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Pete Astor

Time On Earth

    In my 50s I realised that the past slowly becomes a bigger country than the future. As always, the future is where I’m headed, but now the past and all that comes with it is stacked up behind me. And, as time on earth passes, more and more of my contemporaries have started to disappear from the planet.

    I’ve made 11 albums of new material since 1987. I realise that anything I’ve ever thought that mattered, that told the real story, is in those records. It’s been 5 years since my last album of new songs. Perhaps more than before, there’s been plenty of time over the last few years to think and reflect. Like every set of work, Time on Earth is an attempt to make sense of life by making work about it.

    As erstwhile editor of the NME and Q, journalist Danny Kelly wrote recently while interviewing The Loft: ‘a lifetime of listening to them has led me to believe that Pete Astor’s songs would have always found a way to reach an audience. If he’d been a Californian baby boomer, he’s have ended up in the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles, laying down late-night grooves with the Wrecking Crew for a largely-neglected, slightly gloomy, pop album that’d now be worth a fortune. If he’d been born into post-War Britain, earnest girls in sweaters would’ve fallen in love with him, and his songs, in Embassy-fogged folk clubs.’ Of course, I love this quote. And I believe that Time on Earth is most of these things. But then I would say that, wouldn’t I?

    Time on Earth has songs which were written in direct response to loss and bereavement (Undertaker, Fine and Dandy); songs striving for different kinds of belief (New Religion, Time on Earth, Miracle on the High Street); stories from either end of the cycles of life (Sixth Form Rock Boys, English Weather). And a few still searching for fulfilment of the heart. (Stay Lonely, Grey Garden, Soft Switch).

    I was lucky enough to be able to make the music with the help of multi-instrumentalist Ian Button (Wreckless Eric, Death in Vegas, Papernut Cambridge) on the drums, bass maestro Andy Lewis (Spearmint, Paul Weller, and DJ at London’s legendary Blow Up Club and Soho Radio), long time guitarist Neil Scott (Everything But the Girl, Denim) and last but by no means least, Sean Read (Dexys, Edwyn Collins, Rockingbirds) who recorded and produced the album at his Famous Times Studios. As you would expect, I’m convinced it’s the best record I’ve made.

    Pete Astor is a musician, writer and educator. He led Creation Records’ groups The Loft and The Weather Prophets, writing songs and releasing records that helped define the sound of the label and the emerging Indie genre. He has gone on to a lengthy solo career since then; writing, recording and releasing music on a range of labels including Matador, Heavenly, Warp, EMI and Fortuna Pop. He is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Westminster. As well as touring extensively, he also makes records with David Sheppard as Ellis Island Sound and releases his spoken word work as The Attendant on his label Faux Lux with the help of Ian Button. Since 2017 Astor has been signed to Tapete Records, home to Robert Forster, Lloyd Cole and Comet Gain among many estimable others.

    TRACK LISTING

    1) New Religion
    2) English Weather
    3) Stay Lonely
    4) Time On Earth
    5) Miracle On The High Street
    6) Sixth Form Rock Boys
    7) Soft Switch
    8) Grey Garden
    9) Undertaker
    10) Fine And Dandy

    Various Artists

    Revenge Of The She-Punks: A Feminist Music History - Compilation Inspired By The Book By Vivien Goldman

      Since the historiography of punk is a male-dominated one, a "Revenge of the She-Punks" was long overdue. This feminist reckoning was written by none other than post-punk pioneer Vivien Goldman, who has an insider's perspective due to her work as a musician and one of Britain's first female music writers. Along four themes - Identity, Money, Love and Protest - the "punk professor" traces empowering moments that punk holds especially for women. This Compilation is inspired by the book, which was originally released by University of Texas Press in 2019.

      Compiled and with liner notes by Vivien Goldman. “We're not talking a mean-spirited gotcha! revenge here. As both my book that inspired it and this recording prove, us She-Punks' revenge is about our complex survival in an all too often hostile environment.The book offers a template to finding a way through the patriarchal labyrinth of the music industry by telling the back- stories of thirty-eight songs by women from not only the Anglophone countries, but Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and Eastern and Continental Europe. Together, they demonstrate how girls around the world, with no or few role models, found ways to thwart blockages and become self-expressive musicians, breaking traditions and expectations, setting new standards with every chord. Alas, for a raft of factors it was impossible to include them all; but herein lies a stirring and representative selection. Cumulatively, we hear how female artists everywhere are moved to sing about the common issues that I distilled down to be the core themes of the book: the bare-bones of living that connect us, wherever we are. We open with Identity featuring Fea, Big Joanie, The Raincoats, Blondie and Poly Styrene with X-Ray Spex. Then comes Money with Patti Smith, Shonen Knife, Malaria! and the Slits; followed by Love/Unlove: Crass, Cherry Vanilla, Grace Jones, Rhoda Dakar with the Special AKA, Alice Bag (The Bags), Tribe 8 and the Au Pairs, the Mo-dettes, Neneh Cherry from the UK/Sweden/US and this writer/musician. The closing chapter, Protest, features Sleater-Kinney, Jayne Cortez and the Firespitters Skinny Girl Diet, Vi Subversa and the Poison Girls, the Czech Republic's Zuby Nehty, Colombia's Fertil Miseria and Jamaica's Tanya Stephens. Many people have questioned how I arrived at those four themes (answer: thinking,) and so far, no-one has disagreed.However, in sequencing this compilation, the important thing was to sonically flow through the breadth of our creativity, led by the rhythms and sound, rather than the lyrics; they, I already knew, formed a compelling whole, an implacable critique. My perspective on punk is based on spirit rather than adherence to the venerated concept of the genre as only a frenetic full-frontal sonic attack (though that is also represented here). Having been involved with the movement at the start in mid-1970s London, as Features Editor of the punk rock weekly, Sounds, I understood it to be a front line, inclusionary genre, with DIY at its core, which is why it was the first genre to give anything approaching an equal platform to women musicians.

      Especially for the less conventional, all too often the path for women artists is still steeper than that of male peers. Despite the massive success of today's female superstars, there remains a quota perception in an industry that still largely lives in boystown (though always factor in that it's not the men, it's the mentality,) who are less receptive to forceful females; like the sort of bookers who say, Well, we've done our bit, we've booked our female artist - as if booking women were some grim post-MeToo duty.But as heard in these tracks, in all its forms, whether sounding strident or soft, punk is a music of resistance; women's punk specially so. We continue to rail at and use our music to shift a system which, in America as this release comes out - let alone in countries long known to be suppressive of women - our basic human agency is under attack on more than one front, notably where equal pay and abortion are concerned. Welcome to some very necessary and in many cases, too little heard voices of women whose creativity could not be stopped, and who managed to use music to mould their environment, create their own space, and live as self-actualized artists.”

      TRACK LISTING

      LP 1
      A1) Tanya Stephens – Welcome To The Rebelution
      A2) Au Pairs – It’s Obvious
      A3) X-Ray Spex – Identity
      A4) Fea – Mujer Moderna
      A5) The Bags – Babylonian Gorgon
      A6) Fértil Miseria – Visiones De La Muerte
      A7) Crass – Smother Love
      A8) Rhoda With The Special AKA – The Boiler
      LP2
      B9) Jayne Cortez And The Firespitters – Maintain Control
      B10) Skinny Girl Diet – Silver Spoons
      B11) Big Joanie – Dream No 9
      B12) Malaria! – Geld
      B13) The Slits – Spend, Spend, Spend
      B14) Poison Girls – Persons Unknown
      LP 3
      C1) Bush Tetras – Too Many Creeps
      C2) Grace Jones – My Jamaican Guy
      C3) Patti Smith – Free Money
      C4) Tribe 8 – Checking Out Your Babe
      C5) Cherry Vanilla – The Punk
      C6) Blondie – Rip Her To Shreds
      C7) Sleater-Kinney – Little Babies
      C8) The Selecter – On My Radio
      LP4
      D9) Mo-Dettes– White Mice
      D10) Shonen Knife – It’s A New Find
      D11) The Raincoats – No One’s Little Girl
      D12) Vivien Goldman – Launderette
      D13) Zuby Nehty – Sokol
      D14) Neneh Cherry – Buffalo Stance

      Unhappybirthday

      Stella Loops

        Unhappybirthday from Hamburg have been releasing dreamy Avant-pop records and touring Europe consistently for over 10 years now. "Stella Loops" circles around the vast cosmos offering refuge from the feeling of confinement that has enveloped us all over the last few years and to help achieve this Unhappybirthday have mixed their trademark elements of Electronica, House and Ambient music and for this release invited a guest list that includes Andreas Dorau, Martha Rose and Jimi Tenor to contribute.

        Foyer Des Arts

        Die John Peel Session

          John Peel liked Foyer des Arts so much that he not only played all the songs from their album several times on his show, he also invited the duo to record a session and were one of only a few German-speaking bands to do so. The Berlin duo made their way to London in October 1986, where they were joined by members of The Higsons and The Farmers Boys to record at BBC Maida Vale In the year 2000 Goldt asked the BBC what had happened to the session tapes, only to learn that they had probably been wiped. Twenty years later, the Cologne-based sound engineer Tom Morgenstern, with the help of a colleague from the BBC, managed to unearth the lost tapes. And here they are, 35 years on, as fresh as the day they were made.

          Simon Love

          Love, Sex & Death Etc.

            Following on from his 2018 album "Sincerely, S. Love x", Tapete Records are proud to present Simon Love's new record "LOVE, SEX and DEATH etc"

            Swinging from love songs to hate songs through all points in-between, the centrepiece of the album is the nigh on 7-minute long pop epic "L-O-T-H-A-R-I-O" "

            Bart Davenport

            Episodes

              Bart Davenport might be a multitude of things, depending on whom you ask. He's been a mod, a blues singer, and a softrock troubadour. He's an eclectic singer songwriter with the timeless voice of a real crooner. He lives and creates music in Los Angeles. Smooth and yet curiously pointed, his work transports us to an imagined past or present filled with romantic odes and enigmatic characters. Davenport's stories are often a reflection of now, taking place in a fantasy world but conveying personal and universal truths. Returning to acoustic guitars and 60s baroque pop tones, Davenport recently tracked twelve new songs in his home studio in Los Angeles. He takes us on an exclusive tour of colorful stories, both comic and tragic. The resulting 'Episodes' marks his eighth proper album and is scheduled for release in March 2022 on Tapete Records.

              Davenport's evocative, new material provides both an escape from and an unusual commentary on turbulent times. From digital antagonists in 'Holograms' to waltzing oligarchs in 'Billionaires' to an enigmatic nudist in 'Naked Man', many offbeat characters populate the funny little world within Davenport's verses. His vocals are distinctively smooth at times, while at others, a slightly cheeky, more dramatic baritone takes over. His patented happy/sad sensibility remains along with the occasional jazz chord.

              While 'Episodes' features Davenport on multiple instruments, he did not go it alone. Several guest musicians were crucial to the production. Drummer Graeme Gibson's casual feel graces several tracks, notably the Kinksy 'It's You'. The samba-tinged 'Easy Listeners' has that tropical flavor Davenport's been known to dabble in, this time aided by impeccable percussionist Andres Renteria (Jose Gonzales, Rodrigo Amarante). Meanwhile, the Turkish Psych-inspired 'Strange Animal' showcases futuristic organ riffing by Aaron M. Olson (L.A. Takedown), who produced Davenport's previous album ('Blue Motel' by Bart & The Bedazzled). Other longtime bandmates, Jessica Espeleta (bass) and Wayne Faler (lead guitar), both make appearances.

              Perhaps the standout track of the album is its quietest; the Brit-folk-styled 'Alice Arrives'. Davenport's autumnal vocal and guitar are adeptly accompanied by Dina Maccabee's original string arrangement, which morphs from earnest baroque to playful modern and back again. This along with the heavier, orchestral sound of 'Billionaires' adds a touch of hi-fi to an otherwise homemade album.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. It's You
              2. Holograms
              3. Alice Arrives
              4. Easy Listeners
              5. Billionaires
              6. All Dressed In Rain
              7. Naked Man
              8. Strange Animal
              9. Wireless Moon
              10. 99 Forever
              11. Creatures In Love
              12. Still Life

              The Monochrome Set

              Allhallowtide

                Having amassed a formidable catalogue of releases on a number of key labels over 5 decades, including Rough Trade, Dindisc and Cherry Red, The Monochrome Set are ready to release their new studio album on Tapete Records - the bands home for the last eight years and five albums.

                The indie pop veterans have been hard to pin down over this time. Their instantly recognisable sound and darkly hilarious lyrics have always set them apart. Bid's cerebral Brit wit spikiness and debonair tones melded to infectious melodies and deft songcraft of a cinematic and literary quality has been quietly influential over a diverse set of artists since their inception and throughout different stages of their career so they can count the likes of Graham Coxon, Iggy Pop, Alex Kapranos, Neil Hannon, Johnny Marr and Jarvis Cocker as fans.

                Bid is joined in The Monochrome Set by fellow original Andy Warren on bass, Mike Urban on drums and newest recruit Athen Ayren on keyboards. For the album recording Alice Healey brovides backing vocals with Karen Yarnell on percussion and Jon Clayton, additional instrumentation. The album was recorded at OneCat Studio in London, engineered by Jon Clayton and produced by Jon Clayton and Bid.

                After an aeon spent in infinitely old cities of the body and mind, a magical creature glides back into its bedroom.It has been changed forever - what once was human is now a higher being, an unnatural force, the new perfect.

                It can still feel the exulting gaze of The Eye upon its back- thousands of years of brooding, planning, in deep, dark, secret places, waiting for the stars to align, the ideal body to infuse.

                The air around it spits ferociously; the whines of the weak still sing in its ears, like the pathetic squeaks of old curtains as they are closed forever.

                It stands before the full length mirror, its reflection now clouded with dust. A lifetime of waiting; my poor mirror, here I am, I will clean you!
                It picks up a cloth and wipes across the glass triumphantly!
                Strange.
                It looks the same as before it left, all that time ago.
                A naked old man.
                ...and from a hidden door comes the strains of The Monochrome Set's 16th and latest album, "Allhallowtide", with its elegantly crafted pop songs, ornate melodies, sumptuous lyrics, all performed superbly by a rare and legendary band.

                TRACK LISTING

                1) Allhallowtide
                2) Ballad Of The Flaming Man
                3) My Deep Shoreline
                4) Moon Garden
                5) Really In The Wrong Town
                6) Box Of Sorrows
                7) I, Servant
                8) In A Chapel Of A Personal Design
                9) Hello, Save Me
                10) Resplendent In A Darkness
                11) Parapluie

                Die Zimmermanner

                Golden Hour (All The Hits 1980-2017)

                  The long overdue first best-of compilation by the Hamburg pop outsiders around Timo Blunck (also Palais Schaumburg) and Detlef Diederichsen, the Fun Boy 2 from Hamburg-Hummelsbüttel, contains all the hits, starting with the scratchy 1980s ska "So Froh" to the elegant funky guitar pop from the "1001 Ways to Make Love Without Having Fun" album from the great pop year 1982; all the hits from the 84 masterpiece "Goethe" to the most beautiful songs from the late works "Fortpflanzungssupermarkt" and "Ein Hund namens Arbeit.

                  Sophisticated Boom Boom

                  Sophisticated Boom Boom

                    Sophisticated Boom Boom transported the Brill Building / Red Bird / Girl Group sound from the 60s into the New Wave year of 1982. These 14 compositions did not not lack in punk esprit and the band fell gloriously out of time in the jagged, slightly gloomy early 80s. Their sound was probably too cheerful, too bubblegum and too life-affirming, and they stopped after just one album. After the end of Sophisticated Boom Boom, the no less great C86/Power Pop band Chin Chin emerged from the ashes and released a compilation on Stephen Pastel's 53rd & 3rdLabel.

                    The Jazz Butcher

                    The Highest In The Land

                      It's not often that an artist gets to do a Bowie by consciously carving their personal epitaph into the grooves of their final LP. The Highest in the Land is that rarity of an album, and it could not have been made by a more brill- iantly poetic and fearlessly sarcastic writer than Pat Fish, also known as The Jazz Butcher.

                      'My hair's all wrong / My time ain't long / Fishy go to Heaven, get along, get along,' he sings, to a ticking-clock beat in 'Time', rhyming its title with 'a one-way ticket to a pit of Council lime' in just one of many existentially charged moments on a record whose songs were written throughout the last seven years of Fish's life before his untimely passing in October 2021, aged only 63. 'Self-knowledge, urgency,' he wrote as a comment to this song in his private notes to the album's producer Lee Russell, 'He'd been around the block. and knew he was on the last lap.''We had closure," Russell remembers, "We had worked together for three months, and then on the last day I drove him home. And for the first time we hugged and said goodbye, and that was it.'

                      Recent years have seen a long overdue re-appreciation of The Jazz Butcher catalogue, all the way back to that astonishing 11-album run of the first 13 years of their career, now celebrated and handily compiled in a series of box-sets after decades of shameful neglect.

                      Founded in Oxford in 1982 by Pat Fish and prodigious guitarist Max Eider, the band that would become synonymous with its leader embodied an anti-rockist, semi-ironically jazz-conscious indie aesthetic before the word had even been invented. In a world of po-faced poseurs this "Southern Mark Smith" proved that it was possible to be both smart and funny, erudite and unpretentious, the latter sadly to the detriment of his fame.

                      But, as so often the case, his underratedness only seemed to fuel his sharpness as a writer throughout his later years. It was not for want of material that he allowed a 9-year-gap to open after the penultimate Jazz Butcher album Last of the Gentlemen Adventurers appeared in 2012.

                      'It was a big thing for him that a record company come and ask you to make an album,' says Dhiren Basu, Fish's Northampton housemate who became, next to bass player and musical confidante Tim Harries, a sounding board for plans and ideas. 'That was something that he felt really, really strongly about. As a close friend said, the people he really admired were Lou Reed, Syd Barrett, John Cale and Kevin Ayers, and they were all people who did not bend for anything. There was a sort of ambition to be an English dandy and that uncompromising nature of just saying: This is what I'm here to do.'

                      It's no coincidence that a continental label, Hamburg's Tapete Records, should put out The Highest in the Land or that Fish can be seen at the gates of Paris's Eurostar terminal Gare du Nord on the cover shot of the album. Between moving personal songs like 'Never Give Up' or 'Goodbye Sweetheart' and more opaque ones such as the title track (the mysterious 'Black Raoul', by the way, is Pat and Dhiren's cat), much of this album is imbued with righteous ire at the isolationist path taken by the UK in recent times.

                      'Running on Fumes' and 'Sebastian's Medication' may be the sharpest analyses of the state of Brexit Britain yet committed to song. 'The gammons are all whining for some kind of reclamation but they don't know what they want to reclaim,' Fish fumes in the latter, 'How the hell are you supposed to leave a continent?' Meanwhile, the former stands as an angry state-of-the-nation address, drawing parallels to the Weimar Republic by evoking Hermann Hesse and Mackie Messer, musically cloaked in a Dylan reference suggesting there is indeed blood on the tracks. By contrast, 'Sea Madness' tells the heart-warming tale of an immigrant in tribute to Turkish George, a legendary presence on the Northampton music scene.

                      'Pat was an internationalist,' says Dhiren Basu, 'I think he felt far closer to Europe than his own country. He was always very political, as with most thinking people who've got a sense of justice. He was always going to be an intellectual left-winger.' It is not without irony that a career that began in witty defiance of the Thatcher years should end under the shadow of the Johnson era. Certainly, The Highest in the Land sounds as relevant to today as A Scandal in Bohemia did to 1984.

                      Likewise, in musical terms, it feels like the closing of a circle, based around live recordings by a core band of Fish, Dave Morgan on drums and Tim Harries on bass, augmented by an array of musicians including founder member Max Eider.

                      While Pat Fish's death may have come suddenly, he had previously been undergoing extensive treatment for cancer, the subject of mortality hanging heavily over the writing process. When recordings began at Lee Russell's Dulcitone studios in rural Northamptonshire in June that year, Russell was 'under the impression that this would be his last record. And it was only when we started making it that I found out he was free of cancer. But he was not delusional. We all go through life acting like it's going to last forever, but that's a lie, and Pat was cleverer than the rest of us. He actually was facing it. He was in no mood to compromise his life in any way what- soever, you know, he was sitting at home waiting for his coffee to brew, and he just went. He didn't have to stop smoking or drinking or taking drugs or doing gigs. He missed one live stream, and that was it. He was still Pat Fish. He was still the Jazz Butcher.'

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Melanie Hargreaves' Father's Jaguar
                      2. Time
                      3. Sea Madness
                      4. Never Give Up
                      5. Amalfi Coast May 1963
                      6. Running On Fumes
                      7. The Highest In The Land
                      8. Sebastian's Medication
                      9. Goodnight Sweetheart

                      Carambolage

                      Carambolage - 2022 Reissue

                        Originally released 1980. Carambolage never set out to be a "girl band" but they were one of the first German new wave bands whose members were all female. The punk alliance comprising Britta Neander, Elfie-Esther Steitz and Angie Olbrich emerged organically from the environs of Ton Steine Scherben, friends united by a common interest in musical experimentation. With the first demo tapes in circulation, Burkhardt " Zensor" Seiler organized a gig for Carambolage in the hip Kreuzberg club SO36. At a time when anything that could be labelled "Neuen Deutschen Welle" (German New Wave) was stamped accordingly, the trio played by their own rules.

                        The eponymous debut album Carambolage, produced by Rio Reiser and R.P.S. Lanrue in the summer of 1980 and released on the Scherben label David Volksmund Produktion, could not be constrained by NDW marketing concepts. Instead, the disc was defined by its "colossal, inventive sound" which fed on Elfie's curiously autodidactic "Fantasiegriffen" guitar style and her "Fresenhagen sparrow" voice, counter-balanced by Angie's organ and inimitable basslines and energized by Britta's relentless drumming. Backed by quirky organ and ragged drums, Elfie spits her lyrics with emphatic simplicity. Once her words are in your head, they stay there.

                        Tracks like "Die Farbe war Mord" hint at a sense of feminist awareness. Carambolage may not have coined the phrase, but "lipstick feminism" became a thing, consciously playing with feminine clichés and hammering them home in performative fashion, rather than boxing them off. Towards the end of the record, vocals and sound are transcended in the monotone shimmer of "22 rue Chenoise". In the words of Carambolage's "City-Großmarkt" song: "So, ladies and semen, are you ready? Time to go shopping." Their sound was not the only aspect of the group which resulted from experimental tinkering. Keen to have their own space, away from a male-dominated environment, they used cardboard and carpets to build their own practice room inside an old grain silo. Strictly out of reach of the Scherben.

                        It's fair to say that Carambolage helped to shape the DIY approach which the Riot Grrrls of the 1990s would emulate. Forty years later, it's still mostly men standing on festival stages, but the Carambolage story ought not be consigned to the shelves marked nostalgia. On the contrary, it is a thread which most definitely needs to be picked up. As Julie Miess, who later joined Christiane Rösinger and Britta in the Lassie Singers offshoot Britta (the band) noted so succinctly in her Carambolage text (›Damaged Goods‹, Ventil Verlag): "Role models every seven-year-old girl should have!"

                        Carambolage

                        Eilzutellung-Expres - 2022 Reissue

                          Originally released 1982. On their sophomore album Eilzustellung-Exprès, Carambolage's ranks were bolstered by the arrival of Janett Lemmen, who had deputized for the pregnant Angie on a recent tour. Like its predecessor Carambolage (1980), the record was produced in Fresenhagen by R.P.S. Lanrue and released on the Scherben label David Volksmund Produktion. Like a whirlwind girl gang on the road, the LP revs up with dynamic guitar riffs, indulging their "turned on to the max" sexual desires, before the mood shifts to the deeper realms of life on the Eilzustellung-Exprès (express delivery): melancholy musings on dismaying love affairs, a song about contradictory feelings experienced in childbirth, culminating in a declaration of love for Angie's new daughter Lisa.

                          The baby was always on board when Carambolage went on tour. The idea of her father Kai Sichtermann (Scherben bass player) taking her on tour would have been too much even for the left-leaning alternative Ton Steine Scherben. Making a mockery of male privilege, Carambolage delivered an album orbiting punk and pop in a classic line-up: Britta on drums, Elfie's snotty vocals and effects-drenched guitar and keyboards, Angie on bass. The trio is augmented by Janett's screeching saxophone on the instrumental track "Maschine" and a squeaky baby sample (Lisa?). "I Remember You" brings proceedings to a close in something approaching Schlager*

                          Carambolage

                          Bon Voyage - 2022 Reissue

                            The Bon Voyage recordings sound far more mature than the band's earlier music, whilst losing some of the playful insouciance that ran through the first two albums. Strains of ska and chanson complement the latter-day NDW (German new wave) flavoured power pop. After four successful years of extensive touring, new perspectives presented themselves to Carambolage. Having outgrown the somewhat languid Scherben scene and label life at David Volksmund Produktion, the trio upped sticks and headed for Berlin, curious to see what the big city had to offer, namely a close-up view of the pop business. Manne Praeker, former Spliff bass player and Nina Hagen's producer, offered to produce their third record, anticipating a shot at success with a major label. Bon Voyage was recorded in 1984 in Praeker's Mad-Mix studio in Berlin with various guest musicians. Even the pop mag Bravo took note, featuring the punkish North Frisians in a home story. Alas, any aspirations of becoming stars quickly dissipated during the recording process as aesthetic differences came to the fore. In one corner, Britta and Angie were determined to follow the DIY principles of the two preceding albums. In the opposite corner, Manne Praeker and Elfie felt compelled to introduce a stronger element of professionalism and Praeker increasingly weighed into the creative process. "You might say our story practically came to an end with a collision**, just to match our name," Britta Neander recalled in an interview with Tine Plesch. We're happy to report that the girls renewed their friendship after a while. The third record is well worth a listen, a divergent coda to the band's history. Bon Voyage spent 34 years under lock and key before the FUEGO label released a digital version in the year 2019.

                            David Christian

                            For Those We Met On The Way

                              After 29 years with British indie/garage/beat/punk/psych-pop collective Comet Gain, singer/ mastermind and main fireraiser David Christian thought, "Why not do a solo album?" After all, some of his favourite records are also solo records by people from bands; John Cale, Gene Clark, Julian Cope, Stephen Duffy, Mike Nesmith, Curtis Mayfield, Neil Young... under the sun of his new home in the South of France, exchanged for Brexit London, a timeless folkrock album was created with the kind help of numerous friends on numerous instruments. The verve and snottiness of the Comet Gain sound can also be found here, but "For Those We Met On The Way" sounds more dandy, somehow more southern French. If you like listening to "Robespierre's Velvet Basement" by the Jacobites AND the electric songs of Bob Dylan's "Bringing it All Back Home" AND Comet Gain... then "For Those We Met On The Way" is perfect for you!

                              Fleeing screaming from the group gulag after 29 years of maintaining sweet failure at all costs with his group Comet Gain (a mix of post punk, garage punk, northern soul, freakbeat/psych, early creation records, indie pop, folk rock and other such messes all churned together with films, books, left wing politics-all THAT stuff falling out of a bin onto a pile of records) songwriter and singer and oldest bastard in the gang David Christian (sometimes known as Feck) escaped to the french woods by the ocean when Boris and his rabid disgusting crew weren't looking. After a while of picking up pinecones he decided he simply had to EXPRESS HIS INNER SOUL. “Fuck it, i might as well make a solo record". Some of his favourite records were solo lps from people in bands – John Cale, Gene Clark, Julian Cope, Stephen Duffy, Mike Nesmith, Neil Young, Mark Eitzel, Sandy Denny, Curtis Mayfield, etc – and there were all those great solo solo ones from Jimmy Camel, Bill Fay etc and it seemed like everybody was looking back or inward due to that plague thing, a connection to what you loved or who you missed in order to make sense of the nonsensical world of Brexit and plague and all that shit. The LP was made in the middle of the french countryside in a barn/farm owned by Mike and Allison Targett of Heist fame where along with old comrade and wonderful drummer Cosmic Neman (Zombie/Zombie, Herman Dune) they cut the record while cows grazed with Mike producing and both Targetts adding vocals,pianos etc. Then later, the group of friends known as The Pinecone Orchestra; James Horsey and Alasdair MacLean (The Clientele), Ben Phillipson (18th Day Of May/Trimdon Grange Explosion/Comet Gain), Gerry Love (Teenage Fan Club/Lightships), Anne-Laure Guillain (Comet Gain/Cinema Red And Blue) and Joe-Harvey Whyte (Hanging Stars) coloured everything in with guitars, vocals, bass, pedal steel etc.

                              So David’s rules for the LP were off to a good start. Get some good dudes to play with you, also... it's a solo record so be honest bad or good, don’t listen to any records before and rip anything off (very difficult after years of "ooh-i'll have that riff!"). Part of the weird process of looking back or trying to diary a life full of holes is that it's best managed through friends, places, records. But mainly the people you knew – good or bad – those fleeting best friends forevers whose faces you now struggle to recall, the crushes that crushed you until you wonder 'well i wonder how their life turned out'. Moving country makes you go through boxes and find memorials – letters, photos, all kinds of mementos and some tug at you preciously so the title of the record was in tribute to these half remembered and faded folks - 'the ones that burst into your heart and are then lost forever' but you can navigate your way to who you were or where or what by their psychic presence-maps to a gone you. The plan was to inhabit the songs with these moments, people, places, etc and then banish them sweetly – or as sung in "Goodbye Teenage Blue": "you've got to break the taboo by singing goodbye teenage blue" to exorcise your ghost suitcase weight – so there are songs about the future ("On The Last Day (We Spend Together)"), the present ("In My Hermit Hours", "Dream A Better Me" and the past (most of the others) and "Mum's and Dad's and Other Ghosts" which holds to the past while giving a message to a future.

                              When a record has just YOUR name on it you try to make it good. No shadows to hide in, even your mum might hear it. Solo records are (technically) written by songwriters, so might as well try and write some songs. So that's what David tried and he thinks he did ok. There are broken ballads, long winding songs, short pop songs, and things in between. Acoustic guitars, pianos, pedal steels, harmonies, wonderful drumming… There are alcoholic skinheads, forest hermits, californian dudes, holloway sweethearts, bruised mods in the upstairs room, strange boys being hit by a car, painters who can’t paint no more, friends and ghosts and lovers and losers.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. In My Hermit Hours
                              2. Goodbye Teenage Blue
                              3. Holloway Sweethearts
                              4. When I Called Their Names They'd Faded Away
                              5. Dream A Better Me
                              6. On The Last Day (We Spend Together)
                              7. Lockets, Drop-outs And Dragnets
                              8. Pay Me. Later, Coco + Dee
                              9. See You In Almost Sunshine
                              10. I Used To Make Drawings
                              11. The Ballad For The Button-downs
                              12. Mum's And Dad's And Other Ghosts

                              Jaguwar

                              Gold

                                Berlin and Dresden trio JAGUWAR played their way into the hearts of noise romantics with the sprawling sonic landscapes which characterized the trio's 2018 debut album. Their sophomore album GOLD, is set for release in October 2021.

                                GOLD is a supercharged blast of future pop, transcending borders and defying pigeonholes, an album arising from the band's predisposition to experiment. GOLD is not only danceable, poppy and endearingly intricate, it also flys in the face of the status quo, ask questions of the current state of affairs and the oppressive mechanisms in our society. GOLD is no blunt denunciation, however, but a soundtrack to accompany the realization that there is strength in individuality, thereby unlocking a new level of productiveness.

                                The Telescopes

                                Songs Of Love And Revolution

                                  The Telescopes have been described by the British music press as 'more a revolution of the psyche than a revolution of the sidewalk'; a thread consistent throughout a body of work spanning over 30 years. The Telescopes have constantly pushed at their own boundaries to unravel new pathways of existence, colouring outside the lines of all expectation to reach beyond the realm of natural vision.

                                  With a legacy full of eureka moments, intravenously fed through a crack in the cosmic egg, The Telescopes invoke the kind of altered perceptions that time has shown not only withstand repeated listening, but reveal something new whenever one ventures into the depths of their highly influential artistry.

                                  At the core of their being, The Telescopes are an all embracing concern, in every sense, a constant revolution of the psyche exploding endless spores of sound, carriers of warm transmissions seeped in aural innovation that spiral around ones inner receptors to induce a series of auditory illusions that completely immerse the listener in the grip of their own imagination.

                                  The most revolutionary act we can all perform is to stand by our calling, to keep doing what we do, for the reasons we are conceived to do so, no matter what. Some call it 'The New Weird' but call it what you will, it is born of love. The Telescopes are one of the very few artists that are living proof that this revolutionary act is possible to evolve and sustain free from artistic corruption.

                                  Songs Of Love And Revolution is a solar burst of trance inducing rhythms gripped at the helm by a wall of throbbing bass held in place by a swarm of encircling guitars. Lashed to the mast of this whirling dervish, incantations abound to dispel what is bound. This is the 12th album by The Telescopes, music for a four-piece ensemble that will never sound the same twice in any given environment or to any set of ears.


                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: Hypnotic stoned groove and psychedelic echo abound on this stunning new LP from English space-drone stalwarts, The Telescopes. Melodies slowly weave their way around the bass-heavy churn and jangling 70's guitars.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  1) This Is Not A Dream
                                  2) Strange Waves
                                  3) Mesmerised
                                  4) Come Bring Your Love
                                  5) This Train
                                  6) Songs Of Love And Revolution
                                  7) You're Never Alone With Despair
                                  8) We See Magic And We Are Neutral, Unnecessary

                                  Dinked Edition Bonus 12":
                                  (Come Bring Your Love) Come Drown In Love (Anton Newcombe Remix)
                                  Strange Waves (Lloyd Cole Remix)
                                  This Train (Love-Songs Remix)
                                  Come Bring Your Love (Camera Remix)
                                  (Come Bring Your Love) Come Bring Your Magic Waves (Third Eye Foundation Version)

                                  Comet Gain

                                  Fireraisers, Forever!

                                    Here comes the beat of the broken street…

                                    'Fireraisers' as in those with flames in veins – had enough of the never ending spiral of stupidity and hate and greed and religious/political hypocrisy– the inexorable rise of the moron mind and those sleepwalking in their lazy hives letting THEM do this to US... a modern rite to burn away all this to the ground and see what nice flowers rise up from the ground… we imagine an army of disenchanted, beaten down kids becoming modern anarchist magicians drawing dumb sgylls of dada retribution ... 'if we all spit together we can drown the bastards'.

                                    The last LP was a gentler, inner, melancholic hug at 2 am and perhaps we would’ve continued to go down a sweeter road but the state of the world has meant we were compelled to turn the fuzz up and make something more brutal and instant. In defiance to our last LP – now it’s late night sadness turns to the angry morning. First take beats ethics. Two weeks of late afternoon 45s listening parties with The Rationals/Nerves/Messthetics/Back From The Grave garage/Fading Yellow comps/The Jam/Dead Moon – whatever had the urge. Trying to figure out how Rufus Thomas would sound if he joined the Swell Maps … condensing it all mixing and absorbing then forgetting it all and propelling the psychic mix tape into an albums worth of angry pop drops and slow howls.

                                    Recorded in a living room in North London with James Hoare (The Proper Ornaments/Ultimate Painting) with the help of Joseph Harvey-Whyte (Hanging Stars) pedal steeliest. Then turned into the record it is by drummer/producer M.J. Taylor who also produced our LP 'Realistes' – the closest cousin to this one ... songs about the evil greedy mirage of world religion, Victor Jara and those poets and teachers killed for believing in love and words, about the forgotten who are blamed for everything and can't rise up from their knees to fight back, about the high street Kali-Yuga, occult terrorists with low IQ but high ESP, about the Godfrey Brothers, about Lou Reed’s mourning dog on a road trip trying to bury his masters mullet somewhere in the desert, about those stuck in the glory days of their past myopic of the present and all the other usual losers and romantics we always bang on about – with added melody and stomp … giving no real answers but pointing fingers and prodding you in the back ... in defiance of just staying silent and letting the morons win.

                                    So Comet Gain is still alive longer than we should – still trying to be a collective and an idea emerging every now and then with the same grumpy erratic sounds – this one’s louder than the last one but sometimes maybe quieter. It’s made from an amazement that the hate mind is winning and we're not doing anything about it – we're still voting for these bozos and not burning the whole ugly facade to the ground. And it’s filled with love and rage. And its about 40 minutes long which is always a good thing.


                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: Clashing, snarling punky guitars and peaking percussion meets sleazy alt-rock before pulling things back for gorgeous swooning slide guitar and brittle acoustic ballads. Comet Gain are pushing things rapidly forwards while still retaining their post-punk roots and superb melodic sensibilities. Brilliant stuff.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    A1 We're All Fucking Morons
                                    A2 The Girl With The Melted Mind And Her Fear Of The Open Door
                                    A3 Bad Nite At The Mustache
                                    A4 Society Of Inner Nothing
                                    A5 Victor Jara, Finally Found!
                                    A6 The Godfrey Brothers

                                    B1 Your Life On Your Knees
                                    B2 Mid 8Ts
                                    B3 The Institute Debased
                                    B4 Her 33rd Perfect Goodbye
                                    B5 Werewolf Jacket
                                    B6 I Can't Live Here Anymore

                                    EXCLUSIVE DINKED 7“ BONUS SINGLE:
                                    C1 Chain Smokin'
                                    D1 Even This Could Be Beautiful


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