Missing Organs is the production alias of Tristan Bath, also fondly known for his reviews of out-there tapes. Old Speakers is his Brexit album, built around field recordings and musical fragments recorded across Europe, framed here with sturdy beats. A dark and enveloping listen. Limited edition of 105 cassettes, packaged in a cardboard box with a download.
- Tape £7.99
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- UR096 / Hand-numbered cassette limited edition of 105 copies on pro-dubbed chrome tape. Packaged in a 100% recycled stock cardboard box with download coupon.
- Includes download code
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- Old Speakers by Missing Organs
8/10 Robin Staff review, 08 March 2017
I’m sure Tristan Bath is sick of people pointing out that he’s that guy who writes about experimental tapes for the Quietus, typing away at a desk groaning under the weight of spools, but I feel it’s only in keeping with ethical practice that I tell you Missing Organs ‘Old Speakers’ is the only cassette ever that he hasn’t reviewed. That’s because he made it: this sometimes noisy, scratchy and often delicate beat tape comes from the writer and labeldoer’s own heart and computer, and finds its home as one quarter of Umor Rex’s latest tape batch.
What we’ve got here is a fascinating record of displacement, one that churns dissonantly and charms plenty: described as his ‘Brexit’ album, I’d say it best suits that description by not knowing what the fuck it wants to be, instead moving between skyline synth drones and well-schooled IDM tributes. “Doorway” sounds like Lawrence English with the textures dialed back, while the two-part “Hatching” takes apart a neo-classical sounding motif and stretches weird vocal sounds and firm but patchwork beats. “Bridges” stumbles upon a gorgeous, techno-upending melody from a free noise intro, Bath closing the doors and opening the windows at the very same time.
His music, is, at times, wonderfully inviting: it brings about head nods on tracks like these, and places you in the middle of an adventure game on retro-sounding cuts like “Hamlet Funk”. Perhaps my favourite moment on the record is "Livin' off Wifi", though -- the whole thing sounds like an act of buffering, its softly produced synthline bubbling up with both tremors and calm. By evening out his harsher inclinations with the hooks in his head, Bath has created an album that beckons us into the unknown -- but only after it’s cleared out the danger for us.
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