Who? Get Back Guinozzi!
Title: Carpet Madness
Label: fatcat records
Tell me more: Debut album from a five-piece that alternates between London and the south of France. Mushy pies or baguettes?
The Lowdown: Has the look and feel of a post-punk album from the early 1980s but its influences are far more ubiquitous. There’s the breathy summer of love Gainsbourg-Birkin aura of I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone while L A echoes the radicalism of female avant-garde acts like The Raincoats or Delta 5. Throw in a few electro rhythms a la Stereolab, and the simplicity of Belle and Sebastian, and you have a fine debut album. Extra Brownie points for an uncomplicated version of Police and Thieves that has more far more impact than The Clash’s take on the reggae classic.
Anything else? Female vocalist Eglantine Gouzy says she “sings English in a baboon style”.
Who? Joni Mitchell, Phil Ochs and James Taylor
Tell me more: Amchitka was a unique concert in Vancouver in October 1970: it didn’t have the profile of Monterey or Woodstock and it hasn’t had an official release until now. But this folk-fest is remembered for helping to get Greenpeace going. The environmental group was in its infancy but a founding member, Irving Stowe, put on this event to raise funds to send a protest boat to Alaska where the nasty US government was conducting nuclear weapons tests.
The Lowdown: With a rousing introduction from Stowe, the brilliant Ochs gets motoring with an anthem for radicalism, rhythms of Revolution, and provides thought-provoking lyrics on tracks like I Ain’t Marching Anymore with his stunningly evocative voice. While Taylor and Mitchell are household names Ochs remains largely undiscovered. Taylor then Mitchell give their sets but they can’t quite match Ochs although Mitchell comes close on Woodstock and, with Taylor, a version of the Byrds’ Mr Tambourine Man.
Anything else? Visitors to the Stowe household were the only people to hear these tapes prior to this official release. It’s available from http://www.amchitka-concert.com/
Who? Horror Story
Title: Songs From the Devils Jukebox
Label: Bastard Son records
Tell me more: This album appears to have been lost in some sort of timewarp from 2006. It also includes an EP, Sons of Hell Island.
The Lowdown: The best kind of album a writer can get is when it comes with no information at all. Songs … is a complete mystery to Porky. When this arrived at the pigsty I had to look on the net to discover they’re from New Plymouth, my second favourite city in New Zealand that begins with N (after Napier). Horror Story are in the same vein as American legends The Misfits and they also recall a Scottish outfit Mother and the Addicts – plenty of ghostly make-up, horror-type graphics and a Cramps-style sound. Horror Story’s love of eerie Gothic psychobilly has been done before but Songs From the Devils Jukebox (their lack of an apostrophe) is still a fine rock and roll/ punk album without any pretences to being a groundbreaker.
Anything else? http://www.newplymouthrockers.co.nz
Who? Buraka Som Sistema
Title: Fabriclive 49
Label: Fabric/ Rhythmethod
Tell me more: Released in tandem with Magda’s Fabric 49, these two albums boost the output of the fabulously famous Fabric series of dance music.
The Lowdown: Fabric is a London superclub, reliant on superstar DJs playing to superstar celebrities with the paparazzi waiting outside for any shots of famous faces behaving badly. Buraka Som Sistema are from Portugal with a boxful of records from Angola and as you would expect those latin-African rhythms shine through as various club classics are put through the mixer. The Magda album is a simpler record of drum and bass/ techno and will have greater appeal among those who like their dance music in the no frills brand.
Anything else? Dancehall star Sizzla features on Gone Too Far and there’s appearances by Diplo, DJ Riot and L-Vis 1990 on Fabriclive.