Tag Archives: Drifter

Verto – Krig/Volubilis

Verto-frontVerto-rear

LP, Pôle, 1976

Delerious lysergic guitar-centred freakery from the mid-70s, sounding sometimes like a more prog-influenced Chrome. Lead man Jean-Pierre Grasset is backed on this by members of Potemkine, who veer closer to Magma/Zeuhl sounds on their own equally twisty trio of albums from 76-78 (another day, kids). One of only two Verto records (we’ll rip Reel 19.36 another day too – only so many hours etc etc), they could both do with a remastered reissue and far wider attention. Yes, we do say that frequently.

A1. Krig (4:51)
A2. Et Terre (3:31)
A3. Ether (1:08)
A4. Oka (3:59)
A5. Locomo (5:58)
B1. Strato (Incluant Volubilis) (18:29)
B2. TK 240 S 52 (5:38)

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Robin Guthrie/Various – Drifting AFU


CD, Blast First, 1999

In August of 1999, those fine people from Labradford curated the Second Festival of Drifting at venues in London, Scotland and Paris. To celebrate, a limited-run mix CD by the Cocteaus’ Robin Guthrie was given to attendees. It’s a lovely, sleepy headed little thing, the aural equivalent of a codeine cocktail when you’re full of cold and flu.

As the sleeve notes indicate…

@ certain times artists become more prominent in the DJ mix:
@ 5:34 Silo [Swim], @ 14:28 Silo again, @ 16:11 Labradford [Blast First], @ 20:20 Labradford, @ 20:31 Charlemagne Palestine [Barooni], @ 23:34 Tony Conrad [Tote], @ 25:54 Caspar Brotzmann [RTD], @ 36:11 Sonic Youth [Blast First], @ 38:10 Tony Conrad, @ 41:25 Silo, @ 43:34 Chris ‘N’ Cosey [CTI], @ 46:00 Sonic Youth again, Pan American [Kranky] & Rothko [Foundry] are also in there. All other sounds are Robin Guthrie [Bella Union].

1. Drifting AFU (48.26)

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Plant Bach Ofnus – Symudiad Ymddangosol y Lleuad

plant-inlay

Tape, Direction Music, 1990

The “Timid Little Children” were a Welsh pair, Gorwel and Fiona Owen, who released just a single derived from one of their two John Peel sessions, a further beat-heavy twelve incher on Ankst that Peel caned for a while, and this magnificently dreamy tape for the ever-essential Direction. Superb stuff that, like so much on Direction, should really be out on a smartly remastered CD for all to enjoy. Ah well.

Four tracks, devoted to the phases of the moon, ranging from echoing drones to underwater-Cocteaus shoegaze shimmers. For actual track titles, though, you’ll have to see the tape inlay – they be wordless astronomical symbols.

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Rob Preston – Insect Mechanics

insect-inlay

Tape, Direction Music, 1996

All hail Direction Music, the mightiest post-industrial/electronic label ever to come out of Anglesey, North Wales. No, really, all hail. Some of their releases were damn fabulous. Maeror Tri’s early outings Sensuum Mendacia and (especially) The Beauty of Solitude are the gold standard in melancholy dark ambient, and have since been reissued on CD. Others, though, are unfairly lost. We’ll prepare Plant Back Ofnus’s tremendous electro-ambient suite on the phases of the moon, Symudiad Ymddangosol Y Lleuad, for reposting here momentarily. Meanwhile… Contrastate, Vidna Obmana, Morphogenesis, NWW, Con Schnitzler – how can you not be licking your lips at the very thought of it all?. And they always had lovely covers, with stuck-on artwork and smartly designed inlays. Sadly, label founder Pete Harrison died back in 2000, but his legacy remains. As a taster, here’s a rare gem, Rob Preston’s jittery explorations of insect sounds and synth drones. It’s a kind of method-ambient; ponder on it too much while listening and you’ll scratch yourself silly (and not in a DJ Shadow kinda way).

SIDE ONE
1. Chamber Of Clones (6:18 )
2. Silver Y (5:43)
3. The Brutality Of Transformation (4:09)
4. Lunar Underwing (11:39)

SIDE TWO
1. Allegiance (3:30)
2. Chrysalis Fourteen (6:31)
3. Insect Mechanics (3:49)
4. Construction (9:55)
5. Venus (5:21)

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Paul Nagle – Chimera

Tape, Soft Room, 1982

Thirty years ago, Paul Nagle was one of the leading lights in British cosmic synth music. With several dozen self-released tapes to his name, and almost as many compilation appearances (the Flowmotion album or Third Mind’s Visions comp perhaps being the most noteworthy), his lush Berlin School-inspired keyboard workouts walked the fine line between sweet and severe. Truth be told, too often they fell on the wrong side, with many tracks named after episodes from Lord of the Rings or fantasy games. Which means that most of that early stuff is unjustly overlooked – just look at all those titles listed on Discogs, barely heard. There was a reissue of his first two tapes by Vinyl-on-Demand a year or so back, but that was all.

More recently Paul has been playing out as part of synth outfits like Cosmic Smokers and the Joint Intelligence Committee, which are more modern in sound, and thus less interesting to us at least. With all things Krautrock and cosmic synthy – and New Age slush too – being rediscovered by a new generation of hipsters, perhaps his time will come too.

A1. Metal Water
A2. 732 and 815
A3. The Ultiman
A4. Marid
A5. Bedenke Ich Bin
B1. Chimera
B2. Cerin Amroth
B3. Fallow
B4. Phaeta
B5. Firvulag

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Various – Palace of Lights EP

PoL-front
7″ EP, Palace of Lights, 1981

Kerry Leimer’s Seattle-based Palace of Lights label started in the early 1980s and quickly developed, in a small, way into a little hothouse of Eno-inspired fuzzy ambience, Fourth World workouts and generally pleasing music full stop. Along with Leimer, whose music formed the bulk of PoL’s releases, there were friends Marc Barreca and Michael William Gilbert; Leimer and Barreca were also in Savant.

After a long hiatus, Leimer and his wife restarted the label a few years back. As well as reissuing some classic Leimer/Savant work has more recently been home to splendid electronic and neo-classical work from the likes of Steve Peters (who played with Leimer very early on) and Gregory Taylor. If you want to start anywhere, we recommend you try Leimer’s Closed System Potentials or Imposed Order – or the recent, acclaimed disc of previously unreleased tracks on Rvng Intl, A Period of Review.

Here’s a sampler EP from their earliest days. It was limited to 350 copies. The Barreca tracks are from his album Twilight; the others did not appear in these forms anywhere else.

A1. Savant – The Radio
A2. K Leimer – Assemble & Diffuse
B1. Marc Barreca – School for Whales
B2. Marc Barreca – The Wendigo
B3. Anode – Whiteout

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