red flag 2019

Back with that ‘Red Flag’ cassette release as promised earlier in the week. Our physical copy secured and currently sound tracking our wintry listening space. Through Concrete tapes, this release is fast to selling out of its second press, all proceeds going to the Labour Election Fund, which as noted previously, I’ve no qualms with except to say three issues I have with the party, the leader, the return to militant days Momentum group and that pillock, Derek Hatton. Twenty one tracks feature here, three of which we’ve covered in a preview mention – Paul Nagle, Astral Social Club and Phexioenesystems. The gathering opens with lo five who incidentally, is currently sporting a rather smoking and immersive mindfulness mosaic via Castles in Space from which you’ll find the full extended happening that is ‘m-path’, this version a slightly remodelled and truncated edit that perfectly encapsulates the alluring dream like safe space mesmeric crafted by the LF hive mind, did we mention the ever so subtle Laraaji lines. Spaceship should be no strangers to the Dark Outside community, herewith the bowed beauty ‘in the murky woods’ a little something both hymnal and quietly uplifting and trancey yet equally steeled with a regal ghosting and a haunting distance in a ‘Box of Delights’ / Heartwood Institute way. I’m fairly certain we’ve encountered ‘Nanobot City’ in some previous life, but don’t quote me on that, a welcoming return from Midwich Youth Club, ever impish and creatively crooked and kooky, this fried mutant funk binary bopper is typically sore thumbed and cut with a playful late 70’s / early 80’s electro palette that some might sense flashbacks of 4am in the morning Ceefax wonkiness and wierdness upon hearing. New to us, Kieren Mahon serves up the coolly vintage sounding kosmische orbital ‘for the many’ which on reflection, sounds to these ears like some hulking mind re-mapping hypno dream machine. Staying with things serene and dream drifty, the aptly titled ‘meditation’ finds Giants of Discovery seducing the synapses with a slice of deeply lulling Tibetan trance toning. Apologies are overdue to the Leaf Library, their current full length ‘the world is a bell’ for WIAIWYA has been high on our to do list for mention. So while we address matters and ready ourselves to make amends here’s the celestial ‘a gap in the trees’. In short four minutes of blissful unfurling which in truth sounds not unlike a majestic symphonic parting back dropping the heavens falling silent and the stars going out, beautifully stilled and enigmatic. Think I’m right in saying,the shortest track of the compilation, by five seconds mind, this be Keener with ‘last candle end’ which in all honesty appears to follow a similar trajectory as the previous Leaf Library cut in so much as it sounds like some kind of eternal epitaph and lovely it is to, its brief visitation timed to perfection. Again another name unfamiliar around these parts, Steve Hadfield drops the pulsing mechanoid eerie that is ‘Ordinary Prime Mon(i)sters’, alittle something cooked straight from the John Baker sound book one would imagine. Ah, Polypores, just so happens we’ve got his imminent release for Miracle Pond getting readied for posting, probably at the weekend, it’s called ‘brainflowers’ and due early December. For now, there’s the small matter of ‘Sominum’ featured here. Now we were going to mention how much this reminded us of mid 70’s kosmick forward thinkers Embryo as well as a good deal of stuff heading out of the Constellation Tatsu sound house these days, but then scratch beneath the minimalist airing of vintage kosmische modulars and dissolved into its sonic fabric you’ll find the delicious daubing of an snaking Arabesque faraway out of which, amid the wonderfully hypnotic tryst, whereupon forms a mirage of bowed beats and sun scorched sultry, elements of Laraaji (again) and Ariel Kalma disperse. Another new boy, well to us at least, Sir Real with ‘Margins’ which I must admit we are quite partial to. This locks itself with a dead eyed precision into terrains occupied by the likes of Kreidler and Automat, the slow steady propulsive grow assuming mass, intensity and focus across a maddening motorik paranoiac priming, really is menacing stuff. The much admired Pulselovers are next with ‘Spirits’, not so far removed from the sounds found dwelling on their recent Castles in Space lovely, a pastoral woozy set upon a wonderfully breezy clockwork framing found wandering the overgrown secret lanes and paths where live Vic Mars and Littlebow. Next up, the playfully sinister ‘a gift of tongues’ by Reel might well be the most skewed cut of the set, a curious sore thumb at once shadowy and gloopy yet strangely engaging not least because of its oddly ominous and isolated detachment. Another of those who’ve recently featured on the Dark Outside’s roster, specifically their off shoot Bibliotapes print, this is Rupert Lally with the tear stained and bruised ‘the many’, teasingly brief it may be, this beautifully worked neo classicist forlorn is shivered with the emotional reach of both Antonymes and Simon McCorry. Another track befitting of that ‘end game’ distinction, Runningonair’s ‘we are where we are’ has a bleak beauty attaching to it, the sounds distant and to a degree, stirred with a coolly cold clinical chill, infuse the listening space with a distinct AI austere. Portland Vows on the other hand, work their eerie enigmatic across the ice sculptured porcelain of ‘spectacular items’ spraying the proceedings in minimalist toned murmuring magic dust. Those remembering those early career electronic hatchlings put out by Cheju many, many years ago are advised to rush without pause or thought to Concrete/Field’s delicately dinked dreamloop ‘stay sharp’ while the disturbingly named Body in the Thames serve up the spectral ‘Blues for Nye Bevan’ which kissed with a slowly snaking and subtle 80’s soft cinematic phrasing, is harnessed upon a deceptive and distractive nocturnal suave that surely indicates further listening / investigation is required.
Last, but by no means least, Night Monitor chip in with the sets briefest and parting track courtesy of ‘the energy you call money’, a brooding ghost light, perhaps an echo from the past or a foreboding apparition, you decide, tread carefully.

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