archiv – victory garden

pulled these from the near legendary Victory Gardens website – a much missed label – p.s. there will be Southall Riot reviews soon, check out Phil’s  454545 imprint – well dandy – and on a last note can anyone tell me how to access old losing today files apparently barred by a robots.txt

SOUL01   SOUTHALL RIOT “Bombus Hypnorum “


Not content with delving into various mediums with which to present their releases, which in the past have been anything from 8 track cartridges to spliced tape segments, SOUL or for those who hate acronyms, Sides of Unequal Length, is a spin off release project [of VG] and acts as a tape only splinter label. First up features some tasty rarities featuring those loveable hippies Southall Riot. I really am of the opinion that if this lot were from Tokyo, Osaka or maybe Adelaide, that the press would be wetting themselves in anticipation of every release and running to place the laurel reef at every conceivable opportunity. As it is, geography aside, the Riot boys do seem to come up with some of the most interesting releases around, alright, sounding in the main like there from another time, but all the same aural treats. ‘Bombus Hypnorum’ rounds up 16 various outtakes, alternative cuts, and ultra rare live sequences (from the most stage shy band in the U.K. after the Screen Prints that is) of the Riot repertoire. Something for all here, opening with the freakish feedback orientated beat pop blaze of ‘In the valley of the down’ before moving with aplomb to the four track version of ‘Amplifier Morning’, their classic single of yesteryear, here delivered with a raw lo-fi edginess that excels the final cut. If memory serves me right ‘Falling Slowly’ first appeared on their split longplayer for Earworms subscription series some years back, it’s atmospheric ambience and use of ‘shipping forecast’ sequences predating Stylus’ ‘Skomogarph’ period by a whisker. Elephant 6 stylist admirers should cock a favourable ear to ‘Radio of the Oldest Kind’ while ‘Diamond to Plastic’ is slick in thoughtfulness of the kind that should honoured by sitting crossed legged and staring in wonder. Mystical reverence comes in the shape of ‘Encyclopedia Astronautica’ before we all take a head trip into astral planes with the krautrock grooves of ‘Sunhead’. Crucial. Further releases in the tape only series are set to feature Trencher and Thee Moths. [Mark Barton]
And it’s been far too long since we had anything from Victory Garden (home of the mighty Southall Riot, Trencher and first hideaway of new darlings of the sparkly set Hot Chip) with which to worry our hi-fi speakers with, but lo and behold like the London Bus system you wait around for ages and several come at once, so to then do the VG boys who in their infinite wisdom have realised their prolonged inactivity and decided to make amends with this towering split release.

And before we proceed – do not, I say, do not be worried about Brighton’s Phil Collins 3 it’s only a name not some kind of apocalyptic joining together of some evil unholy trinity featuring old baked bean boy, nah Buster is happily away somewhere far far away from a recording studio proving to the world at large that there is a God after all although Busted and the like give you pause to consider otherwise.

Where were we? Hey Colossus and the Phil Collins 3, top stuff. The former kick in with the blood curdling ‘Ghost Ship’, down and dirty riffs aplenty that ultimately rumble ominously with abject menace. This London based quintet have already featured on releases for Johnson Family so you know instantly this is going to be shit kicking stuff of the highest order, think swamp blues as though dredged by a mean sounding Mudhoney but with Shellac pretensions lurking in the shadows. Killer stuff.

Flipside features the debut outing for Brighton’s the Phil Collins 3, and guess what they serve up three tracks. Welcome to the lunatic fringe not quite to Cravats proportions but you get the sense that records by the Scars and the Cardiacs can’t be too far away from the their collective hi-fi’s, in particular the rampant frenz of ‘Greenfly ate my dog’ is cut with the same stuff as to give many a would be listener nightmares for weeks. Elsewhere the dislocated ‘Jeff’s Grapes’ will in a perfect world ensure that dance floors up and down the nation will be laid to waste, a riotous carnage of ill fitting rhythms and stop start key changes – which to us is well, perfect. ‘Fartbeat’ probably the most together cut here offers hope (or concern depending on your viewpoint) that this lot may indeed live and breath the same air as me and you.

Essential, especially if you have tiresome neighbours. Also comes equipped with a neat looking Chris Phillips art tag as if you needed any further encouragement. [Mark Barton]

And what better way to open up this fortnight’s missive than with a spot of insane, inhuman earwax removal without anesthetic courtesy of the frankly scary Trencher. Limited to just 100 copies all pressed on dark red vinyl, these cuties are going like the preverbal hot cakes. Trencher treat us to five slabs of head numbing brain purifying grind core. Remember how we all thought Extreme Noise Terror, Slayer and Nepalm Death were the dogs bollocks just over a decade ago, well this lot not only beat them in the speed and thrash stakes but as if to ram home the point, they run them over and reverse to make certain they ain’t getting up. Charming titles such as ‘Head trauma’ and ‘Erotica of flies’ ensure that this won’t be played at little Johnny from down the streets 4th birthday party. Gruesome. Flip the disc for a spot of Dadaist from Kurt Schwitters recorded in 1932 and in German. Are these lads and lasses at Victory Garden serious? Not wishing to sound disrespectful but there are times when it sounds like ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ as done by Dick Dastardly’s sidekick, you know the daft one, long coat, funny hat, daft whistle. Yes him
from Losing Today
For a debut outing this is astounding, there are people who’ve been in the business for aeons who couldn’t hope to reach this level of craft man ship that this duo create over the course of six tracks. Overall sounding close to Will Oldham/Palace Brothers, Hot Chip pride themselves on slow evolving melodies, partly coloured with a sense of the new alt country and partly still decamped in classic Gram Parsons and Buffalo Springfield lines. ‘Beeting’ the opening track really has a sense of Neil Young in calmer and thoughtful moments about it. ‘Perfect Circle’ has to be the best of the six tracks, weaving inconspicuously hitting a slightly weird moment half way through when you think the CD players about to have heart failure. ‘Perfect Circle’ just snakes endlessly, capturing and holding your attention long passed the Ry Cooder-ish solo at the close. Most curious and welcome is the closing track, given the purist nature of the e.p. as a whole, ‘Mersion/Version’ sees Hot Chip utilising synth sounds to great cinematic effect, though methinks they’ve tampered with the mastering which sounds by and large warped, adding I suppose to the twisted nature trademarked elsewhere. A perfect medicinal cure for those who prefer a more traditional and earthy approach, and to think that if all is true as reported by Victory Gardens they have at least one hundred songs in the can.
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