May 282011

I was cataloging a box of singles today while listening to Amp and decided that it was time to pull this gem out of the 6forty archive. Please enjoy this collection and then make sure to always look for these releases (primarily on vinyl) when browsing your local indie record stores. They’re rare, and really great.

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Hood – Filmed Initiative  (0:00)
The Declining Winter – Yorkcitythree  (5:34)
Empress – Vodka and the Verlaines  (9:34)
Movietone – Sun Drawing  (14:05)
Flying Saucer Attack – In the Light of Time  (18:02)
Amp – Remember  (22:49)
Crescent – Traces  (27:59)
Third Eye Foundation – Eternity  (33:38)
The Famous Boyfriend – I Regret Everything  (38:06)
Movietone – Useless Landscape  (41:42)
The Declining Winter – My Name in Ruins  (46:34)
Empress – Hey It’s Over  (49:01)
Flying Saucer Attack – She is the Daylight  (52:52)
Hood – You’re Worth the Whole World  (57:08)

640.004 playlist.pdf

 Posted by at 9:27 pm
May 142011

First farmed over 4000 years ago by bronze age settlers, Bodmin Moor is of one the last great unspoiled areas in the South West and much of its prehistoric and medieval past remains untouched by the passing of the centuries.

The Moor is dominated by dramatic granite tors which tower over the sweeping expanses of open moorland. Marshes and bogs on the high moor drain into shallow moorland valleys before the rivers cross onto softer shales around the Moor and carve themselves deep river valleys, providing shelter for rich, damp oak woodland.

Historically, Bodmin Moor was a landscape which engendered fear and awe, but which has also provided inspiration for writers, poets and sculptors. It has generated folklore and legend, with fact and fiction at times blending into one another as tales were passed down over the generations.

source –

An adventure to the Fox and the Hounds pub on May 8, 2011 allowed a glimpse of Bodmin Moor, one of the many gems of the southwest. Every time I visit Dartmoor, I discover something new and wonderful. It was a perfect day – the celebration of the end of a major work project, a gathering of good friends, beautiful weather, delicious food, and excellent cask-drawn ales.

Once I got back to the hotel, I put together this playlist to remind me of the day. The songs fit perfectly to the landscape…

Please support the bands by buying their records and going to their shows. All of these releases are available to download and/or purchase online.

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Bleaklow – The Sunless Country   (0:00)
And So I Watch You From Afar – Think:Breathe:Destroy   (7:34)
Rumah Sakit – No One Likes A Grumpy Cripple   (12:17)
Kinski – The Wives Of Artie Shaw   (17:25)
Félperc – Chasing False Dreams   (20:42)
Goonies Never Say Die – Monument To A Moment That Never Should Have Passed   (23:43)
Pg.Lost    Pascal’s Law   (29:20)
Years Of Rice And Salt – Portarlington   (37:42)
Thousands – Braille Teeth   (45:52)
Labirinto – Arcabuz   (54:45)

640.039 playlist.pdf


 Posted by at 12:29 am
May 112011

Years of Rice and Salt :: Nothing of Cities (2011)

Plymouth is dreary and raw today. It’s not raining, but the gray clouds are threatening, so I’m settled into a comfortable couch at the pub with a fine cask-drawn ale and queue ‘Nothing of Cities’ on my iPod. Soon after it begins playing, I realize that I’ve been completely consumed by this record ever since I received it. It has been on repeat play for days…

There’s so much energy and passion in each song – lush melodies, epic compositions, and the seamless integration of strings, wonderfully combine into one of the finest releases of the year. I’m reminded of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Industries of the Blind, Do Make Say Think, Our Last Hope Lost Hope, Stubborn Tiny Lights vs Clustering Darkness Forever OK?, and others who have mastered this unique style of cinematic post-rock. I’ve been patiently waiting for this record ever since first hearing their 2009 release ‘Service Bell’ (also an outstanding record that you can hear here Service Bell) – the wait was definitely worth it. The songs are intensely focused and perfectly executed. It’s obvious that the band wasn’t going to rush this release. There’s such a completeness about this record. It leaves you feeling the same way you do after finishing your favorite novel or watching your favorite classic film – utterly satisfied.

I’ve decided not to include descriptions of each song in this review. In my opinion, ‘Nothing of Cities’ is perfect, so there is no need to go into detail about the songs – the record is really that good. If you are already a fan of the collections on 6forty, then you know the music that I enjoy, and you should trust me when I say that you need to own ‘Nothing of Cities.’ You definitely won’t be disappointed. For me, the only thing that could top this listening experience would be to have the opportunity to see Years of Rice and Salt perform these amazing songs in a live setting. Maybe someday…

 Posted by at 6:40 am
May 092011

Mender :: Body of Gossamer
released 2011 (Mender/Deadpop records)

Body of Gossamer was performed, arranged, recorded and produced by Ash West-Mullen at his home in Nottingham. Ash is an electronic artist and drummer of Alright The Captain

There’s a wonderfully diverse selection of electronic music available at the moment, and although much of it is quite good, I find myself listening most to the records that are mellow and introspective. Regular rotation includes older projects from Edward KaSpel, Pan American, Seefeel, Nurse With Wound, and Famous Boyfriend, along with the outstanding new music being released by labels such as Heat Death Records and Hawk Moon Records. One of the newest releases that has been streaming a lot lately in the office is Ash West-Mullen’s project, Mender.

Mender’s latest EP, Body of Gossamer, definitely can be categorized as electronic, but what makes it stand apart from many other releases is the way that Ash has embraced and integrated a variety of acoustic elements into the mix. This combination gives the record the same pastoral quality that you’ll find from bands such as Hood, Declining Winter, Woo, and Ithaca Trio. You’ll hear a steady down-tempo beat throughout, providing a solid base to layer the acoustics, along with an interesting variety of electronics. There’s no rushed feeling with any of these tracks – the EP is perfect for a quiet night’s relaxed groove, or as a soundtrack for your mellow adventures. I was recently in England on business and found myself really enjoying ‘Body of Gossamer’ while we were driving through the southwest countryside, exploring the tors of Dartmoor. ‘Apsis’ and ‘Heal This Cathode’ open the EP and both meander softly with keyboards and guitar, ‘Worried About My Heart’ envelops you with reflective electro-acoustic soundscapes, ‘Lounge Cat’ and ‘Minimal Bitch’ deliver sublime funk, and the EP closer ‘Dead Waves’ finishes with hushed vocals and a bit more effected edging on the guitars and keyboards. Overall, a solid collection of songs that make for a very enjoyable listen.

Body of Gossamer is a perfect choice when you are in the mood for confident, intelligent music. The songs are balanced, and very well developed. I definitely recommend giving the record a listen if you’re a fan of any of the bands listed in this review. Mender has delivered a really good new release – I’m definitely looking forward to more. Also, not to be missed is the artwork and layout by Carrie Hodson Walker. It’s a perfect accompaniment to the songs on the record.

You can listen to the record here >, and once you get to the end of song 6, I think you’ll agree that it’s a release that needs to live in your music collection.

 Posted by at 5:48 pm