All the sad drops are falling down….

It was with some unabated glee that I received a post on Facebook of some mixes of the forthcoming Sandells album – an album which has no title as yet as I understand it…

Having “recorded” the band some time back in a cramped studio in the radio station I was, and am, very aware of their capabilities. Tim Lyons has been around the Manchester scene long enough to absorb all of the best elements of music and distill them into something special, and his vocal qualities, bass playing and trumpet skills are well known. Johann Kloos is the current renaissance man of the Salford Music Scene, producing as nearly many albums as that basto Passage of Time and offering a sometimes quirky, often eclectic, and always high quality set of tunes, melodies and lyrics (see below). Add to mix the exceptional drumming of Brian Benson, a man whose dancing skills are legendary, and you have the perfect trio.

Some of these songs are known from that session, some were released in live form on the “Alien Intelligence” album which is still available – here. However it is always been a given that a studio recording of this music was an essential desire for any discerning audiophile.

The continuity clause on this review is that these are not the finished articles that I am listening to…..Johann has been remixing the tracks and still needs to get Tim and Brian’s final say so on what is released. Having spent some time trying to get approval to the radio session recordings I am aware of their attention to getting the final product “right” however I would say that this latest batch of mixes is pretty good indeed. Johann has captured the live feel of the band whilst also managing to add some layers of studio fun. There is an open, almost panoramic, feel to the sound.

It is unashamedly psychedelic in parts, viciously kraut-punk ish mostly, and generally all rather marvellous. I continue to wait with some anticipation for the final product – pending that you can listen to the mixes yourself….

And talking of Mr Kloos and his productivity I do feel bound to share with you the details of his excellent work this year…..

In an attempt to recuperate my aching back I had all of these on a loop on the nano for a very slow amble around the highways and by-ways of Greater Eccles today and I have to say I was very impressed by Johann’s continued inventiveness, eye for detail and slightly whimsical view of the world. I would highly recommend all of the above – but if you want a place to start try “Teeth” which is packed to the gills with excellent tunes.

So here’s hoping 2014 is the year when Sandells album gets released, that they start gigging again, and perhaps, dare I suggest that Mr Kloos gets a band together to showcase his talents?


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