Friday, 30 November 2012

Sam Willis - Winterval

As some of you may be aware a couple of my Magic Lantern project images have been used as artwork on the new Sam Willis LP "Winterval" released on Half Machine Records.
It's a fantastic album; atmospheric, moody, and has a real sense of time and place about it, I can't recommend it highly enough.

You can read more about it here and listen to a track below:

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Magic Lantern Project - Batch #7

It's that time we have the latest batch in the Magic Lantern Project.

This batch continues much in the same theme as the last one, more exploits in climbing with the B.R.C. bunch out and about in the Peak District. There's another episode in the story of Matt Stubb's Dream and a rather nice one of the Eton Quadrangle...

As usual if you can provide any info whatsoever about any of the pictures, places or people in this project then please get in touch...

(Click on the images for larger version)

B.R.C. En Route for Stanage
Planing Sandstone at Birchover
The Canal, Speedwell Mine
Feeding a Jackdaw, Birchover
Black Rocks
Hen Cloud, Peak District
The Quadrangle, Eton College
Matt Stubb's Dream #28
Mr Foremark, Derbyshire
Kinder Downfall on Kinder Scout, Hayfield, Derbyshire
B.R.C. on Weaver Hills
Laddow, The Long Climb
Stone Quarry at Birchover
Rocks at Cromford
Black Rocks 
Black Rocks, Bellevue Traverse

Monday, 5 November 2012

Briars Frome

Where did it go? The Village of "Briars Frome" disappeared from maps in 1963 and no-one alive today seems to have any memory of it....but it was there!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Vos Oprimetur - Mix #1 (Updated with Download link)

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later....

Being of a certain age I am a big fan of the compilation tape. I still have boxes of Cassettes from back in the day (especially after I got my first car back in 1987). I would spend many, many happy hours compiling tapes for the car, friends or objects of my affection.....and I continue to do it (along with many others) in this modern world of MP3's and the internet.

The curious amongst you may already have had a listen to a couple of my recent(ish) efforts by clicking on the "Stuff of Nightmares", "Bond Thing Going On" or "Black Lodge Hop" links over there to the right >>>

Surplus to that I still spend many late night hours with a bottle of wine compiling stuff for the car or train journey....and along with the whole mixcloud/soundcloud bunch I have a desire to share these efforts with the world at large.... we go with Mark Morb Mix #1 - Vos Oprimetur...

By popular demand, here's the Tracklisting:

1 - Prologue Broadcast - John Carpenter & Alan Howarth
2 - Shine - Redshift
3 - B. Aldrian - Harald Grosskopf
4 - Justice One - Drokk
5 - Ich Danke Dir - Ingrid Hoffman
6 - Shrunken Heads - Zombi
7 - Labyrinth - Philip Glass
8 - Shining Stone - The Focus Group
9 - Waiting - Gina X
10 - Gamma - John Saunders
11 - Dominon Advert - The Human League
12 - Cars (Variant) - To Rococo Rot
13 - Harlem - Suicide
14 - This is Not A Dream - John Carpenter & Alan Howarth
15 - Irradiatus - John Lakveet & Dom F. Scab
16 - Precinct 9, Division 13 - John Carpenter
17 - Fountains of the Dept of Water and Power - Beaver & Krause
18 - Erosion of Time - The Advisory Circle
19 - Euroman - J.J. Burnel
20 - Exudus 3:14 - John Lakveet
21 - Electronic Rhythm No.8 - Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services
22 - In The Smoke - Cerrone

Download from here:

...or listen to it here (Mixcloud)

Let me know your thoughts....

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Nono - Le Petit Robot

Ulysses 31, what a great animated series that was, take the voyages of Ulysses (Odysseus to most School kids), set them in space but keep all the original names and trials etc., I loved it as a kid with the exception of one aspect...Nono.

Nono was a "cute" little red robot who's main purpose was to bring some light relief to what would have been a very bleak, heavy series. Trouble was I liked it BECAUSE it was bleak, heavy and ponderous. I had not seen many (any?) cartoons that attempted to work on a cerebral level and/or referenced classic literature and it was a revelation to me...if only they would get rid of that damn robot then it wouldn't clash with my burgeoning sense that I should not be watching cartoons as they were "for kids". Just as things were heating up on some deep philosophical level Nono would come crashing into the scene with his annoying "cute" robot voice and ruin everything (a precursor to Jar Jar Binks!)


Fast forward 30 odd years and I'm watching the DVD box set with my 6 year old Daughter...she loves it...she loves the scariness of it, the action, the darkness, the underlying malevolence...but most of all she loves Nono!!! and that's great...
Even I find myself smiling when the little fella appears and manages to create some sort of mischief (and on many occasions saves the day). Without that little guy then the whole series would be pushing very hard on the door of pretentiousness! and that was exactly what I was doing when I was a 12 year old watching it for the first time...I was about to become a teenager and going through a pretentious period when only "serious" books, films and music would do...I needed to lighten up a bit...which I eventually did (sort of..)

Which brings me to the point of this post...the music.

There is not much more to say about the awesomeness of the score to this series, there's plenty of fan pages and blogs praising the excellent theme tune and incidental music (thank you Denny Crockett, Ike Egan, Shuki Levy and Haim Saban) but there were also a couple of spin off none other than Nono himself!!

I've managed to pick up a couple of these on 7" singles from 1981, all sung by a French Nono (Ulysses 31 was a French / Japanese collaboration). The best of the two is "Chanson de Nono" a Disco/Pop effort backed by an instrumental version, the other is "Le Mundial" with Nono shouting "Arriba!" as it was released as a World Cup song!! the B-Side is a ballad called "Chanson pour Nanette". Anyone who can remember the series will probably remember the "Nanette" episode in which Nono finds a female robot called "Nanette", they fall in love and she ends up sacrificing her life to save Nono and his companions...told you it was heavy stuff (watching that episode recently with my Daughter I confess to having a lump in my throat!!)

Neither of these records is great (or even good in the case of "Le Mundial") but my Daughter loves them and we often have a little dance around the living room to them, they're fun...if you've got kids, get the DVD box set, enjoy it and then have a little dance around to these records (and learn some French in the process)

It may seem unnecessary but I've ripped them at my usual 96KHz 24Bit resolution and also included scans and there's a 320 MP3 version as well (apologies for the quality of the Vinyl for "Chanson de Nono", I'll get round to sourcing a better condition 7" one day and will upgrade the rip).
Links are in comments and please let me know your thoughts....

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

ULLA!!! (B-Side Treasures - No.1)

There are many things that I can get a bit obsessive over...some of these will become apparent over the life of this Blog I'm sure. One of them is "The War of The Worlds", whether it's the H.G.Wells novel, the 1952 Byron Haskin movie or the Jeff Wayne musical version from 1978.

I have an ever increasing collection based around this fantastic piece of work, many different versions of the book (I'll post some of the covers up here one day, some great ones), artwork and promotional material from the 1952 film and all manner of musical bit's and pieces from the Jeff Wayne project.

Anyway, this post is taken from the 1978 7" version of "Forever Autumn" sung by Justin Hayward and taken from the Jeff Wayne album. The single was quite a hit and I clearly remember hearing it a lot at the time, it's a beautiful song and stood out to me even as an 8 year old. Years later I'm listening to the single and decide to give the "B" side a spin, "The Fighting Machine". I'd assumed it would just be a short version of the Album track probably just with a fade out, but it was a lot better than that. This is a fairly drastic re-edited version, with a new intro and managing to cram in all the best bits of the LP version into a pretty exciting track (at least from my biased viewpoint). A couple of the edits are a bit clunky but overall I really like it and it makes a great 7". I've not seen it appear on CD yet, not even on the massive 7 disc collectors edition from a few years back so here it is. As usual I've ripped it at High Res (96/24) and also created a 320 MP3 version, links in comments.

This post is also the first in a completely random series of "B-Side Treasures"


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Magic Lantern Project - Batch #6

Well it's been a long time coming (I've moved house twice in the last few months) but here we have the next batch in the Magic Lantern Project.

This batch (and the next couple) seem to contain a lot of slides from a group calling themselves the B.R.C. They seem to be having a great time walking, climbing and caving around the Peak District. I'm pretty sure these are from the same set as some of the climbing, rambling slides in earlier batches.

There's a couple of slides of a handsome young couple out for a walk and a pint in the Scottish Borders, and a few random others.

As always, if you can provide any more info about any of these slides then I'd love to hear from you.

I've got another couple of batches photographed so hopefully you won't have to wait so long before the next batch or two appear.

(Click on the images for larger version)

Greenlaw, Berwickshire
Greenlaw, Berwickshire (Probably)
Alport Stone, Derbyshire
Hen Cloud, Peak District
Bagshawe Cavern, Peak District
Wharncliffe, Sheffield
Bakewell Church, Bakewell
Carving Stone at Birchover, Derbyshire
Gloucester Cathedral
Ely, Cambridgeshire
The Hancock Family
Overlooking Manifold Valley, Peak District
Treak Cliff, Derbyshire
B.R.C. in Beresford, Derbyshire
Roaches & Hen Cloud, Peak District

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Tomorrow's World - Pt.1

"Tomorrow's World", sigh, now there was a science program. Thursday nights on BBC1, best TV night of the week...Tomorrow's World then Top of the Pops...TV bliss for a young Mark Morb.
Plenty has been written about this science program and watching a few clips from the 70's and early 80's on Youtube it definitely had a naive amateurish charm to it, far more endearing than the "Kids TV" slightly patronising style that current BBC science programs go for (I'm looking at you "Bang goes the theory!").
During the main years I watched the program (mid 70's to mid 80's) there were two theme tunes, the jazzy Johnny Dankworth composed original from 1966 and the synthy version by Martin Cook and Richard Denton from 1980.
This post is a new rip I've done of the Dankworth theme (credited to "The Brass Chorale") along with the B-Side, the theme from "The Late Show", which is also excellent. Taken from the original vinyl (I also own an original 7" Demo version but it's an identical recording) and ripped at high res (96/24) although the usual 320 MP3 version is available also (links in comments), let me know your thoughts.

I will post up the Cook/Denton version at some point over the next few weeks as well so keep an eye out for that.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

If you go down to the Woods today... #2

This has to be my favourite Photograph by Photographer Elspeth Diederix, it has a really creepy, eerie atmosphere and the colour contrast works great (she has used this "Red" contrasting colour in several other images but this is the one that stands out for me).

2005 / z.t. (costa rica) / 150 x 120 cm

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Do "The Wriggler"...

Back in 1985 I was 15 and heavily into my ZX Spectrum and Electronic Music (as well as in the throes of my burgeoning "Smiths" obsession!).
One particular item from that time satisfied my needs in both was "Wriggler"
"Wriggler" was a game released in 1985 by Romantic Robot (more info here) and basically consisted of manoeuvring a worm (the eponymous Wriggler) around a variety of environments avoiding various beasties.
The graphics were good (for the time) and I remember being particularly impressed with the animation of the spiders...
So all in all not a bad little game....but....turn the cassette over (that's right games used to come on compact cassette back then!) and there was a musical track called "Moons of Jupiter'. This was a great little electronic piece, bouncy, with some nice FX and interesting sounds going on throughout and even a little electronic drum solo in the middle...and it suited the game perfectly.
I soon wore my tape out rewinding the track time after time and ended up having to buy the game three times in order to maintain a working copy!
Anyway, time moved on and I forgot all about this game and it's musical partner until I spotted a copy of Wriggler at a Car Boot sale a few years back...I snapped it up took it home and shoved it in the tape deck, pressed play and the memories came flooding back....sitting in my bedroom, "Empire Strikes Back" Wallpaper on the walls, tapping machine code into my ZX Spectrum and listening to this track...
The music still sounded good (if a bit dated) so I started to dig a bit...the track was written by Alexander Goldscheider who also owned and managed Romantic Robot.
There's lots more about Mr Goldscheider in his Wikipedia entry and across the Web in general, but he's a very interesting and accomplished Czech Musician credited with pioneering the use of the Synthesiser in that country. He also had a stint working for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
He released a couple of library LP's on the "Red Bus" label in the early 80's and it's on one of those, "Themes for a One Man Band - Vol.1 (1983 Red Bus Music Library RBML 103)" that the track "Moons of Jupiter" originally appears.
I managed to track down a copy (along with Vol.2) and it's really rather good...very much of its time but if you were ever a fan of Jarre, Vangelis, Mark Shreeve, Koto, Tomita, Tangerine Dream, etc. then there is plenty here to like. In my opinion Side A has the advantage, Side B seems a bit uninspired in comparison (with the exception of the last track "The Star Gate" which has a nice Tangerine Dream feel to it).

I've made the usual High Def Vinyl rip (24/96 FLAC) and also a 320MP3 version, links in comments and please leave thoughts and ruminations...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Nostromo Disco!!

I recently worked my way through the Blu-Ray box set of all the Alien movies (which I can highly recommend and seems to be fairly cheap at the moment). Not only did I enjoy revisiting these films in higher quality than I had ever seen but I fell in love with Jerry Goldsmith's Score all over again (sounding better than ever on these Blu-Rays).
It's a great score and just one of many that Mr Goldsmith has produced over the years (The Omen anyone?) so I dug out my Vinyl copy of the original score and enjoyed listening to it...then I remembered that I had a 12" "Disco" version of the main theme somewhere. I couldn't remember if it was any good or not and wasn't expecting a lot when I stuck it on the turntable but I was pleasantly aint a half bad slice of Space Disco and the B-Side is a nice little Disco Funk number as well.
The 12" is on Bronze Records (12 BRO 80) a label I always associate with "Uriah Heep"! and was released in 1980. The track is credited to "Nostromo" (The name of the cargo ship in "Alien") but appears to be the work of Kenny Denton, a prolific producer over the years including a stint producing Gary Numan/Tubeway Army. "Nostromo" also released disco versions of music from "The Black Hole" and the "Imperial March" from The Empire Strikes Back...

Anyway, it's not going to change your world but it's definitely worth a listen as it's better then could be expected....

As usual I've ripped the Vinyl in High Res (96KHz 24Bit) and did a new scan of the cover, and that's the version I recommend you download but for the bandwidth challenged I've also included a link to a 320 MP3 version...links in comments and as always I welcome your thoughts and ruminations...

Smile for the Camera.....

There's a great post over at Buzzfeed by Anteater of Creepy and Weird photographs...this one in particular took my fancy and gave me the Shivers!!!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Structures Sonores & The Picture Box

If you mention "Picture Box" to a certain generation of UK people you almost always get the same repsonse...."Isn't that the program with the weird, eerie music and the hypnotic spinning box at the start!! That used to give me the creeps!!"...and indeed that's exactly what it was.
Many years later I tracked down the track, it's called "Manège" and is performed by "Lasry-Bachet Structures Sonores". These experimental Musicians wrote and performed music on a series of instruments of their own invention called "Sound Sculptures".
I became hooked on the haunting, other worldly quality of their music....nothing else sounds like it because no one else plays the same instruments (many of which only exist as a single instrument).
Trouble is that most of the music is only available on obscure pieces of Vinyl (including some lovely 10" releases on the French BAM label).
In my role as owner of Egress UK Record Label I took it upon myself to try and get in contact with the musicians and inventors and see if there was any chance of licensing any material for a retrospective CD/Vinyl release.
Well after several months of being pushed from one person to another and ending up down countless dead ends the project came to nothing (this is the usual story when trying to licence obscure old material unfortunately). I may well have another stab at it one of these days as I'd love to try and get hold of the original master tapes and do a proper, fully remastered release.

You can read loads more about the "Sculpture Sonores" here and there is plenty more info dotted around the place (it helps if you can read French though)

My reason for this post is that I received an e-mail out of the blue from someone who had been on a quest to find the "Picture Box" music and they had stumbled upon some of my old forum posts about the subject. They asked if I had a high quality version of the track "Manège" as the only version floating around online is taken from a poor quality YouTube video of the original TV series opening sequence (worth watching just for that hypnotic spinning box!).
Anyway, this inspired me to spend most of today doing a recording from the original vinyl (Structures Sonores Lasry Baschet No.4 on 10" Vinyl BAM LD 098).
I've recorded it at High Res (96KHz 24Bit) and also scanned the cover and labels. The vinyl is not in the greatest of condition and even after a quick spin on the Okki Nokki cleaning machine it still has it's fair share of snap, crackle and pop I'm afraid.
I've spent a little time getting rid of the worst of the crackling, etc. and also applied some light "remastering" as the original recordings are quite muddy, just some very subtle EQ'ing.

The link to the 96/24 FLAC file is in the comments and I'd love to hear your thoughts and ruminations.

EDIT: By popular demand I've added a link to a 320 MP3 Version though I'd strongly recommend you go for the High Res FLAC version if you have the Bandwidth/Time/Patience.


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

If you go down to the Woods today...

I love this picture by Mark Entwisle so thought I'd share....

You can check out his Flickr page here

Monday, 2 January 2012

Vile Bodies....

Another case of "if only this was real..."

Plenty more of these over at the Retronaut blog, but this was my favourite...