Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Over the past couple of years I have picked up a couple of excellent cassette releases on Sound Holes, the independent label from Aberdeen. Releases by BBBlood and Duncan Harrison regularly make it to the tape deck, so I was pleasantly surprised when Daniel (head sound hole) posted me a box of tapes and CDr's to get my ears round.
Over the past 36 hours I have been playing / listening to some of the contents of that box, some may have noticed that I slipped in some Picasso Trigger on the last "MuhMur" radio broadcast. Picasso Trigger may or may not be the solo project of Endless Time member Kevin McEleney, the cassette "The End Of The Whole Mess" is certainly a tape of two halves. "Mind Field" is an excellent slice of low-end drone with sounds swirling and pulsating around and across the speakers, certainly a sound to drift away in. "Submissive & Willing" begins with atonal frequencies being pitched and then looped... interesting...then some electro-filigree creeps in before the track goes all cosmick and ends up sounding like a bad Greensleade LP from the mid 1970's. A shame.
I have to point out here that the dubbing of the tapes is pretty poor - the VU meter stays permanently in the red. Nuances are lost, which is a shame. The Roadside Picnic cassette is unplayable because of this - and the sound keeps cutting out of the left-hand speaker.
The David Russell Snake cassette; "Mirror Mirror" is messy plunderphonics and circuit bending, and hasn't made it all the way through side one yet...
At the start of the year Paul Watson (aka The Baron Bum Blood) recommended Lust For Youth - a band to listen out for. Sound Holes bring us "White Skin", a C23 with four pieces. Again the dubbing leaves a lot to be desired, but after listening to the "improv. electronic" sounds of Picasso Trigger and The David Russell Snake it is great to hear some structured pieces. My surprise is that Lust For Youth (who may or may not be Swedish ... could be Danish, I'm uncertain) sound like a band that should have been on Factory Records in 1984. They have the polyphonic keyboard sound of New Order, The Wake and Section 25 and the rhythms of Stockholm Monsters. "Never Looking Back" reminds me of early New Order and "The Curse" sails closely to The Wake sound. "White Skin" sounds like it is an extract from a longer improvisational piece and brings Section 25's "Key Of Dreams" to mind. I may be way off here - but that's what it sounds like to me. If only the recording levels were "slightly" better. When I get a chance I'm going to play the Lust For Youth track on the Utmarken triple cassette release from last year ... I don't remember Lust For Youth sounding like this!
I have a few more Sound Holes releases to play...looking forward..there is a sampler CDr available where Daniel has mixed in pieces from the last dozen or so releases to create a grand 45 minute track. Go to www.sndhls.com and bag some beauties.
1: Sound Holes poster.
2: Picasso Trigger, Roadside Picnic, The David Russell Snake & Lust For Youth tapes.
3: Lust For Youth tape cover.
4: Sound Holes postcard.
5: Sound Holes business card.
6: Sound Holes sticker.