Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Nick Edwards / Stuart Chalmers.

I really enjoyed the last time I heard Stuart Chalmers, the split cassette with Robert Ridley-Shackleton called "Blunders" and I really like the Ekoplekz / Ensemble Skalektrik cassette that Feral Tapes released a few months back. Both projects are the brainchild of Bristol musician Nick Edwards, I enjoyed the tape so much I went and bought an LP by eMMplekz - yet another Edwards non-de-plume.  Great LP. So this tape seemed like a must have.
It does not disappoint but then at the same time doesn't really leap out of the tape machine screaming "play me again. play me again". It is a good release, a fascinating and at times highly enjoyable listen but it doesn't grab the ears ... if you know what I mean? (great song).
This split cassette is a C60. Nick Edwards gives us "Reflectograph Suite" a recording from 2011 that was used by video artist Jade Boyd for his installations in Poland and America. The sound is alien soundtracks, synth woosh and space bleeps. The sound immediately reminds me of early Throbbing Gristle cassettes, maybe Chris Carter solo recordings from 1975, and then there are times the sound is very close to those early Clock DVA tapes and long pieces carried titles like "Formlessness/anti-void" and suchlike. I imagine the accompanying films to be blurred technicolour and Kodachrome.
Stuart Chalmers presents "Subterranea" in four parts. Stuart's set up for this project is cassette players and effects pedals. Preslav Literary School territory, and the resulting sound is quite similar. Part One is a bit like Side A. Should be a soundtrack to space films. Part Two has a jazz feel with discordant keys, plucked double bass, ethereal flute and lazy rhythms. Great stuff, well constructed. Part Three  starts with annoying spastic breakbeat rhythms - finger wavers over the eject button - but it morphs in to some kind of scat-Gamelan before wandering off in to noodle land. Part Four is similar to Part One.
It's a good tape, worthy of a release and on a great label. Feral Tapes are building a great catalogue and is one that accompanies the Feral Debris fanzine well. (Eclectic, amusing and fascinating).
Neither pieces have put me off listening to either artist but they've done better ... and will release better in the future.
Feral Tapes have a facebook page (if you are that way inclined) and Feral Debris has a blog spot. Explore.

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