the tin skeleton: joe murray on blood stereo, luke poot, lovely honkey, gate

February 16, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Blood Stereo – The Lure of Gurp (CD-r, Chocolate Monk, choc.320, edition of 47)

Luke Poot/Lovely Honkey – Shame 3  (CD-r or download, Angurosakuson)

Gate – Saturday Night Fever (12″ vinyl, MIE, MIE036, edition of 600)

Gurp frontGurp back

Blood Stereo – The Lure of Gurp

A selection of mini-trax that hiss as natural breath: in and out, in and out.

B. Stereo leave the long-haul jam behind for this one and concentrate on a smorgasbord of lung expand and a coy pinkie on the tape head.  In their on-going campaign of pitching formal versus informal sound, the wooden spoon is spun thrice round the bowl in heavy, sugary swipes.   Can I lick the spoon?  Yeah man, why not!

Moves are dramatic and executed with confidence in bold smears (a palette knife spreads ruddy ochre across smooth glass) so things are very well defined but not necessarily primary in colour.

As a result melancholy haunts certain corners.  Examples?

‘Huntiegowk’s Return’ soundtracks that most modern of ills, the loneliness of crowds.  This rumble is handled with a touch as light as mushroom spore.  The title track scoffs and mutters while a Chelsea Pensioner polishes his brass buttons, rum-scented wind whistling out of stiff pink nostrils. Ever tried to catch a memory?  They often move too fast for your fingers and dissolve on contact anyway.  For this study of Tantalus tune into ‘The Hand That Will Not Cup’ and follow the psychic instructions.

But the best example of this sepia-tinted longing erupts on ‘Gob & Soupy’, the Shipping Forecast through a post-ecstasy downer.  Or it’s hippy Elvish.  One of the two.

Whilst never regular church-goers, Blood. S are adept with the dusty church torpor that settles on dull Sunday worship.  That blanket-heavy hum that sucks away at your vitals but buffs the rusty brain like you ate up double portions of sleepy lettuce.   I swear I’m transported back to Methodist Ministries with the ‘rambient’ (random/ambient) churn of heavy organ keys pushed to release grimy gas.

And if I can hear the twitch of a goatee from the under-represented jazz-cat, I worry not.  Everyone’s favourite bass-clarinettist, Yoni Sliver’s damp fluttering is taken apart in a super skilful way (and I should know- I’ve tried it) to re-build into a B&W herky-jerky chorus making Korky the Cat jiggle and swing – on the yip!

The No Audience-Underground is often criticised for being amber-stuck, uncritical and self-satisfied.  Silly goose I say!  Check out this latest BLDSTR infotainment disc (complete with pics, sleeve notes and collage or something) to hear a stretching out and cheeky toe wiggle.  Its new territory marked out with heady musk.

If this doesn’t make those plants grow I’m calling you Percy Thrower.


Luke Poot / Lovely Honkey – Shame 3

I’m feeling a bit Top Trumps.

Name: Luke Poot

Avant Schtick: Tape farmer, ideas basket, office stationery re-claimer

Distinguishing features:  Mighty colourful beak & ‘sad’ eyes

Hidden Weakness: Feared of magicians

Luke Poot’s singular furrow has been ploughed across the sub-toilet circuit for the last five or six years and often leaves the casual listener in need of a new fold-out map and clearly defined landmarks.  Listen to this without basecamp support and a Sherpa or two and you risk being lost in a white-out of pro darts, taped slurp interruptions and heavy breathing  all delivered with the expert timing of a 60-a-day stand-up comedian (circa 1977).

But back to the map.  Two live recordings bookend some Manchester-born radio sessions that sound unusually strapped inside my skull; like Poot is playing from the inside out – a most disconcerting osmosis.  More of this later…

‘I Wanna Be a Cape (Live in Notts)’ is a brief 6 mins of prepared tape, infrequent muttering and embarrassed silence.  A total environment is carefully laid out but exists just out of reach, making me miss whatever fetid dungeon this was first crouched in.

The three radio pieces occur as part of an equipment breakdown. The first is a classic mouth/tape recorder duet where prior planning only accounts for half the excitement.  The seat of the pants call and response milks some strange teats indeed, some half-got football reference adds to the sickly approach, like watching Noel’s House Party running a sweaty fever. Part two features the half-explosive screams Poot has become famous for…being both powerful and polite, more like an abortive sneeze I suppose.  They are certainly becoming increasingly nasal as the track goes on and I feel like ticking off the severity on a Beaufort scale.  And at last, it had to happen, Richard Harris gets his first oblique mention in the fabled Poot-ography.  Part three is a study of failed whistling gibbers and gobbles with what sounds like some very real throat damage as fleshy tubes get pinched sharp.  There is a discernible story arc (again football related) but bearing no relation to Roy of the Rovers.

‘Happy, Yeah? (Live in Sheffield)’ follows no such narrative and seems to be a secretly recorded tape made of John Cale walking his favourite lady out on a date.  The sun is starting to set and everything is relaxed in buttery yellow light.  They pass hang-outs and cherished restaurants.  Poot is following behind the couple with an outstretched hand.  He gives the command and Sea Lions spout out of the man-hole covers (it’s New York right?) clattering them aside and, in fishy unison, chant and honk a Backstreet Boys version.  All whiskery naturally and over in five brisk minutes.

I recommend this highly.


Gate – Saturday Night Fever

It seems to be a universal truth that most humans can’t bear to hear their own voice on tape.  You’re instantly confronted by your worst self-image without the filter of selected hearing or (in my case) regular oblivious dumbness.

Once you join that vocal jaxx brigade you’ve got to get used to your strangulated vowels and plummy neck pretty darn sharp.  It’s not pleasant but you get used to it.  You dig?

But what really makes me knock-kneed with fear is the prospect of capturing an image of myself dancing.  It happened once and what I viewed was an almost evolutionary wrongness.  Like a gin-soaked St Bernard reared up and deciding ‘four legs bad’ I folded myself into 6 foot 3 inches of tangled limbs and chin-drenched shaking.  I’m not a dancer.  I’m a grotesque.

I think it’s for this reason I’ve steered clear of so much ‘dance music’ in my life.  I love the idea of euphoria blossoming up from your feet and gushing out your blowhole.  I love the concept that freedom of movement unhitches my brain for a few blessed minutes until the lights and sound replace the fetid sump oil of my soul.  I like watching people dancing but shudder at the thought of actually doing it myself.

So it’s with clammy hands I pick up Michael Morley/Gate’s new record, an exploration of disco’s glittery fulcrum – Saturday Night Fever.

It’s a 12 inch, of course it is… the ultimate dance format, with four extended loop-driven swoons, smooth as Calpol.

Horns! Horns unapologetically honk brassily from the front end of ‘Asset.’ MMorley tells me I should be dancing (did you not read that last bit mate?) and, despite myself, I begin to twitch a little until all things buckle under Dead C-heavy guitar clouds.  As the kids say…

pretty sweet.

Are those palm trees?  Rich coconut oil drips from swollen husks. I’m ‘on the strip’ with Vince Neil and the boyz.  The sunlight is blinding as something by Circle plays on the AM radio and the Wolfman Jack cries ‘Licker’.

Fucking ‘ell Vince,

I say,

this rawks!

Vince just winks and flashes a gold molar.

The shortest track, ‘Caked’, is still over 9 mins long and boxy and shallow.  This is no creepy insult; I mean it’s all jittery surface, like a frozen lake.   The action takes place at your eye level and concentrates on wild wobbling and heavy keys.

OK… things have been pretty great so far but the closer ‘Hijack’ might just be an example of bright-shiny-footloose perfection.  A nagging set of bells/parping vocals loop in tight little circuits building up a mesh of rhythms.  Our Mr Morley’s hang-dog singing (he’s a 21st century Jona Lewie for sure) is gravy on the steak but the real genius is revealed in the fade out (almost half the length of the track) that strips away dance floor to focus on the reinforced mechanics, the tin skeleton I’ve been raving on for the last 10 minutes.

Like fluff on a needle it’s a beautiful static ruffle: pffft… pfffft… pfffft.


Chocolate Monk



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