six winter warmerz: more midwich back-catalogue on bandcampJanuary 10, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Posted in midwich, new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
Tags: astral social club, bandcamp, celebrate psi phenomena, drone, electronica, evelyn records, fencing flatworm recordings, ffr, midwich, midwich for sale, mp3, neil campbell, new music, nid nod, no audience underground, noise, oTo, shameless self-congratulation, trademarked industries
OK, one more self-serving plug then normal programming will resume, I promise…
Inspired by the Stakhanovite work rate of Neil Campbell as he mines the rich seam of his back-catalogue and shovels wav files onto Bandcamp (as Astral Social Club here, under his own name here. More on this in due course.), I decided to add to my own little rockery.
Another six midwich releases – four long-form single track affairs, two sort-of-albums – from the early years of this century can now be found on the midwich Bandcamp site. All are way, way out of print but have been written about and made available here at RFM before. However, now you can own them as juicy fat wavs (or in many other formats), offered for download in a convenient one-stop location. I’m not expecting anyone to pay for these but donations are most welcome and would be spent on other no-audience-underground-related activities. Honest.
Here’s the skinny (click on title to be taken to the appropriate page):
‘Ordnance, Tape Only’, or oTo to its friends, was a sound-art off-shoot project of FFR. Fifty releases, with each release limited to a numbered fifty copies, all on one-sided C90 cassette tapes. Aside from the artist name and the catalogue number no other information was included and each tape had an inlay card cut from an Ordnance Survey map of the UK.
Whilst chopping up maps I was often left with some wholly blue squares containing just sea. I kept those to one side and the 50 inlay cards for the midwich tape each cover a 25 square mile section of water.
This is one of those long, single-track midwich releases. Electro-cicadas slowly descend into a Cthuloid temple, then think better of it. I really like this one, especially at around 25 minutes or so when it gets proper deep and dirty.
A single piece in eight parts. Released originally on CD-r by the legendary New Zealand label celebrate psi phenomena (now, apparently, called Dont Fuck With Magic, or maybe Our Love Will Destroy The World – I can’t keep up with these crazy hobbits). Anyway, lots of different styles in this one and, as such, a unique midwich product – I really like it.
This was released by the short-lived and much-missed cdr label nid nod and came lovingly parcelled in brown paper and string. Each parcel was jewelled with a stamp from somewhere exotic – click on cover image to see whole thing.
The music is a single piece but is a shorter than most of my other long-form tracks. It is also noticeably more upbeat – some might even hazard to say life-affirming. I think this has a refreshing fizz and clarity which tempers the usual melancholy. The mood is meant to reflect the grateful state of mind I was enjoying at the time it was recorded. Ironically, this was one of the last midwich releases before depression got the better of me and led to the shelving of FFR. Oh well, layer a bit of cheap poignancy over it and it sounds even better…
If you’ve not bothered with my long-form stuff before I recommend this as ‘entry-level’.
This is a single, half-hour track, comprising two movements underpinned by an ever-present fuzztone. Part one is a field recording of a gelatinous, foot-long woodlouse eating strange white fungi on an otherwise deserted Pacific island. Part two documents the arrival of a storm-blown flock of robo-finches. They eat the woodlouse and, in so doing, activate an age-old curse which causes the island to sink. Why are you looking at me like that? It does.
Originally released in 2002 by Chris Gowers as a cdr on his lovely label evelyn records (not to be confused with the Copenhagen based Evelyn Records). Chris had the smart idea of issuing cdrs in series thus encouraging repeat custom via subscription. Mine was part of series two.
Released on CDr in 2002 (with the great cover above) by the now sadly defunct Trademarked Industries.
I’ve always been in two minds about this one. The title is unusually upbeat, as is the quick opener, ‘mysterious parcel’, which lumbers comically from foot to foot for 40 seconds. The closer, ‘gradual, new’, is a 14 minute fuzz-drone that radiates blissed-out happiness and contentment. Odd, I know – what was I thinking?
The trouble comes in between. ‘Stomaching’ is a minimal, splintering, battle-of-the-car-alarms that I now find too gruelling to get through. ‘Doubled over’ is a muscular analogue throb that remains satisfyingly pummelling at high volume but is hardly easy listening. I’m guessing these tracks were inspired by a bout of gut-churning illness – alcohol related – that I endured in the squalid, slug-infested hovel where I was then living…
This 34 minute track originally featured as an extra disc exclusive to the ‘box set’ that was the sixth fencing flatworm release. fencing flatworm presents: ff006 neo-radiophonics comprised a cardboard cd-holding book thing from muji containing the first five ffr releases, plus this, and was released in an edition of fifteen. However, I ruined the mystique eventually by including it in the unlimited in brine mp3 set.
The track is simple: mainly muddy bubbling as if diving in a silt and seaweed choked bay. This gradually clears until – what this? am I dreaming? – a drexciyan underwater city of perfect beauty is briefly revealed, then, inevitably, it is back to the mud…
…and there you have it.
I think this will be last milking of the midwich back-catalogue. There is more that I am proud of – the collaboration with Neil, with Ayr Unit, ‘this whole process’, everything on Matching Head etc. – but, for my own reasons, I’m not putting any more of it up on Bandcamp. Remaining items in the discography can be downloaded here (see tab above), or from their original source, or still need to be paid for, or properly exist solely as physical objects, or have long gone. Even in these internet enabled times you can’t have everything. Thus, following this tranche, all future Bandcamp releases will be of brand new material.
I better get to work.
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