Entitled ‘Good is a Lobster’ following an e-mail correspondence typo we begin with Ian Watson’s half of the split. 4 tracks of electronics that hover between the organic and the machinic. For example, there are moments that conjure both insect swarms and TV static. Not some electronics that sound like an insect swarm or some white noise shaped to resemble static from a TV after falling asleep watching VHS horror movies. Rather it’s as if there is some subterranean heart that beats in both insect swarms and TV static and Ian gets right into evoking this. That’s possibly a fancy way of explaining something. Rather Ian has been building his own electronics and whittling down his selection of equipment to achieve intense focus in the sonic qualities he’s improvising with. Here we have a great example of an intensely focused yet generously warm practice committed to tape.
Next up we have Stuart Chalmers who shares a similar commitment and focus to Watson but this time in improvising with cassettes and electronic manipulations. My first encounter with Stuart’s work was with ‘Myths and Beasts’ (which we released 2 years ago and there’s still a couple of copies left if anyone wants). His subsequent releases have been increasing in focus with more room for quiet and contemplation. 9 of his tracks presented here are named ‘haiku’ and it fits. Maybe it’s a case of a title imposing something upon one’s response but I imagine Japanese Art-House background noises and Shinto rituals. The final track is an epic, blissfully ecstatic, crescendo of drones and voices – worth the admission price by itself.