Boomkat Product Review:
20th anniversary reissue of Graham Lambkin’s sought-after solo debut, sounding like DJ Screw getting waterboarded in a flooded cellar. Part of the upcoming ’Solos’ boxset of his first four albums, reissued for first time by Brooklyn’s amazing Blank Forms Editions
For 40 cranky minutes, Lambkin pitch-shifts the vocal of his bandmate Tim Goss (The Shadow Ring) to a deathly croak, set against what sounds like the chronic drip drip drip of an overflowing bath or a basement in the process of flooding, while a chamber ensemble strikes up from time to time. It’s the sort of record you could attempt to recreate at home with minimal effort, and perhaps some soggy trews, but the magick lies in the utter obstinate oddness of it all, pushing listeners to a state of discomfort with an almost psychopathic sense of purpose, only to offer glimpses of classical respite at points where it feels like we’re actually drowning in his world. As far as debut statements of intent go, it’s practically a fucking warning; approach with caution and know where the exits are located.
As both Lambkin’s solo debut in this vein, and the first release on his cultish label, Kye, ‘Poem (For Voice & Tape)’ is something of a pivotal release in the modern field, sustaining a sort of outsider art energy previously explored by likes of Lambkin’s hero Anton Heyboer in a way that somehow feels timeless and of its time. It’s arguably a landmark release that has provided a sort of lightning rod to other fringe radicals and lower case explorers such as Jason Lescalleet, Joe McPhee, Áine O’Dwyer, and most recently Bill Nace (ov Body/Head, w/ Kim Gordon), and therefore has a lot to answer for.