Northwest Music News – 16 Sep: Stealing Sheep, Lake of Snakes + more

Blog by Simon Jay Catling | 16 Sep 2015

Stealing Sheep Mythopoeia

Historically Mythopoeia takes place on New Year's Eve, but with this year seeing the swansong of much-loved Liverpool venue the Kazimier, Bella Union's purveyors of pop whimsy Stealing Sheep have instead announced that they'll be hosting the third installment of their otherworldly parties on Nov 28. The three-piece will be performing their show Legs, inspired by the cover artwork of the band’s second album Not Real, and described as an "ad hoc ‘synth-dance’ project" which takes on UV, experimental disco, 80s aerobics and sci-fi fantasy. "Think Bananarama, Kate Bush and Kraftwerk" apparently. If that's not enough, a slew of artists are joining them, including Mancunian art poppers Dutch Uncles, the murky expanse of Nadina Carina, Ariel Pink-esque lo-fi types Joey Fourr and a load more besides. Crystal Massage will be providing visuals on a night that's as much about the multi-sensory experience as it is the music. More details here.

Dead Sea Apes return on Cardinal Fuzz, new LP out this month

Local Mancunian-based heads have more than likely come across the redoubtable drone of trio Dead Sea Apes, the band an always welcome presence on the undercard of shows within Manchester by the likes of psychedelia-minded promoters Interstellar Overdrive, The Beauty Witch and others. Crossing the M62 to play Liverpool Psych Fest at the end of the month, the group are also releasing their new LP with respected London psych enthusiasts Cardinal Fuzz, Spectral Domain's colossal slabs of totemic guitars out on 26 Sep – the three-piece have revealed the foreboding third track The Unclosing Eye ahead of its full unveiling, which you can listen to below (and then pre-order the album here).

New music from Thomas Ragsdale

One half of worriedaboutsatan/Ghosting Season, as well as a collaborator with Sankeys resident Jozef K, Thomas Ragsdale has released a series of atmospheric keys-led meditations under his own name. Bait, as he explains on his Bandamp, "started life purely as a film score to Dominic Brunt's UK thriller [of the same name]." However Ragsdale has since pulled apart the drones and textures that acted as a backdrop for the original score, and fleshed them out with bolder shapes.

Digital Crate Digging

Lake of Snakes – Demos

Tearing it up from Cafe Oto to Islington Mill without a public recording to their name, power trio (and bits) Lake of Snakes have finally committed to tape, posting four tracks of sinisterly marauding basslines and throaty saxophone that pulls tracks this way and that everywhere between Zappa to The Fall, early 00s Rocket Recordings psych and more deep-rooted jazz influences. Various live incarnations have seen saxophonist Dave McLean joined by twin brother Lewis on vocals, but even without those here there's more than enough fire to proceedings. Fucking great basically.

Akranes – Retrograde

Another act who've caught notice live this year before releasing anything out onto the internet, spatial pop duo Akranes at their best are capable of making a venue feel frozen in time, reminiscent in part of regional contemporaries Bernard + Edith although preferring to work at the bassier end of their digitally-sculpted dream-pop. Of the two tracks online, we're plumping for Retrograde, a cover of James Blake's murmuring slow jam that flickers between intimacy and isolation.

Murkage Dave feat. Acropolis Sound, Gaika + Fallacy – Closer 2 The Light

Admittedly not so much a digital crate dig as a hop over to one of the biggest music sites out there, Closer 2 The Light comes from Murkage Dave's 48 Hour mixtape for Vice channel Noisey. Tasked with pulling together, recording and producing a seven-track mixtape in just two days, the Murkage collective head honcho pulled in everyone from Brown Brogues guitarist Mark Vernon to scene veteran Zed Bias and burgeoning producers such as HeyGamal.

You can listen to the full mixtape here, our favourite cut is perhaps Closer 2 The Light though; featuring old Murkage pal Gaika, garage duo Acropolis Sound and one-time Roots Manuva, Roni Size (and loads more) collaborator Fallacy, it has the feel of summer's last embrace, the drawing in nights and the resumption of Manchester's clublife back indoors to the basements and warehouses.

Elsewhere on The

— There's still plenty of September's gig highlights on the way! The dashing William Gunn guides you through the month.

— Ed Bottomley gave his thoughts on NYC rap collective Ratking as they came to the Deaf Institute.

— We had a stage at this year's Garden Party in Leeds! But how was the rest of the weekender? Chris Ogden made the trek across the Pennines to find out.