Originally released on Trensmat Records as a limited edition coloured vinyl 7" in silk-screened sleeve.
purple w/w/black silkscreen full wrap sleeve.
maroon w/black silkscreen full wrap sleeve.
black w/black zerox-effect 3/4-wrap sleeve.
Escape your earthly bonds and get lost in the Telescopes world of bleary eyed fuzz, hushed minimal mystery, greyed out guitar grime, and looped outer space shimmer.
As we no doubt have mentioned before, folks into the current crop of psych/space rock, who dig folks like White Hills, Carlton Melton, Wooden Shjips, etc., who somehow haven't heard the Telescopes, well, shit, it's never too late, and odds are you're have another new favorite band, and loads of records to track down. And this 7" is as good a place to start as any, although it definitely offers up a less rocking side of the band, the A side, a brooding cover of the Nick Drake track "Black Eyed Dog", here rendered in shades of black and grey, thick blurred swells of smoldering guitar, laced with delicate skeletal spidery melodies, and soft shimmery clouds of barely there FX, the vocals a hushed croon, the original was dark, but this is seriously haunting and ominous, a gorgeous bit of moody minimal mesmer. The B side starts with a strange sort of intro, a minimal bit of banjo laid over a churning swirl of buzzing FX, with spoken word by John Sinclair (founder of the White Panther Party, and one time manager of the MC5), while the second song on the B side, continues on in a similarly abstract direction, a strange soundscape of lazer effects and buzzing guitar drone, of blurred feedback, and jagged shard of truncated melody, bits of percussion and recordings of random conversations drift along this tripped out stream of smeared psychedelic minimalism.
Try all I might, turning this up to 11, listening on headphones, playing it backwards, at 33rpm, 45rpm, 78rpm, I can barely hear any traces of the original Nick Drake-penned ‘Black Eyed Dog’. It starts with a low end squelchy drone which flams a bit in and out of the mix whilst distant Syd Barrett-esque glissando guitar potters away. And...yes...yes, I can just hear the murmur of whispered vocals picking out something like the melody.
On the flip we get a strange experimental noise piece with spoken word vocals and something which sounds akin to the sound of a fire at a fireworks warehouse as played on a Casio keyboard. The Telescopes really have gone completely off into the ether in recent years and good on ‘em though it begs the oft asked question, is it easier to create a slab of droney noise than to write something melodious and listenable? Answers on a postcard please.
Veteran space rockers thread Nick Drake’s melancholic meditation through the pulsing eye of a slow motion nebula, constellations beaming fluoride bright to lance pinkish clouds of pure narcotic exhaust. Flip to hear the great White Panther himself make a surprise cameo. Yeah, that’s really John Sinclair sneaking disembodied tract between the wires of a debased banjo curfew.
One of the least formal gushes yet by the post-riff version of this mutable, long-lived outfit, currently active (as near as i can tell) as a duo. The Nick Drake cover here is brilliant - more like a whisper about an idea of a Nick Drake cover than anything else. And isnt that really what a good Nick Drake cover should be?
The Telescopes resurface from brief hibernation to serve up an equally transfixing platter of perfection, our copy comes pressed on limited slabs of maroon vinyl wax housed in a nifty silk screened sleeve and features a rather unsettlingly beautiful take on Nick Drake’s harrowing gem ‘black eyed dog’ - left in the hands of the telescopes this resigned opus is re-sculptured to haunch atop a droning monochromatic pulse wave, the vocals barely audible and murmured instil a deeply haunting effect to the proceedings that’s both withering and distant yet aglow with a spectral un-worldliness making it readily more palatable and less emotionally scarring than the original. Flip the disc for a brace of flies in the ointment as were the first ’their lying backs’ has John Sinclair reciting a poem over some creeping and groaning drone whirrs while ’mind hold’ veers into the sonic void applying a groaning ghostlike dreamscape atop a collage of overheard conversations which it should be said should be ripe listening wise to admirers of all things Wiggan and Dreams of Tall Buildings.