Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mount Vernon Arts Lab "Séance at Hobs Lane"

Remember the way I have been shiteing on about the Ghost Box record label? Well, now I have taken the plunge and bought one of their records. This record is by some bloke from outside the main Ghost Box axis, and it may even have had a prior existence on some other label before they released it. But it shares a similar aesthetic so I can see why they were happy to take it on. That aesthetic is of course a weird king of UK-centric technological nostalgia, using computer programmes to create the sound of old analogue synthesisers. In its title and in some of the track names this album calls to mind Hammer films* and other macabre aspects of the past, with the record generally suggesting a spooky and uncanny atmosphere.

In purely musical and sonic terms the record is a bit of a mix. Some of the tracks are very electronic, sounding almost like little more than white noise. Other tracks, notably the string heavy 'The Black Drop', are almost completely acoustic. That track features Isobel Campbell on cello, while another tune throws a co-writing credit to Norman Blake, suggesting to me that this record's primary creator (one Drew Mulholland) is some kind of player on the Glasgow avant-garde scene.

I am not sure I would claim that this record is particularly essential, but it is interesting and makes for an enjoyable listen if you like the kind of musical and cultural references it touches on.

* Hobs Lane is the Tube station in Quatermass and the Pit.

An inuit panda production

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