This 44 minute piece may structurally resemble a classical composition – divided as it is into several interlocking stanzas – but it’s difficult to place it comfortably within the realm of modern music. If anything, ‘The Rest….’ evokes the otherwordly, fantastical obsessions of the Victorians (Conan Doyle, Lear, Grandville, Wellcome, etc) through means of meticulously manipulated instrumentation, samples and voice.Plinth, of course, is no stranger to Victoriana.
In 2007, the Dorset-based multi-instrumentalist and founder of the Dorset Paeans record label released, ‘Plays Victorian Machine Music’ – an EP made up entirely from sounds generated by antiquated parlor machines and music boxes. Tanner has also played as a member of Pantaleimon, Directorsound, United Bible Studies and with Sharron Kraus live. Glen Johnson founded the Anglo-French “ghost-rock” unit, Piano Magic, in 1996 and since then has released over 30 records on a multitude of different labels, from 4AD to Morr Music to Important Records, including collaborations with Low, Vashti Bunyan, Cornershop and Tarwater. In 2004, his debut album as Textile Ranch, ‘Bird Heart In Wool,’ a portfolio of abstract, melodic electronica, was released on the Very Friendly label. A further Textile Ranch album will see the light of day in Spring 2009. Tanner and Johnson may have met on the internet but their collaboration here relied greatly on Her Majesty’s Royal Mail service, swapping files by post, adding, subtracting, remoulding, magnifying found sounds and home recordings. Angele David-Guillou, a regular contributor to Piano Magic recordings and chanteuse with her own project, Klima (s/t album on Peacefrog, 2007) generously guests on vocals and other instruments here, whilst the mysterious Ms Autumn Grieve adds further voicings.
This one-off collaboration marks the 51st release for Make Mine Music, the pioneering British independent label that is owned, financed and maintained by its artists. ‘The Rest, I Leave To The Poor’ comes as a strictly ltd edition, letter-pressed sleeve of recycled chipboard with red metallic ink finish. Essential Listening!
Jonathan Canupp is a name you should know but probably don’t, but then again might. He records under Ten and Tracer and I’ve been into his records for ages and ages now. Back when I was checking out early net label releases, Jonathan came up as one of two people whose work in their entirety I just fell in love with. And funny how he actually works with the other artist now and lives in the same damn city – the person being a certain Jason Corder (offthesky, Juxta Phona) no less. He makes wonderful IDM music and in fact I may have asked him years ago now to make us a ‘meaty beaty’ record. And along he comes with the very cheek of making some sublimely evolved, subtly woven record using violin, tape machines, guitars, maybe some keyboards and other stuff too. Friendless Now is a beautifully realised work, and one of my favourite Ten and Tracer releases to date.
Extremely limited numbers available: For all intents and purposes, Grand Salvo is the work of singer-songwriter Paddy Mann. Grand Salvo’s debut album, 1642-1727, and its follow-up, River Road, earned him rave reviews and a solid following at home and beyond for his stark, sensitive and beautiful songs.
After a spell living in Europe, Paddy returned to Australia and began work on another album he’d dreamt up while away, A set of songs that acts as a children’s storybook, the album became cursed with too many recording problems and Paddy decided to shelve it. While that project will eventually see the light of day, its plagued nature ironically became the motivation for The Temporal Wheel.