Music Diary – 1st January 2012

New Years Resolution – as the New Year starts – keep a daily diary of new music received so as to have some sort of record – not a bad idea given my memory…..so to kick of…and from the last week or so ….

  • Five new demo tracks from Kill Pretty – which will form part of a twelve track album coming out in January – all rather marvellous. Recorded in Stockport. Some classic Ian Moss lyrics and great playing from the Duttons and Mr Leigh. The band to watch in 2012 I prophesy somewhat giddily.
  • Got some new demos from The Coke Authority just before Christmas which are all rather good – and include a new version of the rather excellent Act A Fool. Another band to keep an eye out for.
  • Three tracks from various members of Day For Airtrikes (all getting a bit Animal Collective this lads!!) viz Little Idiot, Mi Amo Simmy (as featured earlier in 2011) and Claw The Thin Ice (aka Ian Breen) – all great especially the Breen track. Perversely, released on the edge of Xmas, meaning calling it an Xmas release was a little odd, the music transcends any seasonal association. Catch the seperate Little Idiot release on Bandcamp,  an interesting ambient work-out, plus the EPs etc from the other two – all good stuff. Fascinating how the various elements of DFA sound totally different from the combined sound.
  • New music from Toska Wilde received – now working with Luis Drayton. Three tunes which mix sci-fi melodrama, oriental melodies and electro-pop. The menacing blend of Drayton’s deeper voice and Wilde’s lighter tones with the ambient sounds are interesting indeed.
  • New album received from Lisa of Magnetic Island – rather fine – will definitely get some serious airplay – able to mix dream pop with a harder New York sound with ease.
  • Very impressed by Comet Sands who gave me a link to the their Bandcamp stuff – definately a band to watch out for in 2012. Their tune Andromeda has an immediacy and quirky likeability that demands hearing.
  • The interestingly named Curry Quiche sent me some tunes……..they have an acceptably listenable blend of 60s garage sensibility and psychedelic weirdness that sets them apart from the rest.
  • And at a local level the new single from John Herring has arrived (starts in the usual JH reflective fashion and then builds into a memorable piece of motorik melodicism) , also  have new tunes from Turrentine Jones and Hunting Bears. All great!
  • Marcus Miller has “revisited” Miles Davis first Warners album “Tutu” – two CDs of live stuff wherein the original vignettes are extended to overlong funky jams – also includes music not on Tutu – e.g. Jean Pierre (wherein we get three or four minutes of slap bass before the theme kicks in) – quite impressed with the ambient reworkings of some of the source material – nice loose feel – and Christian Scott does a passable Miles impression, but generally I guess I wish it was one CD shorter and he had got a producer in who knows when less is more. Can’t fault the production which is as sharp as you can get.

You can hear most of these, if not all, on my shows week beginning January 4th and 9th.

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Aural Delights Radio Show – 21st December 2011 – Albums of the Year Part 3

The third of four shows dedicated to my albums of the year as selected by myself, fellow Salford City Radio DJs and a group of ne’er-do-wells from a Fall forum somewhere in etherspace

Deerhunter – Wash Off  – Rhapsody Original (June) – recorded live in Austin at the annual Rhapsody Rocks SXSW party. A memorable opening track from a damn fine album.

Moon Duo – Run Around – Mazes (March) – The Wooden Shjips Ripley Johnson and organist Sanae Yamada in full psyche drone mode for their second album. Also remixed.

Magazine – Do The Meaning – No Thyself (October) – I wasn’t too sure on this one myself but the weight of opinion amongst the chums was that it was a return to form. I was a little perplexed with some of the lyrics and I thought their was an element of self parody in parts.

Dr Tequila – Dr Tequila – Dr Tequila (September) – Blues soaked latino dance craziness from Ritchie Barron and his coterie of experienced Californian musicians who create great party music.

Across Tundras – In the Name of the Rio Grande – Sage (May) – Southern Gothic metal americana with a smattering of country. Real in your face music with an attitude.

White Fence – And By Always – In Growing Faith (January) – trippy, distortion-laced, psychedelic pop from Tim Presley who seems to be making this his main project following the demise of Darker My Love, apart from occasional paternity leave cover for The Fall.

The Suzukis – Built In – The Suzukis (July) – marvellous first outing from this band from Wigan – big things are predicted and it is justified.

Van Der Graaf Generator – Highly Strung – A Grounding In Numbers (March) – the 12th studio album by my reckoning and a real return to form after the disappointment of Trisector. Also remarkably short songs for this band but still with their trademark punk-prog approach.

Peter Hammill – Central Hotel – PNO, GTR, VOX (October) – PJAH hard at work, on his own, over two discs live at various venues throughout the land – including sunny Salford (I was present at said event). Disc One is Peter with piano, Disc Two is Peter with Guitar. An amazing version of the closing track from the 1981 album Sitting Targets.

Day For Airstrikes – Get In My Car – Adam, Wez, Ian, John, Danny, Rita, Sue and Bob Too (May) – the new soundtrack to the film of the latter part of the album title which was performed only once at the Sounds from the Other City Festival in May. The lovely mop-tops from South Manchester get into an altogether more reflective mood.

To listen to the show click on the link

Aural Delights Radio Show – 29th June 2011 – Electronica/Ambient Special

Well I’ve been promising this to various luminaries round these parts over the last six months so it’s about time I got off my bottom and put a show together of this nature. The genre specification is a tad obtuse here as some of the things on the show are outside of the broad boundaries of Electronica/Ambient but i’ve generally kept pretty close to the brief and in doing so I’ve managed to incorporate quite a bit of “local” stuff.

  1. Cabaret Voltaire – The Voice of America/Damage is Done – The Voice of America : the masters of electronic ambience with the opening track from their second album. Most of this was analogue which demonstrates the need to junk all this digital VST tomfoolery and get back to playing source instruments. They were never as good after Chris Watson left and the first three albums still hold up as classics. This music had a great affect on me post-punk and built on my love of industrial/electronic sounds.
  2. Borland – Hot Orion – Supernova Lovers  : The aim was to ensure that local acts got a good look see on the show and who else would I include but the mighty Borland who I have been championing for nigh on 3 years now. A new set of tunes is promised when Breen and Gregg can drag themselves away from their other projects (see later in the show) so in anticipation of that a track from the trio of releases from last year which are still available for nowt on Bandcamp.
  3. Borland (Vei Remix) – Clockmen – from the added twiddly bits that came out of the first release on Gulf we hear the Jonn Dean take on the Borland sound with his own unique stamp on the music. Edgy, thought provoking and utterly mesmerising.
  4. The Black Paths – A sneaky preview of a remix of ‘Plan it’ by caro snatch! – thanks Anthony. From Salford tha’ knows. More please Anthony!
  5. Archaeopteryx Eloigns Ichthyosaur – The Actual Cartographer – Sings Paeans To Euphoria And Destruction : I got this in the post from the other side of the world. Streaming on the link at the moment. A fascinating album. The creator of this artefact wishes to remain anonymous.
  6. Toxic Idol – Spooks – Quarter Life : a product of the increasingly mysterious Captain Malibu from the nether regions of Blackrod. Watch this space for more illuminating aural delights in the near future.
  7. Day for Airstrikes– How Do You Know Anything? – Adam, Wez, Ian , John, Danny, Rita, Sue, and Bob too : a marvellous album – available from Bandcamp. A one-off for the band but perhaps one of their greatest achievements. Discuss.
  8. Claw the Thin Ice – Witches at Dusk – Sleep is not for us -Are you quoting Floyd here I wonder Mr Breen? As featured before a debut solo project for one half of Borland with another one following swiftly I am advised.
  9. Hey Colossus – Teased From The Nest- RRR : the promo quite astutely says – “the seventh album for Hey Colossus, and the third for Riot Season. RRR is definitely more varied than previous Colossus records and it explores more subdued, quieter passages. Such moments of calm are not the only varied thing about the new record, Hey Colossus also explore the swooping filmic sounds akin to many a film score, think along the lines of Taxi Driver and Spaghetti Westerns. Some Krautrock-esque mantras also come into the fold, combined with a Nurse With Wound / DNA influence. Alongside this, ‘The Drang’ keeps up the one riff, one tune – like Sabbath done through NEU! That HC are heavily influenced by. There is a choice Berlusconi baiting Can inspired clangathon, ‘I Am Bunga Bunga’, with a rant that is buried but audible. The result of all of these amalgamating sounds is a Hey Colossus album unlike any other, out with the old and in with the new. RRR is the perfect soundtrack for the spring and summer months, assuming you like the idea of the Butthole Surfers manning the BBQ, Faust cleaning out the pool, and GG Allin manning the bar.”
  10. Pikacyu*Makoto – Loid Mlinikata – OM Sweet Home : We Are Shining Stars from the Darkside – I can’t say more than this rather revealing promo –  “An alliance between two figureheads of underground Japanese psych/pop, the musically promiscuous Kawabata Makoto (most famous for his leadership of the legendary Acid Mothers Temple), andAfrirampo’s Pikacyu. No strangers to one another, the pair have not only gigged together with their respective bands but also recorded together, when these two outfits temporarily fused in 2005 to become Acid Mothers Afrirampo (releasing an album of the same name). Now they have distilled their collaboration, all other players being stripped away to leave the core of Pikacyu’s manic drums and vocals, and Makoto’s schizoid guitar conjurings. OM Sweet Home: We Are Shining Stars From Darkside is unlike anything either culprit has produced before, both structured and freeform, tuneless and beautiful. Pikacyu’s drums pummel, jitter, crash and stumble, but steadfastly refuse to groove. She layers her voice several times, competing with maniacally pitch-shifted versions of herself to bring you what is, in their words, “a story about the cosmic shaman Pikacyu vs the master of the darkness Makoto… including the full love from the universe!!”. Makoto attacks his guitar, cloaking himself in reverb to produce a wall-of-sound, alternating between melody and noise.”
  11. Tangerine Dream –  Circulation of Events – Atem : from one of three early albums which are infinitely superior to the mid 70s stuff and beyond as heard played by Fluff Freeman on the Saturday back in the pre-punk days when the summers were hot and the music was cool.
  12. Perplexa – Tribal – Gone Beyond : as introduced by the Outlier lot to our Tony and then passed onto me. Tony and I both reckon this is going to be one of the albums of the year. Marvellous laminal stuff.
  13. The Church of Frozen Tears – Nightmares of a Damaged Brain – Primary Invocation – another Borland side project, or is it adjacent, or even parallel?  Rob Gregg with a chum (not sure who) doing interesting stuff….slight remix by me to allow radio play due to the heavy bass going on in parts.
To listen in click on the link below……

Aural Delights Radio Show – 18th May 2011 – A Farley’s Fumbles Special

Once again my Enzed based chum and campanological co-worker Mr Fothergill Farley selects a goodly portion of the tunes on the show – in between new stuff that has been sent my way ….. please note the not so deliberate error of calling the Home Time Secret the Home Town Heroes – which is due to the fact that the band had told me they had settled on a new name after I had recorded the show….

1 Lake Radio – Heaven’s Gate – Planet Earth About To be Recycled – thanks to Rob from Borland for bringing this fine band to my attention. You can access this album on Bandcamp . The band is actually a bit more crytographic than I can cope with on my keyboard in that the a in Lake is replaced by a blocked out triangle symbol which plays havoc with radio show recording software as well. Anyway ambient electronica and other bits with found sounds of the highest order.

2 Sun Ra – The Perfect Man – The Singles – Farleys first fumble – a jaunty little number from Sonny which is good for the soul and jazz in your bones

3 Serena Maneesh – Opium Priest – 12″ Split with Fucked Up – the serendipity of searching for new music comes into play here in that Fucked Up were playing Islington Mill a couple of weeks ago and I was researching them and I came across this split and then started digging a bit deeper. They are from Oslo and if you read the Wikipedia article you can see the influences that are fairly evident from this song.

4 Stereolab – Varoom! – Lo Fi EP – another fumble. I have to confess to being a tad ambivalent about this band but this sounds quite good.

5 Day for Airstrikes – Get In My Car – Adam Wes Ian John Danny Rita Sue and Bob Too – suddenly the DFA lads are shipping out material at an unprecedented rate of knots – I mean two releases in the space of 12 months – heaven forfend. The music was a soundtrack to the grimy comedy from way back when which was played once at Sounds from the Other City on May 1st. There’s a rather nice vid-chip of them here courtesy of MCR Skenwipe….not sure about Mr Breen’s hoody though. A more relaxed and ambient DFA than we are used to but rather groovy post-rock I feel.

6 Super Furry Animals – (Drawing) Rings Around the World – Rings Around The World – another Farley fumble and 2001 saw the welsh psyche experimentalists at their most accessible I feel.

7 The Smitten Ones – Crooked Cards – Crooked Cards/Siren – the debut release from Twister Records. A nice blend of twangy guitars, ethereal synths and a baritone vox which is compelling listening. I like this so much I am going to play it next week as well.

8 Ted Benson –  Mystery Man – United Colours of Benson – another Fumble ….. released in 1998 on 7″ vinyl.  Psychedelic hillbillies from that London who morphed into a heavy metal outfit. Quirky I feel is the best description

9 Home Town Secret – Diamond Eyes – Demo Track – as mentioned above I thought they were called the Home Town Heroes but they are called the Home Town Secret. They were called Shortlisted but then they lost a drummer and changed their name. More on next weeks show.

10 The Apples in Stereo – Rocket Pad – Science Faire – another band from the Elephant Six Collective which Farley is so fond of.  This is consistent with the slightly psyche theme to the show.

11 Clayton Road  -Mercury – Single – I got this from one of the promo companies that send me stuff – the rather gnomic biog says “Created by Michael Purvis and previously signed to a label in America, Clayton Road now release their first single since severing ties with the label. Having worked with various band members and producers over the last few years and performed at a number of major venues in his area including the Carling Academy, it is likely you will be hearing a lot more from Clayton Road in the near future!”

12 The Green Pajamas  – Just Another Perfect Day – If You Knew What I Dreamed…..- one of the last of the 22 albums released by the bands between 1994 and 2007. The liner notes say “an album culled from Kelly’s 30+ years of song-writing. Recorded in the summer of 2007, these are all new live band arrangements of sixteen songs, many never before released on record. The band draws from Kelly’s early solo releases Baroquen Hearts, Coffee in Nepal, Ash Wednesday Rain and beyond, as well as The Green Pajamas Book of Hours, Indian Winter and November albums plus two brand new songs, Claire’s Knee and Raise Ravens. Recorded and mixed fast, these stripped down sessions (1 rock band + percussionist) have an exciting and spontaneous energy, the songs themselves being the focus, as opposed to elaborate production of other Pajamas albums. Kelly calls this album an official bootleg.”

To listen to the show click on the link

Salford Music Scene 26th April – Sounds from the Other City – Helmets for Men Stage Preview

I am joined on this show by my good friend, fellow DJ and promoter Mr Tony Thornborough who chats about the acts appearing at the stage he has put together for the excellent Sounds from the Other City Festival  on Sunday May 1st. In between music from Salford bands The Wonderland Trip, Twinkle and Co and Trojan Horse and a track from Day for Airstrikes the latter two of which  are also playing at the festival…….

  1. The Wonderland Trip – Bring Back The Sunshine – from the band
  2. The Inflictors – Higher and Superior – The Inflictors
  3. Death to the Strange – Shades of my mind – from the band
  4. Day for Airstrikes – Epilog the Traitor – Widows
  5. The Suns – Brooke Street Billy – EP
  6. Urchins – Lupine – from the band
  7. Sandbox – A million Marlborough Lights – single
  8. The Blimp – Mystic Sulkstress/Further Action – Curse Curse Bang Bang
  9. Twinkle & Co – Lost in Ordsall – from the band
  10. Factory Star – Black Comic Book – Enter Castle Perilous
  11. Trojan Horse – Ballad of the Swell Mob –  Trojan Horse
 To listen to the show click on the link below

album of the year 2010……

Always a difficult choice, made even more so difficult this year by the veritable cavalcade of excellent albums released in the general locality of where I reside so in order to fit it all into a 60 minute radio show I opted for concentration on the local stuff, with a couple of notable exceptions.  I make no apologies for focusing on Salford and Greater Mancunia artists as I honestly believe there is some excellent music being made around these parts at the moment.

This is the first of five shows over the Christmas period which will select best albums, single/ep/demo, gigs, session and finally band/artist of the year

So what got left out? – well I thought I’d compile a sort of list of the top 50 ones that have either made it onto shows, or have proved pleasurable listening. What’s been somewhat difficult has been a rush of excellent releases towards the latter end of the year and there are still four weeks of 2010 to go so perhaps I should have done this in January – never mind, what’s done is done. So this is the best of rest. The order and the numbering is pretty arbritrary and I’m pretty sure i’ve left out something which I really like but hey-ho it’s just a bit of fun. More importantly I think is the anticipated arrival of the new Amplifier album which sounds very promising indeed.

I have to thank my partners in radio Mr Montgomery, Mr Doyle, Mr Thornborough, Mr Coupe and Ms Zenner for sharing some excellent music with me throughout 2010 and a special “oi up me duck” to the Great Gibbo without whose diligent exploration of new music I would be less knowledgeable than I am.

Disappointments were the new Elvis Costello – which I thought was a little predictible and frankly lazy….and Darker My Love who I think lost the plot somewhat. There were a lot more vying to get on this list but I decided to go for a healthy mix of styles of genres which best reflected my listening. I’ve deliberately left out the more mainstream artists as they get enough column inches already – with the notable inclusion however of some of my particular passions in Mr Springsteen and Ms Newsom.

So in some sort of order here’s my favourites of the year 50 down to 14.

50. Bullets in Madison – We Became Your Family When You Died

49. Conductive Alliance – Water Glyphs

48. Amurekimuri – Amurekimuri

47. Deerhunter – Halycon Digest

46. Eleh – Location Momentum

45. Eluvium – Similes

44. Ty Segall – Melted

43. The Sadies – Cut Corners

42. The Unwinding Hours – The Unwinding Hours

41. The Spacious Mind – The Mind of a Brother

40. Midlake – The Courage of Others

39. Archie Bronson Outfit – Coconut

38. Amiina – Puzzle

37. Invisible Elephant – The Lights Go Out

36. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me

35. Stars Make Shapes – These Mountains are Safe

34. Robin Hitchcock and the Venus Three – Propeller Time

33. Red Sparowes – The Fear is Excruciating but Therein Lies the Answer

32. Silver Mount Zion – Kollaps Tradioxionales

31. PVT – Church With No Magic

30. Killing Joke – Absolute Dissent

29. Bruce Springsteen – The Promise

28. Fang Island – Fang Island

27. AMM – Sounding Music

26. Martha Tilston – Lucy and the Wolves

25. Salem – King Night

24. Maserati – Pyramid of the Sun

23. Gazpacho – Missa Atropos

22. Hammock – Chasin’ After Shadows…Living With Ghosts

21. God is an Astronaut – Age of the Fifth Sun

20. Forest Swords – Dagger Paths

19. First Aid Kit – The Big Black and the Blue

18. ZX+ – +

17. The Strange Boys – Be Brave

16. Sakert! – Facit

15. 65daysofstatic – We Were Exploding Anyway

14. Chrome Hoof – Chrush Depth

So i’m down to the top 13 (this is the number of tracks that fits best in the show length – no other arcane reason than this…..)

13. Rob Jungklas – Mapping the Wreckage

I was blown away by the dirtier sound that Jungklas has continued to use since his return from a sabbatical away from the industry. This years album was full of down and dirty blues with some exceptional slide playing.

12. Day for Airstrikes – Into the Comet

Manchester’s post-rock heroes have been away for far too long and this release – which was extremely long in its gestation – finally emerged at various points in 2010 in various forms – they are stunning live and this album effectively captures their work in 2010.

11. Charlie Barnes – Geekk

I first saw Charlie at a Kin gig in late 2009 and was mightily impressed with his song-writing talents and great voice. He did a great session for me in 2010 and released his debut album which is packed with excellent songs.

10. Moff Skellington – Sperm Jingle Harvest

For a man who released four albums in 2010 its difficult to pick one out as a highlight so i’ve done it at random. The other three are equally as good. He is a true iconoclast and a really nice chap. He deserves a much wider audience.

9. Fall Fan Dave and the Lap Top Dancers – Mind Carved Canoe

Another unique and compelling artists. Someone whose music I have been listening to for a few years now and with this his first album delivered a fascinating set of tunes – diverse and challenging music.

8. AAAK – The Collection

After a long lay-off Ding and Paul brought back their pulsating E.B.M. Building Scape Beats back with great danceable tunes with a great industrial feel. A fantastic double CD which remakes their old tunes on disc one, and provides a great history of the early work of the band on disc two.

7. Dave Graney and the Lurid Yellow Mist – Supermodified

The high priest of cool remaking some older tunes in a new setting. Excellent and memorable song-writing and performing of the highest quality.

6. The Blue Orchids – Slum Cavern Jest

The re-release of the last Blue Orchids album which contains some memorable performances from Martin Bramah – in the absence of studio recordings from Factory Star this is an ample substitute. Martin’s reading of Fred Neil’s “Green Rocky Road” is a particular favourite.

5. The Jannocks – The Jannocks

An exceptional debut from a great band somewhat spoiled by their dissolution in the Autumn when singer Tom Warden emigrated to the Antipodes. Some amazing guitar work and a treatise on the use of feedback in rock!

4. Spencer Cloud and The Range Brothers – Spencer Cloud and The Range Brothers

Another great debut from a band which prides itself on great song-writing and strong vocal performances. Mostly recorded in a garage in Marple and a front room in Romiley this is a class album.

3. The Black Knights – Sickle Sell Saturday Night

A blistering first album from the Irlam duo – voodoo trash blues of the highest order with enough chutzpah to blow a hole in anyone’s ozone layer.

2. The Fall – Your Future Our Clutter

Another great album from the Bard of Prestwich who seems to be turning into a heavy metal fan – a wonderful collection of Fall riffs and repetition.

1. The Inflictors – The Inflictors

A stunning collection of fantastic songs from a band that are so tight they make the bottoms of aquatic fowls look like a wide expanse. One of the best debut albums i’ve ever heard. Stunning song-writing, three great guitarists and fantastic rhythm section. The most read review on this blog and album that demands your attention!