look what we sneaked online while you were sleeping…..part 13
Pretty popular guy this Trump bloke, folks cobbling songs in honour of him are springing up all over the place, enthusiastic messages of sincere warmth express a positive hope for the future, kinda makes you feel all fuzzy, warm and a-glow. Sorry I nodded off for a second. Never has there been such acrimonious fallout stoked by fear, hatred and disillusionment as the recent American elections between dumb and dumber, to coin an unfortunate phrase they out-trumped the mockery, the deceit and the prejudice of even our own referendum. Such disillusionment you suspect would keep the fires of defiance of the likes of Jello Biafra fuelled with motive and rage for the foreseeable. For now discontent bears its teeth in the guise of Human Parents who we suspect might well be expecting a knock on the door from the new world order any day soon given his outpouring of scathing lo-fi incredulatity on the forthright ‘Trumped’ as it scowls to a musical path much moulded in the frayed image of Fair, Chadbourne and Johnston, okay its not ‘it’s the end of the world as we know it’ but the sentiment is the same, Canada may well indeed be a safe haven, me I quite fancy Scotland. https://humanparents.bandcamp.com/track/trumped
Anton Barbeau mentioned earlier when we ran the ear rule over that excellent Fruits de Mer ‘a new career in a new town’ covers compilation, also features on another collection put together by the folks over at Mystery Law Music. The set called ‘friends and frenemies’ is an eighteen gathering of talent, the strength and content of the cuts within all strongly vying for affection. Alas as ever time constraints deter a full appraisal of everything here, if we think on, a revisit may well be required. As mentioned Anton Barbeau features with ‘broken in two’ a shadowy sonic fracture line that creaks and sways with a strangely gloomed glam tweaked shanty motif that precariously teeters with a cooling steam punk engineering. Somewhere else henry plotnick turns in some tenderly tear stained introspection with the frail and fragile neo classical murmuring of ‘7’ which in truth had us recalling the touching tones of Antonymes in so much as his use of space and poise. With a title ‘its like dancing’ you’d might be fooled into thinking that Black Butterfly Gang’s offering might be an effervescent club floor hugging toaster, you’d be wrong for what emerges is some gorgeous intricately picked riff work all softly smouldered, lilting, lulling and lazy eyed, that dinkily navigates its way to drawing the invisible dots between John Fahey and Sophia. Last up for this brief visit, Allen Clapp dish up ‘friend collector’ – a wonderfully vintage sounding 70’s slice of pristinely radiant soul pop that swoons to the grooves of a ‘holland’ era Beach Boys while simultaneously touching bass with the likes of Ashley Parks, the Panda Gang, the Brigadier and Ben Folds 5. https://mysterylawnmusic.bandcamp.com/album/friends-frenemies
Apologies to the folk over at a year in the country, we’ve somewhat goofed on their last report for the year by not only mislaying the CD but the download to, so while we rummage around haplessly here’s three more bite sized portions from the very excellent ‘the forest / the wald’ with which to add to our earlier mentions for the Hare and the Moon feat Alaska and Magpahi. First up on the inspection block Polypores, fresh from an acclaimed appearance on the esteemed polytechnic youth imprint, ‘deep undergrowth’ voyages the galactic eternal, a spiralling sonic hypercraft silently navigating the lunar voids emitting as it passes by a kosmiche fantasia spectral symphonia is versed in the sonic vocabulary of la dusseldorf albeit as though at moments rising from the dark side of ELO’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’. Frequent flyers to these pages, Time Attendant serve up the rhythmically playful ‘fantastic mess’, a radiophonic jamboree populated in old school 60’s sound effects, more Clarke and Hodgson than Derbyshire and Oram and cleverly sounding not unlike a dubtropic future world terraformed by the Baron’s Louis and Bebe from where Auteche armed with sonic screwdriver is busy rechipping the binary chattering nanobots that are causing restless sleepless nights. Don’t quote me on this, but I’m certain that the Séance have among their numbers a member of St Etienne, here they are paired up with Lutine ‘trees grew all around her’ – much like the hare and the moon offering, a ghostly love note murmured in spectral tidings upon which droning mists descend which once cleared and lifted reveal siren-esque apparitions softly wooing with their beckoning bewitchment, all said something we suggest that ought to be ripe for listening by those preferring their sounds daubed in woozy wyrd folk dialects, not least Saint Sister et al. https://ayearinthecountry.bandcamp.com/album/the-forest-the-wald-2
The festive season approaching, it must be time for the annual event of the Yello6 vaults being prised open and their contents set forth upon the shiny grooves of limited pressings of CD’s. As with the Fruits de Mer end of year subscribers’ releases, the Merry6mas outings have been an essential part of yuletide listening for some 20 years now. A gathering of exclusive recordings culled from abandoned projects, alternative takes and recues, live performances and sometime rare peaks into future sketchings, they have provided an insider view of the creative process, a visit to the wizard’s den so to speak, of one of the finest purveyors and craftsmen of emotional expression and the phrasing of moments frosted as sonic photographs. Herewith a brief tasting of the pickings within, the bruising arc light that is ‘dry’, 12 minutes of dream drifting symphonia, this mellowed slice of melancholia comes slow burned in an unfurling magneticim whose positioning of poise, space and texturing is delicately coloured and intricately gracefallen in reverberating ripples of cinematically toned airless vapour trailing choreography. Blissfully beautiful. Nuff said. https://soundcloud.com/yellow6/dry1
Must admit to saying we do adore that sense of stilled gracefulness attaching to this rather lovely spectral delight from electric sound bath. Pulled from a limited cassette release just out on fleure tapes entitled ‘moon drips’, this is the glacial visitation ‘scattered clouds’ – a twinkling ghost light softly turned in the quiet jubilance of a distant church steeple ringing in a Sunday morning, there’s something safe, secure and peacefully at one in the way the genteel cascade of riff chimes genuflect, bow and arc around the choral ebbs and fllows. Sublime.
This beauty is due to head out shortly before Christmas, limited to just 30 copies all pressed on 7 inches of lathe wax and all carefully crafted and cut by the folks at 345rpm and housed in hand painted sleeve with labels to match, a lovely two track from Scott William Urquhart entitled ‘dark’ / ‘the burn of care’. No need of introductions around here, his previously two CD releases have found their way to our turntable having been found variously included in gift / goodie packs sent forth by the Fruits de Mer folk. A master craftsmen in the style of John Fahey and Jack Rose, ‘dark’ is a sweetly harvested folk blues spiritual ghosting through the Appalachians, a storming calling spiritwalker tuned to the frequencies of Roy Montgomery’s ‘true’ and riddled with an ominously tense brooding air. However the class act here is the flip cut ‘’the burn of care’ – an affectionately lolloping rosewood rambler tenderly sprayed in daybreak rustics and a sunny incline whose mellowing beauty had us much in mind of the Owl Service all said. https://scotturquhart.bandcamp.com/album/dark
Something we missed on our recent All Hallow’s Eve ramble, blighters must have sneaked it out beneath our radar, this is the latest from the mysterious collective known as the Heartwood Institute with ‘Witchcraft ‘70’ – a macabre chilling gloomed in ritualistic ghostings that replay forgotten, thought lost, memories of sub culture hidden from plain sight. Upon an eerie sound palette, a tensely wired psychosis strewn sinister carnival haunts with dread toned delight. Etched to a chill waved framing, these three cracks in the spiritual balance between light and dark not to mention reality and nightmare proceed with trickster like terror, disembodied prose floats in and out of the subsconscious ether effecting a spellcasting hypnosis, the sounds minimal and colourless eke out skin prickling edginess not unlike those found on grooves populated by Duke St. Workshop with the parting ‘witchdrone’ particularly creeping out the listening space to usher in the kind of icily doomwatch aura encountered on Carpenter and Howarth’s soundscape for ‘Halloween 3’. https://theheartwoodinstitute.bandcamp.com/album/witchcraft-70
this is quite sublime despite it being quite eerily haunting, this sonic spectre is from Steph Sweet, this being a track, the unhappily happy ‘your grave’ pulled from a new album ‘the hag and the whore’. A sweetly hazy floral softly teased, toned and turned as a ghostly dream weaved woodcrafted hymnal which in truth ought to appeal first instance to those much admiring of the likes of the Hare and the Moon and Preterite in so much as this vintage mysterio appears to emerge cut from a forgotten age old songcraft.
Incoming on that celebrated label of weird ears, Soft Bodies are readying themselves for the second annual EurNoVision fest, a compilation gathering of some of the finest outsider sounds from across twenty nations, the set expected early December features all mammer of weird gear including no wave, new wave, future wave, electro wave and just pure unadulterated goofness.
Fast, furious, frenetic and straight out of the traps and about your person in an instant, this is the new thang from Cabbage who I’m sure we’ve had cause to mention in the not so distant past. Anyhow this is the aptly titled ‘dissonance;’, a track pulled from a recently released EP ‘Necroflat in the palace’ through skeleton key which judging by this cut ought to be causing a commotion among the more clued up and tuned in underground cognoscenti. A ripping whiplash registering slab of discordant bad boogie that aside being being blessed with a searing siren scowling riff and a chest beating heading over the hills flag waving cavalry charge is deliciously impacted with the kind of panic attacking incendiary verve of a tightly coiled Magazine having fisticuffs with Saints.
We’ll hopefully return to this for a fuller mention when time allows, so while we administer the kiss of death to any such notions, you just know we’ll forget don’t you, then we thought we’d better get in fast and at least mention ‘Auf dem Teppich bleiben..’ – a devilishly tasty slice of kosmick grooviness from the attractively named Vintage Cucumber – a progressive space psyche combo based in Templin, Germany – in fact we’ve just re-read the liner notes and found its just one dude on his tod – a certain Johannes Schulz. Anyhow he’s just released a rather corking six-track entitled ‘elefant’ from which the aforementioned ‘Auf dem Teppich bleiben..’ has been craftily creating kaleidoscopic wormholes in our head space by doing mind altering mosaics cut from Fuxa-ian haloes of hullucinogenia triptoned in Add N to X aftershocks. https://vintagecucumber.bandcamp.com/album/elefant
No doubt you are all familiar with the the Stone Tape phenemenom, ghost prints burnt into rock / stone or brick, the result of extreme – often traumatic – events both horrific and happy, though the latter are never as engaging for the purposes of horror, that manifest under certain conditions and situations, Nigel Kneale’s screenplay of the same name is probably the first place to turn for reference purposes, aired one Christmas by the BBC in the early 70’s, it has since proven to be a landmark cult broadcast dealing with this subject matter. The Stone tape phenomena has a curious relationship with the hauntology sound species, the latter an alternative abstracted / nostalgic view of imagined parallel worlds and forgotten times having fallen through fractured time lines, a re-alignment or more so a recalibration or resetting of yesterday intrinsically wired to analogue mediums and Radiophonia sounds. Now at this point you might well be thinking where on earth is this all going, well call it a brief introductory passage welcoming in a new ultra limited cassette release by the Stone Tapes who are, as far as we can tell, duo, K Beam and M Peach who’ve recently released ‘the stone tapes – avebury’ – a sonic document made up of field recordings taken while on an investigative information gathering exercise at the village of Avebury,admittedly not as chilling as those found lurking on that recent Hole House release yet all the same disquieting and gloomed in an eerie disturbia. A perfect listening companion to the ongoing Akiha Den Den radio series and that very excellent ‘the stroma sessions’ broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 at the tail end of last month. Eleven sonic phantasms stir from the grooves of this field report, amid this horrorphonic aural journal feature historical recitals, ghost conversations and paranormal happenings with ‘the vicar calls kat’ proving most disquieting. Elsewhere the delicate dream flurry of twinkling keys ‘shelter in the lychgate’ offers a brief moment of respite before the clouds gather and legion conspire to the bring on the madness‘forth in chilling fashion on the owl and the druid stone’ with ‘petrosomatoglyphs’ relocating the recordings outside of reality and into more sinister and darker realms. http://thestonetapes.bandcamp.com/album/the-stone-tapes-avebury
apparently these are ready to drop,anyday soon, mentioned in previous despatches, this is Independant Country with ‘trailerparklife’ – a collection of your favourite baggy brit pop hits from the 90’s all retuned and turned in with smoking cool country treatments, this here you’re listening to now a porch pretty rephrasing of Electronic’s ‘getting away with it’ all lovingly daubed in lolloping swathes of opining banjos and sighing violins, sounds quite the poppet, the album is a limited lathe cut with an additional deluxe bundle wherein you’ll be entered into the prize hat and the lucky chosen one will get to have a track of their choice covered and released as a super duper limited 7 inch. http://independentcountry.bandcamp.com/
heading out on rocket recordings shortly after the silly season, Julie’s Haircut drop the humungous acid fried chill pill that is ‘invocation and ritual dance of my demon twin’ from which the head frying ‘gathering light’ has been sent forth to melt minds and take you by the hand for a kaleidoscopic astral head trip whereupon sounds dissipate, realities blur and everything morphs into a deliciously hazy and woozy dream coat, just totally far out……..
promised to return to this when we briefly mentioned it in passing a few weeks back, this is the quite superb latest offering from Jonny Weathers entitled ‘jonny weathers cosmic scream’. Safe to say one of those albums ripe to be filed under the heading slow burner not least because there’s a maturity of song craft here and an artistic tuning that’s so intrinsically honed to a vintage age that would suggest Mr Weathers was some kind of lost 60’s drop out frozen in time, say ’69. Last time out we mentioned ‘you’ll always be a planet to me’ and ‘shamballa’ – two cuts which as much as we raved about, in truth there not even the best here for amid this well executed 10 track classic in waiting, there are hints of the Stones in their darkly majestic ascendency rumbling amid the blues funk shakedown swing of ‘the bullet and the breeze and the killing floor’ that comes wrapped in Tom Petty-esque after burns – Stones references also loom large again on the ‘gimme shelter’ like soulfully snaking ‘babirusa’. Somewhere else the mooching bliss kissed prairie eyed mystic toned hazy swagger of ‘indian rope’ has something of the shade adorned Jesus and Mary Chain about its wares. All said though it’s to ‘toxic pop soldier’, ‘caroline these things happen all the time’ and ‘hendrix at the hacienda’ where this album shines at its most brightest – the former a gloriously honeycombed musical meeting of McCartney, Nilsson and Lennon minds exquisitely yearned and delicately spooled into an intimate sepia adored prayer like anthem. In sharpening contast the second of the trio is a full on tripped out and feral fuzztoned bliss kissed psych freak out, leaving the smoking cool soulfulness of the hymnally hued ‘Caroline these things happen all the time’ to arrest all as it glides to the end groove mellowed in a slinkily seductive lazy eyed spiritual hush. https://jonnyweathers.bandcamp.com/album/jonny-weathers-and-cosmic-scream
another compilation type of thing, this one annoyingly only hints at the loveliness within courtesy of some brief 30 second blasts from the gathering throng within. So while we try to wrestle full codes from the label, settle yourselves back a spell for the healthy eating imprints mighty fine ‘yorkshire puddings compilation’ which includes musical moments from the likes of deadwall who we recently featured and who are currently sharing groove space with Her Name is Calla and the orielles featured here with much love more times than we care to imagine. That said we’ve been somewhat smitten by Stanford’s ‘nature’s calling’ which unless my ears do deceive sounds like a ringer for the much missed Corn Dollies who scored a gem of a thing entitled ‘nothing of you’ many many years ago when we were oh so much playfully younger. Elsewhere there’sd some howling discontent to be found scorching the grooves of irish boxing’s ‘snakepit’ while the 234’s had us minded with a inkling to root out our prized early career Kitchenware releases from the early 80’s. somewhere else party hardly had us much in mind of the much adored orchids while joe platt and the peacekeepers’ ‘sweet sweet orit’ is possessed of a dreamy kaleidoscopic rubbing much recalling stuff heading out of a classic era Elephant 6 collective, look just take my word for, this set comes brimming with gems. Incidentally available as an ultra limited cassette. https://healthyeatingrecords.bandcamp.com/album/yorkshire-puddings-compilation-tape-vol-1-2
once upon a time a regular Christmas experience and a release we always looked forward to with a excitable sense of wonder much like a child eyeing presents beneath a Christmas tree. Between then and now we assumed these Cherryade yuletide gatherings were a thing resigned to a forgotten past much like their label mates Filthy Little Angels. Of course by then we had relocated to northern territories and well, just lost touch. It was a usual early morning ramble through facebook postings that we eyed with a certain amount of glee, news of a new ‘a very cherry christmas’ compilation, volume 11 no less, the last we’d encountered would have been around 2007, 2008 or thereabouts. This set gathers around the seasonal open fire 21 bubblegrooving spike tops, alas to hear them all you’ll have to buy the strictly limited CD – just 200 copies of these babies going with just two of the number on the preview platform those being Niagra Balls feat. Matt Moskal and the Yellow Melodies, the former ‘don’t be a dick a christmas’ a buzzsawing scuzzed out pogoing power popper replete with razor lined jingle shimmers and a corkscrewing three chord throb-a-rama riff rumble playing relationship fisticuffs around the Christmas tree while the latter ‘happy birthday, merry Christmas’ is a rather affectionately dayglo candy coated electro-gliding twinkle tweaked psych punk fry up. Any questions then? http://cherryaderecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-very-cherry-christmas-volume-11
quite unsettling return to the pages from Coims, this one entitled ‘dairy key’ ominously heading out on bumtapes pulled from a new cassette release entitled ‘the gims’. Now if memory serves right last time these dudes came across our listenbing desk, they exited leaving a fair amount of eerie disquiet, likewise on this, fracturing archaic Oriental motifs shiver in the twilight mist over strange primitive chattering the coalescing effect casting an eerie voodoo aura both hypnotic and strangely calming which reaches fever pitch only to suddenly silence at the starkly harrowing dread draped beat of a ceremonial callimg, only those of a strong musical constttution and admirers of Volcano the Bear’s ‘yak folks y’are’ need apply… https://coims.bandcamp.com/track/dairy-key
on an evening beset by laptop woes, lost tabs and disappearing written text, its handy to have a little ray of sonic sunshine adoring the listening space while smiling through grimacing features and gritted teeth, I haven’t swore once through all this debacle, though press me on google chrome just once more and anglo saxon terminologies not heard since beards where the local currency on these isolated isles will spew forth in all their rage like seeth. Anyway to happier things, (google chrome sit down), we’ve had a flurry of messages from Anton Barbeau, who aside sending over downloads for his recent ‘magic act’ full length, also sent over video links both of which feature Colin Moulding of XTC fame, the first of which is a cut from that aforementioned ‘magic act’ album entitled ‘high noon’. Is it just me or do these guys look as if they are having way too much fun, with a touch of Mott and a little more of Robyn Hitchcock and the Egypytians, ‘high noon’ mooches and prowls to a softly mellowing lazy eyed lilt dusted in honeyed harmonies and the delicate daubing of silken psych shimmers all kissed by a hypnotically snaking riff strut, does it for us.
Written, produced and featuring Anton Barbeau, here’s a cut from a new set by Allyson Seconds called ‘little world’ – this ‘un being the title track from her second album, an adorably breezy love noted cutie freckled in sunny speckles all draped in a kooky ear hugging pristine pop purr that tumbles with a wide-eyed feel good radiant effervescence.
Great things you never knew existed – 4 – henry badowski
Now this all started with a posting by midwich youth club-er Allan Murphy raving on about Captain Sensible’s ‘Wot’ and citing it as a lost classic, in truth we always preferred ‘glad its all over’ but that’s a different story. The point being here that Mr Murphy felt the Cap’n owed one Henry Badowski a considerable debt in terms of inspiration, me – I always thought that ‘baby sign here with me’ always had an air of Robyn Hitchcock about its wares and if anything was a beacon light for the likes of Nick Nicely. Whatever the case one thing was agreed – this is a solid gold lost nugget.
Another cassette cutie, this one coming through the environmental studios imprint from Bristol duo the Twelve Hour Foundation who I’m fairly certain we had cause to mention in previous despatches. ‘shapes, sounds etc….’ is a wonderfully vintage kitsch funky ball, moog mosaics playfully tripped in testcard transmission trimmings all rephrased as lunar lounge lulls shaped in the kind of playfully wonky framing that occasionally adored releases put out by midwich youth club, belbury poly and the early Ghost Box alumni, we here find opener ‘let’s tessellate’ quite iresesistible if only for the fact that it sounds like ‘dots and loops’ era Stereolab nostalgically rummaging through old 70’s TV themes and cobbling together a sticky backed plaster chill toned musical montage in the style of Vision On’s ‘the gallery’ of late 70’s tea time comedies. https://thetwelvehourfoundation.bandcamp.com/album/shapes-sounds-etc
The ‘ultimate in ghost party delerium’ and ‘twilight moorland muzack’ – with such descriptions how on earth can you resist. Strange happenings afoot in the Moon Wiring Club magic land, a phatasmagorical head trip into the hallowed freak emporium, leave your chosen reality at the entrance door and step in, if you so dare, into a sound world outside time and space where spectres from Victoriana nursery rooms mischieviously play trick or treat and where sounds once familiar are spooled into ghostly blurs and reforged from a shadowy place into fracturing apparitions, a place where devilish confectioneers dancing a jig to macabre melodies grim grin like haunted ringmasters soul stealing from passers by fooled into partaking on the surreal circus rides within. Celebrating 10 years of strangeness, Moon Wiring Club open the portal up on their domain with two ear weirding happenings in the form of the sonic séances ‘when a new trick comes out, I do an old one’ and ‘exit pantomime control’ and just for their own macabre merriment have cobbled together a 30 minute ‘confectionary – vision massive immersive infomercial’. Enjoy from the safety of your own nightmare.
We’re not even going to attempt identifying any of these rarefied floor shimmying ditties, knowing Finders Keepers’ Doug Shipton they’ve been rescued from vault finds sourced from locations found impishly scrawn out on a map on the back of coolly chic cigarette packets long out of circulation. Ahead of the release of ‘plastic dance – volume 2’ he’s cobbled together for Vinyl Factory a kooky kaleidoscopic kosmiche kornucopia of new waving euro popping ‘neu’ romantics grooves whose oft Dadaist max factor smudged industrial / chill wave / electro wave freak zoning trips out to a tempting toe tapping array of lost souls shaped in the mirror image of Devo, Kraftwerk, SPK, B52’s, DAF and Lipps Inc. https://www.mixcloud.com/TheVinylFactory/vf-mix-69-plastic-dance-by-doug-shipton/
Mentioned in passing a few days ago, really can’t get enough of 55 cancri e at the moment. Just taken delivery of downloads for the album ‘att lamna tellus’ which is finally getting a UK release early December via music for dreams, this being another track culled from that set entitled ’55 cancri e’ – a wonderful slice of dissipating dream drift that has the eerie mystique of Mark Snow’s X-Files theme with the reverberating motifs casting mellow toned shimmers of reclining ripple effects. All quite blissful if you ask me.
Highlight of the fruits de mer festive festooning of releases must surely be this, with a near perfect December roster to pick from that includes an essential split happening with Static Caravan, a Bowie covers set, their best release to date – that’ll be Us and Them then and a damn fine Sendelica outing, there’s been much anticipated chatter surrounding the news of unreleased gems from Moloko. Released on Christmas day, limited to just 50 copies in two cover variations all pressed and hand cut upon lathe wax by those good folk over at 345rpm and available to members of the labels fan club, this rare sighting is sure to drive the scramble for bagging and the activity of online auction sites to fever pitch. Two cuts sit upon this scarce happening, ‘can’t wait till Sunday’ and ‘never know what you’ve got’, both prized from the Moloko vaults with the former a stirring upbeat radio friendly strum toned soulful jangle lovely invested with swooning lazy eyed haloes of honeyed harmonies and lolloping sun fried banjos whichj all at once sumptuously plug the gaps between the Long Ryders and the Milltown Brothers. For us though, repeat play requirements are the order of the day for the flip, a pulse racing bracing beauty powered on by a radiant panic attacking effervescence that had us here reaching for those forgotten power of dreams and early trashcan sinatras outings for adoring comparison.
Like the murmurs of Irma and giant paw, soft hearted scientists occupy a curiously nostalgic eccentricity that finds them concocting potions of old psychedelic peculiar drawn from the Carroll-esquue wells of Syd Barrett’s creatively fluid mind, their latest twin set gathering together ‘shivers me timbers’ and ‘crystal coves’ come summoned from their critically acclaimed latest opus ‘golden omens’. Graced in the waywardly kaleidoscopic grooving of a ‘gigglegoo’ era Freed Unit, this surreal seafaring mind fried flotilla tingles with a playful catchiness thats festooned in a vintage 60’s styled pop lysergia. That said, as ever the case, our preferred cut sits on the flip, opining pastorals and hazily lazy sighs adore ‘crystal coves’ with a magical dream drifted floatiness whose serene bliss toned coos find it navigating its way towards monsterism island.
Sounding as though its fallen through a time dimension crack straight out of the early 70’s and woozily woken up in the now, this soulful gem obviously somewhat infatuated by the Beach Boys post ‘Smile’ catalogue, is a sweetly harvested love note lushly toned in a mercurial songcraft that radiantly sprays a quietly adoring feel good euphoria around the listening space to blossom colourfully to imagine the ever excellent Goodnight Lenin channelling the more mellower side of Soft Machine. Anyhow it’s by Flashback Caruso and its called ‘levitation song’ coming out through autumn songs.
Two features with a related thread, the first being a limited re-issue through real gone music that features readings by Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert taken from the 1964 tome ‘the psychedelic experience – a manual based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead’ – which really is just as it says on the tin lid an astral audio book assisting one, I suspect, in the quest of achieving cosmic enlightenment through chemical assistance, me – well I just eat stuff found hidden under the fridge, find that always works. Anyway this comes pressed up on limited amounts of eye zonking splatter red wax.
Loosely related here’s a documentary featuring the recently parted Leonard Cohen discussing the origins and mystique surrounding ‘the Tibetan Book of the Dead’.
Okay here’s a bit of a curio, scant information, in fact change scant for diddly squat, the liner notes state that whoever / whatever Twelve are / is are / is based in Nottingham, they describe the sounds sitting upon the grooves of this two track chill waver as ‘electronic analogue krautrock’- however that’s not the most intriguing part of the puzzle forming here, for those with keen eyes might well have spotted a link to the six by seven website, so the question looms large – is this really Chris Olley former frontman of said sixbyseven. Admittedly these krautrock kurios has been a regular monthly soiree with two newly peeled offerings coming at four weekly intervals in digital / CD variants, the sounds draped in a classically minimalist 70’s fair of the type you’d expect Bureau B to dig up from the vaults of forgotten hipster labels and something not a million miles from the cold war groooves currently being extrapolated by the polytechnic youth imprint, ‘pinch’ in particular voyaging an aural territory much reminiscent of the early work of Echoboy, for us though it’s the glitch gouged and geometric funk struck ‘GUM’ that hooked its way upon our earlobes much like a shadowy motorik murmur tone emerging straight from the dark side of a late 70’s Jean Michel Jarre sound desk. https://twelvemusic.bandcamp.com/album/november-2016
Deepest apologies to the front and follow guys for we’ve had a fair bit of their ear gear loitering in the shadows of late causing a fair amount of disquiet. ‘the blow’ is an ongoing project that invites bands, artists, musicians to collaborate in forging a sonic middle ground, they are encouraged to do this either through pure collaboration or by way of populating their side of the grooves with sounds complimentary that work in tandem with their chosen pairing. Volume 2 finds Time Attendant sharing soundspace with Howlround. Time Attendant having recently graced our ear space with an appearance on the final transmissionfor 2016 from A Year in the Country, sets about occupying his side of grooved fence with a quartet of what might be best described as machine communications equipped in noodling sine waves, all very sparse, alien sounding and very much couched in the kind of radiophonic trickery brought to bear on TV screens in the 60’s whenever the Tardis’ occupants found themselves dropped without due care or attention on Telos (Cybermen), Skaro (Daleks) or the closer to home and indeed reality – Mars (Ice Warriors) ax evidenced on the opening ‘distance gathers’. Somewhat looser and more funky – though in a dislocated way – ‘elementary electronics’ looms large like an ominous slab of industrial warping mech-tech while the tearfully isolationist ‘adventure screen’ initially emerges from the dark side of Vengelis’ ‘blade runner’ before unpeeling itself to terraform one minute possessed of a wonderfully mind morphing dream machine sequence that blissfully dissolves into an eerie lunar fantasia. ‘speaking in spirals’ brings Time Attendant’s side to a close and with it cuts a waywardly warping and wonky weird ear worm of the calibre that those much missed Mixing IT dudes Sandall and Russell would have sneaked onto their their eclectic late night playlist to create a sense of puzzlement and impishness. Approaching matters from similar radiophonic parameters, Howlround serves up ‘amboy parts 1-6’ – a 24 minute odyssey into the strange, sometimes unsettling soundworld of fracturing dream like hazes and spectral visitations, here lunar florals and eerie manipulations gather to craft a weird ear collage prickled by an out there wooziness of creaking motifs, frequency whispers, snoozing opines and a general overall shapeshifting fog of disturbia, in terms of reference points Louis and Bebe Barron’s landmark score for ‘the forbidden planet’ would be your first port of call, in terms of listening experience that sense of detachment never quite leaves though that said heading into its final cycle a curiously serene almost celestial calm descends upon proceedings whereupon the choral sighs. https://fandf.bandcamp.com/album/the-blow-volume-2
It must be that time of the year again folks, febered messages from the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club alerting us to their fourth annual yuletide gathering, this time of asking four shimmering seasonal sevens the first of which to be hauled on the festive inspection blocks is a prickly pogo popping discordant dandy from the much loved the Manhattan Love Suicides. Well I say much loved, there was certainly a time when our listening space was festooned with their fuzz twanged grooves and then they split, some became the equally adored Blanche Hudson Weekend who alas, also fell off our radar. Now reformed and putting out platters through odd box, again a label so missed around these parts since they jettisoned us from their mailing list – ho hum – herewith a testy twin set that pairs together ‘look who’s coming to town (please let it snow)’ and a cover of a lost ’79 oddity by Elmo and Patsy entitled ‘grandma got run over by a reindeer’. The former as the press release so rightly makes note, sounding like a half way meeting place where lurk the Primitives at one end and Sonic Youth at the other, a wiry blighter haunted and stalked by a tensely jarring and nerve jangling edginess spooked by Christmasses past and grimmed in a tinsel terror that’s skin pricklingly atmospheric that gives it a kind of shadowy macabre that draws a distant kinship to a youthful Banshees albeit scribbling and cobbling twisted bubblegrooves with Zombina and the Skeletones to backdrop VHS silent nightly nasty ‘black christmas’. As to the flip, a snow fallen sepia haloed howler mourning the little publicised death by reindeer occurences, comically odd and really taking the Christmas un-spirit just a little too much off radar methinks, still musically it sneers and spits in the eye of those happy dappy Spector seasonals opting instead for a spot of Shangri-La’s style merry maudlin.
Now if we had our way we’d be demanding the Bordellos did their own curmudgeon Christmas collection, proposed titles ‘not Cliff’ with a bonus ‘oi sit down Elton’ set, ‘it was the Turkey honest Ma’, ‘christmas with the Bordellos’ with matching reindeer cardigans, ‘norovirus at the nativity’ or ‘the day my ipad went mad’. Instead alas they’ve cut just one solitary seasonal sore thumb, a bit of tear jerker I’m afraid and very much in a Christmas 1980 styling which if I recall rightly was the year that the cordialities exchanged between my younger self and Santa went their separate ways following an austere present taking that involved several seriously wounded apples, a sock, a watch that lit up the northern hemisphere and a rusty old bike whose saddle had frankly seen more backsides than a haemorrhoid surgeon. But back to bleaker things, sounding like the band that Santa forgot, the Bordellos stump up the spectral humbler ‘Christmas shopping at the Apple Boutique’ or then again it could be ‘window shopping at the apple boutique’, this ‘un is currently being aired on Mark Whitby’s December playlist over at Dandelion Radio, a shop door shivering call from the underground all bruised and blistered not to mention dulling the bauble shine of Christmas as it scowls at the loss of the meaning of the seasons true spirit, in truth sounds like the Fall doing a bah humbug hoodwinking of the perennial Pogues yuletide heart hurter from inside a whisky bottle, kerchief please and quick with it……
Irreverent seasonal turntable fisticuffs courtesy of the Angry Snowmans, these dudes hail from across the pond, British Colombia to be precise and judging by their bandcamp release roster appear to come out every December to irk the Christmas loving crowds with their not so ho ho ho take on the yuletide period rathermore preferring instead to spread their brand of yuletide un-cheer. This in fact came out last year but still worth hiking up the volume for if only to hone your crowd surfing moves in the safety of your own listening space to their scuffed up snarling hardcore speed freaks. This bad boy, incidentally entitled ‘what makes an elf build toys’ EP features six such not so wise Christmas visitations the best of which being the turbo gouged punch you into next year ‘christmas spirits dying’ replete with stare you down terrace charging searing chorus combination jabs while ‘sleigh bells’ has more than an appreciable whiff of a seriously wired and wound up Dead Kennedy’s about its wares. https://angrysnowmans.bandcamp.com/album/what-makes-an-elf-build-toys-ep
You’ll have to talk amongst yourselves while we go off in search of a stylus, seems our needle has croked its last and just when we were going to grace your ears with some lovely musical morsels picked up on a brief visit to the Probe record emporium whereupon we secured a copy of that Timothy Leary narrated ‘psychedelic experience’ set, the napalm death / melt banana split which I’m literally gagging to hear and this here little nugget from yesteryear, a super limited re-pressing of Jethro Tull’s ‘solstice bells’ as remixed by Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson….so while we do the necessary stylus switches here’s a little video for the track that we unearthed off youtube…….
Second of that spiffing seasonal soiree from the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club, this is the legendary twee bop combo the Haywains doing a spot of affectionately cosy toed snow freckled shimmer pop courtesy of the love noted ‘who needs summer’, a kookily cool gathering around the festive festooned crackling open fire whittling out reindeer cardigan wearing jaunty and strumtastically funky and lolloping hot mulled wine servings of tinsel twee tuneage that are sure to have the hand holding indie shy eyes a tad swooning in the yuletide aisles. Over on the flip a rather rousing and gruffly grooved take on the seasonal classic ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ all decorated with a whistling intro and a deliciously bracing stripped bare three chord pub rock bop. Available in a 320 issue all on 7 inches of white vinyl.
Long time visitors to these pages may well recall us falling elbows over backsides to the sounds of Moonwood many years ago, somewhere along the line we lost touch, from the looks of things Moonwood was retired or at the very least put into cold storage. We mention this because Jakob Rehlinger, for it is he who is / was Moonwood is now trading as Babel and has just dropped off the full-on senses immersive ‘Crystalion’, a hulking 24 minute vapour trailing kosmiche head trip that pretty voyages directly into the heart of classic era Tangerine Dream, a wonderfully cinematically contoured cosmic cruiser primed in lulling pulsars, meditative murmurs and dream machine demurs that together coalesce and concentrate what can only be described as a mid 70’s Floydian lunar fantasia. https://babelmusik.bandcamp.com/track/crystalion
Heading out on our new favourite label – that’ll be music for dreams, this is silent riders with the superbly ice formed soulfully spectral ‘I see you’, a prowling beauty watching from the dark, the sound hypnotic and alluring is cut with a seductive shadow lining that imagines both alt-j and the neighbourhood ghost walking through the stranger things soundtrack, absolutely irresistible. https://soundcloud.com/user-624383462/i-see-you
Tripped across on a recent facebook posting, a demo working of new happpenings from Valerie Renay, this be the darkly brooding and psychosis stirring ‘kick again’, this arrives from the icier stratas of the hatefully named ‘new romantic / romo’ spectrum very much teetering to draw upon a classic old school Noblesse Oblige lineage though here pulled and twisted by elements of a tensely consuming macabre hosted by a hybrid Minty / ‘kaleidoscope’ era Siouxsie. https://soundcloud.com/valerie_renay/kickagain-demo
Been a fair while since we heard from them and bless them that they got the name of our much unloved musical musings wrong, though they did quickly fire back no doubt somewhat mortified at the error, calling us the NME how dare they. Now most similar folk would take exception to being mistaken for the once great ‘indie bible’ these days the stuff of cat litter trays, but not us, we here are made of sterner stuff, Of course we are jesting and so it was that we picked ourselves up from the floor and pressed play before finding ourselves all a swoon again, for tthis is the forthcoming new thang from gospel who’ve graced these pages in the past. Former members of creatures of love & who’ve just dropped the seductively demurred ‘bodies’ – in simple terms four minutes of ice sculptured glacial noir delicately purred in down tempo drift tones which when mixed and stirred become adored with the kind of sophisticated finesse that aside revealing a guilty pleasures love for the Mac’s ‘tango in the night’ also comes with an attaching tug belying the more bruised back catalogues of the likes of No Ceremony, the Insect Guide and Maudite Dance. Alas no sound cloud links just yet.
Stylus sorted here’s that promised Nepalm Death / Melt Banana split face off, out via ipecac this ‘un appearing in limited numbers of 7-inch wax appeared on Black Friday Record Store Day pits on opposing sides of vinyl two of the hardcore / noise scenes finest exponents of the art, blighter is so good that we’ve played it at various speeds, we’re assuming 33rpm is the optimum one though truth to be told that at whichever, Nepalm Death still sound terrifying while Melt Banana are quite frankly just insane whichever speed be your chosen poison. Typically grimmed and sounding for all the world as though their channelling the rage of hell itself, Nepalm Death serve up two titanic slabs of tormented apocalypsia, the charmingly titled ‘like piss on a sting’ is a vengeful cauldron of doom dread retribution grimmed in choking soul sucking futility while the accompanying ‘where the barren is fertile’ is besieged in warring sermons and the kind of hopeless end of days full throttle white hot cleansing that suggests several of their number have been paying close attention to an early 90’s variant of Killing Joke. Those of you thinking that maybe Melt Banana might be somewhat lightweight in comparison, think again for ‘killer garden in the garden’ matches might with mayhem, a molten frazzled and frenzied electro shocking bad boy replete with wig flipping waywardness and a sing-a-long chorus – well sort of – to boot which gathers around to sound like your world falling in on your listening space. That said those much fancying their ear gear pitched at turntable melting levels might do well to rack up the volume on the quite clearly demented though loveably wired to the teeth pogo pummelling ‘sakurai spiral’. Be honest now, what is there not to love.
Typical we’ve these things we’ve mislaid the introductory gubbins on this, but from what I recall this is an early warning herald from those kosmicknauts Eat Lights Become Lights plotting distant sightings of an incoming fifth album, this being ‘the great up above’. In short a seven and a half minute lunar fantasia tripwired in mesmeric swirls of nostalgic florals that hint of a silver space age vintage fondness whilst all the time with airless graceful accuracy tweaks tenderly on the heartstrings much like those classic era early visitations from the Earlies as it shimmers into close proximity before passing out of view on its way to the great beyond. https://soundcloud.com/eat-lights-become-lights/the-great-up-above
I’m fairly certain we’ve mentioned this lot in recent musings, I could be wrong, the memory is not what it was it was these days. This came highly recommended by Brian Bordello, its by Dementio 13 from an album by the name ‘Broxen’, this being ‘no maps’ featuring a guest appearance by Jo Whitby. An absolute cutie, a sumptuous slice of lights lowered nocturnal groove oozed in the kind of smoky soulful sepia tweaked noir that had us here imagining some cosy toed studio snuggle up between the much missed Musetta and Shortwave Set with Pram in observing attendance, very alluring indeed. http://dementio13.com/track/no-maps-feat-jo-whitby
I’m beginning to wonder whether they do optimism over at Aetheric records, latest outing from Clive Henry just released and without any fanfare I hasten to add, is made of the ominously tense coiled minimalist detailing that occasioned the way of our turntable in much abundance once upon a time from those much missed outsider folk over at Beta Lactam Ring. Described in the brief liner notes as ‘ghost drone’, this four track epitaph, incidentally titled ‘hymns’ from which we’ve only had chance to encounter the parting 20 minute goliath ‘and we did nothing, and it began’, provides for a concentrated mass of what first appears to the ears like cold detatchment bookended with a firm full stopping finality, agreed morose and somewhat light deflecting, but scratch a little deeper and what first emerges as a doom draped emissary from some post apocalyptic event reveals itself as a majestically sculptured lonesome distress call set forth across the heavenly voids by some cosmic levianthan. https://aetheric-records.bandcamp.com/album/hymns
Christmas stocking curio time, found sneaking out of the Finders Keepers snow topped cabin of delights, fuzzy felt friends the moomins eerily grace the yuletide season with a spooky seasonal gathering that finds this extended woodling family snoozily serenading around the moominvalley campfire for a rather charmingly misty eyed rendition of ‘silent night’ here all parcel wrapped and lovingly bow tied in forest folk fancies, wheezing wind whistles and broken fair ground oompahs, an album of melodic moomin magicalia is pencilled to hit turntables very early 2017. https://soundcloud.com/finderskeepersrecords/graeme-miller-and-steve-shill-silent-night
With a sentiment that I whole heartedly concur with, this is a forthcoming being prepped as I write by the guys at 345rpm. Its by those impish souls Evil Blizzard found here spreading joy, tidings and good cheer for the oncoming seasonal hullabaloo. Entitled ‘I hope you that you get nothing for Christmas’, I must admit that during its playing we’ve cobbled up a secret list upon which are scribbled the names of persons who we feel are undeserving of our time, our wishes and our blessing – ho hum. Ridiculously limited in nature this may well end up being our favourite Christmas tune this year excepting that is a rather lovely nugget by Mikko Joensuu which will be popping up here very shortly. This bad boy, I stress bad, is your discordant slab of wired out waywardness, squalling riffs, unseasonal merriment and lashings of uncheer, alarmingly irreverent and loveably schizoid, rather this than the nightmare that is Simon Cowell and his Saturday night TV naffness. Comes with homemade video to boot featuring creepy masks, a seriously bad Santa and general all round grim griining goonery.
Our earlobes have just snared themselves upon a rather spiffing gem from the Orange Kyte, the penultimate release in their year long monthly singles jamboree which I’ll be honest has proven something of a listening treat around these here parts stuffing us full of stereophonic sweeties at four weekly intervals, a cornucopia of delights that has proven difficult to split as to which is our favourite such has been the quality. That said the latest might well be vying for the top spot in the affection stakes for ‘just like Leningrad’ emerges resplendently cooled in kaleidoscopic swirls from out of the shadows of the Chocolate Watchband splintering amid eye fried mind morphing mosaics to blossom beautifully all haloed in hallucinogenic hues.
Not, I suspect, intended as Christmas fayre but fitting all the same. Step away from the baubles and cheapening trinkets of commercialism which have somewhat blighted and blurred the message of Christmas in recent times, perchance to reflect and rejoice, religious beliefs aside yuletide offers a chance to both look forward and back offering a reset option. ‘Amen 2’ the forthcoming Svart outing for Mikko Joensuu, is the second of a planned trilogy, a trilogy that not only concentrates itself with music but of mind both spiritual and physical, a journey that questions both faith and belief, it is one mans coming to terms with an undeniable truth for ‘Amen 1’ dealt with the crushing realisation, to one with firm religious beliefs, that God did not exist. While ‘Amen 1’ was dulled in betrayal and loss, ‘Amen 2’ finds Joensuu in a happier place learning to put the past aside and move forward, a resolve no better exemplified than on the heralding teaser cut ‘drop me down’. A seven minute slice of slow burn euphoria that softly smoulders from a starting point of being merely minimalistically majestic rising gracefully defrosting itself of its glacial gospel trimmings to blossom with an emotionally stirring and warmth filled renewed and rebirth radiance much like something moulded in the all embracing image of Spiritualized at their most devastating and mercurial.
I think I may be right in saying that this ‘un is now sold out at source and gone the way of online auction sites, though don’t quote me on that, anyhow the latest polytechnic youth-er – limited lathe cut – 99 all in – comes from Billy Cote – the a side of which we mentioned way back at https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/billy-cote/ – all minimalist marimbas and quite soothing all said. However for us the real gem here is sitting over on the flip for ‘cloudx trans 5’ is a wonderfully warbling slice of nostalgic analogue noodling very much taking notes from the Steve Reich / Terry Riley school of minimalism to craft out a most affectionate lunar pulsar that for all the world sounds like demurring distress call refracted through a younger version of the Kraftwerk hive mind.
Staying with polytechnic youth, think we erred and missed this originally on its arrival at the Sunday experience sound shed. Again long since sold out, this is the quite sumptuous two track outing from Bastian Void, pressed up 5 inches of wax in – if I recall rightly – various variants of black and clear vinyl, our copy being the obviously superior sounding clear version. Anyhow we mentioned this in passing somewhere here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/bastion-void – both featured tracks orginally appearing on 2012’s ‘design for colouring’ full length, we here suggest you fast forward along to the flip cut ‘ray tracing’ which very much channels the spirit of a late 90’s minimalist electronic sound scene – see Plone and ISAN and wires it through the dream machine doings of a certain Mr S Boom in his EAR guise.
Future Polytechnic Youth happenings in little over a week, we are reliably informed, will be strictly limited outings from both tomorrow syndicate and home current. Both have featured previously in these musings to much swooning affection, alas thus far we’re not sure of tracklistings just yet, that said we did eye this arabesque astral kosmick causing a certain amount of fuss on you tube, a new melodic mystic mirage from Tomorrow Syndicate entitled ‘holographic love’ – sit back, ,eyes closed and set the controls for mind wandering.
Also found loitering in the to do pile another long since gone outing this time from Middex who recently turned up on a ridiculously limited two track cassette put out by Makina Books, handsomely packaged, just 50 of these blighters around all housed in a dinky little photograh book – details about which are here http://makinabooks.bigcartel.com/product/middex while previous visitations and mentions are here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/10/01/middex-6/ – while you’re there best check out their early warning calls of a full length to come courtesy of the teaser cut ‘cold borough’ currently spooking soundcloud. https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/middex-7/
Following on from their recent best un-Christmas single, much loved around these here parts, we received communications from one of their sect promising of ear feasts imminently descending upon our turntable shortly with an almost cautionary nay ominous note hinting careful what you wish for. Of course we refer to the un-joyously ‘I hope you get nothing for Christmas’ which I’ll admit has been the stuff of repeat play forays since looming large on our listening radar. With that in mind here’s another blast of those seriously wierded out creeps Evil Blizzard, this ‘un comes culled from a recent appearance in Preston. ‘sacrifice’ is everything it says on the tin, discordant bad ju-ju moulded in a darkly twisted shadow lined primitive glam psyche hysteria, part Mummies, Cramps and Misfits, this sore thumb baits, scowls and prowls with slick sleazy intent, a warped rocky horror freak carnival bedevilled by a hall of infamy of video nasty ghouls, both visually and sonically nightmarish and freaked, chemical enhancers are strictly not recommended.
Peel back time a little, last year in fact for ‘are you evil’ – a macabre melodic mausoleum, squalid, degenerate and scalped with a rabid ritualistic mind warping dark hearted suffocation beneath whose blackening cloak a psychosis heightened inferno rages from where front tickets to oblivion beckon, sound wise imagine an evil twin ‘blizzard of Oz’ era Ozzy heading up the Misfits and you’re not even close.
A little heads up for this, officially out today and mentioned a little while back here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/blackash/ – this is the humongous debut 12 inch platter from pysychotropic kosmick heads blackash – ultra limited grooviness – sound links here https://soundcloud.com/blackashsounds/black-witch?in=blackashsounds/sets/black-witch-ep
Video teaser here –
Vinyl good luckingness here……
Busyness aplenty in the brothers Static sound shed with a plethora of well heeled releases all arriving before the yuletide, topper most in the wants list of any right minded record fanatic being the imminent double header with Fruits de Mer and this, the ultra limited eye catching new lathe 7 inch by Cheval Sombre. Meticulously cut and hand crafted by the folk at 345rpm, this disc features an embedded view master reel, really is an object of desire. Upon it sit two new cuts from New York’s finest purveyor of slo core narcotic psych pop, the huskily hymnal emotion shredder that is ‘if its you’ – in truth up there with galaxie 500 at their most genteel and graceful and over on the flip, the simply majestic ‘give me something’ which finds CS pairing up with the legendary Alistair Galbraith for something utterly shimmered in mystic blissfulness, quick about it though for these precious artefacts are the equivalent of hen’s teeth. Mentioned in passing incidentally at https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/cheval-sombre-4/
Further Static Caravan happenings, seems this one was sneaked out sadly without hullaballoo or fanfare, new thing from the quite splendid Goodnight Lenin is your VAN 312. This one, entitled ‘desire’, is the first of four planned singles over the course of the next few months as they busily prepare recording a new full length. A lot more edgier and full on not to mention in your face than previous turntable visits, ‘desire’ has courted favourable comparisons to War on Drugs and the Bruce and finds them uprooting their musical compass point to accomodate an effervescent pulse racing stratospheric anthemic rumble to their sonic vocabulary with this infectious transistor turn on arriving purred and pressed with love tipped euphoric rockets.
Those with a fondness for lists might care to know that VAN 311 is a limited edition Mark Murphy postcard collage that’ll be sneaked into orders while stocks last, further details about Mr Murphy can be found here http://www.markmurphy.co.uk
Much like recent split release partners in sound Fruits de Mer, Static Caravan have been going through something of a purple patch of late, recent outings by Art of the Memory Palace, Duke St Workshop and TVAM not to mention forthcoming gems from Grantby and Blackash have all served notice that this long-standing sound house institution just betters with age. With that in mind expect fond words over the coming days for the Memory Band’s ‘a fair field’ – an album that bristles with nostalgia, mystery and magic, a fitting year end and one of the most understated and quietly alluring gems to have crossed our review desk these last twelve months. As a teaser here’s the newly peeled you tube bothering ‘children of the stones’ to entrance you, features Liam Bailey on principal vocal, something I suspect that’ll warm the affections of those Tunng admirers among you.
Tucked inside your Fruits de Mer / Static Caravan split you should find an additional CD gift from each of the labels, we’ve already mentioned Static’s Lee F Cullen disc, you know the bloke from Duke St Workshop doing weirdly ethereal psych things much in the vein of Paul Roland and Nick Nicely. For their part of the proceedings the FdM dudes have cobbled up a nifty compilation entitled ‘fish might fly – an introduction to Fruits de Mer records’ – an eleven-strong gathering of talent culled from releases past, present and possibly forthcoming. Several treats featured here including FdM’s ultra limited Christmas day lathe offering from Moloko+ along with rarities and current happenings by Crystal Jacqueline and the Honey Pot, some vintage vault finds rescued from their illustrious long since sold out back catalogue from Claudio Cataldi, something plucked from this years Bowie covers subscribers set from the NoMen and a smattering of exclusives that includes Geitek’s rather spiffing cover of Egg’s ‘I will be absorbed’ all beautified and faithful not to mention smoked in a blissfully loungey haze that ought to have ‘dots and loops’ era Stereolab admirers somewhat seduced. Elsewhere super psychedelicised shimmer toning adores the lightly frisky post rocked exotica of insektlife cycle’s ‘insekt circus’ – a track taken from their debuting full length for Weary Bird, scholars of the Vini Reilly sonic school will be smitten. Somewhere else there’s a sneak peek at Jack Ellister’s forthcoming single for you are the cosmos entitled ‘awake’ – a lulling end of the day murmur toning sleepy headed prayer beautifully hushed in the sedate spray of twinkling rustics while prepped as a future FdM possible and taken from ‘fushcia II, Tony Durant’s psych shanty ‘fushcia song’ gorgeously bows and revels to a jaunty jig framed in medieval woodcut florals and breezy gaellic fancies to whittle a wonderfully wayward sortie much grooved in a Soft Boys styled succulence.
Oh my, isn’t this a sweetie, new from Low via Sub Pop this is ‘some hearts (at Christmas time)’ – a snow kissed hymnal shimmered and aglowed with an ethereal gracefulness as though a guiding light extending a spectral hand of peace and love to the lost and the lonely and radiant in the true spirit of Christmas. Think that’s all you need to know though I advise hankerchiefs at the ready, the blighters a bit of a tearjerker.
Eyed this on an early morning posting, from the Electric Lazarus this is smoking cool ‘superstar’ EP – a four track psychedelic beat pill, the opening track ‘stoned immaculate’ sounding up there with that current killer thing from Richard John – Riley whilst finding itself located somewhere on a sonic map between the quite perfect the Cult of Free Love and Stephen Jones’ Trucker alter ego, mind you still time to add in a dash of ‘flowers’ era Bunnymen. Elsewhere thesumptuous shade adorned ‘sometimes I wonder’ smouldes to stray into Velvet territories while ‘insanity girl’ – incidentally the best thing here, is shimmered in reverberating fuzz afterglows all coolly shocked in a lilting swagger toning lysergic wooziness. Which all leaves parting shot ‘on high in blue tomorrow’ to seductively see matters out to the end groove ghosted in a 60’s classicism that imagines a studio gathering of walker brothers, velvets, doors and leonard cohen types. Class in short. http://theelectriclazarus.bandcamp.com/album/superstar-e-p
more scouse-a-delic cool this time courtesy of the esteemed Rob Clarke and the Wooltones who round off a quality year with some post yuletide smokiness in the shape of ‘new year, new day’. Reserved, reclined and removed of their trademark ear candy sting, this babe finds the Mersey mop tops in more reflective and mellowed moods, irrefutably blessed and cut with a mercurial classicism that hints of McCartney’s more contemplative soul stinged moments whilst similarly dropping in on Brian Wilson’s more intimately inward reflecting, all this married to a melodic framing candy coated in a dreamily purring pristine pop vintage that’s softly trimmed in haloes of hushed harmonies. Tell me again what’s not to like. Over on the flip, a little playful goonery, dusty picture postcards of lost seaside holidays, I’m thinking Blackpool ’73 meets Pheonix Nights for this one, oodles of musical hall organs, nostalgia and a strangely becoming Shadowsy-esque spot of noodling, goes by the name ‘ashton labour club charity bingo interval’ by these ears sounds like an abbey road studios down time moment where out for a quick drag on the rooftop Mr Martin and Mr Meek conspire. https://robclarkeandthewooltones.bandcamp.com/album/new-year-new-day-single
great things you never knew existed….5…the residents.
Or more correctly, great things we never knew existed. Blame Yelllow6 / Jon Atwood for this, a posting shared earlier today was eyed and with it brought a ring of familiarity – ‘I remember that’ – I thought through the misty fog I call memory, the ’78 version of ‘Santa Dog’ from pop’s most famous outsiders, just between you and me I always thought this was straight up classic Frank Zappa but hey what do I know. But that aside we then spotted a version from ’88..and er….’99 and 2006, the earliest from 1972….so herewith with 5 versions of weirdness, the ’78 one is still our favourite though the 2006 is worth time…..fill your santa boots and enjoy….
Promise we’ll be back with fuller mentions for this over the course of coming days, for now aa teaser sample of ominous things to come from GR, this is called ‘altostratus’ and finds itself culled from a forthcoming full length entitled ‘propel tension on a polyester base’ – a largely psychotropic set interspersed with moments of electronic / noise fracturing and what appear as gloomed psychosis shrilled idents much as it happens like this particular treat, which unless ears do not deceive comes chilled in a vintage foreboding that imagines a certain John Carpenter lost amid the shadowy landscapes of ‘stranger things’. http://gregoryraimo.bandcamp.com/track/b2-altostratus
Not your normal rock-u-mentary but then its subject matter is not your normal rock pop star. For five decades, Gary Numan has been a constant presence on the pop stage whether shifting the electronic sound perspective with his landmark trilogy ‘replicas’, ‘pleasure principle’ and ‘telekon’ in the late 70’s / early 80’s, his lost years and slow decline in creative bankrupty or his rebirth, refocusing and rebranding into darker industrial terrains. ‘Android in la la land’ digs deep and gets past the warts n’ all forago, brutally honest and distressingly touching, it follows the Numan clan as they prepare to leave the UK for a new life in States. Less about the music more about the family unit, it’s a love story rather than a career fanfare, frank and open not to mention overtly candid, this isn’t your polished oh look at me I’m perfect publicity vehicle its more an examination of trust, faith and hope the watching of which several things strike you – that being the closeness, trust and support that indelibly weaving within Gary and Gemma’s relationship, the fact that both are fragile and frail, Numan’s candid discussion about his own mortality is particular difficult as is his hurt at the souring relationship with his father. Of course centre stage are the couples three girls – Raven, Persia and Echo – unwitting stars of the film. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b083dj13/gary-numan-android-in-la-la-land
Blimey we feared they’d given up the ghost been as it is that its so long we since we featured any of their grooves, relentless souls that we are we spied this on a recent posting, a Christmas sonic soiree from the Cream People, free to download to boot. ‘the great Christmas give away’ EP features two newly cut nuggets, ‘silent night my arse’ and ‘twilight outhouse’ – both crafted of a curious sonic distillation that sees them shifting from their trademark ‘psych’ focus into, well in the formers case, a mellowed and stoned out bliss kissed post rock-y symphonia that hints much of an admiration for Roy Montgomery or certainly at the very least the kind of noodling Alphane Moon styled stuff that Ptelemaic Terrascope wowed over in the 90’s with the ‘silent night’ element long since left at the door somewhere at the 30 second mark, gets very eastern mysticism eyed towards the end I’ll have you know. As to ‘twilight outhouse’ a lolloping punch drunk lovely smoked in Durutii styled dream weaving oceanic opines, very much informed by Steve Reich just a treat to get to the final post 5 minutes where everything goes woozily crystalline. https://thecreampeople.bandcamp.com/album/the-great-christmas-give-away-ep
More Christmas crackers, this nifty slice of Willie Dixon / Howlin Wolf styled mooching blues growl is by the Sleigh Shakers and goes by the name ‘jingle hell’ – the ominous tale of a Christmas tree gone real bad all sparred and purred by a superbly wasted and dirty harmonica leading howling and prowling vintage grind that smokes with a sinister don’t look behind you Santa / Satan grooving. Over on the flip there’s ‘Christmas Chicken blues’ which alas we’ve no links for, guess we’ll be back with this again very shortly once nailed.
Returning with more of those Snowflakes Christmas Club sorties, admittedly I nearly forgot about these, anyhow third of the four tinsel treats comes courtesy of Rope Store whose ‘nerer had Christmas’ as the press release rightly states is a time travelling sleigh ride back to the Christmasses of the early 70’s. within 5 seconds of this kicking in, I’m faced with my youthful self donning a Spock mask sitting wide eyed watching Top of the Pops and tapping toes a furiously to the Slade and the Wizzard while my brother eyes from afar waiting for the Wombles to appear. Pure glam gold seasoned in a sepia framed vintage sung by folk who looked like bricklayers in make up sporting hair of unusual voluminous quantity whilst teetering on unfeasibly high skyscraper styled platform boots bedecked in outfits made from stuff we used to wrap the turkey up in. them were the days. Rope Store impeccably recreate the same with affectionate aplomb on this infectious blighter. Now call us hopeless souls but just between you and me, I’ve always had a soft spot for ‘Winter’s Tale’, in fact in the highly unfashionable year of 1982 I was the short lived president of the 6th form David Essex fan club marvelling to impromptu and rowdy renditions of ‘oh what a circus’ and ‘gonna make you a star’ much to the puzzlement of the assembled make up wearing new romantic fops with the Duran Duran fringes and awkward musical tastes – ahem – Billy Joel. But enough of my gallant quests to ride the outsider seas, Rope Store set to work tackling ‘winters tale’ and in to the bargain give it a deliciously fuzzy power pop overhaul which unlesx our ears do deceive ounds not unlike some waywardly wonderful lost trick by some hastily assembled Elephant 6 collective seasonal studio soiree. Adored in short. https://snowflakeschristmassingles.bandcamp.com/album/never-had-christmas-b-w-a-winters-tale
is it just me or do I hear the distantly vague sonic stirrings of the much-missed Beatnik Filmstars. New thing from the invaderband, a taster if you will for a forthcoming debut full length due for release after the silly season, ‘attack of the pod people’ is your new waving dayglo’d sci-fi-onia interspersed with dialogue sequences from the original and far superior black and white ‘the day the earth stood still’ classic replete with nifty nods aplenty to Mr Numan’s pre ‘replicas’ Tubeway Army. Culled from a BBC session, ‘at right angles’ is a classically spun psych mysterio weaved from the rarefied tripping tapestry of Syd Barrett albeit as though reclaimed by Robyn Hitchcock while rounding matters off in fine style ‘handcuffed man shoots himself’ shimmies in crafted in the image of the Soft Boys in their finest finery dragging behind them the indelible whiff of half man half biscuit. https://adamleonard.bandcamp.com/album/attack-of-the-pod-people-single
Finally for this years quartet of Christmas treats from the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club, Hannah Epperson’s delightful two track ethereal ‘raise the white flag’ and ‘dreaming of a white Christmas’. An utterly adorable gathering of eerie elegance, the former a self penned mysterio traced in ghostly enchanted woodland soul noir trimmings, utilising silence as an instrument this frail and fragile love note is snowily kissed by lightly tip toed frost carved vocals delicately aided and abetted by the playful peek a boo of a solitary violin, really is quite entrancing. From entrancing to beguiling ‘dreaming of a white Christmas’ really is quitte exceptional, a magic land winter wonderland poised, measured and majestically tailored in a most beautified sepia framed neo classical framing, all at once breathlessly beautiful and blissful. https://snowflakeschristmassingles.bandcamp.com/album/raise-the-white-flag-b-w-dreaming-of-a-white-christmas
Feel things have been getting a little saccharine of late, guess we need some full on noise pollution, with that in mind here’s the formidable and frightening face melting ‘wiro satan’ by Indonesian noise niks pop berkah, 5 minutes of unadulterated unhappiness served up with the kind of molten bad assed sonic trepanning that had us much minded of a youthful Shit and Shine somewhat obsessed with the dark arts. https://popberkah.bandcamp.com/album/wiro-satan
staying with noise niking stuff a little longer, we recently received a message from Donald Mauls with a sound link, damn fine it was to only we lost it in the chaos that is the Sunday experience on its last legs laptop. Fear not though for you don’t get off that easily for we spied his recently unveiled cover of My Bloody Valentine’s ‘soon’ here put through its paces and rinsed in an acid bath by the sounds of things, rendered vaguely recognisable and squalled in the kind of freeform fracturing skree that once upon a time occasioned the grooves of releases by a certain Bruce Russell and Bill Horist. https://donaldmauls.bandcamp.com/album/soon-my-bloody-valentine-cover
bewitched baubles, spectral Spectors and terrorfonic twangs are the order of the day for this Christmas creeper, originally out two yuletides ago, this bubblegrooved 50’s styled b-movie screamer impishly married ghoulish garage motifs with sinister swoons the type of which folks with misty memories might well have recalled as a reference point those cult cool dudes Brand Violet, anyhow this is happy fangs with the ridiculously infectious ‘all I want for Christmas is Halloween’.
i don’t mind saying that our heart skips several beats to the news of new groove from the blog that celebrates itself. Over the course of the year they’ve delivered some of the finest cover sets to have graced pop land. Just out and available as a free to download release, the spotlight turns to Nirvana’s ‘nevermind’, an album that was both a blessing and a curse for Cobain, the band already considered a formidable force on the fledging Sub Pop label where elevated to a global standing almost in the blink of an eye. ‘all our pretty songs – nevermind revisited’ is a fourteen strong homage to this 25 year old classic, in truth we were always more smitten by ‘bleach’ and still am, just as well then that there’s two additional bonus treats tucked at the end celebrating their stripped bare Sub Pop juggernaut. Now I don’t know about you, but I do prefer my covers to rephrase the original and turn in a new found previously unseen perspective, much like as it happens the Us’ immense reclaiming of ‘smells like teen spirit’ which aside making their own manages to instill new life and thankfully drag it away from its misplaced crowd pleasing anthem status and it back to a shadowy place that pitted with an emotionally fracturing quite turbulence that’s eerily groomed in a magnetic beauty that orbits ever so subtly around a youthful All About Eve framing. Set to bliss toned, Slowly relocate ‘in bloom’ to celestial terrains, its vapour trailing ethereal chorals finds its gheart heavy target cosmically calibrated somewhere between a mellowed Ride and an angelic My Bloody Valentine while the Offerings’ retooling of ‘territorial pissing’ is the stuff of shoegaze wet dreams all removed of the originals animalistic frenz and floodlit in dream draped curvaceous sprays. From what we’ve heard thus far, tall pines take on ‘drain you’ shines the brightest, a soft psych fuzz bomb much moulded in the image of the Haight Ashbury. Equally high in the smitten stakes Whimsical’s faithful retreatment of ‘on a plain’ comes shimmered in uber cooling shade adorned sprays of euphoric radiance while proving no slouches in the arresting stakes, 93millionmilesfromthe sun reduce ‘lounge act’ to a seductively sighing dream dripped kaleidoscopic murmurtone. Reckon a revisit to pick up the unfeatured strays may well be called for. http://theblogthatcelebratesitself.bandcamp.com/album/all-our-pretty-songs-nevermind-revisited
more Christmas cheer, this crystalline Dickensian carnival coming courtesy of the precocious talent that is Beaulieu Porch, this is ‘Simon Christmas’ a seductive and strangely eerie ghost of Christmas past that psychedelically morphs familiar yuletide carols, choir boy chorals and snowy draped scenes of the season with the kind of exquisitely honed foral orchestrations whose majestic visitations once upon a time graced to bewitch and beguile the grooves of platters by Ooberman. https://tillsammansrecords.bandcamp.com/track/simon-christmas-7
this ‘un, a Christmas compilation from those dudes over at emotional response records entitled ‘hey it’s Christmas’ is a wonderfully warm though decidedly wayward and wonky gathering of friends and folk. Amid the pickings on this 15-track tinsel teaser there’s the TVC 15’s slightly out of season south sea opining slide riffed ‘ho ho bush’ cooing distractively as its demurs yuletide tree side to lost bubblegrooved golden era pop twinkles. Frazzled and delightfully discordant not to mention straight up close n’ personal tthere’s the bad guys usa’s unseasonally uncharitable ‘donald trumps christmas’ while frantic family festive follies are aplenty of the ciutely groovy ‘hey its christmas’ by Jen Myffy and Stew. All said we here are more than a tad fond of Lonna Kelley’s ghostly spiritual ‘silent night’ enough to put a cheery glow on any frost flecked cheek of a grumpy grinch while those fancy some noise niking nativity no wave ought to check out the Reynolds Family’s frankly wired out and squalling head butt ‘no ghosts’. https://soundcloud.com/emotional-response-2
more yuletide gubbins, this one from Sofia Talvik entitled ‘when it rains on Christmas day’, this frost tipped snow kissed trembler comes moored upon a heart heavy stillness whose fragile poise recalls the tearfully intimacy of Sarah McLachlan which just when you least expect it sumptuously blossoms and thaws into a soft warmth tingled serenade genteelly crushed and cooed by hymnal hues and a plaintive string sigh.
Alas no info on this for now, we have tried but the link on their press site redirects to an altogether different release and band. Still who needs words when the sounds are this expressive and giving. This is, we believe, a track pulled from a self titled set by In Between through PMS Studio entitled ‘love and don’t forget’, cut with a divine classicism that suggests it might be at home sitting somewhere between your prized Fat Cat platters, and here I’m thinking, Set Fire to Flames, Hauschka and Max Richter, this shimmers and unfurls with an elegance that’s both quietly euphoric and distressingly meekly melancholic with its chamber noir tonalities set for crush.
Blimey the darkness emitting from this is positively claustrophobic, new thing from kill your boyfriend relocates itself from the austere wastelands of an early 80’s post punk / positive punk scene, shadowlined in death disco dialects the sparsely toned minimalist electro savagery of the Batcave scene and the prevailing industrial sounds coalesce to gloom this EP, incidentally titled ‘ghosts’, in a tensely taut dystopian macabre that surfaces resplendently at ‘Man 5’ with a hollowed psychosis seeped sentiment that recalls a very youthful Sisters of Mercy. Elsewhere ‘man 1’ skirts to a dissenting vibe that imagines a dark Danse Society twin in a studio collusion with UK Decay while the psychotronic aura reaches fevered pitch at ‘man 4’ wherein the sparsely set grooves morph in dark celebration to a coming visitation of Dormannu and Play Dead types. https://soundcloud.com/kill-your-boyfriend-1/sets/ghosts-ep
don’t quote me on this but I’m certain we have about our person a CD somewhere issued in the late 90’s with this extended version of ‘586’ on one side and an old Joy Division cut on the other, I won’t even go rummaging around for it, we could be days. Anyhow in studio down time members of New Order where quite the go to dudes for remix projects in the early 80’s often found boogyfying their fellow Factory label friends. A new 3 CD entitled ‘be music’ is due to drop via Factory Benelux in February features a plethora of mix madness that strays back to the early 80’s and brings the story full circle to the modern day – of interest here aside the extended 22 minute of ‘586’ there’s a vault digging recalibration of Section 25’s ‘knew noise’ witrh Ian C\utis and Rob Gretton at the desk.
Tracklisting is as follows followed by that ‘586’ video……
- Quando Quando Love Tempo
- Marcel King Reach For Love
- 52nd Street Cool As Ice
- Section 25 Looking From A Hilltop (Megamix)
- Nyam Nyam Fate/Hate
- The Beat Club Security (Remix)
- Paul Haig The Only Truth
- Shark Vegas You Hurt Me
- Marcel King Keep On Dancin
- Section 25 Reflection
- Quando Quango Tingl
- Surprise Over Italia
- 52nd Street Can’t Afford
- Thick Pigeon Babcock + Wilcox
- A Certain Ratio Bootsy (Swingfire Mix)
- Factory Floor ~(Real Love)
- Section 25 Another Hilltop
- The Other Two Inside
- Marnie The Hunter (Remix)
- Fujiya & Miyagi Daggers (Remix)
- Tim Burgess Oh Men (02 Remix)
- Factory Floor A Wooden Box (Remix)
- Life Tell Me
- Life Tell Me (Theme)
- Peter Hook Lavolta Lakota Theme
- Section 25 Knew Noise
- Stockholm Monsters All At Once
- The Royal Family & The Poor Motherland
- Winston Tong Theoretical China
- The Beat Club Security (Dub)
- Marcel King Reach For Love (US Mix)
- Thick Pigeon Jess + Bart (Remix)
- Red Turns To Deep Sleep
- Ad Infinitum Telstar
- Section 25 Sakura
- New Order Video 586
Am I having a secret breakdown or are websites conspiring against me. For the second time this evening we’ve gone to track down press / download gubbins only to have been inadvertently led astray to a totally different release and totally different band, on this occasion the Wedding Present – no bad thing I guess though the download code was incorrect – grrrrr. Still, at least we have a teaser track from the bastards of fate, ‘freemasons’ be its name, culled from a forthcoming set for happy happy birthday to me records entitled ‘suck the light out’. Now I defy anybody to hook these guys to any generic sound box, flippant, wild, unruly and not so much angular but irregular, this blighter is the sound of a group collective having way too much fun and fusing a goofishly furious pop art bomb that zigzags, jabs and stabs with an acutely infectious waywardness that has you feeling somewhat frazzled and weaving as though the result of a whiplashing dizzying rollercoaster ride. https://soundcloud.com/hhbtm-records/the-bastards-of-fate-freemasons
The shock of Bowie’s passing early in the year still reverbrates across a truly sad twelve months for rock, so many gone, so many missed. As a mark of respect, a homage, a chance to reflect should you so wish, the Novel Sound have cobbled together a near two hour mix tape filled with cover versions – Warpaint’s ‘ashes to ashes’ being a particular favourite and is that Peter Noone at the beginning doing ‘oh you pretty thing’ – interview excerpts featuring the Thin White Duke as well as key tracks from the man himself including the prophetic ‘I’m afraid of Americans’. Essential. Nuff said. https://beta.mixcloud.com/bibliodiscoteque/the-novel-sound-ep-96-memento-bowie/
The return of a musical interlude…..
Some Joe Meek handiwork…
Spiffing twangarama…..any info on these dudes would be gratefully received….
The space Cossacks…
Horror surf compilation – volumes 1 and 2
Records to riun any party…
Must admit to adoring the propulsive momentum of this as it journeys on, musically mirroring the changing landscapes outside of its window by night, from the mellowing sleepy headed outskirts of city life way through into the busy metropolis after dark, its subtle sonic shapeshifting tweaking and turning from lulling kosmiche bliss toned swathes that hint of a Kraftwerk and La Dusseldorf nostalgic designing, gliding exquisitely into pre techno / rave visitations whose shadowy spectral airbrushing forges kinship with the likes of the KLF and the Shamen. This is the first of two limited polytechnic youth 7’s, this one being the lead cut to the Home Current’s platter, entitled ‘that summer’. Alas no soundlinks just yet, but we are working on it.
Second from polytechnic youth, the much-anticipated arrival of tomorrow syndicate’s twin header ‘into the void’ and ‘X for the unknown’. Both mentioned previously and much adored here – see https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/tomorrow-syndicate-2/ and https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/tomorrow-syndicate/ with both tracks recalling instantly the early adventures of eat lights become lights, the former a head shrooming kaleidoscopic pop pill fusing as were, west coast relocated kosmiche pulsars to milky way motorik murmur-tones with the latter very much traversing the kind of hallucinogenia haloed mind morphing trajectories encountered on platters bearing the name the palace of swords while similairly countering a bliss freezed mystic aura, in short the danders.
Those fancying more kosmick kaleidoscopia colouring their headspace might be advised to check out tomorrow syndicate’s newly peeled ‘are you living in a simulation?’ which sumptuously relocates itself in 80’s styled VHS conspiracy culture, moored in an dystopian outland of deceit, this may well be a lost soundtrack to some forgotten Cronenberg / Carpenter forewarning, its icy futurism shrilled in the kind of remoteness much reminiscent and imagining Echoboy cross pollinating and reforging anew sound cultures drawn from an unlikely gathering of Quickspace, Grails and Godspeed species.
‘into the void’
‘X for the unknown’
‘are you living in a simulation’
Todays Christmas cracker is an oldie from way back in the early 80’s, a rocksteady yuletide nugget from Carlene Davis and Trinity called ‘Santa Claus (do you ever come to the ghetto)’….
Kookily breezy tailed loveliness from Emily Jones in the shape of two recently dusted down nuggets found loitering in her sonic locker, moulded with an English psychedelic eccentricity rambled around a quaintly Victoriana shanty dialect, ‘Geeches of the Sea’ comes possessed of the ghost of Barrett as though impishly rephrased through the wonky viewfinder of former Cardiacs man William D Drake. ‘paper bees’ over on the flip, perhaps our favourite of the two is affectionately turned and cut with the curiously lazy eyed lilt of a mid 80’s XTC sharing studio notes with the much missed ‘gigglegoo’ era Freed Unit, well that’s what our ears think and seldom are they wrong I’ll have you know. https://owltextures.bandcamp.com/album/geeches-of-the-sea-paper-bees-2
Oh this is pushing all the synapse receptors all at once, recommended for full on headphonic action, this cerebral chill pill is Cavern of Anti-Matters’ ‘pantechnicon’ rephrased and modelled anew by the Gnoomes into a hulking kosmiche cruise liner swimming in the vast oceanic lunar voids sending back Baleric love notes from distant galactic outposts that sonically sit somewhere between the first Toshack Heighway / J Xaverre albums and new space psych folk on the block tomorrow syndicate. https://soundcloud.com/cavern-of-anti-matter/pantechnicon-gnoomes-remix/s-YRJR5
Not sure if whether I should be wowed or worried, hilarious heart heavy hymnal from the beating heart of despair. This is Big Top Heartache with the rowsing tinsel trimmed music hall anthem ‘Christmas in the Asylum’. Trading shades of Half Man Half Biscuit with Lupen Crook in the last chance saloon bar, this harrowed and decadent ode from the bottom of a whisky bottle dexpite its frivolity and wayward viewpoint from the gutter, masks a subtle lesson in life’s trapdoor as it tumbles from down on its luck to down and out and thereon to oblivion, a cautionary Christmas classic in waiting.
One of the four tracks you’ll find sitting on the grooves on the imminent Static Caravan / Fruits de Mer face off entitled ‘Static Fruit’ – hugely adored around here, our finished copy ensconced to its own pride of place on the Sunday Experience shelf of delights – by the way thanks Geoff for the promo copy. Any we’ve made much hullabaloo about this release – last known wordy sighting here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/fruits-de-mer-static-caravan-split/ – the set features Cheval Sombre, Jack Ellister, the Insektlife Cycle and these dudes, the Art of the MemoryPalace. Stand by for swoons is all I’m going to say……
Think I’m right in saying that this is doing brisk business over at the Mega Dodo groovy sounds shop, if its not then I’m afraid that some searching questions might need to be asked. Anyhow ‘juniper pearl’ lifted from their (the Orange Drop), I think, debut full length ‘stoned in love’ is we hear, being readied up for limited lathe action, 50 all in we believe, no ordering info just yet. Well worth tracking down by our reckoning, this particular cut being a superbly laid back slice of hushed crystalline cut dream drift effervescence which if you scrunch up your ears just a little bit, sounds not unlike early 90’s nearly stars the High, well by our ears they do. https://soundcloud.com/theorangedrop/juniper-pearl
Been a fair old while since we had any Penelopes remix groove with which to swoon to, their absence has been duly noted with letters from responsible adults having been received stating they’ve been swanning around the best part of the year doing film and TV soundtrack work. These are the dudes who older readers may well recall remodelled well worn classics by the likes of the Cure and Alt-J. This time of asking they’ve honed their craft to relocating Massive Attack’s ‘teardrop’ – yep even including the angelic tones of Liz Fraser into the melee to a retro setting. Of course Liz being Liz is just lost in the moment cooing ethereal fairy hymnals regardless of whatever else is happening around her which in this case is pirouetting amid an ice formed shadow land somewhere in an early 80’s moments that’s been sucked somewhat into the time tunnelling vortex tthat is tthe Stranger Things set along with an equally mystified John Carpenter with his ‘lost themes’ gatherings tucked securely under his arm. https://soundcloud.com/thepenelopes/teardropremix/s-8NX0e
Absolutely adorable, part of what we suspect is a musical advent calendar being put up by the Theoritical Girls, this is their rather wonderfully lulling take on Mr Bowie’s ‘ashes to ashes’, a lo-fi lunar folk hymnal teased in a becoming frailty that sighs with an arresting reflective aura, an affectionate love note trembled in regret and twinkled in tender respect. https://soundcloud.com/theoretical-girl/ashes-to-ashes-advent-calendar-2016
something else thats been snaring our ear lugs is this damn fine though slightly dislocated slice of distractiveness from Aussie combo Glenn Schenau, which I must admit sounds as though its sneaked itself off from a John Peel playlist c.1982 sounding as it does like some secret studio happening convened upon by a gathering of Josef K, the Nightingales and Fire Engines types. Anyway its called ‘only the beautiful’ and comes from a cassette set of the same name through paradise daily records. I’m suspecting well worth tracking down. https://soundcloud.com/paradisedaily/glen-schenau-only-the-beautiful
black amient eh, think you might want to have a little rethink about that, sure enough its got a mystical feel about its wares whose haunted and spectral sonic vocabulary is ghosted in a primitive tongue, yet emerging from the fog of this atmospherically shadowy ghost light comes a dream draped tenderly textured psych presence that if anything hints of a passing nod to the mighty Bardo Pond. So while you go off enchanting your ear lugs with its trance toned delights enough time for us to say that this is ‘the watcher’ by Mahr featuring the guitar accompaniement of a certain John 3:16. https://soundcloud.com/mahr/the-watcher-1
Another gone, RIP Greg Lake, the former ELP and King Crimson-er once famously replied to a readers letter in the Guardian regarding royalties from famous Christmas songs, blame the film ‘about a boy’ but it went along the lines of…….
and here’s that errant Caribbean dreaming Christmas hit…..
i’ll admit this wasn’t on our planned listening list for the evening or for that matter on our radar, but there’s something sly about this in so much as the way it draws you close into its somewhat gloomed isolationist hidey hole. Admittedly it takes a while to hit its groove but once it does you begin to wonder whether the likes of Bureau B and Editions Mego have missed a trick, for ‘sloth_[headphones_recommended]’ by Chicago_Word_Brigade once thawed of its stirring into wakening starkly sparse introductions devilishly unfurls wiring to its psychotronic mainframe a dark technoid dialect sprayed in shadowy lined electro shocks that pulse to an oddly chilled dystopian motorik grooving that imagines a shared hive mind of Front 242 and Add N to X types. https://soundcloud.com/chicago_word_brigade/sloth_headphones_recommended
just out in record land, this is the new groove from Gulp – remember them featuring Super Furry’s Guto Pryce and Lindsey Levin, this ‘un heading out of Tim Burgess’ o genesis imprint is entitled ‘search for your love’, a lunar love song I guess you’d call it all trimmed in coolly psychedelicised hazes of dreamweaving 60’s purrs and shade adorned twanging mysterio mirages which when viewed through kaleidoscopic viewfinders sounds quite like that Jane Weaver which lets be honest is no bad thing. https://soundcloud.com/e-l-k-1/gulp-search-for-your-love/
no secret that we adore Saint Agnes around these here parts, a darkly woven cocktail of seductive, sleazy and snarling glam blues has been their trademark turntable rumbling these last few years and this latest bad assed beauty doesn’t look like bucking the trend. ‘merry mother of God go round’ is your scuzzed out and feral fried glam psyched slab of swagger toned primordial blues replete with hissing harmonicas that fuse to beautifully blister into a potently wild and rabid deadheading decadence flashed through with moments of lucid dreamy lilts, so good its had us off on a quest to root out our prized stash of Gold Cash Gold grooves.
A blissful electronic Musical Interlude…
Tom sissevelt and kid baltan….
Not wishing to upset everything else we’ve mentioned thus far this week, but this is the dandiest thing we’ve heard these last few days and quite frankly without putting to fine a point on matters you need it in your life. No amount of listens have been able to shake the feeling that this sounds like something that’s been drop kicked straight out of the late 60’s as though some fabled protesting watchword resulting from a secret studio get together gathering an unlikely pool of talent of Silver Apples, Rodriguez and Sly Stone types, likewise sits comfortably alongside that recent Tomorrow Syndicate nugget currently doing the rounds on polytechnic youth. But enough ranbling, this is the smoking cool soft psych soul minimalism of Kreol Lovecall, the latest alter ego of former Hey Colossus dude Jonathan Richards with the killer ‘one in F1ve’.
Great things you never knew existed…..6….Adelaide Hall and the Duke Ellington Orchestra….
A seamless link from the previously mentioned Kreol Lovecall to this which is called ‘Creole love call’ – this quite incredible recording dates back to 1927, just listen to those vocals, alas no embedded link on this so you might just have to copy n’ paste the link into your browser for full wow listening….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfAHP5mAAOw
The aptly titled ‘cartoon rock’ I’ll warn you now will drive you to distraction. Alarmingly addictive, daft and kooky, kind of ZZ Top and Tom Petty on some weird kaiedoscopic overdose of lysergically tripping kids 70’s TV all cut with a strut induced riff swagger that’d have the devil swooning with envy at the crossroads while grooved in a sunny effervescent radiance likely to give you skin burn just for being within earshot. Fried agreed, fun certainly. This folks is Delicate Steve with a track ripped from a forthcoming set entitled ‘this is Steve’ heading out of Anti-records. Consider yourselves warned. Visual disclaimer…the following video contains bright vivid colours, zaniness aplenty and a bloke in make up having way too much fun.
Currently doing bad things on the sound player, new uber groove from the Jesus and Mary Chain. ‘Amputation’ comes peeled from a forthcoming set, their first in, well ages, at least since their last one, going by a name we do forget, not really our bag this writing lark – hang on – ‘damage and joy’ that’s the bunny. Thankfully though we can spot a well-heeled nugget several paces out, oh okay it is admittedly JMC by numbers but they do it so coolly and wearing shades to boot spraying out subliminal mind yabbering pulars that purr with a two-fingered sneer. Any questions? https://soundcloud.com/user-428115396/the-jesus-mary-chain-amputation-1/s-q4FRg
Today’s Christmas garage crackers comes courtesy of the Sonics….
Mentioned in passing somewhere here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/azalia-snail-2/ this is the video accompanying that rather spiffing Azalia Snail track ‘field rep’ – all proceeds going to the good folk over at Standing Rock – a new album ‘neon revolution’ looms large on the horizon. Alas no embeds on this just yet so you might want to copy n’ paste the following – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XXmgL2gc0Y&feature=youtu.be
Apologies to Simon Waldram whose recently released ‘insolation’ has been somewhat skulking in the ‘listen to’ pile for far longer than we care to admit, so while we ready it up for our fullest attention here is the quite delightful and somewhat reflectively toned distantly hollowed beauty ‘monochrome’. An atmospheric spectral whose lazy eyed roving craft sweetly glides in the vapour trail of a sedated Flying Saucer Attack, though that’ll be Flying Saucer Attack rephrased through the crystalline viewfinder of a youthful Tex La Homa, special attention ought to made of the brief onset of ghostly shimmering that emerges somewhere at the 3.30 wherein everything goes very Grails-y which I’m sure you’ll agree is no bad thing. While you are there also worth checking the pursuing Robyn Hitchcock nodding lo-fi-ing soft psych sortie ‘she thinks you’re an airport’ which I must admit also has a degree of guided by voices about its wares albeit with Pollard and Co channelling a very subtle Marc Bolan vibe. https://simonwaldram.bandcamp.com/album/insolation
Just a gentle little reminder that Beaulieu Porch has cobbled together 20 limited Christmas sets tthat include a CD copy of both, one of our favourite allbums this year, that’ll be ‘Sarum Sounds’ plus a rare CD compilation ‘Is’ along with an even rarer slab of long since deleted 7-inch wax entitled ‘the view from Gainsbrough’. And while you are picking your swooning jaw off the floor also included are downloads of the brace of ‘Simon Christmas’ visitations and a personalised Christmas card from the Beaulieu one replete with greetings for the season. And talking of ‘Simon Christmas’ – you might well recall us mentioning one of these pair of nuggets just a few days ago, well to complete the set here’s ‘the second Simon Christmas’. A more fuzzier and snowbound affair on this occasion not to mention somewhat fracturing, a true Ghost of Christmas Past eerily steeped in misty eyed enchantment upon whose snow tracks emerge through the glass darkly a melodic mysterio draped in a shadowy kaleidoscopic snow globe of bewitching nostalgic merriment. https://tillsammansrecords.bandcamp.com/album/mass-in-bp-mijor-for-your-christmas
As the title might hint, ‘slow heroes’ is Roy Montgomery’s blissed kissed rephrasing of Mr Bowie’s ‘heroes’. Not quite sure if this is readily available to grab, hang on, it is, just checked – comes peeled from his mammoth 4 album box set for grapefruit entitled ‘RMHQ – Headquarters’ which we really must track down before the silly season, Christmas present anyone. Anyway found here sent into orbit retrimmed as a dreamweaving haze haloed cosmic raga trailing in its wake a celestial cortege of radiantly majestic sun bursting crystalline cascades, in short perfection in all its full unadulterated shimmering glory.
Making a very late bid for our affections as the year closes, this is a video accompanying a track by the name ‘Coral Face’ that’s been prised from the latest La Bel release by Feminine entitled ‘lorele’ – a distressingly beautiful cut glacially soured and dimpled in tear stained minimalist demurs that ache and allure with equal sting traced upon trip hop beats and frosted tipped chorals to bridge a mercurial gap that draws the dots between Fever Ray, Alt-J and No Ceremony. Full album review soon.
Electronic musical interlude…..with jazz bits…..
Visual interlude…..Andy Votel opens up his record collection…..
Another visual interlude…..a rare Siouxsie interview from ’81….
An embarrassing interviewer, a playful Siouxsie plus if you follow the links footage from their ‘juju’ touring appearance at the Paradiso…..
I should have mentioned this yesterday when it arrived, truth is we’ve been spellbound and a tad wowed by this little beauty both in terms of the sounds ushering forth from its lathe cut grooves and the whole design of the package. Mentioned a little while back at https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/11/22/scott-william-urquhart-3/ this ultra limited release arrives in hand numbered / painted / drawn sleeve and labels – ours is #7 in case you were making notes, inside of which sits a 5 inch clear wax record – incidentally hand cut by the good folk over at 345rpm – with two tracks of such exquisite craft – ‘dark’ / ‘the burn of care’ – that bow to form a sonic kinship with both John Fahey and Jack Rose with the former blissfully ghosting the airspace of a certain Roy Montgomery with the latter a wonderfully lilting rustic ramble slyly nodding to a youthful Owl Service. Alas the release is strictly limited to 30 copies all long since sold, digital options are available which we suggest you take up. Many thanks Mr Urquhart. https://scotturquhart.bandcamp.com/album/dark
A listening interlude…..Robyn Hitchcock….
In depth interview via the dudes over at soda jerker, following his recent Liverpool appearance, interspersed with musical sequences drawn from his vast catalogue, Robyn Hitchcock talks in depth about his song writing craft – hellsteeth I’d forgotten how good ‘kingdom of love’ was – very flamin groovies, so good in fact we’ve included it below…..along with a sopot of Barratt madcapness ending it all with some grooviness from the Egyptians…..
If I say this is one of those My Jealous God moments then you know where we are going with this. This is the new forthcoming 7-inch happening from Manchester cool dudes Control of the Going, not due to impact upon pop world until March. ‘she’ one of the two psychedelicised sides has been sent ahead on an early scouting sortie and comes shimmered in bliss toned vapour sprays of shade wearing uber cooled kaleidoscopia which quite frankly once heard set up camp in your headspace decorating it all in hulllucinogenic mystic mirages and eye swirling lysergia, a trippy blighter all said with a killer kickbacking strutting swagger to match. https://wrongwayrecords.bandcamp.com/album/control-of-the-going-she-wild-flower-ltd-edition-7
today’s Christmas turntable crooner is the rather mellowed and smoked out ‘cool Santa’ by M Ross Perkins, not your normal tacky tinsel festooned seasonal freeloader that we are accustomed to clogging up the daytime radio schedules this time of the year from talentless reality TV spin offs, instead this warming slice of fuzzily glowed 70’s styled MOR lounge groove lazily lilts and lollops to an affectionate seasoning of discarded Beach Boys out-takes as were tripped across by a certain Ashley Park who with the aiding and assisting of Sufjan Stevens sneaked them off for a spot of srinkling of magic dust in his secret snowy studio. Currently doing the business over at Shindig HQ… http://www.shindig-magazine.com/?p=1442
found ourselves a tad smitten by this since it came ambling into our ear space late last night. Recent offering from wrong way records, pressed on limited numbers of red wax as though you should need a further prod of encouragement, and you shouldn’t for this is ‘crazy bones’ by the Junkyard Liberty – a cut ripped from a full length set trading under the name ‘chain’.a creaking country cutie stirred in a lazy eyed sparseness and a crafted bite that circles around as though an adoring gathering of souls formed from the collective membership of the delgados, mazzy star and Anna Kashfi had convened a late night studio soiree forming an adoring sonic kinship to Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra. https://wrongwayrecords.bandcamp.com/album/chains
very nearly missed this and might never have known of its existence had we not tripped over by sheer accident. Yet such is the way of the Soft Bodies dudes that for the last twelve months they’ve been sneaking out gems aplenty without so much as a hark or a fanfare, this one in time for the approaching yuletide – entitled er ‘Christmas 2016’ is a sumptuous twin tinsel affair that features Quimper and Jodie Lowther. Now Ms Lowther needs no further introductions here, ‘circles and holes’ from earlier in the year has proven to be one of our favourite releases of the year. As you’d secretly wish with a title like ‘snow gloam’ she ice sculptures a sonic mysterio carved with pristine prettiness and winter wonderment, a snow flecked yuletide ghosting trimmed in spectral foot steps and a nostalgic enchantment more Lewis than Dickens. As to Quimper, ‘lung numb’ playfully remodels old Children’s TV vintage anew affectionately reforging a vague ‘box of delights’ theme into a wonderfully lulling bowed cortege that mesmerically takes you down a rabbit hole into 70’s radiophonic dreamland. https://softbodies.bandcamp.com/album/christmas-2016
okay so off into the realms of the strange we go skipping, think we are beginning to get the measure of the weird ear dude Pulco, seems that, moods allowing, that we are likely at any occasion with warning or fanfare, to get the pop headed version, the impish one or the plain old fried and off the wall incarnation. Anyone care to hazard a guess which one we have here then, indeed the latter. Available on digital and for the lucky 20 among you who prefer and opt for such – a handsome CD accompanied by a ‘small book of scribble drawings’, ‘o’r tu Allan’ is as bizarre a release we’ve heard outside of the Bearsuit imprint – see Whizz Kid and then sample the looned out oriental wonkiness of ‘machanacon’, it really is one for irregular heads one suspects, its difficult to pin where this is coming from or indeed going to, to playful and primitively structured to fall under no wave, to surreal and freeform for art pop, too abstract for for world music and too weird for outsider. Its nearest bedfellow should there be any would be Volcano the Bear – not least to do with its improv’d free form jazz signatures as crooked and distressed as they might be, best exemplified I guess by ‘yn y gegin’ – and maybe elements tripping out of the much loved foolproof project stable, as said a strangely becoming release which even when it does get its wherewithal together, somewhere on ‘pendramwnwgl’, there’s such an air of abject disinterest and oddness that you begin to question your hearing given iut appears to be a sneaked recording of another artist with a totally at odds percussive beat welded upon it. That said there are clues afoot here giving some indication at least as to were its authors creative headspace is fixed for the the liner make reference to a ‘desire to play the guitar with a whisk’. In essence ‘o’r tu Allan’ as puzzling and peculiar a listening experience it is, is essentially primitive blues folk ramblings applied with a minimalist courtship, both eerie and skittishly out there, stuff like ‘Dylanwad Drwg’ is pure Captain Beefheart, though that’ll be a Captain Beefheart out takes tape sadly frayed and rendered wonky by being left out in the sun. Somewhere else the detuned gloom of ‘cot gaeaf’ is best described as one of those strangely left field dwelling purist blues releases you’re likely to trip across in the back pages of the Wire, normally in the ‘size matters’ section while with its punctuated sequences and deliberate alt time signatures there’s something about the youthful surrealism of the Residents provoking the grooves of ‘torri larw’ while ‘twmffat’ serves to reinforce the kinship with the ‘giant eyeball’ dudes as it proceeds along a mind frying psychotronic subliminal messaging line. Essential of course if only to finally put something alongside that acute sore thumb outing from inside ov a butchers shop’ release from the late 90’s. available via recordiau prin who incidentally also released a one off hand crafted ukele with carrier bag – alas sold out much to our hopes dashed horror.. https://recordiauprin.bandcamp.com/album/or-tu-allan-pulco
okay we were going to mention the Grotto release, well I say mention, give a full review to supplement the brief mention we made of it way back at https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/grotto/ – but truth is,whether our eyes are seriously failing I don’t know, but we can’t read the download code. So while we go off in search of ccodes anew and park this till the mid week, incidentally many thanks to the guys over at eggs in aspic for sending copies of the cassette over – looks well dandy replete with badge, inserts and a mini poster. Fear not though for we are staying with Eggs in Aspic because release number two – due next month is a real brain fryer. From Finnish progressive psych dudes Oulu Space Jam Collective this is the mammoth side hugging 57 minute headtrip ‘renegade spaceman’ pulled from a limited 50 only c-120 cassette entitled ‘EP1’. If Grotto’s release was beardy then this is positively primitive and caveman by comparison, for these dudes sound as though they’ve been drop kicked out of Ken Kasey’s legendary magic bus and somehow fallen through a fuzzy chemical induced wormhole arriving in modern day bemused that everything sounds the same. Primarily, oulu space jam collective take their cue from the likes of fruits de mer regulars earthling society, sendelica and cranium pie and add in elements of the much missed green milk from the planet orange, the acid mothers and seven that spells to forge a mind morphing kaleidoscopic concoction that in another age, another time, another decade would have been ripe aural apparel for the taste making early 70’s labels such as Vertigo and Brain for this is a full on trip-a-delic odyssey festooned in oodles of spaced out beardiness with momentary lapses into mellowing stoned out blissfulness to periods of freaky astral planing which ought by rights to be high on the watch list of those purists among you digging the likes of Blue Cheer, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Iron Butterfly. We will of course be back with a fuller review later in the week along with that previously threatened stonking outing by Grotto…. https://eggsinaspic.bandcamp.com/album/ep1
long mooted and now actually here and just in time for Christmas, the second annual EurNoVision gathering, just a brief whistle whetting brief introduction while we free up time to delve deep for a full critical MOT. Featuring 17 tracks culled from the cream of the outsider community for this visit we’ve randomly plucked from the lucky bag just three well heeled samples of sonic bedevilment starting out with Dutch dudes Lugosamphia whose frazzled Dadaist electro cutie ‘eurivium spectra nonsim’ has the kind of insanely addictive floor hopping kookiness that might suggest the sinister doodling of the Flying Lizards being impishly set upon by those crooked pop eccentricists Landscape albeit as rephrased through the candy kaleidoscopic viewfinder of Midwich Youth Club. Occasional interrupters of these musings the Can Can Heads serve up Finland’s stab at the honours with what is for them, the rather mellow and straight ahead ‘efekto black ice’ – still sounds menacing though removed of the frazzled and wayward quotient whilst all the same sparring and jarring to a Shellac / Jesus Lizard combination jab. Finally for this brief visitation, the UK entry comes courtesy of the delightfully warped the Gathering Doubt whose curiously woozy hallucinogenic ice carved pretty ‘Christmas is broken’ appears to emerge from a secret place inhabited by William D Drake, a baroque lullaby twinkled in a fading bucolic nostalgia all set to a charmly chirping musical box motif that hints of the creative spirit of Beaulieu Porch. https://eurnovision.bandcamp.com/album/eurnovision-2016
there’s an interview with EurNoVision compiler Paul Mangan here http://indie-guides.com/magazine/en/eurnovision-alternative-to-eurovision/ where he discusses the concepts background, selection processes and why it is essential listening.
Today’s seasonal cheer,is an old one don’t you know, comes from Anton Barbeau, this one called ‘Xmas day’ comes kaleidoscopically bathed in affectionate wisps of a smoulder toned west coast piping softly buzzed and aglow in fizzing power pop demurs that sit somewhere between Robyn Hitchcock and Chris Stamey.
Alas long gone and sold out of its limited 150 run, oh we really must keep on top of the Eilean recs releases to save on further future heartbreak. Anyway enough sniffling, this is ‘waterlines’ by Wil Bolton pulled from the labels latest gathering ‘various artists’ – a kind of end of year soiree featuring a formidable array of talent who’ve appeared individually on the label throughout the year. Apt for this time of year, Mr Bolton’s offering is a beautifully thawing nugget, all at once intimate and reflective not forgetting to mention poised and paused, an elegant ghost light trimmed in the kind of melancholic wistfulness forged of a kinship to those occasional distantly dreamy demurs delicately drawn by yellow6. While we are here, best mention the aching majesty of the spectral and stately ‘solitude by vision’ by offthesky all siren like enchantment softly rising from the twilight mist, utterly blissful and shyly bruised, a frankly crushing though touching slice of ethereal elegance. https://eileanrec.bandcamp.com/album/various-artists-3
lovely looking packaging for this ultra limited cassette edition of Tenebrous Liar’s ‘turn it on’ EP, a brief teaser of the title track arrives described in the liner note gubbins as a ‘seven-minute jazz exploration’ which is all well and dandy yet doesn’t translate on the 80 seconds of sonic delight feasting before our ears which to the introductory glazing of tender neo classical murmurs an overcasting threatens as the slavish primitive rumble of darkening riff growls shift into formation readying to take flight. Guess its one of those essential purchases then. incidentally its heading out of dead fidelity.
Not sure why it is that when everytime I hear the Whicked Whispers these days things have a habit of going all Strawberry Alarm Clock and Chocolate Watchband in our gaff, new thang from the Scouse psychedelicists is the uber limited 7 inch ‘zodiac girl’, a kaleidoscopic dream coat shimmered in flotillas of west coat afterglows all hazily glazed in smoky 60’s harmonies and radiant rays of sunny fuzziness, strangely becoming even if out of step for the season where things are alas wet, overcast and a tad chilly (sigh)..
Surely they owe us a CD by now, the final release in the Orange Kyte’s year long single a month soiree, this upbeat garage beat stomper goes by the name ‘fizzy orange’ – a Hammond drenched 60’s love child replete with dream weaving sequences, fuzzed out hullucinogenics and a cool as whatever toe tapping sbimmying strut whose fixing shade wearing long stare morphs from sounding like a youthful InspiraL Carpets doing ? and the Mysterians to Mirror Mirror in the blink of a kaleidoscopic episode.
Today’s vintage Christmas cracker looms from the polymer cities, a curiously sedately lulling and somewhat sophisticat nocturmal visitation Clockwork Orange-y entitled ‘A Merry Velocet Xmas to all you Droogs and Devotchkas’ – a kind of, not so much, gathering of Christmases past, but of club land flashbacks from a forgotten 90’s life all kitted out in red tunics with white beading, for here twinkled in fragmenting frosted apertures dredged from former subconcious’, mellowing down tempo echoes and straying noir teased chill toned corteges gather to eerily create a woozy winter wonderland. https://thepolymercities.bandcamp.com/track/a-merry-velocet-xmas-to-all-you-droogs-and-devotchkas
Okay I’m going to be straight up about this, this is purely for noise heads, new from Fecal Vomit who I’m certain we’ve featured in recent despatches, here with, I believe, a cassette release through the Noise Co 2-13 imprint entitled ‘434343’ – two tracks – 30 minutes of sonic butchery – what’s not to get excited about, seriously though an absolutely freak storm of frequency melting atonal harsh electronics that delves deep into the speaker melting terrains of kylie minoise and Tayside mental health, certainly something that tests the resolve and while ‘1’ might prove to be the playful entry point to noise newcomers ‘2’ over on the flip is a pure out and out aural atrocity scalped in sandblasting shrieks of surging skree showers, something I strongly suggest that admirers of Sissy Spacek ought to check out at their very earliest inconvenience. https://noiseco2-13.bandcamp.com/
I’ll be honest, it was the name that attracted us, nicked this from the shoegazer alive 9 list of the 100 best dream pop albums / EP’s of the year, this was in fact their number 2 selection. From the Halloween Stab Part this is the aptly titled ‘dreamhouse’ from their ‘leave me here’ full length released only a few weeks ago, anyhow these dudes hail from Italy appear quite adept with the bliss toned intricacies of pedal effects with this particular track arriving into ear space sumptuously haloed in the kind of vapour trailing showers of euphoria that suggest its authors have passed their proficiency test in all things ‘loveless’. https://halloweenstabparty.bandcamp.com/track/dreamhouse
A frequent complaint in our gaff is the lack of time we appear to find ourselves blessed with of late, the music and the amount of it we get sent whether physical or download we are not complaining of getting, the more the merrier. Yet what grieves us are the ones that slip away, we feel on an ever-regular basis that we are letting folk down and boy does that hurt. Mentioned this release on several occasions now, might it be easier just to do a track by track analysis, its getting that way or so it seems. This is ‘against our laws contrary’ a cut pulled from the simply distracting beauty that is the Memory Band’s ‘a fair field’ currently doing the rounds on the esteemed Static Caravan. In truth one of our favourites of the years, this bucolic sprayed slice of lazy eyed idyll comes succulently trimmed in a rustic waltz whereupon pastoral posies are delicately harvested and draped across a wistful nostalgic framing of old English folk fayre mistiness the type of which reflectively bites with a tearful turn much reminiscent of that equally humbling listening love from earlier in the year by littlebow.
Second Christmas cool thing today, well we did miss yesterrday’s selection out, I think, here’s the Bee Gees doing a Christmas carol medley from way back in the late 60’s, truth is you forget just how good they were……cheers to Brian Bordello for sharing….
Be honest, you are getting tired to the back teeth of musical tweeness and lulling niceness, when all you really want is something dirty, bad assed and primitive. Heading out of Riot Season real soon new groove from Krause entitled ‘2am thoughts’ – who as the press release rightly note emerge from a sonic swamp populated by the kind of grinding sludge boogie once the terrain of Tad, helmet and the melvins – basically the type that literally oozed from the amphetamine reptile sound house back in the day though in recent years found resurfacing a new on – usually Leeds based labels such as Brew. Of the three tracks currently on advance warning call we here are more than a tad smitten by ‘suburban anarchists building a better tomorrow’ – a locked grooving sore thumb wired in a thickening claustrophobic Big Black styled choking psychosis replete with gnarled and gruff as a bear’s arse riff ruptures, so remind me – what’s not to love then. https://soundcloud.com/riotseason/sets/krause-2am-thoughts-album-1
You forget just how many folk 2016 has taken, just days after Mr Bowie’s sad parting we were grieved by the news of Alan Rickman’s succumbing to cancer, one of the finest actors of his generation he was warmly remembered by Ian McKellen recalling dinner parties he had attended that the Rickmaan’s had hosted as him being ’by turns hilarious and indignant and gossipy and generous…all delivered sotto in that convoluted voice that was as distinctive as Gelgud, Schofield, Guiness and Sim or Bowie’. Album looming on the horizon, the Invaderband pay their respects to Rickman with an IMDB styled rollcall of his finest moments set to an action packed brittle new wave shocked buzzsaw entitled ‘Not Alan Rickman’ which unless our ears do deceive sounds not unlike some Ed Ball inspired fractured genius a la Tv Personalities, the Times et al……. https://soundcloud.com/themessagetapes/invaderband-not-alan-rickman
Another release eyed on that aforementioned Shoegaze alive 9 list of the 100 best dream pop outings of the year, I can tell you now it was the sleeve that drew our attention, more something you’d expect to adorn some lost progressive relic from way back in the 70’s and something of oldie all said given this was recorded a few years back by an Aussie / American duo and left foolishly in the vaults when the fruits of plans failed to blossom. By the Star Charts and entitled ‘the hurrier we go, the behinder we get’this be the parting 13 minute title track odyssey, not strictly speaking shoegaze but more kaleidoscopic kosmich, something we’d hazard to describe as linking the sonic continents existing between a very youthful the Earlies and current darlings of the Sunday Experience swoon room, the Art of the Memory Palace, for this smokingly serene sweetheart comes mellowed in mushrooming mosaics of motorik murmurs and star gazed lunar lounge crushes that are all at once out of time and beyond time. https://thestarcharts.bandcamp.com/releases
We here are still smarting from missing out on that Moomins Christmas single, as though that wasn’t bad enough also missing out on the limited special pressings of the Mooomins album due sometime February, but here in the baubles besieged tinsel toned Sunday Experience grotto of delights, we are made of sterner things ands such woes and tribulations we take on the chin without the odd idly passing grumble – ya bastards.Anyway we mention all this because yuletide yarns, chilly casios, Christmas capers, seasonal silliness and sonic tidings with a cerain Mr McCartney along for the ride are afoot at the Finders Keepers sound shed with their possibly legendary Christmas Radio Spezial having hit the sound cloud. So gather attentively puzzled looking listening folk as Messrs Votel, Shipton and Mitchell spin servings of seasonal platters aplenty all interspersed with chat, good humour, the occasional mocking and Paul McCartney – again – whose ‘check my machine’ the flip of ‘waterfalls’ features among the tracklisting, a time when the Macca one was dead good, also here oodles of grooves from the likes of Second hand, cybertron, the moomins,and yoko ono. https://soundcloud.com/finderskeepersrecords/finders-keepers-radio-christmas-special
one of two well heeled releases we’ve found ourselves smitten with these last few hours, first up from Winter Witches with the ‘swollen’‘EP that they fondly describe as ‘a pop art experience making pop Sabbath that imagines Depeche Mode meeting the Knife crossed with the long-lost electro punk bearded Minogue twins’. Bet you’re intrigued and so you should be for lead out track ‘I eat everything’ seductively freefalls into the kind of ultra cooled clubfloor terrains once upon a time visited by the Beloved found here spiritwalking the aloofly chic shadow framed disco environs once populated by a very youthful pre-chart bothering Eurythmics, a nice little nod to Toto Coelo along the way though missing a trick to equally namecheck Blondie’s ‘rapture’ being the only minus mark we could find to this infectious analogue ghost light. And while ‘swollen’ trips to a similar mercurial quotient, ‘Audrey’ with its frosty technoid framing just edges matters for us for amid its noticeable Jarre presets a soulful detatchment peers from the shadows that had us much minded of the missing in action Birdpen.Alas no sound cloud links just yet, rest assured we are working on them. http://www.facebook.com/winterwitches
You might have to forgive our lapse for we’ve for now, managed to mislay the press release gubbins that accompanies this becoming gem. Still I guess we need no arm twisting when the sounds are this good. Equally battling for our affections alongside that aforementioned Winter Witches release, there’s this one entitled ‘doctor my own patience’ – an album heading out of Graveface by Serengeti and Sicker Man, herewith two cuts sublimely showcasing its glacially alluring purr in the shape of ‘boy’ and ‘impress a girl’. Both these nuggets seriously sound as though they’ve been recently brought in from an early 80’s big freeze and slowly defrosted, the former particularly traced in a gloriously clockworking mosaic that’s coolly arrested in a sparsely ‘stranger things’ styled vintage electronic framing while the latter – in truth the best thing here – arrives sounding not unlike a post punk ghost light emanating from the factory, dindisc and fast product sound houses of the day, all beautifully dusted and hollowed in minimalist chillwave presets whilst wired with a majisterial svelte like pop prowess, probably the finest thing we’ve heard of its ilk outside of a Vukovar outing.
today’s Christmas cracker then, a release which I’ll be honest I can’t recall ever hearing or remember hearing, this is Captain Sensible with ‘one Christmas Catalogue’ from that oh so golden year 1984 which while I’m here can anyone put me out of my misery and confirm whether or not Robyn Hitchcock was one of the backing band on his ‘happy talk’ hit…..
Here’s something cosy toed and smothered in Christmassy warmth, Whyte Horses who you may recall released the rather wonderful ‘pop or not’ album a little while back. Well it seems they weren’t quite done with matters and hatched an idea to take it into a local school and have them perform. Several months on and voila, ‘pop or not’ as reappraised in its entireity by St Batholemew’s primary school choir in Haslemere, the high point of the set being the entire school’s rousing take on ‘she owns the world’ – absolutely moving and adorable stuff.
Originally gathered together on a super limited edition CD – well okay – 3000 of them – a mail order treat via their fan club site, St Etienne’s seasonal sonic soiree ‘a glimpse of stocking’ gets a much deserved strictly limited vinyl outing via foreign office, the set – a mix of oldies found loitering on Christmas singles and rare fan club issues is bolstered by a sprinkling of newbies like this one entitled ‘gonna have a party’ – Cracknell and Co by numbers with a snowy showering of snow trimmed magic dust, what’s not to adore.
Today’s Christmas selection box – starting with the Reviillos though not the Revillos, honeymood suite, er – XTC, three wise men er XTC again, squeeze and pink Floyd……., ,
Dandy little compilation available on free download from the ice cream man power pop and more imprint of Sweden, volume 2 of their ongoing ‘flavour of the month’ series in fact which means there’s a rogue volume 1 somewhere out there in need of ear loving. Anyhow this gathers together 42 tracks sourced from the finest talent on the 60’s shimmered power pop stage and includes cuts from Rob Clarke and the Wooltones and Johnny Weathers and the Cosmic Scream with ‘the lost and forgotten people of the Baab’ and ‘babirusa’ respectively – both of course adored around these here parts. A release that may well require us to revisit on the odd occasion over the next fewq days given there’s seriously too much good boogie here to accommodate in one bite sized portion, that said we’ve sneaked an ear to a few of the goodies and suggest King Jartur and his Lords’ ‘marlene’ might be as good a place to start your listening soiree any given that this twang-a-ramic twisterella manages to fuse elements of the Trashmen and Link Wray with essentially what is a souping up of Eddy Cochran’s ‘something else’. Elsewhere the Beatpack doing a nifty Merseydelic shimmy on their offering ‘met myself coming back’ which by these ears sounds like a studio gathering of Stairs, Coral and the LA’s types. The terrorsurfs as you’d rightly expect from their name do a nifty side line in vintage 60’s spy twang for their instrumental nugget ‘ape cape’ – fans of everything from the shadows to the shadowy men on a shadowy planet will adore while the embrooks, aren’t they the same dudes who if memory serves right sneaked out a few well heeled releases via the munster imprint, well whatever the case ‘nightmare’ comes pre packed in a classic era late 60’s garage beat grooved toning that suggests several of their number are fully paid up members of the Who fan club. As said back with more from this soon, if that is, we remember and grab the time. https://icecreammanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/flavour-of-the-month-volume-2-various-artists
bad boogie a go go, heading out on new west records sometime February this is the new thang from Ron Gallo entitled ‘heavy meta’ – described by his press folk as the bastard love child of ‘the Cramps, Jack White and the Oh Sees’ – blimey they weren’t kidding if ‘please yourself’ is anything to judge by, an electro shocked feral slab of blues grooved rock-a-hula gouged upon a raw vintage swing that howls with a hot wired primitive rumble whose echo ripples and reverberates to the very foundation stones of popular music as we know it.
Tripped across this by sheer accident, apocalyptic agit groove from Oh, Sleeper this particular cut entitled ‘Oxygen’ translates as an up close and personal and in your face ferocious juggernaut of toxic doom dystopian dread which in short looms menacingly like an all at once untamed, unrelenting and panic stricken suffocating psychosis seized sonic virus, think that covers all you need to know..
A beyond terrible year in terms of the talent lost, here’s one we regrettably missed which came as a shock to us when we were flicking through our latest copy of Electronic Sound . Jean Jacques Perrey had been admired and oft namechecked by a cool crew of sonic alchemists such as Air and Wagon Christ in the past, had been sampled scores of times – see Beatles, Dr Dre and Disneyland – and in 2015 turned in one of the trippiest albums of the year for freaksville with ‘ELA’ – a collaboration with David Chazam which now finding him in his mid 80’s still whiffed of a creative impishness that was streets ahead of the chasing pack – here’s a small selection from a career extending some seven decades……
Ah N-qia, am I the only one who finds their sonic visitations much like happy carefree souls all twinkled in glitch glacials all assuringly arrested in a sense of the celestial. This new one, incidentally titled ‘amnesia’ comes peeled from a compilation being put out by the future disorder imprint called ‘have you ever dreamt about us’, a murmurtoned heavenly hymnal haloed in hushed harmonies and yearnful chill graced frosty euphorias which all said had us much minded of No Ceremony recalibrating Dollar. Irresistibly shy and somewhat beguiling by our reckoning.
Many thanks to both Phil at 345rpm and evil blizzard for sending over a copy of that aforementioned seriously limited Christmas lathe release, ours an unsleeved / unlabelled promo copy has been swiftly stashed into the pension vault to be cashed in when such time occurs that our faculties start to waver which in truth may well be soomer than we’d like given recently we’ve had all manner of issues with failing eyesight, ongoing back ailments, moles changing both colour and shape and serious concerns over memory recall. So where were we, ah yes Evil Blizzard, just a handful of these have been pressed – 13 up for sale, one up for grabs in a competition which if I’ve got my dates right is due to happen tomorrow while another copy is being put up for auction with proceeds going in memory of Jess Fairclough. As said we’ve previously mentioned ‘I hope that you get nothing for Christmas’ in earlier dispatches, a wayward seasonal sore thumb much loved around these here parts that captures perfectly an ever-growing secret sentiment which I’m sure most of us harbour with regard certain folk we have no choice but breathing the same air as, go as far as saying this comes with more seasonal spirit than most of the trite turntable turkeys that fly past our way at this time of the year, if only we could get it number one, mind you given that these days to get to the top spot you only need name just 50 people who’ve promised to buy the record, with less than 20 copies pressed the best we can hope for is a top 3 chart place. Over on the flip lurks ‘we three kings’ which given I’m getting familiar with how these Evil Blizzard sorties pan out, we did fear total carnage and annihilation of this merry olde melody, instead they play a straight hand into the bargain giving it a bit of lancing here and there to turn in something that to these ears sounds not unlike something touched by the impish hand of Butthole Surfers albeit being fronted by a certain Mr Lydon https://www.facebook.com/EvilBlizzardband/
Sneaked into the evil blizzard package, Phil included a copy of an exploding numbers single, this was part of that mammoth 454545 singles club soiree cobbled together by the 345rpm imprint. Alas the catalogue is now sadly deleted we believe, for those either asleep or ignorant of such things, this was basically the issue of 45 singles in limited numbers of 45 covering the entire recorded output – barring several rogue albums – of its head honcho including all those uber cool Southall Riot singles, some guest remixes and oodles of unreleased items (heart sinks at the amount of releases missed). Anyhow this be one of those previously unreleased items – for note takers – this was release number 37 – my copy #10 – features two cuts – ‘gloriate’ and ‘puderum’ – the former a lilting lunar toned slice of belearic kosmiche that softly drifts between a finite spectrum line tugged between the allure of both j xaverre and joe meek while the latter, a motoric murmur tone crafted and cut as a krautrock hymnal of sorts purred in a chilled dipped cosmicness that had us imagining those Clinic chaps aboard a boat captained by Toshack Highway.
Piloting a sonic trajectory sitting somewhere between Godspeed and the mighty Grails, this is a teaser from John 3:16’s forthcoming ‘the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood’ set due early next year, this being part 2 of the title track, a majestically stirring atmospherically charged cinematic gracefall pensively smothered in a brooding symphonic tension and a storm calling overcasting that’s much reminiscent of Roy Montgomery’s ‘true’ sessions. https://soundcloud.com/john316john/the-sun-shall-be-turned-into-darkness-and-the-moon-into-blood-part-ii
more than a little smitten here by the final part of Jean Michel’s Jarre ‘Oxygene’ trilogy especially given than ‘Oxygene 2’ was somewhat lacklustre. ‘Oxygene 3’ completes the circle and retraces the spirit of the originals heartbeat, that’s not to say its backward thinking, consider this more a recalibration, while ‘I’ was a step into the unknown, ‘III’ serves as a distillation of Jarre’s work and shifts forward towards new terrains with ‘Oxygene 17’ being sent ahead as a herald. Perhaps largely due to his recent collaborative works – ‘electronica’ – Jarre returns anew, focused and enjoying what might be considered something of a creative purple patch for ‘Oxygene 17’ comes trimmed in an infectious uptempo immediacy that suggests its author has found his mojo, the sound pristinely purred, pulses and rotates to a timeless 360 degree sound chassis that by turns sounds all at once yesterday, now and tomorrow.
Despite it angelic mistiness and tip toeing sense of snow kissed wonder, I’ve always considered ‘carol of the bells’ to have a sinister eeriness hidden deep within its overtly playful enchantment, something I feel that’s brought into clear focus by this ‘ambient’ retooling of it by Clarence Mayhew who whittles out a shadowy and atmospheric disquiet to proceedings with his progian kosmiche ghost light. https://soundcloud.com/clarence-mayhew/carol-of-the-bells
All at once trippy and woozy, its been way too long since Ak’chamel invaded our listening space with their weird ear waywardness, new tape about to land on Artetetra, more old friends much missed who’ve wandered off our radar in recent times, this is ‘Bhairvi’ – a track culled from a limited issue forthcoming cassette entitled ‘Transmissions from Boshqa’ – an Arabesque apparition, perhaps a mystic ghost light, stoned out lo-fi snake charming twang twists, primitive sonic noodlings, a kindred brother of the shadowy men on a shadowy planet school of cool channelling an on retreat in Tibet Link. https://artetetra.bandcamp.com/album/transmissions-from-boshqa
a psychedelic paisley power pop musical interlude……
featuring the Tv personalities, the amber squad, the monochrome set, Kimberley rew, September girls and the primevals…
Remaining impishly outside of outsider, Robert Lloyd and the Nightingales have across four decades remained defiantly out of step with the passing fancies
A 60’s musical interlude…….
The left banke…
The stone poneys….
François Bayle…. Aalmost mortifiued that I’ve never heard this before – rather wonderful…….actually from ’73 but hey just pretend it’s the 60’s….
The Bee Gees…I once daring to have the temerity to say that I thought the Bee Gees first album was up there with the greats of the 60’s, a few bewildered looks and nods of disapproval for the rest of the evening I can tell you, how time reavaluates matters in your favour……
A slight departure we’re obliged to say for the blue giant zeta puupies on this Christmas sortie, originally recorded during the festivities of 2014 for ‘the muffin junkie brings you tunes with your tea’ podcast, ‘is it Christmas on Venus?’ finds these sci-fi b movie obsessing 60’s surf twang desparadoes leaving their Man…or Astro Man adorations at the back porch to instead partake in a spot of smoky star crossed soul bliss that essentially comes across like a Silver Apples sounding country croon, I kid thee not, along the way sumptuously manifesting at various points to go all Spacemen 3 hymnal – well loosely though under the influence of the Roky one. https://thebluegiantzetapuppies.bandcamp.com/album/is-it-christmas-on-venus
Rumours continue afoot that Elvis walks among us, earlier in the year the internit was awash with excitement of ol El being spotted masquerading as a gardener at Graceland’s, now the latest buzz on the twit feed is that he had an uncredited walk on part in Home Alone – see Noisey exposure over at https://noisey.vice.com/en_au/article/was-elvis-really-in-home-alone-an-investigation – you know its true. To celebrate the fact and be honest we need an uplift as there’s nothing more depressing than his latest album cash in – what have they done to ‘a big hunk o’ love’ – here’s a selected roll call of Christmas grooves along with a short remembrance for Kirsty MacColl the anniversary of whose sad passing was today.
Christmas curios abound…..featuring frank sidebottom, the Go Go’s – the original ones I’ll have you know, patie marie jay with the hal Bradley orchestra,. Can, the fall, the business, les poppys and er… frank sidebotton…
Superb shadow lined micro-tech, all at once edgy and austere, a echo from a distant future, a darkwaved foreboding very much channelling and recoding a stark and emtionless Front 242 vibe albeit threaded through the brooding eyeline of Play Dead, this is the parting track from a new set by Snowbeats entitled ‘Rmx’, the cut in question ‘in the darkness / in the line’ which with its arabesque ghost lights, ominously patrols much a desert dry death wind scaling terrains more associated in terms of doom draped apocalyptic foretellings as those countered under the sphere of influence of John 3:16. https://m-tronic.bandcamp.com/track/in-the-darkness-in-the-light-rmx
Don’t even think of asking how and where the hell we came to be tripping over this little nugget. Judging by the clues, this fell out of the sky earlier in the year, a humungously hairy space dazed psychedelically progressive head trip kissed with the most audaciously wigged out beatniking riff swing we’ve heard all year, they are called, wait for it, psychedelic porn crumpets – now I want t-shirts – this is ‘cornflake’ from a set that might be called ‘high visceral pt1’ which judging by this track alone is an album that frankly we are gagging to hear as so should you, total mind mushrooming kaleidoscopic freak grooviness that imagines a stoned out summit meeting precided upon by an unholy trinity of talents picked from the bones of Zepellin, Sabbath and Blue Cheer. For fans of the Cardinal Fuzz, sonic cathedral and fuzz club sound stables.
Am I right in thinking that this is taste makers Norman records album of the year, deservedly so for what we’ve heard of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s dream dissolving ‘ears’ through western vinyl has been something of a desire laden sonic fairytale wonderland, an album that’s keenly sitting atop of our end of year purchase list. Anyway enough of the waffling this is the simply adorable ‘arthropoda’ which is currently putting our defences on surrender, quite apt I must say for this time of year, given that it comes demurely decorated in frosted twinkles and haloes of homely hymnal harmonics not to mention a tad cooed in Fever Ray trimmings that radiate slickly sumptuous celestial kosmiche lovenotes. Essential in case you haven’t already gathered.
Another release with which I suspect we may have accidentally tripped across on a wander around the bandcamp sound world, again no oddles upon oodles of in depth happenings with which to amaze and make your eye water with envy, this is Vintage Cucumber of whom all we know is that they hail from Templin, Germany and have just dropped the damn dandy ‘haschisch’ EP. A glitch grooved dubtronic future chill, this babe is sure to appeal to those much admiring the pre ‘Ebeneezer’ and post psychedelic haze of ‘in gorbachov we trust’ era Shamen and those firmly attuned to the brooding electro spectral palettes of classic era Biosphere, an observation best evidenced on the opening ‘libanon’ where beneath sky siren haloes and pulsar waveforms a brooding chilled psychotronic stillness sours the landscape in a surveillance like eeriness. Moving swiftly through the grooves the wonderfully chill tipped and radiant ‘tora bora’ comes cloaked in expansive tides of mystic transcendentalism that recall a laid back prime time astralasia in studio cahoots with Jah Wobble’s Invaders of the Heart while parting shot ‘Marrakesh’ with its slick dub doused doodling is somewhat graced with the spirit of Muslim Gauze albeit as though in a sonic head lock with Wagon Christ. https://vintagecucumber.bandcamp.com/album/haschisch
Been a long time, so long in fact that we half feared they’d gone the way of the greats, however news reaches us of plans afoot for an album by the Silkwinders currently being prepped for 2017 release. Of course the Silkwinders ought be no strangers to casual observers and visitors of these pages, a duo comprised of the talents – Andrea Webster and Leslie King, they’ve just sneaked out the rather genteelly demurred ‘the longest night of the year’ in time for the end of year festivities. A wintry hymnal celebrating this darkest of seasons turned upon a fragile motif whose pastoral ghost light framing comes finitely cut and whittled in a tenderly caressing English folk vintage which within a bewitching dance yearnfully unfurls that softly treads, canters and waltzes to a honeyed homely harvesting that recalls Fairport Convention relocated to the wiles of Summerisle. https://silkwinders.bandcamp.com/track/the-longest-night-of-the-year
Again something else that’s sonically apt for the time of the year. Caught this on a rogue posting, nearly missed it if I’m honest, this is long time no hear Alex Monk with ‘illud tempus’ – not altogether sure whether this is commercially available or if it will be a some point in the near future, but something we suggest admirers of David A Jaycock ought to be sitting up and taking note of for we here simple adore the way this fog bound mysterio dreamily defrosts, dissipates and dissolves anew like some ghostly John Fahey mountain folk visitation, headphones are advised if only to immerse yourself fully in its eerily spiritual shape shifting texturing. https://soundcloud.com/alex-monk/illud-tempus?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook
Back with that excellent ‘second annual recognition test’ set from the unexplained sounds folk, I promise there will be lengthier appraisals of this hulking 144 track collection a little after the Xmas shenanigans. for now though three more featured pickings, the first of which comes from a pairing of talent featuring the Sonologyst and Kshatriy entitled ‘unaltered mind’ – as eerie and doom draped not mention gouged in a post apocalyptic aura as it may first appear on initial listens, there’s something both transcendental and mystical skirting beneath the listening surface whose measured drone detailing as much as it moored upon a primitive Australasian ghosting is likewise, shimmered in spiritualism and reverence to which kinship wise it nods to the likes of Alphane Moon, Our Glassie Azoth and the early back catalogue of Ochre records. Touched with a lighter disposition and a playfully lunar lounge lullaby-esque like demeanour, Radionics Radio’s simply arresting ‘ShaLeigh and I will be romantically involved soon’ is delightfully demurred by cortges of entwining bowed chime corteges whose fragile nature is such that you fear the slightest tremble to off balance its stilled porcelain state might render it redundant and shattered, one we suspect for those once upon a time beguiled and enchanted by FortDax’s ‘at bracken’ set for Static Caravan. I don’t mind admitting to the fact that we adore the remoteness of Diaspora Psichica’s ‘transhumans’ its ominous future tech chilling sumptuously ghosted in an eerie though strangely seductive mystique that pours forth a shadowy and spectral glacial spy noir detailing. And okay we lied, a fourth for your listening stocking, couldn’t walk away without mentioning ‘gopichand.harmonium ethers’ by Kiki, this really is arresting stuff and something that ought to be on the radar of those of you much attuned to the ethereal ghost lights of Preterite, dead can dance and this mortal coil. https://unexplainedsoundsgroup.bandcamp.com/album/unexplained-sounds-2016-the-2nd-annual-recognition-test
Message received from the Vukovar sound house, ultra limited cassette coming soon, a covers set entitled ‘fornication’ – just 20 of these going out around the New Year, all very hush hush – no links blah blah blah, within a rich picking of treats and as eclectic and varied a selection spectrum as you are ever likely to encounter on one release. A place where re-appraisals of House of Love, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Laurie Anderson rub shoulders with Jean Claude Vnnier, Death in June and Coil with more besides. On this particular brief but essential heads up visit we’ve took a punt on their take on the House of Love’s ‘destroy the heart’ – I mean – uh – love the House of Love – obvious I was going to be drawn like a moth to light – to siren sounding fanfaring haloes of blissing sheens of feedback radiance – think Flying Saucer Attack, – there’s something vaguely wounded and somewhat emotionally detached about this cover that’s almost grimmed in the finality of a parting epitaph which truth be known sounds possessed of the brutally majestic hollowness of Joy Division’s ‘love will tear us apart’ as though both caught in the net and fused as one by a particularly bruised Jesus and Mary Chain.
Heading out of the Svart imprint – I wish I could stop losing all these press release type gubbins, tis getting a tad frustrating now, anyhow this is Hymn with ‘spectre’ – not quite your usual Christmas twinkliness that we’ve been somewhat besieged by of late, rathermore this savage sore thumb comes primed in a grim forebearing whilst armed to the teeth in swamp dragged sonic battlements dredged from the very depths of some hellish wasteland replete with the furious scald of serrating stoner riffage and a tasty albeit tormented line in apocalyptic dead heading. https://soundcloud.com/svart-records/hymn-spectre
Must admit we were half expecting this to come adorned with the blessing of aetheric records stamped on its hide, this is a demo from Kurgan Hors entitled ‘psichiatria’ which we suspect we pulled off a random posting. We made mention of the aetheric imprint simply because this appears to emerge from the same ice draped eerie place as hole house in so much as its all frequency modulations, ominous pulsar waves and spectral drone swathes which for the best part exude a stilled disquiet until that is you get to the 2.10 mark whereupon a woozy lullaby motif begins to seemingly attempt to reach through the veil. https://soundcloud.com/kurganhors/psichiatria-demo
How we missed this originally is quite beyond us, recent activity in the psychic TV camp saw them releasing a new set set entitled ‘alienist’ from which we’ve been more than a tad smitten with their cover of Harry Nilsson’s ‘jump into the fire’ which finds them rekindling the kind of groove that adored their killer ‘hell is invisible heaven is her/e’ set from a few years back, this bad babe comes deliciously wired in psychotropic freakouts whilst kicked with a soulfully spacey hippy chic 60’s swing that at times ventures deep into the darkness of the Doors. https://psychictv-ptv3.bandcamp.com/album/alienist
all things being well we will be revisiting this one a little later today for what is a positively prettified cornucopia of strange seduction, for ghosting through the fractures of psych, hauntology, lounge and filmic noir this is ‘resilient to yo yo’s tomb’ – a four track set that pairs together the talents of both Grey Malkin of the hare and the moon and so there. All at once curiously surreal and dreamy, this quartet of delights reveals a little more of itself with each repeat listen, for now we’ve trained our ear on the opening salvo ‘mayhap morrow’ whose floral pageantry is sighed to an exceptional songcraft that dissipates and dissolves with vague echoes of George Martin’s ‘theme 1’ albeit as rephrased by Schizo Fun Addict and then wired through the viewfinder of a very youthful Porcupiine Tree, add to this the divinely arresting bucolic courtship of pastoral pirouettes sparring with the hiccupping glitches and you have something of a playful posy that’s lushly harvested with a distractively disarming free spirited wily airiness. As said more of this later. https://sothere.bandcamp.com/album/resilient-to-yo-yos-tomb
things that we missed – the Aproms……
what is it exactly that we find so alluring about this cut from the Aprons, perhaps the slightly off focus melodies, their sunny disposition threatened by an oncoming storm shadow, maybe the fracturing prettiness, a scratching beneath its sweet surface revealing something eerie and a sinister, or could it be the way they appear to be a dark mirror reflection of the likes of Wendy and Bonnie and the Free Design somewhat under the influence of Syd Barrett, whatever the case they are a duo who hail from Tel Aviv, this is the delightfully skewed ‘day off’ prized from an album by the name ‘any human heart’ which we suspect we should be adding to our Christmas wants list.
I don’t really want to split hairs here, but there’s a ragged waywardness oozing through the grooves of this that had us much minded of the much missed well heeled garage gouged grooves that used to fly out of the Estrus sound house with frightening frequency way back in the 90’s. this is Dutch beat combo Lovebombers II with ‘Xmas hospital’ – neither seasonal nor merry I’m almost happily relieved to say, clearly young men with unresolved issues scowling their way through four and a half minutes of agit grooving blistered feral blues. https://lovebombers2.bandcamp.com/track/xmas-hospital
fundraiser for Greg of the Delays….
Worrying news, please feel free to share and get the word out…..thanks……
The Delays’ vocalist Greg Gilbert has been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. Below you’ll find a message from his fiancee Stacey, and this is a link to her GoFundMe appeal to fund Greg’s treatment:
Greg Gilbert is known to many as the singer and guitarist of the band Delays and as an artist. To me, he is my fiancée, my joint adventurer through life but most importantly, the daddy to our two baby girls Dali (3) and Bay (1). He has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer that has spread to his lungs and to our horror has been told that the NHS is limited in what they can do to save him.
The very worst news.
Greg has been treated for IBS for a while and his GP didn’t think it was a major issue. Gastro consultants and dieticians had confirmed the IBS diagnosis. At the end of October, Greg was experiencing some severe abdomen pains and vomiting that led him to be admitted to A&E. After an x-ray, we were told that they had a found a cancerous blockage in his bowel. After further investigation, we were told the devastating news that the bowel cancer has also spread to his lungs and because of the extent of these tumours, they would only be able to offer him a 12 week course of chemotherapy as he is currently not a candidate for surgery to remove the primary tumour in his bowel. We were told this heart breaking news on our daughter Bay’s 1st birthday. I cannot put into words the terror and shock of this moment. To hear Greg ask the consultant how long he had left to live is the darkest moment of my life and something that will haunt me forever.
We have also had the terrible news that Greg is genetically incompatible with the only free immunotherapy drug available on the NHS. There are other drugs that would match his gene profile, most notably Avastin for advanced bowel cancers, but it is currently not funded by the NHS.
Our hope for the futureHowever, we are not prepared to accept this bad news lying down. Greg is an otherwise fit and healthy 39-year old man who has never smoked, taken drugs and has rarely even drunk alcohol. Through extensive research and correspondence with specialist clinics in the UK and abroad, we have discovered new and groundbreaking treatments. These are targeted treatments such as stereotactic radiotherapy, microwave ablation and personalised immunotherapy. These have had astounding results on others that share the same prognosis as Greg. The treatments are currently not offered on the NHS due to not meeting their cost efficiency criteria. We have always been huge advocates for the NHS but this is just heartbreaking – I just cannot let Greg die and our daughters grow up without their daddy because of money.
We need help
These treatments are expensive. We are using all of our own money but it is nowhere near enough. Like most people in the UK, we have no private medical insurance so it is hard to comprehend that we need to raise at least £100,000 to give Greg any chance of survival. Greg has begun his chemotherapy but we need money to be able move quickly when this finishes in mid March.
I know Greg will not mean the same to you as he does to me but I know his music and art have touched people all over the world. He has so much left to give – Delays have new songs that they want to release and tour, he has sketchbooks filling our home with ideas for drawings and paintings and of course, we have 2 baby girls who absolutely adore him. We desperately need him to be here to watch them grow up.
The supportive messages we have received from around the world are lifting Greg each day and keeping us positive. We are desperate to make this Christmas special for our girls and go into 2017 with hope for the future. We are so thrilled by the requests we have had about organising fundraising events which we welcome and encourage any ideas to help our cause.
We would be so grateful for your support and generosity. We cannot do this without your help, which is why I am asking for you to share our page, spread the word and please donate whatever you can to help me save the life of the most magical person I have ever known.
A gentle reminder as to why Elefant records are still one of the coolest imprints in the world, a year in the life seasonal greeting
La casa azul…
Is typical, no sooner do we post the seasonal greetings video card from the folk at Elefant and then we stumble across another email with news of the labels final release for 2017, a free to download digital single featuring Iko Cherie’s cover of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (lalala version)’ – a wonderfully snowfallen lullaby twinkle toned and cosied around a beautifully lulling gathering of music box motifs and hushly honeyed harmonies, quite a delectable poppet if you ask me and something that ought by rights to be appealing to those among you much adoring L’Augmentation – goes without saying its perfect listening for this time of the season. The single can be downloaded from here – **”Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (Lalala Version)” is a free download Digital Single. You can download this song for free at the following link http://elefant.com/coupons with this code: 033DJDQCWV51
More unseasonal merriment courtesy of sonic sore thumb Fecal Vomit, seriously if you can pick from the bones of this anything remotely possessed of the Christmas spirit then frankly I will eat my Santa hat twinkly bell an all, oh hang better retract that because I’m hearing the vague interference of some homely wintry brass serenades bleeding through the static hiss at around the five minute mark, oh well as you were its gone. See – just for the naysayers – proof indeed that we have sat through its entireity, our ears are bleeding mind you, but we are troopers to the cause no matter that as reward we are prepared to have our synapses scrambled to mush and our headspace somewhat fried. Really though, I mean 27 minutes of impish speaker sandblasting, squalling hiss and frequency twiddling tomfoolery, which just when you fear your head is going to melt and your beginning to adjust your listening to its extremities the blighter quietens down – roughly at the 20.30 point in case you are taking notes. I can certainly see this going down a treat at the Christmas fisticuffs and who can shout loudest festive fued this weekend – with a heigh and a ho. https://soundcloud.com/fxvx/fecal-vomit-something-sweet-for-christmas
celebrsting the arrival of winter, what better way to usher in the season of death and likewise this most enchanting time of the year than with a visitation from Melmoth the Wanderer. So stoke up the open fire, pour forth a wee dram of a chosen warming tonic, light thy pipe, pull up the fireside chair, settle back and in the reflective dance of the burning embers prepare thyself for a chilling as sonic spirits and tales of the unreal and the supernatural gather with impish glee to whisper in thine ear of eerie happenings from the black meadow. https://beta.mixcloud.com/Melmoth_The_Wanderer/christmas-on-the-black-meadow/
an oldie but goodie, is there a cooler Christmas record, perhaps but right now I can’t lay a hand on one, the snaking reverbs and the hazy enchantment pouring forth from this just does it for us…..oh yea I forgot to mention, this is the Smoke Fairies, like you needed telling and ‘Christmas without a kiss’
Another nugget from a Christmas past, this is the Palma Violets’ ‘last Christmas on Earth’ all tastefully tuned into a sparkly 70’s seasonal vintage which is guaranteed to leave you feeling somewhat a little low and tearful…..
More vintage Christmas visitations, this one being a cover by the XX of Wham’s ‘last Christmas’ here rendered listenable whilst temptingly traced in a glacial heart tugging spectral loveliness…..
Utterly irresistible and shimmered in a shade adorning snow fallen 60’s crystalline cool that imagines an at the top of their game surrendered and beguiled Mazzy Star sparring with the classic Christmas studio craft of the Spector, from the Duke Spirit this is ‘melt by the morrning’ a faultless slice of festive forlorn. All proceeds from sales going to helping the current Syrian refugee crisis so dig deep
Think a little bit of waaaaghhhhh groove is much required at this point, just as well we have a few nifty cuts from the recent Southern Lord roster with which to worry your turntable with, first up Okkultokrati with ‘hidden future’ which by our ears comes kissed with a fracturing persona which once availed of its Ministry-esque ‘Jesus built my hotrod’ crosswired with a seriously rabid and volatile variant of Queens of the Stone Age’s ‘feel good hit of summer’ throat throttling snarl dips into moments of, by its searing standards, dreamy translucence before hurtling at pace down the apocalyptic highway like some vengeful ghost riding dragster facing down a headwind to oblivion.
Second taster of Southern Lord loveliness comes courtesy of Martyrdod with a track untimely ripped from their ‘list’ full length entitled ‘handlost fallen angel’ – a cranium crunching slab of battle crying metal punk apocalyptic crustiness, unrelenting, unruly and unbowed, this take no prisoners last stand comes ravaged and scowled with a brutal end of days searing urgency that literally torches everything in its wake.
Absolutely loved around these here parts since falling off a Christmas greeting email from their press folk, this is Girl Ray with a free to download, and if I do say so myself, rather funky whippersnappery cover of the Waitresses’ perennial delight ‘Christmas wrapping’ – fill your Santa boots why don’t you…….https://soundcloud.com/girlray/christmas-wrapping
More Christmas turntable baubles……featuring Universal Robot Band, raindolls, the fall, sonic youth, melt banana, merzbow, coil and dum dum girls……
Universal robot band……
Dum dum girls…
Okay I promise that’s the last of the Christmas related gubbins for now, well it will be after we give a quick mention to another free to download release currently heading out of the Christmassy festooned musical bear imprint, agreed not a Christmas song as such but rathermore a delightful tribute to the late Ms MacColl with Kodiak Island seductively sprucing up ‘they don’t know’ into a serenely dreamy and affectionately dainty demur mottled in breezy country afterglows. https://soundcloud.com/woodenhouse/they-dont-know-kodiak-island
Okay we lied, spotted this, a newly peeled video from Liverpool’s finest beat pop groovers Rob Clarke and the Wooltones to accompany last years Chrristmas single soiree, something we mentioned with much adoration somewhere here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/rob-clarke-and-the-wooltones-4/ – appreciably still sounds to these ears like a honeyed harmonic gathering of Milltown Brothers and Mayflies USA types.
While we are here we also eyed some rarified live spots from their Lomax appearance way bback in Feb 13…..
Also a heads up for late 70’s power poppers the Monos! amid whose ranks featured a very youthful Fran Ashcroft, these days the go to production man responsible for putting the top coat of magic dust to those Wooltones nuggets as well as some of the finest releases to have passed our way in the last few days, here found in sumptuously mellowed moods doing a neat line in 50’s speckled new wave bubble groove with ‘mad lover’ and cutting with the melodic astuteness you’d more likely find on forgotten gems by the likes of the Motors, the Distractions and the might Brinsley Schwartz.
A quick hello and happy Christmas message from the Sonic Cathedral dudes giving us a heads up as to crucial grooves being prepped for next year (which reminds me I must nail a copy of that ultra limited cassette from XAM Duo currently doing the rounds) that include a reissue of a 1995 classic, a solo outing from one of the labels favourite bands of all time – clues please on both – and what sounds like being a darkly woven killer thing from the Spectres due to release its contagion sometime around February with ‘dissolve’ heading out spreading its infection. Graced by a decidedly disturbing visual, ‘dissolve’ comes purred with a twisted psychosis, a shadowy sore thumb wallowing in an flatlining edginess, a dead heading mantra spraying disconnection and detachment, in truth had us much recalling a tensely taught and souring Sennen rephrasing a mid 80’s Wire back catalogue. Essential of course but then did you really need me telling you so.
Yeah, yeah – look I know you’ve probably all bought it, played it to death and have long since moved onto sounds anew, but here’s the second single ripped from the third Toy full length ‘clear shot’ this being the rather mellowed bliss crushed ‘another dimension’, this one emerging softly demurred and lushly harmonised from the affectionately swoon kissed pop purred side of their multi faceted persona and here all sweetly sprayed in a richly toned 70’s west coast sepia with distant nods to the lovelorn sigh of Chapterhouse.
Not sure about the video, those with a mild disposition might want to avert your gaze if people eating with their mouths open makes you feel somewhat quesy, nevertheless killer cut from a double a’er by Goat Girl, this being ‘Scum’ which unless ears do deceive has something of the Delgadoes about its person and arrives kissed with a killer country swing that cooly pouts and shimmies with a lazy eyed lollop, agreed depressingly short but then don’t you find all the greats in waiting are.
We’ve had to nail our feet to the floor such is the peculiar effect that this cut exerts upon them, each and everytime it comes into earshot, certainly something destined to cause a flutter on the in tuned clubfloors across the land, this is ‘new song’ – a cut pulled from the latest Warpaint full length ‘heads up’ – a bit of a cute lovenote all said spliced with chill toned balearic sprays, disarming opining purrs and the kind of affectionate light toning that craftily shimmies through your defences.
Here’s a re-edited version of the Anton Barbeau cover you can find tucked amid the grooves of that excellent Fruits de Mer subscibers release ‘a new career in a town town’ – basically a gathering of friends of the label paying dues and tributes to the late Mr Bowie. Mr Barbeau features with a sterling and near faithful reworking of ‘Ziggy Stardust’ which I’m sure we’ve gone on record previously stating it reminded us a lot of a certain Mr Marc Bolan, well here’s a re-edited version of that mix bolstered by some additional bass and drums. Talikng of Fruits de Mer, a reminder that the label will be releasing that ultra limited Moloko+ lathe tomorrow, just 50 of these babies knocking around with the release sporting two different sleeves, to be in with a chance of purchasing you need to be in the members club…incidentally mentioned here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/moloko/
caught this on a posting from the folks at hanky panky / spring records, we really should feature more Matthew Sweet grooves here, note to self must try harder, anyhow this is ‘baby jesus’ – quite apt for the time of the year, am I the only one here picking up the youthful Mercury Rev similiarities, okay is it just me then, thought so, still adorably smoky and lazy eyed, a little bit of Bufallo Springfield and Gram Parsons being channelled by the Doleful Lions, never a bad thing in our book.
Heading out of Trunk records on yellow vinyl to boot, an unreleased cut from Basil Kirchin recorded way back in ’79. ‘Silicon Chip’ arrives described in the press release as ‘catchy, exciting, effervescent, rousing and a bit camp’ – this is Kirchin doing funky electro disco, one eye on his toe tapping feet and the other gazing long into future, think a funk struck Kraftwerk upgraded, rewired and remodified by a collection of studio boffins made up of new music, m, flying lizards, Thomas dolby and yello types.
Staying loosely with Trunk records and fully aware that Mr Trunk loves all things ‘vision on’ – time for a spot of pure childhood nostalgia with the Noveltones’ ‘left bank two’ – incidentally the theme used for the gallery spot on this much missed TV show….
Yes, this is ticking so many boxes I fear our head might just fry in delight. New groove from Schizo Fun Addict entitled ‘chrome rush’ is being prepped for download only release early January, all things being well you can expect an early listening experience of both sides sometime around Tuesday wherein we’ll also be fondly adoring in print the flip side, a real serious slab of fracturing bad ju ju, a cover no less of Brian Jonestown Massacre’s ‘jesus’. For now though the lead cut ‘chrome rush’ is set to mess with your fringes, never could resist records with the sound of dragster cars revving in the background, this lysergic love note radiates and burns with panic attacking effervescence all the time rippled in soft psych shimmertones that pulsate to a hazy garage growl. Yet why oh why do I keep hearing the Creation each time it rears into earshot, though that’ll be the Creation rephrased through the angular viewfinder of a ‘Goo’ era Sonic Youth. And just when you think its done with you it jettisons off amid swooning vapour trails of cosmic euphoria. In short, this babe, struts, stutters and shimmies with the acute aplomb of a band assured, confident and riding high on a creative curve.
Last ever Active Listener sampler, yes tis true, another trusted blog site sadly bites the dust, this being, if my counting head is on straight, the 44th gathering of strange delights from pops outer circle. Now we will be rambling at length about later in the week, but what with families to suffer, turkeys to eat and television to bore, we here are a tad limited with time. I’m sure those who occasionally pass these pages will be all too aware of the likes of the panamint manse, the dandelion set, Emily jones, the mortlake books club et al, so for this brief visitation we wanted to feature two ensembles previously unknown to us and a quick fumble in the musical sack turned up the Greek Theatre and Dead Radio, the former served by ‘now is the time’ do a neat line in misty n’ hazy damon and naomi with ghost spectral floral enchantment all tripped in the finest mystical regalia while the latter mentioned, set about shrooming your headspace in sky fracturing hazes of kosmick kaleidoscopia that loosely venture into Levitation styled airspace amid the monumental ‘meniscus’. https://theactivelistener.bandcamp.com/album/the-final-active-listener-sampler
The day after Christmas night hangover……
Another seasonal lovely, this one from Les Bicyclettes de Belsize who I must admit sound like some Sarah / fortuna pop indie supergroup tag team….we will be checking these dudes out in greater detail very soon…..for now this slice a Christmassy cuteness…..
Mentioned this lot in passing courtesy of their deliciously unruly cover of the Undertones ‘teenage kicks’ – well here’s
and so back to the flip side of that imminent Schizo Fun Addict download single. If the A side was all fuzzing euphorias of starry eyed dragster psyche then ‘Jesus’ emerges from a far shadowy and darker place, an apocalyptic call to arms for coinspiracy theorists to unite; twisted, frayed and fried, Schizo’s rephrasing of Brian Jonestown Massacre’s gospel blues nugget ‘Jesus’ is dutifully hurled into a light deflecting abyss whereupon ceremoniously gouged, a primordial sermon is forged where through the fog of deceit and deception of ages old propaganda, a stoned psychotropic haze oozes amid whose tripping and shambolic mantra touches and trades elements of the Shamen’s ‘Jesus loves Amerika’ as the scales from its eyes fall and the smoke and mirrors of misinformation shatter. Seriously bad ju-ju.
I don’t mind saying that we were a tad distressed at receiving what was initially a bit of a glum email from Brian Bordello that happily cheered up mid way through. We put it partly down to the failure of positive critical reaction translating to sales of their rather fine ‘how to lose friends and influence no-one’ full length and the overall shadow that recent celebrity deaths brought to bear upon this Christmas break, however as ever keen to give the populace just what they don’t want, the band have promised to ‘save pop music’ next year with the pencilled for April / May release of a new set entitled ‘life love and Billy Fury’ for the recordiau prin imprint. From those recording sessions we’ve been graced to hear two cuts – ‘a little sadness’ and ‘some call it love’ – the former teased in a nostalgic seaside psych hue has a reflective almost mournful summers past yearn whose lilting lo-fi bruising put us much in mind of latter career Hefner while the latter comes striding in atop a musical gait that hints of a little recent listening of that Lee Hazlewood bloke, very smokily smouldered and Meek-esque.
Limited cassette time from what has become our favourite Indonesian imprint. Of course we refer to gerpfasy kolektif who’ve just released a rather wonderful split release that pairs together Brilliant at Breakfast and The Natsuyasumi Band on opposing sides of chrome tape. Alas only two tracks available on the preview shot, the latter mentioned sounding, it must be said, like a rather smitten Pop Off Tuesday on the rather affectionately toned ‘beautiful dreamer’ had they of course spent a lost summer playfully wiring their acutely cute twinkling glitch trickery under the influence of Pram and Stereolab. As for the former, they stump up ‘nobody ever died of a broken heart (but I don’t want to be the first)’ – indelibly teased with the kind of mellowing lo-fi loveliness thsat occasions the grooves of records heading out of the K label these days, this softly spun spring hued dreamer comes desirably lilted in the kind of fragile pop purr of Frente. https://gerpfastkolektif.bandcamp.com/album/split-album-15
and back to more Christmas curios……features Alan Vega, James White, James Chance, Tom Waits, John Lee Hooker, Clarence carter, red peters, crass and frank Sidebottom….
many thanks to polymer cities and midwich youth club dude Mr Murphy for drawing our attention to this nifty slab crooning cool from Alan Vega…
Followed by some ultra whacked out boogie from James White….
…then J\ames Chance….
…john lee hooker….
….some bad grooviness from Clarence carter…
..and finally Frank Sidebottom…..
Today’s Christmas cracker is a smoking cool harmonica hued blue rambler by Sonny Boy Williamson entitled ‘Sonny Boys Christmas Blues’…..
A merry musical interlude…..
The beach boys….
A nostalgic celebration….
Vintage winter songs
Another release we’ve been itching to have spreading its mesmeric magic across our turntable is the new strictly limited 12 inch by Richard John – Riley entitled ‘I can’t tell you (how this feels)’ currently heading out of the TOR imprint. This babe comes pressed on bright yellow wax and is, well, frankly far out. Mentioned in previous despatches – here in fact https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/richard-john-riley/
Time, oh time, where do you go. Seriously, even if I were to split myself in three I still wouldn’t have the time to get through all the stuff we stumble across, get sent whether in physical or download form or just root out for the sheer hell of it. How on earth then will we find the diary space to rummage through the entireity of Unexplained Sounds second annual report. A mammoth 145 track sonic journal that gathers together both submissions that couldn’t be easily fit onto their ‘surveys’ and strange sonic cultures paving perhaps the way and/ or direction for future ideas and concepts to follow. As said this is the end of year report, due to hit digital resources the end of this coming week, a set that features some familiar names – the tara experiment and hole house being two that immediately jump out when quickly eyeing the roll call and lest we forget to mention Downscope who aside opening this gargantuan listening experience, we feel we owe a massive apology to for being a little light on reviews – all will be remedied in the coming weeks before the silly season digs in. in fact its Downscope who open proceedings, being one of five teaser cuts being made available for advance listening, this one being the ominous mech drone of ‘Nyclo’ for what initially appears as a pre apocalyptic cybertronic death wind gloomed in chilling consequence and stilled in futile finality soon thaws, defrosts and terraforms into a dream machining mind vaporiser. Next up on the inspection block Noisedelik serve up ‘not to istanbul’ whose ghostly disquieting palette of frequency referencing, glitch detailing and dub draped middle eastern mystics had us scrambling for our muslim gauze for a point of comparable reference (incidentally you might be interested to know that Staalplaat are currently rummaging through the Muslim Gauze back catalogue on an extensive re-issue campaign). Forgttn’s ‘I’ takes matters down a more industrial inclined road, the pulsing motifs creating layer by layer a tensely claustrophobic vibe that sits somewhere on a distant spectrum between Bureau B stars Automat and SPK while Xennan appear happy to chill your very lifeforce with the light deflecting ‘love the sopirit, not the man’ into the bargain crafting out a superbly immersive dark rave pulsar that draws deep from the shadowy outlands of Add N to X. Finally for this all too brief visit Caleb R K Williams crafts a neo classical mysterio in the shape of ‘ethereal bloom’ applying some deliciously emotive chamber noir phrasings along the way which I suspect we need investigate more of. https://unexplainedsoundsgroup.bandcamp.com/album/unexplained-sounds-2016-the-2nd-annual-recognition-test
Another curio eyed here that might well have tripped beneath the radar of the most eagle eyed and eared among you, a rather damn fine release from the house in the woods who, just between me and you, we suspect might well be the extra curricula work of pye corner audio
Been an absolute age since we had any kitchen leg endorced ear gear with which to worry our sound player with, so long in fact that we almost feared they had given up the ghost. Safe to say not quite, just an extended break it seems returning before the years out with a quite belting debut full length from Xantene a collective formed from gathering of Brabrabra and fingers types. ‘メカニズム’ or ‘mekanizumu’ is their debuting platter, well cassette as it happens, a sometimes squalling and sometimes discordant sore thumb acutely coiled in a scuzzy post punked / no wave angular waywardness that fizzes and fries the synapses much like a youthful Sonic Youth with opener ‘failure’ particularly sounding like some secretly taped studio get to together between the Au Pairs and Slits foolishly left on a sunny window ledge and left to warp and suffer from sound decay. With its noodling abnd spidery wiring coiling the quite delicious ‘discreetely’ teeters to navigate a sonic spectrum with ….and the native hipsters at one end with the much-missed pop off Tuesday balance matters out at the other with the prowling spirit of Link Wray looming somewhere in the middle, the Link effect incidentally
Originally out last year on a digitally released Christmas charity EP, ‘Christmas Ham’ now finds itself rescued from yuletide obscurity to share wax space with ‘murder by mistletoe’ on a forthcoming limited 7 inch. All profits going to the excellent work done by the Foodbanks of the Hudson Valley, this be the Felice Brothers in mellowed and somewhat melancholic moods and finds them looking at the seasonal celebrations not through the hustle n’ bustle of the family unit, but alone, outside and down on their luck mourning memories of Christmasses long gone, a tearful yet all too real reflection of a forgotten society, sounds a bit Dylan-y mind, is that still a good thing we wonder.
Nicked this from the for folk’s sake site who seem to be doing some kind of aural advent calendar gubbins, herewith their day 3 selection which happens to be thee zillionth version of ‘lonely this Christmas’ we’ve heard over the years, this one from patch and the giant, faithfully keeping to the lines though rathermore smoky and laid back than what were used to finding it done, kinda makes you feel all vintage and fuzzy. https://soundcloud.com/patchandthegiant/lonely-this-christmas-6?in=patchandthegiant/sets/lonely-this-christmas
This being Sunday, the second week of advent I’m half expecting retribution to reign down its hot breath in the shape of thunder clouds and lightning bolts over our gaff just for even considering featuring this today. This is the laest offering from sludge metal overlords EBDB who hail from Belgium and describe themselves in the liner notes as ‘metal comedy grind core’ and appear to have issues in need of resolution judging from a brief glance at some of the titles on this new outing, incidentally charmingly titled ‘choking on the body of Christ’. No need to tell you that Santa ain’t coming to their house in any great hurry with titles likes ‘necrophilliacs vs. cremation’, ‘a total waste of sperm’ and ‘I wish you were aborted’ you can safely assume that their chosen spirit of Christmas might well be found in the local drinking tavern. That said bleakness and issues aside this is sure to appeal to old school admirers of Carcass, Nepalm Death and Boltthrower for these death headed ditties, there’s 9 in total, come charging straight from the bowels of hell on a maniacal mission to terror stricken your listening space, favourite moment out of the assembled carnage ‘the epic tale about the crowbar vs. the jaw’ is your recommended Sunday morning full throttle fury. https://ebdb.bandcamp.com/album/choking-on-the-body-of-christ
briefly back with that rather excellent end of year sound summary from the unexplained sounds group entitled ‘the second annual recognition test’ which before we forget many thanks are owed to Raff for sending over download links for this frankly mammoth set – 1.7gb in total. Might be a tad impossible for us to cover this in one bite, we’ll see though. However for now a mention for those two notables eagerly spotted on our previous visit from Hole House and the Tara Experiment, the former of which ‘was she a tape recording’ is a bit of an oldie now, featuring on Hole House’s superbly chilling recent debut ‘a stranger in town’, this ice formed sonic séance strays into the paranormal domains of the stone tape phenomena, quatermass-ian pulsars shimmering with ominous intent to a monochrome mosaic cut with a minimalist disquiet that hints a sonic kinship with Mount Vernon Arts Lab. As to the Tara Experiment, we are expecting new happenings imminently, for now a little vintage school radiophonic tastiness from a set that appeared at the tail end of last year entitled ‘what the sky listens to’, this being ‘magnetic field’ which unless our ears do deceive ought to principally attach itself to the brain waves of ghost box and a year in the country adoring patrons given it comes warped in sinister surveillance sweeps and an edgy isolationist aura that might well appeal to the middex end of the polytechnic youth fraternity.
No prizes for guessing the reason why we chose this, of course the band name what else in case you needed hints. This journeys end hymnal is by the Disappointment Choir, a preview single heralding an imminent second album ‘no more excuses’, a Christmas type release entitled ‘winter hill’ decorated and adorned in a book-ended framing of church bells between which comes the soft unpeel of a wonderfully hushed and majestic campfire spiritual emerges jubilant and resplendent in all its stirring glory, in truth had us recalling the much missed Shady Bard. https://disappointmentchoir.bandcamp.com/album/winter-hill-single
Just love the way this prickles with fizzing electricity and anxiety, new thing heading out of the Fat Cat empire, this is Traams with the mesmeric post punked hypno groove ‘a house on fire’, this bruising sub 9-minute cosmic juggernaut flies perilously into the dark heart of a Hookworms black hole, its edgy monochroming, much reminiscent it has to be said, of the sadly missed New York combo Wolves whose light momentarily burned brightly in the mid noughties, pulsates and radiates with a panic attacking urgency consuming all its path as it grows evermore in density, definition and attrition.
Very brief mention for this one, a full review is being prepped for later in the week. New outing for London based multi instrumentalist Jonny Weathers, a set called ‘jonny weathers and cosmic scream’, an album that literally fizzes and buzzes with creativity, one for the purists we suspect not least because like some sonic magpie this most rare of talents appears equally at home sculpturing anything from wig flipped glam fuzz freak outs and beardy 60’s stoner blues to intimately teased moments of soulful reflection. However that said, for now we’ve honed in on two select cuts that had the effect of having us all seductively a-swooned, those being ‘you’ll always be a planet to me’ and ‘shambhala’ – the former edging out initially like some lost Joe Cocker smoker before going all mellowed and super chilled in a distinctly exquisite ‘dark side’ Floyd meets ‘parachutes’ era Pretty Things way. The latter, an altogether differing beast of blissfully kissed transcendental shimmer toning which emerging through the narcotic fog appears to pick up the threads of the Beatles’ ‘tomorrow never knows’ and takes them on a mystical astral ride by way of – I kid you not – Spacemen 3 with additional side servings of Alphastone and Sterling Roswell for good measure, very woozy and out there is all you need to know. As said you can expect more later in the week. https://jonnyweathers.bandcamp.com/album/jonny-weathers-and-cosmic-scream
more sonic creeps with which to disturb your sleeping patterns, the Ephemeral Man rises from his summer hibernation in time for the dark season to tinker about in his basement and with the aid of all manner of chill toned radiophonics, scattered film dialogue cuttings (mainly the Sutherland starring remake of ‘invasion of the Body Snatchers) and Carpenter-esque motifs, sets about remodelling from a surgical tray gathering a skin prickling mosaic of familiar tracks into an eerie mind warping Frankenstein fry up for a fifth Samhain Séance, the one known as ‘the invasion of the robot witch’. https://www.mixcloud.com/The_Ephemeral_Man/samhain-seance-5-invasion-of-the-robot-witch/
next up a mammoth 3 hour plus Halloween hop-a-rama courtesy of the Mal Thursday show, old time readers may well recall us regularly tuning into the garage punk collective wherein wild cats played platters to die for and nailed them down to speaker sizzling podcasts for your discerning party hard grooving. Anyhow all manner of creepy and spooky trashed out tormenting twang here not to mention plenty of swamp dragged grave groaning garage beat-a-rama all ghoulishly served up by the Mal, among the fuzzed buzz freakish fright n’ scream juju way out wierdo sonic souls trick n’ treat playing their primitive voodoo blues, checking in to this haunted hop – the cramps, the fleshtones, the seeds, the standells, pf sloan, the turtles, the move, chuck berry, Donovan, the sonics, the moving sidewalks, 1313 mockingbird lane and many, many more….sinister shades are required. http://www.radiomutation.com/2016/10/25/the-mal-thursday-show-92-halloween-16/
In recent years they’ve crookedly forged a repute for the turning in of lo-fi outsider sounds whose sonic radar has simultaneously provided a rear guard attack on modernist nonsense and the kind of historical musical revisioning tthat certain folk seem prone to perpetrate every 10 years or so, whilst simmering in the corner somewhat bewildered by the mundanity of marketing majors and the clueless sheep like devotion of an obviously brainwashed populace uncomfortably numbed by the lie they’ve been sold.
Such attitude and a willful reluctance to kowtow to some erstwhile unwritten rule not to mention blessed with a preference to piss into the tent rather than from out of it, would have at one time earned them a guaranteed playlist hug from the late John Peel who we sneakingly suspect would have elevated them to the status of the house band. We do of course refer to the Bordellos, call them curmudgeon – title alone ‘how to lose friends and influence no-one’ – okay I’ll give you that one, perhaps even dysfunctional, often skewed, impishly anti-pop maybe, in our world they are the uncomfortable cool crookedly removing the blinkers of falsedom.
‘how to lose friends and influence no-one’ is not the easiest of listens, its weighed down by a darkening glower and a snaking melancholy, certainly the most emotionally direct and perhaps consensus pricking collection they’ve dared to release to date, let’s face it commercial suicide is not a pretty colour to wear – see ‘Gary Glitter’ (moored seductively upon a seriously sleazy glam gouged riffing) and more aptly ‘did the bastards at the BBC kills John Peel’ (guaranteeing no airplay there then, which is a shame really given its touchy accusatory slant is honed within an impishly sunny sided and bright eyed roving ramble). Yet in truth the Bordellos have never been backward in coming forward, they delight in posing the questions you were too scared to ask. What marks the Bordellos out from the chasing pack, well aside the unwavering knack to often nail a track or two with serious best of year end considerations – hello ‘piss on spotify’ and ‘stone turns to stone’, oh alright – yes, yes, yes we are fond of ‘I no longer speak the international language of kojack, kapiche’. Aside that, it’s the lack of immediacy of their craft to hit home, for here there’s no brandishing of power chords – agreed if we are talking detuned well the blighters packed with them, yet comfortingly there’s no cheaply spun flag waving or messianic wannabee-ism, neither any nasty sloganeering or a cheapening desire to jump onto the next passing bandwagon, just good wholesome psyche blues / folk / waywardness to pour forth a pox on everything you’ve considered the norm.
Sitting upon the grooves of ‘how to lose friends and influence no-one’ are thirteen sore thumbs, there’s no way hey its all plesant and sunny here, this is St Helens for heaven’s sake not California, its Northern, it’s hard, its got attitude, yet amid all this there’s soul (the lo-fi torch swing blues of ‘Betty and Siouxsie’), passion, sly political commentary / conscience and an unquestioning restlessness, you want to frug out, well there’s the gnarled garage fuzz of the spiteful and spikey ‘fanzine smile’, you want skiffadelic Mersey beat see ‘pink torpedo’ – check – Coral and LA’s eat your heart out. Even at their most throwaway, as on ‘unhappy song’, they rally against the brash commercial tokenism that finds a songs sentiment / lushness and impact rediuced and lost by the cheapness of its portable availability and digital quality. Then of course there’s the aforementioned ‘I no longer speak the international language of kojack, kapiche’ – a shadowy soul bruising miniature epic wrapped in a magnetic majesty and bristling with discontent whilst relocating this listener to a lost sound of his youth, notably Teardrop Explodes’ ‘wilder’. Elsewhere, shoehorned to the rear of the set, three golden nuggets should see their way to causing fisticuffs in the affection stakes – ‘stone turns to stone’, ‘stick like glue’ and ‘piss on spotify’ – the first of which is a cooly smoking and skewed n’ homely hued soft psyched prairie folk blues campfire sortie that whittles its craft upon a Clinic-esque palette. Strangely chilled and ioddly prowler-esque, the haunting mysterio ‘sticks like glue’ is blessed by sinister spine tingled key creeps that gather and loom to conspiratorially collude an edgily obsessive hollowing aura. Last song alert, leaving best till last, don’t you just find that’s always the case, the crookedly ambling ‘piss on spotify’ sits puzzled considering life’s dilemmas to do with people buying records and not playing them and then people listening to records via platforms like spotify and not paying for them. Not wishing to get into a bun fight with this one, the music well, much like a distant light in the glooming fog bound mists, a dishevelled kaleidoscopic carnival swoons wearily over the punch drunk psychedelic hill in its wake dragging a consuming funereal deathly swing which rather than chilling the bones has the odd effect of sparking an inner glow and a tear streaked lump in the throat. As ever – essential. https://thebordellos2.bandcamp.com/album/how-to-lose-friends-and-influence-no-one
first of two the hare and the moon tracks set to feature here, the other will be sitting up waiting for your attentive ear a little later this morning. This one featuring Alaska comes prised from a new set from the folk over at a year in the country, their last audiological report for the year in fact entitled ‘the forest / the Wald’, this being track eight, ‘a whisper in the woods’. Ghosted in eerie enchantment, this twilight siren call is cut like a creeping tricking or treating apparition, like some mysterious chill from a descending fog drifting silently across the land, amid its spectral vapours a fracturing floral posy sighed beautifully by a lightly toned folk nursery rhymed jig is moored forevermore trapped within its glooming prison damned for eternity to sing its warning song whilst walking its haunting twilight patrol. https://ayearinthecountry.bandcamp.com/track/audiological-transmission-44-52-a-whisper-in-the-woods-the-forest-the-wald
fresh from a rare appearance on the sadly sold out geographic north compilation ‘death on the hour’ whereupon they seduced all with the quite alluring ethereal ‘halloween 2016’, Landing return to turntable action with a forthcoming album – their tenth – and this. Recently peeled as a single ‘shifts’ drifts the cosmic outlands demurred in delicately cruise controlled orbital oscillations spraying from its vapour trailing jets love noted soul noir murmurings, quite dreamily reclining if you ask me. https://soundcloud.com/landingtryyps/shifts-1
back as promised with that the hare and the moon related second visitation, this one comes peeled from a new compilation being put out by the Belgium based imprint evening of light entitled ‘LVX – ten years of light and darkness’ – proceeds oof which are going to the excellent work done by Doctors without Borders. Anyhow this be by Spectral Light, a shadowy collective gathering together members of the Hare, Stone Breath and the desolation singers, this telling treat going by the name ‘the other side of the evening’, advances with an archaic musical crafting once upon a time much uttered of and similarly admired by the folk over at Ptolemaic towers, a spell forming wyrd folk séance distantly navigating the hallowed sonic spectrum of Coil which after a momentary pastoral plucked recital chant suddenly abruptly fractures and frays amid a delightfully hairily squalling and brooding beard forming storm calling that had us here much in mind of a studio headspace fusion of Alan Courtis and Bruce Russell types. https://eveningoflight.bandcamp.com/track/the-other-side-of-evening
A little interlude for a change, a gathering of some post punk, no wave, cold wave electronica……..x
Lizzy mercier descloux
The electronic circus
Beautifully mellowed and shy eyed, soft psych alchemist Andy Shauf steps out from behind the kaleidoscopic rainbow to harvest some guards down and surrenderingly radiant affectionate twinkle toned pop with the release of ‘quite like you’. Pulled from his acclaimed full length ‘the party’ this prettily retiring gem comes traced upon a breezily warming west coast flavouring much recalling, unless our ears do deceive, lost gems from the likes of the Brigadier and the Heart Strings.
Those of you delighting in the occasional eerie reports filed back by Hole House will no doubt warm to the news that the long awaited final investigation papers have been gathered together, recorded and are now ready for dispatch. ‘a stranger in town’ the debuting full length from the mysterious Hole House is not for the faint of heart, a stone tape styled slice of haunting radiophonic disturbia whose bleakly toned sound manipulations resonate with such overpowering remoteness and claustrophobia that it literally extinguishes light with its suffocating shadow. Amid these nine chilling accounts, macabre manifestations formed of frequency manipulations and droning low end pulsars potmark a fraught atmospheric whose icy reverberations serve as an antenna drawing memory echoes from their surroundings, the back story in case you missed it, is that tthese recordings where taken from the inside of an abandoned and notoriously eerie former VHS rental shop with a dark pre history. Reference wise ‘a stranger in town’ eerily navigates the micro sound shadow worlds which a while back both dreams of tall buildings and roadside picnic explored whilst simultaneously picking through the sparsely detailed debris of mount Vernon arts lab’s obliquely excellent ‘hob’s lane’ revisualising of ‘quatermass’. Isolated by a dread foreboding, Hole House superbly execute the fright quotient to the nth degree taking you out from your comfort zone and dropping you into an alien landscape that’s frought with creaks, groans and all manner of nightmarish quease, unsettling doesn’t begin to describe what lies in wait for the enquiring visitor. https://aetheric-records.bandcamp.com/album/a-stranger-in-town
staying with strange sounds and errie radiophonic mediums, to a place where science, medicine and sound collide. An excellent historical walk through in radionics – a medicinal diagnostic utilising electro magnetic frequencies to tune into the body’s mainframe, this highly illuminating broadcast discusses the keys players and theorists of this practice citing its simultaneous development to that of electronic music, going on to discuss the established theorems to do with musical notations as an aid to enhancing a given frame of mind or mood and ultimately posing the question – can music be used to convey a thought or moreover a feeling…….
The passing into hibernation of Great Pop Supplement has served to shift its sister label – the more kosmiche / library resourced – Deep Distance into the front queue of listening appreciation, a hefty release schedule ahead its time for Slows to drop his much anticipated debuting self titled full length. The work of Wire man Matthew Simms, Slows has provided an outlet for his more experimental want, surrounded by banks of plugs, wires and all manner of vintage modular synths not forgetting his cherished instrument of choice – the Farfisa, he has meticulously tweaked, scrambled and layered a hypno-grooving soundworld that’s irrefutably
Space, depth, distance
Hells-a-boppin, this cat is literally off the radar, new thang from former Jim Jones Review dude Henri Herbert found here smoking up the keys on the furiously raw and uber cooled ‘talkin bout the boogie’ – this bad boy comes from a wildcat 50’s age located around the bijou legendary sound house of Sun Studios where strode in the Killer and the lip curl of Presley amid the first fleshings of rock n’ roll, in short a white hot force of nature. Over on the flip, matters take a more considered approach with the quicksilver fingered and dextrous ‘henri’s boogie’ serving up a classically grooved slice of 30’s vintage blues dewed boogie woogie. Exceptional.
We dare you try and get through the entireity of this with your wherewithal still intact by its end, emotionally crushing, an inwardly aching journey into self realisation not to mention dashed of hope and majestic. Maybe it’s the forlorn imploring of the vocals, its overall vulnerability, the sighing strings, the tear stained bitter sweetly bowed orchextrations or the impacting hymnal gracefall – whatever the case or reason there’s no denying that this is quite something else. By Entrance, this is ‘promises’ – its heading out of the thrill jockey sound house, the band are supporting explosions in the sky and this sounds like, its reference wise, located somewhere between Spiritualized, the Earlies and Daniel Land and the Modern Painters in which case – any questions from the back. Okay we’ll settle for quite immaculate then eh?
One I’m guessing that this be bext filed alongside that quite wonderful black angel drifter release currently doing the rounds mainly for the fact that both appear to be looming from pops dark spot only heading out in different directions. Taken from his acclaimed ‘the valley of yessiree’ this is A. Dyjecinski with the download only single ‘granades’ through sideways saloon records. A despairingly beautiful atmospheric nugget that all at once aches and seduces, its scarred head bowed resolve shadowlined by a bruised tender intimacy comes haunted by the gathering of creaks and ghosts who collude to etch out a spectral symphony whose dust ravaged primitive roots stir and leer with a wounded weariness that unpicks with surgical precision at your emotional defences. An absolute gem.
How did we miss this alert. Many years ago we here we’re more than a tad smitten by the Screen Prints who put out some well heeled gems for the likes of Earworm – I seem to remember ‘noise from the dark room’ getting played to near destruction – and track and field before seemingly going off radar. Until that is now, it was listening to A Dyjecinski release that sparked us into mooching around to see what had become of them, then up pops a facebook page and they are there, releasing records to boot, though this particular cut initially appearing on the 2000 release ‘perfect city’ and recentrly remastered and gathered as part of a retrospective for fastcut records entitled ‘hum and hiss’ – anyhow enough of the waffling and fawning this is ‘missed’ – a bit of a dandy all honeyed vocals and chiming struts adored in 60’s motifs, something for all you Clientele gone jesus and mary chain admirers I’d like to think……
We’ll get complaints about this, that I’m sure. Not for the squimish, the easily offended or indeed those who love their pop sounds a little la la la. That said its been a fair old while since we featured any consensus dividing noise attrition, and to be honest they don’t come any noisier or offensive than a new set ‘japanese girls squirt on a squid’ by the charmingly named menstrual munchies, an album its fair to say that put images in your head that quite frankly you’d rather not have there, in truth originally released last year, this set pushes
I wouldn’t be all together surprised if this turned up with its own mystical magic carpet and peace pipe such is its mind turning transcendental trippiness, folks this be Tau and another cut from, we gather – though we are yet to hear it harrumph – their new full length ‘tau tau tau’ – this being ‘the bridge of kajou’ – a snake charming monolith packing oodles of high grade psychedelic juju – kids I’d just leave the skins alone for there’s more head wiring highs here than a well stocked magic bus.
Am I listening to the right track, I only ask because a brief note posted by its author Jacob Laeby describes ‘den hvide dod’ thus ‘a haunting solemn ambient track’. Now its not for me to get somewhat picky, but my ears are definitely picking up something adored in ethereal whispers, the pulsing distress tones in a courtship play with the dissipating chime shimmers attach a stilled like gracefulness, agreed there is a ghostly aura resonating throughout but its that ice carved dissolving that serves to give it the feeling of a fleeting visitation. https://jacoblaeby.bandcamp.com/album/den-hvide-d-d-the-white-death
Now this is a tad strange and somewhat disquieting, both eerie and chilling not to mention having the ability to suck both the light and heat from the listening space. This sore thumb from humanfobia is prized from a downloadable set entitled ‘densidad asimetrica’ on the wet dreams imprint, this being a track entitled ‘pastizal de polillas insomnes’ – a starkly minimal best viewed from behind the sofa skin pimpler, all at once macabre and sinister, its blessed with a dystopian foreboding of nightmarish futureworlds gloomed in bleakly swathed creeping dread drones – perfect for those of you frequenting the sonic outer worlds of the truth about frank I would have thought. https://soundcloud.com/humanfobia/pastizal-de-polillas-insomnes
a little bit of lovliness we mentioned a little while back – here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/lowly/c – this is lowly with the quite ethereally gorgeous ‘deer eyes’ via the ever crucial bella union….
The Static Caravan sound shed of cool is due to go into overdrive shortly with word reaching us that platters from Grantby and the Memory Band are soon to be swooning the listening space on our turntable not to mention that much tooted split release with Static Caravan – news about that in a second.
For now though, Static newcomer TVAM has been spotted lending his craft to souping up several of the undergrounds brightest and cutest – with his rephrasing of Fews ‘ten things’ audaciously heading into ‘peace sword’ era Flaming Lips terrains. https://soundcloud.com/fewsmusic/10-things-tvam-remix
Somewhere else Amber Arcades’ ‘turning light’ is tripwired with a gorgeously star hugged motorik motif of the kind that repeat exposure to may well lead to heads becoming permanently expanded. https://soundcloud.com/heavenlyrecordings/amber-arcades-turning-light-tvam-remix
As to the Fruits de Mer split – a 500 only 4 track killer thing – the Fruits dudes bring along Jack Ellister and the Insektlife Cycle for the jaunt, while parading in the Static corner the near perfect Art of the Memory Palace and the missing in action of late Cheval Sombre – details of the event be here – http://www.staticcaravan.org/item.asp?Ref=302
a listening soiree……
Delia Derbyshire and barry bermange
Again another handsomely packaged release, and for the second time this week another that comes delicately tied up – not a good thing untying when you have shovels for hands and sausages for fingers. Still, packed to bursting with all manner of inserts, badges and other such collectibles and before I forget to say, available in two different variants – ‘dawn’ and ‘night’ – this is the latest sonic study submitted as part of A Year in the Country’s twelve month audiological findings into a lost and forgotten England. ‘no more unto the dance’ is a 40-minute journey down the clubland rabbit hole of a fading memory. A melodic mausoleum, an epitaph to a teen self lost, reconfigured and rewired through the prism of a fond fleeting recollection. As it says in the press release ‘no more unto the dance’ invites you to enjoy this time trip as though a mixtape of 12 inch curios rescued / unearthed from lucky dip picks from the shelves of long since forgotten record emporiums, sub divided into a seamless passage of twelve suites, sound wise its reference points are more to do with a connection to surroundings – the whole vibe to do with the club land, the dressing up, the labels, the scene, the experiences and the fracturing musical sub genres, its spirit clearly in technoid terrains has the feel of the Assembled Minds time travelled back to the mid 90’s on the invitation of Mary Anne Hobbs to drop off a breezeblock guest DJ set. Here from out of the sonic shadows primitive experimentalism and a DIY culture (often crafted in the sparse isolation of bedrooms) are instantly recalled, an underground scene fed upon the preserve of untitled 12 inch white labels put out by imprints signposted only by a PO Box address and tape cassettes hidden under record shop counters and sourced in flea markets (the type of which that usually found themselves sneaked onto Peel playlists and ‘mixing it’ transmissions). A taking by the hand journey down dimly lit back alleys into signless word of mouth back rooms and basements where inside sounds come wired to the hive mind pulse of the underground, a place where Add N to X ghost lights prickle with ominous intent amid a palette populated by LFO trancetones, motoric murmurs, psychotronic disturbias, radiophonic echoes, kosmick pulsars, serene ambient flurries and soundscapes siren calling futureworld dystopias. http://ayearinthecountry.co.uk/
eternal tapestry – beyond the 4th door
Captain’s log book – star date 08092016
Forgive for this moment of light relief, but today marks – as I’m sure you’ll know – the 50th anniversary of Star Trek’s first airing on TV. Many of a certain age will no doubt be going misty eyed with nostalgic fondness when recalling the original series, still the classic set up. Okay I’ll admit I was never too fond of the church of trekkie that followed and care even less for the spin offs that followed, but still upon hearing the initial opening twinkles of the original titles I’m immediately transported to my childhood, there in my regulation Spock boots peering through my Spock mask cut out from the back of a Corn Flakes box given away as part of a Star Trek campaign, getting that Spock mask was a mission in itself pestering my mum to check the backs of boxes to ensure I didn’t get my 5th Kirk or Bones cut out – I think I lived on corn flakes that winter. Anyway assembled here are a few clips in honour of Roddenberry’s first five-year mission tthat includes an extended montage of sounds from the series – warp drives, phasers, communicators, tricorders and of course the infamous swishing doors. There’s also a killer Saturday Night Live spoof with the classic Belushi, Chase and Ackroyd line up and the video to the surprise mid 80’s hit ‘star trekkin’’ which during one strange summer warp drived its way to the top spot, really – just how did that happen. Live long and prosper.
Star trek ‘sounds’
star trek spoof
Spizz energy ‘where’s captain kirk’
It’s been years since we did one of these, gathered together following seeing a listing for Tom Dissevelt’s ‘electronic movements’ over the weekend which in turn had us rummaging around the old you tube for sounds both familiar and not so, of course as with these things some blighter always gets there first – the blighter on this occasion being Keith Fruits de Mer who posted the said track yesterday. Ah well, we do however suggest you find a quite spot and maybe three hours, some decent headphones and prepare to float off…..special mentions of course go to Pierre Dutour’s quite extraordinary ‘deer forest’ from a – would you believe – ’79 set likewise with the Alan Hawshaw piece – on the much sought after and ultra cool Bruton imprint while for the curios there’’s the quite kooky Bruce Hack sets from the late 60’s and early 70’s – very Raymond Scott meets Assembled Minds in their earlier incarnations….oh and there’s also some Delia and Daphne thrown in for good measure……
Pierre dutour ‘deer forest’
Alan hawshaw ‘saturn rings’
Brian bennett ‘image’
Electronic system ‘skylab’
Tom dissevelt ‘electronic movements’
Bruce hack ‘the way out record for children’
Bruce hack ‘school for robots’
Paul beaver and Bernard l Krause ‘the nonesuch guide to electronic music’
Delia Derbyshire ‘dreams’
Daphne oram ‘electrobic sound patterns’
The roger webb sound ‘moon bird’
Midori Takada ‘through the looking glass’
Bruce hack ‘I like christmas’
Electronic sounds 60’s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SIwAzpN4fs
More Van loveliness from the Static brothers, just ahead of a brace of well-heeled releases from the aforementioned Art of the Memory Place and an album from Justin Wiggan – indeed we have requested promos. Van 303 is a 300 only essential release that marks the long overdue return to the Static fold of a certain Mr Darren Hayman. An album under their collective sleeve ‘someone to care for’ provides for the debuting greeting call of the Hayman Kupa Band – a collective spearheaded by Hayman and Emma Kupa of Standard Fare fame here accompanied by a super group of sorts talent list of fever dream and michaelmass types. Both ‘someone to care for’ and its accompanying flip ‘what happened’ tap impishly into a Hayman vintage rarely visited since the days of Hefner not to mention pick away at the polar opposites of the emotional spectrum, the lead track particularly lavished in ear candy hook catchy kudos to reveal that that rare craft for insidiously getting beneath your skin hasn’t quite deserted him with its quick fired hip shimmying conversational interplay traced in pristine showers of indie pop magic dust. That said we here are taken by the broken and bruised ‘what happened’ – all at once distressed, down and done there’s a touching tearful frailty present here that cuts sharply to the quick, consider yourselves warned. http://www.staticcaravan.org
Staying with the Static folk – fancy something a little special from those Duke St. Workshop dudes – thought so – well how about their re-trimming of Rory McVicar’s recent ‘toothache’ outing (you know the one – the celebrated inside out playing limited lathe release) which aside being originally mentioned here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/rory-mcvicar/ has recently been serviced with its own no expenses spared woozily kaleidoscopic video which you’ll find linked below – in the hands of the Duke brothers though it’s something psychedelian dream drifts are disconnected and instead trip wired up to a spacey and mellowing bliss kissed astral plane travelling head trip populated by kooling kosmiche kurvatures – very trippy and dare we say tasty head phonic grooviness.
Incidentally Mr McVicar will be visiting the Van decks again later in the year with an album ‘Wednesday week’.
Incidentally those with an eye for these things will have noted that Van 302 is curiously listed as a split release with Fruits de Mere – have we missed a trick we wonder, questions and queries are currently treading the way of the Static dudes as to whether this might be a planned double header with the celebrated Fruits de Mer imprint, wouldn’t be the first time that both labels have collaborated with Static’s art of the memory palace CD finding itself included in Fruits de Mer’s festival goodie bag last year. Talking of Fruits de Mer aside the upcoming limited editions being prepped for their games for may double header with mega dodo, the label have just posted their August release list which aside the no doubt essential happenings from Vibravoid and Sidewalk Society, among the roll call there’s what looks to be a very interesting outing tentatively titled ‘fruit de mer’s guide to the theme to the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy’ which alas as we write there’s no info on – all this a few well-heeled lathe limited release from insektlife cycle / cold bath and aethereal / the sons of mod along with a special Sendelica limited issue and a fake Korean cd edition of Cranium Pie’s ‘a geometry of thistles’ set. http://www.fruitsdemerrecords.com/discography.html
Yes, I am well aware that this has been out for ages and that these cool kids have no doubt long since retired on the proceeds amassed from a hip youthful generation who’ve threw down their gaming consoles and exited their bat cave to go forth into the sun in order to invest in this. This is like ‘wow’ – in four minutes these kids literally tear up the ground for ‘magic mountains’ has so many potential sonic fathers it might require a DNA test – see magic markers, b-52’s or a particularly wigged out Ariel Pink with Cramps-esque fuzzy kaleidoscopia for starters, a full on kookified cuckoo in the nest, fizzing and frying with effervescence all blessed with the kind of pristine pop exuberance that sends seizure shocks through your psyche each and every time it rears into earshot, frankly we suspect the blighter is wired up to the national grid tapping out b-movie day-glo’d post punk bubble grooved hallucinogenia all kissed with an affectionate rush that comes on like a rampant rash. By the way before we forget they are called the Drums. https://soundcloud.com/minorrecords/magic-mountain
Best way of describing this next ‘un is to imagine Kat Bjelland’s Katastrophy Wife holed up in a studio with Suzi Quatro together collectively bastardising discarded riffs from aborted ‘C’mon Pilgrim’ era Pixies sessions, indeed that good. Festering, feral and fucked up are the gnarled ingredients that scowl from out of the delightfully discordant primordial ooze being channelled on Dilly Dally’s blistered and grizzled ‘snakehead’.
Those who love their sounds dripped in down tempo cinematic lounge tropicalia really do need to check out this bad boy, released in 2008, how did we miss this, pretty much covers all bases eking spy noir and cool cosmopolitan grooviness as though the Superimposers had boated by night into the secret lair of Monsterism Island – this is the Sound Defects’ ‘the iron horse’.
Up next a couple of curios from the vaults so to speak, in fact the first is from a select picking of rare performance recordings under the banner ‘from the vaults’ – this one being a 2001 set from the mighty Four Tet taken from the DubLab archive……
next up, an hour long Telescopes mix to get your listening chops around, this one curated with care and taste by the voice of cassandre….
and lastly for this brief visitation, a little bit of creepiness from another age, this is one of many archive public information broadcasts being aired for free by the BFI, ‘Lonely Water’ aired in 1973 is a chilling warning about the foolhardy exploits of playing near water, the Spirit is narrated by Donald Pleasance….it’s a wonder most of us got through junior school without the need for counselling with these creeping dread broadcasts popping up with gruesome frequency between airings of ‘tomorrow people’ and ‘timeslip’…
Words such as strange, odd and ominous tend to go hand in hand with the mere mention of Bearsuit Records much like say, fish and chips, bacon and egg and curry and rice – is it just me or is there are food theme sneaking in here, subliminal messaging telling me its near tea time I guess, bet you are hungry now. Anyhow Scotland’s most out-there patrons of abstract outsider pop – that’ll be Bearsuit records – see you are still obsessing about food and have forgotten what’s really important here. Where were we – ah yes Bearsuit records have unveiled a curio that’s pencilled in for turntable weirdness sometime next year with the news, or should that be the threat, of a newly forged platter from the Moth Poets. This is the uber chilling ‘ham’s fall’ sounding like the onset of a last day’s apocalyptic occurrence, all at once stilled, petrified and foreboding, the whirring monochromatic pulsar shimmer tones exacting a sense of grim grinning deathliness and doom dripped unearthliness. https://soundcloud.com/the-moth-poets/parachutes
Visual interlude…psychedelic adverts…..
Whizzed the first one from a posting by Ghost Box’s Jim Jupp……two strangely out-there psychedelic adverts from the 70’s…
Beautifully elegant, steeled in mournful bitter sweet solemn whilst graced and adored in a classicist crafting, amid the hurly burly madness of pop, silently withdrawn in a quiet place shivered and shy sits the hidden lair of Antonymes. A new album about to break cover on the ever adored hidden shoal imprint by the name ‘(for now we see) through a glass dimly’ from which, sent ahead on scouting duties, appears the mournfully touched ‘towards tragedy and dissolution’. Aided and assisted by various members of the Auteurs and Field Rotation, this heart heavy tear stained mosaic serenades in solemn reflection, rendered frozen between hope and regret, above the maudlin and melancholic crawl of the shyly trembled key braids hover fretful strings in sympathetic fear and caution, the effect so tenderly bruised and vulnerable you feel the urge to rest a supportive arm around its fragile and failing shoulder. https://soundcloud.com/hidden_shoal/antonymes-towards-tragedy-and-dissolution
Similarly touched in refinement and elegance, though ghosted with a sense of the apocalyptic end game at play, ‘the prickly bush’ comes pulled from a recently released set by united bible studies by the name ‘soregh, murne and fast’. Ushered from a place gloomed in shadows, mystery and the ways of the olde, utilising the ghostly weave of haunting lullaby recitals from another age long since consigned to legend and custom, this aural apparition spirits in like a soul collecting fog casting its chilling deathly merriment upon all it touches, reference wise imagine a witching séance enacted by popol vuh, goblin and godspeed summoning up the spirits of archaic folk madrigals, one for the terrascopic folk I suspect. https://united-bible-studies.bandcamp.com/track/the-prickly-bush
More the Hare and the Moon related groove, Grey Malkin featuring on the previously mentioned United Bible Studies set in case you are taking notes, this time accompanied by Alaska. ‘black shores’ comes pulled from a compilation set that’s admittedly been on the in house to do list for a few weeks now entitled ‘in the cities of your eyes’ which features contributions from among others Edward Ka-Spel (who incidentally will be popping up again later today), stone breath, book of shadows, cindytalk and many more besides. All proceeds from sales going to aid refugee camps in the Greek islands. For now though the aforementioned ‘black shores’ – a gorgeously smoked slice of folk noir love note enchantment steeled and shimmered in a sepia set twilight ghosting that might on initial listens hint of the mercurial outer worldly touch of dead can dance yet scratch a little deeper and amid the hymnal reverence, the chill tipped stateliness and subtle traces of euphoria something approaching a fragile majestic union of Gizeh lights Glissando and Chantal Acda emerges from out of the haze. https://inthecitiesofyoureyes.bandcamp.com/track/black-shores
And talking of Gizeh records, been such a while since we featured any of their wares that our turntable has gone into states of mournful pining. So to remedy all, word is out of a new full length by Brave Timbers entitled ‘Hope’ from which ‘swimming in the isar’. A joint release between Gizeh – who’ll be taking care of the vinyl matters and little crackd rabbit (another label we’ve lost touch with in recent times) who’ll be catering for your CD needs. Brave Timbers once the solo guise of Sarah Kemp has these days expanded to include Andrew Scrogham, revealing poise, elegance and a pristine use of space ‘swimming in the islar’ is an adorable listening experience, the deft soft hush of the tonalities as they stir into life and colour is simply breathless, much like a thawing sleepy headed white frosted landscape twinkling into green and brown animation, these minimalist ice carved sculptures delicately melt to draw in density, dimension and depth lushly spraying your listening corner in the caressing kiss of cantering wonderment to arrest all in its beautified and vividly expressive glory all the time purred in a succulent array of yearning rustics. https://soundcloud.com/gizeh/brave-timbers-swimming-in-the-isar
Back with those inconsistent jukebox types, who of late, have been peppering sound cloud with various salvos at such a rate that our ears can’t cope with the sonic avalanche. However, this nugget caught us in a moment of relative calm, ‘hunter seeker’ is described as a ‘pitch’ for a proposed adventure gameshow and finds Mr Snaith freefalling into 70’s espionage grooviness, geared to a pulse racing motif that subtly tweaks to the pulsing throb of Barry Gray’s ‘UFO’ theme this honey comes traced in the spy noir cool of ‘mission impossible’ and variously other Mancini / Schifrin nodded exotica all culminating in a dead eyed ITC styled ident at its close. Oh and there’s a permissions issue which we’ll try to resolve, so alas, for now, no sound links – sorry.
An album ‘fun with music’ approaches, it promises to be non-conformist, resolutely avoiding type cast or category, its authors surrealist imps aPAtT are, one might suspect, orphans of Vivian Stanshall, admirers of Zappa, more so peerless without equal or likeness, they marshal a sonic hidey hole that manifests with schizoid zeal ignoring the expect rule book preferring to puzzle, bewilder and confuse not only their fan base, obviously, but more likely perhaps themselves. Their sound, strange and crooked at their most lucid, deranged sore thumbs at their most wilful, indiscipline is the new discipline in aPAtT world, musical magpies stitching together what might first appear as ill-fitting melodic mosaics yet under their watchful eye rendered into nonsensical sense, a warped macabre freak musical if you must. ‘give my regards to Bold St’ from said imminent full length of fried freakiness is a three movement mirage of curios, initially demurred in the kind of enchanted florals that once upon a time became a trademark of Ooberman, it then without warning or hint zig zags oddly into the woozy non the less sultry worlds of jazz noir before decamping into Oriental realms wherein the dreamy tinkering of bowed chimes soon maddeningly morphs into a darkening chamber orchestration that sounds like the results of an evening long studio lock in pairing together John Lurie and Barry Adamson. https://soundcloud.com/apatt/gives-my-regards-to-bold-st
I want one of these and won’t rest until a copy is securely in my mitts. Happened across this delightfully demurring delicatessen via a quick sweep around bandcamp world, makes me shudder that we might never have known of its existence. This crooked cornucopia comes courtesy of Dr Cosmo’s Tape Lab, who appear to be a duo hailing from Glasgow and what you’re about to listen to may well prove to be a late runner in your favourite listening treats of the year. Out on 7 inches of vinyl to which pressed upon you’ll find two kooky cuts of paisley pastoral pop led from the fore by the lolloping floral ‘community garden politics’ – a gorgeously teased slice of pop eccentricity daydreaming idly imagining a secret session cobbled together by a meeting of Small Faces and Van Dyke Parks types all re-trimmed by the Brigadier, be warned it has, what can only be described as a Kelly Marie moment lurking in wait amid its grooves. Perhaps one of the most oddball and refreshing slabs of out of step grooving we’ve had the pleasure of hearing since those rare outings by the Murmurs of Irma. However it’s the flip cut ‘pig in a pen’ that’ll probably receive the admiring nods off approval and fingers crossed – deserved airplay, a 60’s shimmered radiant sunny pop sortie primed in Byrds-ian riff chimes all distractively dinked in the kind of playfully purred radio friendly ear candy reminiscent of Traffic and the Spencer Davis Group replete with kaleidoscopic swirls and a woozy soft psych dissolve at its finale.
Eyed this on a passing posting, another occasional visitation from the aPAtT collective, a seasonal greeting card if you must from one of the most creative ensembles to have come our way in the last decade. Both peculiar and beautiful not to mention beguiling and zonked out, ‘star on the eucalyptus tree’ is traced in enchantment and magic, a floral mysterio visited upon by the ghosts of Ooberman past – ‘running girl’ anyone – yet here crookedly flashed through with what sounds like an impish invasion of Cuban Boys – utterly adorable but then did you really need me telling you that.
Apologies to whoever did the posting alerting us to this as I seriously can’t recall where or from whom I pulled this. This is quite immense, literally rippling with anticipation and tension, a study in the finite minutiae of detail, the pinnacle of mans industry touching the stars, venturing the unknown. ‘landing on the moon’ is as it says on the tin, archive transmissions of the historical event that was the Apollo 11 moon landing here back dropped by a vast panoramic neo classical ambient overture whose poise, grandeur and majesty encapsulates the very vastness of not only the cosmic oceanography but that sense of sweet isolationism. Incidentally it’s by the aptly named moon dust. https://soundcloud.com/petri-kiviniemi/landing-on-the-moon
Little late arriving at the Christmas table with this but I’m suspecting you’ll forgive us for sneaking this one in, apparently this got aired to much appreciative feedback and adoration on a recent Mary Anne Hobbs 6 music broadcast. By Powell it features deep hypno-grooving trance beats aplenty – think Wagon Christ in a duelling decks face off with Muslim Gauze – with samples pulled from the fourth best Christmas film ever – ‘elf’ – it’s called ‘angry elf’ and this is the ‘stocking mix’.
Anyone up for a spot of dub induced mystic transcendentalism, well many of you might have wondered to yourselves the curious lack of Alrealon Musique related groove populating these pages of late, fear not stuff is happening not least this superb 12 minute headshrinker from dub pilot which is available as a free download. Essentially ‘capture the flag 3x mix’ is a clever splicing of three edits of the same track – ‘capture the flag’ obviously – two rehearsal takes and a live mix – which ought in the first instance to prick and scramble the old grey cells of those much recalling with fondness the likes of 70 Gwen Party and Depth Charge from many years back. This gem blends sepia twisted twinkle sprayed glacial dream dipped chorals (a la Heather Duby) with floor rumbling industrial dub mosaics replete with hulking Cathedral organ dissipates to create a superb hyper gliding psychotropic fringe parting event that enlists the assistance of Ned Jackson – who you may recognise instantly as Black Saturn – and Kristina Casteneda.- file under super chilled groove.
A hauntingly beguiling softly swirling shadow play graced and toned in past life ghosts and memories all acutely seasoned in a noir traced majestic and timeless tapestry of an impacting symphonic shimmering spirited in regret, revenge and romance. Admittedly not as dark or fitting as Spectres offering via Sonic Cathedral but still immeasurably better than the lame Sam Smith Bond by numbers disappointment, this is Radiohead’s abandoned theme for ‘Spectre’ – a wound licking bruised beautiful echo tenderly traced in the emotional vulnerability of an ‘in rainbows’ crafting. Adored in a word and a fitting homage that harks back to the mystery, macabre and magic of Barry’s scintillating choreographing of the protagonists suave, cold and cooled inner detachment.
Fear not for we will be returning to this for closer inspection later sometime, this is a free download musical Christmas gift from those folk at Castles in Space. Entitled ‘leaning forward – a castles in space Christmas present’ – this collection gathers together a stellar cast of artists who’ve featured on the labels inaugural releases to date along with a few guest appearances most notably, concretism who we’ll feature a little later and correlations whose ‘hollow minds (a slight return)’ – is a charmingly quaint lunar pastoral musical box motif rippled amid mesmeric mosaics of seafaring sereneness which to these ears sounds not unlike some chill tipped calling cobbled together by a meeting moment of Ulrich Schnauss and manual types. Elsewhere other new found strays include the promise whose ‘only when it rains’ is possessed of a glint of early 80’s electro pop of the type once upon turned out by the likes of the Fixx and a youthful Icehouse under the observing eye of a post Depeche Vince Clark while (pardon me if I’ve got this wrong but my eyes are really struggling with the graphics) Kl(aus) serenade the set list with some crystalline kosmiche loveliness courtesy of ‘big dream and a pinch of towel’ and into the bargain forge something from the rarefied substances that hold the stars in the night sky in a heavenly likeness of a Tangerine Dream meets La Dusseldorf lilting lunar lightshow.
With a collective member Curriculum Vitae that boasts previous endeavours in the likes of St Christopher, Minor Threat, Swervedriver, Government Issue, the Saturday People and more beside, you might be forgiven for thinking that dot dash where an indie wet dream forged out of a fantasy band selection. The mere fact that their latest platter – ‘earthquakes and tidal waves’ – is produced by a certain Mitch Easter isn’t lost on us either, especially given that ‘rainclouds’ comes blushed in a classically toned power pop shading that nods irrefutably to the mercurial vibe of the much missed dB’s whilst likewise sumptuously drawing to its purring pout the kind of coolly coalescing ear candy chime pop that stirs, struts and shimmers to the echoes of teenage fanclub, the mayflies, velvet crush and the motors. Goes without saying it won’t be the last you’ll hear of these dudes in these pages, available through beautiful music. https://dotdashdc.bandcamp.com/album/rainclouds