Monday, February 20, 2017

Pisse





Pisse - Kohlrübenwinter #1
Beau Travail BT - 12/Phantom PHNTM15. 7” 4 track EP/DL

Pisse - Kohlrübenwinter #2
Harbinger Sound 162/In A Car 004. 7” 4 track EP/DL




Discovering that ex German Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s surname translated into English as ‘cabbage’ was a defining moment in my continuing education. Since then I’ve always referred to him as Helmut Cabbage although I must admit that the opportunity to use this in conversation is somewhat limited now. The surnames of German chancellors have always interested me, other favourites include the charismatic Willy Brandt and of course the redoubtable and first ever chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, a man whose surname translates as 'accident in your keks'.

Pisse is the German word for piss. No surprises there. The surprise is that these eight tracks of shouty German hardcore punk mixed with 1930’s film samples, whipping vids and speeches [not Hitler but someone with a shouty voice] had me wishing it was 1983 all over again. 1983: a watermark year for those in the punk industry seeing as how some deem it the year punk finally chucked its scribbled on leather jackets and 16 hole DM’s into the cupboard under the stairs.

To be honest I don’t listen to that much German punk hardcore anymore. I don’t listen to that much punk full stop. Me being nearer retirement age than getting excited about Friday night age I find my punk excitement comes in very short spurts but when I’m introduced to a band as exciting as Pisse I have to bend my head slightly forward, turn it to the speaker and announce that yes, if I had enough beer down me, I would be one of those jumping up and down on the beerhall table.

They work best when the drummer is giving it the military medium, the guitar a choppy rasping thing but its not all like that; Dienstleistungsgesellschaft [oh the beauty of the German language - Service Society] is a mellower affair with a slowed down distorted vocal giving us the title as Pisse singer warbles in a high falsetto as a synthy keyboard wanders all over the end of it. Shit, these kids have got it all. The rollocking opener on #1 Fahradsattel [Bicycle Saddle] comes complete with whips and a chug-a-long Container Drivers-esque beat call and response all over and done in 1.49. Vernissage has a trebly high end bass and so nods to Hooky, the weedy synth gives it a Units feel.

The smattering of samples; wolves, whips and old films, give Pisse a depth that many punk bands lack and while these two singles [complete with fold out sleeves, lyrics and grainy design] are two stand alone singles they work well as an album and an album of punk tunes that keeps me interested is a rare thing indeed. I must be a fan.   



https://pisse.bandcamp.com/

http://pisse.blogsport.de/

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lenka Lente









Andrew Liles - Très Chère Mère [Mother Dearest]
Lenka Lente. 5cm CD + Book
ISBN : 979-10-94601-11-2


Guillaume Belhomme/Daniel Menche - D’entre Les Morts
Lenka Lente. 5cm CD + Book
ISBN : 979-10-94601-13-6



The last time I saw Andrew Liles name was as it passed me by on the end credits of Peter Strickland’s superb 2012 film ‘Berberian Sound Studio’. Anyone who hasn’t seen it and has an interest in sounds, gobcore and 70’s Italian horror should go straight from here and watch it. In it Toby Young plays the sound effects guy brought in from England to work his magic on a maverick Italian producer's shock horror production. A film, it soon transpires, that Young’s character as very little interest in and is very much against, him much preferring to be in the shed at the bottom of his garden or wandering around the rolling hills of his home counties town. Screams in sound booths, kitchen knives in cabbages, splatted melons, torn radish stems for hair being ripped out and a blink and you miss it appearance by Adam Bohman. What more could you ask for?

Like Steve Stapleton, Liles is a man capable of creating sounds from seemingly nothing. A sampler par excellence, a weaver of magic, a man capable of making interesting sounds from a dishrag and yesterday’s newspaper. Not just any old sounds though, not rulers twanged on tabletops, not lollipop sticks stuck in bike wheels but sounds that leave you in awe, leave you wondering how they were actually made. I listen to Liles and wonder how he actually made what ever it was that just went down my ear canal.

I have a small smattering of his vast recorded output here with releases ranging from outings with Dannielle Dax to [appropriately] horror sound effects to tributes to Hans Bellmer [Aural Anagram - a queasy ride filled with eerie drones and manipulated female vocals that would fit easily enough besides some of the best Nurse With Wound material] but never before his writing.  

Très Chère Mère [Mother Dearest] is an uneasy modern day folk tale with a gruesome ending and while its written competently enough I doubt he’ll be giving JK Rowling any sleepless nights. Criticising Liles for the odd clunky line seems churlish though, like giving giving Picasso a hard time because his book of short stories were no match for Hemingway. At least its in English. Lenka Lente have received a certain amount of criticism for printing their works mainly in French but its not a criticism I share. They're the publisher and they can print in whatever language they want. Here the story comes in both English and French so somewhere someone wont be moaning.

The disc accompanying  Mother Dearest is all mumblings, pizzicato strings, harps, creaking leather oar straps and cello. A bit like a SNES soundtrack to a role playing game with a Japanese theme which may or may not have some kind of connection to the story. Its unlike anything I’ve heard from Liles before which makes me wonder just how far the Liles tentacles reach.

Daniel Menche is equally as talented. The single track on D’entre Les Morts overlays several different soundscapes to a juxtaposed but ultimately harmonious effect. There's TNB garden shed clatter, the inside of a grandfather clock, a drone, continuous pink noise and a length of steel wire dronged into eternal oscillation.  Menche’s skill in combining these differing sounds is worthy of note. He’s no slouch. Listening in on headphones is a rare audio treat and one you shouldn't deprive yourself of. Whether there's any link with the text is also unclear to me.

The book itself is written by Lenka Lente lead man Guillaume Belhomme and is entirely in his native French which, baring the odd word, makes about as much sense to me as a book written in Latin. I’m quite certain it’ll be dead good though. 

http://www.lenkalente.com/


Thursday, February 09, 2017

Grandma [there's no one quite like].









Con-Dom - How Welcome is Death to I Who Have Nothing More to do but Die
Tesco 102. CD - fold out digi-pak with booklet. DLP box set with etching.

Dr Adolf Steg - Dead Mothers Blood
Multimedia artwork. Edition of 10



If you’ve ever been inside a nursing home you’ll know that they’re not exactly a day out at your local health spa. They’re where people go to die. And in the main we’re not very good at death and dying and coping with it. Death is for other people to worry about when the reality is exactly the opposite. We make jokes about it and invent religions to give it meaning but really, we try not to think about it too often. Unless we’re reminded of it by a dying relative or friend or the news of a passing celebrity or a politician its best left unpacked, something for other people worry about, something that's not going to happen to us for a long time anyway. We hope. But in the end death is just that. The End. There is no escaping it.

Lots of us will spend our final days in a care home or a nursing home. Most of those days will be spent in an overheated communal room that smells heavily of disinfectant and urine, a wall mounted TV blaring Escape to the Country, overworked and underpaid staff doing their best under the circumstances handing out weak tea in childproof plastic beakers. Or perhaps in a cot like bed with the sides up, a rubber under blanket to protect the mattress, bleeper around the neck, photos of loved ones arranged on a nearby table, oblivious to the world, reliant on others and waiting the inevitable. 

Power Electronics often dabbles in death but I don’t think any artist has ever gone as far as taking the death of their own mother for inspiration. The results are a brave and ultimately harrowing release and one that will no doubt have a deep effect on those who make their way to the end of it.

Its a release that works on two levels; the first are the sounds themselves which as you’d expect are despairing, haunting and unsettling. The second is the imagery, the strength of which I found so upsetting that I had to cover it up or hide it side on while I listened. You can cover your PE releases in all manner of dismemberment, torture, necrophilia, sadism, gratuitous porn and right wing propaganda but the sight of an old woman slumped in a winged back chair her face covered in the bruises of a fall, chills me to my very core. The cover is we must imagine, the face of death itself. 

Neither do I think that there has been a Power Electronics release that has as its opening track a sample of the Clive Dunn single ‘Grandad’. This saccharine 70’s pean to an aging grandparent is the sanitized portrayal of growing old, the well worn slippers and the pipe in the pocket. What Dando offers us is the exact opposite; the adult nappies, the shit, the piss, the stink, the dementia, the wailing, the futility of it all, the waiting to die. 

There are three key tracks: ‘Living Death’, Chocolates’ and the exasperatingly blunt ‘Just Fuckin’ Die’. There are samples of toilets and communal rooms, screams and in a series of shorter tracks we find the likes of ‘Wee’ and someone being asked by a carer if they want to go for one. Sarah I & II is a resident shouting. ‘Chocolates’ is a brooding 13 minute loop of cycling hum over which Dando recites a letter as written by someone with serious health issues who wishes to end their life [the chocolates are there to disguise the bitter taste of the lethal dose of barbiturates]. Which brings us to euthanasia which is essentially what ‘How Welcome is Death …’ is all about. ‘Just Fuckin’ Die’ is a ten minute loop of churning distortion which eventually reveals its brief and frustrated only sentence. ‘Living Death’ a slightly phased vocal over screaming turmoil, a collection of conversations between Dando and his mother, the misery, frustration and helplessness created by those who can no longer look after themselves. Power Electronics and death appear to be suited like Country & Western and lost horses, Pop and love, House and dance, Punk and spit. Could any other musical genre carry a message with such force and such honest brutality?    

The very last track is the natural matching bookend to Clive Dunn’s Grandad; the equally saccharine schoolkid choir sing-a-long ‘Grandma [There’s No One Quite Like …]’. A song you are unlikely to hear sung anywhere near a care home.

After a lengthy hiatus in the studio Dando may well have produced his most profound work since 2001’s ‘Colour of a Man’s Skin’ and just maybe the work with which he will be forever associated. A standout release of the genre and a work guaranteed to haunt you until the end of your days.   
  
Whether Dr Steg’s mother has died we can only guess at. This arrived with no information at all but the man has previous; he once sent me a button badge upon which were glued the ashes of his recently passed father-in-law. So we can assume that what we see is what it says on the tin. Or in this case the plastic grip lock bag. The contents are a bloodied strip of toweling, a bloodied, torn and creased piece of paper containing random words and squiggles and several pieces of broken glass. I really don’t know what to add to this. I’m no art critic. I only know that this week [this month, this year, last year] has been a depressing one. These objects, these works remind us that our time here is of the limited variety. Best make the most of it.



Tesco




Dr. Steg


Friday, February 03, 2017

How I learned to Live with the Orange Overlord and the Recuperating Effect of Cassette Tapes.















Suffering Profusion - Auditory Hallucinations Unkn

Nothing Band - Close to the Past
24/7 Tapes

Neil Campbell/Campbell Kneale - neil campbellcampbell kneale
Don’t Fuck With Magic

Culver - Fells
Invisible City Records

Stuart Chalmers - In the Heart of Solitude
Constellation Tatsu. PURR 077

Stuart Chalmers - In the Heart of Wilderness
Was Ist Das?

Stuart Chalmers - Loop Phantasy No.3
Beartown Records

Stuart Chalmers/Z. Zsigo - Untitled
Strange Rules. RULE-119

Ecstatika
Feral Tapes

TLON - Chapter II
Aphelion Editions. Aphelion 001-K7





There’s a lunatic on the loose in America and he’s doing all this crazy stuff like sending tweets with exclamation marks in them and banging on about building a wall thats going to cost like $75 bazillion. I’m sure he’ll get locked up soon and we can all go back to what we were doing before everything went totally tits up but until then I can’t seem to think straight or get my shit together maan. You know like do what I did before the Tangerine Nightmare dominated my quiet-sit-in-front-of-the-PC-write-some-words-about-music evenings. I now find myself scrolling apocalyptic blogposts written in alarming tones about how the Orange Overlord is nothing but a puppet for a right wing cabal whose thinking seems to revolve around the politics of the Fuck You variety. These are uneasy times.

My duly sapped creative juices have left me a desiccated wreck, left me seeking solace in the familiar and well worn: Bob, Neil, Van, Robert and yes, Art. When I reach for Art I know I’ve reached rock bottom. Not because I don’t like Art Garfunkel’s music, I love him dearly, its just that his music is the soothing-ist of soothing balms, the music I reach for when my fevered mind can’t take anymore. His music is a comfort blanket, a friendly arm around the shoulder, a familiar face in a strange town, a safe room when the loonies are knocking at the door. The review pile doesn’t get much of a look-in in such desperate times.

The loonies have been knocking louder and louder these last ten days. Its getting so that each news item becomes ever more incredulous: can you actually do that?, is that for real, alternative facts, whose on notice again? One day soon I’m going to wake up and it’s June the 23rd 2016 all over again and there’s been an important referendum and its gone the way I wanted and the most insufferable human being on the planet has been shot by someone who himself has been shot but a few hours later. I’ll have my MP back whilst I’m at it as well. Preferably alive.

The tide has to turn eventually though. I think I’m over the worst of it. Recently I’ve been flipping these tapes again. Going round and round on repeat in the twin deck as I scroll the the pages looking for good news. Its a good sign. Things will improve. I know it. Cassettes of wonderment as effective balm. Why not?

I wonder what the Orange Overlord would think of Power Electronics? I wonder what he thinks of music in general? I doubt he has the time for music. Too busy striking a deal to relax with a Mantovani album. I doubt he has any culture in his life full stop. Up to his nuts in money and power. The twin gods of those who care for nobody but themselves. Given the opportunity I’d put the Orange Overlord in a bare white room and play him Suffering Profusion at a volume guaranteed to give him permanent tinnitus. There’d be a CCTV camera in the room relaying his reactions to me as I peruse a selection of nibbles that include toasted almonds, a ripe Epoisses and a lightly chilled Alsace Gewurtztraminer [preferably a Hugel though such would be my good humour I wouldn’t be too fussy on this matter]. There’s only four tracks to annoy him with but they’re of such high PE standard I imagine he’d be screaming for mercy after about 15 seconds. We have full on roar and distorted vocals, no need to go into details, its not a complicated matter and nor is PE when its as base as this.

Suffering Profusion are American [is an American] I hope he’s not a fan of the long tied, short fingered Orange Overlord but with PE you never can tell. One person who I doubt very much is a fan of the Carotene Cretin is Max Nordile of the Nothing Band who is capable of stretching the boundaries of where songs begin and end. On the eleven minute ‘A Good Dog’ we have Nordile in Srdenovic mode singing along with a bullhorn while a giant ogre stomps all over his house, his voice emerging as if from the back of whats left of the rumble room. Some tracks are short minute long things in a Residents vein and even though you cant actually sing along to his songs I have an urge to do so to rid myself of these gloomy apocalyptic thoughts.

Maybe I could try the Carrot Tinged Twat with a smidge of drone? Two sides of a Culver tape perhaps? Who doesn’t like a spot of Culver? Well, one person obviously. ‘Fells’ is Culver in bass heavy drone mode that moves to melancholic bass motes and on the flip something that does it in reverse or continues the thread if you follow. Maybe this is one continuous piece divided over two halves? Maybe this is the face of the Orange Overlord getting pulped? You don’t need me to tell you about Culver.

Talking of which, the winner of the 2016 ‘Stokoe Cup’ [as awarded to those leaving in their wake a cohesive, well loved and totally fantabulous body of work as awarded by the Bearded Wonder over at RFM] was Stuart Chalmers. To say I’ve become a fan of the mans work is true to the mark. I buy whatever he puts out and that recommendation is enough for you. Over the last couple of years his work has moved from mainly sampled based loops to the inclusion of, along with effects pedals, the swarmandal, a type of zither originating from the sub continent. He gets the most out of it on works like ‘In the Heart of Solitude’ and ‘In The Heart of Wilderness’ where the more esoteric edges of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra are mirrored or how about the strangely ethereal guitar parts of the Cocteau Twins. He can be jarring as on ‘Loop Phantasy No.3’ another loop based sample set but when he sets sail for those distant shimmering horizons the results are enough to induce warm feelings of well being and banish all thought of the Fanta Faced Fool.

There’s the collaborations too which is where, as you’d expect, the sound changes. The short but fun Ecstatika takes a page out of the Astral Social Club book and is all bubbling rhythms and energy. ‘Untitled’ with Z. Zsigo is the lonely church bell as heard drifting across a mist covered graveyard in a 70’s Hammer horror that opens out in to a vista of descending church organ and empty building melancholic piano notes. The flip is a shamans rattle, electronic burble, a rumination on the shortwave dial, looped church bells morphed into gamelan. TLON sees Chalmers working with Liam McConaghy for an albums worth of soundtrack like material that is parts ambient, spacey and perhaps the least gripping of this collection but nonetheless a worthy and still essential SC related release. If you like Schulze or the beat-less parts of Tangerine Dream this is where you need to start digging.

After all this do you think Trumpa-Lumpa would dig the almost palindromic Neil Campbell/Campbell Kneale collaboration? Perhaps the name would confuse him? Don’t give him a tin of OXO or wash his duds in OMO then [‘old man out’ - as found on the window ledges of lonely sailors wives]. Two live outings, one a freak beat-fest of mutated lollops the other taking its time to emerge from the miasma before it gets its NC dusted rhythms and KN [I assume] feedback. A joyous thing, just don’t ask me which side is which.

OK I think my chakra has been realigned. I’ve removed everything orange from the house. I’m rationing my Twitter visits. I’m reading good books again. Got to stay focused and channel that good energy. Fuck Trump.


All of the above are cassettes of course and are of extremely limited numbers. If the above haven’t sold out of their physical editions downloads and streaming are available.  



Suffering Profusion

Nothing Band

NC/KN

SC - Heart of Solitude

SC - Heart of Wilderness

SC - Loop Phantasy No.3

SC/Z. Zsigo - Untitled

Ecstatika

TLON - Chapter II
  

  






Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Namke Communications/Synchre





Namke Communications - One Year; Two Days.
Fencing Flatworm Recordings. CDR/DL. 40 Copies


Synchre - Requiem.
Attenuation Circuit. ACU 1009. CD



Two releases of electronic origin with a chasm between them that not even the likes of Eddie Kid could bridge. One a grandiloquent requiem the other the work of someone who works quick. So quick they took it upon themselves to record something new everyday for a year. A pursuit in which I hear they were entirely successful. If the four tracks on One Year; Two Days are representative of this crazed mission then we need to be hearing more.

Namke Communications is John Tuffen. On 'One Year; Two Days' he makes the kind of simple, repetitive, head nodding oscillations that Fencing Flatworm go all ga-ga for. No wonder they made it their only release of the year. The backdrop to the live action would be one of a continual upshot of fluffy white clouds drifting across an azure summer sky, your head laid back on a plump pillow as your punt is punted down the Cam, a picnic hamper from Fortnum and Mason’s awaiting your arrival on the shore. The four tracks are all given a date and a time which we are to presume are the time and date of recording and the file names they were saved to PC as. According to the Bearded Wonder these were created using a PC. Me not being what you would call an expert on computer composed music I wouldn’t know but the results are nothing short of wonderful; rung bowls of electronica and oscillating vibes that with very little effort find a common purpose. There’s the occasional muffled depth charge and at one instance a school playground but always the feeling of complete control and with it immense aural satisfaction. 

Requiem, on the other hand, is a much more pompous release. As you’d expect from something so grandly named you get the feeling they were going for the magnum opus. Three movements each broken down into further sections so we get 00.00 Articulation, 05.35 Transition, 9.50 Abandon right up to 34.20 and Immanency and its eventual and not untimely end. Its the work of Luca Canciello and Lorenzo Brusci both of whom have CV’s the length of your arm and are involved in everything from electronic music composition to speaker manufacture to the ‘music robot start up MusicFit’, something which matches the BPM’s of some horrid sounding beat music to your work out rate and which would appear to be the winner of ‘The Thing I’m Least Likely to Purchase This Year’ award.

After enjoying the simple flavour’s of Namke Communications Japanese ramen bowl this is like sitting down to a ten course tasting menu [with matching wines] courtesy of Heston Blumenbollocks. There’s so much going on its all a little bit overwhelming. A shiny disc filled with a mass of sounds and noises that appear to be there not with the aim of producing a coherent whole, but to show off the talents of the composers.Thus you move from rapidly advancing drum and bass sounds [with added droning trumpet] to vocal treatments to portentous keyboards to a mouse’s fart and the wild screams of the reviewer at number 17 who having listened to this over-complicated mush of excess decided to move to India so he could experience the demonetisation of 500 and 1000 Rupee notes all for himself. 

There are moments on Requiem that do gel especially on the last movement ‘Transfiguration’ where arc welders do battle with Survival Research contraptions and men in rubber monster costumes fight it out in cheap 60’s Japanese TV shows. The choirboy like vocals on the second movement is one of the rare moving moments of the entire suite but these are small crumbs at a table where you cant see the food for the cruet.

Maybe I’m being a tad unkind here and I shouldn't be comparing banquets with beans on toast but my mind is made up. There will be those who seek out such weighty electronic scores, the concept album for the dead, the three hour Jean Michel Jarre concert with flashing lights and arrival on stage by boat but it isn’t me.

Synchre

Namke Communications

RFM/FFR

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mark Wynn










Mark Wynn - Achin’ at the Prospect. #14
A5 zine + CDR

Mark Wynn - Singles - But They're not Really Singles, I Just Sent Them to the Screen and Said They Were Singles. Volume II
Harbinger Sound LP. Release date March 2017.



We left Mark Wynn on stage at the Leeds Irish Centre supporting Sleaford Mods. He danced around with a child’s tiara on his head and ate grapes from a plastic punnet. As ever he was stripped to the waist revealing ribs and a physique that is no doubt the results of a roll ups and Seabrook’s prawn cocktail diet. He had a small table stage right which had either a cassette or a CD player on it which he occasionally glanced at, no guitars, no drums thus making it easier to roam the stage eating grapes performing as if for himself, noticing the audience when they made a noise, as if they’re a distraction to what he’s doing which is eating grapes and singing his songs which are more like existential cum observational monologues sung in a flat voice to punkish three chord acoustic guitar riffs. A more like-able Jake Bugg only with better songs and a finer punk aesthetic, a young man’s John Ottoway, Patrick Fitzgerald for 2017 with knobs on.

I like Mark Wynn because I once saw him piss off an audience at a less than salubrious Working Mens Club in Heckmondwike and because he has a song that mentions Batley and that he channels the kind of punkish attitude last seen being delivered from the lips of oh so innocent, peculiarly English eccentric types as mentioned above. He’s from York but leads a peripatetic lifestyle meaning ‘Achin’ at the Prospect’ arrives with a Largs postmark. What the Largs folks think of this gangly, million words an album, no off switch, troubadour is open to debate. I have visions of him busking on a drizzly Largs high street much to the bemusement of the tourists and the locals except for one sad and lonely goth teenager who clings to Wynn’s legs like he’s the incarnation of Pete Murphy.

‘Achin’ at the Prospect [A Racket [That One] by Mark Wynn and his Knack-Kneed Or-Kes-Strar] the zine is Wynn’s mind as written down during long journeys that take him to and from Largs including an interview conducted by his girlfriend who reminds him that he’s living rent free at her expense. Its a proper zine crammed with tiny handwritten thoughts and musings, ephemera, cartoons and cut out pictures of himself, Elvis and a panda. The accompanying CD contains eight tracks of Wynn at his more thoughtful and less rackety including the opener ‘Doom’ where he enunciates the word ‘Attenborough’ rather peculiarly and spends thirty seconds adding overdubs of him talking to himself. During ‘Heart of Stone’ he berates himself for screwing the song up ‘You fucked that right up dint ya?’ ‘Impossible’ is a song capable of arousing the interest of Apple, Samsung and, more probably Seabrooks, such is its whimsical gentility.

Wynn’s charm lies in his basic recording technique [acoustic guitar overdubbed with fuzzy electric guitar, shouts, asides, keyboards, snare drum] his flat, deadpan delivery and his ability to knock out ridiculously catchy punk enthused tunes alongside reflective love songs. The catchy tunes are there in abundance on the eighteen tracks that vary in width along ‘Singles ...Volume II’. Starting with the glorious ‘Dave Went Mental’ where, apparently, his mate Dave went mental and ‘I Am John’ which manages to achieve the impossible and has me jumping around in front of the hi-fi with imaginary guitar. That Wynn can pen songs that are paeans to William Burroughs and Kes and tip the hat to Link Wray shows you that he's not only number one in a field of one but that he's so far out to sea his head is only just visible to those who are really looking. That's me, you and most people who've seen him live [except for those in the Comrades that night]. That he can then make a trip to the shops, a fall out with the check out staff in Tesco’s and bemoan the absent Woolworths in songs that rarely nudge the three minute mark is nothing less than life affirming.

On ‘Boy’s Don’t Cry [Massive Turn On]' he admits that  he doesn't want to go to Filey, on ‘Orange’ he recounts not being able to buy oranges in a shop because he isn’t old enough [all this to a background mumblings and handclaps]. ‘I Once Fingered A Girl Who Rejected Rick Witter in Glasgow’s Art Bar - The Song’ isn’t a personal boast but a reflection on a Tweet and how he sounds like the Fall. Songs that are worth mentioning because they have great song titles and are great songs as well are ‘Day Trip to Heckmondwicke’ [sic], ‘The Beatles Hate Me’, and ‘George Formby Breakdown’. The final mad chorus from ‘I’m Mint Man Me Man Yeah Yeah’ was the first thing that came in to my head when I woke up in the middle of Sunday night. Its still with me now. I think it’ll be with me for a while yet.

Since Geoff Travis lured Sleaford Mods away with the promise of diamond encrusted Lamborghini's and gold topped canes there’s been a definite lack of top ten chart action for Harbinger Sound. Enter Mark Wynn. With his trusty cassette recorder, punnet of grapes and songs about whatever came in to his head ten minutes ago he's making 2017 just that bit more bearable. If you see him in Largs say hello.




    





Wynn Bandcamp

Harbinger Sound


                            



Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Christmas











Dennis Tyfus & Kris Maes
Meeuw Muzak 047. 7”

Phillip Sanderson - No No No No
Christmas Bonus CD/DL


So how was your Christmas? Oh lovely thank you. I managed to avoid anything that was to do with Xmas altogether which is pretty much the best way to go about it. Fortunately for me Mrs. Fisher loves the festive season [Christmas twig, nativity scene, baubles, cards up etc ...]  she takes care of everything except the purchase of food, alcohol and second class stamps. She even has a favourite Christmas CD which has lots of 50's stuff on it and nothing by Slade, Wham, Wizzard, Shakey, Paul McCartney, John and Yoko, Chris Rea, Jona Lewie and Mariah Carey which is fine by me. Once upon a time I used to look forward to the odd Christmas song especially Greg Lake's 'I Believe in Father Christmas' with its anti Christmas theme and its purloined bits of Prokofiev, usually first heard while dawdling down a shopping aisle wondering how many bottles of port would see me through a week of cold nights and giving me that nostalgic feel for when I first heard it as a child back in the 70’s, 'They sold me a dream of Christmas …’ but to be honest even that bores me now. Give me snow and frost and clear blue skies, a week off work where I can do nothing but the crosser and get slightly pissed on port on every night but all that mixed up pagan/Christian bollocks that's all but forgotten about by Boxing Day morning? No ta.

Two Christmas related items landed just as I was about to put my foot through the TV at the first sight of the festive John Lewis advert. Two releases that gave the 50's Christmas CD a run for its money and the sight of which provided me with much needed succor. The first is 'No No No No' by Phillip Sanderson of Snatch Tapes/Storm Bugs fame which arrives in a homemade Christmas card and on first sight appears to be not Christmas related at all but there it is at the very end of the very last track 'Holding Little Hands' a lolling little ditty whose last words are 'Merry Christmas'. Ahh. Sanderson is of course well known amongst vintage synth aficionados because hes been around for ever. At least since the mid 80’s. The sound is a basic one, Resident-y for want of comparison with echo-y synth melodies sometimes accompanied by reverbed and delayed vocals which make Sanderson sound like Genesis P Orridge in TG mode. Transported I was. Transported away from John Lewis ads and Jona Lewis I mean Lewie The title track is a full on losing your head no no no no no no no no no no no which is what I think when I see a Christmas advertisement for Iceland or TK Maxx. There are jarring instrumentals like Scream Test Extra and extra points for the homemade card and the Woolworths ‘single sided’ CDR. For those less fortunate this is available as a download and is excellent.

Kris Maes and Dennis Tyfus are two separate entities on either side of a seven inch single with a large hole in the middle. A comforting sight. Tyfus stretches his vocal chords over a looping/sticking slightly cheesy Sun City Girls take on Silent Night while on the flip there's a blink and it's gone ditty called De Kerstdagen [Christmas Day] which is sung in East or West Flemish or Limburgian. Belgians eh? Meeuw Muzaks is a [well since its very beginning anyway] a seven inch only label and releases a Christmas single most years. Previous incumbents being RLW and Tom Recchion amongst a roster of unknown’s. A belated Merry Kris Maes.





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