new aqua dentata album on fencing flatworm recordings!

August 12, 2015 at 9:46 am | Posted in fencing flatworm, new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Aqua Dentata – ‘Neko Baader-Meinhof’ (CD-r, fencing flatworm recordings, edition of 50)

aqua neko frontaqua neko back

Ladies and gentlemen, fencing flatworm recordings, via radiofreemidwich, is delighted to announce the release of Neko Baader-Meinhof by Aqua Dentata.

Less damaged readers may recall that the prize for winning the RFM Zellaby Award for album of the year is the offer of a release on my legendary, but otherwise dormant, micro-label.  Last time around the worthy recipient of the gong was Eddie Nuttall, recording as Aqua Dentata, and here he is taking me up on it.

The Aqua Dentata back catalogue is a slow growing coral of exceptional beauty.  A seemingly restricted palette of (home constructed) synth drones and unplaceable metal-on-metal skittering is used to create abstract expressionist work of such depth and subtlety that the hold it commands has an almost occult power.  See here for my opinions of Eddie’s previous output, see his own website to keep up with his activities.  You really should – his patience, control and dedication to expressing a rigorously thought through aesthetic are unrivalled.

Neko Baader-Meinhof comprises three untitled tracks totalling just over 45 minutes.  The packaging is functional – silver CD-r in plastic wallet, white paper inserts with black text, no illustration – but with a pleasingly mysterious aspect.  The cover features a numbered list of 23 points provided by Eddie which bear no obvious relation to the contents (three tracks, untitled) and are otherwise unexplained.  Listeners are invited to unpack the connections and allusions contained or, indeed, to make up their own.  Attempts to form a narrative, or to plug these seemingly dada juxtapositions into a conspiracy theory of some kind would be most welcome.

The music itself is exquisite.  I needn’t double-down on the superlatives – you simply need to hear it.

So here’s how.  Aside from promotional blurb, a Discogs listing and (hopefully) any reviews it might garner, at Eddie’s request this release will have no internet presence.  No soundclips anywhere, not a whiff of Bandcamp.  It will only exist as these CD-rs and, when they are gone, the release will go with them.  There are 50 in total – 20 have gone to Eddie for him to distribute as he sees fit, 10 have been sent or set aside as freebies for various RFM staffers and friends of the blog and the remaining 20 I have for sale…

EDIT: NOW SOLD OUT AT SOURCE!  Eddie may have copies himself but the cupboard has been ransacked here at RFMHQ.  Many thanks to those trusting souls who handed over money without even being able to preview the contents of this album.  I’d be interested to hear what you think of it.  OK, *phew* that’s enough business for one year – fencing flatworm returns to its comfortable slumber…

Y’know, sometimes running this blog is an uncomplicated joy.  This is one of those times.

aqua neko


fencing flatworm recordings presents the piss superstition

July 28, 2014 at 10:59 am | Posted in fencing flatworm, new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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the piss superstition – getting nothing to appear on the developed film (CD-r with booklet, fencing flatworm recordings, edition of 50 or download)tps front covertps back covertps booklet front and back

tps inserts

The most hotly awaited date in the no-audience underground calendar is, of course, the publication of radiofreemidwich’s annual Zellaby Awards. I know the anticipation ruins Christmas for a lot of you, and that spats on the red carpet have ended up in the tabloids, but our duty to promote the finest available music trumps all concerns about public order.

Once the puddles of champagne vomit have been mopped away, all that remains is an ancient tradition that can be dated back as far as 2013. The winner of the yellow jersey for Album of the Year is, *ahem*, ‘rewarded’ with a release on my otherwise dormant microlabel fencing flatworm recordings. This time the annual reactivation was postponed for a few months to allow for the project to mature but the wait has proved justified: the result is perfect.

getting nothing to appear on the developed film by the piss superstition, the duo of Julian Bradley and Paul Steere, comprises three tracks lasting a total of 30 minutes and is presented on CD-r (and/or download) in a cover designed by Julian. It is accompanied by an eight page, A7 pamphlet containing details of the release and some oblique poetry also by Julian. These pamphlets were hand-typed on one of those ol’ fashioned typewriters (see photo above) with hand-written track listings and edition numbers by guess who? Yep: Julian. That’s the nice thing about working with self-sufficient artists with confidence in their own vision – all I need do is the administration. The physical edition is strictly limited to the customary 50 copies, a download is available on a pay-what-you-like basis.

The music is, as ever with these guys: mystifying, brilliant, peerless. I’m not going to say any more because I want you to come to it fresh and untainted by my own interpretation. However, for those of you new to this band here’s a little of what I have said about them in the past:

…heavy, juddering electrics describe arcane symbols as they spiral through the iterations of this garbled instruction set. Something truly weird is being revealed. The serrated buzzing suggests saw mill equipment escaping its moorings and consuming itself as one bladed machine vibrates into the path of another. But again, there is nothing random about this movement. All is being conducted by an unfamiliar intelligence for some unknowable purpose…

…or to put it more succinctly:

…this music is detuned – not discordant as such, just eroded, smeared, until its original content is lost or, at best, obliquely hinted at. That is what makes it so endlessly fascinating…

Intriguing, eh? I’m very, very proud to have been involved in making this available. Now don’t be sleeping – this is sure to sell out double-quick.


the piss superstition on fencing flatworm recordings on Bandcamp

the piss superstition’s own site

The 2013 Zellaby Awards


oTo archive complete

March 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Posted in blog info, fencing flatworm, midwich, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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(oTo) – Ordnance, Tape Only

oTo archive pic 1

About a fortnight ago I announced the launch of the oTo tape archive project.  Today, much to my surprise, I am delighted to declare it complete.  That is: all fifty tapes that comprise the oTo catalogue, originally released in limited numbers more than a decade ago, have been digitized and are available to listen to and/or download for free here on this blog.  Haven’t I been a busy bee, eh?  Actually, hooking up a decent tape deck, via my little midwich mixer, to the laptop has made the task a breeze.  I’ve enjoyed chugging through it very much.

For further information about what this tape label was all about see the preamble on the archive’s own page.  This page is also where you’ll find all the links.  There are many gems hidden amongst the names you’ll recognize so please take the opportunity to dip your toes.  How about a terrific hiss-drone by The Dead Body?  Or the mutation of recordings made during the refurbishment of Leeds Railway Station into a Basic Channel-ish jackhammer dub by TK94?  I could go on: noise, electronics, folk-psych, dada collage – it’s all there for the taking.

May I ask a favour?  I’m usually loathe to ‘promote’ RFM, figuring that the right people will find it eventually, but I’m quite proud of the work done in presenting this bounty.  So… if you find something you like would you mind passing the link on to someone else you think might be interested, or doing one of them tweets or a facebooking?  Many thanks to those that did so following the initial announcement – your support is, as always, much appreciated.

The normal reviews based service you’ve come to expect from RFM will resume shortly with some great stuff dictated by Joe Murray to his children from the bouncy castle he uses as his office.  Scott is up to something calculated and evil in his mysterious undersea lair.  Me?  Well, having begun a phased return to work following my recent bout of depression I find myself in a near-constant state of bewilderment.  The muse is finding this most unattractive.  Hopefully inspiration will return as my energy levels increase as I am looking forward to doing justice to some exceptional releases on the review pile.

oTo archive pic 4

the oto tape archive

March 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Posted in blog info, fencing flatworm, midwich, no audience underground | 10 Comments
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(oTo) – Ordnance, Tape Only

oTo tapes

‘Ordnance, Tape Only’, or oTo to its friends, was a sound-art off-shoot project from fencing flatworm recordings, the micro-label I co-ran with Sean Keeble in the early years of this century.  There were fifty oTo releases, with each release limited to a numbered fifty copies, all on one-sided cassette tapes.  Apart from the artist name and the catalogue number no other information was included.  Inlay cards were made by chopping up various Ordnance Survey maps of this fair country.  Thus you got a random square of Britain, five miles on a side, to look at whilst listening to your near-anonymous tape.  Oh, and it is nowt to do with London’s Cafe OTO, which it predates by several years.

To my surprise, this insane enterprise caught the collective imagination and I had no trouble filling up the 50 slots.  It became a cross section of the UK noise underground at the time (2001-ish) and even attracted the attention of the international experimental jet-set with, for example, Thurston Moore donating some skronking.  Julian Bradley, who encouraged me to get started with the project, had tape number T01 and I took last one.  Whilst chopping up maps I was often left with some wholly blue squares containing just sea.  I kept those to one side and the 50 inlay cards for the midwich tape each cover 25 square miles of water.

In a lengthy interview with me conducted by Bang the Bore (read the whole thing here) I was asked a bunch of questions about oTo including this one:

Are you planning on giving oTo a digital after-life? It seems more suited to that format than the ffr releases, possibly… for one thing you can construct the eternally looping playlist implied by how the original releases were structured. It’s also easy to give it that “check it out then move on” response that you mention.

…and I replied:

Well, I can see the appeal for the reasons you mention but, no, I am not planning a digital reanimation for oTo.  Difficulty in finding the time would be a major hindrance – many of the masters are on tape themselves and would therefore need recording onto my laptop and mastering before acceptable mp3 versions could be created.  The bigger problem though is that I no longer have all the masters.  When ffr/oTo was wound up I offered to return masters to artists so they could reissue their work elsewhere and a few took me up on it.  Phil reissued the Zen Nuns tape (a collaboration he did with Lasse Marhaug) on BWCD, for example.  I realise that most of these reissues are now themselves unavailable but still… I returned this stuff on the understanding that oTo was over.  I’d also not feel happy about releasing mp3s of this stuff without the permission of the artists themselves and I’ve completely lost touch with quite a few of them.  No, reanimating oTo would be a logistical nightmare.  Best just to accept that the moment has passed.

Solid reasoning, I’m sure you’ll agree, but then I found myself shifting a stereo upstairs to the RFM offices here at Midwich Mansions and my thinking began to change…  My current opinion is as follows:

Ahh… fuck it!

So, with that in mind, please see the oTo tape archive page (also tabbed above) for a list of the fifty tapes.  The blurbs are from the original FFR website.  I thought about putting it on Bandcamp or doing something like Jeff did at Union Pole but neither of those options felt quite right.  Let’s keep it a private affair for readers of this blog.

The page is being launched containing a random selection of about half of the catalogue (mainly those I had CD-r masters for) in best quality mp3 format.  In due course I will add more until all, or as close to all as I can manage, are archived here.  Your patience requested – this archive is a work in progress and progress may be glacial.

Apologies in advance if some of the sound quality isn’t crystal sharp – such is the nature of the exercise.  Amazingly, I am digitizing tapes via the Pioneer tape deck that I originally duped these tapes on.  It is still working fine – <appreciative whistle> – they don’t make ’em like that anymore, eh?  Where I’ve created mp3s from a CD-r master there may be multiple tracks, mp3s from tapes will be in one lump.  Playing and/or downloading options are both available.

Comments welcome.  Much more to come…

hot, hot summer hitz: new from midwich on bandcamp

July 20, 2013 at 6:08 am | Posted in fencing flatworm, midwich, new music, no audience underground | 2 Comments
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three days in wooden block edition frontthree days in covermidwich - flint soul beach midwich - light industry

Ladies and gentlemen, may I call your attention to a further three releases cooling on the windowsill over at the midwich Bandcamp site.  There is much for the discerning dronester to get their teeth into.

First is three days in, four to go, originally released in 2003 on CD-r in an edition of 75 with a lovely screen printed cover by Carbon Records of Rochester, New York.  This is a rarity in that it has not been available digitally before and is one of my favourites of the first-wave midwich albums.  Forward looking, creamy.  ‘snows’ is an orchestra of hairclipper fuzz, the title track is a deeply penetrating 20 minute cardiothrob (at the time of writing a few of the original physical objects are also still available).

Next is a brand new live album, light industry, featuring recordings of my performances at the two Sheepscar Light Industrial summer shows, both of which took place at Wharf Chambers in Leeds.  The 2012 piece is a unique combo of the field recording from Eaves and the drone from ‘verdigris’.  The 2013 set is two tracks: a version of the title track from inertia crocodile and an as yet untitled track of heavy drone featuring a recording of Thomas the Baby gulping his milk as rhythm. The latter set was dedicated to Mark Wharton of Idwal Fisher in honour of his 50th birthday.  Links to more about these shows, and to a ten minute YouTube video immortalising part of the former, can be found over at Bandcamp.

Finally we have flint soul beach – a favourite from the back catalogue. This 18 minute track is full of hope that the broken can be mended and is perfect for the current heatwave. Originally released in 2003 by fencing flatworm recordings on a 3″ CD-r in an edition of 50 (ffr-e). For the cover picture the band name and title were chalked on the end of Littlehampton pier at low tide. It was washed away a few hours later…

I hope you enjoy what you hear.

midwich at Bandcamp

buy now! name your price! probably ‘zero’! midwich on bandcamp

July 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Posted in blog info, fencing flatworm, midwich, new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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life underwater

Ladies and gentlemen, your faithful editor returns from his holiday week refreshed and bearing good news: RFM is proud to announce the launch of the midwich Bandcamp site.  The initial offering is of nine releases.  Featured among them are running repairs and ‘verdigris’, my contribution to the Victorian Electronics box, both originally released by Striate Cortex and both long sold out.  Also airing is the perpetually-coming-soon october in yorkshire, fished from the wreckage of the scuppered Zanntone label.  More will follow in due course.

As well as new releases, live recordings and rarities previously unavailable in a digital form, I will copy across some back catalogue items that can already be found in mp3 format on this blog’s discography page.  I think this is worth doing because via Bandcamp you’ll be able to get it in any format you like (the wavs sound well nice) and download whole albums at once.  Your convenience is my motivation.

Everything will be offered on a ‘pay what you like’ basis so visitors are able to use the ‘support’ and ‘collection’ functions within Bandcamp (whatever they are.  I’m told those functions get turned off I just select ‘free download’).  Don’t worry though as entering ‘£0’ is fine if you have ‘£0’ to spend.  I won’t be using this as a way of harvesting your email address either.  Donations are welcome, of course, and I pledge that 100% of any money raised will be spent within the no-audience underground either purchasing music by others or diffusing the cost of releasing physical editions of future releases, thus helping keep the flow of goodwill circulating.

Speaking of which, may I cash in a little goodwill in exchange for some quid pro quo?  If you are a reader and/or had your work featured on this blog could I ask that you return the favour by checking this site out and maybe nudge a friend or two in the same direction?  Those more connected than myself – I remain self-excluded from Twitter/Facebook – may wish to alert others via those means.

I would be very much obliged to you all.  I hope you enjoy what you hear.

The midwich Bandcamp site.

…and whilst I’m at it, various other midwich releases can be found elsewhere on Bandcamp.  Check out cut flowers, eaves and single figures too.

P.S.  This is the 300th post on RFM.  Woo!

fencing flatworm recordings presents: neck vs. throat volume 2

February 23, 2013 at 9:37 am | Posted in fencing flatworm, new music, no audience underground | 3 Comments
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NECK VS. THROAT volume 2

(3″ CD-r mounted in booklet, fencing flatworm recordings, edition of 50)

neck vs throat volume 2nvtv2 cavalry chargenvtv2 battlefield

Ladies and gentlemen, Radio Free Midwich is delighted to announce the reanimation of the influential and fondly remembered microlabel fencing flatworm recordings.  This endeavour, which I co-ran with comrade Sean Keeble back at the turn of the century (defunct original website archived here, an account of our exploits here), has been jolted back into life for the one-off release pictured above.

Following their success at the Zellaby Awards, where the first NECK VS. THROAT CD-r scooped Album of the Year, I offered to help with the second release.  It seemed like a sensible use of the customary prize money (hey, £20 goes a long way down here) and since the self-released Midwich/Skull Mask split last year I’ve been itching to get the craft knife and cutting mat out again…

So what we have here is an A6 sized booklet with grey card cover and eight internal pages all featuring either Yol’s lyrics or amazing Saul-Bass-of-Skid-Row graphics.  His stark, monochrome cut-outs and sketches mirror the content and fit the format perfectly.  A 3″ CD-r contained in a plastic wallet is mounted on the inside back cover.  It is a very cool object: minimal yet substantial, the clean design restraining the frothing craziness of its contents.  Hand-constructed in a numbered edition of 50.

On the CD-r you will find five remarkable tracks, totalling 13 spittle-flecked minutes.  Perhaps I should back up a little here and describe the sound for the benefit of newcomers.  The transatlantic duo of Miguel Pérez (“guitar neck, electricity, string damage” – Ciudad Juárez, Mexico) and Yol (“throat, discarded objects” – Hull, UK) hammer out a unique racket.  Having found each other via radiofreemidwich’s matchmaking service they used the magic of the internet to swap audio files – improvising along on first listen in order to keep the feel fresh and immediate.  It’s as raw, salty and appallingly delicious as an oyster that twitches when you squeeze lemon juice on it.  Forgive me the indulgence of quoting myself from a previous review:

Yol’s … vocalisations range from the almost conversational to horrifying bellowing to teeth-clenched groaning.  It is remarkable – unlike anything else I’ve been sent.  His utter commitment to the physicality of the performance is awesome.  Scraping, crashing, the dropping of metal objects augment and divide the stuttering tirade, like punctuation.

Miguel’s style here is similar to that on recent recordings released under his own name.  No effects, no overdubs, rarely even sustain, hard picked, unforgiving in its discipline yet nuanced, subtle and compelling.  There is no ornament to it because none is needed.

The collaboration is a success, meaning the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Miguel underscores the rhythms and cadence of Yol’s glossolalia.  Yol’s furious delivery both bounces off of and is contained by Miguel’s guitar, like the steel ball bearing on a pinball table.

…sentiments that remain accurate and appropriate with regard to volume 2.  An mp3 of the first track, ‘meaningless fence’, can be downloaded here to give you a taste.  We are unapologetic about the brutality of the recording.

EDIT: no copies left here at Midwich Mansions!  The artists were sent half the run between them so I’m sure they would be glad to hear from you should you wish to discuss fair exchange.  Yol may even have some left when he plays in Leeds at Pete Cann’s Crater Lake Festival in March (an unmissable gig that, sadly, I will be missing).  Contact Yol:, contact Miguel:  We may make it available to download sometime in the future.  Thank you all for the gratifying interest in this release.

complete your midwich sticker album: improved for sale page

April 2, 2012 at 7:52 am | Posted in blog info, fencing flatworm, midwich, new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Thanks to the generous assistance of the Radio Free Midwich Historical Society and L’Institute de Hayleriana (Geneva) the bulk of my back catalogue is freely downloadable from the discography page of this blog.  Tab above – please help yourself.  Should you require guidance then the pieces linked to in the Bang the Bore interview with me form a useful ‘greatest hits’ selection of the long-form stuff.

There are gaps, however, where a release remains commercially available (given the strange and flexible definitions of both ‘commercial’ and ‘available’ that we use here in the no-audience underground).  With this in mind, I have revamped the ‘for sale’ page of this blog (tab also above) to provide ‘buy here’ details for all the midwich completists out there.  You know who you are.  Both of you.

Anyway, now there will be sections.  A tantalising coming soon list will whet the appetite before new stuff accounts for recently released archive material and genuinely new recordings made during the current midwich renaissance.  Following this, still available will include ‘classic’ material from the first wave of midwich recordings made a decade(ish) ago.  Forever fresh, of course.  Finally, self-released and fencing flatworm related will contain the various things I have chosen to make available myself.  All sections will include details of who to approach in order to secure these items and, where possible, cover scans and/or mp3 clips for preview purposes.

Form an orderly queue.  No jostling.

machine soul part three: graham booth and no energy

November 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Posted in fencing flatworm, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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no energy (fencing flatworm recordings, ff007)

  1. termite strings
  2. unfold in
  3. crush
  4. in the shade
  5. planning
  6. slow fireworks
  7. spark fuse to flame
  8. dead air

I first ‘met’ Graham Booth via the proto-internet world of mid-90s electronica fandom.  This was back when the vanguard was Geocities and Usenet and the method of exchange used to swap Aphex Twin rarities was tapes in the post.  However, soon came mp3s and Napster and affordable CD-rs and thus the exhaustive documenting of the electronica boom that is still to be found gathering dust on an external hard-drive in RFM’s attic.

Once we met face-to-face we became firm single-issue friends, bound by music, in that way possible amongst chaps.  We could spend hours talking, or thousands of words emailing, about what we were listening to but I couldn’t tell you, say, whether he had any brothers or sisters.  Unless it was rudely intrusive and couldn’t be ignored, we chose to leave the pesky distractions of real life to one side.  C’yuh – men, eh?

Anyhow, Graham was one of three musketeers, the others being Jeremy (of Straight Outta Mongolia) and Joe, who came over from Huddersfield for Termite Club events and were soaking up the Leeds D.I.Y. scene at the same time as I was.  Concurrently, Graham was becoming adept at creating programmed music himself – a skill he was later to perfect in the exacting realm of drum and bass – and no energy was his contribution to the nascent FFR catalogue.

My recordings as midwich were, at first, a ham-fisted attempt to cross the experimental music I was discovering with my favourite areas of the electronic music I was obsessing over.  I think no energy is informed by a similar idea, albeit realised with more ambition, imagination and skill than I could muster.  Graham shamelessly urged the austere, grainy timbre of laptop digitronics to down a cocktail spiked by the resolutely analogue, defiantly live jazz and improv we were hearing at Termite gigs.  The resultant queasy lurching is what is documented here.

First he out-midwiches midwich with the gloriously off-kilter shimmer of the opening ‘termite strings’ then the sound becomes dominated by the swell and fade of filter effects.  These gather and digest the harsh fuzz, akin to some cyborg process of peristalsis.  When a marshal rhythm is introduced, shockingly, into ‘crush’ it collapses under its own weight within seconds.  The entropic dreamscape of the terrific ‘in the shade’ features incongruously laid-back brass and a squashed funk vocal destroyed by shrill short-wave radio interference.  And so on through eight fascinating tracks.  What a strange and accomplished piece this is.  It still sounds alien; even more so now, perhaps, as its context has faded into the past.  It has become a clay tablet, covered in eroded glyphs, pulled from a featureless sand dune.  I heartily recommend downloading and perusing at length and in detail.

I lost touch with Graham some years ago, unfortunately, and have been given permission-by-proxy to post this music by the aforementioned Joe.  He remains a perpetual Leeds D.I.Y. scenester and has been wrily amused by my recent reappearance at gigs.  Joe tells me many amazing things about Graham’s endeavours during the intervening time – that he was elected Mayor of Huddersfield, that he won the Nobel Prize for Sticky Toffee Pudding, that he can tell you which one is Ant and which is Dec etc. – and I am delighted to hear he is doing so well.

bang the bore celebrates fencing flatworm recordings part two

November 12, 2011 at 10:51 am | Posted in blog info, fencing flatworm, midwich, musings, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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I am delighted to announce that part two of Bang the Bore’s article about fencing flatworm recordings, oTo tapes, midwich and this blog is now available to peruse.  I was in an expansive mood throughout this interview so it may be wise to don your smoking jacket, mix a martini and replenish your chip’n’dip before settling down.  I hope you find much of interest.  It was certainly a lot of fun to do and has inspired my recent creative endeavours (of which more anon).  Thanks again to Seth and Pete for doing an amazing amount of homework and asking some incisive and entertaining questions. 

Whilst I’m in self-congratulation mode, may I also note that RFM recently enjoyed its 11,000th ‘hit’ – a total up 175% on this time nine months ago.  The last 1000 hits have come in less than a month!  I am quietly proud of this modest result and would like to thank all those who have visited and contributed.  Cheers folks – I’m touched. 

Finally, I have also updated the ‘About me and this blog’ page (tab above) to give a more accurate account of what this blog has become over the (almost) two years of its existence.

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