Boomkat Product Review:
Highly organic, kinetic concrete and reel-time ferric sculptures from Thomas Shrubsole, yielding almost 3 hours of lower case rustles resembling free jazz played by nature.
Working in a richly imaginative realm shared by everyone from Rashad Becker to Anne Guthrie, Ekoplekz to Decimus, ‘Tape Music’ is a significant batch of scrabbly abstraction from one of the North West’s most quietly unassuming and uncompromising operators. Working hands-on with his trusted reel-to-reel, found objects and 2nd-hand instrumentation, Shrubsole enacts a form of intimate animism that gives life to sounds lesser heard. Mixing skin with grit and machine, his improvised interventions coax out a plethora of almost anthropomorphic or bestial tones from things without a heart or brain, and effectively using his own body to better connect with the world around him and bring listeners to a granular, haptic level of musical perception.
Recorded in 2015 and left to mulch in the archive, the results are entirely analog from nose to tail, exploring a bio-organic feedback system that investigates, in his own words, “notions of the prosaic and the exotic, the personal as it pertains to the physically local and the distant, proximate and disembodied, the diaristic and the documentary: Kinetic performative physical improvisational concrete.”