Hello you. Hope you and yours are safe and well. First off, absolutely thrilled to bits with this week’s FogCast on Resonance 104.4FM, despite it being a sombre affair after the recent passing of Mandy Wilson aka Kassia Flux. My favourite track from last year’s Ergot In The Wine features prominently and I’m intending to include more in subsequent editions. There’s also an exclusive new work from Matt Atkins and a book-ending live performance from Raxil 4 and Alistair Smith, recorded at one of the STEEP events at St. Mary’s Tower – yet another institution that I’m very much looking forward to frequenting once again when all this is over. Intimate Spaces – and indeed packing a large number of people into any form of confinement – is of course not really the done thing at the moment, but I’m as convinced as ever that good times will come again. In the meantime, here’s an hour of amazing sounds, made by talented friends to keep us going!
Alistair Smith – Gong Solo [Extract, The Intimate Space, St Mary’s Tower, Raxil 4, 2018]
Matt Atkins – As The Glowing Embers Fade To White [unreleased, 2020]
Kassia Flux – Luthier Levitate [from Ergot In The Wine, Linear Obsessional, 2019]
Raxil 4 & Alistair Smith – Duo [from The Intimate Space, St Mary’s Tower, Raxil 4, 2018]
Thomas Köner – Andenes [from Teimo, Barooni, 1992]
Alistair Smith – Gong Solo [2nd Extract, from The Intimate Space, St Mary’s Tower, Raxil 4, 2018]
Seriously, the more I think about how much amazing music continues to get made in spite of the rotten state of affairs, the more positive I feel about both the cultural state of our nation and the great fortitude of all the people creating it. Proof arrived last week with the latest issue of Electronic Sound coming through my letterbox along with Parapsychedelia, the fabulous new collaborative album on Castles In Space from The Heartwood Institute & Panaminte Manse:
Normal service is still a long way from being resumed, but little nuggets like this continuing to make their way through offer a sense that we’ll all find a way to muddle through somehow. Indeed, I was so excited at the arrival of the aforementioned Electronics periodical that I somehow managed to bash myself right over the nose with it. And it’s quite a hefty volume, a fact that will be readily attested to by anyone who is either a regular subscriber or who happened to be present on that other occasion when I dropped a copy spine-first on my big toe. One advantage of lockdown, however, is that few will get to see the bruising. Or be disturbed by the rich and varied collection of profanities I habitually invoke in the moments that follow such occasions. I’m confident of a full recovery. Anyway, you can order your beautiful black and red LP here, secure in the knowledge that even in the post is a bit slow, you’ll have an instant download to enjoy while waiting. Just look at this cover art!
Exciting news now from a quiet corner of Wales, where redoubtable producer, DJ and sartorial elegance embodiment Ben Soundhog has gone into the lathe-cutting business with his new venture Plastidisc. Though only a couple of weeks out of the trap, he’s cut records for Drew Mulholland, a Revbjelde 7″ that sold out in about five minutes and 100 copies of a superb new 3-track EP from Clocolan, a copy of which turned up on my doorstep last week, causing as much excitement as Electronic Sound, but with less physical injury.
I can certainly vouch for the quality of the cut – and the music too! Bag one of the very last remaining copies here. Then visit the Plastidisc website and get him to cut some treats for you. I’m making plans already!
Finally, while Castles In Space-related activities have quite rightly commanded a good share of this week’s post, I couldn’t end our business here today without drawing your attention to the cover art for their forthcoming compilation The Isolation Tapes, which was posted online this morning. The deadline for submissions for tracks to this collection of tracks recorded by artists in lockdown passed last night and I have it on good authority that it’s going to be a very special affair indeed. More details will follow, but I certainly hope they’ll be do some prints of the sleeve or something. It’s a thing of absolute beauty, even by their own high standards: