Saturday 18 April 2020

Electrelane - Escape from the Lighthouse

Electrelane, from Brighton, England, were formed in 1998 by Verity Susman (aka Vera November also making music under her own name Verity Susman) (keyboards, farfisa organ, lead vocals, guitar, saxophone, clarinet) and Emma Gaze (drums). In its last incarnation, the band was composed of these two plus Mia Clarke (guitar, backing vocals) and Ros Murray (bass) (aka Ray Rumours).

Sharing an equal amount of fondness for Krautrock, vintage equipment like the Farfisa organ, and modern production techniques, the band made their recorded debut in January 2000 with the "Film Music" single on Indenial. Following another single for Fierce Panda, the group set up the Sony-supported Let's Rock! label, issuing a pair of singles ("Gabriel" and "Blue Straggler") prior to the April 2001 release of the mostly instrumental "Rock It to the Moon", the band's first full-length.  A second album, "The Power Out", which was recorded by Steve Albini, added more vocals and structure to the songs. It was released on Too Pure in February 2004. A third album, "Axes", which was also recorded by Steve Albini, was released on 9 May 2005. The band's final album, "No Shout, No Calls", was written in Berlin during the 2006 World Cup, recorded in Benton Harbor, Michigan in late 2006, and released in May 2007 worldwide.

Of all the anthologies I've compiled so far, I found this the toughest yet, despite the relatively few album releases. I just wasn't happy with the finished result the first couple of times, but now I'm satisfied I've done this excellent band justice with the songs picked.  What inspired me to have one final go was a bizarre dream I had the other night where I was trapped on a lighthouse, along with the 4 members of Electrelane. Maybe their song "The Lighthouse" was at the back of my mind as I fell into this dream, where I helped the band escape from the lighthouse, thus giving the title for this collection!

It seems most fans of the band find the 2nd album "The Power Out" their favourite, but for me it's their 3rd release "Axes" which I most often come back to, followed by their debut album. The excellent cover artwork was once more found by Manerg, who again I sought for advice/feedback on this anthology. So many thanks to him for his help with this particularly difficult to compile collection. Info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. As always, keep safe everybody, and thanks again for all the kind comments. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Gone Darker (6:02)
  2. To the East (4:52)
  3. Only One Thing Is Needed (4:32)
  4. Film Music (3:56)
  5. Come On (4:49)
  6. Those Pockets are People / The Partisan (7:35)
  7. I Want to Be the President (4:45)
  8. The Lighthouse (4:19)
  9. Oh Bergina (1:09)
10. Long Dark (Albini version) (4:12)
11. The Valleys (5:18)
12. Eight Steps (4:51)
13. I'm on Fire (2:14)
14. The Invisible Dog (4:19)
15. Saturday (3:54)
16. John Wayne (2:37)
17. Oh Sombra! (2:58)
18. Spartakiade (1:40)
19. Two for Joy (5:49) 

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Desert Island Psych

After the recent batch of artist anthologies, I figured I'd compile something much simpler. For a few years now I've had the idea of compiling a "Desert Island Disc", where I'd be cast away on a remote island but have just one CD of favourite tracks over the years to listen to. I came to the conclusion it'd be an almost impossible task as there'd be way too many songs to consider, but you never know one day I may attempt it. So, to simpify things, I decided to go with compiling my favourite psych tunes from the 60s & 70s on to one disc. These would be tracks that I loved when I first heard them, and have never got tired of listening to, which would be handy if stuck for several years on this island!

After much deliberating, realising not such a simple task after all, I managed to whittle it down to the 20 tracks listed here. There's no obscurities as such to be found, and quite a few of these tracks will be very familiar to many of you. Once again great thanks to Manerg for finding the excellent cover artwork for this project, I hope you all enjoy!

  1. Mighty Baby - Egyptian Tomb (5:27)
  2. The Seeds - Bad Part of Town (3:25)
  3. The Pretty Things - Defecting Grey (4:27)
  4. The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Until the Poorest of People Have Money to Spend (2:16)
  5. Kim Fowley - Wildfire (4:09)
  6. Sweetwater - My Crystal Spider (3:51)
  7. Pink Floyd - Vegetable Man (Peter Jenner mix) (2:29)
  8. The Byrds - Draft Morning (2:55)
  9. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Electricity (3:05)
10. The Animated Egg - Sock It My Way (3:21)
11. The Beautiful Daze - City Jungle (5:45)
12. The Monkees - Porpoise Song (extended version) (4:10)
13. The United States of America - The Garden of Earthly Delights (2:39)
14. Love - Your Mind and We Belong Together (4:22)
15. The Factory - Try a Little Sunshine (3:32)
16. Kaleidoscope - Dive Into Yesterday (4:44)
17. Euphoria - Did You Get the Letter (5:33)
18. Fifty Foot Hose - Rose (5:05)
19. MC5 - Looking at You (2:46)
20. Twink - Ten Thousand Words in a Cardboard Box (4:29)