Threnodies and Ad hocs
Discus 171CD
Available formats: CD/DL

Threnodies and Ad hocs
“My music flows from the paintbox I’ve assembled over the years from Steel City rehearsals in abandoned little mester warrens to Motor City gospel studios still echoing with the soundtrack of my youth.”

“A Blood Red Prayer’’

A song cycle featuring the force of naturę that is Sylwia Anna Drwal “ shone like diamond studded sin ’’..She compels the listener ‘listen!‘

Ad hocs
A prosaic Ulyssean voyage through the influences that shaped iconoclast Adi Newton, “Future Cartography” is framed in four movements by a reimagined Clock DVA frequented by the ghosts of Joseph Holbrooke and Bernard Herrmann.

“Far From God’’ Pete Hope formally of The Box portrays a rite of passage gone wrong
“ In the blackness I could feel The Angel of Death”

Stephen Mallinder’s cut up Bellman of Dystopia proclaims “Doomerati!’’ Our history predates Cabaret Voltaire and reaches back to the early soul clubs of Sheffield, The Ark and Highway 61.

“Trophy Wives’’ My payback poem gets a classic David Was narration “Take em back on the plane to the Serengeti Plain.. in a freezer bag ” I once made the pilgrimage to Detroit to work with Was ( not Was). The experience was like coming home.

The Musicians. Salute

Michael Somerset February 2024

Lizard Man (Bonus Track DL Only)
Hi Fi Sci Fi Cryptozoological Monstermash featuring Barry Adamson of Magazine and Bad Seeds fame…. B Movie scream by Sylwia Anna Drwal

118CD – Mzylkypop – Kiedy Wilki Zawyja?
Kiedy Wilki Zawyja?
Butchers Of Distinction / Eternal Spring


So beautifully rendered, a thousand years of mastery, every note wrapped in arcane knowledge and haptic artistry. Rich as syrup and brittle as ancient bones. Threnodies and Ad Hocs retaining the same warped, exotic, textures and tones that mark Mzylkypop’s unique collapsed old order: swirling organs, cinematic fabric, dulcimer lines and velvet vocal intimacy which seduce and admonish in equal measure as we get sucked in deeper and deeper into this fearsome whirlpool. Acceleration-Deceleration. A jump start journey through a fearful dark night; hop on board the ghost train ride that exists alongside our current digital simulacra, more real than the cod reality which our blue pill gulp gives us. Slip through the torn curtain into this rat-a-tat, deep bass, new Brechtian world. Dance in delight to this modern nightmare, sing along to the old world’s lament, lift up your skirts and show your colours to what is to come. This is no funereal march but a loud and joyous caterwaul, an affirmation of the soul. – Stephen Mallinder

With the extraordinary “Kiedy Wilki Zawyja?” by MZYLKYPOP, Bad Alchemy’s rediscovery of Discus and the rise of Sheffield to the cult site associated with Martin Archer began. The song and story writer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Somerset Ward is also pure Sheffield, with a history with Floy Joy in the 80s, a soft spot for Captain Beefheart and Kafka (“Kafka Chic”, 2014), and finally the connection to Discus. Threnodies and Ad hocs (DISCUS 171) kicks off with ‘A Blood Red Prayer (to the Angel of Death)’ as a 3-part invocation a cappella. Followed by the Threnodies ‘Witches In These Parts’, ‘Snake Anima’, ‘Spiked’ and the Polish ‘Bez Imienia’, sung by Sylwia Drwal, alternating between cheese-organic, sax-driven rock’n’roll and sensual, self-oblivious downtempo. In between, ‘Future Cartography’ as the first of the ad hocs already heard on “Mzylkypop presents Xzyles” (Do It Thissen Records, 12″, 2019), with a recitative by Adi Newton, the Sheffield veteran and with Clock DVA one of the inspirers. As if from the ashes of Clock DVA, Pete Hope, himself a Sheffield veteran with The Box, grabs the microphone for the choked ‘Far From God’, before Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire reveals the roots of the Sheffield spirit on ‘Doomerati’. A million heartbreaks lie beyond the skyline / Bringing subterranea over ground, bassist Benjamin Cockayne commented. The murmuring voice of David Was on ‘Trophy Wives’ completes the autofictional aspect, as Don Was once produced Floy Joy in Detroit. Somerset has mobilized two dozen vocalists and instrumentalists for this, he himself plays Woodwinds, keyboards, percussion and electronics, David Lewin/Simon Lewinski is his right hand on keys, guitar & drums, music that takes you into an infernal bar run by Beefheart and W.S. Burroughs, where Foetus performs, and Mallinder when he announces the end of the world, falls on deaf ears and only fills the dancefloor. Drwal concludes this with ‘My Room’ as a sad, even eerie waltz. – Rigobert Dittmann, BAD ALCHEMY

Second very successful album for Michael Somerset Ward’s project, already with the “historic” Clock DVA and songwriter for the political house Crooked Man. Here the band confirms its dizzying avant pop – more avant than pop – with 23 musicians, including singers and orchestras, mixing Sixties psychedelia, mutant prog, bluesy atmospheres, Afro-American new thing (especially in the solos), bizarre references to vintage crime jazz; the music, as Ward himself says, is here a spectrum of colors assembled, over the years, from abandoned industrial cities. – Guido Michelone

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