Tranquil Sands and Serene Lands.

The Joy of Living- John Hoyland

Contemplatively staring around at the acrylic-littered walls of a scrapheap bedroom, I'd haphazardly guess that any 'collector' of random artistically splattered canvas could, with very little consideration, pick out their three prize pieces were they shipped off to a stereotypically picturesque desert island equipped with nothing but a shovel, rations and a wall from which to hang such oily golden treasures. Bar guitars, amps, a veritable hoard of cables and a laptop, I'd drag along with me an apocalyptic miniature Hoyland named, seemingly incomprehensibly, The Joy of Living, a Flying Snorse courtesy of Welsh meticulous magician Pete Fowler caged in amongst Spanish vocab books and dodgy Hollywood prequels, and then it'd be a toss-up between a lucky dip between a Steve Keene whimsy palette portrait acquired from Rough Trade's now-derelict basement Neal's Yard store and a ghoulish guitarist realised by Lostprophets sampler Jamie Oliver. Whilst I may be many things of varying ability, an art conoisseur evidently is a hop, skip and a jump too far. Hoyland is infamous as a graduate of the Royal Academy and is at the forefront of great British abstract conjurers whilst at the other end of the artistic recognition spectrum is Pontypridd's very own Oliver, known within the miniscule clique that is the Swansea art scene. Joining the dots however are New Yorker Steve Keene, renowned primarily and almost entirely for record sleeves (namely Pavement's critically-acclaimed '94 ramshackle record Wowee Zowee) and Cardiffian cross-genred psychedelically scrambled maestro Pete Fowler and it's at this stop that the Dots & Dashes voyage into the uncharted territory of art terminates.
Temporary Greens by Jamie Oliver

Fowler is a man of many trades and it is without an ounce of hesitation that rest-assured, if you've stumbled across the wonderful kingdom of Blogdom, you'll have come across his brain-splicing colour schemes, flying post-mythical creatures and downright acrylic insanities. Long-term collaborator with fellow Welshies Super Furry Animals, he's designed every one of Gruff Rhys' choral trips into the obscure bar debut Fuzzy Logic and recent (relative) flop Hey Venus! When not hidden away behind an easel, he can be found designing vinyl figurines from his enchanted Monsterism Island, manning the most rollockingly rocking sixties ship since The Boat That Rocked beneath a sailor's hat at the Big Chill or unleashing divinely tranquil musical meanderings into the lost worlds of joyous minimal electronica and scary, hairy lo-fi shoe gazing. Following the indispensability of 2005's The Sound Of Monsterism Island on Jeff Barrett's indie den that is the aptly-entitled Heavenly Records featuring the likes of Silver Apples, Martin Denny and, yep, Manfred Mann it was a sensational listen and a breath of fresh air into a stagnant indie pool inundated with the stench of Killers, Kings of Leon and Kaiser Chiefs. Today, a matter of months late, I discovered the sensual delights of the sequel, A Psychedelic Guide To Monsterism Island. Largely featuring a more contemporary splurge of otherworldly musical mischief, Gruff Rhys and Circulus appear alongside Wolf People yet elsewhere, my awareness is akin to that of art; minimal but open-armed.
Grey Day Float by Pete Fowler

Pan pipes return, intertwining with melting guitar lines whilst cicadas click over sumptuous jazz piano licks before Rhys powers up Delorean magnetic drums not seen since last year's ephemeral 80s retro record Stainless Style courtesy of Neon Neon. With Amorphous Androgynous providing a track entitled Mr. Sponge's Groovy Oscillations, what's not to love? Long live the obsession.

For more info on the enigma that is Pete Fowler, head to his head-spinning labyrinth of a site equipped with the best soundtrack never released.