= Autumn 2 0 2 3 =

elcome to this Autumn 2023 edition of Terrascopic Rumbles.

It has taken a little longer to prepare than I had hoped. I would like to thank all of the musicians who have taken the trouble to send me their work, and would also like to thank them for their patience; I try to review everything that has been sent in and as a consequence of that this latest instalment is rather bursting at the seams.  I do hope that you find something of interest amongst these reviews. 

Firstly, over to long-standing Terrascope reviewer Simon Lewis......

Having recorded some late-night guitar Sketches, Joseph Blane sent them off to musicians in Venezuela and USA to have the pieces layered with bass, piano and various wind instruments. The resulting tracks are mellow, Jazz tinged delights with an experimental twist and an inventive centre. Opening track, “Felt the Moon” is a smoky, sleazy groove that leads into the album down rickety steps and through faded curtains before “Insect” dances into vision, a rolling guitar motif that is suddenly takes flight on a warm cloud of trumpet and bass, hints of John Martyn to be found in its ambience. On “The Night Room” a jazzy human saxophone is allowed plenty of room to do its thing whilst you sit back and sip your drink, the piece softly losing its groove to become a drifting swirl of incense. From here on in, the listener just becomes lost in the mellow grooves, a timeless ambience that culminates with the eight-minute “The Kingdom of Stars”, a sweet flute caressing the guitar and bass curves whilst the piano swoons in the background, the instruments swapping roles as the track continues, the waiter quietly refreshing your glass, music for underground animations and early-morning broken hearts. Available as a download or as a limited edition cassette. (bandcamp.com)

Also released on cassette, and dealing with atmosphere, albeit of a different kind, “Ghost Town Burning” feature two long pieces from The Lonely Bell, the name chosen by Ali Bell, who created the music from home on The Isle Of Lewis, Scotland. Side one is taken up with the title track, a dense slab of rolling noise that creeps and rumbles across the floor slowly filling the room with a dark yet somehow comforting cloud of sound, the tension of a approaching storm tinged with both anxiety and excitement, crackling energy to be found deep inside the drone, all you can do is experience the moment. Having passed over the final traces of the piece contain flashes of light and hope allowing you to breathe again. Over on side two, “Then The Snow” repeats the trick, another dense drone that conjures up visions of vast snow storms and desolate winter scenes, a distant lonely voice heard only fleetingly as the track fades to nothing. The Lonely Bell (bandcamp.com)

After getting lost in some beautiful dark drones it is good to take a different path to release the tension, in this case a dose of Afton Wolfe is the perfect direction as his latest release “Twenty Three” soothes my soul. To be honest this is not traditional Terrascope  flavour, five tracks of soul, country, rock, blues magic topped of with an amazing voice that brings the songs to life, hey, it caught my ear and made me happy which is reason enough to mention it in these dark times. Anyway, track one “Cry” is a magnificent soul classic sung with passion and authenticity, the deep gravelly voice catching the mood perfectly, whilst “The Moon Is Going Down” has a country heart and reminds me of Kris Kristofferson. Moody and mighty fine, “Truck Drivin Man” has a touch of Tom Waits about it, a hypnotic Bass line pushing the song along whilst a violin drones above. That pulsing rhythm is shared by “So Purple” some New Orleans piano decorating the tune as it dances down the pavement before “Late Night Radio” leads us out through an arch of swaying lighters, a melodic and slow-burning tune with a great chorus and plenty of emotion.  Afton Wolfe (bandcamp.com) 

Next up we have a brace of releases from Big Stir Records beginning with “Steppin' Out” the latest album from ex-Sorrows/Poppees guitarist Arthur Alexander. Wearing its rock and roll heart on its sleeve the album kicks of in energetic style with the frantic power-pop of “Woman” which pretty much does everything you want from a tune, hey ho lets go etc etc. Slowing the pace, “It's Not Love Anymore #2” has plenty of swagger nestling between the melody, whilst “(She's a) Red Hot Lover” is inspired by Chopin and turns out to be a track driven by pulsing electronics as well as guitar giving it a classic New Wave groove. Adding more style and texture, “Oh Lulu Won't You Be My Girl” has a retro swing groove that will get you moving as go about your day before “Why Can-t You Come” bring you right back to the sleazy rock and roll of the opener. Over 13 tracks this album will keep you thoroughly entertained, each track different from the last and just as good, before “Flying Shadows” takes by the hand and leads you out a happier person. This is perfect music for a sunny afternoon or a long road trip, just good music.

Remember Graham Parker? Bet you do, and now you can re-acquaint yourself as he teams up with his backing band The Goldtops to create 13 new tracks under the name “Last Chance to Learn the Twist”, an album that begins with the sleazy soul groove of “Music of the Devil”, a tune Tom Waits would be proud of as it stomps around the room, tight but loose with the organ holding it all together as Mr Parker spins his tale in fine form. On the slower “Sun Valley”, the vocals become the star, a beautifully crafted song that gets better each listen something you could also say about the slightly strange “Pablo's Hippos”, a tune with plenty of style. Elsewhere, the Dylanesque ”I Did Nothing” gets you with the lyrics before “Lost Track of Time” reminds you that Graham Parker sure can write a tune, one of those songs you can get lost in , lyrical snippets making you smile as your foot taps along. Adding a summery reggae groove, “Them Bugs” is another track with light hearted lyrics and plenty of smiles, whilst “Since You Left Me Baby” has a sweet blues feel and typical lyrics, another fine tune in fact. I don't know a lot about Graham Parker but I do know that this one is a grower, great band, fine tunes, plenty of swagger, definitely worth a listen especially if you love a seventies groove.  Big Stir Records (bandcamp.com)

Sounding like they would be right at home in the early nineties Swedish garage revival Shaw's Trailer Park have nailed that sleazy fuzzed-up sound on their self-titled debut release. Opening track “Don't Do That” has a traditionally sloppy beginning before kicking you in the nuts with a primitive riff and a singalong chorus and some fine garage lyrics to boot. Following on, “Memory” sounds like The Nomads as it grinds out of the speakers filled with some great rock and roll guitar work especially in the latter half of the tune. Elsewhere “Queen of the Class” is an energy filled stomper, whilst “Restraint” slows things down a tad allowing the band to stretch out with some more fine guitar and a psychedelic feel, an ambience detonated by the basic riffing of “Rainbow Man” a song that demands plenty of volume. Talking of basic riffing, with class, which is what this album is all about, both “House Without Love” and She's Alright” hit the spot nudging the volume up again, is it too early for a shot of Bourbon? , the whole shebang wrapped up by “Snakegirl”, a seven minute brooding fuzz epic with rumbling bass and moaning guitar, the track riddled with tension as it slowly builds and builds. Fabulous stuff, go have a listen.  Shaw's Trailer Park (bandcamp.com)

Starting as they mean to go on, Scottish band Wayward Jane entice you in  beautifully with the nostalgic “Edinburgh Rain”, a near perfect way to introduce “The Flood”, a fine collection of traditional sounding Folk/Americana tunes that will soothe your soul. Featuring fiddles, Banjo, Guitar, Bass, Flute and some excellent vocals the album is a delight from start to finish with the instrumental “Brokeback” highlighting both their musical skills and the way they interact sympathetically with each other’s playing, allowing the tune to shine, the mood changed with a lively version of “Shake Sugaree” that will get you singing along. Hauntingly beautiful and possibly the album highlight, “Crossing Over Water” slows down time as it drifts sweetly in your brain the fiddle caressing your emotions before vocals add another layer of delight. Moving on “A Stone's Throw” is a very traditional sounding tune with plenty of life, the collection rounded off by the slightly gloomy and Gypsy Jazz influenced “Liberty” another song it is easy to get lost in as you take another around the fire.  Wayward Jane (bandcamp.com)

Coming across like early PJ Harvey or maybe The White Stripes, Elli De Mon has certainly got something going on as “Pagan Blues”  her latest album wakes you up a bit, the distorted guitar of “The Fall” restoring your faith in rock and roll especially when the drums kick and it turns into one big fuzzed-up primitive stomp. The same manic energy is felt on “I Can See You” another blues stomper with distorted Lapsteel powering its greasy heart. Slowing things down but keeping it dirty, “Catfish Blues” is mean and sleazy just as it should be, whilst “Ticking” could be a lost PJ Harvey tune, explosive and creeping under the skin, I had to play it twice, the second time was much louder. Adding new textures, “Siren's Call” features a Sitar and droning Silruba to the mix, creating an Eastern stomp that is still suitably noisy, the album brought to a close with “Troubled”, another sleazy, slide driven, slow-burner of a tune. Nine songs, all killer, go get one.   (bandcamp.com)

Phew, after all the Rock n Roll its time to chill out a bit with the beautiful ambient piano sounds of Ludvig Cimbrelius whose album “Love Letters From The Sky” is the perfect antidote to the stress and strains of the day mixing drifting ambient electronics with rippling piano notes creating an album of intense beauty. Having been settled in by the elegant refrains of “Stjarnhimmel” it is time to get serious as the nine-minute “Adelaide” flutters into the room, a soft minimalist delight that captivates the ears, modern classical meets Wyndham Hill perfectly. Inspired by actual love letters there is plenty of emotion running through the music, the album meant to be heard as one piece split into sections, each track flowing from the last although “Fleeting Moonlight” caught my ear with its delightful melodies, whilst the final piece “Langtan Efter Att Leva” is given plenty of room to softly dance clocking in at 14 shimmering minutes. sound in silence (bandcamp.com)

Many years ago I obtained a copy of OHO -”Ecce” (a compilation of unreleased and live stuff) through the back pages of The Terrascope. It's a fine album filled with slightly heavier, Canterbury-esque Prog that I dig out every couple of years and enjoy. However I never bothered to investigate further, that is until this moment as I write about “Authentic Fake”, the latest album from original OHO member, Jay Graboski. To be fair opening track “In Dotage” could be straight from the OHO menu, heavy guitar chords backed by organ, bass , drums all topped of with Jay's distinctive and excellent vocal delivery, a great start that is only enhanced by the similar sounding “Season of Extremes” although there is a lighter feel with some great piano work. Another early highlight is the delightfully melodic and almost commercial “”28721”, light, airy and sprinkled with a recorder. Clocking in at 5:32, “The Hours” is the longest track on the collection, another beautifully crafted tune with a horn section at its centre, almost funky and darting into Art-Rock territory before flirting with Jazz, great stuff that is followed by “Frog Legs” , bass and fiddle creating some cosmic country jazz that will make you smile before “Authentic Fake”, brings the album to a close, the spirit of OHO is to be heard amongst its grooves as it rocks to a conclusion. Yes the album is over but the fun continues as the CD also contains the “Dagger Chandelier EP” six more tracks that begin with the rather excellent “Your Luck Is Awake”, a beautiful , gently rolling tune driven by some lovely bass playing and precise rhythms , and ended by “Well, I'll Be”, a sweet little tune with acoustic instruments dancing together over a simple country bass line, a delightful way to finish an album that will reveal more layers with each play, time to dig out the OHO album. Good luck with finding a copy but it can be heard hear at http://jaygraboski.hearnow.com/authentic-fake 

Improvised and then overdubbed, Each of the 23 tracks on “Minutes Two” the latest album from Zeuk, lasts just a single minute giving the whole album a blink and you will miss it feel that I find quite difficult to listen to as they tend to sound like interesting intros rather than whole pieces, I want to hear them be explored in more depth. However if you treat it as a sound collage, one long piece, then it works well as there is plenty of variation in sound and texture with pieces ranging from melancholy to playful, emotional, warm and experimental. It is definitely worth hearing, but maybe a bit of an acquired taste. | Zeuk | David CW Briggs (bandcamp.com)

Andrew Young now takes up the cudgel….

First up from me is a new album by Old Californio entitled “Metaterranea”. The album prior to this was mainly a covers album, so it’s good to have some brand new songs from the band to listen to. It’s another self released album available from their Bandcamp page. The band consists of Woody Aplanalp, Rich Dembowski, Jon Niemann, and Justin Smith with Anthony Logerfo and Lon Hayes adding some extra drums, Corey McCormick bass, Paul Lacques lap steel, Andres Renteria congas and Jason Chesney adding some extra backing vocals. The band play an organic, rural style of Americana which is pretty easy on the ear, but there’s a lot going on behind these seemingly easy going California country rock grooves. Standout tracks for me were the loping opener “Old Kings Road” with its lovely b-bender electric lead guitar “Come Undone”, with some terrific barrelhouse piano, “Weeds”, the yearning “Tired For A Sea”, and the wonderful album closer “Just Like A Cloud” which has a great fuzzy wig out towards its climax, great stuff guys can’t wait for the next album. www.oldcalifornio.bandcamp.com

The Sound In Silence record label has recently achieved the milestone of 100 releases, the label specialise in mainly instrumental sounds and have developed quite a roster of artists.  The most recent releases to reach us here are a return of Sweeney with “Corporeal” Hessian with “The Alchemist”, Ruxpin & Stafreann Hakron with “Meet Me In Forever” and the aforementioned 100th release by These Clouds “V/A”, which features 18 exclusive tracks by a few of their growing roster of likeminded artists, like The Green Kingdom, Yellow6, David Newlyn and Hotel Neon. Each of their albums previously having been limited to about 200 handmade copies in lovely packaging and are always worth seeking out, this one is in a larger run of 500 copies and so hopefully there will still be a few available from their Bandcamp website www.soundsinsilencerecords.bandcamp.com

Portsmouth musician Keith Seatman has featured in these pages before, he was the founding member of indie band The Psylons and he returns with “Disjointed Oddities and Other Such Things EP Vol2”. Keith has released tracks for various Year In The Country releases plus other hauntological minded labels, his last album was well received here and this EP continues to impress with this EP of unsettling electronica. This one is self released, but I’m not sure where a copy can be secured, ah after a bit of digging it is on Bandcamp, find it here. www.keithseatman.bandcamp.com

Ed Snodderly is a name I remember from the band The Brother Boys and his latest album “Chimney Smoke” by Ed Snodderly & The Shoestring Seven has been produced by the great R.S. Field and engineered by Grammy winning producer Bill VornDick (who unfortunately passed away in the summer of last year). This is an excellent Americana record recommended for fans of artists like Guy Clark and east Tennessee eccentrics like Todd Snider. It also has some terrific lead guitar by the legendary Nashville guitarist Kenny Vaughan. This is a terrific album, slightly left of field lyrics and sparkling instrumentation which bears up to repeated listens. www.edsnodderlymusic.com

Astral Magic have been busy releasing albums; in fact they/he Finnish musician Santtu Laakso are/is almost too prolific. The latest couple of CD’s “Am I A Dreamer” and “Mystic Dreams Reversed”, will have no doubt be sold out by the time I’ve finished typing! He is joined on these albums by artists such as Jay Tausig and Gregory Curvey, amongst others, Astral Magic specialise in space rock often with lengthy instrumental passages, it’s pretty immersive stuff and easy to get lost in.  Santtu plays guitar and synths throughout; Earthling Society’s Fred Laird also contributes electric guitar as does Octopus Syng’s Jaire Paitare. Find them here at www.astralmagic.bandcamp.com

Ben De La Cour has a new album out on Jullian Records, “Sweet Anhedonia”.  His previous one to this was a truly great album, which I praised highly upon its release. For this album he has joined forces with that old Wrong Eyed Jesus freak Jim White, who produces the album, adding plenty of his spooky, atmospherics. Fans of singer songwriters like Townes Van Zandt or Guy Clark will already have Ben on their radar; this one is a little different from the preceding albums, in that it is drenched in a southern gothic Americana which Jim brings to the record. Particular highlights for me are the opener “Appalachian Book of the Dead”, “Maricopa County”, “Palookaville” and “American Mind”. www.bendelacour.com

Whilst we are in great Americana territory Malcolm Holcombe has also released a slow burner of an album, entitled “Bits & Pieces”, put out on Proper/Need to Know music. It came out in June. Malcolm is a particularly fine singer songwriter, with a fairly gruff voice, his songs are visceral and often cut to the bone, should you need an example you could equate him to a more Americana nuanced Tom Waits.  He has Jared Tyler producing along with Brian Brinkerhoff. Jared plays everything on the album, along with Malcolm playing acoustic guitar and singing. Jared seems to be a perfect match for him, pretty much like David Lindley was for Jackson Browne and together they make a formidable pair. www.malcolmholcombe.com

Here’s a bit of an odd one, at first I thought that it must be some kind of joke, J P Inc. “Massage & Spa” a cheesy cover with a spray of pink roses. After a little research it turns out that J P is John Peter Hasson who has previously worked with Devo and Buckethead, it is a straightforward album of which would be played in a spa, exactly that, soothing sounds for relaxation, it works well for a good soak in the bath with candles etc, there is no irony, it does what it says on the tin, peaceful sounds for relaxation only, subversive and quite bizarre, music with no edges, we have song titles such as “Warmed Towlels”, “Sterilized Headrest”, “Wet Pebbles In a Bowl”, etc. It’s the soundtrack to millions of massages worldwide. www.jpinc.bandcamp.com

The Grey Field Recordings “She Sleeps To The Sound Of Knives”. This is the first release from the band in over ten years. The band was formed at the dawn of the new millennium by R. Loftiss. She has created an album of dreamy drone laden songs brought to life with a whole host of dulcimers, flutes, oboes, synths and bowed acoustic guitar; it is an album to get lost in. It is a spooky affair, mainly spoken word pieces cloaked in atmospherics; “Sarah Bishop” is an early favourite as is “Verdant Green”, but the centrepiece of the record is the eighteen minute “Rapaccini’s Daughter”, a strange and mesmerising tale. www.anticlock.greedbag.com

Over to Wales now with Spencer Segelov & Great Paintings with “You Are A Lighthouse, I’m At Sea”. It is out now on Country Mile Records.  Spencer has created a lovely album of indie pop music roping in Charlie Francis to capture his music and present it to the world at large. Spencer is a musician from Swansea who has released eight albums prior to this. As a session drummer and guitarist he has played on albums by The Soft Hearted Scientists and Sweet Baboo amongst others, he has also gone out on the road playing behind indie singer songwriter Daniel Johnson and country singer Caitlin Mae. The album contains two sold out singles “Disco In Your Heart” and “And We Get Burned”. It’s a fine album which bears up to repeated listens. Find it at www.countrymile.org


Also out on Country Mile Records is a new album from Burning Ferns “World Of The Wars”. The band consists of Anthony Grey guitars and vocals, Nathan Abraham guitars and vocals, David Corton guitars and vocals, Brychan Todd bass and keyboards and Erik Stams drums. Again it is mixed and mastered by Charlie Francis who also adds keyboards and the cover art is by Jon Langford. It is chock full of twisty pop nuggets, I hear Super Furry Animals and Teenage Fanclub influences. Melodic pop songs, well played with plenty to hold interest, the songs are all written by Anthony Gray. Find it at www.countrymile.org

Paul Lush “Six Ways From Sunday” is a forthcoming album from Danny & The Champions Of The World guitar player Paul Lush.  I last heard from him when he released a lovely country soul album under the moniker Araluen last year. For Araluen he chose to have his friend Angela Gannon singing the songs, but for this album he has decided to sing them himself. Amongst the personnel are Danny Wilson, Henry Senior and Steve Brookes and Alan Gregg with Sean Reed in the producer’s chair. It is due to be released in November so for once I appear to ahead of the game. Paul himself plays guitar and mandolin with Sean adding texture through various keyboards. It is a fine mix of uptempo songs such as “You Could’ve at Least Said Something”, and slower pedal steel drenched songs like “Ever At A Loss”. His guitar playing skills shine out throughout. It is released on the Kaloo Kalay record label www.facebook.com/AraluenMusic

Apologies to Alan from Schnauser who has had to wait for ages for me to review the album he kindly sent in, I misplaced it and only found it again recently. Schnauser “Altra Seccatura” is a fine album of pop/prog music; you may well know Alan from from Terrascope favourites The Lucky Bishops. It positively leaps out from the speakers, with oodles of wah-wah saxophone from Dino Christodulou, layers of vintage synth and Hammond B3 from Duncan Gammon, Alan himself plays fuzz and click bass with Jasper Williams holding it all together on drums. Stewart Lee says of the band “They combine sardonic lyrics with sunny melodies”. It is a fine album, tight when required and mellow when it needs to be, equal measures of Canterbury sound combined with the modern prog of say White Denim, and comes highly recommended. www.schnauser.co.uk   

Exedra Electronic Neo Age Mystery”. We liked the previous album “Time And Emotion” when it was released a few years ago, and this one is also pretty fab and will definitely appeal to Terrascope readers. The title refers to one reviewer’s description of the band. It was recorded at Hartswood Studio in London. I think that Fruits De Mer records had a few copies at their August festival. It was written, played, recorded and mixed by Darrall Knight and consists of plenty of dreamy, synth passages, some with vocals and light percussion. Highlights for me are the drifty, plangent tones of “I Waited All Summer”, the title track “Electronic Neo Age Mystery” and “Sky River”, it includes a John Foxx/Ultravox cover “Dangerous Rhythm”, sung by Maggie K De Monde, who also adds vocals to “The New Prayer”. It’s available from www.exerdaI.bandcamp/.com

Zone Six “Full Mental Jacket”. Founded in 1997 Zone Six play lengthy, psychedelically inclined space rock music, this latest outing consists of three tracks, the near twenty minute opener ‘Slingshot’, a much shorter ten minute title track and album closer ‘Chrono Trigger’.  Zone six are comprised of Dave Schmidt playing bass and keyboards, guitarist Manuel Wohlrab and Pablo Carneval playing drums with guests Rainer Neeff and Gottfried Klier adding guitar and sax to Slingshot. It is a cracking album, labyrinthine passages of music with plenty of twists and turns, the musicians feeding off each other much like a shoal of fish moving through water. www.sulatron.com

Sun Dial “Messages From The Mothership”. This is the tenth album by Sun Dial, a band fronted by guitarist Gary Ramon who also plays keyboards, along with his fellow cohorts Scorpio on bass, percussion and moog Taurus and Cleo Ramon who plays mellotron, moog’s and synth’s, together they deliver a new album of killer tunes. It is a terrific listen, taking its influences from classic prog bands like King Crimson, Hawkwind and Pink Floyd. As the album progresses the songs get longer ending with the longest track on the album Saucer Noise (the album’s title is inspired by a UFO sighting). The fretwork throughout is awesome, some killer guitar work. The album is both loose and tight with some incendiary playing from all three, highly recommended stuff. www.sulatron.com

Afton Wolfe gets two reviews in this set Rumbles “The Harvest”. He is a singer- songwriter from Minnesota, who for this EP sings songs written by his father in-law, noted Nashville songwriter L.H. Halliburton. He straddles the genres of country, blues and soul music. Joined on this record by Ilya Portnov on harmonica, Seth Fox on flute and sax, Anthony Saddic on keyboards, Mark Robinson on guitar, Madison George on Drums, Erik Mendez on bass and Anna Eyink on violin with sweet gospel singing by Courtney Santana and Robin Wolfe and it was produced by Doc Sarlo. He sings in a style like a cross between Robbie Robertson and Tom Waits and was once described as sounding like a cross between rough country blues and Steely Dan getting in a fight with a proper jazz band. Country noir, well written and played, find it here at www.aftonwolfe.com

Aton Five “S/T” Here’s a self released album of full on progressive rock in the classic style of say Gentle Giant combined with the heavier type of prog as practised by Mastadon or Opeth. The band consists of Anton Ablov playing organ, synths and piano, Roman Makushev playing drums, Alexander Seleznev playing guitar and Mikhail Zenkov playing bass. It is mainly instrumental, with vocals added to the middle section of “Lethe” Ode on Melancholy, written by poet John Keats. “Alienation”, sets out their stall in fine style, classic prog which runs to over eight minutes, so too does the following “Naked Void”. Sometimes however less is more and the frenetic pace of the playing sometimes overwhelms, but if you are in the mood for some full on tricky progressive rock you are in for a treat. www.atonfive.bandcamp.com

Andrew Rumsey “Evensongs”. Recorded at All Saints Church in Wiltshire on a high summer’s day, Dr Andrew Rumsey has recorded a gentle album of pastoral tunes, rendered on Acoustic guitar and recorded with vintage microphones. He is joined by his friend David Perry who adds additional guitar (both electric and acoustic, by the sound of it) plus a few extra harmonies where required. It’s replete with a brief passage of church organ, birdsong and the humming of bumble bees. The record opens with “Silbury Hill”, an ode to this mysterious chalk hill and has received praise from such fine songwriters as Chris Difford and Graham Gouldman. Andrew has also been compared to Roy Harper and played with Robyn Hitchcock and Martin Carthy amongst others. It’s an open, honest record, eight quite lovely, pastoral folk songs. Put out on Gard Du Nord records www.andrewrumseymusic.bandcamp.com.

Paul Roland is no stranger to these pages and he has just released another album “Wyrd Tales Of Antiquary”, a Unifaun production on Dark Companion records. The album is based upon the Grimm fairy tales with the songs being linked together with interludes, lending cohesion to the songs. Paul was invited to contribute a couple of songs to an H.P. Lovecraft tribute album, which proved to be the genesis of this latest project, which Paul duly expanded upon when that project was delayed due to the pandemic. It opens like all the songs with an interlude, in this instance it is followed by “The Cats of Ulthar”, a deliciously dark opening song, with acoustic and classical instrumentation, highlighted and propelled by some fine percussion. He really is a national treasure, revered in Italy and Europe where he often plays. Paul is on fine form throughout, this is an album which deserves to be played as a whole and picking out individual songs is fairly futile. It is again of a limited nature as is often the case with his releases, but can be found here www.darkcompanionrecords.bandcamp.com.

Matt Burt hails from Freeport Illinoise and has released a couple of albums recently, the first of which “There Just Ain’t No Insurance Policy For A Life Wasted (An Anthology)” certainly ain’t easy listening, Matt has never been a professional musician, but in his spare time put some of his poetry and words to music onto a few micro cassettes, one of which reached the ears of the band Motorpsycho who sampled his song Plan #1. This anthology due to be released soon collects these tapes and presents them to the world at large.  Matt has been a landscaper and gravedigger for a large portion of his life and given the chance to record an album for Crispin Glover Records duly delivered Matt Burt And The Busy Dead “Gravedigger’s Blues”. For this record he initially put together four songs for an EP which he expanded to ten songs, including a tribute to John Prine. The personnel for this album are Matt vocals and guitar, Mattis Kleppen bass and stomp box and Kyrre Laastad drums and more. I’m reminded of outsider artists like Daniel Johnson and Jeffrey Lewis. As of 2017 he no longer writes or plays but, has dedicated his remaining time on Earth to study and practice Tibetan Buddhism. www.cgrshop.com

Tim Grimm “The Little In-Between”. Out this summer (on the Cavalier record label) is a new album by Tim Grimm, a singer songwriter from Ohio, in a folk country style, he is joined by the mournful cello played by Alice Allen, underpinning a lot of the tunes, with Sergio Webb on electric and steel guitars, plus Mark Clark playing drums and Justin Brasford on bass. Tim’s vocals and guitar were recorded by Steven Boaz in Oklahoma with Alice’s cello recorded by Stuart Hamilton in Scotland and the rest of the band in Sante Fe in New Mexico. He is a new discovery for me and a bit of a revelation. Clever, meaningful songs, well played which linger long, an early highlight being “Lonesome All The Time”, on which he sounds like Guy Clark fronting Hank William’s band The Drifting Cowboys. He began his recording career at the turn of the millennium and has so far put out over thirteen albums, beginning with his debut release Heart Land, released in 1999. “Stirrin’ Up Trouble”, is another highlight on a very strong album. He regularly tours over here in the UK and will now be on my radar. I’ve long been a fan of his guitarist Sergio Webb who was David Olney’s lead guitarist for quite some time and was also an integral member of Pinto Bennett’s band The Famous Motel Cowboys. www.timgrimm.com

Birds In The Brickwork “A Strange Place”. This is an album which wouldn’t be out of place on the excellent record label A Year In The Country. An engaging album of bucolic, pastoral tunes, It has been written, recorded, and produced by Ben Holton on his own Wayside & Woodland record label. It’s a lovely record; Ben has been making music in a number of guises for a few years now, as Epic 45, July Skies, My Autumn Empire and Charles Vaughan and collaborated with Slowdive’s Simon Scott amongst others. He has an eye for the haunted countryside, the waysides and the woodlands, farmyards and pylons, of ditches and margins. The record is a gentle slice of acoustic and electronica, glitches and found sound. It is packaged with a photo booklet full of arresting images, decaying, overgrown buildings, including one of a now ubiquitous dangling mask in a tree. www.waysideandwoodland.com

Last but not least we have an unlikely collaboration between Allysen Callery and Mother Bear “Witch’s Hand”. Allysen being a folky songstress from Providence, USA and Mother Bear a group from Dortmund, Germany and together they have created a rather tasty album of ghostly folk music. They are inspired by the folk-horror sounds of vintage Hammer films and of spooky b-movies. Mother Bear being practitioners of doom-laden, heavy rock music with much riffage, flecked with psychedelic overtones. Allysen’s music style to date has been a touch lighter, with finger picked acoustic guitar, laid bare in the style of English singer-songwriters like Nick Drake, an artist whose songs she has covered. It’s out on the Gruselthon record label, whose parent company is Cosi records, they released Allysen’s last album Ghost Folk, an album which was well received around these parts. I’m reminded of groups like Crumbling Ghost; Witch’s Hand sits very well within the current vogue for all things of a folk horror nature and comes highly recommended indeed.  www.gruselthon.bandcamp.com

One - actually two - last-minute entries from Phil as we put this one to bed: I've been thoroughly enjoying two recent cassettes on Null Zone (https://nullzone.bandcamp.com)  namely Parish/Potter by improv. guitar duo Shane Parish and Michael Potter recorded live, with electric guitars side A and acoustic side B - the electric side is marginally my favourite but both are worth checking out; and secondly Michael Potter and Friends on which the aforementioned improv. guitarist is joined by an electric cellist for a noise-blues-drone-dirge and by Shane Parish once again for an ambient outing with none other than John Kiran Fernandes (ex-Olivia Tremor Control) on clarinet.

Terrascopic Rumbles for Autumn 2023 was brought to you by Andrew Young and Simon Lewis.

 Artwork, layout & direction by Phil McMullen - © Terrascope Online, 2023