Music Diary #39 – 22nd February 2012

A great new track from Kill for Company came in yesterday, looking forward to seeing them, with Mr Heart and Whipcord at our second music night at the Kings Arms on March 8th……

Great new track in from Scottish band – Kick to Kill,  plus a great new remix by AAAK  of Toska Wilde’s “Kathy Kirby”……

On this weeks Aural Delights…….click this link to listen in

1 Aperture Click Demo
2 Bacchanal Party Down there for the dancing Single
3 West Coast Sick Line Hanging at Picnic Rock Demo
4 Trevor Sensitive and the Locals Saving Albion From Itself Single
5 Comet Sands Hearing the Heartbeat Recordings and Live Demos
6 Buildings Born on a bomb Melt Cry Sleep
7 Et Tu Bruce Never Say Trevor Again Surburban Sunshine
8 gFrenzy Tonight the Kids Sleep In the Car A Lowtides Rising Compilation
9 Hookworms I Have Some Business Out West EP
10 Rebellious Jukebox Slave to Lust EP
11 The Finest Hour Feel the Same Album Sessions
12 Witch Hats Mahoney Pleasure Syndrome
13 Zombie Computer Honest Lies Indian Summer
14 Moff Skellington Ballflowerman Pukes of  A Hot Cloister
15 Hong Kong in the 60s You Can Take A Heart But You Cannot Make It Beat My Fantoms
16 This Wicked Tongue In Collusion Demo
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Music Diary #18 – 18th January 2012 & Aural Delights Radio Show

So i’m currently wending my way through the massive slab of music that is the new Crippled Black Phoenix  album ((Mankind) The Crafty Ape and I’m wondering why it’s sounding so much like “Dark Side of the Moon”  at the beginning – pleased to advise though it sorts itself out from track three onwards and turns out to be a rather interesting slab of progressive post-rock.  There are two CDs worth here so if you are going to take the plunge then I suggest you set aside an evening to give it a good chance of being heard in totality as that’s the best way to do it.

Also being listened to is Dale Cooper Quartet with the Dictaphones  whose new album is called “Metamanoir” ; again the influence of mid period Floyd tends to bubble under the floating synthesis – this is being described by those in the know as Dark Jazz whatever the hell that means? – there is a definite laminal ambient ECM feel to it with its breathy tenor and shimmering guitar chords – the vocals echo ’50s cool jazz……albeit the lyrics are a tad maudlin in places (I suppose that’s the dark part of the jazz?).  Bit of a grower this one I think.

Note that Mr Springsteen has a new album due (and tour) which is described by Rolling Stone as “wild” —– hmmm, we will see.

Anyway on this weeks Aural Delights Radio Show  we have an interesting balance of indie, rock and prog (some of it nu-prog) – you can check out more information about the artists on their varicose Farcebook pages as linked below, and we conclude as usual with a Kiwi Farley Fumble…….listen here

1 Hong Kong in the 60s Footprints Willow Pattern Songs
2 Streaming Lights it’s a Mystery Single
3 Aperture Good to Know You Demo
4 Disappears Hibernation Sickness Pre Language
5 Toska Wilde and Luis Drayton Phasers Set to Stunning EP
6 The Mike Gatto Band The Phone Box Single
7 Burning Buildings Knowing, Not Knowing The Sleep Tapes
8 The Tapestry Take Turns Single
9 Magnetic Island The Thing Itself and Not the Myth Magnetic Island
10 Van Der Graaf Generator Ship of Fools I Prophecy Disaster
11 Limbs What Will Happen Olympics
12 Trojan Horse and the lights went down…. Trojan Horse
13 Blood Ceremony I’m Coming With You Blood Ceremony
14 Peter Gutteridge Don’t Catch Fire Stroke – Songs for Chris Knox

Music Diaries #13-16

A recurring viral attack (no it’s not man-flu!) has somewhat restricted activity so this is by way of a four day catch-up. Deep breath in and here we go again…..

THE SEXUAL OBJECTS – I have been meaning to get my act together and check out Davey Henderson’s post Nectarine No 9 activities for a while now. The announcement of a gig at Gullivers in March featuring said band and three of my current favourites (Factory Star, Kill Pretty and Taser Puppets) jolted me out of my post-viral fog. “Cucumber” is the name of the album and rather spiffing it is too. It’s not that significantly different from his work with the Nectarines other than it is a little less intense/a bit more pop. Another example of one of those great writers  hovering around the fringes of the music industry that never quite got the kudos he  deserves. Anyway I suggest you check them out either via this album or attending the Gullivers event. Four great bands for £7 has to be a bargain in anyones musical book.

HONG KONG IN THE 60s – I have to thank my chum Keith for pointing me in the direction of this band. So far I have only managed to track down their “Willow Pattern Songs” EP which is a gorgeous delight of a thing. I was immediately drawn in by the arpeggiating guitars, brittle synths and airy vocals of “Footsteps”. Their bio on the Soundcloud page says they are Mei Yau Kan – vocals, guitar, keyboards, Christopher Greenberg – keyboards, guitar, vocals, and Tim Scullion – guitar, keyboards, vocals. They say they are heavily influenced by early electronic pop, 1960s Chinese music and Italian film soundtracks. Using their collection of old Casio keyboards, the group combine bittersweet pop melodies and atmospheric electronics to create something pretty special.

THE PABLOS – another excellent find by Mr Tony Thornborough – he shared three of this bands tracks with me which stuffed with garage-ness, Doors-ness and Rolling Stones-ish. They are from Leeds and Lauren Laverne thinks they are groovy so there is no need for me to push them too much as they appear to be well on the way to stardom in the murky world of rock and roll. More info on Facebook in you want…… p.s.  the singist does sound like he is channeling Jim M at times…..

DEAN McPHEE – another Keith recommendation. A four track LP called “Son of the Black Peace” which is all ethereal guitars and ambient soundscapes. Not bad but I do wish people wouldn’t stick arbitrary lables like “future dub folk” on music like this. It ain’t new, there’s sod all dub in it, and it ain’t folk – well not as we know it, Jim.  This sort of thing has been around since the 60s, and came back in the 80s with V Reilly, and it’s not clever to try and pigeon hole it as something new, when it quite clearly isn’t. And talking of dub…..

CELT ISLAM – the new album “Baghdad” is very good indeed – the marriage of disparate cultural elements works very well indeed.

HERO AND LEANDER’s – front lady contacted me recently about some radio play and I’ve only just got round to listening to their music – and very impressive it is too. Their August EP “Collider” is well worth checking out.

THE UMBILICAL CHORDS – i’ve mentioned before that I have recently  taken delivery of a couple of copies of this duo’s demo CD – Paris based but featuring ex-pat Manc Scott Batty, they combine post-punk guitar riffing with half-spoken/half-sung poetry of a very high quality. Not easy listening in terms of the lyrical content with some fairly astute observations on the state of the human psyche and the world in general. “Sex Friend” in particular is full of vivid imagery. They will be in Manchester in March supporting Gabrielles Wish.

SIMON WALDRAM – sent me his “The Day The Signal Died” album a few weeks back. And to be fair to him I’ve only dipped into it occasionally but I sat down yesterday and gave it a good listen. Chap writes good songs and has a good voice as well. There is a nice acoustic ambient feel to the music, albeit it is a tad dark and introspective in places. He says of the album….”Signal was recorded between June 2008 and December 2010. It’s quite dark in places – and was influened by pysch-folk, slowcore, shoegaze etc. Although most of it was recorded at home on an 8-track, quite a lot of work was done on overdubs, mixing and production with Mark Elmore at the Crash Factory, Nottingham. Also Robert Scott added some keyboard arrangements to Falling Down and Another World For You – and Danny Short played some percussion on Another World as well. I think of the album as indie pop meets dark psychedelic folk to soundtrack moments of quiet desperation…or something.” Well he is not far wrong with that description, and indeed the linkage with Mr D Short of Horwich is quite relevant as there are elements of both men’s work which are comparable. Simon’s work is comparable with the more elegaic of Danny’s music and to be fair he delivers it with less of the type of “orchestral” layering that you get with Mr Short. If you like the sound of it then check it out at  http://simonwaldram.webs.com/apps/webstore ……. and talking of Mr Short….

DDS – the wild and wacky world of Danny Short’s more experimental persona DDS has delivered a new EP called “Let the Year Pass By in Peace” in which he eschews formal song structures for three slices of distressed guitar sounds, laminal waves of synthesis, chittering, stuttering, muttering and fluttering. Unlike previous DDS incarnations there are actually vocals on this one, which work very well indeed. And to be fair the closing “Peace and Hope” is a rather lovely piece built around organ and electric piano sounds which then develops associated ambient element. I recommend you check this out on Bandcamp and avail yourself of his previous offerings in this area whilst you are there – the thirty minute piece “Wind Down Window” is a belter!

HANDWITHLEGS – just got round to listening to their “Electric Cave” (short) album from last year which reminds me a little bit of Suicide in places although with a modern rhythmic persona. Quite impressed with this – no doubt some numpty somewhere will describe it as a bit retro but I’m rather fond of their eclectic mix of styles and synthesis. There is enough variety on here to keep the jaded electronicaphile happy for twenty one minutes. A nice selection of sound vignettes.