elcome to the May edition of Rumbles where, without further ado, we will step right into the maelstrom as Matt Gibney (Hollowing) and Maor Appelbaum (Grave In The Sky), call down a dark cloud of industrial noise so intense that it stifles the room making it difficult to concentrate. Containing just one piece, “Collaborating Torture”, the music is a distorted drone that ebbs and flows in relentless, downbeat splendour and is a fitting tribute to Matt Gibney who died of a drug overdose shortly after this was recorded, giving the music an extra sense of purpose. (www.HCBrecords.com)
On the same label is another slice of wondrous noise, in the shape of a split CD from Burmese and Cadaver Eyes. Rather than sharing half a CD each, the tracks are mixed together, giving the album a strangely cohesive twist, as both artists tread a similar, experimental noise metal path, yet are different enough to offer variety. Whichever way you slice it however, this is prime-time noise that stutters, screams, abuses and enthrals, the sound of the industrialised world exploding.
To hear the spiralling decay of the natural world, look no further than “Cosmic Continuum”, the latest release from Elektronavn, who actually seem to be one person, Danish musician Magnus Olsen Majmon. Featuring two long pieces “Cosmic Continuum 1” and “2”, the music is experimental drone with wailing chanting vocals adding an original element to the sounds. Elsewhere, pipes and flutes, chiming percussion and icy drones add slowly changing variety to the pieces that are both unsettling and compelling. (www.ikuisuus.net) Also available from the same label is a series of CD-R’s. First up, Lead Sister II, whose “Interplanetary Craft” is a dynamic slice of Psychedelic folk mixing both experimentation and melody, sounding like the soundtrack to a lost East European animation, the chattering percussion and chimes being particularly reminiscent of this. On “Joys Of Summer”, three piece free-folk band Matomeri combine guitars, synths, drums and throat to stunning and dramatic effect, the drones soaring ever higher, particularly on opening track “Joku Puhuu Ransun Aanella”. Final Track “Brown Line Fever” is like being strapped to a barrel and sent over Niagara Falls, the piece so intense in its delivery. Finally for this label Open Eye Duo, bring you “Sea and Fish” a delightfully engaging set of improvisations filled with scraping strings, creaking noises and other rumblings too strange to identify. Throughout the album there is a playfulness that gives the set a charm all its own.
Taking a sharp turn to the left, we find ourselves in the company of The Better Beatles, whose “Mercy Beat” collection includes their first single, plus other recording from 1981, when the band were recording. As the name suggests, the band purely covered Beatles Songs, although deconstructed is probably a better word, the songs played on synths for that new wave sound. Obviously a product of its time, the songs sound remarkably fresh, perhaps because it is still interesting to hear such well-known songs played so differently. Highlights include the single “Penny Lane”, a hypnotic “Lady Madonna” and the atmospheric, synth-psych of “Baby You’re A Rich Man” which is far better than the original. With ten songs in twenty-seven minutes, this is the ideal way to piss off the Beatles fanatic in your social circle. Oh yeah, the waltz version of “Eleanor Rigby” will have you laughing your socks off. (www.midheaven.com)
On their latest album “Distance”(www.firerecords.com) , shimmering- Psych pop purveyors Virgin Passages further define their sound, a definite step forward from 2006’s “Mandalay”, although that was a fine record itself. Sweet as a sugar mouse, the opening title track is bliss made sound, with some gorgeous harmonies sounding as though it belongs on the long gone Sarah Records. Following track “This Is Not The End Of The World Again” takes those harmonies and runs with them dancing across a warm hypnotic backing, sounding like Stereolab covering Glass. On “Who Do You Love?”, things are slowed right down, a woozy cello overlaid with drifting vocals and chiming guitar, creating an achingly beautiful song that has touches of Quintessence about it. At only 27 minutes, this is one album that leaves you wanting more, which can only be a good thing. Also included is “Because Of Sad Austerities”, more drifting psych with lyrics adapted from a poem by James Joyce. I mention this because, this track and a host of others can be found on “Chamber Music” a collection of songs inspired by the writing of James Joyce. Over this sprawling double CD all manner of sonic delights await, with the Neil Young sounding Monica Queen setting the standard right from the start. Elsewhere, War Against Sleep are torchsong elegance, Jessica Bailiff, is drifting new-folk, and Text of Light are a brief flash of psych noise. With so many bands featured it is impossible to mention them all, but highlights on disc two include the haunting loveliness of The Great Depression, the spaciness of Bardo Pond and the pop sensibilities of The Green Pajamas. Suffice to say that the album is filled with quality and a cohesive whole that makes for a highly enjoyable listen across two quality discs. (www.firerecords.com)
Seemingly crafted in that brief but illuminating time between wake and sleep, the music of Auburn Lull, is slow-motion sonic perfection. Hailing from Michigan, this four-piece have a space rock heart and a love of the ethereal, sounding like a mix of Amp, Slowdive and a mellower Spacemen Three. On their third album “Begin Civil Twilight” the band have self-produced the songs, giving the album a lush, focused dynamic tone that suits the cloudless ambience perfectly. Containing 11 tracks, the album slows down time making it hard to concentrate on what you are doing, the music pulling you into a soft pillow of joy. (www.darla.com)
Working under the name Common Eider, King Eider, Rob Fisk (Badgerlore Deerhoof) has created a small slice of magic on “How To Build A Cabin”, the home-grown ambience further enhanced with the addition of a self-drawn booklet. Opening track “Steal Your Hair” is an exquisite piece of gentleness suddenly broken by a shard of noise that splits the music asunder before disappearing, leaving the gentleness to return. Using the Viola as a main instrument gives the album a drone tinge, the minimalist lines adding a sorrowful feel, conveying a longing for something beyond reach. Music to played at dusk, alone. (www.yikyak.net)
Mixing drones, field recordings and a sprinkle of musique concrete, Fessenden, are like driftwood afloat on a huge ocean, the music vast and expansive, sometimes the wood, sometimes the water. Not that the pieces a soporific, far from it, the sounds can be jagged, pulsing and discordant, it is just that there is a timeless quality to the music, no beginning or end seem possible once you are lost inside the sound. Over the five pieces on “v1.1”, this timelessness is illuminating and sometimes overwhelming, but well worth diving into never the less. www.other-electricities.com) On the same label, Baja (actually the work of Daniel Vujanic), play lo-fi indie/electronica, songs buried under waves of pulsing synths and strange noises, although the melody remains. Not unlike a mix of Faust and Thomas Dolby, it is all summed up on track 4, a long jazz-tinged piece that is sweet not cloying and thoroughly enjoyable. Finally for this label “Tomavistas (selected rarities 2002-2007)” collects together hard to find music from Dot Tape Dot. I for one am glad that it does as this is an utterly charming collection of off-kilter pop ditties, the spirit of experimentation always lurking, with the imaginative arrangements far outweighing the lo-fi recording technique (they just add to the charm in fact). Right from the start there is a sparkle to the music and you begin to feel happier, encouraging you to sit down and just listen, spending time in the present free from the stresses of the day.
Possibly not usually considered "Terrascopic", the full on electronica soundscapes of Batdan may well be of interest to some readers as they are definitely stranger than yer average electronic music, featuring a very warm and melodic edge. Mind you they are definitely more Aphex Twin than Tim Blake, so I guess it is up to you. Check them out on “Math & Chemistry”, their debut EP. (www.splinklerecords.com)
A while ago Lal Lal Lal Records sent me a collection of albums wrapped up in a newspaper/comicbook. Sadly the comicbook was all in Finnish so I have not been able to read it. I have, however, finally listened to the music and excellent it is too. Readers of the Terrascope On-Line may be familiar with Howling Magic, as he donated a track to the TEA Party Benefit CD-R. This track appears with 11 others on “The Dreaming”, a distinctly noisy set of guitar pieces, smeared with feedback and drowned in effects. Also featuring maimed drums, the music does slow down sometimes, as demonstrated on the excellent “Shaman”. With all the songs between 2 and 4 minutes in length there is no time to get bored, the music sounding like a drunken Blue Cheer trapped in a tin shack, and that’s a compliment. For his first solo album Jaakko Tolvi (You name a Finnish free folk band, he has probably played with them) has chosen to create a sample heavy collection of pop orientated songs, that sound like later Kraftwerk played by a dodgy studio house band. With saxophone solos, cheesy rhythms, and a bizarre feel, this album should really be flying binward at this moment, but for some reason isn’t. I dunno, maybe it is the very cheekiness of the songs that is infectious, whatever it is, this is very enjoyable, although probably in small doses. Oh yeah, the album is called “Vamos” by Semimuumio. Living in an entirely, sonically speaking, Fricara Paachu make strange, noisy, instrumental psych, on their album “Midnight Pyre”. The press release says “Imagine Nine Inch Nails making music for a video game about Vikings”, and whilst it may be lazy reviewing, that just about sums it up. Finally on Lal Lal Lal, Maniacs Dream, make all else redundant with sixty minutes of intensely terrifying, orgasmic, all-encompassing noise, a demonic howl at the moon that destroys everything, leaving a void of nothing but the things that live inside your head. Sometimes it’s not easy doing this job!!!
On “The Hypnotist”, the third in a series of 30 minutes suites, Joe Frawley has continued the excellent work of the first two pieces, mixing found sounds, samples and composed to music to mesmerising effect, creating a soundtrack for an invisible film. On the press release the film in Joe’s head includes images of grass, white gloves, an unfamiliar city, erotic/supernatural crimes and the relation between hypnotist and hypnotised. Listening to the music, these things could well be true, but your imagination will probably invent its own images, whilst gentle piano notes, spoken samples and all manner of sonic atmospherics charm you into surreal happiness. Although the album is split into 7 tracks, this is music to be heard in its entirety, whether you eat popcorn is entirely up to you. (www.joefrawleymusic.info)
On their latest EP release “Revolation”, Talking Trees have chosen a slightly different musical path, replacing the folk element in favour of a rockier brand of West Coast psych. Not to say the band has its mellow streak, as demonstrated on the paisley splashed psychedelia of “Seagulls and Kings”, a song that hovers like a cloud, delicate and sun drenched. Now the work of one person, Sean Robert Chambers, this collection is a balanced and thoughtful collection of songs that can sit proudly next to their last release. (www.talkingtrees.com)
There is absolutely nothing mellow about Destructors666, a noisy garage/punk band with bags of attitude, a B-Movie fixation, and a way of turning three chords into a wall of scuzzy happiness. Check out “Plan Nine (From Outer Space), from “Sachen Lassen Mit Fremden Machten” for all you need to know about their sound, then stick around and listen to the rest of album, including a wonderful cover of “Psychotic Reaction”.
Produced by Steve Albini, the self-titled debut from Avenging Force, is an eleven-track lesson in controlled aggression and noise, the band teetering on the edge as they destroy your precious hearing. Opening track, also called “The Avenging Force”, starts with a stuttering riff, before metamorphosing into a gargantuan wave of grizzly noise halfway through, magnificent stuff. After this, the band basically keep the volume cranked up, the album packed with imagination, dynamics and tight playing. As the press sheet says, “Turn the motherfucker up and get pinned to the wall”. (www.searecords.co.uk)
Completing a trio of UK based guitar destruction, The Notorious Hi-Fi Killers, get everything right on their debut album “Which side are you on?” Kicking off with the Stooge like riff/drone of “National Crisis”, the band blaze their way through the next 50 minutes, with highlights including the short and definitely not sweet “Queen’o’Fuck”, the slow-motion confusion of “The Distance Between Us”, and the Sabbath inspired “”Feel Like I’m Fading Away”. Best of all however is the 16 minute head-fuck of “Near the Final Destination”, a practically perfect mix of the Doors epic tendencies, the Stooges noise aesthetics and Spacemen 3’s Psychedelic visions, the song slowly imploding into a welter of drones, skronking horns and general madness. (www.rocketrecordings.com)
Playing classic rock music with no regard to fashion or opinion, Divine Baze Orchestra are heavy and progressive, sounding like an authentic UK early seventies rock band, although their debut album was recorded in 2007 and they hail from Sweden. With shades of May Blitz, Gracious and Clear Blue Sky to be found on “Once We Were Born…”, the album is an impressive collection, the band having fun and interacting with precise sloppiness. The cohesiveness is further reinforced by the fact that the basic album tracks were recorded “live”, giving the album a warm groove difficult to dislike. (www.recordheaven.net)
On the same label Sienna Root tread a similar path on “Far From The Sun”, although this time the sound has a slightly funkier edge, with Frumpy/Atlantis or Aguaturbia being brought to mind. Whatever the influences, the band kick up a righteous sound, with the guitar mean and dirty, whilst the addition of exotic instruments, drifting flute and quieter passages adds variety to the album. Lovers of heavy prog should certainly check out these two albums both of which are fresh and full of vitality.
More contemporary sound can be heard on “Get Better”, the debut full-length from Lemuria, a three-piece from Buffalo NY. With a nod to The Breeders and Husker Du, the album is crammed with catchy indie/punk tunes, brimming with hooks and powered by chugging guitars and solid backing giving them substance and bite. Worth hearing if only for the three minute brilliance of “Lipstick”, the bloody thing stuck in my head for days!! (www.asianmanrecords.com)
As beautiful as the morning mist, although certainly containing hidden menace, Four-piece all girl Japanese band Water Fai, enchant and beguile on their debut album (originally self-released in 2006) “Girls In The White Dream”, a lush and glowing collection of ambient pop-psych that expands with each hearing. Filled with warmth and emotion, this is Post-Rock with a heart and a smile, the influences of Tortoise/Mogwai heard then warped into something wholly their own. Let this album drift over you and before you know it, the title (and last) track will have you longing for more as it fades out with elegant wonder. (www.myspace.com/waterfai)
Strangely melodic, yet confident in its experimental strategies, “Weird Feelings” is a small masterpiece from The Weird Weeds that both calms and confuses. Dipping their brushes in a variety of musical tones, the songs are short and engaging, the sounds thoughtfully put together creating an eloquent and artistic whole. Like looking through a book of old photographs, the songs conjure memories and feelings of other times, unease and regret mingling with warmth and comfort. (www.soundsareactive.com)
On lovely pink vinyl, “Logic”, is the latest album from multi-instrumentalist Spencer Owen. Filled with glistening sweet and highly enjoyable songs, the albums’ strength is its simplicity, the tunes embedding themselves in your cranium so that you can hum the melody for the rest of the day. Opening track “It Work” welcomes us in with open arms, sounding like a Robert Wyatt composition, the simplicity hiding a keen ear, some fine arrangements and excellent melodic skills. On “Water” a gentle reggae lilt adds sunshine to the record, whilst on side two “Sure Thing” tickles all the right senses with sophisticated ease. (www.gnomeliferecords.com) On the same label Sean Smith demonstrates his mastery of the fretboard on his third album “Eternal”, a record crammed with delicious music that ebbs and swells through the oceans of your mind, leaving a wake that will resonate within. Utilising other musicians for the first time, the melodies are fleshed with Banjo, Dulcimer, Violin, Organ and drums, allowing Smith plenty of room to weave his considerable magic, as one listen to “Palak Paneer” will demonstrate. Elsewhere on the record (Classic black vinyl this time) “Goat Seer” is an album highlight,, all steel string and slide, whilst final track “Greetings Death Love (excerpt)” is a gossamer winged slice of solo guitar psychedelia that will draw your complete attention. I am willing to bet that the more I hear this music, the more I will like it and I look forward to forming a deeper attachment. Both albums have excellent artwork as well, kudos to the label for their magnificent work.
Sticking with the vinyl for a little while longer Robert Martin has undoubtedly found his own voice on “Long Goodbye”. This is obviously something we support at the Terrascope, especially when the songs within have a lo-fi charm and an emotional depth to them (although we love long noisy guitar breaks as well!!). On this album, originally recorded in 1985, the plaintive voice is accompanied by a wayward guitar style that is easy on the ear, whilst remaining experimental and unpredictable. On “Arabian Song” a flute is the cry of a desert bird, lonesome and far away, whilst “The Journey” is a more traditional sounding folk song with a West-Coast coating. This West-Coast feel is amplified on the beautiful “I saw You In The Morning Light” a soft and drowsy song that sounds as if it could be a lost H.P Lovecraft outtake. Yet another piece of vinyl that’s gonna grow on me and should engage your ears as well. (www.yikyak.net)
Finally for the vinyl section, a delicate light blue 7” from the excellent The Quarter After whose latest album may well soundtrack my summer along with its equally excellent predecessor. Anyway the A-side “Too Much To Think About” is a rocking Byrdsian Tune with great vocals, soaring guitar and fine production values, sounding better the louder it gets. On the flip side (can I say that) the band tackle “Here It Comes”, originally by The Stone Roses and whilst it is pleasant enough, I would have much preferred to hear one of their own tunes, the “Roses” being one of those bands that should be left alone IMHO. Mind you saying that, I love the psychedelic second half of the track, the guitar singing sweetly in my brain. (www.thecommitteetokeepmusicevil.com)
Showing a melancholy state of mind this time around Richard Haswell AKA Rhubarb has delivered his finest work so far in the shape of “If I Could Only Make It Through January”. With sparse and effective guitar, opening track “Fade Out/Fade In” is a minor key and personal song, the vocal delivery immaculate in its delivery. Even better is “3 Seconds”, the violin melody, matching the mood with understated passion. On “Wanderlust”, the addition of drums and distorted guitar gives the song a noisier demeanour, something that quickly dissipates when the haunting “Third Lanark” takes the album into darker places. This is possibly my favourite piece on the album, the ghostly percussion joined by banjo and guitar in twilight perfection. Finally, after the Roy Harper (ish) “September Wasps”, some beautiful violin enhances the delicate phrasing of “Alyth North”, a sad and gentle instrumental that ends the album with a downbeat flourish. (www.worldofrhubarb.co.uk)
If there is great beauty in sadness, then Manchester based Last Harbour seem to have captured that beauty on their third album “Dead Fires and the Lonely Spark”. Like the curl of smoke the songs wrap around your soul, the torch song vocals and aching strings of opener “Broken Nail” drawing you in without hesitation. With the same sense of dynamics as Nick Cave, the album plays out like a late night film noire, the bleakness tempered by the lush arrangements and elegance of the melodies. With seven members, each playing a variety of instruments, there is plenty of scope for experimentation, something the band utilise, ensuring each songs has a different timbre, the subtle changes allowing the album to sound fresh every time it is played. As a microcosm of this “The Accident” builds slowly from candlelight beginnings into a whirl of electric noise. (www.littleredrabbit.co.uk)
Those of you who enjoy epic slices of slowly rising guitar driven instrumentals (think Mono, Thought Forms, Monster Bastard Project) should check out the work of The Seven Mile Journey, a Danish four-piece, who move from drone to riff with dignified splendour. Take, for instance, the slow motion beauty of “The Catharsis Session”, a glissando guitar soaring effortlessly over the deep ocean swell, slowly rising percussion and bass adding to the tension magnificently. Weirdly, this piece can be seen as a prelude to the “OMG, I want this song played at my funeral” magnificence of “Identity Journals”, a 14 minute sonic monster that rises from the ocean floor and destroys the frail vessel you were standing on, immersing you in the cold clear water. All that is left now is to lie back and let the music wash over you, crystalline and strangely relaxing. (www.thesevenmilejourney.com)
The long opening track on “Three”, the latest album from Junkboy finds them in relaxed and jazzy mode, the song a rambling piece that sounds like a radio-friendly version of Rollerball. After this excellent start, the band settles into a lazy groove that is perfect for this wet Sunday afternoon, the music filling the room with a warm and relaxing ambience. Whilst claiming “We still have no idea what we are doing in the studio”, the sound on the album is lush and full of presence, as demonstrated on “red Firecracker”, the sound as soft as a summer meadow. After the brief but heavenly “”A Word From Our Sponsors”, the album reaches its pinnacle with the enticing “Held Inside”, a folk inspired ballad with an indie heart, the song aching with melodies and languid instrumentation. Well worth investigating. (www.enrapturedrecords.com)
Mainly the work of Shane De Leon (ex-Rollerball, pictured with a fly on his nose), “Queen’s Headache” is the first full-length release from the oddly named Miss Massive Snowflake, and what a strange disc it is, containing 15 short tracks that run together telling a tale of love and war. Throughout the disc you can hear shades of Zappa, Robert Wyatt, Thomas Dolby, and other people whose singular vision has given them a unique voice. Featuring Children’s voices and an array of different instruments the music is never dull, playing out like a strange animation in your head. Also included is a cover of “One I’ve Been Waiting For”, originally the opening track on Remoras “Enraptured” and here transformed into a surreal pop ditty, leaving behind the starkness of the original.
Another disc filled with pop happiness is “Songs of Hope and Despair”, a simple and effective collection of guitar-led songs from Antiqcool. Taking its cue from the sixties, the songs are beautifully arranged with spot-on vocals and tight and economic playing, giving them a polished sheen. Dig deeper though and the lyrics are darker than the tunes, expressing dissatisfaction with life, both personal and political and it is a shame that there is no lyric sheet included with the album. Minor quibble aside, however, this is a great collection with the distinct vocal delivery adding the right amount of icing to a delicious sounding slice of cake. (www.antiqcool.co.uk)
With melancholy a-plenty and a voice to match, the songs of Lo-Fine have the same tenderness as the work of The Green Pyjamas, the sweetness tempered by the longing just below the surface. On their latest album “Not For Us Two”, the songs are the stars, with the production ensuring that every essence is heard, every drop of emotion recognised allowing the listener o be fully engaged in the music. Amongst the many highlights, I would recommend the barely whispered beauty of “Remotely Together” as the perfect introduction to the songwriting talents of Kevin O’Rourke, his singular vision ensuring cohesiveness and clarity abounds. (www.lofine.com)
If the Cocteau Twins had decided to make a dense but lush pop album influenced by the Canterbury sound, then the results may have sounded similar to “Namesake Caution”, the latest album from Time of Orchids. Strangely compelling, the songs are filled with strange twists and turns, weird vocal lines and atmospheric guitars, the whole thing a sophisticated treat for those with an inquisitive bent. (www.cuneiformrecords.com)
Talking of sophistication, the latest album by Nat Baldwin, is a exquisitely crafted collection of songs entitles “Most Valuable Player” an accolade won by Nat in his Basketball days. Thankfully for us he chose music, the album sounding like a collaboration between Jeff Buckley and Steve Reich in playful mood, rich and sonorous in their textures. Having studied under Antony Braxton, the songs display a strong compositional skill, the twist being that this skill is honed on the double bass, the instrument prominent in the recordings giving the album a minimalist feel within its tight song structures, a grower, as they say. (www.brokensparrow.com)
Recorded in November 2007 for the “National Record a solo Album Month”, the experimental soundscapes of “I Am Fully Aware Of My Own Unreality” - Moral Crayfish are both disturbing and engaging, the harsh scraping and rattling softened occasionally by chimes and swelling washes of noise. As the album progresses it becomes both denser and tenser, the highly unsettling “Witches on Cop Cars” being a fine example of sonic paranoia, whilst closing track “Limpy Barker No Longer Roams Cabot Street” is a metallic drone with a coating of rusty noise, the end result creeping under the skin with unforgiving purpose.
On the same label and also featuring Crayfish mainman Dan Cohoon (who runs the label), “Easier Than Hope” is a collection of Jams from three-piece band Taken Girls”, the music taken from their penultimate get together around Christmas 2002. Using guitar, prepared guitar and percussion, the music is a lesson in repetitive riff destruction, the band grinding out huge slabs of noise on “Yellow Hawkweed”, imagine early Hawkwind pared down to basics and you get the picture. Even the slow disintegrating sounds of “Victory Tests” possess a brutality that hovers like a dark cloud, whilst the final track “Floor Effect” is a ripple in the fabric of time, monotony in a good way.
One of the most intriguing albums in this edition of Rumbles is the debut (and Self-titled) disc from Snoleoparden, the music varied, sometimes challenging and sometimes charming. Take the first two tracks, opener “nr 1” is a rattle of percussion, whistles and droning electronics, whilst “Hodja Fra Pjort” is an easy going folk song sung by a class full of children. It is hard to put these songs together at first, but as the album progresses it is apparent that this diversity is the albums strength, the frequent sound of wooden percussion holding together the disparate fragments. On “Water Puppet Theatre” there is an eastern sounding kraut-rock feel, a simple guitar motif and almost chanted vocals creating a hypnotic drone, whilst the electronic percussion of “Snabel 5” sounds like a folk inspired Aphex Twin. After the insects scuttling through the forest rattle of “Lillecykle”, a recording of a traditional Pakistani song is appropriated for “Dreng” before the tribal sounds of “Trance” take us deep into the mystery. Created by Jonas Stampe, this on one of those unique visionary gems, small, beautifully formed and loved by those that hear it. (www.rump.nu)
Another man with a singular vision is George Korein, whose musical output with/as Naked Mall rats, Infidel//castro! And Helena Espvall has never been less than intriguing and passionate. On his latest album “Another Corpse”, starkness is the key, the fifteen tracks consisting of distorted tones that are bent and fucked up creating daggers of unsettling noise best played loud. Ever mutating the sounds are occasionally embellished with percussion, horns or cello (courtesy of Helen Espvall) but this is no easy listening album demanding a dark concentration and total dedication on the part of the listener.
Beginning with a drunken crescendo, the musical world of Veer Right Young Pastor soon reveals itself to be a strange and bewitching place, the landscape littered with spacey psych, angry moments and some sweeter vistas, all of which makes “Women and Gold” an album well worth checking out. Inventive and twisted throughout, the twelve tracks in thirty five minutes approach means boredom is never gonna catch up with you, every song different from the last yet obviously by the same band. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For the last couple of years (probably more), Summersteps records has been releasing a regular supply of small gems, that has built up into a impressive portfolio worth repeated listens. Now you too can enjoy the magic with the release of “Compilation Blues”, a release that showcases the roster, and contains some might fine moments. From the guitar wooziness of Louch and the sixties jangle of SW!MS, right through to the languid groove of The Green Chair, this is an album of contrasts and style that flows beautifully. For those searching for more experimental sounds the electronic feedback drenched “Free Jam” from Psychatrone Rhonedakk should fill you needs with ease. Go on, support a small and worthwhile label and hear some great music as well. (www.summerstepsrecords.com)
After almost 40 years, Judy Dyble has chosen to re-record “One Sure Thing”, originally recorded with Fairport, now given a whole new lease of life with The Conspirators and out as a single. To be fair, I have never heard the first version ("shame", I hear you cry) but this song has a rocky psych sound, the driving guitars the perfect foil for the rather wonderful voice, giving the track a contemporary yet timeless feel. Second track on the single is another rocky affair, the band displaying closeness, pushing the song along to excellent affect. Final track is mellower, a warm and relaxing vocal line complemented with style by the musical arrangements, rounding off a near faultless trio of songs. (www.theconspirators.co.uk)
Finally, two albums available as downloads from the always interesting Woven Wheat Records. First up The Kittiwakes whose EP “Lofoten calling” is a salty collection of Sea-based folk songs, mixing ballads and shanties into a potent and haunting collection. Playing Accordion, mandolin, and violin, all topped off with the drop dead gorgeous voice of Kate Waterfield, these songs are enchanting and timeless, the breaking surf only an echo away.
Best known for her recordings with Jade in the early seventies, Marianne Segal has recently worked with members of Circulus to create a modern folk rock classic in the shape of “The Gathering”, a magnificent collection of melodic songs that are song with powerful ease by one of the lost voices of the UK rock scene. Over the course of fifty minutes, the listener is treated to a dazzling selection of songs, everyone playing their part in the process, the music imbibed with maturity, class and a sense of commitment to the project. Recommended and a fine a place as any to end this edition of Rumbles.
Rumbles written and directed by: Simon Lewis
Artwork: Phil McMullen
Photos: Christina West