Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Living in the South West (of the UK) I am always interested to hear what is happening in this area in the field of "experimental" music. Searching out the occult, the sub-culture if you like. Whilst trawling the internet I found out about a project called Joined By Wire from Bath. Royal Bath. Bath Spa. Trawling deeper i find that Joined By Wire have released a CDR on Bristol label LF Records. Time to take a listen. Now I know that the easiest way to hear unheard of bands / sound / music etc is by clicking on their My Space site but in the past few weeks My Space and me have fallen out, big time so I don't go there anymore. So I bought the CDR direct from LF Records ( www.lfrecords.autmusic.com ) ...who kindly mailed me 3 CDR's with no explanation as to why, but I am eternally grateful. LF Records are not up there with the great labels of Bristol like Fried Egg or Heartbeat but I suppose these are early doors for the folk and it'll take time to find their feet. Listening to all three albums in one go (Joined By Wire got played twice) I was thinking of the Canadian VHF Records label and/or the London based 1990's label Freek Records.
I shall explain.
Duncan Bruce "New Glass Tapu" (lf005) from 2008 comes with no information in one of those horrible clam case thingies...The name sounds Scottish but somehow I knew this guy was from New Zealand. There are a few good tracks on this album. "Salem's Loft" (great title) standing out. Lovely church organ drones and multi-layering of effects filled the room where I was. A lot of tracks are what I would term Jazz-Skronk. There was a lot of it about 15 or so years ago. I didn't like it then and I am not all that keen now. Ascension. Skullflower (VHF years). Scratching amplified guitar strings, sax blurt and tippy-tappy (bloody) cymbals. Annoyance. Discordant piano. Musicians with double barrel names record albums like this. Nine tracks. Three out of Nine.
Garnett James "Protect And Survive" (lf006) was recorded live in 2003 at The Cube in Bristol. Having played live there myself I must say...beautiful venue and one of Bristol's finest. The Cube is an independent cinema with a stage in front of the screen, seating about 200 folk and a bar that has Wasabi Peas as well as crisps. like I said...one of Bristol's finest venues. The Garnett James album is musique concret. I could imagine it was great loud and live with visual stimuli, but it doesn't hold up as a (on its own) release.
Finally I got to Joined By Wire and quite frankly was not holding great expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. The CDR is called "Black Axis 1-4" (lf 008) and comes in a choice of silver or gold sleeves. Like Henry Kelly, I was always going for gold. Joined By Wire fit in to the drone. sonambulent, noise, industrial genre. Tracks 1 and 4 are great. Track 1 starts off like an awakening, an assemblage building in to a gathering. I could visualise sunrise across the African and Artic tundras as the sound built like a call to arms. Reminded here of Helm and Zoviet*France. Track 4 is like a battle. It sounds like track 1 processed through a multitude of effects, again very Helm, very attention grabbing and listenable. tracks 2+3 seem to be radio disturbance, problems with the wires. Of the three releases I certainly would get more Joined By Wire stuff. Garnett James..no, and Duncan Bruce...well....
Like all small (very) independent labels LF Records (3 Ashgrove Road, Bristol. BS3 3JP, UK) needs support and encouragement. I wholly recommend Joined By Wire and if free-style jazz-skronk-concret-exquisite is your gold then please visit their web site.
1: Duncan Bruce "New Glass Tapu"
2: Garnett James "Protect & Survive"
3: Joined By Wire "Black Axis 1-4"