Put off by Celine Dion promo CD’s, obscure opening hours, and over eager traffic wardens I’ve neglected my trusty PO Box a little of late. As such a modest pile had built up when I finally illegally parked the Micra and grabbed my mail.
In an age of MP3’s and zshare it’s a bit of an oddity that people still actually use old fashioned mail, but there’s something about a person taking the trouble to lick the stamp, and physically send you a CD that compels you to listen, far more than a copy and pasted email, with “Hi Music like dirt, been loving your site for ages now, here’s the latest from my <insert musical genre I’ve never ever featured here> band“.
Don’t get me wrong, an emailed MP3 is still the quickest way to get a listen, but only a physical copy gives you guilt trips for not getting round to doing so.


Pick of the last post box has to be “Microvictories” the debut album by London sound sculptor Brassica. Its out on Tartaruga records, a label you can’t help but warm to such is their attention to detail and thirst for quirky new ideas.
Interested in the music but dont want to part with a tenner straight away? Sign up to their lending library service. Register on the website and you’ll receive the full CD, lush packaging and all, to try for a week. It comes with a library card to fill in your details and the date, then when the weeks up all you pay is the postage and the effort of popping it into the post to the next library user.

Microvictories is limited to 200 copies and comes in a beautiful screen-printed, hand-stamped and sewn sleeve. Each numbered copy also includes ten mini artworks by ten artists interpreting a track each. Such care and thought has been lavished on the release that if you buy a copy Tartaruga actually send out one of their employees cradling the CD on a cushion direct to your front door!*

With all that in mind I put the actual CD on with some trepidation.. “please don’t let the music be terrible, I really WANT to like this!

Thankfully the music – which is what matters after all – lives up to the high standard set by it’s painstakingly created packaging. It ranges from beautiful ambient electronica, found sound collages, almost pop-ish melodies through to the clattering “Welcome (a piss in the river)” with it’s driving bass line.

All kinds of samples, sounds and experiments are lovingly woven into the mix, with new elements being revealed to the repeated listener. While some of the more “out-there” glitchy machine noise found sound tracks may try the patience of the kind of people who think ambient or electronica means “Cafe Del Mar” there’s a well judged mix between the more experimental end and lush beauty at the other.

It all marks Brassica, his label Tartaruga and the Brassica Fuzzpedal blog as ones to watch, listen to and love.

* I may have made that bit up!

Brassica Myspace

Brassica Fuzzpedal blog – bookmark for exclusive MP3’s, fascinating YouTube finds, and other curio’s

Brassica – Welcome (a piss in the river) (MP3)
Visit the Tartaruga website for another Free MP3
Arrested-able offence or interesting interpretation… The Beatles – “A Day In The Life (Brassica Remix)” (MP3)
Brassica’s Mux tape compilation

Brassica – “Microvictories Limited to 200 copies so be quick!!!!
Hand pressed, stamped, licked, loved and sent directly to you for a tenner.

Sign up to the lending library.


As the above archive 80’s clip from “Jools (Holland) in Jamaica” shows, Lee “Scratch” Perry has been… shall we say quirky for more than a few decades now. His position as one of the most important figures in the history of reggae music is however unquestionable.

Andrew W.K. met Perry at SXSW back in 2006, and an unlikely friendship developed leading ultimately to W.K becoming the latest producer to try and deliver a coherent album from the enigmatic legend. It features a long list of helping hands from Moby, Blondie’s Chris Stein, and Don Fleming and it might just be Perry’s best album since “Battle of Armagideon“.

Get it out the cock, piss in Iraq

The first single “Pum Pum” returns to Perry’s first love… no not reggae music but ladies bits, he’s not called Doctor Dick for nothing. Elsewhere he sounds as contemporary as he has in years without it sounding fake. “Reggae Man” updates the classic reggae sound to fine effect, “Party Time” ensures just that, “Fire” is builds gradually into trippy overload and “Chooga Cane” has a marvellous electro riff running throughout. Then there’s “Santa Claus” a disco beat featuring feedback rock guitar, hand claps, Perry going on about Mickey Mouse and a high pitched woman screeching “Santa Claus”!! Its actually madder than that sounds.

This being Perry there are of course moments of self indulgence but Andrew WK has done an incredible job coaxing a quality album out of The Upsetter this side of the Millennium. Over the years I’ve bought countless frankly terrible Perry albums, but with over half a dozen tracks that’ll have you hitting repeat, Repentance wont join those gathering dust on my record shelves.

Lee Perry – Fire” (MP3)
Lee “Scratch” Perry – Soul Fire” (MP3) – one of my favourite tracks of all time. Scientifically impossible not to start rambling/singing along mid way through (or perhaps thats just me)?
Andrew W.K. – She Is Beautiful” (MP3) – a classic from Lee Perry’s unlikely producer

Hadn’t checked Lee Perry site extroadinaire “Eternal Thunder” for ages and what do you know they’ve been doing what looks like an amazing podcast. Each shows focuses on a different aspect of Perry’s work, I for one am downloading them all now.

Lee “Scratch” Perry – “Repentance” – Pre-order
“Arkology” – Incredible 3CD set of 52 tracks, copious fascinating sleeve notes, and unreleased gems from Perry’s peak years.

Those weird Lee Perry Guinness Adverts from a few years back (Youtube)
Trailer for the forthcoming “Upsetter – The Movie”


“People Funny Boy – The Genius of Lee Scratch Perry” – Essential read for all fns of the Upsetter and reggae/musical history in general.


Nikesh Shukla is a writer, rapper and Saved By the Bell enthusiast caught between the cityscapes of Bombay and the green and pleasant land of London or so his press release says. More importantly he’s got a track out called “Damon Albarn’s A Pompous Cunt” which should be worth a listen for the title alone? Does Nikesh get away with such a deliberately headline grabbing title?

I can’t help but agree with the sentiment myself – he undoubtedly is – but you can’t deny the man keeps delivering great songs, pomposity and all. Check out the title sequence of the BBC’s Olympic coverage featuring Damon’s monkey – Brilliant!
While having a quck nosey round the net I also stumbled across an excellent interview Nikesh did with “one of the best rappers around” Immortal Technique.

Nikesh Shukla – Damon Albarn’s A Pompous Cunt” (MP3)