Electric Deckchair


CD - ANKSTMUSIK (ANKST 115) - Nov 2005


  1. Daisy Rind - 9:43
  2. A Dent in the Sunshine - 2:20
  3. Small Things Crawling - 6:02
  4. Ptarmigan - 23:47
  5. Cloud Trouble - 2:48
    1. Snood Indigo - 7:37
    2. Overstopped - 3:43
    3. Cleaver in the Nightingale - 3:01
    4. Outside Light - 7:40
    5. 3 Fort in Asia - 18:26

  The press said:

"Hackles rising, cold, so very cold," intones vocalist and guitarist Ann Matthews somewhere amidst the structured scree, squall and clatter of Ectogramıs fourth full-length, and she might as well have been describing much of the material on Deckchair. Over four albums in some ten years, this trio from Wales has developed a fresh take on "psych" and "drone" that is never nostalgic but always pays proper homage, never overly theatrical while still avoiding unnecessarily "hip" detachment.

The wise decision has been made to break the set up into two more palatable discs, each containing one epic and several shorter tracks. The band states that the only overdubs are vocals, and that composition and improv were captured live in the studio, then fashioned to form two discs of standard LP length. If focus was the goal, it was achieved brilliantly; none of the tracks meander, with even the more lengthy ventures maintaining a sectionalized formality without any threat of overcomposition. For me, the stand-out moments occur in two-minute gems like "Cloud Trouble," a powerfully beautiful punk ballad with Matthews' soaring and tastefully effected vocals floating above what can only be described as power-pop.

"Cloud Trouble" is actually one of the few instances on Deckchair where effects gain so much prominence. While they are certainly omnipresent in the overdriven noise-drenched symbiosis that typifies Matthews and Alan Holmes' guitar dialogues, there is a dryness to the group sound, a stripped-down certainty that confirms instrumental mastery and long-fostered group telepathy. It's especially evident in what I take to be a three-part minisuite, beginning with "Overstopped." Maeyc Hewitt's propulsive drumming and the motoric Krautrock vibe throughout conjures images of Faust - entirely appropriate, as Ectogram tours the UK with the legendary experimentalists in late October and early November, and whose "J'ai Mal aux Dents" they made their own on an earlier EP.

Ectogram's is not music that thrives on volume, but on clarity and precision. When moments of increased dynamics arise, they are earth-shattering, momentarily dispelling the agreeably chilly gestalt in favor of amplified heat; just sample the end of "Overstopped." With Matthews' pure and flexible vocals a perfect foil to the intricacies laid down by Hewitt and Holmes, Deckchair is now the definitive statement from these sound sculptors, and I await any future releases with great anticipation.

Marc Medwin, Dusted Magazine November 2005



Sharing a sonic union with Krautrock dark knights Faust, Ectogram's fourth album on Ankstmusik is their most eagerly anticipated yet. Having captured their beautifully frenetic live sound producer Michael Auld has brutally dissected Electric Deckchair into two intriguing recordings, Sing Something Complex and Sing Something Sibilant.

From the chaotic blow out of Snood Indigo to the epic Ptarmigan, Ectogram remain well versed in the ways of the word. Amidst hazy haphazard fuzz and subconcious meanderings, the fantastic Cleaver In The Nightingale shines as sharp stabbing staccato rhythms are pulled viciously from Pil's Metal Box. Although it's lead singer Ann Matthews' discordant channelling of Nest Howells' fashioned harmonies that confirm you'll be hard pressed to find an album of perverted psychedelia as prolific as this

Richard S Jones, Sound Nation Magazine November 2005


By the time you read this, North Wales heads of noble heritage Ectogram will have just played two gigs supporting Faust, probably a dream booking for them if ever there was one. The spirit of those ultrakult Germans, and their commune-dwelling 70s brethren, still runs through their fourth full-length. There's a little less Sonic Youth and a little more Acid Mothers Temple (two cuts around the 20-minute mark, one on each CD), but the spirit is instantly recognisable as Ectogram's, and the spirit is indominable.

Noel Gardner, Buzz Magazine November 2005


Ectogram rock you like a psychedelic hurricane. Releasing their humungous double album, Electric Deckchair, this month, the North Walian trio play epic, frazzled and unique rock music that's influenced by four decades of fringe oddness. Far bloody out!

Keiron Self, Buzz Magazine November 2005


The new Ectogram album out on ankstmusik is a great listen, the North Wales band has been creating experimental challenging music for years now and the new double album Electric Deckchair is their finest to date

Huw Stephens, The Western Mail, November 18th 2005


Ectogram - "Electric Deckchair" (Ankstmusic 2005)

Electric Deckchair is a double CD and it is the fourth release from this Welsh experimental trio, comprising of 2 guitars, drums, vocals, and may I add, the odd bad synth here and there. It is very much in a Velvet Underground/Syd Barrett style, and overall the compositions are simplistic in a way and seem to be aimed at anyone who can make sense of it. Both CD's comprise of 5 tracks apiece, and both, in time length, come under the 50 minute mark. As a starting point I will say with honesty that Ectogram will certainly not be to everyone's taste, mine included, and could indeed be termed as a very hard listen. Just for the record.

I will start with CD 1. The tracks are driven by noise, in a noisy way. They are badly played and sound almost jammed, in a bad jam way. However, after overcoming the initial sheer horror of it all, I recall that the bio stated that overall this release comes the closest to representing the bands live experience more than any other of their releases. So for me, the conclusion made is that I will definitely pass on witnessing one of their live gigs with my naked ears. However, casting my assumptions aside, the music itself has a few distorted elements of the above mentioned Velvet Underground/Syd Barrett, and also a slight angle of The Wedding Present in certain songs. Possibly Half Man Half Biscuit could also be mentioned as a reference to catchy, not as in a joke band, but overall it is an amalgamation of all these things and could be termed as something different. Ectogram play on the Interstellar Overdrive/Pink Floyd noise thing quite freely. It is oft manic, oft mellow, and it oft makes one think 'what the f*** is this about?' Vocalist & guitarist Ann Mathews dwells, and produces lyrical nonsense, and overall the first CD is what some might term abstract. CD 2 however is less noisy, yet it still does not make the music any better. CD 2 sounds more studio based, with the production being a lot better, even though it is just a cleaner version of noise. The above elements are still there and the lyrical waffle is still firmly in place. I will let the bio sum up what the sound is. At times evoking a sonic palette more reminiscent of an arms testing facility than a rock 'n' roll trio.

Albert Pollard, Aural Innovations #32, November 2005