Review: For the recording sessions for Gorthleck, long-running collaborators Paul 'Mudd' Murphy and Ben Smith set up a small studio in a loch-side house in the Scottish highlands. The dramatic scenery and ever-changing weather patterns seem to have proved inspirational, because the album is arguably the downtempo duo's strongest to date. Variously influenced by kosmiche, Balearica, neo-folk, ambient, Tangerine Dream and movie soundtracks, the album's nine tracks meander along impressively, subtly shifting shape whilst winding their way into your subconscious. It's a beautiful set from start to finish, rich with hazy musicality and mood-enhancing moments, and comes highly recommended.
Alan Parker & Alan Hawkshaw - "Evening Shade" (2:34)
Review: If you're looking for someone to chronicle the seamier side of British musical history, or a curatorial force with insights into its more dusty and unchartered areas, no-one is better qualified than Saint Etienne boffins Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, and they've excelled themselves here, delivering a beautifully chosen and endlessly evocative selection of songs from an era often overlooked by the reductive forces of retro culture - a disenfranchised but rich zone in the early seventies after psychedelia, when although the '60s dream had faded slightly the atmosphere of melancholy and hope alike made for unclassifiable and evergreen music. Not quite prog, not quite psych, the likes of T2, Aardvark, Matching Mole and Van Der Graaf Generator were harbingers of a lost spirit that makes for endlessly rewarding listening here, sitting proudly alongside better known figures like Daevid Allen and John Cale on a strange time capsule to be cherished.
Review: Who knows what Ty Segall's channeling to be quite so prodigiously prolific, yet his rate of creativity hammers powerfully on - it only seems a few months since his T. Rex covers record 'Ty Rex', yet here is another blast of raunch and rapture seemingly time0warped in from the very early '70s. Slightly less grandstanding than his breakthrough 'Redeemer', this is a still more garage-driven, raucous and eternally teenage blast of aggression, supercharged by the pedal-driven intensity that marks his aptly-monickered side-project Fuzz yet showing all the songwriting suss by which he's made his name. Petulant yet impressively potent.
Review: It would seem for all the world like Ty Segall is locked in some deathless conflict with Thee Oh Sees man John Swyer to see who can be the most prolific garage rock genius of the here and now, with this self-titled effort - a record as awash with his trademark blend of jam-kicking cheer and stylish chutzpah as ever - the latest case for this cause. But with his band The Muggers taking a more prominent role here, 'Ty Segall' is not just that same old fabulous thing - sure, there are three minutes punk gems, cocky T-Rex ramalama and head-spinning psych-pop, yet one song here hits a mighty ten minutes, hinting that there may be evolutionary pathways open to this modern-day marvel even beyond his ability to rock out like no-one else on earth.
Review: Now as ever, it's hard to fathom that this mighty collision of psychedelic pop fantasia and fearlessly avant-garde electronic innovation was released nearly fifty years ago - perhaps owing partly to the fact that there was simply nothing remotely like this around in 1968, this record has not dated one iota, and such is the radiance of the songwriting and the intensity of the performances, this stands proud as music transmitted seemingly from another dimension. As melodically bewitching as it is fearless in its dives off the experimental deep end, this is an evergreen piece-de-resistance that set the bar for electronic rock music frighteningly high right from the off.