Groovers on Manoeuvres – I

First of all, if you get the reference in the above title then well done, and also you have passed a sort of test to see if you are right for this site, and more importantly if this site is right for you. So give yourself a gold star, I think that we are going to get on famously.

So what’s this column all about? Well, a couple of things really. Firstly, I spend my working day reviewing and writing about music but I don’t really get to let fly, wax lyrical and just shoot the breeze, so this will hopefully give me an outlet for that. But mainly I have a pile of CD’s stacked in front of me (and 10 times the amount of links in my e-mails) which has got to the point where I should really be applying for planning permission for it. There just isn’t enough time in the day to write about even a fraction of the music I get sent, so again, this should allow me to quickly mention a salvo of releases in one hit.

(The sub-text here being if anyone wants to write for this site I can happily send you plenty of music to consider putting pen to.)

So, to horse!

I thought I’d start with a strange meeting of worlds, TIJ…formerly known as The Inconsistent Jukebox…and their reworking of the Teardrop Explodes iconic Reward, here they bless the song with their trademark raucous overtones and low-slung attitude to add to its already easy grooves and infectious nature. You can find plenty more TIJ sonic shenanigans at

Just a brief mention, for now at least, for those splendid people at Big Stir Records and a thank you for the two records which dropped through my letter box recently. They are re-issuing Allyson Seconds debut album, Bag of Kittens, which makes for great timing as I have just been revelling in the latest slice of quirky power-pop from Anton Barbeau, namely Manbird, and the two artists are often mentioned in the same sentence.

Keeping it company as it travelled through the byways and backwaters which is Royal Mail was Howl, the latest release from My Little Brother. I hope to get on to a full review of both as soon as I can but for now, follow these links back to bandcamp, give their music a spin, of course buy them as a sign of solidarity with great, grassroots artists and explore Big Stir Records’ sumptuous back catalogue for exactly the same reasons…and of course to find some brilliant new music, from brilliant people, via brilliant albums put out by this brilliant label. Brilliant!

And whilst I’m mentioning the heroes of the small label scene, a quick bow of thanks to Music is The Devil, a Philadelphia based affair specialising in transcendent electronic, ambient, experimental, downtempo and drone-scape music and their latest release, You Slept, I Didn’t by Listener Depleted proves to be a gorgeous array of glitchy washes and ambient soundscapes, somehow odd and edgy yet subtle and soothing.

And that will do for now, please check out some of the above, spend some coin even, we want to ensure that such wonderful music makers and the labels who wrangle and release their music are still there when we come through the other side of…well, whatever this is.

Also, check out Rich Wileman’s splendid column, The Curse of Alt Babylon for even more sumptuous selections and mercurial music.


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