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flag Scotland - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 12 - 10/16/97

Aah, 7-inch singles! Nothing can beat those vinyl donuts. Well, some charming 10-inch records maybe. But anyway. Seven inches. One song each side. A side. B side. Or double A. Side this and that, here and over. Enough said! Spin them wheels! Let's go Glasgow!

coverpic Mogwai
New Paths To Helicon

Wurlitzer Jukebox, UK.

Under Moon 10 I recommended Mogwai's 4 Satin e.p.. This time I'll deal with New Paths To Helicon, which is a 7-" single only, released earlier this year (by the British indie-label Wurlitzer Jukebox). The Glasgow four(plus one)-some - Dominik Aitchison (guitar, bass), Martin Bulloch (drumkit, guitar), Stuart Leslie Braithwaite (bass, guitar), John Cummings (guitar), and Colin Hardie (business matters!? Hmm. I guess he's the one to play his pen over dotted lines...) - presents two quiet instrumental tunes called New Paths To Helicon (parts I and II). Instrumentals for mental care, that is. Very organic sounding, with the guitar carrying the song away. NPTH #1 is the better of the two, with NPTH #2 being almost variations on a theme. Part I begins quite careful, almost laidback, with chatty style guitars picking up a nice little melody. The song is building up to a rougher, but controlled semi-climax midway through, for then to calm down again to near silence. Backed up with elegance by sober basslines and relaxed drumming. Simple and graceful, and indeed very spacy. Mogwai - a troop of spacecadets, creating music for spacecrafts. A most pleasant trip out there. I'm extremely excited to hear their album Mogwai Young Team, to be released (by Chemikal Underground) on October 27th.


coverpic Belle & Sebastian
Dog on Wheels

Jeepster Recordings, UK.

Fellow Glaswegians Belle & Sebastian deal with quite something else, musically speaking. Judging by the name you might assume they're a duo. Well, they once were, but now they're a group of seven. Magnificent? Formed by singer-songwriter Stuart Murdoch and bassplayer Stuart David almost two years ago, they made a quick debut as a two-some with an album, Tigermilk, financed by some college course organisers and released independently. Then Stuart D.'s flatmate Richard Colborn joined in on drums, and soon four more friends (Chris Geddes, Sarah Martin, Isobel Campbell, and Stevie Jackson) made a full septet. They were signed to the new London-based indie-label Jeepster, and released a second album, If You're Feeling Sinister, just before last Christmas.

The songwriting and the voice of Stuart M. have been compared to The Velvet Underground, Simon & Garfunkel, The Monkees, Love and Nick Drake. And Dog On Wheels is a cunning pop-tune, an up-beat, light and folkish song, 60's-like in attitude and arrangement, flavoured with a trumpet and tambourine. Topped with some happysad (humorous) lyrics about the best friend being a toy-pet on wheels, to whom you can share secrets of both pleasure and pain. The flip-side, The State I Am In, is even more moody, and it somehow reminds me of Don McLean's American Pie. Pretty, and pretty charming.


coverpic Belle & Sebastian
Lazy Line Painter Jane

Jeepster Records, UK.

Single #2, Lazy Line Painter Jane, has a lot more punch, and the sound is a bit like some of the bands from New Zealand (the Flying Nun stable) ca. mid-eigthies, such as The Chills. A dominating hammond organ, in a pulsating song. And split-vocals, boy-girl, with one Monica Queen as special guest vocalist. Groovy. The B-side, You Made Me Forget My Dreams, is a piano-driven piece, accompanied by guitars moaning, softly squeaking, and moderate strings. Beautiful. With really dark lyrics, about breaking up with someone you care about. Fascinating stuff.

Both of the Belle & Sebastian singles are to be found as EPs, with 2 extra songs on each. They released their third single(or EP) of the year on the 13th of October, called 3, 6, 9 Seconds Of Light. Watch out for their new album, which they recently started to record, due to be released in early 1998. Probably well worth listening to.

Copyright © 1997 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Mogwai articles/reviews: 4 Satin EP, Come On Die Young, Mogwai Young Team, Mr. Beast, Mr. Beast, No Education=No Future (Fuck The Curfew) EP, Rave Tapes, Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait (Original Soundtrack).

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