Monday, 27 July 2015



TOR49. Released June 2015.

Side A:

1. Skeleton Lake
2. The Stain
3. The Ghost of the Wooden Moon
4. Oberon

Side B:
1. Three Card Spread
2, Cottonskin
3. Empty World
4. Sitar Skull Support
5. The Shadow Over Santa Susana

The latest Wooden Houses went from conception to completion very quickly. A vague concept crossed paths with a revision of recently recorded material (and later, a look through the archives).

I wished to make another cassette, and unsure of what I wanted to be on the tape, I recorded two improvised long wave radio compositions. Making each 15 minutes in length, having a c30 in mind.

I gave these recordings to Al, and we discussed the potential of building music into the radio.

'Skeleton Lake' had been recorded a month earlier and was based around a single vocal sample.

'The Stain' and 'Oberon' are the oldest tracks here. Already old tracks in 2011 when excluded from a proposed two disc Stone Tape Theory release that ultimately became "Fussy Pussy", they have been remixed and had samples renewed.

'The Ghost of the Wooden Moon' was a 15 minute improvised raga, then edited and overdubbed for this release.

'Three Card Spread' was another improvisation revisited with editing and further overdubs.

'Cottonskin' and 'Empty World' come from the same improvised session. Al and I recorded hours of material; drones, electronics, effects. As well as the two tracks, parts of the improvisations can be heard throughout the cassette.

'Sitar Skull Support' began when I required something to support a skull from a light fixture for a photograph. As I had recently broken a string on my sitar, I grabbed some pliers in order to remove it and use it as the skull suspension.

The noise as I tried to cut through the string was terrible, so I immediately recorded it. I sent the recording to Al, who replied with a basic track within an hour.

Al also performed a radio improvisation towards the end of the sessions, it provides the introduction to the cassette, as well as being scattered throughout.

The title of 'The Shadow Over Santa Susana' comes from a book concerning the Manson family. The track itself is made from parts of the 'Cottonskin'/'Empty World' improvisation, but ends with the two original radio recordings playing simultaneously.

During the recordings, I remembered some book artwork I liked that may suit the recordings.

Kontakte 1, was a combined television and radio course for beginners in German. It was a BBC production, and this is the cover of the accompanying book. I like the way the art suggested information, but what if the cassette it applied to had music instead of instruction?

The radio suggests a form of contact, or communication, but from where and what may be lost in translation (or noise)? Al reworked the cover art in this style as we edited our tape to two 30 minute sides of improvised and experimental noise.

A free download, and the extremely limited cassette are both avaiable from Bandcamp.

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