Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sapir Whorf

I have just been reading the excellent Idwal Fisher blog and his review / comment on the latest release from Hyster Tapes, the Uton / Grey Park split, I've had the cassette for a while and have been meaning to spill a few words on the tape, but time and tide etc. It is one of the finest releases this year. In the review / comment Idwal goes to mention the concept of "genre" called the "No Audience Underground", a group of folk who release tapes and CDr's in ultra limited format to a core audience of around a couple of dozen and that is the end of it .. the artists don't care that the work is only being heard by a minuscule audience and the minuscule audience consider themselves privileged to be hearing the sounds ... or something like that. The term "No Audience Underground" was coined by Rob Hayler of Fencing Flat Worm / Midwich fame. There's a video clip of Simon Reynolds (an author whose "Rip It Up" book was considered toilet paper here at Hartop Towers) on vimeo discussing the concept at a symposium in Tilburg. (The link can be found on the Idwal Fisher blog site).

So, these couple of releases came through from Striate Cortex the other day. Striate Cortex are a label based in Lincolnshire so when any of their releases make there way to me they go straight to the top of the pile! Biased? ... Oh yes. Striate Cortex packaging stands out - time and care coupled with ingenuity and craftsmanship. Two fingers up the anus for those folk who only download stuff onto their computers or iPods. Fuck them.! Striate Cortex releases are a pleasure and a treasure to own - we are not talking disposable pop here ...
Sapir Whorf is the solo project of James Moore from Black Mountain Transmitter. It is a beautiful name. "Phase 1 : Preliminary Investigations" is a twenty minute sketch book of selected speculative electronic elements originating from archival oxide media. Eight small vignettes of electronic sound. Old sequencers and synthesizers making the twenty minutes sound like an early Throbbing Gristle studio tape, or an early Broken Flag tape or something that came out on Deleted Records or Integrated Circuit thirty odd years ago. It's a fresh sound, but then the comparisons I have used are timeless. The sounds are on a 3"CDr and packaged with an eight page booklet and enveloped in thick black card. Sapir Whorf "Phase 1" is a classic piece of audio art - limited to 70 copies and available to the no audience underground through Striate Cortex at

I await Phase 2 ...

1: Sapir Whorf booklet cover.
2: Pages from the booklet.
3: Interior of envelope.
4: Disc and insert.

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