Look what we sneaked online while you were sleeping…
Transmission 40.0…. w/e 8/10//2017
Revolutions of a 33 and 45 kind….
… opening groove ….
… features ….
The Telescopes, W H Lung, W.I.T.C.H., the KVB, Is Bliss, Loop, magic shoppe, ESP, IMPATV, Drew McDowall, group Rhoda, mothergirl, wolf eyes, isn’tses, flowers must die, tombed visions ensemble, author and punisher, evil blizzard, trappiest afterland, moonlighting hare, negative gemini, travelling wilburys, tom petty, james green, waveform transmission, a middle sex, shopping, the yada yada yadas, joss cope, tonfedd oren, idylls, willie Gibson, born shit stirrers, duds, arte tetra, Desperate bicycles, I jog and the tracksuits, bathroom renovations, the scabs, the tours, the fans, beyond the implode, visitors, one gang logic, reluctant stereotypes, Sonologyst, ruby keeler, the telescopes, agitation phi, jd wiedenfeld, danny Mulhern, the clientele, Andreas Spechtl, sparks, tom petty, chris gantry, mitra mitra, Manuel Göttsching, Eduard Artemyev, John Pfeiffer, Tom Dissevelt & Kid Baltan, Halim El-Dabh, hugh le caine, ned lagin, the wedding present, fawns of love, tuvaband, john peel, the police, mixing it, aphex twin, jane weaver, radio 1, jonny and colin greenwood, autechre, timemazine ….
Interlude …. Liverpool PZYK 17 …. The Telescopes, W H Lung, W.I.T.C.H., the KVB, Is Bliss, Loop, magic shoppe ….
The telescopes ….
W H Lung ….
The KVB ….
Is Bliss ….
Magic shoppe ….
Interlude …. live bobbins …. ESP, IMPATV, Drew McDowall, group Rhoda, mothergirl, wolf eyes, isn’tses, flowers must die, tombed visions ensemble, author and punisher, evil blizzard ….
Drew McDowall ….
Group Rhoda ….
Wolf eyes ….
Flowers must die ….
Tombed visions ensemble ….
Author and punisher ….
Evil blizzard ….
Tripped across this on a random Twitter posting, not that I want to give folk ideas, getting to be a full-time job these days just ignoring emails and facebook notifications. Of course, I joke otherwise I wouldn’t be rambling about this and you wouldn’t be listening to it. From Negative Gemini, this is the simply irresistible ‘you weren’t there anymore’, something of a gorgeous mysterio which I’ll admit has been turning our head since ghosting into our ear space. One I’m suspecting for those Soft Bodies admirers among you, it’s floaty tonings and spectral detailing not to mention cosmically flutter by haloing and woozy pop flotillas all hitherto converging to imagine a youthful Grimes had she held siege in a studio by Fever Ray. https://negativegemini.bandcamp.com/track/you-werent-there-anymore
Those of you who keep abreast of such things will be all too aware that the much-missed Active Listener has been dormant of late while Nathan undergoes treatment for cancer. We wish him and his family all the best during these most worrying and trying of times, the blog sphere is a little dimmer in his absence. It seems the fondness and respect that bands and subscribers alike have shown has crystallised with two of the bands that the Active Listener championed, coming together to record a split outing with all proceeds raised going to Nathan and his family to assist in paying medical bills. The simply titled ‘Moongazing Hare & Trappist Afterland Sing Songs For Nathan’ is as it hints on the tin lid, a collection that gathers together both Moongazing Hare and Trappist Afterland for an eight-track split set. Hopefully if we think on, we’ll be coming back to this in due course, for now a brief tasting of what to expect with us finding ourselves somewhat smitten by both bands openers. The haunting ‘fine horseman’ opens the Moongazing Hare account, emerging from the twilight, a ghost lit ballad whose shadowy entrancement creaks with a magical hush to softly draw you in with its eerily whittled woodland craft and into the bargain sumptuously steeped with a morose majesty that recalls the black heart procession. Trappist Afterland serve up ‘restless day’, in truth sounding like they’ve fallen from another age long since consigned to memory and legend, they craft a seriously intricate and nonetheless bewitching brew which manifests in the shape of this outer worldly spirit walker. Swarthy, hazy and a tad mystic, ‘restless day’ is the kind of thing you’d expect to emerge from the shadowy backwaters of Ecstatic Peace et al, a mysterious folk wanderer weaving a multi lingual tapestry of tripping acid folk and Indian raga mosaics. https://theactivelistener.bandcamp.com/album/moongazing-hare-trappist-afterland-sing-songs-for-nathan
Been such a while since we heard from Sonido Polifonico that we half expected that they’d sneaked out a few releases while our back was turned or else had stopped talking to us. Silence now breaks with news of busy activity afoot for this November with the release of James Green’s ‘donkey jukebox’. Now I think I might be right in saying that the last time Mr Green had occasion to trouble these pages was via a handful of celebrated releases through Pickled Egg as Big Eyes as well as a smidgeon of solo / collaborative outings for Early Winter Recordings. Pressed up on limited lathe editions accompanied with a full album along with all the usual SP loveliness / inserts and badges etc and a signed print from James himself, ‘donkey jukebox’ looks like being the most adventurous release for this much-loved home spun label. Hopefully in due course we’ll be getting fuller sound files, for now though here’s a sampler listening featuring a smidgeon of the delights contained within. As previously, Mr Green crafts an affectionately fragile palette, its homely detailing harvesting a quaintly underside view from beneath the woodland duvet softly stirred in an magical innocence traded by the likes of Kenneth Grahame, aa Milne and Oliver Postgate, the miniature sonic portraits seesawing prettily between lilting piano lullabies, cosmic waltzes, snoozing accordions and the oddly wheezing soundtracks that once upon a time used to ghost those strange eastern European animations that disturbed children’s TV in the early 70’s. https://soundcloud.com/jamesgreensounds
Isn’t this quite something else. Time to give your head space a rest allowing it a chance to heel, recharge and recalibrate with some nifty cerebral chill. First recordings for over 20 years for duo Waveform Transmission, that’ll be Rod Modell – more recognised in his CV313 persona – and Chris Troy with a brand-new set via the Astral Industries imprint entitled ‘V 2.0-2.9’. a double disc release featuring four 18-minute-long suites set across four sides of wax, this one being the opening phase ‘V 2.0-2.1’. occupying a place somewhere between dream state and God’s waiting room, this amorphously floaty beauty is ambience in its purest form, attuned to the inner consciousness its restive qualities, softly serene almost spiritual, eke out a genteel safe spot of nurturing waveforms whose exquisitely poised ice thawed sculpturing ripples with a mesmeric murmuring. https://soundcloud.com/astralindustries/v-2-0-2-1?in=astralindustries/sets/v-20-29
Just out via Norman records’ own in store public house imprint, a limited vinyl pressing for a release whose brief appearance in 2015 via the Audacious Art Experiment label was limited to just 30 cassette copies. Now available, first time on wax, a limited 250 issue of duo A Middle Sex’s ‘soul’s sways west’ finally gets a much-deserved wider audience. From that set ‘on condition’, in truth the kind of thing you might have expected, one time or another, to escape out of the taste making Trensmat sound factory whilst simultaneously arriving equipped with the kind of head tripping mesmeric motorik mosaics that might well have had the folk at deep distance going cross eyed and jaw agape. There’s certainly enough of a mind dissolving pulsing technique afoot here to have many digging out their prized copies of Sunray’s ‘dream machine’ head to head with Sonic Boom albeit here as though reimagined spiritually serened by a bliss kissed choral gathering and oodles of cosmic solar flare activities. Very trippy indeed. https://soundcloud.com/theaudaciousartexperiment/a-middle-sex-on-condition
Fat Cat getting a tad funky eh, well it’s been a while since they strayed into our listening space, this one, the latest from this most forward-thinking label is a new one by post rockers Shopping. This ‘un being ‘the hype’ which unless our ears do deceive, comes acutely cut in the kind of seductively purred club cool swing that we here felt a tad overwhelmed in the need to reinvestigate the forgotten grooves of A Certain Ratio, 23 Skidoo and Quando Quango, which by our reckoning is no bad thing. https://soundcloud.com/fatcatrecords/shopping-the-hype-1
Bugger me, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say this oddly off kilter slab of infectiousness had been sneaking glances at our 90’s mix tape selections. Sprayed in a coolly coalescing day glo drift of fuzzy glam wooziness and oodles of waywardly wiry and fractured kaleidoscopia all sun bleached and reclined in the awkwardly impish radiance of a youthful Elephant 6 haloing, this effervescently feel good shimmer tone is the debut outing for County Durham based combo The Yada Yada Yadas via the silent kid imprint. Entitled ‘oceans’, this sub three-minute nugget purrs, coos and seductive struts, admittedly freakishly, to a disturbingly contagious party gathering of Pooh Sticks, Denim, Dandy Warhols, Dinosaur Jnr and the Apples in Stereo grooviness, nuff said. https://soundcloud.com/yadayadayadas/oceanssingle
Mentioned a missive or so ago that we’d had word from John Brenton (Metrotone, Landshipping….), alas the seeds of those ISAN related hatchlings haven’t as yet borne fruit, so while we feverishly wait, here’s a little something from one of his many guises Tonfedd Oren. Peeled from a retrospective set released by Enraptured a little while back entitled ‘AM, FM etc….’, this is ‘80au’. Now I don’t know about you, but would I be right in saying that this one pilots the kind of sonic trajectories familiarly found frequenting the polytechnic youth imprint. A kosmische astral glide on the information highway at cruise control, its frequency settings training on wavelengths oscillating between a debut album nostalgic futurism envisaged by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and an equally youthful New Order with the palette sumptuously obscured and stirred with a starry pop classicism by a certain Karl Bartos. https://soundcloud.com/tonfedd-oren/wythdegau/s-F5Jyz
One of the disturbing perils of these missives is that there are times when releases sneak across our blind side, whether due to time constraints or just an accidental oversight on our part, it crushes us that we never get to mention everything that passes across our desk. Case in point, this one which was almost lost, the latest full length from Joss Cope, younger brother of Julian no less. ‘unrequited lullabies’ comes teased in the kind of softly toned psych / paisley pop intimacy that might suggest it was the in-house invention of some secret Bucketful of Brains all-star gathering. Two tracks feature on the preview page with ‘Scales falling’ busily weaving a wonderfully warming earworm that snakes ever so slyly, nodding with a subtle affection to the mercurial mellowing of a house of love at the height of their powers. That said we here have to admit being simply smitten by ‘your broken heart is not for sale’, arriving as it does kissed and sprayed with an autumnal emotional purr more occasioning of an Eyptians fronted Robyn Hitchcock though here found channelling the forlorn sigh of Oddfellows Casino. Available incidentally through the uber cool Gare Du Nord imprint. https://josscope.bandcamp.com/
….. and talking of Gare Du Nord, next up a rather superb outing by Willie Gibson. Before the onset of call centres, mention Vivaldi to most and the descriptors commonly found in responses received back would have perhaps largely veered around the words exquisite, elegant and majestic. Ask them now and sadly the association would be boredom, frustration and anxiety. That some wit has chosen to sully such a work of refined grace to greet people often left to wait endless hours for some obnoxious call taker to bother to speak to them, has always irked, I mean do you really want to hear such happy gusto on a loop when you are calling the Bailiffs, the hospital or worse still, the in laws. Okay stepping off the soap box, latest from the Gare Du Nord imprint from Willie Gibson might, hopefully, go some way to restoring your love for Vivaldi for ‘Seasons change’ is an extraordinary release, which we’ll pass over to the labels press folk to explain in more detail ‘….an electronic realisation of one of the most popular baroque classics, Antonio Vivaldi’s Opus 8, Il Quattro Stagioni, created solely using a Eurorack format modular synthesizer.’ Okay, now this could have gone horribly wrong in certain hands, though I’m happy to say left under the creative gaze of Mr Gibson, he sheds a new perspective on this most exquisite populist colossus. Admittedly not a new idea / concept, similar rethreaded studies have gone before, see Wendy / Walter Carlos’ ‘switched on Bach’ as painstakingly echoed in sentiment by the quite sublimely dizzy ‘Modular – L’Autunno 1’, its creator’s familiarity and intimacy with Vivaldi’s considerable craft instinctively executed to perfection in so far as each sweeping genuflection, modular flurry and curtsy is intricately followed to the finest detail. That said where he excels is in respect of his retaining of the core regal elegance of the original manuscripts and hitherto relocating them among the stars, all the more extraordinary is that this intricately honed homage was restricted to one musical medium. Admittedly here, we are totally smitten with ‘Modular – L’Inverno 2’, the tender detailing applied and the crisply cantering modulations teased in cosmic swirling give the Baroque phrasings a demurring which unless ears do deceive, had us very much recalling FortDax. https://williegibson.bandcamp.com/
I’m guessing what we need right now is some abrasive Japanese punk, these are the charmingly named Born Shit Stirrers who hail from Fukuoka, this be their latest full length. Going by the name ‘Richard and Judy’ the liner notes ominously warn ‘…. any …. we forgot to slag on this album will be getting it on the next one’, I bet they’re real nice folk in real life, just when gathered into a studio and left to their own devices they speed through at 100mph hurling insults and agitation like there’s no tomorrow atop two chord scuzz bombs, Now me, well I’m instantly back face to face with my younger self ears a bleeding on a diet of Discharge, the Exploited, the Minutemen, Public Disgrace and all manner of second gen pogo-a-hula. Twenty tracks feature here, seriously it’ll take up about 10 minutes of your time to get from start to finish, all riotous fun flashed through in a fast, furious and festering anthem chanting gouging. Most disturbed moment being a cover of the Rapists’ grim ‘fucking disgrace’ while the best by a Mohican and studded belt is the baiting ‘half of what’ and the devilishly delinquent ‘9-volt brain’. https://bornshitstirrers.bandcamp.com/album/richard-and-judy
Another we accidentally tripped across on a recent wander around band camp, this be the parting track from the Idylls latest full length ‘the barn’ entitled ‘in the barn’. Hells teeth these dudes can kick up a cacophonic storm for what first had us gladdened that the fading memories of the Boys Next Door where still being rekindled in some safe corner of Australia, Brisbane to be precise, soon begins to mutate, unravel and manifest into a squalling freeform freak storm, the force and sheer brutality of which near had us flattened upon the listening wall. Fused with a definable brooding Shellac / Big Black scowl, this wired and frenzied slab of agit armoured attrition revels in the kind of scorching skree scabbing melee many might find the drawing of comparisons with both Tayside Mental Health and Sissy Spacek a tad apt. https://idylls.bandcamp.com/track/in-the-barn
As one comment notes ‘heavy skronk’ and indeed they are right, this is Duds via Castle Face, who I’m fairly certain we’ve featured previously here in the recent past, with the delightfully skewed and contortionist ‘elastic feel’. Now I’m not sure about you, but are my ears rightly picking up Peel c.81 vibes here, I’m thinking fire engines and the Sinatra’s, the strangely squirrelling schizoid jazz noodling acutely angular and possessed of a post punk persona whose tightly narrowed intricate palette taps naggingly to a Wire / This Heat fusion. I could be wrong, but then again. https://soundcloud.com/castle-face-1/duds-elastic-feel
interlude …. post punk curios …. Desperate bicycles, I jog and the tracksuits, bathroom renovations, the scabs, the tours, the fans, beyond the implode, visitors, one gang logic, reluctant stereotypes ….
Desperate bicycles …..
I jog and the tracksuits ….
Bathroom renovations ….
The scabs …
The tours ….
The fans …
Beyond the implode ….
One gang logic …
Reluctant stereotypes …
Been a while since we featured anything from Arte Tetra imprint, between you and me, I strongly suspect they’ve fallen out with us. But casting an eye over the cassette store day release roster, we noted that the label are sending forth a brace of tape releases of their own, one of which by the much-admired Shit&Shine, which while we were trying hopelessly to grab sound links for we stumbled instead across this. Now long-time visitors to these pages meant well recall one of our earliest introductions to was a set called ‘Exotic ésotérique Volume 1’. Well it now seems that the label have deemed it high time to revisit the concept for ‘Volume 2’. Set across two extended mosaics, at forty-nine minutes apiece and time being a scarce resource around these here parts, we’ve opted for an earful of the b-side or as its titled the ‘esoterik’ half of the equation. Sub divided into several suites, the artists involved at present something of a mystery, this mix session if you like, encapsulates the various shapeshifting sonic tongues and personas inhabiting the Arte Tetra universe, the opening phase a beautified forlorn leviathan flittering about the cosmic oceans that soon mutates ever darker into glooming terrains chilled in a magisterial stateliness which had us here recalling the work of Soriah via the much missed of late Beta Lactam Ring imprint. Matters soon lighten with a splash of astral inclining at the arrival of the slow burn thrust of a solar flamed dronal recital whose passing is replaced by the delicate spray of some alluringly reclining lazy eyed prairie blues which ought to appeal to those much admiring of the work of Gavin Baker. Things start getting a whole lot waggish at this point making it hard to tell where one track ends and another starts, case in point being what pursues at this stage, some broken and twisted subtronic binary hiccupping, all chipped beats, sonic defrags and the kind of impishness that brings memories of those tigerbeat releases from many years flooding back all quickly frying at pace into something that sounds like a mutant mix of Autechre / Wagon Christ species being sonically condensed by some clearly bonged out sonic alchemist under the watchful eye of a youthful ‘split’ series Fat Cat. Up next a little nocturnal soul funk which in truth sounds as though its suffered a tad with the tapes being left to melt and warp in sun, something I guess for those Gary Wilson loving folk among you. Then it’s off for a spot of hauntology, sorry no, tropical lounge, hang on, sun stroked woozy psyche, oh hell I give up, look its dreamy and a tad weird ear, oodles of chorus voices and bliss dissolves. Even stranger and decidedly more entrancing are the siren calls emerging from the sepia fog of the next sequence, delightfully disturbing in a passing through the veil type way, okay you might be right, creepy it is and spooky with it. Into the final nine minutes and I’d like to say the return home phase but judging by the way everything is going very floaty, celestial and somewhat trippy, I’d suggest refraining from trying to make contact back home and instead start searching for a cosmic post box to mail your postcards warning while you’re there that this might take longer than you first envisaged given it seems for all the world that you’re exiting it, reality and everything, the last bit going very Bearsuit records peculiar. https://artetetra.bandcamp.com/album/exotic-sot-rique-vol-2
Talking of Cassette Store Day which we were, okay loosely, last mention out, here’s another treat which I must admit with much embarrassment comes from a band who sadly passed us by. This is Ruby Keeler with ‘They’ll Build A Neighborhood Where Your City Stood’ – their second album, well demos recorded for what would have been their second set, which per the liner notes, was mooted for release around 2000 as a follow up to ‘shiver shiver’ and by the looks of things fell by the wayside. We here have been much taken with both ‘V=5’ and ‘in dichten Nebel eingehüllt (Fogbound)’, the former of which trades with an angular swing kissed and bleached with a lazy recline that had us much musing and recalling of Pavement at their finest. That said the latter will take some shifting in the affection stakes, its mellowing murmurs couched and cooled with a Spaghetti Western vibing all ghosted in the head bowed shimmer of a Mancini like noir phrasing, in truth not unlike a super cooled Shadowy Men from a Shadowy Planet all said. As said the cassette is prepped for Cassette Store Day action via Jagged Skyline. https://rubykeelerband.bandcamp.com/album/theyll-build-a-neighborhood-where-your-city-stood
.. here’s the band performing the single ‘Dottie Hoffman’ on Chic a go go ….
Just out via eighth tower records, the latest opus from label boss and head curator of the unexplained sounds group Raffaele Pezzella here masquerading beneath his sonic alter ego Sonologyst. Ominously titled ‘apocalypse’, we were forewarned by Mr Pezzella that this was going to be a heavy listen, an understatement we’d like to think. In an age of political turbulence, division and deceit along with greed and hate have pushed civilisation to a grim precipice, across long established democracies the moral compass is being reset, the brutality of man to his own and the domain he was entrusted to care and look after has never been at such odds. The experiment that was mankind has failed and a deathly spectre looms casting its lengthening shadow across the globe. ‘Apocalypse’ serves as a soundtrack for those oncoming end of days. A journey into darkness, the final stop the end. It emerges from the dark side of the newly augmented Radiophonic Workshop, from the moment opener ‘abandoned cities’ ghosts into view, you are immediately frozen to the spot in its disquieting glare, the spectral pulsars exhaling a deathly contagion, in its wake a chilling finality cuts a path where nothingness remains. This is truly remote stuff, the oncoming ‘Sulphurous Rain’ does little to ease the overarching sense of dread, its microlite timbres probing the deepest of fears dispelled of both light and hope, its minimalist phrasing etching a bleakness more accustomed to a Roadside Picnic or Revenant Sea uttering, all the time the modulations creeping with sharpening intensity. A memory spectral, ‘hypnosis’ lifts the tension momentarily, its locked grooved dream cycle reverberating to a radiantly mesmeric pulse tone before the stilling eeriness of the sparsely weaved dystopian future view of ‘stay in your homes’ comes to roost with the pursuing ‘global threat’ serving to heighten the feeling of isolation and futility. ‘dying oceans’ casts a mournful atmospheric to proceedings, quite possibly the most tender and beautiful moment of the set, its hollowed etchings rallying to a sweetly sombre symphonic hush both head bowed and sighed in a tear stained bruising which at its fall come the forlorn echoes of euphoric snow bursts. ‘towers of sand’ – the album centrepiece, is frosted in a hymnal haze, the last flickering lights of life slowly fading into a sleeping memory extinguished by what sounds like a celestial afterburn, strangely tranquil all said. ‘prayers from nowhere’ rounds out this colossal set, probably the most disquieting moment of the whole album, spiritual echoes trapped in the ether locked and submerged in an icy silence. https://eighthtowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/apocalypse
Imminent via Yard Press of Italy, new happenings from the Telescopes in the shape of ‘stone tape’. The set, described by the press folk, as a concept album inspired by Thomas Charles Lethbridge’s ‘Stone Tape Theory’ – in short, the ability of an inanimate object to draw and retain extreme emotional residue – see Nigel Kneale’s ‘Quatermass’ and ‘the Stone Tape’. Comprised of six subtronic suites, ‘Stone Tape’ finds the Telescopes at their most vulnerable, most tender and most reflective. Strangely enough, whilst ever cautious to acknowledge their lengthening influence upon the spheres of drone, freeform deconstruction, space and psych, ‘Stone Tape’ viewed overall, sits on a sonic axis somewhere between fellow acolytes Flying Saucer Attack and Hood. The sounds within both insular and opaque are dulled in a bruising ache, as much as Mr Lawrie tries hard to, by and large, bury the musicality in a hanging dense dronal fog, the sounds wallow with a parched and skeletal nomadic vibe whose accent is concentrated by a primitively toned psych folk blues tongue. From the moment opener ‘become the sun’ flickers from out of the shadow light, you’re immediately aware that something moored upon the magical and majestic is afoot, a snaking mistral under whose glowering cloak an age-old mystery hides. Obscured by the swirling mosaics of archaic tablas and a tribal toning buried deep in our collective ancestry, the haunting ‘the speaking tongue’ emerges through the prehistoric fog with a curtsy nod to both Preterite and Alphane Moon and sharply contrasts with the slow prowling shimmer of ‘the desert in your heart’ whose softly mesmeric minimalism is teasingly touched with a hollowed Velveteen stateliness. At eight minutes in duration, ‘everything must be’ serves as the sets centrepiece, a linking pin to the Telescopes sound of yesterday, today and tomorrow, its fragile framing ghosted and soured by a thickening sepia haze that’s tormented in a slo mo neo classical incline whose ache crystallises with each curvature and gradual arc trembled in the haunt of memory, truly a thing of emotional unravelling that makes Cheval Sombre sound in comparison, like an upbeat speed freak. ‘silent water’ finds a lighter toning, murmured and mellowed in a softly dreamy sigh while the ominously titled ‘dead inside’ leads matters to the end groove and with that ushers all out with what sounds like a harmonium soaked earthy primitive seafaring hymnal momentarily fragmented, unhinged and gouged by the appearance of groaning sonic skronk impacts. And while it might be right to consider recent Tapete set ‘as light return’ a rediscovery of a more rudimentary notion of song structuring, ‘stone tape’ provides Lawrie and Co with their most accessible and hitherto most immersive and rewarding outing to date. www.yardpress.it
Guaranteed to leave you gaga by its parting, that is if you make it to the end before spontaneous combusting or having your head melting on you. Here’s a spot of free form synapse sizzling surgery undertaken by the much-admired Agitation Phi via a live set recently performed at, from what we can gather, the Centres Ov in Austria last week. A fifty-six-minute set which in truth sounds like a dystopian echo dropped from a late 90’s Peel / Mary Anne Hobbs breezeblock session, what first ominously glues itself to the minimalist mainframe of Pye Corner Audio soon furiously picks up the pace and giddy ups into a manic techno pulsar that at once hints of some diabolical deal to fry headspaces forged by a gathering of Atari Teenage Riot and Add N to X types. Matters soon ease up and a cooling Detroit trance toning template soon begins to as much seduce as it does mesmerise, chiefly of interest I suspect, to those much familiar with the Smallfish and Rednetic sound houses before rounding out matters fusing a hybrid hothouse of woozy kaleidoscopia, Dadaist drum n’ bass and weird ear industrial tech in to a mammoth mutant mind evaporating freak pill. https://soundcloud.com/agitationphi/possession-for-curley-liveset-09-29-17?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook
Now for something a little shall we say, highbrow, feeling very BBC Radio 3, in truth the kind of thing I’d have expected to appear of the much missed and celebrated Mixing It show back in the day, indeed something that we suspect would have persuaded deep discussion between both Messrs Sandall and Russell. Anyhow this is the deceptively eerie ‘repose’ by J Wiedenfeld, which unless I’m very much mistaken has a certain Stockhausen unhinge about it, strangely dreamy in a sinister noir Hitchcock way, the remote relationship between the voice and the music exerting a curiously macabre beauty soured and distressed in a grainy rain swept sepia. https://soundcloud.com/jwiedenfeld/tender-lumpkins
Not had a chance as yet to play the incoming Andreas Spechtl set for Bureau B all the way through, our laptop is momentarily in the middle of a tantrum and refusing to offer up the tracks from our newly delivered download. I’m suspecting a quiet word accompanied by a showing of variously plucked sharp instruments from the tool box might be needed as a persuader. That said we did get to hear the parting offering ‘hidden homes’. A wonderfully remote ghost light that stands alone from the sets overall Marrakesh-ian vibes, soured in reflection and a mournful beauty, the cavernously toned ebbing opines married to the hush vocal treatments, instil a spectral majesty from whose observation point a bruising sigh whispers across a sonic landscape fractured and scorched by the softly fizzed spray of riff burns, which all said had us much minded of a youthful Tex La Homa. The album incidentally, is titled ‘Thinking About Tomorrow, And How To Build It’ as said due via Bureau B this coming early November time.
Mentioned previously in these pages, admittedly several missives ago, another album we are yet to hear in full is the latest from the Clientele. This time through Bureau B sister label Tapete, the album by the way is called ‘Music For The Age Of Miracles’, we’ve found ourselves somewhat smitten by ‘the museum of fog’ – a track delightfully weaved in an old peculiar soft psych fashioning that’s delicately teased in a becoming baroque braiding, beneath the quaint English eccentric rustic rubbings and ghostly narration unravels in a matter of fact casualness of a pub gig attended, the singer masked exerting an eerie supernatural craft rekindling the hopes and ambition of his former sixteen year old self, the sounds exquisitely despatched with the kind of mercurial touching that recalls the much missed magic theatre / ooberman. In addition, here’s the simply breath-taking murmur of the softly radiant Byrds-ian ‘everyone you meet’ – utterly adorable.
Tensely sparse and teased in an entrancing neo classical palette where both beauty and mystery engage upon a playfully inquisitive courtship with one another, third offering (‘captive’) from a forthcoming full length via 1631 recordings from composer Danny Mulhern, arrives adored in a ghost lit gloaming. A shadow walker creaking and creeping amid moon shot alleyways, its feline curvatures sleek, watchful and stealth like, mooching and prowling to a noir framing that’s eerily electrified by a deeply mesmeric and seductively stilled nocturnal tongue.
Loosely staying with the ‘captive’ theme – and you thought we just threw these musings together with a degree of chaotic glee, hard work this subtle link like threading I’ll have you know. Here’s something a little wonderful heading out of the peripheral minimal sound house, which to much annoyance, the fanfaring details about we’ve temporarily lost sight of. Anyhow from what we recall, an album arriving soon from Mitra Mitra which I think, and indeed hope, we are right in saying, will be previewed by a rather slickly sassy set of remixes this one being the ‘captive mix’ of ‘blender’ as reinterpreted by Iv / An. This smoking slice of chill toned cool cuts musical shapes interweaving elements of classic Warp vibes with the pristinely analogue hypno grooves of a youthful Expanding imprint – see Benge, Vessel, Cathode et al and sets them seductively on a remotely tuned futuristic club floor fashioning courted with an ice toned Moroder imagining that ripe for lights lowered listening.
Interlude … mellow strangeness …. Manuel Göttsching, Eduard Artemyev, John Pfeiffer, Tom Dissevelt & Kid Baltan, Halim El-Dabh, hugh le caine, ned lagin ….
Manuel Göttsching ….
Hugh le caine ….
Eduard Artemyev ….
John Pfeiffer ….
Tom Dissevelt & Kid Baltan ….
Halim El-Dabh ….
Ned lagin ….
There’s a moment recalled in the press release, when following being busted for growing marijuana, Chris Gantry was offered safe haven and invited by Johnny and June Cash to stay with them. While there the Cash’s, keen to rekindle his broken spirit, extended the hospitality to letting him record in their studio. Upon hearing the tracks, Johnny sidles up to Chris with the immortal assessment ‘Chris, June and I listened to your record last night and I don’t even think the drug people are gonna understand it’. Some forty years later, ‘at the house of Cash’ finally gets its long overdue day in the sun with a wax and CD release via the adored Drag City. From that set a taster in the shape of ‘different’. A curious beast, whose beauty is ghosted by shadow fallen sighs, its tapestry trembled in a delightful ducking of acid folk murmurs whose uncertain navigation is cooled by a faltering doubt expressed and muddied by the visitation of moments of sweet radiance disturbed in introspection to coalesce into a love noted harvest of gospel and Baroque folk trimmings. https://chrisgantrynashville.bandcamp.com/track/different
Out soon, well tomorrow to be precise, the welcomed second volume of a trilogy of releases featuring the extensive session catalogue of recordings made by the Wedding Present for Marc Riley on 6music. This set concentrates itself on celebrate appearances made in 2012, 2013 and 2014 – three sessions all in – 12 tracks in total. These sessions often find Gedge and Co cut loose, smattering the track listings with both current and forgotten nuggets with the occasional unexpected detour for fun rustling through lost b-sides, as is the case of the featured ‘pleasant valley Sundays’. A cover of the Monkees’ gem that first surfaced on the flip of ‘come play with me’ – the 5th single in ‘92’s record breaking 12 charting singles in one year ‘hit parade’ soiree, this version sumptuously cut with a muscularly scuzzed and scuffed lo-fi buzz replete with a killer detuned wiriness, kind of has you wondering that every home deserves at least one Weddoes album. https://soundcloud.com/hatchrecords/pleasant-valley-sunday-marc-riley-session-211013
think it’s been a fair while since we featured any bliss kissed adored shoegazey loveliness and well quite frankly, they don’t get more bliss kissed than this. Tripped across on a random sound cloud wander, this is the quite perfect Fawns of Love who I’m certain we’ve mentioned before. Admittedly it’s been out for a while and yes, I know you’ve probably loved it so much that you’ve repeatedly squeezed it till its pips popped. From their ‘who cares about tomorrow’ full length for fanatic, this is the dreamily demurred vapour sigh of the surrendering ‘silly boy’. One of those tear stained bruisers I’m afraid, so best have the kerchiefs to hand, for this ethereal soft kiss comes crushed in forlornly dappled sprays of head turning starry seduction. https://soundcloud.com/fanaticpro/fawns-of-love-silly-boy
we were prepping ourselves to spending the rest of the evening completing a review of the latest Wilhaeven full length, when this one ghosted into our listening space during a time out cup of coffee and quick smoke moment. In truth we couldn’t pass up on this a moment longer without a mention. New from Tuvaband, who are shortly to be doing a Rough Trade in store – 27/10 followed by an appearance at the Mirror’s Festival the day after, this is ‘trees’. What can we say, smitten in the first instance, at once ghostly and beguiling, yet cut deep with a wounding bruising, its spectral framing shimmering ghost like between the forlorn and the hymnal, its caress soft and genteel somewhat mourned and ached in grief stricken sorrow, the effect exquisite, touching and tormenting on the defences. In short, truly one of those rare moment where you are struck dumfounded and totally entranced. https://soundcloud.com/brilliance/trees
John Peel corner …… one from ’84 ……
… radio 1 ….
… blood on the carpet ….
… Jane Weaver on the Late Junction ….
…. Mentioned Mixing It in brief passing a little earlier, the show as said very much missed, here’s few selections from the archive ….
….. with Aphex Twin ….
… Jonny and Colin Greenwood ….
…. The police ……
…. Tom petty ….
Interlude …. Sparks ….
Couldn’t have put it better myself – a little something we spotted on a random post from the pitchfork folk … https://pitchfork.com/features/starter/9673-trend-upsetters-10-essential-sparks-songs/
Ron though, I always thought, was a Chaplin-esque dude …. anyhow a little time for a spot of the Sparks … who I guess we ought to admit, have been hiding in the shadows of our psyche secretly whispering to us and feeding our musical education since, well forever…. a few gems along with their latest ……
… ending this soiree with two tracks from their recently released ‘Hippopotamus’ album. Perhaps their finest and most impish release since ‘gratuitous sax and senseless violins’, their cleverness, their absurdity and richness of musical reach as acute as ever, the Mael’s unnerving knack for putting you on the back foot as persistent and as puzzling as it’s ever been. On a personal level, I’ve always considered the Sparks to share a kinship with the Residents in so much as they exist outside of fashion and the usual pop parameters, perhaps it’s that ability to mix musical time zones dipping in and out of the monochrome sepia frames of a musical golden age threading burlesque, vaudeville and by gone movie treatments with the technicolour now by way of fusing glam and electronic into a weird peculiar theatre of exemplary pop. Proving that simple is the most effective way, the wordplay-fulness of ‘hippopotamus’ is the Sparks in mischief mode, rhyming words ending in us into a nonsensical sing-a-long will after, I guarantee, the initial head scratching, have you humming it later without warning to the point of distraction, it’s almost childlike play much recalling the classroom rhymes sung in reception / infant classes as a youngster. Mixing art, creativity and classicism ‘life with the Macbeths’ is trademark Sparks’ perfection, the cooling rush of majesty, magic and mastery swirled and swept in a lush embracing elegance that’s stirred upon a softly surging emotional tide of breathless Baroque euphoria,
Just ordered our copy of this, so you expect fond words fairly soon once the swirls of our bulging eyeballs have settled to normal vision following the tripping happenings peeling from the pages and our wigged-out earlobes have acclimatised from the freakish sounds emanating from the accompanying CD and split 7 inch within. Latest issue of TimeMazine is among us, a tenth issue celebration that time warps us back to that golden year 1967. All manner of wig flipping grooviness within with interviews and features on love, the nightshadows, sir robin and the longbowmen, echo train and more besides. Includes a turntable turn on CD featuring 18 tracks of zonked out psych love from the likes of the Magic Bus, the Snails, Seventh Ring of Saturn et al along with a cornucopia of unreleased nuggets from Nirvana and Big Foot. As though that wasn’t enough there’s a seven-inch split wax gem on a choice off colours featuring exclusive highs from Vibravoid and Echo Train, see spaced out teaser trailer for ordering info……
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… end groove ….
Mr Tom Petty … 1950 – 2017 …. farewell Sir ….