Grasscut, the duo of Andrew Phillips and Marcus O’Dair, return with a new AA single, Catholic Architecture / Beacon, on Lo Recordings. Catholic Architecture sees the band cover, and pay tribute to, the revered English musician Robert Wyatt, whilst Beacon’s plaintive mix of live strings and electronic sounds acts as a bridge between Unearth, Grasscut’s second album, and Everyone Was A Bird, scheduled for release in 2015.
Robert Wyatt has long been a significant influence on Grasscut, Andrew a fan since the 1980s, while Marcus has just written his official biography, Different Every Time, published by Serpent’s Tail this October. Indeed Catholic Architecture is the second time Grasscut and Wyatt’s paths have crossed, in 2012 they collaborated on the track Richardson Road with Wyatt contributing cornet, piano and vocals. Wyatt subsequently picked Richardson Road as one of his favourite guest appearances and the song features on the Different Every Time compilation released by Domino Records this autumn to accompany the biography.
“His clarity, both vocal and instrumental, struck me when I was 16 and have stayed with me all my working life as a kind of touchstone. Working with him has been such a highlight; what he brought to the song completely transformed it. You realise, watching him and listening, that it’s a life brought to bear in music.” – Andrew Phillips
For this new version of Catholic Architecture Grasscut have taken their cue from the sound of Robert’s 1982 Rough Trade compilation, Nothing Can Stop Us. The song itself, meanwhile, comes from Robert’s 1991 album Dondestan. The highly evocative lyrics, by Robert’s wife Alfreda Benge, describe empty homes in an off-season holiday resort near Barcelona, and Grasscut’s interpretation, with its sparse elegiac piano and muted brass, expertly captures that scene.
The second song on the single, Beacon, was inspired by a 12-mile walk from the English Channel to the top of Firle Beacon on the South Downs, on the occasion of the Summer Solstice. It’s about leaving the place you live and, when looking down on it from a height, finding it unfamiliar. Throughout the track’s four and a half minutes its sound transforms from electronic to live strings and drums, prefiguring the sound of the band’s new album.
Initially a one-off “collaboration” between French producer Bernard Fevre and alleged financier Jackie Giordano — credited, respectively, as Joachim Sherylee and Junior Claristidge — Black Devil released a six-track album of spooky electro-disco entitled Disco Club.
Originally released on Italy’s Out label in 1978, it became somewhat mythical in the disco underground due to its scarcity. A copy eventually fell into the hands of the Rephlex label’s PP Roy and won the hearts of Richard James (Aphex Twin) and Luke Vibert (Wagon Christ). Rather than do a straight reissue, Rephlex opted to first release a 12″ including four tracks from the original vinyl; after that, they trickled out the two other tracks, along with a couple outtakes and a remix from Luke Vibert (under his Kerrier District guise), via 12″ and CD single releases that featured different track lists.
Fevre subsequently issued a number of releases as Black Devil Disco Club, including 28 After (2006), Eight Oh Eight (2008), The Strange New World of Bernard Fevre (released in 2009, featuring new mixes of material from Fevre’s 1975 album The Strange World of Bernard Fevre), and Circus (2011) all of which were issued on Lo Recordings.
His most recent album Black Moon, White Sun was released on Lo Recordings last October. Below you can watch the brand new video for ‘The Kid In Me‘. It’s a proper buck rogers at a camp disco track, music to frug to in a bacofoil mini skirt/jumpsuit and another weird milestone in a career that has lasted nearly 4 decades now. Directed by Piero Glina.
During the last 5 days, “Skydive“, the debut single from London indie/psych/folk band Astronauts, has gone a little bit viral. In addition, you can now stream a brilliant remix of the song from London electronic duo RocketNumberNine. Brooding, psychedelic electronica/dubstep which builds to a lovely pulsing pay-off. Intense and beautiful. Out now on Lo Recordings. RocketNumberNine are currently touring with Neneh Cherry, after collaborating with her on the album ‘Blank Project’.
As we’ve already posted, Parisian artist Bernad Fevre, a.k.a. Black Devil Disco Club, is set to release his new LP, Black Moon White Sun, on October 28 via Lo Recordings. Below, you can watch the official video for the hypnotic "Bee Boop," directed by Antonis Katsoris:
"Beeboop inspired me with its unique combination of styles. It’s a track very much open to interpretation with a mysterious, futuristic sound that’s almost childlike in its innocence.
The concept and storyline came from improvisation, an attempt to capture a feeling of complete freedom that I found in the music."
This autumn Bernard Fevre returns with ‘Black Moon, White Sun’ his 7th album as the Black Devil Disco Club. Following on from 2011’s ‘Circus’ that saw the Parisian producer act as ringmaster to an eclectic troupe of artists including Faris Badwan from Horrors, YACHT, Jon Spencer, Afrika Bambaataa, Nancy Sinatra and more, ‘Black Moon, White Sun’ sees Fevre return to his roots with an album of hypnotic electronic music and his most personal to date, 8 tracks of voodoo trance and alchemical disco.
“For Black Moon White Sun, I imagined myself in the skin of a shaman whose ceremony begins with the Sun Totem Dance, I allowed myself to express my primitive, feminine and animal natures. This is an invitation to join me on a journey that is disturbing, shocking and disconcerting but also more colorful than ever before, more generous, full of love, this is an invitation to a pagan festival.”
Guided by outside forces ‘Black Moon White Sun’ is Fevre’s most spontaneous album to date and the one that most embodies the man himself. No guests, no outsiders, no samples, no revival: just a man, his machines and the future right in front. Bernard Fevre is much more than just a legend of the past he is a pioneer of the music of tomorrow.
Complete with beautiful artwork from the award winning Non-Format design agency, ‘Black Moon, White Sun’ is a personal statement from one of electronic music’s most mysterious characters. Out via Lo Recordings on October 31. The album is preceded by a single ‘Maymallow’ released on September 9.
1. Sun Dance Totem
2. Bee Boop
5. Star Dot Com
6. The Kid In Mee
7. Three Notes
8. Mexo Mambo
‘The Gaits’ featuring Sin Fang (Morr’s Seabear) is the second single from Zoon van snooK‘s second album “The Bridge Between Life & Death” and features remixes from Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll and Ulrich Schanuss. The single is out now on Lo Recordings and is now streaming in full here. Watch the video for the original track, below. The artwork was painted by Halldór Ragnarsson of Seabear.