Mark E debuts new single “Being Hiding” with Boiler Room UK
Mark E “Being Hiding”
featuring Bing Ji Ling from Phenomenal Handclap Band
Product Of Industry (x2LP, CD, DL)
Release date: April 28, 2014
Producer Mark E hails from the West Midlands, an area of the UK that was at the heart of the industrial revolution and was also hit hardest by the decline of UK industry in the 1970s, and again by the economic crisis of our own time. It’s an area with a distinct sound and atmosphere, one that manifests in the music of artists as diverse as Black Sabbath and The Specials, and one that plays into many of the ideas behind Mark E’s new record Product of Industry.
The album’s title is a subtle nod to the producer’s past and heritage. He explains, “The name lies in the manufacturing past of the area I grew up, [and] the manufacturing past of my family. [It references] how the decline of industry in the Midlands UK changed the landscape physically and socially — I’m now a music producer and DJ, and this is totally different to my grandparents who were truck drivers and sheet metal workers. [The title discusses] how things have changed, and it’s also about how I came to be in this position, due to the current global financial situation. I lost my job due to it, [which led to me] trying out music — and here I am, a product of industry, both currently and historically.”
As befitting its genesis, there’s something distinctly mechanistic to the music on Product of Industry — as Mark E says, “The music is grinding, continuous, heavy, relentless.” You can hear this idea in the industrial clatter that underpins “Kultra Kafe,” the grinding rhythm of “Bog Dance,” the pounding beat of “Eganix.” Part of this sound is generated by the album’s reliance on classic machinery of a musical kind: “My approach was very different on Product of Industry compared to Stonebreaker,” Mark E explains. “I approached it with an album in mind. The technique is [also] different — this is majority analogue, whereas Stonebreaker was 100% digital.”
But just as importantly, this reliance on classic analogue synths also means that the sound of Product of Industry is shot through with a certain warmth, a reminder that there’s humanity at the heart of this industrial environment and this industrial sound.. The music, explains the producer, was designed to be “soulful and delicate,” and in many ways its abiding warmth is a throwback to the classic sounds of Chicago house. They’re firmly located on the other side of the Atlantic, though, and several tracks incorporate “vocal snippets of the language and accent of the West Midlands.”
The result is an album that’s steeped in history — both musical and social — but also sounds utterly contemporary. It’s a testament to the way the creative spirit can flourish even in the most adverse of circumstances, and also an album-long evocation of the idea that the machines we build are ultimately expressions and extensions of ourselves.
01. Kultra Kafe
04. Being Hiding
05. Bog Dance
06. Myth Of Tomorrow
08. Image Monitor Learn
09. Leaving Osaka
4.11 Detroit, MI @ Whiskey Disco
4.12 Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands
4.18 London, UK @ Centre Point
4.19 Edinburgh, UK @ 511
4.25 Paris, FR @ Badaboum
5.09 Vilnius, LT @ Opium
5.16 London, UK @ Plastic People
5.23 Amsterdam, NL @ Canvas
5.30 Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen
5.31 Kiev, UA @ Closer
Release date: April 28, 2014 (x2LP, CD, DL). Pre-order through The Ghostly Store here.
DAIS RECORDS PRESENTS:
CHRIS BROKAW (CODEINE / COME)
ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK
When the dust settles in the off-season, Brokaw finds himself a more mature career path as a composer of film scores and soundtracks. Previous works for lauded independent art-house films such as I Was Born, But… and Road made Brokaw’s instrumentals a familiar tone amongst the independent film community. After a slew of solo releases from labels such as 12XU, Atavistic, Brokaw’s own Capitan Records and his highly praised acoustic outing on Vin Du Select Qualitite, Brokaw sat down with the award winning film Now, Forager to score it’s lucid narrative outlining the story of two lovers joined in the unusual scenario of mushroom foraging which pushes their unstable relationship to its limits.
Limited edition of 500 vinyl copies featuring previously unreleased songs and bonus tracks not found in the film. Released on April 15, 2014 on Dais Records.
LISTEN: Chris Brokaw – Now, Forager OST (excerpts) –
PRE-ORDER: Chris Brokaw – Now, Forager OST LP –
About Dais Records:
Dais Records was founded in August of 2007 by Gibby Miller and Ryan Martin. The label is operated bi-coastally, with Gibby in Los Angeles and Ryan in New York City. In addition to seeking out and releasing rare and lost recordings, Dais has a strong focus on new music that fit the label’s aesthetic and curated sound. Since its inception, Dais has re-issued rare, forgotten and out of print works by artists such as Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Maurizio Bianchi, Ghédalia Tazartès, COUM Transmissions, Missing Foundation and Deviation Social while introducing the world to now-established acts such as Cold Cave, Iceage, Cult of Youth, King Dude, Cold Showers, Youth Code and more.
ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK
1. Lucien Theme
3. Fall Woods
4. Poison Mushroom
6. Pine Barrens
8. Garrison Piano
9. Packaged Mushrooms
10. Leaving DC
11. Regina’s Going to Rhode Island
12. Meat Babies
13. Winter Mushroom Hallucination NYC
14. Driving from RI to NY
15. The Rule of Ten
16. Spring: Symbiotic vs. Parasitic
17. Go, Forager (Closing Credits)
18. Fish Butchery
19. Regina Subway
20. Regina Drive Back from Rhode Island
21. Entrance to the Garrisons
22. No Buyers
Londoner Hobbs’ roots are in the fecund RIO scene of the late ‘70s and early 1980s, initially as guitarist in The Work (alongside Bill Gilonis, Rick Wilson and Henry Cow’s Tim Hodgkinson), and subsequent related groupings The Lowest Note, The Lo Yo Yo, and The Momes. Over the course of the decade he became closely associated with This Heat and their Cold Storage studio in Brixton, working with the likes of Flaming Tunes, Family Fodder, Catherine Jauniaux and Zeena Parkins, to name but a few.
Officer! – the project that this incorrigible collaborator and connector calls his own – surfaced in 1982 with a cassette tape entitled Eight New Songs By Mick Hobbs. It marked the blossoming of a singular writer and improvisor, with a gift for plangent melody, ingenious arrangement and lyrics at once caustic and courtly, playful and profound (two songs from this tape, ‘Life At The Water’s Edge’ and ‘Dogface’, have been remastered for a limited edition 7” release on Blackest Ever Black later this year). The Cold Storage-recorded Ossification
By the start of the 1990s Hobbs had joined Jad Fair’s Half Japanese (he continues to play in that group as well as Strobe Talbot, a trio with Fair and Benb Gallaher). In the early months of ’95, Half Japanese were in Baltimore to record their Hot LP; Hobbs stayed on to cut the bulk of the songs that comprise Officer!’s Dead Unique – songs drawn from a rich store of material written and refined in the seven years since the band’s last outing – with a talented assemblage of local and visiting musicians. Returning to the UK, Hobbs brought the tracks to producer Julia Brightly to mix at her 16-track home studio in Bethnal Green; by the end of the summer, Dead Unique had taken shape.
And then? Nothing. For reasons that no one, least of all Hobbs, can remember, Dead Unique was shelved, all but forgotten about until 2012, when Blackest Ever Black chanced upon it while trawling the Officer! archive maintained for Hobbs by Andrew Jacques. Finally, rightfully, on May 26th, 2014, the album will be made available to all for the very first time – on double-vinyl, CD and digital formats.
A complex but thrillingly immediate avant-pop song cycle that charms and confounds at every turn, Dead Unique will give immense pleasure not only to Officer!’s existing cult following, but to anyone with an appreciation of piquant, idiosyncratic songcraft – fans of Kevin Ayers, Flaming Tunes, Art Bears, Woo, Dislocation Dance, R. Stevie Moore, Robert Wyatt, Cleaners From Venus, Lol Coxhill or The Monochrome Set should especially pay attention. It touches upon ragged-raw rock ‘n roll, sumptuous chamber music, pastoral folk, blowsy prog-jazz and paranoid dub-space, effortlessly shifting from skronking abstraction to rousing harmonic refrain and back again.
Dead Unique is also the culmination of Hobbs’ lifelong collaborative impulse: his visionary ability to bring musicians together, galvanise them and wrestle coherence out of the collective free play of ideas, arriving at something far more than the sum of its parts. The tension between composition and improvisation is key to the LP’s power, with Hobbs abetted by an extraordinary supporting cast that includes Tim Hodgkinson (bass clarinet), Pleasant Livers’ Fred Collins (vocals), Legendary Pink Dots’ Patrick Q (violin), filmmaker/animator Martha Colburn (vocal), Gilles Rieder (drums), Jad Fair (vocals) and Jason Willett (bass, keyboards, trumpet). Special mention must go to John Dierker, whose superbly expressive clarinet and saxophone parts are a fixture throughout, and to Joey Stack, who takes lead vocals on ‘Good’ and the show-stopping ‘Elephant Flowers’.
Nonetheless it is the voice of Hobbs – as principal writer, performer and protagonist of these songs – that resonates most powerfully. Blurring the roles of storyteller, poet and prankster, he turns memorable line after memorable line, booby-trapping them with mischievous puns, fleet-footed literary allusions, sudden digressions and shifts of register, nonsense rhymes and other wordplay. But his acute wit and flair for the absurd is moored by a deep romantic sensibility, and though it delights in the minutiae of the human comedy, Dead Unique ultimately addresses its biggest themes: love, loss, commitment, independence, the mutability and inconstancy of all things. “You lose, you learn, you advance…but you always go back.”
PRE-ORDER: Officer! – Dead Unique –
BLACKEST EVER BLACK
A2. Elephant Flowers
A3. It Goes Up / Revenge
A4. Go Back
A5. Cows Hum In The Fields
B1. Shrug / Good
B4. Someone At The Door
C1. Stewed Fruit
C2. All I Got
C4. Bugs In Amber
D2. The Pony Was Contented
D3. Lilac And Orange
“I like a damn good puzzle…”