Chocolate Milk And Brandy / July 2020

Attempting to recreate the golden yesterdays of Jose Padilla`s White Isle sunsets with the tunes of today. 

To be honest there’s so much great new music about at the minute that I’m finding it hard to keep / catch up. Tons of jazz and soul from all over is calling my name, and there are countless sides that could be cobbled together for a sunset cocktail session. I used to try to theme the blog like a magazine – so one week it`s “balearic beats”, the next it`s the new more “alternative” releases. I still aim to do this, but it`s getting harder. Last week was supposed to be Chocolate Milk and Brandy week – but I only managed to skim the surface – even when resorting to a historical blog no no and posting at the weekend: 

Dmitry Evgrafov`s Ai-assisted post-classical meditations on human-kind`s plight, Surrender.

That fourth world-extrapolated triptych from Seance CentrePhil Struck, Museum Of No Art, and The First Minute Of A New Day.

Suzanne Kraft – both repressed solo on Melody As Truth, and jamming with Spanish master Suso Saiz on Music From Memory.

Also from Spain, the Belver Yin vinyl hit stores – its romantic space-rock ruminations accompanied by great sleeve notes from John Gomez. 

From the Balearics themselves, there`s NuNorthern Soul`s forthcoming retrospective, Selected Works 1982 To 1989, focused on Mallorquin guitar maestro, Joan Bibiloni. 

A little further back there were Imaginaria`s seamless edits from Portugal, and the cinematic kankyo ongaku of Karel Arbus & Eiji Takamatsu`s Quiet Facility  from Japan.

Hugo Nicolson dusted off something special from his archive, in the shape of Spark Sparkle`s Crank – feeding classic 60s pop references through a kind of Screamadelia filter. 

spark sparkle crank new art

Jah Wobble man-handled Brian Eno on Spinner – forging a fusion of sorts – and echoes of Eno, together with collaborator Daniel Lanois, could be heard in the Americana accents of Nuel`s Fantasia, released by Apollo. 

While we’re on Apollo, the resurrected legendary  label has reissued The Primitive Painter – an ambient alter ego of Alter Ego AKA Jörn Elling Wuttke and Roman Flügel. Andrew Weatherall hammered the track Levitation – a revision of A Guy Called Gerald`s voodoo that swaps hot house lemonade for a seductively strung, loved-up low-end throb. The album also features Invisible Landscapes, which I know was a “chill-out” favourite of both Phil Mison and Richard “Moonboots” Bithell. Investors in the fresh pressing will also receive a bonus called Stoned Soul Picnic. 

Global Communication – Tom Middleton and Mark Pritchard – provide more seminal early-90s electronica. In 1992 / 93 they made some untouchable, groundbreaking music, which is now being remastered and made available again. There`s controversy over the Music On Vinyl reissues, since Mark and Tom aren’t getting paid, but the duo have their own deluxe Evolution editions up for pre-order, via Bleep. I mentioned 76:14 in February, when I first saw the MOV release. Reload`s A Collection Of Short Stories is also coming – which contains the essential Le Soleil Et La Mer. A hugely emotive break-beat driven piece of “IDM”, that Mr. Weatherall once said reminded him of  The Chilites` The Coldest Days Of My Life, and for me is up there with Aphex Twin`s X-Tal. Which I guess is no surprise since Tom and Mark DJed, and produced, alongside Richard D. James, when all were part of the West Country free-party scene centred around the Mighty Force Record shop in Exeter. 

Then there`s their “retransaltions” of Chapterhouse`s Blood MusicPentamerous Metamorphosis. Shoegaze re-imaginings. Choirboy codas. A whirl of wildlife and weather. Subliminal spectres of the band, whistling like the wind. As celestial as Iasos` new age angels. Pre-dating Brock Van Wey`s also beautiful White Clouds Float On & On by over a decade. Indie-rock riffs are dissected and rearranged into a kind of jazz. Juxtaposed with cherubs` harps, and Art Of Noise-like gasps and whispers of love. All of it epic, “ambient techno”, which, at the time, I considered to be close to “classical”. If you listen to the “mix”, you’ll hear that my copy of the old promo 12 crackles away – which just shows how much it was played, how much love it got, back in the day. Score-like, it soundtracked the mad, bad, sometimes sad, lonely life I seemed to have slipped into. I`d moved home, been kicked out, and ended up renting a box room in a house full of strangers. Living on a diet of baked beans, booze and drugs. Looking like a hobo. Stick thin, pony-tailed, with nicotine-yellowed fingers and spliff blims in my best t-shirt – and in the main I might add pissing my housemates right off. When I wasn’t working I was getting high. Usually on my own. Locked in that box with my tunes “too loud”. Drinking not thinking. Stoned on my bed, drifting. Epsilon Phase`s drums beating, wheezing, out of whack. Like my now enlarged heart. Its sighs and sonar signals – a music of shooting stars, and northern lights – still sound heavenly, like a hymn to me.

Finally, I’ve slipped in a teaser for something I’ve been privy to – a new set on Swiss imprint, Ish. The people who brought you Pablo Color. There are no links around yet, but keep your eyes and ears open for Slow Attack Ensemble`s Music For Turntable, Guitar and Sampled Instruments. Canadian producer Chuck Blazevic`s series of Time Lag Accumulator improvisations – which nod towards both the systems music of Steve Reich and avant-pop of Arthur Russell.

slow attack ensemble art


Global Communication – Epsilon Phase – Evolution
Slow Attack Ensemble – Early Dawning – Ish
Imaginaria – State Of Mind – Imaginaria
Suso Saiz & Suzanne Kraft – Nunca – Music From Memory
Belver Yin – Tanto Amor Escondido – Efficient Space
Spark Sparkle – Lazy – Spark Sparkle
The First Minute Of A New Day – June 15th – Seance Centre
Nuel – Quiet – Apollo
Suzanne Kraft – Talk From Home – Melody As Truth
Dmitry Evgrafov – Endless – 130701
Eno & Wobble – Garden Recalled – All Saints
Karel Arbus & Eiji Takamatsu – Artes Mechanicae – Jansen Jardin
Museum Of No Art – Three Years Later – Seance Centre
Joan Bibiloni – Alfonsina Y El Mar – NuNorthern Soul

Reference links, and Part 2, to follow…..


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