Hailing from Manchester, LAST HARBOUR are a secretive 5 piece
collective. Their self-produced new album, "Hold Fast, Pioneer", a
meticulous and beautiful UK debut, is released and unveiled on Tongue
Master Records. This is the first full length, UK release from the band,
following the rare 7", "Hidden Songs" and the French
Revolving around the core partnership of singer Kevin Craig and guitarist David Armes, this intrinsically English band have an atmospheric, cinematic sound, drawing comparisons to such luminaries as THE TINDERSTICKS and LINCOLN. With the deadpan style of Kevin Craig's vocal and the intricate compositions of guitar, piano, violin and a range of other instruments and samples, LAST HARBOUR meld together Michael Gira's late SWANS projects with LOW, NICK CAVE and TOM WAITS, resulting in a unique and unsettling soundscape.
Playing epic songs, at once harsh and intimate, using instrumentation
traditionally associated with folk music,
Some of the bands LAST HARBOUR have shared stages in the recent past:
Michael Gira & Devendra Banhart | Califone | Josh T Pearson (Lift To
Experience) | Boxhead Ensemble | Telstar Ponies | Dirty Three | The
THE SCENE IS NOW - LEGENDARY NEW YORK BAND MAKES UK DEBUT
THE SCENE IS NOW have often been compared to the likes of Pere Ubu, Red Crayola, Half Japanese or The Residents, but most people discovered them through the Yo La Tengo classic album "Fakebook", on which Yo La Tengo covered a THE SCENE IS NOW song "Yellow Sarong". This ever-revolving outfit has always been spirited by the two main nucleus members: singer/trombonist/guitarist CHRIS NELSON & keyboardist PHILIP DRAY. Both NELSON & DRAY - originally from Minneapolis - got started in the New York NO-WAVE scene of the late 70's with the band INFORMATION. NELSON also had a parallel career at a later stage with the band MOFUNGO, which also included the internationally known composer ELLIOT SHARP. Since then they have continued evolving, and established an enduring legacy with THE SCENE IS NOW. "Songbirds Lie" is probably the most cohesive and sharp THE SCENE IS NOW album to date. The tangled rhythms, cheap keyboard sounds and NELSON'S cracked vocal style still dominate the proceedings, and the sound is very reminiscent of early PERE UBU. CHRIS NELSON always manages to blend his commanding literary vocabulary into ironic & poetic lyrics within each song while displaying a snappy and excellent sense of humour. The new release features a brilliant rhythm section as well: East Coast band veterans SUE GARNER and ROBERT DENNIS guest as the "Honky Ass Punks".
"Songbirds Lie " provides plenty of twists & turns for the fans that
like their music adventurous and spiked with avant-garde digressions.
Various New York stories unfold and one can envisage the late night
diners, the lazy Sunday afternoons in the Village or the spring drives
out to Brooklyn. "Songbirds Lie " is one of those albums only a New York
band exposed to the experimental underbelly of the city can delve out.
THE SCENE IS NOW is an artsy bohemian band far removed from any
trend & their original material avoids certain hackneyed rock and roll
ideas both musically & lyrically. Unpolished, " Songbirds Lie " is a
blazing album that has retained an outsider edge and is a necessary
instalment for those who still desire music that is genuine, ironic &
SIGMATROPIC - 5 GREAT EXCLUSIVE ALTERNATE VOCAL VERSIONS ON LIMITED VINYL
Not so long ago we saw the international release of the album “ 16 Haiku & Other Stories “ by the band SIGMATROPIC. Collections of poems by Nobel laureate George Seferis grace the sensual sounds of this soundtrack-like hour long sprawl. Eighteen guest musicians appear on this historic gathering and each vocalise their favourite poem to the backdrop of SIGMATROPIC. Some outstanding & diverse guests such as Robert Wyatt, Cat Power, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Howe Gelb, Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) & Mark Eitzel compliment an awesome line up from both sides of the Atlantic. Akis Boyatzis is the force behind SIGMATROPIC who put this English album version as a complimentary version to the original project – of the same material – that came out in Greek. The poet upon whose work the album is based, George Seferis, was born at the turn of the last century and was a Literature Nobel Prize winner. His early work explored a way of rendering the Japanese tradition of the Haiku poetry into a European framework. “ 16 Haiku & Other Stories “ is a unique album project that has brought many diverse musicians from far-flung corners of the world to sing on a piece of music that is removed from their customary craft. The chilled Ambient Electronica soundscapes that embrace the sung poetry has been universally praised with all 21 Poetry tracks on the album having been played on radio stations around the world.
When the 18 guest vocalists were approached to participate on this album, some were so impressed & excited with the material that they contributed their vocals to more tracks instead of one! From the “ treasure trove “ of the rich overflow of vocal takes we can now present a great 12-inch EP called “ Could That Be The Voice? “. On this EP 5 Haiku versions are performed by SIGMATROPIC together with 4 guest artists that appeared on “ 16 Haiku & Other Stories “ each singing on tracks from the album they did NOT vocalise themselves on the original offering. On this balanced EP there are two tracks from MARK MULCAHY, and one each from CARLA TORGERSON (Walkabouts), EDITH FROST & JAMES WILLIAM HINDLE.
MARK MULCAHY starts each side of this EP with two high tempo offerings “ Haiku One “ & “ Haiku Four “. The latter is the only track that is an “ extended remix “. Both tracks feature some sublime rhythm beats with a taste of Mediterranean “ folktronica “. CARLA TORGERSON’S version is “ Haiku10 “, features an outstanding and unforgettable New Order-ish intro. JAMES WILLIAM HINDLE is the sole UK representative on this EP, and he vocalises a spiralling & hypnotic “ Haiku 15 “. EDITH FROST ends the affair with an icy, twisted & haunting rendition of “ Haiku 11 “.
For those who have not yet plunged into this musical odyssey “ Could That Be The Voice? “ is an excellent value 12-inch introduction to the awesome album by SIGMATROPIC “ 16 Haiku & Other Stories “. For the initiated, this is another chance to marvel at this beautiful music but with the rare new vocal versions.
On limited edition 12-inch 180 gsm vinyl only.
BROKEN DOG return with their fifth album "Harmonia" Elusive duo Clive Painter & Martine Roberts re-emerge from their holed up solitary den with their fifth album called "Harmonia". It has been a long wait since their last full-length release in 2001, although both Clive and Martine have appeared to us through their associations with the likes of (The Real) TUESDAY WELD, MONOGRAPH / PACIFIC RADIO, & the international SIGMATROPIC project. Clive has also taken time out from Broken Dog to record and release the instrumental album "Rocket Science" under the guise of WOLF.
The latest Broken Dog album "Harmonia" finds the band in a dark and reflective mood; a hint of psychedelia peppers the songs and Martine's vocals are as haunting as ever. Mellow and sublime slow burners such as "I Do Not Trouble" & "The Sound Of Feeling Of Home" are sculptured gems. The album has some sparkling and glorious moments such as "Waiting For Something Big" and the much-played John Peel favourite "Radios".
BROKEN DOG’S sound has always been a trip through mellow folk rhythms and hypnotic icy soundscapes. Clive Painter's multi instrumental delivery is as focused as ever whilst Martine Roberts carves out her uniquely inimate style to chilling effect. This is a welcome return for a band much admired. "Harmonia" will not disappoint those who have been patiently waiting for this new offering from a most addictive and introspective band. What they have previously said about BROKEN DOG and their music:
" ... Broken Dog are, nevertheless, a warped, experimental version of Mazzy Star " - Q Magazine
" Is this music or is it an oil painting? Either way, this is art in the most literal sense " - MAGNET
" Martine Roberts' breathy tones remind you of an anglicised Julee Cruise " - MOJO
We are very excited to announce the release of a truly special and beautiful album. More like an international project. It took some time to complete, but it is a unique listening proposition nonetheless.
Back in 2001 SIGMATROPIC had the idea to create a sprawling and magical musical trip: a musical accompaniment to an imaginary journey. The album " 16 Haiku & Other Stories " is based on the Japanese chopped up poetry style Haiku. But this isn't just any poetry. This music is based on the work of the great Nobel laureate GEORGE SEFERIS. His Haiku poetry, in which he had adopted in his early life, was an ideal inspiration to a musical adventure that involves all the elements of nature. The wisdom & simplicity of these short poems float around the embracing music in a carefree manner. Anyone that has travelled through the majestic Aegean and experienced the sea and stars will clearly identify with SEFERIS'S colourful observations. AKIS BOYATZIS is the nucleus of SIGMATROPIC and has created an atmospheric musical odyssey that invites this poetry wordplay. His programming skills weave an ethereal spell full of Spartan peaks and bleak terrains. The voiceovers float around like a magic wand spelling out stories about colours, nature and the seasons. The soundtrack " feel " quality of this recording is grainy and mystical and ideally compliments the masterful poetry.
After this album was released in its original format in Greek, early 2002, spurred on with its success AKIS BOYATZIS stuck his neck out enough to boldly extend an invitation to overseas musicians: to recreate the spirit of this album, retaining the same music with the same poetry translated into English. And thus here is the English version of his original dream. Eighteen vocalists from diverse musical backgrounds and from far flung cities, each choosing and singing their favourite Haiku. Each individual vocal is a sparkling testament that has enriched this international project, which features an outstanding and diverse range of cult alternative vocalists from both sides of the Atlantic, instantly making this one of the greatest albums ever to come out of Greece.
Together with SIGMATROPIC & AKIS BOYATZIS the full guest vocal line up
for " 16 Haiku & Other Stories " is a truly awesome musical motley crew:
* The finished album will include a little film ditty with SIGMATROPIC, & friends fooling around on the legendary island of Patmos. Apart from AKIS BOYATZIS'S " colourful " shirt and Julia the odd donkey, you will also spot CARLA TORGERSON as well. It is a little musical taster to what is on the album.
* Initial quantities of the album will carry a bonus disc that will feature alternate version and remixes that are not of the album. Artists scheduled to be on the bonus disc are ROBERT WYATT, EDITH FROST, HOWE GELB & CARLA TORGERSON.
* At the time of the album release an exclusive 12-inch single will also be issued. This limited edition single will contain exclusive vocal versions & takes that are not featured on the album. Artists scheduled to have their alternate versions featured are EDITH FROST, JAMES WILLIAM HINDLE, MARK MULCAHY & CARLA TORGERSON.
Licensed for the UK on behalf of Hitch-Hyke Music Ltd
Nebraska is the American state famous for its wide open spaces, as seen in stark black and white through the windshield on the cover of Bruce Springsteen's 1980 spartan & bleak album of the same name. More recently, Nebraska has become known as the home to Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes fame. But Nebraska is also the home of the singer-songwriter who Oberst has cited time and again as his major influence, John Peel favourite SIMON JOYNER.
SIMON JOYNER digs deep in his treasure chest and unearths two new songs for us. Too good to be neglected, this unpolished gem should undoubtedly be a double AA side single. Both sides providing unexpected twists and turns with the signature pace only JOYNER orchestrates so well. " Here Come The Balloons " & " They Say Man Cannot Fly " are both moody & brittle with unconventional song structures and a subtle pop sensibility. Mysterious thumps and rattles and voices are woven into the background amidst electric guitars and the echo of percussion. On top of it all is the rarely triumphant but eternally hopeful sound of Joyner's voice announcing "Here come the balloons inflated with words, they reach for the moon, they chase down the birds, and who am I to say they've just lost their way?"
SIMON JOYNER is a tantalisingly tender talent who has spent over a decade (and ten full-length albums) flying gracefully under commercial radar, where his art has continued to evolve, to the haunting effect displayed on this exclusive single.
You can't get any better album debuts for a new label like ours. And we are starting with a bang and a real gem. We are proud to present a MARK EITZEL album recorded in Greece! A musical expedition that already created a buzz. Without any lengthy prologues necessary, it is safe to state that MARK EITZEL is truly one of the greatest living singer songwriters today. A fact given his 15 year or so career as a solo artist and as the lead singer with legendary Californian cult band AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB.
What will astound fans and admirers alike is this landmark album recorded in Greece in November 2001. Far removed from the trials and tribulations of his familiar US & UK stomping grounds, MARK EITZEL visits Greece as a guest to a sincere musical invitation armed with a clean slate. What was to be a humble EP turns out to be a full-blown album of re-worked songs from his chequered past-but with a twist … Western culture meets Eastern in a bold and rich interpretation of EITZEL’S songs. Lists of songs, old and recent find a new lease of life amongst the warmth of traditional Greek instruments and the talented local musicians. All under the capable arrangements of respected Greek composer and producer MANOLIS FAMELLOS this project turns out to be a remarkable re-evaluation on EITZEL’S classic songs. FAMELLOS’S ringmaster guidance, together with his cohorts unveils a fertile textured instrumentation that enhances EITZEL’S past glorious songs without being an over-elaborated affair. None of the vocal angst or intense interpretation is missing from the songs, and the results are sparkling versions of EITZEL classics such as " Last Harbour ", " Jenny " & " Western Sky " with an astonishing clarity. Listeners are also rewarded with a new-ish EITZEL song " What Good Is Love " & with him also singing a FAMELLOS composition " Love’s Humming (Black Love) "."
The Ugly American " is a balanced album that taps into different periods of EITZEL’S song-writing career. This album is a coup and fans will soon know that this work is another indisputable testament to EITZEL’S song-writing skills and that it will become a sought item for years to come.
Licensed for the UK on
behalf of Soul Sister Records, a division of Hitch-Hyke Music Ltd
PINKIE MACLURE & MR.WILLS
Mysterious downtempo duo Pinkie Maclure & John Wills return with this exclusive offering after a long hiatus which is their first release since their last acclaimed album " Memorial Crossing ". Having recently relocated to Scotland, they now emerge with new material inspired by their cinematic surroundings. "Camouflage " is a slow burner that builds up into a molten and sublime masterpiece of chilled out electronica. Pinkie Maclures vocals twist and turn, soaring and enveloping us with her haunting hooks. This song is a excellent prelude to their forthcoming and eagerly awaited new album and also a perfect indication that with their newly found stimulus they are set to soar.
BROKEN DOG return with a trio of fresh new songs exclusive to Tongue Master. With " Radios " Clive Painter and Martine Roberts ensure their enduring sound retains a fixed spot on our pleasurable listening consciousness. Distant nostalgia that hovers around and swells like a vast projected image. Blissful, resonant, an ethereal harmony for a perfect musical therapy. This is an indomitable British response to the American campaign of lo-fi melancholia. BROKEN DOG are always in the process of regeneration and this trio of songs will complement their past critically acclaimed material.
Out on a very limited edition 7 inch vinyl.
STILL A BIG SOUL
Brother JT makes a very
welcome return with an evangelical 7-inch release. Well known since the
late 1980s as the lead singer of American cult band The Original Sins,
John Terlesky has continued solo under the moniker Brother JT. His
recordings and collaborations are numerous over the last years and it
would be unfair for them to be placed under one musical banner. In their
time The Original Sins were an excellent pre-grunge garage band with a
few albums under their belt. " Big Soul " is still a sought after
classic album full of mind curling expansive feedback. His Brother JT
releases are more psych rock tinged and it can be said that Terlesky has
successfully merged & balanced the " punk meets psychedelia " crossroad.
His latest offering, " Hear The Waves " is a lo-fi gem. All 3 tracks on
the single drone on wonderfully like a warm summer afternoon. The
psychedelic influences are prevalent and enhanced with the analogue
sound. It has the grainy ingredients of a raw melancholic vibe, which
glows like a distant spiritual sermon. Brother JT weaves a slow and
dreamlike delivery but is simple and effective. This is a stark world
but well worth the trip
THE VANITY SET
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL FROM THE U.S.A.
Bad Seed member James Sclavunos's side project The Vanity Set features an amazing collective of guest musicians. Together with his creative sidekick and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds drummer Thomas Wydler (ex-Die Haut), they have welcomed an array of participants: Kid Congo Powers, Sally Norvell, Larry Mullins (Iggy Pop), Daria Klotz (God Is My Co-Pilot), Pete Shore (Boss Hog) and Chris Pravdica (The Gunga Din). They provide a unique slice of weirdness meshing up a crux of musical styles. This NYC combo contribution to the 7-inch plateau is the track Jump In The Grave . A shambolic piece, " Jump In The Grave " is a stomping parade full of black humour and slurred drawls. This is a wonderful little bastard of a song that wants us to whistle away the glum day. James Sclavunos pedigree as a multi talented musician is enhanced, stamping his unique stain of NY moodiness and surpassing any Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen pseudo imitators.
In complete contrast, Sally Norvell lowers the tempo with this bizarre interpretation of the Radiohead song Exit Music (For A Film). She is well known for her previous recordings and tours with outfit Congo Norvell featuring legendary ex-Gun Club guitarist Kid Congo Powers and her duets with Mark Eitzel. Both Norvell and Powers have also been noticed and cast by cult film director Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings Of Desire). Now firmly part of the NYC music scene, Sally Norvell sings about love, treachery and death together with her unique experimental cabaret style and seductive whispers. She is joined here with gifted pianist Paul Wallfisch and as a solo act provides a bold interpretation of Radioheads song. Heading towards uncharted waters this version will definitely astound and bemuse Radiohead fans. This is bleak and crystal clear singing which underlines that Sally Norvell is a poignant singer with an immense vocal range.
Artwork based on the original photographic work titled " Romaticism Is
Ultimately Fatal " by Joanne Leonard (C)
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