well of superlatives runs dry as critics swoon over return of midwich

March 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Posted in midwich, musings, new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Please forgive the following trumpet-blowing critical round-up.  I’m afraid I’m even less likely to tone down this blog’s shameless narcissism now that I have product to shift…

At the time of writing, the run of 50 copies each of the two recent archival midwich cdrs is more than half gone.  I can’t say as I’ve sold a bunch – almost all have been given away and/or sent on the promise of future trades.  I made the schoolboy error of offering freebies to almost everyone who might be interested, thus mugging myself.  Childishly over enthusiastic I am, a ruthlessly market-oriented capitalist I am not.

Still, I’ve been delighted at the response so far.  As well as much email comment, these releases have been the subject of two full length reviews: one on the Idwal Fisher blog, which also contains a flattering Mark’s-eye account of his dealings with me and my music over the years, and one by Simon of DDDD which can be found at the bottom of the epic issue 106 or, for impatient non-luddites, clipped and quoted below as an appendix to this post.  Both pay me the compliment of retaining some critical distance, whilst expressing pleasure at the rebooting of my creative endeavours.

OK, so what has been said?  ‘Months, years’ has been greeted by much head-nodding and mutterings of ‘yep, that’s midwich alright – I’d know it anywhere’.  Phil Todd (Ashtray Navigations) said: “good late night phase-out material for sure.”, Clough (Klunk, Truant, PRP Group) adds: “drifted right off to ‘months, years’ (in a good way!)”, Joe (Possett) reckons it is “a nice breezy drone like I remember from the ‘wich”, Rob Maycock (long time midwich supporter and drone aficionado) tops the lot saying this track “has to be one if not my favourite Midwich piece of music.”

The reaction to ‘Raised ironworks’ has been more mixed.  Neil Cambell (Astral Social Club) declares it “hits the spot”, Fraser (of Pjorn and Fordell Research Unit) raves “I freakin’ dig it mate, I dig! … quality stuff.”  However it is obvious that some of the tracks are going down better than others.  ‘Everything Sideways’ has been described as “piercing” (Rob M again) and caused John Tuffen (Namke) “to turn it down a touch!”  On playing it at home, an anonymous co-worker thought their PC was broken.  Whilst it is hardly Government Alpha, I’m not mystified that it might grate.  On the other hand we have ‘weather to be under’, the last track, which is turning into my greatest hit.  Joe Possett exclaims:

But I love, love, love raised ironworks, weather to be under.  Is this an old one?  Sounds like some sort of chillwave/hypnagogic/whatever it’s called this week squewerd pop.  That’s great man.

…or this from Rob M:

“Weather To Be Under” is absolutely brilliant. I wish it went on longer than it does.

…or this from Mark’s piece on Idwal Fisher:

…I like the last track on ‘raised ironworks’ a perfect piece of two phase drone with the one playing off the other, each coming back to reinforce its beginnings like some clever piece of work by Steve Reich, it could go on much, much longer and I doubt I would tire of it.

I used to play this live so it sometimes got stretched to 10/15 minutes and I remember once just getting the loop going at home and leaving it on all afternoon as I did the housework.  I’ve no idea why the recorded version is only 5 minutes.  Inspired, I dusted off the MC-303 (literally) last weekend – which still works but is far too erratic for playing live now, I think – and installed Audacity on my lap-top.  If I can find the original loop my first proper new recording may be a half hour long version of the above which I will make available to the elite as a top-secret download.

Thanks again to everyone for the kind words, especially to those who have unwittingly provided pull-quotes from what they thought were private emails.  Copies still available to buy – see ‘for sale’ page – to cadge or to swap.

Appendix: review from DDDD #106

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