Saturday, 31 December 2016

Out Here In The Fields 4

Out Here In The Fields is pleased to be presenting its fourth volume. Sit back and prepare to lose your mind in another mix of rocking feedback, art rock noise, slick grooves, elvish keyboards, orchestral twists, and black thrash-doom gothic metal.

from 'Psychocandy', 1985
from 'Sound Of Speed EP', 1993
03 BLUE CHEER Parchment Farm
from 'Vincebus Eruptum', 1968
from 'The Velvet Underground & Nico', 1967
05 THE DOORS Touch Me
from 'The Soft Parade', 1969
06 T.REX The Slider
from 'The Slider', 1972
07 T.REX Summer Deep
from 'T.Rex', 1970
08 BO HANSSON Fog On The Barrow Downs
from 'The Lord Of The Rings', 1970
09 THE SHAMEN Possible Worlds
from En-Tact, 1990
10 BO HANSSON Lothlorien
from 'The Lord Of The Rings', 1970
11 MOONDOG Witch Of Endor
from 'Moondog', 1969
from 'Cervin', 2014
13 KING GOAT Melian's Trance
from 'King Goat EP', 2014
14 VAMPYRSGARD Black Coffin
from 'Phantom Der Nacht', 2015


Saturday, 12 November 2016

Out Here In The Fields 3

Come with us now on a journey through time and space, as Out Here In The Fields celebrates its third edition with a triple album freakout that journeys from classic rock through psychedelia, ska, rave, ambient, folk, prog, heavy psych, black metal, industrial and back again. It's divided into three phases of roughly an hour each, but works just as well as a continuous three hour blast. Come with me now...

Phase 1
01 SMALL FACES Autumn Stone
from 'The Autumn Stone', 1969
02 PINK FLOYD Goodbye Blue Sky
from 'The Wall', 1979
from 'Trout Mask Replica', 1969
from 'Sing Brother Sing', 1970
05 THE CURE Killing An Arab
from 'Boys Don't Cry', 1980
from 'Axis: Bold As Love', 1967
07 THE WHITE STRIPES Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine
from 'Elephant', 2003
released as a single in 1969
09 JULIAN COPE Dragonfly
from 'Love L.U.V. (Beautiful Love)' 12", 1991
10 CUBIC 22 Night In Motion
released as a single in 1991
11 ACEN Trip II The Moon (The Darkside)
released as a single in 1992
12 CYPRESS HILL Insane In The Brain
from 'Black Sunday', 1993
13 EEK-A-MOUSE Ganja Smuggling
from 'Wa-Do-Dem', 1981
14 LENE LOVICH Bird Song
from 'Flex', 1979
from 'Red Mecca', 1981

Phase 2
01 THE ORB Spanish Castles In Space
from 'The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld', 1991
02 ROY HARPER In The Time Of Water
from 'Folkjolkopus', 1969
03 BRIAN ENO Under Stars
from 'Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks', 1983
04 ELEKTRIKTUS Second Wave
from 'Electronic Mind Waves', 1976
05 ADAMSKI Killer
from 'Doctor Adamski's Musical Pharmacy', 1990
06 ALEX HARVEY Roman Wall Blues
from 'Roman Wall Blues', 1969
07 JERUSALEM Primitive Man
from 'Jerusalem', 1972
from 'The Power Of The Picts', 1969
09 SHIVER Repent Walpurgis
from 'Walpurgis', 1969
10 FOTHERINGAY Winter Winds
from 'Fotheringay', 1970
11 BRIAN McNEILL To Answer The Peacock
from 'To Answer The Peacock', 2012
12 OBERON Minas Tirith
from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 1971

Phase 3
01 SMALL FACES Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire
from 'Small Faces', 1967
from 'Creation', 1967
03 THE HUMAN BEAST Reality Presented As An Alternative
from 'Volume One', 1970
04 BEGGARS OPERA Passacaglia
from 'Act One', 1970
05 DRAGONWYCK Fire Climbs
from 'Dragonwyck', 1970
06 THE MONOCHROME SET Eine Symphonie Des Grauens
released as a single in 1979
07 ORDER OF TEPES Wallachian Throne
from 'Kazikli Voyvoda', 2010
from 'Black Shoals EP', 2014
09 STRIBORG The Cold Slumber That Awaits Me
from 'Embittered Darkness/Isles De Morts', 2006
10 BLOOD AXIS Between Birds Of Prey
from 'The Gospel Of Inhumanity', 1996
11 OSAMU KITAJIMA The Three Orders
from 'Behind The Light', 1992
12 EAGLES One Of These Nights
from 'One Of These Nights', 1975

MP3 @ 256vkbs

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Out Here In The Fields 2

As the Scottish weather turns fierce and grey we are happy to present our second volume:

01 ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF Mountains Crave
from 'Ceremony' (2013)
Sweden's Anna Von Hausswolff of the booming voice, shades of Nico's "sombre, death's-head voice" from an unlikely blonde exterior, crying into the void of the fall of mountains, floods, and the limits of human knowledge. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and Anna, amen.

02 SHORA Parhelion
from 'Malval' (2005)
I had this track many years ago as an mp3, in the days when you could go onto record label websites and they would offer such single-track samples for free, a world long since taken over by streaming. The benefit of download versus streaming was that you could take it away, listen to it while out in the world in more suited environments. Hypnotic, exacting, restless, but what IS it precisely? Mathcore was the popular label at the time, reflecting the delicate precision strands of its makeup, actually far more fitting here than the music the genre label encompasses. 'Darkly epic instrumental post-rock' suggests another, and they are generally across the internet as a post-rock band. Does it matter what it is? Greatness is greatness.

03 BLUR Blue Jeans
from 'Modern Life Is Rubbish' (1993)
The songs chosen for these compilations are often reflective of my life at the time, and the songs often suggest themselves from external factors. I'm heading down to London next month and asked a friend if he had ideas for what to see, one of which was antique shops on Portobello Road, to which I immediately quoted "Air cushioned soles, I bought them on the Portobello Road on a Saturday...". Then the song has an association with a moment, a point in life, an internal reference point that could never be truly understood externally. But don't worry friends, it's enough for you to enjoy the music, that is the point after all.

from 'Rubber Soul' (1965)
Rock and roll is a young man's game. All those fresh unwrinkled faces, all those washed up and out of ideas long before 40. Rock needs the energy of youth to carry it. 'Rubber Soul' heralded a new era of The Beatles, a greater maturity and sophistication besides being only their second composition of all original material. Still it was music written by young men, John Lennon being only 25 at the time, which makes the nostalgia and reflection of 'In My Life' all the more remarkable. It would be easy to fall short, to show up artifice and falsehood, but as a man now 35 I can confirm that its resonance only increases with each passing year. How inspired too, to include a harpsichord solo as the centrepiece, practically inventing the baroque pop label in the process.

05 DION Runaround Sue
from 7" single (1961)
One of many rock and roll era compositions that is simply glorious, this song's reference point in my life is rather more prosaic. One of our kittens, now old enough to go to a home of its own, was adopted by my work colleague, Sue. As she has no car I had to run her all the way out over the hills t my home and back again with her new kitten. I had to run Sue around.

06 JULIAN BREAM Cantos De EspaƱa - Cordoba
from 'Spanish Guitar Recital' (1983)
I have recently had the great joy of reading Laurie Lee's classic 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning'. It has occupied many of my thoughts and its influence will appear and reappear all throughout this song selection. Here we have the great Julian Bream carefully picking out pairs of notes and giving them such beautiful resonance, with flurries of rhythm from the dark, brooding heart of Andalucia.

07 HAROLD WIGHTMAN Address To The Toothache
from 'A Recorded Anthology Of Scots Verse Part One' (1964)
While on holiday on the Isle of Mull I uncovered this gem of a record in the Craignure charity shop. As chance would have it, at the same time my wisdom tooth pain gradually increased and became so great that it necessitated a visit to the Mull A&E and a prescription of antibiotics and codeine. The sentiments of Burns I can well relate to, and the delivery halfway between anger and self-pity is pitched just perfectly. The recital is immediately followed by a few bars from 'The Deil Amang The Tailors', one of my favourite Scottish tunes. The record itself was a little scratchy; I've done what I can with the digital transfer.

from 'Dead Seas' (2010)
Head Of Wantastiquet is the beautifully impenetrable pseudonym of Belgian-based American Paul LaBrecque. I've heard various allusions and claims to such a thing as acoustic death metal in the past from various sources, some of it with foundation and some not. Could this be acoustic black metal? Discogs suggests it as experimental psychedelic rock. That's the beauty of many of these one-man projects, you can throw labels like neo-folk or drone and combine them here, there and everywhere and yet never come close to truly capturing the singular and unique vision of a single mind and its myriad influences.

09 AHAB Like Red Foam (The Great Storm)
from 'The Boats Of The Glen Carrig' (2015)
Ahab are one of my favourite bands. I first came to love them with the release of 'The Call Of The Wretched Sea', an album which is now 10 years old... how time flies. From their initial forays of Moby Dick themed funeral doom (tagged nautical funeral doom by the band themselves) they have expanded over the years to incorporate little shades of My Dying Bride or Opeth while retaining their own very unique vision. Aboard the ferry to Mull the seas were a little rough and the boat rocked from side to side. Some people sat nervously, some staggered around looking ill, I kept my footing as best I could with a huge smile on my face. At night on the bed of the Craignure Inn I lay back and listened to 'The Boats Of The Glen Carrig' on headphones, my head and heart back out on the Sound Of Mull.

10 JACKAL How The Time Has Flown
from 'Awake' (1973)
How times flies indeed, and How The Time Has Flown. A little piece of Canadian heavy psych. If we're going to be friends here you will come to realise that I love a bit of rock organ. 1973 seems a little late for this kind of album to be coming out, but it appears this could have been actually recorded anywhere as far back as 1971, with its composition dating into the previous decade. Sometimes things just take a while to come to fruition.

11 THE CLASH Spanish Bombs
from 'London Calling' (1979)
London is indeed calling once more, but it's Laurie Lee that brings this song of the Spanish Civil War into mind and onto repeat play. It's rock music as a true artform that has greater cultural reach, influence and validity than your average disposable pop song.

from 'Know Your Enemy' (2001)
Another page from the Spanish-Civil-War-In-Rock-Music dictionary. 'Know Your Enemy' was the last stand of the Manics, the greatness of the first three albums followed by the indie-fication and stadium sizing of 'Everything Must Go' and the caught-in-the-OK-Computer-aftermath 'This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours'. 'This Is My Truth...' threatened to drop the bottom out of the group at times as they began to sound stretched and a little bland. 'Know Your Enemy' brought them thundering back, although it contained some misfires Nicky Wire still had enough political fury and intellectual barbs to recapture something of that punk spike of the early days. The next album, 'Lifesblood', and everything subsequent I would rather pretend doesn't exist. The Manics died in 2001, and there is nothing you can say or do to convince me otherwise.

from 'Source Tags & Codes' (2002)
'Indie' can be something of a four-letter word in my world, but this has just the right pitch of noise chaos with great flat-expressive Roddy Woomble-ish vocals. It was a London-based friend who introduced me to what had until then been just a name in the back of my memory, but its timing here doesn't relate to that; it just happened to be an album I listened to while on holiday, because it was next on the playlist queue.

14 GUNS N' ROSES Double Talkin' Jive
Let us finish in the most appropriate way possible, with a bit of Slash playing Spanish guitar to fade us out to thoughts of Laurie Lee. Until next time, friends...

Here at 256kbs 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Out Here In The Fields 1

Fresh from the golden glowing days at the change of summer into autumn, Out Here In The Fields is happy to present its first volume.

01 THE WHO Baba O'Reilly
from 'Who's Next', 1971
It wouldn't really do to begin the series with anything else. I'm not a massive Who fan, but there's no denying 'Who's Next's twin monster bookends of  'Baba O'Reilly' and 'Won't Get Fooled Again'. Why not a massive fan? It's Townshend, basically. Daltrey, fine. He's up there, legendary swagger, swinging his mic around. Moon, fine. Prototype manic drummer. Entwhistle, fine. Not the coolest, but has the sense to keep himself out of the way most of the time. But then there's Townshend. Granted, he established many of the standard rock guitarist moves, the problem is that he's so deeply uncool, always has been. Listen to his interview on the extras for The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus where he talks about Marianne Faithfull for evidence of how he and Mick Jagger are on different planets. Then watch pretty much any Who live performance ever given. The moves should be great but with his terrible clothes and awful beard it ends up looking like someone's dad has gotten up onstage at your wedding and is embarassing himself and everyone else.

02 IKARA COLT Wasteground
from 'Modern Apprentice', 2004
Ikara Colt were a London art-rock band from the first years of the 21st century. This track is from their second and final album, 'Modern Apprentice'. Presented in cd form without a jewel case in concept packaging of a file-o-fax, I got this album on the strength of hearing album closer 'Automatic'. This track from mid-album finds the Colts channeling their inner New York art-punks to glorious effect.

03 DR FEELGOOD Back In The Night
from 'Malpractice', 1975
When I was but a young lad, 'pub rock' was the ultimate insult. It meant the kind of band formed by your co-worker in the accounts department to facilitate his love of Queen, coming soon to a Miners Welfare near you, so long as you lived in West Lothian. As a result I avoided bands like Eddie & The Hot Rods and Dr Feelgood for many years. It was only after seeing a punk documentary on tv that I realised the very different origins of the term in the mid 70s, its effect on the movement that would become punk, and just what I had been missing for those years. 'Back In The Night' is chosen because here in Scotland in late September the nights are fair drawing in and I increasingly find myself driving home in the dark in the evenings.

from '...rriot!', 2004
I've always been partial to a bit of riot grrl. Probably it dates back to my first proper gig as a teenager, Llama Farmers and short-lived lesbian rockers Twist at The Venue in Edinburgh, sadly departed. Memories of buying shitty acid in the toilets, tucking it away in my shirt pocket for later when the friend I planned on offering a share revealed his father was Chief Of Police, and then finding same shirt had been put through the laundry by my mum next morning. But I digress, friends. Bitch Alert are some grrls from Finland. And a guy, which doesn't really fit but at least he keeps mostly out of the way. 

05 ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE Streets Of London
from 'We Are The League', 1982
This is one of over 200 cover versions of Ralph McTell's 'Streets Of London', but this is my favourite. It was the first single for the League, who are actually from Royal Tunbridge Wells. They once made #88 in the UK albums chart with their 'Live In Yugoslavia' release.

06 999 Homicide
from 'Separates', 1978
For some reason I originally thought 999 were American, and that they must have chosen the name because to an American the British number for the emergency services would seem more exotic than their native 911. I even had a quip prepared about how the reverse was done by British boy band 911 to considerably less effect many years later. But no, they have to turn out to be from London all along and ruin everything. I avoided this album for a while because of that painful yellow and grey outfit on the cover; I mean to look at them you'd think these guys have to be shit. But they are most definitely not. I had this playing on my walk to work the other day, and that wailing guitar solo had lifted me so far up to heaven that I actually stood outside the office door until it had finished, just waiting and smiling like an idiot.

from 'Flaunt It', 1986
I'm kind of fascinated with Sigue Sigue Sputnik. They're a band that literally could not have existed at any other point in musical history. You've got the punk/new wave attitude mixed with the new electronic realities of the mid 80s, critiques of Reagan/Thatcher consumerism that blur so incredibly close to the line (they sold the space between songs on this album to advertising, L'Oreal among those companies who took it up) you can't be entirely sure if they're making a point or pissing about, a line yet further blurred by their own mock adverts.

08 BERLIN The Metro
from 'Pleasure Victim', 1982
New Wave enjoys a special place deep in my subconscious. Perhaps it's too much of my formative years spent in dark goth clubs trying to find someone to take home while overpowering synths blare from the speakers. Or perhaps since I was born in 1981 that was just the music of the day being pumped indirectly into the womb. Whatever whatever, it has some strange effect that works on me at a sub-conscious level. I've been mentally working on two similar compilations for some time, Electric Sex, which contains songs like Berlin's better known 'Sex (I'm A)', and Electric City, which contains songs like Kraftwerk's 'Neon Lights' and this here track. There's something in the seriousness and mundanity which lifts it into the realms of the oddly poetic.

09 PET SHOP BOYS Left To My Own Devices
from 'Introspective', 1988
I make no apologies here. I'm a fan. Always have been, always will be. I was 10 years old when I bought their 'Discography' compilation while in recently-opened East Germany, along with the Guns N' Roses and hair metal I was listening to at that age. This track is gloriously overblown, disco baroque, all classical strings and the pretension of "Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat" while Neil Tennant offers his most hilariously intentionally bland lyrics ("maybe if you're with me, we'll do some shopping"). Pop is something of a dirty word in my vocabulary, but this is more than that.

10 KILLING JOKE Hosannas From The Basement Of Hell
from 'Hosannas From The Basement Of Hell', 2006
Bands are supposed to mellow with age, to calm down and slow down, gradually lose your fire and descend into self-parody or utter irrelevant blandness. Manic Streets Preachers died with 'Lifeblood' to me, for example. But there was that video game, one of the Need For Speed Underground titles on the PS2 a few years before this album. The loudest, heaviest and best track was blaring out, crazed vocals screaming EZEKIEL'S CHARIOTS STREAK ACROSS THE SKY. "Fucking hell", I observed on checking the credits, "it's Killing Joke!". This little era of screaming and heaviness with sinister synth undertones is actually my favourite of the band.

from 'Now, Diabolical', 2006
I first discovered Satyricon because I was reading the actual Satyricon of Petronius. Remember WinMX? I'd type words into that to see what came up for whatever I was interested in at the time, 'forest', 'castle', 'Satryricon'. Imagine my pleasant surprise when it turned up 'Satyricon - The Dark Castle In The Deep Forest', then I discovered they were a Norwegian black metal band who had released 'The Forest Is My Throne'. There are those who love only the KVLT era of black metal where everything has to sound exactly like 'Transilvanian Hunger' to be acceptable. The path taken by Darkthrone, Satyricon and others is thus controversial. I am not one such, and to be honest these days I find I prefer the Darkthrone and Satyricon of the 2003+ range.

12 WORMS OF SABNOCK Black Empire
from 'Dark Harmonies', 2006
The Worms Of Sabnock biography states: "Known to have consumed worms on stage. Quintus stated in an interview "this is just part of our ritual, man". It's not quite Gorgoroth, is it? It matters little however. As much as this track begins all standard black metal, it was the stunning unexpectedness of the folk instrumentation kicking it that elevates this to a whole other level. The album cover is awful, eating worms is stupid, but fuck it, when you can do this you can do whatever else you want.

13 SLADE In Like A Shot From My Gun (Live)
from 'Slade Alive', 1972
Under-rated band, Slade. The Christmas song and 'The Smell Of Reeves & Mortimer' probably haven't helped them, or Noddy Holder's steadily increasing resemblance to a garden gnome. Dig below all that though and you have one of the most ferocious and polished live hard rock bands of their era. The band get the crowd fired up, indeed this track ends with Noddy exhorting the crowd to shout whatever they want as loud as they like for the microphones to pick up, and the crowd feed back into the energy of the performance. The recording of this song was actually so powerful that the band never went into the studio with it; it had already been done to perfection and they knew they couldn't top it.

Here @256vbr


Welcome to Out Here In The Fields.

This blog takes its name from the first line of The Who's 'Baba O'Riley'; you may have noticed that already. I live in a tiny village up in the hills of the Scottish Borders and feel most at home out wandering the fields, hills, forests and moorlands. I never leave home without headphones because music is the only accompaniment I take on these wanders, it sustains and energises as it has for my entire life. For me the heart and soul of my musical world is quite literally Out Here In The Fields.

The music you will encounter in this blog has many varieties and no limits. You are likely to encounter classic rock, black metal, psychedelia, punk, goth, new wave, ambient, electronica, funeral doom, medieval, renaissance, neo-classical, folk, jazz, blues, ska, dub, drone, death, thrash... and so on.

My inspiration in life comes from a sleevenote found in the 'Accelerator' album by Royal Trux -
"They believed in sex and looking good, with their own brand of music"

The music here is intended for education and evaluation, to share some sounds I love with a new audience who might not otherwise have heard it. Please support the artists by buying the original source material, and help keep the physical format alive by getting the cds and vinyl.