originally posted on losing today way back in 2010…..
pains at being pure at heart, manhattan love suicides, melt banana, fiction, the routes, the troggs, styrofoam, little death, freebass, fell on black days, outraze, oh no ono, doomed birds of providence, fat cat records, sidebeat
For Kelly and Mark
Lost in music
Pains of being pure at heart ‘say no to love’ (Fortuna Pop). Darlings of those currently cutely acute purveyors of prime sliced tuneage Fortuna Pop, this two track honey from JMC / MBV love children Pains of being pure at heart arrives pressed up on 7 inches of limited issue lime green wax, of course there’s no need for me to go on in any great detail as to how special these pups are their shade swooned bliss glazed buzz throbbed bubblegum pop has garnered admiring glances and words of praise from all who’ve been in earshot much like the Blanche Hudson Weekend nee
Manhattan Love Suicides they traverse a faithful line in all things classic era Creation (that’ll be the pre-Oasis one), Sarah, bus stop, summershine et al. in ‘say no to love’ they deliver what can only be best described as a shimmering secret kiss, bleached throughout in an affecting wash of sun drenched fuzz radiance that’s embraced by a fetching silk screened lovelorn wrap motored by a driving jangle underpin from under which its trailing tail smoke arcs, coos and swoons with the same immediate impact of a latter day New Order. Flip the disc for the by comparison more mellowing and thoughtful ‘lost saint’ a moment of breathless clock stopping, between the hushed harmonies and the oh oh care freeness there’s a gliding genteelness attaching to a soft pop sophistication that was once a given thing on ear gear bearing the name St Etienne upon its hide albeit a St Etienne trip wiring the work of a particularly demurring Belle and Sebastian. Of course it goes without saying that you need this in your life pronto. http://www.fortunapop.com
Melt Banana ‘initial L’ (init). Very, very limited – apparently a few of these recently turned up at Cargo the other day but are bound to disappear in a flash. Three new recordings feature on this 7 inch – ‘loop nebula’ proving to be the pride of the pack, nagging and deranged, skewed and schizoid and without question brain damaging and what’s more worrying is the fact that it’s the sanest thing here. ah you can always rely on the Banana ones to turn your lobes to mush, absolutely mental and something akin to walking into the woodshed placing your head in a vice and inviting the local kids armed with frying pans, anvils and and heavy duty hammers to whack you senseless whilst simultaneously yarring in unison. Flip the disc for ‘leeching’ all squalling riffs and zonked out punk carnage delivered at speeds where both metal and faces melt, savage lunacy at its most potent, no pussyfooting here just skin peeling gouged groove the likes of which rarely heard round these parts since those early Babes in Toyland outings loomed menacingly on the hi-fi. Those thinking ‘jack and the red dog’ might offer brief sanctuary really haven’t a clue about what Melt Banana are all about, having already near pummelled you out of existence and with you barely hanging on to the ropes for dear life this nasty little nugget arrives in the nick of time to finish the job, stutters and belches and amid the ensuing barbed riot we swear we hear snatches of Shangri La’s harmonies being beaten down by a caustic cyclone – if you ask me its a bit like a self administering trepanning session and applying the power drill while having the shakes. Why can’t all records be like this. http://www.initrecords.com
Fiction ‘curiosity’ (offset). Don’t know about you but there’s definitely something of the Orange Juicers about this debut platter from London quartet Fiction, just love the Africana white funk motifs very much like a bitten by the funky bug Four Brothers if you must know, maybe throw in a little Pere Ubu for good measure and a pinch of ‘remain in light’ era Talking Heads for seasoning and just maybe a little A Certain Ration and Dislocation Dance for added oomph and you have yourself a strangely though more than satisfyingly distractive spot of off kilter tastiness – just hope this doesn’t mark a return to the days of silly caps, floppy fringes, lumberjack shirt and ankle rolled baggy jeans – I shudder. Flip le disc for ‘zebra crossing’ – now this is more up our street, intricate rhythmic signatures just love the way it keeps shifting in style and pace, very freeform in design, the sound acutely sparse tending towards art pop austere though very much informed by a very early 80’s Peel play list with the subtle hints of the Associates and ‘penthouse’ era Heaven 17 heavily invested with a 23 Skidoo meets Quando Quango vibe. http://thisisoffset.co.uk/
The Routes ‘do what’s right by you’ (dirty water). Oh yes – more dirty jive jagged retro rock a boogie from those devil dealing dudes over at Dirty Water HQ, man i would happily sell my soul to get on their mailing list, this time of asking they’ve strayed their shade adorned sights to the turned on sound of the Routes – an anglo – Japanese trio we believe who’ve already set by all accounts tongues a-wagging furiously among vintage vibed 60’s beat grooved aficionados courtesy of a debut full length entitled ‘left my mind’ being picked up by (previously unknown to us) Irish imprint Motor Sounds. Be fair warned this 7 inch twin set is the dogs danders, ’do what’s right by you’ is so primitive in sound we wouldn’t be surprised to find it strutting up the street with its knuckles dragging along the pavement, indelibly marked with a seriously gritty early Troggs vibe though that’ll be the Troggs being sonically choreographed by a moonlighting Brian ‘Stones’ Jones while sneakily taking tips from the Standells and the Wailers and hammering out in a damp stained airless basement some damn fine riff strides speared through with the added attraction of swamp grilled bubblegum seasonings revealing an audaciously enviable ear for the crafting of bad to the bone blues boogie. Flip over for what is in our opinion the best cut here – ‘love like glue’ is a rapid fire slice wig flipped and fried freak pop, hippy dippy grizzled teen totalling garage goo – think shit faced youthful Beefheart spiked by an equally tender in years Love with side servings of the Nomads – damn I could kiss the blighter. More more more. Oh yea and its this missives crucial phonographic fix. http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk
A video of them goes like this…..
And since we mentioned the Troggs though in all fairness when did we ever need an excuse here’s quite possibly one of the most lustful, wanton and dirty records ever pressed on 7 inches of wax….
Styrofoam ‘kids on acid’ – think we’re right in saying that its been a fair old while since Belgium’s Styrofoam troubled these pages but troubling these pages he is on this free to download cut from his current ‘get smarter’ single which unless I’ve dreamt it I’m sure we read somewhere that it features a certain Sex Pistol Paul Cook doing the sticks things. As to the actual cut – well as you can imagine from its title its primed in all manner of acid house tech-noid motifs dimpled with a coalescing bass twanging festival feted anthem like coolness which to these ears swerves and swaggers to sound not a million miles from some heaven sent sonic summit meeting between Renegade Soundwave and the Paris Angels helped out on occasion by a late 80’s Ibiza draped New Order. http://www.myspace.com/styrofoam
Little Death ‘just say maybe’ (nika). Another mighty fine single this time from Little Death information on whom we have bugger all to pass onto you other than to say we’re led to believe they’ve been somewhat retreated to the shadows since the release of their critically adored self titled mini album set in 2008. Two cuts feature on this 7 inch wax release the lead track of which the love tipped ’just say maybe’ proves something a blistering beast, a euphoric sugar rush of surging riffage metered out with an acutely urgent wrap of pulse popping desire and wantonness that’s forged and fermented amid sky piercing struts awash in halos of life affirming effervescence whose crafted precision is honed with such transistor totalling sinew seizing emotion eroding that it literally blows you off your listening perch. That told you. All said though we here are overtly fond of the flip cut ’violent sea’ a bit of a thunderous bruiser it should be said that strays with much aplomb to call to mind some serious bout of fisticuffs being wagered by a prime time Dinosaur JNR, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Teenage Fan club – damn fine by our reckoning. http://www.nika-club.com
while we busy ourselves despatching an elite operations team to source and secure a physical copy for review – here’s a little video and some press blurb – rather nifty little thing dontcha think……
Hacienda Records UK & 24 Hour Service Station are delighted to release the debut EP from Freebass, “Two Worlds Collide.” Freebass is a new group formed by three of Manchester’s finest bassists: Peter Hook of New Order & Joy Division, Andy Rourke of The Smiths and Gary “Mani” Mounfield of The Stone Roses. Finding the perfect singer for such a “heavy” line-up was difficult, so they asked their famous friends to contribute vocals with Tim Burgess of The Charlatans UK, Pete Wylie of The Mighty Wah! & Howard Marks all taking a turn at the microphone.
Burgess opens the EP with “You Don’t Know This About Me”, an addictive tune with a bass line reminiscent of New Order’s first single “Ceremony”. “The Milky Way Is Our Playground” spins into the surreal as Wylie takes vocal duties for an anthemic journey into euphoric space rock. Marks, aka beatnik Mr. Nice, conjures a heady piece of rock and roll mischief on “Dark Starr,” which features a pagan themed monologue delivered over a seductive bass line. For the final song, “Live Tomorrow You Go Down,” Hooky takes the mic and growls his way through a pulsing dance track whose driving bass line, crunching beats & electro flourishes wrap things up with a Punk/Techno vibe.
Fell on black days ‘bring out your dead’ EP (self released).ready for some mindless mayhem – of course you are, then let me introduce you to rising stars of the doom gloom hell spawn grind core scene fell on black days, a quintet hailing from Ebbw Vale, Wales who it seems have more than an adept knack of turning out a neat line in hell bound speed freaked carnage. About you in an instant like some infestation this EP features a bull dozing tour de force of 5 prime packed slabs of sky falling in soul slaying rage, it grim furnace fuelled war torn stuff, unrelenting and punitive and delivered with merciless wrath, each depicting a blood curdling skin fraying backdrop to a coming apocalypse with ’cold vapture’ – incidentally the best thing here by a country mile – finding itself bleached, bloodied and impaled upon a fierce some sonic landscape no doubt inspired by a latter day Killing Joke. Elsewhere the promise of a Mastodon loving trepanning treat lurks with menacing intent especially on the jarring juggernaut that is the seething symphony ’bring out your dead’ while both Carcass and Nepalm Death are instantly recalled on the scalding atrocity attack of ’tooth and nail’ and the sledge hammering take no prisoners fury of ’mea culpa’. lest we forget ’bone of contention’ which wraps up the sets bringing things to a close reigning menace and mutiny with cranium pulverising glee. Scathing stuff. http://www.myspace.com/fobd
Outraze ‘this is England’ (self released). Ah well that familiar four yearly event is nearly upon us wherein a nation is awash in expectation, pubs are decked in red, white and blue, there’s hope in the air and the woes and tribulations of modern life are put on hold and for two weeks we join in unison in a rousing chorus of ooh’s, ah’s and chants of this is the year, each and every one of us duly taking up our temporary posts as either a sports critic or a national coach. Of course I refer to the World Cup, a time when a nation goes footie doolally and bands succumb to jumping on the FA bandwagon of making as much dosh as poss(h) to risk career and credibility for the sake of churning out an off siding ode that babies could dribble to – hello New Order / Lightning Seeds. Of course it wasn’t always like that – there has been the odd gem – Colourbox for instance way back in ’86 and then there was – er – well – hmmm – that’s it. Anyhow up to the plate step Outraze in their wake bagging a rabble rousing Brit flicked flashback which by all accounts was offered up to the Football Association as a flag waving anthem for all the nation to unite behind only to be met by a curt thanks but no thanks we’re not doing one this time response from the blinkered money over substance tie racks over at Wembley HQ. Bollocks to this thought our intrepid and slightly deflated beat pop combo and with a seal of approval from David ’three lions’ Baddiel have decided to release the blighter anyway. Available as a download only ’this is England’ is not your usual standard bearing across the age divide pantomime sing a long, as the press release so rightly suggests there’s more than a whiff of mid career Oasis about its gait albeit behind its shade adorned soft psyche rama lama there’s a casual edge that lends itself more to the Dandy Warhols, as to the sound – its surly, it swaggers, it struts and may well prove to have a longer life span than our chances in the most famous and lucrative sports tournament in the world which as you all know and secretly suspect is bound to end in recrimination, tears and penalties. http://www.myspace.com/outraze
Oh no ono ‘internet warrior’ EP (leaf). Again another combo who so far seem to have escaped our usually attentive listening radar, oh no no have in recent times wowed all and sundry with a by all accounts gem tipped full length entitled ‘eggs’ which has in turn had reviewers salivating and signposting their name in the same breath as the Beach Boys and the Beatles. Available as both a download and a hulking 12 inch slab of wax the ‘internet warrior’ EP takes their aural adventure to another level and has them inviting a hand picked array of in demand remix talents to re-wire, re shape and re-align a selection of cuts from said album. ’internet warrior’ opens the set – a gorgeously lysergic tipped bouquet of shimmer toned age of Aquarius styled psyche folk it is to, it’s the sighing inclines and the swoon fused caress of the sugar sprayed west coast toned lilts marinate seductively to the succulently soft effervescent radiance of sun soaked vapour trails as though the medieval mayday pageantry of Circulus had been tempered and turned on by a richly hallucinogenic framing crafted initially by the Soundcarriers and then finitely polished and finished by a dream dipped detachment of Animal Collective and Polyphonic Spree sorts. Contrast this with the same cut being put through its paces by the pains of being pure at heart though here found skulking under the guise the depreciation guild who to their credit apply a curiously cosmically tripped fringe flipping celestial cascade that’s longingly steeped in dissipating disorientating swirls and dream weaved motifs – which to these ears sound not unlike some glorious cerebral fusion of Stereolab and White Noise. Fellow Leaf colleague Caribou gets to tangle with ‘Eleanor Speaks’ – his mix already proving a hit among stateside DJ’s and a certain Four Tet remodels the original template into a sultry mind morphing trip wired treat calibrated by a skipping techno core that’s equipped by hypnotic cosmic dub-tronic while Zambri shuffle along to transpose the same cut which after a spot of darkly embracing industrial gloom soon emerges and blossoms into a scintillating wide screen arabesque mirage. Shlohmo opts to re-ignite ‘swim’ and into the bargain applies a gorgeously chilled mind morphing twinkle some aura to the proceedings with its seductively alluring and deliciously down tempo celestial caresses which leaves the Phenomenal Hand Clap Band to engage your mind in a spot of astral plane like voyaging in the company of some cruise controlled looping and kooky lunar kraut prog folk airiness.
http://www.myspace.com/lailyrecordings – the tiny imprint responsible for ushering into a wide eyed world the debut release from the rather wonder Doomed Birds of Providence which regular readers will have observed we recently heaped praise upon following its limited re-release by those much admired folk at front and follow. Anyhow the label promise more of the same in the near future and via this site you can pick up a free to download live EP featuring four cuts from the Doomed ones culled from a Bull and Gate appearance way back at the tail end of 2008 which features an array of their Kurt / Weill meets early Black Heart Procession styled Victoriana tavern turned murder ballads – it’s a set headed by the familiar appearance of both ’brothers will be’ and ’a letter from Van Dieman’s land’ though we suggest that you fleet foot to the parting and suitably ominous sounding ’the death flurry’ – a kind of drunken dark deeds done duel between a Gaellic godspeed and a brutally brooding the men they couldn’t hang. Elsewhere there’s the promise of an outing for J. Cooper whose sepia swept sombrely sweet piano recitals may well provide a curious welcoming to admirers of both Satie and Hauschka especially the frail and fragile ’raindrops’ which comes replete with bird song and April showers and finds itself clipped with a deliciously delicate frost tipped lilt. Also cooking on the back burner are Flake Brown who you should be familiar with following outings for the much loved Autumn Ferment imprint and Rev Simpkins and the Phantom Notes who having just heard ’St Helena come to me’ may we suspect become a regular obsession of these here pages.
Okay we’ve been loosely reminded to check out the Fat Cat site not least because we just mentioned in passing Hauschka but also because – though we can’t lay our hands on it as yet – a new thing from Max Richter has recently dropped through our door – anyway for the sake of an email address you can – by visiting their re-vamped web site – you can register with their mail alert centre and for your troubles receive in double quick time – well we say double quick though obviously our concept of double quick and Fat Cat’s notion of the same are vastly different – a case of pot calling kettle black some would say judging by our pathetic failure to upload the singled out missive box at losing today – young folk it will be done in the next day or two we are experiencing upload technical issues – honest. As I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself for your trouble you get a download link which fingers crossed should get you ownership of a nifty sampler set featuring a wealth of wonderful ear wear from the likes of frightened rabbit, max richter, the twilight sad , wwpj and much much more. And while you’re there its also worth checking out their recently updated and overhauled demo play list which on this time of asking features Sidebeat’s ’sator arepo’ who do – it should be said – a neat line in seriously frost formed cavernous like sparse and minimalist dub dipped electro which unless I’m very much mistaken ought to find favour by those rednetic, October man and smallfish folk if only for the way it stealthily emerges braided by a busy flotilla of clicks, echoes and casio squiggles. http://fat-cat.co.uk/fatcat/
More shortly – take care…..