Thursday, November 26, 2020

Hauntology(+outernational) Parish Newsletter Xmas 2020

(I don't know what's up with Blogger but since they changed the user-interface, I've not been able to embed things from Bandcamp Soundcloud et al. So pardon me for just linking)

A new release from Lo Five - TONIC - reminds me that I most remissly omitted to mention here his July release The Art of Living. Both that and the new batch are chips off the same lustrous-grey block as Geography of the Abyss, which became one of my favorite releases of 2019, and one I've returned to regularly since. Its rain-streaking-down-the-windowpane feel seems to fit this glum, withdrawn year, offering solace and calm. This year's releases build on this special sound Neil Grant has found, which pulls off the same trick as prime Ekoplekz in so far as you sense the coordinates (in Lo Five's case, BoC, Bush of Ghosts etc) but the mood and palette is distinctive - belongs to him alone. 

release(s) rationale(s)

'The Art of Living' is a collection of music I made between the summer of 2019 up to the month of release.

Without going into detail this has been an intense period of personal turmoil due to multiple family health crises and bereavements, plus of course the halting consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

During this period I have found comfort and perspective in the writings of the Stoic Philosophers, which has inevitably influenced the sounds. Hopefully these philosophies and sounds can offer some comfort to you too.

Stay safe X


Presenting TONIC: a collection of jams and experiments with no real cohesion or grand unifying concept.

These tracks were, for the most part, recorded straight out of the mixer to a stereo recorder. I did this so I could concentrate on the more enjoyable, spontaneous, creative side of making music, but it also left me in a situation where I couldn't do much to polish them up afterwards - not that I particularly wanted to anyway.

I wasn't sure what to do with these tracks and I wanted to draw a line under them, mainly so i could stop thinking about what to do with them and just get on with my life.

So for what it's worth, here it is - some music I made that soundtracked drizzly lockdown walks on a desolate Wirral beach. Maybe they can accompany your lockdown excursions too. Take care x

Twin town exchange student Mart Avi has a new album of Estonian / Esperanto never-neverpop out in a few weeks time, Vega Never Sets, on Porridge Bullet  - trailed by the gorgeous single "Feather". (You might remember his single from earlier in the year, "Soul Reaver")

release rationale: 

Like a sheet of paper folded into a cylinder holds up to dozens of kilograms, and animated characters defy gravity, ‘Feather’ presents its physique in a gentle manner.

Accompanying the main track are two alternative versions with warped phasing as well as “an ocular version” – that is, a video made using the game creation system ‘Dreams’ on PlayStation 4. Created by Avi and Ivar Murd, the visual saturates the single’s elusive charge with surrealist horizons, serene vistas, and encounters with Jungian dream figures.

There's an excellent new album from Fifth World mischief makers Artetetra, in their Babau guise and titled Stock Fantasy Zone.

release rationale:

"Stock Fantasy Zone is a new album by Babau dedicated to the unearthly delights of unconscious reticular motion, wacky 2D shredding and daily side quests. Directly from inside the Stack, finally imagine a zone where all activities are possible but purposeless, all primary objectives are achieved without even moving and the game-logic has finally disappeared leaving back a virtual fauna of forsaken babbling Npc’s and uncharted, yet to be tested stockpiles of maps and levels.
Lofty low poly structures, tentacular mickey-mousing gesticulations, already obsolete sonic ontologies and the unsung age of Dreamcast workfantasy frenzy. All and all, just another day spent testing the margins and edges of the simulation without leaving your Sofa. Don’t wait! Enter the Stock Fantasy Zone!"

A new Artetetra label compilation, Exotic ésotérique Vol.3, is due in December, and there's a beyond-music project being launched involving many contributors, myself among them.