missive 293 (1)
Missive 293 – part1
‘put the needle on the fuckin’ record’
Swear box total for the duration completing this missive came to a grand total of £47.10 – f*** me that’s a lot – £47.20
Welcome dear hearts to this extended cornucopia of aural delights, almost lost I’ll have you know due to our computer suddenly acquiring its own ambitions for editing.
this edition features……..
gum takes tooth, shindig, ugly things, the wicked whispers, Cheryl dicher, first aid kit, frozen gees, geese, brett martini, cashier no9, nik freitas, the travellers, justin wiggan, teatro plagues, barry gray, Baptists, shapes and colours, even caminiti, astral social club, glockenspiel, vibracathedral orchestra, truth about frank,cannibal work ethic, mazes, the kayans, king post kitsch, mungolian jetset, insect guide, the lucid dream, azalea snail, she’s hit, straylings, earthmonkey, earth, david a jaycock, wizards tell lies, super distortion, lagitogida, them use them, the bell, akarusa yami, metal mother, rubicks, sarah jarosz, Samson and Delilah, inca gold, john maus, low, soft hearted scientists, shoot the dead, windmill mothglue, peelander z
The latest in the what goes around comes around, we did eye with giggling interest in the latest Shindig of the latest vinyl bites back variant. Apparently the recently repressed XTC lost nugget ‘skylarking’ was identified in the re-mastering process as having a hole in the sound which has led to its cleaning, tuning and eventual repressing over 2 slabs of 45rpm playing wax – apparently according to Andy Partridge – the best ‘quality sound carrying medium we have at the moment’. so expect in forthcoming months the repackaging of pop on double 12 inch sides – just in time for Christmas eh – and what with vinyl, 180gm, CD, SA-CD, re-masters, stereo, mono, quadraphonic, 5.1 and all the other variants issued to consumers in an attempt to part them from their cash with the aim to maximise returns and reduce production / delivery costs it looks like we’ll be up to our 23rd version of Floyd’s ‘dark side of the moon’ shortly.
Reviews and other such gubbins…….
Gum Takes Tooth ‘silent cenotaph’ (tiger trap). You just can’t fault a record whose opening 15 second belch sounds like a maniac take on the Osmonds ‘crazy horses’. that’s exactly how long it took to have us sold on the debut opus ’silent cenotaph’ by duo Gum Takes Tooth. Of course our curiosity had already been primed with a ‘hello long time no hear’ email from Tiger Trap head honcho Tom and the promise of something noisy, chaotic, noisy and did we say – noisy. To describe ’silent cenotaph’ is to have you recall cartoon hero Taz. Remember him – used to arrive in a whirlwind of chaos kinda confused, unpredictable and primed full of mischief. Hey ho – Gum Takes Tooth – off the cuff, off the rails and more often than not off the radar. Gum Takes Tooth are a drums and psychotic electronics duo featuring sorts from I’m being good and Chrome Hoof, this their jarring and jabbing 8 track assault squats somewhere near a tent collectively occupied by an evil Battles, Atari Teenage Riot, Melt Banana and Shit and Shine (incidentally Valentina Magaletti from the former mentioned guests on ’hermaphrodite and nourishment’ – more about that in a second) and proceeds to piss through the entrance flaps. A most curious though admittedly strangely drawing outing that’s comfortingly demented as it swivels and swerves upon a finite axis between chaos and calamity all the time chiselling and soldering rupturing raptures whilst reigning with ill fitting intolerance to a template scoured by a bleached industrial noise core template occasionally festering with white hot cauldron like hot rod loveliness, intricate rhythms (as on ‘nomad / monad’ with its bowed tribal instrumentation – very 23 Skidoo – and ‘peace in your middle yeast‘ – Casino vs. Japan meets Konono No1 anyone?) and obtusely spastic contortions (Foolproof Project imprint admires take note of the fried and frantic no wave waywardness of ‘tannkjott‘) – those thinking that I jest ought to ready themselves for the face peeling opening assault of the mutant Ministry like ’young mustard’ replete with electroid squiggles being ratcheted to meltdown one moment and the next shaping up as some kind of beaten out of shape dysfunctional blues epitaph. what makes ’silent cenotaph’ so compelling is the wilful refusal to adhere to any formulaic rule book, conformity you gather isn’t a word that registers in the GTT vocabulary. If its not pummelling you into oblivion its weirding you out – as on the parting ill wind that pervades through the aforementioned ’hermaphrodite and nourishment’ which with its monochromatic tribal tempered mantras leaves you somewhat uneasy and dread drilled and feeling as though you are bearing witness to some séance channelling the echoes of PIL’s ’flowers of romance’ and UK Decay. Somewhere else – notably ’the earth’s mantle colonised’ an as were industrial Suicide harvesting the Butthole Surfers take on Donovan’s ’hurdy gurdy man’ into a brooding bastardised ritual while ’strychnine motive’ is snarling locked groove slab of punishing drill core that to these ears sounds not unlike ‘pandemonium’ era Killing Joke being butchered and played at 45rpm as opposed to 33rpm. File under – delightfully damaged.
New Shindig #2 and Ugly Things #31 just out – both of which will come up for critical gaze in the next missive, Shindig’s centrepiece incidentally features a by all accounts by text interview with the doolally Donovan – while the ever impressive UT – this issue a 200 page colossus – includes an hugely insightful retrospective on the legendary Norton imprint who as it happens celebrate their 25th anniversary this year. Go here for Shinners http://www.shindig-magazine.com/index.html and while your there grab yourself a downloadable copy of the groovy Happening update and here for Ugly’s http://www.ugly-things.com/ where you may as well pick up a copy of the Loons stonking set for Bomp last year and tune into the mag’s pod cast currently doing bad things on the garage punk hideout site….http://garagepunk.ning.com/profile/mikestax
The Wicked Whispers ‘the dark delights of….’ (electone). One release from this bunch that’s certain to prick those Shindig and Ugly Things ears is the debut platter from Scouse quintet the Wicked Whispers. Pressed up on 10 inch slabs of vinyl and limited to just 300 numbered copies (word has it these babies are very thin on the ground and there is further rumour of a cassette version kicking about that we need to nail for the collection), The Wicked Whispers sound is grounded in a flavouring of late 60’s soft psyche and traced ever so subtly by the straying pepper corning of breezy folk fancies. ‘Amanda lavender’ the lead out cut here (alas absent of the birdsong chorus that greets and exit’s the video version) is a sumptuous blast of demurring dark radiance, the brewing of lysergic organs and honeyed harmonies bathed in the shaded glow of purring paisley / psyche pop personas embraced by the delicately deceptive undertow of fading west coast drifts endow it with a mercurial mindset that recalls the early career work of both the Clientele and Minnesota’s the Autumn Leaves while simultaneously racking up the kudos to sound suspiciously like Blue Oyster Cult in some studio tryst with both Fleur de Lys and the west coast pop art experimental band. Seductively harvested with a lightly touched airily kaleidoscopically tuned folk un-worldliness ‘house of peppermint’ is lushly traced with the dainty dinking of Will Sergeant-esque riff picks and a Byrds-ian dash of effervescent haloing that hints and oozes an English eccentricity steeped in medieval village greens, myths and fairy tales and something once frequented by the likes of Barrett and the Soft Hearted Scientists. Flip the disc for ’flying round in circles’ and ’odyssey mile’ – the former dinked with an alluring and softly tender 50’s bubble groove with the latter and fragmenting and frantic gem found charging at pace to encroach on the protected sonic space of the Stairs whilst simultaneously nodding in the general direction of the Cardiacs and the Chocolate Watchband. Single of the missive by a floppy fringe or five.
Moving picture interlude……
C A Quintet ‘trip thru hell’……who if you know nothing about you can get a quick 1 minute brief by going to their wiki page at……http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.A._Quintet
While we were there we caught sight of this little cutie – any info greatly appreciated – oh yeah its by Cheryl Dilcher and called ‘happy times’…
First Aid Kit ‘universal soldier’ (third man). Two songs, two covers sung by two sisters, one scored by Buffy St Marie and made famous by Donovan the other a classic blues standard famously rewired by Elmore James, out via Third Man and on 7 inches of jukebox centre style wax. Ridiculously must have. Still not convinced eh – not quite flying out the door in search of your very own copy as though your very life depended on it. No pleasing some people is there. First Aid Kit for they are the sisters – Johanna and Klara Soderberg – last troubled these pages via that rather – equally must have – split with Peggy Sue a little while back via Wichita – see http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=336 – this time hooked up on the of late quite essential Jack White imprint they leave their spectral floral folk mark on both ’universal soldier’ and ’it hurts me too’. there’s something dainty and distanced in the dust of another time about the former mentioned groomed and graced as it is to a softly roving and tenderly turned finger plucked guitar motif that’s trimmed to a saddened and mournful fiddle accompaniment and topped by the yearning ache of genteel honeyed harmonies that quite frankly stirs within you a need to throw a consoling arm around for support. Typical of these things though it’s the flip side that gets our vote – a gorgeous swaying in the prairie evensong breeze porch pining re-tread of the Melvin London penned gem ‘it hurts me too’ – this cutie comes clipped with Nash’d out fiddles, hints of moonshine and a whole load possum’s cooking slowly on a campfire. Of course you want it and why wouldn’t you.
Here’s Jan and Dean’s about turn version of the cut impishly re-cut as ‘universal coward’…..
Frozen Geese ‘disclaimer’ (vanity case). Much leaping and bounding with joy at the finding on return from 9-2-5 dulls-ville of this little cutie marred though by an attaching note from the bands Dave Lazonby noting apologetically on the absence of ‘actual vinyl’ and reporting it to be quite scarce. Well it is in our bloody gaff I can tell you. So incensed were we that where it not for the distraction of dropping a jar of coffee on my foot and the near burning of lips in a freak ‘man catches fire in disbelieving tab incident’ said promo CD was split seconds from being jettisoned at speed, force and distance straight out of the patio windows and veering towards a different post code like a supercharged honing missile. blighters. Indeed blighters. We soon however calmed down, its amazing what several kicks of a wall and the uttering of long forgotten Anglo Saxon curses can do to satiate the beast. And so disc in hand we ventured forth to at least hear the bugger (alas not on vinyl and therefore understandably not sounding as superior – not the single of the missive we thought seconds before its aural codes reared for transcription and translation to loom into life). ’disclaimer’ is the latest offering from Frozen Geese who you may recall – or at least ought to recall – mainly because we here fell backside over head in adoration of their mysterious cassette only debut ’starseed’ which for those of you caught napping at the back first time of asking can quickly be brought up to speed by hooking up to http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=344 – Frozen Geese are of course the more cosmically enhanced alter ego of the adeptly indie flavoured Geese and the aforementioned ‘starseed’ was in our humbled opinion one of the most enjoyable releases of last year that came applied with an audaciously multi disciplined cornucopia of freakish flashbacks that deliciously glued all manner of glam, space, psych and prog motifs upon its finite ferro framing. ‘Disclaimer’ is a wholly different beast, a humungous 40 minute head trip split into two parts – naturally ‘parts 1 and 2’ obviously – all plastered on 12 inch slabs of clear vinyl (ours is on CD – did I mention that? – understandably more inferior in sound and quality). Less playful in both terms of concept, delivery and freedom of experimental expression as ‘starseed’ yet nonetheless still spliced with enough kudos to make it an essential listening experience. Again as with
the oft dipped ‘starseed‘, ‘disclaimer’ is adeptly coiled upon an early 70’s metronomic kraut axis – and while the likes of Tangerine Dream, Neu and Amon Duul are summarily called to immediate mind ‘part 1’ is traced upon an orbiting pulsar transmission that’s plucked from the same genus pool whose DNA is clinically matched from the elemental type species of ‘autobahn’ era Kraftwerk, Hawkwind and Silver Apples types. As though some slumbering lone galactic leviathan whose core computerised brain is found initially issuing directives amid what sounds like some critical prelude to meltdown, Frozen Geese exact a becoming steely chill to the proceedings through the application of hypnotic loops, kraut calibrations and mesmerising whirrs and swirls which themselves collude and gather to create an ominous end game worthy of those early career analogue adventures of Add N to X. yet listen close and on repeat listens the distantly bleached echoes of biosphere and black star liner mutate and morph with an oddly austere funk charm which on closer inspection repositions it reference markers towards that incubative era in New Order’s development wherein the cautious uncertainty of ‘movement’ softly turned a corner and peeled away to shed its skin to emerge via ’temptation’ onwards. ‘part 2’ continues abound and beyond though subtly impressed with a more readily loose limbed and dare we say chamber drone persona, the clipped and chilled cosmically tripped technoid modulations / manipulations are dipped and dimpled in the kind of hazy and glazed psychotropic mind frying morphing mirage as would make a perfect companion for those cherished Sonic Boom / EAR / Jessamine drone drilled diode workouts. And with that – not the single of the missive.
Staying with all things Vanity Case you may also want to check out two other releases that the blighters have sneaked out without telling us – first up a cute little 100 only ‘the reality tunnel’ CD which aside gathering together tracks from the Geese in both their Frozen and otherwise guises, PTV3, Swedish Peter, icd and more comes housed in a sweet looking gold lame bag containing various items donated by the bands featured on the compilation. And then there’s something of a real curio with the release of a 50 only cassette featuring three teen femmes – Jill Becky and Katie singing along karaoke style to the hits of the day – that day being sometimes in the early 80’s given there’s the lasses have a pop at Air Supply’s ‘all out of love’ – the original cassette was unearthed by R J Porter who features on the site espousing the joys of car boot finds with his treasured finds being meticulously transferred to digital and aired on his popular ‘tape findings’ blog – which features everything from families opening xmas presents to late night radio chats – all can be found here http://www.sweetthunder.org/tapes/index.html while everything vanity case can be viewed here http://www.vanitycaserecords.com – oh and back to Frozen Geese’s ‘disclaimer’ – I almost forgot to mention that it should be out on CD at some point via the esteemed mind expansion imprint.
Brett Martini ‘lovers lane’ (self released). And here’s something quite tasty. amid Brett’s CV you’ll find mentions of I. Ludicrous and Voice of the Beehive both of whom he applied bass guitar bits in days of yore. now found striking out on his own the haunting ’lovers lane’ is his debut solo single and a sweetie it is to that shimmers to the purring radiance of a soft psyche 60’s persona that demurs to a glowing ghostly resonance that to these ears recalls a crafted collective comprised of Freed Unit and Bevis Frond types shimmying up to Barrett obsessive Robyn Hitchcock and magically sprinkling all manner of fairy dust upon your listening enjoyment with its acutely breezy strum lilts, dinked harmonies and reversed loops.
Cashier No9 ‘lost at sea’ (bella union). Like a ghostly effervescent rush to the senses or an echoing flashback of some thought lost celestial meeting between Meek, the Walker Brothers, Love and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich all trimmed by the sweet haloing of exotic far flung fancies piping calypso traces, seafaring mirages and Dylan-esque wallowing harmonicas – from the debut album by Belfast ensemble Cashier No9 entitled ‘to the death of fun’ – a copy of which we’ll try to nab for future comment – as to ‘lost at sea’ let’s just say that hearts will skip a beat a beat or three.
On a related note there may well be a few out there who recall us mentioning this lot in previous dispatches – missive 199 as it happens way back in 1999 – thought the name was familiar – anyhow here’s what we said about their second EP ‘when Jackie shone’ via their own only gone imprint – http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=247
Nik Freitas ‘in the frame’ (affairs of the heart). Just a quick mention for this particular cut while we go in search of the album from which its taken – incidentally called ‘Saturday night underwater’ – fairly certain we’ve had cause to mention Nik in previous scribbles but i’ll be buggered if we can find a citation with which to prove to all and sundry – anyhow ‘in the frame’ is quite a jolly little treat that radiates sunshine and tingling traces of feel good effervescence – should be of particular interest to admirers of George Harrison’s 80’s recordings, the World Party, Kevin Tihista, the Brigadier and the Heartstrings – whatever happened to them we lie sometimes awake at night and wonder – a happyville parade of horn blowing tulips and daffodils, snoozing band stands, whirling clouds formations and kaleidoscopic sea promenades – well at least that what our minds eye sees when we hear it – oh do stop top waffling man – lolloping and rambling bubble groove pop ripped as were from the Ray Davies hymn book.
And here’s a moving picture show for another song of Nik’s – are you sitting comfortably children – then we’ll begin – its called ‘center of the world’ – and its also quite cute…….
The travellers ‘for the waves’ (self released). Second EP from Italo / Swedish duo the Travellers may just prove – given the right amount of airplay – something of a slow to burn gem drawn with simplicity and an off guarded seduction. The 5 smoked chamber toned cuts within arc, sigh, swerve and swoon their way past your defences like lovelorn arrows braced to the slyly sensual chemistry being weaved between Robert P’s clipped 60’s soft psyche twang riff struts (best heard on the subtly dark chic swagger of ‘talk to me’) and Marchi’s surrendering vocal quiver – itself needing to be heard to be believed especially on the aching opener ’waiting’ which aside laying you low with sympathetic pangs traced to a Francophile chic dimpled and trimmed to the darkening sultry purr of a youthful Chrissie Hynde while ’leaning on the wind’ retreads a vibe more commonly co-opted by the Beangrowers. Admirers of the Sundays – and why wouldn’t you be – will do well to fast forward to the utterly captivating ’never ever’ which finds itself bedded upon a most desirable and spectral Marr / Reilly like pastoral incline. All said and typical of these things it’s the parting ’rain’ that provides the sets centrepiece, embraced in layers of Will Sergeant-esque shimmers and dinked with oodles of kaleidoscopic curvatures and noir tinged shadow playing that much recalls fellow Italians Musetta as though rephrasing the Stranglers ’la folie’.
A handful of missives and not a Justin Wiggan related item in sight, alas dear hearts you don’t get away that likely – like the buses – wait around for hours on end and three of the blighters rear up in quick procession at once – seems Mr Wiggan is keeping true to his promise of attempting a record for being in the most bands at any one time – last count 227 I seem to recall though I expect I’ll get an email remonstrating the fact that during a quick coffee break he managed to hook up with (or indeed pressgang) three more. A quick mention then for two – I’m assuming – works in progress – the third comes further down the missive (which if your reading this right now in the update format – will appear later at the weekend – or else should you be reading the completed missive as said somewhere below) in the guise of the latest Geography of Nowhere opus via the ever wonderful first fold imprint. Now we’ve been getting curiously nonsensical emails from the Wiggan one of late one of which warned of plans for a tape release attached to a walking stick or something like that as well as links to (aforementioned) works in progress the first of which is by the translant mountains who are described cryptically as a ’4 piece collective’ made up of Messrs Wiggan, Haddon, Savage and Relmic Statute and who’ve just posted up the edit variant of ’so shines a good deed in a weary world’. A kinda Sissy Spacek for the cosmically fried – takes no prisoners as it butchers your earlobes and blister peels the top three coats of your listening space walls, caustic stuff that to these ears sounds not unlike the death throes of a hulking galactic star liner shifting apace towards meltdown and to an inevitable destruction all power shrilled electronics, squalling manipulations and skull crunching eruptions – tensely tyrannical though listen close beneath the sandstorm sonic sculpturing and you’ll hear ever so slightly the heavenly reign of bliss traced celestial crests as though MBV had been refocused through the viewfinder of Tayside Mental Health – hell knows where the promised saxophone was. Next up Teatro Plagues whose album ‘home sludge’ (described in passing as ‘an observed exodus in sound’) should be appearing shortly via the gold soundZ imprint and sees Wiggan pitching up his musical tent alongside Messrs Mapp, Spagg, Paxford, Hafenscher and Volcano the Bear’s Aaron Moore – the mention of the latter truly had our ears a pricked as its been way too long since we heard anything by VTB (in fact as I recall nothing since that mighty fine split with La STPO – see http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=277). There are so many facets and seeming spheres of fancy or influence that pervade through this cut, consumed in showers of insectoid crackles Teatro Plagues wearily weave through a musical text-scape that pulls into aural lay-bys once time populated by Montreal’s Constellation scene, Albert Ayler and the Big Eyes Family Players – what first appears as though some archaic folk ritual soon transforms and rests upon a noir jazz motif that’s almost funereal in its morose shamble – something which I’ll hasten to add ought to bizarrely appeal to admirers of Bablicon and of course Volcano the Bear.
Barry Gray ‘stand by for adverts’ (trunk). Though we were aware of changing trends and the popular music piping through the medium wave crackle on the transistor sitting on the sideboard, to those of a certain age it was not the Beatles nor progressive or glam rock but Barry Gray who sound tracked our childhood. It was after all the silver age of both children’s TV and the Apollo space program. Children’s televisual time was consumed with flights of fancy, the magical, the surreal and the futuristic, hit shows like Dr Who and the Tomorrow People came adorned with sounds capes provided for by the in demand BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Yet across the networks Gerry and Sylvia Anderson where embarking on retuning the minds of children and adults alike for generations to come with their TV / Century 21 production house. From here classic cult fair reeled off the production lines at an enviable pace – among the roll call came Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90, UFO (the end credits of which appear several times throughout the various ‘hoover keymatic washing machine’ jingles) and Space 1999 all furnished and decorated by the memorable melodic mosaics provided for by Gray.
This collection gathers together the somewhat little known secret and often hobbyist / experimental sounding extra curricula work composed by Gray for various television / local cinema / product jingles and adverts and the like whilst his day job as accompanist / arranger for Vera Lynn and his work for the Anderson’s paid the bills. Almost lost forever and found languishing in various states of decline amid an extensive recorded tape collection catalogued and in extreme cases restored by Ralph Titterton and his partner Cathy Ford in the 90’s and finding their way for public consumption for the first time are over 60 such jingles and musical idents that reveal a never ceasing creative mindset much like Raymond Scott.
‘Stand by for adverts’ is a chance to step back into that aforementioned silver age an age (an age that on occasion it shows – one wonders whether the opening jingle for ‘esso‘ with its PC intolerant mock multi cultural singing would get past the studio door let alone the censors these days) – sometimes fleetingly cheesy, often quaint, chirpy and flirty yet never tiresome, the set reveals a broad creative canvas that veers from lounge-y calypso chimes (’Quaker banana mellows’), classic Ealing-esque follies (’BOAC’) and futuristic electronic squiggles and wisps that will strike a chord with fans of Louis and Bebe Barron.
Though obviously appealing in the main to connoisseurs and purists of library recordings and other such curios, ’stand by for adverts’ is a charmingly delightful release much deserving of sitting alongside your Vernon Elliott (‘respic’) and John Baker collections via the same label, it offers a glimpse or rather more serves as an aural picture book of the time infused by the light programme and richly informed of its surroundings and influences. Among the rare archive of treats there are ads for ‘Ridgeway’s country house tea’ featuring Eric Sykes, cartoon montages, trippy lunar promenade segues (‘blue cars’), hip wiggling smoked jazz beat trims, lounge noir (possibly ‘heart’s delight’ – bear in my mind we are trying to reference this from the vinyl version) and more besides. All this housed in a colourful 50’s styled washing powder advert like sleeve replete with extensive liner notes as the origin, discovery and repair of these curios and a brief celebration of the man himself.
For more information about the great man go to http://www.barrygray.co.uk
Baptists ‘good parenting’ (southern lord). Bet they are really nice blokes outside the confines of the studio – helping old ladies across streets, holding down good deeds doing jobs and having hordes of furry little animals following them around as they merrily and cheerfully cross town with a smile and a friendly word for all who bump into them. Strap guitars and give them a drum kit to annihilate and they turn into butchering ravenous hell spawn craving and crafting sonic assaults jettisoned at terrifying pace and packed with enough explosive mite to sink a small island and have the locals running for cover. Debut release then for Vancouver based hardcore merchants Baptists is a strictly limited affair which according to their press release has been pressed up as thus – 100 copies for the world, 250 for Europe and 75 for the UK (obviously us and Europe are in such financial straits at the moment that we’ve been relegated from the world premier league). Four cuts loom within, and I mean loom – for this quartet of unforgiving bedlam offers up a ferocious opening hand that’s both blistering and unforgiving and dealt with at such force and manic mayhem that the stylus near bleeds with agony. Ah we do love our crust / blast core metal around these parts but then it gets to a point where you feel – like how the hell do I describe this – yes its got vocal pipes that sound like their owner gargles nightly to a mixture of JD and hydrochloric, tyrannical drumming from someone clearly with unresolved issues and chopping licks that fester like puss peeling scabs. ’farmed’ in particular will strip the top three layers of skin from your face without flinching while the seething ’bachelor degree burn’ sounds like a grimly avenging no prisoner taking early 90’s era Killing Joke declaring war and choking the shit out of Slayer and Hammerhead. Best of the set though is the parting head butting and furiously scowling and punishing punk primed ’life poser’ which should if anything find admiring glances from old school fans of Mayhem and Discharge. Now all we need do is to nail those all important Thou and the Secret releases via the same label and I’ll momentarily be a happy man…..
And that’s it for a wee bit – part 2 shortly…….
missive 293 (2)
Missive 293 – part2
Surrounded in sound
Some off you may have been hit in recent weeks by emails from us – yes yes I know you probably all fell off your perches in shock at having got some kind of word from us – look it happens and yes we have finally got our outlook glitch sorted – however just to confirm – we have moved – in fact ages ago now – and well royal mail cocked up the re-direct so as of now please amend your records to the address below and if you can please pass on to all parties who you may feel will be interested…..oh and we have face book presence via http://www.facebook.com/thesundayexperience
Address for communications –
Reviews and stuff……..
Shapes and Colours ‘what you asked for’ (demo / sound cloud). Recommended to us by Chris Housewife. This lot hail from London town and number four in the ranks (that’ll be Laurie, Nick, Chris and John) – not sure if there’s been any official releases as yet though judging by the frenetic art pop paint bomb that is ’what you asked for’ I’m suspecting that those art rocker types have – or indeed will – be over them like a rash in no time. Much recalling the glorious goof pop of those impish Welsh sorts Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club and fellow dysfunctional darlings Johnny Foreigner, shapes and colours appear adept at concocting the kind of seizure baiting wiry panic attacking impact pop that literally flips wigs, ‘what you asked for’ is the case in point – playfully raucous, critically hyper, shouty vocals and intricately galvanised by the kind of fits and starts spidery riffage so acutely angular you need a protractor to plot them. Deranged, damaged and damn delicious but don’t take my word for it instead shuffle along to http://soundcloud.com/helloshapesandcolours/what-you-asked-for and fill your boots.
Evan Caminiti ‘distant lights’ (trensmat). Much cheer in our gaff at the arrival of two new fixes of vinyl from the much missed and recently re-animated from hibernation Trensmat imprint both of which we mentioned these briefly in passing at http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=358. Ultra limited to just (we believe) 250 copies, first up sees Barn Owl-er Evan Caminiti up for a spot of extra curricula work with a brace of improvised dream weaved recitals. ’static waves’ strangely filters through the ether exacting something mysteriously part sultry and yet part solitary, orbiting upon a demurring axis a drifting breeze of bowed ambi drone passes by like a tearfully traced celestial tidal wave resplendent in a hollowing haze of glassy shimmers metering out something that behind its outward façade of lilting elegance hints to a humbling ache that’s desperately detached and regretfully desolate and provide a first point admiring glance from fans of Roy Montgomery and Bruce Russell. Over on the flip awaits ‘last transmission’ a more – shall we agree to say – animated offering this time of asking that’s seductively wrapped in all manner of milky Floyd-esque wisps and bliss kissed trance toned trims impressed upon a deceptively panoramic canvas which amid its vastly arid bound setting finds itself echoing the quieter and more intimate moments of Montgomery’s ‘true’ set albeit as though rephrased by a super chilled Ry Cooder. All purchases comes gift wrapped with downloads giving access to the two vinyl cuts as well as a video of Evan improvising in the kitchen and I mean with the guitar and not the frying pan though given our copy was a little light on the download codes we can’t categorically confirm the above as wholly true.
Astral Social Club ‘snaefell’ (trensmat). Again ridiculously limited and by all accounts already sold out at source, the welcome return to the trensmat fold of Astral Social Club (you may recall their ’skelp’ 7 inch from a few years back). We used to go to school on Snaefell (Avenue) as a child – why I tell you this not so illuminating piece of useless information is beyond me but hey if there’s a connection to be made then making that connection we will no matter how trivial or redundant it may be – and anyhow it all adds to the word count which had I been getting paid per word (in case you ask – I am not – in fact while we are here what is pay) I’d have neatly serenaded you with tales spent their in Spock masks and Star Trek boots (3rd generation of course – phew nearly give my age away then – 78 in case you were wondering – d’oh) alas I’ll leave those printed horrors to another day (bet you can’t wait eh?). Anyway where were we – Astral Social Club that’s the bunny – two track 7 inch again replete with additional downloads giving access to three further tracks – ’Snizort’, ’Moff’ and ’Snaefug’ – which aside all sounding like names for uncomfortable skin complaints our copy seems to have omitted (excuse me while I howl and bawl). For those new to Astral Social Club – this is the experimental project of Vibracathedral’s Neil Campbell – as previously hinted by us at http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=358 ’snaefell’ really does sound like a sunburst shower following a cosmic firework pageantry, mutant dub step hybrids and primitive glitch grooves endow it with a retro subterranean trance persona that wouldn’t look out of place on prized wax slabs from a youthful tigerbeat6 imprint, factor in the subtle locked groove psychotropic waveform washes and lunar swirls and you have yourself something of a forward thinking slab of futuro funk minimalism. ’mocne’ over on the flip side – will fit neatly alongside your cherished and very rare Frank Wobbly and Sons record collection (see http://www.discogs.com/label/Frank+Wobbly+%26+Sons if you find yourself wondering what we are on about), more mutoid schisms from the underbelly of the outer spheres of the minimalist electro funk universe, mind warping layers of pulsing acid house grooves re-baked under the watchful mindset of a youthful Aphex Twin with Black Star Liner on hand for additional head frying flavouring. Did we mention its essential.
Astral Social Club / Glockenspiel ‘split’ (krayon). Either this is back in limited circulation or else I’ve been sold stock found languishing at the back of our local record emporium. This cute thing saw the light of day in that golden year 2009 emerging to what you could rightly say of it to do people’s heads in because quite frankly we ain’t got a damn clue what’s happening here. Played at a number of speeds and none sounding quite right – though for these purposes we’ve opted for 33rpm mainly because spun at 45rpm this just sounds insanely demented. Astral Social Club is as you should know by now the extra curricula work of Vibracathedral Orchestra’s Neil Campbell these days found flaunting the grooves of trenSmat releases – see above – and a musician who you seriously suspect may have at an impressionable age had something of a knock to the head that’s manifested in later years to him hearing sounds in his head as though being played through a hulking industrial spin dryer. Much like the aforementioned ’snaefell’ Campbell appears to happily charter an un-plotted sonic micro verse far removed from tuneful tinkering of most unless of course you happen to be Sonic Boom in his EAR persona wherein everything makes absolute sense. to some on first point of contact ’smash crater #1’ may well sound like an aural overload of jumbled aural communiqués yet patiently stick with it and on repeat listens and what you’ll find amid the proliferation of confused sonic bit stream hazes is something truly out there that woozily veers into focus traced upon a hypnotic tide of motorik pulse lines ushering in wave upon wave of celestial washes and jubilant overtures. Still sounds fried on 45 though. Over on the flip sits Glockenspiel who I think I’m right in saying are previously unknown to us – here recorded live for posterity with ’assorted PCP’ – this is a more sedate and tenderly melancholic and detached offering, the application of low end drone timbres gives it a cavernous like presence which in all honesty is possessed of the graceful majesty of wallowing whale sounds, one of those slow to burn type recordings that steadily grows in depth and stature the further it goes so much so that towards it finale it assumes a menacing industrial vibe that’s grimly splintered and fractured with an edgy black hearted dissonance.
Sticking with the Krayon imprint for more – recently discovered in the back of the shop gems…..
Vibracathedral Orchestra / Infinite Light ’split’ (krayon). Lazy journalism I know but Vibracathedral Orchestra’s ’get it’ really does sound like that Sonic Boom (again) dude albeit this time found mooching around in his more consumerist appealing Spectrum guise (and before you all start moaning and asking – indeed we prefer the EAR stuff) on what sounds like the intro to Pete Shelley’s ’homosapien’ caught in a locked groove with a wigged out tab toking mind morphing Cluster doing kraut cruised bliss out signatures over the top against a whirring cosmic pulsar ray – utterly trip-a-delic – third eye contact for Silver Apples and Sunray disciples. Not sure for certain whether we’ve had the pleasure of Infinite Light doing their stuff on our turntable but judging by their offering ’baptised by institution’ our gates to perception are forever open – alas no all important information with which to pass on except to say this lot have been known to kick out ridiculously limited outings via the cassette only lotus birth imprint (begging letters are in the process of being sent). No need for recreational pharmaceuticals here given that this cutie literally trips its way through a lysergic cloud, an absolutely zonked out freak show that sounds like its been on a perpetual high since the late 60’s with what initially sounds like a out of it spot of Zappa zaniness wherein the suspicion that all the integral players are playing the correct notes though to coin from Eric and Ern ’not necessarily in the right order’ or for that matter the same page rides high and soon settles to emerge from the haze like some goofed out and oddly sounding fried psyche folk nugget that fans of MV + EE albeit rephrasing Karen Dalton ought to seek out sooner rather than later.
And for those curious to know more those Lotus Birth types can be located at http://www.lotusbirth.co.uk/ wherein you’ll find a dedicated sound cloud pages featuring sample tracks from the aforementioned infinite light, awake, nautilus, ross parfitt and andy Jarvis whose ’astragalus’ outing could – depending on which way you read their discography – be the latest or first release for this fledging experimental label.
The Truth about Frank ‘cannibal work ethic’ (lyf). Weirdness abound. We suspect at some point in the distant future Leeds duo the Truth about Frank will be rightly held aloft as pioneers of some as yet to be named sub genre – probably by the Wire (who’ll call it tTAFiola or TtafISM – hey I bags the copyright on the names and the suggestion) who I’ve noted haven’t invented a scene for no one to follow for at least 5 issues. Of course the Truth about Frank are no strangers around these parts – though its been duly noted that we’ve managed to somehow miss out on a few releases to which in response we’ve spent most of the evening fashioning wax dolls in their likeness and will shortly be dangling said dollies over a candle. tTAF first appeared on our radar way back in 2008 when through our letterbox, onto our hi-fi and into our hearts entered their debuting EP ’a briefcase of full of suspicion’. it was – as I think I’ve mentioned in previous dispatches – one of the finest debuts that year. Strange, abstract and sometimes surreal it plundered a shadowy ;pseudo electroid world where names like elemental, play dead and the daddies of Dadaist minimalism Cabaret Voltaire are carved upon sky blocking monuments for rightful worship.
‘Cannibal work ethic’ is their official debut full length following well received stopovers at the wierd&wired imprint and their inclusion on the long division with remainders curated ‘14 versions of the same EP’ – a finished and completed copy of which I do seem to recall us not hearing. Ah well – there’s another prime candidate for some doll moulding. As to the lovable tTaF’s it’s a warming thing to note they’ve lost none of their strangeness and menace, still acutely proud and wearing their irregular and flippant sonic caps the fTaF ones still appear to be channelling the aural consciousness of the aforementioned Cabs. 8 cuts feature within that spiral between dosed up industrial tweaked dubtronic locked grooves and weirded out psych shrilled horror / suspense montages that revel in disturbed dislocation.
Drawing a line in the sand that’s flavoured and favoured with the kind off radar electro schisms more associated to an early incarnation of those impish Kid606 / Tigerbeat6 dudes (and mid 90’s era Coil as it happens – best exemplified here by the sinister dread of the frankly uneasy and wretchedly chilled ‘teddy hop’ replete with white noise showers and disconnected vocals by what sounds like some child from the beyond all underpinned by the sickly menace and churning cycle of an unearthly subterranean grind), the Truth about Frank loiter a sonic landscape that should appeal to those much admiring Beta Lactam Ring’s experimentally focused ‘black series’. here you’ll find the discordant throwback melee of 70 Gwen Party playing tag with Einsturzende Neubauten (on the thrusting ‘channelling static’) and the tantric techno grind that is ‘shadow sex’ blessed with all the cheerful disposition of s.p.k. in a BDSM sleaze pit rubbing up alongside the sparsely tuned pulsar purr of ‘a butterfly mind’ (which if anything ought to have those late night soirees tripped to the sound of technoid minimalist Peel play lists rekindled – fini tribe perhaps). A momentary twist of light relief comes courtesy of the radiant sun bleached celestial cascade like hypnosic looping lull of ‘swimming over mountains’ before the decidedly unnerving ‘taritakoom‘ arrives awash with sinisterly doused atmospherics to stir with admonishing malcontent to the weary hiss of a grimly scolded ‘I told you’ rebuke. Eerily engaging.
Mazes ‘summer hits’ (fat cat). Not strictly out for a couple of weeks and already causing a sizable amount of buzz among the underground cognoscenti with their (just surfaced) ‘a thousand heys’ debut full length, Mazes step up to the plate with some acutely drilled lo-fi loveliness that ought to by rights be filling your head with a feel good fluffiness and making your hi-fi yearn for the days when you romanced it with the jingle jangle pop art purrs of the likes of the pooh sticks, violent femmes, velvet crush and any number of bands embraced by the likes of the legendary Woosh fanzine – for ‘summer hits’ is a sub two minute sun shine shimmy that peaks under the bonnet and retunes the pop piston playfulness of Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys and hot wires the blighters with the addictive bubblegum pop zest of the Raspberries – mind you the vocals sound like Dave Edmunds not that that in itself is a bad thing – just an observation. Acutely cute pop gold then.
The Kayas ‘I have been waiting’ (ablett). The seething sound of dissent from the streets. Oh yes – indeed – much loved around these parts and the cause of much swooning and pulse racing in the losing today record basement, the debut release from the Kayas – a quartet hailing from Shropshire – rattles, jars, spits and hisses with an unforgiving bitter sweet frustration and agitated edginess rarely heard these days outside of a Hillfields or Decoration release. An epic call to arms framed within an austere finger jabbing proto post punk groove that’s rephrased upon a gloriously soaring battle crying charge of sky scalding riffage ‘I have been waiting’ frantically lays waste to the competition with its panic attacking council estate fury. Over on the flip ‘gotta get out’ is tethered with a bullish Mod-esque motif that flits to the echoes of the Small Faces, Weller and the Purple Hearts all blessed with a vocal delivery that sneers like a cross between Lydon and Flowered Up‘s Liam Maher and found courting an ear candy catching melodic dialect that hints at a youthful Bluetones having grown a new pair. Blistering stuff.
King Post Kitsch ‘walking on eggshells’ (toad). Ready for something a little wonky and skewif – well I guess you won’t mind us introducing you to King Pop Kitsch. Now you don’t need us telling you that this isn’t the name he was christened with, to ma and pa and various acquaintances King Pop Kitsch is Charlie Ward who it seems when in situ behind the studio glass twiddling knobs on the recording desk can be found cooking up audaciously cheerful bubblegum delights for whoever chooses to take the time to tune in and bliss out. There’s an album mooching around by the name of ‘the party’s over’ via the Edinburgh based pop boutique that is the Toad imprint which is due to arrive behind the counters of the more clued up record emporiums across this land sometime around the 13th of June – tracks of which by all accounts have been spreading a little colour in a oft grey and bleak record world to much the delight of listeners to Marc Riley’s BBC6music show. For now though there’s a little pre release single teaser in the guise of ‘walking on eggshells’ to warm the cockles and serve as a warning shot as to what to expect. A kaleidoscopic colouring book of florescent doodles shaped, trimmed and moulded into a desirably wonky three minute pastiche of perky psyche pop effervescence that’s all at once alarmingly affectionate, crooked and kooky and contagiously catchy and spiked with trace elements of the Elephant 6 Collective crafting lysergic paint bombs out of various parts lifted from ‘on broadway’ and Manfred Mann’s ‘pretty flamingo’. fried.
Stop press up date type things straight through our window……many thanks to Matthew at Toad who kindly set over not only a full copy of the above mentioned King Post Kitsch album but also promos for the forthcoming 10 inch by the Japanese War Effort as well as an advance copy of the latest offering from Lil Daggers which at present is holding its own in the best thing we’ve in days stakes – mind you a top trio of releases which keep it to yourselves should this continue we can of course see this label being one of our favourites in the future………all reviewed in the next missive.
Insect guide ‘reason to exist’ (squirrel). A seductive shoehorning of sixty six seconds of shimmer toned swaggering swoon, sonic psyche sweethearts Insect Guide return with the brief and beautiful ’reason to exist’ – beneath the coolly sultry honey toned vocals ripples of razored raptures blessed with bleached bliss kissed buzz-sawing bubblegum braids pine, pout and purr prettily to a porcelain power pop persona that demurs and blends the walls of sound of the Primitives in full flight with Spector at the height of his powers. Retails at 66p – bargain. any questions – I think not.http://insectguide.bandcamp.com/
The Lucid Dream ‘love in my veins’ (holy are you recordings). Blast – they’ve already managed to side step us by sneaking out a handful of ultra limited releases to much acclaim and swooning all of which have resulted in them nailing an enviable and dare I say press wise lucrative support slot with a touring Spectrum. What’s to bet that this latest outing won’t fly off the record racks in the blink of a shaded eye. With its hulking primal glam psyche prowl ‘love in my veins’ sees the Lucid Dream trip wiring a trajectory that exists on an axis lying somewhere between a less narcotic enhanced Brian Jonestown Massacre and an uber cooled Black Angels tweaked as it in lashings of reverb and primitive pop fixated 60’s twang tremors that ought by rights to have the most self respecting winkle picking wearing Velveteenie swooning at its tuning. Our money goes on the flip side though which features the remix talents of Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve / time and space machine man Richard Norris doing all spacey swirly light show type things and generally ruffling the fringes with the cool as f**k ‘devil rides out’ recalibration and into mix of psychotropic motorik hypnotic sonic pill dropping hotwires a third eye awakening with hallucinogenic brew of floor melting mind morphing groove that sounds for all the world like a woozy and chemically fried mash up gathering together between the grooves the likes of Sigue sigue sputnik, Gary glitter, Suicide, Sunray, ’beat the clock’ era Sparks and Donna summer – so I’m gathering that’s essential then.
Azalia Snail ‘space heater’ (silber). It’s 3am – no hang on scrub that – its 3.27am and I can’t sleep, I’m resigned to plugging into cyberspace looking for interesting sounds to hear but given my space buggered up what was a perfectly good tool for bands and labels to get their music out from the confines of their bedroom and in to the headsets of an ever growing disaffected populace tiresomely loathing the here now gone tomorrow carbon copy plastic pop preening of the Simon Cowell brigade, I’m left grumpily checking out people’s blogs and wondering to my self do I really breathe the same air as some of these people and if so what lasting effect might it have on me. Bored of this I start to check the emails. Up pops an update from the Silber imprint informing all who’ll read and listen that new sounds and comics the size of matchboxes are afoot. Alas no down loads of the comics – they look quite cute and promise tales of rebellious robots, warring stick figures, cowboys, cops and robbers and Kafka / Lovecraft oddities. As to the sounds Electric Bird Noise (‘The Silber Sessions‘), from Oceans to Autumn (‘the flood / the fall’ EP) and Azalia Snail (‘celestial respect’). Azalia Snail has occasionally appeared in these missives I’m fairly certain of that though not often enough by our liking – if not then the reason for this has quite simply been because we’ve loved her songs so bloody much we’ve probably forgotten the purpose for which they were sent in the first place (I.e. to review). Anyhow enough waffling – Azalia Snail has been orbiting the outer edges of planet pop for over twenty years now refusing to kowtow to fashion / taste and public consensus she’s instead followed her muse traversing to flights of fancy. There’s a new album just out on Silber entitled ‘celestial respect’ which Brian has kindly sent download links for – though which due to our PC – alas in the middle of its death throes – is proving something of a challenge to save to disc for listening enjoyment. From what we’ve heard so far we reckon its her best to date – ’space heater’ primed as a single is the case in point. Gorgeously woozy and ethereal, slightly out of focus and traced with a dreamlike comatose fluffiness that pitches it somewhere around the mid career era work of Lennon – and here I’m thinking ’number 9 dream’ as though on a chilled out bliss kissed setting and wrapped in a sepia lined majestic enchantment that quite frankly had it bared the name Kate Bush upon its hide would have had coach loads of muso journalists going ga-ga, add in some finitely executed noir tinged torch trims then close your eyes and float away to better places no doubt kookily surreal and demonstrably wonky.
And here’s a moving picture type thing to accompany it……..
She’s Hit ‘Miriam hollow’ (repeater). I’m fairly certain we’ve mentioned these in passing a while back but I’ll be buggered if I can find a citation. There’s a debut album entitled ’pleasure’ about to make its entrance in record world shortly, a stray single ’shimmer shimmer’ has already sneaked below our usually attentive radar to much grumbling while as a taster of what to expect ’Miriam Hollow’ is currently being streamed via nme.com. obviously named after the Birthday Party track of the same name (- oh alright – we assume then) this lot are the latest in a long line of shade adorned cool as f**k lo-fi psyche purists (see Wooden Shjips, black angels) who’ve on this occasion clipped their melodic blueprint with a tensely chilled and hollowed austere early 80’s tracing that clearly aligns itself to the early work of ’Alice’ era Sisters of Mercy and the March Violets while simultaneously framing itself in the subtle undertow of a menace more recognisable on an outing bearing the name David Cronenberg’s Wife tattooed on its arse. Well smart.
Straylings ‘carver’s kicks’ (dead pan). I swear we’ve mentioned this lot in previous musings but as is typical of our chaotic filing system and swiss cheese like memory we can’t be 100% certain still we’ll have to settle on the fact that we haven’t in which case there have been long faces around these here parts at the prospect that we might have missed their debut EP for the things to make and do imprint released earlier this year. Ho hum. Mind you no grumbles with this their follow up – a two tracker entitled ‘carver’s kicks’ via deadpan records. Described by their press house as a blend of Nico, Patti Smith, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Grinderman with dimples of Mazzy Star – all to a certain degree true I’m afraid. A duo no less – Dana and Oli – Oli was incidentally a one time a member of the Veils – the pair at present are currently holed up in a studio applying the finishing coat to a debut full length which is tentatively primed for release later in the year. Like Metal Mother whose debut is mentioned somewhere amid this missive, Straylings traverse a similar musical trajectory to both the Smoke Fairies and Anna Calvi, clipped with a darkening brooding beauty ’carver’s kicks’ is framed amid a howling and hollowing 50’s indent that’s graced, braided and buckling under a bewitching vortex of passion, a glorious psyche tweaked slice of twang laced country wired wyrd folk all at once magical, mercurial and majestic. For us though the main event here is to be found on the flip cut – the ravaged and parched ‘on it’s way’ – trimmed with a forlorn deathly pallor this spell weaving slice of aching seduction wheezes and sighs to a sepia shimmered murder ballad motif that’s finitely pierced with a noir tweaked tormented torch tracing whose distressed spectral disquiet echoes to the spectres of Carina Round, PJ Harvey and the Delgados and should prove a perfect listening accompaniment to those recent Marling, Jackson and Elson outings via the third man imprint.
missive 293 (3)
Missive 293 (3)
Revolutions of a 45 kind…..
Earthmonkey ‘alms of Morpheus’ (beta lactam ring). Now counting aside Wizards Tell Lies and the Wizards of Twiddly albums if there’s one release that we’ve found ourselves continually gravitating back to in recent times it’s the latest opus from Earthmonkey. Some time disciple of the extended Stapleton / NWW family, the monkey one has been freaking the collected minds and record decks of the wasted and wayward for several years now. ’alms of Morpheus’ sees him jet hopping to the farthest reaches of the mind mapped upon an axis where the straying strands of progressive, kraut, trance and psych converge to defy lazy categorization. An awesome two disc set of warping bliss fuelled out there groove, a perception filter altering odyssey that clocks in at over 2 and a half hours of sublime mood morphing mirages, its Floyd-y yet not Floyd-y if you get my drift (see the mellowed magisterial introspection of ‘larva lamp‘)- here you’ll find those token Floyd influences bleached and burnt upon a mindset informed by Tangerine Dream and Amon Duul II and while the mere mention of that hallowed trio may rightly have your appetites a whetted the Monkey isn’t rested there – just yet – for he blends a seamless hallucinogenic hybrid upon whose melodic matrix an truly expansive aural palette is filleted and filtered through a lysergic viewfinder whereupon elements drawn from the cosmic ambi-scapes of Bill Laswell (given its loose fitted subtle cosmic jazz indents), the more scenic trajectories of a youthful Porcupine Tree, Ozric Tentacles (albeit cross matched with Neu especially on the scatterbrain kraut purged mutant psyche blues space funk of the middle eastern ‘mudskip moon stomp‘), the future sound of London, biosphere and above all the magic mushroom band dissipate, dilute and shape shift with such chilled out ease that you half suspect the blighter has been recorded in a walk in freezer rather than within the orbit of some new born star at the furthest point of view.
As said previously 2 discs, 2 and a half hours of trance like terra-formations sub divided into 19 interlocking suites whose enjoyment no doubt begs enhancement by the skinning up of a fat one – peppered with transcendental montages, lunar whispers and flavoured by lazy eyed lounge lilts (’break it down‘), fractious atmospherics (the fried flashback dark star dislocation of ’alms of mopheus’), wig flipped ’maggot brain’ freak outs rephrased by psychic TV (’hed phood 4 phat people’), vintage coiled motorik grooves the envy of klangbad and looped laid back funk strobes (as on the Ka Spell-esque ’new cheese’), ’alms of Morpheus’ has all the accoutrements of some recently discovered thought lost late 60’s acid head nugget. ’I’m just a naked man screaming here’ literally oozes retro from its very grooves whilst spiking your headspace with its kaleidoscopic brew of wasted wah wah’s, foot to pedal growling big bearded riffs and woozy head expanding electro swirls. Then there’s the trip wired concentric dream weaving mirages sumptuous freewheeling from the core of ’it’s down’ with its heavily intoxicating Australasian signatures sounding not unlike like a spaced out meditation with Sadar Bazaar, ‘moon loop’ era Porcupine Tree and Transglobal Underground in attendance. Personally we were taken by ’night blossom’ given its adeptness to straddle at once the ambient, trance and space rock camps, both sophisticated and demurring it imagines a streamlined syncopating sounds cape for a futuristic galactic highway of sorts as dinked by the collective morphing of an early career Yello and an ’Oxygene’ era Jean Michel Jarre. ‘alms of Morpheus’ is an epic voyage from which we suspect a few curious cosmic cadets won’t return from.
And from Earrthmonkey to Earth – you see we are getting good at this linking lark……
Earth ‘angels of darkness, demons of light 1’ (Southern Lord). Mentioned this in passing a few missives ago when we were scrutinising our record store day finds and promptly promised to celebrate it in a pursuing singled out which ho hum we promptly (two mentions of the word promptly in one sentence – now how did that happen – even worse its now up to three) forgot to do. Well the blighter being eyeing us since with the calculated staking out of a serial stalker, each time we pass it we’ve been made to feel bad at the non appearance of wordy acclaim in praise of it – until now that is. Something of a pricey affair was this particular edition and as said previously a record store day exclusive apparently limited to just 1500 copies all packed within a heavy duty eye catching gatefold sleeve that houses two slabs of green wax (well mustard yellow as it happens) pressed upon whose grooves you’ll find five cuts over three sides with the fourth playing host to a tasty looking etching type thing.
Now Earth should need no introduction by updating what essentially was the original Black Sabbath blueprint they inadvertently recast a looming and brooding cloud over future generations with their branding of doom drone and splicing of the metal DNA. I for one ain’t going to spend the life and text of the review mentioning Earth’s ups and downs, past achievements and famous friends and collaborators – for one you should already know and for two Earth or more precisely Dylan Carlson is you suspect someone fully aware and rightly proud of his entrenchment in his pasts legacy though now wanting to move, build and step from its shadow and be judged on the now rather than the yesterday.
‘angels of darkness, demons of light 1’ for all its slavering swamp gouged grooves is a surprising light listening experience, shoehorned between the leviathan like stoner moulds and snake winding slow core reverbs there’s a sense of clarity and a free spirited airiness wafting from the grooves traced with a blistered elegance and clipped with a touching solitude. Like some purposively thoughtful wound licking Grails or Godspeed rising from the smoke (as served by the wallowing slow to burn opines of the opening salvo ‘old black’ – incidentally by our reckoning the sets key cut) the sound of Earth moves and shifts like the turning of an ice age (the clipped majestic solitude of the spell charm weaving ‘descent to the zenith‘), not so much gloom and doomed but rather more glowering to a more funereal / comatose vibe that resonates throughout to the hulking sultry howl of hotly baked desert dragged mirages.
Here the mood is smoked and blissed out, sparse repetition is the key device, stilled and graceful Earth apply a wide screen effect to ‘angels of darkness’, often prowling sometimes purring, it echoes to soft lull of 70’s psych folk dialects scarred, scoured and splintered by primitively primal blues motifs. ravaged and reclusive the timeless timbres tap out the sound of the desert and the mountains. The delicate dimpling of forlorn cello charms as found on the chin stoking beardy stoner grooved ’father midnight’ casts a mellowed subtle maudlin super chilled early 70’s ambience that ripples to a souring though spacious post rock-y canvas silk screened by the finite framing of softly alluring jazz intonations. it’s a formula repeated to greater effect on the parting title track where the cavernously coiled transcendental tidal opines are primed and stretched with a parched and pensive persona that barely rises from slumber yet meticulously traverses a slow core drone axis to states of out there bliss. Easily filed under ’like a bonged out Neil Young’
Okay I know our musical taste can at times be a little scatterbrained at times but hey – we pride ourselves at being able to spot a kick botty tune at distance – so with ears a pricked we’ve kinda fallen tits over elbows in love with Evans the Death whose debut ‘threads’ single is imminent on fortuna pop with a full length to follow – all bleached bubble grooved loveliness – think of a glorious skewed stew made up of JMC, C-86 era Primals, the heartthrobs, shop assistants, the Vaselines and ronettes parts………
Here’s a moving picture show of them – full reviews to follow shortly…….
And while we are all videos and links and stuff of releases stacked in our pending tray for forthcoming missive acclaim we’d just like to alert your radars (and apologise to their press people – indeed yes the album has been here for a month and well worn out through repeat plays) to French electro poppers Austerlitz who by our reckoning sound like the best musical export from across the channel since the Clerks (nee Maudite Dance – whatever happened to them we sometimes worry and wonder) spiked with the clinical chill of Talk (who used to be Telex before the original Telex regrouped and threatened legals – again whatever happened to them – Talk not Telex – hey might be a good idea to start a whatever happened to feature – oh bugger that’s what Q do and no doubt the reason why we currently have to endure the 80’s on reform rewind) – and talking of the 80’s Austerlitz are blessed with a singer who sounds at times like a slightly distressed Howard Jones but don’t let that put you off – only joking Howard – absolutely loved that peas in a shell record – as said expect fond reviews for that debut full length shortly……
David A Jaycock ‘presets’ / ‘a magnifying glass for the ants’ (blackest rainbow). Last found orbiting our listening sphere of influence by way of the quite exquisitely distilled becalmed beauty of ‘the killing of uncle Faustus and other mythologies’ via the much missed and perfectly honed Early Winter recordings imprint. Of course there’s been the occasional appearance on the Great Pop Supplement (and a Red Deer Club – which I’m not altogether sure we’ve heard either) which alas to much pounding of fists in fits of pique we missed though fear not as our tempers have been somewhat satiated by the arrival of not one but two sets via Blackest Rainbow.
Limited to just 250 copies ‘presets’ rekindles the same solemnly sedate magisterial air to which Jaycock courted so sublimely on the aforementioned ’the killing of uncle Faustus and other mythologies’. pressed up on virgin vinyl (as opposed to I guess deflowered vinyl in which case why would you want to part with hard earned dosh for wax that some else has played – pray please someone enlighten me) Jaycock traverses a path well worn by the likes of Fahey (especially the ghostly pastoral ramble that is the softly enchanting ’beach combing’ as it wavers dreamlike with an out of focus nonchalant air a la Cul de Sac) and Drake of yore the latter perfectly exemplified by sweetly morose down turned and stumbled riff inflections of the momentarily fleeting ‘starling’ which additionally should appeal to admirers of the Relict.
These fog bound salutations arrive distressed by the splintering peel normally afforded to timeless artefacts, the beguiling subdued weaving of honeyed rustics are coiled in airy clockwork motifs which like ghostly sprites are left to spirit about dissipating, fragmenting and shape shifting like unsettled impish apparitions. For the best part ’presets’ is warmly cosy toed and tranquil and this despite its oft subtle undertow of skewed melancholia, the melodies like opining spectral prairie hymns dimpled with Tacoma trimmings softly entrance to woo and weave amid a ghostly haze. Here you’ll find the timeless wood chipped folk fayre of a youthful Tunng shimmering and shivering to the billowing noir braids of brooding sighs (‘under the stairs’) and the feint fairy tale / lullaby appeal magical ‘soup dragons’. from therein a distinct sea change occurs bringing with it a drop in temperature with the passing of ‘winnie the wince’. replete in all manner of clockwork chimes chirping their sinister serenade its here that Jaycock ushers in a backdrop of groaning primordial drone pangs to which take grip over on side 2 and where matters get a little woozy and dare we say weird as Jaycock starts unpicking the tapestry to somewhat proceed under the influence of a readily more fracturing mindset with the song structures afforded a less disciplined, looser and more free flowing trace like meditative variant spiked and sealed in arid bound Celtic and Eastern essences and dimpled in an archaic timeless folk spiritualism that harks closer in origin to the great Mississippi blues greats of the past with the polar opposites ‘wolves on trains‘ and ’blackest cat waltz’ providing a sharply disparate contrast in both mood and texture with the former perfectly exemplifying the debts to those blue troubadours and the latter bespoke in silvery bowed whispers. . . ……………………
………….and so to ‘a magnifying glass for the ants’ (blackest rainbow) – an altogether different beast so much so that if it weren’t for Jaycock’s name being stamped on the sleeve you’d swear it was a doppelganger besieged with mischief. Limited to just 100 copies – alas no virgin vinyl on this occasion instead pressed upon your standard not nearly as nice CD-r issue. That said listened in tandem with ‘presets’ the stark contrast in content and delivery to which ‘a magnifying glass for the ants’ provides should prove no real surprise. A natural progression of sorts occurs, gone are the dreamily demurred deftly toned light of touch finger plucked mosaics (that‘s not to say the Jaycock has completely forfeited the traditional picked chord motifs as ’the jam police are all asleep’ bears testament with its snoozing stumbles and off balanced hallucinogenic weird folk framing. No – rather more in their place something considerably more distant and detached with an ever deepening immersion into Celtic and Australasian motifs, the emphasis here sees the appearance and application of a more drone based discipline drifting to the fore, bowed instrumentations, sound manipulations, whirring waveforms (provided by harmoniums and analogue keyboards) and field recordings are all put to use by Jaycock in the crafting of something intricately multi layered and canvas filling.
Twelve primitive recitals lie within that resonate to the sonic tongue of lost languages from forgotten civilisations. And while the mere mention of dronal recitals and densely layered structures may infer to some something readily more gloom struck and dark – be warned the opposite is true. Okay there is shall we say a slumbering leviathan like quality to these suites and yes they may at first point of contact perch and wallow immersed in a hollowing detachment yet what bleeds through these grooves is something mellowing and strangely alluring in so much as the way it filters through the listening space weaving its yawning hypnotic lull. Amid the ancient resonating twilight trained tremors forgotten shanties shimmer (‘the murderous magician’) aside the crooked lurch of sinisterly crooked chamber chilled bandstand groans (as on the title track) while elsewhere ’prelude in e minor’ is dinked in the quiet majesty of an affectionately teased godspeed. All said though for us the sets key moment comes courtesy of ‘three quarters fool’ which pricking our ears sounds not unlike some fragmenting classic era Barry / Mancini soundtrack relocated to Tibet and then found suffering hallucinating flashbacks as a result of being near comatose and feverishly bed ridden with heat stroke. File under woozily weird.
Wizards Tell Lies ‘Wizards Tell Lies’ (first fold). Much to our embarrassment* / laziness* / enjoyment* (*delete where applicable) we’ve so far omitted to review the self titled debut release by Wizards Tell Lies. Appearing via the impeccable sound art installation imprint first fold and strictly limited to just 100 hand numbered physical CD’s and available in unlimited download forms – the truth as to why this particular outing has so far evaded print is to be simply blamed on the fact that we love it so much that we’ve been desperate not to part with the blighter since as is the case of all releases dispatched with words of wisdom (or so we like to think) once reviewed its usually cast to filing and rarely seen again until we haplessly trip over it at some undefined point in the future which given our ad hoc and dare we say haphazard approach to any notion of a traceable filing system may well indeed be requiring of a miracle.
Its been a few years since we started getting curiously obscured communications from the Wizardy ones – Fox, Owl and Hart for they are the Wizards Tell Lies teasingly drip fed into our inbox their strange sounds. They came without warning or fanfare treading under the cover of darkness during the witching hour, in the blink of an eye they where gone leaving only the faintest of shadowy footprints and a calling card that hinted a dire warning of aural alchemists afoot somewhere (forest of dark as it happens) sometime meticulously forging a sonic spell. With each passing melodic morsel – one a bewitched strain of spectral sinister weird folk (’Arthur C Clarke‘s bad weekend‘ – proving something of approving nods among the Sunburned / Fursaxa communities) – another providing a hulking slab of stoned out doom drone (on the nomadic ’who is Mr Broom‘) – the revelation became clear that the Wizards were a unique beast blessed with a collective persona as splintered and schizophrenic as their sounds were strange.
And so to ’wizards tell lies’ their debut opus, which by these ears appears to find its aural antecedents traced and plotted along a sonic lay line that loosely connects the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, fortdax, add n to x, autechre and white noise, its application of unsettling and oblique sound-scapes bear all the trademark similarities of something informed by Mount Vernon Arts Lab. Whispers in the static, echoes of the past and glimpses of a future to come are dinked and dotted like vague signposts amid the grooves of ‘wizards tell lies’ – not so much doom and gloom but more foreboding, a melodic mausoleum of sorts trained upon a sonic interface of hulking opines and melancholic montages that arc and arrow between the occasional head bowed arid Tibetan backdrop, an emotionless industrial grind and a chilling apocryphal and macabre monastic gracefulness that’s bedded and birthed upon a monochromatic archaic folk glitch drone template – for its sense of tension, chilled calculation and seemingly muted and blunted hope were it a movie it‘d be called ‘Quatermass‘. None more so is this in evidence than on ‘Bentley‘s paradox‘ where the undulating fortdax-ian galloping baroque follies grate and grind to the fragmenting schizoid squalls and rhythmic punctuations festering at the cuts core. The ‘dax’ intones are equally felt on the quite breathless ‘the maddening machine’ wherein the former named charges’ ’a Beverley mythic’ is re-viewed through the soni-scope of an ‘add insult to injury’ era Add N to X.
elsewhere the sweetly souring ‘other means’ – a chilling end game if ever there was one – provides perhaps one of the key moments of the set as it mutates with breathless beauty flashing from the critical to the calm and the mournful and melancholic to the macabre its initial dinking of sepia stirring ghostly communiqués and twinkling noir charmed keys posited within an atmospheric divide that echoes with the chilling though sophisticated consequence of Carpenter, Satie, Komeda, Foxx and Numan before a swift sea change splinters and fragments the mood to something foreboding and abrasive though not before turning full circle to tailgate a frequency that wouldn’t look to out of place on Bowie’s ’low’. Sticking with that austere ‘Bowie / Berlin’ timbre for ‘be seeing you’ which as mentioned in previous despatches still chills with an air of Autechre in a face off with Aphex Twin found recalibrating a new strain of a krautropic species under the watchful tutelage of Kevin Shields. Happily its not all gloom and doom, Wizard Tell Lies do possess a streak of humour as revealed by both the porcelain pirouettes of the dinky ‘how it starts’ and the dark procession like opening ambit the playful ‘the symmetree’ – which admittedly arrives like a wonky John Baker by night at the Radiophonic Workshop kookily knocking up introductory indents for some unrealised 70’s TV show that impishly takes its cue from ’vision one’ and ’hitchhikers guide to the galaxy’. those preferring their sonic delights served with a sense of checking behind, under and around the sofa may do well to seek out the ghostly ‘they see you’ which imagines some temperature reducing secret collaboration between Stockhausen and Moondog which leaves the mysterious and spectral ‘the occupant’ hurtling into the oblivion at hypersonic speeds belted upon a gruelling kraut g force drive and sounding not unlike – if our ears don’t deceive – like a futuristic revisiting of Mountain’s ’Nantucket sleigh ride’. Word has it the weird wizards are cooking up new ear pricking shadow playing potions as I write and rightly so we say from the safety afforded by the pantry under the stairs.
Super Distortion ‘autocue’ (pointy bird). Now I’ll admit that there’s been – shall we say – something of a stomping of feet and banging of cups and mugs in the losing today cafeteria since we found out that we’d missed this lots debut effort ‘resonating world’ which aside being hailed as something of a minor classic was described in passing by blue 6 cadet Mark Radcliffe as a ’psychedelic ’iron man’. welcome then the psyche / glam persona of Peter Bradley trading under the pseudonym of Super Distortion (by all accounts he also tweaks with ’strange melodic electronics’ as Man in Formaldehyde and ’stranger still experimental stuff’ as Art Giraffefungal – no prizes for guessing as to whom the pun relates to here – spotters badge for those who mutter Kevin Ayers – we have to hear more I suspect). ‘Autocue’ – what can we say – its like finding yourself dozing off and waking up in the middle of some weird Christmas ‘73 edition of Top of the Pops wherein through the haze of dry ice a glitter glammed stew rears into earshot belching the kind of bliss kissed touch the sky pout that you’d imagine an assembled crowd of motley suspects of the day – Wizzard, Bolan and various attendees from the Sabbath ranks – to make by way of some stage sharing seasonal end of year shindig – all head expanding fuzziness, big bearded riffage and weirdly wonky wooziness that in the 70’s would probably have sounded like the future while in that future sounds strangely like the – er – well – 70’s as it happens, bit like the near cancelled ‘second coming’ Stone Roses spiked by a playing nice Dandy Warhols and a youthful Brian Jonestown Massacre. And while ‘autocue’ will no doubt grab the radio play plaudits by our reckoning it’s the flip side that should be warranting the attention for ‘super bug’ is one of those most rare of gems that regales in the crookedness of English psychedelia’s eccentricity – kind of ‘laughing gnome’ without the irritating cartoon chuckles and as magical as a wood chipped sprite playing tic tac toe in the twilight haze to a woozily hallowed assortment of trippy tuneage featuring the likes of traffic, freed unit, bevis frond and tomorrow – quite frankly if those terrascope dudes hear this they’ll be shitting lysergic bricks for weeks to come – oh yea and features the best floaty flute / pipe sounds to have graced grooves of wax since Flowered Up’s ridiculously catchy ’it’s on’ – how can you resist we wonder.
And news reaches us from afar that the mighty Green Milk from the Planet Orange decided to call it a day due to – I think the term was in band musical differences mainly between dead k and a – there is a third album kicking around which alas I don’t think we heard – though rest assured a copy of which we will try and nail for appraisal at some point in the near future. As to the band itself it now seems they’ve now gone their separate ways with Dead k and t have formed rebelrebel on rebel rebels – whose web site you can hook up to via http://www.myspace.com/rebelrebelonrebelrebels/music – alas no sound files as yet though the venture promises to offer up ‘epic prog’. meanwhile in the opposite corner a has already hot footed to the studio and as part of his new vision lagitagida has teamed up with up with ex members of mahiruno and released a debut mini album entitled ‘caterpirhythm’ sound files from which you can find here http://soundcloud.com/lagitagida/sensya – we suggest you immediately check out ‘philopon’ – a hugely enjoyable slice of big bearded spazzed out sky scanning spacey prog pyrotechnics flashed through with intricate math detailing and some seriously goofed out jazz tweaked art rock wigging out. Those still fancying filling their boots to overflowing may also been keen to note that former Green Milk bassist Margarette H has formed Hachiju-Hachi kasyo Junrei and has just released a wig flipping 16 track set of primal proto punk grooves spliced and scoured with heavy duty retro styled blistered blues and acutely snarling garage scowls all of which you can download as a zip file
http://all-shares.com/download/g10835025-88-kasyo-junrei-hachijuhachi.zip.html – expect favourable words in these pages shortly.
Them use them ‘the meme huts’ (first fold). Think I’m right in saying that this is the first appearance in these pages of Birmingham based artist Ben Sadler found here masquerading under his musical nom de plume them use them. To date he’s bolstered the first fold catalogue with two previous outings both of which alas annoyingly appear to have strayed beneath of ever watchful radar. Again as is typical of these first fold releases – this arrives in a limited CD format of just 100 hand numbered copies housed in the labels trademark in house generic digi pack sleeving (ours is #37 in case you are taking notes). Comprised of 12 suites ‘the meme huts’ is a delicately delivered treat of some intimately fragile worth that sweetly flips to and fro betwixt the tingling demur of waif like sparse electronic corteges and faintly coaxed bitter sweetly soured shy eyed pastoral opines. These introspective love notes chill and charm in equal measure – the instrumental moments of the set stray ever so delicately into pastures frequented by the likes of Cheju (a new album from whom has been affectionately causing all manner of swooning in the losing today sound shed), Maps and Diagrams and FortDax their finitely glazed motifs are dipped and sugared in playfully spectral charged celestial whispers, its here that the willowy ‘tiger float’ arrested in a lonesome cradle coos and woos to the trip wired turn of reverse loop blips tenderly trailing a solitary twilight path. Somewhere else the dreamy ‘comb girl / electricity boy’ elicits an alluring courtship of cosmic lullaby loveliness that’s dinked and dimpled by prettily purring plink plonk processions which ought to first hand appeal to lovers of early career ISAN and Plone while in quick succession and nibbling at its rear the brief though teasingly cute ’troubles, worries, doubts’ embarks on a spot of nautical cosmics that clearly appears to re-translate Ronald Binge‘s ‘sailing by‘ albeit through the viewfinder of a youthful Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. The re-imagining of a subdued MBV is traced to the lull of the quietly euphoric celestial swathes that embrace within the pirouetting ‘puppet show w/notes’. yet strip away the promenade opines, the orbiting frost bound ice sculptures and the mesmerising flow of forlorn shimmer toned silvery orbs and it’s the guitar led moments that bring this album into focus and make it such a rewarding listen, for Sadler is blessed with a vocal whose forlorn nakedness recalls the ‘reducing all to weeping’ whisper of Robert Wyatt. And while ‘vampiros’ may well draw inspiration as it nibbles and nuzzles its way through a softly smouldering and richly warming Americana accent to recall the songbooks of Moviola, June Panic and tex la homa and likewise the equally arresting ‘a raft’ is traced upon the same kind of unearthly sweet sting of solace that was in evidence on the quieter and more intimate moments of the Teardrop Explodes ‘wilder’ set – for us its ‘like a record and a needle’ that provides with some distance the sets best moment with its damaged and distressed demeanour and hurting hymnal like hush dipping somewhere between Wyatt at his most crushed and Elliott Smith at his most resigned. Add in the stilted grandeur of the murmuring chamber drone tides and the Oriental meets calypso mirages within the wide screen ‘book sun tape’ and you have yourself another essential serving of first fold fancies.
Part 4 coming soon……
missive 293 (4)
Missive 293 (4)
Revolutions of a 45 kind……
Penultimate instalment time…..
The Bell ‘whatever did you say’ (promo). Very quick mention for this while we wait for the download of their ‘great heat’ full length to complete (and no doubt get consigned to the forgotten zone which of late unwittingly appears to be the fate of download releases in our gaff). Second single I think I’m right in saying to be culled from that very same album (hells bells – pardon the pun – we’ve even managed to lose the email with the press details – totally inept) is ‘whatever did you say’ and mighty fine it is to and had us recalling in the first instance that mid 80’s time when New Order sounded like the Cure or was it the Cure sounding like New Order – never can remember, anyway you know the drill all looping bass lines those trembling bitter sweetly caressed harmonies clipped with the subtle shimmer of honeyed pop effervescences and trimmed with a decidedly alluring cool wave tonality which on this occasion could at a quick glance pass for the Maps as though re-tailored by a cosmically inclined Animal Collective – safe to say caused a tingling flutter in our gaff and guaranteed that album will be getting some serious attention shortly.
A video type thing to accompany it goes a lot like this……
Akarusa Yami ‘millennium is my salvation’ (self released). Currently holed up in the devil’s basement hammering the final nails to their debut full length ‘ouroborous’ (slated for a caesarean section sometime September), ’millennium is my salvation’ is the follow up to the bands critically acclaimed debut ’third eye wide open’ (both of which are being served free by the band in return for your souls – only joking – listening ear). Hailing from Nottingham the extreme metallers return to stoke up the furnace with this scalding apocalyptic end of days slab of retribution, utterly dejected and damned, its riddled with a no quarter given resolve as it rounds upon your very being with a furious, frenetic and fierce some exactness, like a blizzard its reigns down with a glowering mite that’s liable to split open your cranium reducing all to grim dust amid its curdling despatch of avenging armies and then exits stage left in the blink of an eye leaving you wretched and hopeless to the befallen fates. http://soundcloud.com/akarusa-yami
Metal mother ’shake’ (post primal). Utterly enchanting. Metal Mother is the melodic pseudonym of a certain Tara Tati who aided and abetted by members of Beats Antique / the Yard Dogs Road show has just released her debut solo effort ’bonfire diaries’ (a copy of which we’ll do our damnedest to nail for review as soon as). Culled from that set comes ’shake’ which in our much humbled opinion is the best thing we’ve heard around these here parts since those Nicole Atkins and Anna Calvi debuts. A sweetly mesmerising slice of haunting spectral goth folk blues that bears trace elements of Siouxsie and swims in the same spectral and archaic waters more commonly associated with the Smoke Fairies. Located in the same unworldly netherworld as Fever Ray the willowy weirdly weaved ’shake’ is dinked with a timeless lazy eyed mysticism, the melodies flutter about with mysterious shape shifting glee flitting out of focus like drifting apparitions being pulled through the ether atop sighing cellos and the bitter sweet yearn of Celtic coaxed harmonies. Simply arresting.
Moving picture type thing can be found here….
The mercurially chic cool wave crew Rubicks (long time no hear around these parts) are about to release their new opus ‘the rise of the giddy’ which should be available via the Cargo collective – for now though here’s a peak at the video for their latest single ’worship’…..
Sarah Jarosz ‘the tourist’ (sugar hill). Totally smitten with this, a beautified bluegrass retake of Radiohead’s ’the tourist’ by 19 year old Sarah Jarosz whose adept skill and artistry would appear to make a lie of her tender years. Culled from her ’follow me down’ set – a stream of which we have here awaiting listening and no doubt a swooning review besides – really is something that needs to be heard to be believed. Anyhow she’s due to simultaneously arrest and break hearts shortly by treading the UK stages in mid July though not before dropping off this little heartbreaker. As said a cover of ’the tourist’ originally by Radiohead, now you don’t need me telling you that its an unheard of thing to hear someone else rethreading the work of Yorke and Co not only getting its measure but adding a new dimension to the proceedings but that’s exactly what Ms Jarosz has achieved. A torturously trembling re-cut tripped by the gentle cortege of lolloping banjos and clipped with a melancholic distance only hinted on the original though here brought into sharpening focus by the distressed hushed howl of an aching sigh of resignation. Utterly spellbinding.
‘like to watch cool shit’ came the promise from their press people – here’s one of those moving picture shows featuring Machina muerte performing live at the recent Paid Dues Festival on April 2nd this year…….
Samson and Delilah ‘silently’ (little red rabbit). With a hush and the feint crackle and caress of a yawning twilight morn softly stretching from slumber arrives the homely and haunting ‘silently’ – traced upon a woozy spectral psych folk countenance this ghostly gem lulls and seduces with the distracting demurred elegance of Damon and Naomi despatched to a fabled netherworld located somewhere between the wiles of the Wicker Man’s Summer Isle setting and the mayday pastoral village green of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Scarborough fair’ rephrasing albeit as though seen through the viewfinder of the Red House Painters, the sounds all dinked with cantering rustic rambles and the daydream chime of key peels, bewitching bespoken and arresting stuff that arrives in limited edition letter pressed sleeves.
Video is here…..
Inca Gold ‘inca gold II’ (Color and Vision). Rightly being hailed in certain circles as ones to watch, the brand new EP from space sirens Inca Gold sees them embarking on their promised second of three sonic odysseys this year following on from their quietly acclaimed first mission voyage in March which alas we here to much disgruntled sighing haplessly missed. Anyhow a quartet of treats to be found on this here EP – the Inca Gold sound deftly occupies the wispy outer fringes that cross weave across the prog / space / dream pop spectrum with the opening brace ’into hiding’ and ’league’ seductively orbiting a distracting lunar axis, the former traced in the kind of subtle lysergic glazed lemon popsicle psych overtones that was once the remit of a youthful Spectrum though here as though rewired through the glassy drone mindset of My Bloody Valentine’s ’loveless’ with the latter trimmed in oodles of multi tacked harmonies, celestial wisps and shimmer toned arpeggios that collectively viewed see it traversing a trajectory previously plotted by the kind of the shoegazey / goth / cool wave classicism of the Bolshoi and Gene Loves Jezebel while simultaneous graced with the same tender trembling majesty of the Church. All said us here though are a tad taken by both ’dark moves’ and the heart heavy retrospective regret of ’gone fishing’ – the former a gloriously mellow and murmuring mirage that had us frantically rifling through our record collection to familiarise our hi-fi with the Kitchens of Distinction while in our humbled opinion the latter proves the best of the set and brings matters to a temporary conclusion framed as though a hollowing bitter sweet hymnal overture crushed, hurting and forlorn – scarcely a dry eye in the house I can tell you. Now to snare that errant debut.
Much in tune with those wonderfully wired and whirring releases straying out of New York courtesy of the criminally cool Weird imprint, here’s a simply seductive slice of 80’s frosted framed celestial dream pop courtesy of Animal Collective acquaintance John Maus. ’believer’ heralds the arrival of Maus’ ’we must become the pitiless censors of ourselves’ via the upset the rhythm imprint, a 4 minute bliss kissed cutie that teasingly tripwires an alluring alchemy of austere post punk death disco dialects, 80’s cold wave calibrations and psychotropic mind warping mirages all haloed to a softly euphoric and effervescently radiant rush of heavenly sighs, lilting choral chimes and spaced out hallucinogenic codas that imagines a porcelain psych pop purr torn from studio notes laid down by a secret collective of Meek, Sonic Boom and Chevel Sombre mindsets…….
Low ‘especially me’ – new single culled from their recent ‘C’mon’ full length for Sub Pop – which incidentally to much harrowing embarrassment we are yet to hear – I know what your saying – we are slipping in our old age – according to the press release Low lead man Alan Sparhawk cites this particular cut as the albums cornerstone and to be honest having heard it – its with good reason he enthuses such. Old school Low as it happens cut to a sparsely unfurling loping muted blue ramble this aching love note shimmers to a sensitively demurring and enigmatic soul intone that’s trimmed and trained with a trembling and touching smoking torch like resonance that heals as much as it hurts……..
And news is reaching us from across the hazy cosmic divides that the much loved around these parts Soft Hearted Scientists are due to dock into orbit and refuel record decks with their 4th album entitled ’wandermoon’ out via the hip replacement imprint in August – a copy of which we’ll try to nail for fond words and other such musings – those fearing spontaneous combustion at having to wait till then can hook up to their webby delights at http://www.softheartedscrientists.com or else re-acquiant yourselves with our commentary on recent demos from the albums sessions somewhere here – we are nice to you – you know that don‘t you…..
Shoot the Dead ‘shoot the dead’ (self released). Long time observers of these musings may well recall our fawning fondness for Brand Violet a fair few years ago. I mention this purely because there’s something innately sleazy, scuzzy and seductive about this debut twin set from Brighton’s Shoot the Dead that recalls that pouting twang gouged pop fixated London combo. Mind you that said that’d be a Brand Violet spiked and sparring with the cold wave cuteness of the Rubicks and the uber cooled austere throb of the White Rose Movement for this baby sensually shimmies amid a salaciously gritted and alluring mirror ball glow, rarely since the Curve has an ensemble been able to deliver a sucker punch all at once weighted with the ability to prowl, punish and purr and simultaneously teeter tastily between destructive collapse and dark romance – will cause damage aplenty on the coolest death disco chic floors. Equally brazen is the flip cut ‘inhuman’ traced as it with a hulking heavy loaded and thunderous post apocalyptic howl that’s spiked upon seizure stricken pulse pacing industrial indents that bristle to a last stand ignominy – much admiring the momentary Suzi Q styled glam shocks mid way through. More please.
And talking of the utterly divine Rubicks – getting good at this linking bit lark don’t you think – piece of piss really haven’t a clue why deejays rave so much – not like its inventing the wheel – anyway should you happen to be tuning into BBC6music between the hours of 7am and 10am – that’ll be breakfast time youngsters – you’ll find this little baby decorating your listening space with all manner of fizzy and flirting electro raptures courtesy of love noted sonic pulses emanating from its hyper driven ray gun – here’s a video for ‘is this love’ for you to adore – sounds not unlike classic era Melys playing tag with Salon Boris if you ask me…..a bit of a gem……
Windmill Moth Glue ‘wizard entrails’ (ants and earwigs). Windmill Moth Glue do not sound like they come from Liverpool. In fact Windmill Moth Glue don’t sound like anything that finds its residence on this planet we call Earth. Picked this up from the counter at Probe – must admit I was drawn to its rather surreal childlike cover doodles – very Volcano the Bear it should be said. Flipping over said release our pulse quickly raced as we glanced at the titles of tracks promised within – how could we resist such odes as ‘zombie crab man’, grandpa satan’ and ‘sperm town’. the work of ambient plane chunks, granite mantis and dr jones – clearly not the names they were born with I’ll hazard a guess – who hail I believe from somewhere close to where I die a slow death of tedium each day between the passing hours of 9 until 5 – that being along the borders of Crosby and Waterloo. Now lets draw a few lines in the sand before we start proceedings. Windmill Moth Glue aren’t going to be appearing on some sappy pre school pop show any day soon not unless someone behind the scenes fancies an instant dismissal from employment. Its also safe to say that Windmill Moth Glue disturbing as it may first seem – breathe the same air as you and me. Furthermore ‘wizard entrails’ and indeed its authors may yet prove to be the most refreshing thing out of Liverpool – musically speaking – since Apatt – its certainly true that I’ve not heard anything so off radar since the aforementioned ensembles debut EP waltzed breezily into my life and took up a lifelong residency in my headspace. Finally – Windmill Moth Glue will divide ranks between those who clearly hate or love them with a passion. There will be no middle ground. I must admit to being mightily encouraged at the way the playing of this demo CD on Probe’s sound system resulted in the shop clearing of all punters and staff alike – and in a new record time of 3.45 seconds give or take a hundredth of a second here or there. Now this was a release I could do damage with I thought to myself. And so to ‘wizard entrails’ – 9 tracks lurk within that once passed by the false sense of security impishly weaved on the opening ambit ‘syrup moon’ (which admittedly sounds not unlike some long lost melodic mosaic intended for backdrop to accompany one of those weird early 70’s Czechoslovakian animations) appear to caustically circle with a blood letting anything goes remit. Precariously perched or rather more purged upon a cross firing no wave / power electronics / noise axis Windmill Moth Glue seem wholly content on pummelling the shit out of the would be listener. No quarter given here as they venture forth amid a brutal white noise howling head drilling carnage of sound that appears to side step any notion of musical form, adherence to time signatures or indeed tunes. Quite simply a butchering fest of patience baiting brutality, these imps ferociously spiral in worlds sometime inhabited by the likes of locust and melt banana albeit at their most unruly, both ‘strawberry rhino’ and ‘zombie crab man’ are punishing slabs of threatening white stricken no noise whose demented and festering freeform legacy is primed by a chaotic and torturous fried jazz funk dichotomy. Elsewhere there’s the chillingly bleak monochrome drone of ‘teddy bear swamp march’ which imagines a seriously wired re-trace of Landscape’s ‘norman bates’ had that is a ‘death disco’ era Lydon and Levene got their hands on it while the maddening ill dread that courses throughout ‘little banjo lake devils‘ is well – too weird for words – though try to imagine Add N to X clawed, chewed and spat out by a particularly evil minded Bronnt Industries Kapital. Further along and it soon becomes apparent that these are clearly young gentlemen with unresolved issues, beneath its speaker melting wiring haze ‘sperm town’ is possessed of a brief psychotropic twanging core, though like fellow noise niks – the much missed Tayside Mental Health, WMG are you suspect taken with a spot of playfulness the insane mayhem of the excellently titled ’the jamboree of Beelzebub’ is just that – an apocalyptic march of the macabre to a heavily claustrophobic industrial storm which leaves the skewed and lysergic traced nightmare oddness of ‘grandpa stan’ to have you scampering behind the sofa as it craftily rewires 50’s love dove ‘when’ – originally by the Kalin Twins – and treats it to an ominous kazoo blast by those TV ghouls the Munsters – well that’s what it sounds like to us. And just to wrap things up a little note found loitering inside suggests thus ‘why not have us at your wedding / social event?’- do you know I might just do that though I strongly suspect it’ll be the quickest marriage to divorce on record. Oh and forgot to say only 80 of these blighters – alas ours wasn’t one of the poster ones – bugger – and our copies totally trashed through repeat plays – can I have another. There’s also rumour of a live demo by ambientplanechunks.
Update – many thanks to Jack who dropped off a hulking package of Windmill Moth Glue related grooves – included in which a couple of copies of the aforementioned demo CD to replace our beleaguered and sadly battered through repeat plays original, that errant poster (looks well smart and will in the course of the next few days be framed, hung and given pride of place alongside other notably artworks – just between you and me our much loved hand drawn lovely eggs pic – whose new single – reviewed here many missives ago – is now available to purchase at all decent vinyl stocking outlets including Probe wherein we eyed a copy just yesterday), a copy of Ambient plane chunks solo CD entitled ’dust babies’, an ambient plane chunks demo, a granite mantis demo and finally a granite and ambient collaboration CD entitled ’winter’s growl’ – all of which we’ll pencil for feature in missive 294.
‘dust babies’ can be downloaded for free via http://www.ambientplanechunks.bandcamp.com
More moving picture type stuff this time from the gloriously insane and crooked kamikaze punk pop crew Peelander – z – a Jap combo based in NYC who are described in passing as an ‘action comic book punk band’ are here to save your listening tastes and make your record collection that ever so subtly cooler by way of their playfully skewed and schizoid superhero two chord aural action painting twisterella or some such nonsense, they’ve already taken SXSW by storm and are now embarking on controlling the minds, ears and turntables of all self respecting indie kids across the globe with their daft as a brush damaged pogo pop dementia – albums loom by way of a retrospective entitled ’super dx hitz’ followed by a newie currently being cobbled in their secret hideaway lair….new single ‘taco taco tacos’ out via Chicken Ranch goes like this………
Mungolian Jetset ‘moon jocks n’ prog rocks – remixes’ (smalltown super sound). I’m going to start by saying two things – firstly a most welcomed return to these pages after what must be something like a decade long absence for the admired Norwegian imprint Smalltown Supersound and secondly – and probably most confusingly – with a release that we here aren’t exactly certain that we’ve got all the info for – all rather more all the correct info in the right order. Okay I’ll explain – this baby which eyed lurking in the racks of our local record emporium comes pressed up on 12 inches of wax, appears to be limited to 500 copies and if all our background reading thus far has been correct and present is a set of remixes for a cut that appeared originally on another uber limited outing via the same label by the all accounts head turning cosmic troop Mungolian JetSet – entitled obviously ‘moon jocks n’ prog rocks’. Anyhow the release went down a storm on the cosmically tripped out dance floors of club land and soon caught the attentive ears of Todd Terje, Montezuma and Frisvold & Lindaek who saw fit to reshape the Mungolian Jetset sound beneath the glowing shimmer of a retro 70’s styled aural mirror ball. This collection gathers together four such uber discofied funk face downs with Todd Terje’s opening ambit the ‘schlong tong vocal’ mix doing a seductive feet flashing strut across the dance floor and into the bargain fusing the hedonist grind of Rick James with the slinky studio 54 chipped razzmatazz of Sylvester. The ’even stiv – en dub’ variant sees Terje’s dimpling the same template with a loose limbed head wiring locked grooving fringe flicking cosmically down and dirty Moroder like motorik underpin the kind of which Cerrone would have slapped down Hot Gossip for. Flip the disc for the smoking nocturnal trimmed Montezuma’s revenge re-drill which turns the lights down to cool sophistication and invests some seriously chilled and super chic dub-tronic drilled blaxploitation accents while the parting shot courtesy of Frisvold and Lindaek wraps up matters on this essential club floor gouging outing with a nifty slice of spacey minimalism which appears to find French futuro funk dudes Space transmitting out hyper galactic melodic mind waves across the cosmic divides by way of some bliss kissed bustling bpm boogying. Phew.
Staying with Smalltown Supersound for a while longer – on their home page http://www.smalltownsupersound.com you’ll find the latest XLR8R pod cast which has in the guest seat mixing the platters diskjokke better known to friends and family as Joachim Dyrdahl – among the radiantly upbeat cornucopia of sounds hogging needle time are cuts by blood orange, friendly fires, alexkid, pleasurekraft and compuphonic to name just a few.
One more instalment – tomorrow –
Don’t forget contact details have changed –
For snail –