Bearsuit Records

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ageing children - “ageing children” (BS021 - 2013)

Regular observers of these missives - and they number in their multitudes - names provided on request - will be all to aware of our adoration for the weird and wayward sounds emanating from Edinburgh’s premier fried factory of strange sounds imprint Bearsuit. Clearly run by decent people with a discerning ear for the wired and wonky and a sympathetic almost philanthropic nature that extends a safe haven for those sonic odd socks and musical sore thumbs which lurk in non pop’s back waters. Ageing children are the latest beneficiaries of this benevolent nature, two chaps they be known simply as Jim and Chuck Children - names quite clearly that we suspect they weren’t born with especially that Jim one. In former lives they’ve scuffed stage floors gracing the line ups of scout master general and the kennel club while Chuck C splits time completing a PhD and recoding as EMLP - Electronic Music Learning Project - while Jim is often found frequenting the musical watering holes in his solo guise Pep Boy while additionally flavouring and contributing to the international file sharing co-operative AWSTS or Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai. 

So with the domestics done swiftly on to the album. Not strictly due to surface until the end of next month, this self titled set gathers together 13 slabs of - by their definition - ‘scratchy rock n’ roll’ and by their labels ‘no fi with .lo-fi aspirations ‘ and who are we to argue, seriously lo-fi to the point that its almost primitive there’s a vague sense in the early stages of this set of a duo who can’t quite decide whether or not they want to be Wire or Devo and end up haplessly failing to sound like either, that said if you could for a moment imagine a seriously beaten around the edges art punk grizzled Ramones in cheap bargain basement productions scuzzing out on a three chord template savagely scratched in a primordial stoner dragster chassis dismembering a ZZ Top songbook and you wouldn’t be so far off the mark as you’d be first led to believe. Now ears are a personal thing and mine as it happens are picking up elements of the Primals ‘rocks’ within the fuzz framed no wave nonchalance of ‘I’m gonna get my dog’ albeit aside the shaming of most stoner psych purveyors it comes rearing up after some seriously bastardised cannibalisation scalped with a locked grooved grind and removed of all the fat and filler of the original whilst being played by a shit faced Gibbons and Co. ‘bimbo the shoulder’ - please do not even begin to consider asking - is a deadpanning ‘Grotesque’ era Fall in skeletal studio draft minus Smithy shock while old school admirers of the much missed Fire Engines may do well to jump the track listing where you’ll find ‘my big engine’ doing all manner of schizo spy soundtrack posturing kind of like Man or Astro Man but without the b-movie sci-fi obsessing and more like a malfunctioning super agent alter ego of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. 

Dour and doomed in slow core detachment ’wee red’ signals the beginning of a stark shift in mood and style, along with ’summer love tale’ and ’mothership’ this triptych decamp themselves to set up an ominously brooding and chill stricken slab of dark hearted oddness, a mirthless melodic mausoleum the second of which mentioned is hooked upon a disturbed austere carousel that sounds as though once upon a time its been abandoned by a MK1 version of the Human League before being discovered, bastardised and left to rot by the truth about frank. ’mothership’ comes similarly affected, an old school electro haunt replete with chamber electronic recitals and eerie vocoder murmurs which if we here didn’t know any better would hazard a guess it was the handiwork of Landscape fashioning out scary versions of the Buggles. And then in a flash where back in the lair of the shit faced for ’mosquito’ which does a freakish line in crooked delta blues whilst under the blurry influence of several shots of moonshine. A particular favourite around these here parts is the arid trade wind blowing ‘dudage’ - a dust kernelled howling blues beauty which invested in the right kind of production has all the ghostly accoutrements to hold its head against anything emanating out of the early careers sound bunkers presided over by the grails or godspeed. 

All said the most together and surprisingly most tender cuts of the set appear at the albums final gasp so to speak - here the softly purred ’the kennel club’ a gorgeously crooked slice of caught in the moment day dreamy slowly dissolving psych folk opining to a monochromatic sketchbook of a latter career flying saucer attack while the parting shimmer served folk beauty ‘bimbo’s lament’ is adorned with the kind of hollowing mystique and hazy un-worldliness as to have several of the more astute of you off rummaging about for your cherished copy of Damon and Naomi’s collaboration with Ghost. Irregular music for irregular heads. 
Mark Barton (The Sunday Experience) 
Imagine a Beck album tucked away between “One Foot In The Grave” and “Stereopathetic Soul Manure”. One that features no vocals as such but otherwise bears all the hallmarks of the king of lo-fi. Weird samples, background noise, muttering and all sorts of other distracting elements that could throw the listener off the scent of what are essentially great little songs (albeit recorded through a Dictaphone that has been thrown in a puddle about a mile away from the action). I didn’t realise I liked this album until “Bimbo’s Lament” came sauntering into my ears. A lo-fi acoustic guitar refrain that is paired with a … what ? I think it’s a backward flute (or flute like instrument). It’s quite difficult to tell what it is but it’s a beautiful haunting little tune, one of those things that suddenly throws the rest of the album into perspective. There are a few other highlights on the album as well (the weird off kilter synths of “Mothership” and “Summer Love Tale” which come over like some sort of shattered Boards of Canada demo) but basically this is an album to invite into your brain on a regular basis. It may not take off its shoes and there may be a funny smell when it leaves but its shambolic chaotic style is utterly venerable and a perfect antidote to the anodyne state of most modern music. 
Kim Monaghan - (Sitting Now - 6/13) 

Swamp Sounds/Uncle Pops & The Dumbloods – s/t (BS035 – 2017)

A split offering from the Edinburgh label of idiosyncratic experimental sonics and more lo fi indie pop fare, Bearsuit Records bring us an incongruous curious pairing of, mainly, electronic music mavericks.

From further up the Scottish east coast, Dundee artist/musician Douglas Wallace, under the strange Uncle Pop & The Dumbloods appellation, has fashioned an imaginary Hondo City futuristic soundscape that bares little relation to the track titles. With a backing of trebly crisp electronic percussion, tetchy cymbals, clean crystalized synths and trans mutated guitar wails, Wallace’s science fiction travails make ephemeral references to Murcof, Bowie’s Heroes peregrinations, Ryuichi Sakamoto and the sort of 80s vapour ice-misty synth soundtrack fare you’d find on the video-nasty, Shogun Assassin. Reverent at times, primordial at others (check the lost world of Song For Broken Singers), ole Uncle Pop’s contribution is a subtle, meditative counterpoint to his album companion’s ennui flitting Casio car-crash bombardment.

Hailing from Nagoya, Japan, experimental electronic music artist and founder of Sleep Jam Records, Yuuya Kuno flirts with a number of aliases including House of Tapes but for this label and in this capacity goes under the Swamp Sounds moniker. Chopped-up into a loopy soundclash of Casio pre-set schlock and drama, Kuno’s 80s meltdown collage is both ridiculous and yet full of interesting surprises. Tracks such as Skull Disco feed Daft Punk through a dial-up connection and grinder, and Houndstooth sends Atari Teenage Riot to a laser quest showdown.

Run of the mill for Bearsuit, who constantly release such curiosities, but for us the listener these experiments prove intriguing; bringing to our attention some unique artists, working on the peripherals of sonic reinvention and cut-up mania.
Monolith Cocktail

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Annie & The Station Orchestra – Bingo Halls (BS034)

It begins with an immense drumbeat and a warped guitar that calls to mind early Swans as it warps and distorts… but then, behind a piston-pumping mechanoid beat, it all goes a bit Stereolab. Within a minute, I’m feeling confused, disoriented, as chimes hang gracefully in the air above a demonic, guttural snarl and discordant synth chimes and eerily chirpy whistles. What the actual fuck is this? And how does the music relate to the title, or vice versa? Nothing about the album is remotely evocative of plump older women with their eyes down, smashing away with their dabbers in the bustling pursuit of the next line, and nor does it conjure any images of the 70s heyday of the bingo hall, the smoke-hazed babbling equivalent of the WMC. Annie & the Station Orchestra’s
Bingo Halls is an entity unto itself.

Pitched by the label as ‘a little experimental and challenging in places’, it’s also sold as being ‘very melodic, playful and pretty accessible in its predominantly instrumental context.’ These things are all relative, of course and this is a Bearsuit Records release: these guys are all about the far-out, the whacky, the weird – something I salute them for. There is, most certainly, a degree of melody and accessibility about this release but don’t think it’s some kind of Justin Beiber / Lady Gaga / Little Mix bollocks.

King of the Idiots’ is a brilliantly-engineered electro-pop instrumental with a dark edge, minor chords played on analogue synths wend their way over a thumping programmed beat that says ‘1984’. It builds and swerves and builds some more until it’s ascended to the position of towering space-age electro-rock. The lilting melody of ‘The Return of Banjo Williamson’, which amalgamates elements of oriental chimes with a thrumming bass and juddering electronic beats, quite unexpectedly evokes the spirit of latter-day Cure before going all weirdy Muzak electro.

Doodling, noodling guitars and synths, drenched in echo, place the album somewhere between electronica, Tangerine Dream style ambient Krautrock and post-rock. Is there a term yet for electronic post-rock? If not, there bloody ought to be, and someone needs to let me know what it is, like, yesterday. It’s not as if worriedaboutsatan haven’t been straddling these very genre divides for around a decade. Still, Annie & the Station Orchestra offer something that’s distinctive and unique, and while elements of the various tracks lean towards a range of identifiable genre trappings, the overall effect is one of abstraction, of immediate distraction, and of stubborn non-conformity. This makes for an album that’s idiosyncratically innovative, and stands proudly in a field of its own.
Aural Aggravation (Christopher Nosnibor) (20.12.16)


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Annie & The Station Orchestra – Bingo Halls (BS034)

Scottish indie label Bearsuit Records, brings us Bingo Halls, the new album from Annie and The Station Orchestra.The band of former Pep Boys member Chas "Annie" Kinnis and singer/songwriter Jean Sibelius Ramsay, deliver eleven tracks of mostly instrumental music, with a nice experimental edge. Innovative uses of guitar, synths, melodies and drones, create an album that is both accessible and challenging. This is a masterful work that will satisfy discerning musical pallets.
[Floorshime Zipper Boots] 11/16

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Harold Nono - "Ideeit" (BS032 - 2016)

Bearsuit mainstay Harold Nono returns – not that he’s ever really been away – and once again, he’s come up trumps – and thankfully, not Donald Trumps. Swinging wildly from rumbling, dark ambience to mellowed-out doodlesome synthesised post-rock, Nono’s latest effort is as inventive as ever. But on this outing, he’s definitely set his sights on sparse scenes: a gentle piano tinkles in the subtle mists which hover and hum through ‘Otosan’,

There’s a sinister undercurrent that intimates ‘sci-fi horror film’ about the atmospheric ‘Atam No Nai Uma Ga Hashiru’: in contrast, ‘I’m Disguised as an Idiot’ sees Japanese traditionalism collide with western glitchtronica, while ‘Unbeaten Brothers and Sisters’ created a darkly atmospheric tension with its fractured samples and beneath-the-radar fear chords.

The Saline Revival Show’ is an achingly mournful piece, a sparse violin / cello arrangement that’s brooding, moving, and evocative. The post-rock echoes carry through into the sparse closer, ‘Watashi Wa Ie Ni Kaeritai’, rounding off an intriguing album that is – as you’d reasonably expect from Harold Nono, and as you’d reasonably expect from Bearsuit – difficult to place, but a lot easier to dig.
Aural Aggravation (Christopher Nosnibor - 3.6.16)


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Bunny & The Invalid Singers - “The Invalid Singers” (BS028 – 2015)

Glaswegian musician/artist Bunny has traded in his Electric Horseman for Invalid Singers on his sophomore effort, but the premise is essentially the same: electronic, glitchy, anarchic cacophony marrying the abrasive industrialization of Faust or Einsturzende Neubauten with catchy tunes from the Depeche Mode School of Dance. But just when you thought it safe to head out onto the dancefloor, he pulls the rug out from under you and morphs into delicate library music like the groovy soundtrack efforts of Fitness Forever or
Giorgio Tuma. And that’s just opener ‘Ask The Man Inside Your Head’!

So sit back and drift off to dreamland with the gorgeously sentimental floater ‘Gift To Gift’ and relive all those romantic ’70s Italian soundtracks, courtesy Morricone, Umiliani, and Piccioni. And while ‘The Unravelling of Sandy Wallace’ sounds like a cheezy soft-core porno flick, the bubbly “theme song” features some blistering fuzz guitar solos and bubbly synths to help you imagine the images!

If sexy, wordless female vocals are you thing (and why wouldn’t they be?), wrap yourself ‘Into China Arms’ or try one of the two versions of the (lyricked) title track (in Japanese from Asuka Tanaka and English courtesy Trixie Delight). The soft-core soundtrack world is, er, overflowing with sweeping, elegant romantic suites and Bunny slips right into the groove with sexy, hesitant bursts of synthy swashes on such titillating titles as ‘Annie & The Station Orchestra’ and ‘The Putty Legs of Dusty McGuire’ which just begged to be dramatised in a trench coat theatre on that other side of town!

So pack a bag lunch, grab some popcorn and choc-ies, and settle in for a satisfying evening of dreamy film music, punctuated by the odd pneumatic drill to the back of the skull just to keep you from drifting off into L.A. L.A. land. And while you’re at it, have fun determining whether Bunny’s “singers” a) are Asuka and Trixie; b) are unacceptable; c) suffer from some debilitating malady; d) all of the above; or e) none of the above – he’s just having us on!
Soundblab (Jeff Penczak – 19/6/15)


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V/A : "I Put A Time Bomb In Your Submarine" (BS027 - 2014)

Bearsuit has been releasing intriguingly eclectic electronica. Their latest serves as both a “new” album as well as an introductory retrospective designed to illustrate the scope of their catalogue by featuring (sometimes radical) remixes of key tracks from some of their most key artists. [While the originals are spread throughout the two dozen or so releases in their catalogue, newbies are also directed towards the Run Over By An Elevator compilation from 2012 to get a taste of what lurks within the hearts and minds of the original artists whose work is plundered, rearranged and dissected within these grooves.] So let’s dive in, shall we? The British-Japanese trio Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai’s ‘Doll’ already sounds like it was tossed through the blender before Senji Niban and Cardiff’s Mice Girls got ahold of it, so the former’s hypnotic loop and disembodied voices and the latter’s spooky, spacey lo-fi electronica are right on target and, like most of this “tribute”, provide enjoyable alternative universe listening pleasures. The same applies to Asuka Tanaka’s remix of the trio’s otherworldly disembodied voices that lie at the heart of ‘Invalid Bed’.

Strasbourg’s Greguy offers a more contemplative take on synthy electronica via ‘An American Way of Life’ from his Minor Injury album, and Ryota Mikami builds on its New Romantic, Depeche Mode (ca.Black Celebration) sensibilities, while the ambient, Eno-inspired, piano-driven navel gazing romanticism of Hidekazu quiet “A Shout Away” is reimagined as a glitchy hiccough in Stricknice’s remix that quite frankly, zaps all the beauty from the original. And I’m sorry to also report that 0point1 sucks the life out of the Whiz Kid’s playful ‘Circus Juice’ by again dissecting it into looped, glitch segments that seem more academic than fun. On the other hand, Utu Lauttauri, Broken Bubble Gum, and Gritty Glitter have successfully captured the Stars Wars-inflected animated sounds of Haq’s ‘Jikan Ga Nai’, effectively bottling its arcade sounds into four minutes of evocative fun.

yota Mikami also focuses on the female vocals that are at the heart of Bunny & The Electric Horsemen’s ‘Snowflakes’, twisting and turning them into airborn snatches of icy ennui and industrial cacophony that Bunny and her horsemen will no doubt appreciate. And speaking of the feminine voice, they don’t come any sexier than Léa Cervini’s ethereal cooing on the original title track of Greguy’s Minor Injury, so it’s almost sacrilegious for Shinamo Moki to mess with and almost dispose of it altogether. But I’m glad that Ullapul pretty much left the dreamy aspects of Wakabayashi and Nono’s ‘Family’ intact. Newcomers may best appreciate the more Earthbound creations of Wakabayashi and Nono or the Whiz Kid’s playfulness on such toy piano-driven eccentricities as ‘Kid Santa’, even if LTPimo and Jupiter’s Child’s 60-second remix of the latter leaves a puzzled look on your face! I mean, 60 seconds!? What’s the point? Or, maybe that IS the point! And Mark Tamea’s even-quieter version of Harold Nono’s ‘A Bigger Spider’ may be even more frighteningly anxiety-inducing than the original. You can almost feel those eight legs creepy-crawling up your spine while you aren’t watching...!

As with any collection of remixes, the success factor is directly proportional to your expectation. Do you want the remixers to radically reinterpret the original, perhaps finding something in the grooves that the composer overlooked…or do you want a faithfully-executed reproduction, albeit with different instruments or cultural interpretations? Bearsuit prides itself on bridging the British and Oriental (typically Japanese) electronic scenes, so having one culture reimagine the musical compositions of another is an exciting idea. The fact that many of these projects already consist of international artists often recording via the Internet or email contact makes the collaborations/remixes less radical than one might expect, and makes the perfectly-titled I Put A Bomb In Your Submarine a lot more fun than it has a right to be. It might clear a few rooms at parties and is rarely going to get your guests out on the dance floor, but for a more cerebral approach to what can be done on the re-manufacturing front of the experimental electronica scene, it’s hard to beat.
Jeff Penczak/2014
It's Psychedelic Baby!
http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/various-artists-i-put-time-bomb-in-your.html


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Whizz Kid - "There's Conjuring to Be Done" (BS026 - 2014) 

Teetering between moments of lucidity and lunacy, Whizz Kid have always held a very special place in our listening space since first rearing their heads above the aural parapet and clearly knocking us for six with the frankly skittish ‘the yellow and blue’ EP from 2009. We made comment at the time to their uncanny indecision at falling between seducing and spooking the would be listener while appealing to a listening spectrum that found their way sneaking to adore everything from Raymond Scott to Pop Off Tuesday and quite possibly everything else in between. Impish was the byword, the all covering warts n’ all descriptor you’d imagine created with these dudes in mind, it proved to be one of our most favourite surrealist left field releases that year exiting stage left leaving us wondering whether its skewed nature was a deliberate and calculated act or simply the work of the deranged.

Several years have flown by since then and now, our moods being buoyed a month or so ago at the news of new Whizz Kid sounds afoot, an album in fact from which ’the kid santa’ was sent forth unto the world as a teaser taster and mentioned here along the lines of childlike disturbia running amok in fischer price fantasia – or at least words to that effect. And while it came primed in the kind of weird wonkiness we’ve come to love and adore about Whizz Kid it didn’t quite prepare us for hearing the set in full. That said having now heard ’there’s conjuring to be done’ I’m of the firm belief that its authors (Yo Yo Nielsen and J-Kane) are mischief makers and that what lies within will astound, amaze and amuse all who enter its fried domain.

Out via the esteemed Bearsuit – themselves purveyors of the peculiar this set gathers together 10 sonic play charms that just might elevate this bijou label to the deserving attention of a wider audience. A playfully intricate bouquet of bizarro bric n’ brac, the Whizz ones craft out, to much delight, an at times delightfully purred and affectionate aural cocktail of hauntologist kookiness and soft psych shadow plays all schooled in lounge lilts, lunar waltzes (the serenely ornate ’charly stories’ being the case in point), lost lullabies and even archaic hued homely folk with ac touch tasting of francophile flair (‘trapeze’). From the crooked bandstand wheezes of the sleepy headed toy box umpah of the opening ‘clones’ to the mellowed oriental seafarer that is the dreamily dinked ‘I fall in the grandad bus’ (think youthful ISAN shimmying up to minotaur shock and Cornelius whilst ‘ballade a chaud fontaine‘ is similarly flavoured in old school Melodic imprint motifs), 
‘there’s conjuring to be done’ never ceases to entertain and have you pressing the repeat button to re-imagine the experience all over again. ’summer bubbles’ and ’falling out of trees, falling down hills’ but emerge from a classically arched noir script, the former a fused mosaic of emperor penguin and busy signals smoothness, the latter once awoken from its yawning slumber a Gnac styled slice of spectral spy themed eeriness that courts to the lighter side of wizards tell lies albeit re-tweaked by the overseeing eye of Meek. Those adoring of oriental incantations and bowed chimes may find ears engaged by the crooked south sea shimmered flightiness of ’Burlington’. 
Out via the esteemed Bearsuit – themselves purveyors of the peculiar this set gathers together 10 sonic play charms that just might elevate this bijou label to the deserving attention of a wider audience. A playfully intricate bouquet of bizarro bric n’ brac, the Whizz ones craft out, to much delight, an at times delightfully purred and affectionate aural cocktail of hauntologist kookiness and soft psych shadow plays all schooled in lounge lilts, lunar waltzes (the serenely ornate ’charly stories’ being the case in point), lost lullabies and even archaic hued homely folk with ac touch tasting of francophile flair (‘trapeze’). From the crooked bandstand wheezes of the sleepy headed toy box umpah of the opening ‘clones’ to the mellowed oriental seafarer that is the dreamily dinked ‘I fall in the grandad bus’ (think youthful ISAN shimmying up to minotaur shock and Cornelius whilst ‘ballade a chaud fontaine‘ is similarly flavoured in old school Melodic imprint motifs), ‘there’s conjuring to be done’ never ceases to entertain and have you pressing the repeat button to re-imagine the experience all over again. ’summer bubbles’ and ’falling out of trees, falling down hills’ but emerge from a classically arched noir script, the former a fused mosaic of emperor penguin and busy signals smoothness, the latter once awoken from its yawning slumber a Gnac styled slice of spectral spy themed eeriness that courts to the lighter side of wizards tell lies albeit re-tweaked by the overseeing eye of Meek. Those adoring of oriental incantations and bowed chimes may find ears engaged by the crooked south sea shimmered flightiness of ’Burlington’.

And while the mere mention of glitch electronica may have you thinking upon these chaps as strolling along tuned into all manner of Warp like madness, ’there’s conjuring to be done’ instead reveals an ear subtly au fait in the Birmingham underground scene c. mid 90’s tapping along to the kind of 60’s channelled sounds hatching out of Wurlitzer Jukebox so much so its easy to imagine a reworking of Kirchin viewed through the eyes of a child which on the likes of ’circus juice’ is revealed an informed and affectionate love for the likes of L’augmentation (see ‘trapeze’) and Pram which if stretched a little in the imaginations ear could easily be viewed as a spectral and skeletal Broadcast framing.
Mark Barton
The Sunday Experience (UK - 13.5.14) 
http://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/whizz-kid-2/
 
 
 
‘there’s conjuring to be done’ never ceases to entertain and have you pressing the repeat button to re-imagine the experience all over again. ’summer bubbles’ and ’falling out of trees, falling down hills’ but emerge from a classically arched noir script, the former a fused mosaic of emperor penguin and busy signals smoothness, the latter once awoken from its yawning slumber a Gnac styled slice of spectral spy themed eeriness that courts to the lighter side of wizards tell lies albeit re-tweaked by the overseeing eye of Meek. Those adoring of oriental incantations and bowed chimes may find ears engaged by the crooked south sea shimmered flightiness of ’Burlington’. 
Whizz Kid - "There's Conjuring to Be Done" (BS026 - 2014) 

Whizz Kid is another in the long line of Bearsuit’s international collaborations, as banjo-wielding Glaswegian Yo-yo Nielsen and Belgian J-Kane team up for this wonderfully wacky collection of instrumental tomfoolery – a psychedelic circus of tunes that’ll turn those frowns upside down and send shivers of joy and “Circus Juice” up and down your spine. Toy pianos, glitch electronics, snappy percussion and the ever lovely vibes run amok on this effervescent happy foot request party. Toss in some baby noises, and float along with self-descriptive wonders like ‘Summer Bubbles’, as light and airy as it sounds, ‘Falling Out Of Trees, Falling Down Hills’, which is more fun than falling off a log…and less painful, and ‘Burlington’, a warped ‘London Bridge Is Falling Down’ parody, complete with adulterated brassy fx and fingerpointing “Nah nah na nah nah’s”! It’s like Neutral Milk Hotel for the pre-school generation.

I wonder if Carl Stalling had this much fun creating all those weird and unforgettable Warner Brothers cartoon sounds, because these whizz kids sure sound like they’re having a blast and you’ll easily find yourself caught up in their happy party tunes. Old timers may also hear a little of the seminal Moondog discography in tasty, sugar-coated treats like the festive ‘Kid Santa’ and ‘Circus Juice’, a veritable Grand Guignol on a merry-go-round.

A children’s album for adults? Or maybe it’s an adult album that the kids can get into as well? No matter. Either way, it’s a refreshing concept, flawlessly executed, and a total joy from beginning to end.
Jeff Penczak ("It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine" - 4/14)
http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/whizz-kid-theres-conjuring-to-be-done.html

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Best Albums of 2013: 4. Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai

Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai - "The Lost Charles Underscore" (BS023)

4. The Lost Charles Underscore - Anata Wa Sukari Tsukarete Shimai (Bearsuit)

Astonishing stuff from the excellent Bearsuit label, who put out many good things during 2013 but excelled themselves with this album of brilliantly twisted psychedelic-punk-pop-noise strangeness that crams so much into itself that, at the end, you feel you've digested an entire year's worth of brilliant music rather than a mere twelve tracks.  When the preview track 'Doll' pummeled my lugholes I didn't dare hope that the rest of the collection would be equal to it in magnificence, but it was and the proof is here.  
Mark Barton is The Sunday Experience said it 'belches along a grizzled dust racked highway once frequented by a youthful Tom Waits channelling the spirit of Beefheart', but he was only talking about a single track.  Utterly spellbinding.

Astonishing stuff from the excellent Bearsuit label, who put out many good things during 2013 but excelled themselves with this album of brilliantly twisted psychedelic-punk-pop-noise strangeness that crams so much into itself that, at the end, you feel you've digested an entire year's worth of brilliant music rather than a mere twelve tracks.  When the preview track 'Doll' pummeled my lugholes I didn't dare hope that the rest of the collection would be equal to it in magnificence, but it was and the proof is here.  
Mark Barton is The Sunday Experience said it 'belches along a grizzled dust racked highway once frequented by a youthful Tom Waits channelling the spirit of Beefheart', but he was only talking about a single track.  Utterly spellbinding.
 
Mark Barton is The Sunday Experience said it 'belches along a grizzled dust racked highway once frequented by a youthful Tom Waits channelling the spirit of Beefheart', but he was only talking about a single track.  Utterly spellbinding.
 
Mark Whitby (Unwashed Territories / Dandelion Radio) (12/13) 
http://unwashedterritories.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/best-albums-of-2013-4-anata-wa-sukari.html
 

Anata Wa Sukari Tsukarete Shimai - "The Lost Charles Underscore" (BS023)

This one has been sitting in the wings chirping away like an excitable impish infant demanding attention and play. The latest from the mighty bearsuit empire crookedly begins its descent in digital space with the arrival of AWSTS - or Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai to give them their full unedited moniker - now try getting that on a button badge. No strangers around here their mini set ‘sweetness and light’ from a little while back had us at once alarmed and charmed amid an equal measuring of seduction and being spooked the bejezus out of. And now this their debuting long playing platter ‘the lost Charles Underscore’. a three way collaboration was the original plan until _  of Kirameki fame (much loved and worried over around these here parts) went amiss so for the moment a duo featuring Bunny and Gnomefoam until the location (and I suspect a strong telling off) of _ is confirmed. Is it just me or is this getting surreal even before we’ve had a chance to mention the platter.

Twelve moments of strangeness sit with the goofy grooves of ‘the lost Charles underscore’ which I must admit takes the duo a little while to acclimatise to their new found dynamic and find their feet so to speak that’s not to say that nuggets aplenty are to be hollowed out of the grooves here, the ending parts of opener ‘are you ready?’ are easily the eeriest slice of disturbia we’ve heard since biosphere’s ‘phantasm’ while the scowling and scalded futuro groove that is the frankly wired and scuzzed out ‘drink it up’ belches along a grizzled dust racked highway once frequented by a youthful Tom Waits channelling the spirit of Beefheart. 
Twelve moments of strangeness sit with the goofy grooves of ‘the lost Charles underscore’ which I must admit takes the duo a little while to acclimatise to their new found dynamic and find their feet so to speak that’s not to say that nuggets aplenty are to be hollowed out of the grooves here, the ending parts of opener ‘are you ready?’ are easily the eeriest slice of disturbia we’ve heard since biosphere’s ‘phantasm’ while the scowling and scalded futuro groove that is the frankly wired and scuzzed out ‘drink it up’ belches along a grizzled dust racked highway once frequented by a youthful Tom Waits channelling the spirit of Beefheart. 
Twelve moments of strangeness sit with the goofy grooves of ‘the lost Charles underscore’ which I must admit takes the duo a little while to acclimatise to their new found dynamic and find their feet so to speak that’s not to say that nuggets aplenty are to be hollowed out of the grooves here, the ending parts of opener ‘are you ready?’ are easily the eeriest slice of disturbia we’ve heard since biosphere’s ‘phantasm’ while the scowling and scalded futuro groove that is the frankly wired and scuzzed out ‘drink it up’ belches along a grizzled dust racked highway once frequented by a youthful Tom Waits channelling the spirit of Beefheart.
 
Somewhere else ’thread wire’ easily out kooky’s the flaming lips. That said for us things unsettle deliciously with the advent of the gloriously head warping ‘I can make footprints with my eyes’ - all flowers and beads and hippy-delic wooziness refracted as were to manifest into a mushrooming psych pop lovely hazed in dissolving lysergia dialects whilst rooting through the songbook of the Move through the x-ray gaze of Southall Riot / Freed Unit and cobbled together into a deliciously fracturing and hazy Elephant 6 collective in a head on collision with Guided by Voices melee. Those wondering what Syd might sound like had he persisted with the music and creative forward thinking instead of sadly removing himself from his past might do well to tune into ‘backyard’ which aside hinting ever so obviously at the aural nursery rhyme abstractia Barrett was prone to toot there’s the small consequential detail worth mentioning wherein the mood fries without warning into a wiring off centred Clinic styled hoedown.

Admittedly we here are a little smitten by ‘papalazed’ which to these well tested ears sounds not unlike it’s entering into Battles territories albeit as though sent packing with a whirling carnival-esque sandwich box filled with all manner of gorgeously skewed n’ fuzzed out and fragmenting tripped beat grooves flavoured in warping grass skirt shimmering tropicalia and far east accents that crookedly apt to shed their skin to incorporate moments of pre ‘Ebenezer’ rave Shamen like snarls blended and sugar dipped in the gaseous soft psych hinterland of the busy signals.

Now if we were anal we’d have our CD’s all neatly spread on shelves in alpha order that way we’d be able to quick step at the drop of a hat and select from said collection the CD to tell you the name of the band that ‘of trying to teach someone how to whistle’ reminds us of, so in the absence of me disappearing for days on end rifling through boxes upon boxes of discs (again alas in no discerning order) you’ll have to trust my failing memory when I say in my minds eye I see it - pale blue sleeve, a bit nondescript, out around 1999 by a band called - I’m fairly certain - Rooney. Probably wrong - that said those with memories stretching back to a similar age might well recall an excellent platter put out by the Creeping Bent imprint entitled ’sourblaster’ by a combo going by the name Element. Well in the time it takes us to go all around the houses to get here - this blighter reminds thus, a chilling bugger which at the 2.33 mark suddenly pulls up and in the blink of an eye lifts, ruptures and radiates to the arresting blossoming of feel good celestial swathes. Goes without saying you need this in your listening life.
Mark Barton (Tales From The Attic / God Is In The TV / The Sunday Experience - UK -  9/13) 

http://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/tales-from-the-attic-volume-xii-part-iii/
 
*
 
Jikan Ga Nai - “Plenty Time” (BS022 - 2013)


A challenge to categorise and difficult to describe, …plenty time is an all-too-brief EP of four tracks that wears its quirky humour on its sleeve, or, in this case, in the titles on its sleeve. jikan ga nai, a collaborative duo from Bearsuit Records (home of eclectic pop-rock from Scotland and Japan), is an alias that roughly translates from Japanese to ‘I have little/no time’, and the contradictory nature of these titles is reflected somewhat in the music. Seemingly arbitrary and nonsensical name aside, opener “when we lie down we take the penguin home” presents an ominous entrance through which to enter this esoteric world of synths, fuzzy bass lines, myriad guitar tones and programmed drums. As the rhythm section settles into a groove and the layers of guitar build to a constant presence from initial disjointedness, so the tone of menace yields to one of a more playful nature, albeit with a persistent undercurrent of unease.
A challenge to categorise and difficult to describe, …plenty time is an all-too-brief EP of four tracks that wears its quirky humour on its sleeve, or, in this case, in the titles on its sleeve. jikan ga nai, a collaborative duo from Bearsuit Records (home of eclectic pop-rock from Scotland and Japan), is an alias that roughly translates from Japanese to ‘I have little/no time’, and the contradictory nature of these titles is reflected somewhat in the music. Seemingly arbitrary and nonsensical name aside, opener “when we lie down we take the penguin home” presents an ominous entrance through which to enter this esoteric world of synths, fuzzy bass lines, myriad guitar tones and programmed drums. As the rhythm section settles into a groove and the layers of guitar build to a constant presence from initial disjointedness, so the tone of menace yields to one of a more playful nature, albeit with a persistent undercurrent of unease.

The second track, “of course we weren’t always superstars”, adopts a similar progression, with swathes of synth creating a quite fantastical atmosphere and shimmering layers and blips that seem almost to coruscate over the groove that enters – a touch more up tempo than the last and no less infectious. This is followed by the soberly titled “legend days”, the lengthiest track at five minutes and the most (comparatively) orthodox. Hints of experimental-era Radiohead and PVT (formerly Pivot) respectively grace the track’s two distinct movements, starting with free-flowing layers of melodious synth and acoustic guitar, rendered all the more surreal with an 8-bit music-style rhythmic overdub that seems to transport to a floating video game alternate reality. After a pause, fuzzy bass and tinny drums are cast out to hook us straight back to more familiar and stable terrain, serenaded with a sublime guitar line.

The elements with which jikan ga nai create their musical world are not in themselves unusual; standard electro/post-rock instruments aside, the duo also stay tethered to 4/4 timing and do not stray from a tangible formula in terms of track development. The originality instead stems from the atmosphere evoked by these elements, creating a fantastical world that seems in equal parts inviting yet haunting, palpable yet intangible, serious yet ludicrous. A beguiling realm to be admired, yet only from afar, for who knows what lurks beneath its serene surface. And it is with its final track that the EP appears ready to reveal its secret, as “the man who tells the trains…” disgorges layers of menacing synth that grow increasingly discordant beneath a despairing guitar line crescendoing to… an abrupt end. It’s a conclusion in keeping with the ellipses in the track’s title, curtailing the time we have to attempt to comprehend the many arcana of this inscrutable and fascinating record. Turns out there wasn’t enough of it.
Chris Redfearn ( A Closer Listen)

*
 (Chris Redfearn)
A Closer Listen (21.9.13)
 
ageing children - "ageing children" (BS021) 
 
Imagine a Beck album tucked away between “One Foot In The Grave” and “Stereopathetic Soul Manure”. One that features no vocals as such but otherwise bears all the hallmarks of the king of lo-fi. Weird samples, background noise, muttering and all sorts of other distracting elements that could throw the listener off the scent of what are essentially great little songs (albeit recorded through a Dictaphone that has been thrown in a puddle about a mile away from the action). I didn’t realise I liked this album until “Bimbo’s Lament” came sauntering into my ears. A lo-fi acoustic guitar refrain that is paired with a … what ? I think it’s a backward flute (or flute like instrument). It’s quite difficult to tell what it is but it’s a beautiful haunting little tune, one of those things that suddenly throws the rest of the album into perspective. There are a few other highlights on the album as well (the weird off kilter synths of “Mothership” and “Summer Love Tale” which come over like some sort of shattered Boards of Canada demo) but basically this is an album to invite into your brain on a regular basis. It may not take off its shoes and there may be a funny smell when it leaves but its shambolic chaotic style is utterly venerable and a perfect antidote to the anodyne state of most modern music.
 Kim Monaghan - (Sitting Now - 6/13)
 

Imagine a Beck album tucked away between “One Foot In The Grave” and “Stereopathetic Soul Manure”. One that features no vocals as such but otherwise bears all the hallmarks of the king of lo-fi. Weird samples, background noise, muttering and all sorts of other distracting elements that could throw the listener off the scent of what are essentially great little songs (albeit recorded through a Dictaphone that has been thrown in a puddle about a mile away from the action). I didn’t realise I liked this album until “Bimbo’s Lament” came sauntering into my ears. A lo-fi acoustic guitar refrain that is paired with a … what ? I think it’s a backward flute (or flute like instrument). It’s quite difficult to tell what it is but it’s a beautiful haunting little tune, one of those things that suddenly throws the rest of the album into perspective. There are a few other highlights on the album as well (the weird off kilter synths of “Mothership” and “Summer Love Tale” which come over like some sort of shattered Boards of Canada demo) but basically this is an album to invite into your brain on a regular basis. It may not take off its shoes and there may be a funny smell when it leaves but its shambolic chaotic style is utterly venerable and a perfect antidote to the anodyne state of most modern music. 
Kim Monaghan - (Sitting Now - 6/13) 

ageing children - "ageing children" (BS021)

Regular observers of these missives - and they number in their multitudes - names provided on request - will be all to aware of our adoration for the weird and wayward sounds emanating from Edinburgh’s premier fried factory of strange sounds imprint Bearsuit. Clearly run by decent people with a discerning ear for the wired and wonky and a sympathetic almost philanthropic nature that extends a safe haven for those sonic odd socks and musical sore thumbs which lurk in non pop’s back waters. Ageing children are the latest beneficiaries of this benevolent nature, two chaps they be known simply as Jim and Chuck Children - names quite clearly that we suspect they weren’t born with especially that Jim one. In former lives they’ve scuffed stage floors gracing the line ups of scout master general and the kennel club while Chuck C splits time completing a PhD and recoding as EMLP - Electronic Music Learning Project - while Jim is often found frequenting the musical watering holes in his solo guise Pep Boy while additionally flavouring and contributing to the international file sharing co-operative AWSTS or Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai.

 So with the domestics done swiftly on to the album. Not strictly due to surface until the end of next month, this self titled set gathers together 13 slabs of - by their definition - ‘scratchy rock n’ roll’ and by their labels ‘no fi with .lo-fi aspirations ‘ and who are we to argue, seriously lo-fi to the point that its almost primitive there’s a vague sense in the early stages of this set of a duo who can’t quite decide whether or not they want to be Wire or Devo and end up haplessly failing to sound like either, that said if you could for a moment imagine a seriously beaten around the edges art punk grizzled Ramones in cheap bargain basement productions scuzzing out on a three chord template savagely scratched in a primordial stoner dragster chassis dismembering a ZZ Top songbook and you wouldn’t be so far off the mark as you’d be first led to believe. Now ears are a personal thing and mine as it happens are picking up elements of the Primals ‘rocks’ within the fuzz framed no wave nonchalance of ‘I’m gonna get my dog’ albeit aside the shaming of most stoner psych purveyors it comes rearing up after some seriously bastardised cannibalisation scalped with a locked grooved grind and removed of all the fat and filler of the original whilst being played by a shit faced Gibbons and Co. ‘bimbo the shoulder’ - please do not even begin to consider asking - is a deadpanning ‘Grotesque’ era Fall in skeletal studio draft minus Smithy shock while old school admirers of the much missed Fire Engines may do well to jump the track listing where you’ll find ‘my big engine’ doing all manner of schizo spy soundtrack posturing kind of like Man or Astro Man but without the b-movie sci-fi obsessing and more like a malfunctioning super agent alter ego of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet.

Dour and doomed in slow core detachment ’wee red’ signals the beginning of a stark shift in mood and style, along with ’summer love tale’ and ’mothership’ this triptych decamp themselves to set up an ominously brooding and chill stricken slab of dark hearted oddness, a mirthless melodic mausoleum the second of which mentioned is hooked upon a disturbed austere carousel that sounds as though once upon a time its been abandoned by a MK1 version of the Human League before being discovered, bastardised and left to rot by the truth about frank. ’mothership’ comes similarly affected, an old school electro haunt replete with chamber electronic recitals and eerie vocoder murmurs which if we here didn’t know any better would hazard a guess it was the handiwork of Landscape fashioning out scary versions of the Buggles. And then in a flash where back in the lair of the shit faced for ’mosquito’ which does a freakish line in crooked delta blues whilst under the blurry influence of several shots of moonshine. A particular favourite around these here parts is the arid trade wind blowing ‘dudage’ - a dust kernelled howling blues beauty which invested in the right kind of production has all the ghostly accoutrements to hold its head against anything emanating out of the early careers sound bunkers presided over by the grails or godspeed.
Mark Barton (The Sunday Experience)

All said the most together and surprisingly most tender cuts of the set appear at the albums final gasp so to speak - here the softly purred ’the kennel club’ a gorgeously crooked slice of caught in the moment day dreamy slowly dissolving psych folk opining to a monochromatic sketchbook of a latter career flying saucer attack while the parting shimmer served folk beauty ‘bimbo’s lament’ is adorned with the kind of hollowing mystique and hazy un-worldliness as to have several of the more astute of you off rummaging about for your cherished copy of Damon and Naomi’s collaboration with Ghost. Irregular music for irregular heads. Mark Barton (The Sunday Experience - 16.3.13) 

*

haq - "nocturnals" (BS020 - 2013)

Released on the independent Scotish label Bearsuit Records, Nocturnals is one of those rare albums that mixes extreme experimentation with pop beauty and actually works.

Released on the independent Scotish label Bearsuit Records, Nocturnals is one of those rare albums that mixes extreme experimentation with pop beauty and actually works.

Haq is a collaboration between Tokyo based duo, N-qia: Nozomi (vocal) & Takma (keyboards & programming) and Edinburgh based musician, Harold Nono (guitars, keyboards & programming). These cross-culture references feed into every fibre of this album. Think My Bloody Valentine, Fuck Buttons, with a dose of Team Brick thrown in and you can get a little bit of an idea of where this album sits. 

All the way through Nocturnals, Nozomis’ vocals are the anchor that holds the whole thing together. Thoroughly beautiful as it glides through tracks such as Zuyder and Retrospect, the voice is the central focus for a listener to hold on through as Takma and Nono go off into whatever direction they fancy (this can change within seconds on each individual tracks).

The album is full of unexpected twists and turns and is heavily layered, but in the end, is does have a very pastoral/folk music feel. This is folk music like the Richard D James album is folk, and you’d love to imagine Syd Barrett making this kind of music.

One of the many highlights of the album is the track Sleeper. Underneath the obligatory gorgeous vocal lies a pure Hyperdub rhythm, which if listened to closely enough, resembles the early days of Dubstep. I won’t tell you what happens fifty odd seconds in as it really is a remarkable moment in an album full of them.

However, albums like this do not warrant a track by track review as the whole thing is a complete piece. It washes over you (if you want it to), it disturbs you, it excites you, it disobeys you. On the aforementioned Retrospect there is even a sample of a child talking and singing whilst playing in the bath which on one hand is pure beauty and on the other incredibly unsettling in a Hammer Horror sense.

A gorgeous album, and one whose timing could not be better. This is a perfect spring record. Some sun, some rain, some flowering, some cold spells.

A must listen.

All words by Simon Tucker
Louder than War (05.03.13)

http://louderthanwar.com/haq-nocturnals-album-review/

*

http://louderthanwar.com/haq-nocturnals-album-review/
http://louderthanwar.com/haq-nocturnals-album-review/http://louderthanwar.com/haq-nocturnals-album-review/
 A gorgeous album, and one whose timing could not be better. This is a perfect spring record. Some sun, some rain, some flowering, some cold spells.

A must listen.

A gorgeous album, and one whose timing could not be better. This is a perfect spring record. Some sun, some rain, some flowering, some cold spells. 

haq - "nocturnals" (BS020 - 2013)


Think I might be right in saying that we have a handful of bearsuit releases currently lurking around awaiting closer attention, heading the pile and falling headlong into our affections is a new collaborative set that pairs the talents of Harold Nono with N-qia who under the collective nom de plume Haq have hatched the simply immaculate ’nocturnal’. with ghost like delight this twelve track set is tenderly and sublimely seduced to a landscape that’s glitch glowed and immersed in an after lights out cool sophistication.

Delicately applying elements of early / mid 90’s Bristol and Birmingham down tempo / electronica scenes, Haq hardwire to their spectral tapestry enchanting folk corteges - as on the ghostly siren-esque ‘lifted’ - that swap love notes with sepia twisted torch trims upon which are moulded and sculptured an array of rustling beats and lo-fi electronica. Unworldly and deeply absorbing, the sound of Haq is both bewitching and beguiled, like a secret hideaway accidentally stumbled upon they don’t take kindly to the hustle and bustle of day time preferring instead a hushed setting shadow lined and stilled. In terms of reference markers perhaps smile down upon us which brought to wider acclaim the enviable talents of moomlooo courtesy of the esteemed static caravan imprint comes close to veering into haq’s eclectic and mysterious noir scratched orbit. Not least is this the case than on the shy eyed frost framed beauty that is ‘jikan ga nai’. Somewhere else the dinked dizziness of the dreamily demurred ‘retrospect’ tunes itself into the frequency of the much missed l’augmentation those preferring matters more lulling and lullaby-esque will do well to explore the seductive ambient textures of ‘poison tree’ which had we not known better we’d have hazarded a guess was the fruition of some studio face down between a Debussy enthralled art of noise and Discordia while the lounge lilted and hazy ’the birds are eating the sun’ seems to occupy a wigged out early 70’s pan European horror sound tracking more commonly associated with Komeda and Korzynski. The same brushstrokes apply to the high wired tension stricken ’sleeper’ where the monastic trimmings opine to a fragmenting dream sequence recalling the frazzled psychosis of a ’suspiria’ era Goblin.

The sets centre forming moments come by way of the adorable ‘bees in my feet’ and ‘riverend’ of which the former mentioned is here gloriously serviced by the succulent stroke of a light fading musetta like moodism sleekly shifts out of focus amid a delirious cortege presaged in dream states that recall a forlorn Broadcast being sympathetically cuddled by Komeda. ‘riverend’ on the other hand comes courted to the sugared rush of classically tutored string symphonics all steeled with an ethereal soft tread that endows it with a deceptively demurred dream casting as it swoons, woos and wanders amid the low lit shoegazed environs to aurally imagine a heavenly blissed out this mortal coil being reframed by a lo-fi glitch geared Goldfrapp. Disturbingly beautiful all said.

Mark Barton
The Sunday Experience/God Is In The TV (UK - 14.2.13)

*

haq - "nocturnals" (BS020 - 2013)

Voz feminina, texturas sonoras experimentais, o nome deste projecto musical da editora Bearsuit Records simboliza a colaboração do músico Harold Nono com o duo N-qia. Começar a descrever a experiência deste disco é tão plausível como falar de ritmos dissonantes e pouco lineares, de guitarras ensurdecidas num caos electrónico com tapetes vocais estranhos.
Quando pensamos que um tema segue um trajecto que conhecemos somos surpreendidos no minuto seguinte por uma viragem de rumo. É uma sensação de desconforto, desorienta-nos e isso, sem qualquer explicação verosímil, acaba por ser um dos maiores encantos deste registo.

Em dados momentos parece até que a música nos embala em direcção a uma calma embebida num líquido convidativo à plasmólise dos canais auditivos. Noutros parece que ouvimos um órgão ou um acordeão numa rua de Paris para de seguida tudo se perder numa massa de ruído com um desejo voraz de nos fazer dançar com batidas quebradas.
 
‘Nocturnals’ é um disco surpreendente não haja dúvida. Incansável nessa missão, atinge também o objectivo de nos hipnotizar e de nos fazer ficar com os olhos muito abertos como se estivéssemos perante uma estranha e caótica revelação. Fascinante.

Projecto Cellophane (Portugal - 18/2/13)
http://projecto-cellophane.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/haq-nocturnals-2013.html 


*

yu-chi/anata wa sukkari tsukarete shimai - "the original magnetic light parade" (BS019 - 2012)

Fucking hell. I’m already tired and that’s just from writing the names of the artists and the album title. I wish people would be more considerate. Thankfully it won’t be the longest review as this is sort of an EP but it is, as ever from Bearsuit, an excellent one. The opening track is the sort of weird broken midi jazz that seems to be unique to Bearsuit, while “The First Star” is essentially a beautiful piece of acoustic guitar with…yes some broken weird midi jazz drums. “Toy Joy” sounds like it was constructed (a la Modified Toy Orchestra) from kids toys, a Casio and an accordion but is a beautiful little number that should soundtrack a forgotten black and white kids show refracted back from the moon.

The remixes almost didn’t get a look in with me because (mostly) I don’t care about remixes, unless they manage to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. However, I respect Bearsuit records a huge amount and if they’ve released it I’ll give it my full attention. Just as well really because all three remixers have done sterling work. A spooky rework of AWSTS “Cataract” by Gluid is sparsely decorated with harps and bowed saw and he makes a lovely song into a spooky dub oddity while keeping the essentials. Jim Child reworks “Lost In A Forest of Blank Sportswear” into a clanky insectile affair with an 80’s guitar hero ending. The final mix by Rune Martinsen turns “My Drive” into something you might hear resonating through the broken P.A of a vast industrial mining spacecraft a thousand years from now.

It’s an odd little release being somewhere between EP and album and split between two artists, but I’d buy it just for the cover art.
Kim Monaghan
It’s an odd little release being somewhere between EP and album and split between two artists, but I’d buy it just for the cover art.

Kim Monaghan
Sitting Now (2/13)

http://sittingnow.co.uk/2013/02/19/yu-chi-anata-wa-sukkari-tsukarete-shimai-the-original-magnetic-light-parade-bearsuit-records/

yu-chi/anata wa sukkari tsukarete shimai - "the original magnetic light parade" (BS019 - 2012)

"The Original Magnetic Light Parade" is a very nice sonic knick-knack from Scottish label Bearsuit with an heavy dosage of Japanese aesthetics.

The first part of this split mini-album features the fuzzy dadaist electric folk Japanese multi-instrumentalist Yu-chi, whose sound smells of lovely rustic crispness and somewhat idyllic innocence: the opening with saddening strings on "Bustle, Conflict and Me" and the carillon of croaks, chatter, guitars and percussive splash-down, which manage to change the emotional set of the song till a sort of euphoric hebephrenia, the delicate melodic lines by plucked guitar with pitched chutes, which emphasize the reverie, and the following reprise on honky-tonk piano on  "The First Star" and the amazingly childish "Toy Joy", whose amalgamation of accordions, barking dogs and clicks, reprised by the delicate final guitar phrasing, seems inspired by typical tunes coming from itinerant ice cream vendors' vans or circus tents, could let listener think about a sort of nostalgic recollection, as it seems to be partially mirrored by the self-introduction by his own words, according to which he was "brought up listening to the music of Bach, Chopin & Debussy. I bought up my first guitar in junior high. After many family illnesses I gave up my education in other to return to the farmwork I grew up with in order to support my family".

On the second part of this magnetic mini-album, there are three interesting remixes of tracks by the international file sharing band/collective Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai (Japanese expression meaning "you are completely tired") by _ (Japan), Gnomefoam (England) and Bunny (Scotland), which explore different stylistical grounds: the lovely remix of Cataract by Gluid (Netherlands) tacks towards an entrancing mellow downbeat whose despondent mood and contemplative halo loom nearby the borderline of musical territories with garrisons by Radiohead, Blue Foundation or Future 3, while the remix of "Lost in the forest of blank sportswear" by Scottish producer Jim Child could resemble to some dozily hallucinated stuff by  Mum wrapped in scorched tapes and encircled by buzzing insects, which precedes the final disquieting remix of "My Drive" by Rune Martinsen (Norway), whose insertion of recordings from news report and radio broadcasts, lopsided guitars and disturbing noises emphasizes the sinister and mysterious atmosphere evoked by the monotonous repetition of the sentence "nobody knows it". I'm not sure if this release is available on vinyl or cd yet, but I'm sure you can find it as a digital release on most notorious providers (Amazon, I-Tunes, Spotify and so on).

Chain D.L.K (Italy - 8.2.13)

Chain D.L.K (Italy - 8.2.13)
http://www.chaindlk.com/reviews/?id=7440

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Jimmy Rosso - “32.32” (BS018 - 2012)

Pocetnica za stvaranje jednostavne umjetnicke glazbe. Namjenjeno svima koji znaju odsvirati barem 2-3 akorda, znaju pjevati, imaju mašte i poznaju osnove rada sa tonskim PC programima.

Londonski kompozitor, violoncelist, klavijaturist i pjevac Jimmy Rosso clan je punk-jazz-rock-classical benda DOLLYman. Zasebno od rada u bendu, još iz vremena kada je radio kao ucitelj glazbenog odgoja, poceo je pisati solo komade za djecu da im približi pojam glazbene umjetnosti na jednostavniji i prihvatljiviji nacin, te je ovaj album otprilike zasnovan na tim modelima. 
Londonski kompozitor, violoncelist, klavijaturist i pjevac Jimmy Rosso clan je punk-jazz-rock-classical benda DOLLYman. Zasebno od rada u bendu, još iz vremena kada je radio kao ucitelj glazbenog odgoja, poceo je pisati solo komade za djecu da im približi pojam glazbene umjetnosti na jednostavniji i prihvatljiviji nacin, te je ovaj album otprilike zasnovan na tim modelima.
 
Mnogi bi sad tu nešto poceli filozofirati izmišljajuci 'toplu vodu', no klasicarskim rijecnikom receno, ovo je prilicno banalna, ali vrlo lijepa i domišljata glazba. Spoj je klasicne i elektronske pop glazbe, uistinu nije naporna niti zahtjevna za slušanje i tumacenje, te je, ruku na srce, idealna za svakog klinca u školi da mu bez ikakvih paradoksa približi stvaranje umjetnicke kreacije.
 
10 vrlo kratkih kompozicija u rasponu od 2 do 4 minuta igra se razlicitim stilovima i žanrovima, pa tako uvodna "We desperately need friends" donosi plesni electro-industrial s mracnim orkestracijama i spoken-word repeticijama, a vec naredna "Anything goes" lagani uvodnik u udaraljkaške egzibicije triangla i kojekakvih mikseva violoncela i elektronskih samplova u dinamickim intervalima sa produkcijski izvrnutim spoken-wordom. "Undone" je bazicna tema za solo violoncelo i gudacki aranžman uz pjevani tekst kojeg je Rosso otpjevao školski harmonicno melodijski baršunastim glasom pomalo nalik na Stinga. U drugom dijelu kompozicije nabacao je primamljivi plesni acid-jazz tempo, te potpuno izokrenuo vokale da služe nadogradnji druge melodije, a finiš je satkao od škripe, eksperimenata i škole elektro-akustike. "Heart" s gostovanjem Cress Linsday i Esther Cavett bez ikakvih problema podsjeti na neke eksperimentalne Sylvianove pop radove iz 80-ih, jedna od najduljih "Held" je bazirana na strukturnoj ambijentalnoj piano igri sa gudacima, elektronskim vokalima i ritmicnim fade-in/fade-out eksperimentarijama, dok je najkraca "Susan" (samo 1.30) spoj dubstepa i klavirske etide. "If there was a place" sa jednostavnom piano melodijom je vježba u kojoj se pokazuje nacin sviranja i melodicnog pjevanja, a da bi bilo intrigantnije, Rosso je u njoj nabacao cijeli kolaž elektronskih ritmova, efekata, pa cak i laganih natruha noise-harsha i prostorne psihodelije. Otprilike slicna je i "Ripped" samo što je osnova bazirana na gudacku strukturu s piano minijaturama i elektronskim glasovima. Svakako najljepši komad albuma je završna "Home" prošarana piano melodijom i gudacima s ponešto staccato tehnike, himnicnim tekstom, te vokalima djecjeg zbora.
 
S tehnicke strane gledišta, ovo je vrlo jednostavan album s osnovnim glazbenim principima koji uvode u art. Nikako nije sofisticiran, ali daleko od toga da je površan, plitak ili cisto eksperimentalan. Pokazatelj je glazbenog znalca kako se radi umjetnicka forma, a da se ne banaliziraju kriteriji. Uostalom, preko ovog djela djeca u školi ce prije shvatiti samu poantu umjetnosti nego li preko teških i kompleksnih djela velemajstora klasicne glazbe s kojima se ucenike bombardira na nastavi. Eh, da sam barem ja imao ovakvog ucitelja...
Pocetnica za stvaranje jednostavne umjetnicke glazbe. Namjenjeno svima koji znaju odsvirati barem 2-3 akorda, znaju pjevati, imaju mašte i poznaju osnove rada sa tonskim PC programima. 
 
S tehnicke strane gledišta, ovo je vrlo jednostavan album s osnovnim glazbenim principima koji uvode u art. Nikako nije sofisticiran, ali daleko od toga da je površan, plitak ili cisto eksperimentalan. Pokazatelj je glazbenog znalca kako se radi umjetnicka forma, a da se ne banaliziraju kriteriji. Uostalom, preko ovog djela djeca u školi ce prije shvatiti samu poantu umjetnosti nego li preko teških i kompleksnih djela velemajstora klasicne glazbe s kojima se ucenike bombardira na nastavi. Eh, da sam barem ja imao ovakvog ucitelja...
Pocetnica za stvaranje jednostavne umjetnicke glazbe. Namjenjeno svima koji znaju odsvirati barem 2-3 akorda, znaju pjevati, imaju mašte i poznaju osnove rada sa tonskim PC programima. 
ocjena albuma [1-10]: 8 
Terapija 
horvi // 07/12/2012 
Terapija 
horvi // 07/12/2012
http://www.terapija.net/mjuzik.asp?ID=15484 

Jimmy Rosso - “32.32” (BS018 - 2012)

For an imprint that prides itself on its eclectic roster and wide variety of musical styles, even this one is a bit of an odd duck. London-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Rosso steps out from behind his punk/jazz/rock/classical collective DOLLYman for this debut slab of electronic interludes surrounded by sound byte dropins, glitchy tape loops revolving in on themselves, mourning cellos, and hypnotic sound collages. But you’d never know it based upon the faux album cover that hints at an accordion-driven wine-and-cheese oompah party within its grooves! (The label found it in a charity shop - now all you intrepid internet scavenger hunters can go look for the actual artist/title!).

 One may wonder if Rosso left the TV on in the background while he and co-producer Owain Rich were assembling these ten tracks, which vary from the above mentioned experimentalism to more “conventional songs” like ‘Undone’, which drops a funky backing onto a warped cello solo, disembodied voices, and an overall dirgy atmosphere as befits a funeral procession. Imagine Joy Division’s ‘Decades‘ revisited from a 21st century, “avant-ronic” perspective. Elsewhere, ‘Held’ haunts us with its distant piano tones, heartwrenching cello strains and beckoning voices – like a Siren’s invitation to the slaughter.

It’s certainly an unsettling collection, occasionally interrupting a contemplative, eerie-voiced  horror house dirge (‘If There Was A Place’) with a glitchy, robotic dance tune (‘Susan’) or a classical piano/cello piece (‘Ripped’, ‘End’) with a full-on chidren’s chorale (‘Home’, featuring the Sarah Bonnell Junior Choir). But that’s always been Bearsuit’s strong, er, suit – defying the expected and turning  conventional song structure on its ear. And Rosso fits the mould quite nicely with this promising and occasionally challenging listening experience. Even the album title is a bit of a conundrum that I’ll leave for the trainspotters amongst you to unravel. Truly a case of unexpecting the expected.
Jeff from Oxford (USA - 27.11.12)
The Perfumed Garden

http://www.homegrownradionj.com/Blogs/index.shtml

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Various Artists : “Run Over By An Elevator” (BS017 - 2012) 

Found straying off our somewhat unguarded and seemingly unsighted radar of late is the much lovedbearsuit imprint. Purveyors of the weird, the wired, the wayward and quite frankly wonky, this collective prides itself on scouring the global airwaves for strange sonic communications and offering safe haven to those aural alchemists operating on the distant outer post markers of pops cosmos – or Japan as the case proves. Of course this lot should be no strangers to long time observers of these musings such similar compilations as this one have brought to our attention such gem like oddities as Whizz kid, Harold Nono and Taub all of whom I’m happy to announce feature amid the fracturing grooves of ‘run over by an elevator‘ – alas no Kirameki, Pdnc or Moomlooo this time but in their absence a whole host of other impish talent from the electronica divides with which to playfully mess with you head space are to be found shoehorned upon the enclosed 16 tracks.

An absolute cornucopia of curios for here you’ll encounter the opening ambit and suitably bombastic greeting ofAuskeur’s ’open ground’ as it looms with chilling potent with its elephantine fanfares much rooted in the sonic psyche of Jerry Goldsmith.

The ethereal dream drift of Haq whose sighing bittersweet ’bees in my feet’ provides probably one of the sets stand out moments by far will melt hearts on first listen and sounds it has to be said not unlike a divinely ghost like and wounded broadcast in some romantic tryst with komeda and should equally arrest those who took heed of our recommendations a few years back and plugged into the smouldering seduction of musetta.

Equally frazzling the ear candy sensations is N-qia‘s ‘managemente‘ a sumptuous and frankly schizoid jitterbugging demented doodle trading on low end bass pulsars and a sense of apocryphal collapse over which a siren-esque cortege sweetly drapes the imploding friction in weeping detachment.

The aforementioned Whizz Kid – to clever by half and adored around these here parts set to task with a little tomfoolery in the kitchen sink, all chiming pots and pans wheezing and creaking upon a crooked child like key motif which soon blossoms into an extraordinary and dare I say desirable sweetheart that’s spectrally trimmed to a shy eyed graceful waltz like Francophile musical box poise that had us here imagining some magical meeting of l’augmentation and pram minds. Similarly traced in sophisticated romance is the mellowing tease of Harold nono and hidekazu wakabayeshi’s ’Family’ which glides along to a sublime purr that much recalled landshipping of old… 

Its quite clear to us that ememe spend restless nights getting high on a frazzled cocktail of herbie hancock era ‘rock it’, art of noise and tiger beat platters for what else could explain the mutant funk glitch-tronica zoid intonations bleeding erratically from the skittish buzz burping beauty of the skewed ’Mosquito Bites’.

Now maybe its just me but Bunny and the Horsemen’s ‘Chikyu Wa Mawaru’ really does like a prime slice of pop struggling to loosen itself  from its wiring restraints, a dizzying array of mindsets seemingly playing from different pages of the same song book and forever going off message – still get past the chuckling samples the crooked time signatures and general discordance and something quite beautifully untamed and enchanting ghosts into view – we could I suspect grow to adore these fried souls. 

Suppa micro pamchopp are I suspect gold card carrying Cornelius fans or more pertinently sonic disciples of his wife Takako Minekawa for ‘people today started runrun’ is kookily framed in a cutely cosy tide of disconnected Dadaist accents and wig flipped hiccupping motifs all served into a frantic slice of subterranean funk.

Memories of the early works of both maps and diagrams and minotaur shock come flooding through with the appearance of emlp’s delightfully sparsely dinked lo-fi snow globe that is ‘descending’ – a loveable lunar lullaby that lilts genteelly to a underpin of shuffling trip hop rhythms and a woozily becalming stillness whose occasionally key twinkling noir passages tweaked our inch time radar.
 
Like some spectral and lovelorn distress call teleported from the far reaches of the voids the twinkling chime cortege of pleq’s ’metamorphosis part 1’ truly is a thing of demurring ice sculptured loveliness all opining sighs and glitch gulps.
 
Somewhere else there’s the mournful and tender like aural apparition that is the excellently titled ‘lost in the forest of blank sportswear’ from anata wa sukkari tsukareta shimai which shyly stumbles amid a fuzz frosted longing landscape that admirers of early Tex La Homa grooves may well swoon to. Those fancying their aural delights tempted with bowed chimes and twinkle some trims lush in the celestial hushed reverence of a prayer garden and dream dipped in celestial swathes will do well to tune into Antonio de Braga’s simply arresting ’comp no.208’ not least because it stirs almost sleepy eyed amid a disarming though subtly haunting Komeda like artistry.
 
And lest we forget to mention our fondness for Taub’s ’5-foot on the flipside’ – slow to burn, this darkly rain drizzled elegant darling assumes depth and dimension with the trickery of a magician’s hand, delicately dimpled in a souring down tempo timbre and channelled to a noir like spy themed persona there’s the feint though audible essence of Budd stalking its shadowy walkways. Emerging from the fog like some passing ghost ship are the frozen vaults whose ’first moments’ is coded in a twilight like aura and opines with the kind of head bowed majesty of set fire to flames.
 
‘moth’ by Doug Seidel is the collections sore thumb, that’s not to say the worst tracks I hasten to add – rather more the strangest – a kind of looned out archaic folk fanfare heralding some would town visit of a freak circus as were cobbled together by the freakishly zany mindset grouping of the Goons and Vivien Stanshall doing extra curricula sounds capes for those weird and wired eastern European animations of the early 70‘s.
 
Its left to the aging children to close proceedings with ’the kennel club’ – a wonderfully sleepy headed murmuring lullaby that should leave eyelids a heaving and had us here subdued in a misty eyed remembrance of 70’s children’s TV notably ’bagpuss’ et al. more of the same and quick about it.
 
Mark Barton / “Tales from the Attic - Scene VI: Revolutions of a 33 and 45 kind.”
god is in the tv (UK - 3/10/12)
http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2012/10/03/tales-from-the-attic-scene-vi-revolutions-of-a-33-and-45-kind/
 
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Various Artists : “Run Over By An Elevator” (BS017 - 2012) 

U vrelim ljetnim danima (10.VIII 2012) škotski Bearsuit Records je realizirao svoju novu kompilaciju sa uglavnom vec odranije znanim izvodacima uz nekoliko svojih novih otkrica kojima ce u dogledno vrijeme objaviti radove. 

Ton kompilacije je prepoznatljiv image etikete s elektro-akusticnim pop eksperimentima koji šecu od ambijenata, glitcha i lo-fi radova do relativno plesne glazbe, naravno s odmakom u alternativni pop izraz. Isto tako, koncept je ukusno uokviren kompozicijama koje postižu dinamiku s 'up and down' tenzijama.

Sam pocetak je bombastican - uvodna ''Open ground'' velškog AUSKEUR u gotovo industrial maniru starog Laibacha, te plesna ''Managemente'' novog japanskog otkrica N-QIA koja je neobican spoj big-beata, glitcha, industriala i hardcorea navodi kako se možebitno ovaj puta radi o plesnom, pa i do sada najžešcem ostvarenju etikete. No, vrlo brzo se stvari vracaju na uobicajeni trade-mark sa eksperimentalnom ambijentalkom ''Lost ion the forest of blank sportswear'' (ANATA WA SUKKARI TSUKARETE SHIMAI), minimalistickim repeticijama još jedne novine iz Japana EMEME (cudnovata dubstep ekspresija ''Mosquito bites''), zatim vrlo sneno ispjevanom dream-pop laganicom ''Bees in my feet'' japansko-škotskog projekta HAQ koji koristi i dobar dio elemenata moderne klasicne i komorne glazbe, te kompleksnim i vrlo melodicnim elektro-akusticnim strukturama belgijskog WHIZZ KID (''Trapeze''). Od novih imena, ovdje je još jedan neobican japanski izvodac SUPPA MICRO PAMCHOPP s prilicno otkacenim komadom ''Peaple today started runrun'' u kome se autor poigrava s vokalima i ritmovima, te poljski PLEQ u klasicnom ambijentalnom glitchu ''Metamorphosis pt.1''.

Od starih i dobro znanih poznanika nalazi se na BUNNY & THE ELECTRIC HORSEMEN feat. PNDC - ''Chikyu wa mawaru'', ponovno aktivan njemacki TAUB (''Foot 5 on the flipside'') od kojeg bi se mogao u skoro vrijeme ocekivati novi album i uvijek prisutan HAROLD NONO u kolaboraciji sa HIDEKAZU WAKABAYASHI-jem s ranije realiziranom ambijentalkom ''Family''. Tu su još 'domaci' škotski predstavnici ELMP (glitch/dub ''Descending'') i AGING CHILDREN (završni lo-fi ''The Kennel club''), americki DOUG SIEDEL (troma kraut-rockerska ''Moth''), kanadski eksperimentalni autor ANTONIO DE BRAGA (minimalisticka ''Comp no.209'') i poljsko-japansko-americki projekt THE FROZEN VAULTS (vrlo lijepa i mirna ambijentalno-eksperimentalna ''First moments''). 

 Kao što sve odiše uobicajenom zvucnom kulisom specificnom za Bearsuit Records, iza svih ovih slojevitih paravana s obiljem prijatnih eksperimenata stoji vrlo mirna ekscentricnost. Nimalo naporna, a još manje dosadna ili monotona, ova kompilacija je ponovno jako dobar pokazatelj suvremenog elektro-akusticnog 'homemade' undergrounda koji nastaje na vrlo bliskim stilsko-žanrovskim odrednicama diljem citave planete od Japana sve do Amerike i Europe.
horve
Terapija - (Croatia  - 31/08/12)

http://www.terapija.net/mjuzik.asp?ID=14734

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ocjena albuma [1-10]: 8Terapija - (Croatia  - 31/08/12)http://www.terapija.net/mjuzik.asp?ID=14734

Ton kompilacije je prepoznatljiv image etikete s elektro-akusticnim pop eksperimentima koji šecu od ambijenata, glitcha i lo-fi radova do relativno plesne glazbe, naravno s odmakom u alternativni pop izraz. Isto tako, koncept je ukusno uokviren kompozicijama koje postižu dinamiku s 'up and down' tenzijama. 

Bunny & The Electric Horsemen - “Fall Apart in My Backyard” (BS015 - 2011)

 Mario sits on the porch of his desert retirement home. His trademark red overalls are  faded and ripped and his moustache has now grown into a full prophet’s beard. I sit next to him and watch the fat red pixel sun wobble as it approaches the two dimensional horizon. “You know man, I never looked back after I stopped chasing that damn princess and her fuckin’ coins. I can’t believe how much time I wasted doin’ that shit. And no-one told me. Koopa, Luigi…not none of them. ‘Course I got to thank one of them for slipping me that tab of peyote. My horizons never stopped broadening ‘cos of that. Even now I ain’t sure of nothing.”

 As if to prove the point, out the front of his dilapidated cabin a cactus wobbles indignantly, and a line of coins race across the sky and disappear into a pipe that snatches them from the air, like a skybound clay crocodile. “So you’re happy now, Mario ? I mean things are pretty slow here in the retired computer game character reservation.” He scratches absent-mindedly at his potato-like nose and pulls a desert booger from one of his capacious nostrils. “Yeah. I mean… it was hard not being the main man anymore. But life here…I get all the perks and none of the hassle. Plus it’s not like I don’t deserve a rest you know ?” He cackles happily then reaches over to his record player.

The record he puts on is by Bunny and the Electric Horsemen and is called “Fall Apart In My Backyard”. It is only possible to understand what it is by listening to other albums on Bearsuit Records, a label that scurries away from cliché and stereotypes like silverfish from sunshine. Cheerful midi sounds chirp away in a soufflé of sun baked noir-esque guitar. Whimsical Japanese vocals insinuate themselves from echoing caverns that hide the Radiophonic Workshop’s pet cat and outside sounds become inside and what happens in your head doesn’t necessarily stay there.

Like the other albums I have heard on this label (Harold Nono / AWSTS) this is fucking brilliant. Baffling, surreal and totally idiosyncratic are just some of the frighteningly positive adjectives I could use to describe it and I have to admit I’m a little offended that you’re still sitting there like a lemon instead of following the link to go and buy it. What ? You like to know what you’re getting before blindly rushing into the Internet to buy albums ? Well then get the handy Bearsuit compilation album “Run Over By An Elevator”. Go on. Off you go.

Kim Monaghan 
Sitting Now (UK - 31.8.12)

http://sittingnow.co.uk/2012/08/31/bunny-and-the-electric-horsemen-fall-apart-in-my-backyard-bearsuit-records/ 

Sitting Now (UK - 31.8.12)
http://sittingnow.co.uk/2012/08/31/bunny-and-the-electric-horsemen-fall-apart-in-my-backyard-bearsuit-records/ 
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Kim Monaghan 
Sitting Now (UK - 31.8.12

 Various Artists : “Run Over By An Elevator” (BS017 - 2012) 

"Run Over by an Elevator" (people who understand some youngish English slang cannot but chortle about such a choice) could be considered a digest of the lucky and brisk headhunting activity by Scottish label Bearsuit as well as an opportunity to foretaste some of its forthcoming releases by this interesting label, whose driving force seems to be a strong link with (mainly Japanese) producers who keep on spooring the traces of authentic innovators coming from Japanese scene (I could mention a plenty of musicians and non-musicians in the roster of labels such as Schole, Daisyworld Discs, Teichiku, Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo Lab, Toy's Factory, P-Vine and many others), even if there are many tracks who could recall other musical grounds (the track "Descending" by emlp, acronym for "electronic music learning projects", by Edinburgh based musician and composer Mark Rossi - one of the tracks I liked most of this collection - partially recalls Icelandic Mum as well as "Bees In My Feet" by Haq, collaborative project between Japanese n-qia and Scottish half of Whizz Kid Harold Nono which is going to debut on Bearsuit soon, could remind some moments of Slowdive's "Catch The Breeze") and a geographical connection with Scotland and Northern England, one of the most active musical workshop who gave listeners a lot of mindblowing sonic stuff. It's really hard to rank them, as the stylistical range is quite wide and even lo-fi elements fly high on a quality level, even there are some highlights amidst this jungle of stuffed animals and hunting trophies : the above-mentioned n-qia with the hypnotic voice by Nozomi and fuzzy electro-acoustic textures by Takma, the intriguing feverishness of "Metamorphosis Pt.1" by Polish style-drifter Bartosz Dziadosz aka Pleq, the bizarre toytronics of "Mosquito Bites" by protean anti-nuclear activist Amogano aka Ememe and the amusing and childish one of "People Today Started Runrun" by Takashi Mizukoshi's Suppa Micro Pamchopp, the magnetic abstract J-pop of "Chikyu Wa Mawaru" (Japanese for "Earth is spinning") by Bunny & The Electric Horsemen, the seducing downbeat by Taub, a collaborative project by appreciated Nonine label manager Me Raabenstein and Harold Nono, the sweet melancholy-tinged rustic idyll of "Family" by Japanese vocalist, composer and pianist Hidekazu Wakabayashi and Harold Nono (him again!), and "Comp no.209" by Canadian composer and percussionist Antonio De Braga, the entrancing pastoral awakening of "First Moments" by The Frozen Vaults, forthcoming project of a big ensemble made up of cellist Dave Dhonau, pianist Yuki Murata, violinist Tomasz Mrenca and producers Bartosz Dziadosz (Pleq) and Harry Towell (Spheruleus), the frugal lo-fi lullaby of "The Kennel Club" by Edinburgh-based duo Aging Children, the balanced mixture of rain-inspired mood, soft electronics and indie approach by Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai, the cinematic intro by Welsh experimental musician Nick Auskeur, the desiccate homemade groove by Doug Seidel...I'm just realizing that I've mentioned them all even if my first intention was an attempt to isolate some highlights, a symptomatic "mistake" about how this selection could be mouthwatering. Check it!

Vito Camarretta
Chain D.L.K (Italy - 8/8/12)

http://www.chaindlk.com/reviews/?id=7154.

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Various Artists : “Run Over By An Elevator” (BS017 - 2012) 

whose driving force seems to be a strong link with (mainly Japanese) producers who keep on spooring the traces of authentic innovators coming from Japanese scene (I could mention a plenty of musicians and non-musicians in the roster of labels such as Schole, Daisyworld Discs, Teichiku, Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo Lab, Toy's Factory, P-Vine and many others), even if there are many tracks who could recall other musical grounds (the track "Descending" by emlp, acronym for "electronic music learning projects", by Edinburgh based musician and composer Mark Rossi - one of the tracks I liked most of this collection - partially recalls Icelandic Mum as well as "Bees In My Feet" by Haq, collaborative project between Japanese n-qia and Scottish half of Whizz Kid Harold Nono which is going to debut on Bearsuit soon, could remind some moments of Slowdive's "Catch The Breeze") and a geographical connection with Scotland and Northern England, one of the most active musical workshop who gave listeners a lot of mindblowing sonic stuff. It's really hard to rank them, as the stylistical range is quite wide and even lo-fi elements fly high on a quality level, even there are some highlights amidst this jungle of stuffed animals and hunting trophies : the above-mentioned n-qia with the hypnotic voice by Nozomi and fuzzy electro-acoustic textures by Takma, the intriguing feverishness of "Metamorphosis Pt.1" by Polish style-drifter Bartosz Dziadosz aka Pleq, the bizarre toytronics of "Mosquito Bites" by protean anti-nuclear activist Amogano aka Ememe and the amusing and childish one of "People Today Started Runrun" by Takashi Mizukoshi's Suppa Micro Pamchopp, the magnetic abstract J-pop of "Chikyu Wa Mawaru" (Japanese for "Earth is spinning") by Bunny & The Electric Horsemen, the seducing downbeat by Taub, a collaborative project by appreciated Nonine label manager Me Raabenstein and Harold Nono, the sweet melancholy-tinged rustic idyll of "Family" by Japanese vocalist, composer and pianist Hidekazu Wakabayashi and Harold Nono (him again!), and "Comp no.209" by Canadian composer and percussionist Antonio De Braga, the entrancing pastoral awakening of "First Moments" by The Frozen Vaults, forthcoming project of a big ensemble made up of cellist Dave Dhonau, pianist Yuki Murata, violinist Tomasz Mrenca and producers Bartosz Dziadosz (Pleq) and Harry Towell (Spheruleus), the frugal lo-fi lullaby of "The Kennel Club" by Edinburgh-based duo Aging Children, the balanced mixture of rain-inspired mood, soft electronics and indie approach by Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai, the cinematic intro by Welsh experimental musician Nick Auskeur, the desiccate homemade groove by Doug Seidel...I'm just realizing that I've mentioned them all even if my first intention was an attempt to isolate some highlights, a symptomatic "mistake" about how this selection could be mouthwatering. Check it! 
Vito Camarretta Various Artists : “Run Over By An Elevator” (BS017 - 2012)

The fearlessly inventive and always exciting Bearsuit label returns with a collection of experimental  electronic works spotlighting the best and brightest of the (predominantly) Scottish and Japanese electronics scene. Welsh composer/musician Nick Auskeur starts things off with a creepy instro (‘Open Ground’) that successfully welds Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho-styled minimalist terrors with a creepy, skincrawling backdrop, while fans of the distorted, angular pop of Terrastock veterans Pop-Off Tuesday will be right at home with the glitch, fractured soundscapes raging through Japanese duoN-Qia’s ‘Managemente’. The members of international trio Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai hail from England, Scotland, and Japan and hide behind intriguing pseudonyms (“_”, “Gnomefoam”, and “Bunny”, the latter of whom appears later in the set in his Bunny & The Electric Horsemen guise, which effectively marries sweet vocals to cinematic backgrounds on ‘Chikyu Wa Mawaru'.) But here, the trio deliver ‘Lost in the Forest of Blank Sportswear’, which is as alluringly enigmatic as the folks behind the hypnotic sounds.

Japanese electronics whiz Ememe offers a hard-driving, shambolic collection of beats, blips, and catchy electro bursts that perfectly encapsulate its title: ‘Mosquito Bites’. Annoying insects, thankfully, are not at the center of Japanese/Scottish comboHaq’s sensually, sinewy ‘Bees In My Feet,’ which grafts eerie violin strokes and ominous piano notes onto a haunting vocal somewhat reminiscent of ‘Rosemary’s Lullabye’ from the soundtrack to Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. Whizz Kid are another international duo (Belgium/Scotland) and their meandering ‘Trapeze’ will have you swaying in the breeze under its hypnotic spell and ‘Descending’ is an intriguing mix of pop and classical sounds from Emlp (aka, Electronic Music Learning Projects), masterminded by Mark Rossi, who’s currently completing his PhD in Sonic Arts at Queens University in Belfast.

The truly international affair continues with ‘Matamorphosis, pt. 1’ from Poland’s Pleq (Bartosz Dziadosz). He combines slowly dissolving drones with creepy glitch effects – it reminds me of Roger Waters’ contribution to Ummagumma about those furry animals gathered in a cave grooving with a pict! In fact, quite a few of these selections seem inspired by Waters’ experimental offering – who knew he was 40 years ahead of his time?!?

We’ve enjoyed previous efforts from Harold Nono and his return with several projects: Taub, with Germany’s Me Raabenstein (‘Foot-5 on the Flipside’), the aforementioned Haq with Japanese duo N-Qia, and Hidekazu Wakabayashi (‘Family’) is a welcome treat. All three are amongst the more accessible offerings, with tender pianos, soft, winding guitars, and quite lovely ruminations bubbling under the not-always-cozy surface.The Frozen Vaults is another international collaboration (US/Poland/Japan) that is co-produced by Pleq’s Bartosz Dziadosz (whom we heard from earlier). Their ‘First Moments’ combines piano, cello, and violin to hauntingly eerie effect – the ensuing cinematic soundscape is as soothingly absorbing as it is thousand-yard-stare reflective. Like the equally gorgeous and meandering music box tune ‘Comp. No. 209’ from Canada’s Antonio De Braga, it is a personal highlight on a set of many.

So if your tastes run towards experimental electronic soundscapes with the occasional glitchy veneer wrapped around the odd haunting melody delivered with disembodied voices, try this on for size. (Jeff Penczak)
Terrascope (UK - 8/8/12)
http://terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_August_12.htm#RunOverbyanElevator

*

So if your tastes run towards experimental electronic soundscapes with the occasional glitchy veneer wrapped around the odd haunting melody delivered with disembodied voices, try this on for size. (Jeff Penczak)
Terrascope (UK - 8/8/12)

Various Artists : “Run Over By An Elevator” (BS017 - 2012)

A editora escocesa Bearsuit Records volta à carga com uma nova compilação de teor experimental que nos traz alguns nomes familiares, mas também algumas novidades. A presença do artista de culto polaco, Pleq, é uma das que mais impregnou os meus ouvidos.


A editora escocesa Bearsuit Records volta à carga com uma nova compilação de teor experimental que nos traz alguns nomes familiares, mas também algumas novidades. A presença do artista de culto polaco, Pleq, é uma das que mais impregnou os meus ouvidos.

Ao longo da hora que dura o disco, somos brindados com sons estranhos, com referências a insectos, com uma realidade diferente do habitual. Transportados para este planeta, há um período de habituação inicial em que não sabemos bem o que sentir após a purificação sentida com as duas primeiras faixas. É um começo tremendo e nota-se um cuidado na organização dos temas. Por alturas da música de haq, conseguimos voltar a sentir os pés no chão mesmo que a música nos eleve para céus de mármore. Pelo meio, os violinos são danças de caos.

Com um título tão sugestivo, seria normal vir-nos à cabeça pensamentos menos positivos, mas na verdade esta compilação convida a bebermos silêncios e a períodos de reflexão, até a sentirmos alguma paz nos barulhinhos dos sintetizadores que espreitam a cada canto. Não é de todo um disco para qualquer ocasião obviamente, ou não estivéssemos a falar de ambiências experimentais em que ruídos alienígenas preenchem muitas vezes os espaços do tempo. Mas a energia em si chega a ser luminosa, vibrante, inspiradora.

'Run Over by an Elevator' está prevista sair a 10 de Agosto e podem ouvir já algumas faixas na página soundcloud da editora. 
Projecto Cellophane (Portugal - 25/7/12)

Ao longo da hora que dura o disco, somos brindados com sons estranhos, com referências a insectos, com uma realidade diferente do habitual. Transportados para este planeta, há um período de habituação inicial em que não sabemos bem o que sentir após a purificação sentida com as duas primeiras faixas. É um começo tremendo e nota-se um cuidado na organização dos temas. Por alturas da música de haq, conseguimos voltar a sentir os pés no chão mesmo que a música nos eleve para céus de mármore. Pelo meio, os violinos são danças de caos.

Com um título tão sugestivo, seria normal vir-nos à cabeça pensamentos menos positivos, mas na verdade esta compilação convida a bebermos silêncios e a períodos de reflexão, até a sentirmos alguma paz nos barulhinhos dos sintetizadores que espreitam a cada canto. Não é de todo um disco para qualquer ocasião obviamente, ou não estivéssemos a falar de ambiências experimentais em que ruídos alienígenas preenchem muitas vezes os espaços do tempo. Mas a energia em si chega a ser luminosa, vibrante, inspiradora.

'Run Over by an Elevator' está prevista sair a 10 de Agosto e podem ouvir já algumas faixas na página soundcloud da editora.

Projecto Cellophane (Portugal - 25/7/12)
http://projecto-cellophane.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/various-artists-run-over-by-elevator.html

*

'Run Over by an Elevator' está prevista sair a 10 de Agosto e podem ouvir já algumas faixas na página soundcloud da editora. 
Projecto Cellophane (Portugal - 25/7/12)
http://projecto-cellophane.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/various-artists-run-over-by-elevator.html  

Bunny & The Electric Horsemen - “Fall Apart in My Backyard” (BS015 - 2011)

Bend pomalo cudnog imena Bunny & The Electric Horsemen dolazi nam iz Škotske i pred koji mjesec izdao je svoj prvijenac pod imenom "Fall Apart In My Backyard".
Na prvu, površnom slušatelju ne bi samo ime bilo cudno jer glazba koju bend proizvodi zacinjena je vrlo eksperimentalnim tonom, ali s jasnom vizijom pop glazbe. Ako se slušatelj albuma samo malo opusti od stereotipa današnje pop kulture koji vlada kroz medije, tada bi se vrlo brzo mogao spojiti s ovim izdanjem.

Razlog je jednostavan, a to je unikatnost zvuka. Bunny & The Electric Horsemen kroz elektroniku provlace pop i rock standarde uz ogromnu dozu ambijentalnosti i eksperimentalnosti, pa sve to zvuci kao da The Flaming Lips obraduju Kraftwerk i pri tome uzimaju dodatne stimulanse ili kao Björk zalutala negdje daleko na Dalekom istoku gdje pokušava kroz glazbu spojiti se s vanzemaljcima.
Bend pomalo cudnog imena Bunny & The Electric Horsemen dolazi nam iz Škotske i pred koji mjesec izdao je svoj prvijenac pod imenom "Fall Apart In My Backyard".
Na prvu, površnom slušatelju ne bi samo ime bilo cudno jer glazba koju bend proizvodi zacinjena je vrlo eksperimentalnim tonom, ali s jasnom vizijom pop glazbe. Ako se slušatelj albuma samo malo opusti od stereotipa današnje pop kulture koji vlada kroz medije, tada bi se vrlo brzo mogao spojiti s ovim izdanjem.

Bend pomalo cudnog imena Bunny & The Electric Horsemen dolazi nam iz Škotske i pred koji mjesec izdao je svoj prvijenac pod imenom "Fall Apart In My Backyard". 
Na prvu, površnom slušatelju ne bi samo ime bilo cudno jer glazba koju bend proizvodi zacinjena je vrlo eksperimentalnim tonom, ali s jasnom vizijom pop glazbe. Ako se slušatelj albuma samo malo opusti od stereotipa današnje pop kulture koji vlada kroz medije, tada bi se vrlo brzo mogao spojiti s ovim izdanjem.

Razlog je jednostavan, a to je unikatnost zvuka. Bunny & The Electric Horsemen kroz elektroniku provlace pop i rock standarde uz ogromnu dozu ambijentalnosti i eksperimentalnosti, pa sve to zvuci kao da The Flaming Lips obraduju Kraftwerk i pri tome uzimaju dodatne stimulanse ili kao Björk zalutala negdje daleko na Dalekom istoku gdje pokušava kroz glazbu spojiti se s vanzemaljcima.

Ok, šalu na stranu, ovo je ipak vrlo ozbiljna i vrlo dojmljiva glazba što vam neke od asocijacija iz prošlog odlomka mogu reci. Slaganje pjesama nije tipicno, a gledajuci kroz album, kao da je svaka druga stvorena da bude promovirana u eventualne singlove, dok su druge složene kako bi se oslobodila kreativna ambijentalna duša. 

Takav slijed pjesama i prvenstveno niz zanimljivih melodija odaje dojam da je zeko pošteno upregnuo elektricnog konjanika i njime se poigrao kako to obicno zecevi i rade u popularnim vicevima. 

Najbolji dojam ostavljaju pjesme "Snowflakes" koja se najviše približila zvuku mješavine The Flaming Lipsa i The Go! Teama provucenog kroz omcu elektronicke psihodelije, te "Chikyu Wa Mawaru" koja spaja japansku glazbenu tradiciju s modernom europskom elektronikom u stilu Kraftwerka.
Najbolji dojam ostavljaju pjesme "Snowflakes" koja se najviše približila zvuku mješavine The Flaming Lipsa i The Go! Teama provucenog kroz omcu elektronicke psihodelije, te "Chikyu Wa Mawaru" koja spaja japansku glazbenu tradiciju s modernom europskom elektronikom u stilu Kraftwerka.
 
"Fall Apart In My Backyard" zasigurno je album kojega cete vrlo teško cuti na svojoj radio ili TV postaji zbog cega možemo jedino žaliti. S komercijalizacijom glazbe dobili smo niz manjih diskografa koji se žele oduprijeti natovarenom establišmentu i pružati šansu uvjetno receno manjim izvodacima. Slušajuci ovako nešto, sigurno su na dobrom putu jer "Fall Apart In My Backyard" nešto je posebno i zanimljivo, inovativno i šarmantno, eksperimentalno, a vrlo slušljivo, pa mi je puno draže slušati nešto ovakvo nego ono što mi nudi komercijala.
Musika.hr (Croatia - 4/12)
http://www.muzika.hr/clanak/35721/albumi/zeko-ukrotio-elektricne-konjanike.aspx

*
 
Bunny & The Electric Horsemen - “Fall Apart in My Backyard” (BS015 - 2011)
http://www.muzika.hr/clanak/35721/albumi/zeko-ukrotio-elektricne-konjanike.aspx * Bunny & The Electric Horsemen - “Fall Apart in My Backyard” (BS015 - 2011)
One of the more experimental listening experiences I’ve had in a long while, Fall Apart in My Backyard is at once challenging, playful, frustrating, and a lot of fun. As the title suggests, it’s mostly electronic, but with liberal elements of glitch, Kraftwerkian krautrock, and toytronics (a la Experimental Audio Research’sData Rape which was composed and played on a collection of “Speak & Spell” toys from the ‘70s). In other words, they could just as easily have been called the Eclectic Horsemen! Disembodied voices chant, cheer, rage, and otherwise obfuscate, as if someone tried to restore an old tape recording after most of the tape had disintegrated. In fact, this would be a wonderful soundtrack to an old Stan Brakhage film – it has that disjointed vibe that suggests something is happening, but we don’t know what it is, do we Mr. Bunny? 

‘Banjo Williamson,’ (after Robin?) in no way encroaches into Incredible String Band territory; in fact, it sounds like a loop of an old DeWolfe library recording for some groovy swinging ‘60’s flick. ‘Chikyu Wa Mawaru’ combines English and Japanese voices in a blender and presses the “Puree” button, while ‘Tivoli’ is a haunting, outer space blip on the way to the heart of the sun. Floyd fans take note, but I think fans of our old friends from Terrastock, Pop-Off Tuesday will also dig it. Another 90 degree turn lands us in the midst of the ambient floater ‘Singing Ringing Tree’, which begins like something Tange thunked up whilst lying in a vat of meringue, and then breaks into a collection of glitchy grins and Rosemary’s Baby-styled freaky voices for something that shouldn’t be experienced alone in the dark without appropriate accoutrements. And just when you’re ready to stroke another chinhair and wonder what the hell you’ve just heard, along comes the gorgeous pop elegance of ‘Pomorski’, which sounds like a bunch of public school kids floating in a bubble across the universe.

So if soundtrack music accompanied by alien soundscapes populated by multilingual utterances is your bag, this could be one of your more exciting purchases of the new year.
(Jeff Penczak)
Terrascope  (1/12)
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_January_12.htm#HoarseBunnywtf 
One of the more experimental listening experiences I’ve had in a long while, Fall Apart in My Backyard is at once challenging, playful, frustrating, and a lot of fun. As the title suggests, it’s mostly electronic, but with liberal elements of glitch, Kraftwerkian krautrock, and toytronics (a la Experimental Audio Research’sData Rape which was composed and played on a collection of “Speak & Spell” toys from the ‘70s). In other words, they could just as easily have been called the Eclectic Horsemen! Disembodied voices chant, cheer, rage, and otherwise obfuscate, as if someone tried to restore an old tape recording after most of the tape had disintegrated. In fact, this would be a wonderful soundtrack to an old Stan Brakhage film – it has that disjointed vibe that suggests something is happening, but we don’t know what it is, do we Mr. Bunny? 

‘Banjo Williamson,’ (after Robin?) in no way encroaches into Incredible String Band territory; in fact, it sounds like a loop of an old DeWolfe library recording for some groovy swinging ‘60’s flick. ‘Chikyu Wa Mawaru’ combines English and Japanese voices in a blender and presses the “Puree” button, while ‘Tivoli’ is a haunting, outer space blip on the way to the heart of the sun. Floyd fans take note, but I think fans of our old friends from Terrastock, Pop-Off Tuesday will also dig it. Another 90 degree turn lands us in the midst of the ambient floater ‘Singing Ringing Tree’, which begins like something Tange thunked up whilst lying in a vat of meringue, and then breaks into a collection of glitchy grins and Rosemary’s Baby-styled freaky voices for something that shouldn’t be experienced alone in the dark without appropriate accoutrements. And just when you’re ready to stroke another chinhair and wonder what the hell you’ve just heard, along comes the gorgeous pop elegance of ‘Pomorski’, which sounds like a bunch of public school kids floating in a bubble across the universe.

So if soundtrack music accompanied by alien soundscapes populated by multilingual utterances is your bag, this could be one of your more exciting purchases of the new year.
(Jeff Penczak)
Terrascope  (1/12)
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_January_12.htm#HoarseBunnywtf 

One of the more experimental listening experiences I’ve had in a long while, Fall Apart in My Backyard is at once challenging, playful, frustrating, and a lot of fun. As the title suggests, it’s mostly electronic, but with liberal elements of glitch, Kraftwerkian krautrock, and toytronics (a la Experimental Audio Research’sData Rape which was composed and played on a collection of “Speak & Spell” toys from the ‘70s). In other words, they could just as easily have been called the Eclectic Horsemen! Disembodied voices chant, cheer, rage, and otherwise obfuscate, as if someone tried to restore an old tape recording after most of the tape had disintegrated. In fact, this would be a wonderful soundtrack to an old Stan Brakhage film – it has that disjointed vibe that suggests something is happening, but we don’t know what it is, do we Mr. Bunny? 

 ‘Banjo Williamson,’ (after Robin?) in no way encroaches into Incredible String Band territory; in fact, it sounds like a loop of an old DeWolfe library recording for some groovy swinging ‘60’s flick. ‘Chikyu Wa Mawaru’ combines English and Japanese voices in a blender and presses the “Puree” button, while ‘Tivoli’ is a haunting, outer space blip on the way to the heart of the sun. Floyd fans take note, but I think fans of our old friends from Terrastock, Pop-Off Tuesday will also dig it. Another 90 degree turn lands us in the midst of the ambient floater ‘Singing Ringing Tree’, which begins like something Tange thunked up whilst lying in a vat of meringue, and then breaks into a collection of glitchy grins and Rosemary’s Baby-styled freaky voices for something that shouldn’t be experienced alone in the dark without appropriate accoutrements. And just when you’re ready to stroke another chinhair and wonder what the hell you’ve just heard, along comes the gorgeous pop elegance of ‘Pomorski’, which sounds like a bunch of public school kids floating in a bubble across the universe.

So if soundtrack music accompanied by alien soundscapes populated by multilingual utterances is your bag, this could be one of your more exciting purchases of the new year. 
(Jeff Penczak)
Terrascope  (1/12)

http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_January_12.htm#HoarseBunnywtf

Terrascope  (1/12)
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_January_12.htm#HoarseBunnywtf 
(Jeff Penczak)
Terrascope  (1/12)
http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_January_12.htm#HoarseBunnywtf 
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Bunny & The Electric Horsemen - “Fall Apart in My Backyard” (BS015 - 2011)


There will be few more extravagant names than Bunny & The Electric Horsemen to have released records in 2011. It’s actually the brainchild of a Scottish musician (he’s the Bunny) who has enlisted the talents of various other arists signed up to the ever more eccentric Bearsuit Records label and to say that ‘Fall Apart In My Backyard’ is an experimental work would be the understatement of the year. 

‘The Moth Poets’ is less a song, more an approximation of the sound effects records which were used to show off new vinyl record players back in the 1960's. However, we are on safer territory with ‘Snowflakes’. It still resembles the more avant garde moments of Björk but there is a structure which eventually builds up in to an impressive art punk chorus. Other images evoked by the music are underwater childrens’ fantasies (‘Banjo Williamson’) and Japanese exotica (‘Chikyu Wa Mawaru’). The madness does settle down for the spare ‘Singing Ringing Tree’ and the relatively sombre ‘Quel Vino è Generoso’ but in between ‘Pomorksi’ provides an explosion of vivid colours.

The press release suggests listeners may dispute the album’s “melodic and pop sensibility” but in reality the album is tuneful pretty much all the way through.  It’s just tuneful in a childlike, oddball scientist kind of way.
Leonard’s Lair (UK - 27.12.11)
http://leonardslair.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/review-bunny-the-electric-horsemen-fall-apart-in-my-backyard/ 

Further Listening:
Björk, Cornelius

 There will be few more extravagant names than Bunny & The Electric Horsemen to have released records in 2011. It’s actually the brainchild of a Scottish musician (he’s the Bunny) who has enlisted the talents of various other arists signed up to the ever more eccentric Bearsuit Records label and to say that ‘Fall Apart In My Backyard’ is an experimental work would be the understatement of the year.

‘The Moth Poets’ is less a song, more an approximation of the sound effects records which were used to show off new vinyl record players back in the 1960's. However, we are on safer territory with ‘Snowflakes’. It still resembles the more avant garde moments of Björk but there is a structure which eventually builds up in to an impressive art punk chorus. Other images evoked by the music are underwater childrens’ fantasies (‘Banjo Williamson’) and Japanese exotica (‘Chikyu Wa Mawaru’). The madness does settle down for the spare ‘Singing Ringing Tree’ and the relatively sombre ‘Quel Vino è Generoso’ but in between ‘Pomorksi’ provides an explosion of vivid colours.

The press release suggests listeners may dispute the album’s “melodic and pop sensibility” but in reality the album is tuneful pretty much all the way through. It’s just tuneful in a childlike, oddball scientist kind of way.

Leonard’s Lair (UK - 27.12.11)
Leonard’s Lair (UK - 27.12.11)

 Leonard’s Lair (UK - 27.12.11)

http://leonardslair.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/review-bunny-the-electric-horsemen-fall-apart-in-my-backyard/

There will be few more extravagant names than Bunny & The Electric Horsemen to have released records in 2011. It’s actually the brainchild of a Scottish musician (he’s the Bunny) who has enlisted the talents of various other arists signed up to the ever more eccentric Bearsuit Records label and to say that ‘Fall Apart In My Backyard’ is an experimental work would be the understatement of the year. 

‘The Moth Poets’ is less a song, more an approximation of the sound effects records which were used to show off new vinyl record players back in the 1960's. However, we are on safer territory with ‘Snowflakes’. It still resembles the more avant garde moments of Björk but there is a structure which eventually builds up in to an impressive art punk chorus. Other images evoked by the music are underwater childrens’ fantasies (‘Banjo Williamson’) and Japanese exotica (‘Chikyu Wa Mawaru’). The madness does settle down for the spare ‘Singing Ringing Tree’ and the relatively sombre ‘Quel Vino è Generoso’ but in between ‘Pomorksi’ provides an explosion of vivid colours.

The press release suggests listeners may dispute the album’s “melodic and pop sensibility” but in reality the album is tuneful pretty much all the way through.  It’s just tuneful in a childlike, oddball scientist kind of way.
Leonard’s Lair (UK - 27.12.11)
http://leonardslair.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/review-bunny-the-electric-horsemen-fall-apart-in-my-backyard/ 

Further Listening:
Björk, Cornelius
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MAGNITOPHONO - “Magnet” (BS014 - 2011)

After some collaborations where she allowed Bartosz Dziadosz aka Pleq to play in her nursery rooms and read her tale books and after ideally giving life to Pierrot-like mannequins, the Greek dadaist musicians Eleni Adamopoulou aka Manekinekod, aka Magnitophono (not to be confused with the historical art-rock Birmingham-based band Magnetophone), winds the spring motor up again by rotating the ratchet lever of her musical boxes fastened on her imagination. Issued by the Scottish label Bearsuit, her new musical reveries sound more than everclose to the whimsical glitch-tronic freaks of some Japanese well-known contemporary musicians such as Takagi Masakatsu or Nobukazu Takemura (in particular in the two initial tracks Pet and Ninjeto as well as in the nice Down To Earth, whereas if you follow the imaginative path of the lyrics, your mind can draw some new lovely tamagotchi landed from some heavenly realm!) and partially some whimsical pieces of Icelandic music such as Amiina or Mum. A magnetically sweet and somewhat melancholic daydream, whose tonal shilly-shallying is going to entrance into a delicate childplay-like enchanted world. 

Vito Camarretta
Chain D.K.L. (Italy - 5/11) 

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Hospital Neon - “Numbers On My Skin” (BS013 - 2011) 

Beogradski PNDC (Predrag Nedić) i grčki Housework (Athanassios Vavaroutas) dobro su nam znani sa svojih ranijih zajedničkih elektronskih albuma, a za promjenu su potpuno okrenuli zvuk u indie-rock/ post-punk, oboružali se gitarama i službeno se prozvali hospital NEON.

Kako sam u sveopćoj gužvi i metežu gdje dnevno preslušavam po 10-15 albuma smetnuo s uma tko stoji iza ovog imena, moje osobno iznenađenje broj jedan bilo je - pa zar je moguće da je Bearsuit Records objavio rad nekog gitarističkog benda? No, da ne davim sa individualnošću, ovo je u prvom redu odličan rad koji je došao u pravom trenutku kada je općeniti retro poprimio takve razmjere da se i Duran Duran na top listama tretiraju kao alternativni bend, a mainstream je postao nevjerojatan trash kada se niti The Human League više ne smatraju kao dance bend. Svašta...

EP sadrži samo 4 pjesme, naravno, otpjevane su na engleskom, te djeluju kao
potpuni timski rad koji može zavarati da iza svega ovoga stoji neki klasičan rock bend sa živim bubnjevima, basom, klavijaturama i gitarom. Ritam mašina je veoma dobro adaptirana i na prvo preslušavanje uopće nisam stekao dojam da je riječ o sintetici, već o nekoj jako dobroj produkciji gdje su bubnjevi odlično snimljeni. Prioritet zvuka su gitare, razlivene distorzije, riffovi, tremolo tretmani i naglašene melodične prostorne bas linije, te prepoznatljiv karizmatičan vokal Vavaroutasa koji ponovno u nekim dionicama doseže senzibilnost Antony Hegartyija. Harmonije su naglašene synthovima i organskom psihodelijom, pjesme su standardnih formata, a jedini izuzetak je završna "The accountant" u trajanju od skoro 9 minuta gdje se kroz osebujan gothički trans sažima naslov EP-ija kroz depresivne stihove 'this light is killing me/ burned numbers on my skin'. Pjesma je dostojan revival The Cure/ Joy Division produžetka u 21. stoljeću i vidi vraga, veoma je slična najnovijem albumu "Glut" sarajevskih SCH, osobito pjesmi "Water feed water". Uvodna "No sound" zrači optimizmom i sjetnim memorijama iz djetinjstva, a po atmosferi podsjeća na album "New Gold Dream '81'82'83'84" Simple Mindsa. "Here in heaven we are" može recimo asocirati na klasičan U2/ Brian Eno produkt s vrlo lijepim ambijentalnim gitarama i synthovima, a tekst se doima kao da je kolaž sastavljen od stihova i citata iz nekih vrlo dobro znanih pjesama od "Up above clouds", "Flagpole days", "Sympathy for the devil", "Tomorrow never knows", sve do "Right now" i "Hey Jude". Najrockerskiji komad je "Rants" sa drajverskom bas linijom i režavim Gang Of Four gitarama koje čak dosežu i noise insinuacije na koje Vavaroutas kombinira spoken-word i veoma dramatično naglašen vokal u vrlo prgavom i zajedljivom tekstu o ljudskoj bahatosti i naduvenosti.

Čitav EP je konceptualno povezan od lepršave i nevine ljepote sve do mrakova i strahova, te je pomalo šteta što nije razvučen s još nekoliko kompozicija i moguće ponekim instrumentalom na cjelovit album od nekih 40-tak minuta.

Veoma dojmljivo, senzibilno, iskreno i mračno djelo. Jedan od vrlo dobrih prijedloga za kandidata najboljih indie-rock djela 2011. godine.

ocjena albuma [1-10]: 9
Horvi
Terapija" (Serbia - 18/4/11)

*

Hospital Neon - “Numbers On My Skin” (BS013 - 2011)

Tempos conturbados, num percurso que continua a optar pelo não linear, os últimos anos vêm-me a fazer culto de alguns artistas que me foram dados a descobrir por eles próprios, ou pela maravilha do acaso, ou por razões que nem eu próprio sei. PNDC (Predrag Nedic), artista de origem sérvia e housework (Athanassios Vavaroutas), originário da Grécia, são dois desses exemplos. Colaboração insuspeita, tem dado frutos muito recomendáveis, cada vez melhores ouso dizê-lo, acompanhando-me várias vezes de uma maneira discreta mas sempre presente, com Hospital NEON a ser nome que decidiram dar a esta.

Este EP, constituído por apenas quatro temas e com uma duração de 20 minutos, traz consigo um sabor amargo, a pequeno, no sentido de saber a muito pouco tal a qualidade do material apresentado, salientando-se toda uma ambiência que tem tanto de luminosa como de predadora e até incomodativa, com algo de muito negro que teima em espreitar a cada momento. A voz de housework, lembrando continuamente a de David Bowie, assim como as histórias que lhe saem pela boca, são um dos pontos a destacar, mas a música em si e os ritmos a cargo de PNDC, assim como a evolução dos mesmos, são outros dos responsáveis pelo brilhozinho que ia ganhando nos olhos.

Quente, acolhedora, épica até no crescendo que se faz sentir nalguns casos, a música contida neste disco urge ser descoberta e desfrutada até à exaustão, estando este lançamento, a cargo da editora Bearsuit Records, previsto oficialmente para o dia 18 de Abril.
Projecto Cellophane (Portugal - 16/3/11)

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VARIOUS ARTISTS :  The Fall Will Probably Kill You (BS012 - 2010)

What's this? Bearsuit going all 'normal' on us? The first track on this, their latest compilation sounds for all the world like a conventional folk song. Well, sort of. It's a bit psychedelic and all, but... no, wait. He might 'have the blues today,' but Alyosha Het is singing about little green pills and little green men. Yes, it's business as usual at Bearsuit, purveyors of brilliantly off-beat and experimental music.

Over the course of fifteen tracks and a fraction over an hour, we're treated to all sorts of avant-garde noodling, from the avant-jazz electronica of Rhizottome to the warped world / glitchtronica of Whizz Kid: if you're looking for something far beyond the realms of the ordinary, this compilation comes highly recommended.

Kirameki's 'Take it Or Leave It' is pure 80s style industrial, somewhere between early Foetus and Test Department, a cement-mixer filled with samples, tape loops and found sounds mashed and melted together to brain-bending effect. Jimmy Rosso's 'Ripped' is subtle and strange, and begins calm and soothing, but develops into something altogether more sinister-sounding. Amazing what some clicking rhythms and eerily distorted vocals can do to a track's atmosphere.

Bearsuit stalwarts Taub and Harold Nono/Hidekazu Wakabayashi are featured, and for those who've not yet checked out the releases their contributions are lifted from, this might just provide the necessary incentive, being entirely representative.

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record where Bearsuit are concerned, I have to say that they’ve done it again, releasing another album of consistent quality that's wilfully perverse and staunchly uncommercial, and all the better for it. If anything, they've pushed the boundaries even further on 'The Fall Will Probably Kill You'. The chances are that it will, so make sure you listen to this before plunging into the abyss. At least then you may die happy.
Christopher Nosnibor
Whisperinandhollerin (The Republic of Ireland - 29/11/10)

*

VARIOUS ARTISTS :  The Fall Will Probably Kill You (BS012 - 2010)

Even by a compilation’s standards, the Bearsuit Records showcase ‘Captain Woof Woof’s Guitar’ was an incredibly eclectic affair, taking in to account classical, funk, folk and indie pop. The common link between the artists was essentially creativity and invention. Much the same can be said for ‘The Fall Will Probably Kill You’, where some of the key personnel crop up again, together with new stars for the future.

As with the last Bearsuit compilation, the opening tracks are as uncompromising and uncommercial as you can imagine so naturally low budget psychedelia (courtesy of Alyosha Het) must be followed by hypnotic accordion loops (thanks to France’s Rhizottome). Whilst the likes of PNDC & Housework and Harold Nono have already produced fine albums in recent times, moments of great individualism and skewed pop brilliance arrive in the form of Belgium/Scotland partnership Whizz Kid, Scotland’s Forofo and Tidy Kid’s curiosity ‘Smell’. It is left to the remarkable MoomLooo to sign off with the enigmatic, melodramatic ‘Girl Of A Skin Coloured Blanket’.

The ideas are wayward at times but Bearsuit have assembled a roster of talent who want to do something different. In these times of imitations and revivals, they should be applauded for that.
Leonard’s Lair (UK - 15/11/10)

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Taub - "The Wrong Path (BS010 - 2010)

Okay lets get the grumbles done with, maybe its just me but it appears that this CD has a mind of its own given its been a tad contrary on which Hi-Fi device it prefers to be played on at any given time. But you know - we forgive it for leading us a merry listening dance because its got tattooed on its hide the immortal Bearsuit Records quality control seal of approval and you know what that means - indeed yes weird sounds waft this way - or are we doing this release something of a disservice.

Taub is a collective enterprise featuring the pared talents of Harold Nono (fresh from his recent collaboration with Osaka based Hidekazu Wakabayashi via the same label) and Me Raabenstein, seven sonic delights await within on the ‘wrong path’ - itself a title which given Bearsuit’s love and erstwhile patronage of the - shall we agree to settle for - more fried artisans of the electronic field could be misconstrued as something of a misnomer because for the best part these subtly detached suites usher in with a subdued elegance, their sly and slight cinematic charm peppered by a jazz informed looseness that’s clipped on occasion by a hitherto neo classical touch and a frost framed far Eastern sereneness which when gathered together provide a strangely alluring albeit disconnected listening experience. Here you’ll find ’gravel eyes’ its spatial setting serving home to a wealth of enigmatically chilled cavernous ambi-atmospherics all braided by the bleak but beautifully panoramic and yawning undercurrent of string arrangements moored to a statuesque tonality afforded by a minimalist use of space and the occasional trace of harmonic shimmers.

Somewhere else what first appears a lackadaisical and inebriated promenade ramble terra-forms through a metamorphic cycle that reveals a hitherto cosmic pastoral charm sweetly maturing to embrace elements of Budd, Mancini and Barry albeit as revisited by Gnac via the bitter sweet off centred souring of ‘badlands’. Barry is again called to mind attaching a smoked lounge like sumptuousness to ‘lollipops‘ as it lends itself to the quieter more incidental aspects of his Bond work (notably the Connery era underwater scenes) while the neo psych sheen of ’the sawdust and the smile’ soon dissipates enveloped by a faintly cured eastern mirage which hints at a ’tin drum’ era Japan studio jam being rewired by a cosy toed and stoned pairing of Discordia and Yellow Magic Orchestra add to this some tender nocturnal lilts courtesy of ‘foot 5 on the flipside’ and you have yourself a relaxed and understated chill toned odyssey and a hitherto classic awaiting wider acclaim.

Its certainly not the last you’ll hear from the Bearsuit imprint this term given we’ve just received a 15 track compilation entitled ‘the fall will probably kill you’ and yes it features prime sliced cuts from moomlooo, whizz kid and kirameki and will no doubt be loved, play to death, raved about and who knows written about here (we are thinking the in the next but one missive) - consider yourselves well and truly warned. 
Losing Today (UK - 27.09.10)

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Taub - "The Wrong Path (BS010 - 2010)

 It begins with some growling, grating glitchy electronica, slowly building on volume and intensity. The introduction of a melody - of sorts - atop the clinical, industrial and heavily rhythmic sound offers little comfort: it's fractured and fleeting, and the overall effect of opener 'Slow Dance' is awkward and uncomfortable, its slow dance beats at odds with the mechanised textures that scrape and clang throughout the track.

Yes, Me Raabenstein and Bearsuit stalwart Harold Nono follow up their previous joint venture, 'Bedtime Stories' with a set of magnificently conceived and equally magnificently realised soundscapes. Floating effortlessly between gentle ambience - in the truest sense, with found sounds and background noises proving integral to the mix, notably on 'Lollipops,' where the listener is taken outdoors - quirky electronica and rather darker territories, 'The Wrong Path' isn't so much a collection of songs, or even an album, as it is a sonic adventure.

The transitions are smooth, and as each song contains numerous transitions, and each song is segued into the next, making it nigh on impossible to determine where one piece ends and the next begins, 'The Wrong Path' really must be followed from beginning to end, a mysterious journey on which only Taub know what lies around the next corner. It's a most pleasurable experience, so close your eyes, open your ears and let them guide you...
Christopher Nosnibor
Whisperinandhollerin (Rebublic of Ireland - 25/09/10)

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Harold
Nono/Hidekazu Wakabayashi : Harold Nono/Hidekazu Wakabayashi (BS009 - 2010)

Harold Nono / Hidekazu Wakabayashi ‘s/t’ (bearsuit). Apologies to all concerned - seems we’ve had this little cutie for a week or two, its been staring at us forlorn and unloved like a lost puppy chirping to life each and every time we’ve had occasion to walk within spitting distance of it. For our sins we only got around to actually hearing the bugger today or tonight more precisely - and may I say its in the stillness and relax calm afforded by an evening glow that this uniquely beautiful collaboration comes into its own fort you feel that were this to be played to the hectic backdrop of passing traffic, holidaying children and other such invaders to peace and quiet - that it may fearfully wilt, wither and withdraw to the shadows.

Released via those nice people over at Bearsuit who in recent times have puzzled, perplexed and playfully messed with our heads courtesy of releases by the likes of kiramiki, whiz kid and anata wa sukkari tsukarete shimai. And now for the pairing of the year - perhaps - that is if you decide not to count d_rradio’s smooching up to Lianne Hall (more about that at some point later), both should be no strangers to fans of Bearsuit indeed the two appeared on last years critically acclaimed ‘captain woof woof’s guitar’ compilation. Positioned at opposing ends of the musical spectrum Nono having cut his teeth in the indie punk pop combos Pep Boys and Idiot Half Brother and Wakabayashi informed of a more classical jazz musical culturing, this collaboration has been it seems on the back boiler for some two years or so now, an exchanging of admiring words of fondness for each others work across the my space network led to the hatching of a paired enterprise, sound files where passed to and forth and from skeletal beginnings a creative blossoming was hatched - the result - this rather genteel and divinely intoxicating eleven track suite. Slender in detail and frost bound in design, its hard to get passed the well oiled description - disarming. Yet disarming is what this venture is, romantic and lulling, each party complimenting the other perfectly to blend an absorbing and sedate fusion of atmospheric airiness.

The twinklesome cosmic caress of the snoozing ‘nobody plays baseball here’ opens the proceedings setting into motion a hermetically sealed tapestry that purrs and tugs with an elegant wistfulness, reference points are many elements of Roy Budd (especially on the graceful ‘I’ve heard giants’) and Charles Atlas frequently filter in and out of the grooves like apparitions as do nods to Isan’s ‘digitalis’, l’augmentation / pram (a la the lounge like ’scobies roundie’ - trunk record admirers be on alert) and early career Landshipping especially on the Cornelius styled ornate chime chill pop of ‘teenage desk’ with its lilting lullaby strokes and cooing baby chuckles.

Elsewhere those trying to imagine what an ice bound and lazy eyed Komeda might sound like will do well to navigate your way post haste to the lovelorn ’family’ (and ‘a shout away’ while your at it) wrapped as it is in dream drifting orbs of yawning and wheezing mirages. Whilst not always obvious to the ear throughout the ambient fabric there’s a distant oriental flavouring intoxicating the mix - none more so does this rear its head than on both ’I wanted to go to the party’ and ’akarui akari’ the former dinkily decorated as though some playfully thoughtful backdrop to some 70’s styled tv show a la ’Vision On’ the latter a gorgeously conceived and tenderly spectral glaze of deftly delivered library pop. Then there’s the glassy bowed drones found on ’let’s go find mushrooms’ which without warning softly unfurls into a teasingly impish slice of woozy psych pop replete with kooky 60’s sunshine spoked west coast intones. Which leaves just enough time to mention the stately noir sweetness of the tear stained and parting ’wild blue yonder’ with its spectral celestial chorus’ and the nuzzling nocturnal glow of ‘ya chaika’ with its softly pillowed piano braids. Faultless.
The Sunday Experience (UK - 7/04/10)

*

Harold Nono/Hidekazu Wakabayashi : Harold Nono/Hidekazu Wakabayashi (BS009 - 2010)

As often happens these days, Harold Nono and Hidekazu Wakabayashi first met by chance via the internet. They exchanged songs and, liking what each heard of the other's work, decided to collaborate on a few pieces. As things progressed, a rapport developed between them in spite of their contrasting backgrounds: the Osaka-born Wakabayashi is associated with electro-acoustic ambient music of the kind featured on Schole (the label, in fact, included Wakabayashi's music on a 2007 compilation); the Edinburgh, Scotland-based Nono at one time played guitar for indie-punk bands Idiot Half Brother and the Pep Boys and recently issued the album Bedroom Stories with Nonine head Me Raabenstein under the name Taub.

So it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that Nono and Wakabayashi would produce something midway between their respective styles on their joint album. As it turns out, the collection is far closer in spirit to a delicate Schole or Flau recording than anything as aggressive as punk (the cover photo of the child playing in the outdoors suggests as much), though Nono does manage to sneak in a bit of burning electric guitar on a track or two. The pair conjure peaceful pastoralia in sonically rich settings built from splashes of acoustic and electric pianos, guitar shadings, autoharp strums, and mallet percussion tinkles, and vocals and field recordings surface now and then too.

The collaboration is never more effective than on “Family” where gentle patterns of piano, glockenspiel, and melodica wheeze form a wistful whole. One of the album's prettiest pieces is “Ya Chaika,” which ornaments elegant acoustic piano ruminations with glissandi-like slivers of electronics. For half of its running time “Teenage Desk” restricts itself to sleep-inducing overlays of wordless vocals but then jolts awake with the addition of bright guitar and glockenspiel melodies. There is an occasional departure from the general style—in keeping with its title, “Let's Go Find Mushrooms,” for instance, exudes a bit of Smile's baroque playfulness—but “I've Heard Giants,” a meditative, piano-based setting seemingly designed to evoke an outdoors idyll, is more representative of the album's soothing style.
Textura (Canada - June 2010)

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Harold Nono/Hidekazu Wakabayashi : Harold Nono/Hidekazu Wakabayashi (BS009 - 2010)

Tempo fa avevamo recensito un lavoro di Harold Nono oltre ad altro materiale della piccola etichetta inglese Bearsuit, dedita a un suono morbido ma mai troppo scontato, fra elettronica, giocattoli e nenie quasi infantili. Se il primo lavoro di Nono capitatoci in mano seppur melodico non era così soft, in questa collaborazione con Hidekazu Wakabayashi si fa soffice come una nevicata durante il giorno di Natale.

Piano, fisarmonica, chitarra, glockenspiel, un minimo di elettronica e voci usate giusto per intonare qualche cantilena in uno scenario sonoro che, pur mantenendo una leggerezza da sogno infantile, si veste elegantemente di arrangiamenti e di soluzioni ben distanti da quelle di due novellini. Tracce che si sviluppano su di una lunghezza media di tre minuti e mezzo, atmosfera da mondo onirico infantile (e non), alcuni tocchi di finesse molto giapponesi, anche se la mano di Harold Nono c'è e si sente. A tratti mi ha ricordato dei Plone molto meno giocattolosi oppure dell'elettronica giapponese soft come quella di Takagi Masakatsu.

Si tratta di un lavoro molto ispirato, di una delicatezza disarmante e devo ammettere che pur non inventandosi nulla il duo anglo-giapponese colpisce pienamente nel segno con una produzione ed una serie di arrangiamenti brillanti che illuminano un disco tanto semplice quanto riuscito. Anche le tracce di solo piano, classiche come sono, potrebbero annoiare ed invece fanno venire voglia di dormir con la finestra aperta, in modo che l'estate vi si corichi addosso proprio come succedeva quando eravate bimbi
Sodapop  (Italy - June 2010) 

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V/A : 'Captain Woof Woofs' Guitar' (BS007 - 2009)

Port Mone kick off proceedings with a racket entitled 'River.' Crikey. No gentle introductions here: the listener is assaulted by a barrage of clattering, rattling percussion and what sounds for all the world like a spiralling accordion, a collision between Test Department and an Irish folk band on bad LSD, and lots of it.

You'd think this might be a tough one to follow, but Kirameki's 'Sayonara, Gansgters' is sufficiently weird and wired to do the trick. Tripped-out vocals and toppy suff guitars are only the beginning, and it's a crazy journey that concludes with a panned vocal loop that's enough to bend even the straightest of brains.

Sonorous industrial clangs and sombre trumpets provide the sonic backdrop to the operatic vocals that tower over 'The Crippled Court Jester' by Per Olund Band. I begin by thinking 'Tilt' era Scott Walker might be a fair comparison, but as scuttling, unsettling incidentals and strings add layers of tension to this cinematic curio, I'm forced to conclude that this is far, far weirder. I'm talking completely deranged. I mean, in text / chatroom parlance, WTF?

Taub's 'Badlands' comes as something of a relief, being a comparatively straightforward instrumental piece, and after this brief interlude, I feel ready to face more weirdness.

This is perhaps as well, as the rest of the album delivers weirdness in spades. While The Artificial Sea's contribution may not be as overtly experimental or strange as some of the other tracks, its tense synth and string drenched sound is far from conventional. It is, however, really rather good. The same is true of Whizz Kid's warped shoegaze and the courtroom elegance of Milenka's 'Atta Atta,' which harbours strange and sinister undercurrents, the sound of Bjork's spirit stolen from her soul and trapped in a dungeon.

In fact, if you're willing to take a walk on the weird side, there's plenty of interest to be found here, and there isn't a duff or dull track to be found across the 14 collected here. From the proggy post-rock of Sadomundo, here represented by 'Ninth Train,' via the almost country leanings of The Temple Cloud Country Club, the sparse and occasionally jolting electronica of Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai, the chiming minimalist avant-gardism of Lettelete aka Ememe, to the serenely atmospheric piano work of Harold Nono and Hidekazu Wakabayeshi, it's eclecticism and unusualness all the way.

Credit must go to the guys at Bearsuit, not only for finding such a remarkable array of out-there acts, but also for sequencing this compilation so attentively, in order that it feels intentional, rather than simply a collection of songs cobbled together.
Christopher Nosnibor
whisperinandhollerin (Republic of Ireland 10/09)
 
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V/A : 'Captain Woof Woofs' Guitar' (BS007 - 2009)

CAPTAIN WOOF WOOFS' GUITAR is an international low price compilation released by Bearsuit Records. It gathers fourteen bands/tracks that play songs in balance from pop experimentalism (check The Artificial Sea's "Gloryhole" where you find a mix of early Cocteau Twins, digital noises and a great female voice or Milenka's "Atta atta remix" where a voice similar to Bjork sing a particular dissonant tune made with acoustic guitar, violins, synths and a sound similar to a fretless bass), extravagant music (see the instrumental piano/guitar melancholic "I've heard giants" by Harold Nono, the tribal ride made of distorted bass/guitar, percussions and accordion of the opening Port Mone's "River" or the cut-up pop craziness of Kirameki and the opera experimental mix on Per Olund's "The crippled court jester") and shoegaze music (check the Japanese/English Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai tune). A nice compilation where melody and experimentation meet, which will introduce you to new bands. Check some tunes at the label's myspace page.
Maurizio Pustianaz
Chain D.L.K. (Italy/USA - 11/09)

*

Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai - ‘Sweetness and Light’
(BS008 - 2009)

Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete ‘sweetness and light’ EP (bearsuit). This release has the familiar Bearsuit name tattooed to its backside which should at least give those of you who pay attention to such things fair warning that what probably lies within is guaranteed to be something unlike anything you’ve heard or experienced before.

A three way collaborative, Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete feature among their line up a grammy award winning Japanese musician, an English rock artist and an American rock guitarist - its all a bit of a mystery and a tight lipped affair but then it’s the kind of fayre that we’ve come to love and expect fro Bearsuit. The sounds of course are equally impish and slightly way out and up yonder on pop’s musical axis.

Five strange delights is the best way to describe them, dainty and dare we say loveably dippy daydream mirages that swirl between minimalist candy strips of chamber toned electro pop and soft psyche folk. From out of the haze the mind weaving soft psych shimmer of ‘forsake’ positions itself into view, haloes of celestial chorus’ hum radiantly in the background all the time gathering depth and dimension almost drowning out the lilting sugar spun j-psyche intones pausing only for the onset of the fracturing sound effects comprised of sizzled and sunburnt discordance and fuzz wrapped riff chugs - fans of early career Flying Saucer Attack will swoon aplenty.

Then there’s the Broadcast meets Serge Gainsbourg spectral chamber noir of the slyly attractive eerily orbiting opine ’cataract’ sweetly souring aside ’bearskins’ which aside sounding not unlike some freakishly fanciful face off between Cornelius and Momus as though suspended in some heavenly poised hermetically sealed bubble woos and weaves ominously an audaciously fried and flipped glitch shanty setting. Phased vocals drawn through the ether as were the tear swelling title cut opts for a moment shy eyed noir toned classicism with the resonating key motifs endowing the listening space with a glassy sepia trimming that’s soon torn and tarnished by an unravelling finale wherein everything goes a tad awry and off road.

’my drive’ rounds up the pack, a sleepy headed cutie replete with disembodied samples, spooked vocals, nightmarish montages - really does sound wasted and uber chilled - a bit like imagining some bliss cradled smooching session between godspeed and black heart procession with Leonard Cohen calling briefly by to offer up some trademark tube supplements. Essential of course.
The Sunday Experience (UK - 13/8/09)

*

Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai - ‘Sweetness and Light’
(BS008 - 2009)

It's not every day that a release comes with a list of the samples used in its construction, especially when they're mostly drawn from a few free sites. But then it's not every day you'll hear something like the 'Sweetness and Light EP.' The other day I was getting excited by the new Bearsuit Records compilation, and this release suggests the quality of that release ('Captain Woof Woofs' Guitar') was no fluke.

'Forsake,' which appears on the aforementioned compilation is the first track here, and sets the tone for the rest of the EP in its assimilation of diverse sounds to create a shifting, alien soundscape. It's followed by 'Cataract,' which begins like 'Keep Your Dreams' by Suicide updated for the new millennium, before swirling off in a mist of sonic haze and fuzzy analogue synth sounds with spoken vocals on top.

The centrepiece of the EP, 'Bearskins,' comes on like 90s Whitehouse (the band, not the magazine or presidential seat) in a sea of pink noise or a fragment from an early Test Department album at the start, before electronic piano sounds chime in, sitting most incongruously with the distorted techno / EBM vocal and crackling incidentals. Over the course of the eight and a half minute running time, there are several movements, which sees the form switch unexpectedly to bleepy electronica and taper out in a crackling ambient smog.

After this, the title track's electronic piano motif is both gentler and more conventional-sounding, although the heavily processed vocals - a recurrent feature across the five songs here - and curious lyrical content prevent it from being anything even approximating ordinary.

Initial bursts of feedback give way to squelchiness and mellow tones cut through with sharp-edged incidentals for the final track, 'My Drive,' winding up an EP that's bursting with experimentalism and yet remains on the right side of listenable.
whisperinandhollerin (Repulic of Ireland - 10/09)

*

Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai - ‘Sweetness and Light’
(BS008 - 2009)

I am reliably informed by their press release that anata wa sukkari tsukarete shimai is Japanese for “you are completely tired”. Despite this band’s EP encompassing just twenty five minutes of music, listening to it feels like a long battle against hypnosis. That’s not because it’s a hard slog but because the ideas and moods are both exhausting and impossible to ignore. The men to blame are the bizarrely named Gnomefoam, _ and Bunny, who hail from England, Japan and Scotland respectively.

Forsake’ makes A.R. Kane’s visionary forays into dreampop look rather tame as some computerised vocals combine with warped effects and a doleful guitar. ‘Cataract’, meanwhile, recalls the distorted atmospheres of teenage prodigy Khonnor but its breakbeat “chorus” is arguably the most commercial thing on offer here. Then beneath the heavily digitised vocals of ‘Bearsuit’ I could hear the distinct words “I put my arms around you” which is the first sign of the sweetness promised in the EP’s title, although its potentially romantic ideas are undermined by a long sequence of seemingly random bleeps.

It is left to the last two tracks to recapture a sense of emotion. The title song revolves around a doomy piano hook and spine-tingling harmonies. Then the end arrives via ‘My Drive’. Once again it’s a queasy macabre journey but one which is quite beautiful in its own twisted little way.

‘Sweetness And Light EP’ is, to say the least, experimental. Yet there are frequent moments of fragile beauty to be treasured from the apparent dissonance and chaos. Overall, it’s another winner from Bearsut Records who seem to have a neverending supply of wayward geniuses on their roster.
Leonards’ Lair (UK - 31.08.09)

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Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai - ‘Sweetness and Light’
(BS008 - 2009)

The project between Japanese experimental artists _, Bradford’s Gnomefoam and Bunny has already produced one exhilarating EP for net label
Rack & Ruin, in fact you can read about that here and even go and download it for free very soon. The name of that project was the Horror Punk EP full of noisy elements with a playful feel to it, the Sweetness & Light EP for Bearsuit Records is the flip side to that, a down beat dreamy affair that’s all together easier on the ear but just as sonically ambitious.

There is a really beautiful fuzzy dream like daze on the Sweetness & Light EP, shimmering guitars with shoegaze like qualities a build hazy atmosphere. The songs aren’t as insane as the Horror Punks EP here you get to know the more melancholic side to their musical bows. There’s a glitchy electronic feel to the music but it’s not mechanical and cold, it’s the complete opposite in fact, full of warmth and really playful and organic.

Some of my favourite tracks are the wonderful opener ‘Forsake’ with the robo voice opening and sublime guitar shimmer that builds a subtle soundscape around the beautifully sweet vocals buy I presume _ as they’re on Japanese are just gorgeous. The way AWSTS use found sounds in their songs always makes me smile, you hear crackles of what sounds like fire or just everyday things you cant quite put your finger on but they really give the music a living breathing feel. The track ‘Bearskin’ shows this wonderfully with a windswept whistle running through it, which makes you feel like you’re stuck alone on the moors. But the track isn’t as simple as that it breaks out into playful bleepy electronica like your still stuck out on the moors alone but you’ve started hallucinating. This group often send you in new and interesting tangents.

Sweetness & Light flows so beautifully there is a real emotional feel to this music, even when the vocals are obscured in fuzzy dream like distortion at times you can just feel an underlying sense of sadness. At times here AWSTS remind me of a lo-fi M83 without the big cheesy epic ambition, its more subtle than that though and more personal.

Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai make some beautiful and insane music sometimes all at once, they are a diverse bunch of artists that come together here to create a beautifully EP that both pulls on your heart strings and makes interesting new shapes with a wonderful sonic pallet. They will draw you in and demand repeated listens.
The Sonic Mine Field (UK - 8/09)

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Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai - ‘Sweetness and Light’
(BS008 - 2009)

If there were a price for the most unpronounceable name, Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai would certainly be a very hot contender. The Japanese might of course disagree, as their name stands for “you are completely tired”, but I will refer from now on as AWSTS for them. Consisting of _ (formerly of Kirameki) from Japan, Gnomefoam from England and bunny from Scotland, the three-piece met while releasing solo material on the Dutch label Rack & Ruin. It would be preposterous to call them a band, as they probably work collaboratively over the Internet, yet the final result sounds much more homogenous than one would expect from their modus operandi.

The EP starts with Forsake, a track that was also featured on their label’s Captain Woof Woofs' Guitar compilation. The opener is a perfect example for AWSTS’s approach. It begins very experimentally, more a collage than a song, but gradually they insert ethereal vocals and even a melody that reminds of Radiohead, Cornelius and psychedelic Pink Floyd. Instead of playing straightforward pop music, AWSTS hide their compositions behind a deconstructionist noise wall, which makes it all the more fascinating to discover what lies behind.

Next up is Cataract, like the opener rather short with three and a half minutes, before the EP’s centre piece Bearskins shows what the three artists are capable of. In just under nine minutes, they concoct an epic that combines the most different influences from avant-garde to melodramatic and from independent to electronica. Especially the quirky beat three minutes into the song makes for a peculiar Asian atmosphere. The EP ends with the title track and My Drive, two longer melancholic songs that sum up what this great but unfortunately so far overlooked collective has to offer.

Considering how much crap has the power to capture the attention of millions of fans, it seems unfair and unexplainable why AWSTS keep such a low profile so far. With no homepage to call their own and a very little visited Myspace presence (they don’t even have 20 friends, and their tracks have hardly been listened to more than 10 times), they should reconsider how to market themselves. Or maybe they want to reach only the most select music lovers. Friends of avant-garde music with a predilection for melodies should absolutely pay these guys a visit.

Sweetness And Light is a prime example of deconstructionist pop music that keeps a nice balance between experimentalism and songwriting. Normally I am somewhat wary of collaborative bands that only meet over the Internet, but AWSTS show that this kind of creativity can come up with more than just worthwhile efforts.
Highly recommendable!
DisAgreement (Luxembourg - 13/08/09)

 *

Whizz Kid – "The Yellow and Blue" (BS006 - 2009)

Whizz Kid ‘the yellow and blue’ EP (Bearsuit). Arriving today a CD and letter from Mr Hillary the head honcho over at Bearsuit a label based in Edinburgh and much loved around this parish notwithstanding the fact that there’s always that sense of childhood reminisces of unwrapping presents left beneath a Christmas tree in that with each and every release you never quite know what’s going to spring out of the package, their prized asset Kirameki being the case in point.

Not as frazzled or surreal as the aforementioned bench mark setting Kirameki, Whizz Kid you slyly suspect may well prove to be in time the labels impish enfant terrible if this EP documenting their first formative musical steps is anything to judge by. A duo pairing the talents of Belgium musician J-Kane better known more than likely to some of the hipper and more informed among you as Pornophonik and Scottish artist Yo Yo Nielsen. According to Mr Hillary they’ve only been working together for a few months with an album already in the works and being mooted for completion and release next year. For now though we have this four track calling card by way of a teaser peak of things to come.


A curiously playful and distractive outing it should be said that one suspects hasn’t quite decided whether it wants to seduce or spook you, ’the yellow and blue’ opens to the genteel lilt of ’summer bubbles’ a tingle some pirouetting figurine of sorts forged upon a looping classical key motif welded upon a down tempo tweaked clock working mechanism and decorated with the kind of sepia tipped aura that gives it the air of something recently rescued from out of a long forgotten and hitherto dusty treasure chest that’s lain undisturbed throughout the passing seasons in a loft. Throw in some cute some baby chuckles and you have something that should first and foremost appeal greatly to admirers of Raymond Scott’s ‘soothing sounds’ library.

By sharp contrast ‘the yellow and blue’ is more unhinged, beset by a vivid blankness everything about it suggests something unravelling, the skewed ad hoc time signatures, the ill fitting and ostensibly disturbed fracturing psychosis apply it with a chilled charm that suggest it being the score from sort sinister peek a boo murder in the dark movie, not I should add one for those of a fragile nature fearing a night lying awake wondering what the hell that scratching noise under the bed is.

Reverting back to the seducing side of the equation ‘some kind of temporary’ finds itself lushly awash in all manner of dream weaving promenade
perched ambience textures, starry eyed dimples and waltzing trip hop cascades revealing the merest of dub aspects and toy box corteges which if anything we’d suggest was something of more than a passing interest to admirers of Discordia. ’snow burning’ wraps up the pack - yep you’ve guessed it back to weirdville - Oriental chime motifs, shuffling beats, dead pan vocals ripped from the ether, backdrops of wiring ominous opines - don’t know about you but I get the distinct impression that the pair were reading from different song sheets - and you thought Pop Off Tuesday were crooked. Impishly inspired.
The Sunday Experience (6/09)

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Whizz Kid – "The Yellow and Blue" (BS006 - 2009)

Whizz Kid is a brand new collaboration between J-Kane aka Pornophonik and singer Yo Yo Nielsen, this is their debut four track EP working together. An album is already in the works too so this is a taster of what’s to come. Whizz Kid makes an interesting blend of dreamy funk fuelled breakbeat and smokey electronica that sounds like it came from the back of beyond.

Summer Bubbles kicks off The Yellow and Blue, with spooky piano before the
breaks set in and add a little funk to the proceedings as tinkles of shimmering electronics play sunshine melodies. The title track takes things a lot darker and adds vocals to the proceedings, the deep gravely voice of Yo Yo brings a slightly disturbing feel to the other worldly synth and string samples. The break beat gets darker this time too, with tight punch hits.

Some Kind of Temporary almost verges on Big Beat in its rhythm section but not quite its just good solid breaks chopped and screwed into dance floor shapes while a halftime string/orchestral melody plays above. The EP starts with sunshine in Summer Bubbles and ends with a chill, Snow Burning is another vocal cut with an ambient dreamy flavour underpinned by breakbeats, this is probably the most hypnotic of the tracks, the piano and xylophone melodies that go along with the mellow gravely vocals give a melocholic and ghostly vibe.

The Yellow and Blue EP by Whizz Kid is an interesting and compelling piece of work from the fledgling project of J-Kane and Yo Yo Nielsen. A taster of things to come and the spooky breakbeat meets smokey vocal electronica. If you’re a fan of people like Lemon Jelly or maybe even the dark side of Mr Scruff then Whizz Kid is well worth a look.
The Sonic Mine Field (23/06/09)

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kirameki - "a fit of the jerks" (BS005 - 2008)

Kirameki is a very strange beast indeed I first came across them (them being the oddly named _ & *) yes you read that right it’s a double team collaboration effort made by a guy called _ and a guy called * more on them in good time. Anyway I came across them on the excellent free net label Rack & Ruin Records, I was really taken by the madness that was lurking within. So I was so pleased for them when Bearsuit picked them up for a full album release. A Fit Of The Jerks is that alKirameki they shift and move through many styles often within seconds. I guess it’s a cut’n’paste sort of affair a bit like what Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow would cook up if they both went a bit insane one night. You have no idea what so ever what’s coming next it could be a full on spazzed out blast of breakcore beats or a mellow meandering through field recordings and strings. It’s all so playful it just pulls you into its strange little world.

_ is an artist from Japan and that’s about all we know of him really, his partner in crime doesn’t even know his name so to bum.

It’s really hard to explain what the hell is going on with jsongs and more like segments, surges and soundtracks to pretty much everything all at once.

Exercises in Style is a deranged almost circus like opening track, you can imagine a ringmaster drunkenly stumbling into the ring to announce the album over the top of this. He doesn’t though that’s all pretty much just in my head. The next track lures you into a blissful jazzy kind of place before things go haywire again with the funky guitar led breakbeat fuzz monster Sayonara, Gangsters. These two really know how to collect sounds and thread them together in such a compelling and interesting way that goes from party bangers to ambient noisethat he’s from Scotland
and is probably just as insane as _. They collaborate entirely over the Internet by sending tracks and files back and forth until some noise comes out. I’m not sure they have ever met at all face to face, it’s an interesting way of working and the results kind of reflect that.

Where to start with highlights? Well it all flows so well even with all the mad twists and terns so the tracks feel less like
I always seem to get Drown Yourself in my head for some reason I think it’s
.

oin in the anonymous fun * was born I can only really tell you
the mad breathy pitch-shifting laugh that does it. There is something mad about it that just draws me in. The following number My Cloud is a sublime shoe-gazer full of fuzz and chords that melt into an Aphex Twin style freak out at the end and reminds me of Frontier Psychiatrist by The Avalanches with it’s horse samples.

The noise rock beast Morgan House-Cutter gets me going with its grating, jarring sounds and beautiful twilight chords. Just to confuse things further they throw in a track called Our Last Track part 5 right in the middle, it sounds like a long lost KLF pop trance number being played in the distance followed by a marching band running down a busy road next to a train track, but in a good way of course.

Kirameki really do know how to twist turn and generally scare the shit out of the listener by luring them in with some beautiful soundscapes then bashing them around the head with a techno / gabba beat and running off with a big cheeky grin on their faces. It’s so hard to place this in a single box, it’s like ambient hit’n’run schizophrenic techno beat music or something.

A Fit of the Jerks will not be to everyone’s taste that’s for sure but the ones that find it and cherish it will be rewarded with some wonderful, fun and compelling listens. There is so much inventive sound packed into this album that it really stands up to repeated listens when your in some sort of deranged mood for it.
The Sonic Mine Field (UK - 29.01.09)


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kirameki - "a fit of the jerks" (BS005 - 2008)

Music Jim but not as you know it.
More likely to give your hi-fi a breakdown and you a nose bleed, Kirameki are clearly demented and creatively insane individuals. it's a combination much lauded here - if only there were more like them.

'A fit of the Jerks' is as apt a titled album as you're ever likely going to come across, talk about doing what it says on the tin, the mysterious Japanese / English duo known only _ and + are clearly on a different radar to the rest of us, a disturbed and freakish collaborative hybrid who craft a strange and unsettling nu age acrylic art pop sound-scape. They are the quintessential flies in the ointment.

First appearing on our viewfinder courtesy of their excellently wayward 'exercises in style' EP via the Dutch imprint Rack and Ruin (incidentally all of the tracks from which feature here including the previously unplayable 'John Lennon Vs. the Martians' - for review see missive 169) the impish Kirameki
freewheel with undeterred flippancy and deconstructive delight through an abyss of the surreal and the abstract (especially 'bubble car pileup' wherein the fusion of cut up collages and classical florets readily imagine a head on collision between Cornelius and Stockhausen), the sounds within bordering between the manic, the chaotic, the childlike and the challenged. All at once perplexing, playful and pulsating, 18 tracks feature on this their debut full length (though it should be pointed out that only 17 are credited on the sleeve).

A freakish floorshow of skittish beats, wired to the teeth sampling and random frenetic eruptions are the order of the day, familiar sounds are dismembered as though a performing autopsy is being undertaken, elements of classicism (note the skewed and bent out of shape Debussy flurries within 'exercises in style' - anti pop purists will love the erstwhile brief Duran Duran nod and ensuing dismissal while those preferring their sounds - shall we say - a little best experienced from behind the safe haven of a sofa should seek out 'the Viennese opera ball' which opts for a spot of sinister glassy noir chilled key tinkles) rub shoulders with blip core to be channelled and refracted through a fractured kaleidoscope whose dialect is indelibly grasped of flux and Dadaist mindsets. In terms of reference points Kirameki are kindred spirits of Casino Vs. Japan, Atari Teenage Riot and Pop Off Tuesday and mine similar unclassified pop dimensions as esteemed imprints such as Tigerbeat6, Emperor Norton and Wobblyhead, the fried and frayed elements coming into detached clarity on 'morgan house cutter' wherein fuzz laced flashbacks scour and scald amid chiming celestial crystal bowed overtures and glacial b-movie cascades much
recalling Roy Budd in presence.

'A fit of the jerks' pushes, pulls and jolts you through the paces, erratic as well as at times eerie, Kirameki have this engaging knack of continually pulling the rug from beneath your feet, its not so strange to find that one minute your being serenaded by disarming braids of lulling key motifs as on 'bubble car pileup' the next literally being pinned to the wall of your listening space by the disjointed schisms bleaching the grooves of 'sayonara, gangsters' - a warped and rapid fire aural assault of demonic squeaky toys, rampant beats and dragster fuzz scorched twang - you have been warned. Or maybe you fancy some demented uprising of typewriters decorated with an insane industrial tinged hollowing regal-ness as on 'my cloud' where nods are made in the general direction of Add N to X's 'Add insult to Injury' or the Radiophonic styled monochromatics of the snow globed and odd 'kirameki' all impishly fleshed out with bizarre key changes, ad hoc time signatures, clockwork motifs and a threatened sense of unruliness.

Elsewhere you'll find some neat Dadaist lounge groove via 'cooper's shoes', mutant industrial funk (the unaccredited 17th track) and Zorn like crookedness on 'derecci edited himself'. Sadly 'wave of imitation' - an obvious nod to the Pixies track 'wave of mutilation' is alas not a carnage frenzied dismemberment of the same track but a frankly barking frequency modulating slice of whirring drones and haunting Oriental apparitions - very unsettling with the subtle lolloping folk mirages barely detected in the background very much cut with a
Sunburned Hand of the Man type zeal.

We suggest you blitz the in boxes of those Riley and Maconie radio types and demand that Kirameki be elevated to the ranks of house band - do you want their email to save farting about in web world - its
stuart.6music@bbc.co.uk and marc.6music@bbc.co.uk - ah well there's goes the hopes of a career in Broadcasting up the shoot.
The Sunday Experience (11/08)

*

V/A Bearsuit Records - A Weevil In A Biscuit (BS004 - 2007)

This compilation is truly an international affair – the record label is based in Scotland, and the artists appearing on here span the entire globe, ranging from Ireland (Hulk), Scotland (Harold Nono), France (Oomiaq, Oldman), Belgium (Kaboom Karavan), Spain (Pequena Fiera!) and Finland (Cahier) right through to Serbia (PNDC), Singapore (Sonicbrat), Japan (Linda Bjalla, Alone Together), Brazil (Anne King) and the USA (Limbic Somnus, Alfred Brown, James Ross, DM Stith). Equally broad-ranging are the styles represented on here – which is not altogether surprising when you consider just how geographically spread out the artists are; and on first hearing it’s probably one of the strangest compilations I have heard in a while (and consequently the strange title is quite fitting really).

We have everything here; upbeat pop-influences, slow Tom Waits-style vocal slurs, electro-pop, experimental, suicidal and psychotic, ambient/environmental, psychedelic feedback workouts, fiery stompers, etc., etc. – you name it then it’s probably on here somewhere. The question now is where to begin?

My original intention was to pick out just those tracks I found interesting or intriguing as I normally do for compilations, but everything here offers us something good and attention-grabbing; so I’ll break with my own tradition and make short notes about every piece. Album opener Anne King’s vaguely Fat Boy Slim-esque ’Unknown Us Apart’ kicks things off energetically, only to be followed by the even more frenetic and uplifting vocoder ’n’ electro-pop stomp of ’Human Beings’ from Alone Together. Next up of note is PNDC’s (Predrag Nedic) ’Pick Up Your Tears’, with its Charleston flavoured bounce and that in turn is followed by Oomiaq’s bizarre ’Aventure Toi’, in which village children improvised words, syllables and melody – and strangely affecting for all that. Oldman opt to go for a collision between scratchy guitar fuzz ’n’ feedback and Tom Waits, while sitting out on the veranda of a house somewhere deep in the Mississippi swamplands.

Belgium’s Kaboom Karavan bring us a slice of slightly fractured ambient, while bearsuit’s homegrown talent Harold Nono, with his "A Shining Space’, fractures reality even more with a piece that sounds as if it was shattered and then pieced back together exactly as they found it. Meanwhile Pequena Fiera! serenades us with a deranged love song, strangled vocals accompanied by cheesy keyboards and guitar; then in complete contrast we have the soaring cosmic ambient of Limbic Somnus, magnificent chords spiralling into the heights. Following this we have the forlorn reedy organ and bubbling of Alfred Brown, with James Ross’ sinister guitar and bell-tone contribution hot on its heels.

Bringing the pace down even further is the longest piece on here, Linda Bjalla’s beautifully and hauntingly melancholic piece ’You Are Alive’, written for a friend on the brink of suicide, which perfectly captures the gloom and deep isolation of those in the deepest of despair, and also highlighting the endless greyness of existence for both the still-living and the eternally-dead; it’s not something that’s necessarily to be coveted, even by those who feel it’s the only option. After this DM Stith then gives us the nearest thing to a normal song, but even here it sounds like something from the early 20th century on downers.

We’re now on the home stretch with only three songs left; and the first of those is the lazy winding river of Sonicbrat’s harmonium and acoustic guitar piece ’That Little Something’, which I vote as being my favourite track on the album. Next is Hulk’s swirling classical string-influenced ode to the eternal sea, slow but solid, yet strangely mournful; and bringing up the rear is the slow tumble piano and reverb of Cahier’s ’Bebe’, short and penetratingly bell-like.

It’s fair to say that all the tracks on here are nothing short of sparkling, scintillating and cerebral, something which I consider a rare event for a compilation. Every one of these sixteen offerings had me entranced, something which is an even rarer event. As broad a range of styles as is to be found on here the quality of the selection is outstanding and this has certainly found an occasional home in my CD tray – the artists on here are not afraid to experiment and to take the musical format of their choice to new territories; and for that I thank both them and bearsuit records for opening up those new vistas for me.
Heathen Harvest (USA - 01/03/08)

*

harold nono - "to the river lounge" (BS003 - 2007)

What is this album ? Minimal piano and strings with a garnishing of not quite there beats and out of place samples that actually sit very well together…opera singing and magpies and even a visit from a well known Windows exclamation sound. I’m thinking ambient lounge but even that doesn’t cover it particularly well. Why obsess about the genre ? I’m trying to convey the depth of surprise I felt while listening to it. This is an album that has little or no connection to modern life. It’s the sound of cigarettes and late nights and someone who has no interest in pleasing the masses. Why else would you leave a two minute gap at the end of a track (“Lightbox”) before a pretty little piano melody that sound like it came straight from a silent movie ? Because you don’t give a fuck, an attitude that pays hearty dividends in my opinion. I was given this as a trio of albums from the bold Bearsuit Records (all featuring Mr No No) and this was my favourite, although it only just pipped an album he did with a Japanese chap called Wakabayashi.

I intend to grab both on CD and I look forward to hearing anything else that comes my way too.
Kim Monaghan (UK - 30.9.11)
Sitting Now
 

*

harold nono - "to the river lounge" (BS003 - 2007)

Now very occasionally, some unusual blip appears on my audio radar, and I feel compelled to check it out. After a cursory exploration of websites and some tentative enquiries, Bearsuit records, based in the UK passed on this re-release of Harold Nono’s “To the River Lounge”, assuring me that it would be a worthy listen, and that they had not injected sufficient energy into the original release of this work to warrant it any kind of success.Opening with the slightly poppy, and not totally convincing “Lullaby”, I approach the rest of the collection with cautious ears, trying not to be prejudiced, simply because this is not normally “my kind of music” – whatever that may mean.

I am rewarded on subsequent listens with the obtuse and angular workings of “A Shining Space”, that puts me cleanly into Murcof territory. Clipped sampling, and erratic rhythm treatments are very much the order of the day, and appear to be Nono’s stock-in- trade. This is an oddly conflicted collection that at first appears ambient, then suddenly throws in something odd and challenging in equal measure.

This could be Susumo Yokota, or Biosphere, Aphex Twin, or some hybrid offspring of all of the above. Nono occasionally breaches his comfort zone with some extremely beautiful and glistening slices of minimalism, indeed, in my opinion, he is at his best when at his most restrained and reduced. The style of Nono’s work is equally reflected in the charming and naïve painting rendered on the cover. For me, the high points would be the wonderful “Tacky Tigers”, or the meandering, off-centre beauty of closing track, “Lightbox”.

Ok..so this is not normally “my kind of music”, but I am very pleased to announce that this album shows a maturity and depth of vision worthy of some of the artists I have likened it to. If you haven’t encountered the work of Harold Nono, then this would be a fine point of entry to the work of an artist who would appear to be perched on the brink of more prominent recognition.
BGN
WHITE_LINE – promoting minimalism internationally (UK - 16.3.08)

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harold nono - "to the river lounge" (BS003 - 2007)

Information about Harold Nono is hard to come by. In this instance , its actually helpful to be berefit of biographical notes, because there is an eerily intriguing quality to this album, despite its regularly irregular assemblage of drones and fractured beats. The vocal fragments of opener Lullaby are gothically disquieting, while the juxtaposed elements of A Shining Space - shards of female vocal, brief snatches of Middle Eastern guitar - lie in the mix like the random smithereens of some nuclear catastrophe. The tolling bells of Waterspeakers and the ghostly incantations of A Third Of Birds only unnerve still further. A Marie Celeste-like air of mystery hangs over To The River Lounge, and thats all to the good.
David Stubbs
The Wire (UK - 4/08)