Thursday, 26 December 2019

The Doors - Soft Parade




Self made re-imagining of original album 2019.

Side 1:

01 Whiskey, Mystics and Men (Version #1)
02 Wild Child
03 Shamen's Blues
04 Easy Ride
05 Do It
06 Push Push

Side 2:

07 Away in India
08 Universal Mind
09 I Will Never Be Untrue
10 Someday Soon
11 The Woman is a Devil

Side 3:

12 Tell All the People
13 Touch Me
14 Who Scared You
15 Runnin' Blue
16 Wishful Sinful

Side 4:

17 Orange County Suite
18 Whiskey, Mystics and Men (Version #2)
19 The Soft Parade

I've been dipping in and out of The Doors back catalouge for the last five or so years after a very long absence. I've always been intrigued by their fourth and most derided L.P., 'The Soft Parade'.

No one's favourite Doors album, 'The Soft Parade' had the band seemingly conforming to the commercial; horns, string arrangements, 'Touch Me'. The less ornate songs seemed unfocused, especially compared to the previous year’s effort 'Waiting for the Sun'. 

There are fantastic songs on the album and also in recordings they made, both live and in the studio, around this time.

The material for the original album took place from November 1968 into February 1969, with a couple of earlier recordings from 1968. The band had toured up until recording and had no new material written. Producer Paul A. Rothchild insisted the group record multiple takes of songs written in the studio and was also responsible for the insistence on horn and string overdubs over several of the songs. 

The album ran over budget and over time.

The album is disappointing compared to the earlier releases, not just in the material; the album had only nine tracks and ran not much over 30 minutes.

There are several Doors originals not included on 'The Soft Parade' that are the equal and in some cases superior to the released material. Put together as a whole, it makes a lot more sense and I think would have been viewed differently if The Doors had released a double album, including live recordings and more improvised material left off the original L.P.

This re-imagining of 'The Soft Parade' is that of a double L.P.; 4 sides running approximately 18 minutes in length and is thematically sequenced.

Side 1 is a set of unreleased and original album songs that retain the familiar Doors sound. 'Wild Child', 'Shamen's Blues' and 'Do It' all feature on the original album, as does 'Easy Ride'; a leftover from 'Waiting for the Sun'. 'Whiskey, Mystics and Men' went unreleased. I'm not sure why, it sounds like classic Doors. 'Push Push' is a much bootlegged jam, presented here in an edited form.

Side 2 is a stretch of new, live Doors originals. For nearly a year between 1969 and 1970, The Doors recorded a lot of their performances to multitrack. The concept was to present an album of originals, including a definitive 'The Celebration of The Lizard', which was attempted during sessions for 'Waiting for the Sun'. The resulting album, 'Absolutely Live', was excellent, but the record label's insistence that the L.P. also include hits watered down the original concept.

For this side of the re-imagined 'Soft Parade', I have included songs from throughout the tour. It shows the band were not short on originals and already a wider picture of their 1969/70 output is revealed. 'The Woman is a Devil' is actually a studio jam, but one I've always liked and it fits with the feel of this side.

Side 3 is for the string and horn overdubs material. It was producer Paul A. Rothcild that insisted on the overdubs, as well as multiple takes in an attempt for perfection. Presented together on one side, they provide another theme to an already sprawling album. 'Tell All The People', 'Touch Me', 'Runnin' Blue' and 'Wishful Sinful' are all from the original L.P. 'Who Scared You' was originally the B-Side to the 'Wishful Sinful' single, bizarrely left off the album.

Side 4 is a come down of sorts, but contains longer and more strung out pieces. 'Orange County Suite' was infamously overdubbed by the surviving Doors in the 1990's. It is an original from 1969 and it remains a mystery as to why it never appeared on any contemporary Doors release. 'Whiskey, Mystics & Men' appears for a second time, slightly more demented than the first. The album finishes like the original, with its title track.

So, what The Doors might of done in 1969.







Cat of Tomorrow - Country Hoodoo / T.B. Blues



TOR070. 2019.

01 Country Hoodoo
02 TB Blues

The newest release from TOR.

"Hey folks, this is my new single – and only 7 years after the last one! Although I’ve been playing it live for the past year or so (maybe even longer), Country Hoodoo has taken quite a time to find its way onto a record. The original version was done three years ago and sat around waiting for a home, on a proposed (and forever mutating) EP that never materialised. Then, after playing it live, the song continued to evolve. The lyrics changed for a start and I became more comfortable singing it, so I felt that a new vocal was required to reflect what the song was now. That ended up being a lot less straightforward than you would think, with various attempts to capture said vocal being thwarted to the point where we began to believe that the song itself was hexed, sabotaged by Hoodoo spirits who disapproved of such levity and cultural appropriation. Anyway, it was finally completed and here it is now, though only if you have actually been able to download and/or listen to it can the hex truly be said to have been broken.

As for the song itself, the phrase “Country Hoodoo” popped into my head and I knew that there was a song there. I read up a little on Hoodoo and learned that it was not the same as Voodoo, but a type of folk magic brought over to the Southern states of America by enslaved Africans. I guess that it’s a basically a love song, but one that incorporates terms and imagery from various spiritual practices. It also refers to the belief that the crossroads, so common in blues lore and specifically in the legend of Robert Johnson, is a magical place which is "between two worlds" - "neither here nor there" & "betwixt and between" – and a site where spirits can be contacted and paranormal events can occur.

The second song on offer here has taken even longer to find its way out into the world, having been originally recorded by me for possible inclusion on the first Dead West album back in 2010. Thougheverybody liked it at the time, it was very close in feel to another track which we liked a little bit and included instead, so it didn’t make the cut. Over the years, Ste Benson has been this song’s most fervent champion and it was largely at his urging that it appears here, though it certainly makes sense when paired with another slice of weird Americana.

TB Blues was first recorded by the great Jimmie Rodgers in 1931, though I believe that it was derived from a traditional song and is one of many songs about TB and indeed other diseases that were prevalent in America at the time. In the spirit of folk music and its evolution, I’ve changed some of the lyrics and added a refrain to the last part of the song which was not in the Rodgers’ version.

Many thanks to Bob Cuthbertson for allowing me to use his splendid artwork for the cover which brings to mind John Fahey albums such as “Blind Joe Death” and “Death Chants, Breakdowns & Military Waltzes” - thus providing another link to American roots music and folklore.

And so, in the manner of a folk tale, these two orphans, after a long and difficult journey, have now found a home. Please make them welcome." - David Thompson.


Donovan - Lord of the Reedy River



Self made album 1969 / 2018.

01 Lord of the Reedy River
02 Mr Wind
03 New Year's Resolution
04. Barabajagal (Love is Hot)
05 She Moved Through the Fair
06 Marjorie (Margarine)
07 Moon in Capricorn
08 Runaway
09 Unicorn
10 Atlantis
11 Lord of the Reedy River (Reprise)
12 Lord of the Universe


I've always thought that Donovan's output between 1965 and 1969 was miraculous and deeply under appreciated. He embraced psychedelia before anyone else and with 'Sunshine Superman' released one of the first truly psychedelic singles. To form his albums, Donovan and producer Mickie Most would divide up the songs into sessions involving different players; one set would have electric instruments, another set would have players with exotic instruments and so on. He would also leave some excellent original compositions on the cutting room floor.

'The Hurdy Gurdy Man' from 1968 again featured diverse compositions and players, although this time he seemingly had difficulty making a uniform whole. The album was saved by the strength of the individual songs.

His final album of the sixties did not fare as well. 'Barabajagal' had songs from sporadic sessions, relations with Mickie Most were at an all time low (they would end their creative partnership that year) and perhaps after burning bright for the last 4 years he was running out of steam. The album was a significant drop from what had came before.

Along with The Doors re-imagining, this marks the second album from 1969 I decided to present in a reformed way, both having their 50th anniversary this year.

From the original album, I have included only the singles; 'Barabajagal' and 'Atlantis'.

In 1969, Donovan recorded a session of just himself and from this I have included 'Lord of the Reedy River', 'New Year's Resolution', 'Runaway', 'Marjorie (Margarine)' and 'Lord of the Universe'. These songs were recorded alone and have a feel of the tracks from 'For Little Ones', Donovan's acid folk classic from 1968.

'Mr Wind' and 'Unicorn' were taken from the second album for children; 1971's 'H.M.S. Donovan'. These tracks were recorded in 1968.

'Moon in Capricorn' is taken from an unreleased soundtrack to a film of the same name and the reprise of 'Lord of the Reedy River' is taken from a live performance within the film.

So, what Donovan might have done in 1969.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

The Byrds - Byrds '66



Self made compilation 

01 5D (Fifth Dimension)
02 I See You
03 Wild Mountain Thyme
04 Mr. Spaceman 
05 I Know My Rider (I Know You Rider)
06 Captain Soul
07 Eight Miles High
08 John Riley
09 The Day Walk (Never Before)
10 What's Happening?!?!
11 Why


The re-imagining of The Byrds albums continues.

In late 1965, The Byrds had released their second album 'Turn! Turn! Turn!' and ended the year recording a new single that was pretty far out; 'Eight Miles High' b/w 'Why'.

These new songs saw The Byrds at their height; experimentation, jazz and drone influences and sound now uniquely their own. 

The new single (although not the original recordings) was released and Gene Clark promptly left.

The resulting album, 'Fifth Dimension', was a frustrating mix of a band burning on new ideas and struggling without their chief songwriter. At this point McGuinn's guitar and compositional ideas, Crosby's vocal and unique rhythms, Hillman's stunningly inventive bass playing and even Clarke's drumming were all starting to fire. Without Gene Clark however, some of these ideas fell flat, or didn't have the required structure to hang on.

That said there are flourishes of absolute genius in the recordings of 1966.

5D (Fifth Dimension), I See You, Wild Mountain Thyme, Mr. Spaceman, What's Happening?!?! and John Riley are included in their original forms from 'Fifth Dimension'. Eight Miles High and Captain Soul are of also retained, but the inclusion of  'The Day Walk (Never Before)' ups the Gene Clark quota. 

'The Day Walk (Never Before)' was recorded during the sessions for 'Turn! Turn! Turn!' and was marked as 'keep' for the next Byrds album.

The version of 'Why' included here is from the b-side of 'Eight Miles High'. Spiky and more energetic than the version released on the following album 'Younger Than Yesterday', yet more developed from the RCA recording from '65.

'I Know My Rider (I Know You Rider)' was recorded as a potential single. It went unreleased as the band felt it shared too much with The Beatles 'Paperback Writer'.

Nonsense, it would of been a brilliant single and is one of the best Byrds unreleased songs.

There you go; what The Byrds may have done in 1966.





Brocken Spectre - EP 1



TOR069. 2019.

01 We Vs. The Bastards
02 Feature Length
03 I Am Your Fuel
04 Corkscrew

It's been a year since the last release from Brocken Spectre. In that time we have honed our sound, evolved and played new venues and festivals.

This E.P. represents where we are today. There are no more re-records or dipping into the TOR back catalogue for songs. The four tracks here come directly from the sessions we have in the tiny room at the top of a vintage shop.


This time around, we recorded live (with vocals overdubbed) and produced ourselves.

The four songs here are mainstays in our set and another E. P. of new material will follow next year.

Thanks to Jonathan Sharp for mastering.

Free download and physical copies available from Bandcamp.

Spiritualized / Mercury Rev - Good Dope Good Fun / Boys Peel Out


Greenpeace Records. 1993.

The first post 'Laser Guided Melodies' material from Spiritualized was a pure hit.

The first Greenpeace charity 7" was this split between Mercury Rev and Spiritualized.

'Good Dope, Good Fun' was pure, hedonistic rush and another theme which would see several different versions.

'Boys Peel out' came from a Peel session Mercury Rev had that year.

"This programme was produced to coincide with the 1993 Electric Mainline Tour. All profits from its sale will go to help Greenpeace campaigns."

Monday, 21 October 2019

Barbara, The Gray Witch



DEA Records 1969/70

01 Modern Witchcraft
02 Witchcraft Facts
03 Witchcraft Surprises
04 Childhood Questions
05 Adult Questions
06 Witchcraft Tests
07 Contacting Spirits
08 Doe-Dee
09 Be Cool
10 Black Witchcraft
11 Me-O-Me
12 Black Necessities
13 Demayo-Demío
14 Black Occult
15 Domé
16 White Witchcraft
17 Shamoo-Ra
18 Gray Witchcraft
19 Witch's Love Song
20 Gray Responsibilities

Occultism, wicca, black magic and the like had a bit of a renaissance in the late sixties. As Westerners looked in darker corners for soul satisfaction, spiritual guidance or new highs, a flood of witchcraft products came through.

Barabara, The Gray Witch was one of several albums released by a witch or other occultist. The difference is that this one is pretty good.

There is only a couple of musical moments on here; this is a spoken word instructional album. Barbara gives us a potted history and a bit of guidance, all interesting stuff.

'Witch's Love Song' is the only 'song' here. A simple repeated rhyme with some electronic backing.

If you have interest in this area, you will be interested in this.

It's also worth noting, this L.P. is as rare as hen's teeth!

Mystery Spring - Forever Is Too Long



TOR068. 2019.

01 Currents
02 Pale Blue
03 Brian
04 Everybody is a Stranger These Days

The next release from Treehouse Orchestra Recordings:

"Over the last year or so I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad. More so than normal, I’m not really sure why. Brian (as my mum and others called him) or dad as I called him, passed away after a long illness in 2004. 

It feels a very long time since we were together, and my memories of those times grow fainter and seem less reliable with every passing year. I feel like he’s a ghost now, and I’m just left with a strong sense of love and gratitude for the way he brought me up and the opportunity’s he gave me. We were always very close, and would spend a lot of time together chatting, reading the papers, arguing and laughing. He was kind, good company, very funny, a bit of a show off and had a strong moral compass. 

I thought I would try to write a song for my dad, and a song for me. ‘Brian’ the third track on this EP is that song. I wanted it to evoke the mystery of people you love disappearing but never leaving you. How the pictures in your head are jumbled and sometimes eerie, but the broad feeling of love remains.

 The four verses of the song were cut down from 12 verses, each one representing a memory of time me and my dad spent together. I realised as i wrote these verses that I am not always a reliable narrator of my own history!! The four verses left in the song are the ones i can remember best and that’s why I left them in. 

All the songs on this EP are love songs of a sort, love either for people who are close, those who have gone, or those who are distant. 

Huge thanks to all involved in this EP, we couldn’t do it without you." - Marc.


Various Artists - October 2019:Helen Mirren On Acid



01 Barbara, The Gray Witch - Excerpt from 'Modern Witchcraft'
02 D. Patucchi - La Dimostrazione
03 The Electric Prunes - Holy Are You
04 The Ceyleib People - Changes
05 Sandra Kerr & John Faulkner - Opening
06 Barbara, The Gray Witch - Witch's Love Song
07 Song Sung - I'm Not In Love
08 The Orb - Other Blue Worlds
09 The Creation - How Does It Feel To Feel (US Version)
10 Six Organs of Admittance - Saint Cloud
11 Mellow Candle - Silversong
12 Duster - The Queen of Hearts
13 Paper Dollhouse - Nuclear Alignment
14 Barbara, The Gray Witch - Excerpt from 'Gray Responsibilities'

New mixtape. As always, just in time for Halloween.

Note: Yes, that really is Helen Mirren on acid on the cover.


Sunday, 29 September 2019

James Blackshaw - Celeste



Celebrate Psi Phenomenon 2004

01 Celeste Pt. 1
02 Celeste Pt. 2


It's nearly five years now since James Blackshaw announced he was retiring from touring. Since then there have been no live appearances or record material.

Interestingly, the official Bandcamp only lists the first and last albums.

This was his second release. First issued by Celebrate Psi Phenomenon in 2004, then as a CDr by Barl Fire Recordings the following year and finally by Tompkins Square in 2008.







Krokodil - The Psychedelic Tapes



Second Battle 2005

01 The Creator Has A Master Plan
02 Stehaufmädchen Part 1
03 Marzipan (Live)
04 Stehaufmädchen Part 2
05 You're Still A Part Of Me (Live)
06 Stehaufmädchen Part 3
07 Odyssey In Om (Live)
08 Raga

Germany's Second Battle released this compilation of jams and live tracks in 2005. Material recorded between 1970 and 1972 and captures the band, as the title would suggest, at their most psychedelic.

Makes a tasty companion to 'An Invisible World Revealed'.

Various Artists - September 2013



Self made compilation 2013.

01 Naomi Chomski - Tapestine
02 The Cosmic Dead - Eyes in The Mountains
03 Depth Charge - Legend of the Golden Snake
04 Eric's Trip - My Chest Is Empty
05 Carol Kleyn - Street Song
06 Pan•American - The Cloud Room
07 Caravan - And I Wish I Were Stoned/Don't Worry
08 The Mebusas - Mr. Bull Dog (Original 45 Version)
09 Bill Plummer & The Cosmic Brotherhood - Arc 294°
10 College - Can You Kiss Me First
11 The Holydrug Couple - Ancient Land
12 Chelsea Wolfe - Hyper Oz
13 Sungod - The Infinite Regress
14 ZENИTH - B&W Road

Another old mixtape.


Sunday, 25 August 2019

Krokodil - An Invisible World Revealed





















United Artists 1971 / Second Battle 1999

01 Lady Of Attraction
02 With Little Miss Trimmings
03 Odyssey In Om
04 Green Fly
05 Looking At Time
06 Last Doors

Bonus Tracks:

07 Pollution
08 Krokodil Session Part 1
09 Krokodil Session Part 2


Often grouped along with Krautrock bands, Krokodil were actually an international affair; members came from West Germany, Switzerland and the U.K.

Starting out as a blues based band with prog touches, by 'An Invisible World Revealed', their third album, they had started to add cosmic and psychedelic sounds. The song 'Odyssey In Om' is a kosmiche classic.

I've used the Second Battle re-issue as it includes some jam tracks to expand the album and actually improves on it.

I'll be looking a further into this period in the coming months.

Note: the name of the drummer and the front cover artists is Düde Dürst, so you know it's going to be good.


The Gene Clark Group


Unreleased 1968

01 Los Angeles
02 I Pity the Poor Immigrant
03 That's Alright by Me


Another set of songs given a home within a fictitious alternate timeline.

After the failure of 'Gene Clark & The Gosdin Brothers' and no label to pick up the demos from the 'Gene Clark Sings For You', Gene found himself starting again (again).

For a very, very brief period of time in early 1968, he set up The Gene Clark Band with guitarist Laramy Smith.

They performed a handful of gigs in L.A. and recorded three and a half songs.

Laramy had already played on a version of 'That's Alright by Me' from 'Gene Clark Sings For You' recorded only a few months earlier. This version is more complete with a fantastic country style vocal from Gene.

'Los Angeles' is a new Gene original and has a 'Younger Than Yesterday' type feel and sound.

The original 'I Pity the Poor Immigrant' had only been released a few weeks earlier on Dylan's 'John Wesley Harding' and Gene turns in a wonderful version.

Also attempted was 'Lyin' Down the Middle', but a full take was never completed.

Shortly after, Gene was picked up by A&M Records and started Dillard & Clark.

These three tracks (and indeed The Gene Clark Group) were forgotten until the excellent anthology 'Flyin' High' was released in 1998.

These three tracks deserve their own spotlight and make a grand EP.

Mellow Candle - The Virgin Prophet





















Kissing Spell 1994

01 Heaven Heath
02 Waterman Weatherman
03 Sheep Season
04 Buy Or Beware
05 Break Your Token
06 Lonely Man
07 Lords Of The Green Grass
08 Dan The Wing
09 Silver Song
10 Poet & The Witch
11 Boulders On My Grave
12 Reverend Sisters
13 Crabtree
14 Pretty Polly
15 The Virgin Prophet

In their lifetime, Mellow Candle only released one album; 1972's 'Swaddling Songs'.

As part of label Kissing Spell's Erewhon Underground Folk-Rock Series, 'The Virgin Prophet' completes the picture of this Irish underground folk rock band.

Included within are all seven tracks from the Decca test pressing acetate from 1971. The remainder of the tracks are unreleased early songs from 1969-70.




Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Spectrum - California Lullabye



Sympathy For The Record Industry 1994

01 California Lullabye
02 It's Alright
03 Indian Summer
04 True Love Will Find You In The End
05 Thru The Rhythm

Essentially a re-packaging of the previous year's 'Indian Summer' EP for the American market.

It was however a limited 10" with exclusive track and cool art.


The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground Demo Acetate





















Acetate 1968

01 There Is No Reason
02 Sheltered Life
03 It's All Right (The Way That You Live)
04 I'm Not Too Sorry (Now That You're Gone)
05 Here She Comes Now

Cale-era Velvets Demos. This demo acetate was cut before the recording of  'White Light/White Heat'. What a different album it would of been had it included these sad, quiet Lou songs, much more of a third album feel. Just great.

Glücksfall - Glücksfall III - Glücksfall Live





















Treehouse Orchestra Recordings 2019.

01 Touching Strangers
02 Saint Wayne
03 Picture This
04 William Seward and Edgar Rice or Agent Lee's Jungle Adventure
05 Mausoleum of Intent
06 Melotron of Intent
07 The Spectral Return of Lester Bangs
08 Viscous Bubble


The newest release from Glücksfall is a recording of their debut live performance and was the second time the band had assembled.




Stephen Benson - Guitar 
Marc Gillen - Vocal 
Joe Hiscoke - Drums 
Mike Roper - Bass 
Jonathan Sharp - Guitar 
David Thompson - Vocal 
Amy Tweddle - Guitar 
Jill Wallace - Bass 


Completely improvised and recorded at Warwick Bazaar on the 25th of May 2019.

The band had a 'free' microphone for anyone in the audience to join in and Marc Gillen and David Thompson provide original words and vocals on two tracks.




Free streaming and limited edition cassette available at Bandcamp.


Sunday, 30 June 2019

La Düsseldorf - Individuellos




















Nova. 1980.

01 Menschen 1
02 Individuellos
03 Menschen 2
04 Sentimental
05 Lieber Honig 1981
06 Dampfriemen
07 Tintarella Di ...
08 Flashback
09 Das Yvönnchen

Actually released on new year's eve 1980, David Bowie described La Düsseldorf as "The soundtrack of the eighties".

You can find earlier La Düsseldorf albums on this blog.

Spiritualized - Anyway That You Want Me (Remixes)





















Dedicated 1990

01 Anyway That You Want Me (Remix 1)
02 Anyway That You Want Me (Remix 2)
03 Anyway That You Want Me (Remix 3)
04 Anyway That You Want Me (Demo)

Missed off from the original posting of early Spiritualized releases.

Released alongside the debut single.

Old Weird - Bad Wires Talk






















Treehouse Orchestra Recordings. TOR66. 2019.

Marc Gillen - Vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, bass & drum machine.

David Thompson - Vocals, acoustic guitars & keyboards.

with

Alex Thompson - Vocals.

and

Catherine Reding - Bass on 'Tarzan vs IBM'.


All music by Old Weird.

Words on 'Tokyo Drifters' and 'Jean Cocteau' by David Thompson .

Words on 'Alice in the cities', 'Tarzan vs IBM' and 'Reproduction of a dead end past' by Marc Gillen.

Produced. mixed and mastered by Alastair Popple at The Kitchen Sync.

Artwork by Stephen Benson.

Recorded between the summers of 2018 and 2019.
 

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Les Rallizes Dénudés - Heavier Than A Death In The Family


No Label 2002

01 Strung Out Deeper Than the Night
02 The Night Collectors
03 Night of the Assassins
04 Enter the Mirror
05 People Can Choose
06 Ice Fire

For those not familiar with Les Rallizes Dénudés, prepare yourselves.

Formed in the late 1960's by the mercurial Mizutani, Les Rallizes Dénudés were often thrown out of concert halls for being too loud. I mean LOUD.

Deciding that this is exactly how they want their music, they spent the 1970's and 1980's playing concerts that defied belief with volume, repetition and length.

Imagine the brain blistering solo from The Velvet Underground's 'I Heard Her Call My Name', playing forever. Imagine then that the songs are often simple chord progressions played over and over, punishing as it is exhilarating.

Les Rallizes Dénudés never had a record deal and to this day each and every release has been a bootleg recording. They only entered the studio once, with surprising results, but more of that in the coming months.

Stories abound about the band and Mizutani himself; he resides up a mountain in Japan, waiting for the world to catch up. The bass player lives in foreign exile for his part in the political hi-jacking of a plane, people have went mad listenng to the music at their gigs.

This is the real deal; once you have heard Les Rallizes Dénudés, pretty much every else pales in comparison. True punk rock, art and beauty.

'Heavier Than a Death in the Family' isn't the album I consider their best (that would probably be Live '77) but it was my first and is still an excellent entry point.

As I said at the start, prepare yourself.

Sonic Boom - Drone Dream EP




Sympathy For The Record Industry 1991

01 Ecstasy In Slow Motion
02 Octaves-Tremelos

I've decided to continue on with the post Spacemen 3 output of Sonic Boom/Spectrum and Spiritualized.

This is another presentation of Sonic's 'Ecstasy' and 'Octaves-Tremelos' drones. This time on a very limited 7".

Re-released in 1993 on various coloured discs.

Various Artists - Warwick Bazaar 2018





















Treehouse Orchestra Recordings 2019.

01  Robots with Souls - Watch Out!
02  The Heartwood Institute - Susama Ritual
03  Damn Teeth - Heavily Telegraphed/Correctly Aligned
04  Franky's Evil Party - Blonde
05  Death Bed - GOATP
06  Howlround - Middle Gelt
07  Little Strings - A Song About You
08  Jiggy Beast - Quest4luv (Demo)
09  The Unsung - Speak Up
10  Grasping Nettles - Circus
11  Brocken Spectre - Drive-by Election
12  Cosmic Cat - Marvin
13  False Flags - Contradict
14  Reptilians - Girls Who Work in Shops
15  Sulka - By Accidents
16  Cat of Tomorrow - Lives of the Saints


By the summer of 2018, my partner and myself had been running Warwick Bazaar for over two and a half years. The shop sells vintage clothing, antiques, records, memorabilia...all sorts really. An upstairs room had long ago became a rehearsal room and recording studio for many TOR projects but we wondered where else we could with the business.

The previous summer had seen my 40th birthday and to celebrate, both Cat of Tomorrow and Brocken Spectre had played. We wondered if the live music idea could be more permanent.

An upstairs room became the location for a music venue and next month will see the 20th live event.

The bands are booked by myself and Mike Roper. Mike has been running Glass City Presents in Carlisle for the last few years and is an enthusiastic advocate of live music and the DIY ethic. He is a friend to every band and has pretty much single handily promoted the local Carlisle / Cumbria music scene, venues and special events aside.

The majority of the bands who play are local to Cumbria, but we've seen touring acts from Glasgow to London make an appearance.

To celebrate the end of 2018 (and to look forward to a 2019 full of live music) I've put together a compilation album of artists that played Warwick Bazaar last year.

Submissions were requested and sixteen of the eighteen acts that played in 2018 sent in recordings. The tracks were then sequenced by Alastair.

Thanks to all the groups, musicians and artists who played, all the customers who came, listened and watched and finally a big thank you to all the WB team that make these events possible.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Various Artists - Spring 2011






















01 Ruth White - The Clock
02 Pisces - Dear One
03 Staff Carpenborg and the Electric Corona - P.A.R.T.Y.
04 Moolah - Crystal Waters
05 Electric Banana - Blow Your Mind
06 Amon Düül II - Wie Der Wind Am EndeEiner Strasse
07 Popera Cosmic - Les Esclaves
08 Itsutsu No Akai Fusen - I Feel...
09 The Orkustra - Bombay Calling
10 Relatively Clean Rivers - Easy Ride
11 Harvester - Och Solen Gar Upp


Another vintage mixtape.

Spoken word electronica, psych pop, Krautrock, Texas private press, London hard psych, Kosmische, French prog pop, Japanese folk, San Francisco world psych, hippy private press and Swedish commune rock.

Glücksfall - Glücksfall II





TOR64. Released April 2019.


01 Marie Corelli
02 The Curious Death of Lester Bangs
03 Fell, Not Dell
04 You Say You Believe in the Soul?


For the second volume, we were joined by Amy Tweddle. 

Again spontaneously composed, this time between 20:30 and 20:00.



Glücksfall will make their live debut in May.


Watch the video for 'Fell, Not Dell':

Glücksfall - Glücksfall I




TOR63. Released April 2019.


01 Ani
02 Flaccid on Acid
03 Alpine Tracheotomy
04 The Fridge Spoke First


After the enjoyment of the live Häxan experience, myself, Joe and Jonathan expressed a desire to work together again. We deciced we would like to start a band that channeled our love of kosmische, Krautrock and improvisation.

The idea was discussed and we were joined by Jill Wallace (Brocken Spectre), Mike Roper (Blind Fiction) and later, Amy Tweddle (We Are Quasaars).





We had our first and so far only session on the 27th of February. The tracks that make up the first Glücksfall release were recorded between 18:30 and 20:00.

Completely improvised and spontaneously composed.



Watch the video for 'Alpine Tracheotomy':

Thursday, 28 March 2019

The Electric Prunes - Underground



Reprise 1967

01 The Great Banana Hoax
02 Children Of Rain
03 Wind-Up Toys
04 Antique Doll
05 It's Not Fair
06 I Happen To Love You
07 Dr. Do-Good
08 I
09 Hideaway
10 Big City
11 Capt. Glory
12 Long Day's Flight

Bonus tracks:

13 Everybody Knows You're Not in Love
14 You Never Had It Better


Like their debut, the second album by The Electric Prunes was released in 1967. Unlike the first album however, the band were left alone to write their own compositions (9 of the original 12 tracks were originals).

The Electric Prunes further pushed the experimentation on this album and the result was another underground classic.

By the end of recording however, creative differences meant both Preston Ritter and James Spagnola left the band.

They embarked on a tour and when they returned to the studio, it was a very different set of circumstances.

The Velvet Underground - Live at the Boston Tea Party



Bootleg 1969

01 Heroin
02 Move Right In
03 I'm Set Free
04 Run Run Run
05 Waiting for the Man
06 What Goes On
07 I Can't Stand It
08 Candy Says
09 Beginning to See the Light
10 White Light/White Heat
11 Pale Blue Eyes
12 Sister Ray


More ratching around in the Velvets bootleg folder has turned up this live show from '69.

The Nightowl Sings - Sliders E.P.



Treehouse Orchestra Recordings TOR62. 2019.

01 Don't Stand Down
02 Joy Explosion
03 Queen of K
04 Oranges
05 Dreams of Civic Pride


Another release from my own label.

In the post for 'Amsterdam/America' by Ghosts of Hobbs End I explained how those recordings took place after sessions for a new collection of songs by The Nightowl Sings. This is that collection, finally released after two years.

After the (temporary) break up of Brocken Spectre, Marc Gillen set about recording a new batch of songs. A revolving door of musicians fleshed out these recordings including myself on drums and some guitar and bass, Jill Wallace (also from Brocken Spectre) plays bass on some tracks, David Thompson (Cat of Tomorrow) contributes guitar and new contributor Jessica Lowes sings back up on these songs.

The last release from The Nightowl Sings was '1955' released in July 2016, this collection gathers together the final recordings (to date) made under that name.

Scuzzed out pop, cracked alt ballads and art rock.





Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Daphne Oram - Oramics



Paradigm Discs 2007

Disc 1:

01 Introduction
02 Power Tools
03 Bird Of Parallax
04 In A Jazz Style
05 Purring Interlude
06 Contrasts Essconic
07 Lego Builds It
08 Pompie Ballet (Excerpt)
09 Intertel
10 Adwick High School No.1
11 Look At Oramics
12 Rotolock
13Purple Dust
14 High Speed Flight
15 Studio Experiment No.1
16 Four Aspects
17 Kia Ora
18 Dr. Faustus Suite
19 Adwick High School No.2
20 Tumblewash
21 Studio Experiment No.2
22 Snow

Disc 2:

01 Rockets In Ursa Major (Excerpt 1)
02 Food Preservation
03 Studio Experiment No.3
04 Bala
05 Episode Metallic
06 Studio Experiment No.4
07 Adwick High School No.3
08 Fanfare Of Graphs
09 Studio Experiment No.5
10 Brocilliande
11 Mary Had A Little Lamb
12 Incidental Music For Invasion (Excerpts)
13 Costain Suite
14 Rockets In Ursa Major (Excerpt 2)
15 Passacaglia
16 Missile Away
17 Pulse Persephone
18 Adwick High School No.4
19 Nestea
20 Rockets In Ursa Major (Excerpt 3)
21 Conclusion
22 Studio Jinks

Essentially the first album to compile the work of electronic innovator Daphne Oram, this title is now out of print.

Besides co-founding the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, inventing electronic musical instruments, pioneering musique concrete and inventing Oramics, (there really isn't enough space to list her achievements), Daphne Oram left behind some startling music.

This compilation collects together sounds from her career; sound effects, original music, advertising, experiments...it really only scratches the surface, but it's a good introduction.

I really can't recommend enough looking further into the music and writings of the remarkable Daphne Oram.

Broadcast - Mother is the Milky Way



Warp 2009


01 Creation Day The Travel Flute Way
02 In Here The World Begins
03 Elegant Elephant
04 Through The Gates Of Yesterday
05 Milling Around The Village
06 The Aphid Sleeps
07 Growing Backwards
08 I'm Just A Person In This Roomy Verse
09 Never Trust A Rusty Bolt
10 Innocence In Orbit
11 Mother's Milk Means Music (At Home In The Universe)

A sweet obscurity from Broadcast now. This EP consists of song ideas, field recordings and randomness.

Only 750 copies were pressed and it was only on sale while on tour.

The Byrds - The Ballads of Easy Rider



Self made fan album 1969

01 Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins
02 Tulsa County
03 Jesus Is Just Alright
04 There Must Be Someone (I Can Turn To)
05 Close Up The Honky Tonks
06 It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
07 Fiddler a Dram
08 Gunga Din
09 Jack Tarr the Sailor
10 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
11 Ballad Of Easy Rider


Another fan album from The Byrds, this time, a re-imagining of 1969's 'The Ballad of Easy Rider' (hence the added 's' in the title).

The album as released saw The Byrds critical stock rise slightly after the much maligned 'Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde'. It's a laid back country album, probably better than the sum of it's parts. I've always thought the abandonment of psychedelia from the later Byrds output was a shame, this self made album variation (partially) addresses this.

I start the album with 'Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins', the original experimental closer and McGuinn's latest space obsession song. 'Tulsa County', 'Jesus Is Just Alright' and 'There Must Be Someone (I Can Turn To)' are also from the original album. I end my side 1 with a live version of 'Close Up The Honky Tonks' from 'The Byrds Live at Filmore East' and then 'It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)' from the 'Easy Rider' soundtrack.

Again wanting to open a side with an experimental piece, I chose the outtake 'Fiddler a Dram'. Its weird synth blurb suggesting The Byrds could of remained an experimental psych band if they had wished. Fan favorite 'Gunga Din' follows with original album songs 'Jack Tarr the Sailor' and 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue' after that.

I end the album with the soundtrack version of the title song, preferring it over the album version.

Hope any Byrds fans out there will enjoy.


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

The Wasted Lakes - Häxan - Witchcraft Through the Ages



TOR61 2019

01 Häxan Part I
02 Häxan Part II
03 Häxan Part III
04 Häxan Part IV
05 Häxan Part V

I've always wanted to perform an improvised soundtrack to a film and last December, I done just that.

Häxan, a 1922 Swedish-Danish documentary about witchcraft, has long been a personal favourite. In its original form, it was two hours in length with dialogue boards. In 1968 a version with William Burroughs narrating was released. This was subtitled 'A History of Witchcraft'. I decided to use this shorter cut of the film.

Next, I asked Jonathan Sharp (The Heartwood Institute) and Joe Hiscoke (Holiday, Ponyland) to perform alongside me.




We had one soundcheck and decided to not prepare anything in advance.

The soundtrack was recorded, in front of the film and audience, on December the 14th and is presented here in full.



The film with accompanying soundtrack can be viewed here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSCPSPhN3O4&feature=youtu.be