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Day #349/365: Audiological Reflections and Pathways #2; the semi-random placing of England’s hidden reverse…

Hand of Stabs-Black-Veined White-inner pageFile under: Trails and Influences: Recent Explorations. Case #51/52.

(Retransmission:) If you should look closely amongst this particular year in the country you may well see that around these parts there has been activity which has involved the encasing of disturbances in the airwaves.

Audiological Reflections and Pathways is inspired by those particular encasings and the related work/creators of said work…

Along which lines, Hand of Stabs.

When I think of the work of Hand of Stabs, my mind tends to wander towards a particular area of transgressive culture – in particular the likes of Throbbing Gristle…

…to quote myself:

“…the work of Hand of Stabs is a very particular, otherly form of cultural exploration and inquiry whereby the aggressive transgression of the likes of COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle and early Einstürzende Neubauten has evolved and spread deeply foraging roots to create work that is more pastoral in its themes but still very far from the centre of things.

Horse Rotorvator-Coil…and if I should think of such things then it is probably not all that long before my mind begins to think of Coil’s Horse Rotorvator.

When I was somewhat younger than I am today I used to frequent a particular side of a particular bricks and mortar record store.

Why a particular side? Well on one side were the full price records (vinyl mostly/exclusively, if memory serves correctly) and on the other was I guess the opposite – and hence the reason I frequented it;  a whole side/wall full of reduced/bargain basement priced records.

Although interestingly, though somewhat accessibly priced (25 good pence upwards for a twelve-inch – if memory is still serving correctly) these were not the records you would normally associate with such “pocket-money” prices.

One of such records on that particular side of that particular bricks and mortar record shop was Coil’s Horse Rotorvator. I’m not sure of my reasoning for buying it but I think it is interesting how fairly random actions can come to resonate over the years – if this album had been full priced I might never have bought it and the above consideration/comparative connection of Hand of Stabs may well not have been written.

Indeed, I suspect that the shape, interests and concerns of this particular year in the country might be quite different.


Hand Of Stabs-Stuart Ody of the New Brompton Postcard Co-A Year In The Country.

..and then when I was a-wandering and reflecting about HoS work I started to think of their work/recording techniques and the way it makes me “think of electronica played on and summoned from the land and soil” and the interrelated use of non zeros and ones equipment…

…there’s a certain romance/mythos attached to pre-zero and one recording machinery – although I’m not strictly retrogressive about such things (as an aside, David Cronenberg, when asked about all the fuss about new digital filming techniques said something along the lines of “I’m making a film – sometimes I arrive on set and the techniques have changed a lot, sometimes they haven’t but I’m still just making a film”), I can appreciate that sense of romance and the appeal of more tactile, physical mediums/equipment and the way they can lend different textures etc to work…

Along which lines and leading back to those earlier transgressors… Einstürzende Neubauten have been releasing some of their early tape recordings:

musterhaus_05-Einstürzende Neubauten-Blixa Bargeld-A Year In The CountryThe battery operated tape recorder was an indispensable gadget to the early EN. Everybody had one, most of us had one with all the time and everywhere. We recorded: discussions, music improvisations and TV, day-to-day noises. We yelled and looped, we kissed its microphone and threw it on long suspenders across the wall. On this disc we have compiled some of these recordings, some in their original form: “Décomposition d’un Placard” is the memorable event of N.U. taking a wardrobe apart in his Paris hotel room in order to support his mattress; the “Eisengrau All-Stars” was recorded in one day in my shop in Berlin, with whoever came and went… Around 1984, cassette based answering machines became available in Germany and were greeted happily by some of us, the detritus of those cassettes can be heard here as well. The recording walkman disappeared, or has been replaced by newer technologies. The guestlist is full.” (Blixa Bargeld)

Coil-master tapes-A Year In The Country…which then lead me back to the physical source of Horse Rotorvator – the tapes themselves which recently appeared in amongst the zeros and ones in a somewhat pecuniary manner; which seems to have been one of the side occurrences with/around such work – a high material value placed on (certain) related material artifacts…

Hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser…

…there’s an element of the sacrament to such things; possibly as a result of a more (overtly) secular society but one whose inhabitants still often look for a further/higher meaning.

Curse of The Crimson Altar-for one night only

If you should go a-wandering through and about pathways from/resulting from England’s Hidden Reverse then it may well be advisable to pack with you this sentence from James Cargill:
“We were keen to conjure up the psychedelic witch party at the mansion scenario too, also to keep the idea ‘pop’ and tongue in cheek, very conscious of not becoming too dry.”

If memory serves correctly, Coil themselves were quite often fond of – sometimes somewhat dark – jokes/humour and a bursting of their own myth… going up

Ground floor: Perfumery, stationary, and leather goods, wigs and haberdashery, kitchenware and food. Going up…

First floor: Telephones, gents ready made suits, shirts, suits, ties, hats, underwear, and shoes. Going up

Second floor:  Carpets, travel goods, and bedding, materials, soft furnishings, restaurants, and ties. Going down…

First floor: Telephones, gents ready made suits, shirts, suits, ties, hats. Going down

Which I suppose brings things back round in some kind of (part)circle – those lyrics could well be a tracklisting for Peter Christopherson’s advertising soundtrack work, as featured on Coil’s The Unreleased Themes 10″ (see Day #328/365)…

Airline, Liquer, Perfume, Video Recorder, Airline 2, Natural Gas, Cosmetic 1, Cosmetic 2, Analgesis, Road Surface, Accident Insurance…

Coil-master tapes 2-A Year In The Country

Light capturing.

The (arriving?) of England’s Hidden Reverse. Further pecuniary result of such esotericisms.

Hand of Stabs elsewhere in the ether.

Related artifacts.


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