new from sheepscar light industrial: the skull mask, hagman, midwich

August 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Posted in midwich, new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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The Skull Mask – Ella Y su Mirada Lasciva (3″CD-r, edition of 50 and download, SLI.004)

Hagman – Wormwood (3″CD-r, edition of 50 and download, SLI.005)

Midwich – Eaves (3″CD-r, edition of 50 and download, SLI.006)

Hot off the press from Sheepscar Light Industrial – the label that is taking the no-audience underground by storm with its enthusiasm, faultless quality control and exemplary bookkeeping practices.  Dan’s releases are irresistible both for their cheapness and for the elegant generic packaging (which seems to be awakening the football sticker collector that lurks within most noise enthusiasts).  A brief account in reverse order…

Midwich – Eaves (SLI.006)

Yep, s’me.  During the March heatwave a colony of bees moved into the eaves of the roof of Midwich Towers above the spare bedroom.  My little mp3 player has a dictaphone-style recording function so I blu-tacked it to the outside of the window, as close to the bees as I could reach and let it roll for an hour or so.  To my delight this recorded not only the bees going about their business but kids playing in neighbouring gardens, lawnmowers, cars driving past etc.  All very ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’.  I even got an ambulance siren from the distant main road.  I edited this down to 20 minutes of highlights and layered a gamelanish pulse over it.  This pauses for the ambulance to go past at the eight minute mark, restarts for the second half and is gradually smeared and distorted in what I hope is an hypnotic manner until the inevitable fade out.  I wanted to capture that delicious fuzzy-headed, been out too long in the sun, red-armed, one too many pipes or cans of beer feeling we can occasionally experience on those rare sunny days.  I’m very proud of how well it turned out.  My Summer single.

Hagman – Wormwood (SLI.005)

Two tracks seamlessly segued.  ‘Wormwood’ sounds like a cover version of ‘I Feel Love’ recorded by someone who had only heard the original once, drifting on the wind from a distant wedding reception marquee, whilst half-submerged at the bottom of a very deep well.  Or a child lost in the humming, crackling bowels of a power station trying to alert a search party by vigorously shaking a ball-bearing in an old tobacco tin.  ‘Squashed Fly’ smears it out but keeps the level of mystery high.  Imagine a prop-plane investigating an oceanic magnetic anomaly, all its onboard instruments singing and buzzing despite circling over the weirdness at a height of a thousand feet.  Remarkable stuff.

The Skull Mask – Ella Y su Mirada Lasciva (SLI.004)

Regular visitors to this blog are aware of my love for the music of Mexico’s Miguel Pérez, RFM’s correspondent of the Americas.  In particular they have read me evangelizing about his solo acoustic guitar project The Skull Mask and this piece is a notable addition to his growing catalogue.  A reverb-drenched psychedelic crescendo rises, folds in on itself, continues to rise, shifts gears around the eight minute mark and evolves into a further twelve minutes of tightly controlled shamanistic ritual.  This stuff is wild, primal but also highly accomplished and technically impressive.  It’s like watching someone surf a tsunami.  I can listen to The Skull Mask all day long and when I do Miguel always returns me to the world with my understanding of it enhanced.  I couldn’t be happier to see UK labels picking up on this stuff.  A much anticipated release on Striate Cortex is also in the works…

OK: no excuses.  At the SLI Bandcamp page CD-rs are available for less than the price of a coffee, downloads on a ‘pay what you like’ basis – which can be nowt, of course, if you are seriously strapped.  Generous multi-buy deals are available at gigs where Dan is present.  Get ’em bought.

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