Tales from the Attic
Revolutions of a 33 and 45 kind.
My, my we do spoil you. Is spoil the right word, would torture perhaps be more fitting. Well here with another missive, just a few more strays to come before we move onto the rebranding exercise and start putting slowly into place some professional tweaking of the blog site. Yes, professional – get us. After years of sitting on our hands preferring to swim beneath the radar, often so far deep beneath the surface that we’ve been invisible, we are now in a position to start flexing our arm and spreading the word. Fear not the quality won’t change, still the same nonsensical nonsense that we’ve prided ourselves on, still the same typos and badly written thesis like ramblings, only brighter and more shambolic than ever. Hell we might even start replying to emails, though based on past evidence might I suggest you not quite jumping up and down waving the happy / depressed flag and holding your breath just yet. Safe to say we’ll be doing updates of happenings as and when they start lurching towards fruition.
And so another missive, we’d like to think a varied cornucopia of ear candy treats is to be found lurking here, among sonic delights this time of asking……..
Pulco, senji niban, haq, like this parade, anata wa sukkari tsukarete shimai, ryota mikami, bunny and the invalid singers, dead leaf echo, Michael and hare and the moon, beautify junkyards, vic mars, daphne oran, midwich youth club, victories at sea, vukovar, phil Reynolds and the indigo children, pig outlet, gluid, greguy, hayato takeuchi, david o dowda, menace beach, ringo deathstar, chloe march, whizz kid, 0point1, shinamo moki, sand snowman, satans satyrs, jon brooks, Harold nono, ltpimo, jw gruber, concretism, jikan ga nai, annie and the station orchestra, ageing children, melmoth the wanderer, Patrick gowers,unknown, colin towns, komackt kats, migrant, hanging stars, imaginary people, esb, die wilde jagd, aosmosis
Dip in the ocean – an introduction to pulco
Once upon a time, well 1998 to be more precise, a track by the name ‘radar intruder’ ushered from the house radio one night and in our lives and long held affection. By Derrero it made the lower end of that years Peel festive 50. Three and a half minutes of blissfully perfect pop possessed of an unerring knack for shimmying beneath your well guarded defences and with it – around our gaff at least – always considered a bit of memorable gem.
Now any right minded person at this point might just be scratching their head thinking where is he going with this and thanks for the trip down memory lane. Well much to our embarrassment Pulco was in said band Derrero and has been for the last decade or more been hatching little nuggets and releasing them beneath our usually astute and watchful radar on the folkwit imprint. ‘dip in the ocean’ is as the full title hints a kind of bringing you up to speed compilation gathering together various previously released EP’s all of which to stunned and humbled horror we’ve managed to miss.
‘dip in the ocean’ reveals a creative artistry ever watchful, wandering and withdrawn from the maddening crowd that is pop, many who’ve stumbled across, for example, Lux Harmonium via the esteemed Static Caravan will be alerted to the trace elemental similarities in so far as the crystalline toning, none more so is this the case than on the soft undulating lilt of the carefree and dreamy ‘tudor grains’ which arrives possessed of a demurely dinked lineage that draws close to Magnet’s ‘Wicker Man’ pastoral lilts. The same airily rustic devices are utilised on the shyly bitter sweet soft psych shimmering of ‘place lid on me’ which A B Leonard enthusiasts may do well to investigate not to mention those whose hearts skip a beat at the mere appearance of a youthful Kevin Tihista looming on their turntable player. Then there’s the homely sighing porch lit creak of the blissfully cast adrift and drifting ‘wearing down the well’ which had us in mind of an optimistically thoughtful June Panic sparring with the panda gang nee bdi’s nee the Lancashire hustlers, while those fancying of something totally off the wall and done with an impish grin might warm to the crookedly playful ‘Whoops’ which features, or so it appears, some junior members of the Pulco family not to mention some Radiophonic meets Raymond Scott wackiness . Best moment of the set for us though is the opening salvo ‘song 37’ – a lolloping gem rippled in hiccupping lock grooved motifs all kissed with a smoky sea sawing sleepy headed 70’s vintage – quite fetching if you ask me.
Available digitally via http://pulco.bandcamp.com/album/dip-inthe-ocean-an-introduction-to-pulco
Been a fair old while since Dead Leaf Echo arrested our turntable, new single ‘lemonheart’ is so ultra limited that physical copies pressed up on clear wax have flown the coup on pre sales alone which as you can imagine has had us all a sighing and a tad disconsolate. A pretty little twin set with the side flipping lunar lullaby like Cocteau-ian murmur frosted in a moment amid some ethereal vortex that is ‘sunlessoul’ stealing our affection. That said lead out opus the love noted ‘lemonheart’ is no shrinking violet arriving ablaze in vapour trailing wisps of crystalline chime charmed shimmering 60’s motifs. Utterly fanciable fringe flopping swoon pop. https://deadleafecho.bandcamp.com/
Something else that’ll be getting mentioned in more detail in the coming days aside a killer set by the Beautify Junkyards is a charity compilation collated by those Mega Dodo dudes. In aid of Save the Children so dig deep, the collection entitled ‘tiddlywinks’ features nursery rhymes rethreaded by some familiar names – icarus Peel, us and them, octopus syng et al – however to whet your appetite so to speak a slice of strangeness from Michael Warren and the Hare and the Moon by the name ‘the land of nod’. Chill toned disturbia that to these ears sounds as though it’s emerged from the shadowy recesses of a surreal Carroll inspired Mr Barrett psyche, a darkly trimmed gem tethered upon haunting motifs and a sense of a resigned terror that stirs, lurks and prowls with dread intent draped in ghost light haloes of which it goes without saying that long standing admirers of Paul Roland will dig with deathly relish. https://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/tiddlywinks
we stumbled across this on one of our little sojourns around the inter web, forthcoming on clay pipe from Vic Mars a limited to only 300 set entitled the land and the garden’ from which ‘villages, hamlets and fetes’ has been sneaked out on what one suspects is a kind of scouting mission to entrance, allure and blissfully blow away would be listening patrons. A wonderfully lazy eyed slice of lost in time magicalia spirited daintily upon the delightful radiant dimpling of idyllic village green pastoral posies which to these well worn ears had us imagining the Winston Giles Orchestra marooned in some Edwin Astley / Vernon Elliott score Oliver Postgate picture book. https://soundcloud.com/clay-pipe-music/vic-mars-villages-hamlets-and-fetes
Some strange and truly wonderful happenings emerging from the was ist das? family collective for it seems in recent times they’ve branched out into forming their own little record issuing well heeled vinyl and tapes for clued up patrons to adore, in fact buoyed by the critical response they’ve been bold enough to hatch an archival imprint (mondo hebden) its first release featuring a rare vault lurking curio from one of the founding visionaries responsible for the setting up of the Radiophonic Workshop. Alas all sold out on its initial 150 run, there was even an ultra limited 50 copy repress, ‘pop tryouts’ is a rare peak at the creative process, structure, tonality and compositional development of Radiophonic’s first lady Daphne Oran. The release, appearing to come by way a fortuitous accident, features the contents of tape 037, part of a previously unheard archive of material held at Goldsmith’s University and heard during the course of research for a forthcoming book entitled ‘an electric storm’ due for publication shortly through obverse books. A peculiar pic n’ mix featuring an extensive library of short cues and alternative mixes / refrains and idents based on one unifying motif that reveal an inquisitively playful sound alchemist at work. Amid these two extended collages thought to have been recorded sometimes c. 72 /73, as the title might well hint and allude to, there’s a revealing of a readily more accessible and pop minded persona at play as these gloopy mosaics are set upon and rephrased upon a myriad of sonic backdrops that range from moments of motorik technoid tinkering, whistling, impish skittishness, lonesome lunar opines and strangely surreal toy room at play at night lullabies. A set that’s well worth investigating though admittedly at its close your so conditioned to the base line coda that should you not go ga-ga then you’ll at least find yourself at unguarded moments chirpily whistling it to yourself to the point of distraction. http://wasistdas.bandcamp.com/album/pop-tryouts
Midwich Youth Club
This set has, I don’t mind telling you, been burning holes and cutting strange lysergic dissolves in our headspace since arriving in our in box. To describe ‘Dawdling’ as being the work of a fractured genius would I fear be a gross understatement, aside the fact its delightfully all over the shop it reveals of its author Midwich Youth Club – or as he’s better known to kith and kin Allan Murphy, a wickedly restless and unique easy category boxing in refusenik.
From his secret sonic bunker he has hatched one of the most inventive and wig flipped sets of the year for ‘Dawdling’ is a crafty blighter, skittering in the shadowy voids it cleverly joins dots you never knew existed between progressive, ambient, kraut, kosmiche and radiophonic pop, each repeat listen betrays a little more of its secrets, take ‘a mind made of glittery baubles’ as a brief example wherein the cosmicalic wooziness of Stereolab’s ‘cobra and phases group play voltage in the milky night’ is seductively piloted into the murmur toned floaty fuzziness of chill toned oceanic ambience by way of 808 State though not before docking into the realms of the Knife along the way. As far as we are concerned it’s always a good sign to find an album sneakily trying to slip beneath your defences some well heeled references to Dutch prog uberlords Supersister to which ‘the anti-stroller brigade’ clearly does albeit here finding itself fried by Cardiacs visitations and the occasional guest appearance of White Noise. It soon becomes quite apparent that Mr Murphy is something of a Cardiacs admirer for their trademark goofed out and sharply angular needlework revisits the turntable on the clearly insanely skedaddled ‘your mouth’ and the excellently titled ‘cyder pirates and the bench of solitude’ – the latter mentioned even having the nerve to tweak the crookedly with some neat ‘defecting grey’ styled Pretty Things wonkiness.
Just while you’re busily satisfying yourself that your beginning to get the measure of matters up pops the pulsar purred ‘Stop and Search’ – a kind of three way futuristic space cruising game play face off between Front 242, Giorgio Moroder and Zombi while the squelching 70’s vintage of ‘let’s go home’ is a glorious time tripping journey imagining a spangles sucking Kraftwerk on humour setting letting their guard drop a tad whilst playfully rephrasing ‘Grange Hill’ styled children’s TV tunes.
Talk about kitchen sinks and the like, of course ‘Dawdling’s’ centre stage is rightly taken by the parting epic ‘Kevin Turvey, the man behind the green door’ – a humungous curtain closer that aside taking you on a mind expanding adventure manages to mutate and shed its skin first off appearing like a hulking Floydian star cruiser before crystallising to assume Add N to X, Tangerine Dream and Ozric Tentacles personas all the time embarking upon a dream dripped astral trajectory the likes of which has rarely been heard done better since that legendary jaw dropped extended side of Jean Michel Jarre’s head mushrooming ‘magnetic fields’ came into earshot to decamp for a tripping 15 minute spell.
The things you trip up across rummaging around the internet, an added bonus when firstly you find it’s a free download and more importantly secondly, that it’s as good as this. ‘modulation freaks’ finds Jo Bartlett revisiting as where her Yellow Moon Band past. A four track instrumental EP that comes bristled in ambition and intent whilst flavoured with a switched on, tuned out and turned up revealing of a mercurial talent unrestricted by the weight of expectation and cut loose left to freewheel Without doubt assuring itself of the wow kudos, opener ‘Archangel’ is dipped dead eyed into the heart of the progressive firmament, a big bearded beauty snarling and strutting not to mention proudly wearing its 70’s classic blues rock vintage on its sleeve, gloriously gruff it picks away at an obvious adoring of Mountain while simultaneously etching and eking out a shared melodic mindset with the mighty Bevis Frond. Admittedly we here just love that sense of the wide open propulsion of the pure pop orientated ‘Circle: Line’ as it scuttles at high speed through the rural rail track arteries all the time clipped and peppered in moments of effervescent radiance with the sky siren riff flashes seductively bedded upon woozy flotillas of spacey post rockist purrs. ‘littoral’ switches mood to more blissfully lazy eyed climes, a sun drenched seafarer trimmed in lulling chill tipped posies much reminiscent of a certain J Xaverre while parting shot ‘laudanum’ is all said cut from something that we here found ourselves quite taken by, perhaps for its smoking cool locked grooved wistfulness or for the way it crafts delightfully dizzy lysergic laced hypno swirls in your headspace – who knows – one thing is for certain if we didn’t know better we’d have thought it the work of a three way Enraptured records all star gathering of Slipstream, Junkboy and Beatglider types.
due to impact shortly via the ever adored Static Caravan imprint, debut long playing platter ‘everything forever’ from Victories at Sea looks set to steal appreciative critical nods. From it ‘Sirens’ has been sent ahead on scouting duties, a stately slice of divinely poised glacial majesty trimmed and teased in hushed motorik murmurs all softly sprayed and kissed by a yearning elegance ghosted beneath a lights lowered seductive purr that had us here imagining a star crossed meeting of Sennen and Working for a Nuclear Free City minds.
Small Bear records.
Surrounded by some mighty fine releases at the moment this here debut from Vukovar proving lately to be a frequent visitor to those rare invite only turntable soirees that masquerade as the Sunday Experience sound nights. Vukovar are no strangers to these pages appearing on our radar over a year ago sporting the name Nero’s Felines, twelve months later and re-christened, they come packing under their collective arms one of the finest debuts in recent memory with core members Dan( of the Bordellos) and Rick (of Longdrone Flowers) making this something of a Small Bear label family affair (postcode personnel populate the ranks) and swelling the collective to nine.
As said appearing in earshot little over a year ago, ‘nero’s felines’ and its accompanying flip ‘lose my breath’ both feature here, the former shimmered in a ‘seamonsters’ era Wedding Present broodiness embarking on a mellowing country stroll with the much missed Soft Parade, while the latter was a razor sharp brain blurring slab of tripped out psychosis that took its initial cue from a ‘doolittle’ era Pixies before freefalling into the corrupting hazy wilderness of the Walking Seeds’ lost classic ‘bad orb…..’. Also featured, in truth one of the early calls for single of the year, ‘the new world order’ is your jaw dropping dead gorgeous indie classic in waiting, as said in previous despatches, the finest 5 minutes of perfect pure pop not written by the Bunnymen that imagines some Ian Curtis headed dream ticket mindset merging of old school Joy Division with classic isolationist ‘power, corruption and lies’ era New Order replete with anthemic key swathes and trademark low strung bass grooving – if this doesn’t bother the top tier of Dandelion radio’s end of year festive 50 – questions will be asked.
Isolationist is perhaps the best way to describe ‘Emperor’, clearly it has its foot in a post punk / cold wave age, similarities to Left Hand’s ‘minus 8’ debut some 15 years ago are appreciably noted though that said while there’s a distinct retro vintage at work, Vukovar have sublimely dropped something that stands aside the wagon chasing latest fashion sound accessorising and plotted a path of their own crafting, a classically toned indie party pack whose reference markers skirt around aural pathways peppered by the likes of Decoration (especially on the bleakly stunning and hollowing hymnal ‘silent, almost sleeping’), Hillfields and Stephen Jones (in his Trucker guise as opposed to his more recognisable Babybird persona) the latter of whom is much recalled on the cosmically cooled ‘regular patrons of the kitty salon’. Somewhere else lurks the smoking and mellowing ghostly campfire cosy posy ‘part 1 – mrs karoda’s lament’ – a teasingly brief harmonically hushed sweetie that contrasts abruptly with the ripped and raw strut scowl of the garage gouged ‘concrete’. Those fancying their sounds somewhat couched in a lazy eyed twang shimmers that veer into the hallowed territories of the Devastations ought to tune into the acutely sparse bruiser ‘r’duced’ while the effervescently radiant ‘koen, cohen k’ comes kissed in the kind of astutely swaggering pop savvy that you suspect many a band would swiftly reconvene and after a hasty band meeting decide to retire considering job done.
All said for us it’s the parting ‘the staircase’ that steals the set, a haunting slab of post punk psychotropia crookedly trimmed by a twin tracking spoken monologue atop a maddening sinisterly fried paranoiac iciness that chills with the creative edginess of an overlooked flip side or Peel session cut by Bauhaus re-mastered as were by Rooney. ‘Emperor’ comes as an eye catching limited edition hand-made CD a copy of which we’ll have to nail for posterity and total turntable love. http://vukovarsmallbear.bandcamp.com/album/emperor
I’ll be perfectly honest you with in saying I can’t remember stumbling across too many covers of Prolapse songs along our travels. Championed by the ‘man’ of radio and ill fitting jumpers Mr Peel, Prolapse were your original sore thumbs whose appearances on the late night radio schedules where often a cue for merriment and an excuse for a jig around the bijou confines of our listening lair. Where are they now we wonder? Anyhow, typically going around the houses we mention all this because a new EP through Small Bea Records (remember them earlier – Vukovar album eh) has just dropped from label head honcho Phil Reynolds – here sparring with the Indigo Children on a set called ‘the end of affection’ from which Prolapse’s ‘I hate the counting man’ is summarily dissected, dismantled and reassembled anew as a ferocious and frenetic future vision of i-spy space age twang-tastic groove all equipped with a to die for panic inducing struts replete with key swirling 60’s strobe effects all cut with the kind of boogie-rama head frazzling impacting of a frenzied Man…or Astro Man. That said lead cut ‘brighter days’ is no shrinking violet, a bit of bruised beauty draped in cosmic after burns all ablaze and ripped with low slung grooving sky scorched power pop kaleidoscopics, which makes me wonder why oh why then do I keep whistling ‘seasons in the sun’ by Terry Jacks, not a complaint mind just asking….. http://philreynoldsandtheindigochildren.bandcamp.com/album/the-end-of-affection
There’s no doubt that pig outlet have a delirious knack for hatching out memorably crafted pop nuggets – on that score I think we can all agreed, it’s just what leaves their collective head space to manifest in the studio in finished form somehow has a strangely impish habit of assuming something of a wayward personality. Veering on the side of damaged and – okay shall we just be honest and say it as it is – loony – there done it’s out, these Malmo based imps appear to be well versed in the sonic folklore of a ‘doolittle’ era Pixies albeit here pickled by the surreal goofiness of they might be giants which when done is sent for what might be best described as a final quality control check by way of the Elephant 6 Collective. There’s a cassette knocking around through shallow of shit records who I must admit on name alone warrants the frantic issuing of emails to beg for inclusion on their mailing list – the tape no doubt stupidly limited (I’ll add here – we’d like one) is called ‘paradise in progress’ (the title track alone sounding not unlike a skewed, schizoid and psychedelicised TV Personalities in a face off with a particularly wig flipped pooh sticks) we suggest the parting of cash is on this occasion guaranteed to reap listening love rewards http://shallowshitrecords.bandcamp.com/album/paradise-in-progress-2
Static Caravan records look set to see out the year with a plethora of releases from the previously mentioned Victories at Sea and MTO along with further turntable tastiness from TVAM, the Duke St. Workshop and David O’Dowda the latter of whom mentioned comes sporting upon an ultra limited 100 only hand-made CD. The name mightn’t be too familiar for the less clued up brethren among you but Mr O’Dowda once headed up Table, an ensemble whose output occasionally graced the Static Catalogue to much acclaim. These days he can be found penning music to picture – cinema and TV and other such like, ‘the world retreats’ therefore is a rare outing that finds him freed of his creative solitude crafting something – er – well – ghosted in solitude. Frail, fragile and above all crystal cut in sublimely hushed elegance, ‘the world retreats’ is so tenderly reflective, almost an apparition, that you fear it might shyly disappear at the approach of anything accidentally disturbing its finitely balanced state, in truth one of the finest, most bruised and beguiled releases to have graced the Static Caravan roster since the days of Shady Bard whilst admirers of low anthem may just tearfully swoon at its murmured majesty
Incoming via Memphis Industries, new noise pop niceness from the adorable Menace Beach in the shape of the ‘super transporterreum’ EP – a healthy dose of rampantly radiant bubble grooved fuzz pop bliss out loveliness all kaleidoscopically swirled to sound not unlike some teen spirited head in the clouds Mascis collective tripping amid the psychedelicised woozy pastures of the weirdly wonky Elephant 6 Collective.
Fifth album ‘pure mood’ approaching from Texan dream poppers Ringo Deathstar, due to impact late November via purveyors of all things dripped in reverb and demurring fuzz Club AC30 ‘guilt’ has been sent ahead as a swoon draped herald. A Cocteauian beauty seductively kissed in hypnotically alluring dream cascades all rippled in sky parting fanfares of chiming swirls which by these ears hint of lilting love notes sugar crushed in Lush like haloes. https://soundcloud.com/club-ac30/ringo-deathstarr-guilt
We were only the other day getting a tad concerned at not hearing anything of late from Australia’s celebrated dream pop imprint Hidden Shoal when as though by magic (just between you and me I suspect some mind reading mischief is at play) we received a kindly email from Chloe March alerting us to a newly released EP entitled ‘under the day’ from which a video for the track ‘May’ has been released. One of those rare releases wherein you feel a quiet moment of your hectic day is required in order for you to sit with it, perhaps to comfort, allowing it to breath in the hope that it gives up its ghostly secrets and shyly blossoming beauty. Demurred in a frail Satie refrain, this fragile visitation is spun in a silvery poetic elegance that’s trimmed and traced in Autumnal rushes and the bathing of a pre dawning stillness blurred in a misty twilight glow atop of which Ms March’s lovelorn yearn aches crushingly from a hidden vantage point with tearful sympathy. Ice sculptured neo classicist dream folk at its most pristine and perfect and sheer heart breaking and humbling to boot.
These dudes sound like their having way too much shit faced fun, this slab of bad assed boogie is set to land the fall of October via bad omen. When we tell you that Satan’s Satyrs feature among their number members of Electric Wizard then you’ll know their pedigree is top notch, ripped from ‘Don’t deliver us’ their third full length, ‘full moon and empty vessels’ is a rollicking slice of bitched out garage glam trashed rock-a-hula decadently mainlining on lost and forgotten Sabbathian riff cast outs all lovingly wasted and out of it on a sonic feeding frenzy of New York Dolls, Heartbreakers and Dead Boys platters, frankly the dogs doo dahs. Any questions, thought not. https://soundcloud.com/bad-omen-records/satans-satyrs-full-moon-and-empty-veins/s-UkOXW
not that we want to encourage such self promotion and nudges in the ribs, but we received a ‘like my page’ request from Sand Snowman and well as you can gather by way of our want for going off at various tangents, it doesn’t take much to distract us from what we were doing, notably at this point listening, with a view to reviewing, the latest Bearsuit records release – soon my dears, soon. Anyhow it’s been way too long since the wares of Sand Snowman haunted our sound space – was it not those keenly sought Reverb Worship outings and the occasional Beta Lactam Ring release that last ushered upon us by way of these pages. Enough of that, new album ‘a doll’s eyes’ sneaked past our no doubt at the time in slumber radar via tonefloat, I can tell you gnashing teeth doesn’t begin to describe the sense of loss. From it this here lead track, a most enchanting and beguiling thing softly daubed by a crafted ear and hand adeptly versed in the ways of the past, the archaic and the forgotten and featuring the ghostly seduction of Amandine Ferrari on vocals. Perched upon the haunting recital of lost nursery rhymes, ‘a doll’s eye’ manages to eke and creak to nature’s changing moods, one minute summery and lightly playful, the next dead headed by winter’s deathly touch, the symphonic tension of the pastoral flurries twist and turn from breathlessly beautiful to supernaturally sinister, an epic feat of quietly poised and classicist fairytale imagery all at once tortured, tormented, turbulent and tenderly tragic.
Tomato sauce lasers, sausage lassos
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’. https://bearsuitrecords.bandcamp.com/
Voyaging into Kosmiche territories, Jon Brooks’ recent ‘walberswick’ set for the more than human imprint gets a limited 300 only second pressing following its speedy retreat from the record racks upon initial release. While we shuffle on forth trying to seek out a copy to call our own we’ll leave you with a brief little extract from the set. ‘pocket fire’ shimmers and hovers, a pulsing silvery orb glowing ever more intense its hypno grooved modulations drawing you in like some dream machine tractor beam intent on wiping your head space clean. https://soundcloud.com/morethanhumanrecords/pocket-fire-by-jon-brooks-from-walberswick-lp
Meanwhile over cafe kaput where all weird things and ghost box happenings gather to populate, there’s been a posting on their sound cloud page of a rare archival recording from Jan W Gruber dating back to 1978. Apparently sourced from a consumer reel, the icily ominous ‘arrival of wasps’ provides for a nifty slice of retro analogue electronics that’s sparse and minimalist and very much toned in a sonic vocabulary more associated with John Carpenter – perfect listening for those among you much enthused and admiring of concretism I should add. https://soundcloud.com/cafekaput
And talking of Concretism, there’s news of a limited vinyl pressing of ‘town planning’ due soon on – if I recall rightly – a norman records off shoot imprint – though I’m guessing we’re much mistaken and that right at this moment emails are approaching at the swiftness of a silver bullet telling us to edit. Anyhow while we feverishly tap our fingers waiting for such time a track by Concretism appears on the latest podcast cobbled together by Melmoth the Wanderer. Now can I just say here that we owe something of a small apology to the Melmoth one for he sent over a few works in progress a little while back which to put a not too fine a point on matters – disappeared in the great laptop has a huff debacle earlier this year not to mention coinciding with our absence from the cyber space in an equally fitful I’m not playing anymore hissy fit. Alas no track listing on this latest transmission (though it features sonic selections from Patrick Gowers, Unknown, Colin Towns, Komnakt-Katr and Concretism all weaved around a reading of Conan Doyle’s ‘the leather funnel’). A celebration as were of Autumn’s arrival entitled ‘in the garden where we sleep’ all typically crafted in the now trademark Melmoth creeping disturbia , where there was once life, light and play now the season of death stalks to covet the land with its shadowy chill as the old passes itself up for rebirth, here through ghostly apertures legends stir and secret beliefs and rituals are performed, pulls up a pew, wrap up and let the haunting commence….. https://www.mixcloud.com/Melmoth_The_Wanderer/in-the-garden-where-we-sleep/
And before we forget, Concretism (third mention on the trot and no we don’t get back hand payments – although we’ve an eye on that aforementioned vinyl set) has a new EP currently shadow playing in the digital sound space, ‘Magnox’ features five reclaimed relics from a distant analogue age, all evoking an era of cold war isolationism, public information broadcasts and open university idents. Among the treasures it’s ‘telex ghosts’ that appears to provide the sets alluring centrepiece, a forlornly remote beauty formed as though an ice crystal carnival orbiting distant lunar outposts relaying love note opines into the silent void stream. http://concretism.bandcamp.com/album/ep06-magnox
Incoming via the ever on the pulse of the nations underground taste, great pop supplement will shortly be paying host to the second baby platter from the Hanging Stars just ahead of the bands prepped big brother debut full length ‘over the silvery hill’ scheduled for action in early 2016. ‘’the house on the hill’ comes shimmered in all manner of 60’s twang-a-ramic west coast pop psychedelics. Amid whose grooves the lysergic visitations of Wray, Kidd and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental band gather to cast strut shimmying spectral shadow plays to a killer cool ghost rider-esque dragster dreamcoat all of which admirers of the Wicked Whispers will surely swoon in the aisles for.
Now we’ve heard / played this twice and for reasons best known, I guess, to just me, I’m getting the distant sound of Death Cab for Cutie alarm bells ringing loudly from the back of my consciousness. Fear not it happens occasionally and more often than not, they are usually right. However on this occasion I fear they may have strayed somewhat. This folks is ‘silence’ – a track from a forthcoming set from Danish collective the Migrant entitled ‘flood’. A curiously attractive sounding blighter that insidiously seems happy to merrily skip along or as the case may be here, amble around in a kind of resigned part blissed or should that be in a forlornly reflective way, planting little earworms here, there and everywhere by way of its desperately languid corkscrewing riff refrain. Braced upon a cooling post rock-ist after glow all daubed in an exotic south sea styled colouring whilst kissed in intricate harmonic haloes there’s very much an air of the tranquil trace of Beatglider moonlighting with Billy Mahonie sonic surveying old though impeccably essential Quickspace platters from many moons back, Archer Prewitt admirers need not feel left wanting either. Alas the accompanying video is thus far embargoed until its Wednesday premiere…..for now though here’s the sound cloud link…. https://soundcloud.com/the-migrant/silence2
Here’s a little something I’m sure the late Lux Interior would have approved of, hell the singer even has that frantic Lux quiver nailed flat to the floor, this tasty slab of basement bare minimalist garage gouged grooviness comes culled from a forthcoming debut long player platter from New York combo Imaginary People entitled ‘dead letterbox’. This bad boy is ‘she is’ a howling mamma freaked in horrorphonic tension all fried in an unhinged b-movie psychosis that sounds to these ears as though its been grave robbed for one of those crucial vault find 60’s compilations and certainly something that ought to be on the watch list of those much admiring of the groove grinding daddios put out at one time by the esteemed Estrus label. https://soundcloud.com/imaginarypeoplenyc/08-she-is
Emerging soon on the ever crucial Bureau B imprint, ESB are set to turn your listening space back in time c. 70’s for a spot of aural analogue arcadia by way of a self titled set oozing and crafted in an array of vintage keyboard artistry, a Technicolor pre techno travel guide if you like venturing sonic cosmic realms populated by moogs, korgs and arps which judging by the pre tease snippets here promises to be a kosmiche kolossus of the top table order upon which invitation cards for Jarre, Moroder, Carpenter, Tangerine, La Dusseldorf, Harmonia et al proudly sit. https://soundcloud.com/bureau-1/sets/esb
More teaser snippets from Bureau B I’m afraid though this time from a duo responsible for one of our favourite albums this year so far. Die Wilde Jagd are collaborative tour de force born of the pairing of Unit 4 and Noblesse Oblige personnel. Due out as a download at the end of October the ‘morgenrot’ EP appears to be an invitation only remix set featuring rewires of selected gems from their acclaimed (at least around here) released earlier this year. Tucked behind the original edit of ‘morgenrot’ your treated to Ivan Smagghe’s clearly insane and kookified Atari ping ponging ‘crossed version’ of ‘Wah Wah Wallenstein’ while opting for the same chosen cut to carve up Etienne Jaumet takes matters into territories more commonly ventured upon by Embryo while bringing up the rear Stallions re-phrase ‘jagd auf den hirsch’ into a mind mutating psychotronic Tropicana the type of which may have Tank admirers among you going gaga for more. https://soundcloud.com/bureau-1/sets/die-wilde-jagd-morgenrot-ep
Again another little short sortie with which to wet the appetite, just thirty seven of these in circulation, packaging looks quite superb, a tape release no less from the AOsmosis imprint featuring a 5 part suite from Australian sound alchemist Lewis Gorham, who it seems prefers to trade as light sleeper. The set entitled ‘ivanhoe relics’ was crafted by way of manipulating various field recordings, found sound and instruments with synth drones and piano loops, the result a quite becoming and intimately hushed slice of neo classicism as exemplified by the teaser snippet ‘excursions’ whereupon whose spectral beauty, poise and steeled elegance finds it veering close into the outer orbital rings of Antonymes and with that we’ve a strong suspicion it won’t be the last you’ll hear of him or the label. https://soundcloud.com/aosmosis/light-sleeper-excursions
And that’s your lot for a day or two, many thanks for tuning in – for contact details and various gubbins – go to www.marklosingtoday.wordpress.com