Experimental post-punk project, Abrasive Trees release three-track debut

Abrasive Trees, Band Of Holy Joy, Indie, Jo Beth Young, Matthew Rochford, Music, Noir Songs, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine, Rise, Torch Songs

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Experimental post-punk project, Abrasive Trees have announced the release of a three-track single Bound For An Infinite Sea on Wise Queen Records/Shapta on Friday 4th September.

The title track, a driven, layered and atmospheric song with spectral, intricate guitars – sits alongside two more ambient, immersive tracks and features vintage drum-machines, acoustic drums recorded in a Victorian rectory and an array of acclaimed musicians.

Abrasive Treesis the solo project of Scottish-born guitarist and singer Matthew Rochford.  About the release he said:

 “These songs are a bit dark, but there’s also a positive energy behind them. In essence they are about the importance of staying compassionate – whatever the circumstances.  The title track is actually about witnessing suffering and finding a way to be empowered to do something meaningful in the face of sorrow.  There is so much intensity in this world and it can get a bit overwhelming can’t it?  I wrote and recorded these three songs amidst loss so there’s heartbreak, but also something hopeful and spiritual that I hope will connect with how others might be feeling right now.

“Creating music is simultaneously a release for me and an offering to those who feel that ‘just coping’ is a good day.  I think being a musician you learn the value of being in the moment and expressing what needs to be expressed. During this strange time, it’s especially important to me to stay present in a positive way and this single is part of that.

Matthew is a former member of Jo-Beth Young’s live and studio bands for RISE and Talitha Rise as well as being in the post-punk bands Council of Giants, The Impossible Moon and a recent Rothko collaborator.

The production features an line-up of collaborators including Jo Beth Young (RISE/Talitha Rise), Steven Hill (Evi Vine), Mark Parsons (Eat Lights Become Lights) and Matthew’s brother, Sebastian (Polar Bear/Pulled By Magnets).  The single was mixed and mastered by Mark Beazley (Rothko/The Band Of Holy Joy).

All three tracks are available on limited-edition cassette or CD or download from their bandcamp page on Friday 4th September as well as streaming via all the usual platforms.  A video to accompany the release (by visual artist Jess Wooler) will premier on the day prior to release.

Bio:  Abrasive Trees is the creative vehicle for the music of Matthew Rochford. 

Matthew was born in Aberdeen to Anglo-Indian/Anglo-Irish parents and has been playing guitar since he was a child. He’s a former member of Jo-Beth Young’s live and studio bands for RISE and Talitha Rise as well as being in the post-punk bands Council of Giants and The Impossible Moon. This year he has been recording for Mark Beazley’s Rothko and Jo Beth Young.

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The approach is experimental and immersive and the sound could be described as spectral, layered and brooding with intricate, drone-drenched guitars.  The overall energy owes as much to post-punk as it does to ambient psychedelia, grunge or post-rock.

Strings, dulcimers, guitars that sound like old synths or sitars, voices in the distance and stories that take you somewhere. Esoteric bass, analogue drum machines and acoustic drums recorded in a Victorian house all help to forge the sound.

As well as writing the music, lyrics and producing, Matthew also sings, plays guitars, dulcimer, Ebow and programmes the analogue drum machine.

The debut single and video is scheduled for release September 2020 via Wise Queen Records with an album following in 2021.

An array of accomplished collaborators have contributed to the project so far, both live and in the studio:

Nadia Abdelaziz – Voice, Dulcimer

Ffion Atkinson (Johnny Powell and The Seasonal Beasts) – Voice

Mark Beazley (Rothko/Band of Holy Joy) – Electric Bass

​Laurence Collyer (Diamond Family Archive) – Shruti Box, Steel Guitar

Steven Hill (Evi Vine) – Guitars

​Jay Newton (Quiet Quiet Band)  – Keys

Mark Parsons (Eat Lights Become Lights) – Electric Bass

Ben Roberts (Evi Vine) – Cello

Seb Rochford (Polar Bear/Pulled By Magnets) – Drums

Peter Yates (Fields of The Nephilim) – Guitars

Jo-Beth Young (Talitha Rise/RISE/Yates & Young) – Voice, Guitars, Percussion, Tibetan Bowl, Recorder

Appearing on this single:

Steven Hill – Guitars

Mark Parsons – Electric Bass

Matthew Rochford – Vocals, Guitars, Drum Machine

Sebastian Rochford – Drums

Jo-Beth Young – Additional Voice

 Written and Produced by Matthew Rochford

Mixed and Mastered by Mark Beazley

Released by Wise Queen Records/Shapta

Publishing: Speegra

 

Just A Dream? by Ian Lewis Copestick

Brit Grit, Ian Copestick, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

PhotoFunia-1590567085Just A Dream ?

I know I’m getting older,
what once was fury, is
now just sadness.
Where my blood would
boil, and I’d grind my
teeth, now I just shake
my head in disbelief.
I suppose you just get
used to people letting
you down. At one time
I’d shout, now I just
frown. Nearly all of my
idealism has been
beaten out of me, both
metaphorically, and
physically. It’s the last
thing I want to be, a
cynical, old shit, but
it’s where life has led
me, I can’t deny it.

I really wish someone
would prove me wrong.
Instead of selling out, be
pure and strong. Show
that socialism isn’t just
a nice dream, but a
workable, practical
scheme. Show that
money isn’t the only
deity, that we can have
a fair, equal society.
One race, the human
race, one people, one
blood. If one hurts, we,
all hurt. Universal love.

Yes, I’m a dreamer, but
I’m not the only one. Yes,
this is the world that we
could live upon.

Order of Feather and Smoke by Kristin Garth

Horror, Kristin Garth, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

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Order of Feather and Smoke 

 

Two hush the horses with rubs of their hands.

Side saddle riders seek to understand hitch

of carriage, belts into hooks, driving demands,

brake levers from library books of which

they are shown by the Siren of Smoke. Stoke

requisite flame, port de bras coax the spot,

equestrianism, on shelves where they stroke

parchment until their pluck is provoked.  Brought

by Crow Carriage so they shall leave, maidens

who drive, sisters who believe what is taught

to them by feathers, smoke.  The cadence

of crow wings above their carriage resounds

in subconscious minds returned to hometowns.

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House  (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket forthcoming from Roaring Junior Press.  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com

 

John Wisniewski interviews Dominic Adler

Brit Grit, Dominic Adler, Euro Noir, Interviews, John Wisniewski, London, London Noir, Punk Noir Magazine

41+WWTnmZPL._SY346_How did your career of being a law enforcement officer aid you in your writing, Dominic?

We all have a hinterland, and mine was 25 years in the Metropolitan Police. London’s a genuine metropolis and I rubbed shoulders with some incredible characters, a gift for any writer. For example, my first novel, ‘The Ninth Circle’ was partly-inspired by a stint working on the Alexander Litvinenko murder investigation. One of the lines in the book comes from a Russian I came across (“where’s the only place you find free cheese? In a mousetrap”). As a thriller writer, it’s not a bad primer; the police taught me how to handle firearms, drive fast cars, follow someone without them knowing – sexy stuff which I wasn’t remotely gifted at. I was happier talking to people, which I like to think is a more important skill for a detective.

I think my old job had a technical impact on how I approach my writing too – I would prepare intelligence reports, statements and requests for stuff like surveillance or financial investigations or forensic support. It helped develop an eye for detail, structure and working to deadlines. And the UK police five-part statement model is a solid way of presenting a story. I’ve used it to clarify scenes, writing the same incident from different points-of-view. As a writing exercise, it’s solid.

Lastly, after a quarter of a century in that world I developed a decent contacts book. It’s full of weird and wonderful people to ask questions if I need to.

When did you begin writing? 

When I was nine or ten. I’d hammer out adventures for role-playing games on my dad’s typewriter (Gary Gygax, co-author of ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ was my earliest literary influence). As a teenager I started my own twisted humour magazine called ‘Swamp’ (circulation – about six of my friends). At college I was a student journalist, writing a scabrous gossip column and movie reviews. Eventually the itch to write my own novel really, really needed to be scratched. I started one on an A4 pad, scribbling in biro, when I was a young patrol officer. I remember trying to describe what it was like to work night-shifts, about what a special place London became after dark. Of course, it was awful, but you have to start somewhere.

Any favourite suspense/crime authors?

I’ll give you two of my favourite crime writers. The first is Philip Kerr (for his Bernie Gunther detective thrillers, set in Nazi Germany). Bernie is probably my favourite character in fiction – a decent man in a fucked-up world, someone who can’t help but end up with blood on his hands, but prepared to pay the price for his sins. The second is Mark Timlin, whose late 80s / early 90s Nick Sharman books are hard-boiled gems set in south London: Cocaine. Threesomes with strippers. Sharp suits. Gun porn. Car chases in souped-up Sierra Cosworths. Rock stars. And did I mention LONDON! Read them now, especially if you like a walk on the wild side – Timlin was a roadie for rock bands before he became a writer. I’ll admit to being heavily influenced by Timlin when writing the Cal Winter thrillers. If he ever reads this, I hope he gets in touch and I’ll buy him a disgracefully boozy lunch (you choose where, Mark). Maybe with bang-bang chicken, one of Sharman’s favourites.

How does your interest in military history and technology in warfare affect your writing?

I did a History degree and was an army reservist. I think my obsession with military history helps when writing military characters – you quickly realise soldiers are very tribal. Cal Winter’s an ex-army officer and even though he’s cashiered in disgrace, he needs the balm of camaraderie as much as the buzz of action. To give another example of how real-world history inspires me, my latest book (Timberwolf), is a crazy science-fantasy set in a world analogous to the 1940s. One of the key scenes is based on the German airborne assault on Eben-Emael. If I wasn’t a history geek, I would never have heard of it.

As for technology, I love gadgets and toys. Oh, and tanks. I love tanks. Personally I blame watching too many Bond movies as a kid (except for tanks, unless we’re talking about Pierce Brosnan driving a T-55 in Goldeneye). Then, towards the end of my career, I became an online investigator. I was exposed to social engineering methodologies and what the military would call ‘information warfare’. I got completely hooked on how the Internet was becoming a battlefield domain. That led to me writing ‘The Saint Jude Rules’, which I didn’t realise was actually me, oracle-like, partially shadowing the world of shit that is 2020. See? I was an information warfare hipster, back before it was cool.

41TnZ5v0saL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Could you tell us about writing “The Devil’s Work“? What inspired this novel?

‘The Devil’s Work’ is the second Cal Winter novel. I wanted to write an over-the-top action thriller based on movies like ‘The Wild Geese’ and ‘Where Eagles Dare’, but set in the 21st Century. A story with impossible commando raids and double-crosses. I’d also read about how China was buying up vast chunks of Africa, which I thought made for an interesting back-story.

I spoke to a couple of friends who know Africa well about world-building, then spoke with an ex-SBS guy over a pint about how you’d drop a RIB from a helicopter… and the rest fell into place from there. The scene where Cal meets a journalist in a flyblown African bar was more or less pilfered from a bloke I know who was a warzone news cameraman. Then I needed to create a bunch of gnarly mercenaries to join Cal and his sidekick Oz. They were inspired by tough-guy movies like ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Con Air’ (you’ve got no heart if you don’t love that movie) – I ended up with a dread-locked Scottish ex-paratrooper, gangster twins from East London who served in the Foreign Legion and a Russian-American sniper who comes along for the ride.

Funny story: I was working in a Criminal Intelligence unit when I wrote the book, so was required to submit the script for vetting. As the book features a troubled SIS (MI6) team, my bosses decided to send it over to Vauxhall Cross for the spooks to take a look. As it happens, SIS wanted me to change one tiny thing – and this is the most British thing ever – they just asked politelyThere was no suggestion of an order, just a “would you mind awfully, old chap?” Who was I to disobey Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service? I’m not allowed to say what it was, so I won’t, except it had nothing to do with their reputation. I thought, all things being equal, they were cool about it.

What will your next novel be about?

I wear two writing hats (I’m such a rebel) – Thrillers and Speculative Fiction. On the thriller front I’m toying with a fourth Cal Winter story and I’ve also got 40,000 words down on a story about police corruption. It’s set on the Thames Estuary where London meets Kent – smuggling country. An ex-anti-corruption cop joins forces with a gangster’s widow to take down a criminal gang, who themselves are in the shit with the Albanian mafia (the Amazon-meets-Uber of European organised crime). Think ‘The Departed’ meets ‘The Long Good Friday’, with counter-espionage and the Isle of Sheppey. I do love glamorous locations. On the speculative fiction front, I’m also writing a sequel to ‘Timberwolf’. It’s got some good reviews and I really enjoyed writing it.

Any suspense/foreign intrigue movies that you like?

Okay you asked… Heat, Ronin, The Dirty Dozen, LA Confidential, Hanna, all of the ‘Bourne’ movies (even the dodgy one with Jeremy Renner), John Wick 1-400, Man on Fire (of course Chris Walken gets the best line: a man can be an artist… in anything, food, whatever. It depends on how good he is at it. Creasy’s art is death. He’s about to paint his masterpiece), Nikita, Reservoir Dogs, Die Hard, The Last Boy Scout, Way of the Gun, Snatch, In Bruges, Get Carter, The Long Good Friday, Layer Cake, No Country for Old Men, virtually any Bond movie, Leon, The Long Kiss Goodnight. I could go on, I devour this stuff whenever I can. And some great TV? Altered Carbon (first series), The Man in the High Castle, Babylon Berlin, The Boys, The Punisher, Fauda and The Bureau.

How do you create your characters?

They pop into my head semi-formed, then I start writing detailed profiles in my trusty notebook. Eventually, if I’m lucky, a character emerges. For others I open my mental rolodex of people I met at work, there are thousands of ‘em. Obviously, they’re heavily disguised, or composites. I think writing is a privilege and I hate bullying or betraying confidences – even for people I don’t like.

Link to Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/ Dominic-Adler/e/B00EYKGN26? ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid= 1572852445&sr=1-1

Link to Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/ Dominic-Adler/e/B00EYKGN26% 3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Link to website www.dominicadler.net

Link to Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ dominic.adler.90

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Thunder In Your Words by Mark McConville

Flash Fiction, Mark McConville, Punk Noir Magazine

PhotoFunia-1590832754Thunder In Your Words.

I look for sincerity in your words as you speak softly, assuring me I failed myself. In this old café which sells the best coffee, I don’t feel the best, and wish to reset my life and go back to the days when worries were on someone else’s mind. They’re on my mind, settling there like a pool of blood. I can’t forget them, scorch them with fires, or dislodge them. You sit, but you’d suit a pedestal, one colossal, touching the sky. Arrogance suits you too, as your obnoxious personality forces me to face the ground. In this café, in front of many faces, I weep into the menu, and then look up at you.

You stir the coffee relentlessly; the swirl looks like a whirlpool where I could end my days on earth. It could consume me, and take me on a ride before I hit my demise, a rollercoaster ride through snapshots of misery. This misery has been created by my failed 20s. In your eyes, I should have been someone of power, a catalyst breaking boundaries, storming through cities spreading my optimism. But I’m here, sitting on tattered material, in a booth where many conservations have taken place, good and bad.

My coffee is cold, frozen to its core. My cluttered mind tries to assemble a cohesive story to tell you. Every word I try to meld crashes in my mouth before I can blurt them out. Words should be my weapon, but they’re succumbing to blank expressions. I look at my watch; the time seems to be slow today, and this engagement seems to be in slow motion. Your eyelids take time to open and shut, the bangle on your wrist clatters onto the table.

I’m awake to the clatter, looking straight into your disappointed eyes. You feel betrayed, beaten down, and I can’t mend these broken ties. I’ll collapse, I’ll grovel, tinker with your emotions, but I feel we’re lost in the static noise played out by the radio. You stand like a titan, struck by emptiness, misguided like me but a success story in your bubble. The expensive outfit you’re wearing costs more than my world, those shoes you wear shine more than diamonds, your composure is professional, and the lipstick strengthens your lips so when you kiss your husband at night, he feels them heavy on his cheek.

The café empties, and we’re the only ones left. No more prying eyes, no more ears to hear a dispute that is gaining volume. You’re now in your element, speaking above me, hurling words that sting me, offering nothing but a hazardous diction. Seeking calm isn’t practical, as the monster in you appears, feeding on my anxiety.

‘’You should have listened to me, but no, you went your own way, chose the wrong direction’’

The coffee has changed color, the milk has curdled, the ambience has altered, and this brightly lit café becomes a space damaged by your demanding vocal performance. Over behind the counter, the staff cringe and look on, bemused by the anger shown.

‘’Look at me’’

I don’t look, I can’t look. I feel humiliated by your abrupt behavior. The café nears closing time, and the lightning strikes the pavements outside, with thunder in the background, the thunder in your words louder. You then throw money at me and tell me to pay the bill. I stand up and move away from you, like everyone else has done over the years, and I don’t blame them, as they were right to disband from your ignorance. Years and years of strain, time and time again, you utter words, you mutter under the breath that god gave you. My childhood had no highlights, no structure, or significance.

So I pay the bill, brush off your existence, and leave.

Murder Is A Promise That Must Be Kept by Kristin Garth

Horror, Kristin Garth, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

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Murder Is  A Promise That Must Be Kept 

 

Sash into sill then you are sealed to sounds

of sisterhood found you once thought extinct, 

surreal reverie in satin nightgowns. 

You take a young hand.  Fingers fall down. Pink

feverish, wet, two rosettes round her cheeks.

Everyone whimpers.  Nobody peeks 

from nightmares, too weak to awake.  You sneak

about bedchamber, grinding a new beak,

affectation, trying to think — wannest

skin, punctures in veins, cannot lead them away 

until laudanum wanes. Murder is a promise

that must be kept.  It will happen today 

amidst collected unconscious kidnapped.

You lie in wait once you ready a trap. 

This Howling Wind by Eoghan Lyng

Eoghan Lyng, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

PhotoFunia-1591000525This Howling Wind

A stirring sound of thunder whistles through the heady days of wreckless sleeping, hearts beating and others speaking their nonsense. The wind is crying through those heady hours, cold showers, killing flowers, for Spring to grow them back in place. These grinding sounds and piling pounds will take more than earth to put right in place, but this heavy wind is calling through the stormy skies and will carry throughout the night. And it rains, it pours, the old man snores, until he cannot wake again from that comatose, and pitter patter, more dreams are shattered, from a never ending rain. Let it breeze and flee through the crowds that seek shelter from a sitting place, let it soak and roast  those who most often oppose supposing those who’ll never speak again of happiness. This howling wind has dragged the sun down to its very knees, and asks it please, to never forget the stronger force, to force this flogged horse for a century more of weathered battles. This wind is strong. This wind is strong.