Recommendations - SEPTEMBER 2008


It is sometimes worth digging in to early 1980s film music. And then sometimes it isn’t. I like this one at the moment as the percussion and overall grooves are most unusual, and very commercial. Also, this has none of the bum pinching cheeky style of music one can often associate with Italian film music.


Collin Bates made an album back in the 1960s which is apparently worth about a grand. This is not that one. On the front of this one he is drinking tea, and sitting in an attempted lotus position. The album is quite straight, only until you start listening really hard and then it changes a bit, and gets quite interesting. Sometimes I wish I knew loads more about jazz and then I’d be able to blab on and on about progressions, structures and other unimportant musical things like that. Milk in first please Colin.


In the good old days of British synthesiser purchasing, if you went to EMS and ordered and then bought a Synthi, you got a free flexi disk demo thing. I don’t have a synthi, but I do have the flexi disk. And this really is a terrific, dare I say historic little oddity. It’s also a small triumph in terms of type and design, but that’s another story. Anyway, it’s a stiffer flexi than normal, and sounds pretty fine too, with less of the plastic rumble you normally expect with such a thing. As the disk begins we have Tristram Cary introducing the Synthis, and then introducing various adventurous bits of music and petrifying SFX made on the electronic suitcase by various leaders of the British electronic scene - Derbyshire, Hodgson, Simpson, Zinovieff, Vorhaus and more. Strangely dark, strangely groovy too, especially when it sticks and forms a funny locked groove loop. Well it does on mine. Just had another thought. The artwork might make a very good tee shirt.


Cor, a French film ep with a naked girl all covered in food on the front. Yummy. It doesn’t really get much better. Musically good too, with Ward Swingle writing cutesy jazz hip things to eat up French ladies to.


I’ve always wondered what the expression “All The Way” meant and now I know. It means let’s make a record using a whole KPM album and then let’s get one of our sexy lady friends to grunt and moan and squeal all over it loads. Once we’ve done that, we go and press it up with no tracklisting at all, and finally add no cover art to speak of except a small photocopied stamp-like picture of two people kissing stuck on the front. I think that’s what it means anyway.


This sums up why I like buying records. It’s unexpected, charming and totally rubbish all at the same time. Big Police choir from Cornwall makes album of choral standards that no one buys. But 40 odd years on this album takes on a whole new character, like it sounds all beautiful and ghostly now and I really have a different opinion of policemen now. And I’m loving that Rhododendron in the background.


Another curiosity from the BBC archive, this little old vinyl lady is a series of monologues from Woman Hour in the 1960s. There are a few highlights, especially the first track, where this woman talks about going on a package holiday. The tour guide is a rip off merchant and the drinks at one of the coach stops gives her and her husband chronic wind.


This double CD issued by Cosmos who I know nothing about and has a name that keeps running out of my brain. It’s called “We are all doing something or other with the stars”. Well you know what I mean. And it looks really good and is in fact, really good, which is saying something in the ever so crowded folk market. My favourite track is the first one on CD two, the one all about bees.


I will admit now that this vintage tape box is in the list purely for show. And doesn’t it look all grubby and classically British. Good to read that Babs is still doing well. I also like the fact it’s issued by “Lydcare”. It looks like the company only really cared about rude things, so possibly a better name would have been something like Bumcare. Or Sexcare or something. Click the image to read text. Click here to see how the Lydcare Lesbians evolved.


A few years ago the Italo / cosmic disco lark all kicked off. I avoided it quickly as I didn’t like the idea of buying 12 inch records with about 25 seconds of good groove for £100 a pop, and the closest I’d got was that funny studio LP by Estrak Lancios and I didn’t like it that much either after a bit. But I bought a box of disco things on a wildish punt recently, and in there was this, which is nuts in a slowed down fashion. And it has lovely writing on the front cover as a bonus. And before anyone writes in and says this is not Ital or Cosmic or whatever, I don’t really give a fig.


This is bloody marvellous. It’s a truly bonkers ride through a couple of decades of musical madness, stopping off at some unexpected places on the way. Like a town called jazz, a small village called almost classical and all followed by a quick visit to let’s smash that thing up and record it. This is not an album to hear if you have any kind of headache or related brain thing going on.