Look what we sneaked online while you were sleeping…
Transmission 49.0…. w/e 10/12/2017
Revolutions of a 33 and 45 kind….
Depending on whether or not we can shake this particularly nasty bout of flu with added chest infection niceness, there may well be another of these missives popping up mid-week, we’ve a backlog of releases that we are furiously endeavouring to pile through but hampered by the aforementioned cold and the fall out resulting from what can only be described as a comedy slip the other week which has left us near high as a kite on painkillers. Thanks Sefton Council, great work with those paving stones. Anyway, enough grumbling, we’ve a Fruits de Mer press thingy to draft and news from the Schizo Fun Addict to prepare, see postings later – I’d say around noon-ish time, all good.
Word of warning, this missive may well feature the return of the spelling mistake, just saying…. I know how some of you miss them ….
Opening groove …..
Johnny hallyday …
Email – email@example.com
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Word press – marklosingtoday.wordpress.com
Twitter – @marklosingtoday
Physical – 46 Webster Avenue, BOOTLE, Merseyside, L20 9JF, UK
.. featuring …. Boguslaw schaffer, luigi nono, Pauline Oliveros, Bernard parmegiani, Vladimir ussachevsky, marryanne amacher, david tudor, josef malovec, circa tapes, guerilla toss, sidewalks and skeletons, cloud waste and the calf, mr airplane man, altaat, no age, air formation, pefkin, hindi horrorcore, songs in the key of death, one nation under a grave, electro who cardio fluxus, polivoks orthodox, fascinations grand chorus, barret’s dottled beauty, Espectrostatic, occulto, niton, luigi pugliano, adamennon, king gizzard and the lizard wizard, aleister Crowley, the pretty things, flamin groovies, us and them, sky picin, mordecai smyth, the luck of eden hall with mark panick, Nicholas Langley, king gizzard and the lizard wizard, sun skeletons, polypores, time attendant, cosmic neighbourhood, sproatly smith, the séance, APATT, hermit, paddy steer, cloud becomes your hand, qst, Dalmatian rex and the eigentones, the polymer cities, whirling hall of knives, mudguts, the cold spells, up against the phantom, geist and the sacred ensemble, wonky alice, bang bang machine, servotron, broadcast, the experimental pop band, electric sound of joy, Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia …..
Think we’ll start the day’s musical soiree with a spot of chill wave, no better place to begin than with ‘see your door’ from Chicago based Circa Tapes. This ‘un comes from a set entitled ‘love and venom’ and ought to be on the radar of those among you tuned into Burning Witches and Felte frequencies, its ice cooled minimalist touch stilled in the kind of shadowy spectral chic that had us here, much of a mind to go rooting out Modern Eon’s ‘fiction tales’ debut from the early 80’s. https://circatapes.bandcamp.com/track/see-your-door
interlude …. strange sounds …. Boguslaw schaffer, luigi nono, Pauline Oliveros, Bernard parmegiani, Vladimir ussachevsky, marryanne amacher, david tudor, josef malovec …..
Boguslaw Schaffer ….
Luigi nono ….
Pauline Oliveros ….
Bernard Parmegiani …
Vladimir Ussachevsky …
Marryanne amacher ….
David tudor …
Jozef Malovec …
Somewhat distressed to find this has been out for a few months and thus has failed to trouble our listening space, until now that is. This is ‘morphine’, a track culled from Sidewalks and Skeletons’ latest opus ‘the void’. A shadowy mysterio that initially had us fondly recalling the much missed No Ceremony is so much as the way it almost ghosts seductively into the view, its bitter sweet phrasing soured and surrendered upon a frost freezed down tempo framing who beguiling is tempered by its forlorn vulnerability. But then scratch down and what shimmers through out of the ethereal shadows is something that touchingly walks in the footsteps of EMA’s mesmerically beautiful ‘#horror’ soundtrack. https://sidewalksandskeletons.bandcamp.com/track/morphine
This, I’m afraid to say, has had us yabbering insanely with adoring affection since veering into ear shot late last night, though we’ve tried, we simply can’t find fault with the blighter. Am I right in saying it’s heading out of DFA, don’t quote me on that though, what we are certain about is that it’s by Guerilla Toss, that it’s called ‘skull pop’ and features on their recently released full length ‘GK Ultra’. After that you are on your own because this will drive you to distraction, not wishing to put to finer a point on things but this may well be the finest five minutes of pop you’ll hear all year. Itching infectiously this nugget is basically a warping mutation of the coolest parts of your record collection, as though dropped out of time from a point say – 1980, starts off with a spot of Rush before hyper gliding into the pop cosmos taking in elements of the kaleidoscopic wooziness of the Elephant 6 collective’s finest moment, dashed with the Raincoats, oodles of early B-52’s and Devo, plenty of panic attacking electro shocking chic, some space pop, some prog, some free funk, plenty of new wavey-ness and a whole caboodle of cheerily sun popped radiance – think that covers all bases, frankly too cute for its own good and irrefutably essential. https://guerillatoss.bandcamp.com/track/skull-pop
Not even rightly sure where this is from but spotted this and well, it’s been way too long since we featured Mr Airplane Man in these pages. Here they are turning in a rather immaculate and touchingly spectral cover of Mazzy Star’s ‘blue light’ – achingly perfect in a nutshell and hushed with a haunting hymnal grace. https://soundcloud.com/girlsvillerecords/07-blue-light-mastered
Many thanks to Paul over a Sonido Polifonico, whose latest release by James Green you’ll find mentioned in greater detail elsewhere here. Anyhow here’s a little taster of the labels imminent happening, sort of, its Pefkin captured live on a recently rare appearance at the Lamplight Club in Sheffield earlier this month … expect mentions for the Pefkin / Barrett’s Dottled Beauty split a little later … for now enjoy …..
From ‘City Centre’ released earlier this, ‘illegal transmitters’ emerges from the passing shadow of Concretism. Similarly attuned to culturing a fondly nostalgia glow, where the former mentioned ruminates as were, upon Scarfolk designed psychogeoegraphical maps populated by abandoned new towns and sinister surveillances, Cloud Waste and the Calf opts here, at least, for a forward looking past. It’s this kinship with a 70’s era silver age fascination that draws him into close proximity with the Midwich Youth Club, though here irrefutably informed by the crystalline machine heart of Numan’s ‘the pleasure principle’. https://cloudwasteandthecalf.bandcamp.com/track/illegal-transmitters
Hark! What be that sound I hear in the distance, why that be the galloping charge of No Age thundering down the line. Barely pausing to give you a chance to summon together your wherewithal, ‘Drippy’ might start with what sounds like the faraway fanfare of a seasonal shimmering before quickly slamming down on the accelerator and fixing you still like a rabbit caught in the headlights with its dead eyed sonic tractor beam, yea it’s a bit scuzzy, quirkily effervescent, a bit Dinosaur Jr and bit like every cool feedback haloed teen dream record ever released in the 80’s on some ridiculously obscure label in an even ridiculously limited pressing, but hey, it does it for us. This is No Age, an album follows called ‘snares like a haircut’ through drag city, they’re even touring, around these venues should you care, and you should. https://noage.bandcamp.com/track/drippy
20/01/18 @ Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago, IL
20/02/18 @ Starline Social Club in Oakland, CA
21/02/18 @ Outer Space in Arcata, CA
22/02/18 @ Mississippi Studios in Portland, OR
23/02/18 @ The Vera Project in Seattle, WA
24/02/18 @ Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver, British Columbia
25/02/18 @ The Backstage at Capitol Theater in Olympia , WA
08/03/18 @ Highland Park Ebell @ Los Angeles, CA
09/03/18 @ Neon Reverb Festival in Las Vegas, NV
10/03/18 @ Flying Burrito Festival in Phoenix , AZ
21/03/18 @ Hafenklang in Hamburg, Germany
22/03/18 @ Urban Spree in Berlin, Germany
23/03/18 @ Privat in Cologne, Germany
24/03/18 @Beursschouwburg in Brussels, Belgium
26/03/18 @ Bitterzoet in Amsterdam, Netherlands
27/03/18 @ Point Ephemere in Paris, France
28/03/18 @ Hope & Ruin in Brighton, UK
29/03/18 @ Exchange in Bristol, UK
31/03/18 @ Soup Kitchen in Manchester, UK
01/04/18 @ Mono in Glasgow, UK
03/04/18 @The Hare & Hounds in Birmingham, UK
04/04/18 @ Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club in London, UK
05/04/18 @ Het Bos in Antwerp, Belgium
Oh my, this ‘un comes saturated in the kind of wall to wall sonic euphoria that once upon a time adored the grooves of both an ‘every heaven’ era Boo Radley’s and Moose’s debuting 12 inch, it be forthcoming feedback fanfares from Air Formation. With an album ‘near miss in the bag and awaiting despatch via Club ac30 around March, ‘vanishing act’ has been sent ahead on scouting detail. A bliss kissed love note sighed and cooled in cascades of coalescing stratospheric sonic siren calls and shimmer toning white hot solar burns. Tell me again what’s not to love. https://soundcloud.com/club-ac30/air-formation-vanishing-act
Not strictly speaking on our intended listening list for the day, but then it has been a while since we had cause to drop by near the sound house that is A Giant Fern. Latest to their formidable roster, Altaat with a limited three suite set by the name ‘Ajelehtiva lyhty’ from which the parting and hitherto shortest of the trio ‘III’, has been hogging our ear lobes since veering into ear contact. One of the masterclasses in patience, poise and sustain I’m afraid, of whom whose drone cycles strangely emit a serene aura, once that is, your listening has adjusted to its frequency. Much recalling those Astral Social Club happenings for Trensmat a few years ago and not unlike those Gnod related extra curricula activities that you oft find flying around on blink and its gone limited pressed cassettes, this brooding silver orbed leviathan purrs with a dead eyed hypnotic pulsating throb as though from the very core point of some huge super hive consciousness. https://soundcloud.com/agiantfern/altaat-iii and https://agiantfern.bandcamp.com/album/ajelehtiva-lyhty
As promised, back with the Sonido Polifonico folk, another strictly limited – around 70 or so I seem to recall – release equally split on clear and black lathe cut variations – 8-inch on this occasion – replete with all the usual eye-catching inserts and treats. On this occasion a split offering featuring Barrett’s Dottled Beauty on one side of the grooves and Pefkin to the other. It’s to the former that we open proceedings, the ghost like ‘many lined’ is, to put it finitely, an ethereal flutter by, its dreamy folk allure of looping riff dissolves usher in a docile demurring that softly melts and wraps itself around the hushly hazed twilight siren calls, it’s all very deceptively trippy and woozy, its airbrushed minimalism effecting an apparition like magic land aura that descends upon your listening space spraying a liltingly sleepy peacefulness. Equally spell charmed, ‘exile’ by Pefkin comes stilled in a church like grace, its chamber folk beguile sitting somewhere between Sleepyard’s recent collaboration with Alison O’Donnell and pretty much anything touched by the Grey Malkin / the Hare and the Moon, notably those releases in cahoots with Futur Passe, really is beyond enchantment. Immaculate on both counts. https://www.sonidopolifonico.co.uk/pefkin-barrett-s-dottled-beauty
Interlude …. a little Finders Keepers related treasure chest ….. hindi horrorcore, songs in the key of death, one nation under a grave, electro who cardio fluxus, polivoks orthodox ….
… all things being well, there’ll be Finders Keepers latests featured somewhere here, possibly tomorrow ….. for now here’s a few well heeled mix tapes we peeled off yoo toob … enjoy ….
Hindi Horrorcore ….
Songs in the key of death ….
One nation under a grave …
Electro who cardio fluxus …..
Polivoks orthodox ..
We must admit to having a wee soft spot for duo Fascinations Grand Chorus. Adept at cutting shimmer toning love notes that fidget and fizz with innocent sunny effervescence, they tug tenderly to a pristine pop indie lineage purring sweetheart sounds that fondly glow with nostalgic cuteness. Due to land next week, the four track ‘Anglesea’ EP is set to cause swoons and break hearts in equal measure with ‘when you’re mine’ being sent out like a honey cut guided arrow. In short, four minutes of affectionately turned happy pop that buzzes, struts and giddy ups amid a shimmering bubblegrooving that sounds as though its been peeled straight off a 50’s dansette. https://fascinationsgrandchorus.bandcamp.com/
Sometime today or more likely over the coming weekend, we’ll be revisiting that rather spiffing forthcoming Brass Hearse happening. For now, on the Burning Witch bandcamp page, we curiously eyed this ‘un quietly popping up into view from the mysterious Espectrostatic, an album no less by the name ‘Silhouette’ from off which we here have been somewhat frosted to the spot by the chilling leer of ‘The Delirium Of Negation’. This shadowy apparition peers with prowling disquiet from a Italo Horror Giallo vantage point, all creeping keys, macabre manifestations and twilight terrors gathering to forge a conspiratorial pact no doubt signed in blood, its eeriness cooled in a spectral supernatural seasoning that as were, draws back the veil to open a portal between dream and neightmare, something that, I shouldn’’t wonder, ought to appeal first hand to those of you much admiring of the hauntings emerging from the Villa9 studio folk a la the Unseen. https://burningallwitches.bandcamp.com/album/silhouette
Not certain for sure, but I think I’m right in saying that this has a loose connection to the folk over at Boring Machines. The latest issue of ‘Occulto’ – #5 to be precise comes with a strictly limited – for the first 100 subscribers – CD compilation, upon its grooves are burnt eleven tracks of macabre, magick and all manner of nefarious happenings with our eyes and ears immediately directing their way, almost as though summoned, to Adamennon’s ‘Il Museo delle Anime Perse’. Don’t be fooled by the shivering lullaby that greets this dark heart, for what emerges once the chime fades is a tormenting and turbulent witching hour ceremony gloomed in Gregorian chants and mystical portent of the type that hint of classic era Goblin perched upon their shoulder. Talking of macabre, things take an unsettling turn at the disquieting appearance of Niton’s ‘Moto Ignoto’, its cold hand descending fast smothering the listening space in a defying and deadening light sucking aura whose paranoiac subtronic toning squirms, prowls and snakes with an eerily edgy dread. Things lighten, I’m happy to say, for the parting opus by Luigi Pugliano, a track taken from his recent cassette release for delete recordings entitled ‘glows’ – a copy of which we must have for fear of combusing at its prolonged absence. Anyhow this is the dreamily seafaring ‘chachacha’, beautifully serene and reflectively murmured, its genteel poise and classicist precision snow globed with the kind of quiet grace that usually attaches to releases escaping from the Cathedral Transmissions imprint. https://occulto.bandcamp.com/album/occulto-compilation-5
You know how it is, take your eye off the ball for a solitary second and the blighters go sneaking all manner of grooviness on their associated media pages. Word has it that those Mega Dodo dudes are planning to release an album inspired by Aleister Crowley featuring music by Jon Povey and Twink of legendary folk the Pretty Things. Under the guise Star Sponge Vision’, the set, due to land around Spring, goes by the name ‘Crowley and Me’ – by all accounts originated as an idea way back in 1974 and finally got nailed in reality late last year, now its not the first time that ‘the beast’ has featured in these pages, we made mention of a spoken word pressing in our Halloween hullabaloo. Anyway there’s a detailed backstory about the release somewhere here http://www.mega-dodo.co.uk/products/star-sponge-vision?mc_cid=4c7eb04a7c&mc_eid=30e0e30476
In addition to that, you may well recall us mentioning, somewhat briefly, this years,now trademark, Mega Dodo charity release ‘tiddywinks’ – if not see here – https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/tiddlywinks/ – strictly limited to just 100 copies with profits going in support of the sterling work done by Save the Children, this very special collection is a cosy tour back to childhood with an invited roster of familiar names all gathered around the school piano heartily harking to forgotten lullabies and nursery rhymns. So spoilt for choice here, so lets start then with Us and Them who here tenderly tease their way through ‘Julie dream of all the pretty little horses’ by whittling out a delicately weaved folk hymnal sweetheart whose eexpansive touch takes you on mistical fairy walk into the hushed ethereal realms of sleepy headed magic lands. Elsewhere, the Luck of Eden Hall, who you may well note have been a little quiet around these here parts, are found teamed up with Razorhouse’s Mark Panick for a kaleidoscopically fracturing visit to ‘one for sorrow’ into the bargain completely rewiring the original to its bare base elements and reconstructing it into a wiring schizoid freak blues stone pill. ‘Jack and Jill’ gets a hearty shrooming revamp from the recently missing in action, well missing around here at least, Sky Picnic who I wouldn’t be none too surprised to find, had been listening a lot of Smoke Fairies and Haigt Ashbury of late, because this is exactly what you’d expect if ever the two forged ties. One for Floyd admirers I suspect though with a side serving of the great Bevis one, despite it’s fragmenting wah wah’s and general all around wasted trippiness, left in the hands of Mordecai Smith ‘oranges and lemons’ still ominously looms darkly like a ghostly Victorian shanty, very Paul Roland it has to be said, the ‘here comes a candle’ moment has never sounded so real or for that matter, so chilling and menacing. https://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/tiddlywinks
If we were drawing up a lengthy list of records we’ve adored, in an attempt to whittle the pile into a comfortable picking that could be shoehorned safely into a suitcase for our dispatch to a desert island, ‘slow death’ and ‘shake some action’ would certainly figure high. We refer of course to the legendary Flamin Groovies of whom I’m going to stick my neck out now and say, took up the mantle of the Stones when the Stones stopped making crucial records, I mean ‘slow death’ just sweats n’ oozes tension in terms of desire both sexual and desperation, at once sassy and slinky, nails that Richards’ bluesy flick kick, hells teeth this is prime time cold cool Stones framed pristinely in 5 and a half minutes – what is there not to love? ‘Shake some action’ on the other hand, okay let’s put it this way, if you were to ask me to come up with a track that embodied at once elements of 60’s garage, hints of West Coast and the latent buzz of the new wave / punk scene in which it was forged, into the bargain inadvertently crafting a hybrid power pop classic, then this is it, every band that ever did jangly guitars owes this big time. Anyhow, how did we get here, ah yea, new Flamin Groovies, well old but kinda new, a live set ‘San Francisco Nights 1978 -80’ – capturing the Groovies at the height of their powers, plenty of Stones covers, ‘shake some action’ is in attendance yet sadly no ‘slow death’. Still stupidly cool. https://vogon.bandcamp.com/album/san-francisco-nights
Oh and here’s ‘slow death’ ….
Apologies for being a little late to the party with this one. Spotted on a fleeting posting on twitter, may have been by the Third Kind folk, this release has been causing something of a mild disturbance around our gaff, quite unsettled Dylan the house cat though I’m not sure whether that was due to the playful twinkling toning or the fact that we’d stopped playing the Flamin Groovies that warranted him to go off in a huff. Anyway, this is a truly absorbing release I musy admit, heading out of the Entertainment Systems imprint, this is Nicholas Langley with ‘thinky space’. As said a little late to the party as this originally peered out this time last year, so good though that it warrants a fond mention not least because the opening track has a very seasonal feel appropriate for this time of the year I guess, for ‘Joli Cylindre De Temps‘ is kissed with a becoming softly hymnal frosted noir texturing that’s affectionately occasioned by stumbling moments of adorable gloopyness. Somewhere else ‘lancing beach’ arrives wonderfully drizzled in a forlorn orbital snow globe that’s delicately sprayed in an ISAN like fondness. However, your sphere of attraction ought to be drawn by both ‘yellow, green, silver’ and the title track ‘thinky space’ – the former beautifully syncopated by a classicist phrasing that instantly draws comparison to both Reich and Oldfield while the latter, romantically demurred appears amiss only for some classic arty 70’s French noir film for which to adore and backdrop. https://entertainment-systems.bandcamp.com/album/thinky-space
Not quite sure, but I think I might be right in saying the first vinyl pressing of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s ‘polygondwanaland’. This is the set that was distributed by the band to anyone who fancied releasing themselves it regardless of format in whatever manner they wanted, probably within reason. As far as I know, though there are a plethora of labels with vinyl and cassette orders in at various pressing and duplication plants across this the globe, the Static Caravan (I should say at this point – label wise – this album provides a perfect fit – read on and you’ll find familiar Static folk references littered around) variant is the first one we’ve actually seen, held and played. Limited to just 20 copies, though it looks like 25 where eventually pressed, as ours is numbered #6 / 25, this one comes housed in recycled record sleeves, ours as it happens has the identifying Gizzard album artwork wrapped around a copy of Edwin Heath’s motivational ‘the world’s foremost hypnotist’ long player, not that you’d need any tips on relaxation techniques with the Wizardy folk. In addition, it arrives on clear lathe cut wax, pressed up by the folk over at 345rpm, who last time we checked, were prepping themselves for listening to the album another 90 times to ensure quality of sound and pressing, oh and it features all your usual Static Caravan insert-y gubbins.
So, with yer actual record and all its back-ground shenanigans done with, to the sounds. In truth, had you been passed this, unaware of its providence, you’d firstly think that this was the work of some super-secret gathering of unnamed legendary rock folk gathering, summit style, around a studio and in an evening of confused in the haze of stoned out cheer had set about crafting a conceptual mutant hybrid of weird ear psych, prog, fairy folk and funk with jazz like intricacy. That they woke in the morning acutely sober, listened to the tapes and freaked might add a little vaguely passable back story as to how you’d managed thus far to be ignorant of its existence. Even by modern day standards, ‘polygondwanaland’ is weird, or should that be wyrd, a full-on head trip whose artistry and craft takes the listener of a journey far into the inner mind and beyond. The colossus that be the thunderous 10 minute curtain raiser ‘crumbling castle’ opens proceedings, previously mentioned here, it finds the Gizzard ones veering into domains inhabited these days by the Oh Sees, at once heavy and beardy, there’s something of a 70’s vintage afoot here that nods to the likes of Camel and Supersister infusing the listening space with a rarefied tapestry tripped out with Arabesques, kosmica, progressive intricacy and heraldic storyboards whereupon Dungen and elements of the esteemed Bad Afro back catalogue are called to mind.
Both ‘the castles in the air’ and ‘deserted dunes welcome weary feet’ lift the mood considerably, assuming a spacier texture, the latter in particular courts a cosmic folk aura that tips its hat to, in the main, Yellow Moon Band, its complex fusing of skipping and hopping zig zagging math rhythms trimmed around mystical clue forming chants serve to deepen the sense that you’re nearing the heart of the Gizzard hive consciousness. Closing side one, the sand snaking mystic ‘inner cell’ is like wow, once opened up, the soft glazing of the bliss kissed organ wisps, the shimmering harmonies and the lilting star hugging overtures reveal a deeply alluring listening palette whose classicism and ear for poise and majesty we’ve not heard since the advent of those first two albums from the much missed the Future Kings of England. By the time ‘horology’ rears into view you’re suspecting they’re playing with your head, its adorable pettling of folk flurries busily fused amid a restless progressive mottling crafts a curious mesmeric phrasing that sublimely bleeds into the folk ramble that is ‘Tetrachromacy’ and hell, there was I thinking for a second I was listening to the Memory Band. Then it’s to the woozy and somewhat shadowy kosmische earth beat pulsar that is ‘searching…….’ – trippier than anything out of the Fuzz Club et al sound houses and would I be right in saying very George Harrison in his finest Beatles pomp and then its back on terra firma though first you need to navigate the bends, hurdles and blind alleys of the parting ‘the fourth colour’ which for the closing one minute rears up scowl like to punch you out as it rampages at g-force velocity in one brief moment of scorched freakiness. In short, ‘polygondwanaland’ is an unstoppable force of nature, an embarrassment of riches, both essential and defiant not to mention a true coming of age classic. Look we didn’t even mention Rush once, damn that’s done it. https://kinggizzard.bandcamp.com/album/polygondwanaland
As promised, returning back to that errant A Year in the Country release, which somehow, we managed to mislay. Obviously trying to make a break a freedom, we were going to get beaten by this ‘un. The year end farewell, ‘All the Merry Year Round’ – mentioned in passing once or twice previously – see below, this set features a 12-strong gathering of talents from the twilight. Herewith then the folk who’ve so far escaped our listening gaze, alas brief and teasingly fleeting, Circle / Temple ghost in with the mournfully reflective ‘Rigel Over Flag Fen’ its chimed winter crush sighed with the delicate dusting of snow petals adore it with a magically silent grace. Next up, Cosmic Neighbourhood whose sleepy headed ‘winter light’ we must admit, has had us creeping near the sound system somewhat fixated by its, as were, delightfully dinked dance of yawning diodes, binary alarm clocks calls and wheezing electrical nick nacs. The much admired Polypores emerges with ‘meridian’ – a spectral seafarer quietly prowling through the twilight mists, to an attaching genteel kosmische aura, its purring pulsars and mesmeric murmurs flicker like lighthouse navigational markers in the hazing foggy wilderness. Gloomed in a beautifully ghost like macabre, Sproatly Smith’s ‘moons – pt 1’ both eerie and disquietly enchanting, comes cut from the same outer worldly palette that finds it looming in the shadows somewhere between the Hare and the Moon and Keith Seatman whilst applied with a dark hearted Brit horror enchantment. Which all leaves the Séance to usher these A Year in the Country reports to a year ending hibernation with the arrival of ‘chetwynd haze’ and in so doing, summoning forth secret portals into the kind of alternative parallel worlds more accustomed in the company of Melmoth the Wanderer. https://ayearinthecountry.bandcamp.com/album/all-the-merry-year-round
Further readings –
the latest to drop from Newcastle’s Cruel Nature, and it’s a beauty. This be Sun Skeletons with a limited three track cassette going by the name ‘Pale II’. We suggest you find yourselves a quiet spot, don the head phones and prepare for a maximum chill trip. Applying lost musical tongues as old as sand itself, Sun Skeletons navigate a snaking psych drone palette whose precision, poise and primitive majesty appears to have been harnessed from nature’s very own elements. Forging a sonic lineage that nods to Godspeed and those early prized releases from the likes of Kranky and Constellation, this triptych might first appear darkly gloomed, yet scratch away and through the hypnotic pulsars and the softly bruised opining, there’s something here that echoes and ripples with a leviathan like forlorn grace whose symphonic tethering and sense of crafted slow burn hints of nights lost in the aural worlds created by Tangerine Dream. Agreed at times it well might sound as though you’ve foolishly super glued your head to a hull of a sleeping space cruiser, the toning murmured and mesmeric instils a monolithic ghosting much like some prowling dust blown mistral, in truth it’s something that on more than one occasion has had us of a mind to re-acquaint ourselves with Roy Montgomery’s ‘true’ or at least a side serving of John 3:16. It’s sultry shifting at the 9 minute mark throughout ‘weird tokens;’ wherein for a brief moment a jazzy arabesque forms amid the sonic fog, elevates matters to a different level it’s something that’s fully realised on the parting opus ‘Rheingold’, a 17 minute bonged out cosmic jazz colossus that we fearfully suspect several of you might not return from with all your wherewithal intact. https://cruelnaturerecordings.bandcamp.com/album/pale-ii
I promise we will be returning to this particular compilation later in the week, stupidly strange and a feast of the unreal that is how can we resist not coming back. For now, though, with time being a precious thing around these here parts, we’ll just briefly whet your appetite with mention of a few of the rarefied lovelies featured within – in truth the first four tracks to get you softly limbered up. Anyhow this be ‘POSTMUSIC Bulk Dump Sampler 2017’ – a collection of wonderful weirdness and kookily assembled aural artefacts which may or may not, exist on the distant margins of a Liverpool underground scene. Starting matters with the frantically daubed day-glo groove of Cloud Becomes your Hand’s distractively surreal electro wired ‘hermit’ whose warping stutter sprayed rhythmic contortions had us much in mind of a playfully schizoid Cardiacs, be warned this will drive you endless distraction. Kookier still Henge’s ‘humans’ with its kitsch 70’s screwball electronics initially had us drawing comparisons to the much loved Midwich Youth Club but scratch a little deeper and what clearly veers into view is something that nods to those legendary Mancunian imps Gerry and the Holograms. Unless ears do deceive, at least based on the latest vault find of hers by those nice Finders Keepers folk, Paddy Steer’s ‘clap your daft head’ is possessed of the cutely gloopy mischief attaching to Suzanne Cianni’s ‘help help the globolinks’ set albeit here trimmed with a deeply alluring arabesque like wooziness. Apatt, well what can we say, clearly a collective of clever though ostensibly fractured minds who operate beyond the normally accepted parameters of pop. Now we’ve mentioned ‘give my regards to Bold Street’ a little while back – here in fact https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/apatt-3/ – really is an amazingly feat of classicist inventiveness that blends noir, earth beat, exotica, neo classicism and chamber pop into a beautifully vivid and beguiling pop posey with hints of Lurie, Stereolab and Nyman all fed through some magical musical mirror held aloft by Barry Adamson. https://postmusic.bandcamp.com/album/postmusic-bulk-dump-sampler-2017
I’m certain we’ve mentioned these folk in passing, quite recently to, but can we find a citation, or is it just me having one of my concerning memory moments. Anyhow we must apologise for being a tad late with this one, it’s by QST, heading out of the Static Caravan stable on a 150 only CD pressing and goes by the name ‘the silent cookbook’. For those a little unfamiliar, QST is the secret guise of Frans de Waard, 8 little musical worlds feature within, all of them charmed, chipped and chirped with a vintage 70’s cosmic lullaby toning which for a second, to illustrate the sounds within, try imagining a dozing ISAN dreaming of Kraftwerkian sheep, something that emerges fully formed on the kosmische retro echo that is ‘QST 55’). It’s all very cutely lulling and minimalist in a pleasing Plone type way with ‘QST 45’ seemingly cutting would be 90’s club floor shapes of an uber cooling FSOL variety replete in all its gloopy funk struck glitchy loveliness. Equally attractive to the ear, the sparsely star spotted ‘QST 46’ is delightfully dinked in woozy wafts of binary conversation, blighter had us of a mind to consider a Biosphere listening evening those fancying their sounds demurred in Oriental charms albeit fracturing ones that swish n’ swoosh amid all manner of gloopy hijinks might be minded to seek out ‘QST61’ whose dislocating ambient clock working has something of a sense of temporary secretary’s about its wits as were re-chisseled by the Radiophonic Workshop backroom staff. The graceful oceanic spray adores the opening moments of the parting ‘QST 69’ its reflective nostalgic phrasing and stilled glacial grandeur imparting something that sound wise sparsely seismic you’d expect to peer back at you from the grooves of OMD’s ‘organisation’. http://www.staticcaravan.org/item.asp?Ref=325
Old school and long time readers of these musings will be all too aware of our fondness for all things Dalmatian Rex and the Eigentones, mixing crookedness and cool with wayward and oft zany eccentricity, their sonic lineage can easily be traced back to the likes of Beefheart, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and of course, the much missed Vivian Stanshall. After an age of what seemed like hibernation, a note appeared announcing a new single, ‘do you want to hear?’ asked the question, I’m like yea, do bears dump in woods. ‘Stegosaurus stomp’ is your growling slab of rampant reptoid rock-a-hula, concocted of equal measures of prehistoric ‘rocky horror’, caveman garage glam and primitive post punk , this tongue in cheek three chord Pistol riff nibbling nugget smarts, scowls and snarls with the kind of sneering swamp dragged primal prowl that hints of a love of the Cramps. What say an album then…..
.. the video ….
Here’s the band appearing on Reverb … recorded and aired last year ….
Think I’m okay to share, this is the latest from the Polymer Cities, a skedaddled slice of fried hardware more so a Tron-esque interloper honed upon a super expansive one hour sound board within which the notion of ‘data rot’ is explored, that being the degrading and hybridising of abandoned and neglected files within the digital universe, binary upgrades if you like, happening whether you like it or not. As you’d imagine, the sounds here are fluid, shapeshifting and in constant flux, all the time trapped in a cycle of growth and decay, switching between shades of light and darkness, the impression sometimes disquieting though more often than not transient. Of course all the usual Polymer tropes are present and in attendance, the ambient textures mutated through vintage lenses of kosmische doped future visions, in many respects its creative eye and positioning and the spacing of moments of hyper activity and dream like lulls had us much recalling Jean Michel Jarre’s landmark pre techno seeing ‘magnetic fields – part 1’. At once funky and floaty, ‘Data Rot’ could easily pass for the industrious sound of binary nano bots chuckling while busily patching, assembling and cross wiring the dissipating echoes of unrealised mosaics themselves flickering and fluttering like passing ghosts in the machine amid the artificial consciousness. https://soundcloud.com/datacultaudio/data-cult-audio-0032-the-polymer-cities
back with Cruel Nature for another two essential listening releases gracing their esteemed and much enviable catalogue, first up old friends Whirling Hall of Knives with some critical meltdown mischief. Two tracks herein – well two sides featuring three sonic sore thumbs apiece, 22 minutes of cranium melting mayhem in total, pressed upon strictly limited cassette issue, just 50 all in. ‘Another Shudder’ be its name, something our Dylan – our music / noise suffering house cat – has taken a really fancy to if the low drone purring is anything to judge by, mind you that might well be growling, whatever the case he has budged from the sofa which is the usual practice of his whenever anything vaguely displeasing wafts his way. Anyhow, as said six tracks all in, finds the Whirling folk tuning their headspace into a curiously mesmeric insular trance state, seriously repeat listens here without due supervision may well leave you in catatonic upheaval. ‘bunker shuddewaum’ opens the merriment, a delightfully schizoid and somewhat fried butchering of, what sounds like, new order’s ‘murder’, detuned, frazzled and sandblasted by a dark gathering of classic 80’s era Neubauten, play dead and skinny puppy types all flung screaming through the mutant mixer of Front 242. ‘All channels’ doesn’t hold up with the warring intent, its scorched white noise skree attempting what appears to be, a spot of DIY trepanning, either that or some serious freaked and manically wiring space invaders throwback. ‘rdwrx’ leads out the entertainment for Side 1 of the tape, though not before cocooning you in locked groove head turning to jelly subliminal pulsars which at one point, for reasons only best known to the strange workings of my inner headspace, had us calling to mind Killing Joke renegades Brilliant. Side 2 of the sonic equation is the more playful place of the release, nothing like a spot of middle eastern styled EAR to get the synapses all a gaga as be the case with the opening salvo ‘evil tonal beyond’ while the funk struck metrotoning subtronics veer into terrains more accustomed to releases bearing the name Wagon Christ on their hide though here as though baked on a low heat in a Biosphere laboratory. Typical of the Whirling dudes, ending matters with a chilling dread toning upon the advance of ‘howl’ – a sun sucking leviathan gloomed in an overcasting disquiet that itches icy macabre and ne’er do well portent. https://cruelnaturerecordings.bandcamp.com/album/another-shudder
described in passing as ‘dungeon synth’ – a term we’ll be nicking and using to annoying effect in coming missives, those of you fancying a little something that takes you out of the safety of your skin and relocates to a place of disquieting unease might do well to partake of darkening enchantment that is Mudguts. Again, limited cassette release through Cruel Nature, ‘Granada valley flower girl’ makes for a curiously beautifully macabre listening, at least as far as the opening track is concerned. Stone throwing in ponds inhabited by say, petunia-liebling macpumpkin had she ever auditioned, say for the much-missed Scotch Tapes imprint, ‘original mistake growing arms and legs’ appears ghost like through the veil, a sonic spell crafting weaved of haunting hymnals and chamber folk apparitions. From therein you are upon hazardous noise niking terrains that principally recall the sadly gone Tayside Mental Health, the white noise howl that glooms throughout ‘constantly slaughtering something’ arriving chilled with the kind of icy detachment usually found haunting the grooves of releases by the Revenant Sea and Roadside Picnic. ‘bat’ does little to ease that sense of paranoiac confinement and terrorphonic unease. ‘in yourself’ makes for a brief peek of radiance amid all of the void like glooming, a chamber droning mysterio lost in the haze tripping seamlessly into the stilled and oblique muted murmur of ‘carver’ – one for the Preterite admirers among you. All said nothing quite prepares for the parting opus ‘every single edge’ with this 12-and-a-half-minute curtain closer sounding for all the world like some cosmic epitaph backdropping the onset of some cataclysmic event as the stars die and all is reduced to nothingness and darkness. https://cruelnaturerecordings.bandcamp.com/album/granada-valley-flower-girl
literally just taken delivery of this, due for February happening on the much loved Gare du Nord imprint, the eponymous album from the Cold Spells from off which the irresistible warm glow forming ‘roll me over’ has been sent out on scouting detail. A shy eyed sortie peering from the shadows of a nostalgically honeyed woodcut wonderland all softly seasoned in delicately demurring off kilter woozy yawns that are intricately weaved in an abundant harvesting of merrily dizzy rustic ripples sweetly flavoured in soft psych harmonic tingles, utterly adorable and a tad trippy too boot. The albums name, ‘ – …. . / -.-. — .-.. -.. / … .–. . .-.. .-.. …’ is basically morse code for the Cold Spells, the duo will be appearing at the Servant Jazz Quarters to celebrate its release on Wednesday 31st January. https://soundcloud.com/the-cold-spells/roll-me-over?mc_cid=057bd20627&mc_eid=ffbf620525
many thanks to Fredrik of the Hello Human imprint for turning our ears to this becoming nugget. Hailing from Oslo, Up Against The Phantom might just be equipped with the kind of dreamily muscular softly dissolving shoe gazed seduction to fill that sense of panging brought to bear by the irreplaceable gap left by Bang Bang Machine. Latest offering ‘jet black’ is ablaze in shimmering washes of stratospheric euphoria. Described by their label folk as being inspired by the likes of sonic youth, pj Harvey and my bloody valentine, the latter of whom they certainly freefall and swoon in tail smoke of. That said it’s the rash forming slow burn intensity fused to an impacting pristine effervescence and the cooing pouts that had us much recalling of an adoring Melys in full untethered flight. https://open.spotify.com/track/4ODNJJtlxxvnGH6tznq6hZ
with a mixture of annoyance and embarrassment on our part, we feel we’ve been neglecting Geist & the Sacred Ensemble in recent times. First appearing on our radar by way of a superb outing for the bijou Moon Glyph imprint a few years back, these dudes do brooding, monolithic and mystical like no one else, crafting out sand dried sonic psalms that howl like youthful godspeed ghost riders. Seems that these folk record all their, what they refer to as ‘digs’ – basically rehearsal sessions and works in progress, they boast of having tapes going right back to their inception in 2012 and have now started to share these insightful recordings via bandcamp. As the liner notes reveal, these ‘digs’ can range in length from a quick 30 second blast to a full on head expanding 90 minute plus trip that incorporate elements of drone, noise and ‘goofy’, no doubt depending on which Geist gathering turn up at the studio. First of these recordings have just land on a ‘pay what you want’ option and gather up six such rehearsals which in total add up to a mammoth 2 and a half hours listening, with us here much taken by the hulking desert blues drone of opener ‘080215’ – a bonged out n’ head shrooming 54 minute Tibetan toned mantra which ought to be high on the list of those of you who prefer your Cardinal Fuzz and riot season outings a little more frayed in tranced out primitive tongues and looming sonic shadows. https://geistthesacredensemble.bandcamp.com/album/dig-in-sessions
further reading …..
interlude ….. Peel sessions ….. bang bang machine, servotron, broadcast, the experimental pop band, electric sound of joy, Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia …. and a moment of brilliance from Wonky Alice …
bang bang machine …..
The experimental pop band …..
electric sound of joy ….
Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia …
Wonky Alice …..
End groove ….
Johnny hallyday …. Rest in peace …