archiv : up-tight, the fuzztones, golden disko ship

plundered from the web – old archive reviews from the lost in time losing today……

One to play at maximum volume so that you can soak up its molten magik. “Lucrezia” the third full length from Japanese sonic saboteurs Up-Tight is not for the feint hearted. A quick and dare we say blistering follow up to the bands recent “Five Psychedelic Pieces” album that found a worthy home on the hugely hip psyche imprint Static. Where that previous collection displayed a wilfully cleaner and westernised approach (just check out the P.I.L. like machinations of Long Goodbye) to rock per say that set the trio aside from their fellow countrymen (AMT, Ghost, GMFTPO et all) these five slabs of gruelling guitar hypnotics uncover the darker side of the ensembles personality to find them digging deep to drag the audience with them into the shadows of stoner psyche. The components of “FPP” are still intact except this time knocked up several notches in terms of intensity even the albums most touching cut, the harrowing Cool Eyes, belies an overpowering sense of heartbreaking desperation that seeps out of the speakers to wrap you making it all at once an uneasy and yet magnificent spectacle drowning in its own melancholia. Daydream believer (sadly not the destruction of the Monkees classic) draws an edgy monastic charm to itself to weave a hypnotic progressive rock mantras that have more in common with Levitation than say King Crimson. “Lucrezia” is toxic and fried, not so much difficult more brooding, admirably book-ended by perhaps the albums most volcanic moments the two-part Song for Lucrezia. The former a riotous concoction of ferociously locked down heavy bearing white noise stoner rock with Hendrix head trip mentality the latter, a brain bruising 22 minute epic that feasts on the kind of out there psychedelia and skin prickling tense denseness that even AMT would admire. Hi-Fi melting hysteria, a must.


Golden Disko Ship ‘bumblebee behind a tree’ EP

Golden Disko Ship is better known to kith and kin as Berlin based musician Theresa Stroetges who to date has firmly tucked beneath her waistband the ‘there’s a chaos’ EP (which we will do our level best to track down for future appraisal) and the forthcoming ‘lonesome cowboy / Christmas tree’. Utilising an array of instruments, found sounds and non melodic objects, Ms Stroetges crafts dinkily drawn sweetly sensitive shy eyed cascading collages of irresistibly beguiling strange pop, combining a disarming hybrid of lucid folk motifs bleached, torn and interspersed with ether emerging electronic transmissions and hiccupping time signatures that impart a feeling on more than one occasion of being afloat some chemically enhanced dream like boat trip – our reckoning is that if this had arrived adorned with the seal of approval of either Fat Cat or Static Caravan then there would be much head nodding glee in certain quarters of the press and media. In terms of reference points ‘bumblebee’ had me recalling very much Takako Minekawa’s excellent ‘fun 9’ set from 1999 while creaking eerily to resemble in terms of the dislocated textures – Serefina Steer’s recent debut ‘cheap demo bad science’. Coming housed in a beautifully looking hand crafted package – each of the six intricately layered and willowy cuts here appear to restlessly terra-form to evolve in real time almost giving the impression of works in progress, for the listener its like walking through a maze and finding the pathways and hedgerows dissolving haze like to re-appear re-aligned in differing formations. ‘you blurry dream’ opens the set to an array of deceptively lilting digital chatter before emerging from the haze into a twin tracked overlapping vocals and daintily drawn punctuated pastoral acoustic gem that’s as good as anything we’ve heard since Lucie Wren’s delectable ‘a wall, a hole, a daydream’ debut – did we mention it was unsettling enchanting and liberally threaded with delicate Neil Young like motifs (which strangely appear to be a re-occurring pre-occupation throughout). ‘I wanna keep this as something that I don’t understand’ along with the closing ‘wake / sleep’ perhaps provide the set with its finest moments. The former an ethereal nugget that ventures into realms of Syd Barrett-esque laziness, squealing and pining riffs fracture and tear through the lysergic haze into warping moments of serene head tripping bliss while the aforementioned ‘wake / sleep’ is a sumptuously flirty and flighty mallowy slice of delicious dipped crooked romance cultured with looping beats and nursery room twinkling which to these ears sounds like an orbiting cavalry of Clangers tripping to montages speckled with ‘Camberwick Green’ accents. Elsewhere there’s the gorgeously shanty like ‘insane adventure poem’ with its spring boarding clattering electronics that dissipate in time into a delicious side winding groove while the d_rradio like crunchy electro folk rustics present on (trying to decipher the writing here0 ’19th floor eshockes’ neatly exemplify Ms Stroetges attention to detail when trying to convey space / distance in terms of switching the vocals from the fore to the back. All in all a very beguiling release of disarming childlike naivety and considerable understated beauty. Single of the missive.

– also check out her video collage at

Mark Barton, Losing Today (UK)  WWW.LOSINGTODAY.COM

Golden Disko Ship – Bumblebee Behind A Tree EP

Review by MARK BARTON – Losing Today Magazine


Various Artists Fuzztones – Illegitimate Spawn/Sin


Fuzztones – what can I say – the dogs bollocks. Those of you previously unaware or puzzled as to the fuss – see that’s what happens when you live under a rock for the best part of a quarter of a century then retune for a brief potted history via their website at or else consider this. By and large ignored wholesale by the press swiftly dispatched by many as 60’s copyists (which pretty much rules out the whole Detroit and Scandinavian scenes does it not?) the Fuzztones have doggedly pursued their trade. They are for many the key note link to the whole of rock ‘n’ roll’s Pebbles / Nuggets heritage in fact you’d be forgiven for swearing that they’d flipped headlong through some kind of rip in time straight from the mid 60’s such is their authenticity and grasp of the primitive rudimentary, they coined the term grunge long before Seattle saw fit to announce it’s birthright on the music map via Sub Pop et al with the genre (though arguably their sound has been anything but – though the influence on Mudhoney’s cleaner 60’s vibe is indisputable). Never one dimensional the Fuzztones mix and switch between classic fuzzed up garage punk, lysergically enhanced west coast psychedelic, vintage mid 60’s beat pop and candy coated 50’s bubblegum with the Stones, Seeds, 13th Floor Elevators and the Wailers pretty much high in the influential stakes. You could say they’ve single handedly redefined a whole genre.


The Fuzztones aren’t dead – far from it as their recent ‘Lord have Mercy on my Soul’ single for Twist records (home of Thee Jenerators) in fact it’d be better say that they are more than equipped these days to shoot the shit and deal a crushing put down to many of the bright young guitar slingers getting kudos from the clueless press than they were when they called it a day as Tina Peel and emerged, much to the annoyance of their management, into their fiercely dependent Fuzztones guise. Asides that there’s the latest ’LSD’ CD / DVD retrospective on Get Back (which sadly we haven’t heard) which features 25 spanking toons from the Fuzztones vaults.


‘Illegitimate Spawn’ is so simple and obvious an idea you can’t help wondering why nobody thought of it before. A Fuzztones tribute album or more rightly a Fuzztones double tribute album. Featuring forty two bands / tracks culled from all four corners of the globe and rightly paying homage to one of THE great unsung heroes of the whole garage scene. The origins of the idea prompted by Italy’s Lysergic Love who feature here getting to grips in fine style with ‘Hurt on Hold’. Word has it the Fuzzy dudes where so enamoured with the concept that they put out a message on their website requesting potential covers and received enough material to fill a further two sets.


Twenty six years on and the Fuzztones are now the proud parents of a brood of fuzz riffing kooky keyboard loving bastard offspring they never knew they had all banging on their door to pay their dues. Amid this two hour plus set there are a handful of household legends in their own right – the late Swell Map-er Nikki Sudden makes an appearance with the drop dead gorgeous ’Just once’ elsewhere Jayne County – currently the subject of a superb vault trawling release by Munster records with ’Wayne County at the Trucks’ – provides a pretty tasteful reply to ‘Me Tarzan, you Jane’ with the harmonica laced ‘You Tarzan, me Jane’ while Bad Afro stars the Defectors admirably take apart ‘It came in the mail’ and put it back together not before souping it up and giving it a much needed re-spray. In addition there’s four specially recorded homage toons from the likes of Vibravoid, Batlord, the Weirdtones and Manganzoides the whole release superbly packaged replete with an extensive 28 page booklet featuring rare photos, information and artwork by head Fuzztone Rudi Protrudi.


As to the actual release well with 42 bands on show it’s a shame to have to miss out the majority, hell apart from a small select few I wasn’t even aware, much to my horror and embarrassment, of half of these bands. Safe to say none disappoint but then if I had to select favourites then pick the bones out of the following. Staggers do a neat line Munsters meet Love with their audacious refit of ’Cellar Dweller’ while the sublime sounds of Marshmallow Overcoat give you that feeling of being under dressed unless you have on your sunglasses in the company of ’Skeleton Farm’. The She Wolves prove its not a wholly masculine thang by stomping in with the fraught and tight as a gnat’s arse ’Heathen Set’ and as not to be outdone Finland‘s Deletones kick in with the brisk but shimmering ‘Third time‘s the Charm‘. Then there’s the razor sharp Lloyd Cole-esque hip shaking Intercontinental Playboys interpretation of ’Brand new man’, getting sleazy by the shedload are Holland’s Sonic Litter who do deliciously bad things to ’Highway 69’ while the Paranoiacs from Belgium up the ante considerably with the Nomads in a head on collision with Motorhead carnage of ’Cheyenne Rider’. Over on disc 2 you get treated to the acid flashbacked ’Lovely Lady Deb O’ Nair’ by Vibravoid which sounds not a million miles from prime time kaleidoscopic Traffic while in the hands of the Deadbillys ’All the kings horses’ is given a suitably subtle psyche enhanced countrified demeanour with just the merest traces of the Stones’ ’Paint it Black’ in the mix. The ghost of Muddy Waters is apparent on ’Shame on you’ by the Ravens – dam – we could go on and we haven’t even mentioned the excellently named Cosmic Goblins or Aliens and Strangers.


That said pushed to pick the four tracks that stand out way ahead of the chasing pack then you could do much worse for having the frankly weirdly creepy Hank Ray oozing from the hi-fi as he exhumes ’Ghost Clinic’ while Mad Juana deserve investigation for their superbly psychedelicised Beatles-esque middle eastern mantra as evidenced on ’Idol Chatter’. Argentina’s Gondolieri endow a casualness rarely heard these days and decorate ’Charlotte Remains’ with the kind of shimmering soft psyche sheen that would suggest they’d give the Green Pyjamas a serious run for their money. Yet all said and done nothing quite compares to the uber cool Plasticland who amid a coalescence of acid flashbacks and the hallucinatory backdrop of drip dried wah wah effects court with a meanly disorientating psychotic haze for the wickedly sinister ’Ward 81’.


Essential stuff and of course every good boy deserves the Fuzztones. You know it makes sense.


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