TTW#72 – Dale Cornish & Phil Julian – Two Warhol’s Worth
Cassette only – limited edition of 150 copies
Buy in the TouchShop
A2: Personify A
A4: Language Is A Nuisance
A6: Milktrain Wisdom
B1: Each To His Own
B2: Wrong Angle
B3: North London Shouting
B4: Beverly Settles
B5: German Apple Cake
Illustration – Stefan Fähler
Composed and performed by Dale Cornish and Phil Julian.
Dale Cornish – words, vocals, additional music on A2 and B1.
Phil Julian – electronics.
The donation by Kevin Drumm to Phil Julian of a Hewlett Packard test tone generator (to avoid excess baggage charges) caught the curiosity of Dale Cornish. With Cornish and Julian renowned for their own releases, for a variety of labels including The Tapeworm, this chance bonding over former NASA technical equipment has led to their first collaboration.
We Need No Swords:
“Language is a nuisance / Dishonest and vulgar…” intones Dale Cornish on Two Warhol’s Worth, his and Julian’s cassette on Tapeworm, “…Never quite getting it … right.”. But it’s this slippage and ambiguity that give Cornish’s vocal cut up rambles their ambiguous energy and deadpan humour on this set. Although an established electronic musician in his own right, save a few bits of ‘additional music’ on a couple of tracks, he sticks to an MES-meets-Adam Bohman vocal collage here, as Julian manipulates a variety of tangy electronic tones underneath.
The collaboration was sparked into life when Kevin Drumm gifted a Hewlett-Packard test tone generator to Julian (to avoid excess baggage charges apparently). I’m not sure whether Julian uses this exclusively, but he sure rustles up a bracing range of settings for Cornish’s poem fragments. Each To His Own has a lovely deep space vibe, its staccato kick drum bursts strafing the echoing drones like radio waves across the cosmos.
For me, Personify A is a highlight, Cornish’s “I’m working on me/I’m working too hard/I’m plotting a path/A career path/I’ve joined a gym” recalibrating The Fall’s Eat Y’Self Fitter for the low-pay long-hours 21st century.
His utterances compete with Julian’s ear-splitting flutters, which sound like he is piloting a giant moth around the studio. At one point Cornish breaks into probably the worst approximation of the Hilliard Ensemble I’ve ever heard as he quotes Arvo Part. It’s bonkers and brilliant.