Saturday, February 27, 2021


remiss have I been in not remarking upon recent releases that are remarkable

first-most would be the now six-weeks-out new album from Insides - Soft Bonds

usually when a favorite band reactivates after a long silence the chances are pretty good that the results will underwhelm

this is a rare example of being fully whelmed - 

it's every bit as good as the classic-for-those-who-know Euphoria

incidentally, the album and single by Insides precursor group Earwig were quietly made available again, in remastered form, a few years ago, and are well worth investigating. 


more culpable remissitude: also a month-and-a-half young now is Cosmorama by Beautify Junkyards - the Lisbon band's second album for Ghost Box (and fourth overall). Lovely dreamy stuff, you can get a taster here. "We need to bring colors to face these grey times!" says the groop, and it's too true. 


here's an interview with groop leader João Branco Kyron  - by Bob Fischer (originally published in Electronic Sound).  Among other things João explains where the name Cosmorama comes from: "it was Victorian entertainment, where people would go to see magnified images of exotic landscapes or far-away monuments."

coming soon (next month in fact) is a 7-inch single collaboration between Beautify Junkyards and Belbury Poly in the form of a cover version of The Incredible String Band's "Painting Box." (Perhaps they should also have done Pink Floyd's "Paintbox" for the B-side?)


less culpably remiss - lukewarm off the press news, a mere three weeks behind release day - here's another waft of ethereal evanescence from  Lo Five, whose run of releases of the last couple of years have been favorites moods into which to sink and trance out. 

"We need to bring greys to efface these garish times!" says the groop, and it's too true

release rationale: 

waiting to return to a life that no longer exists. A prosaic acceptance of living in slow motion. Waving from a distance as familiarity sails into the mist. A world of possibilities slowly folding back in on itself. Looking out of the window listening to a muffled storm. Trapped on an island that's far from paradise. Gazing over the water and contemplating the tranquility of the other side.

God's Waiting Room represents a creative detour for Lo Five, who has temporarily given leave of his senses and usual production methodology in order to explore a sensation that had become more apparent in recent months - a serene ennui, patient acceptance and mild disillusionment. This is perhaps representative of our collective consciousness, particularly for those trapped in the British Isles.

assembled from tape manipulated 78rpm record loops, field recordings, acoustic and synthetic melodies, God's Waiting Room is an experiment in contrasting sounds and an exercise in restraint.




finally, what a relief, no remissness required here at all, I'm several weeks early in fact - a new EP by an artist whose 2018 album on Hyperdub I really liked: Proc Fiskal. It's called Lothian Buses (a tiny taste is available here)  and extends the sound and approach of Insula, which I earlier described as "a frisky, fidgety weave of grime / Eski / 2step rhythms with glinting splinters of melody and calligraphic tone-smears that seem to come out of the Sakamoto / "Bamboo Music" / B-2 Unit realm... with  snippets of everyday speech and outdoors atmosphere, seemingly captured on the eavesdropping sly, woven into the fabric"