Hello you. First off, I’m thrilled to announce that the ultra limited edition 7″ Howlround produced for the Resonance FM fundraiser made a very impressive £306.56! Thanks to everyone who bid so generously and to OneCutVinyl.com once again for donating their services for free. To those of you who missed out (which, given there were only three copies is nearly everyone!), hopefully the news that Howlround’s next official release will be arriving in the spring is of some consolation. I missed out on a copy as well, incidentally, so your pain is my pain. But there’s no time to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves when the UK’s greatest radio station still needs our assistance, so I would urge you to shake a leg on over to Fundraiser.Resonance.FM and give what you can. Donations are always gratefully received and continue to be sorely needed – there’s still a long way to go before they reach £100,000! Thanks also to everyone who everyone who came down to Club Integral’s Gala Fundraiser at Iklectik last week and witnessed Howlround’s first performance of 2018 – a brief but abrasive feedback affair that might have burnt a few ears and loosened a few bowels in the front row. What fun! Online extracts coming soon!
Secondly, a nod and a wink to everyone who tuned into The OST Show last Saturday for my fundraising special standing in for Jonny Trunk, especially Resonance engineer Martin, Alan Gubby for the Buried Treasure Records competition prizes and all the usual suspects who rang in with funny and silly answers trying to win them. The show also featured the only ever performance of ‘Just 4 U, West Malling’ (the B-side of the aforementioned Howlround 7″) in British Radio History, alongside tracks by Jeffrey Siedler, Yuri Morozov, Barry Gray, Jim Henson and much, much more. In short, I bought all of my guns and proceeded to play as many ‘bangers’ as I could fit into two hours.
Hopefully the opening salvo of cuts from Raumpatrolle Orion, UFO, Pop Electronique and Georgette Sayegh’s killer, ultra-rare Arabic version of ‘Popcorn’ helped make up for my slightly rambling presentational style, which I’m attributing partly to a late night at Electrowerkz the previous evening (Merkaba Macabre and Pascal Savy were playing!), a lack of decent coffee and perhaps most of all the surprisingly toxic fillet of cod I had tried to cook for lunch a couple of hours beforehand. Never the finest of chefs, I remember thinking as I took the fish-like substance out of the oven that it bore an uncanny resemblance to some kind of unholy prop from that dinner table scene in Eraserhead, but being very hungry, having no other options and retaining my northern ‘waste not, want not’ thriftiness that 15 years in the south have never shaken off, I felt compelled to carry on regardless. One bite was all it took and the remainder was projectiled right across the kitchen. In retrospect I should probably have replaced it with something more substantial than a carrot and a handful of pistachios, but then hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Anyway, nevermind my domestic trifles (although at that moment an actual trifle would’ve gone down a treat), I did promise you a tracklisting for the show once I was fully functioning again, so I’ve included it below. How about that killer Yuri Morozov jam ‘Inexplicable’, eh? As funky as anything KPM ever put out, I’ll wager! Respect is due to Buried Treasure for bringing him to a wider audience!
Peter Thomas Orchester – Rockin’ Computer
Barry Gray – Theme From Space 1999
Barry Gray – Breakaway
Barry Gray – War Games
Barry Gray – Death’s Other Dominion
Birds ‘N’ Brass – Sort Of Soul
Georgette Sayegh – Bouchar (aka Popcorn)
Serge Gainsbourg – Comic Strip
Cecil Leuter – Pop Electronique Part 2
Kalyanji-Anandji – Y.O.G.A. (Edit)
Sauver Mallia – Synthetic Neutron
Yuri Morozov – Vague & Hard (part 2)
Jeffrey Siedler – Logic Formations
The Dandelion Set with Alan Moore – Judy Switched Off The TV
Bruce Haack – Party Machine
Jeffrey Siedler – Altaire Control Axiom
Yuri Morozov – Eastern Tetraptih
Yuri Morozov – Inexplicable (part 4)
Howlround – Just 4 U, West Malling (World Exclusive!!)
Ron Geesin – A World Of Too Much Sound
Jim Henson – Tick Tock Sick
Keith Mansfield – Soul Thing
Carrie Nations – Come With The Gentle People
The Pointer Sisters – Pinball Number Count (DJ Food Re-Edit)
The Bugaloos – The Senses Of Our World
Miss Abrams And The Strawberry Point 4th Grade Class – Running In The Green Grass
Ron Geesin – The Eye That Nearly Saw
Jim Henson – The Countryside
Bruce Haack and Miss Nelson – African Lullaby
Denton & Cook – Theme From Tomorrow’s World
Howlround – A Creak In Time, Part 1 (Extract)
As if that wasn’t enough, I’d now like to bring you another two hours of killer tracks recorded live for WNBC‘s Out Of The Woods show, broadcast the previous Sunday. A very different proposition from the ‘guns ‘n’ puns’ approach of the OST show, this was designed as the perfect soundtrack for a quiet Sunday afternoon. No beats, no banging, just two hours of soundscapes, field recordings and electronics. Esteemed crate digger and fellow WNBC resident DJ Food has described it as ‘…a masterclass in ambience. Absolutely beautiful listen, the restraint and pacing he displays over the two hours is admirable’. Restraint and pacing are rarely accolades I can lay claim to, so you’re advised to fill your boots. If the current trajectory of Howlround is anything to go by, this could be the last ambient thing to have my name on it for quite some time!
The show is book-ended by The London Record, a 1961 LP on Marble Arch records, featuring narration by Hywel Davies and music by Robert Docker. Despite featuring some truly embarrassing character acting and some rather rinky-dink Cockney-stroll-about music, it’s a glorious, albeit over-romanticised portrait of a bygone age. If the opening monologue describing dawn on the River Thames doesn’t stir something in you, frankly I’m not sure what will.
I also play substantial homage to a couple of my other favourite strange records, Argo’s wonderful Steam Railroading Under Thundering Skies and ‘Tintinnabultation’ from Atlantic Record’s Environments series; which work surprisingly well when combined together for extended periods. Later on we hear from Delia Derbyshire, Edgar Froese, Chris Watson, Oval, Ursula Bogner and even an uncharacteristically chilled out affair from 90s jungle maestro Photek, though of course the fact that it’s designed to be a more meditative affair doesn’t mean there can’t occasionally be a few noisy moments!
I should really provide you with a tracklisting for this show as well, but I’ve got some people coming round to do some filming of the machines in the morning and the studio is in dire need of an overhaul. Apart from there being tape all over the floor, my poor old speakers have finally succumbed to 20 years of abuse and pretty much exploded, which means it will be a decidedly silent affair unless I can get some new ones wired in, sharp-ish. Will I have time to get everything shipshape before the arrival of the spotlight? On previous form, not a chance in hell. Still, wish me luck….