Experienced musical craftspeople Nina Walsh and Andrew Weatherall combine their talents as The Woodleigh Research Facility. The sound of their double album The Phoenix Suburb (And Other Stories) is roughly as hauntological as you’d expect, taking electronic sources and carefully processing them into unclear new forms. 2LP on Rotters Golf Club.
Double LP £10.99 RGCLP021
2LP on Rotters Golf Club aka Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh.
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What the hell is this hauntology thing that people are banging on about? It sounds like a spooky religious cult, or at least, it sounds like a musical genre that people are trying to make as enigmatic as a spooky religious cult. Hauntology, noun, the study of ghosts. Fuck.
Amateur etymology aside, this record is the pairing of Nina Walsh and Andrew Weatherall, previously famous for making banging housers that my housemates (no pun there, don’t look for it) play at inappropriate times at pub DJ slots. This isn’t exactly banging this time around, but it meaty and beaty nonetheless. It borrows heavily from '90's acidic beats and chillout grooves, as well as taking the standoffish emerging-from-the-smoke feel of the 80s to present a sound that holds so many references that it ends up sounding like it makes none. There are the out of this world sounds from early 60s electronic stuff that sound like they’re from Forbidden Planet, but heard clearly instead of through the hiss of tape that’s been degrading over the past decade.
The strong rhythmic element pushes this one forward, allowing the weird synthy spook noises that the two conjure to provide constant entertainment over the album’s duration. For fans of the Ghost Box stuff, if it was somewhat cheekily mixed with CPU’s vintage electro beats.
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