Tales from the Attic
Revolutions of a 45 and 33 kind…
Still trying to get through the back log of these no shows from earlier in the year, still a few more to go I’m afraid before we wrap up these missives. As ever most of this is probably long sold out and since vacated the record racks.
This particular edition gathers up stuff by…..
Heliocentrism, pas musique, the vickers, less than worse, francois de roubaix, pins, jinja safari, asian dub foundation, gospel, lilies on mars, the orb, jay jay johansen, the mirror trap, bunnygrunt, neleonard, u/v light, (pressure), rolodex, mass defect, prism on, kuki and the bard,cappa, sir robin and the long bowmen, ernest, smoking trees, fufanu, carw, malka, sister mystery, little eris, the bear hunt, flying saucer attack, android 80, strange turn, green question marks, octopus syng, mordecai smyth, crystal Jacqueline, mark and the clouds, c Duncan, deafcult, hc-b, apricot rail, dr alien smith, negative scanner, eliane radigue, wil z, canyon spree, dumb doctors, delia derbyshire, art trip and the static sound, crack bytch, mkultra, pokal, holly lerski, tropical trash, those unfortunates, evvol, broadcast, tvam, free school, pet sun, petunia liebling macpumpkin, magic bus, flexipop, the lubricators, nocturnal toxin and carnage, le almeida, games for may, london studio group, don shinn and the soul agents, wynder the frog, the graham bond organisation, Humphrey Searle, the ambient light, renaissance, thousand, anti matter people, crown larks, william d drake, the hare and the moon, extv, deep six, the luddites, stalgia, totem terrors, tau, electric eel
‘tvam – no explanations (static caravan / blak hand)’.
Featured this several times already and it still whips up a wig flipping storm each and every time it comes into earshot, ‘no explanations’ is for want of a better description, a frenzied twang gouged Dadaist flashback of late 70’s surf hop which strays ever so deviously into a frazzled and frantic sci-fi-tronic space age Dan Dare meets Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet styling. All said we here are more than a mite fond of the flip cut for ‘migrating your mind’ is a star cruising snarling behemoth of shock treated death disco dinked cosmicalia replete with a slipstreamed kraut chassis powered by a grizzled V12 riff scowl – quite frankly the dog danders.
‘Free School – love calling (static caravan)’
Culled from a forthcoming full length set ‘dancing on the dark’ – the second in fact following ‘hudson’s whistle’ released earlier this year, the expansive ‘love calling’ features guest vocal duties being taken up by Tomlin Mystic of the friendly fire music collective. A gorgeous cosmic rapture it is to that we’s like to thing will shortly be laying siege to the most in tune club floors around the land, this amorphous love note comes sveltely threaded and teased in mushrooming Balearic baubles all softly dipped and dinked in a demurring and cool nocturnal purr and something which we must admit here is a bit of a departure for the Static dudes into overt chart bothering territories. Alas no fancy sound clips or videos just yet.
‘Pet Sun – never quit (hand recording)’.
Something else that’s been the subject of admiring glances and furious nods of approval is a forthcoming new thing from Toronto based groovers Pet Sun entitled ‘never quit’. Peeled from a forthcoming – as yet untitled – debut full length due summer time for hand recording the realities warping ‘never quit’ comes on like a seriously insidious slice of psychotropic ear candy that takes the whole grunge psych template on a mind fracturing bad trip, so damn wasted and tasty its oozed in blurring mind altering kaleidoscopia which unless our ears do deceive sounds not unlike a seriously shit faced and out of it Nirvana sparring with Soundgarden.
Those of you fancying more Pet Sun groove with a little bit ought to check out ‘feel like I’m going away’ at your earliest convenience – a scorching slab of wired to the teeth and strutting beat cooled garage gouge that sounds as though it’s been dropped kicked straight out of the mid 60’s – strictly for Estrus heads…..
‘Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin – picked fences (electric phantom)’.
Fondly admired around these here parts, latest slice of kaleidoscopic kookiness from the bizarrely bonkers as hell Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin is ‘picked fences’ – a warped and wonky wonderland of crooked lullabies and strangely enchanted fried folk magicalia all bathed in a surreal sun pop radiance and whereupon and unto which is found the dizzily demurring Ms MacPumpkin casting trippy spells atop screwball abstract electronic motifs as she flightily skips merrily along some peculiarly yellow bricked path to weirdsville.
‘magic bus – seven wonderss’
Now I don’t mind admitting to being a tad let down and slightly upset at being overlooked (again – hello Schnauser) when it comes to bands we love and have had cause to feature too much adoration in previous despatches starting to roll out review copies of new releases. We feel vexed – nay – wounded that as yet we haven’t heard the latest full length platter from Magic Bus incidentally entitled ‘transmission from socmore’s garden’ – we even considered, in moments of darkening thought, the whittling out of dolls in their individual likenesses forged from disused cigarette papers, bubble wrap and hot chocolate (something which of late we’ve grown rather accustomed to drinking by the vat load – thought I’d share that with you hell knows why it’s not as if we are being paid by the word [or paid at all as I come to think of it]). Anyway grudges and grumbles aside – we like to think we are better than that – and so with that in mind we trekked off in search for tasters and happened upon this little gem. This is ‘seven wonders’ from the aforementioned full length set and finds the Magic Bus types ploughing the kind of blissfully hazy psych folk arcadia lying somewhere between the more mellowing mosaics crafted out by a chemically free spirited Cranium Pie and the super chilled passages found peppering the back catalogue of a sun worshipping Chemistry Setthough which midway through transforms and shifts perspective midway through to resurface anew draped in a most beguiling and beautified floral magicalia.
‘Flexipop – the book’
Back in the day when the NME was a crucial read, where it competed on a weekly basis with Melody Maker, Sounds and Record Mirror, where Superpop had fallen the short lived (was it called) New Musical News briefly found a space, the newsagent racks where littered with pop periodicals, Smash Hits and Number 1 would spar for the teeny bop market for the best part of the 80’sbut somewhere sandwiched between it was the sore thumb that was Flexipop that turned the heads and caught the eye of the teen record buying market for a short momentous while. The attraction of Flexipop was always its cover mounted flexi disc, each of the 20 odd bendy turntable terrors (do you remember the advice of manufacturers to tape a 2p piece onto them to stop slippage) featured a plethora of in demand chart hugging artists of the day – the Associates, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, XTC, Adam and the Ants, Blondie, Altered Images, the Cure, Bauhaus and more……much scandal ensued the magazine was the subject of a nationwide newsagent blacklisting towards it’s bowing out while by the time of its final issue the magazine had debunked the flexis and gone uber goth with its curtain closing edition featuring a certain Alastair Crowley on the cover – something which until now I was happily ignorant about. Anyway there’s a book reliving all the highs, lows, cock ups and minor disasters with yes a flexi featuring Spandau Ballet and Soft Cell – http://www.flexipop.com/bookhome.html
And talking of flexi’s, one of the rarest and most sought after of the medium was a supposed Sex Pistols freebie given to journalists Christmas 1977 by the Virgin press folk entitled ‘lentilmas’ –there’s always been speculation about this being a ruse by the label and that the Pistols never featured at all meaning more fool those who’ve splashed out four figure sums trying to nail a copy – you can check for yourself on the following sound cloud link……
‘the lubricators – the girl with the death row stare’.
And back again with the Lubricators who you may recall we mentioned a day or three ago with ‘(I got a) durex machine’ and who now appear to have dropped Count Frederick (well not really – I suspect we here misread their name in all the anticipated excitement). Anyhow this is ‘girl with the death row stare’ – admittedly not as wired and feral as the previously mentioned kick to the head but rather more kissed with a slinky 60’s smoking cool lounge lizard-esque grooving that seductive spirals around a killer fuzz buzzed snake charming riff coda which to these ears sounds not unlike a secret love potion concocting wizardy garage coven featuring shadowy members from the Troggs, the seeds and the Stones. https://soundcloud.com/fred-11-1/the-girl-with-the-death-row-stare
‘Nocturnal Toxin and Carnage ‘burning death’.
We’ve had a fair old amount of trouble in tracking this down I can tell you. Spotted on one of those bandcamp forays that we occasionally find ourselves doing at ungodly hours in the early morning (around 4.30am in case you are wondering) most days. Now this one we prepped for later listening and duly bookmarked, only the blighters web address bounced back with zilch when we went armed to the teeth and prepared to do battle some days later. That said mere annoyances like moving web page only serve to crystallize our determination and of course we like the sense of the chase. And so after a spot of researching (2 minutes and 11 seconds I’ll have you know) we unearthed the bugger. Now with a name like Nocturnal Toxin and Carnage, the common sense side of your head should be rightly screaming very loud that this isn’t perhaps going to be an easy listening ride, and well quite frankly it’d be right. Hailing from Mexico, Nocturnal Toxin and Carnage is just one person Tzachitxz and beyond that the information trail runs abruptly cold, however that said this is monumental stuff, frenzied, feral and frightening yet nonetheless monumental. ‘burning death’ appears to be a three track compilation teaser of some sort, a brutal battle scarred bastard ripped from the very bowels of hell itself and seeking to reign apocalyptic siege upon your head space amid violently demonic death headed aural assaults, seriously this needs to be heard in the cold light of day and even then it won’t diminish the sense of oncoming dread and hopelessness that sours from its sonic scab wounds. ‘purification’ alone warrants particular singling out not least because it’s such a scalding slice of fright wigged black hearted primordial bludgeoning that it makes most death / black metal acts positively pedestrian by comparison reducing them to mere low ranking apprentices. That said I should admit to have a passing admiration for opening salvo ‘Vampire’ which between shades of dark and light assumes a doom draped end of days revelations foretelling styled demeanour. https://zeox.bandcamp.com/album/burning-death-promo-compilation-2015
‘Le almeida – desamper (lost sound tapes).’
Ultra limited 100 only cassette heading out of the lost sound tapes imprint (there are CD and vinyl variants via jigsaw and ifb respectively) from Brazilian beat pop combo Le Almeida entitled ‘paralelopasmos’ from which the track ‘dasamper’ we’ve taken something of a shine to. A potently perfect sub 90 second power popping sunny buzz bomb that sits sumptuously somewhere between the radiant throb pop of Velvet Crush and the short sharp lo-fi turbo groove of guided by voices albeit both colluding together re-sculpturing forgotten hook hugging lovelies from Gumball and the Mayflies whilst surfing ever so close to the outer realms of the elephant 6 collective, does it for us.
‘Games for May – Fruits de Mer / Mega Dodo….’
We mentioned Magic Bus loosely / deliberately a little earlier because sometime September they’ll be releasing a 7 inch – in fact the very same track mentioned along with newly minted offerings from nick nicely, vibravoid and tir na nOg, the latter of whom you can see should you happily to find yourself near the vicinity of Putney’s Half Moon tomorrow and fancy groovy sounds, tasty beers and convivial company not to mention all round good cheer – oh and a record bag stuffed full of CD’s and a freebie 7 inch to boot just for paying the entrance fee and turning up and the chance to grab yourselves limited editions by Tir na nOg, tor peders and happenings aplenty, then may we suggest you shuffle up and check out the Fruits de Mer and Mega Dodo co-hosted first festival of the year, ‘games for May’. The goodie bag includes 9 – yes nine free CD’s – some mentioned below – the rest we’ve omitted will be getting mentions later in the week – but as far as the list goes there are releases here featuring the blue giant zeta puppies – which as it happens we mentioned a while back here – https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/the-blue-giant-zeta-puppies/
…a head spin sampler tthat includes cuts from the likes of the luck of eden hall, sula and bassana and will z who I suspect will be featuring shortly here…..also a specially pressed CD of pre Past Tense groove while they were still playing as Pipe…..something rather sublime by the Portraits, a lost nugget from Cary Grace and a CD set by the much admired ZX+ – plus a Games for May 7 inch featuring the bands performing at the event and all manner of games, stickers and inserts and various lobbed in gubbins…..for full event details – see the link at the foot of this……
Among the CD treats you’ll find inside your bulging ‘Games for May’ freebie sack an absolute killer compilation from Stylus Music entitled ‘a collection of spellbinding instrumentals from the sixties’ – essentially a 30 track twang-a-ramic feast of bad boogie strut gouged ju-ju that features a whole host of lost nuggets from pops neglected backwaters which had we had the time we’d love nothing more than giving mention to them all individually. One or two familiar names stare out of the grooves like the smoking chill dipped ‘the supernatural’ by John Mayall and the bluesbreakers, the Dakotas found here doing a wigged out shuffle courtesy off ‘oyeh’and Jack Parnell whose experimental and zany ‘white suit samba’ is clearly the work of fried genius. Trekking through the grooves there’s plenty of gems to be had such as the Baron’s uber cool comic strip superhero groove ‘whirlwind’,while for those well attuned to in the arts of old school TV theme covers will do well to check out ox populares’ version of ‘out of limits’ done in a very wig flipped Stingray styled stylee while the adored ‘randall and hopkirk (deceased)’ incidental (one of the finest themes to grace a TV show) is summarily given the lush sweeping majestic treatment by Norrie Paramor and his orchestra from a rare Polydor single from 1970. Somewhere else there’s the mysteriously woozy dream dipped ‘journey into the fourth dimension’ by London studio group who were rumoured to feature Basil Kirchin in their celebrated ranks and released a plethora of library lounge soundtracks for de wolfe in the 60’s. a particular ‘shout out’ goes to Fay Craig’s ‘mirage’ – a deeply disorientating slab of Meek-esque strangeness featuring ghostly fairground carousels, b movie mysticisms and a spy school shakedown. Link and Dale enthusiasts will do well to fast forward to impala’s twang-a-hula ‘pueblo / experiment in terror’ while clearly winning hands down the vote for best named band goes to mandrake paddle steamer whose ‘carmen’ is equally freaked. Also worth hooking up to are the secrets quite sublimely mellowed Shadows on chill pills ‘the enchanted sea 2006’ and don shinn’s ‘pits of darkness’ – the latter is just off the radar. On a final note – for those of you into the smaller details of matters we’ve just noticed that the CD sleeve incidentally comes replete with red underlined spell check errors – we know a lot about those here – ha ha.
Here are a selection of wiggy treats from some of the featured personnel…..
London studio group…
Don shinn and the soul agents…who we believe featured a very young Rod Stewart if reports are to be believed…
Wynder k frog doing a killer kooky version of ‘green door’…..
The graham bond organisation…..
Co-hosts of the Games for May happening Mega Dodo have been quietly creating a buzz on the psych loving underground these last few years, home of sky picnic, Icarus peel, mordecai smyth and of course Crystal Jacqueline and the Honey Pot (Mega Dodo’s own Jane Weaver) – her version of the Stones’ ‘play with fire’ is just something else and finds it recast as a haunting and enchanting mysterio draped in Doors-ian shadow plays which without playing down the worth of the sets other cuts just stands head and shoulders as the most vital listening moment here. The label has admirably curated a bespoke back catalogue flavoured in strange 60’s florals, lysergic pastorals and woozy kaleidoscopia. ‘Dodo Skin Music’ is a mind warping 43 minute stereo show of sorts that finds guest presenter Neil Nixon of miskin radio rooting through the labels enviable archives for a prize picking shop window taster of the aural attractions lying hidden within. Amid this mercurial mix lurks the warping Walrus machinations of Strange Turn’s trip-a-delic ‘pink litmus paper shirt’ and the ethereal out there ghostly mirages of the Green Question Marks quite sublime re-tooling of the Hollies ‘pegasus’. Octopus Syng’s quite simply unreal ‘you are every poem’ is pure Donovan while Sky Picnic are your bona fide 60’s children of the sun emerging from the darkening shadow lines of that decades fracturing in to crystal clear lysergic light formed from an equal measuring of Barrett and Jefferson. Mordecai Smyth has been known to occasion the Mega Dodo playlists with psych treats aplenty that owe much to Tomorrow as proven on ‘sinister cyclist’ and erstwhile Tomorrow-er Keith West per ‘plastic people’ albeit here cut with the abstract impishness of Anthony Newley while his sparring partner from a recent ‘barnburner’ face off Icarus Peel can be found here doing hazily glazed homages to label mater Crystal Jacqueline. Its left then to Mark and the Clouds to close the curtains of this defining box of treats with ‘Goddess of Desire’ for a spot of wig flipped mid 60’s soul shimmered beat cool – over and (far) out.
More wigged flipped psychotropia comes courtesy of an hour long plus radio set specially cobbled together with rare 60’s essences, frazzled happening flashbacks and a whole dollop of groovy sounds by Marrs Bonfire entitled ‘sounds of the smart set’ which you can hear weekly fixes of on Friday’s via BayFM 106.4. This mix specially curated for the ‘games for May’ soiree finds the Bonfire one cutting and pasting b-movie trailers, comedic interludes – a nice Stanley Unwin welcome comes at the start of the festivities – and wired and wyrd advertising jingles amid grooving grooves that are peppered by a fried and frazzled fairground ride of toons by the likes of Floyd (Barrett in situ of course), shadows of the Knight, the luck of eden hall, the Zep, Manfred mann, tv personalities, the end, the litter, the pacemakers with of course Gerry and something quite incredible from the previously unknown to us Instant Flight. Head frying stuff.
‘c duncan – garden (fat cat)’.
New single from Fat Cat secret weapon C Duncan, (how many is that now? – about umpteen). ‘garden’ is taken from a forthcoming debut long playing platter ‘architect’ which I don’t mind saying has been getting a fair old hammering around these parts since downloads arrived to demure our dansette player. C Duncan shares the same kind of ethereal sound space as Cheval Sombre, both mining sonic territories so far removed from the chasing pack that you suspect both are touched with the celestial. ‘garden’ is no exception metered to the kind of exceptional high quality that is now becoming quickly apparent as a branded trademarkof C Duncan, this sublime spiritual draws from several parts ‘Smile’ era Wilson / Beach Boys and a youthful 10CC and from them moulds and crafts a divinely beguiled cosmic magic carpet ride whose tapestry morphs and shape shifts continually between radiant floral chorals, progian operatics and baroque psych whispers, spellbindingly beautiful in short. https://soundcloud.com/mrduncan/garden-1/s-g97HV
‘deafcult – turing (beko disques)’.
Am I right in saying this lot are from Oz, a place who like Canada in recent years have seemingly embraced the whole dream pop blueprint and re-moulded it is as their own this I’m afraid is quite gorgeous, a stopping off point in the great star speckled firmament sitting between Skywave and the ever adored Dead Leaf Echo, this is deafcult and ‘turing’ beyond which we have no further information though rest assured they’ll be featuring here on a regular basis if their catalogue is anything near as dreamy as this. Rippled in MBV vapour trails all haloed in adoring sheens of bliss kissed feedback swathes of the type that will make those among you so admiring of the Doreen and Emerald and hidden shoal imprints purr in entrancement, this beautified star glider longingly patrols secret Slowdive cosmic trails issuing forth lunar love notes back home on galactic postcards. https://soundcloud.com/beko3/deafcult-turing
‘HC-B – Deux (hidden shoal)’.
And talking of Hidden Shoal, the latest from Australia’s finest purveyors of the sublime and the dreamy comes from HC-B in the shape of their third full length entitled ‘rough’ which alas we haven’t had a chance to hear just yet though be certain of this there will be words fondly strewn at its feet later in the week. For now teaser single ‘Deux’ – incidentally available as a free download – ought to give you a fair idea as to what’s cooking. Best described as a slow to burn post rockian epic, ‘Deux’ is lushly crafted with a dead eye detail for poise and arrangement, both measured and majestic it perilously scales in ascending formations all the time growing in stature and assuming depth and density much like a brooding and bruised Grails at the height of their talismanic powers its akin to being at the heart or eye of a raging storm orchestrating nature’s fragmenting moods and from it harnessing a beautified though touchingly emotionally brutal quietly simmering turbulent rage. Quite something all said. https://soundcloud.com/hidden_shoal/hc-b-deux
Those of you previously unfamiliar with hidden shoal can, should you have yourself twiddling thumbs with a few hours spare, dive deep into a consuming 90 track playlist cobbled together by the label feat
uring gems from their catalogue both old and new, between you and me though the mere fact that it features several tracks from Apricot Rail notably ‘halfway house’ is reason enough to investigate as is Dr Alien Smith’s ‘underslung’ especially if your boat floating pastimes are made happy to be immersing your listening space in late 80’s new Zealand noise cultures over dreamy seafaring montages that sound as though they’ve taken their cue from ‘sailing by’. https://soundcloud.com/hidden_shoal/sets/hidden-shoal-mixtape
‘negative scanner – planet of slums (trouble in mind)’.
Incoming on trouble in mind, the debut long player platter from Negative Scanner details of which for the moment we’ve lost sight of the accompanying press shot email – so er – sorry about that. Anyhow not to worry, the music speaks for itself for Negative Scanner appear to acutely trip a twang tinged post everything groove that finds their pulse racing frantically spikey pop dialect careering waters once upon a time occasioned by the likes of Magazine and the Turbines, over here we’ve found our toes a tapping wildly to the feral and scuffed up Dadaist agit gouged ‘planet of slums’, a wired to the teeth sore thumb outcast draped in panic stricken shouty discordance and kissed with a subtle twist of a Brix in situ Fall to boot. Damn fine by our reckoning, alas no sound links I’m afraid – full album mentions a coming.
I find it hard to believe that a) I’ve never previously come across Eliane Radigue and that if I had thus far she’s obviously slipped my radar, and b) that this piece is over 40 years old. ‘Geelriandre’ is a masterclass in sonic balance, the spectral meditative folk incantations ghosting beneath the icy shimmer of a monotone silvery orb illicit a feeling mixed of pensiveness and expectation as though on the final journey that will see you metamorphous from the corporeal to the spiritual.
‘Wil Z –Namo (Mega Dodo).’
And so back with Mega Dodo as loosely promised, imminent on the labels release schedule is what promises to be a full on cosmic and spiritual head trip entitled ‘new start’ by Wil Z. Lushly packaged in an eye catching gatefold sleeve housing limited slabs of heavy duty white vinyl – 250 in total – ‘new start’ finds this most extraordinary talent returning to the fray following acclaimed appearances in the cosmic trip machine and 70’s psychedelic hippies the book of AM. Featuring some of the last recordings committed to wax by the recently departed Daevid Allen and inspired by the philosophies of Jain, this 6 track suite dreamily navigates upon an astral arc lushly guided by a woozy trance toned blissfully hazed meditative grooving that’s lulled and teased in bonged out late 60’s / early 70’s flashbacks all dinked in cosmic florals and the kind of far out dialects more commonly found on trippier outposts of the Elektra and Brain imprints. ‘namo’ featured here as one of three teaser listening offerings is perhaps the most earthbound track of the trio though is still glazed in enough mellowing wooziness and ghost light folk incantations to have you dreamily closing your eyes and opening your mind in preparation for the trip ahead – totally zonked out. https://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/new-start
‘canyon spree – garden of evil (Azbin / Beast).’
Another release we happened across on one of those bandcamp soirees – as if we haven’t enough stuff to listen to as it is, this is Berlin trio Canyon Spree whose debut full length ‘garden of evil’ has just tripped out from the shadows and onto the wax grooved catalogues of French imprints Azbin and Beast. From what we’ve heard thus far we here are more than a little smitten by ‘blind cyclops’ and the parting title track ‘garden of evil’ – the former shimmered in fizzily strummed 60’s garage struts much recalling the adored Shonen Knife had they of course gone all Meek-esque and ghost rider with the latter possessed of a more shadowy demeanour and drenched in death waltzing keys all darkly draped in deliciously archaic medieval folk motifs that had uss here imagining a studio face-off between Haight Ashbury and Kull. http://canyonspree.bandcamp.com/album/garden-of-evil
‘dumb doctors – killed by weed’.
Yes okay I admit we were taken and indeed attracted by the name and the sleeve which incidentally features a particularly mellowed looking skull no doubt caned and frazzled after a heavy night’s session passing around the bong. It’s a theme that translates throughout the aptly titled ‘killed by weed’ – a teaser track from an album entitled ‘one’ which arguably wears its Brian Jonestown Massacre hearts on its sleeve and sounds, it has to be said, like a cruise controlled and blissed out Black Angels which I’ll hasten to add is no bad trick to pull out of the bag for this babe saunters in like some sun scorched sand walker channelling out stoned droned mind tripping psychotropia. http://academia.bandcamp.com/album/one
‘Resource….001 – Delia Derbyshire’.
Informative sound clips packed resource site paying homage to the late electronic pioneer Delia Derbyshire which include brief biographies, cuttings –among which a transcription of her appearance as a guest on BBC radio Scotland’s ‘original masters’ in 1997 hosted by John Cavanagh and Drew Mulholland as well as an extensive discography collating together details of all known works including a trawl through the PRS database listing recorded credits including those under the nom de plume Li De La Russe. http://delia-derbyshire.net/
Something aired over the weekend on BBC Radio 3 that you might have missed, Matthew Sweet continues his trawl through cinemas soundtracks, this edition prompted by the recently released remake of ‘poltergeist’ visits upon the spirit world and weaves an hour long magicalia of gothian scores and sweeping string arrangements clipped in creeping beauty and ethereal mystery, among the hauntings Jarre, Williams, Goldsmith, Hermann, North, Elfman, Horner, Beltrami, Streitenfeld and the best of the set in our humbled opinion Humphrey Searle’s captivating sonic choreographer for ‘the haunting’ which unless our ears do deceive shares a close affinity with Hermann’s ‘vertigo’. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05w7m4p
‘Art Trip and the Static Sound – forever (for lob 415 edit) (fiasco recordings)’.
I’m really of the mind that these dudes can scarcely do no wrong, several singles have all met with the kind of whooping euphoria around these here parts that frankly ought to be outlawed for us scribes of advancing years, but blighters that they are Art Trip and the Static Sound just keep coming at you. Latest to their formidable canon ‘forever’ has all the hallmarks of a collective with a shared impish hive mind having way too much fun and intent at concocting as much cool chaos in the studio as is legally possibly. A marauding messenger from some far out and stoned star system this hypno grooving bad boy is ripped and rippled with a seriously beaten around the edges beatnik gouging upon which a psychotropic kraut cruising howl is found dragging in its tail path lassoed fractures of a no wave oblivion all primed with the subtle charm of a charging juggernaut. https://arttripandthestaticsound.bandcamp.com/
‘The ambient light – golem’.
Admittedly absolutely smitten by this little nugget, hailing from Los Angeles this is the Ambient Light and an effervescently dream draped track called ‘Golem’ – a sweetly surrendering shoegaze lovely blissfully traced in ear candy longing shimmer toned haloes of dissipating spectral reverb raptures and kissed in lovelorn sighs that seductively swirl and reverberate like stone pierced ripples on lysergic pools. http://theambientlight.bandcamp.com/track/golem
‘crack bytch – smells like piss’.
Old time readers of these musings will be all too familiar of a time long since past when we used to wreak upon your curious earlobes strange sounds from such eminent cassette labels as Scotch Tapes, Love Torture and many more besides. We’ve come to mourn their absence on our beleaguered tape player. I mention all this because when Crack Bytch’s ‘smells like piss’ reared into earshot on one of our daily rambles through bandcamp world, we were immediately time tripped back several years to those halcyon days where hours where spent trying to decipher these Dadaist drone deconstructions in the hope that we could muster a review of some degree of readability. A resident of Alabama, Homewood if you want to be more specific, Crack Bytch ushers forth the kind of intense sonic maelstrom as befitting of those aforementioned labels, doom drone hollows and skree scoured wind tunnels cast and craft an alien environ, an environment without emotion or light, for here there’s a sense of the unease, something of the macabre perhaps the foreboding, blinding silvery orbs radiate a white hot intensity as its author sets his magnifying glass to the sonic spectrum honing in on inner spaces hitherto unheard and unchartered, in truth something which ought to appeal to those admiring of the early sonic manipulations of Pimmon. http://crackbytch.bandcamp.com/track/smells-like-piss
‘musical interlude…..18 – Renaissance – Northern Lights’.
Haven’t heard this in such an age, stands the test of time, Annie Haslam an obvious unsaid reference and musical mother of both Crystal Jacqueline and Jane Weaver anyone? Anyway this is Renaissance from that golden year of pop 1978 with ‘northern lights’……
‘mkultra – in limbo, silent dream’.
More desirable ear gear this time from New Jersey mkultra who’ve a Sun Ra quote posted on their page and describe their sound in the taglines as ‘abstract beats experimental hip hop’ – alas beyond that we have no idea who he / she / they is / are but safe to say this is dream drift brain food in its seductive form. A smoky coalescing of nocturnal jazz cool, trip hop beats and demurring down tempo mirages which by reference to the best thing here – ‘hypnagogic visions’ sounds like a blissed out Discordia fluttering longingly around the headspace of Lemon Jelly. http://mk-ultra47.bandcamp.com/album/in-limbo-silent-dream
‘thousand – the flying pyramid’.
It might start off a little dizzily slacker-esque and somewhat punch drunk and shambling but seriously give it a chance to blossom and breath and the rewards are a plenty. ‘the flying pyramid’ is the opening track from a new full length by thousand entitled ‘***’ – quite possibly the happiest thing to have arrested our sound player since that quite sublime AJ Holmes and the Hackney Empire single ‘martyn’s elephant charm’ came shuffling along. We here are adoring of the needle picked tropicalia riffola and its beautified lazy eyed dream drift lilts and serene shanty tamed tonalities coalescing effervescently to marinade your musical mores in hypnotic south sea mirages.
‘Antimatter People – concepts’.
I’ll be honest in saying we actually tripped across this while trying to get information on another band (Pokal – who all things being right and given we haven’t been distracted by another new found nugget, should feature immediately after this). These dudes hail from London are called Antimatter People and specialise in the craft of smoking cool progressive psych that sounds so authentically vintage you’d be forgiven for thinking it’d been prized from the lost vaults of a long since forgotten label from the early 70’s. ‘concepts’ very much shares both a sound space and time place with Tokolosh whilst adeptly cherry picking from the back catalogues of both a youthful Porcupine Tree and Pure Reason Revolution, a masterclass in the mercurial, this star gazed gem comes swirled lunar lysergic lilts and the subtle soft seduction of psychedelic whispers. Sheer class. https://soundcloud.com/antimatterpeople/concepts
‘pokal – fancy lights’.
Absolutely no information on this lot except to say I think I’m right in saying they are from Sweden and go by the name Pokal. I’m assuming ‘fancy lights’ is a single boasting a catalogue number arr10 yet for all our attempts to muster up any information it has so far returned diddly. A damn fine thing it is to that had someone told me it was the result of some secret recording liaison between a Vince Clarke in situ Depeche Mode and B-Movie from that golden year of 1981/2 or thereabouts, I’d have wholeheartedly believed, not least because its possessed of the pairs rare pop alchemy, the formers acute ability to turn in immediately infectious ear candy hooks moulded to the latter’s sense of the quietly brooding and epically shadowy. Add to that ‘fancy lights’ brings with it a kind of glacial retro electro shininess that’s carbon dated to the era albeit here dinked and rehoused as were by some neat restoration rubbing by a much missed Birdpen. https://soundcloud.com/pokal/fancy-lights
‘Holly Lerski – come sit down’.
Talking of arresting, there’s something about the floral intimacy attaching to this shyly inviting love note from Holly Lerski that harks to echoes of Judie Tzuke. Pulled from her imminent ‘the wooden house’ set, ‘come sit down’ is caressed in birdsong and the softening sigh of honeyed rusticsbeneath which there lies a fragile vulnerable whose delicately dinked warmth and yearning expressiveness hints ever so subtly to the creaking artistry of a youthful Nancy Wallace.
‘crown larks – fog, doves’.
If truth be told we actually stumbled across this lot courtesy of the latest Active Listener sampler – #32 in case you’re playing catch up. That said not the featured cut, us being the impish sould we are decidedly to have a root around to quickly sample their current ‘blood dancer’ album and found ourselves much taken by this distracting sortie. Shimmered in a misty ghost light ‘fog, doves’ is a hauntingly beautiful and ethereal mistral, a formless visitation breezing through twilight realms traced upon a curiously becoming sonic palette that draws in equal parts wyrd folk, freeform jazz, lounge and woozy psychedelia, the kind of thing it has to be said that we’d have expected to arrive on our doormat at one time with the telling trademark stamp of pickled egg handiwork upon its hide, that said here served as a spectral portrait of some shadowy meeting between virgin passages and musette. https://crownlarks.bandcamp.com/
‘William D Drake – distant buzzing (onomatopoeia)’.
Had you firmly filed in your mind’s eye an image of William D Drake based purely on what you’d heard crookedly eking its Victoriana merriment upon your stereophonic player, then I’m fairly certain such an imagined portrait would resemble something scatty and wizardy much like, say, Cat Weasel replete with pointy wand and a medicine bag full of strange workshop curios. Truth is he’s an ordinary Joe who to his credit has worlds of enchantment and tales of bewitchment ruminating amid hispsychedelic headspace which in all the hoorah and said merriment have an occasional knack of slipping their moorings to escape their strangely surreal environs to propagate their peculiar essences upon us mere normal as be the case with ‘distant buzzing’ – the opening track from Mr Drake’s frankly fried and freakish musical carousel ‘revere reach’. With the spirit of Vivian the Stanshall atop his shoulder, Drake and his troupe set sail for tempestuous waters where drama, danger and the prize come and go with fleeting ahoy to arrangements that rise, rage and rove amid the chiming reverie of wheezing arcane keys, toy store instrumentsand a bonkers Sunday afternoon bandstand bravado that’s so eloquently spoketh in tongues daubed in English eccentricity. How quaint.
‘tropical trash – UFO rot (riot season)’.
This would you believe, is one of the most ‘pop’ tracks to be found on the debuting long player platter from Tropical Trash. At least it’s not trying to pummel your head space into the back of next week and more tellingly at least it adheres to a very loose notion of verse chorus verse even if it’s qualification does require a very imaginatively liberal defining of the principle. Tropical Trash you suspect do not do subtle, ‘UFO rot’ is curtly cut in bracing agit shock, discordant hard core no wave that just howls disdain whilst coming up fast on Ministry’s ‘Jesus built my hotrod’ with both shellac and fugazi serving as their tag team in the pits, punishing anti pop a-go. That said we’ve been thumbing quickly through the track list prepping for a full review later in a few days and found ourselves stumbling upon the monolithic 9 minute black hearted beast ‘knowing’whose impenetrable doom drizzled hard shell had us in mind of Earth albeit on speed for the best part of its gestation before tensely erupting in showers ofsimmering scowls of scab forming blistered nonchalance. Out on limited slabs of vinyl incidentally. .
‘the hare and the moon – wood witch (reverb worship)’.
Another release primed for overdue love and attention is the latest opus from the Hare and the Moon through reverb worship entitled ‘wood witch’. A considerable body of work trimmed in a rarefied magicalia all steeped in an archaic tapestry and tongue that stretches through time crafting a bewitching bouquet that blends folklore mysterios, wood crafted fables and a rich regal pageantry possessed of an out of time artistry so rarely heard these days. For now from this most entrancing suite a brace of book ending beauties that have thus far kept us somewhat entranced. First up the ethereal haunt of the spell crafting ‘the midnight folk’ which opens the set is pure Hammer House gothian beauty, spectral tonalities glazed in dreamy dissipates illicit a sensually ghostly chill while the parting shot is introduced by a lilting lullaby chime motif heralding the entrance of the radiantly stately waltzing procession that is the lushly toned ‘Morgiana’ which with its alignment of genuflecting string arrangements, heavenly chorals and panoramic prowess puts the hare and the moon onto an elevated pedestal high above their contemporaries.
‘those unfortunates – I wish that I could smile like Malcolm (midnight bell)’.
Trouble is with well written press releases is that they scarcely leave you anywhere to manoeuvre, I mean this one rallies on about the wit and warmth of the Kinks, the Blockheads and the TV Personalities coursing through the groove lines of this day-glo ditty. In truth we’d skip the first two preferring to zero in the latter because the latest outing from those unfortunates entitled ‘I wish that I could smile like Malcolm’ – (a homage to Malcolm McDowell no less which incidentally is available only as a download with the first 50 coming replete with an art print featuring three exclusive tracks to be released on the actors birthday – neat eh) really does have the impish punkoid shoe shuffling mod tripped vibe that oozed from the psych eyed sonic lens of Dan Treacy and Co albeit here crookedly fried by a tasting of the Cardiacs all guzzled down into a tastily served rapid fire and wired sub three minute buzz bombed slab of late 70’s English pop eccentricity. Did we cover everything?
Evvol – four steps from home (!k7).’
Recently picked up by the !k7 imprint, Berlin based duo Evvol are shortly to release their debut full length ‘eternalism’ (due to dock Earth estimated time July) ahead of which ‘four steps from home’ has been sent out on a reconnaissance sortie. A seductively lovelorn amorphous beauty that comes trimmed in the demurred flashings of sweet nocturnal noir, crystal tipped in ice carved earth beat motifs all desirably kissed with flash backing echoes of trance toned Balearic after glows whilst rubbed with a deeply alluring isolationist groove, utter bliss.
‘eztv – trampoline (captured tracks)’.
Those morning the absence of coolly radiant jangle pop sorties wafting over your stereophonic space courtesy of lost labels such as summershine, bus stop and seminal twang from the late 80’s / early 90’s whereupon where sprung forth fringe flopping poppets from the likes of teenage fanclub, velvet crush et al may do well to tune your headsets into a forthcoming platter emerging via captured tracks by EZTV entitled ‘trampoline’. This lightly lulled purring power pop gem softly weaves a head turning tapestry blended of subtle west coast hazes and the teen crush of a post c-86 generation all cut to the ear hugging artistry of a forgotten High or power of dreams flip side. https://soundcloud.com/capturedtracks/b3-trampoline-v1/
‘PINS – Molly (bella union)’.
Another beat pop combo who quite frankly in our eyes (and ears I’ll have you know) can scarcely do no wrong. ‘molly’ comes pulled from the bands very imminent ‘wild nights’ set for bella union – a copy of which we must sadly (to much grumbling) admit to have not having heard or for that matter got yet, a brooding babe hollowed in shadowy 60’s shimmers that hints of dark seduction housed in bliss teased psychedelic strobes that reference wise imagine some secret studio alliance of smoke fairies and kull types, perfect playlist fodder for those still missing the insect guide.
‘Jinja Safari – find my way (rare finds).’
Okay a little word of warning with this one. Should you be prone to having – shall we say – raging boils and hissy fits each and every time a Fleetwood Mac track rears into ear shot, notably ‘everywhere’ – then I suggest you skip this one for there are times throughout and often at that, when we had occasion to burst into said song – purely an in-voluntary act you understand – nevertheless a tad worrying. That said ‘find my way’ by Aussie indie-sters Jinja Safari is possessed of enough pop smarts as to have your tapping feet dancing off into oblivion and beyond. Shrouded in sheens of effervescent radiance and lushly soaked and sauntered in all manner of tropicalia, this crooning calypso delight happily trips along spreading feel good warmth whilst peppering the listening space in a most becoming carnival of south sea breezed affection, kinda does it for us. https://soundcloud.com/jinjasafari/find-my-way/s-riTUY
‘Asian Dub Foundation – the signal and the noise’.
The much welcome return to the fray or more specifically, return to our turntable of the mighty Asian Dub Foundation with ‘the signal and the noise’ – make no mistake this is the sore thumb dudes at the height of their game for this battering ram is a dub drilled punkoid colossus, a howling inferno with its dials set to hair hackling max whilst threaded and gouged to a grinding groove whose throat throttling grip draws a loose lineage to Killing Joke all bolted to a pulse racing tension and a hill charging battle cry calling to the dispossessed, the pissed off and those buried beneath the heel of the political power brokers, fiercely stunning. An album looms we believe. https://soundcloud.com/asian-dub-foundation/the-signal-and-the-noise
‘Gospel – ain’t gonna let you in’.
Seductive nocturnal groove best served peering through the shadow falls of a lights lowered environ. Third single from Gospel (you might recall us casting fond appreciative glances in the general direction of their debuting ‘disasters running wild’) the airless and amorphous ‘ain’t gonna let you in’ is sumptuously draped in the deeply intoxicating smother of a purring spectral sculpturing that’s traced in the noir ghost light of softly caressed panoramic dubtronica motifs kissed with oriental mirages and the whisper toning of ethereal halos beneath it all a bruised reveal sighs in contemplative detachment, quite a becoming and beautifully frail delight. https://soundcloud.com/gospel-band/aint-gonna-let-you-in-1/s-eMmj2
‘lilies on Mars – dancing star (lady sometimes)’.
Last found voyaging our way following the demurring delight that was ‘dot to dot’ via the ever adored shoegaze sound bunker that is Saint Marie imprint from which the track ‘dream of bees’ had us somewhat entranced and fondly imagining a cosmic refuelling point where both a youthful Broadcast and Stereolab could be viewed swapping fan notes. Latest lunar visitation finds Lilies of Mars’ cosmic trajectory on course to pass through our sound world shortly, its cosmic comet (anAutumn scheduled full length ‘Ago’) heralded by the scouting satellite ‘dancing star’. A fondly misty eyed recall of an era obsessed with hopes of a futuristic space age, a time where electronic pops wide eyed experimental innocence was still taking its first infant steps, ‘dancing star’ manages to transmit from a point simultaneously out of timeand space both looking backwards and forwards. Unquestionably a distant relation to the Meek produced Tornados curio ‘telstar’ albeit as though re-tweaked through a Silver Apples viewfinder and then melodically cooled by Uma, the sighing pulsar thrust powered ‘dancing star’ is a blissfully kissed slice of cruise controlling kosmiche uber pop sending forth love notes from an unspecified solar outpost through the galactic slipstreams on vapour trailing ice cream vans.
‘the Orb – moonbuilding 2703AD (Kompakt).’
Return of psychedelic architects the Orb finds sonic cosmonauts Paterson and Fehlmann passing through our sound constellations with the deeply immersive cosmic grooved ‘moonbuilding 2703 AD’ for Kompakt. Must admit that our ears have been a pricked by the head tripping mind toning mirages within of which on initial listens, opener ‘God’s mirrorball’ has caught our earlobes. Initially sounding like a stray unused sound-scape edit for D Adams’ original ‘hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy’ radio series, the Orb’y ones soon jettison rocket boosters and engage the settings for maximum bliss out to take your brain space on a full on cerebral tweaking auditory massage. A master class in precision sound engineering, the Orb guide the listener on a shape shifting mind morphing lysergic 15 minute odyssey, a sonic swampland where tonalities are slick and soupy, a place where realities blur and the physical and the dream like interweave into a mesmeric and gloopy lunar stew. Damn fine if you ask me. Full review here soon.
‘jay-jay johanson – laura’.
A bit of a rare treat, here’s Jay-Jay Johanson ahead of the release of his ‘opium’ set caught performing a live rendition of Bats for Lashes ‘Laura’ at the Red Bull studio in Paris featuring occasional collaborator Robin Guthrie. Seriously if this doesn’t cut so deep as to make you somewhat tearful then frankly you must be made of stone. Emotionally crushing, there’s an almost sighing hymnal gracefulness quietly slipping these bitter sweet wounds with Johanson’s bruised recital cradled in the soft sympathetic sweep of the genteel majestic arrangements beneath.
‘the mirror trap – silent men’.
The lengthening shadow of the Thatcherite era still howls and haunts the forgotten towns of Britain’s post industrial past. Its realism, pain and suffering brought into sharp acute focus by the current administrations austerity programme. In such an unequal and fractured society one man’s austerity is another man’s making. You can blame the selling off of the gold to counteract and stabilize an economy threatened by bank crashes and possible run on Sterling, but the truth is the country’s jewels where sold off long ago with the fall of both the primary and secondary sectors, as such the result of which, denying and robbing the coming generations of a future. ‘silent men’ is a lone voice to those who’ve suffered such, working men emasculated at the hands of the profit sheet often with skills and a life time of experience rendered obsolete by market forces and a dispassionate Whitehall elite, men humiliated and humbled whilst brushed with the finger pointing Government rhetoric that classes all unemployed as feckless, lazy drains on societies coffers here encapsulated succinctly into a sub six minute warts n’ all simmering critique. This is the Mirror Trap incidentally who hail from Dundee and are about to embark on a short tour to promote the anti-austerity anthem ‘silent men’ EP the lead track of which smarts with a quite anger and frustration that hints to echoes of a nose bloodying Easterhouse and McCarthy.
‘bunnygrunt – open my eyes (happy happy birthday to me)’.
Irresistible turbo trimmed bubble groove from Bunnygrunt. Culled from their forthcoming flame fuelled power pop punked out full length ‘Vol 4’ – incidentally adorned in an ever so cute cat clawing Sabbath mock up sleeve – ‘open my eyes’ is your speed freaking, gear changing very fast – quite fast 90 seconds kick to the head of effervescently peeled riff radiance that steps on the toes of the Shonens whilst managing the occasional well heeled nod to Helen Love all tastily honed to an acutely cute blitz blissed flutter by kiss that coos seductively to a 50’s teen thrilled purr. https://soundcloud.com/crashingthrough/bunnygrunt-open-my-eyes
‘neleonard – casi cuela (elefant)’.
We are presently trying frantically to search through our in boxes because I suspect we may have somehow fallen off the elefant records mailing list which is giving us cause to be a tad upset. That said we did however trip over this, their latest pop platter comes courtesy of the highly thought of neleonard with ‘casi cuela’ – in short a breezy slice of affectionately teased feel good pop that literally beams happiness with each passing beat and comes softly shepherded by a most becoming bouquet of brass fanfares aligned to the kind of shy eyed perkiness that used to attach to releases put out by Sarah many moons ago.
‘u/v light – semaphore (medical records)’.
More gems found on a recent wander around that there inter web and the first of several mentions for the Seattle based chill wave imprint medical records. This is a debut long playing platter from u/v light entitled ‘cenotaph’ of which on initial listens we’ve plumbed for ‘semaphore’ as taking the early vote in the affection stakes. This coolly frost tipped lunar lovely is gloriously trip wired upon a sumptuous motorik Moroder-esque discoid underpin upon which a kind of minimally mutant trance toned hypno groove works its cosmic magic to imagine some retro futuro face off between the much missed Salon Boris and Noblesse Oblige secretly sonically lab ratting Lipps Inc’s ‘funkytown’ under the watchful star gaze of Slipstream. http://medicalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cenotaph-mr-046
‘((pressures)) / roladex – split (medical records)’.
Not strictly speaking out for a few months, but best pre order to save disappointed as I suspect this will / and should fly off the racks in nanoseconds when it arrives. Released in conjunction with Disko Obscura (and Medical Records) this split 7 inch release (on translucent yellow wax no less) features LA based ((pressures)) on one side with roladex of seattle occupying the other. The former mentioned turn in ‘the voices’ – a hyper driving slab of cruise controlling ice pop that had us here imagining a particularly thawed Client lost amid the shadowy electro groove of a ‘nightmares’ era A Flock of Seagulls whilst shimmer glazed in all manner of motorik kosmiche pulsars. As to Roladex, they come serviced by the cold waving minimalist electro seduction of ‘glass statuette’ – this beauty very much channels the same pristine glacial pop acuteness as was once the trademark sound of Sophie and Peter Johnston albeit treated to a rather fetching and dare I say demurring dark wave makeover. http://medicalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/split-7-mr-030
‘mass defect / prism on – split (polytechnic youth)’.
Forthcoming on a strictly limited 55 only issue via the boutique imprint Polytechnic Youth, latest from the purveyors of new sounds from a lost age finds prism on and mass defect sharing sides on a release which, based on previous outings issued forth on this uber hip label, will sell out on pre order alone. Mass defect provide the dreamier option and dare I say more transistors turned on offering of the two, an in house collaboration it would seem that features the labels creative back room hive Dom and Alan courting something of the wide eyed innocence of electronic sounds’ silver age whilst star gazing fondly observing future’s to come. ‘magnetic melodie’ serves up a fond glassy eyed homage to that very analogue age, a serenely spectral moog and korg orbital waltz very much tuned into Sonic Boom frequencies and flavoured in the kind of hypno grooved kosmiche that may well have several of you old school Earworm heads spending time rooting through your prized collections for early outings from Echoboy (‘Scene 30’ era) and Magnetophone. Over on the flip and no slouches in the affection stakes the mysterious Prism On known only as the Commander of the Order. This slice of dark matter – incidentally titled ‘flicker flicker pow!’ – comes from a shadowy place and finds its point of reference superbly transcending several generic electronic time zones most notably providing something of three headed leviathan incorporating DAF, Clock DVA and Front 242, but scratch a little deeper and amid its bleak futuristic filmic soundscapes echoes of White Noise, Jean Michel Jarre and Add N to X are found rippling in its vast light consuming vortex.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/129319332″>PRISM ON Flicker Flicker Pow!</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user24992389″>Polytechnic Youth</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/129262857″>Mass Defect Magnetic Melodie</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user24992389″>Polytechnic Youth</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
‘kuki and the bard – dalai lama (RAK)’.
Must admit to being somewhat distracted and absolutely smitten by this two track gem. Part of an apparent singles club series from RAK (and yes they come adorned with the classic label design) whose previous releases we really must check if this little delight is a trademark exhibit of what to expect. This is Kuki and the Bard, a brother and sister duo (Kuki and Isambard in case you are frantically taking notes) with their debuting release just ahead of prestigious Glastonbury slots. ‘Dalai Lama’ is impossibly cute and flighty, set to a lolloping and breezy sun shaded reggae motif traced with subtle sitar sighs, this upbeat honey radiates joyfully with something of a Knife styled kookiness about its wares. That said the secret weapon here is to be found on the flip side for here lies a superb retreatment of Duncan Browne’s lost nugget ‘journey’ – softly surrendered upon a dreamy seafaring lilt and lovingly caressed and teased upon an enchanting pastoral bedding this blighter almost brought a fond tear to my eye as it crashed through the normally well maintained emotional fortresses to tug heavily upon our heart strings. https://soundcloud.com/rakstudios/sets/kuki-and-the-bard
‘cappa – this is love’.
A strange ethereal, enigmatic enchantment seductively attaches to this ice sculptured yearning, a hushed expectation traced in a head falling rapture that’s lost in the moment and surrendered to its emotions, a spectral love note shimmered in a gloriously purring shadow lined noir that stirs with the shy eyed minimalist sensitivity of Fever Ray and the emotional crush of Goldfrapp, it’s by Cappa, it’s called ‘this is love’ and comes culled from a debut EP. https://soundcloud.com/cappa-music/this-is-love-1
‘Sir Robin and the Longbowmen – I would like’.
More treats found on our occasional rambles around the vast bandcamp sound space. This lot hail from Dresden and beyond that, sadly the information trail run cold. Safe to say ‘I would like’ comes sumptuously primed in oodles upon oodles of swirling 60’s keys giving it the kind of flavouring as to suggest it’s just stepped off a newly forged and prime packed Nuggets / Pebbles set of lost garage groove from the mid 60’s. Laced in Doors-ian mirages clipped in L’Augmentation motifs, ‘I would like’ is shimmered in coolly cut beat pop reverb haloes and the kind of psychotropic wooziness as was once the trademark etching of Chocolate Watchband and more so Afterglow. http://sirrobinandthelongbowmen.bandcamp.com/track/i-would-like
‘musical interlude…..19 – Broadcast – the Book Lovers’.
Nearly 20 years old now, Broadcast’s ‘the book lovers’ uncannily manages to exist in its own hermetically sealed sound bubble outside of time and space.
‘musical interlude…..20 – the deep six.’
Really – just how the hell did we miss this and how have we got thus far in life without ever straying to its charms, this is the Deep Six and an album released way back in ’66 – a bona fide lost baroque sun pop treasure which we suggest before you throw yourselves head first in that you pay particular attention to their cover of the Stones ‘paint it black’ which aside straying into Mammas and Pappas territories whose debut incidentally was out the same year – this honey has an ever so slight tracing of a youthful Broadcast about its wares…..
‘enest – light and clear’
I couldn’t even begin to describe or give indication as to why I’m a tad taken with this for it works on so many different levels, a gloriously magical odyssey that fills you with vividly colourful euphoric rushes and something which within its finite sub four minute framing manages to freewheel seductively between jazz, noir, lounge, folk and of course classical disciplines with such aplomb and ease that its beyond bewildering. Add to this a sense of the mystique and the elegiac not least brought to bear by the sweeping string arrangements that buoy and carry aloft this siren-esque visitation as it ushers in, sprinkling all in its path with love rupturing fairy dust. For those uninitiated Enest is the nom de plume of one Shimrit Nativ and ‘light and clear’ comes prized from a forthcoming full length entitled ‘my silent past’ – perfect for those attuned to the work of Rasplyn.
‘The Vickers – love you to’.
Think I’ve gone on record before in saying I’m not massive on the Beatles, I have moments (in my life – there you go a little Fab Four funny) where I’m either positioned either end of the polar opposites between loathing and loving, currently at the former where I’ve been stuck for over a decade. Still that said ‘Revolver’ has rarely been out of ear shot, these days heralded as the Beatles at the height of their powers and rightly so given it features some of the eras defining sonic signposts one such being ‘love you to’ which now finds itself super psychedelicised by the Vickers on a new imminent 7 inch. Left in the hands of these dudes, the original chassis comes refitted with hulking hyper driving jet thrusters, an absolute dandy it should be said rephrasing the originals swarthy mystique into a kosmiche hyper dream replete with soaring stratospheric vapour trailing dissipates for what can only be described as an absolute mind f**k. All said though our preferred choice is over on the flip side wherein you’ll find looming large ‘see me jumping on the stars’ – this cosmic bad boy comes framed in all manner of woozy trip-a-delics and shade adorned lysergic cool kissed with a tangy hallucinogenic afterburn that in truth isn’t a million miles removed from the blissier moments found on the Walking Seeds head mushrooming ‘bad orb…..whirling ball’ set.
‘less than worse – Vladimir’s Putin his dress on’.
Who said we can’t be topical, on the day when Putin revealed his latest list of minsters and leaders barred from entering mother Russia – a notable one being – if I recall rightly – an ex foreign office minister who hasn’t held the position in 2 years and currently has no portfolio to speak of. It’s an issue that’s rankled the broadsheets with Radio 4 noting that some ministers have laughingly come to look upon the exclusion as a badge of honour. And so up to the plate step Less than Worse whose ‘Vladimir’s Putin his dress on’ – a taster incidentally culled from a forthcoming ‘Iain Hunter’s chip shop riot’ set – mightn’t earn them Soviet kudos but does at least feature what’s sure to be one of the all time rock lyric bites ‘homophobia – shove it up your arse’. Blending skittish music hall, alt funk and new wave ‘Vladimir’s Putin his dress on’ is a sarcastic sneer at Russia’s intolerable anti gay stance, this beauty comes hitched upon the kind of wise cracked bitchin’ brew of savvy ear candy fused with political / poetic rhetoric that could easily find a place on the Blockheads immortal ‘New Boots and Panties’ album without looking none to out of place a fact rammed home by the fact that upon hearing first time you are found doing a quick double take to make sure it isn’t Mr Dury waxing lyrical from the fore. https://soundcloud.com/less-than-worse/vladimirs-putin-his-dress-on
‘musical interlude…..21 – Francois de Roubaix’.
Mentioned this chap in passing a little while back when we cast a cursory eye over the Orgasmo Sonore imprint, this would you believe was recorded way back in 1972 by Francois de Roubaix and captures perfectly the filmic obsession with espionage noir at the time – see Budd / Mancini, but then listen a little closer and beneath the intricate detailing and the Barry-esque cool there’s a forerunning echo to Orbital’s late 90’s catalogue notably ‘the box’ running wild amid the grooves.
And talking of Orbital’s ‘the box’ here’s a version I haven’t heard in such a long age, the full on extended mix that gathers together all the various edits into one mind wipe……
‘pas musique – molecular vibration (alrealon musique).’
Just out via the Alrealon Musique imprint the long awaited Pas Musique set ‘inside the spectrum’ which we will endeavour to try and nail full copies of in the coming days. For now here’s one of teaser tracks that you’ll find currently posted on the labels bandcamp site entitled ‘molecular vibration’. An immersive exploration into the micro worlds of sound, a shape shifting odyssey populated by skittering technoid murmurs and minutiae flashes of glitch grooved drum n’ bass motifs shimmered upon an airless cosmic vacuum and ghosted by hypno inducing spectral intelligentsia. http://alrealonmusique.bandcamp.com/album/inside-the-spectrum-alrn061
‘heliocentrism – the tree inside (alrealon musique)’.
I’m not at all sure whether we’ve mentioned this lot in previous despatches, I’m of the mind that we have not. Heliocentrism are duo Kuba and Antonina who it seems from having heard ‘the tree inside’ are quite adept at the crafting of dream draped ethereal overtures that hint of a seriously chilled Heather Duby wrapped and cosy toed in some hitherto blissful sound bubble left to orbit distant star zones all the time transmitting celestial raptures into the great void. This brief and beautiful apparition comes pulled from their Alrealon Musique endorsed full length ‘heliocentrism – 1’ and in a word or two it’s quite sublimely enchanting. https://soundcloud.com/alrealon-music/heliocentrism-the-tree-inside-alrn048
‘the eclectic eel #38’.
Guess it’s not called ‘eclectic eel’ for nothing given it boasts a playlist that sits side by side b-movie inspired sci-fi twang (the blue giant zeta puppies) with an extraordinary sepia twisted slice of theremin virtuoso that frankly has to be heard (Clara Rockmore) or some well heeled honky tonk tastiness (Georgia White) with some wiggy Cambodian groove (Ros Serey Sothea). Welcome to the eclectic heel radio show hosted by Graham Lovatt and prepare for the next hour to have your ears opened up to some strange and kooky sounds from the less visited dark side of pop – among the prime pickings here are an absolute head turning remix of McCartney’s ‘coming up’ from 2004 which I must admit we’ve never tripped across previously, elsewhere some flighty and flirty French sunny pop from Les Roche Martin whose ‘les mains dans les poches’ serves as a meeting point between Stereolab and Free Design. Best of the lot though is surely ‘seconds, minutes, hours’ from a forthcoming village green set by David John Sheppard whose recent Smile Down Upon Us album has been hogging the hi-fi of late and is seriously overdue words of adoration. https://www.mixcloud.com/GrahamLovatt/the-eclectic-eel-38-26-may-2015/
‘tau – huey tonantzin (madre tierra) (fuzz club)’.
Alas we can’t provide sound samples just yet but rest assured this bad ‘un is punching all the boxes. ‘huey tonantzin’ comes ripped from a forthcoming EP set entitled ‘Wirakuta’ by Tau who are a freewheeling fluid psych collective headed up by Dead Skeleton Shaun Nunutzi which features, at least on this release, various members of moon duo, the pussywarmers, kadavar and the Soft Moon. This colossal titan comes ghosted upon what sounds like a desert dust swirling storm howled crusade charging deep into the mystical eye, a monolithic head tripping medicine bag concocted of a nature’s forces harnessing ju-ju informed by forgotten ways and lost tongues whilst draped and dripped in spiritual essences and echoes as old as the sands themselves.
‘the smoking trees – trips (ample play)’.
Those fond of having their records sounding somewhat more stoned than you will do well to take a little ride on hallucinogenic head expander that is the Smoking Trees ‘trips’. Dreamily dazed and glazed in all manner of lysergic lilts, swirling sitars and reverb ripples this cutely woozy psychedelic pastoral comes teased and trimmed in the kind of trip-a-delic tapestries that one suspects many of their number have been imbibing a little heavily on the mind weaving aural arcana of the Zombies, the Purple Gang and Tomorrow. Regular controlled listening dosage required.
‘fufanu ‘ will we last (one little Indian)’.
bugger me this has some smarts, debut thing from Fufanu ripped from their ‘adjust to the light’ 12 inch EP, this is the drop dead cool as f*** ‘will we last’ which by right ought to raise a few eye brows and be the cause of a fair few double take stares . We just adore the way this fractures into the edgy detachment of shadowy psychosis all the time descending ever perilously towards a stricken spiral into a paranoiac oblivion haunted by the misshapen configuration of feedback howls and the gnawing blister of the hair standing chimes of swamp dragged twangs, hell’s teeth if I didn’t know better I’d have sworn it was a youthful David Cronenberg’s Wife picking away at the scabs of the Pixies defining ‘surfer rosa’.
I think we are spell error free on this one – fingers crossed – following us inadvertently changing the name of the band mentioned in the previous review from a harmless name into a rude expression of Portuguese disgust, of course we jest but I do feel Fanfano has a kind of ‘all for one gusto’ about it as opposed to fanfanu which, be honest now, sounds like a name you’d give to one of those annoyingly precious midget Japanese dogs……I digress……
‘carw – elevate (recordiau blinc).’
I’ll admit that it disappoints me no end that we seldom get any Welsh labels coming our way, so you can imagine ears were primed and typing digits were at the ready when this little cutie came breezily shimmering our way. Out shortly on the recordiau blinc imprint, a new EP from Violas’ Owain Griffiths entitled ‘les soeurs’ has been the subject of admiring glances around the gaff with lead out track ’elevate’ making the early advances. Laying gorgeously demurring earworms in your headspace, ‘elevate’ comes pressed upon dream drifting flotillas of solar seafaring Balearic braids that coalesce to exact a sweetly spectral and serenely sighing bliss kissed haze upon your listening space which just when your idly surrendered to its calming charms it sneaks upon you leaving lazy eyed love notes in your back pocket – reference wise – file somewhere between dream popper Manual and former Kenicke space cadet J Xaverre. https://soundcloud.com/carw_carw/elevate
‘Malka – mientras se respira’.
Something else we here are a tad taken with, this comes peeled from an EP by the name ‘the constant state’ by New York based shoegaze troupe Malka, ‘mientras se respira’ comes dream dripped in the kind of feedback framed reverie that once the trademark of a late 80’s underground scene has in recent years returned with new found prominence especially in Italian, Australian, Canadian and Stateside territories. All at once poised, majestic and mercurial, ‘mientras se respira’ is sumptuously haloed in soft psychotropic after burns and sighing inclines that shimmer and dazzle in ascending intensity showering all in the love tripped caress of purring posies hand plucked as were from the fusing of Valentine-esque bliss hisses and space walking Ride mirages by the Kitchens of Distinction.
‘sister mystery – last night I dreamt that someone loved me’.
We’ve pulled this and singled it out for a quick mention from a quite fabulous gathering of Smiths covers entitled ‘a dread sunny day’ – what sounds on paper like an either foolhardy or very brave cover of the immortal ‘last night I dreamt that someone loved me’ by Sister Mystery. There’s so much that could go wrong here, happy to say Sister Mystery admirably emerge the other side unscathed and into the bargain rephrase the emotional compass away from Morrissey’s whimsical forlornness to scar it in the bleak melancholy of a desperate despair howled in a brutal bruised abandonment all the time shadow lined by the tortured drag of chiming claustrophobia of the riff twanged gallows. http://theblogthatcelebratesitself.bandcamp.com/track/sister-mystery-last-night-i-dreamt-that-somebody-loved-me
‘little eris – karma to you (original human records).’
This has been pinging about our headspace since hearing it for the first time first thing this morning, which I’ll add is no bad thing especially given that it reminded us of the much missed Paris Angels. So you don’t think so eh – well imagine if you will the Paris Angels being fronted by Melys’ Andrea. Making sense now – I guess so. This folks is one of those amorphous floaty feel good gems that occasionally pass our way, a lilting lunar orbital descending from above peppering the air space in all manner of cosy toed head mushrooming spiro-graph styled swirls with a hippy trippy lost in the moment Little Eris spreading love tipped spiritual vibes by way of a little wink of her mystical eye and a rub of her cosmic crystal ball. https://soundcloud.com/soundandvisionpr/little-eris-karma-to-you
‘The bear hunt – movie star’.
Ripped from a forthcoming debut full length platter entitled ‘TBH’ – short for to be honest – that’s slated for September release, this is the bear hunt with ‘movie star’. A raw gnawing dirt bomb heading out from down under all kissed with a deliciously decadent glam grunge gouging pressed and primed upon a cool as f*** biting and grinding stoner blues grooving which to these ears sounds like an accessible variant of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in studio cahoots with Mudhoney.
Teaser video edit here……
‘flying saucer attack – instrumental 7 (domino)’.
Be honest, you never saw this coming did you. After a long hibernation Dave Pearce re-commission’s his Flying Saucer Attack alter ego with his first album in 15 years. The guitar based ‘instrumentals 2015’ is a collection of home recordings to tape and CD-r of serene sonic suites from which ‘instrumental No.7’ has been sent on ahead on a scouting mission to serve as a teaser of what to expect. This porcelain portrait finds Pearce in thoughtful mood, nods to Yellow6 and Wil Bolton along the way, ‘instrumental no 7’ is both mournful and mesmeric, comprised of an overcastting of shimmering reverb orbs beneath which navigates ghostly dust drift apparitions opining their head bowed and solemn reflection born of fading memories whilst orchestrating funereal etudes from the very fabric of nature’s moods.
‘Android 80 – violated (freaksville)’.
New set (‘the awakening of operative 13’) due to dock in earth orbit shortly via the ever engaging Freaksville imprint, Android 80 is the nom de plume of one Brian Carney who according to the liner notes was once synth bod in the psychedelic combo poisoned electrick head who I must admit our usually well heeled radar must have somehow failed to pick up. Blending the future world imagery, no doubt inspired by both Philip K Dick and JG Ballard, with a vintage electronique framing that all once hints of the shadowy macabre of the Human League’s ‘circus of death’, the clinical euro-pop chic of Visage and the brooding noir-tronics of b-movie, ‘violated’ though sounding retro still manages to sonically appear as though it’s posited on some future outpost waiting for time to catch up, a fleeting Foxx-ian visitation star gazed in loop grooved sepia silvered fairground motifs etched in bleak ‘blade runner’ styled dystopia whose nearest bedfellow, it should be said, is would you believe, the more electronic daubed grooves of a certain AB Leonard. https://android80.bandcamp.com/album/the-awakening-of-operative-13
‘stalgia – rust’.
Etherised forlorn love arrows longingly twinkled and pressed upon ice sheet platelets interweaved by shadow falling nocturnal boy / girl conversations all sweetly surrendered in spectral wisps and noir crushed orbital sepia twists, this is the mysterious Stalgia with the amorphous ambient ghost light ‘rust’ a beguiling bespoke beauty found located on some distant aural quadrant settled between No Ceremony and Alt-J. Nuff said. https://soundcloud.com/stalgiaband/rust
‘totem terrors – big e (diet pops)’.
We are so adoring of this new thang from totem terrors, blighter had us literally 10 seconds in. new from totem terrors, ‘big e’ is a spidery slice of austere Dadaist angular groove ripped from a forthcoming diet pops set entitled ‘hard science’. This fuzz buzzed trance spiked sortie comes frenetically adorned in the maddening panic attacking rush of needle sharp see sawing soviet-esque fanfare sirens led from the fore by a militarist precision nagging chant which to these ears had us much recalling the Slits albeit found here taking notes from Ludus. https://soundcloud.com/totemterrors/big-e
‘musical interlude…22…..the luddites’.
Breached Peel’s Festive 50 in 1983, my copy alas looking a little worn these days much like the one pictured in the video here (wraparound paper sleeves where always annoyingly prone to ring wear), but this is the Luddites whose ‘the strength of your cry’ EP along with a solitary Peel session from the same year was despite it being, it seems, a quick hello / goodbye, at least left a lasting mark on these here listening ears.
That’s youtr lot for now, no doubt more later in the vweek, as ever thanks for the messages, kind words and of course for tuning in…….