about us and this blog

5-6ths of RFM take 1

(some RFM comrades at the Crater Lake Festival, 2015: me, Sof, Luke, Joe, marlo)


Many thanks for visiting this blog.  My name is Rob Hayler and I am based in Leeds, UK.

When I started RFM at the end of 2009 I claimed its function to be as follows:

During the first five years or so of this century I created music (mainly) under the name midwich, released music on the micro-label fencing flatworm recordings which I co-ran with my colleague Sean Keeble, and helped run the Leeds experimental-music institution Termite Club.

Now in my twilight years I think that this work might be fruitfully documented and made freely available to the world at large.  Over the coming whenever I will be uploading documents, mp3s, photos, gig momentos and the like to create a small but perfectly formed archive celebrating my corner of the experimental, drone, electronica, free music, CDR underground and its various no-audience-attracting projects.

As an afterthought, I hedged my bets by adding:

I’ll also post the occasional comment on current music and events in a woeful and desperate attempt to remain relevant.

Once the archival project was complete (augmented by the excellent job done by Bang the Bore: part one, part two), the implications of this throwaway line provided the blog’s primary purpose.

As I reacquainted myself with what I playfully call the ‘no-audience underground’, and as the people within it got back in touch, I found myself increasingly wanting to get involved.  This I have done by writing at length about the terrific art I have encountered, by musing narcissistically about life, music and their overlap, and by reactivating midwich in order to make a racket myself (superseded in 2018 by see monsd, my recording project which followed after I destroyed midwich at the 2017 TUSK Festival).

In 2013 the ‘single voice’ era at RFM ended as I was joined by three new comrades – Scott McKeating, Joe Murray and Luke Vollar – and from 2015 to 2017, following a bit of The Fall-style line-up shenanigans, the list of contributors was expanded to include Sophie Cooper, Chrissie Caulfield, marlo de lara, Johannah Henderson and Sarah Gatter.  Between them these folks have a (rather daunting, awe inspiring) wealth of hands-on experience in getting creative things done. I couldn’t believe my luck.  This meant that the range of music covered here could be widened and deepened but without losing our focus on the unheralded edges of noise and experimental music.  I trust you appreciate our differing tastes and styles.

In early 2017 I decided, for a number of well documented reasons, to step down as editor and take an indefinite sabbatical.  Joe Murray kindly agreed to keep the chair warm and did a heroic job as editor, publisher, lead writer and first point of contact until January 2018 when the intrusion of ‘real life’ meant he had to turn his attention elsewhere.  In the run up to his departure, the team voted to scale back operations, give up on the idea of a schedule and commit to nothing more than occasional posts when the muse took us.

Thus: RFM does not accept items for review. I have become increasingly uneasy with the idea of ‘submissions’ and the obligation that comes with accepting freebies. This blog is our contribution to a scene we are very much part of and does not stand aloof, commenting on it from a point of critical distance. Thanks for the kind offers – truly, we live in a golden age for the type of music this blog covers – but we’ll write about what we acquire fair and square and in our own time.

The no-audience underground thrives – as the three quarters of a million words posted here attest.

All is love!

Rob H


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  1. Hi Rob

    Hey…you reminded me of the amazing evelyn series. I’ve got #3…stlus abuse. a gnarly listen from what I remember. I’ll have to search them out from ‘the heap’.

    Take care man


  2. I commend you in your endeavor and appreciate your tone and thoughtfulness. Thank you for such an engaging review of my tape (BTK). Really glad it found its way to someone who could discuss it so thoroughly, I think it had affected you the way it was intended. Looking forward to more from your blog.


    H.Brad Halverson

    • Much obliged, man – I enjoyed writing it. Cheers for the music and cheers for commenting. Love, Rob H

  3. Man, I am Miguel from LA MANCHA DEL PECADO (the one of the B-Side of Trans-Atlantic Harsh Terror Drones)….I come from Mexico and here there is not much people doing the kind of exploration of sounds I make. Less there is people doing reviews of it…… I want to eagerly thank you for mentioning me in the review of the Matching Head tape that the good Lee put out..


  4. Enjoyed the gig last night! Nice throbbing beat at the end was more than welcome.

    I couldn’t find your email address but was contacting you about having a jam. Have a listen ( http://panelak.bandcamp.com/ & http://soundcloud.com/panelak )

    My email’s pascalansell@gmail.com



    • Many thanks Pascal – cheers for coming out in the snow! I shall follow your links when my ears have stopped ringing. With love, Rob H x

  5. Hi Rob,

    following on from our conversation on BTB, here is the link to my album –


    i’m more than happy to send you a physical copy if you prefer, just let me know your address.
    best wishes

    Daniel Alexander Hignell

    devilwidget at hotmail.co.uk

    • Hey Daniel,

      Cheers man, yr album is downloading as I type. Will let you know my thoughts – should any occur to me – in due course.

      With love,
      Rob H

  6. I was amused to read your recent review of spoils and relics and your reference to my band Lanterns. I propose we meet in a deserted car park and sort it out in the old fashioned way if you whup my ass you’ll get the new lanterns tape ‘inner horizon’. Whaddaya reckon?

    • Yeah, c’mon!! Socks filled with snooker balls! Actually, maybe not – I have note from my mum excusing me from any improv-review-related violence. Perhaps we could just hug in a manly fashion and shake hands vigorously? Wouldn’t mind hearing that tape anyway… With love, R

  7. yeah I just remembered i’m rubbish at fighting anyway, we were always hit and miss live and I didn’t think that night was a good one (with ignatz and arrington de dionso) I still have some copies of the split record we did with this russian guy msg me your address and i’ll stick that and a tape in the mail for you


    • You are a gentleman. Address will follow via email. R x

  8. hi Rob how you doing, keeping up the good i see, i only recently realised how many people we have in common, ian murphy, eddy dentata, plurals to name a few, i am involved in lot o noise stuff in brighton, both playing and promoting , am planning a visit your way in new year ,going to visit sheffield and check out industial music museum, was wondering if you have any shows i could possibly play at, my act is called mouthful o worms and i use karoake machines and megaphones etc, also if you fancy playing brighton let me know, and be excellent to catch up

    • Hey Kev! Cheers for getting in touch, man. Yeah, sure is a small world. Ian Murphy mentioned you at the Hobo Sonn/Truant etc. show here in Leeds just the other day. I’ll reply to your comment in more detail via email a.s.a.p. With love, Rob H x

  9. Rob! Thank god I have discovered your blog and can return to this source of taste and soul and statement after decades of wandering in arid musical wastelands. –Ben

    • Well, how flattering! I’m very glad to be of service, Ben – thanks for commenting. With love, R x

  10. Just listened to Midwich and the Skullmask — WHAT is the instrument on ‘Lloviendo Sangre’?? Bağlama saz? And ‘That Which…’ is pop music for daleks. The long lost fantastic feeling of not knowing how long I can take something for, and (because I had the screen off) not having any clue how long it might last. And then — so kind! — it modulates, and lets me go, via some kind of heartbreaking filter. Fabulous. At last I can think of reasons to make mix tapes again.

    • Again, you are too kind, man, too kind. It is a source of delight and amusement to me that after we lost touch for god knows how long you have reappeared making flattering comments on this blog about my meagre efforts. Very much appreciated. Amazing as it may seem, Miguel plays a regular acoustic guitar but in a shamanic/raga/flamenco/mystical style whilst musing on the Mexican wilderness. You should check out his other stuff, especially as The Skull Mask – plenty reviewed elsewhere on RFM. With love, Rob H x P.S. I have a track called ‘snags’ coming out on a compilation soon which is SEX music for Daleks ;-).

  11. As you may be aware, the Guardian is currently soliciting tracks from ‘unsigned bands’, presumably with the aim of issuing a mass contract with hired killers at the termination of the submission period. After a couple of dips into the audio-material on offer, I was dreaming of a world in which a coordinated subversion exercise from the no-audience underground resulted in every second entry being a squealing noisegasm of length varying between 1 sec and 2 hrs, the shape of the distribution being an inverse-bell curve. But I guess this would run contrary to the philosophical basis of the no-audience underground.

    Actually the Guardian is currently slightly towards my good books for having broken an earth-shattering and empire-ending story of mass surveillance, only about a year after Democracy Now! did.

  12. hi there,

    Thanks so much for the review of ‘blunders’ by me and stuart, I realy enjoyed ure analysis. I was wondering however if I could send you another item of mine in the mail? let me know if this is possible as I love ure reviews. email: hissingframes@gmail.com

    thanks a bunch

    robert ridley-shackleton

  13. Hi Rob,

    I’ve been enjoying your writings on here. I’d like to send you some music for review in the post if that’d be okay? My email address is microdeform(at)gmail(dot)com

    Liam (Microdeform)

  14. Hello Rob,

    Thanks for the Culver/Somália review, please write me an email, I have some stuff to send your way.

    narcolepsia.distro @ gmail.com

    • Cheers Manuel, glad you liked it. Will drop you a line. R x

  15. Hi
    Just wanted to say hello really. This is an amazing site! I love it, the care and enthusiasm that you put into every post. It’s a jeffin’ great read, is what I’m saying.
    I write some stuff at we http://weneednoswords.wordpress.com/ but its very much a learning process for me, finding the time to listen to all the crazy stuff out there is one thing then trying to write something that’s not terrible is another!
    Anyway, keep up the good work an’ all.

    • Hey Paul, thanks for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are much appreciated. I’ve taken a look at We Need No Swords and we all clearly have a bunch in common so more power to you too, comrade! Keep the goodwill circulating… With love, Rob H x

  16. Hi Rob, I meant to try and chat to you on saturday but somehow didn’t get to. I met you a million years ago through Tim Hall/ Kev Hough, I think just before you moved to Leeds. Hopefully i’ll get back to Leeds soon as I had an ace time.
    Robin (slow listener)

    • Hey Robin, thanks for commenting and glad that you had a good time. I really enjoyed your set and also meant to say ‘hello’ but somehow our paths did not cross… Next time for sure. ‘Before I moved to Leeds’ does feel like a million years ago now! I’ll keep an eye out for your stuff too. With love, Rob x

  17. Loving reading your blog, and I will continue to enjoy delving deeper into the world of Midwich… I was reminded this evening reading about these different musicians, artists, thinkers, that I started a blog when I lived in Wellington on a hillside. I wrote 3 passages every night for a month, trying to empty my mind and write without thinking. I found it, and here is one of those ’empty’ passages…

    ‘I opened my eyes in my sleep and the things I saw I distorted to entertain a desire. I drew lines with my thoughts and made the walls extend and exchange philosophy. A deep amber light danced above me like a reigning hour, as I lay on my back under warm sheets, unable to betray the image. Not that I would have chosen to. It was a repeated pattern falling from a blinking eye, its lashes the stems for the new shapes to begin. A central heart vibrated by a toy-like mechanism. It all floated as one, an absence of fabric its common place. Colour and light giving a private show. Unique, a circus to the sense of myself. No-one else can see these beautiful sights but you – if you choose to. It is the decision to embrace your freedom. To let go of the net and then fall, eyes wide open.’

    Keep on keeping on x

    • Beautiful. May I suggest a midwichian soundtrack? Perhaps try ‘flint soul beach’ (on the bandcamp page). Thanks for commenting and glad to hear you are enjoying RFM. We shall discuss this further, comrade. Rx

  18. i’ve stumbled upon your blog, by the kind support of the www or better some of it’s content providers, who’ve promoted your efforts to transfer the magnetic into binary code. nice job, thank you. then i got a bit deeper into what you’ve written here and there and especially the mentioning of waves of depression have triggered my impulse to get in touch. as i have to admit, that this state has been, as weired as it gets still the fuel for most of what i’ve been producing throughout the years. with the typical UPs and DOWNs of course.

    if you find the time and the muse to figure out what it is i am writing about here, please take a look over here:

    TOTSTELLEN: http://telenautik.de/grimm/totstellen

    GRMMSK: http://grmmsk.tumblr.com/


    all the best.

    • Hey GRM, thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope you find much of interest here at RFM. Thanks also for the links – I’ll check ’em out. With love, Rob x

  19. Hi Rob, I’ve been enjoying your writings on here for sometime now, your reviews always make for an engaging read.
    I’d like to send some sounds through your postbox for you to review if you like? My email address is dorh@hotmail.co.uk
    Bryan (Stamina Nudes)

    • Thanks for commenting Bryan and apologies for delay in replying – I’ll drop you a line. W/Love, Rob H

  20. Hi Rob,

    I’d like to submit some things for your consideration every now and then. Please email me.



    • Cheers Troy – will drop you a line later today. R x

  21. I do adore that photo at the top, one for the top of the telly.

    • Yeah, taken by Filthy Turd during his set – I clocked what was going on so looked directly into the camera with a cheesy grin on my face hoping for exactly what I got! R x

  22. Hey Friends . Here mr.brooklyn from México ,soon be on our ep on vinyl. This is our material enjoy it


  23. 1 minute autohypnosis Project
    Send us a minute of sound in any system by mail or e-mail.

    Visit our webpage


    Pedro Bericat
    P.O.BOX 4033
    50080 Zaragoza

  24. Hi there guys at Radio Free Mid Wich!

    We´re Ø+yn from Argentina. We have recently made a splt¨Siete Hermanos Varones desnudos nadando en el Rio¨ with False Sir Nicholas ¨As the Braided Streamlets Run¨:::

    Here its the link:

    Pure Free Folk, tape and improvised music… both sides….

    You might want to check our bandcamp here: http://omasin.bandcamp.com/

    Hope you´re good and you´ve started 2015 with the right mussssic!


    • Thanks Pablo – I will investigate – I see Mark at Idwal Fisher has been enjoying your work too… With love, Rob H x

  25. thanks man! Yes.. he was particularly interested in this cassette: https://omasin.bandcamp.com/album/tentaculeando-a-la-puna

    Hope you dig them!


  26. Dear Rob, I would love to send you my recent solo album, which is a mixture of solo guitar and field recording. Can I have your email please?



    • Hi David, cheers man, I’ve responded via email, with love, Rob H x

  27. Would love to send over some tapes of me and my friends weird version of what psych is. Think you might enjoy.


    • Groovy. I’ve squinted at your near-dark Bandcamp page and am intrigued. Will email via BC with a postal address. Cheers for getting in touch. With love, Rob H x

  28. I believe you could be into this.

    It includes a 50 pages theater play
    (78 pages in my childish presentation),
    a 4 minutes video art (trailer available for now),
    7 poems written from the play
    and 45 minutes of heavily charged schizophonia songs
    with collaborators (Daniel Knox – voice, Anat Pick – voice,
    Alexandre Gérard – electric guitar)

  29. wouold like to send along some art for barrel nut and music for perusal : can i get yr mailing addy?

    jessy kendall
    letterfounder zine
    lewisotn, maine usa

    • Hey Jessy, cheers for getting in touch – have sent my postal address to your gmail account. With love, R x

  30. Excuse me, can you send your postal address … to … me. Would like to send you a physical object.

  31. Hi Rob,

    Could we get your postal address so we can send you something physical?

  32. hi Rob, I don’t know whether you know about my new mini-album on Linear Obsessional:
    if you send me your address I’ll send you a physical copy, it’s a nice little package and of course you have my permission, nay encouragement, to review is if you see fit…

    • Hey Steven, cheers for getting in touch and apologies for not noticing our comment earlier. I’ll reply with an address via email. Rob x

  33. NEWK – Live Art Bistro – 08/03/16 – Featuring Harsh Noise


    NEWK is a monthly scratch night running on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at Live Art Bistro (Regent Street, LS2 7QA)

    The event is an opportunity for artists to test out ideas or share performances at different stages of development.

    Doors at 7.30.
    Performances start at 8pm
    This months line up:
    The 52
    Jamal Gerald
    This Is A Formica Table
    Nathan Birkinshaw

    This Is A Formica Table is my harsh noise project. Come check it out 🙂


    • Hey Gavin – shit, didn’t notice this was in the comments queue – apologies – I can’t make it but hope it is a success. If NEWK has a twitter account or mailing list let me know. With love, Rob x

      • Hi Rob,

        No worries 🙂

        NEWK runs every month however, they don’t usually put on noise acts. They mostly showcase performance art and contemporary theatre.

        Just noticed I have put the wrong date down, it’s the 9th, not the 8th – oops!


      • Heh, heh – well make sure you get them arty types pinned to the back wall with volume whatever the date 😉 R x

  34. Hi Rob,

    I have some new tape releases out that I’d like to send your contributors way for review consideration. I tried using the email address noted above (r.w.hayler@leeds.ac.uk), but I keep getting a message kicking back noting that delivery failed. Do I have this right or is there any other means to get in touch.

  35. Hey David, cheers for getting in touch and, yeah, weird, that is the correct email address and I have no idea as to why it hasn’t worked for you. No matter – I’ll send a postal address via the FFF hotmail address I see on your site. However, if these releases exist digitally then please feel free to send links or download codes instead of physical objects. We can’t guarantee reviews and postal costs are harsh so don’t spend any money if you don’t have to! With love, Rob H x

  36. Midwich is a dark and decadent county where people like me feel at home.

    • …our hospitality is legendary – thanks for stopping by. Rob x

  37. Thanks for the great work Rob and RFM fam, this blog is an oasis of neat sounds… Cheers from the Yucatan, Mexico!

    • Sorry for not approving this sooner Enrique and thank you for the praise! With transatlantic love, Rob H x

  38. Wonderful to stumble across your work and signposting for essential primordial creativity. Many thanks for keeping at it. Fiona Blair

    • Cheers Fiona – much appreciated! We shall hold the treasure aloft as we wade through the mud ;-)… With love, Rob H x

  39. hi Rob, HNY, sent you a cdrom thing a while back, hope you got it, all the best Jase.

    • Cheers Jason – and Happy New Year to you too! Yes, I got the disc – many thanks, much appreciated. I haven’t been able to get much of it to play but will find time to dump it all on the laptop and tinker with it there. Looks like a fantastic collection! With love, Rob x

  40. Hey Rob, how’s it going? Just wondering what the best way to contact you it? I’ve just launched a new DIY label in Glasgow and was hoping I could send you some stuff. Cheers! Chris.

    • Hey Chris, cheers for getting in touch. Alas RFM is currently asleep (see latest post) and we aren’t accepting review material. That said, I’ve just visited the Doggy Bag bandcamp site and it looks pretty special so I’ll check it out for myself… Love, Rob H x

      • Ah, I hadn’t realised that – a real shame! Got turned on to some great releases through your site. Cheers for checking out the release regardless! All the best. Chris.

      • Hey Chris, thanks and I’m sure we’ll post the odd thing in the future. Enjoyed both the Doggy Bag releases very much and punted ’em on twitter too! Love, Rob x

  41. Hi Rob,
    Is there an email I can contact you at? Or can you get mine from this comment? I have a bit of an odd question/request about an old ffr release if that’s okay.
    Cheers, Joe

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