Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Alan Courtis

It has taken me a while to want to mention recently acquired sounds on this blog, and for that I apologise. Over the past months it seems to be a blog to register the play listings on the MuhMur Radio Programme and link to the MixCloud archive. Again I apologise. I meant to keep up with the visit to secondhand record shops I visited on my travels and gigs I went to see, but life, work and having three young kids seem to have halted all that.
The last few "record reviews" I did seemed to anger the artist(e) and or label. Requests to delete my post etc and the for my last review I got an insulting personal missive from the label owner which made me think "is this really worth it?" so I stopped. "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all" as my mother used to say.

This year has been a good year for releases. There have been some mighty gems through the door at Hartop Towers. I try and play them on my radio programme but sometimes they slip through …

Alan Courtis, Anla Courtis, Anal Courtis the former guitarist with Reynols has just released a 10" on Nottingham's finest KIKS/Girlfriend Records. It's a limited edition lathe cut thing and one of the finest records I have heard all year. "Crystal Faisa" has two seven minute pieces. "Hamamatsu Crystal Piano" is exactly that. A recording of Alan playing the crystal piano that is at Hamamatsu Train Station in Japan. It is a melancholic piece that slowly falls in to chaos, but what appeals to my ears is the acoustics, the liveliness of the piece and the great feeling of space, the feint whisper of a tannoy announcement at the end is perfect. A magnificent construct of art. "Jaribo Y Faisa" is a small symphony for electric guitars. Layered guitars, atonal and droning creating a generator hum. I was immediately reminded of those Jim O'Rourke, Jim Plotkin and KK Null CD albums that appeared in the early 1990's. Stuff that used to be released by Charnel House, Extreme and Sentrax Corporation. For me that is the appeal.
I know the Courtis cannon is vast and it is only recently through his collaborations with Culver, Edward Sol and Kazuya Ishigami that I have given time for his work. In 2013 Anla kindly provided a "session" for MuhMur Radio.

This wonderful lathe cut is limited to 22 copies and available at www.kiksbooks.blogspot.co.uk

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