Category Archives: Today I Stumbled upon

Paper Fishes: All Your Lives Are Dreams Played Inside My Head

One of the beautiful things about being involved in Irregular Patterns is watching bands/artists grow both in confidence and creatively. If you like a bit of REM you should enjoy this one. Paper Fishes wearing their influences on their sleeve with pride. The 2nd single from their forthcoming LP Instant Happiness, All Your Lives Are Dreams Played Inside My Head.

Paper Fishes: Borrowed Time

When helping to set up the label Irregular Patterns, along with exploring the more challenging aspects of music genres, I (for my part) wanted to find a home for the classic rock song. Those carefully crafted songs from bands such as early R.E.M, dare I say early Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, as well as Tom Waits, etc.

Songs, which are not over not produced, still rough around the edges and don’t layer guitars over guitars for no good reason. An artist prepared to explore the fragility of human life, along with its beauty and absurdity. The journey led me to Andre Levy and his band Paper Fishes.

Borrowed Time is taken from the forthcoming album, Instant Happiness, which is neither instant nor happy. The album, which I have been lucky to hear prior to release welds together tales of humanity and family tensions, set in a Damien Jurado-like love of Americana, lo-fi rock, folk and barroom ballads.

The death of Levy’s father and their strained relationship casts a long shadow over the album. The tracks ebb and flow across musical genres with little attempt to hide the scars and resentments between father and son, or the regrets and disillusionment of Levy and his brothers. This is all brutally exposed on their ironically titled debut LP. The album pulls no punches from the opening track Vanishing Point to the finale Borrowed Time.

Felix Jupiter: SP1

One of those artists that are hard to define. One moment it’s a ballad to a lost friend, next it’s an ethereal sound painting. Felix Jupiter effortlessly combines non linearity alongside classic folk structure to produce an ad hoc fluid blend of psychedelic soundscapes. His music carries you through a web of sounds sometimes separate, but never far away, drawing you into his world and before you know where you are you’re captured.

Eszen: Still Here//Still There

The second artist released on the Irregular Patterns label is a near 10 minute psychedelic mind bending number by their resident noise merchant Eszen. Strap yourself in and take the trip.

13aX: Unquietly

The second instalment of the 13aX journey on Irregular Patterns. This track is called Unquietly. Loaded with chill out vibes and the continual search for a lost soul.

Today I stumbled upon: Slumb Party

There is something quite refreshing about Slumb Party, although plenty of the old tricks can be found in their production. Influences from bands such as XTC and Gang of $ are plain to see in their DNA, but their own identity is not lost in the mix. This is a really, really good album and I feel we may hear more of Slumb Party once the 6 Music sent picks them up.

Today I stumbled upon: Kosmischer Läufer

Sometimes you’ve just got to acknowledge you are late getting to a party. The Secret Cosmic Music of the East German Olympic Program 1972 – 83 is just an excellent concept and most importantly backed up with some truly exhilarating music. The narrative goes, “for the first time since it was recorded in East Berlin over 30 years ago, the music of Martin Zeichnete can finally be heard. A disciple of the Kosmische Muzik of the likes of Kraftwerk, Can and Neu! that was drifting across the Wall from the West, Martin’s idea of using the motorik, hypnotic beat of krautrock in the training of athletes was taken and exploited by the DDR’s Olympic Committee.” 

My introduction, I have several memories that are managed over the years to blend together into a romantic melting pot of musical discovery. It is difficult to separate truth from fiction now, but the timing is pretty much self-evident. I know it was during a period of school exams, so I’m guessing it was around 1976 when my ears first discovered what I would get to know as Krautrock. That genre of experimental music, which had emerged in Germany in the late 1960s drawing influence from psychedelic rock, the avant-garde, electronic music, funk, minimalism, jazz improvisation, and world music styles.

I know some of the punk bands I was starting to listen too had referenced the likes of Kraftwerk, Neu and Can. My music teacher, Mr Bell had given me a copy of one of Kraftwerk’s early albums, which I still have to this day. Maybe, I’d subconsciously developed a liking for Krautrock as I listened to John Peel show on my radio while preparing for exams.

How my admiration for Krautrock developed I guess I will leave to my fond memories, no matter how clouded they increasingly become. Today, I’m happy to just stay behind the illusion of the Secret Cosmic Music of the East German Olympic Program 1972 – 83. I did start to do some research, but you know what? As we continue to consume ourselves a little piece of escapism, which transports us back in time to a period where things seemed a little bit simpler, black and white, may not be an altogether bad thing now and again.