Boomkat Product Review:
The artist behind The Boats, Tape Loop Orchestra, and The Misty’s entwines his myriad pursuits in a haunting book of found images and two-word poems, plus a 39 minute swell of spectral music featuring vocals by Beth Roberts.
With ’Concrete Handbag’ Andrew Hargreaves effectively distills his various artistic interests into a form of fictive memory that will appear differently to each participant or listener. Presenting a range of found images, recombinant wordplay, concrete poetry, music and field recordings that will be familiar to listeners in some ways if you’ve followed any of his projects over the years, he creates a mazy soundsphere of suggestive cues pulled from the mists of non-time and intended to jog the user’s memory to make new connections between the images and sound, and in turn create their own form of a third narrative or fictitious memory bank.
Acknowledging the formation of memory as fluid, permeable, and ever in flux, his series of prompts reach back to early ideals of recorded music as a portal to bygone dimensions in a way that echoes Marconi’s own attempts to ultimately divine Christ via residual, entropic traces of sounds that never actually die, but just keep fading out. While Hargreaves isn’t really bothered about listening to the big man, he is intent on getting you to listen outside yourself, to have an empathy for voices in the ether, and his beautifully evocative series of cues, both visual and aural, are bound to gently colour the imagination and conjure hidden meanings and connotations with each and every recipient.