singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
20 August 2022
listening through speakersAvid Acutus
Benz Micro LP-S
Linn Klimax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove Mk 2
TEAD Vibe Phoenix / Pulse 2
TEAD Linear A mk 2
TEAD Model One
12" split single

Hangin’ with the what now? These 12 inches of pure hate crime were released by Endorphin, in the last, less enlightened, more hate-filled century. When I’ve finished listening to it I’m going to and deface that statue of Phobos 3 in the city centre. Scum.

The insert says that Endorphin is a sister label to Enraptured, focusing on “somewhat experimental dance” music. A lot of time has passed since this came out, and though nothing on here sounds very experimental at all, it may well have done in the ’90s. We can’t judge the past by the standards of today. Unless it’s a word they used of course, in which case we totally can.

I like pre-internet inserts. This one says there are only a few copies left of the Saddar Bazzar single. They’ve probably all gone now though, especially at £2.50 a pop including P&P. I don’t know what a Euro Cheque even was, but you could exchange them for Flowchart singles.

Music, then. Flowchart don’t sound much like Flowchart. They’re totally electronic. No singing lady, no guitar, just deep bass, clicky beats, and woozy pitch bend. Pretty blissed out.

Pacifica next. They sound very of-the-time. Tuned-up drum machine, Juno filter sweeps, sampled dialogue. I still like this kind of stuff though. Too much current electronic music, I think, is technically astonishing but basically unlistenable. I see a lot of excitement around modules that randomize and generate sound and rhythm, and around things like Dall-E and GPT3, and I don’t share that excitement. Maybe there’s some interest in experiencing the alien; art not been made by a human being, but for me that’s a novelty that lasts about as long as my interest in a Banksy. I see art as a distillation of human experience, whether it’s how a ten-year-old sees adults, or how Gerhard Richter sees the relationship between paint and photography. Training an algorithm to paint a picture, or patching a Eurorack to create an infinite song is a parlour trick; it’s making a parrot say “bollocks”.

Pacifica get another go on the other side, with Gangsta Nap; a pretty straight, melodic song with nice fat sounds. It’s very pleasant.

Mall did a split 7” with Flowchart that I really liked. I bought their album off the back of it, but that was nothing special, if memory serves. Which it most likely doesn’t these days. They do more-or-less what Pacifica did on side one, and it’s nice.


It’s either a really long single or a two-track album. Either way, settle in and get a brew: we’re going to be here a while.

Sleeve first. Gatefold. I don’t like gatefolds. Never have. Self-indulgent, and selfish, taking up double the space on the shelf. I’ll tolerate it if you’re a double album, but you almost certainly shouldn’t be a double album. This one does at least use the inner real-estate, with a wide-angle blurred, processed photo of some woods. That pretty much sums up the sound of the record, too. Brief notes tell us Rosie from out of off Pram does some “toy sampler”, and a warning that this record “ist Moog-Frei!”. Whilst accepting that the model-D sounds great and was obviously very important, I do think Moog get bigged up too much. If I’ve got to pick a synth hero, I’m firmly backing Dave Smith.

The notes also tell us what this thing actually is. Tele:Funken made this thing out of Flying Saucer Attack samples.

The front cover is excellent. Some sort of huge weird alien/rabbit/god thing, arms raised, looking down at us, blurry and oddly exposed, in aforementioned woods. It’s quite unsettling.

There’s no mistaking the source material. Thin, reverbed-to-shit guitar drone over that gentle feedback wash. (Didn’t they plug the guitar into a home stereo because they didn’t have a proper amp? I used to do that, and I liked the way it sounded.) It’s arranged into that ever-alternating two-chord (fifth?) thing that everyone does at some point, and it works great, giving Flying Saucer Attack a polish and purpose that I don’t think they ever managed to give themselves. (Though the rawness was part of why they worked.) Part One finishes with some beautiful, but creepy, atmospherics. You wouldn’t think Flying Saucer Attack could sound so beautiful.

I’ve messed up here. It’s an album. The catalogue number is WIGLP29. I’m sorry.

Part 2 starts off super-quiet, and sounds a bit like The Clangers, which may or may not have been the effect they were after. But for all their noise and feedback, Flying Saucer Attack were quiet, and delicate. All of Part 2 is abstract, quiet, without chords or melody, but not without structure. It takes time to stretch out sound, explore it, bask in it, let it play out. There’s no rhythm for the first ten minutes, but a deep heartbeat eventually comes in under that thin torn-speaker gauze. For something that’s a bunch of digital cuttings of chaotic electric processes, this music is very real, and very human. Part 2 builds and climbs, not in volume, but in pitch, and quiet frenzy. Digital artefacts creep in. It’s beautifully controlled and considered; one artist sensitively using the work of another to create something neither could alone.

The only question is, is this a Tele:Funken record filed under “T”, or does it go in my “collaborations” section with all the “… and Kramer” records?