|VG09 SOUTHALL RIOT ANSUZ LÚNASA
|from Record Collector
Southall Riot have promised that this 21 copies-only release is
the last 8-track cartridge of the 20th century, so until anyone
says different, we'll believe them. And be quick if you want to
invest in this frighteningly limited edition.
The premise for the album is the fusion of the band's 'field recordings'
of last August's solar eclipse, with studio sessions with a variety
of colaborators, predominantly Ansuz Lúnasa. The sound is
alternately bombastic and calm, with keyboard sounds cutting across
in swathes, which one imagines is designed to symbolise the moon
cutting across the sun. However, this isn't readily apparent for
most of the album and the field recordings aren't very obvious.
Nonetheless, this is a bold experiment in both concept and format.
And if you don't have an 8-track player, there's a CD release scheduled
|from Robots and Electronic Brains
|.Unbeknownst to me, at the same time I was gaffa-taping
my scope to the broomstick and pegging the curtains shut, Philm and
Stu from Southall Riot were recording the ambient sound of the eclipse
from two different Cornish locations and collaborators Ansuz Lunasa
were busy in their studio. "Sunhead" is the result of these recordings,
and others in the following weeks, mixed down into one 30-minute whole
which lumbers through Fuxa-like drone and windy haze to the midpoint
where someone, almost off-mic, asks "So this is it?" and Southall
Riot kick off a grinding psyche-pop celebration
|from Original Sin
|Since the beginning of my fanzinewriting efforts Southall
Riot were more than once a very regular guest and to be honest this
band are so productive that it becomes quite difficult to keep on
following their releases in terms of reviews, but some are workaholics
while others don't even deserve the title of worker. Southall Riot
are the kind of band who can be an easy victim of lazy journalism
as in their records so many things happen that one will just describe
it as "industrial" or "experimental" while hip reviewers will say
it's "post-rock". I don't really think that apart from snippets none
of these three descriptions say how Southall Riot really are. For
me Southall Riot is more like a movie as every one or two minutes
there's a complete change in style and that's also what you're getting
on this colloboration from Southall Riot and Ansuz Lunasa. The collaboration
on this CD (by the way the other existing format from this release
is an 8-track cartridge) lasts 30 minutes but where as many other
songs should consists of one boring riff till you have no guts to
go any further, "Sunhead" is more like a psychedelic experience in
where Pink Floyd meets Mogwai and the soundexplosion from Spacemen
3. OK, it's not the kind of record you're going to play if you're
having your first cup of tea in the morning but it is definitey something
to play once the tea had effect on your brains..
|from Atom Heart Records
|Collaborative EP by Ansuz Lúnasa (of whom I know absolutely
nothing) and Southall Riot, a duo from England (and owners of the
Victory Garden label). Thirty minutes of spacey Post-Rock, full of
feedback, distortion & yummy white noise. Probably largely influenced
by 68-era Pink Floyd, but ending up sounding like a bizarre blend
of Flying Saucer Attack and early Guided By Voices. A really nice
addition to any Psychedelic music collection.
|Initially released as a limited edition of about 20
8-track cartridge, but now available on CD, Sunhead is a collaborative
effort between London's highly underrated psych-popsters Southall
Riot (think Guided by Voices meets Brainiac and Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett)
and noise-collage weirdoes Ansuz Lunasa. Exceeding the conceptual
oddness of even the Flaming Lips, the premise of Sunhead is that it
is one track spanning 30 minutes and three seconds and is meant to
sonically document the visual event of August 1999's solar eclipse.
"So, what does an eclipse sound like?" Funny you should ask. As it
turns out, an eclipse sounds a bit like a cross between Lou Reed's
'Metal Machine Music,' and Neutral Milk Hotel's "Marching Theme,"
but with acoustic guitars and children giggling in the background.
Nothing on the album could rightly be labeled a "song," but among
the drums that sound like tin being rustled by a hurricane and tape
hisses that sound like exotic wild birds, shards of melody sneak through.
Bits of dialogue and radio transmissions blend together, speed and
slow, swell and fade, as a guitar wanders through the noise and briefly
creates a coherent song structure in the midst of the noise storm,
but is soon replaced by bleeping sounds like satellite tracking systems'
Around the five minute mark, tribal drumming enters the picture and
calls to mind "Stomp," but by eleven minutes the speakers rattle with
fuzz, like locusts in the studio. This portion of the record tends
to come across as mechanical and noisy, almost industrial, whereas
the rest of the album could just as easily be Pink Floyd outtakes.
As we approach 18 minutes of this sonic eclipse, we are greeted by
a jangle pop tease. A great, bouncy Turtlesy rock song, with just
a bit of fuzz in the back surfaces through the sea of gentle feedback,
backwards masking and voices merrily chattering just quietly enough
to be inaudible. The Brit-pop breakdown is a welcome break from the
abstract noise, but it is also little disappointing because it shows
what great things the guys are capable of when they're not wrapped
up doing wacky sound exploration experiments.
A few seconds of a lone acoustic guitar being quietly plucked brings
the album to a quiet close, much the way big noisy storms softly slink
over the horizon.
Overall, Sunhead is an interesting album, though probably not something
you would choose to bring along on a Sunday drive. In fact, I'm not
sure when this album would be appropriate listening.perhaps if you
mute the TV and listen to it as you watch reruns of "Perfect Strangers"
it takes on a deeper meaning. (This is the part where you say "Oh
Cousin Larry, don't be ridiculous.") (Karen E. Graves)
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