archiv – singled out 136

another archive review rescued from discovered hard drives – this first appeared via losing today in 2007…..x

Singled Out

Missive 136


For Kelly and Mark – miss you


‘Singled Out – it’s the way we review ‘em’


My space special – nuff said our kid. – the Leeds based label (which we think we are right in saying) responsible for putting out that rather fine demo by the ross mann frister project who we glowed about way back at missive 128 who (and yes we do hate this stupid overplayed terms) have the words ‘next big thing’ shot through their core like writing on a stick of rock – both cuts featured here ‘see’ and ‘time’ beat the living daylights out of all that skinny tie nonsense any day – ‘time’ in particular is a tenderly majestic early career Porcupine Tree like beauty that was heard will transfix, romance and linger lastingly like a lovers first kiss – we of course still await said disc to do untold heartache on our hi-fi. – currently unsigned believe it or not – Marcus (sadly any substantial info is sadly lacking) crafts majestic dream states comprising of wide screened ambience and seductively layered sophisticatedly chilled out dance floor groove, the regally momentous ‘last mantra’ is a titan of a track – all at once referencing Massive Attack, Jah Wobble’s Invaders of the Heart and Barry Adamson into a swirling snake charming middle eastern styled epic of brooding beauty and yet finding time somehow to tweak at Led Zeppelin’s ’Kashmir’ and Floyd ’the wall’ – how cool is that? Though for us the hauntingly stately and elegant ‘if this were’ is by far the centrepiece of the selections and takes its cue from the sublime mindset of fortdax’s ‘like cream inside your spine’ and bottles up its essence and transplants it amid a lushly drawn outer body spectacle suspended from reality for Ooberman to work their twinkle some charm. More please. – Sadly there’s only one posted track on their my space site (but damn its good) by Austin, Texas based Night Friends better known to friends, acquaintances and we assume – the IRS as Justin Sweatt, ’pneumaura’ is that cut. Night Friends it seems began way back in 2003 – originally called the Bats until it as discovered there was a New Zealand based ensemble of the same name he quickly re-thought the name by way of a relatively loose kind of logic after spying a postage stamp depicting a bat as part of a postal series of ’night friends’ – simple eh? To date several releases have eked out into the public conscious all sadly out of print with the exception of the current ’decorations in a ruined city’. ’pneumaura’ – incidentally not on the aforementioned set – is a gently beguiling after lights out slice of nuzzling down tempo dreaminess not so dissimilar in texture to Yellow 6 / Manual – softly spun Durutti Column styled signatures aimlessly drift lost in the moment to be braided by the delicate lining of an orbiting spectral suite a la early ISAN all anchored by a repetitive and seemingly out of placed ‘movement’ era New Order underpin which at the finale congregate and implode into sheens of shoe gaze-y fuzzyness. Does it for us. – Carving out delicious slithers of minimal electronics fused in mid 80’s euro disko accents and cut through with an ostensibly chilled out and aloofly cast 90’s club drill, Essexx could easily be distant blood relatives of the equally alluring Salon Boris. With one double disc full length under their belts via Prussia records entitled ’Bridges’,  German duo Sarah Noxx and Sven Wolff craft a sound that to these ears sounds like a stately distillation of the artful pop mindset of Propaganda twisted and blended with the sheen of mid 80’s Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the former quite apparent on the locomotive drive of the shadowy but frosted classicism of ’fatal love’ the latter delicately decoded on the cosmic cruise like ’love affairs’ – though for us the best of the set is ’undercover’ mainly for the small detail that its sumptuously dipped in the DNA of ’I love you’ era Yello. – simply quite breathtaking – composer, conductor, remixer and label owner are just a few of the things that the French based Walter Taieb has applied his hand to over the years – in fact the compiling of a full list of achievements would make drawing up a list of what he hasn’t done a far easier task. Among his achievements he was awarded the coveted RCA Red Seal for his suite ‘the Alchemists Symphony’ which is showcased here by the lushly arranged full bodied wide screen grandeur of ’Santiago’s Dream’. Elsewhere he’s worked with Gloria Estefan, Cher and more recently Vanessa Mae though for us the pick of the bunch is the cataclysmic ‘African Dance’ sumptuously performed here by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a sweeping and majestic carnival of colour and clinging by the finger tips crescendo creaking dramatics that pits the might of Bernard Hermann meets John Barry. – a blast from the past, older listeners to Mark ’n’ Lard’s semi legendary (in their gaff during a coffee break) graveyard radio tunes slot for Radio 1 in the mid 90’s may well remember the crooked musical manifestations of Scouse troupe Wizards of Twiddly who if memory serves me right were invited along on more than one occasion to sprinkle the studio basement will all manner of deranged merriment – a whirling dervish of spaced out schizoid junk funk spazz jazz stew – a kind of mid way dropping off travellers point between Soft Machine and the Dadaist dementia of the bonzo dog doo dah band serviced by the Scars and the Cardiacs. The Soft Machine connections were handy considering that at one point they hooked up their cart to the crooked travelling circus of a certain Kevin Ayers. Lo and behold several years out of circulation and news from afar tells us that the blighters are back again and have been since 2004 having released the ‘live at the Zanzibar’ set which we annoyingly missed, there’s also volume 3 of ’upendium’ (with the cryptic announcement that volumes 1 and 2 will follow) whilst preparations are afoot for new studio gear to mark what will be their 20th anniversary. These days they are proud parents of a secret Scouse scene led from the front by the likes of Apatt and Zukanican – for now though check out the frantic early Gabriel meets pissed as farts on moonshine vodka Cossack dancing Crimson styled ’scattergun’ – be warned this won’t be the last time this lot feature in these pages. – duo Atom and Tim (bet that’s not what it says on his passport) together collectively known as Renfro eke out delicately bruised sensitive signatures coaxed to life by twinkle some snow globe affected electronics and softly sighed deliveries, like a shy eyed and timid Swimmer One collaborating with early career Minotaur (especially on the playfully fluffy and chiming treasure ‘illuminations’ – which we suggest you make your first port of call) these after dark lights dimmed lunar waltzing love odes crackle, hiss and pop like spectral lo-fi caricatures of Low and Sigur Ros – sweetly beguiling yet hurting and distant. The quartet of cuts showcased here will shortly feature on the duo’s debut full length ’mathematics’ and by our reckoning the arrestingly fragile ’broken little pieces’ is going to break a fair few hearts once it escapes on to the more clued up hi-fi’s of the record buying community. – okay time for the excuses so that we can carefully navigate our way past any faux pas cul de sacs which I suspect we’ll be knee deep in shortly – information is scant – well that’s not necessarily true – its in Italian – and well – our language tools on google is playing up big time – so bear with us. This lot are / where based in Bari and offer up four sumptuous slices of lounge smoochiness styled in all manner of silky 60’s accents and deliciously wrapped in dippy corteges of kooky keys ad swirling string arrangements – among the instrumental hippy chic ‘organ blower’ provides for a funky mod-tastic wig flipper, while ’I, robot’ is a sassy booty shaking Hammond saturated slice of skanking surf vibed beach boogie while the down tempo cocktail bar sophistication of ’imagination’ is frankly what elevators and coffee tables were made for – though for some strange reason I keep feeling the urge to spark up a panatela cigar – how strange. – Italian based garage rockers – sorry bit no real info as its all in Italian and our google translator is up the spout – that said what we can say is that these dudes have had releases via Misty Lane, Psych Out and ESP (label previously unknown to us – though I suspect that won’t stay the case for too long) – and dish up hippy shaking authentic slabs of primal 60’s beat pop which includes here a killer re-tread of the Kinks ‘tired of waiting’ – elsewhere there’s the Link inspired beach party boogie of the rather snazzy ‘solo shake’ while ‘baby I believe’ serves up slices of Hammond drenched 50’s bubblegum as though the Count 5 had been rewired and tamed into submission by a pairing of the Barracudas and Baby Woodrose. Well cool. – regular visitors to these pages will need no introductions when it comes to Manchester’s Anna Kashfi – since first hearing their simply exquisite ‘philokalia’ via the long since departed emmas house imprint way back in 2001 we have been moved to tears by the surrendering sweetness and hurt that their nimble sparsely worked folk nuggets have sought to exude. Two new songs feature here – and about bloody time you work shy fops – ’my blood runs thick’ a tenderly bathed slice of drifting Americana braided by caressing violins – think Mazzy Star relocated to Nashville eking out gorgeously beguiling lullaby odes. ’Tipping point’ the second of the two new cuts is a beautifully introspective piano led lights out at the days end affair that has a bespoke sensitive tender like majesty about its wares which frankly had us floored still nothing quite beats hearing ’three wise men’ again from the aforementioned ’philokalia’ set – think Delgadoes, Mazzy Star and latest sources of fascination for us Hush the Many locked in a studio making unworldly aural templates from the stuff stars out made out of. – for lovers of 60’s styled psych tinged lounge soundtracks a site dedicated to Italian musician, composer and producer Armando Sciascia who according to the notes along with a group of close friends set up the Vedette with the aim of scoring strangely beguiling soundtracks that mixed jazz, exotica, lounge and soft psychedelic into a huge vividly florescent acrylic action painting of sound – from the crookedly key drenched Moroccan-esque snake charmed and smaltzy sounding ‘tropic de noche’ to the mysteriously spy chilled noire-esque moocher ‘Assonanza in Mi’ – a kind of Morricone meets Edwin Astley worked by candle light by Gnac. – Swedish based exotica label again dealing in bringing back from the grave rare and long lost soundtracks from the 60’s and 70’s – featured here the sumptuous ‘titoli’ culled from the uber rare crime thriller from ‘74 ‘hold up’ now lavishly released in its full Technicolor glory and with its baroque like sensuality a forerunner by some 2 and a half decades of Goldfrapp’s ‘felt mountain’ sound. Elsewhere there’s Michilini’s score for the Italian sci-fi flick ‘L’isola degli uomini pesce’ here on CD for the first time with extensive liner notes and artwork – ’palude’ is showcased here but we suggest you take a peak at the labels we site and rip ’naufragio’ for a spot of tension wrapped Bernard Hermann styled classicism and while your there check out Gaslini‘s score for ‘Rivelazioni di un maniaco sessuale…’ in particular the uber exotic ‘lievemente‘ a cue if ever there was one for all you ’Lab fans out there – the album itself not only gathers together the full soundtrack for the first time on CD but is equipped with a bulging saved from obscurity 17 track addition of unreleased material, Gaslini of course should be well known to the Goblin fraternity having collaborated with them on Argento’s ’deep red’. – termed as French freak beat – this site is dedicated to a trio of DJ’s known as the Ambassadeurs who serve up a scrumptious smorgasbord of rare lounge, down tempo, blaxploitation, soft psyche and cosmic grooves sourced from the 60’s and 70’s and feature in their ranks a certain Le Chiffre (sadly not the Bond villain but) he of French krautrockers Tank.


And talking of Le Chiffre – – basically the same kind of stuff as the Ambassadeurs but then you do get to hear Tom Dissevelt and Kid Baltan’s ‘sonic re-entry’ – an ultra slice of lunatic lunacy from the 50’s.which unless I’m very much mistaken you can find on one of those superb (but rarely seen around here) compilations put out by Basta entitled ‘popular electronics – early dutch electronic music from  the philips research laboratories’) – and if rare and new down tempo groove of the Italian kind is what floats your boat then beat a hasty path towards the Cinedelic imprint who cater for obscure and previously unreleased nuggets from yesteryear as well as giving an outlet for contemporary explorers of the genre is just for you – a feast of psyche jazz, lounge, blaxploitation and all manner of tunes currently off the radars of the pop masses. – more tasty down tempo trip hop lounge accessorising in which to immerse your hi-fi blissfully into, the big knife are a Brest, France based duo – very much swept in all manner of 60’s / early 70’s rare easy listening soundtrack accents and very much loving of the Free Design and Edwin Moses – currently label less four cuts feature here from the sassily chilled ’letter from Sao Paolo’ seemingly getting a massive thumbs up from the my space community and who’d argue otherwise – a chic sophisticated musical puree of sublime laid back groove much in tune with Emperor Penguin’s ’mysterious pony’ set though our favoured moment comes courtesy of the lushly smoothed lunatic lounge mystique of the psych jazz Budd meets Barry styled ‘model shop’. – the behind the scenes mastermind of some of the finest boogie currently enthralling the living rooms of the skinny jean wearing cognoscenti and fully paid up member of more bands than most of us have had hot dinners – keith totp’s current vinyl venture ‘I hate your band’ for the rather special filthy little angels imprint is the most hopelessly nullifying slice of fuck you anti anthem pop we’ve heard since the halcyon days of the bitter and twisted Teen Anthems ‘welsh bands suck’ (check out and early pooh sticks (


And that’s your lot for scarcely two minutes in which time as though by some unworldly hand another missive will appear in the guise of Singled Out missive 137 – of course we talk uber bollocks its just that we managed to rattle up a quick missive while you blinked cos we are good like that. Contact gubbins and stuff at the foot of the next missive.


Tara for now









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