Rum Music For November Reviewed By Jennifer Lucy Allan

This month's journey around The Zone takes in infinite basketball courts, Slovenian hilltops and morbid pastoralism

I am writing this month’s column surrounded by boxes, trying to put together end of year lists without being able to actually see anything, trying to take the temperature of the year.

I now have no internet at home, and so may end up sending this from the big Sainsbury’s, which is about the only place to get wifi out of the house these days. Being offline is a pain but also brilliant. It’s like being ill. It’s not that fun, really, and you can’t do loads of things you’d like to, but ultimately it does mean having a moment to sit still, to have a breather, even if that moment involves breathing in five years of accumulated dust from behind the sofa.

Just like the space behind the sofa, this month’s list is also dusty, grimy, and claustrophobic, with appearances by some of my lifelong sonic companions in Asahito Nanjo and Brian Chippendale, as well as those I’ve been digging more recently, like Lori Goldston’s massively underrated solo recordings, and Alice Kemp, who can make my skin crawl.

Next month it’s time for my end of year proclamations, and I already feel the vertigo rising from looking backwards into a time before Covid. January 2020 feels a million miles away.

Takashi Inagaki – Music for the films of Takashi Ito

A while ago I sat down to watch a film called Spacy by Takashi Ito, a short that depicts an infinite basketball court. I can’t even remember how I found it, but somewhere I picked up on a reference to an ‘infinite basketball court’ and stuck it on one of my equally infinite lists of films to watch. Serendipitous then, that this collection of music made by Takashi Inagaki for Ito’s films should plop into my inbox the following month.

I find Inagaki’s music claustrophobic – chaotic tubular bell-like sounds or artefact-corrupted recordings struggle under watery filters; scintillations of metallic chimes and papercut synths bear down on the listener and don’t let up. More here soon. It’s really not like much else out there, abstractly cinematic and full of horror, totally compelling and really quite frightening.

Lori Goldston – On A Moonlit Hill In Slovenia
(Eiderdown Records)

I can’t stop listening to this, it’s been my go-to as the nights draw in ever earlier. It’s short and beautiful. Goldston’s solo releases don’t have the uptake they should, it’s enveloping and real, with these brilliant dynamics of push and release, where she gathers velocity then pulls back to soaring, flying feelings. This time last year I also wrote about her solo record Things Opening, which was similarly well-listened to in these parts, but it too didn’t quite get picked up as widely as it should have been. Goldston is a hugely important character in contemporary music history, but these solo releases are also totally arresting and utterly sublime. Don’t sleep!

Alice Kemp – Sweetly My Blacken Doll
(Alice Kemp)

Schimpfluch affiliate Alice Kemp’s ‘Kecke Schnecke’ (‘Cheeky Snail’) was my favourite track from Regional Bear’s cassette compilation of new sound poetry, New Tulips, earlier this year. Where that was pretty charming, her other solo work is not, and is instead a miasma of textures and drones. I’m hearing it at the more pastoral end of a lineage which includes Schimpfluch’s Rudolph’s grisly decomposition series. Where revels in the intimate horror of sounds like the movements of mandibles, and insects devouring flesh, Sweetly My Blacken Doll remains locked to overground horror, a panorama of greasy rain, barren heathland and feral beasts.

The physical version comes as a cassette housed a silkscreened box, with a ‘companion’ made from beech wood, human hair, nylon stockings, waxed and mixed thread, fabric, string, paint, and secrets, available in an edition of 25.

A.k.Adrix – Código de Barras


From Lisbon and living in Manchester, Adrix (formerly P.Adrix) has dropped in with an album of smart easy glistening productions and white-hot steppers. I thought by now I’d be getting bored of the distinctive Principe sound, stripped-back digital reggaeton moods, all those agile, natty boings, but I’ve loved it more than ever this year. The DJ Lycox EP played solidly in the background for weeks, and the Nidia EP got me lusting for the club from my back garden. The final track on this A.k. Adrix LP is one of the finest tracks on the label in 2020, all globular plink plonks and a bass meniscus on its bright liquid mids.

Secluded Bronte – The Horns Of Andromeda


Secluded Bronte are the trio of Richard Thomas and both Bohman brothers (Jonathan and Adam). The Horns Of Andromeda is named after a "lurid sci fi thriller" Thomas wrote for a publisher that turned out to be a front for a money laundering operation. It is a deeply odd album of nearly-post-punk, but not quite, as they keep getting distracted. It’s like if you tried to remake This Heat from things found in a charity shop, and added a sense of humour. Or maybe if you removed all the American cultural references from The Residents, leaving only fragments. It is made with a short attention span, lurching from guitar clangs to spoken word, to reeds and piano. Adam Bohman’s distinctive readings come off like a coded wartime broadcast gone haywire, while guitars ping, squelch, scrape and twang in rhythmic vignettes. There’s also a really daft track called ‘His Hobbies’ which begins as a welcoming speech, then descends into absurdity. I love it.

NB: Secluded Bronte is not only the best band name in this month’s column, it’s also the only release to come with a public health warning, as it includes a rapidly strobing Gif version of the cover in the download bundle, and the only one that made my household laugh out loud. More info here.

Toho Sara – Toho Sara

(Black Editions)

A weird dream of a record resurrected by PSF reissue label Black Editions. Toho Sara means Eastern Most, and is a trio of Asahito Nanjo from my favourite band High Rise, Makoto Kawabata of Acid Mother’s Temple, and Hisashi Yoshida, playing a collection of traditional and ancient instruments. What’s not to like?

It is lo-fi and gnarly, utilising all the gristle of sounds that otherwise are light and airy. The piri (a Korean reed instrument), biwa (Japanese lute), shakujo (a sort of metal rattle), hansho (percussion instrument), as well as harmonium, tabla, and gongs are made solid and earthbound, any delicacy repurposed for seriously heavy meditations.

Valentina Magaletti & Marlene Ribeiro – Due Matte

(Horn of Plenty)

With a percussive pallette that’s something like Vox Populi, or Jaki Liebezeit playing in Bourbonese Qualk during a power cut, tQ favourite Valentina Magaletti is all hollow toms and scrap metal in this collaboration with Marlene Ribeiro on reeds and other instruments. A vinyl repress of a super limited cassette, side A has mechanistic rhythms like a slow moving goods train, Side B is all weight and clatter, its looming atmospheres swirling like smog. It’s a grower, quite subtle, and took me three listens for it to really show itself – there’s a moment about eight minutes in where the sound opens up and the whole space of the record becomes 3D. It’s wonderful.

Black Pus – DEF VESPER

(Black Pus)

The seasons come and go, the world recedes and is renewed, and through it all I remain sentimentally attached to Lightning Bolt. They rewired my brain aged 18 and now I can spot a Brian Chippendale snare crack a mile off, hollow and sounding like a party of hammer drills. However, I do really prefer Black Pus at this point, as the darker, grot-splosive sludge-pummel I need to slap me across the face in moments of grown-up moments of total frustration: catharsis and release, a total fucking racket.

The notes say it was recorded in LEGO-CITY, Providence RI and there’s a video made of Lego up on Bandcamp, and now I can’t shift this image of Chippendale doing an impromptu show at Legoland, popping up between a load of life sized minifigs with a torn gimp mask hanging off his face and releasing a terrifying storm of neon sound upon the Windsor environs.


I heard there’s a repress of this top notch intoxicated slop-psych private press LP. It’s completely essential.

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