TTW#09 - Baraclough - The Lampshade is not a Past Tense
Cassette only - limited edition of 250 copies
1: Fire Exit Interior - 14m57s
2: Your Physical Health - 14m32s
3: What We Did and Didn't - 15m24s
Performers – Paul de Casparis, Dale Cornish, Eddie Nuttall.
Illustration – Dave “the cap” Knapik.
Baraclough are a London-based trio consisting of a classically-trained musician, a self-taught musician, and a non-musician.
With a distinctive palette of woozy electronics, raw and processed recordings, combined with vocals and abstract sounds, Baraclough produce a unique aural aesthetic that is hypnotic yet agitating, intimate yet awkward.
Since their inception in 2006, Baraclough have performed in a variety of bizarre locations such as a Kilburn rock pub and a former Turner Prize winner's stock cupboard. Baraclough recently released their debut album “Hello Animal” on Forris, their audio publishing cooperative.
Another weird one from The Tapeworm, a UK tape only label, who specialize in, well, it's hard to say what they specialize in. Past releases gave included tapes from Philip Jeck, Simon Fisher Turner, a recording of interviews with Derek Jarman, some amazing psych jazz from a group called the Van Patterson Quartet among other strange offerings. So considering all of those, this record from Baraclough, a London trio of abstract noisemakers, sounds right at home.
Described by the label as being made up of a “classically trained musician, a self taught musician and a non musician”, the trio exist somewhere between abstract minimal drone music, and the sort of stumbling anti-folk of No Neck or Sunburned Hand, but doused in electronics and a healthy bit of Nurse With Wound style industrial noise. Simple delicate melodies and bursts of percussion, drift dreamily over a caustic sea of black buzz, roiling and crumbling in a cloud of blurred distortion, squalls of grinding electronic glitch throb and envelop hushed vocals, and splatters of minimal looped percussion, sometimes locking into an almost This Heat sounding mesmer, the sound slipping from rhythmic hypno-lurch to blown out crumbling murmur, to delicate shimmery smearscape.
Unlike much of what comes out on The Tapeworm, these guys are a going concern, with actual records on other labels, and after hearing this, odds are you're gonna want to track those down too.
London-based trio Baraclough bill themselves as “consisting of a classically-trained musician, a self-taught musician, and a non-musician”. It might be a fun game to go to their website and try to work out which is which according to their group photo. Then again, you could always get on with the business of actually listening to this very strange, oddly bewitching cassette. In the tradition of Nurse With Wound this threesome set about fashioning surrealist sonic landscapes fusing together raw, surges of oscillator hum, collaged field recordings and weirdo improv vocals. It's an intriguing, witches brew of psychotropic electroacoustics that on the one hand charms with its hypnotic groaning and suspenseful narrative, but on the other, always gives the impression that things could turn very nasty at any moment, as if you're about to be on the receiving end of some auditory prank. Especially creepy is “Your Physical Health”, which pulses in a surly, surging pattern with bursts of razor-sharp, Vainio-like feedback threatening to perforate your ears. It's not long before the chatter of some lunatic voice or other starts emerging from the mix, primed to freak you out with its odd, Exorcist-like intonation. Fans of classic British industrial drone and the more eccentric side of American noise take note. Limited to a mere 250 copies, so don't dawdle.
Vital Weekly (NL):
The cassette is back - there is little doubt about that. It was never away I guess. Over the years I used to play my favorites from twenty years ago, but added not many new favorites, simply because for years not many were released. But its back, and one of the more interesting new labels is The Tapeworm - loosely connected to Touch, in which online shop you can order them. The cassette also a playground for new names, ideas and small concepts. For instance Baraclough, the longest of these four releases. A group of Paul de Casparis, Eddie Nuttall and Dale Cornish, from London. Whatever instrument they play is not revealed (information on all covers is sparse), but there might be a synthesizer, maybe some bowed instrument, voices, a laptop filled with field recordings? Who knows. Three lengthy pieces (repeated on the b-side). Although I think the music is made through improvisation, it has very little do with improvised music. Quite loop based, with a kind of repressed noise in the background. A pretty obscure release I'd say, and perhaps tracks are bit too long, but it also has something quite captivating about it. Hard to say what exactly, but I surely liked it.