= Rumbles - October 2005 =
Hello and welcome to the autumnal rumble, full of good things and guaranteed to brighten up the dullest day with its joyous noise and quiet reflection, food for your ears indeed.
To start things of we have a quartet of releases from Transubstans Records/Record Heaven (www.recordheaven.net ) all of which are worthy of a place in your collection. First released privately in 1978 “Gudang Garam” is the second album by Radiomobel and is wonderful collection of melodic symphonic music that rolls along in a gentle and satisfying way. Featuring some excellent guitar work, lots of moog and some deft keyboard touches the album boast a fragile charm and is topped of with “Flugomas Morgon”, fifteen minutes of quintessential prog-rock perfection. Hailing from Malmo, The Carpet Knights play a interesting blend of folk/progressive rock on their debut album “lost And So Strange Is My Mind” sounding like The Greatest Show On Earth jamming with Jethro Tull (no bad thing in my book) particularly on “No Space To Spare” which grooves along in fine style. Other highlights include the guitar driven “Zonked”, the lazy groove of “Sad Soul” and the moody guitar of “Dab Nekan” which has a riff that Pearl Jam would be proud of. Putting the space back into rock, and doing it with great skill, the aptly named First Band From Outer Space are a tour-de-force of swirling keyboards, echoed guitar, tribal drumming and some wonderful synthesiser which weaves its magic through the songs on their third album “We’re Only In It For The Space Rock”. Fans of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and analogue synths will love this album that pushes all the right buttons especially on the twenty minute title track which ebbs and flows through the room like a swirl of hash smoke. Finally on Transubstans come the hard rock sounds of The Grand Trick who sound like a long lost seventies band, displaying some outstanding riffs on their debut album “The Decadent Session” which rocks with a capital R. Throughout the band play with precision and passion with every song full of energy, and the band firing on all six cylinders, so grab a beer and enjoy the party.
Recently released on Ant Nest Records (www.antnestrecords.com ) is the self-titled debut by the wonderfully named Doctor Dunbar’s Medicine Band who play sixties influenced garage pop and do it damn well, mixing gospel organ with distorted guitar and perfect harmonies to create an upbeat collection of catchy tunes that will have you grooving in your living room and grinning like a Cheshire cat on amyl (and without the headache as well !).Particularly excellent is “The Lucky Strike” which got stuck in my brain for days after hearing it; thank God it’s only 1:42 long.
From the slow-burning sleaze of “Bring On The Sweet Life” right up until the village stomp of “Try To Bring Us Down” The Mainliners have created a modern garage classic with their debut album also called “Bring On The Sweet Life”(Get Hip Records www.gethip.com ) Sounding at times like fellow Swedes The Creeps, this is a joyous romp through garageland, full of short and potent songs that will release the primitive within especially on “She’s An Overdoze”, “Queen Sativa”,( which reminds me of The Stairs), or the fuzzed-up “Crocodile Roll”, which has plenty of bite to it !!
Also on Get Hip is “Heels And Wheels” the second album from The High School Sweethearts who mix trashy rock’n’roll with power pop and a pinch of new wave to create a collection of highly enjoyable and chorus laden songs which will get your weekend of to a fantastic start.
Those of you who like to start your weekend with huge slabs of guitar riff and de-tuned bass, should look no further than The Kings Of Frog Island, a U.K. based three piece featuring Matt Bethancourt from stoner rock band Josiah. Including gentler acoustic based songs such as “The River”, as well as spacey workouts such as “Slate Blue Sky” these only serve to add contrast to the sound of a heavy three-piece band in full flight on “Save Me “ or “Beyond The Revolution”. For me, however, the finest moments comes in the shape of “Psychomania” where the band manage to combine all these elements into their most complete song, heavy and psychedelic at the same time, and good at any time of the day I reckon.
Coming from a far more obtuse and frenzied part of town “Green Cosmos”, the latest mini-cd from San Francisco’s Deerhoof, is a schizoid romp through Japanese pop hooks, cut and paste instruments and obscure lyrical twists which add up to a fun-packed musical ride. “Come see the duck” opens things with a lo-fi minute of punk guitar frenzy, before the title track shows the bands pop sensibilities to good effect, with church organ thrown in for good measure. From then on in, the rule book is gone from the building, as the band create a post- rock, lo-fi, fairground-prog, punk-pop, throw it in the mix and see what happens masterpiece in only fifteen minutes. If only all albums were this concise and interesting. (All Tomorrows Parties Recordings www.atprecordings.com )
Out now on Vivo Records (www.vivo.pl ) is “Demons From Nipples” yet another release from the brilliantly prolific Acid Mother Temple & The Cosmic Inferno which is a fine slice of kraut-rock inspired madness containing just two long tracks, the first of which is almost 40 minutes of dense and heavy guitar noise that has comparison with Comets On Fire or the longer tracks by Kinski.As usual with AMT the vocals are buried deep in the mix making them sound like a long lost chant and adding to the aura of the piece. The second and final track is comparatively short at only 12 minutes but manages to combine all the intensity of the first track coating your ears in a thick tar of noise, relentless in its ferocity. In the end you either love them or find it all a horrible racket, me, I just can’t get enough of Japans finest bunch of freaks.
Sonic intensity of a different hue is provided by David Bourgoin, the man behind Another Headache, sound manipulators of the highest order, who have recently started recording again after a lengthy lay-off. “Pushing The Envelope” is the latest release 19 minutes of sound bites, samples, white noise , loops and warm guitar , which together create a spectrum of noise ranging from humour to unsettling, that will reveal different layers each time you hear it. “Near Death” starts thing off with gently running water and gospel singing, the guitar adding a welcome touch of humanity before things turn odd with some well chosen samples. “Lunar Water” follows, a barrage of distorted noise that echoes across the room like a swarm of flies. “Flux “ is a far warmer drone, a gentle pulse across the universe, whilst final track “contact” is a bizarre and unsettling mix of sound samples, electronic heartbeat, and a swinging lady who politely tells us her sexual preferences via the telephone,all in all a wonderful collection of sound collage that will leave you wanting more. ( www.irrational-arts.co.uk ).
Continuing the electronic theme, Chicago based duo Number None, have recently released their fourth album “Urmerica”, a superb collection of drones that range from harsh to gentle and have a warmth and humanity running through them. It is hard to pick out individual track to mention as the whole album maintains the same flavour with variations slowly shifting within and between tracks. “Secret Handshakes, Hidden Hand” is typical sounding like a jet taking-off in slow motion, whilst “Compression And Radiation “ is the albums densest moment, a juggernaut of sound that rolls across anything in it’s path, the drivers barely in control, threatening to crash and burn at any time. Throughout the sounds are meticulously compiled each crackle, pop and scrape placed deliberately, adding texture and form, especially on “Dent Magic” which takes us deep into the caves of our ancestors before “Pacific Metals 1 “ turns the light out, leaving us seek within ourselves, the fragile drones leading us forward through time. ( Rebis Records www.imaginaryyear.com/rebis/ ). Also on Rebis, is “Time And Relative Dimensions In Space” a collection of long-form experimental pieces, which features The Skaters, Jim Haynes, My Cat Is An Alien, Taurpis Tula, as well as the previously mentioned Number None. Every artist has done themselves proud and this is a fine collection of drone destined to be a classic within it’s genre, full of sounds that creep, crawl, writhe and soar through your ears, the intensity and passion immediately obvious to anyone who has an interest in this particular musical style.
Having formed in April 2005 Hoffman’s Bicycle wasted no time in honing themselves into a compact and fluid outfit capable of playing long liquid songs full of eastern intrigue and sounding truly terrascopic. Featuring tabla, guitar/sonics bass/vocals this three-piece have a wonderful stoned sixties vibe (man) the songs having a devotional (in the loosest sense of the word ) feel, influenced by the works of Clarke-Hutchinson, Sam Gopal, and Ravi Shankar, the musicians obviously having fun and bouncing of each other superbly. Beloved of our esteemed leader Phil, and getting plenty of air time here, their collection of three songs, recorded at rehearsal, is well worth hearing, more details from email@example.com .
Blowing in from the deserts of California, the gentle sounds of Maquiladora-A House All On Fire will delight your senses with their languid charm and mellow harmonies which are reminiscent of The Incredible String band singing with Galaxie 500. Adopting a generally laid back approach, the songs on this consistently fine album are full of gentle guitar picking, delicate effects, and memorable melodies; the sounds of a warm summers evening never far from your thoughts. The album concludes with the magnificent “Katella Avenue Blues” Which gets spaced out with the Red House Painters, as it drifts through the twilight, full of memories, like the ghost of summers past.( Darla Records www.darla.com )
Jane Anfinson, has been playing music for many year, having led Exploding Head Trick and Own, as well as composing for Imp Ork.Using electric violin as the lead instrument her latest cd “Precious Details” is full of brooding yet accessible song writing which is a pleasure to hear, with Jane’s voice adding a bittersweet emotion to the proceedings. Throughout the violin offers an original sheen to the experience adding jagged melodies that are ably supported by John Wright (bass) and Eddie Estrin (percussion). At various points the album reminds me of Portishead, P.J.Harvey and Laurie Anderson, but these are just echoes as the album has a character all its own. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Riding high in pop music’s stratosphere, Tryst are masters of the hook on their third album “Hotel Two Way” which offers eleven beautifully crafted songs that will refresh your ears and have you singing along in no time. Making song writing sound effortless, this Brooklyn based band deserve to hit the big time with their perfect harmonies and tight playing that elevates them above the mindless pap that generally clutters up the charts. If you don’t believe me then listen to the glorious sunshine of “Chain Reaction” or the brilliant vocal delivery of “Special Thing”, and then tell me that you don’t crave a little bit of sweetness sometimes. (MH Records email@example.com).
A brief mention now for Canned heat, whose brand of boogie can be found on a twofer from BGO Records (www.bgo-records.com ). Pairing 1971’s “Historical Figures And Ancient Heads” with “The New Age” this is a solid collection of 17 songs all with that gritty hometown feel that the band specialised in. If you like them then you should search it out, if not, there is nothing that will change your mind.
Falling through my letterbox recently were a couple of albums released in 2001 and 2003, which makes this the most delayed releases in this edition of Rumbles. Delay is the word as well, as the band in question are space rock exponents par excellence, the wonderful Radio Massacre International whose blend of analogue synths/sequencers and free flowing guitar hits the spot every time. “Solid States” is a double cd documenting their North American tour and is full of pulsing electronic music that will remind you of Tangerine Dream or Tim Blake at their finest. All the pieces are long allowing the band plenty of time to stretch and improvise the basic sounds into glorious flights of fancy, which will take you with them on their epic journey. Released in 2001 “Planets In The Wires” contains just two long tracks, , the forty four minutes of “Echoes” a track that moves slowly and elegantly through time slowly enfolding and shifting, revealing hidden textures and nuances within it’s sounds, and the title track, that clocks in just under the half hour , full of gentle noises before a sequencer carries us straight into the heart of the sun, the guitar singing a sweet requiem to lift our hearts.( Northern Echo Records http://www.rmi.dircon.co.uk/ ).
Last Visible Dog is a label that continues to release interesting, eclectic and sometimes challenging music a move that must be applauded in these corporate times. Working under the challenging banner are the harsh industrial drones of ashtray Navigations whose latest album “The Love That Whirrs” is as beautiful as it is unsettling creating a perfect tension in the music, ranging from the discordant opening track “The Soul Of Man under Socialism” to the far warmer string driven drone of “Psychedelic Psamosa”. An album that will take a few listens before it’s full majesty is revealed, not for the faint-hearted. Also on Last Visible Dog is “ Healing Memories And Other Scattering Times” a haunting and ethereal collection of drone by Stefano Pilia that is refreshing as a hillside breeze, blowing the worries far from your mind Merging guitar, electronics and turntables, the resulting soundscapes are restful and nourishing the guitar taking centre stage on the shorter pieces to excellent effect. Finally on Last Visible Dog comes Matthew De Gennaro with his wonderful album “Humbled Down” which offers some gorgeous solo guitar pieces as well delicate drones as soft as clouds. This is an album to be treasured, the playing is sublime and the overall feel is of contentment, long evenings around the fire and untroubled slumber. (www.lastvisibledog.com )
For their latest album “Songs of Muerto County” Chicago based duo Puerto Muerto have chosen to write an imaginary soundtrack for the cult movie “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. To my shame I have never seen the film so cannot attest to its effectiveness. What I can tell you however, is that the band have created their most accomplished and mesmerising work to date, a collection of 12 songs that perfectly compliment each other and stand proudly as an album in their own right. Opening with a ghostly banjo refrain, which is soon joined by aching strings, “Puerto Country” is the perfect start with Christ Meyers vocal adding melancholy charm to the song. Throughout the album the mood is a sombre one, a feeling of foreboding hidden beneath the veneer of ordinariness that is normally found. “Josephine” illustrates this mood the lyrics seemingly hiding a deeper meaning, whilst “What Have I Done” sounds like the White Stripes high on southern liquor, elsewhere “Black Maria” is an atmospheric song the vocal being used as instruments and harmonising beautifully together, before “Goodbye” adds a wonderful full stop to the album. Overall an album that pulls you slowly into it’s world and keeps you fully engaged for the whole ride. (www.firerecords.com )
Recording under the name of Sad Eyed Lemurs, Mert Basaran has produced an engaging collection of songs that reveal subtle melodies and textures each time they are played. Utilising the piano, guitar, percussion, and understated vocals, the album has been produced with precision sounding like a lost soundtrack full of emotion and gentle themes. There is also a sense of playful surrealism within the pieces especially “Tell A Vision” which is an abstract mix of tuned percussion, bells and sound effects. Finally the last two tracks “Tears And Happy Days” and”Gug” manage to invoke both the piano melodies and the playful abstraction and are a fine way to finish an accomplished and never less than interesting collection. (firstname.lastname@example.org )
“Toys From Balsa” is the debut album from Glyn Bailey who has played with The Urbane Gorillas and Harveys Wall Of Sound before drifting into and then out of politics. Featuring songs about cannibalism, plastic bags, laurel and hardy in heaven and a wide range of other strange subjects, this is an outstanding album of strong songs which have been arranged and played to perfection and are topped off by Glyns dynamic and individual vocals. Sounding at times like Robyn Hitchcock, Warren Zevon, and even Julian cope this is an album that has made repeated trips to my cd player, where it continues to impress with it’s maturity and depth making it difficult to pick out favourite tracks as each is as strong as the next. (www.glynbailey.com )
Offering a more relaxed and traditional view of the singer songwriter is Andrew Gregory whose self titled debut album is a gorgeous mix of Don McLean and James Taylor that contains a laid back west coast vibe perfect for late night coffee and chat. Standout songs include the bittersweet “All Your Things” the lyrical playfulness of “Charles Darwin” or the nostalgia of “November Sunshine” with it’s lovely guitar motif. (www.andrewgregorymusic.com )
Motivesounds Recordings is a new record label based in Carlisle UK.planning to promote independent and original music with a fresh perspective. Well, their first three releases certainly fit the bill containing some innovative and powerful music. First off it’s Let Airplanes Circle Overhead whose self-titled debut begins with a squall of feedback before the drums kick in. Featuring improvised instrumental played on guitar, bass and drums the band have a hypnotic power that lifts them above the ordinary and draws comparison with Kinski, My Bloody Valentine, and Thought Forms. Proving themselves adept at dynamic tension the songs move from slow burning to full on guitar mangling in the blink of an eye, no more so than on “Fury Against Formless” or the epic closing track “Hired Guns Of The Old West” which moves the band up a notch and into the kind of territory normally associated with Comets On Fire. Next up Ctraltdelete offer up their second EP which mines a similar vein to Let Airplanes Circle Overhead but trades in melody rather than raw power, not to say their music lacks intensity, rather the intensity is more feeling than aggression although it would still destroy most of the indie guitar bands currently making it. Finally on Motivesounds comes Simon Koudriavtsev who records under the name Skoud and whose debut album squeezes thirteen electronic miniatures into thirty-five minutes. Full of skewed rhythms, delicate refrains and assorted pops, clicks, and whooshes, the sounds on the album are fresh and invigorating avoiding clichés and never overstaying their welcome, something that seems to happen a lot with electronica these days. If these releases are anything to go by then Motivesound are a label worth investigating, dealing in music rather than product, long may it continue.
Finally from me for this edition of rumbles, is the ultimate drum and bass of Lightning Bolt featuring Brian Gibson-bass and Brian Chippendale-drums, the duo kick up a frantic storm of thrash metal noise in an astonishing display of controlled fury which must be lethal in a live setting. One listen to second track “Captain Caveman “will have you hooked for life as the band rearrange your synapses and smear you against the nearest wall. By the time we get to “Dead Cowboy” you will be wondering where they got their energy from whilst simultaneously admiring their dexterity and grinning like a Cheshire cat with the absurdity of it all. Oh yeah, this is their fourth album, it’s called “Hypermagic Mountain” and I fucking love it.(www.goldstarpr.co.uk/ for more details).
Right that’s it for me, I’m off to lie down in a darkened room but not before I hand over to the lovely Alan Davidson who will gently lead you through the final selection from the box of delights that is the on-line Rumbles, take it away Alan…
Lichens is the solo vehicle of Robert Lowe (90 Day Men and TV On The Radio). On 'The Psychic Nature of Being' he brings us some extended improvisations using looped voices, guitar and percussion. It works very well, with the undulating background choir being pierced in mesmerising fashion by some ragaesque guitar on the opener, 'Kirilian Auras'. The album continues in the same gentle vein on 'Shore Line Scoring', before the guitar becomes more insistent, during the first section of the excellent 'You are Excrement, You Can Turn Yourself Into Gold'. On the evidence of this release, I'm envious of those who have seen Lichens live. (Kranky, krank086 www.kranky.net )
On 'Whiskey Mute-Down', Antony Milton's The Nether Dawn maybe breathes the New Zealand air, but it wanders a similar sonic landscape to Lichens, albeit in a slightly more aggressive fashion, with distorted guitars setting the scene nicely. The occasional sample, or bit of bowing, or pulsing bass note helps add variety to the drones, although, in truth none is needed, as there are lots of subtle melodies. Different from the recent issue of 'Sirens/And Where The Coloured Planes Are Rafts', but equally compelling.
(Last Visible Dog, LVD060 www.LastVisibleDog.com )
Norway's Tangle Edge have been with us for a quarter of a century now, gradually refining their brand of progressive rock/jazz. Their latest release, 'Cosmorama' is a 1991 live set from Naples, where the trio showcase 'Wall Of The Frozen Ones', a four part suite which deftly moves from pounding riffs to more subtle guitar/bass interplay, with nice use of e-bow in the last section. After a few shorter pieces the album ends with 'Solorgy', another standout with some crowd-pleasing guitar heroics. (TEP 2, exclusively available at www.tangleedge.com )
If someone dragged the Human League into a Glasgow pub, got them pished on cheap whisky and gave them a sense of humour overdose and some lo-fi equipment, then they might sound like Mitford Girls. This 3 boy, 1 girl band seem to be having a lot of fun on their first ep, and it's infectious, although there's the occasional sweary hint that the evening might end in a punch-up. Hard to believe then, that some of the band also play with Alasdair Roberts, but a good time is definitely being had!! ( www.mitfordgirls.co.uk )
The Kallikak Family are named after the subjects of a famous, if flawed, book on eugenics, in which the presence of 'a single defective gene' leads to 'feeble-mindedness' in one half of a family tree. An appropriate joke, as the music on 'May 23rd 2007' has massive swings in demeanour, covering beautiful guitar picking or minimalist keyboards one minute and mechanical-sounding electronics or found sounds the next, with all points in-between. The head of the family is Andrew Peterson, assisted on tape-gathering by Azure Akamay and Andrew T. Royal. An intriguing and intelligent release, which invites return visits. (Tell-all records tar004 www.tellallrecords.com )
The 'two-on-one CD' issue of Streetwalkers' 'Red Card' and 'Vicious But Fair' brings back memories for this reviewer, one of whose live highlights was seeing Roger Chapman headbutting a microphone and losing a massive chunk of forehead without apparently noticing! Somehow that image seems to fit the music, which is hard-as-nails rock laced with humour, as evidenced on songs like Red Card's 'Me an' me horse an' me rum' and 'Between Us'. Then there's THAT voice, which epitomises cockiness on an incendiary version of Otis Blackwell's 'Daddy Rolling Stone', but can manage tenderness equally well on 'But you're beautiful', from Vicious But Fair, the more restrained of this pairing. (Beat Goes On Records BGOCD 669 www.bgo-records.com )
It's Jo and Danny are back, 2 years after their last album, with 'The Quickening', on which they are ably assisted by the Scottish folk band Daimh. The Green Man festival, which they started in 2003 has welcomed artists like Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Charlotte Greig, although their own muse is a much more cheerful one. Jangly guitars and melodic hooks abound, and there's percussion aplenty to create a very uplifting listen. If a break in mood is needed, then 'Dying Kiss' and 'Testing Me', with its gorgeous multi-tracked fiddles do the job admirably. (Double Snazzy Snazz7cd www.it'sjoanddanny.net )
Following Jo and Danny, by way of contrast is Boduf Songs, aka Mat Sweet, whose home demos so impressed the Chicago-based Kranky label that they put them out 'as-is'. The songs have a melancholy directness, and the gentle, almost hushed vocal brings Eric Matthews to mind. The overall sound is one of tranquillity, with gentle psychedelic washes of backwards guitar, or bowed bass strings. The songs themselves are quite dark....”there is corruption in the carcass, there is poison in the well", but it's a beautiful album, deserving of a big audience. (Kranky krank085 www.kranky.net )
Caroline is the songstress on a very pretty three-track single called 'Where's my love'. On the poppy but sweet title track her little girl voice (somewhere between Bjork and Virginia Astley), is backed by rich synth lines, gentle beats, and the obligatory bleeps and pops. The second track is a more electronic version of the first, but the third, 'Time Swells' is another cracker, suggesting that if this release were to get a few radio plays then Caroline could become very popular indeed. (Temporary Residence Limited TRR88 www.temporaryresidence.com )
Another 'two-on-one' from BGO is the coupling of Dave Mason's 'Alone Together' and 'Headkeeper'. Lots of great tunes, excellent sidemen in the likes of Leon Russell, Delaney and Bonnie etc and a warm, easy voice. However at the time Alone Together came out in the early 70s I remember wishing there were more of the simpler songs, like 'Sad and deep as you'. I still feel the same way now.... this probably sounds like heresy, but the album is almost too rich on musicianship, when the songs themselves are strong enough to get by without the excessive ornamentation. It seems churlish to nit-pick, though...this is still a worthy release, despite Mason himself being dismissive of Headkeeper's mix of studio and live sets. (Beat Goes On BGOCD675 www.bgo-records.com )
I really enjoyed Islaja's last release, 'Meritie', so I was pleased when asked to review her new offering, 'Palatal Aurinkoon'. It has an earthy, primitive feel, with unusual tunings and sparse, but effective instrumentation (the guitar/melodica/hand bells combination works well). Islaja's vocals are sometimes multi-tracked, and sound quite mournful, although on the title track there seems to be a Finnish version of a clog dance going on in the background, so it may be celebratory! A very worthy follow up...perfect for the coming winter nights, although a tad unsettling in places, as on 'Sekun Tanssitaan', which starts in almost Velvets-like fashion, before half hidden voices creep in. The overall combination of Primal, Powerful and Pretty is very much to my taste. (Fonal Records FR-36 www.fonal.com)
'Hoarse Frenzy' by Renato Rinaldi consists of one long (40 minute) track which begins by gently meandering through bird song, organ drones, samples and lots of stringed things being plucked and bowed. Pianos drift in and out, on nodding terms with harmoniums and various creaking noises. Towards the end things get a bit more hectic, with the appearance of vocals coming as a surprise, although these disappear as we end in a wash of strings, organ and white noise. A trip that holds the attention throughout, and is well worth taking. (Last Visible Dog LVD 075 www.lastvisibledog.com )
I first heard Alexander Tucker on his 'Bakelite Blues' album, which was predominantly acoustic guitar based, (although use was made of found sounds, cut-up techniques etc). On his new one, 'Old Fog' he uses his vocals more often, and to good effect, creating pleasantly repetitive soundscapes, broken by great guitar playing. On 'Phantom Rings' some nicely rippling guitar patterns are joined first by eerie slide work, then simple, but moody keyboard, before the vocal begins its tale. There are some lovely 'off-kilter' phrases here and there which really grab the attention. It's no surprise to learn he's been guesting with Jackie-O-Motherfucker and Bardo Pond. (All Tomorrows Parties ATPRCD15)
Sleeping People, from San Diego include Kenseth Thibideau of Howard Hello in their midst, but their music is quite different. Howard Hello's feel isn't too far removed from Stereolab...gentle waves etc, but Sleeping People are more intense, eschewing vocals for complex, jazzy rhythms, and punchy guitar lines. Fast moving and fluid stuff which pulls the listener along in its wake. One of the tunes (the album is all-instrumental) is called 'Fripp for girls', and Sleeping people do have a hint of that King Crimson cleverness about them, but it's laced with some almost metal-sounding guitar. The whole album is a bit of an adrenalin rush.... it did me a power of good!(Temporary Residence Limited www.temporaryresidence.com )
All of Mahogany's hard to find eps and 7"s have been collected on 'Memory Column: Early Works and Rarities', which makes for an excellent package. The first disc charts their evolution from 1996-99, and the second brings us up to date, with the band relocated from rural Michigan to New York. The music is very pleasant on the ear, with otherworldly vocals and gentle beats. Unsurprisingly, the New York recordings have a harder edge, but it's still peaceful music. For some reason a phrase applied to the artist Ingres comes to mind...."frozen romanticism". Maybe "chilled-out romanticism" is more appropriate! (Darla Records DRL 152 www.darla.com)
Until next time....
Editor: Simon Lewis. Principle contributor: the princely Mr Alan Davidson. Producer: Phil McMullen.