…..from 2011…..originally on losingtoday.com…..
shapes and colours, evan caminiti, astral social club, vibracathedral orchestra, the truth about frank, mazes, the kayas, king post kitsch, insect guide, the lucid dream, azalia snail, she’s hit, straylings, gum takes tooth, the wicked whispers, ca quintet, cheryl dilcher, first aid kit, jan and dean, frozen geese, brett martini, cashier no. 9, nik freitas, the travellers, justin wiggan, geography of nowhere, barry gray, the baptists
missive 293 (2)
Missive 293 – part2
Surrounded in sound
Some off you may have been hit in recent weeks by emails from us – yes yes I know you probably all fell off your perches in shock at having got some kind of word from us – look it happens and yes we have finally got our outlook glitch sorted – however just to confirm – we have moved – in fact ages ago now – and well royal mail cocked up the re-direct so as of now please amend your records to the address below and if you can please pass on to all parties who you may feel will be interested…..oh and we have face book presence via http://www.facebook.com/thesundayexperience
Reviews and stuff……..
Shapes and Colours ‘what you asked for’ (demo / sound cloud). Recommended to us by Chris Housewife. This lot hail from London town and number four in the ranks (that’ll be Laurie, Nick, Chris and John) – not sure if there’s been any official releases as yet though judging by the frenetic art pop paint bomb that is ’what you asked for’ I’m suspecting that those art rocker types have – or indeed will – be over them like a rash in no time. Much recalling the glorious goof pop of those impish Welsh sorts Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club and fellow dysfunctional darlings Johnny Foreigner, shapes and colours appear adept at concocting the kind of seizure baiting wiry panic attacking impact pop that literally flips wigs, ‘what you asked for’ is the case in point – playfully raucous, critically hyper, shouty vocals and intricately galvanised by the kind of fits and starts spidery riffage so acutely angular you need a protractor to plot them. Deranged, damaged and damn delicious but don’t take my word for it instead shuffle along to http://soundcloud.com/helloshapesandcolours/what-you-asked-for and fill your boots
Evan Caminiti ‘distant lights’ (trensmat). Much cheer in our gaff at the arrival of two new fixes of vinyl from the much missed and recently re-animated from hibernation Trensmat imprint both of which we mentioned these briefly in passing at http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=358. Ultra limited to just (we believe) 250 copies, first up sees Barn Owl-er Evan Caminiti up for a spot of extra curricula work with a brace of improvised dream weaved recitals. ’static waves’ strangely filters through the ether exacting something mysteriously part sultry and yet part solitary, orbiting upon a demurring axis a drifting breeze of bowed ambi drone passes by like a tearfully traced celestial tidal wave resplendent in a hollowing haze of glassy shimmers metering out something that behind its outward façade of lilting elegance hints to a humbling ache that’s desperately detached and regretfully desolate and provide a first point admiring glance from fans of Roy Montgomery and Bruce Russell. Over on the flip awaits ‘last transmission’ a more – shall we agree to say – animated offering this time of asking that’s seductively wrapped in all manner of milky Floyd-esque wisps and bliss kissed trance toned trims impressed upon a deceptively panoramic canvas which amid its vastly arid bound setting finds itself echoing the quieter and more intimate moments of Montgomery’s ‘true’ set albeit as though rephrased by a super chilled Ry Cooder. All purchases comes gift wrapped with downloads giving access to the two vinyl cuts as well as a video of Evan improvising in the kitchen and I mean with the guitar and not the frying pan though given our copy was a little light on the download codes we can’t categorically confirm the above as wholly true.
Astral Social Club ‘snaefell’ (trensmat). Again ridiculously limited and by all accounts already sold out at source, the welcome return to the trensmat fold of Astral Social Club (you may recall their ’skelp’ 7 inch from a few years back). We used to go to school on Snaefell (Avenue) as a child – why I tell you this not so illuminating piece of useless information is beyond me but hey if there’s a connection to be made then making that connection we will no matter how trivial or redundant it may be – and anyhow it all adds to the word count which had I been getting paid per word (in case you ask – I am not – in fact while we are here what is pay) I’d have neatly serenaded you with tales spent their in Spock masks and Star Trek boots (3rd generation of course – phew nearly give my age away then – 78 in case you were wondering – d’oh) alas I’ll leave those printed horrors to another day (bet you can’t wait eh?). Anyway where were we – Astral Social Club that’s the bunny – two track 7 inch again replete with additional downloads giving access to three further tracks – ’Snizort’, ’Moff’ and ’Snaefug’ – which aside all sounding like names for uncomfortable skin complaints our copy seems to have omitted (excuse me while I howl and bawl). For those new to Astral Social Club – this is the experimental project of Vibracathedral’s Neil Campbell – as previously hinted by us at http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=358 ’snaefell’ really does sound like a sunburst shower following a cosmic firework pageantry, mutant dub step hybrids and primitive glitch grooves endow it with a retro subterranean trance persona that wouldn’t look out of place on prized wax slabs from a youthful tigerbeat6 imprint, factor in the subtle locked groove psychotropic waveform washes and lunar swirls and you have yourself something of a forward thinking slab of futuro funk minimalism. ’mocne’ over on the flip side – will fit neatly alongside your cherished and very rare Frank Wobbly and Sons record collection (see http://www.discogs.com/label/Frank+Wobbly+%26+Sons if you find yourself wondering what we are on about), more mutoid schisms from the underbelly of the outer spheres of the minimalist electro funk universe, mind warping layers of pulsing acid house grooves re-baked under the watchful mindset of a youthful Aphex Twin with Black Star Liner on hand for additional head frying flavouring. Did we mention its essential.
Astral Social Club / Glockenspiel ‘split’ (krayon). Either this is back in limited circulation or else I’ve been sold stock found languishing at the back of our local record emporium. This cute thing saw the light of day in that golden year 2009 emerging to what you could rightly say of it to do people’s heads in because quite frankly we ain’t got a damn clue what’s happening here. Played at a number of speeds and none sounding quite right – though for these purposes we’ve opted for 33rpm mainly because spun at 45rpm this just sounds insanely demented. Astral Social Club is as you should know by now the extra curricula work of Vibracathedral Orchestra’s Neil Campbell these days found flaunting the grooves of trenSmat releases – see above – and a musician who you seriously suspect may have at an impressionable age had something of a knock to the head that’s manifested in later years to him hearing sounds in his head as though being played through a hulking industrial spin dryer. Much like the aforementioned ’snaefell’ Campbell appears to happily charter an un-plotted sonic micro verse far removed from tuneful tinkering of most unless of course you happen to be Sonic Boom in his EAR persona wherein everything makes absolute sense. to some on first point of contact ’smash crater #1’ may well sound like an aural overload of jumbled aural communiqués yet patiently stick with it and on repeat listens and what you’ll find amid the proliferation of confused sonic bit stream hazes is something truly out there that woozily veers into focus traced upon a hypnotic tide of motorik pulse lines ushering in wave upon wave of celestial washes and jubilant overtures. Still sounds fried on 45 though. Over on the flip sits Glockenspiel who I think I’m right in saying are previously unknown to us – here recorded live for posterity with ’assorted PCP’ – this is a more sedate and tenderly melancholic and detached offering, the application of low end drone timbres gives it a cavernous like presence which in all honesty is possessed of the graceful majesty of wallowing whale sounds, one of those slow to burn type recordings that steadily grows in depth and stature the further it goes so much so that towards it finale it assumes a menacing industrial vibe that’s grimly splintered and fractured with an edgy black hearted dissonance.
Sticking with the Krayon imprint for more – recently discovered in the back of the shop gems…..
Vibracathedral Orchestra / Infinite Light ’split’ (krayon). Lazy journalism I know but Vibracathedral Orchestra’s ’get it’ really does sound like that Sonic Boom (again) dude albeit this time found mooching around in his more consumerist appealing Spectrum guise (and before you all start moaning and asking – indeed we prefer the EAR stuff) on what sounds like the intro to Pete Shelley’s ’homosapien’ caught in a locked groove with a wigged out tab toking mind morphing Cluster doing kraut cruised bliss out signatures over the top against a whirring cosmic pulsar ray – utterly trip-a-delic – third eye contact for Silver Apples and Sunray disciples. Not sure for certain whether we’ve had the pleasure of Infinite Light doing their stuff on our turntable but judging by their offering ’baptised by institution’ our gates to perception are forever open – alas no all important information with which to pass on except to say this lot have been known to kick out ridiculously limited outings via the cassette only lotus birth imprint (begging letters are in the process of being sent). No need for recreational pharmaceuticals here given that this cutie literally trips its way through a lysergic cloud, an absolutely zonked out freak show that sounds like its been on a perpetual high since the late 60’s with what initially sounds like a out of it spot of Zappa zaniness wherein the suspicion that all the integral players are playing the correct notes though to coin from Eric and Ern ’not necessarily in the right order’ or for that matter the same page rides high and soon settles to emerge from the haze like some goofed out and oddly sounding fried psyche folk nugget that fans of MV + EE albeit rephrasing Karen Dalton ought to seek out sooner rather than later.
And for those curious to know more those Lotus Birth types can be located at http://www.lotusbirth.co.uk/ wherein you’ll find a dedicated sound cloud pages featuring sample tracks from the aforementioned infinite light, awake, nautilus, ross parfitt and andy Jarvis whose ’astragalus’ outing could – depending on which way you read their discography – be the latest or first release for this fledging experimental label.
The Truth about Frank ‘cannibal work ethic’ (lyf). Weirdness abound. We suspect at some point in the distant future Leeds duo the Truth about Frank will be rightly held aloft as pioneers of some as yet to be named sub genre – probably by the Wire (who’ll call it tTAFiola or TtafISM – hey I bags the copyright on the names and the suggestion) who I’ve noted haven’t invented a scene for no one to follow for at least 5 issues. Of course the Truth about Frank are no strangers around these parts – though its been duly noted that we’ve managed to somehow miss out on a few releases to which in response we’ve spent most of the evening fashioning wax dolls in their likeness and will shortly be dangling said dollies over a candle. tTAF first appeared on our radar way back in 2008 when through our letterbox, onto our hi-fi and into our hearts entered their debuting EP ’a briefcase of full of suspicion’. it was – as I think I’ve mentioned in previous dispatches – one of the finest debuts that year. Strange, abstract and sometimes surreal it plundered a shadowy ;pseudo electroid world where names like elemental, play dead and the daddies of Dadaist minimalism Cabaret Voltaire are carved upon sky blocking monuments for rightful worship.
‘Cannibal work ethic’ is their official debut full length following well received stopovers at the wierd&wired imprint and their inclusion on the long division with remainders curated ‘14 versions of the same EP’ – a finished and completed copy of which I do seem to recall us not hearing. Ah well – there’s another prime candidate for some doll moulding. As to the lovable tTaF’s it’s a warming thing to note they’ve lost none of their strangeness and menace, still acutely proud and wearing their irregular and flippant sonic caps the fTaF ones still appear to be channelling the aural consciousness of the aforementioned Cabs. 8 cuts feature within that spiral between dosed up industrial tweaked dubtronic locked grooves and weirded out psych shrilled horror / suspense montages that revel in disturbed dislocation.
Drawing a line in the sand that’s flavoured and favoured with the kind off radar electro schisms more associated to an early incarnation of those impish Kid606 / Tigerbeat6 dudes (and mid 90’s era Coil as it happens – best exemplified here by the sinister dread of the frankly uneasy and wretchedly chilled ‘teddy hop’ replete with white noise showers and disconnected vocals by what sounds like some child from the beyond all underpinned by the sickly menace and churning cycle of an unearthly subterranean grind), the Truth about Frank loiter a sonic landscape that should appeal to those much admiring Beta Lactam Ring’s experimentally focused ‘black series’. here you’ll find the discordant throwback melee of 70 Gwen Party playing tag with Einsturzende Neubauten (on the thrusting ‘channelling static’) and the tantric techno grind that is ‘shadow sex’ blessed with all the cheerful disposition of s.p.k. in a BDSM sleaze pit rubbing up alongside the sparsely tuned pulsar purr of ‘a butterfly mind’ (which if anything ought to have those late night soirees tripped to the sound of technoid minimalist Peel play lists rekindled – fini tribe perhaps). A momentary twist of light relief comes courtesy of the radiant sun bleached celestial cascade like hypnosic looping lull of ‘swimming over mountains’ before the decidedly unnerving ‘taritakoom‘ arrives awash with sinisterly doused atmospherics to stir with admonishing malcontent to the weary hiss of a grimly scolded ‘I told you’ rebuke. Eerily engaging.
Mazes ‘summer hits’ (fat cat). Not strictly out for a couple of weeks and already causing a sizable amount of buzz among the underground cognoscenti with their (just surfaced) ‘a thousand heys’ debut full length, Mazes step up to the plate with some acutely drilled lo-fi loveliness that ought to by rights be filling your head with a feel good fluffiness and making your hi-fi yearn for the days when you romanced it with the jingle jangle pop art purrs of the likes of the pooh sticks, violent femmes, velvet crush and any number of bands embraced by the likes of the legendary Woosh fanzine – for ‘summer hits’ is a sub two minute sun shine shimmy that peaks under the bonnet and retunes the pop piston playfulness of Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys and hot wires the blighters with the addictive bubblegum pop zest of the Raspberries – mind you the vocals sound like Dave Edmunds not that that in itself is a bad thing – just an observation. Acutely cute pop gold then.
The Kayas ‘I have been waiting’ (ablett). The seething sound of dissent from the streets. Oh yes – indeed – much loved around these parts and the cause of much swooning and pulse racing in the losing today record basement, the debut release from the Kayas – a quartet hailing from Shropshire – rattles, jars, spits and hisses with an unforgiving bitter sweet frustration and agitated edginess rarely heard these days outside of a Hillfields or Decoration release. An epic call to arms framed within an austere finger jabbing proto post punk groove that’s rephrased upon a gloriously soaring battle crying charge of sky scalding riffage ‘I have been waiting’ frantically lays waste to the competition with its panic attacking council estate fury. Over on the flip ‘gotta get out’ is tethered with a bullish Mod-esque motif that flits to the echoes of the Small Faces, Weller and the Purple Hearts all blessed with a vocal delivery that sneers like a cross between Lydon and Flowered Up‘s Liam Maher and found courting an ear candy catching melodic dialect that hints at a youthful Bluetones having grown a new pair. Blistering stuff.
King Post Kitsch ‘walking on eggshells’ (toad). Ready for something a little wonky and skewif – well I guess you won’t mind us introducing you to King Pop Kitsch. Now you don’t need us telling you that this isn’t the name he was christened with, to ma and pa and various acquaintances King Pop Kitsch is Charlie Ward who it seems when in situ behind the studio glass twiddling knobs on the recording desk can be found cooking up audaciously cheerful bubblegum delights for whoever chooses to take the time to tune in and bliss out. There’s an album mooching around by the name of ‘the party’s over’ via the Edinburgh based pop boutique that is the Toad imprint which is due to arrive behind the counters of the more clued up record emporiums across this land sometime around the 13th of June – tracks of which by all accounts have been spreading a little colour in a oft grey and bleak record world to much the delight of listeners to Marc Riley’s BBC6music show. For now though there’s a little pre release single teaser in the guise of ‘walking on eggshells’ to warm the cockles and serve as a warning shot as to what to expect. A kaleidoscopic colouring book of florescent doodles shaped, trimmed and moulded into a desirably wonky three minute pastiche of perky psyche pop effervescence that’s all at once alarmingly affectionate, crooked and kooky and contagiously catchy and spiked with trace elements of the Elephant 6 Collective crafting lysergic paint bombs out of various parts lifted from ‘on broadway’ and Manfred Mann’s ‘pretty flamingo’. fried.
Stop press up date type things straight through our window……many thanks to Matthew at Toad who kindly sent over not only a full copy of the above mentioned King Post Kitsch album but also promos for the forthcoming 10 inch by the Japanese War Effort as well as an advance copy of the latest offering from Lil Daggers which at present is holding its own in the best thing we’ve in days stakes – mind you a top trio of releases which keep it to yourselves should this continue we can of course see this label being one of our favourites in the future………all reviewed in the next missive.
Insect guide ‘reason to exist’ (squirrel). A seductive shoehorning of sixty six seconds of shimmer toned swaggering swoon, sonic psyche sweethearts Insect Guide return with the brief and beautiful ’reason to exist’ – beneath the coolly sultry honey toned vocals ripples of razored raptures blessed with bleached bliss kissed buzz-sawing bubblegum braids pine, pout and purr prettily to a porcelain power pop persona that demurs and blends the walls of sound of the Primitives in full flight with Spector at the height of his powers. Retails at 66p – bargain. any questions – I think not.http://insectguide.bandcamp.com/
The Lucid Dream ‘love in my veins’ (holy are you recordings). Blast – they’ve already managed to side step us by sneaking out a handful of ultra limited releases to much acclaim and swooning all of which have resulted in them nailing an enviable and dare I say press wise lucrative support slot with a touring Spectrum. What’s to bet that this latest outing won’t fly off the record racks in the blink of a shaded eye. With its hulking primal glam psyche prowl ‘love in my veins’ sees the Lucid Dream trip wiring a trajectory that exists on an axis lying somewhere between a less narcotic enhanced Brian Jonestown Massacre and an uber cooled Black Angels tweaked as it in lashings of reverb and primitive pop fixated 60’s twang tremors that ought by rights to have the most self respecting winkle picking wearing Velveteenie swooning at its tuning. Our money goes on the flip side though which features the remix talents of Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve / time and space machine man Richard Norris doing all spacey swirly light show type things and generally ruffling the fringes with the cool as f**k ‘devil rides out’ recalibration and into mix of psychotropic motorik hypnotic sonic pill dropping hotwires a third eye awakening with hallucinogenic brew of floor melting mind morphing groove that sounds for all the world like a woozy and chemically fried mash up gathering together between the grooves the likes of Sigue sigue sputnik, Gary glitter, Suicide, Sunray, ’beat the clock’ era Sparks and Donna summer – so I’m gathering that’s essential then.
Azalia Snail ‘space heater’ (silber). It’s 3am – no hang on scrub that – its 3.27am and I can’t sleep, I’m resigned to plugging into cyberspace looking for interesting sounds to hear but given my space buggered up what was a perfectly good tool for bands and labels to get their music out from the confines of their bedroom and in to the headsets of an ever growing disaffected populace tiresomely loathing the here now gone tomorrow carbon copy plastic pop preening of the Simon Cowell brigade, I’m left grumpily checking out people’s blogs and wondering to my self do I really breathe the same air as some of these people and if so what lasting effect might it have on me. Bored of this I start to check the emails. Up pops an update from the Silber imprint informing all who’ll read and listen that new sounds and comics the size of matchboxes are afoot. Alas no down loads of the comics – they look quite cute and promise tales of rebellious robots, warring stick figures, cowboys, cops and robbers and Kafka / Lovecraft oddities. As to the sounds Electric Bird Noise (‘The Silber Sessions‘), from Oceans to Autumn (‘the flood / the fall’ EP) and Azalia Snail (‘celestial respect’). Azalia Snail has occasionally appeared in these missives I’m fairly certain of that though not often enough by our liking – if not then the reason for this has quite simply been because we’ve loved her songs so bloody much we’ve probably forgotten the purpose for which they were sent in the first place (I.e. to review). Anyhow enough waffling – Azalia Snail has been orbiting the outer edges of planet pop for over twenty years now refusing to kowtow to fashion / taste and public consensus she’s instead followed her muse traversing to flights of fancy. There’s a new album just out on Silber entitled ‘celestial respect’ which Brian has kindly sent download links for – though which due to our PC – alas in the middle of its death throes – is proving something of a challenge to save to disc for listening enjoyment. From what we’ve heard so far we reckon its her best to date – ’space heater’ primed as a single is the case in point. Gorgeously woozy and ethereal, slightly out of focus and traced with a dreamlike comatose fluffiness that pitches it somewhere around the mid career era work of Lennon – and here I’m thinking ’number 9 dream’ as though on a chilled out bliss kissed setting and wrapped in a sepia lined majestic enchantment that quite frankly had it bared the name Kate Bush upon its hide would have had coach loads of muso journalists going ga-ga, add in some finitely executed noir tinged torch trims then close your eyes and float away to better places no doubt kookily surreal and demonstrably wonky.
She’s Hit ‘Miriam hollow’ (repeater). I’m fairly certain we’ve mentioned these in passing a while back but I’ll be buggered if I can find a citation. There’s a debut album entitled ’pleasure’ about to make its entrance in record world shortly, a stray single ’shimmer shimmer’ has already sneaked below our usually attentive radar to much grumbling while as a taster of what to expect ’Miriam Hollow’ is currently being streamed via nme.com. obviously named after the Birthday Party track of the same name (- oh alright – we assume then) this lot are the latest in a long line of shade adorned cool as f**k lo-fi psyche purists (see Wooden Shjips, black angels) who’ve on this occasion clipped their melodic blueprint with a tensely chilled and hollowed austere early 80’s tracing that clearly aligns itself to the early work of ’Alice’ era Sisters of Mercy and the March Violets while simultaneously framing itself in the subtle undertow of a menace more recognisable on an outing bearing the name David Cronenberg’s Wife tattooed on its arse. Well smart.
Straylings ‘carver’s kicks’ (dead pan). I swear we’ve mentioned this lot in previous musings but as is typical of our chaotic filing system and swiss cheese like memory we can’t be 100% certain still we’ll have to settle on the fact that we haven’t in which case there have been long faces around these here parts at the prospect that we might have missed their debut EP for the things to make and do imprint released earlier this year. Ho hum. Mind you no grumbles with this their follow up – a two tracker entitled ‘carver’s kicks’ via deadpan records. Described by their press house as a blend of Nico, Patti Smith, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Grinderman with dimples of Mazzy Star – all to a certain degree true I’m afraid. A duo no less – Dana and Oli – Oli was incidentally a one time a member of the Veils – the pair at present are currently holed up in a studio applying the finishing coat to a debut full length which is tentatively primed for release later in the year. Like Metal Mother whose debut is mentioned somewhere amid this missive, Straylings traverse a similar musical trajectory to both the Smoke Fairies and Anna Calvi, clipped with a darkening brooding beauty ’carver’s kicks’ is framed amid a howling and hollowing 50’s indent that’s graced, braided and buckling under a bewitching vortex of passion, a glorious psyche tweaked slice of twang laced country wired wyrd folk all at once magical, mercurial and majestic. For us though the main event here is to be found on the flip cut – the ravaged and parched ‘on it’s way’ – trimmed with a forlorn deathly pallor this spell weaving slice of aching seduction wheezes and sighs to a sepia shimmered murder ballad motif that’s finitely pierced with a noir tweaked tormented torch tracing whose distressed spectral disquiet echoes to the spectres of Carina Round, PJ Harvey and the Delgados and should prove a perfect listening accompaniment to those recent Marling, Jackson and Elson outings via the third man imprint.
missive 293 (1)
Missive 293 – part1
‘put the needle on the fuckin’ record’
Swear box total for the duration completing this missive came to a grand total of £47.10 – f*** me that’s a lot – £47.20
Welcome dear hearts to this extended cornucopia of aural delights, almost lost I’ll have you know due to our computer suddenly acquiring its own ambitions for editing.
The latest in the what goes around comes around, we did eye with giggling interest in the latest Shindig of the latest vinyl bites back variant. Apparently the recently repressed XTC lost nugget ‘skylarking’ was identified in the re-mastering process as having a hole in the sound which has led to its cleaning, tuning and eventual repressing over 2 slabs of 45rpm playing wax – apparently according to Andy Partridge – the best ‘quality sound carrying medium we have at the moment’. so expect in forthcoming months the repackaging of pop on double 12 inch sides – just in time for Christmas eh – and what with vinyl, 180gm, CD, SA-CD, re-masters, stereo, mono, quadraphonic, 5.1 and all the other variants issued to consumers in an attempt to part them from their cash with the aim to maximise returns and reduce production / delivery costs it looks like we’ll be up to our 23rd version of Floyd’s ‘dark side of the moon’ shortly.
Reviews and other such gubbins…….
Gum Takes Tooth ‘silent cenotaph’ (tiger trap). You just can’t fault a record whose opening 15 second belch sounds like a maniac take on the Osmonds ‘crazy horses’. that’s exactly how long it took to have us sold on the debut opus ’silent cenotaph’ by duo Gum Takes Tooth. Of course our curiosity had already been primed with a ‘hello long time no hear’ email from Tiger Trap head honcho Tom and the promise of something noisy, chaotic, noisy and did we say – noisy. To describe ’silent cenotaph’ is to have you recall cartoon hero Taz. Remember him – used to arrive in a whirlwind of chaos kinda confused, unpredictable and primed full of mischief. Hey ho – Gum Takes Tooth – off the cuff, off the rails and more often than not off the radar. Gum Takes Tooth are a drums and psychotic electronics duo featuring sorts from I’m being good and Chrome Hoof, this their jarring and jabbing 8 track assault squats somewhere near a tent collectively occupied by an evil Battles, Atari Teenage Riot, Melt Banana and Shit and Shine (incidentally Valentina Magaletti from the former mentioned guests on ’hermaphrodite and nourishment’ – more about that in a second) and proceeds to piss through the entrance flaps. A most curious though admittedly strangely drawing outing that’s comfortingly demented as it swivels and swerves upon a finite axis between chaos and calamity all the time chiselling and soldering rupturing raptures whilst reigning with ill fitting intolerance to a template scoured by a bleached industrial noise core template occasionally festering with white hot cauldron like hot rod loveliness, intricate rhythms (as on ‘nomad / monad’ with its bowed tribal instrumentation – very 23 Skidoo – and ‘peace in your middle yeast‘ – Casino vs. Japan meets Konono No1 anyone?) and obtusely spastic contortions (Foolproof Project imprint admires take note of the fried and frantic no wave waywardness of ‘tannkjott‘) – those thinking that I jest ought to ready themselves for the face peeling opening assault of the mutant Ministry like ’young mustard’ replete with electroid squiggles being ratcheted to meltdown one moment and the next shaping up as some kind of beaten out of shape dysfunctional blues epitaph. what makes ’silent cenotaph’ so compelling is the wilful refusal to adhere to any formulaic rule book, conformity you gather isn’t a word that registers in the GTT vocabulary. If its not pummelling you into oblivion its weirding you out – as on the parting ill wind that pervades through the aforementioned ’hermaphrodite and nourishment’ which with its monochromatic tribal tempered mantras leaves you somewhat uneasy and dread drilled and feeling as though you are bearing witness to some séance channelling the echoes of PIL’s ’flowers of romance’ and UK Decay. Somewhere else – notably ’the earth’s mantle colonised’ an as were industrial Suicide harvesting the Butthole Surfers take on Donovan’s ’hurdy gurdy man’ into a brooding bastardised ritual while ’strychnine motive’ is snarling locked groove slab of punishing drill core that to these ears sounds not unlike ‘pandemonium’ era Killing Joke being butchered and played at 45rpm as opposed to 33rpm. File under – delightfully damaged.
New Shindig #2 and Ugly Things #31 just out – both of which will come up for critical gaze in the next missive, Shindig’s centrepiece incidentally features a by all accounts by text interview with the doolally Donovan – while the ever impressive UT – this issue a 200 page colossus – includes an hugely insightful retrospective on the legendary Norton imprint who as it happens celebrate their 25th anniversary this year. Go here for Shinners http://www.shindig-magazine.com/index.html and while your there grab yourself a downloadable copy of the groovy Happening update and here for Ugly’s http://www.ugly-things.com/ where you may as well pick up a copy of the Loons stonking set for Bomp last year and tune into the mag’s pod cast currently doing bad things on the garage punk hideout site….http://garagepunk.ning.com/profile/mikestax
The Wicked Whispers ‘the dark delights of….’ (electone). One release from this bunch that’s certain to prick those Shindig and Ugly Things ears is the debut platter from Scouse quintet the Wicked Whispers. Pressed up on 10 inch slabs of vinyl and limited to just 300 numbered copies (word has it these babies are very thin on the ground and there is further rumour of a cassette version kicking about that we need to nail for the collection), The Wicked Whispers sound is grounded in a flavouring of late 60’s soft psyche and traced ever so subtly by the straying pepper corning of breezy folk fancies. ‘Amanda lavender’ the lead out cut here (alas absent of the birdsong chorus that greets and exit’s the video version) is a sumptuous blast of demurring dark radiance, the brewing of lysergic organs and honeyed harmonies bathed in the shaded glow of purring paisley / psyche pop personas embraced by the delicately deceptive undertow of fading west coast drifts endow it with a mercurial mindset that recalls the early career work of both the Clientele and Minnesota’s the Autumn Leaves while simultaneously racking up the kudos to sound suspiciously like Blue Oyster Cult in some studio tryst with both Fleur de Lys and the west coast pop art experimental band. Seductively harvested with a lightly touched airily kaleidoscopically tuned folk un-worldliness ‘house of peppermint’ is lushly traced with the dainty dinking of Will Sergeant-esque riff picks and a Byrds-ian dash of effervescent haloing that hints and oozes an English eccentricity steeped in medieval village greens, myths and fairy tales and something once frequented by the likes of Barrett and the Soft Hearted Scientists. Flip the disc for ’flying round in circles’ and ’odyssey mile’ – the former dinked with an alluring and softly tender 50’s bubble groove with the latter and fragmenting and frantic gem found charging at pace to encroach on the protected sonic space of the Stairs whilst simultaneously nodding in the general direction of the Cardiacs and the Chocolate Watchband. Single of the missive by a floppy fringe or five.
Moving picture interlude……
C A Quintet ‘trip thru hell’……who if you know nothing about you can get a quick 1 minute brief by going to their wiki page at……http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.A._Quintet
While we were there we caught sight of this little cutie – any info greatly appreciated – oh yeah its by Cheryl Dilcher and called ‘goodbye’…
First Aid Kit ‘universal soldier’ (third man). Two songs, two covers sung by two sisters, one scored by Buffy St Marie and made famous by Donovan the other a classic blues standard famously rewired by Elmore James, out via Third Man and on 7 inches of jukebox centre style wax. Ridiculously must have. Still not convinced eh – not quite flying out the door in search of your very own copy as though your very life depended on it. No pleasing some people is there. First Aid Kit for they are the sisters – Johanna and Klara Soderberg – last troubled these pages via that rather – equally must have – split with Peggy Sue a little while back via Wichita – see http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=336 – this time hooked up on the of late quite essential Jack White imprint they leave their spectral floral folk mark on both ’universal soldier’ and ’it hurts me too’. there’s something dainty and distanced in the dust of another time about the former mentioned groomed and graced as it is to a softly roving and tenderly turned finger plucked guitar motif that’s trimmed to a saddened and mournful fiddle accompaniment and topped by the yearning ache of genteel honeyed harmonies that quite frankly stirs within you a need to throw a consoling arm around for support. Typical of these things though it’s the flip side that gets our vote – a gorgeous swaying in the prairie evensong breeze porch pining re-tread of the Melvin London penned gem ‘it hurts me too’ – this cutie comes clipped with Nash’d out fiddles, hints of moonshine and a whole load possum’s cooking slowly on a campfire. Of course you want it and why wouldn’t you.
Here’s Jan and Dean’s about turn version of the cut impishly re-cut as ‘universal coward’…..
Frozen Geese ‘disclaimer’ (vanity case). Much leaping and bounding with joy at the finding on return from 9-2-5 dulls-ville of this little cutie marred though by an attaching note from the bands Dave Lazonby noting apologetically on the absence of ‘actual vinyl’ and reporting it to be quite scarce. Well it is in our bloody gaff I can tell you. So incensed were we that where it not for the distraction of dropping a jar of coffee on my foot and the near burning of lips in a freak ‘man catches fire in disbelieving tab incident’ said promo CD was split seconds from being jettisoned at speed, force and distance straight out of the patio windows and veering towards a different post code like a supercharged honing missile. blighters. Indeed blighters. We soon however calmed down, its amazing what several kicks of a wall and the uttering of long forgotten Anglo Saxon curses can do to satiate the beast. And so disc in hand we ventured forth to at least hear the bugger (alas not on vinyl and therefore understandably not sounding as superior – not the single of the missive we thought seconds before its aural codes reared for transcription and translation to loom into life). ’disclaimer’ is the latest offering from Frozen Geese who you may recall – or at least ought to recall – mainly because we here fell backside over head in adoration of their mysterious cassette only debut ’starseed’ which for those of you caught napping at the back first time of asking can quickly be brought up to speed by hooking up to http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=344 – Frozen Geese are of course the more cosmically enhanced alter ego of the adeptly indie flavoured Geese and the aforementioned ‘starseed’ was in our humbled opinion one of the most enjoyable releases of last year that came applied with an audaciously multi disciplined cornucopia of freakish flashbacks that deliciously glued all manner of glam, space, psych and prog motifs upon its finite ferro framing. ‘Disclaimer’ is a wholly different beast, a humungous 40 minute head trip split into two parts – naturally ‘parts 1 and 2’ obviously – all plastered on 12 inch slabs of clear vinyl (ours is on CD – did I mention that? – understandably more inferior in sound and quality). Less playful in both terms of concept, delivery and freedom of experimental expression as ‘starseed’ yet nonetheless still spliced with enough kudos to make it an essential listening experience. Again as with the oft dipped ‘starseed‘, ‘disclaimer’ is adeptly coiled upon an early 70’s metronomic kraut axis – and while the likes of Tangerine Dream, Neu and Amon Duul are summarily called to immediate mind ‘part 1’ is traced upon an orbiting pulsar transmission that’s plucked from the same genus pool whose DNA is clinically matched from the elemental type species of ‘autobahn’ era Kraftwerk, Hawkwind and Silver Apples types. As though some slumbering lone galactic leviathan whose core computerised brain is found initially issuing directives amid what sounds like some critical prelude to meltdown, Frozen Geese exact a becoming steely chill to the proceedings through the application of hypnotic loops, kraut calibrations and mesmerising whirrs and swirls which themselves collude and gather to create an ominous end game worthy of those early career analogue adventures of Add N to X. yet listen close and on repeat listens the distantly bleached echoes of biosphere and black star liner mutate and morph with an oddly austere funk charm which on closer inspection repositions it reference markers towards that incubative era in New Order’s development wherein the cautious uncertainty of ‘movement’ softly turned a corner and peeled away to shed its skin to emerge via ’temptation’ onwards. ‘part 2’ continues abound and beyond though subtly impressed with a more readily loose limbed and dare we say chamber drone persona, the clipped and chilled cosmically tripped technoid modulations / manipulations are dipped and dimpled in the kind of hazy and glazed psychotropic mind frying morphing mirage as would make a perfect companion for those cherished Sonic Boom / EAR / Jessamine drone drilled diode workouts. And with that – not the single of the missive.
Staying with all things Vanity Case you may also want to check out two other releases that the blighters have sneaked out without telling us – first up a cute little 100 only ‘the reality tunnel’ CD which aside gathering together tracks from the Geese in both their Frozen and otherwise guises, PTV3, Swedish Peter, icd and more comes housed in a sweet looking gold lame bag containing various items donated by the bands featured on the compilation. And then there’s something of a real curio with the release of a 50 only cassette featuring three teen femmes – Jill Becky and Katie singing along karaoke style to the hits of the day – that day being sometimes in the early 80’s given there’s the lasses have a pop at Air Supply’s ‘all out of love’ – the original cassette was unearthed by R J Porter who features on the site espousing the joys of car boot finds with his treasured finds being meticulously transferred to digital and aired on his popular ‘tape findings’ blog – which features everything from families opening xmas presents to late night radio chats – all can be found here http://www.sweetthunder.org/tapes/index.html while everything vanity case can be viewed here http://www.vanitycaserecords.com – oh and back to Frozen Geese’s ‘disclaimer’ – I almost forgot to mention that it should be out on CD at some point via the esteemed mind expansion imprint.
Brett Martini ‘lovers lane’ (self released). And here’s something quite tasty. amid Brett’s CV you’ll find mentions of I. Ludicrous and Voice of the Beehive both of whom he applied bass guitar bits in days of yore. now found striking out on his own the haunting ’lovers lane’ is his debut solo single and a sweetie it is to that shimmers to the purring radiance of a soft psyche 60’s persona that demurs to a glowing ghostly resonance that to these ears recalls a crafted collective comprised of Freed Unit and Bevis Frond types shimmying up to Barrett obsessive Robyn Hitchcock and magically sprinkling all manner of fairy dust upon your listening enjoyment with its acutely breezy strum lilts, dinked harmonies and reversed loops.
Cashier No9 ‘lost at sea’ (bella union). Like a ghostly effervescent rush to the senses or an echoing flashback of some thought lost celestial meeting between Meek, the Walker Brothers, Love and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich all trimmed by the sweet haloing of exotic far flung fancies piping calypso traces, seafaring mirages and Dylan-esque wallowing harmonicas – from the debut album by Belfast ensemble Cashier No9 entitled ‘to the death of fun’ – a copy of which we’ll try to nab for future comment – as to ‘lost at sea’ let’s just say that hearts will skip a beat a beat or three.
On a related note there may well be a few out there who recall us mentioning this lot in previous dispatches – missive 199 as it happens way back in 1999 – thought the name was familiar – anyhow here’s what we said about their second EP ‘when Jackie shone’ via their own only gone imprint – http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=247
Nik Freitas ‘in the frame’ (affairs of the heart). Just a quick mention for this particular cut while we go in search of the album from which its taken – incidentally called ‘Saturday night underwater’ – fairly certain we’ve had cause to mention Nik in previous scribbles but i’ll be buggered if we can find a citation with which to prove to all and sundry – anyhow ‘in the frame’ is quite a jolly little treat that radiates sunshine and tingling traces of feel good effervescence – should be of particular interest to admirers of George Harrison’s 80’s recordings, the World Party, Kevin Tihista, the Brigadier and the Heartstrings – whatever happened to them we lie sometimes awake at night and wonder – a happyville parade of horn blowing tulips and daffodils, snoozing band stands, whirling clouds formations and kaleidoscopic sea promenades – well at least that what our minds eye sees when we hear it – oh do stop top waffling man – lolloping and rambling bubble groove pop ripped as were from the Ray Davies hymn book.
And here’s a moving picture show for another song of Nik’s – are you sitting comfortably children – then we’ll begin – its called ‘center of the world’ – and its also quite cute…….
The travellers ‘for the waves’ (self released). Second EP from Italo / Swedish duo the Travellers may just prove – given the right amount of airplay – something of a slow to burn gem drawn with simplicity and an off guarded seduction. The 5 smoked chamber toned cuts within arc, sigh, swerve and swoon their way past your defences like lovelorn arrows braced to the slyly sensual chemistry being weaved between Robert P’s clipped 60’s soft psyche twang riff struts (best heard on the subtly dark chic swagger of ‘talk to me’) and Marchi’s surrendering vocal quiver – itself needing to be heard to be believed especially on the aching opener ’waiting’ which aside laying you low with sympathetic pangs traced to a Francophile chic dimpled and trimmed to the darkening sultry purr of a youthful Chrissie Hynde while ’leaning on the wind’ retreads a vibe more commonly co-opted by the Beangrowers. Admirers of the Sundays – and why wouldn’t you be – will do well to fast forward to the utterly captivating ’never ever’ which finds itself bedded upon a most desirable and spectral Marr / Reilly like pastoral incline. All said and typical of these things it’s the parting ’rain’ that provides the sets centrepiece, embraced in layers of Will Sergeant-esque shimmers and dinked with oodles of kaleidoscopic curvatures and noir tinged shadow playing that much recalls fellow Italians Musetta as though rephrasing the Stranglers ’la folie’.
A handful of missives and not a Justin Wiggan related item in sight, alas dear hearts you don’t get away that likely – like the buses – wait around for hours on end and three of the blighters rear up in quick procession at once – seems Mr Wiggan is keeping true to his promise of attempting a record for being in the most bands at any one time – last count 227 I seem to recall though I expect I’ll get an email remonstrating the fact that during a quick coffee break he managed to hook up with (or indeed pressgang) three more. A quick mention then for two – I’m assuming – works in progress – the third comes further down the missive (which if your reading this right now in the update format – will appear later at the weekend – or else should you be reading the completed missive as said somewhere below) in the guise of the latest Geography of Nowhere opus via the ever wonderful first fold imprint. Now we’ve been getting curiously nonsensical emails from the Wiggan one of late one of which warned of plans for a tape release attached to a walking stick or something like that as well as links to (aforementioned) works in progress the first of which is by the translant mountains who are described cryptically as a ’4 piece collective’ made up of Messrs Wiggan, Haddon, Savage and Relmic Statute and who’ve just posted up the edit variant of ’so shines a good deed in a weary world’. A kinda Sissy Spacek for the cosmically fried – takes no prisoners as it butchers your earlobes and blister peels the top three coats of your listening space walls, caustic stuff that to these ears sounds not unlike the death throes of a hulking galactic star liner shifting apace towards meltdown and to an inevitable destruction all power shrilled electronics, squalling manipulations and skull crunching eruptions – tensely tyrannical though listen close beneath the sandstorm sonic sculpturing and you’ll hear ever so slightly the heavenly reign of bliss traced celestial crests as though MBV had been refocused through the viewfinder of Tayside Mental Health – hell knows where the promised saxophone was. Next up Teatro Plagues whose album ‘home sludge’ (described in passing as ‘an observed exodus in sound’) should be appearing shortly via the gold soundZ imprint and sees Wiggan pitching up his musical tent alongside Messrs Mapp, Spagg, Paxford, Hafenscher and Volcano the Bear’s Aaron Moore – the mention of the latter truly had our ears a pricked as its been way too long since we heard anything by VTB (in fact as I recall nothing since that mighty fine split with La STPO – see http://www.losingtoday.com/tales.php?id=277). There are so many facets and seeming spheres of fancy or influence that pervade through this cut, consumed in showers of insectoid crackles Teatro Plagues wearily weave through a musical text-scape that pulls into aural lay-bys once time populated by Montreal’s Constellation scene, Albert Ayler and the Big Eyes Family Players – what first appears as though some archaic folk ritual soon transforms and rests upon a noir jazz motif that’s almost funereal in its morose shamble – something which I’ll hasten to add ought to bizarrely appeal to admirers of Bablicon and of course Volcano the Bear.
Barry Gray ‘stand by for adverts’ (trunk). Though we were aware of changing trends and the popular music piping through the medium wave crackle on the transistor sitting on the sideboard, to those of a certain age it was not the Beatles nor progressive or glam rock but Barry Gray who sound tracked our childhood. It was after all the silver age of both children’s TV and the Apollo space program. Children’s televisual time was consumed with flights of fancy, the magical, the surreal and the futuristic, hit shows like Dr Who and the Tomorrow People came adorned with sounds capes provided for by the in demand BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Yet across the networks Gerry and Sylvia Anderson where embarking on retuning the minds of children and adults alike for generations to come with their TV / Century 21 production house. From here classic cult fair reeled off the production lines at an enviable pace – among the roll call came Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90, UFO (the end credits of which appear several times throughout the various ‘hoover keymatic washing machine’ jingles) and Space 1999 all furnished and decorated by the memorable melodic mosaics provided for by Gray.
This collection gathers together the somewhat little known secret and often hobbyist / experimental sounding extra curricula work composed by Gray for various television / local cinema / product jingles and adverts and the like whilst his day job as accompanist / arranger for Vera Lynn and his work for the Anderson’s paid the bills. Almost lost forever and found languishing in various states of decline amid an extensive recorded tape collection catalogued and in extreme cases restored by Ralph Titterton and his partner Cathy Ford in the 90’s and finding their way for public consumption for the first time are over 60 such jingles and musical idents that reveal a never ceasing creative mindset much like Raymond Scott.
‘Stand by for adverts’ is a chance to step back into that aforementioned silver age an age (an age that on occasion it shows – one wonders whether the opening jingle for ‘esso‘ with its PC intolerant mock multi cultural singing would get past the studio door let alone the censors these days) – sometimes fleetingly cheesy, often quaint, chirpy and flirty yet never tiresome, the set reveals a broad creative canvas that veers from lounge-y calypso chimes (’Quaker banana mellows’), classic Ealing-esque follies (’BOAC’) and futuristic electronic squiggles and wisps that will strike a chord with fans of Louis and Bebe Barron.
Though obviously appealing in the main to connoisseurs and purists of library recordings and other such curios, ’stand by for adverts’ is a charmingly delightful release much deserving of sitting alongside your Vernon Elliott (‘respic’) and John Baker collections via the same label, it offers a glimpse or rather more serves as an aural picture book of the time infused by the light programme and richly informed of its surroundings and influences. Among the rare archive of treats there are ads for ‘Ridgeway’s country house tea’ featuring Eric Sykes, cartoon montages, trippy lunar promenade segues (‘blue cars’), hip wiggling smoked jazz beat trims, lounge noir (possibly ‘heart’s delight’ – bear in my mind we are trying to reference this from the vinyl version) and more besides. All this housed in a colourful 50’s styled washing powder advert like sleeve replete with extensive liner notes as the origin, discovery and repair of these curios and a brief celebration of the man himself.
For more information about the great man go to http://www.barrygray.co.uk
Baptists ‘good parenting’ (southern lord). Bet they are really nice blokes outside the confines of the studio – helping old ladies across streets, holding down good deeds doing jobs and having hordes of furry little animals following them around as they merrily and cheerfully cross town with a smile and a friendly word for all who bump into them. Strap guitars and give them a drum kit to annihilate and they turn into butchering ravenous hell spawn craving and crafting sonic assaults jettisoned at terrifying pace and packed with enough explosive mite to sink a small island and have the locals running for cover. Debut release then for Vancouver based hardcore merchants Baptists is a strictly limited affair which according to their press release has been pressed up as thus – 100 copies for the world, 250 for Europe and 75 for the UK (obviously us and Europe are in such financial straits at the moment that we’ve been relegated from the world premier league). Four cuts loom within, and I mean loom – for this quartet of unforgiving bedlam offers up a ferocious opening hand that’s both blistering and unforgiving and dealt with at such force and manic mayhem that the stylus near bleeds with agony. Ah we do love our crust / blast core metal around these parts but then it gets to a point where you feel – like how the hell do I describe this – yes its got vocal pipes that sound like their owner gargles nightly to a mixture of JD and hydrochloric, tyrannical drumming from someone clearly with unresolved issues and chopping licks that fester like puss peeling scabs. ’farmed’ in particular will strip the top three layers of skin from your face without flinching while the seething ’bachelor degree burn’ sounds like a grimly avenging no prisoner taking early 90’s era Killing Joke declaring war and choking the shit out of Slayer and Hammerhead. Best of the set though is the parting head butting and furiously scowling and punishing punk primed ’life poser’ which should if anything find admiring glances from old school fans of Mayhem and Discharge. Now all we need do is to nail those all important Thou and the Secret releases via the same label and I’ll momentarily be a happy man…..
And that’s it for a wee bit – part 2 shortly…….