June 22, 2010
The Monolith features a wide spread of musical subjects, whether it’s the latest releases, or seminal classics, drawn from the Krautrock, AfroBeat, Psych, Punk, Indie, Soul, Funk, Soundtrack cannons.
MC is a my own personal blog from which I hope to spread the word of obscure, under-rated and worthwhile records to a wider audience. In a sense, this is my extended mouthpiece, of which only I edit my pontifications.
If you would like to be featured on Monolith Cocktail, then contact me on the following email address:-
May 22, 2013
‘Our daily bread: The shorthand bulletin for reviews, news and notable releases.’
All extended reviews will appear under the ‘Polygenesis Perusal’ (http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2013/05/14/the-polygenesis-perusal-3/) at a later date on God Is In The TV, alongside the ‘Tickling my Fancy’ musical revue (here ) each month.
Split 12” featuring Plastic Animals, Magic Eye, Le Thug & Zed Penguin (Song, By Toad Records) Out Now
Song, By Toad Records latest ‘split’ showcase promises to introduce the listener to a burgeoning and obscure Caledonian rooster of talent, plucked from Edinburgh and Glasgow; ranging from the Cocteau Twins imbued, somnambulist haze of Magic Eye, to the ‘slushy’ collage radio rock of the Plastic Animals.
Adding an air of breathtaking and touching psychedelia (via the wooing garage of Deerhunter) Zed Penguin’s esoteric reggae-gaited driven ‘Wandering’ and No Age with soul ‘Heathens’ prove illuminating, whilst Le Thug’s contributions sigh and mourn indolently over expansive guitar-textured vistas on the swan song opus, ‘Sense In Scotland’ – a resigned vocal repeats the woozy delivered mantra of “I don’t sleep well, I don’t eat well, I don’t choose well. Underneath is the floor, up ahead is the sky.”
Recorded in the intimate living room setting of the labels affectionately appellate Toad Hall HQ, the quartets suite of indolent emotive paeans and ethereal slacker laments blend together in wistful harmonic grace.
May 16, 2013
024: The Monkees ‘Lady’s Baby’ (taken from Missing Links Vol.1) Rhino Records 1987
025: The Monkees ‘St.Matthew’ (taken from Missing Links Vol.2) Rhino Records 1990
Under appreciated you know it, The Monkees knocked out some right melodious beauties during their tenure together; many of which never made it onto official albums or singles – though not too surprising when you’re competing with such talent as the writing partnerships of Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.
Collated during the late 80s and early 90s the choice re-issue label Rhino brought many outtakes, rarities, and oddities – better retitled ‘missed opportunities’ than Missing Links – from the Monkee archives together in three volumes.
Two particular gems that have always tickled my fancy are the tenderly cooed Gram Parsons imbued lullaby ‘Lady’s Baby’, by the groups very much put-upon Bass Player, Peter Tork, and the sweet country, gospel according to Mike Nesmith, ‘St.Matthew’.
May 8, 2013
023: ‘Casi Negro (Closing Beat)’ G.D.D.L.F – Taken from the forthcoming second G.D.D.L.F album.
Enigmatically secretive the psycho drone mystics known as G.D.D.L.F let loose a precursor from their upcoming second album; laconically entitled II.
Featured as a band to follow in Monolith Cocktail’s recent Notes From the Spanish Underground purview, G.D.D.L.F score atavistic Nepalese ritualistic hypnotic dirges (ala Dead Skeletons, only more melodic) and Byzantium space rock eulogies. Rather aptly this escaped occultist drone offering will close their new album. Expect a review very soon.
Additions to the ever-growing, and consuming, archives include: Brian Eno, Ellen And The Escapades and The Gaa Gaas.
Click on these accompanying artwork images for the full review.
April 26, 2013
022: The Pale Faces ‘Ocean Wide’ (Goodtime Recordings) 2013
Wafted under my nose via my involvement with God Is In The TV, the scuzzy, dirge-y and downright sleazy garage trio The Pale Faces‘ latest prowling beast of a harangued woe has just been brought to my attention: thanks!
The burlesque bordello draped video, directed by the band and Jonathan Buck (produced by Two Headed Snake Productions http://vimeo.com/twoheadedsnake), and growling slobbering beat makes for a slightly unsettling experience. An unholy alliance of influences are cited (Silver Apples, The Marvelettes, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard), yet the Leicester three-piece convincingly plough their own furrow.
April 17, 2013
Bizarre as it seems, missing from the order of service at today’s funeral, was the brave new world opus to satellite technology, Telstar; a firm favourite of Margaret Thatcher, who it seems had a passing penchant for the twisted musical dynamics of Joe Meek. Produced and written by the demented genus, performed by The Tornadoes, its burst of optimism on the cusp of the space race seems quite poignant and worthy of a mention at this time.
From the heartland and beyond of fuzz scuzzled garage band land, Monolith Cocktail selects eight discordant, rambunctiously screwed and deranged howlers and blue-eyed soul tropes.
Un-hinged you bet! Everyone guaranteed to clear any joyful, exuberant dance floor…Hell I know, I’ve played everyone of these loserville hoots over the years.
Paul Bearer & The Hearsemen ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ 1966
The Preachers ‘Who Do You Love’ 1965
Pagans ‘Baba Yaga’ 1965
Ferris Wheel ‘Woman’ 1966
The Mixed Emotions ‘Can’t You Stop It Now’ 1967
The Lollipop Shoppe ‘Mr.Madison Avenue’ 1968
The Rationals ‘Respect’ 1966
The Savages ‘The World Ain’t Round It’s Square’ 1966
March 21, 2013
Congratulations and huge sighs of relief are in order as Shan Nicholson and Cristina Esterás Ortiz’s Rubble Kings project finally reaches its funding target, through Kickstarter.
Documenting the blossoming of Hip Hop culture in New York during the 70s, the film’s cast of original ‘warriors’, gang miscreants turned rapping evangelists and delinquents guided onto the righteous path of, what would be, a musical and cultural breakthrough, colourfully lay down the roots. The incendiary of depravation and violence in a bankrupted city, failing to get a grip on the crippling gangs that ran the streets, was quelled by the street sounds collective movement. A force of good which took the pow and punch (mostly) out of the confrontational territorial disputes that kept communities from all backgrounds apart.
In celebratory mode, Monolith Cocktail picks a selection of spirited early Hip Hop from New York.
Afrika Bambaataa ‘Looking For The Perfect Beat’ (Tommy Boy/ Warner Bros.) 1982
Captain Rock ‘The Return Of Captain Rock’ (NIA Records) 1983
Divine Sounds ‘Dollar Bill’ (Specific Records) 1984
RUN DMC ‘Sucker MC’s’ (Profile/Arista) 1983
Roxanne Shante ‘Roxanne’s Revenge’ (Pop Art Records) 1984
Fearless Four ‘Rockin’ It’ (Enjoy) 1982
Marley Marl feat. MC Shan ‘Marley Marl Scratch’ (NIA Records) 1985
Kid Frost ‘Terminator’ (Electrobeat) 1985
DJ Born Supreme Allah ‘Two, Three, Break’ (Vintertainment) 1985
Awesome Foursome ‘Monster Beat’ (Reality) 1986
Disco Four ‘Get Busy’ (Reality) 1986
March 9, 2013
Despite the many studies, myths and folkloric postulations, the birth of Hip Hop is still missing a cohesive background story, explaining just where and how it really started. Documentry film director Shan Nicholson and Cristina Esterás Ortiz don’t lay claim to producing that definitive tome, but they do document the transformation of what was, a desolated, bankrupt and crime-infested city into a street culture mecca.
Primal rage in the deprived and forgotten slums of the Bronx had led to an explosion of gang culture in the late 60s. A microcosm of New York, the Bronx alone could boost of more than a hundred neighbourhood gangs alone, each with a hierarchal system and sporting a rich tapestry of monikers (Savage Skulls, Bachelors, Black Spades, Hitman and Turban Queens to name but just a few), from every ethnic diversity imaginable.
Walter Hill‘s The Warriors may have been a cartoon-esque version of the brewing tensions and resentment of New York’s ‘degenerates’, yet the city’s police and social authorities really had lost control, as the murder rate soared through the Manhattan skyline.
The aptly named Rubble Kings chronicles the ‘forgotten few’ who heroically crossed the territorial lines to bring the burgeoning music, dance and artistic culture of Hip Hop to a devastated urbane landscape.
In the can already , the four-year project has been shown to numerous film festival audiences, and garnered rave reviews. However for a full theatrical release the project needs funds to cover the cost of clearing footage and musical rights. A Kickstarter fund has been started, hoping to raise the target $50,000. A range of incentives will hopefully rouse the necessary funds, because this is one story that needs to be told.
Visit the site for more details, and if you’re flush, donate some money to the cause.
March 5, 2013
021: ‘Twist’ Jacob’s Mouse (Sturm Und Drang) 2013 Reissue
Afforded a digital release after years in the wilderness, the noise-y alternative rock band from Bury Saint Edmunds, Jacob’s Mouse, once again fill the miasma air-space with the sound of gnawing and thrashing guitars and discordance.
Firm favourites of both the revered John Peel and grunge martyr Kurt Cobain, the trio made quite an impact for a short burst of time in the late 80s and early 90s. Brit Pop pretty much brought their unruly, experimental sound clash to an end, the group finally calling it a day in 1995, as they went on to pursue other projects.
Revived in the spirit of our nostalgic times, their debut EP, The Dot EP, and first album, No Fish Shop Parking, will be released through the Sturm Und Drang label for those who missed them the first time around.
February 26, 2013
Disingenuous but in some ways true, but for every Pulp there was a band who couldn’t quite cut-the-mustartd, or rise above the championship into the premier league. Not always because of talent, in fact some bands that failed to shine were just too edgy for the Oasis/Blur mentality (Tiger for instance).
Britpop is a real ‘catch-all’ term, a fatuous tag like some kind of geological appellate period in evolution. Really we’re talking of British guitar groups from the a rough mid to late 90s epoch.
Some of these poor souls disappeared without trace, some were sucked into the machine. None have another particular in common, other than I owned there record or caught them live during those years.
Subcircus ‘You Love U’ (Echo) 1996
Octopus ‘Your Smile’ (Food) 1996
Tiger ‘On The Rose’ (Trade 2/ Island) 1996
Ballroom ‘Silent Singers’ (Mother) 1997
Rialto ‘Untouchable’ (China Records) 1997
These Animal Men ‘(Come On, Join) The High Society’ (Hi-Rise Recordings) 1994