Recommendations - JUNE 2010


Unbelievably odd record this one. The insert sheet that comes with it is even more bizarre. I shall try and explain. One side it’s an album of all this bloke’s electro acoustic inventions, one of which is a bike wheel, another is a Synthi lookey-likey machine with less knobs and no suitcase. The other side is a recording based on a doorbell, and his invention is this doorbell thing and it’s all about not answering the door because the person outside the door might just kill you. I was talking to a bloke called Stuart Aitken about this album and playing bits of it to him, and he cunningly coined the term “Insider Music” as the bloke is scared to open the door and go out.

Nine And A half Weeks

Even shocked myself here.

The Tom Dissivelt EP

British copy of this charming little four track record from 1960 is something that has illuded me for years. Now I have one, bought on ebay for less than 20 quid. So I took all the other money I had put aside for buying one of these and spent it on a small bar of choc.

Wheels – Frode Thingness

This is all about the Armadillo on the front and the really odd electro trombone thing on the first track. It actually sounds like something Braun would make.

Downtown 81

This legendary lost New York documentary has a very good vinyl soundtrack. Not sure if it’s a bootleg or what, but it’s four extremely full sides of classic NYC madness, oddness and general good time musical optimism. I have had trouble not listening and now really wish I had a time machine and often struggle to remember which great tracks are on which great side.

Grey Scale

The genius called David Cunningham was behind this album, released on his own label called Piano. The idea behind the album is simple, and I interpret it as playing simple music until a mistake is made and then follow the mistake until another mistake is made and so it goes. The results are trance inducing, slightly industrial, classical and give you the impression of nursing homes and possible torture, with odd moments reminiscent of a child playing a milk bottle with a pencil in a really annoying way. There is also more bass on these recordings than I first expected. Cunningham is my current musical hero.

Half And Half

Surely this tune must be a jazz standard, and I’m sure there are people out there who collect covers of this superb, hooky composition. I’m not sure I’m one of them, but I now have three versions, this particular one happens to be on a 7” single and the best bit about it is that it’s played on the tuba, which suits the track no end. The recording dates from the early 80s, a fact confirmed by the outfit worn by the woman who is playing the tuba. I think it’s wise we don’t start up a conversation about how well she blows.

Ronnie Hazlehurst does library

How or why this came about I have no idea, but it sounds good all the way through, like a bus ride through Ronnie’s musical phrase book, as the album unravels you go oooh it’s Some Mother Do ‘Ave ‘Em and stuff like that. And it goes a bit jazzy / waltzy every now and again which I have found to be almost unbearably exciting.

Masturbation Boogie

There was no way I was going to leave this record in the shop.

The New Jazzman Single

Not sure if this is actually the new one, but I did phone up Gerald and say “you clever bastard” and stuff like that to him when I heard it. That’s because he’s managed to find the original version of I Believe In Miracles by this bloke called Mark Capanni which was only issued as a promo or test pressing or something, and has now issued it properly. It has to be one of the loveliest summer records I have heard in a while, and makes you think of pub gardens and pleasant evenings and stuff like that. It also confuses you a bit because you’re so used to only knowing the Jackson Sisters one and this is not that one.

A David Bedford Album

No, it’s not David Bedford the famous red sock wearing long distance runner, it’s another one. This David Beford makes music, or rather sounds and some noise with girls in choirs and what sounds like a tool box. It all makes for very good late night listening, especially when I am alone and with the resident mouse who scuttles up the inside of the wall and still avoids capture.

The Soundtrack by Fred Frith

What a great name. And what a funny double LP, all over the place it is. But then you’d expect that from anyone associated with Henry Cow. I keep coming across them all the time at the moment, which must be some sort of musical destiny. Another thing like this is that Rags LP from the last Recommended list, which is also Henry Cow related.

A Strange French Film Record

I’d never come across this before, and thought that it looked a bit different, more like a late 60s show tunes or Brecht album. Apparently the film is all about a man who feeds his family dead cats. The music is very much like that children’s album on MPI, but with strange adult bits and a choir. And crap oompah bit which I try and ignore, although my wife did come in the other day when it was going all oompha and gave me a worrying stare. I deliberately left the oompah music playing, hoping she would then leave the room thinking I’d really lost it at last, and then she could start worrying about which local institution she could drop me at in the morning.