Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kemper Norton - To Mahina EP

This four tracker is a remix project from The Doomed Bird of Providence's 2013 album Blind Mouths Eat. Mr Norton takes their 18min Mahina , ode to a nineteenth century cyclone that wreaked a devastating blow to the coast of Australia, and slowly suspends the drama in ghostly ebbs of sustained texture. Australia's worst ever natural disaster, killing over 400 people, leaving dead dolphins some 50ft up cliff faces, many of its victims nameless immigrants and pearl-fishers. Kemper Norton's response is a touching one, a delicate stripped down; almost skeletal requiem to the lost. Its extraordinarily creative, an atmospheric pill that honours the dead in slowly sinking boat names, surnames caught upon swirls of semi opaque electronics. An EP choked with tonal gossamers and tapering washes that seem to fall through cold fingers and broken timbers. A sound that bubbles in the murky darkness, dissolving with the inexorable slip of heartbeats, consciousness... as if the past were leaking from the smoky filigree of an extinguished flame. Sterling work and highly recommended.

International Scale / Short Stories

Rema Rema disbanded just after their first and only 12inch was released back in the early eighties. They left a hauntingly original document behind them in the shape of Wheel in the Roses. A departing gift full of sonic dismay and astounding clarity, four tracks that left you with an appetite for more... then 'bolting out of the blue' some 32 years later comes two more unreleased teasings on this 7inch that are just as satisfying, accompanied by a ten page article that hints at there being more in the vaults.

Monday, April 14, 2014

M.K.Lawnmowerman EP

The addictive beatitudes of this recent release from MK Lord (Poems of Stone) are great. Burning up in skidding rev’s of guitar and lyrical hooks a plenty. The right side of angry, a lean machine with star quality, CCTV being a definite contender of my song of the year.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ministry of Wolves and Hazel Winter

The Exchange, Bristol - 24th March

Re-interpretations of Brothers Grimm.... Now this could have fallen on its face, but it didn't. After a tentative start the 'Bad Seeds' noirs were flowing nicely, firm holds of organ tensiles and diving bass lines. Mick Harvey's percussive pleasures cobbling the melodies with interesting angles, giving out obsessive lights, buoyant branches on which those fairytale rewrites cranium sparked. Oooo this was beautiful, a crack in time where fantasy dribbled through. Wallfisch vocals booming satisfyingly, Alexander Hacke - Woody Allen like with his thick rimmed glasses dealing some delish psychosis in between the funnies, yelling out on Rumpelstiltskin as his guitar ripped open. Couldn't avoid the Anita Lane comparisons with Danielle de Picciotto's voice, that slightly sinister whim mingling with the wide eyed innocence... coupled with the hurdy gurdy on 'Sleeping Beauty' she was intoxication...

The support, Hazel Winter, unleashed quite a storm before all this... her fiery acoustics, and vitriolic humour were a force to be savoured. Here's a taster from her set finale.