Tags: drone, fells, guitar, hairdryer excommunication, handwritten, invisible city records, kevin sanders, luke vollar, miguel perez, ritual, skull mask
Fells – Waking (Invisible City Records)
Kevin Sanders – Numb for Somethings (Hairdryer Excommunication)
Skull Mask – La Muerte Es Sabia (Invisible City Records)
No filthy typewriter, or flimsy keyboard for our Luke Vollar. He presents his vision scrawled in ink, direct to page. With the filters removed, the truth bleeds through…
Fells – Waking (Invisible City Records) C120 Cassette and Digital Album
Kevin Sanders – Numb for Somethings (Hairdryer Excommunication) Digital Album
Skull Mask – La Muerte Es Sabia (Invisible City Records) C40 Cassette and Digital Album
the rfm lunchtime recital programme #1: black_ops, grant evans, dag rosenqvist, kevin sanders, club sound witchesJanuary 15, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
Tags: awkward formats, black_ops, club sound witches, dag rosenqvist, grant evans, hairdryer excommunication, invisible city records, junk mnemonic, kevin sanders, lunchtime recital programme
black_ops – perdition (self-released download)
Grant Evans – Silent Refusal (tape, Invisible City Records, ICR16, edition of 50 or download)
Dag Rosenqvist – Vowels (12″ clear vinyl, Awkward Formats, AF08)
Kevin Sanders – Doors do shut themselves, but like graves astride birth, the open window is there to catch us (3” CD-r, hairdryer excommunication, edition of 10 or download)
Club Sound Witches – Uprok (tape or download, Junk Mnemonic, JM#4)
A new tactic. The lunchtime recital programme will be a series of short reviews published in batches approximately once a fortnight. This is me laying down some spontaneous thoughts following one or two listens as I commute or enjoy a midday stroll. Hopefully, this will fill gaps between my less frequent, lengthier reviews and op-ed pieces and act as a kind of regular jet-wash for my brain. Right then, off we go…
black_ops – perdition
The ominous pulse-breath of RED war machines idling on the Culverian tundra is naturally reverbed by a nearby crevasse. An injured BLUE soldier finds himself trapped there listening, delirious. The distorted synth washes of the final, title track have the tragic/grandiose feel of the conclusion to a SF dystopia movie of the 1970s – maybe the suicide scene of the disgraced BLUE general. The claustrophobic scrabbling added right at the end being his feeble attempt to clutch at his meaningless medals.
This release is: short, bleak, good.
Grant Evans – Silent Refusal
Evans, a new name to me, presents the sort of high quality, richly textured, characterful drone that sets my metaphor engine spinning. It is balanced with the gravity defying tension of a snail sliding along the jagged edge of piece of broken glass. It has the inexorable, hubris exposing/destroying momentum of a lava flow rolling over a car park full of military vehicles. It’s as compellingly unnerving as a slow-motion film of a giant octopus escaping into open water via an impossibly small hole in a glass tank. Another belter from Invisible City Records.
Dag Rosenqvist – Vowels
Make sure your ear buds are in snug as these exquisite crescendos of hiss are carried on a tidal wash of bass. Like fellow blog-fave Joined By Wire, Dag Rosenqvist appears to sculpt from slabs of raw emotion. Thus, despite clearly being the product of great craft, patience and ambition, the experience of listening to these pieces bypasses the cerebral and vibrates heart strings directly.
I admit the Vangelisian sheen of the final of these four tracks lost me a little but I appreciated the relatively positive vibe it ended on. Difficult to find fault with the prior three tracks though – not only did they press my buttons, they leant an elbow on them and used their free hand to clutch my shoulder reassuringly. I would, of course, love to see the dance performance that this music was composed for – the mind boggles.
Kevin Sanders – Doors do shut themselves, but like graves astride birth, the open window is there to catch us
18 minutes of utter nihilism in three movements. The first section is a six minute panic attack – a decision has been taken, the consequences are hurtling towards us but all attempts to change gear or direction are useless. Keys spin in locks, nothing has any grip. The second, shortest, section is the moment of violence itself. A hive is kicked over, split – the swarm inside gathering fury. The frayed tether of a snarling dog finally snaps. Raskolnikov looks down at the axe in his hand. The final section, maybe half the total running length, settles into an existential resignation – the slowing heartbeat of an injured and freezing mountaineer, the blood’s retreat.
Christ, Kev – what the hell do we do with this, eh?
Club Sound Witches – Uprok
When this began I had my doubts but after a few minutes I began to tune in to its wonky charm. The scrunching loops, pulses of grating hiss, synthy pops and noodles, nee-naw rhythms of battery-bled toy instruments combine into a playdoh monster greater than the sum of its neon coloured parts. Listening is a surprisingly intimate experience, not entirely comfortable, but there is something… I dunno… naughty about it. It’s like being the recipient of a clumsy, affectionate massage – complete with accidental inappropriate touching – from a friend trying to hide just how drunk they are…
Tags: benjamin hallatt, haiku, hairdryer excommunication, hardworking families, kay hill, kevin sanders, marlo eggplant, seth cooke, tom bench
kevin sanders – reducing ideas to words (CD-r or download, hairdryer excommunication)
kevin sanders – the physical resonance of attraction (a.m.) (3” CD-r or download, hairdryer excommunication)
Marlo Eggplant – Jutted (3” CD-r or download, hairdryer excommunication)
kevin sanders – Sounds of separation (3” CD-r, hairdryer excommunication, edition of 11 or download)
Kay Hill & Kevin Sanders (tape or download, hairdryer excommunication)
Seth Cooke – Christ of the Abyss (business card CD-r, hairdryer excommunication, edition of 100 or download)
Hardworking Families – Happy Days (CD-r or download, hairdryer excommunication)
Kevin Sanders – hyperhypercritical (3” CD-r or download, hairdryer excommunication)
1. reducing ideas to words
Scratching the paper,
we trade precision smears
for hard company.
2. the physical resonance of attraction (a.m.)
lick the air – cavers approach!
A feast of tanned flesh…
Brine, creosote, blood –
stir with rusting screwdriver.
Cut tethers, start work.
4. Sounds of separation
like it had never been said.
Then we remember.
5. Kay Hill & Kevin Sanders
From edge of tar pit
to aeon-bled exhibit –
6. Christ of the Abyss
Petri dish culture
of tainted agar reveals
face of the prophet.
7. Happy Days
‘Sit on it, Winnie!’
says Fonz, buried to his neck.
Sammy feeds the shark.
Each tide’s rasping breath
a fraction of Moon’s release,
or: “saying goodbye.”
teeth, gears grinding
– reflected in silver bullets.
Tags: deserted village, hairdryer excommunication, joe murray, jurgen de blonde, köhn, kevin sanders, kirigirisu recordings, petals, woven skull
Woven Skull – Fat Baby Blues (tape or download, Deserted Village, DV51)
petals – enactment & advocacy (CD-r or download, hairdryer excommunication)
Köhn – The Long & Unwinding Road (CD-r, Kirigirisu Recordings, edition of 50 or download)
Woven Skull – Fat Baby Blues
Two seventeen-minute pieces that sound jammed on the fly… but deeper inspection reveals some careful meshing with historical recordings.
‘Fat Baby Blues Part 1’: Dawn chorus guitar strums along with a misty moor drum pattern (locked like Liebezeit) summoning up some Summer Isle ensemble. The rural ritual is played out as simple structures emerge; green shoots springing from black loam. They unfurl like ferns revealing the mathematical complexity of fronds, the solemn beauty of autumn leaves.
But this is no sepia-tinted back-look to Fairport, String Band etc. The wooden ‘clunk’ of the gamelan folded into the end of ‘Fat… Part 1’ adds a whole-world-weirdness that wouldn’t be out of place in a Sun City Gurls joint.
‘Fat Baby Blues Part 2’: A deeper vibe. Free reeds huff and drones are musty like cumin. It reminds me of the great Jazzfinger; weaving sumptuous washes of sound from broken amps. This fades into a damp techno where field recordings spar with shrimp synth tones.
The Woven Skull and their folding-in method becomes an exciting, bubbling tributary to the overcrowded field recordings debate. Book an appointment with the Skull Doctors, pull up a chair and listen.
petals – enactment & advocacy
I’ve never knowingly listened to Kevin Sanders’ Petals project but it’s a name I’ve seen about loads. Or is that Plurals? Or Petrels? Jeepers N-AU it’s hard to keep up at times! Alls I know is that I plugged this baby in zooming through York and didn’t pick my head up until Peterborough. Proper heeds-down drone action as they say in Newcastle.
This disc (or ‘load’ is probably more accurate) consists of two lengthy tracks: ‘enactment’ and ‘advocacy’.
Super-heavyweight organic machines thrum deeply on ‘enactment’, pumping dark waste-gas through a grotesque puckered orifice. There’s a real sense of musicality and movement to this track although it’s glacially slow. You could certainly pick out the notes on a piano (slowly) as they descend through a scale with the flutter of an enormous damselfly – if you were that way inclined. Being as tasty and uniformly stratified as a top notch lasagne your sonic nourishment is then deconstructed! Eventually the layers are gradually faded out one-by-one to reveal the truth; the individual parts of this symphonic insect hum are simple electronic tones slathered with varnish and endlessly tweaked.
A war of attrition becomes the image-totem for my listening during ‘advocacy’. Two forces: one weak but constantly modulating with plucky underdog energy, the other one stronger but erratic, bloated and unfocused. Pitted together they are evenly matched creating a neutral stalemate position.
Plucky underdog seems to weaken further and play dead lulling bloated and unfocused into a sense of superiority. Bloated and unfocused advances with speed, tactically over-stretching itself; snapping out at an enemy that doesn’t exist, chasing shadows until it changes shape entirely becoming dangerously shallow and all-encompassing.
Slowly, gradually, plucky underdog whispers an echo that’s almost impossible to pick up. At first mimicking bloated but taking its time, gradually overpowering the once bloated and now almost transparent signal.
And so this listen ends, as it began, with two opposing forces pitting themselves endlessly against each other. The balance of power has changed, that is true. But at what cost?
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which.
– George Orwell, Animal Farm (1944)
Köhn – The Long & Unwinding Road
A three-track synth/organ/keyboard meditation from one of Gent’s finest, Jurgen De Blonde.
Track one, ‘Alwatis is Alwateris’, is a static, stately almost regal drone that seems to look backwards (Logan’s Run jumpsuits) and forwards (thought transference and soul download) in time simultaneously across its eighteen minute span.
Where Petals were carbon-dense this is hydrogen-light, fixing to float away until moored by the occasional luscious Rhodes Piano-type tones making this as swooningly lovely as that Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd album I remember from incense-fuelled bedsit fumbles. But it’s not all anxious eiderdown arranging; the fake-locked groove ending made me cough up a cola cube with a genuine LOL.
‘Nu-uN’ wears it’s Flemish heart on its sleeve with that slightly wonky 1980’s animation feel. Monster organs float in the upper atmosphere, pipes the diameter of small cars pumping out sky-music to the primitive creatures below. At least that is what I’m hearing.
But it’s the final track ‘Albeit’ where I lose my shit [Editor’s note: I love this track too]. There are pin-prick tone clusters to start; all bright dazzle but with a peculiar flavour – I’m getting aniseed, I’m getting turpentine.
Then my slow mind thinks,
this is not the sort of stuff you normally listen to…
and I start feeling the excitement of a new vista opening up between my ears. My slow mind says
…this is Autechre repainted in primary colours, all textures softened with practical linoleum.
This is no Drake-style diss-track. The optimism and hope that flows through ‘Albeit’ is a joy. Music moves me every day. It makes me twist and shout, throw the horns, stroke a chin…even fall in love, but very rarely do I feel so goddamn charmed by a piece of music that’s simply going about its business without any fuss or expectations.
Tags: anla courtis, hairdryer excommunication, luke vollar, stuart chalmers, yogoh record
Stuart Chalmers – Imaginary Musicks 3/4 (CD-r, hairdryer excommunication, edition of 30 or download)
Anla Courtis – B-Rain Folklore (CD, Yogoh Record, YGH004)
Stuart Chalmers – Imaginary Musicks 3/4
First off big apologies to Stuart for the delay in getting this review done: house move, kids, work – aghh – but enough of my lame excuses. It’s not that I haven’t listened to it, on the contrary it’s been an exemplary soundtrack to work a number of times and by God it’s made the trees greener and the sky a darker, more cosmic hue, as if the heavens are about to part to reveal the belly of a gargantuan space craft.
Previous instalments of Stuart’s music have left me slack jawed and this is no different.
So what, like, instruments does he use?
…you ask innocently enough…
The freaking world, man!!
I respond. Like a fine gourmet chef, Stuart selects sound morsels (via mouse click, or from his collection of strange instruments and whatnot) and cooks up an exquisite gumbo. We have string pluck, ghost breath, buried voices of the dead, machinery learning its language, gamelan on silver bubbles, whale bone pipes, gongs from undersea temples and the recorded rituals of the aquatic humanoid beings who use them. What’s remarkable is how uncluttered the disc sounds considering the amount of ingredients thrown into the pot. Take ‘Moonlight through trees’ a meditation for piano and tape scree as eerie as it is gorgeous. In ‘Requiem’ we get to hear Deckard from Blade Runner listening to a banal English sports quiz while making his way across the skyline, the slooowed synth gloop highlighting the inherent sadness of existence once the earth is on its final orbit.
On the final track, ‘Memory’, there is a muted recording of what sounds like an intimate gathering with fireworks popping and lots of oohs and aahs . The muffled organ tones that accompany this make it almost unbearably affecting.
While I normally wince at the phrase ‘experimental music’ it strikes me that this may be the best description for Stuart’s work. There is a restless drive to cover new ground or to go deeper into sound, never dry or academic but lush, wide-eyed and full of joy, pathos and awe. Just incredible.
Anla Courtis – B-Rain Folklore
A new disc by ultra-prolific, pint-sized Argentine Anla Courtis [Editor’s note: recorded 2005-2008, mixed 2009, mastered 2013, released 2014, brought to our attention 2015. Blimey]. This guy has left a vast trail of work in his wake, his travels encompassing numerous solo and collaborative projects. Whether gonzo rock, conceptual wonk or many tentacled improv his only consistency is a restless urge for new sounds, approaches, instruments, people, places, ideas. The true experimental spirit is within him, as with Stuart Chalmers.
The notes accompanying B-rain Folklore list a dizzying array of instruments that were used to create it, many of which I’ve never heard of, which adds to the usual uncertainty as to what to expect from a Courtis record. Happily, this one sees Anla constructing organic tapestries of percussion, string horns and more that seem to rise from the forest floor, offering a herbaceous paw and beckoning you to follow them into the verdant realm. Kinda reminds me of the excellent Finnish group Pavinsade as it has the same earthy smell about it.
Towards the end ‘Isla de Qomo’ sees the deep thrum of an acoustic guitar pattern offset by vibrant smears of light trying to land on its mossy body. Further onto ‘Wuqueltehue’ and we’ve licked the belly of the bright orange frog and are watching the canopy of the forest swirling in concentric loops. The final track is a lovely guitar and violin lullaby played over the humming bustle of a field recording from Anla’s time in Japan. It is a fitting end to an album that seems to rest on your skin like a morning dew and wash all the grime away.
Yogoh Record [Editor’s note: Discogs listing because yogoh.com isn’t working at time of writing]
Tags: anti, benjamin hallatt, hairdryer excommunication, kay hill, kiks/gfr, luke vollar, s c k e, strange rules
S C K E – Disclosure (tape, hairdryer excommunication, edition of 50)
Kay Hill – TESSELLATION A/B (tape, Strange Rules, RULE-087, edition of 36 or download via ANTI)
Kay Hill – IN-GRAIN (2 x tape or download, ANTI, ANTI004)
Kay Hill – Cold Title (CD-r or download, ANTI, ANTI003)
Some background: I first came across Ben Hallatt at the wonderful Crater Lake festival. Completely oblivious to the man, I wandered into his set, ale in hand, to be immediately engulfed in a living breathing sound. There was Ben stood on stage looking at his reel to reel machine. It felt like there must’ve been some fancy pants sound system set up, as the sounds seemed to throb out of every corner of the room. From the machine came a depth of obsolete sepia loveliness like so many layers of rust that was, to my ears at least, beautiful. I found myself a corner and sat with a sloppy grin on my face for the remainder of the performance. It was a fantastic day but Ben’s set really stood out for me and I didn’t hesitate to seek out what I could online. My delight was completed when Ben hit up a RFM comrade for my details so as to send me some more goods [Editor’s note: see, it pays to write for RFM – albeit not in money, of course].
S C K E – Disclosure
Whilst the label, hairdryer excommunication, advises…
…this is certainly one to be enjoyed alone in a dimly lit room, possibly with a scotch based cocktail for company…
…I have opted for a wheat beer. Analogue synth action on this tape – only the kind of ‘action’ you’d expect from a snail on valium. Eerie whirring and rising hiss make for spooked late night listening, the kinda tape to jam in your car whilst driving around the city at night, occasionally stopping to stare with malevolent intent, only half your mug illluminated. There is an obsessive attention to detail that can chill the bones of yer. Much as Hungarian film maker Bella Tarr can bring mundane details into woozy focus with oblique, deadly slow panning so does Ben with sound, like some kind of understated urban horror. The blinking indicator on a ruined car on it’s side, illuminated with orange light, the wind screen wipers thudding with the steady drizzle. This isn’t waterfalls and oceans, man: this is your face and the concrete.
Kay Hill – TESSELLATION A/B
We’re onto the Kay Hill moniker next and I’m happy to report that the accident wasn’t fatal. While severely battered and bruised, with time and expert care a full recovery is guaranteed. Dunno how long I’ve been out for but the staff in this place seem to literally glide by with cool efficiency, their smiles and willingness to help unfaltering and unending. It’s not like any hospital I’ve ever been in. The calm and the pristine comfort of the place makes me want to stay here forever. As I lie here a cylindrical object is placed next to me and attached to my arm. The chambers within the cylinder rise, fall and turn, radiating a blue glow that seems to throb in time with my pulse. I feel… epic.
Kay Hill – IN-GRAIN
Peering into the granular gruel of Tape B of the two tape set IN-GRAIN (that’s right I put B on first, is that a problem?) I see the last flicker of a cobwebbed analogue television, a loop of rusted audio degraded beyond repair. Further evidence of singing junk on the flip as cardboard boxes are fed through the serrated teeth of a reel to reel machine. Ben nudges up the malevolent intent with sinister bumps and hissing in the background, like a silky New Blockaders. The noises merge into a grey/green river of sludge.
This bloody minded minimalism is maintained on Tape A, the hum of the machine pushed to the forefront whilst scudding tape noise sounds from the bottom of a well. A more varied palette on the flip. The bumps and coarse granulated morass made lighter with singing feedback cutting through the murky waters like a torch.
Kay Hill – Cold Title
The final piece of the puzzle – another set of tracks that maintain a fascinating and hypnotic aura with the rudimentary equipment used. Like peering through a grimy window trying to figure out the shapes inside, the first track rouses a curiosity and then a cold sweat as it becomes apparent that those shapes are human. Further on and we’re atop a grey scrub of featureless land whilst an industrial Mecca several miles away hums relentlessly. Exposed vegetation produces subdued cracks and pops as it is played by the wind. Longer tracks are broken up with very short fizzles of gloop as if briefly nudged into life before dying back abruptly.
This is music of quiet intent, and understated brilliance. Less is most definitely more. And more. And more
Tags: brian lavelle, drone, dust unsettled, extraction music, hairdryer excommunication, ian watson, kevin sanders, new music, no audience underground, noise
Ian Watson – Caermaen (CD-r, Dust, Unsettled, DU09, edition of 50 or download)
Messrs. Sanders & Watson – Cumulative Undulations (2 x CD-r in gatefold sleeve, self-released, edition of 50 or download)
Ian Watson – Caermaen
Dunno why I’ve slept so long on this one. An intriguing album of heavy electrics by the second most charming guy in noise released by the most charming guy in noise – you’d think I’d be all over it, wouldn’t you? My apologies for the inexplicable tardiness. Allow me to make amends.
What we have here is a four track CD-r (long gone – sorry) or free download (still available – woo!) by Ian Watson – artist, polymath – released on Dust, Unsettled, the label run by definitive good egg Brian Lavelle. It was composed using ‘cymbals and feedback’ manipulated through bosky layers of electrics and is apparently inspired by the writing of Welsh mystic and Lovecraft influence Arthur Machen. So far, so perfect.
A satisfyingly viscous low end and a refreshingly untamed crackling at the top act as river banks containing the current’s flow. Could that be a torrent of fluorescent ectoplasm combed clean by the bones of skeletal fish? Sure, if you like. I can certainly imagine Ian’s kit producing a cool, flickering, ghostly green light:
Brian: err… is that supposed to be happening?
Ian: mate, it isn’t even plugged in! Perhaps we should leave the room…
Brian: press ‘record’ first though.
Ian: oh yeah, of course, NOW RUN!
…but what this called to mind for me were happy times I’d spent as a teenager staring at a lump of dirty metal.
One of my first jobs was operating a solder bath in a factory that manufactured printed circuit boards. Boards were loaded onto a conveyor belt, subjected to a terrifying liquid that cleaned the copper (so corrosive that I dropped two pence coins into it to see the queen’s face dissolve), covered in slime to help the solder stick, hung on a hook by me, dunked into a bath of liquid metal about three feet deep, blasted with air blades on the way back up, then placed on another conveyor belt. Repeat for eight or nine hours with frequent breaks to sit on chemical drums outside and smoke cigarettes.
On Fridays we would be paid in cash in little brown envelopes around 11am. At lunchtime I’d race to the nearest pub, drink as much as possible, smoke a spliff on the way back and spend the afternoon cleaning this machine – heated to 250 degrees centigrade – in my shirtsleeves because, y’know, it was too fucking hot for overalls and a certain amount of scar tissue looks manly and suggests character doesn’t it? The spray and overflow of hot solder dripped down into the guts of the machine and coagulated there into something magical.
This mass of waste solder – the size and shape of a child’s torso, almost too heavy to carry – was a mesmerising landscape of clustered globules, of organic micro-castles blistered with irregular crenellations, of needle sharp, filigree wire work. All glistening a muddied silver, hopelessly polluted with the scorched scum that boiled from the boards as they were dunked. These random accumulations of melted metal remain some of the most beautiful objects I have ever seen, even accounting for how stoned I was at the time. Something about this album took me back to that sight and that made me very happy.
Messrs. Sanders & Watson – Cumulative Undulations
Also available from a neighbouring stable is this two hour long, two track, two CD-r set, by two collaborators: Mr. Ian Watson (as above) and Mr. Kevin Sanders (see below).
Imagine a large ruined house in a forest, swamped in ivy – each luscious leaf as deep green as cooked spinach, as shiny as patent leather. Now imagine the root severed and the gradual death of the above ground plant, its draining vitality and increasing brittleness. A high quality digital camera is making a time lapse film of this process. Once complete the memory card is removed and Kev and Ian bath it in a a cool, flickering, ghostly green light. This ‘develops the film’ with an occult power that reveals the usually invisible creatures of woodland folklore that live around the ruin: dryads, fairies, elves, horrifying, robotic horseshoe crabs, their scrabbling legs the stuff of nightmares, their carapaces as black as a dominatrix’s whip, and so on. Now play the film in reverse and compose a soundtrack to it using just rust and magnets.
Tags: drone, extraction music, hairdryer excommunication, joe murray, kevin sanders, new music, no audience underground, noise, petals
Kevin Sanders – Aladdin, al-Bireh (CD-r or download, hairdryer excommunication)
kevin sanders – a study in pink (3” CD-r or download, hairdryer excommunication)
kevin sanders – live in berlin, 2015 (3” CD-r, hairdryer excommunication, edition of 9 or download)
Kevin Sanders – Aladdin, al-Bireh
High-in-the-mix scraping, like I’m scooping the last remaining smears of thick yogurt from an earthenware bowl, beckon me into Kevin Sanders’ felt yurt. I remove my shoes and adopt a cross-legged pose to match my host whose steely gaze has not left mine.
His intensity is replayed in the heavy fugging drone that sweeps gently over the initial scrape. Two notes are lazily fingered, ‘AHHHhhhhhhhhhhh OHHHhhhhhhhhhhh’ – a cosmic call and response to a distant god.
All the while a ball of tangled steel wool is unravelled at a snail’s pace. Watching the slim pale hands move with purpose, but without fussy haste, manipulating the thin wire, unwinding, untwisting and smoothing it out is…making me….s…l…..e…….e………p………….y.
Dreams, so often a blessedly heavy velvet vacuum, are now full of distant howls of creatures yet-imagined. The fear of the fear jams my mouth open and eyes wide. Roaring voices pour from my throat as I am the vessel of the lost souls. Each life left in limbo protests limply at being held like a fly in amber. But the numbers! The countless number of them leave my throat sore as the last snivelling heckle dribbles down my damp chin.
But all things must pass and I awaken beneath the poplar trees, glittering with marvellous frost.
kevin sanders – a study in pink
This is no-nonsense stuff. Some electro cardiogram briefly splutters and we’re catapulted into a see-sawing sinewave swoon. It’s dogtooth check rough up close but smooth as alabaster from a distance.
And that’s the stand-out thing about this 3 incher. There really is so much going on in here you can, in the right state of mind, project yourself into the landscape, stand among the slowly peaking waves of static or ride the rolling ocean of thundering grumble like a tiny Norrin Rad.
The space analogy gets stronger as about half way through this 19 minute piece planets and stars begin to hurl themselves about, bending gravity and swooping perilously close to each other. The solar whoosh of the near miss is felt as gentle pressure on the balls of the feet. The last two minutes slowly unfold like some docking sequence; two rusty old Soyuz modules that got pimped-out by Grateful Dead fans to better honk the Dark Star-brand kif pipe, kiss silently with a sigh of compressed air. Two become one.
Kevin Sanders – live in berlin, 2015
OK readers. So far we’ve had two different approaches, two different moods showing two different sides to Mr Kevin Sanders.
But this micro-diskette, recorded in a flat on Sonnenallee is my personal pick of the bunch. The notes say:
A broken organ in the flat was used to create two tape loops which were processed.
This all seems simple enough eh? But the super-exciting thing about this 21 minute set is that the process is left clear and unadorned. The tape loops are cut with confidence and make an extremely satisfying gristly crunch each time they turn back on themselves. This becomes both rhythm and off-kilter melody as the singing-bowl-ring builds in intensity in the background.
Overtones become undertones become slumber-tones. Each successive loop, as bright as copper, slides down a shapely neck to rest on lightly furred shoulders. They collect in metallic piles on top of each other, shifting with faint tinkles.
By the 14 minute mark everything gains a superheavyweight quality. What once was sunny and bright becomes black like lead with a similarly dark purpose. What seems like the dawning of a dark inevitability eventually plateaus out into a shimmering crystal desert. Geysers spew their hot dust, the polished sand flickers with heat haze. The organ spits its last dirty electric cough and sadly clicks off.