Friday, March 31, 2006

Yummy

Islaja - Live from Fire Mountian

Islaja - Live from Fire Mountian

Islaja - Live at Blaze Mountain Road 18 CDr 2006
see Kid Shirt for a brief review.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Alku

Transkaakko-Alku
There's been an update to Tulipesa's MP3 catalogue and as well as interesting additions from Avarus and a superb Circle side project there's also a release from Transkaakko documenting demos, out-takes and long deleted material. This release is rapidly becoming my favourite of the week with it's powerful folksy sounds energetically shot through with Eastern vibes - Highly recommended if Finnish folk shakes yer cage...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Es, Islaja, Kiila - Fonal Records Night

Sunday 26th March @ The Cube, Bristol

Ville Leinonen

Kiila unfortunately were laid off on the night due to illness and we were given one man and his guitar. I think it was somebody called Ville Leinonen (I guess the pic on the fonal website looks like him)- and boy this person could play - muscular, his fingers were all over his instrument. All monotonous strumming nightmares were dispelled as he swayed passionately imparting his tales of love, nature and arguing. Of course I didn't understand a word - but narration was not bound to words alone, it was more his vocal style and quirky mannerisms that were speaking volumes. The tale of tour drudgery in England was funny, this little island's probably a bit dull in comparison to the untamed wilds of Finland. The semi traditional song to the mothers of Lapland was heartfelt - his vocals mimicked the Nazi war machines scarring the countryside and burning its occupants - an alternative Mother Day anthem maybe!!

Islaja

Islaja

Islaja was a bit nervous for some reason, starting her set from behind the speakers with a little piano / bell backing - finally gracing the stage with those spellbinding vocals I've be loving over the years. Later she was joined by a second guitarist as she strapped on hers. Her voice was her main vehicle, which needed only the lightest of accompaniment - a simple plucking of an effects saturated guitar sometimes bowed or the slight tinkering with some tiny percussive toys sufficed. The other guitarist’s melodic strings trickled through all this, his voice, a deep contrast to her sumptuous chiffon-like breaths. It must have been difficult to replicate the studio based lavishness of her second album and on the night mistakes in translating it were made. Thankfully these quickly dissolved, even if a nagging cough was getting the better of her towards the end.

Islaja and Bunny Drummer

The last track employed a Finnish version of the Duracell bunny as percussionist, a lush bass sound created a wall of fuzz to Islaja's shakers and toy flute piano - and a heavier sound ensued, a lovely raucous version of Palaa Aurinkoon, sinewy and empowered.

Islaja

Islaja

Es

Es’ set was visually dull - with Ville Leinonen and Sami crouched and hovering over a large collection of floor bound boxes. Hands were suspended like vultures beaks twisting the equipment back and forth brewing a heady evolution of real-time loops from fragments of keyboards, vocals and other collected debris. Closing my eyes the sound seemed to suck me in - finding myself swaying automaton-like with the current, time sort of stood still or became insignificant as the music unfurled organically. I recognised a few live versions from both his recent releases, both were more vivid, and I was very surprised how effortless it all seemed.

Es

The last track was a noisy affair - seemingly an exorcism, with Sami slamming his effect petals and yelling loudly, guess three gigs into the tour things were beginning to show signs of strain. When the whole thing was finally terminated at the flick of a switch, I was still revelling in the experience.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Finnish Bliss

Fonal Records Poster

Bagged this groovy memento from Sunday's Fonal Record night at the Cube, but more on that a little later...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Wow

Brass section

Brass section - originally uploaded to Flickr by snack happy.

Sleepless nights

Schlaflose Nächte - The Angel Will Not Come - LP

Schlaflose Nächte - Drum Dance and Song / Mental - 12 inch

Schlaflose Nächte - Flustern / Move - 7 inch

Schlaflose Nächte fitted quite nicely into that 'new wave' vibe of the early 80's. I bought ‘The Angel Will Not Come’ because of the Blixa Bargeld and F.M. Einheit involvement and was excited by the uniqueness of vision, something that the other releases I tracked down later never re-kindled. That off-key shouting, mental patient ranting, metal scraping and glorious mess that was ‘Angel’ had turned into angsty post punk. Very pleasing to the ear, mind you - especially Gila’s vocals on the 7 inch, and the impressive drum/bass on the 12 inch. I was always left wondering if there was another Schlaflose Nächte LP out there somewhere, that could be a fitting accomplice to my original introduction…?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Simply Synthy

Aavikko
Delightfully frothy electronics and lite 'n' airy phonics over at 'in session tonight' from the Finnish synth trio - Aavikko.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Human Human Human

Leonard Cohen - Beautiful Losers

Like from the inside on the outside, losing the plot is probably the whole point...

The ape goes exclusive

Ape of Naples - Wooden Box Edition
Ape of Naples - Wooden Box Edition
Photos taken from Threshold House website

You'll probably all know about this already, but doesn't it look superb. That cool illustration with wispy ape hairs and the enamel imperfections - only 23 are going to be made with 13 already taken. Like the idea that the recordings inside would have to be treated like a precious metal... somehow rather apt. More info can be found at Threshold House.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Matmospherics


Odd little fellow with a big head; a flip/broad-sided Charlie Brown with the Devil's arms (i.e. longer than the legs, there or thereabouts), playing a kinda degraded disco at 3 in the morning.

Almost no one is listening.

I wander over, uncertain. Last time I asked what a DJ was playing I got embroiled in a nasty conversation about Tropicalia (not the animal park nr Minehead) which left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

What the hell-

-What's this?

"Matmosmate."

-Eh?

"Matmos"

The music was clippy-cloppy and gulping. Very loudly. Someone flicked a finger at the dry ice switch.

-Named after the Lava Lamp?

"Matmosmate. Mat-mos. I think they used to be in Van Der Graaf Generator."

He might have said something else but that sent me down a lot of happy blind alleys.

-Good stuff, yeah. Do you have the record?

If you could hear eyes roll, you'd hear them now. He showed me the cover: California Rhinoplasty and then nodded at my t-shirt: Coil - Unnatural History

"There's a Coil cover.[UNINTELLIGIBLE] with the same samples..."

Then he rolled off, the track ended. Something mildy Yes came on.

Turned out that the name came from Barbarella and as far as I know Pete Hammill and the Matmos boys have never gotten it together - though I can see it happening - but the music and the Coil reference was intriguing enough to set me searching and eventually I got hold of the record and heard the Coil cover - sounds like Coil with all organic material substracted; colder still.

That night ended in a whimpering mess - some girl with a par-boiled face was crying into Cinzano, a man with a Taboo/Mirage promotional t-shirt was starting to vacate his brains through his eyes, causing the kind of stillness that precedes Ballardian violence...

But I had a new band.

Matmos - Roses and Teeth For Ludwig Wittgenstein
Matmos - Disco Hospital

Smegma for Bristol


Smegma image taken from a fan site

Those grey warriors of unholy jazz/experiment - Smegma are coming to Bristol in April (28th) at the Cube and they are sure to kick up a storm with their own particular brand of avant jazz improv.

Haven't managed to find any free mp3's apart from this meagre 30 sec sample (Smegma - Worms) to show you how great this band is, so you'll have to make do with the latest Cumshots release which comes close-ish (just think heavier with beefheartian growl)

::::: Dell.tree - Reverse Osmosis - reverse um :::::

the rest of this excellent new cumshot offering can be found here.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

+ - +

here is tangleman by Cloudboy

there's a moth in my skull
a girly whisper
flickering lids
rem - ram - rem
hum it and i'll play along

... and the rest

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Intergration 5

Fri 3rd March 2006 - Intergration 5 [ Scribble Seven ]
Steven Stapleton, Colin Potter, Matt Waldron
Freida Abtan, Maja Elliott, Andrew Liles
Joolie Wood and Monos @ St Peters Arts Centre
Preston Lancs


St Peters Arts Centre
The Venue - a lovely converted church

Andrew Liles started off the proceedings with a short set, bleach damaged archive footage supported his nocturnal atmospheres, glimpses of the original films spookily broke through the ‘23 Envelope’ textures. Sonic textures switch bladed, previously introduced elements blossomed then were cut over by others.

Andrew Liles

I enjoyed the Eastern vibes that went with the silhouetted camel trail on the horizon of dunes, the sound swaying around exotically as the film was buried in a blizzard of decay. Strange echoes of conversation bounced between the speakers and equally strange noises emitted from his equipment, creeping round your ears in macabre shadows.

Andrew Liles

Three guys, collectively know as Monos took up the reins after Mr Liles, with Colin Potter at the helm. Starting from the slow building of sliding textures, the music grew organically as star shapes flickered over a blurred skyscape.

Monos

Light broke through trees to a cacophony of crows squawking from within the electronic flux. Meditative drones mimicked the pristine shapes that formed and dissolved before my eyes. Superimposed impressions complimented the sound's multi-layered density. Somebody on screen was tinkering with a guitar, the image split then patterned into a geometric kaleidoscope of possibility as the sound disjointed into a multitude of colour. The Monos sound was incredibly optimistic, radiant and soothing, but never feeble or prone to slipping into anonymity. They captured a prevailing flow that was as alluring as bright sunshine on a crisp winter’s day, possessing a burnished brilliance that was truly engrossing.

Monos
Monos
Monos

After a long break, filled with strange 'John Lacy' luggage obsessed film work, the highlight of the evening began to gather - The Scribble Seven, comprising of the cream of the sonic underground.

Scribble Seven
Scribble Seven
Scribble Seven
Scribble Seven

Two absolutely beautiful Joolie Wood songs (highlights from her forthcoming debut) began the set, with Maja Elliot providing backing on piano and the rest of the contributors giving a subtle electronic presence to Joolie’s flute and violin accompaniment. This was closely followed by a full-on continuous improv that filled the rest of the evening’s performance.

Scribble Seven
Scribble Seven
Scribble Seven

Everything seamlessly gelled together. Droning electronics punctuated by the masterful Matt Waldron, Joolie scratching her violin strings and Maja Elliot teasing stuff from the innards of the piano (although she was obscured from view a lot of the time) and at one point slamming the lid with a large crash that was quickly taken up by something Matt was fiddling with at the time. Colin pulled out a ‘Dr Seuss’ like stripy horn, mixing breathy moans into the scrawl. Steve Stapleton's hand hovered over an electro-sensitive box, the other twisted the sound shapes this way and that. The dense construct finally came to a close with Maja stroking her keys and Joolie plucking her violin. They were just fabulous and frankly words fail me when it comes to describing the bizarre concoction of sounds that flowed with breath-taking ease that night.

Scribble Seven

I'm still pinching myself with dis-belief...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Lanolin for my Sunburnt mind...

Thursday night witnessed some interesting fun and japes, courtesy of a couple of tickets from Mr Cloudboy on the promise of a return review. Clutching two tattered tickets in my mits (they may as well have proved to be chemically infused blotting paper), I The Winkcommander and compadre Squire Trelawny took a visit to The Cube in Bristol to witness what was variously described as a 'cornucopia' of happenings and a burlesque of oddments, to be preformed by The Sunburnt Hand of The Man. This was the second of two dates - the previous night was a more straighforward musical affair, tonight was to be more 'experimental'.

The Cube is everything a venue should be - quaint and dingy and welcoming, a proper placing for just about anything, making it all the more suitable for what was to transpire. The Sunburnt guys and gal hail from the US of A and are what I guess I can only best describe as a loose ensemble of free-form musical psychonauts. Go have a nose at Mr Cope's Headheritage site for more background. The programme was split in various sections, with one Sunburner fulfilling the role of 'guide/compare/trip daddy', indroducing each act and generally acting as ring-master for what was to follow.

First up was an ensemble of three Sunburners, described as 'The Bridge of Trust'. Whether the following scraping and feedback was deliberate sham or accidental shambles was difficult to ascertain. Musical in anyway it wasn't. Amusing it was - but by design? Impossible to tell - and perhaps irrelevent. Keyboards were stumbled into and various members of the cast shuffled around on stage, variously cocking up the triggering of samples, hooking feet in leads and generally looking more stoned than a crusade of heretics.

Next up, was something described as 'The Ozone' - another off-shoot of the Sunburned project and something slightly more (but only just together) involving a lumberjack shirt be-splendoued gent who picked at a guitar which had a CD jammed through its strings.

Next (and possibly the highlight of the evening) was a performance of the Clear People - a 20 minute sampled "I'm high" and percussion reinactment of herbal oblivion; Clarity indeed, and truely hilareous to behold. Genius!

The searing light of the Clear People was followed by another off-shoot, Hush Arbours... Who played tunes, and may it be said, very well. Watch out for that name. Gentle falsetto pitched guitar washes interspersed with catchy riffs and crechendos. Enough to keep a lot of people interested and definately worth checking out some further recordings.

The we had the performance of 'Man Cry' a water washed opportunity for each member of Sunburnt to be deconstructed onstage and well... cry. The audience were in stitches, the ruthless bastards! (My face was wet with tears of pain rather than mirth you Honour, I swear)

Finally (for me anyway) came a burst of the full-on Sunburnt experience, a wandering free form jazz/folk/acid jam experience replete with Horse head masks and mayhem. Phew! Thes rest of the eveing promised a rare screening of a 60's art film, but by stamina was flagging, so it was time to mount the Wink Commanders trusty Camel and wing my way back home, Sunburnt cd in hand.

A blisteringly weird evening and massive fun.

A Dream Come True



Fri 3rd March 2006 - Intergration 5
-[ Scribble Seven ]-
Steven Stapleton, Colin Potter, Matt Waldron
Freida Abtan, Maja Elliott, Andrew Liles
Joolie Wood and Monos
@ St Peters Arts Centre
Preston Lancs

in two words : bloody fantastic!!!

I've posted a few pics over at my Flickr account