Ordeal, Song 4 U (Sparticus Stargazer) 7"
The idea of Ordeal crouched in an uncomfortable, near-yogic contortion
at the altar - a charity shop coffee table with a missing leg replaced
by a milk bottle and a housebrick - never leaves my mind as this plays.
On the altar, a 4-track recorder and a couple of Revox machines battle
for space with toppled piles of dusty vinyl, cracked mugs and overflowing
ashtrays. He, dishevelled naturally, has one elbow raised high above his
head, the better to angle his index finger onto the pause button of the
4-track. The other arm conducts the symphony inside his head, the symphony
he is building with the invisible orchestra locked into the grooves of
the records he has scattered around the room. This is Ordeal's genius.
Liberally layering records one atop another, he creates. And he does not
create five minute cut/paste/breakbeat route one nonsense. He creates
new songs. 4 U.
Danger/ J. Xaverre, split (Static Caravan) 7"
"Eavesdrop on the exciting world of electronic sound" it says
on the sleeve. So I do. Pending further instructions, I listen again.
Taking it upon myself to interpret the ultimate intention of the Static
Brothers, I proceed to become addicted to Le Danger's Days Of Our Eyes.
A solid, repetitive bass groove is the first hit. The reedy, shrill, never-ending
keyboard melody is the second, longer, deeper rush. And then you need
another. Xaverre, on the other side, offers Skip's Love Theme which is
strictly for the comedown, a calming, soothing, gentle caress from the
smoothed-out beats and a lullaby formed from pinpricks of tune. www.staticcaravan.org
Ills, Killers 7"
No information save the band, title and a web address on the sleeve. I
go to the web site. No information. Here's some information: very edgy
post-punk guitars/electronics and a healthy fascinations with psychedelic
fuzz. If this record was a number, it would be 7. (Gang of Four plus Spaceman
No, Not Ah! (Sheffield Phonographic Corporation) 7"
In a dusty Mexican village, as the sun begins to sink over what's left
of the adobe walls of the old church, a group of strangers congregate
at the old fountain in the centre of the main, and only, road where a
rickety PA has been assembled. Dangerous wiring irregularities are evident
and the group are cautious when taking up the instruments leaning against
the single ancient speaker. They look around. They nod at one another.
The drummer counts them in and they start tentatively. There is very little
sound. A man wearing a large sombrero scuttles from a doorway and jams
a screwdriver into the back of the PA. BOOM! Morricone fantasies meet
the rock and roll dream and the band play big chords and jabber about
jalopenos. And, as if that wasn't enough, the vinyl is thick and blue.
Formation, split (Solution B) 7"
Brat-pack Film Philosophy is Tempertwig's side of the deal. If the philosophy
is reflected in the sound, it must be closely related to nihilism, or
solipsism, or other isms to do with aloneness. Spoken through a post-bender
slur, the words are buried beneath a calm/storm guitar track that'd make
a fine instrumental. Looking for comparisons, I find I've already shot
my load reviewing the previous demos, as the press release reminds me
("Arab Strap or Tindersticks on a serious downer") so I'll delve
further back into the past and remember the Blue Aeroplanes. Air Formation
keep their side of the bargain with Seethrustars, a nice surge of fuzzpulsedrone
that would've been called shoegazing back when shoegazing was the new
Books, All Bad Ends All (Make Mine) 7"
On the underside of this one is a lovely, if disturbing, tune by the name
of Motherless Bastard. It starts off with a sample of a child being told
it's got no parents ("Mommy? Daddy?" "They left.")
and then winds along a tune that could be country were it not for the
speed and the dragging strings. Thoroughly confusing and thoroughly engaging.
Pod, Losing Control (Dead Digital) 7"
It's the slomolectro of Too Pure's entire back catalogue pushed through
one of those slicer things they use to shred runner beans and painstakingly
glued back together. It's smooth and awkward and crafted and intuitive
and about a dozen other opposites attracted. Did someone say the Beta
Band? Probably not far off the mark. Losing Control? No way. www.deaddigital.com
Take Me Over (remix) 7"
I heard this playing in New Look or somewhere when I was out shopping
with Donna Donnelly this summer. I'd had it on promo for a while, played
it on the radio, loved the way Mafia and Fluxy had dropped McKay's vocal
over a reggae groove recycled from Dave and Ansell Collins' Double Barrel
(you know it - "I, am the Magnificent..") and wondered why records
this good just lie around never crossing over. And then there it was.
In a shop full of pop-fan just-teen girls (and us) looking at sparkly
tops and hipster jeans. And taking no notice of the record. Life, eh?
A Couple of Options (Kinky Star) 7"
A taut, urgent post rock chugalug. Everything present and correct and
in the expected place and delivered crisply. I'm trying not to damn this
with faint praise. If it was labelled Post Rock By Numbers, it'd be a
reasonable description except that there's something about it I like.
On red vinyl. www.kinkystar.com
Park, Secret Songs (Background Frequency) 7"
The second from Background Frequencies continues the good work laid down
by the first. Home-recorded sounds on a lathe-cut disc in a handmade sleeve
are the kinds of things that appeal to record fetishists, so you lot can
stop reading now and just order a copy. For the others, you'll need to
know that National Park's No More Rides is the sound of quiet being plucked
sadly by a man and his guitar. Now you can order a copy as well. www.steadycamrecords.com.au
PO Box 72, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia