Thing of the Day
DOUBLE DOT DASH, HOUSE OF JOHN PLAYER, TODDLERS
January 21th 2011
Today’s thing is a visually pleasing DIY split seven inch
slice of well-wrapped vinyl that looked and felt good from the moment
we opened the package…
HOUSE OF JOHN PLAYER/TODDLERS split 7” Shyrite, Son Esqueet / Preston (Double Dot Dash) – A rather good looking seven inch split single turned up here a couple of days ago, jumped out of the pile straight away with that handmade look of the tactile cover and the neat artwork. Two bands, two seven inch card insert pieces of art in one of those PVC record sleeves, along with a nice-looking slab of fresh black vinyl. The two pieces of art look and feel like handmade block prints or screen prints, or something that’s gone through some kind individual handcrafted process. No credit for the artist(s) or anything, that’s a shame…. Let’s see if the website says anything about the art? No
Well, we’re guessing this seven inch is super
limited in terms of numbers pressed (we know well how long it takes to
hand paint or block print a thousand covers, these things just don’t
happen, takes time and effort). Someone deserves some artwork credit
here, especially the person who did that Toddlers artwork…
The music, then...
Here’s what the Double Dot Dash people say about the two bands themselves..
“HOUSE OF JOHN PLAYER
is the solo Yo! Wave project from Dean Spacer. It all started in
2006 when the inspiration from various faces and performers in
Bletchley pushed him to take his music out of the bedroom and out to
the masses. As the years have passed, House Of John Player has shifted
through different styles and set ups from weird folky-pop sets, noisy
disgruntled keyboards to loopy pop-tastic jams with slices of
face-cringing high ends”.
“TODDLERS are Reading's favourite psych garage ragga kraut bass n drum n drumstick guitar duo. Likened to "Polite-ning Bolt" or "the rhythm section from Bleach".
And you know what Toddlers, yes! Polite-ning Bolt indeed, genius whoever came up with that… Kind of Liars as well, only not quite threatening to put you in a body bag and drag you off to the woods as Lairs do, slightly menacing but not quite so disturbingly so. A dark brooding sound, a dark rumbling animalistic bass and if it is psychedelic then they’re dealing out the dark and dizzying kind of psych that disturbs rather that something that brightly colours your mind. Not sure what the vocalist is almost speaking about down there in the mix, this is dense foggy piece of music, and we’re guessing this is their latest piece of recording, it sounds like healthy progress. Dizzying music, chasing tails around, their own dark tales, raw brooding tales of chasing tails around in dizzying circles - a sound that’s both uncluttered and at the same time rather invitingly dense. Pig’s ears, falling over, chasing things, numb legs, cathartic lo-fi, slightly grungy in a post-something very now kind of way. Is this just one five minute Toddler track with a clever mood twist in the middle, or are these last three slightly brighter instrumental minutes an untitled second track? Nothing here is that clear, and we kind of like that it isn’t clear. Like the brooding mystery here…
The House Of John Player track is mesmerising in that quietly gentle yet calmly frantic way Terminal Cheesecake were, more of a lo-fi handmade thing than the Cheesecake wall. Shyrite is a serene track, a fluttery track, a track with lots bubbling under that calm surface, details slowly rising as your attention is grabbed, graceful lo-fi loops. Soothing slightly off-key vocals, the imperfections add to the warmth. And once again, as with Toddlers, from the other bits and pieces we’ve heard on websites and such, these moments appear to be Dean Spacers best recordings so far, well the best we’ve heard anyway. Just really pleasantly simple enjoyable well crafted refreshing music to spend space and time with
Some creative people here in the form of Toddlers and House Of John Player, both finding their feet and with this new single, moving their chosen things forward on a finely crafted, low-budget, lo-fi, creatively warm, rather rewarding way. The two bands complement each other perfectly, the artwork complements the music and the whole attitude compliments everything. You can find sounds, links, details and a Paypal button via this link - files.doubledotdash.org/ddd029.html
ZINES, GIGS, FESTIVALS…
Actually, these Double Dot Dash people look like they’re doing lots of good things over in their home town of Reading (big town in the southern half of England for those of you reading this from far flung places at the other end of the internet - you pronounce it 'redding').
The Double Dot people say they’re “a grassroots multifaceted music organisation” and that their aim is “to share underrated and under-appreciated music with as many people as possible. We do this because it is fun” they say, and then they add “Come mingle”. Seems they’ve been releasing lots if music on
label of sorts. We’ve put together a wide range of hastily put together
homemade CD-Rs for SHADY TREE, EBBS AND FLOWS, GLASS CELLO, SPLITTER
WILL, BOREDOMS IN THE BATHROOM, TILEHURST CHILDRENS ARKESTRA, HUNTING
THE SHY, TODDLERS, and a few more. We are currently putting together
our first vinyl release featuring TODDLERS and HOUSE OF JOHN PLAYER. Oh
yeah and. we do compilation each year featuring some of our friends.
Here are details of this year's one” - files.doubledotdash.org/slooowrider.html
Double Dot put on a lot of quality gigs, impressive list of bands have played for them including BILGE PUMP, TALIBAM, APATT, HUNTING THE SHY, THE SHITTY LIMITS, QUACK QUACK, JEFFREY LEWIS, GRAVENHURST, NOUGHT, ACTION BEAT, I'M BEING GOOD, NITKOWSKI, THAT FUCKING TANK to name but a few… And they have a zine as well – “We sometimes do a zine called Lethargy - it mostly features gonzo style rants about music, reviews of our own gigs, cartoons, a crossword, and pictures of animals and nuns”. All that and handmade t-shirts and a festival…
“We co-curate and help organise DOUBLEDOTBASH! A once a year festival with our friends at South Street Arts Centre”. 2010 featured VOICE OF THE SEVEN THUNDERS, TRASH KIT, MAX TUNDRA, DRUM EYES, TEAM BRICK, KOGUMAZA, HANK HAINT, ICHI, FRANCOIS and loads more. Next one is probably on the 2nd July 2011.