Archives by month/year

Welcome to Freq in 2016

Freq has been online in various forms since April 1998; this iteration has been around as of 2010, with an archive of older material available — see below.

Please scroll down and on for the most recent reviews; see also the archives index for 1998-2009 below while there is also an A-Z index of everything posted so far.

The bulk of the record reviews 1998-2008 are in the following pages — as time allows they are being converted to the newer, searchable format:
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Little Annie (live at Café OTO)

London 20 May 2016

Little Annie live at Café OTO May 2016Tonight, Matthew, Café OTO will be a smoky jazz club, only without the smoke due to it being 2016. It’s Ellroy for vapers, a healthier Lynch movie. Because tonight Little Annie is here delivering the latest instalment of her nearly forty-year career of eclectic awesomeness, on the back of her wonderful new album Trace. Accompanied by double-bass, understated drums, piano and sax, she takes the stage shrouded in a bright neon yellow scarf, and it’s this combination of the shrouding and the vivid colours that’s to typify the evening’s entertainment.

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Electric Moon / ENOS (live at Baba Yaga’s Hut)

Electrowerkz, London 13 May 2016

ENOS live at Baba Yaga's Hut May 2016It’s Friday the thirteenth, the day of bad vibes, things going wrong and surreal killers with ski masks. Some people even refuse to leave the house on this day, in case they accidentally fall over a black cat or walk under a ladder. The thing is, you know when Electric Moon are in town, any heavy bad luck nonsense will dissipate in a glow of psychedelic goodness.

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Lucifer – Black Mass

Black Mass Rising

Lucifer - Black MassCanadian composer Mort Garson stands among the likes of Jean-Jacques Perrey and Wendy Carlos as one of the more interesting innovators who explored the weirder extremes of popular music with the aid of the Moog synthesizer from the late 1960s on into the next decade and more.

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Guru Guru – UFO

Play Loud!

Guru Guru - UFOOozing an off-kilter chemistry, Guru Guru were full of escape plans and wormholing excess filled with a real “let’s see what these toys can do” verve. The first three tracks of their début album UFO (re-released at last on both black and turquoise vinyl by Play Loud!) hold court to a certain rock joie de vivre, a freeform adventure that surges at you both explosive and mesmerizing, its gritty lo-fi-ness devoid of that modern hi-def, Blu-rayed smoothness that totally misses the point.

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Iggy Pop (live at the Royal Albert Hall)

London 13 May 2016

Blow my cool. Bite my lip. See me through on my death trip.

Once the needle had finally run out from the closing grooves of “Death Trip”, the concluding song of Iggy and The Stooges’ 1973 white-hot masterpiece Raw Power, there was no shortage of occasions when it looked like the title was truly a prophecy rather than merely youthful braggadocio.

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46,000 Fibres – Blue Field Entoptic Phenomena


46,000 Fibres - Blue Field Entoptic PhenomenaThis is the first 46,000 Fibres release in eleven years and it’s been well worth the wait. I first experienced The Fibres back in 1995, snapping up their début offering Emanates at a local record shop that has long since disappeared back into the anodyne dullness of town. A strange brew that exacted a curious pull – a joy of glinting directions and vascular honeycombs. Now, years later, I’m pleased to say they are back with a brand new slice of improvised action, culled from a recent two-hour session.

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Eurovision 2016

Eurovision 2016It’s that time of year when Kev Nickells undertakes his annual mammoth hatchet job feature-length review of every entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. Let the ritual ruination and Eurotunnelvision enthusing literally begin.

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Yes / Moon Safari (live at the Royal Albert Hall)

London 10 May 2016

Yes live at the Royal Albert Hall May 2016Tonight initially felt like it was going to be a strange experience. As a Yes fan for many years and seeing them play live quite a few times (oddly, the first time was on the Drama tour) this would be their first London outing without founder member and bassist Chris Squire, who passed away last year. So in a strange way, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Sure, the band has had several key members leave before (Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman beingthe two most famous), but Chris had always been there throughout all those different line-up changes.

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Interkosmos – Hypnotizer

Sulatron (CD) / Pancromatic (vinyl)

Interkosmos - HypnotizerIn the TV series Cosmos, Carl Sagan travelled the universe and beyond in his spaceship of the mind to transport the humble viewer at home to worlds beyond our imagination, taking us into the deep realms of space. While he sat there at the controls of his craft, Sagan would offer thoughts on humanity and how small we really are among the vast ever expanding universe. This re-release (on both CD and black and coloured vinyl, both mastered by Eroc) of Interkosmos‘s 2008 album is kind of like the soundtrack to that trip.

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Desertfest London 2016

London 29 April – 1 May 2016

Oranssi Pazuzu live at Desertfest 2016 (Picture: Richie Ruchpaul)Desertfest is the place where the stoned immaculate of Britain (and several other countries) meet in one of London’s coolest areas, watch some of the heaviest (and out there) bands over a three day period in five different venues.

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The Flamin’ Groovies (live at The Scala)

London 25 April 2016

Just as everyone thought that Spring had really, finally, definitively arrived, fresh and rosy-fingered, Winter once more puts its cold, cold hand back onto our shoulders. Arriving at The Scala (always redolent with memories of all-night Eighties quadruple bills and marathon Shock Around the Clock gorefests1) it feels more like January again than practically May.

Inside, I stake a place at the front of the upper tier, crack open a ridiculously over-priced can of San Miguel, and survey the scene. Faded nostalgic ghost films flicker across my Kopfkino as I picture the tatty auditorium as it used to be in years gone by: the cinema cat walking across my lap during a showing of From The Velvets to Voidoids; the seat I was in for the last film I ever saw here, preposterous Greek “experimental independent surrealist underground art film” Singapore Sling, about incestuous mother and

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Arbeit Schickert Schneider – A S S

Bureau B

Arbeit Schickert Schneider - A S SSome lovely head-spheres to had here; Bureau B have a penchant for headphoned fayre and this gem of new production that gathers together three renowned Berlin guitarists certainly hits the mark. A tirade of Neubauten‘s Jochen Arbeit, Ziguri‘s Günter Schickert and Schneider TM‘s Dirk Dresselhaus that literally dissolves into one cohesive whole, their usual weapons of choice circuit bent into a necropolis of simmering silica in a series of eerie instrumentals that daisy-chain into an explorative whole.

The first five tracks flying by, immersive, radiating – listerined washes nursed in distending apertures. When the beats hit, they turn things tractive, full of arabesquing vanishing points and droning afterglows. A sumptuous landscape that takes off in ley-lined intents, stickled

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Purson – Desire’s Magic Theatre

Spinefarm/Machine Elf

Purson - Desire’s Magic Theatre Purson’s second album seems to have been a long time coming for their growing army of fans. With the stop gap EP In The Meantime giving us a glimpse into the direction the band would head towards next, it can now be seen as only a prelude to this multi-coloured psychedelic concept piece that will probably have people deciphering its meaning for the next twenty years.

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Gnod – Mirror


Gnod - MirrorOn the back of last year’s Infinity Machines double comes this dinky three tracker, the traumatic jazz of yore siphoned into some gloriously sculpted discord – 36 minutes that are seriously pissed off.

A notion that gathers momentum on the slinky low-slung beginnings of the opener – a Jah Wobble dub, all languid and wanting. “There’s too many faces in the mirror!”, exclaims Paddy. “I can’t decide which one a want to wear today”.

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Glenn Jones – Fleeting

Thrill Jockey

Glenn Jones - FleetingUsing unconventional tunings for both guitar and banjo, Glenn Jones‘ latest exploration of the texture and tone he can wring from five, six strings and more cements his deserved reputation as one of the singular exponent of both instruments.

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