gew-gaw ‘στοιχειά (spooks)’

We owe a massive apology to the Gew-Gaw folk who sent over past copies of the publication along with CD’s which were primed for review at one point, words for which disappeared in a lost proposed missive due to a laptop crash sometime way back in the autumn months of last year. To compound matters the package they sent over has since gone into hiding in the great CD mountain that is currently threatening to outpour from its box room location at present. We mention this partly to unburden our failings – been ages since we had a full night’s sleep I can tell you – and in some to make up for past oversights by having the pleasure of cherry picking our way through their latest release. A new edition of Gew-Gaw, long time coming has finally hit the shop front, with it a 19 track CD compilation tucked inside. Now here’s where things get a little confusing, as it appears that the magazine is available in four different variants – the standard Mag / CD version plus limited run copies of the same that feature in addition – a 7 inch featuring Constantine and another featuring a split outing gathering together the Marshmallow Overcoat /Fly Away & Thee Hands Of Tyme/(Can’t Stop) Thee Hands Of Tyme – or you can just purchase the bumper bundle version featuring the mag, the CD and the 2 7 inches – there’s just 10 of these. Anyway as to the CD, I think I’m right in saying we’ve previously mentioned the Bordellos mystical contribution in previous dispatches – a track sung in Greek to boot. In many respects the CD reads like a Nuggets / Pebbles relic, a smorgasbord of fuzzy psyche, willowy folk and 60’s garage beat to which Constantine open matters with the wonderfully dreamily harvested floral enchantment that is ‘η μέρα του φωτός’ – think Ghost, Circulus and Justin Hayward. We’ve mentioned Snails in passing previously, these are the Greek variant and not those dudes from Bristol whose debuting full length is shortly to get a wax airing on the celebrated feral child imprint, these folk do a neat line in classically toned bearded buzz sawing 70’s styled psych prog freakbeat. Occasional visitors to these pages the Seventh Ring of Saturn drop the snaking ‘σούρα και μαστούρα’ which unless our ears do deceive does quite sound like an early 70’s acid pill popped out of a bonged out Turkish drop out commune while αρνητικό Ανάπλους I’m assuming the name of the track is the first part of the title with the band being the second, anyhow quite irrelevant when the sounds are so indelibly wigged out, admirers of the mighty Baby Woodrose will do well to seek out at their earliest convenience. Those fancying their sounds somewhat shade adorned and oozed in strobe lights and kaleidoscopic swirls will do well to check out the Seeds meets Standells scuffed n’ smoky primitive garage beat of the Statycs. Up close and personal the agit gouged spiked friction of αταιριαστο πνευμα Ηλίας by Χορταριάς wires with the kind of fist clenching gusto that suggests they’ve been rummaging through a box of second generation punk heroes notably Chron Gen c. ‘nowhere to run’ while elsewhere memories of the Stranglers ‘the raven’ are swiftly recalled to mind when η ζωή της νύχτας Διαφυγόν Κέρδος connects and fuses to the synapses. We must admit to having more than a soft spot for the Basements’ ‘δεν ξυπνo’ not least because it sounds so decadently lo-fi and primitive not to mention a tad beaten around the edges and worse for wear, in truth sounds like something Estrus would have kicked out in the 90’s, then there’s the wickedly wiggy Frantic V with the some uber funky vintage freakbeat loveliness courtesy of ‘κορίτσια για παρηγοριά’. Add in some super slinky swarthy arabesque dub doped out there-ness from Le Mur and some chemically lysergic math fusion from parting dudes Yellow Digit and you have yourself something of a head shrooming happening.

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