Boomkat Product Review:
‘On Vanishing Land’ is legendary writer/theorist Mark Fisher’s deep topographical reading of the Suffolk Coast, conceived in 2006 for his former CCRU comrade Kodwo Eshun’s (and co’s) Otolith Group. The text is narrated by Justin Barton, who previously voiced John Foxx’s ‘The Quiet Man’, and set to suitably haunting sonic backdrops by the likes of Foxx, plus Raime and Baron Mordant. It’s issued as the first release on Flatlines, a sublabel of Hyperdub,which of course belongs to another of his CCRU comrades, Steve Goodman aka Kode 9. A must check!
“Hyperdub launch new sub-label, Flatlines, for the vinyl and digital release of On Vanishing Land, an audio-essay by Justin Barton and the late Mark Fisher. OVL evokes a walk along the Suffolk coastline in 2006, from Felixstowe container port ("a nerve ganglion of capitalism") to the Anglo-Saxon burial ground at Sutton Hoo. A walk under immense skies, through zones of deep time and within sunlit, liminal terrains, into the eerie.
Everywhere there are charged atmospheres, shadowy incursions, enigmatic departures. A derelict radar base, coastal heathland, drifting thistledown, towers of overgrown shipping containers - music haunted by wider levels of reality, narrations about rarely visited zones and potentials, voices of dreams and stories. Newly composed tracks by John Foxx, Gazelle Twin, Baron Mordant, Raime, Pete Wiseman, Farmers of Vega, Skjolbrot, Eerie Anglia, Ekoplekz and Dolly Dolly; and, alongside these, views toward M.R. James’s Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad (1904), Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1967), and Brian Eno’s On Land (1982).
Beyond the surface of the day something becomes visible, a way forward, an escape-path from capitalist reality. On Vanishing Land is about following the lines of terrains and dreams. It is about a micropolitics of escape, of disappearance. A micropolitics of waking the faculties.
“It is April, but it feels like summer. They turn left onto the seafront […]”
On Vanishing Land was initially part of an exhibition commissioned by The Otolith Collective and The Showroom in London, and after londonunderlondon (2005) it was the second audio-work collaboration by Justin Barton and Mark Fisher. The LP cover features photos taken by Mark Fisher and a short essay by Justin Barton.”