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BISON

Still House Plants

If I Don't Make It, I Love U - 2024 Repress

    Repress of the critically acclaimed 3rd album from the South-East London based post-rock trio.

    ‘If I don't make it, I love u’ is Still House Plants’ third LP and the fullest embodiment of their sound to date. Where ‘Fast Edit’ formed with quick attachment and jump cuts, ‘If I don't make it’ is shaped by persistence - a commitment to the songs that makes the music solid, warmer and accepted. Marking the trio’s decade of friendship, this is the first record written whilst all live in the same city since 2017's ‘Assemblages’. The band rehearsed it relentlessly, playing for nobody except themselves, consistently building support for one another and growing the way they play. Jess’ voice is deeper. Fin’s guitar is full size, richer. David drums harder. Focused on one point together, everyone gets bigger and nothing falls apart. The guitar and the drums blend, raise the voice, make room for what is being said, what is felt. When able to finally record, production allowed layers, gave elasticity, a chance to fully stretch. Playing with length and connections, the band brought in analogue techniques - a Lesley cabinet on ‘Headlight’, sidechaining the snare with the guitar, pushing vocals through cheap DJ software - each process an attempt to bring one instrument closer to another, to give bass, body, backup. ‘If I don't make it, I love u’ seeks beauty, holds feeling maximum and builds surety with its sound. The most generous SHP record to date, the music is wide open, demands less. Play it again, it will come clear. 

    TRACK LISTING

    1. M M M
    2. Pant
    3. Sticky
    4. MORE BOY
    5. Probably
    6. 3scr3w3
    7. Silver Grit Passes Thru My Teeth
    8. Headlight
    9. No Sleep Deep Risk
    10. Pushed
    11. No More Faster

    Lone Bison

    Wave Construction

      Lone Bison / Nick Bonell lives by the sea in Ramsgate. Mainly a guitar player and pedal junky, Nick bought a used Korg MS20 and fell in love with synths. As one half Stuntmen, Nick released the sample-heavy single 'You're the Beat Find' on the very groovy Tummy Touch label, which led to him scoring three Ford adverts in the U.S and a few pieces of well-used production music - which paid for more synths and pedals! An album, 'Transistor Memory' and single 'Drugs' came out via Dom Martin's Polytechnic Youth records in 2021.

      Lone Bison's music is influenced by Krautrock, electronica, post-punk, soundtracks and post-rock.

      Wave Construction is his first album for Castles in Space. There will be many more.

      Lone Bison

      Transistor Memory

        An incredible 13 track, electronic project for Ramsgate UK based Nick Bonell. Inspired by a love for ‘70s German electronic music and the current golden age of synthesizer based film soundtracks, it’s key theme as Nick says is “Repetition. I just like to lose myself in interlocking arpeggios which transport me away from the stresses of the day job. The tunes came out of me moving increasingly away from guitar and towards using hardware synths like the Korg MS20, and, having made music as part of a band or a duo- I fancied something solo this time. The album was recreated very quickly, often with single takes and carefully choosing times when the family and neighbours were out!”

        Hugely recommended to fans of Tangerine Dream / Klaus Schulze or Edgar Froeses’ solo work as well as Cluster and lots on (label favourite) Sky records’ output. Musically, the album is wonderful but the sleeve is pretty neat too; Nick adds “I will be forever grateful for the amazing linocut cover art by Ieuan Edwards aka The Black Gold Press. I originally asked if I could use an existing print, but he insisted on a bespoke piece and chiselled lino all night to turn around the print in 24 hours. Then Jules Bigg (one of the original team behind the launch of Ramsgate Music Hall) did the photography and graphic design, the man is a wizard. I am truly lucky to live in an area where, if you chuck a rock in the air, it will land on an artist or musician. I had pretty much given up on making original music, after the untimely death of my songwriting partner some years ago. However, living in an area where new venues have mushroomed and great gigs are so plentiful, has inspired me to dig out the synths and fx pedals again”.

        Released in a one time pressing only of 500 with insert cards carrying more of Ieuan and Jules’ work, the album is released by Polytechnic Youth in December. 

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: This is just superb, a rich and beautiful collection of krautrock-inspired jams. Twinkling arps all slightly off-kilter and saturated into a wonderfully organic juxtaposition of glitchy filter artifacts and blissful, euphoric melodies.

        Claremont 56’s latest release is very much a family affair. It sees Idjut Boy Conrad McDonnell - a regular remixer of Claremont 56 releases since the label’s inception - serve up two spaced-out, dub-wise revisions of a little known cut by Bison, the imprint’s very own “super-group”. The 12” has extra emotional resonance for Bison’s Paul ‘Mudd’ Murphy and Ben Smith, as it marks the band’s first release since the passing of fellow founder members Holger Czukay and Ursula Kloss.

        Clutching his cherished space echo and tape delay units, McDonnell has delivered two tasty new dubs of “Salmon Spungcake”, a spacey, gently throbbing Bison cut that he co-wrote, produced and mixed for Claremont 56’s 10th Anniversary box-set in 2017. While the original version shied away from the dancefloor in favour of creating a hazy, horizontal mood, McDonnell’s “Zip It Shrimpy Mix” re-invents the cut as a hypnotic dub disco shaker rich in weighty bass, layered hand percussion, locked-in kick drums and spaced-out vocal snippets. In true dub fashion, flashes of the band’s original instrumentation - effects-laden guitars, hazy electronics and meandering, deep space chords - float in and out of the mix at irregular intervals. It’s the kind of remix you want to get lost in while wearily shuffling at 5am in a dark, sweaty basement.

        The glassy-eyed, head-in-the-clouds fun continues on the “I Think I’ve Got Gout Mix”, an even more spaced-out affair that recalls some of the other inspired dancefloor dubs McDonnell has produced alongside Idjut Boys partner Dan Tyler. Stripped back, heavy, percussive and driven forward by sturdy kick-drums and the track’s rich, warm bassline, this is a deep space dub disco tailor-made for space cadets and intoxicated sunrise dancers.

        TRACK LISTING

        A. Salmon Spungcake (Zip It Shrimpy Mix By Conrad McDonnell)
        B. Salmon Spungcake (I Think I've Got Gout Mix By Conrad McDonnell)


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