Look what we sneaked online while you were sleeping…
Transmission 11.0….w/e 18/3/2017
Revolutions of a 33 and 45 kind….
As we were putting this particular missive to bed in the early hours of the morning, the sad news started trickling through announcing the death of Chuck Berry. Berry was the man who gave rock n’ roll its sound, its heart beat, its swagger and its cool, a lone bluesmen, notwithstanding Jerry Lee Lewis, the original bad boy of rock trading on a diet of cars, girls and America, his songs spoke of teen angst, lust and the joy of youth with an impish commentary on clash tensions, his trademark duck walk wiring upon a two string bending technique taken from T Bone Walker. Rest in Peace Sir……
No particular place to go…
You never can tell
Home current, the assistant, vorderhaus, pye corner audio, faten Kanaan, children of alice, jonny velon, taffy, auction from the promiseclub, concretism, creed taylor orchestra, sid bass, earl backus, frank Comstock, where we sleep, the black windmill, sandscape, kumisolo, emma gatrill, reverse family, chester Hawkins, green seagulls, golden rain, hayes mcmullan, Robert rental, non, visitors, kitchen and the plastic spoons, guerre froide, tumbleweed, dgtc clr, Gerry and the holograms, Thomas leer, vivien goldman, the bags, the nerves, radiophonic workshop, stutter steps, seafieldroad, matthew Edwards and the unfortunates, corrupting sea, sleepyard, the NoMen, gnod, gnoomes, hey colossus, the unseen, pages from Ceefax, deadwall, napoleon iiird, sauveur mellia, james Hamilton, sooner, wizards tell lies, sister sledge.
Coincidentally timed to celebrate its head honchos 50th birthday, Polytechnic Youth reaches its half century courtesy of a super limited 100 only 7-inch lathe split that finds the Home Current and the Assistant sharing the groove sides. Available in numbered editions of randomly selected clear or black vinyl it marks the start of a busy release schedule that should see an album by Vorderhaus – more of him in a moment – and a very special clear wax second repress of a killer Pye Corner Audio / Faten Kanaan collaboration – again more about this in a second. But presently pressing at the moment is that aforementioned Home Current / the Assistant split, as ever with these label-less lathes we here are a little mystified as to which side is which, a little ident on the run out groove alerts us – hopefully – that the Yellow Magic Orchestra sounds fed through the impish Landscape sound laboratory to create a curiously robotised hypnosis might well belong to the Home Current’s ‘end of the tunnel’, its wonderfully vintage primitive electronic ID’ing chirpily chiming to a mesmeric and motorik future age clockwork motif that wouldn’t much amiss had it snuggled onto Kraftwerk’s chip pin circuit bopped ‘computer world’ set. Over on the flip lurks with a degree of uncertain logicality ‘something profound’ by the Assistant, which manages to cleverly have one foot in the late 90’s with the other in the early 80’s in an attempt to channel a primitive techno vibe spliced with a chic noir trimming (though admittedly that part of the sonic equation manifests towards the end) which I must admit it achieves with much aplomb, managing to create a mutant melodic species that draws heavily from Cabaret Voltaire’s ‘the crackdown’ whilst hooking itself upon an Orbital mainframe.
Further Home Current sonic activity awaits on his soundcloud page, may we suggest that once you are here you tune immediately into the quite breathless ‘leave your fears’ featuring Anna Brønsted – quite possibly the loveliest thing we’ve heard since that EMA score for ‘#horror’ last year. https://soundcloud.com/martin_thc
As previously mentioned, next up on the polytechnic youth release roster will be a full length from Vorderhaus who as it happens we mentioned briefly a little while back, now don’t get to alarmed because there might be mention of Duran Duran during the course of this musing for ‘Catacombs’ – a sneak preview track therein – is sumptuously flavoured in that whole early 80’s electronic buzz, in truth not a million miles in sound from current Zombi admirers L A Takedown albeit as though refracted through the club floor chic lens of White Rose Movement who are found here re-patching those classic era Duran Duran night versions. https://soundcloud.com/vorderhaus/catacombs
As to that Pye Corner Audio / Faten Kanaan collaboration, okay the story goes that the PY guys put this out to tender with selected record shop friends to gauge the demand, stupid numbers came back and once word was out the whole lot shifted in nano-seconds on pre-release interest alone. Now to avoid upset and noses being put out of joint, the label have decided to rustle up a special mail order / online version limited to 250 all on clear wax as opposed to the black wax 1st press. In truth you can see why there’s been such a fuss, two of the most cutting edge electronic alchemists pitched together on vinyl both perfectly complimenting the other. The ghostly allure of ‘darkest wave’ comes time locked in an eerie late 70’s vintage that’s very much channelling Human League Mk 1, darkly seductive, the prowling pulsars of PCE arc icily with Zombi like entrancement around Faten’s chill toned disconnected vocals. That said those of you well attuned and much admiring of Carpenter’s recent ‘Lost Themes’ series of releases, and here we are thinking ‘utopian façade’ ought to navigate sharpishly in the general direction of ‘mirror lake’. Full reviews coming shortly. https://boomkat.com/products/the-darkest-wave
An interlude…..Teddy Lasry…
More electronic cool from the 70’s, this is the quite sublime ‘E=MC²’
Picked up today on a rare jaunt to the City Centre and to the ever-cool Probe records, the limited debut vinyl experience that is Children of Alice, a collective of weird ear boffins gathered from members of Broadcast – James Cargill and Roj Stevens and ghost box dude Julian House. Named as such to pay respect to the Trish Keenan, Carroll’s most enduring work ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was her favourite, this release comes as a strict 500 only issue, features a poster insert, download card and comes housed in an eye catching minimalist mirriboard sleeve. Within sit a quartet of cuts, side one taken up entirely by the twenty minute fantasia ‘the harbinger of spring’ which best described as country cosy idyll gently leads you by the hand for a trip into a not so distant nostalgia, it’s a place where melodic cut ups and musical fragments gather to conspire and collude in creating a hazy dream like confusion whereupon Bucolic pastorals, weirding Radiophonic delights and strangely eerie ghost lights dissipate, dissolve and disappear in a playfully foggy notion. It’s something pierced with the kind of wonky waywardness – I kid you not plenty of boings, celestial happenings and all manner of woozy strangeness – that ought to tick the listening boxes of the likes of Keith Seatman, A Year in the Country and of course Ghost Box, Finders Keepers and Trunk enthusiasts alike, a kaleidoscopic carousel aged in a sepia toned early 70’s televisual vintage spirited by Victorian playroom visitations. Side two continues the fracturing hallucinogenic wigginess, a descent into disquieting trip-ville for amid the echoes of macabre laughter that greet ‘rite of the Maypole – an unruly procession’ a wired hall of musical mirrors reflects, disfigures and refracts to pulsing strobes of kraut earth beat, beardy stoner gouges, musical box mirages and ghostly fairground rides. ‘invocation of a midsummer reverie’ does little to fade the surrealist oddness and sense of darkness a-looming for here lengthening shadows fall and the madness descends ever deeper intensified by ripples of psychotropic disturbances interspersed with moments of sadomasochism – hello Trunk records again – and the willowy wood dwelling chuckle of sprites and faeries not to mention a fair sprinkling of classic 70’s Brit folk horror fayre. We’d like to say that the parting cut ‘the liminal space’ brings matters back to a familiar reality, alas, it doesn’t. much reminiscent of those curiously creeped out soundtracks that used to back drop eerie televisual animations from Eastern Europe in the 70’s, ghostly wafts of chamber electronics eke out a mysterious footpath into the beyond whereupon a spectral serenade is at play which by these ears sounds distantly like Ron Grainer being retooled by Wizards Tell Lies. Available via Warp.
Annoying catchy and hooked upon a gloriously addictive zig zagging swing that sits somewhere between John Lurie and the North Sea Radio Orchestra with the rogue addition of a certain William D Drake marshalling the musical mayhem, this is Jonny Velon’s ‘the Cambridge squeeze’ – a track taken from a forthcoming full length ‘goodness flows’ due soon on both cassette and vinyl variants through – I think – the scratchy imprint. Certainly the kind of thing you’d expect parping its way amid the enviably esoteric play schedule of Radio 3’s ‘late junction’ and the late and much missed ‘mixing it’ show, it’s to do with that incessant and insistent panic pushing key tapping, the frantic busyness and buzz that had us here wondering if they be the bastard off spring of the mighty Wizards of Twiddly.
I’ll be totally honest in saying we here are rather smitten with this, the new thang from Taffy just ahead of the release of their fourth full length player ‘Nyctophilia’ through Club AC30. The ever so cute-some ‘murkiii’ arrives candy kissed in dream dazed shoe gazey shimmers ghosting over the affectionate purring pout of some deliciously cooing bubble grooved pop-ness that friskily fizzes with a sweetly yearning lovelorn radiance. Adorable in short. https://soundcloud.com/club-ac30/taffy-murkiii
20/07 London – TBA
22/07 Manchester – Jimmy’z
23/07 Leeds – Brudnell Social Club
24/07 Bethesda Wales – TBA
26/07 Brighton – The Hope & Ruin
Here’s the newly peeled video to accompany the latest lovely from Auction for the Promise Club entitled ‘moonlight’ which as it happens we mentioned here a little while back somewhere here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/auction-for-the-promise-club-3/ that moment at 2.15 where everything momentarily grace falls into serene bliss amid all the anxious friction, still to our ears one of the best pop moments this year.
Sheltered beneath glowing skies haloed by nuclear sun sets clutching survivalist instruction manuals and public information leaflets, here’s the much admired Concretism with another teaser taster from his Summer pencilled as yet untitled full length release, ‘black special’ finds him still wandering in an alternative sonic time line located somewhere in an early parallel 70’s culturing futuristic fantasia’s scratched upon VHS mediums whilst channelling heavily upon monochromatic cold war anthems fused and soldered upon the barest of technology scraps to hone future gazing landscapes spirited by fading memories of Pye Corner Audio and Boards of Canada. https://soundcloud.com/concretism/black-special-1
A musical interlude….Sunday morning mystery, intrigue, cosmic tropicalia and space lounge featuring the Creed Taylor Orchestra, Sid Bass, Earl Backus and frank comstock
‘shock’ from 1958…..very out there….
‘from another world’ – amazingly from 1956
‘haunted guitar’ from 1957….
‘music from out of space’ from ‘62
Just love the way this meshes itself around you possessed of that same womb like maternal heartbeat as Kate Bush’s ‘breathing’ though here stripped to the barest of pulses and hollowed in a deeply alluring spectral warrior soul framing, this came our way following being spotted on a posting by Deux Furieuses’ Ros Cairney, a good call as I’m sure you’ll agree sounding into the bargain like a youthful Eurythmics’ Annie Lennox channelling the sparse sonic corridors of the Creatures, anyway its by where we sleep and it’s a demo version of a track by the name ‘experiments in the dark’. https://soundcloud.com/user-237937066-338434555/experiments-in-the-dark-demo
very quick mention for this, had to include it somewhere given it popped up on the sound player and near blew us away with its prowling and snaking seductive cool, would it be wrong to say this appears to be sublimely feeding off a shadowy 60’s grooving that imagines Mazzy Star, the Delgados and Charlotte Gainsbourg found gathered at a dust dry crossroads swapping notes of devil dealing contracts, it’s by the black windmill and called ‘take the low ride’. https://soundcloud.com/the-black-windmill/take-the-low-ride
another track from their much adored around here ‘artificial rush’ set, this is Sandscape as remodelled by Lex records based friends High Lucia who apply the cosmic kisses to the love noted orbital ‘don’t say i didn’t warn you’ to great chill toned amorphous effect, an utterly surrendering svelte gem divinely trimmed in an arresting smoky and silken jazz noir chic. https://soundcloud.com/bonafide-magazine/sandscape-dont-say-i-didnt-warn-you-high-lucia-remix
how we’ve been missing our usual fix of sonic flavourings from flau, happily we eyed this cosily cute and frisky flutter by on their face book page, this is KUMISOLO with ‘La Tête Ailleurs’ – a track culled from a forthcoming long player entitled ‘Kabuki Femme Fatale’ – a wonderfully woozy and radiant slice of 60’s French pop whose playfully dainty head in the clouds effervescence skips, shimmies and swoons to a perkily chic swing that impishly draws a subtle half way hidey hole between France Gall and L’Augmentation with an ever so breezy side serving of Stereolab albeit as though remodelled by Benjamin Schoos.
Staying with Flau, seriously how could I resist not mentioning this spectral folk beauty from Emma Gatrill, this is ‘you’ a track taken from her incoming ‘cocoon’ full length, a beautifully hazed slice of woodland enchantment that had us initially recalling moments from Serafina Steer’s debut set for Static Caravan yet which on closer inspection is revealing of the kind of dream drift sprays of hushly lilting shyly toned neo classical fantasia that whispered from the grooves of that adorably beguiling Lisa O Piu single ‘ Whisperers, Wavers, Hunters And Sailors’ for Autumn Ferment a few years ago. https://soundcloud.com/flaurecords/emma-gatrill-you
many apologies to Andy formerly of the Scratch and latterly of the Tuesday Club seemingly on a spot of extra curricula new wave duties as Reverse Family. Truth of the matter as much as it pains me to admit it, is that we’ve had this since way before Christmas, somehow the blighter got itself hidden and mislaid in the mayhem that is the Sunday Experience chaotic filing system, filing system in the very loosest of the description. Anyhow ‘my songs about life mid crisis’ is shortly set for record counter action via perfect pop crisis – incidentally catalogue number PPCO50 – indeed it’s the small details that never fail to escape our attention – just the actual records – and is set to arrive in a strictly limited to 200 only wax edition with a possible CD variant pencilled for probable happening later in the year. In short here be fourteen tracks staring out of the late 70’s for all the world sounding as though they’ve been rifling through the best bits of your well-worn stash of prized 7 inch platters from back in the day whilst junking the bad ‘uns and then wiring copious amounts of angular riffage along with the applying of oodles of prickly pristine pop make up, the daubing of a fair amount off tongue in cheek candidness and then the dipping of the bugger in dayglo dye – which all adds up to – voila – a new wave party pack that sounds as though its torn its way from a vintage early issue of Smash Hits or Superpop.
Where the Scratch wore their Buzzcocks / Magazine affections like badges of honour, reverse family though grazing similar sonic fields appear more content in hooking their spike topped new wave communal tent to the likes of Wreckless Eric, Captain Sensible (see the gloriously dishevelled ‘alcopoppers on fast food’ which impishly comes wired upon a killer Beefheart / Fall coda unless i’m very much mistaken – and i’m not), Jona Lewie, Vic Goddard, the Leyton Buzzards and of course Adam Ant whose influence is clearly about this collection like a rash. Add to the mixture an impish kookily crooked pop dynamic that absorbs elements of glam and the bubble grooved echoes of an at times 50’s teen buzz (refer yourselves to WIREd out ‘plastic punks’) and you have a collection of cuts which from the power popped pub rocking zigginess of ‘business or pleasure’ to the previously mentioned here a while back ‘way it goes’ with its schizoid club rumbling cool – think Gary Wilson rewiring Robin Scott’s M – a set that fizzes, pops and crackles with a retro electricity. Elsewhere the dub doused ‘I sense their watching eyes’ under certain conditions wouldn’t look to far out of place on one of six sides of ‘Sandinista’ where it not for the fact that it’s waywardly cut in the likeness of Klark Kent which before the letters of concern start flying in – and they will believe you me – is no bad thing. ‘electronic 6’ is just, well quite frankly – pure classic era weird earness from Landscape while those with a thing for spaghetti western grandstanding with hints of Marco’s post Ants Wolfhound grooves might do well to amble over to the cool arrest of the bruising wound licking ‘higher power’. Elsewhere ‘hand of god’ side 2’s opening salvo is cut as a floor rumbling funk struck mirror ball very much channelling heavy on a Gary Wilson influence while distant echoes of ‘dirk wears white sox’s’ lacerates the grooves of the parting shot ‘odd mix newgabes’.
Again, apologies are long overdue, this time to Chester Hawkins, much like the aforementioned Reverse Family release, another that got somewhat buried beneath the release chaos in the vinyl black hole that is the Sunday Experience listening shed. Now this is stunning, if I didn’t know better, a game changer. Just 300 of these heading out of the intangible arts imprint which if there’s any justice ought to have long flown the coup. This is colossal, a true synapse splintering head trip, set across two sides of wax ‘Natural Causes’ or as its sub titled ‘original music for pale trees – a film by Tim Ashby’ features two hulking slabs of high grade hypno-grooved kosmiche. Indelibly crafted with a nostalgic vintage, from its cold war nuclear bunker it gazes towards the stars and beyond into the oncoming futures which before you all start saying ‘ah stranger things’ – think again. For while ‘pale trees’ might well tread similar sonic ley-lines, its morphing nature illuminates upon a hidden creative mindset found tinkering around the blurring edges of musical universes populated by cosmic sounds, ambience, primitive techno and psychedelia. Pierced upon a stately cinematic phrasing, one of those rare releases where headphones are an essential accoutrement if only to savour the full impact of the immersive soundscapes that Hawkins brings to bear upon this absorbing wide screen sound board. ‘pale trees -part 1’ opens proceedings, obviously, its greeting call that which imagines the cosmic heraldry of Floyd being retooled and tuned by Ozric Tentacles, the leviathan like cavernous fanfares casting an atmosphere of both majesty and something spiritually primitive. Without warning the softly brushed bubbling dub dialects emerge from the sonic soup to crystalize and assume clear focus crafting out dream machine silvery pulsar shimmers, the locked groove opines reminiscent of Sonic Boom’s head to head with Sunray via Earworm in the early 00’s albeit spaced out with the propulsive fluidity of Tank, it’s here that the psychotropic phrasings weave a woozy tapestry that taps directly into your inner third eye, the milky mosaics trippily dissolving and dissipating like a super chilled Orb sparring with a classic era Plaid creating a hermetically sealed shape shifting orbital hothouse. And then we are loosely back full circle, swathes of meditative oceanic ripples arc and flash all the time poised with a serene symphonic symmetry that irrefutably nods to Tangerine Dream. Aside the artistry in seamlessly shunting together elements of psyche, kosmiche and ambience, what makes ‘natural causes’ so an appealing listen and something that becomes immediately apparent is that despite its 40 plus minute visitation upon your turntable, it’s how fast the time passes as you astral plane through its terraforming and tripping tides. Over on side 2 things manifest at a darker pace initially, the sonic palette delivered with more of an intricate detailing finds itself free flowing, principally into the lusher terrains once explored by the oft underappreciated Embryo, utilising a curious fusion of subtle dub washes and cosmic Afrobeat, hints of the spacious sound boards of Mort Garson are easily called to mind though simultaneous stirred in with elements of Jean Michel Jarre’s ‘Zoolook’ as though rehoused in groove shelling of ‘magnetic fields pt1’. As with its partnering side 1 opus, ‘part 2’ morphs sublimely switching focus, effect and atmosphere, the choral hazes, metronomic pulse beats and Middle Eastern tonalities soon drift into Sonic Boom terrains – and here I’m thinking of his more dronal frequency flipping work as Spectrum – for what can only be described as something akin to finding yourself mistakenly awakened from a peaceful nap to find yourself beneath the undercarriage of an idling extra-terrestrial hyper craft from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s classic cult TV show ‘UFO’ therein solar gliding to the end groove on a purring astral carpet. Immense. https://intangiblearts.bandcamp.com/album/natural-causes
Now I’ll be honest in saying that we sneaked a quick earful of this ‘un with the intention of prepping it for later in the week for mention activity, so smitten with it though that our planned listening for the evening was soon unravelling fast. With a press release that pretty much writes its own review, promising head tripping magic within, okay that’s our words not the labels, but you get the drift. This is heading out of the much-loved mega dodo sound stable June time, limited to just 300 copies all pressed upon 7 inches of vinyl and sure to sell out in the blink of a kaleidoscopic eye, this is the debuting platter from Green Seagull. Two cuts feature within that sound for all the world as though they’ve stumbled out of 60’s time machine, ‘Scarlet’ in short, the finest thing we’ve heard since that rather nifty Wicked Whispers debut, comes kissed and seasoned in a swirling 60’s spell craft whose shimmering chimes, subtle baroque pop weaves and shadowy grooving had us fondly imagining the criminally overlooked Autumn Leaves cutting coolly coalescing shapes whilst joining the magical dots between the Strawberry Alarm Clock and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. Over on the flip lurks the wigged out ‘they just don’t know’ – a zig zagging slice of Hammond hued slinky strut shimmying 60’s beat pop whose jangling crystalline chimes chirp melodiously to an as were lost Byrdsian vibing whilst simultaneously cooked in a sunny side up Left Banke radiance which on occasion unravels into moments of wiry stoner prog psyche. Alas no sound links just yet.
If i was ever given over to spending idling moments between listening to music – what am i saying – idling moments – like never – to dream up fabled fantasy bands, then this duo would certainly tick all the boxes as to how my minds ear would imagine how the Knife would sound had they been bundled into a studio with FortDax. Hailing from Italy, Golden Rain craft lushly hushed spectral electronics that ghostly serenade the shadowy fairground and European ballroom wastelands backdropping a faded early 80’s New Romantic setting, hints of the Mobiles aren’t lost on this faded love note to a lost scene and neither are the crystalline ice cooled orbital motifs sweetly haloed and murmured in mystery and aloof majesty. Incidentally the track in question is called ‘foglights’ a cut taken from a forthcoming EP via a joint label release between bulbart and pocket records.
Okay we’ll be trying furiously to grab ourselves downloads of these two very special releases currently heading out of the Lights in the Attic stable, the first of which is a collection of previously unreleased recordings by forgotten blues man Hayes McMullan and had played with the legendary Charley Patton back in the 20’s. these recordings come from tapes by blues archivist Gayle Dean Wardlow who also penned the liner notes to this incredible find, by way of a taster here’s the smoking cool delta blues prairie croon of ‘fast old train’ – the set incidentally is titled ‘everyday seem like murder here’.
In addition there’s also a killer tribute set entitled ‘sing it high, sing it low’ – the untold story of the semi legendary Tumbleweed record label who as the tag goes ‘Drugs, parties, poetry, celebrities, money—Tumbleweed had it all, except airplay and distribution’ – set up in 1971 and financed by banks thinking they’d stumbled on the next hippy dream, instead of the expected returns and money making chart success the label commune set up by Larry Ray and Bill Szymczyk would tank and cease to be, Szymczyk would shortly seal his reputation by co-producing the Eagles’ ‘hotel California’ while most of the labels roster would languor in obscurity and thrift shop bins.
Kissed with a slick svelte production this I’m afraid is another smoking cool lovely which unless I’m very much mistaken arrives marooned on a sound axis much reminiscent of the Aloof, it’s by DGTL CLR, their first single as it happens due May time and called ‘elephant’ – a wonderfully crafted slice of purring lights lowered soul chill sprayed spectral noir
This is looming sometime later in the week review wise – finally – a full release for the ‘the complete unreleased LP’ via finders keepers sister label Cache Cache, it be Gerry and the Holograms with some primitive Dadaist minimalist electronic wobbliness courtesy of ‘Gerry and the Holograms’ – legends in their own lunch time, absurdist surrealists out weirding the Residents and by all accounts favourite folk of head freak Frank Zappa, yes it does sound like ‘blue ‘bloody’ Monday’ but several years before, bafflingly good.
Interlude…..old school groove…..
And now for something truly special, the return of the Radiophonic Workshop to vinyl, their first recorded work since 1985. Available through their own room 13 imprint, ‘burials in several earths’ features guest appearances by Martyn Ware and Grammy award winning engineer Steve Jones and features a mammoth cosmically sprayed score both elegant and atmospheric spread across 8 sides of 10-inch vinyl. So while we go forth in search of review downloads / copies here’s just a brief ear shot of amorphous aural adventure unravelling within…..
My oh my we had a momentary double take at this thinking we’d unearthed upon some lost Go Betweens nugget, and before you all ask, indeed it is that good. This is Stutter Steps and ‘floored’ a track lifted from an EP of the same name coming through via Blue Arrow records sometime June. Primed and powered by the bitter sweet braiding of jangle driven riffage and the reflective purr of boy / girl conversations, this delightfully sly slice of radiantly retiring effervescence prickles with a hollowed tear traced trimming to find itself whittling out heart skipping nuggets that imagine rainy afternoon secret meetings between the Weather Prophets and Hey Paulette. https://soundcloud.com/user-958311844/01-floored/s-uBk8t
Those with an eye for such things, might well note our fondness for the much-missed Swimmer One, it goes without saying that their 2010 opus ‘dead orchestras’ was one of the great understated and underappreciated beauties of the last ten years. I’m sure in the dark and dim past that we mentioned Seafieldroad in passing, the post Swimmer One alter ego of Andrew Eaton-Lewis with sparring partner Hamish Brown on production duties, anyhow as gutted to find that they sneaked out ‘the winter of 88’ on a limited issue of 88, all alas long since sold out, we did happen across the quite beautifully realised ‘this road won’t build itself’ – a track that’s very telling of its authors mercurial song craft, one we’d like to suggest tailgates the personalised intimacy of the pen of Paddy McAloon c.’Andromeda heights’ whilst continuing the vulnerable and insightfully touching seam of song stylings that started with and made ‘the fakestar resurrection’ from the aforementioned ‘dead orchestras’ such a tortured yet comforting listening experience. https://seafieldroad.bandcamp.com/album/the-winter-of-88-album-2015
There’s something bordering on the underhand in the way this casually drops its little earworm eggs to hatch n’ snake its way unseen beneath your defences and weave its haunting vintage noir tweaked folk swing, coolly measured it prowls falling in and out the shadows beneath the overcasting lurch of brooding skylines, a city by night, rain swept and deserted pitches to a scene straight from a Chandler script, the mood fraught, tense and just a tad double dealing in mystery is swathed by the haloing melancholic opine of squirreling sultry brass which reference wise recall and smokily chilled British Sea Power. This be Matthew Edwards and the Unfortunates with a track called ‘Birmingham’ pulled from a forthcoming set for Gard Du Nord entitled ‘folklore’ this coming May. https://soundcloud.com/meandtheus/birmingham-mix-3b
Matthew Edwards & the Unfortunates play the following live dates, with more to be announced:
- Sunday 2nd April @ Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham
- Saturday 8th April @ Centrala, Digbeth, Birmingham (supporting Momus)
- Sunday 14th May @ Come Down & Meet the Folks, The Apple Tree, Clerkenwell
- Saturday 3rd June @ Centrala, Digbeth, Birmingham
This is the latest newly peeled cut from the Corrupting Sea who you may recall came highly recommended by Yellow6 a few weeks back with the result that his track ‘exit’ caused a fair amount of fuss in the Sunday Experience listening corner. Cut from the same atmospheric cloth, though sparser and more drone toned in both effect and texture, this slow forming leviathan comes pierced with an eerie spy noir 70’s cinematic phrasing, the sounds minimalist and electrically charged in a stilled calm before the storm sense of gathering tension, draw you in magnetically towards its less is more core, its hollowing grandness one suspects being something that ought to at once appeal to long term admirers of both godspeed and gnac not to mention tapping directly into fragile slow core majesty of an early Kranky release roster. https://soundcloud.com/the-corrupting-sea/entry-demo
Here’s a bit of treat that should at some point be stuffing one of those goodie bags being given away at one of the many forthcoming Fruits de Mer festivals this year. ‘slow surf into paradise’ finds the much adored Sleepyard in collaborative cahoots with the NoMen – well on the opening salvo ‘krautrock’ at least – for a head expanding six-track cornucopia of swirling sonic delights. Released late last October, this cosmic trip out gets the limited CD patronage, amid its grooves a lunar odyssey that succulently draws on the formers sense of graceful poise marrying it with the latter’s impish off radar knack for the musical peppering of the unexpected. However before you start expecting hooks and brashness aplenty, let us just say that this is a more ethereally considered affair, soothing star lulling hymnals and woozy aural visitations are the order of the day with only the opening ‘krautrock’ shattering the serene state of the enchanting fairy dust fantasia unfolding within. In fact its ‘krautrock’ where we begin, a motorik mysterio kissed seductively in kookily bearded hippy chic 60’s Hammond flotillas, rumbling heads down space twangs and oodles upon oodles of ghostly Siren-esque wisps weaving out a woozily transcendental mantra spoken in arcane folk tongues to forge something which in truth you keep expecting to ratchet through the gears but instead just shimmers in the ether on a cruise control settings, very Slipstream all said as though visited upon by a celestial happening. ‘rust and stardust’ draws the mood to more ominous climes, the soft hypnotic pulsars creating a pensive and shadowy hazy ambient chill which in truth wouldn’t look so out of place on an Add N to X happening. That said it’s from ‘mercury tourist’ (which along with ‘silent running’ where initially prepped for release on the forthcoming ‘winter crickets’ set) onwards that this EP manages to settle and find its sonic voice, a beautifully and admittedly eerie ghost light – see Preterite – emerges from the twilight mists harvested upon a spectral symphonic calling sweetly shimmered in monastic choral radiance followed in quick pursuit by the achingly brief tropical sea breeze of ‘silent running’. All said highlight of the set is the awe struck noir framed ‘Israel’ – a sepia showered slice of Le Carre spy chic that seductively sits somewhere on a sonic axis between John Barry and the more intimately crestfallen moments found on the Grails ‘doomsdayer’s holiday’. The nostalgic ornate lull of ‘new city lights’ takes matters to the end groove, though not before leaving you somewhat humbled and stripped of your wherewithal as it bruises with its delicately demurred melancholic haloing. https://sleepyard.bandcamp.com/album/slow-surf-into-paradise-ep
Rocket Recordings continue their release roster assault with no sign any day soon of easing off the pedal, here’s the latest teaser track from a forthcoming and dare we say formidable set from the mighty Gnod due to slap heads and leave turntables in a state of near destruction sometime March end with the arrival of ‘just say no to the psycho right wing capitalist fascist industrial death machine’ – good luck with getting that on the t-shirt and badge sets. This is the warring agit grind of ‘stick in the wheel’ – smarting with fury, thickly dense in mind numbing attrition and scowling with chest beating fanfare, 13 minutes all told or near to, which in truth latterly goes all mystic eyed and foggily transcendental no doubt off smoking a head popping peace pipe, yet which for the first five minutes rears up grizzled and gouged in a lock grooved wiring wall closing in tightening frenz hysteria that had us here imagining a seriously nagged Gang of 4 slipstreaming elements of a particular freaked and darkly turned Talking Heads whilst freebasing on This Heat.
Staying with rocket recordings a little longer, here’s an unexpected slice of orbiting star kissed swirly pop psych from the much loved Gnoomes, this ‘un coming pulled from their current or at least incoming ‘Tschak!’set and going by the name ‘maria’ – absolutely gorgeous, twinkled in minimalist cosmic corteges which unless our ears do deceive don’t sound so far from an imagining of the adored Silver Apples engaging in some kind of hand holding lunar tryst with Stirling Roswell – does it for us anyway.
More rocket recordings love this time from Hey Colossus who are readying themselves to drop ‘The Guillotine’ sometime June time with ‘experts toll’ having been pulled off its grooving and set ahead on scouting duties. Typically tight, the melodies wound intricately to an angular Math-ian regimental post punk needling riffage that circle on a simmer setting rising in assured ascendancy gathering in tension, density and determination until peaking at the 2.19 point whereupon everything crystallises into a splintering white out surge much like a passing cavalry careering over the hill, reference wise had us much recall8ng the much missed Playwrights if truth be told.
4 May – Prince Albert, Brighton
5 May – Full Moon, Cardiff
6 May – Old England, Bristol
11 May – The Maze, Nottingham
12 May – Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow
13 May – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
17 May – 100 Club, London
26 August – Sea Change Festival, Totnes (playing the Quietus stage, main support to Jane Weaver)
There we were bemoaning the fact that the Villa9 studios sound library had mysteriously vanished removing its presence from the internet, much like the Losing Today archive – but don’t get me started on that – and up pops without scarcely a mention, a fanfare or a cryptic note as they so often do, this quite alluring time locked treasure chest of sound. The return of the Unseen, who over the years have been responsible for the dusting down of lost soundtracks for forgotten 70’s horror flicks ‘the Goatman’ and ‘Mary’. This latest rare find entitled ‘the Blackheath tapes’ was reputedly recorded way back in ’79 during a fractious collaboration between Simon Magus and Klaus Morlock whereupon arguments and disagreements raged over to do with the recordings’ underlying concept, that being alien abduction to which Magus purported to having had first-hand experience of. The tracks available here are the surviving remnants of those fateful recordings, there will be a revisit to these in the near future – if we remember that is. For now can we gently guide you by the hand to the chilling abandonment that is ‘blackheath’ – an ice forming slice of primitive electronic isolationism that ought to chime well with those much versed in all things Polytechnic Youth and Horror Pop Sounds, all crystalline twinkles very much scored in the likeness of the theme from hammer house of horrors. There is of course the rather beautiful ‘safe ashore’ – a moment of tranquil bliss sprayed in romanticised arcs of pastoral flotillas, though if you were to ask me we’d suggest grabbing an earful of ‘an empty village’ whose nostalgic shelling of dream draped regal mysticism harks to the Bucolic arrangements that often adored those Italo horror Giallo classics of the early 70’s most notably those scored by Goblin. https://klausmorlock.bandcamp.com/album/the-blackheath-tapes
interlude….post punk electronics…
thomas leer and Robert rental
Kitchen and the plastic spoons
latest of the archive finds from pages from Ceefax, this mysterious artefact is an unknown cassette thought to date from February 1987 and simply entitled ‘GBH’. Rather than the usual spray of forgotten bedroom talent, shed dwelling radio frequency enthusiasts and bandaged up and soldered thrift shop discoveries with copious liner notes, this one emerges from the opposite extreme with no information, no track listings and no idea as to its heritage, authorship or legacy. Two extended collages feature on this latest cassette find which as the accompanying notes point out was obviously the work of folk with far better technology to hand than previous ‘stars’ who’ve appeared on this highly engaging and ongoing delve into electronic bops forgotten past. Like the aforementioned release from the Unseen, ‘gbh’ inhabits a cold war world obsessed in surveillance, public information broadcast films, open university idents and flock wall paper, the sounds a tad spaced out, lysergic and clearly for their reputed time line, somewhat ahead of the creative curve, provide a hazy though obviously warped by age, neglect and the unforgiving extremes of weather and temperatures change, vintage oddness and mix of disfigured kosmiche, chirping chamber electronics, woozy oceanic sea drifts and long wave frequency tinkering, something we’ll hasten to add that’ll probably have your toasters, kettles and various other electrical kitchen appliances all a swooning to its frisky pulsar playfulness while simultaneously catching the attentive ear of those well versed in the crookedly wiry synth pop emanating one time out of the frank wobbly and sons sound shed. https://pagesfromceefax.bandcamp.com/album/gbh-8th-february-1987
newly peeled video accompanying that rather spiffing outing currently doing the rounds by Deadwall, this is the simple perfect ‘heartlands’ pulled from their forthcoming full length ‘the zero cliff’ for hatch records mentioned as it happens previously somewhere here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/deadwall-2/
Now here’s a name that hasn’t troubled our turntable in such a long age, if i recall rightly last we heard of Napoleon IIIrd they were knocking out releases for fun on the much missed Brainlove imprint, it was brainlove wasn’t it and not something my wayward memory have impishly thought up. Anyway something else shortly to emerge from the Hatch stable, peeled from an incoming set due for May appearance called ‘the great lake’ this is ‘the scrape’, this ‘un has a distinct deathly swing that howls with piercing despair, the hulking and sombre chamber noir phrasing crushingly morose stoops, groans and meanders much like something you’d rightly imagine being hatched and thickly stirred in a c.83 studio meeting between an in between post Birthday Party pre Dead Seeds Nick Cave and Bauhaus’ David J.
interlude II – French library sounds……
two very rare collections from the early 80’s…..
Sauveur Mallia – Cosmosynthetic Vol. 1 – (1981)
Sauveur Mallia – Cosmosynthetic Vol.2 – (1981
Many thanks to James Hamilton for the heads up on this, you might recall us mentioning his ongoing project The Keraunograph Ensemble, well this looks like being the next instalment of what is prepped to be a four-record set when it’s completed. Due in April this is ‘Xenolith’ or at least excerpts from, again on limited issue, this takes you to the darkest realms of the void sphere, utilising treated organs and amplifiers, it explores the deep textured sub strata’s of sounds micro verse, all at once isolationist, tense, distant and toned in bleakly frosted haloes, these shimmering shards of manipulated sound chill to the stilled outer-worldly mysterious hum of the cosmos.
A most welcome message from guitarist John of the Brooklyn based quartet Sooner alerting us to his bands incoming debut EP, a lovely thing it is to from off which opening track ‘evil to me’ is available to hear and indeed swoon to on the preview page of their band camp site. A bitter sweet hurt heart with one foot in adoring of the C-86 era and the other shyly coaxed in a serenely dimpled affection for the tingling crush of the Sarah imprint while all the time its head is marooned in the svelte bliss drift of dream popped musings. Admittedly a slow to burn nugget which rather than preferring to be brash and in your face seems happy to wave from the back of the queue hoping to catch your ear, and of course it does, its frail and lightly tip toeing tones caught adrift upon a happy / sad breeziness that’s longingly dappled and serenaded by the soft opining caress of dreamily dissipating shimmering riffs atop the bruised reflective yearn of Frederica’s sighing vocals themselves occasioned by the peppering of smouldering vapour burns, which all said had us much in mind of the Sundays in cahoots with Frente. https://soonermusic.bandcamp.com/album/full-ep-out-soon
Wizards Tell Lies have been holding aloft magical lanterns that light up mystical paths we daren’t cross or venture, but venture we did. For a decade now, they have been exploring the strange worlds that most fail or prefer not to see, through dimensional prisms and eerie portals they have ghosted upon invisible parallel worlds that entwine with our own, viewing landscapes borne of secretive alternate histories perhaps the resulting fallout of shadowy Government experiments or a foretelling of post-apocalyptic futures to come, slips in time if you must, whereupon new paths and choices splinter into renewed birth and direction, these signposts or cracks in the fabric of reality manifesting upon the turn of the supernatural, the extra-terrestrial and the mysterious. Fox, Owl and Hart – for they are the Wizards, are not three but one, a gatekeeper tasked with guarding, forensically testing and observing these strange occurrence’s and obliquely posting reports of his findings back through a labyrinth of networks via coded messages.
Latest chapter in these covert sonic surveillance dispatches is ‘lost king, after you’, a surreal six track suite released on limited account by MuteAnt Sounds that finds the Wizards somewhat absorbed in the twilight hazes between fact / fable / reality / dream / nightmare, the sounds – dense, intricate and trippy freewheel upon a definable jazz discipline that’s immersed in a fluent shape shifting Radiophonic tongue, at times isolationist in both feel and texture, there’s an outer worldly accent running amok between the stuttering rhythms and the crooked time signatures that suggest footings in stranger and eerily ethereal lands instructed and motioned in the claustrophobic swarming of a stark grimy industrial grind.
The collection opens to the dream like cosmic arabesque of ‘tinderbox night dogs (the vision)’ – a tripping tapestry gouged in dissipating flotillas of noir-ish wisps, the mood accentuated by the swarthy drift tones of John Lunny’s watcher like saxophone and the dropping in and out of consciousness narrative tones of the Whip Angels’ Jenny Kraus. ‘cursed paths’ is the awakening start of what is a four-part descent in the dark, choral whispers and shimmer toning radiances affect a grand gateway to the beyond, the mood one of stilled majesty behind which looms an unseen dark and then ‘they only come out at night’ arrives, from out of the shadows the indigenous populace chatter to an excitable song, tension rising the atmospherics closing in wall like, what sounds like a macabre head tripping hallucinogenic ceremony is afoot. ‘that damned procession’ pretty much revisits sonic terrains once upon a time visited upon by the Wizards’ alter ego the Revenant Sea, brooding, war like and grinned in a deepening dread, to the slow paranoiac post-apocalyptic beat and storm calling drone a deathly dance calls as though an awakening charm to some unseen sleeping behemoth leading to the ceremonial fanfares that fan and fire throughout the ceremonial ‘arrow bee’s backwards mirror’ – something I guess that ought to chime musically to those much admiring of the Mount Vernon Arts Lab. Those perhaps seeking solace and a happy ending courtesy of the parting ‘3 days (Alice)’ might want to carefully think again, with the opening salvo ‘tinderbox night dogs’ it forms a bad tripping book end or rather more a sealing of you with your own paranoia and inner most demons with the sounds dissolving in hazes of mind loss psychotropic confusion. https://muteantsoundsnetlabel.bandcamp.com/album/wizards-tell-lies-lost-king-after-you
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The end groove….
We’ll leave you in the capable hands and as a mark of respect to the sadly departed Joni Sledge with the very wonderful ‘he’s the greatest dancer’ by Sister Sledge…..