For the first time on vinyl; two super rare 1980-82 tapes by Two Daughters; a near-mythical, Throbbing Gristle/Industrial Records - affiliated duo who recorded glossolalic hymns, spectral percussive rituals and Bowie cut-ups in Brixton, c.1980-1982 for Nurse With Wound's United Dairies. A huge recommendation if you're into Dome, Zoviet France, O Yuki Conjugate, Panda Bear, NWW, Early Current 93 - what a find!!!
Two Daughters were known to their mates as the mononymous Anthony & Paul. Anthony has since been identified as Anthony Burke, who passed away in 2004, while Paul’s identity remains a total mystery. If you take a look on discogs, the only two photographs of the pair are alongside Cosey Fanni Tutti, Chris Carter and the rest of the Industrial records gang, but there are also strange connections with Simon Fisher Turner, whose near-namesakes Deux Filles arrived a couple of years later. Two Daughters self-released a haunting, eponymous 1980 tape debut on Methane Music, and a year later they issued the ‘Kiss The Cloth / Gloria’ LP via Anthony & Paul - a sublabel of Steven Stapleton’s United Dairies, who would reissue the album on tape via his label, proper, in 1987. Aside from those tapes, no other known Two Daughters recordings exist, yet their cul-de-sac of a catalogue evidently left us with some supernaturally spellbinding material, as contained in this compilation.
The first disc is given to Two Daughters self-titled 1980 debut, whose decayed cover image of two men wrapped in a billowing toga most beautifully characterises their music. In nine parts they drift from a shimmering guitar loop mantra, ‘Ladder of Souls’ to the solemn drum and glossolalic vocal procession of ‘Aaaaaar’ in a hypnagogic daze, slipping sideways along cold ceramic corridors webbed with lonely sax in ‘Return Call/We Are’, to the still-airborne waltz of ‘Sad Horizons’ and the heartbreaking hymnal poignancy of ‘So I’, while a further ‘Return Call’ sounds like a play of distant fog horns in a pea souper, and the bony rattle of ‘Drums’ runs off into something like a lo-fi pre-echo of Tanzwerk.
The second LP carries all the material off their second and final release ‘Kiss The Cloth / Gloria’. It sees the first tape’s veil of ferric must lift to reveal fuller formed vocals, clearer instrumentation and electronics lathered into soporific arrangements. Side A’s ‘Kiss The Cloth’ morphs from stately string loops, flurries of wooden drums and intoxicated plainchant to pinched rhythmic electronics and lilting vocal loops equidistant to The Beach Boys and Panda Bear, culminating in a helix of lemniscate vocal and ritual drums. And then for all the audness, they open B-side ‘Gloria’ with a deeply druggy cut-up of David Bowie spliced with killer tribal percussion, before duelling with metal percussion and gamelan in the eldritch middle and locking into a fiercely meditative mix of gamelan and vocals to close.
It all really feels like a true missing link between so much music we care about that it’s a no brainer for anyone curious about post-punk and experimental industrial music beyond the clichés and poster boys and girls. Aye it’s pretty much essential listening for this end of the pool.