Thursday, December 27, 2012
Petals - Where Textus Became Textus, And How I Operated Within.
Petals - Thread Dome
Hairdryer Excommunication. Cassette. C36. 11 copies.
Although listening to Art Garfunkel on Christmas Day evening 2012 may not lead you to think I had Petals at the forefront of my mind, you’d be wrong. After a rather heartening and I must say superb pair of biryiani’s at the Eastern Spice this afternoon me and Mrs Fisher now sit relaxing in front of a roaring log fire listening to Art singing his ultra smooth cover of The Flamingo’s “I Only Have Eye’s For You” only for the thought to come upon me that even though this is the season to do not very much bar eat and drink to excess I still have Petals [and the rest of the review pile for that matter] at the forefront of my mind. There might not be much going on on the surface but underneath the cogs are
So goodbye Art’s ethereal choirboy vocal Johnny Walker Radio 2 puff piece and hello Petals scrape and drone tape experimentation. Welcome to my world. While the rest of the UK sits cabbaging in front of the Dr Who Christmas special I do my best to keep you up to date with all that's happening within the West Yorkshire noise environs and while Leeds may be the city de jour when it comes to all things noisy round these parts, its to Huddersfield, about ten miles away, that we find Kevin Saunders doing his Petals thing.
By sheer coincidence two Petals releases arrived within the space of a few days - neither could be further apart in construct; one a plain dubbed TDK CDR with a black and white paper wrapper, the other an A4 box called ‘How To Use A Law Library’ containing 80 slides and a cassette telling you how to use a law library - it was borrowed twice from Huddersfield Polytechnic library before becoming Hairdryer Excommunication fodder. It was given to me by Saunders at a recent WC gig at which moment an amused onlooking Undermeister was heard to have said ‘thats excessive by anybodies standards’ and indeed it is. Now all I have to do is find a home for it.
On the ridiculously named “We’re Gonna Get Fucking Drunk Tonight Boys” label we find Petals pushing the 40 minute barrier with a track that moves between the noise howl drone of “I Saw The Sun Shine Behind The Clouds” [the last Petals release to come through these hands] and the kind of free flowing noise experimentia that leads me to believe we have here someone who likes to dabble. During its 40 minute course we find ourselves being dragged along by a rolling thunder and an overhead plane that disappears into the distance, its a piece that in parts floats upon a bed of agitated polystyrene balls kept in place by the constant whirr of several servo motors, motors that are plugged directly into the national grid, a grid fluctuating in intensity depending on whether or not the nation has just got up to make a cup of tea during the ad break on the Corrieknocker Christmas special. A shifting noise drone that peaks and dies only to emerge in the final act amidst a sea of analogue data transmission.
Both sides of Thread Dome are murky affairs, shifting noises of an indeterminate nature some of which sound like they were recorded in Saunders kitchen where an AK47 was assembled against the dim background hum of a Korg synth. On the flip we find chattery drones, the sound of a TV, some mild TNB squeak and scrape, mumbled talk, rattling milk bottles and finally some tape bleed-through of a school choir singing with merry gusto. At its end more murky whirring and a long die out of melancholic proportions.
So what genre label do we stick on this kind of work then? The only one that will truly fit is experimental but that seems to be upsetting people these days. I’m happy to go with it though. I feel Saunders is trying things out, finding his feet, testing and ultimately, bravely experimenting. Hats off to that then. Great name for a label too. No not that one.
[Only 11 copies of thread Dome exist but downloads are available from the HE website. WGGFDTB available for not many pennies via their website.]