=  SEPTEMBER 2008  =

Quick Links


Written by:

Windy and Carl

Simon Lewis

Heathern Haints

Phil McMullen

Nigel Cross Pete Berryman

Jeff Penczak

Tryst Haunt
  Garfields Birthday
  Cristopher Cichoki
  Sendelica / Grant Wakefield


Robert Stillman



(CD from Kranky )


‘Songs For The Broken Hearted’ is Windy & Carl's tenth full-length album, I think, and their fourth release from Kranky (the others being ‘Depths’, ‘Consciousness’ and ‘The Dream House – Dedications to Flea’). The release is described by the label as “an expression of timeless emotions: from anger and longing to warmth and joy.”  Which is fair enough, except if that were all it was about, there would be nothing to distinguish one Windy and Carl album from another. Each one runs the gamut of all the emotions, driven in no small part by vocalist and guitarist Windy Weber’s heart on her sleeve sincerity which bleeds from every note that she caresses so effortlessly it seems from either voicebox or guitar. “Everyone has known love,” says Windy, “and everyone has known loss. Love is not just about warm fuzzy feelings, although that would be the part people say they like the best. And in any span of time, love changes and means different things to different people.”


Windy & Carl at T7. Photo: Paul Rank


The ten songs on this new release certainly tug at the emotions, from admiration, disbelief and joy all the way through longing to anger, disillusionment and pain – often within the same song. Opening song ‘Btwn You & Me’ hints at trouble at t’mill, while the second song, ‘La Douleur’, translates as ‘The War’, which is largely self-explanatory, except that I can’t urge you enough to sit down and really listen to this twelve minute instrumental masterpiece. Within the artificial digital barriers which mark the beginning and end of the track lie the pure essence of the brilliance which is Windy and Carl: the sonorous, fluid guitar notes rise and fall like the chest of a sleeping loved-one, and then pause just long enough to give cause for concern before leaping up at you angry and screaming before finally folding themselves in billowing softness into your arms. This is followed by the newly rediscovered love, faith and ecstasy of ‘My Love’ and ‘Forever’, and finally ends on a note of eternal hope with the self-explanatory and utterly brilliant ‘The Same Moon and Stars’. This is a good thing, as I love happy endings, and was at first concerned by the album’s title.


The remainder of the album is far from make-weight, either. ‘When We Were’ sounds a haunting, doleful note like the whistle of a passing train at night-time, and yet within the song, almost like the inside of the train, you can hear snatches of shimmering, sparkling conversations so that the end result is a feeling of wistfulness rather than melancholy.


I could talk about this for hours and still utterly fail to do it justice. Just hear it, and love it for what it is. And while you’re waiting for your copy to arrive in the post (since so few of us live anywhere near that dwindling breed of emporium, a record shop, any longer) you could do worse than check out an hour long edit of Windy and Carl’s recent cornerstone set at Terrastock 7 which Kranky have thoughtfully made available as a podcast. (Phil McMullen)




( CD from www.myspace.com/persepolisrecords )


    Like a mystical Neil Young after a pot of mushroom tea, this record is both familiar and unfathomable, the themes large and personal, as Fillip Ring sets out on a quest for knowledge and tranquillity, wearing a comfy cardigan as he strides forth into the dark forests.


     Opening song “Fallen Angels, Seperated Souls” is the mission statement, an insistent guitar riff adding to the tension of the lyrics, the vocal performance adding to the power. On “Evan S in the Valley”, a country tinged guitar highlights a wonderful vocal delivery, with the voice rich and confident, the simple song holding sway over the listeners ears, the perfect precursor to the soon to be an acid folk classic sounds of “The Ring of Dying”, possibly the most beautiful, and certainly the most personal song on the album. Here everything comes together, a plaintive spiritual plea ringing through the ages to awaken old Gods.


      For the sake of transparency I should say now that Ring is a friend of mine and has stayed (and played) here whilst playing dates in the UK. In fact, the basic track for “Quarter Inca of Sand” was recorded in my lounge, although the eerie psychedelia on the album is a long way from the original recording thanks to the skills of DJ Fallaffelmaker, who has transformed the song into a brooding epic. Elsewhere on the disc simplicity remains the order of the day on such songs as “One Never Dies” and the gorgeous “Find a Temple of Your Own”, the latter as gentle as the twinkling stars, distant and irresistible, a prayer for a simpler, less cluttered life. This theme is continued on “Are You Ready?” and if the music is this good then, “yes I am”, the tune another gem in a casket full of musical jewels.


     Like early songs from the Incredible String Band, “58 to Break the Chain” is a jaunty musical romp with strange lyrics, the words only half making sense but seemingly saying something profound. Finally “070923 Galaktigle” is by far the most experimental piece on the album, opening spaces in your mind, the music echoed, backwards and droning, snippets from other songs adding to the confusion as they drift in and out of the mix the sounds fading into nothing.


   If this album had been released in 1973, it would now be hailed as an outsider acid-folk classic, I suggest you buy it now rather than wait thirty five years for that expensive re-issue. (Simon Lewis)




( 12” from www.myspace.com/heathernhaints )


One of the greatest rewards of being involved with the Terrastock festivals is, for me at least, knowing that the event has either directly or indirectly inspired others to play, practice, record, craft and create. That whole sense of community, of getting it together with others of a similar ilk in order to hopefully make the world a better and nicer place to be in, is at the heart of what the Terrascope, and latterly Terrastock as well, has always been about – and to see communities of musicians, artists, writers and promotors all sharing a similar aesthetic springing up all over the place is at one and the same time really quite exciting and very, very humbling indeed.


Back last May in the run-up to Terrastock 7 in Louisville, Kentucky, a rather fine gentleman by the name of Tim Carey of the band 84001 in Nashville, Tennessee staged a Terrastock Tea Party there which featured themselves (84001) plus Magick Plants, Hollow Ox, and  Heathern Haints. Many of the principles attended Terrastock a month or so later and were not only charming to meet and fulsome in their praise, but also kind enough to say they’d been inspired by the experience. In fact, not long afterwards 84001 and Heathern Haints headed up to Memphis to play with James Jackson Toth's new project (James, the former Wooden Wand mainman, appeared at Terrastock as part of Hush Arbors). Several of MV+EE's collaborators played as well. Another new, impromptu “community” was thus born right there, a fine example of what can and thankfully often does take place in the wake of a Terrastock.


But, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Of the veterans of that now quasi-legendary Nashville Terrastock Tea Party, Hollow Ox – a young band who have rapidly become a regular favourite on the digital turntables around here – were reviewed last month, and it’s fitting in a way that the band to displace them from their hallowed perch should be another Nashville trio: Heathern Haints. Their debut 12” 45 comes in a limited edition of 300 copies, each hand made with lino-cut card covers. Their sound is probably best exemplified amongst the four songs included by ‘Oh Holy Light’ which closes side A, with singer and guitarist Brian Miles intoning in an Anglicised throaty moan (inspired by early Saint Julian or the Bunnymen perhaps) set against a Galaxie 500-esque rolling bass line while the guitars drone and shimmer alternately. Side B’s ‘Good Air’ owes a nod or two to the Spacemen 3, which is no bad thing, while ‘Golden Moment’, my personal favourite, does the Velvet Underground raga-esque drone thing, with mesmeric drumming setting a solid foundation for Miles’s calls and response guitar lines.


It’s all great stuff and comes heartily recommended. Snap it up while you can! (Phil McMullen)




(Live at the Rhythm Festival, Twinwood Arena, Bedford, UK Saturday 29th August 2008)
Forty years ago,  forty years ago…..the Quicksilver Messenger Service was at its absolute peak, performing scorching improvisational shows that would form the basis for the  Happy Trails  album – guitarist Gary Duncan’s solo at the start of that album’s  ‘Who Do You Love Suite’ literally and effortlessly defining that whole San Francisco sound acid rock era. When Duncan quit at the end of '68 the band faltered and though he re-joined and they have soldiered on in one form or another since then, they never returned to those glorious psychedelic work-outs.
Though there were several tours actually advertised in the press here back in the early 70s, the band never came to the UK. The late John Cipollina, whose coiled, metallic Gibson growl was for many the sound of Quicksilver performed here regularly with likes of Man and Nick Gravenites before his untimely death in 1989, and founding member David Freiberg has also toured this side of the Big Pond as part of the Jefferson Starship.
Until this August that is, when three British dates were announced featuring a line up that included a quorum of both Freiberg and Duncan (long-serving drummer Greg Elmore dropped out of the QMS picture back in the 80s after a bitter legal dispute over rights to the name).
So it was with trepidation that I took myself off to the Rhythm Festival at the weekend to see what remained of my favourite band of all time. The atmosphere couldn’t have been more perfect – pure ‘Saturday Afternoon’ vibes – the sun shone, the tribes gathered, bubbles wafted across the arena and the air was rich with the aroma of marijuana – for a few seconds I imagined that this was what it must have been like at the Human Be-In!
Shortly after 14.45 what must be said to be a rather make-shift line up (that also formed the back line of the Starship currently on tour over here), gathered on stage – keyboard player Chris Smith, drummer Tony Morley and the splendidly multi-instrumental Jeff Pevar hastily deputised as this afternoon’s bass player. Front stage bubbly powerhouse singer Linda Imperial stood alongside hubby David Freiberg nowadays happy to strum an acoustic guitar rather than his electric bass of yore; that once mighty mass of black curls now grey and with his spectacles lending him the air of a rather benign elder statesman – not so much the world’s most cuddly devil as one album sleeve had it but perhaps the world’s most cuddly grand dad (he told me later he occasionally still plays the old QMS tune ‘The Bears’ for his grand kids!)
In comparison Duncan was every inch the rock star, dripping 60s California cool as if it had never gone out of fashion. He strode on to the stage, a tall, lean muscular figure looking like he’d just rode straight out of a Sam Peckinpah Western movie – fringed moccasin boots, faded Levis, shades, cut-away black t-shirt, black cowboy hat and a small medicine pouch hanging from his belt – his goatee neatly trimmed from the Stanshall-like growth he’d been sporting a year or so earlier. He toted his wildly-painted Fender complete with ornate strap and a huge battery of effects pedals with all the malevolence of the shotgun he’s seen firing on the back sleeve of Happy Trails.
Introduced by curly-haired roadie Michael "Snorky" Eisenstein– our ears were assailed by the familiar strains of that soaring, celebratory riff and we were straight into ‘Fresh Air’. Freiberg has just turned 70 but the voice that sent shivers down our spines back in the day on the likes of ‘Stand by Me’ and ‘Light Your Windows’ was still unmistakable and still powerful as recent sets by the Starship have regularly attested.  He sang so beautifully that you wondered why they ever needed Dino Valenti on this or any of the songs he played with them – the band regularly covered Valenti’s stuff during the years he was in jail and they could have carried on making him a few royalties in the process when he did get out – give me David’s heavenly tones over Dino’s nasal whine any day. Indeed in comparison with his band mates David was indefatigable, looking cool and collected throughout – hitting every note and never fluffing a line (unlike Duncan who missed the cue to the opening of ‘Who Do You Love’).
Though some hardcore fans groused about his playing afterwards, Duncan was a treat, revealing again and again what a fine player he is. Many still overlook his work in the original band – an epitome of comparative restraint as opposed to  the crushing lightning bolts conjured up by John Cipollina – and there were moments that cried out for the great man especially on the well-handled ‘Pride of Man’ where Cipo’s stinging fills were such an integral part of the original recording. Duncan proved himself time after time with mercurial solos of such fluidity and melody – you could understand why the band has such a perfectly fitting name. He bent his strings to produce streams of fractured flowing notes that transported you back to golden era as if the whole of the Twinwood Arena had been taken aboard the Tardis and dropped into late 60s northern California!
‘Close enough for Jazz’,  a slow burning blues allowed Linda Imperial to stretch her tonsils with GD adding his own smoky larynx to the duet on some verses. Next up was an exciting crowd-pleasing ‘Mona’ with Duncan playing some of his tastiest runs of the afternoon. They took the tempo down after this with ‘I don’t want to live in fear’ from Imperial’s Destination You LP, Duncan knocking out a stunning solo on this. Nicky Hopkins’s ‘Edward the Mad Shirt Grinder’ was a bit of faux pas probably there to give keyboardist Chris Smith a bit of limelight though again Duncan who was absent on the Shady Grove original laid down all the licks created by JC on the original studio recording without blinking.
After ‘Breakfasts of Blues’/’Bubba Jean’s’ the set hit its peak with the legendary ‘Who Do You Love’ which sadly segued into ‘Willie & the Hand Jive; rather than soaring off into the stratosphere. Pretty fine even so! We came down with Duncan’s ‘Gypsy Lights’ (the best cut from 1975’s Solid Silver reunion) and finally with one of Dino’s best numbers, the politically charged ‘What About me’ whose lyrics seem even more relevant than  they did back in 1970 – again Freiberg’s delivery was exemplary and the rest of the band (and audience) joined in on the chorus. It had all the punch especially on the guitar that was lacking on the studio version.
Those coming along on Saturday expecting the old style psychedelic ballroom rock were always going to be disappointed. This was always going to be at best a greatest hits package. But it was more than decently played and even this temporary Quicksilver could hold its head up with a set that had its moments of magic and did eloquent justice to some of their best-loved material.
Experimental 80s Quicksilver albums like Peace by Piece and Shape Shifter proved that Duncan was never prepared to just sit back and rest on former glories, even if they were a giant leap in style from the old band. Those wanting long instrumentals should hope that Gary will return with his band Crawfish of Love whose lengthy bluesy, jazzy, extemporizations recall the spirit of the Avalon or Fillmore.  Or even better as one wag put it, he and Freiberg should come back to England and secure the services of Messrs Ken and Simon Whaley and maestro Richard Treece from the Green Ray to create a true natural heir to that much-missed classic 1968 Quicksilver line-up.
But heck I‘m glad I was there on Saturday. They actually showed up this time and turned in a performance that totally eschewed the cabaret renditions far too many other bands playing at the festival reduced their back catalogues to. No easy line to walk! Thanks for finally playing the UK, guys and come back soon is all I can say. (Nigel ‘Cobra’ Cross)



( CD on Zefredot www.peteberryman.com )


Ashamed to admit it but as he does with a lot of people Pete Berryman always manages to slip under my radar. For me he tends to turn up in association with other musicians such as playing with former Formerly Fat Harry guitarist Gary Peterson (Pete played slide banjo on Gary’s Worried Life Blues record).  So it was last November when at a rare London gig by Bridget St John, Pete not only played the last numbers of Bridget’s set but also played with mate Wizz Jones who opened the evening. I had forgotten just how good Berryman was – when he and Bridget broke into ‘Bumper to Bumper’ (originally done by the pair in 1976 and a bonus cut on the 2006 Hux reissue of Jumblequeen), the subtle dexterous beauty of his picking had me beaming ear to ear!


Berryman is admired by some of the greats, including John Renbourn. His work with the Famous Jug Band is legendary whilst his 1972 LP with John James Sky In My Pie remains a somewhat overlooked classic though a favourite of the cognoscenti.  And his 80s band Blue Ticket were fusing elements of world music (Latin, Afro, Celtic, funk) all in one song way before Afro Celt Sound System were big.


So it’s a treat to report that Pete is still very much around and has a new album out, recorded in his adopted Cornwall home and aptly titled The Return. Recorded over two years with a lot of the sessions spent just trying to get the elusive sound he wanted, this a collection of acoustic guitar solos, old and new, some of which have been recorded before but have since grown.


Catching up with him just as he ‘d got back from Eastern Europe, I was curious to learn more about the fabulous material on the new record and Pete was happy to fill me in. The wonderfully evocative opener, ‘Columbine’, Pete explains, ‘I started composing in the late 70s in St Columb Major in Cornwall where I was rehearsing ‘The Barney’s Pocket Show’, an offshoot of Footsbarn Theatre, before a European tour, a mad adventure. I recorded the tune on my German LP And Guitar a couple of years later.  It has evolved since then’.  The title track was originally written with reformation of Blue Ticket in mind but works well as a solo piece heralding the return of the great man himself!


‘From Here On’ ‘came from a desire to write a simple but beguiling melody like Satie’s ‘Gymnopedie no.1’ which I arranged for Blue Ticket and much later arranged for solo guitar in DADGAD’. ‘The Western Whale’ and ‘New Celtic’ were both also originally written for Blue Ticket during what Pete describes as ‘our more Celtic Cornish stage with Ghengis Trewartha on bagpipes, and liking a challenge I reduced it to one guitar’.


Talking about ‘Roll’, Pete jokes, ‘I don’t recall any motivation or vision for this, but now imagine wayward rounds of village church bells careering down the streets and lanes and across fields chased by Uncle Bob’s ‘Idiot Wind’! And whilst he can’t recall the roots of ‘Rain on the Window’,  the title’, he observes, ‘came from hearing rain on the skylight window of Willy Schwenken’s loft studio near Munster as I was recording it for my And Guitar LP on his Autogram label. I glanced at him to see if the mic was picking it up. He was asleep at the mixing desk’.


Maintaining the weather theme, ‘Sunny Day, Pete remembers, ‘I was sitting in the sunshine on a remote hilltop smallholding after returning to Cornwall (although I didn’t realise it at the time, to start and raise a family), and out pops this drop C bass riff for which I then devised a melody’. For all you players out there, Pete adds, ‘It’s now in dropped C but I think I recorded it in capo 2.I’.


‘Misty Treese’ is about Jack Treese, folk guitarist, banjo player, writer and composer, born in the American Middle West but who spent the majority of his life in France where he has recorded many albums: ‘friend, foe, inspiration and desperation’,  quips Pete about him.  And the closing number, ‘ps Waltz 2’ is ’nearer in style to my recent compositions – in search of the lost chord. (‘PS Waltz 1’ ends my CD with Adrian O’Reilly Duet)’.


I’m always amazed by the number of good guitarists there are out there – but Pete Berryman isn’t just good, he’s the best and The Return finds him on top of his game, combining rare technical skill with melody and imagination, playing from both the head and heart as John Martyn once put it, and that has to be more than worthy of your attention. (Nigel Cross)




( 7" vinyl from http://www.lanimauxtryst.com/ )


    What we have here is a series of four releases (one still forthcoming), each release containing three 7” singles, each housed in a wonderful home-made sleeve with cardboard, cloth, paint, and all manner of wonder involved. Of course, as enticing as the covers are, it is the music that matters and in this case, it certainly passes muster, being a fine collection of experimental, psychedelic and outsider music.


   Vol 1, opens with the lo-fi desert psych of Bad Bus, their strangely compelling sounds an exotic and heady perfume for the ears, whilst on the flipside Tempera twist your synapses further, a hypnotic drone of squalling psych that squirms from the speakers, play loud. Disc two sees Cursillistas enthral your ears with two wyrd folk tunes of high quality, with “Taste Teeth” being pipped to the post by the excellent experimental noise of “You Float, No Evens”. Finally for this instalment, Lightning Strike Lightning, continue the quality with more excellent flowing psych, with “The Moon” offering an unsettling paranoia, whilst “No You Won’t”, is an atmospheric song that requires repeated listening to fully appreciate the hysteria involved.


   Vol 2, begins with some sonic experimentation from Bird Microphone, who manage to squeeze six beautiful sound sketches on one disc, with side one containing four traditional songs ( including “The Two Sisters” and “Shady Grove”), whilst side two houses original compositions. Delicate and eerie, this disc could be my favourite from the series, the sounds tumbling from the speakers like a mountain stream. Next up, White Light and Barry Burst share a disc, the latter being a drifting cloud of psychedelic friendliness although the title “Rabies” suggests darker undercurrents, whilst the former is a haze of eastern bliss, a drugged out mantra of the highest order. I am willing to be persuaded that these tracks are the other way round though, as the packaging is slightly confusing, make up your own mind when you subscribe. Finally for volume two, The Red F are a beautiful as a summers meadow on the soft focus “Fingers”, a acoustic guitar led song with some fine playing and understated vocals. By way of contrast, Sarah Ramey fills her side of the disc with starkly echoed vocals, and strange sounds on “Magic” before adding a sprinkle of sunshine to the autumn fade of “Jane”.


    Vol 3, commences in somewhat confusing fashion with a 33 rpm 7” and a 53 minute cd-r, from Visitations and Big Blood. Entitled “’Lectric Lashes”, it is hard to tell whether this is a shared project or solo tracks from the artists. Suffice to say, the music a mix of acid-folk, psych, and experimental music and is highly recommended to all. Slightly easier to figure out and on lovely green vinyl (sigh), Prisma and Drona Parva both play slow motion drones with melody that could possibly be variations on the same song, possibly called “Best Buds”, possibly not, maybe I am getting too old for this!!  Finally disc three is taken over by Brad Rose, both solo as The North Sea and with Eden Hemming Rose as Corsican Paintbrush. After the excellent folk strangeness of the former, the final word from the latter is a glistening jewel filled with vibrancy and joy, the acoustic instruments and dream filled vocals ending volume three with a perfect full-stop.


  With volume four heading out soon, I cannot recommend this collection highly enough. Both the packaging and music is creative, vibrant, confusing, and beguiling, ensuring that this will become a much sought after item long after it has sold out. (Simon Lewis)




(CDs from Pink Hedgehog and Dandyland )


            This Dorset trio’s fourth album again features keyboard and production assistance from Alan Strawbridge of fellow Weymouthites, The Lucky Bishops, and it’s another confectioner’s delight of swirling, cotton-candied pop-psych. ‘Molly’s Eyes’ may be the Summer’s first bona fide smash hit and the hint of Squeeze wafting through ‘Punch & Judy Man’ is as welcome as the tender, Shoes-like romanticism of ‘You Should Know Better By Now.’ And I’m not embarrassed about suggesting that ‘The Bastion of Teenage’ may be the best Dukes of Stratosphear song you’ve never heard.


            So if you’re among the legions who’ve never accepted the premature burial of psychedelic power pop, and if you’re a fan of any of the aforementioned groups,  you’re unlikely to hear a frothier collection of Summertime pop this year. And, damn you, Simon Felton, for the supercalifragilistically delicious, ‘Sugar Pop,’ whose devilishly infectious chorus and nonsensical lyrics have been permanently stapled to my brain, keeping me awake at night for days! (Jeff Penczak )





(DVD from www.thetableofcontents.com )


(DVD  from www.myspace.com/sendelicapsyche )


( DVD (www.lanimauxtryst.com )


    DVD as a medium is not one that comes our way that often, but judging by these three diverse offerings, it is a format that well serves the Terrascopic mind.


   Two years in the making “elemental shift” is a tour de force of synchronisation, the visuals and experimental sounds melded together with an eye for detail that, at times, suspends belief.  Not for the nervous, this is a full on lysergic rollercoaster of a trip, the harsh amalgamation of sounds matched to hyperventilating visuals to mind destroying effect, with the opening sequence in particular attempting (and succeeding) in completely disorientating the senses. With, field recordings, distortion, crackles, scrapes and god knows what else, the music is the perfect partner for flashes of light, wind turbines, landscapes, fish, leaves and a host of images that hurtle through your vision like “Koyaanisquatsi” at 78 rpm, the visuals crashing like a cheap amphetamine comedown. If all this sounds overwhelming, it is, well at least the first time, when nausea never seems far away, and then second time around a strange beauty appears, stillness within the vortex. Concentrate hard and you find it all washing over you in a stream of consciousness that becomes your world, a sense of rhythm becomes apparent and the urge to pause slowly dissipates.


    Much more relaxing and ambient, “Sleepwalker Fever” is a gently psychedelic ramble through our world, images of cityscapes and landscapes juxtaposed, with the glorious space rock of Sendelica adding a tranquil layer to the visuals. Treated, coloured, slowed down and speeded up, the visuals blend with the sound in unison creating a world of pure relaxation, the listener/viewer allowed o settle back and enjoy the journey. Just let the experience wash over you, the perfect way to soothe those frazzled nerve endings. An ambient treat without ever becoming new age bollox, the music is rich and rewarding with some fine saxophone playing stealing the show.


     Finally, “3 Early Maine Films” music by Robert Stillman, is just that, three films from 1906/05/02, set to wonderfully sympathetic music that has the feel of Glass or Reich, whilst retaining an organic warmth. Equally intriguing are the films, the images of loggers walking across the logs as they float downstream being particularly memorable, the crackly black and white visuals adding poignancy. It is this film too, where the music works best, the melancholy piano perfectly paced to the movement of the wood, the comradeship of the men captured by the sound. Equally interesting, the film of wealthy men on a trout fishing weekend, is a historical document that comes alive with added soundtrack. The last film is the oldest, a 1902 clip of men pulling a lobsterpot from the water, short and murky, the echoed speech that accompanies it, has been planned with attention to detail, adding a mystery to an event that happened long ago, asking questions of the scene.


    Fans of visual art are well served by these releases, each different from the next, yet each offering the perfect blend of image and sound to the discerning purchaser. (Simon Lewis)





(CDs from http://www.digitalisindustries.com)


     Beginning with a brief yet intense drone, Cursillistas create their own universe, their music invoking dew-soaked meadows, the creaking of ancient pines and the scent of sea spray curling through an evening mist. Both spectral and firmly within the now, the sounds capture your imagination, breaking free of their confines to roam within your mind, visceral and engulfing.

  Recorded on four-track, the songs retain a primitive beauty, the rattling percussion and drones overlaid with whispered vocals giving the music a forgotten feel, as the sounds have lain buried for centuries, only to be discovered by accident. This atmosphere is perhaps best experienced on “Larks on a String”, a truly mesmerising example of their work that keeps time at bay. Final song, the hiss-laden “Show Them Love”, is a gently plucked delight, soft percussion adding depth to the piece, which, strangely, fits in perfectly with the barely audible Nick Drake my wife is playing next door, but sound even better without it.


    Following a similar outsider path, yet hewn from different cloth, the latest album from Mudboy have a more electronic, vibrant feel, the music pulsating and writhing with primitive joy. After distorted vocals “Swamp Things” turns into a golden drone, the sounding spreading light as it travels, filled with texture and hidden melody (including vocals from Larkin Grimm), before a ripple of water heralds “The Wisher Man”, a shorter piece with many layers to explore.

   On “The Last Song”, a repetitive organ riff calms the souls, gently undulating, bringing peace to the listener, the song containing an aching beauty that transcends the notes being played. This mood is suddenly shattered by the excellently psychedelic “Wwhirlpool, Wwindow Liight Nightt”, guaranteed to twist your head around so you can see what is happening behind you. To lead us out, “In Which The Sea Hag Is Led away, or We Are Led By Her”, is the Armada Rooms disco swing party on a head full of acid, disorientating and comforting at the same time.


  Yet another brace of album worth picking up from the excellent Digitalis, a label always worth dipping into, long may it continue. (Simon Lewis)




( CD from www.worldinsound.com)


   There are moments in my life (and very likely yours), when only some scuzzed up, guitar heavy rock and roll will do, those moments when the Stooges or Mudhoney (insert your own favourite)  reach the top of the pile, turned up way too loud, blowing away the filth and pain the world has thrown at you. Well, now you can add another name to the list as Gunslingers grab the spirit of rock and roll by the throat and give it a damn good shakin’ (all over).


   After the brief and noisy introduction of “Into The Garage”, this classic three-piece get serious with “Lighter Slinger Festival” twelve minutes of distorted guitar ecstasy, with Gregory Raimo giving his fretboard a full-on workout, creating a tsunami of noise you can easily get lost in, the kind of song that is exhausting to listen to, but oh so addictive. 


   Of course you can’t abuse a guitar like that without a solid rhythm section, and much kudos must be given to Matthieu Canaguler (Bass) and Antoine Hadjioannou (drums), both as solid and heavy as a charging rhino, keeping the songs moving at a frenetic pace.


     Once the band have got into their stride, the rest of the album is filled with short bursts of serious noise, with titles such as “San Pedros Hallucination”, “The Beheaded Motorbikers head” and “The Ministers Black Veil”, giving you some idea of the kind of trip you can expect. Indeed, there is no reprieve, no mercy as the band pile on the pressure, the band walking the line between punk, garage and strangeness with assured abandon, the whole disc thirty five minutes of destructive bliss. Go get one, Turn it up and scream your troubles away. (Simon Lewis).