new product! midwich & the skull mask split cd-r

February 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Posted in midwich, new music, no audience underground | 2 Comments
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Midwich & The Skull Mask (self-released split 3″ CD-r, edition of 50)

  • The Skull Mask – Lloviendo Sangre (mp3 excerpt here.)
  • Midwich – That Which I Believe, I Wish to Behold (mp3 excerpt here.)

Miguel Perez, RFM’s South American correspondent, is probably best known for the Culveresque drones of La Mancha Del Pecado but my favourite of his projects is The Skull Mask.  These improvised thrashes and ragas, performed solo on treated acoustic guitar, are mesmerizingly primal.  The Skull Mask takes the listener from contemplation, through ego-dissolution to, at its best, a kind of brute psychedelic delirium.  As with all improvised music, the journey is risky but, like trusting the shaman when he offers you a bowl of foul-smelling liquid and orders you to ‘Drink!’, the rewards can be cosmic.  I’ve quoted his explanation before but it is worth repeating:

The Skull Mask – is my acoustic improvisation project with no one else. This is influenced by Hindustani music, Arab, Jew and free improv. I am taking more and more a minimalistic approach and doing it solo guitar…. is something that I love doing…..will see more releases in the future to come.  This is mostly inspired on my trips to the Sierra de Chihuahua, to the mountains and valleys south Mexico, my visit is to mystic Indians in the desert, etc….is a sort of tribute to the wilderness in Mexico….

When he emailed me a brand new nine minute TSM track, suggested an affinity with midwich which seems obvious now but at the time struck me like a clanger in a church bell, and tentatively asked if I’d like to do a split release – well, I couldn’t resist.

‘Lloviendo Sangre’, Miguel’s track, fits the template described above and is terrific.  It could be five times as long as far as I’m concerned.  Check out the minute-long excerpt above for a tiny taster.  ‘That Which I Believe, I Wish to Behold’, my track, is a droning pulse in three movements and will be familiar to those who saw me perform it at the gig (or who received the ersatz set I recorded the following day for the snowbound).  However, this is a new version which is more focussed, slightly more compact (at ten minutes long) and harder-edged.  In order to compete with Miguel I turned the ‘psychedelic delirium’ knob up to ‘relentless’ and left it there until the dying seconds.  I am very proud of how this one turned out.  Again, there is a minute-long taster above for the curious.

Each of the 50 copies of this release has the same insert, obviously, but a unique cover allocated at random (see photo).  These covers have been cannibalized from the pages of a hipster illustration and graphic design magazine that I paid hipster money for years ago and am now recycling.  As such – little bonus – most of these covers are double reversible too, that is: the front can be the back and the inside can be the outside.  Cool, eh?

So how do you get your hands on such a covetable object?  Well, these are not ‘for sale’ as such.  In the spirit of the no audience underground gift economy we are making them available for trade, for review or in exchange for a sincere expression  of interest: just promise to drop us a line, and/or copy it for someone else if you dig it, and it is yours.

The point is to get the music heard by a decent selection of interesting people.  We are likely to post this as a free download – possibly as an Oracle/RFM co-release – when all the physical objects are gone but don’t let that put you off acquiring one.  They look (and sound, if I may be so bold) wicked awesome.

OK, contact me at r.w.hayler@leeds.ac.uk, contact Miguel at lamancha@rocketmail.com, more from midwich can be downloaded for free via the discography page (tab above), more from The Skull Mask can also be downloaded for free via Oracle Netlabel or by searching for The Skull Mask at archive.org.

2 Comments »

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  1. Raining Blood. great cdr this. ta for the copy. plenty of consolation here for the snowbound. julianx

    • Cheers man, glad you liked it! Looking forward to your new thing on Poot too – great cover pic on the TPS blog (if that what it be). W/love, R x


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