Sunday, 27 August 2017

Widows Of Europe




A new project name from Benjamin Hallatt. Widows Of Europe. Over the past half a dozen or so years the Nottingham based non musician has produced sounds under the banner of Murder Cult, W>A>S>P>S, SCKE//., Daphne And Lyndsey and Kay Hill as well as releasing his own sounds and that of others on labels such as Murder Cult Editions, KIKS/Girlfriend and A.N.T.I.
And now in 2017 there is Widows Of Europe and the C20 cassette "Live @ Ambient Electronique" on the Sword & Mirror label. I think (but I could be wrong)  Ambient Electronique  is a club night at the Chameleon Arts Cafė in Nottingham.
Side one begins with tones shifting and arranging themselves amongst bass clutter and shuffling before giving way to (what sounds like) an accordion drone, giving the space a nautical air. Benjamin then shifts the sounds to turntables. Looping and clicking and a sound which carries through to side two. The run out groove clicks, the lock groove sounds and a strong sense of turn of the century Column One. Hypnotic stuff for sure.
The sound then takes pace with noises recorded from geophones and hydrophones, sub surface acoustics. Nocturnal and muted calls of the wild scream and stretch from speaker to speaker. A grand finale.
I've played this cassette quite a few times over the last few days and enjoying it more on every play. It does remind me of Column One in parts but it is highly unique and professional. I can only hope for more from Widows Of Europe.

The cassette comes packaged in an A5 wallet with poster and postcard, I don't know of the edition run but contact https://widowsofeurope.bandcamp.com/releases and pick up a copy for £5 while they're still available.

Just as an aside. If anyone reading this has a copy of the Daphne And Lyndsey cassette on KIKS/Girlfriend and what to pass it on ... please get in touch.

Monday, 21 August 2017

This is the Wildlife (Disco).


Back in the day, in my youth, the 1970's a Wildlife Disco brought fear and dread. It usually came with the tagline "There Will Be Blood". The Wildlife was a rough pub on the Birchwood Estate on Lincoln's Southside and their monthly Friday night disco's (usually run by "Three Aces Disco") was just an excuse for a punch up. Take a listen to Pseudo Existors "Wildlife Was A Gas" track on the excellent "Stamp Out Normality" LP. (Harbinger Sound Records 2002).

40 years later and I'm at a Wildlife Disco. The only difference is I'm in the Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter and the three aces are Nathan Carter, Chris Booth and Tony Whitehead. These three have their own shows on SoundArt FM Radio and tonight is their opening night of a two date tour of the UK ... next week they're in Newcastle.

                                                       Chris Booth (DJ Wetherspoon)

The playlist ranges from BBC Wildlife series LP's ... the sounds of tits, of thrush and back garden invaders ... to steam engines, drag racing and 1970's TV theme tunes. This is not though a slice of Kitsch and Cheese, that would be too easy. This is cleverly constructed Radio DaDaism.

                                                      Tony Whitehead (Radio Warbler)

The evening was broadcast live on SoundArt FM Radio. Sounds from Bruce Lacey and Asmus Tietchens were mixed and layered with the subtle calls of the wild and the songs of Larry Grayson, with Chris supplying a small tribute to the late Bruce Forsyth.

                                                         Nathan Carter (ExtraStereo)

The Bike Shed Theatre was a great space for the event, with table / board games available folk played Scrabble and Boggle whilst listening to the sounds. There was quite a decent show of heads for a wet and windy Sunday night. I unfortunately missed the ExtraStereo set and the "improvised jam" that was planned to end the evening. (Babysitters!), but I'm going to be head of the queue next time the Wildlife Disco Team hits town.... Newcastle is in for a treat.

                                                                 Back Garden Birds.
                                                   


Friday, 18 August 2017

MuhMur Radio Aug 17 Broadcast


After the DRONEWEEK it is all back to (near as) normal at the SoundArt Studios. There was a plan (that was unfortunately only in my head) to work out a six hour broadcast featuring releases from the Drone Records catalogue and it's subsidiary labels : Transgredient Records and Substantia Innominata, but Chris decided he wanted no "live" broadcasts during the week, so the idea has been shelved, which is a shame as recently I received a great box of vinyl from Stefan at Drone (in Bremen) to spin on the programme. A few of those are on this programme. Raison D'Etre, Thomas Dimuzio and Ovro.
The Thorsten Soltau piece comes from a limited edition cassette put out on the m.m Label. It was recorded live in March this year. Also in the mix is a track from the new Hexas CD "Liberty Nest". The CD will be released later this month by Hagshadow.
August 17 saw the release of 3 great pieces of vinyl in the 1980's. In 1981 The Slits released the "Earthbeat" single and Cabaret Voltaire put out their "Red Mecca" album. A year later (in '82) A Certain Ratio and Factory Records released the 7" "Knife Slits Water". For some reason I don't have a copy of "Red Mecca", always slipped / passed me by ... I culled "Split Second Feeling" from the "Sound Of Sheffield" CD that Mute Records released back in 2002. If anyone has a spare copy of "Red Mecca" please get in touch.
The Anemone Tube track comes from their latest "In The Vortex Of Dionysian Reality" album. The track is by the project Monocube utilising sounds by Anemone Tube.

Please copy & paste & have a listen :
https://www.mixcloud.com/muhsteve/muhmur-radio-soundart-radio-17082017-broadcast/

Playlist:
01: Raison D'Etre "Katharos" (Transgredient Records) 2014.
02: Thorsten Soltau "Lux.exz" (m.m Label) 2017.
03: Thomas Dimuzio "Shale" (Substantia Innominata) 2014.
04: Ovro "Vertical" (Drone Records) 2008.
05: Blue Chemise "The Music Lesson" (I Dischi Del Barone) 2017.
06: A Certain Ratio "Knife Slits Water" (Factory Records) 1982.
07: Cabaret Voltaire "Split Second Feeling" (Rough Trade Records) 1981.
08: Arv & Miljö "Slitas Itu" (I Dischi Del Barone) 2017.
09: Storm Bugs "No Nothingness" (Snatch Tapes) 2017.
10: The Slits "Earthbeat" (CBS Records) 1981.
11: Tusen År Under Jord "Sandhavens Genklang (Side B)" (Verlautbarung) 2017.
12: Bourbonese Qualk "New Jerusalem" (Recloose Organisation) 1986.
13: Hexas "Art Demands War" (Hagshadow) 2017.
14: Zoviet*France "Not Just What To Say" (Charrm) 1993.
15: Anemone Tube "Like The Streaming Of A Giant River, Life Is Passing, Without Ever Turning Round" (Blossoming Fern/The Epicurean) 2017.
16: Psychic TV "Opium" (Dais Records) 2017.
17: Psychic TV "Cold Steel" (Dais Records) 2017.

The next programme is on August 31st. same time same channel and more than likely the same T-Shirt!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Aaron Dilloway's Dementia


                                                      Aaron Dilloway in London. 2015.

Always filling gaps in my Dilloway collection. "Dementia" was released by Hanson Records back in 2006 as "Hiss Dementia". I found a copy of the Pure/RRRecords re-issue from a couple of years later.

"Dementia" is a 36 minute collage of sound puttied and duct taped together to play as one long masterpiece, sounds culled from studio jams and live performances. Trademark tape loops and manipulations, contact microphones rubbed over abrasive surfaces and rammed down the throat. Buttons are pressed and levers are pulled, creative feedback and walls of sound. A madness that never spills over ... it gets to the edge and then just sits there bringing the listener to the precipice of audial sanity.
Back when the late 1970's became the early 1980's (Lincolnshire's finest) Deleted Records, home of the mighty Instant Automatons, always used to have the tagline "Tape Hiss Is Essential" and "Sorry About The Tape Hiss ... You'll Get Used To It" typed on their sleeves. It's a maxim that should appear on this CDR ... tape hiss is very prevalent in the sound.

One of the reasons I became aware of this release is that the recordings have been re-issued again (for the first time as a cassette) by Easy Listening, an American based label. There was a thread on Dilloway's Facebook page. It's seems a strange re-issue as both other versions, the Hanson and Pure/RRRecords releases are easily available (and cheaper) to buy on the Internet. I seem to find this happening a lot recently, I find it strange and somewhat lazy.... It's understandable when the original is fetching a lot of money or is out of print (like the recent Psychic TV albums on Dais Records) but to re-issue as a limited edition when the originals and re-issues are available? My copy was £4.
It's essential for Dilloway "fans", but perhaps try and get the original release ...


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Hexas.


Gaya Donadio (AKA AntiChildLeague and owner of the Hagshadow label) has been pretty active over the past 12 - 15 months. With the ACL albums "Holy Ghost" on the Hagshadow label and "Holy Spirit", a tape released by German label Obsessive Fundamental Realism. Also this year ACL have released a limited CDR with Italian project Cronaca Nera on Old Europa Cafe. If that is not enough ... Hagshadow label has put out CD albums by Godlesstate and Sutcliffe Jugend as well as hosting live events in London.
And now there is Hexas. A project formed of Gaya and Sixth Comm member Patrick Leagas. Their first outing is the 6-track mini CD album "Liberty Nest" on the Hagshadow imprint.
At this point I must say that I like this mini CD album, I like it a lot, it features the voice of Gaya and that is an immediate attraction. In 2002 I asked Gaya to be part of a Dieter Müh performance at the 291 Gallery in London, I knew her voice and tones would fit our sound perfectly and she made the performance her own with a poem written for the evening. A pity no recording exists .. any way I am digressing ...
The album begins with the title track "Liberty Nest" and it drops you straight in to the maelstrom. No Mercy! It is machine driven industrial noise, pulsating and powerful with metallic percussion a la Test Department when they were beating a retreat and all with Gaya's sloganeering in beautiful distortion. "Reptillian Culture" follows. The only track that features Patrick on vocals. It's all in Nine Inch Nails territory, not that I have heard N.I.N. in 20 odd years and I am using "Head Like A Hole" as reference ... but that is what it sounds like to me. It doesn't quite catch the imagination and sounds a little retrogressive.
The next three pieces have Gaya back on vocals. "Art Demands War" is a great sample driven piece with the electronic sounds vibrating, pulsating and throbbing throughout. The mini album finishes with "Me And I" a marching time rhythm. militaristic and affirmative with Gaya stating;
"I'm Special / I'm Something / I'm Important". No argument there ...

I will continue to listen to the work of Gaya, I have been doing so for nearly 20 years now and her sound + art has never disappointed. I must admit that the genre that AntiChildLeague is placed in is a genre I don't listen to much this days. Heavy electronics, new industrial, power electronics, death industrial, it's something that doesn't hold my interest. (Recently I was mailed a CD by a project called END, I think they are Swedish but ... it's laughable in the way it is trying to sound "hard" and using loops and samples of screaming women and glorifying assault on women and asking "do you like little girls" .. obviously made by males for males. And that, to me, is where the genre of PE, Industrial call it what thou wilt etc has got to). I still like to listen to old releases and keep an eye out for new stuff by NON or Genocide Organ, but generally nowadays none of it cuts any mustard and that is where HEXAS shines and why it has rarely been out of the CD player for the past week or so.

Visit Gaya's site at : http://hagshadow.wixsite.com/antichildleague and get a copy.




Monday, 7 August 2017

First Annual DroneFest. Dartington. 2017.

The 6th of August saw the first annual DroneFest organised by local Community Radio Station SoundArt Radio (102.5 FM). It was part of DRONEWEEK : An uninterrupted week of continual Drone Work broadcasted by SoundArt. It's the brain child of SoundArt head honcho Chris Booth.

                                                           Chris Booth (in the shadows)

DroneFest saw six local musicians / non-musicians / artists perform live for a radio broadcast, eight hours of continual live dronework with small interludes of Stephen Cornford's "Centrifuge", a live recording made by SoundArt Radio almost 10 years ago at Dartington College Of Arts, whilst equipment was swapped over and checks were in place. The Festival took place inside the studios of SoundArt Radio.
The Festival started with South Brent artist Dark Mother Wood. The solo project of Alasdair Robertson. This was only the second live performance of DMW in two years. A crackling and short circuiting amplifier was mic'd up and left to play with itself for 60 minutes. Sounds changed and altered by themselves, and for the listener by changing position in the space. A couple of years ago I saw the first live performance by Dark Mother Wood at South Brent's library. It was a performance of static feedback and sine waves that attracted the dogs of Devon to gather at the door. Alasdair has dropped the high frequencies.

                                                                Dark Mother Wood

The Diamond Family Archive aren't strictly a "drone" project. It is included in the sound of bowed electric guitar and organ amongst tape loops of birdsong and monotones etc .. but the sound travels in to areas of motorik percussion and sea shanty style vocalisations. There were moments of Camberwell Now / This Heat alongside KLF in their "Chill Out" period and Neu!
Due to the no show of Sophie Wilder DFA played live for two hours, fortunately they brought along some of their "fanbase" too so Chris took up his favourite role as barkeep.


                                                         The Diamond Family Archive

Dieter Müh followed. I was billed as Steve Cammack, but this was a Dieter Müh performance. I was uncertain as to what Chris actually wanted for the Festival, I did not know whether it was to be a "live performance" per se or whether it was just a meeting of artists who would "jam drones" for eight hours etc. So, I thought I would just use my name ... I was wrong. A slight problem with a mystery pianist who cut in through the PA about ten minutes or so in to my piece, but other than that it was an enjoyable 35 minutes, and whetted the appetite for Hamburg later in the year ... Unfortunately I have no picture(s) of my performance so here's a picture of "Kosmology" an unfiltered beer from New Lion Brewery.


By now the Festival has reached its' halfway point. Audio Hacking Club are a duo who create drones through homemade instruments, theremins, triggering devices and bastardised effects boxes. Their piece was 100% improvised, starting with a taut metal string attached to a bowed piece of wood, machine head one end and pick-up the other being played by a battery operated rotor blade.

                                                               Audio Hacking Club

This sound was continual morphed and manipulated through a series of devices including a Roland Space Echo, a device / instrument I love! The sound of Mühviertel. Whilst this was happening the other half created blips, loops and patterns on a variety of devices - homemade and otherwise. The sound resembled early Throbbing Gristle and mid '80's Soviet France and Nocturnal Emissions.

                                                              Audio Hacking Club

SoundArt Radio stalwart Dave Mutch is Oima Orchestra. Dave (with his partner Maggie) have been producing a live weekly show for SoundArt for 10 years. Dave began building electronic devices for Nigel Jacklin and his Alien Brains up in Aberdeen in the late 1970's and has been producing electronic sounds since. For the DroneFest Dave mixed prepared loops and found sounds culled from the Oima Show back catalogue. Japanese ladies, birdsong and livestock mixed with deep bass, train station announcements and throbbing walls of sound.
I am fortunate to have Dave as engineer / producer type figure on the MuhMur Radio programme. He tells me what is shit and what is good (radio) as well as fixing all my technical hitches.

                                                                The Oima Orchestra

                                                     Tony Whitehead & Oima Orchestra

DroneFest ended with a rare live performance by Tony Whitehead. Tony rarely does solo performances, for SoundArt & DroneFest this a bit of a coup. Tony runs Very Quiet Records, a label of very quiet music that has released material by Slavek Kwi / Artificial Memory Trace, Jeph Jerman, Francisco Meirino and Sala amongst a host of others. Here in Devon he often puts on evenings of very quiet music, usually in churches and art centres - it's all about the acoustics. Tony also operates "Other Voices" a project that records animal and bird sounds and tries to understand / decipher them. Fascinating stuff. Tony's drone piece was a collection of spoken word creationists mixed and mashed up within a wall of sound. New Age tapes destroyed by electronic madness, deep drone thrombosis and a nod towards the sound of Boyd Rice. A superb and fitting end to the first annual DroneFest.

                                                                   Tony Whitehead

Droneweek is still happening on SoundArt Radio 102.5 FM, it will carry on through to August 13. No doubt sounds from this day will be broadcast throughout the week, SoundArt Radio can be streamed live via their webpage. There are some unique submissions too ... I know Arvo Zylo has mailed some sounds ... always worth a listen.
Thanks to Chris Booth for organisation, to Dave and Tony for making it fun and to Alasdair who I now know was the annoying shouty bloke at the Whitehouse gig at Camberwell Union Tavern in 1990 who was dragged up on stage and "spanked" by Glenn Wallis. Small world.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

DroneFest at SoundArt Radio.


Tomorrow I shall be part of the 2017 Dronefest organised by SoundArt Radio in Dartington. At first I was uncertain about the structure of the event, I didn't know if it was a live event or a performance solely for broadcast, or some drone construction / installation type affair so I asked to be "billed" as Steve Cammack rather than Dieter Müh or MuhMur Radio. It's a bit like when Putrefier became Mark Durgan or Cheapmachines became Phil Julian and recently BBBlood performing under his own name as Paul Watson. It does seem a little strange having my own name up on a poster, and I don't think I'll do it again! The live performance will be the sound of  Dieter Müh.
It will be many things, but one thing it certainly will be is fun. There's a bar and snacks available (if you get there before me).

Friday, 4 August 2017

MuhMur Radio Aug 3 Broadcast.


Started the broadcast by playing the recent release by Of Habit in full. A cassette release on the Entr'acte label, Of Habit is the solo project of Spoils & Relics member Gary Myles. It's a fascinating listen, playing like a travelogue, a journey through the mind and audio diary of Gary Myles. At the same time of broadcast Of Habit were making their live debut at the Cafe OTO in London .. hopefully I will get a recording of that and broadcast it later in the year. In between the 2 Of Habit pieces is a new track from Modelbau. It comes from the split CD with Ghone on Coherent States. August 3 1980 saw the release of Blurt's first single "My Mother Was A Friend Of An Enemy Of The People" and still sounding fresh. Also a new release hardly off the turntable here at MuhMur HQ is the 10" by Nachthexen on Harbinger Sound. 8 songs compiled from their earlier cassette and 7"EP releases. Looking forward to hearing them live when they support Sleaford Mods on tour this coming autumn.
Out of the blue came a package from Chicago based artist Arvo Zylo. I can only recommend the "Heavenly Sounds In Lo-Fi : Arvo Plays Ferrante + Teicher" double tape release on Personal Archives. Arvo plays the broadcast out.....

I reckon I am the only broadcaster on SoundArt Radio that plays tapes and (therefore) uses the cassette deck ... It's all physical with me - no USB sticks or D/L playlists! I'm a dinosaur.

Tonights Playlist.

01: Of Habit "Extended Technique (Side A)" (Entr'acte) 2017.
02: Modelbau "Pulse (Fast)" (Coherent States) 2017.
03: Of Habit "Extended Technique (Side B)" (Entr'acte) 2017.
04: (ad)VANCE(d) "Two Events (Side B)" (Waystyx) 2009.
05: Tusen År Under Jord "Sandhavens Genklang (Side A)" (Verlautbarung) 2017.
06: Wasted Youth "Paris (Live In Nottingham 18:04:81)" (Not On Label) 2017.
07: Psychedelic Furs "Dumb Waiters" (John Peel Session) (Not On Label) 1980.
08: Blurt "My Mother Was A Friend Of An Enemy Of The People" (Test Pressing) 1980.
09: Nachthexen "Panic" (Harbinger Sound) 2017.
10: Mund "Blue Eyed Stranger" (Quasi Pop Records) 2017.
11: John Wall & Mark Durgan "Trapt" (Harbinger Sound) 2017.
12: Fossil Aerosol Mining Project "Damage To The Following Day" (Helen Scarsdale Agency) 2016.
13: Fossil Aerosol Mining Project "The Remains Of Veronica's False Laboratory (Part Two)" (Helen Scarsdale Agency) 2016.
14: Arvo Zylo "Arvo Plays Ferrante + Teicher (#2)" (Personal Archives) 2016.

The next programme will be on August 17, same time, same channel. SoundArt Radio 102.5FM at 20:00 gmt and streaming live through their website. The archive can be found here:
https://www.mixcloud.com/muhsteve/muhmur-radio-soundart-radio-broadcast-03082017/
(Just copy & paste).


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Blue Chemise


I have been sporadically buying the releases from I Dischi Del Barone now for the past three years. The Swedish label that rose from the ashes of Release The Bats and operated by Matthias Andersson. Matthias (of course) being behind the projects Arv & Miljö and Heinz Hopf - who for some inexplicable reason I have never heard. Matthias is also behind the printed periodical "Fördämning". A busy chap ... (must be young).
I Dischi Del Barone is a 7" label. (let's forget about the recent Arv & Miljö cassette, it has no catalogue number). There is a uniform design to all the releases, the photograph / artwork in the centre of a hard white card sleeve with information inserts. Get a handful and they look rather impressive, it's really great that IDDB have stuck with the design. 2014 saw the first 7" by Idea Fire Company and over the years there has been seventeen singles by the likes of No Intention, Blod, Kostis Kilymis, Neutral, Krube and Sarah Mary Chadwick who's "This Fits" single was my favourite 7" from last year.
And now I have the latest single from I Dischi Del Barone ... "The Music Lesson" by Australian project Blue Chemise. Blue Chemise, like most IDDB releases, are a completely new name to me but now after listening I want to hear more.
"The Music Lesson" is a droning lament, a funeral procession played out on violins, horns and Tibetan percussion. (that's my guess). It is as beautiful as it is sad. There's a moment when a female voice mutters some words that are masked by the droning strings, and there comes a greater level of sadness. Wonderful stuff. The flip side "Watcher At The Window" is (again) haunting and carrying a great disturbing element in the sound. Lo-Fi recording of a toy piano (or music box) plays a slow and spatial looped tune with sporadic intrusions of the sound of crushing bones or fire ...
The sound of Blue Chemise belongs nowhere, it is unique and now I have to hear more!
All I Dischi Del Barone pressings are limited and understandably sell rather quickly, a visit to the website www.iddb.se is recommended.
Already looking forward to the next series of releases (they usually come in twos or threes) and discover other sounds from projects I have never heard before.

MuhMur Radio Broadcast 22 November 2018.

Back when I was a youth (the 1960's) I had an old Nan who lived in the small Lincolnshire hamlet of Jerusalem, it was a tag on to the...