Arms Out

Back in 2013 Forest Swords, a one man producer from Wirral, put out an album called Engravings which I really enjoyed (and digging further back an ep called Dagger Paths). He’s back with a new song and a new album in May (Compassion). Arms Out is a bit of a stunner….

I think it’s fair to say there’s a certain amount of Massive Attack in it but it has an optimism that’s sometimes missing from the Bristolians and those strings over those beats with the delay on the snatches of voice are pretty breathtaking.

Working backwards there was another new one at the start of March, The Highest Flood, more abstract sounds, fractured drums and suddenly some choral voices. All very intriguing, and while sounding very urban its all a bit pastoral too. Wirral is one of those kind of in-between places, surrounded by sea on three sides and with a bigger, more famous neighbour across the Mersey- maybe that’s whats coming out in the music. May looks like being an expensive month.

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Dumb It Down

Like Drew I’ve been listening to the Mary Chain mostly this week, working my way through the studio albums in the car to and from work and getting to know Damage And Loss at home. So Saturday, April 1st (no Fools stuff here I’m afraid), first day off work for two weeks, something different and brand new for the blog to go with the return of Bruce Pennington’s kitchy sci-fi 70s artworks.

This is the latest from Rich Lane, a chuggy piece of machine music for dancers and headnodders alike. Even better than the original mix of Dumb It Down is the Jack Butters remix (click the Next symbol on the player), music from a dark machine, a twangy guitar in there too and the robotic vocal of Alien Sofa. Buy both from Bandcamp for £1.80 and Rich, Jack and Alien will put it towards the cost of a pint in a Wetherspoons somewhere.

Sandstorms

I noticed in the labels list that runs down the right hand side of this blog that Carl Craig has pulled ahead of Carl Perkins in the postings stakes, eight posts to six (nine to seven now). Carl Perkins was there at the start of popular music- he wrote Blue Suede Shoes for crying out loud- but Carl Craig has a wider back catalogue and has pursued progression and sonic experimentation more doggedly. Not that it is a competition, they just both happen to be named Carl and next to each other on this blog.

Sandstorms is a 2004 track, from the Just Another Day ep, that builds languidly over squelchy bass noise. Carl is releasing an updated 2017 symphonic version with pianist Francesco Tristano, out shortly.

Sandstorms

Ravi

Here’s some spacey Adrian Sherwood dub from 1984 for your Sunday, making use of some Indian vibes and lashings of echo.

I had a longer post in mind but when it came to writing not much came out.

Ravi Shankar Pt 1

Second Machine From The Sun

I had scores of these science fiction novels as a kid in the late 70s and 80s. The Bruce Pennington art on the covers seemed overblown and semi-ridiculous then, as a kid, and more so now but they have a kitsch value I quite like again now. Retro-futurism.

Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh are currently encouraging us to listen to Erick Legrand. Legrand has been a big influence on the sound of the Woodleigh Research Facility. Erick died in 2011 and I don’t know too much about him but his album Second Machine From The Sun (which really needs a Bruce Pennington cover like those above) is on Bandcamp and may be about to get a vinyl release. The cd/download can be yours for £7.00. It’s in an electronic, soundtrack, film music area and worth giving some ear time too.