Eye For Detail - Midwich Remixed
The end of 2014 finds me and Mrs Fisher in Scarborough's old town. Where for a week, with no internet, in a three storied 'Fisherman’s Cottage' that looks suitably narrow and Georgian from the outside but holds all manner of hideous idiosyncrasies once inside, we do little else but read books and take long walks in the winter sunshine. The views across the south bay and the spectacular winter sunrises will live with us for years but to see that sunrise you have to kneel down in front of the top floor window first. To get to the top floor you have to climb two sets of narrow stairs while clinging to bannisters and railings for fear of falling backwards and to certain A&E. For this is the biggest problem with our ‘Fisherman’s Cottage’, it hasn't got one level surface anywhere. The kitchen slopes slowly down towards the sea from the front door. The bathroom drops two foot on one axis and one foot on another. Going to the shower from the toilet you have to actually lean forward and swing your arms to generate a modicum of inertia that will allow you to make the journey in one go. Of the twin beds available I foolishly pick the one in the corner of the room and discover on the first night that its has a left to right list of around 15 degrees meaning I spend most nights with my right leg flung over the top edge of the bed in a bid to stop me ending up on the floor. Now take in to account the fact that I have a cold that comes complete not only with a runny nose but a fuzzy head and a blood/alcohol level thats more alcohol than blood and you have some idea of the difficulties in navigating this residence. For seven days me and Mrs Fisher move around like passengers on a listing ship, clinging to each other as we pass on the landings or passing tips on the location of loose floorboards or sections of spongy lino. Its like being trapped in an Escher diagram with a view of Scarborough in the background. But hey! at least it wasn't cheap what with this being Christmas an all.
And lets not forget the boiler that releases a deathly rattle from its locked cupboard every five minutes or the fixtures that fall apart if you touch them or the shelves that you cant actually put things on for fear of them dropping to the floor and ending up at your feet or whichever corner of the room happens to have the lowest point. Or the doors that swing open of their own accord or the patches of damp that inhabit most corners or the TV that has a screen that’s about the same size as the new iPhone. But at least its warm and it needs to be because outside its absolutely fucking freezing.
On New Years Eve we wobbled down from the Alma to the Leeds Arms where at midnight we locked arms with the locals in a drunken bout of bon honomie. When new years day came around I found that I hadn’t got a hangover. No, instead I discovered I’d been poisoned. I guess its much the same thing. When I did lift my weary frame form the wonky bed it was past midday and the chance of seeing the local lunatics jump in the North Sea for their new years day swim had gone. After a brief visit with the outside world where freezing cold horizontal rain lashed into our faces we hunkered down for the rest of the day in front of the fire.
It was here that I decided now would be the time to give Eye For Detail a spin. I’d listened to bits of it before but the delicate nature of some of what I’d heard told me I needed to give it my fullest attention. Such was my mental and physical distress that I was able to listen to all three hours and forty minutes of it with but one break, that being the time I got up to put the kettle on to replace vital body fluids.
Eye For Detail finds 27 artists/projects/people remixing Rob Hayler’s Midwich material and, this is the best bit, its all for charidee. If you pay the five pounds thats been asked for this three hours and forty minutes worth of wonderment [you can give more of course should you so wish] it will all go to the Red Cross. When Rob hit the £100 mark a while back he made one of those huge cardboard cheques that you see being handed over to lottery winners and sent it off in an extra big envelope. Eye For Detail has since gone on to make even more money [I’m not sure how much but its more] and gathered praise by those who’ve heard it.
During that three hours and forty minutes I was lifted from my cups by the calming sounds of Clive Henry doing his best not to get too noisy. Eye For Detail as morphine for hangovers. Highlights abound; Foldhead surprised me, and no doubt a few others, by resisting the temptation to go nuclear and delivering instead a sci-fi wasteland where desert winds on distant planets blow to no one. I was happy to see someone revisit Tiny Muscle, an early Midwich work thats long been a favourite, it being that perfect cycling head bobber, here its given a wonderful ear panning lift and added granulation courtesy of Piss Superstition. Under the Weather [or a variant thereof] is a chill out anthem gone wonky in the best possible way twisting the thing into shapes that it shouldn’t go but does. YOL shows he’s capable of delivering on the remit by retching and stuttering the word Stoma [a Midwich track of course] into a dictaphone. Quite stunning. And not only a stunning collection of work but a benchmark of some of those known to work within the ‘No Audience Underground’. A starting block for some, me included, with quite a few names being unfamiliar to me.
Those names being:
John Tuffen and Orlando Ferguson
the piss superstition
My go to hangover album, as they say somewhere.