ramsdale stones

ramsdale stones

Thursday, 13 January 2011


The Tenth Transmitter (2009) is the second CD from Ammonites (Chris Corner and Chris Whitehead). There are still a few copies left at the label Reverb Worship. Catalogue Number RW91.

It comes in a hand made lacepaper cover with a transparent insert and a CDR as silver as the Lone Ranger's horse. In fact so minimal is the CDR itself that its a toss up which way to put it in the player.

...Field recordings of the sea, shops, a band of majorettes and a blackbird in full song are juxtaposed against drones and muffled squelches from who knows where? Listen to the inner life of electric pylons or motor scooter engines looping looping looping...

A  m  m  o  n  i  t  e  s

Monday, 3 January 2011

2010 TOP 7

I was asked by Impulsive Habitat to submit my favourite recordings created in 2010. Although I bought or downloaded a fair bit of stuff this year, a lot of it was made quite a while ago. The list was supposed to be longer than five items, but no more than ten in length.

I managed 7. My two favourite CDR labels were Apollolaan Recordings and Frozen Tendril Records. Both had two entries in the top 7. Matt Davies' 3 Landscapes is just sublime phonography that gives you time to sink below its surface. Live in Eindhoven is Low showing how rivetting they are as a flesh and blood band. Laser Beam is particularly amazing in its spare simplicity.

The odd one out is We Outnumber You. An extraordinary radio play. A very visceral and frightening drama about a corporately financed zoo that ends in catastrophe. Sonically devastating and difficult to shake off. Sadly it doesn't seem to be available from the original archive anymore, hence no link.

This is the Radio Times' review:

This is one of the most harrowing and profoundly upsetting plays that I have ever heard, with a concluding scene that will haunt me for ever. It is also a work of brilliance. The drama takes place on the opening night of a new zoo on the Isle of Wight, but it is delivered in a most unusual verite style, as if the listener were tuning in to the characters' mobile phone calls that have been recovered after the event. Kenneth Cranham stars as David, the self-satisfied morally-vacuous oil company boss who is behind the opening of this zoo to show off his employer's environmental commitment. He's expecting a protest from dissenters outside the perimeter of the grounds, but nothing in his worst nightmares could prepare him for the actions of the two eco-terrorists who are already on the inside. As the devastating chain of events unfolds it is matched by the increasingly hysterical phone recordings - until one final, terrible sound is heard.