singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
10 November 2014
(listening with headphones)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Linn Kilmax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove
TEAD Vibe 1.5 / Pulse 2
Lehmann Black Cube Linear
Sennheiser HD800

Not, as I briefly thought (hoped?) the bloke who did Kung Fu Fighting, this is a half green, half clear 7” holding two stripped down, riffy pop stompers. One is slightly too short, the other slightly too long, but both are catchy as anything, and bags of fun.

Sleeve art is one-sided, (the other side of the wallet just showing off the lovely disc inside), and its mix of H R Giger and a Lord of the Rings style typeface suggest the music is going to be some kind of proggy nonsense.

Five people are credited with playing this deceptively simple music, one of whom is the actual Mo Tucker from out of off of The Velvet Underground. Quite the coup.

“Both tracks taken from the album”, otherwise I’d have given it a ‘5’.

4

I thought Karen Novotny X were a contemporary outfit with a nice line in retro electronics, but it says here that it was recorded in 1978/9. Given the wilful obscurity and difficulty of the band’s output, I’m not sure whether to believe this or not.

The record is untitled, but has five titled tracks. Sounds are buzzy and spare, well recorded, and a bit like The Normal. (Probably because they were using very similar gear.)

Sleeve art is an A3 monochrome collage, featuring a dude in a British Rail t-shirt. Inserts are a GPS sticker and an invite to Stevo’s Electronic Party. I’ll have missed that now. Actually, I wouldn’t have gone anyway. I don’t know what to do at parties. I’ve long had a theory that no one likes parties, but as a species we’re too scared to admit it because we need to feel that life isn’t as bad as it really is.

3

I only bought this as a makeweight to push an order of stuff from Denmark up to the postage limit. It’s pretty much what I expected, very generic, lo-fi indie-pop. Think Slumberland. Aislers Set, and C86. Love it. Nothing else to say, though I do like the front cover.

5

Back onto the GPS stuff now. (The Brilliant Colors one was on Make-a-Mess.)

Before I play any of these records I wet clean them on my Loricraft. Once clean, they go into a fresh antistatic sleeve. This record, like most records, is round. Its sleeve, unlike most sleeves, is also round. To keep everything looking nice I cut a round antistatic out of a D-shaped one with a scalpel. You can’t say I don’t care.

Clear vinyl, no middle, lush sounding. A picked, bottlenecked steel-strung guitar repeats over electronic drones on the first song. It’s dreamy and hypnotic, like an Amish Füxa. The next song is kind of hillbilly finger picking. This record sounds great. Even through headphones there’s barely a hint of surface noise. I don’t think most people know just how good 7” singles can sound, and I’m thinking of exhibiting at next year’s pie-fi show with the Acutus and a big box of 7s.

Turning over we get a gentle acoustic instrumental backed with distant, yet huge, ominous sonic-cathedralism. I once read something where someone described Flying Saucer Attack as “very loud, yet very quiet”, and that comes to mind here.

This is a very, very good record, well worth getting the cutting-board and scalpel out for.

5