archiv – singled out – missive 265…

an archive singled out posting from 2010, originally posted on losing today………


Ama No Iwa, laboratory noise, celeste, microbit, zx tapes, diskette etikette, narsh, bill shatnerrr, XharoldshitmanX, poppy mallow, powernegirecords, Suckinim Baenaim, betty pariso, whales, bad egg records, young conservatives, fuck your haircut, sam amant, taub, bearsuit records…..

missive 265


Singled Out

Missive 265


For Kelly and Mark


‘What your ears don’t hear your record collection can’t grieve’


Good evening, how are you, seems like only yesterday that we where here – hang on it was yesterday – damn I need a lie down – a mixed bag this time we’ve death metal, metal punk, punk techno, techno glitch, glitch electronics, electronic pop, psyche pop, bubblegum pop, fuzzy pop, perfect pop, kooky pop, a shoe and a bazooka joe wrapper…….onwards…… . – caught our attention via a friend request – (yes we do listen to all submissions) Ama No Iwa hail from France and beyond that the information trail runs cold. That said three pretty nifty cuts lurk awaiting your listening affection on their my space player best of the bunch being the steely cold austere lull of the Husker Du meets Snares and Kites (Chris Brockaw) ‘non-sens’ arrested as it is with a cooling spidery post punk edginess that indicates perhaps a shared fondness for fellow Francophiles the (of late MIA) Clerks / Maudite Dance. Mind you despite what we’ve just said both ’pandore’ and ’paranormal’ are no slouches the former dreamily dinked with a becoming spectral tinged pastoral eeriness that sounds like a youthful Porcupine Tree presiding over a face off between a lazy eyed Soundgarden, Left Hand and the Red House Painters while the ice dipped reverberating chime riffs of the latter taps seductively into the pre Sarah / twee indie jangle of the mid 80’s – disbelievingly unsigned at present though that should soon be remedied. – you know how it is, time on your hands, sat surrounded by more CD’s than you know what to do with literally torn and spoilt as to what to listen to next, in the meantime amassing a heap of paper sheets with half written reviews as you hop from one release to another your head turned by a handsome sleeve or a tasty tune. And so undecided you think a break is about apt, what should I do, I know I’ll have a little rummage around my space and see what’s doing. Half an hour later you’ve amassed a considerable bookmark of sites that have turned your head again leaving you literally torn and spoilt for choice as to what to listen to in greater detail. And now the time on your hands you thought you had is now a thing of fancy as you realise that what you need now is time (hands optional) so that you can address the mounting CD’s and the considerable list of my space bookmarks you’ve just promised yourself you’ll investigate further. Such is life. Now in typical time honoured fashion I’ve gone around the houses several times to labour a point, a point I should say we could have easily dropped the above and cut to the chase. But then I want you to understand that by mentioning all the above will hopefully ram home the reason as to why this lot – for want of a better expression – knocked us bandy. Hailing from Bradford / Leeds and Manchester and having just released their debut full length ’when sound generates light’ this lot are the best thing we’ve had the pleasure of hearing on the dream pop / soft psych / shoe gaze scene since the Insect Guide and Daniel Land. From the bliss kissed hazily glazed shimmer of the Ultra Vivid Scene meets Chapterhouse ‘here she is evergreen’ with its heavenly crested harmonic halos to the seismic floppy fringe sub psych wig out that is ‘you created a storm’ passing for a dream ticket face off between the World of Twist, Wonky Alice and the Paris Angels it appears that Laboratory Noise have more than a passing acquaintance in the crafting of chemically subdued florescent pop yet its when the tingling radiance of the mellowed and aching boy / girl intertwined spectral ballad ‘tesla’ shyly orbits into view amid a rapturous swathe of celestial tail smoke that you begin to quickly realise that this lot aren’t your usual one trick pony. And well quite frankly when the mercurial MBV like ‘i can only give you everything’ whirrs into earshot you can only feel like you’ve been kissed and touched by something truly enigmatic and magical. Now about that album………


Celeste ‘morte(s) nee(s)’ (denovali). Bugger me this is brutal stuff, mind you we were warned by the chaps at Cargo when they helpfully enquired ‘are you sure you want this, not really your scene, death doom grind core black metal type stuff – heavy going’. bring it on I said and anyway the clincher was the fact that it was on the Denovali imprint who as you may or may not know do an impressive line in dandy looking eye catching packaging (see Her Name is Calla for further guidance – and talking of HNiC there‘s an album kicking about that we need to trap as our own). Anyhow this comes pressed up on limited quantities of heavy duty wax (x2) – ours on white vinyl with black haze all housed in gold print disco bags within a hulking gatefold sleeve. Mightily impressive and so gorgeous looking that’s it’s a shame they don’t come replete with a download code because you fear damaging them through playing. Anyhow we’re listening to this Sunday lunchtime, the room is filled brightly with the warmth of an Autumnal sun, outside there are children playing and through the air wafts the aroma of roast luncheon. Somehow it doesn’t feel right. Its perversely unnatural. I feel I ought to be listening to this in the stilled sombre setting of the midnight hour huddled over the PC typing up the review in the dimmed light afforded by a lone candle. ‘morte(s) nee(s)’ is the third full length from French black metal alchemists Celeste, a brutal colossus of a record set across seven unholy slabs of cauldron hot menace. this is not for the feint of heart for Celeste exact a punishing aural atrocity from the word go no quarter is shown as opener ‘ces belles de reve aux verres embues’ rallies into battle with such vicious unforgiving savagery it literally peels the skin from your face thereby setting a marker in the dirt as to the torrential torment to come. Therein it’s a case of hoping that your skull will survive the trepanning onslaught as Celeste reign down with retribution a caustic cacophony of gouging grindcore splintered and scarred by a damned and doom gloomed inferno of chaos. Particularly threatening is the barbaric ’en troupeau des louves en trompe l’oeil des agneaux’ with its searing throttle like head drilling wreaking of havoc. And while ‘(s)’ may well momentarily ease up on the sheer scathing quotient in its place is substituted a sickening dread dipped air of grim foreboding. But then as far as set stealers go there’s no equal to the parting 13 minute oppression that is ’de sorte que plus jamais un instant ne soit magique’ which unless thy ears do deceive sounds like the very bowels of hell erupting from beneath to exact an end of days apocalypse that delicately – yes you read right – delicately tapers off with a sombre sense of melancholy and futility ringing in the air which in truth could easily pass for a heavyweight variant of godspeed. Uncomfortably gruelling stuff.


Additional footing – after a little accidental research I’ve just discovered that you can download the bugger via the labels website – of course goes without saying you still need and want that real physical form in order to be the envy of friends, beaus and occasional passing Satanic high priest. – okay by now the most casual observers of these musings will be the first to tell you that we here have a particular fondness for labels who issue their product on (seemingly) obsolete mediums – cassettes especially are a draw for us, but hey how about floppy discs because that’s what the London based imprint Diskette Etikette (great name eh) trade their wares on. Of course its not the first time we’ve come across this rarely (in fact never) seen format I do recall those dudes over at Static Caravan issuing such (was it perchance by Dreams of Tall Buildings). As with ZX tapes this home spun imprint caters for a cross generic spectrum of styles, to date having released a dozen such offerings excerpts from four of which you can sample to your hearts delight via their my space player. If its all the same I’m going to bypass Portugal’s Fm-Ra cut ‘love eternal’ for now because via a link on the site this long sold out outing can be downloaded in its entirety – which we’ve done – and impressed so much that we’ll mention it separately in a day or so. Hailing from Moscow and having delivered the label its second release in the shape of ‘electro flopper’, microbit project serve up some wilfully crooked and kooky sound-scapes yet in ’yoker’ there’s something in the jitterbugging minimalist electronics that aside tapping into the glitch tripped worlds of Frank Wobbly and Sons and Tigerbeat6 draws strangely deep parallels with Raymond Scott’s (pre experimental electronic) big band powerhouse sound of the ‘30’s and as such I suspect deserves further investigation. Those of you up for a spot of tranquilly tutored and mellowed ice sculptured ambience may do well to seek out French ambi-alchemists Pollux whose frail and tearfully melancholic ’black flag of the sun’ offers a moment of detached refuge from a maddening world while our personal favourite of the showcase arrives courtesy of subterrestrial’s dinky ‘’ whose playful lullaby chimed electronics should find admiring nods from fans of early ISAN, maps and diagrams and fortdax. Tasty indeed. – just what we love around these parts – a label we never heard of providing refuge for bands we’ve never heard of – a label whose philosophy appears to be anything goes – and a label who presses all their ear gear no matter how wonky and / or weird and wired for that matter on limited issue cassettes. Pardon the phraseology but I feel like a pig in shit. Zx tapes are based in Manchester run by a bloke called Jon to date there’s been 10 such tapes fleeing the nest and into the affections of a small but select audience, sadly most of these are long sold out which is a bit of a bummer (but don‘t worry you don‘t get off the hook that easy because there are links enabling you to download all the labels wares for free and bang them on your own cassette yourself – now if only I had a vinyl pressing plant – the damage I could do ). On the player a smattering of unhinged curios lay in wait to whet your inquisitive appetites – it’s a fair old wide spectrum of sonic sorts to be had from the frankly disturbed I killed Techno’s atari meltdown on the frequency freaky schizoid oddity that is ’listen to the mute’ to the searing and gouging speed freaked hardcore of XharoldshitmanX’s whose skull f****ng ‘barry D’ we suspect could easily remove enamel from teeth through prolonged exposure. Likewise with Somebody’s Kid who despite suffering from production issues still sound like young gentlemen with unresolved issues, Narsh provide a readily more quietened tone, okay minimalist then, oh alright droney though just between me and you I’m suspecting their concrete ambience is the result of a contact mic hooked to the back off a fridge to capture its barely negligible insectoid hum with the family arguing out in living room looking for the errant mic in order to play a spot of killed by karaoke. Must admit we do like you suck’s ’typical’ a kind of prog version of nepalm death while Bill Shatnerrr’s brand of spazzed out dislocated math rocked hardcore had us loosely in mind of truman’s water which I think leaves German combo Wormhole to worryingly lead you with some bonged out industrial drone via ’boing’. more please.


Additional footing – scotch that bit about the download links – they don’t appear to work – damn. – I’m sure we’ve mentioned Poppy Mallow in previous despatches some years back, the Poppy in question being Mariana Poppy who surrounded by an strange assortment of curiosity shop like musical instruments and cuddly toys casts melodic spells that hush and creak blessed between the enchanted and eerie, a kind of macabre Victorian side show part freak part music hall, like magical toy boxes coming to life when all the house rests asleep these sepia framed aural penny dreadfuls are possessed of a surreal child like charm that recalls the sombrely strange sounds that adorned those curious eastern European animations that became a children’s TV fashion in the early 70’s. here you’ll find an unerring sense of hairs on the back off necks standing up creepiness of ’ice cream’ – the lull of the clock working chimes and the occasional scrape of something twisted and sinister in the dark while ’mouse song’ on the other hand with its pendulum like motions, squeaky toys and Mariana’s dizzy daydream dimpling at one stage momentarily escapes the regiment like confines of the toy box to blossom into something very much tutored an early Broadcast meets Stereolab meets Vernon Elliot then there’s the peek a boo marionette waltz ’invisible’ which should find nods of approval from long time admirers of Serafina Steer. Ms Poppy’s next engagement will be as part of a Club Hell gathering of the weird, wired and wonderful on 2nd October – go to for further details. – ‘losing money since 2008’ so says the welcoming descriptive blurb on their web site what you mean we can get paid for this – I should co-co – we’re so skint we’ve taken to eating the CD’s we get sent hence the reason why you never get reviews – ah bollocks the games up. Welcome to Stoke on Trent’s finest imprint, power negi it seems have something of a fondness for all things loud, trashy and hardcore of the skull butting kind, to date they’ve amassed a back catalogue of vein blistering vinyl assaults that numbers just shy of a dozen featuring the likes of the river card, betty pariso, manuscripts, the pookie syndrome and more besides samples from which you can hear on their showcasing player which I should warn you rattles off in such a rapid fire fashion that we’d scarcely had time to mix a brew and have a toot on a smoke before the five tracks were over, gone, finished, kaput. And what cuts they are Suckinim Baenaim (no me neither) head forth with the first, ‘cholesterol problems?’ – nah not me mate – is a frantic slab of untamed and blitzing math grind riot, stumping up the longest track here (2.36 – blimey that positively prog like) are the smartly named ding dong dead these dudes hail we believe from Germany and currently have a 10 inch EP kicking around the coolest record emporiums from which ’010110101001011’ is ripped, all gouging doom drilled screamo served up with the kind of friction and velocity to which stylus’ warp, apparently out of earshot for a few years Sweden’s Pookie Syndrome serve up our favourite moment with ’when apex culminates’ a quite frankly head haemorrhaging onslaught of unrelenting grizzled growl gore while dare we neglect to mention the manic mayhem of betty pariso’s 50 second speaker caning ’cody’ – unruly, uncouth and no doubt ridiculously undervalued. You can expect more in future dispatches. – much to the obvious non-enjoyment of our neighbours we were playing the cuts lurking on the bad egg records player at the ungodly hour of 6 this morning us taking their banging on the walls as a sign of appreciation. Ho hum. Anyhow the bad egg imprint is based in Birmingham and is run by 2 (unnamed) blokes whose mantra appears to be ’the turning of the tide of musical filth that has enveloped the UK for the past 50 years’ – clearly not Beatles or X Factor fans then. We here are assuming there’s been two releases so far (unless they’ve started their catalogue numbering in a typically impish Factory type way at 2) with another brewing on the back burner (from the Whales and a split featuring the Young Conservatives and Lonnie Bangford which name alone deserves them being heard – and hear them you can via the aforementioned player stumping up the impossibly addictive though disassembled and deranged 8bit boogie ’lonnie bangford theme’ – think upon it as a seriously miss-fitting Cuban Boys. Mind you we strongly suspect that under the right test conditions Whales could easily melt your hi-fi or ears whichever the less resilient, the sonic butchery that is the aptly titled ‘face off’ is a furiously frantic fuck you floorshow into which elements of Atari Teenage Riot and the Ministry are caustically curdled while Young Conservatives we’d venture may well prove better than brillo pads at removing rust and other such nasties given the corrosive might of their skull splitting power electronics as evidenced on the nagging ‘301’ which leaves the admirably named Fuck your Haircut to trash your listening space with their spazzed out in your face and personal hardcore ‘we are bernards watch’ thus assuring one and all that this won’t be the last time they’ll feature in these despatches. – rightly conferred upon with a blessing from a BBC related web resource as ‘a post Peel act that John Peel would have liked’ – indeed we here heartily agree for London based (whose impish tagline purports …’helps ugly people have sex since 1869’) Sam Amant is a cut above. and while the threadbare mutant minimalist cold funk dark-tronic of the impishly catchy ‘ding ding down’ may be deemed the more palatable portion of the showcasing players brace of cuts in a kind of Cabaret Voltaire and Suicide stalking Tom Tom Club way it’s the skewed ‘assassino’ which clearly had us gagging for more. Curdled with a seriously psychotic edginess this twisted and unravelling beauty is gauged with a frantic framing of fear and frustration bled upon a subtle greasing of warped locked groove synth seizures hammering out trace elements of B52’s ‘rock lobster’ and more curiously Duran Duran’s ‘planet earth’ (listen a little closer if you think I’ve lost the plot). Does it for us.


Taub ‘the wrong path’ (bear suit). Okay lets get the grumbles done with, maybe its just me but it appears that this CD has a mind of its own given its been a tad contrary on which Hi-Fi device it prefers to be played on at any given time. But you know – we forgive it for leading us a merry listening dance because its got tattooed on its hide the immortal Bearsuit records quality control seal of approval and you know what that means – indeed yes weird sounds waft this way – or are we doing this release something of a disservice. Taub is a collective enterprise featuring the pared talents of Harold Nono (fresh from his recent collaboration with Osaka based Hidekazu Wakabayashi via the same label) and Me Raabenstein, seven sonic delights await within on ’the wrong path’ – itself a title which given Bearsuit’s love and erstwhile patronage of the – shall we agree to settle for – more fried artisans of the electronic field could be misconstrued as something of a misnomer because for the best part these subtly detached suites usher in with a subdued elegance, their sly and slight cinematic charm peppered by a jazz informed looseness that’s clipped on occasion by a hitherto neo classical touch and a frost framed far Eastern sereneness which when gathered together provide a strangely alluring albeit disconnected listening experience. Here you’ll find ’gravel eyes’ its spatial setting serving home to a wealth of enigmatically chilled cavernous ambi-atmospherics all braided by the bleak but beautifully panoramic and yawning undercurrent of string arrangements moored to a statuesque tonality afforded by a minimalist use of space and the occasional trace of harmonic shimmers. Somewhere else what first appears a lackadaisical and inebriated promenade ramble terra-forms through a metamorphic cycle that reveals a hitherto cosmic pastoral charm sweetly maturing to embrace elements of Budd, Mancini and Barry albeit as revisited by Gnac via the bitter sweet off centred souring of ‘badlands’. Barry is again called to mind attaching a smoked lounge like sumptuousness to ‘lollipops‘ as it lends itself to the quieter more incidental aspects of his Bond work (notably the Connery era underwater scenes) while the neo psych sheen of ’the sawdust and the smile’ soon dissipates enveloped by a faintly cured eastern mirage which hints at a ’tin drum’ era Japan studio jam being rewired by a cosy toed and stoned pairing of Discordia and Yellow Magic Orchestra add to this some tender nocturnal lilts courtesy of ‘foot 5 on the flipside’ and you have yourself a relaxed and understated chill toned odyssey and a hitherto classic awaiting wider acclaim.


Its certainly not the last you’ll hear from the Bearsuit imprint this term given we’ve just received a 15 track compilation entitled ‘the fall will probably kill you’ and yes it features prime sliced cuts from moomlooo, whiz kid and kirameki and will no doubt be loved, play to death, raved about and who knows written about here (we are thinking the in the next but one missive) – consider yourselves well and truly warned.


That’s it for now – as ever thanks for dropping by – submissions via the addresses noted at the footing of the last – or maybe the one before – missive – we’ve moved address so email or else drop by at for a cuppa, a quick fag and good sounds. Till whenever (Thursday probably) take care of yourselves….




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