I probably first came across Mick Magic some 25 years or so ago when he was not only running an underground cassette label Music & Elsewhere, which released nearly 600 albums between 1987 and 2003, but also had a band called Magic Moments at Twilight Time. It is safe to say that they were incredibly prolific themselves, releasing material not only through the M&E label but on others. There were ten volumes of a series called ‘Flashbax’, and German label Klappstuhl Records has released a “best of” that set, based on a fan poll conducted in 1992, specifically for a proposed ‘best of’ called ‘In Search Of Albert’, which never saw the light of day. Mick then added an additional disc of songs specially chosen by him, which assists in telling the story of the band, in their own quirky little style, all the way from their time travelling adventures that made our early existence so confusing, right up to the final track of the cassette era, “Freedom Overflow”, used for some years as the theme tune of the renowned pirate radio station. 

I really wasn’t sure quite what to expect when I revisited this for the first time, as I remembered MMATT were quite an acquired taste, but I put on the headphones and decided to immerse myself in music that in some places goes back thirty years. It took a little while, but I soon realised I was smiling while I was playing this. It is nothing like what I normally listen to, as not only are the keyboards and sequencers horribly dated, but they must have sounded that way when the music was first made available. It is independent underground alternative rock pop which has elements of space rock contained within it, is jagged, simplistic, yet thoroughly enjoyable all at the same time. When the album finished, 18 songs and more than two hours later, I was really disappointed that it was over and had to delve back into it again. This is not music that takes itself seriously, but rather is all about having loads of cheap synths and sequencers with female vocals, and then having the nerve to make the music incredibly catchy and fun. Listening to it again and bloody hell I’m still smiling! Available for just €5 from 

https://klappstuhl.bandcamp.com/album/flashbax-ultimate 8/10