archive singled out – originally posted on losing today in 2010…….this one features…….
the resource center, fred schneider, sunray, radical sons, piry, fabio, Loyce E Os Gnomes, Tont E Som Colorado, ely, john foxx, the nuns of telekenesis, d66, may68, blacktzar, tobacco, frankie rose and the outs…..
For Kelly and Mark
‘A irregular cornucopia of collective melodic musings’
Cheers for dropping by, opening this missive with the usual apologies to which we owe to all you bands, labels, press people – we’re still need deep in sounds so bear with me, all will be heard, loved and written about in due course – as ever any questions, queries or general wants then please refer to the updated address / contact points below. Talking of wants anyone know how and where we can grab a copy of the latest Ptolemaic terrascope – issue 37 I think – also home made cassettes gladly received with affection….
The Resource Centre ‘the resource centre series EP1’ (first fold). Many thanks to Stuart from First Fold for sending over the latest two releases (those being this one you are hopefully about to read about and an album by Papa November which all things being well will feature if not later in this missive then certainly in time for the next), a brace of outings which on initial listening evidence alone I suspect will propel this tiny hand crafted and dedicated imprint aloft into our and hopefully your affections. The label’s aim is simple – to provide a specialist outlet for electronic and experimental works whether that that be by the creation of music or visual media. Each release comes in a strictly limited pressing of just 100 copies all housed in a bespoke CD slipcase featuring in house designer artwork. Any questions so far? The Resource Centre is the brainchild of Magnetaphone-r John Hanson, the name derived from an invaluable service that connects and provides children who have learning disabilities with access to specialised equipment and resources. According to the accompanying press release Mr Hanson ‘chromatically archived educational instruments recording them in a venue designed for music classes’ – the results of these recordings of mallet based instruments (xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel et al) where then electronically processed. As to the sounds, four serene suites sit within all possessed of a wide eyed innocence, these sweet serenades arrest with a becoming lullaby like charm, delightfully dinked these genteel garlands twinkle and tingle with a familiar harmonic honing as that found on Raymond Scott’s ’soothing sounds for baby’ especially on the playful pastoral drift of ‘all automatic parts 1 and 2’ with its subtle progressive tonalities and seemingly seamless craftsmanship equally eyeing a frosted nod to the early analogue impressions left by the likes of ISAN and Plone. Perhaps the best moment the smokily reclining ’clap dance pat and snap part 1 and 2’ with its liberal dusting of enchanting stillness and sleepy headed reverence like charm all clipped with a wintry snow topped blanket manages to sound like a sumptuously chilled and starry eyed orbiting Earlies found busy rethreading the three melodic personas of John Brenton (Metrotone, Landshipping and Ojn) into one. As much as I hate to admit being defeated ’circle time’ has had me sleepless since appearing within earshot not least because it courts a very familiar melodic rhyme which I know for certain will lead me to kick myself silly and more besides once the dulled grey matter kicks into action while the bowed meter and sparse application found within the utterly charmed ‘the school system part 1 and 2’ should see it endearing itself to admirers of Sylvain Cheuveau. Disarming stuff. http://www.firstfoldrecords.com
okay so the blighter is barking, bonkers and liable to drive you doolally with repeat listens – and as you do listen so your thinking bloody hell sounds like the B-52’s with a side serving of Devo and They Might be Giants – well there’s a good reason for that because the superions feature in their ranks a certain fred schneider – ‘fruitcake’ lifted from their forthcoming ‘destination….christmas’ full length is shortly due for release via fanatic….every home deserves one eh – (oh yea will appeal to lovers of those loons dalmation rex and the eigentones whose current album we’ve just unearthed in the moving home box) – here’s a video…
Sunray ‘baby honey’ (strawberry). Been a fair old while since we had cause to decorate the gaff in flowery bunting in celebration of anything new from Sunray (nee Jon Chambers), in fact the last time he featured in any way shape or form in these despatches it was as part of the Data 70 resource with Bob Bharma (think Radiophonic Workshop, Trunk Records and Mount Vernon Arts Lab in a collective séance with Barry Gray) collective who according to the accompanying press release have a third instalment of their ongoing series of 70’s cosmically cross bred kraut library curios shortly due for release via the esteemed enraptured imprint (Jack – don’t fret Junkboy and nods to Eat Lights Become Lights docking shortly). Enough of that as we swiftly turn our affections towards Sunray – his wig flipping psyche drone alter ego. Confusingly for us our promo CD when inserted into the PC appeared on I-tunes out of sequence labouring under the mistaken belief that it was the ‘die wiebe rose’ set by Loy – glitches aside a persuasive chat with a hammer and chisel in hand soon sorted out the gremlins. Due out next month where it’ll come emblazoned on 10 inches of heavy wax this set features four trademark slabs of the kind of bliss kissed groove we here have long admired from Mr Chambers none more so is that on evidence than on the opening salvo – a killer and dare we say faithful retread of the Pastels long lost mind altering paisley tutored psyche drone nugget ’baby honey’ – here all delicately dappled in all manner of trip wiring shimmering sheens of shade wearing psychotronic swoons (of the type that a classic era JMC would take as their own) that prove that somewhere along the way Chambers has attended the Jon Moore school of cool. Echoes of a subdued and pastorally inclined Velvets haunt the heart breaking and deeply solemnly hollowed ache of the distressed and down at the heel porch lit smoulder that is the touching and tortured ‘leaves that were green’ while parting shot ‘tears at sunrise’ proffers a spot of woozily wandering lazily spun meditative arabesque tinged out there smoked 12 string seduction (phew). All said while lead cut ‘baby honey’ may deservedly get the nodding kudos and the hat tipping radio play its ‘super casino’ that for us steals the show, a heads down hyper driven fuzz shrilled kraut haze havened cruising colossus that to borrow the title from one of our favourite garage punk pod casts is simply way past cool. http://www.cargorecords.co.uk
Radical Sons ‘throwing knives’ (st ives). Regular observers of these occasional outpourings should by now be familiar with the ever trustworthy St Ives imprint since we‘ve had the pleasure of covering a handful of their releases a little while ago (old lights and the horns of happiness if memory serves me), anyway these are the dudes who I believe are in reality a bespoke vinyl only boutique imprint of Secretly Canadian, each offering a limited numbered wax artefacts all housed in hand crafted sleeves which inside play home to some of the finest sounds on the underground that you probably haven’t had the pleasure or chance to hear (past outings having included sets by Animal Collective, the Microphones and the fruit bats). We’ve got three such releases to mention – Man Forever and Hudson Bell both of whom will appear here in a very near future missive. For now though the Radical Sons who hail from Brooklyn via St Louis initially appeared on the scene in 2008 securing well heeled support slots for the likes be your own pet and little joy which drew quiet acclaim and enough of a prod for them to record a 5 track EP entitled ‘throwing knives’ which you’ll find tucked amid the grooves of Side 1 of this silver / black sprayed 300 only full length. The cuts themselves reveal a collective mindset much adoring of Television and Pavement (especially on the upbeat and slyly catchy ’river city’) with trace elements of a seriously bored Lou Reed, possessed of deadpan vocals framed by a see-sawing needle like jangled lo-fi brittleness there’s much to admire about the Radical Sons in the way that their understated rather more deceptive almost casual and unfazed – almost un-arsed in fact – melodic phrasing appears to trip you up on your blind side none more so is this the case than on the opening salvo ‘I’m so sick of the 21st Century’ which (think of a dispirited Soft Boys facing down a dimmed Cockney Rebel) with its pointed riffage and dulled Dylan-isms could easily be an anthem for the apathetic masses. Mind you there’s always the shrilled effervescent of the punch you out prickly pop of title cut ’throwing knives’ which its quick step struts and frantically turned gear shift thrusts or ’all signs show’ with its shuffling razor coiled spiked power pop-age. Over on side 2 there’s a healthy smattering of home recorded demos of said tracks in their near naked re-threads with ‘I’m so sick of the 21st century’ restyled as ‘midnight reducers’ and ’river city’ proving to be the preferred picking given its readily more looser and intimately rambling re-drill. recommended of course as though you were in need of telling.
Various ‘Brazilian guitar fuzz bananas’ (tropicalia in furs). Unearthed and brought into the light of day by the same folk who issued the acclaimed ‘psyche funk 101’ collection (which to much embarrassment we here haven’t seen let alone heard – though we’ll try and change that during our next trip to Cargo), ‘Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas’ (crazy title crazier sounds) is a stunning double vinyl package. Collated and curated by phonographic archaeologist Joel Stones this set culls together 16 bona fide lost nuggets that are so rare and scarce that the dudes over at Tropicalia in Furs have had to set aside a slush fund for royalties to cover the eventuality should it happen that the handful of MIA bands and artists responsible for laying down these wax artefacts should emerge from decades of silence to claim ownership. ’Brazilian guitar fuzz bananas’ is a true labour of love. This previously un-mined secret underground was by all accounts stumbled across by sheer accident, further research revealed that many of these Brazillian labels – often subsidiaries of the majors – Polydor and Phillips or else independent or privately funded imprints – regularly tested the potential success of a band by pressing up 7 inch promos in small quantities and sending them out to local DJ’s to play in order to check the reaction or ‘heat’ of the artist in question, in many ways it was the easiest and cheapest way for a musician to grab his / her 5 minutes of fame. If the DJ did play it on air then the artist would be guaranteed being picked up for a second bite at the ’hit’ apple. And so this proved to be route 1 for what we’ve come to recognise as Brazilian psychedelia. Okay so that’s the back ground, as to the sounds – well as you can imagine a pretty mixed bag that carefully trawled through turns up a few wickedly lysergic treats such as the sharp suited scuzzed out psyche of the untamed Loyce E Os Gnomes who by far appear to be the most wig flipped brain bleached beatniks on the compilation (especially on ‘era uma nota de’ – and are blessed with a guitarist who appears to be having his own mid session trip) and are afforded the honour of two cuts being peeled from their sole 45. Those who like their kaleidoscopic flavouring a little more exotically turned ought to fast track to the frankly kooky and contagious ‘heroi moderno’ by Piry while emerging as though bitten by the funky bug the hip wiggling soul stew that is Fabio’s ‘lindo sonho delirante’ (LSD in short ensuring a degree of controversy in ‘68) while the smoking Hammond drenched slinkiness of Tont E Som Colorado’s ‘O Carona’ taps seductively into that whole early hall and oates / doobie brothers / average white band 70’s sound. Elsewhere Ely’s age of Aquarius styled ’as turbinas estao ligadas’ is liberally dusted with the same kind of dippy and dainty feel good flightiness as the Free Design albeit a Free Design hurtling through the cosmos onboard a jet fuelled magic bus. Fancy some big bearded heavy psych fuzz then Deep Purple purist may well freak to the sonic head clamp served up by 14 bis on their ’god save the queen’ (no relation to the Pistols). Throw in the odd Stones cover (okay one was written by Lennon and Macca) from Mac Rybell and the Youngsters while not forgetting the freakish ‘tema de Batman’ by Celio Balona which alone qualifies the bananas part of the compilations title and sounds like some seriously wired and impish helping of sabotage by a shit faced Joker whilst possessed of several parts each of Chocolate Watchband, Traffic and Zappa there’s a fringe flicking wonkiness about the hugely distractive heavy psych musical hall blues of Serguei’s ’ourico’ which has to be heard to be believed. though in all truth forced with hands tied up the back to choose the sets best moment then frankly Ton and Sergio’s ’von sair do cativeiro’ wins hands down – as Stones rightly points out in the liner notes how can a duo record such a superior sounding track and then disappear of the face off the earth, blending an hymnal dream weave courted by an off kilter funk feel flanked by fuzzy flashbacks the track weighted with political conscience is up there with other keynote spokespersons of the oppressed and here I’m thinking Rodriguez and Marley for starters. Onward in search of that ’psych funk 101’ set.
Additional notes – apparently there’s a sister CD package that includes a 48 page booklet with oodles and oodles of photos and information along with an enhanced section that includes a documentary entitled ’what are fuzz bananas’ – alas our vinyl copy came minus the 3-d glasses – bummer man.
http://www.myspace.com/thenunsoftelekinesis – okay hands up those of you suspecting that we stumbled across the nuns of telekinesis purely for their name – ah well you’d be right, great name eh. They’ve an album just out at the moment entitled ’la maison ancestrale’ a copy of which we’ll have to nail before getting any older and in typical time honoured fashion we know nothing about them. That said if anything deserves the title heavenly then it would have a fight on its hands when facing down this lot for the enchanting Omni-odyssey ’madre luminosa’ and its flanking heralds ’air’ and ’the discovering of the physical’ are shrouded in the kind of celestial aura that you’d imagine greeting you in the afterlife, the heavenly hymnal harmonics, the sepia toned angelic arcs and the stilled reverential panoramic calm craft out an intoxicating church clipped sereneness with the latter cut in particular courting a most effecting and entrancing ice sculptured dream weaving haze that seems to choreograph and shape the very moods and essence of nature itself. It really a experience to behold. Mind you its not all peace love and meditation, the 11 minute opus ’telekinesis’ harnesses a more darkening electronic subterranean sub strata raked by industrial grimness, the mood doomed, claustrophobic and threatening shifts to the maddening clang of slavering Goblin / Carpenter –esque motorik beats to tap out some hitherto ageless ritual while ’la maison ancestrale’ with its growled hell hounded vocals meters out a curiously lazy eyed psych prog mirage to which admirers of both Komeda and white noise may find somewhat hazily enchanting. Which leaves ’undercurrent’ to bring closure to the set with some nifty arabesque raga styled spell craft to get your head expanding. Stunning.
John Foxx ‘the quiet man’ (metamatic). One of two releases that since moving from London back to my hometown in Liverpool after over a decade away have struck a deep personal chord within and somehow brought a modicum of comfort (the other being Swimmer One’s magnificent ‘dead orchestras’). its been a bitter sweet return to a city that holds so many memories, memories that extend back to my first as a child. While the faces and the buildings may be different, the landscape vaguely familiar the cities essence remains untouched, though most of the places I remembered as a child have long since gone a sense of déjà vu perhaps a smell, the unconscious walking of a certain route or a brief glimpse of something from the corner of my eye have had the effect of momentarily relocating me to a given time and space in my memory, its been an overwhelming experience revisiting the ghosts and spectres of ones past, the rush of moments of happiness and sadness replayed as though upon a white projector screen via a flickering cine camera, the years fading by a memory so vivid and seemingly recently may well once reflected upon be something decades old and while we all age and through age shuffle closer to the point were we are no more, the city continues, through facelifts and modernisation it steals into the future – younger rather than older – shedding its past behind. I mention all this because ‘the quiet man’ finds Foxx similarly affected, observing a city shifting apace in real time. Mr Foxx of course should need no introduction to any discerning music fan, erstwhile godfather of electronic music though on this occasion the medium alters as he steps from the shadows afforded by his melodic skin to release a long promised spoken word set. stretching just shy of the 60 minute mark, ‘the quiet man’ has been a constant feature in the career of Mr Foxx manifesting in song in his early Ultravox days, a faceless grey man in a faceless grey city this work in progress (to form a larger book at some point) is as much about the shifting seasons of London as it about the would be protagonist (whose merely an observer / the watcher), the psycho geographical lay-lines reverberate with the subtle shades of Orwell and Wyndham swirling about the imagery cast, narrated by Justin Barton atop a mournfully comforting and elegiac backdrop of a discreetly sepia tipped frost chimed treated piano score, ‘the quiet man‘ is touching, intimate and tearfully beautiful. Solemnly still its the mourning of a London that was and of a detachment of a London that now is, both haunting, hollowing and tragic, the landscape part personal part fiction are framed within a genteel pastoral post apocalyptic calm, the spectres of memories, what if’s, fleeting rushes of familiarisation and the leaving of personal prints all become the obsession of the Quiet Man, this could be any city, town or place. http://www.metamatic.com
http://www.myspace.com/d66isd77 – we stumbled across d66 via a club hell flyer, sounding very much like a battle scarred preacher from the wrong side of the tracks his brand of dust bowled blistered primitive blues is possessed by the same fabled demons found exchanging souls for the craft at the crossroads. these howling whiskey fuelled blues bones are tattooed with the same raw and potent hanged dog down at the heel grit that’s graced the grooved wares of past masters Cash, Perkins, Waters, Johnson et al especially on the special reserve styled mountain gospel of ’chaindog blues’, but then check out the scuzz fuzzed electro throb of the uber cool ’hell bound’ recalling to these particular ears the sleazy and seductive futuro rock-a-billy of Suicide while elsewhere the heaving and heavily inebriated shoe shuffle of the fraying ‘44’ (as well as ‘dirt road’ for that matter) is blessed some trademark youthful Tom Waits. Admirers of classic era Gallon Drunk will do well to tune their listening dial to ’Caroline’ while there’s some rather nifty Dale-esque surf scorched groove to be had on torched ’surf the eggman’. two albums under his collective belt to boot (’chaindog blues’ and ’trouble here I come’) both of which we’ll not sleep until we’ve safely snaffled them guaranteeing that this won’t be the last time you’ll find d66 vying for our affections in these pages.
May68 ‘the prisoner’ (kitsune). Seems that this lots debut release ’my ways’ passed us by somewhat which I must admit has been the cause of a fair few grumbles and utterances of dark deeds here, the Manchester club floor collective by all accounts had the hearts a swooning and the feet a tapping of the most steely and vehement of the twin left feet brigade. Apparently written after nights spent visually overdosing on back to back episodes of a 60’s cult show ‘the prisoner’ is a sumptuous glitter garlanded floor show folly oozing chill tipped slinky lasers to stun buzzing mirror ball glinting synth loops, motorik underpins and 80’s disco flashbacks a la Animotion that when gathered together trace can be found tracing their cosmic conscious through the aural astral belts back to the slick seductive pouted purr of late 70’s star gazers Hot Gossip. Flip side comes bolstered by a brace of re-drills with Cecile choosing to strip the original mix and re-wire it with an after hours silken and sophisticated smooching spectral soul retread while Vicarious Bliss go down the cybertonic Italo techno route to craft out something that’ll have all the electrical appliances in your gaff on heat leaving the set to be wrapped up by a full on floor thumping extended mix. http://www.kitsune.fr
BlackTzar ‘how does it feel’ (scooter). Long overdue apologies for being a tad late with this, seems our email client took to dumping all traces of BlackTzar from the system which is rather worrying. Ah well – modern technology – untrustworthy blighter. For the most casual observer to these badly written musings the name BlackTzar should be no stranger, having risen from the ashes of the much missed Salon Boris, BlackTzar have taken it upon themselves to craft out a sophisticated and understated trade in chill tipped nocturnal electro pop, previous encounters have harboured the kind of technical wherewithal, coolly contoured purred pop prowess and precision honed song craft that has called to mind the likes of mid career New Order and a Vince Clarke in situ Depeche Mode. Still busy applying the final top coat to a long promised debut full length this gem provides a further taster of what’s to come whilst simultaneously revealing added evidence of their becoming sense of creative confidence for moored in the deep echelons of space orbiting a lone star transmitting coded echoes into the black empty voids the hyper gliding ’how does it feel’ is crushed to the forlorn bite of remorse, regret and what might have been. Claiming a head bowed counsel this bruised and beguiled jewel packs the kind of delayed effect punch that draws from the same melodic template which has seen both Swimmer One and Birdpen rise in affectionate stock as it freewheels amid the bitter sweetly spectral tide of starry eyed swirls all finitely cut and housed in a stilled solar soul chassis. Classy. http://www.myspace.com/blacktzar
Tobacco ’fresh hex feat. Beck’ (anticon). So damn catchy this, from the creative desk of Black Moth Super Rainbow-er Tobacco ‘fresh hex’ finds itself ripped from his ‘maniac meat’ set and has guest Beck caught in his trademark crossfire of wonky and wired melodic contortions. With both slick and schizoid sharing the same time and space ‘fresh hex’ is a mutant hip hop meltdown, a multi layered mosaic of cross wiring analogue synths swirling woozily to a head mashing and infectious influx of hiccupping cut ups which to these ears sounds like a mighty dandy recipe to us.
Frankie Rose and the Outs ’candy’ (Memphis industries). Lifted from their forthcoming self titled debut full length which we must admit has been get a fair amount of caning on the old hi-fi (just wait till you hear the book-ending cuts the statue-esque shade gazed femme strut of ‘save me’ and the cosmic caress of ‘hollow life’ – smitten doesn’t come near it), ‘candy’ sees the unveiling of the new Frankie Rose beat pop combo …(with) and the Outs, the emphasis here being on pop – of the pristine variety – framed in a minimalist melodic shell the fragile Shangri Las shimmer that attaches to ‘candy’ is all at once crystalline, cute and crafted with a most alluring sassy and slinky 50’s bubblegum buzz all wrapped and braided by a tangy mooching twang that’s detailed and dimpled by a head in the clouds dreamy dusting of hollowed honeyed harmonies. Any questions?
And that’s your lot for a day or two, as ever heartfelt thanks for tuning in I’m most humbled…..
As ever take care of yourselves…..