= March 2013 =  
Thought Forms
Book of Shadows
Hollies tribute comp.
Abdul Moiměme
San Kazakgascar
Hladowski & Joynes
Alistair Galbraith
Frugal Puritan
Soft Hearted Scientists



(LP/CD from Invada Records)

From the brief, visceral guitar howl of the opening song ‘Landing’ to the introspective closer, ‘O’ (“Resist dim lights, they’ll suck your life”), Thought Forms carry us along with them on their journey of exploration on the trio’s long-awaited follow-up to their 2009 debut album. ‘Song for Junko’ and ‘Ghost Mountain You and Me’ carry on the now strummed, then explosive post-rock dynamics exploited so well on their self-titled debut, both numbers serving as effective waymarkers for lost souls following the band’s psychedelic trail. It’s a battle between light and shade, between hope and despair, which many bands have successfully explored down the years, but few as successfully as Thought Forms – thanks largely to the unique dynamics at work within the band, I suspect.

Opening Side 2, ‘Only Hollow’ owes a nod of the head at least to My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Only Shallow’, again a signpost for those who need it. For those who are willing to blindly follow the band’s ritualistic call to arms, a course I wholeheartedly recommend, both ‘Afon’ and the stunning 12-minute long ‘Burn Me Clean’ (with a guitar break from the brilliant Deej Dhariwhal that will rip your head off) feature hushed, sacremental vocals from the increasingly confident Charlie Romijn, the latter putting me in mind of Bardo Pond with a bit of Mugstar thrown in for good measure - although apparently the song was born out of an improvised set by the band in support of Master Musicians Of Bukkake. Either way, it’s no bad thing.

Given that Thought Forms are quite literally the Terrascope’s house band, having been formed in the same building as we operate from here in Wiltshire, you can safely assume that here is a trio who hit all the right buttons and then some in any case. ‘Ghost Mountain’ reveals a band who aren’t content to simply sit back and push buttons though; they prod and poke and probe and continually explore, as a consequence of which their sonic palette is increasingly vast and endlessly fascinating.

The digital version of the album features a bonus track, 'Bowing' which I confess not to have heard - the copy of the LP I bought didn't include a digital download code, which is unusual these days.

(Phil McMullen)



(CD from Instincto Records)

Such is the familiar and at once comforting and unsettling nature of Cosmos-Mother that I’m almost tempted to resubmit an earlier review of one of Book Of Shadows’ burgeoning back catalogue to see if anyone would notice (hell it would be nice to know if anyone bothers to read any of this, full stop). However as much as this latest release explores similarly strange and uncharted territory as its predecessors it would be doing this and the band a supreme injustice if I were to infer that this was simply a retread of past wonders. Such is the uniqueness of this band that their subtle energies are ever revealing of hidden layers and textures that makes each release a singular and fascinating listening experience.

To the uninitiated, BoS centres on the nucleus of Carlton (keys) and Sharon (voice) Crutcher with Aaron Bennack and Jason Zenmoth on guitars/electronics. Tracks are mostly improvised and in this case appear to date from a few years back, since when the compositional element has tended to become more to the fore. The mixture of drone and otherworldly ambience makes for a zero beats per minute experience that is both meditative and, when it works (which to these particular antennae is invariably), highly effective in a way which evokes a disembodied, alt-folk parody of the Cocteau Twins. For those of you already in the know, this is the usual mix of the soothing, the scary and the transcendent.

 “Moon Pie” sets us off on our long strange trip and goes straight for the central nervous system with its frontal assault of infernal electronics and, of all things a berserk recorder. “Your Reflection” a somewhat more measured affair, albeit with an insistent and insinuating bass line over which the wash of sound and Sharon’s ethereal and wordless vocals ebb and flow. “Stardust Faded” floats in space or on some eerie and enchanted lake while “Spider Jones” plays like a peyote experience in a remote desert and features stripped down, acoustic guitar and Space Ritual era proto-synthesis. Zenmoth’s “Falling Star” takes up the earlier theme of fading light and is dominated by Sharon’s spoken vocal and spectral guitar and bass.  “Pendulum” takes things to new levels – or should that be depths - not so much a twilight world but one that is becoming so subterranean that you feel there may be no way back to the light. This is vaporous in the extreme, whilst “Alchemist” plumbs similar dark and mysterious chasms. Bennack’s gorgeous composition “Skycycle the Stratosphere” is the closest we get to a melody, a bit like Pink Floyd might have sounded had they actually set the controls for the heart of the sun and became irrevocably lost in space. “Strinkey”, plinks, plucks and nags, like some mischievous little elf tugging at you coat tail whilst just remaining out of kicking distance. “Flora and Fauna” features much gentle cooing from Sharon over a bewitching backdrop, while “Crickets and Tree Frogs” is pretty much just that, except they’z the wyrdest, most psychedelic critters you ever did hear before they gradually recede into the cosmic void.

Familiar, then, but as beguiling and as often as not challenging as ever. Moreover, you can’t go wrong with a cover that appears to depict at least one of the Tree Ents from Lord of the Rings. Mind you that could just be my altered perception having just overdosed on what at 78 minutes is the usual BoS value for money. So yes, it’s a whole new review but I will dust off an old comment is to reiterate that this is probably the best 3 a.m. band you’re never likely to experience live, but who knows, one day they may surprise us and show up this side of the Pond. Meanwhile it’s this way to the old haunted wood, folks.... 
(Ian Fraser)



(LP + 7” www.fruitdemerrecords.com)

Possibly one of the more underrated bands to come from the sixties, too pop for some, too strange for others, although commercially successful, The Hollies always had an ear for a good tune and happily embraced psychedelia when it arrived in the swinging sixties. It is that period that this compilation focuses on with 16 modern bands re-interpreting those classic psych-pop songs with the benefit of hindsight and modern technology.

First up Beautify Junkyards tackle “Butterfly”, keeping intact the songs dreamy ambience and coating it in reverb creating a delicious starting point that leads you back in time, kaleidoscope colours beginning to flicker on the edge of your vision. Keeping that feel, “All the World is Love” is another paisley gem in the hands of The Seventh Ring of Saturn , the addition of a Sitar adding to the feeling of time travel. Whoever programmed this collection (Hello Keith) certainly knew what he was doing, as the sitar remains on a lysergic version of “Elevated Observations” from the imagination of Jay Tausig, a man who has got right inside his chosen song, ending an opening trio that is everything you could wish from a Hollies tribute album.

With a strange woozy feel, “King Midas in Reverse” is stripped down to basics by Hi-Fiction Science, an approach that works well, especially as the band add extra layers towards the end adding a fine guitar solo to boot. Taking a rockier road, Re-Stoned give “The the Heartaches Begin” a noisy freakbeat stomp, guitars turned up and with a finely judged middle section that rocks hard.

So, when is a cover not a cover ? A tricky question posed by Moonweevil and their version of “Bus Stop”. I must confess that the song in question is one of my favourite tunes of all time, guaranteed to make me happier anytime I hear it, I even went straight to it first of all when I got this disc. Opening with a stoned groove, vocal samples and electronics, the only thing left from the original is a fragmentary lead line (no vocals) and the chord sequence. Now as a piece of music, I really like this tune, it has a laid-back psychedelic/lounge feel and the more I hear it the more of the original my brain adds back in. When is a cover not a cover, my inner jury is still debating.

Definitely a cover, The Gathering Grey do a fine job on “Postcard” complete with seagulls and Punch and Judy samples at the end, whilst Auralcandy add a sweet and delicate ambience on their divine version of “Heading For A Fall”.

Sometimes you think it wouldn't be a compilation without the inclusion of Bevis Frond, although as Mr Saloman hardly ever fails to deliver this is no bad thing, turning “Hard Hard Year” into a Bevis song, complete with sterling guitar work and a perfect vocal delivery. Wreathed in curls of smoke, “Try It” is a slow and moody psychedelic jewel in the hands of Sky Picnic, the only sad thing is that the beautiful rippling guitar at the end fades out far too quickly.

Bringing back the sixties pop feel, The Neutron Drivers add loads of energy to their version of “Water on the Brain”, sounding as if they were contemporaries of The Hollies, which is a good thing, the band getting much spacier towards the end of the tune. To round off the album, the gentle psych-folk sounds of “Butterfly”, this time re-interpreted by Us and Them, is the perfect way to lead us out, hand in hand and bathed in golden sunshine, ending an excellent collection that does justice to a wonderful band.

This being Fruit De Mer, things don't end there though, the addition of a 7” single giving the listener four more Hollies inspired nuggets to enjoy, with The Higher State, actually sounding like The Hollies themselves on their freakbeat version of “Don't Run and Hide”, whilst the sitar makes a welcome return on “Dear Eloise”, King Penguin taking a time machine back to the sixties to ensure that authentic vibe. Keeping the joy but creating more of a sugar cube feel, The Electric Stars, make “Jennifer Eccles” their own, throwing all manner of instruments and effects at the song, although the chorus remains intact. Finally, Langor close the 7” with their version of “Everything is Sunshine”, a pretty psych-pop interpretation with plenty of charm and a beaming smile.

As ever, Fruit De Mer have come up trumps creating a collection, that showcases both some excellent new bands and the Wonderful songwriting skills of The Hollies, a job well done. (Simon Lewis)



(Swiss Import CD Insubordinations Records )

Recently I was fortunate enough to snag a couple of releases from the Insubordinations netlabel, which majors in wide-ranging projects of an improv/free and electroacoustic bent. Abdul Moiměme is a Lisbon-based sonic alchemist who also doubles/trebles as a saxist, architect and jazz scribe. He's also collaborated with trumpeter Axel Dorner (he of the "Reductionist  School"), Ernesto Rodriguez and the nattily monnikered Variable Geometry Ork.

    "Mekhaanu" comes as a follow up to "Nekhephthu" (almost Magmaesque titling?) and again sees a devilishly customized guitar set-up that's marshalled by Abdul's overdub and f.x. free manifesto. It's a well-measured exercise that could easily be imagined as having purely electronic origins. The ugloid grind/klang of sentient machinery, alongside the feel of rusted gears and metal teeth set permanently on edge saturates the "Mécanisme" five part suite. Part Two has the moans of a prepped guitar positioned in a grand piano while the closer aptly replicates the sound of a vast pair of metal doors being laboriously secured. "Quils Appellant Saturne" meanwhile, is surrounded by the clatter of Pierre Bastien-like automata (albeit on a gargantuan, we-are-but-ants kinda scale), that's married to a gnarled and sinister shuffling redolent of the destroyed vinyl soundsc(r)aping of Strotter Inst., circa "Minenhund".

    I can only gawp and do the jawdrop at the invention presented here; adding late seventies era pitch black industrial manoeuvres and the faint afterglow of Brotzmann junior's stringwrench into the free aesthetic. After all, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Fred Frith's "Guitar Solos" album, which was my entry into the realms of distressed/heavily tweaked guitar experimentalism. (Steve Pescott)



(Swiss Import CD Insubordinations Records )

And following on from the entry floating above...."Queixas"...a two thirds Swiss, one third Portuguese unit whose previous stage/incarnation Diatribes & Abdul Moiměme consisted of Cyril Bondi on floor toms/objects, the pseudonymous Monsieur D'Incise on laptop/even more objects and Abdul Moiměme. As a point of interest "Multitude" (a Swedish Cave 12 Orchestra release), found Diatribes in the company of veteran British improv double bassist Barry Guy. Meanwhile, Di'Incise's solo work can be located in the found sounds cabinet on the Audioton and Gruenrekorder imprints.

    "Eye of Newt" sees this fiercely egoless grouping evince a sense of ultra acute foreboding from the get go, where fretful nights and daytime angst have seemingly become the norm of late. The opening "An yll wynde that bloweth no man to good" is constructed around a relatively low incident framework (recalling American experimentalists of yore; Biota), with the minute hand reduced to travelling at half speed. Time is effectively stretched, while dripping liquids and weird, distant avian chirrupings occasionally make their eldritch presence known within a dronefield of toneless electronics. Hovering feedback, sinister flutterings and monochrome sound sources on "Stow the Croze" bring to mind Paul Lytton and/or Eddie Prevost gazing in on the infinite. The closing "Everybody Out" - etherphonics in extremis for sure - insinuates itself into the grey matter with the suggestion of creaking floorboards that merge with over anxious breathtones and the worrying hiss of escaping gas. So... perhaps the allusion (in terms of menace), to Willie the Shake's witches of Macbeth in spell-casting mode ("Toe of Frog, Wool of Bat" etc etc) isn't too wide of the mark after all. (Steve Pescott)




(CD from www.latherrecords.com)

Clocking in at a mere 17 minutes, this four-track EP is a psychedelic delight from start to finish, a heady blend of Middle Eastern influences, droning guitars and chanted vocals, the whole thing sounding like Spacemen 3 jamming with Gong in a sleazy nightclub, very probably as the soundtrack to a cheesy sixties exploitation flick, the dance floor filled with twirling flower children, stoned out of their gourds and having a bloody good time. This, to me, sounds like a very good thing and I am sure you will agree when “The Switchbacks are Crumbling” explodes out of the Speakers and drags you in. On “Vasily” the spirit of Kaleidoscope (U.S.) is evident, another Eastern tune, that also reminds me of “Holy Magick” (Graham Bond), although I am not sure why. Adding to the delightful nature of the track is a dancing clarinet that adds melody and texture to the hypnotic rhythms.

   Slowing things down a touch, “Crispy Lords” is a smoke wreathed head-nodder, a deeply lysergic groove with a pulsing drum beat, the drones adding mystery and magic to the piece. Finally, “Rain Dance For the Idiots” evokes Kaleidoscope again, a faster paced gem that sparkles with vitality and a sense of humour, the whole band having a great time, or so it seems. (Simon Lewis)



FLOORIAN – COSMOSAIC (CD/DL from Drigh Records www.floorian.com)

Floorian is one of those bands whose name tends to be bandied about the virtual offices of Terrascope and similarly inclined publications with the sort of reverence that only the very few and the quite special can expect to command. I must confess then to being slightly ashamed to admit to having come a little late to this particular party.

Cosmosaic is only Floorian’s third full length album in ten years and has been out on release since the summer of 2012 (was there a summer in 2012?). The Ohio band, once dubbed “America’s new kings of psychedelic overload” by legendary Bomp! Records founder and rock pioneer Greg Shaw, serves up a heady slice of narcotic, vaguely Eastern sounding psychedelia shot through with enough suspense and subtle drama to keep even the plentiful instrumentals here interesting throughout. Laconic vocals, courtesy of bassist Jim Godshalk (who together with guitarist Todd Fisher appears to form the group’s main song writing partnership), emphasise the laid back, pharmaceutical groove and nowhere is this more evident than on the opening “Sine Qua Non”, which is underscored by some cool Farfisa sounding keyboards . It’s followed by “Daymare”, another vocal track and the only thing here that can lay anywhere near serious claim to being a rocker. The first of four entirely instrumental cuts, “Trance Mission” threatens to crystallise into “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” but in the end is content with being a five minute preamble of no little atmospheric appeal - in fact it has huge potential as a soundtrack to whatever dark and sinister thoughts you may be harbouring at this or any other moment. Equally compelling is the drug den drone of “Take IV”, saturated in cranked-up, effects laden guitar, like a fiendish, vocal-free remix of “Venus in Furs”. From here we segue neatly into the slightly more up-tempo but still moody “Daze”, which transmutes about three minutes or so into something like Low at their most sensuous and appealing best. It is gorgeously hypnotic and melodic but with a grungy sting in the tail and which, together with “Sine Qua Non”; the soporific shoegaze of “One Won’t Do, Take 2” and the extended, mystical sounding curtain dropper, “Cryptid”, forms the impressive bedrock of what amounts to 50 or so minutes of pleasure and the aural equivalent of indulging in a box of unusual and exotic soft centres. Better late to the party than never to have arrived at all. (Ian Fraser)





STEPHANIE HLADOWSKI AND C JOYNES – THE WILD WILD BERRY(CD/LP/Download from Bo’weavil Recordings www.boweavilrecordings.com )

ALASTAIR GALBRAITH – CRY (VINYL/Download from MIE www.miemusic.co.uk )

FRUGAL PURITAN – FRUGAL PURITAN (CD and Download from Folk Police Recordings www.folkpolicerecordings.com )

Chris Joynes’2011’s Congo was by common consensus a highlight instrumental/folk album. Now one of Cambridgeshire’s finest is back with an English vocalist with whom I must confess to being unfamiliar. The outcome is a brisk clip through some traditional English fare (fayre?) mostly culled from the archives of Cecil Sharp House and some more familiar than others. Joynes’ masterful, melodic guitar is nicely counterpoised by Stephanie Hladowski’s clear and by no means twee vocals. Not for her the operatic grandeur of Lavinia Blackwall or the so-called “pure” voice of Shirley Collins but an authoritative and distinctive delivery that lends an edge to the narrative. Their combined effort is rewarding throughout, with top accolades going to “The Pretty Ploughboy”, “The Lord Bateman” and “God Bless the Master of this House” but really, nothing disappoints.

New Zealander Alastair Galbraith is a prolific multi-instrumentalist whose fourth album Cry, recorded between 1998 and 2000, receives a belated release (hence our interest) and which pitches him somewhere twixt Ivor Cutler, Rock Bottom-era Wyatt and a discordant Third Ear Band.  The Cutler comparison is in no short measure due to the lavish and atmospheric application of harmonium which immediately strikes you from the opening bars of “Bellbird”. The thirteen mostly short tracks (some just seconds in length) all plink and fizz along in a nagging drone that evokes not so much kitchen sink as camp stove psychedelia of the most curious variety, with backwards tapes, scratching violin and all manner of found sounds neatly enough interspersed with Galbraith’s mostly spoken word vocal. The ingredients all come together beautifully on the criminally short “One Method” and another highlight, “Koterana”, which sounds like a nest full of wasps, gorged on seasonally mellow fruitfulness and having a rare old time knocking out drunken jigs and reels (or so you’d imagine). All oddly pleasing and pleasingly odd, and a welcome (re) release to be sure.

Who or what Frugal Puritan is/are is something of a mystery, the completely surreal press blurb accompanying the release depicts mysterious goings on in the sleepy Wiltshire countryside and a tale of good Christian folks going very bad indeed but seems to yield little if anything about the artiste(s). Whether this air of mystery is genuine or simply contrived by our old mate Nigel from Folk Police Recordings as a bit of a laff only he or they can say but in an age where we know instantly about each minor celeb’s every bowel movement I’m willing to indulge this bizarre cloak of anonymity and jolly well enjoy it.

Musically FP ranges from bucolic hippy noodling of the type that, well, Jesus freaks tried their best to promulgate back in the day (usually proving that, sadly, the devil did have the best tunes) through to fuzzed-out acid rock. It takes a bit to get going and a while longer to really grow on you but at its best, such as on the ever-so gorgeous “Song For John David” and “Jane Coming Round Again” you get a glimpse of Frugal Puritan’s true potential, while the remarkable “Seven Stars” luxuriates in some elegant and lysergic-tinged guitar textures with some gritty soloing reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane circa “Volunteers”. Every so often a song will fail to ignite or is let down by an insipid sounding vocal, yet the wheat easily outweighs the chaff and the effect, overall, is much like listening to some gratifying Midlake demos so make of that what you will. Meanwhile we can all keep guessing as to who might be behind the strange and sinister cult of the Frugal Puritan (woooo!)

Frugal Puritan is released on limited edition CD by Folk Police Recordings on 1st April (oh, oh!) 2013 and is available for pre-order from www.folkpolicerecordings.com (Ian Fraser) 



(Double LP from www.fruitdemerrecords.com)
(CD from http://www.softheartedscientists.com/)

Maybe 2013 is going to be the year of the Soft hearted Scientist, judging by the excellent sounds to be found on this brace of releases it just might, the albums crammed with whimsical melody, sweet psychedelia, harmony and a charm that is hard to describe.

    Opening with the masterly stroke of a brief cover of the theme to The Likely Lads,


the melody taking you right back to a seemingly simpler time, “what Ever Happened To...” collects together tracks from the band's five albums, as well as some unreleased demo's and the previously mentioned theme, which was recorded twice for this compilation. After this nostalgic beginning, both “Mount Palomar” and “Wendigo” being Canterbury tinged tunes, reminding me of the best bits of Caravan, with lovely melodies and interesting lyrics. Possibly the finest track on side one of the collection is the magnificent “The Yongy Bongy Bo” a fabulous piece of Edward Lear inspired nonsense about love and talking hens, the band taking up where Gorkys left off, the power of Welsh psychedelia at its finest, this rich vein continuing on side two, where “At Night the Quarry Glows Like A Mothership” glides in for landing and then takes off with you on board for a majestic and softly pulsing trip to the stars. After this wonder, “The A470 Song” is a hymn to the Welsh countryside, especially the mountains, the chanted vocal performance layered with sweet harmonies. Ending the first LP with a haze of surf inspired guitar and a burst of energy, “Rockford's Return” takes us back to that classic Canterbury sound but with the bands own identity stamped over the top.

   Ok, on to the second album, which opens in fine style with the wonderful Floyd meets The Hollies pop of “Eyes”, a song that gets stuck in your head immediately making you smile with happiness. At a shade under ten minutes, “The Caterpillar Song” is given plenty of room to develop, offering a passing nod to The Incredible String band, in its construction and complex lyrics, the whole track crafted with precision and an attention to detail that really pays off. From here on in Side three concentrates on gentle psych that shimmers with love, with “The Strangest Scene” and “The Garden Song” drifting by in a perfumed haze leaving twinkling lights in their wake, this mood sustained yet twisted by the slightly odd “The Midnight Dance of the Mexican Vampire” a slice of off-kilter, whimsical pop that is almost instrumental apart from the whispered title, a delightful distraction that rounds of the side.

    Opening with the sounds of an owl, “Road to Rhayader” is another hymn to the welsh countryside, whilst “The Trees Don't Seem to Know That It's September”is a sweet ditty that reminds me of Kevin Ayers, the song having that Jazz, Music Hall vibe so beloved of sixties UK psych bands. Also included on side 4 are two songs from the new album, but as I am reviewing that next I shall move swiftly on to the final track on the album, where we find the boys ending as they began with a cover of  The Likely Lads Theme, this time attached to “The Sleepers In The Hill”, a tune that flows beautifully, nostalgic and filled with melody, ending a rather brilliant collection. Of course, this being Fruit De Mer, you don't just get a wonderfully packaged double album, but a four-track EP as well, featuring unreleased songs from the the “Take Time To Wonder” sessions and they are all delightful, short burst of psych-pop energy that are too good to remain unreleased. So, a stunning collection that any psych-head with an ear for melody so go and investigate and on vinyl as well, what a result.

    After a glorious romp through the back catalogue, it is time to take a peek at the “False Lights”, the latest offering from the band. After a very brief opener, “Seeing” is reassuringly familiar, melodic and lovely, the band identity still intact and sounding as fresh as ever, with the drifting synth ambience of “Seeing Further” a delightful coda to the tune. Mixing Gorkys with The Dukes of Stratosphear, the title track reveals a darker lyrical content, the track and to some extent the whole disc, dealing with society's ills, the financial situation, big business, the division of wealth and the crumble of traditional values. This is not to say that the album is overtly political, it is more social comment than protest, a gentle prod swathed in psychedelic finery, the lyrical trend continued on “Golgotha”, another tune that floats on a cloud of sweetness, an excellent example of the softly spoken psych the band do so well. Then of course, there is the groove of “Song From The River”, a tumble of percussion twirling under piano and guitar, a hint of Eastern promise adding to the delightfulness, the sing-a-long chorus instantly singable. To end side one (even on a CD), “Turn The Tables” is another psych sing-a-long, reminding of The Idle Race, which is a really good thing in my book. Now, I am a bit of a sucker for whimsical psych, especially those tunes that have that distinctive UK edge of something sinister just underneath the surface, underneath the surface literally in the case of “Seaside Sid and the Giant Squid”, the tune an instant favourite in this house, a jaunty tale of Sid and his rather unfortunate choice of swimming partner, “The squid was vicious, Sid was delicious”, all wrapped up in some gorgeous melody and arrangement that includes flute and banjo, bloody marvellous. Filled with lyrical strangeness and suddenly familiar, “Halloween People” is also on the Fruit De Mer collection, a lovely early Floyd acoustic riff mixed with some lyrics that pick apart the press and their influence on modern life, all melded to more sing-a-long happiness.  That same Floyd feel is present, even more so, on “Trees in the Wind”, whilst “Monster of the Id”, has a tinge of Roger McGough in its words and rhythms, a slightly disturbing and surreal piece that compliments the sweetness of the rest of the disc. Stepping back a couple of years, Syd Barrett is the influence on “Night of the Hunter” (also on the compilation), the song having a wonderful sixties psych second half that is perfectly realised, it just makes me smile. Finally, apart from a brief outro, “Panorama” is seven minutes of heaven embedded in a round shiny thing, distilling everything that has gone before into pure Soft Hearted Scientists elixer, rounding off an album that is going to get played a lot around these parts, especially if the sun ever makes an appearance. Not released until May, put this on your wish  list and, while you are waiting, get the compilation and mellow down to some psych-pop loveliness. (Simon Lewis)