Howlround are delighted to announce new release Noise Flaw EP – Live At Iklectik. It’s a collection of live (and quite noisy) extracts taken from various performances at over the past few years. 100% proceeds from the sale of this release will be donated to the Resonance FM Annual Fundraiser. Three lathe cut discs featuring two tracks from the EP are being released simultaneously and are now live on Ebay, with all proceeds raised going to help keep Resonance on air. Find links to all three via linktr.ee/robinthefog – these will be the only copies of this 7″ made!
Author: Robin The Fog
At Home With Happy Accidents – A REAL Viral Video!
Hello You. Time for another visit to the MSCTY School of Sound Art, my series of irregular video tutorials of sonic experimentation for Nick Luscombe’s long-running project exploring new ways of relating to the world around us through sound and space. And I’m exploring a rather more confined space than usual in this episode, produced as it was towards the end of last year when I found myself trapped in my bedroom by a very trendy virus. With studio and equipment several miles away, I was forced to rely on wit and imagination alone in the construction of this episode, which proved decidedly unproductive until I was reminded of two crucial facts: The first being that I’d made some rather intetresting spur-of-the-moment recordings a few days before being struck down with the dreaded lurgy; and secondly that my flatmate Vanessa was in possession of an Oboe and a clean bill of health!
Lesson 4 finds our audio adventurer fighting off cabin fever after spending a week confined to his bedroom … having succumbed to a rather enduring virus that’s currently on a non-stop world tour. Not to be outdone, Robin uses this opportunity to search for inspiration within the four walls of his home, eventually stumbling across a recent recording made entirely by chance, that sets him off on a journey into the wonderful world of the ‘Happy Accident’.
As well as creating a brand new work, we’ll take a brief look at some other artists who have incorporated chance and serendipity into their own practice, plus musician and flatmate Vanessa Howells drops in [at an appropriate distance!] to help out with some improvised oboe.
Those of you interested in further exploring some of the recordings referenced in the video can read more about the Whitechapel Bell Foundry tape archive and the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage team’s discovery of the ‘Accidental Ambience’ tape on the original London’s Sound Heritage blog post from 2021. The entire collection can be accessed through London Metropolitan Archives and there are plenty more sublime recordings on offer – the only difference being the rest were made by wonderful serendipity!
You can also find Ian Rawes’ original recording of the Tower Bridge Bascule Chamber on the London Sound Survey LP Thames via the Persistence of Sound label. The vast number of recordings created by Ian under that name have now also been entrusted to the London Metropolitan Archives, but can also still be accessed by visiting SoundSurvery.org.uk. Prepare to get yourself hopelessly, wonderfully lost!
The Conet Project CD boxset seems to be very rare these days, though I occasionally come across copies surfacing online for quite eye-watering sums. Ridiculous really, when you consider the entire released can be readily downloaded from the Free Music Archive. Prepare to get equally lost, but also decidedly spooked (this Pitchfork review from 2004 sums it all up nicely). The whole thing can be found on YouTube as well, so here’s the opening ‘Swedish Rhapsody’ that we used in the video (arguably the project’s most famous recording) to get you started:
In other news, what a week it’s been! Thanks so much to everyone who came down to my various outpourings over the last few days, be it with Ken Hollings as The Howling at The Horse Hospital, Copped Hall with Catherine Smith as part of the Dark Tales and Strange Sounds team or indeed at Boundary Condition with Alaa and the ever-redoubtable Iklectik crew. While no image could ever accurately depict the sheer lunatic intensity of it all, this picture of my two favourite clowns Tears | OV at a post-show debrief probably comes closest. Their performance was as fantastic as ever, of course!
But the biggest vote of gratitude must surely go to David Harper for literally saving our (vegan) bacon on Saturday night and fixing Revox B77 Wendy’s faulty power supply at the last minute, using the toolbox and soldering iron that he apparently just carries around with him for fun. The man is a hero and a legend and I don’t care who knows it. If there was any money in tape manipulation at all I’d be putting him on staff full-time.
Sending In The Clowns – More Music For Haunted Horse Houses
Hello You. Apologies for the radio silence on these pages for the last couple of months, it’s certainly not been for want of incident or intrigue and my nose has been pressed hard against a number of grindstones. I’ve been recording tape loops in the basement of Somerset House, frozen lakes in Austria and even been trying to get my head around a rather complicated analogue feedback setup in Den Haag. Plus I conducted a sonic seance in memory of Avanti West Coast trains at Carlisle’s Vinyl Cafe over Christmas – their not dead, incdientally, it’s just the bottomlessly awful state of the railways in this country makes it feel as if they are. Anyway, doubtless all of this intrigue will find its way onto these pages in due course/once I get a moment. But for now our pressing business is a trio of live shows occurring this week that I would very much to waggle excitedly under your collective noses.
Starting off at The Horse Hospital on Thursday 9th February, featuring genius multimedia collective Tears | OV, plus myself and the redoubtable Ken Hollings teaming up once again as The Howling for a night of clown-related heaven and infomercial hell. Do come and join us, enjoy the premier performances of some brand new work and help support one of the finest venues Central London has to offer – like pretty much every other arts establishment in the city these days, the The Horse Hospital finds itself under continued threat from the usual forces of Turbocapitalist darkness. Further info available here.
An equally extraordinary building plays host to myself and the Dark Tales Team once again on Saturday 11th, though this one is perhaps at less immediate risk than the Horse Hospital – after all, Copped Hall has already burned down once! Join us at this remarkable partially restored Georgian ruin for an evening of spooky performances, including an exclusive site-specific new work created by myself and Catherine Smith from recordings made while roaming the darkened corridors This will be repeat performance of the Dark Tales And Strange Sounds event from last November, in an attempt to atone for all the disgruntled punters left out in the cold when the tickets quite literally flew out the door. Get yours here while stocks last. It’s a fantastic evening in great company and I always say that in the unlikely event that Copped Hall isn’t haunted already, it certainly moves closer to ‘at-risk territory’ by the time we’re finished with it!
And finally on Sunday 12th I’ll be back at good old Iklectik in Lambeth North for another fabulous Boundary Condition event. This particular edition features 9+ artists in a hybrid of multichannel live-sets & immersive projections encompassing ethnomusicological site specific film on Pamir, auto-destructive, acousmatic & generative compositions, fungal fetishist performance art and heavy tape machinery performed in the AMOENUS 17-speaker ambisonics system. What else do I need to tell you?! This is my third Boundary Condition, they’re always incredible and this time we’r joined by the remarkable artist and filmmaker Carlos Casas! Tickets are available here.
Well, that should about do for our business here today. All the other usual nonsense will resume ASAP – once I’ve had a nap!
Fabulous Yields – Unveiling Delaware, Dronica… And ‘Dead Yet’
Hello You. Very proud to be making a contribution to the latest charity compilation by the ever superb Front And Follow label, the third volume in an ongoing series where all profits are going directly to help those in need around the Manchester area. This latest edition joins its two predecessors in boasting a massive line-up featuring the pick of the UK experimental scene, all experimenting with a rather novel new approach where each artist is encouraged to steal from another! Trust me, it all makes perfect sense…
Front & Follow and Gated Canal Community present VOLUME THREE of RENTAL YIELDS – a multi-release collaboration project raising money to tackle homelessness in Manchester. Inspired (if that’s the right word – perhaps ‘motivated’…) by our current housing system, the project encourages artists to steal (or borrow, nicely) from another artist to create their own new track – in the process producing HIGH RENTAL YIELDS. Over 100 artists are now involved (the spreadsheet is fun), each one tasked with creating a new track from the sounds created by someone else – we are then collating the tracks and releasing them over the course of the next year.
This is VOLUME THREE, featuring 25 new tracks and 50 artists. All money raised will go to SPIN (Supporting People in Need), whose purpose is to feed, shelter, clothe and generally support the homeless and people in need of Greater Manchester.
Elsewhere, those of you whose appetite is not sated by a weekly dose of Resonance FM’s Fog Cast might be interested in a guest mix I put together for Dronica on sister channel Resonance Extra a couple of weeks back. Featuring some of my favourite music from the past year or so, including a few selections I consider a bit ‘too hot’ for my usual weekly outlet, listen out for The Utopia Strong, Svitlana Nianio & Oleksandr Yurchenko, Hainbach & My Panda Shall Fly, Nad Spiro, SkyH1 – and that’s just the first 15 minutes! The full two hour mix is now available to stream in full from the Resonance Extra Mixcloud page and it’s a pretty fantastic voyage, though I say so myself!
And finally, after years of rumour, suspicion and intrigue, I’m absolutely delighted to see that the anthology omnibus edition of The Delaware Road is now available to pre-order from Buried Treasure.
Over three years after the last ‘gathering of the tribe’ at a top secret military training facility in the heart of Salisbury Plain (not to mention five years since the tribe gathered for an evening inside an equally top secret Nuclear Bunker in Essex), the screenplay that has to date inspired a series of zines, a compilation album, three substantial festivals and a huge amount of renewed interest in Radiophonics, black propaganda, esoteric traditions and Wyrd British folklore is now available as a lavishly packaged anthology edition with postcards, fliers, a pack of ‘DELATABS’ and the usual beautiful artwork by Nick Taylor.
A limited number even feature this delightfully cute 4″ ‘Transcription Disc’ produced by Delaware Road lynchpin Alan Gubby and featuring Howlround tape noise, words by Dolly Dolly and some secret, forbidden recordings from who knows where or when, quite frankly.
When I say ‘cute’, I am of course talking in terms of size only, the actual recorded contents sound positively demonic! This is officially the second smallest recording format of my career, but as no copies survive of the actual smallest (a deeply ridiculous and impractical object), you’ll just have to take my word for it. Anyway, pre-order your copy here while stocks last.
A Word In Your Jelly Ear – Mushrooms, Ectoplasm And Gothic Grandeur
Hello you. I’m delighted to announce that the MSCTY project celebrating the Fantastic Funghi Festival at the National Trust’s Emmett’s Garden near Sevenoaks in Kent is now live. Seven brand new compositions created by Nick Luscombe and myself from the sounds of the gardens, put together with a little help from participants to our field recording workshop held at the garden a couple of weeks ago.
These compositions are now discoverable by visitors to Emmett’s via a series of QR-codes located at various positions around the gardens, but those of you situated further from Sevenoaks than the proverbial stone’s throw can also listen via the MSCTY.SPACE website. Although I’d still highly recommend listening on site if you get the opportunity, it’s a lovely place for a day out and looking particularly beautiful at the moment in resplendent autumnal hues.
The mushrooms are worth the trip alone and with such lurid colouring on display it’s no wonder some of our compositions ended up sounding a bit psychedelic. You can also hear extracts from the workshop, unreleased bonus tracks and additional field recordings by catching up on last week’s edition of Resonance FM’s FogCast, which also includes cuts from recent album The Countless Stones from workshop participant Emile of the mighty Plant 43. Rather a fine episode, though I say so myself:
The workshop also happened to feature what may be the single shortest tapeloop of my career, created on a wooden bench in the South Garden, avoiding the wind. Even I was amazed that it worked!
Anyway, thanks to Viktoria and all the staff for having us and being very accommodating – and for not complaining even once about all the people wandering around wearing headphones and making strange noises. Hopefully they’ll have us back next time. Very nice cream teas if you’re passing…
Secondly, thank you so much to London Month Of The Dead, the staff of Brompton Cemetery and a huge crowd of lovely, enthusiastic attendees for making Saturday’s candlelit concert in the chapel such a thoroughly ‘ectoplasmic’ experience! A hugely memorable occasion in an incredible venue with a four-second reverberation time and just the right atmosphere of crepuscular Gothic grandeur in which to put on a Howlround show. Indeed, the third and final piece of the evening was created live on the spot with just massed voices, a tape loop and some feedback, yet it grew so intense that at one point I thought we were about to open some kind of sonic wormhole!
I’ve had a brief listen to the recording which is much more distorted and evil-sounding than you might expect, hopefully it will surface somewhere in the not-too-distant future once I’ve knocked off the smooth edges. In the meantime, I wonder if any other cemeteries might be up for some kind of tape machine roadshow? I mean since the National Trust are now clearly on board with the Howlround sound?! Alternately perhaps someone has a funeral they’d like me to soundtrack? Always open to interesting offers…
On a similar note, Eighth Tower Records has just released a fantastic new compilation of original music inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula (the original novel) that features a brand new and exclusive Howlround track entitled ‘For Those Who Sleep Unwisely’. It has been described by a trusted advisor as sounding like ‘Low-Res Philip Glass’, which I’m not sure is entirely accurate, but hell, I’ll take it:
The Digipack CD with the usual beautiful artwork we’ve come to expect from Eighth Tower can be purchased here and also features Grey Frequency, Rapoon and plenty more besides, each track inspired by a different chapter or scene in the novel. Can guess which part my contribution was inspired by?!
Finally, and on a subdued note, news reaches me that Iklectik and their Old Paradise Yard home may very soon be under threat from developers, alongside all of the other artists and small businesses that share this beautiful green enclave in a hidden corner of London’s Southbank. Apparently the plan would be to flatten the area (including Iklectik’s historic old schoolhouse, the oldest building of its kind in Lambeth) and construct yet more gleaming office blocks and luxury apartments. If this does come to pass we’ll lose a hugely valuable cultural hub, art space, testing ground for radical new ideas and performances, meeting place and warm welcome for alternative music and arts communities in London and beyond… It just doesn’t bear thinking about.
To me Iklectik is one of the few remaining beacons in a city that claims to pride itself on its cultural attractions while doing its utmost to eviscerate any spaces where grassroots movements can evolve. I’ve met some of my greatest friends here, witnessed some of the most inspiring performances of the last few years and even spent whole weekends just listening, watching, talking and laughing, always in good company and with great music. It’s a truly terrible thought that one of the finest and friendliest venues in London could soon be flattened to make way for yet more silent, empty artless turbocapitalism.
A petition against this greedy land-grab has now been launched – do please consider signing it.
Emmetts And Ectoplasm – From The Gardens To The Graves
Hello You. Been a lean few weeks on this pages while I’ve been ensconced in the studio working on lots of random projects, some of which I’m hoping will surface at some point in the not-too-distant future. One of them has involved a lot of head-scratching trying to create the sound of a prehistoric object ‘whistling through the air’ and slamming into a ‘prehistoric warthog’, another has been trying to create a sense of vague creeping terror while my flatmate breaks in a new pair of boots. Eventually all of these things will hopefully make sense. Anyway, Very excited to briefly invite you to a couple of events I’m taking part in over the coming weekends, starting with a field recording and soundscape composition workshop taking place on Saturday 15th October at Emmett’s Garden near Sevenoaks at the behest of The National Trust. And because I’m dashing out the door to make final preparations, I’m just going to unapologetically quote the press release verbatim, like a lazy and hasty fellow:
Join field recordists / sound artists Nick Luscombe and Robin The Fog for this field recording workshop and be part of a new and unique soundscape project at Emmetts Garden. Explore the sounds of Emmetts Garden with a listening and recording/playback workshop. During the workshop Nick and Robin will detail their work and experience as sound recordists, and explain how to create soundscapes inspired by places. We will then record at various locations throughout the garden and then listen back to the recordings together.
Nick and Robin will then edit and mix the recordings and create seven unique soundscapes telling the sound story of each location. The soundscapes will then be available to listen to via http://www.mscty.space and via QR codes across the garden. If possible please bring your smartphone, if you have one, to record sounds with the group. No previous knowledge of recording required… just an interest in listening to the natural environment! Book your place here.
The following Saturday I’m absolutely delighted to announce that I’ll be returning to Brompton Cemetery Chapel for an evening of Audio Ectoplasm at the behest of my dear friends at London Month Of The Dead.
Here’s that lazy, hasty press release lift once again: Robin the Fog creates musique concréte compositions and performances purely by manipulating natural acoustic sounds on a quartet of vintage reel-to-reel tape recorders, with all additional electronic effects or artificial reverb strictly forbidden – a process that has seen their work compared to William Basinski, Philip Jeck, Morton Feldman and even the sculptures of Rachel Whiteread.
Now Robin is very proud to bring one of his spectacular live performances to London Month of the Dead, in which the secret sounds of Brompton chapel will be dubbed onto loops of tape and stretched precariously around the venue – creating an experience that is part sonic séance, part chaotic performance art.
It promises to be another remarkable evening of spooky candlelit splendour in one of the most magnificently ornate ‘Gardens of Sleep’ you’re ever likely to come across. Allow me to To whet your appetite further with this video of Howlround’s original appearance from 2016, shot by the venerable and redoubtable Victoria Hastings – who, if memory serves, was mostly just there for the free gin cocktail!
…Just kidding Victoria, you know I hold your film-making skills in high regard! More of this and lots more soon, but here’s a quick blast of something currently in the pipeline: A new work in progress which began late one evening on a night bus, heading home from a rehearsal of a forthcoming work by The Howling with Ken Hollings and Beth Arzy. A key issue that evening had been the question of how we could mimic the sounds of chirping insects and croaking frogs to create a convincingly spooky swamp atmosphere. Suddenly fate dropped a fellow passenger right into my lap (not literally, that would have been most improper) in possession of the most remarkable case of hiccups and the rest is history. Or rather will become history shortly, all being well. Bravo, Pippa English – and thank you for being a good sport!
Speaking of Beth Arzy, check out her photos of the Howlround set from the Touch 40 party at Cafe Oto a couple of weeks back. Aren’t they wonderful?! Although I do worry I look a bit threatening…
Aural Ectoplasm – Howlround Returns To Brompton Cemetery
Touch. 40 At Cafe Oto 01/10/22
To survive for 40 years as an independent music project is the ability to bear witness to the massive changes in cultural production – and to hold a candle for artistic freedom and sonic invention. We invite you to these celebrations of past, present and future. As everything gets more atomised in terms of inner and outer worlds, we intend this as a beacon of our collective commitment to joy, pleasure, life, the challenge of being human in these uncertain times.
Last Of The Summer Fog – Or What I Did While Not On Holiday…
Hello You. Time for another very hasty and massively overdue update from Fog Towers. It’s been a busy summer juggling various projects, new releases, plus a handful of performances, a spooky tower, some trashy cinema and preparing for a massive studio move too. Certainly not much time for a holiday!
FogCast of course has been on holiday throughout August as Resonance FM takes its yearly summer sabbatical, but will return to the airwaves in September. In the meantime, why not take a moment to listen once again to the series’ landmark 100th episode, in which all the previous 99 episodes were blasted out simultaneously in almighty cacophonic roar?! It is almost certainly THE MOST SOUND you will hear all week. Aren’t we lucky to have a station like Resonance that will not only tolerate, but actively encourage such shenanigans?
There’s a brand new digital release this month from PAWSER, my droney/theremin/tapeloopnoise trio with Sam ‘Sinister Masterplan’ Enthoven and Andy ‘raxil4’ Page. Recorded during a SKRONK all-dayer in the midst of a heatwave a few weeks back, 13/08/22: New River Studios marks what I’m pretty sure is our first ever performance as an actual trio in front of a crowd – though we’ve also been rehearsing in St. Mary’s Church Tower, hoping the crepuscular gothic surroundings filters into the sound by osmosis. Much more of this kind of thing coming soon, hopefully…
Physical copies of Howlround’s eighth official album Trespass And Welfare ended up selling out way before it even got released, but there is still plenty of digital goodness to be found over at Buried Treasure’s bandcamp page. In the meantime huge thanks to both Electronic Sound and The Wire magazines for such glowing reviews in their latest issues – and there’s a lovely video review from Was Ist Das too. Absolutely delighted that a record some reviewers apparently branded ‘too nasty’ is resonating with so many people. And buzzing and throbbing. Not to mention Howling!
Speaking of Howling (another of my fabulously tenuous links), I’ll be DJing at the official opening of the Iklectik Sound & Bookshop on Wednesday September 7th, along with a reading from Ken Hollings, my partner in the UK’s premier text, tape and trash duo. Incidentally, following our triumphant set supporting Ray Dennis Steckler at the BFI Southbank last month (triumphant = nothing fell off or exploded), we’re now in the early stages of a follow up to our debut album All Hail Mega Force, which is sounding most intriguing – and predictably trashy.
Then I’ll be returning to Iklectik on Sunday 11th for a very special event celebrating the life and work of Ian Rawes, founder of the London Sound Survey, and the launch of his posthumous album From Dusk Till Dawn on the ever-reliable Persistence Of Sound label.
The evening comprises performances inspired by Ian and his legacy – Elaine Mitchener and Steve Beresford present a set inspired by the forgotten sound-words in Ian’s 2016 book, Honk, Conk & Squacket, Kayo Chingonyi and PoS label head Iain Chambers will respond to the recordings Ian made across East Anglia in 2021; while Postcards From The Volcano (Helen Frosi & Stephan Barrett) will perform a work inspired by a field recording trip made with Ian in West London. As for me, I’ll be presenting a new Howlround work based on some of my own favourite recordings from the London Sound Survey archive – all of which can still be found online, as well as carefully documented at London Metropolitan Archives. A very special evening is in the offing – plus all proceeds will be donated to the Brain Tumor Charity, so it’s for a great cause too. See you there?
And finally on the subject of Iklectik, I know it was a month ago and I really should have got my act together before now, but good grief what an incredible evening FOGFEST was! Thank you so much to everyone who came down and sold the place out (TWICE!) and to Sculpture, Steve Davis, DJ Food and Franziska Lantz for absolutely smashing it! It was such an amazing evening that I barely had time to take a single photo – so do feel free to share any you might have taken if you were there. Honestly one of the greatest nights I’ve had in a very long time – and the best birthday EVER! Plans are already afoot for a sequel – but I’m not sure if I can wait until next year…
The Fuzz And Filth FOGFEST – Incredibly Strange New Album Plus Zombies Meet The Ghosts Uptown?!
Hello you. It’s been a busy old week here at Fog Towers, with plenty of excitement and intrigue to report, starting off with the grand unveiling of Howlround’s incendiary new album Trespass And Welfare!
…[A] full blown sonic assault […] Recorded entirely using closed-input feedback – two tape machines, a UHER6000 and a Revox B77, simultaneously recording a mixture of themselves and each other – no samples, no synths, no pedals + once you know that, listening is properly mind-blowing. Neil Mason, Moonbuilding
Containing ’12 semi-controlled bursts of hypnotic tape mulch, molten techno loops & asynchronous machine noise’, Howlround’s eighth studio album is now available to pre-order from Buried Treasure Records, ahead of its release on July 29th. Strictly limited edition CD with beautiful artwork in a cardboard slipcase complete with 20 page booklet of artwork and even a coaster, so you don’t spill your tea when the opening track blasts out of your speakers. The whole package is even more beautiful than I dared hope – and that includes the decidedly gnarly contents of the disc! There are only 100 copies in existence and sales have proved pretty brisk already, three weeks ahead of the release date, so it’s advisable not to sleep on this one. Click here to order your copy. Then while you’re waiting read this review from the lovely people at Freq which captures the essence and the spirit of the album so perfectly that you might not actually need to listen to it at all!
An elasticated whir-secting jive full of wording impressions, aural Rorschach blots that with every listen mysteriously reconfigure. Michael Rodham-Heaps, Freq
Elsewhere I’m very excited to announce that The Howling, my duo with Ken Hollings will be performing at London’s BFI Southbank on Wednesday 20th July as part of their regular Experimedia slot. We’re playing as a double bill with the premier screening of a brand new 4K restoration print of Ray Dennis Steckler’s 1964 trash classic ‘The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies?!’ Having only ever had access to the film through gooey 10th-generation VHS copies, I’m very excited to finally be able to witness the insanity of this freakshow classic in all its glory, and the restored clips I’ve seen so far look incredible. Tickets for the event are available here and the hilarious gruesome seedy fun starts at 18:15. Don’t miss out!
Unfortunately for annoying reasons beyond my control I’ve had to postpone my performance at Saturday’s Ealing Extranormal for a future date, but Howlround will still be returning to Iklectik on July 22nd as part of the latest event from my old friends Club Integral, alongside Nad Spiro, Robert Storey and Maya Yianni. Then the machines and I will return once more a fortnight later on August 5th, where I’m very excited to announce that for the first time in a very long time I shall be putting on an event of my own! FOGFEST! And just LOOK at this lineup I’ve managed to assemble! All of my first choices said yes!
It feels entirely right and proper to announce all this exciting activity during the landmark week that Howlround celebrates its tenth anniversary. For exactly one decade has elapsed since the project officially came to life on July 12th 2012 with the launch of debut album The Ghosts Of Bush, released to mark the day the BBC World Service finally left its home at Bush House in Aldwych.
To celebrate this anniversary I’ve commissioned Lucy Morrow better known as Captured by the Fuzz to recreate the project logo in her own inimitable style. And hasn’t she done a wonderful job of it?
Recorded in a series of overnight sessions in a long-abandoned basement studio and created entirely by processing the sounds of the building through a pair of ailing reel to reel tape machines, The Ghosts Of Bush marked the end of an era for the corporation, but the beginning of another, smaller, weirder, noisier one for me! That day began with the album featured on the Today Programme and finished with Gideon Coe ending his 6Music show – and the evening’s broadcasting – by playing a sizeable chunk of the first side. Then somehow it just kept going from there: a **** review in Record Collector, Simon Reynolds calling it ‘The ultimate Hauntological artefact’, comparisons to Aphex Twin and Burial, having to rush a second green pressing then a third white pressing due to unprecedented demand. Happy and unprecedented days indeed.
Thanks once again to Lucy for providing me with this fuzzy felt classic (find much more like it by perusing her Etsy and Instagram pages) and to Lisa Hack and Hannah Brown for providing the original photography all those years ago (check out Hannah’s current printworks by visiting kvist.co.uk). My gratitude also goes out, somewhat belatedly, to Gideon Coe, Stuart Maconie, Simon Reynolds and all the many, many people who supported the record and showed such enthusiasm in those early days. I have never ceased to be awed and humbled by the love so many people have for this album.
Ten years and ten official releases (eight studio albums and two split albums with Time Attendant and Marta De Pascalis respectively), plus innumerable compilation appearances, live shows at Coventry Cathedral, touring with William Basinski, playing a cavern beneath the streets of Copenhagen, a slightly weird venue in Portland with a huge pentagram on the ceiling… the project has come a long way. It’s also got quite a bit louder, weirder and darker in the intervening decade, but the essential philosophy remains the same: music created by manipulating acoustic sounds on magnetic tape, with all additional plugins, effects and artificial reverb strictly forbidden. My hope now is that people will take Trespass And Welfare to their hearts and ears in much the same way as they did The Ghosts Of Bush. After all, the basic premise is still the same… just that little bit more filthy!
PS Just to clarify the ‘****’ alluded to in Record Collector magazine was ‘a four star review’, not some kind of expletive outburst…