Boomkat Product Review:
Armed with a dusty piano, a dictaphone, and his hands and gob, Louis Johnstone (Wanda Group) inhabits the Henry Caravan alias for a totally unforeseen but perfectly understandable turn as a tortured avant lounge soloist in Tongue Order for the good folk at Reckno.
It could almost be Dudley Moore channelling Satie, or Morton Feldman slowly losing it in duet with a possessed recorder; laying out long, slowly ribboning passages of bittersweet discord punctuated by shocking outbursts of his own, wickedly off-key baritone and tourettes-like interjections from the dictaphone. Or, as Louis describes:
“'I WROTE THIS IN ONE EVENING. NOT WROTE BUT PERFORMED IT. I HAD THE HOUSE TO MYSELF.
I HAD A BOTTLE OF VODKA, A PIANO, TAPE RECORDER AND A DIGITAL RECORDER.
BY MY SIDE WAS A LARGE INDOOR PLANT AND YOU CAN HEAR ME BRUSH UP AGAINST IT AT CERTAIN POINTS.
I STARTED LATE. IT IS ALL ONE TAKE. SO 15 MINUTES ON THE SPOT.
THEN I WENT AND DRANK MORE VODKA FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS. THEN I DID THE SECOND PIECE.
ANOTHER 15 MINUTES.
THEN I FINISHED AND DRANK SOME MORE VODKA.'
We first heard this in the dead of night, no cars outside or babies crying next door, and had little idea what to expect. We were subsequently floored (metaphorically speaking, ‘cos I was already sitting on it) to hear Louis’ half-cut vocals rise from the creaky miasma of keys and scratchy tape samples. We reckon it will have the same effect on many others, and urge you to check it without delay; whether you’ve heard Wanda Group or not.
It’s not too early to say this is one of the most surprising and arresting new releases of 2016 so far.