wired for sound part 22: ocelocelot and asymptotem

February 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Ocelocelot – The Umbragechord (Total Vermin #46)

Asymptotem – Four Lines Cross (Total Vermin  #58)

Slavishly following Mark Wharton’s impeccable Idwal Fisher blog – as I do, as you must – led me to pick up these two tapes from the exquisitely named Total Vermin: a lo-fi, hi-quality tape and CD-r label that you should definitely be acquainted with.  I even handed over hard cash as Stuart Vermin was in a state of post-Christmas skintness and unable to countenance a trade.   At first I wasn’t going to write this piece: Mark had done a bang-up job already, I’d paid and was therefore free of moral obligation and the review pile is teetering again but, but, but… they are both so great that I had to at least mention them in passing.

Four Lines Cross by Asymptotem is described on the Total Vermin blog as follows:

Recorded on a balmy early-summer Sunday evening in Stoke-on-Trent, without talisman Joincey, robbed by the national rail network. Large ensemble drone approaching beauty at times, especially on the opening flute duet between Mikarla de Oliveira (Sculptress) and Kelly Jones (Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides). Blossoms into a blast of flute, cello, trumpet, guitar, bass, synthesizer, vocals and percussion, with the line-up completed by Andrew Jarvis, Jim Brindley, Michael Walsh and Stuart Arnot.

…but this is overly humble and modestly literal.  This (mostly) acoustic, English pastoral improvisation sounds like a medieval Vibracathedral Orchestra.  It is exactly as delightful as Mark asserts so, in a shockingly lazy piece of blogjacking, I insist that you read his full account here.

Ocelocelot is Melanie O’Dubhslaine, better known ‘round these parts as that Mel from Ashtray Navigations, and her tape is even better than Mark suggests.  The Umbragechord gets the short final section of a lengthy and entertaining post which first castigates the idiocy of The Wire magazine then praises the genius of the aforementioned AshNav.  All that I need to add is an explanation of how jealous I am of Mel’s achievement here.  Side one, ‘inaudible frequencies being removed’, throbs and side two, ‘Nobody knows this is everywhere’, drones both with a cool fury that I have attempted to achieve with midwich many times.  I have rarely been as successful.

Buy here.

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