Tales from the Attic
Revolutions of a 45 and 33 kind…..
More lost and forgotten moments from earlier in the year…..
This ‘un features sonic visitations from…..
Stephen Duffy, jon de rosa, kassassin street, toliesel, extv, dark county, the tambourines, inventions, dan deacon, sauna youth, c duncan, black ryder, courtesy, throbblehead, holy serpent, late call, vuurwerk, a death cinematic, sleep orchestra, cranium pie, jean jacques perry and david chasam, revenanbt sea, id&co, chavad sb, sagan youth, pd wilder, kirchenkampf, white arrows, beach beach, battlelines, fever dream, maiians, thomas truax, cathode ray, wire
Heralding an imminent album in the shape of ‘no sad songs’ – incidentally arriving early April and his first for some seven years – Stephen Duffy emerges from the pops wilderness returning to turntables with the taster track ‘she writes a symphony’ under the long serving guise of the Lilac Time. Light, breezy and pimpled in a warming summer cool, ‘she writes a symphony’ is possessed of a classic Duffy casualness. And before you all take to pens readying to fire off dismissive missives – that wasn’t meant as a criticism but rather a compliment, for Duffy you feel has been for too long happy to flirt on and off with his musical muse hitting the kind of ease and comfort in his song craft that other less admired (here) and generally more feted so called nations saving graces might well raise an envious eyebrow. ‘she writes a symphony’ strikes a deceptive soft psych pose, trimmed with a pop prowess that harks back to Roddy Frame / Aztec Camera there’s a crisp radio friendly immediacy which in truth has never left the Duffy / Lilac Time work bench since their inception some thirty years ago though here coalescing succinctly to free flow in the vapour trails of a late 80’s sounding Bunnymen, this being all the more apparent by the crystalline arabesque riffage a la Will Sergeant. Add to the mix the sun kissed pastorals, the dreamy mirages and the irrefutable tug of 60’s shimmies and you have yourself something of a dansette dandy for the asking. https://soundcloud.com/tapete-records/the-lilac-time-she-writes-a-1?in=tapete-records/sets/the-lilac-time-no-sad-songs
again on tapete and pulled from a soon to arrive full length entitled ‘golden’ this is the Late Call with ‘carry’ – one of those ear attracting slices of tastiness that pipes waves of tiny sunbursts from the transistor into your listening space and makes the drabness of life transform in the blink of an eye to be colourised in shades of feel good effervescence. Apply to the sonic canvas the merest daubing of 80’s shimmies, it’s that lolloping expressiveness and the quick stepping cascade of open country pastoral purrs that endow it with an affectionate retro whiff that might well have you imagining some studio love in enacted upon by Bruce Hornsby and the World Party.
Hotly tipped and from Belgium which as far as I know the last time I checked wasn’t a criminal offence, this is the latest slab of loveliness from the adored lo recordings stable. Vuurwerk do that nocturnal smoochiness that blends shy eyed seductiveness with pouting ultra-cool much like a super chilled and amorphous ROC, three tracks sit within the grooves of the ‘warrior’ EP with the briefly sweet visitation that is ‘mirrors’ opening proceedings as though a teasingly glimpsed love noted lunar rapture. The smokily sultry ‘warrior’ strays from the rarefied regions from whence the frost thawed sublime sonic sculpturing of No Ceremony once emerged yet for all that it’s the parting ‘Lux’ that took our hearts a prisoner, honeyed in tropicalia tastings gouged in the dubtronic technoid flashings of Detroit there’s much to its mellowing after dark futuro funk grooving to have those of you attuned to the catalogues of smallfish, rednetic and uncharted audio.
Now if I hadn’t have known better I’d have sworn this was a stoned out campfire chilling Smoke Fairies on some smoky mountain retreat getting leathered on moonshine whilst trying to outscore each other by the exchange of notes of failed loves. In fact it’s the second single from the Kuhls and comes ripped from a tip top recordings set entitled ‘holy rollin’ which by the fall of April should be doing brisk business across record store counters where it’ll appear on all the usual formats as well as a limited vinyl pressing. ‘a woman is like a man’ comes smoked and distilled in the finest vintage 70’s Americana essences, loose, mellowed and lazy eyed not to mention crooned in an exquisite detailing of lap slides.
Eyed on an alrealon musique posting, volume 1 of the ‘we are invisible now’ compilation promises to transmit the finest ambient, concrete noise and drone sounds by some of its lesser known alchemists across the globe currently to be found patrolling beneath the radar. Gathered together here are 16 like-minded souls onto what is promised to be a regular event, among the prize pickings we did spot a death cinematic who’ve featured via rare sightings in these very pages having first been mentioned back from the days in which we oft dipped into the backwaters of my space. ‘no longer do I impede darkness’ is a bit of a slow burner which across its near 10 minute visitation sheds its skin emerging from a sombre head bowed entrance wherein echoes of Roy Montgomery are sweetly smoothed by the gracefully tear stained noir scores of Roy Budd all the time gathering depth and dimension to terraform into a volcanic slab of sun bleached desert dry emotion rushing intensity that scowls with the burning of fury of a vengeful mean spirited godspeed – truly an inspired hollowing epic of some measure. As said (perhaps we forgot to mention) but we will time allowing revisit this collection soon though not before earmarking for your listening appreciation Sleep Orchestra’s ‘like sails to the wind’ upon whose mammoth six minute canvas is what appears to be some kind of orbiting pulsar emerging from eclipse formation dragging in its tail length a shimmer toned crescendo of vapour trailing white hot sonic shards and casting the kind of dark drone ambient net that many of us around here have comes to expect from the likes of Aidan Baker. http://weareinvisiblenow.bandcamp.com/releases
Those managing to grab early copies of the latest Cranium Pie set from Fruits de Mer will find their listening experiences somewhat psychedelically expanded by a bonus 18 track CD of wigged out happenings entitled ‘strange fruit and veg’. previously reported in earlier dispatches, the set gathers faces familiar and not so re-tuning lost sounds from the past, among the menu on offer the cosmedelic twang of the blue giant zeta puppies, a mind blistered version of ‘ace of spades’ by Jay Tausig and a surprising fuzz beat gouged offering from magic mushroom band all of whom will be mentioned in more detail in a full on spangled round up later this missive. For now though we frankly couldn’t leave the Schizo Fun Addict’s take on the Sorrows cult freak beat classic ‘take a heart’ a second longer for this babe lurks on the dark side of psychosis unravelling itself in freaked out detachment and isolation whilst wiping your mind and senses in a howling garage psych white out whose authentic primitive gouging leads one to suspect the blighters have access to strange time travelling paraphernalia, that said that’s the least of your concerns as you swerve, duck and dive to avoid the gripping desperation literally peeling from the grooves.
We here are readying ourselves for the release of ‘Ela’ shortly via freaksville which sees long term collaborators Jean Jacques Perrey and David Chazam pitting their wits in pops playroom, the former an iconic figure in French electronics name checked by the likes of Air, DJ Shadow and Wagon Christ, the latter described as a ‘young French maverick’. Mixing old, new and previously unreleased and live renditions, ‘ELA’ gathers together ten sorties whose insanely skedaddled playfulness ought to first port of call be a must for those so admiring of both Raymond Scott’s vintage electro and big band powerhouse eras, pure children’s kitsch, here you’ll find skewed marching bands squelching and squealing amid a fried and frothy elephantine harking analogue keys whose lineage draws ever so teasingly to a land of children’s toybox television whilst irrefutably recommended as desired listening for those tuned into the more skittish and flock paper adorned surrealist corners of the trunk catalogue, among the selected ear candy on offer we suggest partaking in ‘chronophonie’ – a place where Moroder, digitised into a byte sized Morph and pursued by busying pac-man prowlers while ‘what’s up Duck’ is awash in sinister quacks and deliriously 60’s hippy chick seasoning. Absolutely goofy – now play nicely children….
Been such an age since we featured Wizards Tell Lies in these pages that we feel compelled to hang our heads in shame. It’s not for the fact that there have been no releases – there have – an abundance in fact including outings for isobel ccircle (an ongoing collaboration with April Larson) which we are now pencilling in for a separate missive. For now though something that piqued our interest and earlobes alike from WTL alter ego the Revenant Sea here with Wizards Tell Lies in fact (which given both are one and the same must prove a confusing choice in the which hat am I wearing at the moment stakes) and here found offering four multi-faceted sound spectrum bending perspectives on the Black Classical track ‘Communion’. In truth this collection offers perhaps the most accessible entry to the Wizards / Revenant secret lair and much like his previous limited issue face off with Roadside Picnic is awash in lighter tonalities kissed with a sense of grandeur, that said for old school Wizard aficionados the ‘cleaver shade’ mix is etched in shards of wind tunnelled howls and the kind of noise abstractia to which admiring devotees of Bruce Russell would do well to tune into at an instant whilst in sharp contrast ‘arc tract’ is ice sculptured in a sweetly bliss kissed definition whose lunar lilts and chiming cascades dissolve and dissipate to accentuate a majestic sonic salvo that’s pierced with the cool calm and ice dripped atmospherics of a youthful Echoboy. That said it’s the brace of cuts book ending the set that provide the finest moments, ‘first light’ appears gloriously bathed in a stately procession of sweetly demurred crystalline key flurries that waltz and genuflect to a Brontean motif softly shrouded in celestial whispers which on first encounter recall fort dax’s irresistibly immense ‘at bracken’ set though which on repeat listening gives up trace elements of the seductive forlorn romance peppering John Foxx’s back catalogue. ‘ghostshift’ though is something altogether special, a 12 minute curtain closer to which the full Revenant Sea craft is applied, shimmering orbs of ghostly timbres and dream like sequences that greet its entrance endow it with a statuesque slow burn resonance, both measured and monumental the elements slowly converge fall away and re-forge a new revealing sun peaked eclipses of celestial jubilance, breathless stuff. Available as a free download – http://simimansound.bandcamp.com/album/communion-ep
And now for the latest batch of 5×5 releases from the much admired Silber Media stable, you might recall that this is an ongoing project whereby selected artists are invited to contribute 5 one minute tracks for digital release, the current season of featurettes comprising of 5 (yes we are getting on to the 5 theme here) ear candy honed lovelies starting with ld&co who are headed up by moth wrangler LD Benghtol and excel in the kind of lo-fi’d power pop crookedness that was once the celebrate trademark of those who initially pioneered and defined the classic Elephant 6 sound (see of montreal, apples in stereo, Olivia tremor control et al). opening to the confusion of cross wiring messages ‘devices’ briefly emerges sparingly hinting at a brief glimpse of too cool for squares glam psych grooving while somewhere else ‘velocity in the bedroom’ comes marooned and traced upon a becoming 50’s teen ached bubble grooving recalling vaguely the short heart stopping acute prickling pop verve of the Pooh Sticks. The hollowing ‘stay forever, my love’ rounds out the set replete in a distressed sepia framing though all said it’s ‘the radiation isn’t an anomaly, it’s a clue’ that stole our hearts and minds with its dislocated fuzzing feedback kick to head – think upon it as bitter sweet dark variant of the much loved Morton valence. https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/the-just-world-phenomenon
The second release of the latest Silber batch entitled ‘chem set’ finds Sagan Youth morphing and mutating an array of analogue synth banks to cook up a five suite set that initially obsesses with galactic platitudes to find itself deeply immersed in the mysteries, wonder and hope of space’s silver age (‘compression bulb’) before signing out with ‘tubings’ seemingly traversing into the very heart of the cosmic canvas’ of Zombi’s Steve Moore. Between these tonal transitions there are refuelling stops at Moroder (‘glass viewing chamber’) and the primitive proto technoid hypno groove of both ‘dri electric pack’ and ‘deionizer’ both of which are essentially cut from the same cloth but each offer a differing vibe perspective with the latter assumed as a heavily set dub draped pulsar while the lighter sibling arrives playfully tweaked in a more becoming club clipped toe tapping tampering that just might have your kitchen appliances getting a tad frisky. https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/chem-set
Next up from Silber something quite special, refined and glacially serene. PD Wilder has over the years been a mainstay of the Texan post rock scene notably under the guise more states and hotel hotel. The five track suite ‘o tokke hymns’ is sweetly soured in serene introspection, inspired or rather more prompted and documenting a trip through the mountains of Tennessee to attend an Aunt’s funeral, these frost framed oblique hymnals act as moments freeze framed in stilled tranquil elegance. Ripe for those more attuned to the glacial widescreen mosaics crafted by yellow6, these lonesome aural portraits are trimmed with majesty poise and ghostly introspection that turn from moments of hollowing tear stained detachment and desolation (‘hymn 2’), shadow lined ice sculptured murmurs (‘hymn 3’) to chiming peels of celestial radiance (‘hymn 1’) which all said ought to cater for those whose idealistic sonic cookbook is frequented with the array of aural ingredients hand-picked from the early back catalogue of kranky. https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/o-tokke-hymns
Masquerading under his kirchenkampf guise, cohort records head honcho John Gore has been peppering the turntables and headphones of the electronic loving cognoscenti of the underground for some 30 years now. The arrival of the 5 track suite ‘the body electric’ sees him finally forging links with long standing friends Silber to craft something that for the best part appear to explore the largely untapped and unchartered inner space worlds of sounds expansive spectrum with opening ambit ‘EEG’ and ‘electroreceptor’ caressed in a sparsely weaved hallucinogenic wooziness that imagines an as yet unmade cult sci-fi montage sonically signed by Bebe and Louis Barron. ‘tms’ traverses darker territories ghosted eerily in binary whispers and technoid pulsars leaving ‘galvani’ hushed and haloed as though lost distress calls transmitted from long since departed civilisations at the far echelons of the galactic heavens. https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/the-body-electric
Fifth and final release of the current Silber ‘5 in 5’ salvos comes from Chvad SB found here opting for guitars as opposed to synths for the ice carved quintet that is ‘outside the shadow of an aliquot tree’ – perhaps all said our favourite of the batch not least because these bitter sweet murmurs come attached to the same fragile poise and glacially set treatment that accompanies the porcelain portraits conducted by yellow6. All at once reflective and introspective, echoes of Vini Reilly are found ghosting these mournful mosaics, both tender and tearful they haunt and bite between moments of regret (‘four’) and panoramic serene beauty (the opining sorrow of the seafaring ‘followed by one’) though for us brief as though it is we suggest you turn your roving ear towards the shimmer toned thaw of the shadowy ‘missing sprout’ for added noir eeriness. https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/outside-the-shadow-of-an-aliquot-tree
I’m guessing you won’t be too surprised in hearing that we’ve momentarily lost sight of the press release that accompanied this sound cloud link. Ah well not to worry because the music speaks for itself. This (‘creep on dreaming’) is in fact the flip side to a forthcoming White Arrows single though if I recall rightly there are conflicting reports that it’s not a single but a cut lifted from the bands forthcoming set ‘in bardo’. Whatever the case it’s a stunning seven minute cosmic flotilla which okay yes, agreed, veers a little too closely into Floydian star space but then still manages to craft out a kind of spaced out kosmich-ian dream coat which to these ears sounds like bliss smoked astral ride upon an Ozric Tentacles lunar cruiser, very wasted and transcendental and liable to have you growing a big beard just for being in the merest earshot of its bonged out swirling psych dissolves. https://soundcloud.com/white-arrows/creep-on-dreaming/s-YL5EG
Swoontastic quick step shimmer toned indie groove from Majorcan beat pop combo Beach Beach. This bracing breezy slice of sun peeling radiance is culled from a forthcoming set entitled ‘the sea’ which should be finding itself causing counter action frenzy at your local record emporium when it arrives here May sometimes via the La Castanya imprint. Tuning itself into the golden era of Sarah, Bus Stop and Summershine and proving perfect eargear for those plugged into the wares of matinee, fortuna pop and elefant (to name just three), ‘just like before’ comes adored in an acutely infectious rash of chiming guitars and the kind of lazy eyed feel good recline that buzz saws to a needling twee trimmed power purred acuteness that’s flavoured in immediacy whilst all the time caressed in stop start panic inducing effervescence. Nuff said. https://soundcloud.com/lacastanya/beach-beach-just-like-before
being someone who has pretty much given up on a social life in preference to records – well be honest they rarely let you down unless they happen to be by U2 because of whom we’ve been frightened off hooking up to our i-tunes in fear that their album donations will be forced upon us. We’ve had a tendency to fall easily in love with records which on one hand reveals a worrying gap in one’s life but regularly has the added effect of us continually going wow at the appearance of each new track we hear thinking it’s the best thing since stylus’ where invented. Some say we are a little more forgiving than most, but then beauty is in the ear of the beholder. That said this ‘un is very, very special. Battle Lines latest, a split no less with the post war glamour girls and heading soon out of the secret bunker that is hide and seek records, is such a case in point. So adorable we’ve had to hold off sending little love notes expressing deep admiration and fondness for ‘hunting’ for aside ticking all the boxes all at once, it is perhaps this year to date the best thing we’ve heard by a crooked country mile. Four minutes of sheer seduction and lustful desire basked in the purring cloak of darkly dipped minimal electronics and fizzing feedback that’s all hushed and haloed in feverish nervous anticipation which by our ears sounds not unlike a surrendering and bewitched Siouxsie stumbling and stirring her way through a youthful pre chart bothering Eurythmics landscape cautiously clipped and tensed by the touch of Animotion and dusted and set upon a mercurial widescreen axis by the delicate though intuitive masterful touch of Alt-J. utterly enchanting. https://soundcloud.com/battlelines/hunting
hell I’m having flashbacks to late 80’s finger on the pulse indie video jukebox Snub TV, not that I am complaining – no siree – new from Fever Dream, (who I’m certain we’ve featured in past musings before), released ahead of a Club AC30 full length entitled ‘moyamoya’ due to dock in record orbit late April time, this is the tripadelic euphoric kick to head that is ‘serotonin hit’. Does exactly what it says on the tin a vividly sharp lysergic paint bomb dream weaved in shimmering kaleidoscopia and imbibing heavily on the vapour trail hazes brought to bear by the surging sirens of serenading effects pedals, which in short make essential listening for those attuned to the early catalogues of Boo Radleys, Chapterhouse and the Catherine Wheel whilst simultaneously caught in the breeze of the much missed Skywave.
Out shortly, a day or so after RSD15 if I’ve got my dates right to be precise, this is the latest from Oxford cool groovers Maiians. I won’t deny that ‘Sionara’ is a bit of a slow burner, best experienced after dark with the lights lowered and the volume cranked up, that way it’s intricate layering and soft sophisticated intoxia is allowed to permeate your listening space and charm you almost Cobra with its hypnotic transient waveforms, seductive as hell and disarmingly genteel, there’s an almost sleight of hand ghostliness in the way it slyly weaves and caresses its apparition like enchantment as though a studio love in between Alt-J and No Ceremony. https://soundcloud.com/maiians/sionara/s-kcGys
New album arriving soon entitled ‘jet stream sunset’ from which ‘I was a teenage post punk’ which you’ll briefly find teasing the turntable (is linked somewhere below by way of a trailer) is culled. Never one for bandwagon chasing, Thomas Truax has more often than not been found going off road and furrowing less celebrated sonic fields and acquiring along the way not only a cult status but admiring glances and notices from the high table of pop, film and book writing. His eighth album finds Dresden Dolls / NiN/ Violent Femmes sticksman Brian Viglione on board for the road trip of what is a rock-a-hula rollercoaster ride with ‘teenage post punk’ stripped bare and back to basics channelling the big riff vintage cool of Fatima Mansions, the Godfathers and the Flaming Stars. Full album review to follow soon. https://soundcloud.com/thomas-truax/i-was-a-teenage-post-punk-excerpt
I’m fairly certain we’ve a copy of the latest Cathode Ray full length ‘infinite variety’ lurking large in our to listen to pile the urgency of which is not lost on us not since having heard the lead-off single ‘resist’ and finding its incurably addictive kookiness prompting the hitting of the repeat button each and every time in looms into ear space. Chop chop riffs, acutely angular riffola and the kind of impish art pop panache that admirers of the fire engines, Wire and the Cardiacs may well find a common ground that is when they’re not pogoing themselves daft for ‘resist’ is groomed and grooved in the frenetic eye poking agit boogie that was once the mainstay of the much missed Playwrights though cross wire this with the day glo exuberance of a late 70’s Buzzcocks and you’ve a whole heap of panic stricken needling niceness.
And talking of Wire-isms here’s the real deal. I’ll admit to being a tad embarrassed in saying we’ve somewhat lost touch with all things Wire in recent years, in fact if memory serves the last time they featured in these musings was by way of a limited 7 inch back at the turn of the century or thereabouts entitled ‘twelve times you’ with the addition of a few mentions for the Swim label in its early days (was it Swim or did I imagine that – if we were scribes of repute we’d be straight onto that Google and servicing you with oodles of information and key note releases, however our laptop is having a strop at present so the mere fact you are getting this at all is something of a bonus – stop tittering at the back). Anyway in case you were either beginning to lose the will or else puzzling as to where this was going – well its simple really – Wire have a new album imminent – it’s self-titled and there’s a nationwide tour to promote it and from it has been sneaked ‘split your ends’. Now Wire of course ought need no introduction, emerging during the first wave of punk they’ve since been regarded as forefathers of post punk. Like fellow outsiders XTC and Magazine, there was always something interesting going on beneath the Wire hood blending motorik pulse lines to a vague art pop variant spliced in Dadaist minimalism and the distant flavouring of psych their forward thinking craft was always ahead of the curve. And so to ‘split your ends’ – for a collective so ahead of themselves this un’ finds Wire meeting themselves on the way back, and before you think I’m being a tad critical, think again for this is classic Wire. Call it a cruise controlling Wire for all seasons given it touches base with so many long past Wire signposts – ‘154’ and ‘a bell is a cup…’ being the primary colourings here blissfully drilled upon a autumnally whirring pulsar framing etched in the kind of easy on the ear hypno-grooved motorik murmuring to which those schooled in the youthful outings of Swimmer One and Birdpen ought to swoon. https://soundcloud.com/wirehq/09-split-your-ends/
Last heard around these parts sporting the adorable ‘Umi’, we’ve long had pinkshinyultrablast on our watch list as far back as the days when we accidentally eyed the sublime ‘deer land’ on their sound cloud page sometime early last year. Alas we’ve yet to hear their debuting full length platter ‘everything else matters’ which recently surfaced via Club AC30 from which has been culled as a 7 inch single ‘ravestar supreme’. As though emitting love noted distress calls from some outlying celestial post, the angelic ‘ravestar supreme’ shimmers, burns and radiates with a warming feel good aura much like untethered crystal kissed vapour trails escaping from the heavens unto where converge the demurred chime corteges of the Cocteau Twins and the honey glazed kaleidoscopic swirls of Kitchens of Distinction.
Just wipes the floor with you, one minute cutting you dead to the quick and then the next lifting you to peaks where your stilled with an I can do anything renewed self-assurance. A master class in vintage song craft from Jon de Rosa whose second full length ‘black halo’ is pencilled for late Spring release via the esteemed Rocket Girl imprint. It’s a set that features guest contributions from Carina Round and Stephen Merritt ahead of which comes a double a-sided single pairing ‘Coyotes’ and ‘high and lonely’ (both taken from the album) serving to haunt and heal in equal measure. Immeasurably perfect, ‘Coyotes’ soars temptingly trip wired to the sultry weave of south sea shimmies that recall moments from Thunders ‘copycats set with Patti Palladin’, the artistry sumptuously turned to a slow burning epic resonance unto which whose precision and sense of wide screen persona has you imagining the kind of pitch perfect landscape ready made for Roy Orbison though here equally ventured by the sophisticat cool of Matt Munro. Proving the theory that less is more, over on the flip looms ‘high and lonely’ graced in intimacy and reflection all surrendered in arcing chorals that tenderly tease their way to a courtship with the whisper like toned down orchestrations. Bliss.
Can this lot do no wrong? We do wonder – though not any day soon if this little sortie has anything to do with it. Latest stereo sweetheart from the adored Kassassin Street due to swoon turntables shortly is entitled ‘to be young’, this sugar crusted popinjay is traced in the infectious purr of subtle 80’s motifs all grooved upon a pulse racing star hopping cosmic cruising voyager that ripples and radiates all the time emitting tingling showers of feel good effervescence while hooked upon the kind of affectionate ear candy rush to the senses that you feel defenceless against its love noted charms. https://soundcloud.com/kassassinstreet/to-be-young
Fancy some wild man rock-a-hula, then look no further than the big bearded and hairy groove of Toliesel’s ‘bones’ which as it happens actually features a big bearded hairy wild man and sounds as though its fallen down a magic time travelling tree hole and woken blurry eyed somewhere in the early 70’s. Summoning up the vintage spirit of Neil Young’s charges Crazy Horse who drag along with them a roving group of moonshine mullered misfits among whose number members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the flying burrito brothers are counted, this escape from it all retreat to mountain wilderness rumbles with a fire in its belly and a chest beating primitive grind that dare we forget to mention looms large to a gruff grizzled campfire spiritual that’s distilled in an age old Americana spirit.
Just what the bad boogie doctor ordered. You might recall us waxing fondly many months ago about the appearance on our sound player of London’s dark county by way of a brace of cuts ‘watching them burn’ and ‘strange deranged’. Well it seems they are back and brandishing beneath their collective arm a hulking slab of stoned out fuzz flamed psych blues happening in the shape of ‘say to you’. Available as both a download and an ultra-limited cassette (gotta lay our hands on one of these) this howling dude comes pulled from a planned for summer self-titled debuting full length platter via their own slim vision imprint and emerges from the primordial fog gouged and grizzled in the kind of smoke choked blister grooved swagger that has you imagining some n’er do well advance formation of the Black Angels in a pact with High Plains Drifter cutting deals with the horned one at the crossroads whilst recalibrating old Sabbathian grooves – all said just wait for the head dissolving white out haze to rise at the close and you’ll scratch your chin wondering why those Cardinal Fuzz chaps haven’t been stalking them yet. https://soundcloud.com/darkcounty
Now I’m fairly certain that I can’t be the only person in the world who when faced with platter whose smokily laid back tuneage immediately had us imagining in our minds eye some studio soiree wherein Moviola, the Summer Hymns and soft parade where fondly rummaging through boxes of raspberries, buffalo springfield and db’s grooves for adoring inspiration in order to cook up a lazy eyed recipe had us swooning and fainting in the aisles. I should sincerely hope not. This damn fine slice of drifting American pie is due for release on the captured tracks imprint as part of a twin pronged 7 inch with the promise of an album later in the year. The work of Stateside trio EZTV, ‘dust in the sky’ is sumptuously marooned to a power pop purr that rather than clobber you in face slapping high end riffola instead coolly shimmers and simmers to a smoky off road lilt that weaves open country to craft a widescreen aspect dimpled and dusted in an old school Americana tongue to which admirers of Kevin Tihista and the Mayflies might do well to check out sooner rather than later. https://soundcloud.com/capturedtracks/eztv-dust-in-the-sky/
I’ll be honest, I’m quite taken with this, perhaps it’s the way its swirls and blossoms with a strangely overcast dimpled summer breeziness or maybe it’s down to the cutely acute softly speckled psych flavouring so subtle that you are able to avoid the aftershocks of lysergic tremors routinely dissolving your listening space or then again it could simply be because its trimmed in a lulling bubble grooved affection that whispers doe eyed unlocking your defences finding its way to yank heavy on your heartstrings. Anyhow whatever it is you can’t deny its filing under the tear stained bitter sweet bliss pop section of your – one hopes – vastly amassed record library, and before we forget to mention it’s by the Tambourines and goes by the name ‘another day’ and be called your own by way of a carefully jotted note or for the exchange of a small amount of currency in the general direction of the duo’s Beat Mo imprint.
Oh my, this is quite out there, off radar and outer worldly. New from Inventions – a titanic twinning of members from explosions in the sky and eluvium who’ve seen a second album ‘maze of woods’ recently outed by bella union – a copy of which we fear spontaneous combustion should we not secure soon – and from which ‘peregrine’ has been released. A ghostly cortege of whispered memories and fleeting apparitions surrendered upon a deeply entrancing wide screen melodic mosaic unto which within whose sepia twisted fabric the neo classical opine of choral haloes dissipate in hazes of dream dazed dronal overtures to bitter sweetly grace your listening experience in tear trimmed regrets of faded romances to which at the conclusion of its sub six minute wake converges beautifully in sun peeling streams of celebration before elegantly evaporating into the ether.
I swear the last time we had occasion to find our heads expanding and ears a throbbing to the sounds of Dan Deacon that he was dishing up crooked and peculiar sun bleached pop psych outs. But then that was a fair few years back and well we were younger and time changes things including Mr Deacon for it seems these days his creative palette has morphed and matured to incorporate the strangely woozy tropicalia that feeds through the grooves of the ripped from ‘gliss riffer’ full length track ‘when I was done dying’. Intricate and hypnotic this curiously kaleidoscopically primal cosmic campfire folk soup is awash in interweaving loop motifs and lost spirituals, both maddening and dizzy all the time stealing itself upon an axis many moons ago occupied by the Animal Collective whilst assuming something akin to rare intoxicants from a sealed cask discovered on an archaeological find found evaporating in to air space in an accidental uncorking drama.
Essential split release happening featuring Sauna Youth in a melee with their errant off spring Monotony should find itself kicking its way out of the Upset the Rhythm stable soon. Formed whilst recording last year’s ‘distractions’ set, Monotony came to be sheltering under the ever expanding Sauna Youth umbrella which has seen in recent times harboured various players taking up extra curricula duties as Cold Pumas and Tense Men. Three tracks feature on the limited 7 inch due to scrap sometime May, Sauna Youth offering a cut from their forthcoming long player with Monotony spiking the flip with a brace of poke you in the eye edginess one of which ‘luxury flats’ has been sent ahead on a scouting mission. Brief, blistered and pretty much unforgiving, ‘luxury flats’ is your close up and personal two chord thrug, an agit nagging feral punk gouged and belched into an 88 second non nonsense wrong side of the town sore thumb of blank generation monotony, bleakness and high rise council estate nightmares. https://soundcloud.com/upset-the-rhythm/monotony-luxury-flats
Did we dream that we eyed him on the schedules of some Clive Anderson hosted Radio 4 show t’other week wherein he was invited along to perform tracks from his frankly enviable and ridiculously sublime song book. To date we’ve been all a swoon at the mere mention of C Duncan, two singles having flown by primed for arrest with the cryptic promise of an albums worth to follow later in the Summer have somewhat buoyed our affection for music. Via fat cat shortly single number three finds this mercurial talent delicate voyaging terrains more commonly associated with the slo-mo seduction of Cheval Sombre as evidenced on the seafaring flip cut ‘ocean liner’ which carved in whisper kissed spectral celestial orbs demurs with the graceful love noted elegance that once upon a time attached itself to the grooves of releases bearing upon them the name The Earlies. That said nothing quite prepares for the spectacle that is ‘here to there’ – beautified baroque braids, hushed hymnal resonances and the purring pulse racing motorik tremors and softly daubed euphoric rushes find it seductively aligning itself to the upper most reaches of pop’s high table wherein the arrangements, the immediacy and that sense of jaw dropped awe has you imagining stumbling over some studio showdown between Van Dyke Parks, Dennis Wilson and the Left Banke. https://soundcloud.com/mrduncan
by far one of the best albums we’ve heard this year so far, ‘the door behind the door’ by the Black Ryder has, I don’t mind admitting, been hogging our listening obsessions since looming loved up on our in house player whilst planting the occasional smacker upon our adoring stereo. So with that I dare say you can expect fondness aplenty in an extended album critique soon. For now though a little taste of what to expect for those of you so far out of ear shot. The hazily glazed dream coat that is ‘let me be your light’ shimmers into ear space like some celestial apparition leaving in its wake a vapour trailing love note that thaws, unfurls and gently smoulders with desire laden seduction. Traced upon a hushed aura of dissipating lunar swirls and the soft incline of radiant opines beckoning whispers lead the way through the mist dimpled nothingness with a sighing siren-esque beauty that trails into the ether to the affection sunburst of peeling church bells to seal this frankly angelic happening. I wouldn’t mind it’s not even the best track on the album for ‘seventh moon’ holds that honour.
New from the ever essential moon glyph imprint, this ‘un will be heading out shortly on a limited pressed cassette entitled ‘slow bruises’ and finds duo Drew and Kirk – better known to the underground cognoscenti as Courtesy – buoyed by admiring glances and notices for their debuting full length ‘idmatic’ both holed up in the Windy city doing impish boog-a-loo and a hybrid mix of off kilter funky ju-ju. Alas no sound links just yet, methinks the label is keeping this proudly under wraps and frankly who can blame them. Lead out single ‘nite nite’ arrives replete in all manner of warping electronica, detuned riffola and out of step beats which coalesce to weave a strangely wiring earworm that scratches insidiously into your psych piping a strange dustily dream weaved mosaic where flea market symphonia crookedly masks a smoking cool ghostly crooned campfire ballad of the type that loosely nibbles around the edges of a youthful Clinic which all ssaid make the listening of that aforementioned album a little more tempting.
Update – Steve Moon Glyph has sorted those sound links…
Now if we were a proper magazine with your actual readership we’d be getting sent groovy gear like this at such a rate we’d be having to move the bed and sofa into the front path to accommodate the trinkets and all round loveliness. Alas we aren’t and we don’t and so the best we can do is pine over them from afar and wish they were our own (now if that doesn’t get us freebies nothing will – ha ha). Mark Arm is the latest to be inducted in to the hall of Throbblehead fame. These intricately crafted and mounted ‘space age poly resin’ figurines stand 7 inches tall and have been something of a must have essential purchase among the underground punk cognoscenti (we of course occasionally assemble similar items in the likeness of one direction and that Bieber buffoon to shove pins in). These collector’s items come in a limited edition run of 1000 units through aggronautix and arrive housed in specially designed and attractive looking art boxes. Previous invitees to this exclusive club have included Captain Sensible, Devo, Mike Watt, GG Allin and more – you can get more information about these desirables along with ordering info by heading over to
Imminent via riding easy shortly the grizzled groove of stoner psych dudes Holy Serpent’s self-titled debut opus from off which by way of a teaser ‘fool’s gold’ is currently doing bad things on the player. A hulking monolith it be, to the maddening death headed groan of howling riff grinds and the heavily hung bad acid trimmed slo-mo scowls you’d easily be forgiven for thinking you’d awoken in some terrifying nightmarish comedown without means of escape, yet emerging through the primordial fog an almost wasted and bonged out bliss kissed oblivion reverberates with hazily glazed head expanding casualness. https://soundcloud.com/easyriderrecords/sets/holy-serpent
As ever thanks for tuning in……