Friday, 22 January 2016

Spoils & Relics 'Private Garage Collection' Cassette on Feral Debris

limited copies available directly for £5.00 plus postage - email to order

 "It’s curious to note how meticulous in their output Spoils & Relics have become in recent years. Following the first couple years of frantic activity, the trio has become as of late. 2014 saw the release of the Embed And Then Forget cd on Porta, while 2015 finds two scant outings - a track on the Found Secret comp. and this, a relatively brief cassette from Rich Hopkin’s well-curated Feral Tapes. Perhaps the extended text on the cover of the tape discussing the sticky twists and turn of the j card artwork should serve as some indication of the band’s thoroughness. A blunt noise, silence and then faint crackle announce this, the new Spoils & Relics release. Next we we hear more clanging and perhaps the sound of a contact mic being dragged against a surface, maybe amplified breath? A high frequency, then perhaps a clipped vocal bleep. There’s always a relational agency to the interplay of sounds on Spoils & Relics release. Some shuffling is contrast with a sound rising in pitch and faint sonics which are perhaps musical in nature. There’s more mystery at hand than on, say, the Martin & Mobin discussed above. There’s humor, much like the Posset, but it’s always icy and bleak, sometimes brutal. Every sounds seems to have a significance, but one also wonders why even bother. There’s a caustic void which is almost Beckett-esque in its grotesque pallor. More silence, very faint talking, maybe laughing and maybe dial tone. Then, a throat sound, no voices. Everything remains very low-end, aside from the intermittent outburst and drilling hum. Then, a click. Silence, the tape turns over. More shaking, a hum and more overt electronics open side b. I think I can clearly make out radio, maybe a horn of some sort. A tape is clearly being manually sped up and slowed down. There’s the echo of footprints in water and again, more aggressive electronics. Obsolete malfunctions. It’s terrifying while never resorting to being cheap. The use of space in Spoils & Relics is perhaps their most sophisticated technique. The silence flows as an inky void into the sounds themselves, leaving everything vacant, whether its an unprocessed scream which abruptly arises in the mix ora mid-range bluster which could just as either be an explosion or a recording of a door driven into the red. And that’s where the tape ends. With a question."  Allen Mozek