tomato sauce lasers, sausage lassos

Various artists

Tomato sauce lasers, sausage lassos

Bearsuit Records

If I quietly mention ‘got something new from Bearsuit Records’ then I’m sure regular readers will be in no need of introductory passages. However for the slackers among you either several pages behind the rest of us or else found stumbling across this web page thinking it was some sort of religious retreat and in abject fear and worryingly wondering what  hell is this ungodly place you’ve managed to find yourself in, then perhaps step forth, read on and get yourself a musical education – it won’t guarantee a safe passage into the next life but it’ll least make your listening experience a lot weirder and all the more better than the manufactured follow the leader pap pop that day time radio rot their heads to. Edinburgh’s Bearsuit Records are your original weird ear kids, is it coming up to a decade now that they’ve been mischief making, warping the headspaces of the curious minority operating on a diet of Dadaist, keytronic, surreal, abstract, electrified loon pop – often procured from Japan or thereabouts, taking the baton of Scottish label cultdom from the likes of Creeping Bent and Benbecula they’ve coasted the far edges of outsider pop.

Sometimes demented, often deranged, indelibly impish and blatantly skewed, Bearsuit have over the years cultured for themselves a brand name in forward thinking non pop. Ah pop. I wondered when we’d get to that. The fact is Bearsuit do pop, it’s just that their idea of pop might not necessary conform to your tried, tested and frankly tired – verse – chorus – verse template, instead it’s an eclectic taste reserved for those who prefer seek out their sound loves rather than have them easily served at your advertisement hounded media outlets.‘tomato sauce lasers, sausage lassos’ as the title might well hint, is a satisfyingly strange selection gathering together 17 ensembles /artists unified with a common intent to fry your headspace and send you on your own journey along the yellow brick road to musical taste acquirement where moments of bliss kissed sounds sit uncomfortably aside the frankly fractured and goofed out, not always for the faint of heart agreed, but guaranteed packed to the rafters with ingenuity and precocious – even if that does mean skedaddled and skewiff – artistry.   

Senji Niban opens the ‘tomato sauce lasers’ account with the clearly zonked out ‘boogiewoogie tokyo’ – a slice of skedaddled powerhouse dementia of pre electronic boffin Raymond Scott proportions from a time when he was still band leading and not near bankrupting himself building a humungous sound laboratory to house electronic devices so big they had their own zip code, this frazzled dandy sounding not unlike some lost ident for a seriously skittish slab of Cartoon Network surrealism. Up next Haq serve up ‘antics in a maze’ – an indelibly crafted slice of disorientating dream pop ghosted in ethereal whisper tones and very much teetered with the kind of off centred romantic dramatics that oft spirited the grooves of Takako Minekawa. Emerging from a strangely kaleidoscopic haze appear the pretty pop posy that is like this parade whose sweetly dimpled and 60’s sprinkled candy confection ‘nearby reality save our soul’ sits somewhere on a sun bathed fence between the new seekers and free design. I’m fairly certain we’ve mentioned Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shima Shimai’s ‘of / trying to teach someone to whistle’ in previous dispatches at some point, what first appears as a cold steel slice of isolationism a la elemental sumptuously abruptly turns on a coin and in the splitting of a second what was first monochrome is deliriously coloured in bitter sweet euphoric swathes – utterly adoring stuff. Proving to be no slouch in the affection stakes, Ryota Mikami’s ‘buddha jumps over the wall’ might well be in a parallel universe an insanely skewed and oddly deranged half cousin of the Go Team, a demented carnival of sonic waywardness whose lineage crookedly traces itself back to the outlandishly goofy pop off Tuesday. Bunny and the Invalid Singers do a neat line in shoe gazed though I expect it’s probably not the kind of shoe gaze you’re probably attuned to if you’re a patron of all things rocket girl / club ac30 – rather more ‘ask the man inside your head’ applies the vapour trailing effects pedals to maxima before pulling back on the brakes and marooning itself on some idyllic desert island outpost to rest awhile lazily spun amid the mellowing haze of Mancini / Grainer musical mosaics. Gluid’s aptly titled ‘weightless traveller’ is a suspended moment of tranquil pastoral lounge-tronica that’s temptingly phrased in the kind of richly warm and affectionately far away drifting away tonalities that at one time or another used to grace the grooves of releases by ellis island sound. I think I’m right in saying that Greguy have / has featured in these musings previously, accompanied by fond words which if I’m recalling rightly might well have centred around this very track. ‘minor injury’ is a chicly caressed slice of suave electro pop that smokes seduction and may well have a few older more attuned listeners recalling in an instant Le Bleu from a few years back. Once emerging from the dreamy haze Hayato Takeuchi’s ‘mock progukurere’ proves itself as a gorgeously lilting spectral folk cutie dissolved in ethereal flurries. Okay granted it’s a bit cuckoo in its apparent ignorance or perhaps avoidance of time signatures preferring instead to go off in tangents and follow its flights of fancy barely without a scarce warning, hint or indication. Now we here adore Whizz Kid, fried alchemists with a want for the bizarre, surreal / abstract and skedaddled and well, ‘clones’ we are happy to say does not disappoint in the peculiarity stakes, that said fairly normal and playing to the rules on this occasion and, unless our ears do deceive, sounding not unlike an inebriated marching band of toy soldiers on a Sunday parade. Those of you much appreciating and indeed missing the wired happenings that at one time used to fall out of the Tigerbeat6 imprint with worrying regularity might be minded to hook up to 0point1’s fried ‘infants gathering storm data’ who appear to be so fluid and brimming with ideas that they’ve cobbled the pesky blighters together and thrown them in a sonic washing machine and tuned the settings to a kaleidoscopic hot wash. Shinamo Moki on the other hand prefers something a little more ice sculptured and lullaby-esque in texture with the shy eyed ‘Zeal’ thawing seductively much like an orbiting starry eyed ISAN. Another who should prove no stranger around these here parts is Harold Nono here with ‘tahiik’ – a bit of a gem ghosted in shadowy noir trimmings and spy themed mosaics all presided over by brief moments of the kind of sinister edgy chill that recalls Budd and Barry. LTPimo on the other hand condense everything for a brief firefly visitation on ‘mimmoriotones’ which aside only hanging around for a minute we here are sure that beneath the hectic and chaotic channel changing glitch-a-rama at play the hints of something translating as pure pop perfection sits  subdued and buried deep beneath the kooky melee. ‘of course we weren’t always superstars’ – Jikan Ga Nai’s offering to the table is a lulling ethereal buzz bomb suspended in flotillas of dreamy star kissed collages while Annie and the Station Orchestra’s ‘nearer my God’ is a most disorientating though strangely demurring affair blending and fusing light and dark tonalities whilst arrested in sepia traced operatics and oceanic dronal swathes. Ageing Children are left to wrap up matters with ‘slow motion stampede’, an ominous sleepy headed moocher which if I didn’t know any better sounds not unlike the Grails totally out of it on industrial strength tranqs marooned amid the cold minimalist landscapes of New Order’s ‘movement’.

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