Look what we sneaked down your chimney at Christmas while you were sleeping…
Transmission 51.0…. w/e 24/12/2017
Revolutions of a 33 and 45 kind….
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Apologies first of all, this was primed as a super bumper festive missive, only due to a few misshaps – one involving our second fall in as many weeks, the latest resulting in a severe and ugly looking gash on our arm, has served to somewhat throw things out of kilter. Atop of that a prolonged chest infection, which despite using up all the usually tried and trusted methods for shifting bugs, has managed to resist two courses of anti biotics now and rather than improving seems hell bent on digging in for grim death, with the result that despite best efforrts we are well off track with this musing. Therefore, were we can and in the light of no reviews we will post sound clouds of all the stuff we intended to feature. All I can do is apologise. Aside this particular missive, you’ll find its little brother, in short, a gathering of all the little Christmas sound windows we’ve been posting. One more missive to come, hopefully, bug allowing, it’ll be a look what we overlooked and missed soiree – fingers crossed anyway. Also in the New Year or thereabouts, we are moving – address’ and contacts will be updated next week. All that leaves me to say is, have a wonderful holiday time and hope to see you soon….
Takes a while to get going and when it finally does, you’re still suspecting that it’s warming for a cataclysmic event, which alas, never quite materialises. Anyhow, this be Swedish based Body in the Thames with ‘the illusion of space’, not quite altogether sure whether this is the track they have featuring on a limited cassette through dark outside, links to which are frustratingly eluding us at the moment. Described by its author as a ‘9 and a half minute ambient – drone – doom piece’ – tut tut – how these musical folk understate their craft, okay I’d be lying if I said that there wasn’t a degree of gloom attaching here, its cavernous spectral micro detailing, the loop grooving hypnotic pulsars and the gradual ascendancy of white hot fizzes of electrical activity somewhat gathering to forge what might be best described as a close encountering passing of some heavenly body, mind you alternatively, it does imagine the inner workings from beneath a humongous control panel of a resting UFO aglow with the emitting of mind wiping mesmeric mosaics. https://bodyinthethames.bandcamp.com/album/the-illusion-of-space
again, another of the dark outside brethren, this is Gusset, who as far as I recall, have never prior to now, troubled these pages. Herewith ‘Gusset of the dead’ – which title wise, sounds like some seriously weird pastime which to save digging ourselves a hole we can’t get out of, we’ll just leave hanging in the air just there. Anyhow according to the potted history provided here, Gusset set about writing a screenplay for a Zombie film that was never made, it was after all the 90’s and hell’s teeth we were all doing it in between waiting to get a connection on dial up. In 00’s the idea resurfaced, this time taking shape as a soundtrack for that unfinished and unrealised screenplay. It was never completed. Are we noticing a pattern emerging here, obsessions with zombies and a wilful neglect to see things through. Fast forward to now and unfinished sounds are rewired by the Dark Outside folk into a disquieting 11-minute slice of disorientating macabre. Awash in all the usual horrorphonic tropes, ‘Gusset of the Dead’ darkly dances a chilling carnival of the eerie, amid a ghost lit spectral stillness ominous overtures and dystopian dramas peel through the veil finding fractures in the time continuum whilst unearthly sounds and primal growls peer from the shadows, the effect both doomed and deathly despairing crafts a psychological hinterland of paranoia and hopelessness. Between the deadening pang of primitive folk tongues and the droning disquiet of brooding pulsars, there are moments here tuned to minimalist frequencies of Carpenter and Howarth’s ‘Halloween III’ soundtrack, not I hasten to add, party music. https://gusset.bandcamp.com/track/gusset-of-the-dead
…. back with that rather nifty Small Bear Christmas compilation, this be ‘unknown presents’ a 13-track yuletide tree gathering. A set which by rights ought to be firmly up the street of those among you still mourning the passing of the filthy little angel’s imprint. We’ve already mentioned forty foot pipe’s contribution to the proceedings – ‘Christmas in the fens’ and also duly noted the inclusion of the Bordellos’ ‘window shopping at the Apple boutique’ which with reference to title and seasonal sentiment, sits somewhere with the festive great and good that be the Pogues and Half Man Half Biscuit – mentioned here as it happens https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/the-bordellos-41/ – keeping it in the family, Bordello-er and Vukovar-er Dan Shea chips in with ‘poetry in sleet’ – a somewhat down cast affair, the mournful malaise extending through to the stumbling riffs, truly broken and vulnerable not to mention a tad tearful. If there be a track here to rival the Bordellos immaculate offering, you wouldn’t have to look far further than Matilda Star’s ‘Christmas time is here again’ – an adoring seasonal hope song radiantly sprayed and spruced in sweeping strings, glittered guitars and tinsel twinkle sets all blessed and affectionately teased by a most cutely formed angelic chorus crush. Harmony Dischord on the other hand shift the pace along to gusto settings with opener ‘celebration’ – thankfully not the naff U2 toon of nearly the same name, this one a three-chord power popping zapparooni – kinda the Senseless Things rephrased by Kevin Tihista. Two astutely breezy strumtastic offerings from Matt Kelly in the shape of ‘yes, it’s Christmas time’ and ‘money in those trees’ – the former a seasonal snapshot of hum drum homely family life and the trials of the perfect Christmas and English eccentricities while the latter a strumming giddy up about the hapless money-making schemes of local football manager Johnny. I was hoping against hope that post war stories’ ‘power of love’ wasn’t the ‘power of love’ – on a personal level it’s a song I truly despise, don’t know why, just is. That said, left in the hands of these folk, its pomp and naffness which usually attaches is somewhat punctured and in its place a quietly sparse toning is brought to bear that relocates it to more stratospheric climes replete with oodles of riff fractures, truth be told had us recalling her name is calla if you must know. Label head honcho Phil Reynolds can be found here with the Bleak Midwinters cobbling hazily glazed fuzzy glow forming pop perfection courtesy of ‘stupid little things’, one of those tracks that sneaks up behind you just when you least expect it and softly blows you away – a bit like Amsterdam – and something you’d have expected to have acquired the seal of approval of a certain Peel chap. Ages since we delighted to the sound of a spot of Postcode grooviness, herewith ‘Jesus is for life’ and sounding a lot like one of your favourite cool guitar indie beat pop combos on a short numbered pressing from one of those dandy hipster yankee label from the early 90’s. can’t recall for sure, but I’m sure Postcode have personnel connections with nanaki whose ‘dawn breaks on Christmas morning’ rounds out this particular compilation though not before smoking your listening space in a glazing of uber cooled 60’s styled spy noir a la the much missed youthful Gnac. This heel meanwhile serve up ‘married to the winter blues’, a track which we were expecting to be all chilly and coolly frosted, instead its quite sunny sided not to mention tingled in a subtle west coast tan, yet why does it’s strangely alluring rustic electronic buzz have me of a mind to go rummaging out everything XTC, Wire and the Memory Band, surely that’s a good thing, right. Last up and certainly not least, the absolutely adored ‘Twelfths’ by the Yons, a purring prairie pretty seductively sighed in lazy eyed slide riff opines, what more is there to say, as homely and inviting as a roaring open fire. Is it snowing yet. https://unknownpresents.bandcamp.com/album/unknown-presents
here’s another we swiped off the dark outside feed, by Tom Bradshaw, this is ‘Amun’, a delightfully infectious electro curio weaved upon a deeply mesmeric snake charming motif coiled in a sultry Arabesque attaching that teased and turned upon a kookily off set funky flavouring that trimmed in all manner of mind tripping mystical mosaics. https://soundcloud.com/p3nnybl4ck/amun
Not quite sure whether this is being primed for Static Caravan action shortly, safe to say eagerly anticipated around this here parish following a teaser appearance courtesy of ‘black mere’ earlier in the year. Anyhow, this be cosmic groovers Matters with a newly peeled nugget ‘Andon’. In short, a nine minute kraut kooled mothership of a cut located on a starry trajectory somewhere between eat lights become lights and mogwai, all indelibly primed in a monumental and cinematically atmospheric detailing that nods to the classic 70’s space rock pioneers – see Hawkwind / Tangerine Dream and comes gouged in the hulking and tripping bearded locked groove classicism of the mighty Mugstar.
Not sure whether this has a home, I say that release wise or whether it’s a newly cut cutie, anyhow this is Vic Mars and ‘midlands industry’. It’s a track that’s well in keeping with the exquisite pedigree that’s attached to all his outings. This one flickers and flirts, haloed and subdued in a nostalgic choreography prettily purred by pirouetting lunar pastorals and dreamy flotilllas, this acutely lulling and wistful 70’s vintage apparition seductively charms with a delicately adoring fanfaring Bucolic beguile. https://soundcloud.com/vicmars/midlands-industry
Further listening … https://vicmars.bandcamp.com/album/the-consumer-programme
Newly dropped loveliness from Rob Clarke and the Wooltones which for a change we’ll start by letting them tell you about …. ‘…. Joyeux Noel mes amis! It is not a Christmas (or xmas) record at all, save for some novelty value, for it is in French. But we don’t mind that do we?’ Indeed we don’t, especially if smoking cool lounge chic be your particular listening bag. Those familiar with the world of the Wooltones will be all too versed in the kooky flip sides that have adored recent releases, well this comes from the same creatively crooked well, sort of classic era Shadows in arty late 60’s beatnik mode cosying up to the Booker T dudes and cutting hippy shapes oozed in snaking sultry shimmer tones and flotillas of exotica sea breezes, it’s all a bit seaside postcard risqué and ‘Carry On’ in French yet all the same wonderfully daft and very much Ooh la la. https://robclarkeandthewooltones.bandcamp.com/track/entente-cordiale-christmas-download
Tripped across on a recent rummage around sound cloud world, this is the final teaser instalment / release from ESP’s ‘blue books’ full length. Sound wise, akin to those ghostly echoes enacted by the spinning of rings in the original version of the ‘time machine’, ‘project UFO’ is a shimmering visitation of dark histories, to the spectral still of amorphous ambient wisps, this ghost light swims and swirls in airless avenues murmured in mournful flashings dappled in a demurring dream like remoteness. https://soundcloud.com/espmusic1/project-ufo
I promise, this’ll be the last dark outside related posting this missive (he says with fingers crossed). But while we were trying to locate sound files or details on a limited cassette they have in the offing called ‘music from the dark outside – volume 1’, we stumbled upon this here trailer for another release they have planned for next year by the name ‘the dark is rising’ by Handspan. Inspired by Susan Cooper’s children’s book of the same name originally published in 1973. This excerpt features not only snippets of the sounds within but a commentary by Handspan himself talking about the book, its mythology and the making of the album and the musical dialects utilised to bring it to life. Truth be told he writes the review for you. Sound wise, Handspan applies all the nostalgic tropes, for here there be enchantment, a lush overture ripples with heraldic motifs, mysticism and a regal charm, it’s something that sits between the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and the retro worlds of Ghost Box drawing a close kinship with the much admired the Heartwood Institute. Readings from the book are due to be aired in a series of specially commissioned recordings that feature the sounds of Headspan from Wednesday 20th December via the dark outside’s twitter listening group. https://soundcloud.com/handspan/coming-soon-the-dark-is-rising
Many thanks to Cheval Sombre for sending over a finished copy of his rare as hen’s teeth split outing with Luna for feral child. Now I must admit, with all the hullaballoo of moving plans, flu and other distractions these last few weeks, then our eye was taken momentarily off the ball resulting in us missing this Feral Child double header first time of asking – one featuring Luna on their own some the other, this here split, with both giving their interpretation of the Velvet’s ‘lonesome cowboy bill’. In truth, its difficult to push a cigarette paper between the two in terms of affection, Luna’s take replete with a skipping country cooling and lolloping giddy up is glazed with a lilting and smoking prairie swing that sparks and spars with a slick honky tonking throb harvesting west coast after glows. Quietly arresting and equally smoking, Cheval Sombre’s interpretation comes adored in a more intimate setting that’s hushly haloed by a delirious dusting of hillbilly strings / fiddles firing up ready to take up centre stage, which they do towards the end groove whereupon CS’s softly demurred homely glowed moonshine murmurs briefly catch a light dissolving teasingly in a momentary flashing of strutting swing.
Alas long since sold out of its limited 88 only pressing. Many thanks to Dom at Deep Distance for sending over, this is the blink and it was gone 10 inch lathe with the immortal ‘wobbly b-side’ feature from Free / Slope, the lead side of which we mentioned in despatches somewhere here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/free-slope-2/ . the wobbly b-side part of the equation, essentially it’s a 7 inch cut into 10 inch vinyl by those dandy folk over at 345rpm which means it has two centres, all very confusing and all housed in an eye catching die cut jacket. Going by the name ‘into drift mode’ – as the title might give hint, one to spark up a fat ‘un to, for this bliss blurring slab of smoky bongness is coaxed in a trippy stone dazed mellowness that cuts head expanding 70’s shapes to create woozy wormholes in your dream dazed astral walks. https://freeslope.bandcamp.com/
Don’t mind admitting that we here are a tad smitten with this slice of Christmas cuteness from Sam and Julia, all opining slides and the snowy caress of campfire warmth, kind of gives you a fuzzy glow in the middle and we haven’t even gotten around to mentioning the disarming though curious blend of Beach Boys and the Carpenters that attaches to its honeyed hymnal hush rushes, oh and it’s called ‘catching up with Christmas’. https://soundcloud.com/samandjulia/catching-up-with-christmas-24bit-48khz
couldn’t resist including, truth is it was on our radar a little while back but went astray in the great laptop hissy fit whereupon a sizeable amassing of sound clips went west. Now thankfully tripped across and rescued, this is Lullabier with the ridiculously adorable ‘Natale A Ceneda (feat. Faro)’ – a track taken from an EP’s worthy of cosy toed yuletide tingliness whose sparsely radiant peppering of snowy floral posies had us much of a mind to go rummaging out our prized stash of platters by the much missed Le Mans. That said equally tugging on the heart strings is the fragile and frail acoustic rub of ‘White Dizziness’ a wonderfully hymnal hued honey softly yearned in sleepy headed snow shimmerings. Mind you nothing quite hits the spot than ‘With A Star’ the Brian John Mitchell remix no less, who last time we checked was the head honcho of Silber records – who should hopefully be making several appearances here before the year end, this one demurringly dizzied in the image of Cheval Sombre. https://lullabier.bandcamp.com/album/2512
slightly distressed to find that this nearly escaped our listening gaze, from the much loved fascinations grand chorus, this is ‘merry, merry Christmas’ a cut lifted from their three track yuletide party pack of the same name, in short a three minute bubble grooved beauty basted in a vintage 50’s seasoning replete with a pop finesse that owes to Spector while purring effervescently as though rephrased through the sonic view finder of Allo Darling. https://fascinationsgrandchorus.bandcamp.com/album/merry-merry-christmas
there’s been an unrivalled mixture of grumpiness and happiness around the gaff these last 15 minutes, grumpy thsat we didn’t know this was out or even existed and yet happy that we’ve finally laid our lobes upon it. Well it’s been an age since we had cause to rave about all things Dog, Paper, Submarine, i’m certain the last time they came our way was via the small bear imprint. Anyhow, enough of the reminisces, much to our distress ‘post human melodies’ was released earlier in the year, I suspect we must have been asleep when news came through, from it here’s the panic attacking shock treated ‘baby machines’ – a prowling post punk pill blurring the lines between Wire and Magazine and freefalling into the kind of gouged groove more associated with Adam Leonard’s Invaderband, mind you scratch a little deeper and what emerges is something tailored and fashioned in the stylings of the much missed Quickspace. Equally responsible for causing swooning attacks in our gaff the up close and personal ‘moon jelly skin’ arrives bleached with the kind of day-glo dosed sun fried kudos as to suggest it be something cut by the hand of an Elephant 6 Collective gathering of Doss, Schneider, Hart and Mangum. On limited cassette issue – a copy of which we’d love – ahem hint hint – from here … https://dogpapersubmarine.bandcamp.com/album/posthuman-melodies
Okay we mentioned a little earlier of the possibility of Silber sightings towards the end of the year, well a fair amount of rescheduling has had to be twiddled around with the welcome appearance of an email from head honcho Brian, who between suffering the woes of some kitchen floor disasters, has still had time to post up eight, yes you read right, eight Christmas related releases. Now this leaves us in something of a quandary with the real possibility that we’ll be spending our return from work later today furiously rummaging through the list trying to get as many of them mentioned in time for the Christmas bumper missive. Happy to say, we’ve already despatched of two their number – Lullubier’s excellent EP featured yesterday – https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/lullabier/ while Yellow6’s latest annual sonic festive card we touched on briefly here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/yellow6-16/ . we start this account with a rather spiffing four track EP going by the name ‘silent nights’, essentially four contrasting interpretations of the seasonal classic poked, prodded and presented in a quartet of uniquely distantly recognisable variants. Heavy for the Vintage start the ball rolling with a prowling slab of minimalist wooziness, a deeply mesmeric locked grooved psych pulsar adored with a killer fixed stare phrasing that in truth had us here fondly recalling a blissed-out Suicide. Philip Polk Palmer’s reading is made of far darker and grander stuff, steeled in reverence there’s a hollowing beauty unfurling here, amid the stillness of a sleeping twilight, emerging through the brooding blanket of chamber ambience the familiar twinkle of crystalline chimes charm and pirouette basking all in a celestial serene. Remora are here dispatched and summarily dissected by a head to head heavy for the vintage and Philip Polk Palmer mash up, the result is not the least worrisome as you’d first imagine, instead what emerges is a wonderfully lilting snow frosted slice of dream dazed drone softly crushed in delicate mind expanding dissipates replete with ghostly choral tidings and orphaned chime motifs. Small Life Forms wrap matters up, pretty much picking up the baton where Remora parted and cooking up something that had I not known any better, would have hazarded a wee guess, was the work of a dozing Spacemen 3. https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/silent-nights
Now I know we’ve mentioned Yellow6’s 19th annual year end gathering previously, these Merry6mas gift boxes have been as traditional to the festive period as tinsel and turkey. In short, a recap of the year just gone, these collections provide a rare insight into the creative mind of Mr Atwood, a smattering of alternate takes, works in progress and abandoned projects, they are an essential listening resource for the Yellow6 completist. This year’s gathering maintains the high standard of previous years, thirteen lost moments pressed upon the grooves, however one cut we’ve not had a chance to mention before which has, in truth, scarcely been away from earshot since first appearing is ‘6 x VI’. More than any other track, it perhaps epitomises the Yellow6 sound, quietly grand, sensitively poised and coolly cinematic, there’s an ease of attrition here, a lull before the storm and a contradiction of emotions that veer from the brooding, the reflective, the bruised and solemn and the conspiratorial all flashed within a deeply mesmeric and closely intimate spy noir framing. https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/running-to-the-red-merry6mas2017
Accidentally tripped across this and what with all the hullaballoo of cigar shaped rocky monoliths entering our solar system, thought it might make for apt listening. By Valie, this is ‘fantasy in space’ a wonderfully crafted lunar symphony which aside capturing perfectly that 50’s sci-fi soundtrack vibe that used to back drop the b-movie martian and flying saucer flicks of the day, also intuitively aligns itself to the very soul of space itself in so much as harnessing exquisitely that sense of the airless, the remoteness and the mysterious. https://soundcloud.com/scifival/fantasy-in-space
Next up a rather stunning albeit, brutally impacting excerpt from an incoming set pairing together John 3:16 and Anthony Donovan. The album entitled ‘Four Attempts at Drawing a Catholic Priest (For Money)’ has as yet, no fixed date for release or, label information for that matter, however from it, an edited version of ‘Cloud and Argot’ has been leaked out. This is demanding stuff, dark and twisted, emerging through the howl and dread of a battle ground fog, or so it sounds, whereupon a brutal finale of an end of days foretelling is enacted for real, stars fall, chaos ensues and Pandora’s box is unlocked. Taking it’s cue from the more darker chapters of Edward Ka Spel’s and Nurse with Wound’s formidable back catalogues and gouging them in the death rattled atmospherics of godspeed, this makes for both a claustrophobic and tensely towering apocalyptic palette. https://soundcloud.com/john316john/anthony-donovan-and-john-316-cloud-and-argot-excerpt
Finding ourselves back with the Silber imprint for the first of two collections titled ‘experimental Christmas compilation’ which we’ll be honest in saying, that apart from their cheery titles – well in three cases at least, really do little to instil any modicum of festive spirit or cheer. Us being ever awkward have opted to plum for the second volume – ‘series one point two’ therein, a gathering of nine seasonal sore thumbs that opens with ‘o come, o come, Emmanuel’ by Remora, who on the evidence of this teasingly brief visitation appear to be veering into the kind of hauntologist terrains more commonly occupied by the likes of Concretism and Pye Corner Audio. Spookstina’s ‘winter underland’ is awash in oodles upon oodles of micro detailing built over the mesmeric pulse of subtronic frequency layers and fog strewn noise ripples and white noise manipulations, it all makes for an oddly pleasing though decidedly disquieting remoteness. Stranger still is the brooding psychosis that drives through Bryce Eiman’s ‘Promise & Myth’ – a hypno grooved eerie, whose bowed and scraped chimes might first appear a tad daunting listening wise, yet once with ears attuned, creates something of a mesmeric serene much like a spin dryer on first cycle setting or a cosmic concrete mixer. Remember when we said that there was little festive cheer here, okay we might have to take that back for Tristan Brooks’ ‘i can’t predict the ghost of christmas past actions’ is a superbly twisted and fried mash up cannibalising all manner of pop horrors, ’99 red balloons’ coming in for a particularly brutal kicking before going all off road and weird ear and vaguely disjointedly dreamy before returning off cue for a warped rendition of ‘Good King Wenceslas’ – something I’d have thought ripe for you admirers of all things Frank and Wobbly Sons. Can I be totally honest with you in saying, we haven’t the feintest idea what’s happening on bLIND Infancy’s ‘Waking the Living (mixdown 2)’ given the title perhaps some ritualistic voodoo happening which in truth sounds as though it has the hand of one of those folk from Volcano the Bear upon its shoulder. Then its off for a spot of mind expanding astral tripping kosmische in the company of Quilla’s quite dream dazed lunar lilted ‘Sacred Field’ whose ice cold spectral glare seductively shimmers in the lighter ends of the Stranger Things sonic galaxy. I’ll admit we here are a tad taken by Orphling’s ‘my Mother’s Dreams’ and it wistfully doodles and noodles elegantly weaving a mellow murmuring to rival the spidery intimacy of Vini Reilly. At a mere 91 seconds in length, Adrian Wilson serves up ‘Trash Can Lid Lullaby’ which as the title, not so much hints but tells you, is an impish sortie of shuffling percussive patterns and yes, probably played out on trash cash lids I wouldn’t wonder. Bret Hart brings matters to a conclusive close with the delicately dimpled ‘Xmas on Saturn’ and into the bargain flips wigs with the kind of dissipating riff demurs that while schooled irrefutably in the ways of John Fahey and Jack Rose, nod radiantly to the likes of Roy Montgomery and Flying Saucer Attack. https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/experimental-christmas-compilation-series-one-point-two
Isn’t this quite a honey, shimmering seasonal seduction from the Spook School courtesy of ‘someone to spend Christmas with’. Via Slumberland and Alcopop, this rash forming rascal sighs with St Ettiene like pop prowess, all forlornly stoked and kissed in a classic Sarah era heart heavy crush all sugar rushed in the effervescent surge of candy coated power pop purrs. Utterly adorable in short. https://soundcloud.com/spookschool/someone-to-spend-christmas-with
Further listening …. https://thespookschool.bandcamp.com/track/bah-humbug
This being the silly season I’m must confess to falling head over heels for this spot of ‘guilty pleasures’ – this be Bossie with a sterling pop tweaked cover of Peter Gabriel’s ‘Solsbury hill’ – ripe for the season I’d like to think, just so joyously radiant, cosy toed and softly demurred in a purring electronic framing that literally oozes a warming jubilance. https://soundcloud.com/bossieperson/solsbury-hill
Here’s something of a tasty curio. Joyful Noise have cut little limited single sided snow flake shaped lathes for each of the tracks featured here, they look quite a treat not to mention a tasty looking collectors feast. All proceeds from sales going to support the fund for global rights. If however you haven’t the dosh to gather all the lathes for yourself, there’s always the digital version to had. Entitled ‘holiday party – volume 1’ – nine tracks charm and cheer upon these finite grooves, there’s Oneida, psychic temple, stranger cat and more, however our eyes, and indeed ears, strayed to the sore thumb promise of Jad Fair who here courtesy of ‘the snow day’ tells the tale of the snow man friend threatened with exploitation by an evil profit hungry uncle. Elsewhere Richard Edwards turns in a rather spiffing close intimate cover of Big Star’s ‘Jesus Christ’ while perhaps our favourite of the gathering be the parting snowball by Bobby Burg whose kookily crooked and wonky funk struck 8 bit glitch snoozer ‘little bobby boy’ fizzes, pops, crackles with chirping childlike affection. https://joyfulnoise.bandcamp.com/album/holiday-party-vol-1
Many thanks to Jason ‘the Corrupting Sea’ for sending over this. Recorded for noiseartist.net, here he is found discussing the creativity process behind the coming to be of his first three albums – ‘Samatta’, ‘Resist’ and ‘Symphony and Beyond’, an insightful discussion spread across three 5 minute clips repletewith links to the albums, thoroughly recommended for those schooled in the ways of late 80’s New Zealand noise and early Kranky. Next album, foerthcoming album ‘Somnambulate’ is due to drop early 2018 via the Katuktu Collective. https://noiseartists.net/home/2017/12/2/the-corrupting-sea-an-audio-guide
Some moving pictures …..
Interlude ….. endless days of Christmas …. Day 20 …. Remington Super 60
Mentioned a little earlier this very missive, here’s a moving picture show to accompany that rather dippy and smokingly laid back lounge chic cool thing from Rob Clarke and the Wooltones, formidable n’est-ce pas, qui qui?
Can’t for the life of me think why on earth we haven’t mentioned this previously, guess it never came adorned on our prized promo copy – ho hum. Anyway, much bunting and various flag waving has been afoot this very day, well I guess as much bunting and flag waving as can be done when your suffering from a long since served notice to quit bout of flu – cough cough wheeze, the cause of all this unseasonal merriment being the spotting of the phased version of ‘lovely cuppa’ by the Chemistry Set. What I hear you say, then young people cast your minds back to here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/the-chemistry-set-6/ whereupon from the industrious perfect platters chimney pipes of the esteemed freak factory that is Fruits de Mer, came this corking release. Alas long since sold out of its vinyl pressing, available in digital form now, you’ll find the audaciously addictive head shrooming happenings of ‘lovely cuppa’ extended, lysergically woozed and kaleidoscopically kookified into a colourfully wowed slab of old English eccentric peculiar replete with brass band, cloud parting sunshininess, 60’s hallucinogenia and no doubt sporting a rather dandy knotted kerchief upon its head. https://thechemistryset.bandcamp.com/track/lovely-cuppa-phase
A much welcome and dare I say, long overdue silence breaking message from one Justin Wiggan – see Roadside Picnic and Dream of Tall Buildings, that was accompanied by three sound files that form part of work commissioned by Australian film maker David Carson. Us being the awkward shy types that we are, we’ll be peppering these at stages across this here, hopefully extended and completed bumper missive in er – due course. First up on the inspection block, the deeply disquieting prowl of ‘hydro drown siren’. I can tell you now, this has been both unnerving the bejeezus out of our cat Dylan and simultaneously having him licking the laptop like a long-lost mate. It really is the most curious of spectacles. And no wonder because this eerie, ghost swims across thirteen minutes of isolationist leviathan like ambience, microlite rhythms flicker in and out amid the spectral ripples of ethereal choruses. The effect both disquieting yet strangely dream like, very much serves as a calling, its meaning and consequence understood and known by a deeper prenatural part of the consciousness, a kind of primitive alarm clock pre- programmed alerting the subject to shed their mortal skin and spirit walk towards the eternal light. https://soundcloud.com/justin-wiggan/hyrdo-drown-siren-sketch-4
many thanks to Eliot Sloan and the Blessid union of souls for dropping us a nice little Christmas message, with it a link to a little festive cheer in the shape of their version of Torme and Benny’s perennial favourite ‘the Christmas Song’. Perhaps the best and most recognisable version is Nat King Cole’s, this versions not far off, cosily murmured and mellowed in a heart warming hymnal glint, there’s a fragile attaching here whose soulful glow comes touchingly yearned in a fireside crackling vintage. Blissful in a word. Alas no links just yet, rest assured we are working on them.
Again another festive message of goodwill, this one from John and Dorry Brenton, better known to the record playing community as Metrotone, Ojn, Tonfedd Oren and Landshipping, the latter of whom John thought ‘the sort-of-festive “Snowing” ‘ might fit our Christmassy missive. Indeed it does, not least because it comes adored upon a distractively dreamy and lilting frost kissed starry pulsar whose brief and demurring visitation showers the listening space in a subduing twinkling radiance. High time for some new recordings methinks Mr Brenton, what say 2018? https://open.spotify.com/album/0oXLarAv2yNby7aXBgT4kP
More welcomed messages, this time from Jimmy over at Matinee Recordings, been a while, but herewith two festively framed releases just ought that ought to cause a swooning in the indie pop aisles. First up, Brighton based Perfect English Weather with a four track EP entitled ‘English Winter’ – a bit of a beauty this one, not least the opening salvo ‘Still’ which I must admit we weren’t expecting for this shy eyed withdrawing cutie comes turned in a yearning soulful night time murmur hooked upon a delicately cascading and mellowing loop grooved riff motif, in truth something that had us minded of a bruised Frente. And while ‘Still’ might tug at the heartstrings, ‘Christmas in Suburbia’ flickers and twinkles with its adorability settings turned up to maxima, a shimmering snow showered twinkle toned magic land teased and aglow in a lulling and nostalgic sepia glow. https://soundcloud.com/matinee-recordings/sets/the-perfect-english-weather-1
Staying with Matinee for the second part of that tinsel twinset, this be Bubblegum Lemonade herewith two cuts from a 6 track holiday happening going by the name the ‘laz christmas’ EP. This slice of seasonal Scottish strut pop opens with ‘number one for Christmas’ – a well heeled dansette doozie whose blending of subtle twists of Beach Boys and Ramones baubles comes trimmed with a fizzing power pop buzz that’s chime chirped in a deliciously Weezer-esque 50’s bubble grooved styling. Somewhere else ‘silent night’ gets a radically grooving giddy up, all shimmer toning snow fluffed riff jangles spliced with hushly warming honeyed harmonies, what’s not to like we wonder. https://soundcloud.com/matinee-recordings/sets/bubblegum-lemonade-laz
both releases via www.matineerecordings.com
not quite on our listening list for the day, but something we couldn’t resist mentioning since tripping across and swooning head over heels to, this be black sand with the lazy eyed smoker that is ‘never let it fade away’. Now is it just me, or does this have the imagining of a studio head to head gathering between Sunray and Cheval Sombre about its wares, for this hallucinogenic honey comes slowly snaked in bonged out mystics, purring reverb drifts and a bliss toning woozy head expanding out thereness. Anyhow it’s all part of an ultra limited cassette issue heading out of New Zealand, which if we think, on be returning to later in before the year is out. https://soundcloud.com/black-sand/never-let-it-fade-away
another track tripped over by happy accident, this is ‘primrose path’ by Luxury who hail from Newcastle upon Tyne and had we not known better would have hazarded a guess that this be Toy found time travelling back to the early 80’s cutting angularly austere chill gouged post punk ripe for Peel tracklisting c. 81. All lacerating riffs and shadow lining atmospherics, I see my younger self wearing their t-shirts, certainly something that ought to tweak the lobes of those attuned to the sounds of a ‘seduction’ era Danse Society and brilliant. https://soundcloud.com/lifeluxurydeath/primrose-path
this is, we believe,just out on the box bedroom rebels imprint on 7 inch slabs of vinyl replete with postcards and all manner of gubbins. By Movie Brain, these be extracts from their 7 track EP ‘Blissless’ – an amorphous glide ghosted garland of close sparring tenderly toned wash like whispers of demurring dream pop prettiness, it’s all vapour kissed haloes of hushed harmonies, chiming corteges and woozy whirlpools of ethereal yearns that sumptuously managed to shoehorn in everything from Cocteauian raptures to the arresting shimmer of presents from sally-esque echo drifts.
…and yes I’m fully aware that we’ve mentioned this previously, but hey ho we like Pye Corner Audio around these here parts and anyway, another mentuion might prompt the record label Lapsus to send over a spare copy or at least provide download codes. Between you and mee, we sneak, but shush about this, we sneak in the occasional Pye Corner Audio, Time Attendant and Polypores to push up viewing figures when stats are a little, er painful. Anyway as said Pye Corner Audio, this ‘un we mentioned briefly back at https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/pye-corner-audio-8/ – from a limited coloured vinyl 12 inch called ‘where things are hollow’, this be ‘continental drift’. One of those ominous passages that stretches back into the classic PCA psyche, a shadowy herald silently stirring an unseen path amid the cosmic voids with an attaching of a spectral elegance both mesmeric and strangely, beautifully macabre not to mention stilled in atmospheric portent.
Immediately elevated to the top of our Christmas wants list and available as a ridiculously limited issue cassette, this is Cite Lumiere who in a previous life used to be known as the Cavaliers, though since have traded guitars for vintage analogue synths. Debut full length ‘Le Songe de Kepler’ sumptuously manages to morph everything you’ve come to know and love about vintage electronic sounds to such pristine authentic effect that just listening to this preview sound post instantly teleports you back to 1978 / 79. For here are blended elements of cold war electronics teasingly threaded by kosmische drifts, binary disco bops, retro – future hapenings, the occasional kookified mech disco montages and Mobiles-esque fairground mirages overseen as were by a youthful Fad Gadget. The references are a blurring of Bebe and Louis Barron, Human League – mark 1 of course and first album era Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark with a side serving of Gershon Kingsley for good measure, style wise think Landscape and Flying Lizards meets Space. C’est chic.
Next up, two items with a Paul McCartney theme, first up, just been announced that Mr McCartney has signed up to Hope and Homes for Children’s ‘end the silence’ project by sharing his most memorable childhood musical memory. As seen on the brief video below, McCartney chooses Gene Vincent’s ‘be bop a lula’. The ‘end the silence’ campaign aims to raise funds to help and support over ‘8 million children suffering silently in orphanages around the world, deprived of love, family and music. Every pound received will also be matched by the UK government until 27th December 2017’.
The campaign has revealed that of the musical memories received thus far, the following form the top 10 most shared / voted …..
The Beatles (most chosen song: Hey Jude)
Michael Jackson (most chosen song: Thriller)
Queen (most chosen song: Bohemian Rhapsody)
Abba (most chosen song: Dancing Queen)
Sir Elton John (most chosen song: Your Song)
David Bowie (most chosen song: Starman)
Duran Duran (most chosen song: Save A Prayer)
Ed Sheeran (most chosen song: Photograph)
Paul Simon/Simon and Garfunkel (most chosen song: Graceland)
Prince (most chosen song: Kiss)
Staying with the McCartney one, eyed this on you tube. Those abreast of all things Beatles’ will be all too familiar with their Christmas fan club flexi, well here’s a little curio that the most ardent Beatles’ completist mightn’t be aware of. By all accounts, McCartney recorded this slice of festive good cheer for his three fellow band mates. Apparently only four copies were pressed all given to the band as a novelty gift, until now it was thought all were lost.
This is going to blow minds. Sendelica go disco. Yes you read right …. disco. Incoming January via Vincebus Eruptum and available on seriously limited CD issue, don’t even bother asking about the one sided lathe cut picture disc they went before the idea was even a mere musing. Four tracks feature on the ‘disco daze’ EP with guest remixers such as Marc Swordfish, Aviv and Consterdine all being drafted in to see if they weave their floor adoring magic and totally relocate the Sendelica prog head from beardy to bouncing. We here have been totally smitten by the Consterdine mix of ‘my house is made of Angel hair’ – a cerebral chilling slab of smoked out early 90’s styled cosmic tripwiring all softly purred in kaleidoscopic trance toning shape cuts the likes of which dive deep into the seductive late night sophisticat terrains of the Paris Angels, a youthful System 7 and the more amorphously head expanding elements of the huge ever growing Ozric Tentacles catalogue. Absolutely wigged. https://sendelica.bandcamp.com/album/disco-daze-ep
more noise artist action from the Corrupting Sea, this particular session features a live performance by Jason accompanied by Jeff Ryan of Myopic for a version of ‘darkness’ which we are fairly certain is heading out on a forthcoming full length entitled ‘Somnambulate’. This is intense stuff, very immersive, wide screen, majestic and drifted in dreamy cosmic dissipates the result of which finds their trademark sonic persona shift from a postion of what could have been to what if. https://noiseartists.net/home/2017/12/21/noise-artists-session-2-the-corrupting-sea-plays-darkness
Latest flu assisted Pull the Plug broadcast before we hit the silly week and everything goes tiresomely twee, this one is typically turned in with a tasty tracklist that opens to the coolly lazy eyed and smoking 60’s grooving of the Ghost Dance Collective who I’ve a feeling might well have strayed beneath our usually vigilant radar, sounds to us like something that the much missed Great Pop Supplement would have at one or time or another, dropped as a dandy platter. Next up, Fred und Luna, who’ll be appearing – hopefully if we remember – a lot more in our year ending missive – like next week – here serve up a spot of kosmische krafted Kraftwerkian kool in the adorably infectious shape of ‘Komm, Wir Fahrn Nach Wolperath’. Then it’s a brace of impeccably turned in cuts from Wojciech Golczewski of whom whose gliding solitary lunar waltz ‘Robotic Assist Module’ does exactly what it says on the tin, while ‘spectre’ is an enigmatic dark star emerging from out of the shadows of the far side of Tangerine Dream. Pye Corner Audio rounds up matters for this particularly transmission with a nifty spot of classic 90’s weaved subtronic Detroit trance toning courtesy of ‘Island of Ghosts’. https://www.mixcloud.com/Resonance/pull-the-plug-21st-december-2017/
We will back to this later this missive, for now though a track from one of two Christmas compilations currently being sported by the Emotional Response folk, this one from Andy Human appears on the ‘Merry Xmas Darling’ set. Going by the name ‘X-Mass’ its twinkling cascades reveal a sleepy headed murmur softly stirred in a sepia trimmed nostalgia lost from a monochrome golden age, the genteel symphonic sprays silent and shy eyed, beautifully ripple their ghostly introspective rapture bathing all that fall enchanted in its orbital path with a crystal tipped ethereal radiance. https://emotional-response-recs.bandcamp.com/track/x-mass
Rather wonderfully hushed seasonal tidings from the Left Outsides, here’s their take on ‘Gower Wassail’ – a traditional folk standard here aglow in a tenderly trimmed vintage rarely heard done better around these here parts since the occasional appearance of platters by Men An Tol many years ago via the esteemed Static Caravan imprint. Both enchantment and beguilement softly weave their spell craft here, its genteel flavouring sourced from prettified rustic posies and the spectral hymnal hue of caressing honeyed harmonies all sprayed in a warming fuzzy wintertoning, serve to make it an alluring spectacle. That said and strictly speaking, not intended for mention, you’ll also find a home recorded demo here by the name ‘out of time, out of place’, truth be told our favourite here, that is by the slender width of a cigarette paper. Shimmered in a delicate 60’s haziness, there’s something of a youthful Smoke Fairies colluding with the west coast charming of the adored Haight Ashbury afoot here. https://theleftoutsides.bandcamp.com/album/gower-wassail
Eyed by sheer accident earlier today on a random type posting thing, nerw happenings from the much adored Jumble Hole Clough, this one entitled ‘Elmet by moonlight – music for imaginary puppet shows volume three’ is available on a pay what you want deal, I mean how do they do. Anyway, this is primed for closer inspection in the new year, for now to get your seasonal soiree into full impish swing here’s opener ‘Santa’s Works Band wishes you a Happy Christmas’. A barking and crooked carnival that pretty much apes perfectly your expectant imagining of something so titled, as though stepping from a Dickensian festive scene, this screwball and skedaddled symphony finds itself a surreal safe spot somewhere between Raymond Scott’s power house sounds and Burton’s ‘the nightmare before Christmas’ to festively oompah out an utter merry madness. Ridiculously essential. https://jumbleholeclough.bandcamp.com/track/santas-works-band-wishes-you-a-happy-christmas
another combo who made something of an impacting impression upon us this year, the Fir Cone Children hear serving up the dreamily demurred campfire shimmer tone ‘parents driving, kids sleeping’. Peeled from their 3rd album ‘firconian’ out now via the blackjack illuminist imprint, this ‘un features a guest appearance by Krissy Vanderwoude and arrives with a beautiful bruising whose aching and yearnful softly turned psych hymnal phrasing slowly unfurls with its arrest settings turned up to maximum for full on effect whilst sitting lonesome on a sonic star somewhere between Low and a very young version of the Earlies. https://soundcloud.com/blackjackilluminist/fir-cone-children-parents-driving-kids-sleeping-feat-krissy-vanderwoude
been an age since we heard anything from the Beautify Junkyards apart of course, from that inclusion on the Mega Dodo charity release ‘tiddlywinks’. Word has it an album is incoming on ghost box someyime March entitled ‘the invisible world of Beautify Junkyards’ – so while we wait for that, here’s a trio of well heeled tracks, two from a live sessionsa and the other, an immaculate Nick Drake cover ‘from the morning’. In addition here, a smattering of playlists put together by the guys.
hell’s teeth this is the danders, further proof as though you needed any, that Blackjack Illuminist might be one of the labels to watch next year. No sooner do we despatch Fir Cone Children with much fondness and along comes Vlimmer with the frankly drop dead jaw dropping nugget ‘Betonozean’. This is quite something else, where do we begin. An eight minute euphoric head trip, love the way it shifts just slightly out of focus, its intensity like a magnet pulling you into its sphere of influence. The way it swoons and swallow dives awash in euphoric raptures switching its focus between elements of sun scorched dream pop, post punk austere and space rock bliss kisses all the time blessed with the gravitas of the Crimea and the purring pristine crush of Toy with just the merest nod of Barrett Floyd going on in there. All this ascending to reach critical mass whereupon everything dissolves gloriously jubilant dissipates. Wow. https://soundcloud.com/blackjackilluminist/vlimmer-betonozean
This being yuletide, things would appear amiss but for a chilling visitation from Melmoth the Wanderer. Gather forth dear listener and reader, a glass in hand a front an open fire, to the ghostly words of MR James as narrated by the late Christopher Lee, beneath them the distant though audible serene sound of a choir, a magic land peers through the fracturing gaps between what passes for both dream and nightmare. Here amid the hallowed halls of King’s College, Cambridge, the fabled ghosts – the past, the present and the future – of Dickens’ ‘a Christmas Carol’ embark on their seasonal quest revisiting familiar haunts to chill mortal souls not so familiar with festive visions long since past. It’s an enchanted gathering somewhat removed of the usual Melmoth macabre all tenderly sprayed in ghost lit prettified pastorals. https://www.mixcloud.com/Melmoth_The_Wanderer/winter-ghosts/
I’m sure we’ve featured Keel Her sometime or other in these pages, if not, then why not and more’s the point, how come it has taken up till now for us to trip over this nugget given it’s been up on sound cloud for some seven months. This is the stumbling and punctuated lazy eye that is ‘Thought #2’, maybe it’s just us, but it really does sound as though it’s time travelled from out of ’79 era John Peel playlist and something you might well have expected to head out of the soft bodies at one time or another. Adore the way it appears so matter of fact, casual and somewhat dizzily dishevelled in a head in a clouds thoughtful type way looming on a sonic cloud somewhere between … and the Native Hipsters and the Au Pairs. https://soundcloud.com/keelher/thought-2-keel-her
interlude …. some post punky things ….. fatal microbes, pylon, delta 5, the raincoats, thick pigeon, essential logic
fatal microbes ….
Delta 5 ….
The raincoats ….
Thick pigeon ….
Essential logic …
Impish fun and seasonal shenanigans from St Helens based sore thumbs the Bordellos. Word has it that they are readying up their classic ‘Debt Sounds’ full length for expanded repacking, due out next year. For now, a little something in keeping with the season’s frivolities, in truth we’ve already mentioned this in passing courtesy of the near perfect ‘window shopping at the Apple boutique’, a gathering of Christmas selecttions simply called ‘the Bordellos do Christmas’. Five tracks lurk within, very much something that ought to prick the ears of admirers of Daniel Johnston and Louden Wainwright III, the set opening with the gloriously cutting ‘Happy christmas [Alan Mcgee Is An Arse]’ which bookended by some unusually tamely trimmed choir choral interludes gets on with the business of scowling its way through a fuzzily angular side swipe at the Creation mainman, so that’s how you do ‘make yourself popular with the record exec’s’ eh. It’s stuff like ‘Crushed at Christmas’ that reveals the Bordellos as being quite handy at the penning of drop dead hurt, okay not as penetrative as Gedge’s cursed love woes but certainly pissing in the pool. Likewise ‘a snowflake fell’ is classic trademark dishevellement while the garage psyche gouging attaching to the spiked ‘another hate filled Christmas’ has all the 60’s dark sun shimmering about its wares as to have you in half a mind thinking it be a drop out fromm one of those classic vault dredging compilations put out by just about everyone these days. ‘Honeyfuzztinsle’ heads matters out towards the end groove though not before freefalling into the close intimate terrains of a ‘gigglegoo’ era Freed Unit, which as everyone around here knows, is no bad thing. https://bordellos.bandcamp.com/
described by its author as ‘…. part of the first track from my new ambient album Treasure, a collection of atmospheric and peaceful ambient music… ‘, this is our first tasting of Bing Satellites with the arrival to our listening pace of the utterly beguiling ‘driven’. Now I’m not sure about you, but I hear something so tenderly turned in stilled grace and adored in ice sculptured majesty, that we here are somewhat mystified it doesn’t have the seal of approval from the Hidden Shoal folk stamped upon its hide. Shimmered in a neo classical framing and ghosted with a glowing close intimate fuzzy warmth, it softly seduces with a quietly shy eyed and fragile jubilant dusting that brings it into aural alignment with the much admired Antonymes. https://soundcloud.com/bing-satellites
saw this on a random posting, okay yes it’s been out a while, but given the coming season and the fact that white stuff is dropping from the sky, it all seems apt to have something warm and homely to snuggle up to the turntable in the company of. This be Terry Emm with the twinklesome ‘gently’, a wonderful slice of festive festooning of wintry wooziness, lolloping rustics and heart warming hazy hymnal-ness all shivered and snow brushed into a cosy toed lulling woodcut wonderland that aside almost having us of a mind to go rooting out our prized collection of Leslie King / katie winter / the silkwinders sorties, near had us a tad tearful. https://terryemm.bandcamp.com/track/gently
Homely harmonies, cosy toed choral tones, the shy eyed shimmering of nostalgia and oodles of festive fancies snow rushed and cooed with a seasonal lilt, how could we resist. Don’t Girl Ray and cute make for a perfect fit, this sweetheart, incidentally called ‘(I Wish I Were Giving You A Gift) This Christmas’ is their yuletide seasonal carol and a demurring dandy it be. Softly sprinkled in a sepia framing that hints these folk have been hard at work at their festive craft teasing out a tinsel trimmed slice of prettily pristine pop candy cane that features all manner of warm glowing fuzziness, wonky pianos, school choirs and glam glittered loveliness which all said, comes finitely cut with a knowing nod to Wizzard.
ah,’Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’, has there ever been a more beautifully expressed moment in the considerable back catalogue of Ryuichi Sakamoto. I’ve always paused when it’s come to pass into earshot, that sense of immaculate grandeur and the divine symettary of the symphonic sweeps, swallow dives and sighs make it a thing of beautified enchantment. Admittedly it sounds bare without David Sylvian’s immaculate vocal crush, but still that doesn’t detract from the way the score travels one minute trembled and tearful, the next jubilant and caressing. Here’s Mr Sakamoto accompanied by the Brussels Philharmonic performing said track, a both frail and fragile study softly surrendered by the faultless and spectral seduction of swirling strings, just me or very Bernard Herrmann.
Just a very brief heads up for this before we head out into the cold for a spot of 9 to 5 work tedium with harsh flu intact, fear not we’ll be returning to this on our return. New seasonal sonic gift wraps from the loved Small Bear imprint, this be their Christmas box of delights entitled ‘unknown presents’. Tittle and minimalist sleeve aside, are we detecting a Joy Division theme / vibe afoot here, well not immediately apparent on the flurry of tracks we’ve had the chance to breeze through, however forty foot pipe’s ‘Christmas in the fens’ with its head in the clouds not a care in the world nonchalance, does hint of a youthful post JD New Order atmospherique, with its cascading post rock out shimmering’s ushering in something of a hypno grooved and deceptively dreamy fixed point snow tipped stillness. https://unknownpresents.bandcamp.com/album/unknown-presents
A welcomed message from Antonymes gently navigating us towards a release that he thought might we might find apt for the time of the year. In truth it’s beyond us how we missed this first time of asking. Originally gathered together for release way back in 2015, ‘at this time of the year’ collectively harvests a quartet‘…of traditional Christmas music that I’ve recorded over the last five years’. Now I know for a fact that at least one of its number has previously featured here – see https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/antonymes-2/ – but as to the rest, well I’m simply a tad concerned that they escaped our radar until now that is. Antonymes needs no introduction in these missives, crafting porcelain cut neo classical nuggets, the artistry and deft of touch indelibly exquisite is only superceded by the feeling, tenderness and close intimacy that he applies with sensitive minimalism. As said, herewith a quartet of snowy sighs opening with the ice sculptured ‘Sleep (Away In A Manger)’, steeled in a reverential stillness, this frost tipped beauty silently twinkles like a briefly radiant lone star atop a sleeping twilight hazed landscape bathing all in a warming glow. Wonderfully remote, romantic and somewhat bruised, ‘snow on snow’ encapsulates perfectly that stilled silent grace like serene that accompanies the dusting of snow, here adoringly shepherded by the soft angelic opine of hushed heavenly string arrangements. All said, it’s the parting ‘branches of green delight’ that ought to captivate and hold your senses prisoner, sparsely measured and trimmed in expectant poise, this mellowing murmur tone both reflective and introspective is kissed with a touching noir sigh that has a smoky drink at the last chance saloon nostalgic glow attaching. https://antonymes.bandcamp.com/album/at-this-time-of-year
Returning back with that superb compilation put out by Vanguardista entitled ‘Winter Solstice’ – really is a most impeccable harvesting of talent and something that we briefly mentioned way back here https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/11/25/winter-solstice/- an 11 eleven track gathering, which to complete the round up I think we’ll work backwards through the track listing, which means old friends Transmission 13 are first up on the inspection block courtesy of the celestial visitation that is ‘northern lights’. Softly stirred in symphonic swirls, this orbital cortege demurs and dances all the time frosted and stilled in the realms of the airless heavens, its mesmeric murmurs tuned to a divinely graceful pageantry that’s sublimely cut to a silently statuesque sculpturing. The slow to unfurl gem that is casual strangers’ ‘palindrome’ is equally dispatched and flavoured in lunar pirouettes, a kosmische ghost light replete with pristinely dipped in ice cooled flurries of pulsing cosmic pastorals. Spectral night lights spliced in a cavernous dub draped detailing be the order of the day for Ivan Black’s softly majestic ‘Skara Brae Solstice’ for here there’s almost a curiously affecting spiritual radiance emerging from the eerie twilight fogginess pulsing as though a navigational point of light guiding the lost from out of the darkness. Antonio de Braga’s ‘frozen waves’ almost had us of a mind to go rummaging around for our prized Inch Time and Minotaur Shock platters for comparison for we must admit we were taken by the hypnotic glitch ghosted minimalist thaw that’s afoot here which at around the 3.32 mark delicately blossoms from its chill tipped framing into something warmly inviting and cosied in celestial choruses and in so doing retunes it to Manual like frequencies. Second mention this missive / week alone, the out of hibernation New Apostles currently sporting a new album ‘Antiquarian Medical Texts’ usher forth with the alluring dark mystic ‘lonely water’ whose stately and crystalline shadowy settings find them freefalling in to domains of the Church. Perhaps the darkest and grandest moment of the collection, Wolfgang Merx’s ‘second winter’ is steeled in forlorn atmospherics, at once majestic and monolithic, this captivating dark kosmische star emerges from out of the eclipsing shadow of Tangerine Dream, beautifully remote, lonesome and abundantly lush in the bruising spray of opining overtures, immaculate in a word. Which all leaves Guitar PK to bring closure to this essential gathering with ‘Spiral Eye’, which I must admit, viewed in a certain light, leaving aside the Floyd-isms that is, has a certain loose and dreamy feel attaching that would suggest something of a hitherto secret studio face-off between a certain Andy Summers and Vini Reilly. https://vanguardistarecords.bandcamp.com/album/winter-solstice
k-mart in store festive sounds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgnaWbPLAks
reader’s digest family Christmas album …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTl_jSIpn3Y
awesome Christmas mix tape … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe_DU6YX-0o
christmas in swing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbH3rG9Jyos
Here’s something wonderfully homely and cutesy, out via Norwegian imprint Café Superstar, this is Remington Super 60 who one time or another used to pop up in previous guises of these missives with much adoring here. Seems these darling folk have a thing for Christmas and are prone to pop up around the festive season delivering melodic morsels of delightful distraction, the latest of which being ‘another Christmas song’. Sprayed in a snowy dusting and fancifully festooned in twinkling tinsel, this easy pop parcel of winter wonderland delights merrily coos and swoons with a dizzily demurred bright eyed vintage flavouring that twirls, turns and tingles fondly on an starry orbital path where on one side sits the Beautify Junkyards while to the other you’ll find Le SuperHomard.
Woolworth’s ad 1981
Tv ad break 1979
Peel Christmas carol 1970
Peel Elton john 1973
‘a warning to the curious’ – a Christmas ghost story …..
As always, it just leaves me to extend a many thanks to all the labels, bands and press folk for your continued support and kind words and of course most of all to you dear reader. I wish you all and happy and peaceful holiday season……. xxxx