11 April 2017


self released 2017, edition of 50

"solo tracks by one half of midnight mines - guitar, tape loops, voice, organ, bass, drum machine, piano, effects. He recollected the England of his imagination, culled from dozens of Saint books. A sleazy place of cockneys, nursemaids, policemen, slums, misty wharves, large houses full of the vulnerable jewellery of beautiful women. That place was not this. Well, like the man said, there had been a war, a dislocation. He looked at these people in these streets. The few women who were about moved fast and furtive, poorly and shabbily dressed, keeping close to walls. Not a nursemaid among them. The men did not stir. A curse of alternate inertia had been visited upon the English sexes. Men stood waiting and smoking in little groups, unspeaking; women scurried lonely. In their eyes, he saw the dewy glints of madness. Their pupils flashed towards him like animal headlights, feral with guanin, the women's green, the men's red like wolfhounds or a new animal." - MIDNIGHT MINES bandcamp

i'm not here to talk about the small arsenal of sold out tapes MIDNIGHT MINES have amassed in recent years, but rather this most unfortunately sold out tape from BARON SATURDAY who is half of said new-to-me pre-this post-that clogged kitchen sink lo-fi london duo, apparently hittin it big in a weirdo blogospheric sense - but i might preface by briefly summarizing MM's style, if one can call it that (and i don't mean that in any negative way at all) - their music churns and lurches and trudges inexorably -and rather clumsily- forward track to track, but step back a bit and you will find MM nimbly leaping about this aforementioned pre-this post-that genre potpourri, blown out and damaged to hell, equal parts intriguing and nauseating -which can be quite exhilarating in regimented doses- on a mind knotting eclectic trajectory that kinda reminds me of GERMAN ARMY with the industrial propulsion dialed back and the noisy no wave psych punk throttled up

halve that and you get CONCRETE POETRY - pure CHARALAMBIDIC indulgence in JANDEKIAN isolation tumbling into a black hole, compressing the wonderful and frightening striations of HARMONY OF THE SPHERES into a DAN MELCHIOR esque folk punk psychosis channeling SYD BARRETT and SKIP SPENCE, at times sounding like demented INTELLIGENCE demos bricked away in LARS FINBERG's basement, echoing the profound weirdness of HAWKWIND's "space is deep" and TROUT MASK REPLICA, other times like WILLIE LANE backed by the DEAD C - still, an unexpected soft underbelly is exposed from time to time, a hushed VELVETS closet mix prowess, mesmerizing glimpses of ILYAS AHMED or the HIRED HAND soundtrack or RICHARD YOUNGS' SAPPHIE among this somehow brutal yet elegant framework of distortion, feedback and uneasy silence, which is perhaps the most crucial element of CONCRETE POETRY that to me sounds rather scarce in the MIDNIGHT MINES universe -- self released (?) but would seem right at home on SILTBREEZE (in the 90s no doubt) or SLOOW or even JON COLLIN's fringe folk nexus WINEBOX PRESS - probably in the same wheelhouse as JASON MILLARD and TUCKER THEODORE for contemporary cassette comparison, but CONCRETE POETRY sounds and feels kinda out there on it's own to me