We'd only just noticed how neglected our news section had become. The mundaneness of our everyday quotidians had murdered our anime into yet another cipher. When we receive demos from people that make us remember that this is not a hobby, it reminds us it's worthwhile, and life ain't about the next paypacket, it's about putting a record out with it. That said, Werewheels has delivered the masters that'll go to press some time this Summer with a view to release in Autumn. It's pummelling, funny and affectionate throughout. We won't bore you with comparisons with this missive, we'll be posting soundbytes over the next few weeks and you can make your own minds up. Love out to you > SSE xx
The eagerly awaiting second long-player on the Sunstone label is scheduled for release 30th March.
If you need a soundtrack to your Spring that takes you to the squats of Ladbroke Grove, and cuts you in and out of German communes in 1971, then this is the record you need.
Sie Norfolk brews down and sits off with Andy Morten (drums and vocals) and Louis Comfort-Wiggett (bass and vocals) to discuss what makes good marmalades.
Let's start with the key influences on your songwriting?
Andy: Whatever’s eating away at my brain at the moment I sit down to write. More often that not that’ll be whichever classy vintage pop disc I last heard, but inspiration can come from anywhere: people, films, books, conversations. Knowing that I’m writing for Louis and Mike certainly encourages certain tropes and moods to become more pronounced. And writing solely for two or three-minute single sides (as we’ve been doing since we got back together) is a great way of forcing you to be economical and get your message across with the minimum faffing about. I hate music that faffs.
Louis: Key influences on my songwriting, mmm? I don’t write a great deal, but when they do come, they’re invariably out of nowhere. I spark off Andy a fair bit, particularly for lyrics. So “nothing” and “Andy” would be my answer.
What's on the turntable for you guys at the moment?
Louis: The usual really. Tony Hazzard’s ’70s efforts for Bronze, Dr Byrds & Mr Hyde, Thoughts And Words and Silverhead’s 16 And Savaged were all dug out recently.
Andy: Jim Noir’s new album Finnish Line has been on a lot, as have old favourites like Evie Sands’ Anyway That You Want Me, The Tremeloes’ Master and Spirit’s Twelve Dreams Of Dr Sardonicus, all of which I’ve managed to score nice original copies of this year. My nine-year old son has taken a shine to ’67/68-era Kinks and Manfred Mann so they’re rarely off the CD player. Could be worse!
Andy: When Bronco Bullfrog got back together we dreamt up this plan that we’d only release 7” singles, each one on a different label to the last, just for fun really. Few bands and labels were making singles during the late ’90s/early 2000s when we started putting records out. Fortunately, there are stacks of cool labels putting singles out now, and the two-track 7” has rightly become a popular medium again. Sunstone is one of the coolest – the boys that run it are serious music heads (that’s how we met) and it makes us feel like we’re doing something right being affiliated with them.
Any live dates on the horizon?
Louis: No, but it might happen one day in the very distant future. We’re all pretty active in other gigging bands at the moment, so definitely keeping our hands in.
Andy: We’ve been asked to tour and play festivals in Europe but that’s not what we want to do at the moment. It’s all about writing and recording.
Favourite kind of marmalade?
Louis: I picked up some honey marmalade at a wood fair recently. It’s an orange marmalade only made using honey and is swell. Mind you, that Bottle Wreck Porter Marmalade by Hammerpot Brewery is decent also.
Andy: Louis brings me the Bottle Wreck Porter Orange Marmalade when he comes to visit and it doesn’t last long. I like a red onion marmalade too.
When are you having an existential crisis or has it been and gone?
Louis: I had a small one at the weekend. I’m 43 now, I have them irregularly throughout the year, and I reckon (like an untreated rash) they’ll only get worse.
Andy: Sometimes I think I’ve been having one since I was about 15 but then realise that’s not very likely and that I still have that particular pleasure to look forward to.
Sunstone are proud to announce the signing of Moth Effect to release his LP 'Crocodilians' on the label later this year, or early next, (depending on the collapsed world of the pressing plants). Visit the artists section for more details!
It's with some excitement, and best-placed hubris, that we're able to announce the addition of two fantastic new artists to the label.
Firstly, Trappist Afterland, shaggy Australian Acid Folk geniuses, have signed to release their 'Like a Beehive, The Hill was Alive' LP on Sunstone later in the year.
With gentle nods in the direction of UK bands such as Magic Carpet, Sagram (Clem Alford) and the Incredible String Band, far removed from the referential or formulaic, Trappist Afterland design new kosmische rhizomes, and make music to watch the stars die out under summer skies.
Check them out here now
Last, but in no sense last, we also have the great pleasure of committing a new UK talent to wax.
Nine Shields is an aurul texture/patchwork driven out by Gareth Munday, in collaboration with other artists including the talented Alicia Merz, who provides the vocals on his Sunstone debut 'As It Was', due to be released with 2 accompanying B-sides later this year.
Some questions arise, first, how is it possible this wasn't committed to wax before it fell upon the Sunstoners' ears?
Fragile as it is, will it still be in one piece come Autumn, and time to press?
We're really happy to announce Sunstone Records' involvement in a 3-day event of psychedelics and progressives in Chester in May.
The event is being organized by Telford's Warehouse and will feature Sunstone Records' artists on the third and final day.
We'll keep you posted on more details as they come through, but we're really excited by being able to convince Balduin to leave the safety of his creative kitchen in Bern, and travel to the UK to perform his ep live on this single date. He will be backed by the Lords of Thyme, it is an utterly mouthwatering prospect. Those kind and filthy gentlemen, the 3 Dimensional Tanx shall complete proceedings by melting down into a dj set by Sie Norfolk to round off the evening.
Not too be missed, with more details to follow.
Three Dimensional Tanx – Self-Titled
Format: CD Digipak/Download - Available in the Shop
Released, 27th January 2014
These days, the music press is littered with bands described as ‘psychedelic’, ‘drone-rock’, ‘with hints of Krautrock’ etc. In their own high-energy way, Lancaster/Manchester-based Three Dimensional Tanx have been ploughing this particular furrow for over 10 years now. During this time, they have been ‘sound carriers’ for Can man Damo Suzuki, performed at Tate Britain with artist Linder, played at a Spacemen 3 art exhibition at the request of Will Carruthers (Spacemen 3, Spiritualised, Dead Skeletons) and smashed it at 2013’s Liverpool Psych Fest.
Their live reputation is so fierce, that they managed to get a full crowd at Liverpool Psych Fest even though their set clashed with Fuzz and Hookworms. They’ve also played with bands like White Hills, Gnod, Trembling Bells, Lucid Dream, the Cosmic Dead, Helicon and many more from the UK’s psych-scene.
The band’s recorded work was on hiatus as former guitarist David Blackwell left to concentrate full-time on the Lovely Eggs. However, with two new members, the now 5-piece Three Dimensional Tanx set to work creating a new album for a new era.
Album opener ‘I Am Go’ is just over 2 minutes worth of psych-garage-rock. ‘Caterpillar’ is a stoned-groove that starts off almost ‘baggy’ and builds up so much it ends up NEU!-ishly monolithic. ‘Loose Id Syd’ encapsulates the MC5 and Stooges energetic riffing with early Who drums splattered all over it. Elsewhere, there’s the swirling, intense ‘Here Come the Flies’, the multi-layered onslaught of ‘Backwards Telescope’ the synth/sequencer/drum-machine-based ‘Clark’s Momentum’ and four more tracks that are all different but share the unique Tanx approach.
The dynamic rhythm section propels the band with a rarely encountered ferocity. All kinds of electric guitars, their trademark 60’s Philicorda organ, a host of synths, electronics, and even electrified zithers and harp make for a vivid soundscape. The vocals are sometimes deep in the mix, at other times biting like a rabid John Lydon. If the live sound is sometimes a wall of noise, then the studio album reveals the riffs, motifs, interplay and other subtleties. But this is committed rock n roll.
Watch 'I Am Go' Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz0a80WcG94
'I Am Go'/ 'Loose Id Syd' Double A Side 7" Single Out soon on Sunstone Records
Where does the title The Glamour Forest come from?
As a matter of fact, I took that title from a song I wrote for my next album. It's self-explanatory when you look closer at the cover photo, which my wife shot during a sunny Sunday afternoon walk in one of the beautiful forests in the district of Bern-Mittelland. You can see me standing in front of a wizard's hut. Instead of presenting myself as a wizard I look very common in casual clothes except for the long branches of the trees in the background. But the firewood and fern all around the hut and the forest itself look very natural and ancient. "The Glamour Forest“ is the perfect collage to present my music.
What kind of music influenced your songs?
I mostly listened and still listen to the psychedelic studio music era in the late 1960s. I’m a record collector and there’s still plenty to discover and those songs and their recording techniques in that period still amaze me. I can’t just name a few bands or albums, so the list of my inspirations would be simply too long.
How do you go about writing your songs?
There’s no regular way of getting my songs together. Sometimes I write the lyrics before I get the harmonies. I often sit down and begin to improvise until I discover a catchy key-melody. Earlier I wrote my songs on my guitar. But more recently I compose the music on my keyboard.
Then I go on with the arrangement and build other tunes and instruments around or take them apart. I use to work with analogue and digital equipment.
When did you start recording the songs for the ep?
The Lyrics for "Waves, Stars & Moon“ I wrote during my holidays in Tunisia, the song was finished in October 2012. "Mirror, Mirror“ was recorded later in November. A year later in May I began to cover "Jabberwock“ and in August I wrote "Hole In The Sky“.
So, what are your future plans? Will you play any concerts?
Definitely my next album and film music. I’d love to play my tunes live but I’m more of a recording artist and love to cook my songs in my studio.
He writes, plays, sings...he does it all, and no one today does it quite as well.
Sunstone is happy to announce, a vinyl-only release of 4 unreleased tracks from another talent from Switzerland.
Balduin brings something different into this world, and Sunstone want the world to hear it.
Initial release schedule points to the release happening in January.
Pre-orders will be available once the vinyl goes to press.