RAIL CABLES - SPRING SELECTION
After a journey through the dark Winter night, it’s a pleasure to present the Spring selection...
Beginning the album are two tracks originally released through Andrew Weatherall's now defunct SabreSongs label. Beautiful, mellow, minimal electronic gems from the shadowy Being. To read why a series boasting of 'New Music inspired by Train Travel' would begin its second compilation with two tracks taken from an album made 20 years ago, have a look here:
Bringing us back to the present is the wonderful Benoit Pioulard, AKA artist Thomas Meluch. Meluch has the amazing ability to be able to appear to ‘hide’ his music in space and time. His compositions, at times, can sound like old field recordings found on scratchy, aged, tapes from the dawn of recorded music. At other times the production is so crystal clear and rich with thick tones it can feel as if huge amplifiers are projecting every note from multiple angles around you.
Perfectly paired to Benoit’s textured soundscapes are the melodic throbs of his spiritual brother Christopher Royal King. Usually found wielding his guitar for Texan post-rock outfit This Will Destroy You, Symbol is King’s extracurricular forage into more experimental composition. Part of the Holodeck records family, King has contributed five slowly flowing pieces to the Spring selection. King has said he was inspired by his train travels around China, something especially apparent on closing track ‘With Sympathy’.
We end the selection with a poignant contribution from Mark Spybey, who has been making music under the moniker Dead Voices On Air for over 20 years. After starting out in Newcastle-based experimental noise makers Zoviet*France, Spybey went on to play with a host of intriguing characters, even finding himself performing alongside the late great Michael Karoli of Can for a short time.
Spybey’s thoughtful rail-inspired piece shifts from beautifully melodic and hopeful, to moody and reflective. Mark had this to say about his piece:
“In preparing these recordings, a number of news features and documentaries were aired concerning the 70th anniversary of the holocaust. On my first visit to Germany many years ago I was fascinated by the scale, functionality and efficiency of the railways but reminded (due to the fact that I was reading Martin Gilbert's book on the Holocaust at the time) that this was ruthlessly exploited by the Nazis who transported people by train like cattle, all over Europe to their imprisonment and death. I am not entirely sure if my contribution to this record was directly influenced by what I have just written but when I started to make some field recordings of trains, despite the fact that I travel on them several times a week, I chose to find a steam locomotive to record. It just seemed right. Spring is mild and grey and blue and warm and green. It's a promise of something other than dark. 70 years later, we still have the option, however remote it feels at times, to overcome the hatred, hostility and violence of prejudice. As my friend Simon says,’may peace prevail’.”
The artwork for this release was created by Sean Curtis Patrick. A regular collaborator with Benoit Pioulard, Patrick has restlessly been unleashing on the world the results of his creativity for over 10 years now, whether that be through the form of his music, video or art work. The cover image for this record was a photo of train carriages Patrick took from a plane as he was arriving into Chicago. The vinyl version of the album comes with printed inner sleeves that home more of Patrick’s beautiful collages.
You can see a collection of his work here: