Delicate minialism in a less than traditional manner, the debut EP from Audenshaw outfit The Workhouse(I know it's wrong - me) is lo-fi bedroom whimsy incarnate. Probably what Dakota Oak woould sound liked had he been weaned on US underground punk as a child, 'Terry Feels Sick' is all skewed rythmns, Mark E Smith-esque hollering and utterly, utterly baffling. Far less formed but altogther more edearing is 'Peacon' it's quirky ambience and crystalline air of atmosphere enough to penetrate the most ardent cynic.
City Life September 2000
- "paper plane"
Crashing waves of beautiful mellow sounds on guitar, led by a powerful drum roll. Parts of this 10" are "Silver Machine" played at half-speed. If Hawkwind were on uppers then these guys are on downers - but the music is actually uplifting, as you're led through a crescendo of crashing drums, screaming guitars and intense bass. It's a trip, alright - but it's feet are firmly routed to the ground. This instrumental is not confined to any rules - it's surround sound on it's own, with an early Pink Floyd feel, but less intense and psychedelic. On top of all this there are hints of metal and goth-rock.. For those wee early hours when you are enjoying good music and are too mellow to bother with waking up the neighbours, put this on. The flip side, "Fry up" is far more riff orientated, and has Sunday dawn in mind.
Record Collector May 2001
Latest release from Audenshaw's single only operation Emma's House Recordings comes courtesy of Kimonophonic (aka Canadian Justin Armstrong). Justin aims to 'make tomorrow's music with yesterday's technology' and as you'd imagine it's minimal but melodic Elctro pop, bleeping and blipping it's way through three minutes. 'My Oldest Phone' is a little too sparse, but despite the basic percussion, 'Punk Rock Systemz' cruises along the autobahn nicely, doing a cute impression of an early Alpinestars b-side.
City Life November 2000
If I wasn't as old as I am then I would probably be left in a dribblng mess on the floor after hearing these tracks. The Workhouse play great guitar based music, mostly instrumental..."Paper Plane".....is pure heaven guitar rock that reminds you of the guitar music of The Chameleons and Slowdive, early Verve...Fry Up, the next track is again guitar based but sounds a bit weird and changes mid-tempo and goes off into another direction, a promising band....
Independant Underground Sound #6 Summer 2001 - a nice fanzine contact
Next up, more from Emma's House Recordings this time in the shape of a split set featuring Krayola and Gillespie. Limited to a miserly 150 copies, mine's number 99 so getting searching fast. Krayola appear in sci-fi dub meets drum n' bass shocker. 'Book of the Dead' kicks in like a mythical dream meetings at the superhighway crossroads of Dreadzone, Wagon Christ and Biosphere, and damn groovy at that. Flip the disc and you get 'Anna's song' by Gillespie, a more than worthy reason to part with your hard earned cash. Don't know why but I get a feeling of the Smiths when I hear this, not that it's psychotically depressing, but more for the weaving of intricate 60's influences. I wish I knew for certain. Peppered with a lonesome trumpet parping in the background which gives it a smoke filled jazz cafe type melancholic edge, brilliant.
losingtoday.com - September 2001
Defying all expectations of quality control, the sixth single from Audenshaw's Emma's House Recordings beautifully ups the ante in the more orthodox endeavours of Germany's Tuna. More accessible in tone and lacking the whimisical drone of previous EP's, the mood is one of pure glacial pop romanticism a la Smiths tinged with the Sugarcubes' soul-caressing vocals.
City Life July 2001
'The fifth release from Audenshaw's mini cottage industry arrives in the guise of Krayola and Gillespie, both involving one James Davidson, and both, as expected, maintaining said label's compelling air of off-beam exuberance. Opener 'Book of the Dead' is a cinematic slice of near-tribal funk, while flipside 'Anna's Song' ploughs an altogether more orthodox path, a winsome chunk of acoustic joy spliced to soul-poured beats and probably what Rae & Christian think they sound like.
City Life April 2001
THE WORKHOUSE - Peacon/Terry Feels Sick
Here we get the Cocteau Twins, though woefully without the duclet vocals of Liz Fraser, but with their cascading euphoric guitars and mellow crescendos, this is full of contradictions. The A-side is a scinitillating song that you'll never want to fade into the grrove. But although the B-side is actually a top notch effort, with it's strained vocals and reverb-laden guitar, it lacks the charm of the first track. Still, it's a worthwhile single.
Record Collector December 2000
ANGEL CORPUS CHRISTI (with Dean Wareham) - You
Now, you want to like this, you really do, especially as Angel plays the world's most under-rated instrument, the piano accordion. The title track suffers overmuch from Warehams's influence, reminiscent as it is of Galaxie 500's 'please don't hit me' style. "I Want Everything" is much nicer, with a Velvets thang going on and the squeezebox much more to the fore, offsetting Angel's sweet vocals to best effect. A bit like Low's "Christmas EP", which is really no bad thing.
Record Collector - March 2001
Release number three features the excellent Kimonophonic whose previous outings I don't need to remind you have been featured on Earworm Records. Strictly limited to 200 only, this tasty two tracker provides the same dreamy lines as their previous emissions. 'Punk rock systemz/my oldest phone' follows a well trod road journeyed by the likes of ISAN, Plone and mentioned for the second time, Boards of Canada. Simplistic sounding, but creating a wonderful lullaby backdrop, almost ambient in feel, a smooth synth sequence, like the testcard but more Teutonic.
losingtoday.com - Septemeber 2001
This debut from the German band Tuna is extremely promising. Hosted by Manchester's Emma's House label, the sound is a combination of Heavenly and early Stereolab. It's difficult to tell why the single is called 'Tiny Tiger' though - because the lyrics, although soft an effective in contrast to the rocking guitars, are slightly inaudible. But perhaps that's the desired effect?
Record Collector - September 2001
Emma's House Recordings have been heard on John Peel, Session in Scotland, XFM London and on unique record decks across the globe from the West Coast of America to Japan.