Saturday, November 03, 2012

Hairdryer Excommunication

Daniel Thomas & Kevin Sanders - Transit timing observations from Kepler
Hairdryer Excommunication. CDR. 50 Copies.


Petals - I saw the sunshine behind the clouds
Hairdryer Excommunication. Cassette. C15.


It would appear that you can’t walk through Leeds these days without tripping over a drone release. I’m not complaining though. After a few lean tumbleweed years the growing number of artists, labels and venues popping up in Leeds is a heartening one. Much better a birth than a dearth and besides Phil and Mel were getting lonely. Its something I keep coming back to when material from up and coming Leeds labels appear but its still worth repeating.

Daniel Thomas’ Sheepscar Light Industrial label is one of the new crop as is Kevin Sanders Hairdryer Excommunication. Like most labels Hairdryer Excommunication began as an outlet for Kevins solo project ‘Petals’ [which I keep getting mixed up with Petrals and the Staple Singers but thats another story] and who judging from his website has a penchant for drone and field recordings.

The field recordings loom large on ‘Keplar’ particularly during the thirty minute ‘For Lincoln Green’ which begins with a retreating thunderstorm whose dying rumbles are joined by the unmistakable spatter of heavy rain. Both tracks are slow moving industrial affairs which entirely befits the fact that both protagonists have lived in an industrial part of Leeds [Thomas continues to do so]. Anyone who has ever passed an industrial part of a northern city on a wet and windy weekend in February will know the feeling of emptiness and loneliness that permeates them: empty car parks, rattling chain link fencing, derelict and crumbling factories, long gone pubs, steel cladded buildings filled with working people that become morose and foreboding sentinels come the weekends. Its all captured here perfectly with two decaying drones whose muted roars of distant machinery shift imperceptibly through different droning gears to forge two compelling listens. Sanders adds bird sounds to the first track [‘Greenhead, dark’] which if anything, makes the work even eerier but its the longer second track that sucks you further in. After the rains have ceased a heavy dirge-like oscillating drone becomes the focal point around which overhead planes come in to land and a number of [I’m guessing] synth led pokes reach the surface. A melancholy work of Industrial brilliance.

The industrial roar as heard on ‘I saw the sunshine behind the clouds’ is not an entirely different beast. One side is a cavernous blast, an unyielding beast that feels like it emanated from the front of a fifteen foot fan rotating at a seriously dangerous speed, not a million miles away from one of my favourite noise releases that being Aube’s G-Radiation in which Nakajima used only glow lamps as sound source. The flip is more ethereal and flighty, a dreamy affair in which swirling keyboards are planted on to other more droney swirly keyboards.  All housed in a rinky-dink oversized cassette box the sight of which made my heart leap with joy. Nothing like Petrals at all really.

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