Monday, 21 August 2017
The nostalgia for ye olde sharity blogs continues. I found the debut Suburban Lawns LP 10 years ago on a blog I used to frequent often but can't remember the name of now, I'm sure you can probably track down an mp3 or maybe it's been reissued since then.
Singer Su Tissue is an enigma with quite a fanboy following on the interweb. The discussions usually talk about whether she is autistic or just an art school hipster and speculation as to what she is doing doing now. Her online presence is nil so this all adds to the mystery.
Saturday, 19 August 2017
This washed away all the dark and negative vibes in my life today. Like when you loved a pop song when you were little. It's all about the 3 and a half minutes of bliss. Then you can play it again. The verses are a bit Morrissey-esque doncha think?
Friday, 4 August 2017
Here's some more Upper Astral. This is the A-side and fucking amazement, even my dog loves it! and he hates most new age usually because it has rain or thunder in it. Weirdly, this track occasionally dips into a little bit of darkness. So it's not all euphoric vistas that we think of as new age today. These were the early days of new age though. Skybirds and Journey To The Edge Of The Universe are the other two Upper Astral tapes that I would highly recommend. I'm sure I first heard those due to the Crystal Vibrations blog. New Age was never a bad word in my world though, as my brother introduced me to some stuff when I was in my teens. There used to be a new age shop in every second Melbourne suburb in the early 90s as I recall. It was usually a creepy vibe in those shops. I hated all the other shit apart from the music though. Now I think I wish I'd bought some of the art, really? no not really. Maybe there are still some of these shops out there? I wouldn't know, I live in the middle of nowhere these days.
Thursday, 27 July 2017
Discovered this vintage cosmic synth LP from Swedish duo Anna Sjalv Tredje the other day. Here it is in full on youtube. Tussilago Fanfara was released in 1977 on Silence, the legendary Swedish label. Berlin school electronics for the most part. The second track is tres spooky with its sinister whispers, foreboding washes of sound and black night tones of gloom. The final tune changes it up a bit with a Cluster/Ashra style jam. An underrated gem.
This is the only part of Channel For The Light on the youtubes and the best bit isn't on it!
I've discovered a few new age related things on the interwebs since that post where I mentioned the Crystal Vibrations blog. Hidden Valley has been keeping the scented candle burning for old new age tapes on the blogosphere since CV became inactive in 2012. This dude is obsessed with the legendary Californian label Valley Of The Sun. Many of that label's classic catalogue of 80s tapes have been posted there, a couple of which i've not heard.
For those who need more there's a whole bunch of new agey stuff at the Sounds Of The Dawn blog too.
Upper Astral had an incredible run of tapes from 1981-1983.
Monday, 17 July 2017
So nearly every episode of the new season of Twin Peaks has featured a song played live in the Bang Bang bar for the final credits sequence. Chromatics paid ethereal homage to Julee Cruise at the end of the first or second episode. The only other time I've heard this group was on the Drive soundtrack a couple of years ago. The tune in that film was pretty ordinary but Shadow's got a perfect vibe for Twin Peaks. When that synth swells up it gets very very lovely.
I've skipped ahead to episode 4 because the band at the end of episode 3 were fucking awful - the music and their hair! Anyway at the end of the 4th episode were Au Revoir Simone with Lark, which I really enjoyed. Is this the worst band name in the history? This group's been around for like 15 years. Can't quite put my finger on what is magic about this tune, just a beautiful classic melody I suppose. The keyboard player on the right is the star of the band with her Addicted To Love schtick.
I would never bother listening to Sharon Van Etten but Lynch made me sit through this slowcore country folk tune and I gotta say it was the best thing about episode six. That might not be saying much though as this instalment was the fucking pits and made me stop watching the new season for a month. I was later advised to keep checking out the new episodes which I eventually did.
A second appearance for this badly named synth trio. Like if 80s indie pop was informed by Stereolab and Broadcast. Backwards not possible pop. Another lovely tune.
This is the lady who sang a Spanish a cappella version of Crying in Mulholland Drive which was amazing. This is a good vocal performance too if not quite as mind-blowing. Moby, who once sampled the original Twin Peaks soundtrack on his smash hit Go, is playing guitar with Rebekah Del Rio here at the end of tonight's episode.
*I've left out a couple of performances ie. NIN, Hudson Mowhawke etc. as they were underwhelming.
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
These first 3 got my vote as I actually own the albums but the bottom 3, which I've just discovered at discogs, are also the fabulous. There are some other great Scientist records like the Dub Landing series but those covers are not so great.
This put me in mind of an old comic from Britain Tiger & Scorcher. My older brother used to read it in the 70s. I remember it had motor racing, stunt men, wrestling, soccer and maybe it had boxing too. Cricket? Dunno...if only they'd invent a machine where I could instantly research such things.
This one might actually be the best of the lot. I wish I was at that contest! Just quietly I reckon Scientist would have won.
*Great LP Covers Part I
Saturday, 8 July 2017
After that previous post about Not Not Fun I had a chuckle to myself and thought 'What am I going to do next check out the new releases on Digitalis or Hooker Vision?' These labels covered the scene(s) of many names hypnagogia, glow fi, tropical, neo-kosmiche, altered zones, nu age noise etc. I had a little look on the intewebs only to find Hooker Vision ceased operations in 2014 and Digitalis seems to have perhaps closed its doors around the same time. So I won't be doing a post featuring 2017 releases from those labels. Maybe I need to check out Gift Tapes, Pizza Night, Taped Sounds, Olde English Spelling Bee or Catholic Tapes. Those labels probably don't exist either. I reckon 6 years is the perfect amount of time for a label to exist anyway. Don't hang around too long to become boring. Imagine if Flying Nun or Ghostbox halted after that amount of time, they would have been perfect.
|From the ye olde Hooker Vision blog|
Anyway I did discover an old album by Quiet Evenings from 2011. Quiet Evenings contain the husband and wife team, Grant and Rachael Evans, who also ran the Hooker Vision label. Rachael's other musical project is the fab Motion Sickness Of Time Travel and her husband was in Nova Scotian Arms, Crippling and a whole bunch of others. Transcending Spheres turns out to be a lost classic that funnily wasn't released on any of the aforementioned labels. It's here at bandcamp though. Synths drift and hover, beats remain discreet and guitars even appear amongst the narcotic glaze. It's dark, it's haunting and it's sublime.
Thursday, 6 July 2017
I really don't recall how I ended up here but I'm glad I did even though it's probably not very cool. I can't remember the last Not Not Fun album I bought. It was a couple of years ago at least, that Rangers Reconsider Lounge record maybe. Tonight somehow I had arrived at the label's bandcamp site and ended up coming away with three of their 2017 releases. There was a time when everything they released was really bloody good. I perceived that they had reached some kind of peak around 2010/2011 with a gradual drop off of choice releases in the following years. After listening to these recordings tonight though, perhaps we were a bit hasty in our move away from this great label. Or maybe I'm on a hypnagogic nostalgia trip. Either way it doesn't matter to me, I really enjoyed all of these albums. So with a little help from your friends go ahead and check these out.
Video Salon - Video Salon
Video Salon's haunting drones and shimmering vocals are delightfully mesmerising. This is seductive classic stuff. Brian Pyle (Starving Weirdos, Ensemble Economique) and Galya Chikiss are the duo Video Salon.
Iguana Moonlight - Wild Palms
A synth voyage into the tropical hot dog night. Lovely sonic sketches of solitude by the seaside. These sounds match that cover art perfectly.
Robedoor - New Age Sewage
While we're still in drone territory here, this is much darker and turbulent than the above two releases. New Age Sewage is amorphous psych drone noise on an epic scale. I'm kinda amazed by this actually. I was not expecting to like this so much. By far the best Robedoor thing I've ever heard.
Canada Effervescent - Crystalline
This is retro new age. Crystalline sounds like a tape from the 80s heyday with it's faux harp, piano and environmental sounds amidst the gentle ripples of the cosmic lite synth and other new age accoutrements. This is perfect sleepy time music. I feel calmer already. Nice.
Does anyone remember the great blog Crystal Vibrations? One of my favourite blogs of all time, I wish he still did it. Crystalline reminds me of the many great new age tapes that were posted there.
Wednesday, 5 July 2017
SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE NIGERIAN ARMY BARRACKS
Deep in a rabbit hole on the youtubes last night I discovered this lost gem of psych tinged afrobeat from the early 70s. Some of these dudes were from Fela Kuti's 60s group Koola Lobitos. Position Pass Power is on the Shango Dance Band LP which was reissued last year.
I'm amazed that there is any undiscovered stuff from 70s Nigeria left after the massive excavation of the last 20 years. They made a hell of lot of great music in those parts during that era. I still haven't got around to listening to Now Again's Ten years in the making 4 LP compilation from 2016 Wake Up You: The Rise & Fall of Nigerian Rock 1972-77. I thought that was probably going to be the epic final chapter in Nigerian 70s archival sets but maybe not. Let's hope the gems continue to be unearthed.
Monday, 3 July 2017
I was aware of some 80s and 90s tv movies from America thanks to HSV7's The Midday Movie in Melbourne hosted by the late Ivan Hutchinson. To be honest I reckon Duel was the only 70s one I'd ever seen or at least remembered until recently. After checking out a lot of 70s British telly lately I decided it was time to investigate the American tele-movie of the 70s. The history of American made for tv movies is fascinating. In the 70s these films were big events that would get astronomical ratings figures. Then there's also this whole feminist angle of it as well with a lot of these movies being primarily targeted at ladies in the 18 - 49 demographic. These movies were often female driven with strong ensemble casts of women.
Amanda Reyes was instrumental in me undertaking this exploration. She is an American tv movie expert who originally came to my attention last year via the podcast world. She has featured as a guest on The Hysteria Continues and Supporting Characters but she has her very own podcast Made For TV Mayhem. Reyes has recently published the book Are You In The House Alone? Growing Up With Gargoyles, Giant Turtles, Valerie Harper, The Cold War, Stephen King & Co-Ed Call Girls: A Tv Movie Compendium 1964-1999. I keep hearing her pop up as a guest on different casts of pod promoting this book. Reyes is the most unpretentious academic I've ever heard. Her passion for tv movies knows no bounds plus she's incredibly knowledgable and articulate on the subject. Heaps of people know lots of stuff out there on the interwebs but most of them are really really fucking boring or are just plain horrible. Amanda however is a star with her infectious sense of humour and amiable personality.
Spoiler Alert! 4 From THE MADE FOR TV MOVIES Cannon
Night Terror aka Night Drive (1977)
Wow this was a great entry point into the genre. Valerie Harper plays Carol a meek housewife who is chased in her car across country by a psychopathic cop killer. The killer has no vocal cords and has one of those portable voice box devices that you put up to your neck when you need to talk. It rains a lot. Strange stuff happens on this harrowing journey. Night Terror's got creeps in petrol stations, weird drunk people etc. After an exhausting night on the road Carol reaches full transformation in order to survive the killer's last ditch attempts to eradicate her.
All movies should be car chases at night in monsoon like conditions!
Reflections Of Murder (1974)
I couldn't believe how good this one was either. I haven't heard Amanda talk about it but I'm sure she'd love it. It's set in a boarding school on an Island near Seattle. Three of its teachers are involved in a love triangle that goes awry more than once. Rainy atmosphere with lots of rain, actually come to think of it water is a ubiquitous motif here. There's a drowning in a bathtub, a body in a skanky swimming pool, a ferry ride etc. The main dude in this is Jack McCoy from Law & Order...er....that's Sam Waterston. Reflections Of Murder comes with a twist.
The Victim (1972)
Elizabeth Montgomery is an icon of made for tv movies. Here she stars as Kate the sister of a missing person. A storm has has trapped her at her sister's strange overly furnished mansion. Where is her sister? Is she dead? Why is the maid so creepy? What's in the hamper? What's with the lying husband of missing sister? The power has gone off and the phone line is dead. It's raining a lot. Where's the dog? Will Kate survive the night?
Trilogy Of Terror (1975)
Karen Black stars in this famous telly movie anthology. We've got three separate stories here and Black plays different characters in each. The first segment where she plays Julie a college professor who is coerced into a sexual relationship by a student is very unsettling.
The most famous segment is the third one where Black's character Amelia is terrorised by a Zuni Fetish Doll that comes to life while she's on the phone to her mum. After a very entertaining battle Amelia eventually overcomes the crazy doll or does she? No rain in this as far as I can recall but there was satanic wallpaper. Trilogy of Terror tips into the comedy horror category.
Sunday, 2 July 2017
SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE DISCO - PART 11
Gibbons this time does a proper remix as opposed to the cut & paste of 10 Percent. Mmm mm....that fuzz guitar is soo good.
Gibbons this time does a proper remix as opposed to the cut & paste of 10 Percent. Mmm mm....that fuzz guitar is soo good.
Thursday, 29 June 2017
SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE DISCO - PART 10 (%)
According to Turn The Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco, Peter Shapiro's excellent 2005 book, this was the first disco mix released commercially on a 12". Walter Gibbons was to go from strength to strength in the remix department. Ten Percent was an auspicious start.
Saturday, 24 June 2017
2017 just got a whole lot better. Ariel Pink has a new album Dedicated To Bobby Jameson due out in a couple of months. Something to look forward to.
Love the artwork. If you wanna know who Bobby Jameson was check out his blog. AP loves his LA mythology. It's a wonder Ariel didn't try and get him to do something for Pom Pom? Jameson would have fitted right in with Pom Pom's maverick LA contributors Don Bolles and Kim Fowley.
This video's from a couple of months ago. Tears On Fire is not on the new record, it was on the Ariel Pink & Weyes Blood collab EP Myths 002 which was released in January and I totally missed it.
Classic tune from his great Pom Pom (2014) LP. Never seen this video until today and it's amazing. I know I'm not paying attention but whatever. One of the best videos of the century so far. It makes me wanna drink cheep beer, have a ciggy and be weird.
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
While music hasn't exactly been floating my boat lately I've been getting into some small screen classics. It all started a while back when Simon Reynolds alerted me to Robin Redbreast. Robin Redbreast is a BBC Play For Today from 1970. This 76 minute telly film has been loosely aligned to the faux genre Folk Horror in recent years.
Folk Horror seems to have been coined by serious film people a few years after the hauntologists had been excavating the same area. So cult pieces of the hauntological puzzle have been thrown into this so called sub-genre ie. The Wicker Man (1973), Witchfinder General (1968) and Blood On Satan's Claw (1971). Then there's the tv side of things including the many MR James adaptations, Nigel Kneale telly scripts and a handful of Plays For Today including A Photograph (1977), Penda's Fen (1974) and Red Shift (1978). The hauntology taste makers also love their public information films, weird children's telly, sci-fi, recent televisual drama and much much more though.
The following 3 short pieces of television are distinguished and totally unforgettable. These horror stories are all about sinister landscapes, unsettling pagan undercurrents, malevolent spirits and oppressive rural atmospheres.
Robin Redbreast (Play For Today, 1970)
Nuts In May and Abigail's Party are two BBC Plays For Today that have been long time favorites but I must admit I had not seen Robin Redbreast until recently. Hey there's only another 300 Plays for Today to catch up on (well whichever ones still exist). I couldn't believe how good this was for such an obscure film....I know the BFI released it on dvd 5 years ago but still.....
Norah a thirty something feminist city slicker heads to a remote cottage for a taste of bucolica after a relationship break up. Things are not what they initially seem though. Before long the idyllic country life starts starts to close in on Norah to a frighteningly claustrophobic degree. Her encounters with the local villagers become increasingly more creepy and detrimental to her well being. Robin Redbreast has been described as sitting somewhere between Rosemary's Baby and The Wicker Man thematically, who am I to disagree.
The Exorcism (Dead Of Night, 1972)
The Exorcism is a play written and directed by Don Taylor that was included as part of the Dead Of Night anthology on BBC2.
A middle class couple who have just moved to the country invite their friends to Xmas dinner at their newly renovated cottage. It starts to get seriously freaky when the electricity blacks out, the wine tastes like blood and darkness becomes absolute. This play is an odd mash up of horror and political diatribe. It's definitely a product of its time, the horror is great but the didactic socialist message is heavy handed and embarrassing.
Whistle And I'll Come To You (Omnibus, 1968)
This is probably the most famous piece of film based on a MR James story. It's a tale of a bizarre and solitary academic. This aging professor's eccentricities have made him an awkward man. Professor Parkin goes on a seaside a holiday in the off season, staying in an isolated hotel where there are very few other guests. On a walk Parkin finds himself in a graveyard where he discovers a ye olde whistle. Blowing the whistle sets off an uncanny chain of events that leave Parkin a terrified mess.
Michael Hordern's remarkable acting performance as Professor Parkin make this one of the most memorable pieces of telly I have ever seen.
*Coming up next: American tv movies from the 70s
Friday, 16 June 2017
Honestly I think Ghost Of Hope by The Residents and Texas Rock Bottom from Rangers are the only 2017 albums that I've listened to. I haven't listened to one new dance tune, rap ditty or top 40 pop song. LPs I would have normally checked out from the likes of Gas, Shinichi Atobe, Actress, Sun Araw, Mark McGuire, IX-Tab, Children Of Alice, Lo Five, Omar Souleyman, Future, Migos, Arca, William Basinski, Second Woman etc. remain unplayed and unheard. I never listen to the radio and I no longer have a cable music channel so I don't know any new artists or pop stars. I no longer buy or read magazines. I hardly read the interweb music suff either. I've stopped reading my Boomkat (an online music shop) e-mails, I used to really like whoever wrote their copy despite it being advertising. The Feelies, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Ride, Royal Trux and St. Etienne have all reformed and recorded new records in 2017 apparently. Why don't I want to listen to any of this stuff?
This time I can't blame it on the music because I haven't heard any of it. I can't make stupid blanket statements like '2017 sucks' or 'This is the worst year in music since....' I'm afraid this disinterest is probably all about me. Is it age, depression or ennui? I don't know. Is it that the last few years in music have been so disappointing that I've had enough and am not willing to put in the effort and time for such little reward. I haven't listened to much old music either though, just what I've previously mentioned on the blog. So perhaps its choice paralysis. Has my blog become redundant? It was primarily set up to discuss music. If I'm not listening to any music is there a point? Maybe I need to start reading music magazines again.....and er....listening to music again. Both of those things are hard if you don't want. Ok I think I've disappeared up my own arse quite enough.
Ekoplekz have just released their new album Bioprodukt which I've just bought. That's a start but am I going to get the forthcoming Focus Group, Belbury Circle or Young Thug albums? Who knows? I'd like to want to but I just can't necessarily trust that I'll give a damn when these recordings are released.