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

 

 

 

Advertisements

Fascinating Things : Issue 21

And still they come, it has been a bumper year for new music, and this week in particular has been replete with fantastic, fascinating things:

Mark Corrin – EP7 0 Earthbound (Bandcamp)

Mark continues his run of EPs with three slices of ambient, glitchy, soundscapes. Lots of things going on here, all of them interesting, continuing the quality of material released to date this year.

Dave Graney – Night of the Wolverine demos​/​Early 90s songwriter demos

Seven songs recorded in 1991 on a 4 track cassette that eventually ended up on the Coral Snakes album, “Night Of The Wolverine”, which was recorded in a weekend late in 1992.  The other songs were recorded around the same time. Dave Graney felt hollowed out after the failure to get the album “I Was The Hunter and I Was The Prey” out. Recorded in London with the original Coral Snakes in 1990. It eventually came out in 1992 on Fire Records in the UK. The idea of gathering another head of steam or bunch of songs as strong as that seemed impossible and Dave thought his future lay in being a songwriter for other artists. The last four of these songs were intended to be sung by a female. “I walked with a Saint” and “I’m gonna live my life” which was eventually covered by Lisa Miller.  “Somewhere in the world” was recorded by Tex Perkins for his debut solo album, “Far be it from me” in 1996. This is a stripped down and laid back Dave exploring other avenues and trying out ideas. Historically important as it demonstrates the eventual way forward as well as a different direction that was never embarked on.  The first seven songs are included in the expanded version of Night of the Wolverine recently released on I-Tunes/Amazon so be careful!

 Northern Uproar – Hey Samurai! (Pledge Music)

Effortless, beautifully recorded, laid back superior pop music, a unique blending of classic indie with Spanish influences. It releases on October 9th.  I must admit I missed out on the first phase of the band so this is all relatively new to me.

Theologian – A Means By Which To Break The Surface Of The Real
(Nothing Under The Sun)

Further extends the immense catalog of  recordings through labels including Crucial Blast, Handmade Birds, Malignant Records, the artist’s own Annihilvs Power Electronix. The latest tortured auditory from the soloist and collaborator, Lee M. Bartow (a.k.a. Theologian Prime), comes in the form of four  sequences, nearly forty-five minutes of new material, the closing track taking up nearly twenty-two minutes on its own. This work was created through Bartow’s collaborative explorations with David Castillo (Primitive Weapons, White Widows Pact) and Daniel Suffering (Whorid), with contributions from Matt Slagle and engineer Kevin D. Reilly, Jr., who has periodically worked with Bartow since the earliest incarnations of Navicon Torture Technologies in the mid-late 1990s. “Tortured screams reach out over the tumbling industrial workings below. Low register whispered meanderings slowly rise to meet those screams. Machines’ rhythmic drones fold in on the voices. Sirens invite and warn. Sink into the synthetic abyss” says the promo. Yep, pretty accurate. Not for the faint-hearted. Out on 28th August.

The Happy Fallen – Lost and Found (Bandcamp)

The Happy Fallen is a solo project by Neale James. He has played in many bands over the years, and played with many well respected Manchester musicians/artists including Craig Gannon (of Aztec Camera/ The Smiths), Ivor Perry (Easterhouse/The Cradle), John Bramwell (The Mouth/ I Am Kloot), Stella Grundy (Intastella), and still working on occasional musical projects with Monica Ward (Happy Mondays/Domino Bones).  This album is a collection of old and new recordings. The older recordings have been remixed, remastered with new vocals and instruments added. I have been featuring much of Neale’s work over the last five years and it is really great to finally get a full album from him. Neale creates of heady brew of garage and psychedelic rock – but he does explain that he thinks all music is psychedelic.Highly recommended.