Hello you. Time to softly and ethereally blow out the single candle on the cake marking Fog Cast’s first birthday. It was exactly one a year ago last week that Resonance FM’s series of deep listening soundtracks designed for isolated listening kicked off. And I’ve been celebrating the run-up to this anniversary with a month of very special guest-curated episodes by some of my favourite artists and selectors. First up was a Persistence of Sound Special, put together by label head Iain Chambers and featuring tracks from all five releases to date, including the newly released split LP from Beatriz Ferreyra and Natasha Barrett – a most worthy addition to the canon.
Speaking of worthy canons, the following week saw raxil 4 take the reigns. Better known as multidisciplinary sound artist Andrew Page, it features 21 extracts from his remarkable and extensive back catalogue, the first 400 releases of which now reside within the British Library Sound Archive. raxil4 specialises in analogue electronic dronescapes, acoustic audio phenomenon and installation, and he has performed live all over Europe, in caves, churches, crypts, prison cells, psychiatric hospitals and water towers. I have shared stages with this man on numerous occasions and I can confirm that 400 albums of this sort of thing isn’t nearly enough!
Deep listening of a more abrasive nature occurred came next with the arrival of ‘Spirit Level’, an exclusive new work, by venoztks, who has commented simply “all is found, everything is lost”. Their recent release How It’s Not Meant To Be on the ever-dependable Tapeworm label is also very worthy of your time.
Which brings us to the final episode in this special birthday month, a beautiful selection from a shadowy individual known only as tpwiikatj. Check out that tracklisting – perhaps one of the finest editions yet!
It’s been a terrible year for pretty much everyone, but these 42 programmes (43 by the time you read this) have been tremendous fun to work on and I hope they’ve provided some listening pleasure and perhaps even some respite from, as someone adroitly put it to me recently, ‘all the NOW that’s going on’. With luck the next 42 programmes will be produced in an atmosphere of slightly less awfulness. We shall see. But in the meantime, don’t forget that Fog Cast continues to go out every Wednesday night, 23:00BST on Resonance 104.4FM and that all previous editions can be streamed here. I’m always on the hunt for new artists to feature and new sounds to play, so do get in touch through the usual channels if you’d like me to bend my ears in your direction. The only rule remains ‘no beats’ (although ‘pulses’ are often encouraged), but even this is starting to feel a little dogmatic!
In other news, thanks very much indeed to Electronic Sound Magazine, not only for giving The New Obsolescents’ LP such a glowing review, but also for allowing me to wax lyrical (no pun intended) in their regular ‘First, Last And Always’ column, which makes for another item to be ticked off my life bucket-list! Also includes all the usual goodness, including cover star Hannah Peel, so make haste to the newsagents! Or order online here.
Hope you’re all well and jolly and managed to have an enjoyable Easter. I kept myself busy, as you can see, working on tracks for a purported eighth LP that should hopefully surface later in the year. A trusted advisor recently declared that one of the new works sounds ‘like John Inman getting his knackers caught in a cash register’, which I’ve decided to take as a compliment and develop further. I mean, who else is working in those kinds of area at the moment? Nobody, that’s who! Not even Hannah Peel!!