TTW#07 - Souls on Board
Cassette only - limited edition of 250 copies
Sun Down – 1: The Waiting Room, 2: Hole – with Bruce Gilbert, 3: Roulette – with Владимир Ильич Ульянов.
Moon Up – 1: Don't Go Away, 2: The Janitor Announces the Night – with Daniel Menche.
This is the debut release by the mysterious Souls on Board, featuring Bruce Gilbert and Daniel Menche guesting on a track each… Each side is seventeen minutes forty five seconds long. Recorded in Tangiers, Mallorca, London, Lisbon, Lanzarote and other unknown locations.
“Into a Limbo, large and broad, since called
The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown”
Nb: Meltaot • Souls on Board live at The Night of the Long Worms is now available on limited edition vinyl LP via Ash International.
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Another mysterious release from upstart UK tape label The Tapeworm, one of FOUR new releases this time around (all reviewed on this week's list). So who are Souls On Board? Well, like lots of the stuff The Tapeworm releases, it's really hard to tell, the recordings sound live, plenty of crowd sounds, shuffling feet, room noise, tape hiss, according to the minimal liner notes, the sounds were “recorded in Tangiers, Mallorca, London, Lisbon, Lanzarote and other unknown locations.” Guests include Wire guitarist Bruce Gilbert, as well as Northwestern noisenik Daniel Menche, each contributing something subtle to the Souls' smoldering buzz drone minimalism. Hushed barely there static, deep pulsing swells, smears of gristly hiss, bumps and clunks and clanks smoothed out into rugged textures, thick and layered and dense, and quite mesmerizing. With a vibe and sound that recalls the antique obfuscations of Philip Jeck, or the warm pixelated sonic Gauze of Tim Hecker, but way more abstract, but that's really only the first lengthy track. After that, there's some intercepted conversations, some intense high end tones, some strange abstract field recordings, but soon those too give way to more of that washed out creepiness, peppered with voices, strange electronic glitches, and plenty of soft focus noisiness.
The flipside offers up some more dark minimal throb and pulse and buzz, beginning as a super hushed throb, laced with found sounds, and a patina of static, before getting all rhythmic, then noisy, a sort of Chain Reaction / Pan Sonic / Wolf Eyes mash up. Dark and heavy and haunting and droney and a little bit noisy, quite cool for sure.
This release from the enigmatic Tapeworm imprint comes from the equally mysterious Souls On Board. The identities of the parties involved are undisclosed, yet contributions from Wire guitarist Bruce Gilbert and noise artist Daniel Menche are listed. The music was recorded in Tangiers, Mallorca, London, Lisbon, Lanzarote among other places, but that information rally doesn't shed any light on this strange, haunting music. The first side announces itself very quietly and slowly, emerging via a piece called “The Waiting Room”, which hisses and drones into life with plenty of low-end pressure before some speech emerges in the form of what sounds like a walkie-talkie recording of a film director giving instructions to someone acting their way though a horror movie. It might not be that at all, but with requests for “more struggling” and “more gaffer tape”, you get the impression that something distasteful is afoot, and the measured, dispassionate voice only renders this even spookier. Elsewhere you'll hear odd electroacoustics and the confusing rantings of a very upset man from the midlands. On the second side you're greeted by yet more brilliant concrète manipulations and a more concentrated foray onto dark drone. Whoever's behind this bizarre and deeply unnerving music has done a magnificent job - limited to 250 copies and highly recommended.