archiv : singled out #146

more archive reviews rescued from hard drives – originally appeared on losing today in 2007…..x

feat. tabitha browne, superface, io casino, q without u, the ghost orchid, lo recordings, transistor 6, death of london, modern conya, tokyo skanet, kpm, baby scream, timothy s klugh, dorktones, les responsables, melange promenade, os haxixins, the electric tickle machine, slipper,expresso monofonico, clean video, mari, melnyk, xxxaaaaxxx, aorami, b seegs, hex orchestra.

Singled Out

Missive 146


For Kelly and Mark (and Mr Peel).


Singled Out – remarkably cute and well formed.


More my space meanderings….. – ridiculously gorgeous. We’ve already sent the begging letter off in the post (okay email then) for a real physical copy of the demo and now wait with baited breath so that we can have said baby gloriously enchanting our hi-fi just in time for the festive season. Tabitha Browne is a 27 year old resident of Perth (in Scotland – just in case you were wondering) who armed with just a piano delicately crafts out wells of magically conceived teasingly curvaceous love notes the type of which a certain Ms Bush (that’ll be the same Ms Bush who turned up on the first three full lengths) used to delight all and sundry with before music became a means to an end rather than a youthful folly. Sometimes childlike (just check out the delightful coos, whoops and breathless ease of the vocal delivery arcing against the staggered cantering melodies especially on the near perfect ’ribbon of road’ ) or rather more timid and shy there’s a sweetly beguiling attraction to these daintily lilting pop gems, seductively spectral yet strangely vividly lush they glow and blush as they silently yawn, stretch and pirouette to tip toe through your defences. For now we suggest you move with swiftness to rip the playfully addictive ’see me’ and fall headlong into its sugar glazed softness. – an audacious talent which we mentioned in passing last missive out – rip the uber cool stalker theme tune ‘I can see you’. – Glaswegian based quartet who (again) we featured in the last missive raving as we were about their rather spiffing ’one piece puzzle’ single which pop kids is available at all good record shops right this minute, though for now we are still much smitten by the flip of their debut the Swimmer One-esque ’the face that launched’ – which reminds me expect some Swimmer One album review action very shortly. – we must confess – this my space lark is getting well daft now. Again another corking bag of tunes from an artist previous unknown to us. Filed under experimental, industrial and electronic in my space world Barcelona based sound manipulation composer IO Casino (sorry information is really) shrouds her sounds in strangely affecting textures, interweaving moods and sensations these collages are breathtaking albeit darkly left field. Utilising the disciplines of minimalism, drone and musique concrete IO Casino crafts eerily dislocated suites developed through a wide range of sound sources – monastic / Gregorian mantras as on ’hopieando’, spatial ambience ’ens anem animant’ – a track which had us recalling  Foehn’s lost classic ‘hidden camera soundtrack’ from a few years ago via the eclectic Fat Cat – to date having released thee full lengths IO Casino’s aural world is one of eerie though becalming strangeness best sampled first hand by checking out the quietly unsettling manipulations ‘cetly’ which to these ears sounds like a bow being rubbed up and down a bass string to give an odd didgeridoo texture. – San Diego based duo Mary and Marlon for it is they who are the Ghost Orchid are currently unsigned – how can this be we wonder given that they appear rather adept at crafting out delicate slices of pirouetting lunar-esque porcelain pop that sits somewhere between a thoughtful and frostily glazed Boards of Canada, the amour charged ’bracken’ era FortDax and a spectral though snow tipped Landshipping. Four frosted figurines ushering a dainty child’s playroom aspect and yet swept with a surrendering resonance and pastoral fixated canter from the slyly candy popping electro buzz joy that is the lightly crisp and breezy ‘Ana Mir’ to the lights out twinkling romance of the fragile ‘june’. Sheer ambient bliss. – okay it seems these blighters have released an enviable back catalogue of stuff that so far has eluded us much to our distress. Loaf is the off shoot label of Lo recordings who we are equally sad to say whose recordings somehow annoyingly pass us by (in fact I think the last one we managed to nail may well have been a 7 by they came from the stars which – blimey- was yonks ago. Anyhow Loaf’s mandate is to release top quality new tunes by up and coming artists and package them all up in limited numbers of bespoke beauty. Next release is a Christmas celebratory compilation of sorts featuring 15 acts covering a festive feast of yuletide carols and songs all set to warm the cockles of your heart. Entitled ‘the Artic Circle presents – that fuzzy feeling’ this festive festooned fir tree of folly features artists familiar and not so familiar from all walks of generic life – Ellis Island Sound, Rothko, North Sea Radio Orchestra and Sean O’Hagen are but a few of the named players while showcased on this here site you’ll can sample the decorative delights of ‘brave the cold’ by Loaf regular Vincent Oliver who on this occasion can be found shimmying up to the (rarely heard here these days but when we do the drinks cabinet is unlocked, the glasses for best are dug out and the bunting is straight up) ISAN for a spot of glowing feel good snow globed magic. Elsewhere you’ll be treated to the sound of Dark Captain Light Captain whose ‘jealous enemies’ is simply the most gorgeous thing we’ve heard around these parts since Pellumair’s ‘Iris’, Kid Twist apply some strangely alluring booty bouncing chill out groove via ‘I can’t dance’ and into the bargain manage to shoe in elements of buzz sawing electro funk, soul and down tempo lounge loveliness which as you can imagine is not the easiest of tricks to pull. All said and done our favourite of the lot is Andrea’s Kit’s ‘junket’ a rampantly wired and recklessly abandoned jazz core stew that imagines Pigbag and Miles Davies locked away in Beefheart’s practice shed hammering out deranged and schizoid art jazz beasts. – indeed we swear we’ve got stuff by Frances Castle (for it is she who is Transistor 6) kicking about from a few years back among our vinyl gear – certainly rings a bell being on Blackbean and Placenta. Anyhow we daren’t even bother conducting a search as it’ll only mean uncovering long forgotten gems and trips down a very long memory lane. Like uncovering lost musical relics in an old attic, Castle with the aid of her computer and an array of field recordings, cosmic murmurs, timeless memories and samples coaxes an enchanting tapestry of tenderly beguiling bitter sweet and forlorn symphonies – here you’ll find the lysergic wave forming chilled aspects of the divinely resigned ‘the Neasden poisoner’ with its gently enveloping crystalline loops while on the wonky exotica of lunar promenade wooziness of ‘little joe….’ nods are paid in passing to Adam Franklin’s debut outing as Toshak Highway’s as though fed through the looned minds eye of Joe Meek who it appears arrives with an impish army of Clangers ready to carry out a spot of spring cleaning. Elsewhere there’s the spongy flotation tank conceived ‘back yard rocket ship’ a trippy cosmic transmission replete with bouncing beats, snaking riffs, farm yard noises all sumptuously swept with the kind of dislocated grandeur that re-arranges fringes – think Laurie Anderson facing off the Orb. However for us it’s the new track the enchanting ‘one may morning’ – a snow globed twinkle some toy box of treasures that tip toes in pirouetting formations between snoozing idyllic igloo dwelling cosiness and early 70’s eastern bloc cartoon backdrop kookiness and unless we are very much mistaken features the underused theremin deliriously wallowing in the ether – fans of early ’Digitalis’ era ISAN will be particularly smitten. – currently to be found occupying grooves with their tremendous ‘new york’ on that gift horse looking Herzoga / to the bones split via Org which aside featuring two cuts apiece from the two featured gatherings is further bolstered by an additional gallery 13 cuts from some of the rising stars of the underground. Hard to imagine but currently unsigned Death of London are a grizzled and discordant hardcore blues quartet very much inspired it seems in the halcyon days of mid 90’s Touch ‘n’ Go grooves – the Fugazi references are unmistakable but then scratch below the surface and along with the Shellac markers ‘ex heavyweight champion’ there’s something of Husker Du albeit transplanted in Gringo territories rumbling ominously in the drilled cauldron though for us the unflinching and encircling swamp like consuming mass that is ‘a pound a bite’ gets our vote and should appeal in the first instance to lovers of the much missed Amphetamine Reptile catalogue most notably Hammerhead. – more stunning ear gear from Tokyo this time courtesy of the sophisticated and smoking sounds of the breezy bossa nova grooves of 8 piece cool collective Modern Conya who it seems are able to splice loose limbed stylised slices of chilled cocktail jazz with a sumptuous line in classically conceived and energetically effervescent latino tango that to these ears much recalled the great lost ’satelite 99’ by Ana D for Elefant nigh on a decade ago fused with magical moments of Sergio Mendes and latter career Stereolab and all sugar dipped in a smoothly intoxicating brew of sumptuous easy listening deliciously festooned with bright eyed pop accents whirling freely amid the folds of soft psychedelics – sadly the titles are all in Japanese however we suggest you tune in and rip the fizzing exoticism of the Edwin Moses like lounge chic of the fifth featured cut culled from their 2005 full length. To date they’ve posted three full lengths in the multi generic pop cosmos all of which we will try at some point to nail as our own and review at a later date – apparently this 10 piece Tokyo based collective have been saucing up the coolest and most informed record collections for nearly 20 years now with their audaciously addictive and intoxicating ska fuelled jazz latino soup, among the four posted tunes found here there’s the snazzy ‘call from Rio’ – a sublime slice of south american styled hoochie that frankly is so frisky you may well want to consider nailing your feet to the floor but for us it’s the frantic ‘down beat stomp’ that gets our vote recalling the liberated lunacy of the Bad Manners at their most manic and mental. – another Japanese five piece self described as a ‘reggae / pop / other’ combo though we tend to say otherwise – delving into sweetly tender atmospherically amorphous textures KPM sumptuously fuse night time laid back down tempo bliss corteges, sophisticated loose limbed funk accents braided with deliciously bespoke keys blended with idyllically picture perfect investitures of slimmed skank motifs. Details are sadly scant as the page is all in Japanese but one track that stands out like a beacon is the third cut culled from their current album – disappointingly only an excerpt but there’s enough here to fall headlong in love with – a spectral romanticised folk shanty that swims in aural currents more readily associated with This Mortal Coil and the Bang Bang Machine. – okay this quintet were originally based in Argentina though these days can be found relocated in Londinium town and craft out curvaceous slices of delicately woven country psyche power pop that quite frankly sounds like its been wrestled from the banks of the Mersey delta. There’s a EP entitled ‘monsters’ currently doing the rounds on the Beyond your Mind imprint which we will be searching out for a potential future review and we suggest you do likewise because these showcasing nuggets reveal a softly alluring pop prowess at work that taps into the mindset of the Beatles more reflective moments as well as splicing elements of Epicycle’s mercurial retro tones and Kevin Tihista’s criminally undervalued back catalogue. From the skiffle shanty like ‘slut’ with its LA’s meets the Coral nuances to the slow burning naked ambition of the intimately raw ‘mars’, Baby Scream mine a rich seam in cherry tipped crystalline melodic pop even having time to bypass Nashville for a spot of slide guitar enhanced maturing bluegrass chime as on the frankly exquisite ’skyway’ – though for what its worth the best moment of the set is the power pop glazed ’everyday’ which older listeners may well find much of the long lost late 70’s chord throbbing dynamics of the Distractions about its wares. – hang on is it too early for Christmas cheer we wonder – lets check ah yes it is the telly is rubbish, the weather is freezing and the local supermarket has a whopping big tree up in its entrance (mind you fair do’s it has been there since July when incidentally the telly was still rubbish and the weather though not as cold was cold enough. Any way this is a special festive festooned site put up by Ohio resident Timothy S Klugh who I’m sure we’ve mentioned in passing on a previous missive. In some respects upholding the traditional message of Christmas which these days of mass marketing, greed and credit crunches seems sadly lost, the multi talented and workaholic Mr Klugh has hand crafted a whole albums worth of yuletide themes based on traditional and original arrangements (inspired therein). Four spectral treats feature here ranging from the baroque styled ’gesu bambino’ which initially refocusing ’o come all ye faithful’ into a galactic head on with ’2001 – a space odyssey’ before unfurling into a pit warming glowing seasonal chime bedecked with choir arrangements – though all said and done we must admit to being rather sentimental and much smitten by the lilting brontean canter of the piano swept ’it came upon a midnight clear’ which is only missing the draping of freshly fallen snow to make it just right – now where is my copy of Capra’s ’it’s a wonderful life’? And for those of you who just can’t get enough there’s also a special Christmas themed streamed radio show via – latest pod cast from those Dorktones cats features all your usual across the board tasty transistor twanging tunes opening on the occasion with Cliff with ‘in the country’ and proving that at least there was a time when his being touted as the British Elvis at least had some credible mileage that is before of course he discovered tennis and Christmas songs, elsewhere there’s Dexy’s killer ‘dance stance’, Squeeze’s ‘is that love’ and some rarely heard nuggets from Joe Tex. – more Brzillian based bogie this time courtesy o the Les Responsibles, out of the traps as though having a cattle iron shoved up its rear end ‘le mellotron’ (by far the best cut here) is a kick ass slice of storming beat pop that sounds like it was fathered in the late 70’s new wave born of an illicit meeting Wreckless Eric and Dave Edmunds and dinked by Plastic Bertrand with them doing a spot of punked up 7 +7 is’ by Love. Elsewhere the free spirited countrified 60‘s skiffle styled kookiness of ‘monsieur bouche’ mightn’t have the same razor sharp kick it does at least offer a tantalising glimpse as to this quartet’s impish mindset. – well cool toons from the Brazillian basement of the four piece Os Haxixins and more proof indeed that there is some devilishly happening scene emanating from the back alleys of Sao Paulo. This lot appear to have fallen straight through some weird time fracture that links the mid 60’s flowers and acid early stirrings of Garage beat pop to the modern day – unmistakable lovers of the Troggs, these quartet of kooky keys and fuzzed up riffs aplenty are the kind of vintage retro eyed dirty grooves that these days appear to be lapped up by the (recently in our gaff anyway) missing in action Bad Afro records of Scandinavia. ‘preciso te deixar’ perhaps the best thing here is a blissed out dislocated and primitive power chorded brew of strutting signatures and sh*t faced wig flipping gnarling grooves that could easily draw a loose bloodline to the darker half of the Standells mindset. – there was a time in the early 80’s when punk’s third movement upped the stakes and loosened itself of whatever finesse had gone before, the cold war and the fear of living in the shadow of a nuclear catastrophe had added a more frightening realism to their forbearers preening no future sloganeering – why exactly we mention this is because the Mingers appear to have tapped into that whole scene giving an opportunity for all those who ever wondered what a head on collision between Chron Gen and Vice Squad might have sounded. Packed to the rafters with serrated riffs and primed with a head hammering front line assault of street savvy bludgeoning hardcore – best of the bunch (and to be honest there’s not between them) is the short, sharp and straight to the point eye poking take no prisoners speed freaking oblivion baiting and snarling ‘national cnt’ – a festering slam dancing 200mph carnage cutie – don’t say you haven’t been warned. – hell these honey’s nearly sent our psychedelic viewfinder spinning into oblivion – now we don’t mind saying that we tripped over this (pardon the pun) by sheer accident – but damn its bloody good wholesome dilated pupils wig flipping shade wearing stuff. Chilled mind arranging sonic scriptures from the other side of reality – shimmering haze driven mantras that sparkle with crystalline comatose delight to tap into all manner of previously laid groves by the likes of  the Velvets, Silver Apples, Spacemen 3, Sunray, Brian Jonestown Massacre and our current obsession the People’s Revolutionary Choir. These fried hallucinogenic nuggets snake wind with almost reptilian ease freewheeling their mind bending brew ’only time you living’ in particularly with its dusty side winding motifs and hypnotic pot smoking delta blues like mantras could easily pass for John Fahey blissing out with a super chilled Roky Erickson while ’revolution’ sounds like a drop out bad assed 60’s reprobate preening sleazily amid Seeds and Standells mindsets. Now how cool is that? – more tripped out crooked carnival in town type aural antics this time from the electric tickle machine who it appears – unless we are very much mistaken – are not a band at all but the sole ingenuity of a certain T Olivier, acid tipped wanderings of the lysergic kind with both ‘monkey see’ and ‘honest injun’ belying a deep rooted florescent and chaotic char much reminiscent of early career Animal Collective the latter in particular finding itself soaked in all manner of interweaving hazily glazed sitar mantras and western soundtrack styled whistles (much underused on records these days don’t you find) and stricken with strummed struts that had us fondly recalling some spliff sharing session between Suicide, the Gun Club and the Velvets. However it on mooching dust trodden ’mercitron 1017’ where these spangled dudes really come into their own providing for a honey glazed treat of lilting slow cooked kaleidoscopic stew replete with bliss out curves, a slowly unwinding circular strum shimmers and suited ’n’ booted in late 60’s threads – fans of the Demian Catellanos’ project the Oscillation will swoon. – second Brentford based combo this missive though strictly speaking not really a combo but rather more a evolving door collective based around the unique talents of Loop Guru’s Sam Dodson. To date having released a welter weight of full lengths that fuse an array of sumptuous late night after lights out amorous grooves all distilled with tripping beats and the kind of lightly soft centred fluffiness of a noire-ish charm that forever more will be associated with the early 90’s Bristol scene. Lushly amorphous these cuts orbit in realms deep in the kaleidoscopic reaches of the minds eye eschewing both sophisticating and intoxicating vibes Dodson freewheels with loose limbed abandon across generic mutations – ‘marlene’ in particular featuring acclaimed jazz chanteuse Liz Fletcher on vocals is an enchantingly hazy dream coat of finger clicking exotic psyche jazz braided with siren like mistrals – blimey more ear gear from Sao Paolo – what (we wonder) are they putting in the water over there, anyhow Expresso Monofonico are a quintet led from the fore by Ana Regina who carve out what can only be described as Jefferson Airplane meets Curved Air stoner montages heavily indebted to the late 60’s festival scene, ’eolico’ in particular with its almost dislocated prog like funk grooves had us recalling Quickspace which as regular readers to these ramblings will be all to aware are a much loved thing here. That said it’s ’seja o que parece ser’ that took our fancy, a kind of Free spliced with Le Mans styled gem that amid the lilting latino pastoral pirouettes momentarily detours left of centre for a spot of Weimar versed cabaret – quite gorgeous really. – a damn fine charitable thing going on here – Psychemodo’s current release ‘she’s so clean’ available via this site is donating all its profits to water aid a thoroughly worthy cause and a distressing one given that it highlights a crucial basic need to existence – that being quality water supply while simultaneously giving further evidence of the widening differences in living standards between the more able nations in comparison to the less fortunate so called third world areas. As to the song – a bit of a hi-fi spanker – mixes up a bit of the Spin Doctors basking in cascades of drifting chimes rustled up with a dash of some pretty neat T-Rex styled riff boogie and saturated with hooks and memorable melodies aplenty. – currently residing in the UK, Tokyo based musician Mari is a class apart fro most of the sounds you’ll normally hear or find amid these pages, with appreciations in the traditional classics (the sveltely enticing romanticism of the curvaceous string bathed ‘ballade’ or the floral ivories of the timeless sounding pastoral canter of ‘Motzart piano sonata K332‘) as well as house (as on the driving streamlined candy coated ‘heart disease called love’) and pure pristine industrial framed electro pop (‘Map of the Problems’) she ably adapts and freewheels with much aplomb between the two polar worlds sumptuously colliding on the Morricone meets Hermann inspired dark abstractia of ’tokyo policewoman’. Stunning. – last featured in these pages way back at missive 102 following our outpouring of affection for his ‘fabulous’ single. Further tasty treats come in the shape of a remix of Pet Shop Boys ‘I’m with stupid’ culled from their ‘fundamentalism’ re-arrangements set elsewhere there’s Zwicker’s quite sublime reframing of ‘strut’ taken from the recent ‘Silence’ remodelled set where artists and friends where invited to apply their interpretations of various tracks found on the original Melnyk template both of which we really must try and track down some point soon. This baby left in the capable hands of Zwicker is redecorated with a serious hypnotic underpin and a sassy club floor demonising groove that flits between chilled euro-pop accents a la Front 242 and house vibed beats replete with mind melting seductive signatures a la early Future Sound of London and 808 State. – self described on his my space site as ‘death metal / IDM / jungle’, the mysterious aaaaa it seems delight in nothing more but a spot of aural terrorism where it seems that any style, genre or music fashion is ripe to be thrown in to his spin dryer of sounds ’golden pussy’ in particular had us recalling with much fondness Eskimos in Egypt and even more curiously – where’s the beach. okay not a mental and life threatening as fellow compatriots the Incapacitants yet nonetheless still disturbed. Aonami is a Tokyo based anti-musician who when he’s not terrifying audiences with his wigged out and fried electronic catastrophe’s can be found heading up the Intikrec imprint which he incidentally owes and puts to good use by all accounts issuing ’non genre specific’ releases by similar minded artists and friends currently operating on the outer fringes of pops vast and colourful world. Back to Aonami though who does things to lo tech electronics that we swear had been outlawed years ago by the global community at large, would you describe this as grime – well who knows – what we are certain about though is there are moments of early career Squarepusher and Wagon Christ partaking in fist fights amid a sea of rampant blip core free-formed noise manipulations, cross wired samples and bastardised punk glue, all at once caustic, skewif and seriously essential.


You can check out a brief but essential selection of samples from the Intikrec stable including edits from all the recent releases via – we suggest your first port of call ought to be the Hypo sample though who/what/why it is we ain’t got a clue about – sounds damn nifty though. – oh indeed yes this much to love about these acoustically invested vignettes, hauntingly resonant and delicately spun intimate beauties that slip through the ether like spectres much reminiscent of Townes Van Zandt – sadly we don’t have any information about b but there’s more than enough amid the wares of this quietly shy gems to suggest an emerging talent at play – ’dui blues’ in particular provides a beautifully breezy pastoral eloquence of a timeless art that stretches to the late 60’s Cambridge scene and beyond while ’60 watts of something’ momentarily shifts from the tender comforts of warmly woven acoustics into wonkily abstract ambient minimalism. We suggest further investigation is much needed. – a UK based collective set around the core talents of Lee Groves and Mark Altekruse who disbelievingly are currently unsigned, Hex Orchestra appear to have carved for themselves something of a niche in terms of providing not only multi generic film soundtracks but also pill popping mind expanding montages of such lush texture and curvaceous virtuosity as to have your head spinning with the potential possibilities. From the woozy and sultry middle eastern vibes of ‘nonagon’ to the fringe arranging snake charming floor rumbling and mooching hedonistic grind of ‘terminal earth’. Elsewhere there’s the doom laden ‘cool aid’ with its sample heavy Depth Charge like undertones though for us it’s the astral plane like dissipating trippiness of the down tempo bliss out grooves fed into ’on the train’ that get our votes – think Floyd meets Ozrics – need we say more?


And that’s it pop kids for a wee while back soon with a vinyl only missive, then there will be another usual singles missives plus if your really unlucky another my space missive over the weekend which we can tell you now will be dominated by our latest loves the Cody High School ho young people you can check out right this minute by going to – that is colds allowing etc…as per usual do tune into for sporadic updates. As per usual many thanks to the bands, musicians and labels for making these ramblings possible.


Till whenever take care of yourselves……….



Singled Out is a ‘shit Troy ! pop music let’s rip’ production – all rights retained and if we feel like we might just turn up at your gaff and diss your record collection.


The Small Print – support your local underground record emporium. If you don’t know here that is check the directories under record f**king shop and it’s the ones with weird un -HMV names like Probe, Normans, Piccadilly, Sister Ray, Rough Trade and so on.

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