undulating waters 1

first of two limited cassette releases from the folk behind the ever excellent ‘you, the night and the music’ radio show. Trading under the name Woodford Halse, this new adventure into sound perfectly compliments the shows musical ethic / remit in so much as casting a deserving searchlight upon the secretive crooks and crannies of the expansive labyrinth of so sounds stationed on the outer edges of the various electronic / kosmische / psychedelic spectrums. Limited in nature, just 100 cassettes, all beautifully sculptured in eye catching die cut sleeves replete with exclusive cigarette cards which to the reverse feature an ‘excerpt from the Woodford Halse mystery written by Paul Bareham’. As to the sounds, well pretty much keeping in with the retro / futuro vibe so in common with the likes of ghost box, café kaput, a year in the country, castles in space and of course, polytechnic youth, to name but a few. One for late night attention methinks, ‘Undulating Waters I’ features twelve tracks gathered here for your discerning listening ear, a few names familiar a few not so, guaranteed a little something for all with Revbjelde’s ‘Building a Cathedral’ initially taking the lead in the affection stakes sounding not unlike a distantly acute and obtuse forgotten white funk sore thumb dropped from a Peel playlist from ‘82/83 possessed of an imagining of an imagining of A Certain Ratio and Brilliant personas lovingly warped into the minimalist mindset of a shadowy sounding Quando Quango, ends annoyingly abruptly. In complete contrast and found propping up matters at the parting gate,  62 Miles From Space serve up some vaporesque bliss bubbles in the shape of the far out astral trip toned ‘Mare Undarum’, a dream delirium of floaty flotillas and wispy lunar psychedelics, very chilled and disarmingly woozy. At the opposite end of the set, a greeting herald from Polypores shimmers briefly into orbital alignment finding him ever more immersed in the realms of kosmick trance and proffering up an acutely engaging slice of sleekly serene third eye tweaking astral gliding. Next up, Panamint Manse, who I suspect we owe an apology to for not mentioning an earlier outing from this year, step up to plate with the delightfully chirpy and frisky ‘harmony borax’ which aside sounding like the upbeat sun fried sound of an as were thought lost secret liaison between the Go Team and J Xaverre, had us immediately back in the hazy summers of the mid 70’s, its floral piping and cheerful nostalgic toning drawing adorning reference to the tunes emanating from the esteemed Clay Pipe imprint. Catching us blindside and totally unaware, we must admit a more than mild affection for Fuego’s ‘milky way’, woven as it is in a genteel acoustic flickering that softly unfurls into a radiant blossoming of post rock’d snow bursts the pensively pristine calm of which had us much recalling the more vulnerable moments of Flying Saucer Attack as though rehomed on the much missed Make mine music imprint. Typically abstract and obtuse, time attendant’s ‘tiromancy’ is dutifully awash in all manner of Radiophonic crookedness and cannibalized 50’s styled electroid frequency blippery, a kitchen appliance love story of sorts kookified in spectral echoes that hint of a keen ear for Louis and Bebe Barron. Shifting in sharply contrasting terrains and with its vaguely subtle middle eastern mosaics, life education’s ‘ten years’ pilots the kind of atmospheric and industrial heartlands once inhabited by the likes of 70 Gwen Party and the New Fast Automatic Daffodils as were channeling the mindset of Muslim Gauze while once emerging out of the hazy fog that greets the opening of ‘Adamantine’, Kersbergen & Janisch proceed to craft a gloriously bonged out primordial mystic that ought, first port of call, appeal to those of you fully versed in the ways of reverb worship. Similarly touched with a mystical mystique, Michael Plater’s beautifully realized ‘the spirit medium’ is couched in a hurting melancholic phrasing, its neo classical toning nodding ever so subtly to the more introverted moments of a Mike Oldfield back catalogue. With its genuflecting strings swathes and twinkle toned teasing, there’s a soft bewitchment shrouding the impeccable lines of Floodlights ‘cold floors’ as though your venturing upon some dream dazed magic land. Hard pressed as we find ourselves to picking a favourite from the set, Pictogram make a good claim by way of ‘a warning for the curious’ which as the title hints assumes the feel of a silently watchful pulsing ghost light from some hitherto future tense. An essential release by our humbled reckoning. https://woodfordhalse.bandcamp.com/album/undulating-waters-1  

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