Absolutely delighted to announce the release of All Hail Mega Force, the debut collaborative album by Howlround and Ken Hollings, working together as The Howling. Limited edition cassette out now on The Tapeworm, featuring tracks partially recorded at the Wimpy in Streatham High Road, mastering by Steven McInerney and absolutely stunning cover art by Deobrah Wade, who has managed to perfectly distill our aesthetic before we even realised we actually had an aesthetic! Consider these two tracks an opening salvo – an extended blast of deranged tape noise served up astride a winged motorbike in gold jumpsuit and blue bandana, just how you like it!
The Howling is a collaborative project started by writer Ken Hollings and sound artist Howlround devoted exclusively to their shared love of text, audiotape and trash aesthetics. An intense collision of spoken word and analogue tape effects, the Howling’s first performance took place at the Iklectik in September 2019 as part of a special programme to celebrate Tapeworm’s 10th anniversary.
Despite the pandemic, they have managed to continue working and conferring together since then, sharing sound files, texts and mixes online, which has resulted in All Hail Mega Force, their first full-length release for Tapeworm. The two extended tracks contained on this audiocassette reflect their shared interest in Fluxus and how informal rules and permutations can be set up to work themselves out through loops and repetitions. A straight line connects Terry Riley’s tape experiments in Paris from the early 60s with their experimental recordings in the Wimpy Bar on Streatham High Road, one of their favourite meeting places. ‘The idea of instant, disposable one-off creations appealed to us a lot at the time,’ The Howling explain, ‘particularly as both pieces were conceived and developed during different phases of Covid lockdown in the UK.’
The title and source material are derived from the kid’s adventure movie MegaForce, starring Barry Bostwik and Michael Beck. Designed to sell a range of Mattel hi-tech action toys, MegaForce tanked at the box office but lives on in the collective consciousness of those who share with The Howling a special love for Trash and Trash Aesthetics.