I am delighted to present the brand new collaboration between News from Neptune and my great friend and creative compadre Craig Sinclair, best known as vocalist and songwriter with Liverpool band Lovecraft. I have played with Craig before in Cartwheels on Glass but this new release, entitled ‘FIELDS OF INDUSTRY EP’, is quite separate from our previous work together and we’re both very proud of it. Once again Matthew Freeman takes credit for the recording of vocals, mixing and mastering at Fresh Goods Studio.
At the risk of over-simplifying, the music is me, the vocals are Craig and the lyrics are a bit of both of us. Think of it as homemade experimental pop dragged out of the bedroom into the cold light of day. The words explore childhood memories of Widnes, depressed lunch breaks on the Birkenhead waterfront and the utter desolation of the here and now – happy songs for happy times! Anyway, hope you like them – they can be downloaded for a price of your choosing on Bandcamp or streamed for free on both SoundCloud and YouTube.
Seriously interesting stuff from the recent LP on Ba Da Bing Records by US experimental musician Wendy Eisenberg, one of the most singular and compelling works I’ve heard this year. Lyrical allusions to personal upheaval and dislocation translate compositionally into surprising, even logic-defying harmonic and structural leaps. The press release mentions Mark Hollis and David Sylvian, while reviews have drawn parallels with enigmatic deconstructionists like Gastr Del Sol and free-wheeling avant rock artists such as Deerhoof. Eisenberg has mentioned the influence of Brazilian music by the likes of João Gilberto and Egberto Gismonti – you could make a link with Arto Lindsay in terms of how they meld these sounds with modern composition and production. Maybe shades of Karen Mantler, Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl… I could go on. The important thing though is that if you sent anyone else away to bring all these inspirations together in an album, the results still wouldn’t sound anything like ‘Auto’. A big recommendation for the adventurous listener!
Gorgeous, astral ruminations from the new LP by Los Angeles harpist Mary Lattimore. She collaborated with Slowdive’s Neil Halstead as producer, who brought her to the Cornwall coast for the recording and made invaluable guitar and synth contributions. The overall effect is mesmerising, at times recalling The Durutti Column and perhaps Roy Montgomery in the murkier moments.
Catalan connoisseur Pere Millán has really outdone himself with this week’s wonderful edition of the Ressenya 72 on Ràdio Alfacs. Dedicated to post rock progenitor and experimental music icon Mark Hollis of Talk Talk, it paints a vivid picture of the myriad paths taken by those who followed in his footsteps. Some are well-recognised as key players – Bark Psychosis, Radiohead, David Sylvian, Slowdive – while others have perhaps gone under the radar for all but the most intrepid of listeners (think Hood, Benoît Burello’s Bed, Zelienople and Movietone to name a handful). Special mention should go to the brilliant poster – Pere’s own handiwork.
Utterly charming, gently eccentric avant folk miniatures inhabit the recent album by Detroit composer Frank Pahl. His name had been on my radar for a while through his collaborations with Fred Frith and Klimperei but I’m really glad that I finally dived in with this one. I can’t recommend it highly enough to any fans of artists like Pascal Comelade (both share a love of toy instruments), Bill Wells, Hamilton Yarns, Moskus, Woo and David Garland as well as the output of labels like Spillage Fete Records.
There are some excellent tracks on the recent second album by Doncaster trio Floodlights. Featuring members of Pulselovers, their largely instrumental music brings together various strands of atmospheric post rock (the jazzy, the electronic, the folky) to engrossing effect. Fans of Bark Psychosis, Hood, Dif Juz, AR Kane, Insides and Epic45 should feel very much at home. It’s been released on the Modern Aviation label which has brought the world acclaimed releases by the likes of Oliver Cherer (aka Gilroy Mere, Dollboy etc) and Rupert Lally.
Weightless, limpid ambient folk from the delicate debut LP by Sea Glass, a trio featuring Melinda Bronstein and Matt Ashton from The Leaf Library (of last year’s brilliant ‘The World Is A Bell’) plus Mike Cranny of Firestations. As the press release suggests, one for fans of the likes of Low, Movietone, Carla Dal Forno, Grouper, Young Marble Giants…
Fantastic stuff from the recent LP by Arch Garrison, a duo of Craig Fortnam and James Larcombe from North Sea Radio Orchestra, whose Cafe Oto performance of Robert Wyatt’s ‘Rock Bottom’ last year will stay in the memory for a long time. The impeccable songcraft and beautifully bucolic arrangements here are sure to go down well with fans of XTC at their most pastoral (not a comparison I make lightly!). Pete Aves of The High Llamas pops by to lend swooning pedal steel guitar to one track.
Wonderful news from French label Objet Disque – the great Gallic guitarist Dominique ‘Mocke’ Dépret will release his new album, the brilliantly-titled ‘Parle Grand Canard’ (translating roughly as ‘Speak Big Duck’), on 20th November. His two previous solo albums, 2016’s ‘St-Homard’ and 2014’s ‘L’anguille’, were a joy to behold, as were his collaborations with Claire Vailler (as Midget!) and Delphine Dora, not to mention his work alongside Eloïse Decazes and Sing Sing in Arlt. Here’s a preview of the new LP in the form of the elegant, ornate 16 minute statement ‘Quel est ton parcours?’.
Here are two further instalments of our Catalan friend Pere Millán’s brilliant Ressenya 72 show on Ràdio Alfacs (now with added artwork!). As ever his superior selections blend new and old sounds, leaning towards post rock, dream pop and ambient electronic territories.
We’re delighted to present the first of a number of new releases coming your way in the next few weeks and months – the brand new News from Neptune double B-side single ‘Mosaic / Inner Fleece’. Like everyone, Craig and I were floundering around for ways to keep active and sane as lockdown loomed over us. Among a number of creative pursuits, we initiated an ongoing exchange of loop-based experiments and today we present the ripest of these fruits to date for your consumption.
‘Mosaic’ is a reworking of an ominous theme originally composed for the yet-to-be-released opus ‘Below The Waterline’. In this new incarnation it is wrapped around a sample of one of my favourite drummers, Katherina Bornefeld of The Ex.
‘Inner Fleece’, on the other hand, originated from a lovely synth sketch of Craig’s, combining the cosy insides of Woo with some Lee Perry-esque hiccups and wobbles. Makes me think of a gathering of woodland creatures greeting the morning sun.
A big thank you to Rory Ballantyne for his brilliant work with the mastering. Craig also provides another wonderful collage for the artwork.