RAMASES Complete Discography (StormVox)
Now here’s a yarn. In the late 1960s, Sheffield-born central heating salesman Barrington Frost downed tools and, believing himself to be the reincarnation of an Egyptian Pharaoh, rebranded himself as psych-rock traveller Ramases, with his wife Selket (birth name: Dorothy) in tow. The pair recorded an album, Space Hymns, for Vertigo in 1971, backed by a gaggle of musicians who would later become 10cc. It tanked, as did 1975′s richly orchestrated follow-up Glass Top Coffin. Frost, sadly, took his own life the following year.
Ramases Complete Discography pulls together all of Ramases’ work in one place: the outfit’s two LPs, a string of early singles, plus an enormous amount of unreleased material and a number of covers by contemporary fans (Blonde From Fargo and Rocketboat among them). Space-folk cadets have been saying it for years, but the two LPs here are exceptional. Space Hymns is a rootsy psych-rock record, that’s surprisingly taut given its purview. Glass Top Coffin, meanwhile, is the superior affair – mistier, trippier, and anchored by proper honest-to-Horus songwriting.
Ramases Complete Discography arrives in a limited run of 1000, although there’s also a digital edition for the slow-moving. Artwork comes from Current 93′s David Tibet, who also contributes a short essay. In another odd twist, Ramases Complete Discography is a decade-long labour of love by Stormvox boss Peter Stormare, who Coen brothers fans will recognise as the bleached-blonde killer in Fargo.