circuit diagrams soaked in brandy: joe murray on robert ridley-shackleton and waste farm

October 23, 2015 at 7:14 am | Posted in no audience underground, not bloody music | Leave a comment
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Robert Ridley-Shackleton – Sober Junkz (tape, Cardboard Club, CC11, edition of 12)

Waste Farm – Waste! (tape, Piped-in From Head Office Records, pifho017)

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Robert Ridley-Shackleton – Sober Junkz

The singular RRS drops another mind-bomb on our door mat with Sober Junkz, an almost unconscious unraveling of the super-ego.

Adopting the persona of a middle-aged DJ Ridley-Shackleton mumbles through an unhinged afternoon show with nothing but Whitehouse audience recordings to play instead of Toto’s Africa three times per hour.

This pure right-brain shuffling between gentle coughing and distant feedback (er… like the rains down in Africa) sits uncomfortably with the braggadocious whittering concerning RRS and Kanye facing up as presidential candidates.

As ever the packaging is classic Cardboard Club [Editor’s note: above are scans of my copy]; masking tape and crayon daubed with careful joy around a plastic zip-loc.  But it’s the sheer ‘otherness’ of this tape that shifts it to my ‘caution’ pile, clearly marked, to ensure I play this when I have my full faculties about me.  Without a suitable warning this tape could set up a feedback loop of intense crypto-listening that can lead to gentle catatonia!

In an act of retro-vandalism I replaced the name ‘Cage’ with the name ‘Ridley-Shackleton’ in my handy Penguin Cassette Guide:

Cornelius Cardew, our own British avant-gardiste, is quoted as saying that there seems to be a sense of logic and cohesion in Ridley-Shackleton’s indeterminate music. ‘The logic’ Ridley-Shackleton replied, ‘was not put there by me.’

He can say that again! Even so, a tape like this of highly experimental music does give the listener an excellent chance to work hard at the apparently impossible music…what it all means is anyone’s guess, but perhaps one should not take it too seriously.  The transfer is atmospheric rather than sharply focused. (March p204)

GREENFIELD, E. LAYTON, R. & MARCH, I. (1979). Penguin Cassette Guide.  Middlesex: Penguin Books Limited.

Joe fucking Orton me like!

waste

Waste Farm – Waste!

This conundrum snuck into a package from that Shareholder Sandy Milroy and feels like a solo project from a dude in a skinny tie surrounded by banks of antique synths.  To complete the scene a TV flickers blue smoke from the corner of the room while circuit diagrams are soaked in brandy.  Got a mental picture?

Side one opens with a sound as tactile as silvery-birch or slippery elm.  The wooden electrics shimmer all over ‘Dale Baker 201’ making it hard to pick up, running through my clumsy fumbling thumbs.  But it’s light man, relaxed and all; a smiling face at closing time on Princess Street.

Then the mood changes to delightfully sleazy as ‘Spoonfood’ (electronic tones pump like a punctured sausage…slow offal ooze) and ‘Woomb’//‘Meat Scarecrow’ (three-note stabs uncover a crystal skull – each beam of reflected light hints at an alien tone) soundtrack that thick tentacle wallop the Belgians seems to favour.  OK… a bit more grit; you’re accepting the invitation to an empty.

Side two drops a clue to its Caledonian lineage as ‘The Specimen’ merges distant street chatter with a lolloping synth line.  So far so good… but when that thick bass tone drops it’s like Wolf Eyes’ ‘Stabbed in the Face’ decided to get really fucking stroppy.  Gloopy like black molasses the jellified tones stick to your hands, face and chest.  It’s probably best to just submit, I think, until I find myself pounding a bleeding fist against the wall, thumping out this slow heart-beat, riding the waves of limp sizzle and ruddy ripping.  I’m locked in and they are slowly approaching!

Balancing the fine line between head-banging euphoria and deeply unpleasant industry.

Serving Suggestion?  Check out this euro-weird animation LIGHT YEARS.  Use your eyes to see but plug your ears into WASTE FARM instead.

—ooOoo—

Cardboard Club

Piped-in From Head Office Records

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