The traditions of 'beating the bounds' and what was eventually coined 'rough music' hold more significance than simply people hitting objects. This concept is well presented on this superb release which presents the trance inducing, ritualistic rhythms carved out one night in a rain soaked cottage in West Wales.
8/10 Ant Staff review, 31 October 2017
The story goes that six friends holidaying in a stone cottage in Pembrokeshire, Wales were housebound due to heavy rain, and presumably out of boredom, with no TV reception, decided to jam away and have an improvised percussion session. Using the tools they had available in the cottage i.e gardening tools, furniture, fire pokers, kitchen utensils etc. they created some mesmerising poly-rhythmic workouts / contemporary ritual trance music. The recording sometimes seems to capture the outside environment/weather in the distance, lending the record a real isolated quality. While the music certainly does have the trance inducing qualities inherent in repetitive, percussive music, there’s a light-hearted and tongue in cheek quality to how it’s all been presented. The amusing track titles are particularly funny and the whole thing is presented as an ethnological document as though it were a deep rooted local folk music that could have been discovered by Harry Smith, Brion Gysin or Alan Lomax. Don’t be mislead into thinking this is just a cacophony of clattering kitchen sink percussion as there’s a real sense of rhythm and discipline at work here. Basically, this isn’t just some mates bashing away and making a racket - these rhythms are free flowing but tight and could almost be locked to a computer clock. In this sense I’m reminded of old Matthew Herbert stuff where he was making techno from sampling kitchen utensils. Had I heard this with no prior information as to when and where it was recorded, I would literally have no idea where the music originated. Geographically it feels like it could have come from any continent on earth. It seems to exist in it’s own vacuum outside of any known tradition or location which gives it a particularly appealing alien and sometimes eerie quality.
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