missive 300 – 4
Missive 300 – part 4
Revolutions of a 45 kind….
Long time no hear from the much admired static caravan imprint and the blighters hit us with three quite simply exquisite releases. First up ‘the road’ by Simple Kid who if is the same Simple Kid we think he is hasn’t appeared in these pages since the days of quills and parchment paper. Anyhow this damn fine thing was intended as a Christmas treat type special affair from the Caravan boys but somehow got waylaid and delayed in the seasonal rush and should be emerging around about now as a limited download and as a promo CD which is what ours is replete I should add with a dinky little elephant man film card insert – thanks chaps. In short and taking exception if you will of my lapse into the anglo saxon but it’s a fuckin big beautiful beasty of a single which I defy you to dislike or else we’ll come down to your gaff for a quiet word in the ear. Nuff said. Well not quite – imagine if you will Clinic and Tunng locked in Beefheart’s infamous ‘trout mask’ log cabin going stir crazy and cooking up a smoked post apocalyptic futuro grooved slacker electro hymn grizzled and bleached with a dust scavenged skin and blessed with a hope against hope feel good melodic mantra blistered with Lou Reed aftershocks, the spirit of Johnny Cash’s ’the man comes around’ and Beck’s ’loser’ all encrusted upon a bedrock axis serviced by PIL’s ’rise’. the absolute dogs dangly bits.
Next up and imminent from Static Caravan shortly is a strictly limited 7 inch remix set of Diagrams’ ‘antelope’. now we’d love nothing more than making your eyes ache with oodles of info about the Diagrams and what fab and splendid things they or more pertinently he is currently doing (for it is tunng man Sam Genders) – but alas we can’t. this honey arrived with absolutely no info or fanfare except to say its out soon in a limited pressing of 300 wax delights all pressed on translucent violet vinyl – can’t wait. As said a remix set comprising of the ’discopolis’ and ’ghosting season’ re-drills of the track ‘antelope’ which appears in its original casting on Diagrams ‘black light’ set via full time hobby. Alas we haven’t heard said album as yet – hint hint – though have been acutely aware of various remix postings appearing on sounds cloud most notably the ghost eyes edit which you should be able to source with a little google search tinkering. As said two takes on ’antelope’ – admittedly difficult to split in terms of a favourite – for the former sounds not unlike a celestial union of a Debussian inspired Broadcast and Art of Noise locked lovelorn and channelling some heavenly 80’s chill drilled dream casting of McLaren’s ’madame butterfly’ though here relocated to some idyllic south pacific hideaway. The latter proves to be no slouch in terms of smooch effecting subtle sensuality as it casts it melodic fishing net upon the oceanic waves of the dubbed out trip-a-delic dialects of the much missed Discordia – certainly one for those missing their Seeland and Seahawks fixes.
Last up for now from Static HQ is a rather nifty blue vinyl 7 inch from Dan Haywood’s New Hawks. Much to our embarrassment and obvious ongoing ineptitude we here where most horrified to find a copy of Mr Haywood’s lavish looking self titled debuting triple disc box set still replete in shrink wrapping – all apologies I guess for not having picked up on this most rare of talents earlier. That said less lazy critics have indeed been quick to heap praise on Haywood and Co and deservedly so for his attuned knack for marrying a broad spectrum of traditional styles to an application of softly serenading celtic flavouring is serviced with the kind of lilting upbeat exquisiteness that dissolves defences and permeates beneath the most defiant listening radar. This set – again limited – I’m assuming to 300 only – comes as previously advertised pressed upon 7 inches of blue wax and gathers together two cuts from that aforementioned debut here viewed beneath the spotlight and re-trimmed anew. Between you and me first contact with these cuts and I reminded of a sunnier Darren ‘Hefner’ – flip cut ’superquarry’ which in our much humbled opinion steals the set hands down is built upon a shoe shuffling rhythm whose hairs are dissected and split to within a breadth of a familiar coda applied to Lou Reed’s ’walk on the wild side’ though here ostensibly blossoming and beaming with a radiance summarily caressed by a laid back and idyllic cocktail of sultry sand drifting grass skirt swaying Latino lilts and love locked sweeping fiddle forays. The arming of snake winding detailing, the intricate stop start side stepping and the airy prairie trimmed sighing pedal steel slides endow ’John’s shoes’ with an irresistible country blues smokiness and the kind of youthful 60’s era Dylan-esque dalliance that wouldn’t look all said to out of step on a Rodriguez platter – more where that come from please.
Damn jammage ‘she drowned’ (self released). Last featured in these pages to much applause following the release of their simply superb ‘well hanged’ EP last year – see http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=382 for words of further illumination. Third outing from this Londinium collective sees the unearthing of ‘she drowned’ – a jaw dropping dark hearted jamboree of Victoriana coffin lid knocking penny dreadful musicalia fancifully furnished in a grim goth-ique drapery of music hall merriment and murder ballad-eering all devilishly dinked and drilled in a deathly doo wop detailing of macabre n’er do well-ing and fronted by a sinister soul stealing Tom Waits sound-a-like backed by a lustful alliance of rejoicing sirens. Need I say more – an accompanying moving picture show goes a lot like this…….
Okay so this is the moment where we start tying ourselves up in knots and get a little confused – so bear with us while we sort out our backsides from our elbows – in coming from Hibernate shortly will be a set by listening mirror entitled ’resting in aspic’ a collection of tranquil ambient collages featuring the combined talents of Jeff Stonehouse and Kate Tustain. To date they had a handful of ultra limited releases by way of such imprints as anew, heat death, audio gourmet and rural colours as well as an outing on the criminally limited postcard series via the aforementioned hibernate – more about the postcard series in a second. for now though ‘the leech pool’ – a cut taken from said album which we spied via a face book link can be enjoyed in all its tranquil tenderness via the a strangely isolated place site at http://astrangelyisolatedplace.com/2012/02/14/listening-mirror-resting-in-aspic/ – a beautified nine minute moment in which to pause for reflection, this porcelain pretty comes ice carved in all manner of lulling loveliness what first appears as something touchingly fragile, lost and hurting – as though a moment suspended or perhaps caught in freeze frame to be regretfully poured and mourned over soon turns full circle and from a perspective of hurt and isolationism thaws resplendently into wells of hopeful optimism – a point should also be made of its exquisitely finite execution and use of space as the classical trained ghostly sepia key murmurs flicker sedately to opine seductively to a backdrop of bird song, water cascades and the slow fade of dronal timbres.
Back loosely with hibernate or rather more the postcard series – now up to release number 18 – these strictly limited outings are 100 only affairs and have been known to disappear off the catalogue listings in a whisper on pre sale alone. The enigmatic Antonymes is next up on the release roster with ‘light dispersed’ a sample of which you can arrest to via http://store.hibernate-recs.co.uk/products/16035 – of course Antonymes needs no introduction in these pages – these days ensconced onto the delightfully demurring hidden shoal imprint he first came our way via my space some two years or more ago – refined, elegant and statuesque – his hymnal like glacial artistry traces a line between a mindset informed by the stately classicism of Satie and the cold steeled majesty of Budd. As much to do with the eloquent as the elegant, his work has attained a measurable degree of hushed silence, listening experiences have bordered upon attending a church like recital such is the reverence, the poise and the delicate detail of his ambient craft. ’light dispersed’ is the case in point. Genteel almost ghost like ’light dispersed’ deals in the slow turn and cyclical immersion of textures and moods, a guiding key motif reverberates in the distance serving as a changeable point amid the twinkling frost framed chimes – from its slow pulsating slumber a soft euphoric tide emerges at the 4 minute mark and what first threatens to scorch the tranquillity in a blaze of eclipsing intensity passes by without incident to trail into the quiet stilled ether. Blissful.
Recommended to us by those hibernate guys is an imminent release from the heat death imprint by a Moscow based musician by the name of Alex Tiuniaev. Entitled ’blurred’ this set had a limited outing via Audio Gourmet with this version I believe being bolstered by the appearance of three additional cuts. Anyhow we’ve had a brief peak at ’daylight’ – we’ve included the video below – and well its simply breathtaking drawing as it does deeply from a classically informed populist pop palette that stretches back to Debussy and Vivaldi right through to Nyman, dimpled with an overtly affectionate feel good vibe and succulently airbrushed with a divinely arresting wooing waltz like accent, through the opening dronal overtures emerges a joyful rapture of swooning and swaying string sweeps trimmed sensually to a regal poise that’ll arrest and melt the iciest of musical souls. Stunning in short.
Staying with hibernate for a second longer – rummage around the home page and you’ll find a link to their free download page wherein you can fill your boots to the tune of four volumes of samplers selections from the hibernate collection. Alas we don’t do tweeting – such a feckless concept which we’ve never really ascribed to though that said we did titter at learning that the collective function of tweeting is known as twatting – don’t you just love those impish geeks – probably get trolled now. Okay the reason I mention the tweeting thing is because you have to tweet to download the set or else do some donation thing via band camp because the physical CD – only 25 of them have long since vamoosed. Is it just me getting a headache with this or what. Why complicate matters. Okay so we are listening to volume IV – a selected pic n mix of cuts featured on releases put out by the label April – October last year and lovely it is to most notably field rotation whose ’and tomorrow I will sleep’ is equipped with such bliss kissed bleary eyed beauty that you just want to throw a comforting arm around the blighter while the pairing of Atwood and Newyln on stilled majesty of ’miniature 5’ may just draw an amazed admiring gasp with the two seemingly complimenting each other perfectly – expect more Yellow 6 related words later in this over lengthy and somewhat transmission
Culled from their forthcoming album ‘in a dim light’ – due for record counter damage early March time – Nedry return to the fray – the darkly demurring pre teaser single ‘violaceae’ shimmers and shivers to a seductive shadow land that tripwires to a statuesque down tempo grandeur whose hollowing monochromatic murmur touches tenderly the likes of mum, fever ray and a less bruised and emotionally damaged portishead…..
Spied this in the current issue of Shindig – issue 25 to be more precise – more about that a little later – tucked in the reviews page you’ll find a glowing critique of Milwaukee based Trolley’s full length ’things that shine and glow’ of which the shindiggers describe as a ’modern classic’ and who are we to disagree. So turned by the overtly gushing references to the Zombies, REM and Teenage Fanclub that we felt obliged to look the blighters up on you tube in the hope of some listening solace to pass away the endless drudgery of our homebound journey from work. So far we’ve sampled the delights of three cuts from said set – a begging email has been fired off in the hope of securing a full copy for further detailed inspection – the title track in particular catching our ear with its delightfully twinklesome snoozing sleepy headed motifs dissolving deliriously into softly psyched orbs of crystalline chiming detailing to which admirers of both clock strikes 13 and the luck of eden hall ought to swoon to. With its sly eyed paisley pop opines and drifting and sighing countrified tonalities ’love the way you look’ on the other hand is pierced with the kind of detached bruised reflection that was once in the artistic armoury of a youthful Paul McCartney, splice in the pop pleurisy of Bacharach and a pre disco Bee Gees and you have yourself something tearfully stained and hitherto equipped with a golden age pop craftsmanship. All said nothing quite surpasses ’in the end’ as it tailgates melodically a prime time Velvet Crush era c. ’ash and earth’ whilst investing itself in an irresistible pop tang comprised of nods to the baroque pop of Left Banke and the prickly power pop of the Raspberries – quite gem like if you ask me.
‘in the end’…..
Currently garnering a degree of attention among the well heeled and in tuned underground are duo Clockwork Era, a quick peak at ’fade away’ here captured live at the buffalo bar at the tail arse of last year reveals something that should appeal to all those of you taken by scowling scuzzed out blues, potently raw and dented around the edges this swamp gouged honey tripwires to a early 90’s Sonic Youth accent albeit one slightly damaged and frazzled around the frame.
Mr Fogg ‘stay out of the sun’ (kicking ink). Been an absolute age since we heard anything from Mr Fogg – can it really be as long ago as that split single with parka via worst case scenario. Since then he’s released an album – which ho hum appeared to pass us by – he’s become the darling of the inkies and these days picking up airplay on them there tuneless transistor types Radio 1. Still we here are grumbling over that missing album not that we’ll let such a small detail influence our review of his latest single – its crap – ha ha – only joking. Quite fine in truth touching as it does the same kind of inwardly frail demeanour that clipped a certain Mr Yorke’s solo effort a few years back. Stilled in a shy eyed frail elegance ’stay out of the sun’ is cradled in the same kind of coolly warm understated lo-fi electro minimalism that was once the given craft of minotaur shock and more pertinently birdpen – whatever happened to them we often wonder amid worrying sleepless nights – which all said is mighty fine by us. And staying with Mr Fogg – typical of these things – not so much as a postcard or a copy of his album – and the bugger hits us with a shed load of mixes starting off with the ’Mr Fogg dub’ edit which ups the loveliness quota several notches not least because it appears that the original template has been stretched to panoramic proportions with the underlying mood somewhat more thawed and playful, add in busying stuttering rhythms which occasionally break formation and go all woozy and seal it all up in a kind of lights out mood mellowed cosmic trippiness and bob’s your uncle – winner stamped on its hide. Better still is the ’bondax mix’ which adds in oodles of celestial chorus’ and dubtronic dialects and then furnishes the finished product with a deeply demurring down tempo dream weave pierced with cool sophistication and a sepia trimmed romantic eye. Last up and a readily more gritty affair is the Lex Jones spoken word mix which already garnering radio play solemnly ekes out to a hollowing cautionary warning shot that masks something of a love note whose monochromatic shell ruptures at intervals to radiate amid a sea of buzzing panic stricken shocks.
Downloads and sound cloud samples via http://soundcloud.com/mrfogg/stay-out-of-the-sun
Shindig #25 – still proving itself to be the essential quarterly journal to satiate all your 60’s obsessing freakbeat, psych, paisley and power pop needs, last time out their centrepiece feature on Mott the Hoople was always going to take some beating and some beating its taken because this edition lays its sights on the Bee Gees. Oft derided and passed over with a sneer by the snobbish elements among 60’s purists, the Bee Gees 60’s canon is rightly hailed by some – especially author Andrew Sandoval – as being on par with the Beatles in terms of writing and producing while it should be noted that the bands 67 full length ’Bee Gees 1st’, 69’s ’odessa’ and 71’s ‘Trafalgar’ are never far from the hi-fi. Celebrated by a 16 page centrepiece their 60’s career is diarised in the first of a two part special chronicling the bands early beginnings in Australia right up to the release of their global hit ’Massachusetts’. Elsewhere and much admired around this here parish Soft Hearted Scientists and Mary Epworth are afforded crucial in print spots along with modular and giuda while both M-80’s and the leopards are dusted down for re-assessment as are mighty baby and the modern folk quartet not before Jerry Shirley is summoned in for a brew to chew the fat over Humble Pie. Over course matters wouldn’t be complete without the instructive and highly informed taste setting reviews to the back of the magazine – that John Fahey 5 disc box set and the deluxe edition of the Monkees’ ‘instant replay’ here apparently treated to an expanded 3 disc soiree are heading up the wants list while Karen Dalton’s ’1966’ set has been getting a deserved hammering at chez losing today not to mention that sleepless nights are being suffered at the knowledge of unsighted as yet singles from Bevis, syd Arthur and the stags doing the rounds that urgently need sourcing, purchasing and playing.
Baby Woodrose ‘nothing is real’ (Bad Afro). This is the dogs bollocks make no mistake – Baby Woodrose have been away from our hi-fi for way too long for our liking, there’s news of a new album ‘third eye surgery’ set to dock shortly via bad afro – sometime in April we hear – for now though the first teaser cut ‘nothing is real’ is set to open eyes, ears and minds. Sounding not unlike a flower decorated cosmic honbo-ing Peter Gabriel Lorenzo Woodrose follows his mystic muse on a galactic cruise to summon up something of a kaleidoscopically cradled slice of mind arranging space blues boogie that arrives wig flipped and fried into a loved up beads n’ beards mushrooming mosaic of swirling tranced out sitars, star kissed lysergic twists and bliss kissed loveliness – sexiest thing in planet pop right now.
Okay time to worry – Beyonce remix competition – there that struck the fear of the Almighty in you – indeed I had to rub my eyes to – why oh why hand over cheap advertising to beyonce you may well ask and ordinarily I’d agree with you – but we did note with some curiosity via an activity update from Volcano the Bear – well okay Aaron Moore – who passes as one quarter or is that one third these days of the Volcanoes that he’s entered said competition with the submission of his rendering of ‘end of time’ (no me neither). At first we thought he’d taken leave of his senses or had taken a serious blow to the head but then we were reminded of their cover of Ultravox’s ‘Vienna’ which we thought was pretty nifty and Mr Moore does own up to having initially taken to the task with a degree of impish amusement and ended up enjoying the remixing process. Okay like that is it. The track can be heard and voted for – should you wish via http://endoftime.beyonceonline.com/tracks/1235 – be warned as this may well split the VtB campers because far from weirding matters Mr Moore in fact repositions the original template into a dislocated frost framed isolationist chamber of sorts and leaves it to somewhat thaw at the two thirds mark wherein all the shuffling beats and the calypso-cana dialects sort of shoe shuffle in to some reasonably passable celebration which alas Smash Hits obsessing adult kids worryingly strays into Lionel Richie territories notably ’all night long’.
Sheepy ‘glum’ (blang). Much loved around these here parts – misty eyed murmurings for these hardship for some belt tightening times no less from one Luke Jones here found shying away under the cloak of his Sheepy alter ego. ‘glum’ follows hard on the worn heels of his debuting platter ’predator’ which alas sadly escaped the scrutiny of our usually acutely eared radar – grumbles aside – this ‘un is a bit of a gem that freewheels with much aplomb into terrains more commonly found on wax artefacts bearing the name Lupen Crook on their run out grooves albeit here as though sojourned to the great Mersey delta for a spot a noir dinked scouse-a-delia in the company of the Coral with some added aural appraisals from the much missed Rialto for added measure. In the great favourite of the set debate the vote count is split given that ’craic inspector’ over on the flip snakes along in nifty rapid fire fashion amid a short sharp shock treated buzz sawing 8 bit blip bleached burnishing all cemented down with a nag nag nagging powered post punk pop throb that shimmies frenetically across your headspace like an angular bit between the teeth ‘homosapien’ era Pete Shelley spiked with a side serving of schizoid Wire-isms and Devo-dimpling. Need I say more.
http://toypianoband.bandcamp.com/album/itsy-bits-bubbles – the story goes like this, Mike Langlie by day a sometime artist and musical mad scientist and resident of Boston, MA passes by a thrift day one sunny day. In its window he eyes a vintage toy piano which awakes some distant calling from his childhood persuades him to part with cash. Fascinated and beguiled by its strange thought lost sounds he tinkers with said retro oddity. In time a whole playroom of similar dinky instruments joined the toy family and soon his residence was alive and chirping to the sound of adorably affectionate and somewhat terrifically twee toytronic tuneage. How to best describe ‘itsy bitsy bubbles’ – well – er – zonked out and zany – there I’ve said it – and if I recall rightly that’s only the third time I’ve ever mentioned the word zany in a review – the first was upon hearing Zea and the last time was upon encountering an early Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones full length. ’itsy bits and bubbles’ comprises of 12 toy room tunes that merrily sneeze, snuffle, chuff, puff and serenade their way into your affections, like an overactive 8 bit gridlocked playground parade of chirping bells and chimes these screwball salvos craft and mutate jubilantly to create a daft and dippy tropicalia of lost sounds from pre school learning days – here to the rear of the toy cupboard confines lurks a wonky wonderland whose template chatters manically to a rich and whacked out sonic heritage that owes more to Raymond Scott than to Fisher Price. With titles like ’flibberty gibbet’ and ’paisley poodle’ (itself a xylophonic maelstrom of jittering rhythms and waltzing space Wurlitzer’s which early entry Tigerbeat6 takers will swoon to) it doesn’t take a genius to see that this set offers an affectionately twee collage of music box mosaics, ’pigeon walk’ snoozes and yawns like daybreak in a kindergarten while ‘jellybean tree’ imagines a sunny day picnic at a local farmyard and techno heads with just the right amount of e number saturation may well bliss out to the cosmic techno garlands that are festooned upon the quite simply kooky ‘loll dropper’. all said best moments come with the mutant calypso funk of the parting ’tough cookie’ a kind of smoking bit blitzed slice of wonky blaxploitation whilst dare we forget to mention the bleached and wired lo-fi atari acid dipped take on Faltermayer’s classic ’Axel F’ – oh and just for the record Mr Langlie assumes the nom du plume Twink something which I haplessly forgot to mention – oh and there’s oodles more of this stuff all over band camp.
Part 5 soon….