Tuesday, 27 September 2011

From the Top Drawer XXIV - Astral Engineering

Before Astral Engineering's album 'Chronoglide' got picked up by Ambient Soho's Worm Interface label and became their first CD release in 1994, Brighton-based producer Simon Rees had distributed that album on cassette. It became a well-regarded ambient dub album that captured the atmosphere of many chill-out rooms of the time and remains something of an enduring classic.

However, previous to this Simon had released another less well-known cassette album called 'Network Space' and it is this that we have here. No track names are given on the artwork and no date of release (probably 1992 or 1993) so details are sketchy, but the music is outstanding and fans of the later CD will certainly not be disappointed.

Ripped @320kbps from an original cassette as two side-long tracks
Download it HERE

--- February 2012 UPDATE ---

Simon Rees has been in touch to let me know that there is now an Astral Engineering Bandcamp page from where you can download a digital remaster of 'Network Space' as well as pages where you can download 'Chronoglide' and 'Music for Insomniacs', the last of which was never released in full.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Return of Wastrels of the Week

OK, not an obvious choice for WOTW, and I don't know about 'Everybody being high on consolation' but I reckon that Daryl and John here (and almost certainly the video director) look like they had been doing some serious partying beforehand.

Long before their clean cut makeover and run of hits such as 'Maneater' and 'Kiss On My List', it seems the guys liked to 'express their uniqueness' with some interesting ideas about hairstyles, shoes and the way you play a guitar break.

'She's Gone' comes from the 1973 Abandoned Luncheonette album, released the year before War Babies which was produced and played on by Todd Rundgren and featured some of Utopia as the backing band. Any serious Todd fans who haven't yet checked out that album are really missing out as the Runt managed to conjure up some major psychedelic rock and soul moments from the musicians...some might say it's as much Todd's album as Hall & Oates'.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

From the Top Drawer XXIII - Imago

Another tape release from the Cornwall based A Real Kavoom label. Dated 1984.

I have to admit that I don't have a lot of information about this particular album, other than being able to name the two main participants, who are Eden aka. Phil Pickering of Vane, Webcore and Zuvuya fame, and Kez Reazon, at the time a member of Artistic Control who also put out an album on ARK (I may post their album in due course, but unhappily the tape copy I have is damaged and might be beyond salvaging - shame as it's well worth a listen).

The music here is somewhat in the vein of China Crisis (so I've heard - not terribly familiar with them), ie. early 1980s fresh and clean sounding electro-pop with a psychedelic twist. The ARK catalogue says 'Danceable Dynamics Slipping Through My Mind from Kez of Artistic Control and Eden of Webcore'. They deliver a pretty good cover version of The Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows' which finishes the tape, here shortened to 'T.N.K.' in the credits.

The tape may be called 'Indigo' (according to the printed label) or may simply be self-titled, can't be too sure.

Side One : In My Mortal Eye / Going Through The Motion / Let It Drown / New Intentions / Hot Sun
Side Two : Always In You / All Come Together / T.N.K.

Ripped from an original cassette as two side-long tracks @320kbps
Download it HERE