on Saturday, 29 September 2007
Emma Pollock & Alaska in Winter Reviewed
Posted on 2007.09.29 at 22:20
Current Music: Gel-Sol - Unifactor
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Emma Pollock – Watch The Fireworks (4AD)
It was just last night that I and a good friend were discussing how difficult we were finding it to write songs of late, to come up with something new, in the past songs have come easily or at least there would be those days once or twice a week, maybe a month if I think deeply enough, the days and years all seem to float into one these days, when a song would fall together just out of nowhere, or a melody or riff would almost play itself. Just lately it all seems to sound so uninspired and as if it’s all been done before, I personally put my new deficiency down to the wider world of music that the internet has enlightened me with, an endless library of inventive tunes, too clever for me and more time consuming than I can justify, still although there is no shortage of people out there still bashing tunes out left right and centre in the traditional way, few do it so simply and so consistently as it would appear Emma Pollock does. I had previously concluded that she was simply a voice to Alun Woodward’s thoughts in the excellent Delgados but it would appear that she has more talent than I’d ever given her credit for.

You can still hear the Delgados in the general sound, 3 minutes into opening track Paper and Glue its classic Delgados piano breakdowns and sweet vocals, slightly tainted by an icy fear as it slowly moves into a lovely waltz outro and at times echoes Reasons for Silence. Acid Test is upbeat and fresh sounding, slightly more “pop” than the Delgados by and large were, Adrenaline likewise an ascending piano tune that needs no help in introducing itself to you.

If this does nothing more than make you aware of the existence of the Delgados and their excellent back catalogue then it will be a success, hopefully though it’ll help you realise what a rare talent Emma Pollock is.

Alaska in Winter – Dance Party in the Balkans (Regular Beat Recording Co.)
By simultaneously mixing Piano & Vocoder, Alaska in the Winter have created what may be the most original and ambitious pop albums of the year. It will not surprise you upon listening to them that their line up is as follows Brandon Bethancourt, Zach Condon (of Beirut), Heather Trost (of A Hawk and a Hacksaw), Hari Ziznewski (of Rap), Stefanie Lamm, Rosina Roibal (who played in the Kanye West live string section), Hilary Bethancourt, and Naila Dixon. There are obvious references to Beirut and A Hawk and a Hacksaw but here they are mixed with vocodered vocals that almost give some songs a daft punk feel.

Other songs such as Harmonijak and Horsey Horse have piano chords as sparse as A Silver Mount Zion, mixing these tender sounds with electronic drums and the aforementioned vocoders, this really is something special.


on Monday, 24 September 2007
Tom Brosseau - Grand Forks Reviewed
Posted on 2007.09.24 at 23:15
Current Music: Tatsuhiko Asano - Genny Haniver

Tom Brosseau - Grand Forks (Loveless)
In my childhood and early youth my dad constantly tried to brainwash with me with all sorts of country music, generally it would be quite horrible and sickly sweet, fiddles galore and yodels aplenty. Ever so occasionally though the odd track or artist would stand out, Johnny Cash obviously (although my younger brothers constant repetitive playing of Folsom Prison Blues should yet somehow didn’t turn me off that song for life) Willie Nelson, Lonnie Donegan and perhaps with the most long lasting effect Hank Williams. And so it remains that in my blood I have both a loathing and a small box room in my house of music for out and out country *(I’m not talking bonnie prince billy, Sparklehorse etc)

Tom Brosseau has instantly been promoted to the top of that list with his wonderful album Grand Forks, recalling the Smith Garrett Band, at times Benjy Ferree with his Steptoe and Son pop so delightfully done on opening track I Fly Wherever I Go, Down on Skidrow is like the moody dusty best of Calexico and both At the Close of Everyday and Misplaced Music’s Charlie Parr on the accentuated Plain Lined Jacket.

A gloriously simple album to coast down still waters on with a picnic basket and a bottle of cider.
on Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Bosques De Mi Mente & Serafina Steer Reviewed
Posted on 2007.09.18 at 22:18
Current Music: Talkdemonic - Beat Romantic

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Bosques De Mi Mente – LoFi
With the first signs of the winter bearing down us, they bring with them a terrible feeling of loneliness and a bleak reminder of the harsh weather set to follow in the steps of what has yet again been a poor summer. Yet the winter also brings with it a tragic beauty, one that can pull you from the deepest of setbacks and sprinkle you with hope.

The music of Bosques De Mi Mente is your perfect partner to such feelings of melancholy and despair, like the scene from Far & Away when Nicole Kidman gets shot and Tom Cruise hands her back to her former lover and takes the slow walk through the snow, brutal and unforgiving it beats against your bare face, its gets in through any means possible and bites at your defenceless skin. Yet against the odds it’s hard to deny the beauty of snow and its icy mischievousness, its ability to hold a moment in time, the way you sometimes feel the need and occasionally elongate a time and period of sadness, finding comfort from your sorrows and wallowing in your misery, its unhealthy yes but sometimes it serves a purpose yet eventually like Tom you just have to let her go, just walk away from the situation. You try not to look back yet when you do all you see is footsteps slowly disappearing in the snow as the fresh snow covers them up and severs all former ties.

Bosques De Mi Mente is the music to soundtrack your latest tragedy, the music that will bring beauty to the most tragic of happening, solo piano has rarely captured such feeling, this was last done so well by Eluvium and if that’s not a recommendation then I don’t know what is.

Serafina Steer – Cheap Demo Bad Science (Static Caravan)
You may have guessed that I have a little more than an appreciation for the female vocal and more than a chip on my shoulder about how highly rated Cat Power is and yet again I find myself stumbling over a stupidly talented female that far exceeds anything that I’ve heard from Chan Marshall.

Serafina Steer will appeal to anyone who has been wowed by the likes of Bat for Lashes, Whistler, The Finches, Meg Baird, Cocorosie or Kate Bush and yes I hate lame comparisons but it’s not just because she owns a harp that I find myself thinking of Joanna Newsom, however it’s not that simple, this is Joanna Newsom gone back in time, a medieval Joanna who at the same time mixes her folk styling’s with modern technology and electronics, as if she’s half stuck in the past and half in the future, maybe the common, poor servant girl who creeps into her mistresses room and jumps grubby handed onto the harp at every opportunity, bashing out beautiful songs that no one will ever hear until now. As creative and original as Cocorosie, as lyrically weird as Sparklehorse, yet as accessible as the girl next door, the girl living on a council estate fighting to hear her harp over the arguments that overpower her playing

Catch now before you regret having to stand at the back of a packed out crowd, next to burger king at next year’s ATP, Serafina is a delightful discovery.

Sadly I can’t find any MP3’s so give her Myspace a try

on Sunday, 16 September 2007
Múm - Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy Reviewed
Posted on 2007.09.16 at 16:10
Current Music: Mom - Little Brite
Tags: fat cat records, fatcat records, kanda, mice parade, silent ballet, stereolab, the books, the delgados

Is the new Múm album really so bad?

Múm – Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy (FatCat)

I’ve been quite surprised to see how badly the new album from Icelandic (currently) septet Múm, described on the reliable Silent Ballet website as follows:

“let's just say this is one to put on the shelf and watch it collect dust…this album fails at accomplishing any sort of goal, and even raises the question if one exists in the first place. There's an anxiety behind the track, and many others that really prevents anything from being carried out completely. Thoughts are left completely abandoned, mid-sentence, and rarely do we see anything fleshed out to form any sort of understandable statement.”

Rating it at a measly 3 out of 10, it seems that there has been further negativity towards the album from other reliable sources and so it’s with caution that I stick my neck out, that I pipe up above the crowds and ask “Is it really that bad?” I started this fanzine in paper format initially with the idea of promoting good music, sharing with people music that I have fallen in love with, hence why you will normally find just positive reviews on here, I see no point in telling people what I don’t like, what’s disappointed me. For one of the first times though I feel that I could be wrong, how can there be so much disdain for an album that I have loved from the very first listen to now where new songs keep popping out into the foreground, is it because although having the Múm back catalogue I’ve never given it the time I imagine it deserves, yes I loved Green Grass of Tunnel but really who didn’t? maybe those devout followers were expecting something more spectacular, something more progressive and I’ll admit that at times the timid production does sound like that of a band debut opposed to their fourth/fifth (?) album but to me that adds a certain Icelandic magical charm to it, the delicate icy frozen nature of the twinkling lullaby’s within are made that little bit more childlike and naïve, slowly tip toeing through the snow on cold winters nights.

Perhaps it’s the new line up, after all now not only one of the twins that famously graced Belle & Sebastian’s Fold Your Hands album cover have left the band, with Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir following her sisters footsteps departing at some point in 2006. It was her voice that alongside the electronic glitches, beats and effects, and the variety of traditional and unconventional instruments that made the band’s sound so distinct. So now we have the inclusion of more prominent male vocals not too distant from those of the excellent Mice Parade and particularly on the Books-ian cut up glitch of single They Made Frogs Smoke ‘Til They Exploded the much missed synth pop of Kanda. Marmalade Fires are what the Delgados would’ve sounded like had they purchased a laptop rather than split up. Dancing Behind My Eyelids is again lovely and playful, again reminding us of Kanda and mixing amstrad-esque loading screens with truly delightful melodies. School Song Misfortune is again naïve and playful like some strange childhood dream sequence, lullaby’s for an Icelandic kindergarten.

The closing triplet of songs are somewhat more somber and melancholy in sound, and perhaps those will please long term fans, mainly instrumental and occasionally haunting, particularly so the dense and dark forest walk in the middle of the night that is I Was Her Horse. Guilty Rocks is everything you’ve ever read about Stereolab yet down several times better and closer Winter (What We Never Were After All) is again haunting and angelic icy keyboards set to choir like Viking film chorales, delightful and refreshing, as I listen again I can only convince myself further of how special this album is.



FatCat Records

Múm - Dancing Behind My Eyelids MP3

Múm - They Made Frogs Smoke'Til They Exploded MP3

Múm - Moon Pulls MP3

on Thursday, 13 September 2007
Future of the Left, Go! Team, Euros Childs Reviewed
Posted on 2007.09.13 at 23:33

Current Music: The Books - Music for French Elevators

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Future of the Left – Curses (Too Pure)
It’s fair to say that heavy music rarely does it for me, and when I say heavy I don’t mean heavy in the sense of Let Airplanes Circle Overhead, Russian Circles, Pelican and the like, I adore them, no I mean heavy as in with screaming and intenseness, it’s the combination that I’m not that fussed about. However there will always be exceptions, in the past the main exception happened to be the highly underrated Mclusky and so its no surprise that my new favourite band (for 15 minutes as ever for me) are Future of the Left the new project of former Mclusky front man Andy Falkous and drummer Jimmy Egglestone. This is no nonsense full on aggressive in your face rock, yet for all its no nonsenseness it full on nonsensical lyrics, and melodies that will having you nodding your head and banging your steering wheel as you wait at the lights.

In the tradition of Mclusky amazing song titles are ever present (My Gymnastic Past, Suddenly It's A Folk Song, Adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood) and perhaps less familiar will be the excellent keyboards lines now present used to amazing effect on the fantastic Manchasm, I’ll let you discover this years best outro yourself, needless to say that like Mclusky, Future of the Left are a very special band.

Go! Team - Proof of Youth (Memphis Industries)
I’m not ashamed to admit that I really never intended to hear this, planning to avoid it at all costs. I really enjoyed their debut album but was let down with the live performance, it was all very “put yr hands in the air, like you just don’t care” and didn’t do it for me at all and then a series of events, the plan b interview, to quote “I wanna be a cartoon! I wanna be a comic! I wanna be a watch!” why? why would you ever say that? And then the press shot in the latest Plan B, grotesque and utterly repulsive, again why would you let people print such bad pictures of yourself, and yet I eat each and every one of my words, I take back all my misconceptions, my past experience of bands never quite matching the exuberance and quality of their debut, my everything, Proof of Youth is one of the best albums you will hear this year, full to the brim and overflowing with feel good tunes, songs to pick you up, to make you dance, to let you forget about all the crap you have to deal with, I love this album, only a week ago I could never imagine saying such a thing. Its sends a shiver down my spine how good this album is. Taking the best of hip hop and mixing it in with a serious helping of motown, tracks like Doing it Right have no need to beg you to dance for by the time the first bar has kicked in you’re already there on the dance floor, and a series of chants likely to be echoed on a million dance floors “do it do it alright” “extra extra read all about it”.

If you thought Annie’s Chewing Gum was the song to get you in the mood then now you have a whole album, soo good that you’ll be tempted to stay in, it really is that good. I’m having trouble describing just how good, Fake ID is smothered in such northern soul magic where it not for the hip hop twist you’d swear you were down Wigan Casino on a Saturday night.
Don’t let your musical snobbery put you off, Proof of Youth is awesome.

Back when I was a lad, or at least when I when I was first beginning to “properly” get into music, whereby I mean that my record collection no longer consisted of taped music recorded from and occasionally by friends too cautious to “lend” in fear of never seeing their beloved disc again. Instead my hard earned cash gave me the opportunity to fill every possible place I could ram a CD within my (shared) box room…and so I did…and so my findings led me to a pentateuch, so to speak, of bands that I both swore by and adored, bands who could do no wrong in my eyes…a list of which follows

1) Belle & Sebastian

2) Hefner

It is from the final and perhaps weirdest and unpredictable of the bunch that arises my latest obsession, that being the solo project of former front man Euros Childs, going by the alias of…erm, Euros Childs. Gorky’s a their finest where able to produce both noise and melody, hush and chaos and ultimately a song for each occasion, whether that be the loud and chaotic Sweet Johnny, the literally barking mad Poodle Rocking, the sunshine pop of Spanish Dance Troupe, Diamond Dew and Patio Song or the heart melting four tracks that closed 1999 album, Spanish Dance Troupe, who could forget the “Jodie brown eyes” line, one that to do this day I find myself randomly singing.
And so out of nowhere Euros has given us three albums in the space of sixteen months, Chops (13/2/06) Bore Da (05/03/07) and now The Miracle Inn (25/06/07), a treasure trove of Gorky-like pop. The piano led pop remains, songs like Horse Riding & Ali Day are instant classics, whereas the more ambitious 15 minutes of The Miracle Inn show the ideas and experiments are not running short yet. Costa Rita is a lovely love song told in the normal Euros way, quirky and normally from a distance, the way we all fall in love with that girl that we see on the bus each day, the one who walks past our window at work, the one who works in the florist down the road and yet we’ll probably never ever pluck the courage up to talk to her let alone tell her how we feel. Country Girl shows his fondness for country as previously expressed in the much loved yet little heard Johnny Cash Lawsuit Song.
Euros Childs is a madcap genius who deserves your attention, let him put a little sunshine and romance in your life.


on Monday, 10 September 2007
Meg Baird, Best Fwends, Hrsta, Fortdax Reviewed

Posted on 2007.09.10 at 20:01

Current Music: Fortdax, Fortdax, Fortdax

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Right now, I’m working my way through Meg Baird's wonderful Dear Companion, a higly enjoyable collection of tracks from the Espers female vocalists. If you’re familiar with Espers you will know of Megs honeyed vocals, soaring and high, not a million miles from those that grace albums by the likes of Fairport Convention, Pentangle and even Vashti Bunyan though much stronger.

A more recent comparison would be Charalambides Christina Carter, Sharon Krauss or Saint Joans Ellen McGee. Lovely folk music with lovelier titles “The Waltze Of The Tennis Players” “Riverhouse In Tinicum” swaying occasionally into full on Celtic folksiness such as on the very traditional Sweet William And Fair Ellen. It’s not the Espers but it’ll more than suffice whilst we await a new album.



Meg Baird - Waltze of the Tennis Players MP3

Best Fwends – Alphabetically Arranged (Moshi Moshi)
I’ve been familiar with Best Fwends for some time, in fact their track Ninja Turdle pretty much opened up every compilation made during 2006. Here they treat us to a massive 29 tracks alphabetically arranged as the title would suggest PLUS an additional five remixes.

I imagine Best Fwends to be a pair of snotty nosed punk kids who had the good fortune of stumbling over a DAT Politics album one day and as such decided to break into the Tigerbeat 6 headquarters stealing Kid 606s laptop and still finding time to sift through ten years of Smash Hits taking in depth notes as to what to makes a feel good radio friendly tune whilst remaining undeniably cooler than anything ever printed on those pages.

The Crystal Castles full frontal heavy electro attack of Diet Coke Head, the pre pubescent Numbers sounding Dump in the Dark, the ultimate going out feelgood tune Earth, Fwend, Fire, the Printed Circuit pop Greetings to You, the supermarket nintendo pop of Skate or Live, the “if Erase Errata was a game for the gameboy” riot of Ultimate Teem, stand out but all in all you will not disappointed in anyway by the latest of a string of great releases by Moshi Moshi.

Moshi Moshi


Hrsta – Ghosts Will Come and Kiss Our Eyes (Constellation)
Haunting songs that meander through drone, rock, and space. Hrsta are at their best when they drag songs out, removing all life from them, then, such as in Hechicero del Bosque when at six minutes you think the best has past, they somehow manage to resurrect the song from nowhere full of screams blended into guitars drenched in feedback and delay, it’s a beautiful couple of minutes.

Saturn of Chagrin similarly is a haunting chorale that evokes haunted houses and nights spent alone in cold empty houses with creaking floor boards, uneasy and unsettlingly. There is a spoken word sample just quiet enough for you to not be able to make it out, but loud enough for you to strain your ears in hope of making out a word or two as you grip your bed sheets tighter by the second. Kotori likewise is soaked in terror and apocalyptic drones and could possibly be the finest Hrsta moment yet.

And yet amidst the fear and remorse Hrsta are quite capable of producing sixties Kaledoscope-like ballads such as Holiday, mediaeval and beautiful in appearances and at points you’d almost call it singalong.




Hrsta - Folkways Orange (live) MP3

Hrsta - Swallows Tail MP3

Rest in Peace...Fortdax

Those familiar with the paper zine that bore this name will be aware of my fondness for a certain electronic genius going by the alias of Fortdax. Although the final album Divers didn't quite do it for me (with the exception of a few stunning tracks, how could I not mention The Pheasants Eye!) Fortdax has graced our lives with some of the most lovely music you'll set your ears on, music box delights that twinkle against rubbery basslines and at times glorious, angelic choirs.

The At Bracken mini album boasted the lovely understated and near perfect yet simply named (as yet untitled) , such a modest statement in minimalism and the ability to capture a moment in song, and yet better was to come with the split release on the sadly missed earworm label with Roircat and EU who to be honest needn't have bothered showing up. The track W.H. Coder was such a masterpiece of beauty, glimmering like ice falling, it had a certain Edward Scissorhands feel to it, the scene where he carves the ice sculpture, a tragic beauty, a lonely misunderstood beauty and best of all a hope inspiring beauty, an ability to catch "that moment" in time in sound, a rare talent.

And who could forget the 2003 masterpiece Folly, an exceptional album featuring some of the most lovely collaborations to grace my ears with Acid Mothers Temple singer Cotton Casino, the descriptions of exceptional and breathtaking would be well considered as understatements if not insults...

Fortdax was magic and we'll always cherish his music.Luckily he's been kind enough to dish out a free archive of everything except the two full length albums at the following links...treat yourself, you would be stupid not to...all the best Fortdax and thanks again.

...here's where the story ends.
after an enormous delay, the FortDax archive is finally ready. it comprises three seperate FREE downloadable bundles of mp3 files plus a mini-site (included) that covers almost everything* aside from the two full-length albums. the archive contains, amongst other work, the very first digital appearance of 'at bracken', a previously unheard remix of 'as yet untitled' by piano magic, the original version of 'fortune-telling fish' and a host of unreleased material...
FortDax archival part 1: http://www.sendspace.com/file/sesvtf
- 'unreleased' (11 previously unavailable tracks) (2001-2005)
- 'at bracken' (mini-album) (2002)
- 'like cream inside your spine' (7" single) (2001)

FortDax archival part 2: http://www.sendspace.com/file/8g02p2
- 'bbc radio 1 session' (john peel show) (2004)
- 'remixes'
- 'witch hazel tales' (split cd) (2001)
- 'van84' (cd single) (2005)

FortDax archival part 3: http://www.sendspace.com/file/nnk2ng
- full FortDax live set inc. 4 otherwise unrecorded tracks (2006)

*does NOT contain the albums 'folly' (2003) and 'divers' (2006), the radio 3 'mixing it' session from 2006 and my remix of nathan fake's 'you are here'.
although copyright remains in all of the material, please feel free to distribute any of it as you see fit.

i'm indebted to my webmaster jeff keibel for his help & support throughout the archival project, which is hosted via www.fedge.net/fortdax .

my own notes and feelings about the material can be found within the mini-site, so i shan't go into detail here, but this is essentially my parting gift to you all. we'll catch up soon, although i'll have a different set of identities by then. thank-you very much for your support throughout what was FortDax.

as ever, take very good care.
darren durham, 'FortDax' (2001-2006)

on Saturday, 8 September 2007
Scout Niblett, Loscil, Hylozoists Reviewed
Posted on 2007.09.08 at 18:52
Current Music: Scout Niblett - This Fool Can Die Right Now

Oh how I love Scout Niblett… I’ve just got my hands on her new albums “This Fool Can Die Now” due for release by Too Pure on October 9th…there’s something wonderful about Scout, her voice, so powerful and emotive, especially on Your Last Chariot, like she’s been up all night crying and then just picked the mic up and poured all her deepest sorrows into song.

The opening brace of songs are duets, the first Do You Wanna Be Buried with My People, I know not who this is with, the second is instantly recognisable as Will Oldham, a lush and powerful six minutes of love and emotion aptly entitled Kiss. The duets tend to show a newer more mature and produced sound to Scout Nibletts already high standards, the kind of touch needed to put her up in the big league (she has always been there, if not above in my mind) the push that will see her recognised clearly amongst the Cat Powers (of whom she is unarguably far superior, if not to the eyes of the mass media) the Will Oldhams, the Bill Callahans and the Joanna Newsoms. However her stripped down sound I was first attracted to (some songs on here feature violins and full band) is still present on a number of tracks that stand out to me, the ferocious Nevada and Let Thine Heart Be Warned.

I’m only half way through but already I know that This Fool Can Die Now is destined to be an album I cherish for some time…oh, how I love Scout Niblett.
Loscil – Plume (Kranky)
Loscil – States (One Net Label)

I would never have understood this music five years ago but now I feel instantly at ease with the swells and drones that make up the music of Loscil, namely Scott Morgan who for a living makes sound effects for computer games.

The music is slow and dreamy, the kind of music you imagine is fed into the womb, the comforting caring sounds of a loving mother, the heart taking its first beat and the embryo slowly developing into a little human in its own right, this is the music of miracles, mesmerising and transfixing, music to send you off into dreams and restful sleep.




One Net Label

Loscil - Sous Marin MP3

Loscil - Stases Full Album ZIP

Hylozoists - La Fin Du Monde (boompa)
The music of Hylozoists is sweeping and endearing, it is Francophilic in sound, carrying a certain Parisian romance in its sweeping upbeat orchestral arrangements.
Man who was builds up into a wall of hope and fantasy conjuring images of Tim Burton-esque sets, mysterious and magical, where limits have no place, anything is possible and all is within your reach, unicorns roam freely and fairies fly like butterflies unafraid of being seen. At times their cinematic sound strays into areas covered by the wonderful Espers yet not quite so folk-sy. Now and then there are hints of About a Boy, but I’ll let you decide if that’s good or bad.
Much like Cue it’s refreshing to hear a less bleak and more upbeat sound in an instrumental band, triumphant and joyous, let these well arranged orchestrations soundtrack whichever occasion you choose.




Hylozoists - Strait is the Gate MP3

on Sunday, 2 September 2007
Posted on 2007.09.02 at 19:55
Current Music: Battle of Mice - A Day of Nights
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The Books – Lost And Safe (Tomlab)

Few bands have managed to come close to The Books in mixing experimentalism with perfectly acceptable and hospitable pop, perhaps Tunng would be the exception to the rule but to be honest The Books are several furlongs ahead in this particular race. Songs like An Animated Description of Mr Maps and Be Good To Them Always have an almost EMO appeal to them, like the postal service with double the IQ. Charming and inventive, the lyrics echo the samples to amazing effect.

I only realised today, despite having the album a good couple of years that the inner sleeve of the gatefold vinyl contains both the lyrics and samples.
It Never Changes to Stop is thought provoking and ever so slightly disturbing, the Books are geniuses and let’s hope they’ll have a new album for us soon.

An Animated Description of Mr. Maps

He is forty two, five-feet-eight-inches tall,

normally wears his curly hair long.
He has a ruddy complexion, broad shoulders and is barrel-chested,

is unusually strong.

He frequently wears a full beard and sometimes glasses.

He is a college graduate, a talented artist, and sculptor.

Now, Maps is a soft-spoken loner, who resents society and all organizations.

Maps fancies himself a ladies' man.

He is an avid chess player, smokes cigarettes, and a pipe.

He is a beer drinker and loves to eat.

Maps is a man of widespread interests, who might very well be living abroad.

He willed away the miles while quixotically attempting to reclaim his inner child, he was embrangled and enmeshed in something far too loud to comprehend:"I want all of the American people to understand that it isunderstandable that the Americanpeople cannot possibly understand."

I can’t stop listening to… Matter Honey…by Monkey Swallows the Universe. Where my musical tastes tend to veer off towards electronic and post rock meanderings I had previously and still have a soft spot for Belle and Sebastian, all things indie pop and songs as sweet as honey. Matter Honey as the title suggests is a song of such sweetness, reminiscent of the first time I heard Camera Obscura’s 80’s Fan, a song so special and instantly, unknowingly engraving itself on your subconscious mind, one to sing in the shower, in the car and just about anywhere you like.

This is spine tinglingly brilliant with an ace video and cowbells to compliment it.

Monkey Swallows The Universe - Matter Honey

on Saturday, 1 September 2007
Motoro Faam - …and Water Cycles (Preco)
Motoro Faam are three highly talented twenty five year old musicians from Japan mixing classical and contemporary music with irregular beats and sampling. This is probably the most genuinely moving thing I’ve heard since Johann Johannsson’s IBM 1401 – A Users Manual and perhaps the most original and thought provoking thing since I was first wowed with Godspeeds intelligent outlook on modern music. It’s like Lucky Dragons should they ever decide to soundtrack a ballet recital, pianos roll and electronic glitches flicker like decaying static.
The sound will satisfy those partial to the sounds of Max Richter and the like, however this is one if not two steps ahead of their game and is one of the most exciting discoveries I’ve had the pleasure to stumble across lately, timeless yet undeniably original. …and Precipitation weaves and delights with bubbles of waters and waves, sandstorms and gentle pianos beneath stormy rainfall, it’s unlikely you will find anything quite so delightful this year.

Normans Records - We have another great Motoro Faam CD on the Preco label from Japan called 'And Water Cycles'. This is pretty lush sounding stuff. Gorgeous electronics and neo classical nubbins mixed together in a sexy love pot all ready to pour into your unsuspecting ears. There's a healthy dash of Ryuichi Sakamoto in there and maybe some more. It's quite experimental and there's an awful lot going on. The sound is very dense and full, but together it makes a really beautiful listen, what with all the lovely classical-ness being chucked into the electronic mix. Mingus thinks it sounds a bit like Takagi Masakatsu....highly recommended anyway!

Boards of Canada

Long term readers will need no introduction to the fact that i absolutley adore Boards of Canada, I stumbled over these videos on youtube, the excellent video for ROYGBIV, the song that turned me on to them (thanks to an NME compilation!!) and then a rather crazy but suprisingly good Audio/Video mashup/blend of David Hasselhoff's cover of "Blue Bayou" mixed with Boards of Canada's "An Eagle In Your Mind"...nice!!

And a couple of other videos i saw that summarise some of what i'm getting more and more into at the moment...beautiful stuff

at the close of every day - Hemelsblauw

World's End Girlfriend - We Are The Massacre