Electronic Sound: Reviews (Issue 83)

Reviews originally published in Issue 83 of Electronic Sound magazine, November 2021:

Do What You Love

Welcome to Trunkworld. Since 1996, Jonny Trunk’s label has been an enclave of forgotten soundtracks, Proustian TV themes and weird radiophonics, and this 25th anniversary collection is a deliciously cluttered junkshop of delights. Delia freaks will rejoice in the previously unreleased ‘About Bridges’, 54 seconds of tootling on a VCS3 to accompany an experimental 1975 Dutch film about… well, go on. Guess. ‘The Electron’s Tale’ is a similarly bloopy treat from Tristram Cary, and ‘JB Dubs’ possibly the closest John Baker came to manning the mighty Wurlitzer in Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom.

Elsewhere, there’s music from The Tomorrow People and Blood On Satan’s Claw, alongside Trunk and Duncan Wisbey’s unlikely Top 30 hit, ‘The Ladies Bras’. There are cues from 1970s porn flicks, and the wistful soundtracks to woozy afternoons watching BBC Programmes For Schools And Colleges. But perhaps the lynchpin is Basil Kirchin’s extraordinary synth-funk workout ‘Silicon Chip’ – finally, proof positive that Daft Punk were invented in 1979 by a beardy, 52-year-old drummer from Hull. Wonderful.

Album available here:

Ghosts Of Mann
(Prole Art Threat)

It’s a bold album that begins with a pounding lament for the Isle of Man’s most fondly-remembered laser disco. But Ghosts Of Mann is an intimate wander through the formative memories of long-term resident Simon Pott, the third of a trilogy (See also: Ghosts Of Furness Vale and Ghosts Of New Mills) aiming to recreate the “sights, sounds and smells” of his youthful exploits.

Like all diaries, it’s a mix of the mundane, the mighty and the melancholy. ‘Sunrise At Smeale’ is pure teenage campsite folly, all bleary-eyed bleeps and cider-soaked views of the night skies. ‘Groudle Glam (Rossall Rocks)’ is a stomping, 1970s-tinged homage to the Glitter Band’s glam rock pioneer John Rossall, lent added poignancy by his death only a fortnight before the album’s release. And ‘The Longest Of Goodbyes’ is a heartrending, organ-drenched evocation of Potts’ final conversation with his dying father, an anthemic tribute to unspoken sadness. His trademark post-punk beats and industrial synths are present and correct, but this is Potts at his most affectingly personal.

Album available here:

L’Orchestra Pop Le Stelle
(Modern Aviation)

“The dreamscape and hallucinations of Pan’s musicians” is how this delightfully floaty Portuguese outfit describe their sophomore album, and there’s certainly a breathy, pastoral haze to the likes of ‘Ocean Breeze’. All pipes and polkas. Elsewhere, strident psychedelic melodies are accompanied by wheezing chord organs and pattering Bossa Nova rhythms – think The Grateful Dead playing Butlin’s ballroom – and ‘Lost TV Tape’ and ‘Octopus Lens’ add Paddy Kingsland-style radiophonics to the mix. Like Pan himself, it’s both dark and delicious; both mercurial and mischievous.  

Album available here:

Slow Wave Of Long Comfort
(Woodford Halse)

Many a weary musician might chuckle at Woodford Halse’s press release: “For an album written by a drummer, it’s a surprisingly subtle listen”. But it’s not inaccurate. There are five languorous tracks here, with opener ‘Still’ clocking in at over 13 minutes. And, while meditative drones pervade, it’s Mawbey’s inventive, understated drumming that provides a very organic core. ‘Other Light’ has a pounding heartbeat, ‘Inner Light’ is positively amniotic and the charming ‘Golden Spear’ is Eno down the Jazz Club. Arguably the smoothest export from Burton Upon Trent since Marston’s Pedigree.

Album available here:

(Karoake Kalk)

Ten years in the making… but gosh, it might be worth it. Cologne-based Jörg Follert abandons his long-standing alias Wechsel Garland and re-emerges as Mimsy. The name comes from Jabberwocky, the music is a glorious melange of sound collage, folk guitars, Danny Thompson-esque double bass and a restless Vox Continental with a distinct whiff of the Velvet Underground. ‘Strange Love’, ‘Ginster’ and ‘Sans Mobile Apparent’ even add the perfect Nico-esque vocals of Lydia Schmidt, wound around Follert’s own deadpan narration. Utterly transcendent, a half-remembered dream on an autumnal afternoon.

Album available here:

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