Saturday, May 22, 2010

Culver/Matching Head

Culver & Waz Hoola - Maps of War [MH153]
Inseminoid [MH152]

The Prestidigitators vs The Purple Better One - Jazz Mag With Pages Stuck Together [MH150]
Murder Book - Anglo Angel [MH143]

Matching Head is the label that shouldn’t exist but clearly does. Releasing everything on shop bought cassette tape with black and white photocopied paper inserts its about as Luddite as you can get in 2008 but is all the better for it. 
Based in the North East of England Lee Stokoe’s label finds a home not just for his own excellent Culver drones but for an array of noise merchants, experimenters, twisted pop diablos and outré dabblers.
Now up to releases in the 150’s and with no sign of slowing down its always a pleasure to see a batch of MH tapes appear at Idwal Towers. 
And this batch is no exception. 
The North East bent is large and could be larger seeing as how I’ve no idea where Murder Book or Inseminoid hail from But The Prestidigitators vs The Purple Better One are the real NE muck in the pearl. Jazz Mag is an unremitting seething whump of top end 200 notes a second fret frot and drum abuse that is as sadistic as it gets in its homage to prime era Smell & Quim disturbance, This is not just pure homage though but a continuation of that lineage. The soft porn insert and general feel of top shelf newsagency filth is of course pure gold and sadly missed.
Inseminoid is Walls of Jericho noise in which Stukas dive bomb from 30,000 feet all guns rattling into a high trebly glissando guitar piece. Then you’re stuck in a tent on the Arctic ice cap whilst a blizzard whistles by at -40C. Then it’s John Fahey and all very confusing.
Murder Book’s Anglo Angel is a series of uninteresting circuit fluctuation but that disappointment is negated by the arrival of Culver and the Indian spinner Waz Hoola [and with a name like that he could be an Indian spinner]. Culver’s drone work is never less than immersive and this is no exception. Two tracks of key depression pulse and throb drift bringing to life a wheezing build of heavy nod out dopage.
MH releases are mostly one sided C90’s [at least the ones I’ve had through my hands have been] they’re affordable, inventive and a million miles away from an MP3 link in an email from someone you never heard of. So the sound quality is never going to be pristine but what are you some kind of clarity freak? Some of these sounds come alive in the hiss.  
Get a life gadget boy and buy into some real sounds.

Label: Matching Head. Prices: £1.50 UK/£2.50/$5 ROW
Lee Stokoe, 100 Saltwell Place, Gateshead, NE8 4QY, UK 
email: lee_stokoe [at]

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