why I don’t write about astral social club, apart from when I doOctober 17, 2011 at 11:26 am | Posted in musings, new music, no audience underground | 2 Comments
Tags: astral social club, neil campbell, no audience underground, noise, tapes
- Wet Wheel/Hot Wheel b/w Tomutonttu – Syvät Sävyt (Tipped Bowler TB012)
- Snaefell/Mocne (Trensmat TR021)
- SCUDDING (self released)
- “two slabs” (Beartown Records)
- Generator Breaker (Dekorder)
- V.E.N.U.S (self released)
OK, so add the ‘Wheezy Paradise’ tape on Sonic Oyster (already mentioned briefly by me here) and that makes a total of seven new ASC releases kindly donated by Neil to RFM Laboratories for scientific research since midsummer. Blimey, eh? Mr Campbell is both prolific and generous with it.
Don’t worry: there’s no need to cancel your plans for the evening and settle down – after a little musing I’m only going to mention the last item on this list. The first three have been admirably dealt with by the essential Idwal Fisher. For an account of the tape “two slabs” and an entertainingly scatological take on what ‘scudding’ might entail see MuhMur. Finally, a brief but on-the-money description of the Dekorder LP can be found at the terrific Norman Records who will also be happy to sell you a copy (and have more of those pictured above in stock too).
Given Neil’s largesse and my usual verbosity you may be wondering, dear reader, why I’m providing links and not doing the writing myself. Why does ASC not feature more prominently in RFM? It is a good question for which I have three answers.
Firstly: my tardiness. The notion of a ‘deadline’ can find no purchase here and, as such, many of Neil’s releases are sold out at source (if not everywhere) by the time I lick my nib. Likewise, I know that there are others working whilst I stare out of the window: witness the comprehensive reviews already available and mentioned in the second paragraph. These factors remove urgency.
Secondly, and not unconnected, is the fact that of the people I know in what I playfully refer to as the ‘no-audience underground’ Neil has, well… an audience. Not just a few stragglers either but a sizeable and enthusiastic listenership hard-earned through years of reliably brilliant creative endeavour. My temptation is to think ‘ahh.. this guy is doing fine’ and instead use my king-making influence to shine light on less well established projects. I jest, of course: the idea that anyone benefits from my patronage is ridiculous and Mr Campbell definitely doesn’t need it.
Third and finally: all ASC releases sound the same. Ha, that stopped you in your tracks didn’t it? Heh, heh – allow me to elaborate on this gross over-simplification made for comic effect. What I mean is that when ASC releases work for me, meaning when I enjoy them the most, they all work in a similar way for similar reasons. This makes it tricky to write about repeatedly. How many times do I need to say:
…this is a joyously uplifting billowing cloud of psychedelic noise constructed with wit, subtlety and a sure hand keeping it just the right side of chaos. Apart from when that sure hand lets go just to see what happens. The centre of balance shifts over several movements within the piece which gives a satisfyingly tough emotional core to the theatricality of the racket. Carries you from nostril-flaring delirium to blissed-out meditation and back again, returning you to the world with your senses sparkling…
I realise that not all ASC stuff fits this description, SCUDDING is something of a departure for example, but the stuff I like best and thus would want to write about does. Take the self-released CD-r ‘V.E.N.U.S’. This contains a single 31 minute track documenting the set that was written for the 5th Annual Galvanised! Festival of Other Music held at Cafe OTO (no relation) on October 11th 2011. The theme of the performances was ‘music inspired by the five chaldean pre-telescopic planets’ (no, I’m not sure either – Wikipedia will provide) and Neil was allocated Venus. I love it. What’s it sound like? See above.
This is where I would usually say ‘buy here’ but, at the time of writing, this CD-r is not quite available yet. I suggest visiting the Astral Social Club blog and pressing refresh every 30 seconds until it is.
EDIT: Neil has leapt into action and V.E.N.U.S is now available! See his comment on this post for details.
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