occasional donkey: joe murray on robert ridley-shackleton and faniel dord

April 12, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Robert Ridley-Shackleton – Private Spray (tape, Cardboard Club)

Robert Ridley-Shackleton – Nothing Can Stop Robert Ridley-Shackleton (tape, Cardboard Club)

Faniel Dord – Valentino (tape, Dante’s Ashtray / Cardboard Club, DA007 / CC24)

Faniel Dord – Breakfast Wheel of Fortune (CD-r or download, Dante’s Ashtray, DA006)


Another day, another bunch o’ tapes from the Cardboard Club slap & rattle on the door mat.  Blimey!  It’s seems like the ink is only just about dry on the last set when these follow ups sneak in.  I prepare a restorative fruity cocktail and get jiggy.

I dig into Private Spray first, revelling in the fresh forest-green sleeve and matching tape expecting to sniff zingy pine-sap.  But rather than spicy resin I’m getting an alt-memory forming; the Amphetamine Reptile records folk rejecting macho rock poses to delve deeper into Chrome’s synth-blend.  Odd, but strangely… yeah, why not?

A feedback whine (continued through the majority of the tape) fights over crackle and a charming cardboard box drum solo.  The milky casiotone still bleeps but this is very much darker in spirit (and I know that’s a terrible journo cop-out) but with mentions of

Dad’s poorly

and cleaning up spillages I can hear the ‘d’ being very carefully taken out of the disco. But the fear not… the lollystick rattled in a drain pipe approach still prevails!

As ever I’m wrong-footed by the young RSS.  Firstly a keyboard workout apes Sun Ra on his electric-wump, that gives this tape some serious chops.  But it’s the occasional spoken word interludes that act like a magician’s sneaky misdirection, your ears go one way and your brain the other.  So a song about America (RRS’s favourite country he wonkily claims) is actually about the pigeons in the back garden (or yard).  Another fine RRS joint.


What’s next out the hat?  It’s a damn mission statement, a rebel-rousing cry that’s what.  It’s a throaty terrace chant of Nothing Can Stop Robert Ridley Shackleton plucked from the roomy fedora.  And, as if to prove the point, RRS gets all YES and ELP with 15 min pieces of mind-pie on each side of this tape.

I remember, years ago, hearing The Fall’s Twenty Seven Points for the first time on a car stereo as we tore through rural Durham.  The crap stereo, buggered exhaust and reckless speed made everything mushed-up and indistinct.  The bass had been absorbed by the petrol tank so it was only treble that ricocheted around the car as our passengers rode the waves of excited panic.  The backwards ‘whoosh’ of the occasional car, building or donkey we passed built up into a layer of swooping and tumbling air further confusing our drenched souls.   And that hairy experience dear reader is painstakingly rebuilt on Side A (studio). That’s for damn sure.

The pocket-jazz sound dominates on the ‘live’ Side B.  A drawn-out burr and crackle, similar to radio interference, that gums up all available sound-holes like putty.  It’s the sound of a tractor beam from a low-budget sci-fi film, the background dream-noise of dentistry students, the dry rustle of marram grass beneath a stout boot.  But this time RRS concentrates on rhythm rather than texture so a careful weaving and interlocking takes place.  This complex sound of plaiting braids ends with the gnomic

If you don’t like it go to another school, that’s what they say.


Having satisfied myself with a fix of the ole’ RRS I’m ready to check out a new name for me, Faniel Dord.  Faniel is a mucker of RRS it seems, and on checking out his Dante’s Ashtray site I can see he’s a busy fucker too.

This little tape, Valentino (it’s maybe a C10 max) is a mixture of brief lo-fi songs and dirty limericks that reek of a genuine wonderful outsider.

Think Sexton Ming, or even think of the late great Rammellzee.  A unique world view has been fully formed and populated.  It’s over-ripe and ready to burst so only needs the barest squeeze to explosively grow.

Faniel explores the kind of raga-blues that wouldn’t be out of place on a Sun City Girls record with full-twang guitar and primitive, primal moans and howling. The fidelity is lovingly low and blown-out hissy, I think this is recorded on a mobile phone, dig, so much so ‘Down Separate Rivers’ threatens to grow the folk club a new damn beard.

There’s yuks for sure… the limericks are dumb and daft and wonderfully rude but the goonery takes a back seat on the closer/title track.  This blissed-out troubadour ‘ahhs’ and strums a ditty as full and wide as the Mersey and shows the Scouser’s inherent understanding of psychedelia – always leave a toe-hold in reality.


The CD-r, Breakfast Wheel of Fortune stretches the formula (psychedelic skiffle, scatological humour) and adds a soupcon of The Fugs ‘this-hootenanny-could-disintegrate-at-any-point-into-frenzied-screaming’ menace into the mix.

Some songs are furiously strummed and blurted out as if the words are hot spitballs. Some worship at the gates of Joe Meek’s Holloway Road flat with a gravy boat full of space-age echo and exotic overdubs.  But it’s the twitching-curtains of suburban Satanism are the most curious edition to Faniel’s world view and worked out on songs like ‘Kiss the Hoof’, ‘Siding with the Devil’ and ‘Din Din Demons.’  So, maths fans, that’s roughly 23% of the songs on this disc referencing interactions with THE DARK ONE.  Blimey… Venom would be happy with that average.

But no amount of daffy vapes can hide the serious intent behind ‘Dead or Alive’; a seven minute acoustic guitar landscape that starts all Richard Bishop, travelling via Sketches of Spain and ends in DIY Harmolodics and secretive moaning.  Fucking classy what?

This CD-r is also available from the Dante’s Ashtray site (gosh… another satanic reference) and the god-fearing curious can click here to get an earful.


Cardboard Club

Dante’s Ashtray

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