Friday, 24 September 2010

seefeel - faults ep

on the turntable:

limited edition 10" ep

image: japanese forms

Seefeel was one of those 90s bands that I considered had split and gone their separate ways long ago and it came as a bit of a surprise to learn, a few weeks back, that new material by the band was about to be released. Although they never officially disbanded this is their first release in simply ages. I've no idea really what the core members (Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock ) did in the interim -their only recent "activity" being the reissue of the superb Quique (Redux Edition), back in May 2007- but this is a welcome return not only to recording but to form. Faults, following that 14-year long hiatus (!), is yet another excellent piece of what one could deem as abstract contemporary music. Music where everything is stripped down to the minimalist core sound space that the band so finely honed back in the 90s. We could have feared the worst after such a long break but the minimal soundscapes, of an almost trance-inducing nature, show that Seefeel has lost none of it's edge and is still a band to be reckoned with despite all that time in limbo. one2zero

buy / download: bleep
limited edition of 200 copies.

myspace / warp

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

ghost box - study series 03 & 04

on the turntable:

ghost box
study series 03 -
belbury poly
mordant music
study series 04 - gbx704
broadcast and the focus group

image: japanese forms

Numbers 3 and 4 in the Ghost Box Study Series. As with the previous singles these
two feature superb
Julian House designed artwork and come in super heavyweight vinyl. N°3, Welcome To Godalming features "house" band, Belbury Poly with the utterly fabulous "Swingalong" while the b-side features Mordant Music with what the label describes as " ecstatic piece of pastoral electronica." Couldn't put it better myself. The fourth Study Series, Familiar Shapes and Noises, probably the most collectable single so far, features Broadcast and The Focus Group who continue where they left off with what was one of the best albums of last year; "Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age." Very highly recommended hauntological brilliance! one2zero

buy / download: ghost box

Friday, 10 September 2010

mr maxted : momentum (tape)

in the tape deck:

mr maxted
11-track cassette tape

image: japanese forms

As I previously mentioned in this recent post, I haven't bought any tapes for years and now... I've bought two in less than a month! Including this one by Mr Maxted. A cassette revival -so to speak- has been emerging over the past couple of years with more and more musicians -particularly low-budget operations- turning to this format to release their sounds. It might well be a nostalgia thing for some but I imagine that for most that it's not only from an economic point of view that they're using tapes. Maybe the use of the compact cassette, a quasi-obsolete device, can be seen as a sort of slow-fi reaction to today's digitally virtualized world and those horrendous MP3s. Don't get me wrong though; MP3s are great for accessing and indeed discovering lots of music. Music that is either not commercially available or very hard to come by. Plus, one mustn't forget either that for lots of people, economically, MP3s are their only alternative. From my own point of view, I'd much prefer to have a recording on analog, magnetic tape (with hiss 'n' all) rather than anything in an MP3 format. It's a "physical" thing. I have to have it in my hands to fully appreciate the value of it. Nevermind the fact that the "artwork" that surrounds the object plays more than a fair part in my own personal choices as far as music goes. Anyhow, I'm digressing... so let's get back to Mr Maxted. This recording; which Boomkat rightfully describes as: " pure bedroom meddling music, recorded from cheap drum machines directly onto tape, leaving a blurry imprint of Benelux beats and soggy Yorkshire synth... " unfortunately comes in one of those awful red-plastic cassette cases that break so easily. On the other hand, the heavy-duty inlay card makes up for it a bit packaging wise. A nice wrap-around card sleeve like the Hilary Jeffery Tape would have made this object so much better. Soundwise; it's an electronic music mix of post-industrial analogue synth pop with added electro, techno & new beat rhythms and textures... It's great!
Limited edition of 100 cassettes only. one2zero

buy / download: boomkat

mordant music