tales from the attic – volume 65

Tales from the Attic

Volume LXV

Revolutions of a 45 / 33 kind…….

More aural gubbins from the near past……oh apologies if some of these appear a little familiar – we must admit we’ve gotten a little skewiff with these rogue missives……anyhow this edition features grooves from……

Detox twins, groupuscule, we float, the imceredible magpie
band, mittenfields, autobahn, actions, dead for a minute, passepied, msage, keith seatman, jd meatyard, raketkanon, dott, night school, polypores, erotic elk, peter Ulrich collaboration, babau, contrast, 100%, lalic, bis, oscillopeisia, impure ha ha, Arnold fish, mort garson, Jacques Wilson, young knives, shindig, a place to bury strangers, the telescopes, cats eyes

Are we right in saying that the micro label boutique that is the polytechnic youth imprint has something to do or at the very least related somehow to those dudes over at Great Pop Supplement and Deep Distance. Again more bespoke release type loveliness these coming in ultra-limited editions numbered so few that describing them as scarce does little justice, the vibe very much tuned into the minimalist cold wave electronic scene of the late 70’s / early 80’s and the kind of minimalist groove that pretty much set Weird records up as one of the key note scene makers a few years back. Being prepped on their future listings a 55 only edition of a Colin Potter 8 inch release which we’ll try and get links for – no promises you understand. For now a few golden oldies from the labels imprint……first up the Detox Twins whose ‘einhorn suicide’ really does sound as though its fallen off a Peel playlist c.1981 and imagines a strangely playful DAF re-soldering old Kraftwerk circuit boards and calibrating them with a sparse post nuclear cold electro funk grooving that recalls both SPK and Front 242 with members of Cobra Killer and a youthful Noblesse Oblige on-board doing cool seduction whilst aloofly purring to decadently daubed Minty backdrops.

Same label and again something else we here are kicking ourselves silly at missing, this is the unbelievably perfect ‘je suis Marxiste’ by Groupuscule. Long since sold out and commanding premium prices amid bouts of online auction fisticuffs, starts all radio-phonically, very woozy Vision On-esque which ought first point of reference appeal to those trunk and ghost box aficionados among you before jettisoning off to vintage world and getting all lounge-tronic and sassy in a kind of lunar-esque kooky smooching session where sound tracking backdrops for ‘the forbidden planet’ and ‘barbarella’ are found being re-wired by pre-school lullaby alchemist and electronic sound boffin Raymond Scott for some primitive Moroder grooving, all this whilst drawing political affinity and the occasional loose dots (and loops) with Stereolab. How could we resist. Certainly the best thing we’ve heard around these here parts since that long distant day when a filthy little animals released EP by Colt 45 wandered into our life and ‘stockholm syndrome’ took our affections prisoner.

Je Suis Marxiste by Groupuscule from Messiers 54 on Vimeo.

If I was to say that this lot are from Sweden – then I’m guessing you know exactly where we are going with this, especially given the fact that anything remotely interesting sound wise of late seems to hurtling out of Scandinavia with seemingly no end in sight. Not that we here are complaining especially if it sounds as irresistible as this somewhat beguiled gem. This by the way is by We Float who are about to release their debut full length ‘silence’ from which ‘mysticeti’ has been prised and sent ahead to demur passing patrons. One of those releases whereby you might feel obliged to shuffle up close to not least because its touched by a quietly reserved resonance that’s hushed and light headedly tranquil. What first could easily be mistaken for some re-envisaged melodic mosaic back dropping some dream sequence in ‘twin peaks’ albeit as though recoded and transposed in a ‘wicker man’-esque tongue soon melts and evaporates to reveal and noir jazz tutored sophistication that easily lends itself to being best appreciated late at night with the lights lowered by those among you with a curious listening love for the likes of tortoise and pram with a smidgeon of musetta for good company. https://soundcloud.com/we-float-band/mysticeti

Oh yes, now we here are running out of boxes for this little honey to tick. From the excellently named the incredible magpie band – okay a fair amount of liberally used licence there but we forgive them, an album due soon entitled ‘introducing’ from which ‘straight lines’ has been pulled. These dudes have been favourably compared to both the Byrds and the La’s which is a good call and having heard and indeed been smitten by this little nugget we can easily see why, summer shimmered melodies, honey cut harmonies and the purring jangle of breezily feel good 60’s mosaics radiating a hope fuelled spring fresh effervescence upon a Mersey delta beat pop wave crest, that said since arriving into earshot here we’ve been a tad bit compelled to rifle through our collection trying to re-familiarise ourselves with the criminally overlooked and largely forgotten late 80’s pop casualties the High who as it happens this lot sound damn fine ringers for.

Before our laptop goes on another prolonged sulk best try and get this one in unscathed. New thing from Mittenfields entitled ‘optimists’ from an album of the same name due to hit record emporiums shortly. By rights should be the cause of much swooning fits in the aisles not least for those who get all misty eyed when a sub two minute poppet comes their way and manages to shoehorn an array of references that sound like a glam tagged mix n’ match smoothie condensing your favourite moments of 90’s indie pop into one short brief heart bursting mixtape that nods to gumball, teenage fanclub, pavement and the dandy warhols to name but a few and has the nerve to bookend the bubble grooved buffet with the detectable cool kiss of the Tubes and Sweet Apples. Not a bad trick to pull out of the bag.

Incoming on the tough love imprint who I must admit we’ve scarcely heard from in recent times (which I’d like to say as a result of has made life a little less worth getting up in the morning for), this is autobahn’s quite epic and deceptively morbidly titled ‘beautiful place to die’ which was sold to us by their press people as sounding not a million miles from prime time Interpol and Tubeway Army. Of course being the contrary souls that we are we immediately honed in on the fact that it rather more pisses in the kind of panoramic turbulent sonic pool that finds it occupying space with the likes of Rose of Avalanche and the Mission. A brooding bastard tensely taught and blistered in a reflective beauty harnessed and shackled by a thunderously bruised but not down Chameleons-esque underpin whilst howling head tilted upturned at the gathering apocalyptic storm clouds. Sound cloud links here tomorrow – embargoed I’m afraid.

So damn sexy this, new thing from the Actions via Niteo records and pulled from an EP entitled ‘indefensible’, this is the quite frankly sublime ‘counting all days’ – a shadowy noir dream draped ethereal beauty crafted from out of body mirages where fleeting atmospherics are swirled in ‘pornography’ era Cure-esque whispers to dissolve seductively into shifting surreal Lynchian landscapes all teased in the woozily sultry hazed monochrome of a youthful Broadcast whilst piloted by No Ceremony and astral circling an orbital trajectory inhabited by the spectral lilt of portishead – bliss.

We here have been a little off roaded shall we say with what we
promised would be first up here, fear not all those will be hurtling into cyberspace a little later. For now here’s a few things via the Metz based Specific label whose wares are the subject of a dandy free to enter Fruits de Mer competition details of which we’ve momentarily mislaid – but rest assured we’ll locate and copy n’ paste somewhere about these parts as and when we trip of it. Anyway a quick mention for two releases on the label both of which I’m suspecting where not quite exactly what they had in mind when they came armed with the celebratory bunting. Alas no detailed information on any of these dudes, safe to say though that the sounds speak for themselves for Dead for a Minute do the kind cranial trepanning that we here so adore and love of Nails, ripped from – what we assume is – a debut 5 track EP, ‘Fetiche’ is gouged with the kind of up close and personal sonic assault and bludgeoning butchery that you fear it might at any time soon lunge without warning from the grooves and throttle the life out of you, that said it’s not all speed freaking speaker dismemberment for at the 1.40 mark matters get a little odd and disturbing with the emergence of floaty femme lullabies and a good deal of trippy noodling which around here put us in mind of green milk from the planet orange with the noisy bits certainly ripe for admirers of the much missed brew imprint.

http://specific.bandcamp.com/album/dead-for-a-minute-di-g-se

Additional footnote – message from label head honcho florian schall to correct us and say this was first released way back in 2002 by way of a 10 inch outing and that the band are about to play a one time reunion show this coming May – the album incidentally is called ‘diegese’.

In sharp contrast Passepied also via the specific imprint tumble and summersault through the musical generic divides blending effervescent j-twee possessed of a ridiculously cute sun glowed effervescence with a pop progish ambition, ‘makunouchi-ism’ literally radiates with feel good positivity not least is this the case than on perkily flighty buzz bopped kookiness found adoring the grooves of the excitable ‘tokyo city underground’ while for us ‘ano ao to ao to ao’ had us a tad becoming given it’s demurred with a love noted 80’s styled misty eyed-ness that courts an intricate Prince-esque noodling and the kind of pulse racing attractiveness and obtusely zig-zagged riffola to have many a passing ear stopping to draw a little closer for more. http://specific.bandcamp.com/album/passepied-makunouchi-ism

This one comes prised from a rather sterling set by M Sage entitled ‘a singular continent’. Admittedly it’s been out for a while but indeed caught our passing fancy when we were having a muse around bandcamp world, there is in fact a by all accounts beautifully packaged double vinyl set that includes all manner of atlases, fragments, books and collages via patient sounds though I’m suspecting they’ve all long since flown the coup. Incidentally the album goes by the title ‘a singular continent’ from which is culled ‘three bashful stallions’ – a beautifully serene sonic snow drop framed in ice sculptured garlands all trimmed in tranquilly petrified porcelain opines flanked by shimmering haloes of sleepy headed defrosts where to the onset of daybreak these lovelorn melodies awake, stretch and arc with a becoming pastoral calm that’s not unlike the early outings engaged upon grooves by the likes of Cheju and Inch Time…
As to that aforementioned album – you can tune into it here – well worth the time I suggest….

http://msage.bandcamp.com/album/a-singular-continent

If my memory serves we’ve featured Keith Seatman previously in passing despatches quite possibly by way of one of those excellently turned out melmoth the wanderer podcasts (which reminds me – we must have a root around as surely there have been more transmissions from the wandering one in recent times). Anyhow Mr Seatman is currently sporting an album (well we say currently – it’s been out for nearly a year now) entitled ‘around the folly and down hill’ a copy of which we feel our lives will be radically less worth living should we not snaffle up one as our own very soon, indeed for now we’ve had a brief little flutter over the twelve pastoral psych posies locked within this hauntologist recipe book and been much adoring of its strangely fracturing playfulness not withstanding having been more than a tad taken by ‘old pepperbox’ as it drapes your listening space in a curiously chilled blend of disturbia that peek-a-boo’s between hollowing macabre and child-like wonder at one point it glooming shadows clearing in momentary gasps of jubilance whereupon harpsichord recitals and celestial chorals play tag before being spirited away in dream draped dissipates. That said those familiar with mid career FortDax happenings and ‘scene 30’ electroid Echoboy will do well to check out the Foxx-ian ‘the binocular boy’ while you’re at it.

http://keithseatman.bandcamp.com/album/around-the-folly-and-down-hill

Must say that we owe a debt of thanks to Brian Bordello for passing this our way. Pulled from an imminent Probe Plus released set entitled ‘taking the asylum’ this is JD Meatyard who I suspect we may have vaguely featured in these pages once or twice before which if I’m recalling rightly may well have been by way of a Bordellos cover as it happens. With more than a passing hint of Lou Reed with a smidgeon of Arab Strap for good measure ‘Anna had a kid’ is one of those bruising encounters that’s liable to have you a tad tearful, hollowed and by its end somewhat grateful for your lot – that said what makes it such a sure fire listening pleasure is the way the sympathetic sour of strings bitter sweetly sigh to a forceful lo-fi strum giving a maudlin and somewhat forlorn sombre gravitas to proceedings which slowly amass in tension, depth and density until by its end they combine to forge an impacting crescendo of fracturing and howling anguish and hysteria which by these ears shifts ever so subtly into sonic terrains occupied by the hillfields.

Is it me or is this video distracting and disturbing, more so in fact than the actual track itself and hilarious with it in its portrayal of discofied goonery. This, young folk, is ‘florent’ – a track ripped from the core of Raketkanon’s impending second full length ‘RKTKN#2’ via KKK records and finds Belgium’s infamous sludge gouged stoner groove dudes under the beady eyed tutelage of Steve Albini. This slab of sonic shock therapy growls and spews forth the kind of melodic magma that once curdled the grooves of platters by the Melvins and Jesus Lizard not to mention Albini’s own Shellac and wires upon it a claustrophobic seizure stricken agit greasing that weaves manically between moments of disquieting storm looming lulls and primordially slavish cranial crushing fury.

RSD 15 special from the Graveface imprint pressed up on 12 inches of wax and featuring 4 tracks on one side and an etched mosaic on t’other, the grooves shared by Dott and Night School the release collectively entitled ‘Carousel’ should, if there’s any justice in this world, fly off the racks in nano seconds if ‘car song’ is anything to judge by. One of the two contributions from Ireland’s Dott who’ve graced these pages to much adoring salutes by way of musings long since passed, this honey assuming something of a delicate Teenage Fanclub fancifulness a la ’everything flows’ at its opening greeting before being swept off on crests of swoon tripped feedback swathes to morph into lilting lysergia woozed sun glazed dreamy after burns the type of which pitch a point of reference somewhere between the Heartthrobs, lily and madeleine and the haight ashbury which as far as we’re concerned kinda does it for us…… https://soundcloud.com/graveface/dott-car-song

Being the kind and thoughtful souls that we are we’re signing out for the evening and leaving you in the disquieting company of polypores – an analogue and flea market sourced cannibalised 70’s keys studio boffin sometimes going under the name Stephen James Buckley whose just released a debuting set entitled ‘the investigation’ which we will – er – investigate in the very near future. For now though something cooked up as recently as last week in a creative flurry all housed and filed away as ‘the sleep department’ project from out of which we’ve taken a shine to ‘labyrinthine corridors’ – a slice of stilled futuro chilled disturbia hinting of worlds mind controlled by super brained artificial intelligence and sterilised of humanity, looped minimalist murmurs drilled in hypnotic Dadaist brain wiping motifs which serve as mesmeric trance toned synthetic symphonia to keep the slave drones in sleep states no doubt – a bit like party political broadcasts but without the ego, lies and painted smiles. https://soundcloud.com/stephenjamesbuckley/sets/the-sleep-department

Slight listening detour time for this, in truth we happened across this one by sheer accident when musing over the latest from Peter Ulrich (arriving here soon) after which finishing listening this damn fine dandy reared into ear space via a podcast put together by the communion after dark radio folk among whose playlist cuts from neurotic fish, para normal, velvet acid Christ, frozen plasma and more had us nodding appreciatively. All said nothing quite touched like Erotic Elk’s cold wave cover of Chris Isaac’s ‘wicked game’ who are we believe from Sweden with this honey coming peeled from a new full length entitled ‘III’. In truth this gives the original a fair run for its money and comes wrapped in a deliciously frost speckled euro pop grooving that’s been hot washed in a suave and seductive chic charming and then given a 90’s styled new romo spin dry which ought to first port of call be on the radar of those admiring Noblesse Oblige whilst cashing its chips in ‘pure’ era Numan and Animotion currencies.

And just for the record, you can locate that aforementioned communion after dark pod here…..

As promised that Peter Ulrich release or more specifically a new release from the Peter Ulrich Collaboration. Of course Mr Ulrich should scarce need introductions here – Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, just ahead of the release of his new full length ‘tempus fugitives’, ‘dark daddy’ has just be sent ahead to serve as a herald as to what to expect and finds him accompanied by Erin Hill on what is a beautifully daydreaming pastoral posy tenderly traced in crooning slides and delicately willowed in the breezy spring hue of prairie peppercorns not to mention caressed in beguiling folk flurries spoken in an tongue whose vintage digs deep through the generations into the English countryside psyche, amid all this Erin Hill lost in this moment of magicalia found crafting love noted daisy chains. What is there not to adore.

I don’t mind telling you that, barring any unforeseen mishaps and with the obliging assistance of an of late decidedly cranky and on its last legs laptop, this weekend will be littered by all manner of strangeness from those dudes over at Arte Tetra who last adored these pages with that essential debuting cassette compilation ‘exotic esoterique – volume 1’ . To get you warmed up and perhaps more so acclimatised as to forthcoming happenings to come this is a newly peeled video to accompany the Babau track ‘lla no kuaili’ which you can find on the recently released ‘papalagi’ set from the duo. Something of a transcendental nugget for scratch beneath the misty drones that greet its entrance and the dream draped sound of a woozily warped laid back lounge lilt trip the listening space oozing it in atmospheric calms and weird ear retro flotillas to which are attached the softly dissolving shimmer of husk dry middle eastern mystics and ancient old hymnals all haloed in primitive earth beat and stoned out psych drone mosaics.

This blighter just beams feel good radiance like it’s rapidly going out of fashion, sadly only 200 of these babies kicking around and it’s not for me to say the music world is in a sorry state if any are still hanging around. This is a new 7 inch heading out of the Canberra based moontown imprint who I must say are todays great new find and who have in recent times put out some killer must limited releases not least with this dandy heading up the pack. Contrast – for that be their name – appear adept at doing that stratospheric riffola cool groove thing with the strut gouged ‘sidewalk’ steering headlong into distant star constellations courting the kind of thrust powered dream pop shimmer toning that hints of a fondness for early hazily glazed 90’s Creation platters and an adoration for the likes of ultra vivid scene, ride and Catherine wheel. That said it’s the reflective flip side that’ll floor you for the bitter sweetly teased ‘construction’ is draped in all manner of crystalline reverbs and celestial haloing as to have you all a swoon that someone has had the nerve to fuse the majestic artistry of the Church with the seductive choral sereneness of the kitchens of distinction and from it whittled out a misty eyed and lovelorn chiming cortege. http://moontown.bandcamp.com/album/contrast-sidewalk-7

Staying with the moontown imprint for another must have outing this time a self-titled 25 only cassette from 100% who appear to be three ladies Grace, Lena and Chloe and have a thing for the kind of cold / dark wave landscapes that would have one time or another littered various playlists of a certain John Peel whilst plugging directly into the sparse post punk minimalism that was celebrated by the whole c81 scene moreover with a healthy (or unhealthy depending on your perspective) fascination for the Banshees’ oft overlooked ‘kaleidoscope’ album. The shadowy lilt that graces opener ‘castle’ hints at a more demurring and less edgy Xmal Deutschland being rewired by Pink Industry while the chill crested Nico-esque meets Dietrich ‘progress’ views at distance bleak futuro wilderness’ populated by a servile ‘blade runner’ bleakness. Best of the set comes in the shape of ‘sour’ – disquietingly beautiful as it free falls into the kind of late 70’s vintage that a mere few years back the Weird label sought to reclaim as its own while those among with an acute ear for such things may hear the distant echo of Ex Post Facto seducing the groove lines. Elsewhere ‘prisoner’ has all the sparse wherewithal to suggest its template has been swiped from a Joy Division workbench to be recalibrated with reference to a Suicide manual for Cobra Killer to covet while both ‘phantom game’ and ‘eagle street’ will find more than an affectionate nod from those among you admiring of the sounds of controller.controller and a very youthful Sisters of Mercy and March Violets. http://moontown.bandcamp.com/album/100

Alas no information on Lalic with which to regale you with though safe to say that his limited set (50 cassette edition) for moontown entitled ‘broken foot rabbit hole’ is possessed of a sentiment that isn’t lost on us for here there’s a fair old speckling of lackadaisical dreaminess that quite frankly wouldn’t look amiss on a platter bearing the tell-tale hallmark of Aritomo here as it stumbles and staggers blurry eyed across the grooves. An album best described as a slow burner, spiritual kinships with the early Elephant 6 collective settlers aside, Lalic adeptly tunes loosely into the kind of artistry that once upon a time graced our turntable from the likes of doleful lions and june panic a fact best appreciated on the parting ‘garden dream’ while somewhere else the fracturing ghostliness attaching to the hollowed beauty that is ‘way out’ reveals at least two cuts here indelibly referencing, conscious or not, a youthful Tex La Homa – the other being ‘alone again always’ which by its parting comes sumptuously tailgated in sheens of feedback dissipates. Well worth some considered investigation methinks. http://moontown.bandcamp.com/album/broken-foot-rabbit-hole

More essential record store day ear gear this time from the acutely cute buzz bopping bubble gum popsicle groovers Bis. With a new album promised sometime this year and Sci Fi Steven’s extra curricula activities Batteries due to release a debut full length summer time, the 1000 only deluxe double red vinyl ‘I love Bis’ set gathers together lost treasures from the Bis vaults showcasing the bands enviable knack at knocking out sub three minute day-glo ditties at the drop of a hat that blended an insanely infectious cocktail of candy tipped buzz sawing sonic paint bombs fusing teen spirited riot grrrl abruptness with electro punk abrasiveness. Across four sides of wax an array of hard to find turntable jolts spanning their opening quartet of releases ‘transmissions on the teen c tip’ to ‘bis vs the diy corps’ with this very version (the same compilation appeared stateside several years ago) coming bolstered by a previous unreleased 24 minute medley ‘nation go yeah!’ that shoehorns a selection of early career 4 track home recordings giving insight of the impish creative hub at the bands core. As said the album is due to appear on RSD a subject which Sci-Fi Steven comments….
“I’m proud to be part of Record Store Day as I still believe the initial concept revived the ailing music retail sector. I also firmly believe that the records bis have released as part of Record Store Day are in the mould of the original concept – either new unreleased material, hard-to-find back catalogue or deluxe vinyl editions with previously unreleased recordings. What has turned many against RSD is the pointless picture disc editions of songs released a million times that hammer at the hardcore collector’s lust for completion, usually released by one of the big labels stamping their boots all over the day. It should be independent music on independent labels for independent stores, not an overnight endurance test followed by disappointment and harrowing ebay discoveries. All we have done is put together a nice package of our old EP’s plus some unreleased demo’s and pressed as many copies as we think we could sell. That was surely the idea of the day in the first place.”
….for now here’s the radio hugging ‘kandy pop’ – https://soundcloud.com/butilikeyou/bis-kandy-pop

On another of those sojourns around bandcamp we happily eyed upon this nugget. The aptly titled ‘cosmica’ EP by Oscillopeisia is the work of John Lee Richardson who describes in passing his aural adventures as ‘70’s brain dance’ which is a neat description we’ve had trouble bettering especially since these four star twinkled suites appear to navigate celestial quadrants once occupied and ventured by the likes of tangerine Dream, Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre. That said we here are more than a little smitten by the parting shot ‘voyage’ which aside somewhat embarking on a lunar seafaring odyssey into terrains these days so ably navigated by Craig Padilla is also kissed with the trance toned trimming of a mid-career future sound of London while elsewhere pride of the pack the lushly lilted future-retro grooving of ‘cosmica’ imagines tropical alien beaches arrested in the twilight glow of waking twin sunrises and might prove a perfect listening partner for those rare moments occasioned to vinyl by Zombi’s Steve Moore. http://indifferentspace.bandcamp.com/album/cosmica-ep

Long-time observers of these musings will no doubt remember fondly our want for – shall we settle for – the more stranger and disturbing sounds occupying the ever expanding environs of pop world and so it was that these pages oft found themselves populated by the much welcomed appearances in our listening lives of outings released by bijou labels such as scotch tapes and love torture which is why the debuting platter – well cassette as it happens (which just to confound matters further comes in an edition of 10) from Impure Ha Ha appealed so much. Vanessa and Beth hail from Hamilton where things must be really f***** up if these twelve sonic scabs are born out of a reference to. ‘fuzzy buddy ears’ emerges fractured and fried from a one hour improve session and from those recordings oozes a whole heap of bad ju-ju that’s scarred and loitered in brooding passages and a frayed off its box fracturing. Here nightmares come alive and funereal mosaics gather and twist to daub and dead head the listening space, amid it all a woozy ghost light trimmed in no wave eeriness and steeled in darkly drawn psych and swamp drawn tribalism wrestles itself from some mind fractured pit, not one I hasten to add for those among you preferring your sonic experiences easy on the ear and traced in the standard bearing verse chorus verse formula. Instead you get a petrified species of the blues coveted in psychosis, tracks like ‘no more buckets’ find themselves locking with precision to the darker more shadow toned found looming on the early work of Virgin Passages while amid ‘sooty melt’ the ceremonial clang assumes a maddening sense of cold detachment wearily extending its bony fingers to strangle you in its oppressive blackness. Reference wise ‘fuzzy buddy ears’ draws its lineage into terrains occasioned by Lydia Lunch whilst freed of its doom draped dronal disquiet, elements of Birthday Party man Rowland S Howard are unquestionable marks of admiration. That said those finding themselves escaping the grim torturous trials emanating from the dungeon like ‘kaidahide’ have yet to face the test of the harrowing 12 minute black hole that is ‘guac’n’za’ – a horrorphonic odyssey tripping to the very edges of the minds dark interiors where lurk a wasteland of arid dry mosaics and earthbeat mischief squirrelled in obtuse art gouged motifs. http://impurehaha.bandcamp.com/album/fuzzy-buddy-ears

A little something that’s been messing with our head space in the last day or so, the kooky kaleidoscopic funk delights of French psychedelicist Arnold Fish whose ‘in the land of the elephant blues’ may just be the kind of ju ju jamboree that ought to be on the wants list of all those who swoon to the hippy chic lysergia of the 60’s for this set blossoms to a colourful cornucopia of lightly speckled sun harvested psych pop radiance that’s teased upon a creative master class that’s traced in the kind of dreamy pastorals and paisley pop happenings that may well suggest to you that you root out your copy of the Zombies ‘odessey and oracle’ for handy reference. A set so addictive and infectiously affectionate that it will get revisited later in the week here, however for now we suggest you allow for the redecorating of your listening space in florescent sunbursts courtesy of the acutely dippy and dizzy beaming brass fanfares and wigged out keys sortie ‘Jeffrey’ which unless our ears do deceive manages to hop, skip and jump into the kind of swirly feel good delirium of a classic era Sly and the Family Stone albeit rephrased through the wonky viewfinder of Epicycle. The album incidentally is getting a full on wax treatment (April 30th) – sadly limited to just 100 copies – via the Garden Of Dreams imprint.

Those of a certain vintage or / and a keen ear for strange sounds surely need no introduction to the Elektra released ‘the Zodiac : cosmic sounds’ set put out in the late 60’s, I happily stumbled across this curio courtesy of John Peel playing it in full over the course of several Saturday afternoon shows in the early 90’s (if that is I recall rightly). An album or more so an aural experience of its time that in these enlightened times and the internets want for dredging the archives and giving a second life to the lost and forgotten of yesteryear, still manages to hold its own and stay the test of time. A brave and eccentric move by Elektra at the time, the albums authors Mort Garson and Jacques Wilson would go on repeat the formula a year later relocating ‘wizard of Oz’ into a head warping hippy idealistic 60’s freak beat electro opera entitled ‘the wozard of iz’ (his landmark release incidentally was ‘black mass’ under the pseudonym Lucifer – which admirers of Goblin / bebe and Louis barron et al should check out sooner rather than later). Several years on however ‘mother earth’s plantasia’ appeared, now getting a much deserved repackage via fifth dimension it affords listeners and strange sound completists the chance to reappraise the work of this oft unheralded electronic pioneer. Described as ‘warm earth music for plants…and the people who love them….’, ‘plantasia’ originally appeared in 1976, by that time the advent of electronic sounds where not nearly as much of an novelty / oddity as they had been in the 60’s but were now seen as making sizeable creative footprints and shifting popular sound into new spheres (kosmiche, progressive rock et al). ‘plantasia’ is essentially easy listening groove providing a lulling dream draped collage of Moog’s in various lunar configurations, dinked in shimmering swirls and seductively teased in lounge exotica (‘Baby’s tears blues’ being the highlight here sounding as it does like pirouetting promenade recitals orbiting strange moons while a strange noir attachment to the mellower mosaics cut by Stereolab ooze lazily through ‘a mellow mood for maidenhair’) the sounds are delicate and lush not to say minimally murmured in the kind of twinkling sparseness that those admiring of the early visitations of ISAN (c. ‘digitalis’) may find much to adore.

Incidentally for those previously unaware of its existence here’s ‘black mass’ in it full entirety….

….and ‘the wozard of iz’…..

Simply pure seduction. Out around now – fear not we’ve already issued forth begging missives with immediate effect, this is a cut from the latest Cat’s Eyes release ‘the duke of Burgundy’ – an original soundtrack back dropping the latest filmic release from director Peter Strickland whose plot line is briefly billed as – ahem – ‘two women (who) take their carnal desires to the extreme in this kinky, deliciously twisted tale of sex and butterflies’. Cat’s Eye for the uninitiated are duo Faris Badwan of Horrors fame and Rachel Zeffira who together have crafted a most beguiling listening spectacle that sumptuously fuses together elements of baroque psych, pastoral folk and choral requiems and have sprinkled the resulting gathering with the kind of magic dust that used to bewitch the grooves of Broadcast platters albeit as though visited upon by the ghostly romance of Komeda as perfectly exemplified by the sneak peek title track selection below. A softly whispered folk fairy dreamily dinked in shimmering summer fresh bouquets all breathlessly ghosted by the genteel faraway undulate of willowy rustics and the spectral call of lovelorn spell charms. Most bewitching. https://soundcloud.com/cats_eyes/the-duke-of-burgundy

You can hear a compilation put together by the duo featuring their all-time favourite soundtracks here…..

Here’s the newly minted video for that imminent Maiians single

‘sionara’ which we mentioned way back at https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/maiians/

Here’s something a little tasty to keep eyes peeled for this coming RSD15. Coming pressed up on 10 inches of coloured wax and including a fanzine collated by the band with invited contributions from Marc Riley, Maximo Park, Jad Fair and many more. The ‘something awful’ EP sees Young Knives make a return appearance to these pages after what seems like an eternity, a cleverly conceived set that deals with the varying facets of loss whether that be of mind, of trust, in faith or in belief with each of the four featured cuts expanding, morphing and diverging direction wise from one key central theme. ‘something awful’ opens the proceedings, originally appearing on 2013’s ‘sick octave’ this brooding slab of unhinged art pop shape shifts picking wearily through a wasteland of austere post punk motifs and kraut gouged pulsars all the time forming and building in obliquely edgy intensity fracturing and fraying amid conflicting paranoiac mind sets which from a listener perspective swamps you in a heaving mass of decidedly confused and twisted messages. Matters assume darker consequence on ‘something sweet’, here set to Dadaist dinks and clawed in a howling psychosis the ever blackening chamber tones attach an ice cold fraught abandonment that finds itself encircling the inner dark psych of Magazine albeit scarred and hollowed by Marc and the Mambas. ‘something tragic’ provides the sets sore thumb so to speak and by far the best moment here if only for the fact that everything is stripped back with the intensity and sense of bleak detachment ratcheted up to levels way off the reading marker, here minimalist insectoid clicks and whirrs suck in the light leaving emotional husks in their wake which reference wise might have you of a mind to reacquaint yourself with your Edward Ka-Spel record stash for comfort. ‘something cheap’ wraps up the set looped upon a locked grooving motif and brutalised by an agit grooved dialect whose jabbing riffola had us much in mind of a head locking tussle between the playwrights and Wire.

Those of you plugged in to both the feeds of twitter and facebook over the last day or so may have been concerned at news of fisticuffs at Shindig towers with a coup being mounted by the publishers Volcano and the intended #47 of Shindig sporting a Sandy Denny cover having been re-drafted with the Shindig name now relegated as part of a rebranding exercise with the magazine now being retitled as Kaleidoscope incorporating Shindig. Now I’m probably not the first to note that in recent times that Shindig has been losing its shine, its frequency has somewhat found it struggling to maintain its early career high standard and well sometimes it has to be said that their over reliance on re-issues and the past has by and large usurped their championing of the now, happily though it’s one of only a handful of titles currently ploughing the same furrows that doesn’t mention the Beatles at every given opportunity (hello Mojo, hello Record Collector) – so I suppose small mercy’s etc…etc….

We should have spotted something was afoot for last month we picked up our Shindig at a local WH Smith (sshh don’t tell Probe) on presenting at the counter for scanning the helpful shop assistant had problems getting the reader to correctly input the title, several attempts wherein Kaleidoscopic flashed up instead of Shindig which at the time he commented was highly strange and concerning as this is how Smiths recorded order quantities based from sales and that if this was being attributed to a title they didn’t stock then there could be issues. All said if reports are to be believed it appears that the actions of the publishers are nothing less than tantamount to tyranny. With no hint as to what’s actually happening with the title – a new edition under the Kaleidoscope billing is due to surface this Thursday, but what of the original crew – will there be a rebel faction – shindig back to its zine days. Time will tell. For now this might go some way as to explaining various developments these last few days…… http://www.djfood.org/shindig-magazine-takeover-and-rebranding/

Fuzz freaked psych heads among you might want to divvy up your record store day cash stash and earmark some of it to securing one of the 1000 only split 10 inch releases from the cool as f*** fuzz club imprint, a killer release and 6th instalment in their ongoing face off series which this time sets up a no holds barred confrontation between a place to bury strangers and the legendary Telescopes, and yes I know that recent pairings have seen the gathering of titans such as Alan Vega with Vacant Lots and the Black Angels with Sonic Jesus but this twinset just wipes the floor with the previous competition. Fresh from their recent ‘transfixation’ set – which I’m sad to report that we are yet to hear – a place to bury strangers stump up the previously unreleased ‘down the stairs’ – a freakin’ three and a half minute scuzz storm which to these ears sounds not unlike a prime time and dare we say seriously zoned out ‘psychocandy’ era Jesus and Mary Chain heading a full steer into some psychosis shrieked oblivion whilst haloed in all manner of speaker melting feedback howls. The telescopes in recent times have been off navigating hitherto unchartered territories and discovering new sonic worlds by way of their extended odyssey into noise, drone and beyond returning now to reclaim their vacated seat as one of the key note purveyors of psyche in recent memory with a frankly head trashing cover of the Stooges hallowed ‘I wanna be your dog’ – in short an uber cooled slab of hazily haloed loss of reality stirred in frenzied blurs of garage blues dissipates and so shitfaced, stoned, ravaged, wired, dirty and decadent your synapses will think they’ve undergone some kind of psychoactive shock therapy.

As ever thanks for tuning in – threats, offers of marriage and promises of records can be emailed to marklosingtoday@gmail.com

Take good care of yourselves….

Mark

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