archive reviews picked out and rescued from crashed hard drives – this first appeared at http://www.losingtoday.com in 2007….x
For Kelly and Mark
Singled Out ‘put your finger on the keyboard’
Okay as advertised previously somewhere or other a my space special – well I say special – us being lazy buggers that we are this is a round up type of thing of all the my space request type things we’ve had plus a few we’ve managed to spy on our own – usually by accident you understand.
The usual Singled Out malarkey continues next time out – which all things being well will be about 15 minutes after the posting of this – ho hum.
http://www.myspace.com/dormannu – technically not something we’d usually feature or indeed recommend here – but then this is Dormannu – a short lived combo from the early 80’s who mixed elements of the tribal white funk of 23 skidoo, the bleak cabaret art of early Sex Gang Children and Clock DVA with morsels of ’frontier’ era Ants that when all whipped up and served fell neatly between those long gone generic divides of day – positive punk (blood and roses, brigandage) and bat cave punk (specimen, march violets, alien sex fiend) – sadly our stash of Dormannu vinyl went west during sporadic house moves and at the hands over zealous ex’s though we have managed to keep hold of a corking tape featuring their one and only Peel session from 1984 incidentally the same year that played host to debut radio appearances by Dead Can Dance and Eton Crop (*whatever happened to them?) – for now though tune in, turn up and go ape shit to the impossibly catchy ‘Degenerate’ and ‘powdered lover’.
http://www.myspace.com/grandsonofficial – set around the one man resource centre that is Ewan Lawson – grand son craft tenaciously catchy after hours groove, from the polished sugar twisting trippy lounge like meets baggy smoking uber funk of ‘shower the love’ to the trip hop dub-esque dreamscaping ’pogo’ with its chilled out dread zone threads – though without doubt what he does to rescuing the overplayed to the point of dullness Snow Patrol monster ’chasing cars’ is frankly worth the entrance fee alone.
http://www.myspace.com/aheadahead – and those seeking something a little off road and ostensibly off the beaten track may do well to check out duo aheadahead. A strange politicised almost 70’s styled cartoonish vibrancy made up of the pairing of poetry and melody courtesy of narrator Michael Lee Burgess (a Yankie ex pat now residing in Denmark and writer of a collection of short monologues entitled ‘ok, here’s the story’ and musician Henrik Sundh (Autofant, Tys Tys fame). It’s obvious that the blankly despondent Burgess has some deep rooted and unresolved issues about his native homeland, in fact there’s a whole album worth of it courtesy of ‘high status and continued success in the ongoing battle for power and prestige’ a copy of which we really must nail as our own before to very long. The songs or to be more precise text music are obscure yet strangely fascinating and easily digestible – rip the hip hop-ish stutter rap ‘before the last minute’ an Ivor Cutler for the noughties tech savvy generation anyone?.
http://www.myspace.com/teamwaterpolo – just a quick mention for this – mainly to serve as warning of a potential future single of the missive type thing in the making – team waterpolo are a Preston based trio who recently got in touch about their soon to be released debut single – which you can hear in all its honey glazed pop glory here. ‘Letting go’ is a sumptuously effervescent slice of softly stirred summer pop thrill that blends pristine morsels of high calibre candy pop with warming wafts of west coast intuition to tingle and shimmer its way through your defences with the ease of a magicians slight of hand – quite perfect if you ask me.
www.myspace.com/simonfelton – Simon has been responsible for peppering our mail box and romancing our hi-fi with the odd well turned release via his Pink Hedgehog imprint as well as featuring doubling up as bassist and singer for Garfield’s Birthday. The four postings here are culled from his third solo full length ‘Symmetry’. the sweetly hurting and introspective trip hop trailed ’my stupid friend’ is a longing electro acher of some measure filtered through with dreamy codas – a bit like a bruised Oddfellows Casino. Contrast this with the laid back cloud passing idle some succulence of the candy coated ’Audrey’ or the flirty ’nightmare’ which to these ears sounds very much like a very youthful Ashley Park – best of the set though and the cut deserving to be ripped, played and loved to death is the bitter sweet Simon and Garfunkel -esque ’tears’ – arresting I’ll say.
http://www.myspace.com/screaming_tarts – not a band as such but an ezine promoter type thing – they put out spiffing compilations every now and again featuring slabs of killer tuneage from some of the finest unsigned acts in the land – there’s been three so far and one just out (which we’ve just ordered) – there’s a review of the first one somewhere about this site and there will be reviews for the other three in time – check out the site, order a cheapo CD – volume 2 even features a cut by 10 foot nun who I seem to remember raving about donkeys tears ago – are they still going we wonder, along with gear by Zombina and the Skeletones, Brand Violet, Miss Black America – if we didn’t know any better we’d say they were taking le piss – need we say more?
http://www.myspace.com/conilmusic – quite superb it has to be said – a smoking array of blues, country and folk that when whipped up into a secret brew sound like they’ve been sourced from the deepest recesses of the early 70’s, roughed up bruised and battered pearls of heartbreak – sometimes drunken misgivings from a lonesome bar stool (‘dog meat stew’) at others mountain bluesed chilled out hoedowns (‘round midnight’) – best of the set though the Neil Young meets Bruce Springsteen meets Steve Earle ‘strange part of the country’ with its slight of hand gear shifting twinkling melodies, inescapable feel good vibe and shimmering west coast nuances its enough to make you weep – I suspect we need to hear that debut full length before we are all a little older.
Next up two related links by the mere fact that they have releases out and about currently for the rather exquisite Hidden Shoals record label of Australia who those among with very recent recall may well remember us enthusing at length about a track by Slow Dancing Society to be found on the free to download label showcase full length ’the least vestige of land’ which you can rip as your own by going directly to www.hiddenshoal.com oh yea and while you are there you may as well hook up with the latest free download full length entitled ‘the garden of forking paths’ Volume 2 from which we heartily recommend you drop everything and go immediately to the My Majestic Star track ‘it may never happen’
http://www.myspace.com/weswillenbring – all postings here are taken from the debut full length ‘somewhere someone else’ via Hidden Shoals. Sublimely statue-esque guitar and piano treatments are what are on offer – classically tinged noire-ish scores, deliciously delicate, darkly romantic and teased with a sense of profound loss. All at once beguiling, bewitching and enchanting, these shy eyed and timid brief though hurting suites appear like impromptu though thought lost memories the type of which are fleetingly rekindled by a smell or a sensation identifying directly to one’s past. Appeal wise ’aperture’ and ’sometimes’ should in particular evoke in most the haunting dreamscapes of Satie – both refined and elegant these glacially swept gems are frail though nonetheless deeply touching while ’correspondence’ is a gloriously tranquil moment that shimmers lonesome like a lost and detached dronescape scored by Yellow 6. That said our recommendation goes to the exquisite ’lost illusions’ – think of it as a Godspeed type calm before the storm basking beauty. Sumptuous stuff.
http://www.myspace.com/colourkane – serenading corteges of honey dripped chiming dream pop symphonies from Belgium based trio Colour Kane. Taken from their debut full length ‘A taste of….’ this lot recently supported Robin Guthrie on his European dates which should come as no surprise to all those who’ve heard them given that they sound like some heaven bound union of the Cocteaus, the Sundays, the Lover Speaks and the Bang Bang Machine mixing soothing atmospherics with heartbreaking braids of chiming resonance that together combine into cloud kissing perfection – rip the ice tipped romance laden bliss out ’broken’.
http://www.myspace.com/joevestayre – and we must admit that we have managed to ween ourselves of these three cuts – so bloody infectious as they are – it took two days cold turkey with the threat that we’d send away the PC so that we could access them again. Joe Vestayne accompanied by Hugh Greenhalgh craft delicately dinky little life movies set to frail shuffling strums – reminiscent of very early ‘Swoon’ era Prefab Sprout or for that matter anything released by Kitchenware around that time, factor in a smidgeon of Joe Jackson and several dollops of a twee inclined Billy Bragg and you have the promising feast of three cherry tipped sweeties the best of which ’trains and travel cards’ creaks and caresses with an unnervingly arresting calm that believe you me will catch you off guard and no doubt knock you of your perch begging for more. Stick that in your fake LDN pipe and shove it where the sun don’t shine. An EP is out there somewhere we believe – which we reckon a caring home awaits its arrival.
http://www.myspace.com/lost_tribes_of_pop – a often laugh out loud exploration into the habits and stereotypical traits of the many and varied species that make up the music lover. See if you can spot yourself in these often painfully true and highly witty dissections of pop’s multi-generic cults as detailed by Tom Cox of Observer Music Monthly fame.
http://www.myspace.com/marchofthecarpenterants – Admit it – great name for a band eh? – March of the Carpenter Ants are trio based in Columbus, Ohio which if memory serves me right is the same place that plays home to the highly underrated and (to much grumbles) rarely seen around these parts these days Moviola. Three cuts feature here that frankly sound like they’ve creeped of the working bench of Delia Derbyshire’s Radiophonic Workshop, hypnotic mind frying electronic dronescaping journeys in to the voids of inner space – ’D6add9’ kicks off the set, a ghostly cortege of shimmering repetitive loops from beyond the ether that to these ears sounds not a million miles away in terms of design and texture to Sonic Boom’s explorative project EAR. The fried ’Untitled 6’ in marked contrast is a little more left field and running into oblivion – a storm of dislocated feedback skree, drills, distortion and what sounds like a recalibrated DC engine being forced fed through the mincer. Best of the set ’untitled 5’ an insanely trippy sound collage of sci-fi unworldliness the type of which so often featured back dropping on various Gerry Anderson live action shows ay back in the Apollo apace launches obsessed early 70’s – in particular Barry Gray’s score for ‘UFO’ and ‘Space 1999’ . Into this cosmic fabric is threaded unsettling spurts of distracted frequency modulations – very strange lights on stuff it has to be said. Follow the links on the site for a chance to download the free 20 minute aural odyssey that is ’Maltese’
http://www.myspace.com/processrebel – club floor booming electro grind from San Francisco but wit its heart firmly rooted in the Detroit deep house scene. Process Rebel is better known to kith and kith as Chad Jones who in previous musical lives has worked under the guise of totemplow collaborating with other such notables as DJ Spooky and Quiot. Rip the brain melting ‘call me blood fire’ which features Dr Israel a heady inner mind cruising chill out babe that pares the finest ingredients cultivated from FSOL and Biosphere into a deeply alluring hypnotic hybrid of sound.
http://www.myspace.com/groopies – Gravitates ominously between wonderful / worrying and eerie / engaging – but then if we were to say that this lot are from Tokyo – then you should know what to expect. Groopies are duo kyoka (who we have managed to feature here in the past – check out http://www.myspace.com/kyoka)
and nobuko who do things with electronics which we swear are outlawed by some kind of worldwide convention – imagine a collective intelligence spawned of the creative mindset of Cornelius and yet blitzed, remodelled and pummelled of its smooth contours by Atari Teenage Riot. Seriously irregular, unhinged and distracted left field oddness ‘for chain music’ is particularly spiked and wayward sounding more like an invasion or intergalactic disturbances across the ether than your normal happy safe pop, Fans of Bjork at her most loosest will love the wired and weird ‘oimachi’ while ‘kkkkkpka’ is a distinctly unsettling slice of nonsense pop part haunting, part kindergarten, part well – bloody unworldly if you ask me – though for our money we must admit to being rather smitten by the chaotic ’cookie’ – a rabid backward looping mutant replete with caustic drills, disembodied chatter and all manner of worrying things – will amuse irksome neighbours – think we need to know to more.
http://www.myspace.com/tsubakiams – strictly cheating here and though we don’t advocate advertising promoters and stuff – I thought I’d include this mainly for the fact that the two ensembles they have sound clip posts for really deserve wider acclaim. Kyoko who gets a mention again within these pages as one half of candy pop noise niks groopie and ODD. Kyoko’s ‘Jungleme’ proving to be a mental as hell aural carnage precipitated by slabs of hiccupping electroid rhythms, twisted funk and buckled shards of fierce some industrial break beats. May induce seizures.
http://www.myspace.com/antennasia – annoyingly the site only features sound clips and not the full songs – though in their brief moments you can get an acute measure as to what this duo are all about. Delicious down tempo tuneage with a touching torch appeal – ‘blue dress’ being the picks of the set – imagine ‘Felt Mountain’ era Goldfrapp shimmying up to Ryuichi Sakamoto – need we say more. Classy.
http://www.myspace.com/lillostlou – features in the next singled out wee we take stock of her current ultra limited split with Paul Hawkins on the rather smart Jezus Factory imprint – well worth a mention of this site because it features the rather wayward and cutesy bumpkin bopping countri-fried ‘whatever happened to Charlie Diamond’ demo which frankly we feel each and every home audio set should have about it wares. Mind you those preferring her wilder side and full band compliment may well thank somewhere up there for the rabid PJ Harvey cut loose like ‘Jeans’. More please.
http://www.myspace.com/lostandprofounds – to be honest we were sold on this the minute the pining atmospherics shimmered into view on the softly curdling ‘glorious’ (*apt title time kids) and when Lisa’s vocals kicked – well we’ll be damned – there was just no going back the marker flag had been left perched and planted in our psyche. Lost and Profound are Canadian duo – Terry and Lisa who when they aren’t soothing and playfully entrancing the birds from the trees as on the aforementioned ’glorious’ and the weepily hurting ’I’m sorry’ (think of a particularly wounded and sensitive sounding Delgados here) they can be found haunting the grooves with the drama laden psychosis that awaits like a spider cocooned in its silken trap on ’Unlike U’ – think Heather Duby invited on guest vocals by Radiohead. Quite stunning really.
http://www.myspace.com/texlahoma – disappointingly we seem to have lost touch with Tex La Homa’s recent work (try since 2003) – that said 2001‘s ‘dazzle me with transience’ has always stuck with me – happily refusing to budge – and given the fact that we name check him so many bloody times in various reviews its only right that you should be encouraged to have a peak at what we rave about. Better know to the local publican as Matt Shaw – this site features ‘only dreaming’ taken from the current ‘milk and moon’ set which we assume is his latest opus – a gently colourfully speckled pastoral cutie with delicate psychedelic tinges as though Leonard Cohen wearing the surgical supplanted mind set of Lou Reed were shimmying up along side the Autumn Leaves – and another release we’ll have to add to our ever expanding wants list along with the eagerly spied ’some lost bliss’ full length catered for here by the meekly frail though utterly enchanting ’nowhere to run’.
http://www.myspace.com/neilschildren – killer stuff – how we’ve so far managed to get through life without at least one Neil’s Children record in our record collection is worryingly beyond us. Alas bugger all info about this trio aside their names, listening habits and the rather glaring detail that we’ve – much to our own grumbling annoyance – missed out on their long since sold out ‘Lucifer Sam’ 7”. Like the Horrors – Neil’s Children are acutely expert at rattling out slabs of vintage primal boogie at the drop of an hat or three, best cut of the three up on offer the romping ‘you didn’t care’ is a sneering hip swerving proto 60’s styled garage punk sortie fleshed out by radiant hues of kaleidoscopic speckles and skin peeling ray gun styled twang reverberations – like a primitive version of the Cure with bitter sweet lovelorn lyrics supplied by Pete ‘Buzzcocks’ Shelley and the tunes supplied by 60’s beat sensations the Wailers with 13th Floor Elevators overtones – this babe stutters and stings like a mother. That said well worth checking out the Specials like albeit fried and lobbing their pork pie hats in the nearest dust cart ‘we all fall down’.
http://www.myspace.com/xxteens – feckin ‘ell wild, deranged and utterly desirable stuff – these kids are by all accounts one of the hottest things on the block at the moment – crooked and wired – and we suspect were previously known as Xerox teens in a former life – because we swear we’ve hit upon ’darlin’ at some point before – a barking blistering brew of Pigbag meets the Higsons head gear, wayward, rampant and undeniably infectious – in fact so infectious we’d better get our arses down to the chemist for a course of jabs – we suggest you do to. Thown in for god measure – not like the are making a point here a couple of dogs dangly bits remixes the best of which Andy Weatherall’s ball busting down tempo bass heavy grinder. Think we need to get this as our own.
http://www.myspace.com/muteirregulars – these days the xx teens can be found firmly ensconced on the Mute Irregulars imprint which I think I’m right in saying is the nursery vinyl label of elder sibling Mute (like it makes sense don’t it). As well as the xx teens the label plays home to the Tiny Masters of Today ho frankly shouldn’t need any introductions here – though up on the site available to rip is the blistering full on assault of the break beating wig flipping error plains who serve up an evil channelling of the Ministry, Echoboy and Plastic Bertrand into a rollicking hotrod kraut overdrive while the forthcoming spiders and the flies – showcased here – is old skool Mute via the Normal replete with crookedly impish electro squiggles and grooves all mashed into a sassy portion of kookily deranged hi-fi fun.
http://www.myspace.com/therossmannfristerproject – We can well envisage a time when this lot may well have us racking up the word count with phrases of fondness aimed in their direction. Sheffield based quintet therossmannfristerproject – granted strange name – and no I have no idea what it means, refers or whatever else or other deeply investigative questions we should be asking – so blah. Two tracks feature here – part of a demo we understand – both revealing differing sides to their personality and yet both pointing to a somewhat shared mindset with the much loved (well by us anyway) Birdpen. These cute poppets (yep I’m gonna call them poppets from now on in can’t be done with that ross and wear type gubbins) culture within ‘See’ a rather delicious slice of retro
electroid funk that’s reminiscent of the dislocated dance fusion crafted and eked out by New Order during their brief period of supervision under the watchful eye of Arthur Baker, throw in a smidgeon of Cabaret Voltaire from the same time period, a little Heaven 17 and riddle it with a’ not now John’ era Floyd-esque consciousness and you have something rather tasty cooking on the back burner that will prick the ears of all who wander into its listening space. The twinkle some ’Time’ on the other hand is a starlit spectral teaser of some measure, electronic cosmic overtures silkenly threaded with moments of softening psychedelics and crafted with a divine sense of stately majesty by the sweetly piped sound of shimmering cellos – if we didn’t know better we’d say they’d been listening to the quieter and more elegantly poised moments from Porcupine Trees extensive back catalogue.
http://www.myspace.com/dansesociety – Barnsley based ensemble to whom the phrase ‘should have been bigger’ is as aptly deserved as to any of their peers before or after. Danse Society were inadvertently caught up in the whole pre – positive punk scene (the precursor for Goth) that would spawn Southern Death Cult and the Sex Gang Children as its leading flag bearers. Like fellow scene setters Comsat Angels the Society were primed for bigger things their sound was expansive and ahead of its time – partly identifying with Clock DVA and Brilliant yet threaded with the ability to immerse and plug into any one of several emerging scenes of the time (New Romantics, positive punk, industrial) – a cold fusion of white funk, austere atmospherics, post punk resonance and slick club floor attitude all partook of the Society sound fabric – without wanting or meaning to lessen the relevance of their later major label work their debut self financed mini album ‘Seduction’ perfectly captured the band at their most radiantly dark with the opening salvo ‘godsend’ and ‘ambition’ the sets shining lights.
That’s your lot for 10 minutes – back soon with missive 129