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VIDA DE-sign by Michael Buckingham, aka Mick Muttley

Dear friends (yeah really, one of those) I have become a women's wear designer for VIDA! http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/ ...

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Retrograde Reviews: Reinier Van Houdt - Paths Of The Errant Gaze LP

Reinier Van Houdt - Paths Of The Errant Gaze LP
Your only enemy is atrocity.

The only enemy in your life is your imagination...

But then, heck, it was mine for many years when it came to creating ambient music. And as an empath thing, the piano is a solid beginner's point that can, for one, cause a lot of inspiration, and second, in a see, saw, fashion, formulate a lot of writer's block. While it is difficult to believe in yourself, believing in your own music is the biggest factor, for me in my own experience, in whether me and my acquaintances succeed or not. For most of us, the guitar and piano are the main two instruments one starts with, after all...and the piano is exactly what Reinier Van Houdt does best on this new promo from Hallow Ground label. "Paths Of The Errant Gaze" is a portentuous meditation on the 81-note instrument, and a album that presents many twists and turns in the pianistic repertoire.

It's not all flurries of furore by a long shot, though. Opening the album is a dark Murcof-like set of atmospheres that are positively disconcerting in a Demdike Stare catalogue kind of way. Sonic Pieces is a touchstone in theatrical menace. This isn't dark ambient however; there is something sinister but it's more deep and chilled, a strange foreboding chill without the fright at the end of it. The music is deeply transcendental, like the hum of a ghost ship, or the echoes of bat sonic supersound from a cave exit. Maybe it's time to get out? No, let us wallow in these atmospheres a little longer, for we are dreamers who at one point are on our own memorising elephant and next we're in the shallows like a hippopotamus, resting in uncandid serenity. These resonances are heavy on pastoral drone without the irritable hum. They start to fissure and rattle like bones in a dementia fit on second piece "The Fabric Of Loss". Sounds from a torture chamber set into an unpleasant - but strangely comforting - catharsis. It is frightening and gravitates to a dislocated navigation of the spices of life.

By this third track, we need a certain peace. The violins, high pitched in their operatic stalagtite status, create a fair come down period, where the mood irons out any turbulence. Turbulent is a good word to describe this album. If you've ever heard the dissonance of Kevin Drumm or Merzbow you'll get an idea of exactly what this album is going for. Scary, gripping stuff, but not stuff to keep the kids on your side. It is nightmarish at points, but never evil. It sounds like the contents of a troubled mind fighting with a demon that keeps prodding a scythe in the subject's back. For that only you get the feeling this music is from some other dimension, a place where angels are in purgatory (13 minutes into track 2) and the subject is trying desperately to find his or her way out.

When we get past the crackling trail of "Transfinite" there is a vignette to close us out. Impending doom, and all the light goes out on a truly remarkable release.

By track five, "Gaussian Veils", which I've no idea what it means but sounds like some Greek linguistic variant on gossamer, a crepuscular rhythm is held together by stalking piano and the introduction of a ghostly choral voice. This is the stuff of legends. Pure transcendence, "springs of light, I chase upon your reach, this situ, a path of ideas I lose". The sound of it, just the sound of it! It is utterly doueur and utterly fantastic. The minor and augmented aeolian modes of the piano paint a haunted mid section to the record, and the spectral tones of the voice in question is like a magisterial tormented soul doing naked cabaret for the pleasure of Satan and his little elves.

Mick Buckingham

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Various Artists (Friends Of Foci's Left) - SlipStreamDreams

Various Artists (Friends Of Foci's Left) - SlipStreamDreams

by VA (Various Artists: FL; K3Bee; Shiva; FRight; Dredge; Naphta; RST; Keiretsu)

  • Naphta - Are U Ready? 00:00 / 07:12
    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    The disc is not a vinyl, but I like to think of it as such, because it is a collection of long form recordings. It will work on hifis with MP3 function.
    The download only includes the 16 tracks, the unique MP3 disc includes one exclusive mix per customer.

     £5 GBP


  • Edit

    Limited Edition MP3 Disc (20 copies happy to be hand-pressed and labelled individually with inserts. Also includes bonus outtakes from huge mix catalogue by Muttley, Foci's Left producer. Each unique copy has a unique bonus mix featuring a track or more on this comp!!

    Includes unlimited streaming of Various Artists (Friends Of Foci's Left) - SlipStreamDreams via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    shipping out on or around October 5, 2016
    edition of 50 

     £10 GBP or more


  • Full Digital Discography Edit

  •  £23.70 GBP or more (90% OFF)



















    A celebration of sounds themed on the nineties, but not made in the nineties. Jungle, breakbeat, ambient, weird, library music, all in a sound collage textured in a nature that slipstreams moods into one another.
    Hence, the name, "SlipStreamDreams".

    Slipstreams are stealing of speed in a car journey, where the elements are in force to act against us.

    Slipstreams can be quite awkward problems with malfunctioning intent.

    Slipstreams can be depressions or decompressions of the mind.

    Slipstreams can be resonances that seem impersonally illogical.


    released October 5, 2016

    "2nd", "Imprint", "Matter" and "Meringue" produced by Kevin Beegan, AKA K3Bee. Find some of his dubplates at www.soundcloud.com/k3bee. He is part of the NuKillaBeats Cru.

    "Gene Thief" produced by James Alexandre Pathan, AKA Shiva Lab Creation. James runs www.bitratemusic.com, where you'll find some of his tunes and others released. Reach him on FaceBook or Twitter.

    "Are U Ready?" and "Home" produced by Shane 'O Shea, AKA Naphta. Naphta contributes to 'shwontological' blog www.weareie.com - take a look. These two tracks are re-released from his digital download album on THE Fear Recordings, in 2007.

    "Telemetry (Original)" by Robert Scott Thompson, AKA RST of Aucourant Records A&R. Robert has a Bandcamp page with over 60 albums released, some on labels such as Relaxed Machinery. Check "Arcana" for a good example.

    "Addict" and "Only Forward" produced by Keiretsu. Thanks to Stephen Mercer from Keiretsu for entrusting me with these on the release. Originally released on D:ART Recordings in the 2000s. About 2006.

    All other work (artwork, compilation ordering, trimming, Artillery Software mastering) by Michael Robert Buckingham, AKA FL, FRight, Dredge, owner of Foci's Left label and operator of www.focisleft.bandcamp.com.




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    Retrograde Reviews: Bonnie Prince Billy & Bitchin' Bajas

    "Nature, makes us, for ourselves".

    The music on Bonnie Prince Billy's latest rustic folk outing starts melodically enough, before embracing woodwind and the suitably gentile lines "may life throw you a pleasant curve". It's on the second track that the rhythmic focus really kicks into gear, loosening the weight of a breathy introduction. "Nature, makes us, for ourselves".

    You see, with a track title aim to be storyteliing meets self-help-provoking, this album can be taken kindly to from the first listen. The meanings spread out like fireflies, meeting a warming destination, a natural concave. Bonnie Prince is ast as the governor of a hundred baritones; instruments serve his plans to assist us in becoming calmer, getting happier.

    Much of the sound palette is pure rustic folk, a Johnny Cash meets Joanna Newsome quirkiness abounds throughout. There are no female vocals though, only a journeyman's horn of plenty with guitar chops to match. I first heard about BPB, not so humbly around 10 years ago, so I know he's been about the field for a long time. But at the same time, it's as if he's trod a heavy path through folk and country, meaning he understands how to not complicate a tune.

    This is most evident on euphoric closing piece "Your Hard Work Is About To Pay Off. Keep On Keeping On". Incidentally the ending is abrupt, leaving the listener craving a second shot of the honey-whiskeyed atmosphere Bitchin Bajas and Billy create. That's how the record feels essentially, like whisky. It's so addictive I can drown in it, but for the luck of the draw, it's only my sorrows that are cleansed.

    Mick R. Buckingham