goose-honk, popping-candy, recorder-grot: joe murray on velfaerd and robert ridley-shackletonAugust 8, 2014 at 7:29 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
Tags: ghetto naturalist series, hissing frames, improv, joe murray, new music, no audience underground, noise, pipe noise, robert ridley-shackleton, tapes, velfaerd
Velfaerd / Robert Ridley-Shackleton – Wind Damage (3″ CD-r, Hissing Frames, edition of 12)
Robert Ridley-Shackleton – Dinky Donuts (C15 tape, Hissing Frames, edition of 5)
Robert Ridley-Shackleton – Untitled (C32 tape, Ghetto Naturalist Series, GNS-050, edition of 50)
I hereby christen Velfaerd with the sub-sub-sub genre taxonomy ‘Pipe noise’. Why? Imagine a copper pipe a couple of meters long but only 5mm wide. Blow energetically and continuously down this pipe into a grasshopper’s ear. The resulting ‘whiiiiisssshshhhhhh’ is exactly what Velfaerd is playing with here; except this gentle roar is buffeted about in a tropical storm, clanging wet sparks.
Robert Ridley-Shackleton takes glitch-core to its logical extreme with a popping candy/mic rubbing/slo-mo bubble-wrap rip stretching out into all the right places. Like water it moves to fill any crevice, finding a level and sitting there – furiously bubbling and crackling. The occasional squelch adds some depth to the sound, pitching it exactly like Swarfega sluicing through broken knuckle joints.
Collectively these pieces are the very essence of Wind Damage. Apt title chaps!
This lovely looking petite disc (wrapped in Robert Ridley-Shackelton’s trademark colourful junk-collage) is a peach and limited to twelve, I repeat, twelve copies. Move swiftly my friends!
The tape Dinky Donuts is a rarer beast still. My copy is one from an edition of five and comes in a clear plastic bag with mini-masking tape sculpture and handwritten sleeve notes. Side one reveals a more acoustic route being taken with crypto-violin paired with what sounds like a Scalextric (1950’s touring cars edition) over a slippery goose-honk loop.
Side two crackles with the kind of recorder grot that accumulates on rubber spools: part melted plastic, part household dust, part septic earwax. The bimble of scruffy forward motion keeps things lively; a badly tuned radio chatters away to no one. But what really makes me sit up and listen is what I think is the sound of the tape recorder mechanism itself being roughly fingered – moving from a whirring roar to a limp and fractured click clack. An intriguing collage that’s messing with the tired tradition of anticipated crescendo.
Robert’s untitled tape on the very exciting looking Ghetto Naturalist Series is a different kinda animal again. A kissin’ cousin to the noise genre, side one sounds like rusty road-mending equipment being kick-started ready for a heavy day of backbreaking toil.
But at the same time it manages to sound a little…well, funky. I read something once by the Average White Band (no I have no idea who they are either) who said that funk was all about space; the gaps you leave, the essence of absence* and this tape takes its space placement very carefully. The lava-lamp electronic bubbling is not at all tie-dyed but more Dr Zarkov as rocket ships plunge towards Arboria. A howling Public Address system mimics the wired-dislocation I’ve experienced through exploratory Tia Maria binges. In short this is quite the trip.
I’m imagining that side two is the kind of thing Eno used to dream about. Magnesium sparks showering over bare shoulders; leaving the velvety dark of the nightclub and emerging into the harsh purple dawn. It’s kind of like Glam on a downer with some vicious guitar power-chords thrummed with the stately majesty of a baronet. The reverb becomes a coy tease.
Abstract keyboard melodies are played with elbows and feet building up the feeling of a jam occurring while the background ‘scoooouuuuurrrr’ rambles on, mumbled voice grumbling, bass heading out to Orion on its single-minded pulse.
PROOF READER’S NOTE: Just noticed some very odd product placement in this review. Keep your letter box monitored for leaking packages Ed! (Editor’s note: Ugh, not again. Can’t you mention something nice like jaffa cakes?)
*Mrs Posset to thank for that particular couplet.