Recorded in Holland, Maston`s Tulips, for me, however conjures images of the sexy Seine. Its twangy, tremolo`d guitar accompanies romantic, wordless chanson, that itself should be accompanying young lovers in young love, hand-in-hand, strolling the left bank, swooning in the shadow of the Eiffel. Whispering “Je t`aime” to the wistful woodwinds and breezy acoustic strum. Falling head over heels to the Mireille Mathieu-esque harmonies.
The record`s harder, faster, French Ya Ya updates have those couples gyrating like tambourine-tapping go-go dancers. Shimmying to short symphonies set at drum and bass tempos. These racier moments mixing Moog-y, modular details with Library music references, in a manner similar to Stereolab`s homages to 70s space age bachelor pad muzak. Alining Maston with artists such as The Liminanas and Kit Sebastien.
Theremins sing odes to the swinging `60s – transporting me to Carnaby Street -Blossom Dearie loving London in the rain. Sending images of Mary Quant, Twiggy and Penelope Tree – mini-dresses and thigh-length kinky boots – break-dancing with Broadcast. Its themes reminding me of a childhood sat in front of the goggle-box. Monochrome Saturday mornings spent with with dashing flashing blades and oh, White Horses. Remembering the poignant harpsichord and organ patterns that played as the credits to The Persuaders, and Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) rolled. Maston`s compositions rivaling contemporary classics – such as Greg Foat`s Girl With Robot And Flowers – and as well as those of giants like John Barry and Edwin Astley. It`s a sound so authentic that you’d be super hard pushed to distinguish Tulips from a vintage KPM original.
You can order a copy of Maston`s Tulips directly from Be With Records. Pressed at 45, I can’t wait to pick up the vinyl and give it a spin at 33 – apparently its pretty trippy.
The Flashing Blade
Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)