Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Spiral Joy Band
Pleasure Is The Headlight

Uzu Audio UZU-002


Very few groups – any? – have picked up on the blueprint laid down by the ‘classic’ Pelt line-up, where they took on the mantle of the Hillbilly Theatre Of Eternal Music, making overt - like no one outside of Henry Flynt - the common sonic properties shared by psychoactive minimalism, modern raga forms and classic American Primitive. Spiral Joy Band formed in the wake of Pelt, featuring both Mike Gangloff and Mikel Dimmik of that group alongside Amy Shea and Nathan Bowles and they posited a potentially more radical take on Pelt’s no-mind country blues, using very minimal- though profoundly amplified - gong and percussion suites in order to activate visions of the kind of blank American topography of mid-period NNCK, Harry Partch and Harry Bertoia. Pleasure Is The Headlight presents a deluxe, beautifully packaged double 180g LP in a run of 400 copies in custom gatefold jackets with letter pressed cover art and silk screened innards inspired by the Rev. A W Nix’s “Black Diamond Express To Hell”. Three sides of foggy, thunder tones, singing strings and hypnotic country reverie and a final side of oddities, including a live solo wind chime performance and a Taj Mahal Travellers-style beach performance. Excellent and by far the best release from this group to date.

Charlie Parr & The Black Twig Pickers
Where You Gonna Be (When The Good Lord Calls You Home)?

The Great Pop Supplement GPS-59


Zoned bluegrass moves from Pelt offshoot The Black Twig Pickers featuring Mike Gangloff on fiddle and banjo, Isak Howell on guitar and mouth harp and Nathan Bowles on banjo and washboard. Here they’re joined by Charlie Parr on resonator guitar and vocals for a version of Parr’s “Where You Gonna Be (When The Good Lord Calls You Home)?” and a cover of the traditional “Stepback Cindy”. UK tour 45 in an edition of 400 copies. 

United Supreme Council
Oastem! Vibe Orchestra



Harvesting set of ritual brain clamour, drone-chuff and synapse chauffeuring blitz from this free-improvising big band consisting of members of Pelt and Rake. This inter-band ensemble blew across the States a bunch of times during their short existence – 1996/97 – and this limited to 330 copies vinyl LP is a beautiful document of their scorching style, an extract from a two-hour performance at Tommy’s in Richmond in April 1997. The line-up is: Mike Gangloff (guitar, shenai, electronics), Jack Rose (lap steel), Patrick Best (guitar, bass resonator, conga), ~SKB (bass and percussion), V2G2 (nylon string guitar, percussion, shenai and voice), Planet C (moog, sax, percussion), Mick (dumbek and dijembe), Beth Jones (dijembe).

Nathan Bowles & Scott Verrastro
Polar Satellites

Mie Music MIE-019


Live studio jams from the duo of Nathan Bowles (Pelt/Black Twig Pickers) and Scott Verrastro (Kohoutek): recorded by Jason Meagher of NNCK at Black Dirt Studios, Polar Satellites presents a series of spare percussion/banjo/flute jams that take the ominous cultic drone of the last Pelt album and float it all the way to your favourite Euro commune, with killer flute/strings jams that have all of the dopey motherfucking appeal of Siloah before making like a hillbilly Gila and marching the percussion straight into the sun. Some of the more Industrial gamelan elements get into this weird bobbing Bongo Joe/Monopoly Child Star Searchers vibe but the overall feel is more like a ‘spaghetti’/dub damaged take on the bongloads of righteous boo consumed by Amon Duul, Dom, Kalacakra, Yath Sidhra et al. A fantastic side, recommended!

Mike Gangloff
Poplar Hollow

Blackest Rainbow Recordings BRR-257



Stunning limited vinyl edition of what was originally a limited to only 200 copies privately-pressed solo fiddle/banjo/voice CD from Mike Gangloff of Pelt: this is an amazing solo side and the prefect compliment to Pelt’s monstrous Effigy 2xLP. Gangloff melds a whole bunch of approaches here, all focussed on maximal third eye squozing potential, re-wiring classic Appalachian string-sawing with all the mesmerising minimalist weight of Henry Flynt. On a buncha tracks he is accompanied by Cara Joyce on shruti box and the combined drone weight is massively heavy, with a weird, time-fluxing appeal that could almost be Takehisa Kosugi circa Catch Wave but/w a heady devotional/early music edge and a bucketful of haunted folk laments. Or how about a hillbilly Taj Mahal Travellers play the Third Ear Band? If your answer is yes please, and whose wouldn’t be, then this is the one to take you higher. A tour de force of psychedelic roots that sits just there between Jack Rose, Roscoe Holcombe, Simon House and Henry Flynt. Full colour Jake Blanchard art too. 500 copies, with free download, on red and green swirl 180g vinyl. Very highly recommended!

Pelt Part Wild Gate
Hung On Sunday

Mie Music MIE-023


Hand-numbered edition of 300 copies LP that documents a big-band underground supergroup tackling traditional gamelan: Pelt Part Wild Gate features Mike Gangloff, Pat Best, Nathan Bowles and Tycho-Shea Gangloff from Pelt, Michael Morley of Gate/The Dead C et al and Pascal Nichols and Kelly Jones aka Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides. The music is startling, taking off on traditional gamelan but taking it somewhere else entirely. The ensemble move through various zones, generating a rapture of distant thunder that features melodies within melodies, blooming organically, as the sound of gongs, singing bowls and metallaphones chime in soft heavenly choruses. Indeed, the music bears a distinct similarity to both the sound of Pelt – specifically the Empty Bell Ringing In The Sky era – and Part Wild Horses Mane, with that spacious, yet massively zoned ‘Holy Mountain’ feel that Pascal and Kelly always bring to the proceedings. And although they’re certainly reverent, there’s no overly precious feel, with the band pushing out into crude punk-primitive klang as much as sensuous fourth world ritual. The recording is beautifully rendered too, taking you deep into the infinite bell tones and songs within songs of the gamelan ritual. A major meeting of minds, immediately sold out at source, highly recommended.