V/A – RED FLAG

20170526_224809.jpg

Conceived a little under a week ago, RED FLAG is a compilation of experimental and electronic music put together to raise funds for the Labour Party election fund in the final weeks of the 2017 General Election. Shortly after we started pulling it together, the Manchester bombing happened, so we’ve decided to split the money raised down the middle – half to Labour, half to the We Stand Together Manchester fund.

A full 90 minutes of music: archival interludes from veteran Blackpool noise punks Ceramic Hobs; hauntologic electro from Patterned Air’s Lo Five and our own Polypores; intense psych from Locean; Giallo soundtracks from Repeated Viewing; fractured techno from Sacred Tapes’ Carriers; recently unearthed early 80s industrial electro-pop from Karen Novotny X; lush ambience from Field Lines Cartographer; minimalist solo piano from William Thompson; cut up and warped sound art from Tse Tse Fly Middle East’s Simon Coates, and so much more besides… 21 tracks, for a fiver.

Go to Bandcamp and get a copy right now.

All the artists have given their music free of charge, and the cassettes have been donated by Concrète Tapes, so all the cash raised will go directly towards helping in the final push to kick out the Tories, and towards helping the families of those killed in the bombing (minus fees charged by bandcamp & paypal, and postage). As time is short, we’ll be transferring money daily where possible until the election (or until it stops selling…).

After the election, anything else raised will go to the Manchester fund. Check the tag #cassettes4corbyn on twitter to keep up with how much has been raised.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the quality and volume of music that’s been submitted – so much that there isn’t room on the tape for everything we received – so apologies if you’ve sent us a track and it doesn’t feature.

(We also advocate getting involved with canvassing or phonebanking in your nearest marginal over the next few weeks – it’s actually quite good fun…)

20170526_230256

St James Infirmary: A Heap of Broken Images

20170526_075723.jpg

St James Infirmary is (mostly) Northumbrian polymath G.W Lang: new album A Heap of Broken Images sees the 30-odd year old project at it’s most psychedelic and expansive.

One minute dancing round a fire with an acid-fried celtic sex cult, the next sat at the bar at 3am in a smoke-filled jazz club, via some marvelously sideways pop songs: Lang doesn’t stay still in one form for the whole 45 minutes, with only a keen ear for melody and offbeat instrumentation holding the ship together.

Available on a limited run of 30 clear cassettes with hand-printed wraparound sleeve and labels  (and on MP3) from bandcamp – the cassette also features a bonus tune that won’t be available on any other format.

——————————————————————————

St James Infirmary, of Ashington, Northumberland, was formed in 1985 as the vehicle for singer, songwriter and multi- instrumentalist G.W.Lang and has been continuously active ever since. G.W.L. is assisted in his work by an evolving and rotating cast of bandmates, and at last count, SJI has had something in the region of 50 members.

“It was the best of bands, it was the worst of bands, it was the band of wisdom, it was the band of foolishness, it was the band of belief, it was the band of incredulity, it was the band of Light, it was the band of Darkness! Bliss it was at that concert to be alive, but to be drunk was very heaven!
Charles Dickens: A Tale Of St. James Infirmary (1859)

Polypores: Blooms / Mire

20170525_235144

New from Polypores: two variations on a theme, long-form sprawling kosmische jams full of bubbling arpeggios and mournful synths: think Ash-Ra filtered through a mid-90s post rave comedown. Totally essential, and available on baby blue tape shell with hand printed sleeves and all that.

Listen and buy right here.

Election Fundraising Compilation – Callout

We’ve got a load of 90 minute tapes lying about doing nothing, and an election in a few weeks that we’d like to help the Labour Party win – so we’re going to do a quick compilation, all proceeds to the Labour Party election fighting fund.

We’ll chuck in the tapes and duplication, and design a cover… so we just need some music: if you’re up for it, please send your (previously unreleased) tracks – ideally around 5 mins – to concretepreston@gmail.com  in some sort of lossless format. Please also include some details about yourself, your music etc.

All proceeds (apart from postage costs) to the Labour Party election fund. As time is short we’ll transfer the day’s takings every evening – and we’ll update twitter with the amount so you can see how it’s going.

Please let anyone you know who might be interested – the more the merrier. Also if you have any 90 minute tapes lying about not being used and would like to donate them so we can extend the tape run, please get in touch.

Assuming we get enough people interested in contributing, deadline is midnight on Wednesday 24th – we’ll release it by midnight Thursday 25th.

Cheers – and please share.

UPDATE: Following last night’s tragedy in Manchester, we’re going to send half the proceeds to the We Stand Together Manchester fund.

Gnod: Live at Concrète / AYN SOF: Gong Gallery

20170509_222523.jpg

Salford’s Gnod are riding a wave right now: recently celebrating a decade of ecstatic, ever changing live shows and constant releases, their latest album JUST SAY NO TO THE PSYCHO RIGHT​-​WING CAPITALIST FASCIST INDUSTRIAL DEATH MACHINE has been hailed everywhere as a career highlight: and the current tour in support has been earning similar plaudits.

So we’re honoured that the latest releases on Concrète Tapes are both from the Gnod stable: a recording of Gnod’s recent live electronic set at the Concrète stage at Vernal Equinox; and a set of acoustic gong drones from Gnod mainstay Paddy Shine.

Taking in treated sitar, mind-warping bass frequencies, feedback and rave hoovers, Gnod: Live at Concrète captures one of the band’s rare improvised electronic sets: uncompromising and heavy as fuck. We’re sure you’ll love it.

The initial release is 50 copies on a racing green cassette shell, with a hand printed insert, made to a design by James Kitchingman. Half of the run will be available from us, and the other half will be going on tour with Gnod, and can be picked up at their shows.

The AYN SOF tape, Gong Gallery is a much more subdued affair, being a longform acoustic drone piece created using four gongs and the unique acoustics of the Islington Mill gallery space – the ideal way to come down from the tense & heavy effects of the Gnod tape, we think…

Again, the initial release is 50 copies split between us and the Gnod merch stall, this time on a red shell. Prints etc as before.

Both tapes are available from our bandcamp to pre-order, shipping at the weekend.

https://concretetapes.bandcamp.com/album/gnod-live-at-concrete

https://concretetapes.bandcamp.com/album/ayn-sof-gong-gallery

Thurs 18th May – Qujaku / Locean / Lorentzian

qujaku 3

Qujaku are a heavy psychedelic four-piece from Shizouka in Japan: much admired in Japan for the intensity of their live shows, they’re now ready to conquer the UK. Think heavy, noisy psychedelic garage rock with fuzzed up post-rock/shoegaze edges and you’re touching on their live sound. They’ve got a packed itinerary while they’re in the UK, clocking up appearances at Raw Power & Fatout festivals as well as an extensive tour.

LOCEAN 
We’ve been desperate to put on Manchester’s Locean for months – their overwhelming psych/noise/spoken word shows are always something to behold. Featuring Neil from Terminal Cheesecake & Gnod and a righteous rhythm section, ruled over by captivating frontwoman Lauren Bolger, we can guarantee you will love their support slot. It’s a mystery that Locean aren’t massive: they probably will be soon.
LORENTZIAN
Kicking off the night will be Preston based electronica producer Lorentzian – previous shows have featured pummelling, Autechre-like beats and synth, or soothing ambience – we aren’t sure which we’ll get tonight, but we can be sure it’ll be great. Get down early.
Doors at 8, £5 in.
Advance tickets from Skiddle, SEE Tickets, WeGotTickets
Also in person from Continental bar (01772 499 425) & Action Records (01772 884 772)  

21st April at The Ferret: Horse Lords, Cloud Becomes Her Hand, Polypores

Horselords

We’re teaming up again with Tuff Life Boogie, this time for a last minute booking with two castaways from the recently cancelled Safe As Milk festival, and our very own Polypores. This is going to be so good, do not miss it. Facebook event is here.


Last minute show with two ground-breaking American acts that were due to play the sadly- cancelled Safe As Milk festival, Horse Lords and Cloud Becomes Your Hand plus support from Preston synth auteur Polypores. Both strain at the edges of a thrillingly unquantifiable number of genres in a trance-inducing mash of prepared tuning and polyrhythms that absolutely has to be experienced live. Basically anyone who’s ever dug Philip Glass, Steve Reich or any sort of Velvets/Beefheart/techno drone wig-out should get down to this show, a not-to-be-missed opportunity to catch some mind-blowing avant garde noise in Preston!

Advance tickets: £6 here http://www.wegottickets.com/event/397015

Horse Lords

Baltimore quartet Horse Lords blew minds with their first two releases of repetitious polyrhythmic rock, but those now seem like they were priming ears for their powerful and hypnotic new album, Interventions. Using modified instruments and just intonation tuning, Andrew Bernstein (saxophone/percussion), Max Eilbacher (bass/electronics), Owen Gardner (guitar), and Sam Haberman (drums) have produced a bold instrumental rock suite. The band’s Northern Spy debut is also the first Horse Lords album to explore the classic studio-as-weaponry strategies of yore, mapping the quartet’s raw Baltimore lightning onto the experimental musique concrète territory surveyed by elder heads like Faust and This Heat.

The guitars are sharp but never shrill, the saxophone strong but not skronk. There’s a hint of West African rhythms and a few detours into electronic noise, but mostly Horse Lords come off like the house band at a Terry Riley loft party. They’ve won rave reviews for their albums and especially their live performances, the two drummer lineup holding down a groove longer than most audience members can keep dancing. Mark E. Smith said “Repetition in the music and we’re never gonna lose it,” but he could never have imagined how far Horse Lords would take that mantra.

https://horselords.bandcamp.com/
http://horselords.tumblr.com/

Cloud Becomes Your Hand

The Brooklyn based sextet Cloud Becomes Your Hand, led by multi-instrumentalist and composer Stephe (pronounced ‘Steve’) Cooper, took their name from a stage direction from a “theatrical stage experiment” performance project devised by Cooper and MIDI-triggered MalletKat percussionist Sam Sowyrda. Theatrical is also a good description of their music, which spans Canterbury psych and the angular agitation of Oingo Boingo and early Devo. However, the group’s Bandcamp page prefers such labels as “avant prog bumping insect rock ’n’ roll”, “glowing dino” and “snail lick”, which is probably the lite version of licking hallucinogenic toads.
After a few home recordings in the early 2010s, they signed to Northern Spy, the label that is also home to Baltimore’s equally chaotic Horse Lords, and Rest In Fleas is their second full-length release for the label, following 2014’s Rocks Or Cakes. While they may look like deranged children’s television presenters-escapees from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, perhaps – and their surreal animated videos could easily pass for interstitial segments on that show, the Cloud Becomes Your Hand project blends psychedelic whimsy with grown-up seriousness and melancholy, especially on the album’s closing ballad “Made Of Teak”.

https://cloudbecomesyourhand.bandcamp.com/
http://cloudbecomesyourhand.com/

Polypores

Polypores, aka Stephen James Buckley, is based in a tiny home studio in Preston, and makes haunted space music using an ever-expanding mound of synthesizers, samplers, and old tape recorders. Bleak, icy drones give way to 1970’s Sci-Fi synth lines, throbbing bass rumbles ominously beneath a psychedelic haze of wistful melody and disembodied voices
Polypores’ first physical release, “A Shunned Place” combined Carpenter-esque synths with slo-mo electronica and Radiophonic tape weirdness, and was released on Concréte Tapes in October 2015. 2016 saw his first vinyl release,”The Fialka Transmissions” on Polytechnic Youth Records, which sold out all 300 copies in a week. He has self released a number of EP’s and albums digitally, and regularly contributes to compilations on boutique label A Year In The Country. In late 2016 his “Timeholes” CD sold out within a couple of hours.
In early 2017 the “Wastes” EP was released on Concréte Tapes, and will be followed by 2 more albums on vinyl for Polytechnic Youth later in the year. He is also working on soundtracks for 3 films, and numerous other side projects.
https://www.facebook.com/polypores/