The period between Malltod and the final, self-titled Fflaps LP saw no let-up in activity for the group, taking in two German tours, three Irish tours and a tour of France and Belgium in addition to numerous dates around the UK. In all, the group performed live some 38 times between June 1990 and January 1992 in addition to making a number of TV appearances.
In contrast to the previous records, Fflaps was recorded in a variety of locations and dates, although the whole second side was again recorded by Gorwel Owen at his recently relocated Stiwdio Ofn, now in Llanfaelog, Ynys Môn, on the 12th and 13th November 1991. Most of the remainder of the album was recorded at Music Factory in Cardiff, and even includes a cameo appearance by Welsh rock legend Geraint Jarman and his co-writer Neil White. One remaining track was taken from a live performance in Caernarfon on 31st July 1991 - Dewi Evans of Rheinallt H Rowlands fame had guested with the group on that occasion and they felt that his contribution to the song Cestyll a Llwch made this version preferable to the one recorded at Stiwdio Ofn.
The album was released at the beginning of February 1992, again in a group-designed sleeve - this time featuring impressionistic shots of the group taken from a recent TV appearance and captured as one scene faded into another. At the suggestion of drummer Jonny, the sleeve was printed on the reverse side of the card, giving the cover a subdued tone, in stark contrast to the glaring colours of the previous albums.
The music this time was less angular than on Malltod, with a more hypnotic rhythmic edge, possibly inspired by the group's fondness for listening to the likes of Can and Neu! while touring along seemingly endless autobahns. The record also saw something of a return to the melodiousness of Amhersain, albeit with longer songs.
Following the record's release, the group immediately set off on their longest European tour to date, taking in dates in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia over a solid three week period. Unfortunately this intensity of touring proved too much for Jonny, who was trying to juggle the group's activity with a full time degree course. When the group returned to the UK, he decided to leave in order to concentrate more fully on his studies.
The group carried on with replacement drummer Maeyc Hewitt, playing further German and French tours during 1992 and into 1993, but by the time it came to record again, they decided that they had become a different group altogether and mutated seamlessly into Ectogram.
Note: for those of you who prefer to own the physical object, we have unearthed a limited quantity of original vinyl copies of both this LP and Malltod which are now available to buy directly from Turquoise Coal here.
Fflaps - Fflaps (Central Slate Records SLATE 12) 1992
Ann Matthews - guitar, vocals
Alan Holmes - bass
Jonny Evans - drums
Dewi Evans - keyboards (track 6)
Geraint Jarman & Neil White - vocals (track 4)
recorded in Stiwdio Ofn, Llanfaelog (1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11), Music Factory, Cardiff (2, 3, 4, 5) and live in Caernarfon (6)
produced by Fflaps, Gorwel Owen, Steve Howard and Neil White
1 Hwn yw Hon (This (m) is This (f)) 4:02
2 Hyll Eto (Ugly Again) 4:05
3 Crebachu (Shrinking) 4:44
4 Nith y Gwlithlaw (Niece of the Drizzle) 5:18
5 Rhowch Hi i'r Belgwyr (Give It to the Belgians) 2:44
6 Cestyll a Llwch (Castles and Dust) 3:19
7 Greddf Pioden Gwern (Gwern's Magpie Instinct) 6:44
8 Saith (Seven) 5:40
9 Arwyr Duwiol (Godly Heroes) 3:18
10 Gadael y Dail (Leave the Leaves) 4:20
11 Cariad yn y Beudy (Love in a Cowshed) 5:30
all songs (Evans/Holmes/Matthews)
get it here