Hello you. Crumbs, how has it been a month since I updated this site? It has assuredly not been for want to stimulating developments to relate: I’m teaching radio production again, producing bits and bobs for Radio 4 again and have also hit the ground running with a new series of Fog Cast on Resonance FM, of which more in a moment. I also spent much of yesterday recording and editing a voiceover for a forthcoming video tutorial on analogue format conversation, which involved my most velvety of tones and a rich catalogue of profanity, especially whenever recording were interrupted by a bus going past. So hard to get decent sound-proofing in Penge.
Firstly, I’m delighted to announce that an exclusive new Howlround track has been included on the latest instalment of Front & Follow’s Isolation And Rejection series of download compilations. ‘Sonic Hors Funk Job’ appears alongside contributions from old friends Revbjelde, Pulselovers, Runningonair, Kepier Widow… the list goes on. As with the previous three volumes, all proceeds are going to The Brick in Wigan – ‘a fantastic charity on the front line of supporting those most in need, seeking to address the inequalities across our country exacerbated by COVID-19, but there all along’. Think this might just be our finest track this year – and for a hugely deserving cause as well. So far these compilations have raised almost £2000, which is absolutely fantastic work, and I’m reliably informed that Volume 5 isn’t too far off either. Bravo to the Justin and the F&F team – and to massive amount of noise-making talent that have donated tracks for free. All four volumes can be found at FrontAndFollow.com.
In other new release action A Year In The Country have just launched The Layering, the latest in a long line of themed compilations that might just be their finest work yet. It too features an exclusive new Howlround track entitled ‘A Heart Shaped Forest’, alongside new works from old friends such as The Heartwood Institute, Grey Frequency, Vic Mars and lots more.
The album explores the way that places are literally layered with history, and is an audio slicing through the layers of time. It journeys amongst the stories and characters of these layers, including, amongst other aspects, the structures built, events which took place and different era’s technologies and belief systems. Such layering can go far back into pre-recorded history. Much of the earth is thought to have once been underwater, and it is likely that the majority of cities, towns and villages are built in former ocean areas. Current land masses have come to be formed, in part, through a layering of past marine, other life and plants, which in turn are then quarried or mined, subsequently being used to create the infrastructure of contemporary civilisation, and creating something of a cyclical, time-out-of-joint nature to the layers of time…
It’s been in the works for a while after launch was held up by lockdown-enforced delays, but it’s been proved more than worth the wait – as attested to by a decidedly complimentary review from We Are Cult. Always an absolute pleasure to contribute to these albums, although I am a little surprised that Howlround’s track has been described as one of the ‘jauntier’ efforts on offer here – I’ve always found ‘jolly’ to be the hardest thing to pull off with tape machines. Still, I’ll take it as a compliment! Order your copy of ‘one of the most astonishing works 2020 has offered us’ here.
Fog Cast rides again after Resonance FM’s summer sabbatical, every Wednesday, 23:00 BST on 104.4FM in London and online everywhere else; where it continues to provide the perfect soundtrack for our current age of isolation. This week’s show featured sublime new works from musician, writer, philosopher and director of GRM Kassel Jaeger’s Swamps/Things, Ondes-Martenot maestra Christine Ott and her magnificent new Snowdrops project, followed by a side-long extract of JP Hartnett’s long anticipated new album of ambient piano works. What better way to drift off into the night?
The previous week’s edition was also a very special affair as Psyché Tropes founder, label boss and chief strategist Merkaba Macabre (or Steven McInerney to his friends) took over the controls to provide an hour of brand new, exclusive and unreleased material, directly from his studio to your ears. A fantastic hour ‘drifting through a visual landscape of dichotomous energies’ that, as you can see from the above, inspired a flurry of creativity in at least one listener. Smashing work, Steve – and you too, Edwin!
Finally, I’m VERY excited to announce THIS heavy, splattery affair is being launched next week for Bandcamp Friday. But more on this to follow…