listen …. can you hear it? (preview)

Listen … Can you hear it? …..

Intermission 1 …. m/e 31/1/2018

‘revolutions of a 33 and 45 kind’ ….


A new year and new missive, you’ll probably note we’ve given it both a name change and post frequency alteration moving to monthly as opposed to weekly and from ‘look what we sneaked online while you were sleeping’ to ‘Listen …. Can you hear it?’. Hopefully there’ll be no dip in content, just saves the panic and hair pulling tension of getting these musings online every Sunday as was the case last year.

As promisedlast time out, this edition is something of a ‘the blog that celebrates  itself’ special, the label having shot out several well heeled releases in the last few weeks as they celebrate their 10th anniversary. You can also expect several visits to Unexplained Sounds’ mammoth end end of year report peppered about these pages, a collosal release that gathers togetherover 200 tracks. We might also have a few Christmas hangovers, featuring releases that were prepped for inclusion over the festive period yet due to an aggravating chest infection, found themselves abandoned and shivering on the sidings.

Also worth noting that we are moving address shortly, so please be kind enough to update  your contact lists, details are below somewhere here ….

12 Stewart Avenue,

Bootle, Merseyside,

L20 9JD


… and with that the first thoughts of the month ….. and so, the first missive of 2018 ….

… features ……

Reginald esquire, slipstream, you are number six, green seagull, maps and diagrams, kepier widow, kindred spirit, the fall, hey colossus, lo five, impulse array, laurel halo, roger robinson, Richard dawson, you the night and the music, Sylvia massy, the heartwood institute, brian eno, prana crafter, Damien Olsen, val solo, the bordellos, those unfortunates, jack hayter, anton barbeau, the cold spells, unexplainedsounds group, zebra, evvol, la witch, mick harris, bill nelson’s red noise, the paranoyds, Suzanne santo, the corrupting sea, pull the plug, bedroom cassette masters, good charlotte, evvol, electronic sounds, 7dd9, a silver age, the urban molluscs, walt thisney, kaelan mikla, pop simonova, fuka lata,  shad shadows, person:a, dark sun, sendelica, fruits de mer, schizo fun addict, Nathan hall and the sinister locals and more….

Opening the new year account with a spot of magic enchantment courtesy of Reginald Esquire’s ‘dormant hymn’. Totally smitten with this, through its neo classical phrasings a purring Bucolic lounge tongue snakes and stares, clearly schooled in its initial moments in the ways of John Barry. This dream weaving fantasia swirls between romance and regret making full use of the emotional spectrum as it arcs and sighs with caressing finesse slickly immersing itself in noir toned 60’s shadows and chicly crafted symphonic grace falls whose full blooded mercurial resonances wouldn’t go amiss adoring a classic Hammer Horror flick, the heraldic dapples are breath-taking whilst its fairy trimmed wonderland imagery are both arrestingly radiant and hitherto ghosted in a soothing choral beguilement kissed with a spectral beauty that’s simply flooring. In short, immaculate and something best described as a shepherd’s light illuminating a path through the coming dark days. Available as a free download via

The posting reads …. ‘What do you do when you’re bored on New Years Eve with nothing to do? Why, you do a version of the greatest love song ever written, that’s what you do.’ Indeed, and why not especially when the resulting jig ends up sounding like this. Slipstream, who must be surely due for release action soon, unless I’ve already missed it which wouldn’t surprise us given we’d taken the foot off the pedal somewhat towards the end part of last year. Anyhow, here’s their rather spiffing version of the Ronettes classic ‘baby I love you’ sounding into the bargain like a super chilled cruise controlling Jesus and Mary Chain with the additional plus of adoring said classic with a lazy eyed fuzzy glam psych swagger.

Imminent any day now, the debut vinyl outing from the Heartwood Institute will be among us via Polytechnic Youth. Somewhat delayed from its original October schedule due to pressing plant issues and glitches, ‘secret rites’ looks like being the early 2018 pace setter for the rest of the competition to follow. From that collection, ‘Aradia’ has been sent forth on heralding duties, ghost walking the twilight shadows peering through the fracturing apertures where alternate time lines and forgotten histories collide, cross and distort, the sounds shimmered and sealed in a glassy and mystic vintage are caressed with an unearthly and eerie Bucolic rustic that’s applied with a retro – futurist etching that imagines the stark and ominous dystopian bleakness of ‘timeslip’ relocated to an 80’s VHS age a la Fiedel and Carpenter. 


Further reading …..

Something we tripped across on that there sound cloud, can’t believe we missed this first time of asking. This is Green Seagull, whose first full length must surely be in the offing some day very soon, this ‘un a demo take of a track (‘they just don’t know’) that formed the ear gear essential twin set happening that was their debut 7 inch outing for the much admired Mega Dodo imprint last year, something that was fondly swooned over here at  – still sounds very Left Banke which really is no bad thing.

Almost at a loss to say we missed out on grabbing ourselves a physical copy of this one, the 50 only CD variant literally disappearing on presales quicker than the blink of an eye. Latest from the prolific work bench of Maps and Diagrams, this be ‘Klättra’ – the opening track from an imminent set entitled ‘obra’ (of which I must say, might well be his most sparsely minimalist yet most beguiling listening event to date). A twinkling lost star marooned in the cosmic echelons, ‘Klättra’ is an orbital waltz, an echo from an electronica silver age demurringly sprayed in sleepy headed mosaics of snoozing binary sighs, the solace brought to bear by its lonesomely orphaned detachment is somewhat longingly eased and displaced by its affectionately playful love note murmurs. Adorable.

…. Stay with Maps and Diagrams by way of a short hop over to their sound cloud page for a chance to grab yourself a free to download compilation of tracks recorded between 2002 and 2006 which till now have been lost to the vaults …..  

Another release we appear to have missed out on is a double cassette offering that was limited to just 30 copies from the emotion wave folk of Liverpool titled ‘daffodils’. Thankfully available on digital variation, this gathering collects together some of the finest talent on the electronica spectrum amongst the names on show – polypores, simon jones, glitchfield plaines, the mekano set, lo five and impulse array with proceeds from the release going to assist the sterling work done by the Merseyside Domestic Violence Services. So, while we have a further rummage around the compilations contents with a view to a fuller mention later this missive, we’ll just briefly mention two of the treats within. First up, Impulse Array’s ‘magnetic density effect’ might first appear like some mind wiping dream machine but upon closer inspection reveals a positive hub of activity that’s clearly tuned to a classic Detroit tech palette, that palette of course having been positioned on a hulking satellite mast high up in the ionosphere from off whose glowing and radiating hive consciousness, flotillas of binary pulsars busily chatter and tap out greeting messages into the darkening voids of the cosmos. I suspect we owe Lo Five something of an apology as I’m certain we received a CD a while back which has since seen fit to disappear to places so far unknown, to us at least. So, while we do a spot of online searching to see if we can find relevant links for a write up, here he is with the aptly titled ‘glorified beauty’. Svelte, seductive and smouldered in an ice sculptured neo classicism, at least for the initial opening that is, for once eased through the radiant greeting of a new morning alarm call, ‘glorified beauty’ mutates and shapeshifts with sublime seamlessness one minute briefly oozed in Bucolic sprays the next, hushly harvesting an intricately sleepy headed aura of glitch sighed snoozes and dream draped dissipates, the overall effect very amorphous and somewhat tastily trippy.     

The festive 51 according to the in memory of john peel show –

…the chart in full in descending order ……

Higher Moment       Amor                      

Miami      Baxter Dury           

Victoria Train Station Massacre            The Fall                  

The Ghost of A Tree                Richard Dawson    

Equality & Death (mothers, fathers, where are Ye-)              Angles 9  Disappeared Behind the Sun 

Sink         METZ     

Sippy Cup               SARN      

Brixton Summer      Roger Robinson     

Failure In Chrome  Actress    AZD       

I Want To Tell You Something                Gavin Martin         

A Kid       Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith            

Brother Joe             Ashley Reaks          

Headphone Jack      Skyjelly   

Lazarus Online       Wolf Parade           

Wed Dreems           R. Stevie Moore     

Interior Plains         Decomposure         

Safe Word               Cube

Till Fots Fick Jag Gå Genom Solsystemen             Anni Elif

Thick Air Frk. Jacobsen          Lobsters                 

Paper Bag               Circuit des Yeux     

EIGENGRAU (ChILDREN OF HELL II)              Chino Amobi          

To The Moon And Back          Fever Ray               

enigma    Jlin         

Badges for the Boring             monster island.      

Turkey Girl             Annie Anxiety         

Themistocles is Captured:      Quinta    

Princess Turnt        Bob Bellerue          

Here Is The Thing   Protomartyr

Beni Said 75 Dollar Bill          Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock (AAC)

Second Partially Recollected Conversation           Those Who Walk Away          

LA CHUCK            

Plastic Fox              Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip          

Hope Swims            Simon Fisher Turner             

Drunk Lads             Nachthexen

Hollow    Thom Ashworth @thomashworth                          

Hard Life In Country              The Fall  

Anxi (ft. Jenny Hval)               Kelly Lee Owens    

It’s All Free             I, Ludicrous           

tonite       LCD Soundsystem  

The Animal Spirits  James Holden & The Animal Spirits     

Real Death              Mount Eerie

Paper Error            Gnod      

Enough    Irreversable Entanglements                   

Horizon   Aldous Harding                     

Walk With Me         Roger Robinson

Couples vs Jobless Mid 30s    The Fall  

How To Tell Time With Jesus Hey Colossus

Jelly         Laurel Halo           

Fol De Rol              The Fall  

new Maps                Roger Robinson     

Ogre        Richard Dawson

….. finally that all important top spot hogger …… quite a wondeful thing sounding like Circulus and Polyphonic Spree on relocation to Summerisle ……

I must admit, we here are getting a tad bit fond of these press releases, this one from familiar friends Kindred Spirits promising thus ‘….. behold: kindred spirits invoke a sonic seance, perfect for use in abandoned houses and ancient libraries. A disquieting collage of haunts, pulsing rhythms and insidious drones. Prepare the circle, relax and feel your eyeballs roll back in their sockets….’ Limited to just 35 cassette copies – incidentally going fat – through the Lugubrious Audio imprint, ‘the dread of being’ features eight slices of disturbia within. All hope abandoned for here behind the veil, shadows stalk and macabre manifests in many forms, these sinister symphonies watch silently from the darkness, the atmospherics degraded to an ice tombed dread stillness, the effect one of remote isolation, a nightmare from which there is no escape and from whence no light touches or pierces, its deeply solemn stuff stricken with paranoia and an unravelling psychosis and something which, the safety afforded from listening to from behind the sofa, in daylight and with the lights on, will I suspect, do little to temper the overwhelming sense of terror.   

Further readings and selected sightings …..

staying with Lugubrious Audio a little while longer, again on limited cassette release – again in a strict 35 only pressing, this be Kepier Widow with a two track outing going by the name ‘the duality of man’. This one comes ahead of a new release due any day soon, title as yet undisclosed but we suspect it might be called ‘burden’ though watch this space for dissenting missives. Anyhow, time pressing we’ve only had chance to sample the fracturing delights of ‘peace symbol’ – a decidedly creeped out shape shifting dark star howled in a chamber recital fog from out of which emerges a chilling foretelling ghosted in apocalyptic terror, something whose want for continually putting you on the back foot is brought into sharpening focus by its fragmenting forays into noise niking dead ends, disquieting dark ceremonials, atonal shimmers, flat lining drone collages and a disconcerting and scrambled sense of creative unrest at the hand of its author, not that we here are complaining.

latest edition of you the night and the music specially remodelled for this edition as yule the night and the music, the third end of year soiree featuring a gathering of Mat’s favourite tracks in er – alphabetical order meaning that this one covers all those essential ear gear happenings from F to H. A familiar feast of psych, electronische, hauntology, kosmische and more besides, this 2-hour hipster hi-fi hugger opening to the far out 60’s shade adorned space sounds of Free / Slope’s recent limited lathe outing for deep distance, one for all you Sunray / Sonic Boom loving dudes I shouldn’t wonder. Now I’ll embarrassingly put my hands up in admitting that thus far, until now that is, that hotel wrecking city traders haven’t as yet troubled these pages, well that’ll be changing if this bad slab of boogie is anything to judge by, gloriously primitive cacophonic groove, while similarly making a play from our affections the darkening psych freak storm that is the Janitors. Somewhere else there’s Julie’s Haircut who we really must make it a new year resolution to pay more closer attention to in the coming year, clearly these dudes are on a different level of psych consciousness to everyone else. Throw in some Keith Seatman strangeness, a spot of mercurial musing from Klaus Morlock, some veering into the heart of the sun wig flippery courtesy of Lamagaia and a sample of the delights that lurk in the fascinatingly strange and surreal hidden world of Jumble Hole Clough, from a personal point of perspective, one of the many great finds to adore our listening space these last twelve months.

we were going to include a little off the press gubbins in order to stir you in a rough direction as to where this is going, but quite frankly, it sounds and scans like bonged babble, which on reflection I guess, is quite perfect for this is humongous tripping out there groove. From what we gather, a split outing between Transnadežnost’ and Ciolkowska, both of whom hail from the Russian Federation and each share groove space on wasted wandered. Transnadežnost’ open proceedings with ‘huldra’ – a formidable slab of out there beardiness the likes of which that ought to prick the ears of those Cranium Pie and Magic Bus folk among you not to mention the more stoned out happenings emanating from the Bad Afro imprint. For their part, Ciolkowska’s side of the bargain is a more mellower more post rockier affair initially not far off the mark from say San Lorenzo and Billy Mahonie in style though swiftly figuring through the gears assuming something approaching the dream draped delirium of say, Arcade Messiah before jettisoning off into the astral mystics along the way wiring up some seriously wyrd psych folk wooziness a la Dungen.

I won’t lie in saying that this has scarcely been off the player since finding its way upon our listening space. There’s something kookily creepy and seductive sinister about this chill dipped shadow walker. Going by the name ‘vulture’ the track comes peeled from a new EP set by Agura Matra titled ‘in silence’. We here just adore the peculiar playfulness of the clock working lullabies as they scratch and poke around your psyche ushering in their ne’er do well, which while on first listen, might well hint of the impish macabre schooling of Psychic TV / Throbbing Gristle, had us on repeat visit much minded of a distant cousin to Biosphere’s ‘phantasm’.

From the land of pop, that’ll be Sweden, this is Val Solo, sounds a little too close to Sal Solo, he of Classix Nouveaux fame or infamy depending on your perspective. Anyhow, mere mention of Sal Solo may appear not be the accidental coincidence that we might have first led to you to believe, for the ten track ‘songs from another time ….. and space’ full length finds this Mr Solo refusing to hide his obvious fondness for the crafting of pristine purred pop, especially if it comes styled with a whiff and shaped in the contouring of an early 80’s electro pop age. Anyhow, due to pressing time restraints, a brief delve on this visit, with that in mind, hang in there with the Classix Nouveaux references because in truth they aren’t far from the fold, a point no better exemplified than on the clearly big hair big shoulder suits soft smoulder of ‘no sound’ who feel good anthem like tethering clearly locates it around 1985 with would I be right in saying, something of a prettified pop tailoring that distantly recalls Bobby G’s theme work for ‘big deal’. Mind you that said opening salvo, the chill pop buzz pop flirtation that is ‘why don’t you talk to me’ has something of a youthful A-ha about its wares while ‘I’m in space (cabdiver dreams)’ has a strangely alluring Howard Jones thing going on towards the business end of its five-minute stay.

We here are a tad bit concerned that this ‘un might nearly have passed us by without so much as a hi, hello and how are you. Incoming on the perfectly formed beyond beyond is beyond tape imprint, an ultra limited cassette outing by Prana Crafter whose last visit to these pages courtesy of ‘mindstreamblessing’, we were still trying to recover from only managing to shake its effect just before Christmas and various chest infections descended to provide a newfound focus for our concerns – anyway words here should you be interested, and you should be –

‘Bodhi Cheetah’s Choice’ is duly expected to land from wherever sometime later this month, from it ‘holy tempel of flow’ has been sent out to flavour your chosen peace pipe, hell’s teeth this is more Bardo Pond than Bardo Pond, a truly woozy freak pill that initially takes you by the hand for a genteel dream dazed astral glide, the effect light headed, out of body and amorphous soon aligns itself to a smoking and stoned beatnik locked grooving slice of wigginess that wouldn’t look to out of place on some early wax happening from the mighty bearded one, Bevis Frond.

Okay, I’m not quite sure exactly how we are going to shoehorn over 200 tracks that make up the colossal end of year report curated by the Unexplained Sounds Group.into this missive. Shall we agree to play it by ear and perhaps pepper these musings with as many nightly visits as possible. Okay agreed. Available in a choice of two volumes and as previously advertised, gathering together over 200 tracks, ‘Ocean of Sound – the 3rd annual report’ – in short, a best of, or at least a sample therein of the sounds, styles and artists who’ve featured these last 12 months on this forward-thinking sound survey. On this particular visit, we’re concentrating on Volume 2 of the collection, three brief tracks to get the ball rolling, so to speak and beginning with David M. Paganin’s decidedly odd sore thumb ‘Welcome to Everlasting Night’ which I must say viewed in a certain light, ought to appeal to those of you well versed in the dark delights of Edward Ka-Spel, certainly the kind of minimalist mantra that at one time would have no doubt graced the catalogue of Beta Lactam Ring. The strangeness doesn’t stop there, for the oddly sultry snake charming apparition emerging into view by way of Bruno Gussoni’s ‘Radio India’ is cut with a musical tongue as old as time itself with this arabesque mantra echoing through the passages of time like some thought lost Tibetan psalm crafted by Ariel Kalma. Last one for this particular visit comes from Damien Olsen whose ‘parsy’ strikes something of a curiously lilting yet hitherto remote sounding slice of cosmic exotica whose playfully bowed lunar motifs, dub dissipates and starry conversations muse cheekily to a pulsing palette one imagines schooled in the experimental classicism of Louis and Bebe Barron.        

Three days into the New Year and we already have two Bordellos releases to happily contend with, notwithstanding that on a date as yet not appointed, there’ll be an expanded version of their finest moment – that’ll be ‘Debt Sounds’ in case you didn’t know – appearing sometime this year via, we believe, the Small Bear imprint. We did mention two releases, both are compilation gatherings, the bulkier of the two ‘faves’ we’ll be mentioning a little later this missive. For now, though, volume 10 of the bands vault dig that is the ‘underground tapes’. As ever these selections come sourced from all manner of radio sessions, alternate takes, forgotten cuts and early versions and arrived in our inbox with an accompanying note from Brian musing on the fact that ‘melody inn’ – featured here – the Dandelion radio version therein, might well, in his opinion, be the bands finest moment. In truth we were all ready to whole heartedly agree until the impish occurrence of the parting ‘Marianne’ came into ear view, pure Fall-esque wiriness, delightfully skewed, off the wall and pretty much post everything, a true irregular head trip. Mind you ‘melody inn’ is indeed a cut above and by our reckoning as close as you are ever going to get to any imagining of a gathering of ‘wilder’ era Teardrops musing with Joy Division while led from the fore by Scott Walker appearing for real. Elsewhere here and certainly not making up the numbers, the darkly wired and primitively scowled ‘perfect time to die’ sounds as though its fallen from some early 80’s post punk blind spot, very ‘crown of thorns’ by the Bunnymen truth be told. Talking of the Bunnymen, some nifty Sergeant-esque needle work features on the bruising love note that is the very Doors-esque Stones sounding ‘the head on the floor’. Class.

plenty of Gare Du Nord activity afoot …. so we’ll start at the start then, kinda makes sense ……

….first up a full digital release for the second volume of Anton Barbeau’s electronic excursions. ‘Antronica 2’ via gare du nord, gathers together a collection of synth based pop nuggets that pretty much straddle the entireity of his career with some rare features here dating back to his first forays as a musician in the 80’s. Indeed, the more keen eyed among you might well have already noted that we’ve featured to much swooning ‘dolphins on drugs’ when we briefly touched on the latest volume of Bedroom Cassette Masters – more about them shortly – however, just in case you missed it, fear not – for it be here – – as said, it’s the second such pickings from the Barbeau vaults collecting together sixteen such pristine pop gems with ‘rain, rain’ having carved itself a small hollow in our affections, not least because aside it’s overt 80’s adoring has something of a cooly chic Foxx vibe attaching to it, had he of course at the time shimmered up to Pete Shelley. Links to follow very shortly.

In addition to this particular release, Mr Barbeau is set to release ‘natural causes’ in April via a split label co-opt between Beehive Sound and You are Not Alone, more details as and when we get them.

Currently being primed for deserved fond words, an absolute gem of an imminent happening from the Cold Spells that’s been doing a fair amount of damage in our listening room of late. Anyhow, just in case you missed it first time of asking, here’s the teaser herald ‘roll me over’ which incidentally we mentioned here in passing – – I mean I ask you, can it get any better, I’m edging on the no part of the fence. Perfect.         

a brief momentary break in the gare du nord soiree, here’s a delightful little something we tripped over on sound cloud which i’m suspecting might well have a connection to the previously mentioned Cold Spells.Okay, it’s Christmassy perhaps a little late eh, but then isn’t Christmas for life or at least the spirit which sadly everytime I switch over to listening to the news it appears not to be the case. Anyhow enough of the cheeriness, this is Farmer with the completely bonkers and wonderfully addictive ‘nuclear family Christmas’ which unless our ears do deceive sounds like  an impish meeting of casino vs Japan / winterbrief and the Beach Boys / Spector all deliciously warped into a 8 bit chuckling n’ chirping seasonal sleigh ride along the way spreading mirth and madness in equal measure as it tumbles at pace into your affections. Available as a free download so no excuses now…..

back with Gare du Nord for a little something due to land March time. This is a teaser track from a new set by Jack Hayter going by the name ‘Abbey Wood’. Alas no sound links on this just yet, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that ‘at crossness pumping station’ is quite something else. Cut with the same bruising intimacy as that which used to attach to releases by Lupen Crook, Hayter’s magic is his ability to draw you close into his quietly evocative and peculiarly sleepy headed storytelling, for here both the arrangements and the woozy rustics beautifully expressed, softly daub the musical landscape in a hazy dappling of wheezing Medway breeziness to underpins perfectly its shanty like shadowy persona.  

Also due to land a little later in the year, a smattering of cassette and download releases by the much admired Those Unfortunates titled ‘Two Songs About Buses’ and ‘two Songs about Football’ – one of which is due to land on the FA Cup weekend – can you guess which one, as ever details as and when we get them. For now, the gare du nord folk have kindly pointed us in the general direction of a little something that was sneaked out over the festive season. This be ‘harvest song’ – a wonderfully mellowing lollop cosy toed with a close intimacy that glows with warming fuzzy feeling, in truth sound  wise it shifts from the bands usual impish craft to freewheel into the kind of hushed quietly smouldered terrains of the Soft Hearted Scientists, which as you all should know is no bad thing.

As promised previously, herewith your nightly visitation from that frankly superb ear bending double volume set from the Unexplained Sound Group folk entitled ‘ocean of sound’. As mentioned in earlier despatches this hulking set is a year end summary of tracks that have graced their formidable catalogue over the previous twelve months, a total surpassing the 200 mark. A collection that ought to be on the radar of those of you attuned to the likes of Resonance FM and those essential podcast postings from Vital Weekly not mention folk still much missing those essential transmissions, as were, from the Mixing It folk back in the day on BBC Radio 3. On this visit we’ve rummaged around for three selections from ‘volume 1’ opening with, well, the opening salvo from interface type seven titled ‘resistor’ which by these ears really does provide for a lilting slice of purring cosmic fantasia of the styling that wouldn’t look to out of place sitting on a Pye Corner Audio outing. That said we must admit to having something of a fondness for David Lee Myers’ ‘implicate order’ in so much as the way it’s glassy timbres shimmer, sigh and somewhat seduce with a hypnotic eeriness to what sounds like a softly quivering crystalline ethereal choral ghost light. Last up for this nightly look in is from Vlimmer. Now would this be the same Vlimmer who literally blew us away on a recent appearance to these pages with ‘Betonozean’ – a track ripped from their latest for the blackjack illuminist imprint, I think it might well be. Herewith ‘Zerstörung’ – a foreboding dark star draped between moments of dream dazed delirium and impacting fissures of rumbling sonic whiteouts the likes of which might have you minded to go off in search of your prized outings from both Bruce Russell and Bill Horist.

‘Somnambulate’ is almost upon us, the imminent fourth full length by the Corrupting Sea issued through the Katuktu Collective imprint. Newly peeled from what promises to be an immaculate occurrence, the first single ‘moments of clarity’. Softly sighed in a hazy dream like nostalgia, this serene sweetheart might be seen as a road of two paths, perhaps a fond sepia sealed childhood memory of lulling in a state of dozing, sat at the rear of a parent’s car driving by night, occasioning in and out of consciousness, watching from the passenger seat, the blur of the street lights, passing cars and the endless line of cat’s eyes into the distance. Or maybe, something more spiritual, perhaps more final, a new beginning so to speak, an epitaph maybe as we make the inevitable trip through the veil to the beyond. Whatever the case, there’s no denying that here there be something reverent and majestic touched in unearthly wonder.


Sorry about this, but you can expect a fair few of these little interruptions over the course of the month as we try to clear, or at least give a heads up to a few outings we missed last year. So, a few little nuggets intended for our last ‘look what we sneaked…..’ hurrah that tickled our fancy over the last twelve months …..

…. first up…..

….  Zebra with some lulling stratospheric dream pop in the shape of ‘tropical’ –  very ‘let’s go to bed’ era Cure-esque if you ask me

… some demurring flutterby loveliness from Evvol with a little something sneaked out earlier last year entitled ‘comfort fit’ …..

… might take a little while to kick in and hook but this is the superb mat being pulled from beneath your feet shapeshifting ‘information thaw’ from Romjbor Klanglabor via the Jipangu imprint …..

…. Some achingly frail and fragile lovelorn dream pop from the immaculate Floor Cry …..

…. some Christmas second helpings with the buzzsawed power popped hurter ‘Christmas by the phone’ from Good Charlotte …..

The end of year party pack from the pull the plug folk here remodelled as the extended 2 hour pulling the plug on 2017 soiree. Packed to brimming and bursting with all the hippest toons from some of the nations leading taste makers, plenty of old favourites here, several nuggets from the esteemed polytechnic youth imprint, a handful of appearances from the variously guised Allan Murphy – the polymer cities and Kehrschleife, a brace of dandy sounds from what proved to be one of our favourite releases of the year, that being a limited cassette outing from the Art of the Memory Palace through horror pops who despite promises of more releases later in the year, just appeared to disappear. Talking of particular listening faves, a little something from both the papernut Cambridge and tara king th, the latter of whom we meant to revisit for a full review and may still do in the fullness of time – sorry Moon Glyph chaps. In truth, just too spoilt with the selections here to nail the best moment, though pattern language would never be straying too far from a top 5 list and neither would Jane Weaver, though that said, how the hell did we miss and more’s the point, get through 2017 without hearing ‘Car’ by Racoon Rally – think Pavement when they were perfect rather than mere brilliant smooching up to a youthful ‘car wash hair’ era Mercury Rev, yep that good.

…and because we love you and we are a little short on the evening word count – here’s the full tracklisting, now don’t think for a  second we’ll be making a habit of this……  

‘Neat Neat Neat’ – Transistor (Massproduktion)

‘Science Fiction Stories’ – Pea Hix (Pea Hix)

‘The Consumer Programme’ – Vic Mars (Polytechnic Youth)

‘A New Absence’ – Art Of The Memory Palace (Horror Pop Sounds)

‘Telescope’ – Vanishing Twin (Soundway)

‘Bohemian Garden’ – Balduin (Sunstone Records)

‘It’s Only Raining Right Where You’re Standing’ – Drugdealer (Weird World)

‘Devil’s Mistress’ – Fantasmes (Last Bummer)

‘Liquid Dreaming’ – Dream Division (Polytechnic Youth)

‘Phares Sous La Pluie’ – Art Of The Memory Palace (Horror Pop Sounds)

‘The Hauntologists Race To Emulate The Stranger Things Soundtrack’ – The Polymer Cities (Internationally Obscure)

‘Sirrius’ – M I D D E X (Polytechnic Youth)

‘My Camp’ – Toska Wilde (Fusion)

‘A Believer’ – The Shifters (Market Square)

‘Attic’ – Rays (Trouble In Mind)

‘Big Man’ – Ty Segall (Drag City)

‘Special Glands’ – Navy Gangs (No Roads/Super Fan 99)

‘Ticking Time Bomb’ – The Asteroid No.4 (13 O’Clock)

‘Reduction Agent’ – Dion Lunadon (Agitated Records)

‘Celestial Echoes’ – Tara King th. (Moon Glyph / Petrol Chips)

‘The Planets’ – The Clear (Clear Music Records)

‘A Tilt Remains’ – Art Of The Memory Palace (Horror Pop Sounds)

‘Puppet Shop’ – Papernut Cambridge (Ravenwood Music Ltd./Gare Du Nord)

‘Recreation Zone 4’ – The Polymer Cities (Internationally Obscure)

‘Tambourine’ – Groovy Movies (Groovy Movies)

‘Alabaster Crayon’ – Lucille Furs (The Minimal Beat Ltd.)

‘Kensington Garden Pie’ – Radiophonic Tuckshop (Last Night From Glasgow)

‘Cucumber Sword’ – Man From Uranus feat. Taishi Nagasaka (Re-Alignment of Magnetic Dust)

‘By The Time We Get There’ – Pattern Language (Happy Robots)

‘Cold Fear’ – Moon Duo (Sacred Bones)

‘Approach’ – Pye Corner Audio (Ghost Box)

‘Into The Void’ – Tomorrow Syndicate (Polytechnic Youth)

‘You Shouldn’t Have Said That’ – Vertical67 (Brokntoys)

‘Slow Motion’ – Jane Weaver (Fire Records)

‘Element’ – Jane Weaver (Fire)

‘The Build-Up To A Smashing Night Out’ – Own Brand (Internationally Obscure)

‘The Alright Side Of Just OK’ – The Black Watch (The Eskimo Record Label)

‘Stole My Pushbike’ – Amyl And The Sniffers (Amyl And The Sniffers)

‘Der Gemüsehändler Und Der Bauer’ – Kehrschleife (Kehrschleife)

‘Car’ – Racoon Rally (Numavi)

Now pick the bones out that …….

Think there may be apologies due to David CW Briggs who sent over copies of a CD he released earlier in the year, which I‘m most embarrassed to say, somehow sloped off in the releases melee. Anyhow, as a wee expression of thanks and a humbled sorry type thing, here’s his latest. Just 25 copies of this ‘un, incidentally titled ‘are you the only one in your world?’ – a strictly limited CD-r heading out of the folk archive imprint from off which the opening title track has been the cause of much affectionate hoo-hah around these parts and no wonder because this little nugget comes hollowed and seasoned in a ghost lit misty mountain blues spiritualism that teasingly sits somewhere between Robyn Hitchcock and the mighty Frond. That said  ‘sleighted’ is no slouch in the fondness stakes its muddy and fuzzy psych folk swing adopting a subtle woozy and dizzy toning that hints of a solo Syd Barrett sitting upon its creative shoulder.  

…. And here’s something a little older from Mr Briggs – here under his Hills have Riffs alter ego ….

stuff we picked up along the way ….. la witch, mick harris, bill nelson’s red noise, the paranoyds, Suzanne santo ….

la witch …. drop dead cool live rendition of ‘kill my baby tonight’ …..

Here’s the Paranoyds who, if ‘heather doubtfire’ is anything to judge by, will be sought after for featuring here on a regular basis this year……

…here’s more LA Witch just because their as cool as …..

… and another from the Jam in a Van sessions …. This ‘un is Suzanne Santo ….

…. while over at IMPA TV here’s an extended set from Mick Harris recorded at his recent appearance the golden cabinet in Shipley …..

…. while time for a spot of nostalgic classicism courtesy of bill nelson’s red noise with their legendary Peel session from ’79 ….

….more stuff we picked up along the way ….. happy meals, the space lady, Genesis P-Orridge and Aaron Dilloway Live at Cafe Oto ….

… opening with the Happy Meals …. who i’m sure you’ll be sick of hearing about around these parts this coming year judging by this live footage ….

… the legendary space lady ….

…. Genesis P-Orridge and Aaron Dilloway Live at Cafe Oto ….

Somewhere amid these pages you’ll find two releases that use the curious enigma 23 – or the law of five’s as it’s more commonly known – as its source point. First up, there’s this newly exhumed oddness from the Aetheric folk, more specifically, e mordrake, while a little later you’ll find links to a superb mix tape curated by those fine people over at Wyrd Daze. Anyhow, back to e mordrake who in the finest tradition of Aetheric releases that have passed before, ushers in a disquieting dread across this macabre 14 minute sitting titled ‘lovely as a dream, hideous as a devil mixtape’, for here lurk ne’er do well apparitions and all manner of uninvited presences and unexpected guests, gathered to perform an unholy séance whilst spreading chilled contagion. Blanked within an impenetrable psychosis and an unearthly eerie, these ghostly drone recitals shimmer with a dead heading ice cold stillness that crafts something of an uneasy dark displacement.    

Staying a little longer with the Aetheric imprint, here’s a little something they sneaked out at the tail end of last year, which to much horror and embarrassment, it appears, slipped beneath our radar. This is ‘Clair Obscur’ the latest set from Julien A. Lacroix from off which we’ll just include a little of the press announcement to whet your appetites. ‘…..this album mirrors our interest in conceptual and abstract story-telling. It is directly inspired by occult-themed horror tales which draw upon ideas from the Symbolist and Hermetic traditions’. Sounds a bit grim doesn’t it, in truth it is and it isn’t, plenty of ethereal whispers, meditative bells, shadowy neo classical eeriness and chamber haunts,which might upon reading this, give the impression that you are at the entrance of some speedy elevator preparing to descend at pace to the very bowels of the fabled underworld. But then peel yourself away from the outer dark distractions and what emerges is an alluring shadowy fantasia, okay i’ll admit that it’s spirited away somewhat, to the realms that exist in the finite cracks between dream and night terrors, yet all the same tamed and traced in a mesmeric unworldliness, our favourite moment, should you be a wondering, being ‘conjuration’.     

…. and back with a few more selections from that excellent Unexplained Sounds Group year end archive ‘ocean of sound’. Just to recap a humongous two volume gathering of out there sounds operating on the distant margins of pop’s ever expanding cosmos, this collection extending to some 200 plus tracks drawn from the labels formidable release archive of 2017. As you can gather, a little hefty to feature all in one sitting, so  we here have opted to drift in and out, delving as we as we go along, plucking out keynote tracks via these occasional visits. And so with that it’s a return to Volume 1 where you’ll find ‘hirajoshi’ by that faint light. This really is something else, the spectral pirouetting, the poetic poise and the frosting neo classical sighs adore it with a bewitching and airy night time intimacy, where just you, the silence and the haunt of your conscience sit in deep contemplation. Assuming a more darker persona, parting salvo ‘Comadreamers II’ by Haunted Me is etched in all manner of senses unravelling disquiet, a chilling aural account whose stilled and prowling unease, fixes you squarely in its deadening drone dread glare.

Apologies to the Riot Season sound house, so gutted that we failed to mention this on initial asking that we are now busily kicking our backsides up and down the listening room in an attempt to knock a modicum of sense into us. This will blow minds, though I suspect not quite to the extent of its makers, whom I’m sure must have been smoking far weirder stuff than both you and me. This psychedelic folk, is the whacked out and wasted n’ woozy freak pill that is ‘mood stabilizer’ by Perhaps from a set entitled ‘V’ sneaked out by Riot Season many months ago and still available for adoption by homes who prefer their listening, shall we say, a little more stoned and playfully off its head and tripping. Now I’ll be honest in saying, had this headed out on some hip imprint – say for instance Bureau B – not that I’m saying that Riot Season don’t fit the bill, just that they don’t reside in Germany – and say had the name Der Plan or something closely connected to the Kluster family tree stamped on its hide, then you’d all be going gaga, that it doesn’t in no way detracts from its mind melting floatiness incidentally.

talking of trippy, a little something that’s been out for a while now from Zeuk who I’m fairly certain, though I could be wrong, have at some point in the dim and dark past, shimmied by our way. Anyway this is the aptly titled ‘the mists of Phobos’ – an astral snow globe wonderfully ethereal and somewhat touched in starry sighed shimmertones, a lunar fantasia traced in dreamy dissolves and half woken lulling dissipates, a very spacey spectral symphonia. In short, blissful.

desperately playing catch up with all these releases,fairly certain we got a message or some sort of communication from these folk a little while back. Latest to the Fuzz Club academy, these are pretty lightning who I‘m sure we’ve mentioned in earlier despatches, this slice of hypnosia titled ‘tangerine steam’. Down the psychedelic rabbit hole for what is a curiously mesmeric mantra blessed with an affectionate lolloping swing that sound wise imagines Gnoomes lost and tripped out in the land of Gnod, the effects dreamily dissolving and off centred in a woozy lysergic frying of bonged out mystical floatiness. Does it for us I’m aafraid.

… and back with Riot Season for a little something that’s shimnying down the line ready shortly for essential record store conter action. This be Familia de Lobos with ‘Todo Lo Que Brilla ‘ – a track taken from their imminent self titled head trip. What can we say, sounds as though its been dropkicked straight out from some 60’s Tibetan retreat, absolutely smoking in fact almost spiritual, certainly trippy of that there’s no doubt, you can feel the heat sultrily snaking from the grooves as it picks the locks to open your hidden third eye.

Getting a tad concerned now, what with tripping across all these skedaddled sonic salvos that we keep bumping into, this ‘un was out around this time last, from Wawawow – really don’t ask – this is ‘space invaders’ – a wiry little blighter that seesaws precariously between out and out lunacy and freakish scuzzed out day-glo dandiness, would I be right in saying that hints of Spizz Energi weave into their sonic tapestry, whatever the case you’ll be hard pressed to find anything closely resembling its high octane feral finesse.

just ahead of a by all accounts killer new owHH outing through reverb worship, the labels current listening love is a set from Dark Sun entitled ‘innerspace astronauts’ from off which the frankly immense ‘heart beat’ has been sent on ahead on scouting detail. A cosmic dark star, this big bearded galactic juggernaut comes schooled, shaped and purred in the finest of classic era kraut / space rock vintages as though time travelled from the 70’s, a humongous Hawkwind disciple swirled in head shrooming astrals and bliss kissed moonage mosaics replete with a brief peppering of hallucinogenic happenings courtesy of a momentary sitar detour. Disturbingly essential.

interlude ….  Darkwave / chill wave … some stuff we fell over …… kaelan mikla, pop simonova, fuka lata,  shad shadows, person:a ….

our latest obsession …. so with that, two cuts from kaelan mikla …..

pop simonova …….

fuka lata ….

shad shadows ……

person:a ….

Many thanks to Keith over at Fruits de Mer for sending over a copy of the ridiculously limited, and from what we can gather, long since sold out special edition version of the latest Sendelica happening ‘Cromlech Chronicles II’. An awesome looking boxed packed to bursting with all manner of goodies that we here scarcely wonder how on earth they manage to shoe horn all this stuff in, really is an eye watering affair. Just 110 of these shipping around, inside of which you get a copy of the album itself along with – draws deep breath – an exclusive Sendelica Drone Band live DVD, a random copy of one of the 2017 Sendelica FdM festival/Half Moon gig one-sided 7″s – either ‘Nite Flights’ or ‘Yellow Snow’ – ours had the later in case you are taking notes, a Cromlech II t-shirt, an A2 poster of the front cover, a set of 7″x5″ postcards, a ‘make your own dreamcatcher’ kit and a ‘make your own chocolate cromlech’ kit. Absolutely stunning and well worth going on the hunt for. Anybow we’ve mentioned the album itself a few times previously – links attached to the foot of this, therefore thought it best to give the accompanying DVD a little whirl. Featuring the band recorded at a recent Kozfest appearance, the footage features three extended transcendental suites or drone mosaics as you might have gathered from the fact that this is the ‘Drone’ persona of the Sendelica hive mind, it’s  all very trippy with ‘ripples of the megaliths’ – incidentally one of the two tracks you’ll find pressed upon the ‘Cromlech’ ear feast – particularly woozed to barely a dreamy murmur and seductively threaded with something of a far out astral jazz out thereness, totally bonged out in other words. Mind you that said, we here are still recovering from the lysergic hits still reverberating around our headspace following the encountering of the head fracturing ’12 shades revisited’ – a colossal shamanic psychedelic happening featuring a stirring lost in the moment Nico-esque guest vocal by Karen Langley. Essential acquirement.

Further reading ….

staying with Fruits de Mer a little while longer, seems all the initial copies of the label 10th anniversary celebrating members only freebie have all found their way to loving homes, just to recap, this was a rare vinyl pressing of Schizo Fun Addict’s ‘the sun yard’ – links and details below. There’s still time to grab copies, the label celebrating thwir 10th birthday with an intimate evening in Glastonbury this coming summer have pressed up versions of the album in shades of red wax while at the moment, the label are running a competition to secure three copies of the much sought after blue vinyl variant – which we’ll let Keith chat with you about …….

‘… I’ve launched a new section on the FdM website called ‘Under The Counter’, where I’d like to share stories about record shops, their owners and their customers!

Here are a couple of early examples:

But i need LOTS of stories from you to make it work – stories about your favourite shop, the worst shop you’ve ever been in, terrible shop owners, shops you’ve found in the most unlikely places, your first-ever experience of a record shop, shops that stock the most unusual records…that sort of thing.

Email your stories to me – – and I’ll post a selection of them in the coming weeks on the FdM website.

AND in a week’s time, my wife Liz will pick three emails out of a virtual hat and you’ll each win a copy of the Schizos LP.

Of course, besides this there’s the labels latest outings from Moloko and the Pretty Things – both of which I’m assuming are long since sold out – though mentioned here – and – later towards Spring time there’ll be a host of special releases,freebies and festival gifts – with sinles from Ilona V and Permanent Clear Light as well as a handful of compilations ‘a gathering of fish’ and ‘sideshows by the seashore’ with the jewel in the crown being a mammoth triple vinyl birthday gift entitled ‘goldfish’ which comes accompanied by its little sibling ‘the little goldfish’ 7 inch.

Further readings …   

…. and while we are here with Fruits de Mer, a  chance to mention a very limited CD pressing of ‘mute effigies’ by Nathan Hall and the Sinister Locals. Those of you who keep a keen watch, will be all to aware of our fiondness for ‘effigies’ – the debuting solo long player by the Soft Hearted Scientists head honcho, sneaked out while the band enjoy a sabbatical. For those of you at the back previously ignoring such fond words of the adoration poured upon this quietely arresting gem – see – anyway, I’m certain we’ve read somewhere that there are just 100 CD copies being pressed of this, the alternate instrumental variant – hence the title ‘mute effigies’. Why an instrumental version you might rightly ask, well aside serving as a ‘parent’ album to its bigger and more realised sibling, what ‘Mute’ intriguingly does is to pour fresh perspective on ceratin tracks, shining a light on them so to speak and repositioning them in a different landscape. Sure enough the album as a whole in terms of vibe still oozes and is imbibed with nods aplenty to, principally, XTC, William D Drake and the Cardiacs – see ‘the unholy ghost’with its healthy dose of ‘gigglegoo’ era Freed Unit phrasings – it still purrs with a sense of adventure, a fantastical voyage to mysterious lands, kind of boys own – not the band you understand, gone Captain Nemo by way of Robinson Cruscoe, its something that sound wise draws back to the roots of the Soft Hearted Scientists sound as found on their initial releases. For here you’ll find ‘plant your flag’ salvaged from it’s Paul Roland like Victoriana steam pop psych-i-ness and remodelled into a dare n do dandy hurrah navigating the high seas, while somewhere else ‘the sighing song’ just gets dreamier and more lushly caressed in pastoral posies. A particular fave of mine personally,‘stained glass girl’ is here retuned in all manner of old English psychedelic peculiar, a surreal fairground fantasia hooked upon lulling rustics drawn from lost childhood memories. All said, by way of a spot of suspected impishness, parting track ‘song for the flowers’ – incidentally it does feature twice, is described by its author as an ‘anti instrumental’ and is redecorated and spruced up as the radiantly arrested soft psych campfire hymnal ‘Beach Boys cloud of choral vocal mix’. Essential I’d have thought.

… and here we are back with that essential volume 9 happening of the bedroom cassette masters series, apologies but we are splitting this over several mentions, hopefully, well that’s the idea, mainly due to time constraints and in order to give it a degree of maximum coverage in which case you might want to head over there now because it’s available free for a very limited period. A few brief selections then on this all too brief visit, starting out with 7DD9’s ‘turning back’ which had we not known any better would have gathered was the work of another of Allan Murphy’s alter ego’s, certainly has a feel of Midwich Youth Club about its wares in so much as that trademark off centred wonkiness, albeit here found cooking up Concretism styled homages which due to a pressing plant mishap have ended up on cassettes left a little too long in the sun. next up, a silver age’s ‘this feeling’ has had me rummaging around our record collection, who do they remind us of we were puzzling, okay Modern Eon that’s a given but not quite right, another band of that era and of a similar vintage and pedigree, then in a flash it hit us – some detergents, hell’s teeth this lot we thought have that whole minimalist early 80’s chill wave nailed to the spot. Perfect in case you were wondering. Okay I’ll openly admit, we were attracted by the name – the Urban Molluscs be their name – the track – the equally intriguing and puzzling named ‘Putney trundle’. A delightful sore thumb, crooked and kooky and hitherto strangely found sitting in the sonic dark with the Flying Lizards and Gerry and the Holograms on side of them while the Caretaker lurks to the other. Last up for this mention, parting outing ‘the city becomes a forest’ by Walt Thisney is cooled in the kind of serenely sprayed oceanic orbitals that had us here much recalling a bliss toned and laid-back Fred und Luna. More later.

Interlude…. chill / synth wave …. Low sea, modern witch, les visiteurs du soir, silent signals, peine Perdue, minuit machine, hante, furniteur, Wojciech Golczewski …..

Low sea ….

Modern Witch ….

Les Visiteurs Du Soir ….

silent signals

peine perdue

minuit machine…..


Furniteur ….

Wojciech Golczewski

Here’s a little shimmer toning chime pop from the Shelflife imprint that caught us on the hop. From the keep left signs this is ‘tomorrow’, a  bracing slice of classicist indie pop whose tingling adoring sighs had us much minded to go rummaging around the place in search of our prized copy of Moviola’s ’durable dream’ and  whose cascading lilts put us much in mind of a more brisky and breezy variant of the Lucksmiths.

Stuff ….

Brian Eno documentary from’73 …..

<p><a href=”″>ENO</a&gt; from <a href=””>More Dark Than Shark</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Little bit of  Visage never did anyone any harm – rare session from ’83 …..

the Clash – documentary …..

latest obsessions Vlimmer along with a whole host of dark wave and moise niking folk feature on the superb mix tape assembled by the textbreak folk …..

new style of sound mix tape, this ‘un curated by the Doreen and Emerald folk …..

latest transmission from the Séance ….

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