Sunday 3 December 2017

OUT NOW! (15+ years in the making) Two New MEADOW HOUSE Records

New Meadow House records: 'Misadventures on the Scorn Cycle' and 'This should not be happening'
These two new Meadow House LPs are OUT NOW!  Together they form an anthology of very varied 'tapedropping' nuggets... that is, music designed to be left on cassette (or CDR) in random places for people to find.  (See the full explanation here in this older blogpost).

Why not listen whilst reading their backstory which is zested with angst, allegory and cautionary tropes?   Read on below....

Late in April 2012, I was semi-trespassing on someone's property to rummage through a skip in their driveway.  I was in a state of manifest neglect and genuine poverty (and still am now), ravaged by a rabid want of PhD funding and galled by the knowledge of the dross that too often beats me to funding.  [Singer Dannii Minogue and footballer Ryan Giggs both have honorary doctorates, incidentally.]

In happier times...
I looked through the property's window and saw a louche guy in a suit gawping at a massive TV, watching TV's Jason Bradbury enthuse on Channel 5's Gadget Show.  [Hint: most of the pricy gadgets fetishised on that consumer show can be freely found in trade waste bins years later, especially those of charity shops that don't accept "electrical"].  But I digress...  It was a moment of profound discord, because there I stood: stained with bin-juice; cold, hungry and smelly, raking through rat piss trying to find old shit to sell online or to make instruments with, and yet only eight years previously in 2004, the very same Jason Bradbury had emailed me, having heard my Resonance FM show about 'tapedropping'.  Bradbury offered a meet up: he ended a long introductory email with, "I relate to your 8-bit harmonies and human beatbox - I relate to your divergent presentational style and I relate the potential to roll all of them up into a stage show or a TV proposal or... just an interesting chat over a coffee. If you're up for a meet - drop me a mail."  Foolishly in hindsight, I haughtily declined his offer as I was busy at university and had resolved to focus on an academic direction (which propelled me into oblivion, it seems). [There's a moral to this story somewhere].

The music featured on the first of these new Meadow House LPs, 'Misadventures on the Scorn Cycle' (Public House Recordings), originates from around this era - circa 2004 - and is likely some of the very same material that prompted Jason Bradbury's email to me 13 years ago.  On the label's release page, I note a reviewer named "The Don" gave it a dud review, indicative of the sad fact that there are still snobby people resistant to the 'tapedropping' approach who require a supreme sonic kick to their waxed arse, yet dropping such media as cassettes is arguably no longer possible in these post-media days, fuck, alas.
  'Misadventures...' is essentially a re-release of a partially-unheard 2003 demo CDR I'd sent to various places that year (including Norman Records, who now release it).  The fact that it took 14 years to get released gives me hope that maybe other offers might boomerang back into play (such as from labels or publishers I'd sent things to previously, or even Jason Bradbury's 2004 offer to discuss ideas for a "stage show or a TV proposal", of which I now have many - of various character - in my dayfantasies, a la De Niro's 'Rupert Pupkin' in the 1982 film The King of Comedy).

The second LP, 'This should not be happening' (Feeding Tube Records) contains later material, from around 2012.  The tone is obviously much more despondent here, following successive buffetings and prolonged marginalisation.  It contains catharsis, cries for help, requests for relief/employment, and much much more...  Truly, this should not be happening.  The LP is almost entirely produced using instruments and materials found in bins.  Resourcefulness is necessary in times of destitution.  The "8-bit harmonies and human beatbox" that Jason Bradbury lauded are smothered to death under a big pillow on this release.  Because of my reluctance to relisten to any of it, the release was curated by the valiant Joey Pizza Slice (aka Son of Salami), clad in his sonic hazmat suit, who is a wonderful musicmaker with great sensitivity.

Note: I may have overstated the role of Jason Bradbury in all this.  However, in hindsight, his cameo here gives an excuse to Tweet this blogpost to him to see whether he reads it or feels inclined to promote this stuff like a 21st century techno-savvy Warhol.