more archived reviews rescued from burnt out hard drives – this originally appeared on http://www.losingtoday.com sometime 2007……x
For Kelly and Mark – missing you.
‘Singled Out – it’s the way we hear it‘.
Okay another brief but frankly essential trawl through my space – normal service as in singled out and record releases resumes very shortly via missive 134 – I sometimes think we spoil you rotten.
http://www.myspace.com/timesofgracedotcom – third issue of the stoner, doom, drone, fuzz, noise, sonic dreamscape fanzine from out of Belgium is hot off the press. Full review when it arrives at our gaff hopefully in time for the next missive. Current issue (a bulging 52 pager) comes replete with an Acid Mothers like age of Aquarius meets early 70’s Hammer Horror styled mash up cover inside of which you’ll be greeted by a host of bands that we ourselves are scrambling to hear being as they are previously unknown to us – among the abbreviated roll call – coffins, aguirre, heavy lord and a feature on the Pariah Child fanzine which has somehow manages to duck and dive our attentions until now that is. And if that’s not enough to whet the appetite the a rather nifty looking 7 track CD should poke you off the fence good style.
And taking of Pariah Child – briefly while we try to get more info hook up to http://www.myspace.com/pariahchild
http://www.myspace.com/witchsorrowdoom – information is scant – but we’ve managed to deduce that they’re a trio obviously influenced along the way no doubt by the Walking Seeds – heavy loaded gnarled buckled and bent out of shape beatnik grind, a sludge fest of grunge fused grind core that at varying times spews out reference points such as Godflesh, Tar and the odd worse for wear nod to Black Sabbath albeit all mashed into a thickly clinging swamp fuelled mass of attrition. One track posted – ’the trial of Elizabeth’ – rip as your own I only to piss off the Rihanna loving neighbours.
And from Witchsorrow to Witchcraft – seamless……
http://www.myspace.com/witchcraftswe – keepers of the 70’s styled heavy rock blues flame via Free and Pentagram replete with stoner overtones, Swedish based quartet have today released an accomplished and enviable set of well heeled releases via the essential imprint Rise Above – trouble is the blighters fly out before they’ve even had a chance to hit the record racks – best of the bunch of four by far the epic Sabbath-esque stoner prog groove of the audaciously 70’s vibed ‘her sisters they were weak’ – stunning.
And Rise Above happen to sound like this…..
http://www.myspace.com/riseaboverecords – a label for whom the description eclectic is for once truly fitting and home to the very wonderful medieval folksters Circulus and the recently re-activated Leaf Hound. Rise Above – catering in all things 70’s styled doom, stoner, retro heavy rock and out there blues – current releases feature outings for Gentlemen’s Pistols 9who’ve featured in these pages a while back) and a by all accounts stunning split between Monarch and Moss which we’ll have to nail as our own. Elsewhere there’s limited vinyl only re-issues of slabs of cult status doom core from Mourn and Electric Wizard.
http://www.myspace.com/burningpiano – and how we do love this – to bits in fact. Amid a sepia tinged vintage aura Irish quartet Burning Piano appear to be equally adept and at home crafting out deeply alluring heart hurting instrumental orchestrations that twinkle tenderly (check out the snow drifting shimmering fuzz storm of the elegant early Warp like mastery of ‘star bright’) than they are at dishing out 70’s styled cosmic kraut a la Harmonia wired into the matrix of New Order’s ’Movement’ (as on ‘Crystal’). Elsewhere the quietly stately regal and baroque ‘like ashes in my head’ is a meeting of Budd and Satie overseen by Momus while the hazy ‘all colours grey’ could easily be Joy Division teased and tousled by Add N to X.
http://www.myspace.com/valadesign – An absolute sublime listening experience – Vala Design is Omaha based musician Ashley Vala who accompanied by her Apple Mac can be found arranging desire laden delicately dinky ambient suites that only shyly emerge during sleeping hours showering hi-fi’s with impeccably treated handfuls of spectrally charged magic dust. These four minimalist classically treated suites are gorgeously frail, fragile, glacial tinged snow globed pocket symphonies very much like a lunatic Satie if truth be told with ‘stand for something’ proving to be the sore thumb of the set being a darkly swept industrial glam hybrid taking Glitter’s ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ as its primary source Glitter’s ‘rock ‘n’ roll’
http://www.myspace.com/deliberatepop – reviewed in full in the next but one missive but well worth an immediate peak or three is the debut 12 inch from Brighton based ensemble Deliberate – check out the stunning ‘she could be persuaded’ – well tasty.
http://www.myspace.com/thetacticians – readers of these pages will be all to aware of our fondness for one of London’s best beat pop combos – a debut full length has just hit the racks in the shape of ‘some kind of urban fulfilment’ – frankly its like some halcyon throwback to classic early career Stiff ear gear – we suggest you woggle your mouse in the general direction of the audaciously catchy ‘girls grow up faster than boys’ and get high on the pop fumes and then partake of the sweetly love skewed ‘honey you ain’t needed anymore’ for a breezy but bumpy come down.
http://www.myspace.com/voltage333 – not so much a band but a way of life – well for Friday’s at least – LDN’s latest club night sound – expect plenty of life affirming bracing riffs, the best skinny tied grooves bubbling below the surface of the underground and feverish floor action aplenty.
http://www.myspace.com/sandiraband – wiring spanking uber new wave boogie from London based quartet Sandira – sadly only clips available which annoyingly end just as things are about to warm up – particularly tasty is ‘sound the alarms’ with its acutely obtuse post punks riffing – kind of Magazine with a chilled Siouxsie fronting them up though our favourite is the slowly uncoiling tenderly wrapped slide laden treat ‘bella donna’ – a single is kicking about in the shape of ‘hanging on the wire’ which we feel we need to hear before we are very much older.
http://www.myspace.com/williamedge – beautifully sparse and minimalist celestial ambient suites from New York resident William Edge who it seems has been busying himself over the years by putting out for public consumption a multitude of releases featuring spectrally coated star lit touchingly shy eyed symphonies via the sounds blue music imprint. Sometimes cavernous monoliths (as on the heaven bound ‘Ascend’) at others as though waking from a hypnotic slumber to find you’ve been kissed by some celestial immortal (as on the romantic classicism of the spacious ‘the night outside’) though arms forced up backs we’d plum for the divine and delicately crafted twinkle some regret of ‘little verses’ as ripe for ripping.
http://www.myspace.com/dragdevice – we like the cut of their jib – indeed we do – well to be perfectly honest they are in fact a he – one Christopher George – a San Francisco based musician – well we hope he’s a musician because the blighter hasn’t put up any tunes yet and the accompanying real web site is not responding. That said there is an old sample on their of William S Burroughs’s doing a spot of anti cursing in the shape of ’curse go back’ which if you happen like we’d advise you redirect your mouse in the general direction of http://www.ubu.com/sound/burroughs.html for more of Burroughs sci-fi b-movie styled cut ups and Brion Gysin tape manipulations.
http://www.myspace.com/gnade – quite incredible if you ask me, Adam Gnade and the Confederate Yankees are a fluid revolving door type collective based around the talents Thaddeus Christian, Johnny Askew and Adam Gnade who carve out an unusually dislocated aural template that freewheels amid post rock like folk motifs with the attending melodic structures seemingly buckling and twisting giving the impression of something teetering at the edge of collapse – recalling in the main Codeine and Arab Strap and drawing distant inspiration from the abandoned wilderness backdrops as envisaged by godspeed (just check out the arid scars of ‘this winter….‘) these four cuts mooch ominously with an unnerving masterful grace that’s part doomed, regretful and eerie set to deeply personalised poetic montages. Recommended cut is without doubt ‘its 5 o’clock in America’ – a minor epic in waiting that navigates its way awkwardly to crookedly converge into a haze of bleakly aching but beautifully drawn fuzzy feeling grandeur. Well worth keeping an eye out for.
http://www.myspace.com/faithandhoperecords – Manchester based imprint who catalogue including the enviable inclusion of Buen Chico (whose debut full length we’ve just taken delivery of with much love), Touriste (whose debut single ‘what are we’ had us all a flutter a few years – and who have since managed to sneak out another release in ‘battle on’ which to much grumbles we seem to have missed out on – you can check them here http://www.myspace.com/touriste) and Mint Royale whose ‘show me’ featured here will hook you from the word go – think of a floor rumbling skanking Go Team tangling with McLaren’s Buffalo Girls – though best of the bunch comes via National Forest whose ‘AM Lights’ has the words dogs bollocks hanging from about its person and who quite frankly by the sounds of this Christmas light festooned homecoming like treasure could be the missing link between those early faltering steps taken by the Earlies and current media darlings the Maps – you can hook up to more via http://www.myspace.com/goforest where things get decidedly more Boards of Canada and Plone via the exquisite ‘outro’
http://www.myspace.com/shirokumapop – those much in love with the early quirky work of the Knife may do well to tune into ‘person L trudge song’ – very kooky indeed replete with the crooked time signatures and a disorientating sense of floating somewhere not of this planet Pop Off Tuesday styled fluffiness while Shirokuma’s dinky ’twin bee’ is coated in the same flirty amorphous amour as the Cure’s ’caterpillar’ albeit dreamily submerged amid dislocated after hours collages provided for by a particularly chilled Yellow Magic Orchestra.
http://www.myspace.com/thewinterjourney – and if there’s one thing that I love about my space is for the way you can unearth some of the most delightful hidden treasures. Case in point with the Winter Journey who we stumbled upon via a link from the previous artist – and only because we liked the sound of their name. Things get much better when you discover that the Winter Journey are a husband and wife combo – okay no big deal you might say and we‘d agree – but then both Suzy and Anthony where members of George an ensemble forever acclaimed by the critics and yet strangely found wanting when it came to the affections of the greater public at large. Four wonderfully tender fire side gems feature here – a rich tapestry of classically drilled Brit folk, gently tingling and cut through with a melodically astute becalming exquisite stateliness – ’the rhythm and stillness’ providing for a spellbinding treat, uncoiling to assume a measured though romantically swept stature. The ‘rubber soul‘ era Beatles-esque lilt of ‘Malachi my messenger’ within its rustically hued drifting spectral grace harnesses the same sweetly honed silky outer worldly resonance as was once much a feature of George Harrison though the best of the set is the introspectively bruised and crushed ’spring song’ which should see tears aplenty each time you manage to muster the fortitude for another sly peak.
Latest issue of Sheffield’s essential reading accessorising Thee Humbug is now available on pre-order via http://www.heychuck.com/theespc/index.html?http%3A//www.heychuck.com/theespc/humbug.html. As per usual Issue 5 is heaving with interviews and features on the undergrounds latest bubbling under crew and comes replete with its trademark dogs dangly bits spanking CD this time a whopping 12 tracker featuring a whole host of bands we’ve never heard of though its guaranteed they’ll not remain like that for too much longer and including the excellently named Poisonous Little Creatures and the Chiara L’s the late of whom go something like this……
http://www.myspace.com/thechiarals – Leeds based quintet led from the front by a certain Chiara Lucchini who serve up a deliciously vibrant pop accented take on the whole late 70’s early 80’s austere drilled new wave / post punk vibe. Needling razor riffs aplenty that see saw furiously, hoodwinked or so it seems from the arse pocket of the late Stuart ‘Skids / Big Country’ Adamson though recalibrated and shot through with a wiring edge by the Playwrights and set upon a throbbing death disco like floor rumbling underpin – very much akin to a stripped down and fraught sounding Echobelly found spending their free time immersed in all manner of ear gear from Delta 5, the Raincoats and Gang of Four after having had cause to lamp ‘dead popstars‘ era Altered Images – we suggest you head over to their website at www.thechiarals.co.uk and rip the insidiously infectious ’bad hair day’
http://www.myspace.com/paulvickersandtheleg – better known for fronting the criminally undervalued Dawn of the Replicants who‘ve been something of an ad hoc aural accessory on our bewildered hi-fi since the first whiff of their debut ‘cocaine on the catwalk‘ was aired on Mark Radcliffe‘s graveyard slot in the mid 90‘s. Between then and now there’s been the brief but wonderful dalliance into the world of Joe Meek via the equally underrated Pluto Monkey before reconvening and getting their gear together for the stupidly good ’the extra room’ full length from a few years back. Paul Vickers and the Leg – is I assume a side project of sorts – will not disappoint hardened Replicants fans in fact it provides Vickers with a chance to flex his multi generic pop vision. Die-hards will drool over the crafty word play titled ’tears of smokey’ it being a short sharp dose of frenetic schizoid odd pop with what sounds like an accordion. Elsewhere there’s the wired to the eyeballs bustling banjo led campfire crookedness of the barking ’chime chime cherry’ – we are thinking shared head space with Vivien Stanshall here while the absolutely abstract non pop credentials of ’spike’ would have, had he still been around, ensured – one suspects – the lasting affection of a certain Mr Peel being that its so off the wall and heavily indebted to the Captain. All said and done though our favourite is the inebriated porch lit prairie prowling tale of a lost love ’bess Houdini’ which vaguely takes its inspiration from the Orson Family’s ’no-one waits forever’ which lets face is the dogs knackers.
http://www.myspace.com/rhysmarsh – absolutely inspiring and gorgeous albeit heartbreaking classical countered sophisticated pop from this multi national orchestra (the Autumn Ghost) fronted by Norwegian based Rhys Marsh (as in Rhys Marsh and…). This collective carve and craft vivid, vibrant, emotionally colossal, sublimely stately and elegant wide screen pop of the highest order that delicately caresses and rises with tumultuous intensity at the drop off an hat. All at once intricate and measured ’can’t stop the dreaming’ embraces the same sweet solemnity of Nick Drake, albeit that’ll be Nick Drake working behind the scenes collaborating with a super group made up of members of the Dream Academy fronted by David Sylvian with the breathlessly sweeping orchestrations mapped and annotated by Ryuichi Sakamoto. More fragile in design ’All the lights’ is similarly touched and tendered with a fading introspective beauty braided by a seductively arresting canter like rustic hued collage – a single ’I will find a way to reach you’ is currently out and about deserving of much love and affection we suspect.
http://www.myspace.com/shamall – appealing in the main to post Barrett Floyd, Ozric Tentacles and in some respects Porcupine Tree fans in the main, Sham all (built around ever present guitarist / vocalist Norbert Krueler) have from their Bremen based sonic bunker been peppering audiences and admirers alike with a canon of work stretching back over two decades crafting out hugely amorphous monolithic slabs of dream like psyche tinged AOR fused with the less worrying aspects of progressive rock with healthy kick backs and nods to the likes of Tangerine Dream and Goblin especially on ’hey you’ which we reckon is well worth checking out just for its ’The Wall‘ – esque overtures
http://www.myspace.com/rossallison – check this site (or this site www.myspace.com/digitaldischarge or some quite smart pod casts from the confines of Digital Discharge HQ – amongst the handful posted to date you’ll be able to pick up sessions by Denmark’s next big thing Mushi who can be hooked up with via http://www.myspace.com/mushidk and who do a frankly contagious brand of stirring power popping jangling country pop type thing that recalls Kevin Tihista boogying with early career June Panic – an album in the shape of ‘unfairytales’ is to be judged a must. Elsewhere there’s the unusual though deliciously crooked electro harpsichord heaven chamber pop of duo Reverse E who frankly sound like early career Bjork blended with Shortwave Set and Goldfrapp touched tinkered, manufactured in the early 90’s era Bristol underground scene and dragged kicking and screaming through some warping head trip back to the 60’s ending up inside the collective conscious of the Beatles amid an eerie fairground cabaret with Miles Davis orchestrating and choreographing the impish blue meanies – we need to hear more and soon. Rip the mind melting ’last song’.
Okay that’s your lot for a wee while – missive 134 should be along fairly sharpishly (hopefully) – while there should by rights be another my space missive (135 by our reckoning around mid week time) – many thanks to all the bands / labels involved.