Saturday 29 June 2024

Fingermouse Theme

"I am the mouse called fingermouse
the mouse with guts and verve

I get past cats so easily
with my famous body-swerve"

I was watching an episode of Fingerbobs and this great folk-y Fingermouse theme tune came on. Then I thought how was this missed in the 00s when all those British kids telly things became all the rage and they reissued the soundtracks and dvds of the programs etc.  

Fingermouse Theme - Michael Jesset, Michael Cole and Rick Jones (1972)
Turns out Trunk did a cd reissue in 2011 which I can now pay $57 for on discogs. 

Anyway, top tune.  

Thursday 27 June 2024

In Reverse / Some Say - Stray

In Reverse / Some Say - Stray [1970]
The undeniable heavy psych-prog stylings of Stray from their eponymous debut record.

So much music was dismissed, written out or never written in rock history narratives that there are some bands you just never heard about back in the day. I mean people know their Groundhogs, Pink Fairies, Buffalo and even Sweet Leaf these days but Stray... They were probably mentioned in Rock & The Pop Narcotic (1990) but it wasn't until the early 00s when reissue specialists Castle Music released that space rock compilation then the Stray 70s anthology that many of us became aware of these lost doyens of progressive hard rock.  

All In Your Mind - Stray [1970]
This was the tune on the 2001: A Space Rock Odyssey 2cd compilation, it's also the opening track to Stray's self-titled 1970 debut. 

Drivin' hard riffin' gloriousness. This still has remnants of their mod roots whilst heading into the stoner proto-metal 70s. Some severe wah-wah action here. The SOUND of these guitars baby!

Monday 24 June 2024

'O' Level - We Love Malcolm

'O' Level were notable for being name checked in Part-Time Punks (1978) by The Television Personalities. It's a bit cheeky though as Ed Ball was in both groups. This is DIY punk and no it ain't no hard-rock/sub-metal. More like proto-indie skeletal jangle-y gear of the faux ineptitude variety yet sorta charming, cheerful and tuneful, before that whole vibe got tiresome in the 80s. 

Also how amazing is it that a manager of a band was able to insinuate himself into being a celebrity as famous as his clients The Sex Pistols, then get a bloody song written about him. 

Saturday 22 June 2024

Information - Inside Your Mind

On the synth-y new wave tip in a proto hypnagogic/synth-wave style that you'd imagine the likes of Ariel Pink, John Maus, Geneva Jacuzzi etc. being influenced by. The world just wasn't ready for this kind of outside the lines deranged pop music with its amorphous mega melodies and overall synth seepage.  

Friday 21 June 2024

The And - Marshmallow In A Keyhole

Bringing you all the hits and misses from the 80s. Weird mixture of in-between scenes things here: Synth-y new wave, almost indie rock and throwback 70s radio anthem... hits you in your emotional bones, I mean it coulda been on a teen flick soundtrack couldn't it... just a catchy, crafty and copacetic tune. When that keyboard hits at 1:47 it gets pretty ecstatic. Surely this is Canadian... or Mid-Western. 

The best anthem from the 80s you never heard. 

Thursday 20 June 2024

New Johnny 5 - The Reasoning

This kinda post-punk new wave sound was old by 1986 but this tune is soo fucking good it makes you think well hang on a minute this is undeniable who cares! A good tune is a good tune. 

This is incredibly endearing and bittersweet regional new wave from New London CT. It's a lost classic. New Johnny 5 are forever out of time and place even in the internet age. They're not on spotify and their 1986 LP Alternative Tactics has only eight ratings on Rate Your Music.

(non) hits and non (memories)

Wednesday 19 June 2024

The Gathering - Falling Crimson

A bit of late goth from South Africa no less. The Gathering (not to be confused with the Dutch band) did just one single and this was the b-side. This tune is a lark innit, what a killer dark bass line, ace drummage and great atmospheric infernal guitar sound. 

Saturday 15 June 2024

Konrad - Evil

If you didn't discover Konrad's delightful cult album Evil on music sharing blogs in the 00s here's your chance now. Don't let the cover fool you this ain't no satanic metal, it's actually an anti-evil synth-songwriter record. The sort of thing you might think John Maus was influenced by. While Evil is somewhat of its time it's also absolutely outside of time as well. 

Along with the myriad of synth action you get some fx damaged vocals, acoustic guitars, more synths, jazzy pop, psych rock reimagined through an electro pop viewfinder, lite synthetic jazz-funk, a blue eyed soul tune, cosmic synth breaks and even reggae. A bit like a skewed survey of radio rock/pop of the era made in a bedroom by one fella and his arsenal of keyboards. Konrad: A one man genre that he also termed Ethereal Sequence which he described as "the sequence of the soul". This music scientist is an electro wizard. 

Lyrical and theme-wise Evil is somewhat of a concept LP. After seeing a lot of violence and murder on the streets of NYC, the assassination of John Lennon was the catalyst for him "to build a non violent record where he could teach human beings not to be evil" Other topics include science, the cosmos, synchronicity, the matrix, alien intelligence and the drudgery of work.

Cult-y outsider music albums can often be a difficult listen or just utter crap but this is incredibly accessible pop music.  

The unadulterated humanity here might just be the tonic you need in these spiritually bankrupt times.  

Tuesday 11 June 2024

Cleaners From Venus - Follow The Plough

Cleaners From Venus - Follow The Plow 
Cleaners From Venus' poetic jolly defiance looking towards whimsical optimism or something more ecstatic is always good on a gloomy wintry day. Their spirited daydream-y anthems fit my glad to be gloomy/Happy when it rains vibes. I used to call overcast rainy winter days in Melbourne during June "Joy Division days"...  in the 90s me and my housemate would get some red wine and watch Withnail & I on such days. 

Anyway I discovered an odds and sods German only Cleaners From Venus compilation tape today called Winter (1988) and it has this version of Follow The Plough. This is a slightly different "brighter" mix from the one on the Living With Victoria Grey tape. 

Cleaners From Venus in their jangling 80s, Rickenbacker drenched, heavenly pop (non) hit stride. 

Peak Newell.

The Living With Victoria Grey mix. Interestingly it's grey in Victoria today... hello from the Antipodes.

Cleaners From Venus - Winter (1988)
The whole shonky un-remastered lo-fi cassette.

A1 Prince Of The Winter recorded 1985, previously released on Various - Reynard The Fox.
A2 When Fire Burns Dreams recorded 1986, previously released on Modern Art/Cleaners From Venus - Souvenir.
A3 Amateur Paranoic recorded 1982/83, previously released on the cassingle Two For The Winter
A4 She's Checkin You Out recorded 1982/83, previously released on the cassingle Two For The Winter.
A5 Albion's Daughter recorded 1986, previously released on Modern Art/Cleaners From Venus - Souvenir.
A6 Ilya Kuryakin Looked At Me recorded 1986. Originally appeared on the Victoria Grey cassette. This version is a special mix for Color Tapes with different instruments (real drums, different guitar mix etc.)
B7 Sunday Afternoon recorded 1987
B8 Ilya Kuryakin (full version) recorded 1987. This is the vinyl version from Illya Kuryakin Looked At Me.
B9 Black And White. recorded 1987. Previously released on Illya Kuryakin Looked At Me.
B10 Follow The Plough recorded 1985/86. Originally appeared on the Victoria Grey tape. This version is a more "transparent" Mix made for Color Tapes.
B11 Soul Monday recorded 1984/85. Originally appeared on the solo cassette Martin Newell - Songs For A Fallow Land. Different mix.
B12 Julie Profumo recorded 1984/85. Originally appeared on the solo cassette Martin Newell - Songs For A Fallow Land. Rather different mix.

Martin Newell - Amateur Paranoiac [Two For The Winter - Cassingle] (1983)
Wonky post-punk psychedelic dub poetry kinda thing. Top stuff.

Cleaners From Venus - Julie Profumo (1985)
Back to the pastoral paisley... Pure perfect poetic pop!

Friday 7 June 2024

Autopilot - Love Is A Process

Cult post-punk single of the highest order... you love your Magazine, The Fall. Wire, Homosexuals etc. well now you can add Autopilot to the list. Quite possibly the greatest one off post-punk single of all time out of Britain, it's so ace it's hard to believe it didn't become a chartbusting hit. 

Forced Vengeance - William Goldstein

Incredible opening sequence and score to Forced Vengeance. Layers of spectacular thickly textured synthesisers, oriental vibes and anthemic drama. As previously stated in the post about William Goldstein's score to Eye For An Eye, many of the best soundtracks are for movies you don't know or care about.

Film · The Church

More soundtrack-y goodness from legendary 80s bands. An instrumental of immense lyrical charm. Gorgeous profoundly emotional stuff. I dunno if it ever got used in a film or tv show... 

Elegia · New Order


On the evidence here New Order should have become massive soundtrack composers. Alas that was not to be. This track however has been used numerous times on soundtracks for 80s teen movies, video games, documentaries, cop shows and several Netflix series. 

Elegia is Italian for elegy which makes sense as this sombre and mournful instrumental is dedicated to Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis, their former bandmate who killed himself. 

I didn't even know a 17 minute version of this existed but apparently the five minute version on Low-Life (1985) is edited down from this lengthy original.  

Thursday 6 June 2024

The Ogre Theme - Simon Boswell

From the dude who produced 23 Skidoo's Coup (1984) and did the brilliant score to Richard Stanley's cyberpunk flick Hardware (1990) comes this slice of soundtrack gold. A sombre slow-crawling dystopian vibe here that is actually for an Italian telly movie directed by Mario Bava's son Lamberto. 

Tuesday 4 June 2024

The Ripper - Rod Slane

Once again a soundtracks to a z-grade 80s horror flick that outshines all other contributions to the film. Rod Slane's The Ripper OST has never been released. This 11 minute suite extracted from the movie and edited together by Fish Man starts out eerily sad quickly becoming cinematic with compounding layers of suspenseful sound and soon enough alarming atmospheres are achieved. At 3:00 those incredible chiming synths enter rippling kaleidoscopically outwards eventually deforming. More sonic layers are insidiously added, the pile up reaching immense density and aural capacity. Thick textures  of dramatic synthetic sound are deployed to great effect and by 6:30 some über-80s guitar tones arrive then it's back to dark tones before ending with a tropical neon nights synth jam. 

Monday 3 June 2024

Fabio Frizzi - City of the Living Dead

Fabio Frizzi - Apoteosi Del Mistero (1980) 
It's a remake of his Zombie theme. More like a cleaned up, more uplifting version. Peak mellotron choir goodness. Creepy heroic.  

Fabio Frizzi - Zombie 2 Main Title (1979)
I think I prefer this though. There's something a bit more grime-y, drowsy and unstable about it, quite torpid compared to the above remake. Funereal zombie stoner synth.

Fabio Frizzi - Paura Nella Città Dei Morti Viventi (1982)
It's pretty hard to go past this here, the original Beat Records soundtrack LP of City Of The Living Dead though. One of the all time great Italian horror scores. Amongst the gorgeously mournful analogue synths, epic ghostly mellotron choirs, tenebrous atmospherics, there's even some acoustic guitar and quite possibly the most emotional use of a fretless bass ever in the history of recorded music on the unbelievably poignant Paura E Liberazione.