Sunday, 30 January 2022

Twin Beaks - Mechanically Reclaimed Slaughterhouse Floor Scrapings


TOR083. Released January 2022.

01 Troll Hatchery, or the Cathedral of Diminishing Returns
02 Happy Drill Time
03 Masala Disaster

Another music project with my involvement...

In the Autumn of 2015, I was the bass player in Asian Babes and we were rehearsing for upcoming winter gigs. One particular rehearsal was nearly cancelled as Kate Thorburn (vocals) and Neil Armstrong (drums) couldn't attend. Myself and Bob Cuthbertson (guitar) decided to keep the slot and record some improvisations.

We produced over 2 hours of recordings using mainly synth and drums with some guitar and handed these over to Alastair Popple for remixing and recreating.

An initial idea was to have guest vocalists on each track, but only one of these came to fruition. Chili Nasti is a Ghanaian rapper and provides the vocals on 'Happy Drill Time'. This came about because the Asian Babes producers at Green Door Studios in Glasgow were running an exchange program with the ultimate aim of having a fully functioning recording studio built in Ghana. At this time, the studio was nearly complete and they were about to start recording tests. Chili Nasti was asked to come in to test microphones and recording in general. We requested that he do his vocal tests to a fixed tempo with the intention of using them on one of our tracks.

A few Bass guitar overdubs were scheduled, and recorded in November, but these morphed into its own track, 'Masala Disaster'.

Al worked away on these tracks and even provided rough mixes, but the project came to a halt to accommodate other projects, and within a couple of years was (nearly) forgotten.

At the very end of 2021, Al, in rescuing old music projects after a particularly drastic technological systems upgrade, recovered these tracks, blew off the dust, and produced new versions - this time complete - and presented them as a finished article.

I was happy to hear these live improvised recordings had been finally transformed into the bizarre, surreal, and unique music that is Twin Beaks, nearly 7 years after they were recorded. - Ste.

Improvised jams performed by Stephen Benson and Bob Cuthbertson at Scott's Self Storage on the 14th of October and at home on the 20th of November 2015. 

Mechanically reclaimed by Alastair Popple off and on between then and now.

Vocals on #2 by Chilli Nasti. Recorded at the Tafi Cultural Institute Studios, Tafi Atome, Ghana.

Photography by Stephen Benson, design by Alastair Popple.

Streaming, download and limited edition CD available from the Treehouse Orchestra Recordings Bandcamp.

Robbie Basho - Kingdom Of Love (Rarities)


Fan made bootleg

01  The Thousand Incarnations of the Rose
02 Omar Khayyam Country (Live)
03 Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee 
04 Four Ladies Across the Board (Live)
05 Rainbow Thunder (Live in Monterey 1980)
06 Lightning Thunder (Alternate Take)
07 The White Swallow (Solo Vocal)
08 Omar Khayyam Country
09 The White Princess (Alternate Take)
10 Kingdom of Love (Outtake)
11 Twilight Peaks (Live) 
12 Nice Enough for Love (Live) 

A round up of Basho rarities.

Track 1 from the Various Artists Takoma L.P. 'Contemporary Guitar - Spring '67'.

Track 2 recorded live in 1978, available as a Grass-Tops Recordings download in 2016.

Track 3 is an outtake recorded 1978 from the Grass-Tops Recordings reissue of 'Visions of the Country' 2013.

Track 4 recorded live at the Sinclair Auditorium, July 1978. Available as a Grass-Tops Recordings download.

Track 5 from the Grass-Tops Recordings reissue of 'Rainbow Thunder - Songs of the American West' 2016.

Tracks 6 - 9 taken from the Grass-Tops Recordings reissue of 'Bouquet' 2016,

Tracks 10-12 all recorded 1984, from the Smeraldina-Rima reissue of 'Twilight Peaks' 2012.

The Beach Boys - Smile (It's Lost It's Found Version)


Fan made bootleg

Side 1 - Our Prayer/Heroes and Villains/Do You Like Worms/I'm in Great Shape/You are My Sunshine/I Wanna Be Around/Workshop/Heroes and Villains

Side 2 - Vege-Tables/I Love to Say Da Da/Cool Cool Water/Tune X/Wind Chimes/Mrs. O'Leary's Cow/Fire

Side 3 - Child is the Father of the Man/Underwater Chant/Cabin-Essence/Look (I Ran)/Psycodelic Sounds/Laughing/Surf's Up

Side 4 - Wonderful-With Me Tonight-Good Vibrations-You're Welcome

I've recently had a Beach Boys phase. It made me recall a time a few years ago before post 'Pet Sounds' records received critical re-evaluation (some were still unavailable) and when mythical lost album 'Smile' was still unreleased.

I would visit record fairs hoping to find more pieces of this mysterious record, looking to find the parts that made it make sense. Like a lot of fans, I assembled my own version.

Over the years the story of 'Smile' changed. Brian Wilson first toured and then recorded and released his modern version of the album with his touring band in 2004.

'The Smile Sessions' were released in 2011, but these contemporary releases were missing something.

Last year, I assembled my own, new, version of Smile using all available material. I wanted to include some of the odder moments not used on the 'official' version. I was trying to retain the spookiness and strangeness I felt when I discovered a new piece of Smile music.

Readers here will probably know the story well, so I won't repeat it. I'm not trying to an authorative stamp on this version or declaring this is closest to Wilson's vision or anything like that. It's just the version I like to listen to.