Milton Star

Hailing from Fife in Scotland comes the brooding-rock duo of Alan Wyllie and Graeme Currie who form Milton Star.

Milton Star - Brooding -rock from Scotland

Milton Star

As regular readers know, I do have a predilection towards deep notes and there is absolutely no chance I could avoid asking you to spend some time with a rich baritone vocal, add to which a morose funereal procession of purple velvet oppressive cloud encircles the room, Milton Star is an out-fit I highly recommend taking time to get to know.

Summoning images of crimson welts dripping blood, Milton Star is not to be taken with a razor-blade to hand as the luxuriant sounds encase the mind in a beautiful sadness that draws illimitable inconsolable perspectives from the darkest recesses of the mind. I am led to Leonard Cohen as Milton Star circulate with their reflections.

The compositions contains textures which belies only two players as Milton Star combine intense melodic formulations with a continual flow of under-current, which gives the sounds a depth of exploration that most multi-player line-ups fail to deliver. The duo are experienced musicians who have used their knowledge to form an entity which is able to afford the audience an emotionally complex journey of discovery.

How the pieces would transpose to live performance is another story all together, as Milton Star deploy various instruments and techniques to produce their luxuriant recordings.


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Los Trasgos Muertos

Los Trasgos Muertos from Manchester, England, is the alt-rock trio of Captain Reed (Bass / Vocals / Organ), Von Beek (Guitar / Vocals) and Il Fleishe (Drums).

Los Trasgos Muertos - alt-rock from England

Los Trasgos Muertos

Musical acceptance changes as decades past and while at the zenith of Hawkwind I lived for three chords, I can look back and enjoy what I then disliked and you are wondering what that has to do with Los Trasgos Muertos…. Combining the Mr. Kilmister of Hawkwind with the Mr. Kilmister of Motörhead I find myself in the fusion of what may have been and what a great space this is to languish inside.

Relatively newly formed after knowing each other for many years, the trio decided to join their musical experiences into the unit of Los Trasgos Muertos and the world is a better place for it.

Guitars swoop around the room like lost clouds, harrying percussion gathers up the trailing whisps as a ferocious bass crashes against the wall, whilst scantily dressed keys allow the band to change pace and refractions at will. Bringing it all together is a vocal that joins up the seemingly disparate pieces of the jig-saw and it all works well.

Having had the opportunity to run through their nine month catalogue of music the sharp shift, from rock-a-billy, to their latest pieces is pronounced, though welcome as in their current focus Los Trasgos Muertos are able to mark out territory for themselves as a relevant sound for the ’10s.

Most recently an eponymous EP , which is set for release on the 2nd February, which draws on the expressive compositions thus far composed and marks a fine release worth spending time with to get to know Los Trasgos Muertos.


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Los Bélmez

Los Bélmez an alt-rock quartet based in Palma de Mallorca on the Balearic Islands of Spain comprises of – Carlos (Bass / Keys), Ginés (Drums), Alberto (Guitar) and Johnny (Vocal).

Los Bélmez - alt-rock from Spain

Los Bélmez

Switching between acoustic and electric guitar allows Los Bélmez to inject their music widely, from garage rock fuzziness to psychedelia and the sparsely played keys are used to add a twist of the Wurlitzer where appropriate.

Formed a couple of years ago Los Bélmez write songs which reflect of the surrounding area with material seeking to describe traditions, superstitions and life in Spain from the perspective of those who don’t feel they fit into the mould. This gives the out-put something of an ethereal feel, to which the quartet are able to inject well defined structures that keep the tracks from evolving into lengthy dreamscapes.

Having established a live performance following a début LP Españoladas came out earlier this year and there are plans for a follow-up in the near future – Centinela de Occidente.

Los Bélmez have chosen a path which gives them clear space, whilst also not verging off to the obscure, allowing them the opportunity to find an audience across a wide berth of interest.

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Hugo Kensdale & Band

Based around the thoughts of Hugo Kensdale – Hugo Kensdale & Band based in Manchester in England – is an agit-folk-rock collective.

Hugo Kensdale & Band - agit-folk-rock from England

Hugo Kensdale & Band

Slowly turning across the room are sounds that remind me of The Kinks, wrapped in a Café in Marseilles surrounded by drifts of morose contemplatives as Hugo Kensdale & Band consider the world of discordance.

Equally able to shift between unplugged acoustics to full blown brass, keys and strings Hugo Kensdale & Band is able to extract the nuances of reflective that reverberate of a world in turmoil. The easy flowing compositions ease their way across the ears, leaving trails of blood as the songs contemplate on social and personal tumult.

Many dismiss anything touching folk as something of no relevance, they are ignoring the most important lyric writers and agitators in music over many decades and whilst this may sit outside the comfort zone of a Friday night party, to ignore Hugo Kensdale & Band is to miss some of the most relevant contemplatives of the current reality.

Whilst I don’t expect you will turn on the radio or television to find Hugo Kensdale & Band lighting up your ears, were there justice in the world – you would and my personal thanks for exploring the avenues excavated.


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Summon The Octopi

Summon The Octopi is the experimental musician Marc Vogler from Berlin in Germany.

Summon The Octopi - Experimentalism from Germany

Summon The Octopi

For those of longer memory and a passing interest in football, you will recall the Octopus ‘Paul’ in Oberhausen who predicted World Cup results throughout the 2010 championships and here we find the roots of Summon The Octopi, not only in name derivation, but a smartly played allegory as Marc delves one hand after the other into the music box and finds strands which hang, like seaweed drifting in the tides, in obtuse angles of mesmeric curls.

Drifting between undertows of powerful current lay lighter streams, as, Summon The Octopi keeps the mind engaged with an ever shifting seascape of conflicting instrumentation. Yet… inside all of the confabulation lays a seam of continuity and it is well worth setting time aside to investigate.

Reflectivity of ’70s rock anthems coexist with the chaos of three chord wonders and interspersing sit nuances of folk, giving Summon The Octopi the ability to turn the mind inside out -akin to taking off a protective glove.

This is music to take in large draughts as the more you explore, the more you will be enthralled.

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Nonversations – EP – Summon the Octopi is available on iTunes.*

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