"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Sunday, 13 June 2010

If it ain't broke

So Highpoint Lowlife has almost run its course (page down to "bit of a big announcement"...), dismayingly. But one of its final releases is set to rank among its & the artist's finest. Since a mesmerising 10-minute video down-payment on The Village Orchestra's Amid the Blaze of Noon first emerged last month, these ears have come back repeatedly for more of its sonic psychogeography - drawn by the fierce emotional heft, the mounting, glinting intensity.

Moreover, & not by total coincidence, Ruaridh/TVO has unveiled a new label. Based on the intruiging idea of "releases concerned with decay, erosion, entropy, mistakes and errors, line noise and tape hiss, hum and buzz", rather than genre, Broken20's first release will be another of TVO's excursions into his wilful experimental side - We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.

This captures a recent performance around the theme of memory, recording & data delay. Extracts (final two especially compelling):

Broken20 also involves co-conspirators Production Unit (a fellow alumnus of the fine Marcia Blaine School for Girls) & Erstlaub. Both part of the HPLL roster too, each contributed to TVO's last deviation from his other techno lord persona - the fragmented epic I Can Hear the Sirens Singing Again - & each features in the label's valedictory lap too.

PU unleashed the rattling, haunting Ghost Tracks EP recently. He & TVO are also combining talents in the utterly improbable, utterly compelling Zither Attack Formation 1 (NB: may not be official title :-) - out on the fine Moving Furniture this autumn.

Erst, supplier of another of the final three HPLL albums, also contributed the first Broken20 podcast (On Becoming Invisible) lately - a highly recommended dark ambient/drone/post-rock work-out - & is due to release more of his rumbling intensities on the new label as well.

NB: Thorsten Sideb0ard, HPLL's guiding light, "will be moving on to focus on writing and drawing a graphic novel entitled “74″, set in a near-future post-industrial northern UK city. The book takes a similar form to The Wire television show where the main character is that of the city itself, and where the chapters/seasons focus on the differing individuals and communities who make up the life and colour of the city, communities such as skateboarders who find much freedom in the abandoned concrete and industrial sttures of a once thriving city centre; A burgeoning club and music scene build around the abundance of unused venues and warehouses and lack of police intervention; anarchists and anti-capitalists looking to build a viable and alternative life to that of the mainstream; and of course, the criminal underground and those seeking to evade censorship and the law!"

Axel < Production Unit

Grey < Production Unit

Erstlaub > On Becoming An Island [Arrival Mix; lo-res] / The Village Orchestra > Cornucopier / Tribute to Martin Crane / Second Set of Rooms [Live at Miso; lo-res] / The King in Yellow [lo-res] / Arkham, Mass. [lo-res] (all from Outside the Circle Looking In, self-released - absolutely mandatory...)

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