Monday, 24 September 2018

Fire! ‎– You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago (2009)

Style: Psychedelic Rock, Contemporary Jazz
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Rune Grammofon

1.   If I Took Your Hand...
2.   But Sometimes I Am
3.   Can I Hold You For A Minute?
4.   You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago

Producer, Written-By – Fire!
Recorded By, Mixed By – Johan Berthling
Recorded By, Recorded By, Mixed By – Andreas
Drums, Percussion – Andreas Werliin
Double Bass, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Organ – Johan Berthling
Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Electronics, Electric Piano – Mats Gustafsson

From the aggrieved, visceral tenor sax wailing which harries the first five minutes of this album, you could easily be forgiven for thinking this was another typically idiosyncratic dive into the deep end of out-there improv by Sweden’s Mats Gustafsson. 
After all, the dust has barely settled since the release earlier this year of the power-jazz freak-outs of his other outfit, The Thing, with their album Bag It. But after those initial opening moments, it quickly becomes obvious that unlike the other Gustavsson-led trio, Fire! is an altogether more meditative proposition. 
Gustafsson (saxes, electronics and Fender Rhodes) is joined by Johan Berthling (acoustic and electric basses, guitar, and Hammond organ) and Andreas Werliin (drums and percussion), and whilst Gustafsson’s trademark honk is never far from the surface, it is tempered by settings that are subtle and gently persuasive.  
But Sometimes I Am gradually coalesces around a pulsing Hammond drone, with Werliin delivering one of those sure-footed shuffles which Can’s Jaki Liebezeit used to conjure up. The appearance of vocalist Miriam Wallentin on this track and her Damo Suzuki-like moans and mumbles only strengthens the association with the venerable German avant-rockers. 
The mood on other pieces is just as hypnotic. Can I Hold You for a Minute? positively sizzles with distorted, shimmering keyboards, whose single notes are fuzzed-up to near breaking point. The resulting heat-haze, underpinned by steady bass and rolling drums, provides a mesmeric backdrop for Gustafsson to be anything but careful with his sax. 
There’s no doubting the impressiveness of the outré fireworks which frequently burst across the album. Yet it’s the sense of control and restraint which is perhaps the most striking aspect of Fire!’s methodology. Rather than letting it all hang out, the tension created in keeping things constantly teetering on the cusp makes this a relative white-knuckle ride from start to finish, albeit with more control than The Thing's wild tangents.
Sid Smith  / BBC Reviews

Paul Quinn & The Independent Group ‎– Will I Ever Be Inside Of You (1994)

Style: Indie Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Marina Records,  Postcard Records

1.   Will I Ever Be Inside Of You
2.   You Have Been Seen
3.   Lover, That's All Over
4.   Mooreefoc
5.   A Passing Thought
6.   Outré
7.   Misty Blue
8.   Stupid Thing
9.   At The End Of The Night

Credits: Engineer – Kenny Macdonald Mastered By – Duncan Cowall
Producer – Alan Horne, Blair Cowan Performer – Alan Horne, Andy Alston, Blair Cowan, Campbell Owens, James Kirk , Jane Marie O'Brien, Mick Slaven,
Paul Quinn, Skip Reid

Glaswegian ex-Orange Juice" backing vocalist Paul Quinn finally brought his own rich deep tones to the fore on his 1995 debut, Will I Ever be Inside of You, cut alongside a coterie of musicians including fellow Orange Juice-ers Alan Horne and James Kirk. 
Within the framework of the Independent Group, Quinn's so-distinctive voice, which lands somewhere between Bowie, Lloyd Cole" and Scott Walker, spins out in front of what amounts to a series of interesting, but unobtrusive, backing melodies. The opening title track is a dirgy, longing lament loaded with odd electronic bits and pieces, as well as an ethereally brief chorus. "Lover, that's you All Over" meanwhile, is a sparse, guitar twang that vividly repaints some of the alternative post punk's gloomier acoustics. And, while the rest of Will I Ever be Inside of You follows along in the same sort of vein and, while it's also true that Quinn doesn't break any new ground, there are some absolute gems in the set, as "Misty Blue" unravels like some long lost ballad spun through cobwebs, and the closing "At the End of the Night", with its subtly buried rhythm, plays out a somewhat beery, and completely fitting nightcap. 
Often startling, Quinn loads Will I Ever be Inside of You with unexpected dips and twists, keeping the mood fairly somber, but ensuring that anyone taking the chance can't settle in and kick back too easily. Sweet and just slightly sinister, this set can't be ignored -- it's gorgeous fodder for the older doom and gloom set. 
Amy Hanson / AllMusic

Paul Quinn And The Independent Group ‎– The Phantoms & The Archetypes (1992)

Style: Pop, Pop Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.

01.   The Phantoms & The Archetypes
02.   Born On The Wrong Side Of Town
03.   What Can You Do To Me Now?
04.   Should've Known By Now
05.   Punk Rock Hotel
06.   Superstar
07.   Call My Name
08.   The Damage Is Done
09.   Darling I Can't Fight
10.   Hangin' On

Bass – Campbell Owens
Drums – Tony Soave
Guitar – James Kirk, Robert Hodgens
Keyboards – Blair Cowan
Producer – Edwyn Collins