Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Neil Campbell

I felt like listening to some master "drone" material today, the mood fell upon me whilst I was picking out stuff to play at work and I plumped for (amongst other things) a CDr by Neil Campbell. I have had this release for a while now and love it dearly but because of the barely visible print on brown card which then has been spray painted I have no idea of the title, the label, the track titles or the year of release. Admittedly my eyesight is not that good but this "sleeve" is infuriating!
I reckon I have had this CDr for about seven or eight years now and it is always a pleasant listen. Track One sounds like an Astral Social Club backing track. Work In Progress. Apart from track 4 the whole CDr has a "Work In Progress" feel about it, anyway, track one has dronal keyboards throughout. In the old days (1980's b.l. ... before laptops) to get the ideal "drone" I used to push a piece of lead ( electric lead / cable ... not lead as in the stuff that is nicked off church roofs) under a key to hold down a note on a cheap keyboard. Holding the note, then I would manipulate the sound through effects or multi-layer on the 2-Track / 4-Track whatever was available Track.
Neil does this on this CDr alot. Tracks 1 - 3. Track One has a synthetic dripping sound throughout, track two is a short "tangerine dream" style blast, whereas track three is back to the drone with analog synth knobbery supreme. The sound is very claustrophobic. not ideal for headphones or i-pods etc. I find this CDr is best played with windows, doors wide open and to move around a bit so the full sound can be experienced with "outside" interference. Traffic, birds, the general public passing by - that kind of thing.....
Track 4 is a beautiful piece of Organum like drone. Heavy Industrial, scraping and bowing of noise. Classic and complete.

What this album is.....its' availability etc, I do not know. It is up there in the Campbell arsenal with the "Sol Powr" album...perhaps some label will re-release to make it a common item for musical drone collectors????


1: CDr Card Sleeve.
2: CDr.


  1. Hey Steve,
    I have this cdr too & fortunately the writing on my copy is much clearer.
    Track titles are "Boomerang Is Love" / "Asteroid Taproom" / Jet Target Dragline" / "The Singing Pubis".
    Tracks 1-3 recorded 1 February 1998 & Track 4 recorded 14 January 1998.
    Originally released as two separate cassettes.
    No idea when the cdr came out but I've had mine as long as you so suspect it's 2003 or 2004.
    Hope that helps & doesn't spoil the enigma that was!!
    Andy N

  2. a23 gets it right ... i remember painting a few of these + the titles were totally obscured (most were visible) ... that sort of thing amuses me