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Coil – The Remote Viewer

Label: Threshold House Format: CD

Coil - The Remote ViewerAssembled by John Balance and Peter Christopherson with the early 2002 tour line up of Ossian Brown (from Cyclobe), Cliff Stapleton and Michael York and initially only available at those gigs, The Remote Viewer marks an intriguing shift in the scope of Coil‘s hyper-psychedelic sound. Running on a foundation of Lovecraftian electronics and the sinuous drones of Stapleton’s hurdy gurdy and York’s Breton pipes, the disc opens with “Remote Viewing 1” and plunges straight into the realms of a musical otherworld.

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Ozric Tentacles – Live At The Pongmaster’s Ball

Label: Snapper Format: 2CD

Summoned by that shadowy entity, The Pongmaster, the Ozrics come to you live from the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, a gathering place of eldritch forces. This troupe of space minstrels are celebrating 20 years of tantric trucking. Their vehicle, laden with synthesisers, flutes and guitars, has been unloading at carefully selected sites of festival throughout those years and now a portion of their celebrated utterances has been captured for devotees and novices alike on two CDs.

This offering may be likened to a series of trips accompanied by chiming keyboards, thrashing drums and crisp guitar licks. These are the required ingredients, along with throbbing propulsive bass, to power their probing excursions into the nether reaches of “Erpland”, for instance. The being known only as Ed will unleash showers of sparks and dazzle onlookers with glittering cascades of electrically re-shaped molecules from a guitar that surely has magical

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Faust – Patchwork 1971-2002

Label: Staubgold Format: CD,LP

Patchwork- sleeve detailI have to admit that now Faust are probably no longer a touring band I must rely solely on their studio recordings to feed a habit formed in the early 1970s. Their sound may have mutated from the early days to the vast, churning soundscapes of their live work such as Live In Edinburgh 1997 and Faust Wakes Nosferatu, but what it retains is its uniqueness. There is no other sound like the one they make. So the releases keep coming. This year has seen the Ravvivando remixes aka Freispiel and now something that, at first, looks like a long overdue successor to The Faust Tapes, but is very different to the remixes.

Here are ghostly fragments from the Wümme school house where this bunch of anonymous, driven musicians gathered. It is then mixed with shreds of their

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Damo Suzuki Network/Circle (live at the Kosmische Club)

Circle The Garage, London 8 June 2002

Circle

Circle look worryingly like they’re going to play pub-Rock covers of Judas Priest – but fortunately nothing could be further from the truth. Finland’s finest space rockers (with the emphasis on the rock) have all the churning drive of Hawkwind at their psychedelic wind-tunnel best, with all the extraneous Blues influences stripped down to the bare rage of fuzz and phaser set to splurge. Other obviously unnecessary reference points might as well include the chug-a-lug intensity of the Butthole Surfers back when they didn’t bother appealing to anyone listening except their own baser selves, and Keiji Haino levitating the Albert Hall from a distance. In other words, they are on a mission to the heart of the musical storm, lashed to their raging Juno 60 synth, squirming guitar

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Faust – Freispiel

Label: Klangbad Format: CD,LP

Freispiel - sleeve detailIf any band is ripe for some re-mixing, it is Faust. The elements that combine to form their music have already been through a process involving a stripping down, transformation and reformation both in the studio and in ‘live’ performance. To offer these elements to those who are influenced by and in sympathy with Faust’s working methods seems an ideal situation for both translation and homage.

These remixes of some of the 1999 CD Ravvivando do revitalise an already powerful album and each remixer offers an idiosyncratic take which, in most cases, enhances the original. For example, there are three versions of “T-Electronique” and all show an affinity with the original whilst delivering something fresh. Mathias Schaffhauser‘s remix opens the album with a sinuous bass groove stretching the rhythm and shifting the textures of the percussion. It

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