= November 2 0 1 8 =

elcome to Rumbles Autumn/Winter 2018. I would like to thank all the artists and labels for sending in all of these records and for their patience. The days are now getting shorter and the nights are drawing in, so get yourself comfy, put the cat out, fill up your pipe and off we go.  This is the third rumbles this year and like the previous one, quite lengthy. Throughout the years I have always enjoyed the Rumbles section and found some of my favourite music through these reviews that would often fall between the cracks, so without further ado, here’s the latest batch...

“Rompus Pompous” by Smash Fashion is gritty, dirty, shouty rock music in ‘seventies, maybe ‘eighties style. First track ‘Can’t Take You Anywhere’ does rather open all the spinal taps: guitar solo, three minutes and a tad, shaking tambourine. Good vibe though, if hardly original. The band’s retro gaze engages all past parameters: cymbals crash and splash (‘Soft As Rock’), vocals are sleazy (‘Proper Way To Eat A Muffin’ – glam-tastic!), and there are riffs a-plenty. The feel is good, it has to be said, though any requirements for something a bit different won’t be found here. But the album does exactly what it says on the front cover – its romps from start to finish, and competently. www.smashfashionmusic.com

The Infrared Radiation Orchestra is a little bit of post-rock curiosity in a confused world. “HD76151” combines indie trends with pounding drums and one or two complex chord changes. This, I like. The opening cut comes across like early Floyd (after Barrett) meeting Brian Eno somewhere in Poland. A slightly chin-stroking vibe permeates the music as the David Byrne-like vocals appear, with their whimsical lyrics (tea and shagging). It all comes across like Talking Heads meets Dr Feelgood in Nick Lowe’s basement. ‘Barry’s Dream’ is a bluesy stormer, but the album does fade a bit afterward, although, to be fair, closing cut ‘Mona/Mission Impossible’ raises a smile with its sheer chutzpah. Indie stompers will approve of this album. www.reverbnation.com/infraredradiationorchestra

“Lagoon” by French sound artist Roman Bestion is a captivating collection of electronica with an acoustic twist – lots of samples, one presumes – all put together with much love and attention to detail. Piano snippets vie with electronica and what sounds like natural recordings put through the machines. This reminds me a lot of the work of Susumo Yokota, though Bestion’s canvas is more ambient, and focuses on that gorgeous piano. The electronics are beautifully and subtly utilised. A hint of Eno too I feel, in the compositional stance: semi-random maybe, like early Michael Nyman. A really lovely listen, this. Highly recommended to ambience and electronica fans.

As Martin Archer’s Discus Records moves from mere world domination to the rest of the solar system, The Eclectic Maybe Band on “The Blind Night Watchers’ Mysterious Landscapes” brings nine improvised, avante-garde, AMM-influenced, spontaneous compositions to the rock music listener’s ear. Yes, not jazz! Well… it is jazz really, but with the palette changed from jazz to rock. My reactions varied from “mmm…” to “this is getting really good,” the latter on epic fluted cuts ‘Gradual Assistance’ (Gong-like) and the thirteen minute ‘Hidden Wave Variation,’ where Joe Higham’s duduk and Roland Binet’s flute/sax evoke both late nights and far-off countries: a stand-out cut, this one. www.discusmusic.bandcamp.com.

Meanwhile, more improvised tra-la-la awaits the listener on “The Sincerity Of Light” by Meloche/Archer/Robair/Hodnett, which are three very long cuts of live improv (Archer and vocalist Hodnett) set upon some previously recorded material by the other two. Archer in his notes explains that although this music was intended to be performed live, it worked so well in the studio that he released it as the present album. And it does work! The cuts are long enough to get absorbed in, but vary enough for the listener to experience a journey. The second track ‘Part 2’ is the most successful by some margin, thanks to its Terry Riley-esque rippling synths. Nice work, Mr Archer. www.discusmusic.bandcamp.com
Elsewhere, and still on Discus, “The Two Fridas” by Metamorphic is a two-disk excursion into the compositions of Laura Cole, with an octet of improvising musicians surrounding. Kerry Andrews’ haunting, sometimes stratospheric vocals are the focus on some tracks, but the heart of the pieces is in most cases Cole’s piano or keyboard. I found the short, impressionistic pieces a tad dull, whereas the two ten minute cuts – especially ‘The Mountains, The Sea, The Island’ – seemed to be more listener-friendly. Approach with jazz chops.  www.discusmusic.bandcamp.com

Kuwaisiana are a world music band fronted by one +Aziz, whose debut album “Chapter 1” has an Arabic side (5 cuts) and an English side (4), with the motive and lyrics very much devoted to bringing opposing sides together. Opener ‘Vintage’ comes across like Dollar Brand updated in New Orleans – good-time and happy sounding – while ‘Gashkt’ has more of an indie vibe. On the English side the vocals are pretty heavy: Moslem issues, Arab issues. In places the music doesn’t quite seem to fit the words (‘Virgin’) but later on it does (the reggae track ‘Say Yea,’ where the festival vibe and tooting brass section perfectly complements the positive vocals). An interesting combination of real world sounds and politically aware vocals. www.kuwaisiana.bandcamp.com

Armellodie Records with the self-titled Cuddly Shark offer the listener a combination of thumping indie and cutting vocals; and this from a trio. Hailing from Scotland, the band seem to channel that New Wave vibe on the opener (check out the bass riff and the ‘ooh-ooh, erh-erh’ backing vocals), while keeping the production nice and clean. The ultra-short ‘Hobo Rock’ could be an updated Dickies, while the even shorter ‘Cancel Mansell’ is a shouty, punky warning to various sports stars. The album (and apologies if this sounds like a cliché – it isn’t meant to be) manages to capture that marvellous self-referential thing the Rezillos had – and Cuddly Shark does that thing very well, whilst bringing their own stuff to the mix. www.armellodie.com

Meanwhile, on the same label, Admlithi’s debut album “Tyrants” is an electro-paeon to the way the world is going wrong at the moment. It sounds like what John Otway might have done if influenced by funk and had a synth rather than a guitar. There are no tunes as such: songs are chanted, emoted or half-spoken. In fact, the great majority of the variety and vibe of the music comes from the sounds, pads and electronica chosen by the composer. This can be very effective (the gorgeous ‘4UYET’) or totally misfiring (‘The Shape Of Things’). A bit of a curate’s egg, this one, though not without charm. www.armellodie.com
Elsewhere, label-mates The Scottish Enlightenment offer “Potato Flower,” a strange work of dream-rock, slow tempo, softly sung pieces. Although there is variety, the mood changes little, and that makes for more difficult listening than would otherwise be the case. I liked ‘Colour It In’ because it works on its own terms, whereas the album closer, which should be a strong piece, or at least a memorable one, is just too ‘down’ for its own good. I didn’t get this band for the same reason I didn’t get Radiohead. www.armellodie.com
“The Seance Tapes” by Portuguese outfit Saturnia sounds like late ‘sixties Floyd updated by adding a few modern synth sounds. I’m sorry to say that, while well recorded and played, it’s pretty standard stuff: guitar solos (nice enough, but when you’ve heard a thousand like this you find yourself wanting something more from the space rock world), whooshy synths (as done 40 years ago), a bit of wah-wah, and more… it’s not unpleasant, but it is pedestrian. File under: the long hair zone. www.elektohasch.de

Neil Campbell on “The Outsider – News From Nowhere” comes up with a dazzling array of folky, rocky or just plain uncategorisable instrumental tracks, mostly played by himself with amazing dexterity, albeit with help from a few guests. The man is a virtuoso player, and the music has verve, splendour and originality, which is to say it’s very good indeed. The four part ‘A Market By The Way’ has the spirit of Mike Oldfield in its marvellous, folk-inspired light-and-breezy musicality: a very fine piece of work. Elsewhere the mood is Celtic – ‘The Kensington Wood’ – or classical and restrained – ‘Concerning Love’. I must say, this is the most original music I’ve heard for quite a while. It’s stunningly played too and, as with Mr Oldfield, draws you in with its use of themes and gorgeous instrumentation. Fans of Arch Garrison would enjoy the sound world here. I loved this album – highly recommended. www.neilcampbell.bandcamp.com

Having enjoyed All India Radio in the past (thank you, Terrascope) it was with some anticipation that I put on their latest album “Space.” Within, I found drums, bass and synths, with the exciting addition of some pedal steel guitar, an instrument I love. Perhaps these guys hoped to emulate the wonder and success of Eno’s “Apollo” soundtrack, but, anyway, the music works on its own terms. Where other albums I’ve reviewed in this batch don’t grasp slow tempo music, Martin Kennedy does. He grasps the production techniques required. He grasps how to mix the drums. This is great music, for all that, it isn’t particularly original – we’ve heard drifty sounds before, and often. Yet this is a great new spin on an old trope, and as such deserves success. Occasional vocals beautifully sung add variety. Three fave tracks: the opener ‘Vega,’ ‘Heirs Of Ineptune’ with its squelchy synths – again, superbly mixed into the overall fabric of the music – and the Tangerine Dream-esque ‘Eurydice In Scarlet’. A jolly good electronic album: recommended. www.allindiaradio.bandcamp.com

“Better Haze” by Sleepy Zuhoski (aka debut singer-songwriter Garrett Zuhoski) is a varied collection of quirky songs, set somewhere between acoustic/solo and laid-back rock. The vocals are good, set high in the mix and without much reverb, which makes the emotional content of the lyrics a bit more apparent than in, say, a full-on band record. There are tunes too, witness the catchy third cut ‘Muscle Memory,’ which is strong enough to be a single. Another strong cut is the notional opener to side 2 ‘New Tattoo,’ with its thunking bass and light synths. ‘Tsunami’ has another strong tune and terrific synth adornments – good stuff. Overall, this is a good album indeed. Elements of rock play with quirkier synth stuff, and the vocals and use of melody make it a work with depth. Nice one. www.palosantotx.com

Right thank you for those insightful reviews Steve, here are a few from me.

Slomo “Super Individual: Collective Ritual”, soundsofslomo.bandcamp.com/yum.  This 2 CD set sees a few of Slomo’s favourite artists get to grips with the track “Super Individual” from their acclaimed 2017 album “Transits”. Over the 146 minutes we see these various artists tackle this one note sprawling track in a variety of different ways. Gnod expand it with a huge 24 minute long minimal electronic reworking, where as Teeth Of The Sea go the other way with a reductive five minute version. CP (Chris Price) has a go and takes it to the Balearics, whilst Ambient Working Men’s Club up the drone factor.  Andrew Liles gives it the Nurse With Wound treatment and Teleplasmiste invest it with all manner of bleeps and drones.  zK111 mangles it into an almost unrecognisable state, whilst Northern up the horror factor. Other artists include Mr Peter Hayden, Higher Intelligence Agency, Urthona and Simon Pyke.  It’s all a bit too much to consume in one sitting and best taken in bite size pieces.

Burning Ferns “Public Mono”, out on Country Mile Records. www.countrymile.org. I enjoyed the single that this lot released late last year, it being a rollicking blast of Americana.  They have played shows with The Mekons main man Jon Langford, Martin Carr and The Dreaming Spires amongst others. The album has plenty of catchy songs delivered by singer and band songwriter Anthony Gray. The other band members are Nathan Abraham –guitars and vocals, Brychan Todd-bass and keyboards, Dave Corten-guitars and vocals, plus Slim Short- drums and percussion.  The single “Bullet train”, should’ve been a hit for them and maybe it was a provincial smash over in the States on college radio. Elsewhere there are some lovely harmonies on “Fuses Blow”. “Go On Make Me”, also has fine harmonies with plenty of clean country rock guitar playing. “Made Of The Sun”, slows things down with a dreamy blast of minor key pop. “The Watchers” is a cool three minute pop song with plenty of fine keyboards.  “0’s & 1’s”, takes a left turn into existential rock, before the last song “White Noise In A White Room” closes out the album with a beautiful ballad.

Also out on the label is a terrific new three track single by The Naked Citizens featuring Suzi Chunk Space Touring, which sees remixes by The Grid’s Richard Norris who provides an extended mix plus an extended instrumental mix. Available from, www.countrymile.org.

Originally released in 1973, Cuasares “Afro-Prograssivo”, this has just been reissued for the first time, on the Pharaway Sounds imprint of Guerssen records www.guerssen.com. The work of Argentinian composer Waldo Belloso, it slipped out in a tiny micro edition at the time but I shouldn’t think that any of you reading this will have heard of it or indeed heard of him, which is a shame as this is a pretty cool mix of psychedelic jazzy afro-Latin groove with a few library touches. Instruments include Acid fuzz guitar, cosmic synth noodlings, flute, organ, vibraphone and all manner of studio trickery. He also scored a couple of films in his native Argentina. Piano was the main instrument that he composed with, he died in 1985 leaving behind a slim discography. Crate diggers unearthing this in the eighties will have thought that they had hit the holy grail of collectibles (ie: a record that is staggeringly good, modern sounding and current yet completely off the radar). He would have been 40 when this was released.  His later works veered more towards traditional Argentinian folklore albums of Latin, folk and world music.

Another unknown artist, this time on the Mental Experience imprint of Guerssen www.guerssen.com is Pyramid “Pyramid”. This obscure two track album was created in the down time of some of the famous Krautrock studios like the famous Cologne bunker of Dieter Dierks. The ‘Mad Twiddler’, aka Toby Robinson, put this together in 1975/6, for the underground pyramid label. It was again released in a miniscule pressing and has remained unreleased until now. It contains a half hour of excellent trippy space rock, where echoing Floydian guitars, mellotron, synths and percussion throb and ebb through both of these two labyrinthine songs. We have Dawn Defender (part one) and Dawn Defender (part two).  Particularly recommended for fans of early Pink Floyd, Amon Dűűl  11, or Ash Ra Tempel.  As a side note quite a few people believe this, like the earlier “Circles”, Cozmic Corridors” and The Nazgul” albums are not really undiscovered Krautrock nuggets from the period, but that they were made in the 1990’s! By people connected with bands like Sun Dial and the Acme label and I do feel a little clarity is called for.

Alula Down “Homespun” https://aluladown.bandcamp.com/ scheduled for release in November. This is the new release from Herefordshire’s Alula Down, a duo project of Mark Waters and Kate Gathercole, long-time players in Heed The Thunder, Sproatly Smith and ahem Vaginapocalyse.

This is their third release, following on from ‘Sagging Pockets, Labelled Jars, Old Tobacco Tins’ ‘Flotsam’ self released in 2008 and ‘Flotsam’ released in 2013. Here we have eight songs, five are self compositions, two are traditional and one is a chartist hymn. They are very much part of the community of ‘Weirdshire’ musicians, based in Herefordshire and have played with Marry Waterson, David Jaycock, Toby Hay, Horse Loom and the aforementioned Sproatly Smith. The music is very much in the minimalist style of folk, being mainly voice accompanied by acoustic instruments of wood and reed.  Kate has a very gentle, natural, unadorned style of singing.  Sympathetic instrumentation of guitar, shrutti, bodhran, harmonium, violin, double bass and a little percussion help colour these folk songs, nice to hear different versions of the old chestnuts like ‘Pretty Polly’ and ‘Master KiIby’, the record is such that these blend in well with their originals.

A couple of new records have arrived from Sound In Silence www.soundinsilence.bandcamp.com. The first of them is by Ben Rath “Anything Is Possible”. Ben is an ambient multi instrumentalist from Manchester  who has released a number of other records on labels such as Cathedral transmissions, Triple Moon Records, Unknown tone and others , he has also put out a couple of records with his acoustic lo-fi project Slow Heart Music. For this instrumental album he has used a variety of instruments such as synths and distorted, treated guitars, on tunes full of loops, samples and plenty of reverb, to create an album with an orchestral feel to it in places.  The songs are mainly slow ambient drifters, which would be well suited for quiet reflective moments, nothing jars and most are delicate and quite soothing and restful.  It’s quite soundtracky and would respond well to visuals of say the rising sun or drifting ice bergs, the tunes are often glacial and immersive. Limited to 150 CD copies, each hand stamped and numbered complete with download card.

Also out on the label is an album by David Newlyn “Collected Fictions”. This is David’s third release for the label with his last one being released in 2014. David is an ambient producer based in Durham and has released a number of albums on labels such as Tokyo Droning, Time Released Sound and Rural colours amongst others. For this album he has used electronics, synths, field recordings, found sounds, piano and heavily treated guitar to create eight tracks of delicate electronica, colourful tone poems blanketed in a strange immersive style. The tracks have titles such as ‘Ghost – Out’, ‘Hymn to Bleachgreen’, and ‘Travelling For A living’. David creates blessed out ambient tunes that are almost entirely without beats, ‘Going Back’ is quite disconcerting, bits of it sound like it was recorded in a cafe but then taken back to the studio and disassembled. ‘Close Again’ features a bedrock of glitches and minimal piano. This one is again available on CD limited to 200 handmade and hand numbered copies, again with download code.

A Year In The Country’s third instalment of the year is entitled “The Quietened Mechanisms”. Released in early October, the album is an exploration of abandoned and derelict industry, infrastructure, technology and equipment, like disused gunpowder factories, tumbledown buildings, things that were once thronging with life but have since ceased to function, being left to nature to reclaim them, it is packaged with the usual care and attention we have come to expect from this label and comes in two editions- Nightfall and Dawn Light. The heartwood kicks things off with the disconcerting exposed nerve that is ‘Birkby and Allbright Mine’, before Quaker’s Stang deliver the spooky ‘The Hoffman Kiln’, Depatterning, take us back to 1930’s Britain, with ‘Of Looms in the Housen’. Embertides deliver ‘Ash, Oak And Sulphur’, referencing nature’s reclamation of an abandoned gun powder site, full, of trickling water and birdsong.  Dom Cooper arrives with vibrating field recordings of an old metal post in Greenwich, tapping various metals he found around London, processing them into a composition entitled ‘Metallurgy’. Field Lines Cartographer wanders around an abandoned cotton spinning mill that’s now entangled in Ivy and Moss in ‘The Mill in the Forest’, Grey Frequency take a trip along ‘Nottingham Canal’ recording sounds encountered along the way, the industrial clatter of a train whilst sheltering from the rain under an old iron bridge, the sound of distant traffic, all diffused and incorporated into a tune informed by more birdsong. Howlround takes the sound of a couple of ancient revox tape machines, somehow making a psychedelic fluctuating ghostly tune out of the echoing repeating revolutions. The Soulless party, take a train ride to the northern powerhouse of old coal mines and steelyards in ‘Rattler to the Tower’, named after an old train that ran from Saltburn to Middlesbrough. Keith Seatman gives us ‘Rural Flight’, reminisces of an artist’s studio on a rural farm, where the fields were once full of summer workers, it was now littered with old farm machinery, now only the sound of surly crows remains. Listening Center ‘Clarion of the Collapsed Complex’ is next, full of long dead factory machinery, echoes of once thriving industry, all rendered on analogue synths. Spaceship delivers a requiem for Augustus Beedle, who died in an accident at a Lumber Mill, Mark has taken the sounds of mill machinery and played them in Bob Mill deep in Middle Colden Valley, recording the results in ‘The Stones Speak Of Short Lives’. Sproatly Smith delves deep into our gruesome past with ‘Canary Babies’, about Rother Ordnance Factory where 600 staff made bombs and shells during both world wars. Pulselovers give us ‘Fuggles’ which is the name of a variety of hop, visiting an abandoned brewery in the north of England, where ghostly bottles are delivered via Shire horse and cart to the surrounding alehouses. Time Attendant ‘Hidden Parameters’, is a tale of a pond found in stumpshill wood, its fenced off now, the fence decaying and its structure has been recorded, knocking and moving in the wind with the Omni presence of Beckenham Palace Mansion high above, nice to hear a few parakeets included in the mix of vying synths, they have taken over large swathes of south London. Vic Mars ‘Watchtower and Engine’, Vic also takes in an old munition’s factory and rusted farm machinery, informed by blast walls, bunkers and lookout towers. The record ends with A Year In The Country’s ‘The Structure/Respite’ a song referencing an old decommissioned railway track, slowly being reclaimed by the land, ghostly reminders encountered along the way, left to slowly rust and decay. This is another excellent release from A Year In The Country.

Octopus Syng “Victorian Wonders”, www.megadodo.com. Finnish band Octopus Syng began their recording career in the year 2000; this is their sixth album and takes its theme from the Victorian era with songs about amusement parks, flowers, Jackdaws, spider’s webs, summer nights, 19th century romanticism and the weather. This album would very much appeal to fans of the criminally underrated English songwriter Paul Roland (see earlier review). It’s a very English sounding album, a lot of spoken word songs, full of the tropes we come to expect from sixties English psychedelia. It’s also slightly otherworldly, with interjections of tropical birdsong and backwards guitars. A lot of lyrics wouldn’t be too out of place on a Syd Barrett album, in fact they have probably ingested Syd’s entire catalogue of songs. The male vocals are mainly by Jaire, but there are also plenty of cooing female backing vocals from Joni, some of the songs have some nice languid lead guitar, some have organ, a touch of recorder, a bit of sitar. It is an extremely low key, balmy and fairly subdued album.  Highlights for me are a drowsy ‘Let it Rain/Let it Shine’, ‘Go Away Damn Raindrops’, the slightly proggy toy town psych of ‘Sunday Jackdaws’, the disturbing ‘Spider Webs’, the eerie tones of ‘Early Song’, and the deep narcotic fug of album closer ‘These Precious Summer Nights’, which builds in intensity as it progresses.

Up next we have the debut album by Snack Family “Bunny”, on Slowfoot records www.limitednoise.co.uk. The band have released two previous EPs ‘Belly’ and ‘Pokie Eye’ which were just appetisers for this record, the main event so far. The album would appeal to fans of Captain Beefheart or later period Tom Waits. The main instruments being baritone and alto sax, synth and harmonium by James Allsopp, baritone guitar and growling vocals by Andrew Plummer, drums and percussion by Tom Greenhalgh, with special guest vocalist Seeming To.  It’s fairly noisy art rock skronk, think Evan Johns mixed with the type of stuff that Eugene Chadbourne was churning out with John Zorn, angular songs that clatter and rock. It seems that they are a London band, however I could’ve sworn that they were American; the record was recorded in Wales with engineer Alex Bonney. It’s a hot and sleazy ride through the dustbins of The Birthday Party with a hint of Morphine. ‘Lonesome as the Burning Sun’ is epic, as is the slide guitar and sax infested ‘Anti- Climb’, ‘Smile’, is a howling jumble of staccato jungle rock rhythms, and album closer ‘Blue Skin’, is a livid, sleazy, deep bruise of a song.

Michael Plater “Mythologie”, www.reverbworship.com. Michael is an Australian musician who has a deep baritone voice, a voice that he uses to great effect on the gentle sombre spoken word opener ‘Officer’s Mess’, this is his second album the first one appearing in 2009, so he’s hardly prolific. The spoken word style of singing is maintained on the second song ‘Pretty Maids’ to which is added a healthy dollop of organ from Clare Bligh, ‘Smoke’, adds e-bow guitar from Dean Richards and I can see a pattern appearing as it is again a narrated type of gunslinger tale. And so it goes with other instruments creeping in, Michael himself adds a little pedal steel, lead guitar and plenty of acoustic. There are some nice touches in the playing with slide guitar, Leslie harmonica, violin, organ accordion, bass and drums. ‘We Lit the Lamps’, is deathly slow, enlivened by pedal steel and piano. “Reflections of a Dream” reminds me a bit of a deeper voiced Lloyd Cole, it also has plenty of e-bowed guitar. ‘This Place of Exile’, adds lead electric guitar and harmonica. ‘Old Victories’ also has plenty of harmonica and lead slide guitar. ‘The Drunkards Prayer’, a woozy lament of the demon alcohol has some nice playing with plenty of violin, accordion and lead guitar. The album ends with ‘The Dreamer’s Dream’, mostly instrumental, it’s also my favourite, with some fine ensemble playing, tremolo guitar, martial drums and heavily amped harmonica.

Gut Gut  “S/Twww.markis-sarkis.com. So, what we have here is an album from a French rock band. This is their third album with the first one a concept album released at some time in the 70’s. This album is a continuation of that concept, they sing in a made up language and would appreciate me writing a few words about it. The band members and their instruments are Markis Sartis- guitars, vocals, bouzouki, bass and percussion. Barine Droy- twelve string guitar and harmonies plus Pnine Gefart-electric guitar, twelve string guitar, percussion and harmonies. In places I’m reminded of the vocal style of David Bowie, there’s plenty of wah wah guitar flying around, plenty of funky style rhythm guitar interjections, some have jungle sounds, chickens, fireworks, gongs, mostly they contain plenty of guitar and tons of percussion. I am honestly quite at home listening to songs that have lyrics in Welsh or Finnish, etc, songs that I can’t understand at all, but really, I would always prefer to know what the hell it is that they are singing about!  A few of the songs appeal, but mostly it’s all a bit confused.

A couple of fairly *out there* vinyl releases to tell you about from the EHSE record label SEF 111 “Selling SEF 111”, was released in June of this year, www.ehserecords. bandcamp.com. Recorded in Montreal, Quebec by Duncan Moore (Headband), Max Eilbacher (Horse Lords) and Alex Moskos (Drainolith) SEF 111 present a science fiction narrative concept album told through sound, available on LP/CD and cassette. The record was conceived and composed in a barn in rural Virginia in June 2016, it tells the story of a guy named Phil and his nemesis SEF 111, a computer being. They play a cat and mouse game across continents, through states of consciousness and fields of sound, the spoken word songs are filled with all sorts of strange sound, it’s a difficult listen but once you become acclimatised to their rather ‘Geeky’ world, it makes for an interesting record. Realised through Synthesis, computer programming, text, voice and sound processing.
Smoke Bellow “Isolation 3000”, www.ehserecords.bandcamp.com. This album was written over last summer in the Australian outback, actually in a backyard shed, the title reflects these rural settings. Core members Meredith McHugh and Christian J.Best travelled from Baltimore to set up a new life in Australia but have since moved back to the USA. The influence of moving across the globe twice and soaking up different cultures and geography have helped shaped this record, they have been joined for this record by Jessie Hughes. It came out in the late spring of this year. The record takes in West African guitar figures and rhythms, synth pop, NY post punk, and a smidge of Krautrock. It’s rooted firmly in the late 70’s and early 80’s, bands like the Tom Tom Club spring to mind, standout track ‘Collective Heads’ is a real grower, being a ten minute synth drenched, African inflected, motorik rocker, which moves along nicely, showing their more pastoral side, it also has some sultry sax which they continue to utilise in album closer, the infectious ‘Mary 3000’.

The Sunset Strip “Present Music From The Endless Sea”. Greville Records GREV003 www.thesunsetstrip.bandcamp.com. This CD was released last year but for some reason failed to get a review anywhere and it has been sent in with no information. The band hail from Melbourne, Australia and are one of the country’s most critically acclaimed indie bands from the eighties / early nineties, before rising phoenix like some twenty years later in 2015 and evolving into a space rock outfit influenced by Can and Hawkwind among others. There are some fine slowly coalescing mainly instrumental space rock numbers, particularly opening track ‘The Endless Sea’ which develops nicely throughout its 19 plus minutes, a gentle motorik beat is established early on accompanied by billowing synths, keyboards, drums, bass and guitars. The following song ‘Song of Love’ has Mellotrons and acoustic guitars.  ‘The Pilgrim/Dogs Of War at 10 minutes long is also pretty cool it has a drifting quality which is particularly pleasing it ebbs and flows never really outstaying its welcome. It also has some vocals, it again is followed by a short pastoral song with plenty of Mellotron the closing passage of ‘Blue Star’ and ‘The Disappearing Distance Between Us’ closes out the record by setting the controls for the heart of the sun, it’s all a bit like music for some unrealised film. OHO “Gazebo” www.ohomusic.com. Taking their name from the three founding members O’Connor, Heck and O’Sullivan who have all now left the band since they formed in the early 70’s OHO have released a new album which is pretty unclassifiable and that is just what the band had hoped to achieve, with more instruments than a music shop we hear a little bit of everything from trombone through to pedal steel guitar, plenty of sax and French horn and the usual drums, bass keyboards and guitars. All of the songs are group compositions, excluding a cover of Randy Newman’s ‘Baltimore’, ‘Over, Under, Sideways, Down’ twinned with the Disney song ‘It’s a Small World’ by The Yardbirds and er composer Richard Sherman. The three main players that make up the core of the band are Jay Groboski, Ray Jozwiak and David Reeve, these are augmented by some 20 other contributors. Fun and diversity are the keywords here, songs sung and played impeccably by a group of experienced musicians who probably don’t care if you like it or not but would rather you did I suspect.  The songs veer from the funky opener ‘Ring In the Rightness’ the heavy rock of ‘Bleeding The Fifth’, the good timey piano song ‘Blood Brother’ through to the pedal steel of ’How Is Where We Go’.

More Klementines “Chase Dreams Not Cash” Feeding Tubes/Twin Lakes TLR026 limited to 124 hand written, hand numbered, green splatter vinyl copies, available from www.twinlakesrecords.com. More Klementines consist of three musicians Michael Kiefer- drums, Jon Schlesinger-banjo/ guitar and Steubs-mandolin/ guitar and electronics. Appalachian/Krautrock - anyone?  This very unusual album was recorded in an afternoon by three friends who got together to make a record, with no fixed idea of songs, structures, melodies riffs etc. What they wanted to achieve, was a freeform album of unrehearsed music and the results are pretty organic as you could probably guess. The album is split into part one, on side one, and part two, on side two. I like it a lot, a whole bunch of pedals were involved in its creation and the sound achieved is pretty good, the instruments that they picked to use are not really the standard rock record instruments but this is undoubtedly a rock record. Music scored on the fly, of wood, steel and skins, as close to pure art as a record could possibly hope to get.

Matt Cade “Childhood”, self released vinyl available from mattcademusic@gmail.com. Here is a modern day private pressing from Matt Cade, who recorded this album at Punch studios in Ipswich. The record is highly personal, being as it is a mixture of songs based on his family and childhood, songs interspersed with children’s poems, and samples from old family videos put to music. It’s utterly charming and totally home-made. ‘Sunflakes’ sees lyrics from Frank Asch, ‘Calico Crocodiles’ has lyrics from an old Mummer’s play and a poem by Christine F Fletcher. January has lyrics from John Updike. Drums are played by Ross Farley. It has Guitar by Phil Seaman, Flugelhorn by Sam Ewens and spoken vocals by Mackenzie Douglas Straight. All other instruments are by Matt as are the lyrics and music. The style of music is a sort of indie folk rock, the song titles really tell you all you all need to know, we have ‘18.18 to Ipswich’, ‘Grandad’, ‘Paper hats’, ‘Tend The Land’, ‘Benjamin’s Moblie’ and ‘Our House and Rosie’. It is truly unique and well worth seeking out, well played, well recorded and as I say utterly charming.

Sun Temple Circus “Same”, Tribal Stomp Records CD www.sireena.de/tribalstomp. This is a reissue of an album that was released in 2014 with the addition of a couple of bonus tracks. Described on the press release as an ethno-krautrock supersession, with a taste of late 60’s west-coast vibes. This German band consists of Harry Payuta – sitar, bass, guitar and vocals, Tom Redecker – vocals, guitar and keyboards, Marlon-Klein – drums and percussion and Jochen Schoberth.  It was recorded live in May 2014 at Lagerhaus, Bremen with the extra bonus tracks also recorded live ‘Sun Killer’ a month earlier at the rehearsal  room  in Bremen and ‘Slide Out, Slide In’ also in May 2014 at Schlosskeller Weidenberg. The original album contained 4 tracks. ‘Out In India’ is a sitar led instrumental psychedelic rock song, a real east west fusion. The next track is ‘The Lighthouse’ some ten minutes long; it again appears to be quite sitar heavy but as it progresses we are introduced to some lead guitar and keyboards. All of the songs feature vocals in English, however the next song ‘Et Moi, Et Moi’ is sung in French, the original record ends with a fourteen minutes song entitled ‘Sun Madness’ a real tour de force of west coast sounding rock. The first of the bonus tracks ‘Sun Killer’ rocks fairly hard but suffers from slightly muddied vocals. The final track ‘Slide Out, Slide In’ ends the disc with a femme fatale inspired song.

Story Teller “The Stubborn Organic Emblem of Social and Biological Survival”, www.adaadat.co.uk. Available on limited cassette. The release date is 31st October! This tape is collaboration between writer and filmmaker Bruce McLure and sound artist Bjorn Hatleskog and tells the story of a sadomasochistic relationship with a sentient Aspidistra plant. A sort of Day of The Triffids crossed with Fifty Shades of Grey (I know, you couldn’t make it up but they did), loosely based on HRH Prince of Wales. Taking the form of an Orwellian style radio drama, that is presented in cassette form in homage to their namesake (the nineteen eighties children’s magazine and tape series published by Marshall Cavendish. It is way out there, some truly terrifying sounds, with drones, bells, feedback loops and found sound. Here are a couple of choice sentences “Better to have nightmares than not to dream at all” and “An army of Aspidistra, consuming humans, on a paddle steamer soaked in psychotropic substances”. I’ll just tell you again, it is a story of a sadomasochistic relationship with a sentient Aspidistra plant!


Terrascopic Rumbles for November was brought to you by Andrew Young and Steve Palmer. Artwork, layout & direction by Phil McMullen. Graphics this time pay a nod of appreciation to the much-missed Mr Simon Lewis © Terrascope Online, 2018