the dada that punk should have become: rfm on chow mwng, robert ridley-shackleton, sons of david ginola, d. coelacanth

August 13, 2017 at 7:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Chow Mwng – ULOT-CA  (NWSAS)

Robert Ridley Shackleton – The Opera (Chocolate Monk)

The Sons of David Ginola – Blood Too Thick Symptoms (The House Organ)

D. Coelacanth – Tony Eats Screws (No Label)

chow mwng

 Chow Mwng – ULOT-CA  (NWSAS) sold-out CDR, poetry book and original collage art all presented in a card box and digital album

Truly outstanding song-a-delic bedroom-pop from Wales.

Fill a box with old guitars, keyboards and crooked dreams – bung it all on to your four-track and mix with patience and understanding – that’s Chow Mwng for ya!

Following the trail set by travellers as diverse as The Shadow Ring or Storm Bugs this is a goodly clatter full of fizzing energy and ideas.  Ash Cooke is responsible for this hectoring collection and his vocal delivery, like a Welsh Sexton Ming narrating a Lovecraftian episode of Fingerbobs, is full of gold star moments.

Lyrically he moves from psychedelic domestic observation, to dream-logic vignette by way of sharp social satire.

EXAMPLE: ‘Pop Music is Dead’, a caustic riposte to anyone lazy enough to rest on their local laurels and a half-assed musical approach.  The Super Furry Animals, Marc Riley, 6 Music and Arts Funding all get a kicking from Mwng’s hobnailed boot

 “Like musical Brexit they voted to leave!”

Tune-wise it’s a really loose jam.  A dry collection of skewed songs deeply entrenched in a DIY Maginot line.

EXAMPLE: ‘Tara of Banana’.  A collapsing structure built of plastic pies.  Wind-up machines excite guitar strings in the most eccentric manner.  Squeals and wriggles.  My personal hotspot – The Welsh Kecak!

Life-affirming tunage!


Robert Ridley Shackleton – The Opera (Chocolate Monk) CDr

Instant composition, phlegm and confessional come together for RRS’s new operatic piece.  But scrub all you know about fat shrieking and overpriced pomp.  This is opera as domestic diary, opera as rambling monologue, opera as consumer advice!

The clip-clop of a dodgy tape machine is an undercurrent to much of the 78 minutes.  The hiss of recycled tape the orchestral underscore, punnet-scrunch a percussive interlude and a ‘shiff-shiff’ of that patented pocket-jazz sound the crowd-pleasing refrain that gets used on car adverts and sports shows.

So like a diary (with 30 separate tracks suiting sweet September, April, June and November) things move between the mundane and insightful.  Sound-wise, much is indistinct and unclear, it’s like gently melting into another’s mind; thoughts become confused when slipping between individuals and magnetic interference fuzzez the edges.

Some of the subtle bubbling tracks (keyboard, ailing drum machine and packaging material?) are a kind of punk Francisco Lopez with added cassette case ‘klak’.   Others are brief street scenes, unboxings of unnamed produce and notes-to-self.

A religious air infects many of the monologues suggesting Shack is the warmest of messiahs teaching his apostles about the dangers of sunburn turning the testaments into a Game of Thrones-style drama while they stare meekly at his sandals.

The drifting between short snippets is as natural as a daydream and I’m gathering wool (and scribbling notes of course) until the hiss retreats for a time and Shak barks:

“Did you really expect there to be no funk in this opera?”

The true heir to Shalamar mugs the keytar, extolling the virtues of getting loose with ‘card’ and diverting my rooster strut with lines like:

“Everyone needs peace, err…have you seen my niece?  Yeah.  Err…she’s a trouper, it was her birthday recently actually.”

And the funk-jams just keep on coming…durty and greasy Kentucky-fried jams that stand out like hot peppers in among the shuffling shuss…I’m minded of Gwilly Edmondez in the chart zone and wonder, out loud again, how long can it be until these guyz hook up?

Pay attention Bob Dylan. The Cardboard Prince has not left the building and has no intention to until the shops open again.

david ginola

The Sons of David Ginola – Blood Too Thick Symptoms (The House Organ) 3 inch CDr and A6 booklet and copyright free digital album (s)

A new coupling from super-brains and conceptualists, Murray Royton-Ward and Kevin Sanders.  This is one classy disc of gentle rippled popping and supreme geography.

‘An Enormous Bit of Very Old Pipe’ opens this tidy package and first impressions are like walking through a bog; this sound pulls on your extremities.  A heavy gravitational fudge, a thick grey sugary wave sets the tone for intelligent and masterfully placed scrapings and stretchings.  Metal strings are pulled until they squeak their copper brightness to accompany the silt-like shuffle of atoms below.

I’m reminded, curiously, of Amy Winehouse and her finest pipe-based lyric,

“…and I’m the tiny penny rolling up the walls inside.”

That’s perfect Amy…I am that tiny penny too.

The lengthier, darker second and final track ‘Kabra Kebabra’ is a submersible vibrating gently in the sea.  Enormous tentacles wrap the sub and their muscular flexing sends invisible waves booming through the pressurised interior causing event the saltiest mariner to clap their hands to their ears and cry, “Doom!”

On a practical note this fancy package is available on several formats: physical disc & booklet, regular download (but not on that bandcamp nonsense, these cats host for real) on the clear and darkweb for which you’ll need a Tor Browser and the kind of digital knowhow that slips through my brain cracks.

These guys positively encourage peer-to-peer sharing, comment and source-code sharing!  Go nuts you boffins.

tony eats screws

D. Coelacanth – Tony Eats Screws (No Label) CDr

In another universe popular entertainment resisted moving images and the damn TV to celebrate the radio.  In this universe not only has radio become king but the art of listening is elevated to a spiritual duty.

This mysterious and modest disc consists of one Mr D Coelacanth as he staggers and blusters through a pair of readings that celebrate the dada that punk should have become.

Senseless snippets of found sound, TV noise, wrecked R n’B and empty noise-blisters act like scaffolding to keep the brain structure rigid.  They form a much needed cage to hold the pulsating narrative that’s as daffy as nougat, as sinister as blood-stained scissors.

In four-four time speech-grenades explode softly behind my eyes.  They go something like this…

“The plumber left me with a formless kitchen…I can’t cook here my skull is enlightened.”

“The corpse wore perfumed shoes.”

“Fresh Bacon! I was sprouting.”

“That’s a pointed leg you’re holding…listen to the steroids.”

There’s an obsession with larva, muck and bodily grease.  Each snarled exhalation is wreathed in decaying tape-noise, smothered in grot and breathed in an unholy sequence that defies categorisation.   The only way my tiny brain can hold on is to file this under Scandinavian Saga gone ‘scat factory’ or Luke Poot possessing the god Bragi if you prefer.

I’ve had a quick look on the computer and there literally is no way to get hold of this disc.  Uncle Idwal passed it on to me personally after riffling on its manic-brilliance here.  I’ve drawn a dead end searching for Tony Moto who handed this disc to Idwal while holidaying in Greece.  I asked my few Mediterranean-based friends about Tony or D. Coelacanth.  But they texted back with nothing but ‘incomprehensible shrug’ emojis.

Maybe this is the only copy?

You want a piece of this nut-scratcher?  Course you do.  I’ll mail it, free of charge, to whoever leaves the first comment below.

Pass it on reader, pass it on…


Chocolate Monk

The House Organ?



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  1. Yes please, sign me up for the RFM lending library w/ the D Coelacanth CDr (and happy to forward on again after). Thanks for a lovely review too mx

  2. You win the prize Murray. D Coelancanth will wing it’s wretched way to you as soon as the post office opens.

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