roadside picnic vs. azimuth co-ordinator

How time flies, little under a year ago we were getting messages from Phil Macy of Southall Riot fame revealing plans to start up a subscription service by way of hand selecting prime picks from his sonic vaults and with the aid of a recently acquired lathe cutting machine, exhuming said gems onto precious pieces of wax in limited press variations (45 numbered copies) with a promise that said releases would trip out to a hectic schedule each fortnight so that by its completion there would be 45 7 inch gems for the taking (hence the 454545 label title). Well this exhaustive schedule is nearly at completion running now into the final straights with the tail end roster pulling up some serious curios, first of which finds Roadside Picnic re-imagining lost salvos from Azimuth Co-Ordinator. Now as an impressionable young thing, I was an avid comic reader who looked forward to Saturday mornings skipping along to the local newsagent for my fix of Valiant, Lion and Thunder and TV21,,however as good as English comics were they never quite sparked the imagination or attracted the gaze like the old Marvel Comics (or Weird Tales, tales of suspense and the variously gory Italian Vampire publications that we’d occasionally be passed by older cousins, colour aside, these tomes built sub plot after sub plot, cross referenced other titles, featured characters whose personalities deepened in frail and fragile detail. And then there was the artwork – the colours, the shapes – reading through old copies of Dr Strange (a first experience of psychedelia) was enough to give a youngster the illusion of tripping without the need for chemically extreme sugar rushes the type of which Spangles (the cola and orange ones) would give. You may be wondering where is he going with this, weren’t we talking about records a second ago. Well yes we were yet opening track ‘funeral music for the silver surfer’ had us momentarily returned to our younger self, sure enough we loved Dr Strange, Vision and Deathloc – yet above all the mere mention of Silver Surfer would have us scampering pennies in hand to swap in exchange for our hit of this most-coolest and tortured of Marvel creations. This re-visioning by Roadside Picnic is afforded a sighing grace and a reverential treatment, the heavenly harmonic hushes instil a sense of the celestial lights going out as though in mournful head bowed respect, in short a touching drone drifted cosmic requiem. Over on the flip waits ‘notes attempted 1’ – a pure ghost in the machine curio etched by the eerie cross conversation of binary chatter and cathode crackles, likely to impress disciples of Sonic Boom’s EAR project not to mention early career Pimmon, its Radiophonic interfacing courting minimalist inner spaces and secret cyber space netherworlds. The set comes pre packed with two randomly inserted vintage posts cards ours incidentally a holiday card addressed to Dr Arnott of Kent the other post-dated July ’73.   

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