Sunday, September 14, 2014

More from Leeds: Piss Superstition, Vibracathedral Orchestra and Sheepscar Light Industrial

The Piss Superstition - Getting Nothing To Appear On The Developed Film
Fencing Flatworm Recordings. CDR/DL + Booklet. 50 Copies.

The Piss Superstition - The Dialed Number, The Bone-Breaker, The Heavenly Sword
Sheepscar Light Industrial. SLI.025. 3”CDR/DL. 50 Copies.

Claus Poulsen - Pressure Point
Sheepscar Light Industrial. SLI.026. 3”CDR/DL. 50 Copies.

TST - Tsim Sha Tsui
Sheepscar Light Industrial. SLI.027. 3”CDR/DL. 50 Copies.

Vibracathedral Orchestra - REC-REH 13
No Label. CDR. 50 Copies.

Are we ‘Extracting’ here? I suppose we are. Again. And why not? As someone on the telly once said. Except for Vibracathedral Orchestra, who by some weird instance of synchronicity I was listening to whilst flicking through the new Wire only to see them featured in the current issues ‘Invisible Jukebox’. They're not extracting they’re improvising and droning. Keep up at the back there.

Piss Superstition won last years Zebedee award over at RFM with ‘Vocal Learning’ a mysterious lump of sludge that managed to sound like noise and drone and improv all rolled up into an amorphous jelly filled balloon that vibrated your ears. A vigorous piece of noise for sure and one that laid on you like a heavy blanket from which you struggled to escape.

‘Getting Nothing To Appear On The Developed Film’ fits the bill once again with three tracks and thirty minutes of synth keys stabbed at random in a one there, one there, and one there, oh that gives us a bit of rhythm, but rhythm in a broken leg disco fashion. There’s no way on earth anyone could dance to this unless they were on drugs of their own making. These are black, shape shifting drones of a deep and dark nature, the kind of drones you’d find in an Eraserhead outtake, radiator music for the 2014 Leeds generation. Third track ‘Risen Glass’ is the prime cut, steam leaks of an analogue nature, ruptures in cold pipework, conduit cracked and twisted but still managing to carry the load. Inserted into this release comes a tiny hand-typed booklet of Haiku poetry, which I’m thinking is the work of FFR’s bearded wonder. Only 50 copies and mines number 23. Swoon.

The Piss protagonists are Julian Bradley and Paul Steere and they have to be doing something right when you’re struggling to pigeon hole the damned thing. What they’re doing is mutating drone into new avenues - not something you get to say everyday. These are drones meant to fill a back to back terraced house living room not the Tate Modern [though I’ve no doubt that this is entirely possible]. An audience of three for a gig in the front room of a Victorian terraced house in LS6 would be the ideal setting.

The latest trio of Sheepscar Light Industrial releases sees Piss Superstition in similar territory with only the last track ‘Heavenly Sword’ inching into more familiar terrain with a guitar sustain shouldering up to a desk fan whose fins are broken and are rubbing against its protective wire cover. Heavenly feedback of a sustained chord nature crumbles into atomized granular squares. 

TST are Extractionists to the tip of their analogue prodding little fingers. The trio that is Thomas, Thomas and Sanders account for at least five labels and who knows how many projects and side projects that are at the very heart of the Extraction matter.  Their slowly shifting patterns of analogue drone murk are brain sinewaves as recorded whilst watching hypnotic DVD’s of city centre traffic patterns, preferably Leeds.

Claus Poulsen is a Danish improvisor of an electronic ambient nature who got fed up of being in bands and decided to go it alone. Judging from what I hear here he’s going in the right direction. First track 'Pressure Points' uses field recordings of an urban nature and the odd synth stab. I thought that my CD had that badly dubbed skipping sound on it but when I went to the SLI bandcamp page and listened again it was still there. Second track 'Inner Space Re-Imagined' has a comfortable lost in the middle of nowhere feel to it, Mahler’s 3rd as played on plastic didgeridoo’s as gentle wandering synth blobs fill the background, distant winds, the clunk of dead metal, bugs having their conversations recorded and played out over shitty iPod speakers.

Which brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Julian Bradley, Vibracathedral Orchestra and REC-REH 13. Twas whilst flicking through the new Wire and listening to the Vibra’s that I mused to myself, ‘why don’t you listen to them more often’? Whats not to like? They’re fucking great. The first track here’ll do it for you. The best bit of the best gig by the best band in the world before its oh so cruelly segued away before your very eyes into something new.  Its why Cope gets so excited about em and people pay top dollar for the rare stuff. Not just drone but improv rock drone teetering forever on the edge of greatness or total collapse, banged drums, chugging guitars, sawed violins, Mick Flower bashing his Japanese banjo, plucking the thing to death, Bradley’s frotted riffs, Campbell's bobbing head, crashed cymbals, maracas, depth charge analogue synths, snake charmer’s horns. delirious off the wall up there and down there drock [drone/rock geddit?] That they don’t always ‘click’ is part of the appeal. It comes with the territory but when they do there’s little to compare. Sixty minutes worth of recordings as laid down last year somewhere in Leeds.

Tracking VCO material down is a different matter - these have all gone. You could do worse than try Campbell's Big Cartel page just in case they make some more due to consumer demand.




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