Back Down The Rabbit Hole

Hello you. Although things may currently appear calm and unflustered around these parts, I can assure you that behind the shuttered windows Fog Towers is a hive of activity. I’ve been taking advantage of Howlround’s annual mid-winter dry-dock hibernation period to get the machines up and running in the studio and crack on with some new audio adventures. How have I been faring in these endeavours, you might ask? Well, have a look at these video extracts recently uploaded to social media and judge for yourself!

At the moment I appear to be heading into another one of my infamous rabbit holes, this one perhaps the strangest my quartet of old ladies have lead me down yet (although technically they’re only a trio at the moment, thanks to one of them catching fire – again!). The recordings I’ve amassed so far have been ragged, fractured, fragmented, distorted and often bashed out in a single take, though to my ears some of the most thrilling I’ve ever worked on. Truly Howlround has come a long way from the basement of Bush House six years ago – can it really only be that long? While of course I still do love recording those sounds of buildings and other unusual acoustic spaces, there just seems to be an infinite number of strange sonic topologies lurking deep inside the inner workings of reel to reel tape machines. It’s as if the further inward we go, the wider the horizons become…

Anyway, before all the Pseuds Corner accusations come flying in, I should just briefly remind you that you can keep up to date on all these exciting developments by following @RobinTheFog or @Howlroundmusic (or why not both?) on Twitter, which is where teasers like those above often surface first. I’m also now on Instagram, which is an exciting recent development, so you’ll find plenty of ways to engage with my latest experiments and works in progress without having to endure any of the flowery exposition I might come up with trying to make sense of it all. I’m also hoping very soon to bring you news of a forthcoming release, but for the moment I’m sworn to secrecy. Keep your ears to the wind and eyes to the skyline and all will shortly be revealed…

In other news, my two evening classes at Morley College are proving tremendous fun – for me at least, though my students seem to be enjoying them too! In between projects that include composing experimental lullaby music for my infant niece and leading soundwalks around Waterloo, we also recently had a very exciting tape editing session, where we learnt all about the joys, the creative potential and the absurd folly involved in composing with such a fragile and unpredictable medium. Thankfully everyone survived.

Next term I shall be teaching a course on the history of Experimental Electronic Music in Britain, so if the thought of spending one evening a week with me geeking out about this nation’s weird sonic heritage appeals to you, then step right up! You’ll find further details on the Morley College Website here.  I’ll also be teaching Radio Production as well, which will hopefully delight and intrigue in similar doses. It’s all a bit of a Busman’s Holiday, or at least it would be if I ever took time off!

Finally, a quick advance notice of a show I’ll be playing at the Book And Record Bar in West Norwood on the afternoon of March 24th, alongside Yann Novak and Mike Harding from Touch. We’ll be playing live sets and DJing and mixing things up a bit, while proprietor King Michael serves coffee, beer and stacks of the finest black crack* around. What’s not to love? See you there!

*Records. Nothing weird. Well, weird records, certainly…


Author: Robin The Fog

Sound Artist, Radio Producer, DJ, founder and chief strategist of tape-loop proejct Howlround. Devout Catalyst.

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