artifacts of the no-audience underground: petals, aqua dentata, andrew jarvis on sheepscar light industrial

October 5, 2012 at 5:58 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Andrew Jarvis – Cardigan Arms

(3″ CD-r, Sheepscar Light Industrial, SLI.007, edition of 50 and download)

Aqua Dentata – A Staircase Missing

(3″ CD-r, Sheepscar Light Industrial, SLI.008, edition of 50 and download)

Petals – Whether to Drown

(3″ CD-r, Sheepscar Light Industrial, SLI.009, edition of 50 and download)

…and now because the show must go on.

Listening to these three releases on Daniel Thomas’s Sheepscar Light Industrial called to mind a passage from Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond’s book The Manual (How To Have A Number One The Easy Way). Published in 1988, shortly before The KLF’s reign of world domination, it now evokes a prelapsarian idyll of Top of the Pops, 7” singles and the like but, leaving the nostalgia aside, it remains enormous fun, of historical interest to the pop connoisseur and brimming with wisdom. On my bookshelf the dinky 1998 reissue sits alongside Notes on the Cinematographer by master of austere cinema Robert Bresson – another tiny format book full of gnomic utterance but, ironically given its Frenchness, comparatively lacking in joie de vivre.

In the former volume, after some initial instructions and having spent Sunday evening listening to the Top 40 on Radio 1, the reader is directed to spend Monday evening…

…round at some mate’s house. See if he has any records worth borrowing. More importantly, tell him what you are up to and see if he has any great ideas worth using. It is a little known fact, but when it comes to creative ideas the majority of people are creative geniuses. Your mate is bound to be one of them.

Heh, heh: ‘records worth borrowing’, charming isn’t it? Still, the substantive point is delicious, timeless and absolutely true. However, the next sentence…

It’s just that all these folks never dare to translate their creative brilliance into reality.

…doesn’t apply to the people I know, the people I write about here. None of us (apart from Neil Campbell perhaps – ha, lolz!!) dream of having a bestselling pop single, which is fortunate given the abject lack of interest in our endeavours, but neither are we afraid to create and to present those creations to others. On the contrary (as I am driven to mention time and again) we are driven to do so even when our time might be ‘better’ spent more ‘usefully’.

Am I saying that my everyday life is full of friends and acquaintances who are creative geniuses, compelled to express that genius as best they can given the resources available to them? Yes, I am. Need proof? Listen to this little lot.

I am not going to say much about the music (dawn chorus on the island of mecha-godzilla, shadows of sea-monsters, cleansed by internal forest fire – that will do) for two reasons. The first is that you can hear all of this for yourself and/or download it and/or purchase dirt-cheap physical instances of it via the admirably user-friendly SLI Bandcamp site. The second is that today I’m not discussing the detail, I’m discussing the phenomenon.

You’d think I might take it for granted by now but I never do. Sometimes the joy is buried under fatigue, sometimes I may be distracted from it by sad and difficult events, but it is always there. Holy fucking shit, I think, I can’t believe I actually know these guys! Let’s take, for example, today’s three artists and their label boss: Eddie is a relatively new acquaintance but we hit it off during his recent visit to post-industrial Yorkshire and his music is terrific, the presence of Andy or Kev at an event will always draw a big grin from me as I look forward to the evening’s performance and conversation and my continuing bromance with Dan is the talk of the no-audience underground. But this isn’t a sniffy elite of insiders. If you don’t already know them you can just say hello, buy a CD-r, express an interest, like them on facebook and all that. No-one will mind, they’ll say ‘hello’ back. Amazing isn’t it?

All three of these discs/downloads are marvellous and will enormously enrich your day should you let them.  SLI marches on: Dan works fast, keeps the product cheap and the design functional so he can expend all remaining effort on quality control.  It shows.

Listen/download/buy here.

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