psychedelic domestic: joe murray on karl m v waugh, duncan harrison, lost wax

April 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Karl M V Waugh – unnamed murk (coagulated detritus may 2014 – january 2015) (download, disillusion.dot.dot.dot)

Karl M V Waugh – Varnish Crease EP (download, disillusion.dot.dot.dot)

Duncan Harrison – Others Delete God (tape or download, Reckno)

Lost Wax – The Poacher (CD-r, Chocolate Monk, choc.304, edition of 60)

kmvw - murkkmvw - crease

Karl M V Waugh – unnamed murk (coagulated detritus may 2014 – january 2015) and Varnish Crease

A lazy, taking a line for a walk, kind of listen.  That’s no criticism readers.  I’m loving this particular ramble with Karl; round the town, out past the betting shop and onto the Downs, chatting and shooting the shit as we wander.

These unnamed murk pieces are poor orphans (coagulated detritus indeed) with no home to go to.  And for me that makes things all the more interesting.  Are you telling me these pieces don’t fit into your soundworld Karl?  Man…I gotta check out these oddballs – they are going to be the nuts.

The modus operandi remains classic K M V Waugh – an object or technique is picked up and fiddled with for a while and each possible combination of rubbing, striking, bowing and blowing rained down until all options are exhausted.

‘Bread Failure’ dances with some close mic rustle, jazz-gob, fake sine wave feedback loops and acoustic guitar fumble as crispy as an early 2000’s Usurper jam.  ‘Close Net’ starts with a slo-mo rave synth trapped in a bathysphere; the two Navy SEALS having it large while contact with the surface is registered in day-glo Morse and trippy emoticons.  Outside the Angler Fish get anxious with stress-harps.  Blimey, Jacques Cousteau couldn’t get this low.  ‘Nada Test’, the most lovely one of the lot, is an untutored, unconscious guitar/balalaika/mandolin (?) improvisation heavy on the Korean and Rembetika influences.  There’s pure innocence in this playing, a passionate exploration and experimentation that’s scrabbling but at all times searching for a melody to grasp out of the clear blue sky.  The last 2 minutes of this 21 minute piece add a slight distortion giving you a soft landing destination.

This mini-album, the wonderfully titled Varnish Crease, is an 18 minute smeared collage, a bold painting in Bovril hues.

Industrial grot (a malfunctioning PEZ dispenser perhaps?) and novelty dice dropped into a chunky whiskey tumbler form the base coat to KMVW’s meta-poetry. Like several porridge-slugged mouths reading their dreams simultaneously this has a head-fudge quality.  Ever been lost in a crowd?  This mimics that slight panic and claustrophobic feel exactly.

Wonk-hop snatches of sound are introduced like RZA’s all blunted on Funeral Dance Party; a South Coast One Wobbly Egg.  In fact this whole crease has a real Cidershed feel with that slight tint of threat added to the vulnerability.

Essential listening for any young dream-voyager.

duncan - delete

Duncan Harrison – Others Delete God

Pearls dipped in butter swirling round the palm of a brown giant.  The slick tones fill the smooth handful; fingers wiggle to spread the flutter.

This is a disarmingly charming and hypnotically beautiful opener from his holiness Duncan Harrison.

Gurble-gobs, slop and slobber the lazy consonants and sighs that very skitter with finger-manipulated tape skank.  It soon turns into pigs grunting quick enough (oink oink oink) and a sonic Richard Scarry cartoon of crash-bang-wallop.

A water butt slowly fills with rancid treacle as tiny black imps dance around the bloated barrel, slapping their bulbous bellies and blowing crimson smoke rings.  A watchful Duncan scoops up the imps and ingests them all a-wriggle, recording their hapless plummet down his gullet.

But please don’t take my sub-Stan Lee dribbling as evidence of sonic goofiness, cynically used to leap-frog to the desired ends (freedom, bliss, ecstasy etc).  Repeated listens to this humble tape reveal this to be a mature work, a self-assured work, a personally resonant work floating slowly into my consciousness.  There’s no reliance on underground clichés here.  The psychedelic-domestic of bus number recital, buffeting wind noise, slow chip-pan ‘pop’ and throaty Gatwick roar have filled my heart with honey and my head with sleepy nutmeg.

Side one ends with another real-life vignette, this time trad-jazz busker (think bowler hat and pinstripe waistcoat) overlaid flinty guitar pluckage (think sloppy Arran jumper and orthopaedic shoes) bringing two worlds together – the beach front and the bedsit – into a tangy-sharp fragment.

Side two opens with a wanking mumble, a half remembered dream of the time John Noakes applied Chopin’s poesie sonore methods in the Blue Peter garden (don’t bother to ‘YouTube’ it.  This nugget was never televised and then destroyed on direct instructions from Biddy Baxter.) as the tape edits flutter around his West Riding glottal stops.

Valhalla opens its gates to welcome another fallen hero.  For a time the drunken revelry quietens and the bard’s horn plays mournfully through the mist.  Shields become bronze gongs beaten with a soft as the captured skald drones on.

Back in the studio Duncan dons his silk gown and adopts the Crane stance blowing on flesh bassoon until a feeder tape of allotment gristle joins the sound mix like it was the most natural thing in the world.  Birds aimlessly chirrurp and flapper and cast iron tools are tinkled like collectible glass bells.  I can feel the late afternoon sun in this recording baking my neck and making me sleepy.  This. Is. Delicious.

A game-changing tape from D Harrison.  It looks innocent enough for sure; but this tape’s got a confident swagger that’s unmatched right about now.

lost wax - poacher

Lost Wax – The Poacher

Super-classy Musique Concrete from Ben Morris that takes full advantage of the far-flung places he’s laid his loveable mop-top over the last couple of years (China, Vietnam and even Derbyshire).

The Poacher is split into three parts, each third revealing a different side to Lost Wax, that unlock and fold out on hidden brass hinges.  Let’s look inside…

The first third, ‘The Sun is a Hammer’, takes clear recordings of tin parakeets, smoke-train rumble and happy-clapping ritual and slices them up nice with a razor like some heavy radiophonicia dripping secretly out of 1970s Bulgaria.

The pace is stately, like a nurse on a bike, as Ben adds layers of hiss and schloop weaving them into a tapestry fit for a medium-sized town hall.  But before we can even jiggle a heavy chain of office beautiful voices creak out of the floorboards.  They soar and float like rainbows.  Flutes trill.  I swoon.

Next we visit the watch menders convention for ‘Time Travel Corrodes the Mind’.  A hired drummer fiddles with his high-hat (fairly obsessively tiss-tiss-tiss) as the cummerbunded MC beckons in a phalanx of beach balls full of gaseous hippy crack.  The massed horologicalists look up from their chaotically ticking handfuls but relax as Ben, safely at the controls, squeezes out a rhythmic pulse for the cast-iron disco crowd.  Tapes of paranoid mumbling (source: CIA bugs, Cuban Missile Crisis?) bookend the track as several men bend aluminium picture frames in your left ear.

This tasty trio is completed by ‘Home, Exhuming a Shed.  Imagine F.M. Einheit getting ready for a date (checklist – red rose, lump hammer, rusty chain, trumpet, gas canister) dressing in his best dungarees with bear-grease controlling his wanton quiff.

Gnarled hands rip up steel casings and pummel a brass boiler with oranges.  The bright zest fills the air and this sudden change in atmosphere calms our man…his fingers caress the splintered keyboard moving from black to white.  Digit-shapes transfer from 3D geometry into calm sound-pools that sit gently rippling in the citrus breeze.

—ooOoo—

disillusion.dot.dot.dot

Reckno

Chocolate Monk

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