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Archive for March, 2010

John ‘Drumbo’ French: Through The Eyes Of Magic

Posted: March 27th, 2010, by Simon Minter

John ‘Drumbo’ French: Through The Eyes Of Magic review and interview

Here’s a review of John French’s recent Beefheart history opus Through The Eyes Of Magic and, what’s more, an exclusive interview with the man himself. Thanks to our guest contributor Stephen Toman for this!

THE DUSTAPHONICS – Burlesque Queen (7″, Dirty Water Records)

Posted: March 26th, 2010, by JGRAM

Perhaps not with the smartest of reasoning I am finding myself these days purchasing a lot of seven inch singles just based on their artwork.  As the format becomes sadly rarer by the week, this growing personal throwback for me presents itself more as a piece of art rather than a salient music format.  This single is a very good example of this.  I really hate the way the world of the single has gone now, the Sunday charts are so pathetic it is unreal and there is no way in hell that a band selling an MP3 or two on a given date will or should constitute a single release.  The idea of doing an “MP3 single” is one so redundant to me.  The other day I heard a pretty decent song by a band from Liverpool and I decided to check out the release date of the song I found myself faced with a two week wait to buy it from iTunes etc.  I promptly laughed my fucking arse off as I found the song on seconds via Hype MP3.  It is what they deserve.

This release however is the polar opposite of such backwards management.  For me passion oozes from the tangibility of the release.  So who the hell are The Dustaphonics?  I have no idea what their music sounds like but what I do know is that they come with amazing artwork.

Looking at the sleeve alone you get the impression it is going to be dirty, like something you might find in a John Waters or Russ Meyer movie.  Yes, music from a better time.  The cover features a golden age comic beauty, shameless and suggestive.

Having already reviewed the record before even playing the record finally upon hearing it I find myself introduced to something that sounds akin to The Cramps fronted by Lisa from the BellRays.  It is slow paced and dripping in swagger with dirty sax spewed sporadically over proceedings.  This is very fun stuff.

The writing credit includes the name “T.L. Satana” which indeed does turn out to be Tura Satana, most famously the star of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! which lends another exciting aspect to the record as it transpires that she is indeed responsible for some of the lyrics/words in some capacity (although perhaps she didn’t realise it).

Perhaps the less said about the b-side (a cover of The Jiants  “Tornado”) the better.

Thesaurus moment: pine.

The Dustaphonics

Dirty Water Records

POLAR BEAR – Peepers (The Leaf Label)

Posted: March 6th, 2010, by Pascal Ansell

Much of the album is distinctly without the dark artistry found in the British jazz quintet’s previous offerings. ‘Peepers’ find these arctic puppies far more careful in exposing mad technical skillz. They’re not bursting to restrain themselves either, things are well held back and content. A less twisty, tricky release: the gold is in the shrewd developments of ideas: form takes precedence here, placement rides high, especially in the title track (listen and listen again andlistenagain here). It’s one of the most cannily organised tunes I’ve heard for in yonks. Good on them! Mr Drummer, Seb Rochford, is on it as ever; impressively natty, inventive and slick jazz drumming.

With ‘Peepers’ everything seems more than ever on the BuMpY side – smooth riding is for the most part chucked out, along with the all-out disjointedness so familiar with PB. The opener ‘Happy For You’ instantly glistens with guitar chords, chiming in my head in an oddly ‘wistful’ way (funny to describe vibrating strings as wistful). ‘Peepers’ as a whole is irresistibly optimistic but I worry that it won’t last as long in my hifi than their earlier releases. All the same, it gave me meaning to a wonderful week of my life full of couchsurfing and weird chocolate cake. As I said, and will continue saying: Good on them!


Pascal Ansell