Category: Recent arrivals

New promo CDs in The Sound Projector box

Mud Men

Great rumbly growly lower-register improv from the Norwegian trio Muddersten on their Karpatklokke (SOFA SOFA555) CD. The tuba player is Martin Taxt, who plays in the microtonal way on that instrument and also uses electronics; we much enjoyed his menacing antics on the recording Pan On Fire, when he did it with the Japanese feedback king Toshimaru Nakamura. Muddersten also boast the guitarist (he also plays tape loops) Håvard Volden from Flymoden, Moon Relay, Nude Ono Sand and The Island Band; and Henrik Olsson, from Gul, Skog Och Dal, Skogen, Slötakvartetten, and Unforgettable H2O, credited here with objects and friction, which means he’s joined the ranks of the “rubbing” improvisers who seize inanimate things and apply the frottage technique with varying degrees of franticness.

The stern and burbling non-music that emerges from Muddersten is supposed to be saying something about a particular kind of cracked muddy terrain and the way that plant matter grows in it, clearly a concern of some import for your Norwegian farmer or keeper of orchards. In keeping with this agricultural theme, the cover photos may depict such terrain, and while the front landscape is a pretty banal image, the inside spread of fissures and scraggly grass will delight viewers who enjoy textures and surfaces in their visual art. The Muddersten men may be somewhat “minimal” in their restrained playing and small-ish gestures, but the sound they create is very far from empty and simplistic, and indeed there’s barely a quiet moment or a smooth surface which they won’t roughen with their scrapey and parpy actions. I assume this says something about the old Nordic ways of ploughing the land in an extremely thorough way, leaving no acre of turf ungrooved, using dragon’s teeth and brass pins. From 3rd January 2017.

Moon Boots

Plodding Norwegian instrumental rock from Moon Relay, a band featuring Daniel Meyer Gronvold from the Norwegian Noise Orchestra, plus Havard Volden, Ola Hoyer and Martin Smadal Larsen. Their guitar-led instrumentals on Full Stop Etc. (HUBRO HUBROLP3579) are occasionally spiced up with electronic and synth interventions, and Lasse Marhaug contributes some “additional sounds” on two of the tracks. Competent enough; the band play in a tight and straight-forward manner which is respectable, but the art of syncopation is something that seems to elude them, and often we find all the instruments locked into the exact same beat over a pedestrian drum pattern, with no clear idea of how to find their way out of it. They rhythm guitarist supplies “twangy” fills to remind us that he’s heard some surf records, and these too land squarely on the right side of the beat. Everything’s overly manicured, clean; the idea of low-down dirty rock and roll has no place in their well-ordered cosmos. This may be an efficient way to make rock music, but it’s not too exciting, despite the self-important air of drama that hangs over every slice of thudding thrash. The record is a follow up to their 2013 release on Fysisk Format; the band claim they’ve gotten better at arranging since then, and have taught themselves the art of concision, which comes as some surprise when you hear these meandering slogs. It amazes me that people still mistake this sort of over-stated music for “krautrock”. The final straw is the pretentious track titles, each one rendered as a jumbled assortment of punctuation marks. From 11th October 2016.

White Elephant In The House

Elephant House
Pony Ride
UK ADAADAT ADA0049 LP (2017)

Much as the cynic in me wants to see smugness in the small print: a Harry Potter-referencing, ‘London-based, Sino-Hellenistic psychedelic drone duo’ playing ketamine pop inspired by ‘the traditional Mongolian coaxing rituals used to encourage female camels into accepting new-born calves’, it’s difficult to deny that Elephant House (aka Christos Fanaras and Shenggy Shen) have everything it takes to make sparse, no-nonsense lo-fi pop. From kick off it’s all willful and workable ass-backwardness: woozy, 8-minute opener ‘Camel Mom’ would do time as a psychedelic closer on any other record; its metronomic tick-tock telling time while a sparse acoustic guitar refrain, reverse-motion drone and slithering microtonal keyboard wash it away – easy on the ear, but as unignorable as a thumb pressed into a sleepy third eye. It might have escaped from Eno’s studio in the late ‘70s only to end up here, miles from anywhere and yet strangely in the centre of things.

That every ‘song’ features a distinctly different arrangement says that Shen and Fanaras worked quickly and instinctively. Each passes deceptively quickly, teasing us into listening once more. Something of a stand-out, ‘Pearl’ features warm-wash drone with loads of wibbly synth and girl-in-a-bathtub background vocals that raise listeners to the plateaux of pleasantry. The pastoral and also pleasant ‘Shuidiao Getou’ might well have been forged to con credulous audio tourists into believing they’re hearing an example of traditional Chinese songcraft and dammit it’s working! Transplanted into a pool of longform ambient with only the sparsest of drum beats, the folky piece flows like coloured water from a watercolour on the other end of a telescope. All told, Elephant House have delivered a beautifully ephemeral and unassuming record, the success of which owes to the fact that it belongs to a moment in time and not a discography. If they were to quit now, at least they’d do it while ahead.

UK ADAADAT ADA0050 LP (2017)

Some time before moving into Elephant House, the peripatetic percussionist, occasional vocalist and one-woman mascot for Chinese New Music Shenngy Shen worked with guitarist (and vocalist) Zhang Shouwang in (and on) White – a more ‘industrial’ proposition than said drone pop act, the foresaid and cringe-inducing designation being qualified by the duo’s involvement with Blixa Bargeld, who produced this record in 2007 and invited the pair to tour with Einstürzende Neubauten the following year. Yet, while the record is not without a certain rhythmic tyranny, we invoke the ‘i-word’ not simply describe a dystopian atmosphere, it can just as easily signify infrastructural development and the optimism it can bring (think ‘Autobahn’, but racing out of Beijing) as it can the monotony of the assembly line.

There are plenty of rhythms sans merci however, where Shouwang’s breathy tones redeem us from the monotony, but inadvertently deliver us a dominatrix unperturbed by her gloomy environs. ‘Space Decay’ is sandpaper-skinned techno-pop soaked to the skin in gloomy drones and riddled with fascistic speech clips that command the listener to ‘come back to the real world’: a revenant of old-world patriarchy and physical threat. Somewhat more seductively, ‘Build a Link’, makes a motivational mantra of the title atop a monotonous keyboard pulse, till gradually it dawns that it refers not to personal development, but is effectively persuading the listener to accept a slave’s role on a mammoth civil engineering project. The ambivalence that attends municipal and national development is here refined into something far less strident and interrogating than obvious forebears such as Neubauten, Kraftwerk, Raymond Scott and even the American Minimalists, but in subsuming them seamlessly into its lo-tech-no pop weft, White respectfully historicises them, and in doing so introduces itself (a decade after the fact) as something far more substantial than a cheap knock-off.

CDR vs DJ Topgear
CDR vs DJ Topgear
UK ADAADAT ADA0042 12″ VINYL (2015)

Tokyo’s prolific CDR aka Hikaru Tsunematsu is noted for belting out furious, manic and near-tasteless mentalist antics of the Shitmat / Scotch Egg / Kid606 / Venetian Snares variety – long after most of us would be forgiven for having thought the show was over. I hadn’t realised breakcore was still being made, though it does stand to reason that a genre so utterly relentless should remain perfectly incapable of sitting still or – indeed – of changing in any sense other than the type of shrapnel it immerses itself in at any given moment. ‘Soumatou’ shoots varispeed breakbeats like clay pigeons into the wind and shatters them into splintery detritus. Without cease, but with a redeeming appetite for Aphexian acid: thwarting our need for gratification by ever-so slowly disinterring cutesy wee keyboard melodies from the sandstorm of beats and samples. Meanwhile, ‘Ebi’ shrimps the lugholes with Even More slamming dn’b going twice the legal limit under the influence with more RDJ-era synths spiking us with sweetness for ‘good’ measure. ‘In for a penny…’ boasts CDR, aware that he can only get punished once for such wholesale pilfering. Onto UK’s DJ Topgear, peddling more breakcore bullying with a side serving of circuit-bending sound effects on Side B. Ostensibly, there’s not much to differentiate the two DJs, barring a speed differential of about 12rpm, Topgear actually not living up to his name in this case. Their tag-teaming on this split 12” is a double-whammy of evangelistic violence designed to batter listeners into an avuncular acceptance of this ever-anachronistic nonsense.

Devious Dub

Andreas Oskar Hirsch came our way in 2015 with his unusual and beguiling solo LP Summe 1, which was like an imaginary voyage into an undiscovered part of the world, executed with field recordings, bird song, unorthodox percussion instruments and much imagination. Here’s Hirsch again teaming up with Richard Eigner, the percussionist and field recording fellow from Austria associated with the Ritornell label (a sublabel of Mille Plateaux). Their 7-inch single Stalker/Swoop (OUS 006) is an uneasy mix of precision drumming with vague and uncertain electronic burbles, and both these short swipes of music seem to be packed full of yawning gaps – I mean not just spaces in the music, but the fact that much is understated and unexplained, as to their intentions or musical ideas. ‘Stalker’ is the one with the offbeat swing-beat rhythm, proceeding at a very deliberate and unhurried pace, where the drumming is accentuated by a warped marimba pattern which might be mistaken for a minimalist-urban version of Gamelan…perhaps produced by digital means. This feels like a dance track remade as a matchstick model, fragile and spindly and quite unsuitable for purpose. ‘Swoop’ is equally inscrutable, and if the title is meant to be describing the action of a predatory bird, the music is completely unrelated to the grace and agility of that peregrine falcon. The rhythm here is more suggested than played, Eigner playing around the beat with sharp rolls and fills like a free jazz drummer. In the gaps, Hirsch inserts his languid ambient drones of vagueness and doubt. A perplexing listen, all in all. Pressed in green vinyl. From 14th November 2016.

The Purge

Another “horror-noise” special from Cold Spring Records, the UK label which does house a number of extreme and monstrous items in its catalogue…the album Surgical Fires (COLD SPRING RECORDS CSR226CD) was created by Tunnels of Ah, and it’s his third release for the label since 2013’s Lost Corridor. Tunnels is a solo project by Stephen R. Burroughs, who was one of the main men in Head Of David – one of my favourite 1980s indie noise-combos who created an almighty obnoxious racket with their guitars and shriekery for the Blast First label, and as such endeared themselves to many disaffected types.

I had no idea Burroughs was pursuing a solo line. On the evidence of this, it involves an intense form of electronic music with plenty of weird processing, nasty effects, vocals buried in a swampy mix…it moves beyond mere dark ambient drone music somehow, perhaps through his close attention to dynamics and studied application of nuanced tones to his ever-shifting howls and murmurs. Needless to remark there’s a highly unpleasant subtext to Surgical Fires, as evidenced in titles like ‘Demonic Forms’, ‘Mind As Corpse Bearer’, ‘Black Air (Exhale)’ and ‘Release of the Burning Mouths’. These do much to trigger the unhealthy imaginative forces of a susceptible listener, and it isn’t long before we’re all sharing alarming visions of a subterranean Hell, not unlike a coal mine, laced with poisonous vapours…death is all around us, and there’s a supernatural dimension to boot, if the “Lordly Cobras” alluded to on track 7 are the demonic entities I suspect them to be.

The record, half-music and half sound effects, does nothing to dispel such tormented visions – nor does the cover art, also by Burroughs, which seems to be applying a decalcomania effect to suggest grim, grey, gruesome caverns of inescapable doom. The printed press release takes us off another tack, alluding to “psychic surgery” (whatever that may mean; in this instance, it probably involves taking slices out of a man’s soul with an invisible scalpel) and a roster of important-sounding abstractions, such as “loss, gain, conflict, resolution, decay and transformation”. I have no idea if these words belong to Burroughs or to the Cold Spring PR department, but they just make the work seem unnecessarily solemn and self-important…it reads more like the agenda of a two-day international symposium on 21st-century urban problems. Nonetheless, the record remains an assured piece of depressing gloomoid filth…from 30th November 2016.

Everybody Sing

The lovely American singer Ruth Garbus has impressed us in recent years with her Rendezvous with Rama LP and the more recent Joule EP of songs for OSR Tapes. Here she is again on the same label as Ruth Garbus And Friends with Hello Everybody (OSR#75), with another bright set of her melodic pop/folk songs, where she sings and plays electric guitar supported by Zach Phillips, Larry McDonald, and guest singer Julia Tadlock. As ever, her hallmark is a gift for sincerity and directness, which is reflected in her crystal-clear singing voice. There’s nothing to hide and her intentions are plain. There’s also the deceptively simple construction of the melodies, which mostly stay close to the root chord but then occasionally lift off into an unexpected flight of genius for ten glorious seconds. Against all this clarity must be set the relatively opacity of her lyrics, which (on this release at least) are dense, numerous and allusive, apparently telling stories in a diary-like fashion but, I sense, concealing stronger unseen forces beneath the surface. On these four brief songs, I’m often left with an impression of having read 15 pages of a book; where’s all this extra content coming from? A very nice record indeed. From 21st December 2016.

Key Largo

Leighton Craig
Green Coronet

This is a four song cassette and download release from Lawrence English’s Room40 tape offshoot A Guide To Saints (since 2012), although I actually have a cd-r promo here on the desk in front of me. As it’s a release designed for the cassette format, I’ll stick to the Side A/B protocols when discussing each piece of music. Those with an interest in American automotive history will be disappointed to learn that this release is not a tribute to an American muscle car from the 1960s, but Craig’s own Australian-made Coronet Phase 2 guitar amplifier.

The first piece (track A1 on the cassette), “Green Shroud”, has a core of a sleepy keyboard figure which repeats over which Craig layers high pitched sine waves, synthesiser, birdsong, some other pre-recorded material sourced from who knows where and heavily treated – with an analogue delay of some kind I think – somewhat out of control vocals. It might be my imagination, but there’s room noise on this track as well which suggests that something acoustic was recorded with a live mic that was neither edited nor gated later on. All of this gives one the feeling of wandering around a phantom new age festival with nothing better to do than soak up the mix of sound systems, stalls and sounds of nature on a lovely summer’s day. “Drowned World” (track A2) is a chord held down on a keyboard with clarinet extrapolations and more birdsong overlaid. Apparently, Craig dangled microphones out of the window of his Brisbane studio to capture his environmental recordings and the sound of an aeroplane passing overhead produces a pleasant effect here.

“Arc The Solar Causeways”, (B1), begins on unaccompanied electric piano. Delicate. Distant processed vocals like eddies in a stream, flowing around bulrushes. I like the way the processing becomes more and more evident; slowly taking over everything, not just the vocals. There’s a period where the music seems to fight it; the repeated vocal sounds skirt around dissonance briefly, before the entire mix becomes unstable and collapses into itself. The final piece, “Divided By Zero” (B2), is initially a conflation of what could be electronic feedback and vocals. This is the most like a “song” of all the four pieces. Although what the “song” is about exactly is hard to discern. The feedback is processed but this time the dissonance is more pronounced – it sounds like a Roland tape echo being abused here. A keyboard part cycles around the latter part of this composition, with the long-suffering tape echo being manipulated to within an inch of its life. Great bit of studio technique – I’m all for that.

On Safari

The cassette by Usurper is on Singing Knives Records, the Sheffield label who are doing their part to keep the lunatic fringe alive…the Scots duo Usurper occupy the first half of this 45-minute tape with an interminable piece of absurdist poetry / performance art, on which they recite words such as “snake, monkey, mosquito, giraffe, elephant” with bizarre vocal inflections, and create their own brand of broken, formless acoustic noise using whatever non-musical objects they can clasp in their paws. We are invited to read this escapade as a warped 19th century jungle expedition, along the lines of a lost Joseph Conrad novel…to me it feels more like they’re glancing at pictures in a children’s story-book, which is not meant to be a disrespectful remark, but there is a sense of infantile fun at work here, a possibility which is not dispelled when you see pictures of them performing with hand-drawn paper masks attached to their heads with masking tape. This “jungle” side appears to have begun life as an experiment using the Google search engine, subverting its “normal” use and instead using it as a random word generator of some sort. As they near the end, and the cries of “snakes! snakes!” become increasingly more demented and alarming, we might almost be hearing an episode of The Goon Show…it conjures up comic-strip images of hapless explorers in pith helmets and khaki shorts, flapping about as they face their doom.

Usurper are Malcy Duff and Ali Robertson from Edinburgh, and have released a fair number of CDRs and cassettes since 2005 for labels such as Giant Tank, Sick Head, Harbinger Sound, Unverified Records, Bug Incision Records, and Chocolate Monk. I’m unsurprised to find that Malcy Duff has worked once or twice with fellow loons Anla Courtis and Dylan Nyoukis; Usurper’s inchoate noise is not far apart from the churning porridge mass that Nyoukis specialises in. While I enjoy the absurdity of Usurper, their noise disappoints me as sound art; it seems thin and under-nourished. They seem to have no interest in using the microphone as anything other than an inert instrument to document their flat and uninteresting voices, which would be fine if there were a bit more energy and variation to the vocal performances. Consequently much of the tape is a dreary listen.

Usurper continue on the B-side which, judging by other online accounts of the tape, involves a dialogue around a kitchen table with more non-musical objects and simplistic repetitions of “rat-a-tat” and “blam”, while a young child occasionally intervenes with their own vocal contributions. Again, the rather flat delivery of the monosyllabic nonsense words is disappointing; in the hands of a Dadaist like Tristan Tzara or Hugo Ball, this vocal salvo would have created an explosive situation and every “blam” would have struck terror into the hearts of the bourgeoisie. By contrast, Usurper just seem bored and unengaged; this may be a deliberate post-everything beyond-ironic stance, but it also makes for a tiresome listen. However things liven up somewhat when events take them outside, and against the roar of traffic Duff and Robertson suddenly erupt into an impromptu improvised dialogue that blends clichéd dialogue from cowboy movies and pulp novels with surreal, florid, stream-of-consciousness gibberish. Overlapping voices give the listener too much to digest, and the sheer lunacy of their performance is enough to short-circuit common sense in 50 seconds. From 30th December 2016.

Ledge End

Noteherder & McCloud have released a nifty limited edition lathe-cut piece of product…a 7-incher with two tunes of “pop song” length, which I totally recommend if you can still get one of the 32 copies in existence. ‘From Ledge to Ledge’ sees Chris Parfitt freaking out on his soprano sax like Evan Parker having an epileptic fit in a zinc tunnel while Geoff Reader parps out spastic techno-bursts from his ultra-primitive synth deck. This was from a 2015 live set at The Green Door in Brighton organised by Spirit Of Gravity, who released this as GRAV116…on the flip there’s 3 mins and 50 secs of ‘Jammed In The Shingle Middle, It Comes Right In The End’, on which the electronic half of the act is doing a superb low-key impersonation of the Network South train that presumably took them to Bar 42 in Worthing, where this was recorded. Meanwhile Parfitt has evidently discovered the one “perfect” note on his sax, and keeps repeating it for at least sixty seconds. Either side of this are some highly tasty Lol Coxhill-styled licks with the honeyed curlicues and effortless breath control that were among Lol’s hallmarks. I think this duo are one of the UK’s best kept secrets, but half of the Brighton cognoscenti seem to be hip…for further Brighton doings, you could do worse than scope out the Spirit Of Gravity links, for programmes of events and embedded Soundcloud links so you can catch up on the radical noise you’ve been missing for the last 56 months. From 23rd December 2016.

Yaschichek, Little Box

Herewith four more cassettes from the Russian Spina!Rec label. Arrived here 20th December 2016.

Andrey Popovskiy is the St Petersburg composer whose work has been arriving here since 2014. If there’s any connection between his releases Rotonda and Kryukov, it might have something to do with the way sound behaves in an enclosed space, and the exigencies of recording devices in attempting to capture the elusive reality of acoustical behaviours. While Rotonda seemed to misfire for Jack Tatty, we liked the mysterious properties of Kryukov (his split tape with Dubcore) and the way it somehow summoned an aesthetically pleasing effect from such everyday banality. Even to call Popovskiy a “kitchen sink” composer would be to make it far too exotic; he’d be happy to occupy the cupboard under the sink, along with the cartons of bleach. Works For Voice Recorders 2011 (SR029) takes this pared-down approach to an even further extreme. On the A side, there are five short pieces documenting his experiments with voice recording devices (dictaphones, perhaps? If those things even exist any more), placed inside a room and capturing whatever external bumps and groans may come their way. There’s also something about the devices being used to record themselves – contact mics placed in their own innards, or something. All manner of recorded artefacts are generated in a refreshingly non-digital manner. I can’t account for why this unprepossessing, near-blank grind effect is so compelling, but I can’t stop listening to it.

On the flip is a long piece called Zvukovanie, and is a far more ambitious composition lasting some 34 mins. He’s created layers of sound from field recordings out in the streets, musical performances, and rehearsals, superimposing them into what is described as a “three-dimensional” piece. Percussionist Mikhail Kuleshin and improvising trumpeter Vyacheslav Guyvoronsky join him in this task. While this might seem a recipe for chaos, in Popovskiy’s hands it results in a very pleasing jumble of balmy strangeness, drifting and shifting in unexpected ways. The listener is not being “directed” to pay attention to any one element, and instead is free to wander in an open landscape of sound events, much like an exotic street bazaar, and picking up what trinkets they may. Delightful.

SR027 is a split. The side by Andrey Svibovitch did little for me; very ordinary sounds emerge from his synths (probably due to use of over-familiar filters or pre-set sounds) and he has a simplistic approach to playing chords, both of which point to under-developed techniques. He produces a stream of undemanding electronica with little structure or originality. The four parts of “What Hides The Voice” were originally presented as part of a multi-media installation with the work of visual artist Maxim Svishev. Svibovitch creates his music using voice samples, yet what ends up on the tape is so synthetic and processed it seems to have zero connection to anything as natural and human as a voice.

The side by Sergey Vandyshev is more engaging. The electronic music of this fellow is described as an experiment in “pure data”, and there are references to “digital generators” and “granular synthesis algorithms”…most of this is beyond my ken, but it seems to point to a process-based approach where machines do most of the work, but also indicates that Vandyshev is a skilled manipulator of digital data, perhaps doing it “at source” in some way. What I mean by that is he may bypass the conventional routes of feeding information through pre-sets and filters. Anyone who can run an algorithm at granular synthesis level is capable of anything. The sound of his untitled tracks is certainly quite clean, and feels uncluttered by unnecessary elaborations. I also like the loops, repetitions and insistent pulsations, which are set forth in a very porous, open-ended manner, as if he’s found a way to avoid the trap of the strict grid-systems imposed by digital sequencers. This reminds me very much of a more low-key version of Pimmon.

SR028 is a split. For this release we have a rare (for this label) instance of acoustic music played on musical instruments – as opposed to their standard electronic fare. Blank Disc Trio are a Serbian group of improvisers who have been at it since the late 1990s. It used by a duo of the core members Srdjan Muc and Robert Roža (guitar and electronics, respectively), but have since been joined by Georg Wissel, who puffs a “prepared” alto saxophone. For this tape, they were joined by the pianist Dušica Cajlan-Wissel and the electric guitarist Julien Baillod. What they play is a rather tentative version of the “electro-acoustic improv” thing, a form which in their hands takes a long time to get started and is littered with many half-baked stabs and much guesswork along the way. I like the abrasive textures they manage to summon up, and it’s good that they know when to shut up and leave gaps for each other, but overall there isn’t enough coherence or continuity in these wispy musical ideas to sustain my interest.

On the flipside we have Ex You, another three-piece of Serbian experimenters. Milan Milojković, László Lenkes and Filip Đurović blend electronics, guitar, and drums into a pleasing scrabbly mess of non-music, keeping it fairly low-key and resisting the temptation to create a hideous energy-noise blaroon-out. The addition of guest cello player Erno Zsadányi only increases our pleasure in this grumbly, meandering groan-fest. Like their Blank Disc brothers, this group sometimes finds it hard to crank up the old motor, but once they get it turning over we’re guaranteed a much more exciting drive through the old Serbian mountain tracks. I wish more drummers could act with the restraint and decency of Đurović; he doesn’t call attention to himself with fills and ornament, but his steady gentle pulsations give a surprisingly sturdy backbone to this music. Two members of the trio also play in Lenhart Tapes Orchestra, should you feel curious to investigate the Serbian “scene” further; their 2014 album Uživo Sa Karnevala Glavobolje looks like the one to go for.

The tape Povstrechal Gaute Granli (SR030) is a team-up between Mars-69 and Gaute Granli, another one of the Russian-Norway “hands across the water” affairs which this label does so well. Mars-69 are I assume Mars-96 with a slight change to the name – at any rate the core members of this Palmira trio appear to be intact. They’re about the most prolific bunch on the Spina!Rec label and we’ve enjoyed most of their disaffected noisy work. I always thought they were a guitar-bass-drums trio but here they’re spinning their craft with synths, syn-drums, and vocals. As for Gaute Granli, we’ve been enjoying the solo work and group work (in Freddy The Dyke) of this Norwegian loon for many years now, and can recommend anything he’s done for the Drid Machine and Skussmaal labels. He brought his electric guitar and voice to these Povstrechal sessions. With a line-up like that, I feel I have a right to expect some serious fireworks, which is why I felt gypped by this damp squib. With the possible exception of ‘Osa’, the opening track, the tape is a lacklustre set of pointless studio noodling, half-formed ideas trailing away, and occasional absurdist vocal dribble. One waits in vain for a single idea to catch fire or take off into the stratosphere. The band had a lot of sociable fun on the day (hint: that’s code for they all got drunk) – the press write-up seems to indicate as much – but that doesn’t justify the release of this self-indulgent nonsense.