Sunday, 30 May 2010

Friday, 28 May 2010

Buddha on the Moon - Between Seasons - SOLD OUT

Nothing else to see... move along, please

Buddha on the Moon - Norman Speaks!

Norman Records writes:

"Buddha On The Moon were about when I was obsessively buying 7"'s back in the
mid-90's. Back in the heydays of Wurlitzer Jukebox and Earworm etc.... Buddha On The Moon were tinkering around then, tackling the world with small low-key releases and a name to worry Buddhists. Here they are with a brand new album on Sonic Oyster, limited to a paltry 50 copies and it's their 1st album for 12 years. Craziness! It's pretty immense sounding stuff and I'm sure by the time you read this they'll have all gone. Beautiful drones and ambience mingled in with proper instruments and proper songs. Remember all that drifty space rock from the late 90's ala Windy & Carl, Fuxa etc?? There's elements of that here but it's well epic-sounding in scale. I can't believe there's only 50 of these!"

Richard Youngs & Andrew Paine - Collodion Error

Richard Youngs and Andrew Paine have a free download available courtesy of the good people at Workbench Recordings.

Daniel Spicer writes:

"Just how close to the edge is it possible to get? Zeno's paradox would suggest that no matter how hard one tries, it can never be reached. Achilles spends eternity trying to catch a tortoise but only ever getting part of the way, the distance between the hero and the reptile shattered into an infinitude of tiny spaces to be traversed first one then another, with no ending in sight. Just the same, there's a whole universe to be travelled before we get truly close to the edge.

Glasgow-based musicians Richard Youngs and Andrew Paine keep on trying to reach that edge - separately and together. Youngs is a humble bastion of UK experimental music: as a solo artist of dizzying diversity, as an erstwhile member of underground free-music originals The A Band and, more lately, as bassist in Jandek's live trio with drummer Alex Nielsen. Paine is a quietly determined generator of avant-sounds, documented and distributed through his CD-R label Sonic Oyster. The two have recorded together since the end of the 20th century, sometimes under their own names, and sometimes as Ilk, a project that takes the baroque narrative stylings of classic British Prog as a starting point from which to explore psychedelic Noise, drone and Improv.

With Collodion Error, it's as though they're trying to sneak up on the edge, pretending not to look as they spiral round, trying to catch it on the outswing, the outer arm of the Golden Mean. The galaxy spins down into a beach-stranded mollusc shell, into an atom of stone, down further into a galactic supercluster, You can hear the energy thrumming as your identity slips away. A minute and a half can be enough to see it all. Time enough to get close to the edge, anyway."

Friday, 21 May 2010

Tea in the Sidhe - Reviewed by the One True Dead Angel

Book of Shadows -- TEA IN THE SIDHE [Sonic Oyster Records]

More whole-grain psychedelic drone goodness, this time featuring two lengthy workouts and three shorter ones. "Terrastock Tea Party," clocking in at over 31 minutes, is one of their more chaotic offerings -- the bedrock drone and ghostlike, wailing vocals are present as always, but there's a lot more activity happening in the background, in the form of springy guitar lines that come and go, erratic bursts of percussion, and a plethora of strange, usually unidentifiable noises that point the song perilously close to the land of improv free jazz... except this is the slowest and most sporadic free jazz you'll ever hear. Some of it sounds like a free jazz combo workout that's been slowed down to half speed and swaddled in gauzy sheets of drone. Screeching, wailing noises that might be a saxophone or something sampled from a keyboard rise up through the fog now and then as well. The density of sound ebbs and flows over time, as does the intensity. The considerably shorter five-minute title track is one of the most peculiar tracks I've heard from the band -- what sounds like a kazoo or wheezing keyboard provides a sawtooth drone over which discordant voices babble while squeaks and skronks abound. "Midsummer w / Verdi" is another long one (over 27 minutes), and this is closer to what most would expect from the band -- long, swirling drones, beatific disembodied vocals, and pulsing waves of cosmic sound. The volume increases as the piece goes on and the playing activity grows more restless as well, but eventually gives way to a more languid sensibility that continues to the end, with a sound that's still heavy on the cosmic vibe but far more spacious and restrained, at least up until the end (where there's a brief burst of electronic frippery designed to roust you from your tranced-out bliss). "Ion" is another short one -- just four minutes exactly -- and one of the more esoteric ones, filled with bass-heavy rumble and sci-fi noises, like a snippet from a soundtrack to an obscure science fiction B-movie; the twelve-minute "Major Cerridwen" continues the sci-fi theme, sort of, with the occasional bits that sound like alpha waves bouncing off satellites, but this is rooted more in their traditional affinity for dreamy, floating dronescapes. This is certainly one of their more enigmatic and unusual albums, but fans of the band (and of cosmic drone-rock in general) will nevertheless find this a worthy addition to their album collections.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Buddha on the Moon - Between Seasons

Simply put, "Between Seasons' is one of the most uplifting and beautiful albums I've heard in years.

It is the third album from Buddha on the Moon, a Texas-based sonic escapist exploring and obfuscating the gray boundaries of song, drone, and soundscape.

BotM's previous album, ‘The Last Autumn Day,’ came out in 1998, and the near-dozen intervening years should have been sufficient for at least a half-dozen more albums; but not existing as a proper band, with no time tables for rehearsals, shows or tours has a way of stretching time and so conventional norms of schedule or agenda become obsolete.

As such, 'Between Seasons' came about at its own pace, on its own time and space, recorded, sampled, processed and tweaked, mixed and remixed, forgotten and rediscovered over a period of four years using a wide array of digital and analog media, mountain dulcimer, kantele, guitars and basses acoustic and electric, various synthesizers, and a collection of 'modestly-priced microphones'.

The album is STRICTLY limited to 50 copies & available from 24 May. The CDR release costs 5GBP and is available for pre-order now.

I have uploaded 'When They Were Close (for friends estranged)' on to for a limited period only.

POSTAGE & PAYPAL INFORMATION - CDRS - In the UK, please add 50p towards p&p for one disc, £1 for 2 or more. Outside the UK, please add £1 towards p&p for one disc, £2 for 2 or more. Paypal is preferred - the address is sonicoysterrecords (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk.

Fougou - Atlantis (for John Michell)

'Fougou' are Brian Lavelle (Space Weather, Richard Youngs) and Matthew Shaw (Tex La Homa). The name derives from a peculiar type of subterranean structure only found in Cornwall in the extreme southwest of the United Kingdom.

'Athantis (for John Michell)' released on Sonic Oyster Records on 24 May is the next stage in Fougou's sonic descent into subterranean chambers.

Following on from their stunning debut "Reversed Dreams of this Nature', the duo offer up a meditative love letter to the English writer, John Michell, using dense textural electronics, processed acoustic instruments, vocals and field recordings conjuring up a kind of megalithic valediction to Michell's vision of fortean phenomena.

'Atlantis' is available on 3" CD-R and strictly limited to 50 copies. The CDR release costs 4GBP and is available for pre-order now.

POSTAGE & PAYPAL INFORMATION - CDRS - In the UK, please add 50p towards p&p for one disc, £1 for 2 or more. Outside the UK, please add £1 towards p&p for one disc, £2 for 2 or more. Paypal is preferred - the address is sonicoysterrecords (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Quietus Review: Robot

Thanks to Scott McKeating for this review recently posted in 'The Quietus':

For such a near-mythic (and allegedly reclusive figure), Richard Youngs still manages to be a very busy man. From the mid 80s onwards he's played a pivotal role in the diy/experimental underground moving between exploratory improvisation, drone, gorgeous songscapes and post-pop pieces. Having long since graduated from the legendary A Band collective, Youngs is known as both a solo artist and a discerning, but keen, collaborator via his releases with Skullflower's Matthew Bower and drummer-in-demand Alex Neilson.

Robot is Youngs' twentieth collaboration with fellow Glasgow based musician Andrew Paine since 2005 (not including their well-received prog rock project Ilk), and it's one of their most instant and unusual so far. To those unfamiliar with the workings of the diy experimental underground, 20 might sound like an insane amount of music. Where other improvisatory-sourced acts, for example the harsher, bleaker but very prolific Wolf Eyes, releases can be read as a kind of documentary process, Youngs and Paine seem to treat each release like a mini project of sorts – an idea investigated.

In essence, Robot is a concept release created using Brian Eno's infamous oblique strategy card system and a further exploration into the duo's chemistry. For a pairing that's been so effective with the ideas of musical improvisation within a small dose of self-imposed direction, their choice of Eno's concept/direction of random selected choices/instructions on Robot might seem a little peculiar. Usually employed in aiding over-emotive stadium rock acts that have hit the skids break the shackles of their own success, Youngs and Paine have adopted this system for Robot more in the spirit of playful exploration.

While the duo are more familiar playing at the left-hand edge of something akin to post-world/post-structure music, the five pieces here are moving beyond even those already hazy limits. Taking in disassociated spoken word, hollow-legged Kosmische, the musical 'summing-up' of landscapes in endless melody lines and more than a dash of prog-rock's audio dalliances, Robot seems to have pushed the pair beyond improv – if such a thing can actually happen. Where improv is often seen as an anything goes environment, it still has the constraint of what a particular artist is comfortable and the added bonus of treading hitherto unexplored paths. The nature of integrating the unknown into this project's working method has undoubtedly pushed the duo into new territory.

Paine and Youngs may have dabbled in synth-work previously but there has never been anything as joyously weird as the classic Acid Techno of 'Bad Shark'. Thanks to The South Bank Show's footage of plastic-bed sheet stadium behemoths playing dreadful sub world music grooves, the oblique strategy series is more of an amusing idea than a system that's produced a massive amount of great music for anyone other than Eno himself. Where many would flounder at directions like commands like "Look closely at the most embarrassing details and amplify them", Youngs and Paine have adapted perfectly to these leaps into the dark.