The Debatable Lands (LP)
In December 2017, Howlround (Robin the Fog) was invited to
perform at "The Winter Solstice Soundscapes" for the recently opened
record store "Vinyl Café" in his home town of Carlisle, Cumbria.
Inspired by the reception to his first ever performance in the great
border city, he covered his parent's dining room table with the same
equipment, stretched loops of tape around his mum's seasonal
candlesticks when she wasn't looking... and this LP is the result. The
only equipment used on the album is two 1/4" reel-to-reel tape machines
and one microphone. The sounds created are entirely at the discretion of
the machines (much of them derived from "closed-input" recordings) and
all tracks were produced in a single take. There are no edits, no
overdubs and no additional effects. This marks a new, heavier direction
for Howlround, a project better known for more ambient work. Allowing the tape recorders as much agency as possible, Robin acts as an
improvising conduit or medium in the mode of a gonzo Tony Conrad or
Eliane Radigue, with a modicum of Yvette Fielding and The Hafler Trio.
He presents four durational pieces ranging from tremulous, plasmic
immersion in ‘Threip’, to something like a pummelling, underwater Masami
Akita workout in the rhythmic noise of ‘The Black Path’, while ‘Talking
Tarn’ invokes imagery of animist pagans worshipping lone, lofty bodies
of freezing water, and ‘Moat’ resembles some kind of EVP interception,
perhaps from Roman times, or maybe the ancient spirits of Mu, located in
the stone circle-littered realms to the north of Carlisle.
Cat. number: TO 108LP