Fascinating Things : Issue 75

Well chums there’s been an extremely eclectic mix of things in this week so without further ado lets look at some of the exciting new music coming your way….

Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records and artist-run cassette label Practical Records present Rachel Mason‘s new album ‘Das Ram’ LP on November 18th…

Avec Le Soleil Sortant De Sa Bouche release their second studio album “Pas pire pop, I Love You So Much on January 20, 2017″…

Keeping up my Antipodean musical obsession I was recently contacted about Fraudband. They are a duo from Melbourne with their own, rhythm based take on psychedelic-rock. They steer clear of the typical sounds within this genre by leaning on influences such as Sonic Youth, Dirty Three and The Birthday Party and they sound like this…

Berlin-based trio The History of Colour TV is back with new music, presenting ‘Wreck’, the first single from their forthcoming third album ‘Something Like Eternity’. You can stream the single here.

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Hiphop pioneers Dälek will be touring this month for a week of live shows, following on from the release of their 2016 comeback LP, Asphalt For Eden (Profound Lore), the first new record from the NYC trio since 2009. Ahead of these shows, they have released a brand new track, ‘Molten’, and the wind-tunnel production and furious wordsmith delivery that have become the group’s calling card have been amped up to reflect the song’s theme… dates are

22/11 – The Louisiana, Bristol
23/11 – Saint Lukes, Glasgow
24/11 – Chunk, Leeds
25/11 – Thomas House, Dublin
26/11 – Corsica Studios, London
27/11 – Islington Mill, Sunny Salford

The Comet is Coming have released a new single, “Final Eclipse”, which you can stream and purchase now via Bandcamp. It is the first new music from the three-piece since the release of their critically acclaimed, Mercury Prize-nominated LP Channel The Spirits, though the band had also shared some remixes since it’s release. They are playing Band on the Wall on December 11th.

Lawrence English, composer, artist and Room40 curator returns with a brand new record “Cruel Optimism” on  17th February 2017, here’s a taster….

Camilla George is set to release “Isang” on Ubuntu Music early next year. This will be her debut album – the MOBO nominated saxophonist, composer and teacher is already an established musician on the jazz circuit ….not sure if this track is on the album but I’m having to use this rather than the ones I’ve been sent as they are can’t be shared at this stage. What i’ve heard sounds excellent so watch out for this artist…

Dallas shoegazers Bloodhounds On My Trail have released a single ‘Places Like This’ and announced  their ‘Haunted Isles’ EP….

Southern Lord are  reviving the music of Philadelphia’s lost punk heroes, Ruin. Long considered a treasured local delicacy of the city’s earlier hardcore scene, Ruin released two albums during their original run, 1984’s He-Ho and 1986’s Fiat Lux, both of which will be combined for a vinyl release this December.  The LP will see release on December 9th and pre orders are now live via the Southern Lord store.

tthm_ruinlivewebversion
Photo Credit : Dan Long

Canada’s budding Label Obscura has announced that it will release a limited run vinyl reissue of ‘The Coastaline Fire’ LP – the final album by Ontario indie rockers Chore before they disbanded in the early 2000s. All tracks have been remastered for vinyl. It’s a damn fine album and is well worth checking out…

And finally, Friday 18th sees the release of the latest collaboration from Ian Moss and Andy Quayle as Moss Skellington. Following on from two well received singles the duo have now completed their first album “The Lump”. Characterised by Moff’s unique musical vision and Ian’s sharp polemic and biting wit with words, the album brings together two iconoclasts to create a unique musical vision. With subjects as diverse as posh food, murderers and sibling relationships the album provides a heady mix and includes the magnum opus the 17 minute “The Mouse Engine” which was premiered in Leeds earlier this year. The album was mixed by Space Museum who also contributed to the title track.

You’ll be able to download the album from midnight 18th November via Bandcamp

 

 

 

Fascinating Things : Issue 62

in And the summer rolls in with it’s misery inducing mix of ridiculous heat and torrential rain, there’s quite a lot going on but frankly I can’t be bothered getting out of my sweat soaked chair to attend. Instead a ramble through some of the better things that have been sent my way in recent weeks…..

A current obsession is The Drones (no not the ones from Manchester 1976 but the Australian current band). Their recentish album “Feelin’ Kinda Free” manages to do what a lot of people cannot seem to deliver these days which is sound like nothing else that’s prowling around the ether at the moment. The exciting thing (and it takes a lot to get me excited these days) is their unique use of guitars to create new sounds and the adoption of some interesting dance flavoured rhythms on the album. Their back catalogue is equally fascinating and is worth investigating.

From Atlanta, Georgia Gringo Star  (it took a while to sink in with me but the relevance of the name becomes more apparent when you hear the music) have just signed with Nevado Music and have a new album called “The Sides And In Between” out on August 26th.  Pending that they have a single out called ‘Rotten’ which according to the promo:

“presents Gringo Star’s love for nostalgic sounds of rock in the style of The Kinks. Sat between The Shins’ folky twang and Tame Impala’s generosity on the reverb, the melody beautifully shines through the raw psychedelic finish.”

My immediate reaction on seeing the vid was it felt like the The Beatles to some extent, it may have been the Rickenbackers that sparked that thought, or maybe there’s a bit of Yardbirds in there somewhere. The forthcoming album, which I haven’t heard yet, is described elsewhere as a the bands own version of British invasion rock with the sounds of The Animals, Tame Impala and Buddy Holly. I get The Animals reference.

On our record label we have the excellent Bouquet of Dead Crows from sunny Cambridge, and they can seen working as the backing band for Gavin Chappell- Bates who has a single out on the back of his recent album. It is the opening track from the album “Church of Rock and Roll”. Sadly I don’t have a video or a soundcloud at this point but search him out on You Tube and you will see what he is up to.

Alternative electronic producer Dean Garcia, the man behind seminal alternative rock band Curve and electronic dream pop duo SPC ECO, has joined forces with Preston Maddox of post-punk noise-rock band Bloody Knives in a new project, called S T F U. Their debut LP ‘What We Want’, planned for release on July 29, is all about unfolding hypnotic loops that gradually progress to uptempo electronics, trip-hop laden beats, lush noise entwined with shimmering synths, and Maddox’s hazy trance-like vocals. Dreamy with a shoegaze backbone this is epic stuff.

Vogue Dots are Canadian and deliver moody, layered pop styled music…..comparisons with Beth Orton have been made, which means nothing to me, but it sounds nice….

Two years after releasing ‘Best-Selling Dreams’ to wide acclaim around the world, Novanta will soon release his new album “Hello We’re Not Enemies” on Seashell Records. The first single from this release is ‘Goðafoss’. Novanta is Manfredi Lamartina, a musician who is originally from Palermo but has been based in Milan for many years now. On this album, Novanta further evolves his sound, falling effortlessly between shoegaze, post-rock and electronica. Sounds like relentless euro-pop to me…..

Those lovely people at Acid Cosmonaut Records have shared a preview from the second album from DSW.  I got a serious 70s flashback when I heard it, pretty heavy blues rock with a metal undercurrent. Lots of wah-wah going on here….!

Wolves In The Throne Room  re-release their 2006 debut album “Diadem Of 12 Stars” through their own Artemisia Records on 17th June. . Its raw analog sound in many ways pays homage to the band’s varied influences: the harsh black metal of Norwegians Ulver and Emperor or their American counterparts Weakling and Ludicra, the monolithic heaviness of Neurosis and Swans, the sorrowful Funeral Doom of My Dying Bride and in places, the mournful goth of Dead Can Dance.  Described by guitarist Nathan Weaver as the rawest and most “punk” of their five full-length releases Diadem Of 12 Stars was recorded live to tape in Oakland by Tim Green. Joined in the studio by Jamie Myers (Hammers Of Misfortune, Sabbath Assembly) and Dino Sommese (Asunder. Dystopia), every song was recorded in one or two takes and the album was mixed without the aid of a computer. Originally released on a small DIY label and unavailable physically for many years, this reissued version has been carefully remastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Service. It’s intense stuff but worth the effort if you want a different take on the sub-genre.

After Ian Moss left Hamsters (Manchester)  in early 1981 the band continued with drummer Steve Middlehurst’s wife Tricia taking the vocalist position before she in turn left due to pregnancy . At this juncture , now down to a three piece, guitarist Bobby Williams became lead vocalist . Wayne Edwards found a studio in Middleton and the band was captured for posterity after explaining to the engineer they most definitely were not after a Wishbone Ash sound. Lo-fi, wonderfully cack-handed, and cocking a snook at the wider music world these three tracks are previously unreleased

 

 

 

 

Fascinating Things : Issue 60

I am somewhat distracted by the cricket season at the moment, and Lancashire are playing remarkably well in case you are the least bit interested, so matters music tend to get shoehorned into the odd 60 minutes or so I can scrape out of the day. There’s a busy week ahead with and Espen Eriksen gig on Thursday and Ed Blaney’s album launch on Friday, the latter being a handy five minute walk from this computer at the rather excellent chinese nosherie in sunny Eccles Town Centre. I’m expecting Ed’s album in the next day or so, and a review will follow hopefully before I attend the launch. There’s been a lot of good gigs on around here but I can’t do the cricket and the gigs or else nothing would get done. There is a huge backlog of things to listen to so i’ve loaded up the Nano so I can have a listen whilst sun-bathing (I wish) at Old Trafford.

So what have we got  for you this week?…….

British shoegaze pioneers Ride have been busy in the past year, including a massive tour, but the band’s frontman Mark Gardener has continued to support his side project Pure Phase Ensemble 4. Their album ‘Live at SpaceFest!’ is the first long-play, featuring Gardener in all his shoegaze space rock glory, to be released since the 1990s. Pure Phase Ensemble 4 ‘Live at SpaceFest!’ is currently available on Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify and the CD is also available on the Nasiono Records website.

Greek hardcore crew Sarabante share a track from their incoming second LP, Poisonous Legacy, which is released on Southern Lord this summer. Loud and scabrous stuff…

Bluesy psych trio Mother Upduff  from Vancouver have a new one out….nice jazzy vibe to this one…

This reminds me of something from the 80s, if only my fact soaked brain could remember what, nice chunky bass sound….they are Eau Rouge from Stuttgart…

Kranky will be releasing the alluring debut full length, Precious Systems, from New Orleans trio MJ Guider (led by Melissa Guion) on July 15th. An ambitious ambient-based record which is described as “subterranean pop and sunset electronics”, it floats between shoegaze and drone in a reverb soaked haze….

Groovy stuff from the peoples republic of Cambridge and better than the average so-called psych stuff floating around the music-web at the moment, there’s a a restless funky edge to it all which ticks several boxes at once…..they are called Psychic Lemon and I think you should listen to them….

Wigan power house trio Deepshade return with their raucous fusion of psyched up alternative/grunge rock with the announcement of their ‘Time’ video single release.
Forming in late 2013 they delivered their debut album ‘Everything Is Popular Is Wrong’ in early 2015. The band David Rybka (Vox/Guitar), Tom Doherty (Bass) and Paul Barlow (Drums).  Good stuff…..

Just in case you think i’m slipping here’s some Dave Graney to finish with this week. Dave is big jazz fan, and often “annoys” the listeners to his excellent RRR Radio Show “Banana Lounge Broadcasting” by peppering it with selected music from the genre. Here he further explores the funky jazz sounds which have regularly popped up during his career.  Elements of this track came from “I like To be Haunted” from the oustanding 2007  album We Wuz Curios, which I append below for comparison purposes. Dave says  “New arrangement , instruments and vocal. New song!”….. it’s a “mistLY” tune, for those of you keeping up with the multiple band names DG uses. I’m really liking this one track a month release schedule at the moment. It concentrates the mind.

 

Fascinating Things : Issue 55

A few thoughts to kick off with this time around……

I was reading some comments on Facebook by a semi-famous musician, from the 1980s,  about a specific genre of music, and how much he hated it, and I thought it was pretty mean spirited, he was particularly venomous in his condemnation. It struck me that there is enough intolerance in the world without getting worked up about music. I readily admit there are styles of music I don’t like, there are bands I don’t like, and there are bands where I maybe like one or two things from their catalogue but the rest leaves me cold. There’s an often used phrase in these circumstances “It’s all about opinion”, which for the most part I agree with, however, and this is the nature of social media these days, some numpty makes a nasty comment about something or another and then the rapid flame wolves (sounds like something from Game of Thrones) descend and the initial transgression expands into a full on hate war. This both dismays and annoys. This is why you will rarely see overtly negative comments in these perorations, I don’t see the point in trashing someones hard work and effort, where there is clear evidence that some time and money has been spent in putting music out there, there are exceptions of course, especially some of the more bland things that tend to get pushed by the music industry.

I get sent hundreds of things a week to listen to, and I always aim to write back to the submitter, whose music  hasn’t caught my attention, with my thoughts and an explanation as to why I will not feature it.  I always feel that a two way connection and conversation on these things is important. Sometimes I don’t get the time to respond,  mostly down to the sheer amount of material that comes my way, II know from experience that it is very frustrating to put music out there and get no response at all so I always try to make the effort.

Enough of my ramblings here are some good things that made the cut this week……

Andre Tajchman is a Belgian indie singer, musician, songwriter and producer based in London. This is his third single which has some very interesting and unique elements. Whilst his music embraces some recent trends there is some fascinating innovation here and it is well worth a listen.

Sinderins have a touch of Family about them. Indeed vocalist David Webster has a lot of Chappo in his stunning vocal acrobatics. I’m not normally a fan of the nu-uk-folk style but this is very good and sounds like late 60s/early 70s stuff. The band’s name is taken from a confluence of roads in their hometown of Dundee.

Previously featured nTTX has a new EP called “Objective”.  Of the two tracks I have heard it is very good indeed, combining a synth-pop feel with a harder EBM edge the results are impressive. Watch out for a track on the Aural Delights podcast in a couple of weeks.

And finally, I had the pleasure of attending an excellent gig last Saturday night at Dulcimer in Chorlton (South Manchester). Featuring Aidan Cross & Johann Kloos, Poppycock, Taser Puppets and West Coast Sick Line.  A packed upstairs room saw four excellent performances from the artists. Notable on the night were the incredible vocal harmonies from Poppycock who just get better and better, and the boundless energy of West Coast Sick Line, who topped off a great evening with a stunning set. I’ll have the pleasure of seeing Poppycock again this Thursday when they are performing at the Eagle Inn in Salford with Franco Bandini, and the legendary Mr Dave Graney.

Dusty and Chaimaine from West Coast Sick Line. photo courtesy of Mark Ridings
Dusty and Chaimaine from West Coast Sick Line. photo courtesy of Mark Ridings

Fascinating Things : Issue 51

Another ramble through the eclectic mixture of things that are sent my way. Amidst a mass of tedious clone music that some commentators are describing as the “big new thing” there are, once in a while. some nuggets that stand out…..

Oakland-based dark punk collective Alaric are set to release their new full length “End Of Mirrors” on May 6th, available on CD, vinyl and digitally via Neurot Recordings and on cassette via Sentient Ruin. Album closer “Angel” is presented below…..somehow it feels a bit like going back to the mid 80s but it has some spark which appeals.

The forthcoming collaboration between Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Bitchin Bajas is very interesting indeed and here is a fascinating video of a track from the album “Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties”…..

Chelsea Wolfe has recently announced the release of the “Hypnos/Flame” 7 inch. It is available from April 1st via Sargent House, the tracks being  from her most recent album “Abyss”. Here is the video for the ethereal and delightful ‘Hypnos’.

Former Foxes front man Nigel Thomas has just released his solo album “Travelling Man” which is a good set of songs and to my mind improves on his previous work with the band. High quality English pop music is the best description, there’s a delightful charm about the set and I recommend it to you. An accompanying video for the track “Que Sera” employs the new 360 degree video technology, which is a bit of fun.

‘Rainmaker’ is the second single from Sarah Williams White’s debut album “Of The New World”. The South London born-and-bred singer and producer is part of the  musical community from her corner of the capital that includes the likes of Henry Wu, Mo Kolours and her brother Paul White. A multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Sarah cites influences including Jamie Liddell, Erykah Badu and PJ Harvey as well as more contemporary acts such as Jamie Woon and Thundercat. A nice jazzy soul thing which you can grab from the peoples republic of Bandcamp.

New Manchester band Ghosts Of Social Networks release debut AA single ‘Love Potion’ / ‘Mockingbirds’ through Integrity Records on 6th May 2016. They sound like the love child of Joy Division and Stone Roses with a smattering of the Jesus & Mary Chain. Can’t find out much about them on-line so I am as much in the dark as you are. Produced by the ubiqitous Gavin Monaghan  ‘Love Potion’ is a dark tale of unrequited love and the use of alcohol to get close to someone. In the most part I like it but it does tend towards the Bonoesque at the end which is a bit off-putting.

The “drum machine gospel” of the lovely Vienna Ditto will be back soon – place your pre-order at Bandcamp. The album is called “Ticks” and releases on May 13th, unfortunately there are no previews available at this point in time.

Mr Mouse and His Space Museum launch their first full length album on April 8th – it’s called “Flags” and finds the duo exploring new sonic avenues. It will be a digital download on German Shepherd Records. Here’s a taster….

 

 

Fascinating Things : Issue 48

It has been strange old week with winter overstaying its’ welcome a little too much for my liking, i’m grateful therefore for the veritable cornucopia of new things to listen to . And in the light of that  lets start off with some shameless self-promotion for the parallel universe that inhabits this space called German Shepherd Records…..

Franco Bandini released a stunning EP last year which I waxed lyrically about. Since them Franco has been to Spain and back, done a handful of live shows, and an informative radio appearance with my good friend Mr Stephen Doyle. The outcome of the latter is an impressive four track EP with an FB tune, two covers and a traditional blues. It’s a free download so why not fill your boots? His version of ‘St James Infirmary’ is particularly good with the lyrics changed to reflect the local landscape.

Whilst we are on matters of a German Shepherd nature I am pleased to record that the new Taser Puppets EP ‘Fossil’, which is rather special and which I featured a video of last time out,  is now available for pre-order with the title track being there for your listening pleasure……

Summer Heart is the solo project of Swedish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist David Alexander. Best known for a nostalgic low-fi sound, David’s sun- bleached latest track ‘The Forbidden’ is “just the thing for those pesky winter blues” according to the promo people. This drifting dream-pop transcends the usual fodder that we are fed as hip and stands on it’s own Cocteauish reverb soaked feet. There is an interesting mixing effect in parts which increases the density of the soundscape and provides an intriguing listening experience.

I’ve been neglecting local turn Eugene The Oceanographer, mainly I guess because I was put off by the name, which is a little remiss of me. However I couldn’t really ignore the latest Bandcamp release which is a fascinating amalgam of sound collage, plunderphonics, sampling and such like. Themed around the 1988 Seoul Olympics the collection is in the spirit of the latest rush of found sound escapades mixed with a Manc (Sub) Pop sensibility, and some great, and sometimes surprising, guest vocals. It all takes me back to the early 80s in parts with nods towards Heaven 17 and Eno. Well worth a look and it’s pay what you want.

Following the success of Ulver‘s ATGCLVLSSCAP and KKKMO‘s Are You Land or Water, newly established UK label House of Mythology will soon be putting out their two next releases, Laniakea‘s A Pot of Powdered Nettles (featuring members of Ulver and Zu), and multiple award-winning Norwegian guitarist Stian Westerhus‘ (recently seen with Nils Petter Molvaer) new solo album, Amputation. Both albums are scheduled for April 29th.  HoM have commissioned a set of teaser videos, the first installments of which can be found below.

I featured The Boho‘s great new single ‘Leaders Don’t Love You” on the Aural Delights Podcast a couple of weeks back, the video has turned up and is worth a watch. It’s out on March 14th.

London four-piece, The Lazlo Device who are a dreamy indie mix of melodic guitars and contemplative vocals have a new single. Taking inspiration from the likes of Radiohead, Joy Division and Arcade Fire, they count Dominic Howard (Muse) and Howard Donald (Take That) amongst their fans already, not that influences my thinking in any way. Band member Ross works as a studio manager at Radio 1 and Dan has been a successful filmmaker for the BBC over the last few years, with their music set to be featured on a forthcoming BBC documentary about the Black Panthers. ‘Looking Glass’ is their latest single out March 4th from album ‘Duelism’ which will be out later in the year. A catchy little chorus gave it the edge in this instance but generally I wouldn’t go for this sort of fey four skinny indie kids type of stuff.

 

Turning to things that will be emerging on future editions of the Sonic Attack podcast there are a few things to attack your lugholes with:

  • As Southern Lord prepares for the March release of ‘II’ — the second LP from  Chicago-based, described as a death metal band,  Like Rats – founded by members of Weekend Nachos, the initial single of the album’s final track, “Grief Incarnate.” has been shared but it is not embeddable so you’ll have to leap over there yourself – impressive hard sound and have listen. Doesn’t sound like Death Metal to me – more hard rock with a gritty edge. On the basis of that album is something to look forward to. Interesting contemplative solo piano coda.
Like Rates
Like Rats – photo by Peter Nelson
  • Swedish band , Extermination Temple, release their first vinyl with the ‘Lifeless Forms’ 7” EP in early March. The band is another project from the same artist who creates the music for  hardcore band Broken Cross. The self-titled 2014 cassette demo was an equal mix of black and death metal,  but the impending Lifeless Forms 7″ is undoubtedly overall more death metal. There’s a good punk speed to it mind you.

Extermination Temple promo photo

  • Oakland-based old-school death metal band Necrot, which features current and former members of Acephalix, Vastum, Saviours, Watch Them Die and Atrament, has joined the Tankcrimes Records roster for the release of their ‘The Labyrinth’ full-length. Featuring eight tracks garnered from three hard-to-find and long out-of-print demo tapes,the album was recorded at Lennon Studios by the late great Jef “Leppard” Davis (Abscess, Acephalix, Vastum) and at Earhammer Studios with Greg Wilkinson (Brainoil, Annihilation Time, Noothgrush), mastered at Mammoth Sound by Dan Randall (Ghoul, Toxic Holocaust) and will see release on April 15th on CD, digitally and deluxe, foil-stamped LP. They make a lot of noise for a trio, it’s abrasive and unforgiving stuff, and rather enjoyable.

Necrot_photo1

  • Tankcrimes are also putting out  the new LP from long-running Stockholm hardcore band, Victims, with the April release of the band’s sixth album, ‘Sirens’.  With twelve tracks in just under thirty minutes this high quality, solid, punk metal at its’ best, although the drums could have been mixed a tad higher for my tastes. There are some good fist pumping anthems here!

Victims

  • Ventura, California-based technical death metal unit, Inherit Disease, release their third full-length on April 8 via Unique Leader Records. Titled ‘Ephemeral’, the follow-up to 2010’s seminal Visceral Transcendence was recorded at Seahorse Sound Studios by Samur Khouja (Condemned, Arkaik, Flesh Consumed) and features mixing/mastering by Sasha Borovykh (Epicardiectomy, Cerebral Effusion) from Tsun Tsun Productions. This is mad stuff, completely stone bonkers insane, the drumming is d-beat in extremis and the vocals sound like the plumbing in my bathroom when the pipes are blocked up. The guitars are mysteriously way back in the mix as the gurgling vocals dominate, and the drum sound is most peculiar. Not sure I get it and want to listen to the thing all the way through but it’s certainly unique.

InheritDisease2012.jpg

  • Highlight of this recent slew of metal is the new one from Mannheim’s Black Shape of Nexus called ‘Carrier’.  A fantastic album continuing the bands run of quality releases. Balancing pretty scary intense doom with more restrained passages of bluesy guitar figures it’s a series of stylistic contradictions which work perfectly well in the round. This is a band willing to explore new corners, and avenues, and able to put the disparate elements together to create a compelling soundscape.

 

Fascinating Things : Issue 39

And so into 2016 by mopping up the rear end of 2015 and running through my top twenty albums of the year.

Theologian’s latest is 70 minutes of industrial noise, buried drum machines, layers of ambience, occasional spoken word, howling guitars and menacing intent. Those bought up on a diet of  early Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle and Test Department will no doubt enjoy it. It’s a distracting enough listen to get me through a boring New Years Day afternoon with nowt good on the bad telly-v. Anyway it’s called “Dregs” and you can find it on Lee Bartow’s own Annihilvs Power Electronix label. With Bartow on this release are Daniel Suffering (Whorid, Slavernij) and Dave Brenner (Militia Men, Heidnik), together with vocal contributions from Gretchen Heinel, Faith Ciavarella, and additional percussion  by BJ Allen (Full Scale Riot). (to be featured on Aural Delights Podcast 163)

THEOLOGIAN-Devil's Night 2015-live2 [photo by Gretchen Heinel]
Photograph by Gretchen Heinel
Mark Corrin finished off his ambitious plan to release 12 EPs in 2015 with hours to spare. Number 11 is a remarkable trio of stark improvised pieces from a session in Istanbul.

He has saved the best to last with Number 12, a breezy, bright and compelling trio of electro-pop gems which demonstrate Mark’s more accessible side. A fantastic achievement across all 12 releases which demonstrate considerable variety, invention and quality.

A germ ridden Dr Kloos completes a busy year with a great live album from the Crescent in Salford. Containing some of his “greatest hits” the set, which was recorded on the 6th June 2015 by Jim Watts, is a great summary of Johann’s work to date.

I don’t know about a lot of this so-called “nu folk” stuff. Most of it leaves me pretty cold. This chaps voice has a quality and the lyrics are suitably interesting to grab my ear. He is Jamie Beau and this is the lead track from his debut album ‘Tales of the Earth, Tales of the Sea…’. I am reminded, to some degree, of John Martyn.

Richard J. Birkin, so called “sound artist, composer, live concert performer and creative technologist”, will release his  new 11-track album “Vigils” on March 11th 2016 via Reveal Records, which will be available in CD, LP and digital download formats. Here’s what he sounds like…

And to close my top twenty albums of 2015 starting with my best of the year…..

The Seven Twenty – The Seven Twenty

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Just Sit A Think And Sometimes I Just Think

The Holy Soul – Fortean Times

Alif – Aynama –Rtama

Monkeys In Love – Take The Biscuit (couldn’t find anything on You Tube from the album so here’s a classic)

Dave Graney & the mistLY – Play mistLY for me – live recordings vol 1

Moff Skellington – The Corkscrew Tongue

JD Meatyard – Taking The Asylum

Niche – Heading East

Flies On You – Etcetera

Heroin In Tahiti – Sun and Violence

Dilly Dally – Sore

Mammoth Penguins – Hide and Seek

The Lancashire Hustlers – What Made Him Run

Moff Skellington – Scribnalls

Robert Forster – Songs To Play

Dave Graney – Once I Loved The Torn Oceans Roar

Dead Sea Apes – Spectral Domain

The Masterbakers – Clouds Over Happy Town