Recommendations - DECEMBER 2006


I'm wrong, this is not an LP. It's a 12 inch single, but from about 1969, which I think is very early indeed for this format and puts paid to the theory that the first long 12 inch extended singles were early disco. This has one long extended track per side, each running to about 11 minutes. That's right, this is an 11 minute extended late 60s version of the Midnight Cowboy theme that goes all jazzy, religious, spooky and a bit mad, and very nearly in that order. On a very obscure label too. I found this in Vienna, before I tried to eat a Schnitzel which I failed to finish and nearly gagged on.


Yes, that's SImon Fisher Turner, the bloke with the amazing career path so far: he's a fine composer, was a teen glam star for Jonathan King's UK label, was a pin-up kid and also part time Green Cross Code Boy throughout the outrageous 1970s. Once he'd hung his tights up, he went on to work for and collaborate with Derek Jarman, and this quite early soundtrack really is something special. Its simplicity makes for addictive listening, and it puts some of the more modern film scoring that is about at the moment firmly in the shade. To sum it up musically... very good acoustic guitar, funny ambient noises, some brass but not much, and peculiar arrangements.


This Canadian Arts lot have one of the best graphic logos I have ever seen. In the early 1970s and once they'd got their logo sorted, they decided to issue a compilation of music made specifically for their commissioned art films. The music they pressed here spans two decades and numerous styles of sound. In short this is a long double LP full of surprises and joy. One track starts of like one thing and changes into another completely different thing without you even noticing. Wow, that's a great explanation I've written there.


Well it's been a long time coming this one. As frustrated collectors may know, ten inch Brull / Harmonic library discs are difficult to come by. I had been aware of this records' existence for a few years, but never managed to see one, or for that matter, never even knew the right title. Then this little fella appeared on ebay with sound samples, which was a right result for me. So, what do we actually have here? Well, this is the original ten inch of a Roland Kovac jazz LP issued in the same year by SABA simply called 'Trip To The Mars'. There are lots of funny jazz noises and dramatic things on here, but the drop dead number is a track simply called 'No. 3'. It's a classic lilting space-jazz waltz, and on the SABA LP it's called 'Blue Dance'. This massively dull fact is hugely exciting for me.


Half of this LP is comedy. The kind of sound Jazzman Gerald always calls 'sausage factory music'. I've never been to a sausage factory but I know what he means. The other side is far more intriguing, straight, tense and quite lovely British jazz. All the tracks are a bit short but it's still a very good record and I keep playing the wrong side and going to the sausage place which gets a bit annoying.


This was played to me originally by Simon White, a mid-century stuff and music dealer who came on my radio show. I'd been playing Wim Mertens' beautiful music from The Belly Of An Architect a few weeks before. Simon White turned up with this little baby and spun it, revealing a startling sameness between this and that if you know what I mean. Basically, Vergessen includes the cue Mildly Skeeming, a repetitive, looping hypnotic pseudo-medieval pulsing electronic thing that goes on for about six minutes. It bears a remarkable similarity to the music he wrote for Peter Greenaway but I think it's a bit better, slightly more raw. Having heard the record played to me I spent the next six months desperately trying to find a copy, but it is elusive to say the least. Eventually I tracked one down in Greece. I played it out last week and this Resonance FM listener came up and told me exactly what it was and even threw in a bit of history about it, which I have to say is impressive. But then again that's Resonance FM listeners for you. They know a lot about funny things.


Yes, this is the EmCee 5, and not as you may first think, a misspelling of the MC5. No. This earlier bunch are from 1962, and this is a very very sweet little jazz ep. The cunning band name comes from the band leader's initials, one Mike Carr. His brother, Ian Carr is also parping away here too. I really like this because side two of this baby is a suite of music called Preludes, composed for a TV book show, a bit like Jackanory but on Tyne-Tees Television. The music was to accompany a bit of work by T.S. Elliot. This is also the first Lansdowne Jazz Series recording I have found on 7 inch format. If there are others out there I would love to know. This confirms I really am far more dull than I first thought.


I am beginning to grow quite fond of these little MGM singles from the early 1960s. I never paid much attention to them, but I do now. This is a B side, and features the piano-led music to that superb Burt Lancaster movie, The Birdman Of Alcatraz. Well I think it does, it's called Birdman and sounds not too dissimilar to the score. It's a sad, pensive number, but then again being banged up is a bit sad, thoughtful and possibly a touch reflective. Well it might be different now, but in the days of The Birdman there was no telly behind bars, so it must have been really really sad.


If you have ever wondered where the growl from your teddy goes, or the whistle from your toy train disappears too, well look no further than the Lost Noises Offices. Run by Mr Bosseyman and his humble pixie assistant Pickles, this is the place to find that missing sound. It's a fine musical story, and all SFX and weird sound was created by that well loved eccentric spitfire flying concrete mixing genius known as Desmond Leslie (see the Trunk release Music Of The Future). Here Leslie is in fine form, using some of his sacrificial and avant garde musical techniques to full effect. This is one of the most charming children's eps I have ever heard. The story is simple, Mr Bosseyman looses his voice and Pickles has to listen to all the lost noises in order to find it. This was originally a BBC Broadcast with Agnes Bernelle as the narrator. Not only was she a sexy, dare I say exotic bird, but also an actress, friend of Deitrich and wife of Desmond Leslie.


I got masses of these when 58 Dean Street Records shut down a few years ago. I had to get them all out of storage recently as I had to play a London noise set for three hours and I some of these are London ambient recordings, like 'Kings Cross Station', 'Euston at rush hour' etc. My favourite out of them all is 'Goats'. Just ridiculous, but useful if you are producing All Creatures Great And Small or The Archers. I have scanned the one called 'Sinister Wind' as it has uncanny relevence at the Trunk Residence and explains why I have to sleep downstairs every now and again.


I like this at the moment because it mixes spy music with spaghetti music but only some of the time. That's the best way I can describe it. I also find it interesting because the director had two names (Alberto Cardone and Albert Cardiff) and played an almost important part in cinematic history as second unit director on Barbarella. All music here is by Francesco De Masi and is performed by A.A. and his Cantori Moderni. A bird called Juli Ray sings the opening theme, and she's pretty great too. The film may well be good, it may well be bad, I have no idea. I haven't seen it and it's very unlikely I ever will. I started listening to this because I had to do a spy movie music show. All James Bond and that. And I've just noticed this is the second spy-related recording this page.


I have no idea what the title of this LP really is without proper translation. But using my rusty school French I can tell you that it comes across something like this: When Something Weird Happens Throw The Giraffe Into The Sea. Got it? Exactly. Pressed on a small French label in 1971, this LP is almost as raving mad as the title. Thollot was a drummer, percussionist and keyboard player. Here he brings all his insane ideas into wax reality, including different beats, warped speech and funny strings. It all works surprisingly well. I did a bit of investigation into this album and could only find out that the LP is on the infamous Nurse With Wound Musical list. I was talking to someone about this list a while ago and apparently there are fictitious artists dotted throughout it. This gave me some quite interesting ideas which I quickly forgot.


I first saw this a few years ago, at a working men's club, being played out by Andy Votel. Foolishly I left buying one for ages. I ordered one from Europe a couple of years ago but it never turned up, and then I just forgot about it. Recently one Roller LP has conveniently come my way, and boy I'm pleased that it has. It starts off all proggy Goblin just like you'd expect but there are beautiful quiet passages to this album also, and I never really knew Goblin were capable of such tender musical work. Super.


This was a gift recently. And may I say what a gift. I had no idea what the hell it was so I dug about a bit. And now I know lots more...this album has a most unique provenance. It was the first LP pressed and released by the ICA. It was issued to celebrate an exhibition they held, called Cybernetic Serendipity, in 1969. By all accounts (and there are many on the interweb), this was a seminal exhibition of sound, vision and all round oddness involving man and his brand new invention, the computer. I say brand new, obviously the computer had been around a bit, but you know what I mean. This LP celebrates man and computer music making and has some startling sound all over it. The cover art comes from Peter Zinovieff's score to something dead strange, and of course he was one of the founding fathers of EMS, the company who made the Synthi. We really should have a link to this EMS site as it does have some extraordinary archive adverts. Here it is - - last update 8th August 1998. This is without doubt one of the oddest LPs I have heard in a while, and that's saying something. It's also the most historically important LP I have come across this year.


Smashing, another library LP. A De Wolfe library record this time but it's much more of a proper jazz record really. The tracks are proper jazz length - from four to nine minutes and it really does cook. Hampton Hawes is the featured American jazz pianist here, and Alan from Honest Jon's told me a most unusual story about him. Like all heavyweight jazz artists of the 50s and 60s, he was big into his horse. His addiction eventually took him all the way to jail in the early 1960s, where he got himself clean, wrote a letter to JFK saying he was very sorry to have been a bad person, asked for forgiveness and got a get out of jail free pass from the big man a week or so later on. This was the first and last last time it happened to anyone behind bars in the USA. Thanks heavens as we wouldn't have this blissful LP otherwise. I dragged it off the shelves recently because Honest Jon's wanted to hear it and I realised what a pain in the arse it is recording CDs properly for people. Incidentally there was no Phase Two.


While we are on the subject of smack addicts who play good jazz, meet Paul Gonsalves. This is his legendary 1000 quid LP, an early part of the London modern jazz scene and jewel in any Brit jazz collection. Gonsalves was an American sax player, came over here, took heroin, played music, made this album and then probably buggered off. The sleevenotes say that this session was recorded in Sweden, which was a lie at the time to keep the Musician's Union off their backs. The album title is in homage to Jackie Sharp, club owner and smack dealer too, allegedly. Only a couple of hundred copies were ever pressed of this baby, I have never seen a real one but managed to buy a new and beautifully manufactured Japanese replica repressing on-line from a shop in Tokyo who understood Engrish. Musically it really is a masterpiece, it's almost too good if you know what I mean. It has that dry, flat sound I associate with the London scene, and the session swings from hip up tempo to darker, more blue moods effortlessly. Yes, it really is a joy.


Wes another horse album, but not heroin this time. This is The Cord And The Colt. A good name for a Western, and a good score for one too. Written by Dario Argento, this movie is a bit of a culty odd one, although I've never seen it and probably won't either. This LP has always been of interest to non western soundtrack collectors because Scott Walker sings the theme tune twice. It's not a bad song but the rest of the album is far better and quite beautiful. Andre Houssein you see wrote the music (and directed the film), and he's been mentioned on this site before.


Compiled by Bent Lorentzen this wonderful package of record, lessons and booklet is a most pleasant educational tool. Over the last few weeks it has taught me loads about white and pink noise, chopped sine tones and grotesque musical surrealism. Bent Lorentzen is a man by the way. He lives abroad. He keeps disabled fish. No he doesn't, I made that last bit up.


How could you not want to listen to this LP in December? The cover is enough to grab you and drag you through the festive period I reckon. Musically it exceeds what you might think - there is very little novelty here, it's all good will and that. My current favourite track is Guaraldi's version of the little drummer boy, here cuted-up and called My Little Drum. It's like a weird old remix, includes a choir of children and I will be playing this until I get sick. The whole LP has the feel of a recording made by a nearly talented school but without the amateur shit bits. Overall it just has a relaxed, and quite lovely feel. I was trying to find an original pressing of this, and then a couple of weeks ago I walked into Sister Ray which used to be called Selectadisc and they had sealed dead American stock copies for three quid a pop. Reissues yes, but I mean you can't beat it really for three quid. I might go back and buy all my friends one for Christmas. That's erm, one extra copy I'll need then.


I have little doubt that this is the most trancey, Wicker Man-like pagan Christmas single ever. Originally discovered by Martin Green, this teeny evil monster issued by Parlaphone went on his funny Cool Yule comp a few years ago and still gets heavy rotation over the 12 days of Yule where I live. One slightly upsetting point is that recently the melody, vocal patterns and arrangement have all been nicked to provide the music for the festive TK Max advert. It has slightly ruined it for me but only slightly. Martin is still alright as he hasn't got a telly yet.