Boomkat Product Review:
Wickedly unhinged, incredible 1981 jams from an early NWW member, Heman Pathak with his pals John Grieve and Dave Hodes as Hastings of Malawi; a heavily beguiling session of dadaist lo-fi concrète, coruscating haywire synths, the speaking clock and lots of acousmatic clangour, all recorded in one night with very little idea of what the f**k they were up to.
Strikingly future-proofed by way of its outlandish, disclocated temporality and punkish disregard for convention, Vibrant Stapler Obscures Characteristic Growth was Hastings of Malawi’s one and only release, and original copies are purportedly rarer than they should be because one of the band members’ parents binned 300 of them. Ouch.
Given that Heman Pathak was one of the three “untrained” or total novice musicians behind Nurse With Wound’s classic debut, Chance Meeting On A Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella (1979) and its corresponding list of avant-garde obscurities, commonly known as the Nurse With Wound List, it’s not difficult to draw a line between the impetus of that radical record and the wild cacophony of the one in front of you.
If you subtracted the freewheeling guitar solos of Chance Meeting, and imagined the rest played by a gang of restless poltergeists tooled with drums, clarinet, synth and piano, and anything else within reach, and then played it down the phone to random, unsuspecting recipients who would become part of the recording (presaging Sam Kidel’s Disruptive Muzak by 30 odd years), you’ve almost got a grasp on this album’s untrammelled, explorative madness.
We’ll leave the rest for your indigestion and dilated discovery, but you can trust that it’s one of the wildest records you’ve never heard before.