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OPTIMO MUSIC

Pussy Mothers

The Number 1 EP

    Pussy Mothers is the behaviour of a cross-continental two piece from Scotland and Down Under: formed by waving not drowning.

    Chasing percussions, vocal athletics and hand claps concocted into a platter of disco junk funk and early hip hop rhythms, The Number 1 EP took shape in Glasgow's tenement flats and came to life through a spaced-out echo party held at Green Door Studios.


    Phil Keiran

    Polyrhythms

      After a year’s hiatus Optimo Music Disco Plates returns with the first of several planned releases.

      First up is long time friend Phil Kieran with an EP made specifically with Optimo in mind. It has been tried and tested over recent months and more than ticks all our boxes. We feel confident it will tick yours too.

      Phil says “The Ep was recorded in my house and made up of mostly live percussion performed live by Thomas Tettey Annang. Originally from Ghana, he moved to Belfast some years ago. It just so happens his wife is a close friend of my sisters and that was the first introduction. Thomas now runs "Releasing Rhythms” here in Belfast teaching drum classes.

      We used a wide selection of traditional African drums that all have their own name, each one has a style and a sound. The rhythms used in this record would stem back to South American rhythms but using African drums. This was a sound and rhythm that influenced early post punk records in New York and still has an influence on dance music today.”


      A new Optimo Music Disco Plate and the debut release from Feon. Original, idiosyncratic, full of imagination and featuring a couple of dancefloor hits, perfect fodder for this trend-setting label. “The Sun Is High” is surely destined to become a heliacal hit over the next few months...

      Feon has a few things he’d like to say about this EP -

      'I wrote these tracks in a manic ten-day session, shortly after an unraveling ayahuasca ceremony, which is evidenced in the psychedelic sound of the first track in particular. Upon reflection there is something of a primal quality to “The Sun Is High”, we were all sun worshippers at one point in our ancient history. The vocals are my voice stacked thirty odd times in different harmonies, then put through a space echo, and they're followed by some gratuitous Moog noodling to boot! For use at the beach party. The flip goes into darker more experimental territory, with “Holland Fly By” taking clear inspiration from an old iMPLOG track, and “Without Sound” getting stranger still, the vocal refrain's mournful, tense landscape interrupted by boisterous drums. Its a real joy and honour that I can add something to the Optimo sound world as it is one that has given me great pleasure over the years.' - Feon.


      It’s the return of the sexual vigilante Sex Judas and his trusted sidekick Ricky. This time in full album mode. Norwegian producer Tore Gjedrem of Ost & Kjex fame, channels his love of comix, bohemia and fascination with human vice, the unspoken, the Red Light districts, the alleys of the mind into his alter ego. Sex Judas is no bad character but certainly says what it’s author cannot.

      “I wanted to create a world where any musical idea is possible, wound together by the world and word of Judas, the ultimate sinner, reborn as a child of Venus.”

      Inspiration ranges from Africa to 80’s NYC, from Bohannon to Quasimoto, from Norwegian New Wave to Acid House. With contributions by friends in the Oslo scene as hometown legend Dj Pål Strangefruit Nyhus, composer Ole-Henrik Moe, jazzpianist Bugge Wesseltoft, Sidiki Camara from Mali playing that beautiful Ngoni, and multi instrumentalist Ivar Snuten Winther, the album touches anything from blues, funk, disco and post-punk to IDM, acid house and electronic explorer music.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: In true Optimo fashion, this LP spits in the face of categorisation, serving up those low/high Funkadelic vocals, mellow ballads, African-flavoured Balearic grooves, synth pop, acid house and most other forms of music real or imaginary. Tore Gjedrem of Ost & Kjex leads us on a baffling but irresistibly hooky journey through his strange sonic world, introducing a who's who of the Scandi scene on the way.

      Optimo Music treat all fans of indie miserablism, bedroom gloom and post punk groan to the new album from Jacob Yates (Uncle John and Whitelock). Not only is he one of the label's all-time favourite artists from Glasgow, but he is one of their favourite artists from anywhere. Criminally unknown except to a few who have been long transfixed by his recordings and performances, we hope this release will open a few more ears to his wondrous musical world.

      “The Hare, The Moon, The Drone” is the gloom auteur's third LP. This recording finds the band exploring dark hawthorn hedged lanes, moors and suburban, new build estates. There's something more earthy about the songs but the menace and darkness remains. Musically there is a big shift on this album, a field recording of a folk band from a dark, pine filled glen. The opener, The Car sets the scene for the rural side of the album, dank and stone cold. The tracks then shift through the woods, people turn into animals, we pass a sunlit glade, do you hear a love song? Cassie Ezeji closes the side sweetly lamenting in Gaelic as the snow falls.

      Side two is a more urban affair opening with despair in a bedroom in Belgium, we visit a faith healer and drop in on your lonely mother. Lovatt recounts the story of a karaoke addicted murderer before we finally go home to our new build just outside of town where the pylons tower over Michael and his sister Rachel. It's a journey you can go on, looking out of the window of the bus, glimpses of lives glide by, cards on seats promise to help you. Ding! It's time to get off.


      Another fierce and unique act from the depths of the Glasgow underground appear on Optimo Music with their debut Green Door studios recorded four track EP. Keyboard player Jim McKinven was previously in Altered Images, worked for many years in Martin Rushent's Genetic Studios, was in One Dove and previously appeared on Optimo Music as one half of Organs Of Love. He is however but one component of this transgenerational band. They describe their music far better than we could - "Seedy Electronica, consisting of 2 Basses, Electronic Drums, Synths and Dark Vocals. Inspired by the avant-garde that influenced the electronic music scene of the late '70's and early '80's.”


      Originally recorded between 1974 and 1978 at Industrial Records studio in London "The Space Between" album was first released as a 90 minute cassette in 1980 on Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records label. It wasn't until 1991 that it was again released by Mute Records on CD. Although tracks from "The Space Between" have appeared on numerous compilations since its release, the album has never been available on vinyl until now. This new vinyl edition on Optimo Music, now retitled "The Spaces Between", doesn't include all the tracks of the original album but has been enhanced and remastered from the original two-track master tapes and has new cover artwork especially for this release. JD Twitch has this to say about the release; 'The original release featured 15 tracks. As I wanted to have a reasonably loud vinyl pressing, I have picked my favourite six to appear here (not an easy task to narrow it down). In addition there is a bonus track "Climbing" which was recorded around the same time that was released by Coil's Geoff Ruston on his "Men With Deadly Dreams" cassette in 1981. One of the first ever recordings to use an 808 drum machine, it still sounds as if it is from tomorrow. In my opinion, these are some of the key recordings in the history of electronic music. They were made using very basic equipment at a time when there was no blueprint for what electronic music could and should be. There is a beauty, an emotion and an imagination present here that is lacking in a lot of modern machine music. This music is as vital and wondrous today as it was four decades ago.'

      All tracks have been remastered by Chris Carter in 2009 for this release. Musically, it's an electronic soundtrack for a sleazy sci-fi movie, with moments of uplifting beauty combined with bits of claustrophobic mania. Amazing stuff.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited Repress On Grey Vinyl.

      Ted Milton / Blurt

      Ruminant Violence

        Blurt are perhaps the act who have played live at Optimo more than any other. Active for close to 40 years they are one of the UK’s all time great acts, phenomenal live and on record and supremely underrated.
        Blurt mainman Ted Milton is a living legend. Now in his 70s but more vibrant on stage than most artists 50 years his junior, he is a man of many talents; artist, poet, musician, performer….

        In 1984 he released a solo 12”; “Love Is Like A Viol?nce”, a no doubt accidental dancefloor gem completely out of kilter with any other music of the era that now makes total sense in 2017. Dubbed-out stabs, programmed rhythm, trademark sax squeals and a more subdued than normal vocal that is strangely reminiscent of Vincent Price. Thee definition of a cult classic and much in demand, side A of this 12” presents the A and B side (the equally outre “It’s Only Recently That Stalins Have Begun To Roost”) of this mighty 12” on one side of vinyl.

        “The Ruminant Plinth” is but one of multiple classic tracks in the Blurt catalogue and is a long, long time personal favourite that takes pride of place of the other side. Tribal hypno rhythms, chicken wire guitar, sax and Milton’s voice on fire, this was a genuine party starter on the Optimo dance floor on Sunday nights Glasgow. So louche it should probably be banned.

        12” vinyl release in full picture sleeve designed by Glasgow artist Andrew Beltran.


        Optimo Music continueS its fruitful relationship with The Golden Filter with the release of this fantastic 4-track 12” EP. Here at Picc we'd describe it as robo-goth with a side order of minimal wave and also as very good. Golden Filter had this to say...
        "We’re quite agnostic, and unreligious, but if there is any vibes associated with the EP (and maybe all of our music) it is very Buddhist in its ideas. Mindful. Aware of impermanence. The whole EP is about being with the one(s) you love when everything else around you breaks down. Looking inward, with pure love, in the hope to radiate outward, rather than pushing for a fight, or running away.
        Recorded, written, and produced in isolation by Stephen and Penelope on our own in East London Studio space. The EP starts with the song “End Of Times” which is a dramatic, Shangri-Las influenced take on feeling powerless in a chaotic world, but still high on love. Happiness can be found in analog reverb. This is followed by “Serenity”, a hard and tranquil meditation of past + future. Side 2 leads with “Heart Control”, with a slight nod to Pink Floyd. A nine minute plea to ourselves to keep it all focused and under control… The EP closes with “Darkness Falls”. The lyrics for this came from an apocalyptic dream that Penelope had, and wrote down in the morning. the music is 100% purely modular, er, except for the tiny bits of guitar at the end."

        Optimo Music is delighted to release a first album by Fantastic Twins (formerly known as The Twins). We’ll let them tell you the story behind this inspired and beguiling record:
        'Obakodomo (Au Balcon Du Monde) is a soundtrack I created for a piece of contemporary dance, performed by two dancers for a young audience from the age of 4. It is the story of an imaginary journey in Antartica where two explorers go on an adventure. They encounter a colony of penguins and will progressively learn to understand their habits and respect their environment. Essentially, Au Balcon Du Monde is a metaphor of how to exist next to each other, how to share a territory, how to learn to live together and share resources. The scenography and stage accessories were designed in a minimalistic and non-obvious form to leave all the space for imagination. The penguins were made of translucent material to provide light effects and were programmed to move in a swaying motion, allowing interaction with the dancers and the music. LED system could be wireless piloted. With the soundtrack, I wanted to create an atmosphere that would immediately transport the children into this terra nova - a poetical space, like a cold sphere, where the strange meets the frightening and the playful. Translating the immense vs the small, the far-off vs the near, the collective vs the individual, the strange vs the familiar or the cold vs the heat. My intention was to follow the thread of the story in a narrative, yet non-caricatural way. Music for children doesn’t have to be “childish”. Children love to be scared or even just challenged. They love to love and react instantly to what they hear through their emotions. Ultimately, the soundtrack aims to provide different levels of “reading” so that it becomes something more universal. So we, adults, just have to accept the invitation.'


        Peter Zummo (born 1948) is an American composer and musician. He plays the trombone, valve trombone, euphonium, synthesizer, other electronic instruments, and also sings. He is associated with the postminimalist and Downtown aesthetics, and he describes his music as "minimalism plus a whole lot more." He’s well-known for his work with Arthur Russell.

        “In this project for Optimo, the listener can hear that my musical food pyramid has musicians at top, or maybe they are at the bottom. In any case, they are important. That is why, from track to track, I selected segments in which one player or another is featured in the take. Some may think that we musicians do multiple takes to get the perfect performance, but I like to find the special interactions lurking in each excursion. Different players came forward in each of the takes, which were recorded in the studios Seaside Lounge and Headroom, in Brooklyn, and live in performances at Cube Cinema, in Bristol, U.K., as well as in Long Island City and on Staten Island, New York.

        In order to escape the tyranny of the lyric, I am exploring in this release the possibilities of nonsensical and non-emotional lyrics. These kinds of lyrics bring the singing voices into the mix without an overweening message. The tracks include open-form compositions in which the duration was not specified.”


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Patrick says: Downtown legend and Arthur Russell collaborator Peter Zummo lands on Optimo Music with a sublime set of spiritual frequencies in strung out sleeping bag style. Indian percussion, loose bass and echo drenched trombone float freely on an LP perfect for horizontal journeys and sofa-based space excursions. Jazzy, Balearic and a little bit silly, this should please anyone looking to bathe in the light of the miracle...


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