August 31, 2010

Libertino - Datblygu

Helo Sut Dach Chi?

You don't have to understand Welsh to appreciate that main man David R. Edwards is a hip whiskey priest pulling no punches and skewering bullshiters, hypocrites, parochial middle class fascist chisellers and other miscellaneous scum. Mortality be damned as  this bastard love child of Serge Gainsbourg and Mark E. Smith  merrily turns his wine into water. Yes, Datblygu are that good.

Mae trac 4 ar gyfer pawb sy'n joio cywiro dysgwyr yr iaith Gymraeg  ac sy'n meddwl fod Hywel Gwynfryn yn cŵl:

Can I Gymry

Gradd da yn y Gymraeg
Ar y Volvo bathodyn Tafod y Ddraig,
Hoff o fynychu pwyllgorau blinedig
Am ddyfodol yr iaith yn enwedig,
Meistroli iaith lleiafrifol fel hobi
Platiau dwyiethog i helpu y gyrru
Agwedd cwbl addas
Ar gyfer cynllun cartre
Syth mas o set "Dinas".
Wastod yn mynd i Lydaw
Byth yn mynd i Ffrainc,
Wastod yn mynd i Wlad y Basg
Byth yn mynd i Sbaen.
Fin nos yn mynychu bwytai
Wedi dydd ar y prosesydd geiriau,
Mewn swydd sy'n talu'r morgais
I'ch gwyneb person cwbl cwrtais,
O'r ysgol feithrin i Brifysgol Cymru
Tocyn oes ar y tren grefi,
Byddai'n well da fi fod yn jynci
Na bod mor wyrdd a phoster Plaid Cymru.
Darnau gosod yr Wyl Gerdd Dant
A holl broblemau'r ddau o blant,
Gwersi telyn Llinos Wyn,
A phroblem acne Llywarch Glyn,
Heb anghofio codi stwr
Am straen angeuol job y gwr -
Mae'n gorfod gweithio un tan tri
Yn gynhyrchydd BBC,
Llosgwch eich tafodau
Ar eich panedau piwritanaidd,
Collwch eich dynoliaeth
Mewn economeg academaidd.
Enwch cyfeillion sy'n enwogion
Gyd o'r Seiri Rhyddion,
Trafodwch tapiau corau meibion
A'r eitemau sydd ar "Hel Straeon"
Rhifau cynulleidfa'r oedfa
A pha liw i lenni'r lolfa,
Tiwtoriaid preifat i helpu'r plant
Neuadd Dewi Sant,
Digon o wyliau i gynnal lliw haul
Digon wrth Brydeinig i swnio fel Sieg Heil
Meistroli iaith lleiafrifol fel hobi
Dweud fod Cymru'n cael ei orthrymu,
Er fod eich ceir a sticyrs Tafod y Ddraig
Cawsoch radd da yn y Gymraeg.

Ardderchog Mistar Edwards, ardderchog.

Yr eiddoch yn gywir
tocyn iaith yn dy rhefr

August 30, 2010

Haul ar yr Eira [Sun on the Snow] - Pererin [Pilgrim]

Worthy Welsh debut from 1980. Formed from the ashes of Brân, as is plain to hear in Nest Howells' / Llywelyn's soaring vocals. Rock instruments supplemented by harp, bodhran, congos, flute, recorder and violin. Pererin offer up a mixture of original and traditional material combining spiritual and romantic themes with a strong helping of Welsh pride.

Admirers of Stivell, Pentangle, driving folk rock and pastoral balladry need to hear this.

Oddi wrth y brawd

August 29, 2010

23時の女 - ラブ・イン [23 Hour Woman - Love In] - 伊東きよ子 [Kiyoko Itoh]

Soft, whimsical and subtly erotic. Not the full on orgasmic moaning of Ike Reiko [know your conjuror] but something far more appealing and aurally addictive. Against the occasional back-drop of city-life field recordings Kiyoko hushes into being an impeccable set of melancholic love ballads. From what Y Brawd can work out, lyrics mostly concerned with the lonely lot of a metropolitan female singleton.

Nihon-no-philes will find this worth seeking out if only for the contributions of big-hitters J.A. Seazer [see earlier WB post here] and Kun Kawachi [keyboardist in Happenings Four and mastermind behind Kirikyogen / Kun Kawachi & Friends].

Whatever, this quiet wonder of an album stands on its own two feet…or rather, sits in some bleak Tokyo apartment…or early morning bar in Shinjuku…waiting for love that’s never going to arrive.

[Track titles in comments]

Oddi wrth y brawd
check, mate

August 28, 2010

All the Pretty Little Horses - Current 93

Even the most secular of non-believers will have hearts of stone and ears of cloth not to be profoundly moved by Nick Cave's closing recitation on Patripassian:

   The rivers of Babylon flow and fall and carry away.
   Jesus is alone on earth.
   Not merely with no one to feel and share His agony,
   But with no one even to know of it.
   Heaven and He are the only ones to know.

   Jesus is in a garden.
   Not of delight like the first Adam, who fell there and took with him all mankind,
   But of agony, where He has saved Himself and all mankind.

   He suffers this anguish and abandonment in the horror of the night.

   Jesus will be in agony until the end of the world.
   There must be no resting in the meantime.

   Jesus will be in agony until the end of the world.
   There must be no resting in the meantime.

David Tibet's poetry borrows from a section of Pascal's Pensées (lit. "thoughts") - a defence of Christianity by the 17th century philosopher. Patripassian refers to a doctrine considered heretical by the early church that God the Father was incarnate and co-suffered with the human Jesus on the cross. In classical theology it is possible for Christ to suffer only because of his human nature. The poem then is a perfectly pitched denouement to All The Pretty Little Horses, revisiting and invoking the preceding themes: suffering, abandonment, innocence blighted, mystical Passion. What we have here is the most profound and coherent expression of David Tibet's Christian mysticism "phase".

 [See comments for a translated extract and further comment on Tibet's use of Pensées].

The title track, a traditional lullaby - sung once by Tibet and later by Cave in refined Murder Ballads tones - is the leitmotif. ATPLH originally gives voice to an African American slave who cannot take care of her baby because she is too busy taking care of her master's child to whom she sings the song:

   Way down yonder, down in the meadow,
   There's a poor wee little lamby.
   The bees and the butterflies pickin' at its eyes,
   The poor wee thing cried for her mammy.

   Hush-a-bye, don't you cry,
   Go to sleepy little baby.
   When you wake, you shall have cake,
   And all the pretty little horses.

And so, poor wee little lamby. Tibet binds the southern gothic of child's rhyme with heavy ontological debate. Impressive stuff. Consonance extends to the cover art that is both kitsch and Blakean innocence lost.

Incidentally, readers of master prose stylist Cormac McCarthy will be familiar with his borrowing resonances from the same lullaby and for similar thematic ends in his novel All The Pretty Horses: was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they'd  have no heart to start at all.

Musically, Tibet makes use of eerie and desolate reverberant loops of early choral music aiming for what sounds like a digital facsimile of that liturgicial chorale effect heard on the 70s mellotron. The electrics are blended nicely with the organic, the latter mostly acoustic guitar.

Oddi wrth y brawd

August 27, 2010

All Things Are From Him, Through Him And In Him - Brethren of the Free Spirit

It's 02:00. Y brawd is in Korea. This seems like a good post.

(The Brothers, or Brethren of the Free Spirit, was a lay Christian movement which flourished in northern Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries.)

Oddi wrth y brawd
aarrgh, it's 'im

August 24, 2010

Sung to the North - Natural Snow Buildings

Experimental psychedelic folk with ambient flecked slabs of drone? Yes, please.

Natural Snow Buildings: a French duo consisting of artists Mehdi Ameziane [TwinSisterMoon] and Solange Gularte [Isengrind].

STTN was released in 2008. 3 tracks. The second a monolithic 60 minute drone not for the faint-hearted.

Oddi wrth y brawd
I dream of drone

August 23, 2010

Ig in Oz

Y brawd especially likes the manner in which the Iggy keeps up the Oz accent until the end. Class.

August 22, 2010

A New Soldier Follows the Path of a New King: The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud

Dark, dark industrial folk. Medievalism. Occult. Ritual. Clerical chants. Martial rhythms. Middle English, Latin. Modern electronics, tape loops, samplers cheek by jowl with shawm, hurdy gurdy, and Hexenscheit.

This Swiss (Austrian?) duo parted ways in 1998. ANSFTPOANK dates from 1995.

The obsessive picking over of Shakespeare’s Henry V is particularly rewarding:

God, and his angels, guard your sacred throne

All tracks untitled. Point of fact, no songs were ever given official titles.

You think Dead Can Dance were gloomy? You need to hear this.

Oddi wrth y brawd

August 21, 2010

2nd - Floating Flower

Just 2nd. Kawabata Makoto takes time out from monster acid speed riffing to foster this more organically trippy ensemble: exploring  acoustic-sacred harmonies of Indian raga and  traditional facets of Nepal ethno-folk. Acoustic, and dominated by epiphanic sitar vibes, ritual percussions, spiritual chants and entrancing guitar tones. Bit samey but that's the trip. Deal with it.

Oddi wrth y brawd
kansai no ho ga...

August 19, 2010

Chants of India - Ravi Shankar, Produced by George Harrison

Turn off your mind and relax, calm in the knowledge that here be no Bhaktivedanta Manor mitherings, no dilettante Krishna capers. Instead you will find genuine depth and spirit, sensitively unfolded by a sympathetic and decidely ungrumpy George. Gorgeous drones handled with exquisite deftness.

Still wondering whether this is worth your while? Yes is the answer. For sure.

(Overactive imagination or do the first 50 seconds of the opening track show the famous scally wit at work? Y Brawd hears first an eastward-ho! Beatles cello 0:15, then at around 0:44 a Mr Blue Sky moment reclaimed from arch Fab Four plunderer and George oppo Jeff Lynne. Or it could just be too much chilli for supper tonight?)   

Oddi wrth y brawd
dark horse 

August 18, 2010

Sombrero Fallout - Pump

Adapted from

From the annals of '80s tape culture Plague Records have uncovered raw gold in the form of Pump's semi-mythical Sombrero Fallout. Pump were Andrew Cox and David Elliott, a pair of like-minded electronic music fiends who met at Brighton uni in '79. After spilling five cassette albums of underground industrial strains inspired by Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Faust and Heldon, they spent the middle of the '80s largely estranged, with David writing for Sounds magazine alongside David Tibet, and Andrew working in Cornwall. In '87 they finally recorded new material, heard on The Decoration of The Duma Continues, before colluding for this, their final album which inexplicably didn't see the light of day - until now.

The untimely death of Andrew in 2009 prompted a resurgence of interest, and with the utmost respect, we're fucking blessed that it did as it's just the find of the year.

Quite interestingly the album was mixed by Colin Potter of Nurse With Wound, which goes some way to describing the close, dark ambient nature of their sound, but there are many more factors at play which make Sombrero Fallout so riveting: chugging slow drum machines and a guitar drone industrially dubbed for arcing, widescreen effects; spiraling marimbas diffused into stereo patterns with mournful, ghostly synths; claustrophobic and sickly doomscapes with over-saturated bass hum and the distant sound of groaning guitars tortured in some sadistic dungeon ritual. No shit, this is intensely dark stuff. Elsewhere we have reverb laden motorik backbeat somewhere between Stephen Morris and Klaus Dinger.

This album has really touched a nerve in our office, reminding us of our favourite Industrial, darkwave and New Beat, or all those other '80s genres whose unholy allure we've always been susceptible to, and best of all, it does it without the slightest hint of fromage or pastiche. Honestly, this is beyond essential for anyone with a darker soul.

Y brawd was, until recently, privileged to jockey a workstation alongside David E. before he decamped en famille to Beijing where he now rules China as arts supremo and cultural ambassador at large. A quiet dude and one of life's natural gents - not at all the depraved fiend he would appear to have been at the time of SF. Thus, insider knowledge draws attention to the more prosaic yet pervasive Eno influence hovering over some tracks...though never slavishly or derivatively so.

Also, it was all laid down on a 4 track machine in a bedroom apparently. Or is that recorded in bedroom and mixed on 4 track in potting shed? No doubt David will enlighten us in the comment section, Chinese firewall permitting.

Afore he went, Mr E. laid on y brawd a cracking double comp of late 70s kosmische teutonic grooves which might just end up on WB one of these days....

Oddi wrth y brawd
deebido, yoroshiku ne

August 17, 2010

Cloak & Dagger - Lee "Scratch" Perry and the Upsetters

Greetings music lover. All hear the music power.

And thusly, raise a glass of bacardi to the departing summer with this breezy set of  instrumentals from the arch arkologist. No dread here, just plenty of jaunty skank and bubbling bass and organ a la Long Shot Kick De Bucket. Don't be misled by apparent concept of cover and title as it has no bearing on content. Clearly, having done kung fu, b-movie horror and er...super apes, men in cloaks with daggers were the only way to go.

Oddi wrth y brawd

August 16, 2010

A Saucerful of Pink - A Tribute to Pink Floyd

As if any were needed.....An array of unusual suspects makes this worth investigating....

In brief:

Set Controls for the Heart of the Sun  - Psychic TV...Hit
Another Brick in the Wall Part 1&2  - Controlled Bleeding ...Hit
One of These Days  - Spahn Ranch ...Near the mark
Wots...Uh the Deal  - Sky Cries Mary ...Hit
Interstellar Overdrive  - Spiral Realms ...Miss
Learning to Fly  - Leæther Strip ...Near the Mark
To Roger Waters, Wherever You Are  - Ron Geesin ...Miss
Jugband Blues  - Eden ...Hit
On the Run  - DIN ...Hit

Echoes  - Alien Sex Fiend ...Miss
Hey You  - The Furnace ...Near the Mark
Careful with that Axe, Eugene!  - Nik Turner ...Hit
Lucifer Sam  - The Electric Hellfire Club ...Miss
Pigs on the Wing  - Helios Creed ...Hit
Let There Be More Light  - Pressurehed ...Hit and miss the point
Young Lust  - Penal Colony ...Near the Mark
A Saucerful of Secrets  - E.X.P. ...Near the Mark
Point Me at the Sky  - Melting Euphoria ...Hit
The Nilesong  - Farflung ...Hit

Oddi wrth y brawd

Pop Quiz:
Which one is Pink?

August 15, 2010

EPs & Rarities - Julian Cope

Celebrating the recent Kilimanjaro Deluxe Edition box set [go geddit], here freshly decanted from y brawd's cellar -  jus for yous - a selection of vintage Julian. To quote the late John Peel, there certainly are some rum thoughts going on in that lad's head.

Sleeping Gas  - 7" EP A Side 1979
Camera Camera  - 7" EP B Side 1979
Kirby Workers Dream Fades  -  7" EP B Side 1979
Books  -  7" EP B Side 1980
Hey High Class Butcher  -  John Peel BBC Session 1983
Hobby  - John Peel BBC Session 1984
Crazy Farm Animal  - Janice Long BBC Session 1984
Christmas Mourning  - Janice Long BBC Session 1984
Death Mask (Quiz Master)  - Demo for World Shut Your Mouth 1984
I Went On A Chourney  - Sunspots EP 1985
Non Alignment Pact  - World Shut Your Mouth EP 1986
Disaster  - Trampolene EP 1987
Mock Turtle  - Trampolene EP 1987
Warwick The Kingmaker  - Trampolene EP 1987
Unisex Cathedral  - Droolian LP 1990
Jellypop Perky Jean  - Droolian LP 1990
Gentleman Dude  - Droolian LP 1990
Butterfly E  - East Easy Rider EP 1991
You Think It's Love  - John Peel BBC Session 1991
I Have Always Been Here Before  - Fear Loves This Place EP 1992

Oddi wrth y brawd

August 12, 2010

La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata - La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata

Guest post courtesy of Earl...

Influenced by American psychedelic rock broadcast over the airwaves from the other side of the Mexican border La Revolucion de Emiliano Zapata were formed in Guadalajara in the late 60s. The group won a radio competition and earned themselves a record contract. After signing a deal with Polydor in 1969 the band  re-located to Mexico City. In 1970 the group recorded this, their debut album. The opening track Nasty Sex was released as a single and became a worldwide hit, not massive but big enough to get them on the road, touring US and Europe. The follow up single Shit City didn't do too well, I wonder why. They should have gone with At the Foot of the Mountain which is a beatiful tune. Mainly though  LRDEZ play a trippy brand of rock and roll, mixed in with pop hooks and fuzzed up guitars...another overlooked gem...

For more thrilling obscurities visit

Oddi wrth y brawd

August 11, 2010

EVE - Speed, Glue & Shinki

This shares top billing with the Flower Travellin' Band's mighty Satori in the Julian H. Cope Japrocksampler Top 50 (drawn up to provide "an easier way into the trip" - cheers):

"Blues-based funereal dirges about scoring amphetamines, paranoid sludge trudge proto-metal anthems about taking drugs to avoid straight people, cuckolded dead marches to cheating women with invitations to them to commit suicide: welcome to the world of Speed, Glue & Shinki."

And while the gurning praise of our favourite laughing boy can sometimes career enthusiastically towards the over-fulsome, if you get the Stooges or early Sabbath, then you need to get this.

Oddi wrth y brawd
stoned out of my mind

August 10, 2010

Smiling Men With bad Reputations - Mike Heron

With a title taken from Timothy Leary's book of Psychedelic Prayers listing "good people to hang out with", Mike Heron spreads his wings with a lot of help from an impressive cast of friends: Townshend, Moon, Lane, Cale, Winwood, Page, Thompson and er...Dr Strangely Strange. Mike duly rocks out, blowing away the cobwebs, sitars and ISB patchouli clouds. Intriguingly, his voice feels more suited to belting out these numbers than the slower acoustic fare essayed with the ISB - pitch and tone are less apt to wander. There's more than a touch of Caledonian Soul or Wavelength era Van Morrison about arrangements and delivery. All the material is strong with three very, very good standouts: Flowers of the Forest, Feast of Stephen and Beautiful Stranger. A good bunch of songs to hang out with for a while.

Oddi wrth y brawd

August 09, 2010

The Old Fangled Tone - Robin Williamson

Wise, witty Robin Williamson with a set of traditional songs arranged for brass band recorded live at the Square Chapel, Halifax, West Yorkshire. Warm burnished tones and a garrulous performance. Who'd have thought  euphonium, tuba and cornets could sound this good?

He's still rushing around the country with guitar and harp. Check out his site for when and where

Oddi wrth y brawd

August 08, 2010

Spirit of Love - C.O.B.

C.O.B. [Clive's Original Band - a sly dig?] released two albums in the early 70s and this, their first, out charms the follow up: Moyshe Mcstiff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart. Like Clive Palmer himself, it's a subdued affair and a spirit of quiet adventure reigns. Home made dulcitar [Clive was once a wood-work teacher after all] adds a psych tinge to the low-key, old-timey folk stylings. Inescapably evocative of the Incredible String Band, the lack of the ISB's ability to grate on some ears makes this a smart point of entry for the uninitiated. A modest triumph.  

Oddi wrth y brawd

August 07, 2010

Before Today - Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

Recently overground if not quite yet  over exposed, Ariel Pink and crew transcend pastiche to serve up something fresh and inventive. Though more than just another band from LA, it is the City of Angels that most define their sound and mind-set. The lineage offers a magpie patchwork of styles and influences: most noticeably schizophrenic tempo changes a la Love through to 70s & 80s laid back west coast funk-lite, happily daring to slap the bass along the way. The occasional 80s arrangements are not as irritating as the prospect might sound.

Ariel Pink is clearly the mind in charge. Like a less parochial and more original (and talented) Bobby Gillespie, he press gangs his record collection to the service of his imagination and to channel the creation of something new and exciting.  Let's hope Ariel and his singular talent stay the course.

Oddi wrth y brawd
clog dance


August 01, 2010

Justin Heathcliff - Justin Heathcliff

Now here's a thing. Errant Japanese fellow fetches up in London at the fag end of the 60s; takes on alter ego  - Justin Heathcliff  - and the uncannily accurate vocal stylings of Kevin Ayers / Syd Barrett; against all odds creates a pleasing confection of sunshine psych gems. In parts like Julian Cope when he wrote melodies and XTC when they went all Sgt Pepper. 

Justin H. aka Osamu Kitajima, never revisitied this territory again, and was last heard of running a new age label....remember him, if at all, like this.

Oddi wrth y brawd
let's all sing along