= D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 =

ello and welcome to the latest edition of Rumbles. Here the Herefordshire countryside has changed to a beautiful golden colour as autumn slips gently into winter, the promise of crisp frosts and Christmas chaos coming ever closer. Talking of Christmas, maybe you can find a gift for a loved one amongst the items within, so grab a glass of mead and dive in.

    First up a couple of books that deal with two of the finest guitarist to emerge from the sixties. Titled “Eric Clapton FAQ” by David Bowling and “Jimi Hendrix FAQ” by  Gary J Jucha, both books go into detail about influences, those influenced, classic albums, finest live gigs/recordings,early years and all points in between, the wealth of detail meaning they are a browsers delight suitable to dip in and out of with the anorak within always finding something of interest. With this much info it is fair to say the books are not aimed at the casual reader although their relaxed style means they are reader-friendly rather than scholarly, something I found very refreshing. Of the two, I found the Clapton book to be more interesting maybe because I knew less about him than Hendrix, whose music I prefer, either way these would make a good gift for the guitarist or musically obsessed in your life.(www.backbeatbooks.com)

   Sticking with the written word, plus a lovely vinyl EP, “Yeti 13” is a book/magazine featuring articles on Poster from the 80's Christchurch music scene, Codiene, the artwork of David Moreno, the comic strips of Josh bayer, plus a whole host of other interesting artistic endeavours in a variety of media. Also included, is a fine four-track slice of 7” vinyl, with tracks by The Great Unwashed, whose “Space Bikie” is fuzzed-up slightly chaotic psych pop goodness, Moon Duo who follow a similar path on “Run Around” the song having a definite sixties garage/psych feel with a hypnotic riff running through it,  Trypes  whose jangly psych would not sound out of place on a Delerium Records compilation such as the excellent “Psychedelic Psauna”, and finally Karen Dalton with the bluesy “Travelin' Shoes” having been recorded in a cabin way back in 1966 and recently released on the album “1966”. All excellent stuff and there is a free download featuring these and several other tracks available at the website. (www.yetipublishing.com)

   OK, back to the CD's with a beautiful and reflective collection of acoustic based songs from Tracy Shedd entitled “Arizona”. Full of confident and emotional melodies, the tunes are backed by excellent lyrics that convey a strong storytelling feel, the open and expansive ambience giving the listener a sense of place and purpose. Add to this a rich and compelling voice and you have an album that will reward several listens drawing the listener into its charms. Highlight for me include the bitter sweet love song “Sing To me” the tune having the feel of Townes Van Zandt in its delicate power, the slightly jazzy “Ninety-Five” and an excellent cover of “Teenage Riot”  turning the tune into a wistful acoustic ballad that features Howe Gelb on backing vocals and piano. The strength of the collection though, is that it flows as an album best enjoyed in one sitting, take the time and enjoy. (http://newgranada.com/)

    Next up a fine compilation linked to a worthy cause, with all proceeds from “Coming Together for a Cure vol 2” going to benefit research into stem cell therapy.


     Compiled by Ryan Benton, someone who has benefited from the treatment, the collection includes music from the likes of Elf Power, Cave Singers and Golden Boots amongst many others. Highlights include the grungey pop of Thee Oh Sees, the Ska influenced Sunshine Dreamers and the excellent The Wonder Revolution whose “Cloud Wonder Sky” s a delightful slice of dream-laden pop magic. Strong on quality throughout, the whole compilation flows beautifully, filled with melody and a slight psych sheen giving the songs a sparkle. Great music and a great cause, a win win situation. (http://www.airhouserecords.com/

     Featuring some amazing guitar dexterity throughout “Live in Kwazulu” features the solo guitar prowess of Guy Buttery a man who seemingly has more fingers than he should. On “December Poems” the sounds range from sweet to tempestuous, Mr Buttery making the instrument sing or scream dragging emotion from the fretboard with apparent ease. Showing a great awareness of dynamics and tempo the tracks ebb and flow for full effect, the eleven tracks showcasing a wide range of styles and feelings all of them beautifully realised. Amongst its many wonders the album contains an instrumental cover of “The Book of Right On” (Joanna Newson) and I reckon the two musicians together could produce an amazing version of the tune between them. Elsewhere the long “Half a Decade” is a wistful and lovely tune with some fine rhythms intertwined into it, marrying melody and pulse perfectly. Never too harsh or overtly experimental, although “Smithfield” has a looped/drone feel to it this is a gorgeous album that reveals hidden depths the more you listen, at times you will swear there is more than one guitarist on stage, but no,just one man and a lot of talent. (http://guybuttery.bandcamp.com/music)

  Now I take a small break and hand over to the ever willing Steve Pescott, always a pleasure Sir.

    Comprising of Chloe Wallace and Karl M.V. Waugh, ZERO MAP are a Brighton-based offshoot of the A Band; a long established Nottinghamshire collective of indeterminate number. Their debut album on Siltbreeze was a sprawling exercise in acoustic/electric freedom splurge, and, is still, to this very day, a major treasure in my vinyl collection. However, the duo's ""Cerebrum Pate" c.d. eschews the inspired multidirectionalism of their mothership and instead veers towards a darkly shaded ambient/industrial style, nearly overripe with heavily processed reverb and chilly, off-kilter atmospherics of a particularly English bent. The opener "Neutrino Detector"; one of two l-o-o-n-n-g cuts, is a melange of aquatic, ultra bass dronings, buried organ lines and chirruping electronics and comes as a seemingly ear-friendly (but certainly no that cuddly and doe-eyed) precursor to the quasi-pagan lurchings of "A Python". Not to take anything away from the "...Detector", but the latter seems to be a more powerful and striking statement of intent...simple as that. Picture a group of black-garbed choristers (on loan from Hermann Nitsch), riffing on the varying timbres of car alarms that's then mixed into a dense audio-soup with fragments of gauzy, blunted electronics (a la Kluster), occasionally floating to the surface. Not quite as velvet-wrapped and expansive as The Haxan Cloak or the U.S.A.'s Sussuria...but Zero Map are certainly riding on  the same set of murky waves. (www.torpress.co.uk)

    So...whatever happened to the non-Marthas of Martha & The Muffins?? Now that's a question that's probably never been raised before on the Terrascope Online pages I'm sure. But, unlikely as it may seem since th' Muffins' saxist Andy Haas left Echo Beach (like a Canadian Reggie Perrin?), he's re-emerged as an avant garde player of some international standing and over time, has seen his name appearing on produce by John Zorn, Fred Frith a.o. Alonside David Grollman {perc/objects/balloons (!!)} and Evan Parker and LaDonna Smith collaborator Michael Evans (more of the same), he's a member of THE GHOSTS OF THE HOLY GHOST SPERMIC BROTHERHOOD. Now there's a band name redolent of some vigourous table turning and lariats of ectoplasm issuing from some lavender-scented Madam Arcati-like figure. But the reality is far more earthbound and decidedly far more industrious than merely contacting Uncle Edwin from the great beyond. The live improvs that comprise their self-titled c.d. smother the ear with either an energy level that falls just short of scenes within a slowly combusting ants' nest or, the occasional and more sedate exercise or two in devious ethno-forgery. It's an unusual instrumental set-up where multi-percussion-driven pieces are usually garnished with Andy's saxes and the exotic tang of the Korean double-reeded Piri or Hojok (one of which can be thought of as an angry bee trapped in a child's kazoo...) I really like this c.d. a great deal, but you've probably noticed that I haven't actually quoted any of the threesome's track titles. Well, the band's goofy sense of humour has kinda put paid to that caper as they thought it neat to use symbols like "(   )", " + " and "?" instead of commonplace words.....you guys!. Oh! and there's strictly no overdubs. Ah...the mark of real men! (www.soundcloud.com/bspermic

       Finnish wyrdfolk isloationist JOONATON ELOKUU has recently sent  a substantial package of CDRs - but there's a slight glitch here, as this Dutch-based composer's produce/related etchings are bereft of any contact details or discernable label names. So my guess is that these releases (being so limited?) were sent out with the sole intention of getting his name "out there"  into the marketplace and aid investigation into his wares on other labels that are (ahem) a little more visible. With that in mind, I refer you to the Kiiltomatolyhty and Utopuu imprints.   First then, is Joonaton's "The Tower & The Hanged Man". And, to state the bleedin' obvious, there's a definite thread of occult/fringe science subjects running through the (unlucky for some) thirteen tracks. A heavy-lidded vocal delivery drifts like woodsmoke over delicately picked acoustic instrumentation and telling electronic incidentals. Namechecks for the tarot deck, U.F.O.s, visionary William Blake and Lilith (the Hebrew scriptures' first woman) punctuate these atmospheric vignettes, which are complemented by reverential covers of Buffy's "Codine" and Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man". I'm reminded here of the more obtuse end of seventies singer/songwriterdom...Marc Brierley, Ed Askew, Bill Fay and Marc Ellington step right up! The "Earth, Sky, Moon and Sun" c.d.e.p. with its sleeve art depicting a solitary snail in amongst a forest mulch backdrop, shows Joonaton in full innerspace troubador mode in which we travel from a trippy Popul Vuh/Harmonia amalgam in "Mother Earth, Father Sky" to the hushed introspection of "Sister Moon, Brother Sun".  With the Black Deck's eponymous c.d.e.p. and "21/8/2010" c.d. by Lingua Fungi & Joonaton Elokuu, we see the man himself taking on a more back seat role. The former is a project of Olli Niemitalo; who's actually credited with playing the Black Deck- whatever the hell that is. On this, he's joined by a trio of Joonaton, saxist Kate Havahu and vocalist Helena Halla, whose group remit on "Space Transmission" seems to resemble Current 93 attempting to reconfigure selected moments from the early Floyd songbook (post Syd). While..."Smoke Signals" merges tronix, native american drum rhythms and a portentous narration that reminds me of Dee Brown's heartbreaking "Bury my Heart..." tome.  And to close....The dread Black Deck is again summoned from the netherworld for "21/8/2010" ...a live set recorded at Oulu, Finland with eight unnamed tracks. The "Fungi Men" a.k.a. Olli and Jaako Padatsu are captured showing their mastery over all manner of strangely strange musical and faux-musical objects such as the E-bowed Cittern, Kantele, Bowed Bowl, Shellbowl and Bowed Branch (!). A Limbus 4 meets "Hangman" era I.S.B. meets "Culling" era 23 Skidoo slowly plays out and is easily for me the most successful recording of the lot. For those who enjoy Jan Anderzen and The Fonal Records family tree, Kuupuu and Avarus, this batch should really spur you into revving up those search engines pronto.

    Thanks Steve, now back to some less demanding music in the shape of The Higher State, whose eponymous 4th album is a right old jangle fest, mixing the Byrds and the West-Coast with shades of the Paisley revival and folk melodies. Over 12 songs the album remains true to these sounds creating a delightful collection of songs  with the sound of “Jagged Words” meaning you have to mention The Byrds in any review, “No Feeling At All” having a slightly heavier edge and “Sky Clears Blue” slowing things down nicely albeit too briefly. Recently reviewed in the last Rumble, or possibly the one before, the finest track is the lost sixties classic feel of “Potentially (everyone is your enemy)” which has some fine fuzz and melody to spare. So, a fine collection treading familiar ground but stepping with style. (http://staterecs.com/)

    On the same label, The Thanes release a 7” single with “She's Coming Back To Me” hitting all the right spots, with jangle,fuzz,snotty vocals, catchy chorus, middle eight freakout and much fun to be had, a future lost classic indeed. On the B-side we find a cover of a track recorded by The Poets in 1965 but never released until 30 years later. The connection between the two bands becomes apparent when you discover that The Thanes were also a modern incarnation on The Poets that featured original singer George Gallacher and guitarist Fraser Watson. Such trivia only makes the song sweeter to these ears , another lovely slice of jangly pop, if you still buy singles then this one is a keeper. As a treat here is a link to The Poets finest moment, sorry about the advert.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PM5-zF85LE

    Next up a couple of album from Trail Records, a label that seems to specialise in spacey psychedelia from around the globe, more Gong than Beefheart in approach but generally interesting and of a high standard.

   Based around some improvised music that was then overdubbed, “Relations at the Borders Inbetween” is a seven track collection from Beyond-O-Matic, the music drifting in and out of the clouds with some fine playing from all concerned. With five tracks reaching over ten minutes there is plenty of room for musical adventure, the musicians feeding off each other to great effect,creating some gorgeous examples of modern psych/space music. Throughout I am reminded of bands such as Eloy, Nektar, Birth Control and Barclay James Harvest, melodic vocals mixed with extended musical workouts, with “Wish” demonstrating this approach perfectly. For the closin g forty five minutes or so the band just space-out over four extended tunes with closing track “But the Love” being the pick of a fine quartet, a mellow opening slowly evolving into some premier league space-rock that sounds like Here and Now in full flight. (https://soundcloud.com/trail-records)

     On the same label and of interest is “Psychedelic World Music” a compilation featuring bands from such exotic places as Belarus, China and Belgium, to namebut three. Opening with German Band Cosmic Vibration, it is clear that spacey guitar based music is still the main agenda with the solid and groovy bassline on “Aurora” allowing the guitarist licence to roam, something he does with abandon, a fine start. Following on, UK band Triptych add an ethnic edge with  dancey percussion adding another layer to the psychedelia that floats out of the speakers, guitar again taking centre stage. Over seventy minutes the band all share a sonic similarity, which gives the album a cohesive feel or becomes repetitive and slightly too much, depending on your point of you. Fans of the genre will have plenty to smile about, with bands such as Mouches A L'orange and The Narcotic Daffodils doinf their best to scramble your mind in a mellow and melodic fashion, happy daze indeed.

   When I tried to find the Trail Records website to add to this review I couldn't find it, maybe a glitch,maybe they have folded, their Soundcloud page will, at least, allow you to hear some of their offerings.

   Right, after all those cosmic vibes it is time to re-connect with the earth with the distorted Stoner Rock of Sasquatch whose “IV” album is awash with an early Soundgarden meets Kyuss kinda vibe with guitarist Keith Gibbs making very happy with his top-notch playing, the riffs driven along by some granite solid bass and drums courtesy of Jason Casanova and Rick Ferrante respectively. It is a fair point to say that a lot of this genre sounds pretty much the same, this disc however seems to rise above the pack, at least to my ears, although it is hard to pinpoint why, it just seems to work, sonically speaking. Maybe it is the excellence of tracks such as the nice and heavy“The Message”, the wah-fest of “Sweet Lady” or closing epic “Drawing Flies”, maybe it is just because I fucking love it and I haven't even mentioned the guitar tone on “Money”!!! (www.smallstone.com)

     Having a Zappa in the seventies vibe, the wonderfully named “Catastrophic Molt” is the latest release from The Walking Faces, a two piece combo featuring Rumbles regular 5-Track (guitar bass, vocs) and Patrick Lenon (drums). Clocking in at just 27 minutes, not a moment of that time is wasted as angular guitar riffs and melodic vocal lines jostle for position, the music inventive and engaging throughout. Highlights include the Fusion inspired “Jose Pedro” and the more experimental “Cat and Bird”, but really the whole thing rolls together perfectly, creating a half hour well spent. (www.cosmicprimitive.com)

    Over the last few years Glyn Bailey has been creating a fine body of work fillled with melodic songs, pithy and emotional lyrics and enough imagination and variation to ensure there is never a dull moment. I am happy to report that this trend continues with “Happiness” the latest offering released with the help of The Many Splendid Things and again making the listener smile, dance, wince and think for themselves.

    Setting out the stall niely, songs such as “Iamaman” ratchet up the cynicism in the lyrical department with a nice meaty guitar riff underneath creating an angry sounding tune that hooks you in. Elsewhere, “Spirit Warning” reminds me of Paul Roland, whilst there is tension and uncertainty present on the more expansive and beautiful “Temptation”. To end, there is a cover of “Amsterdam” which is beautifully sung and arranged, although personally I have never liked the tune. This one slight blemish (for me) aside, this is another strong and inventive collection of songs that is wholly satisfying. (http://www.glynbailey.com/)

   Ah, Nirvana, took grunge to the masses, destroyed hair metal, spawned a thousand shit bands and produced a body of work that range from the awesome to the less than ordinary, however, early on the best of their music was melodic, angry and fuelled by a drive and passion that is seldom equalled.  Why do I write this?, you ask, because I am listening to Dead Waves,  a three-piece New York band whose latest EP contains six songs that seem to conjure up the spirit of early Nirvana like no other I have heard. Raw in production, the collection kicks of in a huge wave of energy as “Planet of Tribes” rushes out of the speakers and engulfs you, taking you back to the first time you heard “Bleach”. Over the next 14 minutes the intensity rarely lets up as the band crank everything up and go for it until “Big Fish” shoves you out the other side, exhausted but smiling. (www.deadwaves.com)

    Taking elements of Garage, Goth, The Velvets and post-punk, The Dispossessed made only one album and a couple of singles in their brief career. Now, Lost Grave, a new venture between Hand/Eye and Eleventh Key Records have released “The Best Of 1986-1988” a fourteen track compilation that also contains two tracks recorded in 2003 with the creepy “Street of Kisses” and the more punky “Cornered Smile” fitting in perfectly with the earlier work. Never sacrificing melody for noise the band still manage to make an unholy racket with “Sister Mary” having a Bauhaus vein, whilst “Severed Head” rocks on a-pace, a bit like The Church on steroids. Other highlight include the excellent “Moon and Midnight”, the tune dipping its toes into Soft Boys territory, The whole disc closing with a great Garage style rendition of “Waiting for the Sun” that Jim would definitely have approved of. (http://darkhollerarts.com/product/the-dispossessed-the-best-of-the-dispossessed/)

    Proving the Terrascopic landscape is as vast as it is beautiful, we move off into mellower pastures in the company of Benjamin Finger and his delightful third album “Listen to My nerves Hum”, a sweet perfumed blend of slow hypnotic piano motifs, voices and field recordings. As the title suggests, there is an unsettling undercurrent to the collection, the brief flash of a figure at the window or imagined footsteps in the room above. However, this is implied as much as actually being there, the whole album settling upon you like snow, beautiful, cold and transient, the notes as soft as flakes as they melt in your palm. Sadly, I did not receive a track list with the promo so can only tell you that the set is made up of lots of small tracks that drift into each other and that the limited edition vinyl contains eleven tracks. A lovely release that grows and grows. (http://timereleasedsound.com/releases/benjamin-finger/)

    Released as a lathe cut 7” and limited to 40 copies, the music of Palace of swords and Seas Starry could hardly be further apart without becoming unable to work together. Offering “(We Are) The New Hyperboreans” the former deliver a gently floating instrumental that is light and dreamy, whilst the latter enter the fray with a squall of noise that remains constant in its unrelenting nature. Together the pieces offer a brief glimpse of the duality of music, light and shade made sound. (peterlyon25@yahoo.co.uk)

    Whilst it may seem like an incredibly lazy reviewing technique to use the press release, sometimes it seems the only sensible thing to do, as on “Space Capsule” the latest disc from Thomas Shrubsole (sub loam, jesus on mars, in the field). So here goes, “A transparent sphere domestic cosmic montage counterpoint and cubist commingling of free jazz, rudimentary electronic edges and avant-garde compositional tactics”.  That all seems to sum it up nicely, the two long pieces on display featuring piano, sax, devices and tape, the whole thing sounding like Sun Ra, which is a good thing. Displaying a lightness of touch that allows the sounds room to breathe the effect is akin to having a collection of uninterested ghost wandering around the room, you can see them but they take no notice of you, just get on with there routine. This is not to say there is no emotion attached, just that the music is very personal and of the moment and also highly enjoyable. The disc also comes with a unique hand designed poster, a nice touch. (http://dissolvingrecords.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/space-capsule.html)

    Something of a personal pleasure, the music of Old Lost John is melancholic, soft and timeless with a downbeat ambience. After two album he now returns with “Caving In” a beautiful six-track EP which strips his sound down to the bare bones, sparse arrangements and few overdubs. To me, these qualities makes the songs stronger and even more poignant, to be heard sat at the kitchen table bottle half empty and glass in hand. Basically the work of Tomas Thunberg, each song is a small gem, his rich deep voice perfectly suited to the tunes, the delicate guitar adding sweetness the whole collection like a treasure box lost for many years then newly found. With quality so high, there are no favourites here, the EP itself is a favourite, but special mention must go to the ethereal voice of Agnes Wastfelt  which adds a ghostly presence to “One Man Band”. Another quality release from a man who goes quietly about his business. (http://www.oldlostjohn.com/)

     Taking the history of colonial Australia as their starting point and inspiration the music of The Doomed Bird of Providence is a generally gloomy affair with tales of escaped convict abducting women, tuberculosis and natural disasters. Underneath however, the tunes have a dignity and beauty that lifts the songs out of the ordinary, the wide variety of acoustic instruments, effects and vocal delivery ensuring the songs spring to life, filled with emotion and human feeling. One of the other striking things about the collection is the production and arrangements which contain enough grit to match the lyrical content, the sound rough around the edges, as if being played in an old bar or on a sailing ship, conveying the atmosphere of the stories to the listener. Amongst the albums pleasures are songs such as the sombre “Trail Of Bones” a dark song that is beautifully realised or indeed the gloomy waltz of “The Cave of the Doughboys” that follows after, a tune that is almost whispered and is creepy as hell. Elsewhere the violin takes charge on the short instrumental “To Those Who Are Most Hungry”, whilst “Through The Streets of Albany” is psychedelic in its intensity, a song that squirms out of the speakers telling dark tails and nestling under your skin. Based on Cyclone Mahina, a natural disaster that killed over 400 people, “Mahina” builds the tension time and time again over 19 minutes, droning strings and funereal percussion flooding the room as the song rises increasing its potential for sonic violence at every turn, until at the halfway mark there is a sudden silence, a single violin note hailing the devastation that has been reeked by the storm. Here the violence is replaced by sadness and realisation of natures power, the music almost weeping around you as it endlessly fades into silence. (http://www.frontandfollow.com/)

     Arriving in an envelope without any information apart from the covers, which can be intriguing but is often frustrating, “Ode to Marmaele” and “Eight New Prophecies” the two albums from Kentin Jivek turn out to be filled with folk/psychedelic songs sung in French, English and Spanish, whilst a scan of the net tells me he is a French singer/songwriter who also works with other medias. Generally based around gentle acoustic guitar tunes the songs have a drifting quality about them, settling like dust as the pass by, leaving memories and atmosphere to permeate the room after they have gone. With songs reminding me of In Gowan Ring, Nick Drake and Long Live Death there is plenty to enjoy on both discs, although personally I seem to like “Eight New Prophecies” more as it seems more varied and the psych element seem more prominent, with songs such as “Wig Ha Wag! Henchmen of the Dead” and “Quelle importance” working particularly well for me. (http://www.kentinjivek.com/)

    For their latest collection Wolverton have become an entire band, giving their songs a rich full sound topped of with some excellent vocals that tie the whole thing together. Setting out their stall, “Ears” opens thing with elegance a lovely song with a sweet melody, whilst “No Big Deal” adds a soft violin that creates an aching presence to the melancholic tune. Exhibiting a creepy Doors-like atmosphere, “Pool” is a highly effective slice of psychedelia a mix of early Paul Roland and Jim Morrison, while “May I Ask” has a brighter quality with a sweet guitar running through its centre. Over six songs, the quality and atmosphere remains high, great stuff. (http://www.wolvertonmusic.com/index/)

    Treading a different path altogether, The Rebel Set, give us a healthy dose of Surf/garage rock and roll on “How To make A Monster”, a twelve song collection that is short and sharp with only one song breaking the three minute mark. Fans of this genre will know what to expect, scuzzy fuzzed guitar, snotty attitude and lots of energy, the sounds of Link Wray, The Sonics or The Cramps to be found amongst the many delights on offer. Highlights include  the primal stomp of“The Monster”, the more surf-pop orientated “Bubblegum” and the garage fun  of  “Outta My Mind” and “Old Heart” but it is all good fun best heard loud and with a glass of something dangerous, Strychnine anyone ?   Just realised this is not out until January, not actually that far away.


    Coming across like a Shoegaze version of The Flaming Lips , with a big wedge of Psychedelia thrown in for good measure, the music of Migrant Kids has a soaring cinematic quality that draws you in. On their self-titled debut album they create a nine song selection that ranges wide across the dynamic spectrum, with opener “Act 1” moving from melody to white noise ambience, the sounds seemingly chosen with great care for maximum effect. Starting gently with a delicate feel “Long Distance” is a beautiful almost desperate song that is high on emotion, the loudness and tension rolling in as the song moves forward. Moving on in, “Enterrar” is an Eno-esque landscape that leads perfectly into “Canvas of Me” synths bubbling and sequencing through the tune as it builds, whilst final song “Salida” is a droning canvas painted with psychedelic landscapes using electronic hues. Overall a fine disc that has depth and purpose to it. (http://www.migrantkids.com/)

     With a nice relaxed feel, lots of lovely melodic jangle and some fine melodies Burning Ferns have a lot going for them on “See Saw Seen” their debut album which is brimming with tunes that remind me of Super Furries, Teenage Fanclub, sixties pop or even the paisley revival. Amongst the gems on offer are the excellent groove of “All Roads Lead to Rome”, the excellent guitar interplay of “Take Off”, the rocking “I've No Mind” or the mellow joys of “Everyone's Gone” a song which has a slight Bevis vibe within its grooves as well as a late sixties sheen. Not particularly ground breaking, just a excellent collection of melodic songs that you can sing along to, which is sometimes all you need. (http://www.countrymile.org/)

    Sounding like Stereolab playing covers of groovy sixties lounge-pop the music of Trummor and Orgel is something of an unique thing that relies heavily on organs and drums to deliver its signature sound. On “Depature/Arrival, their latest album, the duo of Staffan Ljunggren and his brother Anders have moved on from the sixies inspired works of their earlier album adding a more modern twist to the tunes, adding contemporary sounds and textures although the scent of 60's hipster parties is always present. Purely instrumental the album flows beautifully and can be enjoyed as a complete listening experience or as background sound the melodies drifting in and out of your senses, getting your feet tapping. Their best album yet. (http://www.trummororgel.com/)

  To round off my portion of this Rumble, Stranger Son weave a strange magic on their latest collection “Last Days of Butterfly”. Recorded in a disused Victorian swimming pool, the album has a shimmering quality that suit songs that range from spoken word tunes to improvised sections, all of them related in some way giving the album a uniform feel. There is a Blue Aeroplane ambience to the title track and the darker “French Playground” due both to the vocal delivery and the music that surrounds the words, slightly edgy and controlled to the perfect degree. Livelier in delivery “Plane to Belgium” treads close to Eighties Goth, or at least how I remember it, with some excellent guitar shapes and tones running through the track, whilst final song “The Button Calls” has a loose groove that reminds me of the much underrated Wonky Alice meeting early Pink Floyd, a very good thing indeed. This is a great album that will reveal more layers each time it is played and a fine way to end my Rumble. (http://www.strangerson.co.uk/Stranger_Son/Home.html)

(Simon Lewis)

OK, time to hand over to Steve Palmer who will lead you out with a few more sonic delights, thanks Steve.

Missouri resident Mystified makes drone-based music with the German poet/sound artists Martyn Schmidt on the hour-long album "An Effort Of Memory," which takes the sounds of whale bone percussion and jackhammers and adds it to looped guitar feedback. The main piece is bookended by the briefest of prologue and epilogues. The music varies more quickly than is usual in this kind of music (eg on Quiet World) and features fragments of voice - spoken word and half-sung overlaying the drones and sonic textures. These fragments then morph into other audio textures. Over the space of a whole hour the effect is quite hypnotic, with just enough detail over the shifting textures for the listener's ear to fix on. A successful combination.


Björn Kleinhenz is a Swedish singer/songwriter whose new album "The Fall Of Discontent" aims to reverse recent trends in music suffering from over-production. The ten songs here are stripped down to the man's voice (singing in English) with one acoustic guitar and one microphone, enlivened by a few overdubs later. Opening cut 'The Beard Man' is a good song, melodic and well delivered, as is 'Olis.' All the songs relate to themes of cycnicism in modern society, with 'Lake Trouble' a good example. Though minimal in tone, the overall mood of the album is surprisingly coherent, with just enough variation of singing styles and overdubs to give the work a forward motion. There are definitely hints of The Traveller in style and inspiration. 'Mungo' is a slow song with paired guitars and a melancholic dual vocal, while 'Leipzig Lover' uses multi-tracked vocals to good effect. Closing cut 'Farö' is a strong vocal with a plangent mood. A very good album, this.


The beautifully manufactured 'From The Wells' by Preterite is a six-track album based around guitars, piano and a small number of other exotic instruments. The album is minimal in places, elsewhere rousing itself to emotional sections, as on the rolling, loping opener 'Edges Nowhere.' The band is a duo, with Geneviéve Beaulieu's haunting vocals soaring over the guitar and piano backing. It's a kind of half ambient, half gothic folk music, but with no tradition folk leanings; and at over ten minutes this opening track has much to say. 'Gleaming Escape' features various drone instruments and goes through a number of key changes as its tale is unfolded - very effected, and an album highlight. 'From The Wells' sounds more traditional, with voices multi-tracked to spellbinding effect, as is 'Behold Our Sepulchre.' 'Plenty Of My Own' features a delicate synth background over the drone-like extended vowels and calls of Beaulieu's vocals, which, with the addition of fuzzed guitar, makes for another great track. The fifteen minute 'Broken Sea' sums everything up in suitably emotive style - more amazing vocals. The album overall is very strong, compelling and beautifully put together. A notable release.


Little Red Rabbit Records have established a new imprint for remixes and 'outsider' works of ambience and improv music, beginning with "The Final Mapping Of New Constellations" by BLK w/ BEAR. Opening with 'Pang Pang,' in which a piano plays a note for a minute or so, the album then wends its way through a wide variety of avante-garde, ambient sound explorations. It is in places Teutonic (think early seventies West Germany), elsewhere Eno-esque ('Lapfult' springs to mind), elsewhere vaguely retro and psychedelic ('Sandraint'). Flights of reverbed cello, dark rumbling textures, shrieks of sound and thudden piano improvisations all contribute to the atmosphere of weirdness and slightly diabolic texture.


Tandem Bridges is a collaboration between Anita Livstrand and Daniel Westerlund, who use a wide variety of ethnic instruments plus synths and voices to create vignettes of alternate ethnicity, all of Indian extraction. The opener 'Pamapa' sets up the album at once, with an insistent rhythm, synth drones and multi-tracked voices - an intriguing combination reminiscent in places of the classic Loop Guru albums from the '90s, but without the drum loops. 'Some Mornings' has a more traditional feel to it, with strummed guitars over the Indian percussion and synth/harmonium melodies - with its bright feel and happy vibe this is the album highlight for me. This could easily be a lost cut from Loop Guru. Great stuff. Other highlights include the Indo-bluegrass 'Bright Mountain Pace,' the too-short flamenco-influenced 'Youngster's Desert Dance,' and the terrific final cut, which mixes sound fragments with bells and windchimes. A really good album for lovers of ethnic cross-over.


Bad Afro Records have a number of bands on their roster, including the well known Baby Woodrose, but Spids Nogenhat is a new one on me. The vibe is '60s-influences garage psych, as evinced by opener 'Mere Lys.' (The band sing in their native Danish.) All the cuts are short and well produced, with many following traditional verse/chorus structure. All the playing is good. The longest track by far is the eight-minute acid rock epic 'Den Gennemsigtige Mand' which sounds like a Porcupine Tree offcut from "On The Sunday Of Life," except sung in Danish; synths and keys to the fore here and masses of fuzzed guitar. 'Jorden Kalder' follows a similar path, but with better vocals. Closing cut 'Fred' is a kind of 'everybody in the squat grab an instrument and join our chant' affair, but it has much charm. Overall - psych and garage fans will find much to enjoy here.


If it was 1969 again Crystal Jacqueline would do really well, if the vibe, musicality and overall feel of her debut solo album "Sun Arise" is anything to go by. This is new psychedelia founded on excellent arrangements (courtesy fellow The Honey Pot conspirator Icarus Peel) and Jacqueline's strong voice, which soars over the retro arrangements on the opening title track. 'A Fairy Tale' is uptempo retro pop-rock, brilliantly done, with lots of riffola guitar, harpsichord and elegantly phased vocals - reminded me of The Trinity. 'Dream I' is another strong song, this time with a more 'classical' arrangement; hints of folk coming in too. 'Who Do You Love' is a two minute vignette, 'Alice' takes a psychedelic trip down the rabbit hole of Alice's experience, while 'Fly A Kite' is a classic dream-pop song straight out of 1968 or thereabouts. 'By The Way' ramps up the backing vocals and backwards guitars for a particularly evocative track (great vocal too), while 'I Break' is a gentle reverie before the phased, propulsive pop-rock of 'Light Is Love,' with its hippiest of hippy messages. Album closer 'Sundown' concludes the trip in stomping style. Retro lovers and '60s enthusiasts will love the sounds, vibe and songs of this excellent album.


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