Boomkat Product Review:
Killer 1981 recordings from Height/Dismay - the studio-as-instrument duo of Patrick Gibson and Dru Jones and stars of the Efficient Space ‘Oz Echoes 1980/89’ comp. Essential listening if yr into Broadcast, Beaqch House or that killer Micachu Chopped & Screwed LP.
As the story goes, Drusilla Johnson and Patrick Gibson’s first 7”, ‘Mother’s Footsteps’ was recorded and manufactured in 1981, but promptly deleted due to a pressing fault, with a handful of copies saved from the scrap heap. The title song of that 7” would however make its way onto the ‘Oz Echoes 1980/89’ companion to the ‘Oz Waves’ in recent years, now followed by these three archival nuggets from the same 1981 sessions.
The material is proper forward thinking: 'Blood Pressure in the Sand', with its low 'n slow drum machine and organ shakes, sounds like Beach House almost 25 years before Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally recorded a note. Deadpanning surreal lyrics, Jones sounds haunted over unstable chords and pinging electric piano melancholy; it's beautiful but completely phantasmagoric - out of time, yet a completely necessary faded photograph of the era.
'Dusk' reminds more of the bizarre material on "Mother's Footsteps", with spiraling vocal utterances coiled around klangy percussion and reverberating doom chamber textures. On 'The Tinning Test', Jones sings text gleaned from a tinned copper wire government instruction over squiggly analog monosynth bass and tape-fucked vocal glugs. It's material that sounds as trapped in willful obscurity as Broadcast's most out diversions, or Stereolab's genius space-lounge u-turns, and might even provide a sun-bleached alternative to Antena's quirky electro-samba vignettes.