Oct 3, 2010

Sundaze 1001

Hello again, it has been a while as noted in my previous post i've been largely offline the first 8 months this year and currently enjoying a closeby free wifi hotspot since earlier last month. Well it enabled me to update all dead weed on my blog a deserved refreshner for visitors that had been dissapointed by a dead end. At the same time i filled the gaps fallen in the removed pages, these too are alive and well now, not available directly but will be packaged as a bonus.
I plan to continue the Sundaze format on a weekly basis, as well as starting a new audiobook series Earthsearch and if you think how can you loose a planet you got another thing coming...soon. As for the rest of the week i'm still brooding over a format, i'm open for a brainstorm.

The western world has become considerably poorer since late 2008, i wonder where all that virtual money went. On the bright side the Chinese still provide us with plenty of cheap toys to waste our time with, and making, recording and producing music has never been cheaper. You tube here we come ! The battle is not as much for our money but our attention, a total lost cause because the world has moved on yet the musicmoguls still seem to live in the roaring and snorting eighties. Over the top and loud has been their response and of cause keep squeezing their nest eggs do-rerere-leases rerere-unions..but then who ever assumed these people had any creativity, in fact most went bust and those that are left in the big world are kept as an aside or are in dire financial trouble like emi. No love lost there, but then they never gave any either..

Ok i start the new Sundaze series with a band that got honoured by being labelled "post-rock" for the first time in recorded history by music journalist Simon Reynolds in his review of the Hex album for Mojo magazine, this term could have been coined for the last Talk Talk albums but then that would have been too confusing for their fans.

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Bark Psychosis' sound has covered various musical styles including minimalism, introverted indie rock, psychedelia, post-punk, cool jazz, outright mechanical/industrial noise, and electronic dance music. However, the band's music is best characterised by a sense of acoustic space, moody atmospherics, murmured vocals, abstract but emotional lyrics, and a particularly sensitive and acclaimed mixture of electronic and acoustic instrumentation. They are also noted for an extreme dynamic range.

Bark Psychosis was formed in Snaresbrook, Essex in 1986, emerging from the 1980s East London experimental music scene that also produced AR Kane and Disco Inferno. The original two members were schoolfriends Graham Sutton (guitar, vocals) and John Ling (bass, vocals) During its original incarnation, the group was a more conventional quartet: Graham Sutton, Daniel Gish, John Ling and Mark Simnett. This line-up recorded most of the early EPs and the seminal 1994 album Hex.

Ling and Sutton left school aged 16 (in January 1988) to pursue music full-time. They recruited drummer Mark Simnett, who'd previously done community work centred on St. John's Church, Stratford. Using Simnett's connection with the church, Bark Psychosis arranged rehearsal space for themselves in the crypt of St John's (this location would continue to play an important role in Bark Psychosis' music). The trio spent the rest of 1988 rehearsing and composing original material, during which time both Sutton and Ling began to dabble in keyboard playing and digital sampling

The official Bark Psychosis debut was 1989's 12-inch single "All Different Things/By Blow" feat Sue Page, in 1990, with Sue still on board, they released a 12-inch EP called "Nothing Feels". By this time, Bark Psychosis were establishing a reputation as one of the most unpredictable, innovative live bands in Britain with a great degree of spontaneity and excitement at their gigs. On record, however, they were developing into a more atmospheric and melodic act.

Having signed a formal recording contract with Cheree, Bark Psychosis immediately found themselves at odds by management changes at the label, the shady new owners kept the band on their contract until a year later Cheree was bought out by 3rd Stone Ltd., which had headhunted the band on the reputation of their initial singles. Their debut release for 3rd Stone - 1991's Manman EP — demonstrated clear influences from techno and musique concrete. Meanwhile the band's potential had dramatically expanded with the addition of keyboard/synthesizer player Daniel Gish (ex-Disco Inferno).

In 1992, Bark Psychosis released a hugely acclaimed landmark single called Scum. This was an ominous, 21-minute ambient piece improvised and recorded live in the band's "home" of St John's Church. Scum experimented with the use of space and extreme dynamics, with music that varied between minimal jazzy chording, airy acoustic drums, clamorous noise guitar, space-ambience and random vocal snippets. The single gained the band a lot of press attention (being awarded Single Of The Week in Melody Maker, amongst other plaudits) and consequently demand for an album grew.

Bark Psychosis - Scum ('92, flac 114mb)

01. Bark Psychosis - Scum 21:15

By this point, the band had developed a singularly unique and varied sound — embedded in lush electronic sampling and textures and accented with electric guitars, piano, and melodica. However Hex featured guest musicians too, the Duke String Quartet, Animals That Swim's trumpeter Del Crabtree, Phil Brown on flute, and Neil Aldridge and Dave Ross on assorted percussion. The band also called in vibraphone player Pete Beresford. The recording of Hex proved to be tortuous, with plenty of infighting centred around Sutton's stubbornness and dominance of the band. Daniel Gish left Bark Psychosis towards the end of the sessions.
Once Hex was completed, John Ling also quit Bark Psychosis, feeling "burnt out and unable to play", allegedly due to the stress of making the album. Sutton was later to comment the recording had been a real 'headfuck'. Hex was released on February Valentine's day 1994. While it was not the first use of the term, Hex was the example which brought the "post-rock" concept to public knowledge to the point where it was a major stylistically-defining term in music criticism and discourse during the 1990s. It ensured that Bark Psychosis were one of the first bands recognised as being post-rock artists. Although Hex was not a commercial success at the time, over time it has achieved a cult status.

Bark Psychosis - Hex ('94, flac 253mb)

1. The Loom 5:15
2. A Street Scene 5:35
3. Absent Friend 8:20
4. Big Shot 5:20
5. Fingerspit 8:21
6. Eyes and Smiles 8:30
7. Pendulum Man 9:53

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Now consisting of a duo of Sutton and Simnett, Bark Psychosis went on to record the Blue EP, released in May 1994. The title track was comparatively more upbeat than the band's work on Hex. It was also very strongly influenced by dance music. The EP also featured a Rudi Tambala remix of the Hex track "Big Shot" and (confusingly) a newly recorded track called "Hex", featuring three-and-a-half minutes of deafening noise textures eventually dissolving into ambient keyboards and trumpet, which was also recorded in St John's Church. Blue clearly revealed that Sutton's interest was now heading towards programmed and sequenced rhythms. Bark Psychosis performed at the Britronica Festival in April 1994 in Moscow (alongside Seefeel, Autechre, Ultramarine and Aphex Twin). After this concert, an increasingly sidelined Simnett left the band.

Although Bark Psychosis never formally split up, Simnett's departure effectively ended the band, as Sutton had by now lost interest in experimental rock and become a full-scale convert to drum and bass music.Later in 1994, 3rd Stone released a posthumous Bark Psychosis compilation album called Independency. This collected together the early Bark Psychosis singles and EPs on both Cheree and 3rd Stone, and included Scum in its entirety.

Sutton reunited with Daniel Gish later that summer to record some new tracks in an ambient and drum and bass style, which they performed at the 1994 Phoenix Festival at Stratford-Upon-Avon). Although billed under the Bark Psychosis name, this was in effect the debut appearance of a brand new project, Boymerang. The duo released the new tracks as part of an EP, following which Gish left the project. Now featuring Sutton alone, Boymerang released several more EPs and an album (1997's Balance Of The Force)

In parallel to (and following) his activities with Boymerang, Graham Sutton made a name for himself as a record producer. He has produced albums by Jarvis Cocker, Delays, Snowpony, The Veils, Coldharbourstores and British Sea Power. He also became a significant collaborator with .O.rang (the experimental band formed by former Talk Talk members Lee Harris and Paul Webb), contributing instrumentation and programming to the Herd of Instinct and Fields And Waves albums as well as the Spoor EP.

After a ten year hiatus, Bark Psychosis reappeared in 2004 as a Graham Sutton solo project in all but name. Sutton revealed that he had, in fact, been recording new Bark Psychosis tracks since 1999 with various collaborators. The revitalised Bark Psychosis released a new album, ///Codename: Dustsucker in 2004, on Fire Records. The album release was accompanied by the release of a new single called The Black Meat. ///Codename:Dustsucker’s arrival in 2004 was more than just a return to the fold for Graham Sutton; it was a complete re-calibration of what postrock meant. The album is percussion-centric, and smitten with texture, space, and silence, a seamless blend of acoustic instrumentation and electronic processing .

Dustsucker may be languorous and dense enough to put off those who are on edge, but even when the album grinds to a halt under its excessive weight the scenery is beatific. And what the songs lack in structural certainty or melodic eloquence they usually make up for in the remarkable depth and vibrancy of their textures. Considering the band's 10-year layoff, it's a somewhat understated return-- and one painted in broad strokes. Taken on its own terms it is an outstanding record, multi-hued and consuming, agonised, compelling, beautiful and measured.

In May 2005, Bark Psychosis released the 400 Winters EP , 3 "deconstructed and reassembled" tracks from Dustsucker. Since it has remained quiet but that seems to be part of Bark Psychosis' modus operandi .

Bark Psychosis - ///Codename:Dustsucker ('04, flac 288mb)

1. From What Is Said To When It's Read 5:27
2. The Black Meat 6:49
3. Miss Abuse 6:10
4. 400 Winters (Voc.Anja Buechele) 5:48
5. Dr. Innocuous-Ketamoid 1:04
6. Burning The City (Voc.Anja Buechele) 5:10
7. INQB8TR 7:59
8. Shapeshifting (Voc.Rachel Dreyer) 6:02
9. Rose 5:49

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Lavra said...

Would you be able to repost these albums in FLAC.
Thank you.

Peter Tron said...

cheers rho!

my cd of dustsucker skips (2nd hand copy), so this saved me, as :)



Geoff said...

Hi again can you upload bark pyschosis. Thanks

Peter Tron said...

cheers rho, this band are immense!

Anonymous said...

Great band! Could you please reup Scum and Hex? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

any chance of Hex re-up? Thanks for your great site