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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.


    Optimo Music see off what's been a busy year with a tasty slew of end-of-year releases. One of which is this amazing new album from Lia Mice - the Australian-born but UK-residing DJ, producer and instrument designer.

    'When I moved to London in 2015, many things changed at once - I started going to more techno and electro nights, I changed my live-set setup, and I had access to a fully-equipped recording studio through my music masters programme. At the same time I was reading a lot of books on time travel, not just science fiction but also psychology and neuroscience - like how the human brain perceives time from moment to moment, how we can experience overlapping time, and how we interact with our past and future through memory and imagination. “The Sampler As A Time Machine” is the result of all these new influences coming together. The tracks were developed out of ongoing studio experiments interpreting these different ideas of time travel by using samplers and tape to re-sample and manipulate original music performed by me on various instruments including my voice.'


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: I'm sure Optimo Music devotees don't need convincing here. But anyone wondering what the label's about could do much worse than bagging this LP and the forthcoming compilation from the camp. Essential stuff for lovers of leftfield, DIY electronics.

    Ever reliable UK firm Optimo Music presents a 5 track EP & also the debut release from Nashville’s Stranded, including a remix of title track “Celine’s Dilemma” by RSD, aka Rob Smith of Smith & Mighty fame. Despite hailing from Nashville, Stranded has a longing appreciation for the dance centric cities throughout the world whether it be Detroit, Manchester or Berlin, hence the moniker. Alienation, romantic rendezvous, 9 to 5 unease, and an apprehension of the future are just a few of the topics that surface on the debut EP. Sweeping and droning synths, jagged guitars, rolling bass, yearning and weary vocals, and disco beats propel the music and ideas showcased in the project. While using the backdrop of post punk, disco, and synth pop, the music is a sonar call to places where people are gathering, working, and dancing. It's a wonderfully accomplished debut, with all five tracks occupying a different sonic environment whilst remaining hooky and succinct right till the very last bar. There's absolutely nothing superfluous on the record, just the way we like it here at Picc HQ (it's also just a bit moody and gothy - summat else we're fancy to on a wet and rainy afternoon - ed). Recommended!

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Big one here for the punky funky dance brigade. It's hard to think of a dancefloor where the RSD dub of "Celine's Dilemma" WOULDN'T work to be honest. Killer stuff here as always from team Optimo.

    Robert Rental

    Different Voices For You. Different Colours For Me. Demos 1980

    On an unassuming cassette, just labelled ‘Robert Rental’ in green Dymo tape, these demos have lain unheard for years amongst his family’s treasured possessions, cared-for artefacts of a life cut short far too soon.

    These songs, which Robert recorded in his council flat in Battersea in 1980, provide an enticing glimpse into his all-too-infrequent solo work. On most occasions, Robert worked with Thomas Leer, Daniel Miller or other collaborators. These are rough recordings, tape hiss still in evidence, but his creativity shines through the murk, like uncut diamonds.

    With these recordings Robert appears to be moving towards more recognisable song structures than most of his earlier work, which could be wildly experimental and would often involve found recordings taped directly off television.

    We know 2 of these tracks from their later re-recording for the Mute Records single ‘Double Heart’ late in 1980. Robert spoke to friends of his frustration at being unable to replicate his sound in a commercial studio – it was these demos’ sound that he wanted to recreate. Sometimes having only access to the most rudimentary of equipment can hone the creative talent into something sharper and more focused – necessity is the mother of invention, indeed.

    Simon Dell, 2018.

    I am humbled and ecstatic to be entrusted with this music and able to aid getting these songs out into the world. I have now listened to them countless times and feel they are so, so much more than just an interesting archival release, but rather a small, fully formed body of wondrous songs that deserve to be heard and enjoyed by as many people as possible. In this current era where so much music is so completely focused on the production, with the result that often the soul is sucked out of it, it’s a pleasant shock to discover that a forgotten tape from nearly 40 years ago can be the freshest and most refreshing sounding thing ever.


    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.


    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.


      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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