old singled out rescued from the vaults – originally appeared http://www.losingtoday.com in September 2011….
missive 298 part 1
Missive 298 – part 1
‘surrounded in sound’
Moving slightly aside for just a second – here’s something highly recommended which we will revisit in greater details in the coming days – hook up to http://www.fluid-radio.co.uk/2011/05/jara-tarnovski-gurun-gurun-czech-it-out/ and you’ll find a simply arresting pod cast put together by Gurun Guruns’ Jara Tarnovski featuring selections of near lost experimental sounds from Czechoslovakia which hidden behind the iron curtain were rarely heard in their homelands let alone across Europe and beyond. This set offers just a finite 20 track selection of pioneers operating in these out there aural mediums and goes someway to giving a brief overview of the scene at play in those territories by casting its net across a time spectrum ranging from 1966 up to modern day – here you’ll find artists such as Kora et le mechanix, lubos fiser, Vaclav kucera and the forgotten orchestra of dreamland to name just a few as well as some of Jara’s own work both under his own name and under his Gurun Gurun alter ego – Gurun Gurun’s debut full length is available as of now via the home normal imprint where its just been supplemented by a specially commissioned remix EP featuring collaborations by the likes of Orla Wren, Pimmon and .tape. – all profits from the release going to aid the Japanese Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support foundation at http://www.jears.org – home normal can be found at http://www.homenormal.com
We can well imagine this blighter turning up the heat on the local in tuned club floor. new three track EP type thing from KXP will shortly be appearing on the ever perfectly formed melodic imprint and follows in hot-ish pursuit their well received eponymous full length for Smallsound Supersound earlier this year from off which ‘pockets’ had us all a ga ga over in the singled out disc spinning shed – see http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=350 – anyhow the EP is called ‘easy’ and ain’t out for another month or so and features three brand spanking new cuts from Finland’s finest fringe parting party people with the lead out cut sounding not unlike some Moroder mooching mutant manifestation of the Stones ’too much blood’ (I kid you not) sent on location to some idyllic south pacific hideaway and given a funky facial by some Dreadzone meets Apollo 440 types and then sent back through an aperture in time to be recoiled and rewired by cool wave thawing Cerrone with Toto Coelo helping out with the kooky jungalist charms. Seriously demented, disarming and dangerous if near a dance floor. ’sahu moments’ operates within similar climes though here as though the Battles armed with field recording equipment had gone on sonic safari in Soweto – that said wasn’t Mr McLaren doing all this in the early 80’s. favourite moment for us though and only because it’s the less obvious of the three is the parting ’cymbalim’ which to our very great surprise isn’t a cover of some lost space prog nugget from the Germanics, perfect for those who invested in that recent FdM ’roquetting’ set due its unnerving psychotropic mind altering qualities to which what first sounded like the onset of some Amon Dull II re-sculpturing of some seriously out there Dadaist re-take on ’the omen’ soundtrack soon shape shifts and jettisons to the outer realms of the cosmos on some glorious leviathan like ambi-kraut voyage commandeered by the Tangerine Dream and Zombi collectively chartering a colossal 8 minute dream weave of swirling overtures, orbiting oscillations, elephantine heralds and all manner of third eye tranced out trippiness.
Suggested headphonic listening for this utterly divine moment of celestial celebration if only so that you can soak up every tear stained aching murmur that sweetly trails and splinters loose from its orbiting axis, ‘then its white’ is the cut in question culled from the forthcoming ‘looping state of mind’ double vinyl full length set from the Field via kompakt. This truly is a hurtfully beautiful slice of heavenly ambience finitely ice sculptured and tenderly caressed to a train of sepia dipped beading amid which the ethereal hushed flash of disembodied murmurs dreamily dimple the fragile stasis as it lilts succulently in amorphous incubated voids seductively freewheeling sleepy headed dreamscapes once ushered by an earlier incarnation of Art of Noise whilst similarly touching base with Antonymes. Available as a free download via http://soundcloud.com/kompakt/the-field-then-its-white
Those of you with long memories and a distinct love of that shoegazey twee noise fuzz buzz that for a brief period needled the groove wares of floppy fringe types tuned into the Anglia based Wilde Club imprint see Bardots et al as well as ’jack’ era Moose and the Creation cool kids Ride may well be minded to sneak a peak at the debut offering from Manchester’s bliss kissed duo Ghost Outfit. Out via Sways at the close of October play ’today’ is a stirring (and not at the feet) sub three minute surge of lo-fi loving buzz sawing bubble groove that hits the late 80’s Mascis axis like a bad ‘un with a more than fond eye being kept on MBV as it fizzes frenetically frying your listening space with its schizoid scuffed up surf stew. Flip over for the noticeably darkly mooching and brooding ’I want someone else’ which in short has something of the And Also the Trees about its persona albeit as though sound tracking some macabre Lynch creation. When it appears the single will come in an additional ultra limited pack which gets you the 7 inch, their previous ’young ghosts’ EP on cassette, a hand made pushie boy and a poster all housed in a white cotton envelope sized bag – don’t know about you but I reckon I can find a loving home for one of those.
And back to Melodic records who we mentioned a little while back when advising you on the merits of that killer KXP EP, seems these tastemakers have just kicked out a 14 track sampler album entitled ‘hearing aid’ which you can download for free by hooking up to http://melodic.bandcamp.com/album/hearing-aid and screaming at your computer at the top of your voice rather ‘give me that beauty right now’ which all said won’t actually get you the download because d’oh you have to click the magic button which you can find on the back of your PC marked ‘this magic button’ – for laptop people said button is on the underside of your workstation under the informative and inquisitive statement ’yea – what are you doing looking here for’. once done with all that you get as said a nifty selection of the finest grooves from some of the most chatted about talent currently buzzing about on the underground scene which include an instrumental oldie from the very wonderful Soundcarriers as they busy themselves cobbling the finishing touches to their as yet untitled third opus, somewhere else there‘s the ‘on our watchful radar’ Hookworms who have some kind of limited cassette thing going on over at Sun Ark which we mentioned earlier in passing on this extended missive ’teen dreams’ featured here being one of the sets highlights – a kind of kool kraut summit meeting between a ’2000 light years’ era Stones and Spacemen 3 and the Bell Poppers who we mentioned very recently in passing when we were recommended to drop by on the cloud sounds radio pod and here stump up the rather nifty Link Wray smooching proto twang teasing ‘rubber bullets’. nice to see that the Longcut are still smarting hi-fi’s – been too long away from our turntable for our liking it should be said – ‘all mine all mine all mine’ ominously skirts around the head space like some bitten and scarred hesitantly retiring Radiohead transfused on elements of Mansun while Ghost Outfit of whom we raved about not a second or three ago stump up the ghost like er ‘those ghosts’ which I must admit does a rather neat take on those Animal Collective types. As for the bands who we must admit to feeling somewhat embarrassed at not hearing before Childhood take up pride of listening space not least because their gorgeously west coast radiant shuffle ’semester’ sounds like a lo-fi Avi Buffalo rephrased through a rain drizzled c-86 viewfinder while we must admit to being more than a tad taken by Voodoo Bear’s frosted Oriental serenade ‘chevreuil’ which not knowing any better we’d have imagined the result of some passing of genteel admiring glances over the ambient fence between Cheju and Inch Time. As to the Jewellers – well hell ’light leave me’ is well – something else – what first as your bog standard twinkle some star lit lullaby – all shimmering chime orbs playing kiss and run – you get the idea – soon unfurls through the emergence of a misty sepia haze as though a dusty crackle of an old slab of rescued from the attic shellac purring out ghostly some mutant ’madame butterfly’ operatics before blossoming seductively to form a softly disarming melodic mirage as though someone had condensed the essence of goldfrapp’s ’felt mountain’ and handed it over to those make mine music dudes to ethertize. Similarly cast amid a forlorn dream pop chassis is temple songs ’I’ll just be fine’ with its butter kissed harmonies old worldly monochrome productions and lilting heart tweaking tugs set for maximum arrest. Elsewhere there’s the quite fetching ’don’t go easy on me’ by grand forever who unless our ears do deceive navigate an intricate sub maths path to come across like an upbeat and chirpy Working for a Nuclear Free City while the frisky mono pop of the Holy Family’s ’club ocean floor’ is immersed in all manner of darkly sophisticated noir framed isolationist accents as to have you envisaging some kind of flotation tank dipped alt A Certain Ratio relocated to the ice edged environs of a lost c.1980 Peel mix tape. We’ve been hearing good things about Louche FC alas none of them telling us as to who, how and where about them – safe to say that based on the evidence ’(I cannot be) much more than this’ provides – then had the aforementioned Mr Peel still been around to be the necessary sore thumb of the airwaves that this little gem would like the Sundays and Bang Bang Machine of yore have already been priming itself for the end of year festive 50 top spot. Again no info on mysterious Dark Dark Dark Vs. Tom Inhaler but that doesn’t stop them knocking out some niftily numbing noir niceness replete with kind of fracturing and distressed phased out production that once endeared releases emanating from out of both the Bristol underground scene and the Cornelius camp at the tail end of the 90’s. last and by no means least Manchester quartet patterns whose softly effervescent ’broken trains’ sounds not unlike a jubilant Earlier being thawed by a statuesque procession of Low types – all framed in a wintry snow flecked flurry of sleigh bells and orbiting ice cream vans and hymnally homely with it – irresistible in short. http://melodic.bandcamp.com/album/hearing-aid
Patterns incidentally have their debuting single ‘induction’ out via melodic and while we here are more than smitten by its Paul Humphries fronting OMD styled softly svelte celestially haloed high octane ether traced dream pop we suggest you take a gander at its accompanying flip cut ‘throwing stones’ which aside insidiously managing to chip persistently away at your frail and fragile emotional skin with its crushed ice cool sculptured seduction also cleverly freewheels upon an axis once traversed by lost electro emo pioneers Modern Eon and a certain B-Movie.
No sooner do we mention Mr Gavin Baker a little while back in passing when we were running the thumb rule over Lux Harmonium and along dropped into our inbox comes an email from Baker HQ telling us of a couple of releases he’s currently got on the go which will see both ‘persuasion’ and ‘single note theory’ getting an airing this Autumn via the bunkland imprint a label who we must admit to disappointingly seeing neither sight nor hair of since we had cause to fondly chew the fat over their excellent Dreamcunt tape release ‘fags‘ – see http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=330 and http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=337
These releases will see the full circle completion of a trilogy of drone based recordings started up by the issue of last years ‘propeller’ via the same label. Arriving ahead of these will be a double disc set on unlabel titled ‘the misry dirge’ which recorded in Kongsberg, Norway earlier this year – in essence two albums ‘dirge’ and ‘misry’ the former featuring lengthy improvisations rooted out from the Baker vaults with the latter promising a newer selection of shorter compositions – the release appears as a strictly limited 200 only issue – sample tracks can be found at http://soundcloud.com/gavinjohnbaker from which we suggest you fast forward to the stilled ominous introspection of the dust cacked and hollowed Mexicana minimalism of ’outstay the welcome’ or else the consuming finger scratched fixed stare of the damning ’you liar’ – all said we here are somewhat taken by the dawn breaking prairie opine of the Delta dinked bleached mountain blues of ’voice’ which clock working bookends a faintly distilled whiff of Band ingredients. Go to both http://www.bunkland.blogspot.com and http://www.unlabel.net for release information.
Something that we suspect admirers of Mr Baker will delight in are the sounds of Least Carpet who turn up on a split cassette release with Baldruin via the previously unknown to us sic sic imprint. Alas we don’t have a physical copy of said cassette or more to the point any information on this particular outing which regular subscribers will no doubt appreciate and understand as to why it was ripe for the picking in these pages. In truth if you must know we were kind of bored and looking for something a little different upon which to start our day – up with the Larks you see resulting from another night of fitful sleep and encouraged by the blinking pulse of a blank screen we literally typed weird psych into the search engine and pressed go. Of course for that split second we did fear the worst – I mean be honest type in weird psych into a search engine and expect something plausible let alone sensible – its not the kind of thing you’d be betting on to reap results. Yet results it did and in the curious guise of what appears to be the rather handy release resource ‘dying for bad music’ which at that point was what I was desperate for – that and a good nights sleep of course. Back to ‘dying for bad music’ which we were mentioning before we rudely interrupted ourselves – anyhow this lot do a quick round up of worthy releases – a couple a month by the looks of things – and upload the related sound files accompanied by a short and to the point critique (how do they do that I wonder – I’m 300 words into this review and am yet to mention the featured bands / artists names). And well lets be honest I stumbled upon Least Carpet – recalled to myself I’d never heard of them previously and quite frankly liked their name. And so hey presto hence the reason why they (and of course Baldruin) are getting here. Not sure how many of these cassettes are about – lets guess 10 as opposed to say 250 – that way you’ll all be feverishly paypalling your orders this instant the label can get to work releasing more Least Carpet (and of course Baldruin outings) and all will be well with the world. As said earlier not a lot of info here – though we’ve managed to establish that sic sic tapes are a German imprint (though we alarmingly suspect that they may be Danish – nothing like a spot of detailed research eh? – hang on it is German just checked) – anyway four cuts from the Least Carpet types three recorded live at what was we are led to believe their / his / her second outing with ’live part I’ appealing we suspect to those among you loving of all things Saddar Bazaar, David A Jaycock and stuff emanating from out of both the blackest rainbow and third lobe recordings imprints – this archaic slab of psychotropic mountain folk blues exacts the same kind of loosely improvised meditative lilt as offered by that recent Preterite debut full length ’pillar of winds’ which we mentioned last time out at http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=371 yet whereas Preterite’s sonic tongue was borne of a timeless air tuned to the work of Dead Can Dance Least Carpet’s is informed of the great folk blues troubadours most notably John Fahey and while ‘part I’ of this triptych may well initially appear somewhat stumbling and ambling in some fog bound slumber trying hard to focus and get a grip of its surroundings ‘part II’ sees itself more than adept at applying itself to the crafting of a deeply intoxicating head wiring spell charm as it cuts something of a snake charming passage through a mesmeric mirage of Tibetan Tablas which ultimately concludes with the 12 minute end parting apparition ’III’ unto which the lightly flecked strum shimmers carve a deeply alluring sense of restful tranquillity amid which a drawing of the invisible dots connecting bardo pond and roy Montgomery are summarily coloured in. let us not forget the opening ’burnings’ all said the best moment here if not least because there’s something of the bleached and barren arid curvatures of Ry Cooder’s ‘paris texas’ soundtrack with cosmic tickets pressed in its hand for a sky bound jaunt to Floyd oblivion. Over on the other side of the tape lie waiting Baldruin – seven slices of – shall we settle for – shimmer toned chamber sonic reverence and I say that because amid these frost sculptured ether echoes which aside being beguiling and bewitching there’s a sense of unworldly stillness for these oft parched heavenly opines stir ominously with an appeal to admirers of Bronnt and lesser so to the musique concrete mosaics found deep in the Radiophonic vaults, our favourite moment the hauntingly oppressive b-movie mutated sci-fi stew that is ‘gravitation’ as it shares psychotropic mind altering space with EAR and highlights Baldruin’s acuteness for the eerie and atmospheric at times sounding not unlike dreams of tall buildings. Yet amid the hums, the dronal cycles and the chilled bowed chime effects (‘Ausklang’ being one of those check behind the sofa moments) while centrepiece of the set ‘geistertadt’ is sparsely caressed with a becoming hushed balletic majesty that solemnly genuflects gracefully murmuring to a dialect informed by the sound collage pioneers Schaeffer and Henry. http://dyingforbadmusic.com/blog/post/2011/07/least-carpet-baldruin-split-tape-2011.html
Further SicSic cassette releases worth keeping a cautious eye out for are the horzes ‘it’s about apples’ we had a dip into the meditation record store for a quick sample blast which incidentally you can visit via http://www.meditations.jp and all sounds decidedly from the beyond in terms of haunting ghostly ambi-scapes – horzes man Daniel Voigt turns up as hering und seine sieben sachen for something of a solo project entitled ’magnetismustourismus’ which from the brief excerpt we managed to salvage might well have the kind of off setting creepy caress that admirers of Krzysztof Komeda albeit rephrased and tinkered by Bronnt – further enquiries are advised courtesy of http://www.facebook.com/sicsictapes
Something else that managed to catch our ear on the dying for bad music site is the latest release from London based multi instrumentalist Nick Castell who here parading under the nom de plume Hiss Hog Porkestra (no prizes then for guessing how this initially waltzed into earshot then) has just released a three track set via his Soy Libre imprint entitled ‘blue hare’ with both the title cut and the accompanying ‘red fox’ blossoming and wheezing (no doubt due to a high pollen count or from chemical additives on the crops) amid what can be best described as some daydreaming Beatrix Potter like landscape, to a rush of bowed instruments, twinkling piano keys gallop, canter and stroll to a snoozing (is that a) harmonium, its all very gothique in deliver and demeanour not quite Hauschka but then not far off and something that you’d feel best suited accompanied by some kind of ’animals of farthing wood’ styled pastel animations by say – Hannah Megee who gets another mention later when we turn our gaze onto lux harmonium. That said best of the trio in our humbled opinion is ‘yellow wagtail’ which sees Castell opting for the guitar and relocating to the overhanging shade of a nearby tree for some finger picking prairie purred moonshine mugging magic – you can download it here http://dyingforbadmusic.com/blog/post/2011/09/hiss-hog-porkestra-blue-hare-2011.html
and visit here for more http://nickcastell.bandcamp.com/
Yeti #11 – been absolute ages since we had cause to mention the Oregon based Yeti publication – happily we picked this copy up as a freebie at our local record emporium – this particularly edition features interviews with Roy Montgomery, Phill Niblock, Spencer Clark of Skaters fame and Lightning Bolt-er Brian Chippendale aside your usual array of comic book strips, arty pics and narratives. But hey we’re here for the CD not the chat and as typical of these things there’s the trademark turntable tasty assortment of celebrated cuts on the accompanying rear jacket glued CD – this one in fact being the last of the series given the magazine is going to be re-formatted in time for the next issue and will henceforth appear replete with a waxen seven inch. 12 tracks feature within all connected by a loose theme the idea of which was to have track 1 lasting one minute, track 2 two minutes and so on and so forth with the parting 12th cut rounding matters out in a 12 minute sonic stylee – well that was the general idea until an editorial cock up ensued wherein both Oneida and Phill Niblock where both kindly asked to donate a 10 minute long track – just can’t get the editors eh??? Among the treats on the sound system are Snake Hole doing all manner of up close and prickly personal with the brazen raucous ruck that is ‘snake jam’, the insanely kooky retro electro post punk minimalist synth cool chill of Atole whose ’jose jose jose’ has a certain Some Detergents / Modern Eon before erupting unexpectedly in a splash of art agit dayglo spray paint – there’s an album due to surface shortly on audiofregs which we suggest needs attention. Those of you well versed in all manner of mind wiring looping beats, guitar samples and synth squiggles that evolve layer by layer like some psychedelic mirror ball crafted by the hands of the Silver Apples and V/VM which on the way pillaging motorised disco beats and squirreling Faltermayer meets Yello follies decamps for a momentary bite to eat at the prog rock café in the company of Tangerine Dream and Mike Oldfield will do well to plug your synapses into the aural arcadia of White Rainbow’s ’lays the boogie down’ – a band camp EP lurks somewhere in cyberspace – a copy of which we’ll endeavour to nab for future communications. Somewhere there’s some nifty gospel soul boogie from the vaults courtesy of mother and daughter Johnita and Joyce Collins with the simply seductive ‘one missing soon’. Of course the main event of the compilation as far as we are concerned – though not necessarily the favoured moment – is ‘pressed bloom’ by Roy Montgomery who after years of self imposed exile has returned to the musical fold – this particular piece appeared on a limited issue split with Grouper via the not on label imprint sometime last year which too much annoyance we appear to be a little light on – no need for introductions in these pages Montgomery is one of this generations finest sonic sculpturers his artistic air for mood, placement and space not to mention his craft for the application of depth, density and texture through the merest aural means is perhaps only matched by Yellow6 nee Jon Atwood -’pressed bloom’ provided here is an exquisite example of what he does best, here the ache is cutting with the shimmering arc of the hollowing timbres gliding together in bleak majestic and statuesque solitude bleeding throughout to cut you dead to the quick. Divine in a word. Best of the set though by a short whisper and a swoon or two is the noir cradled down tempo sophisticant that is ‘and….begin’ by Brooklyn resident Eleanor Logan found here trading as Happy New Year, this chill toned slice of nocturnal amour purrs like Heather Duby smothered and smouldering in a torch trimmed landscape demurred by chic tonalities tendered by a smoking lounge lush John Barry – word has it that Ms Logan is prepping this cut for limited 12 inch issue – absolute must have for admirers of Musetta. Yeti lives at yeti publishing.com
Fops ‘for centuries’ (monotreme). Now I must admit to being disappointed with myself where Fops are concerned, we had their debut full length ‘yeth yeth yeth’ on constant rotation last year shortly after relocating back to Liverpool and for reasons best known only to us – laziness being perhaps top of the list – we somehow failed to translate into words why it was proving to be such a special treat. Released on Monotreme (long time no hear in these pages) Fops features the collaborative head to head of thee more shallows (again another ensemble too long amiss in these pages) Dee Kesler and Ral Partha Vogelbacher’s Chadwick Donald Bidwell who following said aforementioned release are set to release an uber limited cassette only mini album of cuts culled from the same sessions that unhappily missed the final cut. First hearing had us recalling Ultravox – especially via ‘cheater Caroline’ which with its suave sophisticated chill and sense of the monumental had us in mind of a Ure headed ‘Vienna’ era ‘Vox colluding with a post Clarke Depeche Mode and mainlining on the alienated detachment of Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. Of course it was only then that we bothered to read the press release – I see – ‘Conny Plank producing a ‘darklands’ era JMC or a closeted Ultravox’ it was happy to regale – good call. Far from being considered cutting floor cast offs or the poorer sibling to ‘yeth yeth yeth‘ – ‘for centuries’ is rather more chipped with moments of rolled pop gold which for the best part seems heavily imbibed with an air of late 70‘s post punk cold wave minimalism with ‘fops on tour‘ certainly sounding as though it was peeled straight from a ‘movements‘ era New Order studio session . Somewhere else the dreamy ‘ countless songs’ which at various moments had us scampering for our Oddfellows Casino records of yore it tripped with an insanely bobbing and yearning spectral shanty like ebb and flow that twists, turns and locks insidiously into a groove that sees it sit somewhere between a seriously minimal Brakes in a seafaring fishing trip sharing sandwiches with Arms with bait provided by Swimmer One and J Xaverre. Next up the ominously sparse ‘I shot a parakeet’ with its Mexicana flamenco florets has an air of the Ivor Cutlers about its wares that is had he spent the night in states of drunken wallowing miserablism thawing out to the cold negativity of PIL’s ‘metal box’ with a healthy dose of late 70’s Eno and the early concrete electroniques of Cabaret Voltaire for un-goodly measure – admirers of Arab Strap, revolutionary corps of teenage jesus and Rooney will find much to love. That said a re-tooled take of the same cut simply entitled ’I shot a parakeet too’ is equipped with the advent of a gloriously uplifting dream pop swathing. ‘dolive dreams’ falls headlong into aural arc lights of Seeland and Dark Captain though its sense of hymnal majesty and brooding poise inclines towards a ‘witches’ era beatglider forged in a industrial glazed sand stormed psychotropia. With its opining lunar lush locked swirling groove seducing all its perhaps left to the parting 20 minute opus ‘Ronald Wilson Reagan’ to provide the set with its best moment as it silently navigates a lonesome path slyly dispersing and fracturing amid a pulsating and shimmering tide of dronal overtures like some dying star burning brightly and parading for one last salutary procession before solemnly succumbing to a quiet rest.
Latest issue of the coolest magazine on the newsagent racks by far – Shindig – is out and about no doubt selling fast on its limited issue. These days a hefty 148 page tome published at quarterly intervals and while the frequency of issue may have been toned down there’s no suggestion that the quality control has been compromised for the Shindiggers have upped their game in terms of providing an essential reading resource for every thing about it from the layouts, the graphics and the features smacks of an undeniable smoked coolness within. #3 has the oft misunderstood and perhaps one of the finest purveyors of 60’s pop the Left Banke stirring from the cover and rightly afforded centre stage marked by an exhaustive and insightful facts straightening 20 page centrepiece in the company of Finn and Cameron who on hand finally put right the precarious tale of the Baroque pop princes of trials through asylums, drink and deceit and reveal in the process the mysterious Renee of ‘walk away Renee’ fame. the bands two full lengths ’walk away Renee’ and ’too’ have recently been re-mastered and re-released on both vinyl and CD via those esteemed Sundazed dudes. As though that in itself isn’t enough to warrant you rushing with haste to sell your nan’s teeth, jewellery and your nan herself then there’s a quick shining of the spotlight on the heads of the new breed of the 1st battalion of the Scousadelic psych movement the Wicked Whispers whilst neatly tucked in elsewhere there are well worded spots on The Apricots, Annette Peacock, rescue co no 1, los dug dug, the beau brummels, roy harper and a bring you up to speed special on the short lived Paisley pop scene of the 80’s featuring a cast of usual suspects that includes the excellent Long Ryders, dream syndicate, green on red and the three o’clock. Somewhere else patron saint of perfect pop Sean O’Hagan is summoned in to sit on the Shindig naughty step and give account as to why his charges the High Llama’s aren’t the biggest band on the globe oh and discuss the curious incident of the Bruce Johnston and the Beach Boys affair. The much admired hip as hell Munster imprint from outta Spain are given a brief overview with chatty bits by head honcho Inigo – expect stacks of Munster related stuff to be featured here in a missive or two (there’s a reason for the vagueness – that being we’ve mislaid the blighters). All this shoehorned with brief news spots about the return of Dr Strangely Strange to the live stage for a rendition of their lost ‘heavy petting’ opus with Bevis Frond members aboard amid the ranks, a short heads up for new label Spoke, a belated tribute to DJ Andy Dunkley while Hawkwind’s ‘x in search of space’ is rooted out from the loft and critically coloured in on the issues parting ‘vinyl art’ section
Issue #4 due to hit the finest newsstands at the tail end of November just in time for Christmas by which time there should be information about their now essential stocking filling annual – for those of you who can’t survive without your regular Shindig fix are heartily advised to sign up to their ‘happening’ newsletter available to download via http://www.happening-magazine.com/ – current issue featuring interviews with the black angels and little barrie alas not at the same time along with copious amounts of cool wax to clog up your collection including spots for the cute lepers, the last hurrah, travelling band and Scouse psychers the Wicked Whispers on the live front while golden oldies from yesteryear take to the stages (Monkees, July) to be observed fondly from the wings.
A bit like being a kid let loose in a comic shop all these adverts publicising records you’ve never heard of from labels like teen sound, jackpot, soul food, freak beat, 13 o’clock, funhouse and many more besides – and that’s just the tip of the wants list, I don’t mind saying that I have sleepless nights knowing these babies are out there and not safely tucked up in my record collection. But enough of that as it goes without saying that any self respecting music fan – especially a fan of all things fuzzed up and strut laced – who takes up Shindig as their essential reading matter then the quintessentially hip Ugly Things ought by rights to be lurking on your ‘envy of your friends’ book case – in short your one stop resource catering for all your garage, trash, outsider grooves and rock-a-hula tastes, the latest coffee table splintering edition – incidentally #31 – could well be their best yet for amid this print packed 200 page tome the main spotlight falls on the legendary Norton imprint – a colossally extended 21 page centrepiece pays tribute to perhaps the coolest label on the planet with Billy and Miriam dragged in for a chat with Little Queenie in attendance as they discuss Norton’s accidental roots, the formative years putting out the kicks fanzine, bringing the likes of Hasil Adkins, Jack Starr and Esquerita in from the cold and onto the record decks of an in tuned cognoscenti whilst giving a sneak peak as to things in the pipeline when their done rummaging through the El Paso archives which include a possible release of Cash Holliday rarities and a Del Aires special. There’s also interviews with Them’s Billy Harrison and elder Suzi sibling Patti Quatro who gives a potted history on the 60’s garage sirens the Pleasure Seekers ahead of a back catalogue re-issue campaign as well as spots on the Masters Apprentices, the sentinels, the 40 fingers, the Mountain Men and the pre Stooges teeth cutting early career of James Williamson’s and the Cobra Seas along with a rather nifty ‘listener’s guide to’ Wreckless Eric all capped off by a near 50 page serving of dead eyed critiques on some of the most essential wax slabs currently causing a rumble in the local record emporium and doing bad things on record decks.
And back with the sounds, it might have been last time out that we mentioned an artist by the name of Moonwood – we here have been much adoring of his ’river ghosts’ set which aside being due for a detailed mention next missive out is available to hear by following the links at the end of this particular heads up. Now we’ve been moved to squeeze this particular release incidentally called ‘rehearsals Vol 2’ (with ‘volume 1’ sadly passing us by it would appear – no hang on and scratch that as it along with volume 2 can be downloaded via http://arachnidiscs.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/rehearsals-1-2/ for free) is mainly down to the fact that its literally hot off the presses and much deserving of fond words. For those previously unaware of Moonwood they are a Toronto based (recently expanded to a) duo pairing the talents of Jacob Rehlinger and Mandi Hardy, according to the notes they are influenced by Balinese gamelan, Tibetan funeral music, classic psychedelic and avant folk with a stray essence of free jazz and together they summon up the ghosts of the primitive Americana folk scene to craft something inherently timeless, spiritual and deftly intoxicating. Despite its seemingly oppressive nature each of these three cuts is possessed of a mesmeric warmth, opening salvo ’how should I know’ starts of decamped in the mountain shaded delta blues environs that gave eminence to John Fahey and the late Jack Rose before relocating subtly in the merest blink of an eye to succulently feed from archaic Australasian mantras before blissfully shedding its skin for a serious spot of dust ravaged and mind warping Tibetan transcendentalism which like Preterite who we mentioned last missive out reveals not your obvious psyche / drone reference markers but more so indicates something cultured from a primitive and primal rephrasing of Dead Can Dance. Likewise the harrowing and hollowing ‘hermatoma’ creaks with quiet mournful grandeur to a template all too familiar to admirers of Montreal aural alchemists godspeed and set fire to flames, the shimmering strum flurries arc to the traumatic echoing ache of the monastic atmospherics themselves clipped to Hardy’s haunting and elegant gothic chill toned entreaties. All said best of the set comes with the parting psych strobe ’spider eye knot’ as it meters out a seductive shade adorned locked grooved side winding psych strut which to these ears slickly spellbinds to an Arabesque accent informed of smoked studio note swapping session between RL Burnside, Sunray and Muslim Gauze. Essential – like you didn’t know. http://moonwood.bandcamp.com/album/rehearsals-vol-2
Upon the blistered curve of a skin searing chill wind rippling with unforgiving cruelty across a vacant arid wasteland swollen beneath red scowling skies comes an apocalyptic herald, to the far point barely in view of a failing eye line salvation appears on the blurring haze drizzled horizon upon a charger Holy Mount, a three piece from Toronto. This their debuting five track debut is I admit a rather neat distillation of a darkly brooding Mission transfused with a youthful Ozzy fronted Black Sabbath. Viciously foreboding the Holy Mount despatch a dread drilled brand of bone rattling stoner psych drone that howls and growls with a desolately drawn snake winding futility like a bleached and bloodied monolithic Black Angels with the dead headed gloom drone ’born of eclipse’ proving to be the best of the set sounding if I’m not much mistaken like a stoned and bonged out White Hills. Can’t recommend this enough the best thing to crawl out of this generic stable without the words Riot Season stamped on its arse in an age. Available here http://holymount.bandcamp.com/album/we-fell-from-the-sky and on a limited issue gold coloured CD type thing of which only a hundred are kicking about.
Again no information of which to be had about Monster Rally other than to say they appear to be from Columbus the one I’m guessing located in Ohio and home base of old friends Moviola. Anyway we stumbled on this via one of our nosing around in cyberspace jaunts, in truth we felt like hearing a little lounge / exotica and up popped this little lovely with its pseudo ‘Tracy island / Thunderbirds’ mock up sleeve and thought to ourselves why not take a gander. Available to download via http://monsterrally.bandcamp.com/album/crystal-ball – the 17 track set (with most of the tracks barely hitting the 70 second mark as though briefly conceived apparitions) that is ‘crystal ball’ pokes about and rummages around the cutting room floor of the Emperor Penguin / the Superimposers (‘sahara’ providing the key note example here should evidence be so required) studio to deliver a sophisticated and chic mood enhancing collage of silken environ relaxing lights out settings for amid this Italo styled Mancini meets Raymond Scott soiree you’ll find the smoked smoulder cool glamour of the noir piping of ‘garbage city’ sharing space with the silvery shimmered tonalities of the orbiting glow offered by ‘beach at night’ while ‘swanky’ relocates you to a members only after the paying punters have headed home torch drizzled 60’s jazz bar lounge around being served shaken Martini based cocktails to the sound of the docile eyed frisky bit ’drousy waters’. tucked near the start you’ll be greeted to the seductive celestial crush of the hypnotic ‘la kooka’ which unless I’m reading from a completely different page has Meek shaking his tail feathers to some sepia framed jiggly hip swaying sort while ‘cop showz’ turns its gaze upon the early 70’s blaxploitation soundtrack world and presses upon it an acutely library loitering lilt to proceedings. All said our favourite moment is the shuffling snoozing beat murmur of ‘lone rd’ which nails the whole Beyond the Wizards Sleeve / Seahawks template to a tee and harnesses in the psychotropic lazy eye of Cheval Sombre for good measure.
We strongly advise that you tune into their four track ’deep sea’ EP which aside being available on pink vinyl via the gold robots imprint – a copy of which we will not rest until safe in the knowledge that we nabbed one as our own – is possessed between the grooves of the kind of uber chic chill toned wooziness that was once the forte of the much missed tummy touch imprint from a few years ago. We suggest you get yourself a piece of ’the new optimism’ not least because aside it sounding not unlike a seriously chilled out and youthful Go Team in a head off with Raymond Scott’s 30’s styled powerhouse quintet you can throughout its playing duration puzzle to yourself as to why the Bear Family imprint haven’t come calling at their door. Though for us we are more than smitten by the frisky and impish south pacific opining lilt of the hip hugging grass skirt shimmying ‘surf erie’. http://monsterrally.bandcamp.com/album/deep-sea-ep-7
Staying with things that go twang, somewhere in a basement located deep in the heart of Boston between the hours of darkness something stirs in the still of night promising sounds from beyond the grave cut so primal and primitive that they’ll drive normal folk insane and cause the neighbourhoods young set to go wild and wayward for beware the dangers of the ghost scorpion be their name, a bunch of renegades with their transistors permanently tuned to yesterday sound and fuelled by the spectres of Duane, Link and Dick (and no that’s not the name of a German porn movie), on this their latest four track foray there’s something of the Stray Cats a mooching and a prowling cutting Shadows like shades on the opening salvo ‘we welcome the living (but only if they come here to die)’ while the buttoned up suited and booted and quickly drilled radioactive plutonium boogaloo ’they won’t stay good’ swaps cool chords with those meisters of the b-movie twang Man or Astro Man. Some nifty little ‘let’s go tripping’ styled intros on the surfed out ‘heads will roll’ which leaves ‘goatman’s bridge’ to serve up a dastardly concluding parting card in a glorious Shadowy Man on a Shadowy Planet styled space spy ray gun face off. Check it out here
Really must learn to refrain from hopping around following links on cyberspace though not before sparing a brief mention to this little gem that we eyed via http://thepennydreadfulsband.bandcamp.com/track/she-flow – described in passing as cabaret swing the Penny Dreadfuls hail I believe from Johnson City and okay ‘she flow’ has been around for a fair old while culled as it is from the bands ‘Lila’s Apparatus’ full length – incidentally also available on this here page by means of some careful navigating – dark deeds and vengeful intent abound on the sparsely gnawing prairie prowl to the maddening arid clamour of a dust dread simmering howl ’she flow’ swells and snakes to a darkly hollowed and parched romantic murder ballad like ache that suggests something of a Cave / Waits / Violent Femmes tryst about its persona.
The Shrapnelles ‘asscalubur’ EP (hozac). Outta the too cool for cool stateside imprint Hozac (indeed we have been partaking of the Jack Daniels all afternoon) who last featured in these musings to much adoring acclaim with their must have outer minds 7 inch – see http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=364 now comes the Shrapnelles who latest outing we eyed with curious amusement during a briefly recent record buying trip whereupon a shop sticker noted that said single was – with words to this effect – ‘3 cuts of short sharp inept no fi punk garage – brilliant’ – well we were sold. The Shrapnelles darlings that they are do a neat line in ramshackle three chord bubble grooved garage bop – best described as a Shaggs meets Shonen Knife acrylic paint bomb with letter pressing and graffiti by the go go’s with both ’my mom is hot’ and ’hiv’ up and about like an airborne rash all itchy and scratchy and treated deliciously to a beaten about the edges locked in the basement Spartan production. Dandy of the trio though is ’desert furs’ which flips from skittish Shangri La’s to arse whipping less caustically wired and moderately terrifying Babes in Toyland had the latter of course spent their time stalking Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and sparking out on platter playing riff rumbling rubies by Link Wray. I suspect we might love them.
And talking of things that go twang in the night – see above Shadowy Men et al – check out the player on the hozac records site and tune into the Fungi Girls’ ’lucie’ which should my ears be playing tricks had us slightly in mind of the Triffids in a head on with the Phantom Surfers….damn fine. Mind you the katamines are no slouches either primitive psych goo groove – ‘dig’ sounding like a seriously shit faced Electric Prunes.
missive 298 part 2
missive 298 part 2
‘surrounded in sound’
Red Cross Stare (excerpts)….now pinned down and forced to recall we’d have sworn that we’ve mentioned this lot in earlier dispatches. Alas research and a brief rummage through our notes suggests otherwise. Red Cross Stare is a collaborative coming together of Simon Osgathorp, Yvat and Justin Wiggan – the latter of whom frequents these pages under one guise or another with such regularity that we are currently mulling over plans to pay him appearance fees. Two taster treats feature on their tumblr site, both of which are taken from a planned forthcoming outing entitled ’he stole my radar’ – the first of which ’object and manner’ navigates an aural incline that’s initially unsettling and eerie in a Stockhausen / Glass meets a Volcano the Bear off shoot project type way all whispering melodic mirages and seemingly disjointed tonal manipulations set upon the gentle canter of a distressed and timid key timbre which through the haze of confusion and clipped disharmony soon elevates with lonesome relish to take centre stage to dissolve and dissipate amid a touching almost steely regal grandeur of genteel tear traced balletic pirouettes to eventually fall gracefully to rest. Utterly humbling. The frost framed isolation ushered by the tranquil ’spectral cars’ sensitively follows a classical path these days more commonly observed and associated with the Fat Cat twin set Hauschka and Sylvain Chauveau, ice sculptured Satie motifs tread with forlorn regret to the throb of a smoky torch bass twinge upon the faintest of shuffling glitches rubbed over a deftly ’spectral’ noir collage that could have easily been conceived by a 90’s Bristol scene which without pause, notion or warning ascends heaven bound at the finale into what can only be described as a Morricone brush stroked slice of hushed hymnal / monastic happening. Beguiling in a word.
The loose salute ‘it’s a beautiful thing’ – not sure which label is propping this little gem up, information is a little scant – though there’s a forthcoming album entitled ‘getting over….’ (incidentally produced by the same folk who sprinkled magic dust over a large part of that recent Anna Calvi long playing platter) lingering in the shadows with promises of much swooning, serenading and heartbreak in wait. for now though the small but quite essential matter of the lead out single ‘it’s a beautiful thing’ – a radiant sun kissed slice of lolloping shuffles, woozy string salutes and melting love struck harmonic yearnings all piped through a casually chilled countrified canter trimmed with prairie breezes and the alluring aroma of the old country though why oh why I keep feeling obliged to break out into a few bars of peter and lee’s ‘welcome home’ – indeed mildly disconcerting…….
The vid looks a lot like this……
The Lucid Dream ‘heartbreak girl’ (holy are you recordings). You may recall us falling heels over the head for this lots last outing ‘love in my veins’ wherein we mentioned they were tip toeing the sonic boards between the Black Angels and the Brian Jonestown Massacre with their acutely addictive brand of primitive glam psyche. Well it seems this time of asking they’ve turned their collective sights into stumping up something of a galloping drop dead gorgeous sub two minute bliss kissed buzz sawing bubble grooved paint bomb which in some respects literally shoehorns in all the best bits of your record collection onto one easy to find 7 inch slab of Spector wired wax – that is to say where your record collection to consist of a hi-fi diet made up of oodles of surf twanged, neo psyche day-glo dream pop bearing names like JMC, Ramones, Shangri La’s and latter saints of the stereo the Insect Guide – just for starters.
Also worth noting in your diary that the band are set to support the Magic Band in Liverpool in December
More subterranean voyagers in the micro verse this time entrusted to the Trensmat sub imprint Nute who after an overly long period of hibernation appear back on the experimental sounds radar with a rather spiffing set from the Whirling Hall of Knives. ‘green glow bridge’ / ‘red glow bridge’ was recently released as an ultra limited double 10 inch set via champion version which alas literally sold out at source in nanoseconds much to the disagreeable groans abound here at the ho hum singled out shed of misery. Mourn not though for those that missed this gone in a blinking eye release can stop wallowing for Nute have picked it and released it on a limited c-46 cassette which digital children was a medium with which us elderly types used to use for the purposes of recording old Peel radio shows and other such like before the BBC invented the listen again button and put an end to outbreaks of gloominess and finger pointing in the school yard through missing said shows. Now we here are massive fans of the tape medium mainly for the fact that there’s non of that nonsense with RPM settings which I must admit is a source of embarrassing hilarity in our gaff especially when playing these ambient / meditative type releases unless of course you happen to be playing on a tape recorder where the heads are playing up. Alas they fall down on the track finding side of things which can make listening to stuff in real time a little exasperating. So why stick with tapes when you have CD’s – well simply because CD’s just don’t look right – they are cold, cheap looking and just begging to be unloved and anyhow they lose something of that warmth that’s retained by vinyl / tape and that goes likewise for downloads which I’ll own up to right this moment to in admitting being the medium I’m currently relying on to listen to this release thus shooting myself in the foot I’ve just put in my mouth. And so where were we when we embarked on this ramble – ah yes – Whirling Hall of Knives who just in case your not quite up to speed on these things is a collaborative affair between Magnetize and the Last Sound with this particular 9 set suite being their fourth full length to date. Another release best experienced through headphonic means if only so you can be spooked by the subtle sub strata of near silent disquiet eating away the core and a release meant we assume to be heard in one complete sitting given that the track segregation and differing titles reflect the ebb and flow of the moods and shifts in tonalties as it shifts in varying degrees through the sonic spectrums from the dark slowly pulsating towards the light. Not for the fist time in this particular missive have we had cause to recall the earlier work of Bronnt or more so Shift of at war with false noise fame given that in the initial stages the WHOK ones appear to be ominously skirting around the outer edges of the harsh noise axis with ‘green glow’ reaching something of a Pimmon like plateau with both the proceeding ‘lungswarm’ and ‘choking at the edge of a dying city’ given over to attempting to re-wire your headspace by way of some coldly chilling monastic flavoured Quatermass-ian styled paranormal mind paralysis. Those of you who’ve thrilled to the sound of Mr Kember’s sonic manipulations and modulating frequency quivers may well look upon the dream machine dinked drone recital ’flupirtone’ as some out of body astral portal with which to climb inside (either that or else some mournful epitaph to a dying washing machine) from out of which you arrive at the tranquil and restful ’red glow bridge (approach)’ – from herein the moods somewhat lighten – what was previously detached, sparse, coldly barren and alien soon transforms amid washes of hallucinogenia from this moment elevating to the pursuing ’glow bridge’ only to revisit ’red glow bridge’s’ more trippily bowed chimed half cousin ’red glow bridge (cross)’ where the reverberating strums pick up a distinct out of focus Oriental motif. As though re-entering some orbital incline ’FCXO Analgesia’ is awash with controlled white noise squalls as though approaching some kind of meltdown it rushes to the frantic abandon of locked grooved warning sirens before arriving at its final point of destination for the elegant sky blue parting ’die before dying’ to achieve an elegant state of grace like impasse all swirling glassy orbs and head expanding psychotropic intones all of which whose magick eye casts a fond nod to that Sonic Boom dude. Recommended. http://whirlinghallofknives.bandcamp.com/album/green-glow-bridge-red-glow-bridge
Those of you loving your sounds – shall we say – decorated in retro glazed library lounge, beguiled nocturnal sophistication and mind warping astral ambience of the type subscribed by the likes of the loaf and trunk imprints, the superimposers and the seahawks for arguments sake to name just four may be well advised to frequent the interweb and locate via radar means the latest CafeKaput sound cloud mix put together by Belbury parisioner Jon Brooks in celebration of Advisory Circle’s last opus ‘as the crow flies out’ via ghost box a copy of which we’ll do our damnedest to borrow, blag or beg for – among the listening treats sit the advisory circle, francis monkman, neu’s ’isi’ – mentioned in passing earlier when we briefly recalled Frobisher Neck, the resource centre, popul vuh, ash ra temple and mr Brooks himself along with a Wicker Man take by the deller consort (you see these missives do tenuously tie up). Anyhow its available via http://jimjupp.blogspot.com/
or else here….
The Advisory Circle – Summer Gathering Sequence by Cafekaput on Mixcloud
While Radio Belbury themselves have just posted their 6th programme imaginatively titled ‘programme 6 – the free life’ upon which Jim Jupp delves into all manner of psyche, folk and soundtrack strangeness among the delicate delights featured on this airing is the quite superb ’the free life’ Alan Parker, Antena, Pentangle, the tornadoes, harmonium of whom in hindsight we should have referred to as a key reference marker when mentioning the Warm Digits debut full length earlier and G ruff Rhys – best moment is Mort Garson‘s wonky reworking of ‘Aquarius‘. Go to http://www.mixcloud.com/GhostBox/programme-6-the-free-life/#utm_source=notification&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email_followers&utm_term=cloudcast_link&utm_content=html
Okay that’s enough of the easy listening for a wee while because a thought suddenly occurred to me earlier today when we were checking out the aforementioned Distraction piece we did a few years ago, on seeing the name Kylie Minoise (long time no hear – tut tut), we got to wondering how tayside mental health were doing, now last we heard the band had split and called it a day due to the ongoing health concerns surrounding Claire who we hope is okay, safe and well. Anyhow there was talk of a compilation via Scotch records who alas we appear to have fallen from their mailing list and word at the time suggested that Mikee and Stu would be going it alone and that plans were afoot for a new band and that the lads would be in touch shortly with updates. Well boys being boys you won’t be too surprised to hear that they didn’t. undeterred by this omission and more than a little – shall we say – curious – we decided to have a root around and discovered that these days they are trading under the name you don‘t masturbate – which aside obviously ruling them out for Radio 1 play list action may well be the first time (though I’m probably wrong as some bright spark will no doubt contact and tell me) since foreheads in a fish tank’s ‘I want to masturbate at castle donnington’ single .that we‘ve played anything with the word masturbate in either song / band title. There’s a demo kicking around for free download activity via the Winning Sperm Party imprint who I’m fairly certain we’ve mentioned sometime in the dark and dim past probably when Playdoh loomed upon our radar, though since then we’ve somewhat neglected to check back and in our absence they’ve been cultivating a most enviable roster of releases not least a killer debut full length from the Smack Wizards which deserves serious attention – and will appear somewhere here at some point in the very near future (in fact send us your releases and we‘ll do a WSP special). Anyhow enough chit chat and back to you don’t masturbate, as said a self titled demo release – featuring six cuts recorded at the Clearwater rehearsal rooms via a well placed hand held recording device earlier this year. A bit of a corker it is to with Mikee and Stu clearly showing their fondness for all things no wave gouged demonic jazz. Alas no titles here unless of course you count YDM1, YDM2 etc….as such, ’YDM1’ sees them hurtling free fall to craft a new noise species – progressive grind core unless I’m very much mistaken, best described as apocalyptic art gouged prog, this unforgiving beast trades a demented and distressed divide between an acid addled Mr Bungle suffering Atari Teenage Riot flashbacks whilst simultaneously mainlining on this heat afflictions with a touch of the Albert Ayler’s – totally mental. The impish ‘YDM2’ has all the aural accoutrements of a skewed and bastardised demonic powerhouse theme – a kind of acid fuelled off spring of rhubarb and custard in a face off with Teenage Jesus and the Jerks and then its back to cacophonic carnage for the speaker splintering scalding jazz twatting scowl that is ‘YDM3’ which unless our ears do deceive tracks and trails the same no wave aberrations as occasionally derail the turntable from Andy Pyne of Foolproof Projects fame. This heat references rear their weary head on the Jap core sonic scouring as air bleached by the furious and frenetic stutter surge of the noise core ‘YDM4’ while ’YDM5’ is just pure evil and liable to have most fleeing for the safety of the sofas rear as it stirs up a sinister hornets nest of squalling eeriness. Last but not least the improvised ’YDM6’ – a nightmarish mind fried harsh noise trip of sorts that to us sounds like parts of the score to Louis and Bebe Barron’s ’forbidden planet’ on bad mushies. Thoroughly recommended. http://winningspermparty.com/records/you-dont-masturbate-you-dont-masturbate
The Moor ‘warm winter’ (dilettante). Something alluring gently approaches this way. Set around duo Erica and Josiah and featuring a host of guess players and a productive finishing treatment whose collective contributory CV reads like a dream team who’s who hot list (Strokes, PJ Harvey, Simian, Boom Bip etc…), the Moor have been quietly concocting a musical brew somewhere in LA away from prying eyes and beneath the radar since sometime around 2008. Having applied the final ingredients the fruition of these aural alchemic finds are set to beguile all who hear courtesy of their debuting self titled full length platter out this month via the dilettante imprint. As something of a taster they’ve made available for a free download a teaser cut in the shape of ‘warm winter’ and utterly enchanting it is to. This cute little darling provides for a sumptuous slice of sun reclining soft psyche that blurs with untold seduction to a shades adorned tingle toned 60’s shimmer, amid these purring grooves a hushed honeycombed beauty emerges shy eyed from the shadows wrapped in the cool well heeled sophistication of the Soundcarriers albeit as though demurring to the spellbound aura of the Smoke Fairies, add in the kaleidoscopic pop brush strokes of the Strawberry Switchblade and the ache of the Shangri La’s dimple it with braids of fuzziness, a dreamy after burn and the tender murmur of femme vocals and you have yourself a gem to behold. http://soundcloud.com/themoorband/warm-winter
The Luck of Eden Hall ‘chrysalide’ (Regal Crabomophone). Think you all know the deal now – Fruits de Mer off shoot imprint specialising in quality hallucinogenic headphonia all resplendently pressed on an ultra limited coloured wax issue. These children of the Crabomophone / Fruits family will surely need no introductions in these pages for they’ve flavoured the grooves of several Fruits de Mer releases in recent times with their fuzzily phazed fried Floyd follies with ’Chrysalide’ in particularly getting attention in its own right earlier in this here extended missive (not to mention a copy of their latest opus ’butterfly revolutions volume 1’ literally having only just found its way through our letterbox and with that primed constant critical play during this extended bank holiday weekend with an extected review to follow). Only 400 of these little darlings in circulation, a 7 inch featuring four freshly picked elder species of the psyche genre including two originals and a brace of originals. ’chrysalide’ as previously hinted elsewhere in these pages is a dandified slice of day-glo dream woven hallucinogenia that swirls, swoons and swerves to a trip wired lysergic 90’s sourced shade adorned Brit pop groove which after a dozen or so head hits still sounds to us like a stoned Jones obsessing Psychic TV munching magic mushies whilst radiating in the warmth offered by the gooey glow of the kaleidoscopic effervescence emanating from platters produced by the Dukes of the Stratosphear. Tuck in a faithfully skewed take of Love’s much adored ’she comes in colours’ here found replete in all manner of the whimsicality and fairy dust dressed velour of the original and here I’m thinking the kooky flute florets, that prevailing fluffily frazzled folk tweaked breeziness and the drop dead swooning baroque harpsichord forays – in short perfect. Perched upon an acid addled axis that separates a Barrett headed Floyd, Traffic and a ‘SF Sorrow’ era Pretty Things ’the ottoman girl’ is succulently speckled in all manner of mind morphing psych seduction, not as fried as the PT’s ’defecting grey’ but undeniable traversing a similarly schizoid template that sees it veering from the fanciful to the freakish. Best of the set though by our reckoning is their re-trimming of the Association’s lost love note ’never my love’ whose original softly murmured west coast baroque purr is here refocused and fashioned through a psychotropic viewfinder and trimmed to a shimmering majesty that one would imagine resulting had Cheval Sombre tapped into the mindset of the Walker Brothers and dimpled their epic stateliness amid an amorphous mirage of mind weaving middle eastern mantras. Utterly transfixing and alone worthy of the entrance fee.
Really must learn to stop stopping off at other peoples pages and getting hooked on sounds they have playing – caught this lot on a link via the fruits de mer face book page and – well quite frankly – am hooked, want more and will not rest, eat, sleep or smoke until the band have sent their musical wares through our – of late – slightly disturbing unused and seemingly unloved letterbox. The higher craft may well be Hull’s best kept secret at present time, featuring members of the much missed Magic Mushroom Band, the Meads of Asphodel and Ebonillumini they’ve been quietly peppering the clued up cognoscenti of the underground with a select salvo of limited EP releases since the mists of 2007 and where at one time a fully fledged band featuring musicians wishing to remain anonymous who all curiously jumped ship with the release of the bands debut full length ’magic box’ in 2008 leaving Gary and Christina to soldier ever deeper in the psychotropic voids of prog’s vast unclaimed and un-chartered environs. A second album has emerged through the mists of mystery entitled ’quest into the stepping stone age’ a title that might give something of a misleading hint as to what these dudes are all about. For if you were to compile / design a melodic mosaic unto which featured say White Noise, Amon Dull II, Dead Can Dance, a healthy dollop of out there psychotropia, an underpinning of prog and space rock, a little stoner for good measure, a bit of goth via fields of the nephilim and mission, oodles of widescreen forming atmospherics, maybe a smidgeon of Jefferson airplane, omnia opera not to mention a more than generous helping of 90’s Delirium era reprobates all topped with some Virgin Passages and Glissando and the resulting effect wouldn’t be so far off the sonic vision provided by the higher craft. Dark, destructive, demurring and damaged are words conjured when hearing the emotional shredding ‘star garden’ – a cut culled from their as were concept album (the aforementioned ’quest into the stepping stone age’) – a full length that updates to a certain extent the Alice in Wonderland tale and relocates its premise to the shadowy rain laced lanes of a late 80’s metropolis – traced with a curdling classicism more befitting some tempestuous prog rock opera, this baby shape shifts and sheds its skin amid a humungous and epic seductive rage that weaves and wanes between what passes for an avenging battle cry to moments of quietly introspective majesty, colossal and consuming the higher craft descend ever deeper into the volcanic abyss flipping the mind with flame coated moments of fried metal headed psyche softly tempered by exquisitely tailored passages of dream locked tranquillity which at times recall the alluring glow of both Ex Post Facto and Belladonna and quite frankly just needs to be heard to be believed. Expect further mentions in future forays. http://thehighercraft.art.officelive.com/default.aspx
Video for ‘star garden’ here….
Cave ‘adam Roberts’ – culled from their forthcoming opus for drag city – ‘never endless’ be its name – and now expanded to a fully functioning four piece about to embark on vast journeys to far off continents and places with unpronounceable names, Cave return from hiding ready to lay claim to the spirit of the Silver Apples. Of course no strangers to these musings they’ve been known to grace the back catalogues of such esteemed imprints as Static Caravan and TrenSmat – the latter of whom’s latest brace of opus’ we are itching to see, play and hear. Must admit that ‘adam Roberts’ sounds at times suspiciously like two separate cuts spliced together in an accident in the studio mixing process type ordeal, not unlike it has to be said some Kember alter ego of Spectrum / EAR variations tapping out Dadaist subliminal messages through the fusing of a mind expanding shimmering swirling ball sideshow under towed by a motorik futuro kraut funk montage, kitchen appliances will swoon blind to your psyche turning slowly to mush with resultant repeat plays leaving you gaga for more.
Picked up from Probe records and the cause of much brow furrowing around these here parts and that I may add being not the result of it being bad, certainly not, but rather more trying hard to pick the bones from out of which their influences are drawn. A duo we have it on good authority who’ve just made available their debut full length ’removal music’ available for free download via http://soundcloud.com/mashemon/sets/removal-music/ which for the life of us we are having trouble accessing due to technicals – enough grumbles though because there is the small matter of this simply killer EP. Opening to the retro hum of ’lips, limbs, lungs’ which aside positing itself somewhere on a yesterday axis roughly timed somewhere during the first flowering of the post punk chilltronic age is possessed of a swagger that sounds like a deliciously germinated laboratory by product procured by way of cross matched DNA samples of a Mk 1 Human League, B Movie and Modern Eon with trace elements of the long forgotten 3D a fish in C added for good measure. The parting sorrowfully solemn ‘note left unwritten’ is very much inscribed with a youthful Yello-esque hollowness upon whose persona has tattooed the reflective coolly candid mellowing introspection of the Jim Muir Slideshow though its ’dead dog’ that here serves up the sets piece de resistance. With its stealth like grizzled rumble and overpowering sense of a gnawing futility this noir clipped soul scorched torch trimmed gem is traced with a becoming ‘twin peaks’ like spectral glower, its dark sophistication bruised and battered by a desperation long without sleep and stirring wretchedly from the emptiness of blurring evenings trashed by the anaesthetising stupor offered by the contents of a bottle of scotch and serviced with a panoramically choking and scarring primitive blues growl that arrives replete with gouging shimmer toned reverbs that sound for all the world like a top of their game Gallon Drunk swamp dragging Cave’s murder ballads. Oh yea and being the clots that we are we forgot to mention who this are – mashemon be they.
Typical of these things – a bit like the Devil appearing on your shoulder when you utter his name or else your boss approaching unbeknownst behind you when you’re having a sound off moment about them – then no sooner so we mention Trensmat and those errant outings and they appear through our litter box (yes that isn’t a spelling error – bloody junk mail hell of late – seems to be the only thriving industry in this sinking fast nation of ours – mind you it saves on the fuel bills given we sit rubbing our hands to the bonfire glow they make when introduced to matches) as if summoned by some strange and archaic request by way of mind transference……..
White Hills ‘measured energy’ (trenSmat). If like me the mere mention or hint of a White Hills record about to make contact with a stylus is usually preceded by a quick dash around the gaff to nail, glue and secure all moveable objects for fear of destruction – then fear not – for on this occasion the Hilly White ones appear in somewhat calmed and chilled climes – oh alright can we settle for distracted and a tad dysfunctional then. Those expecting the normal wasted and fried space gouged freak outs take a moment out for this is the ’Hills taking time out to explore and to magnify their micro verse environs. Utilising a sonic path more commonly associated with a youthful Pimmon the Hills serve up something approaching the type of sonic sculpturing you’d expect of some DoTB derived blood line, starts amid a busying haze of confusion and proceeds therein to burrow beneath your headspace and infiltrate your psyche with all manner of no wave eeriness to which underpinned by incessant head wiring Dadaist electro loops over all manner of scrapes, shrieks and freeform motifs push, pull, tear and terraform in a most disjointed non formulaic way which all said is best experienced for maximum mind melting effect through headphones that way you can freebase to your hearts content on the various sonic sub plots merrily marauding the groove space seemingly unaware of each others existence. Things don’t get any easier over on the flip with ‘the uncommon parallel that resides between your fingertips’ which if anything hikes up the uneasy dial several notches for some end of days apocalyptic dread, a colossal sonic event metered out by darkening waves of feedback and sheens of doom drilled monastic omnipresence. As is typical of these releases get the vinyl and find yourselves treated to a wealth of exclusive additions which aside offering downloadable mp3’s of said wax tracks also includes a rather nifty and worthy of entry fee alone ’the process no other way’ which space heads is your sub 10 minute head expanding slice of slow coiling stoner blues replete with hazily lazy out there motifs all kissed with a seriously chilled snake winding riff throughout not to mention two EGO sensation videos ’dressed to steal’ and ’special delivery’ adding some much needed light relief and finger pointing piss taking to the proceedings.
Ashtray Navigations ’three rockets thicken’ (trenSmat). Mind blowing psychotropic workout is what you get with this little gem, fairly certain that we haven’t featured anything by Ashtray Navigations or more precisely Phil Todd previously which if anything is a much a loss to us than anything else – safe to say he’s been plying his out there cosmic kookiness for nigh on 20 years now traversing ever deeper into un-chartered aural terrains of pops outer wilderness. Three cuts feature on this ’sold out at source’ limited 7 inch for the ever admired trenSmat imprint (though the cooler heads among you should be able to source a copy – chiefly via Aquarius or Normans I shouldn’t wonder). First up on the listening perch sits ’monkey music / throw money at the monkeys’ a big bearded beatnik beauty, a kind of stoner psyche folk nugget on Tibetan retreat presaged with all manner of middle Eastern Tablas, oscillating electro loops and chill toned cerebral ambience which should appeal in the first instance to those tripped out freaksters among you who’ve lain awake at night wondering what sounds might invade your headspace where the master musicians of the bukkake ever to share studio space with Saddar Bazaar – certainly something to consider rolling up a dusty copy of Ptolemaic Terrascope to and making a fat ’un to smoke. Over on the flip awaits ’Dinshan P Ghadali’ a hulking lunar leviathan, sparse and lonesome and sounding not unlike some lost and tripped dream toned droned out Tangerine Dream colluding with Carpenter score from the late 70’s which after a brief spell sunbursts and peels resplendently into the bliss kissed gem that is ’rocket dust slipping out of your mouth some afternoon’ which admittedly has proven to be our favoured moment of the set in recent days not least because aside its zonked out dream machine hypnosis and acutely applied Arabesque tweaked progressive psychotropia this blighter literally mushrooms inside your head like some lysergic carnival free for all to imagine a supercharged Orb spiked with a side serving of the Magic Mushroom Band, the Eskimos of Egypt and a healthy dollop of ‘scene 30’ era Echoboy which all said and to borrow loosely from a famous TV time lord sounds bigger on the inside than on the outside. If you do manage to nab the wax copy there’s also a link getting you all the cuts as downloadable mp3’s with the added bonus of throwing in a sub 20 minute sonic shocker ’war is like a cake’ – a terror drone titan of controlled white noise attrition that once acclimatised to soon reveals itself as a would be desolate distress signal pulsating throughout the vast cosmic voids summarily fractured and frazzled by the sand scalding skree scouring storms of the intervening asteroid belts – Zombi admirers will find much to swoon to. All in all perhaps the finest Trensmat outing to date and certainly the most fried and flipped of the second season so far.
More Ashtray Navigation goodies to be had here – http://ashtraynavigations.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/new-releases-on-trensmat-medusa-and-scum-tapes-out-now-appollaan-cdr-coming-soon/
Did we just mention Zombi a short while back when running the critical ruler over Ashtray Navigations……because….tada……
Zombi ’slow oscillations’ (static caravan). First of two hugely welcomed releases from those nice folk over at Static Caravan, this nugget finding itself prized from the latest Zombi full length ’escape velocity’ no less – which too much embarrassment on our behalf we are yet to get, hear and no doubt love (we say love because we’ve sneaked a peak at ’time of troubles’ and bugger me its good in a ’blade runner’ and ’escape from new york’ blender accident type way). Of course Zombi are in need of no introductions here these Goblin obsessed retro revivalists have in recent years been responsible for re-acquainting a new generation to the beauty of electro pop’s early 70’s prog / kraut / soundtrack patrons – Vangelis, Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Carpenter and of course the aforementioned Goblin to name just a few. Must admit we’ve played this at both 45 and 33rpm – the latter (incidentally the wrong speed) proving to be the favoured medium mainly because it enhances something of a softly dimpled romantic sophistication to the mood that said blessed with a svelte pure pop symmetry ’slow oscillations’ purrs and glides seamlessly across the cosmic divides, a sonic strobe light flickering away in the voids shadow playing seductively amid a heavenly cortege of shimmering cosmically enhanced orbs loosely fixed upon a hyper galactic star drive tapping out arresting ambient wave formed coaxed by Dusseldorfian trade marked motorik murmurs – look upon it as Faltermayer piloting the valley forge. Over on the flip the original demo version of said cut and if truth be told our personal fave mix mainly due to the fact that it sounds sparsely superior trimmed as it is with a minimalist analogue detailing which enhances somewhat an early 70’s styled kosmiche prog quotient. Special mention should also be given to the very fetching minimally stark and sparse retro futuristic sleeve that it comes housed in – all designed by Ben Javens.
Magic Bus ‘magic bus’ (static caravan). Mentioned this lot way back at missive 289 which is here http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=362 when it arrived through our letter box on a bespoken Static Caravan promo CD accompanied by absolutely no detail other than an sticker and little else. Of course we here instantly took a fond shine to its ‘hippy dippy willowy wonky wanderings’ and pressed the Static Caravan crew for more information. None came alas and we feared it might become lost and unloved. As the months passed and though it still appeared on the Static release roster – not a hint or word of its whereabouts was heard that is until just this weekend a package was dropped off and inside the long awaited finished vinyl product of said treasure with sticker and press release to boot. Sounds so much finer on vinyl than CD though we still stick with our original review which we’ll signpost again in order to make sure you investigate http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=362 – the band have just released their self titled debut full length and Shindig we understand love ’em – guess that means you need it then. Oh yea they can be found here – http://www.magicbusband.co.uk/ and this 7 inch comes in strictly limited tie dyed flower pop scented reverse board sleeves – just 400.
Not quite done with the Static imprint quite yet because this being a held up in traffic while being put together not intended extended missive then along arrived another goodie from Birmingham’s finest….
Not officially out for a few weeks Van 239 sees the debut twin set from Luke Harmonium – better known to family and friends as Luke Jones – information is a tad sketchy but it seems that there’s a full length currently simmering on the back burner awaiting release in the near future. Performing as both a solo artist and as a quintet, Lux Harmonium can often be found sourcing sonic textures through the recycling / remodelling or refashioning of old guitar and instrument parts his most favoured to date being his ‘harmonic guitar’, best known for his adept finger picking guitar playing artistry Mr Jones taps loosely into the delta folk blues worlds of a certain Mr Fahey and with the application of a fair amount of magic dust crafts something of a demurring detail that’s clipped with a longing lazy eyed pastoral glow that recalls at various points Alasdair Roberts minus the traditionalist slant, a younger earlier career minded and less haunting sounding David A Jaycock and most notably Loren MazzaCane Connors. Dimpled with an autumnal hue and back dropped by a wheezing harmonium ’the bones you break’ – the chirpier of the featured brace – tenderly touches base with the more genteel moments of Lupen Crooks back catalogue – its lolloping canters, lushly woven warmth filled textures and crooked and creaking motifs are trimmed idyllically to a pastel traced faintness whose collective effect endow it with an acutely breezy albeit sleepy headed cosy glow demeanour. Mind you and in keeping with the typical tradition of these things we must admit to being a tad bit smitten by the flip sides picturesque instrumental offering ’camel bones’ – a free spirited gem whose timeless pastoral pageantry (reminiscent incidentally of Billy Mahonie head boy Gavin Baker’s collaborations with his father as the Baker Boys) is thrust unto what can only best be described as a age old dance with natures freewheeling and unfettered elements seemingly playing tic, tac toe with her land locked fixtures, sound wise very much informed by the much missed Fahey and Rose with the crystal clear clarity afforded to each and every scratch and scrape of the nylon strings appending a sense of the natural and the archaic with Jones’ use of space and drama perfectly pitched by the metering shift in pace from the lull of thoughtful murmurs to the onward rush of the chase – quite captivating if you ask me.
Loosely related – well she did do the artwork for Lux Harmonium’s Static Caravan outing – is Devon based artist Hannah Megee whose artistry you can find by going to http://www.illustrationweb.com/artists/HannahMegee/profile – Hannah’s work has graced the sleeves of various RG Morrison and Drift records releases – she currently has a book published by the name of ’the Sea Swallow’ is available via foxtail and features her illustrations accompanied by the words of Gareth Thompson – safe to say the book is currently on our ever watchful wants list.
Hooded Fang ‘tosta mista’ (daps). In short – just can’t get enough of this. Time to set the sonic ray guns to swoon setting for this second full length from Canadian retro re-visualisers the Hooded Fang transmits from a distant lone satellite occupied as were by a specially select sect of the cult of the Mekons of course better known as arch enemies of sci-fi space cadet Dan Dare, these blighters have seemingly captured Joe Meek and spent years freebasing on a potent fix of early pre live action Gerry Anderson TV scores and 50’s styled teen thrilled bubble grooved pop and have seen fit to hatch a dastardly plan intent on the transmitting of mind altering vibes in order to turn our listening spaces to a sepia trimmed black and white setting. Then again it could just be a riotous album of twang turned teen angst and lazy eyed lounge loveliness mainlining on a kooky cocktail of shimmering strut toned surf sh bop and the ache of adolescent failings on the pitch of love and the hollowness of heartbreak. Whatever the case – quite frankly you need this in your life, described in passing by the accompanying press release as the entire ’Nuggets canon condensed into 23 minutes’ (or at least words to that effect) – its an assertion that I can loosely see given this album has been lovingly dipped and dressed with a vintage hue though must admit the garage quotient is somewhat blurred by a 50’s teen dream strut. That said ‘tosta mista’ is off the starting blocks in a flash book ended and abridged by a silken three part slice of interluding library exotica entitled ‘big blue’ which if we didn’t know better we’d have chanced our hand in guessing it was the result of a Winston Giles Orchestra meets Emperor Penguin in a studio head clash with the Superimposers refereeing and applying smelling salts to the swooned out contestants. And then we’re off hot-rodding down the beach for the big hair tight fitting hip shimmying sunshiny 60’s cornucopia that is ’esp’ which should Sundazed be still around in some 30 years or so is guaranteed to get dragged from the vaults and plastered upon a limited 7 inch issue for a future generation of looking back revivalists to adore whilst further along the smoking cool ’brahma’ has Spector’s trademark wall of sound finger prints all over it and should appeal to those Thunders fans among you admiring of his work with Patti Palladin (’Crawfish’) and while we are here we may as well count in lovers of the Ramones ’end of the century’ recordings. New wave-ish enthusiasts are minded to dive headlong into the excitable frantic buzz sawing key drenched freneticism of the late 70’s styled ’jubb’ though hands down star of the show is the epically crestfallen and lovelorn ’den of love’ which aside flooring you on the spot dropkicks you into Platters-ville with some classically tuned crushing doo wop groove blessed with a hulking heart racing production that you could easily imagine the late Roy Orbison doing some serious damage with. Priceless stuff.
Roy Santiago ‘…plays the great pretender’ (jezus factory). Admittedly – there’s always the excuse for the dusting down of bunting in the Sunday Experience record shed, none more so are the flags a waving with the passing arrival of pristine product via the Jezus Factory sonic stable. So with this in mind what do you get if you take an artist with a new sense of purpose and zest for life whose previous recordings have been by all accounts DIY experiments turned with sour retrospection place him in a studio and pair him up with various members Sukilove, Evil Superstars and Sleeping Dog. In short a belting power throbbing slab of vibrant buzz bombing day-glo dyed uber pop that strays, tingles and prowls like a prime time Wolfmen release (look no further than the kiss curled glam grind of ‘my car isn’t fast enough’ where echoes of ‘cecilie’ purr succulently between the grooves. According to the liners ‘the great pretender’ is much influenced by Santiago’s late fathers record collection, shoehorned between the crackling hiss that separates these ten gems essences of glam pouts and preening Mod struts are spiked and swathed amid a honey toned plethora of harmony driven bliss kissed signatures trained with an effervescent upbeat eye (as noted by the radiance fuelled ‘the sun is in your eyes‘ with its subtle Cheap Tricks meets Motors flavourings by way of Bolan and Harley). In fact this is the first of sets we’ve had the pleasure of hearing in recent weeks that have had us scurrying for our prized Epicycle records – the other in accidentally being Epigene’s adventurous and dare we say quite sublime double disc ‘a wall street odyssey’ outing.
Here you’ll stumble upon the Who’s ’pictures of Lily’ as echoed and idented upon the opening salvos teen infatuation of ’Stella’, somewhere else the lackadaisical mooching bass line that undercuts ’king of hearts’ imparts the kind of dark beauty that was once the trademark tonality of the Pixies’ first two full lengths albeit as though here viewed through the lazy eyed viewfinder of Pavement. Further along the way ‘the Zoltar Machine’ cuts across the collective bows of both Nick Lowe and Weckless Eric with such impish aplomb you feel obliged to doff caps in admiration. Both the torch trimmed and smoky sounding ’the lady wears the suit’ and ’start including me’ orbit sonic spheres more readily traversed by Morton Valence the former graced with a sweetly spectral lovelorn days fading intimacy with the latter traced to the heart heavy maddening pang of a lost Roy Orbison nugget while the parting ’melody hand’ is possessed of a kind of damaged and fractured mindset that recalls the dissipating arabesque psych tinged schizoid persona of Bunnymen in their ‘porcupine’ / ‘ocean rain’ era had they been headed up by Paddy McAloon which once faded and left with the CD to play out for about a minute or two morphs in to some sepia a-cappella groove which if as the liner notes suggest this albums influence is indeed inscribed by his fathers record collection then this’ll be the rogue flying pickets misfit then….
As ever thanks for stopping by and take good care of yourselves….