A festive mix from the Man like Ian Hodgson, reminding me I've been remiss in not proclaiming the existence of a new Moon Wiring Club album, Psychedelic Spirit Show, which arrived at its customary time of year a few weeks ago and is ruddy excellent.
PSS ventures further down the marshy path towards total entropy - sunken grooves, gappy beats, wilting tones, voices like flickery lantern-lit faces receding into foggy formlessness.
Even though PSS doesn't sound anything like it, the origins of the album lie in a just-for-fun exercise in making "drum & bass / jungle / raveish / whathaveyou tunes", Ian informs. The resulting 25 or so tracks - never intended for release, designed merely as a "meditational vibe / head-space cleaner process" - then became the mulch out of which grew a completely other project. Approaching the source material as if doing a mix, Ian took bits from one track and put them together with bits from different tracks. "I split each track into 3 sections ~ rhythm / melody / effects (voice samples and that) then applied numerous knackering techniques and filters, and began to construct whole new shonky-hybrid tunes overlaying a melody from one track with the rhythm of another. I called this process (wait for it) ‘unconscious compositioning’ - a way to distance myself from the predictable choices that you inevitably make when composing music for a number of years, and then being able to surprise myself with choices I wouldn’t wholly ever have made."
Less loftily, Ian also described the manky making of the album as "a bit like getting the dust out of an antique carpet with one of those wicker tennis racquet carpet beaters".
In an analogy that really couldn't be further up my alley, Ian further describes the final sequenced album as reminding him of "a car tape I had in the 90s. On one side was Grooverider The Prototype Years and on the other a selection of 60s/70s light entertainment tunes. If you imagine that tape festering in a glove compartment for 20 years until both sides play together simultaneously at the wrong speed..."
The Dream Perception Machine mix is also splendid seasonal stuff with a loose "Psychedelic Telly" thematic. In an apt time-twisty metaphor, Ian describes the contents as "retroactive inspirations" - the kind of stuff that could have informed the making of the album, except they didn't.
Psychedelic Spirit Show, incidentally, is a vinyl-only release, purchasable here (UK), here (Europe), or here (rest of world).
But - breaking with customary seasonal release rhythms - there looks likely to be a Moon Wiring Club compact disc in the spring.