ORGAN: Five music things – More from Dublin’s Lullahush, Lola de la Mata, Lou Hazel, fresh Witch Fever, Seminal post-punk band Maximum Joy, Melissa Weikart, a taste of Sun’s Signature and…

Shall we do it again, five more? The Five music things thing for whatever it still might still be worth. Five? There’s something rather compelling about five. Cross-pollination? Five more? Five more while Death Pill still hide in their basements and all we can really do is watch their social media feeds and hope they’re surviving over there in Kyiv, they are still posting so that at least is good

Do we need to do the editorial bit again? Is there another way? A cure for pulling cats out of hats? Is there a rhyme? Is there a reason? Was there ever? What do reasons make? Five more, same as last time (and the time before) five, and no, we never do and the proof of the pudding is in that proof reading. When we started this thing, oh never mind, it doesn’t matter and like we asked last time, does anyone bother reading the editorial? Does anyone ever actually look down the rabbit hole or is it all just method acting? We do listen to everything that comes in, we do it so you don’t have to, we are very (very) picky about what we actually post on these pages or play on the radio or hang in a gallery. Cut to the chase, never mind the editorial there’s loads of music further down the page, well five or so pieces of music that have come our way in the last few days and cut cut slash and cut to the damn chase, who needs an editorial? Here’s your five pieces of music for today….

Lullahush

1: Lullahush – Dublin producer lullahush shares a new video, another delcious slice form what is threatening to be a fine album.  ‘You Look Like You’ve Been Up All Night’ is the second slice we’ve heard, the track is taken from upcoming debut album A City Made of Water and Small Love, an album out on May 27th.

lullahush on the single:  “This song is about completely fucking up all the time. Saying the wrong thing, or not saying anything at all. Lying awake at night with every terrible thing you’ve done playing in your head. It was the first song I made in this improvised production style. It was like a 3am one take thing and I tried to make a sound that’s on the verge of completely breaking apart.”

Previously on these pages – ORGAN THING: Irish electronic artist lullahush announces debut album and shares new single  ‘When I’m Not Awake I’m Dreaming Of You’…

2: Lou Hazel – “Have you seen him? Claude remains an old friend, a confidant who, as timely as ever, confronts us about the weapons we gather against one another without knowing how we’ll use them or what damage they’ll do.” – Lou Hazel. Claud The Armadillo is out on Sleepy Cat Records in May

“My Uncle Ralph Frisina wrote “Claude the Armadillo” 40 years ago in 1981.The cold war was becoming a commonplace topic of dubious experts in mullets gathered around campfires. To set the scene, bad vibes between the West and the Soviet Union fostered Olympic boycotts and the Russian villain had become a pervasive, tired theme in every movie plot.

To a young idealist, writing Claude was a prescription for anxiety while two of the world’s most powerful entities postured against one another. Did you know that when faced with adversity some armadillos just curl into a ball? This endearing, passive trait made Claude the ideal arbiter of peace and reason in a world gone mad.

I heard about Claude the Armadillo for the first time around a campfire when I was 8 years old – mouth full of s’mores, and I’ve been looking for him ever since. Claude remains an old friend, a confidant who, as timely as ever, confronts us about the weapons we gather against one another without knowing how we’ll use them or what damage they’ll do”.

3: Witch Fever have a new single, here it is, here we go, no need to mess about, they don’t….

After what the press release says was “a successful 2021 including signing to Sony’s Music For Nations” – not our favourite label ever – “and releasing their debut EP Reincarnate to critical acclaim, Witch Fever return with new single ‘Blessed Be Thy’ which was produced by Pigs x7’s Sam Grant at Blank Studios in Newcastle”.

“Witch Fever are well versed in using religious thematic material to develop their lyricality, and ‘Blessed Be Thy’ sees Amy Walpole tailor language, cadence, and rhythm of a traditional hymn to deliver her own message, “blessed be thy shame / It makes us remember truth / A slow decline, the cursed divine / A place to hang your youth”.

Bassist Alex Thompson says of the track, “it just goes heavy”, as it boasts a crunchy wall of noise akin to bands like Show Me The Body and Gilla Band. Alex adds, “it was literally the last song we wrote before we went into the studio but came together really quickly. I think it still has an essence of some of our older material, so it’s a good way to bridge the gap.” 

Maximum Joy

4: Maximum Joy – it is a classic sound, it very much right there right then – “Seminal post-punk funk band Maximum Joy are set to release a 5-track EP of a selection of tracks recorded in 1982 from two exclusive live studio sessions for BBC radio legends John Peel and Kid Jensen.”

“Newly remastered, corrected and cleaned for the exact tempo and optimum listening experience, the ‘BBC Radio 1 Sessions’ includes the popular tracks ‘Searching for a Feeling’ and ‘Silent Street’ and is set for release on the 6th May via London Field Recordings. “We discovered the existing Radio 1 session ‘tapes’ had suffered and decayed in quality and specifically were all running too slow and not true to the originals. These are restored to the original sound and recording quality,” says Janine Rainforth, Maximum Joy founder and vocalist.

Mixing punk, reggae, funk, jazz and hip-hop grooves with wild improvisation and attitude, Maximum Joy rose up from the fertile Bristol scene of the late 70’s/early 80’s. Fuelled by Thatcherism, inner city race riots and growing protest amongst young and old, Maximum Joy’s songs and melodies were about getting conscious and waking up to life and immediately took their place on the rosters of influential labels like Y and 99. Their one and only album, the Adrian Sherwood-produced ‘Station MXJY’ was released in 1982 with the band disbanding the following year.

“The Kid Jensen session was for daytime play Radio 1. We had huge respect for Kid Jensen – his daytime show was buzzing and influential – it was a shift in direction for Maximum Joy. Listening to that session now I love the energy we bought to it. We were gigging and touring a lot – so we were primed to make this a good one.” The EP also includes two tracks recorded for John Peel. “From the start John Peel took to Maximum Joy and championed us, like he did so many bands and musicians. I had so much respect for him and we’d listened to his late evening Radio 1 show avidly – his wide influence on the music scene was seemingly all pervasive. So being invited to do a John Peel Radio 1 session – and then to do a second within a few months was so exciting – an honour and a joy,” says Rainforth.

And here in 2022, MXMJoY are Janine Rainforth, along with Charlie Llewellin and others.. ‘The ’80s Bristol cult punk band Maximum Joy have reformed and ..we are extremely happy they did. Now going by the name of MXMJOY, the dance band have stayed true to their disco pulse, brass-blasting, vocal ways but built on evolved on their influences …. to remain one of the most intoxicating pop groups around today.”

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5: Lola de la Mata – squeeze them in now, this one is dark kind of less is more – “Lola de la Mata, is a London born French/Spanish composer, curator, artist and musician -violin voice electronics – with a background in weaving and printmaking” – There you go, what more do you need ot know? it does kind of sound like weaving, kind of, the weft of it all…

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“Today SA Recordings announce their upcoming single series The Hearing Experience, a collection of single releases from artists including Lola de la Mata, Astrid Sonne, Canilla and more to come. The project presents sonic works from each artist exploring their relationship with the act of listening. The singles will be released monthly, starting today with lead single ‘KOH – Klee – uh’ from conceptual sound artist Lola de la Mata. The single series will be followed by a live event later on in the year curated by SA Recordings.

Lola de la Mata is the first artist to present their sonic piece for the The Hearing Experience. Her practice encompasses sound art, compositions, workshop leading and multi-dimensional curations. While her background is in weaving, printmaking and Labanotation, her work sits across performance art, installation and sculptural composition which she develops in collaboration with other musicians and dancers who are predominantly female, non-binary and queer. Her musical inspirations come from greats like Eliane Radigue, Holly Herndon and Maryanne Amacher.

‘KOH – Klee – uh’, is from a wider project Lola is working on titled IUH ea(r) air which is based on her experiences with tinnitus, as a non-emitted sound phenomena. Unlike usual sounds which one hears through the ear mechanism, tinnitus is unique to each person and cannot be heard outside of the ear or by anyone else. It can be a symptom from various causes and is widely misunderstood as it has no known cure. The piece was Lola’s first dive back into music after a medical break she had to take due to tinnitus. The wider project, which is still a work in progress, aims to create individual pieces based on different parts of the ear in relation to tinnitus. Like most of Lola’s work, the piece focuses on the human body and stems from weeks of research, creating worlds surrounding the theme before her sonic exploration has even begun. Immersing herself with this particular topic through film, theater, books, scientific papers and publications such as Patrick Farmer’s: Azimuth, the Ecology of an Ear. 

‘KOH – Klee – uh’, is based on the cochlea. She was inspired by the Rhine and Weber’s hearing test method which uses C2 and C4 tuning forks for air and bone conduction when creating the sound. Although incredibly electronic in its sound, ‘Koh – Klee – uh’ is mostly acoustic, featuring the Canna Sanora, the double bass and the medical tuning forks with only a small moment within the track featuring granular synthesis “it was the only thing that could represent the sound of calcium crystals becoming loose which causes the onset of vertigo, I wanted to create a piece that had the same sonic world as my electronic music but was completely acoustic and could be performed live”.

The single features an impressive line up of collaborators with the unusual instrument, the Canna Sanora, being played by renowned percussionist Joby Burgess, whose work can be heard in Black Panther, Rocketman, Ad Astra amongst others, as well as featuring on the score for Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, recorded remotely from his home. Joby enjoys close relationships with a variety of instrument makers and manufacturers, his extensive collection of instruments is featured on Spitfire Audio’s sample library Spitfire Percussion. In addition to this, Marianne Schofield, playing the double bass, is a member of the award-winning contemporary collective Riot Ensemble as well as running critically acclaimed The Hermes Experiment, who’s debut album HERE WE ARE made the Guardian’s top 10 contemporary albums of 2020. 

Drowning out our connection to time, the piercing, rattling and booming sounds of  ‘Koh-Klee-uh; engulf the listener in a dark environment where tinnitus reshapes our hearing, collectively sharing an experience that usually sounds to an audience of one”. More here

5: Melissa Weikart – From Melissa Weikart’s “Here, There” (out May 22, 2022 via Northern Spy Records) “French-American vocalist, pianist, and composer Melissa Weikart today shared her new single “Ocean Song” from her forthcoming album Here, There releasing May 27th, 2022 via Northern Spy Records. The single arrives alongside a Malu França-directed music video”

On the song, Weikart shared the following statement: “I’ve loved the ocean since I was a kid; a lot of my childhood memories are wrapped up in summers spent running between the freezing cold water and the scorching sand, trying to catch the tallest waves and getting lost in the meditation of the back and forth. Ocean song is a lullaby of reckoning, a return to the self when all the excess is washed away, and it is also a desire to live that journey consumed by somebody else, in hindsight, the act of free falling without a safety net mistaken for deep intimacy.”

On the video, she adds: “The music video was filmed in the beautiful calanques of Marseille, a landscape that inspires no less than awe, the feeling of being confronted by forces beyond your control. Cold and windy in January, but also piercingly bright and sunny. The video balances a playful lightness and dark introspection, which to me are the driving forces of songwriting. A toy piano, a miniature doll, vast horizons, and tall rock formations are among the cast of supporting characters, coming together to create an abstract narrative that is more evocative than plot-driven, leaving much of the interpretation in the hands of the listener and viewer.”

More here should you need it, or here via Bandcamp where you can currently hear a couple more songs from the forthcoming album

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5: And while we’re here, one more, some Sun’s Signature in the form of Golden Air, Sun’s Signature is Elisabeth Fraser’s project if that’s the right term, Elisabeth Fraise of Cocteau Twins fame of course. Golden Air is taken from the new EP, Sun’s Signature, out 18th June on Partisan Records

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