hot mayo: rfm on flamingo creatures, lambs gamble and ezio piermattei

June 6, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Flamingo Creatures – Fisch Versucht das Sprechenlernen (Discombobulate)

Lambs Gamble – Farewell Body Bags (Discombobulate)

Ezio Piermattei – Tre Madri Ludopatiche (Discombobulate)

 Flamingo Creatures cassette inlay dimensions 181016 copy MUSTARD WITH MASK

Flamingo Creatures – Fisch Versucht das Sprechenlernen (Discombobulate) C40 Cassette

The International Dictionary of Gonzo gets a new foreword from Cologne’s finest – Flamingo Creatures.

Each section of this lithe and saucy tape is a miniature moment of prime wonk-o-lah.  Be it gloomy bouncing balls, crackling snickets or mashed-up tape werks the Flamingo Creatures breathe new life between their thumbs to hoot like a couple of funky owls.

WARNING: All direct points of contact are skilfully erased to build a new map of the territory.

So…side one features some brave violin scratching, floating trumpet and human voice – a known/known if you’d like.  But this nestles up (sometimes in the same movement, the same musical sequence) against free-gibbering and bowling-shoe-bass/electronic-shadowing to create a most definite unknown/unknown.  The results hark back to the time Miles ditched his beards after the Plugged Nickel and recruited pure hobos, gardeners and short-order cooks to jazz it up on Thunderbird, lawnmower and blackened skillet.

Side two is a weirder listen. Yeah? Oh yeah! Call and response was never so whacked-out and spluttered.  Each squeal of viola/tape is a Half-Nelson. I’m incapable of movement, pinned to the floor by the otherness, poise and audacity.  Fans of bass are sated once more as this jam flaps all loose and goosy, like Harry Secombe (with Spike’s understated piano playing).

Just when you think things are going to descend into a well of gushing-saliva an oasis opens…yellow sunlight brightens the corners to reveal a well-classy set of final movements; all cuckoo clock, xylophone and shimmering vocal intervals.

Delicate as a china cup, the tinkles and baroque pace transport the listener to a genteel occasion.  You outwardly do all the right things, smile politely and munch a biscuit safe in the knowledge you’ve got a flick knife in your pocket and odd socks.


Lambs Gamble – Farewell Body Bags (Discombobulate) Pus-yellow Vinyl LP

The LAMBS GAMBLE TRIO huff and moan like Shaolin Monks on a day off (lounging about, smoking tabs) but can leap into tight fighting stance in a blink of an eye.

The three of them: Eric Boros (guitarz, electronics, mouth), George Cremaschi (bass, electronics, mouth) and Fritz Welch (percussion, electronics, mouth) are uniquely fabulous. Moving between free jazz/jaxx, the inverted space of ‘rock’ and the spooky absence of bagel holes with aplomb (or a plum!) no mood, texture or direction is left un-poked.

Picture the little amigos cramped in a studio, all manner of pot and pan, plank and trap piled up in front of the Marshalls.  Each ant grabs a pile of clutter, hugs it tight and then sets off on a musical journey starting deep in rural China but ending up somewhere distinctly volcanic.  Readers of a nervous disposition may wonder.

“So is this a free-for-all?  An everyone-louder-than-everyone-else blank-jam?”

My answer to you friend is a firm but understanding, “No”.

With beards as grey as these you can count on experience, quality and musical-kindness.  Sonic spaces are tugged and fretted but that all-important space is left, like a eye in a clam hurricane to give folk a toehold.

I’ll go further…the lost art of the gentleman-improviser who (quite ingeniously) has built up a vocabulary and grammar that is communicated with a raised eyebrow, a tugged earlobe and discreet sniff reigns supreme on this disc.

[no matter how damp the squelch, high the squeal and wide the holla]

Sho’ nuff these three bears clatter and hawk, whinge-moan and patter the skins in abstract patterns but for maybe 20 seconds an alien Link Wray riff starts up, soon to end up melted cheese over the fog of electronic huffing and rattlin’ chains.  So you see…it’s not all jerk chicken but some deep, deep rock-a-billy.

40 minutes of classical fuh and improv-noir.



Ezio Piermattei – Tre Madri Ludopatiche (Discombobulate) C40 Cassette

Our friend Ezio Piermattei is fast-becoming the unapproachable tape-duke.  The solo-egg who can’t be beat!

This collection is a dizzying prospect – sonic vertigo – set in a concrete world.  Each whiff and klonk, tape-jaxx segment or secret field recording is patched together with a craftsman’s hand and a painter’s eye.  Secret worlds are unveiled as you peel back the onion skins: wooden skittles rocking woodenly, an Italian street scene or distant chimes sunk backwards into the mix.

Each moment becomes a theatre set for the ears with actors stepping onto an imposing stage; some armed with Dictaphone grot, others with cheap plastic toys.  As each actor overlaps (following dainty and discrete footprints carved into the parquet floor) their sound offering slips right to left, left to right, upstage and downstage.  This gentle movement launches Piermattei’s work into a category beyond mere collage and into the rarefied world of highfalutin sound-design.

Side one moves on a journey from ‘the street’ and all that entails across a highly polished desert into a foundry of Bakelite and Lucite.  Costume jewellery is dropped from various heights to create a dull pattering while Ezio gibbers on in his own ‘language of birds’.  Shade is provided in the form of more dark mumbles and the wrenching of a recalcitrant cork from an unyielding bottle.  One deft finger on the pitch wheel sends this off into outer space; my tiny brain wrinkling as if it’s pickled in ginger as I try and keep up with the pace.

Side two starts with a Babel of voices duet-ing with a practical Vespa and fondled gravel – the sound of young Bologna!

The leaps in fidelity keep a smile on my greasy chops – for one moment we’re wrapped in soft comforting Dicta-fuzz, then we’re scrubbed-up clean for a studio or computer-manipulated movement.   The changes in texture add a further dimension; like listening to the on-stage banter at a Fall gig, the truth lies somewhere between the plainly stated and deliberately provocative.

A brief kidney-flush of hiss and scrabble aside things are kept purposefully beautiful and wobbling: voice crackle in fake-stereo, tape jizz squirts it’s hot mayo, TV gossip chatters to no one except the caged songbirds.  Listen out at the 15 minute mark for a brace of sublime hamfist – the dry recording capturing not only perfect tape juggling koffs but that honest click of finger on button.

With the smallest of details and the most humble of approaches Exio PiXrmXxxei launches solo tape gonk into a new orbit.

Are you ready for your space walk captain?





cloaking motion: joe murray on fvrtvr, mv carbon

February 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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FvRTvR – Following Shapes to the Edge of a Drift (white vinyl LP, Discombobulate, BOB009, edition of 250)

MV Carbon – The Sun Will Turn on You (red vinyl LP, Discombobulate, BOB008, edition of 250)


FvRTvR – Following Shapes to the Edge of a Drift

It starts with Fritz Welch’s close-miked

gowyn gowyn

(just for the record, one of my favourite ever sounds – mouth imitating ruler twanged off desk) and lurches into colourful electronic ‘shirrrs & buuurrr’ from Guido Henneböhl on, wait for it… Oxygen Filtration System!

Electronics, gob-tonics and Fritz’s percussive Hi-NRG clatter are the order of the day.  In fact both sides are blustering and busting-out all over in fine-detailed explosions.  Throughout side one the free-jizz bells and snare snaps pepper Guido’s dry squelch like sound croutons.  It’s hard to believe only four arms are responsible for this octopus-like rattle through the cupboards.

Sheets of static rain slash across the sound-horizon punctuated by the involuntary gasps and thwacks of an avant-garde gaucho.  In fact the clatter of hooves and sexy ripple of horseflesh is the perfect analogy for this kinetic rush.  Even the wired up systems sound kind of organic, like one of them novelty clocks powered by a juicy lemon.

A note on construction.  I’m no expert but these sides sound like several separate jams neatly stitched together rather than long instrumental rambles.  I’m a total fan of this patchwork approach and it nudges at my sweet-valentine keystone THE FAUST TAPES.  It’s the mood that swings like a trapeze from dark-elbowed bothering to sinister clown make-up to god-for-jolly nitrous oxide.

Side two is ever-so-slightly darker with gravity ripples and membranous jottling being pitched to a heathen god.  The pops and whirrs are heavy; like the silence in the room between hastily hurled insults.

Hey… but what’s really weird is how this record changes over time.  On another listening day the bad-vibes melt away and are replaced with a Carl Stalling-esque slapstick.  A pop art WHIZZ, BANG, BOING, making me think of anvils and rocket packs, desert canyons and cunning predators.  Like a perfect roast potato; crispy without and fluffy within.

It all ends in a soft rumbling mess.  Imagine a grenade full of fizz-bombs detonating sensual warmth through your groin.  Oh Lordy, that’s the ticket eh?

mv carbon

MV Carbon – The Sun Will Turn on You

I hardly ever listen to songs these days.

That’s not because I’m trying to be a super-cool more-avant-than-thou dick and, by the way, I’m not a pop hater.  It’s just that you get the Verse/Chorus/Versus stuff everywhere these days.  Every jingle, advert, trailer and the vast majority of radio play is all chunked-up using the same process.  I mean, even Slayer have sing-a-long choruses don’t they?

The structure of the pop song has redefined popular culture.  If it’s not snappy, repetitive and short-attentioned no one is bothered.  If it stretches the strict categorisation used by everyone from Freddie & The Dreamers to Taylor Swift it gets put into the cultural ‘difficult’ pile.

OK… so why all the head scratching and chin-stroking eh?  This is a fanzine record review not Talking Music Bollocks for Critics 101.  But listening to this heavy and beaky disc from the wonderful MV CARBON I reckon we’ve got a real third-way, a set of songs that buck the trend and settle comfortably into their own unique shapes without recourse to any Mersey-beat re-hash.

Pitch-black synths paint dark melodies.  The tottering-tones overlap and wrap around themselves.  Single notes shimmer, then bludgeon, then do both at the same time.  Gaps open up (especially on side two) creating unnatural pauses that would mess up even the most dedicated time signature.

When Carbon sings, speaks and chants, she’s often toking on a Dub effect or double track, creating ghost-like backing vocals or eerie pre-vocal sighs.  In the one similarity to regular pop music these do float on top of the cascading musical accompaniment but in Carbon’s hands they are more like an oil slick, rolling with their own dark energy and cloaking motion.

There’s little repetition to ‘hook’ you to a particular moment.  In fact the endless churning momentum is the thing; the endless chug forward is its own reward.  Even the occasional drums don’t play in circular patterns but a more linear way, rolling like the waves, punching out an accent or highlighting a vocal pattern and then retreating back into the mix until they are needed again.

It all feels very ‘wrong’ and that of course is what makes it so right.



erotic polystyrene sigh: joe murray on mutual process, star turbine, sindre bjerga

September 9, 2015 at 8:25 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Mutual Process – (untitled) (tape, Discombobulate, BOB006, edition of 50)

Star Turbine – White Lines Across the Void (tape, Discombobulate, BOB005, edition of 50)

Sindre Bjerga – Fugue States (tape, Invisible City Records, ICR15, edition of 50 or download)

mutual bob

Mutual Process – (untitled)

North-eastern gook-wizards, the venerable Sean Cotterill and golden majestic Adam Denton, link up electric oddments with greasy string and tobacco-stained sellotape in a classic table-top approach.

I’ve been lucky enough to watch the Mutual Process conduct and project live many times in various squats and attics so this tape becomes part of the open-ended conversation.  Follow me…

untitled is a tape performance in three parts.

  • Hard-to-quantify squeals fog outta the speakers to start off. Next a broken, backwards TV fizzes listlessly, circuits click open and off with a feline ‘pop’.  The sound of Bertoia’s metal rods being manipulated rise out of the mist as graceful as silver-backed Gorillas and with the same barely restrained violence.
  • Then it gets quiet… A titanium wind blows.  The chicken bones in the trees, gathered by sneaky children start to rattle, shaking off all the trappings of modern life (mobile phones, reality TV etc) to make the sort of sound I last heard during my time at the Phillips Research Laboratory (1956 – 63).  The hiss and whistle of the earlier movement is overtaken by a deep-dive into electronic sound arts.  Tony Stark himself would goof-off on the reflective magnetic!
  • Redundant repulsor rays seem to form the carrier wave to some jittery cipher that tips a hat to the unbreakable Meskwaki code talkers in the third and final movement. Gritty ceramics get bowed with a rat-tail file, cheese graters get bent across a leather clad knee and spanked hard.

Mutual Process: the Marvel-style team up you N-AU heads have been waiting for.  Nuff said, true believer.

turbine bob

Star Turbine – White Lines Across the Void

Two live pieces from that great Dane Claus Poulsen and the James Brown of the Underground that is Sindre Bjerga.

Star Turbine are one of those remarkable duos that take two very different approaches and create a very different third wheel; so buckle up buttercup!

Side ‘A’.  Pinched nip tweaks give way to that kind of chugging (kof-kof-kof)  riff that you find in both 80’s Thrash Metal and late 90’s Italio-House.  Before long a canard paddles up the Tyne (this was recorded in Newcastle’s Mining Institute – a scant hop from the sleepy river) with its booming fog horns and belching smokestacks. We travel it’s feathered back to Belize (or somewhere) where electric drizzle cascades down waxy green leaves. Claus and Sindre stoke the fires in the engine room, shovelling dense peat into the orange-mouthed furnace, until sweat beads on brawny forearms, brows and backs.  A scat of brittle C90 crackle ends the performance with gentlemanly style.

Side ‘B’ Another live set opens with kissy-kissy intimate ‘pings’ and an erotic polystyrene sigh that almost makes me blush dear reader!  This is a superb recording; the up-close micro-sounds are raw in my pig-pink ears.

And the fidelity becomes a player in the game.  It draws me deeper into the slobbering honks (fresh like cabbage), field recordings (the heavy links of rolling stock) and dainty metal strokes (innocent as Hans Christian Andersen) layering these orphaned sounds into sonic béchamel.

A cello recorded beneath a mantle of Williams’ Flubber adds a lovely rasp, all cosy and warm, to accompany those cheeky poly-styrenes who begin to squish Galaxians beneath a giant thumb.  The bright colours run under the pressure and leak out the loop, whorl and arch spilling onto the scrubbed linoleum.

Both sides were recorded approximately 239 miles apart.  Keep on truckin’.

fugue states

Sindre Bjerga – Fugue States

Live at Ryan’s Bar (London) opens with some awesome tape fuckery executed with extreme prejudice.  I had to keep leaping out of bed to check the Cheap-o Hi-Fi wasn’t chewing this innocent tape to little tiny bits!

It’s a kind of a dancehall sound that’s getting mangled here; think Notting Hill Carnival slipping down a gritty wormhole as things slowly, slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y  get more Solaris-on-yr-ass.  An acapella voice sings some middle-of-the-road ditty/euro-disco pumps/fireworks briefly flare in the cold black sky…

Gosh…this is seriously warped.  The stretched tape sounds under immense pressure, like geological pressure, man, as smeared voices try valiantly to drag themselves over the welcoming polished tapeheads.

The cognitive planet vibe starts to bulge my eyes out slightly.  An unnatural intelligence erupts as the compact cassette reaches cognition!  A perfect 17 minutes.

Side two, live at Kveil #3 (Bergen) opens with an ever-so-slightly polite fistful of tape messin’ that can carry a sustained hiss as easy as I can pinch 3 pints together into a beer-pyramid [Editor’s note: with bag of crisps held between clenched teeth too I hope].  The general pace is super-relaxed with ‘humms’ and ‘whirrrs’ sloshed about like grey undercoat on a corporation bench.

Rather than mash tape into iron-rich paste the manipulation has a more benevolent hand, guiding firmly but with an ear for collaboration.  So when voices crackle through the dead air I’m looking for a Radio Ham who recently turned on.

I wonder.  Ham?  Amateur? Ham-ateur? Well whatever term we choose to use the signals picked up by Sindre’s aerials add honest human peaks to some stereo-spring ‘clunk’ that paves the way for a  Bjerga classic hiss-drone.  Thin like gruel it is until the whole thing clots like blood pudding, lumpy and painful…and ‘click’ the tape finishes.

Recorded in 2015 (Side A) and 2014 (Side B) approximately 1,262 miles apart.



Invisible City Records

stress of speech: joe murray sings along to emblems of cosmic disorder, pascal nichols

September 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Karl M V Waugh – 5 Alarm Systems / Songs About Choir Boys (CD-r and text prosody poems in document file, Emblems of Cosmic Disorder)

dogeeseseegod / The Zero Map – Split (tape, Emblems of Cosmic Disorder, unspecified limited edition)

Kosmos 954 – IX V IV (CD-r in hand made cover, Emblems of Cosmic Disorder)

Binnsclagg – 23 (CD-r, no label)

Pascal – Nihilist Chakai House (LP, Discombobulate, BOB003, edition of 250, ‘on frozen puddle coloured vinyl’ as Joe would have it)

Songs About Choir Boys-5 Alarm Systems 1Songs About Choir Boys-5 Alarm Systems 2

Karl M V Waugh – Songs About Choir Boys / 5 Alarm Systems

Like many folk I’m slightly aroused by office stationery [Editor’s note: too right – I’m still banned from Rymans].  There’s something about the clear usefulness of envelopes, pens, polyvinyl packets that’s so darn satisfying.  So it was with trembling hands I slice open the latest package from our esteemed editor; a selection of goods from new ‘boutique’ label Emblems of Cosmic Disorder.

A slim document file, the kind of thing you’d find in any dusty HR department, houses a neat CD-R in a clam case and several pages of closely typed text.

I check out the disc (‘songs about choir boys’) first.  This 20 minute piece has three distinct sections:

  • Cluttered junk noise collage – echoed pings, guitar scratch knitting itself tighter and tighter.  Balloon squeak adds a slivery ripple.
  • Domestic vocal psychedelic – “What valley?” Bus-travel-noise, digital avalanche, granular fractals etc. “I’m gonna go out now.”
  • Electric Balalaika heard through the fog of war, Austrian glitch and heavy pastries.

The editing is sharp, each distinctive piece flows nicely like egg yolk through new copper pipes.  Not a leak in sight!

I take out the poems (‘5 alarm systems’) and give them a bash.  On a first reading these short pieces come across like some fractured stream-of-consciousness narrative…

“Diamond scratching on the inside of my scalp.”


Duncan Harrison refuses to fight Johnny Liron and everyone’s oxygen supply is depleted.”

Pretty heady stuff, ya dig?  Like reading old Bananafish magazines through a gin hangover or something.  But closer inspection of the handy press release states these are prosody poems; a term I have never come across before.  A quick google search tells me…

Prosody is the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech. Prosody may reflect various features of the speaker or the utterance: the emotional state of the speaker; the form of the utterance (statement, question, or command); the presence of irony or sarcasm; emphasis, contrast, and focus; or other elements of language that may not be encoded by grammar or by choice of vocabulary.

OK…I get it.  It’s all about how the poem is read.  So I heave myself from the comfortable armchair and gracelessly unfold to my full (and rarely realised) six foot three and read these darn things loud and proud.

The neighbours curtains twitch, the kids giggle, Mrs Posset asks if I am feeling well.  The answer is a boisterous ‘YES’.  In fact I feel better than ever.  The act of reading is a tonic, a shot in the arm, just the very thing.  And I read on; in trembling baritone.  The intensity and vigour leaves me glowing like a Victorian lady.

I wonder if these excellent poems are to be read along with the music?  There are no instructions in the envelope to the contrary so I take matters into my own hands and rig up the gramophone to record and play and hawk out money scam intake collection [Editor’s note: click to hear a one minute rendition – self-embedding journalism, that] for kicks.

Even if this was never K.M.V. Waugh’s intention the interactive nature of abstract sound and spoken word is a great one: ham & eggs, strawberries & cream.

I urge you to check this one out and popularise as a parlour game for all the family.

dogeeseseegod zero map frontdogeeseseegod zero map back

dogeeseseegod / The Zero Map – Split Tape

There’s some real right brain/left brain stuff going on here on this pocket guide to cosmic disorder.

dogeeseseegod take the knotted tangled path with raw ganglions swaying.  Junked up domestic field recordings get clotted and rubbed up rough with the sound of water (a unifying fixture with dripping tapes, gushing pipes and the steady trickle of piss) running through this whole piece, ‘Tappin ‘Ard O Phiernahe On Rye’.  As I settle in my listening chair I’m picturing some Futurist Opera, the men of dogeeseseegod wrapped in itchy suits as they arrange scrap metal structures to a newspaper score.  Occasionally there’s the rare fizz of melody.  A guitar or keyboard makes a dash out the door with a tune stashed up a tight cuff.  But mainly the sounds are free to roam within the strict structure of the edit.  You’ve seen One Man and his Dog right?  Sort of like that but with sheep being replaced with rude tape blarts and hawking tremors.   Thankfully the electronic effects are kept to a minimum so the pure mung rises to the top of the beaker, ready to be scooped off and fermented; brewed into zingy espresso.

This kinda porridge pot can be hit or miss but I am delighted to say this is breakfast gets a Goldilocks ‘just right’ from me.

The Zero Map set their dune buggy down a smoother, less hectic, route.  The modestly titled ‘Z’ is a meditation.  Pale blue tones float out my cheap-o hi-fi clearly.  They arrange themselves in regular symmetrical patterns that turn in on themselves, forever folding and unfolding across a hidden axis to reveal a thousand-leaved Chrysanthemum glowing with an inner light.  The sound warms up to a pinky-red hue and the slight ‘tap, tok, tap’ of a recurring theme (the decaying ring of a bell with all the attack digitally snipped off perhaps?) rubs my shoulders as I settle deeper into the Chesterfield.   My eyelids droop and I find my 14 year old self perched in front of the TV trying to keep up with Horizon or something.  I’m scrunching my brow over some really complex but beautifully original maths, the slight chemical tang of lemon squash leaving a bright yellow smile on my lips.  The almost spiritual neatness of a Venn diagram, intersecting arcs creating enclosed spaces calms my teenage self into a Zen stillness that rockets through the years anointing my old-guy bristles with Nag Champa.

Kosmos 954 – IX V IV

Kosmos 954 –IX V IV

What’s this?  A live in the studio jam all cut up with a monkey claw?  Yeah man yeah.  It starts with odd honks and the sort of space echo Joe Meek would have pawned his Ouija board for.  And then a scissor cuts and Kosmos 954 draw us into the gloom for some heeds down pub-kraut-rock.  Zoinks!  The edits keep on coming: a rhythmically blocky soundtrack to 80’s handheld game ‘Scramble’ (Kink, kink, kink!) slides into slurring crabs leaving tracks in the sand of mystic Hebrew script ending the ritual with a heaviness worthy of Haikai No Ku. I love to be confused by a record and Kosmos 954 are cheeky mystic monks Ra-Ra-ing like a funky Rasputin.

Binnsclagg – 23

Binnsclagg – 23

More poetry and ‘natural malfunction’ from the South coast.  I’ve been told this is not an emblems release but it bears all the hallmarks; handmade sleeve, ambitious scope and grievous cluttered sound etc.   The lazy blogger would drop names like Graham Lambkin but this is a far more robust beast.  Sure enough, there are browned-off words that melt like dripping but some of the accompanying sound is sharp and glitchy enough to share self space with those Editions Mego jokers.

Things get pretty dark about 14 mins in.  The crystal plumage noise is replaced with matter-of-fact reportage and amplified gibber/gong workshop.  The natural energy of a live improvisation takes over and an end of the pier sample wraps things up nicely in under 25 minutes.

Pascal - Nihilist Chakai House

Pascal – Nihilist Chakai House

Whooosh.  I’m on my way to mighty Manchester with an earbud full of Mancunian musicians making the Megabus the most happening bus on the M62.

Rob has beat me to it, covering the excellent, Getting Nothing to Appear on the Developed Film by The Piss Superstition already.  So, all that I can add to the no-audience dialogue is a breathless “CHECK OUT THE SUICIDEFUZZOUTLIVEATTHEBUDOKANMIGRANE ON THIS SHIT MAN!” to the poor bloke sitting next to me.  He snores on…

The next record in my brace of Manc offerings comes from Pascal Nichols, one half of the wonderful Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides (often abbreviated to tongue-straining acronym PWHMOBS) who are stealthily playing their way into the hearts of the underground.

Here Pascal wallops hollow gourds until they clank and click like a Moondog army marching menacingly through a dark Mardi Gras.

And then…a bagatelle?  Rubber marbles?  The sound of impact folded inward.

In my cloth ears a theme reveals itself.  Cacophony is introduced then tamed…the gradual removal of syncopation reveals the human heartbeat within.  ACTION POINT: A Grandfather Clock is taken apart piece-by-piece – a military ‘tick / tok’ resolutely strict and stiff-upper-lipped morphs seamlessly into an allotment shuffle; muddy tools being hung in racks by knotted hands.

A dry ‘thwock’ repeats.  Micro spaces click sticks.  Did I just hear a sneaky ‘Moonlight on Vermont’ snare ripple?  The stick clicks continue and seem to say ‘hatchback’ in the language of the trees.  Bees are waxed for sure…you can smell the yellow howl of varnish all over the ba-da-boom, ba-da-bing.

Soon a knitting machine of Patrick Woodroffe proportions rattles pennies in a jar.  Each bronze disc placed with a trajectory planned by a master’s hands.

This is a glorious and life-affirming record.  The joy of playing is evident in every snare swish and cymbal brush.  Share the spirit of adventure…let the love in!


Emblems of Cosmic Disorder


guest post! extracts from the joe posset end-of-year round up! part two of two: conference of gurgles

December 12, 2012 at 7:11 am | Posted in musings, new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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OK, for preamble from both me and from Joe Murray, guest author of this post, see part one below.  No need to repeat ourselves here – on with part two:

(with continued apologies to those whose pictures I’ve stolen.  Click on the linked bits for further info and/or purchasing details)


hapsburg braganza - recurring dreams

Hapsburg Braganza – Recurring Dreams LP x 2 (Alt Vinyl)

Guitar reigns supreme here.  A faded, scrubbed, scuffed guitar sound that seems to slink along the skirting boards.  Sombre chordings and plucks play with time, swinging in places (‘Dolomite 98’ is almost jolly; like a weary parent’s forced smile) adding space like Dub.  To keep it all frosty Phil introduces the occasional fear piano (hear ‘In Holland Cloth’ brother and tremble) and dervish organ (mainline ‘Golding’s Eclipse’) with fog grey electronics smeared carefully over a few of the tracks.  The biggest Hapsburg surprise is the addition of super subtle drums every now and again; courtesy of Bong’s Mike Smith.  A lazy journalist would point to the drums and shout “A-Ha.  Slow drums and slow guitar…that’s post-rock that is!”  And of course they would be wrong.  There’s an older tradition here.  The tradition of the saga, the legend, the epic story shared between glowing faces over a roaring fire.  Recurring Dreams is a lengthy wallowing in the Kingdom of Hapsburg…and this is a place where you need to take your time, pull up a stool, bathe your feet in the stream. Recorded mostly in the early hours, on the edge of sleep, gives Recurring Dreams a definite feel…we often talk of peripheral vision…could this claim to be the first example of peripheral listening?

cabbage rosette with phil minton

Cabbage Rosette with Phil Minton – Ran out of breath licking elegy nipple, cough and fall to bits, tight chest as achievement? CD-R (Total Vermin)

Balls out skronk from Messers Poot & Vermin abetted by Mr ‘jazzface’ Minton on swelling tubes.  Over-blown kitchen electronics huff each and every cough and splutter so the inward sigh becomes symphonic, the lip smack a thunderbolt.  Squeaky doors or plastic tape cover are rattled to destruction (screeechhh, scraaaaaw) and the only recognisable ‘instrument’; a phat keyboard, blebs in dopey chimes, once, twice then not at all.  Sounds are fairly poured over each over with abandon and mixed up with a hot spoon.  There’s little structure or reason to this making it all the more fun and engaging.  The frenzied jerk and Tourette’s tick keep the energy up.  You can almost picture them, shoulders up to earholes, spazzing out on spittle warp.  Things get more crimped towards the end when what sounds like some remedial turntable abuse plays up against mouth babble and the whole thing ends in a conference of gurgles and wet-fart lippings.  13 mins in total…the perfect length.

blue spectrum - i almost drowned

No Artist – Untitled aka Blue Spectrum – I Almost Drowned MC (Blue Spectrum Tapes)

Sorry about the mystery surrounding the name here.  It’s all very confusing…if you’re trying to check it out it’s got a Pegasus on the cover.  Released in a huge edition of 3!  Flipping open the case and slapping this into the deck starts a strange claustrophobic trip.  Recorded in the lowest of all know fidelities this sounds like a penguin colony getting their hands on some sharpened sticks and menacing the keepers.  The bars of the enclosure are wired up to the mains and blasted apart using slow dynamite.  Sparks fly, low crunching fills the air and before long blubber and blood lap up against the sides of the pool.  Things get pretty nasty towards the end of side one with granite hammers being thrown at a giant insect-o-cutor.  High tape strangeness in the mould of an early Prick Decay or pre-school Cock ESP or something.  Side two couples its buffers to classic dark noise territory and sounds like massively amplified rolling stock slamming on the breaks and keeping them there for 25 mins.  Metal on metal screech and heavy rumbling fuss make this a steam powered listen, all oily and soot covered sideburns.  Refreshing as a Irn-Bru enema.

(Editor’s note: in the spirit of investigative journalism Joe contacted Simon of Blue Spectrum for further information and got the following response:

As far as the title and artist goes there wasn’t any, although I credited myself on discogs just to say who made it. I didn’t want it to have a name or title. On the spine there is ripped paper in place of where the artist and title would usually go. I think how you referred to it was perfect no artist – untitled aka blue spectrum ‘I almost drowned’ because it gives it an identity. The official label name is Blue Spectrum Tapes. This is the discogs page.  I will be making another batch of these soon, maybe 10 or so copies.

…so now you know.)

jazzfinger - destroyed form

Jazzfinger – Destroyed Form MC (Handmade Birds)

One sided cassette that opens the door to forbidden times.  At some level all Jazzfinger records are an exercise in archaeology.  Although I have a brand new tape in my hands the actual recordings could have been made 20 years ago and only now have filtered through the arcane and secret Jazzfinger process known only to Has, Ben and Sarah.  As it happens this does invoke ‘early’ Jazzfinger when cymbals and organ played a much bigger part in the ritual.  ‘Ocean is free’ sounds like my earliest memories of Jazzfinger with the singing-grainy organ, tape wobble and sickly cymbal tapping.  ‘Sun Punishment’ lurches forward in time to the white-out-guitar-squall period blowing static clouds of electric fuss all over.  This one is more badly behaved than most JF jams delving into metallic tantrum through to a come down of goblin hammers tinkling.  The final jam ‘blown cotton woodland’ sounds like the soundtrack to some terrible conspiracy theory documentary on cable.  A doomy horsefly buzzing in your ear, some backmasking sound manipulation drawing to a close of throbbed out organ bliss.

acrid lactations - presidential

The Acrid Lactations – The Presidential cow is bound to the maypole MC (Total Vermin)

This tape pretty much takes every gob-punk cliché and bombs them back to year zero.  Very fucking warped skronk and then some extra double girl on boy skronk are the order of the day.  Things seem to be in both real time and then manipulated via bad-electronics at random, making for a discombobulating listen.  Moaning and groaning is fighting with pinched throat gurgles, drawn out mouth drones stray to the fore with a more high pitched keening just at the edge of my (admittedly damaged) hearing.  Regular instruments are jettisoned as being bourgeois in favour of the more democratic domestic rattles of: bird-pipes, concrete sacs being dragged, ice chinks in a glass of Dandelion & Burdock, ripped cardboard, amplified plastic bags, violently bubbled milk and yogurt pots etc.  Helium high screes march over tape loops of ‘vurrrum-raaaam’ with indistinct clumsy DJ scratching like Grandmaster Flash’s first session on him moms hi-fi slipping a ‘high on crack’ sample against falling down the stairs drum machine.  There’s a bluesy quality to some of this…god know how that got into here…and then, just before you can dismiss this as aimless fucking about I’m reminded this is just a fag paper away from James Tenny’s classic tape piece  ‘Blue Suede’ from 1961.  The Lactations know their history man!  For today and today only this tape has the distinction of being the exact end point of what music is and what it can achieve.  Awright!

dylan - acrylic widow

Dylan Nyoukis – The Acrylic Widow Vinyl (Discombobulate)

As of writing this is still unreleased but early 2013 will see this burst forth like pus.  There are four measured tracks here.

  1. Dry coughs and outta-wack piano chords play into Boy Scout bike repairs, ‘test the bell, spin the wheel!’  Hot air leaks from a perished rubber hose.  With knuckles like hazelnuts, these sounds shine like delicately laid cobblestones, laid end-to-end without no fuss or haste, they are tram tracks.  Late night thumps, ‘boof, baff’ and a lousy Soft Machine organ solo talks a Brighton raver down from gritted jaw oblivion.
  2. Ideas are put through the wringer in stereo effect.  The domestic bric-a-brac builds up: a motorcycle revving, the dry crunch of gravel underfoot…a jumble sale of sweaty woollens, singing out through pinched throat to make un-sense of the phrase ‘iss, sum bear-lae-um’.  An unexpected kitchen sink gamelan makes for a feverish listen. Tension is introduced via leathery lunged accordion but there’s no crass crescendo.  Fading out like pinched guts.
  3. Euro voices abound in tangled syntax.  Verbs sounds & nouns renamed.  Sure, there’s blubber and chunder…’you, you, you and me’ that’s slam-up-bang to babby titter-chat for starters.  Then the downs come in, re-directed by taut tape loops making the ecstatic, grooving on the surface of bubble.   The proclamation, ‘I’m right here’ leaves us in no doubt who you are sharing your damp bedsit with tonight, slurping up the old wine as red as pooled blood.
  4. Another take on the stretched ritual.  A parrot squawks underwater struggling for fresh O2.  Furious eraser scurrying action is met with the stony silence of a 14 year old girl while apples crunch between strong white teeth.  Our old friends, words, are worried and fretted in a dark experiment; turned over looking for new seams and valves to shuck and prise open like ripe clams until mucus-like muscle slips free and falls to the flagstones below.

This is a living séance with The Acrylic Widow.  Wisdom from the Old Ones, the thin Venn diagram slice between frantic scuttling & sweet Miskatonic stoned.


…and so we end the extract with a fittingly festive Lovecraft reference.  Many thanks again to Joe for his kind permission to post these great reviews.  His complete 2012 round-up will be available at the end of the month over at the Posset myspace blog.  Reading it, and chasing up the goodies that it describes, will give you something to do in that null week between Christmas and New Year after you’ve broken all your new toys…

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