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The Sound Of Science

The Sound Of Science

    Dean Honer and Kevin Pearce present a beautifully designed original soundtrack of songs taken from a science show for children and adults alike.

    Dean Honer is a Sheffield based musician, producer and founding member of many iconic electronic music bands including The All Seeing I, I Monster, The Moonlandingz and The Eccentronic Research Council. He has worked as a producer for bands such as The Human League, Add N to X and Roisin Murphy.

    Kevin Pearce is a songwriter from Essex. He has received plaudits for his work from The Independent, The Guardian and Mojo magazine. His music has been used on HBO programmes in the USA as well as BBC TV shows in the UK.

    Castles in Space is proud to present The Sound of Science. Dean explains the background and inspiration for the album:

    “The idea for The Sound of Science had been in my head for a number of years.

    “Being a parent of young kids I endured a lot of very cliched and awful children's songs that were attempting to combine education and entertainment. These quickly became a form of torture to me, something that the CIA might use in covert operations to flush out a drug cartel from their hideout. It became apparent that there was a desperate need for informative songs and music that were appealing and bearable for both children and their parents.

    “I recruited my friend Kevin Pearce, (who I have produced and collaborated with on various projects over the years), to bounce ideas off and who could put together a nice series of chords and could sing! Which helps when writing songs. Kevin is from an acoustic folk background and I'm more of a one finger synth player in the Human League tradition. I thought it would be interesting to mix the folk and electronic element together for children’s songs. Something that harks back to both the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 60's and 70's and also the folk songs of TV programmes like Play Away, public information films and music from various weird and oddball kids TV from that era.

    “We then recruited various artists to sing on the tracks including PsychFolk singer Sharron Kraus, performance artist Heidi Kilpaleinen (HK119), synth goddess Tara Busch, artist and ex Add N to X man Steven Claydon and vocalists Liza Violet and Tom O'Hara.

    “Kevin and I are both interested in science and astronomy so that was the obvious direction for the album. Writing songs about various scientific subjects was interesting and a challenge. Aiming them at children meant that we didn't need a PHD for the lyrics. It became more about conveying a sense of wonder and presenting some amazing facts to audience.

    “In 2018 we were asked by Sheffield University to work on a live version of the album and to collaborate with some of their senior scientists on the project. This turned The Sound of Science into a live performance spectacular involving scientific experiments on stage, a live band performing the songs, plus 3D visuals created by Human in Sheffield. We performed 3 shows over two days and the reaction from kids and their parents was amazing. More festival shows due in 2020 were curtailed because of the pandemic, but we hope to get the show back on the road in 2022.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: An absolutely stunning package here, once again for the ever-brilliant CiS, and a landmark release for their 100th cat no. too! Beautiful kosmische synths, robot vocals and airy arps, bringing to mind Kosmischer Laufer or Panabrite, but imbued with a percussive drive and Hohner-exclusive humour. Really beautiful stuff in sight and sound.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Photosynthesis (Love The Green Machines)
    2. What Makes Sound
    3. Everything’s Made Of Atoms
    4. These Are The Elements
    5. Global Warming
    6. The Water Cycle
    7. The Speed Of Light
    8. Gravity
    9. Nebulae
    10. The Planets And Moons Of The Solar System
    11. Black Hole (Sagittarius A Star)
    12. A Total Solar Eclipse

    Imperfect Stranger

    Everything Wrong Is Right

      Imperfect Stranger is the pseudonym of Glasgow based soundtrack composer and producer Kenny Inglis. “Everything Wrong is Right” is his debut solo album for Castles in Space.

      Born in 1975, Kenny didn't listen to much music, unless it was the opening credits to a TV show or a film score that had caught his ear. "I loved the pre-title music on a lot of those 80's U.S. TV shows. From the family orientated stuff like The A-Team, to darker dramas such as The Equalizer. My mother would let me stay up to watch the opening sequence of the latter then send me to bed because the story would be too heavy for a kid. That left me with this hanging sense of ambiguity as to what would happen in that hour after the titles came up.”

      Exposure to a work colleague’s tiny project studio in a kitchen cupboard was a lightbulb moment for him and the experience of utilising music technology as a way of writing and producing entire tracks stirred a wave of determination to chase a career in music using the opportunities that technology could offer. Kenny figured the best way to move forward was to start a small project studio and learn his craft as a recording engineer. "It was a bit of a shock to the system. I literally had no idea how to work any of the equipment. Kenny focused on learning as much about the craft as he could whilst winging his way through recording and mixing everyone from the likes of singer/songwriters to bands, to voiceovers artists and anything in between. "Eventually, I stopped writing the music I thought people would want to hear, and started writing the music I wanted to make. I didn't come from a music loving background, but I was always obsessed by the way music and film would interact - how music brings this atmosphere and tone to even the most mundane visual stuff. I wanted to capture that. I wanted to grab some of that ambiguity I felt from the TV shows of my childhood and make it into a project of some sort". That project was Spylab. A dark, downtempo project with a cinematic edge. The initial demo consisted of three tracks, with the melancholic 'This Utopia' leading the playlist.

      "At the time you did demos on normal cassette tapes. I remember having this endless battle with the bias control to try and get the best sound I could on these little tapes. Ten went in the post one Monday morning, and the following Monday there were three offers from three different labels. Studio K7 were interested in a singles deal, as was Flying Rhino in London. But then there was an offer from a Chicago based label by the name of Guidance Recordings. They wanted an album, and were offering a $15,000 advance. It wasn't a difficult decision to make"

      Writing and recording Spylab 'This Utopia' began in 1999. The album took a whole year to produce. The album was to catch the attention of Mary Anne Hobbs at Radio One. At the time Mary Anne was presenting The Breezeblock - a late Sunday night show with an eclectic playlist of alternative electronic music. Picking out the album's title track 'This Utopia', Mary Anne would go on to play it no less than 8 weeks in a row. A request for Spylab to DJ on the show was to follow. "I had never DJ'd before. I think I had a week to figure out how to do that and put a playlist together. I'm not entirely sure how I pulled that off.” In March 2001 the Spylab album was finally released to a hoard of excellent reviews. A North American live tour would follow. From the launch party in Los Angeles, to a sell out show at SXSW in Austin. "I then started a new project under the name Cinephile. It had some of the core elements of the Spylab sound but it was deeper, more cinematic.” Kenny received news that a track from the previous project Spylab had been requested by HBO for the first episode of a new TV drama called Six Feet Under. This was to become a major turning point in Kenny's career. The Spylab track 'Celluloid Hypnotic' dropped during a poignant party scene of the first Six Feet Under episode. Within a couple of days Kenny was getting requests for music from other music supervisors. "It was a chain reaction. The Six Feet Under sync was like the tip of an iceberg. One day I called CBS in America and they put me on to the CSI music supervisor and I managed to get on a call with him. I sent the Cinephile stuff out and within a few months I got this fax through from CBS - a quote request for one of the tracks for a potential use on CSI. It changed my life."

      The tone and style of Kenny's music sat perfectly with the CSI score requirements. So much so he found himself part of a pool of incidental writers who worked on all three aspects of the franchise - CSI, CSI: NY, and CSI: Miami. This would continue until 2013, when the last of the series would come to an end.

      "I was juggling a bunch of stuff for those ten years. Writing material for CSI, whilst releasing new Cinephile stuff and playing live. As Cinephile continued to gather pace, one of the tracks from Kenny's efforts on CSI was chosen for the Hollywood trailer for the Samuel L. Jackson film 'Lakeview Terrace'. Further trailers would follow, from Gangster Squad to Dead Man Down, Spike Lee's Undisputed Truth, to Fifty Shades Freed.

      At the same time, Kenny picked up his first factual commissions in the UK, and this too would be the beginning of a regular run of fully scoring factuals and documentaries. By 2021, six of these had won BAFTAs. He also would find himself soundtracking adverts for the likes of Nike, Audi, and American AirlinesIn early 2020, Kenny made a return to focusing on his own music under the pseudonym Imperfect Stranger. A tweet from Colin Morrison from Castles In Space regarding a charity compilation album 'The Isolation Tapes' caught his eye. Kenny had made a start on his debut album as Imperfect Stranger and submitted the track 'Hymn To The Sun' (which would become the lead track on the album). Further discussions ensued, and the album found a home on CiS. "I had been doing TV and film stuff for almost ten years. It paid the bills and was as close to a 'real job' as I'd had, but I yearned to get back to writing for myself, so doing an album for Castles in Space was a joy.

      “The music I write is like a diary. There's an authentic narrative to everything i do. I don't write tracks for the sake of writing. I write tracks to diarise and process the stuff that I've lived through, and the experiences that have come along with the passing years. That's what makes me tick. It's a very public and vulnerable way of expressing myself. If people want to know the real me, all they have to do is listen."

      Field Lines Cartographer

      Dreamtides

        “'Dreamtides' was conceived after a dream. One of those genuinely strange, vivid, weird dreams that you just can't shake-off after waking. The sense of the dream stuck around long after the specifics had faded: a strange coastline, a beach. A dream-world of hyper-vivid colours and a topography of regular geometric shapes, rather than natural forms. A sense of both peace and slight unease. Arcane but also oddly familiar and reassuring. And the dream seemed to be gesturing to some sort of truth, something ancient, something cosmic, even.

        ”The tracks were written, performed and recorded in the exact order they appear on the album: a long 'shape' track followed by a shorter 'colour' piece. A description in sound for something largely indescribable in words.

        ”I'm still not sure what the dream was about, but this record is an expression of something from my deep psyche, or that part of us, and perhaps the cosmos, or aether, or whatever you want to call it, where just maybe dreams come from. I know that listening to it in the right environment still transports me to an unusual place.

        ”'Dreamtides' demands a lot of the listener: it's long and requires patience and stillness to get the best from it and I'd like to thank everyone who listens for committing their time to this very personal project. But I really hope anyone who does listen can similarly experience something strange and hopefully wonderful.”

        Mark Burford, Field Lines Cartographer, Lancaster, April 2022.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Mark is ALWAYS good for an album, always with impeccable concepts and an unmatched grasp of melody. Dreamtides is a particularly beautiful affair, with cyclical sequences glitched and interrupted, lending a breezy organic impermanence to any establishing melodies. As always, pressed beautifully and impeccably packaged, your classic Castles In Space outing. Thoroughly, mindblowingly beautiful.

        Twilight Sequence

        Trees In General: And The Larch

          This track came about as the result of Merseyside promoters/record label “EmotionWave”, run by Neil Grant (Lo Five) putting out a request for submissions of 20 minute audio/visual pieces to be played in a marathon charity telethon aired online just before Christmas 2020. When “Trees in General: And the Larch” played out with its psychedelic tree-based visuals and writhing, groaning slo-mo vortex of analogue modular synth music, it caught the eyes and ears of Castles in Space's Colin Morrison, who immediately contacted Matthew and signed it up. Merry Christmas.

          The piece represents the passage of a single winter's day in Dorset starting in the dark of a very early rainy morning, through a brightening afternoon and into a spectacularly burning sunset. All the visual footage was filmed around the Dorset village where Matthew lives and the music was directly inspired by the magnificent trees and scenery that surrounds his studio—the Twilight Research Centre—and the wildly changing light and weather conditions that a rural microclimate can bring.

          “Trees in General…” is a companion piece to a 7” EP entitled “Looking at Lifeforms” which will be released simultaneously for the Castles in Space Subscription Library— the two forming a scattered but connected album.

          Zeke Clough designed the beautiful tree artwork and the breath-taking etching which adorns the back of the 12” clear vinyl.

          Hammerton’s “Outline of Nature” is also the title of Twilight Sequence’s forthcoming album which will be released on Castles in Space later in the year.


          Matthew J. Saunders:
          Matthew J Saunders has been releasing records since the late '90s on labels such as Earworm, Static Caravan, SpaceAge, Ochre and a series of others before landing a deal with 4AD with his band Magnétophone. He has collaborated with Pixie's/Breeders' Kim Deal and Kelley Deal, King Creosote, James Yorkston and most closely with Pete Kember who joined the band and managed them during the two year promotional period of their second album.

          Nowadays, Saunders records analogue modular synth music as Twilight Sequence, generative systems music as The Matthew Machine, rave sci-fi and radiophonica as Assembled Minds (whose album “Creaking Haze and other Rave Ghosts” was chosen as an album of the year by Simon Reynolds), and plays in electronic improv band Rapid Eye Electronics Ltd (R.E.E.L.) with fellow noiseniks Farmer Glitch (Hacker Farm) and Saxon Roach (IX Tab)—second album coming soon on Portugal's Zona Watusa records.

          He's active on the live scene in Somerset/Dorset (currently playing out taut and fuzzy ambient under the name “Avail Yourself”), is on the board of sonic arts organisation Eastville Project Space bringing sound artists to the West of England, and is also involved in the Wyrd Wild West festival, an experimental music festival based in Yeovil.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Trees In General And The Larch

          Jilk

          Haunted Bedrooms

            Jilk are a UK based collective of musicians, fusing a bewildering collage of home-found sounds with the ambient soundscapes of washy synths, exquisite strings, insect-like clicks and cuts, and huge gorgeous waves of all encompassing experimental noise. Collaboration and open minded exploration are at the centre of all that they do.

            A year on from their debut release for Castles In Space, Jilk present their new album; “Haunted Bedrooms”. Eight diverse tracks exploring themes of rebellion, protest, trauma and hope. Written during the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 the album overflows with a tense beauty, where vibraphones, pianos, strings and guitars fall through brittle, sweeping electronics to intoxicating effect. The nostalgic horror of discordant lullabies is held in the same space as warm, pastoral folk and filtered through the marching pulse of house, glitch and deep, abstract Electronica.

            “Come Back Soft” features a collaboration with Haiku Salut on electronics and trumpet to dizzying and ever intensifying effect. “Lives In Her Eyes, Feasts On Her Tears” features Kaya Painter on saxophone and vocals, while “Carrie Grave Hand” features Nuala Honan on vocals.

            On “Haunted Bedrooms”, Jilk are Sophie Barkerwood, Cags Diep, Neil Gay, Chris Harris, Nuala Honan, Kayla Painter and Jonathan Worsley.

            Keith Seatman

            Sad Old Tatty Bunting

              Castles in Space is thrilled to present a timely new album from Keith Seatman - his first “extraordinary adventure” since 2020’s “Time To Dream But Never Seen”. “Sad Old Tatty Bunting” is another multi layered, deeply psychedelic construction which contains collaborations with Jim Jupp (Ghost Box, Belbury Poly) and Douglas E. Powell (Broken Folk).

              Keith provides the vision and background to the album:
              “The inspiration for Sad Old Tatty Bunting came about very early one morning in April 2020, during the first UK lockdown. I had taken to going for long walks between six and seven o’clock in the morning. I would stroll aimlessly and directionless up and down terraced streets, along the beach and on the prom.

              On these early morning walks, places that were once very familiar to me seemed to have changed and taken on an unfamiliar feel. With this change I noticed new things, things which I had not seen before or maybe had no memory of ever seeing.

              “One morning I passed an old pub. Hanging in the beer garden was some very old and quite shabby looking bunting. As I stared at the faded old colours I started to wonder why the bunting was there? Was it put up to mark a long forgotten occasion? Or had it been placed there to just brighten up the garden? As the weeks went by, I started to wander further and every now and then would notice more random old tatty bunting hanging from trees, lamp posts or in windows. On theses walks an idea started to take root. I came up with and really liked the phrase Sad Old Tatty Bunting. I mentioned this to my friend Douglas E Powell who said it sounded like the name of an old scarecrow (Tatty Bunting) it was then that I realised that Sad Old Tatty Bunting could refer to many different concepts/ideas/places/books and things. What, who or even where was Sad Old Tatty Bunting? I honestly had no idea…but it was definitely an idea I was going to pursue…”

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Following on from 2020's 'Time To Dream But Never Seen', Seatman brings us his newest LP of outsider electronics and vivid synthplay. Detuned oscillators and saturated, throbbing percussion come together into a typically brilliant whole for the always-excellent Castles In Space. Essential, evocative synthesis.

              TRACK LISTING

              01. A Swish Of The Curtain
              02. The Grand Alchemists Parade
              03. Mrs Lawes & The Late Mr Pomfrey
              04. The Gnome Zone
              05. Sad Old Tatty Bunting
              06. Tread Carefully And Say Goodbye
              07. Jumpy?s Playroom
              08. In The Fields Round The Back
              09. Farthings Chase
              10. Building A Hole With A Saw And A Bowel
              11. Burial At Bevills Leam

              Dohnavùr

              The Flow Across Borders: The Remixes

                The idea for a remix LP came about following the incredibly positive reception that greeted “The Flow Across Borders” upon its release in May last year.

                After the services of The Orb and Richard Norris were secured by the label, Frazer and Ali asked some of their favourite artists on Castles in Space to contribute remixes for the project, which subsequently grew into a wonderful overview of both the scope and diversity of the band’s output and the skill and sensitivity of the remixers.

                Frazer Brown: “As the tracks started to come in, we realised that this collection was going to be something very special. The Orb remix is classic Orb, Richard Norris’ contribution is pure bliss, and the fact that this is the first official remix that Concretism has ever done is especially thrilling. Every track is astounding…”

                Ali O’May and Frazer Brown met in early 2018 while performing with their respective bands at an Electronic Music Open Mic (EMOM) gig in Edinburgh. With obvious common interests, further discussions lead a few months later to Ali passing Frazer a USB drive filled with stems recorded directly from Ali’s vast modular system. Across August and September 2019, Frazer used about a dozen of those stems as the foundation for a set of tracks, building them into fully realised pieces across a range of styles from techno, lo-fi, breaks, acid house and ambient. And thus was born the Dohnavúr method - Ali coaxing the raw materials from his modular set up and Frazer working them up instinctively with his encyclopaedic knowledge of electronic music into tracks for which the feel, genre and direction is inspired by Ali’s foundational building blocks.

                Sleeve artwork is once again handled by Mark Hall.

                TRACK LISTING

                01 New Objectivity - The Orb’s Rest And Be Thankful Mix
                02 The Kindness Of Others - Concretism Remix
                03 Twenty There - Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan Remix
                04 The Kindness Of Others - Richard Norris Remix
                05 Sunk - Kieran Mahon Remix
                06 Pwll Du - Letters From Mouse Remix
                07 Five To Return - Pulselovers Remix

                Mordant Music

                Dead Air - 2021 Reissue

                  Castles in Space announces first ever vinyl release for Mordant Music’s landmark 2006 release “Dead Air”. Remastered for vinyl with all new artwork from Admiral Greyscale.

                  Baron Mordant is always present but slightly elusive – not so much hidden as just lurking in the shadows. Remarkably individual, Dead Air sounds like a surreal car crash between Saint Etienne and Throbbing Gristle with the warm tones of Phillip Elsmore taking the place of Cracknell/Orridge. A Proustian madelaine to a particular generation if ever there was one, Elsmore had worked as the voice of Thames TV across the 70s and 80s and his instantly recognisable voice being dropped into this electronic hall of mirrors still plays havoc with your brain. Dead Air’s loose concept of a dead TV station was embellished with a unique design concept from Admiral Greyscale that played with 70s iconography (bizarre wallpaper, the Magpie logo and so on).

                  Jonny Mugwump, Fact Magazine.

                  The British Stereo Collective

                  Mystery Fields

                    Phil Heeks delivers a stunning homage to ‘70s BBC LPs and vintage soundtrack compilations in this debut record from The British Stereo Collective.

                    Although the Mystery Fields album cover has the look and feel of a BBC Radiophonic Workshop release, the album itself is a wider nod to various TV theme compilations that Phil grew up with in the 1970s and early 1980s, including the classic Geoff Love releases and the BBC themes and sound effects albums. What comes across most is the love and affection for the period, beautifully recreated in the meticulous detail of the album artwork and the effortless precision with which the tracks are put together and sequenced.

                    Says Phil, “After revisiting the 1979 conclusion to the Quatermass saga on Blu Ray in October 2019, I was hugely inspired by the music and atmosphere and embarked on creating a specific brand of retro electronica under the guise of “The British Stereo Collective”.

                    “The album is my homage to a beloved era of classic TV themes, 'space music' and general cosmic noise, inspired by the combined influence of Jeff Wayne, Peter Howell, Mike Oldfield, Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Barry Gray, Roy Budd, Francis Monkman, Brian Bennett, Paddy Kingsland and countless others.”

                    Pressed up on beautiful Mystery Blue vinyl and featuring a radio Times referencing insert, the album works as a complete and aesthetically gorgeous time capsule for those who are perennially nostalgic for the golden age of Sunday afternoon TV and your uncle’s Vangelis and Hi-Fi stereo albums.

                    Dalham

                    Funf

                      For the first time, Jon Michaelides allows his Dalham project more space to breathe in two new long tracks of sky-scraping, world building ambient (or is it) techno.

                      Dalham is the long term of project of Suffolk born Londoner, Jon Michaelides.
                      Here he discusses “Fünf” (his fifth release, natch), which is subtitled “The Past Is a Foreign Country”: “There have always been “ambient” tracks on previous albums but they have in some ways served as a bit of peace and respite from the more busy percussive tracks. The purchase of some effects units triggered the decision to use delays and reverbs during the composition process much more and an entirely ambient record seemed the best vehicle for this. I was simultaneously attempting, and not for the first time, to fully grasp the concept of special relativity and so a record about time and space, focussed on the manipulation of time (delay) and space (reverb) was born.

                      “Some of the phenomena associated with this theory, for example the relativity of simultaneity, lead to the questioning of the nature of reality and at times a sense of disconnect with much of what was happening in the concrete world. Coupled with the desire to revisit the past, where certain friends and family are still alive and well, this set the emotional tone for these two extended tracks. Fünf is a journey to acceptance. Not only is the past a foreign country, but our passports have been revoked and we won’t be returning.”

                      It’s interesting that Jon uses the term “ambient”: ”I guess I call it ambient because it doesn’t have any ‘beats’ but yes, it is still very rhythmic.”

                      For many, these compositions will sound too intricate and complex to be termed “ambient”, but as ever, we find it difficult to find the words to describe the unique music that Jon makes. A true individual, there is literally nobody else that sounds like Dalham.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Dalham's 'Funf' is a wonderfully realised selection of crystalline synth walls and cavernous reverbed spaces, bringing to mind a juxtaposition of the evocative soundtrack work of Drokk or Survive mixed with the ambient swells and catatonic heft a-la Jon Power / Blanck Mass. Another amazing CiS release.

                      Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan

                      Interim Report, March 1979 - Repress

                        “Interim Report, March 1997” by Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan is Gordon Chapman Fox’s hymn and homage to the brutalist beauty of Cheshire’s designated new towns of Warrington and Runcorn.

                        Chapman-Fox grew up in Lancashire, and having been a frequent user of the famous Preston Bus Station in his youth, he was struck by the enormous chasm between the sixties architects utopian vision for what new towns should be and the sticky-floored, piss-streaked reality. He explains: “The more I looked into it, the appeal of these visionary architects grew. It felt like perhaps the most visionary building projects of all post war Britain were some of the estates built in Warrington and Runcorn new towns, these twin towns on either side of the Mersey. The estates of Runcorn were space-age futurist with external plumbing, rounded windows and raised walkways. But as housing, they were a failure. Runcorn was the last great UK modernist, futurist building project built with a community in mind. “Interim Report, March 1979” looks at this interim, this gap between vision and reality.”

                        At the time of recording the album, he says, “It seemed like there were a lot of ersatz-soundtracks to lost John Carpenter films, or obscure giallo “classics”. I preferred to find inspiration from the surreality of the mundane, hence the creation of Warrington Runcorn New Town Development Plan. 1979 seemed the perfect point to be located in time, sitting on the razor’s edge between the post-war consensus and the dawn of Thatcherism. As the concept took hold, I tried to format the music according to the capabilities of a small, provincial recording studio in 1979. I limited the number of instruments available, the number of tracks available and so on. This really helped to shape the album and anchor the concept. As a teenager, I was into rock and looking for ever more extreme sounds - AC/DC gave way to Metallica gave way to Carcass. But by the 90s I heard Warp artists and that was me hooked. What they were doing could be far more brutal than anything by four sweaty long-haired guys with guitars. But it could also be funky, beautiful, ethereal, melodic and so much more.” It’s that ethereality and true sense of time and place that Chapman-Fox has captured so well here. “1979 marked a change in the political and wider culture of British society. The Warrington- Runcorn development marks the swan song of post-war urban planning in the UK – soon the ethos of building better communities would be replaced by Thatcherite “no such thing as society” and “Greed is good” mentality. And look where that got us…“

                        TRACK LISTING

                        A1: Gateway To The North
                        A2: Aeriel Views By Helicopter
                        A3: Castlefields
                        A4: The Town Of Tomorrow
                        B1: Intercity
                        B2: Shopping City
                        B3: Windmill Hill
                        B4: Gateway To The Future

                        The New Obsolescents

                        The Superceded Sounds Of...

                          Presented for your delectation, a brand new deep space travelogue from the collective minds of DJ Food and Howlround. Improvised live at the Museum Of London in 2016 and now heading off into the uncharted territories of 2021.


                          This album began life four years ago when the trio of Strictly Kev, Robin The Fog and Chris Weaver were tasked by Jonny Trunk with providing an all-night immersive soundtrack for the mammoth ‘Museum Of Last Parties’ extravaganza in the Museum of London’s Torch Room. Setting up their vintage reel to reel tape machines, turntables and various FX units in the very shadow of the torch that became the icon of the 2012 Olympics, the trio set about creating a soundtrack worthy of champions. Strange new worlds conjured from obsolete media, a vision of the future constructed live using nothing but vintage analogue technology and a sense of adventure. With a constant stream of revellers stopping by to lounge on moon-shaped cushions and enjoy this interstellar soundtrack being woven right before their ears, the trio amassed almost four hours of improvised oddities that night.

                          It wasn’t until the spring of 2020 when they suddenly each found themselves at home with all plans cancelled and a LOT of spare time that the tapes were resurrected and the album started to take shape. The album is presented in an extraordinary sleeve, hand assembled by Strictly Kev, who explains, “Since discovering the Philips 21st Century Prospective series of French musique concrete LPs on tour in European the 90s I’ve been fantasising about one day making a record with a Héliophore patterned silver foil cover. The patterns etched in the covers are achieved by minute differences in the angles of the foil coating which then reflects the light and appears to animate when moved.


                          These legendary and increasingly expensive LPs contained critical works from an international array of leading artists in the tape and electro acoustic field, spearheaded by Pierre Henry who also released many of his own works on the label. Colin at Castles in Space was fully on board with the sleeve idea from the beginning and it’s a testament to his belief in the project that he was prepared to trust me with the whole process despite the considerable extra costs, I gave them to Jonas Ranson at paperHAUS who carefully but expertly screen printed each panel with the cover design.

                          Each sheet was then cut to a 12”x12” size and painstakingly glued to each sleeve, pressed while drying and sleeved in PVC outers, making sure not to scratch the foil which is extremely delicate. As a nod to the site of the original performance recordings at the Museum of London, with moon rock bean bags and a space travel theme, we decided on a silver and black hybrid moon surface effect for the vinyl. The whole process of making the sleeves probably took longer than the whole album but I couldn’t be happier with the results, it was worth it.

                          Debut album from Luke Requena on Castles In Space. “Mirror Stage”. As the Lacanian title suggests, it is a collection of meditations and self-reflection translated into sonic explorations of the space that connects the macrocosm and the microcosm. Inspired largely by Tarkovsky’s film Solaris, the making of “Mirror Stage” was a musical journey of internal struggle across subconscious landscapes.

                          Requena is a composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Vancouver, BC. Although his main source of sound is analog synthesizers, he also integrates santur, guitar and organs into his pieces. Drawing influences from artists such as Günter Schickert, early Pink Floyd, and classical Persian music, “Mirror Stage” emits waves of sonics and lush textures while exploring the dark cosmos. It’s a genuinely enthralling work.

                          Luke has already released a double album, “Nocturnal/Seasonal” with John Jeffrey, drummer of Moon Duo, for the Castles in Space Subscription Library as part of the new age electronic jazz project, Oscilloclast.


                          TRACK LISTING

                          1. Metallic Plastic
                          2. Venus Maternal
                          3. Comet Mist
                          4. Death Sunrise
                          5. Subjugated Moons
                          6. Sleepwalking Seagull

                          Black Channels

                          Two Knocks For Yes

                            In every story of things that go bump in the night, there are two possibilities. One, that it's a hoax. Two, that there is something going on beyond the grasp of the human mind". And so begins 'Two Knocks for Yes', Black Channels' radiophonic exploration into the poltergeist phenomenon, initially released in 2015 by Castles in Space on a limited edition cassette.

                            This new remastered vinyl edition presents the same mix of real life stories of paranormal activity with otherworldly vibrations and oscillations conjured up on the Buchla Electric Music Box.

                            The second of only two releases by the short lived group and a sequel to their brilliant debut single on Death Waltz Originals, “Two Knocks For Yes” continued their preoccupation with other worlds, parallel dimensions and the dark tapestry of the imagination. Chilling accounts of nocturnal visitations and strange activity in the most mundane of suburban surroundings echo in and out of focus alongside electronic manifestations and tape manipulations in this 20 minute experimental radio collage.

                            Side two features wonderful incidental instrumentals soundtracking true ghost stories which provide essential tools for all paranormal investigators and otherside travellers.

                            Each record comes with a Ghost Spotting Report Form, perfect for recording the spiritual visitations conjured by this new vinyl pressing.

                            Simon James (Black Channels) will be performing at the Castles in Space Levitation Festival on the 5th November to launch the album.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: Another exciting round of soundtrack-adjacent genius on the superb CiS here, with Black Channels providing a mix of heady electronic grooves and eerie creeking instrumentals, rich with atmosphere and beautifully packaged as ever. Instant purchase.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Two Knocks For Yes
                            2. In The Mouth Of The Night
                            3. 1st Sighting
                            4. Ghosts
                            5. Space Dome Ritual
                            6. She Let Go

                            Dohnavùr

                            The Flow Across Borders

                              With an inventive, collaborative work method Ali O’May and Frazer Brown have quickly created a body of work that’s strikingly personal and staggeringly good. Modular magician Ali creates pools of electronic raw material out of his set-up, which Frazer then sets to work arranging and editing with his encyclopedic knowledge of dance music and expert ear.

                              It's a winning formula which Castles In Space have embraced into their bosom – releasing “The Isolation Tapes” during lockdown and now their new album: “The Flow Across Borders”.

                              “The Flow Across Borders” continues and expands the ‘Dohnavùr Method’ now based upon a whole new set of creations from Ali and shaped into an extraordinarily diverse and thrilling collection by Frazer in his Armadale studio. The approach of following the direction suggested by Ali’s modular stems makes for a kinetic and high-voltage collection unshackled from genre boundaries, but with all tracks united by the duo’s shared sense of purpose. It’s a provocative and direct album which ranges from halcyon ambience to floor shaking techno. One can hear the clockwork precision of Plone in “The Kindness of Others” and the clean meticulousness of peak period Orbital in “Sunk”. A centrepiece of the record is the chilling spoken word social commentary mood piece, “Phlá Doiléir” (Scottish Gaelic for “The Vage Plague”). This is followed by the Eno-esque majesty of album closer “Pass remarkable”. It’s all here to be enjoyed.


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: Having been aware of both Fra and Ali's work for quite some time via the wonderful Castles In Space, it's a delight to finally get this into the shop (after ALL MANNER of issues). Deep percussion and flickering synth blips form the basis for Dohnavur's soaring, euphoric electronica. They're playing in Manchester next April, and i'll be supporting them too! Grab this and give it a spin, you won't regret it.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. New Objectivity
                              2. Sestriere
                              3. The Kindness Of Others
                              4. Sunk
                              5. Blue Stripe
                              6. Phlá Doiléir
                              7. Twenty There
                              8. Pwll Du
                              9. Five To Return
                              10. Pass Remarkable

                              Dohnavùr

                              New Objectivity (The Orb’s Rest And Be Thankful Mix)

                                The album’s opening track has been given an enthralling nine and half minute ambient house remix by the godfathers of the scene, The Orb. This leading 12” is released on 7th May and is backed by a staggering Werra Foxma mix of the track by Dohnavùr themselves. The catalogue number for the 12” is CiS080 and it is available as a white vinyl edition.

                                Following the release of “The Flow Across Borders”, the Dohnavùr journey continues with a remix album which is ready to be released later in the year. The album features incredible remixes from Richard Norris, Concretism, Warrington/ Runcorn, Kieran Mahon, Letters From Mouse and Pulselovers. Dohnavùr have already returned the favour to Richard Norris (of The Grid/Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve fame) for the group’s first official remix commission, remixing the track ‘Water’, currently available on Richard’s Group Mind label. 

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. New Objectivity (The Orbs Rest And Be Thankful Mix)
                                2. New Objectivity (Werra Foxma Remix)

                                Den Osynliga Manteln

                                Insektsfolk

                                  Den Osynliga Manteln is Swedish for the invisible cloak. The fabric doesn’t hide the one who wears it but is itself impossible to spot unless you know it’s there. It’s an item that bridges fantasy and science fiction, the tales from long ago and the distant future. It’s nostalgic and futuristic. It’s slightly playful as well.

                                  Den Osynliga Manteln is not only the name of this outfit but is descriptive of the music too. There are two parts to Den Osynliga Manteln, Ola Sandberg and Fredrik Grönvall. Both Ola and Fredrik were born and raised in southern Sweden and are currently living in Malmö. Ola takes up the story:

                                  “We first met a couple of years ago when an old friend of mine brought me with him to play guitar with a band he was in called KLANG. Fredrik was part of this band as well, playing the organ, some keys and a bit of flute.

                                  “I joined the band for a few live shows and recordings playing guitar, synthesizer and saxophone. After around a year KLANG sort of halted to a stop and me and Fredrik started playing together. I moved my studio into a little kitchen in the rehearsal space Fredrik was sharing with some other friends and we have stayed there since. This is the we started making music together as Den Osynliga Manteln.”

                                  Fredrik has a background making hiphop beats, playing tonewheel organ (influenced by Bo Hansson), flute, synthesizers and percussion. He works at a small town post office delivering mail across the beautiful countryside of southeastern Sweden where encounters with wild animals such as red deer are not uncommon.

                                  Ola has been studying music since childhood and has just completed a masters degree in music production at The Royal Collage of Music in Stockholm. He plays guitar, piano, synthesizers, modular synthesizers, bass, drums, saxophone and percussion. Ola also takes care of the recording, mixing and engineering for the duo. He’s released two albums under various names in Sweden and has had sound installations exhibited in Sweden and Canada. He’s also made music for a few short films and has designed and made several music apps for smartphone and tablet.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  1. Silversugga
                                  2. Vindbagge
                                  3. Tretusenfoting
                                  4. Vortexlopare
                                  5. Trasktrollslanda

                                  Hattie Cooke

                                  Bliss Land

                                    “It's about the in-between moments.” - Hattie Cooke “Bliss Land” is the new LP from Brighton born artist Hattie Cooke. Her third album and debut release for Castles In Space opens up her sound by managing to find a balance between the introspective and the communal. It is an album that looks forward whilst acknowledging the creators past creating a work full of a nostalgia that also feels vitally current. Initially conceived as a soundtrack album, during its creation, “Bliss Land” morphed into a beautiful set of personal songs born out of anticipation, excitement and anxiety.

                                    Speaking about the themes of the albums, Hattie says: "It wasn’t until the album was finished that I realised what it was about. I had recently graduated from university and people were beginning to take more notice of my music. I was excited about the possibilities of the future, but at the same time the immediate future had been put on hold due to the pandemic, so I was frustrated and anxious. And then whenever I think about the future, I can’t help but think about the past and where I’ve come from and what I’ve been through to get to that point. So in some ways it’s a reflective record and in other ways it’s a record full of anticipation. “One Foot Out The Door” is a track that really resonates with me - it’s about that liminal space between the past and the future when you’re on the threshold of something. I think that’s what the album is about, it’s about the in-between moments. "I grew up on a small council estate on the outskirts of Brighton in a house that was full of music. Both my parents played guitar and my dad also bought and sold records for a living. I taught myself the guitar when I was twelve and made plenty of music throughout my teens. At 17, I won a scholarship to study at the British Institute Of Modern Music and continued writing and playing local shows. I also started to learn how to record and produce my own music on GarageBand as a necessary alternative to going into an expensive recording studio. GarageBand has some fantastic synth and electronic drum sounds and that’s when I became more interested in electronic music and music production. In 2015, Third Kind Records approached me after hearing my songs on a homemade demo CD that a friend had passed on. We released my debut album in 2016 and I’ve been making and releasing music ever since.”

                                    Hattie writes, records and produces all her own albums, however she is keen to express how others have helped shaped parts of Bliss Land: “The record isn’t a completely solo effort, I had people along the way to help shape this album into what it became, although I had complete artistic freedom to let the album grow into what it wanted to be. I had invaluable help from Dom Keen who helped me mix the album. We spent a good number of nights in his studio drinking gin and trying to get everything just right. He did things to the music that I would never have even considered doing. I had no idea what compression really was until the making of this record, which probably sounds mad considering I’ve produced three records but when you’re self-taught you can miss out learning about so much! Antony Ryan’s mastering added a whole new dimension to the record as well.”

                                    “Bliss Land” is an album soaked in the outer edges of pop music making it a cohesive and beautiful album full of dense textures held together by Hattie's unique voice. It’s an album that will undoubtedly chime with a cross section of audiences. So where does Hattie see her music in the landscape of the current UK electronic scene? "There’s a lot of instrumental/soundtrack music coming out of the scene, a lot of synthwave music which seems to be a real throwback to the 70s and early 80s. I think that’s because so much of the music coming out of the scene is made by those who grew up during those decades. So I think I’m a bit of an outlier when it comes to the UK electronic scene for two reasons. Firstly, I’m at the lower end of the age range and secondly, I’m a woman in an extremely male dominated scene. “Bliss Land” is intentionally quite poppy, which seems to be less in fashion at the moment whereas my other instrumental stuff is more inspired by classical music than by IDM or ambient music, so I think I’m coming at writing and producing from a slightly different angle. However, I still definitely feel part of the scene. There’s a particularly strong sense of community within the UK electronic scene on Twitter and I’ve been nothing but welcomed and supported by the artists, fans and labels. It’s like being part of a strange and wonderful family.”

                                    You’ve made a video for the track “Youth” with Chris Standley from Rogue Robot which is both funny and shot through with real melancholy. “Youth" is about reflecting on the past. I turned thirty this year and sometimes (more than I'd like to admit) I worry that I've gotten more boring as I've gotten older. I was pretty wild and unhinged when I was younger and sometimes I miss those mad nights out where it felt like absolutely anything could happen - although saying that I just don't have the energy to stay up for three days or the stomach to cope with the hangovers anymore. Still, there are days when I miss the way that everything feels new and exciting when you're in your late teens/early twenties - everything is more intense when you're younger and the world around you seems bright and buzzing with life. I've been thinking about it a lot this past year. I've not had much to do for the last twelve months besides walk around on my own and reflect on the past, since the future has basically been put on indefinite hold, so that has almost certainly fed into some of the lyrics and maybe even the feel of the music.”

                                    The album is already garnering a lot of attention and praise. What’s next for Hattie after the album is released? "Who knows what’s next! I have plans to tour the album when the world opens up again. I’d also love to have the chance to score a film or to work with some other artists doing guest vocals or some remixes. And I’d like to get back to doing some music-related charity work again as my family were supported by a number of charities when I was growing up and think it’s important to give back when you can."

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: Having formed one of the most enduringly superb 'pseud-ost' releases of the past few years in 'The Sleepers' for the excellent Spun Out Sounds, Cooke hits electronic stalwarts Castles In Space for her excellent new LP 'Bliss Land'. Brilliantly toeing the line between electronic and acoustic, there are moments of pure Broadcast-y bliss and echoes of the soundtrack moments from the previous LP too. Do not sleep on this one.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    Side A
                                    1. I Get By
                                    2. Mistaken
                                    3. Cars
                                    4. One Foot Out The Door
                                    5. Youth

                                    Side B
                                    6. Don’t Wanna Talk
                                    7. Invisible Lines
                                    8. Fantasies
                                    9. Lovers Game
                                    10. Summer Time

                                    Dinked Edition Bonus 7”
                                    1. One Foot Out The Door (Acoustic Version)
                                    2. Above My Bed

                                    Concretism

                                    Teliffusion

                                      “Teliffusion” is the first new Concretism album for three years - his first full album since 2018’s classic “For Concrete and Country”.

                                      “Teliffusion is an album that had been brewing in my head for a while, and was inspired by the early years of my audio-post career, when studios still used physical tapes, all but phased out now since everything went tapeless. The album is an homage to the obsolete television technology that has faded into history, like the video on an overused Beta SP tape, never to return, but of which whose ghosts still linger…” Chris Sharpe, Essex, 2021

                                      So, we enter Chris’s world of obsolete tape formats, time codes and problematic system synchronisation. A world of analogue technology and artefacts that have disappeared from use - at least in the Western World. A lost world of othicon halos, chroma and separate red, green and blue images. Three-quarter-inch U Matic tapes and Betacam. With the usual attention to detail, opening track “09:59:59:24” refers to the final frame before the programme starts when working with tapes at 25 frames a second. The track features actual audio time code. “Genlock” references broadcast systems with an analog generator-lock signal consisting of vertical and horizontal synchronizing pulses together in the form of a colourburst.

                                      It’s further evidence of Chris being able to find the romance and beauty in the technical and non-theoretical. The results of this academic discourse are not cold and distant, but somehow deeply emotional.

                                      "The Vale" was started as the score to an independent Turkish horror film. The original cues were modelled around acoustic recordings that were then transformed through tape processes and effects. Various old metal whistles were slowed right down and passed through a modular synthesizer to become eerie, arcane horn blasts. Voices that sounded like they had come from another time. Melodica bursts were also slowed down and transformed into wheezing harmonium drones. Percussive hits and dissonant string textures were created from recording inside an old piano and processing the sounds into ghostly atmospheres.

                                      Following major difficulties, the film production was disbanded and it remains uncompleted. However, some time later, Everyday Dust returned to his embryonic soundtrack with a view to completing it as an album.

                                      Using these initial cues as the foundation for a new narrative, ED started work recording fresh ideas. He explains “I used a Doepfer A100 modular synth to create the animalistic yelps, conches and horns that were improvised over the original cues as a response to the arcane “folk” world of the acoustic instruments. This half-acoustic half-modular landscape was the sonic bed I needed to move onto the composition and musical journey of the album. I composed and developed most of the musical parts on an Oberheim Matrix 6 synthesizer. However all the percussion, rhythmic sequences and ornamental synth sounds were created from improvised modular sessions which were multitrack recorded. A lot of studio time and editing later, the soundtrack to the movie in my mind was finally there. This is The Vale.” 

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: The unbeatably brilliant Everyday Dust brings his own brand of super-immersive, richly detailed soundtrack work to Castles In Space for the wildly varied but universally astounding 'The Vale'. A triumph of terse gloom and cinematic depth. Wonderful.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      A1. The Carrion Call So Strange
                                      A2. Village Folk
                                      A3. The Watermill
                                      A4. Forest Deity
                                      A5. The Ritual
                                      B1. Pitch Black
                                      B2. Holy Water
                                      B3. The Sluggish River
                                      B4. The Loathly Procession

                                      Following on from last December’s sold out “Scarred For Life Volume One” CD and the subsequent clamour for a vinyl version, here we bring you a second volume of TV themes for the shows that might have been, or actually never were. An unashamedly hauntological deep dive into an alternative 70s/80’s where our viewing reality was slightly warped. Gauzy memories of our early interactions with the TV, long buried, but remaining in the periphery of our childhood memories...

                                      The SFL Volume One team has been reassembled, with some significant new additions to the line-up. 

                                      Taken from the sleevenotes: “You have in your hands an LP of top TV themes, all played with verve and panache by some of the most pre-eminent performers working in television soundtracks today. Whatever your taste in disturbing television viewing, this record is guaranteed to bring enjoyment to you and all the family. The selection of themes on the LP are penned and performed by a stunning array of star talent. Each piece of music, though intended to establish the mood of the series it accompanies, is deservedly popular in its own right, with several of these tunes already having made an impression on the upper reaches of the pop charts.
                                      “From disorientating science fiction to creeping nuclear paranoia via unsettling children’s themes, Scarred For Life 2 is a record crammed with favourite tunes from your favourite programmes, so unrest assured that these pieces will not only give you many hours of listening pleasure but will also provide a lasting memento of your individual choices in the world of TV.”


                                      Profits from this record will go to support the work of The Alzheimer’s Society.

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: Absolutely essential collection here from some of the finest voices in today's synth music, with a wealth of audio imagery making it's way through to your earholes, warped from tv themes and childhood memories of youth. Double disc set on purple / red vinyl. Amazing.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      Pocket Pavilions – The Halcyon Clock (Opening Titles) (Daniel Högberg)
                                      The Twelve Hour Foundation – The Brain Children (Jez Butler, Polly Hulse)
                                      Correlations – Recall (Neil Hale)
                                      Handspan – What’s In The Box? (Rob Colling)
                                      Cult Of Wedge – The Day Before Doomsday (Pete Hackett)
                                      Oliver Cherer – Tension Piece (Oliver Cherer)
                                      The British Stereo Collective – In The Tall Grass (Phil Heeks)
                                      The Bentley Emerald Learning Resource – The City Of Golden Lead (Benjamin Green)
                                      The Soulless Party – A School At War (Kev Thomas Oyston)
                                      Quimper – Happy Borders ()
                                      Keith Seatman – One Lost Weekend (Keith Seatman)
                                      Listening Center – Intermission (David K. Mason)
                                      Pulselovers – Dobbs And Clogg (Matthew Maxwell Handley)
                                      The Heartwood Institute – You Cannot Win A Nuclear War (Jonathan Sharp)
                                      Oliver Cherer – Down White Corridors (Oliver Cherer)
                                      The Metamorph - Theme From Stardrive (Gavin Brick)
                                      Vic Mars – The Time Menders Return (Matt Davies)
                                      The Home Current – Unknown Sameness (End Titles)(Martin Jensen)
                                      Panamint Manse – Sunstroke Scout (WP Ulmer)
                                      Salvatore Mercatante – The Garden (Salvatore Mercatante)
                                      The Home Current – Theme From Lobster Boy (Martin Jensen)
                                      Apta – Equinox (Barry Smethurst)
                                      The Central Office Of Information – Through The Arched Window (Alex Cargill)

                                      The Twelve Hour Foundation

                                      Six Twenty Negative

                                        Bristol's Twelve Hour Foundation return to Castles in Space with their first new LP since 2018's long sold out "tree little mile egg book...and other non sequiturs". Their blend of musique concrète, treated field recordings, library music, early electronic pop and the Radiophonic work of John Baker and Paddy Kingsland has never sounded better.

                                        The initial inspiration for the album is a journey - regularly taken by Jez Butler (Yamaha CS-10, flute, vocals, field recordings) until the end of the 70s, from Cleethorpes to Hull, by diesel multiple train and British Rail paddle steamer, hence track titles like "Lincoln Castle Engine Room", "New Holland Pier" and "Chalk Factory" - a reference to a small production plant viewed from the train window that rendered the neighbouring landscape white. The ferries and pier were scrapped following the opening of the Humber bridge.
                                        As with the previous album, the idea behind most of the music is to draw on abstract childhood emotions and their associated memories. It's an incredibly warm and evocative listening experience.

                                        The majority of tracks are expertly underpinned by a musique concrète backing, drawing on the band's recordings of houshold objects. In most cases, the bass was derived from a length of ribbed plastic tubing, the cymbals from a metal kitchen draining rack, and the pads/chords from the filtered sound of an electric hair clipper. This is overlayed with vintage analogue synthesizers, treated field recordings and - on a couple of tracks - the odd vocal or flute line. The track "Polivoks" takes it's title from the Soviet analogue synthesizer of the same name which was manufactured throughout the 1980's.

                                        The album's sleeve was designed in keeping with the scholastic nature of much of the music, incorporating Polly Hulse's (Moog Rogue, Korg Volca Keys, concrète sequences) photos from the University of Bristol's School of Chemistry.

                                        The album's title, "Six Twenty Negative" refers to the film used in the Kodak Brownie Box camera. Famous for producing slightly wooly prints from large individual negatives.

                                        Concretism

                                        Dick And Stewart - Original Soundtrack

                                          Dick and Stewart
                                          Dick and Stewart is a series of short animations set in either Britain’s dismal past or the Britain that’s soon to come. It's hard to tell nowadays, isn't it? Either way, just imagine what it would be like if childrens’ TV programmes were written by George Orwell or Franz Kafka. Or the government itself.

                                          The stories follow the adventures of the eponymous Dick and an eyeball, which is all that’s left of his best friend, Stewart, following an accident. It’s written, animated and directed by Richard Littler (Scarfolk), produced by Andy Starke of Rook Films (A Field in England, Free Fire, In Fabric) and read by Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh).
                                          While each episode will address a different dystopian but topical subject, such as propaganda, civil defense, ‘fake news’, gaslighting and other forms of governmental corruption currently blighting western politics, the pilot episode, which is called ‘I Spy with my Little Eye’, concerns surveillance, an unsurprising theme given that, last year, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK government's bulk interception of data was against human rights.

                                          Concretism
                                          Chris Sharp, the talent behind the Concretism project, takes inspiration from worlds exactly like those portrayed in Dick And Stewart. His last album, "For Concrete and Country" was a hugely successful distillation of our not too distant past/future world of nuclear threat and cold war paranoia, resulting in an album of unsettling electronics which perfectly invoked the pervasive cultural disquiet of intrusive surveillance, the red menace and the bomb. Fears which the recent drift of events confirm are still very much with us, remaining part of our societal DNA.

                                          Having already established the working relationship with Richard Littler - Richard designed the adapted radome artwork for FCaC, Chris was the natural choice to provide the soundtrack for Dick and Stewart. Chris delivers his first soundtrack with relish, supplying a set of short, sharp electronic cues formed with his usual precision. Not a note is wasted as the woozy, unsettling themes of the films are effortlessly captured herein. It's fair to say that it's a piece of work that could not have been made by anyone else.

                                          The record itself is pressed on a single sided 12' inch LP utilising a new process of UV printing on the reverse side which is only available from a select few manufacturers. The artwork as designed by Richard is incomparable and it all makes for an incredibly special and desirable album.

                                          Chris has just completed his stunning and long awaited new LP and successor to "For Concrete and Country" which will be forthcoming on Castles in Space in early 2021. Meanwhile, a privileged trawl through his archives has resulted in "Concretism: Archive Volume One" a limited LP which will shortly be available to subscribers to the Castles in Space Subscription Library Service and features 9 tracks unavailable elsewhere and appearing on vinyl for the first time.


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