archiv – singled out – missive 294…

more archive gubbins…..from 2011…..


odonis odonis, bitches, nebraska’s yuppies, us girls, slim twigs, Super Khoumeissa, foot village, gallops, erland and the carnival, avi buffalo, three trapped tigers, love ends disaster, buffalo moon, steve moore, japanese war effort, King Post Kitsch, lil daggers, satans youth ministers, laura j martin, north sea orchestra, Pikacyu*Makoto, wizards of twiddly, preterite, rude mechanicals, the bordellos, sendelica, peter kernel, palace of lights, Magenta (Pete Dello), the see see, wooden shjips, berg sans nipple, joakim, vive le rock, dreams of tall buildings, coccoons, geography of nowhere, schmoo, brown brogues, Louis Barrabas and the Bedlam Six, scene wipe, golden glow, the go team, morton valence

missive 294 – part IV

Final part of this particular missive…….

And we must admit to taking our eye off fat cat of late – a matter that will be remedied in forthcoming despatches though for now a deserving brief mention for their new split sub imprint palmist which much to our distress has already sneaked three releases below the radar all of which we’ll endeavour to beg via letters littered with weeping words aplenty…..though to butter the blighters up we’ve done a quick reconnaissance of the sample sound files available via

Odonis Odonis / lotus plaza ‘split’ – lotus plaza is the alter ego of deer hunter’s Lockett Pundt who judging by the sound of ’out of touch’ appears to be on a psychotropic ramble where the dream worlds of Alice in Wonderland and the blue meanies collide to find themselves re-sculptured in kaleidoscopically radiant lysergic colourings by the peculiar pop primed hand of Ariel Pink, gorgeously woozy all floaty finery and mind expanding melodic mirages that give you the feel of tripping amid some altering states amorphous fuzzy felt. Odonis Odinis who you’ll find decamped over on the flipside are headed up by Dean Tzeno and by way ’Mr Smith’ have an adept artistry that swirls and shocks to a bliss kissed star gazer velour resplendent in effervescently radiant crystalline showers all corralled by a fringe parting cortege of fuzz phased riffage which if we didn’t know better would happily assume was the work of a finitely tuned super group made up of various MBV and Dinosaur Jr body parts with a certain Robert Smith at the helm.

Release number 2 sees Oxford duo Bitches sharing wax space with Nebraska’s Yuppies, the former having already loomed on in the know listening posts by way of a handful of select choice cuts for labels such as Scotch Tapes (who have alarmingly been absent from these pages for way too long for our liking), isolated now waves and death bomb arc (the latter two labels you can rest assured we’ll be checking out). ‘wallet’ is a scuffed up and rabid raucous beauty, dishevelled, discordant and damaged, shoehorned into its briefly blistered day-glo dinked 90 seconds scowl are trashed out shouty vocals and frazzled swamp dragged punk blues bubblegum pop belched out with bludgeoning disregard – easily filed somewhere between the teen anthems and the pooh sticks. As to Yuppies – there have been wax nuggets worrying the more in tune record buying dansettes via the grotto and dutch hall imprints with the gnarled spazz punk of ’for the future’s sake’ hitting you in the face as though dropkicked from an early 90’s Peel play list and unless I’m very much mistaken sounding like a seriously skewed and wired to the teeth ’goo’ era Sonic Youth in a face off with the Fall and Trumans Water.

Debuting palmist offering gathers together the US Girls and the Slim Twigs – the formers ’if these walls could talk’ sounding very much like a 60’s psyche drone gouged bubblegum pop dropout that imagines an alternate universe where the Shangri La’s reigned under the tutelage of Andy Warhol while the latter stump up ’priscilla’ which with dark seduction freewheels into territories currently being plundered by the Wolfmen though on repeat listens the skin begins to crack and beneath is revealed a youthful Cramps kicking out noir torn torched blues ballads.

And sticking loosely with Fat Cat related goodies – the latest in the long standing ‘split’ imprint series appears following a two year sabbatical from record store counters though make that 5 years from these pages given we’ve just discovered that we’ve missed out on a sunroof / kemialliset ystavat not to mention an astral social club / alog face off from 2 years or so ago, anyway enough grumbling release 21 in this eclectic series sees the pairing of LA’s Foot Village and Mali’s Super Khoumeissa for an album length extravaganza pressed up on 12 inches of wax and all housed in trademark drilled sleeves – video samples of the two ensembles can be found below…..

The foot village…….

Super Khoumeissa….

Gallops ‘joust’ (blood and biscuits). Had our senses at the point of spontaneous combustible delirium did this ‘un, follow up to last years debut 5 track EP which alas we here to much annoyed muttering appear to have missed sees the Wrexham based alchemists upping the ante by way of ‘joust’ with what is essentially a nifty slice of retro electro progressive math grooved loveliness that at equal points joins the invisible dots existing between Battles and Zombi whilst simultaneously taking a soldering iron to twiddle and tailor a spot of uber cool revisionist grind whose guilty pleasures appear immersed in a dream ticket imagining of a head on fusion of Van der Graf and Goblin types to craft a sound indelible trimmed with a vintage 70’s feel yet calibrated with its heart in the past and its head in the future. Flip over for more of the same in the company of ’eukodol’ though this time treated to a panoramic noir stricken hyper driven kraut underpin that initially sounds like Orbital’s ’the box’ being recoded by Add N to X and then flung in a hot cosmic wash wherein its colours have bled into White Noise and Tangerine Dream dyes. Gem like if you ask me.

Erland and the Carnival ‘this night’ (full time hobby). Must admit to feeling a mite bit slighted given we’ve not seen or heard this lot since their debuting outing for Static Caravan a year or so ago, like tunng they flew the coup to find homes a new at full time hobby and therein avoid our listening radar to much inconsolable sorrow. In the meantime 2 full lengths have been sneaked out to much acclaim in the broadsheets and grown up press from which off the second – incidentally entitled ’nightingales’ – comes this breezy beauty. the press release makes mention of lyrical content borrowed from Lionel Bart’s ’oliver’ and Smiths and tunes boasting nods to the banana splits, strokes and television which that being the case I’m obviously listening to the wrong record for our version of ’this night’ – that said the little guitar squiggles that greet its entrance are a nod to Television’s ’marquee moon’ – as to the record itself – one of those cuts that once heard insidiously hooks itself and starts burrowing away into your psyche, deceptively infectious and to these ears sounding not unlike a final album parting era Quickspace nailed firmly with a dead eyed grind you down insistent groove that has all the hallmarks of a less confrontational Fatima Mansions shimmying up to a defences breaching Godfathers that collectively gathers apace to a tumultuous emotion storming finale of sinew seizing fist pounding epicdom.

Avi Buffalo ‘how come’ (sub pop). Even when he sounds sad his stuff still radiantly swirls as though wrapped in a warming sunny glowed west coast velour, ’how come’ a taster for the forthcoming second Avi full length is a bitter sweet head bowed and introspective gem that slyly touches with the same kind of happy / sad lilt as the Smiths ‘heaven knows I’m miserable now’ a fact helped and aided by the sprightly sun toned Marr-esque riff licked needle work though here peppered shyly with a lulling soft smoked early MOR soulfulness that murmurs and echoes to lost summers sound tracked by the likes of Rodriguez, beach boys, bee gees and Dennis Wilson and tearfully traced with a sighing reflective hurt – perfect for evening ending mellow listening. Over on the flip the fractured ’good I’m wishing’ which unless our ears do deceive stumbles, stirs and sways to a bracing off kilter airily woozy pastoral tread which aside arriving replete with an obvious ear for the buffalo Springfield may well have fans of the earlier work of the Doleful Lions equally seduced.

Three trapped tigers ‘noise trade’ (blood and biscuits). Have we just awoken from some extended nap and found ourselves relocated to an early 70’s music landscape. We only ask because it seems that aside the prevailing air of progness running through a lot of sounds these days that three trapped tigers appear to be reading from the same hymn sheet as fellow blood and biscuits sorts gallops in so much as the undeniable pinpointing of Battles and Goblin references. Of course its not the first time that these dudes have featured in these pages – a quick check reveals that their second outing ‘7/1’ way back in 2009 was a firm favourite featuring as it did to adoring words via missive 221- which for those of you missing it first time around can view by fiddling mouse to the general direction of – ’noise trade’ is a divinely beset slice of neon pop whose initially moments are dappled in a star gazing sereneness equipped with sweetly wallowing minimalist chipped idm traced dub step dialects which soon erupts and blisters supernova implosion style into a heady and hulking stratospheric ripping strut grooved gem which to these ears imagines a black hole venturing lunar vessel carrying a formidable cargo made up of VdGG, Goblin, Hawkwind and Grails parts boogying to a heads down no nonsense slab of prog pyrotechnics. Over to the flip the ’nedry mix’ decorates the same cut in a sweetly surrendering after lights dimmed smoky nocturnal down tempo dreaminess that recalls a seriously bliss kissed massive attack smooching up to musetta while the parting shot sees the original album edit of the same track literally attempting to tear a hole in the speaker – a modern day Mountain anyone. Ah well just thought I’d ask.

Love ends disaster ‘christiane’ – not heard around these parts for such an age that we were beginning to get withdrawal symptoms – currently located in some secret sound bunker cobbling together material that’ll form what will be their as yet untitled second full length – to plug the gap the band have sent this herald like teaser by way of a note scotching rumours of their demise that includes this spot of murmuring hymnal loveliness. Recorded in Bury St Edmunds cathedral earlier this year ’Christiane’ is longingly traced in a softly lilting Low like reverence, from the opening bell peel and the snow showered shimmering effects its frost tipped choral overtures are lushly hushed to the spectral spiritual psych pop ambience of a youthful Earlies and a equally youthful Spiritualized with a certain Joe Meek tweaking the controls, a thing of lovelorn ache that plots the story of – or so it seems – two lovers parting, utterly divine and tearfully crushed and to boot fades ghost like just like the Banshees ’last beat of my heart’ if you were in need of specifics.

Video here….

Last time out I think we promised to revisit the newly discovered loves of our life – the tiny moon glyph imprint who you may recall had us all a swooning in the aisles to the strange retro sounds of the flip side (‘low tide moon’) to buffalo moon’s debut 7 inch platter ‘black magic’ – well Steve from Moon Glyph kindly sent over downloads for both sides of said single along with the Steve Moore ‘demos’ set – see later. ’black magic’ sounds for all the world as though its tripped itself off some recently unearthed and previously un-catalogued wax nugget from either of the classic era late 60’s houses of Vertigo, island, elektra or dandelion or else been excavated from the vaults and brought into the consumer buying light by the likes of the light in the Attic, stones throw or the now again imprints, the sounds within woozy, loose and exotic radiate to a wigged out Tubby Hayes template albeit as though filtered through a kaleidoscopic viewfinder wherein a mutant exoticism that’s fused upon middle eastern psych essences of the era and the samba soul of the Latin Americas are hazily drawn together to create a bewitching brew of spellbinding torch soul which to these honed ears ought to be of primary interest to admirers of the much loved around these here parts musetta.

Which inevitably leads us to…..

Steve Moore ‘demo 2004’ – again on the bijou moon glyph imprint this time on limited quantities of cassette – 150 in total – this set previously unreleased finitely reveals the differing workbench personas of Moore’s artistry that being his want for creating foreboding monochromatic drone scores steeped in isolation (with both ‘depths of the earth’ and ‘underwater world’ providing ample evidence) and his celebration of 70’s styled electronic wizardry schooled in vibrant melody (’Cepheid‘ and ‘high fantasy‘). both elements are informed by an appreciation for the cinematic craft ‘underwater world‘ in particular sounding like some glorious meeting of minds between Carpenter and Goblin is indented with an austere futility while the leviathan like ’depths of the earth’ is grounded in a bleakly traced magisterial gracefulness you’d imagine heading up a Ridley Scott movie about dormant aliens on a distant planet. Elsewhere there features an early incarnation of ‘Cepheid’ which later materialised in full realised form on Moore’s solo debuting ‘the henge’ set for the Static brothers which we still feel amounts to one of his finest compositions to date and still sounds to these ears as though its been time tunnelled from the 70’s whereupon its core DNA has been duly embroidered from the chemically engineered hands of Jarre, Vangelis and Faltermayer and screened by Tangerine Dream has been fed through Gysin’s dream machine to culture an absorbing head wiring ambient / kraut grooved motorik hybrid. Sounding a mite familiar though for now we can’t place from where (was it later re-envisaged as a Zombi cut by a different name) ’high fantasy’ initially treks out into the star crossed wilderness sounding like some aborted BBC Radiophonic ident crafted by a colluding Derbyshire / Baker before blossoming beautifully into some opulent progressive celestial rapture leaving both ’lonely prophet’ and ’the hospital’ to orbit sound collages more prevalent of 80’s styled horror / sci-fi thematics with the latter particularly managing to sound both eerily sinister and mischievously playful.

First of three releases sent over by the guys at song, by Toad records of Edinburgh following our brief mention of king post kitsch last missive out………..

The Japanese War Effort ‘surrender to summer’ (song, by toad). This five track debut comes pressed up on 10 inches of clear wax (of which there are just 250 in completion and ready to buy though scratch that as there are only 249 given that head Toad Matthew is keeping a copy for himself) and features the extra curricula work of Martin Moog – not his real name well not one that his parents would recognise him by as that’ll be Jamie Scott who makes up exactly 50% of Conquering Animal Sound. here the sounds are deliberately cultured in a minimalist ethos following a conscious effort to avoid shiny full on production in favour of distortion and noise abstraction. Reference wise across this set JWE pisses in sonic pools shared by the likes of Swimmer One, starfighter pilot and more pertinently Tex La Homa whose ’dazzle me with transience’ appears to be a close listening relative. these ice sculptured murmuring melodic morsels defrost on play to reveal their sweetly shy eyed persona, lone-somely wallowing in the ether beneath their glitch underfoot the distant sound of charmed slithers of candy pop weave through the distressed haze and into sunlit view. from the hymnal chime of the fragile and orbital ’beach buddies’ itself emerging radiantly with quiet majesty from its hushed shell to appear on an aural axis somewhere between the Earlies and J Xaverre to the parting salvo ’yr tanlines’ which dimples the soft psych electro nocturnal chill toned pop of the busy signals into a demurring lunar flight path whose celestial caress trips and teeters to a glowing galactic garland perennially trademarked by Seeland – there‘s an aching romance that courses throughout Scott‘s finite aural etchings. All said our favourite moment comes courtesy of ‘bucket and spade’ where the lo-fi frailness of Scott’s artistry is tempered by the off centred appeal of Cornelius and which upon the frosted fracture of a snow tipped lunar music box purr something whose deconstructed dialect alludes distantly to the shimmer skinned elegance of Sakamoto’s ’forbidden colours’ rears into alluring soft focus.

King Post Kitsch ‘the party’s over’ (song, by toad). A bit difficult to know where to start with this, and before you all start turning away in the mistaken assumption that it’s a tad tacky – then think on ye of little faith for did we not mention the kitsch-y one a missive or so ago in grandiose tones and wise words promising the arrival of precocious woozy talents when ‘walking on eggshells’ set up base camp in our psyche. Debut full length time then from self ordained pop maestro King Post Kitsch – better known to the tax paying authorities as one Charlie Ward who under the cover of moon glow relaxes from his sound engineering chores cobbling together modern day ‘nuggets’ like a DIY Wreckless Eric. ‘the party’s over’ follows a seasoning of self released band camp EP’s released upon an unsuspecting cyber snooping audience over the last year or two, it was these home grown releases that brought Ward to the attention of the song, by Toad imprint who secured said handshake in a beer buying courtship. In short ‘the party’s over’ covers every base to such an extent that its almost as though Ward has committed to vinyl a homage of sorts of the most cherished and favoured wax moments from his record collection – here you’ll find the psych doused glam tripped lysergia of ‘Portland streets pt2’ (‘part 1’ arrives later in the groove tracking much recalling the latter career Thunders in cahoots with Patti Palladin with trace lines – as the title might hint to some of Fahey as rewired by Cul de Sac) rubbing shoulders with the nailed down three chord strut strum growl of the pooh sticks meets violent femmes bubble grooved proto punk ‘don’t you touch my fucking honey tone’. somewhere else the drop dead dreamy intones of ‘the new gang’ wilt and woo to a rarefied brew of Greg Lake meets Peter Gabriel flavourings while the sore thumb monochromatic dressing of ‘the werewolf hop’ soon falls away to reveal a snaking slacker-esque charm that recalls a Beck in collusion with June Panic concocting fracturing pop schisms beneath velveteen mirror balls. ‘bricks and bones’ admittedly one of our favoured choice cuts snares and slouches deliciously defused by an unmistakable nod in the general direction of Chris Brockaw while the sets best moment without doubt looms large with the power chord drilling ’you talk too much’ which all at once draws its DNA heritage from a veritable cast of Velvet Crush, the Ripe and Sugar types to wire up a purring pulse popping dandy which leaves the mellowing Lofgren like ‘closing time’ to round up matters and leave you feeling as though you’ve been blessed by something truly special.

And last but by no means least for this Song, by toad round up…..

Lil Daggers ‘king corpse’ (song, by toad). In our minds eye we hold this image of the Lil Daggers being skinny deathly white featured dudes adorned in black, wearing shades, winkle pickers and only rising by the glow of the moon to prowl illicit dinking dens in refitted 50’s styled stretch hearse limousines. Back in the real world they probably – with depressing reality – work by day in dreary delis or at the zombie-fied desks of government offices. Such is life eh? Now we here suspect that this isn’t the first time we’ve hit upon the Lil Daggers (who by the way hail from Miami) in these pages – alas though it appears we’ve missed out on their actual releases – which include a smattering of 7’s and recently released debut full length a trailer promo for you can find below. Lil Daggers are for want of a better description archivist alchemists, blending swirling psychotropic tones with grizzled dark hearted 60’s garage beat grinds their Hammond drenched grooves radiate ominously to a primitive melodic language once inscribed indelibly to vinyl by the likes of the misunderstood, love, chocolate watch band and the electric prunes with both the opening brace salvos ‘king corpse’ and ‘ya tu sabe’ branded by a reference marking informed by all manner of nuggets / pebbles / back from the grave styled compilations, the former a primordial boot shaker that imagines the hand of Fowley and Meek spiked to a seriously stripped down and day-glo diffused PTV while the latter is blessed by a head expanding fringe parting dark psych countenance that freewheels between the fuzzy goo of the fuzz tones and the blissed out shitfaced waywardness of a youthful brian Jonestown massacre. Elsewhere there’s the transistor teasing ‘hungry’ found breaking the mould briefly while parting shot ‘devil you know’ is so finitely cut to a catchy as f**k dragster fuelled cow punk underpin that it would scarcely have purist batting an eyelid had it arrived with the names Violent Femmes, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry or the Orson Family tattooed proudly on its hide. And with that deserved takers of the rarely bestowed single of the missive.

A video promo for the debut album – see I was right about the deathly white features and untoward night time goings on…

And I’m sure I read in passing that the aforementioned had a recent split release with these dudes….. – great name – agreed – who hail from Alabama and number 5 in the ranks with some members going by the unlikely that they were baptised at birth names as Count Poonjab and Grand Magus Malister Sally and cite their influences as being Ike and Tina Turner whilst describing their sound as ’a booze factory exploding to the rhythm of thigh slapping’. Indeed. Young people these days eh?! Anyhow being inquisitive souls that we are we felt it our duty to tune into said sonic delights and was found most admiring of their ramshackle near chaotic take on the Damned and the Dead Boys by way of the primitive pogo punch you out punk primed ‘robot fever’ while the scalding beaten about the edges and fractured garage boogie woogie that is ‘lay me down in curlers’ had us recalling a shit-faced and plot losing Supersuckers. Of course I suspect we need to hear more.

Pikacyu*Makoto ‘OM sweet home – we are shining stars from dark side’ (riot season). One of three forthcoming must have releases from the Riot Season sound lab – the others being Hey Colossus and Dead Elephant – both of whom equally loved here will feature to much brimming praise in a forthcoming missive shortly – though for now its this debut collaboration that’s been hogging the hi-fi of late and with good reason. Those of you who had occasion to hear the Acid Mothers face off with Stearica last year may have been pleasantly surprised at the way Makoto and Co where put through their paces – for between the grooves the usual trademark loose limbed freak outs and lengthy jams where buttressed and hauled in to an often tight discipline that saw everything from psyche, ambience, prog and dream pop being coerced from AMT’s formidable canon. We only mention this because we did at the time think we’d heard the last for a long while at least of an AMT platter sounding – well – not like an AMT platter. Think again.

Enter stage left Pikacyu of Afrirampo fame and Mokoto together as Pikacyu*Makoto not for the first time as both collaborated with their respective collectives for the hip joined Acid Mothers Afrirampo set way back in 2005. Limited to just 1000 CD only copies via Riot Season the pair rekindle their collective muse for ‘OM sweet home – we are shining stars from dark side’ – a thirteen track set that fractures, splinters and warps we suspect like no other record you’ll hear all this year. Playful and mellow – now there’s a descriptive word or two that rarely enter the Makoto vocabulary, those of you well versed in Mokoto’s collaborations thinking to yourselves how familiar it is to find him unwittingly taking over the proceedings may want to reconsider your position for this is Makoto in more considered and conciliatory mood allowing Pikacyu to take up the baton and take it she does pretty much leading Mokoto in turns by the nose or else dragging him by the hair across a multi disciplined genre defying set amid whose varied sonic tinkering breaches aspects of art / psych / jazz (as on the skewed art jazz math fusion of ’pigamelan-me gamelan’) / prog rock as well as no wave, nu wave and oddball grooves (the schizoid freefall of ‘pop! Spece! Jump!)..

Now there is shall we say a certain degree of the screwball here – those of you well versed in all things frank chickens (especially on the wired and crooked bubble grooved wonkyness of the wiggy ‘wild rose‘ itself impishly nodding to action paint bomb pop of her former charges), pop off Tuesday and native hipsters may well indeed crack a crafty smile for Pikacyu is as clearly bonkers as a box of Bjork’s her freaky vocals teetering insanely between out there spaced out caterwauling, to excitable child like shrieks and delightfully demurring kooky coos which often aside giving a freeform feel exudes the notion that she’s not quite on the same page as her erstwhile partner in crime who here appears happy to act out as her foil foistering flippantly fractured fringe flicking riff follies for fun.

‘om sweet home…’ is as devilishly distracting and fracturing as it is disjointed, its neglect of conformity or any identifiable pattern or given approach means that it leaves the would be listener constantly reeling wrong footed, that’s not to say its un-listenable or hard work – it clearly isn’t – in fact it finds Mokoto for his part delivering some of his most potent licks for what seems like an age and more. Opening to the almost mystical like Tibetan monastic chants of ‘OM marijana FU?’ (the same track is revisited later on wherein its housed within a far out and sultry Asian mantra whose timeless curve peels away to a lost primordial tongue) the set soon blisters into the bearded stoner gouging 70’s swamp fuzz of ‘birth star’ – a colossally mesmerising nugget clipped with Pikacyu’s almost Sonja Kristina weird folk like dream tones erupting and splintering in its final throes to find Makoto jettisoning off on some mind wiring kraut rocking trip towards the depths of the third eye. While elsewhere things are flipped on their head for ‘the ginger chai’ as the onset of opining bliss tipped post rock like purrs weave deliriously into a line blurring dream popped psychotropic carnival which like ‘om marjana FU’ is loosely retraced on ‘back to your house over the rainbow’ allowing Makoto ample opportunity to exert some wig flipping pyrotechnic riffola. Easily filed under freakishly fried.

That’s your lot for a few days….next time out will be a psych / prog special – among the assembled crew cranium pie, soft hearted scientists, hi science fiction, earthling society, moon glow, organic is orgasmic, acid archives, ugly things, shindig, mike oldfield, news of our imaginary radio show and much more – future missives will include a noise special with oodles of stuff by blue Sabbath black cheer and a my space round up.

As ever take care of yourself……

missive 294 – part tres
Singled Out
Missive 294 – part tres

‘surrounded in sound’

Third part – one more to go after this later today. Actually managed to track down a track that I’ve been wracking my head and occasionally searching the old tapes collection for 20 years now after hearing it on an old Peel broadcast way back one wintry night in November 1991 – the blighter heard only once managed to set up base camp in my headspace and has been haunting me ever since – does anyone have a copy of the tune – if you do then normal correspondence addresses apply – – oh yea make sense to tell you the bands name and the track in question – well their Blofeld and the cut was called ‘the dog is dead’ – alas no you tube uploads with which to serenade you with.

Anyway enough of that records and things……..oh yeah for the un-initiated among you this missive may appear slightly biased towards Static Caravan but hey who cares – its not as though anyone actually reads these musings……

And so to Static Caravan who we mentioned last time out at missive 294 part 1 in connection with that forthcoming Cocoons release – confusing I know but hey we are still trying to get the hang of this linking malarkey – with well two new releases…..

Steve Moore ’primitive neural pathways’ / ’vaalbara’ (static Caravan). (We’re assuming) a limited double CD disc gatefold digi-pack type re-issue of Mr Moore’s ‘primitive neural pathways’ and ‘vaalbara’ (which when our backs are turned the pc’s contrary spellchecker annoyingly sees fit to changing to ‘Svalbard’ which I deeply suspect may well be some Scandinavian swear word or insult or quite possibly a very small and extremely furry animal – answers on a postcard to country file c/o BBC. Of course Mr Moore is in need of no introduction in these pages being one half of Goblin admirers Zombi who when on sabbatical which is quite often the case Moore can be found retreating to his analogue bunkers knocking up orbiting overtures for fun under all manner of pseudonyms (see below for further info).

Anyway the former mentioned (‘primitive neural pathways’ – just in case you nodded) was released earlier this year (or maybe late last year – we won‘t quibble – just know we ain‘t got a copy) on limited quantities of heavy duty wax via the same label whilst the latter (that’ll be the one with the title that the spell checker doesn’t like) was a limited 300 only vinyl outing via noiseville as part of their ongoing outer bounds of sound series which incidentally promised all manner of stuff from the likes of skull flower and kk null all of which we must hear before we get any older. And it’s the Noiseville set we’ll despatch with first – comprised of two lengthy ambi-drone symphonies, well we say drone its more like a darkly brooding tangerine dream tweaking hulking glacial overtures or rather more next life recitals with John Carpenter – its all very stately, monochromatic, lulling and mesmerising – here the sounds are expansive, enigmatic and hypnotic with the orbiting celestial calm of the transcendental ’part 2’ (incidentally the lighter of the two cuts) sounding particularly like Jean Michel Jarre’s ’magnetic fields – part 1’ albeit stuck in a loop and removed of all the funky hip wiggling motifs only to be processed through Sonic Boom‘s head tripping ‘dream machine‘. dinked in all manner of looping whisps and presaged with a steely still chill the stately ‘part 1’ is found gripped by an ominous portent that stirs solemnly only to be traced with a morose magnetic majesty that freewheels into the dark heart of the hollowing obliquely coded futility of soundtracks gracing ‘the thing’ and ‘terminator’ whilst simultaneously sounding for all the world not unlike the final simmering death throes of a dying star. File under brain food.

Certainly the more playful of this double feature is the five suite comprised ‘primitive neural pathways’ set, here the mood is one of friskiness and simplicity, space age lounge loveliness that should appeal in the first instance to admirers of Jean Michel Jarre especially those who still hold dear to the notion that both ‘Oxygene’ and ‘Equinoxe’ are the cornerstone soundtracks to whatever brave new world they hoped for and envisaged. Now we aren’t ones for knowing our korgs from our mini moogs but we are guessing that to maximise full retro effect that Moore has either gotten himself a time travelling device and snuck into the French ones studio under the cloak of darkness or else sourced himself a formidable arsenal of antique Arps, VCS3’s, mellotrons and eminent’s in the creating of this headphonic experience. Applied to a template straight from the Jarre workshop in so much as the retracing of that trademark push pull feel wherein the more up-tempo cuts are book ended by moments of tranquil trance like serenity (as per the syncopating bliss chilled lilting lunar tides of the beneath alien sunsets ‘248 hours’ and the reflective intoxicating wave traced murmur of the orbital ‘feel the difference’ with its fluid fault lines and amorphous head expanding mellowness) Moore’s adept artistry though not original echoes succinctly to an analogue artisan so often overlooked by the cult like affection afforded to other early electronic pioneers mining similar pastures in the genres silver age. From the moment the kosmique caress of ‘orogenous zones’ trips into ear shot on its demurring Faltermayer like axis replete with airy Vangelis like magisterial brush strokes its almost as though you’ve been relocated to a pre digitised era buoyed by the optimism of the space age. Centrepiece ‘beams’ is corralled by a sumptuous kraut cruising motorik propulsion that’s dinked with an icy hollow stratospheric piercing core that imagines the fused melodic mindsets of Moroder and Carpenter converging at some lonesome nebulas plateau whilst ‘primitive neural pathways’ re-engages the matrix of Carpenter’s ‘assault on precinct 13’ score and hard wires it to a bitter sweet symphonic lushness of a bespoken beguiling bouquet that purrs with a panoramic hyper driven majesty.

Those wanting more Moore ought to set your space dials in the general cosmic configuration of where you’ll find the man has uploaded a positive cornucopia of retro grooves for ear gear tickling confined to not just his solo name stuff but also his various aliases such as majeure, lovelock, miracle and Gianni rossi all of whom I think I’m right in saying have at some point strayed onto these pages.

Just spotted this – so staying with Mr Moore for a little while longer – Minneapolis based imprint moon glyph – love that name by the way – have just released a strictly limited to just 150 cassette only selection of demos by Moore dating back to 2004 entitled – er – ‘demo 2004’ – begging letters have been sent though we suspect to no avail – however if you fancy a peak then altered zones have just posted up ‘high fantasy’ from the set – its pretty much unlike anything Moore’s done in the past and sounds to these ears like a spot of Delia led White Noise in a spot of monastic like proggy playfulness.

Is it just me or is the internet too conveniently addictive – no sooner where we mentioning that limited Steve Moore cassette via Moon Glyph when we decided it was time for a brief coffee beak and a smoke pressed the play button on one of the mp3’s currently being aired by the Glyph ones to air their wares when this little treasure came tripping out of the speakers. Now this sounds like its been twilight zoned straight from the 50’s along the way taken a brief detour wherein its been marinated by the sounds of things beneath the glow of a setting Hawaiian sun and then left to saunter in the most smoking fashion around your listening space. Flip side of a limited 7 inch by Buffalo Moon entitled ‘low tide moon’ – the a side incidentally goes by the name ‘black magic’ – apparently this is moon glyph’s first 7 inch release and a bit of a corker if you ask me – fires up a little weirdly – a bit like the radio (though in this case powered of course by hulking valves) in Stephen King’s ‘Christine’ if I’m honest – but once it gets going its sepia trims soon fade to reveal a lushly moon struck gem that stirs with a torch traced classicism that sits somewhere between a chilled out Platters and Patsy Cline.

Just to confuse matters the a side of the buffalo moon release will appear in the next missive instalment.

And back with Static Caravan for that aforementioned second part of the current twin set extravaganza…

Laura J Martin ‘kiss bye goodnight’ (static caravan). There’s 400 of these 7 inch wax pressed lovelies about to surface shortly and our reckoning is that to avoid ridicule and people smugly pointing at you in the street that you badger your friendly neighbourhood record emporium and get your name on one for this may well be one of the releases of the year. Hailing from Liverpool Ms Martin has already been the cause of swooning fits at BBC6music where from the basement studios of Manchester she’s already proven herself to be the darling of regular listeners to Marc Riley’s broadcasts. A debut full length is currently being prepped and a collaborative single with the Simon sound via Battered Ornaments entitled ’inside your bones’ is imminent. Darkly demurring ’kiss bye goodnight’ saunters and seduces with a knowing Mancini like playfulness, curdled with an eerie noir caress a childlike nursery riddle weaves its silken spidery web to hook you upon its stuttering wonky waltz like persona, to its alluring alchemy the dimpling floral flute lilts trace a heady intoxicating haze that leaves you dizzily enrapt in its crooked kooky folk folly to imagine a youthfully precocious Ms Bush re-tracing her ‘army dreamers’ steps in the company of the Winston Giles Orchestra – should also say that we here are most smitten by the ’old grey whistle test’ like intro. Flip the disc for more bewitchment in the shape of ’spy’ a Victoriana music box shanty that wheezes and woos ominously with the kind of grimly lit fascination of Tom Waits albeit as though softly cured and becalmed by the sinister leer of a John Barry presaged to dealing out n’er do well Dickensian dark deeds.

Update – we’ve just got the Goodnight Lenin EP via the same label – will be on parade at missive 295.

North Sea Orchestra ‘I a moon’ (household mark). I don’t mind admitting to being absolutely besotted with this. Since arriving in our gaff its been found snuggling shyly in the corner only to rise and stretch from its daytime hibernation to ooze delirium and sprinkle its fanciful magical dust in the glint of the yawning glow of the full moon. ’I a moon’ – the third full length from the Craig Fortnam led collective North Sea Orchestra is a sweetly alluring melodic master class, at once elegiac and enchanting it taps with recent reference the climates notated by the likes of the Real Tuesday Weld’s ’london book of the dead’, Ooberman’s ’running girl’ and the magic theatre’s ’london town’ – none more so than on the slender elegance and Nyman brittleness of the genuflecting gracefulness of ’when things fall apart’ or indeed the opening salvo ‘Morpheus miracle worker‘ with its shy eyed dimpling of youthful Kate Bush Bronte crushes demurring to the delicate pulse rush of love notes upon a breeze. an album so exquisite that its abundant in a bountiful procession of harpsichords, woodwinds and serenading string arrangements that majestically merge to melt into a beguiling slice of baroque folk bewitchment whose alluring courtship spreads like an intoxicating contagion.

Here you’ll be enthralled, arrested and seduced to a timeless tenderly turned tapestry to which amid the folds and creases of its richly vibrant aural dream coat there unfurls a mysterious pageantry of wood-crafted forest dwelled waltzes (best exemplified by the title track ‘I a moon‘ wherein the clock working eerie soft psyche strokes translate and purr to a melodic tongue more commonly tuned to a William D Drake songbook), Nyman-esque canters, lost Victoriana shanties, rustic rambles (as on the chipped pastoral opine of ‘guitar miniature #1’) and sepia scratched bespoke nursery lilts. The sun calling seafaring radiance of ‘ring moonlets’ could easily be Ronald Binge’s most famously used opus rethreaded by Toshack Highway and then observed by way of the Seahawks viewfinder while elsewhere the utterly adoring folk madrigals ushering through the quietly enigmatic ‘heavy weather’ trace a lost noir cradled musical code unearthed as recently by Men An Tol though here set amid the dinking flourish of Elizabethan recitals, prog motifs and infused with a statuesque sense of drama that recalls the consuming push pull allure of Richard Harvey and Elvis Costello’s soundscape for ‘gbh’.

Just edging aside ‘Morpheus miracle maker’ in terms of our affections is ‘Berliner Luft’ – as the title may well allude it’s a busily bustling beauty that’s built upon a pulsing kraut grooved and panting and puffing locomotive underpin that imagines at once some seriously chilled ‘emperor tomato ketchup’ era Stereolab shimmying up to Vernon Elliott and Douglas Gamley with L’Augmentation deep set in the background impishly conducting the proceedings from afar whilst playfully weaving lost childhood signatures from the 70’s. breathtaking stuff.
Talking Real Tuesday Weld – there’s a new full length in the offing entitled ‘the last werewolf’ due to cause swooning fits amid the musical community sometime early July…’s a trailer….if anyone knows the band – do me a favour and give the buggers a nudge…..

And did we mention a second or five ago Douglas Gamley – of course the composer of the soundtrack that breezed beautifully throughout the lost and oft forgotten ‘spring and port wine’ – in our view one of the finest films to emerge from the gritty kitchen sink realism of the 60’s Mason as the steely religious middle class father Coupland his dodging and dealing wife and their troop of teens among whom a youthful Susan George and Rodney Bewes feature. recently on released on DVD a year or three ago someone has uploaded the entire film on you tube – suggested watching if you’ve never seen it……..
Wizards of twiddly ’people with purpose’ (fracture for pleasure). When someone finally gets around to re-scripting the map of the musical landscape of Liverpool they may well be forgiven nay encouraged to limit references to the Beatles and take note of an oft eccentric and eclectic scousadelic seasoning which through its sub conscious an adept appreciation of pop’s impish outsiders and fractured casualties are as key to the city‘s make up as the Pier Head situated Liver Birds, its historical dockland legacy and its Irish heritage – among the list 13th Floor Elevators, the Doors and the Barrett in situ Floyd are obvious markers, yet scratch below the surface and you’ll find there’s an almost indelible inscribing of the influence of Zappa, Beefheart, Bonzo, Soft Machine and Gong loitering in the undercurrent.

Somewhere upon that redrawing of musical boundaries the name Wizards of Twiddly will be somewhere at the forefront, for nigh on two decades now these impish rascals have proven themselves to be mercurial musical magpies, one time shimmied up to Kevin Ayers of Soft Machine (in fact ‘cardboard banjo’ sounds like Ayers old sparring partner Robert Wyatt being backed by a harmony laden operatic Cardiacs) fame they graced the graveyard airwaves as helmed by Radio 5 nee Radio 1 – as was – tune tooting taste makers Mark n’ Lard freewheeling a high octane shape shifting brew that drew upon a gloriously spazzed out groove informed by a head expanding mutant palette of junk funk and wasted space graced progressive jazz trimmed of course with an eye for the abstract, the surreal and the lysergic. Around the late 90’s they went on hiatus re-appearing as a Zappa tribute combo (and variously enriching the grooves of releases put out by the likes of the coral, gorky‘s, shack and the super furry animals). By pure accident we tripped across them again way back in 2007 via missive 136 – see amid which we do recall being a mite bit smitten by the unruly all over the shop ‘scatterbrain’ – a pissed as farts Crimson meets Gabriel corker I think we called it at the time and wherein via a spot of research we noted the blighters had re-emerge from self imposed exile around the mid 00’s fully frazzled and ready to mess with our headspace. Of course since this brief sabbatical matters have shall we say shifted on a bit and in their absence they’ve become unwitting parents to a new vibrant under scene that’s seen the likes of Apatt, living brain and zukanican doing wigged out workouts on wax.

Fast forward a year or three and the appearance of this little nugget entitled ’people with purpose’ which in all honesty would have been mentioned in print sooner had the blighter not been so infectious (and gone AWOL). Comprised of material dating back to the Ayers years and largely featuring stuff penned since their reconvening in 2004 this – discounting the ’live at the Zanzibar’ and ’upendium’ sets – is the first bona fide new release in over a decade.

A blistering and dare I say turn table rogering and head turning genre twiddling set that in all truth has barely strayed from our ear space since the bugger arrived a month or three ago. Featuring guest appearances from the late Jimmy Carl Black of beefheart / Zappa fame (whose heading up of ‘Hoover man’ – a blockhead-ian groove dinked to the Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians underpin and dimpled ever so subtly by 70’s Lalo Schifrin thematic lilts has to be heard to indeed be believed) and John Ellis (Corrine Bailey Rae and Lily Allen). Here you’ll find all the trademark Twiddly’s trimmings gathered and spun into a seismic often acutely angular melting pot that aside the usual fineries that have seen them considered artisans of all that is sore thumb, skewed, schizoid and oft out of step and abstractly appreciated in prog jazz funk straddles ominously to an intricate math post rock schism and nods frequently to the likes of Tortoise and Stereolab c. ’sound dust’ – those thinking I jest need only hook up to the opening title track salvo ‘people with purpose‘ which to these delicate ears sounds not unlike a lunar cruiser powered by the swirling psychotropic engine of the Ozric Tentacles commandeered by Jim O‘Rourke and John McEntire with a coolly suited and booted pre dungarees sporting ‘searching for the young soul rebels‘ era Dexy‘s onboard as stowaways.

The Dury / Blockheads references seep throughout ‘people with purpose’ with the contortionist finger jabbing fractious punk jazz scowl of ‘just above your thing’ imagining an ahead of the curve loose and funky Dury and Co in a riotous face off with the Redskins and while the fiercesomely punitive ‘big, bigger, bigot’ hardwires itself to the melodic mindset of the Stranglers ’nuclear device’ may appear at once darkly brooding there’s an underlying soft stroke of playfulness and trickery abound that adorns this set. None more so is this in evidence than on ’anti-tank tank’ where three parts Raymond Scott in his pre electro pioneering powerhouse persona is shaken and stirred with two parts wig flipped John Lurie for what is a gloriously wildly whacked freakout while the airy and lilting pastoral opine of Pink Floyd-y follies meets super chilled and smoked Soft Machine are the order of the day for the daydreaming soft psyche swoon of ‘sounds of success’ decorated and daubed as it is by a deliciously breezy bandstand regale of L’Augmentation. All said though our favourite moment was decided on the flick of a coin for while ‘ping pong head’ provided for some damn fine shit-faced early 70’s jamming and Billy Goldenberg inspired TV theme tuneage it is for us the parting shot ‘burned alive’ that steals the set with its snoozing and sighing riff opines bringing the set full circle with its after a momentary pause reprising of the as were Douglas Gamley teased ’sound dust’ montage. File under should come with jabs.
Next part later today and then its onward with a psyche / prog special…….more about that later….

missive 294 – part duo
Singled Out
Missive 294 – part duo

‘wayward wax happenings’

Damn – late with this sorry…..more later……

Preterite ‘pillar of winds’ (Beta Lactam Ring). We must apologise and admit that this particular release has been subject or rather more unwittingly caught up in what can only be described as some sort of cock up here at chez losing today. Beta Lactam Ring have in recent times kindly sent over – twice it should be said – downloadable content for the full length and for reasons as infuriating as they are annoying our PC has seen fit to dump said – on both occasions no less – making us look somewhat incompetent. Happily though we have samples sourced from the BLRR site which agreed are not the ideal replacement but nevertheless give enough hint as to why this particular outing may well be one of the finest in the Beta Lactam Ring canon. How we came to Preterite was by sheer accident it should be said, perchance via a recent pod cast posted by the label, there tucked away between the staple BLR diet of Seven That Spells and Earthmonkey ear gear something darkly alluring stirred in the ether, beneath its dronal recitals a timeless tongue emerged that drew upon a richly forged palette of sonic spectres cast from the late 60’s. And whilst the sounds immediately translated their part folk part psyche tapestry, ingrained deep beneath their surface shine something else was found muddying the aural alchemy – something lost and of whose archaic value could be traced to something pre-natural and primitive.

The press release makes mention of Nico (none more so is this the case than on the rising from the sea mist and like some lost in time Celtic prayer opening salvo ‘oath‘ richly equipped and bequeathed as it is by Nico’s chill toned monochromatic frozen warning), Marianne Faithful and Tamaryn, typically hitting the nail on the head, yet for us personally we still stick with our well hidden initial assessment as reported in missive 286 upon first hearing ‘the fourth corner’ which ran as follows…..’which unless our ears do deceive sounds not unlike something emerging from the fog acid riddled doom drone time tub travelling regal alter ego of a seriously wasted Jefferson Airplane fused with Dead can Dance and conversing in long dead archaic folk tongues’.

As to Preterite – they are as mysterious as their sounds, a collaborative duo that on one side is found sat Genevieve Beaulieu of Menace Ruin fame whilst the other finds James Hamilton one time Column, Annihilist these days Nebris. Across the five cuts that form their debut release ‘pillar of wind’ they weave a darkly intoxicating spell charm that one minute veers from the pre post rock discordance of the late 80’s New Zealand scene a la Bruce Russell and Roy Montgomery as though re-visualised and relocated to the depths of Tibet as on ’synagogue’ to ’the trail of strength’ which to these oddly tuned ears sounds not unlike this mortal coil as seen through the viewfinder of Soriah with additional sonic assistance provided for by a youthful Flying Saucer Attack. All said though nothing quite touches the parting ’viriditas’ which ought by rights to have those rise above imprint and current 93 admirers among you chomping soundly at the bit for through the fracturing soft psyche folk haze emerges something indelibly ingrained in a centuries old mysticism to sonically dissect succulently an aural axis upon which sits Baez, Mellow Candle and Comus. Quite perfect if you ask me.

Rude Mechanicals ‘the cyclops and the wildebeest’ (exgratia). Something that one suspects will neatly sidle up to those record collections boasting releases by the likes of David Cronenberg’s Wife, the Cardiacs, Sun Ra (as on the PTV3 inspired spacey psychotropics of ‘fishy mutants‘), the cravats, they came from the stars (whose skewiff application and appreciation for the screwball is admirably noted on ‘vicar of st martins’), minty (see ’wolfgang’) and the native hipsters (yes them again – is there a collective resurgence paying long deserved dues we wonder). Welcome to the bizarre world of the rude mechanicals a crooked band of n’er do well minstrels so out of step with the pop’s pulse beat they sound as though they‘ve been beamed in from some surreal cartoon world where mayhem, ghouls and strange goings on appear the norm. ’the cyclops and the wildebeests’ be their debut full length following a spate of limited releases, a chaotic and spastically spewed gem of such erratic schizoid persona and chaotic verve you’d do well to take heed of precautionary health concerns in ducking and darting to avoid its Catherine wheel like emitting sharp shards. Headed up by the mysterious Miss Roberts, rude mechanicals weave to their wayward tapestry an intoxicating and impishly incorrigible array of skittish grooves whose references stray with scythe like precision across a skewed wasteland of discarded mutant body parts whose origins are encountered in impish music hall penny dreadful recitals, Victoriana shanties, art rock and prog from which embraced to their scavenging merry prankster bosom echoes of Bonzo sit disturbingly demurred alongside Brecht and Weill.

It should be said from the outset that we’ve suffered a few playing glitches with this release – it did defy all attempts to offer up its goodies within and was on the verge of being jettisoned frisbee like from out of the window in a pique of frustration until it unexpectedly at the fourth time of asking (though we prefer to call it gentle persuasion) sparked into life via our PC application to strangely reveal an additional 7 tracks not listed or credited on the actual album.

And so we ventured forth – as said a hugely consuming albeit distracting beast is ‘the Cyclops and the wildebeest’ from the moment the freak circus opening of the macabre ’perfect child’ veers into earshot, the dye is cast and all that passes for normality is left at the door as the Rude ones draw you to partake in their devilish pact, they are the flickering blurred movement momentarily caught just out of the corner of your eye (with it should be said an unusual obsession for fish). Here waits for your eerie entertainment the skittish jazz noir funk ramble of the wilfully wired ‘like magnetism’ seeping from the speakers like Bauhaus’ ‘party of the first part’ re-scored by a particularly loose and frantic pere ubu and remodelled by James chance and the contortions while ‘bird in my gutter’ could in a parallel universe be a freakishly youthful and scatterbrained B-52’s overdosing on some skewed mutant Rick James vibes. Elsewhere there’s the smoked out of step torch noir of ‘behemoth’ and ‘Wednesday’s child’ the former which strays unguarded into territories once traversed by Space’s early outings ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘money’ the latter similarly so but eclipsed by a nightmarish dark cabaret / lounge leer. Shoehorn in the schizophrenic ’Automatic priest’ which skittishly freefalls between hymnal lounge and acutely demented acrylic art pop and you have quite possibly the most deranged full length of the year so far (be warned though Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones looms on the near horizon). As to the unlisted cuts – dare we say a secret treasure trove of oddities – ’etiquette’ will clearly appeal to admirers of La STPO while the grimly death like ’Sasha and I’ sounds like the Ab Fab crew doing the three witches scene in Macbeth and for those of you preferring to don disco booties and strut your stuff to a surreal studio 54 sound should check out the sensual and sparse ’disco remix’ which quite frankly out weirds even Gary Wilson and Minty (again) and that as you should all know is a pretty neat trick if you can pull it off (ooh er).

Meanwhile over at Beatles Monthly – darn I meant Mojo – #213 features a youthful Mr McCartney upon its cover while inside the mop top mojo staff set to work gathering and whittling down an extensive list of 50 reasons to love the Macca as provided by a select invitation only audience – number one incidentally the against all odds and tribulations beauty of ’maybe I’m amazed’ recorded against a backdrop of Beatles’ fall out bitterness, self doubt and gnawing insecurity – oh and there’s an extended spot highlighting the post Wings 80’s approaching rebirth of McCartney with in our view his best full length ’McCartney II’. the cover mounted CD is a celebration of artists that shaped the craft of a young formative Macca. Elsewhere Fleetwood Mac are the chosen subject matter for this months how to buy, spots for Nils Lofgren, Alison Mosshart, vintage touble, david sylvian, the return of legendary psych pop combo July, ian lagan and extended pieces on toots and the maytals, steve miller and the making of career changing Bowie opus ’hunky dory’ along with the back story of the Arnold corns.

Many thanks to Brian of the Bordellos for sending along two sneak previews of tracks in progress from the Bordellos planned for next year release tentatively titled ‘idiot savant’. of course no strangers around these here parts the bordellos are your negative exposure Monkees whose sound in short runs with a gifted pack of garage / psych pop outsiders whose ranks feature such legendary names as Guided by Voices, Jad Fair and Kim Fowley. As said two cuts in progress – ‘kinky dee’ and ‘political drill’. the former is scalded by a deliciously sluggish and discordant garage beat growl whose scowling primal purr had us recalling a beaten around the edges take on Mark Arm’s monkey wrench albeit as though recorded in the Mummies bathroom for maximum lo-fi effect with the resulting tapes being nicked by a certain Thurston Moore and claimed as his own. Better still is ’political drill’ which aside ambling along to a subtly drawn forlornly sighing dark hearted demeanour that on first listen hints strongly at the Velvets in more restrained and passive moods is clipped with a spectral airiness that shimmers casually to sonic tongue of cheval sombre and the butterflies of love’s ’rob a bank’ though scratch a little deeper and there’s the audible sound of a wasted mid 60’s Jagger and Co souring the serene palette. Should also point out at this stage that we’ve been sent a to be heard only cover of Bo Diddley’s ’I’m a man’ (which is currently being mooted for inclusion on a forthcoming compilation being put out by – damn – are we allowed to say – to hell with it – FdM – that’s dropped everyone in it). Must admit the version we have is blinding all fuzzed out twangs and shit faced cool as f**k cocksure vocals that leer, loom and swagger with a threatening f**k you sneer, amid the melee harmonicas howl (though I could be wrong in which case yea add in howling harmonicas) and things descend into a fractured lust littered cacophony to sound like a dirty prowling classic Jones era Stones being disfigured and refitted with a hotrod chassis by the Fall. there’s also a limited band camp sessions full length currently circulating the underground and getting airplay via dandelion which we’ll be mentioning in greater detail next missive – for now though further info via

And sticking loosely with FdM who we just mentioned briefly in passing – new releases are planned for the Autumn season with a full length from Cranium Pie slated for September unveiling – the album entitled ‘mechanisms’ will be followed in hot pursuit by what is at the moment a hush hush outing that features two of FdM’s in house bands covering four re-drills of well known tunes from a cult 70’s film – or as they have it ’the cult 70’s flick’ – has to ’the wicker man’ doesn’t it mind you could be ’psychomania’ knowing these dudes. After there’ll be an EP from the Luck of Eden Hall who have an album currently doing the rounds entitled ’butterfly revolutions’ that we need to hear before we get any much older. Still with FdM – Andy and Keith are doing some kind of top trumps thing called cardiology and promise various cards will appear in selected releases the first of which are inside the near sold out Chemistry Set 7 inch.

And now for some FdM spin off’s – first up Sendelica whose quite spiffing ‘venus in furs’ / ‘maggot brain’ split we featured way back at missive 273 – seems these Welsh pups have a new album out via FRG entitled ‘the pavilion of magic and the trials of the seven surviving elohim’ – a copy of which rest assured we’ll try and nab over the course of the next few days – for now though here’s a sneak peak of their cover of an old Beefheart ditty called ‘this is the day’ featuring Zion Train songstress Molara and Nik Turner on the flute, an utterly transfixing slice of breathless love noted floral pageantry elevated to heart stopping statuesque proportions that’s dimpled by the demurring tender application of driftwood cascades of sveltely teased riff chimes that serve to harness and caress Molara’s lost in the moment enchanted coos and woos all trimmed perfectly by Turner’s magical airy fairy hocus pocus – mind some might say its touched, clipped and moulded to within a crystalline heartbeat of Shakespeare Sisters ’stay’ and then some wouldn’t.

Update – Cranium pie’s full length will feature in missive 295 – utterly bonkers it is to.

Peter Kernel ‘anthem of hearts’ (African tape). Not sure for certain as to how limited this cutie little thing is but I’m hazarding a guess that provided with just the optimum amount of airplay that certain jarring riffs and post punk loving indie types will b e frantically rifling record racks to make it their own. Culled from their forthcoming full length entitled ‘white death and black heart’ due for record counter rumblings sometime in October via African tape / on the camper, ’anthem of the heart’ comes pressed up on a single sided slab of 7 inch wax all housed in a neat little black / yellow die cut sleeve. What first sounds slovenly and shambling and gouged to a splintering math groove spliced with a austere clipped negativity that sounds like its been recently defrosted from a deep freezed Peel play list c. 1981 soon sumptuously thaws and to a fractured spiked pop motif of a ’surfer rosa’ era Pixies is welded a most becoming though ostensibly off kilter jubilant blossoming that purrs to a slyly brittle effervescence as though controller controller had tuned their sights to rewiring Quickspace’s criminally neglected ’dearth of…’ full length. Tasty by our reckoning…..

Here’s a moving picture type show to go with the tune……

And a heartfelt thanks to Spring records of Spain who sent over a rather nifty cd-r gathering together the Spanish imprints first three 7 inch releases – each is strictly limited to just 250 copies and all come adorned in specially designed bespoke sleeves….alas title number 3 is already sold out at source………so without further ado….release number 1.…
Magenta (Pete Dello) ‘I’m a gambler’ (Spring). A lost gem from the 70’s, Dello was one time member of Honeybus whose chief claim to fame was the hit single ’I can’t let Maggie go’ which older readers may well recall back dropping the Nimble bread ads of the early 70’s. ’I’m a gambler’ was initially prepped as that singles follow up but fearing hectic tour schedules Dello quit the band and retreated to the intimacy of the studio working under a number of solo pseudonyms. This particular take of the track was released in ’74 after which Dello quit the music scene all together. Very much of its time and tripped with an attractive pop glowing radio friendly MOR lightness ’I’m a gambler’ is liltingly possessed of honeyed harmonies much in touch with the early 70‘s Beach Boys, warming melodies and the exquisite despatching of some nifty pedal steel arrangements. Flip side ’tattered robe’ is similarly caressed with a gently ambling off centred and lovelorn countrified breeziness that could easily pass for an early 70’s easy listening variant of the Kinks.

The Palace of Lights ‘catherine’ (Spring). Do you ever get irked with yourself when you hear something from a time long since past and wonder to yourself how the hell you managed to get through the days without it ever being in your life. Happened to me I must confess on hearing this brace of lost gems from the palace of lights. As the liner notes reveal this is a re-issue of a single that was never really a single in the first place. Signed to the legendary bam Caruso imprint the palace of lights had already dispatched the album ’beginning here and travelling outwards’ at the run out groove of the 80’s, the enthusiasm of label owner Phil Smee alas didn’t quite translate into sales, the band lapsed, reconvened, recording a handful of new songs, went prospecting for a new label, lapsed again changed their name to Mabel Joy recorded some more then settled on a single, issued white labels but poor distribution and with no real selling outlet then single quietly withdrew. Perhaps caught between the crossfire of grunge and madchester later to resurface re-branded and newly christened Brit pop and the late 80’s c-86 and early 90’s shoe gaze scenes didn’t do them any favours, out of step and not so much out of fashion but out of time its easy to see where the palace of lights failings lay, the two cuts here ’catherine’ and ’books’ are soldered in an intricate craftsmanship graced with a flawless melodic panache and while ’catherine’ heaves and sighs to the beaching pressure of an outpouring emotional dam that tripwires seductively to a trip wired template not a million miles removed from the Dream Academy it’s the flip side ‘books’ that had us all a swooning in the aisles scratched as it is upon richly vibrant and eloquently magnetic chest pounding tempestuous groove that swerves and ripples bracingly and breezily to a ley line that connects seductively to the early career work of Micro Disney. Both band members Brend and Gale would re-appear years later as the excellent Farina. Just class.

The See See ‘all too tired’ (spring). Hotly tipped and the darling of the psych garage underground, following in the foot steps of the Soundcarriers it seems the See See can do no wrong – a smattering of releases via great pop supplement have been eagerly snapped up often before the wax has had a chance to dry before appearing on auction listings commanding premium prices. As mentioned earlier this too is sold out at source though the more savvy among you ought to procure a copy by means foul or fair. Two exclusives to boot feature on this limited 7 inch with ’all too tired’ revealing the bands soft psyche garage toned credentials by weighing in with a dandy slice of lysergic groove that comes replete in all manner of shades adorned fuzzed out tones and woozy Farfisas and dare I say it sounding to these ears like the Galaxie IV shimmying up to the Misunderstood for some Seeds-esque ‘pushin too hard’ action albeit as though seen through the kaleidoscopic viewfinder of the electric prunes. Over on the flip ‘400 miles’ provides for a more mellowed and pastoral happening, with its countrified dimpling and harmonica braiding this murmuring head bowed beauty sways, soothes and softly allures to the same elegantly traced hymnal hush of the leisure society and the low anthem. Essential in a word.

Wooden Shjips ‘lazy bones’ – a taster for their forthcoming ‘west’ set for thrill jockey – ‘lazy bones’ is a spine rattling dead eyed and howling dust riddled mantra spoken in lost psychotropic tongues that summons the parched blues spectres of yore at the mythical crossroads through séances conducted under skin peeling burning skies. By far the coolest thing on our dansette right now and having us imagining Vince Taylor and Johnny Kidd running with the ghost riders to the primitive prowl of a dealing dark deeds Suicide in cahoots with the Gun Club.

Update – alas we’ve tried getting copies of the wooden ones album via their press people – no chance – perhaps I should have said I was from Mojo…….who talking of……

Mojo 60’s #1 – Stealing a march on the other off shoot publications and updated the specials format ever so slightly is the inaugural issue of Mojo 60’s – a maybe or maybe not – (depending on the editorial footnote – all depends on the feedback which in truth should by rights be glowing) – occasional publication brought to you by those music loving dudes over at Mojo. A pricey affair mind at just shy of a tenner but hey it does comes snugly fit into one of those card wallet sleeves made more familiar by the Classic Rock’s ‘prog’ and ‘Aor’ occasionals – more about them later inside of which you’ll find a dinky little 7 inch in picture sleeve and oppressed up on yellow wax to boot and nifty twin set of Beach Boys tastiness prized from their forthcoming ‘the smile sessions’ release via Capitol as it happens ‘cabin essence’ and ‘wonderful’ in case you are wondering. As to magazine itself – well between it zippy fringe flicked retro covers a positive cavalcade of 60’s treats – nearly all the usual suspects in attendance minus Floyd that is if you don’t count the photo appearance as part of the spot on photographer Baron Wolman and their brief cursory mention in Pete Doggett’s piece on LSD and its instrumental shaping of pop’s psych – blimey wish I hadn’t started this now. Anyhow let’s just agree to say there are AWOL’s aplenty. However those getting in on the all important opening show – the Beach Boys whose aforementioned impending ’smile’ is marked by a 20 page centrepiece that includes amid its expanded trawl their early career rise to prominence, the fall out from Smile as well as interviews with Wilson, Love and Jardine. Somewhere else there are spots for the Stones notably their ascension to being the authorities public enemy number one and their near collapse during the ’between the buttons’ recordings. The inside track to Small Faces ’itchycoo park’ is revealed, Jackie DeShannon is celebrated by a long overdue re-appraisal, Dylan’s post traitor tour hit’s the UK, Alan McGee obsesses over the Creation, Cream’s farewell concerts and the oft overlooked and under appreciated Monkees are treated to four sides of swooning while Red Krayola are at long last critically evaluated with a thumbs up side serving by Sonic Boom. In the snippets there’s word of a massive vinyl only ’music of the spheres’ set by 13th Floor Elevators due soon and a Roky Erickson doll – don’t ask, while Left Banke’s first two are shortly to appear on 180gm courtesy off Sundazed and news just in – well this being the mid 60’s – that Mr Bowie fails his BBC audition with the Lower Third with the notes summing up his performance as ’a cockney type but not outstanding, a singer devoid of personality, sings wrong notes and out of tune’ and oh how they were right sorry wrong – oh bugger.

And for those a tad peeved and needing of their Floyd fix ought to pick up…..the Uncut occasional ‘ultimate music guide’ – the series finally turning its sight on Pink Floyd. A hugely enjoyable and oft educative trawl through the record racks of one of the 60’s most famous sons. Basically a rehashing of articles / reviews and features from the day culled from lost titles of yesteryear the likes of the Melody Maker and the New Musical Express. No doubt buoyed and in the main serving as celebration of the recent sighting on stage together at the same time of the three remaining Floyd types performing ’comfortably numb’ and pre-empted by the fact that Floyd tribute bands these days acquire a worldwide status that many bands would simply kill for – note one Brit Floyd heading the pack of the many. Each and every album is dissected here including Barrett’s waif like two some, rare photos and archived interviews may not seen in print since their original publication including Syd’s last official contact with the music press from ’71. Of course the in band spats and the battles lost and won for control between Gilmour and Waters are carefully documented while rounding up this special Gilmour and Mason aided by friends and fellow musicians select the 30 best Floyd moments with ’shine on you crazy diamond’ topping the formidable line up. The only bug bear is the oft repeated assessment of Syd Barrett’s fall from the spotlight, indeed well documented that he dabbled shall we say a little more than most and perhaps his mania might warrant a specialist diagnosis that he was for want of a better word fried from his experiments – however Syd’s decline was in reverse effect to the Floyd’s rise. With acclaim came the pressures and demands to perform not so much musically but as the spokes person for a generation. Slowly but surely Syd’s grip on the band was being taken from him not necessarily by the band but by the media and the publicity machine – by way of additional reading we suggest you tune into Rob Chapman’s excellent tome ‘Syd Barrett – a very irregular head’ which unravels the long played out Syd myths.

More of this gubbins shortly….stop moaning -you love it really…..

missive 294 part uno
Singled Out
Missive 294 – part uno

‘revolutions of a 45 / 33 kind’

What do you know like buses wait a while and seven turn up at once, the first in a long line of assembled missive 294 body parts – three maybe four – depending if we can get our typing finger to do turbo taps on the tabs. Anyhow enough chit chat currently loving the new Cranium Pie debut full length entitled ‘mechanisms’ via fruits de mer off spring Crustacean – so before I get overwhelmed in all the airy fairy woozy kaleidoscopic vibes and tales of – er lobsters – I must dash to get some medication…

More missive action tomorrow – bet ya can’t wait…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Berg Sans Nipple ‘change the shape’ (blackmaps). Must admit to being a tad bit smitten by this little gem, culled from their forthcoming full length entitled ‘build with erosion’ via Blackmaps which is a new label put together by a former Warp scout – the video below features the work of 15 filmmakers, musicians and artists each given the remit to provide 15 seconds of footage / images in two days. As to the sound utterly addictive in short – an psychotropically intoxicating sun beaming crooked cosmic calypso of sorts replete with whacked out bass lines, fringe parting lunar swirls, tripped out tribal rhythms and chiming cow bells which when swept together puts you in mind of a pre school gathering of talents featuring Black Dice, the native hipsters, Battles and Malcolm McLaren being given sonic crayons and told to doodle a Sesame Street stylee aural action painting mural. On the other hand it could pass for Animal Collective undergoing some kind of meltdown following an unsuccessful face off with a Frank Wobbly and Sons all star cast. The sound of summer – if that is it comes back again…….

Joakim ‘forever young’ (tiger sushi). Taster for Tigersushi head honchos fourth full length ‘nothing gold’ which is due to engage with club land as summer fades (okay September). This floor purring slice of technoid bitter sweetness ought by rights to be serenading the moon glowed air of Europe‘s key festivals this summer for ‘Forever young’ impishly relocates the mooching twang coda of Radiohead’s ‘all I need’ to a readily more sunnier place and despatches it with a toe tapping tropicalia persona, lyrically brooding the mood is one of approaching the shadow shade between youth and middle age, the tonalities clipped with a trance toned trimming pierced upon an off kilter funky grind all seductively haloed by corteges of shimmer toned Balearic baubles. In addition to the original edit there’s the extended afro mix which aside being extended only differs by way of the addition of someone doing handclap routines with coconut shells. Add in some guest remix duties by Discodeine and DyE – the former traced with a sumptuously mellowing and seductive after lights out smokiness with the latter polished up and pristinely possessed of the kind of subduing pop orientated prowess that wouldn’t look amiss had it had the name Electronic tagged to its backside.
Vive Le Rock #3 – is it just me or are these quarterly / occasional publications creeping out with worrying regularity not that we here are complaining – no siree – in fact hopefully by the time we’ve put this particular missive to bed we’d have gotten through the likes of shindig, ugly things, classic rock presents prog / AOR – indeed yes the latter has made it to second base with a third mooted for imminent newsagent arrival towards the back end of Summer, Zero Tolerance and Rock n’ Reel (who we feel we’ve done a massive disservice to for not so far praising them in print). Must admit we are beginning to grow fond of Vive Le Rock kinda reminds us of the Smash Hits when it first kicked out mixed with early 80’s publication Punk Lives which I do seem to recall us erroneously calling noise annoys or something or other last time out – anyway some spark has uploaded a video featuring the magazines (punk lives that is) cover shots and the inside content of the final issue a link to which you can find beneath all this. Issue 3 has the Ig looming from the cover with the man himself featured inside, there’s also a rare sighting of that Eldritch bloke from Sisters of Mercy and an extended tribute to the recently departed Poly Styrene while Rejects’ Mick Geggus allows for a peak at the Cockney ones tour diary on the back of finishing prints being coloured for a proposed documentary and news of a spanking new album in the offing. Somewhere else there are spots for Brian Setzer, Glenn Danzig, chosen gig moment is the Fall’s 2007 appearance at the Palais while Jesus and Mary Chain occupy the rough guide to spot, lost idols Bators and Thunders are featured and John Robb rounds up the wannabes, could have been’s and not a chance®s of the glam era among the max factor motley crew the likes of jobriath, jook and hello are recalled. Did we miss anything – well only t model ford, sid’s Scandinavian romance, the return of the Cars, the undertones, fucked up, exene cervenka, creation records, the descendants, simple minds, the members, vaccines, the cute lepers and bugger me not enough time to mention the return of the professionals, a mooted new Magazine full length and the redskins ;lean on me’ being road tested as a certifiable lost classic. And of course dare we forget the dinky little 15 track CD hugging the cover and featuring a shed load of toxic tuneage among the treats a blistering rabid version ’I wanna be your dog’ recorded in ‘88 and featuring a certain Steve Jones. Elsewhere there’s the national anthem in waiting impishness of ’who gives a toss (about Jonathon Ross)’ by the Destructors which to these ears sounds not unlike flowered up and I, ludicrous sharing the studio space and getting shitfaced on Snuff grooves whilst the fast, frantic and furious take on the pink fairies ’teenage rebel’ by Scabies and James is frankly worth the magazine cover price on it own – a sidewalk melting brutish garage growling hotrod trashfest. With a shimmy and a swagger there’s the fuzzy power bubble grooved pop of Watts ’on the dial’ doing damage on our dansette which should appeal to those of you longing for a dream team collaboration of gumball, Husker du and Velvet Crush types. Maybe its just me but if I didn’t know better I’d say the Scuzzies ’hungry as a hound’ was the work of a secret super group assembled from various Dead Boys, Soft Boys and Oasis body parts. Boasting a line up of Cock Sparrer and Chelsea types along with Rat Scabies the Bermondsey Joyriders per the killer ’part of my problem’ are your Black Halos twinned with Monkey Wrench and getting high and wasted on throwaway mid 70’s Stones riffage and well motor psycho’s face off with jello Biafra just has to be heard though I’m gathering you didn’t need me to tell you that – best thing Jello’s done since those mojo Nixon / lard releases. Silvery – ah what can we say – culled from last years ’railway architecture’ – ’a deconstruction of roses’ just oozes schizophrenia – ’defecting grey’ by the Pretty Things on magic mushies – a national institution and one of the most creatively wired combos on the british underground right now. And lest we forget BC’s ’ghost riders in the sky’ – think Stan Ridgeway gone McLaren ’madam butterfly’.

Dreams of Tall Buildings ‘residuum’ (museum). Much joy in the losing today sound lounge with the arrival of this particular release. Now we’d heard all the sales pitching fanfare, even seen the occasional leaked pictures of its manufacturing process – yet nothing quite prepared for seeing it in the flesh so to speak. The second release emerging out of Dream of Tall Buildings Museum imprint (set up with the intention to disseminate rare no longer in print releases from the extensive DotB library archive and the limited issue of various installation / sonic architecture works) is a true aural and visual artefact entitled ’residuum’. limited to just 100 copies this release arrives in the form of a hand painted box entombed in a plaster cast casing inside of which are variously tucked pointer cards, an original segment of 60’s styled William Morris wallpaper and a gold cassette upon which 7 aural suites can be found. The full story behind the project and details of the recording processes utilised can be found by way of the links provided for below. By way of some brief background the project was initially commissioned by the National Trust, Messrs Wiggan and Joyce were given the loose remit to engage, record and create an aural document for posterity – an auditory excavation if you like collected from the inner dwellings of the last remaining court of back to backs in Birmingham. Loosely referencing and much recalling of the psychogeographical opus’ of Stylus’ ‘skomargraph’ and more so the work of Drew Mulholland in his Mount Vernon Arts Lab guise whilst similarly echoing the literary work of Kneale by way of ’quatermass and the pit’ and ’the stone tape’ – the ’residuum’ suites provide a document of moments captured by way of the recording and translating of the atmospheres, moods and the encompassing of the hidden memories and replaying of their histories as revealed by the vibrations held within each buildings core fabric. By the peeling back of old wallpaper and the general removing of each room / space / locations skin whether that be merely paint, plaster or general rendering, different sonic resonances where achieved as though somehow these acts had in some way released the time periods trapped / held within, these areas were scanned and each recording and reading then fed though a PC for data translation into sound. Sound art in its purest form therefore, each of these suites explores a differing aspect of the environs mood and climate – found here amid the aural rubble ‘mitchells house’ is here sub divided into 5 parts – each portion and portrayal contrasting vividly in terms of identity, texture, design and delivery with the sparsely weaved shimmer toned glitch gilded groans of ‘#5’ incidentally coming across like an ice sculptured minimalist take on a youthful maps and diagrams with a fondness for ‘digitalis’ era ISAN and the frequency detuning modulations of the spectral pulses within ‘#4’ eerily tapping into – as were – fractured communiqués from beyond – are perched alongside the ghostly monastic almost hauntingly hymnal reverence of the dead echoing drone swathes of both ‘#3’ and ’#2’ (the latter additionally adorned with something approaching a kind of celestial visitation) with ’#1’ deep set to the solemn and desolate detailing of ominously phased darkly rupturing trance ripples and distorted playroom chorus’. bending frequencies, warping manipulations and wiring waveforms provide the glue holding together the seemingly playful ’time capsual’ – a kind of Stockhausen / Glass event as recoded through the analogue mind of Kember in his EAR guise translating and channelling white noise breaching whispers by means of a sonic séance which leaves ’house 2 – binaural’ to wrap up matters and provide a real time collage of sorts that cross wires an aural depiction of family / working life in an attempt to peak into the locations past. Multi dimensional strangeness from this most eclectic of sound alchemists.

the official press release can be found here –

Insert and design images here –

Posted by Dreams of tall buildings on Sunday, January 9, 2011

Photos here…..

BLING A DING! "residuum" gold tapes arrived today at ScoopsMansions

Posted by Dreams of tall buildings on Thursday, November 11, 2010

Finished artefacts here –

Back with sometime Dreams of Tall Building sonic sculpturer Justin Wiggan as promised earlier albeit rather than a recap on the Geography of Nowhere latest – which incidentally will arrive at some later point in this extended missive – we’ve decided to give you the heads up on three very special projects currently available or else looming on the horizon. First up Spittle Sisters – which sees Wiggan in collaboration with Sarah Albury who to much admitted embarrassment has yet to invade or indeed worry our listening space via her musical alter ego bad orb (just one of many we believe) – mind you from what we’ve managed to thus far hear her sonic palette appears to be something plotted upon an axis that’s all at once unsettling, eerie and found located (should you so wish to map its locality) in the multi disciplined outer realms of the noir traced minimalist electro folk drone fraternity. There’s an album in the offing between these two entitled ‘these dark objects’ which should at some point in the near future emerge via the Beard of Snails imprint. For now though a sneak peak of what to expect courtesy of ’a sparrow’s heart at night’ which finds Wiggan and Albury descending evermore to plot the as yet the un-chartered regions of pop’s micro-verse. Awash in subterranean echoes and drone tides enhanced by industrial clicks and groans there’s a foreboding calm before the storm appeal to this eerie treat that’s part archaic ritualism primed with pagan ceremony – perhaps its just me then, the monochrome melodic mosaics shimmer like ever watchful oscillating orbs glowing in the void all tripped to a sinisterly frosted coda of manipulated waveforms to which from its core belches an ominous fog bound fanfare – not I hasten to add something to be appreciated alone in the dark with.

Spittle Sisters lurk here –
Those wishing to hear a little of Sarah’s Bad Orb should see out via you tube…..

The disquieting ‘fog mountain’ with its suspense riddled chill – think Stockhausen meets ‘the grudge’

And…the curiously lulling ’monobassatron’ which mages to sublimely fuse monochrome noir drone Dadaist loops to lost ritualistic tongues, certainly something for those whose musical listening discipline is headed up by the likes of Muslim Gauze and Wagon Christ.
And now for something truly magical and exquisite beyond words. Imminent on Static Caravan – yes that label of quality grooves who’ve an enviable habit of unearthing nuggets like no one’s business – current ear wares of interest have included a peachy little thing from Tula and the Magic Bus whose self titled debut 7 inch which we mentioned here a few missives back which in truth we’re not at all sure has officially seen the light of day as yet. Ah well – its bloody good by the way. As previously advertised something truly special. We have it on good authority that when this does appear it will be seriously limited in nature – I think we are talking nano copies – its by Coccoons and unless I’m much mistaken entitled ’earling’ – it will surface via the much admired Static Caravan imprint (who incidentally only yesterday dropped off a rather essential double disc set by Zombi dude Steve Moore and a spiffing debut platter by Scouse lass Laura J Martin both of these will be lovingly listened carefully, dissected and delivered review wise in part 2 maybe part 3 of this missive.
Back to Coccoons though, Mr Wiggan kindly sent over the final mix which extends to a 27 minute set and should be high on the wants list of most self respecting tune loving tearaways for it’s a collaboration between Mr Wiggan, Laurence Hunt, Coti K and a certain Ms Peel of the Hannah variety who asides being adopted by the ever extending Static Caravan family of late courtesy of two most joyful singles has also been wowing and sending certain sections of the press into swooning fits with her recently released debut full length ‘the broken wave’ which alas appears to have slipped our normally finitely tuned radar.

As is par for the course there’s no real information here – seems the Wiggan bloke likes to operate with a degree of secrecy and under the cloak of media silence – and well – as discussed above – this is meant to be hush hush for now as is / are the track (s) it should be noted for these are dinked, dimpled and sculptured shall we say in sumptuous folds of spectral celestial un-worldliness that ought to appeal at first contact with those much loving of the Cocteau’s majesty, This Mortal Coil’s stately solace and Dead Can Dance’s mercurial mastery at blending lost tongues and archaic languages to neo classical settings. The applying of monastic tongues and a ceremonial reverence gives this mix a sense of the ethereal, reverberating echoes, the rustling percussive ripples (which admittedly only became noticeable when we hooked our laptop to the hi-fi to maximise listening enjoyment), shimmering timbres and ghostly visitations all collide into a spectral fabric, the showers of silvery vibrations shimmer all glowing in intensity, the stratospheric whispers cascading at times like jubilant speckles of euphoria to the lost in the moment hymnal hush of Ms Peel’s murmurs as they breach the ether, its utterly divine though don’t be deceived for where the beguiled frosted timbres of Peel purr much drawing reference to Heather Duby there is the at odds ominous groan of the shadow forming stillness of the brooding soundscapes beneath to usher in an uneasy light to dark balancing act.

Many thanks to those Static dudes for putting us onto Manchester Scene Wipe who are currently hosting a video featuring Hannah Peel performing ‘song for the sea’ at Manchester’s Cross Street Chapel which you can check by going here…… while there scroll over to the right of the page and click on the MCR mix tapes section to reveal two downloadable compilations featuring the cream of talent that’s passed through the Manchester Scene Wipe doors. The two compilations ’Manchester mix tapes’ volumes 1 and 2 showcase a wealth of creative talent currently causing ripples on the underground scene – among the gathered throng a few familiar names to these pages can be found – Answering Machine, the travelling band, tim and sam band, cats in paris, driver drive faster and milk maid to name just a handful – as well as a treasure trove of previously unknown to us gems like the brutal basement growl of gnarled garage groovers Brown Brogues whose ’if I ever see your face’ is a glorious dumb fucked and shit faced shot of mutant Liars meets Jon Spencer Blues Explosion waywardness while shmoo’s ’amnesia’ is a gloriously effervescent slab of detuned 80’s electro pop that catches flight on the coattails of the Fixx, Icehouse and New Musik. Elsewhere Jo Rose who you suspect will in time be fed up to the back teeth with comparisons to Suzanne Vega and Polly Harvey at least for now does a pretty nifty scarred blues Neil Young like take on ’mary’s dress’ which ought to be heard before most of you are any older. Those into your Tom Waits ought to check Louis Barrabas and the Bedlam Six’s ‘tonight’ while admirers of Reverend Horton Heat’s occasionally flat topped hot rod freakouts will do well to tune up immediately to John Fairhurst’s ‘big dig’. elsewhere patterns absolutely adorably unreal ’wrong two words’ sounds like something discarded from Teardrop Explodes ’wilder’ that’s been fiddled with by Animal Collective and then remodelled by an ‘architecture’ era OMD as to fried oddities Onions’ ’stains’ 9incidentally just nudging matters in the best cut here stakes) utterly demented though disarming initially sounding like the native hipsters in a face off with a youthful Sparks that weirdly morphs into something lysergically dipped in a glam tinged bubblegum pop mixture – think epicycle meets fable factory – those low on shoe gaze / dream pop reserves will have their listening space all the more prettier by the sound of Weird Era whose ‘here to stay‘ is one suspects the sound of MBV as mellowed by a super chilled Flying Saucer Attack while admirers of Sad Café ought to check out Golden Glow‘s ethereal Cheval Sombre like re-drill of ‘everyday hurts‘.

And back with Mr Wiggan again for……

Geography of November ‘nocturnal conspiracies’ (first fold). You should all know the drill with these things by now – limited to just 100 hand numbered physical CD copies and unlimited downloads to boot. Fist Fold are fast becoming one of our favourite labels it should be said – previous outings by Wizard Tell Lies and Them use them have been met with play list saturation on the antique audio player adorning the singled out shed much I gather to the amused enjoyment of our neighbours. Still if they’ve got a problem they can always bring it to our door if that is they can drag themselves from polluting the air with sounds from Saturday night karaoke TV, though should they – then the full might of blue Sabbath black cheer will reign upon their heads – indeed we have several such releases prepped for inclusion in the next but one missive – that‘ll be number 295. And so to latest First Fold addition – Geography of November is a face off head to head of sorts that’s spearheaded by the core mindset of Wiggan and Tonge – the former best known for his involvement as one half of aural alchemists Dreams of Tall Buildings / Geography of Nowhere whose various musical guises have been peppering various missives of late including this one – the latter being first fold head honcho and member of papa November. Spread across four suites ‘nocturnal conspiracies’ is a fairly stark and forbidding collection and not for the obvious reasons to which you’d associate with something by Wiggan’s hand. For reasons best known only to my inner sub conscious I’ve been on more than one occasion drawn to recall the late Derek Jarman’s ’jubilee’ on hearing this album whilst likewise having been urged dig out copies of Barry Adamson’s earlier opus’ in order to check for similarities. Of both, references may well initially appear lost and have been when we’ve actually sat down to consider why we’ve been prompted to recall them as such though through our scrambled logic we’ve fathomed it out for the former (‘Jubilee’) is drawn upon a sense of decay nay that desolate stillness or more pertinently something precious lost while the latter (Barry Adamson’s early work) is gritted in the melancholic and monotonous dirt and stain of urban life. But then perhaps its fractious rub of guest vocalist Nathan Warner’s harshly grizzled tubes spiking the mellowed melodic mirages beneath that make this album appear clinically cold, detached and grounded with a forbidding air. But then scratch beneath the surface and what first sounds like an approaching Arab charger carrying a messenger pressed with parchments warning of a coming apocalypse to a mutoid dubstep fanfare soured by arabesque drones and wallowing weary cellos (as on the opening salvo ‘defeatist’) soon begins to progressively lighten its load as the album presses towards conclusion and from what initially translates as foreboding is soon – once ears are adjusted that is – received as sculptured layers of repetitive melodic loops dinked as coiling folk ramble like mantras (‘Rothschild’), sweetly harvested trembling key trims and acid folk shimmers (’exit wounds’) and snow crushed murmurs (’sloth’).

Further first fold happenings looming on the horizon – an EP and full length from Einstellung titled respectively ’chromatistes’ and ’…and the rest are thunder’ as well as issue 1 of ‘premier pli’ – a journals no less featuring contributions from artists, musicians and designers ’with a passion for the printed page’ – each issue will be headed up by a guest editor whose responsibility it will to set the thematic content for the rest to indulge in – the inaugural issue has Magnetophone in the editorial chair whilst tucked away inside you’ll find a mini CD of accompanying moods and sounds. We’ll try and blag copies of all for future review……..

Wire #329 – agreed with first fold in their frustration as to why Wire never feature their releases, still that aside Wire still provides for an essential read – this issue featuring a lengthy overview and chat with long standing troubadour Roy Harper, Vicki Bennett better known to the music fraternity as people like us scores near perfect when faced with the invisible jukebox, Morocco’s Nass El Ghiwane’s ‘oh, human’ 7 inch sleeve is held up for critical scrutiny per the Inner Sleeve while the blink and you’ll miss it tiny unofficial channels section shines the spotlight on the little known Manchester imprint Winebox Press whose ultra limited cassette only releases comes housed in wooden cases made from reclaimed furniture parts such as old dressers and rotten doors – releases so far have seen outings for the likes of Serfs, plum state, blue yodel and infinite light / lotus birth who you may well recall us mentioning a missive or so ago – further info on this sound art label can be found via – elsewhere spots for John Wall and John Maus who latest single features somewhere amid this particular missive plus all your usual copious amounts of essential ear-gear not to mention the hugely enjoyable size matters section – next months edition comes replete with volume 26 of Wire Tapper.

The go team ‘ready to go steady’ (Memphis industries). Why do I find myself always opening a review of a go team ditty with things along the lines of’ if I could only bottle up their exuberance and sell it from under the chemist counter I’d retire and buy the southern hemisphere’ – oh to inhabit the world of GT – forever sunny, forever carefree, forever your favourite life experience replayed on a loop – damn you could hate them with a vengeance if it weren’t for the rash of feel good radiance that mainlines through your very being each and every time the stylus drops to the wax edgings of their platters and crackles into life. ’ready to steady go’ is the sweetly distilled breezy shimmer of dansette drilled butter kissed 60’s femme pop echoes a la the Ronnettes, the Crystals and the Shangri La’s swooning sumptuously to the nu grooved retro glazed lovelorn lilt of those fortuna pop types the loves, pains at being pure at heart and allo darlin – addictive, alluring, effervescent and at no extra charge arrives with the sun beaming out of its backside and contagious to the point that jabs are highly recommended.

Morton Valence ‘sailors’ (bastard). You may recall us espousing fondly the virtues of this lots second full length ‘me and home james’ – what do you mean you don’t – just no telling some people is there – anyway for those that didn’t and in need of permission to come on down from the naughty step ought to check and I will be quizzing you later to make sure you do. As to the rest of you then it wont have escaped your attention that we here are – shall we say – a tad smitten by these lads and lasses, their ability to knock out serenely trimmed softly spiked bitter sweet pop baubles is second to none and dare we say without comparable peers. New single ‘sailors’ one of the aforementioned sets highlights is just the case in point, one of those pristinely turned three minute ditties that casts upon you that warming glow and makes you remember why you fell in love with pop in the first place. Agreed it pales a tad in the shady shadow of ’just another guy’ and ’me and home James’ but ’sailors’ does provides the sets ear pinging anchor, all kraut cruising motorik propulsions and sea faring airiness all previously noted in earlier despatches by us as sounding not unlike the Battles in a head lock with Swimmer One though add to that the charmed dinking of first album era Toshack Highway, a smidgeon of the jagged pop sensibilities of say – Quickspace and the subtle quiet anthem like artistry of Pulp albeit as though given a make over by the Paris Angels and one of the finest singles of the year so far is yours for the asking.

More tomorrow


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