Last week Becca and I went for a walk on Walthamstow Marshes. She’d been inspired by Gareth E. Rees‘s Marshland, a book I have yet to read, and wanted to see the Marshes for herself. I decided to take my digital sound recorder with me to see what might happen.
What I captured was a lot of birdsong, a lot of aeroplane noises and the sounds that are to be found where the bustle of the East End meets the Lee Valley. Taking these sounds home I realised I has the material for a sound collage of sorts and, being as I am, I couldn’t resist some minimal manipulation to add a more definite ‘musical’ element.
The limited press cd sold out almost instantly, but the music is still available to download at the Spaceship Pictures bandcamp page.
I’m delighted to announce that Spaceship will be playing at the Outer Church Winter Sostice Ritual on 21 December (natch). This is a great event and I’m really looking forward to playing with some exciting acts.
If you’re anywhere near Brighton on 21 December, I suggest you get on down.
The new Spaceship album, Kelvedon Hatch is now on sale at my bandcamp site. Based around a journey to a decommissioned nuclear bunker, the album is one long 49 minute track of drones, guitar loops and field recordings.
Crock Oss (one Spaceship Mark Williamson) gives it a go on One More Time For Stupid. Where does it go? Quite a few places, none of them stupid either. OMTFS transmits an electro/synth heavy psych pumped in key places with some jagged chrome guitar grind that broadens the appeal without veering off its mission. Out on Williamson’s own Spaceship Pictures, OMTFS cuts a pretty good swath in packing its punch … if only for one more time … to ‘reflect the quick and dirty of both the tracks and the way they were recorded.’ Opting for more structure than in other projects, Williamson paired the advantage of ‘cheap smartphone apps’ with synths, noise boxes and guitars on OMTFS. After spending some time with Black Tempest, Williamson has said that that time reanimated his interest in guitar and it’s on display here. There’s plenty of synths to go around—pulsing, pumping and even ambient leaning (especially on the run up to the spiraling Furthest Terminal From Check-In)—but there’s also plenty of metallic crunch. Invitation to View makes that clear out of the gate with some nasty bashing over top some spacey synth textures that give it a sound of the combustion that’s happening inside the tank. It’s gritty, repetitive space rock that uses the contrast between the synths and strings to create as much tension as release. Eunice Huthart is far less brutal, but no less coiled in delivering something more approachable without squelching the contrast. Moore’s Winter Marathon treads heavily more than races, opting for a lumbering swagger that never trips into a slog even when Crock Oss’ gravity boots leave a big footprint. So far, all are on target with the ‘quick and dirty’ intent mentioned earlier, creating a tense vibe of Williamson’s admitted cheap tools making big sounds. The more ambient Furthest Terminal From Check-In turns inward and contemplative while still heading up and out. Sounding thoroughly modern and classicist at the same time, Terminal slowly winds up into a corkscrew of synths and pings that seems far more driven by the end than it really it is. That’s not the case with Warm Fairy Liquid (The Taste Of), a wicked little electro jack hammer that sounds like the guidance system escalating into overdrive. There’s an unhinged level of artificial synapse firing that is somehow kept in check and steered into usefulness by the relentless single-mindedness of the backbone. On the surface, it may seem a bit more lacking in substance than some of the others, but it makes a different statement with the same tools that places it right in line with what’s come so far. For all its ramped up nature, it also functions as an expressway bridge to Küchenspüle, a lengthy future motorway run that hearkens back to Eunice Huthart by way of its affable and buoyant sonic sheen as well as some Krautrock underpinnings that keep it moving. For all the admitted quick and dirty cheapness in the construction and execution, OMTFS never comes across as under-realized. There is certainly a sort of junkyard sculpture framework built upon here — doing more with less as much as using what you have — but that is a big part of the appeal OMTFS. Though it doesn’t overshadow or worse yet, overtake, what’s spinning at the core … which is neither stupid. Or a crock.
In keeping with the style of the One More Time For Stupid packaging I created this flyer to mail around the place.
The new (and debut) album by my new off-shoot, Crock Oss, is now available on CD and download from my bandcamp site. Please do pop over and check it out!