Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Darren Tate
Edition

Fungal 025

CD
£8.99


Limited self-released disc from this UK underground stalwart, long term collaborator with Andrew Chalk, Colin Potter, Daisuke Suzuki et al. This one is based around still pools of slow-pulsing organ tone into which Tate drops tiny mesmeric bubbles of single-note activity that bloom into beautiful lambda-massaging crystalline structures. Also features some great extended shots of teleport tones that sound like an alien invasion scored by the Radiophonic Workshop and the usual epically lonesome atmosphere that at points almost parallels Steven Stapleton's work on Nurse With Wound's A Salt Marie Celeste and at others - especially the delayed guitar touches - Heather Leigh's work with Scorces. Comes in a die-cut sleeve. Recommended.

Darren Tate & Ian Holloway
The Earth In Play

Fungal 039

CD
£8.99


New album from these two regular UK underground collaborators. Holloway plays piano, wooden flute and sea recordings while Tate plays squeeze-box, guitar and percussion. Slow symphonic psychedelic drone sunk deep inside hallucinatory environments.

Ferial Confine
The Full Use Of Nothing

Siren 021

CD
£14.99


Necessary deluxe CD upgrade for one of the key founding documents of the UK underground: Ferial Confine was the early solo project of Andrew Chalk, who at the time had connections to fellow avant travellers like Ramleh/Broken Flag and The New Blockaders. The Full Use Of Nothing was originally released on cassette by Chalk in the mid-80s and later briefly issued on vinyl. It parallels the early TNB recordings in its use of all electro/acoustic soundings, primarily metal and even the sound of cupboard doors banging in Chalk’s parents’ house while long-term collaborator Darren Tate appears on bowed autoharp (indeed Tate also gave the album its title).
The sound is sensual, textural free noise but with none of the harshness associated with TN, Ramleh or Whitehouse at al. At points the crawling/bubbling tectonics border on a form of metallic eroticism, cushioned by the kind of distant soft drones that Andrew would later amplify and expand on in his solo work. There are sections of forlorn classical piano bisected with dizzying laminal drones that give the music an undeniable feeling of haunted nostalgia, making for some of the most striking – and strikingly melancholy – UK noise music of the age. Very hard to extrapolate from the ‘base’ materials and process involved in its creation to the grandeur and complexity of its final form but this new edition sounds better than ever, allowing you to dive deep into the complex contours of this radical set of DIY compositional beauty. Long a secret influence on the whole of the UK underground, parts of this recording were later plundered by The New Blockaders on 1995’s TNB Est Mort! Comes in a gorgeous hard card slipcase with Japanese obi strip. Highly recommended!

Mixed Band Philanthropist
The Impossible Humane

Staubgold #129

LP
£16.99


Inspired reissue of one of the all-time oddball UK Industrial/experimental underground classics, Mixed Band Philanthropists’s legendary The Impossible Humane. MBP was a pseudonym for Richard Rupenus of The New Blockaders and pals who put to together this insane LP in 1987 with the help of a bunch of cassette contributions from a veritable who’s-who of DIY/avant gods. MBP then dredge the whole thing through several layers of impossible aural logic until you have one of the most spectacularly grid-locked and obsessively dense sides of scattershot/ plunderphonic noise/drone never released by United Dairies and this side of Orchid Spangiafora. Includes appearances from Nurse With Wound, Andrew Chalk, Nihilist Assault Group, The New Blockaders, Organum, Asmus Tietchens, Smegma, Tom Recchion, Merzbow, The Haters, Giancarlo Toniutti, HNAS, P16.D4, Vortex Campaign and more. Obsessive, endlessly intricate and inspired in its construction, simultaneously crude and sophisticated in its unfolding, pretty much the apex of underground/DIY collage tape work. Highly recommended!

Andrew Chalk
Circle Of Days

Faraway Press FP-023

LP
£16.99


Stunning new elaborately assembled handmade LP from legendary UK soundist and big VT fave Andrew Chalk: Circle Of Days consist of a selection of shorter tracks that focus around minimal organ, steel strings and field recordings. The organ tracks are luminous, beautiful, hovering around pools of slowly fluxing drone and with aching, hymnal melodies that come over like a cough syrup take on the English eternities of the Canterbury crew while giving the nod to 20th century minimalists like Steve Reich, Charlemagne Palestine and Tony Conrad. But as with all of Chalk’s work there’s a fragility, a delicate desolate quality that is marked by very particularly nuanced field recordings and subtle, almost music box melodies, combined in a way that works to transport you into a reverie of days past. This feels like one of Chalk’s most instrumentally focussed works and although the delicate, lugubrious melodies on display here may seem a thousand miles from his flesh/metal experiments as Ferial Confine there’s a wounded quality to the sonics, a feel of pained remembrance that links his entire discography, even if now it feels like there is some kind of acceptance and near-resolution. Stately, beautiful, profoundly affecting, no one makes music – or vinyl artefacts! – like Chalk and this is another stunning folk/art masterpiece. Very highly recommended!

Tom James Scott
Teal

Skire SKR-03

LP
£14.99


Edition of 300 copies private press LP that reissues what was originally a tiny private press cassette issued earlier this year in a miniscule run of only 35 copies from UK soundist/pianist Tom James Scott: this is a gem of a recording, recorded during the summer of 2013 after Scott returned to his hometown on the North-West coast of England, and moving between lush, endlessly deep sound environments and moments of spare stasis. Scott describes it as evoking “the tensions and ease of summer spent in a place haunted by distant memories and fading childhood sentiment” and that’s as good a description as any of the endlessly suspended quality of the music. It seems to exist in an alternate dreamtime, a mis-remembered place of childhood that might never have taken place, with slow sighing tones, endless vistas of crystal clear glissing tones with blooms of distant birdsong flowering in the depths and cloudy feedback hymns to the giving up of memory. The sounds of the sea and the shore feature heavily, in line with the sleeve, as gorgeous, slightly off-kilter delicate piano lines fall like distant rain and the sun drones down on the sand. Features heavenly electric piano stylings and haunted source sonics from Andrew Chalk as well as clarinet by J N Rebilly. A landmark side, beautifully presented and very highly recommended!