TWO FROM THOKEI TAPES (2022): George and Roy at home

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TWO FROM THOKEI TAPES (2022): George and Roy at home
Elsewhere has frequently acknowledged the idiosyncratic releases of New Zealand artists on cassette from Thokei Tapes out of Hamburg, Germany.

And still they come . . .

Fortunately you can hear and buy the music at bandcamp here where a purchase of a tape gets you a free download.

So here are the two latest offerings


The GDH Smoke Machine: Booklovers

a1123296694_10A solo album from George D. Henderson of the Puddle and New Existentialists who has always had a mainline to melodies and appealing pop structures which are evident here on some of these stripped down songs and the haunting piano instrumental The Age of Anxiety with appropriately unnerving sonic effects.

That unease also infects some of these pieces through strange surface noises and distortion (the instrumental Dolly which sounds beamed in from Eraserhead).

Some of these pieces a like tantalising miniatures: Suspicious, The First Day of Valentine (complete with a cough), Pillow Snake, Psalm 11 (buzzing lo-fi pop, lyrics adapted from the Biblical passage) and Bad Memory for Love all come in well short of two minutes.

Elsewhere is aware it is taking to a select audience here, but Henderson's work is always worth hearing. Start with the delightful, multi-tracked title track.

Roy Moller: My Week Beats Your Year

a0964810020_16Taking its title from a one-liner by Lou Reed, this salute to the late New Yorker was recorded not long after Reed's death by Edinburgh's Moller who heard Sweet Jane at 15 and had his world changed.

In the manner of Reed and John Cale's Songs for Drella, here Moller writes to and about Reed in a song cycle (titles include Hello Lou, Nico is Here, Lou Hear Us).

Moller adopts some of Reed's mannered delivery – the spoken word passages are delightfully New Yawk with a Scottish burr – as he traces his hero's life through shock treatment and Andy Warhol to Here Lies Lou at the end.

An enjoyable fan letter in song from someone who not only knows his subject but how Reed's music and lyrics work.

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