garlands, the Miserable Rich and the Silhouettes had us all a tad cooed and cosy toed. And so what with this being that time of the year again the Dutch based taste makers have released for your discerning affection two limited wax platters each with a strict 500 only pressing and both stamped and adored upon 7 inches of snow white wax. First up Nancy Wallace – one time a regular visitor to these pages through her releases as part of the Owl Service / Hobby Horse extended family and more recently found wooing us with a rather exquisite and ridiculously limited release earlier this year for stone tape recordings. ‘January’ should by rights be something that will be the cause of agreeable nods from those much swooned by the dreamy folk floatiness of Vashti Bunyan albeit here fashioned and demurred in the undulating tread and opining yearn of gorgeously spring hued twilight pastorals longingly despatching festive love notes. Flip the disc for a cover of the Pretenders’ seasonal lovely ‘2000 miles’ here treated to a deliciously frost tipped farmyard ramble all pepper corned and sweetly harvested in wintry florals and shimmered in beguiled Gaelic motifs. Quite arresting all said.  https://soundcloud.com/snowflakes-christmas-45s/snowflake-6-nancy-wallace-january

the second of those snowflake Christmas releases comes courtesy of Hannah Peel who you may recall from her much admired and critically acclaimed Static Caravan outings here found shimmying up to Benge for ‘find peace’ which box ticks her erstwhile obsession with all things retro electro and radiophonic and transports matters into more noir traced minimalist cosmic climes where ethereal atmospherics and the brooding shadowy sighs of future visions meld a curious Knife like alchemy amid which Ms Peel purrs soulfully like some kind of celestial siren. Over on the flip sits a cover of Greg Lake’s timeless ‘I believe in Father Christmas’ which aside arriving with a hearty health warning reading ‘needs to be heard’ comes adoringly shimmered in all manner of musical boxes chimes and twinkling vintage electronica over the top of which Hannah shyly coos. Absolutely blissful – kinda feel all fuzzy and nostalgic now.  https://soundcloud.com/snowflakes-christmas-45s/snowflake-5-side-a-hannah-peel-benge-find-peace

so while we get to work having our heads mashed to mush at the prospect of some extra curricula weird ear groove from Fred Earthling Society under the guise Blunderpussy, here’s a slab of intriguing oddness that we’ve just unearthed from his face book page. An album by Brain One – we think – the first in a series of collaborative oblique strategies utilising strange sounds – in this case genuine space sounds courtesy of NASA and the University of Iowa – along with various forms of manipulated sonic shrapnel. The set entitled ‘no one can hear you stream’ promises to be a full locked in 23 minute head phonic experience of which attached somewhere here you’ll find an 8 minute exert. In truth this strays into the same kind of wired and way out aural inner spaces as visited at ever more disturbing frequency by the likes of sound alchemists roadside picnic, wizards tell lies et al, a configuration of sound made up of pulsar drones and rippling seas of sun spot skree the overall effect of which floods your senses with an alienated tongue leaving you disorientated and somewhat detached from your usual comfort zone, in truth it’s as though you’ve strapped yourself to the nose cone of a launching Apollo, the squalling swathes of manipulated feedback replicating perfectly the down force of pressure upon your head space as you hurtle at speeds where metal and stylus arms warp and in so doing gives the effect of momentum or being on a journey. Freaky stuff which I suspect we need in our life as soon as.

Holy baby Jeezus – a shedloads of cassette labels for us to investigate – also includes a three hour mix cloud – are they insane? http://www.tabsout.com/tabs-out-top-200-tapes-of-2014/

Of which we have already started having taken a fancy to this nugget which comes courtesy of Drophead vs. silent land time machine via holodeck records – a two part chill tipped suite entitled ‘from ashes comes the day’ which ought to be high on the radar of all those who subscribe to all things early Kranky / Constellation, everything about this – the frosted atmospherics, the aching curvatures and the ethereal textures make for an intense, immense and richly rewarding listening event whose panoramic tapestry and bruising desolation translates into a bleakly beautiful melodic mirage which to these ears sounds not a million miles from some imagining comprised of a seriously chilled Roy Montgomery re-sculpturing godspeed landscapes. http://holodeckrecords.bandcamp.com/album/from-ashes-comes-the-day-hd020-dh005

I’ll be totally honest and upfront about this, 10 seconds in and we were smitten, this impishly crookedly cool seasonal sortie appears courtesy of the excellently named the bishop’s daredevil stunt club who hail from Chicago and manage to shoehorn and stuff a positive cornucopia of reference markers as to have the local A team pub quiz team wracking their collective heads trying to cover them all. ‘bad sweater Christmas party’ – where do they get these titles – initially rumbles along zig zagging awkwardly until settling down to reveal a tasty slice of ear candy made up of a kookified assortment of alt funk forays, buzz sawed power pop purrs, glam glittered pouts, disco dalliances and soft psych shimmers and decorating the melodic party melee in a crystal tipped showering of snowy effervescent tingles – did someone say a pop mottled Apples in Stereo – it’s even a free download – I think they are spoiling us.  https://thebishop.bandcamp.com/   

Incoming from Astronauts after the forthcoming festivities one of the highlights from their forthcoming full length platter ‘hollow ponds’  

Here’s today’s merry mince pie – well the second in fact as you should have had your starter already, this is the heathen and the holy who are in truth unmasked as Noah and the Whale’s Tom and Fred found cooking up something quite irresistible in the seasonal kitchen courtesy of ‘Hey Mr Christmas’ . One of those feel good mosaics inviting you to step in from the cold,  this winter warmer comes trimmed in a cooing reflective campfire warmth flanked by all manner waltzing  fiddles and twinkling chimes all dashed in an old time sepia tinged nostalgia which for the best part affectionately bobs along seemingly opening all the little windows on its advent calendar whilst colouring in its tale only for it to  by the end to gather to such a hearty pace so as to sweep you along upon its stirring good cheer. Hurrah.

You might recall us mentioning this a little earlier, well this is the video that accompanies the simply divine ‘IV’ by meltybrains? – a release that we fear we need a copy of should we tempt spontaneous combustion – your task now is to find some as gorgeous…..

Those with short memories its featured here…. https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=5056&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

This little cutie comes courtesy of duo Kevin and Stacey operating under the guise of the little secrets found here pouting dinky love notes that bristle and fizz with a Spector-esque 60’s shimmy pop vintage all sugar rushed and tingled in a snow melting radiance that’s cosy toed with the attractively adoring twee buzz trimming of ‘Allo Darlin. Need I say more well as it happens yes because beside almost neglecting to tell you what it’s called – incidentally ‘all I need’ I’m also guessing you are probably right at this moment thinking yourself ‘and where would one happen upon this tasty treasure?’ – that’ll be Edge Hill University’s very own the label recordings imprint. We will in the meantime try and nab sound cloud links. 

Another little nugget mentioned here a few days ago, ‘post office’ is pulled from their forthcoming ‘wasted wine vs. the hypnosis center’ which I don’t mind admitting is doing serious damage on our hi-fi at the moment….anyway in case you missed it we got our two penn’orth in here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/?s=wasted+wine

Mentioned this lot way back at the start of the year when we fortuitously tripped over their sound cloud page and found ourselves somewhat smitten by ‘deer land’, now signed up to Club ac30 they’ve an album entering sound space after the Christmas malarkey in conjunction with the shelflife imprint entitled ‘everything else matters’ which when it docks will come adorned in various eye catching colours of wax. They are called Pinkshinyultrablast – number in three and hail from Russia and who as mentioned in previous despatches appear to be heading up that nations My Bloody Valentine fan club. So while we fall headlong and immerse ourselves into their starry worlds here’s ‘Umi’ to keep you occupied and no doubt spellbound. Primed from that set and sent ahead as a herald via club ac30 ‘Umi’ is one of those most rare moments wherein you are left literally dumbstruck and jaw agape at a tracks passing wondering to yourself what the hell you’d just heard. Beyond celestial this dream dazed star child peppered in euphoria and effervescence jet streams through your listening space as though some heaven sent messenger on a brief tour shimmering upon an astral ride navigating the farthest reaches of the cosmic voids all the time as were transmitting love noted distress calls. A truly adorable visitation.

With Keith Morris’ impending 59th birthday approaching who better to kick things into shape than the hysterically deranged Jack Black found here stealing the centre stage in an Off! spoof straight out of Mad – ‘not a dick in a Circle Jerks covers band’ comes the war cry before one of their number is decapitated by foraging bear and all this after hallucinatory trips, exploding planes and psycho sky dive trainers all back dropped to a nifty slab of thrashed up and frenzied punkoid grooving entitled ‘meet your God’…..pure comic lunacy….

 

Now this one caught us on the back foot I’m happy to say. Initially primed for review next week, we were momentarily at a loss what to listen to this morning finding ourselves twiddling our thumbs whilst hanging around the kitchen doing the weekend chores. Suddenly this reared into ear space and I don’t mind saying that for the next hour we found ourselves transported to flights of 60’s styled televisual / cinematographic fantasy where secret agents guarded against alien intelligentsia, spies roamed noir draped shadowy landscapes and gunslingers enacted death dealing duels into what can only be described as a cleverly concocted and lush melting pot of spectrum stretching soundtrack groove. Its author Anthony Cedric Vaugniaux a Swiss multi-instrumentalist it seems has a fondness for electronic / ethnic scores notably those adorning 60’s and 70’s cinemas which for your discerning ear are sumptuously gathered on this quite frankly alluring set entitled ‘le clan des guimauves’ via the plombage imprint. Crafted with an acute ear and an eye for detail, on this 15 track suite you’ll hear all manner of reference markers tumbling out of the grooves as though a who’s who of the coolest compositions of that era – the holy trinity that is Morricone, Mancini and Barry figure highly as do the likes of Barry Gray, basil kirchin and the leading ladies from the radiophonic workshop Daphne Oram and Delia Derbyshire (notably ‘la valse d’Andree’ as it skirts with almost Broadcast appeal). Add to that mix a healthy dose of L’Augmentation (none more so this being the case than on the demurring ‘Marissa’ which even manages to give a nod to musette), Bronnt Industries Kapital (as on the gorgeously dinked dream draped Francophile florets oozing throughout ‘la naissance des chambrioleurs’), Gnac (‘reveil a l’hopital’) and it all begins to sound like some craftily assembled extra curricula work by the Fantomas that takes you on an exploratory encounter to sonic spheres where inhabit the realms of lounge, smoking jazz, kooky vintage electronica and chamber noir. Here you’ll be greeted to the playfully crooked ‘le clan des guimauves’ as it playfully circumvents the character sound tracks individually scored for ‘once upon a time in the west’ notably the musicalia afforded to Jason Robard’s part as Cheyenne. Somewhere else there’s the funky futuro 70’s kooky chic of ‘mon corps est une arnaque’ shadow playing to an as were curious fascination for car chase lounge noir as re-envisaged by a particularly chirpy Add N to X while those who delight in the arpeggio drenched grandness of fortdax and the luxuriant ethnic tonalities of the Winston giles orchestra will do well to dive headlong into the twilight folds of the haunting ‘grand maman’.

One of ‘hollow ponds’ centrepiece cuts ‘in my direction’ gets its deserved moment in the spotlight after the festivities via lo recordings. The work of Dan Carney these days trading as Astronauts ‘in my direction’ is in essence a softly purred revisit to dark captain light captain times, the soft syncopating rhythms, the cruise controlled pulsar vibes and the mellowed laid back shimmers pretty much coalesce into what basically might be best described as a lunar folk love note, its hushed delicately journeying purr recalling a youthful Swimmer One while its lightness of touch and tenderly dinked craftsmanship loosely opined to the more understated aural adventures of working for a nuclear free city, but then scratch a little deeper and behind the mesmeric murmurs there’s something buried within aglow with the dusting of west coast hues. Over on the flip sits ‘everything’s a system, everything’s a sign’ a lunar waltzing twinkling fancy yearned in sweet isolationism and faded in a most attractively lovelorn lullaby-esque lull.

Billed as a silkwinders track though in reality it’s just Andrea Webster on her own-some. Of course Andrea should need little introduction around these here parts given her other project our missing cat did as I recall have us a tad swooning and feinting in admiration a few years back. This though is something of a little festive treat with Andrea taking on the traditional carol ‘God rest ye Merry Gentlemen’ and giving it something of a much enjoyed and dare I say adored stripped back and intimately coaxed re-appraisal much toned in a homely folk tapestry that’s removed of the normal oompah of the version most are familiar with these days and instead finds itself delicately teased in a ghostly spectral woodland yarn the likes of which invites a quiet moment of reflection before disappearing into ether.  https://silkwinders.bandcamp.com/ 

This being the festive season things don’t really get to feeling seasonal or festive around here until the arrival of the Yellow6 Christmas CD card. So I’m happy to announce the 2014 edition is upon us, so while we wait for our copy (just 100 physicals available and then its downloads I’m afraid) we’ll let Jon (Atwood / Yellow6) give you the background as to these annual soirees and details / thoughts on the tracks within though not before we get a chance to put our tuppance ha’penny in to comment upon the cut that Jon recalls having no recall recording (I’m certainly uncertain as to whether that is yer actual allowed English) ‘drone #2’. As rightly pointed out by its author ‘drone #2’ does veer into worlds more commonly associated with past Kranky alumni, pensive and considered, its trademark Yellow6 in so much as it is sculptured in the crafting of moments and moods suspended or put on pause and etched in porcelain beauty, that said there’s an ache to this drifting gem that finds it steeled in isolationism, its mournful contours sigh with such noir detachment and bruised serene beauty as though some graceful Mancini styled opine set to half speed as to have you drawing up close considering the offer of a sympathetic arm.

From Jon Atwood / Yellow6…..

‘so….merry6mas comes of age – 16 years and still g(r)o(w)ing….since it’s origins as 17 hand copied cdr’s in 1999, to it’s peak of 250 copies in 2006, this has been an interesting journey for me – a way of reviewing what I had done during the previous year, and making something worthwhile of music that would otherwise go unheard – music I thought others may also appreciate. I think this has resulted in some really good releases, occasionally regarded by some as better than the ‘proper’ albums released in the same period. I sometimes think I could learn from this, rather than ponder too much over running order etc? Anyhow, this merry6mas includes new unreleased and live material recorded during 2014. Most of these songs didn’t really fit with the album, and a few came along after the album was completed….“October drone” and “to be continued…” were each recorded in a single live take with no overdubs, only edited for length (the latter being cut from a 16 minute original). Of the others,“lighthouse 1” was considered for the album “closer to the sea without moving” but left off, after many listens, in favour of other versions of the piece. Lighthouse 2 is a completely different piece, only sharing a title with the others, both here and on the album. Gusts was a song from early in 2014 that I was initially unsure of, but after some mixing and adjustment I like the result. Drone#2 is an odd one, as i really can’t remember recording it, but i think it’s me at my most Labradford, though obviously not as good as their recordings. The remaining tracks: “sleet day”, “they look lost” and “red candy”, were recorded live at FUSE Art Space in Bradford at one of my two live appearances of the year, this being one of the live shows i am most happy with of all i’ve done, and i think they fit well here with the other material. so there you have it…another year another merry6mas, and hopefully you will feel a worthwhile addition to the catalogue. back for more I guess next year, when merry6mas will be old enough to apply for a driving licence.’

Now if I didn’t know any better I’d have said that the much missed and noticeably absent from our hi-fi of late Superimposers had had the odd hand in this, instead it is in truth by the smoking trees entitled ‘round Christmas time’ and should by rights be heading out of the ample play sound house and onto the record decks of the more clued up record buying patron. Bobbing along upon a wonderfully laid back sea drift motif all shimmered in exotic south sea fancies and shuffling sleigh bells there’s something delightfully homely and touching about this waltzing winter wonderland as it sweetly sighs its lovelorn lilt. https://soundcloud.com/ample-play-records/1-the-smoking-trees-round

I guess your winter’s cheer wouldn’t be the same without the occasional ghostly visitation to chill your bones, we suspect that shadow master and guardian of the weird and wayward Melmoth the Wanderer has been similarly minded for while you’ve been content to stuff your faces full of mince pies whilst festooning your living space in tinsel and trimmings, the silent one has been rummaging around his musical basement and under the cover of the nights deathly grip has been concocting sonic potions to delight and disturb. The result ‘Christmas – through a glass darkly’ a 25 minute serving of  Christmas creeps, a bit like being visited by the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future all at once. Amid the spectral choral and Gregorian chants various Hare and the Moon, Vaughan Williams, Hermione Harvestman and Corncrow types spook its ominous belt busting palette. Consider your fair warned. http://www.mixcloud.com/Melmoth_The_Wanderer/christmas-through-a-glass-darkly/?fb_action_ids=700824626691048&fb_action_types=mixcloud%3Aupload

De Staat – remember them – well you ought to given we mentioned a killer smoked out reappraisal that they’ve done on ‘down town’ (see https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/de-staat/ )  as part of a recently released EP set entitled ‘vinticious versions’ via cool green recordings / mascot label group wherein Holland’s finest have selected eight tracks from their back catalogue and rephrased them anew in noir / jazz / cool funky re-treads. Not content with just offering you mere musical treats aplenty the band have now made available for circulation fan made videos for each of the cuts these all coming by way of being  winning entries of a recent competition, fill your boots….

‘get it together’

 

‘build that, buy that’

‘input source select’

‘down town’

‘all is dull’

‘devil’s blood’

‘sweatshop’

‘wait for evolution’

Nabbed these from a closer listen’s ‘the happiest music of the year’ top 10 – which in turn we happily tripped over via the bearsuit records facebook page (after that is apologising for our gross oversight in mislaying their latest remix set ‘I put a time bomb in your submarine’ – might that be a contender for one of the album titles of the year – discuss. Anyway a review is hastily being pencilled in for later in the week). So back with the ‘happiest tracks of the year’ amid which Bearsuit’s Whizz Kid held down one of the prized 10 spots with their highly creative full length ‘there’s conjuring to be done’ from which the genteelly lulling ‘clones’ comes prized a melodic myriad of lost 70’s lounge motifs and warping exotica impishly fused with murmurs emanating from the Vernon Elliott sound shed. Busto power trio whose self released ‘the deal’ set alas sadly passed us by cook up some nifty noir reverb twang-a-rama that finds itself sitting and smoking in the houses of shadowy men on a shadowy planet and henry mancini though keep ‘the deal’ rolling and you’ll be greeted to some tasty ‘rhubarb and custard’ styled schizoid fuzziness by its end. From their ‘deltas’ set chapelier fou it seems struck an adoring chord with the a closer listen staff and it’s easy to see why given that ‘grand artica’ bobbles away ever so graciously lushly kissed with a subtly euphoric aura courted in silken strings and wispy lunar corteges – must remember to check them further. Again another self released set this time from huma huma entitled ‘theme songs for invisible motion pictures’ whose ‘music box’ featured here is an infectious slice of ziggy wiggy uber funky n’ quirky grooving that cleverly manages to collage elements of 70’s styled noir filmic scores through the lazy eyed ethnic lounge lenses of john barry.  Lullatone – is this the same lullatone who at one time many years passed frequented these very pages – I suspect so – here with ‘while winter whispers’ from which is taken ‘a little song about snowdrops’ which as it happens sounds exactly how you’d imagine a track titled such to sound all twinkly frosted tipped charms and a deftest of touch that one might expect to hear on some secret snow flaked studio gathering of  plone and isan types. Those preferring their listening to be daubed and distilled in prairie opines and delta folk signatures might do well to check out Mariano Rodriguez’s ‘praise the road’ which idly demurs in the porch reclined sun somewhere between Grinderswitch and lester flatt n’ earl Scruggs. Next up ‘theme – let’s go camping’ from one and seven eighths has I’ll admit had us racking our heads questioning what the hell it reminds me of – of course ‘funky town’ by Lipps Inc – devilishly daft and cute with it. Again another release I’m afraid to say we missed was smiles with teeth’s ‘everyday always’ from which for your discerning ear you’ll find the cosy toed lullaby lilts of the crunchy minimalist electro glitching of ‘scrunchie’ which by our reckoning recalled the days when the likes of Bad Jazz and Liquefaction Empire used to drop 7 inch platters by landshipping our way. Next up not the twink but one mike langlie whose ‘close to home’ taken from his ‘happy houses’ set for twink tones is a deliriously dippy slab of kooky toy electronica that for the best part sounds as though its fallen off the radar of some Phil Redmond styled teen soap while wrapping matters are waking aida with ‘how to build a space station’ – a sterling seven minute stratospheric soiree of perky post rockist motifs that freewheel between moments of stormy high octane effervescent swathes to periods of lolloping hypnotic calm all of which I’m suspecting you may well hear more of in the coming months. http://acloserlisten.com/2014/12/11/acl-2014-the-happiest-music-of-the-year/

I think we promised that Silber records would shortly be releasing a stack of Christmas related musical festivities – well they are out – so we’ve already briefly mentioned yellow6 so while we get around to sampling the delights of baptizer, ronja’s Christmas witch, electric bird noise, remora and firetail here’s small life form with ‘parts for holiday projects’ – which according to the press release was initially conceived as a conscientious stab at celebrating the birth of Christ before going a little awry. We’ve trained our ears on the centrepiece cut ‘it’s not all milk and cookies’ and can quite confidentally confirm – well it’s not quite Wham but then were you to expect such in these missives there would be the odd querying raise of the eyebrow and a firmly disapproving tut tut. Still what you get for your dollar is something rathermore very unseasonal unless of course I’ve somehow somewhere come to lose the point, plot and reason for being here. In truth sounds like the third programme of the spin cycle on an Indesit washing machine – model number WCM6165 in case you are taking notes – and we ought to know because we are midway through a wash right this minute and it sounds like this track is communicating with said washer in some strange droning dialect either that or some insane mind frying dream machine. Very odd though that said it ought to appeal to all you astral social club and trensmat admirers.  https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/parts-for-holiday-projects

Hands up those of you who remember Winterbrief? I only ask because London based electro poppers Kentish Fire have recently released the insanely infectious ‘in our band’ – already getting a heads up on the nation’s radio station 6music (is it still called that) which all said comes possessed of the aforementioned named Winterbrief’s punkoid pop bite albeit though not before undergoing a service check at the hands of the criminally overlooked Bis. ‘in our band’ is your tongue in cheek woes of bands cutting their teeth in an attempt to get on the ladder to what will hopefully be stardom by selling their souls to the nightly dread of performing as a covers band, a cheeky jiggy wiggy dandy of a cut that pings around the headspace like an errant imp with a poker up its backside all the time name checking a positive plethora of songs (can you name all the bands in question?) as it zigzags, summersaults, shimmies and struts its way digging deep beneath your skin to give you a dose of the funky bugs.

 

Just eyed this on a face book posting and thought we pass a curious ear over it, new album – well debut album as it happens due in the new year from kindest of thieves entitled I think ‘box room bed room rebel music’ from which the title track is currently on a showcasing soiree to draw in the passing trade. Ripe for those adoring of the rock a hula vintage reverb grooving for this babe is your back to basics 50’s golden age Meek mottled ear gear that circles vulture like around the early back catalogue of the much missed – at least around – flaming stars albeit as though press ganged in the studio by ex Ants the Wolfmen and given a remit to cobble up something in a johnny leyton stylee. Frankly we have to hear more.https://kindestofthieves.bandcamp.com/track/box-room-bed-room-rebel-music

We haven’t quite as yet gotten around to hearing the forthcoming mind brains debut set (due out via orange twin after Christmas) despite ever best intention – though rest assured it’s on our to do list later this week. For the uninitiated among you Mind Brains are a collective pool of talent whose membership have in past lives (some still current) featured in such celebrated combos as Olivia tremor control, of montreal, dark meat, marshmallow coast, circulatory system and the music tapes, their remit is simple – to save from the scrapheap and retain in memory lost sound mediums by way of retuning and cannibalising old analogue synths, circuit boards, toy instruments and Casio and Atari body parts and crafting from said instruments and flea market finds something of a minimalist old school homage to Silver Apples, Tubeway Army and Chrome  (that was it says on the press blurb). As said scarcely a chance just yet to investigate further though I can tell you in arrived resplendently sandwiched between two slices of bread and a whole host of inserts….quite a fanciable thing which before we drone on any further we better give you a taste of courtesy of an illuminating instructional video…….which goes like this….

You know how every so often something comes along and hits you unexpected between the eyes and knocks you off balance, well for me today’s wow moment occurred upon hearing this delicately turned darling. In truth not what we were expecting especially since an unsolicited email from one of their number ended by saying there was an album currently around entitled ‘proper fucked’. Be honest like me you were expecting all manner of sonic shrapnel and hijinks, but not so – in fact you couldn’t be further from the mark even if you ran in the opposite direction. ‘Kav’ incidentally a new cut doesn’t appear on the aforementioned album and is the latest single by Scandinavian collective Steso, in short four minutes of breath taking beguilement serenaded in the prickly feel good warmth of swooning choirs, the reflective blossoming hope held sighs of sea faring pastorals and the soft seductive ache of a vocalist whose delicate though alluring yearns sounds like the subdued fusion of the Sundays’ Harriet Wheeler and Olof Arnalds, stir the ingredients together and what you get is what can only be described as a snow crushed dream pop murmur of such serenely understated and  poised beauty that we suspect those admiring of platters put out by ClubAC30 will find much to swoon to whilst likewise I’m thinking that errant album is in much need of hearing  

Seeing as you’ve all been ever so nice here’s a trio festive treats to keep the cockles a warm…..just in case you were wondering where we primed these from – I’ll just say that we’ve only gone and stumbled another merry mix tape this time cobbled together by those burger record dudes…..first up…..

Old friends to these pages Wax Witches stomp up ‘Santa’s on the drugs he’s got the Christmas buzz’ which I must admit had us near digging out our prized filthy little angels platters notably those by captain polaroid and star fighter pilot, as with the current Kentish fire platter there’s something of the Winterbrief’s about this impish cutie as it waywardly staggers along to a wonky electro charm loosely biting at the waitresses ‘christmas wrapping’…. https://soundcloud.com/burgerrecords/wax-witches-santas-on-the?in=burgerrecords/sets/burger-records-holiday-mix

equally fighting their way into our affections are the hollyberries whose ‘(I wanna go) surfin’ with Santa’ which if I recall we mentioned last year when it appeared pressed on seven inches of wax – still you can’t keep down a good tune which is just as well because this is your time travelling Spector-esque surf-a-delic shimmy pop all blister kissed with the most infectious bubble grooved bop-a-rama boogie your likely to hear all season long, add to the merry mix oodles of  horns, harmonies and heaps of twang n’ twist Wizzard-esque grooviness which gathered together is sure to tinsel trim your turntable. https://soundcloud.com/burgerrecords/the-hollyberries-i-wanna-go-1?in=burgerrecords/sets/burger-records-holiday-mix

okay there’s no prizes for figuring out how come this one steeled a march on the Christmas rush of potential featurette contenders, of course we were drawn by their name – todayshits – okay a tad immature and obvious on our part but hey take a gander at ‘it’s Christmas time’ and you’ll soon realise the real reason for this stealing the deal, a kinda of morosely happy Daniel Johnston type sortie that bobs along wearily merry warming itself to an open log fire vintage howled in echoes of Christmas nuggets long passed which  ought by rights to be leaving lumps in throats and a little tear trickling down the cheek, kerchiefs please…. https://soundcloud.com/burgerrecords/todayshits-its-christmas-time?in=burgerrecords/sets/burger-records-holiday-mix

did we mention the much missed filthy little angels label a second or so ago well it seems they’ve made available a large chunk if not all their released eargear available to download for free and this being the festive season a little present they’ve stashed beneath your Christmas tree in the guise of ‘oh come, all ye filthy’ – a 27 track compilation features names familiar, missed and lost including lovely eggs, das wanderlust, ant, shisho, from mars, Helen love and more beside – available via  http://filthylittleangels.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/little-056-various-artists-come-all-ye.html

We’ve been promising for ages the onset of a plethora of variously wordy plaudits for things eking out of the alrealon musique imprint and its extended family, believe me when I say stuff is cooking and shortly to descend. For now though and to whet your appetite somewhat something new (I think / in fact I’m fairly certain) from John 3:16. ‘the fountain of life’ comes ripped from a limited compilation being put out by 75orless entitled ‘till the dirt, plant the home, watch it grow’ which features upon its grooves a gathering of twenty like-minded souls included among their number the likes of Gravenhurst, the Kitchen Cynics, swearing at motorists and noel the coward all pitching for your attention and affection. Amid the glacial still motioned along upon a twilight mist ‘the fountain of life’ emerges to the fore gracefully invested in a ghostly majesty unfurling its spell craft whilst uttering in long dead tongues all the time delicately spiriting away as it fills the voids with its swirling snake dance feasted upon the slow drip purr of trip hopped ambi-psych mosaics, call it a visitation perhaps an echo of what once was there’s something finite and pre-natural oozing through the grooves subtly exuding a seductive mesmeric chemistry.  https://soundcloud.com/john316john/the-fountain-of-life

Those of you with memories extending far further than your average goldfish might well recall us getting a tad fond of a pre teaser track put out by those fat cat dudes heralding the arrival of a promised debuting full length by C Duncan – in case you didn’t and do happen to be a goldfish then you can feast your delights here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=5118&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2 – not content with having us all a cooed with one track Mr Duncan has seen fit to allure all by leaking out its flip side ‘And I’ and in so doing has put the normally sedate life with the Sunday experience listening room in something of a quandary with fisticuffs for added measure I’ll be bound attempting to settle scores as to which is the favoured track. With the lightest of touches and a deftness of delivery ‘And I’ is cast in a delicately demurred sepia glow that crackles and pops with a beautified monochrome vintage as though a faded love note dimpled in a crestfallen hymnal hue the type of which in truth makes Cheval Sombre sound like a speed freaking punkoid. Blissful in a word, ethereal is another. https://soundcloud.com/mrduncan

Featuring grave raving twangs and shimmering reverbs, we mentioned this cutie a little while back – here as a matter of fact https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=5120&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2 – by Saint Agnes their latest ‘a beautiful day for murder’ – well here’s the freshly peeled video accompanying the cut…..

We’re still sitting on the fence with the jury clearly still out with regards to Chrissie Hynde’s revisiting of the Pretenders perennial gem ‘2000 miles’ – I must admit its main problem is of course trying to decide whether you adore the original’s embracing warm glow or the new cuts frost tipped re-visioning, I won’t deny it’s a tough call the newer variant hushed and aglow in a fragile porcelain framing haloed in a forlorn ache whilst the original was a ghostly visitation of hope and joy to come which, as much as the new mix allures, still as far I’m concerned edges matters in the favoured version stakes.  

Is it just me or does this whiff heavily of ‘Ocean rain’ era Will Bunnymen mosaics, course it does and don’t let a soul tell you otherwise, as addictive as hell this is a new thing from Fottuto Bianco of whom we have absolutely no information about, that said this nifty little blighter might just be what the doctor ordered, ‘how to dance in a circle’ be its name and it really is to woozily funk for its own good as it swagger to a vague 60’s pout all fractured by a sublime moment of wig flipping soft psych out at the 2.12 mark which unless our ears do deceive much chimes to a classic era Soft Boys vibe. 

There’s also a handy tutorial video should you indeed wish – as may be your desire – to dance in a circle……

Disturbingly faultless and impeccably perfect, if both ‘I find you’ and the latest Sara Lowes track to slope off and demur and dazzle ‘JB Priestley’ are anything to judge then quite frankly February can’t come fast enough for that when the Railing records imprint unveil ‘the joy of waiting’ to the greater public it has all the early indicators to suggest it being one of the early benchmark sets for the chasing pack to follow. ‘JB Priestley’ is clever, crafted and kooky not to mention playful and deeply set in the revealing of a boundless free spirited artistry that seductively weaves daintily dimpled folk mirages into love noted mini symphonies that are dinked in a timeless vintage and swirling in a light headed dizzy euphoria to which the press release hints at a feint dusting of Divine Comedy nods, indeed we’d agree if it weren’t for the subtle ghosting of Bacharach and David and Van Dyke Parks lurking at its shoulders giving way to a fondness for an early career Oddfellows Casino. But then scratch a little deeper and amid the breathless motion of the chuffing and puffing rhythms Ms Lowes’ kinship is all too obvious to see aligned with fondness to that of the Carpenters.  https://soundcloud.com/sara-lowes/jb-priestley

think i’m in love, well as in love with a musical track as you can be, incoming by the menace beaches who I’m suspecting we’ve featured in previous lives, this track incidentally titled tastes like medicine’ comes pulled from their forthcoming debut long player for Memphis industries ‘ratworld’. A bit of a babe it is to all stutter strum shimmers and honey dripped harmonies that very much veer into the kind fizzing ear candy so often dropped by the Manhattan Love Suicides and all shoehorned into three minutes of acutely cute shade adorned buzz pop that imagines a studio love in between the Heartthrobs and Another Sunny Day. https://soundcloud.com/memphisindustries/menace-beach-tastes-like/

Fancy a tree gathering of piping good cheer seems the Vacilando68 imprint thought you might so they assembled the labels finest musical players for a season greeting soiree around the tinsel trimmed turntable….

First up to the Christmas plate the Singing Loins whose hearty rendition of the yuletide classic ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’ had us a swaying in the aisles not least because the blighter is engagingly fashioned in a lolloping motif festooned by brigades of banjos and sleigh bells – sounds like a whole heap of Medway merriment to us.

We mentioned Theatre Royal’s ‘I believe in Father Christmas (I don’t want socks)’ this time last when it was released as a limited download only single, it so happens – and only because it’s you mind – that we’ve saved you all the time, effort and patience in trying to root out our fond write up by doing it for you – see hear https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/theatre-royal-and-friends/

Likewise with Broderick and Barnes’ seasonal offering ‘December’ which we only mentioned this time last week and with that still maintain it’s the stuff of aching beauty that’s liable to have you smiling through tear stained cheeks….anyway to save you rummaging for our wordy bits just go here – and pronto….. https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/broderick-and-barnes-2/

Finally shuffling up to the centre stage Stuart Turner and the Flat Earth Society serve up the gruff gospel blues cutie ‘walking through snow (to get to you)’ which in truth sounds as though it’s been on a Christmas night out at the local drinking well with an assorted crowd made up of Tom Waits, Wild Billy Childish and the Pogues all gathered to turn in a hulking humdinger of a cut that’s sure to have you tearfully welling up your scotch glass at the Christmas lonely hearts salon.  

New Active Listener sampler has just landed – well it landed about two weeks ago but hey who’s splitting hairs. Volume 26 retains the blog sites impeccable high standard which alas as much as we’d like to cover and give mention to all seventeen tracks on parade, time is of a pretty rarefied essence at present. That said plenty of familiar faces feature here all of whom readers here should be well versed with (paperhead, concretism, mark fry, ummagma, jouis and more so we’ll keep this mention a little low key and let your ears feast upon the treats within. That said we won’t leave it just there for there were several cuts that caught our attention notably Julie’s Haircut whose ‘Karlsruhe’ had us somewhat sedated and chilled not least because amid it woozy mind weaves and cosmically trip-a-delic smokiness there’s a kind of super blissed dream drift aspect afoot that circling around the outer rings of the great kraut universe and simultaneously manages to sound like a bonged out ‘Bad Orb….’ era Walking Seeds. Elsewhere ‘crystal spy’ by Moonsicles was the happy recipient of admiring nods in our gaff not least because deep within its bleakly beautifully frost framed mosaics you suspect lurks the imagining of an early 70’s styled spy noir screenplay awaits on a paper strewn lamp illuminated desk for the filming green light – those admiring of all things early Gnac will adore. Something else worthy of investing your listening time is ‘clay in my hand’ by United Bible Studies which may well strike a heaven sent ear gear chord among those of you who’ve ever lain awake at night restlessly dogged by imaginings of what if and what would a chance meeting in a recording studio between Tunng and Porcupine Tree sound like. Last up for this brief mention dare we depart without a quick call for the Unseen who will – unless some cataclysmic event befalls us – be featuring in these pages aplenty before we hit Christmas day – here with the creepy ‘her father’s voice’ taken from the ‘Mary’ soundtrack, its creepy not for the music as such but for the interspersing of filmic dialogue with the overbearing father laying the seeds to Mary’s fractured and twisted mind set, the clarity in the juxtaposition pitting innocence in polar opposition to abuse  is undercut throughout by the lullaby chill of child-like playroom electro-chimes which soon dissolve into something more revealing of the dark portent ahead, in short it is classic 70’s Giallo horror chic especially the type flying out of the Fulci / Argento vaults to which those well versed and adoring of scores by Goblin, Carpenter and more latterly Zombi will find much to swoon about. http://theactivelistener.bandcamp.com/

Those intrinsically familiar with these musings will no doubt be all too aware of our love for things dinked and dimpled in playful TV testcard styled lullaby motifs so you can imagine that when this dozy eyed slice of dreaminess came into earshot we’d felt as though we’d died and gone to the big playroom in the sky. Hailing from Vietnam (a territory you’ll be hearing more about in the coming days – music wise – when we get around to mentioning Sound Awakener from whom we receive a rather nice email message from – see http://soundawakener.bandcamp.com/ – one for Roadside Picnic / Justin Wiggan we suspect) pearthq have recently released ‘binary harmony sunrise’ which he / she / they describe in passing as ‘colourful energy enriched fun harmony light sunrise’ which I think in short translates as happy music to which it is given it playfully skirts around the outer spheres of the vintage idents so oft escaping from the ghost box sound lab and then colours the shy eyed minimalist spectrum in the kind of clockwork charmed lull of a youthful ISAN and Plone and then puts it all to bed to rest to the lilt of Raymond Scott’s ‘soothing sounds for baby’. http://pearthq.bandcamp.com/track/binary-harmony-sunrise

If there’s just one incy wincy complaint to be made about this particular Christmas hangover it’s the title. I mean calling your seasonal winter warmer ‘fuck you it’s Christmas’ was always going to get us sitting up on our hind quarters begging to hear, but then there are those who – shall we say – are a little less tolerant and a little 1930’s who perhaps understandably when faced with such blatant attention grabbling use of anglo saxon language might well cry foul – hello BBC. Which is a shame really because this cutie is a bit of merry miserablism that finds Pat and Amelia (better known as Bent Cousin) lobbing verbal snowballs at each other over a very un-neighbourly fence as a result of a rain drizzled and rather awkward teen break up which in truth cleverly echoes Kirsty and Shane’s yuletide woe (best Christmas record ever. Discuss.) albeit re-imagined as were by a very young ‘Tigermilk’ era Belle and Sebastian – essential ear gear for those with ears frequently tuned to imprints such as matinee, fortuna pop, elefant etc….  – believe it’s a free download – (are you sure)…. https://soundcloud.com/bentcousin/fuck-you-its-christmas

Blimey another release that caught us on the hop earlier today though I must admit finding it was a cover of ‘walking in the air’ (a record that I have to say I have never really cared for) didn’t have us at once scampering up to it, we did in fact consider options, walk around it pensively stroking our chin for a little while before finally being resolved to the fact that we should at least give it a go. Boy were we mistaken, in the hands of the Half Earth a new (palatable for us at least) persona is revealed, choral rustics enchant to shower it in spectral shimmers of fairy dust, its fragile sparseness nods to the much admired Low Anthem, the falsetto vocals, the poise, the measured application and the somewhat silent majesty all brush up cosy toed to the delicately picked fretwork to craft something wood crafted, ghostly and ached in introspection. A humbling experience. The track incidentally comes peeled from a compilation entitled ‘it’s coming on Christmas’ put out by Daisy Digital with all proceeds raised going to the Coppafeel charity – an organisation responsible for the educating of young people on the importance of checking themselves out. The collection gathers together 28 specially invited musicians all detailed with imparting their own little bit of Christmas melodic magic among the roll call – the Districts, Layla, robyn sherwell, the lake poets, newton Faulkner and shy nature – hopefully we’ll revisit it again in a few days for a closer inspection – for now though go here (for the Half Earth standalone)  https://soundcloud.com/thehalfearth/walkingintheair and here (for the relevant bandcamp ordering site) https://soundcloud.com/thehalfearth/walkingintheair

Another quality release in the offing from the critically cool Naim Jazz imprint whose wares last featured in these musings serving up a superb set from Get the Blessing. Sometime February will see the third full length from Troyka doing hopefully brisk business at record counters the length and breadth of the nation. ‘Ornithophobia’ be its name titled such after Chris the guitarists’ fear of birds the band and label have issued forth by way of a teaser ‘life was transient’ showcases the collectives unique ability to freewheel the generic cracks moving with a kooky rhythmic vibe incorporating jazz, exotic, lounge, down tempo minimalism, classic trip hop beats, subtle psych prog accents and playful electro squiggles which in truth sound like some Radiophonic rewiring of ‘Vision On’ TV indents on an though on an Oriental soiree and which all said shares a kinship with the Winston Giles Orchestra had they decided to try out for that excellent ‘Monsterism’ compilation put together by (if i recall rightly) Pete Fowler from a few years. https://soundcloud.com/naimedge/troyka-life-was-transient 

And talking of Mr Fowler – these days when he’s not busy doing arty things and all manner of other creative gubbins he’s also one half of the Seahawks – must adored I don’t need to tell you around this here parish. Anyway on their sound cloud page  you’ll find a downloadable 60 minute mix tape entitled ‘it’s the beginning of a new age’ – alas no track listing but what we can guarantee is an aural head message in the safe comfort of those Seahawks pilots as they take your mind for a spot of astral gliding – wig flipping chill-a-rama perfect for those of you of a Craig Padilla, Magic Mushroom Band, and Tangerine Dream-y lunar lounge persuasion..  https://soundcloud.com/squonjax/seahawksits-the-beginning-again-of-a-new-age-mixtape-60min

And so we’re back with ArteTetra’s whose debuting release a compilation entitled ‘exotic esoterique’ volume 1 you might recall had us waxing lyrically whilst fainting in the aisles. For those who missed our earlier ranting a quick recap would go along these lines into – Italian label specialising in cassette only releases featuring sounds drawn from psychedelic, esoteric and exotic disciplines. First outing a compilation featuring 15 such artists bubbling beneath the radar from Italian and American territories, anyhow last time out we mentioned Felippo Guiffre, obscure and hysm? duo which in case you either missed, blinked or just plain ignored can be scrutinised / read or again ignored by going to  https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/exotic-esoterique-volume-1/ As to the rest, I must admit an excellent and faultless selection of new sounds that circumvents the spectrum sublimely ever from the weird and strange to the mellowed and the mind weaving. One of the sets stand out cuts and perhaps one of its eeriest coming from babau, for ‘faus’ is trimmed with a darkly unsettling solution drawn upon elements of Australasian  tribal chants and what sounds like some n’er do well ceremonial mass taking amid all of which there comes the drifting lull of a surreal flavouring recalling the spacey detours once upon a time enacted by Ozric Tentacles, yet dare we neglect to mention the ominous throat chants – very Soriah. Traversing a similar weird trajectory are Kree-Mah-Stree whose ‘king kong’ presents a whole heap of voodoo ju-ju brooding over a cooking pot that threads together a primordial soup out of ethnic drone motifs and dub daubs into a  most surreal psych noir cabaret. Those preferring their sounds somewhat scalded and scorched might do well to don tin hats for the melodic Molotov cocktail that is ‘2 cuorleone’ by Lleroy, a savage and schizoid bastard head case of the kind of twisted and frenzied quality that at one time you’d have expected to kick and scream its way out of the brew imprint, did we also neglect to mention its feral and furious – well we have now – must hear more and so must you especially if your preferred ear gear includes on its listening list that fucking tank. By far the strangest selection on the compilation – and believe you me there are a fair plenty vying for the accolade – though none come close to the crookedness and derangement of blue bird dominion’s ‘sehnsucht’ – prime listening for those of you attuned to the grooves put out by the beta lactam ring imprint given that this uneasy listening gem sounds not a million miles from the kind of strangeness committed to wax by La STPO, not so much a song as such more a theatrical performance transmitted as were through old school valve powered transistors and disfigured by wayward radiophonics and insectoid glitches and groans, a most unnerving experience. There’s no denying that moraljetlag have at some point been schooled and informed by the out there retro electro minimalism of Cabaret Voltaire, clock DVA and SPK found here merging both those sonic worlds in a slice of doom dripped chamber chill courtesy of ‘kitchen disease’. Nevroshockingiochi on the other hand prefer a readily more darker and brooding approach with ‘cinecronica’ finding itself mesmerically morphing into a curiously tripping soft psych dipped dream sequence whose intricacy and terraforming persona steps darkly into to sonic tides imagining a shadowy meeting point between Kreidler and Battles. One of our favourite moments from the set – that’s not to say that every cut is not a favourite moment – comes courtesy of the opening salvo from H on Bangalore whose ‘samboosa’ is a gorgeous slice of transcendental mysticism that pairs together an arresting  cortege merging the  sonic spheres of psychotropically woozy third eye groove and dream drifting astral sereneness. Similarly dinked in mind weaving cosmicalia is ‘sole’ by Wakan – another lilting slice of instrumental isolationism obviously in awe of a late 80’s New Zealand noise scene and sounding very much like the work of a studio summit meeting drawing together Gnac and Roy Montgomery. Elsewhere for reasons best known only to my sub conscious each time I’ve heard ‘nostra signora dei turchi’ by Nicola Tirabasso I’ve had this strange urge to dig out my much adored AR Kane platters which is strange because this cosmic delight sounds nothing like the sonic architects of ‘I’ and rather more like an intense shot in the arm of psych shimmered kraut gouged leviathan like solar symphonics carved by the hand of Astral Social Club.  Somewhere else lurk above the tree with ‘rituale N12’ which I must admit is a rather subdued and understated affair, detached and remotely daubed in a lo-fi glazing which once ears are adjusted reveals itself to be dimpled in a sweet almost distanced bruising cradled in an atmospheric ice sculpturing to which fans of old Ochre releases may well fall for. Discounting the Lleroy track the award for the most wildly furious and wig flipped cut on the set must surely go to the big drum in the sky religion whose ‘hare pussy’ is a howling magma whose improv no wave utterances seem to be the work of unruly sonic imps whose idea of listening entertainment is to confuse, corrupt and put the would be listener on an uneasy back foot whilst simultaneously pummelling their headspace in a light the fuse see what happens caustic boogie. Last in the mentioning stakes ‘houngan boukman’ from maybe I’m is a lo-fi ramble through prairie country turning in a curiously off balanced slab of mountain folk blues which should you scrunch up your ears you may well find a loose nod to the mighty Clinic albeit a frayed and slightly beaten around the edges Clinic. https://soundcloud.com/artetetra/sets/exotic-sot-rique-vol-1

Mentioned this a few weeks ago – damn if this isn’t the sexiest thing on planet pop right now – it’s by the bonfire nights and comes pulled from a split release with tripwires via bad vibrations and its out right now….and you don’t need me telling you that your hi-fi needs it…..incidentally our fond words are here – https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/bonfire-nights/

Latest from Constellation Tatsu (who I’ll add right here and now and due for more love later this missive – or perhaps the next depending on how things pan out) have just put what they fondly describe as their ‘holiday release’.  Four track cassette release from Greyghost who is known to fellow Oaklanders as Brian Griffith whose ‘meditations on mindfulness’ is described by the attaching tags as ‘adventurous American bass fun’ which unless one of us have been taking serious grade A happy pills – not me I hasten to add – isn’t quite how the general public would respond had a sample selection been played it in a street and then put to task completing a questionnaire / straw poll exercise. On the sound system and piping mournfully from out of our speakers ‘deep water, lemurian tides’ is 15 plus minutes of softly yearned retrospective ambient drone, dreamily ached and delicately traced in a wave like forlorn bruising, the presentation panoramic, the mood reverential and the crafting majestic, a perfect sound track for those wanting to seek safe haven and somewhere tranquil and populated by nothingness in order to escape the rigours brought on by the busying hustle and bustle of day time life, especially appealing it should be pointed out to those among you well versed in the early catalogue of the esteemed Kranky imprint. http://ctatsu.bandcamp.com/album/meditations-on-mindfulness

I really do owe Matt Bowers (for it is he who is Wizards Tell Lies) a massive apology, several releases dating back to July have been adoring our listening space with ethereal chills all of whom have yet to make it to the shared word, a matter that will be rectified this side of Christmas so consider yourselves warned and while you’re at it kindly consider booking a place of safety behind the sofa.  For now though a brace of cuts have just surfaced from out of the Wizards lair, first up an ominous visitation in the shape of ‘terror from space (prologue)’ which rather than having your warmed in the feel good spirit of the season might well have you imagining yourself somewhat lost and disorientated as though awoken mid sleep and unable to find your bearings, ghostly manifestations and that sense of the strange and the unreal dictate the grooving of this aural apparition for it is here amid the eerie stillness and bowed echoes where  spectral shadows shift with stealth like unease and where a strangely disquieting dance of dread plays out. https://simimansound.bandcamp.com/track/terror-from-space-prologue

Those thinking sanctuary awaits with the onset of ‘gone’ quickly think again, a Halloween treat of sorts released on the eve of Samhain, bleakly beautiful, to the dreadening howl of fire scorched storms,  their doom and finality accentuated by the contrasting mournful sigh of a delicately strummed and sorrowed riff opine, godspeed purists will swoon and with good reason. https://simimansound.bandcamp.com/track/gone

Already responsible for swooning fits here following his impeccably crafted ‘peaks’ set for the Little Crackd Rabbits imprint, starless and bible black woodbine and Ivy Band man returns with his second set this year. Barely reaching the 25 minute ticker tape in total duration and featuring nine mercurial slices of wood carved rustics, this is ‘the limefield sessions’ by Peter Philipson (last time out he preferred to be known as PJ Philipson). This set comes issued by the esteemed Static Caravan as a ultra-limited lathe cut of which there are only 20 around in existence all of which I’m gathering have long since sold out though don’t quote me on that. Okay so what if it is limited (to the point unobtainable – other than through auction sites where it’ll no doubt be traded on at a vastly increased amount) and that in an era of 70 minute plus albums it’s scarcely around long enough exiting at a point where most bands / albums are only just beginning to hit their groove – that is if they have one. What you do get though for your hard earned cash, patience and faith is a beautifully scribed suite dimpled in some of the mellowest and quite frankly laid back rustic perfection you’ll have the pleasure of hearing in a long time, from the moment the simply divine ‘Holloways’ crackles into life your transported afar adored to the kind of timeless tapestry of Fahey’s early delta blues scoring and Nick Drake’s dream drifted pastorals, the craft pristine the fleetly nimble chord finger picking simply exquisite. ‘for these changing times’ follows with similar purpose weaving a rarefied concoction of lost mountain folk murmurs. Then there’s the mesmeric folk mantra that is ‘court in the forest’ recalling the more introspective and fragile moments of the Owl Service catalogue whilst simultaneously half nodding to Mountain. ‘Oldfield Lane in the Thirties’ bades farewell to side 1 all the time caressed in the lightness of touch and delicate dexterity of a daydreaming Marr (Marr’s classic Smith introspection comes to bear on the sorrowed and lonesome ‘for a cat called Pendle’) or Reilly. Chiselled upon a shy eyed village green pastoral ‘marching to the top’ is softly courted in lazy eyed rustic madrigals that weave and undulate playfully while for us best moment of the set if forced with hand behind back has to be ‘sandpiper’ – a longing love note as were sighing as it waves off another day before retiring to the shade of night a lullaby for which to sooth comes dozed and demurred in the guise of the parting sleepy headed sweetheart ‘Nashville Buzz’ – an utterly faultless and rare timeless treasure.

Future Static Caravan’s looming on the near distant horizon – after the hullaballoo of the festive shenanigans the new year should see releases from Victories at Sea – a download only event which should give further hints at what to expect from their debuting long player due in April. Then there’s Free School – alas no information just yet, a cassette limited to 99 entitled ‘the art of the memory palace’ while Mr Philipson’s Woodbine and Ivy Band should have goodies gracing the more informed record racks soon along with a 7 inch from Stick in the Wheel who it appears were recently touted by a certain Steven Collins of Owl Service fame as being the ‘best thing to happen to English folk in decades’ – and frankly I’m not arguing…..if you want to jen up fast then go to  http://stickinthewheel.bandcamp.com/

Cold war dystopian glacial groove as pulled from the latest Adam Leonard release the fifth in a planned 8 album set let loose on the 8th in monthly intervals over an 8 month duration under the project name ‘Octopus’ (does that make sense) – anyway as you’ve probably sussed out for yourselves there’s an 8 thing going on here with each of these outings featuring a selection of rare recordings, unreleased materials, live cuts, alternative takes and other various nuggets unearthed from various vaults and forgotten musical lockers. As said the 5th in the series we haven’t as yet in truth had a chance to hear in full just yet though we did cast a curious ear over the parting shot ‘norcross’ which as described in the opening ambit to this rambling monologue comes clocking in at 7.39 and was apparently – according to the briefest of foot notes – originally released under the name ‘a farewell to Hexes’ – a bit of a peach for those of you with your heads tuned into old school minimalist electronica – see Human League mk 1 et al or else those among you much admiring of Conceretism and the eerie sci-fonic sounds tripping out the Holy See / the Use  sound factory, a kind of abandoned frost bitten lunar waltz if you ask me with Carpenter-esque chills.  https://adamleonard.bandcamp.com/album/octopus-part-5  

Available as a free download some fanciable festive festooning from synth pop starlets Dum Dum Girls who have just been confirmed as support for Belle and Sebastian when they take to the road in May. Anyway more’s the point I don’t seem to recall Dum Dum Girls sounding so – well – pop for ‘on Christmas’ sounds like a fuzzy glowed winter wonderland festooned by a gathering of chill tipped types from St Etienne and Dubstar daubing all in embracing snow twinkled effervescence whilst running up to every lonely heart to press upon their palm longing love notes. https://soundcloud.com/conversemusic/dum-dum-girls-on-christmas

Well we’ve managed to lose the press release with all the news worthy gubbins and hip happenings afoot in the gaff of the Helmholtz Resonators which to regulars observers of these pages won’t come as a great shock, that said I have to admit that I’m affectionately adoring of this ‘un. Entitled ‘Automaton’ these soft psych shimmered electro boffins kookify the listening space with this demurring synth buzz sortie which had we not known any better would have guessed was some dream team cosmic hook up between J Xaverre and Sterling Roswell all a lost at sea and loved up in landscapes peppered by echoes of Thomas Dolby under the watchful guide of Karl Bartos himself seeing fit to dimple matters in ‘man machine’ era Kraftwerk binary pop codes and twinkled in lulling fisher price regalia whilst cutting swirly shapes in the starry heavens, irresistibly cute.

okay you probably won’t be too surprised to hear that we’ve gotten nothing in so much as information / details about this, though disappointing as that might sound or seem we suggest you hunt this babe down as your own because this is a truly unexpected rewarding and giving listening experience. It’s by tired tape machine who hail I believe from Sweden and it goes by the title ‘not here’, an album featuring nine tracks which from out of those we’ve heard reveal a collective melodic mind set far removed from the normal glacial velour that emits from the Scandinavian pop factories and instead emerges from a place darkly seductive, beautifully broken and scratched in a rare folk enchantment. So far we’ve been quite smitten by ‘your ghost’ – an aural aperture peeling through the twilight veil, delicately dimpled in spectral pastorals and wheezing to a lolloping and bruised shanty motif all gorgeously hollowed in a frailly haunted tapestry that mourns sweetly as though a blood stained love note left as a cursed reminder of a doomed unrequited love, elements of John Barry creak and bleakly caress a crippled and crooked line whose markers touch upon the vintage of the hare and the moon, set fire to flames and preterite though whose artistry in terms of the arrangement and the eerie trembles to the mercurial unworldliness of Black Heart Procession’s ‘II’. Stunning in a word, there’s a vinyl edition which we fear spontaneous combustion should we not secure a copy. http://tiredtapemachine.bandcamp.com/

getting a tad frustrating that I can’t recall where exactly we sourced this from, I’m assuming a random face book posting that took our fancy – beyond that you’re on your own. A little something that ought to appeal to those much admiring of ummagma, new single from dream popping darlings the birthday massacre taken from their as yet unheard around here ‘superstition’ set entitled ‘beyond’ which aside being purred in an unmistakable mid 80’s sheen also comes trimmed in the crystal tipped and demurring twinkling toned pop hush that makes listeners of a certain vintage a tad doe eyed recollecting St Etienne what with the fact that it’s a bit of a love crush sweetheart dimpled in the kind of surrendering lunar pop dynamic that one suspects fixes the stars in the night sky.

 

Yet another release the whereabouts of how, when and where we stumbled upon it are something of a worrying mystery and again another release that sounds as though its time tunnelled its way from the early 80’s. out via stars and letters it’s by the excellently named empathy test, an EP no less entitled ‘throwing stones’ which comes comprised of four cuts daubed in the kind of ice sculptured elegance and revealing of a hitherto minimalist vintage that a little while ago was the trademark sound of the Weird label. obviously the blurry eyed tear stained title track will no doubt be the cut attracting radio play love given it trades with the enigmatic frost tipped bruising of an ‘Architecture and Morality’ OMD with Paul Humphries taking centre stage on the vocal duties whilst steeled to the wounded hush of China Crisis. That said  we suggest you fast forward through the listings sharpishly to the fragile glacial courtship that is ‘holding on’ – this hollowed heart stopping and  shadow playing brooding babe sounds not unlike a pulling away from the edge and darker A-ha space locked and cutting lunar shapes with a pre-industrial Depeche Mode whilst piloted by Seeland. Tasty stuff.

Here’s something of a damn fine curio and yet again another in a long of releases for which we’ve no idea how we stumbled upon (I’m suspecting the rapid onset of senility or something or other). Out via the wonderfully named Ciao Ketchup records (don’t ask) what we assume to be the debuting self-titled full length from Les Bonbons which somewhere along our travels we’ve managed to pick up a sound cloud player of, alas we haven’t had the time to give it a thorough listening service (we’ll save that for when we nab a hard copy). However all is not lost we’ve had a peak at the opening cut ‘le diable dans ma peau’ which we must admit is a bit of a head turner not least because it re-imagines a weird parallel universe carnival wherein old Tom Waits turntable testaments are dutifully groomed in noir trimmed strings and brass and grooved in the sophisticat prowling purr of Serge Gainsbourg and serviced with the most slyly slinky feline funky kookiness you’re liable to hear in an age.

How do they do it – you may well ask. Last year they gave us the formidable and on paper brave Strange Fish series spread across 5 volumes discounting the bonus 6th volume for patrons buying the set in one complete take this following a year topping  double subscribers freebie ‘the crabs sell out / freak out ’ in 2012 and a special crabstock live  seven inch last year. This year their finest vintage yet saw the year start with an enviable roster of releases by Schizo Fun Addict, Schnauser and Crystal Jacqueline, then there was the return of Astralasia to turntables followed by a rare appearance by Simones on 7 inch. To top it off, or so we all thought, there was the small question of the ‘7 and 7 is’ box set gathering together (obviously) 7 x 7 inches featuring the celebrated old guard covering seasoned selections of rare 60’s groove. And yes by this stage you’d rightly expect most labels to rest on their laurels not Fruits de Mer – currently about is the ‘postcards from the deep’ set – a formidable 10 flexi disc boxset replete with cards, a CD and a handy little box shaped like a clamshell. So while we are here marvelling whilst picking our jaws from the floor you’d expect the seasonal year ending subscribers freebie to be a catalogue filler given all the treats ushered out this year. Only it isn’t, for this year’s subscribers only selection is a formidable gathering of friends old, new and occasionally thought lost all paying tribute to Syd Barrett. Rather apt in our view not least since in my mind’s eye I’ve always seen Fruits de Mer as some haven for old school Barrett / Floyd waifs and strays, since the earliest days when its older brother Bracken records first started appearing on our doormat there was always a sense though not explicitly or obviously so of something subtle bearing the essence of a Syd flavouring. ‘A momentary lapse of vinyl’ is a frankly eye watering double disc happening that gathers together a formidable 30 strong song cycle. All quality control has been rammed up to maxima for this year end celebration which goes a little like this…..been far too long since Ilona V graced these pages, a more perfect set opener we couldn’t imagine, their version of ‘golden hair’ comes graced upon a haunting casing unto which the serenely eerie spectacle of shimmering orbs emerges through the twilight haze like some brief checking in by a ghostly apparition, if you are in need of reference markers you couldn’t go far wrong in describing it as a thawing Nico. Max Kinghorn-Mills might or might not be an actual band, if not then I’m suspecting not the name this mysterio came born with, whatever the case his / their rephrasing of ‘dark globe’ is peppered in the kind of softly wistful prairie son perfection that hints at a guarded love for the critically undervalued Soft Parade (the Anxious records version) albeit here dizzily dimpled in the crooked lolloping loveliness of a youthful early career gathering of kingsbury manx and of montreal types. Previously unheard and indeed unknown around here, Claudio Cataldi does a rather neat Robyn Hitchcock in situ with the Egyptians on the star glazed ‘she took a long cold look’ while crookedness aplenty is the order of the day for ZX+’s rebranding of ‘jugband blues’ whose clear disregard for time signatures and kaleidoscopic theatrics nods to a pickled and far out Cardiacs. James McKeown admired around these parts even if we don’t always get around to reviewing his related releases – resend links – we mislaid them – stumbles trippily in day dreaming formations across the warping wastelands of ‘dominoes’ along the way steadily losing touch with reality. Ah Sproatly Smith – of whom we will making an end of year resolution to pester and feature more in 2015 – are frankly beyond compare, ‘late night’ is found here captured live, a woozy sun kissed floral fancy all seasoned in sighing slides and a breezy vintage shimmered to an adoring of Curved Air and Mellow Candle. Adored around here the Chemistry Set fresh from their killer ‘elapsed memories’ set – in our humbled view their best moment yet stump up a freshly minted re-take of ‘see Emily play’ and take it by the hand from out of Barrett’s fried Carroll lysergic landscapes and send it to play in the sun along the way craftily skinning in some neat Beach Boys ‘heroes and villains’ motifs along with their own ‘we live as we dream…alone’. ‘scream thy last scream’ here recoded by the frankly immense Vespero is coiled in a weird hallucinogenic carnival of sound, several parts Gong, a little Cardiacs and the kooky warping of a young Sparks all coalescing into a head frying and freaked prog opera. Oh my – the magic mushroom band – by our reckoning one of the finest to ever have graced the pop cosmos here recalibrating ‘set the controls for the heart of the sun’ into a mind weaving meditative eastern mantra that might just outshine a gathering of both Goat, Master Musicians and Gnod types in so far as the pitching of third eye turn on tastiness. Fuzzy and gnarled as hell in a Dead Boys type way, the Jet Age drag out a punkoid take on ‘let’s split’ while Jim Jenkin another previously unheard of set a flame beneath Barrett’s wired and wonky ‘bike’ and replaces the originals eccentric whimsy with a fracturing frazzled Nightingales styled head kick. Todd Dillingham and Golly McCry (birth certificates please as proof) capture perfectly the nursery rhyme enchanted willowyness of ‘the Gnome’ to decorate it all manner of surreal strangeness and peculiar play which happily had us recalling the much missed Murmurs of Irma. And then there is the Mega Dodo contingent, a four pronged head off headed up by Mordecai Smyth who turns his gaze upon one of our personal favourite Barrett penned moments ‘candy and a currant bun’ here given a super sexy and sultry makeover that purrs and prowls across the grooves with cool cat like slinkiness. A near faithful kaleidoscopic trim from Sky Picnic for ‘Apples and Oranges’ might just paint swirly shapes on the eyeballs of those much loving of the Purple Gang while Octopus Syng do a wildly tripping cocktail out of ‘Flaming’ which between you and me we suspect its ingredients are heavily biased toward mushrooms of a magic kind. Unknown to us before today that is Wild Pink Yonder flirts with your listening lobes with a spot of nifty bubble grooved psych pop honeycombs which strangely enough joins the dots between the Heartthrobs, the Primitives and the darling buds. ‘Matilda Mother’ always the difficult one to truly get right you suspect and perhaps one of the more adventurous and complex offerings from Barrett’s fractured mind is here dutifully stripped back, dismantled and jigsawed together by Jack Ellister into a dissipating dream coat peppered in lysergic washes haloed in dronal tides which once faded emerges fully formed as a skedaddled noir jazz sortie ripe with wig flipping intent. ‘terrapin’ left in the hands of David CW Briggs assumes a wonderfully lolloping and smoked out off kilter Beck meets Simple Kid vibe while I  am voyager 1 round off CD1 and bring us neatly full circle with a hymnally hushed lunar rendition of ‘golden hair’ awash in bowed instrumentation. CD2 opens with Cary Grace – again another artist previously yet to trouble our hi-fi here coming up against ‘Cirrus Minor’ – a transfixing not say spectral pastoral posy ushered in to the sound of bird song and hazel tipped in a beautifully entrancing dream weave which once the arrest of a lone siren call fades is replaced a mind morphing slice of serene cosmicalia. Jay Tausig mentioned a little earlier this missive (and a little later again – just to keep you on your toes) peppers the listening space with some softly speckled and drifting lazy eyed psych pop for his interpretation of ‘fearless’. Mechanik don space helmets for some dandified motoric mind blasting for ‘remember a day’ while Folie Diamond stump up one of the sets highlights with their big beardy and out of it and wasted take on ‘let there be more light’. Like 1 am voyager 1, Rob Gould reveals a thing for bowed augmentation with the cosmic chime of ‘a saucerful of secrets’ – this dream dipped babe managing to touch base with both Stockhausen and Craig Padilla I admirable style. You can always rely on Sendelica to give matters a caning and ‘the nile song’ is no exception, enigmatic, poised and stately and possessed of the spirit of Jefferson Airplane at their most arresting. The fourth of the Mega Dodo quartet is the beguiling Crystal Jacqueline whose version of ‘Grantchester Meadows’ is just pure sonic sorcery while the portraits do a neatly bright eyed and sun shiney jig on their version of ‘Stay’. A kind of triptych of sorts ‘pastoral symphony’ by Extra features a serene suite dimpled by the ghosts of ‘cymbaline’, ‘green is the colour’ and ‘crying song’ which by these ears ought to be something that ought to appeal to the Terrascopic subscribers among you as it translates to the same mercurial craft of a blissed out youthfully fragile porcupine tree in parts whilst at other nodding to Dan Haywood and the New Hawks. Interstellar Emily nail down a pretty wig flipped version of ‘interstellar overdrive’ (be honest – what else did you expect) this one arriving adorned in 60’s keys and freaked out lost in the moment riff rupturing pyrotechnics while bringing the whole set to a rousing finale space rocking psych prog motoric messengers Vibravoid go headlong in the daunting netherworlds of ‘Chapter 24’ to get all experimental, weird and electronically freaked to venture landscapes once upon a time ventured upon by Louis and  Bebe Barron albeit with the inclusion of the Clangers and Robbie the Robot.

Many thanks to Keith over at Fruits de Mer for sending over a spare copy of the remix CD that comes accompanying that forthcoming uber grooving tripadelic Coltrane set that pits the kaleidoscopic hive mind of the Earthling Society and Superfjord on opposite sides of limited coloured wax. Six humungous head trips daub this 70 minute mind frying experience with Astralasia opening the account with an 11 minute hyper driven cosmic brain spin of Superfjord’s cover of John Coltrane’s ‘love supreme’ here remodelled as the ‘deep magick’ remix – this mind warping slab of psychotropia blissfully engages worlds occasionally inhabited by psych cadet Sonic Boom whilst stopping off at various points to doff space caps to the trance toned battalion of the Ozrics as well as the smoked out and gone mystic mindset of those lost pioneers New Fast Automatic Daffodils – just don’t be none too surprised when bits of you start dissolving and forming strange shape cutting dances before your eyes. Superfjord’s own interpretation of the same cut can be found here captured from a live performance, man this wasted stuff, absolutely out of it bonged out acid fried psych wooziness imbibing heavily on a seriously wig flipped jazz tonality that trips its way straight off the turntable and into the core nexus of your subconscious to decorate it in smoking beatnik kaleidoscopia whilst simultaneously shaping up as though some magical and mystical carpet ride piloted by a stoned out Acid Mothers substance sharing with the Bardo Pond. Enter stage right Earthling Society whose frankly awesome re-drill of Alice Coltrane’s ‘journey in Satchidananda’ is here recalibrated by the trance toned hand of VHSHead who it must be said turn in a superbly panoramic Eastern trimmed mantra coiled in a serene glacial stillness rippled in subtly washes of cosmic sunspot activity. Next stopping point on your journey into the void, two cuts pitting both Superfjord and Astralasia in polar alignment, both inspired by John Coltrane’s ‘love supreme’ – the first ‘shamanic waterfall’ – a 17 minute brain melt retuned as a tripped out bliss kissed dream machine odyssey very much mining the shadow traced landscape of Spacemen 3 or more pertinently Spectrum albeit piloted by a super chilled hive consciousness piloted by fellow FdM alchemist Craig Padilla, while the other – the fracturing ‘fjord transit’ loses itself in deep meditative states slowly emerging to reality traversing the astral planes upon a senses destabilising motoric pulsar purring in its wake gaseous psychotropic vapour trails. Left to round up the set, Earthling Society set the navigation dials for the heart of the sun aboard the previously unreleased ‘Dharma Transmission’ – a strangely intoxicating sore thumb that finds the Earthling ones in playfully experimental moods even by their own high standards, here Australasian earthbeat, Vengelis overtures, Bebe and Louis Baron / Schaeffer / Stockhausen primitive electro-scapes, Neu! inflections and stoned out beatnik Bevis mirages all coalesce and converge into a deeply alluring slab of cerebral ju-ju. Quite frankly if you thought the brace of cuts on the Coltrane 7 where far out then this remix set might well prove to be the freakiest wig flipping outing ever to stagger out of the FdM sound house hands down.

Don’t know whether to laugh or laugh even more, do you reckon we could make the destruction of Julian Cope records a national sport. Of course we joke Jules. We say this because there’s a fair amount of pathological venting of anger being administered by hammers and baseball bats upon various Cope platters in the video to Eureka California’s wilfully deranged ‘I bet that you like Julian Cope’ that we are at present putting pen to letter suggesting a Morrissey remix. And no we don’t joke Stephen. Anyhow mini Stonehenge’s aside – nice touch that incidentally – this is probably the most unforgivingly feral, wired and frenzied 1 minute and 7 seconds you’ll encounter this missive and needless to say the rest of the year unless of course the Magik Markers make an unhinged last gasp band call before December run out of days – go on do it, do it, do it. Anyhow this is just pure manic delight built upon a stuttering and butchered Ramones coda that imagines a three way ringside head butt between the Violent Femmes, Teen Anthems and the Pooh Sticks, incidentally on the coolest of labels HHBTM  – so you know it’s a must.

If it weren’t for our feckless nature and incurably consistent talent for mislaying / losing and indeed forgetting about various downloads issued our way then we’d have gotten to this far sooner. LoveyDove pairs the collective talents of Azalia Snail and Dan West who together appear to have discovered lost song sheets packed with unfinished Bacarach scores or else cracked the theorem of time travel and haplessly crash landed in the late 60’s. Exploring some lost golden age of sound, the two sublimely fuse baroque pop with lounge, Francophile groove and flowery twee to creating woozy and fuzzy netherworlds. There’s a self-titled album about that we suspect we need to hear before we get very much older. Until then and for now we’ve been smitten in to surrender by a cut featured in the movie Space Station 76 entitled ‘less is never more’ which deliciously circumnavigates the  sonic worlds of Le Mans, L’Augmentation, Stereolab and the Sound Carriers and takes them on a mind morphing dreamy trip aboard a bliss kissed kitschy kaleidoscopic exotica pop magic carpet. Donning cosmic caps ‘luka fisher’ by contrast is haloed in a bubble grooved wrapping tripped upon a motoric underpin and silkily traced in an affectionately sultry strutting euro pop motifs that imagines a supercharged Space from the 70’s re-entering earth orbit to dock with Air. Assuming a soft psych shade adorned stroll much recalling of both Southall Riot and the criminally underappreciated Freed Unit ‘lou reed (don’t leave)’ which as the title hints is a tribute to the late Velvets man, this babe coming kissed with a delicately shimmering fuzziness that nods to the Jeffersons albeit as though rephrased by the Haight Ashbury. Adored in short.

 

A quick note from pipeline pedro (woah hold on wasn’t that a character from Blondie’s ‘rapture’ – of course I’m playing with your head and teasing) of remarquable stuff records alerting us of the imminent release of an EP featuring previously unreleased versions of Thunders groove – that’ll be Thunders as in Johnny. ‘real times’ be its name, it getting a release end of November – which I’m suspecting is – am I right in saying – Black Friday Record Store Day – I can’t keep up with these promotions these days. Anyhow 1000 copies on red (UK) and blue (USA), the set features 4 cuts produced by Lillywhite c.1978 comes replete with a poster and a photo coaster download card – looks quite spiffing if you ask me. Those of you nonplussed by the enthusiasm ought to check out the sneak pre teaser clip below of ‘(give her a) great big kiss’ which if anything comes adored in sumptuous 50’s styled teen purred traces of shh bop beat recalling the likes of Eddy Cochran and Alex Chilton. On our wants list that much I know is true.

Oh my – this bad babe has been the cause of mind wiring flashbacks since rearing upon our listening space, the latest from NY based trio GHXST entitled ‘galaxia’ is a hulking and brooding dark hearted mantra  emerging through a napalm haze threaded through with a doom dipped post-apocalyptic psych howl that quite frankly sounds not unlike some grim ritual to a black sun god embarked upon by the gathering of black Angels and Brian Jonestown types, certainly the best thing we’ve heard around here since that sublime janitors release on bad afro or anything bearing the name sonic cathedral tattooed on its hide, incidentally out via club mammoth.

   

Seesawing between enchantment and edginess, East London based trio Rubato arrived amid our listening space with an attaching press blurb promising ‘sounds like nothing you’ve heard’. Brave words with which to pitch up your tent up to, and it could have gone all horribly wrong as these things have a tendency to do if it weren’t for the small detail that ‘prelude with attitude’ is attached with a neo classical accoutrement spliced in elements of tension grizzled industrial grind simmered and sweetened by flotillas of musical mosaics whose trip hop tongue and symphonic wherewithal draws upon a lineage that sits somewhere upon the territorial family tree branch where at one end you might be inclined to find Moby whilst at the other Barry Adamson. struck with an unnerving sense of poise, elegance and magicalia on the evidence of this cut we suspect we need to hear more. https://soundcloud.com/rubatomusicuk/prelude-with-attitude?in=rubatomusicuk/sets/rubato

Ready to steal yourself in something truly ethereal and smouldered in the softly blossoming thaw of purring lunar pirouettes. Let us introduce you then to Corbu, a Brooklyn based 5 piece headed up by Jonathan Graves whose ‘promise me’ is due to embark upon pop’s orbital gravitational pull shortly via 3beat. This nocturnal love note comes traced and teased in the same kind of delicately demurred allure that at one time days gone past used to seduce the grooves of platters bearing the name of old school loaf recording stars Dark Captain Light Captain and more  specifically Seeland not to mention arrives in your listening space drawing you close with its quietly yearning murmured hush and frost framed sophistication which to us coalesces sublimely into something ripe for lights lowered affection.  https://soundcloud.com/corbu/promise-me    

We have, you won’t be too surprised to hear or read, managed to empty our heads and memory of exactly where or how we tripped across this. So while we try a spot of mind scouring visual following our tracks back type thing – no doubt meaning we’ll get lost somewhere along the line – so if all goes quiet shortly – send for rescue – here’s a little something by the Vicious Buzz of whom we have absolutely diddly information about (until that is we manage to nail either that errant email or recall where indeed we picked up the link)  – this we suspect falling off an album – track 3 as it happens entitled ‘in the air’. Alas no sound clips with which to share but safe to say we here a more than a tad smitten not least because this orbital love note appears to seductively freefall into the vapour trails of a cruise controlled pulsar craft navigated by Beatglider and assumes the kind of shimmering soft sheen cool that one suspects at least one number among their collective ranks has a secret stash of Homescience platters hidden for inspiration. Add the dreamy chill tipped nocturnal glow that bathes it and the incurably delicately affectionate yearn rippling from its core and I guess you could call it a slow burner.  

This is the annual Small Bear festive gathering which we will revisit in full via missives to come though not before a brief mention for three (okay four because we are greedy) carefully opened selections from the advent track listing. Entitled (cleverly I should add) ‘never mind the baubles here’s the small bear Christmas compilation’ (replete with mock Pistols sleeve) we’ve been quick to pick up the assorted seasonal soirees from familiar friends The Bordellos and Schizo Fun Addict (who should shortly be releasing a long promised split cassette – dare say we’ll get word on that the minute this is posted). Anyway sneak in with the playful ‘Christmas Mantra’ which as the title hints is just that, festive felicitations of love and peace set to a decidedly crooked lo-fi wooziness of chiming bells, drum machines, snowy shimmers, ghostly samples from ‘miracle on 34th street’, toytronics and some deliciously misty eyed post rockian noodling which all gather to coalesce into something trimmed in the kind of off centred kookiness you’d imagine escaping from the Freed Unit bunker though not before those imps the Cuban Boys had decorated it. As to the Bordellos, my my do I detect a grudge forming on the irreverent ‘happy Christmas (Alan McGee is an arse)’ – aligned to a seriously skewiff lo-fi psych beaten groove which baiting aside St Helens’ most famous snarl and sneer their way through 137 seconds of blanket bombing flat lining fuzz gouged snowball lobbing in the general direction of the former Creation head honcho all bookended by a choir boy reprise which we around here feel might just catch on this coming season time. Matt Bouvier steps in with the cheerfully uncheerful ‘Santa give me something to live for’ which once done with the bleary eyed opening tracing of bruised twinkles soon rears up close and personal like the onset of Santa’s reindeers over the hill to rip up the blues with a storming anthem charge that very much veers into festive territories you’d imagine would be found frequenting the grooves of a Wedding Present Christmas album. Previously unknown to us Harmony Dischord do some neat Dr Feelgood shenanigans on ‘ghosts’ and festoon the event with some superbly strutting power pop throbbed subtle glam. Does it for us – as said there will more in future write ups.  https://nevermindthebaubles.bandcamp.com/releases 

No sooner do we mention the aforementioned ‘baubles’ Christmas compilation from Small Bear and up pops a video for the postcode track ‘some things never change’ – a bit of an acutely slinky gem it is to that comes replete in smoking cool twanging reverbs and a softly teased crystalline psych purr that radiates with love crushed effervescence to sound like Melys (who these days this lot are evermore recalling) albeit rephrased through a Derrero viewfinder and spiked with spiky pop throb of throwing muses….

Back as promised with Adam Leonard, now midway through or thereabouts with the Octopus project which all things being well will see over the course of the next 8 months, 8 release and featuring 8 tracks all released on the 8th. The tracks feature an assortment of covers, live cuts (as with Fahey pastorally love note ‘my life’ featured here and culled from a rare CD-r set ‘to give up you have to bloody start’, rare audio from long since out of print stock and some rare unreleased gems prized from the Leonard archive. ‘Octopus part 4’ is the November selection which includes as its parting shot a sublime cover of Ultravox (mark 1)’s ‘just for a moment’ which we mentioned with much fondness elsewhere this missive. Taken from the ‘lucky seven’ soundtrack and to date previously unreleased ‘there is also tomorrow’ opens proceedings on this chapter, a sweet but teasingly brief glacial overture snow globed in a stately and stilled porcelain panoramic aspect. Staying with soundtracks – very loosely – dug out from that golden year of 2003 and prized from his ‘how music sounds’ set – ‘music for a slow motion film’ is adorned in the feint speckling of soft psych shimmers and ghostly arabesque swirls to craft out something that sounds not unlike a withdrawn and wounded Porcupine Tree happened upon in a late night studio rehearsal by Will Sergeant. In truth the best here and touched – one suspects – by Bowie / Eno’s immortal ‘Low’ there’s a chilling frostiness attaching to the previously unreleased ‘germans visit Frederic’ whose hollowing and edgy Mancini like sonic choreography had us much in mind of Gnac had he of course happened upon Bronnt in a dark shadow entry.  Elsewhere ‘the ballad of Brian Aldiss’ wheezes, yawns and weirds to a fracturing Barrett-esque mindset that pays nods aplenty to both Hitchcock and Orridge. Hitchcock as in Robyn is readily recalled again on the curiously saloon bar soiree that is the mellowing ‘taking time’ while ‘the twinkling of an eye’ – again pulled that aforementioned ‘how music sounds’ set is ghosted in a becoming atmospheric velour that recalls the quite perfect Grails. Essential then. http://adamleonard.bandcamp.com/album/octopus-part-4

Nifty slice of earworm from Rivertairs, we do believe their debut release as it happens, the Manchester combo gaining critical momentum from supports for Space and wow notices for their three track demo outing ‘fool’s parade’ which alas too much grumbling and heavy heartedness we appear to have missed around these here parts. ‘Jack’ (incidentally revelling in the murderous macabre of the whitechapel vampire Jack the Ripper) is in the words of the band themselves ‘ a suspenseful sonance plucking the strings of the imagination’ which in truth sounds  about right to us given its burnished in the kind of scousadelic grooving that was once the trademark sound of the legendary Deltasonic imprint (see the Coral et al) though here garnished for added effect with an acutely trained ear for a spot of authentic retro glazed  hip shimmying 60’s beat pop panache that recalls a more lighter toned and youthful sounding Of Arrowe Hill.

  

With ‘adventures in ausland’ looming on the horizon, here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come from James Cook’s platter in the guise of the freshly minted single ‘Lilly (a lover’s dream). The first of a promised trilogy of videos ‘Lilly’ reveals superbly Cook’s eccentric persona, what first nods ever so subtly in the general direction of an ‘on broadway’ motif slowly but surely begins to sprout and blossom into a curious chamber psych sortie hinting at a guilty secretive crush on both Lupen Crook and Paul Roland with a side serving of Neil Hannon, though it’s the armoury of swaying strings tiptoeing and genuflecting amid the groove that adore it with a baroque pop eclecticism that much recalls the Left Banke.

A  Cocteau-ian dream waltz is probably the best way to describe the demurring ‘new born’. Prized from the Sounds of Sputnik full length of the same name, it’s a collaborative shared experience with shoegaze duo Ummagma who both gathered together enrich and add to each’s sonic spectrum – the sum greater than its parts if you must. ‘new born’ is aglow in an enigmatic gracefulness teased in a statuesque poise, draped in the fineries of a classicist sonic tongue that finds itself stealed between the tender, the bruised and the yearning, like an orbiting satellite relaying lost love noted distress messages into the heavenly voids serenaded seductively to an almost balletic arc that shimmers crushingly to sly surrender all the time dimpled in sepia hazes and ethereal glazes. In short utterly transfixing and as though visited upon by some celestial happening.  

https://soundcloud.com/soundsofsputnik/new-born-feat-ummagma

https://soundcloud.com/soundsofsputnik/light-scheme-feat-ummagma

https://soundcloud.com/soundsofsputnik/overdrive-feat-ummagma

Video for ‘overdrive’

Man I’m so mellowed and laid back with this that we’re almost lying down just blissing out on the strange lysergic cloud formations imagining themselves upon our listening space ceiling. Alas absolutely bugger all information about these dudes who go by the curious name the limpid voyage sound – I’m suspecting they are based in Greece, but hey all you’re interested in is whether or not the track is much cop and I have to say it is for ‘barbarette’s summer coif’ is one of two cuts from a double b-side release on diskex records and kookily shapes up to sounds like the kind of 60’s  space age lounge ju-ju you’d imagine being piped through the lunar corridors of Space 1999’s Moonbase Alpha by an attending consortium of Moog marauding musical magicians gathered and assembled from the unified ranks of Stereolab, L’Augmentation, Pram and Plone all paying and playing some tripped out skewiff homage to Vangelis as impishly overseen by Joe Meek – admirers of platters grooving out of trunk and finders keepers will be richly rewarded.

A lovely little email from Minko who you may recall sometime last year (around this time as it happens) featured in these very pages with the strangely beguiling ‘creature’ / ‘sybil of Delphi’ and who having recently relocated to Cornwall leaving London behind had garnered the praise and support of no less a talent as Nick Duffy – brother of Stephen (Lilac Time). Following a rather quiet year Minko is now set to break cover with a new double A side single ‘I miss you tomorrow’ and ‘Mrs Magpie’. The former a dinky delight about missing someone you haven’t met yet courts upon a delicately demurring breezy tailwind whereupon its scoots through with such alarming allure to whittle out a rather frisky slice of sparsely crafted twee folk that hand holds skipping light headedly lost in dreamy pastures traced upon a bittersweet 60’s styled French pop bouquet that imagines Le Mans fronted by France Galle translating lost scores by the Sundays. However as flirty and attractively addictive ‘I miss you tomorrow’ is it’s the flip cut that had us a purring not least given over to the fact that ‘mrs magpie’ inhabits the kind of strange misty faraway netherworlds that link and sew both Susan Christie and Linda Perhacs into the colourful tapestry of femme folk along with Laura J Martin and in so doing set her aside as a musician uniquely gifted by a creative spirit that always manages to be ahead of her peers and already on the next page with this bewitching and spectral wood carved  rustic posy drawing you close with its hushed and intimate invitation daubing your monochrome listening days in vivid pastoral washes all showered in nursery rhyme enchantment.

I suspect sometime shortly before the Christmas shenanigans arrive that there will be a rather rousing festive tales from the attic lurking in cyberspace literally bulging with seasonal sentiment, the odd misplaced chord and the occasional barbed ditty, I mean there are only so many times you can listen ‘merry Xmas everyone’ before the dread spectre of your hidden dark half takes hold and control and proceeds to kick and punch the household sound system to destruction. If this sounds like you – yes you over there at the back – fearing brain rot from the endless cheerless loop of yesterday Christmas’ in the shape of slade, wizard, shaky and wham et al while all you crave is sparse minimalism and a sonic adulation of the true Christmas spirit, then fear not my weary listening discipline for we might just have what the good doctor ordered. Admired around these here parts, the Non Nonconformists – remember them from a little earlier when we raved over their debut full length – has just eked out their own Christmas sortie with a 6 second – well in truth – 1 second – eat your heart out Extreme Noise Terror. Anyhow whether some mischievous commentary upon the nation’s current austere programme or else a new form of musical species that scribes from the Wire are currently planning to lay claim to naming like say ‘unconcretism’ and into the bargain following it up with a three half page unreadable diatribe one thing we do know is that it saves from the tedium of tears, trinkets and turntable terror – but do remember not to blink.

Sounding not unlike some lost Lee and Nancy slice of voodoo groove shepherded away through the thumbing through of lost Waits manuscripts, new thing by Dutch combo De Staat entitled ‘down town’ comes pulled from an EP (‘Vinticious Versions’) for cool green recordings and finds them reworking a handful of cuts from their three album strong back catalogue and re-appraising them in a newly forged sonic landscape. Much like the imagined face down between Cave’s Bad Seeds and Mick Harvey. ‘down town’ arrives blooded upon a Lynchian styled brooding, a shadow forming preacher man groove sways with a slinky dead eyed noir tasting tipped in darkly grounded blues accent all trimmed delicately in a late night smoky jazz glazing replete with prowling twang arpeggios and momentary apertures of divine dreaminess. Does it for us.

And so we return to Ummagma whose latest ‘Kiev remixes’ set features a seductively purred rephrasing by in demand Japanese producer Haioka. This honey arrives dream glazed in vapour trailing celestial mirages tenderly framed and beguiled in the kind of amorphous textures that in the blink of a star gazed eye could easily pass for some ethereal out of body variant of the Cocteau Twins seductively cosy toeing to an equally frost tipped Sakamoto, divine is I recall the perfect way to describe it.

 https://soundcloud.com/ummagma/kiev-haioka-remix

This is rather gorgeous not least because it comes possessed of a beguiled weightlessness that has it arcing apparition like courting a bruised vulnerability shimmered in monochrome motifs and surrendered in a disarmingly attractive neo classical aura peppered in vapour trailing sighs and the lightest touching of key flurries. It’s by Lyttet – a French / Irish duo who as the press release proudly describes collaborate by means of file sharing ‘à distance’ and have so far eked into the pop cosmos one single in the shape of ‘forever those days’ with this one entitled ‘distance’ shortly to follow in arresting pursuit. In short the best thing we’ve heard around of these parts since the advent of No Ceremony upon our sound player and certainly something that ought to have those among you loving your dream pop subtly daubed in glacial elegance adoring in swoon formations with its ghostly lovelorn whisper.

Pushing my neck out a little, I’m going to say rather bravely that this might well be the most divine thing you’ll hear this side of the seasonal surge, new thing from the Unthanks entitled ‘mount the air’ – the title track no less which is being sent out into the December cold as a herald alerting to the arrival of the ensembles forthcoming February pencilled full length set of the same name. what a way to break a four year silence than with this numbingly beautiful wood crafted slice of deeply alluring folk noir, without doubt the finest fancy to have flirted upon on our decks of this ilk since that rather eloquent and enchanting Lisa O’Piu single for Autumn Ferment (whatever happened to them) and the long missed days of Shady Bard. Utterly adorable and really beyond words that could truly do justice to describing its beauty, everything about it just purrs – its poise, graceful majesty and that sense that you’re being taken gently by the hand to fabled twilight worlds where roam fairy tales and nightmares while this warming winter song delicately smothers you in an archaic musical tradition caressed in lost folk tongues almost as though as were Mum where channelling Wyatt. The version on the album incidentally is extended, blossoming to an apparently breathtaking 10 minute centrepiece whilst sometime late February / March the collective will be hitting the road for a short UK tour. Essential.

Now I refuse to be drawn into such semantics as to whether a TV series by the name of ‘Osiris’ actually transmitted in the late 60’s – I leave you to draw your own conclusions as to whether this is just another spot of hijinks presided over by the Holy See. One thing that is a certain and more pressingly of relevance to us is that this latest visitation from out of the Villa 9 sound labs courtesy of Simon Magus and the Holy See finds the ‘theme from Osiris’ sumptuously decoded and draped in the kind of classic vintage era ITC / TV21 grooving that one time or another appeared the bread and butter of such in demand composers / sound choreographers as John Barry, Edwin Astley and Ron Grainer with this appearing as a distant middle sibling to both ‘Vendetta’ and ‘Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)’ whilst the adoring of Harpsichords throughout nods ever so subtly to 90’s forward thinkers Broadcast and Pram and might well strike a chords with those Italo doyens of retro – the Shado imprint not to mention aficionados of the late 70’s ‘hammer house of horrors’ series. https://soundcloud.com/villa-9-1/theme-from-osiris-by-simon-magus-and-the-holy-see  

Picked this up from a facebook posting, new thang from Anton Barbeau entitled ‘clubbing in Berlin’ via beehive records – a damn fine thing it is to that manages to relocate Kraftwerk’s Kling Klang base of operations to Studio 54 while flying in Georgio Moroder to decorate the decks and give the spectacle an uber retro glazed classic era Blitz club throb which apart from anything else ought to have those much admiring of everything from Visage to Minty literally gagging.

Here’s Gazza the Numan revealing his sci-fi influences for a short BFI promo everything from Gerry Anderson’s early outings into TV puppetry via ‘supercar’ to the genre defining ‘blade runner’……

Incoming via those purveyors of bad boogie rocket recordings, the next in their ‘collisions’ split series (that’ll be release number 4) sees two leading lights of the Italo psych / drone scene squaring up to each other across twelve inches of heavy duty wax (at least I’m sure it’s on 12 inches because the white hills / heads face down was). Anyhow arguments over size aside Evil Blizzard do their stuff with the additional assistance of teeth of the sea acting as sorcerers apprentices while on t’other side lurks Mamuthones whose ‘don’t be choosy’ assumes something of a mind wiping monolithic hypno-vibe tethered to a devilishly prowling motorik underpin amid whose frazzled mantra a psychosis bubbles with white hot locked groove tension dinked by a side winding riffola that courts the kind of flatlining fringe flicking skull fracturing that has television remodelled by a youthful left hand albeit subtly garnished with a jazz mindset. Damn fine if you ask us.

 

Seriously I lose track of these things, so if forced down with hands tied behind my back and subjected to tickle torture I’d be inclined to say that I’m fairly certain we’d encountered Scandinavian indie pop heroes Honeymilk in previous despatches. Second EP ‘Sanguine Skies’ is just out – or at least about to emerge coinciding with a short UK tour. From that EP ‘a scene in between’ has been sent ahead on reconnaissance sounding for all the world as though it’s just been dropkicked from the mid 90’s and arriving to do bad things across your turntable with the kind of pristinely turned sassy swagger of a youthful Charlatans gone wayward after sneaking lessons from Primal Scream, Soup Dragons and the Roses whilst arming themselves to a subtle though acutely infectious soft psych soul rubbing built upon a rolling and smoking underpin all kissed off with a rousing anthemic fanfare. What more could you possibly ask for. Quite possibly the coolest thing we’ve heard all day. https://soundcloud.com/honeymilkband/a-scene-in-between

This babe literally purrs with sexual tension, new thing from the highly thought of the plastics, ‘All I really want’ is all at once slinky and curvaceous not to mention arriving with its seduction setting on maxima, aligned to an attention grabbing armoury that freefalls between a defences breaching poise and a prowling cool in the blink of an eye all this decoded and laced in the skin prickling arrest of a swooning panic attacking purr which all said by our reckoning sounds not unlike a horny variant of Mansun. Recommended in case you hadn’t gathered by now. https://soundcloud.com/theplastics/all-i-really-want-1

And now for something that’ll truly blow you away, not by force of sonic, sound or bluster but by sheer nature, quite something else this ‘un and while lights in the attic have always been good on delivering quality time and time again – this believe you me blows all that that has gone before in the water. The name Sylvie Simmons may among most be more familiar in music journalism spheres, author, critic and historian she has since the late 70’s plied a reputable craft and garnered herself that most rare respect among her peers. What’s not so obvious though is that journalism was a happy by product borne from out of a hesitancy to chance a dream of performing herself. It would take the persuasive call of Howe Gelb last year to get her to commit to tape, and on that tape recordings that would shape this her debut album. Buddying up to Light from the Attic makes total sense, of course the label has an enviable repute and pedigree at unearthing lost nuggets from forgotten vaults with their catalogue by and large sounding like a vintage archive or more so a library of overlooked wonders. Rarer still the outlet for a debuting full length. But then hearing ‘you are in my arms’ and the surface contradictions soon began to dissolve and disappear for this comes phrased in the kind of sepia framed timelessness softly spell crafted in a delicately demurring twinkling 50’s velour that hints to a bittersweet song craft long since forgotten, here trembled and softly spun braided upon a lolloping country tweaked motif that aches and coos to sound like something dreamed from a love lorn exchanging over a crossroads garden fence  between Doris Day and Patsy Cline with a side serving of Isabelle Campbell and Karen Dalton for added measure. Unreal.

    

Those of you wondering what various members of the Foxes have been doing since going on an extended hiatus might do well to hook up to the Octopuses amid whose ranks you’ll find lurking Adam Bell and Alan Grice. Pressed up on a cassette the four track ‘cool story bro’ single promises to be something of a 90’s neo psychedelic revivalist and should give hint as to what’s expected of the bands forthcoming debut full length ‘yes please’. Imagined as Adam watching an old TV performance of the band from that un-golden year 1985, ‘cool story bro’ chirps and dallies with a subtle vintage sounding electro prog pop cool that curiously chimes in unison to those other arbiters of the retro Goodnight Lenin albeit here straying ever so slightly left of centre and as though glittered up and mainlining on a strange species of Supertramp, though that’ll be a strange species of Supertramp channelling on Thomas Dolby frequencies whilst transmitting on devilishly infectious MOR hybrids. Flip side ‘girl’ isn’t bad either, a total differing beast which from the very brief sample we’ve heard appears to be freewheeling in the same kind of day-glo new wave Buzzcock-ian groove that the Scratch managed to make their trademark sound. And before we omit to say – out via the lick music imprint.

 

Back with Darren Hayman, just eyed this on a twitter post – indeed before you ask – yes we are omnipresent and yes we are watching you Ed of Essex and put it down you don’t know where it’s been. Anyhow we just spotted this and am now feeling miserable that we’ve a sizeable hole in our record collection, it’s by the Papernut Cambridge who oft feature Mr Hayman on drums though on this occasion have rested the usual restrictions to allow him to dabble in a spot of keyboard and saxophone playing. Available as a handsome three x 7 inch boxset or your bog standard CD variant ‘there’s no underground’ collects together 12 cuts with various bonus cuts and other such alternative mixes – a copy of which I suspect – we really must grab as our own before we get any older. For now here’s (I think) a sneak preview taster entitled ‘nutflake social’ – a bubblegrooved extravaganza that’s managed to time travel itself back to the early 70’s to buzz bomb itself on a tangy mouth popping sherbet cocktail of glammed out power pop references along the way nodding to t-rex, wizard and the rocky horror picture show whilst very much fuelled on the lo-fi loveliness of a youthful pooh sticks.

I’m fairly certain that as yet we haven’t had the pleasure of encountering this dream dipped delight, nine exquisite minutes of leave all your troubles at the door, hook up, tune in and lose yourself astral ambience in the company of eat lights become lights as rephrased by fuxa via ‘into forever’. Words fail. A full on immersive experience traversing into the very heart of the minds cosmic eye arrested to the lullaby lilt of lunar chimes upon a celestial carousel spraying an alluring peppering of heavenly radiance like an out of body at rest ‘at bracken’ era FortDax. Utterly transfixing. https://soundcloud.com/fuxa/eat-lights-become-lights-into 

Bugger me this is best filed under uber jaw dropping psychotronic groove. Just had a note from the band with download links to their forthcoming set ‘anima mundi’ which alas we haven’t had a chance to hear in full just yet though judging by this sneak preview ought to shape up to be a beast of a platter when it emerges in the new year. Of course we refer to Wales’ purveyors of psych prog ju ju Sendelica who’ve just dropped this monumental skull splitter entitled ‘master Benjamin warned young Albert not to step on the uninsulated air’. This sub 13 minute bad boy sees them traversing the kind of heads down brain mushing sonic trajectory that Mugstar have cornered as their own in recent years and the Earthling Society appear acutely adept at kicking out at the drop of a cosmic hat. a hulking head trip nailed to the floor by a grinding motorik grooving upon which all manner of melodic mirages pulsate and fracture causing your perspective axis to wobble and go all skewiff and off kilter, add in the feint traces elements of tropicalia and the bliss kissed hazes and its guaranteed some of you will not be returning from this frazzled kraut juggernaut with all your bits and mind in the right places. Available in a plethora of limited coloured wax editions though sadly the must have box with rare as hen’s teeth splatter wax variant,  t-shirts, cd’s, demos and all manner of hand crafted goodies has long since left the stall. Boo hoo.  https://sendelica.bandcamp.com/album/anima-mundi

Many thanks to Carlo of Fuzz Club records who sent us a message giving a heads up to a handful of well-heeled releases that should by rights be on the festive wants lists of all in tuned shade adorned day-glo dudes not least the hot off the press news of a forthcoming uber limited black angels / sonic jesus split. Before all that though there’s the small detail of outings by Singapore Sling and the Underground Youth (both of whom will feature a little further on this missive). For now though – and again due on the blocks for a closer inspection later on is what on first listening is proving to be an essential 2 disc compilation entitled ‘reverb conspiracy’ which features a 15 track gathering of the psych clans among the track listing a veritable roll call of doyens of bonged out groove including Camera, Mugstar, the Oscillation, Lola Colt et al – all of whom will be inspected more closely in a future dispatch. That said you don’t get off that easy for the heads among you (not that you should need prompting) may do well to note the inclusion of a revamped version of Goat’s ‘hide from the sun’ featuring a guest appearance by BJM’s Anton Newcombe – this version spooked, spell crafted and swirled in all manner of dissipating wooziness and stoned out mirages so potent that one whiff could floor a floppy fringed psychedelic horse let alone those well versed in chemical concoctions and here found channelling some far eastern mystic while snake dancing to the most insanely curvaceous arabesque motif we’ve heard since the cavalry came hurtling over the hills charging to the fanfare of an Invaders of the Heart ditty. And as though that wasn’t enough and just to prove we here are no slouches when it comes to spotting a good ‘un three tracks in, there’s always Deathcrush to play austere death disco tag courtesy of the formidable ‘you now’ which if your none too careful has the unnerving ability to turn to stone all who get caught in its frenzied glare – and should be something on the radar of those much admiring of both the Vibration and Controller. Controller. And just as we were about to wrap matters up for now up pops this sparsely etched dark beauty to vie for our affections – from the excellently named the History of Colour TV – the ice dripped early 80’s bruised ‘suddenlines’ slipstreams solemnly and seductively into the sonic vapour trails once emitted by the likes of b-movie, zerra 1, modern eon and the wild swans to allure all with its quietly majestic dream popped bliss kissed grandeur. Oh blimey the Singapore Sling is pretty nifty too – look just leave it alone till next time. http://www.fuzzclubrecords.com

This I’m not too ashamed to admit has been causing no amount of hysteria and hijinks since being discovered sitting up on our welcome mat begging like an impish and excitable puppy wanting to play mischief. Debut full length from Aeolipile whose limited seven inch release from early summer you may well remember (and dare I say hope you purchased) knocked us bandy and flying into next week serving up some of the most wilfully obtuse, angular and frenzied ear happenings we’d had the pleasure of hearing that season. ‘mapping the diaphragms of drowning cats’ is the first of a brace of quality skewed ear gear heading out of the foolproof projects sound house right now this babe coming piped in molten hot free jazz squeals the likes of which that should have the heads of Ayler purists at best case scenario popping at worst positively melting. Erratic, demented and above all furiously caustic, Aeophile do things under the flag of jazz that might lead some to suspect just might be illegal or at least frowned upon. Squirrelling ad hoc time signatures – what am I saying time signatures this is pure spontaneous combustibility which in recent memory the last time we heard anything veering anyway near its sound space was perhaps that recent can can heads outing or further back still inside ov a butchers shop. And don’t get me talking angular the pitching here is so irregular and obtuse that you might need a protractor to gage its acuteness. As to the sounds, a positive anarchic disfigurement of the melodic form, skedaddled and frenzied, there’s an abruptness rather more an urgency as they try insidiously to superglue the disparate forces of James Chances and the Contortions and Henry Cow with opening cut ‘apportioning God’s piece on the pissed’ being particularly singled out and sure to give your sound system a heady workout not least because it sounds like Tubby Hayes on bad acid. Somewhere else lurking the noise niking no wave seizure of ‘the old which pocket shuffle’ and the frankly odd and worryingly fried ‘ondol’ which marks its spot in out hairing even the mighty Apatt at their most impish. Best of the set though in terms of head trepanning you into next year is the frankly barking and fearfully head melting. Proceed of course at pace but with due care. Available as a limited to just 75 physical CD or else download. http://www.foolproofprojects.co.uk   

What strange chemical additives west hill blast quartet are on is clearly a subject matter up for debate though one things for certain they’ve a curable knack of terraforming sonic landscapes out of barren nothingness with kitchen sinks, variously assembled appliances and the odd penny whitle being thrown into the kooky soup for good measure. ‘blast #2’ out now via the wilfully un-hip foolproof project imprint is the Caines, Spicer, Garside and Pyne concocted second full length. Again circumventing the outer regions of the jazz sonic dictionary in so much as it’s wildly freeform and removed of barriers, walls and parameters, its possessed of a playfulness so absent from its partner in crime Aeolipile’s debut that rather than seeking to turn your headspace into mush is more content to send you on a surreal and zonked out trip into freakville weirdness. Yes of course there are reference markers that man Tubby Hayes looms large though scratch a little a let the blighter soak and permeate into your listening space and what you slowly begin to hear are elements of chamber jazz, native sounds, art pop and skronk along with a curt nodding to brand x and a whole heap of Bablicon (not least as on the rain swept noir of ‘lonesome etchings’ our favourite here – but shush don’t tell the others) though it’s on ‘spake whackin’’ were they appear to guided by the spirit of Goons musical meisters Max Geldray and the Ray Ellington quartet and dropping some serious Goonland /  Michael Bentine lunacy with those imps Volcano the Bear cooking up the beard stroking groove. As appears to be the case with all things foolproof projects this comes in an ultra limited 75 only pressing with download copies for the turntables light among you  Smoking. https://westhillblastquartet.bandcamp.com/album/blast-number-two

Now you won’t be too surprised to hear that we’ve mislaid the email that announced this to our ear space but then Damn Vandals are no strangers to these pages for ‘twist up and tangle’ a twinset released earlier this year had us cooing in the aisles making fond eyes at the hi-fi. This time of asking two more killer slabs of garage growled groove in the shape of ‘cities of a plastic world’ and ‘too lazy to die too stoned to live’ – the former a wig flipped locked grooving mama that struts and swaggers with cool aplomb and a teeth bearing scowl rogering your sound system with a rumbling rout that sounds like some sleaze slimed boys night out undertaken by the Jim Jones Revue and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – bad assed groove. That said the latter cut is no shy wallflower purred as it is with the kind of cock sure fuck you grooving of a prime time Godfathers.

And here’s the video to that quite wonderful hillstrom and billy single mentioned elsewhere here – or here in fact https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/hillstrom-and-billy/

And so we return back to Roadside Picnic for a brace of releases imminent on the Jehu and Chinaman overseen plastik tonez imprint and with them an apology to Justin Wiggan for the delays thus far in getting these out. You may recall us mentioning the imprints debuting outing – a phonic reconstruction of Queen’s ‘sheer heart attack’ – all part of a proposed 10 set odyssey all coming pressed up on strictly limited cassette issue (10 in all with no expectation or plan to repress). First up a quite extraordinary rephrasing of Kate Bush’s critically acclaimed centrepiece ‘hounds of love’ – here recoded as ‘HNDZOLV’ – a truly amazing journey into Bush’s imagined dark psych, analysed and rethreaded through his Roadside Picnic eye Wiggan has dissembled the original and reconstructed it by way of his own impish appreciation, what could have gone horribly wrong is instead resuscitated anew to fall succinctly between lengthening trademark passages steeled in disquieting eeriness and moments of tranquil beauty. Some thirty years since its emergence the enchanted landscapes carved out by Ms Bush have grown wild and feral, a ghostly aura presides over Wiggan’s aural safari, the textures and motifs of the original are found subsumed, more so cannibalised into a hugely listenable albeit dislocated 60 minute weird stew that lifts to moments of delicately dinked radiance down to chill tweaked intervals of desolation and detachment. Here found sounds, sonic manipulation trickery, native calls, spliced loops and white noise dialogues terra form these lands anew, the recognisable sound of ‘running up that hill’ appears rephrased as a slow sorrowful dronal tide while the author hones in to extrapolate and enhance ‘the ninth wave’ suite with most notably ‘hello earth’, ‘and dream of sheep’ and ‘waking the witch’ interweaved and coalesced to forge the re-appraisals building blocks.

As a mark of respect celebrating 10 years passing here’s that John Peel bloke and his desert island discs…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kleEifBNHLo

that Peel bloke again this time his appearance on Room 101…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVguQIozzY8

summer passes and the season of death and renewal is upon us as we pass through the Autumn solstice with Samhain fast approaching, what better way to wrap up for the hibernation than with an hour’s worth of wyrd folk recitals courtesy of ‘a minstrel came out of the meadow’ podcast. Gathered here are some of the finest purveyors of musical magicalia scored in ancient dialects, 18 sacrificial sonic lambs for the winter harvest feature within, some known and familiar others as mysterious as the mosaics they murmur. Bewitchment and beguilement await beyond the twilight veil, for here you’ll encounter the frankly near perfect the hare and the moon with the spellcrafting ghostly pagan folk posy ‘the rolling of the stones’ and  the heavenly choral recitals of ‘the call’ by Mervyn Williams with Apollo 5 performing while at the other end of the sonic table lurks Keith Seatman whose frankly odd and decidedly disorientating ‘into the well’ peaks into the back of the Radiophonic cupboard to eke out something much reminiscent of the ghostly desolation once committed to wax by the much missed Stylus for the mighty Ochre imprint albeit here as though tweaked by a super chilled Wagon Christ. Somewhere else Concretism whose debut full length should be with us any day soon, serves up ‘rabies warning’ and with that very much traverses into Zombi / Steve Moore horizons. moments of sheer serene beauty as on Wyrdstone’s spring heeled finitely plucked rustic fancy ‘lost at ty canol’ which aside having us much minded of Fahey chimes deliciously to a deceptively dreamy artistry that recalls that sound sculpture David A Jaycock. Moving further along the dial and sounding not unlike a youthfully bliss kissed flying saucer attack transmitting love note motifs across the lunar voids perches lost trail’s ‘black clearcut forest of damaged polaroids’ while quite something is Emily Jones’ ‘little ghost’ – a forest dwelling fantasia of succulently jubilant flutterby’s crystal tipped in woozy folk mosaics – an utterly beguiling listening experience which among this impressive call to arms figures as the best moment here. Admirers of Dubstar at their most vulnerable will do well not to resist the lunar pop charms of the purring ‘the bailor’ by  frost tipped electro poppers Kid Moxie which acts as a perfect partner for the divinely tear trimmed cosmicalia of the soulless party’s ‘death of an astronaut’. http://www.mixcloud.com/chris-lambert/a-minstrel-came-out-of-the-meadow-artists-from-songs-from-the-black-meadow/

incoming from the inflexion imprint and taken from self titled debut full length platter, Dolman – who feature amid their ranks members of DROKK and Malachai – are set to release ‘the rainbow’ which if you haven’t heard thus far on your travels we suggest is ripe for kerchiefs at the ready for a hollowing beauty it be, dark noir classicism softly purring  like something emerging from an underground Bristol scene of the early 90’s, this quietly seductive slice of spectral soul comes ached and bruised in a distressed vulnerability so crushed you feel duty bound to offer a consoling arm. Also included is a simply divine remix by Hypersync which sets the original into lunar orbit to align with the sepia stirred soul cool of Musetta.

Best get ready to strap yourselves in, don your space helmets and affix your visor shades for here’s something truly special and dare we say mind bending. A mammoth 62 minute head trip featuring a studio head to heading deep psych summit meeting gathering together Russian kosmiche-nauts the legendary flower punk and dvory – the former featuring amid their ranks members of Organic is Orgasmic and Grand Astoria. Entitled ‘the time, the place’ this hulking dream trip has, as you’d rightly imagine being afforded a 62 minute workspace, time to get – shall we agree to say – a little loose and woozy, draped in dream weaved finery the opening passages float, dissolve and dissipate like some tripped out Ariel Kalma meditation albeit flavoured in Bill Laswell essences, dissolving dub dialects and trip toned tableaus have you much recalling a stoned out and reclining Green Milk from the Planet Orange getting high and wasted on Amon Duul mantras, genteel and serenely dreamy. Twenty minutes in and things begin get a lot darker, fog bound fanfares usher in the onset of dronal tides wherein matters get a little Roy Montgomery in terms of feel, mood and atmospherics before returning full circle heading home upon – as were – woozy astral glides stopping of briefly to daub your head space in a momentary flash of dust draped Tibetan mysticism. One for Embryo purists we suspect.  https://thelegendaryflowerpunk.bandcamp.com/album/the-time-the-place

One of the finest releases to appear on the adored Hidden Shoal imprint in recent times – and believe you me there have been many to choose from – was a rather beguiled outing from the Kramies entitled ‘wooden heart’ – a six track EP no less which is being made available for a very limited time for free to download – and we suggest you do just that. Why should I you might rightly question – well simply because amid these six delicately demurred treats there’s a sense of finite craftsmanship and a peerless pop brain at work here that’s metered out to a song vocabulary that’s steeled in sensitivity and cradled in tenderness, in addition though we’d find it hard to believe you needed further encouragement, the EP features a rare guest appearance by Grandaddy man Jason Lytle. As to the sounds within, simply something else, statuesque, fragile and deeply touching, here you’ll find  the dream dipped porcelain poise lushly serenading ‘wooden heart’ spirits together the collective artistry of both the Crimea and Mirror Mirror while the fragile yearnful crush of ‘sea otter cottage’ mines deep the heartbreak of Julian Lennon’s ‘saltwater’. Somewhere else ‘upon the northern isles’ is gracefully wrapped in a sepia trimmed spectral gauzing all delicately hollowed in an ethereal carefree hush all framed in a humbling and stilled widescreen aspect. All said dreamy, demurring and emotionally destroying. You can download the EP from here – http://kramies.bandcamp.com/releases

While in case you missed them first time of asking – those previous Kramies mentions in these pages…..

https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/the-kramies/

https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/kramies-2/

https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/kramies/

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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