Yates/Seamajesty - Monolith Cocktail

Singles, EPs, hell even LPs, this is the regular Tickling Our Fancy round up of  ‘choice and interesting’ music and exclusives that may have escaped your attention thus far.


This month’s rabble of inspiring and established miscreants, poets and dreamers includes: Seamajesty, Bo Keeney, Little Scout, Jack Adapter, Kobadelta, Dee Sada, The Wands, B4,  Zach And The Imaginaries and  David Lawrie.

Seamajesty  ‘Say Awake’  (Plain Sailing)   EP and teaser for the forthcoming Seamajesta LP, released November 2014.

A one-man Adam’s Castle crossed with just a mere hint of James Blake’s expansive instrumental loops, James Yates makes a return this month with as his celestial alter ego, Seamajesty, releasing, ahead of the Seamajestea album in November, the Monolith Cocktail featured Say Awake EP.

Adding a sampler and guitar to his repertoire of drums, vibraphone and keyboards, Yates is exploring even deeper subterranean mysteries and cosmic vistas on this three-track journey.

Motoriking down the cosmos, Yates’ loop-tatsic original version of the eponymous progressive, short but universally encapsulated, instrumental travels far during its two and half minute duration. An equally cymbal heavy drum charged live version is accompanied by a video of Yates performing (perfectly) the titular song in his sitting room turn studio – a live gig beamed straight from the Yates creative hub.

Also included in the free to download release, is the floaty trance suffused ‘Popcorn Salted’, remixed here by the pastel halcyon composer of Jeff Lyne-esque wondrous pop, My Autumn Empire.

On te strength of this teaser, the album is shaping up to be a blissfully progressive panoramic dream ticket.

Bo Keeney  ‘Long Long Summertime’  (Nipple Clips) Taken from the 7 Eleven EP, released 22nd September 2014.

Literally cycling backwards through a vintage-sepia, jilted musical backed, Californian past, the hazy drifting tripped out signatures of Bo Keeney sound indolently like some kind of glitch-y surf noir. The fact they were actually produced in a Hackney basement – shared by collaborators and friends, Flyte and Bombs – just adds another layer of obscurity to the already strange brewing Steve Miller Band of the early 80s meets psychedelic electronic soul.

Brought up in San Diego, with stays in London and now Berlin, Keeney has juxtaposed homemade-filmed like recollections of nostalgia with the themes of excessive consumption and waste, on his new three-track EP 7 Eleven. Featuring individually attuned visuals for each song, ‘Long Long Summertime’ itself uses footage from John Hodgson’s Spirit Of 77 homage to Orange County/Los Angeles.

Almost from another time entirely, lost in a vortex swirl of languorous mystery, Keeney exists suspended between eras, even though the eponymous entitled convenience store lament sounds like a funky vapourous slice of modern urbane pop.

Little Scout ‘Go Quietly’ b/w ‘March Over To Me’  (Win-Win Records)

Marking the baptism of the newly founded London-based label, Win-Win, Brisbane indie-rockers of the shoegaze pop variety Little Scout, released their first ever UK single back in August. ‘Go Quietly’ perfectly captures the band’s arched guitar shapes and toms led tribal beaten moody charm, though we prefer their second track, taken from the Are You Life LP, ‘March Over To Me’: A nocturnal growling bass and crescendo rapid-fired drum kit splashes and shakes throughout whilst the band’s calm, cooing vocalist, Melissa Tickle diaphanously and attentively soars.

Apparently pushing the envelope and moving ‘into sonically adventurous new territory’, Little Scout’s blossoming ‘Go Quietly’ single was recorded and mixed by Californian polymath Lars Stalfors, who at various times has engineered, co-produced, mixed and mastered albums by The Mars Volta, Cold War Kids and Marnie Stern. Whatever his input, it seems to have given them a vigorous, more dynamic sound.

Little Scout have grown out of a creative burgeoning independent Brisbane community that includes The John Steel Singers (whose Scott Bromiley co-wrote ‘Go Quietly’ with the band), Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Parades and Edward Guglielmino. Though they’ve been around since 2008, releasing their debut LP Take Your Light in 2011, and shared international and national tours with the likes of The New Pornographers, Camera Obscura and Sharon Van Etten, it’s only now that they’ve finally touched down in the UK. They have however, already made an impact, picked up by the blogosphere and championed by 6Music. On the strength of these two tracks, it’s no wonder.

Jack Adapter  ‘Number One Record’  Single released 29th September, appears on the forthcoming J’Accuse! LP, released 20th October 2014.

As part of the congruous collection of blogs who all host Universal Horse’s Alternative Top 40 chart, the Monolith alongside some of our readers have seen fit to vote for the disarming troubadour duo Jack Adaptor; their ‘Get It Right First Time’ track coveting the number one spot in the last edition of the chart.

From the ruins of The Family Cat, twenty years ago, singer and lyricist Paul ‘Fred’ Fredrick has paled up with songwriting partner Christopher Cordoba to form this new breezy, indie pop noir enterprise. Taken from their forthcoming LP J’Accuse! – An allusion to Émile Zola’s famous broadside open letter to the leading French newspaper of the 1890s, L’Aurore, which accused the government and army of a anti-Semitic conspiracy to frame the unfortunate Alfred Dreyfuss for espionage – this spritely Postcard era paean pays tribute in part to the late Alex Chilton, of both the perfectly encapsulated indie and collage radio titans, Big Star and before that, The Box Tops.

Not just a perfect way to illustrate Adaptor’s song title but perhaps a celebration of its endurance in the face of a digital onslaught, the video is a warming tribute to the art of the LP – whether on vinyl or CD – and the 7” single. A parade of people, all in their inimitable personal style, hold up a cherished favorite record: Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis here, a passing conspicuously held, by a cyclist, Prince album there. No doubt this homage to Chilton and poetic reflection will score highly in the next edition of the alternative chart.

Kobadelta ‘Repetition’   Taken from the Remain Distracted EP, released 26th September 2014.

Voraciously chewing up the Newcastle psych rock and pub rock drone scenes with equal voracity, the burgeoning Geordie five-piece Kobadelta have yet to nail their sound. And this is a good thing, as their latest EP, Remain Distracted will testify. From drunkenly swaggering between emulating the late Lizard King Morrison to trespassing on Kasabian’s anthem Byzantine rock, the group manages to inhabit their influences with sneering and melancholic vigor. At other times they stray into Bauhaus, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and could even be a distant relation of the recent blossoming drone scene in Greece.

Broodily launching forth from an opening Motorhead dirge riff, their hard rocking, monotonous droning ‘Repetition’ will do nicely as an introduction. Best played loud in a Wim Wenders 80s directed Berlin club, the rapid firing drum barrage signals a penchant for the hardliners vamped out on Gothic morose.

That raucous sound has won the lads some favourable festival spots recently – sharing the Stockton Weekender with the Happy Mondays and Public Enemy, and the Split Festival with Maximo Park and The Cribs – and led to an appearance on the BBC Introducing live sessions.

Staying true to those roots, Remain Distracted will be unveiled in full glory at a special launch event, held at the Star & Shadow Cinema in their hometown. Support bands will include a trio of local bands, Goy Boy Mcllroy, Schultz and Wake.

Dee Sada ‘Bells And Ships And Songs’ (Tip Top Recording) Single released 22nd September, taken from the forthcoming Fragments EP, released 29th September 2014.

Once beating out a primal yelping tribal cacophony of Beyond The Thunderdome bow-wow no-wave, with the Monolith Cocktail’s championed favorite girl trio, An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump, before joining forces with Billy Trivial to form the shoegaze dreamers, Blue On Blue, Dee Sada now steps out on her own to release a new solo EP and single this month.

Bringing an underlying poignancy and artful literary bent to her latest project, Dee is imbued with the poetry of both Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath, and the work of outsider artist Mary Barnes – a resident of the radical psychiatrist RD Laing’s therapeutic community at Kingsley Hall in the 60s. Barnes’ extraordinary transformation from her deliberating schizophrenic condition to recovery and a career as a successful artist, will become the centrepiece, entitled The Hollow Tree, of an experimental sound piece (released later in 2014) created by Dee.

Musically, not that it is easy to tell, Dee is inspired by the German new wave band Malaria! – Band member Gudrun Gut was featured only last week on the blog, her recent project ‘500m’ with Faust’s Joachim Irmler, receiving a glowing review from us – and Indian classical Carnatic vocalist, M. S. Subbulakshmi.

Starting off with a shout and bombastic cavalcade, Sada has gradually softened the edges and taken time to create more purposeful and artfully poised music since the inaugural misspent days in AEOABITAP. Coming on in a trembled Slowdive like fashion, this Morse code reverberated malady, ‘Bells And Ships And Songs’ single is lifted from the jarred and fraught, confessional-rich break-up themed Fragments EP, and is a logical continuation of her work with both Trivial and long-term musical collaborator Billy Steiger.

The Wands  ‘Sound Of The Machine’  Released November 3rd 2014.

Though arguably Ty Segall has this kool aid acid throwback of garage, psych and Glam more or less wrapped up, it hasn’t stopped a flood of contenders from trying. Paisley floundering dope induced Copenhagen outfit The Wands were featured a while back, their beat behind the dyke The Dawn single richly soporific and washed in a Calico wall of fuzz.

From their analogue tape nostalgic HQ the duo let loose with another scintillating, ghoulish circus organ resonating accompanied trip; this time however they raise a one fingered salute to the man in true teenage shutdown angst with this VHS cheaply chic video/single, ‘Sound Of The Machine’.

Released at the beginning of November, it precedes a European tour, with the following dates in the UK.


07.11.14 The Lexington, London

09.11.14 The Art School, Glasgow

10.11.14 Jamcafe, Nottingham

11.11.14 The Stag And Hounds, Bristol

12.11.14 The Roadhouse, Manchester

13.11.14 The Magnet, Liverpool

15.11.14 Club Psychedelia at Lennon’s, Southampton

B4 ‘Germanium’ (Polí5)

Nestled next door to Germany the Czech Republic can’t help but have felt or been inspired by the Krautrock emanations floating over the boarder.

Yet it seems, and for at least two decades because of Czechoslovakia’s status as a satellite state behind the ‘iron curtain’, to have passed by unnoticed. If guitarist Tomáš Procházka is to be believed, his ever-changing collective, B4, is the only Czech group to actively produce and interpret the Krautrock spirit. The group has merged their Germanic neighbors much adulated sounds with an improvised hotbed of psychedelia, jazz, drone rock, industrial and the reverberations of the old Eastern Bloc, to produce an eclectic, steely and metallic crisp, hybrid.

Formed inadvertently back in 1998, when a missing band had to be replaced, the inaugural troupe first performed at the Turnov Festival. With a staple triumvirate of Procházka, keyboardist David Freudl and drummer Leoš Kropáček, B4 have mined the back catalogue of Sky and Brain records and thrown in a healthy dose of Germany’s other titans of experimental music, Einstuerzende Neubauten, for good measure, though they themselves also name check the disco producers Petr and Pavel Orm, Steve Reich and British musician Steven Stapleton’s non de plume, Nurse With Wound, as equally important influences.

Deciding many years ago to work exclusively with historical analogue equipment, B4 – holed up in their own studio base – extemporise and manipulate old effects pedals, organ pipes, synths and tape echo units.

B4’s mantra, ‘performance is the product’, maybe true, yet occasionally these performances and songs have prompted an official recording or two. In 2010 they released their debut official recording for Prague label, Poli5, the lampooned Beatles litany entitled, Ringo George Paul John. In 2011 their double LP Didaktik Nation Legendary won the Vinyl Prize for album of the year. But it is their most recent transmission from the edges of analogue adventurism that I wish to share with you dear reader.

The Germanium (released in 2013) continuum fizzles with elements of the Teutonic futurists Moebius, Roedelius, Rother and Asmus Tietchens, but by the third track, ‘100 Dollar Mititel’ we’re grooving to some Money Mark like backbeat jazz vibe – if the Beasties one-time collaborator had worked with Can’s Holger Czukay. Though mostly a collection of concomitant instrumentals, Nick Cave like vocals appear from time to time, and are either almost sinisterly reflective (‘Cesta Zpátky’) or plaintively cooed in French (on the strangely noir-pop disco, and weirdly though probably not intentional, early Pulp sounding ‘On Disparaitra’ and lamentable ‘Abend’).

Throughout it seems rather tongue-in-cheek, as tunes, all musically tight and impressive, allude or riff on famous Krautrock givens, such as the progressive, haunted and often Stereolab-esque, ‘Motorik Religion’, and Kosmiche dreamy ‘Super Cabbage Rock’. But this isn’t any homage, as the B4’s sound is inventive and eclectic enough to offer something uniquely theirs.

At times, a real nugget of a discovery crosses my path, sent to us rather than sniffled out by the blog. This is easily one of the best finds of 2014 for us and would have without a doubt been included in our end of 2013 ‘choice’ albums list.

Zach And The Imaginaries   ‘Millenium Balcon’

Threatening to actually reach some diaphanous higher level or break out from its lo-fi bedroom meandrous cocoon, Zachery Leblanc’s musical sketches often throw up some interestingly haunting and sometimes kooky surprises. The fact he is a compatriot and fellow collaborator with Theirry Larose, aka Tapeheads (who appears throughout this album as a foil), is no surprise as they both pursue a similar trajectory of, blink and you’ll miss it, alternative cheap Casio chips and amorphous pranged guitar doodles. And that he is part of the maverick label of choice for these wandering DIY mavericks, the Canadian imprint Acid Zebra Records – at the time of receiving Zachery’s email, his debut LP was still not officially being released by the label: this may change – shouldn’t come as a shock.

Under the moniker of Zach And The Imaginaries, our sixteen year-old Canadian is misspending his youth under the radar making inconsequential music that somehow comes up trumps. A conceptual LP in four stages – Nostalgia (ain’t that just the most popular of terms this month!), Curiosity, Loneliness and Fun –, Millenium Balcon is the sound of someone indolently scratching around, finding their style. Tracks like the finale ‘Worries (Peace Out)’ and ‘Loneliness – Bounce 2 (Don’t Sue Me Kayne)’ have a far higher production value however, manipulating and fucking with Hip Hop and even classicism, whilst the lion’s share of this peculiar instrumental suite sounds like it was recorded off some mislaid Betamax videocassettes, brought in a car boot sale.

In a way it might be better if Zachery doesn’t find his niche or style, keeping instead to exploring the badlands of the borderless modern music world.

And Finally

David Lawrie’s  Kickstarter  Campaign

Regular visitors to the Monolith Cocktail maybe familiar with our support for the chamber-electronic artist and poet David Lawrie, who has written some very adroit and cleverly nuanced songs over the last couple of years. Back in March we premiered the meticulously handcrafted Stas Shch created video for his cosmos opus ‘Storm Petrel’ single.

Since then Lawrie has been busy recording and producing his next album, Dorothea’s Boat and is looking for funding via Kickstarter to support the album’s release and promotion. As Lawrie explains:

‘Up until this point I have been able to record and produce the music in my own time and space, without time or money constraints. It has been a labour of love, and I really have loved every minute of it. There are, however, costs involved with actually releasing the album, of which I am sure you are aware.

It would be great to have a lovely, tangible, eye-popping 12″ vinyl record as well as a digital release because, if you’re like me, you’ll love to receive musical things in the post. Pressing the vinyl is where a great deal of your pledged money will go.

There are also costs involved with digital distribution and PR/Marketing campaigns, which are essential to make this release as far reaching as possible.’

With just over a month to go, Lawrie has secured £300 of his £1500 total. We wish him good luck, as both friends and admirers of his work. More details can be found HERE…


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