Melody Nelson (unreleased instrumental edit) (3:50)
Cargo Culte (unreleased instrumental edit) (3:58)
Review: This rather tidy, limited-edition "45" offers up two previously unheard instrumental edits of stone cold classics from the bulging back catalogue of Chanson hero and sleazy but chic singer Serge Gainsbourg. Side A boasts a superb revision of "Melody Nelson", a sweeping, string-drenched affair underpinned by sweaty drumming that arguably benefits from the removal of Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin's vocals. Over on side B you'll find an equally evocative version of Beck favourite "Cargo Culte". Stripped of the original lead vocals, the track sounds like a lo-fi art-rock instrumental smothered in ghostly choral vocals and creepy, foreboding musical flourishes. Top stuff!
Review: An LP which features music by originally recorded in 1969 by BBC Radiophonic Workshop members such as the late Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson and the American born composer David Vorhaus: who later formed as the experimental electronic band White Noise. It was released by the Standard Music Library label, set up in 1968 by Bucks Music and London Weekend Television who also supplied production music for use in TV, commercials, radio and film. Many of these tracks were also used in the 1960's cult TV show 'The Tomorrow People' and each one has a short description of the music after the track title. Derbyshire and Hodgson assumed pseudonyms in the credits: Li de la Russe & Nikki St. George respectively. Two of the tracks are co-written by the pair, who also worked together on Unit Delta Plus: an organisation and studio project which was extensively involved in the promotion and exploration of electronic music at the time. Legendary stuff!
Review: Roy Garrett born Roy Sambar in Colonia, New Jersey arrived in New York City hungry to explore the sex and porn scenes he'd seen advertised in the Village Voice's classified section. He danced in Times Square theaters The Gaiety, Ramrod, and Big Top before moving into adult film. From 1979 through 1983 Garret starred in ten films, five of them for Joe Gage, including his lead role in 'Heatstroke'. Throughout this period of self-discovery, he wrote the suite of poems that became 'Hot Rod to Hell'. In 1982 he recorded 48 of the poems with haunting, atmospheric score by Man Parrish, who also did several soundtracks for Gage. The project was produced for the stage and for cassette by Manhattan illustrator Robert W. Richards. Richards calls 'Hot Rod', "a searing voyage through the labyrinths of modern male sexuality; it's geography ranging from porn theaters to back room bars to the intimacy of shared beds. Only a man born at exactly the moment in gay history that Garrett was could have lived through and conceived this work." Roy Garrett tells his stories of sex, violence, truth, and illusion, a visceral and personal a record as any of that moment in gay history pre-AIDS. Joe Gage, describes 'Hot Rod' as, "...sweet danger. This is a perceptive look at the underside of love. It is funny, scary, surprisingly moving and best of all, extremely acute in observing the specifics of the human condition." All poems have been carefully remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The records come housed in a jacket designed by Gwenael Rattke and includes an 44-page full color magazine with all 48 'Hot Rod' poems plus 44 previously unpublished poems from Garrett's archive. All proceeds from 'Hot Rod' will be donated to Housing Works, a New York City based non-profit fighting the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness.
Review: "Space Songs" was an album in the "Ballads For The Age of Science" or "Singing Science" series of scientific music for children from the late 1950s and early 1960s. Songs were written by Hy Zaret (lyrics) and Lou Singer (music). Space Songs was released in 1959 by Hy Zaret's label Motivation Records (a division of Argosy Music Corp.) and was performed by Tom Glazer and Dottie Evans.
Review: There's been much talk about this special Record Store Day release, and it's easy to see why. For starters, it comes from noted British sculptor Anthony Gormley, an artist most famous for his epic public piece the Angel of the North. Sounds of the Studio, his first audio work, has been trailed as a "teleportational sound portrait of Gormley's cathedral-like studio". In other words, it's an evocative snapshot of his working environment, mixing high-grade field recordings (Chris Watson would be proud) with elements of music concrete. Expect to hear Gormley banging bits of metal, getting busy with various high-grade power tools and generally proving is industrial mettle (sorry).
Review: Greg Foat and Warren Hampshire are two the UK's most interesting minds when it comes to contemporary jazz experimentation, and their recent partnership for Athens Of The North feels like exactly the right thing at exactly the right moment. With both artists capable of producing many alternate forms of jazz and additive rhythm, Nightshade: Library Music Vol.1, feels like one of their more introspective pieces of work to date, and allows both of them to stretch their aesthetic to its very limits, focusing more on the subconscious atmosphere created by the instruments rather than cheap thrills based on beats and 'dance'. This is a connoisseur's album, and we're glad that this kind of gear is still landing on our shelves. Bless.
Review: Svart Records continues the Eero Koivistoinen reissue program with yet another rare album by the artists, this particular one from 1971. With Vesa-Matti Loiri, Seija Simola and Eero Raittinen on vocals. Koivistoinen's children's music album entitled Muusa ja Ruusa was based on the poems of Kirsi Kunnas and released by the book publishing company WSOY. Although some of these songs were revisited in the 2000s on the album Ville ja Valle, the original has never been reissued in any format. The moods on this recently unearthed album is best described by the label, who claim it sounds like 'pastoral calm to the psychedelic bubbling of witches' cauldrons. This is music to boil frogs to.' And that's pretty spot on, we agree!