Boomkat Product Review:
A Note from Robin:
"The kind of time-travel that occurs when listening back to recordings from 30+ years ago is a peculiar experience. I can still vividly remember sitting on the floor of my flat in Battersea, South London, the walls, floor and ceiling all painted black, crouched over my luxuriously expensive Fostex 280 (over £700 in the mid 1980s) and making these recordings. I’d had to save up for countless months for such a machine, and it was a dream come true.
Here was a machine that could permanently store my ideas onto relatively cheap cassettes that I could pick up in a local shop. I could manipulate the speed of these recordings and layer them together. Using the Digitech RDS 7.6 Time Machine in tandem I could create loops of sound, and record something as simple as a bell and then slow it down to half speed.
I quickly discovered that sometimes the simplest ideas were the most effective. In Forbidden Mourning you hear a loop of a bell and an ethic tone playing against one another, whilst my dark sense of humour comes across in His Begging Bowl, with a found recording of the last moments in the life of a beloved dog. Some of the pieces such as Soft Enclose, using scanned voices, clearly anticipate my first CD release on Ash International in 1992.
Somehow these tapes have miraculously survived countless moves over the years, in the same cardboard boxes, from my bedroom in my family home to a series of different apartments and even in an industrial storage unit for a year. Using the lockdown to digitise and mix down many of these has been a joy, and what you hear here is just a percentage of what exists in the archive.
Listening back to these recordings today I realise that they actually still inform much of what I do today. Some might find it a little depressing to consider that they’ve never ‘progressed,’ but I find a reassurance in the shapes and structures and strength of commitment in these works. Voices are hidden beneath the surface, slow modulating drones hover ominously in the background, scanned phonecalls are drawn in from the ether and poignant melancholic melodies play against abstract noises.
I hope the listener today enjoys this modest dip in my archival recordings and appreciates that less can most definitely be more. I had no idea that there might be audience for these works when I recorded them at the time, so let’s see how they behave when they are set free into the world this year!"