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July 2006



This Summer sees the arrival and spinning of a few singles. Quite a lot of singles actually. I have always had small problems with singles, they're very short and you have to get up and change them after about three minutes. I know that's obvious but I still find it a bit annoying. And I'll probably go on about it later on too. But I'm slowly getting used to it as a format and therefore there are more singles than normal mentioned here in the recommendations. I've also gone through a bit of a funny period with all my records again. They're bloody everywhere, I keep bringing more home, there are hundreds and thousands of them and every now and then, especially recently, I go through this thought process where I decide I don't want any records anymore and want them all gone and the space clear again and so on. They are heavy, need looking after if they are used often, require constant filing when they are used after djing and searches, they have to be protected from heat and dust and sunlight and sometimes I just can't be bothered with it all. And then a bit later on I realise that my life would be very different, far stranger, much quieter and far less pleasurable without them all. In a strange way all these little pieces of black heat-pressed plastic are my little chums. And here are the latest in a long line of chums that you maybe should look out for.

TSOYOSHI YAMAMOTO TRIO:
Your eyes do not deceive you, it is indeed a jazz trio record with a women in towelling shorts playing tennis on the front cover. I love towelling shorts. I really like airtex too. But that's enough about me. Yes, a Japanese jazz trio, quite prolific this lot and I love this as it has a great cover version of the love theme from Spartacus on it. So great is this version it manages to convey all the love but very little of the theme. Well I can't hear the theme bit at all, but that hasn't stopped me playing the record loads and loads and also wishing I was there, right there in the picture playing tennis. By the way Derek, have you got any pictures of your lady friends playing sport at all? Watch this space

 

GOODBYE HORSES - Q LAZZARUS:
There are funny rumours that this bunch, Q Lazzarus, are now working with the bunch known as Hot Chip. If you are unaware of Q Lazzarus they made this one record. It's called Goodbye Horses. It appeared in two films, but the big moment really was when it was used as Buffalo Bill's music in The Silence Of The Lambs. You know, the bit where he's mincing about in his peculiar underworld, dressing up and prancing around like a curious man woman serial killer. Well it's that track, yes, this track, Goodbye Horses, an odd, sad synthy pop thing that gets in your brain very fast and locks all the doors behind it. Considering this was released in 1990 whatever and on a 12 inch too it's exceptionally hard to find and extremely sought after in Italy and New York, by subversive synth pop clubbers or something. The band also had a slot on Good Morning or GMTV or some crap telly in the morning to perform the song when it was released, and still no one was interested. Anyway, it's a very good record in a melancholic, electronic and most unusual way. I often dance slowly around nude to this track, post bathtime, pretending I'm a woman.

 

PERCUSSIONI ED EFFETTI - UMILIANI:
This is one of the few library LPs that were produced as a double library LP. Issued on the fabled Liuto label out of Italy, I think it may well have been pressed by the massive RCA factory over there because it has that unusual deep groove look to it. Anyway, this LP was also issued in two separate parts later on by the sexy French library label St Germain De Pres. In short both LPs in this set are Umiliani buggering about with funny percussion and electronic effects. One LP is more percussive, odd, progressive if you like, mixing funky tribal drums with very early synths, distorted keys and tape loops. The other LP is a little less manic, more electronic, simpler but intense some of the time. In some circles this LP is legendary, and I have no idea why I have seen copies with this orangey look to the sleeve and some with a more silvery grey look to them. There are some massive loops to be had here I reckon. It's a real shame we didn't get this baby into the Library book. Have you got your copy of the library book yet?? If not, why not?? Oh, and one final thing, I'd love to know what the photo is on the front of this album. Any ideas???? Looks like wires to me but I cannot be sure. Someone thought it might be a hairbrush. It's a bit like an Ask The Family question isn't it. (I reckon they are plant stamen - Derek)

 

THE GROUP:
Wow, what a great name for a group - THE GROUP. Funny bunch this lot, big in Japan so I am told. Quite scatty, strangely stylistic and very very listenable to. I thought I'd gone off this sort of thing and then I heard this and got right back in to it. It's quite early 1960 something, all very jolly, innocent and happy too. And a bit camp. All with a killer jazz backing.

 

PARTICLES - BASIL KIRCHIN:
This is all a bit of a suprise. I was first sent this master recording just after Basil Kirchin died (last June). It was a difficult time for many people. When I listened I liked it, but really didn't have the patience for it. I think I was in the wrong place if you know what I mean. The CD went in to hibernation over Winter. His wife, Esther Kirchin, called me recently, a year to the day after Basil's death in fact, and asked me to reconsider it. So, I listened again. And what a revelation this recording really has been. I must have heard the end track, E+Me maybe about 60 times over a two day period. It's a ten minute rhythmic opus that morphs and changes and climaxes in a very secret way. It makes me cry a bit too. It's a joyous, phenomenal and fitting end I think. Throughout the album there are avant garde flourished, modals, typical Kirchin hypnotics, insane moments, moments for everyone I'd say. It will be released this year, and we are working on the artwork. Most of the recordings are unheard period Kirchin, tweaked and perfected in the months before he died. There's even more info here...

 

 

THE BRIDE WORE BLACK - BERNARD HERRMANN:
You can never have enough Herrmann in your life. Something quite entrancing about it all I think. This is quite a unique little ep, and possibly one of the only Herrmann eps ever made. It's the score to a Truffaut film, and here Herrmann is doing what he always does brilliantly with slow drifting strings and delicious melodies and it's a bloody nightmare when you listen to it because as it all climaxes you want to hear more and there are only four tracks. And also it's a French ep which means it has pops and surface noise throughout, which just adds to the nightmare. In some ways I love this ep and in many I hate it.

 

JACKY - THE WHITE HORSES ALBUM:
This is a classic record fayre ten quid LP. Jacky, who sung the chart nearly topping TV single "White Horses" quickly made a follow up LP to cash in on the singles massive success. It was amazing how she got it all together, as she was pretty busy at the time, petting horses, working with Barbara Moore and even singing on the soundtrack to Barbarella. Well the album she quickly produced is a little bit of a sows ear, maybe horses ear even but there are some saving graces, namely a jazz waltzy groovy number called "Things I Don't Mean" written by her and Miss Moore. It's a real shame Jacky didn't do better, but I think this LP sunk without a trace at the time. And of course the kiss of death was the remark on the back in the liner notes "the career of Jacky now seems assured".

 

CANDYTHIEF - RENEGADE CARAMEL:
This is a bonkers title for a new piece of music. I don't even know which bit of the title is the band and which bit is the title. Right, yes, another new piece of music makes it to the Trunk Recommends page. I know bugger all about them except they sound a bit like a folky stereolab. Sort of. Nice girls singing too.

 

 

THE ECSTATIC WORLD OF IKE REIKO:
This woman was a major star of early 1970s Japanese "Pink Movies". She was a sex mega star, one of the very few in what was possibly the sleaziest and most dangerous career you could choose as a woman in Japan at the time. By all accounts she could mesmerise an audience just by taking her clothes off, and her breasts were far larger (at 98cms) than the average Japanese woman. Well this is her singing LP, and it forms part of an odd, rare but quite predictable Japanese musical genre of sexy and rude albums known as Erotic Kayoyoku. And quite something this it is too. Brilliantly rude and masochistic in parts, wonderfully orchestrated, it's a very classy piece of work. The production is just outstanding too. And there is no doubting Ike Reiko's vocal charisma. For something that is really a novelty it's all very serious and even demands to be taken seriously. Which I do. And often. And those are great pants she's wearing on the sleeve.


Click to enlarge

 

CONNIE FRANCIS - BOSSA NOVA HAND DANCE:
This one hell of a bossa nova number. Her voice is like runny sweet toffee or something just as gewey and yummy. It's a very simple record, extremely catchy and Connie sounds very at home singing and talking in half Brazilian and English. It's a one take B side and a bit of a throwaway track when it first came out but I think it's a little belter and will accompany me throughout the summer.

 

FENELLA FIELDING - BIG BAD MOUSE:
All or any talk about demos I tend to find confusing. You have the soul buyers who prefer demo copies of rare soul records. Then you have the 60s collectors who prefer stock copies of their fave freaky beat things. Then you always have exceptions to these so called rules which makes the whole thing waaaay too complicated for me. At the end of the day I just want the bloody record and couldn't care much if it's a demo or not. All I think and know is that 1) the demo looks nicer 2) the demo was pressed a bit earlier and was never for sale 3) I still don't care that much. And with this single I just wanted it in any shape or form. And what a sweety it is. Look it's Fenella Fielding singing all saucy like, about a naught mouse. As you'd expect it's very over the top, Fenella is singing and talking and being dead sexy all at the same time. The B side is almost better. I think this is a rare single as it's taken me well over a decade to find a copy. I love Fenella Fielding. I met her on a bus last year in Notting Hill gate. I told her I had a that Ski Plan single which she narrates and farts on. She is mad, and her hair is even madder. It's possibly a wig.

kkwwffwwoooaaaarrr.

 

MAGIC GARDEN - MIKE WESTBROOK:
This is the B side of that Original Peter tune. This side I seem to prefer at the moment. It has a most contemporary sound, but at the same time could quiet easily be an indie track from the 1980s. It's that flat female vocal way they all sung back then, you know, bands like The Sundays. And this is a dead clever, complex and strange record, with many many ideas all crammed into seven inches of black wax. The pacing of it is very weird too, and I keep having to listen in order to understand exactly what is going on here. I also can't work out if it's a happy or sad record, or even really if it's a jazz record, which it is supposed to be. It sounds quite introspective, and I do find myself shoe gazing when it's on. Maybe I should become a goth, like a jazz goth. Yeah, great idea, I'm now a jazz goth and this is the jazz goth anthem.

 

PERRI THE SQUIRREL:
No, this is not a magical piano playing squirrel or anything that exciting. Instead this is the soundtrack to a mid period Disney thing known as Perri The Squirrel. I'm sure you know the kind of thing this is, cutesy squirrel in the wild has an adventure in the woods, gets chased, nearly dies in the babbling brook, generally gets up to what squirrels do, buries nuts,avoids humans, make friends with a raccoon, all dead sweet and all with a terrifying voiceover. Yeah, but the music here is great, very ethereal for Disney, wonderful to sleep to, or at least try. It's the lullaby track that does it for me, "How To Sleep", which is possibly Perri going to sleep in his little leafy nest. And here is where I have a problem with eps and seven inch records, you have to keep dropping everything in order to turn them over or to put them back on again. I'll start drifting off with Perri The Squirrel and then I have to get up, sort the record out and start all over again. Anyway, my sister had a massive squirrels nest in her chimney recently. Supposedly about 20 years old (squirrels always return to the same nest to breed year on year), a brilliant thing it was, made up of carefully broken twigs all entwined with leaf and woody sinues. An ingenious piece of natural engineering. I think my neighbour now has a squirrel nest too, as I see our local nut muncher flying down his chimney most days. One final thing, this early ep is made of shellac, and was pressed in the transition period between 78 rpm and 45 / 33. You can tell because if you tap the record on a hard surface it bounces. Quite weird really. Oh oh oh and one last thing, Perri is a little girl squirrel.

 

WESTERN REUNION - NEIL ARDLEY BLAH BLAH:
Like much of this earlier British jazz lark, it takes a while to get. To some I think this will sound exactly like what it is, a live jazz LP from 1965, a bit before things in the UK went really really modern and much more free. But no, hold on, there are pieces in this performance which are, like the cover art, sublime, tranquil and deeply melancholic. And it seem to change every time I listen. Especially on his classic composition "Shades Of Blue" which is heavy on the slow, creeping brass and reminds me a touch of the Miles Davis Lift To The Scaffold soundtrack. This is brilliant music, and a touch skewed too. And there is a cover version of Maria on here from West Side Story which is superb and just shows you how amazing Bernstein's melodies really are. This is a very fine and unusual piece of jazz making by one of the most visionary arranger / composers we have ever had. He wrote loads of educational books for children too.

 

LUDWIG:
Do you know in all the years I have been buying film, TV and related recordings I have never seen this LP before. And then I found two in as many weeks. How mad is that eh? And do you know, I don't really care how good or bad a record it really is, I just like it because it exists. And if you're interested in knowing what it's like, well it's an educational classical LP for clever children. Yes, listen and you can learn all about the marvels of classical musak and those clever men who composed it all. So it's way above my station. Suprisingly it was issued by a major label in the UK, and I think it must have sold about 2 copies and I've now got them both. I remember the series sometimes quite well, he was a little eggy thing that who played music and hung out with a small gang of woodland creatures. Ludwig was created by Mirek Lang whoever he is, but anyone who can draw a character like Ludwig and finish him off with cute little monkey boots is alright by me.

 

ANDRZEJ KURYLEWICZ - CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FORMATION:
Just you try telling me the name of this composer when you are stone cold sober. I can't get it right at all. But the music I think is very right indeed. A fascinating journey into often oblique sound with some quite stunning, simple wailing vocals thrown if for good measure. I really enjoy this LP, left on to meander its musical way all around the house, I find it's oddness and unpredictability strangely reassuring. And when you listen there is really no telling where the music on this LP will go next. It really is mad, playful and nearly dead groovy. It could quite easily be an italian jazzy classical record or something, except the production is a bit different. Kury (as he shall now be known) was the leading composer in Poland throughout the 1950s who tried his hand at all manner of thing, including a bit of film scoring. I also believe that Kury may well have been drinking on the day of composition. I got this LP from a great shop in the Isle Of Wight. He has a big box of these LPs and some other strange library bits too, all unplayed and he's selling them all cheap. If you want to email me I'll email you back with his info and you can buy some. I'm now off to the fridge.

 



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