The Departure Lounge ….
(still waiting …….. )
An occasional, occasional.
Firstly, many thanks to all those of you who flooded our messenger and inbox with words of kindness, they were greatly appreciated and certainly gave us a much needed giddy up, it’s nice to know, that out there, there are truly beautiful people.
This was intended for posting before my last consultation, a shame really because it would have sounded a lot more upbeat if it had, alas as I’d feared the results were a mix of relief and concern. A day greeted by a prolonged coughing episode resulting in blood aplenty, was not an omen I welcomed with optimism, though it seemed this was the least of my concerns. Despite the hope placed on the recent chemo sessions to stall the tumour’s advance, it seems the treatment has failed and that the it has grown. On a more positive note though, it hasn’t moved, cold comfort eh? As a result of this, the team want me to embark on another Chemo session, this one a little longer, 6 cycles, it’s called CAV, the hope being that because of the unpredictable nature of small cell cancer, that this treatment might be a little more preventative. In addition, my consultant is checking for potential places on the trials. I guess depending on where you stand, you could either look at this as a small victory or else the beginning of diminishing returns.
Tripped across by sheer accident on a recent Bandcamp nosey, we were happy to encounter Downscope, been a while since we last heard anything from Rimas Campe, ‘i am the passenger’ attracting our attention, a track pulled from his latest set ‘Vectors and Planes – the analogue chronicles of downscope – part 1’. A cool wave chill pill that in truth, wouldn’t look out of place on such noteworthy and desirable sound houses as Polytechnic Youth, Spun out of Control and Castles in Space, its icy crystalline bedded upon a pulsing motorik grooving late 70’s / early 80’s time stamping levered with a distinctive VHS styled bleak beauty. Elsewhere and also worthy of a patient peek, ‘intersections in space’ again teased with an 80’s seasoning, seductively shimmers attractively courted by a minimalist nocturnal ghosted with a deft reflective shelling.
Those of you preferring your electronic listening swathed, shall we say, in a lights-lowered temperate hazed in sultry laid-back sophistication, might well be advised to alter your tuning dial in the general direction of Auragraph’s ‘polywave’. Admittedly it’s been out a while, we unearthed this link from an old to do list we must have readied as a listening list back earlier in the year. The sounds smooth and smoky adore the proceedings with a warmly dissipating dream like detailing appreciably trippy and mood mellow. To the flip, more of the same with a Missions remix flavouring the template with a dub doped dressing whilst simultaneously cuing it for club land essential by teasing it with an airless minimalist brushing laced in a coolly distracting orbital oceanic.
Now if I’d have had the time and wherewithal many moons ago to have all my CD’s racked up in alphabetical order, I’d have plucked out, with swift ease, my priced copies of Inside Ov a Butcher’s Shop’s ear ware for curious comparison. Alas I don’t and haven’t, do you think I’m anal or something. I only mention this because we’ve been annoyingly perturbed by a wonderful curio that’s just been drop-kicked out of the Cache Cache imprint, you know, the sub-label for the weirder and wirier groove orbiting the Finders Keepers sound space. On limited issue, the first in a series of PVC cassettes, this one inspired by the labels recent ‘Plastic Dance’ vault dig, features a wealth of oddities sourced beneath beds, dusty attics and random odds n’ ends boxes from Graham Massey who light years before his 808 State days, something of a sore thumb cooking up an array of alter egos in an anything goes post punk tape swapping era. Here in his beach surgeon persona, a rare gathering of electronic oddness and frayed punk jazz strangeness collectively outed as ‘cassette roulette’ reveals a skewed mind set mixing and matching the peculiar with the barking into a kookily fried reverie amid whose grooves such distractive delights as ‘mouth like homicide’ squiggle and squirm amid a strange Chandler-esque nightmare whereupon Ayler and Moroder are unceremoniously relocated. Elsewhere, you’ll find punctuated by the all too brief ident workouts, the Voltaire like ‘Four Millions’ ghosts with a fixed point stare you down mutant club floor cool. All said, highlight of the collection is the full version of ‘Chicken Skin Planet’ a skewed This Heat meets DAF via Einsturzende Neubauten sonic head hammer. Essential of course, did you really need ask?
No info on this alas, but another from the Graveface folk, this is Fawning with the delectable ‘too soon’. Might I be right in saying, fully paid up members of the Cocteau Twins fan club, certainly the finest thing to have hit our sound space since our lobes were tenderly transfixed by the Molly via Sonic Cathedral. This softly burning siren-esque comes impeccable demurred and woozed in wave upon wave, of celestial raptures, utterly hypnotic and dare we say majestic and stately, its sugar spun dream weaving crushed in a vapour hazed forlorn all delicately surrendered in angel sighed cascades.
I’ll admit, we do have something of a soft spot for this ‘un’s docile faraway casual not to mention the shimmering needle riffs and the honeyed harmonies, it all serves to give it a tasty early 90’s indie tug subtly frosted with a Breeders like tang. Anyhow this be Swim Team with ‘New Year’, a track lifted from their recently released full length ‘home time’ through the Hysterical imprint, a little something I’m guessing we need to hear sooner rather than later. https://soundcloud.com/hystericalrecords/swim-team-new-year
And did we mention a little second or so ago Sonic Cathedral. Since our absence, the blighters have been issuing turntable treats like no one’s business, this ‘un by bdrmm clipping our earlobes. Their debut release no less, this one as part of the labels ongoing singles club, number 6 if you’re counting, the slightly out of sync July posting. Pressed on translucent yellow vinyl, this be ‘c:u’ of which I’ll say right from the start is a bit of an emotional bruiser that locates itself at some safe point between Hookworms and Toy from where to showers of stratospheric blister burns, the ache of unrequited love plays out to a symphonic soaring that dissolves amid the crushing coalesce of forlorn ablaze, tear torn arpeggio surges and a withdrawing dream draped rapture. Cruelly beautiful in short.
Staying with Sonic Cathedral just a tad longer, latest to the Singles Club, that’ll be August’s and by our reckoning, issue #8, two new exclusives from Topographies. Pressed on blue wax, ‘cherry blossom’ takes up the lead side duties for a little something, that should our ears deceive, had us back in the days when releases shipping out the Wilde Club imprint where essential happenings and here, I’m thinking Catherine Wheel and the Bardots primarily and of course those early outings by Moose on the equally loveable Hut recordings. Honey dripped dream pop dissipates sighed in bitter-sweet halos of introspection shimmer aplenty on this distancing echo, all seductively sugar rushed in a shade adorning haze of vapor-esque white outs and floppy fringed oblivion. Nuff said.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but we’ve a knack of going roaming around the likes of Bandcamp and Soundcloud just as we are readying either for bed or to some or other hospital appointment, basically seeing if there’s any sounds out there that take our fancy for a closer listening and indeed, potential review later that day, not that things pan out quite like that. It’s an annoying habit in so much as we’re always either copying and pasting links (and losing them) or worse still, leaving the tabs open, so that after a while, we manage to collect an ever-growing task bar which aside skewering the laptops performance also languishes so long on the to do list, that we forget where, how or from whom, we tripped across them in the first place. Case in point with this ‘un, which pardon the laboured ramble in, we can’t for the life of us recall, whether we upturned it on one of our aforementioned rambles or indeed whether it was recommended to us. So, apologies if it was the latter and it was in fact you. this is Floer with the utterly engaging ‘twilight shore’, a chamber soul noir dimpled with a spectral detailing and brushed with a hushed beguiling, at once alluring and enchanting, the minimalist touch of the ghost folk pastoral sketches endow it with a mystique atop of which, the fragile call of a woodland siren weaves her woozy spell craft to caress and float ghost like amid the twilight serene.
Another track we pulled from a recent sound cloud soiree sorry. Heading out of the El Paraiso imprint, this is Astral TV with ‘different dreams’. A track culled from their imminent (tomorrow in fact) ‘travelling the circuits’ full length, a wonderfully dissolving and dissipating drift space whose multi-layered interweaving loop cascades, softly fuse to create a deeply immersive and mesmeric inner space with which to lose yourself in, elements of Riley and Reich as much as Tangerine Dream, trip in its amorphous ambience, itself beautifully moored upon an oceanic mooring of kosmische flotillas, oscillating orbitals and the radiant spray of life affirming trance tripping trimmings.
A very quick mention for these three (oops – better make that four) all of whom, I’ll admit first-hand, weren’t on our intended listening list for the evening, though somehow worked their way beneath our defences. First up, by Tristan B, (after that the information path goes a little silent, well disappears totally if I’m being totally honest), with the quite aptly titled ‘porcelain’. This one is possessed of a glassy 80’s cool chic whose electronic swathing and smoothly smouldered pop symmetry puts it on the right-side of that decades accepted listening which while we are here, if ears don’t deceive had us much minded of a love noted Psychedelic Furs all of which I’m sure you agree is no bad thing.
The one that nearly got away, this is A Transition with ‘runaways’ another cut that’s loving tattooed with a 80’s time coding, self-described in passing as falling under the ‘post wave’ umbrella there’s something of this ‘un’s driving ice dripped aspect and chime drilled haloing that had us imaging some mid-way meeting point between the Chameleons and the Church had of course, these two icons of the cathedral and stately, ever found themselves occupying the same after-hours studio space. Still not convinced, well perhaps ‘obscure’ might allay any notions of a one trick pony in the offing. This frosted slice of cool cold wave traverses in realms more commonly associated with the ever pristine Felte imprint. Indelibly gouged with a darkening beauty and shimmered with a shadowy club land grooving, there’s much here to have those among you, with a thing for subterranean sonics, immediately seeking out your prized stash of DAF and Front 242 platters for close comparison.
All of which leads us to Felte, seamless linkage, I hear you swoon at the obviousness of it all. And so, to Odonis Odonis, been out a while alas but it has been an age since any of their grooves disturb and delight our listening space, truth is we here are still recovering from their debut Fat Cat outing from years back. ‘promise’ is laced in dark seduction, all strobe light pulsars and fixed staring iciness mooching through a walls closing in shadowland, the deeper in the more fractured and unhinged the psychosis seeped paranoia clings and scratches. Does it for us.
Finally, for this quartet and indeed the evening I strongly suspect, this sore thumb one wouldn’t wonder ought to appeal to the aforementioned Felte folk, anyhow, this I think, may or indeed may not be, Eaux Saines with ‘in the red’, an early 80’s styled slice of glacial industrialism whose isolationist toning and bleakly clinical frosted sonic gauzing, had us squarely back in the day grooving to the shadowy psychosis of a mutant Clock DVA / UK Decay set, their collective DNA somewhat under prolonged attack by a goth gouged parasite from the Batcave family. Quite darkly delirious.
Fancying something a little on the darkly doomy side of the listening room, human 80 may well fit the bill perfectly. Sounding like it’s dropped off a Peel playlist schedule sometime in the early 80’s, this icy invader ought to appeal to those still mourning the absence of groove from New York’s Weird imprint, all looped industrial pulsars and shadowy alienation which while sitting on the outer spectrum of a sonic landscape heavily populated by the likes of Revolting Cocks, Front Line Assembly and Ministry is hitherto, gouged with a seedy clubland distilling of a mid-career Front 242.
I think we may have a few BlackJack Illuminist releases teased up for play either later today or tomorrow thereabouts, there’s certainly this one for starters. By Feu Follet, this is ‘la queue du loop’, a track taken from their recently released ‘le champ des morts’, described in passing or at least filed beneath the cold wave, its anything but. Agreed the sounds are indeed sparsely phrased yet despite the minimalist tones there’s a warmth trimmed woozy here, albeit bleached in head-turned regret, which given its shimmering of future-gazed dystopic elements, finitely harvests a most affecting lushness that radiates and purrs a deceptive cool.
Back with the El Paraiso folk courtesy of Danish duo Videodrones whose recent ‘Atavistic Future’ full length is here served by the teaser trailing ‘Venetian Blinds’, which happen by chance we’ve had a nasty bang on the head and in the resulting confusion and concussion, have started hearing things, we’d hazard a guess that this vintage kosmische orbital, might just warrant the interest of those subscribing to the sounds of Pye Corner Audio, in his darker more Vangelis inspired soundtrack moments, Burning Witches and Spun out of Control regulars are equally put on notice.
I’m kind of suspecting we’ve fallen off their mailing list, that said, one of these days, I don’t know when, but I swear that day is close, we will actually free up time and delve deep into the seasonal batches of Constellation Tatsu fayre. This one, peeled from their Spring assortment of dream drifts is by Opaline and goes by the name ‘inside sky’. In truth at first listening, this had us subtly overwhelmed by the urge to take time out to locate our much-coveted stash of Handstitched (Maps & Diagrams) and Boltfish releases from a decade or so ago, not least those of Cheju. Mind you on reflection, to the agreeable lull of the bowed arrangements and the colourful waltz like orbital interplay softly blossoming and dispersing from its core, a second listen had us minded to recall the impishly deft detailing and hitherto, deceptively busy ambient sculptures crafted by the hand of Inch Time.
And there was us thinking, maybe just maybe, a cover of ABC’s early 80’s everywhere, but no, instead the Hal and Burt gem as nailed to the floor back in the day by Dusty. We of course refer to ‘the look of love’ found here rewired by BigFlower and cooled with a damaged and dented scratchiness who anxiousness and anticipation burns with a scabbing hollowing that’s blistered with a curdled croon like late-night distressing and punch drunk weary, that mood rather than sound, recalls Gallon Drunk. Latest posting ‘third time lucky’ finds the ‘Flower folk in Bardo Pond terrains, the interweaving riff ripples weaving a hazily glazed mysticism whose snake charming serene is pressed with a head expanding trip toning.
Ah bugger, not even sure whether I’m allowed to share these links, hell’s teeth course I am, look its late, I’m tired and I’m feeling a tad tranced out, not through the medication but by this doozy. By Taras Bulba, who that I hear you say, some kind of Captain Beefheart styled ju-ju (it is in fact a novel by Nikolai Gogol), might well be had the Van Vliet bus took a road trip to the Tibetan or Marrakesh. No folks, this is duo, Messrs Laird and Blacow, one-time Earthling Society beards no more, who decided to swap notes and head off on a different musical jolly, one that would have no borders, no pre-sets or fixed notion as to what a Taras Bulba cut should sound like. Like that hasn’t been done before, yea by the Beefheart I hear you return back at me with steely smug gusto. Aye, would it were, but Van Vliet’s growls and oddly hiccupping vocal meter gave it all away. The Taras Bulba solution, remove the vocals, good idea, check. So, the sessions began and started to assume a foothold. lost in the studio, lost in the moment and no doubt, losing their mind, Riot Season heard the first fruits, conversations ensued and an album was agreed. Simply titled ‘one’, the album officially airs next-week, reception to it on pre-sales has been positive with the special edition CD / vinyl press already sold at source. Sent forth on twin-pronged scouting duties, both ‘the yo-yo man’ and ‘the neon midnight’ are brothers from a different mother, the latter, an eastern meditative weathered with an arid brushing arrives dappled in a free spirited mournful mellow that finds itself rubbed in all manner of chamber sighs, swarthy jazz drifts and calming oriental mosaics. ‘the yo-yo man’ on the hand, is a contrasting beast, intricate and ziggy wiggy with it, there’s a playful lightness here amid the cosmica heartland, the cutely wiry time signatures and free jazz fused structures adore it with a loosely amorphous charming that’s strangely kissed with a mushrooming head hit that wouldn’t look to out of place on a club floor.
To that long promised and long overdue recap of Static Caravan recent happenings who like Castles in Space of late, have unjustly suffered to fate’s of ill timing and treatment wobbles, what with us seemingly disappearing stage left and assuming recluse mode. That said, we do fondly appreciate these packages from the Static brothers, often they arrive stuffed with random items such as stickers, cigarette cards, postcards and various other nostalgia. However, on this occasion, they excelled themselves, please bear in mind that I am a person easily pleased, for here tucked between the various goody bag of vinyl and CD, a slightly done in copy of ‘the house at pooh corner’, a 7 inch no less pressed on blue vinyl, dating from – according to discogs, 1960 on the HMV Junior records label and featuring the very wonderfully eloquent English tones of an Carmichael, an actor held in deep regard here not least for playing the lead in one of the finest b/w comedies ever to be made, ‘School for Scoundrels’ alongside the legendary Alistair Sim. Anyway, we’ve strayed long and far enough from our intended path, back to the records and with that, to the Memory Band. It irks me greatly that these folk aren’t more commonly appreciated. Having recently sat through and endured and indeed, wasted a valuable hour watching some hopeless TV show pretending to masquerade as a hipster pop magazine, I now fully understand and appreciate why the youth of today look so glum and grey, solution ban under 25’s from buying music in any form, that way proper music might have a chance, rather than the same-y magnolia naff we are being pushed these days, oh and ban McCartney from recording studios, only joking Macca, like ‘f’uh you’ was really down with the kids eh, behave. So now that I’ve managed to offend the greater part of humankind thus ensuring a popularity rating lower than the Boris (surely not) I’ll just go off and grab a bigger shovel in order to sweep up the rest of you. Apologies then for the tirade, but I am, apparently according to my ex employer, a pensioner, ill health pressing and forcing the case, like yea thanks. Therefore, I think I’m allowed the momentary wander into grouchy. Tell you what shall we start again?
I blame the lesser spotted Memory Band, for had they not released a near perfect two track seven-inch, we‘d have not gone off-road randomly shouting at passing things. Just 300 of these from the rising from hibernation collective, Cracknell and co, with both tracks, ‘after night’ and ‘tangled man’, featuring the returning guest vocal of Nancy Wallace. Kissed with a traditional softly surrendering folk sigh, the all too briefly visiting ‘after night’ delicately flowers and blossoms, drawing to its beguiled bow a shyly awakening from slumber chamber toning over which descends a hushed spectral intimacy whose intent, to draw you near and close within whispering distance, as though a secret shared only to emerge momentarily statuesque and steeled for the oncoming storm. That said, we here are little taken with the flip, a disarming cover of an Anne Briggs penning here found softly matured and sun glazed in a deeply alluring gallic dusted delta folk blues warming of whom whose lolloping lilts and a moment alone to reflect giddy up cantering had us much minded of the distractive faraway oft encountered on the work of Nick Drake. Quite perfect in case you were asking. http://www.staticcaravan.org
Its worrying to imagine that this might have been lost had not the Static brothers rescued it from the imploding clutches of pledge music who faced a court action for winding up in July. Again, as ever, Boat to Row’s quite breathlessly exquisite second full length ‘rivers that flow in circles’ is up to the usual quietly casual Static Caravan quality control and more. Just 250 of these have been pressed all of which for once, are shall we say, a little underplayed by the usually distantly scholarly in-house scribbled press release. ‘rivers that flow in circles’ is like no album you’ll compare or hear all year, it sparkles and sighs with equal recline sometimes brightly sparky and perky, at times considered and lazily mellow, otherwise perhaps gone and lost in the moment. Touched with a seasoned mercurial you’d be hard pressed to find on their peers output in spite of whatever formidable back story and catalogue stretching back decades they reeled out with yawning regularity. Any fool could recognise in a heartbeat, that something truly special is afoot here. On first encountering, such melodic astuteness and ability to feel and touch their surrounding space would, I’d have said, brought them into the creative environs of the Lancashire Hustlers, of course there are others, though let’s not distract with a list of randoms who they may or may not , sound like, after all its not a who’s who or what’s what exercise. That ‘rivers that flow in circles’ actually exists as a finished physical artefact is itself, a wonder, aside the aforementioned collapse of the fan funding site, the band have been bedevilled by line-up changes, studio closures and corrupted hard drives, yet it’s been both patience and persistence, perhaps a degree of sheer bloody mindedness have doggedly conspired to edge this over the line. The sounds of Boat to Row restlessly shift between twee, folk and a west coast crystalline lulling (even a touch of mellowing Americana cooling doesn’t escape their gaze what with the appearance of the Moviola like ‘stranger of mine’), on their recent teaser trailer ‘on your own’, incidentally featured here, they ghost seductively, embracing a sunny soul smothering which aligned to the brass fanfares, radiates with an airy breezy we’ve not heard since the much-missed Jumbo dropped their ridiculously perky ‘brighten up’ debut for bright orange biscuit. That said and with my arm forced up my back pressed to decide, I’d happily say that their genre bending artistry and ability to craft tuneage that seemingly appear from out of nowhere, is steeled of a rareness which we haven’t had the pleasure of recently hearing around these here parts, since the missing in action of late Snails (which should you need a nudge, we suggest a peek of ‘Spanish Moss’ with is baroque touching). Elsewhere here, you’ll find the gallic drizzle deftly being applied to the softly psych folk surges of ‘moth to the light’ , agreed it’s a tad found wanting looming in the shade of the momentary taking a break pastoral dreamer that is ‘lift your head, made all the more seductive and lilting by the delicate daubing of flute florets. Those failing to be moved at this point will do well to seek shelter from the adorable advance of ‘Fairest Flaws’ pressed here upon a wonderfully convened wood crafted woozing of sighing strings all crushed by the weight of a head bowed forlorn. Thoe fancying something a little mellowed with loosely smoked jazzy time signatures and a noir colouring will do well to checkout ‘simmer down’ while moment of the set surely has to be the four part spirit away that is ‘Fledging’ , again utilising a tripping tapestry of jazz mosaics and Gallic folk charms, its lightness of touch soon morphs into a brief parade of colourfully woven delta folk blushes and scratched rustic rambles. Phew.
Might well be the case that these Static updates may stretch to another day, given we’ve unearthed groove by Squalor Fan, Matters, the Home Current and this little returning lovely from David O’Dowda, so all I’m saying is, hang on to your hats because the Matters one, is particularly, wow. In truth, we’ve had a lazy day, the appearance of a yellow thing in the sky had us lubing up with all manner of strange creams and lotions found lurking in the bathroom cabinet, some I suspect might well have been hair removers (and er, how can I put this politely, lady things, to which I have no knowledge), given the small pile of fur warming our feet. Add to that, so chilled and fatigued must we have been, that we proceeded to doze off \, waking up literally just now, confused, in the dark and absolutely frozen to the bone. so back to the important matter, another from the Static sound house, in a vinyl pressing of just 250 copies, as said earlier, a returning gem from David O’Dowda going by the collective title ‘better in the dark’ featuring four very special and eloquent tracks. Operating in an emotionally fragile world, opener ‘wait’ arrives possessed of a silken symmetry that utilises both silence and space as additional instruments, there’s a beautiful considering working away beneath the surface line here, a maturity and mercurial deftly hinting of Hal and Burt colluding with John Barry on some finitely brushed crushing colossal which unto whose palette the delicate trim of rustic hops and the tease of Baroque breezes sumptuously serve to bring forth a certain crash. And while both title track ‘better in the dark’ and ‘cold night’ are both glazed and rubbed with a hymnal faintness and spectral soul seasoning that much recalls the quiet majesty of Low Anthem, it’s the parting ‘Siberik’ whereupon you’ll find O’Dowda at home in his safe space doing what he does best, that being painting pictures with words and sounds expressed daintily here by the cascading spring heeled riff ripples and the rustic dappling of cosy lollops an a willowy warmth, which for a passing second, had us imagining a woodland gathering of Tunng and Shady Bard types. http://www.staticcaravan.org
Some stray Statics to keep you on your toes and have your ears ringing with fondness ……
Tomorrow or else possibly a Monday mention for this, by the aforementioned Matters, been out for a while, a killer cassette all the same ……. is it just me hearing the Gnod lite influence …. just me then eh ……
I’m not even sure whether we’ve mentioned this previously or whether or not we’ve actually got a copy we can call our own of it, from the pristine pen of Art of the Memory Palace …..
Then there’s this sweetheart …… from ABD & Belle ……
Might appear a little rude of us, but here’s a little something recommended to us by Martin Boulten here operating under his Min-Y-Llan persona, a split head to head with Ochre, both tracks are gems and will encounter fond words in the coming days, I wouldn’t be too surprised to find tomorrow as a likely candidate. For now, cheeky I know, but we’ll leave you with the Ochre side of proceedings as we wind down for the evening …..
I think it’s fair to say, that we’ve disappointingly been neglecting the Sonido Polifonico folk these last few months, it’s not been deliberate, just stuff getting in the way with annoying regularity, mind you disappearing bouts by yours truly haven’t helped. So, while we are here, awake, lucid and with ears primed for listening action, incidentally the suns out so this might be a rush job, we’ll try and scope as many a stray Sonido as possible. Latest to the Sonido fold, a tour single no less, doubtfully still available as it came in a 99 only clear lathe cut pressing of which ours is #96. Of course it’s typically eye-catching Sonido fayre, a hand decorated box inside of which you’ll find badges, artist made tokens and hand stamped numbered labels adoring the heavy weight vinyl upon which, the bewitching spectral that is Burd Ellen presides with ghost like enchantment across one side with a remix of the same by Mogwai collaborator, Rev. Magnetic. Easily finding a safe haven tucked between those must have, Meadowsilver and Floer outings (mentioned here somewhere a little earlier), ‘Chi Mi Bhuam’ is a beguiled twilight mystical sparsely touched with a love noted timelessness, much like some mythical siren emerging from the woodland mists, there’s a mesmeric stillness and frailty attaching here, that had we not known better, would have assumed it be the woozy spell craft of a youthful Mum under the influence of Nico. Over to the flip, the previously advertised Rev Magnetic mix in whose hands its left, magically morphs the original mix’s minimalist ghosting into a wonderfully trippy dream draped magic land all delicately submerged in what sound like, backward loops and serenely threaded sea drifts which, would I be wrong in speculating, has something of the Takako Minekawa’s about its demurring dimpling.
Now perhaps my ears need checking, not least because of late, especially following treatment, I’ve learnt to listen to the sounds, the creaks and the tiniest of changes in this shell we call a body. But then I’d like to think I’m a veteran at picking out sounds and so it’s not our ears failing when we hear something which, to put it bluntly, sounds as though it’s crept off an old black n’ white film, once a thing of dream like fantasia now disturbed by a nightmarishly unsettling fracturing. This be Vukovar, a collective who have a rare though sometimes troubling, knack of relocating a listener to a place of isolation, a rare craft if you can pull it off, see Nurse with Wound, Throbbing Gristle et al. Released earlier in the year in an edition of just 61 lathe cut copies, ‘Decameron (10 days of violence)’ weaves ominously like a chilled foretelling, a light refracting wilderness charmed by the deceptive beckoning of hymnal trims and the warm welcoming of twinkling ivories and child play all of which descend into a twisted haunting eerie.
frame width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/uk9zcfSTKFk” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen>
Earlier still in the year, I’m guessing we missed this as well, again available in a strictly limited lathe cut pressing of just 67, a little something that shifts the minimalist parameters that have been the trademark theme of the Sonido sound house (this one teased with the kind of flavouring you’d more likely find on the Jezus Factory or latter Pickled Egg catalogue, not that we here are complaining. By Firefay this be the strangely quirky though nonetheless casually infectious ‘la dame aux chats’, here accompanied by an equally kooky video. A haunting comic tragic tiptoed in a beautifully mooching feline slinkiness which to the cool coalesce of a shuffling percussion and the suave smoky purr of a snaking and sultry free-spirited trumpet, a breezily becoming sun shimmering radiance rises to the surface with cat clawing like cuteness.
Coming through via an email just as we were heading off for a restorative nap, I say restorative nap, oh were it were, Dylan the cat venturing upstairs at half hourly intervals, I’d like to think he was looking out for me but I swear it’s a playfully annoying habit he’ s opted to take up these last few weeks. So here we are, not quite the restorative we hoped for and two and a half hours lost, which let’s be honest, I’d have wasted listening to the cricket, call it a draw then. So, without further rambling, a message from Danny over at Pariah Child, (wasn’t there a dark metal fanzine of the same name in the mid 00’s) sporting news that his label recently released a full length by United Bible Studies entitled ‘Cave Hill Ascension’. A special pressing on a heavy-duty slab of red wax featuring within four tracks. No strangers around these here parts, mind you rare visitors among these musings, David Colohan and sometimes, Dom Cooper, if memory recalls rightly, have both, breezed by our defences courtesy of appearances on the, regrettably neglected of late, A Year in the Country imprint whilst Allison O’Donnell has been known to frequent the Mega Dodo sound house. An exceptional gathering which really does require time, space and an investing of yourself to its listening appeal. Described briefly by the Pariah folk as’ …. gentle, ethereal and haunting, the new record pairs two longer devotional wordless movements with two shorter lyrical folk songs. It makes for a beautifully rounded and mystical experience’ which in truth on reflection, pretty much pre-writes the review for you. on this occasion and with a restless back log of releases all muttering and pushing for attention, we’ve honed in on the collections opening two tracks, ‘bless us and break us with mystery upon mystery’ and ‘the heart lies over and over’. The former a 15-minue spirit walker stilled, steeled and cut finitely with a mystical elegance which aside shimmered somewhere in the musical vicinity of say, anything with Grey Malkin’s touch upon it or else those rarefied outings escaping the Preterite and Men At Tol sound houses, is split into two contrasting movements whereupon at the 6.42 point, the chamber glooming lifts and dissipates as though its players have stepped back into the misty shadows. It’s all attractively allured and prettily poised and paused, much like that current O’Dowda release for Static mentioned elsewhere, this majestic heavily absorbs both space and silence as additional instruments, from therein, the O’Dowda references fall away, in their place a thoughtful spectral classicism ghosts in, much like a descending mist, arcing celestials, fleeting angel sighs and the measured application of a hymnal eerie as old as the land delicately daub this mournful passing in a twilight glow, one I suspect for the Dead can Dance folk among you. As to ‘the heart lies over and over’, a tenderly mesmeric folk weary teased in all manner of Gaelic ghosting’s and hitherto distressed and sighed in a beautifully ached, solemn forlorn, and then it’s gone lost to the wiles and spirited away by the elements. Quite something. https://united-bible-studies.bandcamp.com/album/cave-hill-ascension
We were hoping to more write up’s, but alas we’ve hit a wall of fatigue, apologies to those probably expecting stuff to appear here today, hopefully we’ll be back on track tomorrow. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this slice of perfection from Pefkin, here captured at the recent Fano Free Folk Festival in July …….
Not sure whether we should feel delighted or disappointed at the casual matter of fact opening to the latest Forwind call out, a blunt ‘new release details if interested’, we swear we heard an almost resigning sigh. Of course, we here are always up for a challenge, agreed we are hopeless and inept and yes, we momentarily disappear on occasion to who knows where and switch on the silence settings. But, right here and now we are engaged and listening. Latest to the Forwind roster, a promising slab of neural grooving from Seasons (pre-din), whose past exploits have graced such considered imprints as Type and Mystery Sea. Herewith two teaser tracks from a limited CD-r set titled ‘Distortion of the Cell’. Simply called ‘3.48’ and ‘2.46’ these scouting heralds are tightly drilled with a deeply dark and dystopic subterranean tethering, wiring electronic pulses ghosted in brush strokes of white noise and interference, gloom the latter mentioned of the two with a static resonance. That said, those of you preferring your sounds somewhat steeled in an hypno-grooved technoid spooling, submerged in chill waves of mutant minimalist rushes of subliminal mesmerism and micro-tech surveillance, might well prefer the inner space insular and sparse simplicity of ‘3.48’, which by these ears, had us very much minded of the more playful moments tripping out of the Tesla Tapes community. https://soundcloud.com/forwind/sets/fwd26-seasons-pre-din-distortion-of-the-cell
Hanging with Forwind a little longer, call it a neat prepping for a later in the week planned appearance of Unexplained Sounds groove, this be Tomanari Nozaki with a track, the last of three if you are keeping notes, from a split head to head with Coniflux Coldwell (you’ll have to forgive me if I’ve spelt these names wrong, chemo eyes are to blame and I literally can’t get the hang of reading glasses – sorry). This be the formidable ‘sound locator from a shared set entitled ‘Angry Ambient Artists – Vol 4’, all of which left me thinking ‘angry’ ‘ambient’ – wasn’t the point to be serene, at peace and in tune with your surroundings, thoughts and other such on a seaside postcard. Anyhow this slab of brooding had us all much-minded of some intergalactic leviathan advancing through the icy corridors of the great cosmic, a light refracting monolith in eclipse formation, beautifully gloomy, darkly majestic and somewhat alone and melancholic, questions from the back then? https://forwind.bandcamp.com/album/angry-ambient-artists-vol-4
Word has it that, that Polypores chap will be self–releasing a strictly limited cassette tomorrow going by the name ‘Radiance’ , till then there’s this, which we’ve been meaning to mention for an age but kept either, losing the link or more worryingly the will or wherewithal by disappearing without warning or anything so much as a goodbye card. Of course, I’d just like to interject at this point to clarify, that this release had nothing to do with the latter. Anyhow before the onset of rambling bites, this is a recording taken from his recent appearance at the ‘Hymns for Robots’ gathering in Lancaster in May of this year. A wonderfully loose and floating terraforming amorphous very much in style and at a sonic parallel with both Gabe Knox and Dialectric, its cosmic sultry and starry faraway radiating with genteel finesse across the celestial voids almost like the great Kosmick weaving amid an orbiting oceanic, a soft serene of rippling waveforms much like a lunar ‘Sailing by’, utterly trippy and dreamy with it. Oh and if you want that aforementioned ‘Radiance’ cassette, there are just thirty of them, ordering opens at 8am, reviews to land here either tomorrow or Wednesday … https://polypores.bandcamp.com/track/live-at-hymns-for-robots
Latest to the Moon Glyph family, fear not, all being well, that much advertised Blue Tomorrow’s sortie will be following in swift pursuit, this be Crystal Myslajek with the disturbingly beautiful ‘cove’ from off which we’ve two teasers to adore your listening space with. First up to the plate, the title-track which with a meek mercurial and a curious caution, shyly appears bathed in a cantering classicism and pirouetting key fragile all softly shimmered in angel sighs and a church like airless grace. ‘trespassers’, in truth the more distractive of the brace, is peppered with a warmly intimate toning, its subtle lush chamber trimming adoring it with a wonderfully expressive tenderness you feel at a loss not to be drawn to.
As for that long promised Blue Tomorrows set, what can we say. Fondly described in passing by Steve Moon Glyph as ‘a breezy collection of homespun psychedelic pop tunes crafted by Sarah Nienaber (also of Candace and Web of Sunsets)’, this be her debut full length ‘without colour’ from off which the scouting trailer ‘sound of moving’ has been sent ahead. I don’t know about you, but we’ve been resisting the overwhelming urge to rummage around in the shed and dust down the Christmas tree and fire up the twinkling lights in celebration of this frosted lullaby. Festooned upon a harvesting of Cocteau-ian chime corteges and no doubt seemingly dropped down the festively decorated chimney of the Dream Academy, there’s something of a nostalgic brushing, blushing this tenderly tip-toeing traveller as it dreamily waltzes with subduing seduction all the time purring with a misty eyed homely. Arresting is the word I think, you’d reach for.
Is it just me or might Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin actually be shifting her radar from what was once, surreally out-there, to a brand more pop aware and playful? Let’s not distract from the fact that ‘bright light city’ plays perfectly to those oddball weird ear trademarks we’ve come to love and adore, that Residents-esque warping now re-filleted and fried to sound like something cooked up on a date between Quimper and Midwich Youth Club after an evening in the company of the Moon Wiring Club. Yet still, amid the appealing melodic and the off centred catchy of changing time signatures, the kookily crooked electronica and the mild waft of carnival macabre, I’m still a tad flummoxed by the eerie feeling, that Laurie Anderson is never far away from her listening preferences.
I think we promised or at least, intended to come back to this a lot faster and sooner. I’ll be honest in saying that this has been burrowing deep holes in our psyche since emerging into our listening space over the weekend, A split 7-inch lathe cut release no less featuring Min-Y-Lian and Ochre in a superb double header. Out through the Icelandic imprint Moatun 7 (hope I’ve spelt that right, blame chemo eyes and a dim lamp adding a most desirable atmospheric glow to the evenings listening). Now this came to us via a heads up from Martin Boulton, who with Calvin Cordazar Broadus Jr, make up the Min-Y-Lian equation, serving up here, the unpronounceable, look its late, I’m struggling so can we settle for ‘25 up’. A rather nifty and dare we say, quietly infectious nugget whose mooching lazy eyed grooving had us immediately recalling the much forgotten and overlooked Simple Kid sortie ‘the Road’ possessed as it is of that same loop grooved lull and swathing of spectral electronic surges over which a smoky rap revolves all cut to a coolly spooled strut. That said, just edging it in the affection stakes the simply majestic ‘reconfigure’ is just like, wow. A wandering forlorn, mournful, bitter sweetly head bowed and alone, a silent surfer, the poise and elegantly measured swathing forging an immaculate palette within whose tapestry the crunchy glitch steps flavour the pausing key tingles all of which converge mid-way through to conspire in one last heartbreak before falling away in solemn silence. https://moatun7.bandcamp.com/album/yellow-street
As is the typical around these parts, here we were, powering down for the evening, a little quick rummage around on band camp to see if we could source a little something for the following day and up pop’s this. Within seconds the darkness brought forth by these wee small hours was suddenly bathed in a radiant West Coast-y glowing, the distracting lollop of the Beefheart-esque riff wiggle at the start, the vintage 60’s steeled warmth of the softly soaked psych folk organs and the breezy brush of mellowing honey dripped trippy harmonies not forgetting to mention the momentary hits of lazy eyed needlework all gathering exquisitely to adore this rarefied yesterday nugget with a deeply alluring casual, harnessing into its dizzying mix elements of honky-tonk and stoner groove. Anyway, before we forget, this is Garcia Peoples with ‘one step behind’, a track lifted from a forthcoming full length going by the same name, their third no less. If I didn’t know any better, one of the best things we’ve had the pleasure of hearing all year. https://garciapeoplesbbib.bandcamp.com/album/one-step-behind-pre-order
I know there’ll be grumbles and the occasionally use of bad language when I say tonight’s listening, for as long as it lasts, probably won’t feature any of the long-promised groove sitting in the back up tray. Main reason for this being we’ve had a few last-minute stray’s step from the outside and upon our eye line and more fearful still, the shadow of tomorrow’s consultation has been, to say the least, distracting. That said, we did spot this a day or so ago on a cyber ramble, a little something that ought to appeal in the main to those of you subscribing to the sound houses of Castles in Space, ERR Recs and of course Polytechnic Youth, to name just a few. This is Graintable, better known to kith n’ kin as James Cooke from Oregon way, Portland more precisely, who is currently parading a cassette only release in both US and UK variants called ‘Universal Ash’ from off which we’ve been a tad subdued by the rather serenely shimmered ‘Amarps’, a wonderfully lulling opportunity to take a step back, pause, breathe deeply and observe the maddening outside rush by as you drop gear to slow motion setting in the company of this twinkle set pulsing orbital, which to these ears sounds like the hive mind of the great Kosmick sending forth into the darkness and demurring peace light. Anyhow, we’ve ordered a copy pronto and with that you can expect more, soon. https://graintable.bandcamp.com/album/universal-ash
And while we were momentarily blissing to the grooves of Garcia Peoples at some ungodly hour this morning, the threats of sleep being rested as an idea would have come to worrying fruition, had we not repelled and resisted the advances being made by Prana Crafter. Herewith a track culled from a recent split album release with Tarotplane (which, and forgive me if we have already – I swear we’ve mentioned in brief passing earlier in the year). Anyhow, the set is called ‘Symbiose’ and this be a teaser cutting from it entitled ‘Jagged mountain melts at dawn – part 1’. As with any Prana Crafter groove, you better settle yourself down and skin up a fat one because this is one wig flipped trip which from the outset had us much recalling of those early Moonbloom hazy’s that were released at frequent intervals about 7 or so years ago, all desert dry mystical mirages and bonged out third eye blinking revealing a healthy side serving of youthful Grails type woozy. Yet let the track breath, unfurl and blossom of its sub 10-minute odyssey and a truly spiritual glazing descends, its psych folk murmurings and rustic tethering morphing ever so delicately and deftly in a super chilled cosmic celestial the likes of which had us much-minded of both MV/EE and a mid-career Wooden Wand. Not wishing to leave them out, Tarotplane book end the collection with ‘we move slowly through the past (part V)’ which I must admit, no amount of repeat listens have been able to shake this overarching sense of finality that I feel and sense each and every time it rears itself into listening distance. Ghosted by a stilled epitaph like resolve, there’s an emptiness here, more a sense of loss or perhaps purpose to the way these flat lining flotillas mournfully cut with a distractive sombre as though the lights of the cosmos are being extinguished one by one. perhaps it’s just me then? https://pranacraftertarotplane.bandcamp.com/album/symbiose
Again, it might be another of those imaginary downloads that I often swear I’ve been sent in a mislaid email during moments of lucidity, but in the mistiness of chemo befuddlement, I’m quite certain a missive from Field Lines Cartographer was received forewarning us of a new sonic palate arriving soon. ‘three phases of improvised synthesizer’ be its name and the like title suggests, no double speak or hoodwinking guffaw, just the truth – remember that eh Johnson and your motley crew of public-school jesters and back side kissing sycophants – sorry did I fall into Brexit mode, how unbecoming, tactless and rude of me, still it’s all a lark, such japery and these idiots, we pay for! So, before we rudely consigned ourselves off road and down a passing ditch to nowhere, we were talking of Field Lines Cartographer, who has a new three track digital download, features a trio of meditative long-form each created and crafted to a specific brief to incorporate in the assisting of dream, contemplation and various related pursuits to do with momentarily escaping the chaos and calamity of the modern world and finding your own safe space for a moment. There’s no real difference in the three in terms of design and destination, a case of ‘pays your money makes your choice’, all aid in getting you to your chosen end, yet for us, we were a little more drawn to ‘phase III – Oceans of Irkalla’ which had this to be taken for a journey, imparts an eerie frosting of nothingness all etched in an unknowing gloomy, whereupon tethered to a spectral webbing of dark oceanic grace falls, a shadowy macabre stirs from the unseen depths almost as though, some inner space exploratory dive dispatched with an overriding detail to locate the deepest and darkest of the forbidden wastelands that make up the minds inner sanctum.
I do love the way that Jodie Lowther manages to extract from the heavenly, a haunting whilst simultaneously twisted what appears a magic land into the macabre. The teasingly short ‘the cat collects’ released during our self-imposed absence, sits and circles with playful abandonment clawing behind your consciousness, caught between the competing worlds of the living and the beyond, these seven silver seances gather like lost dreamers on the bridge between, forgotten and neglected, they huddle in groups conspiring mischief and eerie, it’s all very lo-fi and distant not to mention removed, those having fallen for ‘Circles and Holes’ finding momentary safe haven on ‘Guests’ before of course the descending dusk dusts it with a mild disturbia. ‘the living ones’ – in truth our favourite moment, is caste in a fragile unearthly, a darkly weaving frosted folk ghosting most reminiscent of the wrong path taken caution chillers by Keith Seatman. Elsewhere, there’s always the beguiled baroque like pirouetting posy ‘the same’, a ghostly genteel spun upon a musical box for eternity. https://jodielowther.bandcamp.com/album/the-cat-collects
Away from creating kooky animations, starry n’ surreal artwork and crafting lunar lo-fi lovelies under her own name, Ms Lowther also makes up one half of Quimper with John Vertigen. Latest from the duo, ‘I am an Italian souvenir’ is the first in a series of impromptu EP’s the twosome promise over the course of the next few months. Strangely, a shift in sound perspective from previous, indeed there’s still that playful anything goes doctrine running amok, just a little more harnessed on these four tracks, ‘invite calamity’ with its warping time signatures, is touched by a jazzy faraway wired into a deeply mesmeric mind losing voodoo rhythmic whilst serving as a curtain closer, ‘oubliette’ twinkles and tingles with a beckoning creeping lightness and maddening sinister, you’d have sworn was visited upon by some ‘cabinet of Dr Caligari’ flashback. https://quimper.bandcamp.com/album/i-am-an-italian-souvenir
We’ve always had a softly fond spot for the sunny disposition that usually attach to releases bearing the name the Cleaners from Venus. I mean even on the Autumnal forlorn of ‘tricky customer, Johnny Tomorrow’, incidentally the best of the three here, there’s a peculiar that glows and radiates with a warmly nostalgic welcoming, much like a trusted old friend not seen in years, the connection is immediate, familiar and cosy though here spooled with an ageing melancholy that wiles and wonders away with deep reflection. It’s that reflecting perhaps in part, mourning for a lost past that runs through this set like words in a candy stick, ‘the Madison girls’ in particular, like the momentary pause on seeing a dusty photograph, opines with a tenderly sour unfurling while lead out cut ‘the Essex princess’ is your trademark Cleaners’ fayre, a seasoned power pop cruiser breezily dinked in chiming side-winds all brushed with a classicist casual the type of which, only Robyn Hitchcock these days, appears able to muster with indignant frequency. https://thecleanersfromvenus.bandcamp.com/album/essex-princess
A quick message from Jim of the Ego Ritual telling us of a new band – It’s Karma It’s Cool who are readying themselves up for the release of a debuting mini-album shortly entitled ‘hipsters and aeroplanes’ from off which the hip wiggling feel good effervescent ‘raised by engineers’ has been lifted and sent out on scouting detail. Wrested with a pop pristine giddy up, there’s a kind of Nick Lowe power pop kick afoot here that’s sunnily laid back in a cool Californian shimmering that struts and twists with a ridiculously infectious appeal that screams out hit the repeat button.
Many thanks to Danny Pariah Child for sending over United Bible Studies ‘cave hill ascension’ , vinyl arrived earlier today and will be getting a finishing mention in a day or so. Before that though, a little mention for another CD we found impishly tucked inside the package. This be Berlin based broodsters SA Bruxa with the sub twenty-minute dark star that is ‘the cloakened majestic, ‘from the depths.’ On first encountering this intimidating monolith, you are immediately relocated, as were, to the lost entrance or gateway to some mythical and macabre portal where beyond, a lair previously undisturbed by the folly of man since time immemorial, is drawn from deep slumber and along forgotten fear begins to stir. As though consumed by a black hole, the listening space is sucked dry of its light, the sounds, mainly doom draped drone drifts are sparsely figured, from this cavernous cautionary the unsettling eerie of isolation and dread are palpable, the subterranean tethering, much like those deep drone odyssey’s one time committed to vinyl by the much-missed Beta Lactam Ring imprint, are robed in a sickening dread as the gathering of shrapnel scratches, sonic shards and guttural groans collude with a conspiring chill. https://sabruxa.bandcamp.com/album/from-the-depths-2
Fifth outing for the Dark Outside’s sub print, Bibliotapes. Imagined soundtracks drawn from the vast outlands of fantasy, sci-fi and horror film and book fayre, previous encounters have seen the likes of ‘day of the triffids’, ‘1984’, ‘magician’s nephew’ and ‘this house is haunted’ revisited and seen through now eyes and respectful treated anew. Latest to this formidable library, Frank Herbert’s epic ‘Dune’ is given an adoring reboot by Rupert Lally, found here fresh from his rescoring of ‘day of the triffids’. Cited as one of the most influential books committed to print, Herbert’s iconic tome extended the horizons of sci-fi writing from mere man in space meeting aliens, instead a new age of discourse was born, future societal concerns to do with global vandalism / warming, pollution and the disconnect between science / economics and politics. In late 1984, ‘Dune’ was finally brought to the silver screen, a painfully cluttered affair, confusing for those walking on with no prior exposure to the book and disappointing for those, who with David Lynch onboard as director, expected a visual classic. Alas the film tanked, strangled at birth by money men and movie moguls who had clearly taken their eye off the ball the moment the funds were secured. Personally, I’ve a soft spot for the film, agreed it was a little laboured, the cinematography a little cheap and dull and perhaps overall, the film was about 45 minutes too long, that said, like the Tim Curry ‘IT’ version of the King classic, I’ll have this over any variant any day. So back to Bibliotapes, strictly limited to a 50-cassette press, minimal in execution, what this extended twenty three-minute teaser excerpt provides for, is evidence of Lally’s application, creativity and vision in creating an electronic magnum opus befitting of ‘Dune’s’ epic reach, the deftness and delicacy of structure and ambition is such, that the sounds generate an expansive wide screen effect that flit between shadowy brooding and celestial radiance, in so doing musically painting a canvas that reflects perfectly the vastness and divine of the out there.
Hell’s teeth, first there’s news that there are Polytechnic Youth happenings occurring shortly, with full lengths from Dream Division and Perrache being finalised to be followed on their busy schedule by a Heartwood Institute newie. Now I know, we have about our person, an album by Jonathon Sharp – he who is Heartwood, in his own name which is screaming for review along with a batch of other Castles in Space nuggets, all I can say, is hang to your hats, fondness aplenty is arriving very soon. Now I say all this because, a new Heartwood has appeared on a name your price compilation through the Genetic Trance imprint of the wonderfully named, Antiquity of Ohio, entitled ‘blood of knowledge’. A five track / artist head to head, the Heartwood track being ‘Bramley End’, the start of which may have some of you lulling beneath the same kind of bewitchment as befell those entering the lair of Melmoth the Wanderer, whose absence I must say, has been a source of concern around these here parts. despite its strange steely romanticism and misty eyed nostalgic, its vintage HI fayre if I’m honest, all ghostly rustics piercing through parallel time slips bringing forth fractured memories harvested from abandoned farmhouses, forgotten village greens and pagan May Day play, a dance of the eerie sweetly sighs. Elsewhere here, you’ll find Fault 242 who serve up ‘awaiting to do stuff just because the system wants us to do stuff’, a little something that had us fondly remembering the little curios once upon a time shipped out with unrivalled frequency by those much-missed Scotch Tapes folk, this track appearing simply to be some random perhaps accidental /intrusive field recording , the type of which your smart phone takes an unappreciated liking to doing when it goes rogue. Lamborghini Turbofire step to the plate with ‘SDTh’, I take it from turbo fire that they are referring to the Lambo’s rear end when it goes sport mode, that green flash, must admit it makes me sigh. Likewise, I blame Lamborghini for a life of disappointment, at a tender age, I was always a lover of the Pininfarina designs, between football posters and various glam obsessions, pictures of classic Italian marques adored my bedroom wall, yet among the Miura’s and Dino’s, it was always the Countach for me. I was in love, I knew what I wanted to be, career wise, a free-lance architect. However, that all died the day I happened upon a Countach, not the usual red type, instead a yellow version, I stood transfixed by its lines, its beauty and breathless symmetrical craft, as I ventured closer, heart beating 10 to the dozen, my world crashed around me, there in front of me literally a foot or three off the ground was my whole reason for being. A dawning realisation befell me, height wise I’d started sprouting, the tallest in my class by a distance, my legs appeared and just carried on, I mean still in the juniors, I was already too tall to fit into the compact confines of the Countach, even if I’d gone in side-ways I’d still have to poke my heads and legs through the windows. In a fleeting second all had changed, therein ends this sermon, ahem. So where were we before we got waylaid by the curse of the Countach, ah – indeed, Lamborghini Turbofire, found here cooking up a nifty slice of strobe pulsing rave replete with sky piercing fanfares and a rare visit by MC Satan all nailed into a thumping club floor frenzy. Any question? As to the Raw Materialists, these-folk were in fact on my ‘to do’ list, not sure whether that was via a message, an email or just some random pick up from some recent band camp wander, so expect this lot to appear again in the near future. Here they serve up ‘slapstick index’, all of which appears to be some super stoned hairy riff needling no doubt worse for wear following an over ambitious go on the bliss pipe laid over a fixed staring electronic pulse tone, quite zonked out if you ask us setting things up nicely for further aforementioned fondness in the near future. Last up for this strangely becoming compilation, the much-admired Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin herewith her well-practiced peculiar. Now I’m fairly certain that we’ve had cause to fondly free think on the abstract fried charms of ‘green glow’ at some point early in the year, a warping daydream plucked from an alternative reality, a fracturing kooky dissected in equal parts incorporating elements of Wizard of Oz, Lear, Leary, 1920’s surrealist films and a whole heap of magic dust, the merrily macabre type I wouldn’t wonder.
Has this been tinkered with? I only ask this because the producer / arranger credits clearly cite Dominik Hauser as being onboard. Perhaps then, it’s just me, but still I can’t shake this annoying nagging voice in my head, that this particular version of the opening credits to Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s ‘UFO’, doesn’t have that familiar, punchy fulsomely lush definition. Could this in fact be the stripped-down original guide track, so many questions seemingly so little answers. Of course, we are messing with your heads, I’m certain that this version may well in fact be the proposed opening sequences for an aborted remake of the series a few years ago. We talk of course about the iconic ITC series from the early 70’s, ‘UFO’ marked a landmark shift in the Century 21 universe, live action replacing puppetry, it unwittingly paved the way for the more successful ‘Space 1999’ franchise. The series was dogged by the fact that it didn’t know its target audience, because of the Anderson legacy – see Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds et al, it was foolishly assumed, that this was to be targeted at children. It soon become apparent that this was not so, story synopsis revealed a whole host of subject matter clearly over the heads of a pre grammar / secondary school audience – racism, bereavement, drugs, adultery and environmental destruction were just a few of the far-reaching conversations that the show was having in 1970 / 1. In addition, airing schedules were haphazard in an age where each region in the UK, was served by its own television network, episode sequences where altered that created a seriously schism in the flow of the series. Now through Silva Screen, an expanded four side set, pressed on lilac vinyl no less, featuring Barry Gray’s keynote score. Not sure how this compares in terms of the amount of matrerial made available, to say, a limited fan club double CD issue made available through the Fanderson site in the early 00’s, it certainly extends the reach of Trunk’s much sought after press a few years earlier. and features as a bonus, the track ‘trampoline’ as performed by the Spencer Davis Group in the episode ‘ordeal’. On a personal level, ‘UFO’ was a chlldhood love, I still stop, take a pause and forget what I was doing when it rears up on one of those retro TV channels, within minutes I’m relocated to the family flock walled living room perched in front of the TV fully absorbed and immersed in Earth’s secret battle against extra-terrestrial invaders, Gray’s sound-scapes both fruity and experimental, where in the main cut with a lounge bop lightness infused with an airy part funky, part trippy casual while stuff like the closing credits where daunted and dimmed with a minimalist unworldly stripped from a classic 60’s era Radiophonic scrapbook.
We do love a bit of retro futurism around these here parts, Dream Division in particular appearing of late, to be rising fast to the toxic surface embraced of a casual knowingness. ‘transcend’ looming on the distant horizon and being prepped for Polytechnic Youth shortly, now comes this Betamax cartridge of cold wave cool. ’override’ is heavily pressed with a apocalyptic haloing, trimmed in a grim grandeur, these glacial signatures from a troubled future world are darkly graced with a chilling warning that sound wise hint of Carpenter and Howarth cooking up austere atmospherics under the watchful influence of Fabio Frizzi.
I’m a little minded to take the Polytechnic Youth folk to task when they describe in passing that the Perrache debut full length, ‘ … is slightly darker, representing a more industrial edged, slow burning listen than the Dream Division ….’. Agreed there is an element of two albums hatching from different eggs, Perrache readily more subdued though nevertheless grounded and schooled in an experimental vintage that admirers of Sky records might loosely gravitate towards, Dream Division on the other hand, dystopic escapism set to a soundtrack currency blunted by an apocryphal edginess that draws deep into its creative fabric, elements of Frizzi, Carpenter and less obviously, TVAM. What’s proving to be a creative purple patch, what with his Frood of the Loop full length and other projects coming to fruition, under his Perrache guise, Joachim Henn creates an outer-worldly environ where Radiophonic minimalism and the nostalgic state craft of German futurism and experimentalism weave a curiously fluid cocktail of amorphic hybrids assumed of a fusing of trance toning weaves and a solitary distant as evidenced perfectly of this teaser cut, ‘dustflag’, one I guess, perfect for you Moebius and Roedelius types.
…. always loved this, Ric Ocasek’s critical stock rising in our eyes when he was brought in to produce Suicide’s more user friendly second full length despite the fact that Ze records wanted Moroder. Recorded during the same sessions, though not originally appearing on the album, the club land accommodating ‘dream baby dream’ cited back in the day as a favourite of a certain Billy Idol whose Gen X were shifting sound wise to incorporate the club beat. In addition, Bruce Springsteen, who just happened to be recording in the next studio and would often pass by for a nose and a chat would adopt the track into his tour repertoire. Even Vega felt marginalised noting that the album was essentially ‘a collaboration between Ocasek and Rev’, word has it Ocasek never took a fee for his involvement.
Word has it that new Portland Vows loveliness is shortly to venture the wide world via the impeccably immaculate Concrete Tapes imprint with ‘some fragile workforce’ being sent ahead for sonic tasting. Brushed with the deft dainty of ISAN, this twinkling icicle replete with hypno-grooved revolving pulsars turns with a genteel fragile upon a slow curving axis skating ever so cautiously skimming along the orbital re-entry burn, delicately decorating the night sky in shimmering wonderment.
Loosely in tune with all things Concrete Tapes, here’s that Polypores chap fresh from a feature in the latest issue of Electronic Sounds about the Preston electronic scene, with a downloadable posting of his recent appearance at the hallowed Delaware Road Festival last month. Thirty-five minutes of bliss out cerebral chill, a chance to disconnect from the hurdy gurdy of life’s fast lane and instead pause, reflect and renew. Two lengthy suites feature within, the first a slow burning celestial kissed with an almost hymnal dream drifting stillness the type of which, brings it into loose orbit with OMD’s more ambient grandeur as found on their iconic ‘Organisation’ opus. Once passed, what appears in its place, the second suite, is a beautifully lulling drift away, a dance of sorts more so a lunar waltz speckled in cross weaving flotillas of riff ripples and the misty-eyed regret of looping opines all seductively set across the dozing lilt of an oceanic serene, simply subduing and magisterial.
I could have kicked myself stupid for nearly missing this, guess better late than never. Now in our self-imposed absence and refusal to connect with the outside world, we did loosely recall an email from the Analogue Electronic Whatever folk, making mention of a forthcoming split release with Truth is Space. Well I say forthcoming, at least it was back in the day, the confusion muddying still further when we realise that we erred somewhat, in the thinking that their co-conspirators were Truth in Space, when in fact, it was the Truth Sounds Different. Just between you and me, I think the two are in fact the same. So, mindful that we are rambling into a poorly scripted and wordy cul-de-sac, let us swiftly move on. Okay as established, split single, super limited press on lathe cut vinyl no less, featuring two tracks, one certainly a cover, the other I’m not so sure, but both cut to coincide with the Apollo Moon landings, indeed, we are lagging a little with this. Still, a damn fine slice of kooky kitsch from the AEW folk who with the guest appearing vocals of Jamie Joseph, re-toot the Sinatra forever-green ‘fly me to the moon’. Lovably affectionate, much like a cosmic seaside promenade, this crookedly lo-fi funk tousled lounge lunar bop comes set across a clock working loop grooved electro pre-set base track atop of which, JJ wanders a woozy flavouring with his oddly out of step croonery. Over on the flip, the Truth Sounds Different allure and adore the listening space in a soulful spectral going by the name ‘the space we occupy’, a beautifully amorphous aural amalgam calling to mind elements of the Drone Club, Eurythmics and the Black Ryder all spun ever so finitely upon a sweetly surrendering starry speckled orbital.
….. nothing so perfect as to be reminded of these two gems …..
The Black Ryder …….
The Drones Club …….
Utterly arresting in a word, this ghostly mystic while sighed in a beautifully haunting folk tongue, delicately transfixes with the airily ethereal of say Lake Ruth, the Soundcarriers and the Beautify Junkyards rather than the obvious Linda Perhacs to Us and Them fayre. Here amid the baroque bewitchment and the pretty pressing of a willowy pastoral, an innately touching timeless rapture loosens from out of which something utterly beguiling blossoms and weaves to mood and motion of the land fashioned and embraced with a ghostly spiritual coaxing. Anyhow this be Meadowsilver with the affectionate apparition that is ‘fair sapphire’ , which within its rarefied alchemic fashioning, we hear a certain Grey Malkin forges his mercurial artistry upon. A most bewitching experience.
One of the highlights of the recently brief summer, asides the Ladies football and netball, has been watching the fortunes of both the World Cup and Ashes cricket team, hell’s teeth it’s an all-in thing, a rollercoaster of emotions that dips to the low’s one minute and sheer didn’t see that coming euphoria the next, which had I had any hair I’d be grey now. Why is he talking about cricket, I hear you mutter, well it provides a feeble link to the latest Jack Ellister outing, one of several key note releases from the Fruits de Mer summer shop of sounds. Really, these should have been dispatched with appropriate fondness an age ago, but then stuff happened, which I’m sure you’ll agree, the less said about the better. Anyway, two immaculate covers feature here that collectively reveal the varying facets and creative approach of Mr Ellister to immeasurable effect. First up, a simply exquisite turning of Roy Harper’s ‘when an old cricketeer leaves the crease’ is here wonderfully traced with a spectral fixing, at once bitter sweetly reflective and graceful, perhaps a tad tearful and lump in the throat forming, it purrs with a magisterial sigh settled upon the tender touch of a pining piano pausing. Over on the flip a rephrasing of Sabbath’s ‘Supernaut’ is blooded with a scuzz fuzzed beardy psyche stomp the type of which, whose subtle arabesques and wig flipped haloing, wouldn’t look to out of miss on some Paul Roland mystical. Freakishly cool.
Somewhere about our personage, we’ve the new Nathan Hall solo set ‘scatterbrains’, blighters been thoroughly loved these last few weeks, reviews at mid-point completion readying for appearance sometime next week. However, to whet your appetite in what, barring any mishaps, will be a Fruits de Mer related extravaganza of happening releases, here’s a little lovely from Mr Hall’s primary charges, the much-loved Soft Hearted Scientists. Emerging from out of their self-imposed hibernation, this limited 7-inch appearance has them claiming as their own, the Bee Gees’ please read me’. Originally appearing on the Gibb brothers debut full length, an album much loved around these here parts as indeed where the following two or three, or at least up to ‘Odessa’, this track was always, I felt, oft ignored when it came to album being critiqued. Left in the hands of Soft Hearted Scientists, they immediately hone in on the tracks mellowing breeze and faraway subduing, repurposing it in a beautifully becoming timeless glazing that casts fond memories of lost summer’s and an idling yearn of distant yesterday’s. Add to the mix, the hushed west coast like harmonies and the 60’s sun glazed musicality that hints of the Byrds, ad you might well have at last, the Soft Hearted ones finding their sonic voice. Over to the flip, a newly self-penned sortie entitled ‘moths mistook us for the moon’ , a wonderful woozy patented in the Scientists trademark strange beguiling, as ever lazy eyed and mushrooming with a magical free spiritedness this distractive dizzy comes rippled in daydreaming opines and softly fried fanfares. Quite peculiarly perfect.
Don’t quote me on this, maybe we should have checked beforehand, but I’m certain this has sold out at source and for that matter, pretty much everywhere else. At least it was when we started to spec for possible purchase. A very, very special release which over its initial inception has somehow morphed into a rather moving tribute for the late Helen Donlon. The back story goes briefly like this, a friendship struck up by Kris Needs and Pete Sendelica was at a crucial point, with Needs determined to shift Sendelica into the critical spotlight. But then Needs’ partner and soulmate Donlon died. The effect was devastating on all who had known Helen, yet from the tragedy something magical began to form, re-tweaking a track they’d been working on to befit the mood of this sad occasion, Sendelica were approached by Wonder Schneider, Needs’ old sparring partner in the Secret Knowledge, here offering her services on vocals while old friend of all, Alex Orb resumed his Chocolate Hills alter ego to weigh in with two crucial re-tunings. So, in essence, what you have is a four track EP pressed on 12 inches of coloured wax, upon whose grooves four interpretations of ‘Windmill’, the set opening with the ‘Consterdine Floyd mix’ , a sub six minute soul smoker woozed in hazes of reclining jazz seasoning, Schneider prowling and purring dreamily lost in the moment sounding like a super chilled Grace Jones, the tuneage sophisticated and somewhat sultry weaving upon its finite lines a breathless and nocturnal transcendental earthiness. Up next to the plate, ‘Chocolate Orb’s Dubbed mix’ is sighed and subdued by speech loops of Helen’s last conference appearance in 2017 all set to twinkling flotillas of oceanic pulse tones, at once haunting and humbling, the palette woven with a tearful tenderness and a silent reverence. Dimmed with a light’s lowered crush, ‘Consterdine’s original mix’ is sweetly hazed in a distractive faraway, the melodies recalibrated in slow motion swirl amorphously moored upon a mellowing trip toning idle, which leaves the ‘Chocolate Orb Chilled Mix’ to take things to the end groove and into the bargain aside guaranteeing there be not a dry eye in the house additionally ushers in a wonderfully drifting loop grooved mosaic whose spirit ghosts out, over and beyond the horizon. A touching farewell.
Staying with Sendelica, Wales’ biggest beards return once more to their spiritual sonic campfire at the Mwnci studio for a fourth colossal head trip in the shape of the three sided ‘Cromlech Chronicles IV’ from off which a trippy taster ‘lightstar’ is currently on you tube woozy, just a snippet mind, all of which you can flip your fringe to in the comfort of your own headspace (disappointing really our joy derailed when our promo copy decided to exit normality somewhere at the five minute point of ‘nine miles high’). Unphased by such set-backs, we here resolutely marched on preferring instead the mystical mojo that is ‘Saturnalia’ which occupies the groove space of side 2. A mammoth 23-minute odyssey, a sonic shape shifter trippily bathed, awash and weaved of a rarefied free-spirited meditative tapestry whose amorphous astral accents are dreamily smoked in a progressive jazz blending, freak pilled trance states and a dream drift dizzying all shroomed in a sultry out of body haze, the effect serenely stoned.
I was about to say, the last up from the Fruits de Mer family for now, but I’ve just heard a Rob Gould doozy that warrants immediate listening. Before that though, this from London Underground. Like the ‘Windmill’ release, this double disc happening, on purple vinyl no less, is already sold out at source and features what you might call an expanded set incorporating the trio’s last full length ‘Four’ with additional sides pampered with an array of selections grabbed from their first three albums, mainly covers for the part with Tull, Brown, Augur and Arzachel figuring among the grooves. To describe the sound of London Underground would be to think upon it as a station stopover mid-way point intersecting elements of jazz, lounge, KPM styled woozy’s and progressive noodleness, no bad thing there then, oh and lashings of Hammonds. Freakishly groovy and in all honesty, ridiculously addictive, though we here would recommend your listening starting point be their smoking cover of Brian Auger’s ‘tropic of Capricorn’. Originally appearing on the ‘69 full length ‘Streetnoise’ , the track left in the hands of London Underground is a sublime and faithful rereading sunnily decoded with a radiantly upbeat wigginess of tripped out jazz kookiness and coolly strutting suave fried in oodles of tropicalic trimmings and 60’s styled cool cat shape throwing.
Indeed, we were minded to go all fond and wordy on the listening merits of ‘Scarify’, but then crawling from some hitherto apocalyptic carnage slithered the fiery bleak storm that is ‘Aerate’. A scarring experience, punitive gnarled blues scoured in a darkly doom draped slavish gouging, hell’s teeth this takes me back to those scab forming sore thumbs that fell out with rude regularity from the Gringo and Brew imprints of yesteryear. Anyway, this be Lovely Wife who we believe hail from Newcastle doing a masterclass in festering noise core. https://lovelywife.bandcamp.com/
On limited cassette release and as with the previously mentioned Lovely Wife outing featuring the talents of James Watts (here paired up with Skylar Gill), this is the acutely contrasting Mobius. The release appears in a limited pressing of just 35 copies and serves as an epitaph of sorts for a fallen friend, Paul Graham. Two extended chamber drones feature within, we’ve opted for ‘loss’ over ‘hope’, a 13-minute dark star robed in a shadowy cloak and ghost walked within a mystical sound-scape that’s framed and blurred in a twilight fog whereupon to a deeply mesmeric ceremonial hush, all manner of throat chants, forgotten folk tongues as well as the very land itself rise and gather in unison to join in a head bowed respectful mourning. One I suspect for those embracing the sounds found in the backwaters of the Reverb Worship and Beta Lactam Ring sound houses. https://mobiusvoice.bandcamp.com/album/time-is-what-we-ride
Since all the nonsense with health these last 18 months, I’ll admit that these musings have lacked a certain something, the disjointed nature of their appearances has meant we’ve let down a fair few folk and as much as we tried to maintain anything near consistent, the head though willing was alas, at the mercy of a failing wherewithal. One such neglected soul is Rob Gould, who sometime in the mists of these last few months, gave me a heads up on a mammoth prog compilation he was appearing on promises to review and files for which were made / received not once but twice and annoyingly lost in a mixture of laptop crisis’ and crashes. Agreed, hopeless. However, those attending the recent Fruits de Mer Dr Sardonicus festivities would have grabbed yourselves a goody bag of CD’s among which you’d have found a copy of Mr Gould’s ‘Fungoid’. Now just between you and me mind, Mr Gould is of that rare breed, a free-spirited sonic alchemist navigating and cross pollinating the sound strata’s and spectrums much like a busying bee around a well-stocked garden. Herewith five such cuts, the stand out of which, surely must be the opening ‘Fungi amongi (on mushroom hill) an immensely absorbing 26-minute had trip which across its flowering manages to seamlessly shape shift from a warming up point that imagines some Gabriel fronted Genesis variant retooling the Elektra classic ‘Cosmic Sounds’, a wonderfully pastoral dappled head shroomer graced in cosmic drifts and mind expanding hallucinogens whose purring pulse lights and subtle kosmische dub drapes morph with a sleight of hand ease to incorporate all manner of deeply immersive and airless orbital flotillas peppered with angel sighs and snoozing lunar murmurs. Utterly trippy, faraway and out there. That said we’ve also a soft spot for ‘dance of the mushrooms’ a quirky little giddy up lightly fashioned in some seriously kooky Riley like trimmings whiffing of 70’s threads and wandering the cosmica, add in some fried progressive riffola for maximum fringe freakery.
We’ve been hearing good things of late about Beach Whale who are prepped for appearance on Polytechnic Youth at some point in the near future, frustrating though that despite our best endeavours, we are yet to turn up any sounds with which to regale you with. Undeterred though, a little rummaging, because of course we hate to admit defeat, we did unearth this little nugget replete with video directed by, you guessed it, Beach Whale. By llawgne, admittedly been out a while, this be ‘In Plain Sight’, I’m afraid one of those listening moments whereupon you’re going to find yourselves subdued and a touch bruised come its parting. Deftly delicate, there’s a hymnal hush to this broken heart, at once mournfully crushed and atmospherically measured, the anticipation turned to maxima as it slowly flowers into focus courted upon a journey’s end styled whispering finale flourish which sadly never materialises, rather more withdrawing back into itself to lick its wounds and that’s before we scarcely have a chance to mention the shivering arpeggios mid-way through, immensely beautiful though all the same, devastatingly crushing.
A sneak peak of what’s cooking in the Dream Division sound house as he meticulously assembles debut album product. This be ‘Aspatial’ , a track culled from an incoming full length entitled ‘transcend’ pencilled for Polytechnic Youth adoring later in the year. A future echo, silvered with a glacial toning and a crystalline contouring, at once cold and steely yet stark and sterile, its shimmering eerie euphoria occupying a similar sound trajectory as that of Concretism albeit found here re-cutting the icy dystopias gathering dust on John Carpenter’s ‘themes’ series.
I must admit since the rumours of sounds featuring Laetitia Sadier with Bernard Grancher started reaching us, we’ve been anxiously counting down the days like an expectant child sneakily watchful of the underside of a Christmas tree. Out via Polytechnic Youth, like now, on standard issue no less, indeed not one of those, blink and they’re gone lathe-cut online only ordering panic inducing releases, this one on regular black vinyl in a 300 pressing. As said by Bernard Grancher and featuring a guest vocal appearance from Ms Sadier (love to hear her working again with Benjamin Schoos) and a ridiculously dinky remix by Gabe Knox on its flip. This be ‘L’immodéré bien-être de l’imbécile’ which roughly translated, means in English, ‘the immoderate well-being of the fool’. Now if I was of the ‘oooh look at me touchy type’, I’d be minded to think ‘are they having a pop?’. As to the sounds within, well everything you’d imagine passing through the highly cool quality control assembly line of the Polytechnic Youth sound factory, there’s a loveable pastoral woozy drifting through this lunar vintage, its spectral contouring sweetly sighed with a honeyed ISAN like fragile cross weaved as were, with the laid-back casual of Le Bleu, all the time executing an orbital path around Ms Sadier, at the centre as though a hive consciousness or kosmick matriarch radiantly messaging the celestial highways. Gabe Knox’s remix on the flip adds an acutely affectionate playfulness to proceedings, chuckling Pac-Men in busying binary body pop formations marching to starry swirls and cosmic twinkle tones arrest and adore this variant with a lulling sultry warming that’s trimmed in loop grooved nostalgia.
Those of you lucky enough to have hooked up to Fuzz Club subscription shindig, will have found their listening space appreciably grooved by the appearance of a ‘piss yellow’ coloured Lumerians’ 7-inch sortie going by the name ‘yellowcake’. Been a while since the Lumerians graced our space or indeed turntable, at least not as our fading memory recalls, since the posting of a promotional debut sometime around 2008. Perhaps as good an opportunity as any to see how they’ve matured in the intervening years. Happy to say, that this is a bit of dandy, a wiry blighter shimmered with a quickly drilled sci-fi ghosting all of which, adores it with a rather nifty retro vibe that deftly sources a late 60’s time code whilst imagined of a lost spy cool TV theme for some abandoned classic era ITC project.
I’m guessing in my absence that there’s a neglected download of this abandoned, alone and attached to an email lost in the tidal wave of messages currently awaiting love and adoring in our inbox. On the ever reliable Graveface imprint this is the darkly electro shocked ‘running’ by Shouldies, a ridiculously addictive sore thumb whose feral soul soured electronica though irrefutably time stamped with an early 80’s post punk minimalist chilling, the type of which you might encounter on those essential compilations from the sadly short lived New York based Weird imprint, here elements of the Voltaire rub shoulders with the Passage and a youthful Associates, though ultimately, like a cold slap in the face, realisation dawns that these folk are the bastard off spring of Suicide.
Been out for a while but that’s no reason to pass on it especially given that it courts the kind of lo-fi brittle that at one time adored the grooves of platters of bedroom / budget labels operating on the outer margins of the Sarah spectrum. Anyhow this is out through Blank Editions, by Ice Baths and it’s called ‘Simulation’, a little something that, and pardon the phrasing for once, pisses in the same pools as the Close Lobsters, the Caretaker Race, power of dreams, hey paulette and other such like, you know, the kind of grooviness that occasions the tapete imprint these days.
So adoring of this, a little something from the Tiny Engines folk who I’ll be honest, appear cursed in getting regular mentions around these parts in so much every time we do a sweep up and pass on the usual apologies for review no shows, then off we go into momentary exile. So, on this occasion, we’ll hold with the apologies and instead just go with the sounds and see what happens in the future. Anyway, waffling done, this is Illuminati Hotties who you might recall had us waxing fondly a little earlier in the year courtesy of their ‘i wanna keep yr dog’, back again on this occasion with a becoming cover of a Whitney Houston wower. Left in the Hottie hands, ‘I wanna dance with someone’ is stripped of its glitzy pop exuberance and in its place, a hushed mellow transfixes forth whose shyly frail detailing reveals a tenderly thoughtful lo-fi scratchy brushed with a surrendering close intimacy. Any questions.
This ‘un I’ll be honest with you, clearly caught us in a distracted moment, one of those rare moments wherein, if you could, you’d give it a consoling hug. Reflectively ambling, just strolls itself beneath your defences all the time bathed in a bitter sweet homely sighed partly in ache yet hitherto radiantly whispered in optimism, in truth had us minded the Field Mice and the Orchids after lessons with the Go Betweens. Before we forget, this is out through the ever-wonderful Matinee Recordings, by the Royal Landscaping Society and it’s called ‘goodbye’. Will break hearts, you have been warned.
Done with dispatching one Matinee records cutie and along comes another in quick succession. By the Perfect English Weather, whatever that is, which of late appears to encompass several seasons in the space of half an hour, this is the quite perfect ‘call me when the rain comes’. A shimmering love note lightly crushed in softly seductive sprays of indie prickles and needling riff cascades atop of which a spectral visitation of angelic woozy blossoms and flowers with a spell crafting calling, one I’m suspecting, for the Allo, Darlin’ admirers among you.
End credits ………
Porky’s prime cut ……
‘.. when I was 7 years old, I used to lie watching satellites, I used to cry watching satellites, we never died watching satellites ….. ‘
12 Stewart Avenue, BOOTLE, Merseyside, L20 9JD
Love and Peace xx