NO MORE SMOKO

HI ALL

New one on in-shoppe label landed this week, debut LP from BOBBY WOULD - more thoughts and feelings on it’s brilliance below and a snapshot from the currently unreleased promotional video above.

We can now also safely/softly announce that these troops will be playing at the next LC swally, amongst some other SERIOUS talent tba - Sunday 26th May - keep THE WHOLE DAY free.

Anyway, nuff riddling - plenty to be getting thru

LC xxx

BOBBY WOULD
BABY
LOW COMPANY | LP | £13.99

"IT’S HAPPENING TO YOU, AGAIN…" Lovelorn, tranq’d-out, majestically understated rok y roll lullabies and dub-pocked, acid-damaged, pain’-it-dark drone-punk from Robert P. of Heavy Metal and Muscle Barbie++, coming over like some celestial 4AM face-off between George Harrassment, The Great Unwashed and Can. Gulp. Yeah this is a record so patently, self-evidently brilliant that we have to stop ourselves from calling it an instant classic (oops). There are some affinities with the homesick jangle of Itchy Bugger’s Done One, an album which R. played on (and painted the cover for), and the songs sure are pretty (find me a more romantic refrain in 2019 than ‘Luna''s "You and me / shivering in the street"), but Baby feels like more of a TRIP, as if some 23rd century Martian moptop-pop combo crash-landed at a dosed up Kensington houseparty circa ’66, plugged in their gear and got stuck right in: hypnotic space-guitar ultra-reverberant and in a permanent state of comedown/dissolve, choppy death-surf riffs and gently weeping leads ringing into infinity, squeezed and smeared for every last trace of scorch and sting…wooiii! There are some echoes too of banner UK DIY/squat-wave and the mildewed NZ psych of the Spies and the Renderers, but all shot through with a kinda Teutonic sensibility/rigour, loopy and ultra-repetitive - equal debts to the full-throttle drainpiped psycho-beat of 39 Clocks’ ‘Dom’ and the glacial ambient-glam sampledelia of Love Inc.’s ‘Life’s A Gas’ (!). Rare to encounter a record as simultaneously heart-rending, sonically intrepid and effortlessly SWINGING as this. Couldn't be more in love. Edition of 275. xxx

BARBARA KINGA MAJEWSKA & MARCIN MASECKI
TARATIL’ID AL-MILAD
BÔŁT | LP | £16.99

YES it’s April and YES we are recommending you an LP of Christmas carols. And no we haven't lost our f****ng minds. We're talking Polish Christmas carols, translated into Arabic (more specifically a dialect from the region of Aleppo), and reimagined as political lamentations, and interrogations of Christian charity, or what’s left of it. “Songs for the time of contempt we live in,” according to Barbara Kinga Majewska and Marcin Masecki. “[An] era of rising xenophobia replacing care and empathy in relation to to the growing number of defenceless victims of wars, conflicts and other calamities. When thousands of unwanted strangers, searching for shelter from a certain death, die at the gates of fortified Europe, we cannot sing about any joyful news as we have always done.” It's a noble cause and conceit, and the music is up to the task, thanks to a number of factors: the innate beauty of the carols themselves, new to us and we assume to most non-Polish ears; the ways in which the imported Arabic language compliments, and complicates, and at times palpably chafes against, the sonorous high-Catholic melodies (“the songs run out of words; begin to sound in strange keys…”) but above all the sparseness and ECM-spaciousness of the arrangements. Majewska’s voice is the most haunting instrument of all, supernaturally crystalline at times, but also capable of drawing on deep wells of hurt; while Masecki’s minimal synth, harpsichord and piano accompaniments offer daubs of cooling, consoling ambient texture and, at times, something more atonal, frictional, closer to complaint. There are obvious parallels with Svitlana Nianio's and particularly Jessica Kenney’s work, but this one’s ultimately out on its own - stunningly poised and powerfully emotive music. It's also clad in the most exquisite/evocative artwork we’ve beheld in a while. It's really something...do not miss.

GRAMM
PERSONAL ROCK
FAITICHE | 2LP | £24.99

Front-rank, smoked-out, 1999-vintage but utterly future-proof microhouse / dub abstractions from the mind-machine of Jan Jelinek. 1999, fuck me. Coming hot on the heels of his Farben 12”s, and with Loop-finding-jazz-records still two years away, this ultra-broken, ight-on-its-feet but properly soundboy-clobbering 2LP bridges those two projects: combining a clipped, swung, almost two-step momentum with fathomlessly deep basslines and that droning, melancholic, acutely paranoid but never explicitly DARK textures that Jelinek is THE master of, and which has always elevated his work from the turn-of-the-millennium morass of clicks’n’cuts. I’d literally forgotten how good Personal Rock is… and right now I can’t think of anything, not even those early SND records, that comes close. Truly some of the most spatially dynamic, hallucinatory post-techno hocus-pocus ever to grace our ears. We are not worthy. FLAWLESS MASTERPIECE. 

IKURO TAKAHASHI
しりえないものとずっと 
AN’ARCHIVES | LP | £21.99

Master drummer Ikuro Takahashi is a bona fide living legend / dark prince of the Japanese psychedelic underground, having served time in the cockpits of void-chasing juggernauts like High Rise, Fushitsusha and LSD March, as well as anchoring more pastorally minded, slow-burning troupes like Nagasa Ni Te and Maher Shalal Hash Baz (we could list at least a dozen more).

Born in Hokkaido in 1957, he lived in downtown Tokyo for some years before settling back in Sapporo with his partner, dancer Yoko Murunoi. All the music featured on this LP from An’Archives was composed for live performances from their Anoyonodekigoto duo project. Yoko died in 2017, so しりえないものとずっと(Shirienaimono to Zutto) is a kind of elegy, “the last flower laid at the shrine of her dance.” There are some passages of bin-lid crashing catharsis, no mistake, but the most striking of these six improvisations venture into a more granular ambient realm - although I’m not sure“ambient” is exactly the right word to describe music so teeming and twitching with anguish and fury and general unrest. Overlaying oscillators, music boxes and metronomes, Takahashi generates rhythmic, fluid, circular patterns (the influence of Takehisa Kosugi looms large) that seem designed to unpick the locks of the spirit-world, if he doesn't kick the goddamn door down first. Very special presentation from An as usual, with silkscreened jacket, obi, inserts and postcard. Edition of 275.

TOM PHILLIPS
WORDS AND MUSIC
RECITAL | LP | £27.99

This contemporary album of Brexit-inspired electro-acoustic improvisations is a fascinating exploration of what "remain" could mean for-- JOKES! Words and Music is a rare and deeply idiosyncratic 1975 album by artist Tom Phillips (b.1937), who really had no way of foreseeing how jarring/button-pushing his use of the Union Jack would feel in the confused, conflicted, auto-annihilating Britain of 2019. Actually you’ve probably encountered Phillips’ work before, even if you didn’t realise it: the cover image of Brian Eno’s Another Green World is a detail from Phillips’ 1972 painting After Raphael, and it was in fact Phillips - teaching at Ipswich, Bath and Wolverhampton art schools - who introduced his star-student Eno to the ideas that would help him develop his ambient and generative musics>>>>>. In addition to his prolific and venerated painting (the National Portrait Gallery mounted a solo exhibition for him in 1989), Phillips collaborated with Cornelius Cardew in The Scratch Orchestra, and in 1990 co-created an award-winning TV adaptation of Dante’s Inferno with Peter Greenaway (A TV Dante). His key work remains A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel, a reworked version of W.H. Mallock’s obscure book A Human Document, each page painstakingly painted and collaged over, and published in six editions between 1970 and 2017.

The second side of the Words and Music LP - originally published by Hansjörg Mayer and never re-pressed until now - is comprised of readings from Humument, with Phillips himself narrating its strange, romantic poetry. It’s the other half of the LP that’s of chief interest, though: four Cardew-ish chamber works grown form impressionistic and graphic scores. Subdued, submerged, at times heart-stoppingly lyrical and melancholic, these pieces exude, as Recital so beautifully put it, “an air of forlorn fantasy", and there are passages that could have sat comfortably alongside Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman et al on Eno’s Obscure series. Urge you to check this one out, even if you can't bare the sight of it! Edition of 215 and not expected to come around again.

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