TTW#23 - Zerocrop - On Tape
A1: Dear Jim
A3: << / >>
B: Resist The Devil On Tape
Composed and performed by Parker with pedal steel guitar by Steve Honest and electric guitar by Marlon Banjo. Mastered by Steve Honest.
Illustration – Sarah Pettitt.
Zerocrop is the pseudonym of London based musician Parker, an independent artist who has been releasing albums through the website www.zerocrop.com since 2000. The music is hypnotic mix of complex vocal melodies and spoken word sequences on unsettling themes, set against a rich backwash of pedal steel, guitars and electronics. Zerocrop has remixed, written songs for and performed with the incomparable Billie Ray Martin and regularly creates the show music for award winning milliner Justin Smith.
Zerocrop writes: “I first started making music on a mono cassette radio when I was thirteen and I still have all the cassettes I made. These early works featured a great deal of piano, screaming and saucepans. Plus ça change. A cassette for The Tapeworm is the perfect place to revisit them and to dust off the Roland Juno 6 and the Casio MT-41 in order to fashion for my listeners yet another journey into musical mental instability.” Zerocrop, London, 15 August 2010.
Another mighty missive from the ever confounding Tapeworm, commissioning a four track, 30 minute cassette from London-based musician, Zerocrop aka Parker. These songs feature the legendary Roland Juno 6 and the Casio MT-41, plus pedal steel guitar and electric guitar deployed under his uncannily John Balance-alike vocals in an unsettling pop format, taking inspiration from a number of tape recordings he made at the age of 13. It's perhaps his naturally emotive feel for vocal melody and suggestively dark electronics that reminds us of Coil's Balance, and found a long-standing relationship with Billie Ray Martin of Electribe 101, and work on show music for award-winning milliner Justin Smith. This is a unique tape, recommended to fans of Chris & Cosey, Coil, and narcotically enhanced darkness.
Aquarius Records (US):
Three new releases on weirdo UK cassette label The Tapeworm, one a sort of anti-remix of the Fennesz Tapeworm cassette Szampler, one a gorgeous selection of deep kosmische dronemusic played on just intonation toy organs and boomboxes, and this, the latest from Zerocrop, the solo project of a UK musician called simply Parker, whose music is described by the label as “hypnotic mix of complex vocal melodies and spoken word sequences on unsettling themes, set against a rich backwash of pedal steel, guitars and electronics”, but to us sounds more like some old school eighties cold/new wave, at least on the first of the four tracks here, old analog synths, primitive programmed beats, deep crooned vocals, propulsive rhythms. The second track begins to sound more like the label description, getting a lot trippier, deep dark synth swells, beneath echo drenched spoken word, super cinematic and haunting, creepy and otherworldly. The sound then veers right back into something more new wavey, a sort of eighties electronic pop, that fits perfectly alongside the new wave of new wave revivalists.
But then things switch gears again on the side long single track B side, which is somehow a mix of the two, warm whirring new age, wrapped around swoonsome deserty lap steel, laced with samples, all laid atop softly pulsing synths, almost like some weird hybrid of Zombi and Scenic, a sort of Carpenter-y synthscape set amidst ghost towns and tumbleweed, the ranting female preacher religious sample just makes it sound even more cinematic and like some strange transmission you might stumble across on cable access at 4am in a motel room off the interstate somewhere in the middle of nowhere.