"Guitar-flecked electro at its most hypnotic and sublime" Sunday Times
”Unfettered adrenalin rush” MOJO (4/5)
“Fun with a capital ‘F’, but there are moments of gravitas too. Not easy to do that” NME (8/10)
Light in Your Mind is the first new material from CYMBALS in 2 years, and their first album since 2014. If the wait seems long for the listener, for those involved in its creation the time in between pulls in a lifetime of unexpected experiences. That Light In Your Mind even exists is a testament to not giving in.
Since their inception, CYMBALS line up has been subject to a great deal of change. Amidst that change there has always existed the songwriting duo of Jack Cleverly and Dan Simons, who formed the band in 2011 with the sole intention of “having fun”.
A noble aspiration, but one that became increasingly hard to realize when the realities of a 9-5 existence started to corrosively rub against the expectations of being in a band that wanted to tour the world. At various points over the last 6 years and across 3 albums, a rotating cast of at least 10 other people have formed some version of CYMBALS.
More still have contributed to Light In Your Mind - Justin Goings and Josh Hefferman both provide drums, while Alabaster DePlume plays saxophone on ‘Fully Automated Luxury’. Producer Kristian Robinson (Capitol K) is a major presence across the album and played a key role in guiding the transition from the band’s sound on their previous record to this one.
The music itself possesses a sedimentary quality, a residue of each contributing member compressed into what it is that band have become. Consistent throughout has been the relationship between Cleverly and Simons. Failing relationships, betrayal, addiction, illness: the emotional challenges were huge.
Thankfully, they were not insurmountable. Second track ‘Car Crash’ addresses that period head-on, a typically effervescent synth line from Simons disguising lyrical content that traverses that fine line between blind arrogance and tortured self-loathing. Like all the best CYMBALS songs, it deals in unexpected contrasts.
Much the same can be said of the structure of the album as a whole, eclectically comprised of melodically memorable pop songs ('Car Crash', 'Talk To Me'), bucolic instrumentals ('My Body', 'Numbers') and longer, pensive songs that explore the space in between ('ASMR', 'I Thought I Knew You'). As final track ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ concludes, a synth loop first heard on the opening track is subtly re-introduced, completing a circle of sorts.
Tracklisting: 1. Decay 2. Car Crash 3. Talk To Me 4. I Thought I Knew You 5. My Body (Winter Mix) 6. Where Nothing Can Be Defined 7. Splitting 8. Euphoric Recall 9. ASMR 10. Fully Automated Luxury 11. Lifetime Achievement Award
Music must be free. Freedom in music is often suppressed by lack of, or by obstacles for creativity, which stops forward progression. The development that Fontän’s songs have gone through, reaching this EP is unexpected and surprising but still, the bodies and characters of the original songs are intact and recrafted with fingerspitzengefühle. From the core of Fontän’s psychedelic and dreamy music, the artists involved on this release have hit cuts and chips off like Cro-Magnon people creating specific tools.
Tools with the power to blow holes open in the listeners mind. Fontän’s music has fascinated and captured a choosy audience for over a decade now, and many are those who have, or have wanted to remix their material. This time, in the shape of an ambitious 12” EP, various artists’ love for the band’s music shines brightly: The Covenanza Remixes is released on Höga Nord Rekords and is strictly limited to 300 physical copies.
The record comes out by reason of Fontän’s gig on Andrew Weatherall’s prestigious festival “Covenanza” in September this year (2017). Fontän have had the honour to be remixed by some of the most interesting names in electronic music: Red Axes, Timothy J. Fairplay, Khidja, Mythologen and Pardon Moi give their take on tracks from the duo’s latest release Fontän (Höga Nord Rekords, 2017).
The music moves in the landscapes of Leftfield, Techno, House and New Wave. The evolution of Fontän continues from the cold and barren landscapes of the Swedish west coast, through some of the deepest cave like studios in Europe, out on to the continental club scene.
Tracklisting: 1. Sen Sen No Sen (Red Axex Remix) 2. Mangsebung (Timothy J. Fairplay Remix) 3. Gangri (Khidja Remix) 4. Bardo (Mythologen Remix) 5. Shadows (Pardon Moi Remix)
Despite almost all bands being prone to painting themselves as frontier-hurdling mavericks who provoke extreme reactions in their audience, the fact is that the vast majority of them of them wont produce little more than bland indifference or benign acceptance in whichever audience they come into contact with, Not so Housewives, the London-based outfit whose psychic charge- equal parts brittle rhythmic drive, angular contortions and monochrome minimalism - is as punishing in approach as the band are enigmatic in aspect.
‘FF061116’, which follows in the wake of their debut ‘Work’ (released on Hands in The Dark) and previous tapes and 7” releases (on Faux Discs and Blank Editions), the band shows no sign of compromise whatsoever, being as stark, harsh and stubbornly inhospitable as the strobe-haunted, feverishly kinetic live shows that have earned them a fearsome reputation beyond the rumoured West country of their origins or the urban environs of their adopted home.
Split into seven excerpts and built on powerful repetition, it’s a mind-melding travail into abstraction and abjection which draws on post-punk, jazz, drone, electronic and avant-garde tropes to create an unclassifiable assault that feels oddly timeless - innovative, invigorating and bare-boned yet tapping into a uniquely English lineage that extends back to the 1970s and forward, into the unknown.
Nonetheless, whilst some may be able to detect influences like This Heat (whose Charles Hayward approvingly described their sound as redolent of “a barely controlled anger, hypnotic and building from the simplest elements”) or Einsturzende Neubauten, Housewives are carving out their own unique place in the darker quarters of the underground, motivated by a fearsome intensity of conviction and a fearlessly experimental approach.
‘FF061116’ is the latest in a series of transmissions from a collective mindset whose manifestations are as richly rewarding as they are relentlessly intense. Wherever they go from this aural outpost, all intrepid avant adventurers would do well to buckle in for the ride.
At long last a reissue on vinyl for this long lost and scarce UK Hardcore punk classic. Originally self-released in 1993 in a very small run. Original copies now command £100 upwards on the collectors market.
This reissue collects that original material alongside tracks from that same period released in Japan only. This new edition was put together by the band themselves. It features an extensive collection of unseen photographs and sleeve notes housed in a swanky gatefold sleeve. The same iconic front cover used on the original album graces this edition too.
This version is limited to 500 copies.
Tracklisting: 1. Happy Spastic 2. A Swindle 3. Wall Street Crash 4. Ronnie Was A Rebel Pt 1 5. Ronnie Was A Rebel Pt 2 6. The Alcoholic 7. Secret Men 8. Government Snares 9. Edge Of A Knife 10. Lying On Your Side 11. Making A Shilling 12. Farmyard... Drunk Again !