Monday, August 05, 2013

Sheepscar Light Industrial 16,17,18

Tuluum Shimmering - Inside The Mountain
Sheepscar Light Industrial.
SLI/016 - 3” CDR

Daniel Thomas and Kevin Sanders - Transit Times Variations
Sheepscar Light Industrial.
SLI/017 - 3” CDR

Plurals - Glands Extraction
Sheepscar Light Industrial.
SLI/018 - 3” CDR

It would appear that me and Daniel’s schedules are now completely out of whack. Daniel does exactly the right thing by releasing three releases every three months and I do one review a week ... If the sap’s rising and the winds blowing in the right direction.

So it seems entirely predictable that just as Sheepscar Light Industrial release its next batch of groovy three inchers I find myself, only at this very late juncture, getting to grips with the last lot. Not exactly fingers on pulses but better late than never I suppose.

The wait has been worth it though. Far from running out of steam and offering up mates rates deals SLI continues to deliver quality material for the enlightened connoisseur. Three, three inch CDR’s usually works out to around an hours worth of entertainment, that when backed up with stark, generic, black and white covers and an easy to navigate website leaves everybody and me going home happy. SLI’s continued success means that each 50 run release disappears faster than the free money at a broken ATM but don’t worry there’s always the downloads. Its the quality of the sounds on offer that keeps the punters coming back. A reflection not only on label cheese Daniel Thomas’ keen ear but no doubt his own highly eclectic tastes too.

And just when you think you’ve got a grip on a label and you can put them in a box along with A,B and C they throw you a curve ball so devastating it takes the legs from under you leaving you with a cracked skull and eyelids full of dancing stars. Tuluum Shimmering are the surprise package this time around. No, I have no idea who they, he, she or it are but what they make is meditative, peaceful, gamelan, bamboo stick, Indian violin saw, flute and moaning devotional raga of a sort that had me deep in an ashram with the scent of joss sticks staining my clothes wanting to get all mystical and devout [its probably the nearest I’ll get]. ‘Inside The Mountain’ could have been made in a dope stinking squat in West Germany in 1974 or Ladakh in 1960 when a keen amateur sound recordist stumbled upon a group of Buddhist monks chanting at 4.30 in the morning just before sun up. Its effect is enough to make me want to play this ad nauseum thus extending its soporific head nodding effects into my own personal oblivion. If I’d have adopted a lotus position and joined in with some finger clinking cymbals of my own I reckon I could have been halfway to being a Hari Krishna devotee by now.

Things return to a considerably more familiar territory with the final two releases. The Plurals with a track that ends with some fine guitar neck banging in a oh-lets-see-what-happens-when-I-turn-this-thing-up-all-the-way-to-ten-and-bash-the-buggery-out-of-it kind of way but not before first emptying the sense with the echo of empty factory spaces and the electronic burbles of various gadgets as triggered by the touching of things with other things. There’s moaning too but I’m guessing it comes from whatever was poked on the table and not from someone with a spiritual thought in mind. When the clatter begins its impressive with the guitar being unleashed from its perambulatory proddings to do what guitars really do best - make a howling racket. At times it sounds as if the player is actually doing battle with the instrument, face to face, strings being scuzzed over with ten bob bits ruining fret board and fingers alike before it all becomes too much and collapses into a series of prop planes warming up before take off.

When Thomas teams up with that other West Yorks habitue Kevin Sanders the results tend to end up with lots of space in them. Literally.  Transit Times Variations ended up getting a mention from NASA after the pair titled one of their works after a NASA mission that shared a name with a group of streets in downtown Sheepscar … or something like that. Floaty, nether effervescence, electronic dust motes, calming and reflective, droney and captivating. You can let this wash over you or you can concentrate, trying to pick up where this is all coming from and, like me, probably failing. From a muffled lo-fi beginning things develop at about the same pace as a weak pulse until in its final death throes a throbbing thud makes it presence felt. Highly enjoyable. All of it. Here’s to 19,20 and 21.

[I even got a sew on patch for my denim jacket. Now all I need is a denim jacket.]


 Sheepscar Light Industrial

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