Thursday, January 05, 2012

Grey Park / Dear Beloved Henry / Albert Materia

Grey Park - Three Notes On Stockholm Palindrome
267 Lattajjaa. LTJ104. CDR

Dear Beloved Henry / Albert Materia
Split release on recycled cassette.
Hyster. Hyster13. 50 copies. 2€

Grey Park releases arrive like birthday cards with tenners in. Having said that Stockholm Palindrome doesn’t surpass The Odyssey of Juri Gagarin [which came in an inverted coffee bean bag] or Planned Confusion [which was … gasp, choke, a proper CD] it still manages to arrive covered in Finnish hoar frost though. These sparse deliveries from the Nordic climes are most welcome seeing as how I feel they convey the true spirit of the lone sonic adventurer - Yuri Gagarin was all Soviet radio broadcasts [in reverse], with star radiation pulse for company. Planned Confusion was lightly flecked experimental drone made with stuff kicking about on the floor. There was the odd single and cassette too but these two releases are the ones that are usually floating around here [mainly due to the fact that the coffee bag is so prominent].

Most GP releases have some kind of radio flicking going on in them, usually around the shortwave band, along with the feeling of having been stuck in a lonely house watching the snow come down. By treading a plank that wobbles between bedroom knob twiddler and art space pro Grey Park have managed to retain my interest over quite a number of years now.

Stockholm Palindrome’s three tracks have a mild leaning towards Industrialism especially with an opening of heavy machinery drone in which a deeply buried generator fights it out with a buffeting wind. A mild aversion to all things Industrial is no bad thing indeed and Grey Park’s daubing in the medium are fine things to indulge in. The needle stuck in a run out groove, the TV voices, the morose drones, tape reverse, air raid warnings, the lonely mariachi trumpet wail of the climax to Morricone’s Fistful of Dollars soundtrack layered, looped and morphed into new weirdness and then a noisy burst before spoken voices, a madman singing, Diamanda Galas being strangled, all of it petering out like a dying Geiger counter. Chuck in some enigmatic track titles [M.2.T.2010, 2.2.T.P.A., F.A.F.O.D] and its another winner.

Hyster are Finnish too. I remember them for a particularly impressive live Dieter Müh release and for the fact that all their releases arrive on recycled cassette. Who Dear Beloved Henry is I have no idea though. Here he give us a single 24 minute track of tape spool drone, sea side organ slowed and distorted, fingers on fast running capstans until a revelation of its source; a Casio thump beat, a two chord keyboard chug with plenty of right hand plink to while away the dying minutes.

Albert Materia’s mainly piano built songs sound like Cecil Taylor doing a David Sylvian impression in French. On the first track you can actually hear him approach the piano and take a drink before cracking his knuckles and launching into a song in which each machine gun strike of the piano matches a vocal utterance.

Anyone familiar with David Sylvian’s more out there moments will feel a similarity with the eleven minute, self explanatory ‘Lullaby’. The French [?] accent, the mournful, wobbling delivery, the minor chords, the sense that I feel Materia is making this up as he goes along all adds to the charm of the piece. With his voice wavering between a dithering falsetto and a stuttering fa fa fa f-f-f-f-resh-ness he manages to imbue his songs with a naivety thats rarely found these days. His lyrics are also worth hearing:

I am the people
Where is my heart?
I am the chatter
I am the the noise, noise
I am the springtime noise

Its all rather marvelous. Somebody should give him a recording contract.

Contact: 267 Lattajjaa

Contact: Hyster

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