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Spring 03

These recommendations just get harder. I mean finding good music is getting harder. Or is it just the size of my empty wallet that's the problem. Anyway, here is a short list of music and LPs full of the joys of spring. There is a little more library music than expected this time for a few reasons, one of which was a big job I had on recently where I had to listen to nothing but library for two days. It was hell, believe me, but good things have come from it, namely some of the recording mentioned here. It's also becoming apparent that people do read these listings, I only know this as I get emails - some with hard cash offers for the vinyl listed. To be frank I'm not surprised, as my descriptions and my newly found skills upon the scanning machine are quite obviously second only to Derek. There is also a tiny Australian thing going on here, only cos I went there in February...OK, as usual these listings are the LPs hanging around ye olde trunk turntable as we speak. These LPs have created a slight 'buzz' in the living room, and even the occasional erection if the wind is blowing in the right direction. And I've just noticed that many of these current LPs have pinky-red covers, so something must be afoot.

THE SEASONS - DAVID CAIN ETC. One of the more obscure BBC recordings from the mid seventies, and from the original Schools Radio Series. Yes, you've guessed it, lots of jumping around being a falling leaf in Autumn or a flower bursting into life in Spring. I love drama workshop records and occasionally can be found reinacting my schoolboy frolics on the back lawn. This is slightly more electronic than many of the BBC Drama LPs, and David Cain used to work with Delia Derbyshire, so that would make sense. Anyway, it's an interesting LP.

MOVEMENT MIME AND MUSIC - DELIA ETC.Yes, I know it's another music and mime LP, but this one has to have the best (red) cover I've seen. And it's quiet a good LP as well, with Delia cooking up some weirdy sounds at the end of side two.

I feel a Music and Mime club coming on...

INTERMEZZI JAZZ 04 - ALESSANDRONI / DE MASI.This is another LP with a striking red cover. More killer library jazz from the Sermi Label - first it sounds quite normal then the more you listen the more odd it becomes. Includes Jazz In Calcutta, a kind of psychy sitar twisty jazz thing. Good with a cool Kingfisher and some pot.

AIMI MACDONALD - WHAT'S LOVE ALL ABOUT. This LP has a pinky look to it, and here;s Aimi looking a little sleazy and rough, which I quite like. A versatile, slightly squeaky all rounder you'd always see on Celebrity Squares, Aimi somehow managed to blag herself an LP deal way back in 1970. But not for long as this LP is shit, but has one redeeming sonic feature, a great version of 'What's Love All About'. I bet she's wearing briefs under that feather boa. This LP is also offers Derek a good chance to find some sordid or kinky shots of Aimi if they indeed exist.

Derek: "This looks about as sleazy as it gets but of course i'm on the case"

BLOW OUT - PINO DONAGGIO. Japanese only issue of this quite synthy, jazzy and occasionally stringy soundtrack. I really don't know why I like this but I do. And I've listened to it a lot in recent weeks, even sampled it, but not had good enough reason to play it on the radio yet. Basically it;s a very Japanese American score, if you know wot I mean.

STRATOSPHUNK - BRUCE CLARKE QUINTET. Bruce Clarke is the main man of jazz in Melbourne. I phoned him up about three years ago to license some of his 60s tracks which had remained unissued at the time. Very little came of our phone call, however he does have a spunky wife.Stratosphunk is on his very own Cumquat label and is quite good too. It says jazz rock on the cover, but I don't reckon it is. There's some groovy electric flute throughout and the whole LP makes for a quite different listen. Try and buy one from Australia, and not from the UK where the price is bordering on extortionate. Another red cover with a hot sunset on the front.

THE REMOVALIST - THE GALAPAGOS DUCK. Soundtrack to an Australian film circa 1974. But the jazz is circa 1968. Basically the Australians (and this is by no means a dig) are about 5 years behind in the modern jazz movement. Anyway, has one absolute killer monster of a track, slightly hypnotic and very cool called 'Kate Did'. And I do too. Black and red typographic cover which also looks good. I bought this in Byron bay, home of George Greenough. It was on the wall of the record shop for £7, which isn't much but then again add the price of a ticket to Australia and it makes it look a bit expensive.

BRASS AND RHYTHMS - MARK DUVALL AND HIS MUSIC. There are hundreds of Chappells out there, and this is one that's complete crap, except for the last track - 'The Bends'. This has seriously blown me away, with is cool chugging beat and bonkers electronics all over the top. A track that really needs to be heard very loud somewhere very busy for full effect., To my knowledge this has not been bootlegged or comped yet, and I'm quite surprised. If it has, please let me know. I don't fancy the bird on the front but I'd like to know her bootmaker.

THE SIMON SISTERS SING FOR CHILDREN. There are two issues of this LP, this is the second pressing but has the far better cover featuring the two sexy Simon Sisters (yes, Carly and Lucy). They both have great teeth and lovely voices. The photo scanned is the back cover, of them playing together in the back garden. I would have scanned the front but it is really all teeth. For an American LP it sounds suspiciously English, with soft folky treatments of some fine English poetry and prose, such as Lewis Carroll's Lobster Quadrille. Not quite as good as Norma Winstone & Neil Ardley but quite beautiful all the same. Incidentally, this is thr Simon Sister singing when they are grown up, not when they are 5 years old.

LOVE DEATH AND THE LADY - SHIRLEY AND DOLLY COLLINS. Had a strange feeling and thought on the way to Brentwood some weeks ago. I thought to myself "wouldn't it be great to find an amazing LP for £1 in a charity shop". Now I think this a lot, but this was a different kind of thought, a much stronger feeling than before. One hour later and I picked this folk monster on its original UK Harvest pressing out from between Boney M and a Military Band LP. I had my £1 ready and the lady charged me 30p. Now I cannot fault this LP in anyway, and its beauty and power are difficult to put into words. I play it to everyone. I watched my girlfriend drifting off on a sleepy Sunday afternoon to it. 'The Plains Of Waterloo' will be played at my funeral.

THE MODERN SOUND OF FINLAND - ESA PETHMAN. The only other artist I know from Finland is Karin Krog. I wish I knew more because they have a strange knack of making very different but very accessible and exciting sound. This LP is no exception, with a mixture of top jazz, filmic strings, classical flourishes and folky diddly bits. Superb. And a red cover too.

BRITISH COLUMBIA SUITE - NELSON RIDDLE. An LP purely made for the Tourist Board of Columbia and what a beautiful place it sounds like. I love Nelson Riddle anyway, but here he's on breathtaking form. All I need now is a horse and a few head of cattle.

WE'LL REMEMBER KOMEDA - MICHAEL URBANIAK. You know what it's like, you sell an LP and then wished you hadn't. Well my vinyl history is full of these errors, but this is one I managed to find again. It's basically versions of Komeda tracks, covered by all his mates. Made just after he passed away it's a true progression of the great man's work, by the people who really knew him best. It has a great red cover too and it's an exceptional MPS LP.

ONCE - AMINADAV ALONI. One of the oddest electronic LPs I've found in a while and the soundtrack to what looks like a rubbish film all about landscape and emotion. Great tagline though - 'ONCE - A MOVIE YOU'LL WANT TO SEE TWICE'. Well l've listened to the music more than twice so that's a good start. Aloni also worked for Disney, in what capacity I'd like to know, cos this is good. Maybe he was in charge of that big spinning Tea Cup ride or something like that.

PSYCHOMANIA - JOHN CAMERON AND FROG. This is now finished and I have listened to it a lot. It's far darker than I first thought, especially the 'Locked Room and Mirror' sequence which I've just finished - all feedback vibes and drummed piano. I've also put some of Beryl Reed's spoken word into the recording just to add to the overall effect. It's a heavy LP. I like it. Hopefully available to the public in May. You lucky people. Incidentally, if anyone has a Motorbike and wants to help me with some Psychomania promotion, please drop me a line. Thanks for listening...


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