Issue #5 of Flashback, Summer 2014. Edited by Richard Morton Jack (co-founder of Sunbeam Records and editor of the Galactic Ramble and Endless Trip books), it features writing from some of the world's leading pop music authorities. A4 size (with a gloss cover), 212 pages long, and full-color throughout, it's packed with new research, exclusive interviews and rare photos. BLOSSOM TOES - This late '60s London quartet made two classic albums, gigged prolifically (including several fabled festivals), and even ventured behind the Iron Curtain. Richard Morton Jack gets their story straight, with the help of many rare and previously-unseen images. JUKEBOX - Luke Haines on twelve tracks that have inspired him. ALBUM BY ALBUM - Pioneering UK independent producer Vic Keary talks us through many of his productions, from pop and jazz to folk and prog. WORLD COUNTDOWN - At long last, the story behind America's great lost underground paper and its enigmatic English proprietor, Charles Royal. ARCADIUM - An exclusive on the mysterious British prog/psych rockers, by Austin Matthews. OLAV WYPER - A rare audience with the man behind the Vertigo label -- and much more besides. FIRST PERSON - Fairport Convention's close friend Kingsley Abbott describes their early days. WALLY RICHARDSON - The fullest ever interview with the renowned session guitarist, by Scott D. Wilkinson. ROOM - The cautionary tale of the quintet behind the British prog classic Pre-Flight. CULPEPER'S ORCHARD - The celebrated Anglo-Danish folk-rockers, by Claus Rasmussen. INTRODUCING ESOTERICA - Patrick Lundborg explains the concept of "esoteric appreciation." EUROPEAN ROCK - Fifty classic albums no collection should be without. ROBERT PLANT - A rare and revealing 1970 interview with the Led Zeppelin frontman. CRYING TO BE HEARD - The great lost Honeybus album, Recital. REVIEWS - Thorough coverage of recent CDs, LPs and books, taking in household names (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin), cult heroes (Badfinger, Davy Graham, The Zombies) and ultra-obscurities (Mormos, Staff Carpenborg and Thor's Hammer), with exclusive Q&As about certain items under review.
Alessandro Cortini is best known as the lead electronics performer in Nine Inch Nails' live unit. His recordings under his own name have gained prominence in recent years and he has become known as one of the pre-eminent Buchla masters in North America. Cortini makes a surprising departure into the 202 on his debut album for Hospital Productions -- Sonno. Sonno was recorded in hotel rooms, using a Roland MC 202 through a delay pedal, recorded direct, sometimes into a small portable speaker system. "I liked to walk around the room with a handheld recorder to hear where the sequence would sound better, turn on faucets, open doors or windows to see how the ambient sounds would interact with the MC 202/delay/speaker sound. It was very relaxing and liberating to make music this way." The result is a beautifully restrained yet oddly emotive album that's quite distinct from the overly academic approach so often undertaken by hardware-driven devotees. Mastered by Matt Colton.
Hayvanlar Alemi, led by Ozum Itez (guitar) and Isik Sarihan (percussion), are a group of contemporary musicians from the underground scene of the Turkish capital, Ankara. Their genres are extraordinary psychedelic, surf, and instrumental rock, flavored with an exotic twist. They released some domestic CDs in Turkey before their international debut came out on Alan Bishop's and Hisham Mayet's Sublime Frequencies label in 2009. Guarana Superpower (SF 062CD/LP) sold out in only a few weeks. Twisted Souvenirs documents their fast-paced development into an elegant, highly complex, genuinely performed mélange of the most exotic possible influences. They position themselves close to their roots but open up at the same time to influences from the East and West and beyond. Reminiscent of Sun City Girls' Torch of the Mystics phase, influences from Cambodian retro-rock and electrified Thai Mor-Lam are as deeply anchored in their sound-carpet as the glittering guitars from the Sahara. Hybrid music galore. "Karecikler Dolmadan," once the intro to their recent live sets, becomes the centerpiece to this album. "Yekermo Sew," a careful new interpretation of the Mulatu Astakte classic, and "Geneva Incident" are highlights amongst an album where each and every song is unique and recognizable. With a steady hand, Hayvanlar Alemi put pieces together from global sounds to make this album a perfect entity. Limited edition pressing of 750 copies.
Alga Marghen proudly presents an exceptionally wild sonic art and poetry document, Maurice Lemaître's Poemes et musiques lettristes et hyperphonie, recorded between 1952 and 1968. What does Lemaître contribute to the Isouian poetic creation? What? Music as background to "lettries?" These are heretic hyperphonies forming such a specific corpus in the Lettric sphere. Neither Isou, nor Pomerand, Dufrene, Wolman, or Spacagna achieved what Lemaître did. Lemaître dares the unthinkable: neo-yé-yé rhythmic Muzak destroyed by "lettries," disseminated with the utmost care. One more treasure: the very "pop music"-oriented Lemaître with his "I wanna go home mister" blues, here in a version with a borderline insane companion: Isidore Isou. Never a bluesman, thanks only to his irradiant genius, has ever been such a stoned sideman as Isou. This record includes an improvisation held at the Museum of Modern Art, Paris, 1961, in the context of a reading by Isidore Isou. Also included on this LP is a previously-unreleased torrid "concerto" titled "L'alcove," for a Lettrist male chorus and female solo orgasms, followed by "L'ascension du Phenix M.B.," a sound collage from 1967 (predating more than 10 years M.B.'s first primitive concrète music assemblages under the name Sacher Pelz). No need for Yoko Ono's loops for another "Revolution 9" -- one year before, Lemaître cuts the tape with a scalpel, leaving the cuts exposed: home revolution in between two manifestos and three hypergraphic paintings. Offer yourself the joy of listening to these recordings that alas, Lemaître, whose hearing stops precisely at 250Hz, can no longer have the pleasure to taste. Edition limited to 240 copies, with liner notes by Frédéric Acquaviva and a fantastic front cover drawing by Maurice Lemaître.
11 Heldengesange und 3 Gedichte was privately published by Anton Bruhin in 1977 as a luxury 2x10" box. This unique and imaginistic sound poetry work has been issued on LP by Alga Marghen for the VocSon series and is now available for distribution for the first time, ever. It's a sound poem which takes us into a medieval world of minstrels and errant knights, a phantasmagoria in text and sound. It is also a modern document of the not-yet-existing electronic Sampling Art of the 1970s. Anton Bruhin wrote: "In the Heldengesange, I conceived each hero speaking a different invented dialect and coming from a different fictional geographical region. I also wanted to give each hero his own music as a companion. I have used various musical materials and played a variety of instruments, but also taken parts from existing musics and manipulated them." Like an anthropologist, Anton Bruhin presents this fictional culture, inventing its language and music as well as drawing its objects -- a hat, a cup, an arm, a flag, a wurst -- everyday-life artifacts from an ancient time catalogued with scientific precision. In 11 Heldengesange und 3 Gedichte, a masterpiece by Anton Bruhin, all is artificial and nothing is real -- exactly like in our contemporary world. Edition limited to 350 copies, including a large LP-size folded insert with the full Heldengesange and Gedichte texts as well as a selection of original graphic works.
This EP sees the return of long-term label affiliates Komon & Appleblim for their second collaborative release on Aus. On Motion Blur, the pair expand on their canon and turn in four introspective explorations rich with granular textures and propulsive low-end grooves. The title track blooms behind sandy hats and glistening pads as it builds towards a loose-limbed swing built with broken beat structures. "Key Vision" drives more stuttering kick patterns under spectral sweeps and vocal chops while "Echoes Retreat" rubs resonant bass tones up against sharp, floor-ready synth stabs. "Astir" brings things to a deep and downcast close.
An outstanding raga-like drone LP with a distinctive cosmic vibe, Futuro Antico was a short-lived collaboration between the two Italians Walter Maioli (Aktuala), Riccardo Sinigaglia and Gabin Dabiré (from Burkina Faso). The synthesis between ancient, ethnic and analog electronic music is just perfect, the minimalist repetition with slight changes lends associations to slow growth; cyclic repetition gives the listener an opportunity to discover the sounds, to meditate, to go into the music, join the same journey through ancient, primitive cultures and modern electronic soundscapes. Originally released in 1980, the sound is completely analog and warm. This limited to 300 copies reissue maintains the original tape artwork, with info and photos.
This is the first release from the Halatern, Etc. label, run by Keith Connolly (of NNCK/No Neck Blues Band fame). "Is it the sight of death, the thought of saying? What sinks us deeper into melancholy: sexual incompleteness or its spastic conclusion? What seems to line our life with satin? What brings the rouge to both our cheeks? Loneliness, emptiness, worthlessness, grief... each is an absence in us. We have no pain, but we have lost all pleasure, and the lip that meets our lip is always one-half of our own. Our state is exactly the name of precisely nothing, and our memories, with polite long faces, come to view us and to say to one another that we never looked better; that we seem at last at peace; that our passing was... well -- sad -- still -- doubtless for the best (all this in a whisper lest the dead should hear)" --William Gass, from On Being Blue. Kyle Clyd is of an orphaned ascendancy, more Geeshie Wiley or Anne Gillis than any of her visible peers. In talking about Pale Dawn Creeps, her debut full-length, she refers a kind of blues, itself perhaps a mercurial essence resigned to antiquity: "To believe that the bits of paper in your pocket have real value or to take the word for the thing itself is the 'unpardonable sin' of the New Testament. Those guilty are condemned to blackness. Black manifests in the instant the accusatory finger is lifted, or guilty hand raised, but blue is not so easily won. Blue is not a second coming, but its denial -- our shortcomings hovering in the dead air of judgment's lag." While certainly not blues in the traditional (read: idiomatic) sense, Pale Dawn Creeps' depth-of-shallows abstraction belies an unmistakable lyricism and almost sing-song vacancy that is something of a cipher, asking where, when it has all been said, do songs really come from? Edition of 300 copies.
"Even given the vantage point of several decades of openly antagonistic assaults on conservative 'Punk' eardrums, countless poorly-printed fanzines championing all manner of anti-social sound/performance and the Internet more or less rendering nothing, past or present, unbelievable, some records are still hard to wrap one's ugly mug 'round. Like this one right here, fr'instance! What is this strange, unlistenable music and how did it come out of the early Eighties Wisconsin hardcore punk scene? Sure, there are plenty of near contemporary comparisons, regional bands lost to the mists of tyme who imbibed early Fall singles like they were manna (I'm lookin' your way Art Phag, Easter Monkeys, Y Front), but it's really a pretty strange document for the time and place, with allah the prime skiffle 'n thump of God Bless the Red Crayola-- as interpreted by the 49 Americans were they really, well, American, and adding a supersized dose of Flipper's drone/dirge to the pot for good measure. 'Hideous Plastic Flowers' sounds like Blight or the Church Police covering Hasil Adkins. The instrumental 'Reflective Reformation' wasted-ly approximates Country Joe's first via the same route Andrew Klimek takes to Van Vilet, and truthfully, these guys would have made much more sense rolling 'round the CLE (or maybe Akron on a track like 'Liquid Lunch') gutters than from where they actually sprang, though a catalog # reading Thermidor or Subterranean wouldn't be out of place either. God, that bass tone; what a ridiculous, glorious throbbing wet fart, and finally providing an answer to that eternal question: 'What if the Fuckin' Flyin' A-Heads recorded a whole album?' The de-railed Seeds cover opening Side B lends some credence to the notion that, as much as Hollywood Autopsy were an art punk concern (and one of considerable menace and aplomb) they also drank from the same trough of nocturnal proto-punk pessimism as Vertical Slit and the like. I don't know how much else I can spew over this thing, I mean every track sounds better than the last, a tasteful and primitive blend of deconstructed rockabilly, battered free psychedelia and generally inimical art provocation that only increases in potency the more its contents sibilate about your paltry brain. Ostensibly a college project of University of Wisconsin Madison students who disbanded after a few shows, zines and cheap recording sessions with a future member of Garbage (!), and would go on to legit academic/art careers and work with such local legends as Killdozer and Tar Babies, one off reunions happen from time to time but no recordings outside of this single, shimmering platter exist. First time reissue of any kind offered up here, and by far the most fiscally sound option, lest you're keen on walking, biking, driving or flying over to Manitowoc, WI to hunt in crusty bins for an OG. And besides, we all know that's not sustainable; do you really think the band that wrote 'Standing Naked in the Carnival' would want such a thing?" --Thomas DeAngelo/ April 2014
Optimo Music is usually known as a 12" label, but occasionally something rare and dangerous comes their way that compels them to release a full-length album. It's not exactly a dance album, although there is music you can dance to on it. It's more filmic in nature, with gads of references to wonderful directors like Kubrick and Carpenter that will enthrall a film buff, particularly if they're interested in electronic dance music. There's a sleazy and unsettling feel to many of the tracks ("Tina Weymouth" is a sleazy floor-monster groove), but this album is sure to intrigue and delight. The film references are directly relevant, as Felizol & The Boy are film directors Yiannis Veslemes and Alexandros Voulgaris, who live in Athens, Greece and have composed music for numerous feature films. They also perform live in house clubs, heavy metal dungeons and hippy-friendly festivals. They have this to say about their release: "We had a loose concept for this album and we compiled tracks that we've recorded in the last three years that have to do with cannibalism -- literally, but also as a metaphor for the blessing and the tyranny of paying homage to music and films (and directors and musicians). So these are songs about the agony of creating something new and personal when so much information and so many influences are fused into them."
Permanent Vacation presents a remix 12" of tracks by Midnight Magic off of their album Midnight Creepers (PERMVAC 109LP). Session Victim gives "Same Way I Feel" the dubby funk treatment that reboosts the best moments of 1995 before your inner eye. Suzanne Kraft and Secret Circuit aka Blase evoke the mighty big sun with a sweaty rework of "Red Rain." Hugh Mane turns "Midnight Creepers" into an analog house jam for enchantment under the sea, while Bell Towers powers a Euro '80s soundtrack for your Trans Am out of "Calling Out," so you better buckle up.
The composer and sculptor Aaron Taylor Kuffner is well-known for co-creating the Gamelatron project in 2008, the world's first fully-robotic gamelan orchestra. In 1997, Kuffner created another musical project, Zemi17. The success of the Gamelatron Project put Zemi17 on indefinite hiatus until The Bunker dug out one of Kuffer's last surround-sound live sets from Unsound New York in 2012 and asked him for a 12" of that material. The Bunker is proud to release these two long and seductive tracks made entirely of sounds of insects, birds, motors and urban noises spliced together with treated samples of gongs and metallophones to create lush techno compositions.
Trost loves 7"s, and have therefore started a new series: Trost Jukebox Series, specially for one-time collaborations & projects. The paper-sleeve stays the same, the labels are changing, and there's artwork by Lasse Marhaug. One-time pressing, with two scheduled singles per year. Single 001: Mats Gustafsson with Albert Oehlen.
There is only one prior release existing of Brötzmann and Sharrock as a duo (vinyl-only on Okka Disc 2003). This live recording from the archives of Peter Brötzmann was mixed by Lou Malozzi in Chicago, mastered by Martin Siewert in Vienna. Sonny Sharrock was one of the first American free-jazz guitarists. He played in the '60s with Miles Davis, Pharoah Sanders, Roy Ayers and many other greats. His career started again in the beginning of the '80s when he met Bill Laswell, who hired him to form the free-rock-jazz-noise quartet Last Exit (with Ronald Shannon Jackson and Peter Brötzmann) between 1986 and 1990. German legend Peter Brötzmann is one of the most outstanding saxophone players in the current international free-jazz scene, continuing to go on tour and release with various musicians. Recorded on March 9, 1987 at Jamkulturfabrik in Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg. Drawing and artwork by Brötzmann. Design: Brötzm/Untiet. Peter Brötzmann (alto/tenor/bass-saxophone, tarogato); Sonny Sharrock (electric guitar).
1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground
This is a new 2014 digipak designed CD repress of the limited LP pressing which sold out almost immediately when released in 2008. This is Raï music from Algeria as you've not heard it before. In the early 1970s, a new group of singers and musicians were operating on the northwest coast, and what they pioneered was a sound that eventually reached worldwide status by the end of the decade; however, their names are relatively unknown to this day outside Algeria. This crucial and defining period of the development of Raï is criminally ignored and overlooked by Algerian music historians and Raï fans. Due to censorship and government-controlled music diffusion, this scene and lyrical style was forced underground and banned from broadcasts, yet slowly built a small following around the seaside cabarets of Wahran (Oran). This period witnessed the rise of artists such as Groupe El Azhar ("The Flowers" group) and Messaoud Bellemou, who can comfortably be considered the Godfather of the modern Raï sound. His group, L'Orchestre Bellemou, rewrote a heritage of centuries by using modern instruments and especially the trumpet, which became, during the 1970s, the backbone of the Wahrani genre. Reinterpreting the gasba melodies on trumpet, Bellemou backed singers such as Boutaiba Sghir and Sheikh Benfissa who carried on the lyrical tradition of their forefathers singing about daily preoccupations and problems as well as love affairs, alcohol, or simply owning an automobile! Toward the late 1970s, Cheb Zergui brought a newer ingredient: an electric guitar with a wah-wah pedal. Thankfully, the late 1960s saw the development of vinyl pressing in Algeria. This new industry allowed many small artists including the Wahrani "scene" to record and release singles documenting their repertoire. This compilation is a selection of this proto-Raï scene's vinyl 45s. CD booklet features photos of the musicians & informative liner notes by the man who compiled it, Hicham Chadly.
Will to Be Well is the new studio album by Dalhous, their second for Blackest Ever Black. This double LP reflects writer-producer Marc Dall's continued interest in the life and arcana of R.D. Laing, but also alludes to more universal and enduring mysteries: the relationships between body and mind, illness and wellness, the physical and the metaphysical. The 15 tracks assembled here also showcase the maturation of a uniquely gifted and expressive composer: Dall's stirring, efflorescent melodies and stately harmonic architectures, with their grievously honed simplicity, are a delight: lucid, lyrical, immediate. For all the modernity of Dalhous' approach, the album recalls a bygone era in synthesized and sample-based music, a time when its practitioners were not just set-designers but storytellers, too. Will to Be Well arrives just one year on from the Edinburgh-based project's tenebrous debut, An Ambassador for Laing (BLACKEST 003CD/LP), which was released to widespread acclaim in Spring 2013: The Wire praised "a frequently beautiful music, whose often calm surface belies the powerful currents moving beneath it," while FACT called the LP a "wonderfully compelling head-scratcher... opaque, elusive ... and fascinating." Nonetheless, a notable shift in tone has occurred in the 14 months that have elapsed. If Ambassador was a tussle between darkness and light that ended in stalemate, with Will to Be Well it seems the light might just be winning. Pieces like "Transference" and "Her Mind Was a Blank" project a rapturous psychedelic intensity; "To Be Universal You Must Be Specific" and "Entertain the Idea" adopt the serene ambient register of recent Dalhous EP Visibility Is a Trap; while "Sensitised to This Area" goes about its business with an almost Balearic swagger. But light, too, can be oppressive: the sun that gives life can also burn, and bleach, and blind. And even amid the endorphin rush of the album's most ebullient passages, there is the sense of a greater melancholy, an intractable doubt, lurking beneath the surface. Dalhous' music is suitably paradoxical, managing to sound at once futuristic and folkloric, both technologically advanced and avowedly pastoral. The elegiac repetitions of "A Communion With These People" and the pagan drones of "Lovers of the Highlands" speak of Dall and his studio partner Alex Ander's deep connection to the rugged contours of their native Scottish landscape, while on "Four Daughters by Four Women" and "Thoughts Out of Season" convulsive post-rave rhythms are employed to evoke ancient natural cycles. Though Will to Be Well is a less obviously eerie album than its predecessor, Dalhous' nose for the uncanny remains. A defining album from a major young artist.
Pip Proud, sui generis, could be considered an Australian outsider, with his untutored and uninhibited singing style, his primal guitar playing, his resolutely personal vision captured on recordings from 1967 to the early '70s -- except that, unlike most outsiders, he was loved and accepted, with two of his three album releases on a major label, with frequent television appearances and coverage in music magazines. Heralded in his native land though he was, he maintained a low profile from the early '70s, never made an impact overseas, and his recordings have been difficult to access. This collection has been selected by Proud's biographer David Nichols and will engender a new appreciation of Proud's music. Considered by some as a sort of Antipodean Syd Barrett, listeners will hear that Pip was clearing his own private and primal path, more poet than pop star, despite the media attention. Other than one Velvets-style band track, all songs here feature Pip solo, some with appealingly primitive overdubs. Fans of ramshackle, oddball, weirdo portastudio, lo-fi bedroom pop of the '80s, '90s and beyond, whether of the NZ, UK or U.S. varieties, will find a precursor here. CD includes with three bonus tracks and features a 20-page booklet with liner notes by David Nichols as well as Proud's lyrics.
With this release, EM Records shine a light into the dark and yet strangely uplifting world of Inryo-fuen's early '80s wonderland: a surreal, adventurously analog, positively negative realm of freedom. Following the EM Records release of Inryo-fuen's enigmatic Ho-aku (EM 1125CD), Early Years 1980-82 collects the band's earliest recordings, originally released on flexi and vinyl, here re-edited, re-mixed and remastered. With enlightening notes by band member Jun Harada providing historical background and recording information, stressing their love of improvisation and their ongoing quest for liberation, this is a landmark release, offering a glimpse into a hitherto inaccessible netherworld of the Tokyo/Yokohama post-punk underground. The music here, all improvised, with many of the pieces recorded live, have an edge-of-the-world electricity, informed by the group's fascination with the Surrealist idea of Automatic Writing. The launch point is a brutalist, knuckle-dragging Conrad/Faust thug-riff featuring the hectoring rants of a stage-invading student activist, dramatically melded with the music by the sound engineer. From there we traverse manifold realms, variously propulsive and static, dense and pointillistic, threatening and whimsical, opaque and translucent. Inryo-fuen's searching use of the basic rock instrumentation of drums, bass and guitar is augmented with keyboards and, on one piece, acoustic instrumentation. No overdubs, no vocals. Only sound and freedom. Includes liner notes in English and Japanese, as well as photos.
CD edition with two bonus tracks. Breathtaking contemporary spiritual jazz from South Africa. When Tumi Mogorosi composed this suite for jazz musicians and opera vocalists, he had never heard the previous successful attempts by Donald Byrd, Max Roach or Mary Lou Williams to combine these seemingly "unfriendly" aesthetics. Tumi, born in 1987 and already an accomplished drummer on the Jo'Burg scene, was at the time studying music at the Tshwane University of Pretoria where he became close friends with opera singers working on the same campus. So unlike some of his U.S. peers, Tumi's beliefs are not "religious." Surprisingly, Tumi's suite wasn't influenced by these great elders' masterpieces, but anyone who listens to this album will agree that the suite captures the soaring spirituality that made these experiments of the '60s the beloved classics that they are today. Tumi does not belong to any religious group. This album is neither a jazz mass like Mary Lou Williams' Black Christ of the Andes, nor a compilation of devotional pieces like Donald Byrd's Christo Redentor. Project ELO stands for Project Elohim, the angelic entities of the spiritual scriptures which are, in the drummer's philosophy, a symbol for accomplished human beings. The spirituality the album conveys is attuned to a 21st century syncretic, non-dogmatic vision infused with esotericism. Recorded live with no overdubs in two days by a group of friends, this album captures a moment of Eternity and will defy any idea you may have of what South African jazz is. Tumi's music transcends labels and styles. When composing or playing he is only concerned with being true to the primordial source of life, which cannot be confined to any genre.
Following 2011's The Hearts of Empty (KK 059CD), Liverpool-based band Dakota Suite, led by Chris Hooson in collaboration with David Buxton, are back with another superb album on Karaoke Kalk. While Hearts of Empty was a distinctly jazzy instrumental album, There Is Calm to Be Done takes us further down a path of left-field songwriting and alternative pop. The album was produced together with Quentin Sirjacq, with whom Dakota Suite have already worked in the past, on Valissa (2010) and The Side of Her Inexhaustible Heart (2012). The most striking thing about the Dakota Suite sound is their immense instrumentation. While most songs are driven by the piano, they are adorned with all kinds of instruments to provide an overall timbre of great majesty. The presence of brass parts, woodwind, double bass and a wide array of instruments makes for a special sound. Rhythmically, the drum parts throughout the majority of There Is Calm to Be Done are played with brushes, which takes the edge off and adds a gentleness that only the swooshing of brushes can achieve. The use of lap steel on the opening number "This Is My Way of Saying That I Am Sorry" conjures up a definite country-rock feel. While the album is mainly song-based, there are vast instrumental passages strewn throughout the record and intermingled between songs. "Flat Seat" is one such instrumental tune with a decidedly filmic character; a lilting composition both mesmerizing and intriguing. Much of the album feels as if it could be film music, and each tune conjures a vivid image in the listener's mind to which the music plays the soundtrack. Hooson's vocals are striking both for their singing-style and lyrical content. "Dronning Maud Land," for example, begins with the humorous line "I seem to have grown myself a pair of old man's hands," but the delivery is somber and melancholy. "In the Stillness of This Night" is a powerful ballad that fuses the touching vocals and lyrical style that is so prevalent on the album with an evocative arrangement. "Committing to Uncertainty" is a somewhat darker composition, with the brass and woodwind orchestration building to a powerful crescendo. "Be My Love" stands out as a prime example of singer-songwriting, as it relies solely on acoustic guitar and vocals. It is an unspeakably tender song with a highly fragile yet resolute emotional lure. The penultimate title-track on the album, true to its name, is a delightfully calm tune. The record draws to a close with the minimally-orchestrated "I Miss the Dust," a very delicate instrumental that drifts away like leaves on a breeze. Dakota Suite's music has covered such diverse genres as lo-fi, folk-rock, electronic, ambient, and taken in elements of jazz and modern classical. There Is Calm to Be Done explores the art of songwriting while also venturing beyond, into new fields, to create something new and subtle.
Chronicle, by The Durutti Column, is released on Kooky as a very limited, special and expanded version to acknowledge Vini Reilly's 60th year of his life; thus Chronicle LX XL. The partly autobiographical album was first commissioned for a performance in April 2011 at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. During this period, Vini and Poppy (his girlfriend of 9 years) parted company and it was a heartbroken Vini that went on to complete the production. Despite the breakup, Poppy had agreed to perform on piano that evening for two of the songs that she had written with Vini accompanying on guitar. Over the following three years, the artist has battled serious illness and has not played a full show since. It was -- and still is -- a very difficult time physically, mentally and emotionally for Vini Reilly. The compositions reflect a particular stage in Vini's recent life. At the Bridgewater Hall show, a pre-release limited edition CD was available for that evening only, with a note by Vini explaining the background to the new work. Chronicle began as an autobiographical project, marking particular moments in Vini's past. Although elements of this surfaced in the original Chronicle, events in his life while recording the album brought a new twist to the project. Bruce Mitchell (drums and percussion): "So there are two versions of Chronicle. We did a special edition for the gig at the Bridgewater Hall, where people could get the album as part of a premium ticket deal. In 2011, we premiered the music there, with all Vini's photographs up on the screen. That was the last gig, really. The following day, Phil Cleaver from Kooky said he'd got back home to find his emails full of requests from the audience to buy one. So they all sold out, immediately. But soon afterwards Vin became really ill." "It was a big, expensive recording, Chronicle. And Vin, despite being ill, did this further version. So there's Chronicle 1 and Chronicle 2. What I wanted Vini to do as a composer was something similar to Elgar's "Enigma Variations" -- a piece of music about certain people in a life. I wanted him to do this and link the music to photographs he'd taken over the years. Vin's a great photographer." However, Reilly remains The Durutti Column's indisputable leader, and had the last say. Bruce continues: "I didn't quite get what I wanted, because in the end, Vini wanted the album to be about his life at this point in time. We couldn't finish it for a while because Vin was in such a bad way. But now it's there. And we've got some very interesting, very powerful music on this." In a package that continues The Durutti Column's tradition of innovation, this record is only available in special packaging containing personal images from the artist's camera and photographic collection. Continuing the autobiographical theme, the packaging acknowledges previous releases through parts of its design. A foil blocked burgundy textured clamshell box will contain: a full-color saddle-stitched booklet with an introduction by Bruce Mitchell and a collage of photographs from Vini's own personal collection. It also includes a printed sandpaper insert, a map (randomly selected one of six) redrawn in "Obey the Time purple and yellow" showing a place of importance to the artist, a grey card certificate in a custom envelope, and two CDs in pochettes. Each box set will have a map and grey card certificate. There are no plans to release this in any other format at present and this will be strictly limited to 1,000 copies only; worldwide. Features: Caoilfhionn Rose Birley (piano & vocals), Jill Taylor (vocals), Billy Rance (vocals), Keir Stewart (guitar, piano, harmonica), Vin Reilly (vocals, guitar), and Bruce Mitchell (drums).
Any attempt to categorize Rosco aka Sterling Roswell, runs the risk of misrepresenting a true radical. Artist, musician, poet and producer, Roswell is all of these and more and over the years he has embraced a myriad of artistic forms to great effect. The band The Psychedelic SRB features a rotating collective of musicians, including the fantastic George Frakes (lead guitar), Syd Kemp (bass) and Tucker Nelson (drums), and not only bring the acclaimed album The Call of the Cosmos to the live stage but in the midst have created their own unique space age sound. Rough Trade "Album of the Month" and featuring the singles "Interplanetary Spaceliner," "Give Peace Another Chance" and "The Girl from Orbit," this record cements the elements which have infused Rosco's work since his days with Spacemen 3, his multi-instrumental driving force behind The Darkside and his innovative psychedelic soundscapes as a studio engineer and producer. The Call of the Cosmos stands testament to a new message for Interplanetary Peace and features a truly fitting tribute to the late, great front-man of The Seeds, Sky Sunlight Saxon. The song "Tripmaker" featured in the Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda movie The Trip. Live appearances, both solo and with The Psychedelic SRB, always hold audiences spellbound and is the act to see in this new age of psychedelia. "Baudelaire once wrote, 'music excavates heaven.' Listen to this record and you might just have to agree." --Andrew Weatherall, MOJO; "Think Lee Hazelwood produced by Joe Meek -- perfectly realized and revealing a commercial side to Roswell previously unheard/viewed through the lens of Syd Barrett and Kevin Ayers." --Lois Wilson, MOJO; "Rosco uses his knowledge of the music, acid and crucial fundamentals of the genre to create a mini-masterpiece." --Kris Needs, Shindig; "A topside full of pulsing spectral tunes and a flipside like a '60s sci-fi soundtrack mixed with 'Echoes' of Pink Floyd. An otherworldly delight!" --Mark Ellen
Wilderness of Mirrors is the new album from Lawrence English. This album has been two years in the making and the first album created since the release of his 2011 ode to J.A. Baker's novel, The Peregrine. It is English's most tectonic auditory offering to date, an unrelenting passage of colliding waves of harmony and dynamic live instrumentation. The phrase, "wilderness of mirrors," draws its root from T.S. Eliot's elegant poem "Gerontion." During the Cold War, the phrase became associated with campaigns of miscommunication carried out by opposing state intelligence agencies. Within the context of the record, the phrase acted as a metaphor for a process of iteration that sat at the compositional core of the LP. Buried in each final piece, like an unheard whisper, is a singularity that was slowly reflected back upon itself in a flood of compositional feedback. Erasure through auditory burial. Wilderness of Mirrors also reflects English's interests in extreme dynamics and densities, something evidenced in his live performances of the past half decade. The album's overriding aesthetic of harmonic distortion reveals his ongoing explorations into the potentials of dense sonics. The album is moreover a reflection on the current exploitation of the ideals of the wilderness of mirrors, retuned and refocused from the politics of the state, to the politics of the modern multiplex. The amorphous and entangled nature of the modern world is one where thoughtless information prevails in an environment starved of applied wisdom. Wilderness of Mirrors is a stab at those living spectres (human and otherwise) that haunt our seemingly frail commitments to being humane. "We face constant, unsettled change," English notes, "It's not merely an issue of the changes taking place around us, but the speed at which these changes are occurring. We bear witness to the retraction of a great many social conditions and contracts that have previously assisted us in being more humane than the generations that precede us. We are seeing this ideal of betterment eroded here in Australia and abroad, too. This record is me yelling into what seems to be an ever-growing black abyss. I wonder if my voice will reflect off something?" Wilderness of Mirrors is reflection upon reflection, a pure white-out of absolute aurality. Some lesser-known facts about Lawrence English: he is a lightning strike survivor, he has swum in Antarctic waters (rescuing field recording equipment), he has photographed every bed he has slept in on tour since the early 2000s, he has stood at the site of an atomic blast (obviously not during the explosion), he maintains the Room40 label family, he was once described in concert as "Moses, parting waves," he is a strong advocate for the profundity of listening, and he lives with three humans, a dog and two fine black Australorps.
It can't be easy gathering 28 of Northern Europe's finest jazz and improvising musicians in one place at the same time, which is why Sweden's Fire! Orchestra has been one of the continent's best-kept secrets so far. After playing rare shows a handful of times a year, this incredible mass ensemble is getting ready to unleash its full power with Enter, its first studio recording. This isn't jazz: this is Nordic dynamite. Fire! originated as the trio of Swedish improv masters Mats Gusfasson (sax), Johan Berthling (bass) and Andreas Werliin (drums). None of them are what you could call jazz purists; they all play in many different groups and contexts, including The Thing (Gustafsson), experimental folk-electronica outfit Tape (Berthling), and skewed pop unit Wildbirds And Peacedrums (Werliin). Around 2011, the idea sprang up to expand a massive orchestra around the core trio, featuring the cream of Scandinavian jazz, improvisation and avant-rock players and vocalists. Key contributions come from keyboardists Sten Sandell, trumpeter Goran Kajfes (Oddjob, Subtropic Arkestra, Nordic Music Prize winner 2012), drummers Raymond Strid (GUSH, Barry Guy, Martin Küchen Ensemble) and Johan Holmegard (Dungen, The Amazing), guitarist David Stackenäs, electronicist Joachim Nordwall (Skull Defekts, iDEAL Records) and Fender Rhodes player Martin Hederos (Soundtrack Of Our Lives), to name just a few. Adding a crucial, soulful presence are the three vocalists Mariam Wallentin (Wildbirds And Peacedrums), Ethiopian singer Sofie Jernberg and Simon Ohlsson (Silverbullit). But Fire! Orchestra is a collective effort, with Gustafsson directing a tight, disciplined ensemble that enjoys its moments let off the leash. Following 2013's live debut Exit! (RCD 2138CD/RLP 3159LP), Enter is Fire! Orchestra's first time in the studio, and might surprise you with its slow, treacle-y funk dynamics, running through a kaleidoscope of moods, rhythms, and textures. Muscular rock rhythms flesh out texts written by singer Mariam Wallentin, inspired by the legendary free jazz saxophonist Joe McPhee, and sung in soured blues moans by the Orchestra's three-headed vocal team. Recalling the righteous big-band jazz of the late '60s by figures such as Charlie Haden, Sun Ra, Mike Westbrook and Chris McGregor, there are also echoes of Matana Roberts' recent jazz tapestries and the steamy psych-funk of Brightblack Morning Light. "Part Two" opens on a groove ripped from The Beatles' psychedelic classic "Tomorrow Never Knows." Using collective riffing at its finest, this is an epic suite that undergoes constant scene-shifts between relentlessly building rhythms, rising in emotional intensity as the furnace is stoked. Enter is about following your instincts, having the courage to step forwards into the unknown when the door is open. Death might be an exit, but it's also an entrance -- to a new, unimaginable state of being. The music acts out this cyclical pattern of living and dying, entering and exiting, and the finale winds down to the same reflective, introspective keyboard motif as it started with.
Reveries is the first collaborative effort of Noveller & Thisquietarmy, two critically-acclaimed lonesome composers welcoming us on an expanded guitar-based journey. Noveller is the solo project of Brooklyn-based composer Sarah Lipstate while Thisquietarmy is Eric Quach, unstoppable globe-trotting musician from Montreal. Both use the guitar as their main instrument, creating some of the most impressive, hypnotic, and richly-textured electric guitar works from the past years. Empty architecture, luminosity, rocks and deserted zones. Somewhere between Antonioni's Zabriskie Point and Tarkovsky's Stalker, there is a walk, a wait and an epiphany. It happened. You were not there. You just read it. Or maybe it's the synopsis of it. It's written on the back cover of a corny paperback that girl with the golden cap lost in the train you were just in. She was in a hurry. You'll never know its end, you just have to stick to the rocks and to the music. Tomorrow is another day and tonight might be the night. Recorded in January 2013 at Electric Blue Studios in Brooklyn, this new album finds Sarah & Eric in their most luminous and aerial state, writing together layers of blissful drones, resulting in a highly meditative and emotional four-part piece. Pressed on white vinyl in an edition of 500 copies worldwide.
Flashback #5 Summer 2014 MAG
Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes Vol. 1 LP
Aqua/Lemon Peel/Violet EP 12"
Dai Primitivi All' Elettronica LP
Poemes et musiques lettristes et hyperphonie LP
The Tale of the Silky Raven/Siesta in Mehrauli 12"
Compost Black Label 116 12"
11 Heldengesange und 3 Gedichte LP
Take My Breath Away 2LP+CD
Like Cannibal Father Like Cannibal Son LP
Midnight Creepers Remix EP 12"
Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel 2LP
Serge Modular in Hi-Fi LP