the deft placement, the golden frame: joe murray learns from spoils & relics

December 7, 2014 at 9:17 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Spoils & Relics – Embed and then forget (CD, Porta, Porta #9 CD, edition of 150 in screenprinted sleeve)


This 31 minute, one track piece is the perfect ego-less recording.  The sounds themselves are the smeared oils, the deft placement, the golden frame.

Keeping things uncluttered in a music concrete/collage/extraction approach is a challenge to even the lone piper yet this three-lobed beast (The Spoils & Relics band) pull it all off with no sweat or aches at all.

They easily turn the trick of making Embed and then forget totally immersive.  With so few familiar sounds each click, burr and pop takes extra meaning from what I see around me.  This all adds a pleasant fuzzy edge to my tedious morning commute: the Blue House Roundabout summons the erotic push and pull of heavy traffic, the sky lightens over the Town Moor churning the slate gray palette of the sky to austere duck egg blue.  And, after a time, the fat patter of rain merges with the hiss of stereo-balanced electronics making crackles (although I can’t be quite sure) inside my very skull.

Crikey.  I arrive at work (usually heavy with bureaucracy) as light as goose down.

But what if the visual stimulus is cut off?  What if I just concentrate on the ear-hum?  Will I think any less of this coquettish listen?

I plug in with darkness and think…

…there can be no better flag-bearers of the psychedelic domestic.

Kettles, or it could be electronics, weave chaotic patterns.  This is the sound of being in the house all alone.   Beams creak…distant Astro Wars get jammed in the scullery with that wonderful amusement-arcades-through-cotton-wool thing going on.  Pennies drop and a lady gasps.

There is a constant flow of ideas all itchy with life; reminding me of a similar feeling – running your finger over a gravestone, nails gouging the names.  I’m caught up in a multi-sensory melting of meaning into a constant ‘now’.  A narrative presents some radio play: a potting shed séance, some misunderstanding over an old diary entry resulting in a bonfire of photos and trinkets.  All the while a refreshing pessimism is overlaid across the fragile mung like soft wounds knitting new skin.

With a sharp, flinty ‘Kaakk’ the record whizzes to a close.  Man.  I gotta jam this disc again and again.

Listeners who favour that hi-fidelity will be delighted.  Beards who dwell in the no-fi world of clanking tape jizz are going to be entranced.  Skronk fans will be be-calmed.  Zen droners will wake up refreshed and sharp.

Embed and then forget, a disc for all seasons.  A lesson for all



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