A Psychedelic Guide to Monsterism Island


Monsterism Island is full of Snorses, Wizards, Snyrds, Fowl Owls, Bat Skulls, Wild Robots, Fragmax and Grolfrax. As we tour this island of exotic chimera and creatures beyond our current knowledge we are given a soundtrack of wondrous and bizarre variety and extent. The fantastic psychedelic guidebook to this soundtrack evocatively describes the island and the travels the narrator and listener take far better than I can. All I can do here is to attempt to represent the sounds that have coloured my multiple journeys.

We arrive early in the morning on this far-off place with a breezy sense that Monsterism Island is somewhere Oceanic. As we venture forth, a feeling of potential dread of the creatures that lie within is replaced by an understanding that we shouldn’t be afraid as this is a place where Nintendo styled monsters live: both ‘Designated Wizard Practice Area’ (Belbury Poly) and ‘Silver Snorse Hotel’ (Luke Vibert) deliver almost nursery melodies that can only comfort. The former track, entitled because said sorcerers did something to the local milk with a spell gone wrong, hints at the cloaks ahead…

For as we move towards dusk the spring village fete has begun and there is only one band out there who can provide the backdrop to the bucolic festivities…it’s the cloaked wonders that are Circulus with the rapturous ‘Till Merry We Meet Again’. Future Sound of London in their Amorphous Androgynous guise add to the freak show with the uniquely titled ‘Mr Sponge’s Groovy Oscillations’ and Gruff Rhys cools things down a little with ‘Wild Robots Power Up’.

As the sun sets and night wraps itself around the island the tension increases, but it’s only on Jerry Dammer’s ‘Empty Library’ that things threaten to tip over into the truly chilling. Perhaps this is the library in the Ghost Town that beguiled us in the 80s? Is it just a little spooky that the night club referred to therein is now Coventry Central Library? Hmmm?

Later into the night we encounter gargantuan bees and as we dream in the purple wood we witness an owl ritual. Then, we and our narrator depart vowing to return at the sound of the bat skull’s horn.

Each time I’ve embarked on the journey to and around this weirdly enchanting isle, I’ve realised this album is slowly becoming my soundtrack to the nascent summer.

Bonkers. Brilliant. Get it, here.

Circulus – ‘Till We Merry Meet Again

Gruff Rhys – Wild Robots Power Up

Jerry Dammers – Empty Library



About angrybonbon

Both Bars On's Manchester correspondent

Posted on April 23, 2009, in Album reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. YES YES. I was tempted by the first field recording from Monster Island, mainly for the Furries connection… but this is obviously great. Must dig some groats out from down the back of the settle and get it… New Circulus album June, too – cloaks on!

  2. If the first one is as good as this then it’s definitely worth trading the odd chicken for. It was a right bugger deciding which tracks to post, which is always a good sign.

    Looking forward to a cloak-cloak-cloaking classic review of the new album come June.

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