Thursday, 18 July 2019

GLÜCKSFALL - GLÜCKSFALL III - GLÜCKSFALL LIVE



TOR67. Released July 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.

Friday, 28 June 2019

OLD WEIRD - BAD WIRES TALK





















TOR66.

01 Children of Old Weird
02 Tokyo Drifters
03 Alice in the Cities
04 Jean Cocteau
05 Tarzan vs IBM
06 Reproduction of a Dead End Past


Back in the summer of 2009, the early days of Treehouse Orchestra Recordings, an EP crept out, unheralded and unexpected. It was the debut eponymous release from Old Weird, a dark folk record (part Harry Smith, part early Animal Collective, part intravenous Guinness) that seemed to exist in its own particular, peculiar, little world. The duo of Marc Gillen and David Thompson had uncovered an approach of deconstructing folk songs then rebuilding them that would inform numerous future Treehouse records, but alas that seemed to be that for Old Weird as an entity.

A full decade later, though, a fresh EP has arrived, unheralded and unexpected, from Old Weird. Bad Wires Talk, however, is not a continuation of the old Old Weird sound but more of a reboot and redirection. It’s noticeably less old and weird than before, more 1980s than1880s. In fact, the new Old Weird can be traced back to the single made as part of the We Dream In Sound project; that release was less folk, more fuzz; channelling the beat poets and taking pop culture, rather than centuries of traditional song, as the source of inspiration.

There’s a similar feel to Bad Wires Talk, although they have introduced a fresh element to the sound – this is Old Weird with added synths and a drum machine. Lyrically, too, they’ve clearly been at the DVDs as the central theme of the EP draws inspiration from the cinema. You don’t need to be Mark Cousins to appreciate the words, though, just enjoy the enthusiasm with which they delve back through memories and deeper into movies.

The opening instrumental ushers in the changes, “Children of Old Weird” tipping the hat to the Ghost Box family with a gentle guitar and a sparkling synth melody which wouldn’t sound out of place on an album of Open University library music. In a very real sense, we’re not in Kansas (or any American state) any more, the folk stylings jettisoned for a more personal past. David starts strumming his guitar and steps up to the mic along for “Tokyo Drifter” which details a post-apocalyptic romance whilst admittedly becoming a checklist for all things Japanese (cherry blossom, haiku, Godzilla all get a mention in one verse). Alex Thompson’s accompanying vocals provide a perfect contrast and make the song a foot tappin’ favourite.

It’s back to the synth for Marc’s “Alice In The Cities”, which is named after a Wim Wenders movie and sounds like something the nihilist German band in The Big Lebowski would have made. ‘Techno Pop’ to quote Julianne Moore’s character Maude is as good a description as any. Then it’s a contrast of light and dark two spoken word tracks: the bright “Jean Cocteau”, with David giving his words the full poetic flourish and the sinister “Tarzan vs IBM”, that’s more William S than Edgar Rice, with a nod to Grandmaster Flash to boot. In a further shift in mood, the EP closes out with the bucolic acoustic sound of “Reproduction of a Dead End Past”, a gentle farewell that sends on our way with warmth in our hearts.

It’s a recent trend of Treehouse releases to keep to a duration of 20 minutes, with a couple of exceptions, and the six tracks of Bad Wires Talk maintain this tradition – there are a plethora of ideas here and its relative brevity make it easy to revisit time and again, and you’ll certainly want to. See you in 2029 for the third instalment. - Jeremy Bye.

 

Thursday, 2 May 2019

VARIOUS ARTISTS - WARWICK BAZAAR 2018



TOR065. Released May 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.


Monday, 1 April 2019

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.


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.



Thursday, 7 March 2019

THE NIGHTOWL SINGS - SLIDERS E.P.



TOR62. Released March 2019.

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


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.






Thursday, 3 January 2019

THE WASTED LAKES - HÄXAN - WITCHCRAFT THROUGH THE AGES






TOR61. Released January 2018.

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