Saturday, 16 September 2017

Duncan Harrison.



It's good to see a new release from Duncan Harrison. The Brighton based chef of the noise garde, promoter, poet and ex-Plural. The last solo release I heard was the 2013 tape "Ogre Neon" on Beartown Records, and I found that CDR very hard to get on with ... "Preamble to Nihil" is still "difficult" music but it is an easy listen thanks to masterful editing ...

"Preamble To Nihil" is a C30 tape, a step inside the comforting space between the ears of Mr. Harrison. It's construct is from random recordings, live performances, stream of conscious style verbals and attacks. A collage. A diary. Cut-Up Construction.
Inside the magnetics are sounds of wonky lo-fi guitar, dreamscape poetry (word & mouth play), looped vibes, arguments, church bells and brass bands (Brighton parklife?), turntables, general rustle, hustle and bustle. Sax blurts, ampnoise. There's some recorder playing that sounds like an intro to an old Good Missionaries song. It's all in the editing and presented so smoothly, like listening to a jigsaw being built.
"Preamble To Nihil" is available as a pay what you like download Duncan's band camp site : https://duncanharrison.bandcamp.com/album/preamble-to-nihil : I think all the cassette editions have sold.

It's always a pleasure to listen to what Duncan is up to, this tape does not disappoint. To quote the man himself;

"Empty Of Meaning Where Meaning Could At Last Be Emptied". 

Friday, 15 September 2017

MuhMur Radio September 14 Broadcast.


A programme built around the sound of Bulgarian project MyTrip. MyTrip are over in the UK next week for a quartet of live shows, starting in London on September 21, then moving to Bristol (22), Birmingham (23) and Brighton (24). I have been listening to the sounds of MyTrip since 2012 when I bought their split tape with Costa Rican noise band EUS. I knew nothing of Bulgarian or Costa Rican electronic sounds so I thought I'd take a listen. I have been listening to MyTrip ever since. Even managed to catch him live in 2014 in Bristol.


                                                             MyTrip, Bristol 2014.

The broadcast starts with two pieces from the split tape, also included in the mix is a track from the collaboration release with fellow Bulgarian artistes Climaxim and Ivan Shopov, and a track from the split cassette with Human Larvae.


I was surprised to read that Russian label Infinite Fog were re-releasing the Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson LP "The Art Of Mirrors" on CD format. I never knew a vinyl edition existed. Originally released on the French Black Mass Rising label "The Art Of Mirrors" is a live soundtrack to the 1973 film of the same name by Derek Jarman. Recorded at L'Etrange Festival in 2004. The original vinyl release was limited to 500 copies....I managed to track a copy down, the programme includes two extracts.
A couple of "pre-release" spins courtesy of the good folk at Harbinger Sound. Nachthexen's "Disco Creep" 7" is out on the 22nd September to co-incide with their London date with Sleaford Mods and Heavy Metal's "Use Your Skull" track is from the forthcoming LP "The Nietzschean Supermen Of Dustbin Rock". Heavy Metal are a Berlin based punk band, fitting perfectly in with the roster of German punk bands being discovered and released by Harbinger Sound. Pisse, Toylettes, Noseholes and to some extent Karies spring to mind. I really like these tracks by Heavy Metal. "Simple Things" having a touch of Wire's "Lowdown" about it and "Use Your Skull" reminds me of Poison Girls (When played loud)!
The "On This Day" record is Artery's "The Clown". Released in 1982 on Red Flame Records.
Towards the end of the broadcast is the new 7" from Swedish duo Cryme. Their first outing on vinyl. Cryme are Daniel Fagerström (Optic Nerve) + Mattias Gustafsson (Altar Of Flies). A great slice of Swedish avant-pop.

Please take a listen here : Copy & Paste :
https://www.mixcloud.com/muhsteve/muhmur-radio-soundart-radio-14092017/

Playlist:
01: MyTrip : "Watching Myself" (Abandonment) 2012.
02: MyTrip : "From A Distance" (Abandonment) 2012.
03: Peter Christopherson : "The Art Of Mirrors (Extract)" (Black Mass Rising) 2015.
04: Climaxim/Ivan Shopov/MyTrip : "How Does It Feel To Be Inbetween" (Amek) 2016.
05: Cabaret Voltaire : "Baader-Meinhoff" (Factory Records) 1979.
06: Chris Watson : "10m" (Touch) 2007.
07: Peter Christopherson : "The Art Of Mirrors (Extract)" (Black Mass Rising) 2015.
08: Illusion Of Safety : "Quell" (Crippled Intellect Productions/Complacency) 2008.
09: Stuart Chalmers & Neil Campbell : "Slipping Slipping" (Not On Label) 2017.
10: Religious Overdose : "In This Century" (Glass Redux) 2017.
11: Bunnydrums : "Little Room" (Not On Label/Self Released) 1981.
12: Heavy Metal : "Simple Things" (Static Age) 2016.
13: Heavy Metal : "Use Your Skull" (Harbinger Sound) 2017.
14: Nachthexen : "Disco Creep" (Harbinger Sound) 2017.
15: Artery : "The Clown" (Red Flame Records) 1982.
16: MyTrip : "Remain Unfinished" (Danvers State Recordings) 2014.
17: Noise Dreams Machina : "Out" (Drone Records) 2008.
18: Cryme : "It's All Cold" (Hästen & Korset) 2017.
19: BºTong : "Vam / Lam / Ram / Pam" (Drone Records) 2011.

Next broadcast will be at 20:00 GMT on Thursday October 12. SoundArt Radio 102.5FM if you're anywhere near Totnes Devon or tune in to the SoundArt Radio website and listen to the live stream. SoundArt Radio have also started archiving MuhMur Radio broadcasts ... (Thank you very much).

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Chris Watson : No Man's Land

                                            Ellen + Chris in conversation. Philip obscured

Throughout the month of September an event is taking place in Torbay. "The Tale", a journey through time and space from the streets of Torquay to the quarry of Berry Head in Brixham. Performances, paintings and installations take place at points in between.
It is all the idea of Philip Hoare, a local lad who spent his boyhood here in Torbay. Philip is an esteemed author and film-maker of oceanic life.

                                           Watery Ecstatic (Whale Fall) by Ellen Gallagher

Last Saturday Philip hosted a conversation with Chris Watson and Ellen Gallagher whose audio and visual work are part of "The Tale". Ellen's work is being exhibited at Torquay Museum (to a Chris Watson soundtrack) until September 24. Chris has his installation piece "No Man's Land" in the quarry at Berry Head. The conversation took place inside the Artillery House at Berry Head Nature Reserve. It was more or less established straightaway that the three were connected through a love of music, although Ellen had never heard Chris's work until this event. She was involved with American project Drexciya and has worked with Detroit musicians Derek May + Jeff Mills. Philip used to work for Rough Trade Records and Les Disques Du Crepuscule in the early 1980's whilst they were releasing and promoting Cabaret Voltaire.

                                            Mathew F. Riley outside the Artillery House

The conversation flowed from Ellen's work in her studios in New York and Rotterdam (The Nether-Lands), where she is based by the sea..she likes to travel out onto the ocean to seek inspirations for her art. She told the story of watching a deer drown and so discovering that the sea is unrepentant and also the history of the Dutch slave ship "The Zong" and how it was originally called "The Zorg" which is Dutch for "Care" and its massacre of slave women and children in 1781. Compelling and fascinating. Chris wove in stories of how sea mammals communicate, how the life that remained in the sea instead of crawling onto the land and never returning, communicates by telepathy and vibrations. He explained his techniques for recording their "music", referring to the sounds of the sea as music. Philip spoke of his swimming with Orca and Sperm Whale and his fear of the ocean. He swims daily but every time he enters the water he is "shit scared". And all this going on whilst the music of turtles, dolphins and whales coming from Chris's installation was surrounding the hut.

Q&A session and my esteemed colleague and occasional MuhMur Radio contributor, Mathew F. Riley asked Chris what was the defining moment when he decided to leave the path of Industrial Music and record the music of nature. Was it always a boyhood dream? Chris answered by saying the reason for leaving Cabaret Voltaire was deeply personal. The death of Ian Curtis affected him a lot. Then it became obvious through watching New Order and Soft Cell (both of whom Chris had recorded in his Western Works Studio in Sheffield) that to progress they would have to sign to a "major" label. In 1983 New Order were invited onto "Top Of The Pops" and Soft Cell were number One with "Tainted Love" and they both invited Chris along for the experience and it was there during the recording that he saw that you had to sell your soul to move "upwards", you had to become a prostitute and sacrifice too much. It was there he decided to leave Cabaret Voltaire and start a career in engineering at Tyne Tees. (A Northern television studio). It really was an ear and eye opening personal story told with eloquence and not what either of us expected.



                                            "No Man's Land" Berry Head Nature Reserve 

"No Man's Land" is a mammoth installation. An array of huge speakers hung over the quarry cliffs booming out the music of subterranean sea life. The sound of Planet Ocean. We spent about 30 minutes in the sensurround sounds looking out across the Atlantic Ocean towards Torquay and beyond. The sound of below the sights of above. Awe-inspiring. 
Events like this are rare in Torbay. I went along to meet and hear Chris Watson (being an old cab's head) and hopefully get my 7" single signed (failed....too shy), but the day opened me to the works of Ellen Gallagher and writings of Philip Hoare.
The event runs until September 24 and the installation at the quarry is free on weekends. Recommended. A great day out. 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Religious Overdose.



As a rule and generally speaking I am not too keen on the CD re-issue of bands from the punk / post-punk era that released a brace of 7" singles before disappearing into the swamp of life never to be seen or heard of again. These CD compilations are usually filled with demo tracks, dodgy live recordings and alternate mixes / acoustic versions. I always think it is better to save the coffers and try and find the original vinyl.
There are, however, exceptions to the (my) rule. "Glass Hymnbook 1981-1982" by Religious Overdose being one of those exceptions. Running time is a little over 50 minutes and includes the three single releases. The "bonus" material includes a couple of live recordings, a track from the compilation LP "Northampton Under Glass" and a 4-track demo tape version of an earlier B-Side. No O.T.T. excessive live versions or 21st century remixes. This CD is expertly compiled with well chosen extras.

I can't remember when I first heard Religious Overdose. The debut single "Control Addicts" came out in 1981. I either bought it from Sanctuary Records in Lincoln or through the classifieds in "Sounds". That's how I bought stuff back then. But...I have a feeling I had a cassette tape of theirs previous to this. I have always associated Religious Overdose with a couple of other bands; The Dogma Cats and Ersatz who I used to correspond with at the time, and I think I got to learn about Religious Overdose through them. Although I could be mis-remembering things. The website Discogs doesn't list any tape . but I can see it!
So. 1981, I am 18 years old and there's a band called Religious Overdose and they have a single out called "Control Addicts" (Just like the Cabaret Voltaire song .. but plural .. I know) it has got my name written all over it.
In the early days the style of Religious Overdose was languid. "Control Addicts" kicks off with a Dr Rhythm style beat box and slowly there comes the fuzz drone keys, the stabbing guitar, the floating strings and "in the mix" vocals. The kind of single that 4AD would have released, and yes, it has a Cabaret Voltaire air. The B-Side has always been my favourite. "25 Minutes" with it's repeated vocal "25 Minutes On A Train, On A Train" over a motorik  psychedelic soundtrack. Think of The Instant Automatons "New Muzak" mixed with early They Must Be Russians and you get the build of this song.
Later in 1981 came the 7" "I Said Go" and the introduction of "real" drums. "I Said Go" is a tight two minute pop song with a catchy chorus. The B-Side has always been my favourite (spotting a theme here?). "Alien To You" is another Religious Overdose classic with spiked guitar wandering all over freeform drums and keyboards. One of those songs where it's easy to get lost in the drifting sound .. to these 2017 ears it reminds me of Circuit Breaker.
It was after this release I started writing to Religious Overdose and throughout 1982 got letters back from the singer Alex Novak, and sometimes the guitarist Richard Formby. That was what I did back then. No internet and hardly any "media" coverage.
The final vinyl came in 1982 with the 12" single "The Girl With The Disappearing Head", which (for some reason) I have never bought. Never even heard it before buying this CD. Perhaps I did hear it on John Peel and by the end of 1982 my music taste had altered? I doubt it though ... It's now a 12" I need to have....
Track listing puts the B-Side first. A seven minute plus masterpiece called "In This Century". It all begins with scraped guitar necks, tinkered cymbals, bowed bass strings and a tinny tippy tappy beat box. Its all very "Bela Lugosi's Dead". Slowly it breaks into a sub psychedelic stream of conscious loose live jam "type" of track. I know this is a bit niche but it reminds me a hell of a lot of "Little Room" by Bunnydrums. "The Girl With The Disappearing Head" is a straight forward pop tune with the title as chorus. Perhaps Religious Overdose were getting tired? Perhaps the introduction of Ciaran Harte to the line up changed the sound? He was in the band Glass before going solo before joining. Again, 2017 ears and I'm hearing a lot of Artery in the sound.
The bonus tracks are dispersed amongst the singles and gives a great indication in the development of  sound in Religious Overdose. The CD ends with a ten minute plus live (to tape) version of "In This Century". It must have been a live showstopper.

I have always had a copy of the first 7". I can't live without "25 Minutes". The copy I have at the moment I found for 25p in an Oxfam shop in Selby. Mint it was.
I did try and listen to Venus Fly Trap in the late 1980's....the group formed by vocalist Alex Novak, but it wasn't what I wanted to hear back then. I saw the name of guitarist Richard Formby as producer on a VibraCathedral Orchestra CD a few years back.
The CD is essential if you want to know what great indie music sounded like in 1981. It comes with a 12 page booklet telling the story of the band with pages of old ads and flyers. And a couple of pictures. I had never seen a picture of the band before!



CD is available from Glass Redux for a tenner.
https://glassredux.bandcamp.com/album/glass-hymnbook-1980-1982

Saturday, 2 September 2017

MuhMur Radio August 31 Broadcast.


Live on a hot August night, in the darkness (again) of Dartington Hall Estate. This programme begins with the whole of Frans de Waard's new one track album "Hot August Night". Newly released on the Tokyo based label White Paddy Mountain. It's a great meditative piece of gongs and bells dedicated to Frans' late mother Lotti de Waard-Hellegers.
Recently I managed to get a copy of the debut tape release from Widows Of Europe. Talked about elsewhere on this blog "Hot August Night" bleeds into side A of "Live @ Ambient Electronique".
Going through some old tapes I discovered a copy of the compilation "ND #7" on Texan label ND. The cassette was released sometime in 1986 and was the first audio edition of the ND Magazine. Under the banner of "Contact / Document / Exchange" ND Magazine operated for about 20 years featuring leading exponents  of underground mail art, performance art and sound art. "ND #7" features tracks from (amongst others) Die Form, The Joke Project, Odal, The Haters, Andre Stitt, Qwa Pigs Never Parish and (in my opinion the finest track from) IBF. Australian artist / filmmaker Paul Hurst is also on there with an untitled piece of AM/FM radio collage. Paul lived in London in the 1980's and started Produktion, a record stall and hairdressers and cassette label. Paul also worked with Whitehouse, John Duncan and Nurse With Wound.

A sneaky preview of the upcoming release by Sheffield punks Nachthexen follows Nurse With Wound. "The State Of Her" is a track on the 4 track 7" EP "Disco Creep". It will be released by Harbinger Sound on September 22. Nachthexen will be supporting Sleaford Mods throughout on their UK tour this autumn. Also in September Bulgarian project MyTrip will be in the UK playing a series of dates in Brighton, London, Bristol and Birmingham. Check the MyTrip Facebook page for tour details. I am hoping to play some exclusive MyTrip sounds on the next broadcast (September 14), just depends how the postman feels ... a package including some exclusive material by Michael Esposito has been lost in transit. "Lustre" is a track from the 2016 album "Filament" released by Amek Records.

The regular feature "On This Day" features Glaxo Babies. A band that never released a bad record! the 7" "Christine Keeler" was released on 31 August 1979. I remember buying it from Sanctuary Records in Lincoln!

The MixCloud archive of the broadcast is available. Please copy & paste :
https://www.mixcloud.com/muhsteve/muhmur-radio-soundart-radio-31082017/

Playlist.
01: Frans de Waard : "Hot August Night" (White Paddy Mountain) 2017.
02: Widows Of Europe : "Live @ Ambient Electronique (A)" (Sword & Mirror) 2017.
03: Neutral : "Andas" (Omlott) 2016.
04: Five Or Six : "The Trial" (Cherry Red Records) 1981.
05: Paul Hurst : "No Title" (ND) 1986.
06: John Duncan : "The Gossamer Dispatch" (Errant Bodies Press) 2006.
07: Nurse With Wound : "Alas The Madonna Functions" (Vinyl On Demand) 2009.
08: Nachthexen : "The State Of Her" (Harbinger Sound) 2017.
09: Glaxo Babies : "Christine Keeler" (Heartbeat Records) 1979.
10: Stuart Chalmers : "Flying Dervishes Of The Recycled Choir" (Chocolate Monk) 2017.
11: MyTrip : "Lustre" (Amek) 2016.
12: Dusa : "Märkliga Timmar.Nattslut" (Segerhuva) 2008.
13: Enhet För Fri Musik : "Fragment Av En Midsommarnattsdrom" (Omlott) 2017.

Next broadcast is on September 14, same time, same channel and (more than likely) same T-Shirt.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Widows Of Europe




A new project name from Benjamin Hallatt. Widows Of Europe. Over the past half a dozen or so years the Nottingham based non musician has produced sounds under the banner of Murder Cult, W>A>S>P>S, SCKE//., Daphne And Lyndsey and Kay Hill as well as releasing his own sounds and that of others on labels such as Murder Cult Editions, KIKS/Girlfriend and A.N.T.I.
And now in 2017 there is Widows Of Europe and the C20 cassette "Live @ Ambient Electronique" on the Sword & Mirror label. I think (but I could be wrong)  Ambient Electronique  is a club night at the Chameleon Arts Cafė in Nottingham.
Side one begins with tones shifting and arranging themselves amongst bass clutter and shuffling before giving way to (what sounds like) an accordion drone, giving the space a nautical air. Benjamin then shifts the sounds to turntables. Looping and clicking and a sound which carries through to side two. The run out groove clicks, the lock groove sounds and a strong sense of turn of the century Column One. Hypnotic stuff for sure.
The sound then takes pace with noises recorded from geophones and hydrophones, sub surface acoustics. Nocturnal and muted calls of the wild scream and stretch from speaker to speaker. A grand finale.
I've played this cassette quite a few times over the last few days and enjoying it more on every play. It does remind me of Column One in parts but it is highly unique and professional. I can only hope for more from Widows Of Europe.

The cassette comes packaged in an A5 wallet with poster and postcard, I don't know of the edition run but contact https://widowsofeurope.bandcamp.com/releases and pick up a copy for £5 while they're still available.

Just as an aside. If anyone reading this has a copy of the Daphne And Lyndsey cassette on KIKS/Girlfriend and what to pass it on ... please get in touch.

Monday, 21 August 2017

This is the Wildlife (Disco).


Back in the day, in my youth, the 1970's a Wildlife Disco brought fear and dread. It usually came with the tagline "There Will Be Blood". The Wildlife was a rough pub on the Birchwood Estate on Lincoln's Southside and their monthly Friday night disco's (usually run by "Three Aces Disco") was just an excuse for a punch up. Take a listen to Pseudo Existors "Wildlife Was A Gas" track on the excellent "Stamp Out Normality" LP. (Harbinger Sound Records 2002).

40 years later and I'm at a Wildlife Disco. The only difference is I'm in the Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter and the three aces are Nathan Carter, Chris Booth and Tony Whitehead. These three have their own shows on SoundArt FM Radio and tonight is their opening night of a two date tour of the UK ... next week they're in Newcastle.

                                                       Chris Booth (DJ Wetherspoon)

The playlist ranges from BBC Wildlife series LP's ... the sounds of tits, of thrush and back garden invaders ... to steam engines, drag racing and 1970's TV theme tunes. This is not though a slice of Kitsch and Cheese, that would be too easy. This is cleverly constructed Radio DaDaism.

                                                      Tony Whitehead (Radio Warbler)

The evening was broadcast live on SoundArt FM Radio. Sounds from Bruce Lacey and Asmus Tietchens were mixed and layered with the subtle calls of the wild and the songs of Larry Grayson, with Chris supplying a small tribute to the late Bruce Forsyth.

                                                         Nathan Carter (ExtraStereo)

The Bike Shed Theatre was a great space for the event, with table / board games available folk played Scrabble and Boggle whilst listening to the sounds. There was quite a decent show of heads for a wet and windy Sunday night. I unfortunately missed the ExtraStereo set and the "improvised jam" that was planned to end the evening. (Babysitters!), but I'm going to be head of the queue next time the Wildlife Disco Team hits town.... Newcastle is in for a treat.

                                                                 Back Garden Birds.
                                                   


Friday, 18 August 2017

MuhMur Radio Aug 17 Broadcast


After the DRONEWEEK it is all back to (near as) normal at the SoundArt Studios. There was a plan (that was unfortunately only in my head) to work out a six hour broadcast featuring releases from the Drone Records catalogue and it's subsidiary labels : Transgredient Records and Substantia Innominata, but Chris decided he wanted no "live" broadcasts during the week, so the idea has been shelved, which is a shame as recently I received a great box of vinyl from Stefan at Drone (in Bremen) to spin on the programme. A few of those are on this programme. Raison D'Etre, Thomas Dimuzio and Ovro.
The Thorsten Soltau piece comes from a limited edition cassette put out on the m.m Label. It was recorded live in March this year. Also in the mix is a track from the new Hexas CD "Liberty Nest". The CD will be released later this month by Hagshadow.
August 17 saw the release of 3 great pieces of vinyl in the 1980's. In 1981 The Slits released the "Earthbeat" single and Cabaret Voltaire put out their "Red Mecca" album. A year later (in '82) A Certain Ratio and Factory Records released the 7" "Knife Slits Water". For some reason I don't have a copy of "Red Mecca", always slipped / passed me by ... I culled "Split Second Feeling" from the "Sound Of Sheffield" CD that Mute Records released back in 2002. If anyone has a spare copy of "Red Mecca" please get in touch.
The Anemone Tube track comes from their latest "In The Vortex Of Dionysian Reality" album. The track is by the project Monocube utilising sounds by Anemone Tube.

Please copy & paste & have a listen :
https://www.mixcloud.com/muhsteve/muhmur-radio-soundart-radio-17082017-broadcast/

Playlist:
01: Raison D'Etre "Katharos" (Transgredient Records) 2014.
02: Thorsten Soltau "Lux.exz" (m.m Label) 2017.
03: Thomas Dimuzio "Shale" (Substantia Innominata) 2014.
04: Ovro "Vertical" (Drone Records) 2008.
05: Blue Chemise "The Music Lesson" (I Dischi Del Barone) 2017.
06: A Certain Ratio "Knife Slits Water" (Factory Records) 1982.
07: Cabaret Voltaire "Split Second Feeling" (Rough Trade Records) 1981.
08: Arv & Miljö "Slitas Itu" (I Dischi Del Barone) 2017.
09: Storm Bugs "No Nothingness" (Snatch Tapes) 2017.
10: The Slits "Earthbeat" (CBS Records) 1981.
11: Tusen År Under Jord "Sandhavens Genklang (Side B)" (Verlautbarung) 2017.
12: Bourbonese Qualk "New Jerusalem" (Recloose Organisation) 1986.
13: Hexas "Art Demands War" (Hagshadow) 2017.
14: Zoviet*France "Not Just What To Say" (Charrm) 1993.
15: Anemone Tube "Like The Streaming Of A Giant River, Life Is Passing, Without Ever Turning Round" (Blossoming Fern/The Epicurean) 2017.
16: Psychic TV "Opium" (Dais Records) 2017.
17: Psychic TV "Cold Steel" (Dais Records) 2017.

The next programme is on August 31st. same time same channel and more than likely the same T-Shirt!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Aaron Dilloway's Dementia


                                                      Aaron Dilloway in London. 2015.

Always filling gaps in my Dilloway collection. "Dementia" was released by Hanson Records back in 2006 as "Hiss Dementia". I found a copy of the Pure/RRRecords re-issue from a couple of years later.

"Dementia" is a 36 minute collage of sound puttied and duct taped together to play as one long masterpiece, sounds culled from studio jams and live performances. Trademark tape loops and manipulations, contact microphones rubbed over abrasive surfaces and rammed down the throat. Buttons are pressed and levers are pulled, creative feedback and walls of sound. A madness that never spills over ... it gets to the edge and then just sits there bringing the listener to the precipice of audial sanity.
Back when the late 1970's became the early 1980's (Lincolnshire's finest) Deleted Records, home of the mighty Instant Automatons, always used to have the tagline "Tape Hiss Is Essential" and "Sorry About The Tape Hiss ... You'll Get Used To It" typed on their sleeves. It's a maxim that should appear on this CDR ... tape hiss is very prevalent in the sound.

One of the reasons I became aware of this release is that the recordings have been re-issued again (for the first time as a cassette) by Easy Listening, an American based label. There was a thread on Dilloway's Facebook page. It's seems a strange re-issue as both other versions, the Hanson and Pure/RRRecords releases are easily available (and cheaper) to buy on the Internet. I seem to find this happening a lot recently, I find it strange and somewhat lazy.... It's understandable when the original is fetching a lot of money or is out of print (like the recent Psychic TV albums on Dais Records) but to re-issue as a limited edition when the originals and re-issues are available? My copy was £4.
It's essential for Dilloway "fans", but perhaps try and get the original release ...


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Hexas.


Gaya Donadio (AKA AntiChildLeague and owner of the Hagshadow label) has been pretty active over the past 12 - 15 months. With the ACL albums "Holy Ghost" on the Hagshadow label and "Holy Spirit", a tape released by German label Obsessive Fundamental Realism. Also this year ACL have released a limited CDR with Italian project Cronaca Nera on Old Europa Cafe. If that is not enough ... Hagshadow label has put out CD albums by Godlesstate and Sutcliffe Jugend as well as hosting live events in London.
And now there is Hexas. A project formed of Gaya and Sixth Comm member Patrick Leagas. Their first outing is the 6-track mini CD album "Liberty Nest" on the Hagshadow imprint.
At this point I must say that I like this mini CD album, I like it a lot, it features the voice of Gaya and that is an immediate attraction. In 2002 I asked Gaya to be part of a Dieter Müh performance at the 291 Gallery in London, I knew her voice and tones would fit our sound perfectly and she made the performance her own with a poem written for the evening. A pity no recording exists .. any way I am digressing ...
The album begins with the title track "Liberty Nest" and it drops you straight in to the maelstrom. No Mercy! It is machine driven industrial noise, pulsating and powerful with metallic percussion a la Test Department when they were beating a retreat and all with Gaya's sloganeering in beautiful distortion. "Reptillian Culture" follows. The only track that features Patrick on vocals. It's all in Nine Inch Nails territory, not that I have heard N.I.N. in 20 odd years and I am using "Head Like A Hole" as reference ... but that is what it sounds like to me. It doesn't quite catch the imagination and sounds a little retrogressive.
The next three pieces have Gaya back on vocals. "Art Demands War" is a great sample driven piece with the electronic sounds vibrating, pulsating and throbbing throughout. The mini album finishes with "Me And I" a marching time rhythm. militaristic and affirmative with Gaya stating;
"I'm Special / I'm Something / I'm Important". No argument there ...

I will continue to listen to the work of Gaya, I have been doing so for nearly 20 years now and her sound + art has never disappointed. I must admit that the genre that AntiChildLeague is placed in is a genre I don't listen to much this days. Heavy electronics, new industrial, power electronics, death industrial, it's something that doesn't hold my interest. (Recently I was mailed a CD by a project called END, I think they are Swedish but ... it's laughable in the way it is trying to sound "hard" and using loops and samples of screaming women and glorifying assault on women and asking "do you like little girls" .. obviously made by males for males. And that, to me, is where the genre of PE, Industrial call it what thou wilt etc has got to). I still like to listen to old releases and keep an eye out for new stuff by NON or Genocide Organ, but generally nowadays none of it cuts any mustard and that is where HEXAS shines and why it has rarely been out of the CD player for the past week or so.

Visit Gaya's site at : http://hagshadow.wixsite.com/antichildleague and get a copy.




Monday, 7 August 2017

First Annual DroneFest. Dartington. 2017.

The 6th of August saw the first annual DroneFest organised by local Community Radio Station SoundArt Radio (102.5 FM). It was part of DRONEWEEK : An uninterrupted week of continual Drone Work broadcasted by SoundArt. It's the brain child of SoundArt head honcho Chris Booth.

                                                           Chris Booth (in the shadows)

DroneFest saw six local musicians / non-musicians / artists perform live for a radio broadcast, eight hours of continual live dronework with small interludes of Stephen Cornford's "Centrifuge", a live recording made by SoundArt Radio almost 10 years ago at Dartington College Of Arts, whilst equipment was swapped over and checks were in place. The Festival took place inside the studios of SoundArt Radio.
The Festival started with South Brent artist Dark Mother Wood. The solo project of Alasdair Robertson. This was only the second live performance of DMW in two years. A crackling and short circuiting amplifier was mic'd up and left to play with itself for 60 minutes. Sounds changed and altered by themselves, and for the listener by changing position in the space. A couple of years ago I saw the first live performance by Dark Mother Wood at South Brent's library. It was a performance of static feedback and sine waves that attracted the dogs of Devon to gather at the door. Alasdair has dropped the high frequencies.

                                                                Dark Mother Wood

The Diamond Family Archive aren't strictly a "drone" project. It is included in the sound of bowed electric guitar and organ amongst tape loops of birdsong and monotones etc .. but the sound travels in to areas of motorik percussion and sea shanty style vocalisations. There were moments of Camberwell Now / This Heat alongside KLF in their "Chill Out" period and Neu!
Due to the no show of Sophie Wilder DFA played live for two hours, fortunately they brought along some of their "fanbase" too so Chris took up his favourite role as barkeep.


                                                         The Diamond Family Archive

Dieter Müh followed. I was billed as Steve Cammack, but this was a Dieter Müh performance. I was uncertain as to what Chris actually wanted for the Festival, I did not know whether it was to be a "live performance" per se or whether it was just a meeting of artists who would "jam drones" for eight hours etc. So, I thought I would just use my name ... I was wrong. A slight problem with a mystery pianist who cut in through the PA about ten minutes or so in to my piece, but other than that it was an enjoyable 35 minutes, and whetted the appetite for Hamburg later in the year ... Unfortunately I have no picture(s) of my performance so here's a picture of "Kosmology" an unfiltered beer from New Lion Brewery.


By now the Festival has reached its' halfway point. Audio Hacking Club are a duo who create drones through homemade instruments, theremins, triggering devices and bastardised effects boxes. Their piece was 100% improvised, starting with a taut metal string attached to a bowed piece of wood, machine head one end and pick-up the other being played by a battery operated rotor blade.

                                                               Audio Hacking Club

This sound was continual morphed and manipulated through a series of devices including a Roland Space Echo, a device / instrument I love! The sound of Mühviertel. Whilst this was happening the other half created blips, loops and patterns on a variety of devices - homemade and otherwise. The sound resembled early Throbbing Gristle and mid '80's Soviet France and Nocturnal Emissions.

                                                              Audio Hacking Club

SoundArt Radio stalwart Dave Mutch is Oima Orchestra. Dave (with his partner Maggie) have been producing a live weekly show for SoundArt for 10 years. Dave began building electronic devices for Nigel Jacklin and his Alien Brains up in Aberdeen in the late 1970's and has been producing electronic sounds since. For the DroneFest Dave mixed prepared loops and found sounds culled from the Oima Show back catalogue. Japanese ladies, birdsong and livestock mixed with deep bass, train station announcements and throbbing walls of sound.
I am fortunate to have Dave as engineer / producer type figure on the MuhMur Radio programme. He tells me what is shit and what is good (radio) as well as fixing all my technical hitches.

                                                                The Oima Orchestra

                                                     Tony Whitehead & Oima Orchestra

DroneFest ended with a rare live performance by Tony Whitehead. Tony rarely does solo performances, for SoundArt & DroneFest this a bit of a coup. Tony runs Very Quiet Records, a label of very quiet music that has released material by Slavek Kwi / Artificial Memory Trace, Jeph Jerman, Francisco Meirino and Sala amongst a host of others. Here in Devon he often puts on evenings of very quiet music, usually in churches and art centres - it's all about the acoustics. Tony also operates "Other Voices" a project that records animal and bird sounds and tries to understand / decipher them. Fascinating stuff. Tony's drone piece was a collection of spoken word creationists mixed and mashed up within a wall of sound. New Age tapes destroyed by electronic madness, deep drone thrombosis and a nod towards the sound of Boyd Rice. A superb and fitting end to the first annual DroneFest.

                                                                   Tony Whitehead

Droneweek is still happening on SoundArt Radio 102.5 FM, it will carry on through to August 13. No doubt sounds from this day will be broadcast throughout the week, SoundArt Radio can be streamed live via their webpage. There are some unique submissions too ... I know Arvo Zylo has mailed some sounds ... always worth a listen.
Thanks to Chris Booth for organisation, to Dave and Tony for making it fun and to Alasdair who I now know was the annoying shouty bloke at the Whitehouse gig at Camberwell Union Tavern in 1990 who was dragged up on stage and "spanked" by Glenn Wallis. Small world.

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